Trunkline 2012: Wednesday’s Word On the Campaign Trail

Bookmark and Share  Today’s Trunkline 2012 election news wrap-up includes headlines about Paul Ryan’s call to actress Stacey dash, Romney’s benchmark lead over Obama, Fred Thompson’s assessment of Mitt Romney’s foreign policy speech, President Obama’s promise to be nasty, voters trusting Romney on the economy more than the President, an Obama staffer helping Obama voters to vote twice in the election, and much more….

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Have Republican’s forgotten the real objective?

Tuesday’s Illinois primary must provide the turning point in the Republican Party presidential race after a month of close primary races and smaller territorial delegate race allocations.

Former Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum has risen unexpectedly to challenge front runner Mitt Romney during this period with some excellent results in Alabama, Mississippi, Missouri, Minnesota and Colorado

Santorum’s surge has been more about the natural divide within the GOP, as opposed to his ability at the stump or as a candidate. It is the natural divide between economic and social conservatives within the party.

Santorum has been stressing his blue-collar roots, but in his speeches he talks less about jobs and more about freedom, less about tax cuts and small-business incentives and more about the cultural differences he has with President Barack Obama. He talks about family and invokes God as the primary force in America success.

The political climate in America has turned toxic over the last two years, with an almost ineffectual government whatever branch you consider, hateful rhetoric from both sides of the political divide, and distinct lack of leadership. Santorum’s rise has been more down to playing on people’s emotion’s and fears, then possessing a clear vision for the country. Gingrich in my humble opinion had the best vision and policies for the country, but lacking the required finance and organisational structure combined with a long Washington career, Santorum saw an opening and aggressively courted the Christian vote who were nervous about Newt Gingrich’s past.

Santorum has also benefitted by not having the baggage of Newt Gingrich, and he hasn’t had a long political career for the Romney campaign to pick apart and use against him. There is no doubt his stable family background and personal story have made him a likable candidate.

So why has Santorum risen so well against Romney despite his organizational and financial advantages? The answer is social issues. Social issues have played well for the Republican Party in winning the popular vote in past presidential elections, and they provide a good comparison when highlighting economic issues.

The ObamaCare mandate and Sandra Fluke controversy surrounding religious institutions, in particular the Catholic Church providing employee insurance for contraceptive services, including abortifacient drugs and sterilization procedures invades most people’s conscience able rights under the First Amendment. Many consider this an attack on religious freedom and unacceptable and a clear breach of their constitutional rights.

This ideological attack on core American values and belief’s, has assisted Santorum’s rise and represented politicking at its worst by the Obama Administration. Social conservatives wanted a champion and they found it in Santorum. Can Santorum win the nomination though? My answer is no!

A Romney-Santorum ticket now presents the most formidable Republican ticket for a November General Election ticket to beat President Obama.

Today’s Illinois primary involves a state more focussed on jobs, economics and results which plays to former Governor Romney’s strengths.  A strong Romney victory tonight in Illinois needs to act as the launch pad for everyone to finally get behind one candidate and that candidate being Mitt Romney. Governor Romney with his non-Washington background, business experience and temperament may not be everyone’s first choice, but he should be everyone’s only choice at this point. This election needs to be more than about party, it must be about the future of the American nation. Romney is a man who can bring the solutions to Washington and not become part of its dysfunctional problem.

The Obama machine has played calculated politics during this entire GOP primary campaign. Aided by the mainstream media, and holding the advantage of the incumbency. They have introduced issues at strategic times to divide the GOP field and do their level best to portray them as a party in disarray, this title usually better reserved for the Democratic Party.

Republican supporters, independent voters and any individual who believes in American core values and economic strength, now need to now throw their support behind Governor Romney should he win in Illinois on Tuesday.

A contested convention is not good for the party and will deny the party the necessary finance needed to mount a serious challenge to President Obama in November. Republican Party supporters need to realise that beating President Obama is not the alternative, it must be the imperative.

