If Hillary quits the election I’ll shut down Hardball, says MSNBC’s Chris Matthews

Originally published at Rare

MSNBC’s Chris Matthews is apparently very confident that Hillary Clinton has political staying power, despite controversies over her email server and subsequent drops in her polling numbers. When Republican strategist Kellyanne Conway suggested on Hardball that there’s a chance an embattled Clinton might withdraw from the race, Matthews balked.

“I hope Hillary can hang on long enough to be the Democratic nominee,” said Conway. “You don’t want her to hang on,” Matthews retorted. “I do want her to hang on, and here’s why,” replied Conway. “I’m worried if she gets pushed out of the race too early, you’ll get Elizabeth Warren stepping in. She’s got plenty of time to raise money and take that mantle.”

Matthews then asked Conway if she believes that’s actually going to happen. Conway said that she thinks if Hillary exits on her own that Warren will in fact enter, and become a force to be reckoned with for Republicans.

At that point, Matthews made a promise that he likely hopes he won’t have to keep.

“When Hillary Clinton quits the election, we’re going to shut down this show,” said Matthews.

Of course, it’s not likely that Chris Matthews is in any rush to give up Hardball and was simply expressing his confidence in the fact that Clinton will weather the storm. Nevertheless, it would be entertaining were Matthews called to end his program if his prediction is incorrect.

As Mediate noted, former Speaker of the House and presidential candidate tweeted the following in response to Matthews’ quip.

You can watch the segment, including the promise from Chris Matthews, here.

“What’s wrong with slavery?” asks anti-immigrant talk radio host

Originally published at Rare

In a display of how vile the discourse has become in certain pockets of the conservative movement, Iowa talk radio host Jan Mickelson suggested this week that people found in the country illegally should become “property of the United States.”

Mickelson detailed his dehumanizing plan on air, explaining that he would issue a public notice giving undocumented individuals a grace period in which they could leave his home state. If people who were unable to sufficiently prove their legal status to the government were still in Iowa after the time allotted, they would be declared human property of the state.

“I think everyone would believe it sounds like slavery,” a caller told Mickelson upon hearing that he would round people up and put them in labor camps reminiscent of communist North Korea.

“What’s wrong with slavery?” inquired Mickelson. “Well, we know what’s wrong with slavery,” the caller retorted. Mickelson then went on to claim that his alleged solution is moral, legal, and politically doable.

“We would take a lesson from Sheriff Arpaio down in Arizona. Put up a tent village, we feed and water these new assets, we give them minimal shelter, minimal nutrition, and offer them the opportunity to work for the benefit of the taxpayers of the state of Iowa,” said Mickelson.

Mickelson also suggested that these minimally fed and sheltered “illegal Mexicans” turned “assets” could build a wall on the northern border of their native country. This would in effect make their government pay, as Donald Trump has vaguely promised as part of his campaign platform.

Mickelson’s comments follow a similarly dehumanizing immigration related statement from another right-winger who comes across as more authoritarian than meaningfully conservative. “I don’t care if Donald Trump wants to perform abortions in the White House after this immigration policy paper,” tweeted Ann Coulter in praise of Trump’s radically anti-immigrant platform.

While a segment of conservatives want to crack down on illegal immigration and secure the border, Mickelson’s crude comments don’t represent the mainstream. Many conservatives share Ted Cruz’s position that illegal immigrants should not be granted amnesty, but that we ought to invite more legal workers into the country.

According to a recent Wall Street Journal / NBC News poll however, a full 53% of Republicans support a path to legal status for undocumented immigrants currently living in the United States.

Animas River Response Reveals the Environmentalist Left’s Dangerous Hypocrisy

Originally published at Every Joe

The double-standards that run rampant on the left are revealing themselves yet again; this time around an issue that liberals love to pretend they have a monopoly on: the environment. This latest bout of hypocrisy surrounds the fact that just weeks ago, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) released approximately three million gallons of acidic waste into a Colorado river, underestimated the environmental and economic impact of their mistake, and even failed to alert affected state government officials and the public about the dangerous situation a timely fashion.

