Glenn Questions Ted Cruz on What It Means to 'Vote Your Conscience'

Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX) defended his decision to vote for Donald Trump in the upcoming presidential election on The Glenn Beck Program Monday. Many in Glenn's audience supported and campaigned for Senator Cruz during the primary election, and Glenn felt it important for his audience to hear the senator's reasoning.

RELATED: Trump’s Third Act Enters Climax With Cruz

In a considerably heated interview, Glenn grilled Cruz to understand what pivot point led to the senator's decision, announced Friday on his Facebook page.

"I just want to make sure I understand," Glenn said. "So, a man who has principles, who says, There are lines I will not cross, it's still a binary choice? So, a man who you cannot come on and say, Yes, Glenn, he is fit to be president of the United States, I still am encouraged by you to abandon my principles and vote because it's a binary choice?"

Cruz answered deliberately.

"You are encouraged by me to do what you believe is right and honorable and principled," Cruz said. "And from my perspective, as I look at the issues, Hillary Clinton is telling us she will do enormous damage to the country."

Read below or listen to the full segment for answers to these pointed questions:

• What was the pivot point that changed Senator Cruz's mind?

• Will Senator Cruz be voting his conscience with Trump?

• Did the senator reframe his speech from Cleveland?

• Is this election really a binary choice?

• Did Senator Cruz hang Mike Lee out to dry?

• Did Senator Cruz "rent" his email list to Donald Trump?

Listen to this segment from The Glenn Beck Program:

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

GLENN: Yes. Well, waiting for the politician hotline to ring right now. On the other end, Senator Ted Cruz, who agreed on Friday to come on the show and talk to you and tell you his thoughts.

PAT: What if there's a super important Senate vote going on like this minute?

GLENN: Here he is. There he is. We get to him right now. Okay. Good.

(music)

GLENN: Welcome to the program, Senator Ted Cruz.

TED: Glenn, it's good to be with you.

GLENN: Senator, you -- you said you made this decision for two reasons: First, you promised to support the Republican nominee, and you intend to keep your word. And second, by any measure, Hillary Clinton is wholly unacceptable. I want to get into both of those with you, but I want to start with the last thing that you said.

TED: Sure.

GLENN: You said, "If you don't want to see Hillary Clinton presidency, I encourage you to vote for Donald Trump." You are voting for him. And you encourage others to vote for him.

In your very eloquent, almost Charles Sumner speech at the convention, you said, "Vote for conscience." So am I supposed to now vote for him, or am I supposed to vote for my conscience?

TED: Well, Glenn, what I said in Cleveland and what I would say today is the same thing: You should follow your conscience. And I believe what I laid out in Cleveland was, "Don't stay home. Come out and vote. Vote your conscience and vote for candidates you trust to defend freedom and the Constitution." And what I was trying to do at Cleveland was lay out a path to uniting Republicans and lay out a path to winning.

And in particular, I was saying to the Trump campaign, "This is how you earn my vote and I believe how you earn the vote of other conservatives: You defend freedom and defend the Constitution. This is about principles and ideas." That's the test I'm applying. What I do know is that Hillary Clinton fails that test profoundly. And I said that at Cleveland, and I think it is even more clear today.

GLENN: Yeah, we've known that. We've known that for 25 years.

TED: Yes.

GLENN: And Hillary Clinton has done nothing to change your mind or mine that she is fit to be president of the United States.

However, this weekend, you wouldn't answer the question if Donald Trump is fit to be president of the United States.

TED: What I said is this is a binary choice. I wish it were not a binary choice. As you know, I tried very, very hard -- as did you -- to prevent it from being a binary choice from Hillary and Donald Trump. And I think it is fair to say there was no other Republican candidate who left more on the field and did more to stop Donald from being the nominee than I did. But the voters made a different decision. And you have to respect the democratic process, even if you may not be terribly happy with the outcome.

And given the binary choice on any measure --

GLENN: I just want to make sure I understand. So a man who has principles, who says, "I will -- there are lines I will not cross." It's still a binary choice. So a man who you cannot come on and say, "Yes, Glenn, he is fit to be president of the United States," I still am encouraged by you to abandon my principles and vote because it's a binary choice?

TED: You are encouraged by me to do what you believe is right and honorable and principled. And from my perspective, as I look at the issues, Hillary Clinton is telling us she will do enormous damage to the country.

Let's take the issue of the Supreme Court, which, as you know, is an issue that matters deeply to me. I know it matters deeply to you and deeply to many of your listeners.

Almost every one of our constitutional rights hangs in the balance. We have a narrowly divided court, with Justice Scalia's passing. Just about every right we cherish is at risk of being lost, whether it is the Second Amendment right to keep and bear arms. And in the Heller case, which I helped win, that was a 5-4 victory that upheld the individual right to keep and bear arms.

The next president, probably in January, will nominate a justice that will either uphold the individual right to keep and bear arms or attempt to revoke it forever.

GLENN: So you and I agree on this 100 percent.

TED: Yep.

GLENN: But this is information that you had in Cleveland. And hang on just a second. Before you respond.

