Cruz stakes his claim to the Mormons; Trump kvells for the Jews

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Good morning Austin:

It’s primary day in Arizona and Utah.

Donald Trump is heavily favored to win all 58 delegates in winner-take-all Arizona.

Trump won Arizonan’s hearts with his stridency on the border.

Ted Cruz is heavily favored to cross the 50-percent threshold and win all 40 delegates in Utah.

Apparently, Mormons are immune to Trump’s charms.

I think Trump was clearly kidding when he questioned whether Mitt Romney was really a Mormon.

But maybe the Utah ear is not tuned to New York humor.

Or New York values.

For example, Utah is state where this Facebook ad from the anti-Trump super PAC, Make America Awesome (America is Already Great), apparently works as a negative ad.

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Meanwhile, in Washington, some of the Jews and other supporters of Israel gathered 18,000-strong for the American Israel Public Affairs Committee gathering in Washington, laughed at Trump when he told them yesterday that he is the world’s leading authority on the Iran nuclear deal.

But Trump rebounded.

From National Review”

For the first time this cycle, Trump delivered a scripted speech with at least some foreign-policy specifics. Some of his off-script deviations got him into trouble: He said a peace deal was “something that we impose on Israel and Palestine,” a statement that both questioned Israel’s sovereignty and elevated the Palestinian territories to nation status. But most of his improvisations elicited laughter from the audience. He received raucous applause and several standing ovations from a crowd that had cheered Clinton less than eight hours before. He even outshone Ted Cruz, his chief rival for the Republican nomination, whose own speech received a rather tepid response. It was, in short, a pretty good night at AIPAC for Donald Trump.
“I didn’t come here tonight to pander to you about Israel,” Trump began, before proceeding to do just that for the thousands of attendees packed into the Verizon Center in Washington, D.C. The New York billionaire bragged about his participation as grand marshal in a 2004 pro-Israel parade. “It was a dangerous time for Israel and frankly for anyone supporting Israel,” he said. “Many people turned down the honor. I did not. I took the risk.” Trump warned the audience about the dangers of the Iran deal, adding that he was uniquely qualified to discuss the topic. “I’ve studied this issue in great detail — I would say actually greater, by far, than anybody else,” he said, sparking peals of laughter throughout the audience. Trump smiled and took it all in stride. “Believe me, that is a baad deal,” he said.
And then Trump delivered a most terrific pander:
I’ve received some of my greatest honors from Israel. My father before me. Incredible. My daughter Ivanka is about to have a beautiful Jewish baby. In fact, it could be happening right now which would be very nice as far as I’m concerned.
Why didn’t he just use that line when he was asked to disavow David Duke? The nomination would be a lock by now.

If Cruz slows the Trump train in Utah and it ultimately costs Trump the few precious delegates he needs to clinch the nomination, Trump may regret that Ivanka married a Jew and not a Mormon

Trump had a very busy in day in Washington.
From Ashley Parker and Maggie Haberman in the New York Times:

WASHINGTON — Donald J. Trump came to Pennsylvania Avenue on Monday and offered a freewheeling, circuslike glimpse of what the nation’s capital might look like if he is successful in his quest to occupy that big, white house on the 1600 block of the street.

Mr. Trump’s whirlwind day in Washington — part of his effort to demonstrate that he is running a serious presidential campaign — took him from an imposing law firm to a news conference at a hotel he is building here to a much-anticipated policy speech before a pro-Israel group, all with the Manhattan businessman’s characteristic mix of panache, policy and showmanship.

His first stop was at The Washington Post, for an editorial board meeting where he unveiled five members of his foreign policy team: Keith Kellogg, Carter Page, George Papadopoulos, Walid Phares and Joseph E. Schmitz. Though Mr. Trump has been promising for months to release the names of his foreign policy advisers, those he presented on Monday have come under fire in the past. But the team will be led by Jeff Sessions, a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee.

In addition to introducing his foreign policy hands, Trump also offered a renewed defense of his hands – as in those things at the end of his arms -in his conversation with the Post editorial board.

