Wednesday, July 01, 2015
Ralph Reed, CEO of the Faith and Freedom Coalition has a stern warning to the Republican Party when it comes to the 2016 Election: “They better bring their 'A' game.” Reed says evangelical voters are turning out at record pace but the Republican National Committee has to do a better job at attracting more diverse electorate to the polls. “What we cannot do is we can't do the job of the candidate. We can’t and do not aspire to do the job of the Republican National Committee and the plain fact is that even though we did our job the republican party was outhustled on the ground…if we deliver the biggest evangelical vote in U.S. history and you lose Millenials by 30 points, you lose Hispanics by 50 points and you lose Asians by 60 points, I can’t help you so that’s what they’ve got to do and that’s their job not our job…they better bring their ‘A' game.”
I believe Ralph Reed just, ‘dropped the mic.”
Watch below along with a partial transcription.
MANDATORY COURTESY: CBN NEWS/THE BRODY FILE
Ralph Reed: “We not only did our job in ’10 (2010) and ’14 (2014) but we did our job in ’12 (2012).”
Ralph Reed: “They (evangelicals) voted 78% for Mitt Romney. Mitt Romney actually got 5 million more evangelical votes than George W. Bush did in 2004 as an incumbent president. So we did our job ok? And we will do our job regardless of who the candidate is because we’re not the ‘republican party of prayer.’ We’re not a Super PAC for a future nominee. That’s not us. We're a faith-based organization that registers, mobilizes and turns out Christian voters and we do our job and we do it very well, thank you very much. What we cannot do is we can't do the job of the candidate. We can’t and do not aspire to do the job of the Republican National Committee and the plain fact is that even though we did our job the republican party was outhustled on the ground…if we deliver the biggest evangelical vote in U.S. history and you lose Millenials by 30 points, you lose Hispanics by 50 points and you lose Asians by 60 points, I can’t help you so that’s what they’ve got to do and that’s their job not our job…they better bring their ‘A' game.”
Ralph Reed, CEO of the Faith and Freedom Coalition says despite the social change in America, the evangelical movement is stronger than ever before. “While they (the media) keep writing our obituary and claiming that the winds of social change are against us, they’re missing the reality right in front of their noses, which is that we’ve never been this strong and we’ve never been this effective not on our best day. Not when Reagan was elected, not when George W. Bush was elected, not when Newt Gingrich became speaker. We’re stronger than ever.”
It’s true that evangelicals are more involved in the process than ever before. The numbers don’t lie. The two unanswered questions will be: can the GOP field a candidate that will attract/motivate a wider swath of evangelicals and the electorate as a whole AND will evangelicals shrink from the fight by raising the white flag of surrender on social issues? That’s what liberals are hoping for.
Watch the clip below along with a transcription.
MANDATORY COURTESY; CBN NEWS/ THE BRODY FILE
Ralph Reed: “We’re better organized, we’re a more potent and effective organization movement than we’ve ever been and we have more committed, dedicated, genuine evangelicals and solid faithful Catholics serving in public office today, at every level of government, especially in Congress and in state legislatures than we have ever had. So while they (the media) keep writing our obituary and claiming that the winds of social change are against us, they’re missing the reality right in front of their noses, which is that we’ve never been this strong and we’ve never been this effective not on our best day. Not when Reagan was elected, not when George W. Bush was elected, not when Newt Gingrich became speaker. We’re stronger than ever.”
Sunday, June 28, 2015
And so it begins…
Evangelical voters now have their first real indication of which presidential candidates are willing to stick their neck out and risk some political capital on the marriage issue. Here is the report card:
A GRADE: Ted Cruz, Scott Walker and Mike Huckabee. All three offered some sort of constitutional amendment to rectify what is being called, "judicial tyranny" by the Supreme Court. Clearly they all realize they need the evangelical vote to win but beyond the strategic calculation, all three truly have a heart for this issue. It's part of their DNA makeup. Huckabee is a former pastor; Cruz's father IS a pastor and Walker is the son of a pastor!
B+ GRADE: Rick Santorum, Bobby Jindal. Both were forceful but didn’t go as far as outlining specific language on constitutional amendments, though I’m sure they support it at some level. They were both solid but just a notch below the "A team."
INCOMPLETE GRADE: Marco Rubio, Jeb Bush and Ben Carson. Simply disagreeing with the ruling and saying it's time to move on won't cut it with evangelical voters during the GOP primaries. That ain't gonna fly. I was surprised Marco Rubio didn't come out more forcefully on this. Same with Ben Carson. It could especially hurt Rubio. I've talked to evangelical voters who are dismayed that he wants to simply move on without much of a fight.