But you probably haven’t seen photographs of this now-hazardous river plastered across the front pages of newspapers ad nauseam the way you did the BP gulf coast oil spill. To the extent that the polluted Animas River has been on TV, it’s as a side note; in contrast for example, to the airtime the Exxon-Valdez oil spill in Alaska received. Yes, those spills were bigger scale-wise. That doesn’t change the fact however, that the coverage and accountability disparity when it comes to corporate versus government pollution sheds an unflattering light on the left and their sympathetic media allies. Still, the responsibility and competency problems are much bigger than just that.

As Governor Susanna Martinez of New Mexico (which was one of the states impacted by the EPA’s recent negligence) said, “This was caused by the EPA, and the EPA should demand the same of itself as it would of a private business responsible for such a spill, particularly when it comes to making information available to the public and state and local officials.” As critics and impacted groups have noted, the EPA’s disastrous post-incident response has been nothing short of outrageous, if not outright dangerous.

“EPA compounded its gross negligence by failing to inform city and state officials or residents and recreationists on the river for a full 24 hours after the event,” reported The American Spectator’s H. Sterling Burnett. “That’s 24 hours farmers were irrigating with tainted water, cities were pumping dirty water for municipal uses, and kayakers and anglers were literally standing or floating in the toxic brew. Some mayors of cities first learned of the danger from news reports, not the EPA itself.”

Despite the harm caused to affected persons, most Americans are at best, tangentially aware of the Animas River and the toxins that have turned a previously usable body of water into a bright orange disaster. And as far as the environmentalist left is concerned, that ignorance of this serious situation is by design. In fact, the President of the United States himself wants you to ignore the EPA’s egregious mistake, for which interestingly enough, they aren’t being held accountable by his administration. But it’s all for the sake of “progress,” of course.

The most recent emails sent out by Obama’s grassroots outfit provide a strong clue as to the reasoning behind White House officials’ tight lips. Maligning anyone who would dare question the wisdom of giving the unaccountable and apparently incompetent EPA even more power in the wake of this incident as “science deniers,” Obama’s Organizing For Action sent out a characteristically condescending call-to-action meredays after the EPA tainted a beautiful river with several million gallons of toxic sludge:

“Friend –

You don’t have to be a policy expert to make a difference on climate change. All it takes is a willingness to fight back — especially against deniers that willfully ignore the science.

Now that the Clean Power Plan is finalized, it’s the states’ turn to take action, and state leaders need your support to keep the momentum going.

Stand with leaders that are taking action in the fight against climate change — add your name.

States all over the country are already acting to meet their clean power goals. Nevada is helping lead the nationwide solar boom — between 2013 and 2014, the number of solar jobs in Nevada grew by 146 percent. Iowa, Kansas, and South Dakota each get at least a fifth of their power from clean wind energy. New York is part of a nine-state partnership that has created jobs and boosted the regional economy, all while cutting consumers’ utility bills by hundreds of millions of dollars and cutting carbon pollution by 40 percent.

That kind of leadership is needed in the weeks to come, during the hard push to meet the EPA’s goals — and OFA volunteers are stepping up in support.

Say you’ll stand with strong leadership on climate change:



Jack Shapiro

National Issues Campaign Manager

Organizing for Action”

Well. That explains the sound of chirping crickets emanating from Pennsylvania Avenue. The White House is too busy trying to ram its latest EPA-led economically damaging centralized scheme down our throats to bother pursuing what should be government’s basic function: holding all entities, including its own agencies, accountable for endangering the health and livelihood of American citizens.

If OFA and the environmental left had even a shred of credibility, they would be calling for investigations and mass firings. Instead, they’re twiddling their thumbs at best, and mostly engaging in outright excuse-making. As Burnett wrote at The American Spectator: “If a private company had caused this disaster, federal and state officials would already be talking about criminal investigations, and civil suits would be filed claiming billions in damages. Heads would be rolling. By contrast, although EPA may transfer some of the people who supervised the disastrous operation, it’s likely few, if any, of its employees will be fired or forced to resign.”

