Glenn Talks With Libertarian VP Candidate Bill Weld About Amendments and Aleppo

Libertarian vice presidential candidate and former governor of Massachusetts Bill Weld stopped by The Glenn Beck Program on Monday to discuss the issues and the state of the Libertarian Party in the 2016 election.

Read below or watch the clip for answers to these questions:

• How you get to a balanced budget in 100 days?

• Which president since 1900 would Bill Weld like to be like?

• What does Bill Weld recommend Donald Trump read instead of The Art of the Deal?

• Would Bill Weld and Gary Johnson audit the Federal Reserve?

• What must great nations and great men do?

Listen to these segments from The Glenn Beck Program:

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

GLENN: We've had Gary Johnson on several times, and it has never gone as planned, never gone as well as we would hope. And I think that's because he has always seemed to be playing more towards a -- a leftist approach than the right. The thing I like about Libertarianism, when it's true, is you can have -- you can have whatever opinion you want.

BILL: Right. Right.

GLENN: It's about freedom.

BILL: Right.

GLENN: And so I want to talk to you a little bit about the state and the role that the state plays in all of our lives.

I was thinking last night how much time we've wasted over the last eight or ten years arguing over who's in Washington. If we only applied that energy to something else, what we could have done.

Let's start with, what are the first things that you and Gary would do walked into office? Day one.

BILL: Oh, I think priority number one would have to be the budget and spending levels. It's the first things we did in our states when we were elected. And both Gary and I were rated the most conservative -- fiscally conservative governor in the United States at various times during the 1990s. We actually served together. My second term overlapped with his first term in the mid/late '90s.

So, you know, we've said we would file a balanced budget within 100 days, I think.

GLENN: What does that mean?

BILL: Well, it means you send a budget to Congress.

GLENN: No, no, hang on.

What does that mean? To the average person, a balanced budget at this point, what is their life going to look like?

BILL: Well, it's going to look a lot better if we can balance that budget. Right now, the federal government doesn't do what every homeowner does and balance their checkbook at the end of the month. They borrow money to fill in the gap. So they spend more money than they have. Because the people in Washington, the senators, the representatives, think that if they just turn that government printing press around and green stuff comes out the other end, they think that's free money, you know.

And my favorite maxim when I was in office is, there's no such thing as government money. There's only taxpayers' money. So it would take some cuts to the budget to make it come out balanced. Because it's not balanced right now, the way they do it in DC.

GLENN: Right. And so what does that mean? I know if Washington ever got serious about it and we looked stable, it would mean a lot to the world, and business would start to come back. Et cetera, et cetera.

BILL: Oh, yeah.

GLENN: But what does it look -- because most people don't realize how much they get from the government already.

BILL: Yeah, well, this would create tens of millions of dollars if we're able to make it stick. And I've been, you know, campaigning for a balanced federal budget, constitutional amendment to the last 20 years.

You know, I've almost given up hope on the guys in Washington. They're so hyper-partisan. So hyper-gerrymandered. Those two parties in DC really seem to exist for the purpose of killing each other.

GLENN: Yeah.

BILL: And I think the only silver bullet to get them to take a common sense approach to the budget really would be term limits. You know, there were two things I was national chair of when I was in office, one was US term limits with my friend Howie Rich from Philadelphia, who ran the show, and the other was privatization council, because I think there's a lot of activities that could be better done, either in the private sector or in a partnership between public and private sectors.

Those are -- those are seminal ideas, whose time has come and gone and come again.

STU: Yes.

GLENN: Yeah. Couldn't everything be done better, really in the private sector? I mean, even the military is doing stuff in the private sector.

BILL: Yeah, no, I'm a big privatization buff. I've never met a layer of spending in government at any level, federal, state, local, that I didn't think honestly could do with a ten to 20 percent cut. Really, it's no such thing.

GLENN: Sure. So tell me about the cuts that you would have to make. Where would you start cutting?

BILL: Well, I think the goal would be 20 percent total. I don't believe in across-the-board cuts. I think what you do is zero-based budget. Which means you take every account and say, "How was it last year?" Now in DC, they say, "How was it last year? Let's add 5 percent. Anything less than that, we're going to scream bloody murder, that's a cut." Well, that's crazy.

And what you should do is examine each spending head. Let's say there's a preventive health spending item in the health care sector that produces just scores of millions of wonderful outcomes and avoids spending costs and makes people better without a great expense. You might take that appropriation and multiply that by 12 because it's doing a great job.

GLENN: Uh-huh.

BILL: And then you get a bigger one, the next one creates some bureaucracy that lives somewhere between the Justice Department and the Treasury Department and the Homeland Security Department and the Commerce Department. And nobody can tell you quite what it does, except it allows a lot of people to talk to each other, and it's just very murky. That one might go to zero, frankly.

GLENN: Uh-huh.

BILL: And I don't agree with people who say, "I'm going to cut, you know, ten or 20 percent of the budget just by rooting out waste, fraud, and abuse." That's just a tag line. Slogan.

And it's usually people who don't know much about the budget who say that. And the problem is not that there's an even ten percent of waste, fraud, and abuse in everything. The problem is that there are government problems that are ill-advised and shouldn't be there in the first place. That's how you get to a balanced budget in 100 days.

GLENN: So how are two men who are Libertarian, lean liberal on many issues, that the conservatives would be afraid of on other issues, the liberals would be afraid of on some issues, how are you going to get everybody to say, "Hey, let's cut these programs?"

BILL: Well, we have the power to file the budget that then goes to the Hill. And I'm sure they would scream bloody murder and say, no, we can't do this. And we would say, well, yeah, actually we can do this.

The Pentagon, for example, they say they have 20 percent more bases than they need. So, you know, they go to the Hill. And the Hill says, "Oh, no, we're not going along with that. Even though you're the military and this is what you say you need, we are obsessed with getting reelected. And so we don't want one penny to be cut from anywhere in the budget."

And it would be ugly. I mean, it would be an ugly conversation for a while. But, you know, if it came back with, you know, ten times more than we had sent them, then the veto pen comes out, and at least we'd be pressing it from the side of the angels, from the right side.

GLENN: Since 1900, who is the president you and Gary would say I want to be more like?

BILL: Oh, I don't know. I kind of like Teddy Roosevelt. A lot of energy there. You know, Eisenhower got a lot of good stuff done. Reagan -- I worked for Reagan for seven years, he got a lot of good stuff done.

GLENN: Okay. Tell me -- tell me your stance on the fed.

First of all, what's -- what's coming our way? What do you think is coming our way if we stay on this course economically?

BILL: I don't think the news is good. I mean, I think the most important thing we have to do is cinch in our belt on the budget and stop spending money that we don't have. And, as you know, unless we do that, the huge national debt will go up. And Mr. Obama is going to leave office now with 20 trillion, with a T, national debt. Half of that came in on his watch.

GLENN: It can't be. Because that was un-American. That's what he said about George Bush. It was un-American, so he couldn't have spent more than George Bush.

BILL: No, I think that if you got the Democrats in, given the promises that they've made in this campaign season, if they followed through on all of those, then after two terms of Democrats, the national debt would probably be $50 trillion.

And then on the other side, you got a guy, Mr. Trump, who says, "Well, I'll talk to the Chinese, and I'll just strike a better deal."

You know, the United States Constitution says -- and I quote from Section 4 of the Fourteenth Article of the amendment, the validity of the public debt of the United States shall not be questioned.

That's kind of sunk in there in the Constitution. And I keep -- I keep saying that the Donald -- you know, tomorrow, instead of taking out The Art of the Deal and re-reading it for the 400th time, maybe you should take out a copy of the Constitution. It's not that long. It's very well written.

GLENN: And read it once.

BILL: Read it for the first time.

GLENN: Right. Yeah.

PAT: It would be nice.

BILL: No, Gary and I do take it out and read it. And it's a good read. It's a very good read. It's very well drafted. Spare language.

PAT: Yes.

GLENN: We haven't been following it for how long?

BILL: The Constitution?

GLENN: Yeah.

BILL: Oh, I think we kind of cut loose from that when the necessary and proper clause in Article I, Section 8, was interpreted by the courts and Congress to mean anything is necessary and proper. And Congress' power to legislate, which extends to items necessary and proper to carry into execution, its laws. It's been stretched beyond.

GLENN: So the fed. Where do you stand on the fed?

