Five of the seven Republican presidential candidates at Monday night’s GOP debate said they want a constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage. Tim Pawlenty, Mitt Romney, Michele Bachmann, Newt Gingrich, and Rick Santorum all stated if they were elected president, they would support anti-gay discrimination written directly into the constitution.
“The constitutional amendment includes the states,” Rick Santorum, known for his homophobia, stated. “Three-quarters of the states have to ratify it. So the states will be involved in this process. We should have one law with respect to marriage. There needs to be consistency as something as foundational as what marriage is.”
Michele Bachman, attempting to rally her Tea Party, first stated that were she President, she would not support a federal marriage amendment, but then, after other candidates answered, she refined her answer. CBS,Â stating Bachmann “seemed to trip over the question,” offered this report:
“I do believe in the 10th amendment and I do believe in self-determination for the states,” Bachmann responded, adding that she also sees marriage as “between a man and woman.” Later, she said that she doesn’t “see that it’s the role of a president to go into states and interfere with their state laws.”
Only Herman Cain and Ron Paul stated they would not support a constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage.
But this isÂ all a matter of degrees.
Ron Paul stated that marriage was the purview of the Church. He neglected to answer what Jews, and Â Muslims, and those of other faiths, along with atheists, would do to get married, as he wants the government out of the “marriage business.”
Also via CBS:
“Newt Gingrich said that if the Defense of Marriage Act – which the Obama administration is now declining to defend in court – is overturned, “at that point you have no choice but a constitutional amendment.”
When CNN’s John King asked about Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell, Herman Cain stated he thought repealing the repeal of the ban on gays serving openly in the military would be a “distraction,” and would not change whatever policy existed when he theoretically took office. Rick Santorum disagreed entirely, spoke about “bad behavior” in relation to Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell — suggesting that gays are not homosexual, rather, exhibiting bad behavior.
“The job of the United States military is to protect and defend the people of this country,” Santorum said. “It is not for social experimentation. It should be repealed.”
Ron Paul said he wouldn’t change whatever policy was in place, but added that rights don’t belong to groups — a concept he did not explore further. Tim Pawlenty said he would defer to the Commanders, a concept Newt Gingrich and Michele Bachmann seemed to like a lot.
For a party that has been obsessed with social issues of the culture wars, this Republican debate was short on same-sex marriage, gays in the military, and abortion. And while there was no surprise in their answers, there was one topic that was shocking in the fact it was even recognized as a legitimate question: Muslims, and Sharia law.
â€œI donâ€™t believe in Sharia law in American courts,â€ Cain said Monday. â€œI believe in American laws in American courts, period.â€
â€œThere have been instances in New Jersey, there was an instance in Oklahoma , where Muslims did try to influence court decisions with Sharia law,â€ he continued. â€œI was simply saying, very emphatically, American laws in American courts.â€
Cain also said he would ask Muslims seeking jobs in his administration â€œcertain questions â€¦ to make sure that we have people committed to the Constitution.â€
Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, who spoke next, appeared to brush aside Cainâ€™s concerns about Sharia and his suspicions of American Muslims.
â€œOf course, we’re not going to have Sharia law applied in U.S. courts. That’s never going to happen,â€ Romney said. “We have a Constitution and we follow the law.â€
Romney then appeared to defend American Muslims, even if he didnâ€™t mention them specifically.
â€œWe recognize that people of all faiths are welcome in this country,â€ he said. â€œOur nation was founded on a principle of religious tolerance. That’s in fact why some of the earliest patriots came to this country and why we treat people with respect, regardless of their religious persuasion.â€
Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich quicklyÂ jumped in to push back on Romney, siding more with Cain over the issue of Islam. Gingrich invoked Faisal Shahzad,Â the so-called Times Square bomber of 2010, who is a U.S. citizen from Pakistan.
â€œNow, I just want to go out on a limb here,â€ Gingrich said. â€œI’m in favor of saying to people, ‘If you’re not prepared to be loyal to the United States, you will not serve in my administration, period. ‘â€
â€œWe did this in dealing with the Nazis and we did this in dealing with the communists,â€ Gingrich continued. â€œAnd it was controversial both times, and both times we discovered after a while, there are some genuinely bad people who would like to infiltrate our country. And we have got to have the guts to stand up and say no.â€
Cainâ€™s and Gingrichâ€™s comments onÂ American Muslims supplied some of the nightâ€™s biggest applause lines.
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‘Can Be Used Against You’: Trump Took Big Risk Pleading the Fifth 400 Times in Deposition Says Legal Expert
A newly released video shows Donald Trump pleading the Fifth Amendment hundreds of times in a deposition, and a legal expert explained how that could be used against him in court.
The former president was finally hauled in to testify last year in the $25 million fraud lawsuit filed against the Trump Organization by New York attorney Letitia James, and he exercised his constitutional right against self-incrimination nearly 450 times — but MSNBC legal analyst Andrew Weissmann said the move carried potential risk in a civil case.
“I agree with him on the point of taking the Fifth,” Weissmann said. “It’s important to remember everyone has a right to the Fifth if a truthful answer would tend to incriminate you. In a civil case, it can be used against you, unlike in a criminal case.”
“One other thing I would disagree is when he is saying there’s this witch hunt, he left out jurors,” Weissmann added. “The Trump Organizations went to trial, they had their day in court. They could present all of their evidence, [and] 12 jurors, that’s everyday citizens, found beyond a reasonable doubt that there was a multi-year tax conspiracy that his organizations were involved in, and there was evidence he knew about it as would make sense. That’s one more reason for him to be asserting the Fifth Amendment.”
