America Deserves Better Than This: Monday Night’s GOP Convention Speakers

OHIO–(ENEWSPF)–July 18, 2016.  Tonight’s Republican convention speaking line up includes a stunning mix of the best Donald Trump was able to scrounge up to kick off his convention. Conservatives who have repeatedly attacked Trump and his policy plans? Check. TV has-beens who share Trump’s disdain for immigrants and his love for divisive Twitter graphics? Check. Social crusaders who agree with the Trump-Pence ticket’s desire to restrict women’s rights? Check. Republicans who think Trump “doesn’t have any ideas” on “how to make America safe again?” Check! America deserves better than this.

“When you ask [Trump] questions about, ‘How do we make America safe again? How do I grow our economy? How do I bring jobs back home? How do I fix healthcare?’ he doesn’t have any ideas.” – Rep. Sean Duffy [R-WI]

Here’s what you need to know about tonight’s GOP convention speaking line up:
Willie Robertson

This Duck Dynasty star, well-known for defending his father’s attacks on LGBT Americans, thinks we need someone who “talks tough” like Donald Trump does.

Christian Today: ‘Duck Dynasty’ star Willie Robertson sees no issue with Donald Trump’s controversial comments: ‘We need somebody tough’
Former Governor Rick Perry

Himself no moderate, Perry has called Trump “a cancer on conservativism,” “a barking carnvial act,” and attacked Trump’s policies as “a toxic mix of demagoguery and nonsense.”

Rick Perry: [Trump] offers a barking carnival act that can be best described as Trumpism: a toxic mix of demagoguery, mean-spiritedness and nonsense that will lead the Republican Party to perdition if pursued…Let no one be mistaken – Donald Trump’s candidacy is a cancer on conservatism, and it must be clearly diagnosed, excised and discarded.
Scott Baio

Why should Scott Baio be held accountable for Tweeting divisive graphics that someone else noticed? Because he’s representing Donald Trump’s campaign for the presidency, and Donald Trump already does enough to make himself appear unfit for our nation’s highest office.

Twichy: Convention speaker Scott Baio under fire for sharing ‘best meme out there’ about Hillary Clinton #RNCinCLE

Antonio Sabato, Jr.

Another of Trump’s former television “stars” appearing at tonight’s convention, Antonio Sabato, Jr. is the perfect Hollywood foil to The Donald. Divisive in his own right, Sabato, Jr. thinks Donald Trump has “got a point in everything,” wants to send “illegal aliens coming in here illegally…back home,” and definitely thinks “we need a wall” with Mexico.

Antonio Sabato, Jr.: But he’s got a point in everything.  We’re talking about illegal aliens coming in here illegally … Everybody is walking over the boarders or crawling or coming there illegally, and it’s an illegal issue. So, we have to send them back home .

Antonio Sabato, Jr.: We need a wall.  Do you have a wall at your house? I do, and I personally wouldn’t want it open for everybody to come in. This country needs protection. In some parts, there’s nothing there at all and everybody just walking in.
Rep. Mike McCaul [R-TX]

Rep. McCaul may want to increase deportations and he sure was bummed by the Supreme Court’s ruling against Texas’s anti-women’s health law, but even he is no fan of Donald Trump’s Muslim ban, and he’s warned that Trump’s statements could be used by ISIS to recruit. (Fact check: TRUE)

Breitbart: McCaul warned that “inflammatory statements” in America against Muslims were “counterproductive” to national security efforts would likely be used by ISIS in their propaganda material.“They take things like this and then they spin it to their advantage to inflame the Muslim world to get more recruits to join the cause,” he said.

Milwaukee County Sheriff David A. Clarke, Jr.

It’s easy to see why Sheriff Clarke was chosen to speak at Trump’s convention (and no, it’s not because of his five-pointed sheriff’s star). Rather, Sheriff Clarke wants to patrol Muslim neighborhoods, he’s stated that “blacks sell drugs and involve themselves in criminal behavior…because they’re uneducated, they’re lazy, and they’re morally bankrupt,” and has claimed that “Black Lives Matter will join forces with ISIS to bring down our legal constituted republic.”

