There’s a Big GOP Convention Fight Brewing — And It Doesn’t Involve Trump

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The debate over who will be the GOP presidential nominee is not the only battle Republicans will face at their national convention this summer. A divisive fight is developing on whether or not to include the issue of gay marriage on the official party platform in 2016.

The issue of gay marriage has been a contentious one in 2016, and it is now an issue that splits the business and evangelical wings of the Republican Party. This fact has never been more evident, as behind the scenes top GOP donors are raising money and support to remove the issue of gay marriage from the party platform at the 2016 convention in July.

Paul Singer, billionaire hedge fund manager and founder of Elliot Management Corporation, founded the American Unity PAC in 2012 to back pro-gay marriage Republicans in congressional races. The PAC became a new way for donors looking to protect Republicans friendly to gay rights, serving as a countermeasure to anti-gay marriage groups such as the National Organization for Marriage.

Now with the American Unity Fund, the non-profit arm of the PAC, Singer and other powerhouse GOP donors are calling for the GOP to change its stance on marriage and other social issues that were a center of the party’s 2012 platform.

Social conservatives, however, are not ready to compromise.

Former presidential candidate and Governor Mike Huckabee responded to reports that some Republicans were lobbying for tolerance of gay marriage on the party’s 2016 platform, calling it disastrous. Continue Reading

Pro-Life Demonstration on College Campus Meets with Severe Backlash

GW YAF’s pro-life display (photo credit: Stephen Brown)

The George Washington University chapter of Young America’s Foundation (a conservative student group) hosted a pro-life memorial yesterday, called the Cemetery of the Innocents. According to the student group’s Facebook Page, the event’s “purpose is to raise awareness of abortion and encourage a civil and open dialogue.”

Some on campus didn’t take too kindly to this.

Almost immediately after setting up the display at 7 a.m., protesters of the event began showing up. Then the university police was dispatched.

Officers from the GW University Police Department came and questioned the pro-life students, demanding they show proof that they had permission to set up the display. The entire event had already been pre-approved by the University.

GW YAF President Tory McClintock had this to say:

We wanted to commemorate the lives lost to abortion every year and raise awareness about how harmful abortion is to women and children.

When asked how the event was being received, McClintock said the group faced a lot of backlash.

Protesters had pro-abortion signage and were toting items such as coat hangers around the pro-life display. When asked, every single pro-abortion protester declined to comment.

Stephen Brown works for the American Principles Project. Continue Reading

Trump Voices Support for Churches’ Tax-Exempt Status

Donald Trump (photo credit: Gage Skidmore)

In an interview with CBN’s “Brody File” yesterday, Donald Trump said that he believes churches should not lose their tax exempt status for engaging in political activity.

Trump claimed that more faith leaders would endorse him if they didn’t fear backlash:

I know people who want to endorse me, but they’re afraid to endorse anybody because they don’t want to get political. So essentially, they’ve taken a lot of the power away from the church.

Then, alluding to the growing threat to religious liberty, Trump spoke of the waning clout churches hold at the expense of the federal government:

I see churches where they’re afraid to be outspoken because they don’t want to lose their tax-exempt status, and I realize that is one of the problems. I want to give power back to the church because the church has to have more power. Christianity is really being chopped; little by little it’s being taken away.

These comments come at a time when Trump has been heavily courting social conservatives and Christian evangelical voters. Working to capitalize on his victory in New Hampshire, Trump is surely looking to avoid an Iowa repeat and another loss to Ted Cruz (who recent polling shows is closing in fast) in tomorrow’s South Carolina primary.

Stephen Brown works for the American Principles Project. Continue Reading

Left-Leaning Group Hammers Christie on Abortion, Guns

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (photo credit: Gage Skidmore)

Not even a day after Governor Chris Christie (R-NJ) referred to pro-life activists as “divisive” in an apparent shift left, a Democrat-leaning group has begun running social media ads hitting him on his stances on gun rights and abortion.

The ads, produced for the group American Bridge 21st Century on Facebook and Twitter, begin with Christie telling a detractor to “sit down and shut up” and highlight Christie’s record of vetoing legislation restricting citizens’ 2nd Amendment rights. They also bring up his decision to cut off state funding for Planned Parenthood.

