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Trump’s ‘rhetoric resonates’ with Democrats, Independents and Republicans alike

SHELTON, Conn. /PRNewswire/ — Since announcing his run for president last June, Donald J. Trump’s public remarks have had the world talking. In a recent online study of 1,500 voters, SSI, the global leader in research data collection, measured respondent agreement and disagreement with 200 policy statements made by Trump. Several of his statements received positive responses from voters across the political spectrum.

After reading each statement, respondents indicated whether it increased, decreased or had no impact on their likelihood to vote for Trump. Respondents selected “has no impact” 49 percent of the time, “increases” 29 percent of the time and “decreases” their likelihood of voting for Trump 22 percent of the time.

“Although Trump is often regarded as a polarizing figure, our study shows that the sentiment and substance of many of his statements do resonate with most Americans,” said Paul Johnson, director of analytics, SSI. “Voters are aware of what Trump has said and they like many elements. In fact, Trump’s rhetoric persuades more swing voters than it pushes away.”

In particular, several of Trump’s populist statements scored high across all party affiliations. Republicans, Democrats and Independents in the study were unanimous in their positive response to the following: “We need to once again have a government that is of the people, for the people and by the people.” Respondents from every party also reacted positively to this statement: “The only special interest not being served by our government is the American people.”

Trump’s Top Ranking Statements — All Parties

1. Our country needs a truly great leader, and we need a truly great leader now.

2. One of the key problems today is that politics is such a disgrace. Good people don’t go into government.

3. We need to once again have a government that is of the people, for the people and by the people.

4. I want to save Medicare and Social Security.

5. Too few Americans are working, too many jobs have been shipped overseas and too many middle class families cannot make ends meet.

Many of Trump’s statements had a strong impact on Independent voters. “While only a minority of people, less than five percent, switched their preferred candidate after reading the Trump statements, 56 percent of them were Independents,” said Johnson. “Eighteen percent of these switchers went away from Trump, but 30 percent switched to Trump, giving him a net positive take among undecided voters.”

Two policy themes that resonated strongly with both Independents and Republicans were domestic job protection and budget discipline. However, Independents reacted negatively to statements around waterboarding and global warming denial.

Trump’s Top Ranking Statements — Independents

1. Our country needs a truly great leader, and we need a truly great leader now.

2. One of the key problems today is that politics is such a disgrace. Good people don’t go into government.

3. We need to once again have a government that is of the people, for the people and by the people.

4. If you tax something you get less of it. It’s as simple as that. The more you tax work, the less people are willing to work. The more you tax investments, the fewer investments you’ll get. This isn’t rocket science.

5. We’ve got to bring on the competition. Education reformers call this school choice, charter schools, vouchers, even opportunity scholarships. I call it competition—the American way.

The remaining top statements vary significantly by Republican versus Democratic audiences. Respondents who identify themselves as Republicans agree most with statements emphasizing the importance of building a wall along the Mexico border, building up the military and imposing budget discipline.

Those who identify as Democrats agree most with statements promoting universal healthcare, unions, Medicare, Social Security, Planned Parenthood and LGBT rights. In several cases, top statements for Republicans appeared as lowest ranking statements for Democrats and vice versa.

About the Study

SSI tested 200 statements made by Trump (regarding a variety of policy topics and positions). The study measured respondent agreement and disagreement with between 30 to 200 different policy statements. All respondents were exposed to at least 30 statements, with some respondents opting into additional rounds of exposure to more statements.

Initially, respondents were not aware that the statements had been made by Trump. Following statement exposure, respondents were informed that all statements were, in fact, from Trump. Respondents were asked both before and after statement testing who was their preferred candidate. Switchers were those who were not consistent pre- and post-statement attribution.

SSI is the premier global provider of data solutions and technology for consumer and business-to-business survey research, reaching respondents in 100+ countries via Internet, telephone, mobile/wireless and mixed-access offerings. SSI staff operates from 30 offices in 21 countries, offering sample, data collection, CATI, questionnaire design consultation, programming and hosting, online custom reporting and data processing. SSI’s 3,600 employees serve more than 2,500 clients worldwide. Visit SSI at www.surveysampling.com.

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Trump and the Chumps: What’s a Serious Candidate, Anyway?

Ever since Donald Trump rose to front-runner status in the 2016 GOP presidential field, we’ve heard dismissive talk about how he’s not a “serious” candidate. Pundits and political-party leaders have made this claim, in efforts ranging from seriously intended but unserious commentary to the tactic of hoping that if you act as if something is true it will be considered so. But whether or not Trump is a serious candidate, one thing is plain: these politics wonks have no idea what that is.

