Will Cline still stand by Trump?

I posted here on June 10 about Congressman Cline’s lack of reaction to the first hearing this month of the House Select Committee investigating the circumstances surrounding the January 6 pro-Trump insurrection at the U.S. Capitol

On June 16, three days after the second hearing, Cline was asked in an interview on WHSV-TV about the committee and the testimony it heard.

First Cline refused to answer whether he agrees with Donald Trump’s former attorney general Bill Barr and Trump campaign officials that there was no evidence of widespread voter fraud in the 2020 election.

He was asked if he had seen Barr’s testimony. He replied, “I have not.”

Has he watched any of the testimony, almost entirely from Republicans?

He complained: “We’re not seeing the cross-examination of witnesses. What we’re seeing is an echo chamber designed by Nancy Pelosi to arrive at a preconceived conclusion. He added, “The January 6 commission is an echo chamber and we’re only going to hear that testimony that the January 6 commission wants us to hear.”

Of course people like Mark Meadows, John Eastman and Jeffrey Clarke– who presumably could challenge the testimony of the witnesses implicating Trump– have refused to testify or invoked the Fifth Amendment.

And the Republicans on the committee– Liz Cheney and Adam Kinzinger– are not taking instructions from Nancy Pelosi.

Asked about his vote in Congress after the January 6 insurrection to reject the electoral votes for Joe Biden from Arizona and Pennsylvania, Cline said, “I stand by my objections.”

And he refused to answer when asked if Joe Biden won a fair election.

Despite the testimony from Barr and other Republican officials denying claims of massive voter fraud, Cline continues to support Trump’s debunked objections.

He said: “I signed onto the lawsuit asking the Supreme Court hear these challenges to a lot of what we were seeing across the country. That lawsuit was rejected by the Supreme Court. But this, I believe there should have been the opportunity in court to allow a lot of that evidence to be presented, much of which dealt with a lot of activities around the polls that were controversial and some of which, as I said, were in violation of the law.”

Cline shrugged off the 60 lawsuits lost by the Trump campaign seeking to overturn election results, saying they were mostly procedural. “There were a lot of allegations and very few of them were actually heard on the merits.”

You mean like this one, Congressman?

I doubt Cline bothered to watch the powerful testimony Tuesday by Cassidy Hutchinson, former aide to Trump’s chief of staff Mark Meadows, which might have interfered with his own preconceived conclusions.

Does Cline care that Trump knew that many of his supporters were armed on January 6, but told them to march on the Capitol? Or that Trump tried to grab the steering wheel of his limousine from a Secret Service agent who was driving him back to the White House instead of the Capitol and lunged at an agent? Or that his reaction to the chants of his supporters to “Hang Mike Pence” was that “Mike deserves it”?

Perhaps Cline was among the Republican lawmakers who were “privately stunned.” But I doubt it.

Oh, and Congressman: The Select Committee is still seeking testimony from your pal Jim Jordan.

Cline votes NO on school security and mental health services

A handful of House Republicans broke ranks from their GOP colleagues Friday to approve modest gun reform legislation.

Of course, Congressman Cline was among the majority of Republicans who voted NO.

The bill passed by a 234-193 margin, with 14 House Republicans voting in favor. It comes after 15 Senate Republicans broke ranks and voted for the bill late Thursday night.

The bipartisan measure, negotiated by Democratic and Republican senators with Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell’s blessing, includes multimillion dollar investments in mental health services and school security, as well as a new federal ban on gun trafficking.

The gun safety bill would also offer new funding to support states and tribes that seek to enact “red flag” laws — which allow authorities to confiscate guns from individuals deemed a threat to themselves or others — closing the so-called “boyfriend loophole,” and subjecting gun purchasers under the age of 21 to new background check requirements.

President Biden signed the bill into law.

Since the massacre of 19 schoolchildren and two teachers in Uvalde, Texas, last month, Cline has called for increased school security and mental health services. This law provides for them. But because it contains provisions that might keep guns out of the hands of some people who are a danger to themselves or others, Cline apparently considered it a threat to “Second Amendment Rights.”

So Cline voted NO on the school security and mental health services he claims to want in order to protect the right of potentially dangerous people to own whatever and however many guns they want.

