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The PJ Tatler

Stephen Kruiser

Stephen Kruiser is a professional comedian and writer who has also been a conservative political activist for over two decades. A co-founder of the first Los Angeles Tea Party, Kruiser often speaks to grassroots groups around America and has had the great honor of traveling around the world entertaining U.S. troops.
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Even NPR Calls Out Hillary’s Hide-Behind-the-Pope Timing on Keystone Announcement

Tuesday, September 22nd, 2015 - by Stephen Kruiser

It’s only stealthy if you don’t get caught. Here was the headline:

As Pope Lands, Hillary Clinton Says She Opposes Keystone XL Pipeline

They continued:

Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton has come out against the controversial Keystone XL oil pipeline. It’s something she has spent months avoiding taking a position on — and her announcement coincided with the mass media event of Pope Francis’ landing at Andrews Air Force Base.

After spending months saying that taking a stand on the issue would be inappropriate, Mrs. Bill realized that she didn’t really know what “inappropriate” meant and decided she’d better get busy making Tom Steyer happy.

Team Hillary probably thought they were oh-so-clever by trying to dump the news as everyone was paying attention to the arrival of Pope Francis. Grandma is really having a tough go of it with the press this time around, however, and they all noticed.

If it weren’t for all the stumbling, this campaign wouldn’t be moving at all.

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Perry, Walker Early Exits Kill the ‘Super PACs Buy Elections’ Scare from Anti-Citizens United Crowd

Tuesday, September 22nd, 2015 - by Stephen Kruiser

The headlines were less than subtle:

Super PACs a disaster for democracy

The Super Rich Have a New Way to Buy Elections

And on they went, many replete with dire warnings about the Koch brothers virtually being able to shop for a president the way we normal folk get toilet paper at Costco.

The first two exits from this crowded Republican field have pretty much sunk this ghost ship that was supposed to scare the non-billionaire voting public.

His stunning fall, from top tier hopeful to a so-called “asterisk candidate” who couldn’t break 1 percent in the latest CNN poll, also illustrated the limits of fundraising in a 2016 that was supposed to be dominated by unregulated campaign spending. Both Walker and former Gov. Rick Perry, who dropped out earlier this month, represent a two-man money-couldn’t-buy-them-love club on the sidelines. Super PACs affiliated with Perry and Walker raised millions in the weeks leading up to their collapses — Walker’s alone banked more than $20 million.

Even The New York Times is admitting it was all bunk:

Gov. Scott Walker of Wisconsin was among the most successful fund-raisers in his party, with a clutch of billionaires in his corner and tens of millions of dollars behind his presidential ambitions. But his swift decline and exit from the presidential race on Monday were a stark reminder that even unlimited money has its limits.

While a super PAC supporting him, Unintimidated, was relatively flush with cash — on track to raise as much as $40 million through the end of the year, according to people involved with the group — Mr. Walker’s campaign committee was running dry, contemplating layoffs and unable to find enough money to mount a last stand in Iowa, a state that once favored him.

The Super PACs can’t pay for the more mundane expenses of a campaign, which means that a candidate can be blanketing a state with a zillion dollars’ worth of television advertising but not have the electric bill paid at headquarters.

That’s just the practical shortcoming of the model, however.

Just as money can’t truly buy love or happiness (as I’m told by people who have lots of money), it also can’t buy you a personality that sparkles on television or in front of a crowd at a campaign event.

Perry has that personality, but it was too tainted by his 2011 post-surgery debacle to be overcome by Super PAC money this time around.

The trepidation surrounding Walker going into this race was that we wasn’t electric enough in front of a crowd. That ultimately had more to do with his rapid descent in the polls than anything else. Those who only knew of him from the news had an image of this mighty slayer of Democrats and Big Labor. He had a gargantuan reputation that wasn’t served well without some swagger.

There were some other problems in that campaign, but the quiet demeanor in a race where conservatives and Republicans desperately want a champion was fatal to the campaign.

And proof that all the Super PAC money in the world can’t buy an electorate for a flawed candidate.

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Reuters: Republicans Are to Blame for Islamophobia

Monday, September 21st, 2015 - by Stephen Kruiser

Sure, let’s go with that.

Muslim Americans responded with a mix of frustration, exasperation and anger to what many see as a growing wave of Islamophobia fueled by two of the Republican Party’s most popular presidential candidates, Donald Trump and Ben Carson.

At the Islamic Institute of Orange County, which houses a mosque and a school in Anaheim, in southern California, tensions were already mounting since a group of white men screamed at mothers and children arriving at the center on this year’s anniversary of the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks, calling them cowards who did not belong in America.

Many of the country’s 2.8 million Muslims say such tensions could become uglier during a presidential race that they fear is already tapping a vein of anger and bigotry.

So…we’re not supposed to infer anything from decades upon decades of Islamic terrorism, but two months of Trump and Carson are going to create a hateful panic wave.

And they wonder why so many conservative Americans are frustrated with the media.

This is boilerplate media bias, throwing out extreme labels for Republicans that are mere speculation and forever failing to note that people opposed to illegal immigration aren’t opposed to immigration.

Having said all that, I am still unclear why Carson is making a big deal out of this. His biggest rise in the polls came after the first debate where he said almost nothing, then continued to say nothing for a couple of weeks.

If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.

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Walker to Hold Press Conference, Said to be Dropping Out of Race

Monday, September 21st, 2015 - by Stephen Kruiser


Gov. Scott Walker of Wisconsin has concluded he no longer has a path to the Republican presidential nomination and plans to drop out of the 2016 campaign, according to three Republicans familiar with his decision, who spoke on condition of anonymity.

This is reminiscent of Rick Perry’s precipitous fall in the last primary. He entered the race atop the polls, and rode that position until the debates started.

We can lament the role television plays in our electoral process, but that won’t change its current impact. Walker, to put it mildly, laid an egg in both debates. He wasn’t quite the train wreck that post-surgery, medicated Rick Perry was in 2011, but the damage was similar. Two governors who handle their business well at home didn’t handle it on the bigger, televised stage.

