New Jersey Puts Romney Over the Top As Republicans Officially Nominate Him for President

Bookmark and Share   In the late afternoon of the first full session of the Republican National Convention, after casting their 50 votes for President for Mitt Romney during the roll call of states,  New Jersey became the state to put Romney over the top and finally make him the official Republican nominee for  President of the United States.

There were few if any surprises during the over one hour long roll call of how each state’s final delegate count and how they were voting but as usual, one could often hear in the background the obnoxious shouts of Ron Paul fanatics who could not contain their jubilation for a smattering of votes that their candidate occasionally received.  Paul did manage to beat Romney in a few states, including Iowa which saw 6 delegates vote for Romney while 22 went for Ron Paul.  Minnesota was another state that went to Ron Paul.  In announcing that Minnesota cast 1 vote for Rick Santorum, 6 votes for Mitt Romney, and 33 votes for Ron Paul, the delegation leader even took a swipe at convention organizers by stating it was clear that Minnesota runs a fair nomination process.  The remark suggested that the G.O.P. was not properly counting Ron Paul delegates.

Aside from the perpetual bitterness that comes out of the Ron Paul camp, Romney was nominated with 2,061 delegates, 991 more than needed to win the nomination.

Before the roll call vote took place, Former New Hampshire Governor John Sununu was given the honor of officially nominating Mitt Romney for President.  His nomination speech was a hard-hitting endorsement that got right to the heart of what the 2012 election is all about and why Mitt Romney is the man to do the job we need.   According to Sununu ”

“Mitt Romney will get our private sector moving again, and will respect the successes of our entrepreneurs who deserve credit because they really did build it.   In these difficult times our nation still depends on others for our energy resources – even though we share the largest overall supplies of energy in the world – because we have an administration that shuns those assets and keeps us dependent on fragile foreign supplies.

Mitt Romney will unshackle our assets, and lead us to real energy independence.   We also are a nation that has seen erosion of our respect around the world because we have a president who prefers to lead from behind.”

Following the official nomination of Mitt Romney for President was the nomination of Paul Ryan for Vice President.  With no other candidates nominated to oppose the Wisconsin Congressman, Ryan was nominated by acclamation and with that came the end of the first full session of the Republican National Convention.

Next up, is a night filled with some powerful speeches that will make a strong case for replacing the Obama-Biden team with the Romney-Ryan team.  The two speeches of most interest will be the ones offered by Ann Romney who will have to introduce her husband to the nation in a way that will humanize him enough to help overcome the stiff and mechanical perception that most people currently have of him.  The other speech will come New Jersey Governor Chris Christie who will give his much awaited keynote address.  Expect that to be a startling hard hitting, humorous and at the same time powerfully endearing speech which will largely explain how Romney’s success in business can and will be transferred into success for our nation if he he becomes our President.

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Republicans Release Tuesday’s Convention Schedule and Make “We Built It” the Night’s Theme

   Bookmark and Share  Promising that Tuesday’s convention theme “will honor the fact that it is the drive, determination and sacrifice of America’s job creators and millions of hard-working American men and women who made the United States the exceptional nation it is,” Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus today announced that Tuesday’s theme for the 2012 Republican National Convention will be “We Built It.”

At a campaign rally in Roanoke, Virginia, last month, President Obama declared, “if you’ve got a business, you didn’t build that.”  Priebus said that Tuesday’s convention proceedings “will remind America that we are a nation made great not by Washington but by the men and women who summoned the inner drive, discipline and persistent effort to achieve their dreams within the free enterprise system.”

Convention CEO William Harris said, “Tuesday’s program will highlight America’s entrepreneurial strength and our people’s incomparable work ethic.” 

Hammering the “We Built It” theme home will be a slew of speakers who have been doing their best to make sure that government gets out of the way of the American people’s entrepreneurial strength and incomparable work ethic.  Those speakers include the Mayor of Saratoga Springs Utah, Mia Love, New Hampshire senator Kelly Ayotte, and a preponderance of conservative governors including Ohio’s John Kasich, Oklahoma’s Mary Fallin, Virginia’s Bob McDonnell, Louisiana’s Bobby Jindal, and New Mexico’s Susana Martiniez.  The highlight of the night will be the delivery of the convention keynote address by New Jersey Governor Chris Christie(see the Tuesday night schedule below this post)

One of the most watched speakers of the night will be Rick Santorum.

Santorum, who ran against Romney for the Republican presidential nomination is one of Romney’s few former 2012 opponents who has been given center stage at the convention and what he says could go a long way in solidifying the support for Romney from among the social conservatives who supported him and remain reluctant of Romney.  Santorum’s speech will also be watch  intensely by the liberal propagandists like Rachel Maddow, Chris Matthews, all the personalities at Current TV, and most the personalities at ABC, NBC, CBS, CNN, and MSNBC.  They will be chomping at the bit to exploit Santorum’s defense of life, liberty and traditional family values.

Tuesday night’s schedule of speakers could prove to be the strongest slate of orators of the entire convention.  While Chris Christie will offer a keynote address that promises demolish the reputation and record of the Obama-Biden Administration and capture the essence of the Republican vision for our nation, other convention orators such as Susana Martinez and John  Kasich will prove to be powerful voices and their speeches will probably earn them a place on the list of future potential presidential contenders.

