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Presidential Horse Race 2016: Ted Cruz slaps the lapdog Washington Post with a cartoon of his own

We begin on Christmas Eve with a question: would the media dare to depict Barack Obama’s daughters Malia and Natasha as monkeys…even in a cartoon?

Simple answer: No. The collective outrage would be such that the cartoonist would be drummed out of the country as a racist and any outlet that published the image would be slapped with a lawsuit from Al Sharpton Hillary and the lapdogsand Jessie Jackson. The Justice Department would investigate the editor. Heck, even the FCC would get involved.

Conservatives would be equally offended. Common decency is a universal value to those who love America and its principles.

So if everyone agrees the Obama daughters would be off-limits in that situation, why would the left allow Ted Cruz’s children to be insulted in such a way? Whatever the reason, Cruz wasn’t about to take it sitting down.

Al Weaver of the Washington Examiner reports, “The Texas senator and 2016 Republican presidential candidate told reporters during a stop in Oklahoma that ‘it's not complicated — don't make fun of a five-year-old girl and seven-year-old girl.’ He also thanked Sen. Marco Rubio and former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, both rivals for the nomination, for their support during the controversy.”

It should be noted Donald Trump also chimed in on Twitter, typing “The @washingtonpost, which is the lobbyist (power) for not imposing taxes on #Amazon, today did a nasty cartoon attacking @tedcruz kids. Bad”

The cartoon (which was a caricature of Cruz in a Santa suit as an organ grinder and his kids as monkeys dancing to the music) was pulled by the Washington Post shortly after publication, but the damage is done.

Everyone knows there is intense media bias against Republicans – and conservative Republicans in particular – but isn’t there some invisible line that was crossed here?

If for nothing else, the liberals responsible for the travesty should realize the backlash will only serve to make Cruz look more “human” as a father defending his children. If they’re working so hard to paint him in a negative light, they’re only going to get it back as a bitter taste of their own medicine.

No wonder no one trusts the media.

Later in the day on Wednesday, Cruz did hit back the newspaper, demonstrating that he gives even better than he gets.

Becket Adams of the Washington Examiner reports, “The tweeted message depicted Democratic front-runner Hillary Clinton walking two dogs. The first dog is labeled ‘The Washington Post,’ and the second dog is labeled ‘The New York Times.’”

Cruz’s Tweet is good fun and carries with it a message that is something other than pure vindictive spite like the Post’s cartoon. Score yet another one in Ted’s column.

Marco Rubio is a frontrunner is his own mind

The same Quinnipiac University poll that showed Ted Cruz pulling to within four points of Donald Trump nationally this week also saw Marco Rubio dropping five points since November. Yesterday’s CNN poll also revealed a several point slip for Rubio.

As a handsome, young and articulate candidate, Rubio has attracted more than his share of glare from the news media. Many predicted he would eventually emerge as the establishment candidate – the one who would take on Donald Trump mano y mano – or even bring Ted Cruz into the fray for a three-man race.

The problem is Marco’s poll numbers don’t justify all the attention. Even his opponents have been treating him like a frontrunner. Are they all afraid of him or is there something more to it?

David M. Drucker of the Washington Examiner reports, “Almost daily, Rubio is taking fire from Republican rivals and their super PACs, critics in the conservative, liberal and mainstream media, and the Democrats — multidirectional hits that neither Donald Trump nor Hillary Clinton are being subjected to.”

Drucker implies fear of Rubio’s electoral appeal is the main motivation for the multi-directional verbal assaults against Marco, but each group would seem to have its own motivations.

For conservatives Ted Cruz and Rand Paul, they’re simply unmasking Rubio as a false politician who championed the Gang of Eight and now is openly lying about Cruz’s role in defeating the unpopular comprehensive amnesty bill.

And as the chief proponent of a realistic, sensible foreign policy, Paul seeks to label Rubio as a war hawk who will only perpetuate policies that don’t work and aren’t worth the cost in lives or money invested/wasted. Paul has said many times we shouldn’t be advocating for regime change when what comes after is much more damaging to America’s interests than the dictators who previously controlled these countries.

