Thursday, April 7, 2016

Loozing with Crooze and other tidbits from the campaign trail

Republicans might prefer losing with Cruz to winning with Trump

While covering the Wisconsin primary, Rachel Maddow presented a gift to conservative panelist Nicole Wallace: the domain name Check out the 1-minute video clip here..

What's up with that? Well, there is speculation voiced by the panel that the GOP would rather lose with Cruz while keeping their principles intact than go with Trump who would destroy the party - win or lose. For example, the NY Times reports that Republican donors are starting to line up behind Cruz in spite of his status as most-hated-Senator-ever and his extreme right wing policies like his defense of no exceptions for abortion in the case of rape. Here are snippets from Steve Benen's post on the MSNBC MaddowBlog

Last year, Marco Rubio raised a few eyebrows when he argued that if a woman is impregnated by a rapist, the government has the authority to force her to take the pregnancy to term, regardless of her wishes. This week, Ted Cruz made clear he has the same position.

The host [Fox News' Megyn Kelley] responded that people who support exceptions to an abortion ban will argue that Cruz’s policy would force women “to go through unspeakable trauma to carry her rapist’s baby for nine months.” The senator then changed the subject a bit, saying states should debate their own limits on reproductive rights.

When it comes to evaluating Cruz as a general-election contender, the senator is extremely far to the right on most of the major issues of the day, and this is no exception – some polling suggests 83% of Americans believe women impregnated by a rapist should be legally allowed to terminate that pregnancy.

It’s worth noting for historical context that in every presidential election since the Roe v. Wade ruling in 1973, the Republican ticket has opposed abortion rights, but supported a rape exception. Cruz, should he be the GOP nominee, would be further to the right than any of his modern Republican predecessors.

Doesn't seem like a winner to me.

Clinton-Sanders contention heats up

Bernie won big in Wisconsin. Check out John Nichols' comments.. That plus Cruz's win is a jolt. We could have predicted that the point-counterpoint by the Sanders and Clinton campaigns will become more pointed than the "pillow fight" view of Paul Waldman at the Plum Line. In response to a "rough" interview with Sanders, Clinton criticizes the lack of specificity in some of Sanders' plans. The rhetoric then got hotter with charges and counter charges about who is qualified to be president. Here are snippets from the CNN account.

Bernie Sanders said Wednesday that Hillary Clinton is not "qualified" to be president, a sharp escalation in rhetoric in the Democratic primary.

"Secretary Clinton appears to be getting a little bit nervous," he told a crowd in Philadelphia. "And she has been saying lately that she thinks that I am 'not qualified' to be president. Well, let me, let me just say in response to Secretary Clinton: I don't believe that she is qualified, if she is, through her super PAC, taking tens of millions of dollars in special interest funds. I don't think that you are qualified if you get $15 million from Wall Street through your super PAC."

CNN has reached out to the Clinton campaign for comment, and its surrogates responded quickly on Twitter.

"Hillary Clinton did not say Bernie Sanders was 'not qualified.' But he has now - absurdly - said it about her. This is a new low," campaign spokesman Brian Fallon tweeted.

Clinton was asked Wednesday morning by MSNBC whether she thought Sanders was "ready to be president."
"I think he hadn't done his homework and he'd been talking for more than a year about doing things that he obviously hadn't really studied or understood, and that does raise a lot of questions," Clinton said. "Really what that goes to is for voters to ask themselves can he deliver what he's talking about."

Sanders and Clinton are barreling toward the New York primary later this month, and the duo are increasingly tangling in heated, tense campaign trail exchanges. Sanders' comments in Philadelphia were just the latest escalation in recent days. Clinton and her allies have been highlighting a recent Sanders interview with New York Daily News interview that was widely panned, suggesting it showed him unqualified for the White House.

In Philadelphia, Sanders turned that critique back on Clinton.

"I don't think you are qualified if you have voted for the disastrous war in Iraq. I don't think you are qualified if you have supported virtually every disastrous trade agreement which has cost us millions of decent paying jobs," he said to applause. "I don't think you are qualified if you've supported the Panama free trade agreement, something I very strongly opposed and, which as all of you know, has allowed corporations and wealthy all over the world people to avoid paying their taxes to their countries."

Campaign rhetoric is overly divisive

I cannot tell if this back-and-forth is more than routine campaign talking points designed to draw attention to those issues that separate the candidates. My sense of watching the candidates on the evening news make those comments is that there is some visible anger on both sides. Whether that emotion is genuine or made up for the media I cannot determine.

What worries me is that the more divided the two camps become, the more likely it is that some folks who would otherwise support Democratic candidates will not vote. That would likely be a repeat of 1968 and hand the election to Trump or Cruz. Trust me. Regardless of which Dem candidate you prefer, the worst of ours is infinitely better than the best of theirs. So, when the ruckus of the primaries are over and we have a candidate, we need to get that candidate elected. If you have doubts about what am saying, scroll back up and read about Crooze. Do you really want him for your president?

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