“Serious” in the sense it’s being used by the establishment types is not only a weasel word, but also akin to the tactic of calling an Internet commenter who utters uncomfortable truths a “troll”; the water-muddying message is, “Oh, you don’t have to pay attention to that; he’s not serious.”

But what is a “serious candidate,” anyway?

Does it reflect seriousness when a politician says, as Jeb Bush has, that violating our borders and invading our nation is an “act of love”? How about Carly Fiorina saying, two weeks after 9/11, that Muslim civilization was once “the greatest in the world” and “was driven more than anything, by invention”? What about when a brain-frozen Hillary Clinton blurted out, “Don’t let anybody…tell you that, ah, you know, it’s corporations and businesses that create jobs”? Or what about when, subject to normal oversight as any public official should be, she petulantly exclaimed about Benghazi, “What difference at this point does it make?!”

Then there’s the supposed savior of Democrat electoral fortunes, Joe Biden. When he said that Franklin Roosevelt got on TV to address the 1929 stock market crash, not realizing it predated the television age and Roosevelt’s presidency, was it suggestive of a serious candidate? And how about his boss, Barack? He thought “Austrian” was spoken in Austria, pronounced “corpsman” “corpse-man” three times in one speech and called the “transcontinental” railroad the “intercontinental” one (you know, the intercontinental ballistic railroad developed during the Cold War). Would a serious politician have such a poor knowledge base?

We could also mention Senator Marco Rubio, a.k.a. Aquaman, who promised conservatives he’d never support an immigration bill whose first priority wasn’t enforcement, but then told Spanish language station Univision (in Spanish) “First comes the legalization. Then come the measures to secure the border.” If such a shameless liar and panderer can be considered a serious candidate because he has a pretty face, we need to reevaluate our priorities.

Again, though, what is a “serious” candidate? Well, imagine a doctor refuses to render a correct diagnosis, but instead tells the patient what he wants to hear, because he thinks the truth will be unwelcome. Or imagine he’s a witch doctor who doesn’t know the truth in the first place. Would you consider him a serious physician? If “serious” has any meaningful significance in the context of politics at all — as opposed to just “serious about conning you” or “serious about attaining power by any means necessary” — integral to it is knowing the truth and being willing to speak it. Otherwise the person is as serious as Joe Isuzu.

Now, one quality characterizing almost all our candidates, to at least an extent, is political correctness (PC). But what is PC? It can accurately be defined as “the suppression of truth for the purposes of advancing a left-wing agenda.” Conclusion?

It can roughly be said that a candidate can only be serious insofar as his pronouncements are not politically correct.

And, question: who is the most politically incorrect candidate running this election cycle?

Answer: Donald Trump.

Thus, Trump in this sense is not just a serious candidate — he’s perhaps the most serious candidate in the race

Punctuating this point is that he has talked the most, and the most seriously, about one of the most serious issues of our time: the invasion of our nation euphemistically called “illegal immigration” (hint: illegal entry isn’t any kind of immigration).

This isn’t to say that any candidate, including Trump, is as “serious” as I might like (hey, I’m not running). Everyone has his deficits and his “filters.” For starters, none of the presidential aspirants seem to grasp — or are willing to say — that our legal immigration regime is a far, far bigger problem than illegal migration. Nonetheless, there are lessons in the Trump phenomenon that must be understood.

First, any one of the other GOP candidates could have tapped into what Trump has capitalized upon. But they either

  • lacked the wisdom and/or guts to do so.
  • are of the Karl Rove school and believe that such brash political incorrectness can’t win the general election (lamentably, given how morally degraded the country has become, this may be true).
  • have neocon instincts and actually subscribe to the PC nonsense.

But what exactly is Trump capitalizing upon? To begin with, there’s a certain truth that his rise illustrates:

Tens of millions of Americans fear being politically incorrect.

But relatively few Americans actually embrace political correctness.

In this our nation is a bit like the old Soviet Union: the man on the street didn’t believe in the state ideology, but everyone feared the ideological machinery of the state. Trump is saying (to an extent) what countless Americans want to but fear to; he is the champion striking a blow against an unpopular social code enforced by a minority via fear and intimidation.

This isn’t to say there aren’t millions of useful idiots who subscribe to PC. But what percentage of Americans supported the forced resignation of marriage advocate and former Mozilla CEO Brendan Eich or the firing of the Miami school principal who merely voiced support for the McKinney, Texas, police officer? PC is largely a phenomenon of the pseudo-elite, not the street. And it has its sting — Trump himself has lost major business deals (and is the rare person who can afford to) because of his immigration stance — but the privacy of the voting booth is one place where Americans don’t yet have to fear being politically incorrect.

