GOP

The Florida House has passed a high-profile Republican bill requiring local law enforcement agencies to cooperate with federal immigration authorities and banning so-called “sanctuary city” policies that shield immigrants who are arrested.

The GOP-led House voted 69-47 along party lines Wednesday for the measure, sending it over to the Senate where a similar bill is pending.

Florida doesn’t currently have any formal “sanctuary cities” like those in other states. The bill sponsored by GOP Rep. Cord Byrd of Jacksonville Beach would require local authorities to honor federal immigration detainer requests that can lead to a person’s deportation.

The bill prompted the American Civil Liberties Union to warn immigrants against traveling to Florida and triggered protests around the state. Democrats failed in attempts to weaken the bill or create exceptions.

Source: NewsMax America

Former House Speaker John Boehner has a message for former Ohio Gov. John Kasich: Don’t bother challenging President Donald Trump for the Republican ticket in 2020.

“There’s this 38 percent of America that’s very big supporters of President Trump. And you know, they’re gonna show up and vote for him,” Boehner said during an appearance on CNBC host Chuck Todd’s podcast, “Chuck Toddcast,” per The Hill.

Kasich, a CNN senior political contributor, has been a prominent critic of Trump’s on everything from tax cuts to the immigration policy of family separation.

Asked if Trump has done anything he agrees with, Kasich said border control, lower taxes, and higher financial contributions from European allies are all needed. But the president has set too negative a tone when he’s not wrong, with an overall “dismal” record, Kasich said.

“Tariffs are a bad idea. Debt is a bad idea. Family separation is a bad idea. Demonizing immigrants is a bad idea. And breaking down our alliances is bad too,” Kasich told The Associated Press in December.

He ran a failed presidential primary campaign in 2016 and is considering his options for 2020.

“If you’re not around the hoop, you can’t get a rebound,” Kasich said during an interview with the AP. “So we’re hanging around the hoop, and we’re very serious about this. How would we not be?”

“It’s not like I wouldn’t do it,” he said of a potential run. “You can’t be afraid to do it.”

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.

Source: NewsMax Politics

One of President Donald Trump’s GOP antagonists, former Sen. Bob Corker, R-Tenn., called a 2020 Republican primary challenge to the president a “good thing for our country.”

“Philosophically, you could look at it and say that it would be a good thing for our country should that occur from the standpoint of issues,” Corker said at the Time 100 Summit in New York City on Tuesday. “If you had a real primary, where you had someone that was really being listened to, and of substance, things that we were talking about — and I could go through a list of them — they would actually be debated in a real way.

“And that would be a good thing for our country.”

Corker, who was once turned down by President Trump for a Cabinet position and then took to challenging the president before deciding against seeking re-election to the Senate, ripped the president for seeking “to divide.”

“Typically, to unite people, you have to wish to do so, and I think that currently, the president has not found that to his benefit or to his liking,” Corker told Time. “Therefore, he purposely seeks to divide.”

Source: NewsMax Politics

The first Republican to announce a GOP 2020 primary challenge to President Donald Trump says “we would be much better off with a President Mike Pence.”

“For the good of the country, if he had the self-awareness that Richard Nixon had, sense of shame is too strong a word, but self-awareness is probably too soft a word, he would resign,” former Massachusetts Gov. Weld told MSNBC’s “The Last Word” on Tuesday night. “The truth is: We would be much better off with a President Mike Pence than a President Donald Trump.”

Weld warned against Democrats impeaching President Trump, because “those boils over at the White House are dying to have impeachment proceedings initiated so that Mr. Trump can scream like a stuffed pig.”

“It’s just going to give him such a delicious talking point the last few months before the election,” Weld told host Lawrence O’Donnell. 

Weld is ready to challenge President Trump in a Republican primary for the 2020 presidential candidacy, although Ohio Republican John Kasich and Maryland GOP Gov. Larry Hogan are weighing a run as well.

Weld admitted he will not bother campaigning in the deep red southern states, but he will focus on the northeast, mid-Atlantic, and California.

“It is time to return to the principles of Lincoln — equality, dignity, and opportunity for all,” he said at the time. “There is no greater cause on earth than to preserve what truly makes America great. I am ready to lead that fight.”

Source: NewsMax Politics

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On Tuesday, presidential son-in-law and White House aide Jared Kushner had left-leaning social media abuzz by downplaying the real-world fallout of Russia’s efforts in the 2016 elections.  He characterized Kremlin-directed meddling as a “terrible thing” but also explained that “the investigations and all of the speculation that’s happened for the last two years has had a much harsher impact on our democracy than a couple of Facebook ads.”   

