Ted Cruz: Why I am voting for Trump. Why You should too.

Ted Cruz: Why I am voting for Trump.  Why You should too.

 

This election is unlike any other in our nation’s history. Like many other voters, I have struggled to determine the right course of action in this general election.

In Cleveland, I urged voters, “please, don’t stay home in November. Stand, and speak, and vote your conscience, vote for candidates up and down the ticket whom you trust to defend our freedom and to be faithful to the Constitution.”

After many months of careful consideration, of prayer and searching my own conscience, I have decided that on Election Day, I will vote for the Republican nominee, Donald Trump.

I’ve made this decision for two reasons. First, last year, I promised to support the Republican nominee. And I intend to keep my word.

Second, even though I have had areas of significant disagreement with our nominee, by any measure Hillary Clinton is wholly unacceptable — that’s why I have always been #NeverHillary.

Six key policy differences inform my decision. First, and most important, the Supreme Court. For anyone concerned about the Bill of Rights — free speech, religious liberty, the Second Amendment — the Court hangs in the balance. I have spent my professional career fighting before the Court to defend the Constitution. We are only one justice away from losing our most basic rights, and the next president will appoint as many as four new justices. We know, without a doubt, that every Clinton appointee would be a left-wing ideologue. Trump, in contrast, has promised to appoint justices “in the mold of Scalia.”

For some time, I have been seeking greater specificity on this issue, and today the Trump campaign provided that, releasing a very strong list of potential Supreme Court nominees — including Sen. Mike Lee, who would make an extraordinary justice — and making an explicit commitment to nominate only from that list. This commitment matters, and it provides a serious reason for voters to choose to support Trump.

Second, Obamacare. The failed healthcare law is hurting millions of Americans. If Republicans hold Congress, leadership has committed to passing legislation repealing Obamacare. Clinton, we know beyond a shadow of doubt, would veto that legislation. Trump has said he would sign it.

Third, energy. Clinton would continue the Obama administration’s war on coal and relentless efforts to crush the oil and gas industry. Trump has said he will reduce regulations and allow the blossoming American energy renaissance to create millions of new high-paying jobs.

Fourth, immigration. Clinton would continue and even expand President Obama’s lawless executive amnesty. Trump has promised that he would revoke those illegal executive orders.

Fifth, national security. Clinton would continue the Obama administration’s willful blindness to radical Islamic terrorism. She would continue importing Middle Eastern refugees whom the FBI cannot vet to make sure they are not terrorists. Trump has promised to stop the deluge of unvetted refugees.

Sixth, Internet freedom. Clinton supports Obama’s plan to hand over control of the Internet to an international community of stakeholders, including Russia, China, and Iran. Just this week, Trump came out strongly against that plan, and in support of free speech online.

These are six vital issues where the candidates’ positions present a clear choice for the American people.

If Clinton wins, we know — with 100% certainty — that she would deliver on her left-wing promises, with devastating results for our country.

My conscience tells me I must do whatever I can to stop that.

We also have seen, over the past few weeks and months, a Trump campaign focusing more and more on freedom — including emphasizing school choice and the power of economic growth to lift African-Americans and Hispanics to prosperity.

Finally, after eight years of a lawless Obama administration, targeting and persecuting those disfavored by the administration, fidelity to the rule of law has never been more important.

The Supreme Court will be critical in preserving the rule of law. And, if the next administration fails to honor the Constitution and Bill of Rights, then I hope that Republicans and Democrats will stand united in protecting our fundamental liberties.

Our country is in crisis. Hillary Clinton is manifestly unfit to be president, and her policies would harm millions of Americans. And Donald Trump is the only thing standing in her way.

A year ago, I pledged to endorse the Republican nominee, and I am honoring that commitment. And if you don’t want to see a Hillary Clinton presidency, I encourage you to vote for him.

How is voting for Ted Cruz, voting your conscience?

