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Posts tagged ‘Rand Paul’

Republicans Brace for Sign that Jeb Bush May Run in 2016.


By all appearances, former Florida governor Jeb Bush is a man on a mission.

His itinerary for the next several weeks includes stops in Tennessee, New Mexico and Nevada to appear with Republican candidates in this fall’s elections or help them raise money for their campaigns.

And then he speaks at a dinner ahead of a Republican Jewish Coalition meeting featuring several potential Republican presidential contenders at the Venetian Hotel in Las Vegas. The hotel is owned by casino magnate Sheldon Adelson, who gave over $100 million to Republican candidates in 2012.

Urgent: Who Should Be 2016 GOP Presidential Nominee? 

So what, exactly, is Jeb Bush up to? Could Bush, 61, the son of a U.S. president and the brother of another, quietly be laying the groundwork for a historic attempt to become the third member of his family to occupy the White House?

When Bush is asked if he will run in 2016, he deflects, saying he will decide by the end of this year based on family considerations and whether he thinks he can run “joyfully.”

Bush’s spokeswoman, Kristy Campbell, declined to comment.

But several other people close to him say that now more than ever, there are signs he might look past several potential hurdles – including polls that suggest Americans are not exactly enthralled with the idea of another President Bush – and seriously consider stepping into the fray.

At this point in previous election cycles when his name has surfaced, Bush has told friends, staffers and fellow Florida politicians that he would not run. However, he “has not given anyone the wave-off at this point” for 2016, said a Washington-based Republican strategist familiar with Bush’s discussions about the presidency.

To the contrary, this strategist said, Bush has in place an “inner circle” of fewer than a dozen people who are in regular contact with him weighing the pros and cons of running. “They are at the beginning of a very serious conversation.”

A former Bush campaign aide who remains in contact with the former governor said this year’s speculation is more warranted than that in previous years: “He’s really giving it true consideration. Possibly if you’d asked two years ago, we’d say, ‘Oh gosh, I don’t think he’d do this.’ But I think he’s giving it a real, serious look now.”

Former Republican senator Mel Martinez of Florida, who was secretary of housing and urban development during the presidency of Bush’s brother, George W. Bush, said that in Jeb Bush’s south Florida there is a growing belief among political observers that he is leaning toward joining what promises to be a crowded field of Republican presidential contenders.

Republican strategists said that Bush – whose eight years as Florida’s governor ended in January 2007 – could change the dynamic of the Republican nomination battle and provide a defining moment for a party struggling with a divide between conservative Tea Party activists and more moderate members of the Republican establishment.

There are no declared candidates yet, but the race for the Republican nomination appears to be shaping up as a contest largely among staunch conservatives favored by the Tea Party movement, such as Texas Senator Ted Cruz, libertarian Republican Rand Paul and Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker. A more moderate potential candidate, New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, has been caught up in a political scandal that has made some Wall Street donors nervous about his prospects.

A campaign by Bush, a face of the party establishment, could challenge arguments of Tea Party activists and others on the right who see losses by John McCain and Mitt Romney in the last two presidential elections as reasons the party should nominate a more strictly conservative candidate.

For big-money Republican donors, strategist Matt Mackowiak said, Bush would represent a marquee name in U.S. politics that could attract the support beyond the far-right Republican base that will be needed to win a general election. He could also bring enough star power to vie against former secretary of state Hillary Clinton, who officials in both parties expect to run and win the Democratic presidential nomination.

Bush is the donor class’ first choice in his home state, said Florida Bankers Association president and Romney campaign bundler Alex Sanchez.

 

‘JEB IS THE EXCEPTION’

For pundits, political observers and history lovers, the prospect of a Bush-Clinton battle for the White House would be a dream matchup: a showdown between two branches of America’s political royalty.

Recent early polls have suggested that if he were to run, Jeb Bush would be weighed down by Americans’ lingering attitudes toward his brother, who left office in January 2009 as one of the least popular presidents in U.S. history. In a Washington Post/ABC News poll this month, nearly half of the voters surveyed said they “definitely would not” vote for Jeb Bush in 2016 – a level of disapproval matched only by Romney.

Even Bush’s mother, former first lady Barbara Bush, has been lukewarm about the notion of another son running for president.

