Archive for the ‘Marco Rubio’ Category

The latest spin from progressives is that the questions asked at the CNBC Disaster were “the most substantive” questions asked this debate season:

Cruz ticked off the insults the CNBC moderators had lobbed Wednesday night at the assembled Republicans. “Donald Trump, are you a comic book villain? Ben Carson, can you do math? John Kasich, will you insult two people over here? Marco Rubio, why don’t you resign? Jeb Bush, why have your numbers fallen? How about talking about the substantive issues?”

The crowd roared. Republican pollster Frank Luntz reported with some awe that his focus group gave Cruz’s riff a 98. “That’s the highest score we’ve ever measured,” Luntz tweeted. “EVER.”

Cruz’s attack on the moderators was smart politics, but it was almost precisely backwards. The questions in the CNBC debate, though relentlessly tough, were easily the most substantive of the debates so far. And the problem for Republicans is that substantive questions about their policy proposals end up sounding like hostile attacks, but that’s because the policy proposals are ridiculous, not because the questions are actually unfair.

Let me correct those deceptive statements before someone starts thinking that they’re substantive comments worthy of serious consideration. To do that, it’s important to provide context for the debate. CNBC signed a contract that said that this debate would be about economic issues.

John Harwood didn’t meet those expectations. He failed that test early and often. Early on, he asked Donald Trump a question that ended with him saying “Let’s be honest. Is this a comic book version of a presidential campaign?” That’s Klein’s idea of a substantive, hard-hitting question?

A couple minutes later, Becky Quick asked Dr. Carson a question about his tax plan, saying “Dr. Carson, let’s talk about taxes. You have a flat tax plan of 10 percent flat taxes, and, I’ve looked at it, and this is something that is very appealing to a lot of voters, but I’ve had a really tough time trying to make the math work on this.” Though this sounds like a fair question, it isn’t from the standpoint that Dr. Carson’s flat tax plan, in Dr. Carson’s words, “the rate is gonna be much closer to 15 percent.”

If these are examples of “the most substantive”, hard-hitting questions of the debate season, why are they utterly disrespectful? Why didn’t the ‘moderators’ do their homework and get the basics right? When Harwood asked Sen. Rubio about his tax plan, he got it almost entirely wrong. Here’s that exchange:

HARWOOD: Senator Rubio, 30 seconds to you. The Tax Foundation, which was alluded to earlier, scored your tax plan and concluded that you give nearly twice as much of a gain in after-tax income to the top 1 percent as to people in the middle of the income scale. Since you’re the champion of Americans living paycheck-to- paycheck, don’t you have that backward?
RUBIO: No, that’s — you’re wrong. In fact, the largest after- tax gains is for the people at the lower end of the tax spectrum under my plan. And there’s a bunch of things my tax plan does to help them.
Number one, you have people in this country that…
HARWOOD: The Tax Foundation — just to be clear, they said the…
RUBIO: …you wrote a story on it, and you had to go back and correct it.
HARWOOD: No, I did not.
RUBIO: You did. No, you did.

Sean Davis’ article settles that matter permanently by posting Harwood’s tweet saying that he “had to go back and correct it”:

John Harwood? Verified account ?
?@JohnJHarwood CORRECTING earlier tweet: Tax Foundation says Rubio benefits lowest 10% proportionally more (55.9) than top 1% (27.9%). Avg for all: 17.8%.

It’s stunning that the DNC apologists that call themselves journalists can’t even get their facts straight. They can’t even admit that they’ve made mistakes when it’s highlighted that they’ve made major mistakes. Harwood’s mistake was so bad that the Tax Foundation corrected him in a tweet…during the debate:

Scott A. Hodge ?@scottahodge
Rubio was right about his plan. Poor get larger tax benefit than the rich. #CNBCGOPdebate …

These aren’t substantive, hard-hitting questions. If I wanted to write a 3,000 word article on the flimsy, unprofessional questions asked at the CNBC I could do it without much effort. When a moderator asks whether fantasy football should be regulated, the candidates should have the right to criticize the moderators.

