Matt Vespa - Walker Calls For Unity At RNC, A Vote For Anyone Other Than Trump Is A Vote For Clinton
Posted: 7/20/2016 9:19:00 PM EST

Cleveland, OHIO– Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker addressed the Republican National Convention, where he made one thing clear: America deserves better. And because of that, anyone would be better leading our country than Hillary Clinton. He also mentioned that we shouldn’t be afraid to fight for conservative principles. He’s been a target of his state’s entrenched unions and survived a vicious recall effort. He said that other states are offering solutions to the failed big government liberal programs that are draining our economy; the same policies that Clinton would certainly push if she’s elected president.

Walker is known for dropping out of the race in an effort to stop Trump. Now, he’s addressing the Republican convention that officially nominated Trump as their nominee. His "anyone is better than Hillary" line is a call for unity; Speaker Ryan made similar calls once the nominating fight had concluded. The call for unity is key. Walker stressed that now is not the time to sit on the sidelines because your candidate in the primaries lost. We cannot afford to do so at this point, and Walker explicitly noted that a vote for anyone other than Trump only helped Clinton.

He also quipped about the FBI investigation into her private email use, which revealed abysmal practices exhibited by Clinton and her team concerning safeguarding classified information, though the former first lady escaped criminal charges. Nevertheless, it afforded the governor to say that he wouldn’t feel comfortable giving Clinton the password to his iPhone:

Last August, I said that any of the Republicans running would be better than Hillary Clinton. I meant it then, and I mean it now. So let me be clear: a vote for anyone other than Donald Trump in November is a vote for Hillary Clinton.

Make no mistake: we can’t wait four more years and “get ‘em next time.” The consequences are too great. After hearing the FBI Director's recent comments, I wouldn't even give Hillary Clinton the password to my iPhone - let alone access to classified information. This isn't just another Clinton scandal, Hillary's scandal put our national security at risk and that makes her unfit to be President.

It’s time to tell Hillary: enough is enough. No more double standards for the Clintons.

Why? Because America deserves better.

Thankfully, Republicans are offering a better way forward.

It's working right here in Ohio and in Florida, New Mexico, North Carolina and South Carolina. And even in Massachusetts and Maryland.

Republican leadership works. I see it first hand as it's working in Wisconsin.

In 2010, we were tired of high unemployment, budget deficits, stifling taxes, and rising college tuition.

Most of all, we were tired of the big government union bosses running our state and local governments. We had enough. So we did something about it. We took back power from the big government special interests and returned it firmly into the hands of the hard-working taxpayers. In turn, the big government special interests - and their cronies in Washington - helped organize more than 100,000 protestors who occupied our state Capitol. They tried to intimidate us with threats and mobs, but we didn't back down. And we won.

Then, they spent tens of millions of dollars to try and defeat us in a recall election, but we didn't back down. And we won.

Three times they came at us. Three times we won.

We won because our common sense reforms worked. Today, more people are employed in Wisconsin than ever before, our budget is balanced and responsible, taxes are down for working families and seniors; and college tuition is frozen for four years in a row.

[…]

You've had enough of Washington’s brokenness, wastefulness, empty promises and arrogance, join us. Help us elect Republicans to office - from the courthouse to the statehouse to the White House.

You have a choice. You decide. You deserve better. Because America deserves better.

Last Note: Yes, he did try—but it didn’t work. Now, it’s time to unite to defeat Clinton.

Townhall.com Staff - Watch LIVE: RNC Day Three – ‘Make America First Again’
Posted: 7/20/2016 7:00:00 PM EST

It’s Day Three of the 2016 Republican National Convention and the day’s theme is “Make America First Again," putting the spotlight on jobs and the economy. Speakers include Gov. Scott Walker (R-WI), Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL), Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX), the Gingriches, Donald Trump’s son Eric Trump, and Trump’s vice presidential running mate, Indiana Gov. Mike Pence. 

Matt Vespa - Bush: The Last Republican President?
Posted: 7/20/2016 6:45:00 PM EST

Donald J. Trump is now the official Republican nominee for 2016, but not everyone is happy. As we speak, various members from the Republican Party, who are horrified that Trump is the standard bearer have been drafting secondary protocols in the case that Trump is absolutely decimated, along with the rest of the down ticket races. During a staff reunion with former President George W. Bush, the 43rd president worried that he might be the last Republican president…ever (via Politico):

It was mid-April when as many as 1,000 alumni of the most recent Republican administration descended on Dallas for a staff reunion to reminisce about sunnier times. Former President George W. Bush autographed cowboy hats, Vice President Dick Cheney snapped selfies and First Lady Laura Bush chatted up the crowd. The memories were happy; the fajitas were plentiful.

