Blog Posts by Chris Moody

  • Ted Cruz defends Rand Paul after Chris Christie slap, but doesn’t address specifics

    Texas Sen. Ted Cruz defended his Republican colleague Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul on Monday after New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie said last week that lawmakers with views on national security like Paul’s are “dangerous,” but Cruz declined to directly address the issues Christie raised.

    “Gov. Christie is certainly entitled to his opinions, and he does not seem shy about sharing those. What I can tell you is that I think the principles of liberty are the foundation of this country,” Cruz said during an interview on the Andrea Tantaros radio show Monday morning.

    At a forum in Aspen, Colo., last Thursday, Christie criticized libertarian Republicans such as Paul, who he said hold opinions about national security practices that would inhibit the United States from battling terrorism and could put Americans at risk.

    “This strain of libertarianism that’s going through both parties right now and making big headlines, I think, is a very dangerous thought,” Christie said. “You can name any number of

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  • Chris Christie: Rise of libertarians like Rand Paul is ‘dangerous’

    Chris Christie: Rise of libertarians like Rand Paul ‘dangerous’

    For the second time in as many weeks, a high-profile Republican has taken aim at Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul for his views on national security practices.

    During a panel discussion with Republican governors on Thursday night in Aspen, Colo., New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie said libertarians who criticize the National Security Agency’s domestic spying operation were “dangerous,” because such criticisms inhibit the federal government’s ability to stop terrorism. Christie pointed to Paul as an example.

    “This strain of libertarianism that’s going through both parties right now and making big headlines, I think, is a very dangerous thought,” Christie said, prompting the panel moderator to ask if he was referring to Paul.

    “You can name any number of people, and he’s one of them. I mean, these esoteric, intellectual debates — I want them to come to New Jersey and sit across from the widows and the orphans and have that conversation. And they won’t, because that’s a much tougher conversation to

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  • Republican and Democratic leaders rush to condemn naughty party members

    Standing behind the same lectern, on the same stage, before the same reporters in a Capitol Hill briefing room only moments apart on Thursday morning, House Speaker John Boehner, a Republican, and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, a Democrat, both needed to make something clear: Members of their own party have been bad, and no, they do not approve.

    Pelosi addressed the Capitol Hill press corps first, where she fielded a question about the most recent saga of personal scandal from Anthony Weiner, a former Democratic House lawmaker now running to become New York City’s next mayor.

    It was only two years ago that Pelosi stripped Weiner of his committee assignments in the House and urged him to leave Congress after he posted explicit pictures of himself on the Internet. (Weiner denied it at the time, claiming someone had “hacked” his social media accounts. He was, curiously, unable to “say with certitude” if the phallic images being splashed across the Internet were his own. Weiner’s

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  • DES MOINES, Iowa – Kentucky Republican Sen. Rand Paul said no one in Congress "has a stronger belief in minority rights" than he does and insists he will continue outreach efforts to black and Hispanic voters despite reports about a former aide's past connections to neo-Confederate groups.

    In an interview with Yahoo News in Iowa, where Paul spoke to a gathering of Christian pastors and church leaders last week, the possible presidential contender acknowledged that stories about the aide could set back his efforts, but he defended his commitment to bringing more black and Hispanic voters into the Republican Party.

    “I’m not easily dissuaded, so it’s not something that makes me shrink away, it makes me come out even stronger to say that I don’t think there’s anyone in Congress who has a stronger belief in minority rights than I do,” Paul told Yahoo News. “Because my conception of justice is that there have been many times in our history when we have done things unfairly to Japanese

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  • Ted Cruz makes a strong first impression on Iowa conservatives

    DES MOINES, Iowa — The sealed doors of a third-floor ballroom burst open and hundreds of excited preachers, buzzed from their early-morning coffee and a passionate speech by Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, spilled into the hallway of the Des Moines Marriott hotel.

    Speaking before about 650 church leaders during the Iowa Renewal Project conference last week, Cruz had just outlined his own conservative vision for the country and called on members of the audience to hold Republicans accountable. It was Cruz's first trip to Iowa in his life, and, based on the response from those who watched him speak, he was a hit.

    Conservative activist Bob Vander Plaats and Iowa radio host Steve Deace in particular were beaming when they left the room.

