Tag Archives: Santorum

Married To The Game March 3rd: The Humdinger

If you have yet to hear the sensation that sweepin’ the nation, Married To The Game, then this is the episode to get you acquainted.  Ai Politics takes aim at everything from “SlutGate” to why the Republican party needs to learn some lessons from Apple.  There’s a tribute to Andrew Breitbart, and Ai discusses accusations thrown at Breitbart in regards to Shirley Sherrod.  There’s even a story in there somewhere about where to find the best snow cones in America. (really)  Married To The Game is the show that espouses conservative values without the spin.  What are you waiting for?  Click play now.

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A Libertarian’s Battle Cry on Super Tuesday

If you are a Libertarian, a Constitutional Republican, or a freedom-lover of any sort, your battle cry on Super Tuesday should be “Anyone but Santo.” The Santo Surge is a threat to personal liberty and to those who believe fervently in the separation of church and state. Not only has Rick Santorum (a notorious earmarker) defended his big government spending habits, these days, he can frequently be found preaching his generations-old positions on gender and sexuality. Such positions should offend any modern-day advocate of less government intrusion in our personal lives.

True, morality is important, and many of us like the idea of our nation’s leader being a religious or spiritual person. But we who prefer self-reliance don’t want government making personal decisions for us. We believe politicians have no place in our bedrooms, in our children’s lunchboxes, or in our doctors’ offices. So long as our decisions aren’t jeopardizing another person’s life, liberty or personal property, the decisions should be left to us, the individuals, and the consequences of those decisions between us and our God.

Santorum has, in recent weeks, proven that his presidency would be his platform. Instead of being called to lead us, he seems to think he’s been called to “save” us – and I don’t mean “save” in the sense of rescuing our economy from the Socialist clutches of Obama. I mean that he seems to want to ensure that we all make “right” decisions in our personal lives so that we can all go to heaven. On paper, this is not so different from Obama, who also wants us to make the “right” decisions, and when we don’t make the decisions he agrees with, he wants to make them for us.

Santorum’s sanctimonious speeches are divisive, when what conservatives need most is to be united. He seems to be on a personal mission to reverse the decades of progress that women and homosexuals have enjoyed, to return women to the kitchens and gays to the closets. How can this sort of leadership possibly be good for our country? How does it even remotely address the real issues we are facing: outrageous jobless numbers, high gas prices, illegal immigration, a crippling deficit, and the possibility of a nuclear Iran?

The Santorum message is a distraction to the mission, which is to get Obama out of the Oval Office as swiftly and decisively as possible. Americans must see a clear rejection of Socialist and Marxist principles. Because of his presence in the race, we are talking about contraception (good grief, wasn’t this decided in the 1950s?) instead of energy independence and meaningful tax reform.

On Super Tuesday, even if one candidate enjoys a massive lead in your state, vote for anyone but Santorum. Make him fight for delegates, and don’t buy the “social conservative” message he’s selling. Voters won’t be mobilized by a discussion on birth control, so don’t fall into the trap the MSM is trying to set. They want Santo to surge, for him to be the focus, because the Democrats know he is NO REAL THREAT to President Obama in a general election.

So stand up against Santorum’s theocratic ideology, because trading one extreme for the other is never a good thing for freedom.

Has Santorum Peaked at Just the Right Time?

Wednesday night’s CNN GOP debate from Arizona was important for a couple of reasons: with the Michigan primary and Super Tuesday just around the corner, this may well be the last primary debate of the season.  Also, this was the first debate after the incredible Santorum surge placed him as a solid frontrunner recently.  There was no doubt that there would be a target painted on the Senator as big as Joe Biden’s suspiciously shiny forehead.  Many viewers tuned in just to see how Santorum would fair as the “main target”.

One thing is for certain – being the frontrunner is a lot harder than being the underdog.  As the underdog, Santorum has been tenacious, steady and impressive.  As the frontrunner Wednesday night he seemed slightly nervous and not nearly as confident.  It was not a terrible performance at all, but next to the always consistent Mitt Romney and the king of debates – Newt Gingrich- Santorum had difficulty finding his rhythm.  Of course, there is Ron Paul to consider as well. Please save your hate mail about how no one takes him seriously, Paul fans.  People do take him seriously and that’s his biggest problem.  Moderator John King ended the debate with the question “What is a common misconception the media makes about you as a candidate”- to which Paul answered, “That I can’t win.” He asserted that everyone keeps saying he can’t win and it’s not true.  I know Ronulans applauded that answer, but it made me think that perhaps everyone keeps saying he can’t win because he isn’t winning! So don’t be offended that I often leave Paul out of the mix.  He isn’t on the radar (yet) as far as actual wins go, so in that respect I don’t count him as a viable candidate.  Please direct all of your hate mail to my editor, Rich Mitchell at Conservativedailynews.com.  He loves it.

The real issue in Wednesday’s debate is whether or not Santorum performed well enough to hold on to his dwindling lead in the Michigan polls. A win over Romney in Romney’s own home state could very well permanently tip the scales of this election. Santorum needed to at least maintain his status as a serious contender.  I don’t know if he did that or not in this debate.  This is what I do know: voters are already experiencing severe primary fatigue.  The ups and downs of this process have been unpredictable and draining, to say the least.  I think at this point, with only 4 men left in the race most people have made up their minds about who they want to win.  I’m not convinced that at this point in the race a good or bad debate performance will spell certain doom for any of the candidates, because I believe  voters are tired of the soundbites and they’ve pretty much made their choices.  Santorum voters will see a decent performance by a guy for whom everyone is lining up to smack around, from every angle lately.  Newt voters will find the usual satisfaction in his stellar debate performance – but on a side note, without the debate platforms Newt isn’t nearly as visible or loud in the general media.  Mitt fans will be pleased with his steady confidence and well-positioned attacks on his new frontrunner adversary.  And Paul fans…well, they are nothing if not loyal. No minds will be changed on his end, no matter how good or bad his debates go.

