Americans’ Confidence In Job Market Hits New High: Poll

CivicForumPAC Chairman Ford O’Connell and Payne Capital senior wealth advisor Courtney Dominguez discuss why Americans are more enthusiastic about the job market.

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Wary Of Second Mueller Probe, Trump 2020 Campaign Decides Against Having Policy Advisers

The 2020 Trump reelection campaign has opted not to have foreign or economic policy teams, in part to avoid the type of problems in 2016 that ensnared junior advisers and led to special counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia investigation.

Instead, Team Trump will follow the lead of the White House on policy, according to Trump campaign officials. It is the first time in at least two decades that a presidential candidate has decided not to have dedicated policy teams covering national security and the economy.

The campaign’s decision to avoid foreign policy advisers this time around could allow Team Trump to sidestep scrutiny over connections to foreign governments, as well as saving campaign cash.

Rather than having its own policy advisory teams, the Trump campaign follows the lead of the State Department, the Department of Defense, the National Council of Economic Advisers, and other executive departments on policies, most of which are already well established.

“His positions are known,” said Republican strategist Ford O’Connell of Trump. “The most important positions are going to be the economy, illegal immigration, and where he stands on tariffs, and he’s in good shape there. The only policy position he has to work on, really, is better messaging healthcare — how he’s going to protect preexisting conditions and keep medical costs down.”

O'Connell said the Trump campaign has a "huge advantage" over 2020 Democratic contenders, who will have to create new policies for a host of issues and try to make them stand out in a crowded field of 23 candidates.

And while some Democrats have rolled out attention-grabbing plans such as free college or "Medicare for all," others have been noticeably light on policy, something O’Connell was keen to point out.

Read more from Emily Ward at the Washington Examiner

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Amash's Impeachment Tweets Bring Praise From Dems And A Pro-Trump Primary Challenger

Over the weekend, Michigan Rep. Justin Amash became the first Republican to suggest President Donald Trump should be impeached with a series of tweets that were quickly denounced by the president and top GOP leaders.

While some skeptics question the significance of the tweets from a single Republican known for his contrarian views and longstanding opposition to Trump, others have enthusiastically embraced Amash's argument as a "watershed moment" in the national debate over impeachment.

In about a dozen tweets, Amash argued that the Mueller report revealed that the president engaged in "specific actions and a pattern of behavior that meet the threshold for impeachment," including obstruction of justice and "careless, abusive, corrupt, or otherwise dishonorable conduct."

After backlash from the right and praise from the left, Amash returned to Twitter Monday afternoon to defend his position that the president can be impeached for alleged "high crimes and misdemeanors" and violating the public trust.

The Republican Party's initial reaction to Amash was swift and severe.

President Trump took to Twitter to call Amash a "total lightweight" and a "loser who sadly plays right into our opponents [sic] hands!" Trump sniped at the five-term congressman arguing he regularly opposes his administration's policies "just for the sake of getting his name out there through controversy."

Despite the attention given to Amash's tweets, the lone congressman will not have a meaningful impact on the broader debate, according to Republican strategist Ford O'Connell.

"It's not the tipping point in the impeachment debate. It's fools gold," he said. The main reason Amash's calls lack traction, he argued, is because of the president's strong base of support among Republicans. "There's not a crack in the dam in terms of support for Trump," O'Connell said.

Since taking office, President Trump has rarely dipped below 75% support among members of his own party. Trump's approval among Republicans hit a historic high of 91% in April after Mueller ended his investigation and found no criminal conspiracy between the Trump campaign and Russia and announced he would not pursue obstruction of justice charges against the president.

"Amash may wind up endangering himself back home in his own primary while he seeks a greater spotlight," O'Connell noted. "This is all about Amash and his quest for media attention which it appears he wants to parlay into a 2020 libertarian bid."

Read more from Leandra Bernstein at NBC25News

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Alabama Abortion Ban Underscores U.S. Shift Toward Right

A new near-total abortion ban in the U.S. state of Alabama signals a conservative tilt in many parts of the United States, at a time when people on the left and right are increasingly divided, experts said.

On Wednesday, Kay Ivey, the state's governor, signed a new law that would ban all abortions, except in cases in which the mother's life is in danger, in the latest challenge to the 1973 landmark Supreme Court case that ruled that women have a right to have an abortion.

The Alabama law would make it a felony for a doctor to perform an abortion, and even victims of rape and incest would not be permitted to terminate their pregnancies.

The ban is the latest in a trend toward more restrictive abortion policies, with the U.S. states of Kentucky, Ohio, Georgia and Mississippi recently creating similar bans, hoping the U.S. Supreme Court will strike down the current law of the land, which considers many abortions to be a woman's right.

Some believe this is a reaction toward recent moves in states such as New York and Virginia to relax restrictions on late-term abortions.

A May 2018 Gallup poll found that 60 percent of the U.S. people believe abortion should be legal during the first trimester, although merely 13 percent believed women should be allowed to terminate their pregnancy during the third trimester.

"What you are seeing is people wanting to have a test case on what are the limits of (the current abortion laws) in front of the Supreme Court," Republican strategist and TV news personality Ford O'Connell told Xinhua.

Read more from Matthew Rusling at Xinhua 

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Joe Biden's Radically Liberal History Revealed

Former Vice President Joe Biden has emerged as the front-runner in the race for the Democrats' 2020 nomination for president, appearing to be more moderate than many of his socialism-loving competitors — but a deeper examination of his record shows a highly radical agenda, political observers tell Newsmax.

