Former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum is ending his presidential bid, two Republican sources told CNN.
He is expected to make the announcement Wednesday night and will endorse a candidate.
Santorum won the 2012 Iowa caucuses and ended that race with the second-most number of delegates to eventually GOP nominee Mitt Romney. But he was unable to capture any momentum this year, despite extensive barnstorming efforts in Iowa.
He is the third Republican presidential candidate to drop out after Monday’s caucuses. Mike Huckabee ended his campaign that night, and Rand Paul suspended his campaign Wednesday morning.
The Santorum sources did not say whom Santorum would endorse. When asked about a possible endorsement, Florida Sen. Marco Rubio said he hasn’t spoken to the former Pennsylvania senator on Wednesday.
“I think he’s fantastic,” Rubio told CNN’s Dana Bash.
Santorum faced a drastically different landscape this year than he did in 2012. A crowded field of 17 Republicans and lackluster early polling kept him off the main debate stage for each of the GOP debates. He also faced competition for the hearts evangelical voters, particularly from Ted Cruz.
His retail politics were also no match for the media-centric, playbook-defying campaign of Donald Trump, the brash billionaire who left little room for candidates to win a moment in the spotlight.
Still, Santorum’s campaign was poised to learn from elements that overshadowed his bid in 2012, when the Pennsylvanian focused on social issues almost to a fault. He made a pointed effort to not get dragged down by controversial comments about homosexuality – which included a comparison to bestiality – that helped hamstring his earlier bid.
Without abandoning his socially conservative views, Santorum devoted more time to talking about his economic plans to revitalize American manufacturing and leaned heavily on his foreign policy knowledge to make the case he could best serve as president in an age of heightened global threats from terrorist groups like ISIS.
Santorum will endorse a candidate for the nomination, two GOP sources said. He, along with Huckabee, previously appeared with Trump at the billionaire’s event for veterans that was held opposite the Fox News debate in Des Moines, Iowa, on Thursday.
Former Florida Governor Jeb Bush praised former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg today, calling him a “good man” and a “patriot.”
During an interview with CNN’s Jake Tapper this morning, Bush was asked what he thought of the news that Bloomberg was considering entering the 2016 presidential race.
“Mike Bloomberg is a good man,” Bush said. “We disagree on a whole lot of things, but he’s a good person and he’s a patriot and wants the best for the country.”
When asked if he would consider supporting Bloomberg if Trump was the nominee, Bush said it was “not going to happen.”
The controversial liberal mayor has spent millions of dollars promoting gun control, and has proposed many nanny state provisions in New York City, such as banning sodas over 16 ounces, reducing sodium levels in food, banning trans-fats, and even to ban loud headphones.
Bush served as a Bloomberg Family Foundation director from March 2010 to 2014, an organization that worked with liberal groups like Planned Parenthood and the Sierra Club.
In 2015, Bloomberg praised Bush as one of the candidates he thought would best lead the country as president.
“Hillary and Jeb are the only two who know how to make the trains run,” Bloomberg said, after receiving honorary knighthood from Queen Elizabeth II.
After an abysmal presidential campaign in which he struggled to get over zero percent in any poll, Senator Lindsey Graham (RINO-SC) has thrown his support to another struggling establishment RINO squish, Jeb Bush.
Standing alongside Bush at a joint press conference on Friday morning, Graham made that hilarious proclamation that “the only way you can become Commander-in-Chief in America is for the American people to pick you through voting.”
Thank you for that, Goober. That’s a real stunner. We had no idea.
The funny thing is, Jeb actually thinks Lindsey Graham’s endorsement is going to help him. It shouldn’t be too surprising that Graham would support Bush, considering they are both for Common Core and amnesty for illegal aliens.
REPUBLICAN PARTY BUSTED –
The Grand Old Party promised amnesty in their Spanish version of the State of the Union response.
And they thought they’d get away with it.