HIATT: Just back to the campaign. You are smart and you went to a good school. Yet you are up there and talking about your hands and the size of private …

TRUMP: No …

HIATT: … your private parts.

TRUMP: No, no. No, no. I am not doing that.

HIATT: Do you regret having engaged in that?

TRUMP: No, I had to do it. Look, this guy. Here’s my hands. Now I have my hands, I hear, on the New Yorker, a picture of my hands.

MARCUS: You’re on the cover.

TRUMP: A hand with little fingers coming out of a stem. Like, little. Look at my hands. They’re fine. Nobody other than Graydon Carter years ago used to use that. My hands are normal hands. During a debate, he was losing, and he said, “Oh, he has small hands and therefore, you know what that means.” This was not me. This was Rubio that said, “He has small hands and you know what that means.” Okay? So, he started it. So, what I said a couple of days later … and what happened is I was on line shaking hands with supporters, and one of supporters got up and he said, “Mr. Trump, you have strong hands. You have good-sized hands.” And then another one would say, “You have great hands, Mr. Trump, I had no idea.” I said, “What do you mean?” He said, “I thought you were like deformed, and I thought you had small hands.” I had fifty people … Is that a correct statement? I mean people were writing, “How are Mr. Trump’s hands?” My hands are fine. You know, my hands are normal. Slightly large, actually. In fact, I buy a slightly smaller than large glove, okay? No, but I did this because everybody was saying to me, “Oh, your hands are very nice. They are normal.” So Rubio, in a debate, said, because he had nothing else to say … now I was hitting him pretty hard. He wanted to do his Don Rickles stuff and it didn’t work out. Obviously, it didn’t work too well. But one of the things he said was “He has small hands and therefore, you know what that means, he has small something else.” You can look it up. I didn’t say it.

MARCUS: You chose to raise it …

TRUMP: No, I chose to respond.

MARUS: You chose to respond.

TRUMP: I had no choice.

MARCUS: You chose to raise it during a debate. Can you explain why you had no choice?

TRUMP: I don’t want people to go around thinking that I have a problem. I’m telling you, Ruth, I had so many people. I would say 25, 30 people would tell me … every time I’d shake people’s hand, “Oh, you have nice hands.” Why shouldn’t I? And, by the way, by saying that I solved the problem. Nobody questions … I even held up my hands, and said, “Look, take a look at that hand.”

MARCUS: You told us in the debate ….

TRUMP: And by saying that, I solved the problem. Nobody questions. Everyone held my hand. I said look. Take a look at that hand.

MARCUS: You told us in the debate that you guaranteed there was not another problem. Was that presidential? And why did you decide to do that?

TRUMP: I don’t know if it was presidential, honestly, whether it is or not. He said, ‘Donald Trump has small hands and therefore he has small something else.’ I didn’t say that. And all I did is when he failed, when he was failing, when he was, when Christie made him look bad, I gave him the– a little recap and I said,  and I said, and I had this big strong powerful hand ready to grab him, because I thought he was going to faint. And everybody took it fine. Whether it was presidential or not I can’t tell you. I can just say that what he said was a lie. And everybody, they wanted to do stories on my hands; after I said that, they never did. And then I held up the hand, I showed people the hand. You know, when I’ve got a big audience. So yeah, I think it’s not a question of presidential …

MARCUS: He said he regrets …

HIATT: Okay, let’s move on here. Let’s move on.

 

All five remaining presidential candidates also appeared on CNN last night.

Cruz was asked about Frank Gaffney, who was among the members of Cruz’s national security team announced last week.

 

WOLF BLITZER (HOST): Let’s talk about your national security advisers. Last week, you released a list of your foreign policy advisers. Frank Gaffney was on that list, the former Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense during the Reagan administration. Mr. Gaffney has said that President Obama is a Muslim, that the Muslim Brotherhood placed operatives throughout the federal government, that Saddam Hussein probably was behind the Oklahoma City bombing, that Chris Christie may have been complicit in treason by appointing a Muslim-American to New Jersey’s state judiciary. Is this someone whose views you agree with? 