How is voting for Ted Cruz, voting your conscience?

By Mario Murillo

I am a simple man asking some simple questions.  If the reason you can’t vote for Trump is that he has sinned then please tell me something:  How then, is voting for Cruz voting your conscience? 

-His super PAC released photos of Melania—with Ted’s full knowledge—before Trump said anything about Heidi. 

-The Cruz campaign lied about Ben Carson dropping out of the race to help Ted win Iowa. 

-He mailed out a fraudulent “VOTING VIOLATION,” form.

Donald Trump has never claimed to be the super-Christian that Ted Cruz claims.  Trump even humbly said to evangelicals “I am grateful for your support even though sometimes I don’t feel I deserve it.”

Isn’t Cruz just the opposite?   Didn’t his campaign feel entitled to the evangelical vote? Haven’t they castigated us and questioned our Christianity for not supporting him?  

Didn’t he stand stand foursquare with Mormon commentator Glenn Beck—and, in my opinion, his tacit approval made it look like Mormonism is the same as Christianity.  Ted never condemned Glenn’s decreed to southern evangelicals: “You are not obeying your God!” because they voted for Trump.

However, the thing that seals the deal for me was his behavior at the Republican National Convention.   Wasn’t Ted standing there like a smug martyr parsing words?  Wouldn’t  King Solomon have seen right through him?

In 1 Kings 3, Solomon discovers who the real mom is by threatening to cut the child in half.  The real mom says, “let her have the child but don’t divide it.”  Didn’t Ted Cruz prefer to divide the child?  

I am sorry, but I can’t see how this was courageous conviction. This did not look like Martin Luther nailing truth to the Wittenberg Door—this looked like a man simply out for himself.

 

Was he so filled with revenge (for a fight he started) that he had to lie one more time?  Didn’t he lie when he wrote his name on a pledge and gave his word to endorse the eventual nominee?   Proverbs 15: 4 “ But he honors those who fear the Lord;  He who swears to his own hurt and does not change.”

As I said in the beginning…I am a simple man asking simple questions.

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P.S.  None of this is said in anger or disrespect…I am a simple man asking simple questions.  Please don’t tell me I am lying about Ted Cruz.  These are all facts.  Please comment but be aware that it is a waste of time to post vitriol, abusive language or nutty spiritual gobbly-gook.  Thoughtful rebuttals are most welcome.

 

 

Glenn Beck says he was wrong about Donald Trump

I was wrong copy

Glenn Beck says he was wrong about Donald Trump

GLENN BECK: I will tell you this. The secret behind Donald Trump, because I have been wrong about Donald Trump every step of the way. I just didn’t think that this would work. I just didn’t think people would take him seriously. I thought people would have a problem with some of the things that he said. But they haven’t. And when you see that the Bernie Sanders people are now saying a quarter of them, in some polls, are saying that they will come over to Donald Trump, it’s not about Marxism, it is not about capitalism, it is not about policy, it is about destroying the system that has been lying to us on both sides for as long as I’ve lived.

The parties are completely out of control. And completely out of touch. Hillary Clinton doesn’t realize that the game has entirely changed. She is playing the old main line politician that will say whatever they have to say to get elected. Donald Trump, I think also says whatever he says to say to get elected, but in a completely different way. It is not about what he is saying, as much as it is how he is saying it.

Robert Jeffress Rebukes Glenn Beck for Criticism of Southern Evangelicals

Robert Jeffress Rebukes Glenn Beck for Criticism of Southern Evangelicals

Robert Jeffress, pastor of the 12,000 member First Baptist Church in Dallas, Texas, is rebuking talk radio host Glenn Beck for his recent criticism of evangelical Christians who live in the South and are not supporting Ted Cruz’s Campaign to secure the Republican Presidential nomination.

by MICHAEL PATRICK LEAHY  23 Mar 2016

“All throughout the South the Evangelicals are not listening to their God,” Beck said at a rally in Utah on Monday.