Saratoga Springs, Utah Republican Mayor Mia Love

One of the most interesting speeches of the night will be given by Mia Love, a African-American Republican woman and Mayor of SaratogaSprings, Utah and a 2012 candidate for Congress who is challenging six-term incumbent Democratic Rep. Jim Matheson.  She will be introduced with a video that highlights her personal story and tenure as mayor of Saratoga Springs before her speech.According to Love “The message I want to convey is that Barack Obama has accelerated this country into a downward spiral and that the only way there’s any hope of getting out of this is electing Mitt Romney, so I’m hoping everyone is inspired and ready to go out and do whatever they can to help Mitt Romney and  Paul Ryan get elected.”Love’s coveted Tuesday night primetime speech comes after Monday night’s prime time speaking engagement by another another African-American, former congressman Artur Davis, a Democrat who has become so disappointed in and dissatisfied with President Obama and his Party that he is now a Republican.Love has the early speaking spot Tuesday evening. She will be introduced with a video that highlights her personal story and tenure as mayor of Saratoga Springs before her speech.  Love, who is challenging six-term incumbent Democratic Rep. Jim Matheson, will address the GOP gathering in Tampa on the evening of Aug. 28, a coveted prime-time slot for the candidate who has been billed as a rising Republican star.

Adding to the strength of the speaks will be the power behind Tuesday night’s theme as articulated in the phrase “We Built IT”.

It’s a theme that stems from a statement made by President Obama when speaking without a teleprompter at a campaign event in Virginia last month. At the event, President Obama infamously went into an rant that claimed American’s didn’t build their own businesses and suggested that entrepreneurs owe their success to the government and that the government was the driving force behind their businesses.

The Obama campaign quickly tried to claim that the President’s remarks were taken out of context, however his statements were eerily similar to those made several months earlier by Elizabeth Warren, the liberal nominee for U.S. Senate in Massachusetts who is locked in a tight race against Senator Scott Brown.  In a campaign event of her own, Warren, who President Obama is a fan of and was once a Special Assistant to the President,  made the same claims that the President seemingly paraphrased.  (See Video below)

The remark has helped to shed a bright light on the antithetically American ideology embraced by the left and President Obama and Republicans intend to capitalize on it in a way that focusses on the Republican principles which support an ideology that believes it is the people who are the driving force behind our government and not the government that is the driving force behind the people.

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Tuesday Convention Schedule

As part of its “convention without walls” program to make the convention open and accessible to people across the country, Republican officials also released today the convention schedule for Tuesday, August 28 through the convention’s mobile app – Tampa 2012 (http://connect.gopconvention2012.com).  Tuesday’s schedule includes the keynote address by New Jersey Governor Chris Christie.

7:30 p.m. :        Convention convenes

  • Presentation of Colors
  •  Pledge of Allegiance
  • National Anthem sung by Philip Alongi
  • Invocation
  • Video
  • Remarks by Janine Turner
  • Video and remarks by Mayor Mia Love (Saratoga Springs, UT), U.S.
  • congressional candidate
  • Remarks by former U.S. Senator Rick Santorum
  • Segment to be announced
  • Remarks by U.S. Senator Kelly Ayotte (NH), accompanied by Jack Gilchrist
  • Remarks by Governor John Kasich (OH)
  • Video
  • Remarks by Governor Mary Fallin (OK)
  • Video
  • Remarks by Governor Bob McDonnell (VA), accompanied by Bev Gray
  • Video
  • Segment to be announced
  • Remarks by Governor Bobby Jindal (LA)
  • Videos
  • Remarks by Sher Valenzuela (small business owner, candidate for DE Lt. Governor)
  • Remarks by Governor Susana Martinez (NM)
  • Video
  • Remarks by Governor Chris Christie (NJ)
  • Benediction and adjournment

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Ron Paul Announces He Will End Actively Campaiging for President

 Bookmark and Share Texas Congressman and three time candidate for President Ron Paul, has officially declared an unofficial end to his third race for President.

The announcement came in a statement released on Ron Paul’s official 2012 presidential campaign website and in it Paul carefully avoided to declare that he was ending or suspending his quest for the Republican presidential nomination.  In fact the statement Paul highlighted a phrase contained in his statement.  It read;

“We will continue to take leadership positions, win delegates, and carry a strong message to the Republican National Convention that Liberty is the way of the future.”

The announcement comes at a time several weeks after most everyone else has taken for granted  that Mitt Romney, Ron Paul’s only remaining active opponent, is the Republican nominee.

Paul used his announcement to deny defeat and make excuses for why he was unable to win.

According to him, “success would take many tens of millions of dollars we simply do not have” but went out of his to add that in his opinion, he did win a degree of “electoral success” which he claims that his  critics denied were possible.

While it is true that Ron Paul did have some electoral success, it is also true that in this case, success is relative to his past two races for President, but his campaign was far from successful when compared to the reality of the race that he ran.

Throughout this long nomination contest, Ron Paul did almost win a barely contested, non-binding caucus in Maine but that’s it.  Aside from Maine, despite statements by Ron Paul which often claimed that more people attended his campaign events than did the campaign events of other candidates, in the end he won a grand total of 104 delegates to the Republican National Convention.   And while it is true that Ron Paul’s fundraising did exceed that of all the other Republicans in the race except for Romney, it is also true that when one breaks down the more than $36 million that Ron Paul raised, he paid $345, 243.00 for each of the 104 delegates which he won.  That is compared to Mitt Romney’s $90,530.00 per delegate, Newt Gingrich’s $173,016.00 per delegate and Rick Santorum’s $77,951.00 per delegate.

So it is no wonder why Ron Paul finally admitted that it would take too much money for him to win.  Based upon what it cost him to win just 104 delegates, it would have cost him more than $3.2 billion dollars in order to win the 1,144 required to win the nomination.  $3.2 Billion!

At that rate of spending, to win just the Republican nomination, Ron Paul would have needed to spend more than 3 times the $1 billion that President Obama intends to raise to win reelection to the White House.   Talk about money in politics.

Yet through it all, Ron Paul still remains a legend in his own mind as he promises to continue trying to get more delegates in order to influence the Republican Party platform at the national convention in September.  According to Paul, it is all a part of his “campaign for Liberty”.

The problem with Paul’s “campaign for Liberty” though is that it is based on several severely flawed beliefs which fail to acknowledge that any true campaign for Liberty must include the willingness to defend Liberty and despite his denials, Ron Paul failed to ever acknowledge the foreign threats that do exist.

