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
Hedge-fund billionaire Paul Singer’s decision to throw his financial weight behind the donor-class 2016 favorite, Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL), has sparked fresh questions about Rubio’s coziness with the financial interests funding his career.
Singer was a major financial force behind the Rubio-Obama amnesty and immigration expansion push in 2013.
As Politico reported at the time, Singer “quietly go[t] involved in the fight for immigration reform, making a six-figure donation… to the National Immigration Forum” – a George Soros-backed organization that lobbied for Rubio’s legislation to issue 33 million green cards to foreign nationals in the span of a single decade. The announcement of Singer’s endorsement highlights an intra-party tension that has emerged with new strength since Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI)’s inauguration as Speaker of the House.
There is a growing chasm between the more than 9 in 10 GOP voters, who want to see future immigration rates cut, versus GOP donors that are desperately seeking to install leaders in the White House and Congress who will further expand the nation’s already record breaking immigration rates that are transforming the country’s economy and electorate.
Upon the announcement of the Singer’s decision, GOP frontrunner Donald Trump tweeted:
I see Marco Rubio just landed another billionaire to give big money to his Superpac, which are total scams. Marco must address him as ‘SIR’!
Even though Rubio’s donors stand to make an enormous profit from a surge of low-wage migrant labor, Rubio has repeatedly denied that his wealthy backers have influenced his agenda. “People buy into my agenda. I don’t buy into theirs,” Rubio has said.
However, a review of several of Rubio’s top donors reveals that many of them have benefited from the Floridian’s rise to power.
Perhaps one of the most widely-criticized areas of Rubio’s campaign pledge to create “A New American Economy” on migrant labor is his support for tripling the controversial H-1B visa program.
Throughout his brief time in Washington – noted primarily for pushing the La Raza and Obama-backed amnesty bill through the Senate – Rubio has co-authored two pieces of legislaton that would massively expand the wage-depressing H-1B visa program used to replace American workers in white-collar jobs. His most recent bill – known as I-Squared – would triple the number of H-1B visas imported into the United States despite the fact that the U.S. Census Bureau reports 3 in 4 Americans trained in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) are not employed in those fields. The Walt Disney Company used H-1Bs to lay off hundreds of American workers and forced them to train their low-wage foreign H-1B replacements. Disney’s CEO has endorsed Rubio’s I-Squared bill.
Lobbyists write the rules to benefit the rich and powerful. They buy off Senators like Marco Rubio to help them get rich at the expense of working Americans by using H-1B visas – so called “high tech” visas – to replace American workers in all sorts of solid middle class jobs… Senator Rubio works for the lobbyists, not for Americans. That is why he is receiving more money from Silicon Valley than any other candidate in this race. He is their puppet.
According to open-secrets, Goldman Sachs has been one of Rubio’s biggest financial boosters. Since 2011, Goldman Sachs was the top donor to Rubio’s campaign committee, contributing $53,200. Interestingly, Goldman Sachs is also among the top 50 corporate users of the H-1B visa, which labor experts call an “indentured servitude” program. According to USCIS data analyzed by Computerworld’s Patrick Thibodeau, Goldman Sachs is the ranked number 33 among the biggest users of the program.
Behind Goldman Sachs, Microsoft is the second largest contributor to Rubio’s campaign committee since 2011, donating $33,100. Similarly, Microsoft is the 12th biggest user of the H-1B program, having brought in 1,048 foreign workers on H-1Bs in 2013. Last year, Microsoft announced its plans to lay off 18,000 workers at the same time the company was lobbying to increase the H-1B program, prompting strong condemnation from U.S. Senator Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-AL), a top opponent of Rubio’s H-1B expansion plan.
Morgan Stanley has also been one of Rubio’s top financial contributors – having donated $47,564 to Rubio throughout his career. Morgan Stanley is the ranked 66th among the biggest H-1B users.
Larry Ellison, the founder and executive chairman of the Oracle Corporation, has been another one of Rubio’s financial boosters. In July, the WSJ reported that Ellison gave $3 million to the pro-Rubio super PAC. In June, Ellison hosted a $2,700 per-person fundraiser for Rubio. Oracle is the 20th biggest users of H-1B and has endorsed Rubio’s Gang of Eight and I-Squared immigration bills.
Beyond the controversial H-1B expansions, however, critics allege that Rubio’s donors have benefited in other ways from his immigration legislation. For instance, according to open-secrets, Carnival Corporation is one of the top 20 contributors to Rubio’s campaign committee since 2011, having donated $14,500.
