Who Is John Ratcliffe?
Ultra Conservative from Texas, For One
With Dan Coats leaving as Director of National Intelligence, the Trump administration is suggesting replacing him with Texas congressman John Ratcliffe. Elected in 2014, Ratcliffe represents the 4th District, which consists of the counties directly northeast of Dallas. Here are how some leading political organizations have ranked Ratcliffe based on his four years in Congress.
Since Ratcliffe is nomination for DNI, his views on foreign affairs should be front and center. Ratcliffe scored a zero last year with the National Iranian American Council and has a lifetime rating of zero from the Council on American-Islamic Relations. He also scored a zero for the 115th Congress with Washington Report on Middle East Affairs.
Heritage Action - Lifetime Score: 96, Score for current sesssion: 100
Heritage Action is the political action committee for the Heritage Foundation, the flagship conservative think tank. In Heritage Action's final scorecard for the 114th Congress, Ratcliffe was ranked as the most conservative Texas legislator in Congress and second-most conservative legislator in the country. He tied with Louie Gohmert as the most conservative member from Texas in the 2017-2018 session.
Other Conservative Organizations: Not surprisingly, conservative organizations love Ratcliffe. He has a lifetime score of 100 with Americans for Prosperity, the Kock brothers political action group. The American Conservative Union had him with a lifetime score of 98 percent in 2017.
The Club For Growth, another leading conservative front group, gives Ratcliffe a career score of 94 percent on government spending.
Socially Conservative: The Family Research Council, an ultra-conservative religious organization, gives Ratcliffe a career score of 100 percent. So does the American Family Association, another ultra-conservative group.
Abortion Issues: Ratcliffe is a hardliner on abortion. He has a career rating of 100 percent from the National Right to life Committee, and conversely, a career rating of zero with the Planned Parenthood Action Fund and NARAL Pro-Choice America.
Animal Rights: Ratcliffe has a career rating of zero with the Defenders of Wildlife Action Fund and the Humane Society Legislative Fund.
Environment: Ratcliffe has a Zero lifetime score with the League of Conservation Voters and Environment America, and a rating under five percent for Clean Water Action.
Education: The National Education Association gives Ratcliffe a career rating of Zero.
Guns: Ratcliffe has a career rating of 93 percent with the National Rifle Association. While the NRA hasn’t spent a huge amount on Racliffe, only a few thousand in contributions, it doesn’t really need to, given the makeup of his district.
Business and Consumers: Ratcliffe has been a strong supporter of corporations over the interests of consumers. He has a career rating of 100 percent from the National Federation of Independent Business; conversely, he has a rating of zero from Public Citizen on trade issues.
Immigration: Ratcliffe has a lifetime score of 98 percent with NumbersUSA, and scored 100 percent with the Federation for American Immigration Reform during the 2015 to 16 session.
Civil Rights: NAACP Rankings: 2018 - three percent, 2017 - zero percent, 2015-16 - nine percent
Labor Unions: Ratcliffe has been consistently anti-labor during his time in Congress. His career score with the AFL-CIO is four percent.
LGBTQ Rights: Ratcliffe has a career rating of zero with the Human Rights Campaign.
Social Security/Medicare: The Alliance for Retired Americans gave Ratcliffe a life score of three percent.
Presidential Support: Ratcliffe has supported the Trump administration on its positions 92 percent of the time. Probably one of the reasons Trump wants to hire him.
Follow The Money: Ratcliffe’s fundraising has been about average for a congressman in a relatively safe district, around one million each time.
One interesting trend is his rising reliance on PAC money from big corporations. In his 1994 run, much of his money came from Republican house members and ideology PACs. In his last two races, a majority of the money has come from PACS, and much of it is corporate cash: 53 percent of all his money in 2016 and 56 percent of all his money in 2018 was PAC money.