In the News
Repost from Associated Press (Alan Suderman)
RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — Not long ago, several prominent Republicans were jockeying for a U.S. Senate run against incumbent Tim Kaine. Former presidential hopeful Carly Fiorina floated a possible run, as did conservative broadcaster Laura Ingraham. Several U.S. House members and other elected officials were unofficial potential candidates.
But after a voter revolt against President Donald Trump in last year’s state-level elections saw Democrats make historic gains, interest in Virginia’s Senate seat dried up. Now the state GOP is set to pick its Senate candidate from a field of three relative unknowns with limited political experience who most experts believe will have little chance in the general election against incumbent Sen. Tim Kaine.
Republicans disagree on why Virginia went from a must-watch swing state to an also-ran of little national interest.
For some, it’s simple math. The wealthy, diverse counties in northern Virginia are driving the state’s population growth and giving Democrats an insurmountable advantage in statewide races.
“New residents are lured by red-state perks, but unfortunately, they bring their blue-state values,” said U.S. Rep. Dave Brat in a recent op-ed published in the Richmond Times-Dispatch.
In last year’s gubernatorial race, Republican Ed Gillespie won wide swaths of the state’s rural areas but was swamped by a blue wave in northern Virginia. Three localities — Arlington County, Fairfax County and the city of Alexandria — accounted for 20 percent of the state’s total vote and Democrat Ralph Northam won those areas by more than 70 percent.
How best to respond to Trump is an unresolved question for Virginia Republicans. In the General Assembly, many Republicans saw last year’s drubbing as a signal that it was time to move to the center. That led to a monthslong intraparty squabble over whether to expand Medicaid over the objections of the Trump administration, a fight pro-expansion Republicans recently won.
Other Republicans say Trump’s unpopularity in Virginia is overstated. Voters may have been unhappy with Trump last year, said conservative radio host and Trump supporter John Fredericks, but only because it was too early in his presidency for his policies — like tax cuts — to have had a positive effect. He said Trump’s record will help GOP candidates running this year.
“People voted on tweets; now they’re going to vote on paychecks,” he said.
But other Republicans say the problem isn’t so much the math as it is the message. Former Congressman Tom Davis said Republicans have found ways to win in states that are far more Democratic-leaning — including Vermont, Maryland, and Massachusetts — with a more inclusive approach to suburban and urban voters. Virginia Republicans can’t win until they make the party more accommodating to northern Virginia voters, he said.
“Put it this way: Would you rather join a church that’s welcoming new congregants or one that’s chasing out heretics?” Davis said.
Republicans last won statewide office in 2009, when Bob McDonnell ran on a centrist platform focused on the economy. McDonnell would have been a natural standard bearer for the party establishment in this year’s election, following a well-trod path for an ex-governor to run for Senate. But an ethics scandal involving lavish gifts from a wealthy businessman ended McDonnell’s future political career.
So far in this primary contest, which will be decided Tuesday, there’s been little talk of broadening the party’s appeal and much greater focus on shoring up support from the GOP base.
Corey Stewart is trying to run as the most loyal candidate to Trump’s agenda. An immigration hardliner and county official in northern Virginia, Stewart champions preserving Virginia’s Confederate monuments and revels in personal attacks on other politicians — Republican and Democrats alike.
Nick Freitas is a libertarian-leaning two-term state House delegate who has the backing of Republican establishment wing. He’s tried to frame his candidacy around individual liberty and less so about Trump.
Chesapeake minister E.W. Jackson has promised to support Trump and a socially conservative agenda.
All three have struggled to raise serious money, and the winner will be at a serious cash disadvantage against Kaine, who is expected to raise about $25 million for this election.
Read full report by Alan Suderman, Associated Press.
President Trump’s historic victory in 2016 was fueled by two issues that resonated with working Americans: curtailing illegal immigration and ending unfair trade.
These policies hammered Americans jobs and wages.
But Wall Street loves open borders and so-called “free” trade: both produce an endless supply of cheap labor and lower the cost of production, driving short-term profits at the direct expense of U.S. workers.
And China has been Wall Street’s love child.
The Chinese have been ripping off American workers for years. Political leaders on both sides of the aisle feigned concern while engaging the unholiest of alliances of all time: Republican big money donors wanted cheap labor and Democrats wanted cheap votes and big dollars from socially liberal Wall Street moneymen.