America takes a hit from that.

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Not The Onion: Salon Wants You to Lend a Sympathetic Ear to Pedophiles

Monday, September 21st, 2015 - by Stephen Kruiser

Here’s a screenshot of the headline (I refuse to link to this depravity and help their ad revenue):

This is the leftist agenda in a nutshell: mainstream the fringe and marginalize the majority (see: gun rights). Imagine this headline even getting clearance fifteen years ago. The progressive loons who took over academia have finally gotten an overwhelming number of their pseudo-intellectual heirs unleashed upon American society and this is what passes for a think piece among them.

Mostly because none of them ever think.

This is from a site that has a never-ending supply of anti-Christian posts. They inhabit a world where the Jesus people are all frightening but the pedophiles have hearts of gold and just need to be understood.


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Is This Debate Scott Walker’s Last Chance?

Tuesday, September 15th, 2015 - by Stephen Kruiser

The money says: “Probably.”

Scott Walker needs to reassure his supporters and his donors. And Wednesday’s debate might be his last chance.

After a sleepy performance in the first Republican presidential debate that fueled a steep slide in his standing with voters, the governor’s team has pushed him to prepare. Round Two will be different, according to sources inside Walker’s camp.

He won’t stop talking before his time is up, as he did at that first debate – a decision that left some of his top backers scratching their heads. He will be more assertive, according to people who have been briefed. And he won’t just answer the moderators’ questions but instead pivot to his personal story.

And anything less could spell trouble.

“If Gov. Walker lays an egg, he better be prepared to bootstrap his campaign in the coming 3-5 months because his fundraising will dry up,” said a veteran campaign manager and GOP operative.

Walker has easily been the biggest disappointment thus far. True, Jeb! has been sliding in the polls, but there is absolutely no one outside of the Capitol Hill Club who actually cares. Walker, on the other hand, was seen by many as the Great Destroyer of Democrats and the best hope to derail whatever nonsense the Democrats finally nominated.

The dirty little not-so-secret all along though was that the Wisconsin governor is not the most dynamic of public speakers. Then he managed to put together a couple good speeches and nerves were calmed.

Sadly, it was back to milquetoast as usual during the first debate.

People can complain all they want about what television has done to our politics, but it won’t change the fact that it all happens in front of cameras now and successful politicians have to be able to work a crowd and a camera. Republicans invoke Ronald Reagan almost reflexively, yet many gloss over all of “The Great Communicator” stuff. Walker is lacking a bit in the communication department.

Perhaps fearing for his political future will give him a bit of an edge.

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Club for Growth Drops a Cool Million on Anti-Trump Ads

Tuesday, September 15th, 2015 - by Stephen Kruiser

The summer lull is over.

One of Washington’s most influential conservative advocacy groups will take aim at Republican presidential front-runner Donald Trump on the airwaves in the early voting state of Iowa.

Club for Growth Action, a Super PAC that is permitted to spend unlimited amounts of campaign money, said on Tuesday it is buying $1 million worth of attack ads that describe the New York real estate mogul as too liberal and backing policies that are contrary to conservative principles.

Trump has skyrocketed to the top of the field of Republicans vying to represent the party in the November 2016 election. He is leading in polls nationally and in the early voting states of Iowa and New Hampshire, which have outsized influence on the process.

“It’s important, I think, for the ads to show people, ‘Watch what he’s doing.’ He’s playing them for chumps,” Club for Growth President David McIntosh said. “I think the American people are wiser than that. They’ll get it.”

After weeks of watching this drama play out on social media and television, I really don’t know that there is a dollar amount that will change the minds of the people devoted to Trump. It’s a full-blown cult of personality at this point and his adherents aren’t in it intellectually — this is an emotional investment for them that a TV ad won’t sway.

There are some who don’t swoon over Trump, but are so sick of being lied to by the GOP that any alternative is palatable. Many in this camp know full well that Trump isn’t conservative, but they simply don’t care anymore. GOP leadership isn’t conservative either, so why not let this scorched-earth mania play out?

At this point, the best hope for the Trump haters may be Trump’s attention span.

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Pathetic: Team Hillary Using Decades Old Pics to Make Her Seem ‘Relatable’

Tuesday, September 15th, 2015 - by Stephen Kruiser

Worse than Botox.

Splashed across social media and the airwaves, the photos are hard to miss.

Follow Hillary Clinton’s Instagram feed, and you’ll see her as a toddler in Park Ridge, Illinois, riding a tricycle. On Facebook, you’ll meet her as an almost unrecognizable young Arkansas mother with brown hair, big glasses and loafers, spotting her daughter on a pony ride; on the website Medium, she stares out at you, just another earnest face in a crowd posing for a 1965 high school class picture. In the first television ads of the campaign, she is seemingly from another era, pictured in grainy black and white, about 10 years old with a half-smile on her face, hair pulled back in a pollyanna, holding her mother’s hand.

Since launching her campaign last June, Clinton has flooded the Internet and filled her TV spots with surprising, little-known images of the candidate pulled from old family photo albums, all part of a larger campaign strategy to make Clinton more relatable to voters. The nostalgic pictures are designed to present her as an average person — rather than a global brand — and to neutralize the negative image Clinton can sometimes project as the untrustworthy political insider campaigning in a rich lady’s uniform of bold-colored pantsuits and a helmet of blonde hair.

Why is it that the party that portrays itself as the most caring about humans has such a difficult time making its presidential candidates seem…human? From Al Gore to John Kerry to Her Inevitable Madameship, they’re all about as personable as the stomach flu. Even Barack Obama, whose entire career is built on smirking, has been called cold and aloof by people close to him. The press calls him “professorial”, a code word for “cold and aloof”.

One reason is that they’re usually stinking rich, even though they have to pretend not to be. Hillary Clinton’s primary interaction with lower income Americans in recent years usually involved firing them for not making her bed correctly, now she has to pretend as if she truly cares about them. It’s a tough gig.

