David Winston

It’s time for a cease-fire in the latest war of words
President, Democrats would be wise to focus on what really matters to voters — the economy

OPINION — It’s been a rough week in Washington, and it’s only Wednesday. The president created a firestorm over the weekend, lobbing rhetorical bombs at “the squad,” the four House Democratic freshmen whose heated comments and extreme policy proposals have created one fire storm of controversy after another.

Now, the president’s getting return fire from Democrats and the media and some Republicans for his tweets, while the House floor Tuesday devolved into a war of words. I suspect most people would be grateful for a cease-fire from the increasingly personal attacks and almost hand-to-hand combat over everything from impeachment to immigration to congressional investigations.

Biden still leads the pack despite a bruising debate performance. Thank African American voters
It’s a lone bright spot in a bleak month for the former vice president

OPINION — Round One of the great Democratic primary debates is over. The consensus delivered by the political class seems to be that former Vice President Joe Biden underperformed, generally failing to meet expectations. So did Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders. Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren had a good night, albeit only sparring with the second tier for the most part with her main competition for the far left vote, Sanders, not onstage.

South Bend, Indiana, Mayor Pete Buttigieg held his own. Former Housing and Urban Development Secretary Julián Castro had a good night, while the rest of the field tried but failed to gain traction. But if polls taken since the debate are right, it was California Sen. Kamala Harris who emerged as the big winner with her surgical strike at Biden’s civil rights history and credentials.

As the Democratic debaters chase their base, Trump has a prime opening
Miami debates are more likely to resemble a bad morality play than an intelligent discussion of issues

OPINION — Hardball presidential politics, a little like Mother Nature, has an unforgiving way of winnowing a field and this go-round there is more to winnow than usual with 24 Democrats vying for their party’s nomination.

In the wild, it’s called survival of the fittest and that seems an apt description for today’s presidential primary process, regardless of party.

Bill de Blasio is wrong about New York City’s schools
The mayor and presidential candidate is papering over an inconvenient truth

OPINION — There are numbers that matter. I look at them everyday. They tell me what people think and what they want from their political leaders, what they want for themselves and their families and the future.

And then there are some numbers that stop you cold.

Democratic voters are channeling Mick Jagger
‘I can’t get no satisfaction,’ Jagger sang — and Dems are starting to agree

OPINION — “I can’t get no satisfaction,” sang Mick Jagger. Apparently, neither can the majority of the country’s voters. So says our latest Winning the Issues survey, conducted May 31-June 1.

“Are you satisfied or not satisfied with what the Democratic majority in the House of Representatives has done so far?” That was the neutral question we asked voters in the survey, trying to get a handle on just how the new Democrat-led house is doing. In essence, we were asking people to rate whether Speaker Nancy Pelosi and her new majority had met their expectations in these first six months.

Dinner with the queen was exactly what Trump needed
In London, Trump showed he can multitask: be presidential and be himself

OPINION — President Donald Trump has finished his news conference with Prime Minister Theresa May, having successfully navigated a visit and dinner with the Queen the day before. Unlike his last London visit, both America and Europe are seeing a different Donald Trump — a very presidential Trump, a more soft-spoken and thoughtful Trump, showing himself more than capable of playing on the world stage.

It couldn’t happen at a better time for him.

America is about to find out if ‘Lunch Bucket Joe’ is a man of steel
Biden’s first big test will come in Miami

OPINION — With Memorial Day in the rearview mirror, the next political destination for the Democratic presidential pack of contenders is the first two-night debate scheduled for June 26-27 in Miami. Twenty of the qualifying candidates are expected to take the stage hoping to walk away with an attention-getting debate performance that will propel them into the spotlight in what is a ridiculously crowded field.

Nineteen have everything to gain.

Australia’s election upset looks an awful lot like Trump
It may be a world away, but revolutionary change doesn’t end at the water’s edge

OPINION — Donald Trump called his supporters the “silent majority” and the “forgotten man and woman” in the 2016 campaign.

Hillary Clinton called them “deplorables.”

Trump should say less on trade. The stock markets will thank him
Transparency’s a good thing, but the president’s tweets only rattle the markets

OPINION — Well, we’re back on the trade roller coaster this week — and as we’ve learned over the past year, it can be a bumpy ride that takes a strong stomach just to hang on.

But here we are again, with the markets tanking on Monday as the Dow took a 2.4 percent hit and the Nasdaq, so dependent on big tech, dropped nearly 270 points, a 3.4 percent loss, raising new fears that stalled trade deals threaten to slow the country’s booming economy. As I write this on Tuesday, happily, the markets have recovered some of Monday’s losses.

Trump’s economy is booming, and Democrats can’t handle it
The jobs report drops, and what do they do? Run all the way back to Obama

OPINION — “There was a $2 trillion tax cut last year. Did you feel it? Did you get anything from it? Of course not. … All of it went to folks at the top and corporations.”

That was Joe Biden at a Pittsburgh union workers’ rally ten days ago.

Trump’s unlikely new best friends wear blue
Democratic opposition research teams are gearing up

What’s the Trump campaign’s biggest asset right now? Sure, long term, a growing economy is the president’s greatest strength. But this is primary season, and the line between allies and opponents is often blurred as candidates vie for position and political advantage.

With the entry of front-runner Joe Biden, probably the last Democratic candidate has entered the race. The field is set, and the games are about to begin in earnest.

