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.”
How, despite everything, you can carve out an amazing life now
By Mario Murillo
Almost everything today screams fear. Our minds are battlefields…modern life keeps lobbing grenades of panic and dread. The overwhelming message of today is: true happiness and fulfillment are no longer possible…don’t try to thrive, just survive.
It’s time to make a defiant declaration: Despite everything, you can carve out an amazing life. What, in this mess? Yes…in this very mess.
My title says DESPITE EVERYTHING. That is the central promise of this message. Something amazing can bulldoze the walls of despair and clear a path to an amazing life…even now.
(This message is inspired by a sermon that I preached on Thursday August 27th in the Branson Outbreak. The visitation of God in Branson continues to boggle our minds. In fact, it is, itself, proof of what I am trying to tell you about life today. The Branson Outbreak is defying every law except the law of gravity…and it would not surprise me if people started floating in the air.)
There are many opinions about how much life a Christian can actually have today. The opinions run the gamut. One extreme is the teaching that we are in the great tribulation and we must buy food and equipment and hide ourselves. I disagree with this teaching …(although; it might be wise to have some extra provisions on hand because markets will get hit.) This puts the church on the defensive at the very moment she should be most visible and engaged in a great Gospel offensive.
The other extreme is denial. In this teaching, everything is a preachy, protestant-panacea. With all due respect, I disagree with Joel Osteen. You cannot have your best life now—unless, as John MacArthur observed—you are going to hell.
Heaven is where you have your best life—earth is where you have an amazing life.
There is a galactic difference between seeking an amazing life and a “best’ life. If your idea of an amazing life is to live without cares or challenges then let’s stop wasting each other’s time—you will get nothing out of this article.
Amazing means: causing great surprise or wonder. That’s it! It is a life that blasts through limits. It is a life that does exactly what everybody said could not be done.
The Bible teems with examples of amazing lives:
-When the last spark of hope died for the slaves in Egypt–Moses saw the burning bush.
-When the world was strangling in global famine–Joseph had already stored up mountains of grain.
-When love and morality were at their lowest ebb–we find the love story of Ruth and Boaz.
-At the moment of total despair–Esther brought deliverance.
-When the Church in Acts was being destroyed–a laser knocks Saul of Tarsus down on the road to Damascus.
They all lived opposite the limits of their era. They brought surprise and wonder.
Here is how you start their brand of an amazing life
1. Dwell: Your amazing life begins by making God your dwelling place. Psalm 91: 1 He who dwells in the secret place of the Most High Shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty.2 I will say of the LORD, “He is my refuge and my fortress; My God, in Him I will trust.” 3 Surely He shall deliver you from the snare of the fowler And from the perilous pestilence. 7 A thousand may fall at your side, and ten thousand at your right hand; But it shall not come near you. 9 Because you have made the LORD, who is my refuge, Even the Most High, your dwelling place, 10 No evil shall befall you, Nor shall any plague come near your dwelling;11 For He shall give His angels charge over you, To keep you in all your ways.”
The most powerful phrase is “because you made God…your dwelling place.” The unbreakable bond created by the decision to dwell in God reduces stress, neutralizes terrifying images and sets you free to do impossible things.
Isaiah 26: 20 Come, my people, enter your chambers, and shut your doors behind you; Hide yourself, as it were, for a little moment, until the indignation is past. 21 For behold, the LORD comes out of His place to punish the inhabitants of the earth for their iniquity; the earth will also disclose her blood, and will no more cover her slain.”
Again, you see a clear call to enter, shut the door and hide in God during times of distress.
Proverbs 18:10 “The name of the LORD is a strong tower; The righteous run to it and are safe.”
Enter the strong tower! There awaits you a supernatural sense of safety where great plans are created. From the repose of this stronghold you plan without panic, you move forward without distraction, and you know you will finish strong.
2 Discern: Satan has practiced telling lies for thousands of years. We know from scripture that in the last days Satan will sense his doom and break out in a frenzy of deception.
Everywhere you look you see believers who have been fooled, who have been distracted and who have fallen into traps. False prophets are everywhere. Paralyzing images from fear mongers have taken many believers out of commission.
Jesus solemnly warned his followers saying: “take heed that no one deceives you.” You can be fooled off the front line. You can be fooled out of your destiny.
