Archive for the ‘RNC’ Category

When this election is over, what will be the fallout from news consumers on Fox News? Which personalities and hosts will be looking for new jobs? Will Megyn Kelly jump ship for a network job or a show on CNN? One thing that likely won’t change is that Bill O’Reilly will still have his show. His “I’m just a simple man” schtick still resonates with his viewer, most of whom seem to have the intelligence of eighth graders.

O’Reilly’s talking point Wednesday night is a shining example of O’Reilly’s ignorance:

O’Reilly’s statements aren’t the statements of a well-educated man. They’re the statements of a man who hasn’t studied reality. Let’s compare O’Reilly’s statements with Karl Rove’s statements. (I’m not a fan of Rove but he’s smarter about this stuff than O’Reilly.)

The most important information from Rove’s WSJ article is when he writes “Mr. Trump’s sweeping victory was impressive. But, as Henry Olsen of the Ethics and Public Policy Center pointed out at National Review, it was also expected.” I’d quibble that it wasn’t totally expected. Trump’s victory exceeded expectations. Still, Trump is trailing the OTT (Other Than Trump) delegates.

That didn’t matter to O’Reilly, who said “Simply put, Trump is so far ahead that Ted Cruz and John Kasich or any other Republican phantom simply does not have the constituency to take the nomination away from Trump. Any back room dealings will be quickly exposed and will doom the Republican Party.”

That’s something only an idiot who hasn’t studied the convention would say. First, if Trump doesn’t win on the first ballot, he’ll face a major uprising from delegates in the Bible Belt states, the Rust Belt states and the Midwest. That’s because Trump’s gotten spineless lately. Trump wants to change the GOP platform on abortion. What’s worse is that Trump “thinks transgendered people should be able to use whatever restroom they’d like to use.”

Changing the GOP platform on abortion requires an uphill fight that Trump wouldn’t win. With the delegates attending the convention, Trump’s position on the bathroom issue resembles a suicide mission. While many northeastern delegates would continue faithfully supporting Trump, he’d be the person losing his constituency attending the convention.

O’Reilly’s Talking Points is wrong because he didn’t pay attention to the details. That’s because he’s an impatient, big-picture guy. Compare that with Rove’s column:

According to the National Association of Secretaries of State, by the time Republicans gather in Cleveland on July 18, the deadline for Mr. Trump to be listed on the ballot as an independent will already have passed in 12 states with a combined 166 Electoral College votes.

There’s those pesky little details inserting themselves into the conversation again. By the time the convention ends, it would be clear that a Trump third party run was his attempt to hand the presidency to Hillary Clinton.

Some of Fox News’ anchors haven’t indulged in drinking the Trump Kool-Aid. Unfortunately for them, not enough of them have refrained from drinking that toxic drink.

Last night, during Special Report’s first segment of the All Star Panel, Bret Baier spoke to the complexities of the delegate selection process. While some states’ rules are complex, most are exceptionally straightforward.

Moe Lane’s post explain the true complexities of West Virginia’s delegate election system. With few exceptions, though, the delegate election process is pretty straightforward. To people who’ve participated in the process, in fact, it’s pretty routine. Honestly, it doesn’t require years of study to figure it out.

What’s upsetting to me is the dishonesty Trump is using in portraying the system as being run by DC insiders and Wall Street fat cats. Recently, he’s hinted that that’s who runs the delegate selection process. It’s time to tell that filthy liar to either tell the truth or to shut up. He’s even had the audacity to ask people how that’s worked out for them.

The truth is that Donald Trump has been part of the problem for a very long time. During the first GOP presidential debate, Trump bragged that he’d bought politicians with campaign contributions so that they’d do whatever he told them to do:

In 2006, Donald Trump contributed to the DCCC and the DSCC. In 2010, thanks in part to Trump’s campaign contributions, Democrats that Trump supported passed universal health care. Prior to his becoming a candidate for the GOP presidential nomination, Trump enthusiastically supported universal health care.

To the people who got kicked off the policies that they were satisfied with but weren’t allowed to keep, how’s that working out? The next time you hear Donald Trump, think of how much better your life would be if he hadn’t contributed to Democrats.

