Change? Obama Worse than Bush

The verdict is in, and Barack Obama did not produce the change he promised.  In fact, as he blames all his ills on the last 8 years, it is interesting to compare the Bush years to the Obama years.  Consider the following:

Average Annual Increase in Public Debt (in millions):

Bush: $543,818        Obama: $1,497,601

Total Increase in Public Debt (in millions):

Bush (8 years): $4,217,261   Obama (4 years): $5,990,407

Average Annual Unemployment (Also see here):

Bush: 5.26%                    Obama: 9.2%

Median Household Incomes:

January, 2009: $55,198       August, 2012: $50,678

The Average Annual Price of Gas (not even including 2012):

Bush: $2.14                     Obama: $2.89

Cost of Higher Education (adj. for inflation, not even including 2012):

Bush 2008: $16,661     Obama 2011: $18,497

But isn’t health insurance cheaper now with Obamacare?  No.  In 2012 the amount a family with employer provided coverage pays in annual premiums has increased to about $16,000.  For families with private individual plans, the amount is up to $5,615.  And before you ask why families don’t all just switch to private individual plans, remember that Obamacare taxes medium-large businesses up to $3,000 per employee that they don’t cover.

But we know Obama has handled the economy terribly.  The other thing people elected Obama for was to end the wars.  Obama promised to close Gitmo, which didn’t happen, and to end the war in Iraq.  He ended the war in Iraq by sticking to Bush’s timeline, but that wasn’t the whole story.  Obama intended to continue the war and leave troops in Iraq, but Biden could not negotiate simple immunity for our troops.  Don’t look now, but the Afghanistan war isn’t ending in 2014.  The administration is already negotiating to keep up to 25,000 troops in Afghanistan after 2014.

Let’s look at war by the numbers.

Involvement in Major Foreign Conflicts:

Bush: 2 countries           Obama: 3 countries

Military Spending as % of GDP:

Bush, 2008: 4.4%          Obama, 2011: 4.7%

Average Annual War Spending:

Bush: $99.3 Billion       Obama: $155.1 Billion

Obama boasts of ending the war in Iraq, but how is the peace President doing in Afghanistan?

Average Annual Troop Deaths:

Bush: 606                        Obama: 445

Iraq:  528                         66

Afghanistan: 78              379

But what about Bush’s handling of Katrina?  Surely Obama has done better than that, right?  Former NYC Mayor Guiliani says no.

What about taxes?  Obama boasts about cutting people’s taxes, but most of the tax hikes he passed don’t go into effect until next year.  Obamacare has 20 different tax hikes in it, and many of those affect the poor and the sick.

But Obama saved the auto industry, right?  Actually, the only Detroit major that survived was Ford.  Ford didn’t take Obama’s bailout.  Chrysler did, and is now owned by an Italian company called Fiat.  GM took Obama’s bailout and is now owned by the taxpayers.  This was after Obama spent billions to bailout the unions before letting the two companies go through bankruptcy.  If that’s Obama saving the auto industry, I hope he doesn’t do me any favors.

Add these factors to Benghazi, Fast and Furious, the Black Panther polling case, Solyndra, and the other various scandals and overreaches of the Obama administration, and there is no reason to re-elect Obama.  Except of course if you got an Obama phone and are afraid of losing it.

How Obama Could Still Win:

Several states in play are ties or tossups in the latest polls.  In some, Obama is leading by 3-5%, but 3-5% are either undecided or going third party.  Obama can still win, even with his horrible statistics, if people vote third party or stay home.

I know many out there are voting third party or not voting to protest Romney.  I, like you, am a very libertarian leaning constitutionalist.  I’d love to see us out of the Middle East.  I’d love to see government spending cut in half.  I’d love to see us hold to our 10th amendment.  But Mitt Romney is NOT Barack Obama.

If anything, Mitt Romney is far closer to Reagan.  Despite being hailed as a conservative hero, Reagan is not as conservative as I would have preferred.  In fact, many Ron Paul and Gary Johnson voters would probably not vote for Reagan either.  But Mitt Romney is not the candidate you should be protesting.  You should be protesting Barack Obama.

Consider your goals and which candidate will get us there:

Less involvement in the Middle East: Mitt Romney has a comprehensive energy plan that gets America using its own resources to lower our dependence on OPEC.  Obama spent billions of your tax dollars on green energy companies that went bankrupt, and we are no closer to independence from foreign oil.

Simpler, fairer tax system: Romney’s plan reduces rates in order to remove loopholes and deductions based on the government’s definition of what a good citizen looks like without raising taxes.  Obama’s plan is higher taxes, more redistribution and a more complex tax system designed to pick winners and losers.

Foreign wars: Obama has proven himself to be an interventionalist.  He is not the peace President people hoped for.  He hasn’t closed Gitmo.  He only left Iraq because he was too incompetent to negotiate a way to stay there.  But he is already negotiating to keep 25,000 troops in Afghanistan.  Romney’s approach is to show the kind of strength Reagan did.  What major war did we fight when Reagan was President?  The Cold War, where we sat across the ocean from each other and didn’t pull the trigger for eight years.  Finally, the Soviet Union collapsed under their economic system.