After last night’s debate, Jeb Bush appeared on America’s Newsroom to insist that his campaign isn’t on life support, which means his campaign is on life support. It’s like when progressives insist that the science is settled and the debate is over on climate change. George Will properly noted that people who insist that the science is settled and the debate is over are usually fighting the fight of a lifetime and they’re losing the debate.

If David Catanese’s article is accurate, which I’m confident it is, Jeb Bush’s campaign is in trouble. The biggest attention-grabbing part of Catanese’s article is the part where he shares vote goals in Iowa. According to a report selectively leaked to the media, “Bush’s vote goal, according to the document, is to attain 18 percent of the vote share, or about 23,700 votes.” That isn’t optimistic. It’s unrealistic by orders of magnitude.

According to Catanese’s article, Gov. Bush’s “campaign identifies just 1,281 known supporters in Iowa, even after making over 70,000 calls and collecting more than 5,000 emails through mid-October.” That means Gov. Bush just has to increase his known support by eighteen times. The chances of that happening are nonexistent. The chances of him going from 1,281 known supporters to 5,000 supporters is a difficult, if not a near-impossible, proposition.

That’s before talking about something that other pundits haven’t talked about. Jeb Bush is a terrible candidate. Whatever people think of Jeb’s brother, the reality is that he loved campaigning and it showed. Jeb isn’t a good campaigner. He looks better suited to be a policy wonk at a DC think tank, where campaign skills aren’t required.

Jeb tried going negative during the CNBC debate. He looked awful attempting it. If you’re awkward going negative against Hillary, she’ll slice and dice you before turning you into “thousands of Julienne Fries” for breakfast.

According to this highly unscientific poll, Donald Trump won CNBC’s GOP debate quite handily. According to the online poll, Trump dominates with 48% of the vote, followed by Ted Cruz with 19.12% and Marco Rubio with 14.28%.

Finding out that Donald Trump won the troll poll immediately following a debate isn’t surprising. It’s like finding out that Rand Paul won the CPAC Straw Poll. It’s as surprising as finding out that Bill Gates and Warren Buffett made money last week.

Honestly, Donald Trump had a decent performance, with one high profile weak spot and one low profile weak spot. Mr. Trump’s high profile weak spot came when he insisted that he hadn’t criticized Mark Zuckerberg about H1B visas. The only thing weaker than his answer was that CNBC moderator Becky Quick apologized even though she got it right. Mr. Trump did criticize Mr. Zuckerberg about H1B visas. It’s even posted on Mr. Trump’s campaign website on his immigration issues page.

The other weak spot for Mr. Trump came when he started talking about how he isn’t being influenced by super PACs. From there, he pivoted to rail against super PACs, saying “Super PACs are a disaster, they’re a scam, they cause dishonesty, and you’d better get rid of them because they are causing a lot of bad decisions to be made by some very good people.”

Trump will get hit on this in the coming days, especially by columnists like George Will, who will excoriate him for hating the protections that the First Amendment provides.

The consensus from last night’s debate was that Rubio won it going away, that Cruz helped himself by ridiculing the CNBC moderators for asking gotcha questions and that it was terrible night for Jeb! The truth is that Mr. Trump was fairly subdued (perhaps sedated? LOL) last night. He didn’t have his swagger going, either, which meant he just bided his time before getting out of town ASAP.

That’s hardly the description of a candidate who won the debate handily.

In the 1990s, Hillary Clinton, then the First Lady, started something that she called ‘the politics of meaning’. Some conservatives, myself included, sarcastically highlighted that this might’ve been the first time she noticed that ordinary people (janitors, carpenters and other blue collar workers) actually added value to society. We said this because we were astonished that our First Lady hadn’t figured that out by then.

This year, Hillary is running for president. Her chief strategy is to tell America that she’s qualified for the job of POTUS because she doesn’t have a pair of testicles. That isn’t to say that she doesn’t have a darker, nastier message that should frighten Americans. It’s something that Salena Zito wrote about in her latest column.

