In an effort to increase the Red Tide, Trump tweeted an endorsement of Lou Barletta who is looking for a promotion to the Senate. It’s important to note that a Trump endorsement via twitter isn’t the most solid form of in writing. Kelli Ward of Arizona received such praise but that was before Joe Arpaio threw his hat in. Nonetheless, Pennsylvania is a winnable election for the GOP looking to increase their majority in the Senate as it swung for Trump in 2016. In Trump’s endorsement, he not only praises Lou Barletta but also tears at incumbent Democrat, Bob Casey.
Rep. Lou Barletta, a Great Republican from Pennsylvania who was one of my very earliest supporters, will make a FANTASTIC Senator. He is strong & smart, loves Pennsylvania & loves our Country! Voted for Tax Cuts, unlike Bob Casey, who listened to Tax Hikers Pelosi and Schumer!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) February 11, 2018
Who is Lou Barletta?
Representing the eleventh District in Pennsylvania is Lou Barletta. The mention of the early support indicates that this is a loyalty move by Trump. If nothing else, Trump does consistently reward loyalty. However, is Trump loyalty synonymous with conservatism? Let’s dig deeper into his record. On social media the self-proclaimed resistance calls him a Nazi. But no evidence really exist for that, nor does his voting record indicate a belief in supremacy of the white race. On the contrary, Lou Barletta is an influential Congressman of issues of energy and coal. But his voting record is not one of limiting the size of government or fiscal conservatism. The Conservative Review scores Lou Barletta at 43% on his Liberty Score. For Pennsylvania that would be an improvement from Bob Casey who is at 8%. The Liberty Score compiles the previous fifty major votes and scores politicians. What’s not include thus far is the recent budget and debt ceiling talks. But there is the reauthorization of FISA which Barletta supported.
Barletta is loyal to Trump, likely as his record shows he is unwilling to buck the powers that be. He was loyal to John Boehner, uninterested in removing the IRS Commissioner, and a member of the GOP who would surrender to Obama on multiple occasions. By itself, Lou Barletta is unwilling to fund Planned Parenthood. In a bigger bill, Barletta votes in favor of abortion funding. On spending increases and subsidies, Barletta has stood in favor. I could dig deeper, but the overall picture shows Barletta’s unwillingness to go against the Whitehouse whether they are Republican or Democrat and a lack of conservatism in either case.
The Other Candidates
Barletta stands as the most formidable candidate. He has major endorsements and money. Number two on the list is a businessman, Paul Addis. This would be an political outsider running for office. His priorities is the military, but by his own website has few actual positions. There is not enough evidence to suggest that Addis is a conservative candidate. Looking for promotion is Jim Christiana, a state representative. Scorecards from the American Conservative Union and the National Federation of Independent Businesses ranks Christiana favorably. In the most recent scorecard, 2016, Christiana voted to protect the unborn and made efforts to kill a gun control measure. The other benefit is his youth!
My Take of the Race
Jim Christiana is the conservative choice in this race, but Lou Barletta stands the best chance to win because Jim Christiana doesn’t have a whole lot of cash. Barletta is also a fairly talented campaigner. But first and foremost, he is a loyalist. If the other candidates fail to up their social media game, Barletta could run away with this. And if he wins, we’ll just have a Democrat vs a RINO come November.
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