More personal freedom and responsibility: Nothing took us backwards further as a nation than Obamacare.  Obamacare mandates that every American buy private health insurance or pay a tax.  Obamacare takes deciding power away from doctors and patients and gives it to the government.  If you protest Romney, Obamacare is here to stay.  If you vote to protest Obama, we have a shot at repealing this monstrous tax on the sick and the poor.

Does My Vote Count?

If you are thinking of voting third party or not voting because Romney is not as conservative as you’d like, you could be part of the margin that gives Obama four more years to take us down the path towards socialism at hyperspeed.  So where does Romney need your vote the most:

Virginia, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, New Hampshire, Florida, Nevada, Colorado, Indiana, Iowa, Wisconsin, Michigan, New Mexico, Arizona.

But believe it or not, he also needs you in Oregon, Minnesota, Connecticut, New Jersey, and Maine. If nothing else, vote to tell the liberals in your state that they do not have a mandate.  The country is changing and is leaning to the right.  You will never get the conservative, limited government you want if you let the country fall off the socialist cliff because the most conservative candidate who can win is not conservative enough for you.

When you walk into the voting booth, consider what you want America to look like in 2016.  Do you want to move forward the way Obama does?  Do you really want four more years of this?

Today should be it

Mitt Romney should easily sweep a handful of blue states today, including New York and Pennsylvania.  If he does, I think the staunchest of conservative holdouts are ready to call it for Romney.  The only thing that will change the trajectory of the primary at this point would be if Romney’s performance is weak in any of these states.

Is that possible?  To a certain extent.  With Romney already the presumptive nominee, media coverage of the April 24th primaries has been minimal.  Additionally, any inhibition towards voting one’s conscience should be gone.   Romney’s refocusing on Obama is certainly not unwarranted confidence, but does signal an end to his scorched earth campaign that ravished his closest rivals.

Will Gingrich show any sort of proof of life in New York, Pennsylvania, Delaware, Connecticut, or Rhode Island?  Don’t count on it.  To be sure, there is a conservative underground in each of these states, most strongly in Pennsylvania.  But at the same time, they have been so marginalized by the liberal culture that “most conservative who can actually win” is deeply engrained.

My prediction is that Newt doesn’t break 40% in any of these states.  If that is the case, I am ready to call the 2012 primary for Mitt Romney.  However, if Newt can somehow mitigate his losses and mathematically survive today, he has some friendly states coming up in May.  He may still not survive to the convention fight he is counting on, but he would have a chance.  And something he hasn’t tasted in months: momentum.

Bad News for Romney?

Romney declared today to be a good day for his campaign.  The media easily agreed, following their template that Romney is already the nominee.  However, the good news may end up being all for Gingrich.  The long dead in the water conservative finally has what he has needed for a second resurgence: no competition for the social conservative vote.

In fact, Newt made the point today that he would love to get Santorum’s delegates.  Newt is right, he is far closer to what Santorum’s delegates want than Romney.  While Romney is far away ahead of both candidates on their own, together their delegates number more than 400.

Gingrich’s next hope for a good day won’t come until May 8th, and Romney is sure to sweep the blue states that vote on April 24th.  In fact, nearly certain victories in New York, Pennsylvania, Connecticut, Delaware, and Rhode Island could seal the deal.

On the other hand, Gingrich could start a come back in Indiana and could win North Carolina and West Virginia with some hard work.  In fact, May should favor the remaining social conservative, culminating with the 155 delegates in Texas.  May could be enough to provide Gingrich with the convention floor battle he’s been hoping for.

On the other hand, without a strong ground game, and with limited funds and no media recognition that he even still exists, Newt may never have a chance at realizing the potential the Santorum exit has given him.

Iowa’s Mold Breaker Might Matter

We are discovering the 2012 election cycle dynamic every day.  One thing we have learned already is that things that didn’t matter last week are crucial this week.  The thing we are learning this past week is that money matters, as Mitt Romney surrogates bought waves of negative airtime, Ron Paul bought Michele Bachmann’s Iowa campaign chairman, and Newt suddenly began to realize what a nice thing it would be to have campaign staffs, ground crews, or even counter advertising money.

To Huntsman’s dismay, we may be discovering that Iowa matters.  Let me put it this way.  If Newt Gingrich wins Iowa, it doesn’t really matter.  If Santorum wins Iowa, it will give him some false momentum but Iowa alone won’t matter.  If Bachmann wins Iowa, we will all drop our jaw and then move on with the real race.  If Paul wins Iowa, mainstream Republicans will spend the next few days complaining about how he did his usual ballot stuffing tricks, but then move on.

