The Republican Party organizations in four states are poised to cancel their primaries or caucuses. This is a tremendous mistake that does not help President Trump, nor does it help keep our republic strong. South Carolina, Nevada, Arizona and Kansas are poised to cancel their respective nomination apparatuses in moves heralded as “saving money” and “showing unity.”
It’s not unprecedented, but it tarnishes the overwhelming support President Trump has within the GOP. I was against it when some states did it for President Reagan in 1984 as well as when they did it for George W. Bush in 2004. Joe Walsh, Bill Weld, and whichever other Republicans who try to challenge the President have zero chance of making an impact, but this move by these and potentially other states will be highlighted by mainstream media as the President demonstrating weakness.
I have zero love for Walsh or Weld. My condemnation of this move has nothing to do with supporting them. But they’re Americans. They’re Republicans (well, Weld is sort of a Republican). They want to run for the nomination. Quashing them before their time is not the right move for the GOP.
Trump aides said they supported the cancellations but stressed that each case was initiated by state party officials.
The shutdowns aren’t without precedent. Some of the states forgoing Republican nomination contests have done so during the reelection bids of previous presidents. Arizona, GOP officials there recalled, did not hold a Democratic presidential primary in 2012, when Barack Obama was seeking a second term, or in 1996, when Bill Clinton was running for reelection. Kansas did not have a Democratic primary in 1996, and Republican officials in the state pointed out that they have long chosen to forgo primaries during a sitting incumbent’s reelection year.
South Carolina GOP Chairman Drew McKissick noted that his state decided not to hold Republican presidential primaries in 1984, when Ronald Reagan was running for reelection, or in 2004, when George W. Bush was seeking a second term. South Carolina, he added, also skipped its 1996 and 2012 Democratic contests.
The President’s campaign needs to be bold. It needs to use these challenges as opportunities to highlight his strengths. Heck, he should even offer to debate them. These would be the moves of a confident, competent campaign. Instead, they’re trying to suppress opposition, as if pretending like every registered Republican loves the President will somehow make it true.
The media is going to pounce. They always do whether they have reason to or not, but this will mark four separate occasions where the media will highlight the fact that the President’s reelection campaign stifled opposition. As I said before, it will be portrayed as a sign of weakness and used against the President.
Republicans should have the opportunity to support President Trump at the primary ballot box. Walsh and Weld have no chance, but canceling primaries and caucuses give the media an excuse to say the President’s campaign is scared of them.
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They’re Trying to Shut Us Down
Over the last several months, I’ve lost count of how many times the powers-that-be have tried to shut us down. They’ve sent hackers at us, forcing us to take extreme measures on web security. They sent attorneys after us, but thankfully we’re not easily intimidated by baseless accusations or threats. They’ve even gone so far as to make physical threats. Those can actually be a bit worrisome but Remington has me covered.
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