WATCH: New Pro-Trump Ads Display Shift in GOP Economic Message

Hillary Clinton’s campaign has been massively outspending Donald Trump on advertising since the beginning of this election, including in several key swing states. According to one report, as of July 13th the Clinton campaign and pro-Clinton PACs had booked more than $111 million on TV and radio ads through the election, while Trump and his PACs had booked a little over $650,000, due in part to GOP megadonors’ hesitance in supporting him.

This week, however, one pro-Trump super PAC is trying to start closing that gap, with a $1 million ad buy in several swing states. Politico reports that the group, Rebuilding America, will be airing two new ads in a number of swing states, including ad time in Pennsylvania during the Democratic convention next week.

The two new spots focus on the outsourcing of American jobs. One attacks Clinton’s paid speeches, outlining what the ad describes as a willingness to outsource American jobs for money. The second, a rare positive ad for Trump, depicts a bright future for “craftsmen and tradespeople and factory workers” under a Trump presidency. Focusing primarily on American steelworkers, the second ad draws a sharp contrast to the economic message of Mitt Romney four years ago.

Skilled craftsmen and tradespeople and factory workers, have seen the jobs they love shipped thousands of miles away. It doesn’t have to be this way. We can turn it around.

It will be American steel, just like the American steel that built the Empire State Building, that will fortify America’s crumbling bridges.

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Why Republicans’ Surrender on Abortion Could Cost Them the Election . . . Again

From left: former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump

On the abortion issue, things could not have gone much better for Democrats in 2012.

Following Missouri GOP Senate candidate Todd Akin’s now infamous comments on “legitimate rape,” the Democratic Party and its pro-abortion allies went into attack mode, working to tie Akin’s words to GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney and down-ballot Republican candidates. The conventional Republican response was to retreat and change the subject, attempting to call a truce on the issue and focus on other topics. Romney even went so far as to run a TV ad that fall touting his support for abortions under certain exceptions and for contraception.

The result of the GOP’s “truce strategy” was a disaster. By avoiding talking about abortion and exclusively playing defense, Republicans allowed Democrats to control the narrative and brand the GOP position as “extreme” without an effective rebuttal. By surrendering rather than fighting, Romney and his fellow Republicans played right into the Democrats’ hands and significantly contributed to their own 2012 defeat.

And now, in 2016, the same story may be playing out all over again.

Republicans have already had another “Todd Akin moment”: Donald Trump’s remarks at a town hall last March that women obtaining abortions would have to face “some form of punishment” if abortion were to be banned. And Democrats and their allies have already pounced, using the comments as part of a campaign to once again brand Republicans as extreme. A few months ago, Planned Parenthood teamed up with a pro-Hillary super PAC to attack Trump for the remarks, and today, NARAL Pro-Choice America announced it would be launching ads targeting nine GOP senate candidates and using Trump’s words against them. Continue Reading

These 3 Rule Changes Backfired on the GOP — And Helped Nominate Trump

From left: former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney and Donald Trump

Mitt Romney may be vehemently opposed to Donald Trump. But Trump could not have won the nomination without him.

At least, that is the case put forward by Gwynn Guilford in a recent article from Quartz. Guilford details how rule changes implemented by the GOP elite in 2012 election ended up backfiring, and to the elite’s dismay, propelled the unconventional, anti-establishment wild-card Trump to the Republican nomination.

The article identifies three dramatic rule changes, which, though aimed at ensuring party unity around an establishment candidate, instead helped pave the way for Trump’s resounding victory:

1.) The first rule “forced states to bind their delegates to the popular vote results, rendering moot the caucus system of electing delegates to vote their conscience.” While the rule was originally intended to prevent a Ron Paul-type insurgency during state conventions, Trump was able to take advantage of this change in the 2016 primary, where, for example, he scooped up 8 Minnesota delegates without ever stepping foot in the state.  If the delegates were unbound, he would likely have received far fewer, but by using his celebrity status and ability to generate free media, he was able to quickly and effectively get his name out in the state — all without having to persuade seasoned Republican delegates to back him.

2.) The second rule change (Rule 12), let “the RNC amend the rules in between national conventions” which is why, in January 2014, it was allowed to shorten the primary schedule for certain states. Continue Reading

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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Should Romney’s Refusal to Endorse Trump Outrage Republicans? (VIDEO)

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

The idea that Mitt Romney gets to decide what conservatism is, is beyond absurd to me. This is a guy who spent a lot of his career moderating and changing his positions to be electable, and now he becomes the standard of what is “beyond the pale”; it’s beyond humorous to me. And the fact that he is a guy who accepted the Republican nomination and expected the rest of the party to fall in behind him, which it did, who now has decided that he gets to have another standard of what is reasonable before the party can coalesce is beyond annoying to me.

I don’t like Mitt Romney. . . .

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Romney’s Third Party Flirtations Are Immoral

Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney (photo credit: Gage Skidmore)

Newt Gingrich tore into Mitt Romney in yesterday’s Wall Street Journal, calling the former Republican presidential nominee pathetic, bizarre, and ineffective — principally for his efforts to derail Donald Trump and his flirtations with a third party candidacy. Newt might have added a fourth adjective to the list: immoral.

