6 thoughts on “2024 Republican Presidential Candidates

  1. Ron DeSantis

    DeSantis says, if elected president, he’d consider pardons for Jan. 6 offenders from WaPo

    Twice in the interview, DeSantis avoided directly answering questions on whether he’d pardon Trump but left open the possibility.

    DeSantis gave this interview today, after Stewart Rhoades, the Oathkeepers, received an 18 year sentence for seditious conspiracy.

    Just leaving this here:

    Apropos of Rep. Cheney’s tweet: Trump vows pardons, government apology to Capitol rioters if elected

    On the issue of pardoning Trump, I wanted to comment on whether Trump would support the GOP nominee if he doesn’t win it. Most commentators strongly believe he wouldn’t–and would attack the nominee, because he doesn’t care about the GOP (and maybe even hates it). I agree about this last point, but I will be a bit surprised if he doesn’t support the nominee–if the nominee promises to pardon him. Maybe Trump’s narcissism would prevent him from supporting the GOP nominee and would lead him to attack that person. But if he loses the nomination he would be totally vulnerable legally. The only way of escaping prison time would be a federal pardon. (The whole thing kinda reminds me of Yeltsin choosing Putin as his successor.) Would Trump keep attack the GOP nominee–versus trying to help him? How is he going to avoid prison time?

    The problem with this is that the POTUS can’t pardon someone for state crimes–and there are at least two more from New York and Georgia that may result in prison time.


    The Steep Cost of Ron DeSantis’s Vaccine Turnabout from the NYT

    While Florida was an early leader in the share of over-65 residents who were vaccinated, it had fallen to the middle of the pack by the end of July 2021. When it came to younger residents, Florida lagged behind the national average in every age group.

    That left the state particularly vulnerable when the Delta variant hit that month. Floridians died at a higher rate, adjusted for age, than residents of almost any other state during the Delta wave, according to the Times analysis. With less than 7 percent of the nation’s population, Florida accounted for 14 percent of deaths between the start of July and the end of October.

    Of the 23,000 Floridians who died, 9,000 were younger than 65. Despite the governor’s insistence at the time that “our entire vulnerable population has basically been vaccinated,” a vast majority of the 23,000 were either unvaccinated or had not yet completed the two-dose regimen.

    A high vaccination rate was especially important in Florida, which trails only Maine in the share of residents 65 and older. By the end of July, Florida had vaccinated about 60 percent of adults, just shy of the national average. Had it reached a vaccination rate of 74 percent — the average for five New England states at the time — it could have prevented more than 16,000 deaths and more than 61,000 hospitalizations that summer, according to a study published in the medical journal The Lancet.


    But for some with a close-up view of Covid in Florida, the Delta wave’s toll was evidence of the insular leadership style that Mr. DeSantis has also displayed in his struggling presidential campaign. He boasted of standing up to health experts, but carefully tended to his base of political supporters. Tapping into the Republican revolt against scientific authority made him a political star. But that revolt came with costs.

    “These were preventable deaths,” Dr. Rivkees, who resigned as Florida’s surgeon general in September 2021, said in a recent interview. “It breaks my heart thinking that things could have turned out differently if people embraced vaccines instead of this anti-vax stuff.”


    But Dr. Atlas, however, argued that the virus was not dangerous to an overwhelming majority of Americans. Both he and Dr. Bhattacharya said the Covid death rate for everyone under 70 was very low. Dr. Atlas claimed that children had “virtually zero” risk of death. Neither man responded to requests for comment.

    As of this summer, more than 345,000 Americans under 70 have died of the virus, and more than 3.5 million have been hospitalized with Covid. The disease has killed nearly 2,300 children and adolescents, and nearly 200,000 have been hospitalized.

    Other members of the White House task force, including Dr. Birx, fought to keep Dr. Atlas out of public view, calling his views dangerous.

    But Mr. DeSantis gave him a platform at a series of public events in Florida at the end of the summer of 2020. He would go on to echo Dr. Atlas’s views, sometimes in modified form, throughout the pandemic.


    “Some are choosing not to take it, which is fine,” he said in March, at a 100-minute public event on Covid in which he did not once urge people to get vaccinated. In dozens of appearances on Fox News in the first half of 2021, he was carefully neutral about shots, except for those over 65.

    “Younger people are just simply at very little risk for this,” Mr. DeSantis said on a prime-time show on Fox News in April 2021, although tens of thousands of Americans under the age of 50 had already died of Covid.

    A few months later, he told Fox News that he had concluded early on that Covid “was something that was risky for elderly people,” but that it posed minimal risks for people “who were in reasonably good health, who were, say, under 50.”

    Ron DeSantis Tells Russell Brand That Jan. 6 ‘Was Not an Insurrection’
    from the NYT

    “It was not an insurrection,” Mr. DeSantis said, continuing to walk a tightrope on the subject of whether the former president, his main rival for the 2024 Republican nomination, bears responsibility for the riot.