“There’s no question in my mind that Jeb is the best qualified person to run for president, but I hope he won’t, because he’ll get all my enemies, all his brother’s,” Barbara Bush, wife of George H.W. Bush, told C-SPAN in January. She softened her stance in an interview with Fox News this month, saying that “maybe it’s OK” if Jeb were to run.

For a Republican Party desperate to broaden its appeal among the nation’s fast-growing and Democratic-leaning Hispanic population, a figure like Jeb Bush could be significant. He speaks Spanish and his wife, Columba, was born in Mexico. Bush – who won 61 percent of Florida’s Hispanic vote in his 1998 governor’s race, according to exit polls – has backed legal status, but not full citizenship, for undocumented immigrants. This compromise drew conservative fire when Bush’ promoted his book “Immigration Wars: Forging an American Solution” in 2013.

As governor, he also stressed using standardized test scores as metrics of school and teacher performances, an emphasis at the center of a nationwide debate in U.S. education. Bush, who runs an education foundation, has also promoted the idea of allowing parents and students a choice of which public school to attend.

Bush headlined a Republican National Committee fundraising lunch in southern California in February and spoke to a group of New York-area business leaders less than two weeks later. He also appeared in a U.S. Chamber of Commerce advertisement for the Republican candidate in a Florida special congressional election, and campaigned with his son, George P. Bush, who is running for Texas Land Commissioner.

In the coming weeks Bush will raise money for or appear with a slate of Republicans up for re-election in 2014: Senator Lamar Alexander and Governor Bill Haslam in Tennessee, Governor Susana Martinez in New Mexico and Governor Brian Sandoval in Nevada.

Some Bush allies reject the idea that his recent activity reflects a building desire to run for president.

“People who know a lot aren’t talking, and the people who are talking don’t know. He’s made clear he’s going to be deliberate and methodical in the way he goes about this,” said former Florida congressman Tom Feeney, who ran for lieutenant governor on a ticket with Bush in 1994 and remains close with him.

Several Republican strategists and Bush loyalists said it would take less time for Bush to organize a full-scale campaign team than it would for someone like Walker or Cruz, thanks to his family’s experience and connections. They also dismissed concerns that Bush would have trouble running a modern campaign, given that he has not run for office since 2002 – before the age of Twitter and the Tea Party.

“Jeb is the exception,” said Mackowiak. “The time it takes to build a national finance operation for one of those other candidates? He only has to spend a fraction of that to get his together. … The clock is ticking for him, it’s just ticking more slowly.”

Urgent: Who Should Be 2016 GOP Presidential Nominee? 

© 2014 Thomson/Reuters. All rights reserved.

Source: Newsmax.com

Mary Matalin: Nancy Pelosi, Democrats Running ‘Scared’.


Top Republican political strategist Mary Matalin says House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi is doing a “Kabuki dance” by claiming Republicans are “wasting their time” using the Affordable Care Act as a campaign issue.

“It’s all a Kabuki dance. Obviously, they are scared and they’re trying to scrounge off a strategy and they’ve come up with, let’s see Obamacare on the offense and attack Republicans,” Matalin told “The Steve Malzberg Show” on Newsmax TV.

“Do you think anyone is listening to Nancy Pelosi?”

Story continues below video.

Pelosi took on the GOP after Republican newcomer David Jolly beat well-known Democrat Alex Sink in a special election for Florida’s 13th Congressional District on Tuesday. Many see the victory as a referendum on Obamacare.

“Sink — the kitchen sink had him, pun intended — [she] lost and that is not a Republican district,” Matalin said.

“I don’t see anything in the midterm elections that would portend anything but a positive outcome for Republicans.”

Matalin — who served under President Ronald Reagan, was campaign director for George H.W. Bush, and was an assistant to President George W. Bush — said she was impressed by this year’s Conservative Political Action Conference.

“I love when Republicans, conservatives, talk the talk. When they have open debates. When they fight, when they get into it. I love the Rand [Paul]-[Ted] Cruz different approaches,” Matalin said.

“You saw a very deep back-bench of intelligent, articulate candidates, would-be candidates or incumbents who can carry that message. I was in heaven …

“My personal opinion, the guy who’s going to end up in the top tier wasn’t there, which is [Wisconsin Gov.] Scott Walker.”