Conservative Treehouse reported:
There is a bigger controversy about to break wide-open that’s potentially far more significant than Paul Ryan and Mitch McConnell approving Nikki Haley’s non-subtle attack on GOP frontrunner Donald Trump. That bigger controversy is the Spanish version of the GOP State of the Union rebuttal containing an “amnesty pledge“.
Governor Haley gave the English version, Miami Representative and party-insider Mario Diaz-Barlat delivered it in Spanish. Here’s a (paragraph by paragraph) comparison as translated by the Miami Herald (emphasis mine):
English (Via Haley): No one who is willing to work hard, abide by our laws, and love our traditions should ever feel unwelcome in this country.
Spanish (Via Diaz-Barlat): No one who is willing to work hard, abide by our laws, and love the United States should ever feel unwelcome in this country. It’s not who we are.
English: At the same time, that does not mean we just flat out open our borders. We can’t do that. We cannot continue to allow immigrants to come here illegally. And in this age of terrorism, we must not let in refugees whose intentions cannot be determined.
Spanish: At the same time, it’s obvious that our immigration system needs to be reformed. The current system puts our national security at risk and is an obstacle for our economy.
English: We must fix our broken immigration system. That means stopping illegal immigration. And it means welcoming properly vetted legal immigrants, regardless of their race or religion. Just like we have for centuries.
Spanish: It’s essential that we find a legislative solution to protect our nation, defend our borders, offer a permanent and human solution to those who live in the shadows, respect the rule of law, modernize the visa system and push the economy forward.
Controversial Muslim activist Rose Hamid was escorted from the Trump rally in South Carolina on Friday after putting on a yellow Holocaust star and making a scene.
Hamid believes Muslims in America are treated just like Jews in Nazi Germany.
CNN spoke with Hamid before and after her demonstration at the rally.
Rose Hamid is a well known Sharia activist who made headlines after she refused to remove her hijab as a stewardess at US Airways. The airlines refused to allow Mrs. Hamid to continue working as a flight attendant because, the company said, her head scarf violated the company’s rules on uniforms.
Governor John Kasich today lectured Trump supporters for booing Rose Hamid’s political stunt.
“I saw a crowd booing this woman who was being escorted. That’s not the party of Jack Kemp. I mean, we are people that can tolerate differences.”
And, he wonders why he’s losing?
The high mucky-muck of the Republican establishment crowd, otherwise known as Dubya’s younger, less interesting brother.
Not since the failed candidacy of Howard Dean has an early front-runner in a Presidential race taken such a sustained beating in the polls. The once great, white hope of the Republican elitist class is now a single-digit joke whose big-money backers are starting to regret they ever laid eyes on this no-trick pony.
The radio host, turned minister, turned Governor, turned Presidential candidate, turned TV host, turned Presidential candidate again.
Why this man hasn’t started his own televangelist network by now is beyond me. He is clearly better suited to preach the Gospel of Jesus Christ on cable channel 287 than run for political office. At least as a TV pastor he’d be competitive in his chosen field of endeavor, instead of pointlessly clinging to his status as a second-tier political hack.
The Senator from Kentucky and middle child of former Congressman, libertarian Presidential candidate and prattling lunatic, Ron Paul.
Let’s face it, the only reason most people even know about this freshman lawmaker is because his father made a name for himself promoting pretty much the same policies that Rand has since adopted. Apparently, the nut doesn’t fall far from the nut-tree when it comes to blaming America for the rise of Muslim terrorism since the 1970s, and while the good doctor in question doesn’t seem nearly as crazy as his old man did when he ran for President, the things he says have just enough batshit mixed in with them to remind most of us why we’re not libertarians.
The morbidly obese Governor of New Jersey, former Obama rump-swab and RINO squish, otherwise known as El Jefe Grande.
He’s big, he’s fat and he’s loud. Okay, so he’d make a great Ralph Kramden if CBS ever decides to bring back ‘The Honeymooners’, but beyond that, he’s a waste of space… WAY too much space. Did I mention he’s really fat?