However, if Mitt Romney wins Iowa, that will be huge.  Iowa has typically stuck to mainstream, evangelical, more conservative than moderate candidates.  Iowa has granted hope to Mike Huckabee in recent years, and Michele Bachmann this year.  Now, with Mitt Romney leading in the polls, it appears that more conservative, evangelical voters are accepting that Romney will win the nomination.  In fact, in this case I wonder what type of dynamic Ron Paul is attributing to Romney’s rise.  Are Iowans viewing Gingrich, Perry and now even Santorum as third party spoilers?

I think with the Iowa dynamic, voters may actually prefer Santorum in the current field.  Instead, it appears that Iowa may end up being about who can beat Barack Obama, or more immediately, who can beat Ron Paul.  At any rate, if Mitt Romney wins, Iowa matters.  As McCain proved in 2008, voting for a candidate primarily because of electability is a tough paradigm to crack once it is set.

One thing is for sure.  If Romney does win in Iowa, Newt is dreaming if he thinks he can turn everything around in New Hampshire.

And the Winner of the Iowa Caucus is……….

Romney and Santorum may surprise all with a first and second place finish, respectively, but South Carolina will be the real winner of the Iowa Caucuses.

Bookmark and Share I am predicting that Mitt Romney will in Iowa and it will go a long way in establishing a sense of inevitability that will help him wrap up the nomination sooner than later.   However; unless Romney racks up a win with 30 or more percent, the results will not matter a great deal and in the end, the real winner will be South Carolina.

Iowa’s caucus history shows that the winners of their nominating contests do not usually go on to become the nominee and President.  More often than not, Iowa caucus voters seem more intent on sending a message to the establishment than sending a nominee to the White House.  This time may be different in the sense that Iowa Republicans may believe that their support for most of the existing candidates will not send any strong message and that Ron Paul, the only candidate for whom a protest vote for would send a clear message, is not in any way a responsible and realistically, viable candidate.   As it is, most Iowa Republicans do not support Ron Paul.  His perceived success in the state so far is due mainly to the Independent and Democrats who are allowed to vote in the caucuses if they change their Party affiliation.

This is something which Paulbots have been planning on taking advantage for a very long time and they are doing a good job at it.

But not good enough.

In the end I believe that between all the back and forth of frontrunner status for one candidate or another, Mitt Romney who has been consistently at the top of the polls in Iowa and who has the strongest organization of all the candidates in the state, will benefit from a social conservative and evangelical vote that is sharply divided between at least four candidates, and from his perceived electability against Barack Obama.  These factors will allow Romney to win the caucus, but unless he wins by an overwhelming amount, it will not do much to help him convince people that he will definitely be the nominee.  That job will be left up to South Carolina, which will actually be the big winner coming out of Iowa.

Everyone knows that Romney will win New Hampshire, so there is little suspense there.  That leaves South Carolina which follows the Live Free or Die State, as the most pivotal of all the early state contests and the greatest beneficiary of the results in Iowa.

It is where Newt Gingrich has been trying to build a firewall and hoping to establish himself as either the frontrunner or the only real viable alternative to Mitt Romney.

South Carolina is also a prelude to the Florida and the momentum provided to the candidate who wins in South Carolina will go a long way in helping that candidate’s chances of winning in the Sunshine State’s primary. 

Even in the unlikely event that Romney blew out all his rivals with a win of  30% or more,  South Carolina will still be an early contest that either solidifies Romney’s lock on the nomination or gives someone else the opportunity to be Romney’s true chief rival as the race moves forward.

These are just simple facts which will not be changed by any result that Iowa produces.  If Senator Rick Santorum happened to pull off a Huckabee-like, 2008, come-from-behind victory, Romney will still dominate in the New Hampshire primary and South Carolina will still host the contest that play a somewhat more decisive role than either New Hampshire or Iowa.

When all is said and done, Iowa will serve one chief purpose.  It will help weed out the field of candidates.  It will help to begin sealing the deal for several of the lower tier candidates, especially Rick Perry.  But even in that capacity, Iowa is not likely to end anyone’s candidacy.  Once again, that mission will be accomplished in South Carolina.

That said, in the tradition of making predictions as one year ends and a new one begins, while I hold true to the belief that Iowa will really only matter if Romney comes in anywhere under third pace, or wins with a large plurality, I also believe that the candidates will finish as follows:

  1. Mitt Romney – 26%
  2. Rick Santorum -21%
  3. Ron Paul – 17%
  4. Newt Gingrich -16%
  5. Rick Perry – 11%
  6. Michele Bachmann – 7%
  7. Jon Huntsman – 2%

I am quite uncertain about those totals, but very confident in the order of each candidate’s placement.

These results will produce several storylines coming out of Iowa.  One will be about whether of not Mitt Romney has a lock on the nomination as he is now on a path to becoming the first non-incumbent Republican presidential candidate to sweep both Iowa and New Hampshire?  The other story will be is Rick Santorum, the new Mike Huckabee and can he translate his strong Iowa showing into a victory elsewhere? 

The other stories that will provide the filler for 24 hour cable news programs, will be can Newt comeback “in South Carolina”? What happened to Ron Paul’s surge? And is this the end for Rick Perry and Michele Bachmann?

