Fred Barnes Articles

The Winners: Rubio, Bush, Christie, and Fiorina

12:50 AM, Sep 17, 2015

This was a debate I thought would never end. It lasted for three hours and seemed like longer. We even learned from each of the eleven Republican presidential candidates whose face should be on the $10 bill. No blood was spilled, metaphorically speaking. There were no losers.

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What Each Candidate Should Say at Tonight's Debate

6:34 AM, Sep 16, 2015

Here’s what I’d like to hear from each of the Republican presidential candidates in tonight’s nationally televised debate:

Carly Fiorina. Dare Donald Trump to speak as critically of your looks on national TV, face to face, as he has behind your back.

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‘Growing’ in Office

How Alaska’s governor went from Palin favorite to Obama pal.
Sep 14, 2015

Juneau, Alaska
Governor Bill Walker flew to Washington, D.C., to accompany President Obama aboard Air Force One on the president’s seven-hour flight to Anchorage. “I’m honored to be governor of Alaska at the time a sitting president comes to Alaska,” he told the Alaska Dispatch News. “You bet.”

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A Long Shot No More?

Ben Carson's rise in the polls.
8:29 AM, Sep 08, 2015

With the summer of Trump coming to a close, the fall might belong to Dr. Ben Carson. Earlier this year, we labeled Carson "the 2016 campaign’s most interesting long shot" -- but that long-shot is seeing a rise in the polls in Iowa, and nationally.

In January, executive editor Fred Barnes profiled Carson in a cover story titled "Taking Ben Carson Seriously." And it appears that primary voters are doing just that.

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Doing Better with Hispanic Voters

It’s an achievable goal for the GOP.
Sep 07, 2015

Three of the Republican presidential candidates are sons of immigrants. Marco Rubio’s parents—his father a bartender, his mother a maid—came from Cuba. The parents of Bobby Jindal emigrated from India, his father an engineer, his mother a student who later earned two master’s degrees. Ted Cruz’s father is an evangelical pastor from Cuba, his mother an American citizen. Cruz himself, a citizen from birth, was born in Canada.

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Barnes: Among the Trumpies

Hosted by Michael Graham.
3:02 PM, Aug 27, 2015

THE WEEKLY STANDARD podcast with executive editor Fred Barnes on Donald Trump's supporters and what he learned at a recent Frank Luntz focus group.

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Among the Trumpies

11:01 PM, Aug 25, 2015

Listening to 29 adults talk about Donald Trump for 2 ½ hours probably isn’t anyone’s idea of fun, especially when the talkers are Trump supporters to one degree or another. But it can be illuminating.

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The Campaign That Never Was

How Mitch Daniels would have run for president.
Aug 24, 2015

The idea of writing a book about a presidential campaign that never happened had not occurred to Don Cogman. He had spent two years trying to get Mitch Daniels, then governor of Indiana, to run for president in 2012. His effort—and it was no small effort—had failed. Daniels had moved on, right out of politics. He’d become president of Purdue University.

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Donald Trump, a One-Man Wedge Issue, Threatens GOP Future

8:50 AM, Aug 10, 2015

Republicans have been slow in recognizing the real damage Donald Trump is doing to their party.  The harm is not to the party’s image.  What Trump has done is exacerbate the increasingly bitter rift between the party’s leaders and its grass roots.  He’s made the GOP’s future dicey.

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How to Shrink the Economy

Follow Hillary’s ‘growth’ prescription.
Aug 10, 2015

Hillary Clinton is a reflection. Whatever the left wing of the Democratic party embraces, she reflects. Not in toto, however. That would locate her too far to the left and jeopardize her quest for the presidency. She’s a partial reflection.

Yet her sympathies are clear. And that’s the point. Her goal is no enemies on the left. To achieve this, she’s adopted two of the left’s most dubious new ideas. One is forcing employers to increase their employees’ wages. The other is operating as if tax rates don’t matter.

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Here's Who Gained, Faltered, and Remained Unaffected

GOP debate recap.
1:19 AM, Aug 07, 2015

Last night’s debate in Cleveland won’t change the course of the Republican presidential race. But it’s likely to affect individual candidates and how they’re viewed. Some gained, some faltered, some were unaffected.

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Barnes to GOP Debaters: Stick to Your Knitting, Let Moderators Handle Trump

Hosted by Michael Graham.
3:20 PM, Aug 05, 2015

THE WEEKLY STANDARD podcast with executive editor Fred Barnes in which he offers advice for Republicans ahead of Thursday night's Republican debate in Cleveland.

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Partisan in Chief

Obama’s besetting sin.
Aug 03, 2015

The original sin of President Obama, politically speaking, was pushing his health care plan through Congress with Democratic votes alone. For rejecting even a veneer of bipartisanship, he and Democrats have paid an enormous price.

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The Donald and The Bernie

Which one is the bigger problem?
Jul 27, 2015

Two political entities are in a state of panic. One is the leadership of the Republican party, suffering a fright attack over the visibility of Donald Trump as a Republican presidential candidate. The other is Hillary Clinton, whose Democratic presidential campaign plunges as she tries to appease the left wing of her party.

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Republicans Must Deal Wisely With Trump

6:08 AM, Jul 22, 2015

That Donald Trump was supported by 24 percent of Republican voters in the Washington Post/ABC News poll on presidential candidates isn’t the most worrisome number for the GOP.  Even scarier is the devastating role that Trump would play as an independent or third party candidate.

