1 Year Ago Today, Paul Ryan Announced He Would Not Run for President

  Bookmark and Share  What a difference a year makes.

About a year ago the G.O.P. seemed to be in an endless and desperate search for a presidential nominee that had many wondering if Republicans would ever be able to find someone they could enthusiastically get behind.   The political world was still a buzz over Michele Bachmann’s victory in the Ames Straw Poll  which resulted in Tim Pawlenty ending his candidacy and withdrawing from the race.  We were also talking about the potential of Texas Governor Rick Perry who announced his candidthe presidential the day before Pawlenty dropped out of it.

Yet many Republicans were still holding out for someone else to surprise us with their candidacy and win us over.  The media’s talking points were that Bachmann was too nuts, Santorum and Cain were too dangerous,  Romney would not be able to overcome his creation of Romneycare, Newt Gingrich was too extreme and undisciplined, Perry was to closely associated to George W. Bush, and the others were just not known or liked enough to be in serious contention.  So many Republicans were looking for a White Knight.  We had urged people like John  Thune and Mike Pence to run but Thune decided to forego the race and Pence decided to run for Governor of Indiana.   Some were urging names like Sarah Palin, Mitch Daniels, Haley Barbour, and Chris Christie to come forward and save the day.  Others, including myself, were urging House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan to run.

Then suddenly exactly one year ago today, Congressman Ryan released the following statement;

“I sincerely appreciate the support from those eager to chart a brighter future for the next generation. While humbled by the encouragement, I have not changed my mind, and therefore I am not seeking our party’s nomination for President. I remain hopeful that our party will nominate a candidate committed to a pro-growth agenda of reform that restores the promise and prosperity of our exceptional nation. I remain grateful to those I serve in Southern Wisconsin for the unique opportunity to advance this effort in Congress.”

Just days before this announcement, word was out that Ryan had been giving a run for President some serious consideration and many fiscal conservatives were buoyed by the prospects.  In one post entitled ” Heavy Hitters Urge Paul Ryan to Run for President“, White House 2012 detailed the high praise being offered for Paul Ryan’s potential candidacy from such political luminaries as Mitch Daniels,  Jeb Bush, Bill Bennett and Scott Walker.  And in that same post I wrote;

“If Paul Ryan were to be our Republican presidential nominee, he will begin a national dialogue that will consist of tough truths and sellable solutions, not bumper sticker slogans and hapless hyperbole. If Paul Ryan runs, the question will not be is he ready to do the job, the question will be is America ready for Paul Ryan. We already know that the guy who currently has the job was not ready for it. But I know Paul Ryan is.”

On this day a year ago, Paul Ryan released an announcement that put an end to all the speculation.  He would not be a candidate for President.  But a year later even though Ryan is not not running for President, his vice presidential candidacy is doing exactly what I indicated his presidential candidacy would do.  He has changed the narrative of this election by getting us away from the dialogue of distractions perpetuated by the left and President Obama, and thanks to his expertise, and credibility on matters of fiscal responsibility, Paul Ryan has gotten us to talk instead about those sellable solutions on the economy that he is now promoting on the campaign trail quite well.

In just one year the road to the White House has seen more twists and turns than  England’s famous Longleat Hedge Maze.  Names like Huntsman, Gingrich, and Bachman have become faded footnotes of a nomination contest that few remember with great detail.  Few recall the promise of the Perry candidacy that petered out within a moment of his momentary memory lapse.  Faded memories of the derailment of the Cain train over unproven sexual harassment charges have left most Americans asking “Herman who?”  And the past’s surpise surge of Santorum which was rolled back by the consolidation of support for the slow but steady momentum of the Romney campaign has people now wondering if the nomination contest was ever really close.  Now, one year ago to the day that Paul Ryan declared he would not be a candidate for President, Mitt Romney has taken that momentum he had in the primaries and increased its pace by getting Paul Ryan to run for Vice President.

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Mike Pence Assesses the Republican Presidential Field

Bookmark and Share Congressman Mike Pence of Indiana was one of those perceived early contenders for the Republican presidential nomination who chose not to run for President and to instead contemplate a run for Governor of the Hoosier State.

