Ted Cruz

Today's Republican Reality Revealed In 90 Seconds

It’s rare beyond measure that 90 seconds of Fox and Friends can be said to offer real insights into our current political climate. But this morning’s broadcast did just that.

The first insight came courtesy of Ted Cruz’s father. Rafael Cruz told Indiana’s Christian voters that they must choose between voting for God’s candidate – his son – and “the destruction of America.”

I exhort every member of the body of Christ to vote according to the word of God and vote for the candidate that stands on the word of God and on the Constitution of the United States of America. And I am convinced that man is my son Ted Cruz. The alternative could be the destruction of America.

The only thing new about Rafael Cruz’s rhetoric is that it was broadcast on Fox and Friends. He says this kind of stuff – and worse – all the time in his role as a valuable campaign surrogate. Rafael has spent so much time on the Religious Right circuit that he’s become a folk hero of sorts in his own right.

Rafael is an ardent Christian nationalist whose book spouts the discredited theories of Religious Right “historian” David Barton. Rafael, like his son’s other most ardent supporter, broadcaster Glenn Beck, believes Ted Cruz has been anointed by God to lead America. It’s one reason Cruz won the Christian-nation primary, lining up endorsements from the overwhelming majority of Religious Right organizational and political leaders.

When Fox asked Donald Trump about Rafael’s comments, he responded, “It's disgraceful that his father can go out and do that. And just – so many people are angry about it. And the evangelicals are angry about it the way he does that.”

Trump might have stopped right there, making the point that he does in fact get a lot of votes from self-described evangelicals (mostly those who don’t go to church that faithfully) and that it’s a bad idea for the Cruz campaign to claim God’s endorsement. That would have left us in the unfamiliar and somewhat uncomfortable position of agreeing with Trump. (Although not with Trump’s suggestion had Rafael should not be “allowed to say it.”)

But Trump did not stop there. He went on to spout a conspiracy theory — recently elevated by the National Enquirer after floating around the dark corners of the far-right internet — linking Rafael Cruz with the CIA and JFK assassin Lee Harvey Oswald based on an old photograph that some people think looks like Rafael:

You know, his father was with Lee Harvey Oswald prior to Oswald's being, you know, shot. I mean the whole thing is ridiculous. What is this, right prior to his being shot, and nobody even brings it up. I mean, they don't even talk about that. That was reported and nobody talks about it.

Coming from Trump, you might say this was disgraceful but hardly surprising. Trump, of course, was an early and ardent birther who harangued the White House about President Obama’s birth certificate, and has since embraced a wide array of conspiracy theories on everything from Justice Scalia’s death to Muslim residents of New Jersey celebrating on 9/11.

And Trump has appeared on the radio show of Alex Jones, who Right Wing Watch has called “one of the most notorious and, frankly bizarre conspiracy theorists out there.” Jones, for example, promotes the idea that the shooting at the Sandy Hook elementary school was “staged” as a “false flag” operation designed to ease the way for Obama to confiscate Americans’ guns. Oh, and the fact that flies are “always landing on him” is evidence that Obama is “a demonic creature.”

When he appeared on the show, Trump gushed to Jones, “Your reputation is amazing.” And Jones has continued to return the favor, praising Trump and warning that Democrats are planning to go “full-authoritarian” and that if Trump loses, “this really could be one of the last real elections.” Trump confidant Roger Stone has repeatedly made the case for Trump on Jones’ show.

So there, in one and a half minutes, is today’s Republican Party, whose two frontrunners for the presidential nomination are a Christian-nation candidate who complains that people of faith have allowed “nonbelievers” to set the nation’s course and a conspiracy-theory-promoting demagogue who will say anything he thinks will help him take power.

Congratulations, GOP!

Video captured by TPM

GOP Taking Supreme Court Orders From Radical Gun Group

Among the groups pressuring Republicans in the Senate to continue their blockade of President Obama’s Supreme Court nominee is Gun Owners of America, a gun lobby group that holds considerable sway on Capitol Hill despite its history of promoting wild conspiracy theories, frequent warnings to elected officials that they should fear assassination and deep ties to radical militia groups and white supremacists.

GOA has circulated a petition to its members claiming that Obama’s nominee, Merrick Garland, “would reverse your ability to own a gun” and “hates the Second Amendment,” basing its claims on exceedingly thin evidenceWhile these attacks on Garland’s record have been widely discreditedseveral Republican senators have pointed to the judge’s supposed disrespect for the Second Amendment as a reason to oppose him.

GOA’s general counsel, Michael Hammond, brought these claims to an op-ed in USA Today on Sunday, which GOA followed up with a video claiming again that Garland “hates the Second Amendment” and that if he gets on the court “good people will go to prison for exercising their constitutional rights.” Obama’s nomination of Garland, the video warns, is “the most significant step in his sordid trail towards transforming our nation.”

This paranoid and exaggerated language is typical of a group that has ties to the violent militia fringes of the Right and stays afloat by promoting conspiracy theories about various federal plots to snatch law-abiding people’s guns.

Tim Macy, the group’s chairman and the head of a “Second Amendment Coalition” on Ted Cruz’s presidential campaign, used similar rhetoric in March when he said that the Garland nomination was Obama’s “last-ditch effort” to “ruin the Second Amendment and destroy this country.”

The group’s executive director, Larry Pratt, went even further when he implied that Garland should fear assassination if he displeases gun groups. “Happily, the Second Amendment is all about people like Judge Garland, so there is a limit to how far he can go, I think,” Pratt told radical radio host Rick Wiles.