Donald J. Trump finally exposed this scam in 2016.
China’s cheating was at the heart of the problem. Trump has been saying this for thirty years.
Americans have seen their livelihoods destroyed. Their wages have been flat thanks to an unending flood of illegal immigrants and the unyielding exodus of American jobs thanks to China’s predatory trade practices.
Then, to the utter shock of the financial houses in lower Manhattan, President Trump actually started to make good on those promises.
He enacted a series of executive orders to punish China for stealing our intellectual property, threatening our national security and the very future of our nation.
Next, he went forward with a series of tariffs against China and other trade cheats, starting with aluminum and steel.
His final order was expanding tariffs aimed at protecting our industries and jobs from decimation.
His detailed list of 1,300 products, from pharmaceuticals and LED lighting to medical devices and batteries hit the industries the Chinese Communist government subsidizes and then dumps at below-production-cost in our country to crush all U.S. competitors.
China has made no secret in its plan to become the world’s #1 superpower. Its Made in China 2025 plan lays out a blue print for global domination. When China is in the driver’s seat in strategic industries, it will control the global economy and the American economy. And the President knows that.
American manufacturers and working people applauded his bold and courageous moves. They saw, finally, a President who understands their plight and who makes good on his promises.
But then the Swamp struck back. Some of the President’s top advisors, heavily influenced by Wall Street Globalists, want to keep the spigot to cheap labor and big finance deals open.
The Wall Street insiders started an unprecedented pressure campaign to abandon the President’s trade policies.
They don’t care about American factories or workers or even the future of America itself – they make profits by lending money, whether it’s to Red China or the Red, White and Blue USA. Trump’s tariffs pose a threat to their bonfire of the vanities sycophant view of self-preservation.
It’s Trump’s America First vs. Goldman Sachs’ Elites First.
The Wall Street traitors and their globalist corporations know once American jobs and industries come back, their decades old cheap labor and low wage fandango is over.
So they swung into action.
Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin, a Goldman Sachs alum, announced, “We’re putting the trade war on hold” and said we’re putting the tariffs on hold, too.
Memo to the Treasury Secretary: We’ve been in a trade war for 30 years, and we’ve been losing. President Trump finally called in the cavalry, not to have you wave the white flag of surrender when they finally reach the front.
Mnuchin and his globalist munchkins are pushing a phony trade deal, and it’s lousy on all counts.
First, China says they will buy more American goods, but they don’t say how much or when. China has been making empty promises like this for 30 years and they never deliver.
China is playing for time, as they have all along. They know they now only need a few more years to get a lock on strategic industries and cement their position at the top of the global economic food chain.
Second, the deal is bad because we would sell China farm goods and energy, the food and raw materials it needs for its industrial economy. They would sell us value added manufactured goods. This is the arrangement Great Britain had with its colonies. Now China would be Great Britain and The United States its colony.
The Swamp creatures floated the false claim that confronting China would cost the Republicans control of the House because they would lose the Midwest farm states. This is ridiculous. Nebraska is not about to elect a Democrat to Deb Fischer’s seat, and the real battleground districts are suburbs where baristas outnumber farmers.
In fact, if Mnuchin prevails, he could cost Donald Trump re-election.
The millions of blue-collar voters, including Democrats and union members who turned out in droves to deliver a historic victory for Donald Trump would feel betrayed and stay home in 2020.
Mnuchin would give amnesty to cheating China.
That’s no less a betrayal than giving amnesty to 20 million illegal immigrants.
Read this EXCLUSIVE on BREITBART.COM.
John Fredericks is a nationally syndicated radio talk show host. The John Fredericks Radio Network broadcasts live weekdays on WNTW AM 820 / 97.7 FM, Weekdays 6a-10a, Richmond; WWRC AM 570, Weekdays 8am-10am, Washington DC / Northern Virginia; WBRG 1050 AM / 105.1 FM, Weekdays 6a-10a, Lynchburg, Danville & Franklin; WBOB AM 600 / 101.1 FM, Weekdays 9am-11am, Jacksonville/ St. Augustine, FL & Savannah/Charleston , SC; WPMH Online Stream, Weekdays, 7pm-9pm, Norfolk, Virginia; and Live Weekdays 6am-11am and 24/7 Stream. Call into the show at 888-480-JOHN (5646), Tweet John at @JFRadioShow, hashtag your political truth with #TRUCKINGTHETRUTH. Join the conversation now!
