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Trump Divides GOP Ahead of RNC Convention

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In 2008, as the Democratic National Convention approached, eyes were not only on the party’s presumptive nominee, but on his top challenger, Hillary Clinton, as many wondered if she would embrace Barack Obama for the good of the party and the nation. NBC News would go on to call it an “epic duel.”

She did.

In 2016, having won the Democratic nomination, the focus turned from Clinton, the presumptive nominee, to Bernie Sanders, her main challenger, to see if he would support the her. The Washington Post called it “a bruising primary season.”

He did.

At the 2008 convention, Hillary Clinton released her delegates and formally nominated Barack Obama to be the party’s nominee, saying, “let’s declare all together with one voice right here and right now that Barack Obama is our candidate and he will be our president.”

At the 2016 convention Hillary Clinton delivered a speech designed to unite the party, telling Sanders supporters, “I’ve heard you. Your cause is our cause.”

Nothing like that will happen next week at the Republican National Convention in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, because those who opposed the party’s presumptive nominee have not been invited to speak. Donald Trump has made no attempt to unite the party by embracing his critics within the party – and now he will exclude them.

READ MORE: ‘Wildly Irresponsible’: NY Times Blasted Over Debunked Parkinson’s Doctor ‘Innuendo’

As “Republicans happily watch Democratic turmoil over Biden” after the President’s poor debate performance nearly two weeks ago, the GOP has many internal battles of its own that threaten party unity.

Nikki Haley, Donald Trump’s former UN Ambassador, was the last candidate opposing him to drop out. After having denounced the “chaos” her former boss brings, and after declaring his mental fitness was in “decline,” in May she warned: “Trump would be smart to reach out to the millions of people who voted for me, and not assume that they’re just going to be with him.”

In January, Trump had warned he would blacklist Haley donors.

On Tuesday she released her delegates and called for “unity,” but stopped short of endorsing him.

Haley has not been invited to the Republican National Convention and will neither speak nor attend, the Associated Press reported Tuesday.

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, who was once considered the best chance Republicans had to defeat Donald Trump, in January dropped out of the race and endorsed the ex-president.

He, too, has not been invited to speak at the convention next week.

“DeSantis will be in Milwaukee, but only on the periphery of the convention,” USA Today reports. “The two-term Florida governor is scheduled to participate in a Moms for Liberty panel discussion and a breakfast with his state delegation. But a source familiar with the planning said DeSantis won’t have a spot on the convention stage during the four-day affair.”

It’s not just on the national stage next week that voters will see how Trump has attempted to stomp out any dissent.

Following the release of the draft Republican Party platform, reportedly in part written by Donald Trump, which “could read like a MAGA rally,” The New York Times reported, former Trump Vice President Mike Pence denounced the document.

Claiming it “removed historic pro-life principles that have long been the foundation of the platform,” Pence said, “I urge delegates attending next week’s Republican Convention to restore language to our party’s platform recognizing the sanctity of human life and affirming that the unborn child has a fundamental right to life which cannot be infringed.”

Other leaders among the Christian far-right, which is one of the largest portions of Trump’s base, have also denounced the RNC platform because it has removed some anti-abortion language, despite it actually paving the way for “fetal personhood.”

RELATED: ‘Pledge of Allegiance’ to Trump: Draft RNC Platform Spins Abortion and LGBTQ Issues

In March, Pence announced he would not support Trump’s re-election bid.

“It should come as no surprise that I will not be endorsing Donald Trump this year,” Pence said.

“Pence has joined a faction of conservatives decrying the updated Republican National Committee platform rubber-stamped by former President Donald Trump for its inclusion of softened language on abortion, a marked change from past cycles,” ABC News reports. Anti-LGBTQ hate group head Tony Perkins, president of the Family Research Council, is a member of the RNC platform committee, and in an act of defiance submitted a minority report opposing the abortion language.