TED: Sure.

GLENN: You had all of this information. You had this information the day you dropped out of the race and said that Donald Trump is a sociopathic liar. So you had all this information. Have you spent an enormous amount of time with Donald Trump? Do you have new information that has made you say, "Oh, my gosh, he's now not a sociopathic liar. He is not the guy that I -- I -- I very eloquently spelled out for over a year and now suddenly there's a reason to believe him."

TED: Well, let me say a couple of things in response, Glenn.

First of all, I have had many significant disagreements with Donald Trump. And as you noted, I have not been shy to articulate those at considerable length.

I don't intend to do so at this point. The primary is over. We are in a general election with a -- with a binary choice.

GLENN: I'm asking you for new information.

TED: And I don't think it's beneficial for me to continue laying out those concerns. I have laid them out a great length --

GLENN: No, I'm asking you for new information.

TED: You're in a different role than I am. You have -- you can share your concerns. I have shared them in the past. I don't intend to repeat them.

STU: But that's different.

GLENN: That's different. I'm asking you for new information. You knew all the things that you are saying today. The time to do that would have been the day that you pulled out or the day that you -- the day that you gave the speech so eloquently.

PAT: Why now?

GLENN: Why now? What's new?

TED: Well, a number of things have changed. I'd say the most significant thing that changed was on Friday, the day that I announced that I would vote for Donald Trump, the Trump campaign put out a list of potential Supreme Court nominees, and I think to me, critically committed that the only nominees he would consider for the court were on that list.

Now, that was a major shift. In the past, he had put out a list of 11 potential nominees, and the campaign's language had been, "These are among the people who would be considered." On Friday, the campaign expanded that list to 21. It's a very strong list. They put Senator Mike Lee, who would make an extraordinary Supreme Court justice. They put him at the top of that list.

GLENN: Yeah, after not speaking to him.

TED: And for the first time ever, the campaign committed, those were the only names that would be considered.

Now, I'll tell you, Glenn, that was not an accident, that that occurred. When several weeks ago, when I sat down with Mike Pence in Washington, Mike asked me, "What would it take to get you on board?" And for months, I had been telling Donald, I had been telling the campaign, "My greatest concern was protecting the Constitution, the Bill of Rights, and the rule of law."

I told Donald that before the convention. I said that over and over and over again. And when we talked about, "Well, what could the campaign do to give any degree of reassurance on the Constitution and the rule of law," we discussed the Supreme Court as being one of the great checks protecting the Constitution and the rule of law. And the Trump campaign committing to nominate from that list was an important change that gave me significant reassurance and helped me get to the point of saying yes.

PAT: Hmm.

STU: So, A, I have a million questions on that. Why do you believe him, number one?

Number two, you have Mike Lee, who I agree would be a great Supreme Court justice, but also is on the list and still not endorsing. And did you tell Lee in advance? Because there's lots of reports saying that you basically hung him out to dry after he's been siding with you this entire time.

(chuckling)

TED: Well, look, on the latter point, Mike and I have had a great many conversations. And the idea that -- I would love to see Mike Lee on the Supreme Court, as I said many times on the campaign trail. I joked more than once with Mike there, and indeed, Glenn, with you there, about how good I thought Mike would look in a black robe. So I will make no secret and no apologies of my view that Mike Lee would make an extraordinary Supreme Court justice.

PAT: No question.

GLENN: We've talked about that extensively, you're exactly right.

But I believe Stu's exact question was, "Did you hang him out to dry?" He was not aware -- many reports are that he was not aware that he was a candidate or you were going to make this decision on Friday.

TED: I'm not going to get into the details of our private conversations, but let me just say, that's not accurate. But I don't want to get into the details of our private conversations.

STU: Okay. So why do you believe Trump on this list? Because, I mean, you've called -- I mean, you said, you know, he was going to send us into the abyss. You called him, correctly, a pathological liar. Why would you believe that he put it down on a piece of paper, that he wouldn't back off on it? I mean, he's backing off on -- he backed off of the birther thing. It was the only thing we knew about the guy.

TED: What I laid out -- and let me encourage your listeners. You know, I mean, I wrote a long op-ed that we posted on Facebook. We sent out on email.

If you haven't read it, I'd encourage you to read it. Because it was something that I wrote from the heart. This was a decision that I agonized about.

But starting on the Supreme Court, what I believe to a certainty is Hillary Clinton, if she were president would appoint left-wing ideologues to the Court. If that happens -- the next president is going to get one, two, three -- maybe even four Supreme Court justices. If that happens, the Second Amendment is gone. Religious liberty is gone. Free speech is gone. Federalism is gone. US sovereignty will be given away. I believe that to 100 percent certainty.

Now, with respect to the justices Donald Trump would nominate, I know that he is publicly committing to nominate from a list that is very strong. And if he were to nominate from that list, it would be a major step towards protecting our rights. I hope that he would follow through on that commitment. One never knows if one will. But the fact that he is publicly promising, "I will nominate from these 21," I think creates a dynamic where, compared to Hillary, who is promising to put left-wing ideologues, that's a clear choice.