And disappointingly but unsurprisingly, the usual suspects are running defense for an EPA that should be investigated and reorganized, not praised and expanded. The Washington Times compiled an illuminating roundup of reactions to the Animas River tragedy from environmental organizations invested in centralizing government power as a means to their ends. No one should be shocked by their double standards, but we should certainly call them on it.

Courtesy of the Washington Times’ Valerie Richardson:

“Said Colorado state Rep. Joe Salazar, a Democrat, on Twitter: ‘Focus of #AnimasRiver contamination should be on mining companies and their mining practices, not EPA, yes?’

The Sierra Club Rocky Mountain chapter posted a link to an article titled ‘9 things you need to know about the Animas River spill.’ The list includes ‘The EPA messed up, but they’re not the root cause’ and ‘This isn’t the first time this has happened, nor is it the worst.’

‘Blaming the EPA for #AnimasRiver spill is like blaming a doctor for the disease,’ Conservation Colorado said in a Wednesday tweet.”

Really? These groups want us to believe that the “mining companies and their practices” are at the root of this problem when the Gold King Mine stopped its operations in 1923 and somehow, no damage was caused since until EPA employees unplugged a sufficiently blockaded source of pollution?

This is of course not to say that companies ought to have the right to pollute. They don’t. And they should be held accountable to the fullest extent of the law in accordance with a respect for property rights. But environmental groups ought to take their ideological blinders off and recognize the dangerous double standard they’re enabling when they make excuses for the EPA’s negligence.

To the extent that the EPA isn’t being held accountable as a private company in the same situation would, conservatives are bolstered in our argument that strong definitions of property rights and a small watchdog-sized government to enforce them are pro-environment policies. When government holds too much centralized power, there’s a built-in disincentive to pursue internal accountability measures. This ultimately hurts victims of their negligence the most.

In the wake of this tragedy, the EPA and its allies could sure use a wake-up call. If the Navajo Nation, which has been severely impacted by this pollution, follows through on their threat to sue, the EPA sure will have earned it. As Jonathan Lockwood of the free market advocacy group Advancing Colorado said:

“This environmental disaster is just one more example of why people do not trust the job-killing EPA and we have every right to question why our hard-earned money is going to such an incompetent and mismanaged government agency. This is now a multi-state issue, and people have every right to be absolutely outraged with the EPA, and the officials who continue to provide support and cover for this agency.”

Clearly, it’s more than past time to hold the government to the same standards they hold us to.

Ohio voters might legalize marijuana over their presidential candidate Governor’s opposition

Originally published at Rare

Ohio governor and presidential candidate John Kasich will be tested politically when voters in his home state get a chance to legalize marijuana through a ballot referendum this November.

Kasich has long opposed illegal drug use of all kinds, and said just months ago that he is still deciding whether he supports federally prosecuting states that allow recreational weed use.

“If I happen to be President,” said Kasich to conservative talk radio host Hugh Hewitt this past April, “I would lead a significant campaign, down at the grassroots level, to stomp these drugs out of our country.”

How much support such an effort would garner is questionable, seeing as the majority of Americans support marijuana legalization.

Nevertheless, Kasich went on to detail the scourge of heroin, and implied that all illegal drugs, marijuana included, are just as dangerous – though this claim has been disputed by the Drug Enforcement Administration.

Kasich concluded by telling Hewitt that despite his general respect for states’ and voters’ rights, he might follow the Christie and Rubio path of pursuing federal action against states that have decided to legalize. On the other hand, it’s still possible that Kasich will emulate Cruz and Paul, who believe states should choose whether or not to allow recreational and medical marijuana use.

As for his own state of Ohio however, Kasich plans to fight legalization tooth and nail.

Through his press secretary, Kasich informed National Journal that he is opposed to the upcoming Ohio constitutional amendment vote in question.

As The Daily Beast’s Betsey Woodruff noted however, Kasich may find some unlikely allies in his battle. This is because the constitutional amendment question, drafted by advocacy group ResponsibleOhio, is a very restrictive measure that critics say is driven by cronyism.

