Lyin’ Ted vs Lyin’ Donald

Since the Iowa Caucus Donald Trump has been calling Ted Cruz a liar. Trump’s supporters often point to that night and the actions of the Cruz campaign as indicative of some fatal flaw in the presidential campaign of Ted Cruz. Trump, himself, almost always refers to Cruz as “lyin’ Ted” on twitter. Has Cruz lied since then? Maybe. Has he misconstrued his opponent’s positions on an issue? Likely. But that’s not the focus of the “Lyin’ Ted” moniker. It always goes back to the Iowa Caucus.

I said back then, and will say again, that I think Cruz didn’t handle this situation correctly. But his campaign wasn’t the only people that night to make a mistake.

If you remember, for some idiotic reason, Ben Carson’s campaign sent out a weird message right before the Iowa caucuses began. They said that Carson wouldn’t be going directly to the next battleground, but would return home. I have no idea who green lit this message, at this time. It was not something that had to be sent right then. And the timing set things in motion.

Iowa caucuses are weird. People make speeches and try to convince others to support their candidates before the votes are taken. Right before the speeches began, the Carson news was reported on several outlets. I saw it on twitter. My immediate thought was, “He must be dropping out.” It made no sense for this information to come out then unless he was leaving the race. It was just a weird statement to send to media.

16 minutes before the caucus started CNN broadcast that Carson was not going to New Hampshire or South Carolina, but instead heading home to Florida. One reporter, Dana Bash, said on air, “If you want to be President of the United States, you don’t go home to Florida,”

Someone in the Cruz campaign had the bright idea to send out a message to the people about to speak in each caucus site, telling them that it looked like Carson was out. Their interpretation was the same as mine when I heard he was going home. I wouldn’t have sent the message without double checking the report. They obviously didn’t check it. A quick decision that turned out to be a mistake.

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That’s a copy of the message sent to the caucus speakers. CNN was reporting that very thing. It made sense. Carson was not expected to do well. The polls had him at 9%. (He actually got a little over 9.3%). Frankly, he should have been dropping out. That’s probably why CNN was talking about him going home on air.

Carson’s campaign quickly put out another statement saying that he was just going home to get a change of clothes. Again, weird. But OK, Carson needed some time. That’s his business, I guess. But it was too late to stop the Cruz campaign speakers.

As soon as it became known that Cruz’s campaign has sent this email Carson and Trump cried foul. Ted Cruz personally apologized for the incident. Carson used it to further his campaign. Remember, Carson actually got more of the vote than was expected, even though this information had been sent. Trump, upset about losing to Cruz, threw a #Trumpertantrum on twitter and has continued to call Cruz a liar because of it.

I feel that the Cruz campaign made a big mistake in sending that message out. I felt like Cruz should have fired someone over it. I can see how it happened, and why it was sent. Someone was over eager to score votes from what they thought was a defunct campaign. This wasn’t something they made up out of thin air. This wasn’t just a blatant lie. Remove the odd statement from Carson, take away the CNN reporting, and this never happens.

But it did happen. And Trump supporters love to remind Cruz supporters of it, and accuse Cruz of being a liar. Lying’ Ted.

OK, for the sake of argument, let’s say that Ted Cruz is a dirty rotten liar, and this horrible liar is disqualified from being president because of this lie. If one lie disqualifies a candidate, how can anyone support Donald Trump?

I was reading a story the other day about how Trump lies so casually and continually that reporters don’t have time to check them all before they have to meet their deadlines. There are just so many times Trump is less than truthful. For instance, Earlier this month Donald Trump cancelled a rally in Chicago because he said the police recommended he should. The CPD spokesman says they never said that.

Or take this from just a couple of days ago. Trump was campaigning in Arizona, a Southern border state. Fox news reported this:
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Forget the Cruz birther junk in the beginning. The last sentence. Trump knows that Cruz was never for amnesty. At most you could make a case that he once was for legalization, but not amnesty. Even Sen. Jeff Sessions, a Trump supporter, says that Cruz proposed the legalization amendment to the Gang of 8 bill so it would end up not being passed. Trump knows Cruz does not support amnesty. So that was a blatant, calculated lie.

If one so called lie, which had zero impact on the caucus results, disqualifies Cruz, how do so many lies not also disqualify Trump?

Principles over Party, Integrity over Victory: A Warning for those Working Against Candidate Trump

blockedI had someone block me on twitter for the first time the other night.