TED CRUZ (R-TX): Wolf, look I recognize that folks in the media get really nervous when you actually call out radical Islamic terrorism. Frank Gaffney is someone I respect. Frank Gaffney is a serious thinker who has been focused on fighting jihadism, fighting jihadism across the globe. And he’s endured attacks from the left, from the media, because he speaks out against radical Islamic terrorism, because he speaks out against, for example, the political correctness of the Obama administration that effectively gets in bed with the Muslim Brotherhood. The Muslim Brotherhood is a terrorist organization. 

BLITZER: Let’s be precise. When he said back in 2009, “Barack Hussein Obama would have to be considered America’s first Muslim president.” Do you agree with him on that? 

CRUZ: Listen, I don’t know what he said in 2009. 

BLITZER: I just read to you the quote. 

CRUZ: I don’t have the full context. I’m not interested in playing the media “gotcha” game of here’s every quote, every person who’s supporting you has said at any point, do you agree with every statement. That’s silliness. Here’s my view. We need a Commander-in-Chief that defends America, and defending America means defeating radical Islamic terrorism and defeating ISIS. What is completely unreasonable is Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton’s consistent pattern of refusing even to say the words “radical Islamic terrorism.” When we see a terror attack, but let me finish this point, Wolf. When we see a terror attack in Paris and San Bernardino and President Obama says, gosh, I didn’t realize people were upset, I guess I wasn’t watching the cable news. And then he gives a national TV conference where he doesn’t call out radical Islamic terrorists, but instead he lectures Americans on Islamophobia. We need a Commander-in-Chief keeping us safe, and one of the reasons why we’re going to win in November is people are fed up with this silliness.

BLITZER: Would he be considered your national security adviser if you were president? 

CRUZ: Look, Frank is one of a number of people who is part of the team who are advising me, and I appreciate his good counsel. For example, Frank —

BLITZER: And so these statements —

CRUZ: Frank has been leading the effort to focus on the threat of an EMP, an electromagnetic pulse which would be a nuclear weapon detonated in the atmosphere that would take down our electrical grid. It could kill tens of millions of Americans. And all Iran would have to do is fire one nuke into the atmosphere. They don’t need to hit anything. They just need to get it above the Eastern seaboard, and they could kill tens of millions. That is valuable work focusing on national security. And I’m curious, Wolf, you know when does the media focus on threats like an EMP? 

BLITZER: I think we focus on a lot of those things. But let me just read one other thing, he says there’s some pretty compelling circumstantial evidence of Saddam Hussein’s Iraq being involved with the people who perpetrated the 1993 attack on the World Trade Center and even the Oklahoma City bombing. Now you’re a smart guy, have you seen any circumstantial evidence to back that up? 

CRUZ: You know I told you a minute ago I’m not going to play the gotcha game of every quote every adviser may have given 20 years ago. You are welcome to throw them out. 

BLITZER: That was in 2009. 

CRUZ: But I’m actually interested in talking about the problems in this country, and not — This is silliness. Let’s focus on real problems facing America. 

For Cruz to be complaining about the “gotcha game” with Gaffney, is no better than Trump feigning ignorance when asked about David Duke. Are we supposed to believe that Cruz chose Gaffney for his security circle without being aware of his many, many stunning claims? If so, that would be even more disqualifying.

Anywhere, here’s the latest on Gaffney’s creeping influence.

From Bryan Schatz at Mother Jones:

The National Rifle Association’s annual board election is typically a drama-free affair. But this year, things are getting ugly. A faction within the NRA is seeking to oust anti-tax crusader and celebrated Republican strategist Grover Norquist from the gun lobby’s board of directors, where he has served since 2000.

The reasons behind the recall campaign have little to do with the Second Amendment, NRA policy, or Norquist’s position on gun rights. The effort is the latest move in an ongoing crusade to convince conservatives that the founder of Americans for Tax Reform is secretly in cahoots with anti-American Islamists. 

