Oct 26, 2016 by Ronald Mortensen – USN Columnist
On October 19, Evan McMullin and his running-mate, Mindy Finn, courted Republican office holders on Utah’s Capitol Hill. He invited them to take a stand for shared principles.
In response to his invitation, a number of state legislators and local elected officials endorsed McMullin for President. All of them said that their decision to support McMullin was a matter of principle.
Interestingly, the endorsements for McMullin came after the McMullin campaign proudly announced that “Rick Wilson is with us. Are you?” And Wilson was with them at the Capitol.
This is of note since Rick Wilson is a Republican establishment political consultant/strategist who was seen frequently on CNN and MSNBC during the Republican primaries. At that time, Wilson savaged Ted Cruz, displayed a visceral hatred of Trump and his supporters, employed the F-bomb in a series of Tweets and posted a vulgar, sexual comment when responding to a Tweet from Ann Coulter.
Senator Howard Stephenson quickly jumped on the McMullin bandwagon and said that “It is not acceptable for Trump who finished last in the Republican primary in Utah to finish first in the general election.” Stephenson’s endorsement, either knowingly or unknowingly, linked him to Wilson’s reference to Ted Cruz as “Trump’s “fan boy,” along with Wilson’s call on the Republican donor class “to go out and put a bullet in Donald Trump” as well as to a series of Tweets complete with the F-bomb and a crude sexual remark about a woman who supports Trump.
Senator Curtis Bramble likewise applauded McMullin for standing for principle. By throwing his support behind McMullin’s principles, Bramble, either intentionally or unintentionally, associates himself with Wilson’s statement that Trump’s supporters “are not people who matter in the overall course of humanity.” This sounds awfully like Hillary Clinton’s “Deplorables and Irredeemables.” Even worse, Wilson’s comments are reminiscent of the federal government’s labeling of Utah’s Downwinders—Mormon citizens of St. George, Cedar City, and other sacrificial cities of Utah—as “a low-use segment of the population” as they doused them with deadly radiation from above ground nuclear tests.
— Lincoln Fillmore (@LincolnFillmore) October 20, 2016
Speaking at a press conference at the Utah State Capitol with a number of state legislators and local elected officials standing behind him, Senator Lincoln Fillmore said: “The principles on which the Republican Party stands has always been the bedrock of my political philosophy and it’s for that reason I’m standing on those principles when I stand for Evan McMullin.” Does this mean that Fillmore’s principles include a barrage of Rick Wilson Tweets that drop the F-bomb and a series of derogatory statements by Wilson about Fillmore’s fellow Republicans who are supporting Trump?
Aimee Winder Newton, Salt Lake County Councilwoman also stood behind McMullin at the Capitol and joined Rick Wilson in showing support for McMullin. This came after Newton had written the following in an op-ed in the Salt Lake Tribune: “Any words or conduct that in any way objectify or demean women is wholly unacceptable and has no place in our society.” So how is it that she is now with Rick Wilson who asked Ann Coulter in a Tweet: “ Does Trump pay you more for anal?”
Other elected officials standing behind McMullen on the Capitol steps included Senator Dan Thatcher Representatives Fred Cox, Justin Fawson, and Jake Andregg, the mayors of Payson, South Jordan and Orem. Also present was Republican activist, Marco Diaz. All of these principled individuals now join Rick Wilson who said on MSNBC that most Trump supporters “are childless single men who masturbate to anime.”
Will these principled, Republicans continue to proudly stand with Wilson in support of McMullin?
Will these principled Republicans ask McMullin to separate himself from Wilson and his statements and will they retract their endorsements if McMillun doesn’t?
If not, what does that say about McMullin and those who support him?
EDITOR’S NOTE: The following are links to articles written by Utahans:
Utah Standard News recently published another article by Ronald Mortensen that generated some discussion about the principals & morals of some of the people associated with Evan McMullin’s campaign, particularly Rick Wilson. Some of the comments criticized the article for tying McMullin’s character to Wilson’s whom they described as an ‘associate”. He is clearly more than that and is actually responsible for McMullin’s candidacy and is “ is the main strategist on the effort.” Another comment called the article a hit piece. I see it more as a ‘hitting back’ piece. Exposing the truth about those who would represent us not constitute a wrong-doing. Rick Wilson has been involved in ‘dirty tricks’ since Bush 41. The following are articles and examples referring to both of these issues.