F GRADE: Rand Paul. What in the word happened to Rand Paul? He went AWOL on this issue. No tweet. No press release. No nothing. He failed miserably on this and it's a shame because he has interesting thoughts on the issue and evangelicals would give him a fair shot despite his libertarian-leaning views. By going silent he did himself no favors and raised suspicions (warranted or not) that he's uncomfortable talking to evangelical voters about this. Feels very political.
UPDATE ON RAND PAUL: He finally came out with something. He wrote the following for Time Magazine. He's suggesting that maybe the government should just stay out of the marriage business. It's an idea that's interesting. Of course, the fact that he and his team weren't ready for this two days ago reeks of flat-footedness.
There are other GOP candidates that gave their opinions on this issue but the ones above stood out to me.
Time out from politics for a moment.
Now that the dust has begun to clear on the Supreme Court’s ruling on gay marriage, it's time for evangelicals to look at this from a spiritual perspective. Aren't you glad that Jesus sits on the throne and not Anthony Kennedy? We should thank Jesus that there are no 5-4 verdicts in His kingdom. There is only an audience of one.
And another thought: Remember, public opinion shifts. God's word never does. I'm going with the rock. The Supreme Court might have had their say but I'm going with Jesus over judges.
Also, memo to those who think traditional marriage supporters are homophobes or bigots: Just because you believe in traditional marriage doesn't make you a hater. God wants us to share His love with everyone. He is a loving God that wants ALL of us in right relationship with Him.
Now, going forward you're going to hear plenty of talk about the myriad of legal issues ahead. You'll hear talk about the serious threat to religious liberty in this country but there is also something else at stake and that is relationships.
Let me ask a serious question to gay marriage supporters: can you remain at the same level of friendship with someone who adamantly and passionately believes gay marriage is immoral and wrong? Answer honestly.
As for the reverse question, I believe evangelicals should remain friends with those who believe gay marriage is moral. Why? So we can have an opportunity to explain the gospel in a LOVING way. If we are just going to get angry and HATE on them, then that serves no purpose. It hurts our cause. That doesn’t mean we give in. It doesn’t mean we start supporting gay marriage. We just start lovingly talk to them about Jesus.
Finally, let me just make an observation: Bible-believing born-again evangelicals truly DO believe homosexuality is a sin just as the Bible says. Is that wrong? If a liberal held firm to their position they would be called "principled." But if evangelicals hold true to the traditional biblical position on marriage we're called "stubborn," "old-fashioned" "homophobic" or "bigots." It's the height of hypocrisy.
Some food for thought.
Are you wondering why Donald Trump is resonating across America more than you thought he would? Let me try and offer an explanation.
To chalk it up to the simple fact that he's a TV celebrity is naïve. Donald Trump is resonating because for many Americans he represents their, "inner voice." He’s the guy that actually says out loud what a lot of people think inwardly.
If you’re honest, you know you've thought some of this as well. And yes liberals, I bet you too have privately thought some of the things Trump is saying. Maybe not as much as conservatives but c'mon be honest.
Here's a sampling of "Trump's Greatest Hits."
"I say that you can defeat ISIS by taking their wealth…Take back the oil. Once you go over and take back that oil, they have nothing. You bomb the hell out of them, and then you encircle it, and then you go in. And you let Mobil go in, and you let our great oil companies go in. Once you take that oil, they have nothing left."
"I will build a great, great wall on our southern border, and I will make Mexico pay for that wall."
"You have people coming in, and I''m not just saying Mexicans, I'm talking about people that are from all over that are killers and rapists and they're coming into this country."
"You have to bring in jobs, you have to take the jobs back from China, you have to take the jobs back from Mexico."
"I don't care about the government of Iraq. They're corrupt. The government of Iraq is totally corrupt."
"We have rebuilt China…They have taken our jobs, they've taken our manufacturing, they've taken everything from us. They've taken money. Do you know that right now we owe China $1.3 trillion? We’re paying them interest. What you do to China is you say if you don't behave we're going to have to start taxing your goods coming into this country. They charge us tariffs. We don't charge them because we're stupid. They charge us."
Now look, will the statements above give Trump a few problems on the diplomacy front? I guess (not that he cares). But you see, Trump is playing a different game. You see, most politicians are careful with their words as they play a cautious game guided by consultants.
Is that smart politically? You can easily make the case that it is but typically it's not bold and it surely isn't fully transparent. With Trump, he lays it all out there and that is refreshing to many people. He is channeling their inner voice. He is saying what many are thinking but might be too afraid to say it publically. He is also saying what many politicians might be thinking but are too afraid to say it.
Trump doesn’t care. And in this day and age of bloviating hot air politicians, he comes across as refreshing.
Now is Donald Trump brash? Yes. Does Donald Trump have a "healthy" dose of ego? You bet. He has flaws and he needs to work on them. Nobody is denying that. But here's something else you can't deny. Trump's poll numbers are moving higher and he's striking a chord.
