FRC Says No Rice Please

In their Monday email, the Family Research Council rained on the Condoleeza Rice parade.  Describing her as a “non-starter”, Tony Perkins said that she is not pro-life, pro-marriage or a strong defender of religious liberty.  Perkins also noted that the Family Research Council would only accept a candidate who was strongly pro-life, not just someone who “checks the ‘pro-life box'”.

Will FRC stop promoting Mitt Romney if he chooses Condoleeza Rice as his VP?  No.  They supported Bush even though Cheney supported gay marriage.  But now is the time to use their leverage as a group representing a large segment of fundamental Christianity and steer Romney towards a more socially conservative choice.

Condi is a great and extremely qualified candidate.  But Romney should carefully consider the promises he has made regarding his VP selection process.  If he is looking to shake the Etch-a-sketch image one of his staffers foolishly gave him, than now is a perfect time to take a principled stand.  On the other hand, Romney may do the calculations and figure he will pick up more independents with Condi than he would lose from his base.

FRC Says Santorum Schooled Cain

Herman Cain has been a rising star of the TEA Party social conservative wing of the Republican party, but that rise may have hit a bump in the road.  Cain’s quick answer to the gay marriage issue was in the debate Monday night was that it was a states’ issue.  That answer is not sitting well with the pro-family Christian grass-roots giant The Family Research Council.

In their Wednesday morning update, titled “Debate and Switch”, the FRC scolded Cain and Ron Paul for not supporting a constitutional amendment banning gay marriage and instead deflecting the issue to the states.

So who does FRC say got that issue right?  Rick Santorum, who explained that a marriage amendment would require 75% of the states to approve.

This leaves the question, will TEA Partiers and social conservatives hold to constitutional principles of the tenth amendment and agree with Cain and Paul on gay marriage?  Or will they see the issue in light of the moral majority and government’s role in promoting the general welfare through promoting the American family?  What do you think?  Leave a comment and let us know which direction you think conservatives will take.

In my opinion, Michelle Bachmann gave a great reply to this that most conservatives can get behind.  Essentially, it is a state issue, unless the courts over rule the people of the states on Federal Constitutional grounds.  Then an amendment is necessary.

Surprising Results in Evangelical Poll

The Barna Group is perhaps the most respected Christian Evangelical research group. That makes their recent poll findings particularly startling when it comes to who Christians might support in 2012.

Perhaps not the results you expected

In a poll of Catholic and Protestant Christians, the candidates with the highest negatives were Sarah Palin and Newt Gingrich. This is especially surprising considering the incredible support these two have put behind traditional family values.

Newt’s unfavorable ratings in the mid 40’s very likely relate to his nagging marital infidelity issues from 16 years ago. While most political bases find such things to be easily forgivable, the Christian base is not so forgiving nor will they defend Newt’s actions. This could make a Christian grass roots support base difficult to build.

Palin’s highest negatives are even more surprising. When it comes to Evangelical Christians, most pundits would consider Palin to have that category wrapped up going into this race. However, this poll is reminiscient of the Family Research Counsel’s straw poll that put Palin behind Romney, Huckabee and Newt Gingrich in a straw poll won by non-contender Mike Pence.

This is not a mainstream media poll and it was not reported by mainstream media. Perhaps the message to Sarah Palin coming from Christians is that whether they agree with her or not, they don’t want her to run. At any rate, without the Christian vote, she does not have a prayer.

Perhaps what I found most surprising was the favorable rating for Mitt Romney. I don’t think anyone was shocked to see Huckabee do well in a poll of Christians. Romney on the other hand struggled to get Evangelicals to vote for him in 2008 due to his liberal history and Mormonism.

My suspicion is that many Christians have resigned themselves to the possibility that they will not be voting for their favorite candidate in 2012, but instead will be voting for the best candidate who can defeat Barack Obama. When this poll is viewed in that light, it makes sense that front runner Mitt Romney would get high ratings; as would Huckabee who Christians love but acknowledge will likely not even run.

George Barna suggests that no matter who the Republican candidate in 2012 might be, they will be “bloody and half-poor” coming out of the primary.

 

 

What do you think? Are you a Christian or values voter? Leave a comment and tell us if you are planning on voting for the candidate who most represents your values, or a candidate who is not Barack Obama but can beat him.

The Neapolitan Party

Early on in this race, we are starting to see a clear breakdown in the Republican party into three distinct flavors. The question will be whether one candidate can unite the party once the others have melted away.

Can Republicans compromise on one flavor?

The social conservatives are known for their stances on family values, morality, and for some, Christianity. They are the candidates that the Family Research Counsel and American Family Association would love to see win. They are openly supportive of the TEA Party movement and are popular among talk radio listeners and Glenn Beck fans. They are big on national security, small government, and spending cuts, but these stances are drowned out by their social values. They are often controversial and pull no punches in attacking the Left. This flavor includes Sarah Palin, Mike Huckabee, Jim DeMint, Herman Cain, Haley Barbour, Rick Perry and Rick Santorum.