Matalin added that she doesn’t believe former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton will ultimately be the Democrats’ choice for the 2016 presidential race.

© 2014 Newsmax. All rights reserved.

By Bill Hoffmann

Jeb Bush Leads GOP Contenders Against Hillary Clinton.


By Drew MacKenzie

Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush is the strongest potential GOP contender against the likely Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton, according to a new poll.

The Public Policy Polling survey shows that Bush only trails Clinton by a margin of 3  points, 47-44 percent while New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie is close behind with a 4-point deficit, 46 percent to 42 percent.

Clinton, who has not yet decided whether she will run, leads Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky by 47-42 percent and Rep. Paul Ryan of Wisconsin by 48-43 percent.

The former secretary of state is well clear of Florida Sen. Marco Rubio by an 8-point gap, 48-40 percent, and she has an 11-point margin over Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, 51-40 percent.

“At this point, the contrast for 2016 is pretty stark, Dean Debnam, president of Public Policy Polling, said in a statement. “If Hillary Clinton runs, Democrats are favored to keep control of the White House. If she doesn’t run, voters are more inclined to vote for the GOP nominee.”

When it comes to who is the most favored of the potential Republican candidates for president, former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee leads the field with 18 percent support compared to 15 percent for Bush, 14 percent for both Christie and Paul, and 11 percent for Cruz.

Rubio received 6 percent while Ryan and Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker had 5 percent each, and Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal had 4 percent.

The survey was conducted among 1,152 registered voters from March 6 to 9 and has an overall margin of error of 2.9 percentage points.

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© 2014 Newsmax. All rights reserved.

Rubio: My Economic Plan Will Create ‘Another American Century’.


Image: Rubio: My Economic Plan Will Create 'Another American Century'

By Joe Battaglia

Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida outlined his plan to improve the economy Monday, continuing an attempt to shift focus from his failed immigration overhaul to his policy ideas.

Speaking during an afternoon forum hosted by Google and the Jack Kemp Foundation, Rubio advocated changes he said would create high-paying, middle-class jobs while ushering in “another American century,” with reforms such as an overhaul of the tax system, an increase in trade and research opportunities, and advances in the technology sector.

“While we are facing the full brunt of the disruptions created by the economic revolution [of the 20th century], its opportunities are not reaching quite enough Americans,” Rubio said. “The enormous challenge, the fundamental challenge before us, is to help people overcome these challenges and to access the promise of our time. Achieving this is going to require us to replace the antiquated policies and institutions of the last century with ones built for this new era.”

Rubio said that for the United States to position itself to win in a new global economy, wide-ranging transformation is needed in Washington, and he outlined three main avenues for reform.

The first is to enact policies aimed at fostering innovation.

Rubio argued that while the American people produce 35 percent of the value of the world’s goods despite composing just 4 percent of the global population, we would be doing even more except that “Washington has put up a blockade of restrictions and regulations and taxes that prevent innovators from accessing the full range of opportunities afforded by the American free enterprise system.”

His plans for collapsing those barriers call for preserving Internet freedom, expanding access to the wireless spectrum by selling it to private companies through federal auctions, and promoting technology development at the Department of Energy.

“We want to build projects and companies that not only change our lives and the numbers in our bank account but that change the world and change it for the better,” Rubio said.

After spurring innovation, Rubio said Washington’s second avenue of reform must be the expansion of markets for U.S. products and services by actively engaging in the global economy.

He pushed for the White House to be given “trade promotion authority” to expedite international trade deals; called for increased cooperation between federal research agencies and the private sector; and urged creation of a “national regulatory budget” that would be established by an independent board and would require the government to measure and offset the costs of any new regulation.

“We need trade policies that make it easier for our products to make it to a global network of consumers,” Rubio said.

Rubio said the United States must not lose sight of the fact that it is in constant competition with other global energy producers, and called for a repeal of the ban on crude-oil exports and for streamlining the regulatory review process for natural gas pipeline development.

“The interstate highway system of the last century helped foster an explosion of economic opportunity,” Rubio said.

“What we need now is an interstate energy pipeline system because it can have a similar impact on our economy. Unlike the interstate highway of the 1950s, the private sector, not taxpayers, can and will pay for this new system.

