A candidate really can’t lose campaigning against Congress — even if he so happens to work there.
According to Gallup, just 7 percent of Americans say they have either “a great deal” or “quite a lot” of confidence in Congress, a historic low recorded by the polling firm. So it makes sense for Sen. Rand Paul to criticize his colleagues in the run-up to a likely run for the White House. “I can tell you without exaggeration that I’ve met the enemy, and the enemy is too often us,” he said in a Friday speech at the Faith & Freedom Coalition’s “Road to the Majority” conference, which attracts Christian-values voters to Washington.
Many of the speakers at the event spoke in populist terms — Rick Santorum called for a turn to “blue-collar conservatism,” Michele Bachmann anchored her fiery speech in Obama’s low poll numbers. But Paul’s anger was focused mainly on Congress. Here are some of his key lines:
Congress is responsible for “the bipartisan destruction of our currency,” he said.
“They pass 100-page bills no one has read,” he said. “No bill should ever pass that has not been read.”
“Congress routinely passes laws they exempt themselves from,” he said.
“Over time many politicians become distant and distanced from their constituents,” he said.
“It is the right time for term limits,” he said.
His speech was tight, lyrical even, and at one point echoed Lincoln. Paul said, “I don’t think a nation can long endure” with legalized abortion.
Paul isn’t an obvious choice for religious-values voters — Bachmann and Santorum have proven to be a lot more outspoken on religious issues. But he doesn’t shy away from the issues either. “No government should make anyone choose between their faith and their livelihood,” he said of the pending Hobby Lobby Supreme Court case.
If anything, Paul has proven himself able to pitch himself effectively to many ideological corners of the Republican Party — the libertarian leaning and the faith-based. And the kids love him. That, combined with a war against the unpopular establishment, could provide him with a strong base going forward.
What We're Following See More »
Newt Gringrich is actively positioning himself as a possible VP nominee for Donald Trump, according to National Review. After a New York Times piece mentioned him as a possible running mate, he said, "It is an honor to be mentioned. We need a new Contract with America to outline a 100-day plan to take back Washington from the lobbyists, bureaucrats, unions, and leftists. After helping in 1980 with Reagan and 1995 as speaker I know we have to move boldly and decisively before the election results wear off and the establishment starts fighting us. That is my focus." Meanwhile, Trump told CNN he'd be "interested in vetting" John Kasich as well.
"House Democrats are stepping up pressure on Republicans to advance legislation addressing Puerto Rico’s worsening debt crisis by issuing a report arguing that austerity cuts can’t be sustained and have made the island more vulnerable to the mosquito-borne Zika virus." Democrats on the House Natural Resources Committee released a report yesterday that argued "further sharp reductions in government spending can’t be a part of a legislative solution"—especially with a rainy season boosting the mosquito population and stressing an island health system already struggling to deal with the Zika virus.
"ISIS has the capability to stage a Paris-style attack in the U.S. using local cells to strike in multiple locations and inflict dozens of casualties, according to the Obama administration's top U.S. intelligence official." Director of National Intelligence James Clapper told CNN's Peter Bergen that such a scenario is "something we worry about a lot in the United States, that they could conjure up a raid like they did in Paris or Brussels."
"Donald J. Trump said on Wednesday that he expected to reveal his vice presidential pick sometime in July—before the Republican National Convention in Cleveland—but added that he would soon announce a committee to handle the selection process, which would include Dr. Ben Carson." He said he's inclined to name a traditional political figure, unlike himself.