The former corporate CEO, failed Senatorial candidate and fake conservative, whose only claim to fame is that she managed to turn a largely destructive business career into a multi-million dollar personal fortune.
What can I say about this woman that Donald Trump hasn’t already said in far more entertaining and sexist terms before? Hmmm… well, for starters she’s the single most left-leaning candidate on the GOP debate stage, despite her well-rehearsed assertions to the contrary. In essence, she’s a would-be Susan Collins pretending to be the next Sarah Palin, only she doesn’t have the credibility or the gams of Mama Grizzly.
The extremely annoying Governor of Ohio, former Congressman, former TV host and snarky know-it-all, otherwise known as the guy who just won’t shut the fuck up already.
To say this man is irksome would be an insult to irks everywhere. I’d add more, but I’m too irritated by the very thought of this idiot to continue insulting him right now.
The former Congressman, former Senator and former Presidential candidate from Pennsylvania who can’t seem to understand why a sweater vest is not a viable substitute for charisma.
Ya know, there was a time when I honestly believed that Mr. Santorum would evolve into a credible, top-shelf candidate for President one day. That was over a decade ago, and now I’m convinced that – like stupid – you just can’t fix boring. The upside is that Mr. Rogers’ old job is still wide open.
The former Mayor of Peekskill, New York, former State Assemblyman, former State Senator and former Governor, who, despite being in politics since 1981 has yet to garner the name recognition of your average, small-town Comptroller.
Just the fact that this assclown has bothered to stay in the game longer than superior candidates like Rick Perry and Bobby Jindal makes me want to smack him over the head with a plastic snow shovel. Cripes, George, you’re not even gaining traction at the kiddie-table debates anymore. If you look in the dictionary, there’s a picture of Lindsey Graham right next to the word ‘pathetic’. Why? Because you’ve yet to rise to the level of pathetic. You are a catastrophic loser, George, yet you need not lament your absolute failure. After all, very few people have even noticed so far.
NOTE: It has just come to my attention that Lonesome George dropped out of the race last week. Gee, how could I have possibly missed that? (sarcasm off)
All I want for Christmas is Jeb Bush to not drop out of the race.
It’s been so much fun watching the spoiled little rich kid stumbling around the country, gut shot, spending record sums of money to drop further and further behind in every poll in every state, whining about this or that and all the “really cool things” he could be doing if he just didn’t have to run for president.
Juan Ellis Bush makes everybody feel good about themselves. If your last name is Hearst and you own Ch. 9 in Manchester – how much has he squandered so far on your TV station, $10 million, $12 million? And the primary is still almost seven weeks away!
For every million bucks the Bush super PAC spends, he drops another 1 percent in the polls. It’s like clockwork. Juan’s political action committee is called “Right to Rise.” It should be renamed, “Free to Fall.”
But TV stations aren’t the only businesses padding their bottom lines with Richie Rich’s billionaire bucks. If you own a restaurant in New Hampshire – the Bush people tell you they’ll need a buffet for 200 people, but you know you only have to lay out food for 20, or maybe only 5 if Donald Trump is anywhere within two counties.
If you’re feeling sorry for yourself, just watch one of Jeb’s 30-second spots. He’s got the support of “27 admirals and generals.” Wow! Now he’s walking the factory floor wearing his white coat, barking out orders and looking important – who hasn’t run into Daddy’s Little Boy pretending to be a big shot, yelling at the hired hands?
And now this Daddy’s Little Boy is getting his comeuppance.
One of last month’s campaign slogans was “Jeb Can Fix It.” Remember that one? It lasted about a week. Fix it? Fix what exactly? Apparently that was another old saying Juan Ellis Bush forgot: “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.”
Plus, should anyone named Bush ever use the word “fix?” Do you really want to remind everyone of the perception that the Bush family once “fixed” an election, in Florida?