“What they need from government is a reduction or elimination of the regulations that are preventing the private sector from doing this now.”

Rubio said the country’s third avenue for reform should be on how to make it the best country in the world in which to invest. Hindering that from happening is what he said is the highest combined corporate tax rate of any advanced economy on the planet.

“If you combine federal and state taxes, our corporate rate is nearly 40 percent,” he said. “The global average is under 25 percent. Just on taxes alone it is more expensive to invest in creating jobs in America than in most other developed countries. If we stick with the status quo, what we risk is losing the next great American company before it even has the chance to begin.”

Rubio’s proposals call for sweeping reforms of the tax code, including a decrease in the highest corporate tax rate, immediately allowing companies to deduct all their expenses and expenditures from their taxable income, and allowing companies to avoid U.S. taxes on earnings made and taxed abroad.

“Under the current tax system, the safe thing for companies to do is leave [their money] in the bank,” Rubio said. “We see evidence of this in the fact that American businesses are sitting on an estimated $4 trillion to $5 trillion in uninvested cash. That is more than the size of the entire German economy. That is over twice the size of the Russian economy. Instead of this money being invested to grow and hire, it’s just sitting there.

“Under the changes we are working on, the more a business invests, the less the government takes away from them. That serves as a powerful incentive to invest, to grow, to hire, and to give their workers raises.

“We no longer have the luxury of wasting time on the failed promises of big government or the divisive rhetoric of class warfare,” Rubio said. “The world around us is changing quickly, and we have waited far too long to change with it.”

Rubio, a potential Republican presidential candidate in 2016, wants to rebuild his image after he angered conservatives last year by leading a push for a major overhaul of immigration laws that many on the right viewed as an amnesty for illegal immigrants.

The son of Cuban immigrants, he was dubbed the “savior of the Republican Party” by Time magazine last year but is having a hard time ingratiating himself with GOP conservatives, The Wall Street Journal reports. Most of his proposals on Monday are likely to garner support from other conservatives.

Rubio finished seventh in a straw poll of possible presidential contenders at last week’s Conservative Political Action Conference. Last year, he came in second to Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky, who also won this year’s poll.

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© 2014 Newsmax. All rights reserved.

Sarah Palin: No ‘Victory Lap’ Over Ukraine Prediction.


Former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin said Friday that she is not doing a “victory lap” after triumphing over news reports that attacked her during the 2008 presidential campaign for predicting that Russian President Vladimir Putin would invade Ukraine if Barack Obama won the White House.

“There was a lot of pooh-poohing on a lot of things I said — and that wasn’t the only thing I was right about,” she told Greta Van Susteren on her Fox News program. “No victory lap, because I’d be interrupting them.

Urgent: Do You Approve Or Disapprove of President Obama’s Job Performance? Vote Now in Urgent Poll 

“You don’t interrupt somebody when they’re in the process of destroying their own credibility,” she added. “That’s the media.”

Story continues below video.

Palin last week noted the press pounding she took for her Ukraine prediction on her Facebook page.

“Yes, I could see this one from Alaska,” Palin said on Facebook, noting that she said “told-ya-so” in the case of her “accurate prediction being derided as ‘an extremely far-fetched scenario’ by the ‘high-brow’ Foreign Policy magazine.

Palin, the GOP vice presidential candidate that year, will keynote the Conservative Political Action Conference in suburban Washington on Saturday.

She told Van Susteren that she planned to tell attendees that Republicans had “every reason to be optimistic” about this fall’s congressional elections because “there’s been a great awakening in America.

“People are finding out that Obamacare is very bad for our economy — for our businesses and for our families. The problems of Obamacare are being manifested at their own dinner tables, in their pocketbooks — and people are saying: ‘No. Enough is enough of this.’”

But Palin cautioned: “We’d better not let the establishment — those that go along to get along, with Obama in this case — we can’t let them dictate what the issues are and what the message is, even who the candidates are.”

The former governor reiterated her longstanding call for the repeal of President Obama’s signature domestic legislative achievement and praised Sen. Ted Cruz and others who continued to push for ending the healthcare law.

“It needs to be killed now,” she said. “Most of these politicians in office today had promised that they would do that.