Clearly Santorum has benefited from surging during this relatively long period between debates.  His strength is in the ground campaign and not as a “frontrunner debater”. The rest between debates has given him time to work his ground strategy and voters haven’t had to see him face the direct attacks from his opponents on a national stage.  Had Santorum been surging any earlier it seems very likely the final 4 might be looking a bit different than it does now.  As it stands, Santorum may have peaked at just the right time. We’ll know soon enough.

Be sure to check in with conservativedailynews.com for all the latest in the primary races and campaigns leading up to Super Tuesday.

 

crossposted at kiradavis.net

Former MSNBC Host Calls Santorum A “Lunatic” And Compares Him To Mussolini

After six years of comparing George W. Bush to Hitler, it looks like the Left has decided to compare Republican politicians to other notorious world leaders.  I can only only imagine that if Newt Gingrich gets the nomination, he might be compared to Genghis Khan.  Here’s Cenk Uygur comparing Rick Santorum to Benito Mussolini.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E8Yb8TJbG_c

While the comparison in the video is definitely “old tone”, it does give preview to something we should expect, if Santorum gets the nomination.  The Left Wing and the mainstream media, both, will find every opportunity to paint the former Senator as Christian zealot, whether it’s fair or not.  President Obama’s defenders would much rather talk about Rick Santorum’s religious beliefs than they would the economy, and you don’t have to be a “lunatic” to believe that.

Huckabee to Obama: You Have United the Republican Party

Friday at CPAC began with a kickoff address by former Arkansas governor and presidential candidate Mike Huckabee. Those of you that felt Huckabee was looking a bit gaunt after his 110–pound weight loss can stop worrying. This year’s model is significantly larger than last year’s, although it does not approach the 300 plus pounds he reached at his peak.

Huckabee initially focused on the Obama administration’s recent decision to force Catholic hospitals to provide contraception and abortion services. “I want to say a great big thank you to President Obama. You have done more than any other person in the Republican field to unite this party. Thank you for doing what none of us has done.”

He went on to say that Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius is his nominee for person of the year. “John F. Kennedy once said that we are all Berliners. Thanks to President Obama, today we are all Catholics.”

Huckabee echoed Thursday’s speakers that characterized the decision not as a question of providing medical services, but as a direct violation of the First Amendment to the Constitution, explaining that when we devalue a life that is unborn, we ultimately devalue a life that is born.

Republicans policies also came in for criticism. Huckabee reminded the packed auditorium that he was one of the few that opposed the TARP bailout in the closing days of the Bush administration. His advice to Republicans was to apologize to America for creating the idea that it’s okay to bail companies out of the consequences of their own bad decisions. “Too big to fail also contains the mindset that some are too small to matter,” he explained.

Huckabee concluded by saying that although he had not endorsed any candidate in this year’s Republican race, voters can be assured that whoever wins the nomination will be more conservative than Obama and deserves their vote in November.

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If you want a mobile Vice Presidential candidate who is not teleprompter dependent and has not expressed strong feelings regarding the very poor, Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell is just your man.

McDonnell startled the audience and the some of the CPAC technical staff when he began walking to and fro across the stage during his Friday morning address. Much of McDonnell’s speech obliquely stressed his Vice Presidential qualifications by running through his resume and focusing on the record of his administration.

A record that includes overcoming the deficit left by outgoing Democrat Gov. and current US Senate candidate Tim Kaine, an unemployment rate two points below the national average and a return to the spending levels of 2007,

McDonnell characterized the Presidential election as a battle to preserve the American Dream. The choice between a vision of Constitutionally limited government and a constantly expanding federal government.

“Today we have a surplus of rhetoric and a deficit of results in the United States,” McDonnell stressed.

His solution is ROC: Results Oriented Conservatives.

In contrast to much of the discussion of illegal immigration, McDonnell reminded that his family came to the US from Ireland. And now, 100 years later, he sits in the governor’s office holding the same position held by Thomas Jefferson.

Which, come to think of it, also applies to the office of Vice President.

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Bookended by sweater vests, Rick Santorum and most of his family followed Bob McDonnell on the CPAC stage. The former Pennsylvania senator elected to stay behind the podium for his speech, which was sound planning. If the entire Santorum family had followed him around the stage it would have looked like the great suburban migration West of the 50’s.

Santorum declared, “Conservatism did not fail our country. Conservatives failed conservatism.” Specifically by adopting the philosophy that winning is more important than staying true to your principles. But that is in the past, for the future Santorum said, “We’ve learned our lesson. We will no longer abandon and apologize for the principles that made this country great.”

Santorum directly addressed the race for the GOP nomination by downplaying the affect of money, of which he has little, and stressing the power of contrasts with Obama. “We aren’t going to win with money. We’re going to win with contrasts, by making Barack Obama and his failed policies the issue in this race.”

Naturally, Santorum believes selecting former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney over him will throw away this advantage. He explained to the audience that Mitt Romney is on the wrong side of Obamacare, carbon cap & trade and Wall Street bailouts. Therefore, with Romney as the nominee the GOP throws away its most powerful issues.

Santorum continued his embrace of the TEA party, although with the family on stage, too it was more of a group hug. “The TEA party is not the wings of the Republican Party, we are the Republican Party.”

