Tag Archives: GOP Primary

Five Deputies Disciplined After Video Reveals Inaction During Assault at Trump Rally

Five North Carolina sheriff’s deputies have been disciplined after video footage of their conduct at a Donald Trump campaign rally showed that they ignored one of the attendees who punched a protester they were escorting out of the rally.

John Franklin McGraw, 78, was arrested on March 10 and charged with assault and disorderly conduct after he punched Rakeem Jones, 26, in the face while Jones was being escorted out of a Trump rally on March 9.

While video footage of McGraw’s actions showed his assault on Jones, it also showed that the deputies escorting Jones out of the event did nothing to reprimand McGraw at the time.

Jones told NBC affiliate WRAL that he thought he was being arrested after he was punched, and he was surprised to see that McGraw returned to his seat.

“I thought I was being arrested, to be honest,” Jones said. “I saw, later on, that [McGraw] went back to his seat so I am trying to figure out why was he able to go back to his seat.

After the end of the rally, McGraw told Inside Edition that his favorite part of the rally was “knocking the hell out of that big mouth.”

“Yes, he deserved it,” McGraw said. “The next time we see him, we might have to kill him. We don’t know who he is. He might be with a terrorist organization.”

Sheriff Earl Butler of Cumberland County, North Carolina, released a statement on Facebook confirming that two deputies were suspended for a period of three days, and three deputies were suspended for a period of five days and demoted in rank, following a Donald Trump rally at the Crown Coliseum in Fayetteville on March 9.

[pull_quote_center]Three deputies were demoted in rank, and they were suspended for a period of five days each without pay for unsatisfactory performance and failing to discharge the duties and policies of the Office of Sheriff. Two other deputies were suspended for a period of three days without pay for unsatisfactory performance and the failure to discharge their duties.[/pull_quote_center]

Butler wrote that in the past, the deputies “have been vigilant, and have shown great bravery and fortitude,” including in July 2014, when some of the deputies in question encountered Andrew Michaelis, “who was on a deadly shooting spree, killing his father-in-law and nephew and assaulting deputies with an assault rifle in Cumberland County.”

[pull_quote_center]I have taken into account the past bravery and exemplary conduct, including the life-saving and other actions of these deputies in assessing the discipline, and in imposing the sanctions. We regret that any of the circumstances at the Trump rally occurred, and we regret that we have had to investigate all of these matters. Yet, it is our duty and responsibility to do justice, and to carefully examine not only the actions of others, but our own actions to ensure that the law and our policies are justly and fairly enforced based in principle and without other influences.[/pull_quote_center]

During an interview with Chuck Todd on Meet The Press on Sunday, Trump said he does not condone violence. When asked if he would consider paying McGraw’s legal fees, he said, “I’ve actually instructed my people to look into it, yes.”

When asked a similar question by George Stephanopoulos on ABC’s Good Morning America on Tuesday, Trump said, “I didn’t say I would pay for his fees.”

“Nobody has asked me for fees and I haven’t even seen it so I never said I was going to pay for fees,” Trump insisted.

During a rally in Iowa in February, Trump said, “If you see somebody getting ready to throw a tomato, knock the crap out of them, would you? Seriously. I will pay for the legal fees. I promise, I promise. They won’t be so much because the courts agree with us too.”

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GOP Debate: Trump Calls on Republican Party to ‘Be Smart and Unify’

While previous GOP debates have been highlighted by insults and crude comments from Donald Trump, Thursday’s debate proved to be a more subdued event as the frontrunner called for unity within the Republican Party.

In his opening statement, Trump noted the record turnout of voters thus far in the GOP primaries, calling it one of the “biggest political events anywhere in the world.”

[pull_quote_center]One of the biggest political events anywhere in the world is happening right now with the Republican Party. Millions and millions of people are going out to the polls and they’re voting. They’re voting out of enthusiasm. They’re voting out of love. Some of these people, frankly, have never voted before—50 years old, 60 years old, 70 years old—never voted before.[/pull_quote_center]

Trump claimed that voters are turning to the Republican Party, and he said he thinks the Republican establishment “should embrace what’s happening.”

[pull_quote_center]We’re taking people from the Democrat Party. We’re taking people as independents, and they’re all coming out and the whole world is talking about it. It’s very exciting. I think, frankly, the Republican establishment, or whatever you want to call it, should embrace what’s happening. We’re having millions of extra people join. We are going to beat the Democrats. We are going to beat Hillary or whoever it may be. And we’re going to beat them soundly.[/pull_quote_center]

[RELATED: Reality Check: Why Donald Trump’s South Carolina Win was a Historic Defeat of Neocons]

According to reports from the Washington Times, Republican voter turnout broke records in New Hampshire with “nearly 285,000 voters to the polls, which was 15 percent more than in 2012, and just shy of the all-time record of 287,000 voters that Democrats drew in their marquee 2008 battle.” and in South Carolina, with “more than 737,000 votes,” which is “more than 20 percent higher than 2012.” Trump was declared the winner in both states.

Following Super Tuesday on March 1, the Washington Post reported that over “1 million more people have voted in Republican primaries than Democratic ones” and that Democratic turnout has fallen since the last contested nomination in 2008, while it has risen for Republicans since 2012.

[RELATED: GOP Establishment Reportedly Considering Contested Convention to Counter Trump Win]

Although there have been reports of GOP elites preparing for a contested convention if Trump does not receive the 1,237 delegates needed to qualify for the Republican nomination, Trump said at Thursday’s debate that he thinks the GOP should seize the opportunity to “embrace millions of people” he is bringing to the Republican Party.

[pull_quote_center]The Republican Party has a great chance to embrace millions of people that it’s never known before. They’re coming by the millions. We should seize that opportunity. These are great people. These are fantastic people. These are people that love our country. These are people that want to see America be great again.[/pull_quote_center]

“So I just say embrace these millions of people that now for the first time ever love the Republican Party,” Trump concluded. “And unify. Be smart and unify.”

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GOP Establishment Reportedly Considering Contested Convention to Counter Trump Win

Current primary results have reportedly led GOP leaders to consider a contested convention if Donald Trump falls short of the 1,237 delegates needed to qualify for the nomination.

According to a report from the Washington Post, recent gatherings of the Republican Governors Association and various conservative financiers have led to the “consensus that Trump is vulnerable and that a continued blitz of attacks could puncture the billionaire mogul’s support and leave him limping onto the convention floor.”

A contested convention occurs when no single candidate has secured a majority of the delegates ahead of the party convention” which is in July, and as a result, the party’s nominee is “chosen by the delegates who come to the convention, on a series of one or more ballots.”

Out of the 2,472 available delegates in the GOP, Donald Trump currently has 384, Ted Cruz has 300, Marco Rubio has 151, and John Kasich has 37. Primaries will be held in Hawaii, Idaho, Michigan and Mississippi on Tuesday, which will determine the direction of 150 of the remaining 1,585 delegates.

The Post’s report noted that the strategy of pushing for a contested convention is “risky and hinges on Trump losing Florida, Illinois and Ohio on March 15,” which has led some party figures to believe that “any stop-Trump efforts could prove futile.”

According to the report, the movement to stop Trump is led by the super PAC Our Principles PAC, which has devoted “more than $3 million in television advertisements, plus direct-mail pieces, digital ads, phone banking and emails — all designed to sow doubts about Trump’s character, convictions and fitness for office,” just in the state of Florida.

As previously reported, GOP officials were discussing the possibility of a contested convention in December, when more than 20 members of the Republican National Committee attended a dinner held by Chairman Reince Priebus.

Appearing on NBC’s Meet the Press on Sunday, 2012 GOP Nominee Mitt Romney said he does not plan on running, but that if the GOP were to reach a contested convention, he wouldn’t rule out becoming the party’s nominee if he received the support.