The second thing Trump has tapped into is related to the first, and it was brilliantly articulated by one Julius Krein in a September Weekly Standard article. He wrote of Trump:

[W]hat defines him as a candidate and forms the essence of his appeal, is that he seeks to speak for America. He speaks, that is, not for America as an abstraction but for real, living Americans and for their interests as distinct from those of people in other places. He does not apologize for having interests as an American, and he does not apologize for demanding that the American government vigorously prosecute those interests. … His slogan is “Make America Great Again,” and he is not ashamed of the fact that this means making it better than other places, perhaps even at their expense.

In other words, Trump is tapping into what is the historical norm and has only been dispensed with, quite recently, by the suicidal West: a “tangible…nationalism,” as Krein put it. The makes him stand out in a time when an European Union insider can self-righteously say “sovereignty is an absolute illusion that has to be put behind us,” home-owner association officials can fine residents for flying the American flag, and an establishment-choice presidential candidate can call an invasion an act of love — and not be tarred and feathered and “warned out of town.” Trump talks like a patriot in a bizarro world where treason has become the norm.

Of course, a lack of seriousness does bedevil us. But understanding that PC is the antithesis of seriousness puts this in perspective. The arenas claiming to be able to identify “serious candidates” — the media and academia — are themselves the most PC of all and thus wholly unserious. And since they, along with PC entertainment, drive the culture and help shape opinion, they are partially responsible for what is the root cause of our problems: unserious voters.

Whatever our candidates may or may not be, they just reflect us, an unserious civilization in serious and unstable condition.

RELATED ARTICLE: Twitter Debate Between Brit Hume and David Limbaugh Mirrors Battle Within the GOP

EDITORS NOTE: Contact Selwyn Duke, follow him on Twitter or log on to SelwynDuke.com.

What has Rand Paul done?

One of my readers recently replied to me that he had been a Rand Paul supporter but really couldn’t see what Rand had done that was consistent with what he talks about.

Here’s a recent campaign speech, given in Boise, Idaho, about 2 weeks ago, August 27th:

After watching Rand’s speech, I noticed a comment from viewer “Nate Dawg”. I was rather impressed and, after some fact-checking, editing, personalizing and adding a few links, I am happy to answer my reader’s concerns:

Is Rand Paul really a consistent and principled liberty lover? Let’s take a look at his history in the senate:

  1. Introduced a 5-year balanced budget by cutting spending and not raising taxes.
  2. Filibustered for 13 hours to stop Obama/Holder’s illegal drone strikes on Americans – and succeeded.
  3. Filibustered for 11 hours to kill the PATRIOT Act – and succeeded.
  4. Sued the Obama Administration/Justice Department for illegally collecting all Americans’ phone records, as they are still doing under the so-called FREEDOM Act.
  5. Consistently advocates for social issues to be left to the states, just as his father did.
  6. Only Senate Republican who opposed the efforts to bomb Syria in late 2014.
  7. Opposed the US-funded war in Libya.
  8. Detailed specific plans to form a coalition with Kurds, Turks, and Iraqis to defeat ISIS without ever putting U.S. boots on the ground.
  9. Introduced sweeping criminal justice reform legislation (knows how to actually work with the other side).
  10. Introduced groundbreaking legislation in the Senate that would begin to tear down the, totally failed, War on Drugs, making marijuana a schedule 2 drug (allows vital research to be done on THC and CBD, as well as reduces the penalties for possession), and allowing medical marijuana and recreational marijuana in states that legalize it.
  11. His plans for making social security and other entitlements solvent are crystal clear, phasing in raising the age of eligibility and means tests for wealthier recipients. (This would solve the massive deficit coming out of SS and, most likely, lead to privatization in the form of personal accounts, which is a good thing.)
  12. Released a detailed tax plan that would massively reduce the corporate tax rate (ours is the highest IN THE WORLD at 35%) and the personal rate to a flat 14.5% with a family of four, making less than $50K paying nothing. (Not the “Fair Tax”, which I support, but still a “radical” plan, clearly laid out.)
  13. Consistent top ratings from all three major gun rights advocates groups (NRA, GOA NAGR).
  14. Rated as “the most conservative candidate” with a, “10C” conservative record (the highest available and higher than Ted Cruz), AND is rated better than ALL the major Democratic candidates, when it comes to Civil Liberty issues.
  15. Opposed the Iraq Invasion of 2003 (this was before he was elected to the Senate).
  16. And, last but not least, he has some fun in the process.

This is a direct quote from Nate Dawg:

“He’s not perfect, nobody is. But he’s exactly what this country needs. Not another charlatan hurling vague, vitriolic rhetoric at anyone who challenges him, but a clear-minded, sober, logical problem-solver who presents common-sense solutions to systemic issues.”

