Tag Archives: Rick Perry

Which Rick Is More Conservative?

Rick Santorum said the following in a radio interview (VIDEO):

“One of the criticisms I make is to what I refer to as more of a Libertarianish right. They have this idea that people should be left alone, be able to do whatever they want to do, government should keep our taxes down and keep our regulations low, that we shouldn’t get involved in the bedroom, we shouldn’t get involved in cultural issues. That is not how traditional conservatives view the world. There is no such society that I’m aware of, where we’ve had radical individualism and that it succeeds as a culture.”

We’ve “never had a society” where low taxes, low regulation, broad personal liberty, and minimal government intrusion “succeeds as a culture”?

Let’s see how “traditional conservatives view the world”:

Barry Goldwater:

I’m frankly sick and tired of the political preachers across this country telling me as a citizen that if I want to be a moral person, I must believe in “A,” “B,” “C” and “D.” Just who do they think they are? And from where do they presume to claim the right to dictate their moral beliefs to me?

Walter Williams:

… liberty refers to the sovereignty of the individual.

Government is necessary, but the only rights we can delegate to government are the ones we possess.

Calvin Coolidge:

Perhaps one of the most important accomplishments of my administration has been minding my own business.

Ronald Reagan:

If you analyze it I believe the very heart and soul of conservatism is libertarianism. (…) The basis of conservatism is a desire for less government interference or less centralized authority or more individual freedom and this is a pretty general description also of what libertarianism is.

Now compare this quote from Rick Perry’s book:

Our citizens are tired of big government raising their taxes and cooking up new ways to micromanage their lives, our citizens are tired of big government killing jobs with their do-gooder policies. In short the people are Fed Up!

Ask yourself this: Which candidate is most likely to leave you alone, get out of the way of business, lower your taxes and “make government as inconsequential as possible”? Which man represents “traditional conservatives” best?

This is yet another on my list of reasons to love Rick Perry.

(Photo credit Pool/Getty Images North America)

Can Rick Perry Still Win?

Tuesday night, Governor Rick Perry announced, after a disappointing showing in the Iowa caucuses, that he was returning to Texas to reevaluate his campaign. Wednesday morning, he tweeted that he was on his way to South Carolina.

The question of the moment for Perry supporters is this: Can Perry still win?

If the behavior of the Romney and Gingrich campaigns is any indication, he certainly can.

Pro-Romney PACs ran a littany of attack ads against Gingrich in Iowa, and it’s likely these ads are partially responsible for Newt’s poor performance there. Gingrich will likely retaliate in kind in New Hampshire and South Carolina.

This gives us the prospect of a mutually-assured-destruction scenario: Romney’s been successful at assailing Gingrich, and Gingrich’s ego demands he respond with an even harsher assault. Gingrich’s legendary ability to draw proverbial blood with his comments will force Romney to escalate in turn (remember, this is the same Romney who tried to physically intimidate Rick Perry [PIC], and often tells other candidates “It’s my turn now” in debates). I predict this escalation will go back-and-forth between Mitt and Newt for quite some time.

Attack ads from both camps could have two effects: 1) Souring primary voters with the negativity of both campaigns; 2) Souring voters on both of their records.

This leaves the door open for a candidate who can distance himself from the schoolyard fighting and, by comparison, ‘look Presidential’. Who could be that candidate?

I think it’s safe to say Jon Huntsman won’t be the nominee at this point. Michele Bachmann has dropped out. Rick Santorum, despite his win in Iowa, doesn’t appear to have the organization or fundraising to last beyond Iowa. And once the closed-primary states start voting, Ron Paul is finished.

By default, it would be Rick Perry.

In order to succeed, Perry needs to rework his campaign. As Erick Erickson pointed out in this post at RedState, Rick’s reboot must include removing the under-performing people in his staff who are handicapping him.

This also means Perry’s people need to be better at disseminating information to pro-Perry bloggers, who make up the backbone of his messaging. This ties in to fundraising, too: the more the Perry message is spread, the more money comes into the campaign. It’s a simple numbers game.

If Rick Perry is the candidate we believe him to be, we’ll soon see a big turnaround in his campaign.

