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Kudlow Plans Senate Bid Decision by February

Larry Kudlow

By John Gizzi   |   Sunday, 03 Jan 2016 06:51 PM

As Connecticut Republicans increasingly hope he will say yes to a U.S. Senate race in 2016, conservative TV and radio host Larry Kudlow told Newsmax he will make a decision on whether to challenge Democrat Sen. Richard Blumenthal “before the end of February.”

In an exclusive interview with Newsmax, Redding resident Kudlow, 68, came the closest he has so far to becoming a full-fledged candidate.

Best known as a spirited champion of smaller government and slashing tax rates, the onetime Reagan administration deputy budget director told us that the issue that motivates him the most to run is the war on terror.

“The war against ISIS is the great issue of our time,” said Kudlow, widely known for his long-running “The Kudow Report” on CNBC and his nationally-syndicated radio show. “ISIS wants to destroy America and it is in cahoots with the groups that want to destroy Israel. But we must destroy ISIS.

“It burns in me we have a mediocre, left-leaning senator agreeing with Obama that ‘global warming is the issue of our time.’ And whatever skills I have, I will use them to run a scathing campaign on this issue.”

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WASHINGTON (AP) — Speaker John Boehner is trying to make one last deal as he heads for the exits, pushing to finalize a far-reaching, two-year budget agreement before handing Congress’ top job over to Paul Ryan this week, congressional officials said Monday.

The deal, in concert with a must-pass increase in the federal borrowing limit, would solve the thorniest issues awaiting Ryan, who is set to be elected speaker on Thursday. It would also take budget showdowns and government shutdown fights off the table until after the 2016 presidential election, a potential boon to Republican candidates who might otherwise face uncomfortable questions about messes in the GOP-led Congress.

Congress must raise the federal borrowing limit by Nov. 3 or risk a first-ever default, while money to pay for government operations runs out Dec. 11 unless Congress acts. Top House and Senate aides have been meeting with White House officials in search of a deal that would give both the Pentagon and domestic agencies budget relief in exchange for cuts elsewhere in the budget.

The measure under discussion would suspend the current $18.1 trillion debt limit through March 2017. After that it would be reset by the Treasury Department to reflect borrowing over that time.

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Speaker fight gives Scott Garrett a boost in D.C.

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Rep. Scott Garrett, R-Wantage, talks to West Bergen Tea Party members at their monthly meeting at Larkin House in Wyckoff on Aug. 25, 2015

Speaker fight gives Scott Garrett a boost in D.C.

OCTOBER 11, 2015, 8:39 PM    LAST UPDATED: SUNDAY, OCTOBER 11, 2015, 10:36 PM

In July, moderate Republicans in the House wanted Speaker John Boehner to strip Rep. Scott Garrett, New Jersey’s most conservative congressman, of his subcommittee chairmanship. That effort came a short time after Garrett told Republican leaders that he would not contribute to or raise money for his party’s campaign committee because it supported gay candidates.

But last month, it was Boehner who decided to give up his gavel, and last week the man he favored to succeed him as speaker, Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, withdrew his candidacy. A major factor in both events was opposition from the 30 to 40 members of the arch-conservative House Freedom Caucus, co-founded by Garrett.

Now Garrett’s position as chairman of a subcommittee that regulates Wall Street may have become even safer. As a leader of a group the next speaker will be seeking to woo, Garrett appears less likely to face a reprimand for not paying his party dues.

While it could still turn out that moderates get the next speaker to marginalize the power of the Freedom Caucus — Rep. Peter King, R-N.Y., said Friday that the group “should have been crushed long ago” — the only way a Republican could become speaker without Freedom Caucus votes is by brokering a deal with Democrats.

What is far from clear, however, is whether the leadership battle will provide a long-term political boost to Garrett himself.

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Revolution: “I’m not too concerned about the thoughts and opinions of opinion writers in newspapers these days. I’m worried about the opinion of our grassroots, our voters, our activists, those who are watching us”…

storm the bastille

 storm the Bastille

“I’m not too concerned about the thoughts and opinions of opinion writers in newspapers these days. I’m worried about the opinion of our grassroots, our voters, our activists, those who are watching us,  Sean Spicer, top strategist for the Republican National Committee (RNC)

Top GOP strategist: House leadership turmoil ‘a good thing’

By Mike Lillis

A leader of the GOP’s campaign arm is defending the current upheaval among House Republicans, saying the turbulent search to replace outgoing Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) will ultimately benefit the party.