The instigator of the Norquist recall is Stu Weber, a former Green Beret and pastor from Oregon. Last August, a recall petition sponsored by Weber was posted on the website RecallGrover.com. In it, Weber wrote that Norquist “has become a confusing distraction to the NRA’s mission” and that he was “aware of NRA members who are considering leaving the NRA because they have done some serious homework in regard to Mr. Norquist.” While speaking with Glenn Beck last August, Weber described himself as “just a member” of the NRA. He declined to be interviewed for this story. The recall site has been taken down.

While this is the first NRA board recall measure in at least 15 years, it is not necessarily a sign of a major split within the organization. Just 450 signatures from voting members were required to get it on the ballot. Members have until May 1 to cast their votes via ballots that were mailed out in American Rifleman, the NRA’s magazine.

To bolster his case, Weber’s petition linked to Agent of Influence: Grover Norquist and the Assault on the Right, a 100-page dossier that lays out a litany of conspiratorial claims about Norquist and his supposed role “as an agent of influence for assorted Islamic supremacists.” Now in its fourth edition, subtitled “Targeting the NRA,” the booklet questions Norquist’s “fitness to serve in a leadership position of such an important organization” and aims to “encourage and enable the National Rifle Association to end the presence among its leadership of an individual who has long engaged in insidious Islamist influence operations.”

Agent of Influence is published by the Center for Security Policy, an organization headed by Frank Gaffney, a former Pentagon official in the Reagan Administration whom Republican presidential hopeful Ted Cruz recently named to his national security team. Among the prominent conservatives who have backed Gaffney’s allegations against Norquist are former CIA Director James Woolsey and former Army Lt. General Jerry Boykin, with whom Weber wrote The Warrior Soul: Five Powerful Principles to Make You a Stronger Man of God. Last September, Gaffney joined Cruz, Beck, Donald Trump, and Sarah Palin at an anti-Iran rally co-sponsored by the Center for Security Policy. Gaffney could not be reached for comment.

As noted, Beck, perhaps Cruz’s most fervent supporter, is a part of the campaign to remove Norquist from the NRA board.

Beck, a Mormon convert, has also been making the case in Utah that Cruz’s election would be the fulfillment of The White Horse Prophecy:

From Kyle Mantyla at Right Wing Watch:

Back in 1843, Joseph Smith, the founder of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, supposedly delivered a message known as “The White Horse Prophecy” that declared that one day, when the U.S. Constitution was hanging by a thread, the Mormon people would rise up and save this nation.

This is how Young reportedly explained it in 1854:

Will the Constitution be destroyed? No; it will be held inviolate by this people; and, as Joseph Smith said, “The time will come when the destiny of the nation will hang upon a single thread. At that critical juncture, this people will step forth and save it from the threatened destruction.”

In 2010, the LDS church issued an official statement that “the so-called ‘White Horse Prophecy’ is based on accounts that have not been substantiated by historical research and is not embraced as Church doctrine,” but that didn’t stop Glenn Beck from repeatedly invoking it as he campaigned for Ted Cruz and Sen. Mike Lee in Utah over the weekend.

Beck spent all last week declaring that God has spent the last 10 years preparing and sanctifying his audience to rise up at this very moment and save the republic by electing Ted Cruz as president. But when he went to Utah, Beck made it unmistakably clear to his fellow Mormons that God is using them to save America because evangelical Christians “are not listening to their God,” a reference to southern evangelical Republicans who have voted for Donald Trump.

When Beck spoke at a rally for Sen. Lee’s re-election in Draper on Saturday, he explicitly invoked the language of the White Horse Prophecy.

“It’s something that Utah needs to hear,” he said. “The body of the Priesthood is known to stand up when the Constitution hangs by a thread. I am a convert to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints in 2000. What attracted me was not only the truth of the message, but also the people like President [Harold] Lee and President [Ezra Taft] Benson, who knew exactly who we were, knew who we were as a country. Many times, what held me through was the prophecy that the Constitution will hang by a thread and this people would remember what our founders did. It is our responsibility to stand for the Constitution!”