Meanwhile, the establishment candidates – Jeb Bush, John Kasich and Chris Christie – see Rubio as a true threat to their chances of winning the nomination, mainly because they consider him one of their own. Marco would not represent the true change in Washington that the grassroots is demanding, so he’s effectively a status-quo candidate. Therefore, Bush, Kasich and Christie are justified in attacking Rubio as a rival.

Lastly, the left attacks Rubio because of poll numbers. “In the RealClearPolitics average of hypothetical matchups between Rubio and Clinton, he leads her by 1.5 percentage points, 46.2 percent to 44.7 percent. Rubio is the only top tier GOP candidate beating Clinton head-to-head,” Drucker wrote.

These are the liberals who dismiss the prospects of Cruz and Trump as “too extreme” but quiver in fear at the possibility of running against Rubio. They see Marco as a stark contrast to the past-her-prime candidate of the Democrats and at least superficially, they’re correct in their estimation.

Again, this line of thought is problematic because Rubio’s positions on foreign policy and immigration aren’t all that different from Clinton’s. If given the choice, are voters really going to choose another young and relatively unknown quantity who basically parrots everything Hillary stands for?

Americans are looking for a real choice in next year’s election. Marco Rubio doesn’t offer a legitimate change. He may be given “frontrunner” attention but he doesn’t deserve it. Here’s betting it will all work out in the end.

Huckabee nails the awful congressional budget sellout

The one-way spending “deal” engineered late last week by congressional Republican leaders has been roundly panned as a sellout to Obama, Pelosi and Reid. In essence, the very people conservatives shed blood, sweat and tears to send to Washington in 2014 with majorities in both Houses completely caved on just about every front.

To refresh your memory, the money for Planned Parenthood is in there. Obamacare too. Lay out the welcome mat for Obama’s Muslim Syrian refugees. And let’s not omit funding for Obama’s illegal alien-friendly sanctuary cities.

The grassroots is furious and justifiably so. Mike Huckabee tapped into that wrath.

Mark Hensch of The Hill reports Huckabee said on MSNBC’s ‘Morning Joe’ program, “I do know that voters are very angry. You sense it on the campaign trail. One of the things you see is a seething rage.

“This budget vote last week … it put a lot of people over the top because they just feel like the whole purpose of working hard to get Republican majorities in the House and the Senate was to make some significant policy changes. The Republicans folded. That’s why people in the Republican Party are just bolting for the door.”

Huckabee’s reaction was similar to the other candidates, yet he actually mentioned that the GOP leaders’ betrayals are causing people to leave the party.

They’re also helping Donald Trump make the case for his candidacy. And Ted Cruz, too. Voters want candidates who won’t sellout to the Democrats. Every time Trump says “we need a fighter,” he’s right.

As far as Huckabee is concerned, he once again proved how well he articulates the problems, yet in the large and deep Republican field, he’s not the answer. It’s been a long time since he won Iowa in 2008. Like with Rick Santorum, the voters have moved on.

The social conservative constituency that once supported him in large numbers now favors Ted Cruz. Unless something drastic happens, that won’t change.

Huckabee will continue to be useful as a spokesman for conservative issues – maybe he’ll go back to his talk show after he calls it quits on the campaign trail.

Christmas for Trump and Cruz in New Hampshire is a divided establishment

Finally today, the hopelessly divided Republican establishment in New Hampshire is providing a very special gift to Donald Trump and Ted Cruz at Christmastime.

Josh Kraushaar of the National Journal writes, “Here in New Hampshire, the establishment is trouncing Donald Trump, even if it’s not obvious from the polls. Trump is consistently in first place with about one-quarter of the vote, while Marco Rubio, Chris Christie, Jeb Bush, and John Kasich are hovering around 10 percent, each receiving roughly the same share of more moderate voters. All four candidates spent the final days before Christmas in the state, hoping to break away from the scrum.”

Conservatives are divided nationally, too, but the overall pool of voters is much larger to allocate. Since early summer, the “outsiders” have been polling at around two-thirds of the vote. That leaves only one-third left for the establishment to fight over.

The non-outsider group might be a little larger in moderate New Hampshire, but Trump and Cruz combined are still taking about the same percentage as the four establishment candidates added together, according to the Real Clear Politics average.

There is plenty for the establishment to worry about in The Granite State and elsewhere this year. It’s all adding up to a very merry Christmas, indeed.

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