White House adviser and Trump son-in-law Jared Kushner reportedly wants to shrink the 56-page Republican Party platform to a one-page “mission statement.” After Middle East peace and Covid-19, this should be a cinch.
Kushner has been leading the charge to downsize the sprawling document over the past six months, Axios reported on Sunday. The silver-spoon scion has been ruffling feathers within the Republican National Committee and the Trump campaign alike in his quest to whittle the platform down to “something like the 10 principles we believe in,” two sources confirmed to the outlet.
The secret committee has reportedly come up with multiple one-page options, though sources with knowledge of the talks stressed that it was “far from a final product” and has yet to be confirmed by the platform committee of 112 delegates. That will take place at the Republican National Convention, which is still scheduled for August, despite the upheaval of the coronavirus pandemic.
Kushner’s supposed aim in slimming it down to a “mission statement” is eliminating “alienating language” so as to lure more voters into the GOP fold. He didn’t want anything about “gay conversion therapy,” sources said – even though the 2016 platform included only the vaguest statement that could possibly be interpreted as a reference to the controversial practice. Kushner also objected to the use of the word “freedom,” which supposedly polls badly with black voters, according to several sources.
Another insider countered that it was only the term “Education Freedom Scholarships” that was to be excised (a somewhat convoluted program providing a hefty federal tax credit in exchange for donations to state-level scholarship programs that allow students to attend alternatives to public schools). Kushner, the insider said, thought “freedom’s a great word” that should be “smartly utilized” in the incredible shrinking GOP platform.
The conversation around overhauling the party platform has reportedly been kept quiet from the GOP rank and file and the state party leaders, even as President Donald Trump threatened on Monday to move the Republican National Convention from Charlotte, North Carolina, if Governor Roy Cooper doesn’t guarantee the event will be allowed to proceed with full attendance. Cooper, a Democrat, has been gradually easing Covid-19 restrictions on public gatherings, but has apparently been unwilling to completely commit to holding the late-August convention as originally planned.
The high level of secrecy surrounding Kushner’s platform negotiations parallels the similarly secretive atmosphere that shrouded the “Deal of the Century” – the doomed Israeli-Palestinian ‘peace plan’ that was widely reviled on its long-delayed unveiling earlier this year for handing Tel Aviv nearly everything it wanted while leaving the Palestinians with crumbs. Fresh off that failure, Kushner was then reportedly detailed to solve another thorny problem: the burgeoning Covid-19 pandemic. Allegedly, he and his “shadow task force” urged Trump to downplay the severity of the situation to avoid spooking the markets – with disastrous results.
Perhaps attempting to soothe concern over Kushner’s track record – in addition to botching Middle East peace and the pandemic, the real-estate heir was a lifelong Democrat before his father-in-law went into politics – the Trump campaign’s director of communications told Axios the “more concise platform” was “not a new idea,” adding that “a more focused platform” has been considered since at least 2016 and is expected to “be the most conservative in history.”
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