Cruz and Kasich Announce Cooperation to Stop Trump in Indiana, Oregon

From left: Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) and Ohio Gov. John Kasich

Fox News reports on this breaking development:

“In a pair of simultaneously released statements, the campaigns announced that Kasich would pull out of Indiana to give Cruz ‘a clear path’ ahead of that state’s winner-take-all primary May 3, while the Cruz campaign will “clear the path” for Kasich in Oregon, which votes May 17, and New Mexico, which votes June 7.

‘Having Donald Trump at the top of the ticket in November would be a sure disaster for Republicans,’ Cruz’s campaign manager, Jeff Roe, said. ‘To ensure that we nominate a Republican who can unify the Republican Party and win in November, our campaign will focus its time and resources in Indiana and in turn clear the path for Gov. Kasich to compete in Oregon and New Mexico, and we would hope that allies of both campaigns would follow our lead.'”

Will this have an impact on Indiana’s primary next Tuesday?

Thomas Valentine is a researcher for the American Principles Project and a junior at the Franciscan University of Steubenville. Continue Reading

Polls: Cruz Leads in Wisconsin, Surges Nationally Against Trump

From left: Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) and Donald Trump

Two new polls show a Ted Cruz surge and suggest Donald Trump may be having difficulty in putting away his rivals.

A new Fox News national poll shows Trump at 41 percent while Cruz trails by just 3 points at 38 percent.

Even more significantly, the first Wisconsin poll from Emerson shows Cruz in a statistical dead heat with Trump, holding a 1 point lead over the national front runner, 36 percent to 35 percent.

Thomas Valentine is a researcher for the American Principles Project and a junior at the Franciscan University of Steubenville. Continue Reading

Cruz, Trump Address Marriage and Religious Liberty During Debate (VIDEO)

During the Fox News GOP presidential debate last night, moderator Bret Baier asked Ted Cruz a question regarding gay marriage and adoption and later asked Donald Trump for his response as well. You can watch both candidates’ answers and read the transcript below:

BRET BAIER: Senator Cruz, the U.S. Supreme Court obviously declared same-sex marriage legal in all 50 states, a decision you have criticized. Given the current status of the law, do you believe a gay couple should be able to adopt?

TED CRUZ: Well, listen, adoption is decided at the state level and I am a believer in the 10th Amendment in the Constitution, I would leave the question of marriage to the states, I would leave the question of adoption to the states.

That’s the way it has been for two centuries of our nation’s history until five unelected judges in an illegitimate and wrong decision decided to seize the authority over marriage and wrongfully tear down the marriage laws of all 50 states.

Now, interconnected to this is the question of religious liberty. And at the last debate, one of my colleagues on this stage said on the question of religious liberty and Supreme Court nominees that he’d be willing to compromise and negotiate.

I can tell you, for me, there are areas that we should compromise on. Marginal tax rates, we can reach a middle ground on. But when it comes to core principles and convictions, when it comes to the Constitution and Bill of Rights, I can tell the men and women at home I will never compromise away your religious liberty.

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Cruz: You Can’t Trust Trump to Protect Religious Liberty

While on The Hugh Hewitt Show yesterday, Sen. Ted Cruz was asked by Hewitt what he thought would be the effect of Donald Trump potentially skipping the next round of GOP debates. Cruz responded by suggesting that Trump does not want to debate because it is difficult for him to defend his record, especially when it comes to issues like religious liberty:

HEWITT: Now the next debate you’ve got with Fox, then we’ll be back on the stage again on March 10th. There is suggested that Donald Trump may be skipping these. What would the effect be of that?

CRUZ: Well, listen, he has a hard time in debates. He has a hard time, because it’s the only time he’s actually called to defend his record. You know, I think one of the most stunning moments of the debate last week was the question you asked on religious liberty and the Supreme Court. And as you’ll recall, Donald turned to me and said Ted, you know, I know a lot more politicians than you do, which he’s right. He has been supporting financially liberal Democratic politicians for 40 years. And he said you’ve got to be willing to compromise. You’ve got to be willing to work with others. And let me tell you right now. I’ll tell you this, and I’ll tell all your listeners this. I will never compromise away your religious liberty. I will never compromise away your 2nd Amendment rights to keep and bear arms. And what Donald told us is that he is running to be a Washington deal maker, and that when it comes to Justice Scalia’s replacement, Donald Trump intends to sit down with Harry Reid and Chuck Schumer and cut a deal.