Isaiah 8:12 “Do not say, ‘A conspiracy,’ Concerning all that this people call a conspiracy, Nor be afraid of their threats, nor be troubled. 13 The Lord of hosts, Him you shall hallow; Let Him be your fear, And let Him be your dread. 14 He will be as a sanctuary,
From your dwelling place in God you see (discern) lies. You will not chase a rumor. You see through the tricks and traps. You will not stop vital activities. You will keep moving forward.
3. Deliver: You see that your real reason for being here is to destroy the works of the Devil. This final point is so urgent that I want to take extra care to make my point. Everything about the Christian Faith is rooted in unselfish service. When that focus is lost, the church is overrun by deception, division, and weakness. You would be unstoppable if you left all of your sense of reward to your future in heaven, and only saw yourself here and now as a deliverer.
Ministers fall into two categories: enablers or equippers.
-Enablers lull believers into emotional dependency and selfishness. If a pastor gets you to continually look inward it can be disaster.
-Equippers love people into strength, power and action. Under their influence, you will soon be out ministering. You will activate your gifts.
The greatest need in the American church is a military grade mindset. You are a soldier bent on victory. You are not a patient bent on recovery. The soldier is not seeking comfort and ease. They relish combat and triumph on the battlefield.
The sooner you realize that you are here to liberate others, the sooner you will stop being afraid and confused. You will stop seeking the false comfort of a “best” life, and you will embrace the excitement, and yes, the danger of an amazing life. God is hiring–there is no shortage of wages for the soldiers who renounce all to destroy the works of the devil.
Living Proof comes to Austin during Jade Helm 15
By Mario Murillo
Here is my message to those of you who believe Jade Helm 15 is the start of martial law: trust me, I do not discount the possibility. For those of you who think it is utter nonsense consider this devastating fact: most would not be surprised that our own military could be preparing to take away our freedoms.
In blog after blog I have been crying out like a voice in the wilderness. America now needs a miracle that is indescribable and unprecedented. However, my God specializes in the impossible.
Why would God bring us here at this time unless He meant to do something impossible?
Living Proof Austin, TX will happen during Jade Helm 15 this weekend. We did not plan it that way, but God did. There is a purpose to our being in Austin that is way beyond what we know.
I have been totally silent about Jade Helm. I am waiting for hard evidence that our government is planning to establish martial law.
This much I do know…
-For the first time, a massive army will be walking on private property, not wearing uniforms and blending into communities.
-Millions of Texans are wondering why Texas is designated as “hostile territory” in this elaborate war game, while states that are favorable to Obama are listed as “friendly.”
Let’s assume there is no martial law planned. That leaves only two reasons for designating Texas as hostile and those reasons are really bad.
1. The military has made an epic public relations blunder. Texas is taking many stands against Washington right now. Texans are ignoring Obama’s executive orders. They oppose the Supreme Court rulings on marriage, Obamacare and immigration.
Why on earth wouldn’t generals realize how this looks? How could the joint chiefs not realize that this plays right into the worst suspicions of Texans? If this is a screw up it is a massive one and makes us wonder about our security.
2. Obama is trying to intimidate Texas and other states who oppose him. Is it really this easy for the “Commander in Chief” to step in on a preexisting military operation and tweak designations like hostile and friendly territories. If the military can be manipulated this easily then “God help us” is not just a figure of speech.
Of course we have no reason to believe that Obama would behave in such a peevish manner…do we?
On a much needed lighter side: If Obama is doing that, he doesn’t know Texans. He needs to remember what the park ranger said, “Don’t shoot the grizzly with your pistol; you’ll just make him mad.”
It is a great honor to bring Living Proof to Austin, Texas this weekend. We are partnering with Jim and Lou Lillard and House of the Lord Fellowship Church. I regard Jim as one of the greatest pastors, spiritual fathers and men of FAITH in our nation. It is awesome to team up with Jim and Lou.
House of the Lord Fellowship is not just a congregation; this is the best trained core of Christians you will ever meet.
Their mission statement reads: “House of the Lord Fellowship Church is a family of believers focusing on impacting Austin, Texas, and beyond with Faith in God, the truth of God’s Word and the amazing love God has for us.”
Their motto is: Faith through knowledge produces truth in action. That motto will come alive this weekend as we expect an outflow of miracles leading to an influx of souls.
Whatever the military has in mind for Austin, God has something greater!
It has been over a decade since we have crusaded in Austin. This is God’s time! We welcome our friends from this region to come and see the new surge of anointing that is resting on us. God has added firepower to MMM in order to reach America.
