Rantz: Jay Inslee ‘surges’ to 0.3 percent in polls as he attacks Beto O’Rourke on climate

Apr 30, 2019, 5:56 AM | Updated: 7:13 am
Jay Inslee (D-WA) enters the LA Cleantech Incubator (LACI) on April 18, 2019 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images)
(Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images)

As Jay Inslee “surges” to 0.3% in the polls, the governor has decided to take on former Congressman Beto O’Rourke’s recently unveiled climate plan. Inslee’s attack is as lifeless as his failing campaign.

O’Rourke’s plan is a $5 trillion dollar virtue signal of unattainable promises (a vague declaration “requiring net-zero emissions by 2050”) and positions that literally all the candidates have (such as reaffirming a commitment to the Paris Agreement).

Related: Jay Inslee couldn’t answer easy question he based his entire campaign on

Here, Inslee’s campaign sees an opportunity to attack a perceived front-runner on the one issue the governor has used to define his poorly-received campaign. In a press release blast, campaign manager Aisling Kerins blasts O’Rourke’s “empty rhetoric” and offers little in the way of Inslee accomplishments.

Kerins claims: “Governor Inslee has dedicated his public life to defeating climate change, and he has gotten results — including passing a 100% clean electricity bill this week that has been called a ‘model of cutting-edge climate policy.’”

They link to a Washington-based, Inslee fanboy to back up their bold claims.

For a public life dedicated to defeating climate change, it’s weird the accomplishments the campaign lists literally just happened.

But that’s kind of his only accomplishment — which House and Senate Democrats pursued to help Inslee’s campaign. It’s a guarantee of clean energy by 2045 that, actually, has a built-in mechanism to push it past 2045 and gives broad tax exemptions to union projects.

Sure, he encourages more zero-emissions vehicles and Democrats just banned hydrofluorocarbons, but these are hardly earth-shattering, campaign-defining accomplishments. His effort to push a carbon tax was embarrassingly shot down by voters. Inslee planned to run on that accomplishment. Oops.

It’s also bizarre to attack O’Rourke on climate change policies, given it’s a message that hasn’t served Inslee at all. A RealClear poll average has Inslee at just 0.3 percent. The latest Monmouth poll has more people saying they’d rather not vote for any Democrat (3%) than Inslee (<1%). That’s bad. Really, really, really bad.

Despite the bad polls, however, the Inslee-supporting SuperPAC is claiming on Twitter that Inslee is “surging.”

Act Now on Climate is aligned with Inslee and they’ve set up a Twitter bot to auto-reply to Twitter users discussing Inslee. After the low-rated CNN town hall, they claimed “Jay is surging!”

He was not then. He is not now.

There’s a business motto that many use when they’re experimenting with ideas: Fail fast. Then, they can retool and try a different tactic or strategy. Inslee failed fast, but he won’t give up and change directions.

He harps on climate change and it’s not moving the needle. He sounds and acts like baby Groot from “Guardians of the Galaxy.” Only he is so much less likable and not at all adorable. It explains why he polls so bad.

Rather than attack O’Rourke, who is unlikely to even mention Inslee, which would let the media focus on Inslee, the governor should pivot to literally any other topic to see if he has better luck gaining some steam. I’d at least like him to last through the primary in Washington so we could get the benefit from some campaign dollars.

Jason Rantz on AM 770 KTTH
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Rantz: Jay Inslee ‘surges’ to 0.3 percent in polls as he attacks Beto O’Rourke on climate