When I started using twitter to voice my opinion about politics this election cycle, I did my followers a favor and created a different political handle. It’s @scottlinkpol if you want to follow. I didn’t want to subject the people interested in media to my political rants.

Sunday night I was scrolling through my feed when I saw a post that made me sit up. It said “LEAKED: Trump “off the record” Interview with New York Times” and had a link to a video. If you remember a few weeks ago there was a story that Trump had spoken to the New York Times and in that interview, off the record, had indicated that he would be more flexible on the issue of immigration than his public stance would imply. This came up in a debate, and he talked around it, but refused to let the NYT release the tapes.

I admit, as an opponent of Trump’s campaign, the thought of this off the record interview dropping 2 days before Arizona and Utah vote made me smile. It would likely have a negative impact on Trump. If Trump loses AZ, momentum swings to Cruz in the campaign. This was huge news.

A few questions came to mind. What made them release this now? They had been standing on their principles of journalistic integrity before. And why was there only one guy tweeting about this? Seemed like this would have been released to every major news outlet. So, I clicked the link. Right away, things looked off. I won’t provide the link here because I don’t want to further promote a lie. You can google the title and find it.

Red Flag 1: The video of this so called leaked audio was only :57 long. And the first half was video from the debate where Trump was asked about the NYT interview. Only the last few seconds was audio of Trump talking.

Red Flag 2: The audio of Trump sounded like a phone interview, but the NYT interview was reported as an in person interview.

Red Flag 3: The Youtube channel displaying the video had 8 videos, and less than 60 subscribers. This was not a news organization. Who would ever release a news story this big in this way. On this channel?

I mentioned this to the twitter account that had been posting the video. We, and others began talking. The audio in question highlighted the flip-flop Trump has done on immigration policy, but there was no proof this was the NYT off the record interview. Meanwhile, someone else found the ACTUAL interview the audio had been taken from. It came from a news interview from 2012. You can hear it here, time marker 1:57:

Not great for a candidate that is running in deporting illegal immigrants. But also not audio from an off the record NYT interview. The video was a fake.

So I brought this to the attention of the guy who had posted it. I don’t know him. He is just someone I followed who had been posting interesting things about the election. I won’t mention his name here, you can search my twitter feed to find him. His profile says that he once infiltrated a left wing group that was trying to “take down” a right wing radio host. That he was sort of famous for that. He has a little over 100k followers. Far more than I do on any twitter account.

I assumed he had been taken in by the false video. Turns out, he didn’t care. We had an entire conversation about whether it mattered that the video was false. My position was/is that the lie about the timing of the audio (that it was from the off the record NYT interview) far overshadows the content, which was a 4 year old opinion Trump admits he changed. I said he needed to correct his twitter feed. He was talking to 100k people. Let’s get the truth out there:

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He disagreed. He said this was good political strategy. It doesn’t matter when it was said (even though he had been touting the timing and “off the record” in his original post) When I defended my position, he questioned my education and told me that this was propaganda in 2016.

My response got me blocked:
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I signed back in with my main twitter account and saw that he had deleted his side of our conversation and posted this ominous tweet:
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Yeah, I don’t have a lot of tweets or followers on my new political account. Maybe someone who claims to have infiltrated another political group is predisposed to suspect that of others. The bigger issue was that he had deleted our entire conversation. He was all about lying and sharing videos he knew were false. But he removed all the tweets that exposed his promotion of a lie.

Why is this important enough to share? It highlights a very real danger in this election. For some frustrating reason Donald Trump is the frontrunner for the GOP nomination to President. I would like for that to not be the case. I will use what little influence I have to help people see who he is and the dangers of electing someone like him to this office. I would like very much to win this battle.

What good is winning over Trump if we have to stoop to acting just like him in order to do it? What do I mean? Google “Trump Lies” and see what comes up. When I say that I will vote principle over party, I mean it. I will never vote for Trump. I don’t care who else is running. I won’t vote for Hillary either.

But my integrity is more important than beating Trump. I won’t knowingly share false information in hopes that it will lead to his failure. He has said enough things that have already disqualified him from holding this office. We don’t need to lie. And I won’t be a part of it to win.

Why #NeverTrump?

If you follow me on this blog or any social media, my opposition to Donald Trump’s bid for President isn’t a surprise. Recently a hashtag has been in use on Twitter: #NeverTrump. It’s used by people who promise they will never vote for Trump, no matter what. According to some polls, 37% of GOP voters will never vote for Trump. I’m one of those people. I began using twitter to explain why:

Why #NeverTrump? I will never place party above principle. Not now, not ever.

