Cruz Crushes During CNBC Interview on Economy

In an interview on CNBC'S Squawkbox, a panel grilled Ted Cruz on the state of the economy. Cruz answered each question succinctly, showing a deep understanding of how the economy works --- and what it will take to get back on track.

The interview also displayed a stark difference between the two Republican candidates leading the field.

"Honestly, everybody is playing this except for Ted Cruz, and it is the victimhood card," Glenn said Tuesday on The Glenn Beck Program. "Donald Trump is saying we're a victim of China. . . where Ted Cruz is saying, 'I'm going to get the government and the tax burden out of the way for the American people because the American people can do this.'"

The Squawkbox panel asked Cruz detailed questions, demanding explanations and specifics --- and Cruz delivered every single time.

"The fed has, for those with assets, has driven up stock prices, driven up assets values, but that's not built on anything real. It's not built on an increase in the intrinsic value of those assets. It's just based on playing games with money, which means a crash will be coming," Cruz said. "It's far better, if you want to drive up the economy and jobs, it's far better to reduce the burdens on small businesses, where you're creating a whole lot more jobs and we're producing more. That's actually growth. I want asset values to go up because there's more production because it's actually worth more."

While some of the candidates whine about corruption and a rigged system or apologize for America, recommending a European style of government, there is one candidate who believes in the American people. That candidate is Ted Cruz.

Co-host Stu Burguiere also had a tip for journalists interviewing Donald Trump.

"End a lot of questions with, 'Can you explain this?' and see what [Trump] comes up with. Because he can't explain any of it because he doesn't know. He'll go back to China and everything else. Hold him to it. Make him explain those specifics. That would be really helpful," Stu said.

Below is a rush transcript of this segment, it might contain errors:

GLENN:  There was an interview -- there was an interview with Ted Cruz on CNBC, where he was talking about, you know, the -- the basis points in Germany and the VIX and stuff that most people don't even know.

Can you explain some of these things?  Can you explain what's happening to the economy, what's happening to the global economy and how to fix it?

PAT:  The VIX.  Yeah, you rub it on your chest when your nose is all stuffy and --

GLENN:  Does anybody know what that is?  Yeah, volatility.  Okay.  Good.  It's the spread of volatility and what the market thinks.

PAT:  You're telling me it's not a vapor rub?

STU:  Well, it's also a vapor rub.

GLENN:  Yes, yes.

STU:  You're both right.

GLENN:  You're both right.  Yes.  Okay.  Thank you so much for that, Stu.

So let's listen to some of these answers from Ted Cruz because it goes to the credibility of who can handle the economy without nationalizing the banks?  Who understands what's coming and how to fix it?

TED:  The problem with using monetary policy, it's a very ineffective way to juice the system because you create bubbles.  So you're right:  The fed has, for those with assets, has driven up stock prices, driven up assets values.  But that's not built on anything real.  It's not built on an increase in the intrinsic value of those assets.  It's just based on playing games with money, which means a crash will be coming.  It's far better, if you want to drive up the economy and jobs, it's far better to reduce the burdens on small businesses, where you're creating a whole lot more jobs and we're producing more.  That's actually growth.  I want asset values to go up because there's more production because it's actually worth more.

PAT:  Now, you tell me that Donald Trump could have had that conversation.  There's no possible way.  All he would have said was, "We're losing to everybody.  We're losing to Mexico.  We're losing to China.  We're losing to Taiwan.  We're losing to Japan.  We're losing to everybody."  That's all he would have said.

GLENN:  Because, honestly, everybody is playing this except for Ted Cruz.  And it is the -- the victimhood card.

PAT:  Uh-huh.

GLENN:  Donald Trump is saying we're a victim of -- of China.  And, really, of ourselves because we have bad negotiating tactics against China.  And I'll make China, I'll make Mexico pay.  Where Ted Cruz is saying, "I'm going to get the government and the tax burden out of the way for the American people because the American people can do this.  They've just been told they didn't build this.  They've been told that, you know, they have to do their patriotic duty and pay higher taxes.  They're not victims here.  They just need to get the government under control, and they're going to be able to do it."

And I think that's -- that is the biggest difference.  Who is a victim?  And who says, "Yes, we can.  We're going to do this.  We can do this?"

PAT:  He also shows that he understands how the system works.  He understands what makes the economy run, the inner workings of it, what the fed has to do with it.  He knows all that stuff.  And he proves it again with this.

JOE:  Growth around the world.  Economic growth --

TED:  Yep.  Yep.

JOE:  -- almost cures all ills.  It cures the sentiment that we have right now, the feeling that people aren't getting ahead.  Helps you pay down deficit.  Helps everything.

TED:  Yes.

