Paul Ryan or Donald Trump: Who Represents the GOP?

Check out this poll released today by Bloomberg. When Republican voters were asked whether Donald Trump or Paul Ryan better matches their own view of what the GOP should stand for, they responded as follows:

Source: Bloomberg.com

 

Republican leaders should take this result very seriously as they start to think about what the post-2016 GOP will look like. Given all that has happened to Trump this fall, it’s telling that over half of the Republican base still believes he represents their views better than the GOP establishment’s most nationally recognizable figure.

Why is this? While policy differences may play some role, I think voters’ affinity to Trump is primarily due to his focus on the concerns of ordinary Americans — rather than the elite class — as well as the Republican Party’s overall inability to oppose the reshaping of America by progressives during the Obama era.

If the GOP cannot adapt itself to take these concerns into account, the party is unlikely to win over these voters in future elections. In fact, 2016 could very likely play itself out all over again.

Frank Cannon is the president of American Principles Project. Continue Reading

Dear Republican Elites: You Can’t Have It Both Ways on Trump

From left: Donald Trump and House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI)

There has been increasing talk among pundits about the possibility of a GOP delegate revolt, in which the delegates to the Republican National Convention would refuse to nominate Trump in favor of . . . well, somebody else. It’s unclear whether this hypothetical candidate would be someone the voters have already rejected or someone who didn’t even run. Though, of course, according to the people advocating such a move, the votes never actually mattered. Or, rather, the votes mattered until they disagreed with them. After all, they seemed plenty invested in the primary process while it was going on.

To read some of these reports, it would appear as if the delegates were on the verge of a rebellion, needing only some prodding in order to throw out the entire nomination process. The problem is that there’s very little clarity on who exactly who these angry delegates are. Kendal Unruh, a Colorado delegate leading this movement, claims the support of 400 delegates — a whopping 837 delegates short of the majority required to approve any proposed rule change. Even if every non-Trump delegate, every unbound delegate, and one-in-ten bound Trump delegates were to join their cause, they would still be 75 votes short of a majority. To push a rule change through, 1,237 delegates need to be convinced that stealing the nomination from the clear winner is the right thing to do. Nevertheless, the Trump campaign is building a team in preparation for the possible floor fight. Continue Reading

The Great Paul Ryan Whisper

House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) (photo credit: Gage Skidmore)

If timing is everything in politics, then Paul Ryan had a very, very bad day last Thursday as he endorsed — sort of — Donald Trump.

Ryan’s editorial in his hometown Janesville Gazette came on the same day as a Mother Jones report that a Trump delegate suggested that current political leaders may need to be “killed”; as a Timothy O’Brien article in Bloomberg Review reporting on the massive ethical conflicts of interest that a Trump White House would entail; and as an AP report that Trump University employees were instructed to demand a warrant before cooperating with law enforcement.

So the timing was a bit off. But will it ever be on? Virtually every passing day brings fresh stories about Trump, from his criticizing a Republican governor in her home state to his claiming that a “Mexican” (actually, born in Indiana) judge Gonzalo Curiel was biased against him, then doubling down on his claim that Curiel should recuse himself because of his ethnicity.

Last Wednesday’s revelations also included stories of Trump University salespeople encouraging single parents to max out credit cards to pay for Trump U. tuition and claim that the sales person had found “an answer to their problems” (which of course involved giving money to Trump) and tales of “mentorship” that fizzled out once the large checks cleared. Surely even just one story — that of an Army reservist who claims she was fired from Trump U for taking Reserve duty — should have pushed Ryan to call the paper and yell, “Stop the presses!” just like in the movies. Continue Reading

New Poll: Trump or Ryan? GOP Voters Pick the Donald

From left: Donald Trump and House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI)

In a new NBC News/SurveyMonkey poll released today, Donald Trump continued to close in on Hillary Clinton nationally, with the numbers showing him down just three points, 48 percent to 45 percent. This was a jump from the 5-point deficit NBC News showed just a week earlier and continues the trend of polls suggesting a tight general election race.

However, the more interesting finding from the survey involved intra-Republican politics. GOP and GOP-leaning voters were asked whether they trust Donald Trump or House Speaker Paul Ryan to lead the party, and they went decisively for Trump, 58 percent to 39 percent. This came despite Trump having a slightly lower favorability rating than Ryan — with 37 percent viewing the Donald favorably versus 42 percent for the House Speaker — although this was asked among all voters, not just Republicans.

As Frank pointed out yesterday, however, when it comes to uniting the Republican Party, Trump would appear to be much further along than many GOP leaders give him credit for.

Paul Dupont is the managing editor for ThePulse2016.com. Continue Reading

Can Donald Trump Bring Republicans Together? (VIDEO)

Donald Trump (photo credit: Gage Skidmore)

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

[Right now], you have an incredible situation [unfolding] in which the assumption that Donald Trump would be unable to bring the Party together and be competitive with Hillary Clinton is being belied by every poll that’s been taken since — in the last week, that shows Trump ahead in Ohio and virtually tied in Pennsylvania and Florida. And you have the Speaker of the House who has a 49 to 59 percent approval rating among Republican voters saying to Trump — who has a 69 percent approval rating — ‘you need to bring the Party together.’

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Can the GOP Unite to Restore Economic Prosperity?

From left: Donald Trump and House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI)

Last week Donald Trump met with Jack Kemp protégé House Speaker Paul Ryan. As the Washington Post aptly put it, “Ryan has the House. Trump has the party.” To quote the founder of the Republican Party, Abe Lincoln, who was quoting Scripture: “A house divided against itself can not stand.”