It’s not just GOP leaders. After the Trump-endorsed platform was pushed through the committee with little debate, one platform committee member from Utah told WISN News (video below), “they rolled us.”

“It’s never happened before,” Gail Ruzicka said as she shook her head. “There was no committees, we’ve always had subcommittees where we can go in and work on a section of the platform.”

But leaders “didn’t allow any amendments,” or discussion, she lamented.

“Everything they told us they were going to do isn’t what happened.”

“I didn’t vote for this,” she said, adding, “I’ve never been treated so badly, to have them force this vote on us.”

Ruzicka said they were given the draft language, had time just to glance at it before a motion was made and the committee voted on it. That platform will be voted on at the convention Monday.

Tony Perkins confirmed Ruzicka’s description.

In a statement he blasted the RNC:

“Unfortunately, the choreographed process — which allowed no amendments to be discussed or voted upon — was unbecoming of a party that champions free speech and due process. Delegates were given the platform this morning when they entered the convention hall with no time to review, much less the 72 hours that Republican lawmakers call for in the House of Representatives. Delegates were only given a few minutes of discussion before ‘debate’ was ended and a vote was taken.”

And on Capitol Hill, Trump’s impact is imploding the far-right House Freedom Caucus.

“The House Freedom Caucus Monday night voted to eject Rep. Warren Davidson (R-OH) — who supported the victorious Trump-endorsed candidate over the group’s own chair Rep. Bob Goode in his failed primary last month — spurring pro-Trump Rep. Troy Nehls (R-TX) to resign and sources to warn of more departures to come,” Raw Story reported Tuesday.

Watch the video above or at this link.

READ MORE: Josh Hawley: ‘I’m Advocating Christian Nationalism’

 

 

 

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OPINION

‘Unmitigated Disaster’: Conservatives Stunned by ‘Clinically-Insane Trump Speech’

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The fourth and final night of the Republican National Convention in Milwaukee on Thursday is being panned by pundits, political strategists, grassroots voters, and even some in the press, as many express shock and condemnation over Donald Trump’s presidential nomination acceptance speech, or, as one critic put it, the “clinically-insane Trump speech.”

Chris Wallace, the former long-time Fox News anchor turned CNN commentator declared he was “disappointed,” and suggested Trump’s 90+ minute speech (transcript) helped President Joe Biden’s re-election campaign.

Trump’s speech got off to a good start, Wallace said, but after awhile the GOP nominee, “couldn’t keep up the act, and so we started hearing about ‘crazy Nancy Pelosi,’ and cheating on elections, and talking about Biden. Frankly, it was a long speech, it was a rambling speech, it was a speech by an older man and I couldn’t help but think that the people who are going to be happiest tonight are not the people at Trump headquarters, but the Democrats, maybe at Biden headquarters, maybe at the headquarters of the people who think they are going to replace Joe Biden, but Jake, we have ourselves a presidential campaign again.”

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CNN fact-checker Daniel Dale reported Trump delivered at least 22 “falsehoods” during his remarks, including that when he left office, “the world was at peace.”


Even The New York Times, which critics say has often ignored or whitewashed Trump’s worst remarks and weaknesses while focusing on President Biden’s – to the point of calling for Biden’s exit but not Trump’s – ran this headline overnight, invoking the ex-president’s 2017 inauguration speech: “Trump Struggles to Turn the Page on ‘American Carnage’.”

“On the last night of the G.O.P. convention on Thursday, Donald J. Trump promised to bridge political divides, and then returned to delighting in deepening them,” the paper of record reported.

Meanwhile, conservatives – former Republicans and current, Never-Trump Republicans – led the criticism on social media Thursday night and into Friday morning.

The Lincoln Project’s Stuart Stevens, a top political strategist and former Republican, panned Thursday night’s GOP convention: “A man who beat his wife introduced a Republican nominee found liable of sexual assault the judge called rape. And the Republican Party thinks it’s great.”