Pence is considered a Jack Kemp-like figure. He is a socially conservative, deficit hawk and as one of the few solid members of the House of Representatives who is both a fiscal and social conservative, to be considered as a serious potential presidential candidate. So when Mike Pence opted out of the presidential race, he left a significant portion of the Republican base searching for a candidate, especially movement conservatives. So it is great interest that people would like to know who may endorse for the Republican presidential nomination.

In an interview on Forbes Mallory Factor, Congressman did not endorse anyone but he did state that there were a number of great conservatives running or considering to run and that his hope is to see the field winnowed out and then endorse a candidate who will “embrace a strong defense, limited government, traditional moral values without apology.”

Pence was then asked to give his opinions on everyone from Herman Cain to Donald Trump. Below are some of the assessments he offered. For all of Pence’s critiques of the candidates and potential candidates, see the video link following this post.

Romney; “Mitt Romney is an enormously talented. He served as a Governor, has practical experience, successful in business and I think has a great deal of quality and character that ought to attract the attention of the American people.”

Tim Pawlenty; “I think Tim Pawlenty again, like Mitt Romney, has been a successful governor. He’s got a Midwestern demeanor that I find appealing, he could be conservative but not confrontationally, and I am impressed by his commitment to moral values in his personal life and in his public positions.”

Ron Paul; “a powerful and strident voice for limited government and I have great respect for him.”

Haley Barbour; “Haley Barbour has demonstrated great leadership as a Governor, as a Party leader. He’s an unapologetic conservative and an enormously affable and impressive man.”

Rick Santorum; “Rick Santorum is an accomplished former legislator who strong commitment to family values certainly makes him an important voice in the debate.”

Mitch Daniels; “I think Mitch Daniels is the best Governor in America. He took a moribund state government in Indiana and in six short years, and transformed us into a state that has a Triple A bond rating, one of the few states in America that has a surplus. He did that by making hard choices. And I think that wherever life leads Mitch Daniels, if public service is a part of that, the people will be well served.”

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Will 2012 Ruin 2016?

In 1996, after Democrat President Bill Clinton had embarked on a regime so liberal that he swept Newt Gingrich and Republicans into power in 1994, it seemed for Republicans that it was Bob Dole’s time. However, with Republicans being frowned upon for shutting down the government and Clinton getting credit for reigning in spending, Bob Dole’s clear path became more and more difficult. It didn’t help that a third party candidate was stealing GOP votes or that Dole showed the charisma and enthusiasm of Fred Thompson at 3 in the afternoon.

In 2012 things may not be so different.

Noemie Emery writes in the Washington Examiner that the class of 2012 for Republican candidates may be the weak link in the GOP ascendancy. CPAC showed just how deep a divide exists between the different brands of Republicanism. None of the current field is an across the board favorite, and as I mentioned last week even Mitt Romney scares some conservatives.

Contrasted with the candidates who could be prominent in 2016, the 2012 class seems dull and divisive. As Emery points out, 2016 could see figures who have emerged as highly popular among conservatives and have already proven themselves as leaders. She mentions Marco Rubio. I would add Rand Paul, Scott Walker, Rick Scott, Chris Christie, Allen West, Mike Pence, Jim DeMint, and Paul Ryan to that list.

Each of these politicians have become rock stars among the conservatives in their constituency and are starting to build national respect.

As wide as the 2012 field appears right now, it may end up being the year of lost potential. Many candidates who could have injected the young vibrancy of the conservative resurgence into 2012 have made other commitments. Mike Pence will likely run for governor of Indiana. Chris Christie is staying put in New Jersey. The candidate who best embodies the conservative values that swept into Congress in 2010 also happens to be one of the most divisive among conservatives in Sarah Palin.

So what about Emery’s suggestion that Republicans would be better off losing in 2012? Honestly I don’t think we can afford to lose in 2012. And when I say we can’t afford it, I don’t just mean the Republican party.

 

Thanks to a friend who posted the Emery article at u4prez.com

2012 GOP Contenders Battle For The Christian Vote

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As the clock ticks down to the beginning the race for the Republican presidential nomination in 2012 one thing has become apparent — Iowa has become the number one stop on the list of potential candidates and it’s large base of evangelical conservative voters has become the prize.

