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

OHIO–(ENEWSPF)–July 19, 2016.  We said it yesterday but it still holds true: tonight’s Republican convention speaking line up includes a stunning mix of the best Donald Trump was able to scrounge up to speak at his convention. Party leaders who have repeatedly attacked Trump and his policy plans? Check. Social crusaders who oppose LGBT equality and agree with the Trump-Pence ticket’s desire to restrict women’s rights? Check. Conservatives who share Trump’s penchant for making divisive comments toward and about women? Check! America deserves better than Donald Trump’s me-first economic agenda, but you wouldn’t know it from the line up of Trump convention speakers tonight.

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

Rep. Chris Collins [R-NY]
Donald Trump isn’t the only speaker at this week’s RNC with a history of making divisive comments directed at women. New York Congressman Chris Collins once told a woman attending a state-of-the-state speech that she could find a seat if she offered someone a lap dance. Collins has also opposed efforts to protect LGBT Americans from workplace discrimination.

NY Daily News: After being forced to apologize to Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver for comparing the Orthodox Jewish Democrat to Hitler and an anti-Christ, the Erie Council executive and gubernatorial hopeful made an off-color comment to a woman at Gov. Paterson’s State-of-the State address last week, two lawmakers claim. According to the two, an Erie County woman was looking for a seat in the packed chamber when Collins said: “I’m sure if you offer someone a lap dance, you can find a place to sit.”

Politico: A majority of the New York Republican congressional delegation supported a controversial amendment in the House to protect LGBT rights on Thursday. The amendment would have prevented federal funds from going to federal contractors that fail to comply with President Barack Obama’s executive order protecting LGBT employees from workplace discrimination. Seven New York Republicans were among the 29 Republican votes in favor of the amendment. Only two Republicans in the delegation — Republican Reps. Pete King of Long Island and Chris Collins of Western New York — voted against it.

South Carolina Lieutenant Governor Henry McMaster
McMaster is such a fan of bipartisanship he once stated that “we hunt Democrats with dogs down here.” That comment was really just a distraction from McMaster’s true record of bringing Americans together, like the time he joined a country club with a history of discriminating against African Americans, or the time he opposed marriage equality, or that time he supported forced ultra sounds for women seeking abortions.

Henry McMaster: We hunt Democrats with dogs down here.

Post & Courier: Bakari Sellers, a Democrat running for lieutenant governor and the son of a well-known South Carolina civil rights leader, challenged his opponent Thursday to resign his membership in a country club with a history of excluding black people from membership.

WISTV: McMaster admits the wording of the bill is vague. But the way he sees it, the bill would require physicians to make a concerted effort to really try and show the ultrasound to the woman seeking an abortion. That’s the idea McMaster supports.

Henry McMaster: I believe marriage is a union between one man and one woman.

Sharon Day, Co-Chair, Republican National Committee
Two things this Republican National Commitee Co-Chair doesn’t like? Marriage equality and Trump’s Muslim ban.

The Atlantic: Republican National Committee Co-Chair Sharon Day was in attendance, despite her opposition to same-sex marriage. ‘I support traditional marriage,’ Day told National Journal.

Palm Beach Post: Florida’s Republican National Committeewoman, Sharon Day, voiced similar disapproval of Trump’s remarks [on banning Muslims from entering the U.S.]. “While we do have to protect our homeland from this Islamic terrorism, we also have to protect what we stand for as Americans,” Day said.

Dana White, President, Ultimate Fighting Championship
Hard to believe that the leader of the UFC would have made divisive attacks on women and LGBT Americans, and accused a woman who claimed she was a survivor of domestic violence of “terrorizing” her allegedly abusive partner, who had previously plead “no contest” to other domestic violence charges.

ESPN: White used an anti-gay slur in the video blog. He also called Hunt, who writes for (a partner of which covers mixed martial arts), a “[expletive] bitch” and called her story on backstage credentialing issues “absolutely [expletive] retarded.

Daily Beast: Perhaps his most eyebrow-raising threat was directed at @Grateyfratez—himself no paragon of congeniality—a few days after the egg account tweeted that White looks like “an emo, bald Ellen Degeneres.” “I’m gonna rub my nuts on ur moms face!!!!” White replied.