Then you have the fiscal conservatives. They are proven businessmen. They have cut costs in government, they have balanced budgets, they have produced growth, and many of them have large personal fortunes. They have made the tough, controversial decisions having to do with the size of government, and they have produced incredible results. However, even though many of them are pro-life, pro-family, and generally socially conservative, this does not come out strongly in their campaigns. They are willing to work across the aisle, and sometimes alienate their own party by doing it. Social conservatives don’t trust them, but they enjoy a closet relationship with the TEA Party movement. They are strong on national security and foreign policy. These candidates include Mitt Romney, Tim Pawlenty, Mitch Daniels, Rudy Giuliani, and Donald Trump.

Finally, there are the libertarians. Although they may live socially conservative lives and oppose things like abortion on a personal and state level, they will die by the principle that such things are beyond the scope of the Federal Government’s regulations. They oppose foreign wars and take a very cynical approach to free trade, the UN, and other foreign entanglements. They oppose the war on drugs and would take a chainsaw to the Federal Government’s authority without hesitation. Secretly, many conservatives love them, but most would not actually vote for them. These include Ron Paul and Gary Johnson.

And then there is Newt Gingrich. Newt can be credited with helping bring about one of our nation’s most prosperous times as he worked both across the aisle and strongly against a Clinton administration to balance the budget.

Newt can win the general. Can he win the primary?

Newt also is a dedicated social conservative, who despite his own personal family issues from a decade ago is a strong advocate for socially conservative issues. Newt also advocates for limited government, but certainly not anywhere to the extent that Ron Paul does. Gingrich is smart on foreign policy and thinks outside of the box.

His American Solutions website and conservative crusade starting from when he was considering a presidential run in 2007 have helped to codify and establish the conservative brand going into 2012. He has been a strong TEA Party ally without appearing to be a one dimensional TEA Party candidate.

Could Newt be the candidate who can unite enough of the Republican Neapolitan breakdown to win in 2012? He could certainly defeat Obama in a debate and would have a strong showing in a general election. The question is if he can get enough of the social conservative, fiscal conservative and libertarian Republicans to abandon their favorite in order to unite behind him in the primary.

Romney’s best hope: a wide field

After winning the New Hampshire straw poll and coming in first in current polling of 2012 primary hopefuls, someone might think that Mitt Romney is on his way to represent the Republican party in 2012. They could be wrong.

Mitt was a top contender in 2008. His message of fiscal conservatism and business smarts made many Republicans wish the primary had turned out differently towards the later half of 2008 when the economy was in the tank, gas prices were at $4 a gallon, and every other campaign ad had video of John McCain announcing that the economy was not his strong suit.

Now, with the economy in nearly the same condition two years later, Romney’s poll numbers shouldn’t be a shock. In fact, he has led the Republican field for much of 2010 and would beat Obama in 2012 according to more than one 2010 poll.

 

New Hampshire shows Romney has found his niche

So why would I think that Romney might not be the Republican contender in 2012? 24% of Republican support will not win in a narrow primary field. Consider Romney’s closest competition in the recent Rasmussen poll: Sarah Palin, Mike Huckabee, and Newt Gingrich. Even his 35% in New Hampshire is ominous with other placing contenders being libertarian right winger Ron Paul, TEA Partiers Pawlenty and Palin, old school conservative Rick Santorum, TEA Party conservative constitutionalists DeMint, Bachmann, and occasional right wing radio host Herman Cain.

Although the entire field in the New Hampshire straw poll is very promising, the candidate who is perhaps closest to Romney’s brand and image would be The Donald, who got 1% of the vote.

If Family Values conservatives and the TEA Party faithful are able to coalesce around one specific candidate, it will not be Romney. In fact, in the Family Research Council straw poll earlier this year, Mike Pence won with Huckabee coming in second. Romney may have easily won in the northeast, but out in Iowa he is polling just behind Huckabee.

As the former governor of Massachusetts, fair or not, Romney has a history. He wasn’t always pro-life. He had his own version of universal healthcare that passed in Massachusetts. Romney has not helped his conservative credentials by avoiding identification with the TEA Party and keeping a low profile in the 2010 wave of conservative electoral victories.

Romney had a strong showing in New Hampshire. But what will happen in the rest of the country when the field narrows? what about when Mike Huckabee drops out of the race, or Sarah Palin? What about Ron Paul, Jim DeMint, or Mike Pence? Will Romney be the fallback choice of their supporters? Or will it be Tim Pawlenty, Newt Gingrich, Haley Barbour or some other conservative who has inserted themselves into the current popular right wing movement in this country? 35% will only get him so far.

Who Wants Palin To Run?