“I don’t think anyone in our party should say, ‘Oh no, even if the people of the party wanted me to be president, I would say no to it.’ No one is going to say that,” Romney said. “But I can tell you this, I’m not a candidate, I’m not going to be a candidate, I’m going to be endorsing one of the people who’s running for president.”

During a phone interview on Fox’s “Fox and Friends” on Tuesday morning, Trump said he is bothered by the possibility of a contested convention, and he thinks, “It’s really not fair.”

“I think that whoever is leading at the end should sort of get it,” Trump said. “That’s the way that democracy works. I don’t know that that’s going to happen. But I’ll tell you, there are going to be a lot of people that will be very upset if that doesn’t happen.”

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Trump Calls for Laws Allowing Expansion of Torture ‘To Beat ISIS’

After he was criticized for claiming that he could force the United States military to break the current law banning torture methods like waterboarding, Donald Trump backtracked his comments and said instead that he would like to change the laws to include waterboarding “at a minimum.”

Trump has been vocal in the past regarding the issue of how to deal with suspected terrorists, and in December he said that not only should the U.S. target terrorists, but also their families.

“The other thing with the terrorists is you have to take out their families, when you get these terrorists, you have to take out their families,” Trump said. “They care about their lives, don’t kid yourself. When they say they don’t care about their lives, you have to take out their families.”

Trump has also voiced support for bringing back waterboarding. In November, he said, “I think waterboarding is peanuts compared to what they do to us.”

When asked about his stance on waterboarding at a GOP debate in February, Trump said he would “bring back a hell of a lot worse than waterboarding,” because in the Middle East, “we have people chopping the heads off Christians, we have people chopping the heads off many other people.”

[RELATED: GOP Candidates Voice Support for Waterboarding, Increasing Guantanamo Detainees]

In response to Trump’s comments, former NSA and CIA Director Michael Hayden said that Trump’s plans to target the families of terrorists, and to bring back “enhanced interrogation techniques” that are “worse than waterboarding,” would result in the American armed forces refusing to act.

[U.S. military personnel] are not required — in fact you are required not to follow an unlawful order,” Hayden said. “That would be in violation of all the international laws of armed conflict.

[RELATED: Ex-CIA Chief: ‘American Armed Forces Would Refuse to Act’ if Trump Ordered Torture]

During a GOP debate Thursday, Fox News Host Bret Baier asked Trump what he would do if the military “refused to carry out” his orders.

“They won’t refuse,” Trump replied. “They’re not going to refuse me. Believe me.”

“But they’re illegal,” Baier said.

Trump said he wants to bring back waterboarding because members of ISIS are “chopping off the heads of Christians” and “drowning people in steel cages.” He also said he justifies targeting the families of terrorists, because in the case of the terrorists hijacking airplanes on 9/11, their families “knew what was happening.”

When Baier questioned Trump’s suggestion to “target” the families of terrorists, Trump responded, “I’m a leader. I’m a leader. I’ve always been a leader. I’ve never had any problem leading people. If I say do it, they’re going to do it. That’s what leadership is all about.”

Trump then released a statement to The Wall Street Journal on Friday claiming that he “will not order our military or other officials to violate those laws.”

[pull_quote_center]I will use every legal power that I have to stop these terrorist enemies. I do, however, understand that the United States is bound by laws and treaties and I will not order our military or other officials to violate those laws and will seek their advice on such matters. I will not order a military officer to disobey the law. It is clear that as president I will be bound by laws just like all Americans and I will meet those responsibilities.[/pull_quote_center]

On an appearance on CBS’ Face the Nation, which aired Sunday, host John Dickerson asked Trump what made him change his position on the issue.

Trump claimed he wasn’t asked about “violating laws,” and said that because the U.S. has “an enemy that doesn’t play by the laws,” that enemy is “laughing at us right now.”

“I would like to strengthen the laws so that we can better compete,” Trump said. “It’s very tough to beat enemies that don’t have any restrictions, all right? We have these massive restrictions.”

Dickerson questioned how Trump would go about expanding the law, and Trump said he wants waterboarding to be allowed “at a minimum.”

“I happen to think that when you’re fighting an enemy that chops off heads, I happen to think that we should use something that is stronger than we have right now,” Trump said. “Right now, basically water-boarding is essentially not allowed, as I understand it.”

When asked why waterboarding has been banned, Trump said he believes it is because the U.S. is weak. “I think we have become very weak and ineffective,” he explained. “I think that’s why we’re not beating ISIS. It’s that mentality.”

[pull_quote_center]I think we’re weak. We cannot beat ISIS. We should beat ISIS very quickly. General Patton would have had ISIS down in about three days. General Douglas MacArthur — we are playing by a different set of rules. We are — let me just put it differently. When the ISIS people chop off the heads, and then they go back to their homes and they talk, and they hear we’re talking about water-boarding like it’s the worst thing in the world, and they just drowned a hundred people and chopped off 50 heads, they must think we are a little bit on the weak side.[/pull_quote_center]

Trump claimed that he wants to bring back waterboarding because while the U.S. is “playing by rules,” ISIS has no rules.

Dickerson questioned whether the current rules were what “separates us from the savages.” 

Trump insisted that “we have to beat the savages,” and he said that could only be done if the U.S. will “play the game the way they’re playing the game.”

[pull_quote_center]Look, you have to play the game the way they’re playing the game. You’re not going to win if we are soft, and they are ­— they have no rules. Now, I want to stay within the laws. I want to do all of that. But I think we have to increase the laws, because the laws are not working, obviously. All you have to do is take a look what is going on. And they’re getting worse. They’re chopping, chopping, chopping, and we’re worried about waterboarding. I think our priorities are mixed up.[/pull_quote_center]

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GOP Candidates Call Snowden a ‘Traitor,’ U.S. Has Yet to Charge Him with Treason

While the remaining GOP candidates have spoken out against National Security Agency whistleblower Edward Snowden, calling him a “traitor,” the United States government has yet to formally charge him with treason.

Federal prosecutors filed a criminal complaint against the former NSA contractor in June 2013, after he leaked a collection of mass surveillance documents which revealed to the public that the NSA was collecting the phone records of American citizens.

The complaint stated that Snowden is facing a charge of “theft of government property,” along with charges of “unauthorized communication of national defense information” and “willful communication of classified communications intelligence information to an unauthorized person,” which were both brought under the Espionage Act of 1917.

However, Snowden is not facing charges of treason. Article 3, Section 3 of the Constitution definestreason” as:

[pull_quote_center]Treason against the United States, shall consist only in levying War against them, or in adhering to their Enemies, giving them Aid and Comfort. No Person shall be convicted of Treason unless on the Testimony of two Witnesses to the same overt Act, or on Confession in open Court. The Congress shall have Power to declare the Punishment of Treason, but no Attainder of Treason shall work Corruption of Blood, or Forfeiture except during the Life of the Person attainted.[/pull_quote_center]

The Washington Post noted that under this definition, the U.S. government would have to “demonstrate that Snowden was actively trying to provide aid and comfort to a specific entity, such as al-Qaeda, with which the U.S. is at war,” and it would have to find two witnesses who “observed Snowden leaking the information.” 

Despite the fact that Snowden is not facing treason charges, the remaining GOP candidates have openly called him a “traitor.”

During the GOP Debate hosted by Fox News Thursday night, Texas Sen. Ted Cruz was asked why he did not immediately condemn Snowden when the documents were leaked in 2013.

You were open to the possibility that Edward Snowden had performed a considerable public service, you said back then, in revealing certain aspects of the NSA procedures,” Fox News host Bret Bair said. “Many of your colleagues in the Senate, including Senator Rubio, called him a traitor. It took you until January of this year to call him a traitor and say he should be tried for treason.Why the change of heart? And why did it take you so long?”

