Can you imagine if Trump was running as a Democrat?

Can you imagine if Trump was running as a Democrat?

His popularity would have the media gushing more than they already are. He would have already been declared the winner and the media would have been constantly pressuring Hillary and Sanders to drop out. But since he is running as a Republican, they like that he brings them ratings, but can’t stand that he is so popular with we the people.

They won’t pan the audience with their cameras to show the sheer size of his mammoth crowds at his stadium events.

It baffles the mind that they think Hillary has a chance against Trump when there is lackluster support for her.

I know plenty of Democrats and Latinos that are voting for Donald J. Trump. Even switching parties to vote in the Primaries for him.

Hillary couldn’t beat Obama. And Trump is even more popular than Obama. If Jeb or any of them can’t beat Trump, then what makes any of them think they can beat Hillary? They all say she will mop the floor with Trump, yet not a single one of them has been able to beat him. He’s mopping the floor with all of them!

The people and the media should begin to pressure all these delusional people to get behind the people’s choice!

Face reality, Donald Trump is the obvious nominee!

Delusional liberalism vs. Common Sense: ABC Democratic debate, December 19, 2015.

 

 

 

 

Hillary Clinton hit Bernie Sanders for proposing a universal tax hike to foot the bill for his paid family-leave program — and Sanders shot back that “$1.61 (a week) is a pretty good investment.”

Clinton, at the Democratic presidential debate in New Hampshire, was criticizing Sanders for backing a proposal to impose a 0.2% payroll tax — deducted from checks much like Social Security and Medicare — to cover his plan.

She also made a firm commitment not to raise taxes on the middle class.

“That is off the table as far as I am concerned. That is a pledge that I am making,” Clinton said in the ABC debate.

She said that she’d cover the cost of paid family leave with higher taxes only on the wealthy.

Sanders, though, responded that his plan is backed broadly by Senate Democrats. And he said Clinton’s criticism of payroll taxes is out of step with Democratic giants such as President Franklin D. Roosevelt, who oversaw the creation of Social Security, and Lyndon B. Johnson, who shepherded Medicare into law.

“What the legislation is is $1.61 a week. Now you can say that’s a tax on the middle class. It will provide three months of paid family and medical leave,” Sanders said, arguing it was well worth it.

__________________

Hillary Clinton drew laughs — but a bit of a rebuke from Bernie Sanders — when asked about her ties to corporate leaders.

ABC debate moderator David Muir asked: “Should corporate America love Hillary Clinton?”

A smiling Clinton responded, to cheers: “Everybody should.”

“I have said, I want to be the president for the struggling, the striving and the successful. I want to make sure the wealthy pay their fair share, which they have not been doing. I want the ‘Buffett rule’ to be in effect, where millionaires have to pay 30%,” Clinton said.

But Sanders gave a much different answer when Muir asked whether corporate America would love him.

“No, I think they won’t,” Sanders said.

He added that “Wall Street will like me even less.”

__________________

The Democratic presidential debate’s transition to the economy started with an awkward moment when Hillary Clinton was late returning from a break.

ABC moderator David Muir said he expected Clinton back momentarily, and started a question for Bernie Sanders.

But before Muir could finish the question, Clinton walked on the stage to applause from the crowd gathered in Manchester, New Hampshire.

Clinton stepped to the podium and said only: “Sorry.”

__________________

Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders sparred over the future of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad — and regime change more broadly — during Saturday night’s Democratic presidential debate.

Sanders said Clinton is “too much into regime change and too aggressive without knowing what the consequences may be.”

Clinton swung back in the ABC debate, saying that Sanders had voted for regime change in Libya. She said that she had advocated a process to pursue the political ouster of Assad, saying it should operate on the same track as the U.S. fight against ISIS.

She also warned against any policy that would allow Iran to increase its role in Syria, equating such a move to “asking the arsonist to come and pour more gas on the fire.”

But Sanders stated, “We have got to get our foreign policy and our priorities right. It is not Assad who is attacking the United States — it is ISIS.”

__________________

All three Democrats had sharp words for Republican presidential front-runner Donald Trump in Saturday night’s debate.

“He is becoming ISIS’ best recruiter,” Hillary Clinton said, pointing to the billionaire businessman’s proposal to ban Muslims from entering the United States.

“He thinks low wages are a good idea,” Bernie Sanders said, directing his remarks at attendees of Trump rallies.

And former Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley said that the United States “must never surrender our American values to racists, must never surrender them to the fascist pleas of billionaires with big mouths.”

__________________

The candidates once again struck different tones on gun rights — with Clinton saying more citizens purchasing firearms wouldn’t help matters and Sanders focusing on a search for “consensus” on gun regulations.

“Guns in and of themselves, in my opinion, will not make Americans safer. We lose 33,000 a year already to gun violence. Arming more people — to do what? — is not the appropriate response to terrorism,” Clinton said.

Sanders, though, pointed to his state — Vermont — and said more than half of its residents own guns.

“I’m not going to say that everybody’s in agreement — it’s a divided country on guns. But there is a broad consensus on gun safety regulation,” Sanders said, calling for background checks for potential gun owners and the closure of loopholes that allow easier purchases at gun shows.