Donald Trump isn’t part of the solution. He’s been part of the problem for 20+ years. For him to now put himself forward as the solution to Washington cronyism is beyond laughable. I can’t wait until after the California primary. If Trump hasn’t secured the nomination, expect the super PACs to hit Trump hard on this subject.

Further, Sen. Cruz’s campaign will hit Trump hard for his shifting views on abortion and transgender ‘rights’.

Finally, expect a bloodbath this November if Trump is the nominee. The #NeverTrump movement might not be as potent as the TEA Party was in 2009-10 but it’s still awfully potent. Voting for a northeast liberal who contributed to Democrats isn’t something that principled conservatives will do.

Donald Trump isn’t an idiot but he’s definitely ignorant. Yesterday, Trump criticized RNC Chairman Reince Priebus and the RNC for Colorado’s caucus system.

What’s apparent is that Donald Trump doesn’t pay attention to details. It’s apparent because he said “It’s a disgrace for the party. And Reince Priebus should be ashamed of himself. He should be ashamed of himself because he knows what’s going on.” That statement is exceptionally telling.

First, it’s telling because it’s clear that he doesn’t understand the concept of federalism. Having attended Minnesota’s precinct caucuses, their county conventions and other conventions, I’ve yet to hear of a time when the RNC dictated how we ran our conventions. It’s blindingly apparent that Trump doesn’t understand that each state has its own rules.

Perhaps more importantly, it’s clear that Trump wouldn’t know a strict constructionist judge if he met one. It’s apparent that Trump thinks that the federal government should make most of the decisions. Limited government conservatives cringe when they hear a politician who thinks that Washington needs more authority. Trump also said this:

It should go to a vote in Colorado like other places. … The best way to do it would be just a vote, should be a vote of the people. That’s the way it should be done. The delegate situation is a very unjust way of doing things.

Spoken like a man who prefers mob rule. Truer words were never spoken than these:

Asked if he would call for Priebus to step down should he become the nominee, Trump responded, “I haven’t given that any thought.”

The notion that Mr. Trump gives anything a thought is laughable. He’s the quintessential non-thinker. He’s the poster child of what happens when people don’t think things through.

I wrote this article to highlight how untalented Donald Trump’s spokespeople are. The article also highlighted how dishonest Trump’s allies are. As deceptive as Barry Bennett, Katrina Pierson, David Wohl and Ed Brookover are, though, they’re amateurs compared with Roger Stone.

If you’ve been hiding under a rock, Stone is Trump’s thug. He’s Trump’s chief intimidator. (I initially wrote about Stone’s thuggishness in this article.)

Apparently, Stone realizes that he’s in big trouble if something happens to the delegates for the Republican National Convention. Appearing on Stefan Molyneux’s program, Stone issued a threat, saying ” I have warned the public, I have warned Trump supporters, of what I believe is ‘The Big Steal’. One of two things will happen here, Stefan. Either Trump will have 1,237 votes, in which case the Party will try to throw out some of those delegates in a naked attempt to steal this from Donald Trump or he will be just short of 1,237, in which case many of his own delegates, or I should say people in his delegates’ seats, will abandon him on the second ballot. So the fix is in.”

That’s definitely intended to tell Trump’s supporters that the Republican National Committee, aka the RNC, working in concert with the “GOP Establishment,” will attempt to “steal” Trump’s nomination away from him. Then Stone added this:

Join us in the Forest City. We’re going to have protests, demonstrations. We will disclose the hotels and the room numbers of those delegates who are directly involved in the steal. If you’re from Pennsylvania, we’ll tell you who the culprits are. We urge you to visit their hotel and find them.

It’s pretty apparent that Stone wrote this article to insist that his statements weren’t advocating violence. In fact, he’s blaming CNN for deceptively editing out something exculpatory. I’d love hearing the podcast for Mr. Molyneux’s show that day. I want to know whether that would exonerate Stone or whether it would show that he’s trying to weasel out of threatening delegates. I’m betting it’s the latter.

Less than a month ago, Mr. Trump was talking trash, saying that he’d pay the legal fees for his supporters who laid a beating on protesters at his events. It was clear that Trump was a full-fledged thug, albeit a rich thug. Stone was his consigliere for the better part of twenty years. I won’t buy it that Trump kept that parasite around for his charming personality. Trump kept him on Trump’s payroll to have him do his dirty work.

