Perry Tries To Reclaim Ground in Iowa with New Television Ad Buy

  Bookmark and Share  It may not be a good thing but there is no denying that there two critical elements in winning an election——–money and organization.  So far Rick Perry campaign’s has not demonstrated any great organizational skills but he has proven to be a prolific fundraiser and now we are seeing that money go to work. [see the ad below]

While there have been web ads produced and released, few campaigns have actually put those ads on television.  While web ads cost practically nothing to run on the internet, airing those ads on television can become expensive.  But in an attempt to regain some ground and establish momentum in the race for the Republican presidential nomination, Rick Perry has become one of the first G.O.P. candidates to run ads on network TV in Iowa.  Fred Karger was actually the first.

In the thirty second spot, Perry promises to create 2.5 million jobs Rick Perry promises to create at least 2.5 million new jobs.  He punctuates his promise by saying “I know something about that,”  “In Texas we’ve created over 1 million new jobs while the rest of the nation lost over 2 million.”

The commercial spot also taps in to the vote rich issue of domestic energy production as Perry states;

“I’ll eliminate President Obama’s regulations that hurt other sources of domestic energy, like coal and natural gas,” Perry says in the ad. “That will create jobs and reduce our reliance on oil from countries that hate America.”

The spot is a good one and if played enough times and seen by enough receptive Iowa voters, it can help to boost Perry’s image and at least establish a more positive subconscious impression of him in the mind of voters.  What will be interesting to see is if the new Perry television commercial goes unanswered by any or all of his G.O.P. presidential rivals.  Will one of them question Perry’s claims about his record on job creation in Texas, or will they allow his ad to allow Perry to reclaim the strongest argument he had going for him as America’s jobs Governor?

With 10 weeks to go before the Iowa Caucuses are held, the strategies that each campaign hopes to employ in Iowa have to go in to action pretty soon.  Especially since the week to week and a half prior to the Caucus, most voters will be more focussed on the Christmas and New Year’s holidays than on Mitt Romney’s Massachusetts healthcare plan or what was painted on a rock nestled somewhere in the property owned by Perry’s family.

So running relatively early ads in Iowa could be quite important and in Perry’s case it is probably the prudent thing to do.  With his numbers in  Iowa anywhere between 6 and 9 percent, he is currently far back in the field holding on to fourth place, behind Newt Gingrich.   That means Perry has to start to somehow bring his numbers back up so that he has at the chance for a top spot in the Iowa Caucus results.

One thing that I will note here is that Rick Perry is a much better candidate when he is scripted.  In this particular ad, Perry is confident, convincing and sharp.  That is in total contrast to his live, on the stump, off the cuff appearances in which he often speaks in ways that are choppy and halting and cast an impression of awkwardness on unpreparedness on Perry.  Such is the case in his past debate performances and during other occasions where a teleprompter is not available to him.   In other words, good scripted commercials may be the best way for Perry to go.

And that brings us back to the two elements that are critical to any victorious campaign, money and organization.

Perry has the money but he needs to spend it wisely.  That means his campaign needs to determine whether he wants to make a real run for Iowa where if he pulls off a win, will have some momentum going into South Carolina.  Or does he want to just let Iowa fall where it may and focus on winning South Carolina and Florida?

Another alternative is to invest just enough money in Iowa to force his opponents to deplete their own resources in Iowa and avoid an embarrassing showing there, while maintaining a concentrated investment of time and money into South Carolina?

Whatever Perry’s strategy will be, it will have to go in to effect rather quickly.  With 10 weeks to go and only about 8 and half or 9 weeks to really utilize, time is running out.

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Trunkline 2012: Tuesday Tidbits From The Republican Presidential Race – 10/25/11

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Perry puts proposal on the table, Reince Priebus penalizes pushy states, Newt builds a firewall in South Carolina, Mitt gets flack for flipping before he flops on Ohio’s SB2, Barry beats Herman, Joe wants to investigate why reporters ask him questions and Fred Karger wonders about Marcus Bachmann………….all that and more in today’s tales from  the campaigen trail.