Beck echoed that message while campaigning for Cruz in Provo, telling the audience that he had a “special message for the people of Utah.”
“I believe the Book of Mormon,” he said. “I believe it to be true. I believe every word of it … That book spells out in great detail what things look like before the Lord comes back. And He gave us that book so we can protect freedom here. He also gave us that book so we would know what to do at the time. Now you either believe that or you don’t. You either believe that to be true, it’s not just a book; then let the Priesthood lead! Priesthood holders, stand up and take your staff! You are the guardian at the gate.”

 

 

While speaking at another Cruz rally in Salt Lake City, Beck said that it was up to the Mormons to save this nation because “the evangelicals are not listening to their God.”

“Let me testify to you now,” he stated. “The Book of Mormon is a book that was given to us for this time in this land and it explains exactly what it’s going to look like when trouble comes … You know what time it is, the Priesthood is supposed to rise up and restore the Constitution. Now is that time!”

“Utah has an incredible opportunity,” he continued. “So many Christians have been standing up, but all throughout the South, the evangelicals are not listening to their God. Let us raise a standard in Utah. Let us do this one thing perfectly right.”

 

Cruz also denounced in the strongest possible terms President Obama’s trip to Havana, though, the same criticism could have been directed at his mentor, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott, for his trade mission to Cuba late last year, about which he remained silent.

From Texas Democratic Party Executive Director Manny Garcia:

The fact is Cuban-American, Canadian-born Ted Cruz will lie, do, and say anything to gain power.

Months ago, Gov. Abbott capitalized on President Obama’s actions to open Cuban markets to American companies. Cruz was suddenly mum. After all, Cruz needed Abbott’s endorsement to hold off the Trump train in Texas.

On Cuba, Abbott is more in sync with Trump.

Blitzer: Would you open up a Trump Hotel in Havana?

Trump: I would, I would, at the right time. When we’re allowed to do it. We aren’t right now. I think Cuba has a lot of potential. I think it’s OK to bring Cuba into the fold.

 

Meanwhile, last week, Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick, who is chairing the  Cruz campaign in Texas, warned that any backroom machinations to deliver the Republican nomination to anyone other than Trump or Cruz would be illegitimate and would destroy the Republican Party.

 

Writing about this last week, I noted the following”

In Texas, Republicans at Senate District Conventions on Saturday will elect delegates to the state convention in Dallas in May, which will elect the delegates to the national convention. While Cruz won 104 delegates in the March 1 primary, to 48 for Trump and three for Florida’s U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio, who dropped out of the race this week, former Texas GOP Chairman Steve Munisteri said he would be “shocked” if all 155 Texas delegates to the national convention weren’t Cruz loyalists, including the 48 delegates who would be bound to vote for Trump on the first ballot, but free to vote for Cruz thereafter.

Those “Trump delegates,” would also be free to vote against Trump’s interest on what could be decisive procedural votes that might ultimately determine the outcome.

Here from friend of Trump Roger Stone.

Trump Must Beware The Trojan Horse Delegates

By Roger Stone

A state party staffer from a large Northeastern state passed the entry codes for a conference call of five Republican Chairmen from significant states this past Saturday. The topic on the table? Stopping Trump. I had to listen in.

These hard-boiled pols know the nomination will be decided not on the first ballot but in a series of procedural votes by the entire convention to adopt the rules of the convention as recommended by the Rules committee and the seating of the delegates as recommended by the Credentials Committee. Those key committees are made up by two members from each state. The bosses have been quietly planting establishment regulars in these spots.

The Trump camp has been inattentive to this process. The party Kingmakers may have the votes to knee-cap Trump in the rules and credentials Committees as they did Congressman Ron Paul in 2012.

