Online Gambling Might Be GOP Debate Topic with Donald Trump Onstage
The first televised Republican debate set for August 6th at the Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland and speculation has arisen that online gambling might be a topic of discussion. due to the presence of Donald Trump. Having the candidates on Fox News debating online gambling and Restore America’s Wire Act would have been unthinkable even two months ago.
Donald Trump’s rise in the polls is the reason gambling might become a topic of debate. Though Donald Trump is famous for his reality show and somewhat infamous for his recent remarks about Mexican immigrants and Sen. John McCain, he first became known as a financial whiz and a casino mogul back in the 1980s. His recent controversial remarks seems to have struck a chord with Republicans, so it appears Trump’s persona and his past is going to shape the first debate.
RAWA’s Sponsor Not Present
Ironically, the candidate most associated with Restore America’s Wire Act might not be on the state August 6 in Cleveland. Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina is the man who brought RAWA to the Senate floor in both 2014 and 2015, but his standing in the polls is not high enough to warrant his inclusion.
The Republican field of candidates currently stands at 15 official entrants. That has been deemed too many people to appear on one stage, so only the Top 10 candidates are going to be invited to speak at the debate. The average of the poll numbers from the most-respected polling organizations are going to be used to determine who the top 10 candidates are.
Donald Trump vs. Lindsey Graham
Donald Trump had a spat with Lindsey Graham this week after Sen. Graham defended his close friend, Sen. John McCain. Donald Trump had questioned McCain’s heroism and competence during the Vietnam War, in which he spent several years as a prisoner-of-war.
Lindsey Graham defended McCain, saying, “How could anybody wanting to be commander in chief even suggest that John McCain and people like him are less than heroes?”
Graham told NBC News. “He’s a train wreck, he’s a car wreck and I think he’s shown yet again why he’s not going to make it through this process.”
That caused Donald Trump to take shots at Graham while on a campaign stop in South Carolina. He claimed Graham had asked McCain for help in getting more appearances on Fox News, then gave out Sen. Graham’s phone number on the air. Later, Graham held a press conference where he trashed his old flip-phone, then tweeted, “iPhone or Android?”
Trump vs. the GOP Field
When the debate occurs, Donald Trump is likely to be the target for 9 other candidates. Trump is already a lightning rod, but the frontrunner is always the target in debates, as candidates try to score points while chipping away at the lead. Under those circumstances, one theory suggests that Trump might bring up Sheldon Adelson and the RAWA bill.
The major advantage of such a tactic would be to point out that several opponents take money from Sheldon Adelson, and thus imply they are doing his bidding on the RAWA bill not for the sake of good policy, but to give favors to a donor. Donald Trump was a casino executive, so it would do him no good to take a stand against an anti-gambling bill on moral grounds. While Sheldon Adelson takes that stance, he is not running for office and therefore faces less scrutiny.
Trump Might Use RAWA to Damage Opponents
But if the field of candidates is attacking Donald Trump–which is likely–then one way to strike back at half of his opponents onstage that night is to reference Restore America’s Wire Act and Sheldon Adelson’s ties to that bill.
Of course, it is next to impossible to predict Donald Trump’s next move. If the last month has proven one thing, it is no one in politics is willing to wander further off the proverbial porch than Donald Trump.
Prediction: Marco Rubio to Defend RAWA
In the absence of Lindsey Graham, the most likely defender of Restore America’s Wire Act on the stage that night is likely to be the Crown Prince of the Tea Party, Florida Sen. Marco Rubio. In June 2015, Rubio announced his support of RAWA and he became a cosponsor of the bill.
If Donald Trump decided to play the online gambling card, it might be worth watching simply to see a small government Tea Party candidate try to explain his support of the vast expansion of federal authority Restore America’s Wire Act would be.
Of course, some pundits believe the Republican National Convention won’t let Donald Trump Donald Trump “hijack the debate“. The Washington Post this week suggested the RNC would not allow Donald Trump to take the stage in the debate, because of his supposed plans to
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