Monday, November 23, 2015
The Brody File will interview GOP presidential candidate Marco Rubio Tuesday morning in Cedar Rapids Iowa. Our crew also has a few other surprises to unveil regarding our Rubio coverage on Tuesday but we’re going to be hush-hush on that until Tuesday evening. What could it be? Stay tuned. Remember, at The Brody File our motto is: “We don’t follow the news. We make the news.”
What will we talk to Rubio about on Tuesday? Watch our Brody File Periscope from The Machine Shed Restaurant tonight near Des Moines Iowa.
Ben Carson is starting to lose some ground in national polls. Read this blurb from Business Insider:
Retired neurosurgeon Ben Carson looks like he may be losing some steam in a slew of recent national and state polls that have shown clear warning signs for his candidacy.
A Fox News poll of Republican voters released on Sunday found Carson tumbling six points, dropping back down to 18% support.
In the poll, he trailed front-runner Donald Trump, who has held steady, by 10 points. Fox's poll also put Sens. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) and Marco Rubio (R-Florida) in a tie for third with 14% each.
Carson also has slumped in Iowa, the crucial first-nominating state where Carson has gained traction with the state's more conservative and evangelical groups.
According to a CBS poll released Sunday, Carson's support in the Hawkeye State has dipped to 19%. That put him below Trump, whose support sat at 28% in the poll, and Cruz, who garnered 21%. For Carson, it's a quick turn of events from last month, when he regularly surged ahead of Trump in Iowa polls.
And in the first-in-the-nation primary state of New Hampshire, Carson slipped to third in polls conducted by CBS and Suffolk University.
It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out why this is happening. Ben Carson is coming under intense scrutiny. Whether or not some of it is fair or not really isn’t the germane question. The only thing that really matters is how Carson handles the onslaught. So far the reviews are mixed.
But the larger, more dangerous problem is that a narrative is starting to form about him. It’s a narrative that may not be accurate but hey, perception is reality. And in this case the perception is that Carson may not be ready for primetime. He’s starting to be looked at as, “the nice guy who’s really smart but may be in over his head on policy issues.” He’s had to dial back comments about China in Syria and fight off attacks from his own policy advisor on his supposed inability to grasp key aspects of foreign policy. Throw in how the media is picking apart every nook and cranny of his past writings and you can see why his numbers are falling.
Enter Ted Cruz, stage right. He’s on the upswing and will benefit from the Carson drop-off. Cruz is not only organized but is extremely knowledgeable about domestic and foreign policy issues. He’s five paragraphs deep on each and every issue. Carson is not. Evangelicals may find a natural home with Cruz. They probably won’t go to Trump because he’s been bashing Carson out on the trail. Trump has hurt himself with those moves and after mocking Carson’s belt buckle story it’s probably just a bridge too far for any Carson supporter looking for another candidate. Having said that, Trump probably wasn’t going to get many of those voters anyhow.
Sunday, November 22, 2015
From time to time, The Brody File will post exclusive editorials from notable national figures. So without further adieu, please read below from Callista Gingrich titled, “The Danger of Politically Correct History.”
The Danger of Politically Correct History
by Callista Gingrich
It is increasingly difficult to find any topic -- especially a controversial one -- on which 71% of Americans agree, but that’s the number who think that political correctness is a serious problem in our country, according to a recent Rasmussen poll. Perhaps that’s not as surprising as it may seem. At almost every school, college campus, and workplace, there are indications that political correctness is out of control.
The danger of this trend is that it tries to force facts into a political agenda, whether they fit comfortably or not. It’s an attempt to control not just what we can say, but also what we can learn about the world. In a free society, this is a very dangerous path.
The instinct to control is threatening enough when it’s applied to the news -- when the day’s events get drafted into political narrative. But it is even more threatening when applied to our history -- our understanding of who we are and where we’ve come from. If political correctness prevents us from learning the truth about our past, in a real way, the past disappears.
Unfortunately, the tendency to teach revisionist or politically correct American history has trickled down into our schools at every level. Parents of students, K-12, have good reason to worry about the substance of what their children are being taught about America. In many places today, students are learning a version of our history that encourages them to doubt the very things that make us American. Some academics, for instance, have promoted the idea that our Founding Fathers risked their lives out of greed or self-interest, and that they intended our interpretation of the Constitution to “evolve” over time.
These ideas are as untrue as they are damaging, and they’ve made their way into our textbooks as well as our classrooms. So it’s important that we pay close attention to the curriculum in our schools -- and especially the curriculum in American history, a subject that goes to the very heart of what it means to be American.
Indeed, the failure to pass our nation’s history on to the next generation of Americans is a fundamental challenge because many of our children today are failing to learn the basics about our history. The essentials of the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence -- ideas like limited representative government, the balance of power, and the principle that “all men are created equal” are critical parts of what unite us as a nation. They are in essence what make us American.
As a result of our failure to teach American history in our schools, our national memory is beginning to slip away, along with the values and principles that bind us together -- which of course is exactly what the proponents of politically correct history are aiming for.