Cruz insisted that when the leaks were first reported, it was unclear whether Snowden had committed treason, and he said that since then it has become clear that Snowden’s leaks provided “aid and comfort to the enemies of America,” by making it “easier for terrorists to avoid detection.”

[pull_quote_center]When the news first broke of the United States government engaging in massive surveillance on American citizens, that was a very troubling development, and it’s why the United States Congress acted to correct it. Now, at the same time, I said in that initial statement that if the evidence indicated that Edward Snowden violated the law, he should be prosecuted for violating the law. And, indeed, since then, the evidence is clear that not only does Snowden violate the law, but it appears he committed treason. Treason is defined under the Constitution as giving aid and comfort to the enemies of America, and what Snowden did made it easier for terrorists to avoid detection.[/pull_quote_center]

Business mogul Donald Trump chimed in and said Snowden was a “spy and we should get him back,” insisting that because Russia granted asylum to Snowden, it shows a lack of respect for the U.S. This follows previous comments in July 2013 when Trump called Snowden a “terrible traitor,” and alluded to the idea that he should be killed.

During a campaign forum in August 2015, Ohio Gov. John Kasich called Snowden a “traitor” for releasing classified information.

Florida Sen. Marco Rubio has called Snowden a “traitor” on multiple occasions, claiming in Nov. 2013 that the “intelligence programs” used by the NSA were necessary, and should not be deterred by the “conspiracy theories sparked by Edward Snowden.” 

“We must respond to the valid concerns of Americans, who are alarmed by reports regarding their civil liberties,” Rubio said. “But we must also distinguish these reasonable concerns from conspiracy theories sparked by Edward Snowden. This man is a traitor who has sought assistance and refuge from some of the world’s most notorious violators of liberty and human rights.”

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Voicemails Sent Before Iowa Caucus Claimed Carson was ‘Suspending Campaigning’

Following Ted Cruz’s win in the Iowa Caucus and accusations that he stole votes from rival candidate Ben Carson, voicemails have been released which reportedly reveal that individuals, identifying themselves as members of Cruz’s campaign, were telling local precinct captains that Carson was “suspending campaigning” and “taking a leave of absence.”

After an email was sent out from the Cruz campaign asking supporters to inform voters that Carson “is taking time off from the campaign trail after Iowa and making a big announcement next week,” Cruz pointed to CNN’s reporting and suggested that the media was encouraging conflict between himself and Carson.

Cruz claimed he apologized to Carson for “not passing on their subsequent clarification,” but he also stood by his campaign’s decision to send the email.

“The news story that our team passed on was true and accurate,” Cruz said according to RealClearPolitics. “In fact, Ben did go to Florida instead of New Hampshire or South Carolina.”

“Passing on a true an accurate news story, it is in fact something the voters found relevant,” Cruz continued. “There is a reason why the media is chattering about this. Because the media wants to stir up a fight between Ben Carson and me.”

[RELATED: Cruz Campaign Accused of Spreading Carson Drop-Out Rumors Before Iowa Vote]

While CNN Reporter Chris Moody tweeted that Carson “won’t go to NH/SC, but will instead head home to Florida for some R&R,” he immediately followed it up with another tweet that said Carson’s campaign told him that “he plans to stay in the race beyond Iowa no matter what the results are tonight.” Both tweets were posted at 4:43 p.m. CST Monday.

However, after Carson’s campaign had already confirmed that it was staying in the race, members of Cruz’s campaign reportedly called local precinct captains in Iowa and told them to encourage voters that they should “not waste a vote on Ben Carson,” because Carson was planning on “suspending campaigning.”

[RELATED: Iowa Sec. of State Chides Ted Cruz for Sending ‘Voting Violation’ Mailers to Voters]

Audio was released by Breitbart Thursday from two voicemails left on the phone of Nancy Bliesman, a precinct caption for Cruz in Crawford County, Iowa.

The first voicemail, which was reportedly left at 7:07 p.m. CST, was from a woman claiming she was calling to get to a precinct captain.”

[pull_quote_center]It has just been announced that Ben Carson is taking a leave of absence from the campaign trail, so it is very important that you tell any Ben Carson voters that for tonight, uh, that they not waste a vote on Ben Carson, and vote for Ted Cruz. He is taking a leave of absence from his campaign.[/pull_quote_center]

The second voicemail, left at 7:29 p.m. CST, was from a man who claimed that he was “the Cruz campaign,” and that he was calling with breaking news about Carson “suspending campaigning” following the Iowa Caucus. 

[pull_quote_center]Hello, this is the Cruz campaign with breaking news: Dr. Ben Carson will be [garbled] suspending campaigning following tonight’s caucuses. Please inform any Carson caucus goers of this news and urge them to caucus for Ted instead. Thank you. Good night.[/pull_quote_center]

Investigative journalist Ben Swann discussed additional accusations against the Cruz campaign during a Reality Check segment Thursday. He questioned why the Cruz campaign failed to pass along the information that Carson was still in the race even after it was widely reported, and he noted that this is only one instance of the Cruz campaign being accused of “dirty tricks” in Iowa:

Reality Check: Did Ted Cruz Use Lies and Dirty Tricks To Win …

Accusations that Ted Cruz's campaign used dirty tricks to win Iowa Caucus. Ben Swann explains what happened in Reality Check.

Posted by Ben Swann on Thursday, February 4, 2016


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Rand Paul Declines to Endorse Any Candidate in GOP Primary Race

After dropping out of the 2016 presidential race Wednesday, Rand Paul’s campaign declared that he will endorse the chosen GOP nominee, but he will not endorse any of his former rivals while they are still in the running.

During a conference call with reporters following Paul’s announcement, his top campaign strategist Doug Stafford said that the Senator from Kentucky made the decision to drop out in part because he was likely to be excluded from the next GOP debate Saturday night.

In the Iowa Caucus on Monday, Paul came in fifth place with one delegate, behind Texas Sen. Ted Cruz with eight delegates, Donald Trump with seven, Florida Sen. Marco Rubio also with seven, and Ben Carson with three.

Stafford said Paul has no plans to endorse any of his former competitors before one is chosen to be the GOP nominee. While former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee made a similar decision when he ended his presidential campaign following Monday’s caucus, former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum announced that he was endorsing Rubio when he ended his campaign Wednesday evening.

Paul announced Wednesday morning that he intends to focus on running for re-election as a Senator in Kentucky. “Although, today I will suspend my campaign for President, the fight is far from over,” he said. “I will continue to carry the torch for Liberty in the United States Senate and I look forward to earning the privilege to represent the people of Kentucky for another term.”

While Paul had initially counted on receiving the support of those who backed his father Ron Paul in the 2008 and 2012 elections, Stafford said that the “Ron Paul movement” still exists, but that “voters shift from time and what’s most important to them is hard to capture.” 

Stafford also noted that having Trump in the race changed the dynamic because it “took all the oxygen out of the room,” and made it “very difficult to have what you believe is a stronger message and a stronger candidate but you can’t break through because celebrity became the largest thing.”

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Donald Trump Switches Position on Minimum Wage Stance

Donald Trump, the Republican party’s current front-runner, has apparently changed his position on increasing the minimum wage in the United States.

“Wages in are country are too low, good jobs are too few, and people have lost faith in our leaders. We need smart and strong leadership now!” said Trump in a tweet early Monday.

Trump’s tweet follows a Sunday interview on CBS’ “Face the Nation” in which Democratic hopeful Bernie Sanders (I-Vermont) stated “Look, many of Trump’s supporters are a working-class people, and they’re angry,” and added, “And they’re angry because they’re working longer hours for lower wages. They’re angry because their jobs have left this country and gone to China or other low-wage countries.”