According to the Federation for American Immigration Reform, Section 4606 of the Rubio-Obama immigration bill included a “backroom deal” that, “creates a new nonimmigrant Z visa to admit individuals who possess ‘specialized knowledge’ to perform maintenance on airlines and cruise ships” in place of American labor. Rubio’s top immigration lawyer during the Gang of Eight push was Enrique Gonzalez. Prior to working for Rubio, Gonzalez had formerly made his living, in part, by bringing foreign workers into the country on behalf of large corporations. Gonzalez had been a partner at the nation’s largest immigration firm Fragomen, where, as Bloomberg reports, “he helped Carnival, Viacom, and other companies obtain visas for their foreign workers.” Gonzalez features this Bloomberg article on his profile on Fragomen’s website.
Yet beyond Rubio’s legislative action on immigration, reports document how Rubio’s donors may have shaped many more of his policy platforms.
For instance, according to OpenSecrets, Fanjul Corporation is the fourth biggest contributor to Rubio’s campaign committee since 2011, donating $25,200. The Fanjul family has boosted Rubio throughout his career. As Yahoo Finance’s Rick Newman reports, the Fanjul’s sugar empire “includes Domino and Florida Crystals… Donors associated with Florida Crystals have given Rubio at least $81,100 since 2009.” The Washington Post has described Jose “Pepe” Fanjul as part of Rubio’s “inner circle”: “Over the years, Fanjul has played a key role in raising money for Rubio and introducing him to well-heeled donors.” In April, the Fanjuls hosted a fundraiser in Palm Beach for Rubio. The cost of attending the reception and lunch was $2,700. Rubio’s closeness with the family has been well-documented, as The Daily Caller’s Joanne Butler notes, “It’s been reported that one of the first people Rubio greeted after making his presidential campaign announcement was Pepe Fanjul, Sr.”
The Fanjul family benefits from the federal government’s policies that protect of the sugar industry. The Daily Caller writes these protections have come at a cost to Americans:
While the Fanjul family has reaped the benefits of a protected sugar industry, other Americans have paid a price in lost jobs… What we have is a special interest group with lots of political muscle to protect its industry – to the detriment of 120,000 U.S. jobs lost over the past fifteen years.
Multiple reports have documented how the Fanjuls may have influenced Rubio’s votes. For instance, the Washington Post has described Rubio as a “major player” and one of sugar industry’s “names to know”.
Rubio, an outspoken defender of the sugar program… courted the Fanjul family during his 2010 Senate campaign. In his 2012 memoir, “An American Son,” Rubio credited a Fanjul fundraiser on Labor Day weekend in 2009 for helping him surpass a critical early fundraising goal. This year, 60 supporters paying $10,000 each gathered on the terrace of Pepe Fanjul’s Palm Beach home to toast Rubio.
“The Fanjuls might be considered the First Family of Corporate Welfare… they benefit from federal policies that compel American consumers to pay artificially high prices for sugar,” says a report by Time Magazine’s Donald Bartlett and James Steele.
While Rubio’s campaign rhetoric decries corporate welfare, he does not seem to mind it when it comes to the Fanjuls. As the Washington Examiner has observed, “In June 13, 2012, Rubio cast a very odd vote: he voted to save the indefensible federal sugar program… [It’s] relevant that the biggest sugar family in Florida, the Fanjuls, was supporting Rubio early in his long shot Senate race in 2010.”
The news of Singer’s endorsement may bring Rubio additional endorsements. Another donor Rubio has actively courted is Sheldon Adelson, CEO of the Las Vegas Sands Corporation. Reports have questioned whether Rubio’s support for Sheldon Adelson’s bill to stop Americans from gambling online was intended to woo the GOP megadonor.
“Rubio signed on as a co-sponsor of the bill… raising eyebrows and prompting questions from reporters,” the Washington Post wrote. “The Florida senator has assiduously courted the billionaire casino mogul.”
Shortly after the news broke that Adelson was considering endorsing Rubio, Trump declared, “Sheldon Adelson is looking to give big dollars to Rubio because he feels he can mold him into his perfect little puppet. I agree!”
Adelson stands to benefit financially from Rubio’s policy of expansive immigration as well. Indeed, Nevada has the largest share of illegal immigrants of any state in the country (4.7 percent), and roughly one in five Nevada residents is foreign-born.
In a recent piece in New York Magazine, Jonathan Chait writes that Rubio is the candidate best positioned to enact the donor-class agenda. Chait writes: “Rubio has carved out a valuable niche in the Republican field as the candidate who will carry out the agenda of the party’s donor base, but who has the identity and communication skills to sell that agenda more effectively.”
Rush Limbaugh has similarly warned that “the donor-class push” is to “get rid of Trump, and have Rubio or Jeb win the White House.”