O’Malley took a big swing at both candidates, saying that, “Secretary Clinton changes her position on this every election year, it seems.”

“What we need on this issue is not more polls. We need more principle,” O’Malley said.

The other candidates hit back — with Sanders interjecting, “Whoa, whoa, whoa.”

“We can do all the great speeches we want, but you ain’t gonna succeed” without broad-based support, Sanders said.

__________________

Bernie Sanders, at the start of the third Democratic debate, apologized to Hillary Clinton for his staff’s exploitation of a Democratic National Committee computer vendor’s glitch to access her campaign’s proprietary voter files.

“This is not the type of campaign that we run, and if I find anybody else involved in this, they will also be fired,” the Vermont senator said in response to Saturday evening’s first question from ABC.

Sanders did take several shots at Clinton before apologizing, however, saying that “I am not convinced that information from our campaign may not have ended up in her campaign.”

“Don’t know that,” he added, while touting an agreement for an independent investigation.

He also complained of “many press releases from the Clinton campaign of late.”

Clinton, though, ignored those shots and dismissed the issue.

“Now that, I think, you know, we’ve resolved your data, we’ve agreed on an independent inquiry, we should move on, because I don’t think the American people are all that interested in this — I think they’re more interested in what we have to say about all of the issues facing us,” the former secretary of state said.

After addressing the data issue, the candidates quickly pivoted to terrorism, and issue they also each touched on in their opening statements.

Clinton took a shot at Republican contenders, saying that “despite all their tough talk about terrorism, (they) continue to let people who are on the no-fly list buy guns.”

Former Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley touted his recent visit to a Northern Virginia mosque and took a swing at Republican candidate Donald Trump, saying that the country must “must never surrender them to the fascist pleas of billionaires with big mouths.”

Sanders said he’s running for president because he wants a new foreign policy — “one that does not get us involved in perpetual warfare in the quagmire of the Middle East.”

But it was the data imbroglio that shaped the political environment in the hours leading up to the debate.

The encounter comes with Clinton in a dominant position after she survived House Republicans’ inquiries into her private email use during a hearing on the Benghazi attacks and Vice President Joe Biden’s decision not to make a late entry in the race. Sanders is fading from his summer high, struggling to broaden his appeal in a campaign increasingly focused on foreign policy, and O’Malley has failed to break out of the low single digits.

The timing seems unlikely to help Sanders, whose campaign is irked that the DNC slated it for a Saturday night, when viewership is lower than the weeknight bouts that have drawn massive audiences to the Republican debates.

Clinton, a 2-to-1 front-runner in most national polls, has largely avoided punching down at Sanders throughout the campaign, rarely mentioning him at campaign events and taking carefully calibrated swings at him on issues like gun control.

But the data breach left Clinton with a decision: give Sanders a pass, as he did with her use of a private email server while serving as secretary of state, or tear into the Vermont senator over it during the debate, which takes place in New Hampshire and will air nationally on ABC.

Sanders’ campaign seized on a glitch in a DNC-housed program to access Hillary Clinton’s proprietary data on early-state voters this week. In response, the DNC locked Sanders out of all voter data, including information gathered by his own campaign. So Sanders retaliated with a lawsuit seeking $600,000 per day. The two sides announced a settlement in the wee hours of Saturday morning, with Sanders’ access restored.

Clinton’s campaign sent signals Friday that the daggers are out.

Campaign manager Robby Mook called Sanders’ team’s actions “incredibly disappointing” on a call with reporters, playing up the significance of what Sanders’ campaign had accessed.

“This was a very egregious breach and our data was stolen. This was not an inadvertent glimpse into our data,” Mook said.

Clinton spokesman Brian Fallon similarly lashed into Sanders on CNN, saying the senator’s campaign acted “like kids in a candy store and “went hog wild” downloading data.

Clinton’s campaign on Saturday also attempted to drum up focus on the data breach story by publishing an open letter to the Sanders campaign that directs four questions at the senator.

Jennifer Palmieri, Clinton’s communication director, says that while the data breach has been “disturbing to our campaign and the volunteers who worked hard to build a strong organization,” it has also been “a distraction from the issues that the American people care about.”

Palmieri then went on to ask why the campaign said they didn’t store any data, despite logs showing that they may have, and why the campaign claimed the breach “was an accident” when the Sanders aides “conducted 25 targeted searches” within the Clinton data.

 

Comparing reaction to data access, Clinton emails

The Sanders campaign, for its part, has pinned blame on the DNC for the data’s accessibility. It has fired one aide, but has also accused national Democrats of overreacting.

“The failings of one or three or four young people who have made misjudgments in campaign is not cause for them to issue a death penalty on the Sanders campaign,” campaign manager Jeff Weaver told Wolf Blitzer on CNN’s “The Situation Room.”

However, hours before Saturday night’s debate, Weaver told CNN not to expect the same fire from the senator.

“He is a very issue-oriented candidate. Always has been, always will be,” Weaver said. “He will, given the opportunity, talk about the substantive issues facing middle class and working-class people. Period. That is what he will do.”

