The disappointing results of the last Presidential election are still fresh on the minds of many conservatives. Perhaps that’s why many people can’t stop talking about possible Presidential contenders for 2016. Headlines this week have brought Americans who care to look ahead to 2016 two longshot possible contenders: Former Minnesota Governor Jesse Ventura and mogul Donald Trump.
During a handful of recent speaking engagements and media appearances, Ventura has dropped hints that he will throw his hat into the 2016 race as an Independent candidate. The former Governor complained during a recent CNN appearance with Piers Morgan that third party candidates were unfairly left out of debates during the last election cycle. It’s possible that the wrestler-turned-Governor is getting an early jump on the Presidential conversation in a bid to help secure a third party podium on the debate stage.
While Ventura has previously been known to use the idea of running for office, without ever actually running, to create media buzz around himself since his departure from public office in 2003, recent remarks from the former Governor indicate that he believes it will be the best time for a third party renaissance.
“The key to this next election I think will be a candidate who doesn’t belong to a political party and who has the ability to rise above the mainstream and get the press, which I’ve never had a problem doing,” Ventura said, according to The Associated Press.
The longshot candidate says if he were elected, his first order of business would be to close the military prison in Guantanamo Bay and return the naval base to Cuba before working on a strongly anti-war foreign policy agenda.
If Ventura is serious about a run, a defamation lawsuit against the widow of slain Navy SEAL Chris Kyle is likely to hurt his image immensely.
The suit stems from a passage in Kyle’s book “American Sniper” in which he alleged he knocked Ventura to the ground during a fight for speaking ill of the Nation and its troops.
“He was bad-mouthing the war, bad-mouthing (former President) Bush, bad-mouthing America,” Kyle told Fox News’ Bill O’Reilly in an interview before his death.
“He told us that we were killing innocent people over there, men women children, that we were murders [sic],” Kyle said, saying he told the Governor to watch his mouth.
“And then he said that we deserved to lose a few guys.”
Since Kyle was tragically murdered, killed by a gunman at a charity shooting event last February, Ventura has asked the court to substitute the fallen SEAL’s widow as the defendant in the case so that he can clear his name.
Ventura would also have a problem being taken seriously if his reported top choice of running mate opts to be on the Presidential ticket: The former Governor has expressed interest in running alongside radio shock jock Howard Stern.
In an interview with Breitbart, Trump said it’s still too early for him to know for sure if he’s up for Presidential politicking but that his friends are urging him to run.
“I have so many different friends and people that want me to do it. But it’s really too early. But it’s something that somebody is going to have to do because our country is in serious, serious trouble,” he said.
The businessman, who would presumably run as a GOP candidate, said Republicans must get a “true believer”—someone more charismatic and personable than Mitt Romney—on the ticket if the Party ever hopes to win.
“I think the Republicans are going to have to really be careful because most likely they’ll be running against Hillary [Clinton in 2016],” Trump said. “Now, it’s again, very early, and if they don’t pick the right candidate, they are just not going to have even a little chance.”
“They better be true to themselves, and to the country, because if they’re not true to themselves and the country, it’s going to be a very, very embarrassing election in 2016.”
As the longshot candidates provide eye-roll-worthy headline fodder, a battle in the Nation’s legislative chambers between old guard and “wackobird” Republicans may be a better indicator of what a 2016 GOP bid will look like. As Senator John McCain (R-Ariz.) continues to express vocal disdain for his more libertarian-thinking junior legislative counterparts, those “wackobirds”—Senators Rand Paul (R-Ky.), Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) and Ted Cruz (R-Texas) among them—continue to insist on pushing the small government Tea Party agendas that got them into office.
On Tuesday, McCain took to the Senate floor to criticize spending-averse Republicans for holding up House-Senate budget talks.
“I want to tell my colleagues that continue to do this that, with my strenuous objections, the majority will become frustrated and the majority can change the rules of the Senate,” McCain said. “They can do that.”
“Sometimes when I hear my colleagues here talk about how they are Ronald Reagan Republicans— I don’t think Ronald Reagan would have disagreed we should have a budget,” he went on.
Perhaps the most visible disquiet between the two factions of the Republican Party has been Paul and McCain verbally jousting about foreign policy over the past several months.
Following the elder Senator’s widely criticized trip to visit Syrian rebels on Memorial Day, Paul mused that McCain’s unfortunate photo op with terror-linked rebels underscores the folly of American engagement in the conflict.
“I’m very worried about getting involved in a new war in Syria,” Paul said, because while President Bashar al-Assad is “a bad guy,” Americans must realize that the rebels are tied to al-Qaida and terrorist al-Nusra.
“They say ‘there are some pro-Western people, and we’re going to vet them,’ well apparently we had a Senator over there who had his picture taken with some kidnappers, so I don’t know how good a job we’re doing vetting those who are going to get the arms,” he went on.