Paul preferred to focus solely on the very undeniable and very real self inflicted, domestic threats to Liberty that Americans have allowed our federal government to put in place.  Threats such as irresponsible taxation and spending and the Nanny State mentality that attempts to make the federal government act as each American’s caretaker from cradle to grave.

I truly appreciate Ron Paul’s Paul Revere-like warnings of the latter but it is his denial of the foreign threats mentioned in the former which frightens me.

Ultimately, the number of delegates that Ron Paul accumulates will probably not make a much of difference, at least not on foreign policy, and national security and defense.  On those issues, most American’s believe in a better safe than sorry approach and most of them refuse to fall for Paul’s pitch for such things as allowing Iran to have nuclear capabilities because they are not a threat to us.

On such issues, 104 delegates out of the 2,286 delegates in attendance, will not be enough to change the platform positions of a vast and overwhelming number of Republicans who understand that the United States can not relinquish its leadership role on  the world stage to others.  However, paul’s delegates could make the difference on several economic planks in the platform, such as calls for the elimination of several federal agencies or cabinet positions.

Ron Paul’s full statement read as follows:

“As I reflect on our 2012 Presidential campaign, I am humbled by the supporters who have worked so hard and sacrificed so much. And I am so proud of what we have accomplished. We will not stop until we have restored what once made America the greatest country in human history.

“This campaign fought hard and won electoral success that the talking heads and pundits never thought possible. But, this campaign is also about more than just the 2012 election. It has been part of a quest I began 40 years ago and that so many have joined. It is about the campaign for Liberty, which has taken a tremendous leap forward in this election and will continue to grow stronger in the future until we finally win.

“Our campaign will continue to work in the state convention process. We will continue to take leadership positions, win delegates, and carry a strong message to the Republican National Convention that Liberty is the way of the future.

“Moving forward, however, we will no longer spend resources campaigning in primaries in states that have not yet voted. Doing so with any hope of success would take many tens of millions of dollars we simply do not have. I encourage all supporters of Liberty to make sure you get to the polls and make your voices heard, particularly in the local, state, and Congressional elections, where so many defenders of Freedom are fighting and need your support.

“I hope all supporters of Liberty will remain deeply involved – become delegates, win office, and take leadership positions. I will be right there with you. In the coming days, my campaign leadership will lay out to you our delegate strategy and what you can do to help, so please stay tuned.

For Liberty,

Ron Paul.”

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.

Is Mitt Bouyant? Or Santorum Sinking?

The day before Super Tuesday, Mitt Romney is looking good.  It’s looking like he will take the key state of Ohio and could take Tennessee.  Both of these are very close races.  But Romney’s ascendency back to the top is marked by Santorum’s dive in the polls, and Newt’s resurgence again.  Newt will win Georgia, which has the most delegates of any Super Tuesday state.  Newt is also now tied with Santorum and within one point of Romney in Tennessee according to one poll.  Just last week, Santorum was looking good in both Ohio and Tennessee.

If Santorum is suddenly seen as faltering, we may see the polls seesaw back to Newt on fears of unelectability.  However, at this late stage that may serve to only help Romney, unless Santorum loses big time.  If Santorum comes in third in Tennessee or Ohio and Gingrich easily wins Georgia, the shift back to Newt could be significant.

Consider this, if Santorum was not in the race and his voters went to Newt, Newt would sweep Ohio, Tennessee, and Georgia.  On the other hand, the same could be said for Santorum if Newt dropped out and his votes went to Santorum.  In either case, Romney is the beneficiary of the social conservative split.  Meanwhile, Ron Paul is fleeing from social issues as he descends back into below 10% irrelevancy.

This could be short lived however, as Republicans revisit the myth that social issues are losers in elections.  As I pointed out the other day, a one dimensional economy candidate is going to struggle against Obama.  Republicans are more likely to be inspired to go to the polls for a bold conservative, and Romney is all pastels.  If Santorum falters tomorrow and Newt remains on message, this one could be far from over.

Reality Check

As we head into Michigan and Arizona, the Republican party needs a reality check.  Fortunately, here it is:

Rick Santorum

The media is doing their best to paint Santorum as some sort of radical conservative religious whacko.  Hardly.  Santorum on social issues is saying what most Republicans are thinking.  The thing is, conservatives are scared to death of Obama winning re-election and many will gladly sacrifice what they believe to take the candidate everyone is telling them can win.  But here’s the thing, Obama’s economy has about a 26% approval rating and any Republican looks amazing economically next to Obama.  If Obama wins, it will be because he runs an incredible marketing campaign, race bates, and paints his opponents as somehow more socially radical than he is.  It won’t be because Obama saved the economy, unless moderates and independents are even more gullible and stupid than we thought.

What should keep Republicans up at night about Santorum is his passion on Iran.  Don’t get me wrong, I don’t want Iran to get a nuclear weapon.  I think they will use it on Israel if they do.  But America is not ready to commit to another war.  I think we would have to see another 3,000 US civilians die on one day before the majority of Americans get the stomach for what Santorum has been talking about.  That includes what he has talked about with central America.

Mitt Romney

Romney is uninspiring by design.  His economic plan is a mixture of timid populism.  In the end, what he is running on is his record of creating a great deal of personal wealth and success, as well as his management skills.  But Warren Buffett, another populist, has also made great personal success through good management, and I think he would be a terrible President.  If this election were solely about the economy,the DNC would be looking for a new candidate and Romney would already be the GOP candidate.  The fact is, as long as Romneyites continue to downplay social issues, they will continue to loose the support of the majority of conservatives who actually care about social issues.  Believe it or not, many Americans on both sides of the aisle hold the value of their social and religious issues higher than the economy.   For example, many pro-lifers would sacrifice a great deal of wealth to stop the murder of the unborn.