So out come the older pictures from a happier time, before the soul-selling deal she made with her philandering husband took its toll and made her sour and imperious.

Before she built up a huge bank of resentment for the American people for not giving her what she feels she’s entitled to.

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Chief Romney Policy Adviser Joins Rubio Campaign

Monday, September 14th, 2015 - by Stephen Kruiser

Via Reuters:

Lanhee Chen, who was 2012 Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney’s chief policy adviser, said on Monday that he has joined the campaign of Republican candidate Marco Rubio as an adviser.

Chen, 37, has been sought after by a number of Republican presidential campaigns this year for his policy experience.

Chen is a research fellow at the Hoover Institution at Stanford University in California, a position he will retain while also assisting Rubio.

Chen was a key adviser for Romney during the former Massachusetts governor’s march to the 2012 nomination and during the general election campaign, which he lost to President Barack Obama.

He told Reuters he decided to help Rubio because of the Florida senator’s fluency in a number of public policy issues and challenges facing the United States.

The political consultant/adviser world is not much different than the NFL head coaching ranks: a good ol’ boys club where mediocrity, and often failure, is more often than not rewarded. So Romney hired McCain people, now 2016 candidates are hiring Romney people, and the Republicans wonder why they’ve won the popular vote in only one presidential election in the last quarter century.

At this point in what appears to be the GOP’s death spiral, this is more like the human version of rearranging deck chairs on the Titanic. True, the advisers may have more recycle value, but any Republican candidate for 2016 would do well to remain clear of the stink that was 2012.

Both Rubio and Ted Cruz are still quietly going about their campaign business, waiting for Donald Trump to implode, a scenario that will look less likely as we get nearer the end of the year if he’s still leading all the polls.

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Is Biden Trying to Poach Hillary Donors?

Monday, September 14th, 2015 - by Stephen Kruiser

While Hillary Clinton is distracted by the sour socialist breath of Bernie Sanders getting closer to her neck, Crazy Joe the Wonder Veep is sneaking around talking to some of her big-money people.

U.S. Vice President Joe Biden has secretly met with Robert Wolf, a former UBS executive and major fundraiser for President Barack Obama, Bloomberg reported on Monday, one of the strongest indications yet that he is seriously considering a 2016 presidential bid.

Biden has been evaluating whether to challenge former U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, the current front-runner for the nomination to represent the Democratic Party in the November 2016 presidential race.

Wolf told Bloomberg he was supporting Clinton but said he met with Biden for more than 90 minutes during the vice president’s trip to New York City last week.

Biden won’t enter this race unless he believes Mrs. Bill’s chances are fatally wounded and her big-money people will flee in droves to him. In the 2008 election, we saw just how little remorse people have when abandoning the sinking ship Hillary. The big-money people certainly don’t want to throw in with Sanders, whose entire political existence is centered on vilifying people who are financially successful.

While Biden may be a bit of a loon, he’s also been playing the political game decades longer than Hillary, so he’s going about this in a very smart way. If he does decide to step into the race, he’ll make sure his foot lands on the throat of Hillary’s campaign.

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Walker Abruptly Cancels Appearance at California GOP Convention

Friday, September 11th, 2015 - by Stephen Kruiser

Just as his poll numbers in Iowa are disappearing fast than Hillary’s smile when asked about her email, Scott Walker has suddenly canceled plans to speak to the California Republican Convention in Anaheim next weekend.

Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker has canceled plans to address the California Republican Party convention in Anaheim, Calif., next weekend, the Los Angeles Times is reporting.

Walker had been scheduled to deliver the keynote at the GOP gathering next Saturday but abruptly withdrew, according to the paper.

It is possible that Walker wants to focus more energy in Iowa, which is probably a must-win (or at least do very, very well) situation for him now.

However, Republican candidates don’t schmooze the California GOP for votes, electoral or otherwise. They come here for the same reason Democrats who are assured of winning here do — money. There are a lot of big donors here to court, and it probably isn’t a good sign that Walker is canceling. If it is for the reason mentioned in the above paragraph, it probably means all of the eggs are definitely being moved into one basket.

The 7 Reasons Scott Walker Should Get the Nomination 

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Arrest Made in Plot to Bomb Kansas City 9/11 Memorial

Thursday, September 10th, 2015 - by Stephen Kruiser

Via NPR(italics added):

A Florida man was arrested today for his alleged involvement in a a plan to bomb a 9/11 memorial in Kansas City, Mo.

20-year-old Joshua Ryne Goldberg, from Orange Park, Fla., is charged with “distributing information relating to explosives, destructive devices, and weapons of mass destruction,” according to a statement released by U.S. Attorney A. Lee Bentley III.

Goldberg was allegedly in contact with an individual online who was working undercover for law enforcement as a Confidential Human Source (CHS). The statement reads, in part:

“Between the months of July and September 2015, Goldberg distributed information to the CHS on how to manufacture a bomb. He instructed the CHS to make a pressure cooker bomb and fill it with nails, metal, and other items dipped in rat poison. Goldberg instructed the CHS to place the bomb at an upcoming memorial in Kansas City, Missouri that was commemorating the September 11, 2001 attacks.”

It is scary to ponder how many loons like this are out there and when the next one will escape notice until it’s too late. All in all, the various bickering U.S. law enforcement agencies have done a good job for the past fourteen years keeping things safe here, but no one knows how well ISIS is firing up recruits here. It will be interesting to find out what this guy’s background is and whether he was exposed to any, um, religious teaching in recent years.

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Candidates Hope to Spend Next Debate Focusing on Voters, Not Trump

Thursday, September 10th, 2015 - by Stephen Kruiser

Will it work?

The Republican presidential candidates, increasingly certain that their televised debates can have make-or-break consequences for their campaigns, are preparing aggressive new tactics for their next face-off on Wednesday, hoping to draw voters away from the surprisingly durable Donald J. Trump as the 2016 race enters a more combative phase.

