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Posts tagged ‘Dick Morris’

Mike Huckabee: Libertarianism Is Not Republicanism.


There is a strong libertarian presence in the Republican Party, which was reflected at the Conservative Political Action Conference, but libertarianism is not conservatism, says former presidential candidate and Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee.

“CPAC is becoming increasingly libertarian over the past few years, and we saw that this year,” Huckabee told Dick Morris, J.D. Hayworth and John Bachman on Newsmax TV’s America’s Forum on Monday.

“Libertarians have a very valid point of view, and increasingly we’re seeing a libertarian influence for the Republican Party. But pure libertarianism is not Republicanism,” he added. “They’re welcome in the Republican Party, but don’t act as if somehow libertarianism is a purer form of being Republican.”

Story continues below video.

The Arkansas Republican said, however, that he doesn’t put all the blame for Republican losses on Libertarian Party candidates taking votes from GOP candidates

“If 10 percent more of the social conservatives had voted in the 2012 election, Mitt Romney would be president today,” Huckabee said. “They stayed home, in larger numbers, in part because they didn’t feel like there was a message that really connected to them.”

Huckabee said that the solution for Republican candidates is not to stay away from social issues, because “by doing so, you almost ensure defeat.”

The former presidential candidate added that “a real conservative embodies the whole spectrum of conservatism, which is not only fiscal conservatism [but also] the idea that we need less government and the government we have ought to be more effective and more local.”

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© 2014 Newsmax. All rights reserved.
By Courtney Coren

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Dick Morris: NFL, Flake Forced Brewer’s Hand.


Image: Dick Morris: NFL, Flake Forced Brewer's HandArizona Gov. Jan Brewer and NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell during a Super Bowl host committee handover ceremony in New York.

By Todd Beamon

Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer vetoed a religious protection bill concerning gay rights because she was pressured by the state’s business community and the National Football League, which is scheduled to hold the Super Bowl in the state next year, political analyst Dick Morris told Newsmax late Wednesday.

“I think she vetoed the bill because of pressure from the Arizona business community,” Morris, who served as an aide to President Bill Clinton, told Newsmax in an email. “When Sen. Jeff Flake, a tea party conservative from Arizona, joined his colleague John McCain in urging a veto, it gave her political cover on the right to veto the bill,” Morris said.

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“I think the [National Football League] had a lot to do with it also,” he said. “By threatening to move the Super Bowl, they epitomized the harm that would flow to Arizona had she signed the bill.

“I don’t think she realistically had any choice. It became a jobs issue — and she had to veto the bill.”

In vetoing the legislation, Brewer said the controversial measure could “create more problems than it purports to solve.”

State Senate Bill 1062 would have allowed business owners to cite their religious beliefs as legal grounds for refusing to serve same-sex couples or any other prospective customer. It was passed by the Republican-controlled Arizona Legislature last week.

“Senate Bill 1062 does not address a specific or present concern related to religious liberty in Arizona,” Brewer said in a brief statement from her office as she announced her decision. “I have not heard one example in Arizona where a business owner’s religious liberty has been violated.”

She then attacked the bill as a broadly worded proposal that “could result in unintended and negative consequences.”

Brewer had come under mounting pressure to veto the measure after both McCain and Flake, both Republicans, opposed it. Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, the 2012 GOP presidential candidate, also spoke against the bill.

Three state Republicans who voted for the bill last week also reversed course and urged Brewer to veto it.

“I appreciate the decision made by Gov. Brewer to veto this legislation,” McCain said in a statement posted on his website. “I hope that we can now move on from this controversy and assure the American people that everyone is welcome to live, work and enjoy our beautiful State of Arizona.”

Flake said on Twitter:

He added in a later post:

The legislation was backed by the Center for Arizona Policy, a socially conservative group that opposes abortion and gay marriage.

Cathi Herrod, the group’s president, said Brewer’s veto marked “a sad day for Arizonans who cherish and understand religious liberty.”