As Woodruff reported, “(The amendment) only allows for 10 pot farms, in specific geographic locations. And—big surprise!—the companies that own those farms are the major investors in the legalization campaign.” This has irked legalization advocates who believe the marijuana market should be open to any entrepreneur eager to participate.

Of the Ohio constitutional amendment, the president of the Colorado Cannabis Chamber of Commerce Tyler Henson said: “When you have only 10 growers to supply an entire state with such a large population as Ohio, there is bound to be price-fixing and collusion. You can’t stop that.”

While the anti-market aspects of the amendment are disappointing to many cannabis advocates, the initiative is particularly noteworthy because if passed, Ohio would be the first state to go from a full ban to complete legalization without an interim medical marijuana law.

As for Governor Kasich, his office has been unclear as to exactly what measures they would pursue to combat the law if passed. “Let’s have that discussion when there’s not an if,” his press secretary stated, implying that the governor’s current attention is fully focused on fighting the amendment’s passage. As Eric Garcia at National Journal noted however, “The ballot initiative could thrust marijuana further into the spotlight in the primary race.” Garcia went on to say:

“Kasich has at times shown a tendency to back down when voters push back against him, as was the case with a referendum against his stripping of collective bargaining rights for public employees. But in a ballot referendum right before primary season starts, Kasich may be split between listening to voters in his home state versus voters in Iowa or New Hampshire.”

Kasich has positioned himself as a moderate, embracing Medicaid expansion in his home state, and engaging in permissive if not positive discussions about marriage equality.

He has thus far, not staked out a similarly moderate position on marijuana, but political pressure could change that. Looking toward the future, 68% of Americans between the ages of 18 and 34 support full marijuana legalization.

Whether Kasich and other Republicans will evolve with the times on this issue is yet to be seen.

White House hires first openly transgender staffer

Originally published at Rare

The transgender community has been in the spotlight in recent months due to the high-profile transition of Caitlyn Jenner, the Olympic champion and reality TV star formerly known as Bruce. For many, this was their first introduction to the realities of transgenderism.

However, advocates within the transgender community have long been working, largely outside the view of mainstream journalists and pundits, to help a group of people who often face poverty and discrimination at disproportionately high rates.

In a new mark of social progress for this community, the White House recently hired its first openly transgender staffer. As the Washington Blade, a publication that focuses on issues impacting the LGBT community reported:

“Raffi Freedman-Gurspan, who formerly served in trans advocacy as policy adviser for the National Center for Transgender Equality’s Racial & Economic Justice Initiative, has been appointed to a senior position in the White House Office of Presidential Personnel. She’s set to begin her new role as an outreach and recruitment director in the Presidential Personnel Office on Tuesday.”

Prior to joining White House staff, Freedman-Gurspan worked in the Massachusetts state legislature, focusing largely on transgender advocacy. She has also been employed by The National Center for Transgender Equality.

As Chris Johnson of the Washington Blade explained:

“The Obama administration has appointed openly transgender people into federal government positions before, but no appointee so far could be considered a White House staffer. For example, President Obama appointed Dylan Orr in 2009 as special assistant in the Labor Department’s Office of Disability Employment Policy, although he’s since left the government. Another openly trans Obama appointee is Amanda Simpson, who’s currently executive director of the U.S. Army Office of Energy Initiatives.”

Of Freedman-Gurspan’s new position in the White House, Mara Keisling of The National Center for Transgender Equality said:

“That the first transgender appointee is a transgender woman of color is itself significant. And that the first White House transgender appointee is a friend is inspiring to me and to countless others who have been touched by Raffi’s advocacy.”

In her capacity at the Presidential Personnel Office, Freedman-Gurspan will aid in recruiting individuals for hire who could potentially serve in various federal agencies.

Coulter praises Trump’s controversial immigration plan; critics say it isn’t conservative

Originally published at Rare

Donald Trump has finally released a policy plan on the issue that has become his signature: immigration.