Pratt frequently makes similar comments. We wrote last year:

In an interview last year, Pratt said that being afraid of assassination was “a healthy fear” for members of Congress to have, because that’s what makes them “behave.” When Rep. Carolyn Maloney, D-NY, who had felt threatened by one of GOA’s members, complained about his comments, Pratt doubled down, saying that elected officials should fear “ the cartridge box” and accusing the congresswoman of being “ foolish” and having “a hissy fit .” Later, he boasted that Democratic proponents of stricter gun laws are “afraid of getting shot and they ought to be!”

On his weekly radio program last year, Pratt said that President Obama should learn from the example of Charles I, who was executed for treason in the 17th century:

Pratt’s view of the Second Amendment as a tool for a well-armed minority of insurrectionists to take on a government they disagree with comes straight from the fringe militia movement, which Pratt helped shape in the 1990s.

And that’s not all. According to the Southern Poverty Law Center, “In 1996, Pratt was forced to resign as co-chairman of Patrick J. Buchanan's presidential campaign when it was publicized that he had been a speaker at the 1992 Gathering of Christian Men in Estes Park, Colo., where he rubbed shoulders with neo-Nazis, Klansmen, adherents of the anti-Semitic Christian Identity theology, and other radicals.”

More recently, Pratt was a cheerleader for the armed militias who staged a standoff with the federal government at Cliven Bundy’s ranch in Nevada, saying that the incident came “very close” to provoking “a civil war between the people and the government.”

In his role at the helm of GOA, Pratt is happy to stir up conspiracy theories and anti-government paranoia in an effort to turn his group’s membership against any attempt at reasonable gun law reform.

He has humored radical radio hosts who have suggested that the Sandy Hook school and Aurora movie theater massacres were inside jobs designed by the government.

And, as we wrote last year, Pratt has plenty of conspiracy theories of his own:

… He has claimed that Obama is building up a private security force within the Department of Homeland Security to use for his own purposes “if he can’t actually commandeer the military”; warned that Obama will enlist undocumented immigrants into a private “ Praetorian guard” and advise police officers to go after people with conservative bumper stickers ; said Obamacare will ultimately “take away your guns”; feared Obama is stockpiling “anti-personnel rounds” because he “ seems to view the American people as the enemy”; claimed that Obama “had to steal” the 2012 presidential election and even buys into the fringe birther theory that holds that the president’s “real father” was labor activist Frank Marshall Davis.

Here is Pratt talking with fringe radio host Stan Solomon about the possibility that President Obama will start a race war:

This is who the GOP wants to listen to on the Supreme Court?

Right Wing Round-Up - 5/2/16

Is President Cruz Planning To Use Carly Fiorina To Strong-Arm The Senate? It Sure Sounds Like It

Last month, Glenn Beck explained to a live studio audience about how Ted Cruz, if elected president, could use the constitutional provision declaring that "the Vice President of the United States shall be President of the Senate" to essentially use his vice president to take complete control of the Senate.

Claiming that he had "no information on this" and was just "thinking outside of the box," Beck envisioned a scenario in which Cruz would name a "pit bull" like Carly Fiorina as his running mate and then instruct her to "go run the Senate," creating a situation in which "the White House is running the Senate as well."

Like Beck, right-wing pseudo-historian David Barton has very close ties to Cruz and his presidential campaign, and last week he spoke to a small group at Liberty University. That speech was attended by a Liberty graduate student who reported that Barton floated the exact same plan:

Barton spoke strongly in support of Ted Cruz’s decision to appoint Carly Fiorina as his running mate and suggested that her role in a Cruz presidency will be much more significant than the Vice President’s role in years past. If elected, the Cruz campaign plans to reinstate the VP’s reign over the Senate in the hopes of nullifying the influence of the president pro tempore, who commonly acts in the VP’s absence. This is another interesting development given the history of Cruz’s clashes with the GOP establishment.

While Beck initially presented this scenario as something of a hypothetical idea, the report on Barton suggests that this is something that he either learned directly from Cruz or his campaign or something that has at least been discussed among top-level Cruz supporters.

The fact that two key Cruz backers are promoting this idea raises the question of whether this is something that the Cruz campaign is actually planning on carrying out if the Texas senator, notorious for his poor relationships with senators on both sides of the aisles\, wins the White House.

Cruz, who has been campaigning in Indiana alongside Beck, has not yet been asked if he plans to put his surrogates' idea into action if elected.

Ted Cruz Joins Forces With Yet Another Anti-LGBT Extremist

On Friday, days before the crucial GOP presidential primary in Indiana, Ted Cruz announced the endorsements of 50 clergy members from the state.

In a press release, the Cruz campaign highlighted the support of Micah Clark of the American Family Association’s Indiana chapter.

“We always encourage people to vote their values,” said Micah Clark, Executive Director of the American Family Association of Indiana. “We encourage people of faith to look at a person’s record. Ted Cruz is the only truly pro-life, pro-family, and pro-religious freedom candidate for president, from either party. Ted Cruz is a true conservative champion for change.”

“I am honored to earn the support of these leaders,” said Ted Cruz. “Hoosiers want a president they can trust. They are eager to see sanity restored in Washington, and our message of jobs, freedom, and security is resonating. Carly Fiorina and I look forward to bringing common sense Hoosier values to Washington.”

