The Political Report – June 27, 2023

President Biden will appear at campaign receptions in Chevy Chase, Maryland, on Tuesday before traveling to Chicago on Wednesday to deliver a speech on economics and to participate in a campaign reception. He travels to New York for campaign events on Thursday.

Doug Emhoff will participate in a discussion on countering anti-Semitism at the Aspen Ideas Festival on Tuesday.

Donald Trump will appear at the opening of his campaign’s New Hampshire headquarters in Manchester on Tuesday. Ron DeSantis, Nikki Haley, and Vivek Ramaswamy will also be campaigning in the state that day.

Chris Christie will hold a town hall event in Derry, New Hampshire, on Wednesday.

NewsNation will host a town hall with Robert F. Kennedy Jr. from Chicago on Wednesday.

Marianne Williamson will campaign in Boston on Friday.

TRUMP 2024. “When Donald Trump arrives in Michigan on Sunday to campaign for a return to the White House, the former president likely won’t have the same entourage of elected Republican leaders who were closely aligned with him in the past,” the Detroit News reports.

“Only a handful of the 72 Republicans who serve in the Michigan Legislature had publicly endorsed Trump’s bid for another term as president by Thursday, a trend that highlights concerns among some GOP leaders in a state that once helped propel him to the White House.”

“While 25 Michigan Republican lawmakers had backed Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis for president, only three legislators confirmed they were supporting Trump.”

“Donald Trump is set to address evangelical Christian voters at a major gathering Saturday in Washington, where he will seek to shore up their support as his legal troubles mount and rivals take aim at his character,” CNN reports.

NBC News: “Throughout the three-day event, nearly a dozen Republican presidential candidates were among the more than 50 speakers, but none could compete with even the mere mentions of Trump’s name, which each time elicited vocal reaction from the crowd.”

Erick Erickson points out that Donald Trump “is already claiming he’ll lose in 2024 and wants you to know its because they stole it again.”

“Donald Trump’s presidential campaign will announce on Friday that he’s won the endorsements of more than half of Pennsylvania’s House GOP delegation, an illustration of the widespread support he’s maintained among congressional Republicans even after his federal indictment,” CNN reports.

“As of Thursday evening, Trump had received the backing of 56 of the 63 House Republicans who had so far endorsed a candidate, according to FiveThirtyEight, which is tracking congressional endorsements. Trump’s closest competitor, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, has the support of five House Republicans.”

DESANTIS 2024. Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) called for Americans to “put on the armor of God” and promised to wage a war on “woke” ideology in schools, government and corporate boardrooms during a speech to a gathering of conservatives in Washington, Bloomberg reports.

Said DeSantis: “We are going to leave woke ideology in the dust bin of history — where it belongs.”

Former Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan (R) told CBS News that Gov. Ron DeSantis’ (R) campaign is “one of the worst I’ve seen so far.”Said Hogan: “I think it’s getting close to being over.” 

“The Republican National Committee loyalty pledge has a growing list of detractors among 2024 candidates, in the latest sign of Republican Party infighting and reluctance to coalesce around former President Trump if he is the eventual nominee,” Axios reports.

Politico: “In his early outreach to Republican voters as a presidential candidate, DeSantis has portrayed himself as a fighter and, crucially, a winner in the cultural battles increasingly important to conservatives. If elected to the White House, he’ll take those fights to Washington, he has said.”

“But back in Florida, the agenda at the centerpiece of his pitch remains unsettled. Still ongoing are more than a dozen legal battles testing the constitutionality of many of the victories DeSantis has touted on the campaign trail. Critics say DeSantis has built his governorship around enacting laws that appeal to his conservative base but that, as a Harvard-trained lawyer, he knows are unconstitutional and not likely to take effect.”

Politico: “His first visit to the state as a presidential candidate drew more headlines for what he didn’t do — take questions from voters — than the retail politicking he did. There are signs that even inside DeSantis’s orbit, they see New Hampshire as a challenge. The super PAC that’s effectively running his operation has been off the air in New Hampshire since May — temporarily, its founder told Politico — while running a new ad in Iowa and South Carolina this week.”

“And DeSantis’ visit to the state Tuesday is being met with backlash from a major Republican women’s group. The New Hampshire Federation of Republican Women released a statement Thursday slamming DeSantis for planning an event at the same time as their annual fundraising lunch — an event Trump is headlining. The group asked him to reschedule.”

CHRISTIE 2024. Chris Christie unloaded on Donald Trump at the very pro-Trump Faith & Freedom Conference cattle call, where he was roundly booed by the crowd.  But he didn’t back down saying: “You can boo all you want.”

“Former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie said Sunday that he expected to get booed for attacking Republican primary opponent Donald Trump at a conservative conference in Washington on Friday but that his message was more important,” ABC News reports.  Said Christie: “Of course, I expected the boos. That is predominantly a Trump crowd. But they need to hear the truth, too, that, you know, character is the single most important element of a president of the United States.”

Chris Christie is absolutely right when he argues the only way to beat Trump is head on, noting “There’s only one lane.” And he’s clever to try to lure Trump onto the Republican debate stage. But as good as Christie is at politics, it’s not clear he’s the right messenger for this campaign.

A recent CNN poll found that 61% of Republican voters said they would not support Christie “under any circumstances.” A recent Marist/PBS NewsHour/NPR poll found Christie’s favorable ratings with Republican voters underwater by 28 points.