BILL: I guess the current question there is, do we like that it has the employment objective as well as just the currency objective? And the purists say, "No, we don't want the employment objective, so just go back to being in charge of the currency." I'm not deeply into that. That's good enough for me. Leaving the employment is good enough for me.

GLENN: So you wouldn't change the fed at all?

BILL: I think Gary would. I think Gary would. We had a conversation.

GLENN: You guys haven't had that conversation?

BILL: Yeah, I think he's skeptical about the employment objective for the fed.

GLENN: Okay. So would you audit the fed?

BILL: That's the first thing. Big audit of the fed. And Gary is very strong on that one.

GLENN: Okay.

STU: One of the things we're always seeing from the fed and various spending programs in general is the idea that we can spend our way into prosperity. That you can find a government stimulus, for example, we have one candidate saying they want a $275 billion stimulus -- that's Hillary Clinton. Another one, Trump, who is saying $550 billion-plus. He's saying -- he's promised to more than double it.

Is there anything to that? Should we be thinking about spending?

BILL: No, no. You can spend your way into bankruptcy a heck of a lot easier than you can into prosperity.

When I took office in the '90s, the head of Administration and Finance for Governor Dukakis, who I directly succeeded, said the state is bankrupt. And it was. The state could not pay its bills as they do.

So if I hadn't come in, in February, or the year where I came into office, in January, with the balanced budget, we would have just not been paying our bills.

States can't do that. Great nations like great men must keep their word, as Justice Robert Jackson said.

GLENN: And so you did that in a very liberal state.

BILL: Yeah. I mean, we were flat on our back. Massachusetts and New Hampshire, in 1991, were the two states hardest hit by the recession. '90, '91. So everybody was scared. And I think I was able to get stuff through, as a fiscal conservative. Narrowly, they would have laughed me out of town, but people were literally scared. So they said, "Let's give the red-headed kid enough rope to --

GLENN: What's it going to take to scare America?

BILL: You know, I think America should be -- should be scared right now, in terms of --

GLENN: You look at this election, it's pretty scary.

BILL: The election is scary, but the projection of the economy is scary.

GLENN: Yes.

BILL: And I think it's tens of millions of dollars. I strongly agree with what you said. This is not -- this stuff about the debt and the budget, it's not just a ledger entry. It's our economy, which means tens of millions of jobs. Even more than that.

GLENN: Yeah. I think we're headed for a -- a Depression unlike we have seen. And possibly throughout the entire western world.

What are we doing with Deutsche Bank, with seemingly trying to punish Deutsche Bank when they are flat on their back? And what happens?

BILL: Yeah. Yeah. There's a lot of difficult scary stuff out there. The Brexit vote. People are just unsettled. I remember what it was like after 9/11. I was then in the investment business. Nobody would talk to you. All -- you know, all flights were cancelled for six months. All meetings were cancelled. Everyone just went frigid. And we could be reaching another one of those moments.

GLENN: And was Brexit a good thing or a bad thing?

BILL: I tend to think it's a bad thing. That might be the right answer in this context here, in this beautiful living room.

GLENN: No. We don't want the right answer. We want the real answer.

BILL: No, I think the real answer is that it's going to upset a lot of stuff that was kind of baked into the international economy.

GLENN: So is -- but is -- do people have a point of, I don't want this, you know, international body ruling me? I want my own -- I want my own country.

BILL: No, they do. There's something in that.

A lot of the Brexit vote, I think, was kind of a protest vote, like a lot of the vote on the FARC treaty that President Santos in Columbia did with the rebels. That was supposed to pass with 65 percent of the vote. You know, stay was supposed to pass with 60-plus percent of the vote in Britain. And people voted with their votes, not with their feet.

GLENN: I want to tell you -- when we come back, I want to talk to you a little bit about the protectionist stance that the right seems to be taking now. Also want to talk to you -- we went into Mosul this weekend. ISIS, Russia, and cyber warfare.

Gary Johnson's running mate, Governor Weld is with us. And more in just a second.

[break]

GLENN: Governor Weld is with us from Johnson and Weld.

Governor, one thing conservatives are concerned about with Libertarians is a -- is leaving a vacuum in the world. It's taken us 100 years -- 120 years to get to this position, to where we're in everyone's business. You can't just pull out and leave a vacuum. We have to reverse-engineer this to some degree. Faster or slower, I don't know. But we can't just one day there, one day gone.

We're seeing Mosul being taken. This is going to cause a lot of displacement and a lot of new refugees. And it's ugly.

ISIS is horrible. Russia is saber-rattling. Where do you stand on world affairs?

BILL: Well, I think it's no secret Gary and I -- and he has influenced me in this area over the course of the last six months or so. We're somewhat less inclined to rush in with American military to effectuate a regime change than probably either of the other establishment.

GLENN: Will you go as far as saying -- because I think I'm there. We're not in the regime change business.

BILL: No, no. We're not in the regime-changing business. We think Iraq was a mistake. We think Libya and Syria, which was squarely within the Obama and Clinton regime are mistakes.

GLENN: Huge mistake. Yes.

BILL: And as Governor Johnson likes to say, wars have unintended consequences. Sometimes they're military -- like we back the rebels. They lose. So all the arms that we've given to the rebels -- this is in Syria -- end up in the hands of ISIS. That's an unintended military consequence. It could be moral. I spent a lot of time traveling abroad the last dozen years, and that would include after the 2003 Iraq invasion, the United States paid a moral price for that around the world. And, I mean, I mean all around the world. Asia, Africa, not just western Europe.

So, you know, we'd want to think twice. Having said all that, I do believe -- I think Gary believes in cultural diplomacy and constructive engagement, not just saying we're out of here.

But militarily, yeah. I mean, those 8400 troops in Afghanistan, should they come home now? Yeah.

Why? Because there's no reason for them to be there. No reason it won't be there in 20 years. You know, come back in 20 years, and if they're still there, people will say, you can't take those 8400 troops out of Afghanistan because the Taliban will come in and there will be a big slaughter.

All right. So maybe we need to bite that bullet squarely and bite it now. And if there has to be amnesty, a refugee, where the top 250 people who have been helping us against the Taliban, maybe they have to come to the United States. Maybe we have to protect them somehow. But that's going to be true whenever those troops come home.

GLENN: Yeah. Real quick, because I have to go to a break, do you know where Aleppo is?

BILL: I do.

GLENN: Okay. Good, we got that. All right. Back in just a second.

(OUT AT 9:31AM)

GLENN: Former Massachusetts Governor Bill Weld is with us from Johnson and Weld. Gary Johnson, the Libertarian candidate. Bill Weld is the vice presidential nominee.

Our audience is quite concerned about gun control. It's a very constitutional audience. And they're concerned about grabbing guns, mainly from Clinton's side. What are your thoughts on --

BILL: Well, you know, the Second Amendment says the right of the people to bear arms shall not be infringed. It doesn't say the right of the people to bear arms shall not be infringed, except in times of a standing militia. You know, there are no qualifiers there.

I like to say, if you look back through history, when governments have persuaded people to lay down their arms because that will make the government better able to protect them, it's generally resulted in them very quickly losing all of their liberties. So it's not a pretty sight.

So, you know, we think the right of the people to bear arms has to be sustained against allcomers, period. No qualifiers.

GLENN: Is there any common sense legislation that you're for?

BILL: You mean in the direction of more control of guns?

GLENN: Yes.

BILL: No, no, I don't think so. No.

GLENN: Okay.

The New York Times, at the time when you were governor -- let me just read this: Voters increasingly fearful of gunfire on the streets.

It's Massachusetts, we have to remember.

Governor William Weld, Massachusetts, reversed this -- proposed some of the most stringent gun control laws in the country. A Republican who will run for reelection next year called for a statewide ban on assault weapons.

BILL: You know, I don't think I did. I know that Mike Usino (phonetic), who is head of Gun Owners Action League, who had endorsed me when I ran was very upset with some legislation that was kicking around. But I never --

GLENN: Yeah, it says here you opposed that during your campaign.

BILL: Yeah.

GLENN: As well as a waiting period for buying handguns and a prohibition on handgun ownership by anyone under 21.

You proposed legislation that would limit the number of handguns an individual could buy and impose tougher penalties for illegal gun sales and gun-related crimes.

BILL: It may be legislation was kicking around, but it was not with the full weight of the shoulder of William F. Weld behind it.