[…]

But few were as dark about the Republican Party’s future as former President Bush himself. In a more intimate moment during the reunion, surrounded by a smaller clutch of former aides and advisers, Bush weighed in with an assessment so foreboding that some who relayed it could not discern if it was gallows humor or blunt realpolitik.

“I’m worried,” Bush told them, “that I will be the last Republican president.”

One of the contingency plans is a Ted Cruz 2020 run, but let’s relax (for now) about whether this is the end of Republican politics. American parties have fractured before. The Democrats have a four-way split in 1968, the anti-war wing led by Sen. Eugene McCarthy of Minnesota, the hope and change brigades led by Sen. Robert F. Kennedy of New York, the old guard represented by President Lyndon Johnson (along with Mayor Daley of Chicago and the unions), and the southern Dixiecrats. That’s one helluva schism. Vietnam was not only killing thousands of Americans, but also ripping apart the Democratic Party to pieces, along with the riots that were raging and televised for all to see. Richard Nixon ran as the law and order candidate. Trump is doing the same this cycle. Nixon won in ’68. The nation’s brief bout with Jimmy Carter after 1976, but overall, the Democrats have only had two two-term post-World War II presidencies in Clinton and Obama.

The point is that this isn’t the end of the party. Political parties go into wilderness years. The Labour Party in the United Kingdom found itself there for almost two decades, and the Democratic Party pretty much became four parties by the end of the 1960s. The Republican Party is undergoing what appears to be a violent rebirth. And while it’s too early to see whether this will be detrimental, beneficial, or innocuous—the notion that Bush will be the last, or that the party is finished, seems a bit premature.

At the same time, it's a bit disconcerting when pollster Frank Luntz says that the GOP has lost an entire generation of voters to progressivism. 

Matt Vespa - Sources: Ted Cruz Won't Endorse Trump, Looks To 2020
Posted: 7/20/2016 6:37:00 PM EST

UPDATE: As Katie wrote, Cruz didn't endorse Trump, told delegates to vote their conscience, and left the stage amid very loud boos. It was brutal.

***Original Post***

Cleveland, OHIO– Sen. Ted Cruz is set to address the Republican National Convention, though he doesn’t plan on endorsing Republican nominee Donald Trump, according to sources. National Review’s Eliana Johnson has more:

Going into tomorrow night’s speech, Cruz undoubtedly has Ronald Reagan’s 1976 convention speech in mind. Though Reagan narrowly lost the nomination to Gerald Ford that year, his speech succeeded in convincing the delegates gathered in Kansas City that they had chosen the wrong man. (Paul Manafort, now Trump’s campaign chairman, was at the time a young operative instrumental in wrangling delegates on Ford’s behalf.)

But Reagan endorsed Ford.

This all comes, as party elders fear the worst come November. Cruz has already started planning laying down the groundwork for his 2020 run—a part of which involves an alliance of non-profits to keep the grassroots energy going (via Politico):

Ted Cruz decompressed from his crushing 2016 loss by starting to plan for 2020.

[…]

In late June, Cruz invited more than 100 of his top bundlers and donors to a retreat in La Jolla, California, that is reported here for the first time. They were treated to meals, a cruise and detailed presentations about how the campaign spent their money and what was coming next by some of Cruz’s top brass, including Roe, chief strategist Jason Johnson, data and research director Chris Wilson, political director Mark Campbell and senior adviser David Polyansky, according to two attendees.

Campbell, meanwhile, is launching two new nonprofit groups, a 501(c)(3) and a 501(c)(4), to house some of Cruz’s senior team, as first reported by National Review, including Paul Teller, his former chief of staff, Bryan English, his Iowa state director, and Brian Phillips, his campaign rapid response director. Polyansky, who began on Scott Walker’s staff but rose to become one of Cruz’s most trusted advisers during the primary, has since taken the helm of his Senate office as chief of staff.

The idea is that the allied nonprofits will tend to Cruz’s grass-roots donor base, synergize with other movement groups, generate fresh legislative ideas, and organize Cruz’s early-state travels.

