10 Things in Politics: Anti-Trump Republicans weigh in on Biden

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Clockwise from top left: Former RNC Chair Michael Steele; former New Jersey Gov. Christie Todd Whitman;Former Trump communications director Anthony Scaramucci and Former Rep. Susan Molinari

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Here's what we're talking about today:

With Jordan Erb.


1. JUST HOW BIG WILL THE TENT BE?: Hundreds of high-profile Republicans supported President Biden in 2020. The aisle-crossing was not unexpected given former President Trump's hostile takeover of the Republican Party, but it boosted Biden's unity pitch. Now that Biden has indicated that he will run for reelection in 2024, Insider reached out to ten of them to see where they stand.

Here's a peek at what they said:

Former Rep. Susan Molinari of New York: She served in Congress in the 1990s and was among four Republicans featured at the Democratic National Convention.

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In this screenshot from the DNCC’s livestream of the 2020 Democratic National Convention, Former U.S. Rep. Susan Molinari (R-NY) addresses the virtual convention on August 17, 2020. The convention, which was once expected to draw 50,000 people to Milwaukee, Wisconsin, is now taking place virtually due to the coronavirus pandemic. (Photo by Handout/DNCC via Getty Images)

  • Molinari is ready to ride with Biden again: "He's obviously still early in the term but … he will still be that man of compassion and outreach and leadership in four years, so I don't anticipate that anything will change," she said.

But Molinari might be the exception. Many others are taking a wait-and-see approach.

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Former Trump White House communications director Anthony Scaramucci surprised many in endorsing Biden last year.

Former White House communications director Anthony Scaramucci: Scaramucci's turn from Trump friend and top aide (briefly) to staunch critic was incredible even by Trump White House standards. After swinging in behind Biden, he remains a fan:

  • "President Biden is doing a great job. Additionally, he is saving the nation from more unnecessary death, general incompetence, and hate."

Rep. Chris Shays 2008
Rep. Chris Shays (R-Conn.) questions Lehman Brothers Bank CEO Richard S. Fuld Jr. at a House Oversight and Government Reform hearing on the collapse of the institution.

But count former Rep. Chris Shays of Connecticut as skeptical at best: Shays said he respects and admires Biden, but a 2024 run would "a huge mistake." The former congressman added: "[Biden's] older, I don't think he is as sharp as he was."

  • Shays is also unhappy with the current situation at the border: "My one disappointment with Joe is the foolish way he has allowed illegal immigration at our southern border to become a very real crisis. His missteps have given credibility to Trump's advocacy of a wall, and Trump's tough stance on the flow of illegal immigration. Besides the outrageous flow of young children, a path to citizenship will not be popular and introduces a whole new set of problems."

Read the rest of our exclusive report here.


2. Biden's infrastructure plan has a possible path in the Senate: Senate parliamentarian Elizabeth MacDonough handed a major win to Democrats by ruling that they have an extra shot at using the special legislative procedure of reconciliation. The special procedure would allow Democrats to pass Biden's infrastructure plan without Republican support.

A little-known power player in the spotlight again: MacDonough previously sparked Democrats' ire for forcing them to drop the $15 per hour minimum wage. Her latest ruling means she'll continue to have a major say in Biden's legacy.

This isn't a golden ticket: Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin of West Virginia has insisted on bipartisan support for the infrastructure package and other party priorities. Reconciliation only works if every single Democrat is on board. There are also specific rules for reconciliation, meaning issues like voting rights aren't suddenly about to be waved through.

  • Former Harry Reid aide and noted filibuster critic Adam Jentleson on what it means:

Screen Shot 2021 04 06 at 2.13.47 AM


3. The Treasury Secretary is calling for global minimum corporate tax: Janet Yellen said she is working with counterparts around the world on a minimum tax for multinational corporations. Her proposal faces a number of skeptics, but it could provide another revenue source to help fund Biden's domestic agenda. More on how she wants to stop a "race to the bottom."


4. The Supreme Court ruled in favor of Google in its 10-year legal battle with Oracle. The landmark decision sets a precedent that it's not possible to copyright code or set limits on how software is built and distributed. This will have a huge impact on the future of software.


5. Minneapolis police chief says Derek Chauvin "absolutely" violated protocol: "This was murder - it wasn't a lack of training," Chief Medaria Arradondo testified. The department's former head of training later echoed Arradondo's sentiments. Dr. Bradford Langenfeld, the ER doctor who operated on George Floyd, testified that his leading theory for the cause of death was asphyxia, or loss of oxygen. More key moments from Day 6 of the murder trial.


6. Arkansas governor vetoed the state's historic anti-trans bill. Republican Gov. Asa Hutchinson announced he vetoed the "Save Adolescents From Experimentation (SAFE) Act," which would have banned doctors from prescribing puberty blockers, hormone replacement therapy, or gender-affirming surgeries to trans youth. Advocates had warned the law would be devastating. The governor on Monday called the bill "overboard" and "extreme."


7. Attaboy-cott: Trump is a known Diet Coke fiend. But like many Republicans, he wanted to can-cel Coca-Cola for, in his view, bowing to cancel culture by criticizing Georgia's new voting law. It didn't appear to take long for his resolve to soften. A photo of his post-presidential office shows what appears to be a bottle of Diet Coke slightly hidden by a phone.

Take a look at what else you can see in his new digs: He also appears to have a statue of himself.

Screen Shot 2021 04 06 at 2.32.17 AM


8. The top things for your calendar, all times Eastern:

  • 10:15 a.m.: Chauvin's trial resumes
  • 1:00 p.m.: Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen speaks at an event about the economic recovery and climate change
  • 2:10 p.m.: Vice President Harris tours a union-led vaccination site in Chicago.
  • 3:45 p.m.: Biden speaks about the state of COVID-19 vaccinations

jared kushner
Jared Kushner stands for a televised interview in 2020.

9. Will the real Jared Kushner please stand up? After years of being mistaken for Trump's senior advisor, two other men named Jared Kushner are ready to reclaim their name. Insider spoke with two Jared Kushners - a 21-year-old college student and a 28-year-old Canadian - who told us what it's been like to share a name with a widely loathed political figure.


10. How our new DC bureau was built: In early 2020, Insider hired Darren Samuelsohn away from Politico to lead a new DC bureau. In a new essay, Darren shares that he was excited to build something from scratch and get away from the break-neck pace of being a reporter on the Trump legal beat. Then came a pandemic, a personal health scare, and a complete overhaul of his plans.


One last thing.

Today's trivia question: Today marks the anniversary of the US entering WWI. While historians thought such a move was inevitable, what was the name of the secret message that accelerated the push to war?

Read the original article on Business Insider

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