GOP Debate

Ben Carson doesn’t hate gays hard enough for Tony Perkins


Ha. Haha. Hahahahahahaha.

You guys, remember how during the Republican debate on Wednesday Ben Carson got asked to reconcile his flagrantly anti-gay views with the fact that he was on the Costco’s and Kellogg’s board while the company was implementing some rather pro-equality company policies?

The audience booed the question. The LGBT community rolled its eyes. And Tony Perkins apparently did a spit take at how unacceptably pro-gay Carson’s answer was.

Yep, really. From Reuters:

Gage Skidmore / Flickr

“I think he has to explain this,” said Tony Perkins, president of the Christian conservative lobbying group Family Research Council. “As he is pursuing the presidency, what he has to make clear is that the board positions should not be reflective of his public policy.”

Perkins and other conservative leaders say they fear that some of the changes at American corporations could be used to punish employees with unpopular political views. They worry, for instance, that workers who do not support same-sex marriage could be found in violation of anti-discrimination policies.

That Ben Carson — who thinks being gay is a choice, same-sex marriage caused the fall of the Roman Empire and ex-gay conversion therapy isn’t all that bad — is somehow not homophobic enough for Tony Perkins is so, so cute.

Because for Perkins, it isn’t enough to protect people’s deeply-held religious beliefs. In order to earn his vote, you have to prove that you have worked to make life more difficult for LGBT people in both public and private capacities.

Never mind the fact that Costco and Kellogg’s are now considered two of the best brands in the country precisely because of the strong LGBT protections they put in place while Carson was on the board — such as banning discrimination based on gender identity and providing health insurance for employees’ same-sex partners — Perkins is a thousand percent sure that discrimination was and always will be a necessary and good business decision.

And everyone else is a thousand percent sure that he’s wrong.

(h/t Towleroad)

H/t: DB

Bush supporters pick up the pieces after disappointing debate

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Jeb Bush’s supporters are struggling to explain the candidate’s listless debate performance, as baffled investors ponder the way forward.

Top fundraisers and donors aren’t setting their hair on fire just yet, but in interviews on Thursday, they said they were frustrated and puzzled by Bush’s wilting act under the bright lights at the debate on Wednesday night.

“It’s frustrating for those of us who are supporters of his, those of us who know him,” said one of Bush’s largest donors. “I mean, I’ve seen in these meetings with the smaller groups, he’s unbelievable. It’s just sort of weird.”

Bush was outmaneuvered by his former protégé and whiffed on softballs that his rivals clobbered.

The former Florida governor tepidly followed a debate moderator’s lead in attacking Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) for missing votes in the Senate. The moment was a long time in the making, and could have announced Bush’s reemergence as an authoritative voice in the race while diminishing his chief rival for the establishment mantle.

Instead, Rubio won the encounter.

“The only reason you’re saying this is because we’re running for the same position and someone has convinced you that attacking me is going to help you,” Rubio said, earning big applause from the crowd.

Bush didn’t have a comeback and he never really recovered.

Bush supporters were left scratching their heads as to why Bush, the high-minded policy wonk, would pick that issue and that setting to take on Rubio, the fast-talking, slick debater.

“Rubio’s comeback was spirited and the media has played it as if Rubio got the better of the exchange,” said Fred Malek, who has raised money for Bush’s super-PAC. “So all things considered [Bush] would have been better off not piling on the moderator’s comment.”

Later, in answer to a moderator’s question, Bush wondered aloud whether the federal government should regulate fantasy football betting websites, setting the table for Chris Christie to eat his lunch.

“Are we really talking about getting government involved in fantasy football?” Christie thundered. “We have $19 trillion in debt, we have people out of work, we have ISIS and al Qaeda attacking us, and we’re talking about fantasy football? Enough on fantasy football. Let people play. Who cares?” 

On Thursday, Rubio’s campaign was busy fundraising off suggestions in the debate that he should wait his turn to run for president and sending self-congratulatory emails to supporters about his debate performance.

Bush’s campaign, meanwhile, was seeking to move on, sending out press releases about upcoming appearances and picking up an endorsement.

Not even Bush’s most enthusiastic surrogates were up to the task of defending his effort.

“The debate performances are having a huge influence this time around because they’re being viewed by so many people, and it’s probably the one component where he’s not doing as well,” Republican strategist Ana Navarro, a Bush loyalist, said on CNN. “It’s frustrating to me because I still think he’s most qualified to be president.”