Limbaugh predicts that, with Paul Ryan as Speaker and Rubio as President, in the “first 12-to-18 months, the donor-class agenda [will be] implemented, including amnesty and whatever else they want.”
Donald Trump’s campaign collected $4 million in the third quarter, roughly the same as Florida Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL). The real difference, though, is that Trump’s campaign hasn’t conducted any fundraising efforts.
Almost all of that $4 million total is from “unsolicited” donations. People simply sent his campaign money without being asked for it.
Few stats better explain the topsy-turvy nature of this political season than that fact. Trump has repeatedly said that he wouldn’t be actively seeking donations from supporters to fuel his campaign. He has often implied that he is willing to spend money from his considerable personal fortune, but, to date, hasn’t had to open his checkbook very wide.
Donald Trump contributed $100,000 to the campaign in the third quarter. The more interesting fact, though, is that almost 75,000 people also sent his campaign money, with an average contribution of $50, without any fundraising outreach, solicitation, or even obvious ways to do so.
The result is that Trump, without trying, raised far more than Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY and was largely in-line with major challengers Rubio and businesswomen Carly Fiorina.
Trump has obviously altered the political landscape by maintaining a strong polling lead for over three months with very little campaign spending. He has not spent any money on advertising while others, especially Jeb Bush, have spent millions.
He also doesn’t seem to have spent a great deal on building a campaign organization, although that is likely to change in the coming weeks as voting gets near.
All other candidates for the GOP nomination have large campaign infrastructures. According to the most recent FEC filing, Jeb Bush’s campaign was spending more than $3.5 million each month during the Summer.
Donald Trump has spent the least amount of any of the major candidates. Through the entire campaign so far, Trump has spent just over $5 million total. Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, who lead some polls in the spring, spent over $7 million in his aborted 71-day campaign.
“While our original budget was substantially higher than the amount spent, good business practices and even better ideas and policy have made it unnecessary to have spent a larger sum,” Trump said in a release.
“To be number one in every poll, both state and national, and to have spent the least amount of dollars of any serious candidate is a testament to what I can do for America,” Trump continued. “This is what our country’s leaders should do for the United States – spend money wisely and win!”
How a candidate conducts their campaign, and spends their resources, says far more about them then statements on the stump.
Walker’s campaign arrogantly got far ahead of its actual support. Jeb has relied on family connections to fuel a very large and expensive organization. Rubio’s impressive turns on the debate stage has so far failed to ignite enthusiasm with voters. Cruz has stuck to a steady, consistent path that has turned in impressive fundraising numbers.
Whatever happens in the nomination fight, Trump has broken new ground in this political campaign. His support, though, may be even deeper and more enthusiastic than the polls suggest. If his campaign can raise $4 million without asking anyone for money, the mind reels to consider what he would raise if he did.
Almost 50 percent of Florida voters say that former Gov. Jeb Bush and Sen. Marco Rubio should end their respective bids for the Republican presidential nomination, according to a new poll.
A survey from the left-leaning Public Policy Polling (PPP) finds that 47 percent of voters in the Sunshine State say Bush should drop out, while 40 percent say he should stick with it.
Forty-eight percent also say Rubio should drop out, while 42 percent say the senator, who has opted to run for president instead of seeking a second term in the Senate, should not drop out of the race.
A similar survey from the polling outfit released last week found that 78 percent of Republicans in South Carolina thought Sen. Lindsey Graham should end his 2016 GOP bid.
Bush and Rubio are thought to be top contenders for the GOP nomination, but are polling in single digits nationally behind billionaire businessman Donald Trump and retired neurosurgeon Ben Carson.
In the latest poll of Florida, which holds its primaries in mid-March, Trump is supported by 28 percent of GOP primary voters, followed by Carson (17 percent), Bush (13 percent) and Rubio (10 percent).
On the Democratic side, the latest PPP poll finds continued support for front-runner Hillary Clinton, who takes 55 percent support in the state despite struggling in Iowa and New Hampshire.
Clinton is followed in Florida by Sen. Bernie Sanders (Socialist-Vt.) at 18 percent and Vice President Joe Biden, who is still considering jumping into the presidential race, at 17 percent.
Trump and Clinton’s front-runner statuses were also seen in a Gravis Marketing poll also released on Monday.
The PPP survey of 814 Florida voters was conducted Sept. 11 to Sept. 13 via phone and the Internet with a margin of error of 3.4 points, while the margin of error for the 377 GOP and 368 Democratic primary voters is 5.1 points.
