By Brandon Moseley
Alabama Political Reporter
On Thursday, August 20, the Alabama Republican Party announced that within two weeks’ time, six of the top polling Republican presidential candidates will have been on the ground in Alabama appealing to voters, namely, Donald Trump, Dr. Ben Carson, Governor John Kasich, Governor Scott Walker, Senator Ted Cruz and former Governor Jeb Bush.
Alabama Republican Party Chairman Terry Lathan said in a statement, “Alabama is the reddest state in the nation, a fact our people proclaim loud and proud. The presidential candidates know that if they want their fingers on the pulse of the conservative base, they have to step into Alabama.”
On Sunday, August 9, US Senator Ted Cruz (R-Texas) held campaign stops in Pelham and Huntsville. Sen. Cruz said, “We are seeing the results of the Obama/Clinton foreign policy. Leading from behind doesn’t work.” Sen. Cruz promised that, “If I am elected President on the first day. The first thing I will do is rescind every illegal and unconstitutional executive action taken by President Obama…The President says he has a pen and a phone…You live by the pen and you die by the pen and my pen has an eraser. This has been the most partisan Department of Justice in history. On the first day I am going to instruct the Department of Justice to open an investigation into Planned Parenthood and to prosecute any and all criminal violations by that organization.”
Sen. Cruz returns to Alabama on Tuesday, August 25 for the annual Tuscaloosa County Republican Party’s Lincoln-Reagan Dinner at Bryant-Denny Stadium in Tuscaloosa. The gates open at 5:00 pm with the dinner at 7:00 p.m. Contact Tuscaloosa Republican Party Chairman Jim Zeanah for more details.
On Monday, August 17, Alabama Governor Robert Bentley (R) endorsed Ohio Governor John Kasich (R) for President. Gov. Bentley said, “John Kasich’s success in putting conservative ideas to work in Ohio—cutting taxes $5 billion, turning an $8 billion shortfall into a $2 billion surplus, and creating 350,000 new jobs—are all strengths he will have as President….With his record as governor and his two decades on the House Armed Services Committee working with leaders like President Reagan to strengthen our military, end the Cold War and revamp the Pentagon, John Kasich is a leader whose readiness to lead our nation on his first day in the Oval Office is unmatched. America needs John Kasich”
Gov. Kasich said, “I am excited about the Southern Primary. We will be very competitive in the Southern Primary and this guy (Bentley) will be right there with me.”
On Friday, August 21, New York City businessman Donald Trump addressed a crowd of 30,000 people. The Republican frontrunner said, “We are leading in every poll. We are leading in just about every state, including Alabama. We are leading in Florida. In Florida we have a Governor and a sitting Senator and I am killing them…They are not doing a very good job. Nationally we are way ahead of everybody else…I would like to have the election tomorrow, I don’t want to wait. I know the game I understand the game.” Trump promised that if elected President, “I am going to be the greatest jobs president that God ever created…I will make it (America) bigger and stronger and more powerful than it has ever been. You are going to love it and you are going to love your President.”
On Saturday, August 22, Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker will address the Alabama Republican Party at their Summer Luncheon in Talladega and then make some campaign stops in Birmingham later that day.
Gov. Walker is promising to repeal and replace Obamacare. The conservative Wisconsin Gov. wrote, “ObamaCare made an already broken system worse. It was written by lawmakers who believe the federal government always knows best. My plan will restore the full freedom to choose your own health care to the American people. My plan will once again put patients and their families in control. The list of ObamaCare failures is long. Democrats have long promised affordability with their big-government health care plans, from HillaryCare to ObamaCare. But instead of lower costs and expanded coverage, ObamaCare has caused insurance premiums across the country to spike as the cost of Washington’s new regulations and taxes are passed to the American people.”
Former Florida Governor Jeb Bush will be in Birmingham for a Breakfast fundraiser on Wednesday, August 26.
Gov. Bush wrote on his website, “I know I’m unique in that I have a brother and a father who have both served this nation as president. Now, before I tell you the story, let me say: my dad is the greatest man I’ve ever known. And if you don’t think so, well, we’re going to have words. So my perspective here might be a little colored! But as I prepare for this job audition, I have thought about their successes and their failures—and learned from them. One of my strongest takeaways was how they were willing to stand up for what they thought was right, in the face of enormous challenges.”
As Governor of Florida, Bush said, “We had kids who were failing in school and ranked near the bottom of the nation. They couldn’t wait for another governor. So we created a new accountability system, updated our testing, closely tracked our most struggling students, ended social promotion, put in merit pay for teachers, established tax-supported scholarships for tens of thousands of low-income kids and created charter school choices for hundreds of thousands of Florida kids. All this work paid off: millions of Floridians today are reading, doing math, getting the benefit of high-school and college degrees and rising up in life because of what we did. That is a record I am proud to claim. That is a record I would like to bring to Washington, D.C.”
On Tuesday, August 25, famed author and retired neurosurgeon Dr. Ben Carson will be in the Montgomery area for a private event.
Dr. Carson wrote on Friday, “This week I spent some time on the Mexican border in Arizona. What I saw changed my thinking. Our border is effectively wide open and our government is doing nothing about it. I heard the nightmares the ranchers face each night. I saw a man that had been caught but then released by the federal government who was from Iraq. Another was Russian. Another was from Sudan. This has to stop. I was told 67,000 felons have been caught illegally crossing the border and ultimately released. It doesn’t appear to me that the federal government is even trying. For 30 years Washington has done nothing. It is outrageous. We must secure our borders and if we are going to deport someone we should start with Washington politicians.”
Chairman Lathan said, “In the midst of the Iowa State Fair, candidates are flooding into Alabama. It isn’t a fluke. We have had presidential candidates visiting since before they announced and they will continue to visit until next November. Alabama voices are the number one way for presidential candidates to gauge conservative voters. We have a commanding voice and candidates know they need to earn our support.”
According to the Real Clear Politics rolling average, in the race for the GOP nomination currently Donald Trump leads the field with 22.7 percent of the vote; Gov. Jeb Bush has been falling lately but is still in second with 10.7 percent; Dr. Ben Carson is solidly in third with 9.7 percent, Gov. Scott Walker is in fourth with 7.7 percent of the support; Sen. Marco Rubio rounds out the top five with 7.3 percent; Sen. Ted Cruz is also at 7.3 percent; and Carly Fiorina is polling at 6.3 percent. None of the other candidates were at more than 4.3 percent.