Why #NeverTrump? We deserve better. Conservatives deserve better. America deserves better.

Why #NeverTrump? We deserve a leader who respects women.

Why #NeverTrump? We deserve leader of principle, not one who promises to compromise on core values.

Why #NeverTrump? We deserve someone who supports the constitution. Trump has shown he doesn’t care about the Constitution.

Why #NeverTrump? Because I won’t put party over principle! America deserves better than lesser of 2 evils!

Why #NeverTrump? Because his tariff policies would hurt our economy.

Why #NeverTrump? We deserve leader who values all life. Not one who threatens kids for crimes of parents and supports Planned Parenthood.

Why #NeverTrump? We deserve a man of courage. Not someone afraid to defend their views in a debate, or to hold to an unpopular position.

Why #NeverTrump? We deserve a man of integrity. Not one who says laws/rules are bad for USA but he uses them anyway.

Why #NeverTrump? We deserve someone to look up to. Not a crass, foul mouthed jerk. Someone who can represent us well.

Why #NeverTrump? You can’t govern by polls. We need a real leader with core values.

Why #NeverTrump? Because Presidency isn’t reality TV. We need a real leader.

Why #NeverTrump? Because we deserve a leader who values the truth. Not one who lies casually, continually.

Why #NeverTrump? I won’t let the media decide who I vote for.
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People claim that a vote for someone besides Trump in the general election is a vote for Clinton. I say, based on the number of GOP voters who will never vote for Trump, a vote for Trump in the primaries is a vote for Clinton.

#NeverTrump now, #NeverTrump forever. It’s not a bluff, #NeverTrump. If he is nominated, we won’t get behind him. The GOP will lose. This is a choice GOP voters and leadership is making now. We have already made our choice.

Follow me on twitter: @scottlinkpol. Feel free to retweet anything above.

How to Have a Brokered GOP Convention and Not Destroy the GOP

I have written, that I don’t care if the GOP stays around or not. I still don’t. I know some want to keep it, and if it continues and returns to nominating conservatives, I’ll continue to vote for GOP candidates.

But there is a lot of talk about stopping Trump through a brokered convention. As we sift through the remains of last night’s primary elections it is clear that only 2 candidates could possibly make it to the magic number of delegates to secure a nomination before the GOP Convention. But neither of them are considered GOPe candidates.

It’s possible for both Cruz and Trump to make it to the convention without the nomination. It’s harder for Cruz to get the delegates. That is especially true if John Kasich stays in the race for much longer. It is impossible for Kasich to win enough delegates to secure the nomination before the convention. The only reason for him to stay in the race is the hope that somehow he leaves the convention with the nomination after a deal is brokered. That would be a bad idea for the GOP.

The only way a GOP exists after a brokered convention is if the nominee that comes out of there was one of the 2 who had a shot to get the nomination if the others had dropped out.

The way the convention works, the delegates that are generally pledged to each candidate must vote for their candidate on the first ballot. If no nominee is selected, they are free to change their vote in later ballots. If you want a GOP to exist after the convention, Trump and Cruz delegates should keep voting for their candidate. The delegates that are pledged to the candidates that have no path to the nominations, the ones that should have dropped out, those are the ones that should be allowed to change their vote. Any other scenario will have Cruz or Trump voters crying foul.

Rule 40(b)

In 2012 the GOP added a rule that basically says any nominee must win 8 states in the primary process to be considered the nominee. As I understand it, that was added to make sure Ron Paul didn’t have a shot in 2012. That rule, if allowed to stay, would insure that all the delegates from the suspended campaigns would be free to vote for one of the two remaining campaigns… not for Kasich if he is still in the race. Some say that this rule will be removed before the vote. But who knows. If allowed to stay, and interpreted strictly, it would mean that Kasich could not be the nominee, and any delegates for the other candidates can vote for any candidate with more than 8 state wins; Trump or Cruz.

If Rule 40(b) is struck down, and anyone but Cruz or Trump emerges as the GOP nominee, the Republican party is finished. It will fracture and split. That may not be a bad thing in the long run. But if Republicans want to exist beyond this election cycle, the only way to do it is select from Trump or Cruz in a brokered convention.

But maybe one of them will get the 1237 delegates secured by then, and a brokered convention won’t happen.

