John McCain

It's Time to Hold "Trumpublicans" Accountable in 2016

"Trumpublicans" might claim to oppose Trump's agenda of hatred and bigotry, but they're still working to protect his interests and advance his agenda -- like by holding a Supreme Court seat open for him to fill.
PFAW

PFAW Launches “Trumpublicans” Campaign with Bilingual Radio Ads

Today, People For the American Way (PFAW) is launching its new campaign, “Trumpublicans: Reject Trump and the Republicans” / “Trumpublicanos: Rechaza a Trump y los Republicanos,” with radio ads, digital ads, and an event in Arizona with civil rights leader and PFAW board member Dolores Huerta. The campaign, aimed at Latino voters in Arizona, North Carolina, and Florida, emphasizes the importance of voting against Trump and Republican Senators standing with him.

“Donald Trump has made clear time and time again that he’s campaigning for the presidency on the backs of Latinos and immigrants. His hateful rhetoric began on Day One of his campaign, and we won’t let him take his bigotry to the White House,” said civil rights leader and PFAW board member Dolores Huerta. “But it’s not just Trump. Republicans – even those who at times have criticized him – are still voting for him and are still blockading President Obama’s Supreme Court nominee in the hopes that Donald Trump will fill the seat. At the ballot box, Latino voters will make our voices heard against the anti-immigrant, anti-Latino Donald Trump and the Republican Party by voting against them.”

“Republicans can’t have it both ways. We know that anyone who stands with Donald Trump stands against us,” said PFAW Director of Latinos Vote! Lizet Ocampo. “We’ve launched our ‘Trumpublicans’ campaign to hold Donald Trump and the Republicans responsible for demonizing our communities and standing against our priorities. They’ve failed us at every level, from blocking comprehensive immigration reform with a path to citizenship to opposing raising the minimum wage to voting against efforts to make college more affordable.”

The bilingual radio ads began running this morning in North Carolina, Florida, and Arizona. Each features a child speaking in English and Spanish, asking her mother, who speaks in Spanish, if Trump will win the election. The mother emphasizes that through voting not just against Trump, but against Republicans down ballot, Trump and Republicans will lose. “We take a multigenerational approach in this innovative ad to reflect the times we live in. We see more and more families where older generations speak primarily Spanish to their children and grandchildren, who often speak both English and Spanish or Spanglish,” explains Ocampo. While the ads are similar in theme, each is locally tailored. Listen to the ads and read the transcripts here.

Later today, civil rights leader and PFAW board member Dolores Huerta will join Latino leaders in Arizona to denounce Donald Trump and John McCain. Huerta will tell the story of how the Si Se Puede / Yes We Can chant started there with the organizing she and Cesar Chavez did with the United Farm Workers there. She'll address how Latino voters can again use their power, this time to decide the outcome of this November’s elections in Arizona.  You can also read her op-ed in the Arizona Capital Times published earlier this week, "Latino voters deciding the election? Si se puede!" To schedule a remote or in-person interview with Dolores Huerta, please email media@pfaw.org.

In addition to the radio ads and the event, PFAW will  target Latino Twitter users through paid posts in Arizona, North Carolina, and Florida. Here are the graphics we'll be promoting in Arizona:

 

For questions about the campaign or to speak with Dolores Huerta or Lizet Ocampo, please email media@pfaw.org.

People For the American Way is a progressive advocacy organization founded to fight right-wing extremism and defend constitutional values including free expression, religious liberty, equal justice under the law, and the right to meaningfully participate in our democracy.

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PFAW Releases Spanish-Language Ad Criticizing McCain, Flake for Holding Supreme Court Seat Open for Trump

Today, People For the American Way (PFAW) released a Spanish-language radio ad in Arizona criticizing Senators John McCain and Jeff Flake for refusing to give fair consideration to Judge Merrick Garland, making clear that they’d prefer to have Republican presumptive nominee Donald Trump fill the seat. The ad, the first of its kind talking specifically to Latino voters about Trump and the Supreme Court vacancy, will run for a week on Spanish-language radio in Arizona.

PFAW Director of Latinos Vote! and Manager of Political Campaigns Lizet Ocampo stated:

“Donald Trump is a bigot who has called Mexican immigrants rapists, supports mass deportation, and referred to women as ‘pigs’ and ‘dogs.’ Yet Senators McCain and Flake would rather hold the seat open for him to fill than do their job and give fair consideration to an extraordinarily well qualified nominee like Judge Merrick Garland. It’s nothing short of disgraceful.”

