WASHINGTON — The left loves to hate political dynamo Ann Coulter, and many on the right have found themselves upset with her, too.
The criticism from conservatives began in 2010 when Coulter addressed an event titled "HOMOCON" sponsored by the homosexual Republican group GOProud that promotes same-sex marriage and military service for open homosexuals. A year later, she joined the advisory board of GOProud.
Then came her call for Gov. Chris Christie, R-N.J., to run for president in 2012.
And anger from the right flared yet again over her support of Republican presidential nominee, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney.
Some conservatives found both of those Republicans too liberal. Coulter retracted her support for Christie but has steadfastly defended Romney.
Ann Coulter promoted on a poster for HOMOCON 2010 a homosexual-sponsored event.
A year ago, Coulter said, "My flirtation with Christie was like running off with a biker. He was new and exciting — and made conservatives feel alive. But I came back to the responsible choice. Romney is the absolute best man to run against a dirty street fighter like Obama."
Nonetheless, critics accused Romney of supporting amnesty, abortion, socialized health care, cap and trade, gay marriage and opposing bans on homosexual scoutmasters.
Coulter disagreed, defending Romney during the 2012 campaign as a staunch conservative, who “flipped on one issue his entire life and he flipped in my direction and I’m happy about it … abortion.” She also asserted, "Romney is far more free market than any recent Republican candidate, including George Bush. ... I do trust Romney to cut a lot of government – more than Ronald Reagan did."
But the perception among some conservatives of Coulter having supported a "moderate" in Romney persisted, and when her new book appeared with the title "Never Trust a Liberal Over Three – Especially a Republican," one WND reader wrote, "She was a big champion of Romney and Christie. Now she is writing a book about how bad liberal Republicans are?"
Coulter addressed those criticisms in her exclusive interview with WND.
Her book is about winning elections and countering what she sees as the biggest threat to the party: amnesty, or, what its backers call "comprehensive immigration reform."
Rep. Michele Bachmann, R-Minn., described the seriousness of that threat to WND, saying, "[W]e will never again have a Republican president, ever, if amnesty goes into effect. We will perpetually have a progressive, liberal president, probably a Democrat, and we will probably see the House of Representatives go into Democrat hands and the Senate will stay in Democrat hands.”
Coulter directs her ire at Republicans who support amnesty, such as Sens. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., John McCain, R-Ariz., Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., Jeff Flake, R-Ariz., and Reps. Paul Ryan, R-Wis., Eric Cantor, R-Va., and Bob Goodlatte, R-Va.
However, it is a nuanced argument, because she also cautions against the perils of GOP infighting, which she says is encouraged by the media.
"The non-Fox media will punish conservatives for attacking Democrats. Much easier to have a circular firing squad and attack Republicans – whether that is RINOs attacking conservatives or tea partiers attacking RINOs. Do you think anyone in the media is annoyed by conservatives going after Mitch McConnell? They're delighted!" she observed recently.
Coulter said another key to winning is nominating only the most electable candidates, advising the GOP, "Allow no one but governors and senators in our primaries, hold 12 debates, and make sure the primaries are wrapped up by mid-February."
The following is WND's interview with Coulter:
What do Republicans have to do (and stop doing) to win elections?
It would be a big help if they even tried to win elections – instead of making money for themselves, getting a TV show or scoring grudge points against other Republicans.
What is the best strategy to elect conservatives?
Generally, conservatism is wildly popular, with specific exceptions in places like the state that repeatedly elected Teddy Kennedy. As evidence of popularity, I propose to give you facts, rather than reciting the personal preferences of Wall Street and Silicon Valley plutocrats:
1) Everyplace where border control, English-only, no welfare for immigrants are put to a vote, those positions win overwhelmingly – by far bigger numbers than Republicans win in those same states.
2) Of the three dozens states have put gay marriage to a vote, it has been approved by the people in only a couple of states.
3) Even with the entire MSM campaigning for Obamacare, a continuous majority of Americans have told pollsters they oppose it. In the best measure of the popular will on Obamacare, voters elected 63 Republicans to the House of Representatives in the very first election after Democrats enacted that abomination – the largest sweep of the House since 1948.