I don’t Care About the GOPe or the GOP

This morning someone told me I was dumb for thinking a vote for Cruz was not a vote for the Republican “Establishment”.

I could not care less about the GOP Establishment, or the GOP at all.

The Republican Party is a vehicle for candidates that hold my conservative views. Period. If it stops being an effective vehicle I will look for candidates that hold those views elsewhere.

People, myself included, are annoyed with the GOP and the “establishment” for foisting candidates upon us that are actually not conservative. They do not work toward limited government, but instead are a part of the Washington system that doesn’t actually accomplish anything conservative. At best the establishment slows down the march of progressive left political will.

What exactly is the GOPe? It’s this nebulous group of people that provide leadership to the GOP. It’s not a defined group, it’s just a useful generalization. People aren’t actually members. But if you are in leadership in the Republican party and you think Romney and McCain were good candidates, you probably are a member of the establishment.

I don’t care about the GOPe. Look, I voted for McCain and Romney. I have accepted establishment Republican candidates as the lesser of two evils at the voting booth for a long time now. But the GOP or the GOPe mean very little to me. I wanted conservatives to have a new party back when Romney was running. I hoped the Tea Party would become that political party, but it got sucked into the GOP. Political parties in general, mean little to me. They are just a mechanism to vote for candidates that I like, or at least dislike less than others. I do not like the 2 party system we have. But since we have it, I participate as best I can. I vote for the candidate that will do the least harm and might lead us back toward more limited government.

This election cycle, the frustration over the GOPe has boiled over. Now people want a candidate that isn’t a part of it. Although he was very liberal before, and admits to being a part of the establishment until he decided to run for office, Donald Trump has emerged at the poster child for anti-establishment voters. Now, like this morning, when any who is annoyed with the GOP says they plan to vote for anyone else, the Trumpkins lash out. How stupid can we be? Don’t we know that every other candidate is part of the GOPe?

What they are saying is that I (a conservative) should only vote for a blow hard, blustering buffoon who cannot articulate even simple policy positions in most cases, and who when he does actually state a position clearly he flips on it within 24 hours, who thinks insults are the way to defeat his opponents, who has a history of supporting liberal Democrats and leftist positions, who admits he personally takes advantage of laws that are bad for the USA, who literally holds positions based on poll numbers, who has promised to open up libel laws so he can sue people who criticize him, who has promised to expand laws so that he can order the US Military to kill women and children who are related to terrorists, who embodies values and behavior that I would never want in any elected official much less the President of the USA… I should vote for him because he is the only candidate who is not controlled by the GOPe.

I don’t care who is or isn’t a GOPe favorite.

I will never vote for Donald Trump for any elected office, Ever. I will never vote for Hillary Clinton, either. Before you say a vote for someone else is a vote for Clinton, let me stop you. It’s not. It’s a vote for someone else. If enough people vote for someone else, that person gets elected. If Clinton does get elected, which she undoubtedly would in a general election versus Trump, at least then we know what we are going to get. She is a known factor. A bad one, but we know her. We don’t know Trump. He has changed his views so often I can’t be sure he has any core values… except to do things that benefit him and post crazy stuff on twitter.

So, no. I won’t vote for Trump. I will vote for the candidate that will do the least harm. If that is a GOPe candidate, fine. If that is someone else, fine. I will not vote for Trump to stop the GOPe because I don’t care about them. If the GOP puts up Trump as the nominee, I won’t vote GOP in the election. And I won’t consider myself a part of the GOP until such time as it dies off and is replaced, or comes to its senses and started nominating conservatives again.

There are rumblings about the GOPe conspiring to steal the nomination from Donald Trump at the Republican convention. The rules are pretty clear. If no candidate has the needed number of delegates prior to the convention, during the gathering they will do multiple delegate votes until a nominee is selected. If Trump has the most delegates, but not enough to secure the nomination, some fear that this will shatter the Republican party if he is not the nominee. Assuming the rules are followed, the candidates enter this process knowing that this could be the outcome. I’m not a fan of ignoring the votes of individuals in a brokered convention. I’d rather see voters select a conservative candidate before the convention. But if the GOP comes out of the convention with Trump as the nominee, no matter how that happens, I won’t be joining them in support of Trump.

I don’t want to save the GOP. I don’t care if the GOP splinters. I don’t care if a new party rises from the ashes of the GOP. I will vote for the candidate that is most likely to return us to a limited government. One who is actually a conservative, and will do the least harm to our nation. I will not place party over principle.