Fox Business: During an interview on the FOX Business Network’s Varney & Co., Milwaukee County Sheriff David Clarke discussed his support for patrolling Muslim neighborhoods, and suggested that U.S. law enforcement has already been successfully invoking this type of policing.

Sheriff David Clarke: Let me tell you why blacks sell drugs and involve themselves in criminal behavior instead of a more socially acceptable lifestyle — because they’re uneducated, they’re lazy, and they’re morally bankrupt

Sheriff David Clarke: Before long, Black Lies Matter will join forces with ISIS to being down our legal constituted republic. You heard it first here.

Rep. Sean Duffy [R-WI]

Both a former reality TV personality and an extremely conservative member of Congress, Sean Duffy would seem to be the ideal Trump surrogate – he has defended white male voters who feel like “their country has been taken away.” But even he doesn’t like Donald Trump’s comments about women, and he’s outright said that Trump “doesn’t have any ideas” to make America safer.

Rep. Sean Duffy: And I think what you do is, you have a lot of white male voters who have kind of been forgotten, who haven’t gone to the polls and voted.You’re going to see a rise of the white male voter who feels like they’re not secure, their country has been taken away.
Republican Senate Candidate Darryl Glenn

Colorado Senate wannabe Darryl Glenn is a pea in a climate change-denying pod with Donald Trump. Given his staunch opposition to women’s right to make their own health care decisions, we’re sure he and Mike Pence will have a lot to chat about backstage tonight.

Darryl Glenn: Climate change, we can debate that until the cows come home, for lack of a better way of stating that. The bottom line is, I do not believe that man is contributing to that factor.

Colorado Independent: “Listen up, Planned Parenthood,” [Glenn] said, promising to defund the women’s health organization that provides abortions if any tax money goes toward — his words— the dismemberment of babies.

Senator Tom Cotton [R-AR]

With his mix of Pence-like extreme opposition to women’s right to make their own health decisions and his dangerous attempt to undermine national security to boost his own name recognition, Tom Cotton is a true rising start in the Party of Trump.

Tom Cotton: I deeply believe that Roe v. Wade was wrongly decided and that it should be-and will be-overturned someday.

Washington Post: “I would use the word mutinous,” said Eaton, whose long career includes training Iraqi forces from 2003 to 2004. He is now a senior adviser to “I do not believe these senators were trying to sell out America. I do believe they defied the chain of command in what could be construed as an illegal act.” Eaton certainly had stern words for Cotton.

Senator Jeff Sessions [R-AL]

A top Trump surrogate who was once a serious contender in the race to be Trump’s veep, even Senator Jeff Sessions hasn’t been immune from criticizing Trump – stating that he wishes Trump had a better understanding of the world, and claiming that Trump will have to answer for his comments about women.

Jeff Sessions: Well, I think [Trump]’s going to need to learn. He’s going to need to understand really completely — as you know, Martha, how complex this world is, even within Baghdad and the region around Baghdad — Kurds, al Anbar, Sunni, Shia, Iranians, so forth. It’s just a very, very complex world and you have to be careful when you commit a military force.

Jon Karl: Senator Sessions, let me pick it up right where we left off with Chairman Priebus. He talked about this article in The New York Times, about Trump’s relationship with women and said there are things in here that he is going to have to answer for. Do you agree with that?
Jeff Sessions: Well, of course, he has to answer and people will ask those questions and they’ve got 20 or — they’ve got hundreds, I suppose.

Former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani

If you like Donald Trump’s divisive attacks on President Obama, you’ll love Rudy Giuliani! The former mayor and failed presidential candidate has claimed that President Obama “doesn’t love America,” and in the wake of recent tragedies, he claimed that the “real danger” to African Americans is “that black kid who is going to shoot you.”
Rudy Giuliani: I do not believe, and I know this is a horrible thing to say, but I do not believe that the president loves America. He doesn’t love you. And he doesn’t love me. He wasn’t brought up the way you were brought up and I was brought up through love of this country.
New York Daily News:  Former Mayor Rudy Giuliani believes the “real danger” to the black community is “that black kid who is going to shoot you,” rather than police.Giuliani said in an interview with MSNBC’s Brian Williams that black people should be thankful to officers for fighting crime instead of supporting anti-brutality groups such as Black Lives Matter.
U.S. Army Lt. General Michael T. Flynn, Ret.
A pal of Putin who sat on the board of an anti-Muslim advocacy group, we’re still shocked Donald Trump didn’t select Flynn as his vice president. But don’t worry, Mike Pence was definitely his first choice.