In 2008, then-candidate Obama criticized Pennsylvanians who cling to guns or religion or antipathy toward people who aren’t like them or anti-immigrant sentiment or anti-trade sentiment as a way to explain their frustrations. That was the first hint that an Obama administration wouldn’t be inclusive. That was a hint that President Obama’s administration would be the most divisive administration in recent US history.

President Obama has celebrated that he is not, nor ever intended to be, such a leader. He has used his position as one of deep correction, to change what his elite and academic prisms view as a deeply flawed country.

Those corrections were not made in the spirit of taking us together to a better place. Instead, they have been bitterly divisive and intended to produce “justice.” There is nothing wrong with change, but a good leader would have invited all of us to take that journey. Not doing so has been Obama’s greatest flaw.

It appears that President Obama’s disdain for blue collar America is hereditary:

Last week’s Democrat debate was incredibly revealing of where this party wants to take the country. With the exception of Jim Webb, everyone on stage seemed to loathe anyone who wouldn’t vote for them in a primary.

They hate gun owners and supporters of traditional values; unless you’re “progressive,” you have no place in their view of the world.

They think America’s worst enemies are climate change, the NRA, and Republicans.

Compare the Democrats’ divisiveness agenda with Marco Rubio’s prosperity and inclusiveness agenda:

The difference between the Democrats’ divisiveness agenda and Sen. Rubio’s prosperity and inclusiveness agenda is dramatically different in both substance and tone. The Democrats want to divide America because they think a significant portion of America is evil. When Howard Dean ran for chairman of the DNC, he said “There’s a fight between good and evil…and we’re the good.” Debbie Wasserman-Schultz is currently the chair of the DNC. She’s still practicing the politics of division.

It’s time to unite America. It’s time we rejected the Democrats’ politics of division. It’s time we threw their policies of division onto the trash heap of history’s rejected ideas.

This Q-Poll from Quinnipiac University shows Donald Trump as its biggest loser in the sense that he loses to Hillary Clinton, Joe Biden (who isn’t even in the race) and Socialist Bernie Sanders.

According to the Q-Poll, Hillary “gets 45 percent to Trump’s 43 percent.” Meanwhile, Vice President Biden defeats “Trump 51 – 40 percent.” Finally, Bernie Sanders “tops Trump 47 – 42 percent.” That isn’t good news for Trump. Hillary loses to Carly Fiorina 44% to 43%, 44% to 42% to Jeb Bush and 49% to 42$ to Ben Carson. Meanwhile, “Biden gets 46 percent to 43 percent for Fiorina and beats Bush 46 – 41 percent and Trump 51 – 40 percent. Biden and Carson are tied 45 – 45 percent.” Finally, “Sanders gets 43 percent to Fiorina’s 44 percent and ties Bush 44 – 44 percent. Sanders trails Carson 49 – 39 percent.”

Trump’s polling trajectory is plateauing, too:

The latest national Quinnipiac University survey released Thursday provided some fuel to wishful rivals. Trump still leads among registered Republican voters with 25 percent, statistically unchanged from last month’s Quinnipiac survey that put him at 28 percent. Yet it’s the second major national poll this week showing a slight decrease from last month, Trump experienced an 8-point drop in the CNN/ORC survey released Sunday. (A Fox poll released Wednesday evening also showed Trump with relatively stalled momentum, and a Bloomberg survey of the GOP field showed Trump in a holding pattern at 21 percent).

The question that hasn’t been answered is whether Trump’s floor of support is his ceiling. That’s unknowable at this point. What isn’t unknowable, though, is whether others are gaining ground. Fiorina, Rubio and Carson definitely are gaining on Trump. Here’s Chris Stirewalt’s observation on that:

You already know about one of the main areas of agreement in the polls: Carly Fiorina, Sen. Marco Rubio and Ben Carson all emerged stronger from last week’s contest.

Trump loves bragging about leading this primary or that. What’s odd is that the media hasn’t asked him why his GOP rivals fare significantly better than him in the general election match-ups. Fiorina and Rubio are significantly stronger candidates against Hillary than Trump is.