What keeps Republicans awake at night about Mitt Romney is the fact that even his economic plan has been as malleable as his social stances.  What was supposed to be Romney’s conservative strength has instead turned into calls to raise the minimum wage and tax the rich to redistribute to the poor.  In each case, this was a reaction from the Romney campaign to criticism from the left.

Newt Gingrich

Newt is the smartest candidate and he has the best ideas.  It is no secret that I believe this.  But Newt is easily destroyed by opponents and the media.  He has tried to run a cheap campaign with little or no ground game, which makes victory as visionary as a base on the moon.  Part of Newt’s problem is that now his electability is questionable instead of Santorum’s.  Newt isn’t going to win anything until he re-establishes himself as the only electable anti-Romney.  Every time Santorum wins another state, Newt’s chances dim even more.  Get ready for things to start looking real bad as Santorum wins Arizona and maybe Michigan.

What keeps Republicans awake at night about Newt Gingrich is how easily he is destroyed by negative campaigning and how weak his campaign structure is.  If Newt can’t beat the unelectable Santorum and uninspiring Romney in every state, how would he propose to beat Obama?

Ron Paul

No one ever thought Ron Paul would win, except maybe his 10% who also think that being obnoxious will win people over.  However, it has been noted that Paul seems to have a cozy relationship with Mitt Romney.  Perhaps Paul also thinks only Romney can beat Obama.  Or, as some have suggested, maybe Paul has a secret deal with Romney to secure a VP slot for him or his son.  Actually, a Romney/Rand Paul ticket would be an incredibly smart idea and might be the only thing that can bring the extremes of the Republican party back together.  The only thing, of course, other than Obama himself.

What keeps Republicans awake at night about Ron Paul is his Iran policy.  Yeah, maybe we aren’t ready to go to war in Iran like we did in Iraq.  But I also don’t think most Americans are ready to stick their heads in the sand and pretend that Iran isn’t a threat.  I think fewer Republicans have an appetite to continue the World America Apology Tour under a different name.

Barack Obama

The real reality check for Republicans should be a refocusing on Barack Obama.  Believe it or not, there are people out there who support him.  After Solyndra, Fast n Furious, reversing Mexico City policy, forcing religious organizations to provide abortion pills, Obamacare, and everything else Obama has done, there are actually cars on the road with Obama 2012 stickers on them.  Somehow, Obama still has a shot in this race.

What should keep Republicans awake at night about Barack Obama is that despite all that he has done to this country and to the rule of law and constitution, there are people who still support him.  The media refuses to vet Obama, even ignoring his radical social positions on abortion.  Meanwhile, in desperation Santorum is releasing economic plans that are going ignored by the party and media.  GOP candidates are doing a great job of getting their message out.  Unfortunately, their message is that each other suck.  Let’s hope that Republicans will find a way to inspire the entire base, and expose Obama on fiscal AND social issues.

Is a Romney/Paul Ticket in our Future?

After the most recent Republican presidential primary debate, the Santorum campaign beganfloating rumors that the Ron Paul and Mitt Romney campaigns had teamed up to take out the socially conservative politician.  The rumors come at a time when the Michigan campaign is heating up ahead of its February 28th primary election and the candidates are competing for every vote.

Following Wednesday’s Republican debate, Santorum suggested that Ron Paul and Mitt Romney had teamed up in their attacks against Santorum, telling reporters that “You have to ask Congressman Paul and Governor Romney what they’ve got going together, their commercials look a lot alike and so do their attacks”.
Rick Santorum’s top campaign strategist took the rumor even further, suggesting that the two have a “tag-team strategy” and an “alliance”, and even went as far as to suggest that Romney was planning on taking Ron Paul on as his vice presidential running-mate.  Ron Paul has said in the past that despite significantly different foreign policy positions and disagreement over the Federal Reserve, he and Romney get along well.
The Mitt Romney campaign responded by denying that there was any coordination between the two campaigns, his chief strategist Stuart Stevens telling reporters that “I think that’s a sort of whiney silliness…to say ‘people are ganging up on me’ in a debate where there’s only four people in the debate and they’re raising questions kind of speaks for itself.”

Romney fighting for political appeal and support in Michigan.

Mitt Romney’s presidential bid enters a real make or break phase this week ahead of the Michigan primary. The GOP campaign has had no less than seven frontrunners in this campaign, and the worrying aspect for the largely organised and heavily financed Romney campaign is his struggle to break through the field.

Rick Santorum’s surge is consistent Texas Governor Rick Perry’s at his peak. A little higher than Herman Cain’s surge and slightly than Newt Gingrich’s lofty pre-Christmas heights, and nobody can rule out another Gingrich surge either.

The current debate involving the Catholic Church and Obama Administration has in no doubt aided the Santorum surge, with his values based appeal to the conservative support base. One has to wonder whether the much publicised spat was a strategically placed controversy by the Obama Administration to kill off Romney’s bid, or a calculated risk on their part however; Santorum’s rise is potentially the most serious yet. The previous negative advertising used by the Romney campaign against in particular, Gingrich may not be as effective in this instance. I asked the question some weeks ago, what does Romney stand for?

Herein, lays Romney’s biggest flaw in his campaign to date. He has been effective in ripping apart previous challenger’s surges without people asking what does Mitt Romney stand for? In this instance Santorum, unlike previous challengers has demonstrated an ability to learn, identify himself clearly and definitively as the social values candidate, while at the same time, slowly but steadily attacking Romney on his record in public office. Santorum is oozing confidence at present and appears sincere, natural and passionate on whatever issue he is speaking about.

Santorum combines a deeply held social conservatism with a genuine blue-collar appeal. Romney has appeared out of sorts at CPAC constantly using the phrase “Conservative values” and at one point referring to himself as “Severely Conservative”, he has also seemed uneasy and unnatural when trying to appear passionate on describing his love for his native birth state Michigan, appearing almost desperate, when citing his love of the trees and lakes in one speech, ouch! Romney has also found it troublesome to shake the label of being out of touch and being a member of social elite attributed to him by the Obama team.