Womens MMA: Host Michael Landsberg asked White about Anthony Johnson’s ‘checkered past.’ White responded, ‘Actually, that’s incorrect. What happened with Anthony Johnson is, he was dating a girl who made a lot of accusations about him, and we actually went in and did a complete and full investigation on this thing and Anthony Johnson was actually the one who was being terrorized in this relationship.

Bloody Elbow: Johnson pleaded “nolo contendere” in 2010 to a misdemeanor charge of domestic violence for which he was sentenced to serve three years probation, community service, and was to attend domestic violence counseling. According to a news report following the arrest, the alleged victim said “Johnson pushed her around, picked her up by her armpits and slammed her to the ground. He then put her in a headlock and dragged her up a flight of stairs.”

Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson
Hutchinson is in good company tonight as one of a number of speakers who support anti-LGBT discriminatory efforts along the lines of North Carolina’s notorious bathroom law. Hutchinson is also such a fan of restricting women’s rights that Arkansas enacted more abortion restrictions than any other state last year.

KATV: More than 70 clergy members across Arkansas have signed a letter that was delivered to Governor Asa Hutchinson Friday. The letter expressed dismay that Gov. Hutchinson urged Arkansas public school to ignore the federal directive to allow transgendered students to use the bathrooms they identify with.

Associated Press: The Arkansas Legislature and Republican Gov. Asa Hutchinson have enacted more abortion restrictions than any other state so far this year. The Center for Reproductive Rights and Americans United for Life have different takes on the legislation but agree that no other state has topped the six laws and two resolutions passed in Arkansas. The restrictions include a telemedicine abortion ban, stricter information requirements, a 48-hour waiting period between an in-person meeting and the procedure, restrictions on the disposal of fetal tissue and a prohibition on state funding for providers.

Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge
You may recall Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge from that time she shared a racist email, defended it by saying that “black individuals” said it sounded like just “country talk,” and then blamed the resultant outcry on “leftist bloggers.” No? What about the time she touted her work on restrict voting rights, but was also caught registering to vote in multiple states? Don’t worry, it’s hard to keep up with hypocrisy like this. Fortunately, she’s consistent in her opposition to marriage equality and abortion rights and her support for discriminatory anti-LGBT bathroom laws.

Arkansas Times: While working at DHS, she forwarded an email written in grotesquely offensive dialect. A sample passage: ‘baby’s momma done turn into a ho and a stripper an she be raisin’ fusses and kickin’ and bitin’ and whoopin dis man …’ After releasing a statement saying she’d merely forwarded the email ‘without comment,’ she told a TV reporter that whether one sees racist overtones in the email is determined by ‘the heart of the reader.’ She also said several ‘black individuals’ told her the email sounded like ‘country talk.’

Arkansas Times: She [Leslie Rutledge] refused to apologize for forwarding a racist email, calling reporting on it a “desperate attempt by leftist bloggers to misattribute someone else’s words to me.”

Salon: Leslie Rutledge, the Republican candidate for attorney general in Arkansas, has been discovered to have been registered to vote in multiple states in addition to Arkansas, and even voted by absentee ballot in Arkansas’ general election in November of 2008 — after she had registered to vote in Washington D.C. [PDF] in July of the same year. According to the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, Rutledge has now been removed from Arkansas’ voting rolls by the Pulaski county clerk, after he confirmed that she was registered to vote in D.C., and possibly Virginia. The removal from the rolls may also lead to her ineligibility to be elected to office.

Leslie Rutledge: Whether it was concerning Voter ID, Redistricting, Obamacare, or the IRS targeting conservative groups, I sat at the table side-by-side my fellow Republican attorneys and we developed legal strategies to proactively stand against or at times defend our citizens from the overreach of this Administration.

Slate: Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge, who has vowed to defend the ban on same-sex marriage, said in a statement that she is “evaluating the ruling” and that the marriages at issue “do not fall within the State’s definition of marriage as between one man and one woman.”