Clark, like his fellow AFA leaders, has quite the record of anti-LGBT activism.

He believes that homosexuality is “has no societal benefit” and is “individually destructive and dangerous.” He’s criticized rulings that allow gay people to recognize their spouses on their death certificates and suggested that employee benefit plans recognizing same-sex couples are “subsidizing homosexual sex.”

When the Boy Scouts ended its ban on gay youth members, Clark harshly criticized the move: “What did Christ say about harming the least of these? He said it would be better to have a millstone tied around your neck and be thrown in the sea on the day of judgement than to cause a child to stumble into sin. And if we’re going to support organizations telling kids that homosexuality is okay — which is treatable, changeable, you don’t have to be homosexual, but if you are, you are at significantly higher risks of mental harm, psychical harm, emotional harm and spiritual harm — we can’t be a part of that.”

Clark once joined a letter calling on schools not to “allow ‘gay-straight alliances,’ homosexual indoctrination programs, permission for use of opposite sex restrooms, and any of the other ridiculous demands of the ‘gay’ lobby” because they would “aid child corruption.”

He attacked a fundraising campaign for a LGBT youth group by claiming that the organization “recruits teens into the homosexual lifestyle,” reprimanded a girl who wanted to wear a tuxedo to her school prom for trying to make “a sexual statement,” and encouraged LGBT young people to seek ex-gay therapy.

As we’ve said before, it seems that no anti-LGBT activist is too extreme for Ted Cruz.

Glenn Beck Says God Has Raised Up Ted Cruz And Is Asking Us To Choose Between Good & Evil

Fresh from smearing his face with Cheetos in a bizarre attempt to mock Donald Trump, Glenn Beck headed back out on the campaign trail yesterday on behalf of Ted Cruz, declaring at a rally in Le Porte, Indiana, that God is dragging out the Republican primary in order to give everyone a chance to go on the record in choosing between good and evil. And the choice is obvious, Beck said, because God has raised up Cruz to save this nation just as He raised up George Washington and the Founding Fathers.

"Make no mistake, we are being watched," Beck said. "We're being watched by our maker ... Every single state is being required and I believe — and they're going to rake me over the coals for saying it; so be it — I believe that's the Almighty God saying, 'Each one of you, I want you to stand and you choose: good or evil? Which way will we go? Am I still your God and are you still my people? Choose who you serve.'"

"Before I walked out on stage, Ted and I got down on our knees and we prayed," he continued. "And we didn't pray for us, we prayed for the nation and for you. He is a servant at heart. He is a man who was raised for these times. People don't believe that stuff any more, but I do. If God raised George Washington and Ben Franklin and Thomas Jefferson and Thomas Paine, if He put that collection together, He is the Almighty, I think He can send us one guy!"

Paranoia-Rama: Martial Law Plot To Stop Trump, 'Covert Chemtrailing' And Agenda 21 Concentration Camps

RWW’s Paranoia-Rama takes a look at five of the week’s most absurd conspiracy theories from the Right.

Classic conspiracy theories like the supposed threats of Chemtrails and Agenda 21 reemerged this week, along with some new ones, such as the possibility of a nuclear war with Russia sparked by Target’s new trans-inclusive policies. All that and more this week on Paranoia-Rama:

5) October Surprise

On Wednesday, Donald Trump’s confidant Roger Stone appeared on Alex Jones’ conspiracy theory radio show, where Jones and a caller asked if “the establishment” could pull off a stunt — such as deliberately crashing the economy or faking an attempt on President Obama’s life — to postpone the election in a last-ditch effort to stop Trump.

Stone, naturally, agreed with their fears: “I think they’re capable of anything, including martial law.”

Jones said nefarious actors may try to thwart Trump because they know he is a candidate who “unites us all.”

“What would you be doing if you were them?” he asked Stone.

Stone replied: “Well, they could stage an international incident in which everybody has to rally around the president and then use that as a pretext to cancel the election.”

4) Sky Criminals

While Jones is worried about the prospect of an anti-Trump October surprise, he was delighted to read Chuck Norris’ latest column about chemtrails.

Writing about “Sky Criminals” for the far-right website WorldNetDaily, Norris warned about “covert chemtrailing” that “is taking place in the skies above us and unbeknownst to us.”

“How many plane-dropping chemical cocktails have already been sprayed around the world in the name of securing public health?” he asked, wondering if the government is using planes to conduct “mass vaccinations or some other devious plot.”

“It’s time again to wake up, America.”

3) Nuclear War

Conservatives aren’t only blaming transgender people for sexual assaults and rape — at least one far-right commentator is claiming that they might be the cause of a nuclear war.

Thanks to Target’s new nondiscrimination policy, “Trunews” host Rick Wiles warned this week, we might all get killed by a nuclear strike from Russia. The End Times broadcaster said that Target’s recently announced policy on transgender customers and staff will provoke divine judgment and “shut down this nation.”

“Doc, God is going to use the Russians to bring down Sodom and Gomorrah if there’s no repentance in this land,” he told his co-host Doc Burkhart. “Listen, these freaks are going to get us all killed. They’re going to get us all killed.”

2) Agenda 21 Fears

Ted Cruz’s campaign announced the members of his “Montana Leadership Team” last weekend and, unsurprisingly, the group includes some of the most extreme and bizarre conservatives in the state, including “Dan Happel, Agenda 21 Speaker.”

