Ted Cruz May Face Senate Challenge from Gateway Church Wing of TX GOP

Robert Morris and Ted Cruz Wilks BrosAccording to this column from Bud Kennedy, Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) may face a challenge from the religious right. Bruce Jacobson, the VP of Media and Executive Producer of James Robison’s “Life Today” television show, is considering a primary run against Cruz.
James Robison is an apostolic elder at Gateway Church. Although I haven’t seen it, I have also heard that Gateway Church pastor Robert Morris made a video in support of Jacobson. Apparently Morris stopped short of an endorsement but was viewed as giving Jacobson a boost.
Given Gateway’s financial problems, I wonder who paid for the video.
According to a Facebook thread describing Jacobson’s possible run, the opposition to Cruz comes from Mike Huckabee and Rick Santorum.
If this potential revolt materializes, it would be a turn around for Robison and Morris who previously supported Cruz. Robison is on President Trump’s evangelical advisory committee and is said to have regular access to the President.
Cruz is already facing two primary challengers, Stefano de Stefano and Dan McQueen. Several Dem candidates are lined up in the primary to challenge him in the 2018 election but in Texas, the GOP primary winner will most likely keep the seat for the Republicans.
Jacobson’s challenge is reminiscent of David Barton’s flirtation with a 2013 primary challenge to Sen. John Cornyn. Barton’s Wallbuilders colleague Rick Green said Barton might run if he got enough Facebook likes.
In reading for this post, I was reminded of this line from Michael Gerson’s fine column in today’s WaPo.  Gerson said:

There is no group in the United States less attached to its own ideals or more eager for its own exploitation than religious conservatives.

Gerson then asks:

Do religious right leaders have any clue how foolish they appear?

I doubt they do, but they do. Jockeying for political power and influence is antithetical to the Gospel.
 

TX Source: Ted Cruz Considered for SCOTUS, Attorney General

Ted Cruz’s support for Donald Trump may pay off according to a source in the TX GOP.
According to the source, Cruz’s name has been dropped for the Supreme Court but the most likely job is Attorney General. This is consistent with a report from Jim Acosta and Bloomberg News.


Cruz has had on the job training since he once served as Associate Deputy Attorney General at DOJ under George Bush II.

Post Ted Cruz, Is It Time for Glenn Beck to Reconsider David Barton?

On his show today, conservative pundit Glenn Beck became irate with Ted Cruz over Cruz’s endorsement of Donald Trump. Right Wing Watch gets the hat tip and has some clips. Watch:
[youtube]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zNjgAUzUwCI[/youtube]
[youtube]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BshqMopwv2E[/youtube]
It is must watch TV. Beck nailed Cruz on his endorsement and demanded to know what new information Cruz had which allowed him to endorse Trump. Cruz had none (in fact, Cruz allowed Trump to use his mailing list before the endorsement) In the second video, Beck rails against Cruz and the two parties.
If Beck is this angry over Cruz’s turn around, what must he think of his old buddy David Barton?
Barton believes Christians must put aside their complaints and vote for Trump (link, link, link). Barton believes Trump is God’s choice and that Christians have a biblical duty to vote for him. Barton has been pushing Trump for weeks.
How is it possible for Glenn Beck to excoriate Ted Cruz without comparable ire being directed toward David Barton?
Perhaps this will motivate Beck to really examine the claims Barton makes about historical matters (and even Barton’s own educational status). Beck has a mutual friend who reached out to him in 2012 about Barton’s history. Perhaps, Mr. Beck, you could reach out to that person and reexamine the evidence.
 
 

Ted Cruz Is Out: Did God Make A Mistake?

One pitfall of claiming to speak for God is that God doesn’t always cooperate.
Glenn Beck once said Ted Cruz had the best chance of winning the GOP nomination because God was on Cruz’s side. Now that Cruz has dropped out, is God disappointed?
Beck wrote a post for his website where he downplays the fact that Cruz is out.

What is happening in this election is normal. If you think it’s abnormal, you aren’t looking back far enough into history. Civilizations go through this. Societies aren’t a straight line of growth. There are down waves for every up wave.
Tomorrow is just Wednesday.
It’s another day where each of us has an opportunity to be a moral person. To defend Liberty. To protect our neighbor’s rights, and count on him to defend our own.

No big deal. When Cruz was in the race, Beck and his fellow Cruz crew breathlessly reminded us that the nation was at the abyss, going to hell in a hand basket. Cruz was the answer.
Now, tomorrow is just Wednesday.
 
 

PA Primary News: Donald Trump's PA Delegates Disclosed #NeverTrump

In Pennsylvania tomorrow, GOP voters will be confronted with a choice of John Kasich, Donald Trump, Ted Cruz, Marco Rubio, Jeb Bush, and Ben Carson. They also will be asked to vote for delegates to the GOP convention in Cleveland.  The ballot doesn’t spell out which candidate each delegate has committed to vote for at the convention. Some will remain uncommitted and others might be persuaded to switch, making PA delegates very popular between now and the GOP convention.
Political website PoliticsPA published a list of delegates who are pledged to Donald Trump. For those #nevertrump PA readers, this could be a handy help going into tomorrow.
Review the list.
Trump has 41 delegates in 15 districts committed to him.
According Former KKK Grand Wizard David Duke, Donald Neuhaus has pledged for Trump in the 14th District. He also has a handy list. One wonders where he got it.
Here is something more official from the Trump campaign.
PA for Trump

Politifact's Rating of GOP Candidates – John Kasich Is Most Accurate

Everybody makes mistakes. I certainly don’t expect presidential candidates to be flawless in their public statements. They speak constantly and answer questions on a broad spectrum of topics. They will misspeak.
On the other hand, a consistent record of incorrect claims implies either lack of care for truth or an unacceptable ignorance when it comes to important issues. Motives are hard to discern but fact checking can get us closer to the truth.
The folks at Politifact compiled a report card for the GOP candidates which I summarize here. John Kasich leads the way with over half of his claims (53%) being rated as true or mostly true. Cruz is a distant second with 22% being rated as true or mostly true. Trump is far behind with only 8% of his claims rated as mostly true or true. See the images below for the full report.
John Kasich
Kasich Politifact
Ted Cruz
Cruz Politifact
Donald Trump
Trump Politifact
If Trump gets the nomination, the GOP will reject the candidate who is the most factual, best liked, and most likely to beat Hillary in favor of the one who is the least factual, least liked, and least likely to defeat Hillary in November.
Brilliant.
 
 

Thomas Kidd: Ted Cruz's Traveling Companions Make Him a Non-Option

Today Baylor University historian Thomas Kidd opines on the plight of Republicans as the November election approaches. After reviewing the options on the GOP side (Trump, Cruz, Kasich), Kidd comes down about where I do: Kasich is (for him reluctantly, for me enthusiastically) the best choice. However, he echoes the worry of many Kasich supporters that a contested convention might not go to the Ohio governor.
Faced with a Cruz-Clinton match up, Kidd also shares my conviction on Cruz.

Sorry, folks. If it is Cruz vs. Clinton, I’m afraid that I’ll have to vote for a third party candidate, or not vote for president. In a way, it doesn’t matter what I do – Cruz would win Texas, for sure, with or without my vote. And I “get it” if many of my evangelical friends do support Cruz, and don’t share my alarm about the Barton-Beck connection. But for me, those traveling companions make Cruz a non-option.

Kidd didn’t mention Cruz’s father Rafael. Recently, Rafael Cruz told a Grove City College audience that the USA was the only nation on earth founded on the Word of God. Cruz has also said that the Constitution was divinely inspired.
Cruz and his supporters like to say that Cruz is a constitutional conservative. Given what Cruz’s advisors say about the Constitution (e.g., Barton says that the Constitution contains Bible verses quote verbatim), I have to ask what does it mean to be a constitutional conservative in the Cruzian sense. Given his advisors, I am not inspired to think he has a view which supports true freedom of conscience for all.
On the matter of religious liberty, Kidd has some reservations about Kasich. The answers I have heard from Kasich lead me to believe he has a balanced and reasonable view. Kasich has urged various groups to work together and has said that legislation may be needed to protect religious liberty. However, he is also sensitive to minority groups who understandably fear a loss of their rights in public accommodations.