Gay Republican presidential candidate Fred Karger, recently passed on a message to White House 2012 that dealt with a White House 2012 post that had a little fun with Karger’s recent “UnDesicion 2012” interview on Comedy Central which ended with a casual reference to Michele Bachmann’s husband Marcus being gay. It came with the following pic and a note that read;

“Marcus and me form the Iowa Straw Poll. he gets you in a bear hug when posing for the pic……..”

When inititally writing the commentary on Karger’s Comdey Central interview, I mistook the program’s host reference to Michele’s husband to mean Michelle Obama. So I thought Fred Karger’s comment “he seems gay to me” referred to President Obama. That would have been a better story. But the he was talking about Marcus Bachmann, who by the way is White House 2012’s biggest loser of the 2012 presidential campaign so far.

Like her, love her, or hate her, you know that living with and being Michele Bachmann’s husband ain’t easy. But now the poor guy’s wife runs for President and what does he get for it? He gets a big closet with his name on it that the whole nation suspects he lives in. At least Marcus can be content with the fact that when it is all over, he won’t have to put up with jokes about him being the First “Lady” if his wife was elected President. That doesn’t seem likely to happen any time soon.

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GOP Presidential Candidate States That Bachmann’s Husband Seems Gay to Him

Bookmark and Share  While few are paying close attention to Fred Karger, the first openly gay Republican to run for President, Fred Karger is going around and giving plenty of attention to the endless number of audiences that he has been chatting it up with in New Hampshire and even Iowa.  Meanwhile there are more than few outlets who don’t mind giving Fred a little bit of the limelight.

Take for instance Comedy Central’s “Undcision 2012″ segement.

They recently sat down with Fred for what proves to an amusing piece.

While much of what Karger says is innocuous, he tends not to be very amusing when he digs in to the man he has been gunning for ever since the primary process began ——-Mitt Romney.

With Karger, competing against Mitt Romney is more personal than anything else.  Karger takes offense to Romney’s Mormon faith, the same people who used their faith to help defeat a gay marriage referendum in California Karger was in the forefront of the battler for.  In some ways, Karger has a legitimate beef with Mormons.  The faith has taken on an anti-gay tone and level of activity that  doesn’t just discriminate against gays and lesbians, it almost seems that it is going out of their way to insure that gays are treated like second class citizens.

If that is the case, they are  quite wrong for such actions.  But much to Karger’s charging, however wrong their actions may be, when compared to some moral standard, it is not illegal.   So as indicated in the brief interview below this post, Karger has taken on the role of the Mormon Church in his own attempt to persecute Mormons.  In some instances, when talking about Mormons, Karger almost sounds as far fetched as Rev. Jeffress, the loony stereotypical fire and brimstone preacher who states that Mormons are suited to run this country.

Like Jeffress, Karger even suggests what Jeffress charges, which is that Mormonism is a cult.  In Karger’s case he claims that Mormons are controlled by their church and tha Mitt Romney is the best example of that.

Personally I am not sure how far Fred Karger can get by trying to combat discrimination and negativity towards by being discriminatory and negative, himself.  Perhaps it is best to make his case, by not practicing that which he preaches is against.  Oddly gays and Mormons have a few things in common.  They are one of the few religions that is fair game when it comes to intolerance for in America.  Romney’s Mormonism is one reason why evangelicals are unwilling to give Romney a chance.  And the same problem exists for homosexuals.  It would almost seem that homosexuals are the last group in society to be taken seriously enough to be represented in the federal government by more than just a handful of gay and lesbian members of Congress.  Perhaps at soome point, they can work to combat the discrimination that both sides are the victims of.

Through it all though, Karger keeps it fun and as seen in the interview below, makes for quite an interesting presidential candidate.  Although I do not know how well his parting chuckle will go over with members of the evangelical community.  Im not sure how joking at the end of the clip,  about Michele Bachmann’s husbanmd seems gay will play out.  I’d love to see a Rasmussen poll on that one.

GOP Candidates: With Friends Like These…..