Sanders went on to say “In fact, he has said that he thinks wages in America are too high.”

Trump issued a flurry of tweets between Sunday night and Monday morning in which he denied a previously held position, stated in his opening remarks at a Fox Business Network debate on November 10, that “Taxes too high, wages too high, we’re not going to be able to compete against the world… People have to go out, they have to work really hard, and they have to get into that upper stratum.”




Trump reiterated in an interview on NBC’s “Morning Joe” the day after the November 10 debate that “It’s a tough position politically… We have to become competitive with the world. Our taxes are too high — our wages are too high. Everything is too high. We have to compete with other countries.”

Trump later claimed in an interview with Politico that his statements were specifically in regard to raising the U.S. minimum wage, not wages in general.

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Trump’s Proposal to Ban Muslim Immigration Draws Criticism From Political Figures

GOP presidential candidate Donald Trump’s immigration policies drew criticism on Monday after he released his proposal to prevent Muslim immigration to the United States.

Trump released a statement on Monday calling for a “total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States until our country’s representatives can figure out what is going on.”

Highlighting a poll from the Center for Security Policy, the statement claimed that “25% of those polled agreed that violence against Americans here in the United States is justified as a part of the global jihad.”

“Without looking at the various polling data, it is obvious to anybody the hatred is beyond comprehension,” Trump said. “Where this hatred comes from and why we will have to determine. Until we are able to determine and understand this problem and the dangerous threat it poses, our country cannot be the victims of horrendous attacks by people that believe only in Jihad, and have no sense of reason or respect for human life.”

The Intercept described the Center for Security Policy as a think tank “led by Frank Gaffney, a far-right activist who theorized that the Muslim Brotherhood has infiltrated the U.S. government,” and pointed that the poll cited by Trump has “no statistical validity” because it was a “non-probability based, opt-in online survey.”

House Speaker Paul Ryan criticized Trump’s proposal on Tuesday, saying that although he usually does not comment on the Republican presidential race, he was making an exception.

“Freedom of religion is a fundamental constitutional principle. It’s a founding principle of this country,” Ryan said. “This is not conservatism. What was proposed yesterday is not what this party stands for. And more importantly, it’s not what this country stands for.”

Trump’s proposal received criticism from GOP rivals such as former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, who called the proposal “the kind of thing people say when they have no experience and don’t know what they’re talking about.”

“What we need to do is increase our intelligence capabilities activity both around the world and in the homeland,” Christie said. “We need to back up our law enforcement officers, who are out fighting this fight everyday, give them the tools they need.”

When asked by The Hill if Trump’s proposal would go as far as to exclude Muslim-American citizens who are currently out of the country, Trump spokeswoman Hope Hicks said, “Mr. Trump says, ‘everyone.’ ”

Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush criticized Trump on Twitter, describing Trump as “unhinged.”

Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC.), who has made questionable remarks in the past such as reportedly saying that “Everything that starts with ‘Al’ in the Middle East is bad news,” took to Twitter to criticize Trump.

Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fl.) referred to Trump’s proposal as another one of his “offensive and outlandish” statements.

When asked for their opinions on Trump’s proposal to ban Muslim immigration, both Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Tx.) and Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) did not criticize their rival, and instead presented their own proposals for how they would deal with refugees.

Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton called Trump’s proposal “reprehensible, prejudiced and divisive,” and insisted that it would make the U.S. less safe.

Trump’s proposal also received criticism from GOP officials in the first three states to vote in the primary process states, who usually stay neutral when it comes to presidential primary contests.

Jeff Kaufmann, chair of the Iowa GOP, said on Twitter that “our founding principles are stronger than political cynicism,” and that while the GOP believes Obama has failed on ISIS, it also believes “we don’t make ourselves safer by betraying bedrock Constitutional values.”

Jennifer Horn, the chair of the New Hampshire GOP, said “There should never be a day in the United States of America when people are excluded based solely on their race or religion,” and said to do so, “It is un-Republican. It is unconstitutional. And it is un-American.”

Matt Moore, the chair of the South Carolina GOP, called Trump’s proposal a “bad idea” and said it sent a shiver down his spine.


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Trump Threatens Pro-Paul, Cruz Conservative Group With Multi-million Dollar Lawsuit

September 23, 2015– On Tuesday, the campaign of billionaire reality TV star Donald Trump sent a letter to the media detailing a multi-million dollar legal threat against Club For Growth, one of Washington’s most conservative political groups, for libel.

Last week, Club for Growth announced it was spending upwards of $1 million in Iowa on two attack ads that accuse Trump, the current GOP front-runner, of wanting to raise taxes, as well as referencing his past support of socialized healthcare, Hillary Clinton, and the use of eminent domain for corporations to steal private property from property owners.

Insisting he only supported a one-time tax increase on the super wealthy 15 years ago and does not hold that belief anymore, Trump repudiated the claims, and says they aren’t true.

“This is the very definition of libel,” said Trump.

However, less than one month ago, Trump suggested raising taxes.

In fact, Trump’s suggestion to raise taxes were the catalyst for praise from the far left, including progressive liberal U.S. Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) and Keynesian economist Paul Krugman.

“Simply stated, your Attack Ad is not only completely disingenuous, but replete with outright lies, false, defamatory attacks and destructive statements and downright fabrications which you fully know to be untrue, thereby exposing you and your so-called ‘club’ to liability for damages and other tortious harm,” Trump’s legal counsel Alan Garten wrote to Glub for Growth.

[RELATED: Post-Debate Poll Shows New GOP Frontrunner Has Emerged]

In response to Trump’s threatened lawsuit, Club for Growth issued a press release titled “Club for Growth Action Responds to Trump’s Whining.”

“Tough guy Donald Trump starts whining when his liberal record is revealed,” McIntosh said.

[pull_quote_center]Trump has advocated higher taxes numerous times over many years, just like he’s advocated for universal health care, the Wall Street bailout, and expanded government powers to take private property. Trump’s own statements prove that our ads are accurate. They will continue to run. We suggest that Donald grow up, stop whining, and try to defend his liberal record.[/pull_quote_center]

Club for Growth describes itself as the leading free-enterprise advocacy group in the nation according to its website. The group has spent millions supporting candidates like libertarian-leaning Congressmen Justin Amash (R-Mich.) and Thomas Massie (R-Ky.), as well as United States Senators Ted Cruz (R-Texas) and Rand Paul (R-Ky.), who are both running for President alongside Trump.

In fact, Club for Growth just recently endorsed Paul’s proposed presidential tax plan. “Senator Rand Paul is not just a reliable vote in Congress for pro-growth policies; he is a true champion of economic freedom,” said Club for Growth in their 2016 presidential candidate profile of Paul.

[PETITION: A Joint Town Hall with Rand Paul and Bernie Sanders]

Trump’s threat has little chance of success for two reasons. First, because he went on record weeks ago and suggested raising taxes. Second, because libel cases are incredibly hard to win in the world of American politics. In fact, political entities (candidates or groups) have a legal right to lie in political ads. Therefore, even if Trump hadn’t suggested raising taxes only weeks ago, he’d still likely lose his case in court. Even if he won, Supreme Court precedent would make it virtually impossible for Trump to collect any damages.

FOLLOW MICHAEL LOTFI ON Facebook, Twitter & LinkedIn.

Exclusive: JD Winteregg Launches Primary Challenge Against John Boehner

Speaker of the House John Boehner will face a fired up J.D. Winteregg once again in the upcoming primary election.

“It’s the same thing. John Boehner’s rhetoric doesn’t match John Boehner’s reality. He promises all of this stuff during the election time. He sounds like a good conservative. He promised to fight Obama tooth and nail against the executive amnesty orders, and what did he do in a matter of days after he won? He turns around and decides to fund it,” explained Winteregg in an exclusive interview with Joshua Cook.

