Ted Cruz

Hispanic Alliance for Progress Institute

The Hispanic Alliance for Progress Institute (HAPI) claims to be a grassroots organization but its Board of Advisors and Policy Board are made up of high-level Republican political operatives with deep ties to various Republican administrations. As part of the "National Coalition To End Judicial Filibusters," HAPI— in conjunction with the Committee for Justice, Grover Norquist's Americans for Tax Reform, James Dobson's Focus on the Family, the Family Research Council, and others— supported the use of the so-called "nuclear option" to eliminate Senator's ability to filibuster against President George W. Bush's right-wing judicial nominees.

Federalist Society for Law and Public Policy Studies

Established: 1982 by a group of right-wing law students President/Executive Director: Eugene Meyer
Board of Directors: National Co-Chairmen Prof. Steven Calabresi and David M. MacIntosh, Directors Prof. Gary Lawson, and Eugene B. Meyer, Hon. T. Kenneth Cribb (President of Collegiate Network), and Mr. Brent O. Hatch, treasurer.
Membership: The FS Lawyers Division has 25,000 legal professionals; Student Division has more than 5,000 law students at 145 law schools; 60 metropolitan lawyers' chapters; 15 nationwide practice groups; and a new Faculty Division with unpublished membership numbers.
Finances: $5,450,536 (total revenue for 2004)
Grants: Since 1985, The Federalist Society has received over $12 million in grants from conservative foundations, such as the Earhart, Bradley, Simon, and Olin Foundations, as well as the Carthage, Koch, and Scaife Foundations.
Publications: Several e-mail newsletters on different topics, a quarterly law journal, a "Conservative and Libertarian Pre-Law Reading List," and various reports on legal issues.

Read the latest news on the Federalist Society on the group's Right Wing Watch index page

Principal Issues

  • The Federalist Society hopes to transform the American legal system by developing and promoting far-right positions and influencing who will become judges, top government officials, and decision-makers. FS is "dedicated to reforming the current legal order."
  • The Federalist Society is a well established network of right-wing lawyers, politicians, pundits, and judges.
    Many members of the Federalist Society advocate a rollback of civil rights measures, reproductive choice, labor and employment regulations, and environmental protections.
    In Federalist Society's guide to forming and running a chapter of the society, FS says it "creates an informal network of people with shared views which can provide assistance in job placement."
  • The Federalist Society has 15 different "practice groups" that focus on particular legal issues, such as civil rights and labor and employment law.
  • Read PFAW Foundation's detailed report, The Federalist Society: From Obscurity to Power [PDF file].

Federalist Society Members in the Bush Administration [partial list]

  • Former Attorney General John Ashcroft
  • Former Secretary of the Department of Energy Spencer Abraham
  • Secretary of the Department of Interior Gale Norton
  • Former Solicitor of Labor Eugene Scalia (Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia's son)
  • Former General Counsel of the Department of Education Brian Jones
  • Former Deputy Attorney General Larry Thompson
  • Former Solicitor General Ted Olson
  • Former Assistant Attorney General for Legal Policy Viet Dinh
  • Inspector General of Department of Defense Joseph E. Schmitz
  • Former Asst. Attorney General for Environment and Natural Resources Thomas L. Sansonetti
  • Former Principal Deputy Solicitor General Paul Clement [Currently Solicitor General]
  • Former Associate Deputy Attorney General and former Director of the Federal Trade Commission's Office of Policy Planning R. Ted Cruz
  • Former Director of National Institute of Justice Sarah V. Hart
  • Former Associate White House Counsel Bradford Berenson
  • Former Associate White House Counsel Noel Francisco

Federal Judicial Nominees

  • Samuel Alito, confirmed to the U.S. Supreme Court
  • John Roberts, confirmed to the U.S. Supreme Court
  • Janice Rogers Brown, confirmed to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the DC Circuit
  • Miguel Estrada, nominated to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the DC Circuit [withdrawn]
  • Brett Kavanaugh, confirmed to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the DC Circuit
  • D. Brooks Smith, confirmed to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit
  • Michael Chertoff, confirmed to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit, currently Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security
  • William Haynes, nominated to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit
  • Edith Brown Clement, confirmed to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit
  • Priscilla R. Owen, confirmed to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit
  • Henry Saad, nominated to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit [withdrawn]
  • Susan Neilson, confirmed to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit
  • Deborah Cook, confirmed to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit
  • Jeffrey Sutton, confirmed to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit
  • David W. McKeague, confirmed to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit
  • Diane Sykes, confirmed to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit
  • Steven Collonton, confirmed to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit
  • Raymond Gruender, confirmed to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit
  • Carlos Bea, confirmed to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit
  • Carolyn B. Kuhl, nominated to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit [withdrawn]
  • Jay Bybee, confirmed to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit
  • Harris L. Hartz, confirmed to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit
  • Michael McConnell, confirmed to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit
  • Timothy M. Tymkovich, confirmed to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit
  • William Pryor, confirmed to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit
  • Thomas B. Griffith, confirmed to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the DC Circuit

Other High-Profile Federalist Society Members [partial list]

  • Justice Antonin Scalia, U.S. Supreme Court
  • Senator Orrin Hatch (R-Utah)
  • Kenneth Starr, former White House Independent Counsel whose investigation led to President Clinton's impeachment
  • Judge Robert Bork, failed Supreme Court nominee
  • Linda Chavez, President of the Center for Equal Opportunity
  • Charles Murray, controversial author who asserted that some races are inherently less intelligent than others
  • Don Hodel, former Christian Coalition president
  • Michigan Governor John Engler
  • Justice Maura Corrigan, Michican Supreme Court Chief Justice (4 other justices on the state supreme court are also members of the FS)
  • Former Attorney General Don Stenberg, Nebraska
  • Former Attorney General Alan Lance, Idaho

Updated: May 2006

Right Wing Round-Up - 6/17/16

  • Simon Maloy @ Salon: Ted Cruz’s awful terrorism speech: The 2016 drop-out has some terrible opinions about fighting extremism. 
  • Carl Schreck @ RFE/RL: 'Shame They Didn't Croak': Russian 'Young Leader' Outrages With Homophobic Rant After Orlando Massacre.

Glenn Beck Conveniently Forgets To Mention That Ted Cruz Cozied Up To 'Kill The Gays' Preacher

Glenn Beck kicked off his radio program today by calling on Christians to denounce Pastor Roger Jimenez, who gained notoriety this week by preaching that the real tragedy of the Orlando massacre was that more gay people weren't killed.

Beck said that this pastor is preaching "evil" and that Christians cannot remain silent about it and must repudiate such views:

During the course of the discussion, Beck mentioned that there was conference last year, possibly in Ohio, put on by some pastor who also called for gay people to be put to death at which several of the Republican presidential hopefuls spoke.

Beck was oddly vague and unsure of the exact details surrounding this conference, which is convenient considering that the man Beck believed to be God's chosen candidate, Ted Cruz, was among the featured speakers at that conference:

Beck is undoubtedly aware that Cruz spoke at Kevin Swanson's National Religious Liberties Conference in Iowa last fall, considering that Beck's daughter asked Cruz about it directly and Cruz lied to her face.

But when Beck brought up the issue today, he never once mentioned that Cruz was in attendance and falsely claimed that Swanson made his comments about putting gay people to death before any of the GOP candidates arrived, so there was no way for them to know about his views or what he said from the stage before they spoke.

Cruz, of course, was directly confronted by CNN's Jake Tapper on national television about appearing with Swanson the day before he attended his conference. Cruz dismissed any concerns and continued to do so for weeks afterwards. Then, at the conference itself, Swanson repeated his view about the death penalty for gay people both before and after he interviewed Cruz from the event's stage.