Bookmark and Share   So, who needs enemies? I said I will look at all the candidates, so today, before I get back to some of the serious contenders let’s look at some of the no-hopers with their hat in the ring. These are candidates who will at best be invisible and at worse do some damage to the credibility of the conservative challenge to Barack Obama.

Listed in alphabetical order, this is the Class List of Fails, so they all get an F.

First to Fred Karger, there is so little to say here. Karger is touted as the first openly gay candidate for the presidency, suggesting in the delusional reinvention of history by the gay community that there have been so many closet candidates up to now. That his orientation means he stands no chance with the vast majority of conservative voters is hardly worth stating, but neither are his economic ideas. He trots out recent orthodoxy, opposing outsourcing and the shift of manufacturing centers out of the country, and says incentives are needed to convince American companies to stay put and invest locally. His slogan on the economy is “Jobs First: We need to keep jobs in America.” He says, “I am a fiscal conservative; I come from a finance background.   I want to work to strengthen our economy.  I believe in the private sector.”  Final soundbite-me, he told Fox News Radio, “Ronald Reagan was the ultimate optimist.  He basically talked us out of the last Recession, and I want to bring that kind of optimism back.”

Teacher’s Report: I’m sorry, but saying you got business experience and paying homage to Ronald Reagan is not going to get you anywhere. It is ideas that are needed, and needed fast!

Next up is Andy Martin, who you may know better as the source of the chain mail and online reports questioning the citizenship of President Obama and the claim that he is a Muslim. He says “Obama plays for keeps. He plays rough, and that’s the only way to beat him, and I’m the only one that is tough enough to do that.” He says he represents “genuine conservative values and a practical, creative approach to solving America’s economic problems.  “Jobs come first; working families are his priority,” he says and he will “stand up FOR Main Street and stand up TO Wall Street.”

Teacher’s Report: Very cute. Sit down Andy, it isn’t going to happen.

Then we have Jimmy McMillan, who is the former mayoral, gubernatorial and senatorial candidate for the Rent Is Too Damn High Party, and formerly a registered Democrat. A Karate expert and Vietnam vet, he tells President Obama, “If you don’t do your job right, I am coming at you!” He also says the rent that is “too damn high” is about to become a national issue.

Teacher’s Report: You can chop him off your list.
Next on the cakewalk is Tom Miller, who advocates a very specific list of economic actions, including not authorizing an increase to the U.S. debt limit, amortizing the estimated $16 trillion deficit over 30 years, and ordering a full audit of the Federal government. He will immediately terminate all bailout and tarp programs and recover the money. Miller believes the National debt is a threat to National security and the status of the U.S. dollar as the world reserve currency. He believes he will “re-empower, once again, the American people with the freedoms that they need to rebuild our economy back into being a producing Nation.” Miller will terminate the Federal minimum wage and support the free market to determine private sector wages. There are lots of specifics on his website, and actually looks the best of this class, however….

Teacher’s Report: Sorry, but it isn’t Miller time.

With a lot less economic detail on offer, Roy Moore’s major claim to fame is to have gone against a ruling of the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals when he refused to take down a display of the Ten Commandments and a monument from the Alabama Supreme Court building. This cost him the state’s chief justice job.

Teacher’s Report: So little information on the economy, he is hardly worth thinking about.

Running on low fuel, Buddy Roemer is the former Louisiana Governor and former Democrat campaigning for finance reforms. He wants to impose a $100 limit on disclosed contributions per individual. At a Tea Party rally, he said the current system is “disastrous, it’s dysfunctional.” Most recently, he served as the founder, CEO, and President of Business First Bank, a small business community bank with approximately $650 million in assets that took no bailout money from the federal government. Two days ago he tweeted “Saturday challenge – Jobs: Stop sending jobs overseas, Small Business Deregulation, energy independence, $100 limit on giving – free to lead.”

Teacher’s Report: Too much former and too little leader, time to bail out Buddy.

Vern Wuensche took tenth place in the 2008 Iowa and New Hampshire primaries by spending only $36,000. In 100 days, he visited over 6,000 local businesses and churches in 242 towns in both states. He believes that business thrive on character. He wants to eliminate the right of public workers to unionize, allow the right to work without being a union member, and, repeal the minimum wage allowing wages to be determined by the free market. He also demands that a cost benefit analysis of any environmental regulation be required.