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Four years ago Mitt Romney ended his campaign during a speech at the CPAC conference, this year he wants to use a CPAC speech to revive it. After suffering three consecutive primary losses to Rick Santorum, Romney could use a strong rebound speech and potential straw poll victory before an audience filled with many people who are skeptical of his conservatism and commitment to the cause.

Romney described the Obama administration as “last gasp of liberalism’s great failure.” And he urged the participants to “reaffirm what it means to be conservative.”

The bedrock part of that belief involves a reverence for the founding document, “Conservatives aren’t just proud to cling to our guns and religion, we are also proud to cling to our Constitution,” Romney declared to enthusiastic applause.

He also addressed some of the criticisms leveled at him by Rick Santorum and Newt Gingrich. One of the biggest applause lines of the afternoon came when he said he’s been successful in business and he’s not ashamed to say so.

Romney visited his time as Massachusetts governor reminding listeners that he balanced the budget, vetoed 800 bills, cut taxes and he supported the rights of Catholic organizations to arrange adoptions that supported their religious beliefs without interference from state government. He then assured the audience, “I’ve served in government, but I didn’t inhale. I’m still a business guy.”

Romney also assured the audience that his presidency will be pro–life from “Day One.”

During his introduction of Romney, American Conservative Union Chairman Al Cardenas suggested the audience apply his family’s test to each of the presidential candidates before making their decision: Does he share your values, is he competent to lead the greatest nation on earth and is he capable of beating Barack Obama?

It’s a test Mitt Romney hopes this speech will help him pass.

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For Newt Gingrich the presidential campaign is a four–letter word and that word is BOLD. Bold ideas. Bold plans. Bold solutions. Bold politics. And did I say bold?

Newt has plans, too and they are Bold.

“When the conservative movement offers bold solutions, it wins decisively. I want to talk about bold solutions to get America working again.”

He intends for the entire GOP congressional establishment to campaign with him this fall, which will require a large bus and a huge block of rooms on the cruise ship. And in the days between the swearing in of the new Congress and Newt’s Bold presidential oath of office, he has a to–do list for John Boehner and Mitch McConnell. Newt expects both houses to pass bills repealing Obamacare, Sarbanes–Oxley and Dodd–Frank.

So in the first twenty minutes of his new administration he can expunge 40 percent of the late Obama administration. Then Gingrich can really get to work with Bold executive orders: approve the Keystone pipeline, move the US embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem and reinstate the Mexico City policy banning the expenditure of tax dollars for abortions in other countries.

Then he plans to break for lunch.

Gingrich has special scorn for the shadowy “Republican establishment” that is doing its best to undermine his campaign. He explained, “All of you have seen the Wall Street and Republican establishment pile on me, because this campaign is a mortal threat. We intend to change Washington, not accommodate it.”

The former Speaker then used the fringe candidate’s favorite excuse for a failure to build a complete campaign: “We don’t have the money, but we do have a plan.” And when the fall campaign begins it will feature “the paycheck president versus a food stamp president.”

Evidently the plan also includes a larger role for Callista. In contrast to every other presidential candidate at the conference, Newt had Callista make his introduction, which may be his idea for a Bold introduction, filled with Bold anecdotes and Boldly different from all other introductions. But after watching it, note to Newt: don’t use Callista to warm up the crowd.

It’s not Bold — it’s boring.

The Real Number for Republicans

William Way, Jr.

There are some interesting hard numbers developing in the Republican battle for the presidency.

Out of the 2,966,000 ballots cast so far in the primaries and caucuses the Republican candidates ought to be concerned. None of the candidates are showing a propensity to generate sufficient support within the party to be able to beat Obama.

For instance, Mitt Romney is pulling 38.88% of the republican vote. Additionally, he has now lost contests in four states. More precisely Romney has attracted 1,181,857 votes.

Yes, there are a lot of states still in play but the reality is that Mitt’s best showing was only 16,486 votes in New Hampshire, or only 50% showing. Yes, he drew more votes in Florida, but to what end? By outspending his opponents by enormous percentages he garnered only 46% of the vote. To beat Obama he is going to need to convert over 83% of the votes which went to other Republicans. Without that base Mitt Romney cannot defeat Obama.

The numbers are not looking very good for Mitt Romney

What is even more worrisome within the Romney fright night repeat of 2008 is that most of the political insiders have been shouting his name as the inevitable poster child for Republicans against Obama, particularly since his Florida victory. His showing in Minnesota should have been quite strong for the inevitable nominee. Yet, he attracted less than 17% of the vote. Even without campaigning seriously he should have drawn better than third place.

Rick Santorum

To date Rick Santorum has been punishing Romney in four states. Newt won one, and Romney has displayed two victories. Rick Santorum has spent less than than both front men of the political money laundering scam being perpetrated on the public by the “Super Pacs”.

The career ambition chasers in the Republican field simply are not getting the message being delivered by the people. Santorum comes across sincere, authentic and intelligent. Mitt smirks at the people every time he looks in the camera. I have concluded that he has a flagellation problem with all those chicken **** grins he has for the media. Newt is a great guy. He is clearly the smartest man in the room. However, every time he enters the room he has a new idea. America is looking for a candidate with values AND focus. I’m not going to go off on Ron Paul because reasonable people have long ago discarded him as a serious candidate.

Despite what the money diggers in DC say about Romney, the Republican Nomination is now Rick Santorum’s to loose. He has a clear cogent concise message. The people like it, even when Mitt spends millions to tell us to think otherwise.

