Fox News dutifully covered Republican Senator Rand Paul’s 2016 declaration today and gave him plenty of props, but it was easy to read Fox’s “not our guy” tea leaves that went along.
Probably the most blatant signal is on FoxNews.com where, as I write this, Paul’s announcement takes third fiddle to a plane crash and the White House press briefing.
On America’s Newsroom, before Paul’s speech, host Martha MacCallum interviewed likely Bush supporter Karl Rove about Paul’s “strengths and weaknesses,” as FoxNews.com called its video. The weaknesses got a lot more time.
MacCallum immediately brought up a poll of Republican nominee preferences that found Paul at 9% and Ted Cruz at 10% “clamoring” for the same Tea Party voters. “And obviously, they want to expand from there,” she said.
Rove said Paul has three strengths: appealing to libertarian voters, being “very comfortable at outreach” which, according to Rove, will help him in states with open primaries, and “he has the network of his father which he has built on.”
But then Rove hit Paul on his shortcomings – including characterizing his libertarian “strength” as a weakness: “His foreign policy views are non-interventionist, some would say isolationist. That sounded better a couple of years ago before the rise of ISIS,” Rove argued. He highlighted Paul’s filibuster of John Brennan as CIA nominee over the drone strike against “U.S. born Islamic jihadist” Anwar al-Awlaki that deprived him of due process. “That sounded a little bit better a couple of years ago than it does today,” Rove added, without pointing out that as an American citizen, the Constitution guarantees al-Awlaki those rights.
MacCallum hopped right to concurrence. “Yeah, I mean, that’s the line, that’s the zinger that you can imagine in a debate environment, Karl,” she added. “When the talk turns to ISIS, is for one of his opponents to turn to him and say, ‘Really? You were opposed to the killing of Anwar Awlaki, who was an inspiration to several people who’ve tried to blow up this country in three different areas?'”
“But he’s tried to measure that, he’s tried to sort of change his perspective,” MacCallum continued. She pointed out that Paul voted to give Obama authority to “go after ISIS.”
Rove agreed but said, “those things will remain” in our internet age. Then he brought up some more Paul problems: his statement that he would not have voted for the 1964 Civil Rights Act (during his senate campaign), his allegation that somebody in the Bush administration knew about 9/11 in advance, “statements regarding Israel and some domestic issues that are going to come back to bite him in the back and forth that we’re going to have here.”
Later, after Paul’s announcement speech had concluded, Happening Now held a discussion FoxNews.com called, “Can Rand Paul expand support beyond libertarians, Tea Party?”
Host Jon Scott obviously intended to cite the same poll MacCallum had, calling Paul “kind of in the middle of the pack” in favorability. But oops! Scott cited the wrong question. When the favorability results were posted, it turned out Paul came in second, with a 52% favorability rating.
The Democratic guest, Joe Trippi, noted that Paul “really does attract young people to a party that badly needs to attract young people into their following. So if he can bring that to the fore – he’s better organized than a lot of the Republicans who are running… I wouldn’t rule him out at this stage. He’s somebody to be reckoned with, I believe.”
Instead of picking up on Trippi’s point about Paul’s attractiveness to young people, Scott went to the poll he originally cited, the same one MacCallum cited. “This one he is in the middle of the pack,” Scott said. It showed Scott Walker and former Florida governor Jeb Bush leading.
Watch the discussions below, from today’s America’s Newsroom and Happening Now shows.
It seems to me that McCain was nominated via the Republicans’ own nomination process. If you really think that Republicans are so stupid that liberals “pushing” McCain got him the nomination – well, I’m sorry for you and/or your party. Even I give them more credit than that.
Secondly, I seriously doubt you’ll find us saying anything “glowing” about Jeb Bush here.
I’m afraid you’ll have to blame Republicans, not us, for your party’s shortcomings.
“Nice try… Liberals and the mainstream media pulled a massive hoodwink by pushing McCain in ’08, knowing he could not win.”
Nice try . . . thinking it was liberals and the mainstream media that pushed him — when it was the Koch Brothers, the GOP establishment, and Fox News that did it . . . and, they didn’t “push” McCain, so much as they “pushed” his running mate, Princess Palin.
“Whenever liberals start pushing a conservative or acting like they know what conservatives are really thinking, then you can read between the lines.”
Well, Jim, the conservatives/neoKKKons/teabaggers have pushing the same line for the past 30-plus years: “gubmint is evil/trickle-down works/we’re ‘exceptional’ and that gives us the right to bomb anywhere on earth at our leisure” . . .
You’re easy to read as long as you continue doing that.
“I’m sure you have glowing things to say about Jeb Bush – until he’s nominated then he will be the devil incarnate.”
Well, if the Florida Democrats do any sort of follow-through after their warning to Jeb Bush to “lawyer up”, after Jeb was caught committing a felony by lying on
his voter registration form (http://www.politicususa.com/2015/04/06/florida-democrats-jeb-lawyer-bush-lied-voter-registration-form.html), he may not make to the nomination stage . . .
Cruz can whitewash — in the literal and figurative senses — his positioning as a teabagging Washington outsider who wants to abolish the IRS, but when Peter King (no centrist himself) blasts Cruz as “a phony”, he has no chance.
And while Paul’s libertarianism appeals to the “we hate government” mantra that’s in vogue among the teabagger republicans, that can occasionally backfire, as Karl Rove pointed out when he related that it may make Paul look, in matters of foreign policy and national security, “isolationist” . . . what Rove didn’t mention, of course, is that government interference into personal liberty sometimes is exactly what the republicans WANT, given their support of Indiana’s anti-LGBT religious freedom law.
Cruz and Paul are merely the sideshow warmup. When it comes time for Rupert Murdoch and Charles and David Koch to select the next GOP presidential candidate, rest assured, it will be a very wealthy (one percenter wealthy), white male, center-right republican career politician/businessman — basically, a mirror-image of them.
Whenever liberals start pushing a conservative or acting like they know what conservatives are really thinking, then you can read between the lines.
I’m sure you have glowing things to say about Jeb Bush – until he’s nominated then he will be the devil incarnate.
It looks like Jabba the Ailes is slobbering over Jeb “I’m not my idiot brother” Bush or Scott “Kock Brothers” Walker.