Spanish-language ad:

Listen in English:

Script:

Sabemos que la Corte Suprema toma algunas de las decisiones más importantes como la inmigración, el derecho a votar y la salud.

Y estas decisiones afectan a nuestros amigos, a nuestras familias y a nuestra comunidad.

Entonces, ¿Por qué los Senadores McCain y Flake se rehúsan a cumplir con su responsabilidad y bloquean al candidato del presidente Obama?

¿Será porque quieren que sea Donald Trump, la persona que dijo que los inmigrantes mexicanos eran violadores y traficantes de drogas, quién nombre a nuestro siguiente juez de la Corte Suprema?

Al no cumplir con su responsabilidad, nuestros senadores están haciendo el típico juego sucio de los republicanos. ¡Que vergüenza!

McCain y Flake deben confirmar al Juez de la Corte Suprema nominado por Obama; y dejar de hacer lo que les pide Trump.

Este mensaje es pagado por People For the American Way, www.pfaw.org, y no está autorizado por ningún candidato o comité de candidato. People For the American Way es responsable por el contenido de este anuncio. 

English translation:

We know the Supreme Court makes some of the most important decisions like immigration, voting rights, and health care. And these decisions affect our friends, families, and community.

So why are Senators McCain and Flake refusing to do their job – and blocking President Obama's nominee?

Is it because they want to see Donald Trump – the man who called Mexican immigrants rapists and drug dealers – get to name our next  Supreme Court Justice?!

By not doing their job, our Senators are playing dirty Republican tricks.

What a disgrace!

McCain and Flake need to confirm President Obama’s Supreme Court nominee – and stop doing Donald Trump’s bidding.

Paid for by People For the American Way(www.pfaw.org) and not authorized by any candidate or candidate’s committee. People For the American Way is responsible for the content of this advertising.
 

John McCain's GOP Challenger Appears On Alex Jones' Conspiracy Theory Show

After kicking off his show last night by declaring that he is living under the nonexistent North American Union, InfoWars broadcaster Alex Jones greeted Arizona Republican state Sen. Kelli Ward, who is challenging U.S. Sen. John McCain in the Republican primary.

It isn’t a huge surprise that Ward would appear on Jones’ conspiracy theory program, as the GOP lawmaker has promoted fears about “chemtrails” and rallied behind anti-government icon Cliven Bundy during his standoff with law enforcement.

As we mentioned when Donald Trump appeared on Jones’ radio program last year, it “is really difficult to know where to begin when cataloging all of the truly insane statements and conspiracy theories levied by radio host Alex Jones, who has talked about everything from how 9/11 and Oklahoma City were false flag operations to how juice turns kids gay and space lizards are running the world."

Maddow Calls Out Cruz For Embracing Pastor Who Said God Sent Hitler & Oprah Presages Antichrist

Sen. Ted Cruz has been embracing so many far-right figures in his quest to become president that we’ve almost stopped being surprised every time he rolls out a new, more extreme endorsement.

Almost.

Last week, Cruz outdid himself when he sent out a press release announcing the endorsement of Mike Bickle, head of the 24-hour International House of Prayer in Kansas City, Missouri.

Cruz’s announcement was remarkable because associating with Bickle had already caused a considerable amount of trouble for Cruz’s fellow Texan Rick Perry back when he was launching his first presidential run in 2011. Bickle, whose theology iscontroversial even among evangelicals, was involved in organizing a prayer rally meant to launch Perry’s campaign, which ended up causing trouble for the then-Texas governor when Bickle’s extreme views — including his belief that Oprah Winfrey is the forerunner to the Antichrist — came to light. Nonetheless, Bickle ended up emceeing the second half of the event.

Even more disturbing than his unusual theological beliefs about Oprah was a sermon that came to light after Perry’s prayer rally in which Bickle declared that in the End Times, God will “raise up a hunter” to kill Jews who don’t accept Christ “and the most famous hunter in recent history is a man named Adolf Hitler.’”

This statement was similar to remarks made by Religious Right leader John Hagee that had caused Sen. John McCain to publicly reject his endorsement during his own presidential campaign in 2008.

MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow, who extensively covered Bickle’s role in Perry’s prayer rally back in 2011, took on Cruz’s latest endorsement on Friday, saying that while “candidates cannot be held responsible for everything said and done and believed by people who like them and endorse them and vote for them,” once you welcome and campaign on an endorsement, “you kind of own it” … and while John McCain sought to quickly distance himself from this type of controversy, Ted Cruz doesn’t seem to mind at all.