He does very well. The biggest issue with Rubio is the whole Gang of 8 fiasco. Has he learned from that? He is impressive, and I must say, far better than Hillary or Jeb in my view
PRE-DEBATE POSITION: Tied For 4th (6.6%)
DEBATE GRADE: A
PROJECTED POST-DEBATE POSITION: 4th
PRE-DEBATE POSITION: 6th (6.2%)
DEBATE GRADE: A-
PROJECTED POST-DEBATE POSITION: 5th
PRE-DEBATE POSITION: Tied For 4th (6.6%)
DEBATE GRADE: B+
PROJECTED POST-DEBATE POSITION: 6th
PRE-DEBATE POSITION: 7th (5.2%)
DEBATE GRADE: B
PROJECTED POST-DEBATE POSITION: 7th
PRE-DEBATE POSITION: 3rd (10.6%)
DEBATE GRADE: C+
PROJECTED POST-DEBATE POSITION: 3rd
PRE-DEBATE POSITION: 10th (2.8%)
DEBATE GRADE: C
PROJECTED POST-DEBATE POSITION: 10th
PRE-DEBATE POSITION: 2nd (12.8%)
DEBATE GRADE: C-
PROJECTED POST-DEBATE POSITION: 2nd
PRE-DEBATE POSITION: 9th (3.4%)
DEBATE GRADE: C-
PROJECTED POST-DEBATE POSITION: 9th
PRE-DEBATE POSITION: 8th (4.8%)
DEBATE GRADE: D+
PROJECTED POST-DEBATE POSITION: 8th
PRE-DEBATE POSITION: 1st (23.2%)
DEBATE GRADE: D
PROJECTED POST-DEBATE POSITION: 1st
TED CRUZNICKNAME: CRUZ CONTROL
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Authored 70 U.S. Supreme Court briefs
Argued nine cases (five successfully) before the U.S. Supreme Court
Former partner at the Morgan, Lewis & Bockius law firm
Former Solicitor General of Texas
Former Director of the Federal Trade Commission’s Office of Policy Planning
Former associate deputy U.S. Attorney General
Former domestic policy advisor for George W. Bush’s 2000 presidential campaign
Former Adjunct Professor of Law at the University of Texas School of Law, specializing in U.S. Supreme Court litigation
Former associate at the Cooper, Carvin & Rosenthal law firm
Former law clerk for U.S. Supreme Court Chief Justice William Rehnquist
Former law clerk for U.S. Court of Appeals Judge J. Michael Luttig
JD – Harvard Law School (magna cum laude)
BA – Princeton University (cum laude)
1988 Class Valedictorian – Second Baptist High School of Houston, TX
SCOTT WALKERNICKNAME: WALKER, TAXES RANGER
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Governor of Wisconsin
Former Milwaukee County Executive
Former member of the American Legislative Exchange Council
Former Wisconsin State Assemblyman
Former financial specialist at the American Red Cross
Marquette University attendee
Former representative of the American Legion’s Boys Nation leadership and government training program
Former Eagle Scout
BEN CARSONNICKNAME: DR. FEELGOOD
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Member of the American Academy of Achievement
Member of the Alpha Omega Alpha Honor Medical Society
Member of the Horatio Alger Association of Distinguished Americans
Former Professor of neurosurgery, oncology, plastic surgery, and pediatrics at the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine
Former Director of pediatric neurosurgery at the Johns Hopkins Children’s Center
Recipient of Presidential Medal of Freedom, the nation’s highest civilian honor
Recipient of Jefferson Award for Greatest Public Service Benefiting the Disadvantaged
Recipient of the William E. Simon Prize for Philanthropic Leadership
Recipient of the Ford’s Theatre Lincoln Medal, for exemplifying the qualities embodied by President Abraham Lincoln – including courage, integrity, tolerance, equality, and creative expression – through superior achievements
Elected into the National Academy of Sciences Institute of Medicine, considered one of the highest honors in the fields of health and medicine
Ranked by Gallup as the sixth most admired man in the world
Designated a Library of Congress Living Legend
Awarded 38 honorary doctorate degrees
MD – University of Michigan Medical School
BA – Yale University
MARCO RUBIONICKNAME: MR. AMNESTY MAN
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Former private law practitioner in Miami, FL
Former visiting professor at Florida International University’s Metropolitan Center
Former Florida State Chairman of GOPAC
Former Speaker of the Florida State House of Representatives
Former Majority Leader of the Florida State House of Representatives
Former Majority Whip of the Florida State House of Representatives
Former Florida State Representative
Former City Commissioner for West Miami, FL
Former intern of U.S. Representative Ileana Ros-Lehtinen
JD – University of Miami, FL (cum laude)
BS – University of Florida
RAND PAULNICKNAME: MINI-ME
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Former campaign manager for U.S. Representative Ron Paul
Founder of the North Carolina Taxpayers Union
Founder and Chairman of Kentucky Taxpayers United
Founder of the Southern Kentucky Lions Eye Clinic
Former private medical practitioner in Bowling Green, KY
Former Resident at Duke University Medical Center
MD – Duke University Medical Center
Fomer member of the Young Conservatives of Texas
Baylor University honors program enrollee
MIKE HUCKABEENICKNAME: THE HUCKSTER
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Former host of Fox News channel’s Huckabee television program
Former Governor of Arkansas
Former Lieutenant Governor of Arkansas
Former television producer and documentarian
Former host of the Positive Alternatives television program
Former pastor at Immanuel Baptist Church in Pine Bluff, AR
Former pastor at Beech Street Baptist Church in Texarkana, AR
Former staffer for televangelist James Robison
BA – Ouachita Baptist University (magna cum laude)
Former news radio broadcaster
DONALD TRUMPNICKNAME: THE DONALD
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Former producer and host of ‘The Celebrity Apprentice’ television program
Former producer and host of ‘The Apprentice’ television program
Founder, Chairman, President, and CEO of the Trump Organization
Chairman of Trump Hotels and Casino Resorts, Inc.