Northwest Arkansas News: On Friday, Attorney General Leslie Rutledge responded to the transgender bathroom guidance sent out by the Obama Administration. “The President is taking his abuse of power to a new level today by forcing a liberal social agenda on school-age children,” Rutledge said.

Arkansas Time: Attorney General Leslie Rutledge filed the state’s petition with the U.S. Supreme Court today to ask it to review the decisions by a district and federal appellate court that Arkansas’s attempt to prohibit most abortions at the 12th week of pregnancy was unconstitutional.

Former U.S. Attorney General Michael Mukasey
Mukasey is just as divisive as Trump, having argued that immigrants facing deportation have no right to a competent attorney.

The Guardian: America’s top law enforcement official has declared that immigrants facing deportation have no right to an effective attorney, a move immigration lawyers and the country’s top lawyers’ guild described as a last-minute evisceration of a constitutional right. In Wednesday’s decision, George Bush’s attorney general, Michael Mukasey, wrote that immigration courts need not reopen ‘removal’ – or deportation – proceedings on the grounds that an immigrant’s attorney was incompetent. As a result, illegal immigrants and asylum seekers who lose deportation hearings because their attorneys fail to file legal papers on time, who do not show up for hearings or myriad other infringements lack recourse in immigration court.

Bloomberg: The letter 47 Republicans sent earlier this week warning against a nuclear deal President Barack Obama is negotiating with Iran probably shouldn’t have been addressed to the regime’s leaders, said Senator Ron Johnson, who signed the letter. […] “I suppose the only regret is who it’s addressed to,” Johnson said. “But the content of the letter, the fact that it was an open letter, none whatsoever,” he said in response to a question about whether Republicans regret their actions.
PolitiFact: U.S. Sen. Ron Johnson wants no general federal minimum wage law, says challenger Russ Feingold – TRUE
As the NRA’s chief lobbyist, Cox has defended Trump’s opposition to commonsense gun violence prevention measures, like preventing people on terrorist watch lists from purchasing guns. But Trump’s suggestion that clubgoers with guns could have prevented the Orlando attack went too far for Cox, who said “that defies common sense. It also defies the law.”
Breitbart: NRA-ILA executive Chris Cox said Sunday on ABC’s “This Week” that the NRA shares the position with presumptive GOP presidential nominee Donald Trump that the government’s terrorist watch lists are not dependable and should not be utilized to revoke Second Amendment rights. “There is not a difference between what Mr. Trump is saying and what the NRA’s position is. That’s a media-created diversion there,” Cox stated.
New York Post: Donald Trump’s suggestion that armed clubgoers could have prevented the worst mass shooting in modern US history “defies common sense,” according to the National Rifle Association — which is backing the tycoon for president but on Sunday had two of its top officials taking rare exception with him. “No one thinks that people should go into a nightclub drinking and carrying firearms,” Chris Cox, executive director of the NRA’s Institute for Legislative Action, told ABC’s “This Week.” “That defies common sense. It also defies the law.”
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell
How does Mitch McConnell feel about Donald Trump? We’ll let him tell you himself, in his own words:
Mitch McConnell: Trump clearly needs to change, in my opinion, to win the general election…my hope is that he is beginning to pivot and become what I would call a more serious and credible candidate for the highest office in the land.
Mitch McConnell: He needs someone highly experienced and very knowledgeable because it’s pretty obvious he doesn’t know a lot about the issues
Mitch McConnell: [Regarding Trump’s attacks on Judge Curiel] Well, what he said was — it was outrageous and inappropriate. And I couldn’t more strongly condemn that.”
Mitch McConnell: For the last 30 or 40 years, every candidate for president has released their tax returns, and I think Donald Trump should as well
Speaker Paul Ryan [R-WI]
Paul Ryan may technically have endorsed Trump, but that endorsement has come with a lot of nose holding and criticizing Trump on a regularly basis for his divisive comments and campaign. Here are three of our favorites:
Paul Ryan: [regarding Trump’s attacks on Judge Curiel] The textbook definition of a racist comment
Paul Ryan: [regarding Trump’s anti-semitic star tweet] Look, anti-Semitic images, they’ve got no place in presidential campaigns. Candidates should know that.
