Jennifer Rubin

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  • The Fall Of The GOP Establishment In Jennifer Rubin Headlines, Continued

    Blog ››› ››› MATT GERTZ

    When last we left GOP establishment mainstay and Washington Post opinion writer Jennifer Rubin, she was engaging in a hairpin turn from deriding Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) for standing in the way of Sen. Marco Rubio’s (R-FL) presidential run to praising Cruz and urging Rubio to drop out in order to stop Donald Trump from gaining the Republican presidential nomination.

    Since then, the establishment’s collapse has only accelerated. Trump has gained enough delegates to clinch the nomination, the Republican Party’s elected leaders are rallying around him, and the #NeverTrump crowd has failed miserably in its efforts to find a “true conservative” candidate willing to run as an independent.

    Rubin has responded with increasingly frantic suggestions, calls, and most recently demands for someone -- anyone -- to step up and save the GOP establishment now that GOP primary voters have kicked it to the curb. Watch the progression through a sampling of headlines from Rubin's Washington Post Right Turn blog over the past 10 days, from her statement that she is “breaking up” with the GOP to today's declaration that Mitt Romney is “out of excuses” not to “save the country” with a third run for president:

    May 16:


    May 17:


    May 18:


    May 19:


    May 20:


    May 23:


    May 25:


    May 26:

  • The Right-Wing Media Figures Who Did Not Like Donald Trump’s Foreign Policy Speech At All


    As Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump delivered what was billed as a “major foreign policy speech,” conservative media personalities attacked him on Twitter, calling the speech a “sickening display of revisionism,” asking if the candidate was “medicated” while giving the address, and declaring that “this is why we’ll need a third” party candidate.

  • The Media Were The Biggest Promoters Of Marco Rubio's Doomed Campaign

    ››› ››› BRENNAN SUEN

    Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) dropped out of the 2016 Republican presidential election after losing his home state of Florida in the state's March 15 primary. The media had touted Rubio's candidacy throughout the race, despite his poor performance in debates and GOP primaries. Here's a look back at the media's promotion of the Marco Rubio presidential candidacy.

  • The Fall Of The GOP Establishment In Jennifer Rubin Headlines

    Blog ››› ››› MATT GERTZ

    As Republican voters have rejected Sen. Marco Rubio's presidential bid in primary after primary, the establishment wing of the conservative media has gone from cheerleading for his candidacy to calling for the Florida senator to withdraw from the race and rallying behind Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) as the only way to prevent the nomination of Donald Trump. The nomination of either candidate would be a nightmare for the establishment: They despise Cruz for using political tactics that prioritize his own success over the movement (and for generally being a jerk), and have derided Trump as a "short-fingered vulgarian" who is unfit for the presidency due to his stupidity, bigotry, and opportunism.

    A sample of Washington Post opinion writer Jennifer Rubin's headlines over the past month illustrates the establishment's slow-motion collapse and its runaway rush through the stages of grief. Rubin spent much of the 2012 presidential primary and general election blatantly shilling for Mitt Romney; after his defeat, she criticized his campaign in ways that starkly contradicted her glowing write-ups over the previous weeks. 

    A month ago, Rubin was openly rooting for Rubio and condemning Cruz as someone whom "lots and lots of people" consider "socially awkward, nasty dishonest, a blatant apple-polisher and all-around creepy guy." As the weeks passed and Rubio's losses mounted, she repeatedly declared that Cruz was on the verge of defeat and promoted Rubio as the best candidate to stop Trump. But by Sunday she was finally coming to terms with the possibility of Cruz being the only alternative to Trump (while arguing that he would need to adopt "Jeb Bush's policy handbook," among other things, to gain establishment support). Yesterday, she declared that it was time for Rubio to drop out. Watch the progression through the headlines from Rubin's Washington Post Right Turn blog. If even she can no longer put lipstick on the pig, the establishment is well and truly fucked.

    February 8:

    Cruz intervention

    February 10:

    Rubio road back

    February 14

    establishment comeback

    comeback kid

    February 16:

    foreign policy challenges

    February 17:

    panic time

    February 22:

    Master plan failing

    February 23:

    Cruz's Alamo

    February 24:

    vanishing base

    February 25:

    support collapsing/want to hear

    February 26:

    take down

    February 29

    Cruz bombs

    March 2:

    chances better

    March 4


    March 6:

    toughen up


    March 9:

    time to fold

  • Fox & Friends Hosts Celebrate Donald Trump As Other Right-Wing Media Panic

    ››› ››› CYDNEY HARGIS

    Hosts of Fox News' Fox & Friends celebrated Republican candidate Donald Trump's Super Tuesday victories, asking whether the GOP establishment will "finally get behind" him, as he "now seems unstoppable." Meanwhile, other conservative media figures panicked over the possibility of a Trump nomination, saying it could end "the GOP in its current form."

