We have three months to talk about “Hillarump” (or “Trumpary”?), so let’s get into some congressional races, too. The most obvious ones would be those who have/have had primary challenges. We’ve already talked about vulnerable Tea Party senators, who rode the wave to Washington in off-year 2010. Now, we’re starting to see Tea Party representatives, who rode that same wave, or off-year 2014, who are vulnerable now.
But the surprising thing is that the Tea Party candidates are now being challenged in their own party. One was Tim Huelskamp.
GOP Rep. Tim Huelskamp, a three-term incumbent and House Freedom Caucus member from Kansas, lost his House primary Tuesday night to challenger Roger Marshall, a physician backed by agricultural interests and several big-spending outside groups.
. . . in a twist on the usual script in recent anti-incumbent House GOP primaries, Marshall campaigned as a more pragmatic voice, promising voters he would reclaim the district’s longtime seat on the House Agriculture Committee. Huelskamp was removed from the committee in 2012 after angering House GOP leadership. . .
It was an unusual campaign, with the House Freedom Caucus, Americans for Prosperity, and Club for Growth facing off against the US Chamber of Commerce, ESA Fund, and a handful of other groups. In addition, Strong Leadership for America and Heritage Action were involved. You need a scorecard to figure out that one.
More straight-forward is the unexpectedly heated race for Wisconsin Representative Paul Ryan’s seat. The 2012 vice presidential candidate, reluctant house speaker, and former Tea Party darling is in trouble, too. He was hoping he and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell could “channel” Trump’s energy to more traditional Republican issues. So when Trump reached his magic number of delegates, back in May, Ryan refused to endorse Trump, saying he “was not there yet.”
Now, Trump is using the same exact words, saying he is “not there yet” in endorsing Ryan for re-election
“I like Paul, but these are horrible times for our country,” Trump told the Washington Post on Tuesday — one week before Ryan’s election. “We need very strong leadership. We need very, very strong leadership. And I’m just not quite there yet. I’m not quite there yet.”. . .Trump said Ryan’s primary challenger Paul Nehlen has run “a very good campaign.”
Nehlen had defended Trump against backlash from the Khans, who spoke about their son who was killed in combat and criticized Trump during the Democratic National Convention. Trump thanked Nehlen on Twitter Monday night.
In fact, The Donald was quite grateful to Nehlen.
Asked about this in the interview, Trump said Ryan’s “opponent is a big fan of what I’m saying — big fan. His opponent, who’s running a very good campaign, obviously, I’ve heard — his opponent sent me a very scholarly and well-thought-out letter yesterday, and all I did was say thank you very much for your very nice letter.”
And this is not just idle talk. Some of Trump’s people are actually on the ground.
More than half a dozen of Trump’s former campaign staff members or leading volunteer organizers from around the country — and many more local volunteers — have signed on to the long-shot campaign of Ryan’s primary challenger, businessman Paul Nehlen, who openly embraces Trump and casts Ryan as an impediment to Trump’s agenda.
. . .the upstart’s bid has become something of a cause célèbre on the populist right. He’s earned endorsements from the likes of Ann Coulter and Michelle Malkin.
Phillys Schlafly is also on board.
Coming on the heels of her pivotal endorsement that helped propel Donald Trump to becoming the Republican nominee, conservative icon Phyllis Schlafly is once again entering the 2016 electoral fray.
After ending the presidential ambitions of Sen. Marco Rubio, the living legend now has her 91-year-old sights set on the highly controversial House Speaker Paul Ryan, who leads America’s globalist political sect and is nominally a member of the Republican Party. . . In an exclusive interview with Breitbart News, Schlafly, a national conservative who has led the conservative movement for generations, called on the American people to “get rid” of Speaker Ryan.
Nehlen was even more forceful.
Nehlen [claims that Ryan] “says he’s a conservative from the conservative wing of the Republican Party. [But] He is a soulless globalist from the Democrat wing of the Uni-Party. That’s what he is.”
Nehlen continued, “He is all in for the cheapest possible labor for Wall Street. That’s what Paul Ryan’s in for. Paul Ryan’s in for Paul Ryan.” Added Nehlen, “Can you name the last time Paul Ryan worked as hard for Wisconsin workers as he has for corporate America? I can’t. I can’t think of one time,” adding, “Paul Ryan was grown in a petri dish in D.C. He is absolutely an open borders guy, through and through.”
Meanwhile, Ryan got a “standing ovation at a Koch Donors Retreat After Repudiating Trump’s Trade Policies,” and saying the party should simply ignore its base this year.
Paul Ryan suggested it was incumbent upon the Party to “repudiate” the views of Republican voters, [emphasis added] who do not support Ryan and his donors’ trade agenda.
Ryan reportedly assured donors that he will work to “win some of these fights” and advance their agenda on trade — presumably meaning that Ryan plans to push through the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) agreement, supported by GOP donors.
Well, the feud goes on, but Trump’s campaign manager Paul Manafort says, Trump “is going to support Paul Ryan. He does support Paul Ryan. He said he is going to work with Paul Ryan. So there is no issue about that,” Manafort said.
Meanwhile, vice presidential candidate Mike Pence has already endorsed Ryan, telling Fox News, “I strongly support Paul Ryan, strongly support his re-election. He’s a long-time friend. He’s a strong conservative leader. I believe we need Paul Ryan in leadership in the Congress.”
OK, so Pence “endorses” Ryan, and Manafort says that Trump will “support” Ryan. Does that mean Trump will “endorse” Ryan? No way. To his diehard supporters, Trump’s stubbornness is a virtue. He never admits failure. He refers to his bankruptcies as clever tactics to saddle banks with the results of his failures. Heck, this is someone who won’t even admit weakness to God, according to Christian Post.
Donald Trump says he’s not sure if he’s asked God for forgiveness, at the Family Leadership Summit in Ames, Iowa on Saturday, which led some to question the sincerity of his alleged Christian faith. . . Trump clarified further about forgiveness in the church setting saying, “When I go to church and when I drink my little wine and have my little cracker, I guess that is a form of forgiveness.”
At another interview, Trump “clarified” what he meant by that, again, according to Christian Post.
During the interview the current GOP frontrunner stressed that he “likes to work where he doesn’t have to ask forgiveness.”[CNN’s Anderson ] Cooper followed up asking Trump if “asking for forgiveness” is a central tenet in his faith life.
“I try not make mistakes where I have to ask forgiveness,” Trump answered. “Why do I have to repent or ask for forgiveness, if I am not making mistakes?” asked Trump.
If one never makes mistakes, why should one ever make a course correction? Nope, chances are there’ll be no formal “endorsement” of Paul Ryan by Donald J. Trump.