Right Wing Round-Up - 9/11/14

Sandy Rios Claims Mark Kirk Is A 'Closet Homosexual' Out To Ruin The GOP

On her radio program today, American Family Association government affairs director Sandy Rios fumed about Thad Cochran’s victory over Chris McDaniel in Mississippi’s runoff primary election, which she blamed on John McCain.

According to Rios, McCain embarked on a campaign — “and I know about this for personal reasons” — to “purge the Republican Party of conservative candidates” and “turn the Republican Party blue” following the 2008 election.

“He decided that Mark Kirk was his first pick,” Rios said.“Many of us in Illinois at the time, conservatives, knew that this was going to be a disaster.”

After reviewing several controversies that emerged during Kirk’s U.S. Senate campaign that she said showed he “was not an honest person,” Rios said that “we also knew that he was a closet homosexual.”

Back in 2010, while Kirk was running for the Senate, Rios wrote a column, “Do We Have a Right to Know If Candidates Are Gay?,” in which she demanded more media attention to rumors that Kirk is gay:

It’s not good enough for Congressman Mark Kirk to claim his “outing” “demeans the political process.” He should answer the following questions and Republicans and press must follow through to confirm or deny his answers:

1) Are you gay?

2) Have you been living with another homosexual Congressman?

3) Were you sued by another male staffer in John Porter’s office for sexual harassment?



Congressman Mark Kirk, please answer these questions. Republican leadership, if you are covering up things the public should know, stop or you will lose even more credibility with your base. And press? Do your job. Your duty is not to defend a lifestyle; it is to report the truth.

A Small, But Important, Step Towards Common Sense in Judicial Confirmation Process

Last week, in advance of a Senate Judiciary Committee vote on six Arizona district court nominees, senior legislative counsel Paul Gordon asked if Arizona Senators Jeff Flake and John McCain would be able to convince their Republican colleagues to break what has become their practice of routinely delaying nominees’ votes. Since 2009, only five of President Obama’s judicial nominees had been allowed to have their committee votes cast without delay. Gordon urged the Senators to forgo this obstruction, especially given the enormous caseload in Arizona that is impeding the operation of the Arizona district court that has 6 of its 13 seats vacant. 

Yesterday, in a departure from their practice, the Committee actually voted on the nominees. 91. 5 KJAZZ reported:

“The liberal advocacy group People for the American Way called this a step toward fixing the judicial vacancy rate in Arizona, but noted that there are 28 people awaiting confirmation ahead of these nominees.”

Executive vice president Marge Baker also commented on the turn of events in an interview with Cronkite News:

“It wasn’t sustainable to keep delaying this process, and it seems that Arizona senators finally heeded reason. Arizona has had a terrible judicial vacancy rate. This is an important step towards fixing it.”

This was a relief for the state of Arizona, as well as a nice change of pace for Senate Republicans. But as a judicial vacancy crisis continues in Arizona and across the country, the work is far from over.

PFAW

Flake and McCain's Next Steps for AZ Nominees

Will Arizona's senators try to convince their GOP colleagues to eliminate the bottleneck of stalled nominees who are ahead of six Arizona nominees?
PFAW

Will McCain and Flake Let GOP Obstruct AZ Nominees?

Flake and McCain should not let their GOP colleagues needlessly delay a committee vote on nominees to fill six judicial emergencies in Arizona.
PFAW

Feder Bashes 'Senator Juan' McCain And Immigration Advocates For Eroding 'National Identity'

Don Feder, the communications director for the World Congress of Families, is out with another anti-immigrant blog post, this time attacking immigration reform proponents like "Senator Juan" McCain for promoting the "loss of national identity" through immigration

In the blog post, posted in his capacity as a freelance "political/communications consultant" on the website GrasstopsUSA.com, Feder promotes the now-familiar line that Mitt Romney lost the 2012 election because he just wasn't conservative enough (or, in Feder's words, lacked "manly firmness"). In particular, FEder attacks McCain  and GOP strategist Karl Rove for their support for immigration reform, which he claims will turn off "Main Street voters" who "care deeply about...loss of national identity."

"Rove isn't just wrong, he's wrong the way Napoleon was wrong when he invaded Russia," Feder writes. "Today, elections aren't won in the middle but on the fringes."

He contends that the Democratic base, or "fringe," constitutes "the ideological, the envious, public employees, angry, single women and the mooch brigade."