It's easy to see why Beck might be so conveniently confused about the details of this event, given that it must be hard to for him to square his image of Cruz as America's divinely anointed savior with the reality that Cruz was more than willing to appear onstage with Swanson, despite his repeated proclamations that gay people should be put to death by the government, for the sake of helping his campaign during the Iowa Republican caucus.

Ted Cruz, Who Attended Event Calling For Gays To Be Put To Death, Delivers Characteristically Smug Response To Orlando Attack

Seemingly attempting to outdo Donald Trump in trying to come up with the most cynical and thoughtless responses to the massacre in Orlando, Ted Cruz released a statement yesterday condemning liberals for what he claims is insufficient condemnation of anti-LGBT violence perpetrated by groups like ISIS and the Iranian government:

For all the Democrats who are loud champions of the gay and lesbian community whenever there is a culture battle waging, now is the opportunity to speak out against an ideology that calls for the murder of gays and lesbians. ISIS and the theocracy in Iran (supported with American taxpayer dollars) regularly murder homosexuals, throwing them from buildings and burying them under rocks. This is wrong, it is evil, and we must all stand against it. Every human being has a right to live according to his or her faith and conscience, and nobody has a right to murder someone who doesn’t share their faith or sexual orientation. If you’re a Democratic politician and you really want to stand for LGBT, show real courage and stand up against the vicious ideology that has targeted our fellow Americans for murder.

Aside from ignoring the ongoing efforts to battle ISIS terrorists and making false claims about U.S. tax money going to Iran, Cruz said that liberals are too cowardly to condemn those who call “for the murder of gays and lesbians,” absurdly suggesting that U.S. leaders haven’t already condemned terrorist atrocities and ISIS’s ideology.

We wonder why Cruz himself didn’t display such heroism when he spoke at a conference late last year where the main speaker, Kevin Swanson, a longtime and notorious advocate of the government instituting the death penalty for gay people, said repeatedly on stage that the Bible calls for gays and lesbians to be put to death and argued that America should introduce capital punishment against unrepentant homosexuals once society is moved in that direction.

That conference was also attended by Cruz’s father and his then-rivals in the GOP presidential race Mike Huckabee and Bobby Jindal.

The summit, called the National Religious Liberties Conference, even distributed literature calling for the death penalty for gay people and others, mentioning stoning and throwing people off cliffs as possible forms of executions.

And yet Ted Cruz now has the gall to lecture liberals about the importance of showing “real courage" in the face of those who want to put gays to death.

Update: Cruz also once compared LGBT rights advocates to jihadists.

The Unimpressive Result Of Bill Kristol’s Valiant, Desperate Effort To Stop Trump

Desperation can lead people to do desperate things. Bill Kristol has been pleading for major Republicans like Mitt Romney to enter the presidential race as an independent to give conservatives an alternative to the unserious, unbelievable, unpredictable huckster at the top of the ticket. Over the weekend Kristol tweeted, “There will be an independent candidate — an impressive one, with a strong team and a real chance.”

The prospect was titillating to political junkies, but the reality has been far less so. Turns out, according to some news reports, that all the political figures Kristol approached turned him down, leaving him with David French, a far-right lawyer and pundit with no experience in public office and near-zero name recognition outside the sphere of conservative media.

As MSNBC’s Steve Benen has noted, one of Kristol’s needs was to find “someone who could appeal to #NeverTrump neoconservatives and #NeverTrump evangelicals, simultaneously.” French certainly fits that bill.

Now a staff writer at National Review, French has worked for two of the Religious Right’s major legal groups, the Alliance Defending Freedom and the American Center for Law and Justice. Working for ACLJ and ADF certainly gives French the anti-LGBT cred he needs to win support from the Religious Right. He has argued that it was wrong for society to destigmatize homosexuality. He has declared that “when you’re talking about the conversion of marriage from a God-given and God-created institution into a contract between consenting adults, the victim is our culture.”

French has also argued that government anti-poverty programs have been harmful because they reduce poor people’s dependence on churches. He said that “in many circumstances, particularly in this country, poverty is the result of an awful lot of bad choices.” Here’s more:

A lot of our poverty is the result of behaviors that often require heart-level repentance to change. Medicare, Medicaid, and food stamps are not going to get you to turn away from behaviors that are destroying your life, but the Gospel will.

It’s a problem, he said, that government assistance prevents poor people from having to seek help from the church, which could also provide them with “the much more important spiritual sustenance.”

In a troubling sign for Kristol’s effort to find a candidate with a commitment to reality, French has appeared repeatedly on David Barton’s WallBuilders show. Barton is the self-styled historian whose popularity among Religious Right leaders seems impervious to evidence that he has repeatedly misrepresented American history, other issues, and apparently even his own life. His Christian publisher withdrew his book about Thomas Jefferson after Christian historians were among those who challenged its accuracy. But French praised Barton in 2012 for “bringing truth about America’s heritage into the public square.”

French also has the neo-cons covered. He’s an unrepentant supporter of the 2003 invasion of Iraq and a defender of Islamophobia-promoting hardliners like Robert Spencer and David Horowitz.

Romney has made some initial supportive comments about French, who just last week was urging Romney to run again, saying, “You’re the only man who can save us from future calamity.” French had “worked tirelessly” for Romney in 2008 and 2012; he and his wife even launched Evangelicals for Mitt. French, then at ACLJ, praised Romney’s selection of Paul Ryan, “a man completely committed to the cause of life,” for his running mate.

French has been sharply critical of conservative supporters of Trump, saying that “their much-vaunted conservatism” has been revealed to be “a mere means to an end.” Added French, “Virtually every character defect or ideological blind spot they condemned in others, they overlooked or even justified in Trump.”

Back in 2012, French had similarly strong opinions about Newt Gingrich and the conservatives who were backing him. In fact, French could repurpose those words for Trump with little if any alternation necessary:

If character counts, then so do values like fidelity, honesty, humility and charity. Sadly, Gingrich fails on all these counts ... Churchgoing evangelicals have one of the lowest divorce rates in the country. Gingrich is a thrice-married, serial admitted adulterer.

While the former House speaker tries to change the subject, biblically literate Christians understand that his conduct is a real and present issue. Simply put, a man doesn’t cleanse the moral stain of adultery by marrying his mistress….

[I]s there a more arrogant public figure in American political life than Gingrich? His self-regard is legendary…His self-congratulatory statements fill press releases, and former colleagues tell tales of his erratic and bullying behavior. Is that the right witness for evangelicals?

It’s awfully hard to imagine French gaining much traction, even if some of the Trump-resistant funders and backers of Ted Cruz were to rally around him. Still, you have to give Kristol some credit for not joining Marco Rubio and the pathetic parade of conservative leaders who are abandoning their principles to back Trump, a spectacle that former George W. Bush speechwriter Michael Gerson has called the “most depressing moment of the 2016 race.” Well, it’s early. 

Samuel Rodriguez Gives Trump Chance To 'Redeem The Narrative' With Latinos

Hispanic evangelical leader Samuel Rodriguez has a consistent political strategy: position himself as a nonpartisan advocate committed “not to the agenda of the elephant or the donkey but the lamb,” all while trying to convince Hispanic Christians to support socially conservative causes and politicians.

You might think that the immigration-reform-promoting Rodriguez would be in a bind with immigrant-demeaning Trump as the Republican nominee. But even though Rodriguez has been publicly critical of Trump’s rhetoric on immigration, he seems to be positioning himself to encourage Hispanic evangelicals to support the Republican candidate. He has said Trump blew it with his early campaign rhetoric and that the candidate must “redeem the narrative” with Latinos.