The Romney campaign has already made large ad purchases, which are not likely to feature positive Romney bio slots. The problem the Romney Campaign has is their inability to frame a negative attack label on Santorum to date. Turning negative has contributed to the surge in unfavourable feelings voters have about Romney, and independents like other voters favour a politician who plays dirty. This presents the risky proposition that any such negative attack ads may not work and actually be used against Romney himself. Romney has been unable to manipulate Santorum’s electoral weakness on cultural issues, as Santorum has gone to great lengths and efforts to question the role of women in the workplace and in the military, and emphasise his opposition to contraception.

Santorum on the other hand has a strong record on supporting global health programs and earned a reputation for being a champion of faith-based anti-poverty efforts. Santorum also appears to be a more acceptable candidate to the GOP establishment who raced to attack former speaker Gingrich when he assumed the front runner status, the language and commentary used in their description of Santorum is subtlety complimentary, yet composed.

Another major factor working against Romney in Michigan is his well-publicised opposition to the federal bailout of General Motors who only last week announced its largest ever profits in history, which undermines Romney’s argument that bankruptcy would have been a better way to go for the auto companies. This makes Santorum’s appeal to ordinary blue collar worker all the more prominent in the state’s primary battle.

Romney has failed to win over supporters and the conservative base despite six years of campaigning largely due to a fundamental lack of enthusiasm. He has to win Michigan it is as simple as that, it is a battleground state in the general election and a failure to a secure victory here, will raise new doubts ahead of the critical Super Tuesday contest and Romney’s fragile front-runner status once and for all.

Romney’s best chance of victory is message, he needs to give voters and supporters a clear vision on where he will take the country and present a break-out policy initiative to seize the upper hand. He can no longer depend on his tried and tired tactics of highlighting his business credentials, attacking President Obama’s record and tearing down fellow GOP rivals.

Romney needs to inspire American’s and give them a reason to vote for him. One good policy initiative, which he can take to the country, may enable him to display a dynamism, passion and level of enthusiasm that will make him the all-appealing stand-out candidate. Failure to change step and stick with the old tried and tested tactics will only lead to his challenge for the highest office in the land falling apart slowly but surely.

 

 

From one radical to another?

Just how radical is Rick Santorum?  Yes, it is very frustrating that the media will ask this about Rick when they completely ignored any sign of Obama’s radicalism or the radicalism of many of the Democrats in Congress.  But that is what separates conservatives from liberals.  Conservatives don’t seem to actually want a candidate who appears too radical.  We have this unhealthy fear of independents and moderates.

Not so with Obama.  Obama has no fear of those middle of the road voters as demonstrated by his decision to force religious institutions to to pay for abortions.  In fact, it’s been a long three years so many might not remember that one of the first things Obama did in office was reverse the United States’ Mexico City policy making it so that our tax dollars are going to pay for abortions overseas.  Obama’s latest budget is textbook tax and spend liberalism.  Instead of funding our military, Obama’s budget cuts funding for our troops and adds funding to buy off radical Islamic groups in the middle east.

Is Rick Santorum as radical as advertised in comparison?  There is no question that Santorum is a very conservative Christian.  There is no question about whether he has been paying attention in church for the last 20 years.  Santorum may or may not use contraception, but would he really ban it?  One thing is for sure, he wouldn’t make catholic charities and institutions pay for it.

There is a candid interview circulating liberal circles because of some things Santorum says about his social conservative values.  In the interview he also talks about the limited size of the Federal government, but most liberal bloggers are ignoring that part.  Santorum also talks about moving more funding to the states and decentralizing of the government.

Santorum is not nearly as radical as Obama because Santorum does not believe the government is the answer to everything.  However, Santorum does have an unhealthy view of the government’s role in encouraging the traditional family.  Santorum would do what every politician before him and likely every politician after him would do and would use the tax code to encourage the traditional family and the bully pulpit to keep the national conversation going on the way a family should be.  Basically that puts Santorum in the same class as every politician except Ron Paul and Rand Paul.  But don’t expect a flat tax from Santorum.

Part of Santorum’s problem is that his bully pulpit is easily mistaken for gestapo type policy advocacy where government officials would enter people’s homes and steal their condoms lest they have sex with their spouse for any reason other than procreation.  Let’s get real.  Santorum is not Obama.  I doubt he will have websites where you can report your friends who disagree with him.

Santorum may make it easier for states to ban abortion.  Since when is that not a plus for conservatives?  Oh yeah, since we became scared of the moderates and independents.  Just a refresher for my conservative friends, abortion can be the brutal, torturous death of a human being.  Best case scenario, it is the end of a human life.

I don’t agree with Santorum on some social issues.  The question is, when Santorum talks about what he believes, is he saying what he will do as President or simply what he believes to be true?  Obama doesn’t say what he believes on the campaign trail, then he forces his beliefs on the country.  Santorum needs to be clearer about what he will implement as President.  In this interview he says many things that liberals have jumped on, but at 24:04 Santorum gives a key response to the question of what his ideas about education would look like on the federal level.

“It wouldn’t happen on the federal level.”

He needs to say that more.

 

Romney Taking Heat Over Position on Auto-Bailout in Michigan

Throughout the media Mitt Romney has taken heat for his position on the auto-industry bailouts.  Voters are noticing, too, as recent polls show that Santorum has taken the lead in the state.  It comes at a particularly bad time as the Michigan primary is just weeks away.

Earlier this week, Mitt Romney penned an op-ed in the Detroit News criticizing the 2009 bailout of Detroit’s Big Three automakers.  In it, he stands by his position at the time of letting the companies go through a managed bankruptcy, which was eventually done by Obama, and touts his Michigan roots as the son of former American Motor Company and Michigan Governor George Romney.  Romney goes on to blast Obama, calling the bailout and subsequent caving to union demands “crony capitalism on a grand scale”. Continue reading

What if Santorum Wins Michigan?