“I’ve watched thousands of political speeches in thirty years in the business. This was by far the worst,” observed Mike Madrid, the Latino GOP political consultant and Lincoln Project co-founder, calling it “an unmitigated disaster.”

“Is anyone else seeing this with their own eyes?” Madrid asked on social media, referring to Trump’s speech. “Maybe, just maybe, this is what independent voters saw at the debate.”

“The [media’s] gonna call for his withdrawal after witnessing this obvious cognitive decline right?” Madrid also asked.

READ MORE: ‘Democratic Machine’ Strategists Behind Move to Oust Biden: Ex-Congressman

He summed it up in one word: “Fiasco.”

Former Republican U.S. Congressman Denver Riggleman declared: “Media should demand Trump step down based on mental issues and incoherence.”

Fred Wellman, the former Lincoln Project executive director had a few words for top Democratic donors dissatisfied with President Joe Biden: “Hey Democratic big donors! Shut up and get back to work. Jesus. We are going to beat this loser like a drum.”

“The View” co-host Ana Navarro-Cárdenas, a Republican who opposes Donald Trump wrote: “If this clinically-insane Trump speech does not get Democrats out of their defeatist doldrums, and focused and energized around electing their nominee -instead of tearing him down- I don’t know what will.”

She added, “And you all are screaming that Biden has dementia….?”

Former Republican Rick Wilson, an award-winning political TV ad expert and Lincoln Project co-founder decimated Trump’s speech and invoked the nominee’s top campaign chiefs:

“Trump’s speech was, objectively, the single worst convention acceptance speech in modern history. It was a ramblefuck disaster from start to its long-delayed finish, and nothing is going to make it better. You know. I know it. LaCivita and Wiles know it. Utter disaster.”

Former Republican U.S. Congressman Joe Walsh added, “And one more thing: I don’t want to hear anyone in the media talk about Biden’s cognitive decline without also talking about Trump’s cognitive decline. Thanks.”

Republican Sarah Longwell, a political strategist and publisher of the conservative news and opinion site The Bulwark, commented throughout Trump’s speech.

“What would [you] say this speech is about?” she asked toward the end. Minutes earlier she remarked, “Rambling man.” And: “I dunno, this weirdo seems pretty beatable.”

Watch the videos above or at this link.

READ MORE: ‘Have to Stop This Psychopath’: Conway Launches PAC Focused on Trump ‘Mental Instability’

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OPINION

‘Impose Gender Ideology’: DeSantis Continues Attacks on LGBTQ Equality at RNC

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Walking out beneath a banner that read “Make America Safe Once Again,” Florida Governor Ron DeSantis continued the GOP’s attacks on LGBTQ Americans into Tuesday night at day two of the Republican National Convention, despite the party’s presidential nominee, Donald Trump, vow to unite the nation.

Parading his far-right social agenda, DeSantis, who ended his 2024 presidential bid in January, angrily attacked President Joe Biden and American principles of equality.

“Let’s be honest here. Biden is just a figurehead. He’s a tool for imposing a leftist agenda on the American people. They support open borders, allowing millions and millions of illegal aliens to pour into our country and divert in our communities. But just don’t send any to Martha’s Vineyard then they get really upset,” the two-term Florida GOP governor mockingly declared, reminding Republicans that he spent state tax dollars to pick up 48 Venezuelan asylum seekers, including children, in Texas, and transport them to the tiny island town in Massachusetts, where they discovered, one said, they had been “tricked.”

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“They have unleashed progressive prosecutors across our nation who care more about coddling criminals than about protecting their own communities,” DeSantis continued at the convention where Donald Trump, a convicted felon, was officially chosen as the party’s presidential nominee just 24 hours earlier.

“They use the unelected bureaucracy to impose their will on us without our consent,” DeSantis added, although it was unclear if he was  referring to the nation’s justice system. “And they weaponize political power to target their political opponents like they’ve done to our own nominee.”

“They want to ban gas automobiles, eliminate Second Amendment rights and impose gender ideology on everyone from our infantry men to kindergarteners. They stand for DEI, which really means ‘division, exclusion and indoctrination’ and it is wrong.”

