Rand Paul vs. Ted Cruz: Who is the better 2016 candidate?

During an appearance on ABC News’ This Week on Sunday, Jon Karl told the panel that Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX) is so hated by fellow Republicans these days that he will “need a food taster” at weekly Senate lunches. George Stephanopoulos replied that Sen. Cruz “does have a high tolerance for personal pain inside of his caucus.”

Below is the clip via MRC TV:

On radio this morning, Glenn, Pat, and Stu used the clip as a jumping off point to examine the potential 2016 GOP field. Glenn decided to narrow the debate to Sen. Cruz and his compatriot Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY). Who has the better chance of winning?

“Look, they're making this into a bad thing. You know, he has a high tolerance for personal pain. That's a good thing! That's a good thing,” Glenn said. “Now, the question is: Can you win? In a straight-up Rand Paul/Ted Cruz, had to elect today, which one has the best shot of winning?”

Stu picked Sen. Cruz in a hypothetic election against Democrat Hillary Clinton because he believes libertarianism will be painted as an extremist ideology.

I think when it comes down to a general election, there's a chance they will attempt to paint libertarianism as completely insane. So I think I'll go Ted Cruz,” Stu explained. “I think they are both great, and I'd be happy with both of them.”

While Glenn agrees that Sen. Paul’s libertarian background could be used against him, he actually believes Sen. Paul is better positioned within the Republican Party than Sen. Cruz.

“Here's what's interesting: Rand Paul is actually positioning himself within the party as more of a GOP guy. But he has this view because of his dad and because [of] who he is as a libertarian,” Glenn said. “Where you have Ted Cruz actually positioning himself against the GOP, but he is viewed as the establishment, or closer to the establishment GOP… You look at him and he is white shirt, red tie, blue suit. He seems like the GOP guy, if you put them side-by-side, compared to Rand Paul. But Rand Paul is behaving more like a GOP guy than Ted Cruz is. It's fascinating.”

Sen. Cruz will most likely be painted as a religious zealot who is part of the ‘war on women,’ while Sen. Paul will be seen as racists for his position on the Civil Rights Act. Stu believes Sen. Paul will struggle more in the primary because he will find himself surrounded by a group of conservatives that have dramatically different positions on certain issues.

“It's interesting because I feel like with Rand Paul you have a different government philosophy than we've had in either of the two major parties for a long time. Rand Paul is legitimately a libertarian for the most part and that's different than what we've had. And he will be able to talk a game that might connect with some people on war and stuff that I think will be successful with some,” Stu said. “I think he's going to have a tough time with that in the primary. When you have five conservatives going after him on issues of defense, it's going to be tough for him to get out of that. He's good, so I think he'll have a chance. But it's a tough argument. You saw what Ron Paul did in that argument.”

“I think he'll connect because he has not played that game,” Glenn interjected. “That's not who he is. He isn't his father. He will be able to connect with the universities and the university students in a completely different way.”

Ultimately, the guys agreed that it is necessary to avoid another 2008 or 2012 where a weak candidate emerges from a belabored primary fight.

“I can tell you: TheBlaze is going to go through enormous growth in the next two years, enormous growth. We won't be alone in this, but I think we will be able to really impact culture and what's going on in the country,” Glenn concluded. “Everybody keeps saying: If we don't win the Hispanics, or if we don't win this, or if we don't win that. How about winning the truth… because they can't hide anymore.”

Reform Conservatism and Reaganomics: A middle road?

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Senator Marco Rubio broke Republican ranks recently when he criticized the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act by stating that “there's no evidence whatsoever that the money's been massively poured back into the American worker." Rubio is wrong on this point, as millions of workers have received major raises, while the corporate tax cuts have led to a spike in capital expenditure (investment on new projects) of 39 percent. However, the Florida senator is revisiting an idea that was front and center in the conservative movement before Donald Trump rode down an escalator in June of 2015: reform conservatism.

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The "reformicons," like Rubio, supported moving away from conservative or supply-side orthodoxy and toward policies such as the expansion of the child and earned income tax credits. On the other hand, longstanding conservative economic theory indicates that corporate tax cuts, by lowering disincentives on investment, will lead to long-run economic growth that will end up being much more beneficial to the middle class than tax credits.

But asking people to choose between free market economic orthodoxy and policies guided towards addressing inequality and the concerns of the middle class is a false dichotomy.