The bill, she said, “passed the legislature for one reason only: to guarantee that all Arizonans would be free to live and work according to their faith.”

“Opponents were desperate to distort this bill rather than debate the merits,” Herrod said. “Essentially, they succeeded in getting a veto of a bill that does not even exist.”

Perhaps the strongest opposition to the legislation came from business leaders. Some who had opposed it threatened to boycott Arizona if Brewer approved it, similar to what many groups did after the state passed a tough anti-illegal immigration law in 2010.

That possibility worried some companies and business organizations, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Among the companies opposing the bill were Apple, American Airlines, Marriott International, and Delta Air Lines.

The Arizona Super Bowl Committee also voiced its opposition to the bill, contending that it would “deal a significant blow” to the state’s economy, the Times reports.

The 2015 Super Bowl is scheduled to be played at University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale, just outside Phoenix.

In addition, the Hispanic National Bar Association said on Wednesday that it would move its 40th annual convention, scheduled for September 2015 in Phoenix, to another city because of the legislation, the Times reported.

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The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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© 2014 Newsmax. All rights reserved.

 

Rep. Hastings Announces Retirement In Wake of Debt-Ceiling Vote.


Image: Rep. Hastings Announces Retirement In Wake of Debt-Ceiling Vote

 

By Todd Beamon

Rep. Doc Hastings on Thursday became the latest House Republican to announce his retirement — two days after he was part of a critical coalition of House leaders, made up of retiring GOP members and representatives primarily from Northeastern states, that backed a controversial bill to raise America’s debt ceiling without restrictions.

“Last Friday, I celebrated my 73rd birthday, and while I have the ability and seniority to continue serving central Washington, it is time for the voters to choose a new person with new energy to represent them in the people’s House,” Hastings said in a statement.

First elected in 1995, Hastings is chairman of the House Natural Resources Committee and recently called for overhauling the Endangered Species Act, charging that the 40-year-old law has been abused by environmental groups seeking to restrict development in the name of species protection.

The announcement came a day after GOP Rep. Gary Miller, 66, of California said that he was retiring after more than 15 years in the House because of family issues.

Hastings is now the 24th member of Congress to say that this year would be his last. He joins 13 Republicans and 11 Democrats to disclose their impending departures from Capitol Hill.

In the House, he is the 11th Republican and 18th member overall to announce his retirement.

But on Tuesday, Hastings and Miller joined with Speaker John Boehner, Majority Leader Eric Cantor and Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy and 23 other House Republicans to support a one-year extension of the nation’s borrowing authority — agreeing to President Barack Obama’s demands for a debt-limit increase without any conditions.

Boehner backed the legislation, which won on a 221-201 vote. Two Democrats, John Barrow of Georgia and Jim Matheson of Utah, joined the GOP in rejecting it.

Besides splitting the House leadership — the No. 4 Republican, Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers of Washington state, the highest-ranking House GOP woman, was among the leaders to vote “no” — the vote rankled conservatives, tea party supporters and rank-and-file Republicans.

The Senate Conservatives Fund even charged that Boehner should be replaced as speaker.

These groups were further outraged the next day when the Senate voted — after Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, of Kentucky, and Minority Whip John Cornyn, of Texas, led an assault on a filibuster by Sen. Ted Cruz — to pass a similar debt bill on a straight 55-43 party-line vote.

In the House, the 28 Republicans voting for the measure included six who are retiring at the end of the year. Besides Hastings and Miller, they are Howard Coble, N.C.; Buck McKeon, Calif.; Jon Runyan, N.J.; and Frank Wolf, Va.

“You’ve got retirees, the leadership and Republicans in safe districts with a Northeastern bias,” political analyst and pollster Doug Schoen explained to Newsmax on Thursday.

“Basically, the votes they gave were enough to get it passed — and they didn’t want to put anyone at risk,” he added. “It was retirees, leadership, and Northeastern moderate Republicans who could take the vote without a problem.”