While Cruz has flirted with Agenda 21 conspiracy theories in the past — warning during his 2012 campaign for U.S. Senate that the nonbinding UN initiative was a “grand scheme” concocted by George Soros to abolish “ golf courses, grazing pastures, and paved roads ” — Happel has taken things to a new level.

Happel believes that Agenda 21, a nonbinding sustainable development initiative that is over two decades old but only recently became a source of right-wing trepidation, is actually a Stalinist plot to create a one-world government to ensure that “ private property can be increasingly controlled and ultimately eliminated.”

One Montana newspaper reported that Happel believes that Agenda 21 will “involve relocating most Montanans to some large city, like Seattle, where they would be housed like sardines in compact housing developments, deprived of automobiles, and basically held hostage to some job in the city. Meanwhile vast areas of land would be reclaimed for wilderness to be used by the rich oligarchy.”

1) Ted Cruz or Disaster

Glenn Beck, the supposed author of the dystopian thriller “Agenda 21,” is such a big fan of Cruz that he told his viewers this week that if the Texas senator doesn’t win the presidency, it means lights out for America.

The conservative radio commentator believes that Cruz,much like Moses, is divinely ordained and that he is fulfilling the “White Horse Prophesy” laid out by Mormon founder Joseph Smith. Christians who do not vote for Cruz, according to Beck, “are not listening to their God.”

Indeed, Beck said on Wednesday that “the republic is at stake” in this election and if the Cruz campaign goes down to defeat, then we will “lose freedom for all mankind.”

Glenn Beck (Inadvertently) Declares That Ted Cruz Is 'Not Qualified To Be President'

Glenn Beck spent a segment on his radio program yesterday ripping the foreign policy speech that Donald Trump recently delivered in which he declared that "'America First' will be the major and overriding theme of my administration," because the phrase "America First" also happens to be the name of an anti-Semitic, isolationist political party that opposed U.S. involvement in World War II and urged appeasement of Adolf Hitler.

Beck said that this is the sort of information that can be learned through a simple Google search and the fact that nobody on the Trump campaign knew this or bothered to look it up means that Trump is totally unqualified to be president.

"You would think that someone would do a little bit of homework," Beck said. "Can somebody Google search? ... That is the bare minimum everyone should do. Google search."

"If you can't do a simple Google search, you're not qualified to be president," he continued. "You're really not."

We agree.

Earlier this month, we noted that Ted Cruz has been trying to rewrite the history regarding his appearance last year at a conference organized by radical anti-gay activist Kevin Swanson, who openly advocates imposing the death penalty for homosexuality, by falsely claiming that he was not aware of Swanson's views before he attended and that he immediately denounced them once he learned about them:

This is nonsense, as Swanson's views were well documented long before Cruz attended the rally and Cruz himself was directly confronted about them by CNN's Jake Tapper the day before he spoke alongside Swanson. Both Cruz and his father, Rafael Cruz, nonetheless agreed to appear at the conference and then his campaign proceeded to dismiss any criticism of his decision.

When Beck's own daughter confronted Cruz about his appearance with Swanson, Cruz lied to her face and feigned ignorance, claiming that he chewed out his staff for allowing him to appear with someone like Swanson, at least according to Beck's account of the conversation.

As we said before, "if nobody on the Cruz campaign was aware of Swanson's extreme views, it is only because they didn't bother to check since Swanson's long history of unrepentant bigotry has been well documented."

A simple Google search would have easily allowed anyone on the Cruz campaign to discover Swanson's extremism, but apparently nobody bothered to "do a little bit of homework," which makes Cruz, according to Beck's own standard, unqualified to be president.

Even Glenn Beck Thinks Cruz's VP Pick Was A 'Desperate' Move

Ted Cruz's announcement yesterday that he would name Carly Fiorina as his vice presidential running mate despite the fact that he is trailing badly in the Republican presidential primary race was widely seen as a desperate move to boost his struggling campaign.

And since Glenn Beck has transformed his daily radio program into little more than an arm of Cruz's presidential operation, it was entirely predictable that he would kick off today's program by conducting a softball interview with Fiorina, which he introduced by admitting that the campaign's unusual move was indeed an act of desperation ... "because Ted Cruz and Carly Fiorina are desperate to save the Constitution."

"They are desperate to save the economy. Desperate to create jobs. And so am I," Beck said. "They are desperate to stop the crucifixion of Christians by ISIS. And so am I. I think you are, too ... They are desperate. Indeed, they are. They are desperate to make sure that our children aren't spied on and listened to. They are desperate to make sure that the IRS isn’t used as a weapon anymore."

"And if you're not desperate," Beck concluded, pointing directly into the camera, "then you're not in the real world. If you're not desperate, then they have no chance of winning. But if you believe this is our last call, if you believe we are in deep trouble, you're damn right you're desperate. You should be desperate."

Abortion Rights Leaders Call On Cruz To Dump Extremist Anti-Choice Adviser

We reported earlier this year that Sen. Ted Cruz had signaled his support for the extremist fringes of the anti-abortion movement by naming Troy Newman, the head of the notorious protest group Operation Rescue who has written that God is punishing America for failing to execute abortion providers, as a national co-chair of a his presidential campaign’s “Pro-Lifers for Cruz” coalition.

Now, as Cruz appears to be attempting to win over women voters with his pick of Carly Fiorina as his vice presidential running mate, the leaders of People For the American Way, Planned Parenthood Action Fund and NARAL Pro-Choice America are urging Cruz to fire Newman from his campaign.