JOE:  But we're in a weird world right now.  I checked for you this morning, the German tenure (phonetic) is at 15 basis points.  Japan, there are negative interest rates.  So it's not just the anemic recovery in this country, it's a global phenomenon that we've really never seen the likes of, and I don't know how to explain it.  I wonder if you know how to explain the cause and the cure.

TED:  Well, Joe, you're preaching to the choir.  And I wish that more of the presidential candidates would focus on growth.  Because you're right, growth is foundational.  My number one priority as president will be economic growth.  Every other problem we've got, whether it's unemployment, whether it's the debt and the deficit, whether it is strengthening and preserving Social Security or Medicare or whether it is rebuilding our military and keeping us safe, you got to have growth to make it work.

And we have been trapped in stagnation for the last seven years.  And if we don't turn that around, nothing else gets fixed.  And it's driven by a number of factors.  You know, historically since World War II, our economy has grown on average about 3.3 percent a year.  And yet from 2008 to today, it's averaged only 1.2 percent a year.

If we stay at this level of stagnant growth, one in 2 percent GDP growth, these problems are not solvable.  And that's why we need an economic agenda.  My economic agenda is focused very directly on growth.  Because if you get back to historic levels, 3, 4, 5 percent growth, suddenly the federal budget numbers turn around dramatically.  It is by far the biggest factor impacting the federal money.

GLENN:  You know, here's the amazing thing, I spent -- last week I spent seven hours with him.  And we were at my house and in between tapings of stuff they were cutting, we talked about this.  And for the first time, I was overcome with security that, we're going to make it.  We're going to make it.  He is so rooted in the facts of how an economy works, that he was like, "Glenn, I'm telling you, we have $19 trillion in debt, but we have a 17-trillion-dollar economy."

Do you know what the rate of growth was under Ronald Reagan?

PAT:  Yeah, it was -- I think we talked about this the other day.  It was like seven.

GLENN:  7 percent.

PAT:  7 percent.

GLENN:  He's like, "If we can just get us up to 5 percent, it changes everything.  You don't have to worry about it.  You have the money to pay that debt down."  He said, "The problem is, we're at this growth of 1 percent."  And he said, "We've got to stop that."  And the way to do that is to get rid of regulation and to change tax policy.  And here he is on his tax policy.

TED:  My tax plan is simple, it is a simple flat tax.  For a typical family of four, first $36,000 you earn, you pay nothing.  Zero income tax, zero payroll tax, nothing.  Above $36,000, each marginal dollar, you pay a simple flat tax of 10 percent.  No longer is a hedge fund billionaire paying a lower effective tax rate than his secretary.  Everyone pays the exact same.

Another difference, by the way, no longer do you have any differential rates between ordinary income and dividends or cap gains.  Short-term and long-term cap gains, it doesn't matter.  Everything is 10 percent, which means people actually allocate capital based on where it's efficient, rather than what the tax laws say because the tax laws are neutral to everything.

And then on the business side, on the business side, we abolish the corporate tax.  As you know, we have the most punitive corporate income tax of any developed country in the world.  We abolish the Obama taxes.  We abolish the payroll taxes, which are the single biggest tax most working Americans pay.  And we abolish the death tax, which is a tremendously unfair and punitive tax on farmers, on ranchers, on small businesses.  And we replace all of those with a simple 16 percent business flat tax.  And the effect is an incredible catalyst for job creation and wages going up and bringing jobs back to America.  That's my priority:  High-priced jobs coming back to America, wages going up for everyone.

GLENN:  Okay.  He goes into the tax plan.  Now, why will this actually work?  Listen to this.  726.

PAT:  Yeah.  Okay.

TED:  The problem is the history of the fed has not been very good in terms of being smarter than the market and I think trying to guess what's happening in the market.  I think we're far better having a rules-based monetary policy, ideally with some tie to gold so that you just have stable dollars.  So that you know that when you're investing a dollar today, you know that the dollar is going to keep a consistent worth, rather than fluctuate wildly.

VOICE:  I guess my point -- and then back to Joe's point about the growth stagnation around the globe.  What explains that?

TED:  Well, some of it is, many countries in the globe have followed the pattern of the United States of hammering small businesses with taxes and regulation, and you end up with a spiral.  That gives an incredible --

JOE:  They might have led the way, Senator.  I don't know if they followed us.

TED:  You're right.  You're right.

JOE:  Europe, you know, they invented structural --

TED:  Well, now Bernie Sanders tells us how wonderful Sweden is.

VOICE:  Don't get me -- we've been talking about that today, the -- the notion that there's big sum of money and greedy corporations and greedy rich people pull out of that.  They don't generate any of that wealth or any of that growth or any of those jobs or any of those tax receipts.  All they do is take.

But 51 percent of the country in polls is buying into that.  What have we done wrong?

TED:  So, Joe, you're telling me, you don't believe it when Hillary Clinton said, "Don't let anybody tell you businesses create jobs?"