If politics is a contact sport, GOP Senate candidate Nick Freitas has mostly played flag football when it comes to primary rival Corey Stewart.
With just 24 days to go until the June 12 primary, Freitas, a state lawmaker from Culpeper, hasn’t gone on TV and appears to have done little advertising. He sent a fundraising email to supporters on Wednesday asking for money.
“And absentee votes are already being cast, which is why it’s so urgent to ramp-up my TV Ad Blitz and radio ad campaign right away!” the email said.
John Fredericks, the conservative Virginia radio host and CNN contributor, expects low turnout in the Republican Senate primary and thinks Stewart, who retains a base of support from his 2017 run in the GOP primary for governor, is headed for the end zone untouched.
“Corey Stewart is an overwhelming favorite to be the Republican nominee for U.S. Senate. The Nick Freitas campaign, although it’s interesting and he’s a great future candidate, has not really caught fire and there’s no reason not to vote for Corey Stewart if you want change in Washington,” Fredericks said.
“In order to take Corey down, you have to go negative on him. And [Freitas] is not prepared to do that, nor do they want the backlash. They don’t want to alienate his base.”
Stewart, chairman of the Prince William Board of County Supervisors, and Freitas, a former Green Beret, are joined on the ballot by E.W. Jackson, a minister from Chesapeake.
The winner gets to run against Sen. Tim Kaine, D-Va., a former governor and vice presidential candidate who is seeking a second term. All three Republicans have positioned themselves as conservative, pro-Trump candidates who support funding a new wall on the Mexican border, oppose gun control and would ban legal abortion.
Chris LaCivita, a veteran GOP political strategist who favors Freitas in the race, said he didn’t disagree with Fredericks’ analysis.
“The thing is there’s still three weeks left,” he said. “I think that it’s too soon — three weeks in politics is an eternity, number one, and it’s too soon to proclaim Corey Stewart the winner.”
He added: “There will be plenty of Republicans turning out to vote against Corey Stewart. The question is, how many are actually going to turn out and vote for Nick Freitas?”
As of March 31, the most recent date for which data are available, Freitas had $251,694 in cash on hand compared with $140,502 for Stewart and $35,495 for Jackson, according to their Federal Election Commission filings. Kaine is raising millions.
Jackson, the party’s 2013 candidate for lieutenant governor against Democratic winner Ralph Northam, has a base of evangelicals but little cash to get out a message.
Freitas is in his second term in the House of Delegates. He has the endorsement of the National Rifle Association in the Senate race. Earlier this year, in a floor speech opposing gun control, he stunned African-American Democrats, saying their party was responsible for slavery, segregation and Massive Resistance.
Read the full report from the Richmond Times-Dispatch.
WHITE HOUSE COMMUNICATIONS director Kelly Sadler came under fire last week for making an inappropriate, insensitive and crass comment at a closed-door staff meeting on Thursday morning at the White House regarding U.S. Sen. John McCain.
McCain, an Arizona Republican who is suffering from brain cancer, released a statement opposing the nomination of Gina Haspel for the position of director of the CIA due to her involvement in the agency’s interrogation program.
During the White House communications meeting, aimed at planning a reaction strategy, Sadler reportedly joked in an off-the-cuff manner at the start of the meeting that it didn’t matter “because he’s dying anyway.”
The comment was leaked to the media. As soon as it was published, Sadler promptly called Meghan McCain, the senator’s daughter, to personally apologize.
Smelling blood in the water, the legacy media capitalized on Sadler’s inappropriate comment by demanding her dismissal.
But no one bothered to question the source of the leak.
Sadler handles outreach for the Trump media surrogate team, and in my interaction with her, I have always found her to be very professional and highly competent.
In addition, she is extremely loyal to Trump, and she’s a true believer in his “America First” agenda.
She has no record or prior history of inflammatory remarks.