Owner of various product and service brands including: Trump Financial, Trump Sales and Leasing, Trump Restaurants, Trump Catering, Trump Ice Cream Parlor, GoTrump, Donald J. Trump Signature Collection, Donald Trump – The Fragrance, Trump Magazine, Trump Golf, Trump Chocolate, Trump Home, Trump Productions, Trump Institute, Trump – The Game, Donald Trump’s Real Estate Tycoon, Trump Books, Trump Model Management, Trump Shuttle, Trump Ice, Trump Mortgage, Trump Vodka, and Trump Steaks
Owner of the Miss USA beauty pageant
Owner of the Miss Universe beauty pageant
Developer and owner of Trump International Golf Links in various locations, including: Doonbeg Ireland, Aberdeen Scotland, West Palm Beach FL, Rancho Palos Verdes CA, Bedminster NJ, Washington DC, Westchester NY, Philadelphia PA, Charlotte NC, and Colts Neck NJ
Developer and owner of Trump International Hotel and Tower complexes in various locations, including: Honolulu HI, Toronto Canada, Las Vegas NV, New York NY, and Chicago IL
Former owner of the New Jersey Generals USFL football team
Developer and owner of Trump Tower in New York, NY
BS – Wharton School of Finance at the University of Pennsylvania
Fordham University attendee
Former cadet Captain at the New York Military Academy
CHRIS CHRISTIENICKNAME: GOVERNOR FAT BASTARD
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Governor of New Jersey
Former U.S. Attorney for the District of New Jersey
Former member of the Advisory Committee of U.S. Attorneys for Attorneys General John Ashcroft and Alberto Gonzales
Former counsel for George W. Bush’s 2000 presidential campaign
Former lobbyist for GPU Energy, Hackensack University Medical Center, the University of Phoenix, and the Securities Industry Association
Former member of the Board of Chosen Freeholders for Morris County, NJ
Former member of the Election Law Committee of the New Jersey State Bar Association
Former partner at the Dughi, Hewit & Palatucci law firm
JD – Seton Hall University
BA – University of Delaware
JEB BUSHNICKNAME: TWIG
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Former Governor of Florida
Former Executive Director of the 1992 Florida Bush-Quayle campaign
Former Chairman of the 1990 Bob Martinez Gubernatorial campaign
Former Florida State Secretary of Commerce
Former Chairman of the Republican Party of Dade County
Former member of the Dade County Homeless Trust
Former Chairman of the South Florida United Negro College Fund’s finance committee
Former co-Chairman of Floridians for Educational Choice
Former co-Founder and board member of the Liberty City Charter School
Former member of the Miami Children’s Hospital Foundation
Former board member of the United Way of Dade County
Former member of the Zoology Society of South Florida
Former Founder and Chairman of the Foundation for Florida’s Future
Former Chairman of the Beacon Council
Former President and CEO of the Codina Group
Former Vice President of the Texas Commerce Bank, Venezuela
BA – University of Texas
JOHN KASICHNICKNAME: MR. PERSONALITY
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Governor of Ohio
Former Chairman of Recharge Ohio PAC
Former host of Fox News channel’s Heartland with John Kasich television program
Former Managing Director of Lehman Brothers’ investment banking division
Former associate at Schottenstein Stores Corporation
Former board member of Invacare Corporation
Former board member of Norvax Corporation
Chief architect of the 1997 Balanced Budget Act
Former U.S. Representative
Former Ohio State Senator
Former aide to Ohio State Senator Donald Lukens
Former researcher for the Ohio Legislative Service Commission
BA – Ohio State University
THE FOLLOWING CANDIDATES WILL BE ATTENDING THE 5PM FOX LEFTOVERS DEBATE
RICK PERRYNICKNAME: TEX-SPECS
BOBBY JINDALNICKNAME: BIBBIDI-BOBBIDI-BOO
RICK SANTORUMNICKNAME: SWEATER VEST
CARLY FIORINANICKNAME: THAT CHICK FROM THAT THING
LINDSEY GRAHAMNICKNAME: LINDSEY GRAHAMNESTY
GEORGE PATAKINICKNAME: THE PRETENDER
JIM GILMORENICKNAME: WHO?
