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Rep. King Is 101st GOP Member To Leave Congress Since Trump Took Office

New York Republican Rep. Peter King’s retirement announcement on Monday marked a major milestone: He is now the 101st House Republican to leave Congress since Donald Trump’s election in 2016.

When Trump was sworn in, Republicans held the House majority with 241 members. Since then, 101 of those members either retired, ran for another office, took up jobs in the Trump administration, or lost reelection — a massive 42 percent drop, according to an NBC News analysis.

Major names are among that list, including former House Speaker Paul Ryan. And the exodus could be a sign that Republicans do not feel the majority is within reach in 2020.

Republican retirements helped pave the way for Democrats to ride a so-called “blue wave” in 2018, when they won the majority back from the GOP for the first time in nearly a decade.

Many of the retirements were in districts that Democrats won at the presidential level, but the Republican lawmaker in the seat was able to win thanks to their own personal brand.

King fits that mold. Former President Barack Obama carried King’s suburban Long Island district in 2008 and 2012, but King was able to notch victories by painting himself as a moderate Republican — despite his Islamophobic rhetoric and support of a U.K.-designated terror group, the Irish Republican Army.

Now that he’s gone, Democrats have a better shot at picking up his seat.

The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee — which exists to help Democrats win House elections — put King on its “retirement watch list” of GOP members it predicted would choose to leave Congress rather than face tough reelection bids.

“Congressman Peter King’s retirement, from a heavily suburban Long Island district, underlines just how serious Republicans’ problems are in swing districts across this country,” Rep. Cheri Bustos (D-IL), chair of the DCCC, said in a statement. “New York’s 2nd Congressional District has been a pickup target of ours from day one of this cycle, and we will compete to win it in 2020.”

So far, five of the members on the DCCC’s 2020 retirement watch list have announced their departures: Reps. Rob Woodall of Georgia, Susan Brooks of Indiana, Pete Olson of Texas, and Kenny Marchant of Texas. King is the fifth.

In 2018, only six of the 16 members the DCCC had on its retirement watch list returned to Congress.

Published with permission of The American Independent.

John Boehner Calling Ted Cruz ‘Lucifer In The Flesh’ Is Hardly The Worst Thing Someone Has Said About Ted Cruz

Former House Speaker John Boehner called Ted Cruz “Lucifer in the flesh” Wednesday, and made clear he would never vote for the presidential candidate in a general election.

Boehner has never hidden his deep dislike of Cruz, but his comments at a Stanford University gathering went farther than any he has made before about the Texas Senator.

“Lucifer in the flesh,” Boehner said, according to an article in the Stanford Daily. “I have Democrat friends and Republican friends. I get along with almost anyone, but I have never worked with a more miserable son of a bitch in my life.”

In response, Cruz told reporters Thursday Boehner “allowed his inner Trump to come out.”

“The interesting thing is I’ve never worked with John Boehner, I don’t know the man,” Cruz said. “Indeed, during the government shut down, I reached out to John Boehner, to work with him to get something meaningful done. He said, ‘I have no interest in talking to you.'”

The former speaker is only one of many, ranging from his congressional colleagues to former Princeton roommates, who have spoken ill of Cruz, widely regarded as one of the most disliked members of Congress.

Sen. Lindsey Graham, Republican of South Carolina, said in a televised broadcast earlier this year that if “you killed Ted Cruz on the floor of the Senate, and the trial was in the Senate, nobody would convict you.”

Rep. Peter King of New York said Thursday on CNN that maybe Boehner “gives Lucifer a bad name by comparing him to Ted Cruz.”

“Listen, what John Boehner was most concerned about was Ted Cruz perpetrated a fraud and a hoax when he brought about the shutdown of the government on some kind of a vague promise that he was gonna be able to take Obamacare out of the budget or to end Obamacare,” Rep. King said.

Cruz’s former Princeton roommate, screenwriter Craig Mazin, regularly tweets about the year he shared a room with Cruz, none of it flattering. One tweet described Cruz as a “nightmare of a human being.

Mazin told the Daily Beast in 2013 he would “rather have anybody else be the President of the United States.”

Boehner’s dislike, even hatred, of Cruz can be traced to the Texas Senator’s two attempts to shut down the government, first in 2013 over Obamacare, then again last year over cutting off federal funding for Planned Parenthood.

Cruz led those pushing for a shutdown, mostly members of the Tea Party-oriented House Freedom Caucus. Boehner described them in his talk with history professor David M. Kennedy as “knuckleheads” and “goofballs.” Boehner’s office confirmed the authenticity of the report and quotes.

Boehner was encouraged to speak frankly as he was assured the talk was not going to be filmed or broadcast.

The former speaker vowed he would not vote for Cruz in November, and that he will vote for Trump if he is the Republican nominee.