Trump’s schtick is getting old. Trump’s thuggishness is preventing him from closing the deal with the American people. That’s why Trump won’t be the GOP presidential nominee.

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For about 2 weeks, Donald Trump has complained that Sen. Cruz is stealing the election. For almost 2 weeks, Trump’s complaints have been without merit. Trump’s latest complaint is about how Cruz’s campaign is outmaneuvering Trump’s campaign for second ballot delegates. Trump insists that this is outright theft. It isn’t.

Years ago, delegates weren’t bound to that state’s winner. Then the RNC passed a rule saying delegates were bound for the first ballot. At no point did the RNC say that delegates were committed to a specific candidate multiple ballots. That’s foolish on its face unless the RNC wanted a presidential nominee who won a plurality of delegates.

What Trump’s complaint is about is his campaign team’s ineptitude. Trump’s run a cult of personality campaign. In Iowa, for instance, Trump promised to have 1,681 precinct chairs in place before Thanksgiving. A month later, when they held their first training meeting, fewer than 100 people attended. Not surprisingly, Trump finished second despite the DMR poll showing him leading by a healthy margin. Simply put, Trump tried running his campaign on the cheap. As a result, he lost momentum and delegates.

In the email obtained by CNN, Sam Stone from the Cairn Consulting firm contacted Republican precinct committee members in Arizona’s 10th legislative district and invited them to join Cruz.

“National delegates are required to pay their own way to Cleveland, but for those non-Trump supporters who are interested in doing so, the Cruz campaign is organizing a delegate slate at our state party convention to elect people who would be willing to support Sen. Cruz on a second ballot,” he wrote. “Being part of the slate will dramatically increase your chances of attending the national convention.”

Stone explained the effort: “As you know, the state convention will select our delegates to the national convention. At the convention, these delegates are bound to vote for Donald Trump on the first ballot. However, it looks increasingly unlikely that Trump will earn the 1,237 delegates needed to win on the first ballot, and after the first ballot most delegates, including those from Arizona, will be free to vote for the candidate of their choice.”

That’s an accurate statement. Further, to change that rule now would introduce chaos into the process intended to create order. I’ve stated it before but I’ll repeat it again. There are 2 options for people. One option is to follow the rules that were laid out in advance of the convention. The other option is to introduce anarchy into the process. It’s one thing to make a minor tweak to convention rules. That’s happened before. It’s another if the rules are dramatically changed.

Trump essentially wants the rules rewritten to help him win. On one level, that’s understandable. This is the ultimate competition. I’d be worried if candidates didn’t compete to win. That being said, the rules are there to maintain a level playing field so everyone can compete without worrying about a strongman stealing the election.

Trump talks about stealing the nomination. That’s a bit of verbal subterfuge. The nomination isn’t anyone’s until they reach 1,237 delegates. The nominee isn’t the candidate with the biggest plurality. The nominee is the candidate who wins a majority of delegates.

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Steve Kornacki did his best to (somewhat) subtly accuse Republican presidential candidates as hating Hispanics in this interview:

The big takeaway from this interview is Kellyanne Conway’s statement that “Republicans aren’t afraid of running against Bill and Hillary.” Simply put, there’s more fear amongst Beltway Republicans and GOP consultants than there is with heartland governors.

At this point, Hillary will have a difficult time running as an agent of change or as the candidate of youthful vigor. Hillary has been a fixture in DC for a quarter century. She might’ve been young when she arrived but she isn’t anymore. Fair or unfair, the reality is that she can’t play the agent-of-change-card at this point. She’s reached her sell-by date.

Of course, that’s irrelevant to MSNBC. They’re fixating on Rep. Steve King and Hispanic voters. It’s predictable but it’s a fool’s errand. When the Republican National Convention is held in July, 2016, there’s a distinct possibility that the ticket will be Scott Walker as the nominee and either Marco Rubio or Susana Martinez is his running mate. It’s virtually guaranteed that Martinez, Rubio, Brian Sandoval, Mia Love and Tim Scott will deliver primetime speeches at the convention.