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Cruz Laughs at Trump’s Pro-Life Record, Legal Threats (VIDEO)

Donald Trump is trying to stop Ted Cruz from airing ads charging Trump can’t be trusted on life. Cruz riposted back during his appearance at CNN’s town hall in South Carolina:

COOPER:  You got a cease and desist letter today from Donald Trump.  I don’t think I’ve ever heard of that actually happening in a race.  One of many firsts that we’ve seen. What did you think when you actually got the letter?

CRUZ:  I’ll confess, I laughed.  This has not been a typical race by any sense and I don’t think anyone is surprised that Donald is threatening to sue people.  He’s done that most of his adult life. But this letter really was – look, I’ve practiced of 20 years and this letter really pressed the bounds of the frivolous and ridiculous letters I’ve ever seen.  He was upset about an ad that we’re running on T.V.  The ad talks about the vacancy of the Supreme Court and that we’ve got issues such as life, and marriage, and religious liberty, and the 2nd amendment that are in the ballots.

COOPER:  And it uses an old interview from Tim Russert back in the late 90’s?

CRUZ:  It plays Donald Trump doing an interview Time Russert where he explains in his own words, he says,” he’s very very pro-choice, he supports partial birth abortion -” and he says, “he’s pro-choice in every respect.”  But most of the words in the ad are his own words on national television …  I’m doing an interview with Tim Russert where he explains in his own words, he says he’s very, very pro-choice, he support partial birth abortion, and he says he’s pro-choice in every respect.

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What Kind of Judges Would President Trump Appoint?

Appearing on Hugh Hewitt’s show yesterday, Donald Trump was asked to explain who he would look to for advice on hypothetical Supreme Court nominees were he to be elected president. Trump said his sister would not be his advisor, but not much else. You can watch Trump’s appearance and read the transcript below:

HH: Now let me talk to you about a couple of issues, judges. I know your sister, Margaret Trump Barry was a very well respected…

DT: Well, Maryanne. Maryanne. Maryanne.

HH: Yeah, Maryanne.

DT: Yeah.

HH: Very, very well-respected judge.

DT: Right.

HH: She’s senior status now. Who’s going to advise Donald Trump on judges, because there will be three of them who are 80 or older if you become the president.

DT: Yeah.

HH: …on the day you’re sworn in.

DT: Well, it wouldn’t be my sister. We do have different views a little bit, but it wouldn’t be my sister. She’s a very, very highly-respected judge, by the way.

HH: Yes, she is.

DT: …as you know. She’s on the court of appeals, and highly, highly respected. But I think it would be a conflict to be dealing with my sister in that capacity, actually, because of the fact that she’s my sister and she’s on the court. She doesn’t even like getting publicity. And you know, frankly, they did a great story on her recently, and she didn’t want it. She wouldn’t be interviewed for it. But she’s very talented, she was always a great student and very smart, but no, I wouldn’t be, I think it would be a conflict.

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Four Reasons for Santorum’s Disappointing Showing in 2016

Former U.S. Senator Rick Santorum (photo credit: Gage Skidmore)

Last night, Rick Santorum became the latest casualty of the 2016 election cycle when he announced he was officially suspending his presidential campaign. Despite finishing second overall in 2012, Santorum never got off the ground in 2016. What happened?

1. The media and the RNC happened.

The two-tiered debates were bad in theory and even worse in practice. At the beginning, we had over a dozen legitimate candidates and a couple borderline legitimate candidates (George Pataki and Jim Gilmore). By using national polls to determine who got into the primetime debates, the media had its own primary and told voters who they wanted to hear from, not the other way around. And to make matters worse, the RNC — which is supposed to support all candidates and let the voters narrow the field down — cooperated with the media.

The two-tier debates could have been workable if the “undercard” debates were given a fair amount of coverage. Instead, the networks barely advertised the undercards, and spent the day talking about who needed to do what in the primetime debate and basically ignoring the undercard debates. I watched most of the undercards, and I found them to be far more substantive and interesting than the primetime circuses. There were so many fresh conservative ideas put forth by Santorum, Bobby Jindal, Mike Huckabee, Carly Fiorina, and others that simply never got talked about.