This week Bloomberg reported that Trump would be delivering a videotaped message to be shown at this weekend’s meeting of the National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference (NHCLC), which Rodriguez heads, and whose board includes Liberty Counsel’s Mat Staver. The pro-immigrant group America’s Voice called on Rodriguez not to let Trump deliver a message to the group given Trump’s “hateful, incendiary rhetoric directed at our communities.”

(Just days ago, Trump attacked NHCLC board member Russell Moore, a leading Southern Baptist official, as a “nasty guy with no heart.” Rodriguez, who co-authored with Moore a Wall Street Journal op-ed criticizing Trump’s immigration rhetoric and policies last July, said at the time that “an attack on Russell Moore is an attack on the entire evangelical community.”)

Rodriguez told the Washington Post earlier this week that he would wait to see if the message was “respectful” before deciding whether to show it. Today it is clear that Trump has satisfied Rodriguez, because the NHCLC put out a press release saying the group would show video messages from Trump and from Hillary Clinton on Friday evening.

While Rodriguez says he will not endorse a candidate, it’s hard to take him seriously as some kind of honest broker between the staunchly pro-choice Clinton and the muddled punish-the-woman Trump, who has said he would nominate Supreme Court justices to overturn Roe v. Wade.  As we recently noted, Rodriguez has said, “I’m going to vote for protecting the Supreme Court from judges that are activists, that run counter to our Judeo-Christian value system.” And he has made it clear that he believes Hispanic Christians must make opposition to abortion, not support for immigrant families, the basis of their vote.

In an interview being promoted by Glenn Beck’s The Blaze today, Rodriguez doubles down on that message, saying it would be “morally reprehensible” for Christians to vote for a candidate who supports Planned Parenthood, saying they would need to “repent.”

“I want to speak to every single African American, Latino, and Anglo Christ follower who believes in biblical orthodoxy — how can we justify supporting anything — be it Republican or Democrat — that in any way, form or shape defends Planned Parenthood?”

Trump has repeatedly praised Planned Parenthood but says he wants to defund the women’s health organization unless they agree to stop providing abortion services.

Rodriguez told The Blaze that it would take “a miracle” for Trump to win over the Latino community, but suggested it could be possible if he apologizes and chooses a Hispanic running mate, mentioning Marco Rubio, Susana Martinez and Ted Cruz.

The supposedly nonpartisan Rodriguez has filmed a video promoting the Republican Party’s faith-outreach project. Only 16 percent of American Latinos identify themselves as evangelical, according to the Pew Research Center, but they are more likely than other Hispanics to vote Republican.

Anti-Abortion Extremist Troy Newman Backs Trump

Troy Newman, the head of Operation Rescue and a driving force behind last year’s series of videos smearing Planned Parenthood, writes today that although Donald Trump “has said and done many things that most Christians would find despicable,” he will vote for him — although not formally endorse him — in the presidential election.

Newman caused some controversy when he was tapped as a leader of an anti-choice coalition on Ted Cruz’s campaign. The anti-choice activist, who has built his career around harassing abortion providers, once wrote that the government has a biblical responsibility to execute abortion providers and had linked legal abortion in the U.S. to the 9/11 attacks, AIDS and the drought in California.

Newman explains his support for Trump using a “pithy acronym” that includes his hope that Trump will “take back the Supreme Court” from one that has “mandated that we purchase a health care product, marry homosexuals, and is now poised to strike down common sense abortion laws” and his admiration for Trump’s “nationalistic fervor.”

As we have been reporting, anti-abortion leaders who previously criticized Trump have been gradually falling in line behind the candidate.

To explain my reasoning, I’ve created a pithy acronym out of Trump’s name. These are the reasons I can vote for Trump, and against Hillary Clinton.

T ake back the Supreme Court. In order for this country to survive, we must dial back the Supremes. In just the last few years the Court has mandated that we purchase a health care product, marry homosexuals, and is now poised to strike down common sense abortion laws. Hillary has promised more of the same; Trump has promised the opposite. So, Trump wins the SCOTUS vote.

R emove and Replace. Trump has pledged to remove and replace the Abortion Cartel Bailout AKA ObamaCare, and the countless bad laws created by Obama and far-left enablers in Congress. Hillary will absolutely maintain and further them.

U ndo! Undo it all. I know Obama ran on “change.” I say change it back! Undo all that “change” and bring America back to some form of sanity. Undo the HHS mandates on abortion subsidies. Undo the EPA mandates that are crippling businesses. Undo the countless, and dare I say illegal, executive orders made by Obama. Trump has a mind to do this.

M ake America Great Again. Trump’s nationalistic fervor is appealing. And, I have to admit I like it. Pro-life legislation will help put America back on track. Obama has been making terrible deals all over the world, and the good ol’ U-S-of-A gets the short end of the stick every time. That must stop. Together, we can make America great again – but not under Hillary. Never under Hillary.

P rosecute Planned Parenthood. We have helped expose the dreadful practice of harvesting and selling baby body parts for a large profit. It’s high time these people are taken off the Federal welfare dole, and Trump, for what it’s worth, has promised to prosecute these monsters. Yes, sir, I’ll take that too. Hillary, on the other hand, we already know is Cecile Richards’ BFF. Absolutely nothing doing if she wins.

These are my five very pragmatic reasons why I can vote FOR Donald Trump and AGAINST Hillary Clinton. I know these reasons don’t take into account whether or not Trump is saved, if he is a good father, or even if he is totally honest in his business deals. But, at least he knows how to make money and balance a checkbook. Something Hillary Clinton has never done.

Ted Cruz Is Open To Unsuspending His Campaign If He Can Win Nebraska's Primary

Ever since Ted Cruz dropped out of the Republican presidential race last week, Glenn Beck and his co-hosts have been holding on to a sliver of hope that if Cruz could still somehow manage to win today's Republican primary in Nebraska, that would convince the Texas senator to unsuspend his campaign and re-enter the race.

Today, Cruz called into Beck's radio program and Beck's co-host Pat Gray directly asked Cruz about this possibility.

"If Nebraska were to somehow miraculously choose you tonight," Gray asked, "if that happened, would you consider getting back in the race?"

Cruz responded that he would certainly be open to that admittedly slight possibility.

"I am not holding my breath," Cruz said. "My assumption is that that will not happen. But listen, let's be very clear, if there is a path to victory, we launched this campaign intending to win; the reason we suspended the race last week is with Indiana's loss, I didn't see a viable path to victory. If that changes, we will certainly respond accordingly."

Beck and crew were, of course, elated and urged Republicans in Nebraska to turn out en masse today to vote for Cruz.

Donald Trump's Amen Corner: Prosperity Preachers and Dominionists

While Ted Cruz had the backing of most Religious Right leaders in his now-suspended presidential campaign, Donald Trump has had his own amen corner among preachers of the God-wants-you-to-be-rich prosperity gospel, including a group  who laid hands on him last fall. At that meeting, Florida-based prosperity preacher Paula White prayed that "any tongue that rises against him will be condemned according to the word of God.”

It’s not really surprising that preachers who tout wealth as a sign of God’s favor would line up with a blustery billionaire like Trump, who says his riches are proof that he’s qualified to fix what’s wrong with the country. What is a bit more surprising is the support Trump is getting from a leading advocate of Seven Mountains dominionism, which teaches that government and other spheres of influence — “mountains” like media, entertainment, business — are meant to be run by the right kind of Christians.

Lance Wallnau is an influential leader in the Seven Mountains movement. In 2011, he declared that it is the obligation of Christians to “seize those high places” in order to bring about the return of Jesus Christ — something he has said they should do by both “overt” and “covert” means. In 2012, he said that the mountains of government, media, and economics were currently occupied by Satan.

Wallnau has been pushing Trump for a while now. In November he declared that God has given Trump “an anointing for the mantle of government.” But why would someone who thinks Christians with a “biblical worldview” are supposed to be running the world throw his support to Trump rather than Ted Cruz or one of the other candidates who put their faith at the center of their campaigns?