I, whole-heartedly, agree. And, Rand Paul’s actions line up pretty darn clearly with his talk…

EDITORS NOTE: Please click here for Tad MacKie’s YouTube page.

Bernie Sanders Is Wrong: Trade Is Awesome for the Poor and for America by Corey Iacono

Sen. Bernie Sanders, the Democratic presidential hopeful, is no fan of free trade. In an interview with Vox, Sanders’ made his anti-trade position clear: “Unfettered free trade has been a disaster for the American people.”

He also noted that he voted against all the free trade agreements that were proposed during his time in Congress and that if elected President he would “radically transform trade policies” in favor of protectionism.

Sanders and his ilk accuse their intellectual opponents of promoting “trickle-down economics,” but that is precisely what he is advocating when it comes to trade. The argument for protectionism ultimately relies on the belief that protecting domestic corporations from foreign competition and keeping consumer prices high will somehow benefit society as whole.

However, the real effect of protectionism is to increase monopoly and consequently reduce overall economic welfare. In fact, according to a paper by economists at the Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis, “Government policies…such as tariffs and other forms of protection are an important source of monopoly” that lead to “significant welfare losses.”

In contrast to Sanders’ assertion that the expansion of free trade has been a disaster for the American people, there is a near unanimous consensus among economists that the opposite is true.

An IGM Poll of dozens of the most renowned academic economists found that, weighted for each respondent’s confidence in their answer, 96 percent of economists agreed, “Freer trade improves productive efficiency and offers consumers better choices, and in the long run these gains are much larger than any effects on employment.”

When the vast majority of economists of all sorts of ideological stripes agree that free trade is a good thing, maybe, just maybe, they’re onto something.

In fact, they surely are. Using four different methods, economists at the Petersen Institute for International Economics estimated the economic benefits from the expansion of technology that facilitates international trade (such as container ships), as well as the removal of government imposed barriers to international trade (such as tariffs). Since the end of World War II, they generated “an increase in US income of roughly $1 trillion a year,” which translates into an increase in “annual income of about $10,000 per household.”

This result is mostly driven by the fact that foreign businesses produce many goods which are used in the production process at a lower cost than their domestic competitors. Access to these low-cost foreign inputs allows American businesses to decrease their production costs and consequently increase their total output, making the nation as a whole much wealthier than it otherwise would have been.

Moreover, contrary to common conjecture, the benefits of international trade haven’t simply accrued to the wealthy alone. Low and middle income individuals tend to spend a greater share of their income on cheap imported consumer goods than those with higher incomes. As a result, international trade tends to benefit these income groups more so than the wealthy.

Indeed, according to the President’s Council of Economic Advisers, middle income consumers have about 29 percent greater purchasing power as a result of international trade.

In other words, middle income consumers can buy 29 percent more goods and services as a result of the access to low-cost imports from foreign countries.

Low income consumers see even greater gains with 62 percent higher purchasing power as a result of trade. In contrast, the top 10 percent of income earners only saw an increase in purchasing power of 3 percent as a result of trade.

On top of that, international trade has provided benefits by bringing new and innovative products to American consumers.

According seminal research by Christian Broda of the University of Chicago and David E. Weinstein of Colombia University, the variety of imported goods increased three-fold from 1972 to 2001. The value to American consumers of this import induced expanded product variety is estimated to be equivalent to 2.6 percent of national income, about $450 billion as of 2014. That’s not exactly small change.

The spread of free trade has also made considerable contributions to environmental protection, gender equality, and global poverty reduction. As a result of the spread of clean technology facilitated by freer trade, “every 1 percent increase in income as a result of trade liberalization (the removal of government imposed barriers to trade), pollution concentrations fall by 1 percent,” according to the Council of Economic Advisers.

The CEA also has found that “industries with larger tariff declines saw greater reductions in the [gender] wage gap,” suggesting that facilitating foreign competition through trade liberalization reduces the ability of employers to discriminate against women.

In regards to global poverty reduction, research has shown that in response to US import tariff cuts, developing countries, such as Vietnam, export more to the US, leading to higher incomes and less poverty.

Despite the large gains from trade America has already reaped, there is still room for improvement (contrary to Sen. Sanders’ accusations of “unfettered” free trade). The PIIE economists estimate that further trade liberalization would increase “US household income between $4,000 and $5,300 annually,” leading the them to conclude that, “in the future as in the past, free trade can significantly raise income — and quality of life — in the United States.”