The result was decreased visibility for Santorum (and the other candidates relegated to the undercards). Continue Reading

Rubio: It’s Religious Liberty, Not Discrimination

At a town hall event in Iowa last week, Marco Rubio was asked to address the controversy which erupted over Indiana’s attempted passing last year of the Religious Freedom Restoration Act. While the questioner framed the law as “open[ing] up discrimination,” Rubio immediately disputed this narrative, arguing that true religious liberty protections are possible while also preventing discrimination. You can listen to Rubio’s response and read the transcript below:

QUESTIONER: My only fear is when you look at Mike Pence, from Indiana, passing a religious freedom law that was a little different from how President Clinton did it back in the 90s, which basically opened up discrimination, based on [inaudible].

RUBIO: Well, I don’t agree it opened up discrimination. I don’t believe in discrimination. But I can tell you this – we shouldn’t have a country where a pastor is threatened for losing their tax-exempt status because they refuse to conduct a same-sex ceremony. I don’t think we need to live in a country where a baker or a florist is threatened with a fine because they refused to participate in a specific event, not serve people. It is sinful to discriminate against people. But to be forced to participate in a ceremony, in an event that your faith teaches is immoral and wrong – no one should be forced to do that. You shouldn’t be forced to [inaudible].

Thomas Valentine is a researcher for the American Principles Project and a junior at the Franciscan University of Steubenville. Continue Reading

Cruz Fires Back: Trump Said He Had New York, Not Iowa, Values in 1999

Over the weekend, Ted Cruz appeared on “Fox News Sunday,” where he was asked by host Chris Wallace to address the backlash to his attacks on Donald Trump’s “New York values.” You can view the segment and read the transcript of the exchange below:

WALLACE: Senator, you have taken some real hits for your attacks on Donald Trump and the so-called “New York values”.  I happen to have, I don’t know if you’ve had a chance to see them, because you’ve been on the campaign trail.  Here is “The New York Post.”  They says Cruz missiles and they quote Rudy Giuliani as saying that he thought that New York had gotten over or rather the country had gotten over this knee-jerk reaction against New York.   They accuse you of a sneering apology.  Here is The New York Daily News, “Slime doesn’t pay, Ted.” Your reaction?

CRUZ: Well, look, these are certainly amusing, and it is amusing saying the media elite in New York and D.C. run around with their hair on fire wondering what on earth are New York values?  I’ll tell you and the rest of the country, people understand exactly what that is.  In South Carolina when I was there, the people there certainly understand it.   And you know what is particular —

WALLACE: — 9/11 part of New York values?

CRUZ: You know what is particularly curious, Chris?  Is that formulation didn’t come from me.  It came from Donald Trump.  Donald Trump, when he was being interviewed by Tim Russert, when he was explaining his views a number of years ago.

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Trump’s Fire and Brimstone Attack Rains Down on Cruz

Over the weekend, Donald Trump appeared on ABC’s “This Week,” where he was challenged by host George Stephanopoulos to respond to charges from rival Ted Cruz and others that he would not be a conservative president. You can watch the exchange and read the transcript below (starts at 2:36):

STEPHANOPOULOS: He’s also circulating that clip of you on Tim Russert in 1999, where you said, “I lived in New York City, in Manhattan, all my life, OK? So, you know my views are a little bit different than if I lived in Iowa.” So those were your words.

TRUMP: Yes, a long time ago. And, just so you understand, he’s taking money from people that are very much into the whole gay marriage situation and he’s taking money from them and he’s, you know, raising funds from them. Then he got caught the other day on a tape when he was raising funds at a law office, talking about things that are priorities and not priorities. This was not a priority.

STEPHANOPOULOS: So you’re saying he’s a hypocrite?

TRUMP: Oh, he’s a total hypocrite.

How about his fundraising and how about when he does his personal financial disclosure form and he doesn’t put on that he’s borrowing money from Goldman Sachs and then today it comes out that he’s also borrowing money from Citibank and he doesn’t list it. You know why? He wants to look like Robin Hood, that he is the one protecting the people from the banks. Well, he’s actually borrowing money and personally guaranteeing it and not disclosing it, which is illegal.

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