“Yet, when they had the opportunity to defund Obamacare, using the tools that the Constitution provides them with and the power of the purse, they balked,” Palin added. “It was Ted Cruz and just a few of them who stood strong on what they had at their fingertips to defund it.”

Cruz, the first-term Texas senator who is backed by the tea party, spoke against Obamacare for 21 hours and 19 minutes on the Senate floor in September.

While noting that Cruz and Kentucky GOP Sen. Rand Paul — who also has tea party support — are at the “top of my list” as 2016 candidates for the presidency, Palin said that she was not endorsing anyone at this point.

“I appreciate those who have fought for America,” she said in naming the senators. “It doesn’t have to be someone who has a title today, in office today.

“In fact, some would say that we need to stay clear of those who have followed a conventional political path. Maybe they’re part of the problem.

“There are businessmen and women out there,” Palin added. “There are strong family men and women who understand what it is that makes America exceptional and they want to protect that. They want to get back to that.

“Maybe someone like that will rise and be the candidate for 2016. Maybe that’s what we need.”

She declined to say whether she might join the 2016 fray, too.

“It sounds cliché, but you never say ‘never.’ At this point in time, I don’t have any of kind organization going. I’ll never say ‘never.’

“It depends on what Americans really, really want in a candidate,” Palin added. “If they want a fighter, if they want someone who can respect our exceptionalism — everything that makes America great, the promise of America — if they don’t find that, I would run.

“But I do think that there are so many Americans who feel like I feel — and they are capable. They’re willing and able to serve,” she said.

“They’re public servants. They’re willing and able to serve and to lead this country, so it doesn’t have to be me.”

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© 2014 Newsmax. All rights reserved.

By Todd Beamon

Mitt Romney: Hillary Clinton — Not Bill — Is the Issue in 2016.


Former President Bill Clinton “breached his responsibility” and embarrassed the United States while having an affair with intern Monica Lewinsky while in office, former candidate Mitt Romney said Sunday, but he doesn’t think his issues are relevant to a potential campaign for Hillary Clinton.

“She has her own record and her own vision,” Romney told NBC’ “Meet the Press” host David Gregory Sunday.

Kentucky Republican Sen. Rand Paul, who is a likely candidate for the Republican nomination in 2016, is leading a charge against the Clinton campaign by calling the former president a “sexual predator,” saying the affair shows hypocrisy in the Democrats’ accusations that Republicans are spearheading a “war on women.”

Editor’s Note: Secret ‘250% Calendar’ Exposed — Free Video

But Romney said it is not Hillary Clinton’s job to explain her husband’s actions, and the Republican Party and its presidential candidates would be better off focusing on her history as a New York senator and as secretary of state.

“I think Hillary Clinton if she becomes the nominee will have plenty to discuss about her own record,” said Romney. “I don’t imagine that Bill Clinton will be a big part of it.”

He also acknowledged that while Bill Clinton was in office, the nation enjoyed economic prosperity, but the former president’s private life and mistakes embarrassed the nation.

Romney insisted again on Sunday that while he’ll support the GOP candidate who is matched up against Clinton or whomever the Democratic nominee turns out to be, he won’t be the one seeking the nomination.

The former Massachusetts governor has sought the presidency twice, but now thinks “by and large people who lose a presidential race, well, they step aside.”

But even though he isn’t planning another presidential run, Romney said, that doesn’t mean “I’m going to quit fighting for the American people.”

In other discussions on the show, Romney said he does not believe security concerns about the Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia, were overblown, but the games have proven so far to be safe.

“I think Russia has shown not only through the application of their security forces, but also through their intelligence work, that they have the capacity to keep the games reasonably safe,” said Romney, who is credited with bringing the 2002 winter games to Salt Lake City in 2002.

Meanwhile, the former governor continued his complaints about Russia’s more-than $50 billion budget for the games, saying the Olympics can be held for as little as $2 billion. Countries hosting the games should instead spend their billions on efforts to fight poverty and disease, he said.

“That’s what we really ought to be using those resources for, as opposed to wasting them, in many cases, to show off a country or, I think more cynically, to show off the politicians in a country,” he said.

Romney, who wrote an opinion piece for USA Today this past week about curtailing the Olympic costs, said Sunday that the International Olympics Committee should step in to curb the costs.