When I ratified Kushner’s assessment on CNN’s broadcast with my colleague, host Chris Cuomo, I was met with guffaws and disbelief.  But here is the reality: Russia’s intrusion was very unwelcome and decidedly illegal, but the wildly disproportionate reaction by anti-Trump operatives in both government and media has far eclipsed the damage wrought by a minor 2016 foreign intelligence scheme.   

This totally unbalanced reaction represents the political equivalent to the Steve Bartman incident in Major League Baseball.  In 2003, the Chicago Cubs led the National League Championship Series three games to two and had a 3-0 lead in game six at home, with one out in the eighth inning.  A pop fly sailed foul but well within the left fielder’s reach. Lifelong Cubs fan Steve Bartman grabbed at the ball, as would many fans, interfering with Moises Alou’s attempted catch.  Both players and fans massively overreacted, forcing Bartman to exit Wrigley Field with a security detail, but the kerfuffle would have been utterly forgotten had previously dependable Cubs shortstop Alex Gonzalez ended the inning moments later with a potential double play ground ball hit right to him.  Instead, his rare error commenced an epic Cubs implosion that sent Chicago to defeat that night and in the ensuing NLCS game seven, vaulting the Marlins to the World Series. 

As in politics, the point here is that the scapegoat, the Bartman, is not really to blame.  Russians spending a whopping $100,000 on Facebook ads, per the Mueller Report, represents a miniscule rounding error compared to $81 million spent by the campaigns on Facebook within a presidential election where total direct and indirect spending reached into the billions of dollars.   

In fact, the “resistance” narrative of a stolen election insults the key voters who turned the 2016 tide Donald Trump’s way in the unlikely GOP sweep of key states Wisconsin, Michigan, Ohio, and Pennsylvania. Those voters, many of whom had either not voted before or had voted for Barack Obama in 2008 and 2012, did not rally to Trump because they were somehow duped by an inconsequential international interference operation.  In reality, these voters were motivated by two things: They embraced the fighting, spirited agenda of a renegade Trump candidacy and they simultaneously rejected the arrogant, presuppositional pseudo-coronation of Hillary Clinton.

But rather than engage in even a scintilla of self-introspection regarding their wholesale misread of the American electorate, the mainstream media instead constructed a Potemkin Village narrative through the grand excuse that Russian interference caused this unacceptable electoral injustice.  Instead of considering Hillary’s Alex Gonzalez-like error of completely ignoring Wisconsin, they deemed it much better to cast aspersions on Russia’s role, the convenient new Bartman-esque bogeyman. 

As a citizen, I lament the damage such scapegoating inflicts upon our polity, but admittedly the partisan in me fully embraces the cognitive dissonance at play here.  For example, during the Easter Monday Democratic townhalls on my news channel, CNN, viewers watched an almost comical cavalcade of grievance apologetics, culminating in a call for voting rights for the incarcerated concurrent with the evisceration of constitutionally enumerated gun rights for the law-abiders. Clearly, instead of learning any lessons from 2016, the Democrats and their willing media allies would rather blame an allegedly all-powerful external intervention.  Instead of considering the myriad ways they themselves failed America, it’s much easier to just blame Russia, the new political Bartman.

Steve Cortes is a contributor to RealClearPolitics and a CNN  political commentator. His Twitter handle is @CortesSteve.

Nineteen months before the 2020 elections, one U.S. House race that now appears in play is New York’s 11th District (Staten Island-Brooklyn).

By nearly all accounts, Nicole Malliotakis, state assemblywoman and 2017 candidate for mayor of New York, is poised to carry the Republican and Conservative Party lines against freshman Democratic Rep. Max Rose.

In recent weeks, Malliotakis, 38, has raised eyebrows in political circles nationwide by raising more than $300,000 in the first quarter of the year—the most of any Republican non-incumbent U.S. House hopeful in the nation.

In addition, the announced House hopeful has received the maximum legal donation from House GOP Leader Kevin McCarthy, Cal., and early endorsements from New York Republican Reps. Elise Stefanik and Lee Zeldin and Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers, Wash.

In a state where the third ballot line of the smaller Conservative Party has long been critical to the election of nearly all Republicans from the Empire State, its recently-elected Conservative Chairman Jerry Kassar told us Malliotakis “was a near certainty” to have the Conservative nomination for Congress in ’20.