Last year, Feder wrote a virulently anti-immigrant blog post, in which he claimed that "the illegal immigrants swarming over our southern border are more akin to the pagan armies which regularly invaded the land of Israel and were repulsed by military force."

Although Feder has written these rants in his personal capacity, his railing against Latino immigrants would seemato conflict with his employer's goals of uniting "many national, ethnic, cultural, social and religious communities" in their anti-gay, anti-choice cause.

The Democrats took what should have been an advantage in a down economy and turned it into a negative. Romney was one of those rich Republicans (it's hard to be successful in business and not get rich) who didn't care about the little guy, they told us. Instead of a venture capitalist who had saved ailing businesses, he was a corporate corsair and tax-cheat who cannibalized companies and slashed jobs.

The middle class never bought this; Obama's base did. The message was aimed at mobilizing the ideological, the envious, public employees, angry, single women and the mooch brigade – the Democrats' core constituency. Romney's answer was not marked by manly firmness, "The president is a nice guy, but we just can't afford him for four more years," Mitt the Mild peeped. Republicans accepted the media line that voters hate negative campaigning and will punish the perps. Democrats didn't.

Rove isn't just wrong, he's wrong the way Napoleon was wrong when he invaded Russia. Today, elections aren't won in the middle but on the fringes. It's not about who can appeal to so-called independents (most are aligned with one party or the other, but won't admit it) but who can best identify and mobilize their base. At this, Democrats are particularly adept and Republicans depressingly inept.

...

Supposedly, Romney lost Latinos with his silly self-deportation plan. But in 2008, Juan McCain, Senor Amnesty, got 31% of the Hispanic vote, compared to 28% for Mitt in 2012. If Romney had done as well – or as poorly – as McCain, he would have gotten four percentage points more (of 9% of the electorate) and the outcome, you do the math, would have been exactly the same.

This year, Wall Street Republicans are advising the party to get immigration off the table, to avoid further offending Hispanics.

If Republicans rabbits like Speaker John Boehner help the president to pass another amnesty, two things will happen: Hispanics will still vote overwhelming Democratic, based on their perceived economic interests. Hispanic households are twice as likely to benefit from a major welfare program as white families (40% versus 20%).

At the same time, Main Street voters – who care deeply about fairness (for taxpayers, workers and legal immigrants), loss of national identity, national security and the economic consequences of illegal immigration – will walk away from the GOP in disgust.

...


Recall Boehner's senseless attack on the Tea Parties (which made him Speaker) this fall. In a just-published interview in the News Republic, Senator Juan slammed the Tea Parties and called Fox News "schizophrenic." Coming from a man who's famous for his borderline psychotic temper, this must hurt. 

(Emphases ours).

Twelve Republicans Who Broke Their Pledge To Oppose Judicial Filibusters

After waging an unprecedented campaign of obstructionism against President Obama’s nominees, Republicans are now crying crocodile tears over a rules change that would end the filibuster on certain judicial nominees.

NBC News points out that Republicans are not blocking judicial nominees over “concerns about ideology or qualifications, but over the president’s ability to appoint ANYONE to these vacancies.” This unprecedented blockade leaves Democrats with few options, as dozens of nominees are left unable to receive a simple confirmation vote.

It’s even harder to be sympathetic to Senate Republicans when you remember that just a few years ago, many of the very same Republicans who are today filibustering President Obama’s nominees willy-nilly were vowing that they would never, ever filibuster judicial nominees. Some even declared that judicial filibusters were unconstitutional and un-American.

But that was before there was a Democrat in the White House.

We take a look back at some of the Senate’s most strident opponents of filibustering judicial nominees, turned master obstructers.

1. Mitch McConnell (KY)

“Any President’s judicial nominees should receive careful consideration. But after that debate, they deserve a simple up-or-down vote” (5/19/05).

“Let's get back to the way the Senate operated for over 200 years, up or down votes on the president's nominee, no matter who the president is, no matter who's in control of the Senate” (5/22/05).

2. John Cornyn (TX)

“[F]ilibusters of judicial nominations are uniquely offensive to our nation’s constitutional design” (6/4/03).

“[M]embers of this distinguished body have long and consistently obeyed an unwritten rule not to block the confirmation of judicial nominees by filibuster. But, this Senate tradition, this unwritten rule has now been broken and it is crucial that we find a way to ensure the rule won’t be broken in the future” (6/5/03).

3. Lamar Alexander (TN)

“If there is a Democratic President and I am in this body, and if he nominates a judge, I will never vote to deny a vote on that judge” (3/11/03).

“I would never filibuster any President's judicial nominee. Period” (6/9/05).