The answer to all these questions will be determined by the state which I argue will be the ultimate winner in the Iowa Caucuses…..South Carolina.

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Lack of Suburban Pennsylvania Support for Obama Could Jeopardize His Reelection

Bookmark and Share   The Philadelphia Inquirer’s Jeremy Roebuck, John Duchneskie, and Dan Hardy recently unearthed a troubling sign for President Obama as he prepares for his reelection.  According to the trio “A wave of support from Philadelphia’s historically moderate suburbs helped push Barack Obama into the White House in 2008. But if the latest fund-raising totals are any indication, his grip on those crucial swing counties may be slipping.”

Through an examination of recent fundraising totals in the Philadelphia’s suburbs, President Obama is nearly tied with his Republican rivals for the presidency.

In 2008, an overwhelming amount of support from Philadelphia, helped Obama to surpass rival John McCain’s vote total in the state.  A significant additional help for then Senator Obama, was also an unusually strong show support for a Democrat candidate in the surrounding subburbs of Philly within Montgomery, Bucks, Chester, and Delaware Counties.  These areas usually help offset the large plurality of votes that Democrats normally get in Southeast Pennsylvania and if they offset them enough, Republicans have a good chance of winning the swing state.  Such was the case with last years gubernatorial election victory of Republican Tom Corbet.

The fact that President Obama is only $36,000 ahead of of Republicans in fundraising at this point in  time, is a strong indication that he is not positioned for winning Pennsylvania’s electoral votes any where near as well as he was in 2008.

Without Pennsylvania in his column, President Obama’s chances for being reelected are extremely limited.

In fact if you assume President Obama wins the typically blue states and also give him Minnesota, Wisconsin, Michigan, and Illinois, and keep swing states like Ohio, Colorado, New Mexico, and Nevada in the undecided column, it is virtually impossible for the President to win the 270 electoral votes needed to win reelection. [see map below] Bookmark and Share 

Santorum Bases His Candidacy on a Fight for America’s Freedom, Against President Obama

Bookmark and Share While New York liberal, Anthony Weiner captured Monday’s headlines with his admission that he is a member of Congress who is a liar that denied his penchant for the proliferation of porn on the internet that featured his own member, former Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum, a candidate known for his conviction to values and moral decency, was citing the real promise that our nation was founded on, as the foundation for which he based his decision to officially run for President.
 
In his speech delivered in Somerset County, Pennsylvania, Santorum hammered President Obama on everything from his unwillingness to wisely use our nation’s resources, to amassing a debt that will cost future generations 40 cents on every dollar.  “Who are you, Mr. President, to say that you, and your Administration should take 40 cents out of every dollar, and borrow it from future generations to prop you up” said Santorum. 
 
But what the former Senator used to really pummel the President with was Obamacare.  For him Obamacare is the primary example of what is wrong with the thinking of the current Administration and it was used as the basis for his theme……..keeping Americans free. 
 
Santorum made the case that our nation was founded by people who did not want to live  where their rights were granted to them by Kings, but instead to live in a nation where they were free to exercise the unalienable rights granted  by God.  He argued that the purpose of America is to be free yet under the current Administration, that freedom is at stake.  He added;
 
“We are facing a time when we have a group of people led by President Obama who believes that America’s greatness is in government , not its people . And there is one singular act that is the lynchpin and that is Obamacare”
 
According to Santorum, Obamacare is designed to take power away from the people and make them dependent by hooking them up to government with an IV.
 
“They want to hook you. They do not want to free you. They do not want to give the opportunities. They believe in themselves, the smart people, the planners” , said Santorum
 
In a reference to Margaret Thatcher, Santorum made the case that Obamacare, was the greatest example of the type of
legislative threat to our freedom and prosperity that we must make a priority in turning back and repeated the words of Lady Thatcher who after doing an assessment of her time in office, compared to Ronald Reagan’s time in office and stated;
 
“I was never able to accomplish in England, what Reagan accomplished in America, and it was one thing that stood in my way….the British national healthcare system.”
 
Senator Santorum wrapped up his remarks  by describing how in 2008 Americans wanted a President they could believe in, but President Obama took that faith that the American public gave him, and “wrecked our economy, centralized government, and robbed people of their freedom” and concluded by saying;
 
” I believe now that Americans are not looking for someone that they can believe in.  They’re looking for a President Who believes in them.   Fellow Americans, it is our watch, it is our time…it is our time for all of us  to step up and do what America requires us to do.  I’m ready to lead.  I’m ready to do what has to be done for the next generation.  with the courage to fight for freedom, the courage to fight for America.  That’s why I am running for the President of the united States.  Join the fight!”
 
While this speech was not enough to propel Santorum to the head of the pack, no one speech could have.  But this one did demonstrate that he understands the conservative ideology that, if articulated right, can defeat President Obama.  And while many discount the Senator as a one issue candidate, it is clear to me that if his opponents believe that, they can easily be blindsided by an underdog who has been known to come from behind in the past.    So while expectations for him in the G.O.P. field may not be high, he should not be underestimated.  If he can raise a sufficient enough war chest to stay in the race, he will at the very least raise some eyebrows.  And based upon what is a proven conservative record and his ability to convey the sense that he truly understands what lies at the heart of conservatism, if given a chance by voters, Santorum will be one of those candidates who makes the Republican nomination contest a real horse race.    
 
