Tea Party Wave 2.0 — The 2016 Presidential Race

Brian Brady Brian Brady 24 Comments

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Today, Florida Senator Marco Rubio is planning to announce his candidacy for President of the United States.  While former Florida Jeb Bush, Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker, and former Texas Governor Rick Perry are likely candidates, there is no doubt that the influence of the grass-roots tea party movement is being felt this year.

To date, there are four announced candidates for President:

1- Texan Ted Cruz was elected to the US Senate in 2012, defeating an establishment-backed David Dewhurst. Texas tea party groups proved that the “news of the tea party’s death was greatly exaggerated” with the Cruz victory.

2- Kentucky Senator Rand Paul defeated establishment-backed Trey Grayson in 2010.  He detailed both the campaign and tried to articulate the beliefs of tea party activists in his 2011 book, “The Tea Party Goes to Washington“. **** DISCLOSURE: I #StandWithRand)

3- The old, white establishment candidate, Hillary Clinton, announced for the Democratic nomination yesterday. with a documented history of “accomplished service”.

4- Florida Senator Marco Rubio was elected, in 2010, over establishment-backed Charlie Crist, with overwhelming tea party activists’ support

More candidates will undoubtedly throw their hats in the ring but, to date, 75% of the field and 100% of the Republican field can trace their roots to the tea party movement. None of these candidates are “wacky witches” either.  While each of the three may fail “ideological purity tests”, for some tea party activists, each subscribes to these three unifying principles:

1- the federal government needs to balance its budget

2- the tax code needs to be overhauled and the plan should be revenue neutral

3- the Constitution of the United States is the supreme law of the land and needs to be followed

While Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker was not “tea party backed candidate,” his record as Governor shows that he is worthy of conservatives’ support.  The Wall Street Journal called the field “an embarrassment of riches” for movement conservatives:

It is too early to say whether tea-party voters will coalesce behind any one presidential candidate. But activists see the field as an embarrassment of riches, offering an array of alternatives to former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, who is no tea party favorite. Also drawing tea party favor is Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker; he has no formal ties to the movement, but polls show he appeals to its followers because of his fights with labor unions and Democrats.

“The entire field, with the exception of Jeb Bush has been repopulated with compelling fresh faces,’’ said Matt Kibbe, president of FreedomWorks, a conservative group that has backed tea-party candidates.

A January Wall Street Journal/NBC News poll found that 45% of Republicans said they support the tea party. That’s down from a high water mark of 58% in 2010, but still a big share of the Republican party.

Two things are certain to me for 2016:  Democrats will nominate an old, white candidate, backed by Wall Street, out of desperation and an ideological war, for the heart and soul of the Republican Party will play out in the GOP primary.

Hillary Clinton is a tired but shrewd politician; throwing another Bush at another Clinton won’t be a winning strategy (but Wall Street and crony capitalist America love this false dichotomy).  The three tea party candidates are going to have to be careful not to bang one another up too much in the primary.  Cruz will point of Rubio and Paul’s support for comprehensive immigration reform,   Rubio will point out Paul’s deviation from the neoconservative foreign policy approach,  and both Rubio and Paul will highlight Cruz’ inability to lead and work with the other side of the aisle.  That’s fair game but the tone of the debate is important.  If the three can follow Senator Cruz’ lead, tea party activists have a better than average chance to see one of our own defeat Bush for the nomination, then Clinton for the Presidency.

**** I mentioned that I support Senator Rand Paul for President. Should you want to learn more about the local, grassroots effort to elect Rand Paul President, visit RandPaulSanDiego.org or text RAND to 22828

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Comments 24

  1. Rubio is a great option….I hope he can keep the “young, fresh, diverse” image up long enough for it to matter…Many things about Paul I like; but he is going to have to face the stark realities of a world where US leadership has been dangerously lacking, and what 2nd and 3rd order affects that breeds for America’s detractors and would-be enemies. He has been doing some “toothpaste” stuffing back in the tube on his previous positions on Iran of late. He has to clean that up to not appear duplicitous or misunderstanding the threat.

    While it is great seeing Jordan, Saudi Arabia, UAE, and Egypt own up and get their pretty white linen robes dirty and take it to ISIS, Huthies, and Libyans, they cannot sustain operations without some US support and perhaps arms/logistics. I have no problem using Arabs to kill Jihadists; but we don’t want to allow the operational and strategic reality to be dictated by “Royals” bent on self-preservation and not considering or advancing US national interests or the impact on US economic and trade prosperity long term.