Now he calls Donald Trump a “jerk.” Huh? Again, he’s breaking more basic rules of politics – first, never mention your opponent by name unless he attacks you. And second, never get into a you-know-what match with a skunk, because it doesn’t matter who started it, the only thing the viewers at home will remember is two you-know-whats yelling at each other.
Then there was the time he said you have to lose the primaries to win the general election. It made no sense. So now he says he “hated” being the front-runner.
“I feel so much better back here,” Bush said, from way back in fifth, or sixth, or seventh place, depending on which state you’re talking about.
Last weekend, Juan vowed to stay in the fight to New Hampshire and beyond.
“I want to show who I am,” he said on CBS.
Don’t worry, Juan, you already have. But remember, you have to lose the primaries first. And we’ll be there for you. We share your ambition. We want you to lose.
I have often said and written that there are two political parties in America, Big Government Party #1 and Big Government Party #2.
There is one party who is honest enough to admit that they are for big, bloated, and largely unconstitutional government. Then, there is another party, whose politicians campaign as conservatives in order to get elected, but once elected, vote precisely like the Democrats they promised to oppose.
Below are the 27 RINOs in the U.S. Senate who voted to blow the lid off the debt (Marco Rubio did NOT vote), funding illegal and unconstitutionally sanctuary cities, funding Obama’s illegal amnesty and Muslim Syrian invasion, funding Obamacare, funding Planned Butcherhood.
Presidential candidate Ted Cruz, a constitutional conservative, made the following statement after the bloated bill, a bill Rush Limbaugh called a “Democrat wet dream.”
“What we’ve seen in Congress today is profoundly disappointing. This spending bill does not honor the promises we made to the men and women who elected us. It funds Obamacare. It funds Planned Parenthood. It funds executive amnesty. It fails to protect our national security and stop Syrian refugees from coming to this country. It fails to do anything to stop the Iranian Nuclear Deal. And what does it do? It jacks up yet more low-skilled immigration, which will only drag down wages, kill American jobs, and hurt working men and women.
“This bill is the big-government agenda of Democrats that effectively forfeits our massive Republican victories of 2014 and cements Obama’s priorities for nearly the full remainder of his term. This is the Washington Cartel in action, and it’s precisely why the American people from coast-to-coast are so volcanically frustrated.”
Here are the 27 RINO traitors who voted for the 2009-page, $1.1 trillion Ryan-Obama Omnibus spending bill, furthering the elimination of the congressional power of the purse, effectively giving that power, willingly, to wannabe dictator Barack Obama.
NOTE: For your viewing pleasure and convenience, we have placed an asterisk (*) next to those “Republican” senators who are facing re-election in 2016.
Lamar Alexander (RINO-TN)
Kelly Ayotte* (RINO-NH)
John Barrasso (RINO-WY)
Roy Blunt* (RINO-MO)
Shelley Moore Capito (RINO-WV)
Dan Coats (RINO-IN) retiring in 2016
Thad Cochran (RINO-MS)
Susan Collins (RINO-ME)
Bob Corker (RINO-TN)
John Cornyn (RINO-TX
Cory Gardner (RINO-CO)
Lindsey Graham (RINO-SC)
Orrin Hatch (RINO-UT)
Dean Heller (RINO-NV)
John Hoeven* (RINO-ND)
Jim Inhofe (RINO-OK)
Johnny Isakson* (RINO-GA)
Ron Johnson* (RINO-WI)
Mark Kirk* (RINO-IL)
James Lankford* (RINO-OK)
Mitch McConnell (RINO-KY) *Senate Majority Leader*
Lisa Murkowski* (RINO-AK)
Jack Perdue (RINO-GA)
Pat Roberts (RINO-KS)
Mike Rounds (RINO-SD)
Thom Tillis (RINO-NC)
Roger Wicker (RINO-MS)
So “Obama’s Mitch” McConnell and his cabal of establishment RINO traitors joined with the likes of Harry Reid, Patty Murray, Elizabeth Warren and Chuck Schumer in supporting the Omnibus.