“Beck’s wacko comment speaks for itself,” Jeffress tells Breitbart News.

“However, by using the phrase ‘their God’ to refer to the God we evangelical Christians worship, Beck is finally admitting that the true God of the Bible is different than the god of the Book of Mormon. I congratulate Beck for his honesty in differentiating between the two,” Jeffress adds.

“However, I am somewhat puzzled that Beck claims to know how the God Christians worship would vote in the Republican primaries.”

Jeffress has introduced GOP frontrunner Donald Trump at many events, though as a pastor he is not officially endorsing any candidate.

Beck, a Mormon, has endorsed Cruz and has spoken on his behalf at numerous rallies around the country.

One prominent academic who specializes in American religion takes exception to Beck’s comments as well.

“Assuming that Mr. Beck is referring to evangelicals who vote for Trump, I would make a distinction that Beck does not: The Bible certainly offers principles on how to think about government and politics. The Bible does not, however, tell us which individual candidates to vote for,” Dr. Thomas S. Kidd, Distinguished Professor of History and Associate Director of the Institute for Studies of Religion at Baylor University in Waco, Texas, tells Breitbart News.

Glenn Beck

“If other Christians don’t vote for our preferred candidate, we should not say that they are not listening to God. None of us has special access to God’s opinions about candidates,” Kidd says.

“There are many reasons why devout Christians should hesitate to vote for Donald Trump, but God has not revealed Ted Cruz as the divinely anointed alternative, either,” Kidd concludes.

A number of evangelical Christians who live in the South are also critical of Beck’s fusion of theology and politics.

“Say what you want, but as a Southern Christian, I’m pretty sure my God doesn’t like politicians behaving like diamond pinky ring wearing TV preachers telling lies and trying to guilt people into donating their dollars to false causes,” Stephani Scruggs, a resident of Pensacola, Florida, posted on her Facebook page Tuesday. Scruggs says she is the former national co-chairman of the Glenn Beck inspired 9-12 Project

Criticisms of Beck’s attack on evangelical Christians who live in the South and are not supporting Cruz were echoed by several participants in the February 25 Breitbart focus groups conducted of evangelical Christians in Tennessee who said they intended to vote in the March 1 GOP Presidential primary in the Volunteer State.

“It has been very disconcerting to see Beck traveling with Cruz,” Elizabeth, who voted for Cruz in the Tennessee primary and participated in one of the February 25 focus groups, tells Breitbart News.

“I have had a nagging concern about Cruz’s integrity. His association with Beck confirms this,” she says.

Robert Jeffress

“Beck is not reticent about pushing his Mormon faith, which from an evangelical perspective is heretical. Apparently Cruz has no discomfort being called the fulfillment of a false prophecy,” she adds.

“The fact that evangelicals have not fully embraced Cruz but Mormons have is troubling to someone who voted for Cruz but now questions the decision,” Elizabeth concludes.

“I am disgusted by Beck’s comments and he should be ashamed for casting stones,” Jim, a Trump supporter and small business owner who participated in the focus groups, tells Breitbart News.

“Are we counting sins? Let’s see: Cruz has lied on multiple occasions, smeared Trump horribly, wasn’t tithing while making over $250,000,” he adds.

“I tuned Glenn Beck out a long time ago,” Martha, a Trump alternate delegate and focus group participant, tells Breitbart News. (Note: Two other participants in the focus groups ran as Cruz delegates in Tennessee.)

“I think he has issues and is in no position to determine who is or is not listening to anything or anyone, including God,” she adds.

“His hysterics do nothing but turn me off, whether it’s this or anything else,” she says of Beck.

“I think he has done some good exposing some of those leftist relationships that he has exposed. But, once he starts on opinion, he always seems totally off the wall to me. Have thought this a long time,” Martha concludes.