    I hope the Paul Foreign Policy is not “Indifference 2.0” in lock step with the Obama Doctrine of “leading from behind.” The last thing I would want is watching more families say goodbye to US military personnel; but ignoring or avoiding sheer brute provocation just leads to more provocation, and then we are forced to respond at a place and time not of our choosing…if you doubt that, just ask the Ukrainians.

  2. Any of the Republican candidates that have announced are vastly better than Mrs. Bill “Hillary” Clinton. We should just say Mrs. Bill Clinton because ‘Hillary’ almost separates her from the cheat she is married to and embarrassed the country, keep them connected. Keep her connected to Obama.

    Whatever the Republicans do, we must support whoever wins the primaries. We can only hope that Rubio was right today, ‘we can never go back’. So much to do!!!

  3. Ms. Right,

    Was it the peace or the prosperity that bothered you the most about Bill Clinton’s eight years as President?

  4. HQ- Tread lightly My Friend-

    Al Qaeda spawned and metastasized right under Bill’s nose; more secrets were passed to the Chinese on his watch about our most sensetive nuclear platforms during his tenure, and 18 American service men were essentially set up for failure because Mr. Clinton didn’t want to support our Special Ops personal in Mogadishou with requested and essential aircover, leading directly to their deaths. Also, WRT the Rwanda genocide, the Clinton Administration did absolutely nothing to oppose or thwart it.

    Oh, and I’m not sure the war in Serbia wouldn’t have been considered “peaceful” by the men and women ordered by Mr. Clinton into Harm’s Way to engage with NATO forces against the Serbs.

    Doing nothing..or doing it with insufficent means is NOT prosperous. Clinton ignored the AQ rise, allowed the Chinese to advance 10 years in their R&D in the nuc arena, and would spend more time cultivating a secret affair with a staffer than address the deaths 10s of thousands of innocent Africans.

    Just FYI-

  5. FF,

    The world has never been a peaceful place. Genocides have happened in third world countries during every American Presidents’ term and as for the 18 American deaths you cite, how many Marines were killed in a Beirut barrack under Ronald Reagan’s watch? And what was the “sainted one’s” response to those deaths?

    Even the former Yugoslavia is now a relatively peaceful place. All in all, I will take Clinton’s tenure over virtually any President in the last 100 or so years.

  6. That’s because, my Friend, you and the liberal wing of the Democratic Party accept a politician that will look at the American people in the eye as he wags his finger in derision and say “I did not have sexual relations with that woman, Ms. Lewinsky…” and still feel ok about it. (Boys will be boys, and all that)

    Many do not. He has been tethered to multiple sexual impropriety and assault allegations (with his adoring wife knowing and covering many of them…), and the liberal dem/feminist cohort still backs this ostensive predator…do you? His wife did. I don’t think you hate women, so perhaps you are rethinking your adoring of Hilla-Billy. 🙂

    Clinton was blessed with the New World construct provided by (Saint) Reagan and Bush the Elder having defeated the Soviets, and the “peace” dividend it provided. Good for him, and us…but WRT Rwanda, they actually saw that happening in near-real time…and still did nothing. Reagan responded to Beirut by defeating Cubans in Grenada…Clinton responded to the Lewinsky allegations by bombing empty drug factories in Sudan…

    Let’s be real- Clinton refused to provide requested air support to the Spec Ops forces that he ordered into Somalia. That was predictable. Marines attacked by a terrorist-truck bomber in Beirut were not. One was preventable, the other was not.

  7. Post
    Author

    60 Minutes: “We’ve heard a half a million Iraqi children have died. I mean, that’s more children than died in Hiroshima…and, and…you know…is the price worth it?”

    Madeline Albright: “I think this is a very hard choice but the price…we think the price is worth it”

    May 12, 1996— https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Raa7W0k0l34

    Progressives love to call Iraq “the Bush War” but forget that little bit of history. Just say no to another Bush or Clinton.

  8. Post
    Author

    “And what was the “sainted one’s” response to those deaths?”

    He withdrew the Marines to a carrier battle group, left the Middle East, and said:

    “Perhaps we didn’t appreciate fully enough the depth of the hatred and the complexity of the problems that made the Middle East such a jungle, The irrationality of Middle Eastern politics forced us to rethink our policy there. If that policy had changed towards more of a neutral position , those 241 marines would be alive today.”