 
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Santorum Takes A Big Step Towards an Official Run for President

Bookmark and Share Earlier this evening in an interview with Fox News Greta Van Susteren, former Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum announced that after visiting 25 states and concentrating on Iowa, New Hampshire, Nevada, and South Carolina, the first four states to hold Republican presidential nominations contests, he is encouraged enough to create a presidential exploratory committee. The purpose of this committee will be to find out whether or not the resources to mount a competitive campaign for the Republican presidential nomination are there.

With a great deal of encouragement from several quarters of the Republican base, Senator Santorum has been buoyed by the reception he and his message are receiving and as he explained, with many other questions answered, the only one remaining is whether or not he will be able to raise enough money to carryhis message over the finish line. Santorum told Van Susteren that in last campaign for the United States Senate he raised over $31 million and 40% of that came from out of state donors. So he is optimistic about what his exploratory committee will find.

There is no word yet as to when Santorum expects to know if he will be able to gather the resources to take his effort to the next stage and declare his candidacy for President.

Two days ago, Mitt Romeny announced that he is setting up an exploratory committee to see if and when he too will run for President. Others who have taken that same step include Minnesota’s former Governor Tim Pawlenty and former Speaker of the HouseNewt Gingrichis anticipating making a similiar announcement soon. On Thursday in New Hampshire, at 9:00 am, former New Mexico Governor Gary Johnson will beannouncing that he is an official candidate for the Republicanpresidential nomination.By the end of the month Missisppi Governor Haley Barbour and Indiana Governor MitchDaniels have promised to announce their own decision onwhether or not they willtake any steps to move closer to a run for the White House. The only otherRepublican contender who has already made his candidacy official is FredKarger a political consultant and gay activists fromCalifornia.

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In South Carolina, Santorum Wins. Barbour Loses

Bookmark and Share Republicans in Greenville, South Carolina held their county convention this weekend and addressing the more than 500 attendees were Newt Gingrich, Haley Barbour and Rick Santorum.

Not long after each of the three potential Republican presidential contenders spoke, 413 of those in attendance at the convention voted in a straw poll that produced a big win for former Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum. Santorum won 31 % of the vote and coming in second, far behind him, was Newt Gingrich with 14%.

Santorum impressed the GOP activists in attendance with a bombastic speech that touched upon the most important issues of the day. H, ,along with Gingrich and Barbour, praised House Republicans for their handling of the budget negotiations and credited them with getting Democrats to cave and give in to some of the biggest budget cuts in history. But Santorum also roused the crowd with his anti-Obamacare points. He received some of the loudest applause when he spoke of his own healthcare plan which he calls You Care. As Santorum tells it, it is called You Care because you know how to care for yourself better than the government.

Between his good performance and 13 previous visits to South Carolina, more than any other potential presidential rival, Santorum still did surprising well, especially given his lead which was more than double that of the second place finisher.

While Santorum won big, and Newt Gingrich faired decently in the straw poll, Haley Barbour, the third soon to be presidential candidate to address the convention, lost and he lost big. Barbour has been focusing much of his efforts on the G.O.P. establishment leadership in both South Carolina and Florida. He has made numerous trips to both states and is constantly talking to legislative and Party leaders in both states. Yet in the straw poll he pulled a mere 5% of the vote, tying for 6th place with Mike Huckabee and Ron Paul. The only major name who had a more disappointing total was Sarah Palin who received 4%.

Part of the reason for Barbours loss, despite being there to personally address the straw poll voters, is his lackluster oratory skills. While what Barbour says is popular with the G.O.P. base, how he says is uninspiring and as a result, so are his vote totals.

Common thinking is that Haley Barbour actually has a better chance of becoming the Republican presidential nominee than does Rick Santorum. Barbour has solid roots within the establishment and among Party leadership and numerous Republican Governors. He also has a fundraising network unmatched by anyone, including President Obama. Barbour also has a direct line to some of the top talent in politics. All that is in addition to his own superior political strategic skills. But unless Barbour can begin addressing voters in a way that crerates some visuals and inspiration, all his potential will be wasted. Barbour is in desperate need of skilled wordsmiths, people who can phrase the great thoughts that Barbour has in a way that makes people jump to their feet and in a way that can communicate his message to other regions of the country in a way that makes them forget the Southern drawl that dominates his bland message.

The final results of the Greenville Straw Poll were as follows:

  • Santorum – 31%
  • Gingrich – 14%
  • Bachmann – 7%
  • Trump- 7%
  • Romney- 6%
  • Christie- 6%
  • Barbour – 5%
  • Ron Paul- 5%
  • Huckabee – 5%
  • Palin- 4%
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Bookmark and Share Shortly after President Obama offered up a speech that presented a national energy full of contradictions, former Pennsylvania Senatorum and likely 2012 presidential candidate Rick Sanotorm issued the folowing opinion.