“There’s a lot of discussion going on as far as the direction, the vision that our party wants to go and who [is] the best person to lead it. You’ve seen it both in the presidential cycle, in terms of the number of candidates that we have up there and the competition that’s going on, and frankly now you’re seeing it in the House,” Sean Spicer, top strategist for the Republican National Committee (RNC), told CNN Saturday.

“I believe this is a good thing. It’s good for the party to go through these discussions, to have different people put their ideas and their vision out there, and for the best person to win.”

Spicer acknowledged that picking leaders is “not always the prettiest” process, but he rejected the notion that the party is at war with itself and dismissed the charges of Republican “chaos”and “dysfunction” as fantasies of the media.

“I’m not too concerned about the thoughts and opinions of opinion writers in newspapers these days. I’m worried about the opinion of our grassroots, our voters, our activists, those who are watching us,” Spicer said.

He noted that a string of recent victories have given Republicans control over most state houses across the country, and he highlighted the fact that the GOP’s House majority is the largest since the Hoover administration.

“So, as a party, we’re doing pretty well when you look at the actual number [of] wins that we’re getting,” Spicer said.


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Speaker race to dominate Sunday shows


By Bradford Richardson – 10/10/15 01:08 PM EDT

Guests on the Sunday talk shows will try to shed some light on a bizarre week in Congress, as several Republican House members make the rounds to discuss the chaotic race for Speaker.

Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah), who announced a bid for the Speaker’s gavel last Sunday, joins ABC’s “This Week” to discuss House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy’s (R-Calif.) sudden departure from the race and the conference’s shaky leadership situation.

Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio), chairman of the conservative Freedom Caucus, who has beenfloated as a potential Speaker despite repeated assurances that he will not run, joins “Fox News Sunday” to weigh in on the race.

Former Speaker Newt Gingrich (R-Ga.), who said he is open to a return to the House’s top job if he can get the votes, will also make an appearance on the Fox News program.

Rep. Mick Mulvaney (R-S.C.), a founding member of the Freedom Caucus and a prominent critic of outgoing Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio), joins CBS’s “Face the Nation” to give his take on who should take up the gavel.

GOP Reps. Charlie Dent (Pa.), a centrist, and Dave Brat (Va.), the Freedom Caucus member who bested previous Majority Leader Eric Cantor in a GOP primary, will headline NBC’s “Meet the Press.”

Also discussing the pandemonium over the Speaker race are Republican Reps. Raul Labrador (Idaho) and Tom Cole (Okla.), who will each appear on CNN’s “State of the Union.”

Several candidates from the Republican and Democratic primaries will also make appearances, as the latter group prepares for their first debate on Tuesday.

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N.J.’s Garrett on House GOP chaos: Blame the Senate

080516 shuttle garrett

By Jonathan D. Salant | NJ Advance Media for

WASHINGTON — The House Freedom Caucus, a group of conservative lawmakers co-founded by U.S. Rep. Scott Garrett, is seen as the political force that helped bring down House Speaker John Boehner,convinced House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy to give up his quest to be Speaker and brought the federal government close to its second shutdown in three years.

Speaking publicly for the first time since Boehner’s resignation, the New Jersey lawmaker said the 60-vote threshold for legislation in the other chamber is preventing Congress from doing its job.

“Why can’t Congress get things done?” Garrett (R-5th Dist.) told reporters outside the House chambers on Friday. “Even though Republicans are in charge of the Senate, we still need a half-dozen votes to move legislation,” referring to the six Democratic votes needed to reach 60.

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Rep, Scott Garrett’s Freedom Caucus backs Webster for Speaker

Congressman Daniel Webster

October 07, 2015, 05:04 pm
By Cristina Marcos

The conservative House Freedom Caucus is endorsing Rep. Daniel Webster (R-Fla.) for Speaker, potentially preventing any candidate from securing enough votes to win the gavel on the House floor.

The endorsement of Webster, who won just 12 votes for Speaker against now-retiring John Boehner (R-Ohio) in January, is a blow to House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.), the leading candidate for the position.

The conservative House Freedom Caucus is endorsing Rep. Daniel Webster (R-Fla.) for Speaker, potentially preventing any candidate from securing enough votes to win the gavel on the House floor.

The endorsement of Webster, who won just 12 votes for Speaker against now-retiring John Boehner (R-Ohio) in January, is a blow to House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.), the leading candidate for the position.