Here is what the kingmakers have planned: http://www.infowars.com/how-the-gop-elite-plan-to-rob-donald-trump/

Now they party insiders want to make sure they have a working majority on the floor for the passage of their “liscense to steal”. Republican State Chairs are planting Trojan Horse delegates into slots won by Trump on the first ballot to vote with them on procedural votes to pass the Rules and Credentials Reports that will seal the Big Steal. This is going on in Texas, New York, Michigan, Connecticut and North Dakota and other states.

Though these “Trump” delegates will be bound by national and state rules to support Trump through the first ballot at the convention they are free to vote against Trump’s interests on the adoption of Rules and the seating of delegates. It’s entirely plausible that a state could seat delegates pledged to support Donald Trump who have open affiliations with other candidates. In California Cruz and Paulistas are signing up online via CA’s GOP website as Trump delegates.

The RNC’s rules committee tightened the rules governing the allocation of pledged delegates: The proportion of pledged delegates actually sent to the convention must align with the proportion actually won by a candidate in states that don’t give their winners all of their delegates. Republican operatives are secretly working to stack the delegate selection process. They want as many reliable stooges as possible to identify as pledged “Trump” delegates. That way, those men and women can vote to break Trump’s back with hostile rules and by unseating Trump delegates if necessary.

The power-brokers short term game is clear; stall Trump just short of the magic number of delegates needed to be nominated on the first ballot with the knowledge that many delegates bound on the first ballot by Trump primary and caucus victories are ringers who would be unbound on a second ballot. Much in the way the RNC stacked the galleries with anti-Trump partisans in the last two debates, anti-Trump quislings are be planted in various delegations that will be free to betray Trump on procedural matters and subsequent ballots. Kidnapping is real possibility. What happens if a pledged delegate decides not to show up for the first ballot? The alternate replacing them may not be for Trump.

Get ready for Armageddon.

Practically speaking, if Trump arrive in Cleveland shy of the 1,237 delegates he needs to secure the nomination, and is denied the nomination, it will most likely be the consequence of maneuvering by the Cruz campaign taking advantage of faithless Trump delegates from Texas and elsewhere across the country.

From Roll Call columnist Patricia Murpy.

Improbably, Ted Cruz is now Mitch McConnell’s best hope for remaining majority leader. If Donald Trump is the Republican nominee, the chances of Republicans losing the Senate rise exponentially. But with Trump’s commanding delegate lead, Cruz’s only path to victory is likely a contested convention, complete with all of the cronyism and horse trading that McConnell excels at and that Cruz has said is so awful for so long.

New willingness by Republicans to rally around Cruz is either enlightened self-interest, naked hypocrisy or the shared opinion that a man like Donald Trump would not only be bad for business, he would be truly dangerous as a leader of the country.  Despite all of my cynicism, I’m leaning toward the latter as their motivation, which means we’re all Cruzians now.

Which raises an interesting question – ought Dan Patrick exhort Texas Republicans at their convention in Dallas to send bona fide, though-and-through Trump delegates to the national convention to fill the Trump slots in order to guard against chicanery in Cleveland?

In the meantime, Alexander Burns and Jonathan Martin wrote in Sunday’s New York Times:

Republican leaders adamantly opposed to Donald J. Trump’s candidacy are preparing a 100-day campaign to deny him the presidential nomination, starting with an aggressive battle in Wisconsin’s April 5 primary and extending into the summer, with a delegate-by-delegate lobbying effort that would cast Mr. Trump as a calamitous choice for the general election.

Recognizing that Mr. Trump has seized a formidable advantage in the race, they say that an effort to block him would rely on an array of desperation measures, the political equivalent of guerrilla fighting.

There is no longer room for error or delay, the anti-Trump forces say, and without a flawlessly executed plan of attack, he could well become unstoppable.

But should that effort falter, leading conservatives are prepared to field an independent candidate in the general election, to defend Republican principles and offer traditional conservatives an alternative to Mr. Trump’s hard-edged populism. They described their plans in interviews after Mr. Trump’s victories last Tuesday in Florida and three other states.