In it, Trump calls for sweeping changes, including a limitation on the amount of legal immigrants who are allowed to work in the U.S., as well as a call to end birthright citizenship – which would require a highly unlikely repeal of the 14th amendment.

Other key elements of the plan include tripling the number of immigration enforcement officers, seeking out and deporting anyone found to be in the country illegally, building a wall on the southern border and extracting money from Mexico to fund it, requiring the hiring of American workers over immigrants and limiting work visas for non-citizens, the implementation of E-Verify, and the institution of a limit on overall legal immigration to the country.

This issue has shed a light on major divides within the Republican Party’s base. Ann Coulter, known for her anti-immigrant stance, recently tweeted about Trump’s plan.

Critics however, especially free market and limited government advocates, are concerned. As Robby Soave wrote at Reason Magazine:

“Such a plan would be economically ruinous if implemented. It ignores the considerable benefits of immigration and immigrant workers. The overwhelming consensus among economists is that immigrant labor is a huge boon to the economy—boosting wages, creating jobs, and lowering the price of goods. When the government prevents immigrants from doing the jobs they want to do, it slows down the engine of economic growth.”

“Conservatives must understand this on some level, given that they can typically be found lamenting that government regulation is killing the economy. They know that EPA compliance kills jobs. Labor-related regulatory compliance isn’t any different,” added Soave.

There is also concern among some corners of the right about the increase in bureaucratic and police state activity around immigration. As Rich Cromwell wrote at The Federalist:

“In short, the great conservative savior who wants to “Make America Great Again” primarily plans to do so by creating vast new swathes of bureaucracy and swelling the police state. If that’s your jam, then jam on, but if you want to actually have a smaller state with less bureaucracy and government intrusion, then Trump is not the droid you seek. His plans to make America great again increasingly look like Obama on stilts with a big bag of cocaine and no limiting principles.”

Rare’s Matt Purple makes similar points:

The uncomfortable truth about hard-nosed immigration crackdowns is that they necessitate a government that can peep into your personal information, kick down your door if it suspects you of not being a citizen, and socially engineer the population by hand-picking who can and can’t come into the country. Even that seemingly levelheaded plan to get tough on visa overstayers would mean devising a way for the feds to track foreigners inside the United States, another intrusion on privacy.

A prudent conservatism, at the very least, should tease out a way to beef up immigration enforcement that avoids harmful infringements on our liberty. This isn’t what Trump does.

Beyond Coulter however, there are elements of the right that do buy into this plan. For example, it was created with the input of Senator Jeff Sessions (R-AL), who represents the GOP’s hardline wing on immigration. While this plan may excite some parts of the conservative base however, it turns off a significant number as well, according to polling.

Practically speaking, Trump’s plan will ultimately be very difficult, if not impossible, to implement.

Megyn Kelly, Carly Fiorina, and Conservative Feminism

Originally published at Every Joe

I consider myself a feminist. No, not the government-dependency pushing, man-hating kind. I’m the type who simply believes in both social and political equality between the genders, and thinks those who say all of the work is done in these areas are hopelessly naive.

The truth is any politically active woman is to an extent a feminist. Without feminism, we wouldn’t even have the right to vote, not to mention access to positions of power in both business and government. Absent feminism, we would be subjugated by “traditional” gender roles, like it or not. The women of our generation undoubtedly owe a debt of gratitude to the strong feminists who came before us.

For me, the first Republican presidential debate and its aftermath brought just those types of feminist thoughts to the forefront. I watched both the “happy hour” debate, featuring candidates who hadn’t polled well enough to make the top-tier, and the primetime event itself. The amount of drama surrounding the two women involved was enough to put me in rant-mode.

As the evening wound down, I posted the following on Facebook (edited slightly for atypically bad language use in public; feel free to read the original here).