Teacher’s Report: Vern, you have some sound economic principles, but stop wasting your money.

Somewhat theatrically, Rick Santorum launched his campaign at the Somerset County Courthouse, near the coal mine where his grandfather first worked after arriving in the country from Italy. He contends he embraced Tea Party values before there was a Tea Party. Having sponsored two bills early in his senate career – “Balanced Budget Amendment” and the “Line Item Veto” – to curb the spending of the Federal Government, he says makes him a defender of the tax payer because of his record on the issues. He believes that entitlements are the root of America’s fiscal demise. Santorum says he spearheaded the passage of President Bush’s tax cuts in 2001 and 2003, believing that reducing the tax burden on businesses and individuals is the key to spurring economic growth.  Santorum is a vocal opponent of the Wall Street bailouts and stimulus programs instituted by both President Bush and President Obama.

Teacher’s Report: Santorum believes a lot of things, but few believe he is anything but a big government Republican beating out a tune he doesn’t know the words to.

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Ouch! The GOP Presidential Race Is Already Getting Sharp

Bookmark and Share The race for President may be slow to start but one candidate for the Republican presidential nomination who is not letting any grass grow under his feet is Fred Karger. At this early stage in the still evolving presidential race, Karger has come out punching and he is looking for a knockout. His two most recent victims are Mike Huckabee and Mitt Romney. In a very hard hitting piece for the UKs Guardian, Republican presidential candidate Fred Karger set his sites on the religious rights darling candidate, Mike Huckabee, and outlined reasons why Huckabee is unfit to be President.

In Kargers column, he points out the problem that Huckabee will have with his granting of clemency to a criminal who later went on to kill four police officers, while they were sitting in a diner. This situation is very reminiscent of the Michael Dukakis furlough of Willie Horton, an event that went down in the annals of political campaign history and ultimately played a large part in Dukakis landslide, 1988 defeat. Interestingly Fred Karger was working for the opponent of Mike Dukakis, George Herbert Walker Bush, and he played an instruemental roll in the infamous Willie Horton ad. Now, more than two decades later, Karger sees history repeating itself, but this time against a Republican.

In September of 2010 White House 2012 addressed the very same issue that Karger has written about. In a piece called Huckabees Record Will Haunt Him in 2012, I maintained that the clemency problem facing Huckabee is even worse than it was for Michael Dukakis regarding his furlough program. In it,the I describe how that there are several instances where, as Governor of Arkansas, Huckabee granted clemency to a few criminals who went on to commit greater crimes. There was Wayne DuMond who Huckabee granted clemency to and after he was released, raped and killed two women. But it is clemcy of Maurice Clemmons that will probably hurt Huckabee the most. Clemmons killing of four police officers in Lakewood, Washington is enough to keep Huckabee out of the race. And I maintain that despite Huckabees recent meeting with financial bundlers in New York, the clemency problem that Huckabee will inevitably have to confront, will in fact keep him from running.

In another White House 2012 article entitled Can Republicans Pardon the Pardons, Jsmashmouth articulates similar sentiments but he adds that Tim Pawlenty may also have a problem in this area.

However; in Kargers column, he does not stop at the pardon problems of Huckabee. Karger also attacks Huck for his un-Christian remarks about homosexuals and he calls Huckabee out for casting aspersions and being a bully.

And this week, while Karger is chopping at the reputation of Mike Huckabee, he also took the opportunity to use an MSNBC interview to confirm that Huckabee is not his only target. When asked if his campaign was specifically trying to throw a monkey wrench in to the presidential campaign of Mitt Romney, Karger stated that such a thing is a welcome sidebar note.

Karger was a key player in trying to pass legalized gay marriage in California and the most aggressive opponentof the proposition which would have made it legal was the Mormon Church of Latter Day Saints. As a Mormon himself, Mitt Romney is seen as a leader in the LDS community and as such, it is Kargers hope to influence Mitt Romney to appeal to his religions leaders and put an end to their persecution of homosexuals.

