All posts by rutheg

The Trump Running Mate Question

I continue to watch in dismay as many of the people I consider to be great conservative minds flounder each week as they write articles about Donald Trump. Half of their articles are about trying to convince the GOP base to vote against Trump and the other half of their articles seem to reflect their confusion as to why none of the base is listening to them. It is clear that many of these astute minds have been going to DC dinner parties for too long and would do well to go live in “fly over” America for a while to regain perspective. The latest of these articles are being written as commentators across America are accepting that Republican voters have decided that Trump will be the nominee and are starting to discuss who his Vice Presidential running mate might be.

George Will is one of my favorite writers and I had high hopes when I saw he’d written a new article titled “In case of Trump nomination, break glass“. I had hoped that perhaps he was referencing the so-called “glass ceiling” and was going to reference that wisdom of perhaps choosing a female running mate to shore up his supposed problem with women voters. Instead, I read an article about how the GOP should help him lose in November so Republicans can preserve their 162-year old party identity. It’s a shame really. I respect George Will but have to conclude that he’s been “inside the beltway” for too long and can’t see that conservative voters and like-minded independents are drawn to Trump specifically because they no longer fit into that old party identity.

Next, I read a National Review article titled “Weighing Trump’s Running-Mate Options” with hopes of a more balanced outlook on potential Trump running mates. Instead, it’s just a rather simplistic analysis of running mates suggested by Washington Post’s Chris Cillizza’s recent article. Both articles accurately suggest why several possible candidates would not be helpful and both articles fail to mention several much more likely candidates. Both articles correctly mention Iowa Senator Joni Ernst as one smart possibility and both correctly mention that Ohio Governor John Kasich is basically throwing paper plane-folded resumes in Trumps direction but those are about the only smart comments in either article.

It is reflective of their deep dislike of Donald Trump that so many good writers are ignoring the many more likely candidates for the Vice Presidential running mate position. My first pick would be South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley, a popular female conservative governor of Indian descent. Showing South Carolina much love, I would also suggest that their Senator Tim Scott, a well-liked black conservative who is also an awesome public speaker, would be on the short list of potential nominees. Governor Susana Martinez, the female governor of New Mexico, would also be a very good pick. Also look at Governor Brian Sandoval of Nevada. And closing out my wish list would be the ideal candidate, former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice. Any of these would bring solid conservative credentials to the ticket and eliminate many of the supposed negatives that Trumps blunt speaking style have generated.

The GOP establishment has spent the past week starting to come to terms with the fact that Trump is going to be the Republican nominee. And some are starting to see that he even has a better than even chance of beating Hillary Clinton in the general election. They are starting to notice that Trump is consistently bring in crowds of over 10,000 wherever he goes while Hillary Clinton’s events usually generate a few hundred. They see that Bernie Sanders has damaged her with the youth vote and that she is no where near as popular among black voters as the liberal media portrays her to be. This has every possibility of being a wave election that Trump rides to victory because of the dissatisfaction among all Americans with both major parties. I wonder when many of the more established conservative columnists will notice.

Ed Ruth

Trump on Abortion and Misspeaking

There is a reason that “polish” and “politician” sound so much alike. Politicians spend an entire career perfecting the art of controlling their words to hide their actual feelings and positions on any and all issues. Believe it or not, your favorite politician pays big money to polling firms and focus group companies so they can steer their message in a way that will gain the most votes. Then, like a movie star practicing for a roll, they practice their lines so they don’t slip up when making a public appearance.

Donald Trump is not a professional politician. If you ask him a business related question, he can talk at length and in depth about the issue. But when you ask a question about a social issue, especially a social issue like abortion which very few people have an absolute feeling on one way or another, then you’re opening Trump up for trouble. Which was exactly the intent of Chris Matthews, the MSNBC TV personality that asked him the question.

I call Chris Matthews a TV personality because I would never think of calling him a journalist. He gave up many years ago the mantle of an unbiased journalist. He’s about as far left as you get and why any Republican presidential candidate would agree let him do an interview, I do not know. If I were a GOP presidential candidate, I would agree to do a Chris Matthews interview when Hillary Clinton agreed to an interview with Rush Limbaugh or Sean Hannity.