    “These are people that were there to attend a rally and then they were there to protest,” he said. “Now it devolved, and it devolved into a riot. But the idea that this was a plan to somehow overthrow the government of the United States is not true, and it’s something that the media had spun up just to try to basically get as much mileage out of it and use it for partisan and for political aims.”

    DeSantis doubles down on claim that some Blacks benefited from slavery from WaPo

    “They’re probably going to show that some of the folks that eventually parlayed, you know, being a blacksmith into doing things later in life,” DeSantis said on Friday in response to reporters’ questions while standing in front of a nearly all-White crowd of supporters.

    DeSantis, however, is continuing to defend Florida’s new curriculum, which covers a broad range of topics and includes the assertion for middle school instruction that “slaves developed skills which, in some instances, could be applied for their personal benefit.”


    Trump indicated on more federal charges–charges related to Jan. 6. Here’s how DeSantis responded via tweet (or whatever it’s called now):

    As President, I will end the weaponization of government, replace the FBI Director, and ensure a single standard of justice for all Americans.

    While I’ve seen reports, I have not read the indictment. I do, though, believe we need to enact reforms so that Americans have the right to remove cases from Washington, DC to their home districts.

    Washington, DC is a “swamp” and it is unfair to have to stand trial before a jury that is reflective of the swamp mentality.

    One of the reasons our country is in decline is the politicization of the rule of law. No more excuses—I will end the weaponization of the federal government.

    Since he’s aware of political violence, particularly among Republicans/Conservatives who don’t trust the federal government, this is tantamount to incitement of violence in my view. Prior to Trump, I can’t imagine a Republican or Democratic presidential candidate saying anything like this.

    I also think he knows the GOP is the one politicizing and weaponizing government. I believe he’s guilty of this himself in his home state.

  2. Trump

    On raising the debt-ceiling:

    Trump would have allowed the country to default.


    Tweet from NYT’s Peter Baker:

    Trump legal woes by the numbers:

    17 (felonies for which his business was convicted)

    5 million (dollars ordered to pay for sexually abusing Jean Carroll)

    34 (New York felony counts)

    37 (federal felony counts)

    2 (potential future indictments)

    Countless (former Trump lawyers)


    On how his faith has grown

    1. Trump Is Disqualified From Holding Office, Colorado Supreme Court Rules from the NYT

      The ruling, which said that former President Donald J. Trump engaged in insurrection, applies only to Colorado. His campaign said it planned to appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court.

      Here’s what stands out to me about this matter: Whether Trump has committed insurrection–to the point where the 14th amendment would disqualify him from office, at worst, one could reasonably make such a case. That is, this is not a cut-and-dried matter that can be easily dismissed. That, by itself, should end the support from Republicans and conservative outlets. That has happened, and it’s not likely to happen any time soon.

      And here’s the thing: Significant numbers of congressional Republicans and the conservative media likely agree that Trump is an insurrectionist. They’re just too scared or partisan to act on this.

      On a related note, using the 14th amendment to deal with Trump politically is less than ideal. The appropriate was impeachment and removal. A few congressional Republicans failed to do the right thing.

  3. Asa Hutchinson

    I had some hope in this guy, but this is pretty much disqualifying for me, if it’s accurate:


    Hutchinson’s response to yesterday’s indictment of Donald Trump:

  4. Mike Pence

    Also, disqualifying.

    There should be times when a candidate can unequivocally say they would not support another candidate. To me, it’s utterly clear this is one of those times, and if Pence or other candidates can’t do this, that essentially disqualifies.

    On related note, I strongly believe the power of Trump and Trumpism stems from the fact that Republicans and “Conservatives”–in Congress and in the media–have not strongly denounced Trump; that they have used equivocal language like this, giving credence to Trump’s lies and empowering Trump/Trumpism. These Republicans and Conservatives bear a big responsibility for Trump and Trumpism. especially those who know Trump is deeply unfit and that Trumpism is totally un-American and bad for the country.


    Pence’s remarks about yesterday’s Trump indictment:

    I’m glad he’s characterizing Trump as someone who has put himself above the Constitution.

    He also said that he preferred the American voters should have decided instead of the DOJ indicting Trump. This would be a bit more palatable if he supported impeaching and removing Trump after 1/6. Hope he wasn’t one of those Republicans who didn’t support this–but then pointed to the courts as a way to deal with Trump.


  5. Tim Scott

    Scott’s reaction to the announcement of another federal indictment:

    I remain concerned about the weaponization of Biden’s DOJ and its immense power used against political opponents.

    What we see today are two different tracks of justice. One for political opponents and another for the son of the current president.

    and tweet:

    We’re watching Biden’s DOJ continue to hunt Republicans, while protecting Democrats.

    Just like Fox News, Republicans can’t tell the truth to their voters–fearing that they will lose votes (or in the case of Fox News, viewers). And so they continue to perpetuate these dangerous lies–lies that could literally get people killed. And like Fox News, they know they’re lying.

    Right after writing this, I saw this tweet from former GOP Representative, Adam Kinzinger:

    Tim I know you. I know your heart. Trust me, it feels way better to do right.

    I know you want to and I know you know better

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