It is a beautiful thing, the American electoral system: in the privacy of the voting booth, each enfranchised American is able to cast his or her ballot as they see fit, according to whatever criteria they choose. Outside the voting booth, plenty of voices are lecturing voters, “you must do this or that for this or that reason.” But inside, the voter is sovereign, immune from the judgment of others; responsible for the morality of their vote only to their conscience and their God.

But what is said and done in public is a bit different. Most of us are free to express our political opinions to anyone we can find who will listen, but certain citizens have particular obligations in regard to their party’s presumptive or actual nominee.

For example, candidates who ran for the nomination and signed a pledge to support the party’s nominee. Unambiguous: it is flatly immoral for Jeb Bush to now refuse to endorse Donald Trump, having told the voters he would do so. I am not aware he was coerced into making that pledge. It was convenient then and, well, not now.

And what of the living former Republican presidential nominees, George H.W. Continue Reading

How Mitt Romney Paved the Way for Donald Trump

From left: former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney and Donald Trump

Following Mitt Romney’s sound defeat in November 2012, the American Principles Project released a report detailing the reasons he lost. According to the authors, it wasn’t because he was “too conservative” on social issues or because of a lack of ground game or advertising. The GOP lost because it failed to convince voters that it cared about issues of consequence to them, particularly when it came to the economic pain that many Americans were — and still are — facing.

It was hoped that Republicans would learn this lesson in order to be competitive in 2016. As it turns out, one GOP candidate does appear to be finally figuring it out, though it may not be the candidate most expected.

In an important story over at Breitbart, John Hayward hits the nail on the head in explaining why Donald Trump has been so successful this primary season and why Republican elites should not have been as blindsided as they were. First, Hayward writes that while Trump’s victories have been interpreted by some to represent a collapse of “movement conservatism,” his success should instead be seen in the context of a massive influx of new voters into the GOP:

NBC News is the latest outlet to run a story on Trump bringing new voters into the GOP fold, noting that the 2016 Florida primary saw tens of thousands more votes cast than Mitt Romney’s take in the 2012 general election, and the lion’s share of the new votes went to Trump.  

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Romney Campaigns for Kasich

Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney (photo credit: Gage Skidmore)

Not that he has endorsed John Kasich officially, but Mitt Romney showed up in Ohio and did everything but:

The 2012 Republican nominee for president, campaigning for the first time since his blistering anti-endorsement of Donald Trump, arrived at an airplane museum in Ohio Gov. John Kasich’s campaign bus. As Kasich mugged, Romney grinned and waved and the bus rolled up to the backdrop — fighter jet, helicopter, “Patton”-size American flag — where the two would hold a town-hall meeting.

“You’re the ones who are going to decide if he becomes the next president of the United States,” Romney said. “You look at this guy, and unlike the other people running, he has a real track record. He has the kind of record that you want in Washington. That’s why I’m convinced that you’re going to do the right thing tomorrow.”

The latest poll has Kasich up by 5 points over Donald Trump in his home state.

UPDATE: He didn’t use the e-word, but The Washington Times is reporting Romney just endorsed Kasich:

Mitt Romney, the 2012 Republican presidential nominee, endorsed Mr. Kasich on Monday, saying the Ohio governor is the right candidate to stop Mr. Trump and take the helm of the party.

“You look at this guy and, unlike the other people running, he has a real track record. He has the kind of record that you want in Washington, and that is why I am convinced you are going to do the right thing tomorrow — agreed?” Mr.

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Will an Obscure GOP Rule Ensure No One Can Beat Trump?

Donald Trump (photo credit: Gage Skidmore)

An article in RedState by RNC committeeman Morton Blackwell has garnered some attention recently in highlighting a little-known rule instituted in 2012 regarding the Republican nomination process.

Rule 40(b) of The Rules of the Republican Party, while originally enacted to tamper down on dissent from Mitt Romney’s nomination in 2012, may actually end up making it difficult for any Republican candidates to defeat Donald Trump, even if he does not win an outright majority of delegates prior to the party’s national convention.

First, some background from Blackwell:

… A greater number of people have recently learned that, as the national rules now stand, no delegate votes cast for any presidential candidate will be counted in the tally of first ballot votes unless that candidate had earlier demonstrated his support from a majority of the delegations from at least eight states or territories.

That’s exactly what happened at the 2012 Republican National Convention in Tampa.

No votes for any candidate other than Mitt Romney were counted in the final tally of the votes on the first and only ballot in Tampa.  That caused a great uproar and many hard feelings.  Large numbers of Delegates went home furious.  They had come to Tampa to cast their votes for other candidates, but their votes weren’t even counted!

The Romney campaign used the power of the incoming presidential nominee in the national convention’s Rules Committee to impose a great many rules changes, including a change that had the intended effect of eliminating the counting of votes for anyone but Romney.

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