Steve Strang, publisher of the Pentecostal Charisma Magazine, put that question to Wallnau in a recent podcast interview. Strang had been a Ted Cruz supporter, but after Cruz dropped out of the race he quickly declared that he has shifted his loyalty and support to Trump.

“When God wants to move in history, he doesn’t always pick the favorite evangelical,” said Wallnau. He said that God brought Abraham Lincoln and Winston Churchill to power at crucial moments in history, the way He is now raising up Trump for our time. And he knows this, Wallnau said, because God told him so.

In a video on his website, Wallnau praised Cruz as someone who “totally gets Seven Mountains” but said he doesn’t believe Cruz could win a general election. Anyway, he said, it’s better for Christians to have someone like Trump in power, because every failure of a President Cruz would be blamed on conservative Christians, something that won’t happen with Trump. And after all, having believers like Jimmy Carter and George W. Bush in office didn’t turn out so well.

Wallnau said God told him specifically that Trump is “a wrecking ball to the spirit of political correctness.” Wallnau has dedicated a section of his website to explaining why “Trump is the guy that God is going to use.”

I ran across a picture of Trump that said “Donald Trump 45th President of the United States.” Immediately the thought hit me “read Isaiah 45!” I was shocked by what I discovered. It’s about a king named Cyrus and he would not appear on the scene for another 100 years. Cyrus was a secular ruler. He was not a believer. He was “anointed” to do certain things “for Jacob my servants sake.”  

Like King Cyrus, says Wallnau, Trump is a secular figure who God will use to get things done. And, he told Strang, he told Trump all about the Cyrus prophecy when he met with a group of African American ministers last year.

Wallnau calls Trump a “chaos candidate,” someone who is unconventional enough to push back hard against a radical left that is transforming America into “an increasingly hostile anti-Christian culture.” And Hillary Clinton, he told Strang, is helping take America down the road that Messianic rabbi Jonathan Cahn, author of the end-times bestseller “The Harbinger,” is predicting. Wallnau told Strang:

Hillary Clinton is part of a machine that is taking America socially, spiritually, and economically into everything the Harbinger talks about…the Harbinger has Hillary on it. That’s why I was thinking, I want to do an article called, ‘Lead us not into Trumptation but deliver us from Hillary.’ Because Hillary Clinton is not an individual, she is a machine with an entire ideologic [sic] agenda that goes all the way to the most ghastly interests you can imagine in terms of the survival of Christian civilization.

Trump, warned Wallnau, will not make it without evangelical support, adding, “may we not be the saboteurs of our own deliverance.” Cruz supporters, he said, will have to look at the bigger picture. Cruz, he said, still has an important role to play in history, maybe as a running mate or Supreme Court justice.

As Kyle reported in April, Wallnau is part of the Trump campaign’s “National Diversity Coalition.” He is also a board member of the Oak Initiative, whose bio of him starts, “Dr. Lance Wallnau has been described by People For the American Way as the hidden architect behind the increasingly viral and politically potent seven mountain template for cultural impact.” Wallnau has said that Right Wing Watch is part of a coalition controlled by a secret cabal of funders who are behind the climate change movement and Black Lives Matter.

Wallnau has a history of saying rather unusual things. Three years ago he said God was giving a diabetes cure to Christians, but that they wouldn’t share it with the general public, only with Kingdom-minded believers who would give it to Chinese Communist Party leaders in order to help spread the Gospel in that country. China? Better not tell Trump.

 

Anti-Choice Leader Who Said Trump Mistreated Women Now Making The 'Case For Trump'

The leaders of the movement against abortion rights have, in recent years, been making a concerted effort to portray their movement as “pro-woman,” from devising a legal strategy that disguises anti-choice restrictions as protections for “women’s health,” to counseling Republican candidates on how not to talk about rape, to giving this year’s March for Life the theme “Pro-life and Pro-woman Go Hand in Hand.”

One of the leaders of this strategy is Marjorie Dannenfelser, the head of the Susan B. Anthony List, a group that takes its name from the historically dubious claim that the women’s suffrage crusader was a “pro-life feminist.”

Dannenfelser and her fellow anti-choice leaders were not thrilled, then, with the presidential candidacy of Donald Trump, who has a long record of making disparaging and demeaning statements about women, not to mention the fact that he has blown up the anti-choice movement's carefully constructed talking points and publicly discussed changing the Republican Party’s platform position on abortion.

In an open letter to Iowa voters in January, Dannenfelser and handful of other anti-choice movement leaders urged Republicans to pick “anyone but Donald Trump,” writing that they did not trust the candidate to pick Supreme Court justices to their liking, and also saying that they were “disgusted” by his record of making “disparaging public comments to and about many women:

Moreover, as women, we are disgusted by Mr. Trump’s treatment of individuals, women, in particular. He has impugned the dignity of women, most notably Megyn Kelly, he mocked and bullied Carly Fiorina, and has through the years made disparaging public comments to and about many women. Further, Mr. Trump has profited from the exploitation of women in his Atlantic City casino hotel which boasted of the first strip club casino in the country.

America will only be a great nation when we have leaders of strong character who will defend both unborn children and the dignity of women. We cannot trust Donald Trump to do either. Therefore we urge our fellow citizens to support an alternative candidate.

When, in March, Trump said that there should be “some form of punishment” for women who have abortions if the procedure is outlawed, Dannenfelser scrambled to do damage control. When Trump said just days later that he didn’t actually want to change any abortion laws, Dannenfelser declared, “He has completely contradicted himself. If this is his position, he has just disqualified himself as the GOP nominee.”

Dannenfelser enthusiastically backed Carly Fiorina’s presidential bid, rejoicing when Ted Cruz picked her as his running mate in the final days of his faltering campaign.

But all of Trump’s egregious statements about women and his flip-flopping on abortion rights aren’t stopping Dannenfelser from lining up behind him now that he is the presumptive GOP nominee.

Dannenfelser praised Trump last week for hiring a top adviser who has the trust of anti-choice activists. And today in Townhall she writes a column called “The Pro-life Case for Trump,” in which she says it’s time to “reexamine what we know about Mr. Trump” and praises the “very specific pro-life commitments” that he has made on the campaign trail,” including backing a 20-week abortion ban, saying he would defund Planned Parenthood and promising to nominate Supreme Court justices who would overturn Roe v. Wade. (Never mind that Trump has backtracked and equivocated on many of these positions, as Dannenfelser herself has noted in the past.)

“As we move into the general election,” Dannenfelser writes, “Susan B. Anthony List is already diligently working to engage with voters and expose Hillary Clinton’s extremism, confident that the American people will reject her radical abortion agenda at the ballot box. We believe Mr. Trump, who has already taken strong positions on the life issue throughout the primary campaign, will join us on offense.”

It’s not an endorsement, but it’s a pretty warm statement from someone who has previously said she was “disgusted” by Trump’s treatment of women and said he had “disqualified himself” with his flip-flops. Dannenfelser’s group has clearly decided that it’s worth teaming up with the notoriously misogynistic Trump in the hope that he will hand them the Supreme Court that they want. But that may make it a little harder to sell the idea that their anti-choice activism is all in pursuit of a pro-woman, feminist vision.

Cruz Backer Robert George No Fan of Trump, But Group He Founded Is

Princeton University professor Robert George was a co-chair of Catholics for Cruz; when Cruz was a student at Princeton, George supervised his junior-year independent project and senior thesis. Along with George Weigel, George wrote an anti-Trump letter signed by other conservative Catholics that was published in National Review, part of the magazine’s failed effort to derail Trump’s campaign.