“Feminist thoughts post-debate:

There’s a contingent of conservative women who reject the victim mentality of the left. We hate that we’re expected to accept government dependency as penance for the very real sexism that does exist in our day to day lives. How is reliance on a government made up of men empowering? We recognize that it’s not. Many of us think that to overcome the very real chains of sexism, it’s incumbent upon us to be independent thinkers and achievers. It’s what leads us to reject the Democratic Party sycophants who suggest that as a gender, we’re too weak to make it on our own, thus need to be subsidized by government men. No, we don’t, actually. We’re fine without you throwing scraps at us, thank you very much. We’re the ones who scraped by to raise the men currently claiming to lead this generation. Feel free to thank us for that.

So what about the concept of actually making it on our own as women? What about the fact that we’re expected to ignore the soft bigotry we face everyday, in the form of men treating us like less-than in political settings? Republican ladies, don’t pretend you don’t experience this on a day-to-day basis. The standing there amongst your male colleagues, when another man joins the group and he acknowledges you last if at all, barely making eye contact, assuming you’re someone’s spouse rather than a successful political operative? You know this reality, because you experience it everyday. But you don’t whine about it publicly, because you’re there to make it despite the obstacles. You’re there to face that passive sexism head on and prove you’re better than it.

This is what I wish men would understand about the camaraderie that women create with each other; especially among us conservatives. It transcends policy. Do I agree with everything women like Megyn Kelly or Carly Fiorina say about every issue? No, not at all. But as a woman who, whether you want to acknowledge it or not, is treated with kid gloves in the conservative political world, strong women who don’t take crap resonate with me. Megyn Kelly and Carly Fiorina are incredible people. These are fearless women who take men on, acknowledge the existence of sexism as a pervasive obstacle we need to overcome as a gender, but say screw it, I’m going in anyway. That’s inspiring. That’s empowering. That’s feminism.

I strongly believe that libertarian-conservative women are on the front lines of feminism, defending our fellow females as powerful political contributors. It’s why I loved Megyn Kelly calling Donald Trump out for his misogynist commentary tonight; because IT MATTERS. She stood as a lone voice for women, telling millions of clueless Fox viewers that, yes, women actually do care whether or not you insult our entire gender. We’re strong swing voters; you won’t win without us.

A message of self-reliance and independence resonates with women. We are, after all, the world’s child bearers. And not only do we give birth to you, we host popular cable news shows; we run giant corporations; we run for PRESIDENT. So if you’re wondering why Carly Fiorina is going to see a giant boost in her poll ratings after today, look beyond policy. Look at the fact that millions of women are inspired by the lady in hot pink who stood alone in the face of men who, on paper, should be more successful than she is. Yet Carly kicked every single one of their butts. That’s feminism. And Hillary Clinton is rightfully scared to death by it.

Pay attention. Because it’s about to get real.”

As it turns out, my reaction to Fiorina’s performance was an opinion almost universally held among viewers. She truly killed it. I even tweeted during the debate, perhaps somewhat hyperbolically, that Carly was the only grown woman on a stage full of little boys. A week later, as predicted, she’s reaping the benefits; tied at 9% with Scott Walker.

After Carly of course, came the big show. In my opinion, the primetime debate rightfully featured tough questions aimed at each candidate, as indicated by my debate-night reaction to the Kelly-Trump spat. No man was spared, which frankly, made the post-debate social media whining about “hatchet jobs” more than a little disingenuous.

Nevertheless, Kelly was inevitably attacked by Trump for doing what she and the moderators did to every other candidate: dare to hold them accountable. And she wasn’t just attacked in the milquetoast way men are. Her sexuality and gender were inevitably brought into the mix. And those qualities were predictably savaged in a manner that society reserves for female public figures.

To provide context, Kelly said to Trump: “One of the things people love about you is you speak your mind and you don’t use a politician’s filter. However that is not without its downsides, in particular when it comes to women. You’ve called women you don’t like fat pigs, dogs, slobs and disgusting animals.”

Trump demurred. “That was only about Rosie O’Donnell,” he said. Even if that were the case, which it isn’t, it wouldn’t make his commentary any less misogynistic. In response, Kelly doubled down: “No, it wasn’t. Your Twitter account has several disparaging comments about women’s looks. You once told a contestant on Celebrity Apprentice that it would be a pretty picture to see her on her knees.”