History has shown that the Christian wing of the GOP has been an important group for those seeking a primary victory not only in Iowa, but throughout the country. Recent polling has also shown that the early favorites are the candidates that have garnered much of the support of the evangelicals. Former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee, who won in Iowa in 2008, leads the polling there again largely backed by his Christian following. Sarah Palin, the 2008 Republican VP candidate, has also polled near the top as of late and also holds a large following of conservatives who identify themselves as evangelicals. Former MA Governor Mitt Romney, although of the Mormon faith, has been at or near the top of almost every poll due in part to voters who see him as a religious candidate.

A few of the lesser known potential candidates have been on the trail giving speeches intended to define their social conservative/religious stances as well. Former Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty recently spoke at a lecture series in Iowa put on by the socially-conservative group Family Leader and referred to himself as a “devout, but approachable, Christian,” in a speech in which he touted his opposition to abortion rights, same-sex marriage and the recent repeal of the military’s DADT policy.

Former Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum, an avid pro-lifer, has also been traveling frequently to Iowa and is well known for his faith and socially-conservative stances such as opposition to same-sex marriage and pro-family value positions. Santorum recently named a team to head his PAC in Iowa, a signal to some that his announcement is merely a formality.

A recent CNN poll that can be seen in a recent post right here on White House 2012 shows that Mike Huckabee has a small lead over Sarah Palin and Mitt Romney with 21%, 19% and 18% respectively. If Huckabee decides to keep his lucrative media ventures and stay out of the race, the evangelical voters that follow him will be up for grabs. If the CNN poll is anywhere near accurate that could bode well for Palin who should be able to pick up a few of them if she herself decides to give up television and the speech circuit for a presidential bid. If Palin doesn’t run either, with the decision by Mike Pence to sit out already in the bag, the large and powerful Christian wing of the GOP could be up for grabs potentially propelling a lesser known candidate to the forefront in Iowa and the national scene as well.

Time will only tell who is in and who is out but one thing is for certain: The courtship for Iowa’s socially-conservative Christians has begun.

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Santorum’s Social Conservative Stance Could Bring Him The Iowa Victory

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As candidates continue to make stops in the early caucus state of Iowa making speeches at local GOP events and signing books, one thing is apparent – Iowa is an important step for a Presidential contender. More specifically for a Republican presidential hopeful, Iowa’s high percentage of evangelical Christian social conservative voters (60% of caucus voters identify as such). They drove Mike Huckabee to victory in the 2008 caucuses and even Pat Robertson garnered a 2nd place Iowa finish in 1988. As he begins what appears to many to be a run for the 2012 Republican nomination, Former Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum is banking on his strong social conservative background to propel him to victory in the Hawkeye state.

While Huckabee remains the favorite once again in Iowa, Santorum’s past history on social issues shows that he has the ability to draw many of those evangelical Christian voters especially with Indiana Congressman Mike Pence announcing that he will not enter the 2012 fray. As Santorum himself has said, “Never underestimate the power of social issues.”

In 1994, when Santorum was a second-term Pennsylvania congressman seeking a U.S. Senate seat, he took on then President Bill Clinton’s proposed assault gun ban and rode Pennsylvania’s legion of deer hunters, who saw the legislation as an assault on civil liberties, to victory. Only 36, Santorum won by 87,000 votes becoming the first conservative elected to the Senate from Pennsylvania since 1952. Santorum had one of the Senate’s most conservative voting records and was floor manager of the most important legislation of the 1990s and one of the most highly contested social issues: Welfare reform.

Santorum and his wife have a large family of seven children, the youngest of which, Bella, is severely disabled with Trisomy 18, a condition caused by a chromosomal defect that prevents more than 90 percent of its victims from reaching their first birthdays. Being a staunch pro-life advocate the former Senator is dedicated to trying to reform today’s abortion culture that he see’s as being ever to willing to treat lives such as Bella’s as disposable.

There aren’t many candidates willing to touch the abortion issue but Rick Santorum has shown he isn’t going to shy away from the social issues that he feels are important to the future of the country and it may make him THE sleeper candidate heading into the Iowa caucuses where social conservatives decide the outcome.