Rick Santorum is polling just slightly ahead of Romney in Romney’s home state of Michigan.  This is significant for more than just that reason.  Michigan is a blue state that has seen what the Democrat party can do to an economy.  So why is Santorum leading billionaire successful businessman Mitt Romney in a state that is starving for economic turnaround?

If Santorum does win, I think one thing it will demonstrate is how much Romney hurt himself with his scorched earth approach to his competitors. Romney has not set himself up as a policies or ideas candidate.  Instead he has set himself up as the “not the other guys” candidate.  Romney has correctly calculated that Ron Paul supporters would rather see four more years of Obama than vote for someone who has insulted Ron Paul.  So he hasn’t.  On the other hand, Romney knows conservatives will suck it up and vote for him if their guy loses.

What Romney didn’t seem to calculate was what effect his being the presumptive nominee and Ron Paul’s disappointing finish in Iowa and South Carolina would do.  Or what vetting Newt to death would do.  Now Social Conservatives, unburdened by the fear of a Ron Paul ascendency and no longer split now that Newt has descended into irrelevance, are freer than ever to vote their conscience.  It’s no longer about electability.  If you want to know what Social Conservatives with nothing to lose look like, look at the polls in Michigan.

But here is where it gets interesting.  Romney may be on the verge of losing Maine to Ron Paul.  Santorum is capitalizing on the mandatory abortion pill provision Obama has decreed.  Newt is all but finished with no momentum and the March 1 debate canceled.  Suddenly, Santorum is looking more viable than ever.  If Mitt loses Michigan, we could see the impossible: Barack Obama versus Rick Santorum.

Why Newt Gingrich? Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness.

The pressure is again being mounted by some in the conservative media for former Speaker Newt Gingrich to withdraw from the GOP race. I sound a word of warning to conservatives against any such move and in fact, urge them to support Speaker Gingrich in whatever way possible going forward and will explain why.

Today, the influential conservative magazine National Review called for Newt Gingrich to leave the Republican primary contest. Repeating its past criticisms of Gingrich the magazine’s editorial said “it would be a grave mistake for the party to make someone with such poor judgment and persistent unpopularity its presidential nominee.”

I refute this call for a variety of reasons but above all, Republicans need to be careful what they wish for. This GOP race has perhaps being the most widely covered, and without doubt volatile in presidential race history. The reasons for this are many; the introduction of the Super Pacs, the media war between liberal and conservative media outlets, the vast amount of debates and finally social media have transformed this race.

This 2012 election race is I believe, a final opportunity for Americans to divert their great nation away from decline and direct themselves back onto a course of recovery, restoration and once again be the world’s leader in all sphere’s of influence.

If you believe commentators growth, consumer spending, manufacturing, house prices and stock prices are all on the upward trend and unemployment is coming down and the green shoots of a recovery are starting to gather steam. This may on paper be all true at present however; it is the unforeseen and often, quickly dismissed issues, that will determine the real future outlook for most American’s in the coming generations.

The primary function of government has come to be understood as being the protection of the people’s rights from foreign nations and the government itself. These rights, as we all know, are the right to Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness. This function of government could not be clearer. It is this failure of government and the lack of an individual with a proven track record to address the issues of the national debt, spending, entitlement reform and pursue a strong foreign policy that are the real threats.

I will state, that I do not believe these very real threats and dangers facing America are all down to President Obama; they have been decades in the making. President Obama however; has failed to halt the decline and above all, has been unable to get all branches of government working for the people effectively under his stewardship that has been his biggest failure.

The U.S. National debt is approaching $15.4 trillion dollars; $4 trillion dollars of this debt has been added in three years under President Obama alone. Commentators in the U.S. often cite Greece as the potential end result for the U.S. if it fails to alter course. I say forget Greece, total European Union debt stands at around $14 trillion dollars however, its 27 nations account for a bigger share of global gross domestic product, possesses a much larger internal market and has a population of over 500 million compared to the U.S. population of roughly 310 million people. The debt burden per person (capita) stands at $48,258 for every American with the U.S contributing 37 per cent of the increase in global debt from 2007 – 2011 and 40 per cent from 2011 to 2016, it is only a matter of time before these financial constraints strangle America’s future and prosperity.

In recent years, all too often have U.S. recommendations or initiatives become to be ignored or dismissed by other leading nations on issues ranging from trade negotiations, military threats, peace efforts,  right through to addressing the recent global economic crisis.

I respect Mitt Romney, and if he is the eventual nominee for the GOP, he’ll have my total support in the race and I believe America will improve to an extent economically under a Romney Presidency. Respectfully, Ron Paul has some very valid and excellent ideas and arguments on a domestic level however; his approach to foreign policy concerns many and justifiably so. Then there’s the latest rise of Senator Rick Santorum. I think he is a strong valued & principled man however; putting the very real challenges of ineffective government, economic and global threats together, I do not believe he is capable of being the type of president America needs at the present time. Santorum is well versed on the issue of Iran however; like Governor Romney, when you take them onto broader international issues and threats, they simply haven’t got the depth of knowledge or experience to hit the ground running from the start.

Conservatives and independents need to be honest with themselves and ask, if they really want to defeat President Obama in the coming fall election. The GOP as a party needs to offer a strong platform and contrast to President Obama and the Democratic Party in terms of policy and vision.

The election is not about personality or an American Idol type contest, this is a decisive moment in history, and as I’ve always maintained, a turning point for America and its future. Don’t be swayed by populist media commentators and partisan coverage. In order for the U.S. to remain the global leader it has become, the entire manner in how the government in Washington operates needs to be addressed.

