Why I Don’t Like Mitt Romney (VIDEO)

Frank Cannon is president of the American Principles Project and a respected conservative political strategist with over 30 years of experience.

…Mitt Romney is choosing to dislike Trump for reasons that are particular and unique to him, and if I understood the principled basis on which Mitt Romney was saying that — is free trade the point at which we can’t endorse a candidate, or is it because the candidate wants to have some kind of limit on Muslim immigration? Is that the point where we can’t endorse the candidate?

I don’t see what Mitt Romney’s point of view is that makes me think that Mitt Romney is the person who ought to be articulating this beyond the voters.

And, you know, if we have a third party candidate, are we assured that person is going to be strong on life, strong on religious liberty? No, because those are principles that the Party, during the last few election cycles, has not made central to what it believes in. So, I’m not sure that I can accept Mitt Romney being the one who defines what Republicanism, and especially conservatism, is for me.

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Cruz Promises to Fight for Conservatives at GOP Convention

Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) (photo credit: Gage Skidmore)

Last month, I wrote that the real battle to watch at the Republican National Convention in July would not be nomination-related but rather over the content of the Party’s platform, particularly in regards to social issues.

Conservatives have ample reason to be wary. Earlier this year, presumptive GOP nominee Donald Trump suggested he might support a watering down of the Republican plank on abortion, and mega-donor Paul Singer has been quietly funding an effort to change the GOP’s stance on marriage.

Given the possibility of these and other fights, it should come as no surprise that Sen. Ted Cruz, despite suspending his campaign over a month ago, is still working to influence the delegate-selection process in order to protect and promote conservative principles in Cleveland. Cruz made this clear during an interview last Friday with Oklahoma radio host Pat Campbell:

Before wrapping the interview, Campbell asked Cruz if he could promise to listeners to ensure Republicans in Cleveland do not “screw around with the party platform and remove the abortion plank, or alter it.”

“You have my word. One of the reasons that we are continuing to work to elect conservatives to be delegates, even though Donald has the delegates to get the nomination, we intend to do everything we can to fight for conservative principles to prevent Washington forces from watering down the platform,” Cruz said. “The platform is a manifestation of what we believe as a party, and I think it is important that it continue to reflect conservative values, free-market values, constitutional liberties, Judeo-Christian principles, the values that built this country, and that is exactly what I intend to fight for.”

How exactly will that fight play out this summer? Continue Reading

Is This Prominent Conservative Columnist Running for President?

National Review columnist David French (photo credit: Gage Skidmore)

The stranger-than-fiction 2016 presidential race took another wild turn on Tuesday.

From NBC News:

After a feverish few days of speculation over who conservative “Never Trump” activist Bill Kristol was hinting about in a tweet over the weekend boasting of a third-party challenger to Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton, the cat is out of the bag: Kristol is courting constitutional lawyer and Weekly Standard [sic] writer David French to run for president.

Several sources confirmed to NBC News that French is interested in a bid, but has not yet committed to running or not.

David French is a relative unknown to both voters and to reporters — note that NBC News incorrectly referred to French as a Weekly Standard columnist when he actually writes for National Review. 

French being suggested as a third party candidate is certainly a surprise. So who is he? Well, let me quote his brand new Wikipedia page — which didn’t exist prior to yesterday:

French is a graduate of Harvard Law School. He served as the president of the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education, and as a lecturer at Cornell Law School. French has also served as a senior counsel for the American Center for Law and Justice and the Alliance Defending Freedom.

French retired as president of the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education in 2005, citing plans to serve in the United States Army Reserve as an officer. He was deployed to Iraq in 2007 during the Iraq War, serving in the Diyala Province as Squadron Judge Advocate.

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Four Reasons Why Republicans Will Vote for Trump

Donald Trump (photo credit: Gage Skidmore)

Victor Davis Hanson has a piece at the Hoover Institution’s Defining Ideas journal making a case for why most GOP voters will ultimately pull the lever for Donald Trump this November. His assessment strikes me as accurate:

If Donald Trump manages to curb most of his more outrageous outbursts by November, most Republicans who would have preferred that he did not receive the nomination will probably hold their noses and vote for him.

How could that be when a profane Trump has boasted that he would limit Muslim immigration into the United States, talked cavalierly about torturing terrorist suspects and executing their relatives, promised to deport all eleven-million Mexican nationals who are residing illegally in the U.S., and threatened a trade war with China by slapping steep tariffs on their imports?

A number of reasons come to mind.