In an open letter to Cruz, the leaders write:

While there are a number of coalition members whose records raise serious concerns, Troy Newman’s history of violent rhetoric and harassment toward women’s health providers is truly beyond the pale.

Newman, the president of Operation Rescue, has written that the U.S. government has a responsibility to execute abortion providers. He has said that a woman who has sought an abortion should be considered a “murderer” and a “contract killer.” Newman has claimed that a man who killed an abortion provider should have been allowed to argue that the killing was “justifiable defensive action.” Newman and his staff have harassed individual women’s clinic workers at their homes, at restaurants and coffee shops, and throughout their communities in an attempt to make them quit their jobs. Newman’s closest associate at Operation Rescue, Cheryl Sullenger, has spent time in federal prison for conspiracy to bomb an abortion clinic.

Especially in an environment where anti-women’s health violence is on the rise, Newman’s extremism and violent rhetoric should be condemned, not given a platform by a major presidential campaign. A report released this month by the National Abortion Federation on threats and violence against abortion providers noted a “dramatic increase in hate speech and internet harassment, death threats, attempted murder, and murder” in 2015, coinciding with the distribution of smear videos intended to demonize providers — videos which Newman was a driving force behind. No patient or provider should have to fear for their life in order to seek or give critical medical care.

We wrote extensively about Newman’s background and views in a report last year linked to his role in creating the Center for Medical Progress’ smear videos about Planned Parenthood.

Rachel Maddow covered Cruz’s embrace of Newman in an extensive segment in November:

PFAW, NARAL, Planned Parenthood Leaders Call on Ted Cruz to Fire Troy Newman from Presidential Campaign

The leaders of People For the American Way (PFAW), NARAL Pro-Choice America, and Planned Parenthood Action Fund released an open letter today calling on presidential candidate Ted Cruz to fire a national co-chair of his “Pro-Lifers for Cruz” coalition, Troy Newman. Newman – among other heinous stances – has written that the U.S. government has a duty to execute abortion providers.

People For the American Way President Michael Keegan stated:

“Cruz’s decision to give Troy Newman a formal role in his campaign is completely unacceptable. No person aspiring to be the next president of the United States should have anything to do with someone whose record of violent rhetoric includes calling for the execution of abortion providers. And no politician should be allowed to pander to violent anti-choice extremists without being called out. With Ted Cruz’s all-important Indiana primary coming up, it’s past due for Cruz to fire Newman from his campaign team."

NARAL Pro-Choice America President Ilyse Hogue said:

"Troy Newman is an anti-choice extremist and misogynist ideologue who has argued that the murder of abortion providers is justified and that the attacks of 9/11 were retribution from God against legal abortion. Ted Cruz’s 'gratitude' for Newman's support paints a clear picture of what a Cruz presidency would look like: an administration that condones violence and is committed to eliminating women’s reproductive freedom. Their partnership sends an unambiguous message to the majority of Americans who believe in the rule of law and who trust women to make our decisions about how and when we become parents—that neither your vote, nor your lives, matter all that much to Ted Cruz. Troy Newman has no place in this campaign and I encourage Ted Cruz to surprise us all and send him packing."

Planned Parenthood Action Fund Executive Vice President Dawn Laguens added:

"Embracing this kind of violence is reprehensible and irresponsible, especially from a presidential candidate. Troy Newman has called the murder of an abortion provider a 'justifiable action' and runs an organization whose baseline purpose is to harass and terrorize women. It is not surprising to see Ted Cruz embrace this type of violent extremism -- after all this is the same man who has told malicious lies about Planned Parenthood, would criminalize abortion, and tried to shut down the government in order to prevent low income women from accessing cancer screenings. However it is disappointing to see even a presidential candidate like Ted Cruz so blatantly disregard women's health and lives but this is what the Cruz Fiorina ticket stands for."

In addition to the letter, an online campaign to #FireTroy has also been launched, including this petition. For more information about Troy Newman or to schedule an interview about this campaign, please email Laura Epstein (media@pfaw.org).

Open Letter to Sen. Ted Cruz

Dear Senator Cruz,

We urge you to remove Troy Newman from your campaign’s “Pro-Lifers for Cruz” coalition, where he presently serves as a national co-chair.

While there are a number of coalition members whose records raise serious concerns, Troy Newman’s history of violent rhetoric and harassment toward women’s health providers is truly beyond the pale.

Newman, the president of Operation Rescue, has written that the U.S. government has a responsibility to execute abortion providers. He has said that a woman who has sought an abortion should be considered a “murderer” and a “contract killer.” Newman has claimed that a man who killed an abortion provider should have been allowed to argue that the killing was “justifiable defensive action.” Newman and his staff have harassed individual women’s clinic workers at their homes, at restaurants and coffee shops, and throughout their communities in an attempt to make them quit their jobs. Newman’s closest associate at Operation Rescue, Cheryl Sullenger, has spent time in federal prison for conspiracy to bomb an abortion clinic.

Especially in an environment where anti-women’s health violence is on the rise, Newman’s extremism and violent rhetoric should be condemned, not given a platform by a major presidential campaign. A report released this month by the National Abortion Federation on threats and violence against abortion providers noted a “dramatic increase in hate speech and internet harassment, death threats, attempted murder, and murder” in 2015, coinciding with the distribution of smear videos intended to demonize providers — videos which Newman was a driving force behind. No patient or provider should have to fear for their life in order to seek or give critical medical care.

