The White House's desperate attempt to manipulate the political landscape has produced a questionnaire with unorthodox questions for candidates in Republican primaries that are hoping to win President Donald Trump's endorsement. The perplexing survey asks about the topics of immigration and trade.
According to a report from HuffPost, the so-called “Opinion Leader Questionnaire” was devised by the Office of Political Affair and was distributed to candidates that met with the White House recently.
The structure of the survey is quite simple. It asks eight yes-or-no questions and offers additional space for the candidate's reasoning. The questions, which sought to gauge support in policies of the Trump administration, included policies that have been “divisive” during GOP primaries.
HuffPost's report included the eight questions:
- “Do you support or oppose President Trump’s appointment of Neil Gorsuch to the United States Supreme Court?”
- “Do you support or oppose President Trump’s decision to withdraw from the Trans-Pacific Partnership, a multinational trade agreement?”
- “Do you support or oppose President Trump’s Executive Order to suspend the issuance of visas and other immigration benefits to nationals of countries of Iran, Libya, Syria, Somalia, Sudan and Yemen?”
- “Do you support or oppose the repeal of Obamacare’s individual mandate within the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017?”
- “Do you support or oppose the President’s intention to withhold foreign security assistance to Pakistan?”
- “Do you support or oppose President Trump’s Infrastructure Initiative, which calls for $200 billion in Federal funds to spur at least $1.5 trillion in infrastructure investments with partners at the State, local, Tribal, and private level?”
- “On January 30, 2018, President Trump released a framework with the following four proposals to reform our immigration system: 1. Establish a $25 billion trust fund for the border wall system, ports of entry and exit, and northern border improvements 2. Promote nuclear family migration by allowing immigration sponsorships of spouses and minor children only 3. End the visa lottery program 4. Provide legal status for DACA recipients and certain other DACA-eligible illegal immigrants. Do you support or oppose President Trump’s framework for immigration reform?”
- “Do you support or oppose President Trump’s imposition of 25 percent tariffs on steel imports and 10 percent tariffs on aluminum imports?”
It is noted that the document shifts as time goes by. A previous version had only seven questions, omitting the query about steel/aluminum tariffs.
The report cited three anonymous GOP sources, who argue that the survey reflects how the Trump administration would like to use the GOP primaries to move the Republican Party in accordance with a pro-Trump view.
“It’s necessary for the White House to want to make sure the candidates President Trump lines up behind share his views on issues like trade, immigration and an America first foreign policy,” said one former White House official.
Not every candidate running in a GOP primary has received a copy of the survey. The White House allegedly also sent the document to several state-level Republican committee members as well as other influential members of the party.
A wave of primary election dates is coming within the near future. The upcoming primaries and midterm elections are anticipated to be decisive battles that will have a massive impact on the political arena.