WATCH LIVE: John Lewis speaks at MLK Day event just days after being attacked by Trump
January 16, 2017
Republican strategist Karl Rove says that, despite Donald Trump currently being the favorite to win the nomination, Republicans must move past him if they want to take the presidency in 2024.
In an op-ed for the Wall Street Journal Thursday he said, "His rambling, hour-long mid-November announcement was widely panned. There have been few endorsements and no trademark rallies. He’s trailing Gov. Ron DeSantis in Florida and New Hampshire polls and is having fundraising difficulties. All this leaves an impression of—dare we say—low energy," Rove writes.
Many of Trump's strengths are still intact, like his huge and dedicated following. But, according to Rove, there's a downside to his strengths. "He’s well-known, sure, but also overexposed. His shtick is old, his speeches boring. More and more Republicans want to turn the page: Only 31% in the Dec. 11 USA Today/Suffolk University poll wanted him to run again."
Rove goes on to write that in 2016, Trump looked strong when he was attacking his opponents because he was the outsider going up against seasoned politicians. But now as a former president, when he attacks his opponents, he looks like he's "punching down."
"It was a mistake to launch assaults against two prospective opponents, Mr. DeSantis and former United Nations Ambassador Nikki Haley," Rove writes. "Objects of his scorn should ignore the gibes unless they see a great opportunity for political jiu jitsu. Mr. DeSantis pulled off a particularly effective take down when Mr. Trump attacked his Covid record, saying Floridians must approve of it since they re-elected him by a massive 19 points. The subtext: Donald Trump is a loser."
Ultimately, if Republicans want to win in 2024, "they must find a way around him."
Read the full op-ed over at the Wall Street Journal.
An Idaho Republican state lawmaker thinks today's children need to learn the value of good, honest work if they want to enjoy a hot meal during lunch.
As reported by The Daily Beast, Idaho State Rep. Ron Mendive this week pitched solving local schools' budget problems by putting students to work in exchange for food.
"If we could find a way for the students to work to earn credits for their school lunch, I don’t think we’d see any of the waste we do in that program because it doesn’t mean much," he said during a meeting on Tuesday.
Mendive did not elaborate on what kind of labor he wants school children to perform in exchange for basic nutrition, but The Daily Beast's report notes that Idaho does have laws against non-agricultural child labor that could throw a wrench into the Republican's plans to put the students to work.
The report goes on to document Mendive's other controversial stances, such as his promotion of ineffective COVID-19 treatment hydroxychloroquine, his belief that being a prostitute is just as much of a "choice" for women as getting an abortion, and his desire to strip school curriculums or any reference to climate change.
Rep. George Santos (R-NY) tried to fake not being able to speak Portuguese when confronted with Brazilian reporters' questions about his lawyer in that country serving time for a gang-related offense, reported The Daily Beast.
Jonymar Vasconcelos, whom Santos hired to represent him in a Brazilian fraud case dating back to 2008 in which Santos is accused of using a stolen checkbook, is "not affiliated with any law firm and does not list contact information online," reported Dan Ladden-Hall — making it unclear how Santos even met him or decided to use his legal services.
Vasconcelos "was sentenced to 18 years in prison in 2007 for his role in the fatal shooting of a mechanic three years earlier, São Paulo’s Folha newspaper reported Wednesday," said the report. "Vasconcelos, who was reportedly paid for the hit, went with three other men to the home of Aristeu Vieira de Mattos in the early hours of Dec. 3, 2004. Vasconcelos, who was in Brazil’s Navy at the time, remained on a motorcycle while the killing took place, the newspaper reports. In 2009 he was moved to house arrest and began studying law."
According to the report, when Folha reporters tried to ask Santos questions about Vasconcelos, "Santos replied that he doesn’t understand Portuguese — despite speaking Portuguese fluently in interviews — and then did not respond to questions sent in English."
Brazilian prosecutors reopened the fraud case against Santos, long dormant, after his election to Congress in New York, and subsequent national coverage of scandals about his fabricated personal life story, put him back in the spotlight.
In addition to the case in Brazil, Santos faces multiple investigations in the United States. The Nassau County District Attorney opened a probe into him in December. Meanwhile, the Justice Department asked the Federal Election Commission to refrain from any enforcement actions against Santos for his suspicious campaign finance statements — which experts have said is a sign federal prosecutors are pursuing their own criminal investigation of Santos. The FBI is also investigating Santos' "animal rescue charity" venture following reports he tried to scam $3,000 out of a GoFundMe intended for a homeless veteran's dog.