Tag: Republican Primary (Page 1 of 4)

Trump continues lying about Muslim ban

Presumptive Republican nominee for president Donald Trump gets credit from his supporters–and even some of his detractors–for being “politically incorrect,” but now it looks like he is backing down from his controversial statements in the face of pressure.

In an interview on Fox News radio, Trump denied that he had made a proposal for a Muslim ban, calling it a “suggestion,” instead: “We have a serious problem, and it’s a temporary ban — it hasn’t been called for yet, nobody’s done it, this is just a suggestion until we find out what’s going on.”

Walid Phares, a Christian who immigrated from Lebanon and a policy advisor for Mitt Romney’s 2012 campaign as well as for Trump, also downplayed Trump’s proposal to ban Muslims from enterring the country, saying, “Right now the ban is just a few sentences in a foreign policy announcement and a tweet, it’s not like he’s written books or published articles or delivered lectures on this.”

Both of them are lying. Trump has proposed banning Muslims and put out a press release “calling for a total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States until our country’s representatives can figure out what is going on,” and he featured his proposal in his first television ad, as well as in speeches and interviews.

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In fact, Trump’s opposition to Muslims entering the country has helped win him votes in the Republican primary. Polls show a majority of Republicans support the proposal. 71 percent of Republicans, including 84 percent of Trump supporters, but just 48 percent of Kasich backers and 65 percent supporting Cruz, according to a Morning Consult poll in March.

Still, it’s not the first time he has cowed to political correctness and lied about his positions in an attempt to moderate himself.

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#NeverTrump means never Trump

Never. Adverb. Synonyms include “not ever, at no time, not at any time,” and “not once.” That means neither on May 3, nor on May 4. Neither on July 18, nor on July 21, and certainly not on November 8, 2016, either. Never.

The #NeverTrump movement didn’t end on May 3 with Donald Trump winning the Indiana primary, causing Ted Cruz and John Kasich to drop out. Trump may now win the Republican nomination, but Never Trump means never Trump, not #MaybeLater.

The Republican establishment is putting forth all their efforts now to try to “unite” conservative voters behind their party’s unfortunate nominee. Many unprincipled people are reversing their past statements and saying they’d be open to backing Trump. RNC chairman Reince Priebus tweeted, “[W]e all need to unite and focus on defeating @HillaryClinton #NeverClinton.” Dan Patrick, Ted Cruz’s Texas Campaign Chairman and Lieutenant Governor of Texas, called on Republicans to unite behind Trump just two days after Cruz told voters “we will not give in to evil.”

A pledge is a pledge, however. Anyone who said they would never vote for Trump and then ends up voting for Trump is a liar.

“Oh, but not voting for Trump will result in Hillary Clinton being elected!” Trump apologists shriek. Is the only case to be made for Trump one of fear of the other? There is no affirmative case for Trump. But there may be one thing scarier than that which Priebus, McConnell and company are warning of, and that is this: Voting for Trump could result in Trump being elected.

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Could #NeitherCruzNorTrump really win a contested convention? (Part III)

We come to the conclusion of Bombs and Dollars’ three-part series with Marybeth Glenn about the quandary of a Cruz vs Trump convention. In this part of the discussion we talk about whether there is actually any prospect of both of them being defeated.

Mitchell Blatt
Marybeth, you said that it would take someone who has a softer stance on immigration and who “stands antithetical to the stereotypes,” and I agree with you that such a person would not only be the right person for the presidency, but do you fear the Republican base is such that no one can win a primary nomination without going to the extremes? We’ve seen “RINOs” be demonized by much of the Tea Party for any hint of compromise and any kind of immigration reform that allows a path to citizenship labeled “amnesty”—even during the Bush administration. How can the conservative base be convinced of that, especially after each time a far-right Republican loses many of the activists blame the “establishment”?