GLENN: Okay. All right. Tell me about cyber security. We keep hearing in the debates about -- Donald Trump is very aware of the cyber.

(chuckling)

BILL: Yeah. Yeah. He's in the room.

GLENN: Yeah.

BILL: You know what they say in corporate big deals, if you're not in the room, you're not in the deal. He's in the deal. That means he's in the room.

GLENN: Yeah, yeah. He's in the room. And he knows all about the cyber. He says he doesn't think the cyber can be fixed. I don't even know what that means.

Cyber security -- we -- Russia says that they are at war with us, with digits, ones, and zeros. We have said last week or week before last that we were going to respond to their hacking into our systems. Where does this go, and how do we solve this?

BILL: Well, you know, I think the top US intelligence services unanimously have said the Russians are behind this. They're using -- they can identify the services that are hacking in. And it is the Russians. And we haven't really seen convincing denials out of the Russians. So I'm persuaded it is the Russians.

President Obama is talking about openly about what he's going to do to get back at the Russians. You know, restrained reaction or some other reaction. Sanctions. Yada, yada. But it seems to be clear that it is the Russians hacking into the electoral system of the United States. That's very scary.

GLENN: Wouldn't that have been --

BILL: What if they get into voter lists.

GLENN: Right. At any other time, wouldn't that have been an act of war in our country?

BILL: Pretty close. Pretty close.

GLENN: So what is the answer there?

BILL: Well, I guess that's what they're talking about in the White House right now, is what to do about it.

GLENN: But if you're in the White House with Gary, what's your advice to the president on what the appropriate response would be?

BILL: Well, I would want to talk to the technical people about some maximum crypto system that could, you know, keep us from having the stuff hacked in by ordinary intelligence agencies of a hostile foreign power.

If that can't be done, then you've got to think of a whole different way of classifying your information or keeping your information. Make it so that there's nothing so precious there, that if they can get into the system, that we're up the creek without a paddle.

GLENN: We're not even -- they can get into our power grid. They can get into our banking system. I mean, we're in real trouble right now.

BILL: Well, it's probably the case that we're up to being able to do anything that they're able to do.

GLENN: Yes, I would agree with that.

BILL: You wouldn't want to see all the power grids in the world go down. That would not be good for the economy.

GLENN: Right. Right.

STU: Or my Netflix queue, which is vital.

GLENN: That's very important.

STU: The most important thing, yeah.

You guys actually spent some time -- and I really appreciate this. We did a show on my show, my stupid little show on this network asking questions from the conservative perspective that's considering a vote for you guys. And I am. I am in that boat. I cannot vote for any of these top two candidates. And you spent time this weekend. And I appreciate that. We're going to post the results online today.

I think it's interesting to note, a lot of people ask, "Well, look, this is an uphill battle for you guys. It's hard for third parties to win. And while you're doing better than, you know, really any third party since Ross Perot, it's going to be a difficult chance for you guys to actually win.

What -- a vote for Johnson/Weld, if you don't think you can win in your state, what does that do? Is there something that can benefit you guys outside of the actual obvious end goal?

BILL: Well, you know, I think we have the best ticket. I think we have winning arguments. If you look at the national polls, are you, you know, fiscally responsible? Yes, 60 percent. Are you socially inclusive, as opposed to wanting to impose your view of social issues on other people? Yes, 60 percent.

So 60 percent of the country kind of agrees with us on the bedrock issues. You know, when I talked to the Republican convention -- national convention once upon a time, I had just a minute to talk, I said I want the government out of your pocketbook and out of your bedroom. That's pretty much where it is. And that's a 60 percent issue.

So, yeah, I know it looks like a very long put. Things happen in the last 20, 30 days of an election. And it may be that if the country focuses with huge clarity and intensity on the three choices, that we would do a lot better than people are expecting now. I think if we get into the 20s at any point in the month of October, we would be dangerous to the other parties because we would have momentum.

But, you know, we don't hesitate to keep pressing the argument because we think we've got the better of the argument.

STU: And there's ballot access issues, right? Is it 3 percent ballot access for the next time, if you were to get that?

BILL: Yeah. You don't have to worry about the ballot access. So the Libertarian should be there in all 50 states.

STU: That's big.

BILL: And probably you could attract big feet to the banner, given that.

STU: Sure. And then 5 percent is matching funds. Right? So, I mean, that's another big hurdle -- so there are reasons, you know, for that vote. That vote can mean something outside of even who wins.

BILL: That's right. That's exactly right.

GLENN: Do you believe in global warming, man-made global warming?

BILL: I think man-made activity contributes to the amount of CO2 in the atmosphere. Sure, that's hard to deny.

GLENN: Yeah. Is that directly related to a warming or --

BILL: It has some impact in the up direction for warming. But so does non-point source pollution, which is cows.

PAT: Yep.

BILL: Cows put a lot of gas into the atmosphere.

GLENN: Right.

PAT: Real question is: Should we spend $10 trillion dealing with the problem?

GLENN: Right. Is there regulation that we should be doing for global warming?

BILL: You know, I think it's going to depend on technology going forward. If you could solve the carbon capture and sequestration issue so that CO2 could be stored in the ocean without risk of leaking -- and, believe me, everybody in the world is working on this -- you would take enormous amount of pressure off the regulations aimed straight at CO2 and methane.

GLENN: In 2008 and I think '12, you endorsed Barack Obama.

BILL: Oh, no. I didn't endorse him in '12. I was Romney all the way.

GLENN: In '12. Okay. In '8, you did?

BILL: I endorsed him in '8 because my guy Romney lost the primary and I thought -- and I liked Senator McCain a lot. But he was making no bones about the fact that he didn't really care about the economy. He cared about military and foreign policy. And I thought Obama had some interesting ideas. I think he had kind of a disappointing first --

GLENN: What were the interesting ideas?

BILL: He said, we have to get away from organizing our settlement patterns over the internal combustion engine, going forward.

He was talking about mega-zoning and driverless cars, the wave of the future. He was kind of a futurist. Interesting, as I say.

GLENN: Right. Has there been anything that Barack Obama has done that you think, "That was really good, and that was really bad."

BILL: You know, I think he's behaved with dignity, which is important. And I think probably his low point was the red line in Syria in the first term. But, you know, he's --

PAT: What about Obamacare?

BILL: You know, I think a lot about what Gary and I would do if we get there. And it does lie in my mind that in the old days, which means when people were civil to each other in Washington -- in other words, more than ten or 15 years ago, you know, the Congress had passed a big bill, and they would come back two or four years later and say, "What can we do to fix this and make it work a little bit better?" And the, you know, Republican candidates for Congress, who, you know, don't really know a lot about what's in the bill say, "The first thing I'm going to do is I'm going to repeal Obamacare."

And so then the question is, "Well, what are you going to replace it with?" And the answer is, "I don't know because I don't really even know what Obamacare is." I mean, Obamacare did add 20 million people to their roles, which is good from a point of cost containment, because you want to have a big denominator of people, to spread cost around. It also created an enormous amount of government bureaucracy. Don't get me started on bureaucracy. That's a very bad thing.

More deeply, I think the issue with Obamacare is that the decisions now are being made by a combination of government and the insurance companies. And that's -- if all you're thinking about is controlling costs, yeah, okay, maybe you could get there. But it's not the only aim of health care organization. The quality of care in this country is equally important, if not more important. And the doctors and the patients, they're major stakeholders. They don't even seem to have a seat at the table, in terms of decision-making.

So I think for openers, you'd want to change the mandate, so it's applying only to catastrophic. That would cut the cost by a large amount. And then let people -- willing buyer, willing seller contract for other health care that they want to be on, the catastrophic. That would empower the consumer.

STU: You brought up Romney quickly. Romney came out and said straight out that if he were at the top of the ticket, he would endorse you.

BILL: Mitt and I are good friends.

STU: Yeah. I mean, that's a big deal obviously for a third party. He's the most recent Republican nominee. He has not come out, however, and endorsed the ticket you're on. Have you had conversations with him?

BILL: Many.

(laughter)

GLENN: Why won't he endorse? What is it about Gary that's stopping him?

BILL: I don't know. I mean, Mitt and I know each other well. It's a big thing for him to say he would vote -- or, he would endorse somebody for president. So I took that as a big thing. He doesn't know Gary as well. Gary and I sat with him. So it's not like they haven't met.

