At Kemp Forum, Republicans Continue Their War On Poor Americans

Today in South Carolina, Speaker Paul Ryan is moderating the Kemp Forum on Expanding Opportunity, which features six GOP presidential hopefuls, Governor Nikki Haley, who never misses an opportunity to promote herself for this year’s GOP Veepstakes, and Senator Lindsey Graham.

The Republicans hope that talking about poverty will help voters forget that they have acted little to help low income families. Instead, the Kemp Forum will make it clearer than ever that the GOP’s days of “compassionate conservatism” are a relic of the past. Why else would Ryan be the first choice to moderate a forum on “combating” poverty?

As the newly minted leader of House Republicans, Ryan is well known for championing extreme anti-poverty measures. He’s even earned the title “Robin Hood in reverse”  for pushing policies that give to the rich and “punish the poor.” Across the GOP, proposing drastic cuts to critical programs like food assistance — combativeness over compassion — has become boilerplate policy. Today, American Bridge is […]

Read more after the jump.

GOP Gun Violence Discussion Hardly Qualifies As Debate

Most discussion of the issues in the Republican Party hardly amounts to a debate; that is never more true than on the topic of gun violence. Faced with gridlock among Republicans in Congress, President Obama is preparing to announce new executive orders to prevent gun violence. Meanwhile, the GOP has nothing to add to the conversation but some variation of a shrug and Jeb Bush’s “stuff happens.” Their loyalty to the gun lobby is so strong, truly nothing — not even keeping guns out of the hands of terrorists — will change their extreme, absolutist position.

Here’s some of the embarrassing rhetoric the GOP field spouts on gun violence:

Donald Trump: “Whenever I see gun-free zone, that’s a flag for the whackos to come in and start shooting people.”

Trump: “If the people in Paris had guns, you know what, you wouldn’t have had 134 people and many more to follow get killed. And if people in […]

Read more after the jump.

Not-So-Happy Hour Debaters Renew Support For Trump Nomination

All four happy hour debaters set the bar for the prime time debate when they renewed their support for Donald Trump if he wins the Republican nomination. Wolf Blitzer put Marco Rubio, Ted Cruz, Jeb Bush, Chris Christie, and the rest of the prime time wolf pack on notice that they will have to defend their pledge to support Trump.

We can’t say we’re surprised by Huckabee, Santorum, or Pataki (who?), but Graham’s fire-breathing had us hoping for something more from the little league debate.

Take a look at their promises to support the xenophobic demagogue and get ready for more of the same at the main debate:

Read more after the jump.

GOP Solution For Gun Violence: Do Nothing

Jeb Bush kick-started the Republican Party’s conversation on doing nothing to protect our children from gun violence when he dismissed the role of government in creating safe communities by saying, “stuff happens,” but this is a common theme from other candidates. Ben Carson, Marco Rubio, John Kasich, and the rest of the GOP field have parroted Bush this week, blaming victims, mental health issues, or both.

Even today, Bush argued that more guns in more hands is the solution, saying in Muscatine, Iowa, “I think it reduces crime to have people have concealed weapons permits.” But, as the Washington Post reported, it’s “a stretch to say such laws are a slam-dunk reason for why crimes have decreased.”

Here’s what the GOP field has to say about gun violence:

Jeb Bush: “It’s just — it’s very sad to see, but I resist the notion, and I did — I had this challenge as governor. […]

Read more after the jump.

GOP Punch-Out, Vol. II

TO:                 Interested Parties
FROM:           Jessica Mackler, President, American Bridge 21st Century
DATE:            September 15, 2015

This Wednesday, CNN’s Jake Tapper and Dana Bash, and conservative radio host Hugh Hewitt, joined by Donald Trump and his crew of 10 sideshow candidates, will take the stage at the Reagan Library in Simi Valley, California, for the second GOP primary debate. But first, a brief update on how the field’s shaken up since the last debate.