PAT: Ted, I think what's most disappointing to me is that for you, this has gone apparently from voting your conscience, to, this is a binary choice. Those are two different things: Voting my conscience means I can't vote for either one of these people. That's what that means to me.

What does vote your conscience mean to you?

TED: Still, with all respect, I don't agree with that. And one of the dynamics, if you go and look at what I said in Cleveland --

GLENN: We will.

TED: What I said in Cleveland was almost word-for-word what Ronald Reagan said about Gerald Ford in '76. And it was almost word-for-word what Ted Kennedy said about Jimmy Carter in 1980. And that was not accidental. Both of those were obvious historical analogues. Those were the two previous candidates who had come very close and nearly won the nomination. And my speech drew deliberately from both of those speeches. Both of those speeches at the time were treated as effectively endorsement speeches.

One of the unfortunate things about the reaction in Cleveland is that for many who were watching, it was perceived that I was essentially embracing Never Trump. I have never been a Never Trumper. You know, Glenn, you and I have talked about this. You have defended the position, I believe at times, of never supporting Trump. That's never been my position. I've never said it.

GLENN: And never supporting Hillary.

TED: Right.

GLENN: In fact, sir, I never actually endorsed you. Every single one of my speeches started the same way: I am not here to endorse Ted Cruz. I am here to endorse the ideas of America and the Constitution of the United States of America.

So I don't -- I don't -- I'm not never or always anything, except for constitutional principles.

TED: And you're preaching to the choir on that. But my point is, in Cleveland, I was not articulating, "Do not vote for Trump." I was articulating, "If you want my vote, defend freedom and defend the Constitution."

GLENN: Correct.

TED: What I was hoping to do was provide a path for the Republican nominee to focus on the issues that matter and bring us together. And I believe in putting out a list of Supreme Court justices and committing to that list, that was a major step in that direction.

I also think it was important last week when -- when I had been leading the fight in the United States Senate to protect freedom on the internet, to protect -- prevent Obama from giving away control of the internet to Russia and China and Iran. Hillary Clinton supports Obama in doing that. And Donald Trump came out strongly in support of my fight to protect the internet. That was significant.

The test I laid out in Cleveland was, "Will you defend freedom and defend the Constitution?" When Donald Trump comes in and supports our efforts to defend freedom, that's significant. Does it mean that he'll always do that in the future? No, I don't have certainty of any candidate on that.

But what I do know is that what Hillary is promising to do would do enormous damage. The court would be lost for a generation. And, you know, on the question of voting your conscience, listen, that is what I have struggled for months, prayerfully considering, "What is the right thing to do?" Any voter has five choices: You can vote for Hillary Clinton. You can vote for Donald Trump. You can vote third party. You can write somebody in. Or you can not vote in the presidential election.

I decided early on, I was Never Hillary. I was not and will never vote for Hillary Clinton. Part of what I thought about and wrestled about over the past several months is the last three options. I could not publicly defend -- I couldn't sit here on your radio show and urge voters to vote third party when a third party's not going to win and either Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump is going to be president. I couldn't urge someone to write someone in or not to vote. And so I was left with --

GLENN: I hate to interrupt you.

TED: My conscience left me as the only option, if I want to stop a Hillary Clinton presidency, is to vote for Trump. And that's ultimately what I concluded.

GLENN: I just have -- I have one more question, and this is worth $20,000 to me. Bump the next commercial, please. Take that first commercial. Give me the extra minute for his response because I'm up against a network break.

All of us have received pro-Trump emails, and we're now on the Trump bandwagon. I have taken advertising from Donald Trump. And I would take advertising from Hillary Clinton because this is a business and I don't believe keeping options gone.

However, I think everybody should be able to have their voice heard on the public airwaves. However, me getting information or email list now on Donald Trump is really rather annoying. The only person that I ever gave my information to was you.

As a candidate, you do not have to sell your list. Did you sell your list to Donald Trump?

TED: Well, Glenn, as you noted on your radio show, you sell advertising. It's actually what funds your radio show. And that's true of, as far as any radio show, that's how one communicates. That's also true of every candidate. You don't sell your list, but you rent your list. So if someone wants to access your supporters, they pay for it. And that helps fund your efforts. And so like every other candidate, sure, we have rented our list out for those who wish to pay for it. That is true, by the way, of every other candidate.

And so, yeah, there's a hit piece today in Politico, a left-wing rag that wants to -- that is hitting me --

GLENN: Oh, my gosh.

TED: -- but somehow is not applying that standard to anyone else in the political world or for that matter anyone else on radio who sells advertising every day to fund communicating with the voters.

GLENN: Well, I do have that same standard. Thank you very much. Ted, I disagree with you. I disagree with you strongly, but I still respect you as a man. And you have done a lot of great. And I hope you continue to do a lot of great work in the future. Thank you for coming on the program.

TED: Well, Glenn, and you are my friend. I continue to respect you --

GLENN: I have to break. Thank you. I'm sorry, I have to break for this network. Here we go.

Featured Image: Screen shot from TheBlaze TV

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.