JOE:  No.  That's another one.  Or, "You didn't build this."  I don't believe that one either.

TED:  The catalyst of our economy is small businesses.  Two-thirds of all new jobs come from small businesses.

GLENN:  Two-thirds.

TED:  If you want to have the stagnation we have, it's very simple, you do what we've done the last seven years, you slam small businesses with crushing taxes.  You know, yesterday I was in Buffalo, New York.

GLENN:  Now, listen to this.

TED:  I met with Charlie, the butcher.  He's got seven restaurants.  By the way, an incredible sandwich, the Beef on Weck, I highly recommend it.

And I remember visiting with Charlie, great example of a small business man.  And he was talking about the effect of a $15 minimum wage here in New York State.

And he said, "Listen, I've got seven restaurants."  He said, "I'd like to have 20."  He said, "I could have 20, but I can't afford at this rate."

How many jobs are you talking about, if you added another 13 jobs?  He said, "It would be about 160 jobs."  And this was a conversation I had with him, just talking to him.  That's being replicated in small businesses all across the country.  So if I'm president, my priorities will be lifting the tax burdens and lifting the regulatory burden so that small businesses, we can go from those seven Charlie the butcher shops to 20.

GLENN:  If my tax burden went from 40 percent to 16 percent, how many jobs would we create?

PAT:  Hundreds probably.

GLENN:  Hundreds of jobs.

PAT:  Hundreds.

GLENN:  Hundreds of jobs.  And we're all the same.  Anybody who owns a small business, we're all the same.  We are being -- if they cut regulations, now, not necessarily in this business, but I know just from HR, we've got three people, I think, working in HR.  What are their jobs?  Their jobs are to keep us compliant.

If we just reduce the regulation that -- that eat up so much of a small business' time and so many of our resources just keeping us in compliance with the federal government, how many jobs would we create?  Who has a compliance officer in a small business just to keep you compliant with the laws for Obamacare?

How many jobs are being eaten by the federal government?

See, they say -- Barack Obama says, "The federal government creates jobs."  And that's because, if you go to Washington, they are creating jobs.  These places are getting bigger and bigger and bigger.  And they're all federal jobs.  What do those federal workers do?  They create paperwork for people like us.  They create situations where you need somebody to stay in compliance.  That's the problem.

And nobody else is really talking about these things.

PAT:  How do you -- if you're an economic person at CNBC and you know this stuff pretty well, like they obviously do, how do you not say, "Wow.  That's our guy --

GLENN:  I don't know.

PAT:  -- that's our guy?"

GLENN:  I posted this.  This is 41 minutes of his interview.  And I have never heard a politician talk like this.  Never.  This guy smoked MSNBC -- or, CNBC.  There was nothing they could bring up on the economy that he couldn't answer.  Remember, they started with, "Can you explain this?"  And then she followed with, "Okay.  But tell us, how is this happening with Europe?"  And he answered the question.

I mean --

STU:  Yeah.  By the way, quick tip for journalists interviewing Donald Trump:  End a lot of questions with "can you explain this" and see what he comes up with.  Because he can't explain any of it because he doesn't know -- he'll go back to China and everything else.  Hold him to it.  Make him explain those specifics.  That would be really helpful.

GLENN:  Right.  Right.

STU:  By the way, you're talking about regulation, Glenn.  The average US firm, the annual cost burden for regulation is $233,000.

GLENN:  How many jobs do you create with an extra 233,000?

PAT:  50,000 a piece.  Four.

STU:  Yeah.  Four or five jobs.

GLENN:  The average place.  The average place in America.

STU:  And that's --

GLENN:  Would have money for four extra jobs and some money left over.

STU:  And, by the way, that's just federal regulation.  The total cost nationally, $2.08 trillion.  Trillion.

GLENN:  And that is just burnt money.  That is $2 trillion that is just burnt.  There's nothing -- there's nothing being created with that $2 trillion.  Nothing being created of any value.  Anything that you can take and turn into something, there's nothing that you can turn and sell to somebody else.  That's $2 trillion of burnt money.

STU:  And just to go off on manufacture specifically, because everybody talks about them, the average cost for manufacturers, just compliance, is $19,564 per employee.  $19,000 per employee.  But that hits different for the size of your firm:  A big employer, it's $13,000, it costs.  For a small manufacturer, small businesses, as you were just talking about, two-thirds of all --

GLENN:  All jobs in recessions are created by small businesses.

STU:  13,000 for big employers.  35,000 per employee for small businesses.

GLENN:  So you want to raise -- you want to raise -- you are working in the manufacturing industry, you go ahead and say, "I want -- I want Ted Cruz as president because he's going to cut all of the regulations or a lot of the regulations.  They go from $35,000 a year just to keep that employee in compliance.  And they cut it down to $10,000 a year.  What do you say those -- those jobs and those employees get a 10,000-dollar raise?"  And the rest of it is used to create new jobs, to grow their business, or to be able to reward the people that are -- are -- took the risk in the first place.