Today, the international community led by the United States has agreed to not only legitimize and perpetuate the Iranian nuclear program, but also to further arm and enrich the brutal theocratic regime that has oppressed the Iranian people for more than thirty years – a regime that is wrongfully holding United States citizens captive, that is sponsoring radical Islamic terrorism across the globe, and that regularly promotes the destruction of both Israel and America throughout its streets.
Despite these facts, it seems President Obama would concede almost anything to get any deal – even a terrible deal – from the Islamic Republic of Iran’s Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei. Under the terms of this deal, Iran will retain all of its centrifuges, one-third of which will continue to spin. Rather than the most intrusive inspections regime in history that we were promised, IAEA inspectors must petition the mullahs to visit sensitive sites, and wait for two weeks for their permission. In a final, shocking concession, the United States will support lifting of the United Nations arms embargos that restrict the Iranian ballistic missile program and arms trafficking. And in return, billions of dollars of economic relief will flow to Tehran.
Yet, in his remarks this morning, the President glossed over the truth about Iran’s world-leading state-sponsorship of terrorism that is violently destabilizing the region, and would grow more deadly should the Iranians get a nuclear bomb. He failed to mention American citizens, Saeed Abedini, Amir Hekmati and Jason Rezaian, who continue to languish in Iranian prisons or Robert Levinson, who is still unaccounted for. For them, today is no ‘opportunity to move in a new direction’ as the President claimed. We owe it to our fellow Americans to elevate, not ignore, their plight, to demand their swift and unconditional release by the implacably hostile regime that holds them.
Even by the low standards of the Joint Plan of Action, this is a staggeringly bad deal. It is a fundamental betrayal of the security of the United States and of our closest allies, first and foremost Israel.
But thankfully, it is not a done deal. We still have an opportunity to tell the truth about what Prime Minister Netanyahu called today a ‘bad mistake of historic proportion.
Congress will have 60 days to review it, and the American people will have 60 days to tell their elected representatives just what they think of it. I urge all my fellow citizens to speak out and let their elected leaders know that even if President Obama won’t see it, we know the leaders of the Islamic Republic who lead crowds in chants of ‘Death to America’ and ‘Death to Israel’ are not our partners in peace, and must not be put on the path to a nuclear bomb.
Here’s what some other Republican presidential candidates had to say about the deal.
The Iran deal announced today with fanfare and another heaping dose of false hope is almost certain to prove an historic mistake with potentially deadly consequences.
A careful review of the 100-plus pages is in order to fully understand the lengths to which the negotiators were willing to stoop to secure a deal at any cost with the world’s leading sponsor of terrorism and a regime dedicated in word and deed to bringing death to America.
Without anywhere anytime surprise inspections, a full accounting of Iran’s past secret nuclear arms pursuits, elimination of Iran’s uranium stockpiles and the lifting of any sanctions only upon verification of Iranian compliance, this is not a good deal, but a recipe for disaster and the first fateful step toward a frenzied nuclear arms race in the Middle East.
President Obama’s nuclear agreement with Iran will be remembered as one of America’s worst diplomatic failures. The deal allows Tehran to dismantle U.S. and international sanctions without dismantling its illicit nuclear infrastructure – giving Iran’s nuclear weapons capability an American stamp of approval. In crafting this agreement, President Obama has abandoned the bipartisan principles that have guided our nonproliferation policy and kept the world safe from nuclear danger for decades. Instead of making the world safer, this deal will likely lead to a nuclear arms race in the world’s most dangerous region. What’s worse, the deal rewards the world’s leading state sponsor of terrorism with a massive financial windfall, which Iran will use to further threaten our interests and key allies, especially Israel.
I call on all congressional leaders and presidential candidates, including Secretary Clinton, to repudiate this agreement. Iran’s Supreme Leader should know that a future American president will not be bound by this diplomatic retreat. Undoing the damage caused by this deal won’t be easy. But when the United States leads, and has a president who isn’t eager to embrace Iran, the world will follow. In order to ensure the safety of America and our allies, the next president must restore bipartisan and international opposition to Iran’s nuclear program while standing with our allies to roll back Iran’s destructive influence across the Middle East.
