Luke Messer, Todd Rokita, and Mike Braun are running for the senate GOP nomination in Indiana. Luke Messer and Todd Rokita have “OK” voting records regarding the Make America Great Again agenda. And both have voting records that are very similar, according to America first immigration group Numbers USA. Mike Braun seems to be a little like Donald Trump in that he’s a recently converted Republican with a lot of money to burn on this primary race.
The race has been very contentious over the past few months, with Messer and Rokita filleting each other and Braun incessantly. Rokita calling Trump unpresidential in 2016, Messer being a nevertrumper, and everyone calling everyone else secret amnesty supporters.
Todd Rokita’s latest TV AD
The latest ongoing revelations to come out in this race is regarding Mike Braun seemingly having no real history as a Republican in Indiana. In fact, until very recently, Braun was rated as an un-persuadable “hard Democrat” by the Republican National Committee voter databases.
A “hard Democrat” to the RNC means that he would be almost impossible to persuade to vote for a Republican.
One of the top candidates in Indiana’s GOP primary was labeled in the Republican National Committee’s voter files as a “hard Democrat” as recently as December.
Mike Braun is an Indiana businessman and former state representative who is seen by operatives in both parties as the front-runner headed into Tuesday’s Republican primary to determine who takes on Democratic Sen. Joe Donnelly in November.
He has described himself as a lifelong conservative, but his opponents, Reps. Todd Rokita and Luke Messer, have howled for weeks that Braun’s voting history suggests he was a Democrat — at least until the 2012 election.
In the RNC’s private trove of voter data, scores from one through five are assigned to individual voters to assess how likely they are to back GOP candidate. A score of one means your voting history suggests you’re a reliable Republican, something in between suggests GOP candidates will have to court you, and a five, Braun’s score until recently, means the party sees you as a “hard Democrat” — someone it couldn’t possibly win over.
Braun’s campaign initially told CNN that Braun is a “lifelong Republican, saying otherwise is just more lies from his failing opponents and their losing campaigns.”
After CNN published a report Saturday saying Braun is labeled as a “Hard Democrat,” Braun’s campaign reached out to say his score had changed. Braun’s campaign conceded he was listed as a “Hard Democrat” as recently as December 2017, but argued his score changed after an Associated Press probe into his voting history. Kelley sent a screenshot taken December 7 showing Braun listed as a two, or “Weak Republican.”
An Indiana Republican Party official and another GOP source confirmed after checking Saturday that his score had changed and he is now listed as a one, or “Hard Republican.”
However, I dispute the insistence that attending Lincoln Day dinners, getting involved in local GOP politics, and donating to Republicans makes you a Republican who represents the party platform and will fight for that when elected. The rival campaigns are apparently insisting on that in their attacks against Braun:
A search of the Center for Responsive Politics’ donor database shows no contributions to Republican or Democratic candidates by Braun. And his campaign did not directly respond to CNN’s inquiry about whether the man now spending nearly $6 million of his own money in the GOP primary has ever donated to Republican candidates, attended Lincoln Day dinners, or otherwise been involved in GOP politics prior to his election to the Indiana House of Representatives in 2014 and then again in 2016.
Braun’s excuse is that he lived in a Democrat stronghold and that if he wanted to have any say in the local politics, he would have to vote on the Democrat ticket.
The 64-year-old Braun says he voted in Democratic primaries in order to have a say in the politics of Dubois County — part of a region in southwestern Indiana that historically elected Democrats to local office despite its conservative politics and Republican lean in national elections.
“I was not calculating what I was doing back then to become a politician. I’ve done that out of frustration with what happens in D.C.,” Braun said in an interview this week at a diner in northwestern Indianapolis. “My wife and I were lifelong conservatives and Republicans living in a county that was, you know, completely Democratic in all the offices. So if you wanted to weigh in on your local and county elections, anybody that was a Republican there mostly voted in the Democratic” primary.
“In southern Indiana, that was just the dynamic,” Braun added. “I’m proud to say in ’16, due to some of us sticking our neck out and running, we swept every contested race as Republicans. We won them all. So now the county has flipped.”
Here is one of Braun’s ads, slamming the two congressmen:
However, despite what has been said about Braun, Messer and Rokita have seen no love lost between the two of them. Messer and Rokita went on Breitbart’s radio program last month and lambasted each other during their broadcasts.
As a side note: I am not a fan of any Republican who wants to get my vote that purports to use Politifact seriously, and Messer does. And he was purportedly —according to Rokita’s camp— a member of the House “gang of eight” wanting illegal aliens to obtain amnesty. But according to Messer’s camp, Rokita’s a secret supporter of amnesty too.
And Messer seems to be in favor of amnesty according to this video:
Uploaded by michael jordan on 2017-10-23.