For Immediate Release
March 31, 2011

“With gas prices approaching $4.00 a gallon, President Obama once again chose rhetoric over substance in a attempt to gloss over his Administrations failure to move us toward energy independence. On one hand, he speaks of expanding domestic energy production, but then does nothing to reduce the regulatory barriers that are hindering oil, gas, and coal industries from expanding and creating the fuels of the future, said Senator Santorum. Our nation must institute a comprehensive all-of-the-above energy strategy that focuses on expanding and harvesting our domestic resources as a means of advancing not just energy independence, but energy security. If the past few weeks have taught us anything, it is irresponsible to rely on a region as unstable as the Middle East for energy resources that are so vital to us. Energy development is also critical to creating jobs in rural America where our unemployment is the highest.”

To learn more about former Senator Rick Santorum, please visit www.RickSantorum.com.

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Rick Santorum Sends A Message To New Jersey Republican Straw Poll Voters

Bookmark and Share As White House 2012 and Building the New Majority conductsa presidential straw poll of New Jersey Republican grass root activivsts, candidates, campaign managers and staffers, former Pennsylvania Senator and likely presidential candidate Rick Santorum, has sent them a message which credited New Jerseyans with starting in 2009 what he called “the American Renaissance” Santorum writes:

“What New Jersey gave, the rest of America is taking. Each of us needs to step forward and stand tall for what we know to be true, that America is the most uniquley exceptional nation in the history of the world, not just b ecause of what we have accomplished, but for who we are as a people and all that we aspire to be.

The American renaissance started here [New Jersey] in 2009, and the rest of the country picked up the flag last year. But we must continue to fight by electing a new President in 2012 and electing a new Republican Senate majority”

You can click on the image below to read the complete message.

White House 2012 will is conducting a straw poll at a conference sponsored by Building the New Majority, a statewide organization that identifies, developes and empowers candidates byfocussing in onthe development of candidates for local, county and state offices through direct contributions and grassroots support in order to help rebuild the New Jersey Republican organization from the ground up. The White House 2012/ Building the New Majority Garden State Republican Presidential Straw Poll will be the first of its kind in New Jersey for the 2012 presidential election and should give a sense of where the Party’s base currently stands on the evolving Republican presidentiall nominating contest.

Results of the poll will be released on Saturday, March 26, 2011, the second day of the Building the New Majority conference.

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Click on the image below to read a larger version of Senator Santorum’s complete message

Trunkline 2012: Wednesday’s Campaign Tidbits

A roundup of todays tidbits from the campaign trail;

Bookmark and ShareWednesday, February 2, 2011

For previous previous Trunkline 2012 daily tidbits visit here

Romney Wins New Hampshire Straw Poll

Bookmark and Share At a meeting of New Hampshires State Republican Committee, a straw poll sponsored by WMUR-TV and ABC, found former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney a big winner. (see poll results below)

Among a field of more than 21 names, Romney polled 35%, a 24% lead over his nearest opponent, Ron Paul, whose second place showing was a bit of a surprise.

Out of 493 state committee members 429 members showed up but only 273 participated in the straw poll. Still, the results of this poll indicate that Romney has a large pool of favorability among the activists within the Party who are crucial to a campaigns organizational ability and ground game in New Hampshires Republican Presidential Primary. Those voting in the poll are for the most part, the leaders of the local GOP organizations within the state.

The main purpose of the state committee meeting was to elect a new Republican State Chairman to replace the retiring chair, John Sununu. The hotly contested race pitted the establishment of the Party against TEA Party insurgents. Sununu and the establishment supported Juliana Bergeron while a loose coalition of TEA Party members and libertarians supported businessman Jack Kimball. Kimball won by 23 votes.

The results of the race for State Party Chair made the results of the presidential straw poll even more interesting than usual. By all rights Romney should have won. New Hampshire is in his own backyard and he has been making his presence in the state quite well known for more than two years now. But the fact that he polled so far ahead of his nearest possible rival, in a crowd of voters that were largely professing anti-establishment sentiments and elected a TEA Party backed Chairman, is an indication that Romney may be more viable among TEA Party voters than some have thought.

Supporters of Romneys opponents downplayed the poll results and even suggested that Romney did not do as well as should have. But the result most striking here was Mike Huckabees 12th place showing. In the 2008 primary, both Romney and Huckabee were beaten by John McCain. McCain pulled 38% to Romneys 32% and Huckabees 11%. This time around, at least among the states activist Republicans, Tim Pawlenty snatched third place with 8% and Huckabee was beaten by Atlanta Radio Talk Show host Herman Cain and lumped together with Newt Gingrich, Chris Christie, Rick Santorum and Mitch Daniels and Mike Pence. All polled 3%.