Based on what we know thus far, I believe that this deal undermines our national security. President Obama has consistently negotiated from a position of weakness, giving concession after concession to a regime that has American blood on its hands, holds Americans hostage, and has consistently violated every agreement it ever signed.
I expect that a significant majority in Congress will share my skepticism of this agreement and vote it down. Failure by the President to obtain congressional support will tell the Iranians and the world that this is Barack Obama’s deal, not an agreement with lasting support from the United States. It will then be left to the next President to return us to a position of American strength and re-impose sanctions on this despicable regime until it is truly willing to abandon its nuclear ambitions and is no longer a threat to international security.
Shame on the Obama administration for agreeing to a deal that empowers an evil Iranian regime to carry out its threat to ‘wipe Israel off the map’ and bring ‘death to America.’
John Kerry should have long ago gotten up on his crutches, walked out of the sham talks, and went straight to Jerusalem to stand next to Benjamin Netanyahu and declared that America will stand with Israel and the other sane governments of the Middle East instead of with the terrorist government of Iran.
By any reasonable assessment, the United States is losing its 36-year war with the Islamic Republic of Iran.
The surrender to Iran on sanctions and nuclear weapons will be one more stage in the American defeat by a determined, dishonest and surprisingly effective theocratic dictatorship in Tehran.
Historians will look back on the Iranian campaign against the United States and conclude that there have been few examples of a weaker power so decisively outmaneuvering, bluffing, deceiving and weakening its vastly more powerful opponent.
Sun Tzu would be proud of the strategic skills exhibited by the Iranians and their ability to lie and feign reasonableness while calmly and steadily implementing a strategy of relentless aggression.
Now, through these strategies, the Iranians are on the verge of a triple victory over the United States: an agreement that will legitimize Iran as the dominant regional power, substantially expand the amount of money it has to support terrorism and other military efforts, and smooth the path to its becoming a nuclear power.
This will be the greatest victory yet for the Iranian dictatorship in its war against America.
That war began 36 years ago, in 1979, virtually the moment Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini returned from Paris to create a religious dictatorship. Mark Bowden captures the reality of this war in his book “Guests of the Ayatollah: The First Battle in America’s War with Militant Islam.”
Beginning in November 1979, the Iranians occupied the American embassy and held 52 Americans hostage for 444 days. The regime could take two clear lessons from this illegal attack.
First, the seizure allowed the Iranians to assert their moral superiority, characterizing the crime as a “conquest of the American spy den.” It was a great political and emotional victory for the radical regime and strengthened its control of Iran.
Second, the dictatorship could treat President Carter with absolute contempt. It was unmoved by offers of financial aid and by military threats. The failure of an American military rescue effort in April 1980 just deepened Iranian hostility.
The day after the embassy was seized, Khomeini called the United States the “Great Satan.” This was not a casual remark. It expressed the depth of sincere revulsion the Iranian leadership felt – and continues to feel – for America.
As recently as last week, demonstrators burned American flags in Tehran (something that could only have occurred with the dictatorship’s approval).
Whatever good personal relations Secretary of State John Kerry thinks he is developing with the Iranian foreign minister in Geneva, there is unrelenting anti-American hostility from Ayatollah Ali Khamenei. As recently as June 4, he tweeted that “The term ‘Great Satan’ for US was coined by @IRKhomeini; when you consider… an entity as Satan then it’s clear how you should behave.”
Here is the supreme leader of the Iranian dictatorship reminding his followers that any deal in Geneva is a deal with “the Great Satan.”
The fact that this is an English language statement available for anyone (even the White House and the State Department) to read is a sign of the continuing contempt the Iranian dictatorship has for the United States.
The last 36 years of experience validates the Iranian approach.
For more than three decades the regime has funded, supplied and trained terrorists all over the world, and we have done next to nothing.
Iran has waged a proxy war against Americans using Hezbollah – including blowing up the U.S. Embassy in Beirut, killing 63, and later bombing a Marine barracks there, killing 220 Marines, 21 other U.S. personnel, and 58 French troops – and nothing happened. They captured the CIA station chief, tortured him for months, released a video of him after the torture and killed him. Nothing happened.
Iran has consistently supplied both Hezbollah and Hamas in their fight against Israel.
Iran has sheltered al Qaeda members from Americans who were hunting them.
Iran has provided bombs and other weapons used to kill Americans in both Iraq and Afghanistan.
Iran has supported Bashar Assad in Syria and now supports the Houthis in Yemen.
For all of this, there has been no significant cost to the regime. Indeed, America’s influence had declined and Iran’s power has increased.