That letter declared Trump “manifestly unfit to be president of the United States.” It decried his “vulgarity” and “appeals to racial and ethnic fears and prejudice” and his promises to order the American military to torture terror suspects and kill terrorists’ families — “actions condemned by the Church and policies that would bring shame upon our country.”

The letter went on:

And there is nothing in his campaign or his previous record that gives us grounds for confidence that he genuinely shares our commitments to the right to life, to religious freedom and the rights of conscience, to rebuilding the marriage culture, or to subsidiarity and the principle of limited constitutional government….

Mr. Trump’s record and his campaign show us no promise of greatness; they promise only the further degradation of our politics and our culture. We urge our fellow Catholics and all our fellow citizens to reject his candidacy for the Republican presidential nomination by supporting a genuinely reformist candidate.

When Cruz dropped out, George tweeted “God help us.”

George expanded on that sentiment in a despairing interview with the Daily Princetonian:

Professor of Jurisprudence Robert George, who authored an endorsement for Cruz earlier this spring, said that with Cruz’s withdrawal from the race, it is now clear that voters will be choosing in November between Donald Trump and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

“For many Americans, including myself, these are dreadful alternatives. We regard neither of these individuals as fit – morally or otherwise – to be president,” he said.

The two presumptive nominees have told appalling lies to advance or protect their political interests, George said.

“A number of people have written to me this evening asking, ‘Which should we support?’ I answer: If you believe that Ted Cruz’s dad was involved in the assassination of John F. Kennedy, then vote for Trump. If you believe that the murders of Ambassador Stevens and the others at Benghazi were committed by a mob inflamed by a movie trailer, then vote for Clinton,” he said.

Since then, he’s continued tweeting criticism of both candidates, such as this one from May 4: “Dreadful Donald and Horrible Hillary are both products of the culture of narcissism which is the me-generation's true and lasting legacy.”

But in spite of all that, it is not clear whether George will remain in the #NeverTrump camp. George is connected to an extraordinary number of Religious Right groups, and it is difficult to overstate his role in shaping the anti-gay movement’s “religious liberty” strategy.  But at least one of those groups is on a different page.

George is the founder of the American Principles Project, which is embracing Trump based on a letter he sent the group last year saying he would sign the First Amendment Defense Act – the Religious Right-backed legislation to give special legal protection to anti-LGBT discrimination – if Congress would send it to his desk.

On Thursday, APP put out a press release defending Trump against criticism from the Human Rights Campaign and saying that given a choice between Trump and the “extremist” Clinton, “the choice is incredibly easy – we have to, and will, back Trump.” APP President Frank Cannon’s statement said:

Donald Trump deserves credit from social conservatives for his principled position on protecting freedom of religion…Trump has demonstrated a commitment to the concerns of social conservatives on issues like life, marriage, and religious freedom, and he has promised to appoint conservative justices to the Supreme Court in the mold of the late Antonin Scalia.

On Friday, APP’s communications director Jon Schweppe published “the moral case” for Trump in the Daily Caller. Schweppe says he votes on one issue – abortion – and that the election of Hillary Clinton would be “devastating to the pro-life cause.” Under a Trump presidency, Schweppe writes, “we have the opportunity to protect the court, replace Justice Scalia with a conservative justice, and eventually overturn Roe v. Wade…He is committed to getting this right.”

The APP bio of George ends with this disclaimer: “Views expressed by the American Principles Project and/or on this website are not necessarily those of Professor George.” Not necessarily.

 

Steve Deace Promises To 'Troll Like A Mother' Against Mike Huckabee And Other Trump Endorsers

Iowa talk radio host Steve Deace, who has become a vocal player in the state’s Republican politics, renounced his Republican Party membership following Donald Trump’s apparent victory in the party’s presidential nominating contest, and is determined that none of his former Religious Right allies will get away with backing the thrice-married mogul.

On Wednesday, after Deace’s chosen candidate, Ted Cruz, dropped out of the presidential race, Deace blasted former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee — whom he campaigned for in Iowa in 2008 —  for endorsing Trump.

“Donald Trump has done us a favor, it appears, in pruning off all of the rotten fruit off of the tree,” Deace’s cohost Aaron McIntire said.

“I am going to troll like a mother the next few months, though, I’m going to do that,” Deace promised. “I am. Huckabee and all these guys, I’m going to scorched-earth them all and I’m going to enjoy doing it, actually. Maybe more than I should.”

True to his word, Deace spent several minutes on his program today trolling Huckabee for backing Trump.

In 2008, Deace said, he helped pick the former governor “up off the dirt floor at negative nine percent, when nobody knew how to pronounce your name or that funny-sounding Baptist college you came from” and “risked my job, put my family on the road, became a six-month infomercial on your candidacy.” He claimed he also did the opposition research that “you didn’t have the balls nor the money to do” on Mitt Romney, who came in second to Huckabee in that year’s caucuses.

“So I think it is only fitting, gentlemen, it is only poetic that Mike Huckabee brought me into this world and is now ushering me out,” he said. “We have come full circle.”

Huckabee, Deace said, is pandering to Trump in a futile hope “to get a sell-out, which makes it all the more pathetic”

Can Religious Right Leaders' Disgust For Trump Be Overcome By Future Of Supreme Court?

Religious Right leaders believed this was their year. In Ted Cruz they had a candidate unquestionably committed to their agenda. Cruz was anointed the movement’s candidate at a secret endorsement meeting in Texas, followed by a wave of public endorsements by movement leaders. With only a couple of notable exceptions like Jerry Falwell Jr. and Phyllis Schlafly, Cruz had the overwhelming backing of the Religious Right’s institutional leaders. 

But it wasn’t to be. David Gushee, a Christian ethicist and author who has ruffled a lot of feathers with his move to an LGBT-affirming stance, calls the Trump victory “a major defeat” for “the Christian Right agenda.” Indeed, many Religious Right leaders and activists are bitter that Republican primary voters, including many self-described evangelicals, chose Trump over Cruz, and some have declared that they have no intention of backing Trump now that he is the presumptive GOP nominee.

The Wilks brothers, leaders of a billionaire fracking family that poured millions into a pro-Cruz super PAC, are planning to sit out the presidential race, reported Bloomberg. A family spokesperson called Trump a liar whose “despicable statements and actions” are too numerous “to count in a reasonable amount of time.”

Anti-gay activist Matt Barber is in the same camp, tweeting with the hashtag #NeverTrumpOrHillary and asking, “But what about when neither of the two evils is lesser?” On Friday, Barber tweeted, “I don’t oppose #Trump because I’m Republican & he’s not. Nor because I’m conservative & he’s not. I oppose Trump because I follow #Christ.”

A contributor to Barber’s BarbWire website, history professor Alan Snyder, wrote in piece titled “The Republican Obituary” that he “cannot, in good conscience, support Donald Trump.” Snyder slammed Republican voters for choosing “a man who rejects nearly every line in past Republican platforms.”

In an angrily bitter diatribe against Trump supporters at Charisma, Bert Farias of Holy Fire Ministries wrote that Cruz’s defeat “exposes the corruption of the American soul.” Maybe, he says, exposing the “corruption of the American soul and lukewarm church” is what God raised up Cruz to do. “While many celebrate the apparent victory of their amoral candidate, the darkness grows and moves in yet closer.” Faris even recalled, “Benny Hinn prophesied on New Year's Eve 1989 that a woman would one day be president of America and would destroy this nation.” Adds Faris, “It seemed like a far-fetched prophecy then, but not so much anymore.” Kevin Swanson, the anti-gay pastor who says the government should execute gays, suggested that God may be raising up Trump to be president as part of a divine plan to destroy America for its disobedience.

“Don’t blame us,” writes Napp  Nazworth, an editor at Christian Post. “Evangelicals led the opposition to Trump.”