Donald Trump is running as a pro-life Republican candidate but he has decades of comments in print and on TV showing his pro-choice views. He says his views have changed over the years and that he is now pro-life with conditions related to the safety of pregnant women. It’s a pretty mainstream way of thinking and should serve him well with women voters in the general election. Liberal reporters know this and have been targeting him as a women-hater because capturing a large portion of the woman’s vote is the only chance Hillary Clinton has of being elected president.

Not being a professional politician is one of Donald Trump’s strengths. But there are weaknesses that come with that benefit. One of them is that he is not trained to look into a camera and lie to us like so many politicians do on a daily basis. If we truly want to get away from having professional politicians Who can lie to us without batting an eye, then we have to give nonprofessional candidates the benefit of the doubt and let them clarify a position when they misspeak.  

South Carolina and Nevada GOP Primary Vote Results

It was no big surprise when Donald trump won decisively in the South Carolina GOP primary vote. Every poll for the last 18 weeks would’ve had to of been wrong for it to be otherwise. The big surprise was that Marco Rubio actually seem to have the momentum that had been hinted in the previous week or so.

The Nevada primary was a surprise because, even though everyone knew Trump was going to win, nobody expected him to win by such a large margin (46%).  Marco Rubio continued his momentum well Ted Cruz seems to be stalling a bit.

Marco Rubio continues to be my number one pick for the next president of United States of America.  He’s an attractive candidate for many reasons. He’s a powerful speaker and brings youth and vigor to a race otherwise dominated by names from a generation past. As the son of immigrant parents, he will have a biography that will attract many Latino voters over to the Republican side.  In Florida is often the deciding state because I’m selections and it is almost inconceivable that he would lose Florida’s electoral votes in the general election against either of his potential democrat opponents.  

One big outcome of the South Carolina primary was Jeb Bush suspending his presidential campaign. It is likely that many of his voters will cross over to Marco Rubio (this may be why Rubio went from a few points behind Cruz in the polls after the SC Orimary to winning the Nevada Caucus by a few percentage points.   It seems very unlikely that many former Bush supporters will cross over to Texas Senator Ted Cruz.   I also find it likely that Carson and Kasick support will start to diminish as it becomes even more unlikely that either candidate will go anywhere.  Both groups should be attracted to Marco Rubio as the strongest possible GOP opponent to Donald Trump.   And their combined support would put Rubio within striking distance of being in the lead.   This is the most likely scenario and would effectively end the Ted Cruz campaign. 

I am hopeful that Donald Trump and Marco Rubio do not get into a particular ugly fight with each other and instead let next week’s super Tuesday primary day decide who will be the Republican nominee.   Should Donald Trump continue his dominance, putting Marco Rubio on in the number two spot as vice presidential candidate would be us very powerful ticket.   Or should Marco Rubio leap to the number one spot and become the nominee, it would be very helpful to have Donald Trump encourage his supporters to align with Marco Rubio.

All Republicans need to remember that the end goal is to get a Republican president in office who can begin to reverse the many horrible decisions and executive orders implemented by President Obama.   The large field of candidates the Republicans had has narrowed down and made each of the remaining candidates stronger.  Let us hope that all of the Republicans coalesce around one strong candidate soon so we can have a successful Republican elected in November.

Time for Conservatives to Unite Behind Trump

  With the March 15, 2016 primary behind us and with Marco Rubio dropping out after his defeat in the Florida Primary, Republicans are now at a point where they need to look for a way to unify. The misguided efforts by some conservatives to create a brokered convention situation will only lead to a President Hillary Clinton. To avoid this horrifying outcome in November, conservatives need to begin immediately to take actions that will create a united Republican Party that can provide our candidate with solid support at all levels.

One of the first actions that need to be taken is that conservatives need to stop demonizing Donald Trump. Whether you like him or not, Donald Trump has a better than even chance of becoming the Republican nominee and we don’t need any more prominent Republicans or conservative media personalities making videos for future Hillary Clinton commercials.

Next, Republican leaders need to be very public and make it very apparent to the public that the Republican nominee will be either Donald Trump or Ted Cruz and that no brokered convention will involve anybody but one of those two as the nominee.

At this point, my preferred outcome would be that Trump and Cruz continue with more civil primary battles and end up with Donald Trump 100 or so delegates short come convention time. Being short the number of needed delegates would make Trump willing to negotiate and being so close to having the required number of delegates would make Republican leaders willing to negotiate Trump can come together with Republican leaders and come out of the meeting room with the agreement that Donald Trump will be our nominee and that an acceptable conservative will be his vice presidential running mate. Cruz or Rubio would have been ideal but I think there’s too much bad blood there now. I think the next best option would be picking Ben Carson as his running mate but others like SC Governor Nikki Haley, NM Governor Susana Martinez, OH Governor John Kasich or Iowa Senator Joni Ernst. This would unify the party more than any other option.  