During a long stretch of economic sanctions imposed by the West, three things have become clear:
• The dictatorship values terrorism and military action more than economic growth, and the sanctions have had little or no impact on Iranian power projection.
• The dictatorship shields its military, police and political elites from the sanctions, and they are feeling little pain.
• The dictatorship has continued building centrifuges and is more nuclear-capable today than when the sanctions began. (The great irony of the talk-talk strategy is that the regime has gone from possessing a handful of centrifuges to thousands of them while its opponents pretend its progress is frozen.)
An American surrender to Iran in the nuclear talks will have four immediate and devastating consequences.
First, as much as $150 billion in money impounded by the sanctions will be released. The regime’s history teaches us that a substantial portion of this will go to fund terrorism and military action around the world. By focusing on the nuclear program and ignoring the program of terrorism and aggression, the Obama administration is on the verge of vastly increasing the resources Iran has to use against the United States and its allies.
Second, once the sanctions are gone, the Iranians will sign very profitable contracts with German, Russian and Chinese firms. The pressure against reinstating the sanctions will be overwhelming (and two of the three countries have vetoes in the U.N. Security Council).
Third, the Iranian nuclear program will be “approved” by the international community and will accelerate. If North Korea is any example, once these negotiations conclude, the Iranians will go full-speed ahead. Inspectors will be delayed, obstructed, lied to and will pathetically whine about Iranian noncompliance. It is clear this agreement guarantees an eventual Iranian bomb. And “eventual” may be a lot sooner than we think.
Fourth, signing an agreement as a co-equal with the United States, Russia, China and the Europeans will drastically increase the prestige of the Iranian dictatorship. That enhanced prestige will be translated into an already-aggressive regime bullying its neighbors even more.
Mr. Obama will argue that the choice is a bad agreement or war.
He misunderstands the current reality.
We are already at war with Iran.
They are winning.
This deal hands them a victory while continuing our fantasy.
After three days of speeches at the conservative cattle call that is the Southern Republican Leadership Conference (SRLC), one presidential candidate stood out in an already crowded Republican field of hopefuls: neurologist-turned-politician Dr. Ben Carson.
Carson, who announced his candidacy for the White House earlier this month, emerged victorious at the SRLC’s closing straw poll, drawing just over a quarter of the votes.
Considered an early indicator of southern primary voter support, the conference straw poll is also the first in the election cycle. A win in this contest, however, does not always guarantee a strong showing in Republican primaries: In the 2011 straw poll, for example, former Texas Rep. Ron Paul won by a margin of nearly 15 percentage points over former Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman.
At this year’s SRLC, Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker finished in second place, currying favor with just over 20 percent of the crowd. Texas Sen. Ted Cruz followed with 16.6 percent of votes. New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie came in fourth at 5.3 percent, with former Texas Gov. Rick Perry trailing close behind with 5 percent of votes.
The conference kicked off Thursday in Oklahoma City with numerous conservative superstars on its lineup. Though several senators – and likely presidential candidates – were scheduled to speak, some were not in attendance because of Friday’s prolonged Senate session. Sens. Lindsey Graham and Marco Rubio both addressed the Republican crowd via taped messages, along with former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee.
About 1,500 eligible voters from across 25 southern states took part in the conservative confab, according to event organizers. Just under two-thirds of the registered attendees voted in the straw poll.
Full SRLC straw poll results:
Dr. Ben Carson: 25.4%
Gov. Scott Walker: 20.5%
Sen. Ted Cruz: 16.6%
Gov. Chris Christie: 5.3%
Gov. Rick Perry: 5.0%
Gov. Jeb Bush: 4.9%
Sen. Rand Paul: 4.1%
Sen. Marco Rubio: 4.1%
Gov. Bobby Jindal: 4.1%
Carly Fiorina: 2.7%
Gov. Mike Huckabee: 2.7%
Sen. Rick Santorum: 1.9%
Donald Trump: 1.2%
Mark Everson: 0.8%
Sen. Lindsey Graham: 0.5%
Gov. John Kasich: 0.2%
Gov. Jim Gilmore: 0.0%
Former Governor Rick Perry, Senator Marco Rubio, former Governor Jeb Bush, and Governor Chris Christie take part in the New Hampshire Republican Party’s “First in the Nation” leadership summit in Nashua, NH. Streaming begins at 11:00am eastern time.
………………………Click on image above to watch stream.
Click HERE to visit the official website of the New Hampshire Republican Party Leadership Summit
Day 2 Speakers: Senator Ted Cruz, Senator Rand Paul, Governor Scott Walker, Senator Kelly Ayotte, and Governor Bobby Jindal.