One Liberal East Coast Republican Endorses Another For President

This afternoon (February 26th) Chris Christie, former GOP candidate for President, announced his endorsement of Donald Trump for President. On the surface this is unsurprising: Christie has vocalized many times his deep dislike for Trump’s two main rivals: Senators Marco Rubio and Ted Cruz. Christie also shares a total disregard for conservative principles that Trump has embraced during this campaign (and his whole life for that matter) which is polar opposite of the values that both Rubio and Cruz have held and stood for during their political careers.

While Christie was unsuccessful with his own campaign, he now expects to ride Trump’s coattails for the Vice-President spot on Trump’s ticket.

It is not surprising to see how hypocritical and opportunistic both of these men can be on the campaign trail. I say this not because they are former opponents, but because they have attacked and demeaned each other with a great deal of vigor. Apparently Christie has forgiven Trump’s assertion from earlier this year that Christie was a “little boy” during President Obama’s visit to new Jersey, as well as his many other insults. Christie himself has insulted Trump many times: starting with calling Trump self-absorbed (November 2015), criticizing Trump’s behavior on Twitter (November 2015), suggesting that his temperament as shown on reality TV was not fit for the Oval Office (December 2015), and asserting that Trump had no details behind any of his grand plans (January 2016). But now Christie has sold out to Trump for a chance to be number 2 to Trump’s lunacy.

This seems familiar; it reminds me of Christie palling around with Obama like best friends a few years ago.

Trump is taking Christie’s endorsement happily, because he is worried about his chances. Before Thursday’s debate Trump has hardly had to stand up to any real, vigorous opposition. Jeb Bush had any sort of success challenging Trump on the issues. However, Jeb was largely unsuccessful due to his temperament. Jeb Bush is closer to the elder statesman: dignified, intelligent, but hardly combative. Unfortunately Bush was simply not up to the task of taking on Trump.

Last night another challenger emerged to take Trump to task, and Christie’s endorsement might suggest that the encounter rattled Trump.

Marco Rubio did not simply challenge Trump during the debate. Rubio took Trump to task, and eventually taunted him on his language and lack of details on policy. Donald Trump, in his own words, is used to winning. His frequent assertions to being a winner and making things great are almost reminiscent of a political version of Charlie Sheen. During the debate Rubio brought up Trump’s past failures, hammered him on policy, and mocked him for essentially being a spoiled rich kid. Trump did not take that well. Rubio has not let up either; during an event Friday morning Rubio went as far as to suggest that Trump wet himself during the debate.

Trump is not accustomed to such fierce criticism on the campaign trail from his opponents. His own tactics of personal attacks, innuendos, and being spoken over were employed successfully against him by both Rubio and Cruz. Trump left the debate shaken and decided to call in reinforcements in the form of Chris Christie. Trump has frequently trumpeted (no pun intended) his lack of endorsement by “the establishment”. That seems to be over.

This race deserves an even closer watch. And no, not the kind of watch that Trump would be selling if not for his multi-million dollar inheritance.

Trump goes off the deep end while Rubio continues to rise

It is becoming increasingly hard to discuss the Republican Primary and not mention Donald Trump. As usual the Donald is doing a fantastic job of keeping his visibility high. Whether it has been his remarks about a female candidate, or pulling his best interpretation of Hitler by suggesting American Muslims register with the government, Trump continues to show that he has no idea how to speak about real policy and is pandering to the lowest common denominator.

Has Trump finally overplayed his hand?

It’s hard to tell. While Trump’s poll numbers have not risen in the last two months, they haven’t fallen significantly either. Formerly, Carson was the second highest poled candidate after Trump. Now, with Quinnipiac’s most recent poll, Carson has dropped to a distant third with Rubio continuing his rise at 17%. Maybe this is due to Rubio’s likability, his policy knowledge, and shying away from personal attacks.

This primary for the Republican Party has been bizarre. Rubio is the road back to sanity.



Mandel Receives ORP Backlash For Endorsing Someone Who Isn’t John Kasich

From left to right: Ohio State Treasurer Josh Mandel, Florida Senator Marco Rubio, Ohio GOP Chairman Matt Borges, Ohio Governor John Kasich
From left to right: Ohio State Treasurer Josh Mandel, Florida Senator Marco Rubio, Ohio GOP Chairman Matt Borges, Ohio Governor John Kasich
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, 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