Trump has already been a disaster for the Republican Party, essentially dismantling the Reagan coalition and undermining its efforts to retain control of Congress. A Trump presidency would be a disaster for the entire nation, given that he is entirely unfit, in character and experience, to be president.

For those reasons, it's important to set straight the historical record — evangelicals led the opposition to Trump.

Trump has won a lot of votes from people who call themselves evangelicals, but there’s evidence that the most frequent church-goers, probably the same people most likely to listen to Religious Right political leaders, have been much less likely to support Trump.

In February, the Christian Post editorialized against Trump, the first time ever it had taken a position on a political candidate:

"As the most popular evangelical news website in the United States and the world, we feel compelled by our moral responsibility to our readers to make clear that Donald Trump does not represent the interests of evangelicals and would be a dangerous leader for our country," they wrote.

Republican voters have concluded that morality, integrity, the rule of law, and the Constitution must be discarded in their headlong dash into an angry reaction against all politicians, even someone like Ted Cruz who has fought the good fight for Biblical and constitutional principles all his life.

In doing so, they have brought this nation to the brink of near-total collapse. No matter who wins in the fall, Republican or Democrat, Christian values will be subjected to even greater governmental suppression. No matter how Trump fares in the general election, the very fact of his nomination is a dismal indication that whatever honor and principle remained in the Republican party is now in the past.

Some high profile right-wing pundits remain in the #NeverTrump camp, like Erick Erickson. Iowa talk radio host Steve Deace reacted to Cruz’s withdrawal by resigning from the Republican PartyJerry Bader, conservative talk radio host in Wisconsin, is with him:

“I do not want to see Hillary Clinton as president; however, I do not see Donald Trump as a better choice. Important point: There is no lesser of two evils," Mr. Bader said. "I have no reason to believe his Supreme Court nominees would be any more palatable than hers because I have nothing to go on but his word, and that don't mean much to me."

U.S. Sen. Ben Sasse of Nebraska is probably the highest-ranking Republican official who has made it clear that Trump will not get his support. He said recently that he is resisting calls from “party bosses and politicos” telling him he has to support Trump. Sasse is trying to generate support for a third-party or independent candidate to enter the race.

The Family Research Council’s Tony Perkins, a strong supporter of Cruz, is among those hedging their bets, saying evangelicals “won’t necessarily fall in line” with Trump as the nominee. While he has made his disappointment clear, he says he is “waiting to see the substance of a Trump administration and the vision he has for America.” Anti-gay activist Brian Brown of the National Organization for Marriage is also taking a wait-and-see approach. And Samuel Rodriguez of the National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference has criticized Trump's anti-immigrant rhetoric but says Hispanic evangelicals “are still up for grabs.” Religious Right activist Michael Farris of the Home School Legal Defense Association told The Hill that Cruz should “keep his powder dry and not do anything right now” while waiting to see how Trump behaves in the general election.

Of course, the most intense focus going forward will fall on Ted Cruz, the Religious Right’s anointed candidate. As runner-up and as a GOP senator, he would normally be expected to endorse the victor. But the ugly personal tone of Trump’s attacks, and the refusal of some Cruz backers to go along with the party’s ultimate choice, might make this year an exception.

Former presidential candidate Mike Huckabee is more enthusiastic than many of his fellow Religious Right activists: “Donald Trump broke the code, owned the media, and inspired the masses. I will be all in to help him defeat Hillary Clinton and I call upon all fellow Republicans to unite in defeating Hillary and abandoning and repudiating the hapless ‘Never Trump’ nonsense.”

The Washington Times reports that party officials are using the prospect of future Supreme Court nominations to cajole #NeverTrump people into getting on board the Trump train.  As Miranda has reported, the Supreme Court is the main reason that anti-abortion activists are reluctantly lining up with Trump. Perkins said this week, “We can live with bad trade deals or high taxes, but we cannot live with bad judicial nominees.”

Indeed, Trump has already said that he will let the Heritage Foundation, the conservative group led by Religious Right icon Jim DeMint, draft a list of potential justices.

Right-wing activist Grover Norquist thinks Cruz should make a deal, reports The Hill. “Norquist said Cruz will stay aloof for a while but ultimately back Trump, perhaps in exchange for a promise to be appointed to the Supreme Court.”

 

Glenn Beck Says God Must Punish America For Rejecting Ted Cruz Because 'He Ain't A Bad Dad'

Last night, a teary-eyed Glenn Beck and his studio audience engaged in something of a therapy session as they struggled to come to grips with the fact that God's chosen candidate, Ted Cruz, has withdrawn from the Republican presidential race.

The rejection of Cruz by Republican voters was "the last reckoning for us," Beck declared, warning that God will now allow this nation to suffer the consequences of our decisions. America, Beck said, has become "a petulant child" that God has warned and scolded and disciplined over and over again "but the behavior is getting worse" and so punishment must follow. 

God cannot allow this nation to escape the punishment that is due, he said, because "that would be a bad dad. That would be a very bad dad and the one thing I know about God, He ain't a bad dad."

Later, Beck declared that he can never vote for Donald Trump because such a vote carries eternal consequences.

"Tuesday changed the course of the world," he said, and now "when we lose [freedom] here," everyone will be called to account by God "because we were born at this time, in this country because every one of us are warriors," but too many people gave up the fight before the battle was won.

Beck refuses to put himself in a situation where he has to try to justify to God his decision to vote for a lying, narcissistic sociopath like Trump, saying that those who are attempting to minimize or dismiss the rampant warning signs about the Republican frontrunner are no different than those throughout history who have voted to "elect a madman."

Glenn Beck: Cruz Should 'Unsuspend' His Campaign Because Of Kasich's 'Dirty Tricks'

Glenn Beck kicked off his radio program yesterday by declaring that John Kasich was the "most despicable" of all the figures in the Republican presidential primary because he suddenly dropped out of the race only after Ted Cruz had already done so, thereby clearing the way for Donald Trump to win the nomination.

For weeks, Beck had been furious with Kasich and insisted that he was putting the entire nation at risk by not getting out of the race so that Cruz could go head-to-head with Trump and defeat him. For Kasich to now drop out only after Cruz had dropped out was proof to Beck that Kasich had cut some sort of deal either with Trump or with the GOP to stay in solely for the purpose of ensuring that Cruz could not win the nomination.

"All research shows" that if Kasich had dropped out earlier, "Cruz would have won," Beck asserted, despite the fact that Trump won the last seven primary states with over 50 percent of the vote. "This is clearly dirty tricks. They're not even trying to hide it ... If I were Ted Cruz, I would unsuspend my campaign today."

Steve King Offers To Help Trump With Immigration Policy

Rep. Steve King of Iowa, a key endorser of Sen. Ted Cruz’s presidential run and a leading anti-immigration voice in the house, told an Iowa talk radio program yesterday that although he is not ready to endorse Donald Trump now that he is the presumptive GOP nominee, he is ready to thank Trump for “borrowing” his immigration policy and “help” the candidate solidify his stance on the issue.

King told Iowa radio host Jeff Angelo that he’s not ready to offer a direct endorsement because of the “insults” Trump has hurled at his adversaries: “I’m not a guy who holds a lot of grudges, but I have to be able to remember some things along the way.”

But he seemed ready to work with Trump on crafting a restrictive immigration policy:

I’ve said that we need to support the nominee that’s produced by the rules. I’ve never seen a nominee pour out so many insults on other people as Donald Trump has. This isn’t the day to highlight all of those and grind through all of that, but I’ll just say this, that I think Donald Trump is going to have to do a job of reaching out to conservatives and convincing. You’re a candidate, you’ve got to convince people to come in behind you. We had somewhere between 5 and 8 million conservatives who didn’t come out to vote when Mitt Romney was on the ballot, and he may well be president today if he had been able to mobilize those conservatives.

