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Early Morning Thread 7/25/15 [krakatoa] | Main | King Dave! [Weirddave]
July 25, 2015

Saturday Politics Thread: July 25th News Roundup [Y-not]

Good morning, horde! I was traveling most of this week, so I thought today I'd do a news roundup, focusing on positive stories from each* of the campaigns.

First up, let's check in on Scott Walker, who is the best-polling conservative in the race at this early stage of the primary (particularly in Iowa). Governor Walker gave a major address at ALEC last week. (The American Legislative Exchange Council is an organization of state legislators that endorses pro-growth policies such as Right-to-Work. Governor Walker was a member of ALEC when he was in the Wisconsin legislature.) I wasn't able to find a transcript of his speech, but you can watch it here.

Walker also had an exchange with an illegal alien family during an appearance at a manufacturing plant in Dubuque, Iowa last week:

A video that captured the exchange between Walker and the Wisconsin resident shows Walker expressing sympathy for the man's plight, but repeatedly reiterating, "We are a nation of laws."

"The president 22 times before last November said he can't do what he did," Walker said. "He ignored the law."

An activist from Wisconsin's Voces de la Frontera, as identified by the Washington Post, sought to interrupt Walker but the governor said he wanted to speak only to the family. The illegal immigrant parent also asked about whether Walker would deport him and separate him from his family.

"Going forward, we got to fix the system, that starts with securing the border," Walker said. "We've got to enforce the law and then we go forward with a legal immigration system that puts a priority on families here in America."

I honestly don't know what he means by putting a "priority on families here in America." Does he mean U.S. citizens or does he mean reuniting families "divided" by illegal immigration? I hope it is the former as it seems as if the "families first" approach from the Immigration and Naturalization Act of 1965 is at the heart of our current immigration policies (and failures).


Late last week, there was good news for Governor Perry:


Former Gov. Rick Perry of Texas, who is seeking the Republican nomination for president, received some good news regarding his legal problems on Friday when an appeals court in his state dropped one of the two felony charges he is facing.

Mr. Perry was indicted last summer on criminal charges of abuse of power and coercion of a public servant. The case surrounds an episode during which Mr. Perry was accused of trying to use his powers as governor to make an elected official step down after being charged with drunken driving.

The case has been a nuisance for Mr. Perry as he looks to gain traction in a crowded field of Republicans seeking the party's presidential nomination.

On Friday, the Austin court dismissed the coercion of a public servant charge against Mr. Perry on the grounds that violates his right to free speech under the First Amendment.

"Because the First Amendment bars enforcement of the statute on which the "coercion of a public servant" charge is based, that charge must be dismissed," Judge Bert Richardson wrote in an opinion.

He's been quietly doing a lot of retail politicking. He's also given two major speeches over the past few weeks. The first one, which was given at the National Press Club and was extremely well-received, addressed the Democrats' failed economic policies and their impact on black Americans.

The other major speech was delivered last week. Although this latter speech has been discussed in terms of its criticisms of Donald Trump's candidacy (and there is plenty of that in the speech), a deeper reading (text here) reveals the core themes of Perry's campaign, as well as firepower aimed squarely at Democrats. For example:

We have tried the policies of the progressive left for the last six and a half years. The Democratic candidates for president could offer them for the next eight.

Their failures are self-evident. We have never spent more money on welfare in the history of our nation, with few results to show for it.

One in five children now live in families on food stamps. This is not a success of the Obama recovery, but the evidence of its failure. Millions have stopped looking for work, and are uncounted in the unemployment rate. Over-regulation has frozen access to credit from community banks, harming small businesses. ObamaCare has decreased healthcare choices, and premiums have skyrocketed.

And for all the liberals' talk about income inequality, the fact is their own policies of over-regulation make the cost of living exorbitant for single moms and small business owners in blue states like California and New York.

They have mastered the politics of grievance, when in reality Americans are the victim of their policies that caused the housing crash, that have produced the slowest recovery since the Great Depression, that have caused a precipitous increase in the cost of college tuition.

The Democrats see the problems of their own party's making and offer to double down on them.

Now Senator Sanders says college tuition should be "free." But as we know, there is no such thing as a free lunch. Forcing taxpayers to hand more of their money over to colleges will only incentivize those colleges to raise their prices even further.

Secretary Clinton is now talking about profit-sharing. I believe in profit-sharing.

Many of America's best companies, like Whole Foods and Apple to name just two, use profit sharing and stock options to reward their workers.

But history shows that when government gets involved, there are fewer profits to be shared.

Although I agree with Michael Gerson's characterization of Perry's criticisms of Trump, I think it's time for the governor to ease off of mentions of The Donald and focus all of his energy on communicating the positive, pro-growth and pro-security messages of his campaign. You can review what Rick Perry's top priorities are here.


