Home ClineWatch: Ben Cline unbound

ClineWatch: Ben Cline unbound

Gene Zitver
ben cline
(© lev radin – Shutterstock)

It’s always interesting to find out what Ben Cline has to say when he is talking exclusively to a group of fellow Republicans and doesn’t feel a need to disguise his hyper-partisan far-right views.

So a report in The Winchester Star about Cline’s recent appearance at a meeting of the Frederick County Republican Committee was revealing.

Cline warned that “the left is on the march.” If by “left” he means everyone who cringes at the thought of Donald Trump serving another term as President and everyone who believes in reproductive freedom, he may be right.

Holding the pocket Constitution on Tuesday night, he called it “the document I continue to wave at my (Democratic) counterparts on the other side of the aisle all the time when I’m emphasizing that if it’s not in the Constitution, we shouldn’t be doing it.”

Huh? Does that include, for example, space exploration? The Constitution neither allows nor forbids that. But it’s not “in the Constitution.”

And when the Trump, whom Cline has endorsed for President in 2024, declared that he wanted to terminate the Constitution in order to be reinstated as President, the congressman was notably silent.

“There is a group, and it is across the country, an insidious movement of leftists who are pushing the exact opposite of what we are pushing — one nation. Well, first of all, when you have open borders, you don’t have a nation,” Cline said.

“They are fighting to remove God from the public square,” Cline said. “… We’ve got to fight back against that to make sure we have a vibrant public square that recognizes the founding fathers and their intent on founding a country on Judaeo-Christian principles.”

The Constitution which Cline claims to revere does not mention God or “Judaeo-Christian principles”– not even once. The only mention of religion is in the First Amendment, which states: “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof.”

When asked by an FCRC member if he believes Trump won the election in 2020, Cline responded, “I believe Donald J. Trump is going to win the election here in November alongside me and alongside other Republicans who are going to be in the majority, not just in the House but in the Senate as well.”

In other words, he didn’t answer the question.

He slammed the Senate border security bill that was negotiated by some Democrats and some Republicans, calling it a “Democrat bill in sheep’s clothing” negotiated in part by the “same Mitt Romney-Republicans that they always get.”

Never mind that Cline is openly trashing the 2012 Republican candidate for President. In fact the bill was negotiated by Republican Senator James Lankford of Oklahoma, one of the most conservative members of the Senate.

In a speech shortly before the expected failure of the deal, Lankford bemoaned the fact that some fellow Republicans were objecting to the bill for purely political reasons.

“Some of them have been very clear with me,” Lankford said of his GOP colleagues, “they have political differences with the bill. They say it’s the wrong time to solve the problem. We’ll let the presidential election solve this problem.”

Lankford went on to say that a “popular commentator” — without naming any names — threatened to “destroy” him if he negotiated the deal during a presidential election year, regardless of what was in it.

“I will do whatever I can to destroy you, because I do not want you to solve this during the presidential election,” Lankford recounted the commentator saying.

“By the way, they have been faithful to their promise, and have done everything they can to destroy me,” he added.

Did Cline also oppose the bill for strictly partisan political reasons too? Everything we know about him suggests he did.

In a separate conversation with a reporter, Cline was asked his position on Ukraine aid.

“I think that there is not a clear goal in terms of what victory looks like for Ukraine. The Biden administration refuses to give us that,” Cline said. “And so until there is a clear articulated goal for Ukraine and the money is followed, every dollar of taxpayer money, then we shouldn’t give any more.”

That drew a response from Rod Grandon, an Army veteran and a candidate for the Democratic nomination to run against Cline in the November 2024 election.

“If we don’t support Ukraine, we, the United States of America, will be weakened in the eyes of all, and in fact, it won’t just be a perception matter,” Grandon said. “Ronald Reagan would be flipping in his grave over Ben Cline and his colleagues’ approach.”

“It’s not a blank check. The vast majority of those funds go to American manufacturers who are producing the shells and the weapons that are then being transported over for use in Ukraine,” Grandon said. “We have the appropriate controls and processes for accounting for that money.”

Gene Zitver is the editor of ClineWatch.