    The “sainted one” preserved the peace without the machismo his four successors displayed. Say what you want about him but the man knew that dead American soldiers were more than names on a wall

  9. Marco presents so many pesky challenges to the standard Dem narrative; he is already getting shots from MSNBC and other lib-friendly outlets-

    How in the world will the left-leaning media sycophants keep a straight face if they try to bash Rubio as “inexperienced” when they propped up the most inexperienced and incompetent president in modern history? Obama was maybe 2 years older than Rubio is now when he was being considered as a nominee. Yet, he is well respected by both GOP and Dem Senators for his breadth and depth in FP. Funny how there has been no mention from the media that the GOP is the party supporting two Latino Candidates for POTUS…and both young, articulate, educated, and respected (perhaps not liked- but respected, unlike BHO who was liked, but few respected…even fewer now)

    Such hypocrisy.

    I’m so looking forward to Jorge Ramos interviewing Marco on Univision…in Spanish…and all the radio spots and commercials to run in California, Texas, New Mexico, Arizona, Illinois, New York…talking directly to Latinos without the Liberal filter…very powerful and hard to attack by the Left.

    I sincerely hope the GOP doesn’t try some bone-headed maneuver and cram Jeb down our throats… bad move!

  10. Brian,

    I actually agree with Reagan’s response to the Beirut bombing. Unfortunately, if a President did that today, the Republican leadership would call it “cut and run.”

  11. FF,

    “Reagan responded to Beirut by defeating Cubans in Grenada.” Seriously? You are touting Grenada as a major accomplishment? And by the way, what did Cuba have to do with the Beirut bombing? About as much as Iraq had to do with 9/11.

  12. Post
    Author

    “if a President did that today, the Republican leadership would call it “cut and run.”

    So what? The neoconservatives said that about Reagan and he basically told them to pound sand.

    This is an important thing to understand, HQ: The U.S. Constitution gives the President remarkably limited power. His (constitutional) job is largely to carry out the policies of Congress

    Only in Article II- Sec 2 is he vested with “policy making power”; to wage war as Commander-In-Chief (when authorized by Congress). There is a reason for that too. The Founders envisioned a President who would rise above politics and prosecute the war with an end goal in mind.

    Reagan had the moral courage to withdrawal from an untenable situation. Clinton, on the other hand, played politics with the military. He saw them as a tool to political power (as his wife does).

    I can say a FEW nice things about Bill Clinton but his leadership as Commander-In-Chief will NEVER be included on his short list.

    Frankly, his wife scares the crap out of me. She makes Woodrow Wilson look like a pacifist

  13. Brian,

    I know you support Rand Paul so your concerns about Hillary (at least by comparison) being likely to use the military in ways neither of us would favor has credibility with me. However, consider any other Republican nominee. Do you honestly believe that Hillary Clinton would be more likely to get us into war than any of them?

    As for Bill Clinton’s tenure as Commander-in-Chief, we will have to agree to disagree. I do, however, think the current residents of Bosnia and Serbia would be on my side as would most of the Middle East who weren’t in a constant state of war and terror then as they are now.

  14. If Rubio has thrown his lot in with the neoconservatives (I fear he has), then he and Bush are not much different than Hillary. I trust Cruz to follow the Constitution.

    I really hope Marco abandons this “New American Century” crap. He is one of the best conservative messengers and that makes him sound like some two-bit Trot. Talking about global leadership as a “shining city on a hill” is much different than “leadership in the human struggle”.

    But even the neoconservatives, as flawed as they are, operate from a predictable set of principles. Hillary is a Stalinist and that scares the crap out of me.

  15. HQ-

    “You are touting Grenada as a major accomplishment? And by the way, what did Cuba have to do with the Beirut bombing?”

    Subtlety and satire are difficult to convey in blogs :/… I was tacitly agreeing with the idea that many pols, on both sides of the aisle, don’t always make the best use of putting our personnel in Harm’s Way; including “Saint” Ronnie in the specific case of Beirut and, albeit debatable, Grenada.

    WRT Operation Urgent Fury (Grenada); The Bombing in Beirut coincided with troublesome but increasing concern of Soviet-backed Cuban military meddling in the Caribbean. The cover of “re-enforcing” the Marines in Lebanon after the terror attack became part of the developing Grenada invasion plan…They are actually operationally distinct, though were politically connected. The genuine concern was Cuban Special Forces and their combat engineers building a runway capable of sustaining resupply for Soviet military transports, threatening the balance of power and influence in the Caribbean Basin. The fact that the bombing took place only accelerated the need to use the “re-enforce” ploy to halt the runway and remove the Cuban-sympathetic government that came to power in a coup. Lots of debate as to the need, legitimacy, and timing of the invasion; but there is no denying Cuban military forces were metastasizing in the Caribbean and the US took what it deemed as necessary steps to thwart that.

