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Mike Pence's Practice RNC Speech: Trump's 'A Good Man'

The American Conservative Union Foundation hosted an event at the Republican National Convention on Tuesday, featuring panel discussions on whether conservatives will support Trump and whether the “imperial Obama presidency” can be reversed. It also included a surprise keynote speech from Donald Trump’s vice presidential pick, Indiana Gov. Mike Pence.

Pence was introduced by NRA’s Chris Cox, who said that it is important for conservatives to win the culture war, because right now “everything that we’ve grown up knowing to be good, right and true has been twisted and perverted and repackaged to our kids as wrong.” Cox said the Second Amendment suffered a “devastating loss” with the death of Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia. “This is a critical time in American history,” he said. “It’s a critical time for constitutional freedoms.”

Pence’s appearance may have been a practice run of sorts for Wednesday night’s speech. He worked hard to convince attendees that they should feel good about supporting Trump, who Pence repeatedly called “this good man.”

Pence got applause with his first three words, “my fellow conservatives.” He described himself as “a Christian, a conservative and a Republican, in that order.” He gave a short political bio, taking about being inspired to run for office by Ronald Reagan, serving in Congress, and then returning to Indiana, where he has helped usher in the largest school voucher program in the country.

Pence bragged that his “strong Republican leadership” has achieved results in Indiana, “and that’s exactly the kind of strong Republican leadership Donald Trump will bring to the White House.”

Pence described Trump as a builder, a fighter, a father, and a patriot. He said after spending time with Trump, “I know that Donald Trump will be a great president of the United States of America because his heart beats with the heart of the American people.”

Pence compared Trump to Ronald Reagan, who he said “never lost the common touch.” He recalled a story about when, as a young congressional candidate, he met Reagan and said he was grateful for everything Reagan had done for the country. Reagan demurred, saying, “The American people decided to right the ship, and I was just the captain they decided to put on the bridge, and they did.”

Pence said he sees and hears in Donald Trump the same humility and unshakeable faith in the American people that he saw in Reagan.

Pence also had some direct words for those conservatives who have been resistant to Trump’s charms:

So the time has come for us to come together. The primaries are over. It was a big stage up there, with a lot of extraordinarily talented men and women. I say to my fellow conservatives today, it’s time for us to come together, time for us to come together around this good man and reelecting Republican majorities in the House and the Senate, because this is no ordinary time in the life of our nation…

We must decide here and now that Hillary Clinton will never become president of the United States of America…for the sake of a Supreme Court that will uphold the sanctity of life, our Second Amendment and our God-given liberties, we must elect Donald Trump as the 45th president of the United States of America.

 

Right Wing Round-Up - 7/20/16

Right Wing Bonus Tracks - 7/20/16

  • Christian Broadcasting Network reporter David Brody hails Donald Trump Jr. as “the GOP JFK Jr.”
  • Pat Buchanan is thrilled that Donald Trump has dispensed with the “Bush idea of remaking America into a more ethnically, culturally, diverse nation through mass immigration, rooted in an egalitarian ideology.” 
  • Joseph Farah says if “black lives matter – and they surely do – the logical, rational, historical and practical course of action in 2016 is to vote Republican.”
  • Phyllis Schlafly bravely declares that America is “the ‘land of the free and home of the brave.’ We don’t need to adopt Muslim policies.”

Ralph Reed Makes The Case For Donald Trump

One theme of this year’s Republican National Convention is the Religious Right getting fully on board the Trump Train. Even before he vanquished Ted Cruz, his final primary opponent, Trump has been aggressively courting the Religious Right, and he has recently sought to shore up support from the movement leaders who backed Cruz and other candidates.

Yes, Trump is a habitual liar whose Bible-waving and political use of religious is transparently cynical, but that isn’t stopping Religious Right leaders from rallying around him. And why not? He allowed the Religious Right to write anti-gay discrimination into the GOP's platform. His promise to fill the Supreme Court with right-wing justices gives them hope that marriage equality in the U.S. will be short-lived. And he is even promising to overturn the federal law that forbids churches, like other tax-exempt nonprofits, from engaging in direct electoral politics, and to sign legislation defunding Planned Parenthood.

In Cleveland this week for the RNC, Religious Right political operative Ralph Reed spoke with Doug Wright, “Utah’s most listened to talk show host.” Polls show that many of Utah’s Mormon voters are resisting the call to unite behind Trump.

When asked why so many evangelicals are supporting Trump in spite of his “interesting” background, his use of “vulgarities,” and other things that might concern a conservative Christian, Reed said, “You’re not electing a pastor-in-chief, you’re electing a commander-in-chief.”