Iowa Caucuses in a “Nut”shell

The giant sucking sound you may be hearing coming from the general direction of the mid-west is the sound of every politician, pundit, reporter and talking head bolting the Hawkeye state like a young boy caught with the farmer’s daughter. After the candidates that ‘cared so much for Iowa’, haul cookies out of the state for places east, we are left to interpret yet another set of baffling caucus numbers, now consistent with the “first in the nation” event. But if this year’s tally doesn’t prove to the world that Iowa has “jumped the shark” politically, nothing will.

After a contest that had more lead changes than a NASCAR race, we get what amounts to a tie between Mitt “please vote for me this time” Romney and Rick “the last un-Romney candidate who hasn’t been shot at” Santorum. Reynolds Wrap spokesman Ron Paul comes in third, followed by a limping Newt Gingrich and three other candidates that just should whip out the hari-kari sword and get it over with.

And what does it all mean in a post-winner take all style of delegate allocation caucus? NADA, ZIP, ZILTCH, ZERO! Did I mention it doesn’t mean diddly??

Here’s what you need to know about Iowa and the campaign season so far, especially if you are a conservative – circular firing squads kill people!

Perfecting the technique that worked oh so well in 2008, Republicans, in their attempts at “vetting” the candidates have once again shot down every viable prospect leaving only whack jobs and moderates who know when to duck. This brand of head-hunting left the dead political bodies of Mike Huckabee, Rudy Giuliani, Mitt Romney and the like strewn along the side of the road to the White House and paved the way for John “back to Mordor with you conservative Hobbits” McCain to fight the man, the myth, the manufactured legend – Barack Obama. Given the sentiments and economic woes of the time, only a conservative could have defeated the “change” machine and anyone who even resembled one was splayed out on the side of the road.

Nary a week into 2012, we have run from the same playbook, thinking this time it will work. Need I remind folks of the famous definition of insanity?

So, here’s what you really need to take from Iowa, what we should do about and what will probably happen:

Santorum & Romney tie, but Romney will win New Hampshire in a wash (Santorum may be a teeny bump, but nothing big) and that will propel him to likely victory in South Carolina. Santorum has NO shot in New Hampshire and will likely split the South Carolina vote with Gingrich, both with lose to Romney. Paul will do well enough in each contest to convince himself to stay in the race, but he will not win ONE state, ever. But for an ego like his, this will be fuel for his third party fire, which will pretty much secure the general election for Obama. Perry, Bachmann and Huntsman are done and should all suspend their candidacies now (looks like Bachmann is doing this as we speak), coalesce around either Gingrich or Santorum, shoot the other candidate and hope the anti-Romney chosen one can prevail.

My prediction: egos won’t let that happen, the conservative vote will again be split, Romney is nominated, Paul runs under the “Tin Foil” Party flag, Obama wins second term, America loses.

I have never been one to proclaim himself as a prognosticator and these are indeed dangerous times to even be in the business, but this isn’t really hard to call.

We made this bed folks! In the name of vetting, we slaughtered every good candidate, thinking we could survive a circular firing squad. In all likelihood, we will reap the harvest – Obama in the White House until 2016 and worse, Obamacare truly getting its meat hooks into the economy, never to be expunged.

There is one last shot: Put Reagan back in his coffin and let him rest in peace. Re-evaluate the living with the realization that NONE of them are Ronaldus Maximus and pick the closest one to him. Restore Reagan’s 11th commandment and immediately push anyone who violates it from this point forward off the political cliff. Bottom line, if your guy can’t win without having to pull down another one of his fellow Republicans, he doesn’t deserve to occupy the office.

We’ve got about a week to do this folks so quit pointing fingers, throwing rocks, put the kool-aid down and take off the tin-foil hats. Vote with conscious and confidence with visions of Reagan’s morning in America dancing in your heads. Only then will this road truly lead to 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue and not to Perdition.