He did add, though, “Now, if the issue is raised, I think what he will say is that the DNC dropped the firewall between the candidates, some young staffers on our campaign, inappropriately took advantage of that and may have looked at some Clinton data. One of them has been fired, others are being investigated. There may be more discipline handed out to employees as a result.”

Weaver stressed, “There is no one saying what they did is not wrong; it was wrong and we have taken it seriously. We have been investigating it and we will deal with it.”

When asked whether Sanders will echo Weaver when he said the DNC “gave our campaign the death sentence” by shutting off voter file access, Weaver responded, “No.”

The Clinton campaign’s criticism of Sanders’ team, meanwhile, is starkly different from how Sanders has handled Clinton’s use of a personal email address on a private server during her four-year tenure as America’s top diplomat.

Sanders said during the first Democratic debate that the American people are “are sick and tired about hearing about your damn emails” — a line that won applause in the moment but diminished his ability to criticize Clinton on an issue that had hampered her campaign for months.

Republicans have repeatedly seized on the issue to assail the Democratic front-runner as untrustworthy, and have redoubled their criticism as the FBI reviews whether any classified information was mishandled.

 

Sanders challenges party establishment

But the dust-up over the DNC data breach could give Sanders new openings.

His campaign’s relationship with the party establishment has always been strained — and spats such as Sanders’ criticism of the DNC’s limited debate schedule, which Clinton’s challengers view as designed to shield the front-runner, have spilled into the open.

That powder keg of resentment has been ignited.

The timing of the debate could bolster Sanders’ argument. It’s the second Democratic debate to be held on a Saturday night, with the audience likely to be smaller than the viewership that would tune in on a weeknight, when Republicans have so far held their debates.

The debate comes as the 2016 race’s focus increasingly shifts toward national security and terrorism in the wake of the attacks in Paris and California planned or inspired by ISIS.

Sanders’ campaign has focused largely on the issue of income inequality — with Sanders latching Clinton to Wall Street and influential donors.

While Clinton has maintained her large lead nationally, Sanders’ message has resonated in the early voting states of Iowa and New Hampshire — which are both whiter and more liberal than the broader Democratic electorate.

A Des Moines Register/Bloomberg Politics Iowa poll put Clinton ahead there by just nine percentage points — with 48% to Sanders’ 39% and O’Malley’s 4% — earlier this month.

In New Hampshire, Sanders has at times led. An early December CNN/WMUR poll showed him with 50% support to Clinton’s 40% and O’Malley’s 1%.

 

FACT CHECK: Glossed-Over Realities in Democratic Debate

In the latest Democratic presidential debate, oversimplification struck again.

Hillary Clinton spoke of fixing “glitches” in President Barack Obama’s health care law to address rising costs, skimming over deeper issues on matters of affordability and the Affordable Care Act. And in education, fancy dorms and football stadiums aren’t the big reason for higher college costs, as Bernie Sanders suggested.

A look at some of the statements Saturday night and how they compare with the facts:

CLINTON on rising premiums and out-of-pocket costs for the privately insured after enactment of Obama’s health care law: “I would certainly build on the successes of the Affordable Care Act and work to fix some of the glitches.”

SANDERS on his proposed single-payer health care system: “The average middle-class family will be saving thousands of dollars a year.”

THE FACTS: Obama’s law was mainly about expanding coverage for the uninsured, and even former officials of his administration say major work still has to be done on cost control. In other words, rising costs are more than “glitches.”

One of the health care law’s main brakes on costs — a tax on high-value workplace coverage — has been put on hold by the new federal budget deal. Clinton had called for complete repeal of that levy, known as the Cadillac tax. Many economists believe the tax would help keep costs in check by forcing people into leaner insurance plans.

Sanders says his plan for a government-run health care system along the lines of Canada’s and Western Europe’s would save money for families and taxpayers. But such a major transition would involve winners and losers, as well as new taxes in place of premiums.

When the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office looked at the concept back in the early 1990s, it concluded that a single-payer system had the potential to save money but that wasn’t guaranteed. Moreover, individuals would have less freedom to choose their insurance packages, a trade-off that not everyone would accept.

———

SANDERS: “The cost of college education is escalating a lot faster than the cost of inflation. There are a lot of factors involved in that. And that is that we have some colleges and universities that are spending a huge amount of money on fancy dormitories and on giant football stadiums.”

CLINTON: “States have been disinvesting in higher education … So states over a period of decades have put their money elsewhere; into prisons, into highways, into things other than higher education.”

THE FACTS: Clinton comes closest to diagnosing the problem accurately. College expenses are unsustainably high, but luxurious dorms aren’t the big driver that Sanders portrays. Public universities are charging more because they receive less in state government support.

Demos, a left-leaning think tank, said in a May study that the decline in state funding accounted for 79 percent of tuition hikes between 2001 and 2011. Just 6 percent was due to construction costs.

Sanders would make up that lost government money by providing free tuition, paid for with a tax on financial transactions. Clinton would offer federal dollars to encourage states to do more and keep students from having to borrow. It’s unclear how either plan would control colleges’ costs, though.