With the onetime front-runners Jeb Bush and Scott Walker sagging in the polls after middling performances in the last debate, on Aug. 6 — and with Mr. Trump rising despite divisive comments — many of the candidates are convinced that they are better off using the debates to make forceful and targeted appeals to viewers, rather than trying to knock out Mr. Trump, advisers to several campaigns said.

That sounds fine in theory, but Trump has a way of drawing people into his little universe whenever he wants to. It’s going to take thick skin to avoid the barbs he is sure to throw at many, if not all, of his opponents.

We know that Carly Fiorina doesn’t get rattled by Trump, but will the men be as tough? Since the last debate, Jeb! has been the most obviously frustrated. That’s probably a positive for his supporters after the first debate, where he seemed as if he’d had a nap interrupted. It’s also a sure bet that Trump will focus on needling the others if he knows that they are deliberately trying to avoid one-on-one confrontations with him.

Should be fun.

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GOP to Make Iran Deal Its Latest All-or-Nothing Rallying Point

Thursday, September 10th, 2015 - by Stephen Kruiser

Via Politico:

It may be years before the political fallout of the Senate’s mostly party-line vote Thursday to preserve the Iran nuclear agreement becomes clear. But it’s already a defining campaign issue — and like the Iraq War and Obamacare votes last decade, looks likely to remain a stark dividing line in many election cycles to come.

Republicans are plotting to make Democrats pay dearly for backing an agreement the GOP argues hinges on an historic enemy of the United States playing nice. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell plans to return to the floor next week to force Democrats to take more votes Republicans say they’ll regret as soon as Iran violates the terms of the deal or sponsors terrorist attacks, which critics believe is just a matter of time.

After years of focusing on Obamacare, it is refreshing to see the Republicans find a new windmill to tilt at for 2016. Again, however, it is hinging its hopes upon something being bad for America. True, the Democrats do a lot of bad things for America, but the Republicans keep letting them.

So excuse me if I don’t get excited when they decide to get tough after the fact.

Honestly, the likelihood that this will be more disastrous than the first two years of Obamacare between now and November of next year isn’t great. Sure, the GOP, largely thanks to the Tea Party movement it loathes, was able to use Obamacare opposition effectively in the midterm elections but blundered monumentally in 2012 and got nothing from its one-note rallying cry.

The one difference here that might help is that this deal is already less popular than Obamacare was in 2012. What makes many who are weary of the present weakness in the GOP establishment throw up their hands in frustration is that this is another backward-looking strategy, focused on something that’s already happened rather than something forward-looking to sell the party to the American electorate. The former is a fine strategy when in the minority, but there is a rumor that the Republicans control both chambers of Congress now.

Nothing verifiable on the front so far, however.

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(VIDEO) Mangled Response by Jeb! to Gun Control Question was Edited from Late Show Premiere

Wednesday, September 9th, 2015 - by Stephen Kruiser

(h/t TheTruthAboutGuns.com)

Here, in a nutshell, is why this guy is the worst idea the Republicans have had since John McCain. The question itself was flawed, and if Jeb! were actually the smarter Bush that everyone says he is he would have caught that and rejected it out of hand. There isn’t a “small minority” opposing gun control legislation. Most Americans are Second Amendment fans once you get away from the coasts (and there are more on the coasts than Dems want to admit). Doughy Prince Jeb! let’s Colbert run with the false crazy fringe NRA narrative though.

He’s weak, and he’s slow. We won’t need that after two terms of The Idiot King.
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Pre-Recorded Trump Nearly Outperforms Live Jeb and Colbert on New Late Show

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Judge OKs Path for House Republicans to Sue Administration Over Unauthorized ACA Expenditures

Wednesday, September 9th, 2015 - by Stephen Kruiser

Via the Associated Press:

A federal judge has cleared the way for a legal challenge by Congressional Republicans to President Obama’s health care law to proceed.

U.S. District Court Judge Rosemary M. Collyer ruled Wednesday that the House can pursue its claim that the administration violated the Constitution when it spent public money that was not appropriated by Congress. At issue is the more than $175 billion the government is paying health insurance companies over a decade to reimburse them for offering lower health care co-payments for poor people.

The House argues that Congress never specifically approved spending that money, and denied the administration’s request for it. The Obama administration insists it is instead relying on previously allocated money that it is allowed to use.

If there is ever going to be a full or partial takedown of this monstrosity, it is going to have to happen over a technicality that even John Roberts can’t pretend means something else. This point is a pretty big technicality, given that the executive branch can’t spend money it’s been denied. That, however, was the kind of argument that could be made back in the day when the three branches of government weren’t hell-bent on ignoring their constitutional boundaries.

Chief Justice Roberts may have been able to infer meaning from a one word slip-up, but it will be more difficult for him to wantonly rewrite the Constitution.

We hope.

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Much Needed Reminder About the Perils of ‘Routine’ Police Work

Thursday, August 27th, 2015 - by Stephen Kruiser

It’s dangerous out there.

A Louisiana police officer responding to a call of a man stabbing women was fatally shot Wednesday afternoon, authorities said.

One of the women who was stabbed also died, Deputy Sheriff Paul DiCapo of the St. Landry Parish Sheriff’s Office said.

Cops have been getting beat up in the press a lot in the past year, and not just by the people mad about Ferguson or Baltimore. Libertarians (and many conservatives) like to whine about the “militarization” of police forces.

One thing that most people don’t consider is that, even with all the variables life presents us on any given day, cops run a significantly greater risk of being killed on a normal work day than any of us who aren’t battlefield combatants. Critics of police ponder abstracts and wonder why cops involved in altercations can’t just hit “slow-mo” and spend a few quality moments thinking about what they are going to do. They’re the worst kind of armchair quarterback.

It’s dangerous out there and police personnel have every right to be skittish, even more so now that some of the most powerful people in the United States (looking at you, Mr. President) have no problem throwing them under the bus.