So far, this has been a good week for Karger who is still a relatively unknown candidate and while he may not exactly be making friends, he is making news and in politics. And while some might say that Kargers attacks will be short-lived, I say think again. First of all, Karger is an experienced political strategists and consultant. That means he knows how to get some beneficial mileage out of an argument. And secondly, as a gay man, I can tell you that fellow gay men like Fred Karger can be, excuse the language,…….. relentless bitches. We can teach courses on it. So I would suggest that those who Karger sets his sites on, address the issue he puts on the table or else they will get no rest.

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Republican Fred Karger Becomes the First Official Candidate for President in 2012

Bookmark and Share Unbeknownst to most, Wednesday, March 23rd , 2011, marked the first official day of 2012 presidential campaign. While there is no denying that campaigning for the presidency began in earnest immediately following the 2010 midterm elections, and while a few potential candidates have created exploratory committees, only one person has gone from the exploratory stage, to an actual declaration of their candidacy. That person is Fred Karger.

Of course the name Fred Karger does not bring with it the level of recognition that a Newt Gingrich, Mitt Romney or a Sarah Palin, bring to the table so the media has largely let this hallmark event go unnoticed. Nonetheless, Kargers official filing of his candidacy with the Federal Election Commission makes him the first 2012 presidential aspirant to officially throw his hatin the ring and put his name on the line.

The lack of national name ID that Fred Karger has, certainly makes him unique in a developing field of better known names but what makes Fred even more unique is the fact that after declaring his candidacy with the FEC, he has made history as the nations first openly gay candidate for President in either of the major political Parties. Another thing unique about Fred is the way in which he declared candidacy. While many make such announcements with balloon drops, bands, grandiose backdrops and great flare and pomp and circumstance, Fred subtly dedicated his announcement to the 6 teenagers who took their lives this past fall because they were bullied for who they were.

While Candidate Karger intends to run on a broad range of issues, he is not letting the fact that he is gay go unnoticed. And not just for the novelty of it, but for the opportunity to send a message to anyone who is gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender or queer, that you can do anything you want to do in this country. You can even run for President of the United States.

Fred Karger understands that he will probably have a harder time running for President than any of hismore recognizedopponents. He knows that being both gay and an outsider, he may be written off by some and that he may not be permitted in many of the officials debate. As such, he will fight all the more for his rightful place in the primary and election process, because he understands that his campaigns has a taken on a role that is symbolic of the type of societal sidelining and ostracizing of individuals who do not conform to the box that many segments of so-called mainstream America, fit in to. He understands that like the Tyler Clememtis of the world, he will be made to feel unwelcome and uncomfortable. But he also understands that confronting such sentiments in a very public campaign for the highest officeinthe land, can help set an example for many and offer hope to many others.

In a recent one-on-one interview with White House 2012, Fred told us that he would like to help shape the debate and bring back optimism and hope to al Americans. Today he begun that mission. A mission which is worthy of our attention, even if the mainstream media is not yet willing to give it to him.

White House 2012 will soon be releasing a second part of that exclusive interview with Fred Karger. Part I can be found here.

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White House 2012 Interviews Republican Presidential Candidate Fred Karger

Bookmark and Share While he was campaigning in Florida, White House 2012 had the chance to sit down with one of the most controversial, soon-to-be candidates in the contest for the Republican presidential nomination, Fred Karger. Fred is a possible candidate who is a definite long-shot and still in the exploratory stages of his potential presidential campaign. While few know of him and even fewer know that he may be running, he has been at it now for more than a year and is the first potential 2012 presidential candidate to actually run ads introducing himself to caucus and primary voters in in Iowa and New Hampshire.