Recent results of a Department of Education National Assessment of Educational Progress survey suggest how great a challenge we face in correcting this problem. Just 20 percent of fourth-graders, 17 percent of eighth-graders and 12 percent of twelfth-graders are at grade-level proficiency in American history.
Only one in three fourth-graders can identify the purpose of the Declaration of Independence. Fewer than half understand why George Washington was an important leader in American history. And most fourth-graders don’t know why the Pilgrims left England.
These are alarming findings. They suggest that we’re letting our shared understanding of what it means to be American fade. They also suggest that educating young people about our nation’s past is an urgent task for all of us who care about our future.
It is in this spirit that I have written a series of bestselling children’s books to help young people learn American history with Ellis the Elephant. In this series Ellis learns about American Exceptionalism, Colonial America, the American Revolution, the Lewis and Clark Expedition, and much more. In my latest book, Christmas in America, Ellis discovers the joy of Christmas and how this special holiday has been celebrated throughout our nation’s history.
Visits to historic sites like George Washington’s home at Mount Vernon or Independence Hall in Philadelphia are also wonderful ways to inspire a love for American history. And of course, interactive online courses, television programs like Liberty’s Kids, and educational games like Oregon Trail can teach important history lessons too.
Our children often form their ideas about our nation's history in the classroom. Let’s make sure our schools aren’t turned into mere platforms for political advocacy.
Callista Gingrich is the president of Gingrich Productions and the author of Christmas in America.
Friday, November 20, 2015
The Brody File crew marches to Milwaukee, Wisconsin, as the GOP candidates bring their debate road show to the heartland.
Plus, we take a closer look at Christians under persecution in the Middle East and what Donald Trump has to say about it.
Finally, a way for evangelicals to fight back with their wallets against anti-Christian businesses.
Thursday, November 19, 2015
Hey evangelicals: Are you tired of supporting businesses that don’t align with your values? You can fight back with your wallet. Watch The Brody File Show segment with Chris Stone, founder of Faith Driven Consumer.
Tuesday, November 17, 2015
Warning: being a Christian can be hazardous to your health…and we’re not just talking about in Syria.
Missouri Sen. Kurt Schaefer has shut down his office after a man threatened to string him up and hang him from a tree because of his Christian beliefs.
It came in the form of a voice mail to his senate office phone. Listen below along with a transcription:
“Christianity is dying in this country. People like you – people with your beliefs – many of us would rather string you up to (expletive-deleted) tree and hang you and (expletive-deleted) choke out and watch the life slip away from you, because you want to ruin the lives of other people.”
The Missouri Highway Patrol and capitol police are investigating. Schaefer isn’t sure why he received the threat. It very well may have something to do with his recent move to prevent the publishing of a University of Missouri student’s dissertation on Missouri’s 72-hour waiting abortion law. He believes it violates state law because it is biased research and is simply a, “marketing aid” for Planned Parenthood. Under Missouri law, the use of tax dollars is not allowed to encourage a woman to have an abortion unless it is “necessary to save her life.”
Additionally, this all comes amid an effort by Planned Parenthood of Kansas and Mid-Missouri to urge the University of Missouri to reinstate hospital privileges for abortionists. Those privileges were pulled a couple months ago. Schaefer has been a leading voice and leader in fighting Planned Parenthood in Missouri.
Friday, November 13, 2015
Let’s get straight to the point: Donald Trump mocking Ben Carson’s belt buckle story is a bad move. The video is below but here’s some Brody File analysis:
First of all, here’s what Trump doesn’t understand: the real meaning of the belt buckle story is NOT what happened in that moment of anger. It’s what happened AFTERWARDS. God got a hold of him and he gave his life to Jesus Christ. That’s why evangelicals love the guy. It’s a story of redemption and should not be mocked. Period. Trump will not endear himself to evangelicals in Iowa or any other state for that matter with this kind of talk. It’s uncalled for. There is absolutely no political upside to doing this. Trump is flamboyant and in your face and that’s part of what folks like about him. But save that for George Will, Karl Rove and other GOP establishment types.
Secondly, Trump talks about how you can’t cure a pathological disease that Carson himself said he had when it came to his anger. Well, newsflash: Without Jesus, that’s correct. But with Jesus, all things are possible. Jesus changes lives. It’s called the Holy Spirit. There are countless examples of people who were the worst of the worst and then gave their lives over to Jesus and became new people in Christ. Let’s start with the Apostle Paul who killed Christians for a living before becoming one of the great men of the Bible. It’s called being “Born-Again.” So when Trump says there’s no cure, he’s wrong. Jesus cures. Does that mean someone becomes perfect after they receive Jesus Christ? No, of course not. Jesus was the only one who lived a perfect, sinless life. But those who authentically surrender to Christ do in fact have changed lives. So Trump is wrong on this account too. And when evangelicals across the country hear him say that you can’t change your pathological nature, they roll their eyes and think, “With Jesus you can.”