Speaking of Chuck Schumer (COMMIE-NY), he glowed and gloated in amazement at being a member of the minority party and being able to accomplish so much destruction, exactly the same as if Democrats were still in the majority:
“If you have told me – this year – that we’d be standing here, celebrating the passage of an Omnibus bill, with no poison pill riders, at higher levels above sequester than even the president requested, I wouldn’t have believed it.
But here we are. This bill is a great victory for the principles Democrats stand for.”
As sad as it sounds, Schumer is right. The results we are seeing in the U.S. House and Senate are exactly the same – maybe even worse – than if Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid were still in charge.
NOTE: Here are the RINO douchebags who voted for this putrid bill in the House.
Different Republican Speaker – Same Liberal Crap
Now we know why Paul Ryan grew a beard – so he can try to hide from the Republican base.
Republican Speaker Paul Ryan is set to pass a budget chock-full of liberal goodies.
It was another Republican “compromise” meaning Democrats got every item they asked for.
The unpopular bill is expected to pass with a Democrat majority of votes.
That’s how bad it is.
Via Drudge Report:
Hands out gifts for NASCAR, racehorses, teachers, college students, more…
MEETS OBAMA PRIORITIES…
Funds for ‘climate’ deal…
Planned Parenthood Praises…
Makes it ‘harder to repeal Obamacare’…
‘Cybersecurity’ bill hacked in…
Conservatives give pass on deal they despise!
SESSIONS: THIS is why voters in ‘open rebellion’…
Isn’t there a conservative out there somewhere who can challenge Paul Ryan in a primary?
A provision regarding guest worker visas quietly added to the omnibus spending bill released this morning by the Senate is something lawmakers hope blue-collar workers won’t notice.
The provision would quadruple the number of H-2B visas for foreign “guest workers.” That means it would allow more than a quarter of a million foreign workers to enter the United States each year and work in industries including construction, hotel-motel services, truck driving, food processing, forestry and other fields that do not require a college education.
Back in 2013, The Gang of Eight bill proposed a similar increase in the already controversial H-2B visa, which takes work away from American workers by allowing foreigners to fill jobs in the industries noted above.
In the case of construction, there are currently six unemployed American workers for each job opening, according to a study published by the Economic Policy Institute. Still, the omnibus released this morning around 2 a.m. would nevertheless quadruple those visas and bring in foreign workers despite the high unemployment rate in these fields.
This provision was sponsored by Sens. Barbara Mikulski, D-Md., and Thom Tillis, R-N.C, and was inserted at the last minute into the 2,000 page bill.
In an op-ed by immigration attorney Ian Smith that ran in the National Review, he asserts that the bill looks to be a copy of the Save Our Small and Seasonal Business Act.
“Many of these unskilled jobs traditionally go to society’s most vulnerable – including single women, the disabled, the elderly, minorities, teenagers, students, and first-generation immigrants,” he wrote of the jobs most likely to be affected by the bill.
However, large corporations love the idea because it means bringing in an hiring more foreign guest-workers, which lowers their labor costs.
While two primary concerns of everyday Americans are immigration and unemployment, Senate Democrats and their allies in the GOP establishment are going forward with a plan that completely ignores those concerns.
Sounds about right.
Participants: Ted Cruz, Ben Carson, Marco Rubio, Rand Paul, Donald Trump, John Kasich, Jeb Bush and Carly Fiorina
NOTE: Kiddie table debate begins at 7pm and includes the following candidates: Chris Christie, Mike Huckabee, Rick Santorum and Bobby Jindal
The publication Politico still won’t admit it, but evidence shows that it fabricated a story about Ben Carson and the West Point scholarship he was offered. Politico says it “stands by its reporting” when it changed the headline and content of the story. This is one of the most dishonest cases of media bias we have ever seen.
The Politico headline went from “Ben Carson Admits Fabricating West Point Scholarship,” which was false, to “Carson claimed West Point ‘scholarship’ but never applied,” which is true but not news. Carson never claimed he applied. For Politico, the incident will go down in media history as a classic case of a false report being redone in such a way as to attempt to conceal the falsity of the original piece.
A post at Free Republic called the reporter, Kyle Cheney of Politico, a “graduate cum laude of the Dan Rather school of journalism.” But perhaps some of Politico’s editors were in on the deception. Only an apology followed by a full investigation will determine this.
At the same time, it’s important to go back and see how conservatives at such outlets as RedState were duped. “Certainly we all got burned by Politico on Friday,” said RedState writer Leon H. Wolf, a reference to the false Politico story about Carson “fabricating” the offer of a scholarship.
But only those people who accept Politico as Gospel got burned. One of them was RedState’s “Dear Leader” Erick Erickson, who thinks he is a mover and shaker in the Republican Party and is planning to create a multimedia empire with himself at its core.
RedState is the conservative media group which hosts the RedState Gathering, a forum that is supposed to determine who is and who is not a legitimate conservative candidate. Next year’s event is in Denver, Colorado.
Erickson, a Fox News contributor, disinvited Donald Trump to this year’s affair because he had said some nasty things about his colleague, Megyn Kelly, of Fox News. He didn’t invite Ben Carson at all.
For Erickson, the Politico story about the scholarship must have seemed like a perfect opportunity to destroy Carson. Lifting directly from the erroneous Politico headline and story, Erickson wrote that the Carson campaign was “admitting” a fabrication. Erickson predicted it was the beginning of the end of the Carson for president campaign.
Linking to the Politico story, he claimed “the media just drew serious blood.”
In the end, Erickson’s blood was all over the floor of RedState. It was a self-inflicted wound.
In much the same way that Politico rewrote the story and changed its headline, Erickson subsequently rewrote his story, putting lines through inaccurate statements he had made in his previous comments.
RedState managing editor Leon H. Wolf admitted as much in a story under the RedState headline, “Politico Outright Lies about Ben Carson.” But RedState had accepted and publicized the lies.
In his clarification, Erickson conceded, “The Politico’s representation of that [the scholarship] is demonstrably false and is not something Carson claimed.” It’s too bad Erickson didn’t read the Politico story before accepting its headline as true. As we noted, the allegation that Carson “fabricated” the offer of a scholarship was not backed up by facts in the story itself.
So why did Erickson swallow the phony story in the first place? Either he didn’t read the story and didn’t understand the facts were not what Politico claimed, or he jumped to conclusions based on what he thought he had read or wanted to be true. The latter means that he was looking for a way to force Carson from the Republican field for president. Either way, Erickson comes out of this looking like a total buffoon. So does his sidekick, Leon H. Wolf.
In fairness, Erickson took the bait like many others. But Erickson is supposed to be more sophisticated than that.
Politico on October 5 had referred to Erickson as the “influential conservative radio host and RedState editor” who was announcing that he was leaving the RedState website by the end of the year to focus on his radio career.
Erickson apparently thinks he’s so great that he’s going to become another Rush Limbaugh. Indeed, he sometimes substitutes for Rush Limbaugh. He has announced that he has a “vision” of “blending radio, the internet, and conservative activism.”
The flattering press clippings must have gotten to him, such as the magazine cover story about “The uncompromising conservatism of Erick Erickson.” It would be nice for his brand of conservatism to include a commitment to reporting the facts.
Erickson seems to think of himself as a major power broker in the Republican Party. But his ambitions are in the gutter as he attempts to recover from his smears of Ben Carson, garnered from a fraudulent story in Politico.
Politico owes Carson an apology, and so does Erickson.
Chris Christie and Mike Huckabee failed to make the cut for the main stage at next week’s Fox Business Network/Wall Street Journal debate, a particularly harsh blow for the New Jersey governor who has struggled to gain traction in the presidential race after being seen as a rising GOP star in 2012.
The two Republican candidates failed to meet the 2.5 percent average polling threshold, meaning they’ll both be bumped to a 6 p.m. undercard debate on Tuesday, appearing alongside former Sen. Rick Santorum and Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal.
Christie and Huckabee weren’t the only ones to get bad news in the Fox Business lineup. Sen. Lindsey Graham, former New York Gov. George Pataki, and former Virginia Gov. Jim Gilmore failed to register enough in four recent national polls to participate in the Nov. 10 event at all. They needed to get just 1 percent support in one of those polls. It will be Graham and Pataki’s first time not getting to participate.
Graham’s campaign fired off a statement, blasting the polling used to determine the lineup and saying they are “sincerely disappointed” in Fox Business and Wall Street Journal. “In the end, the biggest loser tonight is the American people and the Republican Presidential primary process that has been hijacked by news outlets,” Graham’s campaign manager Christian Ferry said in a statement.
Huckabee’s downgrade was a surprise, and was driven by his poor standing in the Investor’s Business Daily/TIPP poll included in the average of four recent national polls used to determine the lineup. That poll is little known and considered less transparent than other surveys. Huckabee tweeted his frustration, saying “I’m happy to debate anyone, anywhere, anytime.” (Huckabee also scored a damaging 1 percent in the better known Quinnipiac University poll conducted more recently.)
He continued in a second tweet, “We are months away from actual votes being cast and neither the pundits nor the press will decide this election, the people will.”
But it’s perhaps the most dramatic reversal of political fortunes for Christie, who was aggressively drafted for the 2012 presidential race, when he was seen as a refreshing, straight-talking alternative to the relatively stiff Mitt Romney.
This time around Christie has been overshadowed by the bombastic overtures of Donald Trump and has struggled to connect with voters yearning for a political outsider. At the beginning of the year, Christie boasted a polling average above 11 percent, second only to former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, but has seen his numbers consistently slip since then.
Christie brushed off the development on Thursday evening, tweeting, “It doesn’t matter the stage, give me a podium and I’ll be there to talk about real issues like this: http://christiene.ws/1Nvu40o #BringItOn.” The tweet echoed the sentiment he expressed earlier on Thursday, when he said he wasn’t overly concerned about the prospect of being downgraded to the undercard stage.
“The bottom line is you need to be on a stage and debating. And so I will be on a stage and debating one way or the other, wherever they put me. You put one in the middle of the square in Manchester, I’ll do it there,” Christie said on Fox News’ “America’s Newsroom” on Thursday morning. “I’m looking forward to being in the debate in Milwaukee on Tuesday.”
The governor’s supporters are also attempting to shrug off the blow. They maintain that his relatively strong performance in the most recent debate, combined with rising favorabilities in Iowa and New Hampshire as well as a powerful viral video of him talking about drug addiction, insulated him from any kind of fallout.
“It doesn’t change one thing for me,” Ken Langone, co-founder of Home Depot and a megadonor for Christie, told POLITICO on Thursday afternoon, before the lineup became official.
“What are the consequences? Well, you look at last week. Clearly he emerged in terms of the people that watched it as one of the strong guys of the debate. And I think he’ll continue to be that way and do that,” Langone said.
Langone stressed that Christie just needs to “hang in there” as more candidates drop out.
Trump and Ben Carson will be standing at center stage at the 9 p.m. main stage event. To Trump’s right will be Sen. Marco Rubio, then Bush, and then Ohio Gov. John Kasich. To Carson’s left will be Sen. Ted Cruz, then Carly Fiorina, and then Sen. Rand Paul.
The undercard debate will air at 6 p.m., and will be moderated by Fox Business’ Sandra Smith, Trish Regan and Wall Street Journal Washington Bureau Chief Gerald Seib. The main-stage debate will be moderated by Fox Business’ Neil Cavuto and Maria Bartiromo, along with Wall Street Journal Editor-in-Chief Gerard Baker.
The GOP debates have created much controversy – and heartburn – for the large and unruly Republican field. Some of the candidates have accused the Republican National Committee of trying to use the debates to winnow the number of candidates, and contenders on the undercard stage have complained about the poor optics of the event.