    “He’s the real deal,” Vander Plaats, the president of Urbandale-based Family Leader, said after Cruz’s talk. “You can sense the reaction in the room with pastors and key leaders in churches. I think what they see — which is what I see — is authenticity with him. He’s

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  • Is it fair to say the Senate immigration bill offers 'amnesty'?

    When the Senate passed a comprehensive immigration bill in June that offers immigrants living in the United States illegally a path to legal status and increases funding for border security, some critics wrote the measure off as “amnesty” for lawbreakers.

    Those who oppose the effort argue that the bill does not go far enough to secure the border. Immigrants living in the country illegally, some also say, should be required to return to their home country, where they would have to apply for legal status through channels that already exist under current law.

    The Senate bill, in contrast, offers a way for them to achieve legal status without leaving the U.S. But would the measure offer immigrants a free pass, or “amnesty,” as the bill’s opponents say it does?

    A video from the Cato Institute (a think tank where, full disclosure, I once worked) aims to explain what the legalization process would look like under the Senate bill and makes clear that the “pathway” is no cakewalk.

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  • Only in Washington do party invitations look like this

    People who work in politics and live in Washington, D.C. are, well, different. Our lives are consumed and defined by work, and sometimes we send invitations to birthday parties that look like this:

    A birthday invitation for a party in Washington, D.C.

    For those not in the know, the style is written like the legislative text of a bill.
  • Republican presidential hopefuls flood Iowa, but Democrats are scarce

    Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. (Associated Press)

    DES MOINES, Iowa – The next presidential election is more than 1,200 days away, but Iowa, the state that traditionally hosts the first-in-the-nation presidential caucus, is already a hive of activity for politicians who are considering making a run for the White House.

    Kentucky Republican Sen. Rand Paul and former Pennsylvania Republican Sen. Rick Santorum have made frequent trips to the state in the past few months. Texas Republican Sen. Ted Cruz paid his first visit to Des Moines last week and plans to return for a forum in Ames in August. Wisconsin Republican Gov. Scott Walker spoke to the Iowa Republican Party in West Des Moines in May, and former Republican vice presidential candidate Rep. Paul Ryan of Wisconsin has accepted an invitation to Altoona in November to toast Iowa Republican Gov. Terry Branstad on his birthday.

    That’s a lot of Republicans! But hold on, where are all the Democrats?

    Not in the Hawkeye State, that’s for sure.

    “It is unbelievably quiet here,” Scott Brennan,

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  • In Iowa, Ted Cruz brushes away talk of presidential run in 2016

    DES MOINES, Iowa -- On his first trip to the state that traditionally holds the nation's first presidential electoral contest, Texas Republican Sen. Ted Cruz met Friday with Christian pastors and state GOP members but insisted he’s not thinking about running for president.

    “I am here,” Cruz told reporters after a speech at the Iowa Republican Party headquarters here, “because I am focusing my time on trying to make the argument and win the argument that, Number one, that the free market of the United States of America has been the greatest engine of prosperity and opportunity the world has ever seen. And Number two, that our constitutional safeguards, our Bill or Rights, that protect our God-given rights that are foundational to this nation, that we need to get back to the Constitution.”

    Cruz had just spoken to a small group of party activists at a luncheon fundraiser, where he implored them to pressure congressional Republicans to refuse to approve future government funding measures

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  • Paul Ryan heads back to Iowa in November

    DES MOINES, Iowa—Wisconsin Republican Rep. Paul Ryan will travel to Iowa to headline a fundraiser for Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad in November, Branstad campaign spokesman Jimmy Centers told Yahoo News.

    Ryan, who was the Republican vice presidential candidate in 2012 and is weighing a possible presidential run of his own in 2016, will speak at the governor’s annual “Birthday Bash” at an amusement park in Altoona on Nov. 15. Branstad is facing re-election in 2014.

    Republicans and Democrats hold their first presidential caucuses in Iowa, so any visit by a high-profile lawmaker like Ryan further suggests that he is considering a bid for the White House. Last year, Florida Republican Sen. Marco Rubio attended Branstad’s birthday fundraiser, and Republican Sens. Ted Cruz of Texas and Rand Paul of Kentucky are currently visiting Des Moines to meet with Christian pastors.

    Ryan’s November visit to Altoona won’t be his first trip to the Hawkeye State. He held a solo event as the vice presidential

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