“He punts on issues that seem to be difficult. In a sense, he’s spineless. I hate to use that word so freely, especially with my representative and someone who is supposed to be on my side. But the reality of it is, he’s not leading us, he’s not doing what he promised us he’d do. And I don’t see him doing anything but the enabling of our President, so someone has to fight him,” he added.

Winteregg is especially fired up about Boehner’s support of Obamatrade.

“Boehner and his friends are spending millions of dollars to try to convince the American people that our President has the willingness and ability to negotiate a trade agreement that will benefit the US,” said Winteregg to an email to Breitbart.

“This is the same man who traded five Islamic terrorists for a treasonous deserter. He’s also in the process of negotiating a horrible, ‘no preconditions’ deal with Iran, giving them what they want with no commitment from them to limit their uranium enrichment program. And Speaker Boehner believes this President will negotiate a trade deal in our best interests? On what basis?”

Obamatrade is just one of the issues that Winteregg feels strongly against Boehner about.

Winteregg said that he’s inspired by David Brat’s defeat of Eric Cantor, but he realizes that he’s in for a different battle.

“Groups of people who can organize and defeat the establishment. And the issue we have here is people fear Boehner. You see what he does. You see how he operates. It’s trickled down within the district as well at the local level. Local politicians who have cozied up to Boehner act the same way. People have this irrational fear in their minds that something is going to happen to them if they come out against Boehner or do anything against Boehner,” he explained.

“I think the momentum is definitely swinging my way. People are getting more and more frustrated. I think they’ve had it with him continuously caving. They’re really struggling to identify anything he’s done as a leader,” he said.

“I’m hoping to Winteregg him. It’s definitely in the realm of possibility,” he added.

Winteregg explained that he thinks that Boehner is beatable.

“We looked into doing it this time. We weren’t doing it if people in the area didn’t think he could be beat. We did polling and it showed us that he is extremely vulnerable, and we figured why not do it again?”

In the last election, Winteregg received about 15,000 votes, which he said was pretty good for someone who hasn’t run for public office before.

Winteregg explained that he’s been receiving support from people around the country.

“Boehner can essentially print money,” Winteregg said. “We need enough to get the message out.”

Click here to listen to Joshua Cook’s entire interview.

Poll: Rand Paul Leads Hillary Clinton in Key Swing State of Ohio

The outcomes of votes in swing states like Ohio, where no party enjoys a clear advantage in obtaining electoral college votes, often decide presidential elections. High general election polling numbers in these battleground states are often cited as evidence of a candidate’s electability.

A new Public Policy Polling presidential preference survey of 859 Ohio voters, taken between June 4 and June 7, found that Ohio Republican Governor John Kasich enjoys home-field advantage in the 2016 GOP presidential primary. However, it also found that, in theoretical 2016 general election match-ups, Governor Kasich leads Democratic frontrunner Hillary Clinton 47 to 40 and US Senator Rand Paul (R-KY) leads Clinton 44 to 41.

Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) tied Clinton 44-44 in the poll. “[Clinton] has small advantages over the rest of the GOP field- it’s 44/43 over Ben Carson, Ted Cruz, and Scott Walker, 45/43 over Jeb Bush, 44/41 over Chris Christie, and 45/42 over Mike Huckabee,” read a summary of the poll by Public Policy Polling.

The poll also found that Clinton dramatically leads in the 2016 Democratic primary, “On the Democratic side Clinton still dominates the field with 61% of the primary vote, followed by Bernie Sanders at 13%, Michael Bloomberg at 7%, Lincoln Chafee and Martin O’Malley at 2%, and Jim Webb at 1%. 13% of Democratic voters are still undecided.

Governor Kasich’s home field advantage and high approval numbers put him on top of the Republican primary portion of the poll. Public Policy Polling’s summary notes, “Kasich polls at 19% to 13% for Ben Carson and Scott Walker, 12% for Jeb Bush and Marco Rubio, 9% for Rand Paul, 6% for Mike Huckabee, 5% for Ted Cruz, and 4% for Chris Christie.”

Marco Rubio leads the GOP side in favorability, whereas the poll found that New Jersey Governor Chris Christie is “outwardly disliked by GOP voters” in the state.

According to The Washington Post, Ohio Governor Kasich, who has not yet announced a 2016 presidential bid, is considering doing so and is likely to launch his campaign “sometime after June 30.

Senator Rand Paul’s team touted the poll’s results as another win for his campaign. “This poll, like others, shows that Sen. Rand Paul is the best Republican to beat Hillary Clinton in 2016. Ohio is one of the most important swing states in the pathway to the White House, and no Republican has won it since 2004. In the primary, Sen. Paul is tied for first nationally and in New Hampshire and he is tied for second in Iowa. In the general election, he is leading the field against Hillary Clinton and ahead of her in Ohio and other key states including Arizona, Iowa, New Hampshire, and Pennsylvania,” said Paul campaign spokesman Sergio Gor according to the Washington Examiner.

For more 2016 election coverage, click here.

Zogby: Rand Paul Takes Dramatic Lead in New 2016 GOP Presidential Poll

John Zogby, namesake and founder of Zogby Analytics’ famous poll, recently penned an article in Forbes discussing the findings of his latest 2016 presidential primary survey. In it, he noted that clear front-runners were beginning to appear in both the Democratic and Republican primary races. According to the poll, Hillary Clinton is, as expected, in cruise control over potential Democratic rivals, holding the support of 52% of those polled, with next-in-line Joe Biden in second place with only 8% support. On the GOP side, however, the results are uniquely consequential, as Rand Paul has broken out of the pack and taken a clear lead over other potential 2016 Republican contenders.

The GOP presidential poll, which was conducted between June 27-29 and included the opinions of 282 likely Republican primary voters, found Rand Paul leading with 20%. Next in line were Governor Chris Christie of New Jersey and former Governor Jeb Bush of Florida, both of whom tied for second with 13% support. No other GOP candidate broke single digits. Said John Zogby of the poll, “This is the first time a GOP candidate has reached 20% in a crowded field and the first time a Zogby poll has shown someone emerging a bit from the pack.”

Rand Paul’s success in the poll comes as a surprise considering the fact that other establishment candidates have better name identification levels among the public. Said Zogby, “Unlike typical polls at this early stage, Paul’s lead is not attributable to simple name recognition. He is decidedly less known than Bush, Christie, and Rubio. He may be drawing on his famous father’s support from previous runs – perhaps in the same way early polls in the late 1990s showed George W. Bush leading the field – but Rand Paul is emerging as the frontrunner in this race.”

Zogby also notes that the poll found Senator Paul scoring well in a variety of key sub-groups. He leads over other contenders among moderates, independents, conservatives, and self-identified Republicans. He holds the highest level of support among protestants and born-again evangelicals. He also scored 29% support among men.

In his analysis, Zogby cautioned that the metrics could change considerably, as there are currently no officially-announced candidates, and support levels may change depending on which candidates actually end up running. That said, Paul is emerging as a clear front-runner, and, if he matches his father Ron Paul’s success in terms of fundraising and winning straw polls, Zogby feels that momentum could intensify.

Zogby’s Democratic primary poll also contains some interesting data relevant to the alleged Obama-Clinton feud. Amid rumors that President Barack Obama may be supporting Senator Elizabeth Warren against Hillary Clinton in the 2016 presidential race, Zogby found it significant that the hard left-leaning Warren achieved only 7% support in the Democratic version of the poll, which measured the preferences of 612 likely Democratic primary voters. Said Zogby of the dynamic, “Perhaps most telling from the Democratic poll is that Sen. Warren is well behind among self-described liberals.”