"He is no working-class hero who cares about protecting America abroad," says Republican strategist Ford O'Connell. "It's not just his support for the Iraq War or the Anita Hill hearings, he also supported job-killing trade deals like the TPP and NAFTA.

Read more from Todd Beamon at Newsmax

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Democratic Presidential Contenders Hiding Their Positions

For those interested in what policies the 2020 Democratic presidential contenders stand for, the most obvious source of information is often the most mysterious. Several of the candidates’ websites make their positions difficult to identify, leaving the public to scrutinize their records and public statements instead.

Candidates may be trying to avoid alienating part of the Democratic voter base while also protecting themselves from potential right-wing attacks on far-left policies.

"They are fully aware that the Trump team is keeping tabs on this insane policy race to the left," Republican strategist and political analyst Ford O'Connell told the Washington Examiner. "They are literally trying to kowtow to the Democratic base any way possible while trying to keep their powder dry should they eventually face off against Trump.

The bare-bones websites are a change from those of top candidates in previous presidential campaigns. In the 2008 cycle, GOP candidate and eventual presidential nominee Sen. John McCain and President Barack Obama displayed long lists of positions soon after announcing their candidacies.

Read more from Emily Larsen at the Washington Examiner

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Will Joe Biden's 2020 Message Resonate With Voters?

Joe Biden holds first campaign rally; GOP strategist Ford O'Connell and Hamilton Place Strategies director Molly Mitchell discuss.

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A Strong Economy, Incumbency Could Mean A Trump Re-Election Victory In 2020

"It's the economy stupid" is the widely accepted political maxim that voters will punish the incumbent president who presides over a weak economy and re-elect the one who delivers strong economic growth.

That conventional wisdom will be put to the test under President Donald Trump.

Despite overseeing historically low unemployment, higher wages and solid economic growth, Trump's job approval rating has barely peaked above 45%. His numbers have been underwater with consistently higher voter disapproval since he took office. The one area where a plurality of voters has approved of Trump's presidency has been the economy.

Looking at historical trends, Trump's odds as an incumbent look good, particularly if the economy continues on track. Since 1900, there have been 19 presidents who ran for re-election and only four have lost: George H.W. Bush, Jimmy Carter, Herbert Hoover and William Taft. (Gerald Ford didn't technically lose his re-election since he was never officially elected president.)

Since the mid-20th century, every time an incumbent lost his re-election it could be attributed to an intervening economic recession or downturn. George H.W. Bush lost his 1992 re-election to Bill Clinton during a recession and tax increase. Jimmy Carter lost his re-election to Ronald Reagan in 1980 after years of high inflation and low growth. Ford lost the 1976 election to Carter against the backdrop of high unemployment and the worst economic recession, at that time, since the Great Depression.

GOP strategist Ford O'Connell anticipates that even with low approval ratings, Trump's incumbency and the state of the economy will figure more in 2020 than his likeability. "It's hard to knock off an incumbent president. The incumbent is typically favored even if he's not well-liked," he said.

"The only thing that can hurt Trump is if he has a recession," O'Connell said.

Read more from Leandra Bernstein at WJLA

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Biden Reveals His 2020 Strategy But Is He The Future Of The Democratic Party?

For the third time in his life, Joe Biden announced he is running for President of the United States.

With a three-and-a-half-minute video published Thursday morning, Biden joined the field of about 20 Democrats in the race to win the White House in 2020.

For months, Biden has been leading in early polls. Among Democratic voters, Biden is polling at 30 percent, followed by Bernie Sanders at 24 percent and Mayor Pete Buttigieg at 9 percent. Biden can boast the highest name recognition and is in a dead-heat with Sanders in overall favorability.

But early polling is only part of the battle. The former vice president and six-term Senator from Delaware has a long history in public life and enters the race at a time of seismic change in the Democratic Party.

It's a long slog from now until July 2020 when the Democrats will choose the candidate to battle Trump. According to GOP strategist Ford O'Connell, Biden could be the best-matched candidate to take on the incumbent president.

"At this stage, Biden certainly gives the Democrats their best chance of beating Donald Trump," he said. Biden has a high favorability rating including among women, African-Americans and unions. He's also polling well against Trump in 2020 battleground states. In a hypothetical national matchup against President Trump, Biden had an 8 percent lead, according to a recent Morning Consult poll.

It's still early in the campaign and Biden's political opponents haven't taken the gloves off yet. "Should he lose the perception of electability his campaign may well be finished," O'Connell said.

O'Connell anticipates Biden will spend the bulk of the campaign answering for his forty-plus years in elected office. "Biden is going to spend more time battling his past than he will spend battling the rest of the Democratic field," he said.

Read more from Leandra Bernstein at WJLA

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GOP Strategist: Illegal Immigrants Are Already ‘Voting’

Why are Democrats so intent on blocking the addition of a citizenship question to the 2020 Census? According to Ford O’Connell at The Hill, it’s because they’re “using illegal immigration to alter the balance of power in the Electoral College from rural, Republican-leaning states to those that are predominately blue and in some cases purple.” No, illegal immigrants can’t vote directly — but they can alter the tally to favor Democrats ­because electoral votes are based on the number of each state’s residents, not citizens. Indeed, “a quick glance at the 20 metro areas with the largest number of illegal aliens confirms this.” Which explains why Democrats are “purposely ignoring the very real crisis and national emergency unfolding in front of their eyes.”

Read more at the New York Post

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Analysis & Political Strategy