Ultimately, the conclusion that most economists seem to reach is that, from being a disaster, the expansion of free trade has been a tremendous success, and that further trade liberalization would most likely make Americans, and the rest of the world, considerably better off.

Don’t let fear-mongering about foreigners and China scare you: free trade benefits everyone, especially the poor, while protectionism benefits only the politically powerful.

Corey Iacono

Corey Iacono is a student at the University of Rhode Island majoring in pharmaceutical science and minoring in economics.

Florida: Double Amputee Special Forces Veteran Runs for U.S. Congressional District 18

brian mast with family

Brian Mast with family.

Brian Mast lost both legs to an IED while serving Joint Special Operations Command as an explosives expert in Afghanistan. Military service had been a huge part of Brian’s identity and the idea of losing his purpose was devastating. However, he remembers lying in the hospital telling his wife that the best thing he did for his country couldn’t be in his past.

“I told my wife that I was going to pursue public office when I was ready,” said Brian.

The distance between his injury in 2010 and his announcement to run in 2015 was a long journey. Brian spent time recovering and moved to Florida in 2012, deciding to slowly order his life before running for office. At the same time, he didn’t want to get too complacent while recovering.

“I knew that if I only went to work when I was 100 percent I would never go back,” said Brian.

He worked toward completing his undergraduate degree while recovering. Brian is now set to begin his last semester at Harvard University.

Brian attended a Friday night dinner at the American Majority New Leaders Summit in his community in July 2013. “The biggest thing I learned at the New Leaders Summit is that you need to go out there as a pillar of your community,” said Brian.

Inspired by the training, Brian made it his goal to be a pillar of leadership in Fort Lauderdale.

“I started doing little things in the area — at least one thing a week — and that was something that reaped absolutely amazing benefits,” said Brian.

Knowing that he was a double amputee veteran, people who attended the same events as Brian were curious to hear his story and would invite him to other events — increasing his network. The men and women he met wanted to hear his story and gave him extended opportunities outside his community.

“Telling my story allowed me to meet people as Brian Mast, rather than as someone seeking office,” said Brian.

Brian declared his candidacy for U.S. Congress representing Florida’s 18th district in June. His summer is filled with campaign work: knocking on doors, meeting as many people possible, making donor calls, connecting with politicians, and engaging with people of similar interests.

His philosophy of leadership comes from his time in the military. In the video on his website, Brian mentions that the military taught him to never ask soldiers to do something he was not willing to do himself.

“That’s something in D.C. I want to change,” said Brian. “It’s about service, not only leadership. Anyone serving in the military, and especially in combat, sees the direct life and death consequences of leadership decisions.”

Brian is aware of the real consequences that policy has on the individuals and families in his state. He is passionate about legislation regarding the treatment of veterans, and foreign policy decisions involving Iran and Israel.

Running for Congress is an extension of Brian’s passion for doing what’s best for America and serving his country. “It’s simply that I’ve lost 67 close friends,” Brian said. “Everyone lost on the battlefield died because they were doing what is best for America, not for themselves. Serving with no regard to self is the only way.”

EDITORS NOTE: Read more about Brian Mast at his website here. You can also reach out to Brian through Facebook here and Twitter here.

FLORIDA: Republican Paul Spain Announces His Candidacy For District 18 Congressional Seat

PALM BEACH, Fla., PRNewswire/ — Paul Spain, the Republican 2014 Florida District 22 Congressional Candidate and the most successful Republican by percentage of votes cast in South Florida(North of Miami) formally announces his candidacy for the U.S. House of Representatives, Florida Congressional District 18 (www.paulspainforcongress.com).

Spain will run for the seat currently held in District 18 by Congressman Patrick Murphy (Democrat), who is relinquishing the seat to run for the U.S. Senate against Marco Rubio, U.S. Senator.

“I believe I have the right background to be an effective and sensitive representative for District 18 residents.  I’m a graduate of Virginia Commonwealth University and a successful businessman with a lifetime of community service.  That service includes Chambers of Commerce, Kiwanis Club, a current member of the College of Financial Planning with Advanced Planning Certifications (AAMS, CRPS), and a member of Maggie’s List, which promotes and supports efforts by women to hold public office,” said Spain,  the father of two with three grandchildren.

“Paul is just the kind of leader needed in Washington today as he is a seasoned financial advisor with many years of business and community experience in the areas of finance, investments, healthcare, energy, technology and transportation,” said Tom Madden, CEO of TransMedia Group (www.transmediagroup.com), which will be handling Spain’s public relations.

“Spain has vital experience working with local, state, and federal agencies and perceptively understands Washington, which is no easy feat these days!  He will work only for the people and not be influenced by outside interests,” said Adrienne Mazzone, president of TransMedia Group, a multi-lingual PR firm serving clients worldwide since 1981.