In America, as nowhere else on Earth, we get the government we deserve. After four years of Obama the hard numbers are suggesting that the people are saying emphatically “We deserve better”.

GOP Florida Debate: Santorum Wins, Moon Colonists Lose

If Republican voters had only Thursday’s GOP debate in Florida on which to base their votes, Rick Santorum would be our next candidate for President of the United States.  In a debate that was considerably more lively than the Brian Williams-hosted NBC snoozefest last week, Santorum came off as passionate, principled and knowledgeable.  CNN’s Wolf Blitzer moderated the debate and was satisfactory as usual.  Clearly Blitz and the CNN higher-ups were anxious to see Newt and Mitt go after each other on stage.  Goodness knows CNN could use the ratings boost.  They got their wish as the two front-runners spent the first 20 minutes of the debate ripping into each other on various issues, including negative ads and bad investments.  It made for good t.v. and Romney was more animatedthan he’s appeared at any other time in this whole process…but while the Speaker and the Governor were going for the respective jugulars a strange thing happened.  Rick Santorum showed up.  He took every opportunity to point out the uselessness of two big government candidates (as he claims they are) arguing about who is more fiscally conservative and highlighted his extensive knowledge on issues of foreign affairs and threats to the safety of Americans.

Don’t get me wrong – each man on stage had his own moment at times.  Any of these candidates would make a better President than the current Blamer-in-Chief and they all gave adequate reasons why that was true.  However, there was something about the way Romney and Gingrich went after each other Thursday night that came off as..well, petty.  Santorum (and Paul, for that matter) seized the opportunity. As both men were distracted arguing against each other, Santorum made his case for why he thinks he is the candidate with the sharpest contrast to Obama, and therefore most suited to run against him in the general elections.  He laid bare Romney’s greatest weakness – Romneycare; and he chastised Newt on his global warming demons.

As usual, Ron Paul ruled the roost on domestic spending and issues of healthcare.  Ron Paul has a supreme understanding of the disaster of socialized medicine.  He is old enough to remember when medical care was affordable to everyone; he remembers the days when you paid your family doctor when you saw him, from your own wallet, and not through a behemoth third party.  Its Paul’s foreign policy strategy that sinks him as a viable candidate. His “let’s just get to know each better and be friends” approach to despots like Castro and Chavez likely did very little to endear him to Florida voters, many of whom have had direct personal experience with the horrors of the Castro regime.

For the record, I see no problem with discussing issues of space and the race to colonize the moon.  Many people seem annoyed by it, and perhaps rightfully so in the face of the enormous fiscal challenges we are currently facing.  However, I see it as an important discussion.  It speaks to the superiority of American ideas and innovation, something our current President has worked very hard to suppress.  When Newt speaks of going to the moon, he is talking about vision, not practicalities.  I see value in that and so I do not discourage such talk.  I do agree that it is a back-burner issue right now.  We have to ensure there IS an America going forward before we can talk about getting America back to the moon.

Hands down, this debate goes to Rick Santorum.  It’s hard to tell if this stellar debate performance will turn into a bump in Florida for Santorum’s campaign; but if Newt and Mitt have done enough damage to each other in that state, Santorum could gain a surprising turnout come Tuesday’s primary vote.  Florida is a winner take all state, so it seems unlikely that Santorum would win outright, but a strong finish could give the Senator some considerable momentum.  All eyes turn to Florida Tuesday night.  Be sure to check in frequently with Conservative Daily News for up to the minute reporting as the polls close and votes are counted.

King Gets Spanked & Mitt Gets Challenged: CNN GOP Debate Recap

With Rick Perry dropping out of the Presidential race mere hours before the next GOP debate, the stage in South Carolina seemed set to deliver at least a few interesting moments.  Viewers did not have to wait long for fireworks.  The first question out of the gate from CNN moderator John King was directed at Newt Gingrich regarding the now infamous pending interview with ex-wife Marianne Gingrich.  Obviously Newt was ready and it is not an understatement to say that Newt excoriated King.  He scolded King like a child, at one point almost yelling at the CNN host, telling him questions like that were irresponsible, distracting and everything that is wrong with the current Presidential campaign process. It was vicious, glorious and the crowd reacted with enormous enthusiasm. I think I even detected a tear in King’s eye.  I could go on but why when Newt said it so well himself. Take a look.

 

As in the last debate there were no new revelations to be made on each of the remaining candidate’s positions.  The real drama in South Carolina revolved around Newt’s surge and how it would affect Romney. With polls showing the two in a near dead heat, Romney seemed to be on the ropes from the start to prove that he is still a front-runner.  He was not up to the task.  This was clearly Romney’s worst show to date.  Gone was his typical confidence and composure as he stuttered through responses on when he would release his tax returns and Romneycare.  Romney produced many cringe-worthy moments during the debate, but none so noticeable as when he actually referred to his own controversial healthcare legislation as ROMNEYCARE!  No doubt Romney will be chastising himself relentlessly over non-alcoholic, decaffeinated beverages for the next two days. Rule number one in politics: you NEVER repeat the meme your enemy has pinned on you. Yikes!  There was blood in the water on that Charleston stage and all three of Romney’s opponents sensed that.  He was attacked more directly than he has been all season and he did not fare well.  The combined onslaught may just turn out to be Romney’s downfall in South Carolina.  This was not his night.