“I was offended by Glenn Beck’s comments, as I was by Romney’s speech several weeks ago. ‘My God’ doesn’t tell me how to vote,” Aime Molina, another focus group participant, tells Breitbart News.

“I believe God expects me to be involved in the political process for the good of His people and the advancement of His Kingdom,” Molina continues.

“I believe I am called to vote according to the morals and teachings of Jesus. I believe we should vote for the candidate who will enforce the expectations of personal accountability for one’s life and actions, and the protection of our Country and its citizens,” she continues.

“I don’t believe that God endorses a specific candidate, and Beck’s comments seem judgmental and manipulative to me. I am not anti-Trump; he is my second choice, but for the record I voted for Ted Cruz. And I’m still offended by Glenn Beck,” Molina adds.

The February 25 Breitbart focus groups of evangelical Christians in Tennessee confirmed the polling research of the Barna Group, the leading pollster of evangelical Christians,which found that committed evangelicals are more supportive of Cruz and cultural evangelicals are more supportive of Trump.

Ted Cruz: Closet Pentecostal

Ted Cruz: Closet Pentecostal

 

ted cruz, rafael cruz, heidi cruz, pentecostal church, pentecostal, sarah palin, east orlando post, east orlando news, news east orlando, orlando news, news florida, florida news, jacob engels,

Why is Ted Cruz hiding his Pentecostal past…

By Jacob Engels

While Ted Cruz proudly proclaims he is an Evangelical Christian, his campaign takes pains to hide the truth that Cruz and his pastor father, Rafael Cruz are Pentecostal Christians, a fact further hidden by having Ted and Heidi Cruz’s belong to the congregation of First Baptist Church, a Southern Baptist church in Houston, as their home church.

Both Cruz’s parents, his father Rafael a Cuban-born immigrant, and his mother Eleanor, born in Wilmington, Delaware, grew up in Catholic families. Both were among the millions of that left the Catholic Church since the 1960s to embrace Pentecostalism, a Christian movement estimated to make up 4.4 percent of the U.S. population, accounting for some 13 percent of evangelical churches in the United States.

Holy Spirit’s “Purifying Fire”

The name “Pentecostal” derives from the feast of the Pentecost, typically celebrated fifty days after Easter, and identified in the Acts of the Apostles 2:1-31 as the day when the Holy Spirit descended in “purifying fire” upon the Apostles of Jesus Christ, inspiring them to go forth from hiding in fear to proclaim the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

Pentecostals believe the Apostles of Jesus were aided by the Holy Spirit’s “gift of tongues,” in what Pentecostals consider as “baptism by the Holy Spirit,” deriving from 1 Corinthians 12:14, that gave the Apostles the ability to speak in a “God-enabled prayer language” that Pentecostals believe even today allows the unintelligible human utterances of an Pentecostal evangelist to be understood by foreigners who do not speak the Pentecostal evangelist’s language.

Heidi Nelson Cruz, Ted’s wife, is the daughter of Seventh-day Adventist missionaries, explaining why she spent part of her childhood traveling with her parents to places like Kenya. “Speaking in Tongues” Religion reporter Sarah Pulliam Bailey, writing in the Washington Post on March 25, 2015, was of the first to recognize Ted Cruz’s 2016 presidential campaign logo and the purifying tongue-of-fire logo used commonly to identify Pentecostal churches.

Here is Ted Cruz’s 2016 presidential campaign logo:

 

Here is the logo of the Church of Pentecost:

 

The symbol derives from Acts 2:3, writing about the descent of the Holy Spirit upon the Apostles, “They saw what seemed to be tongues of fire that separated and came to rest on each of them.”

Sarah Palin’s nomination as vice president put Pentecostalism into the spotlight, when the press revealed that from the time she was a teenager until 2002, Palin attended a church affiliated with the Assemblies of God that the Pew Research Center in an analysis published on Sept. 12, 2008, described as “the largest Pentecostal Christian denomination in the U.S.”