Karger is an extraordinarily warm, easy to talk to, knowledgeable gentleman. You sense in him, a man who has not a mean bone in his body, a trait that if ones lack, they haven’t a chance in politics. But Fred Karger is no newcomer to politics. He has over thirty years of experience as a consultant, campaign director, press secretary and other creative and managerial positions in the campaigns of people like Maureen Reagan in a bid for a California U.S. Senate seat, the gubernatorial campaigns of George Deukmejian, and the campaigns of 9 presidential candidates, 3 of which, including that of Ronald Reagan’s and George H.W. Bush’s, were at the senior level. He even was one of the men behind George H. W. Bush’s infamous, 1988 Willie Horton ad campaign. And currently, as he thinks about making his campaign official and going up against people like Mitt Romney, he has made sure to take ownership of a few domain names that may come in handy, such as FlipRomney.com. So as nice as Fred is, he is not naive and can still make his way through the often cutthroat, nasty nature, of the political process.

In addition to Fred’s history with political campaigns, both in front of and behind the scenes, he is also a political activist on issues, especially gay rights issues. In fact, Fred Karger is himself openly gay and he is the first openly gay person to run for the presidential nomination of any major political Party.

Karger’s story is an interesting one and in May, his memoirs are slated to be published in an as of yet untitled book that he promises will be an interesting story of a colorful and emotional life led by a once closeted gay man, in the world of Republican politics.

The fact that Fred is gay is certainly not an advantage for him in a nomination contest that is strongly influenced by the hard right vote of a conservative oriented, Republican Party. Indeed on the day we interviewed Fred, he was actually hoping to be in Iowa, speaking at what was billed as one of the first presidential forums, an event sponsored by the Iowa Faith and Freedom Coalition. But because Fred is gay, the organizer of the forum literally banned Fred from attending. The episode is now before the Federal Election Commission who must look at the status of this group and their actions. Meanwhile, having given it what Fred calls “the old college try”, he optimistically hammers away at an aggressive exploratory campaign that has him crisscrossing the country to advance his cause, a cause which White House 2012 sought to define for its readers.

In this interview with Fred Karger, White House 2012 begins to unravel what that cause is and who Fred Karger is. In this, the first part of a two part series, we learn about everything from his views on the social conservative wing of the Party, to his conflicts as a Republican within his own LGBT (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender) community, and his surprising views of Sarah Palin.

We started off by asking Fred about the type of candidate he intends to be.

WH2012: Your exploratory campaign boasts with pride, the fact that if you enter the race, you will be the first openly gay candidate in either major Party to run for President. So are we to take it that it is your intention to run for President as the “gay Republican”, or is there more to your candidacy and campaign?

Karger: First off, I am still in the official “testing the water” stage. But the fact that I have never been elected to office and that I would be a historic figure in being the first openly gay candidate, to ever run in a major Party for President, makes it more interesting, more newsworthy, and so that is part of it. You know, I am not the “gay candidate” if I do run, but certainly it helps me in many areas and it’s a big part of me and of course my whole story of recently coming out publicly is of note and interest and that will be part of the discussion as well.

WH2012: Most people don’t see the words “Gay” and “Republicans”going together very well. Indeed the Gay community is seen as being almost monolithic in support of Democrats. Why do you break with the vast majority of gays when it comes to your political affiliation?

Karger: Well, you know, I was pretty much born a Republican. Both my parents were Republican. My Dad was a precinct chairman in our suburb and got me involved in Republican politics at an early age, but always from a more centrist, moderate side of the Party. That is just were they were coming from, and their parents. And so you know I grew up in a Party that was much more caring, more inclusive, that was more socially centrist than not and this was back in the 60’s when I first got involved. So I’m not for running anyone out of the Party. I’m for opening up the Party. And when we look at the last election, the exit polls show that over 30% of the gay vote went for Republicans and in 2008 it was 25%. So there are a lot of gay Republicans out there. Some that hold beliefs in smaller government, less government, less taxes, closing our deficit, government efficiency and personal responsibility and such Republican values.

The leadership of the LGBT community is way more progressive, way more democratic and so this is kind of uncomfortable, unusual, for them and so it’s interesting trying to mix the two. But many of them realize the value that I can bring to the table, I’m the only full equality candidate in either Party if I run. So there’s been some great interest there.

WH2012: Well on that note, as you said, the relationship between, and reception you receive, from the LGBT community is interesting. Being a conservative gay Republican myself, I have my own interesting experiences in that area and I would like to know how well the community has embraced you as a Republican candidate, because as you suggested, they themselves are predominantly to the left?