The names of a few well-known conservatives have been offered up in recent days as potential third-party standard-bearers, and William Kristol, editor of The Weekly Standard, has circulated a memo to a small number of conservative allies detailing the process by which an independent candidate could get on general-election ballots across the country.

Among the recruits under discussion are Tom Coburn, a former Oklahoma senator who has told associates that he would be open to running, and Rick Perry, the former Texas governor who was suggested as a possible third-party candidate at a meeting of conservative activists on Thursday in Washington.

 

Kristol was not doing Perry any favors by invoking his name.

It simply invited ridicule that Perry had done nothing to provoke.

From Anderw Rosenthal in the New York Times:

You know things are going badly when Rick Perry, the former governor of Texas and failed presidential candidate, sounds more sensible than anyone else in the Republican Party.

Mr. Perry responded today through his spokesman, Jeff Miller, to an article in The Times on Sunday that said Mr. Perry had been mentioned as a possible third-party candidate at a recent meeting of so-called conservatives in Washington.

Mr. Miller said on Twitter that Mr. Perry “has no interest in running as a 3rd party candidate.” That’s a good thing, because Mr. Perry also has no interest in being a serious person. He is the one, you will remember, who said in 2011 that he was going to close three cabinet agencies but could not name the third one.

And, from Josh Marshall at Talking Points MemoLetting go of the Rick Perry Unicorn.

The #NeverTrump non-movement has taken a blow, as Rick Perry has apparently taken himself out of contention as the standard bearer of a #NeverTrump third party conservative ticket. A deeper issue is that, remember, Rick Perry was basically drummed out to the 2012 and 2016 elections as something close to a laughing stock. In 2016, he barely rose to the level of a laughingstock since no one was even paying attention. This isn’t meant as ridicule. It was a more a matter of expectations: the million term governor of the biggest red state in the country, couldn’t even make a respectable showing in a run for president. #NeverTrump looks very much like a vehicle with which DC power brokers take the guys they wanted in the first place but couldn’t get through primary process and nominate them by acclamation through what amounts to a GOP in exile.

it should be noted that for lifelong achievement in being consistently wrong in his political instincts, Kristol is unrivaled.

Here he was July 7, 2015, at Newmax:

Republicans should respect, not trash, Donald Trump, despite the billionaire developer’s controversial remarks on Mexican immigrants and his patented lack of political correctness, Bill Kristol, founder and editor of The Weekly Standard, tells Newsmax TV.

“I’m not a Trump fan, I don’t think he should be the Republican nominee, but it’s ridiculous,” Kristol said Tuesday on “The Steve Malzberg Show.”

xxxxxx

Kristol believes Sen. Bernie Sanders, the Vermont Independent challenging Hillary Clinton for the 2016 Democratic presidential nomination, is more of a problem for the Democrats than Trump is for the Republicans.

xxxxxxxxx

“It’s very, very foolish if the Republican establishment or the Republican candidates treat him with disdain instead of saying, you know what, good to have more voices, good to have some unconventional voices in the race.”

Of course, if Trump arrives in Cleveland a little short, he could make a deal with Cruz and make him his running-mate. Asked about that Monday,  Trump said “crazier things happen in politics.”

But, Munisteri notes, if Trump needs Cruz’s delegates, it would probably mean that Cruz was in a position to strike his own deal to win the nomination.

However, if all Trump needs is just a small handful of delegates, there is always Dr. Ben Carson, who has nine pledged delegates.

 

CNN

Here is the email I received yesterday from John Philip Sousa IV of the Carson super PAC.

Screen Shot 2016-03-21 at 9.12.48 PM

Jonathan —

I asked you recently if you wanted The 2016 Committee to push for Ben Carson to be Donald Trump’s vice presidential running mate if he wins the Republican presidential nomination or if anyone else is the nominee.

Your response was overwhelming!

92% of the responses we received from volunteers and donors alike said yes, launch a national effort to make Ben Carson the vice presidential nominee of the GOP in 2016.

And, I didn’t just hear from a few of you, thousands and thousands of you responded immediately and emphatically.

Something else happened that I did not expect.