Meanwhile, former House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, Bush’s Virginia state co-chair, admitted on MSNBC’s Morning Joe that Bush “had a tough night,” while former George W. Bush aide Nicole Wallace told “The Today Show” that Bush “didn’t have the kind of night that even his campaign acknowledged he needed to have.”

It all leaves Bush in a bad spot.

He was already dealing with a feedback loop of negative news over his polling numbers and campaign spending cuts. Now, the media narrative surrounding Bush’s campaign has moved on to declare that his campaign is on death watch.

In private conversations with fundraisers some cracks are beginning to appear.

Bush’s supporters are baffled that he didn’t display the fire they expected from a candidate who badly needed to quash the notion that he’s losing his grip on the race and dispirited by the process.

“I don’t want to hear about this ‘joyful tortoise’ anymore, I want to see a wounded lion,” said one Washington bundler.

Some fundraisers worry that the big-dollar donors Bush is reliant on will dry up or hedge their bets across the spectrum of establishment-friendly candidates, including Rubio and Christie.

The Bush campaign will find out where it stands on the money front later on Thursday, when Bush’s brother, former President George W. Bush, hosts a $2,700 a ticket fundraiser at the Georgetown home of financier Paul Horvath. Jeb Bush is holding a town hall in New Hampshire and won’t be on hand.

Some supporters and fundraisers remained optimistic. They’re still buzzing from the confab in Houston last weekend where the campaign made the case that it’s built for the long haul.

“One thing that makes us campaign insiders feel confident is that we know we have the resources and the game plan in the early voting states to go the distance,” said Bush confidant Al Cardenas. “It’d be nice to change the narrative, but the debates are more important for the candidates who don’t have the resources we have.”

Supporters say they’re content to let the media buzz over momentum, debate zingers and other indicators they insist are irrelevant to winning the nomination.

“Relax. We’re going to be OK,” Bush Bundler Slater Bayliss said in an email on Thursday. “It is absurd to suggest that a poorly run debate, on a second tier cable network, held concurrently with the World Series would lead to an obituary for a man who is sitting on a pile of endorsements and money and who has a legitimate record of success as a reform-oriented businessman and governor.”

Furthermore, they believe that the campaign sees a way forward that’s more suited to Bush’s strengths.

Bush’s campaign manager Danny Diaz likes to boast that he has the hardest working candidate running for president, and Bush has likened his own efforts to those of Sen. John McCain in 2008. The Arizona senator, once left for dead, rose from the ashes with a road-heavy, hit-the-pavement and carry-your-own-suitcase campaign that ultimately won him the nomination.

Bush is hoping the same formula works for him.

He fled Colorado on Wednesday night to pick up an endorsement from former Sen. Judd Gregg in New Hampshire, where he’s redoubling his efforts.

Bush will host a town-hall in the state on Thursday night and will preside over the coin toss at high school football game in Florida on Friday, and cross paths with Rubio again at an Iowa GOP event in Des Moines on Saturday.

As the debates have failed to provide the spark he needs, the fallen former front-runner will have to grind it out as he seeks to regain the confidence of supporters.

“There’s no magic bullet, he’s going to have to work his way out of this one,” said one bundler. “Go to event after event, make appearance after appearance, and sit through the interviews where he’ll have to listen to how badly he did. It’s going to be unpleasant, but he’s just got to get through this.”

By Jonathan Easley and Jonathan Swan

The CNBC Republican Debate Was A Total Trainwreck

John Kasich, left, and Donald Trump, second from right, argue across fellow candidates during the CNBC Republican presidential debate at the University of Colorado, Wednesday, Oct. 28, 2015, in Boulder, Colo. | CREDIT: AP PHOTO/MARK J. TERRILL


Reporters from both conservative and liberal-minded news organizations seem to agree: the CNBC Republican presidential debate was kind of a trainwreck.

That wasn’t really because of the candidates, though — it was because of the moderators. For the first hour, CNBC moderators Becky Quick, John Harwood, and Carl Quintanilla didn’t let candidates interact with each other, resulting in multiple moments of incomprehensible yelling. This may have been because of stricter time limits — this particular 10-candidate debate was only two hours, while the previous Republican debates have spanned three hours.

But constant interruption wasn’t the only problem. Candidates were also highly critical of the CNBC crew, accusing them of being part of the “liberal media.” At one point, Ted Cruz ripped into the moderators for asking what he called unfair and non-substantive questions. And in two instances, audience members actually booed at questions the moderators asked of Ben Carson and Mike Huckabee.