Marybeth Glenn
I think right now is the perfect time for that. We have some amazing Republicans right now, from Paul Ryan to Marco Rubio, Nikki Haley to Tim Scott, etc., the list is long. People spent so much time worshiping conservative talk radio heads and pundits who just wanted to sell books. Right now most Republicans are upset with them for betraying the vast majority of us who disagreed with Trump. Sadly, in another four years many of those wounds will scab over, it’s best to strike now and reface the party while the wound is fresh. The darker the night, the sweeter the sunrise. We need to sell a message of hope and unity to those who currently crave it. The Tea Party, which began under noble intentions, came at a cost. Those operating under its label traded logic for anger, and I don’t know if we’ll come back from that, but we have to try one step at a time. The first step just happens to be a split from the angriest among us, a severing of ties.

That’s really my main point. Ted Cruz and Donald Trump are both bad for conservatism, but like a toxic relationship, Donald Trump is the cheater, Ted Cruz is the opportunist. Many women will stay with the opportunist because even if he treats them poorly, they’ve convinced themselves he’s the best they can do, but over time he’ll slowly do more permanent damage than the cheater. When it’s the cheater, most women flee. For the sake of our party, if it’s between the two (and I sincerely hope it isn’t), we’re better off with someone who makes us unite in our urge to flee. It’s a bitter pill, I know.

Is a non-Cruz nomination actually possible?

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Why Cruz’s immigration position might be worse than Trump’s (Part II of a series)

Yesterday I posted the first of my three-part series of conversations with Marybeth Glenn, who writes politics at The Collision Blog, about the quandary of Cruz vs. Trump. Here is part II, an in depth look at Cruz’s immigration position.

Why Cruz really is that bad

Mitchell Blatt
Let’s get back to where we left off yesterday and consider the possibility that some of Cruz’s extreme positions are just for show.

Cruz has said he would eliminate the IRS. We know that can’t or won’t happen and that it is a bumper sticker phrase he created just for the election. He answered affirmatively when asked if he would deport 12 million illegal immigrants, but on his immigration issues page, he doesn’t mention deporting everyone, but rather “increase deportations.”

Where he appears to depart from Rubio is on pledging to end Obama’s executive actions, but even Rubio seemed to leave wiggle room there when he said to Jorge Ramos, “I don’t think we can immediately revoke that… I’m not calling for it to be revoked tomorrow, or this week, or right away.”

But you said that Cruz’s immigration plan would be called by Democrats “a harsher immigration stance than Donald Trump.” 1.) What aspect are you referring to that either you think is harsher or that the Democrats would be able to portray as harsher?

Marybeth Glenn

“…but I think Waldman is basically right—Cruz’s biggest differences with many of his rivals are on language and tactics. Whereas, with Trump, we have no idea what he would do on most things, since he has few consistent positions, but the ones that he does have are either anti-conservative, or, in the case of immigration, extremely radical.”

Cruz’s immigration position is even more radical. I think that’s the heartbeat of Hillary’s campaign if Cruz is on the ticket.

In this issue Waldman is very wrong: it’s not about the biggest difference or the biggest similarities, it’s about one gigantic difference. You can wear all the armor in the world, but if there’s an opening over the heart and the enemy is well aware of it, it’s the only place they need to focus.

The fact that immigration is low on the list of issues with Americans makes it even better, because the candidate who intends to hurt illegals is not doing it because it’s important, but merely because they can. Every angle of this argument can be manipulated into a weapon, and I have no doubt that Democrat strategists have already considered every point of attack. If they’re half as talented as I believe them to be, the current lead Hillary has on Cruz will grow substantially. To boot, he’s just not a likable character in the first place. Hillary isn’t likable either, but when it comes down to staunch Democrats vs. staunch Republicans, and those who will vote for party regardless, the Democrats have us beat.

“But you said that Cruz’s immigration plan would be called by Democrats “a harsher immigration stance than Donald Trump.” 1.) What aspect are you referring to that either you think is harsher or that the Democrats would be able to portray as harsher?”