DEI stands for diversity, equity, and inclusion.

“They mandated that you show proof of a COVID vaccine to go to a restaurant, but they oppose requiring proof of citizenship to cast the vote,” he claimed before adding, “They can’t even define what a woman is.”

READ MORE: ‘Fight! Fight! Fight!’: RNC’s ‘Chilling’ MAGA Chant Echoes Trump – and ‘1930’s Germany’

DeSantis originally had not been scheduled to speak at the convention, despite having endorsed Donald Trump when he ended his presidential campaign. On Tuesday it was announced both DeSantis, and Trump’s other top rival for the nomination, his former Ambassador to the United Nations, Nikki Haley, would both speak to the delegates.

As DeSantis praised Trump, the nominee was in the audience, standing next to his son Eric, his new vice presidential running mate, U.S. Senator JD Vance, and U.S. Congresswoman Marjorie Taylor Greene of Georgia.

CNBC reported Tuesday the second day of the Republican National Convention saw Nikki Haley, Ron DeSantis, Marco Rubio, and Ted Cruz “bend the knee.”

“The primary campaign is a distant memory now,” Florida Politics noted.

Watch DeSantis’ speech below or at this link.

READ MORE: Was Trump Hit by a Bullet or Not? Calls Mount for Campaign to Release Medical Records

 

 

 

 

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OPINION

Critics: Where’s Trump’s Hour-Long Press Conference With Policy Questions from Reporters?

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Following President Joe Biden’s 58-minute long unscripted, solo press conference without a teleprompter, fielding questions from reporters and responding with nuance and depth on a range of issues including foreign and domestic policy, some critics are calling on his opponent, ex-president Donald Trump, to do the same.

It’s been a long time since Trump has held an actual unscripted, lengthy, solo press conference, with questions from reporters, and well-over a year since he did one that wasn’t centered on his legal crises.

“When is last time Trump did an hour long press conference? Anyone know?” asked Bloomberg News’ Steven Dennis Thursday night after the President’s press conference.

“So now the media will demand that Trump hold an hour-long press conference on complex foreign policy issues — right?” snarked attorney and legal commentator Tristan Snell, who headed the successful New York State civil prosecution of Trump University.

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“Trump is getting a free pass just like he did in 2016. No way he could do a press conference for 40 minutes after 3 long days with world leaders. He is incoherent most of time when he’s not spewing bile,” declared CNN Political Commentator Karen Finney Friday morning.

“It’s now time for the corporate media to dissect every word Trump says for the next two weeks, have debates on his mental state, amplify the small number of Republicans who want Trump to drop out and demand he hold a press conference where we can dissect him even more,” remarked attorney and SiriusXM host Dean Obeidallah Friday morning.

“Per CSPAN last time Trump held a press conference that approached an hour in length at which he took questions from reporters, he was still president,” observed Aaron Fritschner, Deputy Chief of Staff for U.S. Rep. Don Beyer (D-VA) Friday morning.

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He adds, “Per the CSPAN archive, the last time Donald Trump took questions from reporters in a press conference was on February 8th. National and campaign reporters made an issue of the lack of press conferences with Hillary Clinton and Joe Biden. To date, they have not done so with Trump.”

On November 8, 2022, from Mar-a-Lago, after polls closed, Donald Trump delivered remarks discussing the midterm elections. He spoke for about four minutes to supporters and took no questions from reporters, whom he mocked. (Full C-SPAN video.)

Semafor’s David Weigel argues, “A lot of the ‘whatabout Trump’ stuff is cope, but he really is getting an easy ride with interviewers compared to 2016 or 2020.”

“Most of his interviews are softball-fests. When he did All-In the campaign had to clean up his green card/diploma answer.”

READ MORE: ‘No Change’: Biden Debate Performance Has Had ‘Almost No Impact’ on 2024 Race Report Finds

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