It appears based on this round of polls that the 2016 presidential race might feature a head-to-head match-up between Senator Rand Paul and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

Dave Brat a Libertarian? His 23-year-old campaign manager is, and the media isn’t happy

VIRGINIA, June 12, 2014– Was former House Leader Eric Cantor beat by a Libertarian? If you don’t know who David Brat is by now, then you are either dead, or simply pay no mind to politics. After defeating House Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.), Washington’s second most powerful Republican, the media wanted to know— Just who helped pull off this stunning defeat?

As it turns out, 23-year-old, Haverford graduate Zachary Werrell was the chief architect of the Brat campaign. Oh, and he’s definitely a Libertarian. Werrell just graduated Haverford last year, and this is only his second paid job in the political arena. Werrell also worked closely with Morton Blackwell’s Leadership Institute, a libertarian leaning political training power-house located just outside of Washington DC. With the campaign’s astonishing success, Werrell’s future success has been guaranteed.

However, the media isn’t too thrilled with Brat and Werrell’s victory, so they went on the attack. In a dreadful hit piece, Yahoo News accuses Werrell of making “provocative remarks” on social media.

What were these provocative remarks? One such remark:

“Should sections of States be allowed to secede from a State if they feel they are un/underrepresented in the State Government?” Werrell asked. “I say yes. I derive that opinion from our first foundational document – the Declaration of Independence. What say you?”

Well, the Declaration of Independence is a founding document, and does indeed declare that newly freed Americans maintain the right…

“That whenever any form of government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the right of the people to alter or abolish it, and to institute new government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their safety and happiness.”

Yahoo then goes on to attempt to paint Warrell in a negative light for working on Congressman Ron Paul’s 2008 and 2012 presidential campaigns, being a student and fan of Austrian economics, following authors such as Lew Rockwell and quoting Barry Goldwater…

The hit piece reads:

Werrell served as a volunteer and canvasser for Ron Pauls’ presidential primary campaigns in 2008 and 2012, according to his Facebook bio, which also lists under “favorite quotations” Barry Goldwater’s famous statement: “Extremism in the defense of liberty is no vice. Moderation in the pursuit of justice is no virtue.”

In 2012, also while he was a college student, Werrell promoted Austrian economic theory and the “sound money” policies popular in such circles. “Heck, even if this doesn’t persuade you on the merits of sound money (as opposed to a Federal Reserve Fiat Paper Money System), then at least use it as intelligent long run investing advice,” he wrote over a graphic showing the value of “Paper vs. Silver: 1996 – Today.” In his current Twitter profile, Werrell describes himself as an “Austrian Economics geek.”

Yahoo also hits Werrell for his pro-life beliefs and for questioning the existence of the FDA.

If the old adage, “You are the company you keep,” holds true, then Brat may hold many of his campaign manager’s beliefs. Although Brat has made some not-so-libertarian remarks since the victory, many of his public statements show an inner Libertarian. As to not rock the boat too quickly, it is probably safe to assume that Brat is now moderating many of his comments. Also, if anyone knows anything about Ron Paul supporters, it is that they (Werrell) are incredibly loyal to their philosophical principles and are not likely to support candidates that do not pass their litmus test.

If not a full-blown Libertarian, Brat certainly seems to be a strong conservative with a Libertarian lean. That’s good news for lawmakers like Rep. Justin Amash (R-Mich.) and Rep. Thomas Massie (R-Ky.) who will likely rally at his side

Follow Michael Lotfi On Facebook & Twitter.

Did The Ron Paul Campaign Betray Liberty Voters In Iowa With a Backroom Deal?

The Liberty Movement in Iowa is one of the most politically active and well-constructed Liberty movements in the nation.  I was proud to speak at a Liberty Iowa event in April of this year and was deeply impressed by the grassroots work being done by this group.

Ben Swann Liberty Iowa Event

One of the most difficult challenges the Liberty Movement has faced throughout the country is convincing voters that this group rises above the political games and corruption so deeply entrenched in both the Democrat and Republican establishment.

That challenge for Liberty Iowa just got a lot tougher.

The Iowa Republican has released a series of emails and secretly recorded phone conversations over the past couple of days.  Those emails and conversations were provided to the Iowa Republican by Dennis Fusaro – the former Executive Director of the Iowans for Right to Work Committee.  In those emails, an alleged backdoor deal was made between Iowa State Senator Kent Sorenson and the Paul campaign.  The deal included an agreement in which Sorenson would leave his position as the Iowa Chairman of Michelle Bachmann’s 2012 campaign just before the Iowa caucus to endorse Dr. Paul.

Since last spring, the Bachmann campaign has claimed that Sen. Sorenson defected to the Paul campaign because he was paid to do so.  The claims haven’t gone away.  The Iowa Supreme Court is looking into evidence that Sorenson committed two ethics violations.  As the Iowa Republican points out, this is the first time in 15 years that an ethics complaint has been forwarded to the state’s Supreme Court.  Bachmann has her own problems in Iowa with investigations by the  Federal Elections Commission on allegations of campaign finance violations.

Back to Sorenson: emails have now been released that indicate a deal was in fact made between Sorenson and the Paul campaign.  The claims also indicate that a number of the highest ranking members of the campaign knew about the deal including Campaign Chairman Jesse Benton and Deputy Campaign Manager Demitri Kasari. Benton is now the 2014 Campaign Manager for Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell.

To be clear, the Paul campaign, Dr. Ron Paul himself and Kent Sorenson have insisted that no payment was ever made.  Here is Kent Sorenson discussing the issue with Fox’s Megyn Kelly.

So what was the alleged deal?  Was there a payoff?  According to a series of emails released by the Iowa Republican, Kent Sorenson requested payment of $8,000 dollars a month for himself which would have to be paid out until the fall of 2012.  There were other alleged demands for payment as well to the tune of $208,000:

“KS needs to match his current salary of $8,000 a month. This has been promised to him, even after MB drops out of the race, for the majority of 2012.  As a result, KS would need to be on payroll into the Fall of 2012.
CD [Chris Dorr] works for and with KS and would leave the MB with him. He would have to have his salary matched ($5,000 monthly) through April of 2012, when he was currently scheduled to quit the MB campaign.
We have established the Iowa Conservatives Fund PAC as an entity that KS will be using to recruit and elected [sic] good candidates to the Iowa General Assembly. (C4 will follow after next legislative session.) It’s KS’s leadership PAC. He would need a donation of $100,000 into this PAC prior to this action.”

Separately, in a secretly recorded conversation, Kent Sorenson admitted that he was given a check by Dimitri Kasari, the Paul Campaign’s 2012 Deputy Campaign Manager.  Actually, that the check was given to his wife by Kasari.  Sorenson does not say how much the check was for and despite the inferences being made, continually says he did not cash the check and that he was holding on to it.  In addition, Sorenson states that he knows that Jesse Benton is aware of the check saying:

“Sorenson: Do you think the whole Ron Paul, like all of them know?  I mean the inside group?
Fusaro: Sure, I’m sure Jesse Benton knows, he’s a scum…
Sorenson: Oh, I know that Jesse knows. I know Jesse knows.
Fusaro: He’s a scumbag.”

To be clear, throughout these conversations and emails, there is no indication that Dr. Paul himself was aware of any check or financial deal made with Sorenson in exchange for his endorsement.
So what is the fallout that can come from all of this?  For Kent Sorenson, Dimitri Kasari and even Jesse Benton, the fallout could be severe.  Consider the fact that a review of Opensecrets.org does not indicate any donations to the political action committee identified in the email.
As I mentioned there is no indication that Dr. Paul himself knew anything about this alleged deal.

But the biggest fallout may be for the men and women in Iowa who have been engaged for years in a very tough fight to restore liberty.  The idea of a backroom deal and under the table agreements for endorsements in exchange for payments and salaries is exactly what those who stood with the Paul campaign were standing against.