Frustrations boiled over at last week’s CNBC debate, when the campaigns laid into the network over “gotcha” questions not focused on economics and designed to make the candidates look bad. An effort by the campaigns to show a united front and wrest control from the RNC and networks collapsed earlier this week.
Fox Business has sought to capitalize on the backlash, running a TV ad mocking the CNBC moderators.
“CNBC never asked the real questions, never covered real issues,” Fox’s commercial says. “That’s why, on Nov. 10, the real debate about our economy and our future is only on Fox Business Network.”
Bill Shine, senior executive vice president of programming for Fox, said in a statement Thursday evening, “FOX Business Network is proud to announce the lineup for the fourth Republican Presidential Debates and we look forward to discussing the important business and economic issues facing the country. We would like to thank the candidates, the city of Milwaukee and the Republican National Committee, and our partner the Wall Street Journal, for helping to organize and host these very important debates.”
Pataki, like Graham, had harsh words about being left out. “Running for the most important leadership position in the world shouldn’t be reduced to the level of ‘American Idol’ or ‘Survivor.’ The voters should decide our next president – not networks driven by ratings or national polls that are statistically irrelevant,” he said in a statement.
And Bush tweeted his support for Graham: “Disagree with debate rules that prevent @Grahamblog’s voice from being heard – his foreign policy message is an important one in particular.”
Christie next week could breathe more life into the undercard debate, which has been largely dominated by Graham in the past two debates. While Graham has landed some zingers in the events, he hasn’t delivered such a commanding performance to get a bump in the polls, leaving him frozen out on Tuesday.
Some of Christie’s supporters say the less-crowded stage could give the governor a standout moment. And one Republican fundraiser supporting Christie, who declined to speak on the record, said the absence of Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker from the GOP field and Bush’s drop in national polling are creating an opening for Christie.
“I don’t think it’s as big a deal as it would have been earlier in the cycle. He remains well positioned,” the fundraiser said. “I’m not sure that anyone on that stage will do anything that alters the terrain of the race in the first two states. And that ultimately is what this comes down to.”
Mikel Derby, a top Iowa lobbyist backing Christie, said he didn’t think it would be a net negative for him to be relegated to the undercard debate. “Even if he goes to the first debate, he’s going to get a lot more time, which is a lot more time for him to tell his story,” Derby said on Thursday afternoon before the news became official.
He also grumbled that a Christie fall to the earlier debate would be the fault of the national polling criteria rather than the candidate himself.
“So basically he’s being punished for not being as well known in places that aren’t going to have a huge impact on this election at this point,” Derby said.
The U.S. national debt jumped $339 billion on Monday, the same day President Obama signed into law legislation suspending the debt ceiling.
That legislation allowed the government to borrow as much as it wants above the $18.1 trillion debt ceiling that had been in place.
The website that reports the exact tally of the debt said the U.S. government owed $18.153 trillion last Friday, and said that number surged to $18.492 on Monday.
The increase reflects an increasingly common pattern that can be seen in the total U.S. debt level when the debt ceiling is reached.
At the end of 2012, for example, the government hit the debt ceiling, and the Treasury Department was forced to use “extraordinary measures” to keep the government afloat until the ceiling could be increased again. Those measures included decisions to delay issuances of certain debt instruments.
When the ceiling was finally lifted a little more than a month later, the debt jumped $40 billion in a day as the pressure to stay under the ceiling eased, and after nine days, the U.S. was $100 billion deeper in debt.
In February 2013, the debt ceiling was suspended until mid-May. Extraordinary measures were again used through mid October, and the official debt burden hovered in place for more than six months. When the debt ceiling was suspended again in October, the debt exploded by $300 billion the next day.
This time around, the national debt has been frozen at its ceiling of about $18.1 trillion since late January, longer than nine months. The Bipartisan Policy Center estimated that the government had somewhere around $370 billion worth of extraordinary measures to use this time around.