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Trump OK with GOP Acting Like It’s the Majority Party for Debt Ceiling Fight

Wednesday, August 26th, 2015 - by Stephen Kruiser

That certainly would be different.

Presidential candidate Donald Trump on Wednesday said he thought it was “worth the fight” for congressional Republicans to threaten not to raise the U.S. debt limit as a way to pressure the Obama administration to agree to spending cuts.

“I would say that it’s worth the fight,” Trump said on Bloomberg TV. “Honestly there is so much fat in Washington that if you had the right people in there you could cut it.”

The Republicans have had a majority in the House for over four years now but you would be hard pressed to remember how many times they’ve flexed their muscles and used the power of the purse, especially when it comes to your regularly scheduled debt ceiling “negotiations.” I put quotation marks around “negotiations” because what really happens is that John Boehner blinks before the Democrats have even begun staring at him.

Let us be clear again: Donald Trump would not be the front-runner answering questions like this had GOP leadership not been so remarkably weak on issues precisely like this.

Whenever it is time to have the debt ceiling dance again, the Democrat mouthpieces in the press begin barking the “holding the U.S. government hostage” line that Dems love to trot out. GOP leadership then quails at the thought of the press blaming them for something even if they aren’t really doing what the press says they’re doing. Then all the blinking begins.

Gee, it’s difficult to see why a guy who keeps telling the MSM to kiss off is doing so well right now.

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SC GOP Leaders Annoyed that Graham’s Presence in Race Prevents Them From Endorsing Others

Wednesday, August 26th, 2015 - by Stephen Kruiser

Annoying little man.

South Carolina’s Republican power brokers are facing a Lindsey Graham dilemma.

Wide-open nominating contests don’t happen every day, and the state’s high-stakes primary offers them a chance to hitch their political fortunes to a rising star, the earlier the better if they’ve made up their minds.

Few believe their senior senator has a real shot at being that nominee, but his operation has worked hard to lock down support in the state, and few Republicans are eager to show their disloyalty by endorsing another candidate too soon.

Welcome to the world of United States Senators who hang around too long. By the time they’ve hit their third terms, their state parties have become their own little fiefdoms and the vassals better be quick with the fealty.

There are rumors that Graham entered the race just to keep Ted Cruz from winning the South Carolina primary. That is a fairly plausible theory given that Graham is as petty as his political life partner John McCain, and that Cruz sees the southern primaries as his key to winning the nomination.

Graham also brings nothing unique to this large field in terms of policy ideas or demographics, so the petty revenge theory becomes even more realistic.

The only real potential upside here is that the South Carolina Republicans who are missing the chance to become players with the eventual nominee may get so disgruntled that they won’t be so friendly to Graham the next time he’s up for re-election, opening the door to a primary challenge.

Kidding-that’s years from now and he will have purged all of them from the state GOP already, like senators do.

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(VIDEO) Trump Tosses Jorge Ramos Out of Press Conference

Tuesday, August 25th, 2015 - by Stephen Kruiser

“Go back to Univision.”

Love or hate Trump, Jorge Ramos is a Class A jerk and was basically behaving like a toned-down Code Pink protester.

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Guy Who Jumped White House Fence in March Shot Dead in PA Court

Tuesday, August 25th, 2015 - by Stephen Kruiser

Via ABC News:

A man who once jumped the fence at the White House was shot and killed at the Chester County Justice Center by a sheriff’s deputy on Tuesday after attacking another deputy with a knife.

The suspect is identified as 34-year-old Curtis Smith of Coatesville, Pa.

Investigators say Smith entered the Justice Center at approximately 11:50 a.m. with a knife, ran past security and started attacking a sheriff’s deputy, slashing him.

Reiley Aikman witnessed the attack, and tells us, “He said, ‘I’m gonna get ya, I’m gonna get ya.’ He ran right through the door, right through security, and I hear ‘POP, POP.’ And it was the sheriff shooting him.”

It’s creepy to think someone this unstable was able to outwit the Secret Service earlier this year. Yes, making it over the fence of a property as secure as the White House is outwitting security.

This also serves as a reminder of the everyday perils our law enforcement officers face, which has gotten lost in a lot of the conversations about them this past year or two, especially in the media.

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Reuters Poll: Jeb’s Slip Opens Up 20-Point Lead for Trump

Tuesday, August 25th, 2015 - by Stephen Kruiser

It gets weirder: Huckabee is in second.

Republican Jeb Bush’s support is slipping in the race for the party’s presidential nomination, and front-runner Donald Trump has opened a 20-point lead over his closest rivals, a Reuters/Ipsos opinion poll showed on Tuesday.

Republican backing for Bush dipped from 16 percent to 8 percent in the last five days, the online poll found, as the former Florida governor feuded with Trump over immigration policy and defended his use of the term “anchor babies” to describe U.S.-born children of illegal immigrants.

Trump’s support remained largely unchanged over the last week at about 30 percent, well ahead of the 17-strong pack seeking to represent the Republican Party in the November 2016 presidential election.

Bush fell into a third-place tie with retired neurosurgeon Ben Carson in the poll, and former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee moved into second place with 10 percent.

While there are people out there outraged about either Bush or Trump, I will never understand Huckabee’s appeal. He’s basically John Edwards with a pro-life bent.

The real news here is obviously Little Jeb Fauntleroy’s plunge. This guy was supposed to be able to nap his way to this nomination and now he’s tied with Ben Carson, who was practically a no-show at the first debate and sounded like he’d merely memorized some Wikipedia pages when he could be heard answering a question.

For those interested, here is the Reuters interactive poll.

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Is Jeb Losing His Fund-Raising Mojo?

Tuesday, August 25th, 2015 - by Stephen Kruiser

We can only hope.

There are signs that Jeb Bush’s fundraising juggernaut is losing some momentum, after banking a stunning $120 million for his campaign and super PAC in the first half of the year.