Others in the top House leadership who supported the debt ceiling bill included Ways and Means Committee Chairman Dave Camp, Mich.; Oversight Committee Chairman Darrell Issa, Calif.; Appropriations Committee Chairman Hal Rogers, Ky.; and Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Ed Royce, Calif.

Those Northeastern Republicans on board included four from New York — Reps. Chris Collins, Michael Grimm, Richard Hanna, Peter King — as well as three each from neighboring New Jersey and Pennsylvania. Seven California House members backed the measure.

“Put it another way: For the Republican base, this is toxic — and the way the process was organized was to insulate the party and its grass-roots as much as possible to avoid any political problems,” Schoen told Newsmax.

The primary problem was avoiding another federal government shutdown, similar to the partial one that lasted 16 days in October and cost taxpayers $1.4 billion — especially when the GOP could possibly retake the Senate in this fall’s congressional elections.

“It goes back to their basis thesis: We get through this. We don’t fight on an issue we can’t win because, ultimately, this election is moving in our direction — and we don’t need to have a problem like the problem we had with the government shutdown.”

Political strategist Dick Morris described the House skirmishing on Thursday as “phony” and “fraudulent.”

“Boehner went to his caucus and said: ‘Hey guys, let’s approve the debt limit in return for pretty-good spending cuts or other restorations,'” Morris told John Bachman on “America’s Forum” on Newsmax TV. “The House Republicans said, or enough of them said: ‘We’re not going to vote for a debt-limit increase under any circumstance. You could balance the whole budget and we’re not going to go for it.’

“He didn’t have his 218 votes to pass it — and he couldn’t get any Democratic votes if there were cuts,” Morris said of Boehner.

The Ohio Republican then put together the GOP coalition to support the clean bill.

“All of these Republican congressmen can now go to their primary opponents from the tea party and say, ‘Hey, I voted against raising the debt limit’ — knowing darn well that they were willing to vote for it if they needed it,” Morris said.

Schoen saw it another way.

“The Republican Party did not want to vote to increase the debt ceiling,” he said. “Because they are in the majority, they had to provide some votes — in this case, 28 — to go along with near-unanimous Democratic support to get it done.

“The leadership understood that it was in their interest, long-term, to increase the debt ceiling without any riders or any possibility of paralyzing the government,” Schoen added. “The vast majority of Republicans, for a variety of reasons, disagree.

“For John Boehner, this became a practical step to avoid more political harakiri.”

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© 2014 Newsmax. All rights reserved.

Oklahoma AG: State’s Suit Could Undo Obamacare.


Oklahoma‘s lawsuit to prevent Obamacare penalties in states that haven’t set up their own health insurance exchanges is gaining momentum as two other states have filed similar suits.

Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt argues that the original law applied only to state exchanges. But when 34 states refused to set up exchanges, the IRS decided to use the same noncompliance penalties in those states.

Political pundit Dick Morris praised the strategy in October, asking, “Why didn’t anyone else think of it?”

Morris and Pruitt say a favorable ruling would undo the entire law.

“If there’s no state healthcare exchanges, there are no subsidies. And if there are no subsidies there are no penalties,” Pruitt said Thursday on Fox News Channel’s “Hannity.” 

Virginia and Indiana have filed similar suits, which Pruitt welcomes.

Pruitt spokesman Aaron Cooper told The Oklahoman on Wednesday, that having multiple suits in different circuits is good for several reasons.

“First, the Obama administration has historically taken a narrow view of what a loss in a single circuit means. Often, the administration views such losses as just binding them in that particular circuit but not elsewhere,” Cooper said.

“A legal win in multiple circuits ensures the victory will have a broader effect. Similarly, wins before multiple judges serves to legitimize the ruling,” he said.

“Finally, having challenges in multiple circuits can help even if one set of plaintiffs loses because its sets up a ‘circuit split‘ that would all but ensure the Supreme Court reviews the case.”

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© 2013 Newsmax. All rights reserved.

Dick Morris: Oklahoma Suit May End Obamacare.