Is Kent Sorenson guilty of taking that payment?  Did Jesse Benton and Demitri Kasari offer him money in order to secure an endorsement and first place finish in the Iowa Caucus?  (A caucus that ultimately Dr. Paul won but media didn’t bother to report the true outcome of for months).

If these things did in fact happen, the true fallout will be felt by Liberty Iowa for years to come.  That is the most difficult thing about this story.  The men and women in Iowa who have fought for Liberty will have to carry the weight of a short-sighted decision that undermines everything Liberty Iowa has fought against.

The calls for Kent Sorenson to step down have already begun.  Sources In Iowa tell me that Iowa’s Secretary of State Matt Schultz has now asked that Sorenson step down.

Crowd Erupts In Thunderous Applause When Presented with Resolution to Replace Lindsey Graham

On Aug. 5, 2013, in Greenville, S.C. a resolution supporting the replacement of Senator Lindsey Graham was presented at the county GOP executive committee meeting which resulted in spontaneous  applause. More than 200 republican leaders attended.

According to the TimesExaminer.com, the resolution lists 29 actions by Sen. Graham that the resolution states are “fundamentally inconsistent with the principles of the South Carolina Republican Party.” The actions include voting with Democrats to appoint radicals Elena Kagan and Sandra Sotomayor to the Supreme Court, and consistently supporting amnesty for illegal aliens.

One republican attending the meeting said, “it is the responsibility of all republicans to defend the platform, and speak out, and then take action to replace any republican who consistently votes contrary their party platform.”

On Tuesday, South Carolina state senator and Tea Party favorite Lee Bright launched his campaign website sending a warning shot across the bow for Lindsey Graham. This makes Bright the third candidate seeking to replace Sen. Graham.

The campaign website states, “As a South Carolina state senator, Lee Bright has earned the reputation for being the most conservative leader in the legislature. His impeccable voting record reveals a strong belief in Second Amendment freedoms, pro-life values, the advancement of civil liberties and fiscal responsibility.”

“It’s time to take this proven track record to the U.S. Senate so South Carolina can lead the charge against the Washington establishment,” the site declares.

Last Sunday, Graham said on CNN’s State of the Union with Candy Crowley, “I am going to keep being a social and fiscal conservative that focuses on our national security, takes care of our interests at home, like the Port of Charleston, working with my state officials, and be a conservative like Ronald Reagan who will sit down with a Tip O’Neill to solve America’s problems … I will continue to be Lindsey Graham a solid fiscal and social conservative who wants to solve problems I think that’s the future of the Republican Party.”

A well known liberty activist, Chris Lawton who presented the resolution told Full Disclosure, “We are the largest republican county in SC (13% of the entire state) and we fired the first shot in the retirement of Lindsey Graham tonight. We anticipate other County Executive Committees across the state to join this movement to bring our senator home to pasture.”

Resolution to Replace Lindsey Graham

He’s In! Lee Bright Launches U.S. Senate Campaign Website

Today the anti-establishment, pro-second Amendment, pro-life, pro-civil liberties state senator Lee Bright launched his campaign landing page. Conservatives and liberty activists throughout the state have been waiting for a sign to settle everyone’s mind about whether or not he’s running against Lindsey Graham or not. Well that day is here. His formal announcement will be coming soon, but this move is to signal those in the grassroots that he is indeed running.

This morning the Bright team has launched his official campaign landing page: www.BrightForSenate.com

bright - website

“Conservatives and those in the liberty movement are excited about Bright running because he is the only challenger with an impeccable voting record, and we will stress this throughout the campaign,” one Bright supporter said.


Talbert Black with Campaign for Liberty and founder of the Palmetto Liberty PAC which monitors S.C. legislators’ voting records said,


“Lee Bright has been an outstanding state Senator, standing up against corruption, for life, for the right to keep and bear arms, for fiscal responsibility and constitutionally limited government. He has not been afraid to stand against his own party leadership when they are wrong. He has a proven record. I have no doubt his past actions are an accurate predictor of what Lee Bright will do as a US Senator.”

Recently theGreenvillePost.com asked Bright why he thought there was so much passion to replace Lindsey Graham with a true conservative?

lee-brightConservatives feel that South Carolina should be a state that helps and not hurts. And they expected a U.S. Senator from a “Red State” to help the conservative cause and not be an impediment to it. And we let them down on that front…Graham has let us down on so many issues. A lot of folks thought he would follow in the footsteps of Strom Thurmond (R), but instead, we got another Fritz Hollings (D). Except I would argue that Hollings was more conservative on fiscal issues than Lindsey Graham is. He has not done what we thought he would do. He is not the Graham that went after Bill Clinton at the impeachment hearings. He is the Graham that has fallen under the tutelage of John McCain,” Bright said.

Bright’s website is just another warning shot across the bow for Lindsey Graham. Bright will be the 3rd candidate to enter the race to unseat Sen. Graham following small business owners Nancy Mace and Richard Cash.

War Hero Considers a Run for Sen. Graham’s Seat: Exclusive Interview with Lt. Colonel Bill Connor

This week I contacted Lt. Colonel Bill Connor to ask him a few questions about a potential run against Sen. Lindsey Graham. Currently Lt. Colonel Connor is on active duty and cannot campaign due to military restrictions. Connor is a well-known and respected Constitutional Conservative in South Carolina and won the Bronze Star for his efforts in Afghanistan.

Joshua Cook: There are rumors that you are considering a run for the U.S. Senate seat to replace two-time incumbent Lindsey Graham. Tell me where you are at on that decision.

Connor: I am strongly considering a run for Sen. Graham’s seat.  I do not believe that Graham has provided the “consistent” conservative leadership expected by South Carolinians (particularly conservatives).  He is “hit or miss” on the issues.  I appreciate his strong stance on national defense and issues like Benghazi.  I am disappointed with his record on the TARP bailout, immigration, spending/taxing (internet sales tax, etc.), foreign aid and importantly his decision to vote to nominate Sotomayor and Kagan for the Supreme Court.  That vote for those two radical justices is inexcusable.  That is a reason the SCOTUS struck down DOMA, and we may see an end to traditional marriage as we all know it.

Cook: When you ran for S.C. Lieutenant Governor, you said that you were “The Ultimate Outsider.” What did you mean by that?

Connor: When I ran for Lt. Governor, I was a 41-year-old military guy just back from war who had never run for office.  I have never worked in the political world as a consultant (Nancy Mace with Fitsnews) or elected official (Lee Bright).  I have never had a family member run for office, and I don’t have political connections.  I discovered my situation of running as a Tea Party candidate without any political background/connections made me the ultimate outsider.  I lost the race for Lt. Governor in the runoff, so I can no longer say I’ve never run for office.  However, I believe I remain an outsider.  A conservative who just wants to defend the Constitution in a different manner from the way I defended it as an infantry officer in Afghanistan, Kuwait, Egypt (Sinai), etc.

bill connor-hero

Cook: Why did you feel called to volunteer for the 218th infantry brigade that was called into combat to Afghanistan? You were not in the 218th but you decided to volunteer anyway.

Connor: I was not in the 218th Infantry when they were alerted to deploy to Afghanistan.  I volunteered because I felt the call to defend our great nation and my family.  I had been trained as an Airborne Ranger, had commander Light Infantry and Ranger Tng units and had almost 2 decades of experience in the Army combat arms.  I believed in the mission, as we were attacked on 9/11 from what was planned and supported by Bin Laden and Al Qaeda from Afghanistan (and the Taliban would not give up Bin Laden to justice).  I love our Constitution and would give my life for that document.  I feel the same passion to fight for it back home.

Cook: Why do you think there is so much excitement to replace Lindsey Graham not only in SC but throughout the U.S.?