But he doesn't have the shared experience with Gary that he does with me. I was the first of four Republican governors in a row in Massachusetts -- we had been out for 20 years until I got in, and Mitt was the fourth. And we lived very near each other in Massachusetts. I see him in Salt Lake. I see him in New Hampshire. It's a close relationship.

GLENN: Is he going to endorse somebody?

BILL: I don't know. I don't know.

GLENN: What do you think happens to the Republican Party? Are they over?

BILL: I think -- and I've been saying this since the get-go, that the Republican Party is going to have some kind of schism, some kind of split. Either this year, around this election, or at the very latest the next cycle. And I think Donald Trump agrees with me. Because he says he sees a very different Republican Party in five years.

GLENN: Oh, he does.

BILL: And that would be the Trump faction, which would be exactly analogous to the old know-nothings of the 1850s. You know, we hate immigrants. We have violent rallies. We espouse conspiracy theories. It's the no-nothings. So that part of the party will be identifiable. And then the rest of the part of the party -- I don't know what you call it, the Romney/Bush, everybody else --

GLENN: What happens to the constitutionalists?

BILL: Well, I hope they would wind up in the other part of the party because they're not being well served by the Trump part of the party.

And then, you know, ideally, if history repeats itself, the other part of the party, no matter what it's called, could be called Republicans, could be called something else, they elect Abraham Lincoln three years later.

GLENN: Yeah. Governor Bill Weld and Gary Johnson, the Libertarian ticket.

How do people get involved in your campaign?

BILL: JohnsonWeld.com.

GLENN: JohnsonWeld.com. You can go there now if you want to volunteer, you want to support, you want to find out more, JohnsonWeld.com. Thank you very much, Governor. I appreciate it.

BILL: Thank you, Glenn. Pleasure.

Featured Image: Libertarian vice-presidential candidate William Weld speaks at a rally Saturday, September 10, 2016 in New York. / AFP / Bryan R. Smith (Photo credit should read BRYAN R. SMITH/AFP/Getty Images)

As we move along this endless primary season, we implement our first major adjustments to our power rankings model. Because of all the changes on the model itself, we'll keep the write ups short this week so that we can get an update posted before we hit the second round of debates.

There are now 40 separate measures of candidate performance which are summarized by the 0-100 score that helps us makes sense out of this chaos.We also have a new style of graphs, where the section highlighted in blue will show the progress (or lack thereof) made by each candidate over the life of their campaign.

In this update, we have our first campaign obituary, a couple of brand new candidates (when will it ever stop) and plenty of movement up top.

Let's get to it.

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. 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.

Campaign Obituary #1

The Eric Swalwell Campaign

California State Congressman

April 8, 2019 - July 8, 2019

Lifetime high: 20.2

Lifetime low: 19.5

I ended my initial profile on Eric Swalwell with this:

"There's a certain brand of presidential candidate that isn't really running for president. That's Eric Swalwell."

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It's now more true than ever that Swalwell isn't running for president, because he has officially dropped out of the race.

To any sane observer, Swalwell never had a chance to win the nomination. This was always about raising his profile with little downside to deter him from taking money and building a list of future donors.

In one of many depressing moments in his FiveThirtyEight exit interview, he noted that one of his supporters told him he definitely thought he'd eventually be president, but it wasn't going to happen this time. (This supporter was not identified, but we can logically assume they also have the last name Swalwell.)

Swalwell did outline a series of reasons he thought his ridiculous campaign might have a chance.

  1. He was born in Iowa. After all, people from Iowa will surely vote for someone born in Iowa, even if they escaped as soon as possible.
  2. He had what he believed was a signature issue: pretending there was no such amendment as the second amendment.)
  3. He's not old.

It was on point number three where Swalwell made his last stand. In an uncomfortably obvious attempt to capture a viral moment that would launch his fundraising and polling status, Swalwell went after Joe Biden directly.

"I was 6 years old when a presidential candidate came to the California Democratic Convention and said it's time to pass the torch to a new generation of Americans. That candidate was then-Senator Joe Biden." This pre-meditated and under-medicated attack, along with Swalwell's entire campaign future, was disassembled by a facial gesture.

Biden's response wasn't an intimidation, anger, or a laugh. It was a giant smile that somehow successfully communicated a grandfathery dismissal of "isn't that just adorable."

Of course, headlines like this didn't help either:

Eric Swalwell is going to keep comparing the Democratic field to 'The Avengers' until someone claps

The campaign of Eric Swalwell was pronounced dead at the age of 91 days.

Other headlines:

Eric Swalwell ends White House bid, citing low polling, fundraising

Republicans troll Swalwell for ending presidential campaign

Eric Swalwell Latest 'Cringe' Video Brags About Omar Holding his 'White' Baby

Eric Swalwell's message to actor Danny Glover is 'the cringiest thing I've ever seen in a hearing'

Eric Swalwell's 'I Will Be Bold Without The Bull' Bombs

25. Joe Sestak 11.0 (Debut) Former Pennsylvania State Congressman

Joe Sestak is a former three-star admiral who served in Congress for a couple of years in the late 2000s. Besides his military service, his most notable achievement is figuring out a way to get Pat Toomey elected in a purple state.

With Arlen Specter finally formalizing his flip from Republican to Democrat in 2009, he was expected to cruise to reelection. However, Sestak went after him in the primary, and was able to knock him off in the by eight points. Sestak then advanced to face Republican Pat Toomey in the general election. He lost by two points during the Tea Party wave election of 2010.

Needless to say, losing to the former president of the fiscally conservative Club For Growth isn't exactly an accomplishment that is going to help Sestak in the Democratic presidential primary.

Unfortunately, with the current state of the party— his distinguished service in the Navy probably isn't helpful either.

Other headlines:

Joe Sestak on the issues, in under 500 words

Joe Sestak, latest 2020 candidate, says it's not too late for him to gain traction

Sestak aims to 'heal the soul of America' with presidential bid

Joe Sestak Would Move the US Embassy 'Back Out of Jerusalem'

24. Mike Gravel: 12.5 (Previous: 24th / 15.3) Former US Senator from Alaska

CANDIDATE PROFILE

Gravel was able to get celebrities and other candidates to send out pleas to raise funds in effort to get above 65,000 donations and qualify for the second debate.

We may never know if it was grift or incompetence, but Gravel probably should have known that crossing this line made no difference. He'll still be yelling at the TV when the debate starts.

Other headlines:

Gravel meets donor threshold to qualify for Democratic primary debate

Gravel spends a bit of cash to run an ad against Joe Biden in Iowa

Mike Gravel: Why the American People Need Their Own Legislature

Mike Gravel Is the Anti–Joe Biden

23. Wayne Messam: 12.7 (Previous: 23rd / 15.8) Mayor of Miramar, FL

CANDIDATE PROFILE

Messam has made no impact in this race so far, and has fundraising numbers that don't even get into the six digits, let alone seven. He's not really running a campaign at this point, so there's no real downside in staying in for now.

Other headlines:

Wayne Messam: Money Kept Me Out of the First Democratic Debate. Will It Keep Me Out of the Second?

22. Seth Moulton 17.2 (Previous 20th / 21.5) US Rep. from Massachusetts 

CANDIDATE PROFILE

Seth Moulton is the invisible man on the campaign trail. Most people don't even know who he is when they're talking to him. His appeal to the Democratic party is heavily flavored with his military service and appeal to patriotism.

Good luck with that Seth.

Other headlines:

Moulton: Buttigieg Was a Nerd at Harvard

Moulton: Democrats shouldn't go on 'moral crusade' against Trump

Moulton talks reclaiming patriotism from Trump, Republicans

Moulton: 'Trump is going to be harder to beat than many Democrats like to believe'

Presidential candidates hear challengers' footsteps at home

21. Tim Ryan 18.4 (Previous: 18th / 24.3) US Rep. from Ohio

CANDIDATE PROFILE

Tim Ryan's first debate performance was so bad he lost about a quarter of his score with this update. He's not without a plan to get that support back though. He wants to bring hot yoga to the people.

Other headlines:

Tim Ryan on CNN: Trump 'clearly has it out for immigrants'

Ryan Falls Way Behind in Q2 Fundraising Race, New Poll

20. Marianne Williamson 20.7 (Previous: 21st / 20.6) Author, Lecturer, Activist

CANDIDATE PROFILE

Williamson is not going to be the nominee for the Democrats, but if you throw a debate watch party, she might supply the most entertainment. So much so, Republicans have started to donate to her campaign to keep her in future debates.

