- The Washington Times
Sunday, July 21, 2019

The list of the few Republicans or semi-Republicans who would challenge President Trump for the 2020 nomination is small. But it exists. So far, assorted press reports suggest the list includes Rep. Justin Amash of Michigan, former Rep. Mark Sanford of South Carolina, former Ohio Gov. John Kasich and former Massachusetts Gov. Bill Weld, who was the 2016 Libertarian running mate to Gary Johnson.

Does anyone of these hopefuls have a chance? Uh, no.


Danny Hayes, an assistant professor of political science at George Washington University, is “unconvinced” that any of these speculative candidates could challenge Mr. Trump.

“The president’s first two years in office and related events indicated that the Republican Party is now the party of Trump. It’s hard for me to see how Kasich’s brand of compassionate Republicanism or Justin Amash’s sort of tea party libertarian orientation is able to threaten Trump’s hold on the party right now. That seems very unlikely,” Mr. Hayes tells The Federalist.

The GOP agrees.

“President Trump has an unprecedented level of support among Republican voters. Any effort to challenge him is bound to go absolutely nowhere,” predicts Republican National Committee spokesman Michael Joyce.

TRUMP’S LATEST INQUIRY

Fresh from raising $20.8 million in the month of June, President Trump and his campaign now are conducting a comprehensive poll to gauge voter interest in assorted issues and ideas — a practice that many of the Democratic presidential also challengers have adopted in their campaigns.

“This election will decide if President Trump will Keep America Great, or if this nation will turn into a flown blown Democratic-Socialist country. Our President is committed to winning this fight against the liberal Left, but he needs the advice of respected Republican leaders, like you,” the Trump campaign advises respondents.

And a few sample questions:

“Do you believe President Trump’s legislative agenda supports policies that represent your values? Do you agree that illegal aliens, that have been convicted of crimes on U.S. soil, should not be allowed to vote in U.S. Elections?”

“Do you agree that Democrats’ plan to legalize infanticide is disgusting and should be outlawed?”

“Do you agree that the ‘Green New Deal,’ that would cost $93 trillion, ban air travel, and impose a 70% tax rate, would be terrible for America?”

The questions are succinct.

“Our President is committed to winning this fight against the liberal Left, but he needs the advice of respected Republican leaders, like you,” the campaign notes.

WENDY DAVIS REVISITED

Do you recall Wendy Davis, a former Texas state senator from Fort Worth who was known for wearing pink sneakers? She unsuccessfully ran for Texas governor after staging an infamous filibuster of an anti-abortion bill in 2013. Now she’s exploring a run against Rep. Chip Roy, a Republican from Austin who won the seat by a mere 3 percentage points in 2018. Democrats are eyeing him with interest, mostly as a target.

So says The Texas Tribune, which managed to get a hold of an invitation for a fundraiser in the nation’s capital this week, to be hosted by none other than House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, plus 9 of the 13 Democrats in the Lone Star State’s congressional delegation.

Ms. Davis revealed she was interested in a run three months ago in a formal podcast, then again at a gala in the Texas capital. Yet The Austin Chronicle, a local independent newspaper, has just run this somewhat damning headline: “Wendy Davis’ decision to run for Congress on hold, decision not yet ready for prime time.”

Yes, well.

“There’s a reason Wendy Davis and her delusional political career are a joke in Texas. And her inept campaign rollout is just illustrating that for a national audience,” advises Bob Salera, spokesman for the National Republican Congressional Committee.

ALDRIN’S REMINDER

“Keep America Great in Space!!”

— Recent tweet from a genuine moonwalker, astronaut Buzz Aldrin

THE GRASS GROWS GREENER

Underway Monday: The three-day National Cannabis Business Summit & Expo — staged in a 372,754 square-foot venue in San Jose, California. The event will draw 10,000 attendees, and has been organized by the National Cannabis Industry Association, a trade group that “advocates for the responsible cannabis industry” and represents 2,000 business folks.

The organization also tracks and rates where members of Congress stand on cannabis reform issues, including medical marijuana, recreational use and banking access, among others.

Needless to say, the old hippies of yore would have been amazed at such things.

Moving right along, the big doings feature 140 speakers and sessions that address issues such as therapeutic use of cannabis for pain by professional athletes, “hemp biz,” multiple legal topics and international trends.

The cannabis crowd will close out their 72 hours of exploration with a “Blues & Buds Celebration” featuring “actor, musician and cannabis farmer” Jim Belushi and his Big Blue Revue band.

POLL DU JOUR

78% of Americans say “heated language” in politics can lead to violence; 61% of Republicans and 91% of Democrats agree.

73% say elected officials should avoid heated language; 61% of Republicans and 83% of Democrats agree.

61% say people don’t agree on what constitutes “racist language”; 65% of Republicans and 58% of Democrats agree.

55% say President Trump has changed the nature of political debate “for the worst”; 23% of Republicans and 84% of Democrats agree.

24% say Mr. Trump has changed the debate “for the better”; 49% of Republicans and 4% of Democrats agree.

20% say he has not changed the debate at all; 27% of Republicans and 12% of Democrats agree.

Source: A Pew Research Center poll of 10,170 U.S. adults conducted April 29-May 13 and released Friday.

• Helpful information to jharper@Washingtontimes.com


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