Santorum started off the evening a bit weak but seemed to pick up steam as the debate progressed.  It was clear that this stage was his last stand. He pulled no punches and went after both Newt and Romney with targeted attacks.  Santorum is polling last in South Carolina now with Perry out of the race.  This is most likely his last chance to seize some of that Iowa momentum and make a case that he is the best choice for the nomination.  Santorum worked hard to establish himself as the best conservative alternative to both Romney and Newt.  It will be up to the voters of South Carolina to decide if he accomplished that or not.  Regardless, Santorum let it all hang out.  If he goes down, it won’t be because he didn’t throw everything he had at his opponents.

Ron Paul was…Ron Paul.  What is left to be said about Ron Paul?  Ron Paul hates the Fed.  Ron Paul hates big government.  Ron Paul is passionate about the constitution.  Ron Paul wants to end all wars/conflicts and all involvement in foreign affairs.  Ron Paul wants to pay down the debt by cutting military action.  You may love Ron Paul.  You may hate Ron Paul.  Whatever your opinion of Ron Paul may be, it cannot be denied that Ron Paul is always consistent in all things Ron Paul.  But Ron Paul won’t win.  Because he’s Ron Paul.  Sorry, Ronulans.  Cue the crazy hate mail in 4..3..2..1.

Newt won this debate in the first three minutes, but his Achilles heel has always been his intellectual arrogance and perhaps that arrogance was a bit too pronounced at points.  Some voters may be turned off by that.  Santorum was a close second.  He fought like a man with nothing left to lose. Even if he goes home after Saturday the man deserves major kudos for going from someone who most Americans had never heard of to one of the final four candidates in a particularly bloody GOP primary battle.  He has earned my respect in this process.

Mitt Romney lost this debate if for no other reason than the expectations have been so very high for him for so very long.  It was a lackluster, stilted performance that will be sure to weaken him as the primaries get underway on Saturday.

The big loser of Thursday’s debate was John King and CNN.  I suppose he had to ask the question he did at the top of the show but surely he walked away from that spanking he received from Newt with some very red buttocks.  Tsk, tsk, CNN…you should have known better.  Newt is not perfect, but he is perfectly articulate. He was ready and you weren’t.  Checkmate.

 
crossposted at kiradavis.net

S.C. GOP Debate Recap: No Huntsman & Not-Romney's

Monday night in Myrtle Beach, SC marked the 139th GOP debate in this election cycle. Well, perhaps that number is a bit high, but its close! With the number of debates ticking up month by month, there is virtually nothing new for the candidates to reveal about their platforms or positions.  South Carolina was not a debate to watch for new revelations.  What makes the Myrtle Beach debate so interesting is the fact that now that the field is thinning out, the gloves are coming off.

Huntsman officially bowed out of the race earlier in the day, bringing the number of men on stage down to five.  He wasn’t missed.

It was obvious from the start that Newt was fired up and ready to go after Romney.  He has made it his mission since Iowa to tear down Romney every chance he gets.  Newt is angry about Romney’s Super PAC and he made sure everybody knew it Monday night.  As a matter of fact, it seemed every candidate had finally decided to attack Mitt’s record on stage.  It may be too little too late, but it was almost refreshing to see Mitt being forced to defend himself with nearly every question/comment.  The only way any one else will become the nominee is to attack the front-runner directly.  If Mitt does win, he’ll be attacked like that every day in the generals.  Either way, it’s a win for Republicans to have the former Massachusetts governor challenged relentlessly.  Mitt seemed thrown off his game a bit by all the attention. He stuttered and dodged more than he previously has in any debate. This was clearly Romney’s worst debate performance to date.  That being said, it was still a performance worthy of at least a satisfactory rating from Romney fans.  Not-Romney candidates take note: Mitt is not accustomed to attacks.

I really hate to draw the ire of Paulistinians (as Levin calls them), but he really did seem kookier than normal in South Carolina.  Oh sure, the typical Paul crowd was in attendance, whooping and hollering with every Ron Paul-ism Ron Paul uttered.  But Ron Paul’s Ron Paul act is getting tired, and weird.  He made some vague distinctions between military spending and defense spending, complained at length (again) about useless wars and battle-happy Americans who “can’t wait” to start more wars; then he told the audience that he has more military support than any other candidate on stage. The Ronulans were clearly and typically impressed, but I suspect Paul did nothing to sway anyone else.

And what was up with Juan Williams? Did he just use the list of questions Stephanopolous rejected from the last debate? Williams spent a good amount of his moderating time race-baiting and giving typical left-wing talking points in the form of questions.  Diane Sawyer was proud, I’m sure.  We may hear a bit about Santorum regarding this tomorrow. He did step in it a bit when talking about the issues of letting felons vote and how it affects African-Americans.  His point was salient, but no doubt Media Matters and Rachael Maddow will have lots of fun with the old “conservatives are racist bastards” meme for the rest of the week.

Perry continues to turn in strong debate performances. He’s sunk a lot of capital into South Carolina and this could be his last stand. If Perry doesn’t poll well here, its questionable as to whether or not he stays in the race after this.  Perry was up to the task and took every chance to paint himself as the last “outsider” candidate – pro military, pro capitalism, pro small government, anti-Obama.  I’ve noticed the quality of Perry’s debate performances has increased as the height of his shirt collar has decreased.  Coincidence?

Santorum looked very confident and perhaps tied Newt as the winner of this debate.  He stumbled a bit, but only a bit and he received big applause for direct and strong attacks on Mitt Romney.  It is obvious Santorum is ramping up and with the news that he may have won Iowa after all, it is no wonder.  It was a good night for Santorum supporters, but the question remains: did he convince any new voters to lend him their support?

The primary train rolls on, considerably lighter but also much faster.  Tuesday’s primary vote in South Carolina will only bring the race into sharper focus. The process is tiring, but we are getting closer to the endgame. I’ll be honest, though  – the first man who promises to rid America of Flo from those damn insurance commercials gets my vote.