There was even a moment when moderator Becky Quick admitted she was unsure of Donald Trump’s position on high-skill immigrant visas after questioning him about it. She first asserted that Trump was critical of Facebook founder Mark Zuckerburg, who wanted to increase H-1B visas for highly skilled immigrants. This is true — Trump has been critical of Zuckerburg for that reason. But when Trump said he hadn’t been, and Quick admitted she was confused.

“Where did I come up with this?” she asked, “That you were..?”

Trump interrupted: “I don’t know. You people write this stuff.”

Quick then apologized to Trump for ostensibly misquoting him — she accused Trump of calling Marco Rubio “Mark Zuckerburg’s personal senator,” and Trump said he “never said that.” But Trump did say that — the statement is literally on his campaign site.


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Megyn Kelly Responds To Donald Trump: “I Certainly Will Not Apologize For Doing Good Journalism”


Fox News anchor Megyn Kelly said Monday she will not respond to personal attacks by Republican presidential hopeful Donald Trump, who sharply criticized her after last week’s debate.

During Thursday’s Republican presidential debate, Kelly had asked Trump to address his negative comments toward women, calling some “fat pigs, dogs, slobs, and disgusting animals.” In response, Trump responded jokingly, “only Rosie O’Donnell.”

“For the record, it was well beyond Rosie O’Donnell,” Kelly said during Monday’s broadcast of The Kelly File as she pressed for an answer to the question.

“I felt he was asked a tough but fair question,” Kelly said. “We agree to disagree.”

Andrew Harnik / AP

Following the debate, Trump said he felt the moderators’ questions were “not nice,” and that Kelly in particular treated him poorly. He went on to tweet and retweet rants about Kelly that called her a “bimbo,” overrated, and angry.

His criticism reached a fever pitch Friday in an interview with CNN’s Don Lemon, in which he said Kelly had “blood coming out of her eyes, blood coming out of her wherever.”

The candidate on Saturday tweeted he meant to say she had blood coming out of her nose, though the remark was taken by many to be a reference to menstruation. In response, Trump’s top adviser parted ways with the businessman, and Trump was also disinvited from the conservative RedState gathering in Atlanta.

Kelly said Monday she had decided not to respond to the personal attacks.

“I certainly will not apologize for doing good journalism,” she continued. “So I’ll continue doing my job without fear or favor. And Mr. Trump, I expect, will continue with what has been a successful campaign so far.”

AILES 2016

AP Photo


Ratings History In The Making… Fox The Real Winner In Debate… Trump Won’t Pledge Support For GOP Nominee… Christie, Rand In Shouting Match… Rand Rolls Eyes…Rubio, Bush Lock Horns… Walker Fumbles #BlackLivesMatter Question… Bizarre Abortion Legal Theories… Megyn Kelly Calls Out Trump Misogyny… Ben Carson Is Up For Waterboarding… Huckabee: 14th Amendment Applies To Fetuses…

Mitt Romney: It Pains Me To Fire You

Mitt Romney - Caricature

Sure Gov. Romney…sure.

The Huffington Post

Mitt Romney said Saturday night that it pains him to fire workers in order to make a company more profitable, responding to criticism from Newt Gingrich, who cited a  New York Times story on one of Romney’s ventures.

“It always pains you if you have to be in a position of downsizing a business in order to make it more successful,” Romney said. “I’m not surprised to have the New York Times try to put free enterprise on trial…It’s a little surprising from my colleagues on this stage.”

Former Massachusetts Gov. Romney said that the laid-off workers are victims of the free market. “Sometimes investments don’t work and you’re not successful,” he said.

But Gingrich, the former House Speaker, questioned whether Romney’s private equity ventures were aimed at creating jobs or quick profit for capitalists.

Gingrich said he’s all for the free market, but “I’m not nearly enamored of a Wall Street model where you can go in and flip companies, have leveraged buyouts, basically take out all the money, leaving behind the workers.”

He cited 1,700 fired workers in a New York Times story on one of Romney’s corporate raids.

“If it’s factually accurate, it raises questions,” he said.

Alan Grayson Blasts Tea Party Debate Audience’s Reaction To Health Care Question: ‘It’s Sadism’

The Huffington Post

‘It’s The Same Impulse That Led People In The Coliseum To Cheer When The Lions Ate The Christians’ 

The jubilant shouts of members of the GOP audienceencouraging the death of a hypothetical uninsured man bring to mind the 2009 House floor speech delivered by former Florida Rep. Alan Grayson, in which he famously charged: “The Republicans want you to die quickly if you get sick.” Members of the crowd at the Tampa debate agree with Grayson.

