In Wake of Primary Cancellations, One Trump Challenger Calls GOP "A Cult"

Created: 16 September, 2019
Updated: 14 August, 2022
2 min read

Four state Republican Parties -- Arizona, Kansas, Nevada, and South Carolina -- have decided to cancel their presidential primary or caucus for the 2020 election, denying even their own members a choice in the 2020 race.

It is not uncommon for a party to cancel primaries when they have a sitting president running unopposed. Most of the time the incumbent is effectively not challenged.

However, Trump isn't running unopposed. Three Republicans have entered the 2020 presidential election: Former Illinois US Rep. Joe Walsh, Former Massachusetts Governor Bill Weld, who was on the 2016 Libertarian presidential ticket as the vice presidential nominee, and former South Carolina Governor Mark Sanford.

In response to the primary cancellations, these three candidates penned an op-ed in the Washington Post criticizing the Republican Party for denying voters an opportunity to cast a ballot in the 2020 primary.

"What does this say about the Republican Party? If a party stands for nothing but reelection, it indeed stands for nothing. Our next nominee must compete in the marketplace of ideas, values and leadership," they write.

"Each of us believes we can best lead the party. So does the incumbent. Let us each take our case to the public. The saying “may the best man win” is a quintessential value that the Republican Party must honor if we are to command the respect of the American people. Cowards run from fights. Warriors stand and fight for what they believe. The United States respects warriors. Only the weak fear competition."
"Across the aisle, the Democratic primary challengers are still engaged in a heated competition of debates, caucuses and primaries to give their voters in every corner of our country a chance to select the best nominee. Do Republicans really want to be the party with a nominating process that more resembles Russia or China than our American tradition?"

Walsh went so far as to call the Republican Party "a cult" in an interview on CNN.

"I've given up on the Republican Party. The Republican Party is a cult," said Walsh. "They no longer stand for ideas. The Republican Party right now is all about washing their leader's feet every day."

Interesting to note that all 4 states have closed processes, where only registered party members can participate in primaries or caucuses. By cancelling their primaries, however, millions more voters now will not have a chance to voice their opinion in the 2020 presidential primary process.

"In the United States, citizens choose their leaders. The primary nomination process is the only opportunity for Republicans to have a voice in deciding who will represent our party. Let those voices be heard," conclude Walsh, Weld, and Sanford in their joint op-ed.

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