Rafael Cruz: America Was Founded on the Word of God

Cruz Cruz BartonRafael Cruz came to Grove City College earlier this evening for a Q&A hosted by the college Republican club. He represented the Cruz campaign but I should hasten to add that the event was not a campaign rally and the college is not endorsing Cruz or any candidate.
Political Science professor Paul Kengor moderated the event and most of the initial hour centered around Rafael Cruz’s background in Cuba and then his assimilation to life in America. I tweeted some of the things Cruz said which can be viewed here: #rcruzgcc.
At one point, Cruz came close to sounding the seven mountains dominionism themes and said America was founded on the Word of God.
After the event, I had a moment with Rev. Cruz and asked him if his son believes the seven mountain dominionism teaching that Christians should take dominion over the mountain of government. He said that you have to be careful with the terms because people don’t understand. He said people, especially in the media, think you mean theocracy. He said it doesn’t mean a theocracy. He added that Christians should be salt and light in the government and use their influence to be salt and light.
The time was short so I was unable to follow up but I still believe Ted Cruz needs to clarify what taking dominion as president would look like.

Does Ted Cruz Agree With His Foreign Policy Council Members That White Privilege is Nonsense?

Cruz Cruz BartonTwo of Ted Cruz’s national security advisors, Jerry Boykin and Frank Gaffney were discussing President Obama’s handling of the military. Right Wing Watch pointed out an amazing exchange between the two. In particular one that stood out to me was the characterization of white privilege as “nonsense.”
Go to RWW to listen to the exchange. After complaining about the training offered in the military, Gaffney and Boykin ridiculed “white privilege” as a proper subject of training.

“Diversity, sensitivity, and white privilege,” Gaffney said derisively.
“Yeah, that’s right,” Boykin said, “on white privilege and nonsense like that. That’s where they spend their training time.”

Now I don’t know what other subjects are covered in military training. I suspect many more than these. However, it is shocking to hear advisors to a presidential candidate ridicule sensitivity training that includes the subject of white privilege. Does Ted Cruz agree with his advisors here?
Is this the kind of military climate Cruz wants to create?
In my opinion, both Boykin and Gaffney should be relieved of advising duty, and if Cruz doesn’t deal with this now and he becomes the nominee, Hillary Clinton will deal with it in November.
 

Is Ted Cruz a Dominionist or Not?

Cruz Cruz BartonRob Gagnon and Edith Humphrey writing at Christianity Today say no.
Gagnon and Humphrey respond mainly to John Fea’s writings on the subject.
I think Cruz likes to hang out with seven mountains dominionists, including his father and David Barton.
What would be nice is to hear from Cruz himself. I would like to know if he agrees with his father that he is a “king” who will help bring about a great transfer wealth from the pagans to the Christians, or at least the dominionist Christians. Does Cruz believe all that seven mountains stuff?
I wish Cruz would give a speech or an interview where he addresses the matter. This will dog him until he clears it up. I am much less interested in Gagnon and Humphries opinion and more interested in hearing him talk about his views of seven mountains dominionist teaching.
UPDATE: John Fea responds to Gagnon and Humphrey on his blog. As usual, John raises some key points. Like me, he wants to hear from Cruz about his reliance on his father, David Barton and Glenn Beck. Here’s what Fea has to say about Cruz and Barton:

Cruz needs to answer for his connections to David Barton.  Over the last couple of weeks Barton has been talking openly about Seven Mountains Dominionism.  He is opening schools at Bible colleges around the country to teach this view. Let’s not forget that Barton runs a Cruz super-PAC.  This means that Barton, an outspoken dominionist, is raising a lot of money to get Cruz in the White House.  Guilty by association?  Perhaps.  Only Ted Cruz can set the record straight. Let’s remember that this guy is running for President of the United States.  I think he needs to come clean on his connections to people like Barton and Beck.

Gagnon and Humphrey quote Robert George as saying that calling someone a dominionist is McCarthyism and a smear tactic. I suppose it could be a smear to some (if you call me a dominionist, it would be a smear) but we should remember that Cruz’s father and his close advisor David Barton embrace the seven mountains teaching of Christian dominion. Cruz is surrounded by people who see it as their Christian duty to take dominion over the culture and the government.