Karger: Well that has been a real challenge. Because the leadership particularly, …..the funders, and the leadership of the organizations, are all pretty democratic, I would say. Although it’s interesting, there was also a split there. You know a lot of the leadership was for Hillary Clinton—-very stridently so. So they kind of reluctantly came around to Obama, so one of the reasons why I could even consider this Anthony, was the fact that there’s a lot of dissatisfaction within our community, with Obama. He was a big disappointment initially and has continued to be. You know his views on gay marriage are evolving, he says. I mean he use to be for it. I told the Huffington Post he’s the only person I have ever heard of whose switched from being for gay marriage, to being against it. It’s usually the opposite way around. And so there’s a lot of disappointment with him and in the two year window in which Democrats controlled the universe, and the two houses and the presidency, very little happened [on gay rights].

It wasn’t even Obama’s doing that Dont Ask-Don’t Tell got repealed during the lame duck session. That was really Harry Reid. So there’s plenty of disappointment with him [President Obama] so I’ve got a job to do to get them excited about me because the Republican Party has historically been the gay bashers. I did a chronology of the events that took place in California, where all the anti-gay measures came from Republicans ……they’re from John Briggs and John Schmitz and Pete Knight, and it’s all the Republicans that have done this.And I understand that I am somewhat tarnished by their name but I want to change things. I want to bring the Republican Party back to where it was the one with a heart and looking out for people and particularly one that is a leader in civil rights as it was for many generations.

WH2012: Well that is a good segue in to this next question which comes from one of our White House 2012 writers, Friday. He states and then ask the following; Many Republican voters consider family values and social conservatism to be a top priority for them. They have few allies on the left. If you run for President, will you be running against the social conservatives in the Republican party? Or will you be able to advocate for this significant segment of the party?

Karger: Well …..I like to look at things that people have in common, first. And as I approached Steve Scheffler of the Iowa Chrsitian Coalition Alliance, who said some terrible things to me and left me out of his forum which is tonight you know I want to meet with him. I am sure there are area we share in common. More than we disagree on. And you know, you’re never not going to disagree with anyone …..your spouse, or certainly candidates you’re going to support, they’ll be differences. So I want to put faith on the LGTB community for a lot of social conservatives who figure someone like me doesn’t exist, who has worked in the trenches for Ronald Reagan, Gerald Ford, George H.W. Bush and happens to be gay. And I’ll tell you it was very difficult for me, for 35 years in politics, to keep that part of me secret. It was a miserable existence. And to be able to be open and honest about myself now and I am hitting bumps in the road where I get excluded from things that I would not have been excluded from had I not come out of the closet, it’s difficult but it’s the way I have to live my life. It is something we are seeing social conservatives getting used to. We are seeing people coming out even in the best of families like the Cheney’s where you’ve got two very conservative parents but they love their gay daughter and they embrace her and her partner and their two grandchildren. So I hope to bring the dialogue up to a much higher level. I am trying to show that certain people who are bigoted in their beliefs, I don’t think should be involved in that type of belief. I think that’s outdated. I think we’re in a new millennium and I think the Republican Party should embrace everybody. And I hope to help persuade people to do that.

WH2012: Well it is my sense that with the rise of the TEA Party movement and Republican frustrations with government, there is a conservative constitutional movement of sorts which has more people saying, “you know what, the gay issue and ones personal life are not things that limited constitutional government should be involved in. What’s your sense?

Karger: Absolutely. Yeah, we’re seeing it in states where they are electing TEA Party candidates who are more interested in the deficit, the economy, and taxes and less on the social issues. And hurray for that. We should be working to grow our numbers, not to attack people and dissuade them from being Republicans. I worked closely with Lee Attwater under Ronald Reagan and he worked at bringing people in to the Party. He was a conservative South Carolinian but he realized if you’re a minority Party, you have to build a big tent and welcome everybody in to the Party.

WH2012: This next question comes from JSmashouth, another White House 2012 contributing author. He asks , what do you feel is the #1 issue going into the primary season?