Like Romneys first place showing, Tim Pawlentys third place showing was an encouraging sign that his recent level of high activity is helping gain traction in Granite States important early primary. As for Ron Paul, his second place showing is a bit deceiving. While it puts him at the head of the pack, the 11% of the vote that got him there, is representative of his extremely dedicated base. But it is also representative of the number he usually peaks out at, as he fails to expand significantly expand his base.

With exception of a small contingency of Santorum, Pawlenty, and Cain supporters who braved the cold and snow to hand out leaflets and Dunkin Donuts munchkins, none of the other campaigns had a presence at the event. Most straw polls usually feature aggressive campaigning before the ballots are passed out. But this WMUR-ABC poll was announced only a few days in advance, giving the campaigns little time to coordinate a push among the state committeemen voting in the contest.

Complete Poll Results:

  1. Mitt Romney Former Massachusetts Governor 35%
  2. Ron Paul Texas Congressman 11%
  3. Tim Pawlenty Former Minnesota Governor 8%
  4. Sarah Palin Former Alaska Governor, 2008 GOP Vice Presidential Nominee 7%
  5. Michele Bachmann Minnesota Congresswoman 5%
  6. Jim DeMint South Carolina Senator 5%
  7. Herman Cain Tea Party Speaker & Former C.E.O. 4%
  8. Chris Christie New Jersey Governor 3%
  9. Rick Santorum Former Pennsylvania Senator 3%
  10. Mitch Daniels Indiana Governor 3%
  11. Newt Gingrich Former U.S. House Speaker 3%
  12. Mike Huckabee Former Arkansas Governor 3%
  13. Mike Pence Indiana Congressman 3%
  14. Rudy Giuliani Former New York City Mayor 2%
  15. Judd Gregg Former NH Senator 2%
  16. Gary Johnson Former New Mexico Governor 2%
  17. Other 2%
  18. Donald Trump Real Estate Mogul 1%
  19. Haley Barbour Mississippi Governor 1%
  20. Jon Huntsman Jr. U.S. Ambassador to China 0%
  21. John Thune South Dakota Senator 0%
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Huckabee Responds to His Lead in New Polls of GOP Presidential Candidates

Bookmark and Share After the results of an ABC News poll puts Mike Huckabee at the head of the evolving Republican presidential field, the Former Arkansas Governor tells Fox News Megyn Kelly that it is flattering to be in that position but makes it clear that he is not giving up his day jobs because of it anytime soon.

Huckabee reminds people that around this time in the last presidential election cycle, Hillary Clinton and Rudy Clinton were out in front and on track to win their Parties nominations.

He also pointed out that President Obama will be a lot harder to beat this time around because he will have a billion dollars and all the powers of incumbency. Another reason Huckabee gives for not putting much weight behind these poll numbers is what he describes the road to the Republican nomination as one that will be a demolition derby that will have the nominee coming out bruised, beaten and bleeding, and then have 4 months to restore their image.

Aside from stating that the poll demonstrates that the American people are intelligent, the former winner of Iowas 2008 Republican presidential caucus gave no indication of giving another go at it in 2012 as he made clear he is comfortable with the money he is making in his current endeavors.

The ABC News/Washington Posthas Mike Huckabee with19 percentfollowed by Sarah Palin and Mitt Romney with 17 percent.The more accurate which is derived at by the polling of only registered voters puts Huckabee at 20 percent, Romney at 18, and Palin at 16.

Click here for the question and full results.

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In New Hampshire, Romney’s Loss is Santorum’s Gain

Claira Monier

Bookmark and Share Confirming Mitt Romney’s very tentative hold on to frontrunner status in the evolving Republican president field, is the naming of Claira Monier as former Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum’s New Hampshire political action committee chair.

Monier, a veteran of New Hampshire political campaigns, endorsed Mitt Romney in 2008.

But in 2012, Romney’s loss is a big gain for Santorum. Monier is the widow of former state Senate president and legendary New Hampshire conservative, Robert Monier. Her resume includes such positions as being an aide to former Gov. Meldrim Thomson, a regional administrator for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services in the Reagan administration and a 20 year stint as executive director of the New Hampshire Housing Finance Authority. She also chaired U.S. Senator Judd Gregg’ss commissions on Health Care Costs and Availability and is the past Chair of the Manchester Chapter of the American Red Cross. In , Monier was named the 2004 Citizen of the Year award from the Greater Manchester Chamber of Commerce.

Former Senator Santorum declared that Claira Monier’s “roots in the Granite State run deep, and there is no doubt her connection to many grassroots activists and party leaders will be a great asset as I can continue to consider a run for President.”

In her voluntary role as Chairwoman of Santorum’s America’s Foundation for New Hampshire PAC, Monier will be most responsible for recruiting other volunteers and grass root activists to Santorum’s likely presidential campaign. The job is an extremely one in the big scheme of the small state’s political game. In the Granite State’s first in the nation primary, the personal touch and ground game plays a much more critical role in campaigns than it does in states of vastly larger populations. For Santorum, Claira Monier’s “deep roots help add the type of personal touch will need in New Hampshire.