Other headlines:

"I call her a modern-day prophet": Marianne Williamson's followers want you to give her a chance

Williamson Uses Anime to Explain 2020 Candidate's Holistic Politics

What Marianne Williamson and Donald Trump have in common

Marianne Williamson's Iowa director joins John Delaney's 2020 campaign

19. John Hickenlooper 22.5  (Previous: 11th / 32.0) Former Gov. of Colorado 

CANDIDATE PROFILE

Hickenlooper has been shedding campaign advisors at a relatively furious pace as he admits "there's just a bunch of skills that don't come naturally to me" when it comes to campaigning.

Probably best to pick another line of work.

Other headlines:

Hickenlooper defends campaign fundraising to The Onion: 'The race is wide open'

WP: 'You are who?' The lonely presidential campaign of John Hickenlooper

Gary Hart Warns John Hickenlooper Against Campaigning On Bipartisanship Message

Hickenlooper refuses to condemn protesters who hoisted Mexican flag at ICE facility


18. Michael Bennet 27.4 (Previous: 14th / 28.8) US Senator from Colorado

CANDIDATE PROFILE

Michael Bennet is a bit of a boring no name, but give him credit for actually trying to differentiate himself from the field. He's one of the only candidates willing to criticize his socialist opponents from the center, calling out the open borders crowd and student debt. Obviously this has no chance of success in the democratic party, but at least he's trying.

Other headlines:

George Will touts Bennet to beat Trump in 2020

Bennet: America doesn't know what the Democratic Party stands for

17. Steve Bullock 28.3 (Previous: 16th / 27.7) Gov. of  Montana 

CANDIDATE PROFILE

Bullock's biggest moment of his campaign, and quite possibly his only important moment , will come in this round of debates. He missed the first round, but squeaks in for round two after Eric Swalwell decided to take his zero percent and go home.

Bullock has a theoretical argument that doesn't look half bad on paper, but it seems impossible for another "moderate*" to make noise with Biden still hanging around.

(*-None of these moderates are actually moderate.)

Other headlines:

For Democratic presidential hopeful Steve Bullock, it's all about the 'dark money'

Steve Bullock hates 'dark money.' But a lobbyist for 'dark money' donors is helping his campaign.

Steve Bullock looking to introduce himself as someone who won in Trump country

Bullock said he's not one to eliminate all student-loan debt

Steve Bullock raises $2 million for 2020 bid in second quarter, campaign says

Lowering of state flag at capitol draws criticism

15. John Delaney 29.5 (Previous 19th / 20.3) Former US Rep. from Maryland 

CANDIDATE PROFILE

The power ranking model likes Delaney more than voters seem to like him. He continues to pour his own money into the race and at some point you have to believe someone in his life stops him from setting his cash on fire.

He did steal a key advisor from Marianne Williamson's campaign, which doesn't seem like a path to success.

Other headlines:

Delaney: "Non-Citizens Are Not Covered By My 'Better Care' Plan, But…"

Delaney says he opposes decriminalizing border crossings

Undaunted by low polling, John Delaney keeps his show on the road

Delaney presidential campaign theme: fix what's broken, keep what works

14. Andrew Yang 30.0 (Previous: 15th / 28.3) Attorney and Entrepreneur 

CANDIDATE PROFILE

Before the campaign started, if you would have said Yang would be in the middle of the pack at this point, he probably would be happy with that result. His embrace of quirky issues like banning robocalls, giving everyone free cash, and spending $6 billion to fix the nations malls is enough to keep him in the news.

His fundraising was decent, and he remains an interesting and thoughtful candidate. But, Yang has a better chance of dropping out and running on a third party ticket than winning in this Democratic Party.

You do have to wonder how long it will be before the word "Math" moves from his campaign slogan to the reason he needs to drop out.

Other headlines:

Andrew Yang Is Targeting The 'Politically Disengaged' To 'Win The Whole Election'

You can't turn truck drivers into coders, Andrew Yang says of job retraining

Yang's plan to give $1000 a month to everyone is popular with young, poor Democrats

13. Jay Inslee 31.4 (Previous: 12th / 30.4) Gov. of Washington state

CANDIDATE PROFILEf

Expect Inslee to capture the king-czar-chancellor role of the new climate police or whatever draconian nightmare the actual Democratic nominee creates if they win.

In the meantime, he should try to avoid cringe inducing nonsense like this.

Other headlines:

Presidential hopeful Jay Inslee says Trump's immigration policies will 'end his presidency'

Crowd roars for Elizabeth Warren, Jay Inslee follows to tepid applause

Inslee on listening to Carole King, wanting an anchor tattoo

Inslee Says He Tried to Arrest Fleeing Republicans


12. Tulsi Gabbard 33.4 (Previous: 13th / 28.8) US Rep. for Hawaii 

CANDIDATE PROFILE

Tulsi Gabbard really wants to be Joe Biden's vice president. Or, at least, she wants to hold an important role in his cabinet, like Secretary of Defense.

Gabbard has been running interference for Biden, aggressively going after Kamala Harris for her very successful but substance free bussing attack, while hammering Harris as not qualified to be President. These have been among the harshest criticisms levied by any candidate in the race so far, and there is definitely a purpose to all of it. Her presence in the same debate as Biden and Harris should be something Harris prepares herself for. Expect incoming fire.

Along with Yang, Gabbard remains among the most interesting Democratic candidates to Republicans and Libertarians, which is not helpful to her chances of actually winning the Democratic party nod.

Other headlines:

Gabbard says Harris used "political ploy" to "smear" Biden on raced

Which U.S. Wars Were Justifiable? Tulsi Gabbard Names Only World War II

Tulsi Gabbard Says It's A 'Good Thing' Trump Met With Kim Jong Un

Gabbard Sympathizes With Amash, Says the Two-Party System Sucks

Tulsi Gabbard Files Bill To Study Hemp's Uses For Just About Everything

Gabbard: '14-year-old girl hacked into a replica of Florida's election system'

11. Tom Steyer 33.5 (Debut) Billionaire hedge fund manager

Tom Steyer is a Democratic billionaire that has spent millions plastering his face all over MSNBC for the past two years begging people to consider impeaching Donald Trump.

The campaign power ranking model loves Steyer's potential because of his unlimited money and theoretical ability to put together a serious campaign team.

All of this is theory at this point though, as the millions spent so far has lead to a giant pile of zilch. If he's serious enough, he should be able to buy his way into the low single digits, and squeak his way into a debate or two.

Steyer's billionaire status isn't an obvious fit as the party of inequality attempts to take down Donald Trump. But, he does have legitimate movement credibility, tons of cash to buy support, and a long developed immunity to embarrassment—so the sky is the limit.

Other headlines:

Tom Steyer on the issues, in under 500 words

Tom Steyer announces 2020 bid, reversing course

Why We're Not Treating Tom Steyer As A 'Major' Candidate (Yet)

Steyer banks on South Carolina in 1st presidential bid stop

10. Kirsten Gillibrand 37.1 (Previous: 9th / 36.7) US Senator from New York

CANDIDATE PROFILE

There is probably no candidate that enters the second round of debates more clearly in do-or-die mode than Gillibrand. With headlines like "The Ignoring of Kirsten Gillibrand" lighting up her feed, she needs something big to happen, and fast. Her performance in the first debate wasn't actually horrible, but still went unnoticed.

She has zero percent in lots of polls, and that includes all of the benefits she says she's received from white privilege. Imagine if she didn't have that going for her.

Other headlines:

Gillibrand: I'd Tell Concerned Coal Miner the Green New Deal Is 'Just Some Bipartisan Ideas'

Struggling in White House bid, Democrat Gillibrand seeks bump in Trump country

Gillibrand Annoyed by Question About Immigration 'Reversal'

9. Robert Francis O’Rourke 40.7 (Previous: 6th / 52.8) Former state Rep. from Texas

CANDIDATE PROFILE

The free fall continues for Betomania.

When campaigns show signs of death, reporters start to write long profiles that aim to tell the story of the demise, or launch the amazing comeback.

Politico's headline (What Beto O'Rourke's Dad Taught Him About Losing) probably wasn't all that helpful.

Beto did secure Willie Nelson's vote though, meaning he can now count on 2 votes, assuming his "Republican" mother votes for him.

Other headlines:

Welcome to America—It's a Hell Hole!