If the goal is to elect a conservative as president, Trump isn’t your guy. He’s defeated by the Democrats’ ‘Big Three’ in fairly convincing fashion. It’s too early for GOP candidates to tout the electability issue but there will come a point when Fiorina and Rubio will start playing that card. Their argument will essentially be ‘Don’t waste your vote supporting a guy who can’t beat Hillary.’ It wouldn’t be surprising if that argument isn’t a powerful argument in mid-January.

One of the major things to come out of this week’s GOP debate on CNN is that Donald Trump doesn’t look like the behemoth that can’t be beat anymore. While I give lots of the credit for puncturing that image to Carly Fiorina, it isn’t fair to say that she’s the only one to draw blood against him.

When Hugh Hewitt asked Mr. Trump if the three senators on stage shared the responsibility for the refugee crisis in eastern Europe by not authorizing the use of military force, Mr. Trump said that they should accept part of the responsibility for the crisis. The minute Mr. Trump finished his statement, Sen. Rubio pounced, saying “We bear no responsibility. Let’s remember what the President said. He said that the attacks that he would conduct was going to be a pin prick. Well, the United State’s military wasn’t built to conduct pin prick attacks. If the United States military is going to be engaged by a commander-in-chief, it should only be engaged in an endeavor to win and we’re not going to authorize the use of force if you’re not going to put them in a position to win. And, quite frankly, people don’t trust this president as commander-in-chief because of that.”

Here’s the exchange between Mr. Trump and Sen. Rubio:

While that won’t dissuade Mr. Trump’s true believers, it’s something that will resonate with those activists who aren’t already infected with Trumpmania Syndrome. In the past, lightweight candidates like Lindsey Graham and ultra-establishment candidates like Jeb Bush haven’t hit Mr. Trump with the lethal hits that were required.

That changed prior to this week’s GOP Debate. It isn’t surprising that the 2 consensus winners of Wednesday night’s debate, Mrs. Fiorina and Sen. Rubio, got in the best shots against Mr. Trump. It isn’t surprising because their messaging has always been the most crisp, the most hard-hitting on the GOP side.

There’s an old hunting saying that teaches that ‘you don’t want to track a wounded grizzly’, which applies to Mr. Trump. If you aren’t going to rhetorically hit Mr. Trump with lethal force, don’t hit him at all. I’d argue, though, that you don’t belong in the race if you can’t hit Mr. Trump with lethal force.

The campaign, in its truest form, should be a clash of titans. Those that can’t compete at that highest level needn’t apply.

After reading this article, it’s clear that Jeb Bush’s campaign will insist that he’s picking up momentum:

A brand-new national NBC/WSJ poll finds Jeb Bush leading the crowded Republican presidential field, with 22% of GOP primary voters saying he’s their first choice. He’s followed by Scott Walker at 17%, Marco Rubio at 14%, and Ben Carson at 11%. While Jeb had a similar five-point lead in our April NBC/WSJ poll, you see his current position has strengthened when you look inside the numbers of this new poll. (It was conducted during the buildup and coverage of Bush’s official presidential announcement on June 16.) The latest survey shows him ahead among self-identified conservative GOP primary voters, when he was in third place in April behind Rubio and Walker. And as we unveiled on Sunday, 75% of Republican primary voters in our new poll say they could see themselves supporting Bush, up from 70% in April and 49% in March. Bottom line: While Jeb has plenty of potential problems to overcome (his last name, his positions on immigration and Common Core, his desire to run a general-election campaign instead of one aimed at GOP primary voters), this poll is very good news for him.

First, the poll’s sample is a tiny 236 likely primary voters. That’s less than half of a single night’s sample for Rasmussen’s polling. That makes this poll virtually junk in terms of its predictive value on that part alone.

Next, Jeb’s support has dropped a point since the April NBC/WSJ poll. In April’s poll, Gov. Bush had a 9-point lead over Gov. Walker and a 5-point lead over Sen. Rubio. Gov. Bush garnered 23% to Gov. Walker’s 14%. Now, it’s 22% for Gov. Bush, 17% for Gov. Walker. That isn’t great news a week after Gov. Bush’s official announcement. That means that Gov. Bush essentially didn’t get a bounce from his official entry into the race.