I’ll say something controversial here, regardless from what side of the political divide you come from, entitlement reform needs to be addressed urgently and fundamental changes made. There needs to be wholesale change of the tax system at all levels and finally, spending needs to be brought back under control and a balanced budget achieved within the next five years.

This leads me onto former Speaker Gingrich, who I’ve always believed substantively, to be the candidate with the most potential. He’s an individual whose strong conservative arguments and mastery of the issues are sometimes ignored due to past behaviour. He’s already been carpet bombed with negative advertisements from the Romney campaign in Iowa and Florida already. Attacked like no other candidate by the mainstream media in this election cycle, and then by many from within his own party. People need to ask why this is? It is not coincidence, or is it due to any past behavourial mishaps on his part. It is because Gingrich has the ability to communicate a sharp contrast between conservative policies and values against the Obama Administration’s better than any other candidate in the field.

Gingrich poses a real threat to the opposition and status quo, he has many achievements during his long political career, playing a key role in passing welfare reform in the 1990’s. He not afraid to upset members within his own party to pursue a vision, a vision he has laid out in his “21st Century Contract with America,” better than any other candidate in the field. It is an organic plan containing some bold but substantive ideas and solutions to the nations’ problems and challenges.

He wants to remove regulatory barriers to boost economic growth understanding fundamentally that less government is the key, not bigger government. He has also worked to and achieved balanced budgets and a budget surplus with former President Clinton.

Gingrich has the proven ability to work across party lines in the national interest, even if it costs him personally and politically. He wants to provide a healthcare system that works; he values and recognises the need for a well educated young nation and values entrepreneurship and innovation. I don’t perceive a candidates’ willingness or preparedness to work with the other party as a weakness, I see it as a distinct positive in these most of crucial times. Above all, I believe he possesses the desire, passion and enthusiasm to lead America from the front and get Washington working effectively again for the people.

I believe any of the other three candidates could be a good Vice-President however; in order to defeat President Obama in the coming election, it will require someone who has the experience, proven ability and vision to transform America and secure its future. America needs a strong president and someone in the Oval office who will not shirk the difficult decisions, and who will ensure a strong and powerful military exists to defend the nation and its people. This is an election of opportunity, and my fear is that conservatives and independents won’t see it in the all important context of securing America’s future for generations to come.

This presidential election race is more about the future and the right to Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness. Only by choosing a capable and confident leader can America’s future be won! The nation needs strong leadership and a person willing to work with everyone in its interest and Newt is that candidate.

CPAC’s Conservative Message

Despite Romney’s strawpoll win, the anti-establishment message of CPAC came through loud and clear from various speakers.  Alan West, Marco Rubio, Rand Paul, Mike Huckabee, and even at times the Presidential candidates: the only way we can truly be free is by reclaiming the role of the church and community from the Federal Government.

For several years now the conservative movement has allowed private charity to flirt with and even get in bed with the Federal Government under the understanding that private organizations can use federal dollars much more efficiently than government bureaucracies.  Then along came Barack Obama.  It makes me think of Star Wars and Darth Vader’s line “Pray I don’t alter the deal any further”.

The problem is that conservatives abandoned their principles.  Trusting a pro-family, pro-conservative President in George W. Bush, we signed on to faith based initiatives.  Perhaps we never expected a President who would leverage those relationships to gain control over Christianity and use Christian institutions to spread liberalism.  We never expected a President who in three short years would be to the point of forcing Christian institutions to provide abortion pills or suffer the consequences.

The Government cannot protect our sacred institutions.  The government is using our tax dollars to control our sacred institutions.

The problem is that only one candidate in this has talked about the sort of shrinking of government necessary to get the government out of the charity and faith business altogether.  While he has appeared impotent when pressed, Ron Paul is the only candidate who will actually say that the government doesn’t belong in the insurance business or the charity business.  Mitt Romney would bring us back to the George W. Bush days when faith based initiatives allowed faiths to still manage themselves.  Newt and Santorum would certainly respect religious freedom, but would also strengthen the ties between government and faith based organizations with the same deadly good intentions W had.

This is not an endorsement for Ron Paul, but it is an acknowledgement that when it comes to the responsibility of Christians and community, Paul is more in line with the 2010 freshmen, and older wise sages like Huckabee, who must rise to the top if conservatism and freedom of religion is to survive in our country.  Perhaps Newt, Mitt and Rick will be persuaded by Paul on this like they were on the Fed.

See Rick Santorum’s Entire CPAC 2012 Speech

Bookmark and Share  Rick Santorum, the newest person to once again  be a frontrunner for the Republican presidential nomination, delivered a powerful speech at CPAC today that strongly argued that he is not only conservative alternative to Mitt Romney, but that he is the best alternative to President Obama.

Video from RightScoop.com

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Conservative Formula Plays Out

Imagine if you single-handedly picked Presidents.  The choice is up to you.  No need to consider electability, lesser of two evils, third parties, spoilers, or anything else.  Your choice is it.  Now, imagine you live in Montana, Minnesota, or Colorado and delegates aren’t rewarded based on your primary vote.  It’s pretty much the same situation.

The result?  Ron Paul got his standard 10-20% of libertarians and conservatives seeking radical constitutionalism, Romney got his standard 30-40% of fiscal conservatives who want a strong businessman, and the social conservatives split the rest.  Except in states where electability, lesser of two evils, third parties, and spoilers don’t matter, Newt Gingrich barely registered.  Instead, Rick Santorum, deemed unelectable from day one, swept bigtime.  It’s like “What’s My Line” where the points don’t matter.

Social Conservatives demonstrated what they really want, and it ain’t Mitt or Newt.  Mitt Romney is striking out with Conservatives, first with support of increasing labor price floors, then with information about his imposing abortion coverage on private companies like Obama is doing now.  Both of these are huge question marks on Romney’s record.

But Newt hasn’t done much better, with most of the country now thinking he was Freddie Mac’s number one lobbyist and had more sex partners than your average Mormon.  Romney has succeeded in dragging Newt down, and Newt hasn’t helped himself.