A prominent Florida donor backing Bush said the former Sunshine State governor and his supporting super PAC are having to work even harder to keep up the pace, as hard-money contributions have been harder to come by in recent weeks.

“The debate performance scared a few people,” said Brian Ballard, a Tallahassee lobbyist backing Bush. “But I think the campaign’s trouble raising money right now is not because of his performance, but there’s some donor fatigue after that $100 million. I’ve been on some donor calls and it’s a hard sell for hard money.”

The post also mentions that Jeb is whining about Trump to his donors. It probably never occurred to the Little Prince that he might have to work for this. That was mostly the problem with his debate performance and why it scares donors. In appearance after appearance, Bush looks like he doesn’t really want to be there. He just wants this nomination handed to him because he feels he is entitled to it.

Just one of the many things he has in common with Hillary Clinton.

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Crazy Joe the Wonder Veep’s Pals Courting Big Dem Donors

Tuesday, August 25th, 2015 - by Stephen Kruiser

Is Grandpa really coming after Grandma?

As Joe Biden continues to weigh a third presidential bid, a cadre of close advisers is trying to lay the groundwork to overcome his biggest potential weakness: fundraising.

Wooing mega-donors has never been the vice president’s strong suit, and he’s already months behind Hillary Clinton, who has a lock on the vast majority of top Democratic bundlers and fundraising operatives needed to mount a credible bid.

Biden’s inner circle is aware of the size of the challenge and is working aggressively behind the scenes to line up big donors even before he formally makes a decision on whether to enter the race.

Larry Rasky, a longtime Biden adviser and press secretary for his 1988 presidential bid, is taking the temperature of donors — some of whom have already cut checks to Clinton — about opening their wallets to support Biden. At the same time, Josh Alcorn, a former senior adviser to Biden’s eldest son, the late Beau Biden, is huddling with donors across the country for the Draft Biden super PAC and making the case for Biden to Democratic National Committee members. The two camps are keeping their efforts largely separate, with Rasky and others who would be on the official campaign side talking with bundlers, operatives and others more generally about their interest in a Biden campaign. Alcorn is focused more on mega-donors who can cut five-, six- or even seven-figure checks.

The most interesting thing about all of the “Will Biden run?” chatter is that it just won’t go away. For the longest time, Democrats have done everything in their power to resurrect the aura of inevitability that Hillary so desperately needs, even if it failed her in 2008. Heck, they would have gone without debates if they could have gotten away with it just to keep the reality of Hillary Clinton away from the Story of Hillary Clinton. She is supposed to be a done deal.

Yet here is the second highest ranking elected Democrat putting out feelers and not retracting them.

The one lingering hope for Republicans is that there is a Democrat out there who wants to keep Mrs. Bill away from the Oval Office almost as badly as we do and he just happens to be the President of the United States. If Grandma’s Tepid Ride gets shut down at Inevitable Land it will be because Team Lightbringer has something on her.

President Obama just gave his approval for the Democrats to become even older, whiter and, if possible, more male than Hillary Clinton.

The only question remaining is whether this is all a side show meant to divert attention from the email scandal or preparation for when the Justice Department brings the hammer down?

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ESPN Suspends Curt Schilling for Tweet Comparing Muslims to Nazis

Tuesday, August 25th, 2015 - by Stephen Kruiser

If the tweet fits…

ESPN has suspended Curt Schilling after the pitcher and network analyst tweeted, and subsequently deleted, a picture that compared Muslims to Nazis.

“Curt’s tweet was completely unacceptable, and in no way represents our company’s perspective,” ESPN said in a statement on Tuesday. “We made that point very strongly to Curt and have removed him from his current Little League assignment pending further consideration.”

Tuesday morning, Schilling posted a photo on Twitter reading, “It’s said only 5-10% of Muslims are extremists. In 1940, only 7% of Germans were Nazis. How’d that go?

As an avid consumer of ESPN programming (SportsCenter is my fave television relaxation viewing after a show when I’m on the road) for twenty five years or so, I’ve been dismayed at the leftward bent the network has been letting bleed through recently. After all, these are the people who hired Keith Olbermann again after he had burned just about every bridge he crossed and had clearly become a progressive political animal and was no longer a sports guy.

Schilling is known to lean to the right (he campaigned for W in 2004), and had he been a lefty tweeting negatively about almost anything other than Those Who Shall Not Be Impugned Even Though They Keep Trying To Kill Us, he probably wouldn’t have gotten in trouble.

However, he did decide to wander into a somewhat political area, which just sucks the fun out of the enjoyment of sports.

So I can’t really back him up on this.

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It Would Appear Trump Is Getting Serious About Iowa

Monday, August 24th, 2015 - by Stephen Kruiser

Via Reuters:

Thousands of people are expected to stream into an events center here on the banks of the Mississippi River on Tuesday to see Donald Trump. When they do, his presidential campaign will be waiting, looking to convert casual gawkers into hardcore supporters who will cast votes for the billionaire presidential candidate in the Iowa caucuses next year.

The Republican frontrunner’s surging campaign is largely viewed as powered by his personal celebrity and his persistent presence on television. But there’s another political upside to being one of the most famous men in America: You don’t have to go knocking door-to-door to find voters. They come to you.

When those voters enter the Grand River Center on Tuesday evening, they will immediately be diverted to tables where Trump’s staff will recruit them to be county precinct captains, organizers, and volunteers. It’s a huge competitive advantage in a presidential race where other Republican candidates at times struggle to attract crowds in the hundreds.

It’s another reason, beyond strong poll numbers, why Trump’s candidacy is being viewed with increasing seriousness both inside and outside Iowa, which holds one of the earliest nominating contests in 2016.

I have been one of many political observers who thought for the longest time that Donald Trump has been amusing himself by driving the GOP establishment crazy. It has been, and still is to some extent, my contention that Trump’s biggest competition in this race is his own attention span. Perversely, I think the negative reaction from the establishment types is precisely what is making him pay attention longer.

