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VA GOP Convention Turns Into War Between Trump Chair Corey Stewart, Cruz Surrogate Ken Cuccinelli

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I’ve been listening on and off to the coverage by John Fredericks of the 2016 Republican Party of Virginia convention, a bit-time Trump supporter, and predictably he’s not thrilled with the Cruz folks’ behavior. As Fredericks just said a few minutes ago, “all hell breaking loose…Ken Cuccinelli running amok…knocked [Virginia Trump Chair] Corey Stewart off the ballot.”

Fredericks also recounted a conversation he had earlier with Corey Stewart, in which Stewart vowed to “work tirelessly to rid the Republican Party of Ken Cuccinelli and his strongarm tactics…the whole process was hijacked by Ken Cuccinelli…all he cares about is getting himself elected governor…his ego is out of control,” he’s a “scourge” on the Republican Party.

Fredericks adds that the Cuccinelli/Cruz folks have engineered a “coup” over “two delegates,” and calls it “insane, but that’s how they roll.” Fredericks says that when Cooch tries to run for governor next year, a lot of Trump supporters like Fredericks are “going to have a long memory,” and that “any hope for party unity just went out the window.” More Fredericks: “After today, there’s no way I’m voting for Ken Cuccinelli for governor ever again — I’m done,” this is a “travesty.”

That’s just a small sampling of the discord and nastiness Virginia Republicans are exhibiting today. For more, here are some tweets by Democratic Party of Virginia Communications Director Emily Bolton — and others where noted). Enjoy! 🙂

& Lyin’ Ted have their hands all over this… See for yourself

“Trump Virginia chair snubbed from slate

is part of the establishment” – R’s so far right that Cooch is considered “establishment”

“Solid point abt Cooch on …This isn’t about Nov. for – he’s pivoting to 2017

“Judging by slate, ‘s influence is on full display. Consensus is that Cooch is considered “establishment”…, stacked slate w. Cruz dels even tho Cruz can’t win nomination. Clearly this is about 2017 . Not good 4

Alex Rohr of the News Advance: “Press denied access to nomination committee meeting. still waiting on the 13-person nt’l delegate slate.”

John Fredericks:  “Alert!Trump delegates need to VOTE DOWN first slate got hosed on delegate selection by Nominations com. Listen JFRS”

UPDATE 2:12 PM: Reporter tweets,  re-elected chairman of Republican Party of Virginia to mix of applause and boos.”

UPDATE 2:15 PM: The hysteria and wild, over-the-top exaggeration by Virginia Republican Chair John “Anti Semitic Joke Dude” Whitbeck in his speech is beyond belief. In short, they really think that if Democrats win in 2016, they are doooooooooomed (“the Republic will fail,” blah blah blah). Yet we’d be fine with the utterly unqualified blowhard/neo-fascist Trump or extremist Ted Cruz? Utterly nutso.

UPDATE 2:19 PM: RTD reporter  tweets: “ convention in H’burg, spikes applause meter, is second. Boos for .”
UPDATE 2:24 PM: tweets, “Congrats on well deserved reelection!”
UPDATE 2:29 PM: The Washington Post just reported, “Ken Cuccinelli II has ruled out a run for governor in 2017.”
UPDATE 2:38 PM: Republican National Committeewoman candidate Suzanne Obenshain claims that Virginia is a “red state.” Clearly, she missed the part where Barack Obama won Virginia twice, where Democrats won both US Senate seats, plus the Governor’s mansion, Lt. Governorship, Attorney General’s office. Other than that…LOL
Reporter tweets, “Cuccinelli said Cruz could easily take all 13 Virginia delegates up for grabs at convention. Said Cruz camp sees 10 as ‘compromise.'”
UPDATE 2:54 PM: Wow, Cynthia Dunbar speech for Republican National Commiteewoman is…let’s just say “out there.” Ee gads — she almost makes Suzanne Obenshain look reasonable by comparison.
tweets, “ reports 5,952 eligible delegates. As of this time, 2,610 had checked in. They say it’s all about showing up.”
UPDATE: 4:45 PM: tweets, “Breaking! vs. Va Natl cmtwoman race too close to call no one at 50% -going to a second ballot! All delegates stay”
Reporter tweets, “Cuccinelli calls 10-3 Cruz slate an ‘olive branch’ to Trump. Corey Stewart, Trump chairman denied delegate slot, calls it ‘screw-you branch.'”
Also from : “Trump forces will try to vote down 10-3 Cruz slate. If they do, Cruz team will try a clean sweep for all 13″
UPDATE 5 PMtweets, “Corey Stewart on Cuccinelli not running for governor: ‘He lost the first one in a year when he was supposed to have won. He’s a loser.’…Cuccinelii says he didn’t keep Stewart off slate. ‘This is a competition. And they are incapable of competing effectively on the ground.'”
UPDATE 6:21 PM: tweets, “GOP convention going nuts over a Cruz-oriented slate of 13 at-large delegates. Cuccinelli defends it – is loudly booed. Vote coming.”
UPDATE 6:43 PMtweets, “Declaring conven ‘s ‘Waterloo,’ chair Corey Stewart to formally declare for guv by early Nov.”
UPDATE 7 PM tweets, “Not your father-in-law’s : Tarred as Establishment candidate, Suzanne Obenshain loses for seat on RNC. Family built modern party.”
UPDATE 7:24 PMtweets, “Virginia Beach delegates overwhelmingly against Cruz-oriented delegate slate pushed by Cuccinelli. 55-4 Vote tallying continues.”
UPDATE 7:45 PM tweets, “ out-maneuvers , pushing thru con Cruz-weighted delegation to Cleveland from , where Trump won primary.”
  • Quick thoughts on Ken Cuccinelli’s announcement that he won’t run for Virginia gov in 2017.