A desperate Beto O'Rourke goes for broke, claims America was founded on white supremacy

Beto O'Rourke finds 'personal connection' to slavery, argues for reparations to unite 'two Americas'

Beto boldly vows not to prosecute people for 'being a human being'Rebooto O'Rourke

Fact Checker: Has Beto O'Rourke visited the most Iowa counties? No.


Beto O'Rourke: Let's Forgive All Student Loan Debt For Teachers

8. Amy Klobuchar 42.9 (Previous: 8th / 41.9) US Senator from Minnesota 

CANDIDATE PROFILE

Klobuchar has been a massive underachiever so far, but is still sticking around in that third tier of candidates. Along with Beto, Booker, and maybe Castro— they aren't exactly eliminated, but can't seem to catch fire. Or even get warm.

Klobuchar would serve herself well to focus on the fundamentals and avoiding desperate pleas for attention if she wants to remain in the Biden VP sweepstakes. Or she could totally shake things up by throwing binders at her opponents in the debate.

Other headlines:

Klobuchar: I Don't Support Open Borders Like Warren, Castro

Deportation raids are about distracting from issues: Amy Klobuchar

Klobuchar hoping 'nice' finishes first

Sports bookmakers put Klobuchar as "heavy underdog" in presidential race

7. Julian Castro 43.2 (Previous: 10th / 34.5) Former Secretary of Housing and Urban Development

CANDIDATE PROFILE

Castro is a good example of how overblown debates can be. His first debate performance was quite solid, but did more to sink Robert Francis O'Rourke than actually help his own candidacy.

One more good debate performance should be enough to get him into the next round of debates, as he has already passed the donor threshold. Polling, however, has been elusive. Perhaps there is a swath of America that is uncomfortable voting for a Castro for president, like say, all of south Florida?

Still, in a field of a zillion candidates that have shown no potential, he stands out as a long shot with a punchers chance to make some noise. This is reflected with a nice bump in his score for this update.

Other headlines:

Julián Castro Doubles Down On Decriminalizing Migration: Repeal Felony For Reentry, Too

Julian Castro: 'Instead of breaking up families, we should break up ICE'

Bill Maher rips Julián Castro for remark about abortion for trans women

Julián Castro declines to hold baby

Julián Castro can't speak Spanish

Julian Castro wants to solve homelessness by 2028

A consulting firm made specifically to prevent sexual harassment is providing Castro and other 2020 campaigns advice and training

5. Pete Buttigieg 65.8 (Previous: 2nd / 68.8) Mayor of South Bend, IN

CANDIDATE PROFILE

There probably isn't a campaign that has been more bizarre than Mayor Pete. He was a complete nobody to the public, though as we initially noted, he had support from a bunch of Obama era celebrinerds.

This helped him rise to a top tier candidate with all the money and momentum to make a run at the nomination. Since then we've seen a complete fizzle. He is using the cash to build the infrastructure to make himself a serious candidate, and he should last a while, but he probably must win Iowa to have a chance at the nomination.

Also, finding one African American who will vote for him would be nice.

Other headlines:

Pete Buttigieg goes on hiring spree after top fundraising quarter.

Buttigieg, Struggling With Black Voters, Releases Plan to Address Racial Inequities

South Bend police call out Buttigieg for sending pizza rather than apology after race comments

CNN's Axelrod Rips Buttigieg: Blacks Doing Worse Under His Leadership

Only Pete Buttigieg gets standing ovation from Corn Feed audience

New Republic Drops Out Of Climate Forum Over Backlash To Pete Buttigieg Op-Ed

Pete Buttigieg says it's "almost certain" we've had gay presidents

Pete Buttigieg Sets Hollywood Fundraisers With Ellen DeGeneres, Chelsea Handler and More

4. Elizabeth Warren 70.4 (Previous: 5th / 53.4) US Senator from Massachusetts 

CANDIDATE PROFILE

Looking back at my initial analysis of this field, I'd say it's played out pretty closely to what I expected. Warren has surprised me though.

In an election where beating Trump is the most important characteristic for democratic voters, she seems to be grown in a lab to lose to him. She comes across as a stern elementary school principal who would make kids terrified to be called into her office, because she'd bore them to death by reading them the handbook.

Her DNA kit roll out was so catastrophic, I assumed democrats would see that her political instincts are awful. When put under the intense pressure Trump is sure to bring, she's going to collapse, and I figured democrats would recognize that.

Instead, she's in the top tier. This rise has been legitimately impressive for Warren.

It's also a dream come true for Donald Trump.

Other headlines:

The Activist Left Already Knows Who It Wants for President

Netroots Nation was the day Elizabeth Warren became president of the American left

Elizabeth Warren pledges to decriminalize border crossings

Warren plans to increase annual refugee admissions nearly 800 percent from FY2018

Warren, Biden Campaigns Appear to Find Loophole Around Paid Internships

Warren says she'll push to end Israel's 'occupation'

Warren staffer: 'I would totally be friends with Hamas'

Elizabeth Warren reintroduces legislation requiring corporations to disclose climate risk exposure

Elizabeth Warren Wants Reparations For Same-Sex Couples

Elizabeth Warren proposes executive orders to address race and gender pay gap

This is how Elizabeth Warren plans to close the pay gap for women of color

How much would a wealth tax really raise? Dueling economists reflect new split in Democratic Party

Elizabeth Warren Brings Ad Buying In-House

Elizabeth Warren says she raised $19 million in the second quarter of the year

3. Bernie Sanders 71.1 (Previous: 3rd / 67.2) US Senator from Vermont

CANDIDATE PROFILE

Sanders has fallen slowly but steadily in the polls the past couple of months, and while not every metric yet reflects it, the socialist wing seems more likely represented by Warren.

That being said, Bernie holds her off for third place. Warren and Bernie have reportedly struck a truce to not attack each other, an arrangement which benefits Warren far more than Sanders.

Bernie's machine and name recognition continues to keep him near the top of the heap, but one wonders how long that lasts as name recognition for other candidates get higher, and Iowa gets closer.

No matter if he wins or loses, he's moved the Overton window of the party in a dramatic way. And don't underestimate the appeal of his Medicare-for-all-humankind dream. Bernie may be too old and cranky to see socialized health care into the end zone, but he has advanced that ball much further than he had any right to.

Other headlines:

Bernie Sanders has 'deep sense of satisfaction' his positions are now 'centrist' among Dems

Bernie Sanders: I Will Cancel All $1.6 Trillion Of Your Student Loan Debt

Sanders hits back at Biden over criticism of 'Medicare for All'

Bernie Sanders: Nancy Pelosi shouldn't 'alienate' freshmen House Democrats

Why Sanders Wanted His Meeting With a Rabbi Kept Secret

Bernie Sanders Says Being the First Jewish President Would Be 'Another Barrier Broken Down'

Liberal billionaire calls Bernie Sanders a 'Communist' and 'a disaster zone'

Blackstone's Byron Wien: Markets are terrified of far-left Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren

Antiwar candidate Bernie Sanders faces backlash over the $1.2 trillion war machine he brought to Vermont

The time Bernie Sanders ranted about baseball in a low-budget film

Bernie Sanders shows off sword Ross Perot gave him

Bernie Sanders Raises $18 Million in 3 Months, Trailing Buttigieg

2. Kamala Harris 79.2 (Previous: 4th / 65.9) US Senator from California 

CANDIDATE PROFILE

Harris has given back a good chunk of her post debate bounce, which is to be expected. While she rockets to number two in the power rankings, there are a few things to worry about.

The difference between Warren and Harris is notable. The candidates are nearly tied in most polls, but much of the strength of Harris is based on one spectacular moment. Warren alternatively seems to have a lower ceiling, but a stronger foundation.

The good news for Harris is she does incredibly well among voters that are actually paying attention, while her weakness lies with those who haven't really tuned in yet.

At some point, Harris has to clean up her mess of a policy package, which includes supporting a Bernie style Medicare for All without the Bernie style middle class tax hikes-- a combination that even the left admits makes no sense.

Quotes like this still feel way too accurate, "She's the easy-to-listen-to, poorly defined identity candidate." This needs to be sorted out eventually if she's actually going to win.

Other headlines:

It's Hard To Have A Conversation With Kamala Harris When She Doesn't Even Know What She's Talking About

Kamala Harris: Immigration Raids Are 'A Crime Against Humanity', there are 'babies in cages'

Harris doubles down on criticism of Biden's busing comments on The View

Mother Jones: Kamala Harris Wants to Bring Back Busing? Really?

Kamala Harris's Call for a Return to Busing Is Bold and Politically Risky

Race is 'America's Achilles' heel,' Harris tells African-American group

Kamala Harris claims her campaign is being targeted by Russian bots, also says she's not a plan factory

Harris proposes $100 billion plan to increase minority homeownership

What's Kamala Harris's record on Israel?

Kamala Harris Called Young People "Stupid" in 2015

Kamala Harris lags behind top-tier candidates in Q2 fundraising

Utah man arrested after alleged scheme to plan fake Kamala Harris fundraiser

1. Joe Biden 80.8 (Previous: 1st / 82.3) Former US Senator from Delaware and Former Vice President

CANDIDATE PROFILE

Biden's polling has mostly rebounded to his pre-debate status and he remains the favorite to be the nominee.

He can't survive too many more performances like his first debate however, and he needs to show voters that he can stand up to the heat President Trump is going to bring. In other words, don't get smoked again, fall over on your walker, or look like your dentures are going to fall out in the middle of a debate.

This is a real test for Biden's candidacy. He's had time to prepare, and he's had time to stretch the old muscles. No more excuses.

If Joe can get spry, he probably wins the nomination. But, that is far from a sure thing.

Other headlines:

NBC/WSJ poll: Biden tops 2020 Democratic field...

Joe Biden Decides He Doesn't Need to Stay Above the Fray After All

Biden campaigns as Obamacare's top defender

Biden says Democrats haven't been straightforward about 'Medicare for All'

Biden under fire for mass deportations under Obama

Biden refuses to apologize for high deportation numbers during Obama years

Joe Biden's campaign office opens in Philly with a protest, not a party

AOC: Segregationist controversy and debate performance raised question Biden could be too old for office

Are Biden's Apologies Killing His Electability Argument?

Liberal activists at Netroots Nation bet Joe Biden drops out of race

Joe and Jill Biden have made $15M since leaving White House

How Joe Biden, who called himself 'the poorest man in Congress,' became a multimillionaire

Penn Paid Joe Biden $775,000 to Expand Its "Global Outreach" … and Give Some Speeches

Biden: 'Occupation is a real problem'Joe Biden raised $21.5 million in second quarter, campaign announces

Joe Biden: I Promise To 'End The Forever Wars In Afghanistan And Middle East'

Joe Biden promises to 'cure cancer' if elected president

No, stealth Obamacare won’t fix the failed status-quo

Online Marketing/Unsplash

Another day, another proposed fix to a pressing national problem by a Democratic presidential hopeful. Former Vice President Joe Biden has positioned himself as the "moderate" leader of the Democratic Party, putting pressure on him to come up with a "sensible" alternative to Sen. Sanders' (I-Vt.) Medicare for All plan. But Biden's healthcare proposal, released July 15, doubles down on flawed, top-down solutions without offering any new ideas. Presidential hopefuls should instead pledge to unleash market innovation and lower healthcare prices for all.

Of course, a former vice president will inevitably find it difficult to make a clean policy break from the administration he has repeatedly hailed and defended. Biden's tenure as vice president made him into a second-tier political rockstar, and it makes sense that he's reluctant to separate himself from former President Obama's Affordable Care Act (aka "Obamacare"). It's also no surprise that "Bidencare" preserves Obamacare's disastrous expansion of Medicaid, the federal government's insurance program for low-income Americans. His plan even provides a public option for residents of states that have not expanded Medicaid. Perhaps more surprising, or just disappointing, is how thoroughly the Democratic orthodoxy has embraced government medical insurance even at gargantuan cost, despite little evidence that it'll work.

RELATED: Medicare for all: Obamacare was only the first step

Back when he was a heartbeat away from the presidency, Biden vigorously defended Obamacare, criticizing Republican governors for failing to expand Medicaid and predicting that all states would eventually see the light. That never quite happened (as of now, 17 states wisely refuse to expand health insurance targeted at low-income Americans). But the Obama administration tried to cajole red and purple states into expanding the Medicaid eligibility threshold "up to 138 percent of the poverty level." Nevertheless, states such as Texas, Florida, and North Carolina wisely considered the evidence that Medicaid was breaking the bank — without helping the poor get access to the care they needed.

This evidence isn't just based on one or two stray studies produced by the "right" think-tank. In June 2018, Health Affairs published a blockbuster analysis of 77 studies on Medicaid's effectiveness, and the results may be disappointing for fans of government-provided insurance. Around 60 percent of the studies included in the meta-analysis found that health status and quality of care failed to improve for low-income patients after Medicaid expansion. The analysis also finds that a majority (56 percent of studies) found no improvement in the financial performance of hospitals post-Medicaid expansion. This finding contradicts claims by Obama, Biden and co. that Medicaid expansion would shift patients from the emergency room to doctor's offices, lowering system-wide costs.

These findings are scandalous for an expansion program that costs federal taxpayers at least $70 billion per year. How could all of this money be failing to improve outcomes? Plausibly, the types of institutions that accept Medicaid are larger facilities that aren't as great at delivering quality health-care as smaller offices? The copious paperwork and documentation required by the program don't really allow smaller facilities the bandwidth to deal with Medicaid in an efficient manner. Yet this documentation is necessary to curb rampant fraud in the program that costs taxpayers tens of billions of dollars each year.

Greater Medicaid funding and corresponding anti-waste measures fail to address the cancer undermining the healthcare system: sky-high drug prices and expensive medical equipment.

Greater Medicaid funding and corresponding anti-waste measures fail to address the cancer undermining the healthcare system: sky-high drug prices and expensive medical equipment. Instead of pushing for ever-higher government spending, a President Biden could push for a streamlined Food and Drug Administration approval process for drugs and medical devices, which would keep medical costs down and give a green light to innovators everywhere. The cost to develop a single medication is now more than $2 billion, and an onerous FDA approval process costs lives by being too risk-averse.

Presidential hopefuls such as Biden should also pledge to work with states to roll-back "certificate of need" laws, which force medical institutions to jump through countless barriers to expand their facilities and invest in new services. It's not just hospitals and their patients that suffer from these needless laws; Harvard medical scholar David Grabowski sums up the evidence that these laws make nursing homes far worse and costlier than they need to be. Getting rid of these laws nationwide would give patients and consumers far more options when shopping around for the care and facilities they need.

The price problem gripping the American healthcare system simply won't go away while regulatory barriers and onerous approval processes continue to stifle the sector. Presidential hopefuls such as Biden can make a dent in this problem by supporting market reforms, instead of doubling-down on failed government healthcare.

Ross Marchand is a Young Voices contributor and the director of policy for the Taxpayers Protection Alliance.

Thomas Jefferson and John Adams both fulfilled their goal of living to see the 50th anniversary of the signing of the Declaration of Independence. Then, both died later that day — July 4, 1826. Adams was 90. Jefferson was 83.

Because of their failing health, Jefferson and Adams each declined many invitations to attend July 4th celebrations. Adams sent a letter to be read aloud at the 50th Independence Day celebration in his local town of Quincy, Massachusetts. He wrote that the Declaration is:

... a memorable epoch in the annals of the human race, destined in future history to form the brightest or the blackest page, according to the use or the abuse of those political institutions by which they shall, in time to come, be shaped by the human mind.

It's remarkable how well the Founders understood human nature and what could happen to the United States. It's the postmodern mindset that increasingly rules the U.S. now. It has infected our institutions and untethered us from the bedrock principles of the Declaration. In its place? Hypocritical and vitriolic partisan righteous indignation.

Less than a century after Adams' and Jefferson's deaths, the most serious attempt to undermine the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution came from America's 28th president — Woodrow Wilson. He wrote:

Some citizens of this country have never got beyond the Declaration of Independence.

As if that's a bad thing.

During Wilson's career as a college professor, he thought deeply and wrote extensively of his contempt for our founding documents. His issue with them formed the core beliefs of Progressivism that are still alive today.

In 1911, before he was elected President, Wilson said in a speech:

I do not find the problems of 1911 solved in the Declaration of Independence ... It is the object of Government to make those adjustments of life which will put every man in a position to claim his normal rights as a living human being.

See what he does there? He completely inverts the Declaration — he's saying, you don't have inherent rights until government puts you in a position to claim them. That's the heart of Progressivism.

In a later speech, Wilson said:

If you want to understand the real Declaration of Independence, do not repeat the preface.