 

crossposted to kiradavis.net

NBC is Run By Heathens: GOP Sunday Morning Debate Recap

Two Republican debates within 12 hours of each other are enough to make even the biggest political junkie fatigued.  Sunday morning saw the follow up to the Saturday night ABC debate (Worst. Debate. Ever.) hosted by NBC and Facebook and moderated by David “Why are all Republicans racist, capitalist pigs” Gregory.  Apparently the heathens at NBC don’t attend church. Surprising? Hardly.

This debate was much, much better than Saturday night’s martini fueled disaster (there was some question as to Sawyer’s sobriety), although that is not due to Gregory’s moderating, that much is sure.  I won’t delve too much into Gregory’s liberal bias. We all know and understand where he’s coming from.  It is no surprise that all his questions were thinly veiled “gotcha” questions so let’s not waste time on that.  What was surprising is that the candidates seemed much more alert and enthused at this early morning debate than the previous night.  With the possible exception of Jon Huntsman everyone on the stage looked alert and ready to rumble. Huntsman looked quite tired. I can’t blame him. He’s staked everything on a New Hampshire surge and I’m quite sure he spent the better part of the night boning up for this last debate before the primary votes are counted. Huntsman look tired, but he sounded more enthused than in any previous debates I can remember. He even reached out to attack Romney once or twice and clearly David Gregory and NBC want Huntsman to make a splash in New Hampshire. He is in last place in every poll but was offered more time screen time than most of the other candidates and certainly more than he’s received in debates thus far.

The real surprise this morning was Rick Perry. Saturday night he looked good, but Sunday morning he looked great. Perry is obviously staking his ground as the last “outsider” in the field and it seems to have reenergized him.  He refused to be sucked into the gotcha questions and succinctly expressed his opinion that big government and socialist policies have been destroying America for far to long.  Perry was also the only in the field Sunday morning to consistently remind voters that Obama is a socialist. Mr. Gregory didn’t like that. He offered Perry very few turns to speak.

Rick Santorum was much better than his very decent Saturday night performance. Perhaps his best line came when asked what he would do if his son told him he was gay (insert eye roll here). Santorum responded, “I would love him just as much as I did the second before he told me.” What a dumb question. It made me wonder if the moderator from New Hampshire has any children. As a voter I was most curious to see how he would address the right to work issue, as he had voted against it while in the Senate. He was offered the opportunity and explained that he voted against the legislation in the Senate because Pennsylvania was not a right to work state and he did not wish to give Washington D.C. the power to determine Pennsylvania state law. Its up to the voters to decide if that answer was satisfactory.

While each candidate did take a turn at jabbing Romney, the only one that really went for the throat was Gingrich, predictably. Newt is mad about Romney’s super pac attack ads and he has vowed to take down Romney accordingly.  At this point a Gingrich win seems unlikely, but the remaining candidates will probably owe him a debt of gratitude when this is all over, since no one else is willing to go for Mitt’s jugular.

There was the typical line of questioning about gay rights and gay marriage because as we all know Republican primary voters are very concerned about that. Somewhere along the way two New Hampshire news personalities (I use that term lightly) showed up to self-righteously grill the candidates about why they are such cruel, racist, classist, sexist homophobes.  They fit right in with David Gregory. Why do we let people like this moderate GOP debates? It does little to illuminate the real issues REPUBLICAN voters are concerned with.

Saturday night’s debate was a true and complete disaster.  Sunday morning’s debate was slightly more dignified, but it was the performance of the candidates that elevated it in the end.  Clearly these men are sensing that the final push is on.  Perry seems to have finally awoken and is depending on a very good showing in South Carolina to garner the next GOP surge, which will be bad news for Santorum if he pulls it off.  Tuesday’s primary in New Hampshire will be very telling.  I look forward to putting a fine point on some of these races… but please, no more Sunday morning debates. Especially from the East Coast. Some of us on the Left Coast actually enjoy sleeping past 5:30 a.m. on the weekends.

 

crossposted at kiradavis.net

ABC New Hampshire GOP Debate: Worst. Debate. Ever.

Saturday night’s Republican debate has to go down as one of the worst debates of the year, and maybe even in history.  It was hosted on ABC and moderated by Diane Sawyer, George Stephanopolous and some other dude who disappeared half way through; there was some question as to whether or not Diane Sawyer was actually sober.  Her speech was slightly slurred at times, her eyes not always focused, and in some points it seemed she wasn’t really even paying attention.  Perhaps there was something spoiled in their “pre-game” meal because her colleague, Josh somebody (McElveen, actually) asked one question of the candidates before he disappeared. He wasn’t heard from again for the rest of the broadcast, which mysteriously ended a full 20 minutes early.  It was unclear if that was planned or not, but the end came so abruptly it was jarring. The audio from the mics made each candidate sound like they were broadcasting from outer space and I’m not sure, but I think Sawyer may have forgotten to comb her hair before she hit the stage.  It was all extremely odd.

Apparently George has some insider information that Republicans will be selecting their primary candidate based on gay marriage and contraceptives.  That’s right: birth control.  Georgie grilled Mitt Romney over the issue of states banning contraceptives for minutes!  It was so bizarre even Romney was taken aback by the question…all four times it was asked.  By the last time even the largely subdued audience was booing Steph, and one heckler managed to raise his voice above the boos to chide Steph. I couldn’t make out what he was saying, but if it was anything close to what I was yelling at the television it went something like this: “Contraceptives George? Really? Unemployment is sky high and national debt is at $15 trillion and rising and you’re asking about birth control? Shut up!”…I’ll stop there because it got a little blue after that. My apologies to my Twitter followers.