These attacks come at a time when Christie is facing heightened criticism from his constituents in New Jersey. His less than stellar response to severe coastal flooding in battered Jersey Shore towns has drawn the ire of Republicans and Democrats across the area. When asked by a student at a New Hampshire town hall why he was campaigning and not in his home state helping to deal with the flooding, he (incorrectly) responded that only one county was affected by the flooding and asked the young woman if she would like him to “go down there with a mop.”

Christie, who is hinging his presidential hopes on New Hampshire, is averaging 7.3 percent in polls in the Granite State.

Stephen Brown works for the American Principles Project. Continue Reading

Rand Paul Attacks Ted Cruz in Unusual New Video

The Rand Paul Campaign continued to hammer Sen. Ted Cruz for his absence on the Audit the Fed vote, this time in the form of a strange web video.

The video, titled “Audit the Ted” involves a dialogue between two cartoon characters about Paul’s commitment to auditing the Federal Reserve in an attempt to distinguish himself from Cruz:

“Did you hear about audit the Fed?” the male character says in a robotic voice.

“Yes, Rand Paul is trying to stop the out of control Fed,” the female character replied in an equally robotic voice.

“Do others support audit the Fed too?” the first character asks.

“The Ted Cruz said so but did not show up to vote,” replied the female character.

The characters in the cartoon went on to say that Cruz missed the vote because he was too busy campaigning. The Paul Campaign followed up the video with an email appeal to voters, touting his record and directly bashing Cruz.

Stephen Brown works for the American Principles Project. Continue Reading

Cruz Stands by Commitment to Audit the Fed

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

Sen. Ted Cruz reaffirmed his commitment to auditing the Federal Reserve in an email statement to radio host Glenn Beck late Tuesday night, despite not showing up for the vote earlier that day. Facing backlash from fellow Republicans about his absence, he had this to say:

I strongly support auditing the Fed. Indeed, I was an original co-sponsor of Ron Paul’s Audit the Fed bill. Unfortunately, it was clear early on that yesterday’s vote wasn’t going to succeed (it fell 7 votes short). And, at the same time that the vote was scheduled, I had longstanding commitments to be in New Hampshire — for a Second Amendment rally, and a 1500- person State of the Union town hall. If my vote would have made a difference in it passing, I would have cancelled my campaign events to be there. Because the vote was not going to succeed, I honored my commitments to be with the men and women of New Hampshire. As President, I look forward to signing Audit the Fed legislation into law.

Stephen Brown works for the American Principles Project. Continue Reading

Ron Paul Questions Cruz’s Absence on Audit the Fed Vote

Former Rep. Ron Paul (R-TX) (photo credit: Gage Skidmore)

The Senate failed to pass a measure Tuesday that would have provided for the consideration of legislation to audit the Federal Reserve. Falling seven votes short of the necessary 60, Sen. Rand Paul’s (R-KY) legislation would have mandated an audit and greater transparency in monetary policy-making from the Federal Reserve.

The measure had near-unanimous Republican support, with Sen. Bob Corker (R-TN) casting the only GOP ‘nay’ vote. Prior to the vote, Sen. Paul called on Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) and Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders (I-VT) to vote in favor of the legislation in an attempt to put their money where their mouths are regarding their alleged commitment to the middle class. Perhaps the most notable dynamic of the vote, however, was the absence of Republican presidential candidate Ted Cruz (R-TX).

Cruz, who just last month went on the offensive against Florida Senator and presidential candidate Marco Rubio’s absentee voting record, was not present for Tuesday’s vote, despite being vocal about auditing the Federal Reserve. His absence has drawn the ire of prominent libertarian voters and even former Congressman and presidential candidate Ron Paul.

In the first time he has gone on the offensive for his son’s presidential campaign, Ron Paul explained the historical significance of Rand’s “Audit the Fed” Bill and wasted no time in noting Cruz’s absence:

My son Rand Paul forced the issue and brought it to the floor. Unfortunately, it failed by just a few votes and Senator Ted Cruz skipped the vote to campaign.

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