———

SANDERS, apologizing for his campaign improperly gaining access to Clinton campaign data, raised the possibility that Clinton’s campaign may have done the same thing. “I am not convinced that information from our campaign may not have ended up in her campaign,” he said.

THE FACTS: Sanders is speculating, at best. There’s no evidence so far that Clinton’s campaign has accessed Sanders’ voter lists.

During a conference call with reporters on Friday, Clinton’s campaign manager, Robby Mook, said he could “unequivocally tell you that no member of our staff stole data from theirs.” And the contractor that manages the campaign data for the Democratic Party, NGP-VAN, issued a statement Friday saying “our team removed access to the affected data, and determined that only one campaign took actions that could possibly have led to it retaining data to which it should not have had access.”

———

CLINTON: “Assad has killed 250,000 Syrians.”

THE FACTS: Clinton appears to be blaming the entire estimated death toll of the Syrian civil war on just one side: the forces of Syrian President Bashar Assad. Yet no matter how vicious his forces have been, deaths have come at the hands of all sides in the nearly 5-year-old multi-front civil war.

The Syrian conflict began with anti-government protests before spiraling into a war with many groups emerging in opposition to the brutal regime crackdown. Rebels in some of these groups are fighting and killing each other, in some cases with no involvement by Assad-backed troops.

The United Nations has estimated a death toll of 220,000 since 2011; other estimates are higher, and Clinton’s figure is roughly in line with them. But the death toll is attributable to all parties, not just to Assad.

———

SANDERS: “Middle class in this country for the last 40 years has been disappearing.”

THE FACTS: It’s no secret that the middle class is struggling. The costs of college, health care and housing continue to rise, while wages have barely budged for two decades. The Pew Research Center reported earlier this month that the majority of Americans are no longer “middle income.”

Things are not quite as dire as Sanders suggests.

Pew found the share of Americans that it defines as middle income — a family of three earning $73,392 — has slipped. It’s down to 50 percent of households from 61 percent in 1971.

More Americans are low income, but more are also upper income. “The closer look at the shift out of the middle reveals that a deeper polarization is under way in the American economy,” Pew concluded.

Pew defines the median upper income as starting at $174,625 — a lot of money, but hardly the billionaire class attacked by Sanders.

———

SANDERS: “One of the heroes who we should recognize in the Middle East is King Abdul II of Jordan. This small country has welcomed in many refugees.”

THE FACTS: With each new debate, the presidential candidates come closer to getting the Jordanian king’s name right.

Among Republican and Democratic contenders alike, King Abdullah II is considered an important figure in the struggle for stability in the Middle East. But darned if they can nail down his name.

Sanders said Abdul instead of Abdullah. Invoking the king again, he mumbled the name.

ISIS Suspects Arrested in Turkey, 150 Passports Seized

Turkish authorities detained two suspected Islamic State militants (ISIS) at Istanbul’s main international airport carrying at least 150 original European passports, an official said today.

Counter-terror police detained the suspects, a Syrian and a Turk, at Ataturk Airport after they flew in from a European country, finding they had stuffed the passports into pizza ovens, media reports said earlier.Airport police… found at least 150 fake passports among their personal belongings,” a Turkish government official, who asked not to be named, told

“Airport police… found at least 150 fake passports among their personal belongings,” a Turkish government official, who asked not to be named, told AFP.

The private Dogan news agency said the police seized a total of 148 European passports hidden inside “five mini-pizza ovens”. The suspects have been taken to the anti-terror headquarters of Istanbul police for questioning, it added.

Two hidden cameras, scores of memory cards and SIM cards were also seized, it added. Dogan had said that the passports were all original. Long criticised for not doing enough to stem the flow of jihadist fighters across its volatile border with Syria, Turkey has stepped up the fight after a number of deadly attacks on Turkish soil blamed on IS, making almost daily arrests of would-be jihadists.

“Today’s arrests exemplify how effective the anti-ISIS measures have been,” said the official, using a different acronym for IS, which is also called ISIL or Daesh. “We look forward to working more closely with source countries to keep ISIS fighters away from Syria.”

Interior Minister Efkan Ala said today that Turkey has imposed entry bans on 33,746 terror suspects from 123 countries since the Syria conflict began. In addition, 2,783 jihadist suspects from 89 countries have been detained in Turkey and deported.

Earlier, a treason investigation had been launched against a Turkish MP who alleged in an exclusive interview with RT that Islamic State (ISIS) jihadists delivered deadly sarin gas to Syria through Turkey.

Ankara’s Chief Prosecutor’s Office opened the case against Istanbul MP Eren Erdem of Republican People’s Party (CHP) after his interview about sarin was aired on RT on Monday.

“Chemical weapon materials were brought to Turkey and put together in ISIS camps in Syria, which was known as the Iraqi Al-Qaeda at that time.” 