Daily Beast: “Evan McMullin Can’t Beat Donald Trump, but He Can Make Sure He Loses. Call it Mitt Romney’s revenge.” “Republican consultant Rick Wilson, who eviscerated Trump in a weekend opinion column published in the New York Daily News, has teamed up with Florida-based pollster and operative Joel Searby to head up McMullin’s campaign staff.”
Breitbart: “One of the key Never Trump figures behind McMullin is none other than “Gollum-in-glasses” Rick Wilson, who last October declared that the GOP donor class must “put a bullet in Donald Trump” to stop him.”
RealPolitics: “The campaign has also secured the services of GOP strategist Joel Searby, as well as stridently anti-Trump media consultant Rick Wilson. McMullin strategist Rick Wilson has argued that the way to defeat Trump’s movement is to deal Trump such a humiliating defeat that his supporters have no choice but to accept failure, but if his supporters assign responsibility for his loss to people like Wilson instead of Trump himself, the Romneys and Kasiches of the GOP will have far less power in 2020 to deal with a party base even more committed to Trump and the principles he represents.”
New Republic: “Ever since (David) French politely declined to take this flying leap into national politics, the search for a third-party alternative has continued. And now the increasingly desperate anti-Trump forces, led by Republican consultant Rick Wilson, have settled on Evan McMullin, whose singular virtue is that he makes David French look like a rock star by comparison. “
Breitbart: Their definition of “serious” will make you LOL…“Time turned consultant Rick Wilson‘s press blitz for an obscure presidential candidate into this awful clickbait headline: “Here’s One Sign That Evan McMullin Is Serious About Running for President.”
Buzzfeed reports: “Sources said Wilson was in Washington on Sunday meeting with members of McMullin’s prospective campaign — which includes some who were involved in a group called Better for America, which has been pushing an independent presidential bid.”
The Hill: “Florida-based GOP strategist Rick Wilson, a vocal Trump critic who previously backed Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) for president, is assisting McMullin with his campaign launch…. McMullin also has ties to a group of mostly Republican operatives involved with an organization called Better for America (BFA), which has been working for months to put placeholder spots on state ballots across the nation in case a candidate emerged. BFA Chairman John Kingston is a conservative donor with ties to President George W. Bush, Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) and 2012 GOP nominee Mitt Romney.”
Yahoo News: “As Teller sat there in his office, picking up the pieces of the wreckage that Trump has made of Cruz’s political career, McMullin and his top strategist, Florida Republican consultant Rick Wilson, were completely oblivious he was there. I pointed out Teller, just 15 feet from where we sat. “That’s him right there,” I told Wilson. “Oh, so it is,” he said.”
New York Times: “Mr. McMullin is said to be backed by the group Better for America, which earlier this year began an effort to get on the ballot in as many states as possible, with the hopes of drafting a candidate. The group is backed by John Kingston, a donor who had supported Mitt Romney. Mr. Kingston has worked with the pollster Joel Searby. Rick Wilson, a Republican consultant and Trump foe, is the main strategist on the effort.”
Buzzfeed: ““They’re terrified,” said Rick Wilson, a senior McMullin adviser. “They tell us in meetings, ‘Trump is disgusting, he’s loathsome, he’s terrible for the party, he’s destroying the republic,’ blah blah blah…” — here, Wilson adopted a whiny-toddler tone —“’But I’m scared I can’t say anything because [Trump’s] people might hurt me.’”
Buzzfeed: “McMullin’s campaign will have the support of key players in the GOP’s anti-Trump movement, including veteran Republican strategist Rick Wilson, who has been an outspoken Trump critic. “
Heatstreet: “Rick Wilson: The Trump Scampaign’s Only Chance Now Is If Hillary Is Mauled by a Bear”
Rare:”“The people who drafted McMullin to be the ‘Never Trump’ independent candidate are some of the Republican establishment’s most well-known operatives: Bill Kristol, John Kingston, Joel Searby, Rick Wilson,” the Washington Post noted in August.”
American Greatness: “Trump is unqualified. He’s no conservative. He’s a vulgar, know-nothing boob who cannot be allowed to sit on the furniture in the White House. At least that’s what the smart guys tell us – the guys who know better than the voters, the guys who are “true conservatives” (just ask them). And now they have offered up their own candidate. We shouldn’t be surprised. Buzzfeed reports that Rick Wilson, the respectable Republican consultant who Tweeted this about Ann Coulter will be involved in the campaign:
After close to a year trying to claim the moral high ground, calling Trump an unqualified candidate, a vulgarian, and a master manipulator of the unwashed masses (maybe with more than a hint of jealousy) they give us Evan McMullin and Rick Wilson. There are principled people who will not vote for Trump. They have their reasons. But they’re not involved in this. The #NeverTrump faction behind the McMullin candidacy – funded, it would appear by billionaire hedge fund magnate Paul Singer – are not playing it straight with the American people.
