State Treasurer Josh Mandel made some waves today by endorsing Marco Rubio for President. Mandel made his announcement through a column in the Daily Caller. Citing Rubio’s vision for the country, the Marine Corps veteran highlighted Rubio’s stances on fiscal and foreign matters.
He has shown that he understands the human costs of defending America’s interests, recognizing those brave warriors who’ve paid the ultimate sacrifice so we may live free. Just as importantly, he also understands the costs incurred when America fails to defend those interests, costs that can be devastating for both our people and the values that we hold dear.
As Treasurer of Ohio, I am as confident in Marco’s fiscal policies as I am in his foreign policies. Though, as he sometimes says, “In the 21st century, foreign policy is domestic policy.” I believe he is right. In the 21st century, there are hardly such things as remote problems. The economic interests and physical safety of families in my home state of Ohio are often tied to the security of cities, villages and countries a world away.
Primaries are important. They allow the base an opportunity to speak to their party. Failing to engage the base creates a tsunami of trouble in a general election. Look no farther than Mitt Romney’s 2012 campaign to learn this lesson.
But sometimes the party doesn’t like primaries. Supreme Court Justice Bill O’Neill recently went on a Facebook tirade airing his grievances over the Ohio Democratic Party for endorsing so early in next year’s US Senate race. O’Neill, who is only one of two statewide elected Democrats, actually told Democrats to leave the party over the ODP’s suppression of a Senatorial primary.
The Ohio Republican Party now is having a bit of a dispute regarding next year’s Presidential primary. Chairman Matt Borges told the Northeast Ohio Media Group that most Ohio Republicans should wait to see if Governor Kasich gets in the race before making any endorsements. Then Borges took a swipe at Mandel for having an opinion that didn’t include Kasich.
“I don’t think that not having the support of a bit player is going to impact that decision one way or the other.”
Mandel’s brand is that of a conservative rather than a rank and file Ohio Republican. True to conservative principles, Mandel opposed Ohio’s Medicaid expansion. He was the first statewide elected official to criticize common core. And with OhioCheckbook.com, Mandel has proven himself to be a watchdog for transparency in state government. Now he is a known as a “bit player” to the Ohio Republican Party Chairman for endorsing someone who isn’t John Kasich.
Borges’s swipe at Mandel makes the ORP and Kasich’s campaign look petty. The message being sent here is that you better toe the line and show 100% loyalty, or we are done with you.
There was no reason to wait until Kasich makes up his mind. What Borges is suggesting is that every Ohio Republican better be endorsing Kasich for president, should he decide to run. So, you better just wait and see. But if Kasich does decide to run, we expect your endorsement. And if you endorse someone other than Kasich, we will publicly attack you.
Josh Mandel is not bound by moral code to endorse someone just because they are from the same state. He believes Rubio is the best man for the job, based on his principles. Basing it on geography alone would be absurd.
Josh Mandel represents the base of the Republican Party. And when he is discounted as a “bit player” by the state Chairman, the party isn’t going to gain favor with the base it so desperately needs to engage.
Co-written by Rachel and Nick