Romney Takes Iowa by 8 Votes

Iowa GOP Caucus Vote Totals: (from CNN politics)

Romney – 30,015 Santorum – 30,007 R.Paul – 26,219 Gingrich – 16,251

Perry – 12,604 Bachmann – 6,073 Huntsman – 745

In the closest primary election in modern America history, Mitt Romney edged Rick Santorum by just 8 votes in Tuesday night’s Iowa GOP caucus vote. Santorum’s surprising surge to a second place finish is a testament to the tireless campaigning that took him to every corner of the state, especially considering that Santorum had only raised $700,000 for his campaign from July – September, a period that saw Mitt Romney raise over $17 million. Ron Paul’s third place showing has to be largely disappointing, considering the amount of money he spent in Iowa. (reported to be $344,00 in Iowa alone) The same could be said of Rick Perry, who plunked down $452,000 for a fifth place finish in Iowa and was last seen heading back to Texas to reassess his campaign.

All told, the GOP candidates spent $1.24 million on Iowa ads leading up to Christmas. Up next is the Jan. 10th New Hampshire primary where Romney is expected to have an easy win due to the fact that he is the former Governor of Massachusetts, which is right next door. Then the candidates will square off in South Carolina on Jan. 21st where the top slot is largely up for grabs in the latest polls, and will be sure to be a hotly contested battle. After South Carolina, the candidates will do battle in the very important swing state of Florida on Jan 31st.

Candidates statements following the Iowa caucus results announcement:

Michelle Bachmann vowed to fight on despite a poor 6th place showing in Iowa, stating, “I believe that I am that true conservative who can and who will defeat Barack Obama in 2012,” she told supporters at her Iowa campaign headquarters. “And over the next few days, just be prepared, the pundits and the press will again try to pick the nominee based on tonight’s results. But there are many more chapters to be written on the path to our party’s nomination and I prefer to let the people of the country decide who will represent us.” She is scheduled to be in South Carolina next without any reported plans of trying to do any serious campaigning in New Hampshire.

Rick Santorum thanked all of his Iowa supporters and finished with the statement, “By standing up and not compromising, by standing up and being bold and leading, leading with that burden and responsibility you have to be first, you have taken the first step to taking back this country,” Santorum’s fund-raising has surged right along with his Iowa support, which has given his campaign a new life, albeit a probably temporary one, as he isn’t expected to do well in N.H.

Rick Perry thanked his supporters and then stated that he was heading back to Texas to reassess his campaign, possibly signaling the end of the Perry campaign for the 2012 GOP presidential nomination.

Newt Gingrich congratulated Rick Santorum on running a great campaign while telling his supporters, “We survived the biggest onslaught in the history of the Iowa primary,” Gingrich said. “I admire how positive [Santorum] was,” the former Speaker added. “I wish I could say that about all the candidates.”
But despite the disappointing finish, Gingrich vowed to stay in the race told supporters and said a “new battle begins” after Iowa. The reported $4 to 5 million dollars in attack ads run by Ron Paul and Mitt Romney against Newt Gingrich in Iowa certainly took it’s toll on the former Speaker of the House.

Mitt Romney, who hadn’t done much campaigning in Iowa until the last few weeks, seemed unfazed by nearly being upset by Santorum in Iowa, stating that he had only had 5 staffers in Iowa this year, as compared to the 52 staffers he had there in his 2008 campaign. That statement would seem to portray that Iowa just isn’t really all that important as far as actually winning the GOP presidential nomination is concerned.( In Romney’s camp)

Ron Paul thanked his supporters for the “fantastic showing” they had at the caucus. (3rd place) He also highlighted some of his campaign platforms for the cheering crowd. “You’re doing this because you believe in something,” Paul said.

Jon Huntsman has also vowed to fight on, and seemed to make a subtle play for some of Rick Perry’s supporters as he stated upon hearing the Perry was reassessing his campaign, “Mary Kaye and I have a tremendous amount of respect and admiration for our friends Rick and Anita Perry. As he returns to Texas, where he implemented the kind of pro-growth policies that our country desperately needs and President Obama failed to deliver, we wish Rick and his family all the best.”

On to New Hampshire, which is located in the Northeastern United States, and consists of a very different type of voters than Iowa.

Three tickets out of Iowa?

Throughout the day, pundits have been proclaiming that there would only be three tickets out of Iowa – the candidates that come in first, second and third in the state’s caucuses.

With 41% of Iowa voters answering that they had not made up their minds yet, election-watchers could be up for a wild ride. Take into account that Iowa is also a partial delegate state which means that the candidates will receive a number of delegates proportional to the number of votes they get, and it begs the question – why only three tickets?