CNN’s Wolf Blitzer, the event’s moderator, posed the hypothetical question to Rep. Ron Paul (R-Texas): What do you tell a guy who is sick, goes into a coma and doesn’t have health insurance? Who pays for his coverage? “Are you saying society should just let him die?” Wolf Blitzer asked.

“Yeah!” several members of the crowd yelled out.

HuffPost asked Grayson what he thought of the crowd cheering for the death of the uninsured man. He writes:

My speech was about the fact I had been listening to the Republicans for months, and they literally had no plan to help all those millions of people who can’t see a doctor when they’re sick. So I said, in sort of a wry manner, that their plan was “don’t get sick.” All I really wanted to do was just call attention to the stark absence of a Republican plan. But Fox, trying to take the heat off Joe Wilson and Sarah Palin I guess, transmogrified that into a charge that Republicans want to kill people.What you saw tonight is something much more sinister than not having a healthcare plan. It’s sadism, pure and simple. It’s the same impulse that led people in the Coliseum to cheer when the lions ate the Christians. And that seems to be where we are heading — bread and circuses, without the bread. The world that Hobbes wrote about — “the war of all against all.”

Watch: Grayson’s famous comments on the House floor:

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Republican Debate: GOP Presidential Candidates Fact-Checked

The Huffington Post

Michele Bachmann cast her opinion as a settled fact when she told the Republican presidential debate Thursday that a key element of President Barack Obama’s health care law is unconstitutional. And in his haste to criticize his fellow Minnesotan, rival Tim Pawlenty appeared to forget about questions he’d raised – obliquely but unmistakably – about Bachmann’s fitness for office.

The first big GOP debate of the primary season brought viewers a flurry of claims and counterclaims, not all built on solid ground.

A look at some of those claims and how they compare with the facts:

BACHMANN: Spoke of “the unconstitutional individual mandate” several times, a reference to a requirement for people to carry health insurance, a central element of the 2010 federal health care law.

THE FACTS: Nothing is unconstitutional until courts declare it to be so. The constitutionality of the individual mandate has been challenged in lawsuits in a number of states, and federal judges have found in favor and against. The Supreme Court will probably have the final word. But for now, the individual mandate is ahead in the count. And the first ruling by a federal appeals court on the issue, by the 6th U.S. Court of Appeals in June, upheld the individual mandate.


PAWLENTY: “To correct you, I have not questioned congresswoman Bachmann’s headaches.”

THE FACTS: Pawlenty was hardly dismissive when news came out about Bachmann’s history of severe headaches, even if he did not go after her directly on the matter. “All of the candidates, I think, are going to have to be able to demonstrate they can do all of the job all of the time,” the former governor said when first asked about the migraines suffered by the congresswoman. “There’s no real time off in that job.”

There was no mistaking that Pawlenty was leaving open the question of whether Bachmann’s health history made her fit to serve as president. But he later tried to clarify his remark, saying he was not challenging her on that front and the flap was merely a “side show.” Bachmann says her symptoms are controlled with prescription medication and have not gotten in the way of her campaign or impaired her service in Congress.


RICK SANTORUM: “The problem is that we have spending that has exploded. The government’s averaged 18 percent of GDP as the percentage of the overall economy. … And we’re now at almost 25 percent. Revenues are down about 2 or 3 percent. So if you look at where the problem is, the problem is in spending, not taxes.”

THE FACTS: The former Pennsylvania senator might have been mixing statistics on federal spending with federal revenue. The White House budget office has estimated that federal spending this year will equal about 25 percent of the country’s $15 trillion economy – the highest proportion since World War II. But federal spending has averaged nearly 22 percent since 1970. In fact, federal spending has not been as low as 18 percent since 1966. Since the 1970s, federal revenues have averaged nearly 19 percent of the U.S. economy. This year’s revenues are expected to equal just over 14 percent of the economy, the lowest level since 1950.


BACHMANN to PAWLENTY: “You said the era of small government was over. That sounds an awful lot like Barack Obama if you ask me.”

THE FACTS: Pawlenty did not declare the era of small government over. (Neither has Obama.) Bachmann’s jab was drawn from a Minnesota newspaper interview in which Pawlenty referred to a New York Times column on the subject, as part of his argument that “there are certain circumstances where you’ve got to have government put up the guardrails or bust up entrenched interests before they become too powerful.” At the time, Pawlenty’s office pushed for and received a clarification from the newspaper that he was relaying another writer’s thoughts.


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