Link

Ten Reasons for Supporting Trump

1. Donald Trump is immune to special interest lobbying because he has accepted no donations or special interest money. No other candidate can make this claim.
2. Donald Trump knows how to negotiate. No one builds an international business empire the size of Mr. Trump’s without being able to win at the negotiating table.
3. Donald Trump is an executive. The President of the United States is the Chief Executive Officer of our nation. We don’t need a policy expert or a legislator – we need someone who knows how to run an organization. Mr. Trump is the only candidate who has a proven record as a successful executive on a large scale.
4. Donald Trump is honest. Mr. Trump is a man who tells the truth. He may not always say it in the most polished way, but our country has had enough suave liars. It is time for some straight forward honesty.
5. Donald Trump is decisive. We hear about his having business interests that filed for bankruptcy. In each case, he looked at the situation as it was, and then he cut his losses. We need someone who will look at government programs realistically and if they are failures; will end the wasteful Washington spending.
6. Donald Trump is courageous. Mr. Trump has been viciously attacked by the Washington establishment and the media – and he has not budged one inch. In other words, he is willing to take charge and lead.
7. Donald Trump listens. At Trump Presidential events, the audience gets to actually speak to him without being screened, and he responds without a teleprompter.
8. Donald Trump understands that a nation without borders, language and laws is not a nation.
9. Donald Trump has actually read the Bill of Rights, and is willing to defend its provisions. He is not afraid to speak about Christian persecution, and protecting gun rights.
10. Donald Trump loves this country – and says so. He wants to make America great again

CNN Republican presidential debate on December 15, 2015.

 

 

 

 

Yuuuuuuuge! Donald Trump’s Best GOP Debate Yet
Republican frontrunner Donald J. Trump has sometimes struggled on the GOP debate stage. On Tuesday night, he owned it.

Trump made few mistakes, despite efforts by the moderators and the other candidates to knock him out of the pole position. While Sens. Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX)and Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) sparred over past Senate votes, and other candidates repeated lines familiar from the campaign trail, Trump looked comfortable–and solid.

He may not always have had the “right” answer, but he sounded more fluent with his own positions.

At one stage, he even felt confident enough to tangle with members of the audience–supporters, it seemed, of Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY)
–who booed his idea to “infiltrate” Islamic State on the Internet.

“I just can’t imagine somebody booing. These are people that want to kill us, folks, and you’re objecting to us infiltrating their conversations? I don’t think so.”

Perhaps Trump’s rally on Monday evening was a useful warmup. There, Trump sparred jovially with left-wing hecklers and mocked the media for covering them.

Perhaps, too, grim events have conspired to affirm Trump’s “bombastic” (Carly Fiorina’s word) approach to national security: as he pointed out, both the Paris and San Bernardino terror attacks have happened since the last GOP debate.

Perhaps Trump simply knows he is sitting on a big lead.

Regardless, Trump won on Tuesday night–at times by fighting hard, at times by letting the stragglers squabble.

There were few personal attacks, no misstatements of his own policies. He faced repeated (and repetitive) attacks from Jeb Bush–often instigated by the moderators, as Trump pointed out–and simply pointed to his poll numbers.

He took a pass on Hugh Hewitt’s question about the nuclear triad. His opponents will remember. No one else will.

The CNN moderators pressed Trump early on his recent proposal to stop Muslims from immigrating or visiting the U.S. His answer was simple and stark: “We are not talking about isolation. We’re talking about security. We’re not talking about religion. We’re talking about security.”

No one–least of all Bush–laid a glove on him after that.

The vaunted Trump-vs.-Cruz fight failed to materialize. Cruz allowed himself to become entangled in arguments over foreign policy between the interventionist Rubio and the reticent Paul, who blasted Rubio on immigration.

Dr. Ben Carson and Fiorina had moments, and the other two governors onstage sounded clear themes–New Jersey’s Chris Christie attacking Washington, and Ohio’s John Kasich calling for less bickering.

But it was Trump’s night.

When Hewitt asked Trump to re-affirm his commitment to staying within the Republican Party, Trump said he would do so, prompting Hewitt himself to applaud.

“I feel honored to be the frontrunner,” Trump explained.

After winning the last debate of 2015, Trump is not just the frontrunner. He is the favorite to win the nomination.

Link

 

The Donald Trump/Ted Cruz feud

Last week the conversation between Cruz and donors in New York City was leaked to the New York Times. Cruz said the following (emphasis added):

I like and respect both Donald and Ben. I do not believe either one of them is going to be our nominee. I don’t believe either one of them is going to be our president. I think both of them, their campaigns have a natural arc. And with both of them I think gravity is pulling them down. We’ve seen that, Carson is further in that descent. But I think in both instances — in particular, you look at Paris, you look at San Bernardino, it’s given a seriousness to this race. That people are looking for, who is prepared to be a commander-in-chief? Who understands the threats we face? Who am I comfortable having their finger on the button? That’s a question of strength but it’s also a question of judgment. And I think that is a question that’s a challenging question to both of them.

Cruz would privately make the case that he’s better qualified to be president than Trump. Yet he did also suggest voters wouldn’t be comfortable with Trump having his “finger on the button,” or with Trump’s “judgment.”

