May, 2016

Kristol Eyes Conservative Lawyer for Indie Run

“Two Republicans intimately familiar with Bill Kristol’s efforts to recruit an independent presidential candidate to challenge Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton have told Bloomberg Politics that the person Kristol has in mind is David French — whose name the editor of the Weekly Standard floated in the current issue of the magazine,” Bloomberg reports.

“French is a veteran of Operation Iraqi Freedom. According to the website of National Review, where French is a staff writer, he is a constitutional lawyer, a recipient of the Bronze Star, and an author of several books who lives in Columbia, Tenn., with his wife Nancy and three children.”

Trump Rips Media In Contentious Press Conference

At a press conference defending his donations to veteran’s groups, Donald Trump “demanded that journalists credit him for his act of charity and took umbrage at their scrutiny of his boasts and promises,” the New York Times reports.

“In a heated, 40-minute appearance in the lobby of Trump Tower in Manhattan, Mr. Trump dismissed a CNN reporter as ‘a real beauty’ and an ABC reporter as ‘a sleaze,’ and said that if he was elected president, the American public could expect a similar dynamic in the White House briefing room.”

Said Trump: “Yes, it is. It is going to be like this.”

Politico: “The major cable news networks — CNN, MSNBC and Fox News — broadcast nearly every single word of the billionaire’s news conference at Trump Tower, in which he was expected to disclose the details of the money he’s raised and distributed to veterans organizations but largely focused on attacking on the Fourth Estate.”

Why Rubio May Run for Senate Again

Josh Kraushaar: “A use­ful rule of thumb: Politi­cians usu­ally act in their own self-in­terest. And that’s why Sen. Marco Ru­bio of Flor­ida is open­ing the door to run­ning again for his Sen­ate seat.”

“If Ru­bio wants to run for pres­id­ent in 2020, it would be very dif­fi­cult for him to do so without hold­ing any prom­in­ent statewide elec­ted of­fice. Hav­ing only one term on the Sen­ate un­der his belt and four years out­side of of­fice is an aw­fully thin start­ing point to mount a second pres­id­en­tial bid. There will be oth­er newly-elec­ted gov­ernors and sen­at­ors who will emerge on the na­tion­al radar. And with the Flor­ida gov­ernor race un­likely to be an op­tion—Ag­ri­cul­ture Com­mis­sion­er Adam Put­nam is pop­u­lar and the odds-on GOP fa­vor­ite—the only op­tion for him to re­main polit­ic­ally rel­ev­ant is to pur­sue a second Sen­ate term.”

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, quoted by the Washington Times: “We’re all lobbying hard for him to run again. He’s been back in the Senate for six weeks. He’s, I believe, enjoying it, and being effective.”

Fired Trump Aide Still Sees Victory

Former Trump political director Rick Wiley told Bloomberg that he still thinks Donald Trump will win the presidential election.

“Wiley said Republicans need to remember that the 2012 general election wasn’t a blow-out. If the GOP had turned out 400,000 more voters in three states combined—Ohio, Virginia, and Florida—Mitt Romney would’ve won, he said. Trump will capitalize on his crossover appeal with non-Republican voters and win battlegrounds ‘where everyone says he can’t.'”

Said Wiley: “The path exists. I firmly believe this guy’s going to win… The unwritten story is the enthusiasm gap.”

Seven Broken Guardrails

David Frum: “Whatever happens in November, conservatives and Republicans will have brought a catastrophe upon themselves, in violation of their own stated principles and best judgment. It’s often said that a good con is based upon the victim’s weaknesses. Why were conservatives and Republicans so vulnerable? Are these vulnerabilities not specific to one side of the political spectrum—are they more broadly present in American culture? Could it happen to liberals and Democrats next time? Where were the guardrails?”

Are Rubio and Ryan Making a Big Mistake?

Michael Gerson: “For those of us with a certain political bent and background, this is the most depressing moment of all. The best of the GOP — Marco Rubio and Paul Ryan, the intellectually serious reformicons who have called attention to issues of poverty and the need for Republican outreach — are bending their knee to the worst nominee in their party’s history. Ryan drags himself slowly. Rubio eventually went with a quick Band-Aid pull. But the largest political choice each man has made this year will be one of the worst mistakes of their careers.”

Trump Backers Go After Amish Vote

MSNBC: “Although there are about 70,000 Amish citizens and counting in the potential swing states of Ohio and Pennsylvania, very few of them have participated in presidential politics, since their faith requires them to eschew most of the trappings of modern society. For instance, in 2004, an estimated 1, 300 voted in the Lancaster County, P.A. region (or 13 percent of the eligible Amish voting population), and while they largely backed President George W. Bush’s re-election, their tiny turnout didn’t prevent Democratic nominee John Kerry from winning statewide.”

“Nevertheless, Trump supporters with ties to Dr. Ben Carson and Newt Gingrich have founded Amish PAC, which aims to launch the most ambitious get-out-the-vote efforts among the devout religious sect to date. They will almost certainly face an uphill battle, since the Amish don’t watch television or read social media, which could be a net positive or negative for Trump, depending on your point of view. And while voting is not necessarily prohibited by their strict religious beliefs, it’s not exactly encouraged either.”