People won’t think “Ohmigod. Republicans are the party of Steve King. I can’t vote for Scott Walker.” Democrats will do everything to paint Republicans as the party that hates Hispanics. That’ll be a difficult task when each night, Republicans will feature a Susana Martinez or a Marco Rubio or a Brian Sandoval, who will likely be in the middle of a fight to unseat Harry Reid at that point.

The excitement in that building will be the buzz. The applause will be frequent, the emotions will be high.

If you want to know what the Republican National Convention will look like, just watch the speeches delivered by Ted Cruz, Rick Perry and Scott Walker. The enthusiasm during those speeches was noticeable and raucous.

Meanwhile, at the Democrats’ convention, the atmosphere won’t be electric. People will be able to contain their energy. The contrast between the two conventions will be stark. That contrast won’t put the Democrats in a positive light.

In the movie Rocky 3, Apollo Creed told Rocky that “When we fought, I trained hard but I didn’t have that look in my eyes. You had it and you won.”

I didn’t say that because I love the movie. I mention it because it’s a lesson between complacency and enthusiasm. There’s no question that, in 2016, the Democrats will work hard. There’s little question that Democrats will be a little complacent, too. If Republicans nominate one of their rising star governors, there’s no question that the 2016 Republican National Convention will be a great launching pad to a GOP victory.

This past Thursday, President Obama once again characterized the IRS scandal as a “phony scandal”, saying that it’s the type of thing that Washington manufactures rather than dealing with what he thinks they should deal with. He’s right that there’s a phony in Washington, DC. Unfortunately for Americans, it’s the president.

During his visit to Minnesota, he visited Rebekah Erler. According to this article, Ms. Erler had written President Obama:

With 2 1/2 years remaining in his term, President Barack Obama has been blocked by Congress and is running out of steps he can take on his own to achieve his goals. So the White House is trying to maximize Obama’s exposure to “real Americans,” hoping that more intimate and less scripted interactions will remind struggling citizens why they voted for him in the first place.

A poignant letter from one of those Americans prompted Obama to fly to Minnesota to spend time Thursday with Rebekah Erler, an accountant and mother of two whose tale of financial struggle made its way to Obama’s desk, one of the 10 letters from Americans that Obama reads each night.

As he joined Erler, 36, for burgers under dim neon lights advertising beer at Matt’s Bar, her quest to do right by her family despite economic headwinds animated the president’s rallying cry for Washington to pay attention to the plight of the American middle class. It’s a popular theme for Democrats in a midterm election year.

The President’s problem is that Ms. Erler isn’t someone whose letter simply caught President Obama’s attention. As Paul Harvey used to say, here’s the rest of the story:

Erler, whose LinkedIn profile shows she was once a field organizer for Democratic Senator Patty Murray, wrote to Obama earlier this year to express her frustrations about the economy.”

Chalk it up as just another visit with a “real American” who happens to be a Democratic activist and field staffer for Patty Murray. Nothing says visiting with real people like having a choreographed lunch with a Washington insider.

Janet Beihoffer, the MNGOP National Committeewoman to the RNC, wasn’t impressed:

“President Obama is so out of touch with reality that he thinks a former Democrat campaign staffer speaks for every Minnesotan,” said MNGOP National Committeewoman Janet Beihoffer. “By using a former political staffer to further his argument, Pres. Obama turned a policy debate into partisan political theater. In Minnesota, we value an honest debate about the facts, not slick, choreographed stunts like this. If this is how the party of Obama, Franken, Nolan and Peterson operate there is no reason for Minnesotans to send them back to Washington.”

Calling this “partisan political theater” and a “choreographed stunt” is calling it like it is.

President Obama’s staff should be fired for this stupidity. If nothing else, they should’ve found a real Minnesotan who isn’t this tied into Washington, DC. This stunt is all downside and no upside. Now President Obama looks twice as fake as he did before.

The first rule of holes is to stop digging if you’re in one. Apparently, President Obama didn’t learn that. Perhaps, he needs to talk with real people instead of staging choreographed photo-ops.