First, Trump stays in the news not just by taking extreme positions, but also by taking extreme positions on issues that are already extreme. When Mexico prints comic books advising its own citizens on how to enter the U.S. illegally, when the major illegal-alien lobbying group is called The National Council of La Raza (“The Race”), and when major U.S. cities, in Confederate-style, declare themselves “sanctuaries” in which U.S. federal immigration law does not apply, then we long ago entered zones of extremism.

[…]

Many conservatives tune out Trump’s adolescent solutions, but not necessarily the haywire issues he has raised. Most believe that he will back down from his original, headline-grabbing positions, and eventually offer more studied and reasonable solutions to an ignored problem that otherwise might not have been aired.

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The Best Case Yet Against #NeverTrump: The Left Is at War with Conservatives

Donald Trump (photo credit: Gage Skidmore)

Dennis Prager has a thought provoking piece up at Townhall titled, “A Response to My Conservative #NeverTrump Friends”. Seriously, go read it.

Prager criticized Donald Trump frequently during the primary, but he has come to the conclusion that voting for the “lesser of two evils” is sometimes the right and necessary thing to do. Prager writes:

The choice this November is tragic. As it often happens in life, this choice is between bad and worse, not bad and good.

But America has made that choice before. When forced to choose between bad and worse, we supported Joseph Stalin against Adolf Hitler, and we supported right-wing authoritarians against Communist totalitarians.

It seems to me that the #NeverTrump conservatives want to remain morally pure. I understand that temptation. I am tempted, too. But if you wish to vanquish the bad, it is not possible — at least not on this side of the afterlife — to remain pure.

This, to me, is the most compelling argument to vote for Trump.

If you believe Trump’s misanthropic demeanor is worse for the nation than taxpayer-funded late-term abortions, men in women’s showers, and a permanently liberal Supreme Court for the next 30 years, then by all means, acquiesce to your conscience and sit this one out.

Personally, I can’t do that. It’s a binary choice for me — Ronald Reagan isn’t walking through that door. It’s either Hillary, who will continue Obama’s legacy of destroying our very way of life, or it’s Trump, the guy who says the darndest things. Continue Reading

Why This Conservative Is Voting for Donald Trump

Donald Trump (photo credit: Gage Skidmore)

I have come to a conclusion: I am going to vote for Donald Trump. And I think you should, too.

For months, I have been weighing this decision. I wanted Marco Rubio. Then Carly Fiorina. Then Marco Rubio again. Then, for a few weeks, Ted Cruz. Obviously we didn’t get exactly what we wanted in a nominee. Many of us are upset and emotional. Many of us are still licking our wounds after watching our preferred candidates flounder and fail. I understand.

But the primary is over now. It’s time to clear our heads. We have an important choice ahead of us — Donald Trump, who is ostensibly conservative, or Hillary Clinton, who is irrefutably not?

This election will matter. It’s not a game. It’s not a hopeless opportunity to show how principled you are and how foolish everyone else is. This will prove to be a critical inflection point for our nation with irreversible consequences.

Yet I’m watching some very intelligent, moral, conservative people digging in on #NeverTrump, promising to work against him every step of the way, and in some cases, even openly endorsing Hillary Clinton.

Sorry, that just rubs me the wrong way.

I care about a number of issues. I care about religious freedom. I want to reform our broken monetary policy and end the Federal Reserve’s monopoly on money. I want to end Common Core and return power over education to parents and local school districts.

But I vote on one issue — abortion.

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The Politics of Shaming

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (photo credit: iprimages via Flickr, CC BY-ND 2.0)

I am often asked by fellow conservatives about my experience with Governor Chris Christie as the Republican nominee for the U.S. Senate in New Jersey in 2014. When I reply that Gov. Christie and his team, after remaining scrupulously neutral during a tightly contested four-way primary, were very helpful to my campaign in terms of fund-raising and party unity, doing all that could reasonably be expected in my uphill general election campaign against Sen. Cory Booker, the predominant reaction is surprise verging in some cases on disbelief.

No doubt some of the surprise traces to the unusual circumstances of my Senate race. In February 2014, I returned to New Jersey at the age of 70 after spending the previous 32 years as a resident of northern Virginia, rented an apartment in my previous hometown of Leonia in northeastern New Jersey, and announced I was running against Sen. Booker as an opponent of the Federal Reserve’s zero interest rate policy and as an advocate of returning the United States to the gold standard. (I did this because after four frustrating years working full time on monetary policy at the American Principles Project, it hit me that if I didn’t try to introduce Fed policy and gold into political debate, no one else would.)