Daily Beast: Three former U.S. officials said that a trip Flynn took last December to Moscow—where he was filmed sitting at the head table next to Russian President Vladimir Putin during a formal dinner—set off alarms within military and intelligence circles over whether Flynn had notified the U.S. government about his foreign travel, as his security clearance requires.
Michael Flynn: The immigration of radical Islamists into Europe and those attempting to enter our own country–all must be stopped to determine what we have or as a minimum, severely slowed to better control the impact inside our country.
Southern Poverty Law Center: ACT defends itself against charges of broad-brush hatred of Muslims by claiming to promote the efforts of “reformist” Muslims such as Tawfik Hamid, an Egyptian author who opposes Islamic fundamentalism. In 2009…in a column written for The Washington Examiner, Hamid was one of the first to spread the groundless fear of Shariah law. “Concessions to Islamic Shariah law can serve as a provocation to radical Islam, as it gives the radicals the impression that the West should bow to their Islamic laws.”
Sen. Joni Ernst [R-IA]
Joni Ernst fits right in with tonight’s line up of GOP convention speakers: extreme opposition to women’s rights to make their own health decisions and divisive attacks that only serve to divide Americans, but still not down with Trump’s Muslim ban.

Quad-City Times: Abortion…Ernst is opposed, including in cases of rape and incest.

Joni Ernst: Offering voter registration forms in foreign languages is not only unlawful but serves to segregate our population, rather than unify.

Omaha World Herald: Sen. Joni Ernst, R-Iowa, rejected Donald Trump’s proposal this week to bar Muslims from entering the country, at least temporarily.“I don’t agree with his statement,” Ernst said. “Freedom of religion is a foundational principle of our republic.”

Jason Beardsley, Concerned Veterans for America

As Special Operations Adviser for the Koch-backed Concerned Veterans for America, Beardsley must be well aware of his group’s criticism of Trump’s veterans plan, which we’ve previously highlighted focuses on moving toward privatizing the VA. Concerned Veterans for America called Trump’s plan “painfully thin on specifics about how he would implement” his proposals.

Daily Caller: Veterans’ Group Not Happy With Trump’s Plan To Make The VA Great Again

Concerned Veterans for America: While Donald Trump rightly proposes more health care choices for veterans and long-overdue accountability for bad VA employees, his “plan” is painfully thin on specifics about how he would implement those principles.

Rep. Ryan Zinke [R-MT]

Zinke, himself the recipient of a campaign donation from the leader of a white supremacist group, is the perfect end note to tonight’s convention speakers. Zinke voted against federal funding for Planned Parenthood, he opposes allowing women to serve in combat roles but co-sponsored a bill to require women to register for the draft “to make a point.” Clearly no moderate, even Zinke disagrees with Trump’s plan for mass deportations of immigrants.

Billings Gazette: U.S. Rep. Ryan Zinke of Montana is among a group of Republicans who received donations from the leader of a white supremacist group cited by Charleston church murder suspect Dylann Roof. Documents show Earl Holt, the leader of the Council of Conservative Citizens, made a $500 donation to Zinke’s election campaign in October 2014. Holt listed ‘slumlord’ as his occupation on the document.

KXLH: Rep. Ryan Zinke, R-Mont., also has voted to block federal funds for Planned Parenthood. Zinke wants to stop the funding for one year and give it to other clinics, while the U.S. House investigates whether Planned Parenthood illegally sold ‘aborted baby body parts,’ said his spokeswoman, Heather Swift.

Washington Post: Ryan Zinke (R-Mont.), a former Navy SEAL, introduced legislation on Thursday to compel young women to register for the Selective Service, the agency responsible for implementing a draft. For Hunter and Zinke, the bill does not mark a change of heart, but serves as a way to make a point.

Great Falls Tribune: Asked to name an issue where Zinke disagrees with Trump, Swift cited the businessman’s vow to deport immigrants.