MAGA Malarkey: The Extremism You Missed From Republicans This Week

MAGA Republicans stooped to new lows this week with their extremism, hypocrisy, chaos, and — as President Biden would call it — malarkey. In case you missed it: The Republican Study Committee proposed a new extreme MAGA budget that pushes Donald Trump’s unpopular priorities, including cuts to Social Security and Medicare; Trump once again signaled his support for a national abortion ban; he also doubled down on his endorsement of political violence and used dehumanizing rhetoric to describe undocumented immigrants at a campaign rally in Ohio; he claimed that Jews who do not support him are antisemitic; and he is considering hiring convicted felon Paul Manafort and scandal-plagued Corey Lewandowski to help with the Republican National Convention.

Meanwhile, Trump is still centering his campaign on the January 6 riot, he is still coming after the Affordable Care Act, and he is still underperforming in the GOP primary; new RNC Chair Michael Whatley somehow thinks Americans are worse off today than they were during Trump’s disastrous presidency; Trump is considering conspiracy theorist Vivek Ramaswamy to lead the Department of Homeland Security; and MAGA extremist Lauren Boebert became the latest Republican to take credit for federal money brought into her district that she voted against.

The Republican Study Committee took inspiration from Donald Trump’s extreme agenda for their new budget proposal, which includes an extreme national abortion ban and ending Social Security and Medicare as we know them.

Rolling Stone: “House Republicans Endorse National Abortion Ban”

The Hill: “The budget also backs legislation that would put restrictions on abortion, which could threaten in vitro fertilization (IVF).”

Bloomberg: “Republicans Call for Retirement Age Hike in Clash With Biden”

Axios: “RSC budget revives conservative health priorities”

“The health care section … calls for killing the Inflation Reduction Act and its drug price provisions. … It would remove many of the Affordable Care Act’s protections for pre-existing conditions.”

Bloomberg: “The conservative Republican Study Committee is out with a 2025 budget proposal to extend individual and corporate breaks from the 2017 Trump’ tax law.”

Daily Caller: “The RSC supports defunding the ‘red flag’ provisions from the Bipartisan Safer Communities Act, according to the budget proposal.”

Trump once again signaled that he would back a national abortion ban.

New York Times: “Trump Indicates He Would Back a 15-Week Federal Abortion Ban” 

“The comments, which Mr. Trump made Tuesday on the WABC radio show ‘Sid & Friends in the Morning,’ are in line with previous reporting that he had privately expressed support for a 16-week ban. But saying it publicly ties him concretely to a position that has been toxic for many Republicans.”

The Hill: “‘The number of weeks now, people are agreeing on 15, and I’m thinking in terms of that, and it’ll come out to something that’s very reasonable,’ Trump said on a New York-based radio show. ‘But people are really, even hard-liners are agreeing … 15 weeks seems to be a number that people are agreeing at. But I’ll make that announcement at the appropriate time.’”

At a rally in Ohio, Trump promised a “bloodbath” if he loses in November and said undocumented immigrants are “not people.”

The Hill: “Former President Trump denounced some undocumented immigrants as ‘not people’ and warned of a ‘blood bath’ if he is not reelected at a chaotic rally in Ohio on Saturday night.”

“‘I don’t know if you call them people,’ he said at the rally. ‘In some cases they’re not people, in my opinion. But I’m not allowed to say that because the radical left says that’s a terrible thing to say.’

“Trump also predicted a dire scene if he loses the November election, claiming Biden would tank the U.S. economy.

“‘If I don’t get elected, it’s going to be a blood bath for the whole — that’s going to be the least of it. It’s going to be a blood bath for the country,’ Trump said while discussing his proposal for steep tariffs on vehicle imports.”

Trump doubled down on his antisemitic record by claiming that Jews who vote for Democrats “hate Israel” and “hate their religion.”

