Eagle Forum Legislative Alerts

Tuesday, March 01, 2016

Will the Republican Establishment Stand Down?

As Republicans cast their first presidential ballots last month, the field was dominated by “outsider” candidates Donald Trump and Ted Cruz, while Establishment favorites – Jeb Bush, Chris Christie, John Kasich and Marco Rubio – were far behind. Will the Republican kingmakers and consultants who have picked every nominee since Reagan finally step aside to let the grassroots nominate this year’s candidate?

After months of waiting for Trump to self-destruct, the Washington-based Republican Establishment thinks they found a way to take back control of the party. The plan involves using House Speaker, Paul Ryan. Ryan tapped South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley to give the official Republican response to President Obama’s final State of the Union address. With Ryan’s blessing, Haley used her national platform to slam the so-called “angriest voices” in the presidential campaign and disavow the front-runner’s popular call for a “pause” in Muslim immigration. She seemed to be responding more to Trump than Obama, so it’s no wonder that her speech was praised by the White House chief of staff.

The Spanish-language version of Haley’s response was delivered by Congressman Diaz-Balart, who was also selected by Speaker Ryan. According to a translation provided by the Miami Herald, Diaz-Balart promised that Republicans would work toward “a legislative solution … to those who live in the shadows,” and would “modernize the visa system and push the economy forward.” That means taking more low-wage guest workers.

Ryan then led Republicans on a two-day retreat with a so-called “aspirational agenda” of “inclusiveness and optimism.” That was meant to be a direct contrast to the campaign themes of Donald Trump and Ted Cruz.

Listen to the radio commentary here:

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