There are wide-ranging beliefs about abortion in our country, but no one who has said it’s the government’s duty to execute abortion providers should have any place in a campaign for our nation’s highest office. We urge you to denounce this extremism and remove Troy Newman from your campaign’s coalition immediately.

Sincerely,

Ilyse Hogue, NARAL Pro-Choice America
Michael Keegan, People For the American Way
Dawn Laguens, Planned Parenthood Action Fund

Organizations listed for identification purposes only.

###

Right Wing Round-Up - 4/27/16

Glenn Beck: If Ted Cruz Loses Indiana, We 'Lose Freedom For All Mankind'

If there is any question about the extent to which Glenn Beck has turned his daily television and radio programs into nothing more than an arm of Ted Cruz's presidential campaign, today's broadcast ought to dispel any doubt.

For months, Beck has been campaigning for Cruz at great personal costcarrying water for him and repeatedly stating that the Texas senator has been anointed by God to save this nation, so, naturally, after Donald Trump swept several Republican primaries last night, Beck went all out today on his radio show today to mobilize his audience to continue to support Cruz, especially in the upcoming primary in Indiana.

"Indiana, hear me, Cruz supporters, hear me," Beck said. "The election will hinge on you."

Saying that the traditional big-money Republican donors are sitting on the sideline this election, Beck openly urged his audience to visit Cruz's website and donate to his campaign and then do everything they can to help Cruz win in Indiana because "you know the republic is at stake."

"This is the moment," he stated. "If we drop it at this moment, we lose. And let me tell you something, you lose freedom for all mankind. I'm convinced of it. This is the moment. Don't be on the sideline. Don't be discouraged."

Carly Fiorina Once Said 'Ted Cruz Cannot Possibly Beat Hillary Clinton'

Back in December, a top Ted Cruz surrogate launched a sexist attack on Carly Fiorina, tweeting that Fiorina went “full vagina” during a debate.

Steve Deace, an Iowa-based talk show host, not only endorsed Cruz but is also a prominent campaign surrogate for the Texas senator. Cruz has hailed Deace as “a truth-teller, a courageous conservative, and a powerful voice for liberty,” featured him in a campaign advertisement and added him to his Iowa leadership team.

Deace eventually apologized for the anti-Fiorina tweet, saying that his wife told him to.

When Fox News' Megyn Kelly asked Fiorina about Deace's comments, Fiorina noted that Deace “is more than a radio talk host, he is a major surrogate of Ted Cruz and a major endorser.”

“And this is why Ted Cruz cannot possibly beat Hillary Clinton,” Fiorina said.

In an interview weeks later, Fiorina said that “Ted Cruz is just like any other politician, he says one thing in Manhattan, he says another thing in Iowa, he says whatever he needs to say to get elected and then he’s going to do what he pleases.”

Today, Cruz will reportedly name Fiorina as his running mate in his foundering bid for president.

Ted Cruz To Announce Carly Fiorina As VP Pick

Despite being mathematically eliminated from winning the GOP presidential nomination outright, Ted Cruz will reportedly announce at a rally in Indiana today that Carly Fiorina, his former rival for the GOP nomination, will be his vice presidential running mate if he is able to pull out a victory at this summer's convention.

Fiorina launched her political career after the board of Hewlett-Packard fired her as CEO after she “almost destroy[ed] the company” in a tenure that included mass layoffs, outsourcing jobs, illicit trade with Iran and a golden parachute for herself.

While she didn’t succeed in her 2010 bid for a U.S. Senate seat in California, she won national notoriety for her bizarre remarks about climate change, hostility to gay marriage and the baffling “demon sheep” ad she ran against her primary opponent.

After losing her job as CEO and losing her Senate race, Fiorina spent time on the conservative speaking circuit and then launched a presidential bid, positioning herself as a conservative female alternative to Hillary Clinton while at the same time decrying Clinton for using gender identity politics.

She emerged as an outspoken opponent of abortion rights, using her platform to fib about abortion statistics and denounce a nonexistent Planned Parenthood video, which apparently no one besides Fiorina has ever seen. In one bizarre incident, Fiorina’s campaign reportedly “ambushed” a group of children visiting a botanical garden to use them in a photo-op for an anti-abortion speech.

The multimillionaire former CEO also raised eyebrows when she told Glenn Beck that “only the wealthy, the powerful, the big and the well-connected” have prospered while “all the rest of us are getting crushed,” and used bogus statistics about women in the workplace to deflect from her opposition to equal pay legislation.

Towards the end of her foundering campaign, Fiorina resorted to criticizing Hillary Clinton astoo ambitious to be president and attacking her marriage. She also went after Cruz for his role in the government shutdown and “saying whatever he needs to say to get elected.”

With this record of insults and false attacks, Fiorina is a great match for Cruz.

Right Wing Round-Up - 4/26/16

Ted Cruz Adviser: Criminal Justice Reform Aids Democrats And Jihadists

Frank Gaffney, the head of the Center for Security Policy and a national security adviser to Ted Cruz, managed to combine a number of his interests into his “Secure Freedom Minute” broadcast today, warning the GOP against bipartisan efforts to reduce mass incarceration because they will result in the release of people who will likely vote Democratic and who may have converted to Islam in prison.

Gaffney criticized Democratic Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe for his executive order restoring voting rights to 200,000 people who had served time for felonies but who had previously been barred from voting for life by one of the toughest disenfranchisement policies in the country. Gaffney lamented that the expanded voting rights “could well skew the outcome in his state.”