But the bigger problem is that not many Republican voters are open to Christie’s message. The CNN poll also found that 75% of Republicans think Trump should continue his presidential campaign despite multiple criminal indictments. And a remarkable 59% think Trump should continue to run even if he’s convicted. The GOP electorate just doesn’t seem interested in a truth teller.

BIDEN 2024. “President Biden is betting that 2024 voters will prefer continuity over Republican disruption, so he’ll ask for a second term by emphasizing what he did in his first — and campaigning on largely the same proposals he ran on in 2020,” Axios reports.

“His approach is in stark contrast to former President Trump, the leading GOP candidate, who has published a sweeping far-right agenda that would dramatically increase his own power.”

Hollywood mogul Jeffrey Katzenberg “has joined with other advisers in counseling President Biden to ‘own’ his age and turn it into an asset,” the Wall Street Journal reports.

“If Harrison Ford, 80 years old, can star in a new Indiana Jones movie and the Rolling Stones’ Mick Jagger, who turns 80 next month, can strut around a stadium stage, Katzenberg says, then Biden should lean into his longevity as a sign of wisdom and experience while offering a sense of humor about it.”

Ron Brownstein: “Scott and Haley have leaned into the criticism from Obama, highlighting it to raise their profile in a Republican presidential race where each has attracted just single-digit support in national polls.”

“But in responding to Obama, they have demonstrated how difficult it has become for any GOP leader—especially one who is not white—to challenge the party consensus that the nation has transcended discrimination against minorities and women.”

“Last month, supporters of Robert F. Kennedy Jr.’s presidential bid created a super PAC titled ‘Heal the Divide.’ On its website, the group — whose name is borrowed from Kennedy’s own campaign slogan — advises voters that “Only Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. can unite the Nation to start healing America” and allows visitors to donate both in dollars and cryptocurrency,” Rolling Stone reports.

“There’s nothing abnormal about a candidate getting a super PAC, even a candidate making a longshot bid like Kennedy’s. What is abnormal, however, is that Kennedy is running as a Democrat in the Democratic primary, while the creators of the super PAC have a deeply pro-Donald Trump bent — including ties to arch-MAGA officials such as Marjorie Taylor Greene, George Santos, and Herschel Walker.”

Robert F. Kennedy Jr. said he believes Russia acted in “good faith” amid the Kremlin’s invasion of Ukraine, adding the U.S., in fact, bore heavy responsibility for the ongoing war, the HuffPost reports.

Said Kennedy: “It was us who forced Zelensky to sabotage that agreement. It was already signed. So, you know, the Russians were acting in good faith. … So, no, I think we’re the ones who have not been acting in good faith.”

Wall Street Journal: “The unfolding 2024 campaign is shaping up as one in which each party accuses the other of criminality, with the cumulative effect being the steady erosion of public trust in the U.S. political system.”

“History is littered with examples of presidential candidates calling their opponents crooks, from the days of George McGovern’s campaign against Richard Nixon during the Watergate scandal to Trump’s supporters chanting ‘Lock Her Up’ as the Justice Department investigated his rival Hillary Clinton’s handling of classified emails. But perhaps never has the U.S. electorate been so primed to believe the worst about those it puts in office.”

Politico: “Super PACs have been growing in strength for more than a decade, but this cycle are swimming in more money than ever. They have started earlier, with more than $14 million in independent expenditures in the primary already… compared with around $950,000 at this time in 2015.”

“The groups are also taking new approaches, deploying staffing at campaign events, paying for door-knocking operations and even sending fundraising texts on candidates’ behalf. Some of the new strategies could test the legal limits on coordination between campaigns and super PACs.”

Daily Beast: “Yes, abortion will motivate many Democrats to vote. Of course many moderates remain repulsed by Trump. But junk fees? Democrats are betting Republicans won’t have a good answer why they think you should face a surprise cost when you want to, say, book a vacation.”

“And more than just winning over voters because they’re trying to save consumers a few bucks, Democrats think the issue can actually be revealing of the GOP’s pro-corporate ideology… It’s niche, but it’s tangible—and his allies say that’s by design.”

New York Times: “What began a few months ago as a slow drip of fund-raising emails and promotional images composed by A.I. for political campaigns has turned into a steady stream of campaign materials created by the technology, rewriting the political playbook for democratic elections around the world.”

“Increasingly, political consultants, election researchers and lawmakers say setting up new guardrails, such as legislation reining in synthetically generated ads, should be an urgent priority.”

“If that’s what the Republicans want to run on, in the coming election, good luck.”— Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), talking about the Hunter Biden plea deal on Meet the Press.

Associated Press: “Attempts by Republican legislatures to expand their power over how elections are run have soared since the 2020 presidential election, spurred by former President Donald Trump’s false claims of widespread fraud.”

Delaware politics from a liberal, progressive and Democratic perspective. Keep Delaware Blue.

2 comments on “The Political Report – June 27, 2023

  1. John Kowalko

    Why are “Freethinking Centrists” confused? RFK is a psychopathic conspiracy nut. That is obvious.
    John Kowalko

  2. cassandram

    I think Chris Christie is in this race specifically as a Bully Boy Against Trump. I doubt even he thinks he can win the nomination at this point, but he might be able to soften up support for Trump as the DOJ is rapidly moving in. Christie will make the detailed case pointing out that the emperor has no clothes, won’t care what MAGAts are hurt by it, and he will get plenty of media coverage for doing it.

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