He’s been enthusiastic about being stronger on immigration than Donald Trump. In particular, he has attacked Trump for saying that those who are deported should be able to apply for legal immigration upon deportation. Watch this video where he tells a voter he opposes allowing deported immigrants to come back legally.

There are countless sound clips like that

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Both #NeverTrump and #NeverCruz: A conversation with Marybeth Glenn, Part I

Marybeth Glenn is the editor of www.CollisionOfChurchAndState.com. On April 1, she published an article arguing that the Republicans would be better off with Donald Trump winning the nomination rather than Ted Cruz, even though she opposes Trump as well as Cruz. Here Glenn and Bombs and Dollars editor Mitchell Blatt discuss the pros and cons of different strategies for #NeverTrump to pursue.

Would you prefer seeing Trump win the nomination?

Mitchell Blatt
Marybeth, both of us have been strongly opposed to Donald Trump. We have also admired Marco Rubio’s forward-looking, optimistic tone. But now that the Republican race is down to two main contenders, Trump and Cruz, you have written that Trump’s nomination would be preferable over Cruz if they are the only two choices at the convention.

You wrote:

I’ve been saying – since day one – that Trump is a parasite to Conservatism, and I haven’t changed my views on this; however, conservatives are deeply wrong in regards to choosing the lesser evil and what it will do to the GOP as a whole. At this point, choosing the lesser evil between the two is like giving CPR to a corpse and expecting that after it’s all over no one is going to judge you for going full Weekend at Bernie’s with it first. The only way to salvage this election is to either pick a completely different candidate at the convention, or go third party – I’ll explain why below, with three possible scenarios.

I’m also going to tell you why Donald Trump would be better than Ted Cruz on the general ticket if, God forbid, it comes down to one of them.

Ted or Donald? What if the Quadrennial Convention Fails Us?

As a disclaimer, you wrote, “Once again I am not, in no uncertain terms, telling you to vote for Trump. I want us to get to the convention, I’m merely speaking about a fallback plan.”

So just to be clear, what you are arguing is that it would be better for Trump to win the nomination at a contested convention than for Cruz to do so because then a third-party conservative would have a chance at winning?

Marybeth Glenn
Short answer: Yes.

Long answer:

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No, Trump’s not a Realist. He’s not anything, because he has no ideas.

After Donald Trump’s foreign policy interview with the New York Times, foreign policy analysts, including coeditor Maitra, Tom Wright, and Stephen Walt, began discussing whether or not Trump was a neo-Realist, as Dan Drezner argued in his February 2 WaPo blog piece, “So when will realists endorse Donald Trump?”

Even if Trump was a dyed-in-the-wool Realist, one could still choose not to endorse him if they wanted a president who was the least bit dignified, or one who knew anything about foreign policy. Moreover, as Maitra argued, Trump is not in the least a Realist.

I second Maitra’s argument for the simple reason that Trump doesn’t know enough about foreign policy to qualify as an adherent to any ideology. Asking whether or not he’s a Realist is not even a valid question in the first place. It’s like debating whether Kim Kardashian is a Keynesian or an Austrian.

This is the candidate who doesn’t know who the leader of ISIS is or what Hamas and Hezbollah are.

The response in particular that got a lot of attention in the Times interview was that he would consider letting Japan and South Korea develop nuclear weapons. Let’s talk about his views on nuclear: He doesn’t even know what the nuclear triad is, he admitted at a debate, and “I think, for me, nuclear is just the power, the devastation is very important to me.”

Here’s what he said about nuclear in his other disastrous recent interview, the one with the Washington Post editorial board:

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Trump denies that he is obsessed with Megyn Kelly after boycotting Fox News debate

Shortly after announcing he was boycotting an upcoming Fox News debate and calling for a boycott of Megyn Kelly’s show, candidate for Republican nomination for president Donald Trump denied on Twitter that he was obsessed with Megyn Kelly.

Donald Trump has previously sent press clippings to Kelly, said that Kelly had “blood coming out of her wherever,” called Kelly a “bimbo” on Twitter, called her “the most overrated anchor at @FoxNews,” called for Kelly to be pulled from the Fox News debate, and then boycotted the January 26 debate after complaining about Kelly.

