The Buzz

TheChat: Mainstream GOPers want their guys to stop attacking each other

Good morning.

▪ “These guys are so busy fighting one another that they’re only continuing to facilitate the rise of Trump and Cruz.” — Oklahoma Rep. Tom Cole, a longtime Republican strategist, on mainstream GOP candidates, such as Chris Christie, Marco Rubio and Jeb Bush, attacking each other while Donald Trump and Ted Cruz continue to top the polls.

Mainstream Republican leaders are beyond worried about the state of the race and the inability of one of their candidates to move into serious contention. They’ve begun to urge their candidates to consider withdrawing if they don’t show signs of strength soon.

▪ “My question for Donald is this: if you can't face Megyn Kelly, how can you stand up to ISIS?” — Cruz reacting to Trump’s announcement that he won’t participate in Thursday night’s Iowa debate on Fox.

Trump, once again, is marching to his own drummer just days before Iowa’s caucuses on Monday. Cruz, meantime, challenged Trump to a one-on-one debate anytime, anywhere.

▪ “The more I’ve thought about this issue, the more I think we need to give a path to families and kids that are suffering, for whom hemp oil might offer some relief.” — Kansas state Sen. Jeff King, an Independence Republican, on a decision by a Senate committee to lessen penalties for marijuana possession and allow individuals with epilepsy to try hemp oil.

The committee sent the hemp oil proposal to the floor without recommendation. Whether the very conservative Kansas Legislature will adopt these measures remains an open question.

▪ “We'll be facing a virtual tidal wave of replacement needs as we go forward. So getting further behind, or just treading water, is simply not good enough.” — Missouri Department of Transportation Director Patrick McKenna on the road needs facing the state.

McKenna says his department needs more money, and lawmakers are considering a small gas tax increase to help. The director said 60 percent of Missouri bridges are beyond their 50-year design life, and about 2,000 bridges are deficient. (link courtesy of

▪ “This is clearly one of those situations where an organization that someone has an ideological disagreement with is being framed.” — Missouri state Sen. Jill Schupp, a Creve Coeur Democrat, on the decision of a Texas grand jury to indict two people who produced videos targeting Planned Parenthood, alleging the illegal selling fetal tissue.

Planned Parenthood was cleared, and details regarding why the grand jury did what it did have not been released. “Thank goodness for the media for helping expose this and to the courts for saying we’re not going to stand by and let this happen,” Schupp said.