Newt Gingrich: Republicans should accept Donald Trump and ‘start focusing’ on November

Republican presidential candidate Ohio Gov. John Kasich addresses an audience, including former speaker of the House Newt Gingrich and his wife Callista Gingrich, during a town hall-style meeting in Virginia last March. Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

Republican presidential candidate Ohio Gov. John Kasich addresses an audience, including former speaker of the House Newt Gingrich and his wife Callista Gingrich, during a town hall-style meeting in Virginia last March. Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

As Texas Sen. Ted Cruz struggles to revive his struggling campaign in Indiana, a growing number of Republicans privately and publicly say his mission to stop front-runner Donald Trump is futile.

Former House speaker Newt Gingrich joined the crowd over the weekend, when he pointed to an NBC News/Wall Street Journal/Marist poll released Sunday that showed Trump with a 15-point lead over Cruz in Indiana.

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jolt

“If the new poll is right and Trump is leading 49-34 over Cruz, then Trump is the nominee and Republicans should start focusing on how to beat Clinton,” Gingrich told us, referring to presumptive Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton.

The Hoosier State’s vote on Tuesday is seen as a last stand for Cruz and other anti-Trump forces to deny the billionaire the 1,237 delegates he needs to win the nomination. But Cruz has struggled amid an onslaught of attacks from Trump supporters and a missteps of his own.

Gingrich, who has steadily emerged as one of Donald Trump’s go-to defenders, also played down comments he made to The New York Times, saying that he was open to becoming Trump’s running mate.

“It is too early to worry about the vice presidency or the cabinet,” he said. “First the nomination has to be locked down.”

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Meanwhile, GOP voter registration in California has dropped below 28 percent, prompting a pep talk from Ralph Reed of the Faith and Freedom Coalition on the final day of that state’s Republican convention. From the Sacramento Bee:

Reed acknowledged that “sometimes you sit here and you feel like a lost colony, you know, as conservatives and Christians in the state of California.”

Reed slung a glancing blow at the self-funding candidates Republicans have put up for statewide office in recent years – though he insisted it was not a criticism – saying, “You can’t win with money and media … You’re going to have to build a grassroots party.”

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The Washington Post has a piece on the link between race and housing prices that begins with this:

[A] house that looks otherwise identical in South DeKalb, on the edge of Atlanta, might sell for half what it would in North DeKalb. The difference has widened over the years of the housing boom, bust and recovery, and Wayne Early can’t explain it.

The people here make good money, he says. They have good jobs. Their homes are built of the same sturdy brick. Early, an economic development consultant and real estate agent, can identify only one obvious difference that makes property here worth so much less.

“This can’t happen by accident,” he says. “It’s too tightly correlated with race for it to be based on something else.”

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Democratic Senate candidate Jim Barksdale’s coming out party extended beyond his first interview last week. A tipster also sent us the following robo-call sent to Democratic households across the state:

Note that he says the election is “about extending the president’s agenda to improve pay and opportunities, making college more affordable, protecting Social Security and reforming the criminal justice system.”

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A committee of professors is University of Georgia administrators an incomplete for a study on gender pay disparities. From the Athens Banner-Herald:

The consultant concluded there was no statistical differences in the pay of men and women faculty members at UGA, but so far, members of the University Council’s Human Resources committee haven’t been able to get university administrators or the consultant to reveal how the consultant came to that conclusion.

That may be OK in the world of paid consultants, but in a university setting, you’re expected to show exactly how you come up with your conclusions, said committee member Amy Rosemond, a tenured professor in UGA’s Odum School of Ecology.

Ah, the old “show your work” ploy.

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Over at FreedomWorks, former Georgian Jason Pye takes another crack at U.S. Sen. David Perdue, R-Ga., for his objections to federal criminal justice reform. A slice, from Georgiapol.com:

[T]he sentencing provisions of the Sentencing Reform and Corrections Act are very similar to or in the spirit of those found in the Smarter Sentencing Act, which Perdue cosponsored. Did he not read the Smarter Sentencing Act before he cosponsored it? Has he even bothered to read the Sentencing Reform and Corrections Act? Perdue has either had a significant change of heart on criminal justice reform, or he’s completely bought into the misinformation campaign being waged by Sens. Tom Cotton (R-Ark.) and Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.).

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U.S. Rep. John Lewis’ graphic novel “March: Book One” is being turned into an animated series for television, the technology blog Gizmodo reports:

Today Charleston Immersive & Interactive Media Studio has announced that they have optioned the animation rights to the graphic novel trilogy, published by Top Shelf. No further details as to when the series would air were revealed, but there are plans to expand the animated series into a line of interactive educational tools for use in schools and universities, where March is already frequently used to teach the history of the Civil Rights movement.                                                                               

Book one of the novel, which was published in 2013, tells Lewis’, D-Atlanta, story growing up in Alabama and meeting Martin Luther King Jr., who inspired his student activism to end segregation through non-violent protests and sit-ins with the Nashville Student Movement. The second chronicles Lewis’ work with the Freedom Riders, and the third and final installment is slated for release this August.

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The broad Veterans Affairs accountability bill U.S. Sen. Johnny Isakson unveiled last week is also drawing its share of criticism. The right-leaning Washington Examiner laid out some of the fault lines:

“The accountability provisions in the Senate omnibus bill covering non-senior executives, 99.9 percent of all VA employees, are extraordinarily weak,” a House Republican aide told the Washington Examiner. “Instead of streamlining the removal process for employees, the provisions only make miniscule changes to the existing laws that are currently preventing VA from firing corrupt and incompetent employees.” 

Concerned Veterans for America also said the attempted accountability language doesn’t go far enough.

Those critics are favoring a related bill that passed the House last year from that chamber’s VA Committee chair, Jeff Miller, R-Fla., that is different in respect to how the long the VA would have to fire or demote workers, according to the article. Miller and Florida Sen. Marco Rubio criticized Isakson earlier this spring for not negotiating in good faith on the VA bill.

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The Republican party of North Carolina has ousted its African-American chairman after months of infighting. From the Raleign News & Observer:

Hasan Harnett will be replaced by former U.S. Rep. Robin Hayes, who will serve out his term that runs to next year. Hayes, a businessman from Concord, served as N.C. GOP chairman from 2011 to 2013.

“(Harnett is) a great speaker but he did not have the background, the experience and the leadership skills that come from being immersed in the process over a number of years,” Hayes said after the meeting, adding that he’s confident the party can heal its divisions. “It’s an incredible opportunity to unify around the common purpose of defeating failed Democrat policies.”

Harnett wasn’t at Saturday’s meeting. His supporters said that he was traveling out of the country on business and that they thought the vote was timed to conflict with his travel plans.


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