With seven candidates in the race, should we expect that four will be finished once Iowa’s precincts report?

Romney, Santorum and Paul are widely expected to top the results, but Iowa has had surprises before and many in Iowa are still undecided.

Lately, Santorum has been soaring in Iowa polls and Perry has been retaking some of the ground he had lost during the fall debates. Judging by Gingrich’s stellar crash, it would appear that Santorum and Perry are benefiting the most from Newt’s fall.

So who might get the lucky three tickets out of Iowa? Rep. Bachmann says she already has her tickets, Romney isn’t predicting a win, Santorum is hopeful and Paul is hosting some rather large gatherings.

My prediction is that Santorum will pull out a surprise win with Paul close behind.  Romney and Gingrich will be fighting over what the election analysts insist is the crucial 3rd spot – I see Romney winning that spot. The 4th spot will be the actual watermark so there will actually be four tickets out of Iowa – a seat Perry or Gingrich could take.

If Perry takes the 4th spot, Gingrich will likely not have the funding to continue. If Gingrich takes that final seat, Perry might have the funds to continue for a bit, but a projected poor showing in New Hampshire and no chance for delegates in Virginia means it wouldn’t make much difference. That means Huntsman and Bachmann will be left to hitchhike or give up along with either Perry or Gingrich – we are but hours from finding out.

follow the Iowa Caucuses live blog for results and news

Where Do We Stand In Iowa?

Folks, it’s time to break out the crystal ball and predict what will happen in Iowa tomorrow.

(Just kidding.)

While there’s no clear leader in Iowa, Mitt Romney might be considered such, since he has led the polls the most consistently. However, the horse-trading nature of Iowa’s process means that Romney has no guarantee of success. In addition, the politically-attuned Iowa caucusers may reconsider support for him, since Romney recently expressed support for a national VAT tax.

Then there’s Ron Paul. The nature of the Iowa caucuses gives Paul an advantage: 17-year-olds can participate, independents can register Republican the day of the caucus, and active-duty military personnel registered to vote in Iowa but stationed elsewhere can’t participate as absentees. These demographic ‘slivers’ taken together could make a big difference for Paul. On the other hand, Paul’s racist, bigoted, and generally loony newsletters may make him too toxic for good-natured midwesterners.

Rick Santorum has seen a recent surge in polling. Whether this is an aberration or a genuine swing of support to him is anyone’s guess; personally, I’ve stopped giving serious weight to polling, since the frequency with which the results change leads me to believe recent polls are unreliable.

Newt Gingrich has fallen slightly in polling, now in fourth place according to some polls behind Mitt Romney, Ron Paul, and Rick Santorum. If one is to believe the polling (see above), this would indicate that caucusgoers are growing wiser about Mr. Gingrich’s poor Second Amendment record, long history of supporting socialized medicine, admiration of big-government historical figures, and his track record of poor leadership, and have decided to favor a more stable candidate.

And then there’s Rick Perry, ostensibly in fifth place. Rick could have an excellent showing tomorrow, given the nature of the Iowa process: Iowa is a state where second choices count almost as much as first choices. Once a candidate is disqualified in the caucus process, that candidate’s supporters can re-negotiate to back another candidate. Michele Bachmann is likely to be disqualified first; and if the “Santorum surge” is an aberration, and Santorum doesn’t perform well, his supporters and Bachmann’s supporters will most likely end up backing Perry as a second choice, which could push Perry above Gingrich.

As I noted a few days ago, things are changing among Republicans in Iowa, even the generally-accepted support for ethanol subsidies.

Whatever happens tomorrow, one thing is certain: It’s going to be a nail-biter for political junkies.

(Image via Wikipedia.org)

Virginia AG does about face, won't push to change GOP ballot

photo credit: Gage Skidmore

Roanoke, Virginia’s WSLS reported on Sunday night that the state’s Attorney General was reversing course from his Saturday statement in which he pledged to work to get the other GOP candidates onto the Virginia ballot.

Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli announced Sunday night that he has reconsidered and no longer backs emergency legislation that would seek to get additional candidates on the ballot for Virginia’s March 6 Republican primary.