In one instance he tweeted about Kelly 5 times in 20 minutes.
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But he’s not obsessed with Kelly.

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Trump’s fake anti-war position slips

Trump calls for boots on the ground in Syria

One of the weird things about the Republican primary up until now is how “anti-interventionists” and “anti-war”-ists have praised or even supported “the most militaristic person” (Trump’s own self-definition), Donald Trump.

For Anti-Interventionists, Trump vs. Sanders Is Ideal Race,” isolationist Pat Buchanan wrote in an article published at white nationalist website VDare.com. WarInContext.org described Trump as an “anti-interventionist” in a headline.

Trump has created that image by saying things like “We can’t continue to be the policemen of the world,” and, “Let Syria and ISIS fight. Why do we care?” But later he said the U.S. should “bomb the shit out of ISIS” and steal Iraq’s oil.

Now at the most recent debate, he called not only for bombing ISIS but also invading with ground troops. He said, “I’m hearing numbers of 20 to 30,000. We have to knock them out fast,” and then added some gibberish about, “We’re not allowed to fight. We can’t fight. … They didn’t want to knock out the oil because of what it’s going to do to the carbon footprint. … We used to fight to win. Now we fight for no reason whatsoever.”

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Cruz wins Super Saturday; Trump underperforms

Days after “#NeverTrump” began trending, Donald Trump is underperforming at the Saturday, March 5th primaries.

Going into Kansas, two polls gave Trump leads at 35% and 26%, with Cruz at 29% and 14% respectively. Cruz ended up winning with 48% to Trump’s 23%.

Maine polls are not available at FiveThirtyEight, but Maine’s unpopular governor Paul LePage endorsed Trump, and Trump did well in other northeastern states. With 9% of the vote in, Cruz is winning 43% to 36%.

Trump is leading Kentucky by a 41% to 30% margin with 26% in. Louisiana polls have yet to report results. (9:48 pm)

UPDATED (Sunday, 7:45 am): Cruz won Maine 45.9% to 32.6%.

Trump won Louisiana 41.4% to 37.8%. With Rubio getting 11% and Kasich getting 6%. This indicates that Trump would have a hard time winning a two-man race. So far he has not won a majority of any state.

Trump also won Kentucky by a small margin, 35.9% to 31.6%, with Rubio and Kasich pulling 16% and 14% respectively.

Cruz won in total delegates, adding 64 to Trump’s 49.

Trump loses to Clinton in 90% of polls

It always amazes me how some politicians can lie so easily about objective facts that are available with just a few seconds of Googling, and how journalists, who have heard their lines again and again, never check and correct them. One of the worst examples is polling.

Trump trotted out polls again on Thursday night at the debate in Detroit to argue that he’s winning in the polls. As Ted Cruz said, Trump is obsessed with polls. But here’s why he shouldn’t be: All the polls show Trump losing to Clinton.

When called on it, Trump misleadingly stated, “I beat Hillary Clinton in many polls.” (Politico, in their story on the candidates arguing about polls, could have interjected with facts but didn’t and let Trump’s relatively inaccurate statement stand.)

Yes, Trump beats Hillary in some polls, but not “many”–unless you consider 5-out-of-49 to be many.

There’s actually a website where you can check these things: RealClearPolitics. RealClearPolitics includes summaries of all credible polls done this year and averages them. Of all the polls since May (link), Trump only led in five–five that he incessently cites (USA Today, 2/11-15; Fox News, 1/4-7; Fox News, 11/16-19; Fox News, 10/10-12; SurveyUSA, 9/2-3; two ties; not Quinnipac). That’s two polls from this year and three from Fox News.

Don’t take my word for it. Check at RealClearPolitics Clinton vs Trump polls. And yet Politico’s Michael Grunwald not let Trump’s claim stand, he even restated Trump’s straight-up lie that he’s leading in a Quinnipac poll.

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