Featured Image: Screenshot of Squawkbox

It's time for our April 29, 2019 edition of our Candidate Power Rankings. We get to add two new candidates, write about a bunch of people that have little to no chance of winning, and thank the heavens we are one day closer to the end of all of this.

In case you're new here, read our explainer about how all of this works:

The 2020 Democratic primary power rankings are an attempt to make sense out of the chaos of the largest field of candidates in global history.

Each candidate gets a unique score in at least thirty categories, measuring data like polling, prediction markets, fundraising, fundamentals, media coverage, and more. The result is a candidate score between 0-100. These numbers will change from week to week as the race changes.

The power rankings are less a prediction on who will win the nomination, and more a snapshot of the state of the race at any given time. However, early on, the model gives more weight to fundamentals and potentials, and later will begin to prioritize polling and realities on the ground.

These power rankings include only announced candidates. So, when you say "WAIT!! WHERE'S XXXXX????" Read the earlier sentence again.

If you're like me, when you read power rankings about sports, you've already skipped ahead to the list. So, here we go.

See previous editions here.

20. Wayne Messam: 13.4 (Last week: 18th / 13.4)

CANDIDATE PROFILE

A former staffer of Wayne Messam is accusing his wife of hoarding the campaign's money.

First, how does this guy have "former" staffers? He's been running for approximately twelve minutes.

Second, he finished dead last in the field in fundraising with $44,000 for the quarter. Perhaps hoarding whatever money the campaign has is not the worst idea.

His best shot at the nomination continues to be something out of the series "Designated Survivor."

Other headlines:

19. Marianne Williamson: 17.1 (Last week: 17th / 17.1)

CANDIDATE PROFILE

Marianne Williamson would like you to pay for the sins of someone else's great, great, great grandparents. Lucky you!

Williamson is on the reparations train like most of the field, trying to separate herself from the pack by sheer monetary force.

How much of your cash does she want to spend? "Anything less than $100 billion is an insult." This is what I told the guy who showed up to buy my 1989 Ford Tempo. It didn't work then either.

Other headlines:

18. John Delaney: 19.7 (Last week: 15th / 20.3)

CANDIDATE PROFILE

Good news: John Delaney brought in $12.1 million in the first quarter, enough for fifth in the entire Democratic field!

Bad news: 97% of the money came from his own bank account.

Other headlines:

17. Eric Swalwell: 20.2 (Last week: 16th / 20.2)

CANDIDATE PROFILE

The Eric Swalwell formula:

  • Identify news cycle
  • Identify typical left-wing reaction
  • Add steroids

Democrats said there was obstruction in the Mueller report. Swalwell said there “certainly" was collusion.

Democrats said surveillance of the Trump campaign was no big deal. Swalwell said there was no need to apologize even if it was.

Democrats said William Barr mishandled the release of the Mueller report. Swalwell said he must resign.

Democrats say they want gun restrictions. Swalwell wants them all melted down and the liquid metal to be poured on the heads of NRA members. (Probably.)

16. Seth Moulton: 20.6 (NEW)

Who is Seth Moulton?

No, I'm asking.

Moulton falls into the category of congressman looking to raise his profile and make his future fundraising easier— not someone who is actually competing for the presidency.

He tried to block Nancy Pelosi as speaker, so whatever help he could get from the establishment is as dry as Pelosi's eyes when the Botox holds them open for too long.

Moulton is a veteran, and his military service alone is enough to tell you that he's done more with his life than I'll ever do with mine. But it's hard to see the road to the White House for a complete unknown in a large field of knowns.

Don't take my word for it, instead read this depressing story that he's actually telling people on purpose:

"I said, you know, part of my job is take tough questions," Moulton told the gathered business and political leaders. "You can ask even really difficult questions. And there was still silence. And then finally, someone in the way back of the room raised her hand, and she said, 'Who are you?' "

Yeah. Who are you?

15. Tim Ryan: 21.6 (Last week: 14th / 20.7)

CANDIDATE PROFILE

When you're talking to less than sixteen people in Iowa one week after your launch, you don't have too much to be excited about.

Ryan did get an interview on CNN, where he also talked to less than sixteen people.

He discussed his passion for the Dave Matthews Band, solidifying a key constituency in the year 1995.

Other headlines:

14. Tulsi Gabbard: 25.2 (Last week: 14th / 25.9)

CANDIDATE PROFILE

Tulsi Gabbard torched Kamala Harris in fundraising!!!!! (Among Indian-American donors.)

No word on who won the coveted handi-capable gender-neutral sodium-sensitive sub-demographic.