So I want to hear some things from Donald Trump on how it will be and what he will do. It’s been pretty hard to figure that out over the last few months. And I’m not going to say that I’m going to be a ‘Never Trump’ person, don’t expect that at all out of me. Expect me to say to Donald Trump: ‘Thanks a lot for borrowing my immigration policy, you get to keep it and I’ll help you with that, and let’s see what else we can do, if we can work together to strengthen this.’

And so I’d like to see it put together in a way that we can put the pieces of the jigsaw puzzle together where there’s a whole, coherent policy in the Trump campaign that can stand up and win an election, and something that is so firm that he stands on it and we stand on it and we get to a place where we can stand on it together.

Somehow, we think that King and Trump will be able to make up eventually. Before Trump and Cruz started locking heads, King praised Trump for raising the profile of anti-immigrant policies.

And who can forget when Trump traveled to Iowa to campaign for King in 2014, resulting in a press conference where Trump stood by as King warned of immigrants bringing in Ebola and beheadings and heaped praise on Trump for his "brain" and "character."

"I have this affinity to, I'll just say, get the opportunity to claim as friends a unique individual that has blazed his own trail time and time again," King said at the time, "one who never puts his finger in the wind, but puts his brain to it and his character to it and his work ethic to it and his instincts to it, and time after time, when the hand of Donald Trump reached out and touched something, it turned into something good for America."

Anti-Abortion Activists Begin To Fall In Line Behind Donald Trump

UPDATED

In January, as Iowans prepared to cast their votes in the first-in-the-nation caucuses, several women leaders in the anti-abortion movement wrote an open letter urging Republicans in the state to “support anyone but Donald Trump.”

The activists, including Susan B. Anthony List president Marjorie Dannenfelser and Concerned Women for America CEO Penny Nance, wrote that Trump “cannot be trusted” to advance their anti-abortion policy goals or to nominate Supreme Court justices who would vote to reverse Roe v. Wade. They went on to describe his record of “disparaging” remarks about women:

Moreover, as women, we are disgusted by Mr. Trump’s treatment of individuals, women, in particular. He has impugned the dignity of women, most notably Megyn Kelly, he mocked and bullied Carly Fiorina, and has through the years made disparaging public comments to and about many women. Further, Mr. Trump has profited from the exploitation of women in his Atlantic City casino hotel which boasted of the first strip club casino in the country.

America will only be a great nation when we have leaders of strong character who will defend both unborn children and the dignity of women. We cannot trust Donald Trump to do either. Therefore we urge our fellow citizens to support an alternative candidate.

Trump further angered anti-choice leaders when he strayed far from the movement’s carefully scripted talking points and suggested that if abortion is outlawed, there would have to be “some sort of punishment” for women who seek the procedure illegally. It didn’t help when Trump proceeded to change his position on the matter several times over the following few days, including at one point saying that he doesn’t want to change abortion laws, and then declared a few weeks later that he wanted the GOP to change its platform to support abortion rights for women who have been raped or whose life is at risk.

Now, as Trump becomes the presumptive Republican nominee, the anti-choice movement has to decide whether to take its chances with him.

Nance, sounding distraught, told a radio interviewer this morning that a third party presidential candidacy was out of the question and that the choice was between Trump and a “devastating” Hillary Clinton presidency.

Dannenfelser, who once said that Trump “disqualified himself as the GOP nominee” when he said that the abortion laws “are set” and “we have to leave it that way,” signaled that she was ready to pivot her message yesterday when she wrote a blog post praising Trump for making “a huge pro-life hire” in John Mashburn, a former staffer to North Carolina Sen. Thom Tillis and someone whom Dannenfelser described as an ally to the anti-abortion movement.

“Congratulations on your new hire, Mr. Trump,” Dannenfelser wrote. “If elected, no doubt John Mashburn will serve you well as you fulfill your campaign promises to defund Planned Parenthood, advance and sign into law the popular Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act, and appoint Justices to the bench who will protect and defend the Constitution.”

Mashburn has previously worked for right-wing groups including the American Civil Rights Union and the Carleson Center for Public Policy.

In the end, the game for anti-choice groups comes down to the Supreme Court. A coalition of leading groups have unified behind a campaign pressuring Republican senators to keep up their blockade of President Obama’s Supreme Court nominee, Merrick Garland. Just yesterday, the Susan B. Anthony List, CWA and Iowa Right to Life delivered a petition to Iowa Sen. Chuck Grassley, the chairman of the Judiciary Committee, urging him to continue to refuse to hold hearings on a Supreme Court nominee until the next president is sworn in.

Their hope, it seems, is that a candidate they are “disgusted” by and “cannot trust” will win the presidency and at least give them a Supreme Court pick who will advance their agenda.

And while Trump is the candidate whom they have repeatedly painted as a worst-case scenario, these activists must be relieved that he has outsourced the duty of selecting future Supreme Court justices to the anti-choice Heritage Foundation.

UPDATE 5/5/16: The Washington Times reports that the Susan B. Anthony List and Priests for Life will both be supporting Trump. Priests for Life's Frank Pavone explained that when it comes to the Supreme Court, "the difference here is between doubt and certainty.”

Between Mr. Trump and likely Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton — the only presidential candidate ever endorsed by Planned Parenthood — Father Frank Pavone says the decision is easy.

Fr. Pavone said his group will work to convince pro-life activists to support Mr. Trump in the general election.

“Withholding support [from Mr. Trump] at this point is in effect support for Hillary,” he said. “Sometimes people might feel like, ‘I feel better in my conscience because I didn’t cast a vote for him and I didn’t cast a vote for Hillary either.’ [But] you can influence the election by not voting.”

Mallory Quigley, director of communications for the Susan B. Anthony List, said her group will also support Mr. Trump, citing his campaign promise to defund Planned Parenthood and support for the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act, which would ban abortions after 20 weeks of fertilization.

“I think achieving these goals would be a huge accomplishment, bigger than any pro-life advancement that we’ve seen in our lifetime,” Ms. Quigley said, adding, “We’re expecting Trump to be a man of his word and follow through, just as he would on any issue.”

Clarke Forsythe, acting president and senior counsel for Americans United for Life, would not commit to supporting Mr. Trump in the general election, but said supporting Mrs. Clinton — whose position on abortion he compared to the North Korea regime’s — is untenable.

Mr. Forsythe said in a statement that AUL “will be carefully and closely watching Donald Trump between now and election day, to see whether he lays out pro-life policies as well as to learn what his recommendations will be for the GOP party platform.”

...

But following the death of former Supreme Court Associate Justice Antonin Scalia, Fr. Pavone said Mr. Trump is now the pro-life movement’s last, best hope of retaining a majority on the bench.

When it comes to the Supreme Court, Donald Trump has mentioned Scalia as a model,” he said. “Well, that’s music to our ears, naturally. We know what we’re going to get with Hillary. Even if people have doubts about what kind of people Donald Trump would nominate, the difference here is between doubt and certainty.”

Fr. Pavone said Mr. Trump is not the ideal pro-life candidate, but added that a healthy dose of pragmatism is necessary in any election.

“You don’t compromise on your goals or your principles,” he said. “At the same time, you look at the situation and you say, ‘How far can we go in these circumstances?’ Well, either one or the other is going to be president, so we want the better of the two.”

“We know 100 percent where Hillary Clinton stands,” Ms. Quigley noted. “She supports abortion up until the moment of birth for any reason. She has yet to name a single instance in which she would stand in and protect the life of the child, even sex-selection abortions, abortions for disability, up until the very moment of birth.

“We’ve made the judgment that this is what we need to do.”

Steve Deace Breaks Up With The Republican Party

Conservative Iowa talk radio personality Steve Deace, who became a prominent endorser of Ted Cruz’s presidential run, has reacted to Donald Trump’s ascendance to presumptive GOP nominee by breaking up with the Republican Party, filing paperwork today to renounce his party registration.