  16. HQ: “Do you honestly believe that Hillary Clinton would be more likely to get us into war than any of them?”

    I absolutely do. This is the first woman president we’re talking about and she’ll not only fight politics but will be fighting stereotypes and stigmas. She will be more hawkish, especially in the beginning, to demonstrate abroad that she is not weak. Especially to other more misogynistic cultures. Shaking the view that women are weak is unfortunately a cultural cross all woman leaders have to bear and Hillary will address that hawkishly. The Islamic State and its treatment of women is almost a reality-TV match up for her to rattle her saber and drop bombs for the cause of all women. If she wins, count on it.

  17. Elliot,

    So are you saying that, because of the world wide political climate, it would be a bad idea to elect a woman as President?

  18. Brian,

    I have read many of your posts. Exaggerated rhetoric such as “Hillary is a Stalinist” is beneath you.

    As for those fitting your term, neo-conservatives, which one of their predictable set of principles was used to justify invading Iraq?

  19. Post
    Author

    “which one of their predictable set of principles was used to justify invading Iraq?”

    Iraq was the domino which would start the eventual chain reaction, in the Middle East, for other countries to embrace democracy.

    Neoconservatives believe that the United States has an historical opportunity to reshape the world in ways that will make our country safer and the rest of the world freer. Think Wilson’s “Fourteen Points” as their starting point.

    This is utopian and arrogant. Governments do a horrible job at centrally planning one society;. What makes them think they can somehow centrally plan the world’s societies?

    Hillary is just about power projection—hers

  20. “Elliot,

    So are you saying that, because of the world wide political climate, it would be a bad idea to elect a woman as President?”

    Nice try HQ! I’m saying what I am I said. Hillary is more likely to intervene and engage in a war in the mideast than any of the president’s in response to your question “do you honestly believe that Hillary Clinton would be more likely to get us into war than any of them?”

    Yes, I am absolutely sure she is more likely to get us in a war.

  21. Eliot,

    What you said was, and I quote:

    “This is the first woman president we’re talking about and she’ll not only fight politics but will be fighting stereotypes and stigmas. She will be more hawkish, especially in the beginning, to demonstrate abroad that she is not weak. Especially to other more misogynistic cultures. Shaking the view that women are weak is unfortunately a cultural cross all woman leaders have to bear and Hillary will address that hawkishly. The Islamic State and its treatment of women is almost a reality-TV match up for her to rattle her saber and drop bombs for the cause of all women. If she wins, count on it.”

    Maybe you weren’t saying that it was a bad idea to elect a female President, but you certainly were insinuating (at the least) that a female Commander-in-Chief was more likely to start a war.

  22. Love all the conflicting comments about the presidential candidates.

    Democrats will vote for a D and Republicans will vote for an R.
    Just like in 2012.
    (Marco Rubio said we can’t go back only forward – does that mean h – do not like his hope and change plan)
    (Cruz would make a good president BUT he was born in another country to a Cuban father. In fact he was a Canadian citizen until 05/14/2014. (the group I am a member of, requested that he bow out of the race and publicly state the reason – so people would also realize that Obama would be ineligible as well) But he did not.

    Of course, we can always ignore parts of the constitution (like Obama is doing) so that the GOP can declare Cruz as eligible.
    case closed.
    All the other politicians appear to be neocons (perhaps not Rand Paul) – and part of the globalist agenda set into place by Bush in 1992 (agenda 21 aka ICLEI
    aka The WIldlands Project).
    What America needs is another “George Washington’.
    Only one person fits that bill – Dr. Ben Carson. He has very good solutions for our country (to restore not transform) . watch his speech at the 2013 National Prayer Breakfast.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PFb6NU1giRA

    the politicians probably will not state the agenda America is on. too bad. But one needs to be aware that with any of the the GOP picks, there will not be any REAL diversion from the track we are now headed on. – Obama’s promised fundamental transformation of America.

  23. No HQ, I’m replying to your question: “Do you honestly believe that Hillary Clinton would be more likely to get us into war than any of them?” and I say yes. Different woman different situation. Hillary has voted for every conflict and she has a chip on her shoulder – believing she is the first woman president she will start a war to prove she is tough. She has always tried to prove she’s tough.

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