On his radio show yesterday evening, Mark “The Great One” Levin blasted Donald Trump and Marco Rubio for smearing their rivals for the Republican presidential nomination, Ben Carson and Ted Cruz.
As PJ Media reported earlier, Trump recently went off on Carson during a campaign event in Iowa. The billionaire businessman smeared Carson, comparing him to child molesters and declaring he’s unfit to be president because he had violent impulses as a teenager. He even went so far as to blast Carson’s religiosity, basically saying it’s all a lie to swoon Iowa voters:
“Now he’s religious. And the people of Iowa believe him. Give me a break.”
We also reported that Team Rubio released videos yesterday – that were edited and taken out of context – in an attempt to portray Ted Cruz as a flip-flopper on immigration. As I explained in my article on this matter yesterday, that’s not true at all. Cruz has never agreed with Rubio’s open borders-policy and never will. All he did was use the amendment-process to expose the Gang of 8’s real agenda: to give illegal aliens a path to citizenship.
Judging by Mark Levin’s show yesterday, I’m not the only one who is fed up with these unfair attacks by Republican candidates on their fellow party members. Here’s what Levin said about Trump smearing Carson:
“If Donald Trump continues to attack Ben Carson the way he’s attacking Ben Carson, I have to affirmatively oppose him. I like the man very much, but the absolute reckless, personal assaults on Ben Carson – who is one of the most decent men you could possible know, and I only know him from the public airwaves, but a truly accomplished man – is simply unacceptable to me. It’s unacceptable to me.
“I’ve never heard this kind of slurring of a man of great integrity.”
“A warning to Marco Rubio: if your little hit squad and your opposition research team is going to put out edited videos of Ted Cruz, and lie flat out about the amendment process that took place in the Senate, and suggest that your support of the Gang of 8 and Ted Cruz’s adamant opposition to it means that you both are on the same page, I can’t accept that either.
“You’ve taken your position on immigration, on the air and otherwise I told you some time ago it was a huge mistake – now you have to live with it. But that doesn’t mean that Cruz has taken your position. Cruz has rejected most – not all – but most of your positions. That was your decision. Now you have to live with it. But don’t smear somebody else and think that we’re so stupid that we don’t understand how the amendment process works and in the United States Senate.
“I had these two men on this week and I’m really troubled and frustrated by what they’re doing.”
Levin has in the past made clear – time and again – that he will not accept any cheap shots and personal attacks from supposedly conservative candidates aimed at their Republican rivals and ideological brethren. Like me, he believes that the candidates should fight each other on the battlefield of ideas, not personal issues. Trump has clearly gone off the deep end by going all-out against Carson, even comparing the good doctor to a child molester. That’s something even a Democrat wouldn’t do. Yet Trump does it.
Although Rubio’s attacks on Cruz aren’t personal in that way, they aren’t fair either. Team Rubio are purposefully deceiving the conservative base about Cruz’s immigration views; not because this makes Rubio look any better, but because it makes Cruz look bad. In other words, this too is the politics of personal destruction. Levin wants none of that, at least not when all involved are (self-declared) conservatives.
If Trump wants to fight off Carson – who’s threatening him in the polls – he can do so by talking about the different policy views they have; and yes, they are different candidates with different ideas. Let the best man win: both explain their views and contrast them with each other, the conservative base can then vote for the guy they agree with most.
That’s what Levin has said for years, and he’s right. That’s how Republicans should deal with each other. They shouldn’t smear each other, lie about each other, and deceive voters, just so they can call themselves the last man standing. That’s not how this is supposed to work.
What goes for Trump and Carson also goes for Rubio and Cruz. Rubio can certainly debate the issues with Cruz, but he has to do so in an honest way, without twisting Cruz’s (past) positions… or his own. He was part of the Gang of 8, he supported amnesty and a pathway to citizenship; he’s got to own it. If he doesn’t have the courage to do so he should just get out of the race altogether and hope that Florida Republicans are willing to reelect him to the Senate.