Coming off a weekend maneuvering even further to the right by signing a “controversial
” state budget in Wisconsin, craven career politician Scott Walker today joins an overflowing field of Republicans running for president.”A political lifer
” who first entered politics at the age of twenty-two, Walker will attempt to play-up an image of battle-tested results. But after more than two decades collecting a local and state government paycheck, residents of home-state Wisconsin — those who know him best — aren’t convinced
he belongs on the national stage or has a grasp of the issues. Walker is scrambling to gain credibility
— particularly in international affairs, where, according to The Los Angeles Times
, “his lack of foreign policy credentials could set him up for the sort of problems that bedeviled another conservative governor, Sarah Palin, seven years ago.”But, Walker aside, there’s little doubt who will continue to cast a long shadow across the GOP primary this week. In spite of a slew of racist, disparaging remarks over several weeks of well-documented buffoonery, Donald Trump has the draw of a star and the staying power of a Republican in the top tier of their nominating contest. Just this past weekend, a Reuters-Ipsos poll
found Trump in a statistical dead-heat with Jeb Bush in the front of the GOP pack.
While support for Trump grows, the RNC is ducking for cover. The truth is they have no grounds to rein him in. Beyond being a bombastic billionaire, he represents the GOP platform. “Anti-immigrant? Against Common Core education standards? For repealing Obamacare? Against same-sex marriage? Antiabortion? Anti-tax? Anti-China? Virulent in questioning President Obama’s legitimacy? Check, check, check, check, check, check, check and check,” wrote Dana Milbank in a column last week
As the old adage goes — “the ball don’t lie.” According to the polls, Trump will have a place at a podium at the first debate weeks away; how much longer can candidates laugh him off, pretending they disagree on anything but style?
QUESTIONS ON THE TRAIL THIS WEEK:
- How will Walker’s play to win Iowa and shifts to the right impact Jeb Bush’s, Marco Rubio’s, and others’ strategies and positions?
- On general policy issues, Donald Trump and the rest of the Republican field agree — how will candidates thread that needle?
- And how will Republicans respond as Donald Trump continues his meteoric rise in public opinion polls? (It’s early, yes. But only weeks away from the first debate.)
BRIDGE PROJECT UPDATE:
The Koch Brothers’ Puerto Rican Priorities
As Puerto Rico’s debt crisis began to make news, Bridge Project noticed an anti-bailout lobbying campaign championed by Koch network front groups. Why are they doing it? Follow the money — It’s not about the public interest, but simply their bottom line. The Kochs and their biggest donors stand to lose a lot of money, should Puerto Rico be allowed to access Chapter 9 bankruptcy. Read all about it in Bridge Project’s latest report, “The Kochs’ Wealth Versus the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico
TRACKING HIGHLIGHTS FROM THE FIELD:
CATCHING UP ON MEDIA CLIPS:
THE WASHINGTON POST: AHEAD OF 2016 LAUNCH, SCOTT WALKER FEUDS WITH BOTH PARTIES AT HOME
“When Gov. Scott Walker launches his presidential campaign Monday
, he will pitch himself as a penny-pinching fiscal hawk who wants lower taxes, cuts ingovernment spending and less government assistance. But for months here in the state capital, Walker has pushed hard to use $250 million in taxpayer money to pay for a new professional basketball arena for the Milwaukee Bucks — confusing and angering the fiscal conservatives who usually support him…Dealing with legislation at home was supposed to be the low-drama part of Walker’s year. Instead, things here in Madison have been in turmoil for months — a complication for a governor building his presidential candidacy around his ability to get things done. Walker has spent much of the year feuding not only with Democrats — a fight he relishes — but also with fellow Republicans over proposals such as the Bucks’ arena. GOP lawmakers who usually work with him in lock step are now questioning his budget priorities. Walker’s popularity also has fallen statewide, even as he pulls to the front of the crowded GOP presidential field nationally. Democrats, meanwhile, accuse Walker of using the budget and other issues to bolster his national résumé ahead of his 2016 run.”