4. John McCain (AZ)

“I’ve always believed that [judicial nominees deserve yes-or-no votes]. There has to be extraordinary circumstances to vote against them. Elections have consequences” (6/18/13).

5. Chuck Grassley (IA)

It would be a real constitutional crisis if we up the confirmation of judges from 51 to 60” (2/11/03).

“[W]e can’t find anywhere in the Constitution that says a supermajority is needed for confirmation” (5/8/05).

6. Saxby Chambliss (GA)

“I believe [filibustering judicial nominees] is in violation of the Constitution” (4/13/05).

7. Lindsey Graham (SC)

“I think filibustering judges will destroy the judiciary over time. I think it’s unconstitutional” (5/23/05).

8. Johnny Isakson (GA)

I will vote to support a vote, up or down, on every nominee. Understanding that, were I in the minority party and the issues reversed, I would take exactly the same position because this document, our Constitution, does not equivocate” (5/19/05).

9. James Inhofe (OK)

“This outrageous grab for power by the Senate minority is wrong and contrary to our oath to support and defend the Constitution” (3/11/03).

10. Mike Crapo (ID)

“[T]he Constitution requires the Senate to hold up-or-down votes on all nominees” (5/25/05).

11 . Richard Shelby (AL)

“Why not allow the President to do his job of selecting judicial nominees and let us do our job in confirming or denying them? Principles of fairness call for it and the Constitution requires it” (11/12/03).

12. Orrin Hatch (UT)*

Filibustering judicial nominees is “unfair, dangerous, partisan, and unconstitutional” (1/12/05).

*Hatch claims he still opposes filibusters of judicial nominees and often votes “present” instead of “no” on cloture votes. But as Drew noted: “Because ending a filibuster requires 60 ‘yes’ votes, voting ‘present’ is identical to voting ‘no.’ Hatch’s decision to vote ‘present’ is an affirmative decision to continue the filibuster.”

At VVS Heritage Predicts 'Massive Upheaval' and Right-Wing Takeover of GOP

Dissatisfaction with “establishment” Republicans has been a consistent theme at this year’s Values Voter Summit, and it reached new heights at a Saturday morning breakfast session hosted by the Heritage Foundation and its more overtly political arm, Heritage Action.

Sen. John McCain has been a favored punching bag, no doubt for having had the temerity to criticize the “Teavangelical” favorite son, Ted Cruz.  An audience member asked whether Heritage was planning to do something to take out South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham, referred to by the questioner as “John McCain’s lapdog.” Heritage Action Chief Operating Officer Tim Chapman said that Heritage Action has “steered clear” of primaries since its bread and butter is working on Capitol Hill, but said the group’s materials are often used in primaries, and he praised the work of groups like Club for Growth and the Senate Conservatives Fund. 

Regarding Graham, Chapman told the questioner “I am with you” and said he would like to see some “good accountability" applied to Graham. He said he hoped one of the conservative members of the South Carolina House delegation might step up to take on Graham. Chapman slammed Republicans in Congress as “close to failing," saying the average Republican score on the group's congressional scorecard is only 67 percent, something that has "rankled a few feathers on Capitol Hill."

Chapman complained that Republican leaders were preparing to cave to Obama in the current standoff: “As we speak, Republican leaders are speaking to the White House and they are cutting a deal and I promise you the deal is going to be total garbage.”

“We are at the point right now where we are seeing a complete cleavage away from the Republican Party of the conservative movement,” he said. “You are going to see massive upheaval in the next election on all fronts…We have an opportunity to take over the party and it will be in the next election cycle.”

Gohmert: McCain Supports Al Qaeda

Louie Gohmert is angry with John McCain for making the factual statement that Republican lawmakers caused the government shutdown. He’s so angry, in fact, that he told Values Voter Summit attendees today that McCain “supported Al Qaeda.”

We look forward to when Gohmert will accuse McCain of supporting terrorism to his face.

As Washington Begins Debate on Gun Violence Bills, National Responses Vary

As the U.S. Senate prepares to consider a package of gun violence prevention proposals this week, the current debate on the role of guns in society has led to a variety of legislative responses in D.C. and across the nation.
PFAW

Obama Condemns Filibuster of His DC Circuit Court Nominee

President Obama specifically cites the obstruction of the three remaining Republican members of the "Gang of 14."
PFAW

Right Wing Round-Up - 2/21/13

  • Wonkette: Montana Law Enforcement Will Protect You From Other Law Enforcement Because Freedom. 
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