Trump could then also announce the Republican leaders that would be members of his foreign and domestic policy teams. With a solid conservative as his running mate and experienced teams of advisers at his side, Trump would unite conservatives to his nomination and he would be able to begin running against Hillary Clinton from a position of strength
If there’s one thing conservatives of all types can agree on its that anyone will be better than Hillary Clinton as our next president. We have to unite behind the “Anybody but Hillary” line of thought. That means it’s time for us to unite behind Trump and position him as strongly as possible to beat her in November.

The Reason For Donald Trump’s Success

I’ve been thinking a lot about Donald Trump lately. He’s got some of my otherwise non-political friends very fired up and ready to vote for him. I like some of what he says but some of his comments seem off the wall. I haven’t been able to really see why he’s been so successful in this presidential campaign other than the obvious fact that people like his bluntness. They like that he isn’t afraid to speak his mind. I get that but it wasn’t enough to convince me to join the Trump bandwagon.

I’m still not there but a recent article by Tucker Carlson rings true on why he’s so popular and why he may very likely be our next president. Carlson gave several reasons that explain Trumps popularity and I agree with every one of them. They boil down to a) The establishment Republicans have failed us by never doing what they say they are going to do; b)He speaks many truths that many people feel but never hear from our elected leaders and c)He is a “doer” with a history of getting things done and he can make change happen because he has worked both sides of the aisle to build his business career. It is this last part that I find myself so completely in agreement. The best line of the article is “Anyone can peer through the window in envy. It takes a real man to throw furniture through it from the inside.” This is why I find myself joining with some many others around the country in saying that, while he may not be my first choice, I can definitely now see myself voting for him in the general election.

Yes, Donald Trump’s comments sometimes make me cringe. Yes, I disagree with some of his views completely. But as President Reagan famously said “If I agree with someone 80% of the time, they are my friend”. So I say, “If I agree with Donald Trump 80% of the time, then I could vote for him for President”. I still wont say he’s my first pick…I still think Marco Rubio would be a better pick. But I don’t agree with Rubio 100% of the time either.

Ed Ruth

John Quincy Adams on Immigration and American Values

John Quincy AdamsI highly encourage everyone to read this excellent letter from John Quincy Adams (at the time, Secretary of State) written in response to a letter from a well-to-do German who had written to him and said he would move to America if he was guaranteed a job. It is striking commentary from one of our earliest leaders and shows valuable insight into immigration as it was intended for our country. 

 It encompasses two main points. First, that all are welcome but they must get here of their own volition, at their own expense and with nothing promised other then the freedom and equality guaranteed to all. And second that all immigrants should come here with the understanding that they are coming to a country and embracing it’s morals and values. If they are going to be offended by our morals, traditions, or general way of life than they should not come here.
http://www.wsj.com/articles/notable-quotable-john-quincy-adams-1444256936

Carson and Rubio would be Unbeatable

With Ben Carson leading in most GOP presidential primary polls, it seems likely that he will be a contender for the length of the campaign season.  Soon America will be distracted by the holiday seasons and the poll numbers will likely settle down without much change for a month or two.  When the early primary elections occur in the early part of next year, we will start to get a much clearer picture about who is the more likely GOP nominee.  If it is Ben Carson, then picking a running mate like Marco Rubio could make him a favorite to win the general election.

Ben Carson is an incredibly motivating speaker.  His personal story and his professional accomplishments make him a very likeable candidate.  And his calm and consistent manner project a presidential gravitas that Donald Trump is seriously lacking.  An outsider not tied to the Washington establishment, he has all of Trump’s outsider benefits with none of his gaffes or un-presidential bluster.  In addition to being energizing factor among the GOP base, Ben Carson could also offer the possibility of attracting a significant percentage of the black vote.   Black voters who have voted Democrat in past elections have been economically hit very hard over the past several years of the Obama administration and might be more open than normal to looking at a Republican alternative.  The brilliant retired brain surgeon is too successful and capable to ever bring up how his race might be a benefit in the general election but it would indeed be such a benefit.