Governor Bobby Jindal spent the end of the week dealing with the aftermath of a terrible shooting in Lafayette, Louisiana. Earlier in the week he was campaigning in Iowa. He also participated in RFD-TV's "Rural Town Hall:"

Highlights from the hour-long forum included select questions presented by attending agricultural organizations for the Governor.

Monte Shaw from America's Renewable Future and Iowa Renewable Fuels Association addressed the Governor concerning biotechnology and the economy specific to the Renewable Fuel Standard, and asked if the Governor would keep the RFS in place through 2022. Governor Jindal responded by stating that he supports the renewable fuels standard, but he would like to see the industry stand on its own. He went on to state that he supports the gradual phase out of the RFS and above all would like to see a "level playing field for everybody" in the energy industry. "When I was in Congress I voted for the RFS and I support the production of ethanol to diversify our fuel sources. I think all those fuels are an important part of our energy security and for growing our economy."

Linh Ta of the Des Moines Register questioned the Governor about his disavowment of the Common Core in education and asked what steps he is taking to ensure students graduate from Louisiana high schools, ready to successfully enter the work force. Governor Jindal, who opposes the Common Core program, said education is not the Federal Government's job. "You wouldn't want the Federal Government defining American history standards, so why in the world would we want a one size fits all approach to ELA and math?," stated Governor Jindal. "The best form of accountability is trusting moms and dads who know their kids needs best. When you give parents choices they'll find the best fit for their kids and competition works."

I like Governor Jindal and would happily vote for him in the primary, but I am not sure I see a path for him to break into the top tier of candidates. (I hope I'm wrong.)


One annoying aspect of the recent media circus surrounding Donald Trump is that candidates like Carly Fiorina are getting less coverage. Last week during an interview on CNN she took Hillary Clinton to task for her extreme pro-abortion views:

Let's talk about the legislation that's sitting on the senate floor right now, which does allow for [exceptions for rape and incest]. Let's also talk about Hillary Clinton's position. Let's talk about what extreme is. "It's not a life until it leaves the hospital." That's Hillary Clinton's position. It's Hillary Clinton's position that a thirteen year old girl needs her mother's permission to go to a tanning salon or get a tattoo, but not to get an abortion. It's Hillary Clinton's position that women should not be permitted to look at an ultrasound before an abortion, and yet people are trying to harvest body parts can use an ultasound to make sure those body parts are preserved so they can be sold. That, Jake, is extreme.

I still wish Ms. Fiorina had a longer public record and clearer explanation of what she would do if elected (there's really nothing but biographical material and news items on her campaign website), but I admit I am warming up to her as a Vice Presidential option... with the right Presidential nominee.

Perry-Fiorina has a nice ring to it.


Over at Powerline, Steven Hayward suggests that Rand Paul may also be getting hurt by Trump's media antics. It does seem as though the news from Rand's campaign has been harder to come by. Of course, part of that probably stems from his "day job" in the U.S. Senate, including recent hearings about the Obama administration's Iran deal.

He did, however, make a brief hit in the news cycle by destroying the tax code. Literally.


Like Senator Paul, Ted Cruz has split his time between the campaign trail and his day job. At an event outside the White House, the senator (verbally) sparred with a Code Pink activist.

Also last week, Senator Cruz took aim at Majority Leader Mitch McConnell in what has been described as a blistering speech on the Senate floor:

During a speech from the Senate floor on Friday, Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) blasted Majority Leader Mitch McConnell in direct terms on an arcane topic. "What we just saw today was an absolute demonstration that not only what [McConnell] told every Republican senator, but what he told the press over and over and over again was a simple lie," Cruz said. "We know now that when the majority leader looks us in the eyes and makes an explicit commitment, that he is willing to say things that he knows are false."

At issue was McConnell's handling of the Export-Import Bank, a contentious, if little-understood vehicle for facilitating American business interests internationally. Cruz's speech eventually expanded outward, accusing his peers of corruption and cronyism, of sacrificing working mothers and miners, who don't have lobbyists, in favor of corporate interests.


Like Rand and Ted, Marco Rubio has been busy on the Hill. He also appeared on Fox News for an interview during which he stated that no one running for president has more experience on the issues confronting this country than he does. (I admit, it's statements like that -- which I find to be patently untrue to the point of comedy -- that really turn me off from his candidacy. If there's an argument for first-term Senator Rubio, it's not that he is the most experienced in the field.)


Finally, via BaseballCrank (Dan McLaughlin) on Twitter, here's a Gallup snapshot of the favorability and familiarity quotients for the current crop of GOP hopefuls:

Kasich Fever doesn't seem to have caught on yet.

*"Each of the campaigns" that I felt like covering (or had the time to cover).

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