The GOP candidates have sprinted further to the right than anyone anticipated: Candidates have called for the repeal of the 14th Amendment, and an end to guaranteed citizenship to everyone born in the United States. Jeb Bush embraced the term “anchor babies,” then angrily defended his use of the slur. Second-place Ben Carson said he might order drone strikes on the United States’ southern border. Scott Walker […]

Read more after the jump.

Mike Huckabee has two words for Jeb Bush: Political Suicide

Just two days after Jeb Bush said he would cut Social Security benefits and raise the retirement age to 70, Mike Huckabee said he believes that would not only be political suicide, but economic suicide as well. You know it’s a problem when Mike Huckabee is telling you to tone down your policy ideas. Already in hot water for failing to prove his political viability, Jeb Bush’s impending campaign may be dead on arrival if he loses his economic credentials as well.

Watch the clip of Huckabee at Rick Scott’s Economic Summit:

Read more after the jump.

MEMO: Mike Huckabee is the GOP in all its offensive glory

Mike Huckabee represents the extreme majority of the Republican Party in all its offensive glory. After winning the 2008 Iowa caucus and racking up the second most delegates that year, Huckabee is jumping into a crowded GOP primary where candidates are already trying to prove they’re the most conservative. Huckabee will immediately pull the primary even further to the whack job fringes of the Tea Party.

He compared abortion to slavery. He said women “cannot control their libido or their reproductive system without the help of the government.” And while Jeb Bush, Marco Rubio, Rand Paul, and the rest of the field jumped to support Mike Pence’s religious discrimination law, Huckabee outflanked the pack and said:

When business people you sit in church with every week are told they’re going to pay a fine of $1,000 a day and possibly go to jail because their conscience won’t let them make a wedding cake with two men on the top of the wedding cake.

Read more after the jump.

MEMO: The C[onservative] Team

The Republican presidential field keeps getting wider, but not any deeper. Mike Huckabee, Carly Fiorina and Ben Carson are set to announce their long-shot bids this week.

And although they’re more likely to win FOX News contracts than the White House, each of these three candidates can and will have an impact on the contours of 2016 and the eventual GOP nominee. Look no further than Mitt “Self Deportation” Romney’s lurch to the right in the previous presidential nominating contest — one of  the weakest fields in quite some time.

Carson, Huckabee and Fiorina will have their moment in the sun and fire up base. When they do, the true contenders will have to react. Will Walker, Bush and Rubio lose the primary to win the general? If history is any indication, it is quite likely to be just the opposite.

When it comes to electability, these three may make the core of the C-Team, but they’re also extremely and unabashedly conservative. Here’s how we expect Huckabee, Carson and Fiorina to shift the wide field right.

Read more after the jump.

Divorced from Reality: GOP Slate Opposes Marriage Equality

As the Supreme Court hears oral arguments today on a landmark gay marriage case, every single GOP presidential candidate continues to oppose gay marriage, with Scott Walker going as far as supporting a constitutional amendment to ban marriage equality and Ted Cruz offering legislation that would invalidate thousands of legal marriages. 61 percent of Americans support marriage equality according to a recent Washington Post-ABC poll.

Here’s the heated rhetoric from the candidates vying to be our next president:

Mike Huckabee: Changing my stance on same-sex marriage “is like asking someone who’s Jewish to start serving bacon-wrapped shrimp in their deli, or asking a Muslim to serve up something that is offensive to him, or to have dogs in his backyard.”

Scott Walker: ” I believe marriage is between one man and one woman…I believe it’s reasonable for the people of America to consider a constitutional amendment that would affirm the ability of states to do just that.”

Read more after the jump.

GOP Candidates in Iowa Triple Down on RFRA, Opposing Gay Marriage

A reminder to the WHCA hangover crowd:  while DC was partying, GOP presidential candidates were on the stump in Waukee, Iowa for the five hour Iowa Faith & Freedom summit, putting all their chips in on opposing gay marriage and supporting discriminatory Indiana-style RFRA laws.  Here are some highlights:

Marco Rubio

Marriage is between one man and one woman, and children are better off with heterosexual parents:

Rick Perry

Backing RFRA, and hyping his own role in passing it in Texas:

Read more after the jump.