Barring an unlikely indictment or a hereto for unknown health problem, Hillary Clinton will be the Democrat nominee.  She hopes to maximize advantage among female voters looking to elect the first female President of the United States and to keep the advantage among black voters that President Obama enjoyed in both of his elections.  But repeated polls over the past several months leave both of those in doubt.  One of the worst kept secrets in Washington DC is that she plans on choosing HUD secretary Julian Castro as her running mate as a strategy to get more of the Hispanic vote.  Ben Carson could easily eliminate any advantage she might get from this maneuver by selecting Marco Rubio as his own running mate.

Selecting Marco Rubio as his vice presidential running mate would offer several advantages. First of all he’s a much higher profile candidate then Julian Castro. Most people outside of Washington DC have never even heard of Julian Castro where is Marco Rubio will continue to be building his national profile throughout the candidate selection process.  Also, as a Florida Senator, Marco Rubio would very likely guarantee a GOP win of Florida’s electoral votes.  Julian Castro is a former three-term mayor of San Antonio, TX but it is highly unlikely that a very Red State like Texas would end up voting for Hillary Clinton regardless of who she picks as a running mate.  And Marco Rubio could match Julian Castro word for word in the very likely large amounts of Spanish commercials and public events likely to happen during the election process.

Republicans are not as comfortable as Democrats in using identity politics as a tool in elections.   And both Ben Carson and Marco Rubio are gifted and talented enough to never need to stoop to using race or ethnicity for political benefit.   If they were to become the eventual nominees for the GOP, it would not be because of their race or backgrounds but rather because both have incredible abilities and offer a leadership vision that America badly needs.

Ed Ruth

Third GOP Had a Few Winners; Liberal Media Big Loser

The third GOP Presidential Debate, held last night on CNBC, had few big moments for the candidates but several long minutes of public defeat for liberal media.  The candidates were repeatedly asked questions that could be described as “unskillful” if one were trying to be overly polite to the moderators.  But several of the candidates stepped up to the challenge, calling out the moderators and delivering lines that should help them in the polls.

Donald Trump showed that he has evolved as a candidate.  He was much more disciplined than in the past but was still able to give better than he got from both his fellow debaters and from the moderators.  He won because he did no damage and may have helped his campaign by showing he’s got more substance than many have accused him of having.  No damage and some benefits makes him the debate winner because he’s already leading or basically tied with Ben Carson in most polls.

Ben Carson did well but didn’t seem to have much fire.  His answers were careful and humble on a night when many others were making risky comments and even some attacks to increase their profiles.  I don’t know that he hurt his campaign but I can’t really see where he helped it either.

Marco Rubio had a great night and may have positioned himself as leader of the mainstream candidates.  He was attacked by Jeb Bush and beat back the attack handily.  He was attacked on his finances by the moderators and slapped them hard while turning it to his advantage by speaking to the voters about how he was not born rich and how he feels voters financial struggles because he shares them.  A solid performance with several great moments that will undoubtedly be rebroadcast in the coming days.  This should help him with donors and make it so his campaign has no problem financing for the long haul.

Ted Cruz also had several great moments during the debate.  Some were substantive but his best lines were his attacks on the liberal media, including the debate moderators.  This debate will keep Cruz in the campaign for the long haul as well.

Carly Fiorina had a few good moments but was unfortunately not given enough time to really shine.  The moderators seemed to have made a point of not asking her or Donald Trump many questions so as to give the other candidates more time.  That is unfortunate as she is one of the best candidates on the stage.  Low contributions may make her leave the campaign at some point but she’s a solid candidate for the VP slot if she does end up dropping out of running for the top ticket.  If she does get some bump in the polls from this debate and can increase her campaign coffers, then she too will be in for the long haul.  But I don’t think she had enough time in the spotlight last night to do either.

The remaining candidates, Kasich, Huckabee and the lower tier candidates (Graham, Jindhal, etc) are on borrowed time.  They don’t have the money they need to last more than a few more months.

The big story for the night other than the candidates performance was the embarrassing performance of the moderators.  Their bias was clear from the get go and they didn’t even make an attempt to hid it.  Their questions were unworthy of the event for the most part, shallow attempts at either demeaning a candidate or pitting one against another.  In the end, they only made themselves look bad and further diminished whatever remaining credibility they may have had among conservative viewers.

Ed Ruth