“There’s just too much I addressed and wanted to change when I ran for mayor that an activist Member of Congress could do something about,” the feisty daughter of Cuban and Greek immigrants told Newsmax, “Sanctuary cities, the tax dollars that the [New York Democratic Mayor Bill] DeBlasio Administration has misused intended for public education and transportation, —they can be scrutinized at the federal level.”

But Malliotakis emphasized that “one can only have reform when there is a two-party system. Here in New York, we’ve seen what one-party rule can do and it’s not good. Right now, we have no Members of Congress from New York who aren’t Democrats. That has to change.”

Two years ago, the one-party rule Malliotakis spoke of came about when political newcomer Rose upset the 11th District’s Rep. Dan Donovan—the last Republican U.S. Representative from New York City. Prior to Rose’s election, the 11th had been in Republican hands for all but two of the previous 38 years.

“And while he plays middle-of-the-road back in the district, he is far on the left in Washington and on MSNBC,” observed the Malliotakis, “He supports DeBlasio’s sanctuary city policy, backs free college for illegal aliens, favors late-term abortion and lowering the voting age to sixteen.”

Malliotakis, whose Assembly district is contained within the boundaries of the 11th District, carried 70 percent of the vote in Staten Island when she ran for mayor. In the Brooklyn portion of the district, her margin was 58 percent.

“And one thing I can’t wait to do when I’m in Congress is take on [New York’s far-left Democratic Rep.] Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez—on the House floor and on TV,” she told us, “My Mom was a refugee from Castro’s Cuba, and anyone who wants to take us down the road to socialism is on my bad side.”

John Gizzi is chief political columnist and White House correspondent for Newsmax. For more of his reports, Go Here Now.

Source: NewsMax Politics

Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan said Tuesday he is considering a Republican primary challenge against President Donald Trump for next year’s presidential election.

Hogan spoke at a “Politics & Eggs” event in New Hampshire and confirmed a White House run could be in his near future.

“A lot of people have been approaching me, probably since around my inauguration in late January,” Hogan said, according to ABC News. “People have asked me to give this serious consideration, and I think I owe it to those people to do just that. That’s what I’m doing.”

The governor added that seeing the Republican Party throw its full weight behind Trump for the 2020 election indicates a shift in how the party used to be.

“Not that the Republican National Committee doesn’t have the right to support the sitting president,” he said. “But to change the rules and to insist 100% loyalty to the dear leader, it just didn’t sound much like the Republican Party that I grew up in.”

Regarding the Mueller report, which was released last week after nearly two years of investigating Russian interference in the 2016 election and whether Trump or his campaign conspired with the Russians, Hogan said the report had some “very disturbing stuff.”

“Just because aides did not follow his orders, it’s the only reason we don’t have obstruction of justice,” Hogan said.

Hogan has been critical of Trump in the past. He told the media in March it is not the “enemy of the people,” a phrase often used by Trump. Earlier in March, he teased a potential White House run but said he would need to see “an actual path to victory” before joining the race.

Source: NewsMax America

Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan said Tuesday he is considering a Republican primary challenge against President Donald Trump for next year’s presidential election.

Hogan spoke at a “Politics & Eggs” event in New Hampshire and confirmed a White House run could be in his near future.

“A lot of people have been approaching me, probably since around my inauguration in late January,” Hogan said, according to ABC News. “People have asked me to give this serious consideration, and I think I owe it to those people to do just that. That’s what I’m doing.”

The governor added that seeing the Republican Party throw its full weight behind Trump for the 2020 election indicates a shift in how the party used to be.

“Not that the Republican National Committee doesn’t have the right to support the sitting president,” he said. “But to change the rules and to insist 100% loyalty to the dear leader, it just didn’t sound much like the Republican Party that I grew up in.”

Regarding the Mueller report, which was released last week after nearly two years of investigating Russian interference in the 2016 election and whether Trump or his campaign conspired with the Russians, Hogan said the report had some “very disturbing stuff.”

“Just because aides did not follow his orders, it’s the only reason we don’t have obstruction of justice,” Hogan said.

Hogan has been critical of Trump in the past. He told the media in March it is not the “enemy of the people,” a phrase often used by Trump. Earlier in March, he teased a potential White House run but said he would need to see “an actual path to victory” before joining the race.

Source: NewsMax Politics

The Democrats’ strategy for presidential primary debates is flawed, former White House press secretary Sean Spicer says.

Spicer made his remarks in a column published Tuesday in The Wall Street Journal.

“Recognizing the growing role of debates in shaping the race, the Republican National Committee in the 2016 election cycle asserted more control over their structure,” Spicer said.

“Now Democrats are trying to do the same, but they’re likely to fail where the GOP succeeded.