Connor: Sen. Graham has ceased to be a South Carolina conservative leader and sought the public spotlight as a national figure.  In doing so, he is praised by the liberal media for “reaching across the aisle.”  He spends his time around John McCain attempting to garner that “aura” of the national spotlight.  Therefore, Graham has generated support among moderates nationally and the ire of conservatives, particularly in S.C.

Cook: One of the big issues in the U.S. is immigration. The Chamber of Commerce-types want cheap labor, democrats want new voters, but the majority of Americans want secure borders. How can we expect that passing new laws will help when we don’t follow the laws we currently have on the books? What is the answer to our immigration problems?

Connor: In the 1950s, General Eisenhower (after the Presidency, he asked to be referred to as General and not President) did the right thing by enforcing our laws.  It may have seemed hard, but he rounded up those who broke the laws and deported them.  We now have a situation in which Sen. Graham and many others have been very weak on the enforcement of our laws and allowed us to come to this point.  Now, they argue we cannot enforce the law and seek ways to reward lawbreakers.  I take a tough approach to this issue.  Before any discussions, we must secure our border properly.  Graham is against that being the top priority.  He patronizes conservatives by claiming that the new political reality (created by his negligence) forces the GOP to back off of the tough line on immigration.  Bottom line:  We cease to be a nation if we cannot control the borders.  We have people from throughout the world following our laws and watching the laws being selectively enforced due to pressure from interest groups.  We need to secure the border and enforce the laws.  Period.

Cook: Should the 2nd Amendment be limited? What are your thoughts on the recent attempt to ban “assault” rifles (M-4, AR-15 variants) and weaken the 2nd Amendment?

Connor: Having had to defend my life with my personal weapons (including 9mm pistol) in war at close range with those seeking to kill me, I will NEVER back down on the 2nd Amendment rights.  All this seems theoretical, until one needs a weapon for self defense.  Someone may only need it once in their life, but that one time determines if they live or die.  Our founders and the Constitution is 100% clear about this right.  It cannot be taken.  That includes so-called “assault” rifles, which are no different beyond cosmetics.

connor 50 caliber

Cook: Sen. Lindsey Graham and John McCain have criticized Senators like Mike Lee, Rand Paul and Ted Cruz. McCain even referred to them as “Wacko Birds” and then later apologized. How do you view them? Are they doing a good job?

Connor: I believe John McCain and Graham need to go back home, get real jobs and be forced to understand they are no longer conservatives.  Mike, Rand and Ted are the true conservatives to most conservatives in America.  McCain calling them “Wacko Birds” is ironic.  McCain’s various statements and decisions, while maintaining the GOP/conservative label (his label), is pretty wacky.  Those conservatives are doing an excellent job and exactly what conservatives want.  McCain and Graham seem to be doing what the liberal media want done.

Cook: One of the biggest issues for business owners is Obamacare. What is the best way to defeat Obamacare?

Connor: Obamacare should be defunded and repealed at the earliest opportunity.  The defunding seems to be taking place, but I suspect Graham will support Obamacare (claiming that “elections have consequences,” and that’s what he must do).  This is a huge reason I want conservative leadership in Graham’s seat.

Cook: Rep. Jeff Duncan recently noted that oil production is booming in North Dakota because the drilling is on state-owned or private land. He spoke of the potential benefits to South Carolina by opening up drilling opportunities 70 miles from our coastline.  The drilling rigs would not be seen from the beaches and coastal communities, and 37% of the revenue generated from such drilling would come back into the South Carolina economy.  The federal government controls the permitting of offshore drilling. Obama ended offshore drilling within 125 miles of our coast.  Rep. Duncan has introduced legislation to allow oil, exploration and drilling off the South Carolina coast. Is this something you can support? Are regulations killing creativity and our economy? What is the solution?

Connor: I support Jeff Duncan and believe he is going in the right direction.  We should allow oil exploration in S.C. and anywhere else we can begin domestic production.  Regulations are killing us, and in a bad economy, the first priority must be the economy and jobs.  Not Obama’s plans to fight “global warming” as the top priority.

Cook:  What is the best strategy to promote peace in the Middle East, instead of arming the Muslim Brotherhood? We want more peace, but what is the best way to do it? Should we be involved in helping the rebels in Syria? Where is Lindsey Graham going wrong?

Connor: We should never have supported the Muslim Brotherhood.  It is against our national interest, and they are clearly attempting to use the ballot box to end the Constitution and Democratic systems.  They are openly for the oppression of Christians and other non-Muslims and seek to build a Caliphate that can eventually attempt to conquer the West for Sharia law.  I understand all this, having served in the Middle East a number of times (something neither Graham, McCain nor the other candidates have done).  We should not be funding and supporting Islamist groups as we did with Libya, and we should not be funding/supporting Islamist groups in Syria.  American interest should be the number one factor in foreign policy not attempting to remake other countries and not supporting governments opposed to our interests like we have done in Egypt.

Cook:   You have stated that our rights come from God and not from the government. You said that in the Bill of Rights – the “pursuit of happiness” meant economic freedom and property rights, and that they come from God and not from government. You also note that we must stay true to our founding values of a constitutional republic that our founders gave us. How do we destroy the chains of socialism that are suffocating America and get back to a Constitutional Republic that you embrace so much?

Connor: We must fight to regain our Constitutional Republic and that will not happen with men like Sen. Graham.  We are at a crisis, and we must have leaders in D.C. willing to forgo the acclaim of the mainstream media and be willing to be lampooned if necessary.  Men like Graham have allowed the desire for national acclaim to overshadow their duty as conservatives.  We must fight the democrats’ agenda to remake America.  We must fight it with every fiber of our being.  We are “one nation under God,” and only have secure rights if America collectively acknowledges we believe rights come from God and not government.  General Eisenhower understood this necessity and inserted “Under God” in the pledge and changed our national motto to “In God we Trust.”  The media is generally liberal and will call such rhetoric “right wing.”  However, it is what made America the nation we have become.


To find out more, please visit his website: www.billconnoronline.com.

Lindsey Graham to be Primaried by Female, Tea Party Favorite: Nancy Mace

For months Nancy Mace has been making headlines. Supporters have been eagerly waiting and praying for her to run against Lindsey Graham in the South Carolina GOP primary. It seems they will get their wish.

Mace is the daughter of Brigadier General Emory Mace (US Army Retired), and the first ever female graduate of The Citadel Military College of South Carolina. Holding a Master’s of Mass Communication and Journalism, and a Bachelor’s of Business, she is also the author of In the Company of Men: A Woman at The Citadel . In addition, Mace owns a successful small business called The Mace Group LLC, which is a public relations and marketing firm out of Charleston where she is married with two children. Mace is a contributor to multiple national media outlets such as The Hill and The Daily Caller. Having these ties make her dangerous to Graham as many primary candidates struggle to get national media attention.

Nancy Mace, Tea Party Favorite, Plans US Senate Run Against Lindsey Graham
Nancy Mace, Tea Party Favorite, Plans US Senate Run Against Lindsey Graham

Today she released some information, which thousands of supporters have been waiting to hear. She is planning to challenge Lindsey Graham and will make the announcement in her home town of Goose Creek, South Carolina this Saturday.

Mace said in an interview:

I believe we need a credible candidate who can challenge Graham. Someone who can bring together the liberty movement, the tea party, those who covet our second Amendment rights and the right to life, those who want to see greater economic freedom and prosperity brought to our nation through individual liberty and the free market. We need someone who believes in constitutional principles. We need someone who will not believe increasing taxes are suitable while ignoring out of control spending. What we are doing in Washington today is clearly not working. I am flattered by all of the attention. This is David vs. Goliath and it will take conservatives from across the movement to be successful.

Graham has been targeted by multiple Washington D.C. organizations such as Heritage Action, Club for Growth, Senate Conservative Fund and others.