The TEA party loves Sarah Palin.  She can still draw a crowd, and undoubtedly has been instrumental in driving voters to the polls in Republican primaries.  As a result, conservative TEA party Republicans fill races across this country.  Her success continues to fuel talk of a Presidential run among…the leftwing media?

The most recent news outlet to run major speculation on Palin’s Presidential bid is US News and World Report, who took her recent meeting with Republican leaders at the conservative Newsmax.com as a sure sign that she will run.  Along with the story, they ran two slideshows.  One was 10 reasons Palin would be a good President, the other was 10 reasons she would be a bad President.  They are already framing the talking points for us.

Newsmax.com on the other hand ran a story about the meeting headlined: Palin Warns of ‘Armageddon’, ‘Third World War’ In Exclusive Newsmax Broadcast. While many conservatives might agree with her premise, when Palin says the word Armageddon most know she is not speaking figuratively.  It is not exactly the sort of headline a Presidential candidate might have hoped for, especially when the Armageddon reference was only a portion of what she spoke about and was in reference to Iran getting a nuclear weapon.

Palin did speak at length about a Presidential bid and what her Presidency would look like.  So why is US News the excited media outlet here?  It may be that Democrats are counting on a Palin Presidential run, and most conservatives don’t really want it.  Democrats and establishment Republicans have constantly underestimated TEA party candidates, and Dems have seen them as easy targets.  In a year that Obama and his Congress have nothing positive to run on, Obama made a special trip to Delaware, where Christine O’Donnell trails by double digits just to take a few shots at her.  Yes Mr. President, we all acknowledge that you are big and bad compared to O’Donnell, now get back to work.

On the other hand, when Sarah Palin, a devout Protestant Christian, was contending for the Family Research Council’s straw poll at their Values Voter Summit, she did not do well.  FRC is a Protestant, conservative, family values organization.  She should have come in second or third easily.  Instead, she came in fifth behind a Mormon and a divorced and remarried Catholic.

Palin will most likely run, and she will draw crowds with tens of thousands of people.  Out of those crowds, thousands will likely vote for her in the primary.  At this point, I do not see her taking the nomination.

Romney Sticks It To Dems at Values Voters Summit

Mitt Romney, former governor of Massachusetts,...

Former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney

 

Bookmark and Share  At the annual Values Voters Summit in Washington, D.C., Mitt Romney csme out swinging and never stopped.  He opened up with a series of sharp quips that ranged from claiming that “Harry Reid’s, Nancy Pelosi’s and President Obama’s “numbers were going down faster than a Jet Blue flight attendents” to a fitting shot at President Obama’s new love affair with golfing and how “America is better off when he takes advice from caddy rather than his economic advisors.

What Values Voters really got a chance to see and hear though was a glimpse at a more relaxed, more fluid, confidentand hardline Romney than we saw in 2008.

In his speech, Romney called these fiorst two years of the Obama Administration, an abject failure.  He backed the claim up by listing a litany of things done by the Administration which have failed the American people in the area of the economy;

“Raising taxes on small businesses — hurt.  Hiking some taxes on investment by almost as much as 200% — hurt.  Pushing Cap-and-Trade — hurt.  Stalling agreements to expand trade witrh other nations — hurt.  Sharply slanting the playing field in favor of union C.E.O’s — hurt.  Handing GM to the U.A.W. — hurt.  The federal takeover of healthcare — hurt.   Trillions of dollars of new debt — hurt.  And the scapegoating and demonizing of the very people who we need to invest in people and jobs also hurt.” 

Romney added that we have  seen the most “anti-growth, anti-investment, anti-jobs measures in our lifetime.”

One of the most powerful lines caqme when Romney stated;

“We have seen the federal government decalre wars on drugs and we have seen them decalre war on poverty but this is the first time we have seen the federal government decalre war on free enterprise” 

The Romney speech was the work of a man who has seemingly become an experienced butcher and each of his points sliced into the Obama, Pelosi, Reid regime like a machete.  It was alos the work of a man whom you can tell is going to go after President Obama on the economy, which is Romney’s strong suit, unmercifully.

But Romney’s speech before a group of voters more interested in family values than economics, did not foucus only on the economy.  It simply demonstrated Romney’s ability to all the issues together as segued from the economy to human values and morality after pointing out that Barack went from being the man of “yes we can” to the man of “no he didn’t” and mentioned how “the man who said he would unite the country, turned out to be the most divisive in history”.

In general Romney offered a preview of a presidential candidate who is on message and focussed.  He also demonstrated the keen ability to tie his economic experience to the social issues that willmotivate the Republican base that he will need to inspire if he wants to be the Republican nominee for President in 2012. 

Below you will find the entire Romney speech on video.  Take the time to view it for yourself and I believe that you walk away with the sense that Mitt Romney is both hungry and polished.

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