“Pro-life” Cline votes NO on keeping kids fed

One day before declaring that #LifeWins following the Supreme Court decision overturning Roe v. Wade, Congressman Cline was one of just 42 members of the House (all Republicans) to vote NO on the Keep Kids Fed Act.

As NBC News reports, the legislation extends “some food assistance measures for children that anti-hunger advocates have called critical as more parents struggle with the rising costs of inflation, less than a week before the measures were set to end.”

The pandemic-era child nutrition waivers have helped millions of kids get access to meals both in school and during the summer for the last two years and were scheduled to expire June 30.

The bipartisan legislation now heads to the president’s desk for his signature. It would extend some of the dozens of child nutrition waivers that Congress gave the Agriculture Department the authority to issue at the start of the pandemic.


The Keep Kids Fed Act would enable summer meal program providers to operate with more flexibility and help schools in the coming academic year as they continue to cope with supply chain interruptions and labor shortages.

So once again, Cline’s professed concern for “life” ends with the birth of actual children whose families depend of federal nutrition assistance to keep them fed and, um, alive.

Cline’s split reaction to overturning of Roe

There’s an interesting contrast between the way Congressman Cline reacted to the Supreme Court overturning Roe v. Wade on his Congressional Facebook page and his campaign Facebook page.

Here is the former:

And here is the latter:

So on his Congressional Facebook page, Cline frames abortion as strictly a matter for states to decide, with no reference to the moral issue. He doesn’t seem to be celebrating.

On his campaign Facebook page, clearly aimed at what he perceives as his base, he’s in a celebratory mood.

Is he nervous about a backlash among the majority of voters who support at least some abortion rights? Perhaps he has reason to be– even in the Republican-leaning Sixth District.

Cline is silent on January 6 hearing

Yes, physical threats against Supreme Court justices are abhorrent. And those who make them deserve to be arrested and prosecuted.

You can believe this and also appreciate the work of the House January 6 Committee to investigate and report on the attempt by former President Trump (“our great president”) to subvert the results of the 2020 election, and on those who aided and abetted that effort– violently or otherwise.

Unless you are Congressman Ben Cline, who posted on Facebook today about the former and has yet to acknowledge the Committee’s powerful opening hearing on Thursday.

I hope Cline has the decency to feel the sting of his brave Republican colleague Liz Cheney’s words.

Where does Cline draw the line on guns?

My letter to the editor in the June 8 edition of The News-Gazette, which circulates in Rockbridge County, Lexington and Buena Vista:

I’m not currently a gun owner. But I know that many good people of many political persuasions own guns, and I have no problem with responsible owners having firearms for hunting, recreation and protection.

Which brings us to our Sixth District Congressman Ben Cline.

In an interview on WRVA radio the day after the Uvalde massacre, he repeated the worn-out talking points that Congressional Republicans use to avoid enacting serious gun violence prevention measures.

Cline proposed posting retired police officers at schools. A retired police officer fired at the racist mass murderer at the supermarket in Buffalo on May 14, but the murderer was wearing body armor and the retired officer was among those killed.

He said, “Let’s talk about mental health counseling.” But as far as I can tell, Cline has never done anything in Congress to provide resources to woefully-underfunded mental health services.

And other countries have mental health problems too. But ours is the only country where horrors like those in Buffalo and Uvalde happen on such a regular basis.

Cline talks endlessly about protecting “Second Amendment rights.” But as the late Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia said, the Second Amendment “is not unlimited. [It is] not a right to keep and carry any weapon whatsoever in any manner whatsoever and for whatever purpose.”

Does Cline believe this? His position on “gun rights” is so extreme (more extreme than most gun owners) that when he was in the House of Delegates, he bragged about his endorsement by the Virginia Citizens Defense League— which believes the National Rifle Association is too soft.

He actually opposed issuing a new Virginia license plate with the message: “Stop Gun Violence.”

Cline shouldn’t be allowed to go unchallenged. He needs to be asked specifically why he opposes universal background checks for gun purchases. (Does he support any background checks at all?) Why is he against red flag laws to temporarily remove firearms from people who are a clear threat to themselves or others? Why does he oppose limits on high-capacity magazines? Does he support any restrictions on private arms ownership at all? How about fully automatic weapons? Grenade launchers?

Where does he draw the line? Does he draw it anywhere?

And after Buffalo, Uvalde, Tulsa, etc., etc., this is all that Cline can say: