Over at Fox News on Thursday, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich and WSB Radio provocateur Erick Erickson tangled over efforts to prevent billionaire Donald Trump from grabbing the Republican presidential nomination.
Erickson has become the face of what he calls a “grass-roots conservative” revolt against Trump that is attempting to engineer a partnership between the two remaining GOP candidates, U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas and Ohio Gov. John Kasich.
“Have fun. It’s an amusing parlor game. It has no meaning in the real world….
“I’m not sympathetic at all to the Erick Ericksons of the world. If they want to form a ‘let’s elect Hillary Clinton’ club, fine. But they ought to be honest about it. Any effort to help anyone other than the Republican nominee helps Hillary Clinton. And if you think giving Hillary Clinton the Supreme Court, having Hillary Clinton run our foreign policy, having Hillary Clinton support the unions…
“But Erick Erickson’s not playing a risk-free game. It’s not like there’s some pure middle way. If he does not support the Republican nominee, he is functionally supporting Hillary Clinton in the general election.”
“I think Newt should be honest. The same polling that Donald Trump cites regularly to show how well he’s doing has consistently shown he’s the only Republican candidate who can’t beat Hillary Clinton. Nineteen of the last 20 polls have shown, without a third party, he loses to Hillary Clinton across the board. He loses to her in Ohio, Michigan, Pennsylvania. Donald Trump can’t beat Hillary Clinton.”
In a WSB Radio session with Scott Slade this morning, Erickson described a pitch made to the Cruz and Kasich camps, by which the Texas senator would campaign solely in the Western states, and the governor of Ohio would stay east of the Mississippi.
Kind of like Augustus and Mark Antony once divided the Roman Empire. The idea would be to present Trump with one-on-one contests in the remaining primaries. Listen here:
Let us note here, of course, that WSB Radio and The Atlanta Journal-Constitution share corporate parentage.
Republican Alex Johnson, who narrowly finished second in the race to run the Georgia GOP, added his voice to the calls for purists to take back the party in the county GOP meetings this weekend.
He slammed Gov. Nathan Deal’s stance on lifting the ban on firearms on college campuses a “betrayal” and called the efforts to block Donald Trump from getting the nomination “lies.”
Here’s his prescription for the future (emphasis his):
The only way to save the Republican Party and to continue to push for the principles we hold dear is to (1) Run for and be elected as a National Delegate this year to the GOP Convention in Cleveland; (2) Ensure that ONLY principled Delegates (those who will stand up to politicians to ensure that the will of the voters is not subverted) are elected to the GOP Convention in Cleveland; (3) Run for RNC Commiteeman or Commiteewoman from Georgia if you don’t think those currently running for the position will represent your interests; and (4) Replace politicians (ASAP) and party officers (next year-2017) who fail to stand up for you with true principled leadership, even if YOU have to be the one to step into the role.
The Red & Black, the campus newspaper at the University of Georgia, did something it has seldom done before on Thursday.
Florida U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio returned to his D.C. day job on Thursday, two days after he bowed out of the presidential race, and he took some time to answer some reporters’ burning questions about his fourth-place finish .
For starters, he provided some clarity about his future:
Pergram said Rubio also expressed remorse about getting into verbal battles with GOP front-runner Donald Trump but clarified that he didn’t think it hurt him politically. He did acknowledge his support of the bipartisan Senate immigration bill in 2013 was a factor.
Here’s more from Politico:
“Rubio, who a day earlier called Ted Cruz the lone conservative remaining in the GOP presidential, said he would not endorse the Texas senator but predicted the party would coalesce behind a candidate other than Trump.”
Meanwhile, Rubio’s D.C. staff gave him a hero’s welcome as he walked into his office:
Roswell Republican U.S. Rep. Tom Price’s budget will take a breather while Republican leaders try to iron out intraparty disagreements over how much government funding it should provide.
“More conversations among members will be required before moving the budget to the floor,” said California U.S. Rep. Kevin McCarthy, the House’s No. 2 Republican, whose job is managing the floor, on Thursday.
We’ve written quite a bit about Price’s budget blueprint and the politics surrounding it, but Price was able to shepherd it through the House Budget Committee, which he heads, on Tuesday. But he must now contend with a stubborn rift within his party over how to handle about $30 billion in disputed funding.