4) We're not allowed to vote on abortion – which should be your first clue of how such a vote might go – but polls going back a few decades show that vast majorities of Americans oppose abortion after the first trimester and support parental and spousal notification laws.
So my thought is, Republicans should talk about their positions that are wildly popular with the voters, as opposed to the issues popular with the media.
How does one be conservative and not alienate independents? (How does a conservative attract independents?)
See above – those aren't all Republicans!
What is an electable candidate?
It varies from state to state (which the Democrats have figured out; why can't we?), but generally, I would say: tall, fit, no facial hair, well-spoken, nice family, talks a lot about the runaway popular issues (listed in my answer to "What is the best strategy to elect conservatives?").
Would you subscribe to the Buckley rule (support the most electable conservative) or the Limbaugh rule (support the most conservative candidate)?
In the current environment, the more important rule is: Never primary an incumbent Republican, except one who voted for amnesty. Even among them, only run one who can win and not just to "make a point." I love Liz Cheney, but she's done a rotten thing by challenging one of the most conservative Republicans in the Senate. The absolute best-case scenario is: Republicans will be forced to spend $5-10 million just to save a safe Republican Senate seat, when we really could have used that $5-10 million unseating a Democratic senator in Alaska, Arkansas, West Virginia, Montana or Louisiana. And once again, Republicans will be stuck in the minority in the Senate simply to satisfy Liz Cheney's ego.
Rush Limbaugh says knowing the most electable candidate far in advance requires clairvoyance. Does he have a point? For instance, to take the argument to an extreme, would you be an early supporter of McCain (a senator) over Ben Carson (a political neophyte) for president?
Neither, but I at least like Ben Carson.
You have rightly warned us about the danger of nominating candidates deemed "electable" and "moderates" by establishment Republicans and the media. But some conservatives strongly believe that is what Romney was. Do you see how they may feel they are getting a mixed message from you?
To quote Rahm Emanuel, they're "f-ing retarded." Romney was the most conservative candidate we've run for president in my lifetime on the single greatest danger facing the nation: immigration. As governor of a state far more liberal than California was when Ronald Reagan was governor, Romney slashed taxes, slashed spending, vetoed an embryonic stem cell bill and directed his state troopers to arrest illegal aliens. He supported E-verify and was the only GOP presidential candidate (other than Bachmann, who could never win) who didn't give special favors to illegal immigrants, such as driver's licenses and in-state tuition. Gov. Reagan cut property taxes but imposed the largest tax hike on a state in U.S. history at that time. He signed the most liberal abortion bill in history at that time. And, of course, as president he signed an amnesty bill.
These are known as "facts," something I recommend Republicans cite, rather than maledictions ("RINO!") the way our liberal friends do.
Here's some of the sentiment out there – a reader sent us this note: "She was a big champion of Romney and Christie. Now she is writing a book about how bad liberal Republicans are?" How would you respond?
See above with particular reference to Emanuel's quote. Christie supported amnesty. If your reader or anyone else had a crystal ball and is on the record saying he was going to do that, I'd like to see it. As far as I know, I was the one who raised concerns about what Christie would do in the future on amnesty (CPAC, February 2012). Now we know.
What do you make of National Review (and the Wall Street Journal) going after Cruz? Isn't that like attacking Reaganism, and does that now make them part of the problem (the GOP establishment)?
Now I remember why I don't read either one.
What do you make of Karl Rove and his war on the tea party?
The same thing I feel about the tea party's war on Mitch McConnell, Mike Castle and Richard Lugar. Do you think Democrats mind Republicans attacking one another? True, the "establishment" GOP (by which I mean Wall Street/plutocrat/consultant class) started it, but that's not a good reason to throw Republican Senate seats to the Democrats.
Should the tea party primary the RINOs?
Based on your readers' definition of a RINO as including the only serious presidential candidate ever to oppose amnesty, absolutely not.