Gay marriage and birth control may be issues the larger population will want more answers on in the generals, but these are primary elections and it’s the economy, stupid!

The candidates were largely a let down as well – although I can’t tell if it was really them or if the moderator’s questions were so inane that the candidates could do little with them. Santorum was obviously the one to watch Saturday night coming out of Iowa. The first question was directed at him and he got off to a choppy start.  He seemed a bit nervous.  Santorum isn’t used to leading and it showed.  His performance got stronger as the night went on, but it wasn’t as strong as he needed it to be.

This was perhaps Rick Perry’s best debate so far.  Unfortunately he wasn’t given the opportunity to answer a question until 20 minutes into the debate, and he was rarely heard from the whole evening. Could that be why he sounded so much better?  In actuality, Perry had some very solid and stirring points on defense, foreign affairs and energy. If his heart is still in this thing, this could be the point where we see Perry start to gain some momentum. Clearly debates are not his strong suit, but Presidents are not elected on debates alone. Two words – George Bush.

The rest of the field seemed satisfactory, if not boring. Romney was strong but vague as usual and Newt made an applause-worthy point during Stephie’s sexy-time grilling about gay marriage and contraceptives. He pointed out the hypocrisy of forcing Catholic adoption services to close and leave orphans without this vital service because of their beliefs and anti-Christian bigotry. It was a great point that only Newt could have made with such sharpness and confidence.

Ron Paul actually played the race card and it was very strange. This may be the first time I’ve ever noticed Ron Paul responding to his media coverage. He’s been having a few issues with old racist newsletters he published (but did not personally write) many years ago and it was obvious he was sensitive to that.  I think Paul’s surge is over, despite ABC’s best effort by giving him more screen time than any other candidate. Will he go third party?

Jon Huntsman was there. Skipping Iowa, he seems to have put all his eggs in the New Hampshire basket; but if he was hoping this debate would give him the chance to surge I suspect he and his supporters will be disappointed. Huntsman seems like a nice man and he’d probably be a whole lot better of a President than Obama, but he’s not a serious candidate at this point.

Besides a couple of chuckles and one or two applause lines no one stood out Saturday night. No one stepped out to claim his right to the Presidency with boldness. The losers of this debate were clearly ABC, Stephanopolous and Diane Sawyer.  I was on Twitter and Facebook through the entire debate and the general consensus seemed to be that Diane was drunk and George was stupid. Why do Republicans let former Clinton operatives and liberal journalists who hate us all run these things? Its ridiculous. Saturday night must surely go down as the Worst Debate Ever. My professional conclusion? ABC sucks. Worst debate ever. Oh, did I say that already? Sorry.

Worst Debate Ever.

 

crossposted at kiradavis.net

What Iowa Really Means for Mitt Romney

The whole day I have been hearing errant interpretations of what the Romney victory in Iowa means. Some fellow boggers and some of the more well-known pundits have been stress that the eight votes means a whole lot of something. One of the major guys out there even stated those eight votes as “significant, significant” victory for Romney. He was wrong.

Iowa was an absolute disaster for Romney, and Mitt’s persona on the small screen has that written all over it. FOX News and their squad of unfair and off-balanced entertainers have over emphasized Mitt’s presence all day long. The story is about Santorum and ron paul. yet, those two get slim mention. Even the other Texan got better cover by the FOX hounds than Rick Santorum. Why? Because FOX is out to sell airtime and push the entrenched Republican Guard’s agenda (but that is another story for another day).

In Iowa, Mitt Romney received 8 votes more than the clear victor, Rick Santorum. “Wait a minute” you may argue. “Eight votes or a million votes, a win is a win.” What I said was that he got only 8 votes more than the victor. Let me try to explain with an example. Years ago my alma mater was playing a basketball game at home against the Air Force Academy. It was like an NBA team playing with a little league squad. AFA was getting beat-up mercilessly. It seemed like they went for ten minutes straight (that is a long time in basketball) without scoring once. The turnovers were almost routine. Then one of their players caught a break and sank a three pointer from the corner. The stands exploded with cheers. All 20,000 fans in the seats were screaming and shouting, congratulating AFA. Even I was one my feet applauding them.

Here is the point of that tale. My school won the game by a huge margin. But, AFA was the victor. Everyone saw their stamina and determination. We watched the hard work on their part. We weren’t cheering for the underdog, as the media might have claimed. We all were praising, with justification, a valiant effort (using the basics) to the very end. The Air Force Academy stood for something much greater than a simple hash mark in the “win column.” They worked on what they believed. They were the victors over themselves and over the easy way out; griping, complaining, pointing fingers, cheating, throwing elbows, etc.

In Iowa Risk Santorum was the victor! Mitt Romney simply got more points on the board.

The caucuses in Iowa were a disaster for Romney. He was slated to be the heir apparent. He was lazy and mean spirited. Rick Santorum hit the three point corner shot.

Romney won in 17 counties, by slim margins, Ron Paul won in 17 counties. Rick Santorum won in 63 counties. The broad base of support in Iowa is clear. Santorum had it, Romney didn’t. But it goes much deeper than that, much deeper. The final tally shows that Romney actually had less success in 2012 than he did in 2008.