“Paul will also be an advocate for women,” she said.  “He will be our best representative in seeing we have an effective and efficient government, accountable immigration policies, support for Israel, term limits, and he believes all Americans should have access to affordable healthcare.”

Spain believes a strong military is critical to our national defense, police officers and teachers are vital to their communities and that protecting the environment should be a national priority.

 

Dr. Carson Meets the Press

Now that a new Fox News poll shows Dr. Ben Carson tied for first place with former Florida governor Jeb Bush among all potential 2016 Republican presidential nominees, it’s time that he prepared himself for a full scale assault by the mainstream media and by the same establishment Republicans who nominated George H.W. Bush, Bob Dole, George W. Bush, John McCain, and Mitt Romney.

Dr. Carson’s interview with Chris Cuomo of CNN is a perfect example of the inquisition he will face, only because he is a black conservative.  In that interview he was asked, “Do you think being gay is a choice?”  In response, Dr. Carson used the prison experience to support his point of view.  He said, “… a lot of people who go into prison straight – and when they come out, they’re gay.  So, did something happen while they were in there?  Ask yourself that question.”

That response was not sufficient to satisfy the mainstream media or gay activists.  Instead, if he had been adequately prepped he might have said, “There is some clinical research which tends to show that most homosexuals are apparently born with that sexual orientation.  However, we must also recognize that many men and women enter the prison population as heterosexuals, but then adopt a homosexual lifestyle while incarcerated… suggesting that, at some point, they chose to engage in homosexual behavior.  What this tells us is that there is much we still don’t understand about the homosexual phenomenon.”

As a non-politician, Dr. Carson can expect to be probed even more intensely than his Republican counterparts, even though several competitors are first-term members of the U.S. Senate.  Allow me to suggest some of the questions that will likely be put to Dr. Carson, along with some recommended responses:

Interviewer:  “Dr. Carson, you are an internationally renowned neurosurgeon.  Until recently you served as Chief of Pediatric Neurosurgery at Johns Hopkins Medical Center.  Serving as president of the United States is another matter entirely.  With your background, what makes you think that you should be considered as a viable candidate for president of the United States?

Dr. Carson:  “Well, I’m told that there are those who say that, given the mess that Barack Obama has made of things, he has essentially ruined things for any future black man who might have presidential ambitions, and that the American people may not elect another black president for generations to come.  I would remind them that, after Jimmy Carter earned a reputation as the worst president in U.S. history, I don’t recall anyone suggesting that he’d ruined everything  for all future white candidates.  Instead, four years later, the people elected a conservative Republican, Ronald Reagan, who not only ended the Cold War but implemented tax policies that gave us a period of economic growth that actually produced revenue surpluses by the mid-90s.”

Interviewer:  “In an April NPR interview, President Obama suggested that one of your rivals, Governor Scott Walker, should ‘bone up on foreign policy.’  What do you say to those who suggest that you would have even less experience in foreign affairs than Governor Walker?”

Dr. Carson:  “I would suggest that Barack Obama is the last person who should be questioning someone else’s foreign policy credentials.  For example, he spent most of his formative years, up to age ten, as a citizen of Indonesia; he has admitted that he visited Pakistan as a 20-year-old student and that he visited relatives in Kenya when he was in his mid-to-late twenties.  Visiting relatives and seeing the sights in foreign lands as a child and as a young man has nothing to do with assessing political and economic conditions.  In fact, if he’d learned anything at all from his travels he would have a far more positive view of American exceptionalism than he has today.”

Interviewer:  “In the history of our country, only twelve of our forty-four presidents had no military service.  You would be the first Republican since Herbert Hoover with no military service.  That being the case, how would you propose to win the respect of those in the military services as their commander in chief?”

Dr. Carson:  “The men and women of our armed forces are the finest that America has to offer.  And I can assure you that, regardless of whatever military experience a president may or may not have, the people in our armed services are more than capable of understanding when their commander in chief has their back and whether or not he commands their respect.  If I am given the opportunity to serve as their commander in chief, they will know that I will move Heaven and Earth to give them all the tools they need and that I will not send them on fools errands.  They can also be assured that, when I do what is necessary to retrieve a man who has been charged with desertion, the release of five of the worst of the worst Islamic terrorists will not be among my bargaining chips.”

Interviewer:  “Two of the early entrants into the 2016 Republican presidential primary are first term senators.  As a physician, you have even less political experience than they.  Don’t you think that the country needs and deserves a leader with far more experience?”