The Pew Research Center went on to note that Pentecostalism “emphasizes such practices as speaking in tongues, prophesying, divine healing and other miraculous signs of the Holy Spirit, which it believes are as valid today as they were in the early Christian church.”

“Ted is the anointed one”

Rafael Cruz is a pastor with Purifying Fire International Ministry, although in January 2014, as Ted Cruz was preparing his presidential swing, Rafael Cruz scrapped the group’s website after various blogs began identifying the ministry as rooted in “a radical Christian ideology known as Dominionism or Christian Reconstructionism.”

Dominionism calls on anointed Christian leaders to take over government to make the laws of the nation in accordance with Biblical laws. Rafael Cruz, at the Pastor Larry Huch’s New Beginnings mega-church in Bedford Texas, outside Dallas, on Aug. 26, 2012, in a Dominionist sermon proclaimed his son, Ted Cruz, to be the “anointed one,” a Dominionist Messiah who would bring God’s law to reign.

 

At a Dominionist pastor’s meeting held at the Marriott Hotel in Des Moines, Iowa, on July 19 and 20, 2013, the following “anointing prayer” was read over.

So to pull all this logic together, God anoints priests to work in the church directly and kings to go out into the marketplace to conquer, plunder, and bring back the spoils to the church. The reason governmental regulation has to disappear from the marketplace is to make it completely available to the plunder of Christian “kings” who will accomplish the “end time transfer of wealth.”

Then “God’s bankers” will usher in the “coming of the messiah.”

The government is being shut down so that God’s bankers can bring Jesus back. In an editorial published in the Washington Post on Feb. 4, on the heels of Cruz’s victory in the Iowa GOP primary, John Fea of the Religion News Service published an op-ed piece noting the frequent references Ted Cruz makes in stump speeches to his father “the traveling evangelist” Rafael Cruz.

“During a 2012 sermon at the New Beginnings Church in Bedford, Texas, Rafael Cruz described his son’s political campaign as a direct fulfillment of biblical prophecy,” Fea wrote. “The elder Cruz told the congregation God would anoint Christian ‘kings’ to preside over an ‘end-time transfer of wealth’ from the wicked to the righteous. After this sermon, Larry Huch, the pastor of New Beginnings, claimed Cruz’s recent election to the U.S. Senate was a sign he was one of these kings.”

Fea noted that Rafael Cruz and Larry Huch preach a brand of evangelical theology known as Seven Mountains Dominionism. The name comes from Isaiah 2:2, “Now it shall come to pass in the latter days that the Lord’s house shall be established on top of the mountains.”

Fea commented that Rafael Cruz believes Christians must take dominion over seven aspects of culture: family, religion, education, media, entertainment, business, and government.

By identifying Ted Cruz as the “anointed one,” Rafael Cruz has designated his son as what he believes is God’s choice to lead an evangelical coup d’etat, such that, as Fea notes, “Cruz’s campaign may be less about the White House and more about the white horses that will usher in the God’s Kingdom in the New Testament book of Revelation, Chapter 19.”

Jacob Engels, is the Founder of East Orlando Post & Seminole County Post. He is a seasoned political operative who has led numerous statewide political groups and has worked on several high-profile local, statewide, and national races. Jacob has been interviewed on national television & radio programs, with his work having been featured in the Orlando Sentinel, New York Times, Washington Post, Miami Herald and other publications nationwide. He can be reached at info@eastorlandopost.com

– See more at: http://eastorlandopost.com/ted-cruz-closet-pentecostal#sthash.z11d8GUR.dpuf

Ted Cruz: We should not be ashamed of Christ

FILE - In this Sept. 26, 2014 file photo, Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas speaks at the 2014 Values Voter Summit in Washington. Top Texas Republicans are holding their election night party on Nov. 4 with a concert by country star Pat Green at the Moody Theater in Austin, Texas, best-known for hosting a weekly music show. Gov. Rick Perry isn’t seeking re-election but is considering a second run for the White House and is expected to attend. Also planning to be there, according to spokeswoman Catherine Frazier, is tea party-backed Sen. Ted Cruz, who appears likely to test the presidential waters. Same goes for former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, a possible 2016er some Republicans hope will enter the race to stand up to conservative firebrands like Cruz. (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta, File)

KEENE, N.H. — Sen. Ted Cruz’s campaign for president has featured strong references to faith and Christianity, which he says will help restore the country to greatness.