The lame will walk. The deaf will hear. The blind will see. God will heal cancer and every other malady in the mighty Name of Jesus. These are not catch phrases for us…these are convictions. We hang our lives on these convictions! Bring all who need a miracle. God will not disappoint them.
Joining me in this great outreach is Ray and Debra Larson. They will lead the morning sessions in Austin.
Ray and I are veterans at winning the lost and healing the sick. We teamed up for many great crusades in Redding, California when he was pastor of Bethel Church. Under his leadership, Bethel grew from 80 people to over 2,000 members.
Ray and Debra were led to move to Reno, Nevada, six months before the Lord directed Mechelle and me to Reno! God is doing a new thing here. Stay tuned because you are going to hear way, way more about this.
Everything about Living Proof Austin points to the fact that something urgent will begin this weekend. If at all possible bring someone who needs a miracle. Prepare to receive the touch from God for these desperate days.
Here is the schedule of events in Austin:
Sunday July 19- Mario Murillo/ Living Proof at 10:30 AM and 7 PM
Monday-Tuesday – Wednesday at 10 AM, Ray Larson will speak
Monday – Tuesday- Wednesday at 7 PM, Mario Murillo/ Living Proof
House of the Lord Fellowship Church is located at 817 W Howard Ln, Austin, TX 78753
‘Duck Dynasty’ Star: ‘If We Don’t Turn To God At A Pretty Rapid Clip, We’re Going To Lose The United States Of America’
NEW ORLEANS (AP) — Republicans are poised for successful midterm elections, but many of the party’s most conservative activists are looking ahead to something bigger.
“We need to save this country in 2016,” Republican National Chairman Reince Priebus told the opening session of the 2014 Republican Leadership Conference on Thursday.
The annual event has grown into an opportunity for rising GOP stars to address some of the most conservative rank-and-file party faithful who influence the presidential nomination process.
Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal kicked of the list of White House hopefuls, delighting delegates by skewering President Barack Obama as “the most ideologically liberal” and “most incompetent president of our lifetimes.” Delegates will hear Friday and Saturday from tea party hero Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas, 2012 presidential candidates Rick Santorum and Texas Gov. Rick Perry, and others.
Jindal previewed what his presidential campaign pitch might look like, should he run, explaining his statewide private school tuition voucher program, privatization of the state’s public hospital system and a series of tax cuts as examples of a conservative renaissance in his state.
Jindal noted that the Obama administration sued unsuccessfully to block the tuition program, a move the governor called “cynical, immoral, hypocritical.” He also used some barbs at Obama to take indirect swipes at some of his potential White House rivals like Florida Sen. Marco Rubio and Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul.
“We’re watching on-the-job training,” Jindal said, because “we have a president who’d never run anything before.”
Governors, he said, make the best presidents, pointing to Republican Ronald Reagan and Democrat Bill Clinton.
Former vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin made a surprise appearance, helping introduce Phil Robertson, patriarch of cable television’s “Duck Dynasty.” Robertson has become a cultural icon for many conservative because of his outspoken Christian faith and commentary on sexuality, including opposition to same-sex marriage.
He mostly stayed clear of partisan politics. He blasted separation of church and state and called abortion a “blight” on society. He drew applause and shouts of “Amen” in calling for a national Christian revival and describing himself as a “Christocrat.”
“If we don’t turn to God at a pretty rapid clip,” he said, “we’re going to lose the United States of America.”
Neither Rubio nor Paul is scheduled to speak at the three-day gathering. Two of Jindal’s fellow governors — Chris Christie of New Jersey and Scott Walker of Wisconsin — also are skipping it.
The conference comes as Republicans campaign to win complete control of Capitol Hill for the final two years of Obama’s tenure. The GOP is favored to retain its House majority and has a strong chance of winning a Senate majority to control all of Capitol Hill for the final two years of Obama’s term.
But delegates here, many of them festooned in red, white and blue, were brimming with talk of 2016.
While Priebus joined in the cheerleading, the chairman reprised his frequent call for the party to get better at the nuts and bolts of campaigning — from corralling a free-for-all primary process to reaching into minority communities that overwhelmingly support Democrats — before even thinking about who the 2016 nominee should be.
“We have a tale of two parties,” Priebus said. “We have a midterm party that doesn’t lose, and we have a presidential party that’s having a hard time winning.”