So someone decided to leak Cruz’s comments to the New York Times‘ Maggie Haberman and Matt Flegenheimer. And when Cruz tried to downplay the story and call it inaccurate, the Times published the full audio of what Cruz said.

The morning after the story broke, Trump tweeted the following:

Ben Carson blows up and threatens to leave GOP over report of potential anti-Trump effort by party leaders

Republican presidential candidate Ben Carson released a fiery statement on Friday denouncing a reported meeting attended by his party’s top leaders earlier in the week.

“If the leaders of the Republican Party want to destroy the party, they should continue to hold meetings like the one described in the Washington Post this morning,” Carson said.

The retired neurosurgeon even threatened to leave the GOP, referencing front-runner Donald Trump’s own threats to run as an independent.

“If this was the beginning of a plan to subvert the will of the voters and replace it with the will of the political elite, I assure you Donald Trump will not be the only one leaving the party,” Carson said.

The Washington Post reported on Thursday that a number of Republican officials, including Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus and US Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Kentucky), had a dinner on Monday where they discussed how the party would handle a so-called brokered convention.

Brokered conventions are rare, as a candidate typically secures a majority of the delegates needed in the primary to secure each party’s presidential nomination. But with a deep bench of GOP candidates, some party leaders are reportedly preparing for such a scenario.

“Our goal is to ensure a successful nomination and that requires us thinking through every scenario, including a contested convention,” RNC spokesman Sean Spicer told The Post.

The Post report was also explosive because unnamed “longtime power brokers” also discussed organizing an anti-Trump effort should the real-estate mogul still be dominant after the primary contests. Priebus and McConnell were reportedly silent during this part of the meeting, and Spicer said that the national party is officially “neutral.”

But Carson was clearly unhappy that the Monday meeting even took place.

“I pray that the report in the Post this morning was incorrect,” he said in the Friday statement. “If it is correct, every voter who is standing for change must know they are being betrayed. I won’t stand for it.”

He continued:

“This process is the one played out by our party. If the powerful try to manipulate it, the Republican National Convention in Cleveland next summer may be the last convention. I am prepared to lose fair and square, as I am sure is Donald. But I will not sit by and watch a theft. I intend on being the nominee. If I am not, the winner will have my support. If the winner isn’t our nominee then we have a massive problem. My campaign is about “We the People” not “They the Powerful.”

Rush Limbaugh: The GOP Establishment Thinks Trump Can’t Beat the Empty Pantsuit and They’re Talking About Romney Again!

RUSH: Carly Fiorina.  This is in TheHill.com.  This is the headline: “Fiorina: Trump ‘A Gift-Wrapped Present’ for Clinton.”  This, by the way, this is becoming the reason the Republican Party wants to get rid of Trump, is that they will just get wiped out by Hillary Clinton.  He’s just gonna be, I mean, it’s gonna be the worse landslide we’ve ever seen.  Trump is just gonna get buried.  It’s gonna be a tsunami.

She said, “If Donald Trump’s the nominee of this party, she will wipe the floor with him.  We will also lose the Senate, and we may well lose the House. She would be very happy, very happy to face Donald Trump.”  Carly, you know we’ve spoken very positively of you on this program many, many times.  You haven’t been able to wipe the floor with Trump.  Why will Hillary be able to?  Is Hillary that much better than you?  You say Hillary’s gonna wipe the floor with Trump?  Why haven’t you?  If it’s gonna be so easy for Hillary to wipe the floor, why can’t you?  If it’s that easy.  Why can’t any of the others on the Republican side?  If it’s that easy to wipe the floor with Donald Trump, how come nobody’s doing it?

RUSH:  No, no, no, I’m not trying to be mean.  I’m just asking legitimate political questions.  If you’re gonna run out and say that Hillary Clinton is gonna mop the floor with Donald Trump, okay, well, then tell us how you’re gonna beat Hillary.  But before you do that, show us how you’re gonna beat Trump.  Does this not make sense?  Okay, the big fear is that Hillary Clinton, who is one of the biggest empty pantsuits — folks, this is another, you talk about a disconnect.  Hillary Clinton, are you kidding me?  The biggest empty pantsuit in American politics.  Talk about disconnected.

Anyway, this magical woman is just gonna mop the floor with Donald Trump.  Fine and dandy.  Okay.  Well, then, how are you gonna beat her?  How are you gonna beat this formidable, almost unbeatable, brilliant, smartest woman in the world? If she is gonna mop the floor with Trump, don’t you think you better show you can do the same thing and then tell us how you’re gonna beat her?

RUSH: Jim, Winston-Salem, North Carolina.  Welcome.  You’re next.  Hello.

CALLER:  Rush, Merry Christmas.

RUSH:  Same to you.

CALLER:  I agree with you about 97% of the time, including your comments recently about conventional wisdom, which is of course an oxymoron, and Hillary being an empty pantsuit.  But — and here’s the big “but.” Although I do share your unbridled joy with Donald Trump raising issues that need to be raised and tweaking the left-stream media, the sad fact is Trump often sounds like a simplistic sixth grader.  And I just… You know, he’s almost as insufferable and arrogant as Barack Obama.