In a statement to the press, Monier told reporters that Santorum’s “conservative message is resonating well in New Hampshire. He has demonstrated a deep understanding of the many challenges our country faces, both domestically and internationally, and I believe he has the right message for our state and our country at this critical time.”

While Claira Monier’s change of heart from Romney to Santorum is a boost for Santorum, it is a negative sign for Romney, who needs to show his supporting solidifying and growing, not shrinking. While Romney has developed a very substantial support system in the state which neighbor’s Massachusetts, the one that Romney governed, losing an endorsement like Monier’s to a first time presidential candidate like Rick Santorum shows signs of weakness in Romney’s own candidacy. Weighing him down the most is his Massachusetts health care plan that is often compared to Obamacare.

As for Rick Santorum, he is not showing any organizational weakness in the Live Free or Die state. Last week he became one of the few potential Republican presidential candidates to hire some top level, paid staffers when he announced that Mike Biundo will serve as the State Director for Santorum’s political action committee. Biundo has served as a senior advisor, campaign manager and grassroots director to numerous statewide and congressional campaigns, including Congressman Frank Guinta’s 2010 victory over incumbent Carol Shea-Porter.

For someone who is supposedly still in the thinking stageof a run for president, Santorum is not wasting anytime and insuring that he hits the ground running. As for Mitt Romney, he might just be limping as he gets to the starting line.

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Romney Fundraising Effort Focuses On the Economy and Government Growth

Bookmark and Share Through his Free and Strong America PAC, Mitt Romney sent out a fundraising letter that focuses on government growth and the economy. In it, he describes Washington as a job-killing beast

He writes;

Fortunately, we took the first step in slaying that job-killing beast by electing a Republican majority to the United States House of Representatives last November. But reclaiming majority control of the House is just the first step. We have more — a lot more –work to do to change Washington

Romney warns that we cannot let up on our efforts to reduce the size of our suffocating government. The letter reads;

“Heres why: By the end of this decade, federal, state, and local governments will make up more than 40% of the economy 40 percent.

Its unthinkable but if Washington doesnt fundamentally change, it will be inevitable, The government is strangling our economy now and will effectively kill it in ten years. If not before.

In addressing the problem Romney calls for a freeze on government employment and discretionary spending, ban earmarks, and extinguish ineffective, wasteful programs.”

The letter also goes on to say that while those efforts will help shrink the size of government, in order to get our economy moving in the right direction and help small business grow, he wants us to also:

  • Bring skyrocketing business taxes under control
  • Eliminate layers of ridiculous red tape
  • Stop Card Check and forced unionization of our private sector workforce; and
  • Implementing meaningful tort reform

Ever since Romney ended his 2008 race for the Republican presidential nomination, he has kept his supporters on a tight leash and work his lists of 2008 voters extensively. In all of his contacts with them, the former Governor has focused on the economy with laser-like precision. His latest letter is just another example of his aggressive attempt to tap into TEA Party sentiments and voter frustration with the economy. It is also a clear indication that Romney will be using his business experience to highlight his ability to manage our economy effectively and as a way of distinguishing himself from a field of fellow candidates with resumes that are compromised solely, if not mainly of government experience.

While Romney did spend four years garnering executive government experience as Governor of Massachusetts, most of his background is based in the private sector, where he has been an instrumental figure in making businesses grow.

Romney’s latest mailing also includedthe 2011 “membership cards” into his Free and Strong America PAC:

Front and Back of Romney's Free & Strong America PAC Membership Card

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Romney Takes To The Skies As His Ground Game Takes Shape

Bookmark and Share On Thursday, the signs and murmurs of a potential presidential campaign spun in a frenzy of reports pertaining to former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney.

Early in the day came reports that were unconfirmed by the Romney camp, that the former Governor hired Rich Beeson, a former political director at the Republican National Committee, as his political director and Neil Newhouse of Public Opinion Strategies, as his pollster.

Later in the day came the news that Romney stepped down from his position on the board of directors of the Marriott hotel chains, a move which he made in the past, prior to his previous run for President and before that, his race for Governor of Massachusetts.

By the end of the day Politico was reporting that Romney aides were telling Republican supporters that the Governor would be announcing his candidacy in April. Romneys spokesman, Eric Fehrnstrom stated that he did not know where Politico was getting that from but he also confirmed that Mitt believes he started his last campaign for President too early. In 2007, he made his announcement on the 3rd of January.

April is becoming the popular time for many contenders to publicly state their presidential intentions. Mitch Daniels, Tim Pawlenty and several others have offered similar Spring timeframes.

The late starting strategy is probably an attempt by Romney to insure that does not peak too early in state likes Iowa, a Caucus state that Romney was surging in until the closing days when the newness of name Mike Huckabee snuck up and surpassed Romney in the day of the caucuses. In the meantime, while Romneys ground game shapes up, he has taken to the air and is spending time talking to world leaders. He recently completed a visit with King Abdullah II in Amman and is now in Tel Aviv.

Apparently the one thing that is too early is building up those foreign relations credentials.

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