In a competitive primary, endorsements matter.
Jeff Hinkle recently landed one from Young Americans for Liberty ahead of the four-way Republican primary for House District 4. He’s been touting it all over social media.
“Wow! I am super honored to have this endorsement. This is huge and represents one of the best liberty and constitutional values organizations in the nation! Thank you!” he wrote in a recent Facebook post.
Though the group does harp on its “pro-liberty philosophy” anywhere and everywhere it can, it’s not exactly clear what that means — it’s the political equivalent of a dating profile that declares a love of “fun” or “being spontaneous.”
Given the vagaries it’s wise to look at what, exactly, the group does rather than how it describes itself.
A quick glance shows that Young Americans for Liberty is something of a “Never Trump” club, or at least a group that welcomes never-Trumpers with open arms, given its infatuation with U.S. Rep. Justin Amash.
The group has booked the Michigan congressman for its Mobilize 2020 event in Dallas next week, and it’s encouraging its followers to listen to the upcoming episode of the “Kibbe on Liberty Podcast,” where Amash will be a featured guest.
“A reminder to not miss out on this,” the group posted last week, alongside the hashtag #MakeLibertyWin.
For the uninitiated: Amash’s version of liberty winning does not align with President Donald Trump’s — Amash was the only Republican in the U.S. House of Representatives to vote to impeach President Trump.
Hinkle could be forgiven for not knowing about the connection. As a state House candidate, he may have been so exuberant to snag the endorsement that he didn’t do his due diligence and learn up on the organization that’s backing him.
Except for one thing: Hinkle has been using the “never Trump” label like a bludgeon against his GOP primary rivals, making outlandish and easily disprovable attacks.
One of Hinkle’s campaign ads features a devious edit that makes it appear as if Patt Maney said “I never worked for President Trump. I followed the law. Guilty as charged”
The same video also bashes Jonathan Tallman for donating to “Donald Trump’s opponent.” No, he didn’t donate to Hillary Clinton. He wrote a check to the Jeb Bush campaign in Nov. 2015 — months before the first Republican presidential primary and a full year before the election.
The verdict for both: “Never Trumper.”
Playing by Hinkle’s rules, he’s the real Never Trumper. He may claim otherwise, but if donating to Bush in 2015 makes one a Never Trumper, landing an endorsement from a group that specializes in promoting the President’s conservative detractors certainly does.