Virginia Republican Congressional Candidates Stay Away from Senate Nominee Stewart

Truncated: Repost from the Richmond Times-Dispatch
Virginia Republican Congressional Candidates Stay Away from Senate Nominee Stewart
BY PATRICK WILSON Richmond Times-Dispatch
Twitter: @patrickmwilson

One Republican who has made campaign appearances with Stewart is Del. Ben Cline of Rockbridge County, who is running for Congress in the 6th District, where GOP Rep. Bob Goodlatte is retiring. Cline faces Democrat Jennifer Lewis in the Republican district, which includes Roanoke, Lynchburg, Harrisonburg and rural areas along the Shenandoah Valley.

But the prevailing GOP position on Stewart seems summarized by Rep. Rob Wittman, R-1st, who in July said he didn’t have plans to campaign with Stewart.

“Our schedule is booked all the way through this campaign season,” he told radio host John Fredericks. “My focus is 100 percent on our campaign and getting things done there.”

Trump Campaign Virginia Chairman Asks Question in White House Briefing

Repost: The Hill

The Trump campaign’s Virginia chairman, John Fredericks, asked a question during the White House press briefing on Wednesday.

Fredericks, who hosts a syndicated conservative radio show called the John Fredericks Show, asked the last question of the briefing.

“I want to change the topic a minute if I may and go South,” Fredericks said, eliciting a smile from press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders.

Though the bulk of the press conference was about the White House’s stance on Russian interference in the 2016 election, Fredericks posed a question about Mexico.

“The incoming president of Mexico has made two very bold suggestions,” Fredericks said. “One, he’s looking at giving amnesty to the drug cartels.”

“Today, they come out and say they’re seriously looking at legalizing all drugs in Mexico,” Fredericks added. “If they do that, obviously it’s going to have a tremendous impact on the incoming amount of drugs into the United States.”

“What is the president’s position on that and are they going to do anything to stop that from happening in Mexico?” he asked.

Fredericks was likely referring to reports that Obrador was considering the legalization of drugs nationwide in an effort to quell the violent drug cartel warfare.

“Certainly, we’re going to continue engaging with our Mexican partners,” Sanders responded to Fredericks. “I don’t have a specific policy announcement on that front.”

“However, I can say we would not support the legalization of all drugs anywhere and wouldn’t allow more drugs to come into this country,” she said.

One Twitter user tweeted at Fredericks saying, “I don’t remember the last time [Sanders] smiled or was looking forward to a question from the press.”

“Wouldn’t you know it, it was from Republican pundit [Fredericks]?” the user Tweeted.

“What’s not to like?” Fredericks replied.

Fredericks tweeted earlier in the day that the White House presser was “all Russia.”

“Again,” he added.

The John Fredericks Show, which he advertises with the hashtag #TruckingTheTruth and #GodzillaOfTruth, appears to frequently promote pro-Trump ideas and messages. The show’s website promotes pictures of Fredericks with White House counselor Kellyanne Conway and Trump himself.

Under President Trump, conservative media outlets have gained more official seats in the White House briefing room.


Stewart Has State GOP in a Pickle

Repost from News Advance

If you’re a top official of the Republican Party in Virginia, you know you’ve got a problem on your hands when one of your rising political stars in the House of Representatives takes to the airwaves and demolishes the candidate at the top of the ticket less than four months before the crucial congressional midterm elections.

That’s exactly what Rep. Scott Taylor of Virginia Beach, who represents the Second Congressional District, did last week when he appeared on the John Fredericks Show, the most-listened-to conservative talk radio show in the state.

Fredericks asked Taylor, a freshman representative seeking his second term in Congress, what he thought of Corey Stewart’s chances of knocking off Democratic U.S. Sen. Tim Kaine in November. Taylor, a former U.S. Navy SEAL, was blunt: “Clearly there are some things that I don’t agree with him on and, in terms of how he campaigns, there’s no way in hell you’re going to be able to put forth a winning campaign without a different message. … Zero shot in the way the campaign was run in the primary to win the general.”

To say Stewart is controversial is an understatement. The chairman of the Prince William County Board of Supervisors, Stewart has long advocated stringent immigration policies — he’s not just against illegal immigration and rounding up undocumented immigrants, but he’s skeptical of immigration in general.

In 2017, when he sought the GOP gubernatorial nomination and almost defeated Ed Gillespie, the eventual nominee, in the party’s June primary, he wrapped himself in the flag — the Confederate flag — and embraced the issue of Confederate monuments. A red-hot topic in Charlottesville, white supremacists from across the nation staged the “Unite the Right” rally on Aug. 12, ostensibly in support of that city’s monuments to Gens. Robert E. Lee and “Stonewall” Jackson that the local government had targeted for removal. Stewart publicly allied himself with one of the top leaders of the Unite the Right, Jason Kessler, even appearing with him at pro-monument events in Charlottesville in early 2017.

Stewart also was an early backer of Paul Nehlen, who’s running for the congressional seat being vacated by House Speaker Paul Ryan of Wisconsin. Nehlen, by the way, has shared anti-Semitic posts and memes on social media, railed against the “Jewish media” and kept a list of his Jewish “enemies” on Twitter. Stewart has since disavowed his support of Nehlen, but Nehlen’s stands have been well known since 2016.

Traditional Republican conservatives have not yet warmed to Stewart. Rep. Taylor is noncommittal about campaigning with him. The Koch brothers-backed Americans for Prosperity has said it will not contribute any money to his campaign. The National Republican Senatorial Committee, the group working to elect more Republicans to the Senate, has no plans to back Stewart.

Taylor, in the Fredericks show interview last week, had some advice for Stewart that, frankly, he should take: “[T]alk about, you know, kitchen table things, not Confederate statues. … [T]he reality is what do you think the average person cares about more his job or that? So adjust your message. Get it right to be able to exploit the vulnerabilities where Tim Kaine is weak. Very weak frankly.”

Will Stewart heed his party’s advice? Your guess is as good as anyone’s at this point in time.

Source:  News Advance