Karger: Well, the number one issue is certainly jobs and the economy. We’re in a difficult position. With all the turmoil in the Middle East now and the uncertainties with our oil supply, it’s going to be even worse. President Obama has gotten an “F” in that. Here’s a guy whose credit reportbefore he was elected President,……… I’d love to see his credit report ……….. Here’s a guy who couldn’t even rent a car in Chicago before the Democratic convention in 2000.He had to go to2 different car rental desks and2 turned him down. That’s the only story I have ever heard about his abysmal credit. So we put him in charge of the largest economy in the world at one of the worst economic times, and he committed himself to nothing but the economy the first 2 years he was in office. Well, that was nothing but a broken promise that he spent two weeks on to pass the stimulus bill and then went on to other things like the healthcare bill which we can’t afford. So I want to weigh in that. I want to weigh in particularly on outsourcing. We are sending so many of our jobs to other sections of the world, which is wonderful for these developing countries but we need to keep our jobs here. And I am sick and tired of getting on the phone and speaking to someone who can’t handle the specific situation I am calling about, in India or Pakistan or the Philippines. It’s frustrating because I know who I am talking to has an American job that is gone. So we need to come up with something that is an incentive for companies to keep jobs here.

WH2012: Since we are on the primary season, let me ask you, aside from yourself, of the potential Republican field that you may be competing against, who do you feel is the biggest threat and frontrunner for the nomination?

Karger: I would say sitting here today, it’s undoubtedly Mitt Romney. I was a big fan of his father who was very prominent in politics when I got involved. It think his son is not quite up to his dad’s level, especially in areas such as his consistency, but certainly he is a very formidable candidate. I mean I have followed him very closely, he has done everything right. He’s got business experience, he’s got fundraising ability, he’s done a tremendous amount of work these past four years supporting candidates all over the country through his political action committee. So it’s his race to lose at this point.

He’s trying to reinvent himself again, he’s trying to look casual but it just looks phony.It’s just not him. He’s more comfortable in a suit or around a boardroom. But they’re trying and they’re trying to reshape his image I think. But he is definitely the strongest candidate.

WH2012: What is your impression of Sarah Palin?

Karger: Well, I met Sarah Palin in Alaska about 16 years ago when she was Mayor of Wasilla.It might have been a little sooner than that,………. running for Lieutenant Governor,…….. and I was just so taken by her then and I still am. I like her. I hope she enters the presidential primary. I think she will really liven up the debate. And I think she brings a lot of value to the Republican Party, has a huge following, and seems a little more open on some of the social issues. I am encouraged by some of her tweets, and I just like her as a person and her husband, and I think she will add great value to the field if she decides to enter and I certainly hope she does.

WH2012: Well I’m glad to hear you say that. Back in early 2008, I along with Adam Brickley, was a part of the draft Palin for Vice President movement before most people knew who she was.

Karger: Oh really? Well she is a very effective spokesperson with a huge following and has handled herself well. She’s had a tough time and people were gunning for her. She’s grown a lot, learned a lot and been in the national spotlight. And you know, it’s interesting, she has everybody else kind of waiting for her decision. She’ s the 800 pound gorilla.

From this first part of the interview, I gathered that Fred Karger is really trying to make a difference more than a name for himself. He has no dreamy eyed expectations but he does have conviction and passion, passion for the issues and the Party he calls home, even if some choose not to welcome him in it. But Fred Karger also realizes that while he may have some differences with his own Party, no group of people can change his commitment to what he sees as his Parties purpose. For Fred that is a Party which embraces all people regardless of their differences, and attempts to resolve those differences instead of ignoring them. That is part of the reason why he is thinking about running for President and trying to make sure that he is heard.

He understands that there are divides within the Party. But he also sees ways to bridge those dividse and move ahead with a small government, low tax, pro-freedom agenda that is represented by the type of conservatism which believessees all peopleas beingcreated equal and deserving of equal treatment.

In part two of this interview, we will learn more about Fred Karger. We will discuss everything from his views on drugs and debt, to whether or not a President Karger would bring with him to the White House, the nation’s first, First Partner.

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