Trump: “Any Jewish person that votes for Democrats, hates their religion, they hate everything about Israel, and they should be ashamed of themselves.”

New York Times: “Trump Says Jews Who Support Democrats ‘Hate Israel’ and ‘Their Religion’”

Associated Press: “US Jews upset with Trump’s latest rhetoric say he doesn’t get to tell them how to be Jewish” 

“To many Jewish leaders in a demographic that has overwhelmingly identified as Democratic and supported President Joe Biden in 2020, Trump’s latest comments promoted harmful antisemitic stereotypes, painting Jews as having divided loyalties and that there’s only one right way to be Jewish religiously.”

Despite the RNC and his campaign’s continued cash-strapped chaos, Trump is considering reuniting with Corey Lewandowski and convicted felon Paul Manafort to help run the Republican National Convention.

New York Times: Manafort in Talks to Return for the Republican National Convention 

New York Times: Corey Lewandowski, Another Ousted Trump Official, May Get Republican Convention Role 

Axios: “Trump’s team is in talks to hire 2016 campaign advisers Paul Manafort and Corey Lewandowski, The Washington Post and The New York Times first reported. Manafort spent two years in prison on a 7½-year sentence for bank and tax fraud before being freed because of the COVID pandemic. Lewandowski, who was fired in 2016 as Trump’s first campaign manager, was removed from a pro-Trump PAC in 2021 after the wife of a major donor accused him of inappropriate behavior.

“Longtime political operative and Trump confidant Roger Stone — who was convicted of obstructing a congressional probe into Trump’s 2016 campaign and sentenced to 40 months in prison before Trump commuted the sentence — has been a frequent presence at Mar-a-Lago lately.”

Trump continues to center his campaign around the Big Lie and claims that January 6 insurrectionists are “hostages” and “patriots” who ought to be pardoned. 

Associated Press: “Trump is making the Jan. 6 attack a cornerstone of his bid for theWhite House” 

“Republican Donald Trump has launched his general election campaign not merely rewriting the history of the Jan. 6, 2021, Capitol attack, but positioning the violent siege and its failed attempt to overturn the 2020 election as a cornerstone of his bid to return to the White House.

“At a weekend rally in Ohio, his first as the presumed Republican Party presidential nominee, Trump stood onstage, his hand raised in salute to the brim of his red MAGA hat, as a recorded chorus of prisoners in jail for their roles in the Jan. 6 attack sang the national anthem.

“An announcer asked the crowd to please rise ‘for the horribly and unfairly treated January 6th hostages.’ And people did, and sang along.

“‘They were unbelievable patriots,’ Trump said as the recording ended.”

Semafor: “How Donald Trump learned to love the January 6 prisoner movement”

“The former president and presumptive 2024 Republican presidential nominee has put the devoted supporters charged with January 6 crimes at the heart of his campaign. He began his first major campaign rally last March firing up the Waco, Texas crowd by playing ‘Justice for All,’ a song he helped produce with the ‘J6 Prison Choir.’ It has since become a staple of his events. On Truth Social last week, Trump wrote that one of his ‘first acts as your next President’ would be to ‘Free the January 6 Hostages being wrongfully imprisoned.’”

CBS News: “Trump says he’ll free Jan. 6 defendants as one of ‘first acts’ if he’s elected again” 

As we mark the 14th anniversary of the Affordable Care Act this week, here’s a reminder that Trump wants to repeal the Affordable Care Act if reelected after coming up one vote short when he was in office.

Daily Beast: “Trump Revives Plan to Dismantle Obamacare if Elected in 2024”

The Hill: “In a Truth Social post, the leading GOP presidential candidate claimed he’s ‘seriously looking at alternatives’ to replace ObamaCare, and that the failure to repeal the health law in 2017 while he was in office was ‘a low point for the Republican Party.’” 

Mediaite: “‘OBAMACARE SUCKS!!!’ Trump Rants About New Plan — Years After He Promised It Was ‘Two Weeks’ Away”

Trump continues to underperform in Republican primaries across the country.