In addition to the solid help I received from the governor in his role as leader of the New Jersey Republican party, I needed one other important thing: a decision by him not to attack or question my support for the gold standard.

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Rush Limbaugh: Trump Will Beat Hillary “In a Landslide”

Rush Limbaugh (photo credit: Nicholas Shayko via Flickr, CC BY 2.0)

Conventional wisdom says that Donald Trump will be a huge underdog against Hillary Clinton in November.

But yesterday on his radio show, Rush Limbaugh said that conventional wisdom is wrong:

Let me give you one little thing: My instinctive feeling right now is that Trump is gonna win, beat Hillary badly, that it could be landslide proportions.

Limbaugh has always been a very measured commentator. While he’s known for a little bombast, he doesn’t throw out crazy predictions and dream scenarios very often. For him to go out on a limb and suggest Trump could win in a landslide, that’s certainly saying something. This is also coming at a time when many conservatives, including Erick Erickson, are suggesting Hillary Clinton has already won.

Limbaugh went on to explain the Trump phenomenon and why he believes Ted Cruz lost:

I still don’t think people understand why Trump won this. I don’t think they understand at all the reason people support Trump…

I’ve tried to help. During the course of this entire campaign, I’ve gone to great lengths to try to explain to people what it is about Trump, why he has his supporters, why they support him, and what you have to do to separate them from Trump. Basically, you can’t. That’s the bottom line. There’s nothing any professional politician can do. They’ve done everything that they knew how to beat a candidate. They threw everything they had at Trump.

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ThePulse2016.com Chat: What Happened to Ted Cruz?

Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) (photo credit: Gage Skidmore)

We held a chat this morning with several The Pulse 2016 contributors to discuss the end of Ted Cruz’s campaign. Where does the conservative movement go from here? Can Donald Trump be trusted by social conservatives?

Participants included:

schweppe [10:04 AM]: Okay. Well, let’s get started. Thanks to all of you for joining.

ralphbenko [10:05 AM]: You are welcome, Jon.

schweppe [10:05 AM] Last night, Ted Cruz dropped out of the race after losing Indiana… so what happened?

ralphbenko [10:05 AM] Here’s my piece at Forbes: How Donald Trump Beat Ted Cruz.

shane_vanderhart [10:05 AM] Yep got that in my inbox bright and early 🙂

shane_vanderhart [10:06 AM] This was written before Cruz dropped… Caffeinated Thoughts: Five Observations About Donald Trump’s Win in Indiana

ralphbenko [10:07 AM] Trump featured a powerful (and probably authentic) Peace and Prosperity narrative. Ted Cruz had a terrific Peace and Prosperity platform but muffled his narrative.

Just looking at their respective campaign websites shows this vividly.

Maggie nailed it perfectly a few weeks ago in her NR column (from which I quoted). [Editor’s Note: Maggie Gallagher’s National Review column can be found here.]

shane_vanderhart [10:08 AM] Ultimately narrative beat Cruz. It was hard to overcome the Trump PR machine aka the Media. Continue Reading

Silencing Conservatives on Campus

Photo credit: Jennifer Moo via Flickr (CC BY-ND 2.0)

Last week, students at Emory University found messages written in chalk at various places on the campus. Some students were traumatized and complained to the administration that they were afraid and “in pain.”

What did they see? Swastikas? Was “KKK” scrawled in large letters on the side of a dorm? Did they see the Arabic writing from the ISIS flag? No. What was so incredibly offensive to these students was, “Trump 2016!”

I thought universities were supposed to be places where the free exchange of ideas was welcomed, where diverse opinions were celebrated. Yet these students are having nervous breakdowns over chalkings of the name of the Republican presidential front-runner. Seriously. Offended students were offered “emergency counseling” by the student government association.

If they need counseling, they may have to get in line behind Emory’s president, Jim Wagner, who has joined in the collective breakdown. In an email to the Emory community, President Wagner stated that his administration was taking steps such as:

Immediate refinements to certain policy and procedural deficiencies (for example, our bias incident reporting and response process); Regular and structured opportunities for difficult dialogues (like the Transforming Community Project of several years ago); A formal process to institutionalize identification, review, and addressing of social justice opportunities and issues.

If I were paying tuition to Emory University, I’d be furious at how my money was being wasted.

Sadly, I suspect if someone had written “Cruz 2016!” the reaction would have been the same. Continue Reading