Meet the New Republican Flamethrowers

These are the conservative voices that make the GOP mainstream cringe.

(From L to R, Chris Schneider/Getty Images, John Moore/Getty Images, Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images, Justin Sullivan/Getty Images and REUTERS/John Adkisson)
National Journal
Alex Roarty
Add to Briefcase
See more stories about...
Alex Roarty
Nov. 18, 2013, 4:50 a.m.

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 »
HE WAS 89
Former Rep. Bill Goodling Dies
3 minutes ago
THE DETAILS

Former Rep. Bill Goodling (R-PA), who served 26 years in the House representing York County, PA, died Sunday at age 89. Goodling, who succeeded his father George Goodling in 1975, "faced few serious opponents over the years, winning 13 consecutive terms. He retired in 2001." He also served as chair of the House Education and Labor Committee from 1995-2001.

Source:
AGENCY RESOURCES HAVE BEEN STRETCHED
Don Jr. and Conway Give Up Secret Service Protection
48 minutes ago
WHY WE CARE

"Donald Trump Jr., his wife Vanessa Trump, and Kellyanne Conway are dropping Secret Service protection, Fox News has confirmed. The move to get rid of round-the-clock protection came after Trump Jr. wished to have more privacy. Other family members of the president will remain under Secret Service protection." Conway dropped the protection after the threat level against her dropped from earlier in the administration.

Source:
OVER BREXIT
UK Foreign Sec. Johnson Threatens to Resign
55 minutes ago
THE LATEST

British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson "will resign as Foreign Secretary before the weekend if Theresa May veers towards a 'Swiss-style' arrangement with the EU in her Brexit speech in Florence, The Telegraph understands." He "believes he will have no option but to walk out of the Cabinet if the Prime Minister advocates permanently paying for access to the single market."

Source:
BUDGET TO COME FIRST
Trillion-Dollar Tax Cut in the Offing for Senate GOP
1 hours ago
THE DETAILS

"Senate Republicans are considering writing a budget that would allow for up to $1.5 trillion in tax cuts over the next decade. ... A budget that creates fiscal room for a $1.5 trillion tax cut, if adopted, would then be followed by a tax bill that would specify rate cuts and other policy changes that don’t exceed that figure. Calling for a tax cut in the budget would let Republicans lower tax rates while making fewer tough decisions on what tax breaks to eliminate to help pay for the cuts."

Source:
89-8 VOTE ON MONDAY
Senate Votes to Boost Defense Spending by $700 Billion
1 hours ago
THE DETAILS

"The Senate has overwhelmingly approved a sweeping defense policy bill that would pump $700 billion into the military, putting the U.S. armed forces on track for a budget greater than at any time during the decade-plus wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Senators passed the legislation by an 89-8 vote Monday."

Source:
×
×

Welcome to National Journal!

You are currently accessing National Journal from IP access. Please login to access this feature. If you have any questions, please contact your Dedicated Advisor.

Login