Axios: “Trump wins 5 primaries, but protest vote looms large”

“Trump, the only GOP candidate still running for president and the party’s presumed nominee, once again saw a big percentage of Republican voters — almost 20% in most of Tuesday’s contests — cast ballots for someone else.

“Most of those non-Trump votes in Ohio, Arizona, Florida, Kansas and Illinois went to former UN ambassador Nikki Haley, who suspended her campaign two weeks ago.

“The results were the latest warning signs that a sizable percentage of GOP voters may not show up for Trump in November, complicating his push to defeat President Biden.”

“18% of Republican primary voters in Ohio said that they wouldn’t support Trump in November, with 10% of those voters saying they prefer Biden, per ABC News’ analysis of preliminary exit poll results.”

RNC Chair Michael Whatley asked voters if they were better off today than four years ago, when the stock market was in free fall and store shelves were left barren during Trump’s failed COVID response. 

Associated Press: “Biden is using the ‘are you better off today’ question to contrast himself with Trump”

“‘Speaking of Donald Trump, just a few days ago, he asked the famous question at one of his rallies: Are you better off today than you were four years ago?’ Biden said at a pair of Dallas-area campaign fundraisers, one of which brought in $2.5 million, one of the hosts said.

“‘Well Donald, I’m glad you asked that question man because I hope everyone in the country takes a moment to think back when it was like in March of 2020,’ Biden said.

“The Democratic president reminded the audience that the coronavirus had reached America, hospital emergency rooms were overcrowded, first responders were risking their lives to care for the sick and some nurses wore trash bags due to the scarcity of personal protective equipment.

“Morgues were being set up outside of hospitals because so many people were dying, unemployment shot up, the stock market crashed and grocery store shelves were bare, Biden said.

“‘And we were even in a toilet paper crisis,’ he added, before he began to describe a turnaround after Trump.

“‘Donald Trump is no longer president, that’s the first thing,’ Biden said, adding that COVID is under control, 15 million jobs returned and the stock market rebounded.

“There’s also a view that the public largely has forgotten the turbulence of Trump’s presidency and that, to win reelection, Biden needs to remind them of what it was like as he presents himself as the more stable alternative.”

Trump is eyeing MAGA conspiracy theorist Vivek Ramaswamy to head up the Department of Homeland Security.

Ramaswamy: “I want to be very clear about this. I think that birthright citizenship does not and should not apply to the kids of parents who entered this country illegally.”

NBC News: “Republican presidential candidate Vivek Ramaswamy says that as president, he would deport American-born children of undocumented immigrants. ‘The family unit will be deported,’ said Ramaswamy when asked by NBC News if the deportations would include American-born children.”

The New Republic: “The former Republican primary hopeful had some horrific plans for immigration law, including using the military as law enforcement. He promised to deport all Dreamers, of whom there are about 700,000, and force them to reapply for citizenship.”

Politico: “Ramaswamy: I ‘don’t believe’ the 9/11 Commission report”

NBC News: “Vivek Ramaswamy suggests ‘the truth’ about 9/11 is still unknown”

Trump’s MAGA minion Lauren Boebert is once again taking credit for federal funding for Colorado projects that she voted against.

Business Insider: “Earlier this month, Rep. Lauren Boebert voted against a must-pass government funding bill that contained more than $20 million for the Colorado district she’s now abandoning.

“On Monday night, she celebrated the impending arrival of that funding anyway.

“‘Can’t wait for the ribbon cuttings and to see these priorities come to fruition,’ the congresswoman said in a release, listing 10 different projects across the state’s 3rd congressional district that are set to benefit from an influx of federal dollars.”

“Boebert was among 40 House Republicans who voted on March 6 against the so-called ‘minibus’ — which funds vast swaths of the federal government — despite having secured federal funding for their districts.”