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The Fate of the Senate

Coattails will be everything in 2016.
Jul 20, 2015

Senate candidates aren’t as important as they used to be. Republican and Democratic presidential nominees have intruded. The outcome of Senate races in 2016 will be heavily affected, if not determined, by which party’s presidential candidate wins a state. This is especially true in tossup states.

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Hillary Humiliates the Press...

...and gets away with it
2:45 PM, Jul 06, 2015

THE WEEKLY STANDARD podcast with executive editor Fred Barnes on the Hillary Clinton campaign's literal wrangling of reporters over the weekend.

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Republicans to the Rescue

A rare partnership on free trade.
Jul 06, 2015

"It was like an out-of-body experience,” Senate majority leader Mitch McConnell says. He was talking about his congratulatory phone call from President Obama after Trade Promotion Authority (TPA) passed the Senate last week.

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Jeb Bush’s To-do List

Off to a bumpy start, he can still recover.
Jun 29, 2015

The best moment in Jeb Bush’s announcement speech last week wasn’t choreographed. As he spoke, a group of protesters rose from their seats. They wore T-shirts with “Legal Status Is Not Enough” emblazoned across the front and succeeded in interrupting Bush. The crowd yelled at the protesters as they began to leave the event.

Bush looked up at them and paused before speaking. “The next president,” he declared, “will pass meaningful immigration reform, so that will be solved—not by executive order.”

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Barnes: Jeb Needs Work

Hosted by Michael Graham.
2:51 PM, Jun 15, 2015

THE WEEKLY STANDARD podcast with executive editor Fred Barnes on Jeb!'s 2016 efforts so far, and what he can do to improve.

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The Coming Democratic Panic

Watch what happens if Hillary Clinton falls behind in the polls.
Jun 15, 2015

When a CNN poll last week showed Hillary Clinton leading Rand Paul by a single percentage point (48-47) and only three points ahead of Marco Rubio (49-46) and Scott Walker (49-46), it was mildly shocking. In April, her lead over the three Republican presidential candidates had been in double digits: Paul (58-39), Rubio (55-41), and Walker (59-37).

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Slim Pickings

The Democrats’ weak bench.
Jun 08, 2015

The Democratic presidential candidates are a sad lot. Hillary Clinton is clumsily positioning herself inside the left wing of her party. She won’t take questions. Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont is 73, looks 10 years older, and says a 90 percent income-tax rate would be fine with him. Lincoln Chafee of Rhode Island didn’t run for reelection as governor in 2014 because his approval rating was so low. Jim Webb, the former senator from Virginia, is a better novelist than politician. As a campaigner, he’s invisible.

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A Conversation With Fred Barnes

9:18 AM, Jun 01, 2015

The latest episode of Conversations With Bill Kristol, featuring Fred Barnes:

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Political Healing

An outreach campaign from Capitol Hill to grassroots Republicans.
Jun 01, 2015


At long last one of the nastiest rifts in the Republican party is being dealt with. It’s not the divide between conservatives and moderates. Nor does it involve who’s right about how to cut taxes, supply-siders or reform conservatives. This rift is bigger. It’s between Republican leaders in Congress and the Republican grassroots.

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A Conversation With Fred Barnes

9:19 AM, May 27, 2015

The latest episode of Conversations With Bill Kristol, featuring Fred Barnes:

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A Failure As a Salesman

The trade treaty may pass, no thanks to the ­president.
May 25, 2015

There was a time when Democrats were free traders and getting trade treaties through Congress was a snap. No more. In the last quarter-century—with most Democrats having slipped into the protectionist camp—winning ratification has become difficult. Today it takes a majority of Republicans to pass a trade pact.

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Barnes Podcast: Hillary's Campaign Works on the Road, But Won't With D.C. Press Corps

Hosted by Michael Graham.
1:15 PM, May 20, 2015

THE WEEKLY STANDARD podcast with executive editor Fred Barnes on the Hillary campaign and the trouble she's running into with the Washington press.

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Barnes Podcast: Hillary Will 'Find A Way' To Evade Questions Today...

...Square Her Answers Tomorrow
1:38 PM, May 13, 2015

THE WEEKLY STANDARD podcast with executive editor Fred Barnes on Hillary Clinton's presidential shadow campaign.

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A Candidacy Below the Radar

Former governor Bob Ehrlich of Maryland is going to New Hampshire a lot.
May 11, 2015

There’s a small group of potential Republican presidential candidates you don’t hear much about, though they speak at events along with better-known candidates. They don’t have exploratory committees or campaign staffs. They’re one-man bands. But what they do have are impressive records. This group includes John Bolton, the former U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, ex-Virginia governor Jim Gilmore—and Robert Ehrlich, the former governor 

of Maryland.

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What We Don’t Know About 2016

Almost everything.
May 04, 2015

In 1974, Nobel Prize-winning economist Friedrich Hayek criticized those who believed they could measure the real-world impact of economic theories with scientific precision. They were wrong, Hayek said in his Nobel lecture, entitled “The Pretence of Knowledge.” They didn’t have enough solid information. What they lacked couldn’t be reduced to a number. It wasn’t quantifiable. Yet economists continued to “proceed on the fiction that the factors which they can measure are the only ones that are relevant.”

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