RUSH:  How did George W. Bush sound to you?

CALLER:  George W.?

RUSH:  Yeah.  How did he sound to you?

CALLER:  Oh, erudite, you know, right on.  And Donald Trump makes great points, but when he goes to into this, “You’re so bad and you’re really stupid and she’s an idiot,” rather than grabbing your attention with his comment and then explaining more detail… He never gets into detail.

RUSH:  Let me —

CALLER:  Tell me where I’m wrong.

RUSH:  No, no.  No. Tell you where you’re wrong? I’m not… That’s an opinion.  I can’t tell you you’re wrong.  That’s what you think of the way he sounds.  But I do want to comment on it.  I have to take a break here.

BREAK TRANSCRIPT

RUSH: Now, about the last caller, I asked him what he thought of the way George W. Bush spoke for a reason.  The last caller, he likes what Trump says now and then, he likes the way Trump’s tweaked the left and tweaking the establishment left, but Trump sounds like a school yard, just average run-of-the-mill, oh, maybe not bully, but there’s nothing erudite and uplifting and confidence inspiring about the way Trump talks, his voice. So I asked him about George W. Bush and he said, yeah, George W. Bush is erudite.

Folks, I have to tell you something, in case you’ve forgotten.  The media, the American left and everybody who hated Bush thought that he was dumb because of the way he spoke.  They acted like he was dumb. They made fun of the way he talked. They called him a cowboy and so forth.  He was anything but erudite, even though he is as, if not more, educated than all of them.  But here is why I think it doesn’t matter.  Even if people think that about Trump, and that’s the first time I’ve heard anybody say that.  I couldn’t care less.  I don’t want you people get the wrong idea here.  I’m not here to defend anybody. If this guy thinks Trump sounds like a buffoon, fine and dandy.

But there’s one thing here that’s undeniable.  Again, over here, with everybody over on that side.  And I don’t care Republicans, Democrats, commentators, media people, they all sound brilliant, don’t they?  They all sound very, very intelligent and thoughtful, well spoken. They pause at just the right times to give the indication they’re in deep thought about what’s coming next, and they use several speech tricks to convey the idea that they’re brilliant, such as “hmmm and eeeehhh”, in deep thought before they commit to their next statement and so forth.  They’re the people screwing everything up!

The people that seem the smartest are actually — you telling me that David Brooks, New York Times columnist, who actually said the crease in Obama’s slacks was all I needed to see to tell me he’s gonna be a great president.  The people who make this country work are not caught up in all of this surface appearance stuff.  They’re fed up with the mess the so-called best and brightest are making of this country.  They are seriously fed up, and they are holding to account the people over there who everybody thinks are the most educated and the most well-spoken and so forth, they are the ones that are screwing it all up.

So I don’t think it matters to a lot of people the way Trump sounds; it’s what Trump is saying and the attitude that he conveys when he says it that is attracting them.

BREAK TRANSCRIPT

RUSH: Len in Grant Park, Illinois.  Your turn.  You’re next.  Hello, sir.

CALLER:  Well, hello there, Mr. Limbaugh.

RUSH:  Hey.

CALLER:  I am humbled to speak to the greatest freedom fighter on earth.

RUSH:  Well, I don’t know about that, but I appreciate you calling, and I’m glad our out there.

CALLER:  Well, I wanted to make a comment, you know, everybody talks about Trump, you know, why he’s so popular and all this stuff.  And, you know, I remember back when Reagan got elected, it was the first Republican I’ve ever voted for, and he was the right man at the right time.  And that’s where Trump is.  He’s the right man at the right time.

RUSH:  You know, it’s interesting.  The establishment hated Reagan, the Republican establishment hated him, well everybody hated him but notably the Republican Party hated Reagan, they didn’t like conservatives, still don’t.  And they also said Reagan was a dunce. They said Reagan was an idiot. They said Reagan was sleeping through cabinet meetings and Reagan was a B movie actor and he was this or that.  It’s standard operating procedure. The way the establishment insults their opponents is to try to tell everybody that they’re dumb, they’re slow, they’re stupid, they’re unsophisticated, they’re dangerous, you can’t trust them, their finger next to the nuclear launch button.  It’s the same thing, no matter who the candidate is. It could be Newt Gingrich, it could be Sarah Palin, it could be Ronald Reagan, it could be Trump now, doesn’t matter who it is, that’s the way they go after and try to disqualify people.

CALLER:  Well, that’s true, but if you look at the time when Jimmy Carter was in there and with Iran making all its threats on us and everything all the time, and everything he did to try to subdue them, you know, was just a joke, the guy was an idiot.  I mean, that’s the way I felt about it, and I felt that the country just couldn’t stand four more years of that.

RUSH:  Well, agreed, but Carter’s greatest damage was on the economy.

CALLER:  Oh.

RUSH:  He just wreaked havoc on the economy.

CALLER:  Yeah, I was 23 years old and I couldn’t keep a job ’cause as fast as I’d go to work for somebody, they’d close up.

RUSH:  Yeah, you couldn’t keep gasoline in your tank, either.