Wilson did not think the equality, natural rights, and consent-of-the-governed parts of the Declaration defined the proper role of government. He preferred the Declaration's list of grievances because they addressed specific problems. That's what he thought government existed to do — solve problems for people. And since people's problems change over time, so should the Constitution and government to keep up with the times.

Wilson said:

No doubt we are meant to have liberty; but each generation must form its own conception of what liberty is.

We hear this sentiment echoed all the time today: follow your heart, find your truth, etc.

Another key to Wilson's Progressive theory of government was human evolution. He thought that because humans were now more enlightened, they could be trusted not to abuse government power. The Declaration's committee of five (Adams, Sherman, Franklin, Livingston and Jefferson) would've laughed Wilson out of the room.

It's hard to believe that less than 150 years after the signing of the Declaration, the U.S. president — Wilson — was saying this:

We are not bound to adhere to the doctrines held by the signers of the Declaration of Independence: we are as free as they were to make and unmake governments. We are not here to worship men or a document. Every Fourth of July should be a time for examining our standards, our purposes, for determining afresh what principles, what forms of power we think most likely to effect our safety and happiness. That and that alone is the obligation the Declaration lays upon us.

Wilson was so effective at imposing his philosophy on government that he forever diverted the U.S. presidency away from the Constitution. Progressives have kept Wilson's torch alive ever since.

Progressives are still hostile to the Declaration of Independence because of this idea of “historical contingency" which holds that truths change over time. Progressives think the “self-evident" truths of the Declaration are outdated and may no longer apply. And that means the Constitution based on those truths may no longer apply either. Wilson and Progressives especially don't like the whole separation of powers thing, because it hinders the fast action they want out of government. They want a justice warrior president who will bring swift change by fiat.

The current trend in attacking the Declaration and Constitution is to tear down the men who wrote them. In late 2015, students at the University of Missouri and the College of William & Mary, placed notes all over the statues of Thomas Jefferson on their respective campuses. The handwritten notes labeled Jefferson things like, “racist," “rapist," “pedophile" (not sure what that one's supposed to mean), “How dare you glorify him," “I wouldn't be here if it was up to him," and “Black Lives Matter."

That is the handiwork of students who are blinded by self-righteous victimhood and can't see the value and merit that the Declaration still holds for us today. After these incidents, Annette Gordon-Reed offered a reasoned defense of Jefferson. Reed is a respected history professor at Harvard Law School, who also happens to be a black woman. She wrote:

I understand why some people think his statues should be removed, but not all controversial figures of the past are created equal. I think Jefferson's contributions to the history of the United States outweigh the problems people have with aspects of his life. He is just too much a part of the American story to pretend that he was not there ... The best of his ideals continue to influence and move people. The statues should be a stimulus for considering all these matters at William & Mary and the University of Missouri.

At the opposite end of the spectrum from Woodrow Wilson's disdain for the Declaration of Independence, Abraham Lincoln loved it. If there is one overarching theme in Lincoln's speeches, it is the Declaration. Lincoln pointed the nation back to the Declaration as a mission statement, which ended slavery and preserved the Union.

Unlike Wilson, who recommended leaving out the Preamble, Lincoln considered it the most vital part. To Lincoln, the self-evident truths were universal, timeless, and more important than the list of grievances. Lincoln wrote that these truths were:

... applicable to all men and all times ... that today, and in all coming days, it shall be a rebuke and a stumbling block to the very harbingers of reappearing tyranny and oppression.

In a speech Lincoln gave in 1861, shortly after he was first elected president, he said:

I have never had a feeling politically that did not spring from the sentiments embodied in the Declaration of Independence… I have often inquired of myself what great principle or idea it was that kept this Confederacy so long together. It was not the mere matter of the separation of the Colonies from the mother-land, but that sentiment in the Declaration which gave liberty, not alone to the people of this country, but, I hope, to the world, for all future time.

Lincoln went on to say that he would rather be assassinated than see the nation forfeit the principles of the Declaration. His Gettysburg Address is a brilliant, concise renewal of the Declaration:

... that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom — and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.

We cannot assume that this radical idea of freedom will always be embraced by Americans. It has found hostility on our shores every step of the way. The Declaration's principles must be continually defended. Because while humans do have certain unalienable rights that are endowed by our Creator, there is darkness in the world, and for some strange reason humans, while valuing freedom, also seem to have a natural bent toward tyranny. That's why we must understand and discuss the Declaration. It's not alarmist. It's not a quaint history lesson. It's a reality, right now, that the fundamental principles of the Declaration are under attack. The Founders would have undoubtedly shuddered at most of the rhetoric from last week's Democratic presidential debates. Left to its own mob devices, even America would turn its back on freedom.

Shortly before his death in 1826, 90-year-old John Adams was asked to recommend a toast that could be given in his honor on July 4th. Adams didn't hesitate. He suggested, “Independence Forever." The small group of visitors silently glanced at each other for a moment, before someone asked Adams if he'd like to add anything else. Adams shifted forward in his chair, leaned on his cane, stared intently at the men, and replied, “Not a word."

China is having its Boston Tea Party moment

Unknown Wong / Unsplash

Freedom. It usually begins as a whisper. A secret passed on between patrons at a secluded bar or private meeting. And no matter how hard the tyrants may try and stop it, no matter how many dams they throw up to try and contain it, the whispers eventually become a flood. Sometimes it takes longer to break through, but it's the same EVERY TIME. Liberty and freedom always wins. It's an unstoppable force that knows no immovable object.

For us it was exactly 243 years ago to this month that those whispers became a flood. A group of ragtag colonists took on the world's only superpower —and won. Our forefathers proved it — freedom refuses to recognize tyranny as an immovable object. The world was forever changed.

And I can't help but see the poetic justice as more whispers became a flood, defying their own immovable object, just three days before all of us were buying fireworks to celebrate our Independence Day. But this time it was just off the coast of mainland China.

Last week over a MILLION protesters filled the streets in Hong Kong. Literally a FLOOD of humans looking for one thing — freedom. They stormed the government building that is the equivalent of their Congress. They smashed windows, broke down doors, and a photo was taken that I think just might be the picture of the year.

A British colonial flag, a symbol thrown out when Hong Kong was given back to China, was draped — BY THE PROTESTORS — over the chair of their head of government. I can't restate how historic this actually is. The people of Hong Kong, with a population that is over 90 percent ethnic Han Chinese, are saying to the mainland that they prefer colonial rule over the tyranny of the Chinese government. Leftists would tell you that communism is the remedy for colonialism, but for those living in the dark shadow of communism, they actually prefer colonial rule over what they now face.

The local Hong Kong government is caught between the immovable object of the Chinese communist government, and the unstoppable force of liberty.

When Hong Kong was given back to the mainland, China agreed to allow them a few freedoms that the rest of the Chinese don't enjoy. They're free to engage in protest against the government and they maintain a legislative body — both of which are outlawed on the mainland. But, as every tyrannical oppressor always does, China has been looking to reel that in. Most recently, China attempted to make it possible to extradite dissenters back to Beijing. The result? The quiet whispers of freedom, the secrets told in private at clandestine meetings, became a flood of millions in the streets.

On July 3rd, police began a crackdown. More than 13 people have been arrested so far. If China eventually gets their way, those 13 people will no doubt be the first of many to be extradited over to the mainland. Their crime? The dream of freedom. As of right now, the extradition law has been temporarily delayed. The local Hong Kong government is caught between the immovable object of the Chinese communist government, and the unstoppable force of liberty.

History has shown who will win in the end. Yesterday, over 200,000 protestors gathered at the high speed train station that links mainland China to Hong Kong. The message was just as clear as the British colonial flag hung inside their legislative building. For our forefathers it was symbolized with the Gadsden Flag and the phrase “Death To Tyranny." The message is simple: “we will not be ruled. Freedom knows no immovable object."

News of the protest movement has been censored in mainland China, but how long will they be able to contain THEIR OWN whispers with over two hundred thousand freedom lovers camped out at the bridge between Hong Kong and mainland China? How long before those whispers spread to secret meeting locations in Beijing or Shanghai? How long before that cascades to the Christian and Muslim minorities that are tired of being rounded up and thrown into camps?

We might have just witnessed the Chinese version of the Boston Tea Party. July 4th is still a long way away for them, but — as it does time and time again — freedom and liberty always win in the end.