During the talk, hosted by Stanford in Government (SIG) and the Stanford Speakers Bureau, Boehner also spoke of Hillary Clinton, initially in somewhat disparaging terms.

Boehner is reported to have mimicked Clinton and is quoted as saying, “Oh I’m a woman, vote for me.” He then praised her as accomplished and smart.

He told the crowd not to be shocked if they saw “Joe Biden parachuting in” should Clinton’s emails became a larger scandal ahead of the Democratic National Convention.

“Don’t be shocked … if two weeks before the convention, here comes Joe Biden parachuting in and Barack Obama fanning the flames to make it all happen,” Boehner said.

House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) and House Majority leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) (not pictured) speak to reporters at a news conference on Capitol Hill in Washington October 7, 2015. REUTERS/Gary Cameron 

Endorse This: Peter King On Ted Cruz: ‘I’ll Take Cyanide If He Wins The Nomination’

In an interview yesterday on MSNBC’s Morning Joe, Congressman Peter King made his opinions known on Texas Senator Ted Cruz, who later failed to pick up a single delegate in King’s state of New York:

“Well, first of all, in case anybody gets confused, I’m not endorsing Ted Cruz. I hate Ted Cruz. And I think I’ll take cyanide if he got the nomination,” King said.

King had previously said of a potential Cruz nomination, “I will jump off that bridge when we come to it.”

Nassau and Suffolk counties, whose voters elected King to his 12th term representing New York’s second congressional district in 2014, both voted for Donald Trump by wide margins.

King said he’d voted for John Kasich, “to send a message,” but recalled how his constituents on Long Island couldn’t stop talking about Donald Trump. In early March he joked that “Maybe I’ll become a reporter for the Daily News,” if Trump were the Republican nominee in an interview with that paper.

King said later in the same Morning Joe interview that he wasn’t endorsing John Kasich because he wanted “to keep my powder dry” for a convention endorsement.

Given Kasich’s — or anyone else’s — slim chances at wrestling this nomination away from either Trump or Cruz in Cleveland, Congressman King may have an unenviable choice to make in a few months.

Video and photo: MSNBC/ Washington Free Beacon.

Trump Rips On Cruz Over ‘New York Values’ Attack — And Invokes 9/11

The latest round of the epic battle between Donald Trump and Ted Cruz has moved beyond a skirmish between the two candidates. It now has drafted one of the greatest cities in the world.

At his rallies, Trump has recently started playing Bruce Springsteen’s “Born in the USA” — a song actually about the tragic tale of a Vietnam veteran — in an effort to taunt Cruz for having been born in Canada. It’s all part of Trump’s latest efforts to cast doubt on his rival’s constitutional eligibility to even run in the first place.

In an interview with a conservative talk radio host on Tuesday, Cruz cracked back: “Well, look, I think he may shift in his new rallies to playing ‘New York New York.’ Because you know, Donald comes from New York, and he embodies New York values. And listen, The Donald seems to be a little bit rattled.”

The remark comes at the very beginning of the interview here, which was reposted in full on Cruz’s official campaign account on YouTube.

Cruz’s riposte — denigrating the morality of America’s largest city, while he seeks to lead the entire country — earned its own response. In an interview aired Thursday morning on Bloomberg Politics, Trump shot back — by invoking 9/11:

“When you want to knock New York, you’ve got to go through me. New York is an amazing place with amazing people,” Trump said. “We took a big hit with the World Trade Center—worst thing ever, worst attack ever in the United States, worse than Pearl Harbor because they attacked civilians, they attacked people having breakfast and frankly if you would’ve been there and if you would’ve lived through that like I did with New York people—the way they handled that attack was one of the most incredible things that anybody has ever seen.”

Oh man, we really hate to say this, but it’s true right now: Donald Trump is right.

Meanwhile, New York Republican congressman Peter King is getting in on the action, with this short and simple statement given to CNN, calling out Cruz’s vast hypocrisy: “Memo to Ted Cruz: New York Values are the heroes of 9/11; the cops who fight terror; and the people you ask for campaign donations. Go back under a rock.”

King’s reference to Cruz “asking for campaign donations” might’ve been a sly reference to the Texas senator’s latest headache: The undisclosed loan he took from Wall Street firm Goldman Sachs — where his wife Heidi is a managing director — during his 2012 Senate campaign.

Of course, Cruz has spoken in the past about the great impact that 9/11 had upon him, too: He stopped listening to rock music, and started listening entirely to country instead. Let’s see if he brings up that again in any further rebuttal.

Photo: Republican U.S. presidential candidate businessman Donald Trump and Senator Ted Cruz (R) speak during the Republican presidential debate in Las Vegas, Nevada, December 15, 2015. REUTERS/Mike Blake