Dear Commons Community,
A lot of interesting comments were made this weekend by those involved with the presidential nominations.
On the GOP side, much of the discussion focused on Republican Party’s support or lack thereof of Donald Trump for the nomination. House Speaker Paul Ryan’s comments came under the most scrutiny after stating last week that he was not prepared to endorse Trump for president. Other prominent Republicans such as Mitt Romney, Jeb Bush, and Lindsay Graham have likewise made statements indicating that they would not support Trump. In response, Trump on Sunday with NBC’s Chuck Todd suggested that House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) would face consequences for not endorsing the businessman as the party’s presidential nominee and stated that he would not rule out trying to remove the Wisconsin congressman from his post as chair of this summer’s GOP convention, a role traditionally granted to the speaker of the House, if Ryan did not come around.
“If he can’t endorse you, do you think he should be chair of the Convention?” Todd asked.
“I don’t want to mention it now. I’ll see after,” Trump said. “I will give you a very solid answer, if that happens, about one minute after that happens. Okay? But there’s no reason to give it right now. But I’ll be very quick with the answer. Let’s see what happens.”
Sarah Palin on CNN Sunday morning was more direct stating that she is backing Ryan’s primary challenger in his upcoming House election.
“I think Paul Ryan is soon to be ‘Cantored,’ as in Eric Cantor,” she told CNN, referring to the former Republican House majority leader who in 2014 unexpectedly lost his primary to tea party challenger Dave Brat.
She called Ryan’s reluctance to support Trump “not a wise decision.”
On the Democratic side, Bernie Sanders during an interview with MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow Friday night criticized big media and pointedly appear to use Comcast (MSNBC’s parent company) as an example. As reported by The Huffington Post:
“The American people are sick and tired of establishment politics and economics, and by the way, a little bit tired of corporate media as well,” Sanders told Maddow in an interview taped in Burlington, Vermont.
Maddow pressed Sanders for specifics on how he would change the media if he were president.
“What’s the solution to corporate media?” she asked.
“We have got to think of ways the Democratic party starts funding the equivalent of Fox television,” Sanders answered.
MSNBC is a corporate media outlet that is widely seen as a Democratic version of Fox News because of the perceived sympathies of many of its political talk shows.
Sanders went on to argue that “pressure has got to be put on media” to cover policy issues like income inequality and poverty more heavily, instead of devoting attention to sensational campaign moments and the state of political horse races.
He then claimed that bringing that pressure to bear would be difficult, since corporate ownership makes it harder for news outlets to cover issues in a way that conflicts with the interests of top executives.
“MSNBC is owned by who?” Sanders asked.
“Comcast, our overlords,” Maddow responded with a chuckle.
“All right, Comcast is not one of the most popular corporations in America, right?” Sanders said.
“And I think the American people are going to have to say to NBC and ABC and CBS and CNN, ‘You know what, forget the political gossip. Politics is not a soap opera. Talk about the real damn issues facing this country.’”
Maddow acknowledged the unusually frank nature of the exchange, teasing it in the preceding segment just before the commercial break.
“That was awkward. But in a good way, I think,” Maddow said after previewing the key moment.
“I’ll check if I’m still here after the commercial break,” she added, joking that the interview might have put her job at risk.”
Interesting exchanges! Just think we only have six more months before the election.