Image via Shutterstock
Stefanik Was Once ‘Laser Focused on Electing Santos’ – Now She Blames Voters for Electing Him as She Backs Away
One of the most powerful Republicans in the House of Representatives, U.S. Rep. Elise Stefanik (R-NY), used her reputation and geographic proximity to help get fellow New York Republican George Santos elected to Congress. But now, as her donors and his express anger at being misled and lied to, and ahead of what appears to be a likely federal investigation and possible prosecution against the freshman GOP lawmaker, Stefanik is blaming voters for electing him to Congress: “Ultimately voters make this decision,” she said Tuesday.
Stefanik is the Chair of the House Republican Conference, a role she was first elected to when the now former Congresswoman, Liz Cheney, was thrown out of GOP leadership for telling the truth about the January 6 insurrection and Donald Trump. Stefanik was re-elected to her role after the November election.
Amid Santos announcing on Tuesday he is temporarily recusing himself from the two committees he was appointed to, Stefanik was asked if she regretted supporting his candidacy.
Indeed, one of the top reasons Santos was elected was Stefanik’s endorsement – and all the donor money that came with it.
“Stefanik’s team was laser focused on electing Santos to Congress – more than just about any other race in the country,” a senior Republican strategist involved in campaigns before the midterms told CNN. “Another donor, who attended a fundraising luncheon with Stefanik and Santos, confirmed to CNN through a representative that ‘he donated to George Santos because of Elise Stefanik’s endorsement.'”
It wasn’t just her endorsements. It appears Stefanik took great interest in getting Santos elected. CNN also reported that a source “said that a top political aide for Stefanik was involved in campaigning for Santos. Multiple sources told CNN that aide was closely advising Santos’ campaign and involved in hiring people.”
Stefanik’s spokesperson denied the allegations.
In July, Santos tweeted that Stefanik “has been one of my strongest backers and closest friends. I fully stand with her vote today as she stood up for civil rights. I look forward to serving alongside her when I’m elected to Congress in November.”
In fact, this was the banner atop Santos’ Twitter account for a very long time, up until recently:
Here is Stefanik tweeting her “major announcement” – her endorsement of Santos – on August 11, 2001, more than a year before Election Day.
“Excited to endorse my friend and fellow America First conservative George Santos for Congress in #NY03. @Santos4Congress will take on NYC liberal elites and bring a new generation of GOP leadership to NY and America. He has my full support!”
🚨🚨 MAJOR ENDORSEMENT ALERT 🚨🚨
Excited to endorse my friend and fellow America First conservative George Santos for Congress in #NY03.@Santos4Congress will take on NYC liberal elites and bring a new generation of GOP leadership to NY and America. He has my full support! 🇺🇸 pic.twitter.com/vGTnWW1ROY
— Elise Stefanik (@EliseStefanik) August 11, 2021
And in May of last year: “WOW! Great lunch event for @Santos4Congress! We raised over $100,000 to help George FLIP #NY03 George has my complete and total endorsement and come November, New Yorkers will send George to Congress! #SaveNewYork #SaveAmerica”
WOW! Great lunch event for @Santos4Congress!
We raised over $100,000 to help George FLIP #NY03 🔵➡️🔴
— Elise Stefanik (@EliseStefanik) May 23, 2022
She literally told voters that electing George Santos to Congress will “Save New York” and “Save America.”
On Tuesday, Stefanik told voters something very different: it’s their fault they voted for him, she said, taking no responsibility for her endorsements.
“Like all of my colleagues, particularly in New York State, I supported George Santos as the nominee, and the people of his district voted to elect him,” she told reporters – not once mentioning there was no Republican primary and Santos automatically became the Republican party’s nominee.
“Ultimately voters make this decision about who they elect to Congress,” Stefanik declared, wholly removing herself, her endorsements, and any possible assistance she or her campaign may have given to Santos or his campaign.
— CSPAN (@cspan) January 31, 2023
See the tweets and video above or at this link.
Santos Recuses Himself From Committees Amid Possible Criminal Investigation
Embattled freshman U.S. Rep. George Santos (R-NY), in what is the first time he has taken any steps to acknowledge the depths of political and now possibly criminal challenges he faces, says he will recuse himself from his committee assignments until his ethics issues have been resolved.
Santos also told his Republican colleagues of his plans on Tuesday, NBC News reports. Santos is on the Science and Small Business committees.
The Daily Beast’s Roger Sollenberger, who has provided extensive reporting on the Republican frequently called a “serial liar,” adds that the Santos’ announcement came after a meeting with Speaker Kevin McCarthy.
“With all signs pointing to an active federal criminal investigation into his campaign finance activity, Santos has ‘voluntarily’ declined—after meeting last night with Kevin McCarthy—to stay off of committees, as Republicans try to sideline Ilhan Omar,” Sollenberger reports.
Sollenberger broke the news that Santos, or his campaign, amended his FEC filing to indicate $625,000 in “personal” loans to his campaign were not actually from his personal funds.
Republicans are trying to keep U.S. Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN), one of their regular, prime targets, from taking her seat on the Foreign Affairs Committee. Speaker McCarthy has already blocked Democratic Congressmen Adam Schiff and Eric Swalwell from the House Intelligence Committee, invoking his ability to do so because it is a Select committee and subject to the Speaker’s decisions.
MSNBC reported the breaking news on-air. Watch below or at this link.
— Morning Joe (@Morning_Joe) January 31, 2023
This is a breaking news and developing story. Details may change.
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