“I obviously feel very strongly that Virginia needs to change its ballot-access requirements for our statewide elections,” Cuccinelli said in a statement.

“However, after working through different scenarios with Republican and Democratic leaders to attempt to make changes in time for the 2012 presidential election, my concern grows that we cannot find a way to make such changes fair to the Romney and Paul campaigns that qualified even with Virginia’s burdensome system.

“A further critical factor that I must consider is that changing the rules midstream is inconsistent with respecting and preserving the rule of law — something I am particularly sensitive to as Virginia’s attorney general.”

Only Mitt Romney and Ron Paul had passed the stiff requirements to appear on Virginia’s primary ballot. The other five candidates have joined together in a suit initiated by Rick Perry in hopes that a legal challenge will allow them to compete for Virginia’s 49 delegate votes.

Without the backing of the Attorney General to perhaps speed the process along, any hopes to see more than two GOP candidates on Virginia’s ballot are fading fast.

GOP Nominees Fail To Make Virginia Ballot

Photograph: Jim Young/Reuters

With the only recourse of calling it a “failed system”, Newt Gingrich failed to make the VA ballot. This was announced by the GOP early Saturday morning. Rick Santorum, Michelle Bachmann, Rick Perry, and Jon Huntsman will be off the ballot also seeing they failed amass the required amount of signatures. As it stands the only nominees to make it are Mitt Romney and Ron Paul.

This could serve a significant blow to Gingrich as the Washington Post reports:

A poll released Wednesday showed Gingrich with a slight lead over Romney among Virginia Republicans in the race for president. The Quinnipiac University poll shows Gingrich at 30 percent and Romney at 25 percent among Republican voters.

The Virginia state election board requires candidates petitioning for inclusion in the primary to file 10,000 signatures from registered voters.This includes 400 from each of Virginia’s 11 congressional districts.

Perry makes serious strategy mistake in Virginia, will miss primary

A probable election error by the Perry campaign has turned into a definite faux pas – Perry is off the primary ballot in Virginia due to his inability to secure the needed number of valid signatures.

From bad debate prep, to questionable advertisements, Perry has been at the helm of a flawed campaign nearly since the beginning. Although having raised millions of dollars, he’s made a mistake that money could easily have fixed. Why did he not have more people on the ground collection twice the number of needed signatures? Why wasn’t his own staff checking the validity of their own signatures and removing the duplicates or obvious fakes.

Rick Perry’s campaign delivered 11,191 signatures to place his name on the ballot – 1,191 more than he needed. That means that a substantial number were invalidated by election officials.

The election tragedy gets worse. According to Virginia state GOP officials Newt Gingrich turned in 800 fewer signatures than Perry which means that it is highly likely that Gingrich’s name will not make the ballot if he has near the same number of invalid signatures.

The deadline to collect and present signatures has passed and only Romney and Paul have enough signatures to see their names on the Virginia ballot – they will be the only two candidates in the Virginia primary.

Virginia is a proportional delegate state meaning that candidates take a fraction of Virginia’s 49 delegates directly proportional to the % of the vote they take in the primary.

With only 475 total delegates up for grabs nationwide, Virginia represents a large portion of the number of delegates needed to win the preliminary election. With Newt and Perry missing out on Virginia, the two horse race may consist of a different two horses than previously thought.

Come On, GOP!

Let’s pause for a moment and assess the GOP frontrunners:

It’s come to light this week that Ron Paul’s newsletter didn’t publish just one possibly racist article, it printed several definitely racist articles. From Mark Mayberry at The Truth About Bills:

The comments below seem to be the most notable:

• “Given the inefficiencies of what DC laughingly calls the criminal justice system, I think we can safely assume that 95 percent of the black males in that city are semi-criminal or entirely criminal.”
• “We are constantly told that it is evil to be afraid of black men, it is hardly irrational.”
• After the Los Angeles riots, one article in a newsletter claimed, “Order was only restored in L.A. when it came time for the blacks to pick up their welfare checks.”
• One referred to Martin Luther King Jr. as “the world-class philanderer who beat up his paramours” and who “seduced underage girls and boys.”

