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.
What We're Following See More »
"The Trump administration on Wednesday formally withdrew Obama administration rules granting transgender individuals access to the sex-segregated facilities of their choice, including bathrooms." In an official letter to the civil-rights divisions of the Justice and Education departments, the administration wrote that it prefers to let states set the course on the issue, and also that the Obama-era rules don't “contain extensive legal analysis or explain how the position is consistent with the express language of Title IX, nor did they undergo any formal public process.”
Congress will need to vote on Donald Trump's pick of Lt. General H.R. McMaster to be his next national security adviser, but not for the reason you think. The position of NSA doesn't require Senate approval, but since McMaster currently holds a three-star military position, Congress will need to vote to allow him to keep his position instead of forcing him to drop one star and become a Major General, which could potentially affect his pension.
"The Senate Intelligence Committee is seeking to ensure that records related to Russia’s alleged intervention in the 2016 U.S. elections are preserved as it begins investigating that country’s ties to the Trump team. The panel sent more than a dozen letters to 'organizations, agencies and officials' on Friday, asking them to preserve materials related to the congressional investigation, according to a Senate aide, who was not authorized to comment publicly. The Senate Intelligence Committee is spearheading the most comprehensive probe on Capitol Hill of Russia’s alleged activities in the elections."