(McMullin gave Hugh Hewitt an evasive answer about Singer’s involvement). In trying to game the system, they have claimed for themselves a status above voters and above politics. The American people deserve better, especially from a group that claims conservative principles and therefore should respect the polity and practice that upholds the sovereignty of the people. America deserves better from its conservatives.”
BBC: “Prominent Republican operative Rick Wilson is expected to help run Mr McMullin’s campaign.
Mr Wilson wrote about why Mr Trump needs to “suffer a humiliating defeat” in a New York Daily News op-ed on Sunday.”
CNN Politics: “Rick Wilson, a Tallahassee, Florida-based Republican consultant and anti-Trump leader, recruited Evan McMullin into the race. But other so-called “NeverTrump” conservative groups say they don’t know anything about him.”
ABOUT RICK WILSON:
CNN Politics: “To Rick Wilson, a longtime Republican political consultant who has spent the past few months waging war on Trump’s candidacy, The Donald is something else entirely. In Wilson’s words, Trump is a “cancer,” an “epic douche canoe,” a “statist” with “a little delicious hint of fascism in the mix” whose presidential nomination will spell apocalypse for the Republican Party. And that’s just the printable stuff. His persistent antagonism has made Wilson one of the most vocal anti-Trumpers within the party. But to Trump’s supporters who have encountered him, he represents everything that’s wrong with the party’s establishment wing.
There are hints of Atwater in Wilson’s work. Over the past three decades, he’s worked as a GOP ad man. Some of his greatest hits: In 1997, he made an ad for Rudy Giuliani’s mayoral campaign that revolved around sex shops. In 2002, he crafted an ad against former Democratic Sen. Max Cleland that included images of Osama bin Laden to suggest he was undermining the war on terror. And when then-Sen. Barack Obama first ran for president in 2008, Wilson organized a television campaign about his pastor, the Rev. Jeremiah Wright.
“I love a good negative ad. I’m never going to shy from them,” Wilson told CNN. “I don’t take any of the, ‘Oh, you’re so negative’ stuff to heart. Yeah, you bet. It’s still a tool that works.”
With Trump on the rise, he wants to see more Republicans using such tactics against the Republican front-runner—and sooner rather than later.”
Breitbart: “Friday night on CNN, top GOP consultant Rick Wilson attacked 25% of Republican primary voters as “low information voters.” Saturday morning, Breitbart News reported this fact and argued that attacking our own voters as stupid might not be the key to victory. Monday, quite incredibly, Rick Wilson used a threat of rape against his own daughter as a political talking point to attack Breitbart News. In all the years I’ve been on social media, I have never seen anyone — not even the lowest Leftist — use a threat of rape against their own child as a political talking point or debating point against a political opponent.”
Salon: “Republican strategist Rick Wilson told host Chris Hayes that Donald Trump knows exactly what he’s doing when he evokes anti-Semitic imagery and rhetoric — appealing to his base.
Hayes noted that Wilson had penned an open letter to RNC chairman Reince Preibus urging him to “have Trump block the neo-Nazis, anti-Semites, overt racists and other scum who litter his timeline.” Wilson lamented that Priebus wouldn’t do that, “for fear of offending [Trump],” and that Trump won’t, “for fear of offending his base.”
“This is a guy who understands that the center of his play is this deeply resentful, edge-case group of people who really believe that the Jews control the world — and that white nationalism is the future of American politics,” Wilson told Hayes.
Members of this base “range in sophistication from the guys who are fairly clever race-baiters who try to stay out of the dirtier slums to the crazies in mom’s basement screaming for hot pockets and a new Holocaust.”
“He engages with these folks,” Wilson continued. “He re-tweets them — every single time the guy tweets something, the top four or five responses come from these bots and these neo-Nazi kids who are his biggest fan base.”
Moreover, Trump “won’t disavow them,” because his own “racism is baked in the cake.” He “understands who these people are,” Wilson added, and these anti-Semitic incidents aren’t “a bug, they’re a feature” of the Trump campaign.”
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