“That guy in Indiana is known as ‘Lyin’ Todd Rokita,’” Messer fired back. “He was called out by PolitiFact in the last couple of days for running an ad campaign that’s mostly false. From what I understand, I wasn’t listening, but from what other people have told me, I have never been part of any Gang of Eight – that’s just simply not true. In fact, I’ve helped lead the fight with President Trump to get after illegal immigration. The legislation I put forward is an example working with President Trump, and Breitbart took a big lead on this, we were able to make major progress in ending tax credits for illegal immigrants. It’s crazy under the law, you can get a child tax credit as an illegal immigrant. My legislation is frankly tougher than where we ended up as a tax package, and there’s more to it in ending $7 billion in tax credits for illegal immigrants. But because of this president’s leadership, my leadership, and frankly the leadership of Breitbart, I was one of the first elected leaders last year that we already had the authorization to build a border wall, and I got criticized by CNN, and now we are making steps in the right direction. Of course, we want to do a lot more. My whole career I’ve been an authentic conservative. You are right, listen all of us have learned from President Trump, and we are getting even tougher on illegal immigration. But I will always start by telling you the truth and I think that’s important in any campaign.”
“Sanctuary cities literally get a federal tax dollar bonus under current law–we need to stop it,” Messer said. “I was excited to hear the president’s proposal to ask the citizenship question on the Census. It’s amazing that the left has tried to make that controversial at all. What we want to do is give that information some teeth. Under current law, any total population calculation for federal funding actually includes illegal immigrants. It’s crazy. It needs to stop. As you know, one of President Trump’s most important campaign promises was to secure our borders and to defund sanctuary cities. This gives us a way to do that by basically saying if you’re going to receive federal dollars based on population, it should be the number of legal residents and citizens who are counted, not illegal immigrants.”
Rokita also explains that he’s going to be tougher on illegal aliens and he would be more likely to do so as he has run a statewide election campaign before, unlike the other candidates.
“I’m the only one in this race that has the guts to come out and talk about English as the official language of this country,” Rokita said. “I’m a cosponsor of that bill. I don’t think there’s anything mean, I don’t think there’s anything wrong. I think there’s everything not politically correct [about this]. Common borders, language, culture, right? We want to build a wall not to just necessarily keep people out but so we can have a sovereign nation. There’s no nation worth living in that doesn’t have a wall or a wall system or an ability to keep people out and know who’s in–and to keep things out. Ninety percent of heroin comes in across the Southern border, and we have an opioid epidemic. Everybody wants to talk about this, that, and their hair’s on fire about the opioid epidemic. Well, let’s try keeping the stuff out of our country. And you got to, to have a sovereign nation, be able to do that. Part and parcel of that is having a common language. Part and parcel of being a unified nation is that you share the same language. That’s all that means. That doesn’t mean you can’t speak your native tongue in your own house, but in terms of the government, in terms of public speech, in terms of everything that we do as a nation, English is our language.”
“Both Luke Messer and Mike Braun are responsible for a billion dollars of tax hikes when they were in the legislature,” Rokita said. “Mike Braun was 45-0, he was two years in the state legislature, he voted for 45 tax increases. He’s never voted no on a tax bill including the state’s largest tax increase, which was our gas tax. You mentioned infrastructure. Even at our committee at the federal level, we were able to get a billion dollars for Indiana and all other states got their cut too without raising taxes, without printing the money, and without borrowing it. And that was Washington. And so if you send Mike Braun to the Senate, it’s going to be terrible, because all he knows how to do is raise taxes–same with Messer.”
“All I can tell you is what I’m doing on the ground in Indiana is what I’ve always done to be successful running statewide and in my congressional seat, and that is go straight to the voters,” Rokita said. “I drive 45,000 miles a year, no joke, and when I was Secretary of State, I went to every county–all 92 of them–at least once. No one else is doing that, except Donnelly. Donnelly, the incumbent Democrat–a liberal Democrat who hugs Hillary Clinton and did what President Obama told him to do, got the final vote of Nancy Pelosi’s House for Obamacare, votes with Bernie Sanders 85 percent of the time. Ok, that guy–is very retail. He is, and I give that to him. He does that the way I do it. That’s why you’re going to need a guy who’s known throughout the community and throughout the state–and the state knows him–who’s willing to work it, and who doesn’t live in McLean, Virginia.”
Fox News has the state of the race, although Braun seems to be the favorite —according to Gravis— to win come Tuesday:
Republican looks to unseat Donnelly in the Indiana Senate race. RealClearPolitics’ Tom Bevan breaks down the midterm race. FOX News Channel (FNC) is a 24-hour all-encompassing news service dedicated to delivering breaking news as well as political and business news.
And finally, the candidate’s closing statements from the February 20th debate:
Catch the closing statements from Luke Messer, Todd Rokita, and Mike Braun in the Indiana Senate Candidate Debate.
One candidate may be a stealth Democrat, and the other two are Nevertrumpers or amnesty shills trying to fake their way through the primary. There are no good options here, so Indiana voters, choose who you think will damage the country least.