Number of defections from the GOP caused directly by the shutdown: At least one—Texas judge Carlo Key, who plans to run for re-election as a Democrat. Key also cites the party’s social issues.
Getting immigration done, most everyone agrees, would be good for the Republican Party. It’s possibly necessary for its very survival. What’s standing in the way isn’t Obama’s determination to destroy the GOP. It’s the GOP’s determination to destroy itself.Ezra Klein, on the GOP’s reflexive and counter-productive opposition to comprehensive immigration reform, which President Obama is planning to push hard in coming months. “In 2012, 71 percent of Hispanic voters, and 73 percent of Asian voters, marked their ballot for Obama. Those aren’t survivable numbers for the Republican Party,” Klein says. And yet many House Republicans, notably Congressman Raul Labrador, not only oppose immigration reform but believe that Obama is only pushing for it in an attempt to “destroy the Republican Party.” Recall, by the way, that the Senate already passed immigration reform, but John Boehner has refused to put it up for a vote in the House. source
This has been one of the strangest weeks I’ve ever had in Washington. As soon as we listed Ted Cruz as our featured guest this week, I got unsolicited research and questions, not from Democrats but from top Republicans, to hammer Cruz.Fox News’ Chris Wallace says that Ted Cruz’ own GOP colleagues are trying to throw Cruz under the bus with opposition research—due to Cruz’s push to try to kill the Affordable Care Act.
There’s also a question of journalistic ethics. Luntz requested that the remarks remain off the record; while a journalist who was in the room verbally agreed to this request, Abbi (who isn’t a journalist) and Mother Jones (who wasn’t present) did not. So are they still bound by it? Does a request to remain off the record amount to a decree, or must it be agreed to? Regardless of where you stand, it’s a fuzzy area. Meanwhile, Luntz has withdrawn a scholarship in his father’s name since the remarks leaked.
We’re going to be announcing a $10 million initiative just this year and it will include hundreds of people, paid across the country, from coast-to-coast, in Hispanic and African-American, Asian communities, talking about our party, talking about our brand, talking about what we believe in.RNC head Reince Priebus • Discussing the RNC’s efforts to improve its image amongst minorities by increasing its outreach big time. Part of the reason for doing it now, rather than during an election year, is because the party found it was playing catch-up by only focusing on such efforts in the months leading up to the election. “We have become a party that parachutes into communities four months before an election,” Priebus said. “In comparison to the other side, the Obama campaign lived in these communities for years. The relationships were deep, they were authentic.” Priebus’ comments come two days after the party suffered a black eye on the diversity front—a controversial incident at CPAC involving a white supremacist group.
Bring it on, Karl baby. Bring it on, doughboy. Bring on your little whiteboard.Leading conservative Mark Levin on fellow leading conservative Karl Rove. The remark is emblematic of the civil war brewing in the GOP: On the one side are pragmatists like Rove, who believe the Republican Party needs to nominate more moderate candidates in order to win elections; on the other side are idealists like Levin, who would rather see radical right-wingers lose elections than moderate Republicans win ‘em. The Tea Party contingent of the GOP is outraged at Rove’s newly-unveiled Conservative Victory Project, which seeks to intervene in Republican primaries to make sure that would-be Todd Akins don’t wind up with the nomination. source
A debate about which party can better manage the federal government is a very small and short-sighted debate. If our vision is not bigger than that, we do not deserve to win.Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal • In a speech he plans to give to the Republican National Committee Thursday evening, during which he will use the phrase “recalibrate the compass of conservatism.” Jindal sounds like he’s running for president in 2016, and also like he’s hoping to score an era-defining speech akin to Rush Limbaugh’s defiant bit at 2009’s CPAC. Jindal’s response to the State of the Union that year didn’t get a lot of love from anyone, but he’s otherwise proven himself to be one of the country’s best Republican governors, so it’ll be interesting to see what sort of bandwidth he gets from this speech.