The Obama Team have been doing their best to portray the Republican candidates as extreme. This election cannot be about being cool and the environment, this election needs to be about jobs and the economy. This election cannot be about blame and derision; it needs to be about leadership and unification for all. This election needs to be about reinvigorating the American spirit of innovation and entrepreneurship, not creating a society of big government and social dependency.

Any right thinking person will always want to see the President of the United States succeed and nowhere was this more evident globally then when President Obama took office. Sadly, President Obama allowed Nancy Pelosi, Harry Reid and lobbyist’s to consume his presidency and dictate and drive the policy during his term in office. The hopes and dreams of a nation and beyond were not only disappointed, they are now very much at risk.

Romney with his business background, intellect and experience can restore the confidence and hope in the American people, this being, that the individual and not big government can deliver their hopes, dreams and future prosperity.

Romney and the Republican Party need to see the real objective as being defeating President Obama in November. This will not be easy, but good policy and party unity behind Governor Romney is now needed.

In order to win in November, Romney and Santorum need to build a vision that will provide a family orientated, positive and optimistic outlook for the American people. Winning is not about being the other choice, it is about being the clear and obvious choice that America now needs.

It’s “Super Tuesday,” only Romney and Gingrich can emerge to challenge Obama

It is “Super Tuesday” in the GOP race to select the Republican nominee for November’s general election against incumbent President Barack Obama. “Super Tuesday” represents the biggest polling day so far in what has been an intense and sometimes bitter GOP race and will see contests in Ohio, Georgia, Massachusetts, Tennessee, Vermont, Virginia, Oklahoma, Idaho, North Dakota and Alaska. There are 419 of the 1,144 delegates needed to win the party’s nomination up for grabs.

The biggest fight of the day will see current front-runner Mitt Romney, and unexpected rival Rick Santorum battle it out in the State of Ohio. Romney’s new slogan of “more jobs, less debt, smaller government” is part of a broader strategy, to counter Santorum’s appeal for both working-class voters and conservatives. A win for Santorum in Ohio is crucial as his support and lead in the polls is gradually being eaten into by Romney and Newt Gingrich.

Santorum has most to lose of all the candidates going into Super Tuesday, a failure to meet expectations and grind out a significant state victory will only add to the resurgence of conservative rival Gingrich. Gingrich was applauded by many yesterday, for a string of brilliant appearances on the Sunday political shows. A Santorum victory in Ohio, would yet again, turn the race on its head, while he is also aiming for victories in conservative Oklahoma and Tennessee.

Romney has been gaining ground on Santorum in the Ohio polls all week, eliminating a double-digit lead for the former senator from Pennsylvania, with one poll giving Romney the advantage, one gave Santorum the lead and the third showed a virtual tie. Romney is expected to easily win in Vermont and Massachusetts.

Romney’s superior organization and establishment support, combined with his massively funded Super PAC, has enabled him to compete all across the Super Tuesday landscape and potentially pick up more than half of the 419 delegates up for grabs.

In the state of Virginia, only Mitt Romney and Ron Paul made the ballot, as both Santorum and  Gingrich failed to meet the strict state criteria. This contest virtually guarantee’s a Romney victory in the state where he enjoys prominent backing in the shape of notable Republicans Governor Bob McDonnell and House Majority Leader Eric Cantor for the states 46 delegates.

Texas Congressman Ron Paul, who has yet to win a state primary or caucus despite his fanatical ground level support, is finally expected to pick up his first wins in Alaska and North Dakota’s caucuses.

Former House of Representatives Speaker Newt Gingrich, seeking a path to a comeback, leads his home state of Georgia. Gingrich anticipates doing well in Tennessee, Oklahoma and Ohio and intends to carry on in the race, even if he finishes third overall on Super Tuesday, behind former Romney and Santorum. Gingrich hopes a Georgia victory will kick off his Southern Strategy of taking Alabama and Mississippi on March 13 and possibly Kansas, resulting in his third comeback in the GOP race, as the conservative alternative to Romney.