Paul Ryan: I do not think a Muslim ban is in our country’s interest. I do not think it is reflective of our principles, not just as a party but as a country.
House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy
An extreme opponent of women’s rights who wants to defund Planned Parenthood, McCarthy joins a number of speakers this evening in his opposition to Trump’s Muslim ban. McCarthy has also criticized Trump’s attacks on John McCain.
Washington Post: The proposed ban on Muslim immigrants had already been rejected by Speaker Paul Ryan and the overwhelming majority of Republicans in Congress. But House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy said again he wouldn’t support it, and that he had no interest in seeing it get a vote. “You don’t ban somebody on race (or) religion,” McCarthy told Politico. “I don’t see that coming to the floor.”
Roll Call: Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., told reporters Trump was wrong to say McCain was not a hero because he was captured during the Vietnam War, adding it “was not the right message.”
New Jersey Governor Chris Christie
What more can we say about Chris Christie’s feelings about Donald Trump that his facial expressions haven’t already said? Well, a few reminders in the form of Christie’s own words about The Donald can’t hurt…
Newsmax: Christie came out swinging Monday against Donald Trump, describing him as a one of the “carnival barkers of today” and declaring “showtime is over.”
CHRISTIE: Showtime is over. We are not electing an entertainer-in-chief. Showmanship is fun, but it is not the kind of leadership that will truly change America.
CHRISTIE: I just don’t think he’s suited to be president of the United States…I don’t think his temperament is suited for that and I don’t think his experience is.
CNBC: [Christie] went on to say that some of Trump’s money-making skills in business aren’t transferable to government, since presidents cannot simply roll over political adversaries by saying “You’re fired.”
Star-Ledger: Gov. Chris Christie on Monday said Donald Trump’s call for a “total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States” in the wake of the San Bernardino terror attack is “ridiculous,” deriding it as “the kind of thing that people say when they have no experience and don’t know what they’re talking about.”
Senator Shelley Moore Capito [R-WV]
No moderate herself, Senator Shelley Moore Capito has expressed concern about the tone of Trump’s campaign and openly fretted about the effect Trump’s candidacy will have on Republican candidates in down ballot races this cycle. Ouch.
Roll Call: Sen. Shelley Moore Capito, R-W. Va., will be one of the few women lawmakers meeting with presumptive GOP nominee Donald Trump Thursday, and she knows what she’s going to tell him. “I’m just going to emphasize that what you say and how you say it is really important,” Capito said Wednesday. “I’m concerned about the tone and how it’s going to influence his campaign.”
Breitbart: Sen. Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV) said the Republican Party was “absolutely” concerned about Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump’s effect down ballot in swing states with close elections for incumbent senators, like in Ohio, Pennsylvania  and  New Hampshire. “Absolutely there’s concern.”
Dr. Ben Carson
Ben Carson wasn’t always a big Donald Trump fan, but with his long history of divisive comments and attacks, Trump and Carson have always been more alike than not.
USA Today: Last fall, Dr. Ben Carson was the unlikely leader of the Republican presidential field nationally and in Iowa, but five days before the Hawkeye State’s opening caucuses he is struggling to score a strong enough finish to stay in the race. For that, he blames unfair and inaccurate news coverage — and Donald Trump. ‘He was very dishonest,’ the retired pediatric neurosurgeon told a breakfast with reporters hosted by Bloomberg Politics.
Fortune: Ben Carson’s divisive campaign rhetoric is beating Donald Trump’s in Iowa
MSNBC:  Ben Carson’s top five eyebrow-raising comments
Politico:  Ben Carson’s 15 most controversial quotes
Think Progress: 13 Ridiculous Things Ben Carson Actually Believes
Salon: The 7 most stupefying statements by the GOP’s favorite neurosurgeon
Washington Post: Ben Carson has weird ideas and makes stuff up.
Sajid Tarar, Founder, American Muslims for Trump
Tarar supports Trump’s Muslim ban, but has admitted that banning immigrants based on their religion violates the constitution. Oops?
Fusion: Tarar said he studied constitutional rights and bemoaned the Pakistani government’s violations of its own constitution. But he freely admitted that limiting immigration by religion would be a violation of the First Amendment, not to mention condoning torture.