Dr. Carson:  I would point out to you that Barack Obama was a first-term senator when he ran for president and his failures may cause some to think twice about electing another first-term senator, or a pediatric neurosurgeon.  However, it is important to realize that Obama’s failures are not a product of his inexperience.  He has failed because his ideas and his policies are wrong for this country.  In my thirty-six year career as a neurosurgeon at Johns Hopkins, I have been required to make more life-or-death decisions in a week or a month than a president might be called upon to make in two terms in the White House.  And,unlike Barack Obama, I have always been available when the really tough decisions had to be made.”

Interviewer:  “Dr. Carson, if you are the nominee of the Republican Party, your likely Democrat opponent will be former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.  How do you respond to charges that she is highly experienced in foreign affairs while you have little or no experience in that realm?”

Dr. Carson:  Let’s look at the facts.  Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama engaged in a very bitter campaign for the 2008 Democratic nomination, a campaign in which the Clintons charged that the Obama people played the “race card” on them in South Carolina.  In the interest of party unity, Obama agreed to appoint Mrs. Clinton as Secretary of State.  He gave her a large staff and the use of an airplane and told her to just travel… which she did… while foreign policy was made at the White House by Obama, Valerie Jarrett, and Susan Rice.  It’s impressive to hear Mrs. Clinton cite the number of miles she’s traveled and the number of countries she’s visited.  However, when asked to name one accomplishment she can point to as Secretary of State, Democrats are strangely silent.  As my colleague, Carly Fiorina, has correctly pointed out, Mrs. Clinton should understand that traveling is an ‘activity,’ not an ‘accomplishment.’ ”

Interviewer:  “It is quite clear to everyone by now that Barack Obama and the Democrats are doing everything in their power to wrap up Hispanics as yet another captive voting constituency.  In fact, they are talking about giving illegals Social Security cards, voter registration cards, free health care, free education, food stamps, and housing assistance.  Since Republicans can’t be expected to enter into a bidding war for the hearts and minds of Hispanics, if you are elected president, how would you propose to counter that effort by the Democrats?”

Dr. Carson:  Your question presupposes that Hispanics would vote as a bloc for no better reason than that their votes are being bought.  If I were a Hispanic I would be highly insulted by that suggestion.  I believe that the members of our Hispanic population are among the hardest working people in America and I refuse to believe that they come to our country looking for a handout, rather than a hand up.  As a case in point, I would refer you to the personal story of Senator Cruz’s father, Raphael, who came to this country from Cuba with only $100 sewed into his clothing.  He took a job as a dishwasher and worked his way through college.  Now he has a son who is a Harvard Law School graduate and a candidate for president of the United States.  That is the American Dream that Hispanics seek and I will never be convinced otherwise.”        

Interviewer:  “You have been quoted as saying that you would not go to war with Russia over Ukraine, but that military action should not be taken off the table.  Armed conflict with Russia could conceivably pose the threat of a nuclear exchange.  If you believe that to be true, under what circumstances would you consider going to war with Russia?”

Dr. Carson“Look.  I don’t know of a single person in possession of his faculties who believes that the United States would ever launch a preemptive nuclear attack against another country.  But every country with nuclear weapons must know that, if they were ever foolish enough to launch a preemptive strike against the United States, retribution would be swift and certain.  In the United States, nuclear weapons are seen as a deterrent, not as tactical weapons.” 

Now that Dr. Carson is officially a viable candidate for the 2016 GOP presidential nomination, he should always be aware that every response to reporters’ questions must contain three elements: 1) a brief clarification of the issue at hand, 2) a clear and concise statement of his position on the issue, and 3) a solid shot across the opposition’s bow.  If the mainstream media insist on using Barack Obama as the standard by which Dr. Carson is to be judged, then the bar has been set very low.  He should take full advantage of that weakness at every opportunity.

LeadershipNOW: America’s Search for the Most Qualified U.S. Presidential Candidate

CLEVELANDMarch 19, 2015 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — It would be hard to embrace any of the candidates in our last few presidential elections to even run a $20 Million company. If we don’t elect better leaders we will completely lose our position as a leading country.

Famed executive search consultant, transformation CEO and leadership expert, Jeff Christian, who conducted HP’s search for a new CEO, the largest executive search in history, has now set his sights higher, unveiling today his intention to use the best search technologies used in industry, non-profits, and other organizations to identify the most exceptional leaders for the role of President of the United States through a new organization called LeadershipNOW.

jeff christian leadership now ceo

Jeff Christian, CEO LeadershipNOW.

