Richard Viguerie's Conservative HQ
CHQ Staff | 11/7/18

Voters Reject Paul Ryan’s Failed House Leadership

As we see it, this election would not have even been close if Paul Ryan and the House Republican leadership had embraced and passed Donald Trump’s conservative agenda.

The Democratic Blue Wave against President Trump that was long-predicted by the establishment media turned out to be more like a splash as Republicans expanded their (likely) margin in the Senate 54 to 46 seats while losing the House majority by what looks like (approximately) 225 to 210 seats.

Democrats picked up 27+ seats, but those pickups were not necessarily based on anti-Trumpism, and the numbers are far less than the losses suffered by Bill Clinton in the 1994 midterms, when Democrats suffered a 54-seat swing and the incumbent Democratic Speaker Tom Foley was defeated for reelection or the 2010 midterms when Barack Obama suffered a 63-seat loss, the highest loss of a party in a House midterm election since 1938.

The establishment media want to tell you that Republicans lost because they have a “suburban women” problem attributable to distaste for President Trump – don’t believe it – Republican loses were not concentrated in the suburbs and seat-by-seat the results can be attributed to several non-Trump factors that the establishment media won’t talk about, but can and should be laid at the feet of Paul Ryan and his leadership team.

One factor in the Republican loss of the majority that the media won’t talk about is that activist judges in Pennsylvania and Colorado mandated the redrawing of the congressional districts handing Democrats a net gain of at least four seats.

Another factor was ethics problems. While Republicans failed to capitalize on the ethics problems of Democrats, Republicans lost seats where ethics were an issue. Iowa conservative Rod Blum being perhaps the most high-profile incumbent who was brought down by an opponent whose campaign was buoyed by attacking his financial dealings.

Another factor that the establishment media has swept under the table is the influence of Far-Left billionaires, especially George Soros and Tom Steyer.

House Republicans, especially conservatives, were routinely outspent by 2 to 1. For example, limited government constitutional conservative Dave Brat, a known target of the Left, was outspent by about 2 to 1, Mike Coffman in Colorado was outspent 5 to 3. In Oklahoma, Democrat Kendra Horn raised more than four times as much money as incumbent Republican Steve Russell did. Over a recent three-month span Horn raised $442,711 between July 1 and Sept. 30, Russell raised just $97,836 in the same period.

As we pointed out above, conservatives were routinely outspent and National Republican Congressional Committee (NRCC) Chairman Steve Stivers of Ohio did nothing to protect vulnerable incumbents who were not part of the Republican establishment.

While the House Freedom Caucus did its part - all 11 House Freedom Fund targets for open seats won - the NRCC did an abysmal job of candidate recruitment, especially if they accepted the idea that Republicans had a problem with suburban women. While Democrats recruited dozens of female candidates to run, especially in Republican Blue State seats, the NRCC all but conceded those races before they even began by fielding rookie candidates who were swamped by well-funded Democrats.

But the final, and most important factor was the failed leadership of Speaker Paul Ryan and his leadership team, including House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, House Majority Whip Steve Scalise, Deputy House Majority Whip Patrick McHenry and National Republican Congressional Committee Chairman Steve Stivers.

Ryan was for all intents and purposes missing in action as the leader of the Republican Conference, and when he did surface it was to criticize President Trump. 

All politics is local is how Democrats win elections. Republicans never win major elections unless they nationalize them around big conservative themes. To the extent that we saw Republicans lose yesterday, it was largely because they followed the advice of the Washington’s establishment consultants and ran localized campaigns.

However, Ryan and his establishment consultants did everything possible to convince Republicans to run on local issues, because other than tax cuts, Ryan gave House Republicans nothing to run on.

Contrary to the advice to run on tax cuts and the economy, building the wall, enforcing our immigration laws, putting troops at the border, standing for the right to life, cutting regulations, putting Americans back to work and keeping their promises were themes that won close elections for Republicans.

The lesson of the 2018 midterm election for House Republicans should be clear – seat-by-seat you can look at the results and see how leadership failures cost Republican seats in the House. It is time for new conservative leadership in the House, especially now that the Party is in the minority.
CHQ Staff | 11/8/18

Conservative Issues Nationalized the Election

Yesterday, Chairman Richard A. Viguerie hosted a news conference with half-a-dozen conservative leaders to analyze the results of the 2018 midterms and to offer a roadmap for Republicans to return to the majority in the U.S. House of Representatives.

You can watch the video recap of the press conference here.

Here are some outtakes from Mr. Viguerie’s remarks during the November 7, 2018 news conference: 

"President Trump and conservatives using conservative issues to nationalize the election built a big red wall that stopped a blue wave. Republicans never win elections, unless they are nationalized around conservative issues."