The Texas senator and son of a Carrollton pastor is sticking to religion, even in New Hampshire. The voting population there is heavy with libertarians and is not as influenced by evangelicals as the small towns in Iowa, where Cruz has had success in the polls.

“For too long there has been a spirit of fear and timidity in Washington,” Cruz told The Dallas Morning News on the second day of his New Hampshire tour. “We should not be ashamed of Christ. We should be willing to speak the truth with a smile.”

Cruz said the nation must return to its Judeo-Christian roots.

“Pulling this country back from the cliff we’re facing will require us remembering who we are, rediscovering those values that built America in the first place,” he said.

That has been Cruz’s mantra for months, and along the way he’s climbed in the polls for what’s fast becoming a two-way race with New York businessman Donald Trump.

In New Hampshire, he trails Trump by a wide margin. And though it’s not critical for Cruz to win the Granite State, doing well could give him a boost toward the GOP nomination.

“We should not be ashamed of Christ. We should be willing to speak the truth with a smile.”

Cruz’s message has largely been the same during the campaign, but the issues facing New Hampshire have prompted him to connect with voters in different ways.

During a stop in Keene, for instance, he talked about the substance abuse problem that killed his older sister, Miriam.

All day Monday, Cruz was asked about Trump, his admirer-turned-campaign nemesis.

During an appearance on Fox News, Trump called Cruz unlikable, saying, “Everybody hates Ted.”

Cruz fired back, sort of, saying voters would have the final opinion.

“Donald seems to be a little rattled. For whatever reason, he’s very dismayed. As conservatives continue to unite behind our campaign, as his poll numbers continue to go down, he’s a little testy,” Cruz said during a stop in Washington, N.H. “I have no intention in responding in kind. If he wants to engage in insults, that’s his prerogative.”

Not all Bible talk

Cruz was not all Bible talk. He promised to repeal the Affordable Care Act, investigate Planned Parenthood, abolish the IRS, and defeat the Islamic State and terrorism. But he also answered questions on issues specific to the Northeast, like the heroin crisis in New Hampshire.

“I know New Hampshire in particular has been hit hard. The heroin epidemic is really ugly,” he said. “This is an issue [with which] I have more than passing experience. My older sister, Miriam, died of a drug overdose.”

Cruz said later that his sister’s problems had a profound impact on him as a young man, as he and family members fought desperately to save her.

“She had a hard life. She made a lot of foolish decisions over and over again. She had problems with drinking and substance abuse her whole life until one morning she didn’t wake up,” he said.

Cruz told New Hampshire residents that his plan to curb illegal immigration would help fight the drug problem.

“One of the most important elements to dealing with the drug problem is finally securing the border,” he said.

He said he would build a wall along the Mexican border.

Along with the wall, the U.S. senator from Texas would triple border patrols, establish an e-verify system for employers, develop a biometric entry-exit system for visas and enforce existing laws.

“We know how to do this,” he said. “The only thing that is missing is the political will.”

Voters wanted to know about the Trump-Cruz feud at every stop. The two had agreed not to attack each other during the primaries. But that changed when Trump questioned whether Cruz was a “natural-born” citizen and eligible for the presidency because he was born in Canada to an American mother.

Cruz inflamed the situation last week by criticizing Trump’s “New York values.”

On Monday, Cruz wasn’t backing down.

