Several of the likely Republican candidates for president have spoken out in defense of Indiana governor Mike Pence and his decision to sign the state's Religious Freedom Restoration Act. CNN reports that several White House hopefuls, including Jeb Bush, Ben Carson, Marco Rubio, Bobby Jindal, and Rick Santorum have voiced support for the law, which provides a test for courts on cases where individual religious expression is at odds with state or local laws and ordinances.
Former Texas governor Rick Perry, who is also considering a bid for president, weighed in on Twitter:
Wisconsin governor Scott Walker, through a spokesperson, defended the principle of "religious liberty and real tolerance."
In a press conference Tuesday, Pence defended the law but encouraged the Indiana legislature to bring up a bill to clarify that the law does not give businesses in the state a "license to discriminate."
Here's more on the GOP field's reactions, from CNN:
"Gov. Pence has done the right thing," Bush, the former Florida governor, told conservative radio host Hugh Hewitt on Monday evening.
"This is simply allowing people of faith space to be able to express their beliefs -- to be able to be people of conscience," Bush said. "I think once the facts are established, people aren't going to see this as discriminatory at all."
Rubio, meanwhile, backed Indiana's law during an appearance on Fox News.
"Nobody is saying that it should be legal to deny someone service at a restaurant or at a hotel because of their sexual orientation. I think that's a consensus view in America," Rubio said on Fox News Monday. "The flip side is, should a photographer be punished for refusing to do a wedding that their faith teaches them is not one that is valid in the eyes of God?"
Florida senator Marco Rubio took the floor of the U.S. Senate Thursday to call the Obama administration's treatment of the state of Israel a "historic and tragic mistake." Rubio's address came on the same day as a report the White House is considering not defending Israel in front of attacks from member nations of international groups like the United Nations.
Republican senators Marco Rubio of Florida and Mike Lee of Utah have returned to the pages of the Wall Street Journal to tout their latest tax reform proposal. The Republicans call their plan both "pro-growth" and "pro-family," and say it addresses inequities in the tax code for businesses and middle-class families.
We've just finished tabulating the results an online poll conducted during the last week of WEEKLY STANDARD readers. They were given a chance to let us know who would be, as of now, their 1st, 2nd, and 3rd choices for the GOP presidential nomination. We want to thank the 3,700 readers who participated.
Over the past few days at CPAC, Sean Hannity has asked various prospective Republican presidential candidates to list their “top five agenda items.” Former governor Jeb Bush’s list did not include repealing Obamacare.
It’s still two years before the next president takes the oath of office, but the contest that will determine who raises his right hand that day started in earnest last month for Republicans, with a grassroots gathering in Iowa and a meeting of high-dollar donors in California.
Senator Marco Rubio of Florida, a possible Republican presidential candidate, is using a crowdsourcing platform to try to reach dissidents and human rights activists in autocratic regimes. In particular, Rubio is trying to help those oppressed by the governments of Iran and Cuba.
"I'm a member of the U.S. Congress looking for Iran and Cuba human rights cases to highlight," the headline for Rubio's post on the platform Movements.org reads.
Rancho Mirage, California Three top Republican senators joined top center-right donors Sunday evening for a lively, informal discussion on politics and policy to cap off a weekend that effectively marks the kickoff of the 2016 presidential primary. In oversized white chairs on stage at the Ritz Carlton Rancho Mirage, Ted Cruz, Rand Paul, and Marco Rubio fielded questions for nearly 90 minutes from Jonathan Karl of ABC News, who capably pushed the potential candidates for responses on a wide range of issues.
Two potential Republican presidential candidates weighed in on the hack of Sony Pictures by the North Korean government.
"The recent Sony hack is not a cyber attack on Hollywood," said Bobby Jindal, the two-term governor of Louisiana, in a statement. "[I]t is an attack on America. It is an attack on freedom and represents a serious danger to U.S. national security. Are we really going to let terrorists and thugs, likely the North Korean dictator in this instance, determine what movies we watch?"
Republican senator Marco Rubio said a top State Department official was "dishonest" about the Obama administration's plans to change its policy on Cuba. Tony Blinken, the newly confirmed deputy secretary of State, told the Florida senator at his confirmation hearing in November that the administration would not unilaterally change its Cuba policy without "full consultation" with Congress. That consultation, Rubio says, never happened to his knowledge.
"He was dishonest," Rubio told THE WEEKLY STANDARD Wednesday. "He was clearly evasive."
The Obama administration is embarking on a “policy shift” to normalize diplomatic and economic relations between the United States and Cuba, according to senior administration officials who spoke with reporters on background Wednesday morning. One official described the current Cuban policy as “past its expiration date.”