At Charlie Loudermilk’s manse in Buckhead on Wednesday morning, many GOP wallets turned out for a breakfast fundraiser to benefit both the Donald Trump and the Republican National Committee.
RNC member Randy Evans was there. Nathan Deal was, too, though in the photos we’ve seen, the governor didn’t look too comfortable. U.S. Sens. David Perdue and Johnny Isakson were listed as sponsors, but had excused absences to stay in Washington.
But one prominent name that was missing entirely – in person and on invitations: Eric Tanenblatt, perhaps the GOP’s biggest bundler in Georgia and a longtime ally of the Bush family, not to mention Mitt Romney.
Tanenblatt, a governmental affairs principal at Dentons, was at last week’s annual Romney gathering in Utah, and he was in D.C. on Thursday, when we caught up with him – and asked how he was positioning himself this summer.
“I’m committed to helping [Speaker] Paul Ryan and House Republicans, making sure we maintain a House majority,” Tanenblatt said. “I’ve also been in contact with [RNC chair] Reince Priebus to make sure Republicans are unified so that we can maintain our majority in the Senate.”
Nowhere did Tanenblatt say he would be raising cash for Donald Trump.
A new Marquette Law School Poll that came out earlier this week found Hillary Clinton with 42 percent and Donald Trump with 35 percent support in the swing state of Wisconsin. But those aren’t the numbers that give you heartburn if you’re a Republican. Here’s the paragraph that chills:
In Wisconsin’s U.S. Senate race, among registered voters, Democratic candidate Russ Feingold is supported by 45 percent while Republican incumbent Sen. Ron Johnson receives 41 percent. In March, Feingold had 47 percent and Johnson 42 percent. Among likely voters in November’s election, Feingold has the support of 51 percent while Johnson is supported by 42 percent.
If Republicans are to hold onto the U.S. Senate, GOP incumbents like Johnson need to be polling well ahead of Trump, not behind.
Remember how we theorized that by signing HB 2, the anti-LGBT measure, Gov. Pat McCrory might tempt Hillary Clinton into North Carolina in a bid to flip that state? She’s got a campaign stop scheduled in Raleigh, N.C., for next Wednesday.
On Thursday, we told you of Republican umbrage at the manner in which Jim Barksdale, the Democratic candidate for U.S. Senate, was addressing the Orlando massacre – as a symbol of our country’s violent culture. Gallup has now produced the numbers that explain the disconnect:
Republicans and Democrats have starkly different interpretations of what the recent mass shooting at an Orlando nightclub represents. While 79% of Republicans view it primarily as an act of Islamic terrorism, the majority of Democrats, 60%, see it as an act of domestic gun violence. Given Republicans’ more lopsided views, Americans as a whole tilt toward describing it as a terrorist act.
President Barack Obama, during the visit he made to Orlando with Vice President Joe Biden, made yet another plea to address access to high-powered firearms. The Gallup numbers also help explain the movement in the U.S. Senate.
It appears that high noon in the Senate will come on Monday afternoon: Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., and Harry Reid, D-Nev., have agreed to hold votes on four gun proposals, all of which, notes Politico, are expected to fall short of the 60 votes needed for advancement.
On tap are Democratic provisions that would ban those on a terror watch list from buying guns and would require universal background checks for firearms purchasers. The chamber will also vote on Republican alternatives that would allow the U.S. attorney general to delay those suspected of being terrorists from buying a gun for 72 hours while trying to secure a court order, and would include incentives for sharing mental health records. The first three proposals are re-votes from last year.
One of the more overlooked lines from Donald Trump at the Fox Theatre on Wednesday was his criticism of Republican leaders – think Ohio Gov. John Kasich and many more – to hop on the Trump bandwagon. Said Trump:
“They have to get tougher. They have to get sharper. They have to get smarter. We have to have our Republicans either stick together or let me just do it by myself. I’ll do very well.”
Fox Business News brought in WSB Radio’s morning conservative Herman Cain, who spoke at the Trump rally in Atlanta, to interpret the candidate’s remarks. Cain suggested that popcorn was involved. Watch here:
Said Cain of Trump:
“He is simply saying, to use an analogy, ‘I’m inviting you to go to the movies with me. But if you won’t go, I want to see “Independence Day.”’ And ‘Independence Day’ is defeating Hillary Clinton. They’re invited to go, but they’ve got to get tougher and get on board.”