Thin-skinned as ever, Trump told Kelly, “I’ve been very nice to you, but I could probably not be, based on the way you’re treating me,” apparently unaware of the tough questions asked of the candidates flanking him. Lacking self-awareness and manners as usual, Trump took to Twitter:

Really? A woman is open about her sexuality – like men are constantly – and suddenly, because she dares to admit she sleeps with her husband, deserves the misogynistic commentary Trump treated her to?

“I don’t have a lot of respect for Megyn Kelly, she’s a lightweight,” said Trump to CNN’s Don Lemon. “She gets out, and she starts asking me all sorts of ridiculous questions. And you know, you can see there was blood coming out of her eyes, blood coming out of her wherever.”

As Carly Fiorina, who was also attacked by Trump, eloquently put it:

“As I made my way up in the business world, a male-dominated business world, I’ve had lots of men imply that I was unfit for decision-making because maybe I was having my period. So I’ll say it, okay? When I started this campaign, I was asked on a national television show whether a woman’s hormones prevented her from serving in the Oval Office. My response was, can we think of a single instance in which a man’s hormones might have clouded his judgment? My point is, women understood that comment and yes, it’s offensive.”

Looking at all that’s transpired this week, it’s safe to say the enduring need for feminism is clearer than ever. And this should be an issue that transcends politics. As liberal writer Mary Elizabeth Williams stated in a piece defending Megyn Kelly at Salon:

“When women on the right are attacked with the kind of disgusting, sexist trolling I’ve certainly seen aimed at them — mocked for their looks, dismissed for not being bang-worthy, called vile names — it’s as gross and wrong as when it happens to women on the left. We don’t any lose credibility for supporting their right to not be intimidated. It’s our duty to do so.”

Rand Paul on Jeb Bush: “He’s not a conservative”

Originally published at Rare

Rand Paul joined radio host Laura Ingraham to discuss his recent criticism on Donald Trump, who the senator has called a “fake conservative” in an op-ed penned at conservative news site IJ Review after the first Republican debate.

Ingraham agreed with Paul that there are many questionable parts of Trump’s record, but pressed him on why he hasn’t gone after Jeb Bush, who she considers equally unfit for the Republican nomination.

Paul explained to Ingraham that in his view, Trump is trying to trick people, while the situation with Bush is more straightforward.

Said Paul of Bush, “I just think he’s not a conservative. But I don’t think he’s trying to to present himself as one. I think he is sincerely part of the establishment, he is sincerely a moderate.”

Paul went on to contrast Bush’s relative honesty about his middle-of-the-road credentials (at the debate, Bush defended his stance that illegal immigration is an “act of love”), with that of Trump’s attempts to hoodwink conservatives and convince them he’s an “outsider.” As Paul explained to Ingraham:

“What troubles me is that (people who) are unhappy with government, unhappy with the Republican establishment, somehow think Trump could be the answer. But this is a guy who gives money to the Clintons, buys and sells politicians, and really, he’ll tell you frankly, ‘Yeah, I give them money so they’ll do whatever the hell I tell them to.’ And that’s what’s wrong with Washington. That people are being bought and sold. But the people buying are just as equally culpable as the people selling access.”

Paul continued, “Right now, I don’t think Jeb Bush is a threat, because I think Jeb Bush is a moderate, people know it, and I don’t think people mistake who Jeb Bush is.”

You can listen to Paul’s entire interview with Ingraham, courtesy of Mediaite, here.

Trump calls Rand Paul “truly weird” and a “spoiled brat;” he hits back with a revealing retort

Originally published at Rare

The battle between Rand Paul and Donald Trump continues to escalate.

The two tussled at the first Republican presidential debate last week, then Paul wrote an op-ed for IJReview Monday imploring Republicans not to “fall for a fake conservative.”

Not willing to let any attack on his bombastic ways slide, Trump hit Paul with a tweet characteristic of his penchant for savagely insulting anyone who dares to question him.