Yet, he said, some Republicans are supporting federal criminal justice reform legislation that would help to reduce inflated mandatory minimum sentences, thus letting some people out of prison early who, he warned, might vote Democratic or become violent jihadists.

“Unfortunately, problematic as these felons’ future votes may be for the GOP of the country,” he said, “of immediate concern is the impact of their release on public safety. That is especially so since a significant portion of those getting out early will be prison converts to Islamic supremacism and its jihad. This may be a bipartisan mistake, but it’s still a mistake.”

 

Cruz Montana Leadership Team Includes 'Agenda 21 Speaker'

Sen. Ted Cruz's presidential campaign announced its "Montana Leadership Team" this weekend and, as the eagle-eyed Montana Cowgirl points out, true to form for the Cruz campaign, it's full of some interesting characters.

Maybe the most notable member of the leadership team is Dan Happel, whom the Cruz campaign's press release actually identifies as an "Agenda 21 Speaker."

Here's a newspaper report from one speech Happel delivered about the nonbinding UN sustainable development plan:

“A lot of people have never heard of Agenda 21,” said Happel, “but it drives 90 percent of federal legislation.” He said it is an agenda, a blueprint for the 21st Century, that involves creating a one-world government, socialist in structure and communist at heart, that will destroy our constitution and destroy the middle class, transferring America’s wealth to the Third World.

He traces the beginning of the agenda to a meeting of 35 to 40 international bankers and world leaders called the Club of Rome which met in 1968. It was here that the decision was made to use “environmentalism” as the tool to unite people worldwide and subsequently bring them under one government.

“They decided to use environmentalism as a tool to promote political ideas and agendas which otherwise would be so wildly unpopular that they would have no chance of being implemented,” said Happel.

The agenda began to be implemented through ideas of Smart Growth, zoning regulations, wilderness bills, wildlands and endangered species initiatives.

“In this way private property can be increasingly controlled and ultimately eliminated,” said Happel. He said that government agencies, especially federal government agencies, have been co-opted by the oligarchic elite that designed the agenda and are implementing it with the use of facilitators in the “public process,” a method he said was invented in Stalin’s Russia to control the people with a semblance of participation.

The agenda calls for the establishment of wilderness zones with corridors that would involve relocating most Montanans to some large city, like Seattle, where they would be housed like sardines in compact housing developments, deprived of automobiles, and basically held hostage to some job in the city. Meanwhile vast areas of land would be reclaimed for wilderness to be used by the rich oligarchy.

Happel claims the bulk of environmental legislation is a result of this agenda, including the Clean Air Act, the Clean Water Act, Natural Grasslands Act and the Endangered Species Act. He said they are part of a plot to create wilderness corridors from the Yucatan to the Yukon, “and it all involves taking property and taking the rights away from anybody left with any property.”

Happel said it came down to whether you believe in the United Nations Charter or the Declaration of Independence. “Which side are you on?” he asked.

Happel then launched into politics, stating that RINOs (Republicans In Name Only) and turncoats had taken over the Republican Party.

“At the national level we don’t have a prayer,” he said. “At the local level we can do it. I did it.”

This shouldn't come as a huge surprise, since Cruz himself has enthusiastically promoted right-wing conspiracy theories about Agenda 21, warning during his 2012 Senate campaign that the plan "subverts liberty, our property rights and our sovereignty" and is attempt to abolish "golf courses, grazing pastures, and paved roads."

Also on Cruz's Montana team, Montana Cowgirl reports, are a state legislator who spoke along with Happel at a 2013 event hosted by a rural secessionist group that based some key parts of its philosophy on the work of a white supremacist.

Also on the team is another state legislator who was once chosen to lead the state's House Education Committee despite her interesting educational background:

Sarah Laszloffy, alumnus of the Bethel School of Supernatural Ministry, where students of all ages come to learn how to live “a supernatural lifestyle” —including useful skills such as “how to cast out demons” and other practical solutions to life’s most pressing problems.  [screenshot] Bethel’s members also purport to have the ability to heal people through prayer and bring the dead back to life.
 

 

Linda Harvey: LGBT Movement Helping Turn Kids Into 'Sexual Barbarians'

Back in March, Sen. Ted Cruz's presidential campaign proudly announced the endorsements of "some of Ohio's top conservative leaders," including Mission America's Linda Harvey and Cleveland Right to Life's Molly Smith. Harvey is one of the most extreme anti-LGBT activists in the country, while Smith lastgarnered national attention when she a ngered some of her fellow anti-abortion activists by working against the reelection of Sen. Rob Portman when he came out in favor of marriage equality.
 
In January, Harvey joined Smith on her daily radio program for an interview thatSmith recently re-posted on her website, in which they discussed how LGBT rights will turn children into "selfish" "sexual barbarians" and repeated unfounded claims about a link between homosexuality and pedophilia.
 
Smith lamented that "we are destroying our children" by failing to "recognize the devastation that is happening to our children through promoting this unhealthy, abomination style of sexual contact." Harvey agreed that "we are looking at a generation of kids that are coming up who will have, who will be such, or at least a fair number of them will be such sexual barbarians."
 
Harvey said that when children are "sexualized early" they learn to toss "people away from your own pleasure," and that the same thing happens with homosexuality because "when you take pregnancy out of the mix, the opportunities are infinitely more and it seems as though the consequences are less."
 