Image: Dick Morris: Oklahoma Suit May End Obamacare

By Lisa Barron

Political pundit Dick Morris believes that a suit brought by Oklahoma against Obamacare could be what ultimately knocks down the president’s healthcare law.

“Why didn’t anyone else think of it?” Morris wrote in The Hill.  “Unlike the suit brought by 26 state attorney generals, this suit does not make a constitutional objection to the Affordable Care Act. Instead, it uses the language of the law to challenge the elaborate system of subsidies, tax credits, and individual or employer mandates and fines the act has spawned.”

The suit, filed by Oklahoma’s Republican Attorney General Scott Pruitt, was published in the Case Western Reserve School of Law Journal. The article contends that the wording of the Affordable Care Act only allows a subsidy for health insurance for those who got their coverage through state exchanges rather than the federal exchange.

“The IRS has ruled that the language of the statute should be ‘interpreted’ to extend the subsidies to those enrolled in state or federal exchanges, but that’s not what the law says,” Morris explained, adding, “Section 1041 of the act, according to their article, ‘authorizes premium-assistance tax credits and makes them available only through state-run exchanges.'”

It also says tax credit can only be given if the taxpayer has a plan that was enrolled in through an exchange established by the state under section 1311 of the Affordable Care Act.

“Adler and Cannon argue that ‘by its express terms, this provision only applies to exchanges ‘established by a state’ and ‘established…under Section 1311,'” Morris pointed out.

Morris argued that the IRS and supporters of Obamacare try to “stretch the language to imply a mandate to cover those in federal exchanges.”

He quoted IRS director Douglas Shulmann’s reply to a letter from GOP Congressmen about the issue, in which Shulmann said, “The statute includes language that indicates that individuals are eligible for tax credits whether they are enrolled through a state-based exchange or a federally-facilitated exchange.”

“Unfortunately for President Obama, the statue implies no such thing,” said Morris. “It is not only silent on any subsidies for federal exchange, it is clear that the subsidies were intended to encourage states to set up exchanges.”

A federal judge seemed to agree when he allowed Pruitt’s lawsuit to proceed in August, http://freebeacon.com/lawsuit-challenging-obamacare-subsidies-moves-forward/?print=1ruling against the Obama administration.

“The Oklahoma suit has survived a motion to dismiss and its standing to bring the suit has been affirmed by the District Court,” Morris stated. “Attorney General Pruitt hopes for a judgment later this year and feels the case might reach the Supreme Court by late next year.

“Godspeed!” he added.

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© 2013 Newsmax. All rights reserved.

Dick Morris: GOP Must Avoid ‘Suicide’.


The Republican base must not require its representatives in Congress to run off a cliff and commit suicide as the price of avoiding a primary challenge in 2014. The Tea Party must not eat its young.

Polling shows that there are nowhere near the pre-conditions in place that would be necessary for a government shutdown over defunding Obamacare. Americans oppose defunding it by 44 percent to 38 percent, according to a recent CNBC All-America Economic Survey — and when it comes to shutting down the government to force its defunding, opposition swells to 19-59.

To force Republican congressmen to side with the 19s against the 59s is to endanger the gains the party made in 2010 and hasten the day of Democratic control of the House.

How do voters reconcile their opposition to Obamacare with their opposition to a government shutdown to defund it? Think of the issue of teachers’ pay and schools: voters strongly favor increases in teacher pay, but they just as strongly oppose teacher strikes, which close down schools as a way of achieving higher pay.

The whole idea of a government shutdown is a huge negative, implying a total instability of the two parties to co-exist or to govern. And polling suggests that voters are far more likely to blame Republicans for gridlock and conflict in Washington than Democrats. Instead of baiting its supporters to shut down the government to defund Obamacare, the Tea Party and base voters should be demanding a firm stand on increasing the debt limit.

While voters feel there is nothing positive to be achieved by shutting down the government, they do agree with stopping additional government borrowing until or unless there are substantial cuts in spending.

Debt, especially government debt, has a bad odor in this era of a $16 trillion national debt. Extending the debt limit — raising the limit on the government’s credit card — has a very bad feel to it if it is not matched by a cut in public spending.