The first several weeks of this Trump GOP roller coaster ride were obviously just for fun, he really wasn’t saying or doing much specific then. Now he seems to be planning. Of course, he can afford to plan and make the others work harder, spend more, and just be miserable, and still exit the race simply because he’s bored.

That’s what really gets the old guard.

Like many recent articles, this Reuters piece mentions the Giuliani and Thompson flashes in the pan from 2008. There are a couple of differences with Trump so far, however. He doesn’t seem to take his front-runner status for granted like Rudy did (and Jeb did until Trump took it from him), and, quite the opposite of Thompson in 2008, Trump is enjoying himself.

It is far too early in this race to make a heavy bet, but there are probably a lot more people thinking about going all-in on Trump than there were a month ago.

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Are State GOP Leaders in NC and VA Conspiring to Keep Trump Off Their Primary Ballots?

Monday, August 24th, 2015 - by Stephen Kruiser

Jittery much?

Amid mounting concerns about Donald Trump’s candidacy from the GOP establishment, Republican leaders in at least two states have found a way to make life a lot harder for him.

The Virginia and North Carolina parties are in discussions about implementing a new requirement for candidates to qualify for their primary ballots: that they pledge to support the Republican presidential nominee — and not run as a third-party candidate — in the general election.

Virginia has apparently been discussing something along these lines for a couple of years now. Ken Cuccinelli, the state’s most recent monumental Republican electoral failure, is behind the idea, which should tell you everything you need to know about so many of the tired wheel-spinners running various state GOPs.

One of the dumbest trends in politics, and especially on the Republican side, is coercing candidates to sign pledges on issues in an effort to enforce some kind of purity in the party.

How’s that been working out for everyone?

People aren’t sick of what Republicans do while running for office, we’re sick of what they do once they win.

This iteration of the pledge dance is ridiculous. Any candidate should have the right to support or not support the eventual nominee. Leave the hive mind garbage to the Democrats.

A Thought Exercise on How President Trump’s Immigration Policy Might Work Out

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CNN Working Hard to Replace the New York Times as the Official Media Wing of the Democratic Party

Friday, August 21st, 2015 - by Stephen Kruiser

CNN wants to be clear that it doesn’t like any immigration policy that doesn’t conform to the Democrats’ vision of what immigration policy should be.

In the past twenty-four hours, they’ve made sure to hit both men leading the GOP polls.

First, they found a former Hillary Clinton aide to take a swing at Donald Trump on immigration.

Then, when Jeb Bush seemed to be drifting Trump’s way ever-so-slightly, they trotted out an MSNBC darling (yes, that’s how desperate CNN is) to go after him.

The network has been making its living off of Trump-bashing for a month now. The Donald is its new missing Malaysian Airlines flight — he’s practically all they cover. So it is no surprise that they’d go after him on any topic. The subtle bias comes in the form of the Hillary operative. She gets to drop the Clinton name in the post a couple of times, all the while implying that Hillary is more compassionate than Trump.

Hillary isn’t more compassionate than anyone.

Perhaps CNN is merely trying to capture the disgruntled leftists who have been fleeing the MSNBC brand recently. That would make some sense, if one assumes that demographic is actually looking for somewhere to go.

More plausibly, perhaps since it is a modern American, non-Fox News media entity, it reflexively belches Democrat talking points.

RIP Journalism.

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Judge Issues Tentative Ruling Against StemExpress Attempt to Block Release of Planned Parenthood Videos

Friday, August 21st, 2015 - by Stephen Kruiser

So, all the judges haven’t gone insane yet.

Free speech rights should allow an anti-abortion group to release videos of discussions with a California company that provides fetal tissue for research, even if they were illegally recorded, a judge said Friday.

Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Joanne O’Donnell issued a tentative ruling rejecting efforts by StemExpress to block the videos, though she said the company likely will prevail in its lawsuit claiming its privacy was violated by an anti-abortion activist posing as a biomedical company employee.

The case arose as the little-known Center for Medical Progress released videos of Planned Parenthood officials discussing providing aborted fetal organs for research.

Abortion opponents said the video showed Planned Parenthood is illegally harvesting and selling the organs. Planned Parenthood said it did nothing wrong and the videos were deceptively edited to support extremists’ false claims.

Placerville-based StemExpress, which got some of its fetal tissue from Planned Parenthood, realized the center also secretly record its chief executive and others. It sued to pre-emptively block those videos from being seen.

StemExpress won a temporary restraining order last month, but O’Donnell said the center’s First Amendment rights trumped the company’s right to privacy in what it believed were confidential conversations.

O’Donnell still has to affirm her ruling, and if she does StemExpress is going to hit up an appeals court. This is a start, however. It’s also a glimmer of hope that every extreme leftist pet issue doesn’t have all of the judges in America running activist interference for them.

Another plus is that the mere attempt to suppress the videos is pretty much an admission that something wrong is going on.

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Media Bias 101: Scott Walker/Black Lives Matter Edition

Friday, August 21st, 2015 - by Stephen Kruiser

Here is the headline:

Walker rejects meeting with Black Lives Matter leaders

Pretty harsh, huh? They offered to meet with him and he flat-out rejected them. At least that is what is clearly implied here.

Well…maybe that’s not exaclty how it went.

He was later asked if he would meet with representatives of Black Lives Matter, an activist group focusing on shootings by police of African-American citizens, Walker appeared to stumble, saying, “Who knows who that is? I meet with voters. Who knows who that is.” When reporters asked for elaboration, Walker said he would “talk to American voters.”

In reality he was hit with a hypothetical and never really said no to anything.

It’s ridiculous to expect presidential candidates to meet with self-appointed leaders of protest groups just because the Democrats love that kind of dog-and-pony show.

This headline is an intentional lie designed to make Scott Walker appear racist, pure and simple.

It’s also indicative about why so many of us are clamoring for Republican candidates who can man-handle the press.