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After the Obama administration’s announcement that they were postponing the employer mandate another time, RNC Chairman Reince Priebus issued this statement:

The Obama Administration is failing to deal with ObamaCare because it is simply bad law. After refusing to accept bipartisan changes to the law, the administration is unilaterally making it up as they go along. Whether you are an American worker, employer, a union member or healthcare provider, you’ve had enough. What’s the remedy? Elections matter. Democrats may try hiding from President Obama on the campaign trail, but when it comes to his signature accomplishment, ObamaCare, each Democrat Senator up for reelection this year helped make it a reality.

That statement is forgettable. It represents a lost opportunity to pound a big nail in Obamacare’s coffin. Here’s the statement I would’ve written if I was in charge of the RNC’s messaging:

Rather than admitting that his signature issue is a failure, President Obama announced he was delaying the employer mandate. Again. The American people know that the Affordable Care Act isn’t affordable. People are paying more and getting less. Families’ premiums and deductibles are higher. Their networks are smaller. All too often, they’re being told that they can’t continue seeing the doctors that they’ve trustded for years.

Obamacare is the wrong perscription for a difficult situation. Dr. Tom Coburn, working with his Senate colleagues, has put together a plan that does what Obamacare was supposed to do. It addresses the problem of insuring people with pre-existing conditions. It lets families buy insurance across state lines. It lowers health care costs. Unlike Obamacare, it does all this without raising taxes.

Obamacare is killing jobs. The Patient CARE Act will create jobs and unleash the awesome job-creating power of American entrepreneurs. Families need good-paying full-time jobs. Families can’t wait through another delay to a failed bill.

This morning, Mark Halperin said what others hadn’t said:

At some point, we’ll reach a tipping point. I suspect we’re fast approaching that point. Charles Krauthammer is more skeptical of the bill than I am:

Mssrs. Halperin and Krauthammer are right that Obamacare, aka the Affordable Care Act, is killing jobs and the decision to delay another part of the employer mandate screams of survival politics at its worst.

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If there’s one thing Mike Huckabee needs to learn ASAP, it’s the First Rule of Holes, which is, if you’re in one, stop digging. In his interview with Megyn Kelly, Huckabee tried playing the role of victim:

Yes, he talked about his strong wife of 40 years being able to do things he can’t do, then talking about how he sees her as his equal. That’s slipping the real issue, though. Gov. Huckabee isn’t getting pelted with criticism because he sees his wife as his equal. He’s getting pelted with criticism because he made some stupid comments during a speech to the RNC this week. He’s also getting criticized because CNN’s Dana Bash mischaracterized his statements.

While watching the speech, I thought Gov. Huckabee tried to do too much. There’s no question whether he wanted to throw some red meat to the partisans in the room. Likewise, there’s no question that he wanted to be funny at the same time. Had I written his speech, I would’ve worded things totally differently. Here’s what I would’ve written:

In their attempt to win women votes, the Democratic Party has treated them like reproductive rights are all that women care about. It’s insulting to women to think of them as single-subject voters. Any thoughtful, honest person knows that women care about a wide range of issues, from health care to education to jobs to their families to whether the government is doing all they can to protect us from terrorist attacks.

I’m proud that the Republican is the party of life. Republicans of all stripes agree that late term abortions are despicable, except when the life of the mother is involved. Republicans of all stripes suppported the ban on partial birth abortions. All Republicans were repulsed when they found out about the evil being conducted in Kermit Gosnell’s abortion factory.

Republicans should pledge to the nation that we’ll do everything possible to end late term abortions. Republicans should do that because women who’ve seen the ultrasound know that they’re watching their unborn, but feeling, baby. The vast majority of people agree with that opinion.

If the Democrats want to be the party that panders to women by thinking of them as single subject voters, Republicans should prepare to win women voters by showing them that we care about reducing health care costs, creating good-paying full-time jobs and making education the vehicle for upward mobility. We should be the party that tells women that we want to limit government intrusion into their families’ lives so their families can live prosperous, productive lives.

If Gov. Huckabee wants to play the victim, that’s his right and, to an extent, he was the victim of some terrible reporting. That being said, whining about being the victim doesn’t persuade a single voter or help people reach a solution to the problems they’re facing.

Gov. Huckabee, put down the shovel. Stop playing the victim care. It isn’t flattering. Admit you tried to do too much with that speech, them move on.