Despite his concerns about the costs, Romney still calls hosting the games “a great experience.” He is an adviser to a possible bid from Boston to host the 2024 Olympics, and limits on spending could help that city, or cities in other parts of the world compete with countries such as Russia, where billions of government dollars can be promised.

But in the United States, the Olympics are funded, for the most part, by private donors. sponsorships, broadcast revenue and tickets, Romney said in his opinion piece.

Politicians such as Russian President Vladimir Putin think it’s worth it to spend extravagant amounts of money to promote themselves on a world stage, said Romney, and “the politicians who take this money and spend $50 billion to host the world for TV appearances, they think it’s worth it or they wouldn’t do it.”

Romney also discussed the issue of same-sex rights in Russia and the United States, reiterating that he believes marriage is “a relationship between a man and a woman” and the “ideal” for raising a child is with a father and mother.

“If gay couples want to live together, that’s fine,” said Romney, while acknowledging it’s too soon to determine if same-sex marriages are having a negative impact on the country.

In addition, he doesn’t think Republicans or other should worry about who has won or lost the fight on gay marriage.

“You have to stand behind your principles,” said Romney. It continues to be an issue that people find relevant and important … I do think it’s best decided by the people than by the courts.”

Editor’s Note: Secret ‘250% Calendar’ Exposed — Free Video

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© 2014 Newsmax. All rights reserved.
By Sandy Fitzgerald

Jindal Warns of ‘Silent War’ on Religion in Reagan Library Speech.


Image: Jindal Warns of 'Silent War' on Religion in Reagan Library Speech

Thursday, 13 Feb 2014 08:29 PM

By Greg Richter

Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal blasted the “silent war” that he said is undermining the nation’s basic principles in a major speech Thursday at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library.

Contrary to what liberals say, the Constitution was set up specifically for believers, Jindal, a Catholic who converted from Hinduism, said.

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“The American people, whether they know it or not, are mired in a silent war,” said Jindal, who is widely expected to run for president in 2016.

“It’s a war against the propositions in the Declaration of Independence: It is a war against the spirit that motivated abolitionism: It is a war against the faith that motivated the Civil Rights struggle: It is a war against the soul of countless acts of charity: It is a war against the conscience that drives social change: It is a war against the heart that binds our neighborhoods together: It is a war against America’s best self, at America’s best moment.

“It is a war — a silent war — against religious liberty.”

“This war is waged in our courts and in the halls of political power. It is pursued with grim and relentless determination by a group of like-minded elites, determined to transform the country from a land sustained by faith into a land where faith is silenced, privatized and circumscribed.”

Jindal, 42, is expected to be among a group of Republicans seeking the presidential nomination in 2016, and many see his speech at the library in Simi Valley, Calif., as part of the groundwork for such a run.

He follows other likely GOP contenders Gov. Scott Walker of Wisconsin, Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky, Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida and Gov. Chris Christie of New Jersey.

Jindal released the text of his speech before delivery. He said there was no better place than the Reagan Library to make his point because Reagan had said “Freedom is not the sole prerogative of a chosen few, but the universal right of all God’s children.”

“When he said this, he was not expressing a strictly personal belief in the nature of man as a created being, as a child of God” said Jindal. “He was reaffirming the most basic contention of the American founding, set forth in the Declaration of Independence, that we are a nation constituted in accordance with the ‘Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God,’ and that we are a people ‘endowed by our Creator with certain unalienable rights.’”

Jindal reminded his audience that as far back as 1798, President John Adams had written to Massachusetts militiamen telling them, “Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.”

But he claimed that the “secular elites” understood that to take over America they must make war on its philosophy.

“This silent war is the real undercurrent driving politically fractious debates in a number of areas of policy,” he said. “But why is this war happening? What does it mean for the country and people of faith? Why does it represent such a fundamental challenge to our American identity and the exceptional history that makes our nation great?”

In answering his own questions, Jindal pointed to the court battle over craft store Hobby Lobby’s contention it should not have to provide the morning-after pill. The Green family that owns the stores believes the pill causes an abortion, and they object to its use on religious grounds.

He said Hobby Lobby’s statement of purpose begins with a Bible verse, and that all of the stores close on Sundays. The company pays well above minimum wage and has increased salaries four years in a row. The family that runs it is committed to giving the majority of its wealth to philanthropy.