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Islamic War on Christianity Continues: ISIS Bulldozes Catholic Monastery in Syria

Friday, August 21st, 2015 - by Stephen Kruiser

While most of the MSM was sleeping…

Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (Isil) militants have destroyed a historic monastery seized in their latest advance across central Syria.

Photographs appeared online of fighters from Isil with bulldozers at the Mar Elian monastery in Al-Qaryatain, in Homs province.

The monitoring group Syrian Observatory of Human Rights said the Catholic monastery was then destroyed “on the pretext that it was used for worshipping others than God”.

Remember the rules we’re supposed to be playing by here, kids: you can’t mention that Islamic terrorists are waging wholesale war on Christians because it hurts the Islamic terrorists’ feelings.

It’s not just property they’re seizing:

Isil took Al-Qaryatain and the monastery on August 5, kidnapping an estimated 230 people, including Christians. Some of the older captives have been released, but at least 100 people have been taken as hostages to the de facto Isil capital of Raqqa further to the north.

The monastery and attached church of St Elian was named after a third century Christian from Homs who was killed by his father, a Roman officer, for refusing to renounce his faith.

It was renovated ten years ago under the direction of Fr Paolo Dall’Oglio, an Italian priest who re-established the Mar Musa monastery near Damascus, and became known as an anti-Assad regime activist. He was later kidnapped, and is believed to have been killed, by Isil.

Mar Elian’s abbot, Fr Jacques Mourad, was kidnapped, presumably by Isil, in May, before the attack on the town.

There may have been a time in days past when the American media would be upset about Christians being targeted for kidnapping and execution anywhere in the world, but I haven’t been alive that long.

And I’m not the youngest kid on the block.

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Noose Tightening, Team Hillary Blames ‘Ridiculous’ Rules for Classified Material

Friday, August 21st, 2015 - by Stephen Kruiser

It has now become very clear that some of the emails Hillary Clinton sent and/or received on her private server are of the type that are classified from the beginning:

But the details included in those “Classified” stamps — which include a string of dates, letters and numbers describing the nature of the classification — appear to undermine this account, a Reuters examination of the emails and the relevant regulations has found.

The new stamps indicate that some of Clinton’s emails from her time as the nation’s most senior diplomat are filled with a type of information the U.S. government and the department’s own regulations automatically deems classified from the get-go — regardless of whether it is already marked that way or not.

So there goes the last of her excuses. In classic criminal fashion, Grandma immediately found fault with the rules (her campaign got this tweet out bright and early in the AM — don’t tell me they’re not worried about this). Ladies and gentlemen, we give you the Vast Right-Wing Classification Conspiracy:


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Game Changer: Kasich Secures Critical Charles Barkley Endorsement

Thursday, August 20th, 2015 - by Stephen Kruiser

Call it.

If Charles Barkley had to vote tomorrow, he’d vote for John Kasich.

“Right now I like John Kasich, the governor of Ohio,” the retired basketball star said on ESPN’s “Mike & Mike Show” Wednesday. “He’s the only person that I’m really paying attention to right now, to be honest with you.”

Barkley said he usually votes for Democrats, but lately has been considering switching allegiances.

I have yet to meet one Republican who can give me a reason to vote for Kasich other than “he’s from Ohio.” How refreshing it will be if one day the GOP learns how to be competitive in presidential races without the need to relentlessly focus on one state.

Given Kasich’s use of Democrat talking points to justify the Obamacare Medicaid expansion in Ohio, voting for him won’t be much of a stretch for Barkley. Barkley also mentioned that he’d like to see Elizabeth Warren run.

As would everyone having dinner at the White House tonight.

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Contrary to Media Wishes, Scott Walker isn’t Giving Up Yet

Thursday, August 20th, 2015 - by Stephen Kruiser

Via The Weekly Standard:

Wisconsin governor Scott Walker is nothing if not a campaign veteran. He’s run and won three statewide races since 2010, including the highly contentious recall election in 2012. In fact, since an unsuccessful bid for the state assembly in 1990 when he was just 22, Walker hasn’t lost an election. That’s a great record to have going into a campaign for president, but just a month into his official candidacy, Walker is suffering from a perception that he’s already losing.

Stalling poll numbers and a threat to his top position in Iowa—where Donald Trump has overtaken him in a few polls there—have fed this narrative. In the national polls, Walker has been falling since his peak on April 1. According to the Real Clear Politics average of polls, Walker had a boost in support following his July 13 announcement that he was officially running for president, but since August he’s suffered a precipitous drop in support. Nor did the August 6 debate boost his position. In the latest CNN national poll, Walker is tied for fourth place with Marco Rubio at 8 percent, behind Ben Carson at 9 percent, Jeb Bush at 13 percent, and Donald Trump at 24 percent.

The media have taken note. Here’s a sample of some recent headlines: “Scott Walker struggles for the Iowa prize”; “Scott Walker slides as Trump rises”; “Walker chasing Trump, deepens his problem.”

Naturally, the media would love nothing more than to see a quick fade by Walker. His Democrat/Big Labor slaying record terrifies them, as evidenced by the fact that they’ve been doing hit pieces on him since long before he was a declared candidate.

Given what Walker went through during the 2012 recall election it is hard to imagine that he’s very rattled by this bump in the road. When you’ve stared the union nastiness in the eye and soundly defeated it, some bad polling almost a year out from crunch time isn’t going to keep you up at night.

As mentioned here on Monday, Walker is already retooling his approach, and could be in a very good position if/when Donald Trump exits the race for greener pastures.

Even if Walker doesn’t prevail, it’s wishful thinking on the part of the MSM hacks to think he’ll go away quickly.

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Perry Continues to Be the Anti-Trump: Building a Wall Not the ‘Best Way’ to Secure Border (VIDEO)

Thursday, August 20th, 2015 - by Stephen Kruiser

This is from the same interview where Perry doubled-down on his criticism and reiterated that he viewed him as a “cancer” on the GOP. Perry has obviously staked out his territory.

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