Someone with that mindset, she said, "is just that much more selfish, that much more immediate-gratification-oriented, and there are so many character issues that are related to letting that happen."
 
Smith responded that it's important to "help" people when a "life incident that has turned them to homosexual behavior, we need to support them to turn back again and to become fully functional human beings." She added that she made her comments "with love."
 

The two then discussed an interview that Smith recently conducted with Walt Heyer, a man who formerly identified as a transgender woman and has written about being abused as a child, which Smith cited as proof that "the abuse that's going on within the homosexual community" is being covered up.
 
"So we are being told to be quiet about the abuse that's going on within the homosexual community, we're not allowed to talk about it unless it happens to be a pastor or a priest, and then it's all over the place about how they are pedophiles," she said. "I mean, yeah. The same thing is going on within the supposed mainstream homosexual behavior too."
 
"Right, and Christianity tends to put a lid on those human impulses," Harvey responded.
 

 

Ted Cruz Won't Stop Lying About LGBT People

As Sen. Ted Cruz began emerging as the favorite of establishment Republicans looking to stop Donald Trump from winning the party's presidential nomination, there was a brief period in which Cruz unconvincingly attempted to portray himself as more mainstream than he actually is. The maneuvering didn’t last long, as Cruz is now attacking Trump from the right for not being anti-LGBT enough.

Cruz released an online ad along with a blistering statement yesterday attacking the GOP presidential frontrunner for criticizing a radical new anti-LGBT law in North Carolina, which he claimed would allow "grown men" to "use little girls' public restrooms":

"Donald Trump is no different from politically correct leftist elites. Today, he joined them in calling for grown men to be allowed to use little girls’ public restrooms. As the dad of young daughters, I dread what this will mean for our daughters - and for our sisters and our wives. It is a reckless policy that will endanger our loved ones.

"Yet Donald stands up for this irresponsible policy while at the same time caving in on defending individual freedoms and religious liberty. He has succumbed to the Left's agenda, which is to force Americans to leave God out of public life while paying lip service to false tolerance.

"This is not real tolerance. The Left wants to force its belief system onto Americans across the country and silence people of faith in the public square. Unsurprisingly, Donald Trump is all too eager to join them. This simply confirms that the same man who favored partial-birth abortion and still supports public funding for Planned Parenthood will sacrifice principle on the altar of political correctness. Trump will not defeat political correctness. Today he bowed to it."

Along with being patently bigoted, the allegation that transgender people and others are using nondiscrimination laws to assault and molest children is without factual basis.

Indeed, Cruz has made false and derogatory claims against the LGBT community throughout his political career and his presidential campaign.

Back in 2014, Cruz said that there was “a real risk” that pastors would soon be hauled off to jail and face hate crime charges if they opposed same-sex marriage or declined to officiate at a gay couple’s wedding. The previous year, he had claimed that the prosecution of pastors was “the next step” in the marriage equality movement.

Before the Supreme Court's landmark marriage equality ruling, Cruz argued that the legal challenges to gay marriage bans were not only “heartbreaking” but also a “real threat” to “our liberties.” Earlier this year, he alleged that the “disastrous” and “fundamentally illegitimate” ruling has led to the “persecution” of Christians. He told one conservative radio host in 2014 that anti-gay civil disobedience may be necessary in the face of what he recently described as LGBT advocates’ “jihad” against “people of faith who respect the biblical teaching that marriage is the union of one man and one woman.”

Following the Obergefell ruling, Cruz told a group of radical anti-gay activists that in a Cruz administration, “we will not use the federal government to enforce this lawless decision that is a usurpation of the authority of we the people in this country.”

Cruz told the same group that he also opposes advances in LGBT rights in the military, criticizing President Obama for being “more interested in promoting homosexuality in the military than he is in defeating our enemy” and making the military “promote transgendered [sic] soldiers.” “The role of the military is not to be some left-wing social experiment,” he continued, pledging that as president he would “stop the shameless politicizing of our military to push a left-wing agenda that is contrary to the values and contrary to who we are as an American people and a nation founded on Judeo-Christian values.”

Cruz even signed a National Organization for Marriage pledge in which he vowed not only to overturn Obergefell but also to “prevent the promotion of a redefined version of marriage in public schools and other government entities,” sign a bill legalizing anti-gay discrimination and order the Justice Department to investigate the supposed persecution of gay rights opponents.

The group later endorsed Cruz, which shouldn’t be surprising since he surrounds himself with all sorts of anti-gay extremists, and at one point courted the support of a preacher who believes in the death penalty for homosexuality.

Endorsers embraced by Cruz's campaign, as we’ve reported in the past, “have included North Carolina activists who have referred to gay people as Satan’s minions; a North Carolina pastor who has likened gay people to 'maggots' and linked them to Ebola; an Oklahoma preacher who warns that homosexuality is part of a demonic communist conspiracy to bring down America; a Virginia radio host who has blamed gays for everything from terrorism to train derailments; and a Virginia lawmaker who has sponsored an assortment of bizarre anti-gay bills.”

Two of Cruz's most vocal endorsers, Republican Rep. Glenn Grothman of Wisconsin and Family Research Council President Tony Perkins, have defended a Ugandan measure that would have punished gay people with death or lengthy prison terms. He has repeatedly boasted of the endorsement he received from “Duck Dynasty” star Phil Robertson, who told a Cruz rally that Americans should “rid the earth” of gay marriage advocates.

With a record like this, Cruz’s disparaging attack on transgender people should leave no one surprised.

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