Instead of advocating policies that many conservatives might dismiss as redistributionist, reformicons should look at the ways government action hinders economic opportunity and exacerbates income inequality. Changing policies that worsen inequality satisfies limited government conservatives' desire for free markets and reformicons' quest for a more egalitarian America. Furthermore, pushing for market policies that reduce the unequal distribution of wealth would help attract left-leaning people and millennials to small government principles.

Criminal justice reform is an area that reformicons and free marketers should come together around. The drug war has been a disaster, and the burden of this misguided government approach have fallen on impoverished minority communities disproportionately, in the form of mass incarceration and lower social mobility. Not only has the drug war been terrible for these communities, it's proved costly to the taxpayer––well over a trillion dollars has gone into the drug war since its inception, and $80 billion dollars a year goes into mass incarceration.

Prioritizing retraining and rehabilitation instead of overcriminalization would help address inequality, fitting reformicons' goals, and promote a better-trained workforce and lower government spending, appealing to basic conservative preferences.

Government regulations tend to disproportionately hurt small businesses and new or would-be entrepreneurs. In no area is this more egregious than occupational licensing––the practice of requiring a government-issued license to perform a job. The percentage of jobs that require licenses has risen from five percent to 30 percent since 1950. Ostensibly justified by public health concerns, occupational licensing laws have, broadly, been shown to neither promote public health nor improve the quality of service. Instead, they serve to provide a 15 percent wage boost to licensed barbers and florists, while, thanks to the hundreds of hours and expensive fees required to attain the licenses, suppressing low-income entrepreneurship, and costing the economy $200 billion dollars annually.

Those economic losses tend to primarily hurt low-income people who both can't start businesses and have to pay more for essential services. Rolling back occupational licenses will satisfy the business wing's desire for deregulation and a more free market and the reformicons' support for addressing income inequality and increasing opportunity.

The favoritism at play in the complex tax code perpetuates inequality.

Tax expenditures form another opportunity for common ground between the Rubio types and the mainstream. Tax deductions and exclusions, both on the individual and corporate sides of the tax code, remain in place after the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act. Itemized deductions on the individual side disproportionately benefit the wealthy, while corporate tax expenditures help well-connected corporations and sectors, such as the fossil fuel industry.

The favoritism at play in the complex tax code perpetuates inequality. Additionally, a more complicated tax code is less conducive to economic growth than one with lower tax rates and fewer exemptions. Therefore, a simpler tax code with fewer deductions and exclusions would not only create a more level playing field, as the reformicons desire, but also additional economic growth.

A forward-thinking economic program for the Republican Party should marry the best ideas put forward by both supply-siders and reform conservatives. It's possible to take the issues of income inequality and lack of social mobility seriously, while also keeping mainstay conservative economic ideas about the importance of less cumbersome regulations and lower taxes.

Alex Muresianu is a Young Voices Advocate studying economics at Tufts University. He is a contributor for Lone Conservative, and his writing has appeared in Townhall and The Daily Caller. He can be found on Twitter @ahardtospell.

Is this what inclusivity and tolerance look like? Fox News host Tomi Lahren was at a weekend brunch with her mom in Minnesota when other patrons started yelling obscenities and harassing her. After a confrontation, someone threw a drink at her, the moment captured on video for social media.

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On today's show, Pat and Jeffy talked about this uncomfortable moment and why it shows that supposedly “tolerant" liberals have to resort to physical violence in response to ideas they don't like.

President Donald Trump has done a remarkable job of keeping his campaign promises so far. From pulling the US from the Iran Deal and Paris Climate Accord to moving the US Embassy to Jerusalem, the president has followed through on his campaign trail vows.

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“It's quite remarkable. I don't know if anybody remembers, but I was the guy who was saying he's not gonna do any of those things," joked Glenn on “The News and Why it Matters," adding, “He has taken massive steps, massive movement or completed each of those promises … I am blown away."

Watch the video above to hear Glenn Beck, Sara Gonzales, Doc Thompson, Stu Burguiere and Pat Gray discuss the story.

Rapper Kendrick Lamar brings white fan onstage to sing with him, but here’s the catch

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Rapper Kendrick Lamar asked a fan to come onstage and sing with him, only to condemn her when she failed to censor all of the song's frequent mentions of the “n-word" while singing along.

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“I am so sorry," she apologized when Lamar pointed out that she needed to “bleep" that word. “I'm used to singing it like you wrote it." She was booed at by the crowd of people, many screaming “f*** you" after her mistake.

On Tuesday's show, Pat and Jeffy watched the clip and talked about some of the Twitter reactions.

“This is ridiculous," Pat said. “The situation with this word has become so ludicrous."