Friday, June 26, 2015
Here are some of the reactions pouring in from presidential candidates. The Brody File will be providing analysis shortly.
Sen. Lindsey Graham: "I am a proud defender of traditional marriage and believe the people of each state should have the right to determine their marriage laws. However, the Supreme Court has ruled that state bans on gay marriage are unconstitutional, and I will respect the Court's decision. Furthermore, given the quickly changing tide of public opinion on this issue, I do not believe that an attempt to amend the U.S. Constitution could possibly gain the support of three-fourths of the states or a supermajority in the U.S. Congress. Rather than pursuing a divisive effort that would be doomed to fail, I am committing myself to ensuring the protection of religious liberties of all Americans. No person of faith should ever be forced by the federal government to take action that goes against his or her conscience or the tenets of their religion."
Gov. Mike Huckabee: "This ruling is not about marriage equality, it's about marriage redefinition. This irrational, unconstitutional rejection of the expressed will of the people in over 30 states will prove to be one of the court's most disastrous decisions, and they have had many. The only outcome worse than this flawed, failed decision would be for the president and Congress, two co-equal branches of government, to surrender in the face of this out-of-control act of unconstitutional, judicial tyranny."
Dr. Ben Carson: "While I strongly disagree with the Supreme Court’s decision, their ruling is now the law of the land. I call on Congress to make sure deeply held religious views are respected and protected. The government must never force Christians to violate their religious beliefs. I support same sex civil unions but to me, and millions like me, marriage is a religious service not a government form."
Gov. Jeb Bush: "Guided by my faith, I believe in traditional marriage. I believe the Supreme Court should have allowed the states to make this decision. I also believe that we should love our neighbor and respect others, including those making lifetime commitments. In a country as diverse as ours, good people who have opposing views should be able to live side by side. It is now crucial that as a country we protect religious freedom and the right of conscience and also not discriminate."
Gov. Bobby Jindal: "The Supreme Court decision today conveniently and not surprisingly follows public opinion polls. It tramples on rights that were once protected by the 10th Amendment of the Constitution. Marriage between a man and a woman was established by God, and no earthly court can alter that."
Gov. Rick Perry: "I am disappointed the Supreme Court today chose to change the centuries old definition of marriage as between one man and one woman. I’m a firm believer in traditional marriage, and I also believe the 10th Amendment leaves it to each state to decide this issue. I fundamentally disagree with the court rewriting the law and assaulting the 10th Amendment. Our founding fathers did not intend for the judicial branch to legislate from the bench, and as president, I would appoint strict Constitutional conservatives who will apply the law as written."
Sen. Marco Rubio: "I believe that marriage, as the key to strong family life, is the most important institution in our society and should be between one man and one woman. People who disagree with the traditional definition of marriage have the right to change their state laws. That is the right of our people, not the right of the unelected judges or justices of the Supreme Court. This decision short-circuits the political process that has been underway on the state level for years. While I disagree with this decision, we live in a republic and must abide by the law. As we look ahead, it must be a priority of the next president to nominate judges and justices committed to applying the Constitution as written and originally understood."
Carly Fiorina: "The Court ruled today that all Americans should receive equal benefits and rights from the government under the law. I have always supported this view. However, this decision was also about the definition of marriage itself. I do not agree that the Court can or should redefine marriage. I believe that responsibility should have remained with states and voters where this conversation has continued in churches, town halls, and living rooms around the country. Moving forward, however, all of our effort should be focused on protecting the religious liberties and freedom of conscience for those Americans that profoundly disagree with today's decision."
Sen. Rick Santorum: "Today, five unelected justices decided to redefine the foundational unit that binds together our society without public debate or input. Now is the people's opportunity to respond because the future of the institution of marriage is too important to not have a public debate. The Court is one of three co-equal branches of government and, just as they have in cases from Dred Scott v. Plessy, the Court has an imperfect track record. The stakes are too high and the issue too important to simply cede the will of the people to five unaccountable justices."
Gov. Scott Walker: "I believe this Supreme Court decision is a grave mistake. Five unelected judges have taken it upon themselves to redefine the institution of marriage, an institution that the author of this decision acknowledges 'has been with us for millennia.' In 2006 I, like millions of Americans, voted to amend our state constitution to protect the institution of marriage from exactly this type of judicial activism. The states are the proper place for these decisions to be made, and as we have seen repeatedly over the last few days, we will need a conservative president who will appoint men and women to the Court who will faithfully interpret the Constitution and laws of our land without injecting their own political agendas. As a result of this decision, the only alternative left for the American people is to support an amendment to the U.S. Constitution to reaffirm the ability of the states to continue to define marriage." Via Facebook.