Jeff Christian, Transformational CEO

At age 23, Jeff Christian founded Christian and Timbers, the most rapidly growing executive search firm from 1980s through 2000s. According to Dr. Tom Janz, who worked with Jeff as a coach in 2014 and 2015, “Jeff Christian is a transformational CEO, having built Christian and Timbers into the clear market leader in its space, one of the strongest indicators of a transformational CEO. He is credited for transforming the sleepy executive search industry, a rolodex business, into an information knowledge based powerhouse.” Christian personally led searches which filled top leadership roles and boards of Silicon Valley’s most admired corporations including HP, Cisco System and Apple. He not only found the top talent, he helped it succeed, launching two venture capital companies which landed him on the Forbes Midas list for 5 years as a top deal maker.  Christian authored “The Headhunter’s Edge”, a Random House book where he first introduced the concepts of “Transformational Leadership” and “Talent Centric Companies”.  His most recent company, RevenueNOW, the only company that ensures rapid revenue acceleration, applies transformational components to help America’s entrepreneurs transform their businesses. LeadershipNOW applies these technologies to the political selection process for the first time.

“As far as challenging our thinking, Jeff will do that. As we were putting together the profile for the CEO search that is currently underway, instead of just following the specs, Jeff thought about them, rewrote them and came back to us and said, ‘We ought to be more open in this area.’ He really pushes and hauls the definition before he gets started.”

– Lew Platt, former CEO Hewlett-Packard

America’s Search for the next President

Christian has long dreamed of applying the most advanced science of executive search to selecting U.S. Presidential candidates.  “America’s top corporations use the best of executive search science, which includes creation of a detailed position profile that realistically defines qualities required to be the most effective president. These profiles will be developed by a citizens selection committee drawn from America’s most trusted business, non-profit and academics thought leaders with direct input from all Americans though the LeadershipNOW website.  Christian criticizes the old style politics: “America’s political parties use methods that have hardly changed since the days when smoke filled room deal makers selected presidential candidates.   America’s voters deserve the best candidates from each party and for every office, and we need a modern selection system for identifying and assessing them.  We have created LeadershipNOW to make sure Americans get a choice between strong leaders.”

Scientific Leadership Search will Enable More Informed Choices

Jeff Christian, the top expert on Transformational Leadership, and Dr. Tom Janz, who wrote the definitive book on behavioral interviewing and leadership assessment, have come together to develop an assessment tool and process to identify the very best transformational political leaders.  Christian explains “traditional back room political deal making doesn’t select for those qualities that make for effective government executives and legislators.  By assessing candidates and publicly sharing their results, the result for America should be that the most qualified candidates who might get otherwise be overlooked might just be discovered for the gems they are.  Using scientific search techniques, everyone will know who really stacks up and what their strengths and weaknesses are.”

Candidates Take Notice

“It’s a double edged sword, because scientific search methodologies and assessment can also pinpoint hidden weaknesses.  But the better a leader the candidate is, the less their risk and the more they have to gain by this transparency.” Christian revealed.  Some Republican candidates have taken notice and indicated their willingness to go under the LeadershipNOW microscope.

“Right now, Hillary is the one name that people know. A search is all about discovering what you don’t know, so every other candidate, Republican or Democrat, has the opportunity to become the new front runner, because they will have the strongest emotional link with the voters. So the first candidate courageous enough to follow this initiative has to be taken seriously,” said one political analyst.

Leadership Search technology for local, state and other federal offices as well.

While LeadershipNow is currently developing Presidential position profiles, assessments and recruiting independent governance councils to guide the evaluation processes, it plans to offer similar services for allraces on a non-partisan basis.  Christian is passionate in his commitment to greater public accountability for all offices, “For every office from village major, to governor or senator, voters deserve to know whether candidates have the leadership qualities the desire.  LeadershipNow will measure them and give them the information they need to make the most informed choices about which candidates to give their donations and votes to.”  Campaigns can even use these services to evaluate their own internal leadership, and after the election to assess possible cabinet and staff positions, so candidates can assure the voters that their staff are equally well qualified and worthy of trust.

LeadershipNOW is a new organization that is draws on the talent and technologies of Christian’s most recent venture, RevenueNOW, a consulting organization which merges capabilities of top executive recruiting, private equity, and brand marketing firms. The founding leadership of RevenueNow includes Jeff Christian, Dr. Janz and Scott McGregor.

Jeff Christian is the CEO and founder of the search firm Christian and Timbers and two venture funds, who transformed the Executive Search industry. He is also as the author of The Headhunter’s Edge.

Dr. Tom Janz literally wrote the book on behavioral leadership Assessment: Behavior Description Interviewing.

Scott McGregor is a Silicon Valley entrepreneur and co-inventor of Web Conferencing and Prescient Agents  predictive analytics technologies, technologies that have changed the lives of over one billion individuals around the world.