Yet, what if Trump wins the 2016 election?

An RNC official told Yahoo! News, “If Trump wins, you better bet your ass Cruz is going to primary him.” Yet, here’s the thing about Cruz. On paper, he’s the reddest of red meat conservatives, but he needs to move away from his lecture-style delivery on the stump. You don’t need to explain everything; we all know you’re a well-educated lawyer, my friend. Cruz was able to score a string of victories in the midst of Trumpmentum and his grassroots army will keep his operation well fed. But before we say he’s like Reagan or pulling a Reagan-style strategy to clinch the nomination in the future, let’s not forget that Reagan was popular. Cruz isn’t. He also has to deal with Gov. Scott Walker, Sen. Marco Rubio, and other up and coming Republicans who have better favorable ratings and legislative accomplishments. Yet, let’s just leave the 2020 talk there. What does seem to be a good bet is that when that year rolls around, you can bet that Cruz fever will break again—and that his operation will be a well funded, well oiled machine in their second attempt at the White House.

Matt Vespa - Mass AG Unilaterally Changes Gun Laws, Redefines Assault Weapon Definition
Posted: 7/20/2016 5:37:00 PM EST

With most of the media attention on the Republican National Convention (Melania Trump’s speech)—the Massachusetts Attorney General seems to have decided to unilaterally rewrite the state’s gun laws. The attorney general is targeting so-called copycat assault weapons (their words not mine) and would force manufacturers to stop making them and gun dealers to stop selling them. The law goes into effect on July 20. Those who have bought the firearms being targeted prior to that date will be allowed to keep them (Mass Live):

Gun manufacturers have manufactured these weapons as legal versions of prohibited guns," Healey said. "These weapons are illegal. They are copies or duplicates of banned weapons, and they cannot be bought or sold in Massachusetts."

"The gun industry doesn't get to decide what's compliant (with state law)," [Attorney General Maura] Healey said. "We do."

Gun owners, however, said they had no notice of Healey's interpretation of the law and were still unsure of what would be included.

[…]

Advocates for the gun industry warn that Healey's ban is likely to face a legal challenge.

"You have a person that's unilaterally changing the laws without actually going through the process, then telling licensed retailers they're not allowed to sell something basically with no notice," said Jim Wallace, executive director of Gun Owners' Action League of Massachusetts, a gun rights advocacy group. "This is going to be probably a very interesting legal challenge at some point."

[…]

Massachusetts already bans the sale of assault weapons and of copies or duplicates of assault weapons. But, according to Healey, some gun manufacturers made guns that are very similar to assault weapons but with small changes. For example, they do not have a collapsible stock or a flash suppressor. That does not change the lethality of the weapon, but it does let the gun manufacturers claim it is not a copy of an assault weapon, so it is "state compliant."

Healey's directive to gun manufacturers clarifies the definition of "copy." Under Healey's definition, if a gun's operating system is the same as that of a banned weapon or it has components that are interchangeable with those in a banned weapon, the gun will be illegal to sell in Massachusetts.

According to Healey's office, an estimated 10,000 "copycat" assault weapons were sold last year in Massachusetts.

In Virginia, Attorney General Mark Herring unilaterally changed the state’s reciprocity laws on concealed carry permits, which drew the ire of Second Amendment supporters. After months of grassroots pressure and legislative maneuvering, Democratic Gov. Terry McAuliffe signed a deal that not only restored the reciprocity agreements set to be severed, but also expanded them. It also barred the attorney general from making such sweeping legal moves on gun rights in the state. Yet, that’s a state with a Republican legislature. For Massachusetts gun owners, don’t count of such a miracle to happen.

Christine Rousselle - Someone Built A Tiny Wall Around Trump's Hollywood Walk of Fame Star
Posted: 7/20/2016 5:30:00 PM EST

Throughout the Republican primary, Donald Trump's star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame has been vandalized again and again.

First came the swastika...

...then the "mute" symbol...

...and now this: a six-inch "border wall," complete with tiny razor wire.

An artist who goes by the name "Plastic Jesus" took credit for the addition to the star. This is not his first piece of anti-Trump art: he also sells "No Trump Anytime" signs.

At least this vandalism is easily removable and doesn't actually damage the star.

