Report: After GOP opposition, no Skandera federal nomination

Objections by U.S. Senate Republicans ended talk that Hanna Skandera might join the Donald Trump administration, according to a report in Politico Thursday. The report, which led the outlet’s Morning Education tipsheet, said the New Mexico Public Education Department secretary’s support for the controversial Common Core standards were one reason Republicans were skeptical to confirm her as assistant secretary of the U.S. Department of Education. “I am focused on continuing the great progress we have started and will continue in New Mexico,” Skandera said in a statement to NM Political Report when asked about if she had any conversations about joining the Trump administration. “When education focuses on students and not politics, everyone wins.”

Skandera is the head of the governing board of Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC), which produces a standardized test in public schools aligned with Common Core. Republicans have largely criticized Common Core standards, which the Barack Obama administration supported. Common Core standards’ roots came out of the George W. Bush-era No Child Left Behind Act.

Johnson gets a New Mexico welcome at ABQ rally

Former New Mexico Gov. Gary Johnson stopped on his way into a rally at the Albuquerque Convention Center to see the workings of a lowrider car with hydraulics Saturday afternoon. After he watched with awe, the most logical thing happened—the presidential candidate sat in the car as the front end jumped seven feet off the ground and lurched forward. The surrounding crowd cheered as Johnson pressed against the ceiling of the car. https://twitter.com/Anjreu/status/767070094526590976

Later, as he walked into a press conference, Johnson told NM Political Report he enjoyed himself but was still feeling the effects. “My teeth are still chattering,” Johnson said.

Trump

Establishment Republicans back Martinez after Trump attack

It seems that Gov. Susana Martinez may be the new face of the conservative anti-Donald Trump movement. Establishment Republicans and even the head of one of the Super PACs backing Trump either defended Martinez or criticized the Republican presumptive nominee. Tuesday night during an Albuquerque rally, Trump slammed Susana Martinez. He cited facts that unemployment went up (though he said it doubled), that food stamp usage skyrocketed and that she allowed Syrian refugees to relocate to the stage “in large numbers” (when in reality just four Syrians have been relocated in the state). He also cited numbers from 2000, ten years before Martinez became governor.

Bush 41, 43 have no plans to endorse Trump

For the first time since his own presidency, George H.W. Bush is planning to stay silent in the race for the Oval Office — and the younger former president Bush plans to stay silent as well. Bush 41, who enthusiastically endorsed every Republican nominee for the last five election cycles, will stay out of the campaign process this time. He does not have plans to endorse presumptive GOP nominee Donald Trump, spokesman Jim McGrath told The Texas Tribune. “At age 91, President Bush is retired from politics,” McGrath wrote in an email Wednesday. “He came out of retirement to do a few things for Jeb, but those were the exceptions that proved the rule.” His son Jeb Bush dropped out of the GOP presidential race in February.

Martinez campaign vet takes fire over Jeb campaign

With the tremendous failure of the Jeb Bush presidential campaign—from frontrunner to dropping out after failing to win a single state—the political press is already digging through the campaign’s carcass. And with that comes blame over campaign leadership, which includes campaign manager Danny Diaz, who was a part of Susana Martinez’s two successful gubernatorial campaigns in New Mexico. The biggest criticism of Bush’s campaign was the inability to deal with the rise of Donald Trump as a significant political force. This led to a host of other problems for Bush, including an inability to connect with voters and an inability to turn the race to topics that would be better for Bush’s strengths. A Washington D.C. lawyer who donated six figures to a Super PAC that supported Bush laid the blame directly at the feet of Diaz.

Poll: Cruz, Trump neck and neck, Rubio behind

A poll shows Ted Cruz holds the narrowest of leads over Donald Trump among Republicans in New Mexico, with Rubio the only other candidate in double-digits. The poll conducted by Research & Polling for the Albuquerque Journal found Cruz has support of 25 percent, Trump with 24 percent, Rubio with 19 percent and other candidates below ten percent among likely voters. New Mexico’s primary elections take place in early June, likely long after a candidate will have won the primary for both Democrats and Republicans. The three candidates leading in New Mexico are also the top three candidates among national Republicans in public polling. Because of the late primary date, New Mexico has seen just about no campaigning from presidential campaigns.

Hispanic Chamber wants Susana for VP

The United States Hispanic Chamber of Commerce wants Republicans to put Susana Martinez on the presidential ticket this fall. The organization made the announcement on Friday, just days before the Iowa caucuses, which kick off the road to the presidential nomination. Right now, the frontrunner for Republicans is businessman and reality TV star Donald Trump. Trump kicked off his campaign by angering Hispanics with his comments about Mexicans. “When Mexico sends its people, they’re not sending their best.

Bush’s hint at a female VP choice renews Martinez speculation

It isn’t the first time and it certainly won’t be the last that Gov. Susana Martinez’s name is thrown around as a possibility to fill out the ticket on a Republican presidential campaign. The latest round of speculation came after Jeb Bush said “she” when referring to a potential vice president pick. Bush isn’t exactly in the best position to be thinking about who his running mate will be; he is currently running fifth in the Republican presidential primary according to national numbers, 20 percentage points to 30 percentage points behind frontrunner Donald Trump. He trails by similar gaps in the key early states of Iowa, New Hampshire and South Carolina. “Should I be elected president, I would have my vice president — I think she will be a great partner,” he said.

Trump piñata knocked down

Roughly 18 people took turns knocking down a piñata of GOP presidential hopeful Donald Trump Friday afternoon. The event took place in Santa Fe at the Plaza shortly before Spanish Market evening festivities. Each person took turns hitting the piñata twice until Trump’s head fell off. Ignacio Padilla, a treasurer for the Santa Fe County Republican Party, organized the event. While he’s an active Republican, Padilla isn’t a fan of the business magnate’s anti-immigration rhetoric, among other statements from Trump.

Gary Johnson talks pot, Clinton, Bush and the Trump sideshow

Former New Mexico Governor Gary Johnson has popped up every so often in libertarian circles in recent years and in the latest, an interview with Reason TV, he hit a number of hot button topics. As the first governor in the nation to call for the legalization of marijuana, and while speaking to the editor in chief of a libertarian magazine, marijuana of course came up. But the former Libertarian presidential candidate also talked about presidential politics, including slamming Donald Trump as appealing to what he called a racist set of voters. “He is appealing to a segment that I’ll just label racist,” Johnson said. “And it exists and it’s out there and, you know what, I don’t want anything to do with it.”