She received a mostly false rating for her attack on the Trump administration regarding its new policy on pork inspections, a topic not exactly leading the news cycle. Being from Hawaii, the state which leads the nation in Spam consumption, she was probably surprised when this didn't go mega viral.

Other headlines:

13. Andrew Yang: 27.2 (Last week: 12th / 27.1)

CANDIDATE PROFILE

Yang has a few go-to lines when he's on the campaign trail, such as: "The opposite of Donald Trump is an Asian man who likes math." Another is apparently the Jeb-esque "Chant my name! Chant my name!"

Yang continues to be one of the more interesting candidates in this race, essentially running a remix of the "One Tough Nerd" formula that worked for Michigan Governor Rick Snyder.

I highly recommend listening to his interview with Ben Shapiro, where Yang earns respect as the only Democratic presidential candidate in modern history to actually show up to a challenging and in-depth interview with a knowledgeable conservative.

But hidden in the Shapiro interview is the nasty little secret of the Yang campaign. His policy prescriptions, while still very liberal, come off as far too sane for him to compete in this Stalin look-alike contest.

Other headlines:

12. Jay Inslee: 30.4 (Last week: 11th / 30.4)

CANDIDATE PROFILE

If you read the Inslee candidate profile, I said he was running a one-issue climate campaign. This week, he called for a climate change-only debate, and blamed Donald Trump for flooding in Iowa.

He also may sign the nation's first "human composting" legalization bill. He can start by composting his presidential campaign.

Other headlines:

11. John Hickenlooper: 32.2 (Last week: 10th / 32.0)

CANDIDATE PROFILE

John Hickenlooper was sick of being asked if he would put a woman on the ticket, in the 0.032% chance he actually won the nomination.

So he wondered why the female candidates weren't being asked if they would name a male VP if they won?

Seems like a logical question, but only someone who is high on tailpipe fumes would think it was okay to ask in a Democratic primary. Hickenlooper would be better served by just transitioning to a female and demanding other candidates are asked why they don't have a transgendered VP.

Other headlines:

10. Julian Castro: 35.7 (Last week: 9th / 36.2)

CANDIDATE PROFILE

Lowering expectations is a useful strategy when your wife asks you to put together an Ikea end table, or when you've successfully convinced Charlize Theron to come home with you. But is it a successful campaign strategy?

Julian Castro is about to find out. He thinks the fact that everyone thinks he's crashing and burning on the campaign trail so far is an "advantage." Perhaps he can take the rest of the field by surprise on Super Tuesday when they finally realize he's actually running.

Other headlines:

9. Kirsten Gillibrand: 38.1 (Last week: 8th / 37.8)

CANDIDATE PROFILE

Gillibrand wants you to know that the reason her campaign has been such a miserable failure so far, is because she called for a certain senator to step down. The problem might also be that another certain senator isn't a good presidential candidate.

She also spent the week arm wrestling, and dancing at a gay bar called Blazing Saddle. In this time of division, one thing we can all agree on: Blazing Saddle is a really solid name for a gay bar.

Other headlines:

8. Amy Klobuchar: 45.1 (Last week: 7th / 45.5)

CANDIDATE PROFILE

Klobuchar is attempting a run in the moderate wing of the Democratic primary, which would be a better idea if such a wing existed.

She hasn't committed to impeaching Donald Trump and has actually voted to confirm over half of his judicial nominees. My guess is this will not be ignored by her primary opponents.

She also wants to resolve an ongoing TPS issue, which I assume means going by Peter Gibbons' desk every morning and making sure he got the memo about the new cover sheets.

Other headlines:

7. Elizabeth Warren: 45.3 (Last week: 6th / 46.0)

CANDIDATE PROFILE

Elizabeth Warren is bad at everything she does while she's campaigning. I don't really even watch Game of Thrones, and the idea that Warren would write a story about how the show proves we need more powerful women makes me cringe.

Of course, more powerful people of all the 39,343 genders are welcome, but it's such a transparent attempt at jumping on the back of a pop-culture event to pander to female voters, it's sickening.

We can only hope that when she's watching Game of Thrones, she's gonna grab her a beer.

Other headlines:

6. Cory Booker: 54.9 (Last week: 5th / 55.5)

CANDIDATE PROFILE

Booker is tied with Kamala Harris for the most missed Senate votes of the campaign so far. He gets criticized for this, but I think he should miss even more votes.

Booker is also pushing a national day off on Election Day—because the approximately six months of early voting allowed in every state just isn't enough.

Of course, making it easier to vote doesn't mean people are going to vote for Booker. So he's throwing trillions of dollars in bribes (my word, not his) to seal the deal.

Bookermania is in full effect, with 40 whole people showing up to his appearance in Nevada. Local press noted that the people were of "varying ages," an important distinction to most other crowds, which are entirely comprised of people with the same birthday.