    1. Was it a “Shermanesque” denial, or more of a Paul Ryan NOT INTERESTED IN BEING SPEAKER, OK I’LL BE SPEAKER! statement? No idea, but my belief is that Gillespie is the overwhelming favorite at this point for the 2017 Virginia GOP gov nomination, and that Cooch knows this. Today’s convention certainly didn’t win Cooch any friends; to the contrary, he pissed off a LOT of Trump supporters, like Corey Stewart and John Fredericks. So…basically, I’m assuming Cooch won’t run in 2017, and even if he does, that he’s seriously weakened at this point.

    2. I know I probably should take Rob Wittman seriously as a challenger to Ed Gillespie, but I’m having trouble doing so. I just think Wittman is a complete joke. Anyone care to talk me into why we should take Wittman seriously as a challenger to Gillespie?

    3. Will others run for the GOP nomination now that Cooch is (apparently) ruling himself out? Pete Snyder? EW Jackson? Others?

    4. If one assumes that the 2017 gov race is an almost purely “base election,” then I’m not sure Gillespie’s going to be much stronger than Cooch as the Republican nominee. Still, I was salivating over the prospect of another “extreme team” for Northam/Whoever/Herring to run against in 2017, and now it’s quite possible we won’t have that.

  • From DPVA:

    Bitterly Divided: Key Takeaways from RPV’s State Convention

    Moments ago, the Virginia Republican State Convention voted on its national delegate slate and it’s abundantly clear that they remain bitterly divided. During more than six hours of negotiations, backroom dealings, efforts to oust Chairman Whitbeck, and speeches from leaders encouraging “unity,” Virginia Republicans are anything but united.

    Key Takeaways:

    “Any hope of party unity has been thrown out the window” – Conservative Radio Show Host John Fredericks during a live broadcast at Republican Party of Virginia’s state convention

    Cruz/Trump tension is at an all-time high. Despite the fact that Ted Cruz came in at a distant third on Super Tuesday, the Republican Party of Virginia’s national delegate slate included 10 Cruz supporters out of 13 total. This vote came after more than six hours of back and forth. The Cruz supporters threatened to scrap any remaining Trump delegates off of the slate if Trump supporters rejected the 3/10 “deal.” At the end of the day, the RPV’s national at-large slate gave nearly 77 percent of the at-large delegates to Cruz – someone who received less than 17 percent of the vote in Virginia…

    Virginia Republicans couldn’t even unify behind Chairman John Whitbeck, who managed to hold on to his seat amid efforts to oust him…

    …Ed Gillespie still won’t say who he supports for President. Ed Gillespie made a speech to Republicans about party unity during his early, low-profile speaking spot. Yet he still refuses to let Virginians know who he’d like to unify behind.

    No sign of Barbara Comstock. Barbara Comstock was nowhere to be found, but that didn’t stop internal party strife over her race. A local spat created controversy over the Chairman of the Frederick County Republican Committee. During resolution discussions, Del. Jackson Miller admitted that Comstock faced an up hill battle:

    “The reason I’m on this side of the motion is I have nothing personally against Mr. Berg, but what I do have a problem with is losing,” he said. “ Congresswoman [ Barbara] Comstock is going to have a tough election.” – [Winchester Star, 4/30/2016]

    The Dick Black Question. “Former” Ted Cruz Virginia Co-Chair Dick Black went to Syria, praised and met with Assad, and pledged support for him. Why is Virginia Republican leadership remaining silent? Are Chairman John Whitbeck and Ted Cruz still allowing Dick Black to represent them at the Republican National Convention?

  • I see you have mastered modern liberal thought – argument by adjective – “far right” and “extremist”. Then again, thinking about issues has never been a big thing on the left, has it? It’s slander and appeal to emotions, blind to history and eyes averted to the future.

    Shocked that state conventions are raucous and messy affairs? Oh, poor thing. It must grate your planned-economy heart to see people in disagreement and not doing things the top-down way. Cheer up. A few more years in America and you might get over it.

    • frankoanderson

      You must not be much of a reader. If you take a look at this article, you’ll see that it’s not really about issues (though policy issues are prominently featured elsewhere on Blue Virginia), but instead this is an article purely about politics.

      And can anyone say that we would be shocked by what we are seeing from the RPV Convention, after reporting about Virginia Republicans here for over ten years? I can think of a few other ways to describe my reaction (amused, fascinated, etc.) but certainly not shocked.

    • old_redneck

      Attack the messenger much?

    • “Shocked that state conventions are raucous and messy affairs?” Actually, that’s the Trump supporters who are outraged at what happened yesterday. Personally, I’m lovin’ it — the more crazy right wingnuts rip each other to shreds, the better! LOL