THE NEW YORK TIMES: SCOTT WALKER WORKS TO GAIN CREDIBILITY AS OFFICIAL CAMPAIGN BEGINS
“After listening to Gov. Scott Walker of Wisconsin as he has traveled the country preparing his campaign for president, which officially begins on Monday, admiring voters most often describe him as “authentic,” “real” and “approachable,” Mr. Walker’s advisers say. Two words these voters do not use about him? ‘Smart’ and ‘sophisticated.’…Concerns about the breadth and depth of Mr. Walker’s knowledge extend to both national security and domestic policy issues.”
MILWAUKEE JOURNAL SENTINEL: JOBS AGENCY LENT $1.2 MILLION TO BUSINESSMAN WITH TROUBLED FINANCES
“Failing to run adequate checks, Wisconsin’s flagship jobs agency gave two awards worth more than $1.2 million to a financially troubled De Pere businessman who had not disclosed his problems to the state, a Milwaukee Journal Sentinel review has found. Despite those omissions in 2011 and 2012, Gov. Scott Walker’s administration kept working with Ron Van Den Heuvel and his clean energy company, Green Box, into 2014, state records show…It’s the second case disclosed in recent weeks in which WEDC failed to catch omissions by businesses about their troubled finances and then continued to work with them.”
THE WASHINGTON POST: DONALD TRUMP: ‘WE HAVE TO TAKE BACK THE HEART OF OUR COUNTRY’
“Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump, whose caustic comments about Mexicans have inflamed the immigration debate, told thousands of cheering supporters here Saturday that ‘we have to take back the heart of our country.’ In a rambling, defiant speech delivered in this border state that has been the epicenter of the nation’s divisive battle over immigration reform, Trump declared: ‘These are people that shouldn’t be in our country. They flow in like water.’ One man in the crowd of 4,200 shouted back, ‘Build a wall!’ Basking in polls that show he has risen to the top of the crowded Republican field, Trump took obvious glee in mocking former Florida governor Jeb Bush, the establishment favorite who is setting fundraising records. ‘Jeb Bush, let’s say he’s president — Oy, yoy, yoy,’ Trump said. He asked the crowd: ‘How can I be tied with this guy? He’s terrible. Terrible. He’s weak on immigration.'”
THE GUARDIAN: “I’M, LIKE, A REALLY SMART PERSON”: DONALD TRUMP EXULTS IN OUTSIDER STATUS
“Donald Trump was on a roll and he was not going to let anyone, least of all Latino infiltrators, spoil his triumph. ‘This has become a movement,’ he exulted from the podium. ‘The silent majority is back, and we’re going to take our country back … the word is getting out that we have to stop illegal immigration.’ Thousands of supporters packed into the Phoenix convention center on Saturday roared their approval. Finally here was a candidate who would catch and banish ‘the illegals’. Right around then a few pro-immigrant activists hidden in the crowd outed themselves and unfurled a banner: ‘Stop the hate.’ The defiance lasted just a few seconds before Trump supporters swarmed around them pulling, grabbing and shoving. Security guards intervened and frogmarched the intruders away amid jeers and insults. Trump’s voice boomed over the commotion. ‘I wonder if the Mexican government sent them over here. I think so.’ The jeers intensified. ‘Don’t worry,’ he reassured the crowd, ‘we’ll take our country back.’ Chants of ‘USA’ erupted. It was a brief, telling moment in the Republican candidate’s campaign event in Arizona, the highlight of a weekend swing through western states. Instead of cooling it, as Republican leaders have pleaded, the real estate tycoon-turned GOP insurgent dialed up anti-illegal immigrant rhetoric. His supporters adored it.”
BUZZFEED NEWS: DONALD TRUMP COULD SERIOUSLY DAMAGE THE REAL REPUBLICAN EFFORTS TO REACH LATINOS
“No Democrats are quoted in this story. It’s not that they don’t want to be. There is no topic that fills them more with unbridled glee, outrage, or fake outrage than Donald Trump. His antics help Democrats who want the GOP to be seen as xenophobic and unable to discuss issues that deal with Hispanics like immigration in a respectful, measured manner. But for those who have worked to improve the GOP brand with Hispanics, the last month of the Trump comedy spectacular, in which he has called Mexicans criminals and rapists and doubled down on those comments, has been deeply unsettling.”
Published: Jul 13, 2015