Paul responded on the campaign trail in New Hampshire Tuesday with a poignant zinger:

“If we’re talking about who’s a spoiled brat or not, my two kids all work minimum-wage jobs. Do you think the Trump kids have been working at the local Pizza Hut? So I live a pretty ordinary life, and I’m not begrudging him his wealth but there’s nothing about me or my family that’s spoiled.”

Paul added:

“I’ve worked from a young age, my kids all work, and we’re proud of them for working minimum wage jobs, delivering pizzas, working in a pizza place, working in a call center, all my boys work and they’ve worked and we’re proud of them for working.”

Judging from his Twitter feed, Paul doesn’t seem to be backing down from his attacks.

Paul, who has pushed for an amendment to ban Planned Parenthood funding, called Trump out for saying he wouldn’t defund the abortion provider in its entirety.



According to new polling from Rasmussen in the wake of the recent debate, Trump’s standing appears to be slipping. They report that his support has fallen by a third over in past week-and-a-half alone.

Paul has slid from his initial polling highs from prior months, but remains steady nationally, post-debate.

Paul slams Trump: “The tea party erupted over dissatisfaction with false conservatives”

Originally published at Rare 

During the first Republican presidential primary debate last week, Senator Rand Paul took the fight to Donald Trump. He called him out for buying politicians (specifically the Clintons), supporting a government-controlled healthcare system, and having a temperament unfit for the presidency.

Doubling down on these charges, Senator Paul authored a piece at the Independent Journal Review Sunday questioning both Trump’s conservative credentials and his penchant for bullying, calling into question why he’s running for president in the first place.

Said Paul:

“The Tea Party erupted over dissatisfaction with false conservatives. It amazes me that anyone in the Tea Party movement could possibly consider Clinton/Reid/Pelosi supporter Donald Trump for President

I honestly have no idea what Mr. Trump’s real philosophy is. He was liberal before he was conservative, and has openly professed for decades that his views are those of a Democrat.”

Paul chronicled Trump’s long history of holding liberal positions, such as supporting partial birth abortion, promoting healthcare solutions to the left of Obamacare, elevating the United Nations over U.S. sovereignty, and engaging in direct cronyism via buying politicians and declaring bankruptcy in a way that hurt his creditors and vendors.

Paul then looked back to his candidacy for Senate in 2010, noting how it was based on the legitimate anger the Tea Party movement channeled at that time. Frustration with bailouts and concern over Obamacare were paramount when the movement gained national traction, and Paul rode that very wave into Congress.

Paul also noted how Trump has directly enabled what the tea party movement originally opposed in the form of both corporatism and general support for big government policies. Concerned that well-meaning conservatives may fall for Trump’s bombastic style without knowledge of his record, Paul wrote:

“It is refreshing to hear someone speak truth to power, to transcend Washington-speak, and cut through the staidness of our politically correct world but not when it is all blather, non-sequitur, and self-aggrandizing bombast.”

Donald Trump is showing he isn’t suited to lead the country, and I think we all need to discuss why.

Frankly, it sounds too much like he is someone used to bullying to get his way. What do you do to a bully? You stand up to him. That’s what I did on the debate stage, and I was the only one.”

Paul certainly did stand up to Trump during the debate. And it appears that Paul isn’t backing down from attacking the current Republican front runner, seemingly convinced that once voters see past Trump’s surface and look at his policy, they will no longer support him.

As Paul writes:

“I will run this race on issues important to the American people. Unlike Trump, I have serious, specific proposals for the largest tax cut in American history and a five-year balanced budget. I offer real solutions to defeat the Washington Machine like ending corporate welfare, term limits and forcing Congress to read the bills.

We owe the American people substantive answers like that, not bluster and bombast. I plan to stand up to anyone who doesn’t have the temperament or ideas to be President. Maybe it’s time for the GOP voters to tell Mr. Trump he’s fired so we can find a serious candidate who will bring real change.”

Undoubtedly, Paul hopes voters will see him as exactly the kind of candidate serious conservative voters frustrated with the status quo ought to support. It’s imperative in the meantime however, that voters aren’t distracted by the bullying tactics of a man whose conservative credentials are questionable at best.