  • Right-Wing Media Panic Over Donald Trump's Front-Runner Status On Super Tuesday

    Right-Wing Media: If Trump Gets Nomination, "The GOP In Its Current Form Ends"

    ››› ››› BRENDAN KARET

    Right-wing media figures lamented Donald Trump's primary success, after he won the majority of Republican primary contests on Super Tuesday. Their attacks against the front-runner follows a New York Times report on the formation of the "Our Principles" political action committee, a right wing PAC devoted to a "full-fledged campaign against Donald J. Trump."

  • The Clinton Foundation Is A Global Charity -- Why Does The Press Treat It Like A Political Death Star?

    Blog ››› ››› ERIC BOEHLERT

    The Clinton Foundation returned to the headlines this week and once again the topic was promoted with lots of media hand-wringing. The problem is, it's not always clear journalists understand what the foundation does. At least it's not clear based on the media coverage.

    The news this week came from a Wall Street Journal article reporting that once Hillary Clinton left her job as secretary of state, the Clinton Foundation lifted its ban on donations from foreign governments. The ban was reportedly first put in place at the request of the Obama administration, which wanted to alleviate any possible conflicts of interest with its new secretary of state. When Clinton became a private citizen again in 2013, the foundation once again accepted money from foreign governments.

    "A spokesman for the Clinton Foundation said the charity has a need to raise money for its many projects," the Journal reported.

    The Journal article stressed that some ethics experts thought it was bad form for the foundation to accept foreign donations because Hillary Clinton is expected to run for president. The following day, Republican partisans piled on, insisting Hillary herself had accepted "truckloads of cash from other countries." (She had not; the foundation had.) The Beltway press largely echoed the Republican spin and lampooned the foundation's move.

    Did the original Journal article raise an interesting question? It did. If and when Hillary formally announces her candidacy, will the foundation have to revisit its position on accepting foreign government donations? It likely will. But the only way the story really worked as advertised this week was to casually conflate the Clinton Foundation, a remarkably successful global charity organization, with Hillary's looming campaign coffers, and to suggest everyone who's giving to the foundation is really giving to her presidential campaign.

    In order to make that allegation stick, Jennifer Rubin at the Washington Post simply suggested there's no difference between a global charity and "a PAC or campaign entity." (That kind of changes everything.)

    The only way the story gained traction, and this has been true of Clinton foundation coverage for years, was for journalists to pretend the foundation isn't actually a ground-breaking charity,  in order to make vague suggestions that it's one big Clinton slush fund where money gets "funneled." ("Money, Money, Money, Money, MONEY!" was the headline for Maureen Dowd's scathing New York Times attack column about the foundation in 2013.)

  • Stop Whining Conservative Media, Asking Scott Walker About Evolution Is Completely Legit

    Candidates Have Been Asked That Question For Years

    Blog ››› ››› ERIC BOEHLERT

    Traveling overseas last week, Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker, currently surging in Republican primary polls, stepped into trouble when he was asked if he accepts the theory of evolution. "I am going to punt on that one," said Walker, instantly creating news. "That's a question a politician shouldn't be involved in one way or another. I am going to leave that up to you."

    Coming just days after likely White House hopefuls New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie and Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) stumbled badly over the issue of vaccinations, and at a time when many leading Republican leaders deny the reailty on climate change, Walker's evolution slip-up highlighted the party's penchant for getting tangled up in fights over science. And not just he latest scientific discoveries, but long-settled science.

    Shifting into damage control mode in the wake of the "punt," the conservative press swooped in, established a secure perimeter around Walker and announced, 'No more evolution questions!' They're "silly," "ridiculous," "nonsense," "not serious" queries, came the angry proclamations.

    "The Hazing of Scott Walker," lamented the Wall Street Journal's James Taranto.

    The hand wringing sprang up overnight as partisan defenders announced that asking a possible candidate about his or her acceptance of evolution was suddenly Completely Out Of Bounds and represented a Deeply Offensive Inquiry. The goal? "Conservatives want to change what questions are acceptable and natural for reporters to ask," noted Bloomberg's David Weigel.

    In other words, they're trying to work the refs at the outset of the campaign season.

    But conservatives may have a tough time pushing reporters off the evolution questions simply because politicians, and specifically presidential candidates from both parties, have been asked about evolution for years and nobody seemed to mind. But suddenly it's Katie bar the door? Suddenly it's all an elaborate trap journalists have set for Republicans?

    It is according to Fox News' George Will. On February 12, he conceded, "We should be able to come to terms with the fact when asked about evolution you say yes." But Will harrumphed that questions about evolution are "a standard way of trying to embarrass Republicans." (Isn't it only embarrassing if Republicans are embarrassed by their own answers?)

    In truth, Walker's evolution query was actually the opposite of a trick, or gotcha, question. The governor wasn't pressed on the spot to make a tricky math calculation or to comment on an obscure scientific theory. He was simply asked to acknowledge a firmly-established scientific fact. What could be easier, when you think about it?