He noted obvious voter demographics that show Republican nominees must attract more young and minority voters. But public opinion polls also suggest that the party’s conservative positions — and its candidates’ emphasis — on issues like immigration, abortion and same-sex marriage are liabilities with some of the very groups they want to win over.
The chairman avoided saying the party should change any of its positions. “It’s not my job to write legislation,” he said, though he added later that “we could emphasize different things,” such as expanding school choice or loan programs for minority entrepreneurs. Whatever the policy, he said, “we have to show up and make the argument,” rather than concede swaths of the electorate.
Roy Luke, a retired Air Force master sergeant from Augusta, Ga., said the party’s problem is “more about image than substance.”
Luke argued that younger voters are eager to hear economic growth arguments from Republicans, while religiously conservative Latinos agree with the party’s socially conservative stances. “These are all Republicans,” he said, emphatically. “They just don’t know it yet.”
Why Rush Limbaugh Agrees That the GOP Establishment Wants the IRS to Go After the Tea Party
Agreeing with a theory put forth by Democratic pollster Pat Caddell, conservative radio host Rush Limbaugh said on Monday that the GOP establishment has failed to push for a higher-level investigation into the IRS because they want the tax agency to “go after the Tea Party.”
“When you have 71% who want an investigation, 64% who believe it is a sign of corruption including nearly a majority of Democrats, the reason is the establishment Republicans want the IRS to go after the Tea Party,” Limbaugh said.
The Tea Party represents an “outside threat to their power hold,” he explained.
Limbaugh went even further, theorizing that the GOP might even be willing to lose elections in order to get rid of the Tea Party.
“That’s why there hasn’t been any establishment Republican pushback on the IRS,” he added. “It’s almost safe to say the Republican establishment might be willing to lose a couple of elections if it meant getting rid of the Tea Party; because it’s clear, folks, they don’t want to win any elections the Tea Party can claim any credit for.”
Listen to the segment via the Daily Rushbo here:
On the Monday night broadcast of his nationally syndicated radio program, Mark Levin warned the Republican party will split unless RNC chairman Reince Priebus and House Speaker John Boehner are thrown out.
MARK LEVIN: The autopsy report. They don’t even know how to name a report. The autopsy report. Here’s the deal, folks: Reince Priebus was ahead of the Republican National Committee when Romney lost. Why hasn’t he been fired? Why hasn’t he been fired? Karl Rove ran the biggest independent PAC in America, or one of them. He won 1.3% of his races. Why do people keep promoting him? On TV, donors, and so forth. These losers are not going to save the Republican party.
LEVIN: A year ago, a poll was done, it’s not every year, except this year so far, and I believe it’s Gallup, the political ideology of the American people. ‘While 47% of Americans continue to describe their views as conservative, 35% moderate, 21% liberal. For the third straight year, conservatives outnumber moderates, after more than a decade in which moderates mainly tied or outnumbered conservatives. I’m giving you this information for a reason.
February, 1, 2013, Gallup did another poll of the individual states. Which ideology outnumbers which ideology in the states? Conservatives outnumber liberals in 47 out of the 50 states. So what’s the problem here? Well, the word conservative can be a little ambiguous. But what’s the real problem here? If you’re going into elections and your political party, where every survey and poll shows that Americans identify themselves more as conservatives than liberals, and you can’t beat Barack Obama, what’s the problem here?
The problem is execution. The problem is your being outworked, you’re being outsmarted. The problem is you’re not standing on “conservative principles.” You’re not believable. You’re not an alternative to Obama. You’re not an alternative to Pelosi and Reid. Less and less people view you that way. I mean, I’m amazed by this. When we look at the last thirty years, who was the most successful Republican president electorally? Ronald Reagan. Of course the times have changed, but the principles haven’t. Just apply them, wisely.
That’s like saying, ‘the times have changed, so our Constitution needs to be living and breathing.’ No it doesn’t! These principles are invaluable. These rights are inalienable. The fact that the modern politician in the Republican party is incapable of articulating them and applying them to modern society is the problem with that politician. The fact that the chairman of the Republican National Committee can’t do it and the Speaker can’t do is a problem with the Republican party and it’s leadership. And damn it, if it’s not changed, if these people aren’t thrown out, we’re going to lose. And the Republican party is going to split, and there’s going to be two parties. (Mark Levin Show, March 18, 2013)