Reed reminded Wright that evangelicals backed Mitt Romney in the 2012 general election even though they had a different approach to faith, and even though Romney had previously held pro-choice and pro-gay views, something for which some conservatives have criticized Trump. “I thought we were members of a faith where we were supposed to welcome converts,” said Reed.

In fact, said Reed, he thinks Trump “has the potential to be the greatest advocate for our values, and do the most to advance that agenda, precisely because he doesn’t necessarily come from where we come from.” In other words, because people don’t view Trump as a Religious Right activist, they might be more receptive to his call for ending the ban on church politicking.

Here’s Reed’s basic case for Trump, starting with the fact that “he is a professing Christian.”

More importantly…he shares our values. He’s pro-life. He’s pro-traditional marriage, which is very important to us…He’s pro-religious freedom. He supported the Hobby Lobby Decision, supports Little Sisters of the Poor, has placed in the platform, at his insistence, at this convention, for the first time in the history of the Republican Party, a call for the repeal of the Johnson Amendment to the internal revenue code, which threatens churches that speak out politically with the loss of their tax-exempt status. That has been used to harass and persecute the Christian community for over half a century. Donald Trump will end it.

RNC Turns Into Salem Witch Hunt Complete With A Show Trial & Satanism Accusations

For eight years, Republicans have tried to delegitimize Barack Obama’s presidency, falsely claiming that Obama was born abroad and therefore ineligible to be president and that he only won two consecutive elections thanks to massive vote fraud.

This concerted disinformation campaign worked: Polls have shown that most Republican voters believe that the now defunct liberal group ACORN stole both elections for Obama and that the president was born outside of the U.S.

Donald Trump, now the GOP’s nominee for president, helped push these myths that paint the president as an illegal usurper who should have never been allowed to take office, while congressional Republicans have refused to treat Obama as a legitimate president.

Now, the GOP is determined to delegitimize a potential Hillary Clinton presidency, declaring that she would be serving time in jail if it weren't for a grand conspiracy between her campaign, the FBI and the Justice Department.

At last night’s meeting of the Republican National Convention, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie whipped the crowd into a frenzy as the audience repeatedly declared Clinton “guilty” of numerous crimes — including acting as “an apologist for an Al Qaeda affiliate” and negotiating “the worst nuclear arms deal in American history” — and shouted “Lock her up!”

Christie’s speech resembled a show trial more than a typical political address, promoting the message that has been propagated by Trump himself that Clinton should be in prison rather than running for president.

Ben Carson, who spoke later that evening, was more than happy to see that Christie transported Quicken Loans Arena to colonial Salem. The former presidential candidate once again attempted to connect Clinton to devil-worship because of her ties to the late activist and right-wing bogeyman Saul Alinsky:

One of the things that I have learned about Hillary Clinton is that one of her heroes, her mentors, was Saul Alinsky. Her senior thesis was about Saul Alinsky. This was someone that she greatly admired and that affected all of her philosophies subsequently. Now, interestingly enough, let me tell you something about Saul Alinsky. He wrote a book called “Rules For Radicals”.

On the dedication page, it acknowledges Lucifer, the original radical who gained his own kingdom. Now think about that. This is a nation where our founding document, the Declaration of Independence, talks about certain inalienable rights that come from our creator. This is a nation where our Pledge of Allegiance says we are “one nation, under God”. This is a nation where every coin in our pocket and every bill in our wallet says “In God We Trust”. So are we willing to elect someone as president who has as their role model somebody who acknowledges Lucifer? Think about that.

The secular progressive agenda is antithetical to the principles of the founding of this nation. If we continue to allow them to take God out of our lives, God will remove himself from us, we will not be blessed and our nation will go down the tubes and we will be responsible for that. We don’t want that to happen.

Clinton did in fact meet and exchange letters with Alinsky as a college student and even wrote a dissertation about his political ideas. But as the New York Times points out, while Clinton “endorsed Mr. Alinsky’s central critique of government antipoverty programs — that they tended to be too top-down and removed from the wishes of individuals,” she wanted to seek “change within the system” rather than through the outside agitation tactics championed by Alinsky.

And the relationship wasn’t exactly a secret: Clinton wrote about her time — and disagreements — with Alinsky in “Living History.”

On top of all of that, Alinsky’s ode to Lucifer was obviously not a call for Satanism but rather a figurative flourish, not that such a defense would stand up in a witch hunt.

As author Salman Rushdie noted, we shouldn’t “expect Ben Carson to recognize irony or humor.”

Trump's Campaign Finally Admits That Melania's Speech Was Plagiarized

Since Monday night, the Trump campaign has been vociferously denying the very obvious fact that a section of Melania Trump’s speech to the Republican National Convention was plagiarized from a speech Michelle Obama delivered at the 2008 Democratic convention.

Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort said that he didn’t hear any plagiarism and insisted that Melania only used “fragments of words similar to Obama's, while Trump spokeswoman Katrina Pierson seemed to raise doubts about the very concept of plagiarism entirely, claiming that those who observed plagiarism in Melania's speech must think that “Michelle Obama invented the English language.”

RNC strategist Sean Spicer, for his part, said that there was just as good a chance that Melania Trump's words came from the My Little Pony character Twilight Sparkle than from the First Lady.

None of this is surprising, as Donald Trump himself often doubles down on outright lies even after they have been thoroughly debunked.

But what is surprising is that the campaign eventually released a statement today from a speechwriter admitting that she plagiarized from Michelle Obama, albeit inadvertently. (Never mind that Melania had previously said that she “ wrote [the speech] with as little help as possible.)

We wonder if Manafort will continue to insist that the plagiarism was a creation of the Clinton campaign.

Pat Robertson: Donald Trump Is 'Professing His Faith' And Courting Religious Right Support

Today on “The 700 Club,” Pat Robertson congratulated Donald Trump, who has repeatedly courted the televangelist's support, for officially securing the GOP nomination for president, claiming that Trump is “professing his faith” on the campaign trail.

Robertson said that Trump “understands that the evangelicals are crucial to winning this election,” which is why he has pledged to only appoint solidly conservative judges to the bench and push the Religious Right's political agenda.

“Trump is willing to say, ‘Okay, you back me on this and I’m going to back you on your issues,’ and I believe him,” Robertson said. “He looks after his friends.”

The televangelist added that the Supreme Court is “at stake” in the election, along with “all the legislation having to do with all the sexual activity of the United States people, same-sex marriage and all that stuff, plus abortion, that’s on the table. If you’re interested in guns and the Second Amendment, that’s going to be on the table without question. You can go right down the list of key issues that are going to be decided by the Supreme Court and we’re looking at at least two to maybe three vacancies on the court for the next president.”

Religious Right Group: GOP Platform 'Looks Like Something That Was Written By Us'

Paul Weber, the president and CEO of the Family Policy Alliance, the political wing of Focus on the Family, praised the Republican Party's new ultra-conservative platform yesterday, saying that the platform "looks like something that was written by us and placed on our own website."

In an interview posted on the organization's website, Weber specifically praised the platform's calls for overturning Roe v. Wade and Obergefell v. Hodges.

Weber also indirectly addressed the concerns of some conservative Christians in voting for Donald Trump, advising viewers to "compare the candidates" and telling them that they "have to vote."

"Seek the welfare of the state," he said. "We have two candidates. You have to choose the best of the two."

Frank Gaffney: Obama May Have To 'Preemptively' Pardon Hillary Clinton

One person who was convinced by New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie's make-believe one-man prosecution and conviction of Hillary Clinton at the Republican National Convention last night was Frank Gaffney, who declared on his "Secure Freedom Minute" broadcast today that the only way out for Clinton now is to seek a preemptive pardon from President Obama for crimes that she has not even been charged with but for which she will eventually be "tried and convicted in the court of public opinion."

Interestingly, Gaffney once accused Christie of "misprision of treason" for appointing a Muslim-American judge to the bench.

It's now just a question of time. Specifically, when when will President Obama pardon Hillary Clinton? That question was the inevitable takeaway from New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie's powerful indictment, literally, of the former secretary of state in his address to the GOP convention last night.

The one-time federal prosecutor methodically laid out the litany of lies, malfeasant and other criminal activities with which Mrs. Clinton could and should be charged. The crowd found her guilty again and again. Naturally, the most politicized Justice Department ever won't prosecute the incipient Democratic presidential nominee but Gov. Christie showed how, all other things being equal, Hillary Clinton will be tried and convicted in the court of public opinion.

The only possible way out is for President Obama to pardon her preemptively and soon. It may not change the ultimate verdict but it would commute Hillary's sentence.
 

Mitch McConnell: Donald Trump Must Have The Honor Of Filling The Supreme Court Vacancy

For months, Republicans have said that they are refusing to consider anyone President Obama nominates to fill the vacancy on the Supreme Court because they are simply following a (nonexistent) Senate tradition of blocking Supreme Court nominees in the final year of a president’s term.

But yesterday, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell revealed the obvious: Republicans just want to hold the seat open to be filled by Donald Trump.

“On that sad day when we lost Justice Scalia, I made another pledge that Obama would not fill this seat,” McConnell said in a speech to the Republican National Convention. “That honor would go to Donald Trump next year.”

Trump, for his part, has pledged to pick anti-choice justices from lists compiled by right-wing groups like the Heritage Foundation and the Federalist Society.