New Republican MacBeth Won’t Commit to Supporting Trump
Tuesday, March 29, 2016
"I haven't made any decision in the Presidential race, as I was focused on making this move. I'll make my decision on the Presidential race shortly," said MacBeth on Monday.
Republican Presidential candidate Donald Trump is currently ahead in the delegate count for the nomination, however a number of factors could lead to a brokered Republican nominating convention this summer.
MacBeth, the former chair of the House Oversight Committee who was ousted by Speaker Nicholas Mattiello following the party switch on Monday, said she'd been thinking about the jump for some time, but the truck toll debate and RhodeWorks legislation (which she opposed) cemented her decision to leave the Democratic party.
"Look, not one idea on truck tolls was perfect, but to push it through in thirteen days? When [Mattiello] kept speaking to a 'Republican agenda' -- I didn't see it that way. I saw it as an opportunity to bring people together and work on a solution, and that didn't happen," said MacBeth.
While the Rhode Island Republican Party welcomed MacBeth to their ranks on Monday, the State Democratic Party had pointed words for their former colleague.
"Only nine months ago, Representative MacBeth joined her Republican colleagues in unanimously supporting the House Democratic Leadership's state budget. Now that we are in an election year, she is putting partisan politics over policy and the job she was elected to do," said RI Democratic Chairman Joseph McNamara. "She clearly has her eyes on running for Congress, where there is a vacancy on the Republican side. That is opportunism at its worst and she is putting self-service before public service. Congressman Cicilline works tirelessly for his constituents and I'm confident the voters will see through Representative MacBeth's charade and continue to support him."
Cicilline was first elected to the United States House of Representatives in 2010 after serving as Mayor of Providence for the previous 8 years; MacBeth, a school principal, was first elected to the Rhode Island House of Representatives in 2008.
"Nationally, we need to make moves but when I look at some of the options that are out there, we can't afford to miss the boat," said MacBeth. "We need to promote our businesses, and make sure we're secure and safe, and I don't think those issues are being adequately addressed. Take licenses for for illegal immigrants -- how about how you start by coming into the country by the legal means? [Licenses] are a band-aid to a much bigger problem."
Political experts parsed MacBeth's prospects at defeating Cicilline this election cycle.
"It is always difficult to run against an incumbent, especially one whose margins have grown with each election. And it is particularly difficult to win as a Republican in District 1 as both Patrick Kennedy's and David Cicilline's opponents will tell you," said Roger Williams Professor of Politics June Speakman, who disclosed that she has given money to Cicilline in the past "The implosion of the national Republican party is likely to make life difficult for down-ticket Republican candidates. Still, it's been a crazy, unpredictable campaign!"
Jennifer Duffy with The Cook Political Report said that 2016 could prove to be troublesome as well.
"It's a really steep hill in a presidential year," said Duffy. "And it doesn't matter how much money [MacBeth] has in the bank since it can't be used in a federal campaign."
"I'd be starting fresh, but that's OK," said MacBeth. "My opponent before the most recent election spent close to $40,000 and he had special interests behind him. I spent less than $5,000. It's time we take our politics back. Yes, fundraising will probably always be a part of it, but it shouldn't be about the rich elite getting elected."
Veteran pollster Vic Profughi said that raising money would "always be a problem" for Rhode Island Republicans.
"Fundraising is always a problem for the GOP in Rhode Island, unless they get help from national, which she wouldn't get unless they feel they have a good shot of winning," said Profughi. "Otherwise you've very much on your own."
Related Slideshow: 10 Ways Bernie Sanders and Donald Trump Are Actually Similar
Universal Health Care
Despite sitting on opposite sides of the aisle, Trump and Sanders essentially share the same healthcare plan. But you don’t have to take our word for it—Ted Cruz, Trump’s chief rival, said himself that Trump and Sanders “have basically the same healthcare plan," in an interview with Fox News’ Sean Hannity.
"Donald Trump enthusiastically supported the TARP bailout of big banks. I opposed it. He enthusiastically supported Barack Obama's stimulus plan. He thought it should have been bigger. I think it was a disaster and a waste of money. Actually, Donald not only supported both of those, but he argued that Obamacare should be expanded to make it socialized medicine for everyone,” Cruz told Hannity
Reforming Wall Street
Both candidates have made serious noise talking about reforming Wall Street. Bernie Sanders has just about made his whole career on taking on financial kingpins, and has attracted many young fans in the process.