So does Santorum have a shot?  Probably not, but he does have something Iowa didn’t really give him: momentum.

Now Santorum can face the Romney attack machine for a while.  It started with the Donald saying that since Santorum lost in Pennsylvania he can’t possibly win the Presidency. Of course, that is a pretty funny standard to be judged by when it comes from a multi-billionaire business-owner who has declared bankruptcy four times.  I would think Trump would be able to relate to Santorum’s tenacity.

The problem with Santorum is that he doesn’t have that Presidentiality  that stupid, ignorant, and independent voters look for in a President.  He doesn’t have the hair or the chin.  Oh, and as Scarlett Johannson pointed out, he is unelectable because he wears sweater vests.  What Johannson underestimates is how many people out there who would take a bag of rocks wrapped in a sweater vest over our current President.

I pick on independents, but social conservatives aren’t much better.  When delegates are back on the table, don’t hold your breath for another Santorum sweep.  That would require conservatives looking themselves in the mirror and asking what they actually want in a President, not just who can beat Obama.  Tuesday’s message was loud and clear.

A remarkable success by Santorum – a devastating night for Team Romney

Republican presidential contender Rick Santorum claimed a remarkable trifecta of wins and massive surge of momentum by sweeping Mitt Romney in all three contests in Colorado, Minnesota and Missouri.

Santorum’s victories are all the more remarkable considering Romney’s advantage in financing and organization. Tuesday’s results included losses in two states – Colorado and Minnesota – that he won in his unsuccessful 2008 presidential campaign. Minnesota also became the first state where Romney did not end up in first or second place despite having the support of former presidential candidate and State Governor Tim Pawlenty.

The stunning results by Santorum have raised fresh doubts about whether establishment favourite and perceived frontrunner Romney, can in fact win a General election or even the nomination itself after struggling to get support from the party’s conservative base.

Santorum has now finished first in four of the first eight primaries and caucuses, after his narrow victory over Romney in Iowa’s caucuses on January 3.

The former senator said his campaign was already bringing in more donations, an important consideration for a candidate who trails far behind Romney in the fund-raising race.

As he has before, Romney had seemed on track to win the nomination after big wins in Nevada and Florida last week. He had been expected to win easily in Colorado and did little campaigning in Minnesota and Missouri.

In Minnesota’s caucuses, Santorum won with 45 percent of the vote. But the state became the first this year in which Romney did not finish first or second. Congressman Ron Paul was in second place with 27 percent and Romney was third at 17 percent.

Santorum trounced Romney by 30 percentage points in Missouri, 55 percent to 25 percent. That vote was a non-binding primary, but has symbolic value as a measure of support in a big Midwestern state.

The race was closer in Colorado where Santorum won by 5 percentage points over Romney, 40 percent to 35 percent.

Santorum in his victory speech also appeared more presidential then before, setting up a contrast between himself and President Obama as more of the aloof and arrogant policies from a person out of touch with the American people, or a true conservative alternative who will listen to the voice of the people. Santorum essentially positioned himself as the champion of the American people, economic policy, social values, and defender of the constitution and first amendment in particular. It was a passionate and heartfelt speech that connected with the audience.

“I don’t stand here to be the conservative alternative to Mitt Romney, I stand here to be the conservative alternative to Barack Obama,” Santorum said. On health care, cap and trade and the Wall Street bailout, he charged, “Mitt Romney has the same positions as Barack Obama.”

Romney addressing his supporters said, “This was a good night for Rick Santorum. I want to congratulate Senator Santorum and wish him the very best. We’ll keep on campaigning down the road, but I expect to become our nominee with your help.”

I asked the question in a recent article about Mitt Romney – What does he stand for? (worldviewtonight.wordpress.com/2012/02/01/romney-florida-an-expected-success-can-he-stand-up-to-the-obama-machine/)

The reason I asked the question was not out of any dislike for Romney, I admire a lot about Governor Romney and his business success in particular. The reason I asked the question was that Team Romney were very effective at attacking President Obama and Newt Gingrich with his powerful advertising spending however; I honestly didn’t know what his vision for America was and where he stood on the key issues of the day.

Team Romney will need to have a very detailed reassessment of their strategy going forward. The tried and tested approach of going negative on his opponents, and touting his business experience combined with large rallies, has left voters and supporters devoid of enthusiasm for his candidacy.

Romney’s speech last night was almost parrot fashion repetition of his talking points from the last week. He is failing to connect with the ordinary voter and too often has appeared rehearsed and uncomfortable when put in personal one to one interviews. Romney will need to throw off the consultant shackles and be more energetic, more personal and more natural on the campaign trail or face certain defeat.

Ironically, despite his poor showing in contests which he barely contested, Santorum’s victories may also be good news for former Speaker Newt Gingrich. Team Romney will now need to develop a strategy to attack Santorum and need Gingrich to stay in the race. The longer Gingrich stays in the race, the longer it will split the conservative vote. Three weeks out of the cross hairs for Gingrich may enable him to lay the ground work for a series of victories himself on Super Tuesday, March 6, 2012.

The Romney strategy was based on spending massive early to knock-out his rivals and claim the nomination early before turning his attention towards President Obama. Last night’s remarkable series of wins by Santorum, now appears to have changed the GOP race into a near certain long drawn out affair, and even if Romney prevails as the nominee, his chances of defeating President Obama in the race for the White House in November have been damaged.

There are three winners from last night’s results. Santorum’s victories give him the momentum he needs going forward and hopefully an injection of much needed financial support. They give President Obama renewed confidence that former Governor Romney is not as strong an opponent as initially believed and the longer the race GOP race on, the more damaged he will become. Finally, it gives Gingrich hope and time to re-organise his campaign and ground work ahead of Super Tuesday to deliver a series of southern victories himself.

A bad night for Romney.

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