While most candidates are focused on the countries economic ailments, many social conservative voters may be feeling neglected. Heading into Iowa, Rick Santorum has a good chance of filling the void. With Mike Pence out and Mike Huckabee and Sarah Palin having to make tough decisions to leave lucrative television jobs, Rick Santorum may very well sneak up on America, starting in Iowa.

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Mike Pence’s Email Announcement to Supporters

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Below is the email in which Congressman Mike Pence announced to his supporters that he will not be a candidate for the Republican presidential nomination in 2012Friends and Supporters,

Over the past few months, my family and I have been grateful for the encouragement we have received to consider other opportunities to serve our state and our nation in the years ahead.

We have been especially humbled by the confidence and support of those who believe we should pursue the presidency, but after much deliberation and prayer, we believe our calling is closer to home.

The highest office I will ever hold is husband and father. As a family, we feel led to devote this time in our lives to continuing to serve the people of Indiana in some way.

In the choice between seeking national office and serving Indiana in some capacity, we choose Indiana. We will not seek the Republican nomination for president in 2012.

In every major decision in my life, I have learned to follow my heart, and my heart is in Indiana. Karen and I love this state: the highways and byways, the small towns and courthouse squares, the big cities and corn fields. We love the strong and good people of this state and feel a debt of gratitude to those who have sustained our work with their steadfast support and prayers.

After years of falling behind, Indiana is on the verge of an era of growth and opportunity like no other time in my life. Those of us who serve Indiana in Congress and in the Statehouse have a unique opportunity to advance the interests of Hoosiers. As Governor Daniels has rightly observed, there is important work to be done in Indianapolis and Washington, and it’s time to focus on the task at hand.

In the months ahead, as we attend to our duties in Congress, we will also be traveling across the state to listen and learn about how Hoosiers think we might best contribute in the years ahead. After taking time to listen to Hoosiers, we will make a decision later this year about what role we will seek to play.

Public service requires humility, patience and discipline to pursue what matters most. To save this nation, men and women of integrity and insistent conservative vision must step forward and serve where they can make the most difference. While we may have been able to seek the presidency, we believe our best opportunity to continue to serve the conservative values that brought us to public life is right here in Indiana.

For now, permit us to simply say “thank you.” In the wake of such encouragement, we have often thought to ask, “who am I, Lord, and what is my family, that you have brought me this far?”

Thanks to all those who took time to offer earnest counsel and advice.

Thanks to all who took time to express encouragement from across the state and across the country. And thank you for the prayers of so many faithful friends.Indiana can lead the nation back to fiscal responsibility, reform and strong families.

As we achieve an even better Indiana for our children and grandchildren, we will continue to be a model for a better and stronger America.

Sincerely,

Mike Pence

Columbus, Indiana
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Mike Pence Not Running for President

Bookmark and Share Indiana Congressman Mike Pence is said to be making his announcement regarding a run for President or maybe for Governor of Indiana instead, on Thursday. But today Roll Call reports that the influential conservative Representative is not likely to run for President.

Jerry Alexander, Pences former Political Director told Roll Call

Theres a 100 percent chance that hes not going to announce a run for president,.

The Indianapolis Star is said to be posting Pences decision after 7 p.m. Eastern time.

The decision to not run for President would more than likely mean that Mike Pence will in fact seek to replace outgoing Indiana Governor Mitch Daniels who is term limited. This would follow the logic behind a schedule for the Congressman that has him attending 9 different Lincoln Day dinners for Indiana Republican county organizations.

A decision by Pence to not run for President will mark one of the first moves by a major potential player in the Republican field and have a likely impact on the decisions of several others who are considering a bid for the Republican Presidential nomination. The now unlikely presidential candidacy of Mike Pence also leaves a segment of social conservatives now having to look elsewhere for a champion of values. One of the most interesting questions will be what the supporters of Mike Pence will do.

A recent draft Pence movement by the Americas President Committee, could now shift their support elsewhere. Who that would be is still unclear.

UPDATE:

The Star posted the news early with a letter Pence and his wife Karen sent to supporters.

In the choice between seeking national office and serving Indiana in some capacity, we choose Indiana, Pence wrote. We will not seek the Republican nomination for president in 2012.

Pence said he would decide his next step later this year.

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