Other headlines:

5. Robert Francis O’Rourke: 60.2 (Last week: 4th /62.6)

CANDIDATE PROFILE

Kirsten Gillibrand gave less than 2% of her income to charity. The good news is that she gave about seven times as much as Beto O'Rourke. Robert Francis, or Bob Frank, also happens to be one of the wealthiest candidates in the race. His late seventies father-in-law has been estimated to be worth as much as $20 billion, though the number is more likely to be a paltry $500 million.

He's made millions from a family company investing in fossil fuels and pharmaceutical stocks, underpaid his taxes for multiple years, and is suing the government to lower property taxes on a family-owned shopping center.

He's also all but disappeared. It's a long race, and you don't win a nomination in April of the year before election day. If he's being frugal and figuring out what he believes, it might be a good move.

But it's notable that all the "pretty boy" hype that Bob Frank owned going into this race has been handed over to Mayor Pete. Perhaps Beto is spending his time working on curbing the sweating, the hand gestures, and the issues with jumping on counters like a feline.

Other headlines:

4. Pete Buttigieg: 62.9 (Last week: 3rd / 62.9)

CANDIDATE PROFILE

When we first put candidates in tiers earlier this year, we broke everyone into five categories from "Front Runners" to "Eh, no." In the middle is a category called "Maybe, if everything goes right," and that's where we put Pete Buttigieg.

Well, everything has gone right so far. But Mayor Pete will be interested to learn that the other 19 candidates in this race are not going to hand him this nomination. Eventually, they will start saying negative things about him (they've started the opposition research process already), and it will be interesting to see how Petey deals with the pressure. We've already seen how it has affected Beto in a similar situation.

The media has spoken endlessly about the sexual orientation of Buttigieg, but not every Democratic activist is impressed. Barney Frank thinks the main reason he's getting this amount of attention is because he is gay. And for some, being a gay man just means you're a man, which isn't good enough.

When you base your vote on a candidate's genitals, things can get confusing.

Other headlines:

3. Kamala Harris: 68.6 (Last week: 1st / 69.1)

CANDIDATE PROFILE

There are a couple of ways to view the Harris candidacy so far.

#1 - Harris launched with much fanfare and an adoring media. She has since lost her momentum. Mayor Pete and former Mayor Bernie have the hype, and Kamala is fading.

#2 - Harris is playing the long game. She showed she can make an impact with her launch, but realizes that a media "win" ten months before an important primary means nothing. She's working behind the scenes and cleaning up with donations, prominent supporters, and loads of celebrities to execute an Obama style onslaught.

I tend to be in category 2, but I admit that's somewhat speculative. Harris seems to be well positioned to make a serious run, locking up more than double the amount of big Clinton and Obama fundraisers than any other candidate.

One interesting policy development for Harris that may hurt her in the primary is her lack of utter disgust for the nation of Israel. There's basically one acceptable position in a Democratic primary when it comes to Israel, which is that it's a racist and terrorist state, existing only to torture innocent Palestinians.

Certainly no one is going to mistake Harris for Donald Trump, but a paragraph like this is poison to the modern Democratic primary voter:

"Her support for Israel is central to who she is," Harris' campaign communications director, Lily Adams, told McClatchy. "She is firm in her belief that Israel has a right to exist and defend itself, including against rocket attacks from Gaza."

Just portraying the rocket attacks as "attacks" is controversial these days for Democrats, and claiming they are responses to attacks indicates you think the Jeeeewwwwwwwws aren't the ones responsible for the start of every hostility. Heresy!

Someone get Kamala a copy of the 'Protocols of the Elders of Zion' before she blows her chance to run the free world.

2. Bernie Sanders: 69.2 (Last week: 2nd / 68.3)

CANDIDATE PROFILE

If Bernie Sanders hates millionaires as much as he claims, he must hate the mirror. As a millionaire, it might surprise some that he donated only 1% to charity. But it shouldn't.

It's entirely consistent with Sandersism to avoid giving to private charity. Why would you? Sanders believes the government does everything better than the private sector. He should be giving his money to the government.

Of course, he doesn't. He takes the tax breaks from the evil Trump tax plan he derides. He spends his money on fabulous vacation homes. He believes in socialism for thee, not for me.

Yes, this is enough to convince the Cardi B's of the world, all but guaranteeing a lock on the rapper-and-former-stripper-that-drugged-and-stole-from-her-prostitution-clients demographic. But can that lack of consistency hold up in front of general election voters?

If Bernie reads this and would like a path to credibility, clear out your bank account and send it here:

Gifts to the United States
U.S. Department of the Treasury
Funds Management Branch
P.O. Box 1328
Parkersburg, WV 26106-1328


Other headlines:

1. Joseph Robinette Biden Jr.: 78.8 (NEW)

Joe has run for president 113 times during his illustrious career, successfully capturing the presidency in approximately zero of his campaigns.

