‘The last thing any of us want is to have a socialist president…’
(Ben Sellers, Liberty Headlines) Having already gravely misread the spirit of the times during the 2016 election, NeverTrumpers have, once again, missed the mark in a desperate bid to support former Vice President Joe Biden, warts and all.
While some indications were that they saw Biden as the only viable Democrat with enough mainstream appeal to defeat President Donald Trump in November, the primary motivator, according to those familiar with the matter, seemed to be sour grapes.
“They’re not rational people,” a GOP source told the Post.
“They want revenge,” the source continued. “Trump beat them, and they want revenge.”
Hunter Biden was paid millions in “consulting” fees to serve on the corrupt Burisma energy company’s board for five years, until he resigned his position last April.
Trump’s defense team successfully argued that the president was justified in calling for the newly elected Ukrainian president to re-open investigations into Burisma and Joe Biden’s role in firing the prosecutor who was investigating it in 2016.
Although Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelenskiy has yet to reopen those investigations, the U.S. Justice Department announced recently that it was working with Trump attorney Rudy Giuliani to gather information about the Obama-era scandal.
Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-SC, has said the Senate Foreign Relations Committee is likely to investigate as well.
The Bidens’ Ukraine arrangement was but one of many ethical conflicts of interests and questionable quid-pro-quo arrangements that have since come to light involving the longtime Delaware senator’s children and siblings.
While the scandal-plagued former front-runner was able to maintain his standing in the polls for much of the past year, the surprise result at last week’s Iowa Democratic caucus put Biden in fourth place, behind former Mayor Pete Buttigieg, and Sens. Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren.
Left-leaning pollster Morning Consult, announced that for the first time on Tuesday Sanders had surpassed Biden in popularity, 25% to 22% among a survey of 5,000 registered voters nationwide.
The left-wing FiveThirtyEight blog now gives Biden a one-in-five chance of winning the nomination, down from one-in-three before Iowa. By comparison, the odds are one-in-four that no Democratic candidate will win the majority, forcing a brokered convention.
Holding Out Hope
Even so, the NeverTrump Kasich allies, whose efforts in New Hampshire are being funded by former Microsoft President Jon Shirley and his wife, have not lost hope in a resurgence.
“They think Biden is the only candidate who can beat Trump at the general election,”a GOP source told the Post.
The Shirleys gave $75,000 to fund the Defenders PAC, which was established last September.
The group had planned on using interactive voice-response polling to identify registered Republicans as potential cross-over voters, but it missed the Oct. 25 deadline for switching party registration in New Hampshire, waiting too late to roll out its campaign.
Biden, meanwhile, has sought to temper expectations leading into Tuesday’s New Hampshire primary, saying he expects another throttling.
Pinning his hopes, instead, on a strong showing in South Carolina, Biden even scaled back his operations recently in the Granite State, which prides itself on being the feisty, rebellious twin of Sanders’s home state of Vermont.
The Lesser ‘Evil’
Some supporters of the Biden efforts seemed genuinely concerned—not that Sanders would be a weak candidate but that he could be a viable one.
Matt Borges, a former Ohio GOP chairman who backed Kasich’s presidential bid last election and gave $1,000 to the Defenders PAC—making him the only donor outside of the Shirleys—said that the fear of Trump losing to Sanders was the greatest of all.
“To some extent, it’s unclear how vulnerable President Trump might be, and the last thing any of us want is to have a socialist president,” Borges said.
Much as DC’s Republican insiders felt threatened by Trump’s promises to “drain the swamp,” some on the Left who have feathered their nests in the corporate world are now “apprehensive” about the socialist-friendly senator’s views of capitalism, she said.
“These are all people whose power comes from their access to the establishment world—consultants whose grift is based on a certain deal flow from the DNC, etc.—and they know what you said about they prefer Trump to Bernie,” Ball told Carlson.
“That’s exactly right because they know under a Sanders administration, all of that access and all of that deal flow, all of that is gone and it truly is over for them,” she said.
Angling for Veep?
The role of Kasich’s allies may raise questions about a split-ticket coalition with the former Ohio governor—now a CNN analyst—serving as Biden’s running mate.
Biden—who has cozied up to Kasich in the past, including during a 2017 “Bridging the Divides” event at the University of Delaware’s Biden Institute—signaled during a New Hampshire town hall event last year that he would consider selecting a Republican running mate.
However, he also has indicated that he would like a minority and female running mate, leaving Kasich an unlikely first option.
Kasich’s own clout with GOP crossover voters also remains doubtful. A recent article in conservative PJ Media called on people to stop using the misnomer “NeverTrump Republicans” as a label since many have publicly disavowed their GOP ties.
Kasich, while governor of Ohio, was more popular with the Democrats in his state than the Republicans toward the end of his term.