Gleeful Democrats pulled off the perfect tax scam
Trafficking in disinformation, the party managed to poison Trump’s tax cuts

OPINION — “Nobody likes to give themselves credit for this kind of messaging success, but progressive groups did a really good job of convincing people that Trump raised their taxes when the facts say a clear majority got a tax cut,” Vox senior correspondent Matthew Yglesias tweeted April 8.

Let me get this straight. Yglesias admits that Democrats misled the American people about the Republican tax cut legislation, and that’s OK with him?

Democrats may win their base with Trump — but lose independents
Partisan positions aren’t playing well beyond core supporters

OPINION — The Democratic presidential field hit a new watermark this week, reaching a record-setting 18 officially declared candidates. That’s enough for two baseball teams or three hockey teams. And there’s probably more candidates to come.

But why so many? Because, like Republican candidates in 2012, Democrats think that whoever wins their party’s nomination has a lock on the presidency in 2020. That’s what Mitt Romney’s team thought up to the moment he lost, not unlike the Clinton campaign’s overconfidence in the inevitability of her victory in 2016.

2020 Democrats go silent after Senate’s Green New Deal debacle
To quote John McEnroe: ‘You cannot be serious!’

OPINION — In the awkward aftermath of the Green New Deal’s rollout, perhaps the most appropriate question for its supporters, especially the Democratic presidential field, is one often posed by tennis bad boy John McEnroe: “You cannot be serious!”

But, apparently, when New York Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Massachusetts Sen. Edward Markey introduced their proposal in February, they were deadly serious, and breathless progressives couldn’t wait to hop aboard the climate change express. First in line, the Democratic presidential candidates in the Senate who were eager to offer up their enthusiastic support.

As Russia fog lifts for Trump, will Democrats finally see reality?
Pushing collusion theories only delayed inevitable reckoning over 2016

OPINION — Donald Trump has been president for 113 weeks, but last week, well, “That was the week that was,” to repurpose a little ’60s political satire.

It began Monday with the release of a CNN survey showing good economic numbers for the president and ended Sunday with better news for Trump and his supporters: The Mueller investigation was over with no collusion found and no further indictments.

This isn’t Nancy Pelosi’s first impeachment rodeo
With their quest to impeach Trump, Democrats are only hurting themselves. The speaker understands this, even if many in her party don’t

OPINION — Almost 21 years ago, on Sept. 9, 1998, I was in a room at the Library of Congress at a Republican House leadership meeting as they discussed the fall legislative agenda that would lead up to the congressional elections, less than two months away. The country was already divided as partisans took to their corners over the Lewinsky scandal and the possible impeachment of President Bill Clinton.

Everyone was anticipating that the Starr report might be released in the next couple of days. As I stood next to a wall, I looked out over the long table where the leadership members were seated, with most of the senior leadership staff sitting along the far wall with the windows behind them. It was then that I saw two vans pull up in front of the Capitol. As 36 boxes of reports were unloaded, a Pandora’s box called impeachment opened and I remember thinking, “Everything is about to change.” And it did.

The capitalism vs. socialism debate: Bring it on
This is where America in 2019 finds itself, arguing over a settled question

OPINION — Capitalism vs. socialism. It sounds like a debate topic better suited to a ’60s Berkley lecture hall than a 21st-century presidential campaign taking place in a robust, capitalist economy.

But that is where America in 2019 finds itself, arguing over what seems to be a settled question for anyone with a cursory knowledge of socialism’s bleak record of lackluster economies in many countries and totalitarianism in many others. Whether it was revolutionary Cuba in the last century or Venezuela in this century, socialism can take a nation down a dangerous path to poverty and oppression, propped up by authoritarian governments that destroy freedom and opportunity.

Unpacking the Democrats’ jam-packed primary
The party begins its presidential primary season with less than ideal atmospherics

OPINION — Congressional infighting. Internal clashes over policy. Primary threats. A candidate field the size of a small village and a set of party rules that may or may not yield a fair process. The Democrats’ 2020 presidential primary season has officially begun.

It may end up a three-ring circus of unhappy losers and their equally unhappy supporters or an equitable winnowing of one the biggest fields of presidential candidates in modern history. Whether the process works and is seen as fair to all will be crucial to ensuring a party unified behind its eventual nominee. That’s where it gets complicated for the Democrats.

After decades of taxing the rich, the ‘Big Blues’ face the music
The dismal financial situation of high-tax states has been long in the making

OPINION — “Tax the rich. Tax the rich. Tax the rich. The rich leave. And now what do you do?”

Those were the plaintive words of the man in charge of guiding New York’s fiscal ship of state, Gov. Andrew Cuomo, as he announced earlier this month a projected $2.3 billion state budget deficit.

New York City’s progressive elites gambled and lost over Amazon
Democrats’ unforced error on HQ2 deal delivered a gift to Republicans

OPINION — “I think it’s a bluff, first and foremost.”

Those were the words of New York City Council deputy leader Jimmy Van Bramer to Fox News’ Neil Cavuto on Feb. 11. Cavuto had asked Van Bramer about the possibility of Amazon walking away from its historic deal to locate one of its second headquarters in Queens because of anti-deal efforts stirred up by Van Bramer and others, most notably Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and state Sen. Michael Gianaris.