However, when the eternally woke Barack Obama had a chance to elevate a person of color, woman, or anything from the rainbow colored QUILTBAG, he instead chose the oldest, straightest, whitest guy he could find, and our man Robinette was the beneficiary.

Biden has been through a lot, much of it of his own making. Forget about his plagiarism and propensity to get a nostril full of each passing females' hair, his dealings while vice president in both Ukraine and China are a major general election vulnerability— not to mention a legal vulnerability for his children. But hey, win the presidency and you can pardon everyone, right?

His supposed appeal to rust belt voters makes him, on paper, a great candidate to take on Trump. The Clinton loss hinged on about 40,000 voters changing their mind from Hillary to Donald in a few states—the exact areas where victory could possibly be secured by someone named "Middle Class Joe" (as he alone calls himself.)

No one loves Joe Biden more than Joe Biden, and there's a relatively convincing case for his candidacy. But we must remember this unquestionable truth: Joe Biden is not good at running for president.

He's a gaffe machine that churns out mistake after mistake, hoping only to have his flubs excused by his unending charisma. But, will that work without the use of his legendary groping abilities? Only time, and a few dozen unnamed women, will tell.

Also, yes. Robinette is really his middle name.

If only Karl Marx were alive today to see his wackiest ideas being completely paraded around. He would be so proud. I can see him now: Sprawled out on his hammock from REI, fiddling around for the last vegan potato chip in the bag as he binge-watches Academy Awards on his 70-inch smart TV. In between glances at his iPhone X (he's got a massive Twitter following), he sips Pepsi. In his Patagonia t-shirt and NIKE tennis shoes, he writes a line or two about "oppression" and "the have-nots" as part of his job for Google.

His house is loaded with fresh products from all the woke companies. In the fridge, he's got Starbucks, he loves their soy milk. He's got Ben & Jerry's in the freezer. He tells everyone that, if he shaved, he'd use Gillette, on account of the way they stand up for the Have-Nots. But, really, Marx uses Dollar Shave Club because it's cheaper, a higher quality. Secretly, he loves Chic-Fil-A. He buys all his comic books off Amazon. The truth is, he never thought people would actually try to make the whole "communism" thing work.

RELATED: SOCIALISM: This is the most important special we have done

Companies have adopted a form of socialism that is sometimes called woke capitalism. They use their status as corporations to spread a socialist message and encourage people to do their part in social justice. The idea of companies in America using socialism at all is as confusing and ridiculous as a donkey in a prom dress: How did this happen? Is it a joke? Why is nobody bursting out in laughter? How far is this actually going to go? Does someone actually believe that they can take a donkey to prom?

Companies have adopted a form of socialism that is sometimes called woke capitalism.

On the micro level, Netflix has made some socialist moves: The "like/dislike" voting system was replaced after a Netflix-sponsored stand-up special by Amy Schumer received as tidal wave of thumb-downs. This summer, Netflix will take it a step further in the name of squashing dissent by disabling user comments and reviews. And of course most of us share a Netflix account with any number of people. Beyond that, they're as capitalist as the next mega-company.

Except for one area: propaganda. Netflix has started making movie-length advertisements for socialism. They call them "documentaries," but we know better than that. The most recent example is "Knock Down the House," which comes out tomorrow. The 86-minute-long commercial for socialism follows four "progressive Democrat" women who ran in the 2018 midterms, including our favorite socialist AOC.

Here's a snippet from the movie so good that you'll have to fight the urge to wave your USSR flag around the room:

This is what the mainstream media wants you to believe. They want you to be moved. They want the soundtrack to inspire you to go out and do something.

Just look at how the mainstream media treated the recent high-gloss "documentary" about Ilhan Omar, "Time for Ilhan." It received overwhelmingly bad ratings on IMDb and other user-review platforms, but got a whopping 93% on the media aggregator Rotten Tomatoes.

This is exactly what the media wants you to think of when you hear the word socialism. Change. Empowerment. Strength. Diversity. They spend so much energy trying to make socialism cool. They gloss right over the unbelievable death toll. BlazeTV's own Matt Kibbe made a great video on this exact topic.

Any notion of socialism in America is a luxury, made possible by capitalism. The woke companies aren't actually doing anything for socialism. If they're lucky, they might get a boost in sales, which is the only thing they want anyway.

We want to show you the truth. We want to tell you the stories you won't hear anywhere else, not on Netflix, not at some movie festival. We're going to tell you what mainstream media doesn't want you to know.

Look at how much history we've lost over the years. They changed it slowly. But they had to. Because textbooks were out. So people were watching textbooks. It was printed. You would bring the book home. Mom and dad might go through it and check it out. So you had to slowly do things.