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Rep. Scott Garrett’s Freedom Caucus key to choice of New Speaker of the House

Scott Garrett

Jennings column: Garrett’s caucus key to choice of Boehner’s successor

Posted: Oct 03, 2015 11:04 PM EDTUpdated: Oct 03, 2015 11:04 PM EDT


The first Sussex County resident elected to Congress in 90 years could be getting a seat at the head table as Republicans choose the next Speaker of the House.

That is compelling from a local perspective, whether or not one is a fan of U.S. Rep. Scott Garrett of Wantage.

Garrett, true to form, has been circumspect on the maneuvering to replace Speaker John Boehner.

The election to succeed Boehner is scheduled for Thursday. Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, the frontrunner, met Oct. 1 with some members of the House Freedom Caucus, CNN reported.

Garrett is one of the nine founding members of the caucus. It was launched by hardline conservatives in January soon after a failed effort, backed by Garrett, to oust Boehner.

Garrett is the only caucus founder from the Northeast, which generally elects Republicans less conservative than elsewhere. The caucus does not disclose a roster, but several published reports place its membership at about 40.

The CNN report did not say whether Garrett attended the meeting with McCarthy. His office did not respond Friday to a request for comment.

Assuming members vote as a block, the caucus will have considerable influence on Thursday’s votes for speaker and majority leader.

The next speaker — still likely to be McCarthy, despite his monumental gaffe last week in implying that damaging Hillary Clinton’s presidential prospects was a motive of the Benghazi investigation — will need a majority of the House members showing up to vote.

With the 435-member House consisting of 247 Republicans, “no” votes on McCarthy from more than 29 could force a second round of voting, sort of the House equivalent of a brokered presidential convention.

A deep enough divide among Republicans could give Democrats the ability to determine which Republican gets to be the next speaker — an unacceptable scenario for the majority party.

The only other announced candidate is Florida Rep. Daniel Webster, who got Garrett’s vote when he challenged Boehner in January.

Garrett, as of Saturday morning, had not endorsed a candidate.

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Republican Assembly candidate Anthony Cappola drops out


North Jersey GOP candidate drops out of state race after book called ‘offensive garbage’

OCTOBER 1, 2015, 6:34 PM    LAST UPDATED: FRIDAY, OCTOBER 2, 2015, 7:47 AM

A Republican Assembly candidate, running in a competitive North Jersey district home to the most expensive legislative elections in the state, ended his campaign Thursday after a news report described his self-published book and its rampant racial and sexual slurs.

The candidate, Anthony Cappola, is also a councilman in River Edge and owner of a company that provides DJs for parties.

In 2003, Cappola self-published “Outrageous,” a book his running mate called “offensive garbage” on Thursday after its contents were made widely public.

The web site Politico New Jersey first reported details of the book Thursday along with Cappola’s statement that he was quitting the race.

“I’m sorry if I offended anyone and deeply regret what was written. I am not the same person I was 12 years ago, but I take responsibility for what I wrote and have chosen to bow out of the race,” Cappola said in a prepared statement released by his campaign manager.

The book is listed as out of print on Amazon and a check with local libraries found no copies available. The Record obtained a copy from sources who did so on the condition they not be identified.

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WASHINGTON (AP) — The Republican Party’s conservative wing, pumped up by House Speaker John Boehner’s stepping down, is warning the 2016 presidential candidates that defying its wishes will come at their peril.

Religious activists forcefully conveyed this message Saturday: embrace our uncompromising stance against abortion rights and gay marriage, among other priorities, even if doing so risks a federal government shutdown.

An emboldened conservative movement signals fresh trouble for White House candidates viewed by the party’s frustrated base as insufficiently committed to their cause. Chief among them is former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush.

“Conservatives are on fire at the moment,” said Gary Bauer, a former president of the Family Research Council. He was among the featured speakers at the Values Voter annual conference that brought an estimated 2,000 evangelical activists to Washington this weekend.

Boehner’s announcement that he would resign from Congress by the end of October came without warning Friday, nearly four months before voting begins in the presidential primary. His decision revealed a deep divide within the GOP that raises questions about the party’s ability to unite behind one candidate next spring.

Hard-line conservatives were deeply disappointed with the last two Republican presidential nominees – former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney and Arizona Sen. John McCain. Boehner was unpopular among conservative activists, and his resignation will give them new hope that the party may choose a candidate who energizes the most passionate voters, even if that nominee is seen as less attractive to a general election crowd.

A co-founder of the tea party movement said Boehner was just another of the establishment figures taken down by frustrated conservatives. “Today, the insurgency is more emboldened than ever and looks to even further dominate the presidential elections in 2016,” said Mark Meckler. “Our influence is growing.”

