As it stands currently, Republican voters have two options for the presidency in 2016: former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush or someone else, according to political strategist Dick Morris, who appeared Monday on "America’s Forum" on Newsmax TV
Early polling data, such as the recent CNN/ORC poll showing Hillary Clinton dominating the Democratic field and Republicans without any clear frontrunner, merely provide a "framework for analysis," said Morris, author of the best-selling book, "Power Grab: Obama's Dangerous Plan for a One Party Nation."
"A person going into that voting booth is going to start by making one fundamental decision: do they vote for Jeb Bush or not," Morris said. "He's the presumptive [GOP] nominee."
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"It's significant that 83 percent say no, they're not going to vote for Bush, and 17 percent say yes. Then they look at two other candidates: Mike Huckabee and Rand Paul. They are either going to vote for them because they're particularly attracted by their ideology or not.
"If you take those two out, you still have about 65 percent of the electorate left. They fundamentally are choosing among Rubio, Walker, Cruz and Carson, and they are all in the same genre of candidacies. You see them moving up and down — you see Walker having ongoing strength because he's had a good launch, and Cruz went up when he announced and down a little bit.
"Eventually those candidates are going to sift down
to one opponent to Bush. Paul can't make that cut because his ideology ghettoizes him. "
Morris characterized Huckabee, a former Arkansas governor, as a "wild card," saying that if he "continues to dwell in the evangelical ghetto, doing everything in terms of Christianity and theology, he won't make it into that main cut. But if he secularizes his rhetoric, he can, and then he could be a very strong competitor."
Democrats, on the other hand, have one viable option so far: Clinton. Democrat voters who are left of center and "opposed to Hillary on any number of issues" desperately would like an alternative, but "nobody of sufficient stature has stepped up to the plate," according to Morris.
"It's way too early to concede this nomination to Hillary, because you can't simply be piling up these negatives and assume it's not going to affect the vote because there's no opponent," he said. "Politics abhors a vacuum."
Morris also weighed in on the Trans-Pacific Partnership, a 12-nation trade agreement that President Barack Obama is trying to fast-track with the support of a host of Republicans, who say the agreement would boost U.S. exports and give the U.S. economy a jolt.
In reality, Morris said, the agreement would open the floodgates for immigrants to legally come to the U.S.
"This is huge," he said. "People don't understand that in this deal — which is a trade agreement among Australia, Malaysia, Vietnam ... Japan, Canada, the United States, Mexico, Peru, [Brunei, Singapore, New Zealand] and Chile — there's a provision for free flow of workers, just like the European Union. It means unrestricted immigration.
"It means literally that Congress would not have the authority to restrict immigration because a treaty supersedes the statute under our Constitution," he said.
"Under the guise of a trade agreement … any Mexican can come to the United States legally, stay here, be naturalized, become a citizen and vote."
Obama, he said, is trying to circumvent the legislative process and trying to use treaty authority that a future president cannot change. It would strip away the power of the Congress to limit immigration, Morris said.
"Obama's putting it in a treaty and asking Congress to approve fast-track authority," he said. "The idea that with all the power this president has grabbed, the Republicans are about to give him fast-track, which means he can do any trade agreement he wants? And the Democrats are opposing this.
"It is entirely Republican votes that are pushing it, and they just don't understand what's in the damn bill."
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