Well, they're not anymore. There are no textbooks anymore. Now, you just change them overnight. And we are losing new history. History is being changed in realtime.

RELATED: 'Good Morning Texas' joins Glenn to get an inside look at Mercury Museum

You have to write down what actually is happening and keep a journal. Don't necessarily tell everybody. Just keep a journal for what is happening right now. At some point, our kids won't have any idea of the truth. They will not have any idea of what this country was, how it really happened. Who were the good guys. Who were the bad guys. Who did what.

As Michelle Obama said. Barack knows. We have to change our history. Well, that's exactly what's happening. But it's happening at a very rapid pace.

We have to preserve our history. It is being systematically erased.

I first said this fifteen years ago, people need clay plots. We have to preserve our history as people preserved histories in ancient days, with the dead see scrolls, by putting them in caves in a clay pot. We have to preserve our history. It is being systematically erased. And I don't mean just the history of the founding of our country. I mean the history that's happening right now.

And the history that's happening right now, you're a problem if you're a conservative or a Christian. You are now a problem on the left, if you disagree and fall out of line at all. This is becoming a fascistic party. And you know what a fascist is. It doesn't matter if you're a Democrat or a Republican or an independent. If you believe it's my way or the highway, if you believe that people don't have a right to their opinion or don't have a right to their own life — you could do be a fascist.

Christianity might seem pretty well-protected in the U.S., but that's not the case in many parts of the globe.

On Easter Sunday, suicide bombers made the news for killing 290 innocent Christians in Sri Lanka and injuring another 500. On Tuesday, ISIS claimed responsibility for the massacre. Of course, the Western world mourned this tragic loss of life on a holy day of worship, but we forget that this isn't an isolated incident. Indeed, Christians are discriminated at extreme levels worldwide, and it needs to be brought to light. And whenever we do highlight brutal persecutions such as the Easter bombings in Sri Lanka, we need to call them what they are — targeted attacks against Christians. Sadly, many of our politicians are deathly afraid to do so.

RELATED: Hey media, there is absolutely a war on Christians!

A 2018 Pew Research Center study found that Christians are harassed in 144 countries — the most of any other faith — slightly outnumbering Muslims for the top of the list. Additionally, Open Doors, a non-profit organization that works to serve persecuted Christians worldwide, found in their 2019 World Watch List that over 245 million Christians are seriously discriminated against for their religious beliefs. Sadly, this translates into 4,136 Christians killed and 2,625 either arrested, sentenced, imprisoned, or detained without trial over the year-long study period. And when it comes to churches, those in Sri Lanka were merely added to a long list of 1,266 Christian buildings attacked for their religion.

These breathtaking stats receive very little coverage in the Western world. And there seems to be a profound hesitation from politicians in discussing the issue of persecution against Christians. In the case of the Sri Lanka bombings, there's even a reluctance to use the word "Christian."

After the horrific Pittsburgh Synagogue and New Zealand Mosque shootings, Democrats rightfully acknowledged the disturbing trend of targeted attacks against Jews and Muslims. But some of these same politicians refer to the Sri Lanka bombings with careless ambiguity.

So why is it so hard for our leaders to acknowledge the persecutions Christians face?

Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton, for instance, certainly did — calling the incursions "attacks on Easter worshippers." Understandably, the term confused and frustrated many Christians. Although, supporters of these politicians argued the term was appropriate since a recent Associated Press report used it, and it was later picked up by a variety of media outlets, including Fox News. However, as more Democrats like 2020 presidential candidate Julián Castro and Rep. Dan Kildee continued to use the phrase "Easter worshippers," it became clear that these politicians were going out of their way to avoid calling a spade a spade.

So why is it so hard for our leaders to acknowledge the persecutions Christians face? For starters, Christianity in democratic countries like the U.S. is seen differently than in devastated countries like Somalia. According to Pew Research, over 70% of Americans are Christian, with 66% of those Christians being white and 35% baby boomers. So while diverse Christians from all over the world are persecuted for their faith—in the U.S., Christians are a dominant religion full of old white people. This places Christians at the bottom of progressives' absurd intersectional totem poll, therefore leaving little sympathy for their cause. However, the differing experiences of Christians worldwide doesn't take away from the fact that they are unified in their beliefs.

By refusing to name the faith of the Sri Lankan martyrs, politicians are sending a message that they have very little, if no, concern about the growing amount of persecution against Christians worldwide.

Martyrs don't deserve to be known as "Easter worshippers." They should be known by the Christian faith they gave their lives for. Decent politicians need to call the tragedy in Sri Lanka what it is — a vicious attack on the Christian faith.

Patrick Hauf (@PatrickHauf) is a writer for Young Voices and Vice President of Lone Conservative. His work can be found in the Washington Examiner, Townhall, FEE, and more.