Spotlight

The Empire Strikes Back

Taking a gander: Amash
©2013 Richard A. Bloom
Josh Kraushaar
Oct. 4, 2013, 7:40 a.m.

In re­cent elec­tions, primary chal­lengers against GOP in­cum­bents have come al­most ex­clus­ively from the right. But in the House, we’re see­ing signs of an es­tab­lish­ment back­lash, chal­len­ging tea party and icon­o­clast­ic mem­bers from the middle.

— The cen­ter of the op­pos­i­tion is in the sub­urbs of Michigan, where the busi­ness com­munity has been dis­sat­is­fied with Rep. Justin Amash, a Ron Paul aco­lyte, and Rep. Kerry Bentivolio, a part-time reindeer ranch­er who bumbled in­to a House seat. Bentivolio already faces a primary chal­lenge from at­tor­ney Dav­id Trott. Busi­ness­man Bri­an El­lis is ex­pec­ted to run against Amash. And former Bush aide Taylor Griffin just an­nounced a cam­paign against anti-war North Car­o­lina Rep. Wal­ter Jones.

There are signs these chal­lengers will be cred­ible. Trott re­por­ted rais­ing more money in the third quarter than Bentivolio did in the first half of the year. Amash rep­res­ents an urb­an Grand Rap­ids dis­trict where the busi­ness com­munity holds more sway than the tea party. Jones has beaten back primary chal­lenges be­fore, but Griffin should run a bet­ter-or­gan­ized cam­paign than his pre­de­cessors.

— While the GOP’s in­tern­al di­vi­sions over Obama­care tac­tics could spark more tea party primary chal­lenges, they haven’t emerged yet. The Club for Growth has only en­dorsed one chal­lenger, Bry­an Smith, run­ning against Idaho Rep. Mike Simpson. (Oth­er in­cum­bents to watch: Reps. Bill Shuster, Frank Lu­cas and Ren­ee Ellmers.) That’s a test­a­ment to con­ser­vat­ive suc­cess in shap­ing the GOP caucus, but there aren’t many battles left to be won.

There’s long been a di­vide between the GOP’s busi­ness wing and pop­u­list fac­tions, with the former usu­ally win­ning out. But with the busi­ness wing los­ing sway, they’re show­ing signs of emu­lat­ing the tac­tics of the feisty op­pos­i­tion.

What We're Following See More »
AN ENGLISHMAN IN MISSISSIPPI
Nigel Farage: Trump Can Beat Polls
55 minutes ago
THE LATEST

Nigel Farage, who led the Brexit effort in the United Kingdom, appeared at a Trump rally in Mississippi yesterday. Farage told the 15,000-strong crowd: "Remember, anything is possible if enough decent people are prepared to stand up against the establishment."

Source:
MOB RULE?
Trump on Immigration: ‘I Don’t Know, You Tell Me’
1 hours ago
THE LATEST

Perhaps Donald Trump can take a plebiscite to solve this whole messy immigration thing. At a Fox News town hall with Sean Hannity last night, Trump essentially admitted he's "stumped," turning to the audience and asking: “Can we go through a process or do you think they have to get out? Tell me, I mean, I don’t know, you tell me.”

Source:
BIG CHANGE FROM WHEN HE SELF-FINANCED
Trump Enriching His Businesses with Donor Money
1 days ago
WHY WE CARE

Donald Trump "nearly quintupled the monthly rent his presidential campaign pays for its headquarters at Trump Tower to $169,758 in July, when he was raising funds from donors, compared with March, when he was self-funding his campaign." A campaign spokesman "said the increased office space was needed to accommodate an anticipated increase in employees," but the campaign's paid staff has actually dipped by about 25 since March. The campaign has also paid his golf courses and restaurants about $260,000 since mid-May.

Source:
QUESTIONS OVER IMMIGRATION POLICY
Trump Cancels Rallies
2 days ago
THE LATEST

Donald Trump probably isn't taking seriously John Oliver's suggestion that he quit the race. But he has canceled or rescheduled rallies amid questions over his stance on immigration. Trump rescheduled a speech on the topic that he was set to give later this week. Plus, he's also nixed planned rallies in Oregon and Las Vegas this month.

Source:
‘STRATEGY AND MESSAGING’
Sean Hannity Is Also Advising Trump
2 days ago
THE LATEST

Donald Trump's Fox News brain trust keeps growing. After it was revealed that former Fox chief Roger Ailes is informally advising Trump on debate preparation, host Sean Hannity admitted over the weekend that he's also advising Trump on "strategy and messaging." He told the New York Times: “I’m not hiding the fact that I want Donald Trump to be the next president of the United States. I never claimed to be a journalist.”

Source:
×