"Democrats have to follow Tip O'Neill's famous adage – all politics are local. Democrats can't run and win on their national issues."

"A few months ago, the Republicans were facing a blue tsunami, because too many Republican candidates and their consultants were running content-free campaigns."

"House Majority Leader Congressman Kevin McCarthy advised Republican House candidates in this election to focus on local issues, not national issues. If all the Republican candidates had followed Majority Leader Congressman McCarthy's advice, it would have been a disaster for the Republican party and the cause of liberty."

"Voters never go to the polls to thank you. Ask Mr. Churchill – he had his party was thrown out of office a few weeks after the end of the war in Europe, and after saving the British people's very lives."

"Every election—no exception—is about the future."

"A couple of months ago under the leadership of President Trump and conservatives, the election began to be nationalized, including explaining what a future under Democrat rule would look like."

"President Trump and conservatives began to brand Democrats as mean-spirited and unfair during the Kavanaugh hearings."

"Also, Democrats were branded as wanting to open borders, give citizenship, voting rights and welfare to tens of millions of illegals."

"Democrats favored repeal of the Trump tax cuts. Then they proposed they would raise taxes and increase regulation of individuals and businesses, which will stop the current economic boom and throw America back into a recession or even a depression."

"Democrats favored abolishing private health insurance and putting all Americans into government controlled and operated Medicare, which will quickly lead to its bankruptcy and rationing especially for seniors."

"Democrats favored abolishing our 2nd Amendment rights."

"Many Democrats have become anti-God, anti-Christian, many want to abolish our 1st Amendment right of religious liberty."

"In a real sense, yesterday Americans, including many former Democrats, cast a culture vote against the far-left social agenda of the new Democrat Party."

"It's clear the Republicans need new leadership in the House of Representatives. The House was lost because of the failure of most Republican leaders. For many years House Republican leaders have been AWOL in the political wars, including the cultural wars. Conservatives are like the Biblical Jews who had to wander through the desert for 40 years until that generation of failed/flawed leaders had passed. Conservatives and Republicans will never get to the political promise land until we get new House of Representative leadership."

These other conservative leaders joined Mr. Viguerie and offered the following statements in response to the 2018 midterm elections:

"House Leadership lost this election for Republicans,” said Noah Wall, VP of Advocacy for FreedomWorks."When you don’t keep your promises, you lose enthusiasm from the grassroots. House Leadership will be chosen next week. If the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different result, then a vote for Kevin McCarthy is a vote for insanity. This is why we need Rep. Jim Jordan for Minority Leader.”

“It's time for new leadership in the House. We need a leader like Jim Jordan who will fight against Nancy Pelosi and liberal policies. Rep. Kevin McCarthy's failed agenda has not worked.” said Ken Cuccinelli, President of The Senate Conservative Fund.

“Republicans have a serious problem. Their leaders are not committed to the party platform. The [House] leadership didn’t have a message because they don’t believe in the agenda.” said L. Brent Bozell, Founder and President of Media Research Center.

“Republicans lost the House last night for many reasons, but one of the biggest reasons was a failure of leadership. If Nancy Pelosi is advising Democrat candidates to run hyper-local campaigns, isn’t that a good sign that Republicans should be running a nationalized campaign?” said Jenny Beth Martin, Chairman of Tea Party Patriots and Citizens Fund.

“Republicans shed a lot of dead weight last night. All the money raised and spent, all the staff, all the ads, all the consultant fees could not save this train wreck,” said Dave Bozell, President of For America
“We’re looking for fighters in leadership, who can advance our priorities through digital media, who can recruit an audience, who can go beyond the base, always selling on emerging social platforms.  Jim Jordan has the most engaged Twitter account of any member of Congress with over 400,000 followers across his platforms…and it grows every day,” said Mr. Bozell. “It’s time the White House and the House come together, get on the same page, with shared objectives, and that starts with electing a new Leader like Jim Jordan.”

“As far as what comes next for Republicans in the House, a new day requires new leadership.  Jim Jordan is running for Minority Leader. Mark Meadows should also be in leadership along with a new freshman who earned the endorsement of Club for Growth PAC and won in spite of the Blue Wave.” said David McIntosh, President of Club For Growth PAC. “By starting a new day with new leadership and fresh conservative ideas, Republicans will be able to recapture the majority in two years.”

“Jim Jordan got it, and he did his best to nationalize the election for House Republicans. The conservative grassroots activists I work with and speak for want a fighter to lead House Republicans. They want someone who knows what the Deep State is up to, and who knows how to defeat their efforts to block the president’s agenda. They want Jim Jordan to lead House Republicans,” concluded Jenny Beth Martin.