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N.J. Rep. Garrett, who opposed Speaker Boehner, looks for new leadership


Rep. Garrett: Boehner Resignation Is Surprising (Bloomberg News)

By Jonathan D. Salant | NJ Advance Media for

WASHINGTON — U.S. Rep. Scott Garrett, one of the few House Republicans who voted against re-electing John Boehner as speaker, said he would “look forward” to electing a new leader of the Republican-controlled U.S. House of Representatives.

“The American people are frustrated with Washington, and I look forward to working with my colleagues in the people’s House to select leadership that expands opportunity for all, puts hardworking American families first, and has strong principles that represent everyone,” said Garrett (R-5th Dist.).

Garrett praised Boehner (R-Ohio), who announced his resignation Friday, as “a dedicated public servant”  and wished him “all the best as he begins his next endeavor in life.”

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GOP Representative: Mitch McConnell ‘Next Guy in the Crosshairs’



September 25, 2015 2:56 PM  Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R., Ky.) will be the next target of conservatives frustrated with party leadership, according to one of the conservative representatives who pressured House speaker John Boehner in the weeks leading up to his resignation. “Next guy in the crosshairs will probably be McConnell,” Representative Matt Salmon (R., Ariz.) said in a text message to Senator Mike Lee (R., Utah), according to National Journal’s Sarah Mimms. Lee replied that he doubts that will happen.
Still, Salmon’s speculation reflects a theory of Boehner’s struggles that is common among the outgoing speaker’s friends and foes alike — that his unpopularity among the grassroots stems more from McConnell’s failure to take advantage of the Senate majority than anything House Republicans have done. If that’s true, then Boehner’s departure can hardly be expected to ease the tensions between GOP leadership and the conservative base or preempt more leadership fights in the future. “People are frustrated with out Republican leadership, with Boehner and McConnell, and it’s not usually the third or fourth question that comes up — it’s the first question that comes up,” Representative Marlin Stutzman (R., Ind.), who voted against Boehner in January, told National Review last week. “It’s happening at tea-party events, but it’s [also] happened at Republican breakfasts, it’s happening at donor meetings — there’s a deep frustration.”

Read more at:

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“Boehner is the type of guy who couldn’t get laid in a monkey whorehouse with a handful of bananas.”

Boehner and McConnell

Will the speaker’s resignation lead to a better, more effective House of Representatives?

Nick Gillespie|Sep. 25, 2015 1:37 pm

So John Boehner is stepping down as Speaker of the House. To paraphrase various Monty Python bits: And there was much rejoicing.

Pretty much from across the spectrum, I’d say. To conservatives, Boehner was a squish on all the things they care about (the Ohioan had the temerity to want to avoid a government shutdown over Planned Parenthood funding). Earlier today, Donald Trump greeted Boehner’s resignation by saying, “I think it’s wonderful, frankly.” That sentiment is widely shared by many, perhaps most Republicans pols.

To liberals, Boehner was always ready to help defend war, surveillance, No Child Left Behind, the unpaid-for Medicare expansion under Bush, you name it.

And for libertarians, he was terrible in virtually every possible way. He was a go-along, get-along kind of guy always willing to do the bidding of state at the expense of the individual. And despite professions on his part of having a small-government vision, he could never quite get around to naming a program he was, you know, actually willing to cut or even trim in any sort of way that might impact things.

As it happens, in my latest Daily Beast column, which went live just a few hours before Boehner announced his resignation, I wrote this about his lack of vision and clarity when it came to minimizing the size, scope, and spending of government:

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Boehner coup talk has House GOP on edge


By Scott Wong – 09/23/15 06:00 AM EDT

Growing chatter about a possible coup against Speaker John Boehner has set Capitol Hill on edge.

Talk that conservatives might use a government-funding showdown to overthrow the powerful Ohio Republican has triggered a flurry of behind-the-scenes jockeying among lawmakers eager to move up the leadership ladder.

And that has lawmakers wondering more than ever if Boehner’s days as Speaker are numbered.

“That’s what tells you there’s something afoot. You know there’s some drops of blood in the water, because all the sharks are starting to circle,” said one conservative lawmaker who backs Boehner’s ouster.

Conservatives have threatened to shut down the government on Oct. 1 if Congress doesn’t strip federal funding from Planned Parenthood. Boehner thinks a shutdown would be disastrous for the party in an election year, but he also knows conservatives have vowed to move against him if he teams up with Democrats to fund the government.