Republicans aren’t only worried about what might come out of Paul Broun’s mouth. Here are others who have party strategists worried.
Ken Buck: “You can choose who your partner is. I think birth has an influence over [homosexuality], like alcoholism and some other things, but I think that basically you have a choice.” Senate debate in 2010
Any list of disastrous Republican Senate candidates since 2010 always includes Christine O’Donnell, Sharron Angle, and Todd Akin, but Buck should be on it, too. The 2010 GOP nominee in Colorado cost the party a winnable seat by running a gaffe-prone campaign that let Sen. Michael Bennet squeak out a victory. No misstep was more prominent than the one when, during a nationally televised debate on Meet the Press, he called being gay a choice and compared it to alcoholism. The sharp-edged social conservatism doesn’t play well in increasingly liberal Colorado.
Mark Harris: “There is not the medical evidence that an individual that chooses the homosexual lifestyle is born that way. That is a choice.” Interview on Speak Out Charlotte in July 2013
Harris would be a newcomer to office, but not to politics. The Baptist pastor last year led the movement in North Carolina to adopt a constitutional amendment banning gay marriage, a measure that passed overwhelmingly. But a renewed debate over same-sex marriage is the last thing national Republicans want, especially as public support for it swells. Harris would dash those plans, and his unapologetic evangelicalism will make him prone to other rhetorical mistakes.
Joe Miller: “Ultimately, we’ve got to transition out of the Social Security arrangement and go into more of a privatization.” Interview with ABC News in July 2010
The best thing many Republicans say about Joe Miller is that they don’t think he can win. The 2010 GOP nominee already suffered one embarrassing defeat three years ago, when Sen. Lisa Murkowski ran a write-in campaign to defeat him in the general election. Now in a three-person primary race, GOP operatives hope rank-and-file voters remember him as the man who has vowed to ultimately rid the country of Social Security. Not to mention the man whose campaign once put a reporter in handcuffs.
Phil Gingrey: “[Akin] went on and said that in a situation of rape, of a legitimate rape, a woman’s body has a way of shutting down so the pregnancy would not occur. He’s partly right on that.” According to the Marietta Daily Journal in January 2013
He’s not Paul Broun, but he’s close. The 71-year-old House member has a voting record every bit as extreme as his colleague’s, and his rhetoric is nearly as controversial. Gingrey made headlines early this year when he defended Akin’s infamous suggestion that a woman can stop herself from becoming pregnant after a rape. Republicans will have a better shot at defeating Michelle Nunn if he, not Broun, is the nominee, but just barely. Democrats are confident they will win if they face either one.
Bob Vander Plaats: “If we’re teaching the kids, ‘Don’t smoke, because that’s a risky health style,’ the same can be true of the homosexual lifestyle. That’s why I think we need to speak the truth once in a while.” Interview with ThinkProgress in April 2011
Everyone who follows Iowa politics knows Bob Vander Plaats. And everyone who knows Bob Vander Plaats knows the outspoken social conservative loves to court controversy. His suggestion that homosexuality is a public-health risk is his best-known gaffe, but it’s hardly the only comment that would haunt him in a general election. The group he runs, the Family Leader, suggested during the last presidential campaign that black men and women were better off during slavery because at least then they lived in a two-parent household. Even many Republicans find him off-putting: In 2010, he lost the party’s gubernatorial fight to Terry Branstad.
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Trump, in a statement: “Based on the fact that the Democratic nominating process is totally rigged and Crooked Hillary Clinton and Deborah Wasserman Schultz will not allow Bernie Sanders to win, and now that I am the presumptive Republican nominee, it seems inappropriate that I would debate the second place finisher. ... I will wait to debate the first place finisher in the Democratic Party, probably Crooked Hillary Clinton, or whoever it may be.”
"It's about time for unity," said UAW President Dennis Williams. "We're endorsing Hillary Clinton. She's gotten 3 million more votes than Bernie, a million more votes than Donald Trump. She's our nominee." He called Sanders "a great friend of the UAW" while saying Trump "does not support the economic security of UAW families." Some 28 percent of UAW members indicated their support for Trump in an internal survey.
"Donald Trump on Thursday reached the number of delegates needed to clinch the Republican nomination for president, completing an unlikely rise that has upended the political landscape and sets the stage for a bitter fall campaign. Trump was put over the top in the Associated Press delegate count by a small number of the party's unbound delegates who told the AP they would support him at the convention."
"Clinton and Bernie Sanders "are now devoting additional money to television advertising. A day after Sanders announced a new ad buy of less than $2 million in the state, Clinton announced her own television campaign. Ads featuring actor Morgan Freeman as well as labor leader and civil rights activist Dolores Huerta will air beginning on Fridayin Fresno, Sacramento, and Los Angeles media markets. Some ads will also target Latino voters and Asian American voters. The total value of the buy is about six figures according to the Clinton campaign." Meanwhile, a new poll shows Sanders within the margin of error, trailing Clinton 44%-46%.