- The Washington Times - Thursday, February 18, 2016

Many voters now seek a president who can keep them safe in a dangerous world. This is not lost on the 2016 candidates, who include compelling, protective promises in their campaign narratives.

Donald Trump says he’ll secure the borders and transform the U.S. military into an entity “so big, powerful and strong that no one will mess with us.” Sen. Marco Rubio says “American strength” will guide his foreign policy. Sen. Ted Cruz, intent on rallying “courageous conservatives,” has a six-point approach to exert world leadership and protect the homeland, among other things. He also has a certain name in mind for his future cabinet.

“As secretary of state we need someone strong, someone who defends this country, someone who represents this country,” Mr. Cruz told CNN during a recent televised town meeting, when asked about his potential administration.

“I’m not in the position right now to be naming cabinet appointments, but I’ll tell you, a secretary of state in a Cruz administration would be someone like John Bolton, would be someone who is strong, who defends this country, who stands our by our allies and stand up to our enemies,” Mr. Cruz noted.


“I have spoken often about the need for faith and compassion in America,” says Republican hopeful Ben Carson. “However, enforcing our immigration laws is not in contradiction with love and kindness. As Christians, we are called to love our neighbors. But as a nation, we must also defend our sovereignty and security.”


Two state contests have candidates on edge and restless this weekend. In the lead-up to the Nevada caucus, Democratic hopeful Hillary Clinton offers three very splashy campaign events in Las Vegas, including one with former President Bill Clinton at Caesar’s Palace. She then departs immediately for Houston. Sen. Bernie Sanders spends a little time in Vegas this weekend, then fans out for grass-roots rallies in Elko, Sparks and Henderson.

The Republicans can’t wait to leave South Carolina. Republican front-runner Donald Trump stops in Pawley’s Island, stages an election night watch party in Spartanburg, a jumbo rally in Atlanta on Sunday and a return to Nevada. Sen. Ted Cruz has star power; he’s accompanied by “Duck Dynasty” patriarch Phil Robertson and Fox News host Sean Hannity at four events across the Palmetto State before he too leaves for Nevada, set to hit the campaign trail with media maven Glenn Beck.

Sen. Marco Rubio hosts five rallies with Sen. Tim Scott plus Reps. Trey Gowdy and Jeff Duncan, winding up in Columbia for a watch party on Saturday night. Jeb Bush appears at three town halls, accompanied by his mother Barbara Bush. And finally, Gov. John Kasich is in four states. He’s bound for a single town hall in South Carolina before roaring off to host an election watch party as well — in Waterford, Massachusetts — to be followed by a rally in Vermont and another in Georgia on Monday.


Conservative talk-radio kingpin Mark Levin just signed a contract to continue his nationwide broadcast for another nine years. Now he’s upping the ante: Mr. Levin will launch his own daily TV show on March 7 — emphasizing liberty-minded “pro-American and patriotic values.”

Content will include history, economics, philosophy and the latest political and current events, according to advance production notes, with exclusive, long-form guest interviews. Find a preview of the new show at LevinTV.com

“I have the greatest audience in the world and I give them my best every night,” notes Mr. Levin. “I will speak directly to my audience — uncensored, without middlemen, and commercial free. I make no excuses for my patriotism, I am proud of it.”


Lo and behold, President Obama has signed off on the “North Korea Sanctions and Policy Enhancement Act of 2016” — legislation which bulks up sanctions against the rogue nation originally authored by House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Ed Royce.

“We can’t stand by while the North Korean regime develops a nuclear arsenal capable of striking the United States,” says the California Republican. “Targeted sanctions aimed at banks and companies that do business with Kim Jong Un will cut off the cash he needs to sustain his illicit weapons programs, his army, and the continued repression of the North Korean people.”


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49 percent of Americans approve of the job the Supreme Court is doing; 46 percent of Republicans, 45 percent of independents and 55 percent of Democrats agree.

37 percent overall disapprove of the job the Court is doing; 44 percent of Republicans, 38 percent of independents and 31 percent of Democrats agree.

47 percent overall say President Obama should appoint a replacement for the late Antonin Scalia; 15 percent of Republicans, 46 percent of independents and 77 percent of Democrats agree.

47 percent overall say the next elected president should appoint a replacement; 82 percent of Republicans, 43 percent of independents and 19 percent of Democrats agree.

Source: A CBS News poll of 2,007 U.S. adults conducted Feb. 12-16.

Scintillating conversation, hubbub to jharper@washingtontimes.com.

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