Most important, Sadler is incredibly effective at her job. She moves the needle for the president’s agenda. She gets results. Herein lies the problem: The never-Trumper White House vultures will swoop in and do anything it takes to discredit Trump loyalists — especially those who are effective.
According to Jonathan Easley of The Hill newspaper, who broke the story, the meeting in question was attended by 12 communications staffers.
White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders was not there, and Senior Presidential Counselor Kellyanne Conway arrived later. Primary Deputy Press Secretary Raj Shah chaired the meeting.
This was a closed-door staff meeting. Sadler made the ill-advised and insensitive comment at the start. The meeting convened, and no one on the communications team brought it up or commented on it.
Until it came time to take her out.
But as we have seen in this White House, there are two teams: Trump’s team (dwindling) and the never-Trumper Republican-paid operative bunch unwittingly brought in by former Chief of Staff Reince Priebus.
This White House cabal loathes Trump and has nothing but disdain and contempt for the president, his family and his “America First” agenda.
As such, their mission seems bent on purging all Trump loyalists from both the White House and federal agencies.
Easley, who appeared on my radio show last Friday, says he got a phone call from the leaker about five minutes after the meeting concluded, tipping him off to Sadler’s remark.
Five minutes — just about the time it takes to get to a private place and launch a missile to destroy the career of an authentic Trump believer. This is the politics of personal destruction, and it only flows one way in the West Wing.
So, Sanders’ communications team has at least one person out of 11 who doesn’t like Sadler and who ran to the media to deliver what he or she thought was a kill shot.
Why? She’s a true believer. She’s effective. She’s competent. She’s not one of them.
She’s not part of the D.C. swamp operative network that roams the West Wing feigning support for the president while undermining him with strategically placed leaks at every turn. They leak to destroy.
This isn’t just an isolated case of somebody who has an ax to grind with Sadler. It’s rampant.
If you work in the White House or you are a Trump supporter in the federal government, these career Republican political operatives will potentially target you for purging.
I’ve witnessed enough of these to know the truth.
The Trump campaign brigade who came to Washington to serve this president and his agenda are under siege.
Not by the Democrats, not by the deep state — but by the conspirators trying to take this president down.
By John Fredericks For The Virginian-Pilot.
GOP gubernatorial candidate Ron DeSantis on Wednesday trashed GOP primary foe Adam Putnam over his record on immigration issues.
“We are very different on our approach to illegal immigration,” DeSantis said in an interview with conservative radio host John Fredericks.
The issue has been seen as a Republican primary weakness for Putnam who, as a member of Congress, took some votes seen by some in the party as supporting “amnesty.”
In the interview, DeSantis specifically pointed out Putnam’s support of legislation spearheaded by Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) that included a guest worker program for undocumented immigrants across all industries, and a separate 2013 bill authored by the bipartisan “Gang of Eight” that offered a pathway to citizenship. At that time, Putnam was the state’s agriculture commissioner, not a member of Congress. But he publicly supported the plan.
Putnam, whose campaign did not return a request seeking comment, has defended his record on immigration.
“Adam Putnam has a clear record against amnesty, against illegal immigration and against sanctuary cities,” Amanda Bevis, his campaign spokeswoman told the Tampa Bay Times earlier this month.
DeSantis said he disagrees with Putnam on the mandatory use of E-Verify, a program used to verify the legal status of those seeking work through a federal database. The issue in Florida does not fall along traditional party lines. The business community and sugar industry, both of whom support Putnam, oppose mandatory E-Verify because they fear it will crimp the flow of cheap labor.
“I support mandatory E-Verify. If you want to combat illegal immigration you’ve got to insist on having a legal workforce,” DeSantis said. “He opposes mandatory E-Verify.”
The GOP primary has so far been a largely quiet affair.
Putnam’s campaign has spent more than $3 million on TV ads, but those have largely been positive and biographical, while DeSantis, who currently has less money, has relied almost exclusively on appearances on Fox News and conservative radio to get his message out. He is a frequent “no comment” in stories about Florida issues and canceled a Palm Beach County forum appearance with Putnam.
The trend has not gone unnoticed.
“I don’t duck the media,” Putnam said during the Palm Beach forum. “If you can’t show up and answer tough questions from members of the media, how are you going to lead the third largest state in America?”
Read the full report from Politico’s Matt Dixon.