Let’s Talk Independent Presidential Bids (And Breaking the 2 Party System)

Well, I had been writing this before the debate last night. But that last question where each GOP candidate pledged again to support whoever the nominee is… sort of ruined it. Even so, fun to speculate:

Super Tuesday has come and gone. With a few surprises, Donald Trump won most states, but also under performed in most states. Is it too late to stop him from entering the GOP convention with enough delegates to secure the nomination? Maybe, maybe not. But aside from Carson mostly dropping out, the field of GOP candidate won’t get any narrower until it will likely be too late. There is no way Kasich drops out before Ohio and no way Rubio drops before Florida.

There is a good chance… unless things turn… that Trump will be the GOP nominee. I cannot believe I typed those words. He is not a conservative. He does not represent me. But, the GOP hasn’t really represented conservatives for a while. We vote in Republicans, and then they continue to do big government things and get nothing we want done. We haven’t been happy with the GOP for a while. That’s part of the revolt against the “GOPe” that’s going on, ironically it’s part of what’s fueling Trumps popularity. It started with the tea party, then that got side tracked and squashed. Whatever. If we put up Trump as the nominee, I am done with the GOP.

Period, end of sentence. Done.

In our current 2 party system, that means my 3rd party vote is a waste in November. But what if we could use the opportunity to destroy the 2 party system and bring some options to our elections? Ross Perot tried it, and that failed horribly; but this is 2016. No one knows what is gonna happen. I hear rumors of people like Bloomberg from NY running 3rd party. Imagine if there were 4 viable candidates? Trump, Clinton, Bloomberg, and … ? Bloomberg is a long shot, and really, if Clinton gets indicted and drops out… also a long shot… who knows what happens to the Democrats. Can you say Biden vs Trump? The only thing that is certain is that nothing is certain in this election.

Looking at the GOP field, who could run independent/3rd party and have a chance? Who has money and support, but isn’t too tied to the GOP? The only candidate is Ted Cruz.

I have gone out of my way to not endorse any candidate. I obviously tried to derail Trump with what little influence I have. But I have never said who you should vote for on this blog. And I’m not endorsing Cruz, per say, as much as saying he would be infinitely better than Trump or Clinton. Sadly, our 2 party system lends itself to voting for the less undesirable of 2 candidates most times. In a scenario where Cruz is a viable 3rd candidate, he will do the least harm to our nation, and has the most chance of getting elected. So I’m not endorsing him, as much as saying for the sake of our nation we should support him.

That goes for the primary as well as the general election. If you vote in the GOP primary, vote Cruz. If he runs 3rd party, vote for Cruz. He is the only one who can possibly beat Trump in delegates, and he is the only one who can beat both Clinton and Trump in a general election. Kasich doesn’t have a chance. Rubio appears very tied into the “GOPe” and couldn’t swing the support. Doesn’t matter if he is a part of the “establishment” or not, he looks that way. Only Cruz could do it.

Now, before you jump down my throat about Cruz’s campaign antics I would urge you to remember: no candidate is perfect. I felt he should have handled the Iowa/Carson issue differently. He ended up having to fire his communications guy anyway over that Rubio video. His campaign has made mistakes, and done some stuff I don’t like. I’m not saying he’s my perfect candidate. I’m saying if I have to choose between Cruz and Clinton or Trump, I pick Cruz every single time. And so should you.

Yes, a 3rd party run of a popular conservative could split the GOP vote and give the election to Clinton. I’d hate to see that happen. I really do think that a true conservative like Cruz could position himself in a way to win the general election. I’d love to see a poll on that. Here’s the rub: at least with Clinton we know what we’re getting. She will do what she always does, placing herself above the needs of the nation. we’ll have 4 more years of policies similar to Obama’s, with gridlock in Congress, and then have another election. Not the best option. But is it better than a Trump presidency? At least we know what we get with Clinton. Trump is a wild card.

I am not saying I want Clinton as president. I am saying that I will not vote for Trump, and I think Cruz could beat Trump and Clinton with a properly run campaign. Add a 4th person running as a liberal, and all bets are off.

But what if Trump gets fed up with the RNC shenanigans, and runs as 3rd party? Again, Cruz would still be running against Trump and Clinton.

Of course, after the GOP debate last night, no GOP candidate will run 3rd party, they all said they would support the nominee. The only hope of a 3 person race would be for Trump to bail and run independent. Or another liberal to jump in. Regardless, I will never vote for Donald Trump.