Based on a sane, fact-based definition of a RINO: generally no – not until we have a nice, safe, veto-proof majority in the Senate. Get the Democrats to primary their phony "conservative Democrats" like Mark Pryor, Mary Landrieu and Mark Begich. Exception for one incumbent Republican per election cycle. Even then, only in red states* where we have a sure winner against a total loser, to wit: Lindsey Graham in 2014 and Marco Rubio in 2016. (Also Lamar Alexander in Tennessee in 2014, but only if you have a solid, vetted, already-elected-to-some-office Republican challenger.) All of those alleged Republicans voted to give the Democrats 30 million new voters and the taxpayers 30 million more dependents. That's not being bad on a single issue – it's a vote to transform America into a different country known as "California."
Now, tell me again why Romney sucked? He would have won a bigger landslide than Reagan did against Carter if this country had the same demographics as it did in 1980. Romney got a lot more of the white vote than Reagan did. But Reagan's electorate was about 90 percent white; Romney's was about 75 percent white. (Which true-blue conservative president – so unlike Romney! – signed an amnesty bill, again?) Graham, Rubio and Alexander want to make it 20 percent white in order to help Wall Street bankers with "the servant problem."
*Review the list of governors in Kentucky for the past half century before concluding Kentucky is a "red state." We could easily lose Mitch McConnell's seat to a Democrat thanks to this idiot alleged "tea partier" who takes massive federal grants to prop up his failed business ventures – there's a real free-marketer! (Oh, and unlike our majorly upgraded tea-party senator from Kentucky, Rand Paul, McConnell did not spend months flacking for Rubio's "American Suicide Bill of 2012.")
A tea-party congressman confided he doesn't believe the GOP can get anything done until the leadership of the party is changed. Should the GOP leaders be primaried (especially in the Senate, following the shutdown capitulation)?
The Republican Party will never get anything done until it has a majority! This isn't about you and your perfect purity! We're trying to save the country, but we can't do anything without a majority. This is not time to be holding grudge matches against our few incumbent Republicans. This is the time to concentrate on beating Democrats and flipping their seats to red.
Rush believes the establishment GOP is trying to drive conservatives out of the party. Are we in a fight to the death over the soul of the party?
We're in a fight to the death over the country! Are you people awake? Have you heard of this great new thing called Obamacare? We have to win elections! We can worry about "the soul of the party" when we have big, veto-proof majorities in the Senate and House. Yes, absolutely when there is no incumbent (and the state isn't Delaware, California, Massachusetts, etc.). Conservative positions are far more popular than the idiocies being pushed by the Wall Street Journal and their cheap-labor-seeking readers. (Refer to my answer to "What is the best strategy to elect conservatives?") But that's no reason to primary an incumbent Republican, who's already gotten elected despite his unpopular liberal positions. We need to beat incumbents with Ds after their names, not incumbents with Rs after their names (unless the incumbent voted to change the American people through amnesty – and then you only get one per election cycle, until we have a majority).
2016: Size 'em up – Ted Cruz, Rand Paul or a player to be named later?
Cruz – and Mike Lee! – are magnificent. The two smartest U.S. senators. They make me proud to be a Republican. Of course, if either of them flip on amnesty, they'll be dead to me, too. The entire country will be dead.
I'm willing to let bygones be bygones, but I sure don't understand why tea partiers are supposed to be so thrilled with Rand while hating Mitch.
It's not a single quote – he was all over TV and radio for months hawking Rubio's amnesty bill and only flipped at the last minute, thanks to heavy lobbying by his erstwhile supporters.
Still think Palin has insufficient intellect? She was right on the mark with the death panel, and virtually everything else since then.
1) Insufficient for what?
2) I've said quite the opposite – she's obviously bright. Of course, she wasn't bright enough to support Romney, instead going with the candidates who opposed E-verify and wanted to fling open the borders to ensure that Sheldon Adleson has enough cheap labor. The Republican Party has historically been, and should be again, the party of ordinary Americans – the middle class, the working class, black Americans, the self-made millionaires – not the billionaires. The Democrats are the party of Hollywood, Wall Street and the billionaires. Supporting amnesty might make the plutocrats hate Republicans a little less, but they're still voting for the Democrats.
Follow Garth Kant on Twitter @DCgarth