CALLER:  No.  Stand in line for it.

RUSH:  Yeah.

CALLER:  But, yeah, I honestly believe that with Donald Trump, I don’t think anybody’s gonna beat him, ’cause he’s the only one saying anything that makes sense.

RUSH:  Well, let me ask you a question about that since I have you and since you’ve just made that statement.  So you think Trump can win the nomination?  You think Trump can beat Hillary?

CALLER:  Ha.  Yeah.  No question.

RUSH:  No question?  Because, I’ll tell you, Republican Party is running around in apoplexy, and they’re telling everybody, “Oh, my God, if Trump wins, we’re finished.  Hillary’s gonna mop the floor.  Oh, my God.  There’s no way Trump.  The independents are gonna be running away from Trump.  Oh, my God.  We’re dead.  Trump could set this party back 25 years if he gets the nomination.”  That’s what the Republicans say.  “There’s no way he can beat Hillary.”

CALLER:  If Trump wins, the Republican Party as we know it is done.  They’ll either have to come in line with the people or they’ll never get another vote.

RUSH:  What if the Republican Party loses?

CALLER: What, this time?

RUSH: Yeah.

CALLER:  Yeah, I don’t see it happening. As long as Trump’s on the ticket.

RUSH: No, no. I’m saying if Trump’s not on the ticket and they put Romney up there as a stopgap.

CALLER: That guy was ridiculous before. I mean, nobody wanted him.  How many times did he run?  Nobody wanted him.  He was just another liberal.

RUSH:  I’m just saying if they do something like that, if the Republican Party gets a nominee they want and they lose, what does that mean for their future?

CALLER:  They’re done.

RUSH:  So they’re done either way, that’s what you’re saying —

CALLER:  Yeah.

RUSH:  — Trump wins they’re done, and if Trump loses, they’re done?

CALLER:  Yeah.  I don’t see ’em recovering from this.  They’ve got such a bad reputation now, you know, since this Obama thing, that nobody trusts ’em, believes ’em for anything.  What’s the point?  There’s no reason to vote for ’em.

RUSH:  Yeah.  Well, I don’t know that it’s that bad, but, I tell you what: There are a lot of people scratching their heads over why in seven years the Republican Party hasn’t found a way to disagree with Obama.  That’s their purpose.  They’ve run for election, they’ve campaigned on their promise to stop Obama, repeal Obamacare, all this stuff.  They don’t do any of it.  How in the world after seven years can you not have an identity of opposing Obama and standing with a majority of the American people?

Here, grab audio sound bite number five.  I didn’t just make this up.  Charlie Rose last night on his show on PBS talking to Mark Halperin.  These people do talk to each other.  You know, it’s amazing.  On all of their shows, they all appear on each other’s shows.  I mean, you talk about talking to hear your head rattle?  That’s all these people do.  They never have anybody on that they don’t agree with or don’t understand.  They’re all just chatting with themselves, be it the roundtable on Meet the Press or you name it.  There’s no outreach to anybody else who’s not already in their crowd.  It’s stunning to watch this.

Anyway, Charlie Rose with Mark Halperin last night.  Charlie Rose said, “Are you saying, Mark, that if the Republican Party unites against Donald Trump, that they can’t stop him?”

HALPERIN:  The establishment now will not accept Trump as the nominee.  They will fight him to the end, including at the convention if they need to and I think they’ll run someone else if he does become the nominee.

ROSE:  Meaning somebody’s in the field —

HALPERIN:  No! Someone like Mitt Romney or Mitch Daniels, someone else to step forward to say, “We’ve got a safe place to vote because we cannot be the party of Trump.” Romney-Ryan at the convention is the way the party would go and they’d say, “America, you were wrong. We’re giving you a second chance.”

RUSH:  Now, he doesn’t just make this stuff up, folks.  All of these people talk to each other, and the Republican Party leaks what they want certain people to know. They go to… Politico is one of their favorite sources to leak to.  Halperin didn’t just pull this out of thin air.  He just said that last night on Charlie Rose that if Trump is the nominee, the Republican Party will not accept it and will go back. They won’t go to anybody currently in the field ’cause there isn’t anybody that jazzes them in the field.

They’re gonna go back to Mitt Romney or maybe Mitch Daniels, and then they’ll choose Ryan as the veep again and they’re gonna go back to the American people and say, “Look, we gave you a chance to elect this brilliant team in 2012, and you blew it.  We’re going to give you a second chance.”  This is… My point is if he’s saying this, somebody somewhere in whatever circle he travels in has also postulated this.  And not the first time we’ve heard the Republican Party thinking about reaching out to Romney.

It’s not the first time we’ve heard Romney thinking about running again. It’s not the first time we’ve heard anything.  And I guarantee you something else.  If Trump isn’t the nominee but Ted Cruz is, they’ll do the same thing.  They won’t support a Ted Cruz nomination, either.  At the highest levels Republican Party, they’re in a constant panic.  ‘Cause they’re know even if they do succeed, if they were to succeed in taking Trump out, now they’re looking at Cruz.  And that scares them even more.  Don’t doubt me.

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