FNC’s James Rosen has looked through newly declassified documents that say senior Pentagon officials briefed President Obama that Benghazi was a terrorist attack:

Minutes after the American consulate in Benghazi came under assault on Sept. 11, 2012, the nation’s top civilian and uniformed defense officials, headed for a previously scheduled Oval Office session with President Obama, were informed that the event was a “terrorist attack,” declassified documents show. The new evidence raises the question of why the top military men, one of whom was a member of the president’s Cabinet, allowed him and other senior Obama administration officials to press a false narrative of the Benghazi for two weeks afterward.

That’s frightening. Gen. Carter Ham, then the leader of AFRICOM, told then Defense Secretary Panetta that Benghazi had been attacked and that it was a terrorist attack:

Ham’s account of that fateful day was included in some 450 pages of testimony given by senior Pentagon officials in classified, closed-door hearings conducted last year by the Armed Services subcommittee. The testimony, given under “Top Secret” clearance and only declassified this month, presents a rare glimpse into how information during a crisis travels at the top echelons of America’s national security apparatus, all the way up to the president.

Also among those whose secret testimony was declassified was Dempsey, the first person Ham briefed about Benghazi. Ham told lawmakers he considered it a fortuitous “happenstance” that he was able to rope Dempsey and Panetta into one meeting, so that, as Ham put it, “they had the basic information as they headed across for the meeting at the White House.” Ham also told lawmakers he met with Panetta and Dempsey when they returned from their 30-minute session with President Obama on Sept. 11.

Despite Gen. Ham’s briefing, President Obama insisted that we didn’t know what happened in Benghazi, telling Joy Behar of the View that they were still conducting an investigation into what happened that terrible night in Benghazi.

What’s worse is that Secretary Panetta and Gen. Dempsey didn’t speak out immediately. They were briefed by Gen. Ham that the consulate had been attacked by terrorists. Gen. Ham didn’t talk about a demonstration that got hijacked by terrorists. He talked about a co-ordinated terrorist attack.

Rep. Brad Wenstrup, R-Ohio, a first-term lawmaker with experience as an Iraq war veteran and Army reserve officer, pressed Ham further on the point, prodding the 29-year Army veteran to admit that “the nature of the conversation” he had with Panetta and Dempsey was that “this was a terrorist attack.”

The transcript reads as follows:

WENSTRUP: “As a military person, I am concerned that someone in the military would be advising that this was a demonstration. I would hope that our military leadership would be advising that this was a terrorist attack.”

HAM: “Again, sir, I think, you know, there was some preliminary discussion about, you know, maybe there was a demonstration. But I think at the command, I personally and I think the command very quickly got to the point that this was not a demonstration, this was a terrorist attack.”

WENSTRUP: “And you would have advised as such if asked. Would that be correct?”

HAM: “Well, and with General Dempsey and Secretary Panetta, that is the nature of the conversation we had, yes, sir.”

Minutes before they met with President Obama, Gen. Dempsey and Secretary Panetta were told that terrorists had attacked the Benghazi consulate and that Ambassador Stevens was unaccounted for. It’s inconceivable that Panetta and Dempsey didn’t brief President Obama that a terrorist attack was underway.

For the first time since the attacks, a timeline of events and briefings is emerging. That’s especially important because the timeline involves briefings by the top people in the White House and at the Pentagon. These aren’t low-level staffers sharing gossip. These are the top echelons of President Obama’s national security cabinet. This especially stings the President:

Panetta told the Senate Armed Services Committee in February of last year that it was him who informed the president that “there was an apparent attack going on in Benghazi.” “Secretary Panetta, do you believe that unequivocally at that time we knew that this was a terrorist attack?” asked Sen. Jim Inhofe, R-Okla. “There was no question in my mind that this was a terrorist attack,” Panetta replied.

Based on this testimony, there’s no question that President Obama, Secretary Clinton and Ambassor Rice lied about the importance of the anti-Muslim video. They knew within minutes that this was a precision terrorist attack. Then they told America that a video made the terrorists resort to violence.

President Obama’s credibility took a major hit for lying to the American people about keeping the health insurance plan they liked. His credibility will take another major hit for lying about the terrorist attack that got 4 American patriots murdered in Benghazi. Frankly, there isn’t a justification for trusting President Obama after all the whoppers he’s told.

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