There’s another thing that’s worth noting. The NBC/WSJ poll is the only poll where Gov. Bush has topped 20%. If we exclude the NBC/WSJ poll and we take the last 5 polls, Gov. Bush has gotten 9%, 12%, 13%, 10% and 10% from Monmouth, Fox News, CNN/ORC, ABC/WashPost and Quinnipiac respectively. Given the predictive value of this NBC/WSJ poll, it’s more than justifiable to question this poll. Frankly, I don’t know how you take it seriously. Apparently, Allahpundit has taken it a bit too seriously:

Bush leads with 22 percent, then Scott Walker at 17, then Rubio at 14 — and remember, Walker hasn’t formally announced yet. Part of Jeb’s big bounce in this poll may be due to the positive buzz he got after finally declaring his candidacy; Walker may be the next to bounce as those now-tuning-in Republicans are formally introduced to him.

It’s difficult to take this NBC/WSJ poll seriously, especially in light of the fact that Gov. Bush has had difficulty getting into the last 5 national polls. Why should I believe that a poll with a microscopic sample that shows a candidate with twice his RCP average support?

Technorati: , , , , , , , ,

It’s becoming a matter of routine to hear that Scott Walker is leading in another poll or that he’s won another straw poll. Gov. Walker was the final speaker at the Northeast Republican Leadership Conference, where he won another straw poll with surprising strength:

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie got some of Philadelphia’s brotherly love in a Republican straw poll of declared and presumptive presidential candidates this weekend.

But Scott Walker got more.

The Wisconsin governor left the Northeast Republican Leadership Conference with 25.3 percent of the poll, taken among the 600-plus party leaders and activists from 20 states who attended, according to a news release from the event. Christie won 11.6 percent, taking second place. He edged out Florida Sen. Marco Rubio, who had 11 percent. Rounding out the top five were former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum and former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, who tied with 9.6 percent.

Gov. Walker’s message is simple: he’s a fighter that wins:

Seeking to differentiate himself from some of his potential rivals who serve in Congress or have been out of office for some time, Mr. Walker said he was a unique combination of fighter and election and policy victor. “We fight the good fight and win those fights over and over and over again,” he said.

It’s impossible to argue with Gov. Walker’s history of success. The record speaks for itself. If ever there was an election that showed elections aren’t about the past, this is that election. Gov. Walker appears able to fight and win on that turf, too:

Mr. Walker also mocked the president on national security, citing Mr. Obama’s recent speech in which he said climate change was the biggest threat facing America. “I’ve got a message for you, Mr. President. The number one threat to the military, the number one threat to America, the number one threat to the world is radical Islam. It’s time we do something about it,” he said to roaring cheers.

President Obama admitted that he doesn’t have a complete strategy to defeat ISIS. Unfortunately for solutions-oriented Americans of all political stripes, that isn’t surprising. It’s just disappointing. It’s impossible to think of President Obama as a policy wonk. It’s impossible to think of him as anything more than a political hack.

Saying that climate change is the “biggest threat facing America” requires mocking. Thankfully, there are several serious conservative candidates who are capable of taking over as commander-in-chief. Right now, the one winning the straw polls and leading in the polls is Gov. Walker.

(H/T: Gateway Pundit) This weekend, Wisconsin Democrats sent a distinct message to Hillary:

The breakdown of the straw poll vote, which was conducted by the well-regarded politics website, was:

Hillary Clinton 252
Bernie Sanders 208
Joe Biden 16
Martin O’Malley 16
Jim Webb 8
Lincoln Chafee 5
No vote 1
Elizabeth Warren 4
Tom Vilsack 1

This isn’t to suggest that Hillary won’t win the nomination. The odds of that happening are miniscule. It’s to suggest that Hillary isn’t the beloved candidate that Barack Obama was in 2008. Getting 49% of the vote against this field should frighten Hillary. They’re sending her the message that she isn’t far enough left for their liking. The further that she gets pushed left, the more difficult it’ll be to win independents.

