As conservatives, we have a wide selection of candidates to consider in the 2016 Republican primary, and sometimes, these candidates say things that either they (and we) wish they hadn’t said or that leave us scratching our head in wonder.  I thought I’d post a few of the things that I’ve read about over the past week or so that made me go “hmmm.”

Lindsey Graham, noted bachelor, promises a “rotating First Lady.”  From the Daily Mail interview with Graham:

There’s an important question nagging Lindsey Graham as [he] tries to become the first bachelor in White House since Woodrow Wilson.

Who would be his first lady?

Thinking it over, the Republican senator told Daily Mail Online: ‘Well, I’ve got a sister, she could play that role if necessary.’

Chuckling, he added: ‘I’ve got a lot of friends. We’ll have a rotating first lady.’

According to Politico, Graham further claims that he is “not defective” before (rightly) noting that marriage is not a Constitutional prerequisite to the presidency.

My first response upon hearing all of this was “what in the world is he thinking?”, but it’s not unheard of for someone other than the First Lady to fill that role for presidents without wives.  When presidents wives have died, for instance, sisters, daughters, and other relatives have filled the ceremonial role of First Lady.  The Mail also notes that two presidents have taken office as bachelors: James Buchanan and Grover Cleveland.

Next up is Ted Cruz who asserted that his TPA support does not mean support for the TPP.  According to his website:

TPA is what the Senate voted on recently. I voted in favor of fast track because I support free trade. I think free trade benefits America. It creates jobs — opening markets to our farmers, to our ranchers, to our manufacturers, improves economic growth. In Texas alone, roughly 3 million jobs depend on international trade.

And if you support free trade, the only way history has shown free trade agreements get negotiated is through fast track.

Now there is a second issue which has caused a great deal of confusion and that is TPP…it is one specific trade deal that is being negotiated. It is separate from TPA. Congress has not voted on TPP, and there’s a great deal of concern about TPP.

Now, I have not voted on TPP, and I haven’t decided if I will support it or not, because the negotiation isn’t complete, and I’m going to wait and review and see what the agreement is first before assessing if it would be beneficial or harmful.

Technically, this is correct (and not a deal-breaker for me), but it has a lot of conservatives scratching their heads.

Another head scratcher was Rand Paul’s “white kids don’t get the same justice” comment.  According to Hot Air:

The Kentucky senator didn’t do himself any favors when he decided to conflate multiple cases and then contradict his own message in a matter of moments.

“The Democrats have utterly failed our inner cities, and utterly failed the poor,” Mr. Paul said. “Don’t let them tell us it wasn’t them. A lot of these policies came from Bill Clinton. In Ferguson, for every 100 black women, there are 60 black men. That’s because 40 are incarcerated. Am I saying they did nothing wrong and it’s all racism? No. What I am telling you is that white kids don’t get the same justice. … The arrests in Baltimore are 15 to one black to white for marijuana arrests.”

Right after injecting the white kids don’t get the same justice comment, he turned around and tried to soft pedal the racism angle.

I get that Rand is trying to reach out to minority voters who don’t typically vote Republican, and I applaud his doing so.  But . . . I’m not sure that adopting the language of the left is the best way to do this, particularly if you’re not well-versed in their view of racism in America.

Given a choice between a leftist and a conservative voicing the same message, Democrat voters go with the Democrat, not the Republican.  I’m unclear as to why the GOP doesn’t get this.

And finally, we have Jeb Bush’s as yet undeclared candidacy and his (un)campaign’s floundering.

Last month, reports were that Jeb’s super PAC was set to meet it’s $100 million goal; this month . . . not so much.  With reports of now-skittish deep-pocketed donors losing their appetite for a third Bush presidency as his numbers tumble, Jeb explains his campaign shake-up:

In his first comments since Monday’s shakeup, Jeb Bush told reporters here he felt the need to reorganize his team based on “the magnitude of the journey,” not any perceived struggles of his nascent campaign.

Bush, who spoke to reporters outside his hotel here Wednesday morning, said he named Danny Diaz his campaign manager — moments after reminding the assembled press “we don’t have a campaign” — instead of David Kochel “based on the skills of people I’ve gotten to know.”

In light of Jeb’s refusal to pander to the base and difficulty finding a conservative position on most domestic policy, it’s difficult not to harken back to his bizarre 2012 statement that he “used to be a conservative.”  Jeb and his campaign may be surprised his campaign isn’t taking off, but few of us are.