“The Democratic National Committee has proposed 12 debates, each taking place over two nights. The top 20 candidates can make the stage on one of the two nights by achieving at least 1% in three different approved polls or by receiving contributions from at least 65,000 individuals, including a minimum of 200 contributors in at least 20 states.”

But Spicer noted “the proliferation of candidates is the DNC’s first problem.” He pointed out the party is likely to have more than “20 candidates meet at least one of its criteria.”

However, he said the “biggest threat” to the Democrats’ plan will likely come from the fact that the party excluded Fox News from hosting a debate. Spicer said Fox recently broadcasted a highly rated town hall meeting with Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., who is running for the Democratic nomination.

And he said Fox News could host its own debates without adhering to the DNC rules.

“With 2.4 million prime-time viewers, it would be near impossible for many candidates to say no, especially those near the bottom looking to break out,” he said.

Source: NewsMax Politics

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WASHINGTON — The constitutional case for impeaching President Trump was best made two decades ago by one of his most servile enablers, Lindsey Graham, now the senior senator from South Carolina:

“You don’t even have to be convicted of a crime to lose your job in this constitutional republic if this body [the Senate] determines that your conduct as a public official is clearly out of bounds in your role … because impeachment is not about punishment. Impeachment is about cleansing the office. Impeachment is about restoring honor and integrity to the office.”

The political case for moving deliberately but fearlessly toward impeachment is even clearer: If timorous Democrats do not seize and define this moment, Trump surely will.

What just happened is that special counsel Robert Mueller delivered a searing indictment of a president who has no idea what “honor” and “integrity” even mean — a president who lies almost pathologically, who orders subordinates to lie, who has no respect for the rule of law, who welcomed Russian meddling in the 2016 election, who clumsily tried to orchestrate a cover-up, who tried his best to impede a lawful Justice Department investigation and failed only to the extent that aides ignored his outrageous and improper orders.

What Trump claims just happened is a “witch hunt.”

Anyone who thinks there is a chance that Trump will lick his wounds and move on has not been paying attention. Having escaped criminal charges — because he is a sitting president — Trump will go on the offensive. With the help of Attorney General William Barr, whose title really should be Minister of Spin, the president will push to investigate the investigators and sell the bogus counternarrative of an attempted “coup” by politically motivated elements of the “deep state.”

Here is the important thing: Trump will mount this attack no matter what Democrats do. And strictly as a matter of practical politics, the best defense against Trump has to be a powerful offense.

I fail to see the benefit for Democrats, heading into the 2020 election, of being seen as such fraidy-cats that they shirk their constitutional duty. Mueller’s portrait of this president and his administration is devastating. According to Lindsey Graham’s “honor and integrity” standard — which he laid out in January 1999, when he was one of the House prosecutors in Bill Clinton’s impeachment trial in the Senate — beginning the process of impeaching Trump is not a close call.

It is also important for Democrats to keep their eyes on the prize. The election is the one guaranteed opportunity to throw Trump and his band of grifters out of the White House, and the big anti-Trump majority that was on display in last year’s midterm must be maintained and, one hopes, expanded.

But that task will largely fall to the eventual Democratic nominee, whoever that turns out to be. Presidential contenders should be free to position themselves however they see fit on the impeachment question. Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., has chosen to single herself out by leading the charge. Others may choose to demur and focus instead on the kitchen-table issues, such as health care, that polls show voters care about.

But most Democratic members of Congress (believe it or not) are not running for president. Their focus has to be on their constitutional duty — and nowhere in the Constitution does it say “never mind about presidential obstruction of justice or abuse of power if there’s an election next year.”

I have no intention of letting congressional Republicans off the hook. They have constitutional responsibilities as well, though it’s clear they will not fulfill them. Imagine, for a moment, if the tables were turned — if a GOP majority were running the House and a Democratic president did half of what Trump did. Do you think Republicans would hesitate for a New York minute? Articles of impeachment would have been drawn up long ago and stern-faced senators, including Graham, would already be sitting in judgment.

The conventional wisdom is that Republicans made a political error by impeaching Clinton. But they did win the presidency in 2000 and go on to dominate Congress for most of George W. Bush’s tenure. If impeachment was a mistake, it wasn’t a very costly one.

Does it “play into Trump’s hands” to speak of impeachment? I think it plays into the president’s hands to disappoint the Democratic base and come across as weak and frightened. Voters who saw the need to hold Trump accountable decided to give Democrats some power — and now expect them to use it.

(c) 2019, Washington Post Writers Group


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