On Facebook and on his radio program last night, Deace declared that the United States is like a “petulant brat” who is “crying out to be spanked” by God.

He declared on his radio program that “the Republican Party ended for me today.”

“I just will not belong to something that has zero interest in the things of God,” he said, “and it’s clear to me that this party does not. I will not belong to something that has, whose character has sunk so low that it could nominate a man like Donald Trump as its standard-bearer.”

To the members of the “Trump cult,” he said, “Congratulations, you won, here’s the keys to your lemon.”

He and his cohosts then compared leaving the Republican Party to breaking off a toxic relationship or watching a loved one die of a slow, painful disease.

“You know what’s funny about this, though?” Deace said. “I just feel like this huge burden has been lifted off of me. I feel like the dude who knows his girlfriend’s been cheating on him this whole time and has a drinking problem.”

Once you break off such a “toxic” relationship, he said, “that’s when you can care about that person again because you don’t feel like they’re betraying you now and you’re like, ‘No hard feelings, I shouldn’t have let it go this far, you really need counseling.’”

“I feel the least amount of hostility toward the Republican Party tonight than I have maybe in my broadcast career … and it comes, not coincidentally the night that I am no longer a Republican,” he declared.

“You’re describing,” his co-host Todd Erzen said, “how people feel at the end of a long, slow, painful slog that is a certain kind of death, that comes with a certain kind of disease. And you don’t want your loved one to go away, you’re remembering all the good times, you’re remembering the potential, whatever; when it finally comes, there’s peace.”

Deace continued to disparage “Trump’s campaign con,” labeling the presumptive GOP nominee’s message “Louis Farrakhan for white people.”

'Broken-Hearted' Penny Nance Tries To Come Around To Donald Trump

The mood was positively funereal when Penny Nance, the president of Concerned Women for America, appeared on “Breitbart News Radio” this morning and tried to convince herself on air that conservatives should support Donald Trump.

Nance, like many Religious Right leaders, endorsed Trump’s Republican presidential rival Ted Cruz before he dropped out of the race last night. Back in January, she and several other leading women in the anti-abortion movement wrote an open letter urging Iowa caucus-goers to support “anyone but Trump,” saying that Trump “cannot be trusted” on the abortion issue and calling themselves “disgusted by Mr. Trump’s treatment of individuals, women, in particular.”

Nance told Breitbart host Stephen Bannon that she was appearing on his program despite having “promised herself a media blackout today” to “lick my wounds and try to recover.”

She told Bannon that she was “broken-hearted for the direction of our country” but that “we’ve got to come together.”

“We are at a tipping point in this nation, and Hillary is not the answer,” she said.

“There’s been a number of people in this race who I really had a heart for and really felt like would be fantastic leaders and Donald Trump was not one of them,” she said. “But I have no problem — because here’s the reality, folks, we only have two choices now. And it’s either going to be — and maybe it will be Bernie but I think it will be Hillary — but it’s Donald Trump and it’s one or the other. And you can’t write in the third party.”

A Clinton presidency, she said would be “devastating” and would create “lasting damage.”

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Ted Cruz Posts Archive

Brian Tashman, Friday 06/17/2016, 5:40pm
Atima Omara @ The American Prospect: Punishing Women for Abortion.  Tierney Sneed @ Talking Points Memo: GOP Makes 'Appalling' Pitch To LGBTs: Dems Are Choosing Muslims Over You.  Simon Maloy @ Salon: Ted Cruz’s awful terrorism speech: The 2016 drop-out has some terrible opinions about fighting extremism.  Alex Griswold @ Mediaite: GOP Congressman Gives the Most Hilariously Incomprehensible Defense of Trump to Date.  Carl Schreck @ RFE/RL: 'Shame They Didn't Croak': Russian 'Young Leader' Outrages With... MORE >
Kyle Mantyla, Wednesday 06/15/2016, 2:46pm
Glenn Beck kicked off his radio program today by calling on Christians to denounce Pastor Roger Jimenez, who gained notoriety this week by preaching that the real tragedy of the Orlando massacre was that more gay people weren't killed. Beck said that this pastor is preaching "evil" and that Christians cannot remain silent about it and must repudiate such views: During the course of the discussion, Beck mentioned that there was conference last year, possibly in Ohio, put on by some pastor who also called for gay people to be put to death at which several of the Republican... MORE >
Brian Tashman, Monday 06/13/2016, 2:00pm
Seemingly attempting to outdo Donald Trump in trying to come up with the most cynical and thoughtless responses to the massacre in Orlando, Ted Cruz released a statement yesterday condemning liberals for what he claims is insufficient condemnation of anti-LGBT violence perpetrated by groups like ISIS and the Iranian government: For all the Democrats who are loud champions of the gay and lesbian community whenever there is a culture battle waging, now is the opportunity to speak out against an ideology that calls for the murder of gays and lesbians. ISIS and the theocracy in Iran (supported... MORE >
Peter Montgomery, Wednesday 06/01/2016, 3:46pm
Desperation can lead people to do desperate things. Bill Kristol has been pleading for major Republicans like Mitt Romney to enter the presidential race as an independent to give conservatives an alternative to the unserious, unbelievable, unpredictable huckster at the top of the ticket. Over the weekend Kristol tweeted, “There will be an independent candidate — an impressive one, with a strong team and a real chance.” The prospect was titillating to political junkies, but the reality has been far less so. Turns out, according to some news reports, that all the political... MORE >
Peter Montgomery, Thursday 05/19/2016, 1:22pm
Hispanic evangelical leader Samuel Rodriguez has a consistent political strategy: position himself as a nonpartisan advocate committed “not to the agenda of the elephant or the donkey but the lamb,” all while trying to convince Hispanic Christians to support socially conservative causes and politicians. You might think that the immigration-reform-promoting Rodriguez would be in a bind with immigrant-demeaning Trump as the Republican nominee. But even though Rodriguez has been publicly critical of Trump’s rhetoric on immigration, he seems to be positioning himself to... MORE >
Miranda Blue, Wednesday 05/11/2016, 12:52pm
Troy Newman, the head of Operation Rescue and a driving force behind last year’s series of videos smearing Planned Parenthood, writes today that although Donald Trump “has said and done many things that most Christians would find despicable,” he will vote for him — although not formally endorse him — in the presidential election. Newman caused some controversy when he was tapped as a leader of an anti-choice coalition on Ted Cruz’s campaign. The anti-choice activist, who has built his career around harassing abortion providers, once wrote that the... MORE >
Kyle Mantyla, Tuesday 05/10/2016, 12:19pm
Ever since Ted Cruz dropped out of the Republican presidential race last week, Glenn Beck and his co-hosts have been holding on to a sliver of hope that if Cruz could still somehow manage to win today's Republican primary in Nebraska, that would convince the Texas senator to unsuspend his campaign and re-enter the race. Today, Cruz called into Beck's radio program and Beck's co-host Pat Gray directly asked Cruz about this possibility. "If Nebraska were to somehow miraculously choose you tonight," Gray asked, "if that happened, would you consider getting back in the... MORE >
Peter Montgomery, Monday 05/09/2016, 3:09pm
While Ted Cruz had the backing of most Religious Right leaders in his now-suspended presidential campaign, Donald Trump has had his own amen corner among preachers of the God-wants-you-to-be-rich prosperity gospel, including a group  who laid hands on him last fall. At that meeting, Florida-based prosperity preacher Paula White prayed that "any tongue that rises against him will be condemned according to the word of God.” It’s not really surprising that preachers who tout wealth as a sign of God’s favor would line up with a blustery billionaire like Trump, who says... MORE >