“As the voters get close to Election Day, they’re looking more at the records of the candidates,” Cruz told The News. “People are tired of being burned. … As the voters compare my record and Donald Trump’s record, there is a marked difference. I have been fiscal conservative, a social conservative, a national security conservative, and Donald’s record does not reflect the same.”

Cruz, for the first time publicly, criticized Trump’s support of eminent domain. The practice, in which a government can take property, is a big issue in libertarian-leaning New Hampshire.

“We have the right to protect the property of Americans,” Cruz said in Whitefield, N.H. “Private property is essential to the rights of Americans.”

Though he’s at the top of the polls in Iowa, Cruz trails Trump in New Hampshire, where the first-in-the-nation primary is Feb. 9.

“Dr. King’s legacy is powerful in many respects, but one is very, very clear. That is the power of speaking the truth in the face of evil

Most of those interviewed leaned toward Cruz or Trump.

Ken Sanders, a 54-year-old minister from Westmoreland, said he liked Cruz.

“He’s a guy you can trust,” he said. “He’s consistent. He’s a conservative.”

But Sanders said he worried that Cruz couldn’t beat the Democrats in November, so he’s also considering voting for Trump.

Air Force veteran Bob Stoeckmann of Keene also liked Cruz but wanted to see more contenders. “He’ll protect the country,” he said.

King’s legacy

Cruz was campaigning on Martin Luther King Jr.’s comemorative holiday, which nearly went unnoticed. After being asked about it by a voter, Cruz addressed the slain civil rights leader’s legacy.

“Dr. King’s legacy is powerful in many respects, but one is very, very clear. That is the power of speaking the truth in the face of evil, in the face of racism, in the face of bigotry, standing up and speaking the truth with love and a smile has changed the course of history in the country,” Cruz said. “By standing up and speaking the truth, we can restore the arc of history, the arc of America so it once again bends toward justice and not away from the values that built our country.”

At every point on his tour, Cruz asked voters to pray for him and the country, using one of Ronald Reagan’s favorite Bible verses, 2 Chronicles 7:14, as inspiration.

“If my people, which are called by my name, would humble themselves and pray, and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear their prayers and will forgive their sins and I will heal their land,” he said.

Trump and Cruz send shivers down GOP spines

Trump Ted

Trump and Cruz send shivers down GOP spines

The prospect of either man as the Republican nominee is setting off alarm bells among officials and operatives across the country.
By ALEX ISENSTADT 01/05/16 05:11 AM EST

With only weeks before GOP primary voters first cast their ballots, the level of alarm among establishment Republicans about the enduring dominance of Donald Trump and Ted Cruz is reaching new heights.

In private conversations with several former aides, Mitt Romney, who in March will keynote the National Republican Congressional Committee’s annual fundraising dinner, has expressed rising frustration about Trump’s prolonged lead in polls and has argued that the real-estate mogul could inflict lasting damage on the party’s brand.

In Washington and elsewhere, meanwhile, Republicans are on the hunt for a political entity that can be used to stop Trump. In recent weeks, Alex Castellanos, a veteran TV ad man who was a top adviser to George W. Bush and Romney, has been meeting with top GOP operatives and donors to gauge interest in launching an anti-Trump vehicle that would pummel the Manhattan businessman on the television airwaves.
Those who’ve met with Castellanos say he’s offered detailed presentations on how such an offensive would play out. Castellanos has said that an anti-Trump ad campaign, which would be designed to cast him as a flawed strongman, would cost well into the millions. It was unclear, the sources said, whether Castellanos, who did not respond to a request for comment, would ultimately go through with the effort.

One growing worry about Trump or Cruz, top party officials, donors, and operatives across the country say, is that nominating either man would imperil lawmakers in down-ballot races, especially those residing in moderate states and districts.

“At some point, we have to deal with the fact that there are at least two candidates who could utterly destroy the Republican bench for a generation if they became the nominee,” said Josh Holmes, a former chief of staff to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell. “We’d be hard-pressed to elect a Republican dogcatcher north of the Mason-Dixon or west of the Mississippi.”