That’s terrible news for Hillary in light of this information:

But Clinton has lost support among independents. In March, 45 percent had a favorable view and 44 percent had an unfavorable view, for a net approval rating of +1 point. That has now fallen to -14 points (37 percent-51 percent). Craighill notes that the sample size of pure independents is small (86 in the March survey and 97 in the May survey). So take this trend with a grain of salt.

The margin of error on a sample that small is undoubtedly high. Still, 37% is terrible. If it’s even 43%, that means Hillary will need a massive turnout of the Democrats’ base. Because Hillary is a known quantity, the likelihood of Hillary gaining large numbers of voters isn’t high. In fact, it’s a good rule of thumb to think that Hillary’s numbers have a definite chance of dropping but little chance of improving.

That’s because a) she’s had 100 name ID and b) everyone has an opinion of her. Republican candidates like Scott Walker and Marco Rubio have room to grow as they become more well known. Considering the fact that they’re both within the margin of error in a head-to-head matchup against Hillary, she’s got every reason to panic.

Last fall, I wrote lots of posts and articles about Joni Ernst because a) she caught everyone’s attention and b) it was clear that she was a rising star in the GOP. Her Roast and Ride event will be bigger than the Iowa Straw Poll. It’s clear that Joni Ernst isn’t taking her foot off the pedal in terms of gaining notoriety. People are noticing:

BOONE, Iowa—It’s a newly created political event, hosted by a first-year senator who’s barely known outside her state. Yet seven presidential candidates and the national media horde has descended on this rural town 45 minutes from Des Moines because the significance of the first annual “Joni Ernst’s Roast and Ride” is already clear: amid great uncertainty about which White House hopefuls will choose to compete in the state GOP’s embattled straw poll in August, this could end up being one of Iowa’s most important retail politicking events of the year.

The only modification I’d make to that paragraph is I’d eliminate the words “one of.” I wouldn’t be surprised if it was easily Iowa’s most important retail politicking event of the year.

According to this map, Sen. Ernst defeated her Democratic opponent 52.2% – 43.7%. She defeated Bruce Braley by 95,000+ votes in a state that cast 1,100,000 votes, which indicates that Iowa’s buying what she’s selling.

Iowa is a state that should flip into the Republicans’ column this time. The Republican Party of Iowa is strong. They’ve got a strong, diverse group of leaders, ranging from Chuck Grassley and Terry Branstad to Joni Ernst and Steve King. While lots of national pundits roll their eyes when they hear about Steve King, the truth is that he’s got a strong, ultra-loyal following. The presidential candidate that gets his voters will stand a good chance of winning Iowa’s electoral votes.

“I doubt the candidates will win any converts during their eight allotted minutes onstage — all of the activity is going to take place off stage, off the bikes, actually interacting with and talking to Iowans,” said Matt Strawn, a former Iowa GOP chairman who worked closely with Ernst during her 2014 Senate campaign. “What I’m watching for are, which candidates understand this is meant to be a fun, relaxing event designed for them to interact with Iowans? Most of the large events in the state have been forums in ballroom theater settings, not an opportunity to spend a lot of time personally interacting.”

Marco Rubio, Scott Walker, Ben Carson, Carly Fiorina, Lindsey Graham, Mike Huckabee and Rick Perry are all confirmed to speak, but Walker is the only one confirmed to ride a motorcycle with Ernst (though Perry has his own motorcycle event that day, and most of the other candidates are working other events before and after).

This is another opportunity for Scott Walker to win Iowans over. He’s already leading in Iowa but it doesn’t hurt to build on what’s successful. At this point, he’s the favorite to win the Iowa Caucuses. He’s got an advantage in that he appears to be cut from the same cloth as Sen. Ernst. It isn’t a negative when you’re seen as a kindred spirit to that state’s rising star.

UPDATE: Here’s the best tweet from the hashtag #RoastandRide:

Now that’s seriously a great shot at Hillary.