This meeting was an iconic moment that distilled the dynamics and douleurs of GOP 2016 perfectly. The modern GOP is the House That Jack — Jack Kemp — Built. That House is in disarray.

Jack Kemp championed, and inspired presidential aspirant Ronald Reagan to adopt, the economic formula that rescued America from decades of stagflation. Kemp unleashed an era of epic world prosperity.

[…]

Begin with an across-the-board reduction of marginal tax rates, now in the hands of Kemp acolytes and trusted Ryan and Trump advisors Kudlow and Moore. Conjoin it with the resurrection, far easier than Speaker Ryan or Mr. Trump may think, of Jack Kemp’s Gold Standard Act of 1984.

Ryan’s chief of staff Dave Hoppe, once upon a time Kemp’s chief of staff, was a key architect of the Gold Standard Act, together with Lehrman and former Kemp economist John Mueller. Together the tax rate cut plus gold standard hold the essence of Kemp’s recipe for prosperity and justice for all.

Fuse Trump’s intuitive grasp of the spirit of equitable prosperity with Ryan’s fine-tuned grasp of the way the world works and critical mass is achieved to the benefit of both and of America.

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Hey, Republicans, Democrats Are Going to Pin Trump on You No Matter What

Photo credit: Gage Skidmore

One of the hardest lessons I learned working in campaign politics was that the truth really doesn’t matter. At least not to Democrats.

When Democrats attack, they go for the jugular. They don’t worry about an attack being “fair.” They look to do as much damage as possible — by any means necessary.

Last week, when Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wisconsin) said he was not ready to support Donald Trump, manyin themedia speculated this was to provide “cover” to congressional Republicans in competitive districts.

If this is really Speaker Ryan’s intent, it is a bad political strategy. There is no such thing as providing “cover.”

If Democrat operatives find Donald Trump to be unpopular enough, they will tie a GOP candidate to him in a New York minute, even if the GOP candidate publicly voices opposition to Trump.

I understand conviction. I understand opposing Trump on moral grounds. If a GOP candidate is ideologically #NeverTrump and feels compelled to say something about it, okay, whatever. But let’s not pretend this will impact the Democrats’ strategy in any way. They won’t hold back.

[…]

Read the full article at The Daily Caller.

Jon Schweppe is the Communications Director for American Principles Project. Follow him on Twitter @JonSchweppe. Continue Reading

GOP Moves Closer to Unity

From left: Donald Trump and House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI)

A deeply divided Republican Party took a major step toward victory yesterday. Presumptive Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump and House Speaker Paul Ryan met yesterday morning to discuss their differences as well as areas of agreement. After their meeting on Capitol Hill, they issued the following statement:

The United States cannot afford another four years of the Obama White House, which is what Hillary Clinton represents. That is why it’s critical that Republicans unite around our shared principles, advance a conservative agenda, and do all we can to win this fall.

With that focus, we had a great conversation this morning. While we were honest about our few differences, we recognize that there are also many important areas of common ground. We will be having additional discussions, but remain confident there’s a great opportunity to unify our party and win this fall, and we are totally committed to working together to achieve that goal.

We are extremely proud of the fact that many millions of new voters have entered the primary system, far more than ever before in the Republican Party’s history. This was our first meeting, but it was a very positive step toward unification.

In a press conference shortly afterwards, Speaker Ryan said he was “very encouraged” by the meeting. Ryan continued to praise Donald Trump’s record of winning the most Republican primary votes ever — even before California has voted — and for bringing more voters to the GOP banner. Continue Reading

Could the GOP Nominate Paul Ryan for President? (VIDEO)

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

[A Paul Ryan nomination] would completely destroy the Republican Party. The problem is that the voters have sent a very strong signal, consistently in this election, that they want somebody who is outside the normal politics. Seventy percent of voters say that when it’s asked as an abstract question, and seventy percent of voters almost consistently since June have picked Ted Cruz, Donald Trump, Ben Carson, Carly Fiorina, who are candidates outside the establishment of the Republican Party. And to the extent that the insiders of the Republican Party would pick the ultimate insider as the nominee would tell the grassroots that they don’t give a darn about what they believe and would cause a total disruption. . . .

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Paul Krugman Attacks Ted Cruz and Paul Ryan on Gold

Prof. Paul Krugman (photo credit: Commonwealth Foundation via Flickr, CC BY 2.0)

Paul Krugman, from his New York Times perch on March 25 writing “Crazy About Money,” lets himself go nuts recycling his standard arguments against the gold standard. He throws some mud at presidential contender Ted Cruz and House Speaker Paul Ryan. Doesn’t stick. Krugman:

… Mr. Cruz has staked out positions on crucial issues that are, not to put too fine a point on it, crazy. How can elite Republicans back him?

[…]

And then there’s a subject dear to my heart: monetary policy. You might be surprised to learn that few of the subjects I write on inspire as much passion — or as much hate mail. And it’s a subject on which Mr. Cruz has staked out a distinctive position, by calling for a return to the gold standard.

This is, in case you’re wondering, very much a fringe position among economists. When members of a large bipartisan panel on economic policy, run by the University of Chicago business school, were asked whether a gold standard would be an improvement on current arrangements, not one said yes.

In fact, many economists believe that a destructive focus on gold played a major role in the spread of the Great Depression. And Mr. Cruz’s obsession with gold is one reason to believe that he would do even more economic damage in the White House than Mr. Trump would.

So how can elite Republicans — people who have denounced Mr.

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