Don’t Invite Rudy To Your Quiet Vetting Session

Yesterday WaPo’s Robert Costa told us that Scott Walker would be dining in New York with a select group of supply-side economics advocates in hopes of convincing them he shared the True Faith in tax cuts as the self-validating answer to every question.

The gathering, set for the upscale “21” Club in Manhattan, is the latest effort by the potential Republican presidential contender to bolster his relationships with the GOP’s anti-tax wing. It also reflects the interest business-friendly conservatives have in his possible candidacy, in spite of the recent ascent of former Florida governor Jeb Bush.

Economists Larry Kudlow, Arthur Laffer, and Stephen Moore will host Walker, according to several people with knowledge of the event.

For decades, that trio of friends — all associated with President Ronald Reagan’s economic policies — have been high-profile proponents of using tax cuts to boost economic growth….

Damn. That’s three of the four horses of the Apocalypse, isn’t it? Only one missing is Grover Norquist. Oh, wait….

John Catsimatidis, the billionaire supermarket owner and former Republican mayoral candidate in New York, is sponsoring the occasion, which will feature a roundtable discussion among Walker, the hosts, and a mix of wealthy financiers and political personalities.

Among those planning to appear: investment banker Lewis Lehrman, anti-tax activist Grover Norquist, and philanthropist Jimmy Kemp, the son of Jack Kemp, the late New York congressman who ushered Reagan’s tax reforms through Congress.

Had one other guest not been invited, Costa’s account might be the only thing we knew about this dinner: a quiet evening of vetting of the latest hot political property by the devotees of the powerful supply-side cult, perhaps with candles burning to disguise the smell of brimstone.

But instead, we have this wild-ass story from Politico this morning (per Darren Samuelsohn):

Rudy Giuliani went straight for the jugular Wednesday night during a private group dinner here featuring Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker by openly questioning whether President Barack Obama “loves America.”

The former New York mayor, speaking in front of the 2016 Republican presidential contender and about 60 right-leaning business executives and conservative media types, directly challenged Obama’s patriotism, discussing what he called weak foreign policy decisions and questionable public remarks when confronting terrorists.

“I do not believe, and I know this is a horrible thing to say, but I do not believe that the president loves America,” Giuliani said during the dinner at the 21 Club, a former Prohibition-era speakeasy in midtown Manhattan. “He doesn’t love you. And he doesn’t love me. He wasn’t brought up the way you were brought up and I was brought up through love of this country.”
With Walker sitting just a few seats away, Giuliani continued by saying that “with all our flaws we’re the most exceptional country in the world. I’m looking for a presidential candidate who can express that, do that and carry it out.”

“And if it’s you Scott, I’ll endorse you,” he added. “And if it’s somebody else, I’ll support somebody else.”

So what was supposed to be a very private pitch by Walker to secure support, or at least approval, from the Prophets of Privilege turned into a very public demand by the half-crazed former mayor that anyone aspiring to be the 45th president must denounce the 44th as an alien traitor with bad parents.

Whoever invited Rudy better not come to Madison any time soon.

Ed Kilgore

Ed Kilgore, a Monthly contributing editor, is a columnist for the Daily Intelligencer, New York magazine’s politics blog, and the managing editor for the Democratic Strategist.