“None of this matters to the Obama administration,” he blasted. “The argument they have advanced, successfully thus far, is that a faithful business owner cannot operate under the assumption that they can use their moral principles to guide the way their place of business spends money.

“According to the administration’s legal arguments, the family that owns Hobby Lobby is not protected by the First Amendment’s ‘free exercise’ of religion clause.”

He pointed out the absurdity that Hobby Lobby — which has an offshoot company that sells Bibles — is considered a secular company, but Tyndal House, which prints Bibles, is not.

“Perhaps we should all start printing Bibles, so we can claim protection,” he said.

And he said he defended “Duck Dynasty” star Phil Robertson and his family over Robertson’s controversial statements on homosexuality, not because Jindal is the governor of the state where the Robertsons live, but because “they have every right to speak their minds, however indelicately they may choose to do so.”

Jindal also raised the Hosanna-Tabor case in which the Obama administration argued that a Lutheran academy did not have the right to fire someone over a difference in beliefs. The Supreme Court unanimously threw out the government’s argument.

“So for the time being at least, the government doesn’t get to decide who can preach the gospel. But the important thing to note is that the government wanted to make that decision — that is truly offensive and frightening.”

He also brought up cases where bakers, photographers and others in the wedding industry have been told they must cater to same-sex unions.

“This assault will only spread in the immediate future,” Jindal said, foreseeing a time when believers who refuse to be cowed will be penalized for their views, denied membership in professional groups or even rejected from licenses.

“This is the next stage of the assault,” he said. “And it is only beginning.

Jindal was speaking the day after a legal challenge was filed to get Louisiana’s ban on same-sex marriage overturned.

“Today, an overwhelming majority of those who belong to a religious denomination in America — that’s more than half the country — are members of organizations that affirm the traditional definition of marriage,” he said. “All of those denominations will be targeted in large and small degrees in the coming years,” he predicted.

Jindal ended his speech by referring to President Obama’s speech at the National Prayer Breakfast, in which he said that history shows “that nations that uphold the rights of their people — including the freedom of religion — are ultimately more just and more peaceful and more successful.”

“Well said, Mr. President. I couldn’t agree more,” said Jindal. “The president is very concerned about religious liberty.

“And also… if you like your religion, you can keep your religion.”

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© 2014 Newsmax. All rights reserved.

Rand Paul Sues Obama, NSA Over Surveillance of Americans’ Phones.


Image: Rand Paul Sues Obama, NSA Over Surveillance of Americans' Phones

By Bill Hoffmann

Republican Sen. Rand Paul said Wednesday he has filed his much anticipated class-action lawsuit against President Barack Obama and the National Security Agency over its massive collection of data on millions of unsuspecting Americans.

“There’s a huge and growing swell of protest in this country of people who are outraged that their records are being taken without suspicion, without a judge’s warrant, and without individualization,” Paul said outside the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia.

Flanking Paul were tea party favorites Ken Cuccinelli, the former attorney general of Virginia, and Matt Kibbe, president of FreedomWorks, Politico reports.

Cuccinelli, who unsuccessfully ran as the Republican candidate for governor, is serving as lead counsel for the lawsuit.

Kibbe said his group became involved “on behalf of our community of 6 million citizens nationwide, along with any American who has a phone. If you use a phone, you should care about this case.”

Paul, a potential 2016 GOP presidential contender, filed suit as a private citizen and is hoping the case will end up before the U.S. Supreme Court.

“I am filing a lawsuit against President Barack Obama because he has publicly refused to stop a clear and continuing violation of the Fourth Amendment,” a statement from Paul’s political action committee asserted.

“The Bill of Rights protects all citizens from general warrants.”

The Hill notes it’s the first time Paul has mentioned the president as a defendant.

Besides Obama and the NSA, the lawsuit names James Clapper, director of national intelligence; Gen. Keith Alexander, head of the NSA; and FBI chief James Comey.

Paul has been a frequent critic of the NSA’s trolling for metadata across the country and has conducted a drive to sign up 10 million participants in the class-action lawsuit through his campaign website and his political action committee.

Other cases challenging the spy agency’s information collection include that of legal activist Larry Klayman.