While the uber-capitalist Trump may seem like the candidate to take on his fellow one-percenters, his words say something different. Trump blasted hedge fund managers on CBS, saying they are “getting away with murder,” on CBS’ “Face the Nation" in 2015.
"The hedge fund guys didn't build this country. These are guys that shift paper around and they get lucky,” Trump said.
They Don't Take Money from Wall Street
It’s not just that the candidates criticize Wall Street and big banks—plenty do that. But Trump and Sanders back up their tough talk by not attracting campaign donations from those same financial institutions.
Sure, Hillary Clinton has taken aim at the major financial mavericks during her time on the campaign trail—what self-respecting Democrat hasn’t? But a closer look at her campaign financials shows that she isn’t putting her money where her mouth is.
Their Campaigns are Populist Movements
Neither Trump nor Sanders are what you would call a “party darling.” Both have taken aim at the lions and leaders of their own parties have been unafraid to make controversial statements regarding the political establishments.
Instead, their campaigns have been buoyed by passionate, typically politically apathetic people. People who have finally found someone they can relate to in the political landscape and someone they feel they can trust. Despite repeated predictions of failure, regular people continue to respond to their campaigns, as both Sanders and Trump remain near or at the polls as the primaries begin.
The Most Unusual Candidates (Ever?)
Trump and Sanders are certainly the most unusual candidates this year, as both the Republican and Democratic fields contain typical governors, senators and congressman vying for the ultimate government job. It goes one step further, however—they may be the most unusual candidates a Presidential campaign has ever seen.
Sure, Trump isn’t the first rich eccentric to take a run at the Oval Office (just google Ross Perot if you don’t believe us.) But he’s certainly the first candidate to speak about immigrants and other races as he has.
Political candidates of any variety like going where they are wanted. They make sure that there are plenty of warm well-wishers to make campaign events see exciting and full.
Trump and Sanders, however, seem to be able to attract raucous crowds that are more akin to rock concert or playoff game than a political rally. People come in costume, dressed as their favorite candidate. Teenagers, even though they cannot cast a vote, turn out in full face paint to support their candidate.
It’s happened all over the country. Record-setting crowds packed the Moda Center in Portland, Oregon and thousands filled the DCU Center to see Trump in Worcester, Massachusetts. Everywhere these candidates go, people rush to see them.
Lots of Small-Money Donations
Typically, leading Presidential campaigns are powered by big money donations, but that’s not the case for Trump and Sanders.
As Graphiq shows us below, Sanders and Trump are one and two, respectively in the amount of campaign donations under $200—a sure sign of grassroots support.
How often do you watch and listen to a political speaking, and find yourself drifting off to sleep or reaching for your iPhone?
That rarely seems to be the case when Trump or Sanders are on the mic. You never quite know when Trump will insult an entire religion or ethnic group in one thirty-second soundbite.
Not to be outdone, Sanders folksy and frantic style of speech has attracted attention—and plenty of jokes and memes—from all across the internet.
Slated for Failure
Since the first day that each candidate announced their campaign, the political intellectual and elite have told everyone that they just don’t stand a chance. Trump and Sanders are too controversial, their too radical and they are too inexperienced. How many times did political analysts or other talking heads say they would be out of the race before the first votes are ever cast?
Yet here we are, just a few days away from the first caucuses and primaries. Neither Trump nor Sanders are out of the race. Neither is on their dying breaths. They are thriving. And, as you’ll see in our next slide, they are winning
Leading in Iowa (and New Hampshire!)
If the latest polls are to believed these massively unusual candidates—one socialist, one real estate magnate/reality tv star, both with tons of small donations, both told they never had any chance—will be making victory speeches in Iowa and New Hampshire soon.
According to CNN, Trump has an 11 point lead among Republicans and Sanders an eight point lead among Democrats in Iowa just a few days before the caucus.
And in New Hampshire, as you’ll see below, Trump and Sanders have double digit leads as we approach the first true primary.
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