Look, I have no idea if this tirade against Ben Carson in Iowa will be Trump’s undoing. That’s been predicted countless times and it’s never happened. I’m not about to predict that this will be the final nail in the coffin. However, from strictly an evangelical analysis perspective, it makes no sense for Trump to attack Carson. Why? Because the media is already after him, looking for every nook and cranny so there’s no need for Trump to pile on. It’s not a good strategic move. Remember, this isn’t about Trump trying to convince Carson supporters to switch to his side. That ain’t happening. Rather, he needs to convince evangelicals who are undecided to come his way. Why tick them off? His rant against Carson does him no favors.
Wednesday, November 11, 2015
Don’t let the media tell you that the Tea Party isn’t relevant anymore. Have you taken a look at the two men who could be the last ones standing at the end of the GOP presidential nomination contest? Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio. When they came to the Senate, they came in as Tea Party heroes.
Now, let’s be clear: Rubio and Cruz have chosen different strategic paths once they came to DC. Rubio decided to play ball with GOP leaders, didn’t join the Tea Party Caucus and tried to work with democrats on immigration. Those moves didn’t quite work out and it branded him to a degree as someone who now doesn’t have the Tea Party shine he once did. But make no mistake: Rubio’s core is solid. He knows what he believes and he’s not a big government conservative even though libertarians like Rand Paul might try and paint him as such.
As for Ted Cruz, he went the opposite route. Mr. Cruz came to Washington with a desire to shake things up. Whether that meant shutting down the government, calling out GOP leadership and plotting strategy with House Freedom Caucus members, Cruz did it his way (Cue the Frank Sinatra music. If you’re under 50, Google “My Way”).
So how will it all shake out? I think it’s pretty clear that in the spring, if it comes down to Rubio vs. Cruz, Rubio may have the advantage going into the showdown because he’s going to start getting all the big GOP endorsements like Mitt Romney, George W. Bush, etc. The establishment will start to coalesce around Rubio and the media will creative a narrative that this is a done deal. Cruz will somehow need to galvanize millions of conservatives who have never voted before to get out to the polls and back him because the GOP establishment wing will do everything they can to bring him down and not get a whiff of that GOP nomination.
All of that still needs to play out and with Trump and Carson around, we may be getting ahead of ourselves. But suffice to say that if the nominee is Cruz or Rubio, it’s a Tea Party victory because both of these candidates are constitutional conservatives at heart. Cruz may look like the stronger of the two from that perspective but I’ve spent enough time with Rubio to know he’s solid at the core.
Friday, November 06, 2015
This week's Brody File show takes a closer look at the liberal bias directed at GOP presidential candidates during the CNBC debate.
Also, we spoke with political strategist Ralph Reed about how evangelical voters are sizing up this year's presidential race.
Republican presidential candidate Ben Carson tells The Brody File that Politico’s story saying that he made-up a part of his 1991 autobiography, Gifted Hands, is ridiculous. My phone interview with him on this is below along with the full transcript.
This all centers on how Carson said in the book that he, “was offered a full scholarship” to West Point. Politico reported that he fabricated the story because he never applied to West Point to even be considered for a full scholarship. But there is so much more to the story. Here is Ben Carson is his own words.
Ben Carson: Well, what happened is I rose through the ranks very quickly, faster than anyone had ever done to become the city executive officer for the city of Detroit I got a lot of attention, got invited to a lot of things, met a lot of people and I was told that because of my accomplishments, they would be able to manage to get me into West Point, and that I wouldn't have to pay anything. And I just kind of quashed it at that moment. I told them that I was very honored, but I was going to be a doctor, and that I wasn't going to take that route and that was kind of the end of that. There was no application process. I never even started down that path.
David Brody: Right, so just so I understand, the beef that the campaign, yourself have with Politico is that they started to go down this normal path of applying an admission process, and you're saying is that they got that wrong because that's not the way it went down.
Carson: That's completely wrong, and I don't know where they would've gotten that from. Certainly no one in our campaign told them that.
Brody: So when you say In Gifted Hands that you were offered a full scholarship… you were referring to this conversation.. do I have that right?
Carson: That's correct.
Brody: …What is your message to Evangelical as it relates to this in terms of what the media is doing here and about the vetting process and about being under scrutiny?
Carson: My message is that all that is going on I fully expect because the, particularly the secular progressive movement is incredibly threatened by me. They will continue to look for anything, I mean they'll ask my kindergarten teacher if I wet my pants. They will go through all lengths to try to discredit it me, but I have the truth on my side, so I'm not particularly worried about them. They're already very frustrated because they've been every place I've (muffled). They were sure there was some kind of scandal. They were sure there was a nurse that I had an affair with – something, and they're getting very, very frustrated.
Brody: And you're sure they took it out of context…
Carson: Right, they've taken it out of context completely. They probably had the story already written and then when they talked to someone at my campaign, they didn't bother to correct the facts, and they figured they'd get a big sensational story.
Brody: Any regrets about using the words "I was offered a full scholarship…"
Carson: I mean that was the way it was presented to me. I understand the way West Point works is through a different mechanism, but that's the way it was presented to me, and you know I'm thinking of something that happened almost a half century ago.
Brody: A pleasure sir. Thank you so much for doing this…