Many of you sent in a contribution to make it happen, even though I did not ask for any support of the effort.

Clearly you are enthusiastically in favor of supporting Ben Carson for Vice President.

You were probably as surprised as I was when Ben Carson endorsed Donald Trump for president.

I didn’t see that coming.

But, because I have so much confidence in the wisdom and intelligence of Dr. Carson I listened to every word he said at the news conference endorsing Donald Trump.

I closely watched the interaction between Donald Trump and Ben Carson and quite frankly I was delighted by the rapport and the admiration between them; two men who have both put their lives on hold to serve our country.

Dr. Carson was as always, honest, forthright, and wise.  He was also very persuasive.

Now that Dr. Carson has endorsed Donald Trump, and Trump won Florida, it’s probably the last nail in the coffin for Cruz and Kasich.

All political prognosticators seem to agree that, barring an unforeseen event, Donald Trump is going to be the Republican nominee for president in 2016.

Probably not what many of us would have guessed as the outcome nine or even six months ago.

Donald Trump made it clear that Ben Carson will play a very important policy role in the campaign and very possibly beyond.

And, Ben Carson has also made it clear that he is open to being on the ticket with Donald Trump as his vice presidential nominee.

Don’t you agree that Donald Trump will need the wise counsel and moral compass of Dr. Ben Carson if he is elected president?

Clearly, Donald Trump has great respect for Dr. Carson and it appears that if elected he will lean heavily on the good doctor for advice and counsel on key issues like tax reform, education and health care.

With Donald Trump’s nomination looming as inevitable, it was very wise of Dr. Carson to endorse Mr. Trump so that he can exert a positive influence upon him, his campaign and hopefully his Administration.

And, let’s face reality, whoever the Republican nominee is, he must win the White House.

Can you imagine all the damage the U.S. Supreme Court will do to the Constitution and to the Bill of Rights if Hillary or any other Democrat is elected president?

If we have a Supreme Court with five or more liberal judges it will be open season on the Second Amendment.  Your right to own a firearm will all but disappear.

If you are a Christian, expect your rights to be dramatically circumscribed.

Moral corruption will accelerate and freedom of speech will only be for those espousing liberal viewpoints.

Political correctness and continued appeasement will almost certainly bring more strife around the world.

And, how can we possibly avoid a total financial collapse if Hillary Clinton is elected and the Democrats regain control of Congress and the liberals run amuck at the U.S. Supreme Court?

Here is my big question for you…

Will you join us to continue to help Dr. Ben Carson spread the words of Christ, The Constitution and common sense in Washington, D.C. by joining our effort to strongly encourage Donald Trump to choose Ben Carson as his running mate?

We know exactly how to proceed to maximize the chance that Ben Carson will be selected as the GOP vice presidential choice in 2016 because one of our close advisors was intimately involved in the National Draft Jack Kemp for Vice President effort in 1980 that nearly succeeded.

I’ll explain more in a moment, but let me first ask you…

Who would be a better vice president than Ben Carson?

There are three sound reasons for Dr. Carson to be Donald Trump’s running mate.

1.     Republican Unity.  Ben Carson is key to bringing unity to the GOP and unity is essential for victory.  Dr. Carson is the one man who is universally admired and respected for his wisdom and good judgement.

2.    Republican Victory.  The Republicans have no chance of victory unless they make big inroads into Black and Hispanic voters.  Ben Carson has proven that he can win a substantial percentage of the Black vote and a very large share of the Hispanic vote.

3.    American Harmony.  It’s not enough to just win the election, we must restore harmony and unity to our nation.  Without a nation where all Americans are united, our future will be as bleak as the past seven and a half years have been at home and around the world.

For those three reasons alone, not to mention the wise counsel and advice that Dr. Carson will bring to the ticket, I believe that Ben Carson is the best choice as our vice presidential nominee.

Do you agree, Jonathan?

If you do, you are in agreement with 92% of Ben Carson supporters according to a recent survey we conducted.

Please Clamor Today!

 

 

 

 

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