Former Presidential candidate Herman Cain hailed Newt Gingrich’s promise to push the price of a gallon of gas under $2.50 as the new “9-9-9” of the presidential campaign, he said, that gives voters a concrete promise of action. Gingrich has estimated that Americans will see a whopping $16 trillion to $18 trillion in federal tax revenue from the energy explosion, wiping out the national debt in one fell swoop.

I expect Romney to meet his expectations and win Ohio. Santorum will just fall short in Ohio but while he has enjoyed a strong six weeks of momentum, the pendulum is starting to shift away from him. He simply cannot discipline himself on the campaign trail in terms of some of his rhetoric and his constant commentary on social issues is playing into Team Obama’s hands. Santorum has raised his profile and in my view, exceeded expectations in this race so far and I credit him for that. However, if anyone believes he is actually capable of beating President Obama in a general election they are delusional.

I believe Gingrich will exceed expectations by winning Georgia comfortably, but will turn in stronger than expected performances in some of the other states in contention today. Gingrich is the solutions candidate, anybody observing him deliver a master class on topic narrative with the liberal media on Sunday, can’t help but realise, he is the real alternative to Romney.

Santorum’s bid will start to flounder after today, Newt will surge again, and the only matter that remains to be seen is how Romney, will cope on the campaign trail once he comes out from under the “Mittness Protection Programme.”

Newt can win the race still however, it is Romney’s to lose at this point.

Haley Barbour Says Mitt Romney is “Less Conservative than Most Republicans”

 Bookmark and Share  In a recent forum discussing political strategy for Republicans and President Obama in the 2012 presidential election, Mississippi Governor Haley Barbour spoke about the need for the G.O.P. to make the election a referendum on President Obama’s employment and economic policies, while Democrats will have to try to portray the Republican Party as unacceptable or disqualified. Afterward, he answered questions from John Harris of Politico and the audience.

In one of those questions, Barbour was asked why Republicans seemed to be uninspired by the candidacy of  Mitt Romney despite the fact that he seems to be the most electable candidate in the general election, especially among independent voters.

In his response, Governor Barbour began by stating;

“Mitt is less conservative than most Republicans”

He went on to explain that many Republicans remember Ronald Reagan so, in his words;

“they (Republicans) don’t accept the idea that nominating a moderate is the pathway to victory”

Governor Barbour added that there are a lot of soft Republicans and independents who vote Republican and want a more moderate nominee.  He writes it off as a “process you just have to work through.”

Whether Barbour intended it or not, his opening statement will make for a perfect soundbite in a thirty-second commercial spot for any of Romney’s opponents such as Perry, Cain, Santorum, and Gingrich.  Specifically in the South, where Romney will have some of his toughest primary challenges and where Haley Barbour, the Governor of Mississippi has significant influence.  This is particularly the case in the important early, delegate rich primary state of Florida, where Barbour has significant sway.

Barbour who was himself almost candidate for for President, had been endorsed by Ohio Governor John Kasich, eleven days before Barbour decided not run.  After that decision it was said that Barbour was prepared to join with Chris Christie and Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker in endorsing Indiana Governor Mitch Daniels for President.  But Daniels, a close friend of Barbour also declined to run for President.

Who Haley Barbour will endorse for the Republican presidential nomination now, is anyones guess.  For the time being, it would seem that he is remaining neutral.  But is Barbour’s description of Mitt Romney as “less conservative than most Republicans” a sign that Mitt is not on Haley’s short list?

If Mitt Romney hopes to avoid a long, drawn out nomination battle, he will need someone like Haley Barbour behind him.   Barbour’s support could help Romney do well in the South, or at least better than expected.  That is the only way to insure that none of his opponents come out of the Southern contests with enough steam and momentum to compete with Romney in the primaries and caucuses held outside of the South, where Romney should be the strongest.  The question now is, will Haley Barbour be willing to endorse a Republican who “is less conservative than most Republicans” for President?

One thing to consider is this.  If anyone has been listening to the candidates, not just reading the media’s interpretations of the candidates, they will find that Mitt Romney has not taken a single position that would indicate he is less conservative than any of the other candidates running.  It comes down to this  ……….. Is anyone listening and if they are, do they believe what Romney is saying?

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