The Republican insistence on sequester cuts as the price for the last debt-limit extension triggered the first real deficit reduction since the Clinton years. While some felt the sequester was a negative for Republicans, it was not — it is just what the public wants.

Republicans should pass enough of a debt-limit expansion to accommodate debt service payments for 30 days and then demand that any further expansion be subject to spending cuts. Eliminating the medical device tax, scaling back Obamacare, capping means-tested entitlements like Medicaid and food stamps and even basic tax reform should be on the agenda. Having cut discretionary spending to very low levels, Republicans should turn to entitlements — not Social Security or Medicare, but to welfare spending, and insist on caps.

If the Democrats stand firm and demand a clean debt-limit expansion, Republicans could then force a government shutdown by refusing to raise the debt limit (except to pay debt service already owed). While this will be the same battle as the one that ensued over the continuing resolution, it would be on very different and much more advantageous terrain. Voters would see the link between spending cuts and the debt limit and would heartily approve of the Republican position. President Obama, on the other hand, would find himself begging to be allowed more borrowing — not a good message to have to sell.

Dick Morris is an author, columnist and speaker who was a close personal advisor to former President Bill Clinton. He is a contributor to various publications and is a commentator for Fox News.

© 2013 Newsmax. All rights reserved.

By Dick Morris

Dick Morris to Newsmax: Immigration Is ‘Political Hot Potato’ for Boehner.


Political guru and best-selling author Dick Morris tells Newsmax that House Speaker John Boehner has been handed a “political hot potato,” but the lower chamber will likely find a way to pass its own immigration reform bill.

“I think an immigration bill will probably pass,” predicted Morris in an exclusive interview on Thursday. “The question is, will it be a Democratic bill or a Republican bill?”

Morris, a former political adviser to former President Bill Clinton, said that each party has its own ideas of what constitutes immigration reform.

“We would like of course to pass a Republican bill, which would have the distinguishing feature that you could not proceed with amnesty or legalization until after there is evidence that the border is secured,” said Morris.

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“But very few Democrats in the House would support that bill,” he said.

Co-author of the book “Screwed!: How Foreign Countries Are Ripping America Off and Plundering Our Economy — and How Our Leaders Help Them Do It,” Morris said Boehner faces a tough sell on immigration within his own GOP ranks.

“Boehner needs to make sure he has 218 Republican votes to vote for that bill, otherwise he won’t be able to pass it,” Morris explained.

“And the problem is, there may be enough Republicans that say, ‘I’m not going to vote for any bill at all regardless of what’s in it.'”

Boehner may be forced to work with House Democrats if Republicans are unwilling to embrace immigration reform.

“If that’s the case, then he has to go to Plan B, which is to pass a bill with Democratic support,” Morris explained. “And for each Democrat that he gets, he’ll lose Republicans from the bill because he’ll have to move to the left.”

He predicted that Boehner will end up with a very different bill if he has to move the legislation to the left.

“At that point, what he would do is pass a bill that does not put securing the border first, but rather closely resembles the Senate bill — and pass that largely with Democratic votes — but with a smattering of Republicans, just as it happened in the Senate,” said Morris.

That could be politically dangerous.

“If he has to pass a Democratic bill with a smattering of Republicans, he’s going to endanger his speakership,” asserts Morris.

“The problem he has is that he probably cannot get a majority of the Congress — a majority of the House from the Republicans — for any immigration bill at all,” Morris added.

He also said that Florida Republican Sen. Marco Rubio, who staked his political capital on the Senate bill, is likely to reap political rewards.

Latest: Do You Support Giving Illegals Citizenship? Vote Here Now 

“I think Rubio emerges as a winner,” Morris said, noting that the GOP may also be more likely to make inroads among Hispanic voters based on the landmark legislation.

“I think it all hinges on what happens in the House,” he said.

© 2013 Newsmax. All rights reserved.

By Paul Scicchitano

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