Ron Paul’s response to this revelation is, well, irrelevant. The statements were published, and they’re clearly racially-charged. That should be the last nail in the coffin of Paul’s campaign, but it probably won’t be.

Then there’s Newt Gingrich, whose history of government medicine, gun control, poor leadership, and unabashed admiration for FDR should disqualify him from consideration. Unfortunately, they haven’t.


Thomas Sowell’s “endorsement” of Gingrich this week is pretty standard fodder as far as Newt endorsements go. It can be summarized thus: ‘Newt isn’t a very good guy, but Obama is much worse… and yadda yadda Mitt Romney’. To me, common sense dictates that any candidate who must be endorsed with a disclaimer- such as “I know he’s not a nice guy…” shouldn’t be endorsed at all.

And the endorsements- just like Sowell’s- follow the same unspoken inevitability assumption: There is no candidate other than Newt (well, OK, there’s Mitt), Newt is the inevitable choice, suck it up and vote for him in the primary, and he’ll look good debating Obama. I see no enthusiasm amongst Gingrich supporters, merely acquiescence.

Speaking of Mitt: I think it’s safe to say few of us on the right really want to vote for him. The thrust of the Presidential race so far as been to find the un-Romney, after all. I don’t think I need to say much more than that about him.

Jon Huntsman, Michele Bachmann, and Rick Santorum are barely worth mentioning. Their poll numbers are so consistently low, they’re guaranteed to never earn the nomination.

And then there’s Rick Perry. It is maddening to me that more people aren’t getting behind him! Unlike Gingrich, he’s extremely personable, has no plans to socialize medicine, and has a clean gun rights record. He’s also the ideal ‘not-Romney’. He has an impeccable record of governance in Texas and a sensible immigration plan.

In fact, I don’t think anyone even disputes any of these points.

So what exactly is the barrier to getting behind Perry? If it’s the one dumb video referencing ‘gays in the military, let’s point something out: Although it wasn’t well-stated, the basic point of the ad was to illustrate that not all groups are gaining equality in the law. While one group- the gay community- are gaining legal equality, another group- Christians- are rapidly losing it. Compare this to Gingrich flatly telling the gay community to vote for Obama, and tell me who is less LGBT-friendly.

So again I ask: What is it about Perry- a solid small-government conservative with an impressive record as Governor of Texas (as well-illustrated by “Ace Of Spades” here)-  that makes him less appealling than Mitt Romney or Newt Gingrich or Ron Paul? Anyone?

Come on, GOP! Do we really want a poor candidate like Gingrich or Romney? Or do we want a great candidate with a proven track record of success?

Ai Politics LIVE Tonight! Newt, Perry, Tebow, And Conservative Attitudes Toward Gays

Well, this show is probably going to be controversial.  Tonight, we’ll be talking about Newt Gingrich, Rick Perry, Conservative attitudes toward gay Americans, and if we have time, there might be some “if Tebow was Muslim” discussion.  A family friendly show, if there ever was one.  HUZZAH!

CLICK HERE AT 10pm (East) and 7pm (West) TO HEAR THE SHOW!!!!!!!

The Basis Of Big Government?

Let me ask you, the reader, this question: What motivates a person to believe that a government which controls every aspect of your life, your business, your personal habits, and your body, is a good idea?
To answer the question, let me emphasize the word your. Your life, your business, your habits, your body. We all know that big-government proponents seek to exempt themselves from the same measures intended to restrict you and I.

The evidence of this is legion: Far-left celebrities who preserve their own wealth rather than redistribute it as they would yours; far-left politicians who evade taxes while insisting that you pay more; leftists who keep guns in their homes while seeking to ban you from having them.

This isn’t an attitude exclusive to the left, though. There are some on the right who also maintain this belief. Organizations like FreedomWorks are doing a good job ferreting them out.

So again I ask, why would someone adopt the belief that government should rule you? The answer is obvious: They believe themselves more qualified to make decisions for you than you are. To them, we’re simpletons, unable to make good decisions for ourselves. They see it as their divine obligation to protect us from ourselves.

When choosing a Presidential candidate, ask yourself this: Which of them is most likely to leave you alone? Which one will make government as inconsequential in your life as possible?

Or, which of them believes he’s “the smartest man in the room“?

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