Republican Presidential candidate Steve Laffey is responding after the U.S. Energy Department report found that the COVID-19 pandemic likely originated from an accidental lab leak in China.

View From Laffey Lane: Breaking Down The State Of The Republican Race For The Nomination

Republican Presidential candidate Steve Laffey is responding after the U.S. Energy Department report found that the COVID-19 pandemic likely originated from an accidental lab leak in China.
Opinion By: Steve Laffey, GOP Candidate for President

We are just 18 days away from the first Republican Presidential Debate. But will all eyes actually be on Milwaukee? We are just 163 days away from the first Republican Presidential Primary. But will Donald Trump even still be running? And the General Election is now 458 days away. Let that sink in. 

As those three major events continue to get closer, I wanted to share the view from Laffey Lane. It’s troubling to say the least.

Donald Trump faces hundreds of years behind bars, but the former President continues to boast massive leads in the polls. Are we seeing a reverse 2016 trend, when voters were afraid to tell exit pollsters that they’d voted for Trump? Are voters now afraid to publicly condemn the former President for his actions, even to pollsters? 

Other views: Alan Dershowitz: Jack Smith’s Dubious Indictment Isn’t The Slam Dunk Trump Haters Think It Is

Another week, another indictment for the 45th President of the United States. Let us not forget, Mr. Trump can still run for president, even if he is charged and convicted. The US Constitution does not bar those convicted of a crime from running for president. The only thing that could legally block his campaign is the 14th Amendment. It says someone cannot hold office if they have taken an oath to the United States, as Trump did when he was inaugurated, and then engaged in “insurrection or rebellion” against the country. Rep. David Cicilline, from Rhode Island, already sent a letter to colleagues asking them to join him in sponsoring legislation that disqualifies Trump because of section 3 of the 14th Amendment (AKA the “Disqualification Clause). 

Mr. Trump may have stolen the headlines, but in a shocking turn of events, there is even more disturbing behavior on display amongst my Republican rivals.

Let’s start with Vivek Ramaswamy. It’s one thing to have blind loyalty towards the former President, promising pardons after each indictment. It’s another thing to go on a major news outlet and broadcast offensive conspiracy theories.  Vivek says he doesn’t believe the U.S. government “has told the truth” Concerning the 9/11 terrorist attacks. Now we know why he would consider RFK Jr. for V.P. Together they can find the aliens in Area 51 for us.   

Other views: Op-Ed: RFK Jr. Is A Breath Of Fresh Air For A Party That Has Totally Lost Its Mind

Are you kidding me? Is this guy for real? Sir, sit down, your campaign is over.

I have been an outspoken opponent of the qualifying conditions for the first GOP debate. They’re limiting. They’re unprecedented. They still carry a pledge of loyalty that I will never commit to.  But some candidates are cracking under the pressure, using highly questionable tactics to try and get onto the main stage in Milwaukee. Francis Suarez is now running his campaign like a Booster Club. A $1 donation gets you a $20 Visa card. He’s raffled off tickets to a soccer game. He’s asking for donations via Venmo. Perry Johnson has the same idea. He’s offering a $10 gas card, if you pledge a $1 donation. Doug Burgum is offering a $20 gift card if you pledge a dollar. They cannot be serious.  This just highlights how absurd the GOP qualifications truly are.

Instead of Milwaukee, there’s now an alternate “People’s Presidential Debate” planned for Tallahassee, run by the Epoch Times. Given the GOP’s inability to respond to a single email sent in the last 60 days, it’s nice to finally be included and invited. It’s hard to believe that the GOP would rather deal with a conflicting debate, than create a two-night debate stage with all candidates invited. But the GOP is still backing Donald Trump, so clearly, they’re not of sound mind. 

The views and opinions expressed in this commentary are those of the author and do not reflect the official position of the Tampa Free Press.

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