#MonaLog: Pataki Ends Presidential Bid, Santorum Goes After Cruz

 PolitiChicks.comWelcome to the #MonaLog – a PolitiChicks Insider into the 2016 race.

#MonaLog Countdown Clock- 2 days until 2016 (enjoy the hangover), 33 days to Iowa, 41 days to New Hampshire, 52 days until South Carolina…

Rep. Trey Gowdy endorses Marco Rubio for President while the establishment candidates attacks Rubio. George Pataki finally announces in a YouTube video that he gives up running for President having 0% polling since his announcement. Rick Santorum says Ted Cruz is “not a social conservative.”

Gowdy Endorses Rubio for President

South Carolina Rep. Trey Gowdy has officially endorsed Florida Senator Marco Rubio for President on Tuesday.

“I’m going to vote for Marco Rubio, and I’ll tell you why. National security and public safety are the most important issues to me and there is nobody better on those two issues than Marco Rubio.”

The endorsement could give Rubio a boost in Iowa and especially Gowdy home state of South Carolina, the third state to hold a primary and the first in the south, as Gowdy is beloved by the grassroots conservative movement in large part for his position as chairman of the Benghazi Committee. The double boost is valuable for Rubio as Gowdy can remind voters of Hillary Clinton role of the Benghazi attacks; a key issue that has somewhat tarnished Clinton value of being a strong when it comes to the issue of foreign policy.

Over the weekend, the announcement came out that Gowdy would be joining Rubio in six scheduled campaign stops in Iowa offering his “full support” but stopped short of saying it will be an official endorsement for president.

When Gowdy officially endorsed Rubio, Donald Trump tweeted a hit of the official endorsement.

“I hope @TGowdySC does better for Rubio than he did at the #Benghazi hearings, which were a total disaster for Republicans & America!” Trump tweeted.

Establishment Candidates Attack Rubio after Gowdy Endorsement

Despite Rubio getting big key endorsements from fellow colleagues in the House and Senate, he faces attacks from fellow rivals and this time it’s not from Ted Cruz.

New Jersey Governor Chris Christie on Tuesday told voters in Iowa that Rubio should consider resigning from his Senate seat.

“Dude, show up to work and vote no; and if you don’t want to, then quit,” Christie said to voters during a town hall meeting in Muscatine, Iowa.

That same line of Rubio not showing up to work in the Senate as recently Rubio skipped out of voting for the most important bill of the year, adding that Rubio also missed a briefing following the Paris Attacks in November is also being used by Jeb Bush’s super PAC Right to Rise. The Super PAC new ad that cost $1.4 million will air in New Hampshire and Iowa over the next two weeks attacks Rubio for missing the most votes than any other senator. “Over the last three years, Rubio has missed important national security hearings and missed more total votes than any other senator,” the narrator in the ad from Right to Rise.

As Christie escalates his criticism of Rubio recently during his campaign trail, Rubio hit back at Christie for doing the same thing in New Jersey. “You know, Chris has been missing in New Jersey for half the time,” Rubio said hours later in Iowa after his town hall event. “Candidates, as we get down the home stretch, some of them get a little desperate and a little nasty in their attacks.”

As for the Right to Rise ad, Rubio campaign team pushed back against the alleged attacks of Rubio missing intelligence briefing. “No other candidate for president has received more classified intelligence briefings or better understands the threats facing our nation today than Marco,” Rubio spokesman Alex Conant said in an email statement. “It’s sad to see Jeb’s joyful campaign reduced to such intellectual dishonesty.”

George Pataki Drops Presidential Bid

Former New York Governor George Pataki ended his bid for president on Tuesday in a web video posted on social media as well as his “equal time” segment that was granted by NBC to match Donald’s Trump appearance on Saturday Night Live.

“While tonight is the end of my journey for the White House as I suspend my campaign for president, I am confident we can elect the right person,” Pataki said in the two-minute advertisement that aired in Iowa, New Hampshire, and South Carolina on NBC. “Someone who will bring us together and who understands that politicians, including the president, must be the people’s servant and not their master. I know the best of America is still ahead of us.”

Pataki was a three-term Governor of New York during the September 11 terrorist attack in 2001 hoped he could garnish attention in a crowded field with moderate Republican voters but failed as he couldn’t break his 0% polling or qualify for prime-time debates. He attempted to go after the GOP front-runner Donald Trump declaring him to be unfit to be president. “Donald Trump is the Know-Nothing candidate of the 21st century and cannot be our nominee,” Pataki said. Those efforts went unnoticed even though Trump retaliated back calling Pataki a man who “couldn’t even be elected as a dog catcher.”

Another blow to Pataki long shot bid was lack of resource to continue as his latest fundraising quarter showed he only raised about $153,000 while taking out significant loans as his rivals outpaced him raising over millions during the same time.

Pataki also failed to make the primary ballot in key states such as Ohio, Texas, Florida and Virginia. Prior to the last GOP debate two weeks ago, Florida’s Secretary of State announced which candidates would appear on the state’s March 15 primary ballot. Pataki’s name was one that would not appear citing candidates who appear are based on a list provided by Florida party leaders. Pataki also missed the deadline to file for the Republican Party primary ballots in Virginia by failing to obtain 5,000 voters signature petition to qualify while other states require filing fee to get on the ballot.

I’m surprised Pataki didn’t ring up the New Year with this announcement; maybe he didn’t have the money to wait two more days. Guess we are ringing up 2016 with now 11 candidates seeking to become the Republican nominee for President.

Watch George Pataki Suspend Presidential Campaign HERE.

Rick Santorum: “Ted Cruz is Not the Social Conservative”

Former Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum went on the attack on Tuesday, stating he finds it weird that the social conservatives in Iowa supports Cruz as well as Donald Trump.

“Right now the social conservative votes are going to Cruz and Trump,” Santorum said on the Steve Malzberg show on Newsmax TV. “Neither of which are particularly strong social conservatives.”

Santorum continues on to mention how Trump recently became a conservative the last few months to run for president. As for Cruz, Santorum says Cruz takes the position of the Tenth Amendment of states right, which is a Rand Paul/Ron Paul position when it comes to defining marriage.

Malzberg would ask Santorum why are the social conservatives rallying behind Cruz in which Santorum said they are “being sold.” Santorum mentions how the weeks leading up to the caucus will show articles of Cruz saying that he is a social conservative but he is not. He argues Cruz is not the “social conservative that he is portraying himself as” as he personally declined to agree with the article that labeled Cruz as a “Trojan horse of social conservatism.”

Listen to Santorum’s remarks on NewsMax TV HERE.

Follow The Candidates on the Campaign Trail for 12/30/2015:

Jeb Bush is in South Carolina

Donald Trump in South Carolina

Marco Rubio is in Iowa with Trey Gowdy

Chris Christie is in Iowa

Rick Santorum is in Iowa

Mona Salama

Mona Salama is a PolitiChicks political reporter based in New York City covering politics and NYPD. She reports broadly on the 2016 campaign trail from the road and at home. Prior to joining PolitiChicks, Mona started with Wayne Dupree's WAAR where she covered NY politics, 2014 mid-term elections, and the NYPD. In 2015, DC Gazette considers Mona as one of the 20 rising Conservative stars. She was cited as "generally one of the most stunning women in political commentary with a huge future ahead of her, we’re pretty sure Mona Salama will soon easily be the next Andrea Tantaros and a common conservative household name." Currently she is finishing her Masters, all while at the same time covering the 2016 Presidential race, in Public Policy at John Jay College in New York City. Mona can be followed on twitter at @MonaSalama_ and email: [email protected]

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