Megan Maxey - Benghazi Soldier Reveals Special Ops Members Will Leave Military If Clinton Is Elected
Posted: 7/20/2016 5:00:00 PM EST

Benghazi survivor and former CIA operative John “Tig” Tiegen sat down to speak with The Daily Caller Tuesday in Cleveland.

The Benghazi survivors have been very vocal about their opinions on the presumptive Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton - and for good reason. Tig was one of the six military contractors stranded in Benghazi, Libya on September 11, 2012 where their call for help was never answered. Four of his fellow Americans died because of this negligence.

In the Facebook Live interview, Tiegen told The Daily Caller many of the military's best and brightest will leave if Hillary is elected. “There’s guys leaving now just because of that,” said Tiegen. “Cause they don’t know if the call for help is going to be heard.”

Tiegen spoke on the "downgrading" the Obama administration has conducted overseas and that the men in the military have a growing doubt in the government because of it. 

“If you ask for help, or you need your help, you expect the military to come help you, one way or another,” said Tiegen. He then brought up a similar situation to Benghazi - an ambush on a group of marines in Afghanistan in 2013. These marines were left helpless because President Obama pulled troops put of important areas in the Middle East.

Tiegen stated the fight would remain overseas if Trump was elected, but if Clinton were to be elected we will be fighting this war on our home front.

Townhall.com Staff - RNC Day 3: Law Enforcement Prepare for Looming Protests
Posted: 7/20/2016 4:42:00 PM EST

Cleveland, OH - Reports are circulating that a large protest will take place outside of the Republican National Convention this evening. The video below shows law enforcement moving in to help reinforce the perimeter.

The latest update from sources on the ground say that all exits out of the security perimeter (except one) are sealed due to the protests, and that there have been several arrests so far. 

This piece will be updated as information comes in.

UPDATE (5:28 p.m. ET): The Revolution Communist Party was responsible for the protest flag burning outside of the convention perimeter. Video below shows Carl Dix, the party chairman, explaining why they burned the U.S. Flag. 

Carl Dix (transcript of video): "...Nor do we need a continuation of the crimes of today. And that's what both Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton represent. Their only difference is what's the why to keep this empire in effect, and keep it committing crimes against people here in this country and around the world..."

Christine Rousselle - Appeals Court Strikes Down Texas Voter ID Law
Posted: 7/20/2016 4:35:00 PM EST

The Fifth Court of Appeals has struck down Texas' voter ID law. The court found that the law violates the Voting Rights Act and was discriminatory towards minorities. The law required residents to show a photo ID in order to vote, and did not consider a school ID to be a valid form of identification--the strictest policy in the nation.

The U.S. 5th Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed previous rulings that the 2011 voter ID law — which stipulates the types of photo identification election officials can and cannot accept at the polls — does not comply with the Voting Rights Act.

The full court's ruling delivered the strongest blow yet to what is widely viewed as the nation’s strictest voter ID law. Under the law, most citizens (some, like people with disabilities, can be exempt) must show one of a handful of types of identification before their ballots can be counted: a state driver's license or ID card, a concealed handgun license, a U.S. passport, a military ID card, or a U.S citizenship certificate with a photo.

Texas is among nine states categorized as requiring "strict photo ID," and its list of acceptable forms is the shortest.

The law was first passed by then-Gov. Rick Perry (R) in 2011. It has faced numerous court battles since then.

Justice Don Willett, who is nearly as famous for his tweets as he is for his position on the Supreme Court of Texas, was blunt in his response: Texas loses.

Cortney O'Brien - WATCH: Cruz Supporters Boo Trump Plane As it Flies Into Cleveland
Posted: 7/20/2016 4:25:00 PM EST

In what may or may not be an indication of what we can expect when Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) steps on stage on this third night of the Republican National Convention, some of his supporters greeted Donald Trump's plane with boos as it flew into Cleveland on Wednesday afternoon.

Cruz was speaking at a rally outside of the Quicken Loans Arena when his audience spotted the Trump aircraft. It was perfect timing, as the plane came into view just as Cruz said, "Our party now has a nominee." Cruz laughed and asked his staff if they had planned it that way.

Cruz is included in the lineup of keynote speakers for Wednesday night, despite his very nasty battle with Trump during the GOP primary. In perhaps the tensest moment of the campaign, Cruz denounced his rival as a "pathological liar."

That was in May. Now, the Texas senator will be addressing a convention that has just nominated Trump as its presidential nominee.

Reports suggest Cruz will not offer his former opponent an endorsement.

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