“Trump and Cruz are worrisome to most Republican candidates for governor, senator and Congress,” said Curt Anderson, a longtime GOP strategist and former Republican National Committee political director. “Some will say they are not worried, but they are.”

Romney has been calling around to former advisers to sound them out about the race, and to kvetch about Trump’s surprising durability. But in the immediate term, at least, he has expressed unwillingness to lend his hand to a stop-Trump effort — or to endorse a candidate more palatable to a GOP establishment paralyzed by his rise and worried that nominating him or Cruz would scupper an opportunity to control both the White House and Congress in 2017.

The concern is particularly acute in the Senate, where Republicans are fighting to preserve a relatively slim four-seat majority, defending more than half a dozen seats in hard-to-win swing states. Among them: Ohio, a presidential battleground state where Republican Sen. Rob Portman faces a perilous path to reelection.

When Trump traveled to the state in November, he met with Matt Borges, Ohio’s Republican Party chairman — who warned the front-runner that “divisive rhetoric won’t help us carry Ohio.”

“It’s time for people who have never won squat here to listen to the people who have been doing it for decades,” Borges said in an interview. “I’m just looking out for how we win in November.”

In Wisconsin, some party officials fret that a Trump or Cruz nomination could sink Republican Sen. Ron Johnson, who faces a tough race against his predecessor, Russ Feingold.
“Certainly, it would be bad for Ron Johnson if Trump is the nominee,” said Wisconsin Rep. Reid Ribble who, like Johnson, was swept into Congress in the Republican wave of 2010. “I think Trump is probably really bad down-ballot.”

Some top party strategists have spent months considering how the outcome of the primary will impact congressional races. Since last spring, the National Republican Senatorial Committee has been poring over research and polling data in hopes of better understanding how each of the Republican candidates running for president would affect GOP hopefuls running for Senate. The committee has held internal meetings to discuss the pros and cons of each presidential contender and how they would affect each key Senate race.

The House, where Republicans have a historic 30-seat majority, is more secure for the party. But there, too, the GOP has reason to worry: The party must defend nearly three dozen endangered seats — many of them in liberal-to-moderate states like California, New York and Florida.

Should Trump or Cruz win the nomination, party operatives say, some longtime officeholders in more conservative districts such as New Jersey Rep. Scott Garrett or Florida Rep. John Mica, who typically skate to general election wins, could find themselves in tougher-than-usual contests.

Cruz’s campaign pushes back on the idea that the Texas senator would imperil those running in House and Senate races. A Cruz nomination, they argue, would motivate conservatives to turn out to vote in a way that an establishment candidate couldn’t.

“Down-ballot Republicans need Ted Cruz at the top of the ticket because he is the only candidate in the race who can excite the base to show up in November,” said Rick Tyler, a Cruz spokesman. “If we chose another moderate, we will simply lose seats we would otherwise win.”

Trump’s campaign didn’t respond to a request for comment.

Some, though, are already counseling Republican candidates to begin to think about how to distance themselves from a Trump or Cruz in the event either wins the nomination.

“Candidates will need to develop their own brand,” said Pennsylvania Rep. Charlie Dent, a Republican who has represented a swing district in Lehigh Valley since 2004. “A candidate will need to run his or her own campaign and distance themselves from the top of the ticket.”

Among the tricky questions candidates will be forced to consider: whether it’s worth endorsing either potential nominee.

Illinois Rep. Bob Dold, a Republican who represents a liberal-leaning, suburban Chicago district, said he had ruled out endorsing Trump. He declined to say whether he’d back Cruz.

While Dold said he was monitoring the primary, he argued that voters would be willing to look beyond the party’s presidential nominee when determining his fate in November.

“Illinois 10th District,” he said, “has a long history of ticket splitting.”