Mitt wanted, spurred on by the deceptive and backroom gambling of Karl Rove, to slam home the idea that he was the next anointed one (replacing Barack Obama). He lied at the outset of the caucuses saying he wouldn’t campaign in Iowa, only to flip-flop again by pouring millions of dollars in hate advertising into the state. As a member of the “Say Anything Party” Romney desperately needed Iowa to demonstrate his inevitability as the Republican candidate. That desperation showed in his coordinated hate mongering. If you watched his speech Tuesday night it was more than obvious how stunned he was, and off balance.

Mitt Romney talks a good game. The rich fat cats in the expensive seats swear he is the man. But, as Iowa demonstrated, they still must share the stadium with those pesky fans. Br. Mitt, talk is cheap, and you couldn’t make the sale. You have bought yourself a corn dog while spilling your coke on your nice dress slacks. Here is some sound advice. Those quality three-pointers from the corner outweigh your foul shots every time. The fans (voters) just chat with each other while you are at the foul line, and pay close attention when a passionate player (Rick Santorum) goes into the corner.

Mitt Romney knows he was iced in Iowa, and he is now panicking about both New Hampshire and South Carolina. His talking empty-head, Karl Rove, may be spouting platitudes, but “panic” is the watch word. Romney must win, and win hugely, in New Hampshire. If he does not than we can all look forward to hearing his “I’m getting behind the Republican nominee” speech.

That’s The Way I See It.

Santorum Surge: Should We All Start Investing in Sweater Vests Now?

I never in my life would have thought I’d be describing the Iowa caucuses as exciting.  Hell, I can’t even say the word “caucus” without having to suppress immature fits of giggles.  It’s just such a funny word.  I have never really taken the Iowa caucuses as seriously as Iowans themselves do.  After all it’s not a real vote and it polls a small cross section of citizens.  I have always felt content to simply tune into the news the next day and find out the winners and losers.  Tuesday was different.

With wall-to-wall press coverage as if it were a real Presidential contest it was hard not to be sucked into the buzz.  Perhaps it was the idea that the field would be thinning a bit with the Iowa results, or the curiosity as to whether or not Ron Paul crowd could propel him to victory there that created such an atmosphere.  Maybe it was all the weirdness surrounding Newt’s surge and fall; whatever it was, Iowa was where all eyes were focused on Tuesday night.

What was widely expected was that Romney would win the caucuses, and Ron Paul might surprise with a win or close finish.   What was certainly not expected was the Rick Santorum -the generic Republican who has seemingly been blending into the background of every GOP debate thus far – would nearly win the caucuses (heehee) and suddenly become a national sensation.

In a race that counted tens of thousands of votes, the winner came down to a difference of merely 8 votes.  Suddenly Rick Santorum went from being a punchline to a real challenger.  Although Mitt Romney eventually came out on top, there is not doubt the real winner was Rick Santorum, who now has a spot in the national limelight for the time being, at least.

But what does all this mean for the months ahead in this primary battle?  Santorum has been branded the “social conservative candidate” and with Bachmann’s exit and Perry’s struggle in the polls, many are wondering if this Iowa “win” will siphon off some of those Bachmann/Perry voters.  I hate to make predictions.  Goodness knows this primary race has already held many more surprises than any of us anticipated.  However it can’t be ignored that Santorum’s Iowa surprise will have consequences for the rest of the race.  Will Santorum suddenly become a Ronald Reagan-type candidate that Republicans across America will suddenly begin to rally around? I doubt that.  Santorum isn’t so much the issue here, but what he represents is the message that conservatives aren’t ready to hand over the nomination to Mitt Romney just yet.  This presidential season is all about the “Not Obama” campaign, and in our own party we are dealing with a “Not Romney” faction that is truly digging their feet in and refusing to concede to the media’s pick for us.

Santorum bet big on Iowa.  He has visited all 99 counties over the last year, repeatedly.  He bet his campaign on the idea that if people could get to know him personally, they would vote for him.  His bet paid off, but can it translate to votes outside of Iowa?  After all, he hasn’t the time or ability to visit every county in America in the next 10 months.  Santorum has received a huge media bump from this win, and that will most certainly translate into dollars, although to what extent remains to be seen.  Also, millions of Americans who had no idea who Rick Santorum was before Tuesday night are now able to associate the face with the name and will be more likely to follow his progress as the primaries move along.  That is publicity that you just can’t buy.  All that bodes well for Santorum to continue his momentum moving into the other primary states.  What won’t be to his advantage is the shelacking he is about to receive from the mainstream media.  Even those on our side have not always been kind to the former PA senator.  At best he has been described by his detractors as a mediocre senator who eventually lost by 18 points to a very liberal Democrat.  He has also supported earmarks and other questionable spending plans and he will most certainly be held to account for those things.  Also, Santorum will most definitely be painted with the same homophobic, racist, sexist brush the media uses to portray all of us conservatives.  He may be riding high today after his almost-victory, but Santorum shouldn’t get too happy. We’ll be hearing the Hitler metaphors inside of a week, bet on that.  How he handles the criticism will be very telling as to whether or not he can turn the Iowa caucuses (snicker) into a victory on a national level.

For Romney, Santorum’s surge means he still has a lot of work to do to win over the Republican base.  Far from being the “lock” he was once predicted to be, Romney can’t seem to poll over 30% and each challenge to his front-runner status has only served to highlight the fact that he is far from wrapping up this nomination, despite the best efforts of the media.

If anything, this Santorum victory serves to remind Republicans that this race is nowhere near over; and while the primary process may be bloody and tiresome at times it is absolutely vital in selecting a credible candidate.  When the process is tampered and toyed with by 3rd party haters and establishment tricks we end up with a John McCain…but when the process is allowed to unfold spontaneously we end up with what we have now – an unpredictable roller coaster.  I wouldn’t have it any other way.

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