Politico reports that Paul initially directed potential class-action signatories to websites including RandPAC.com and to his Facebook page, which sent visitors to RandPaul2016.com. Signing up added visitors to his campaign’s email lists.

Paul is also is pushing Defendthe4th.com, a reference to the Fourth Amendment, according to Politico.

The suit criticizes the “mass, suspicionless, non-particularized collection, storage, retention, and search of telephone metadata.”

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© 2014 Newsmax. All rights reserved.

Rand Paul: Obama Turning US Into ‘Socialist Nightmare’.


President Barack Obama is turning the United States into a “socialist nightmare” by doing “blithely whatever he thinks he can get away with,” Sen. Rand Paul says.

“It’s hard to imagine exactly what his goal is because when you talk to him one on one, he sounds reasonable and like he’s not trying to transform America into some socialist nightmare,” Paul, a Kentucky Republican, told “The Steve Malzberg Show” on Newsmax TV.

“However, when you look at his policies, one after another they are sort of transformative — changing us from a country that has a marketplace and freedom of choice to a country that is stifled by coercion and mandates.”

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Paul said he is most disturbed by Obama’s flaunting of the Constitution, particularly bending laws to fit his agenda without getting congressional approval, such as his tweaking of the Affordable Care Act.

“There doesn’t seem to be any acknowledgement of restraint that the Constitution and the rule of law restrains him in any way,” he said.

“Basically he pushes the limit to whatever he thinks he can get and won’t be rebuked.”

But that may change as the Supreme Court weighs Obama’s unprecedented changes to the law, Paul says.

“We’re hoping that there will be more cases brought to bear where his idea that he can amend Obamacare without legislation, without congressional approval . . . [is] rebuked,” he said.

“It takes a while to work through the courts, and in the meantime, he just continues to do blithely whatever he thinks he can get away with.”

“He’s acting as if he’s both the executive and the legislator . . . That’s a recipe for tyranny, and it is my fear that we’re allowing the president to have so much power gravitate to him that we’re getting rid of the checks and balances that really held government [in check] and limited government’s power.”

Paul said the implementation of the ACA, and the cancellation of insurance policies it has caused, are producing “stories that pull at the heartstrings,” Paul said.

“This is about whether you allow Americans to have freedom of choice or whether you tell Americans, as the president’s doing, that you’re too stupid, you can’t make these choices, you can’t decide what’s good health insurance, I’m going to tell you what’s good.

“It’s that arrogance from Washington that, really, the whole country ought to rise up — Republican, Democrat, independent — and say, look, this is a free country and we want our freedom back, basically.”

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© 2014 Newsmax. All rights reserved.

Priebus: GOP Must Add, Not ‘Divide and Subtract’.


The Republican Party should focus on basic mathematics to build its base, Republican National Chairman Reince Priebus said Wednesday.

“We have to grow our party through addition and multiplication. We can’t divide and subtract,” Priebus told MSNBC’s “Morning Joe.”

The Republican Party game plan should involve working on all aspects within it to move forward, Priebus suggested. Republicans need to work on strengths to build “where we’re strong,” while also “building our party where we’re weak,” he said Wednesday.

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The GOP has been engulfed in divisions between conservative and moderate factions regarding its direction. Conservative tea party members, who want smaller government, have been at odds with more moderate party members.

Priebus said the door to the party should be wider to welcome “all aspects of our party.”

Traditionally, a Republican offers a single response to a president’s State of the Union address. This year, Republicans aired three responses after President Barack Obama’s speech Tuesday evening.

House GOP Conference Chairwoman Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers of Washington state;  Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul; and Utah Sen. Mike Lee offered three separate Republican counterpoints to Obama’s address.

Priebus said the tea party response by Lee was good for the party as a whole.

“I think it’s a positive thing for the Republican Party, for the tea party, to put in a good Republican, giving a good Republican response. Saying this president isn’t delivering on his promises, and that there’s a better way. And there’s a Republican senator that’s explaining the better way. How is that not good for our party?” Priebus asked.

When a party is “five years out of the White House,” it’s expected there will be “a lot of voices,” Priebus explained. He said his challenge is “to keep all of those different voices in the same room and speaking out of same hymnal.”

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© 2014 Newsmax. All rights reserved.
By Wanda Carruthers

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