Hillary Clinton: "Proud to celebrate a historic victory for marriage equality—and the courage and determination of LGBT Americans who made it possible." via Twitter.
Gov. Martin O’Malley: "What a day for our country—join me in celebrating today's decision and thanking the advocates who helped make it happen." via Twitter.
Sen. Bernie Sanders: "For too long our justice system has marginalized the gay community. I'm very glad the Court has finally caught up. This decision is a victory for same-sex couples across our country as well as all those seeking to live in a nation where every citizen is afforded equal rights." via Twitter.
Monday, June 22, 2015
Ohio Gov. John Kasich says his Christian faith is central to why he chose to expand Medicaid in his state, despite criticism that he not take the money afforded by Obamacare.
Kasich is poised to enter the GOP presidential field. He cites the passage in the Bible from Matthew 25 where God’'s word describes helping out those in need (read below).
"I mention Matthew 25. It really rankles people but that's okay. I'm playing for a bigger game. We have to pay attention to the widowed and the poor. People say there's another way to do it and I say, 'fine, then do it.' I’d rather not have the government have to do all these things but if nobody's going to do anything about it and if the problem is so big, the government needs to be somewhat involved. I’m not going to look the other way and think those people don't exist because they can get on their feet. Everyone has a God-given purpose and I want that God-given purpose to be carried out or fulfilled."
Watch the full answer and a partial transcription below. To be fair, Kasich also makes clear that taking personal responsibility is just as important in this equation so this isn’t just about a government handout.
MANDATORY COURTESY: CBN NEWS/THE BRODY FILE
Gov. John Kasich: You have to decide whether you're going to let the drug addicted, mentally ill, and the working poor fend for themselves and weve done that as a country and it hasn’t worked well.
We either flush that individual and that person down the drain or we try to figure out how to lift them.
I mention Matthew 25. It really rankles people but that's okay. I'm playing for a bigger game. We have to pay attention to the widowed and the poor. People say there's another way to do it and I say, 'fine, then do it.' I’d rather not have the government have to do all these things but if nobody's going to do anything about it and if the problem is so big, the government needs to be somewhat involved. I’m not going to look the other way and think those people don't exist because they can get on their feet. Everyone has a God-given purpose and I want that God-given purpose to be carried out or fulfilled.
The Sheep and the Goats
31 "When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, he will sit on his glorious throne. 32 All the nations will be gathered before him, and he will separate the people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. 33 He will put the sheep on his right and the goats on his left.
34 "Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world. 35 For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, 36 I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.’
37 "Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? 38 When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? 39 When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?’
40 "The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’
41 "Then he will say to those on his left, ‘Depart from me, you who are cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels. 42 For I was hungry and you gave me nothing to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me nothing to drink, 43 I was a stranger and you did not invite me in, I needed clothes and you did not clothe me, I was sick and in prison and you did not look after me.’
44 "They also will answer, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or needing clothes or sick or in prison, and did not help you?’
45 "He will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did not do for one of the least of these, you did not do for me.’
46 "Then they will go away to eternal punishment, but the righteous to eternal life."
Rand Paul is ready to rumble.
The GOP presidential candidate tells The Brody File that he’s ready to take the gloves off when the GOP debates start this summer. "I've never been sort of a shrinking violet so I know how to mix it up and I think I'll be fine," Paul tells us from the Faith and Freedom Coalition Conference in Washington, D.C.
And what is his message to the neo-conservatives in the party who are after Paul regarding his views on war and defense?
"I think their day has passed."
Watch below along with a partial transcription.
MANDATORY COURTESY: CBN NEWS/THE BRODY FILE
David Brody: You're going to put on the boxing gloves aren't you?
Rand Paul: You know, I’ve never been sort of a shrinking violet so I know how to mix it up and I think I'll be fine.
Brody: Those neo-conservatives are coming with knives you know.
Paul: Yes I know but I think their day has passed.
Friday, June 19, 2015
In an exclusive one-on-one interview with The Brody File, Ohio Gov. John Kasich says that if he runs for president of the United States, he’ll enter the race as a man of accomplishment.
"It’s experience and record. Amateur hour is over," Kasich tells us from the Faith and Freedom Road to Majority Conference in Washington, D.C.
Kasich is a popular governor who can tell an economic turnaround story in a key swing state. Impressive credentials indeed.
"We have come back almost from the dead and the record is good. And I think if you have that experience and you have the record, it’s not about 'tell me' it’s about 'show me.' And I think its time that we’re able to support somebody that has a solid record of accomplishment because that's what we need in America. No more on the job training."
MANDATORY COURTESY: CBN NEWS/THE BRODY FILE
Friday, June 05, 2015
This week on the Brody File we take you inside the homes of three 2016 presidential candidates.
We're getting up close and personal with Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky. and retired neurosurgeon Dr. Ben Carson.