As Mitt Romney tries to do more to appeal to the tea party movement, a sizeable and influential voting bloc looking to make its mark on the Republican primary, FreedomWorks is putting a target on his back:
A top tea party organizing group, FreedomWorks, is planning to protest Mitt Romney’s appearance this weekend at a New Hampshire stop of a bus tour intended to encourage tea party sympathizers to participate in the Republican presidential nominating process.
Romney, a former Massachusetts governor, is among the leading candidates for the GOP presidential nomination but is viewed warily by tea party activists, who believe him to be insufficiently conservative and particularly blame him for the Massachusetts state health care overhaul he signed into law.
And Romney, for his part, hasn’t focused much energy on appealing to the movement. So it attracted considerable attention — both within the tea party and among the GOP operative class — when it was announced Tuesday that he intended to speak at a Sunday evening rally being staged by the Tea Party Express in Concord, N.H., as part of a cross country bus tour set to culminate in Tampa, Fla., ahead of a Sept. 12 GOP presidential debate co-sponsored by the Tea Party Express and CNN.
FreedomWorks, which had been participating in the Tea Party Express’s tour and had helped turn out activists at rallies during prior stops, decided it could no longer be affiliated with the tour, said Brendan Steinhauser, a lead organizer for FreedomWorks.
President Barack Obama announced yesterday that Alan Krueger, an economics professor at Princeton University, would succeed Austan Goolsbee as chairman of the White House Council of Economic Advisers. It’s not a surprise that Krueger will bring nothing new in terms of this administration’s approach to the economy:
Alan Krueger, President Barack Obama’s pick to head the White House Council of Economic Advisers, will likely serve as an administration advocate for more aggressive government intervention to revive job growth.
“Our great ongoing challenge as a nation remains how to get this economy growing faster,” Mr. Obama said Monday at the White House announcement of Mr. Krueger’s nomination.
He served as assistant Treasury secretary for economic policy in the first two years of the Obama administration, where he helped design the “cash for clunkers” program to boost auto purchases.
“What you’re likely to see is, he does believe the federal government can do more to help in this economy,” Cecilia Rouse, a Princeton University economist and former CEA member, said of Mr. Krueger. “He will be a voice for more investments.”
“I believe it is appropriate to have an over-representation of factual presentations on how dangerous [global warming] is, as a predicate for opening up the audience to listen to what the solutions are, and how hopeful it is that we are going to solve this crisis.” – Al Gore
Oh look, Al Gore is back in the news again. It appears that on Friday, Gore gave an interview explaining that eating less meat would fight global warming:
Al Gore wants society to ditch meat-heavy diets and go organic to combat global warming.
“Industrial agriculture is a part of the problem,” Gore said Friday during an interview with FearLess Revolution founder Alex Bogusky. “The shift toward a more meat-intensive diet,” the clearing of forest areas in many parts of the world in order to raise more cattle and the reliance on synthetic nitrogen for fertilizer are also problems, he added.
Instead, Gore advocated organic farming and relying on “more productive, safer methods that put carbon back in the soil” to produce “safer and better food.”
Gore didn’t stop there. It once used to be the trend among global warming alarmists to compare skeptics to holocaust deniers. Some alarmists have gone as far to call for Nuremberg-style trails for climate skeptics. Christopher Horner documents this at length in his book, The Politically Incorrect Guide to Global Warming (and Environmentalism). It appears now that Gore now comparing us to racists. Classy:
Jon Huntsman, former Governor of Utah and Ambassador to China, formally announced yesterday that he will seek the Republican nomination for president:
Former Ambassador to China Jon Huntsman (R) launched his presidential campaign Tuesday with the message that he is a post-partisan political leader.
Speaking with the Statue of Liberty and Manhattan skyline as his backdrop in an effort to evoke Ronald Reagan, who held a campaign event from the same spot a generation ago, Huntsman said he would bring to the presidency a focus on substance and not on politics.
“We will conduct this campaign on the high road,” Huntsman said during his speech, calling modern political debate mostly “corrosive.”
The mounting debt and other problems facing the United States are “un-American,” he said. But he wouldn’t extend that line of attack against his former boss, President Obama.
Huntsman said his campaign against the president for whom he’d served as ambassador would boil down to policy, not attacks on patriotism.
“He and I have a difference of opinion on how to help the country we both love,” Huntsman said. “But the question each of us wants the voters to answer is who will be the better president, not who’s the better American.”
Just like in 2008, the Club for Growth is putting together a series of white papers on candidates running for the Republican Party’s presidential nomination. They’ve already looked into the records of Newt Gingrich and Tim Pawlenty. Next up is Herman Cain, a businessman turned talk show host.
The Club notes that Cain supports the FairTax, a plan that comes with a built-in constituency that would eliminate the federal income tax through repealing the 16th Amendment and replace it with an inclusive national retail sales tax. After opting against his own bid for president in 2000, Cain, then a flat tax supporter, backed Steve Forbes candidacy.
On spending, the Club finds Cain’s record to be thin, and carries a notable negative, in backing TARP, making claims that government ownership of financial institutions “is not a bad thing” and slamming that “free market purists” that opposed the bailouts, which Cain called a “rescue plan”:
Cain supported TARP, the government bailout of the financial industry, and even chastised people who opposed it in a condescending op-ed: “Earth to taxpayers! Owning stocks in banks is not nationalization of the banking industry. It’s trying to solve a problem,” Cain wrote. “Owning a part of the major banks in America is not a bad thing. We could make a profit while solving a problem.”
Why won’t Jon Huntsman be the Republican nominee in 2012? This video posted by Verum Serum highlights many positions Huntsman has taken, including support for cap-and-trade and the stimulus, that aren’t going to jive well with the Republican base:
Just like in 2008, the Club for Growth is putting together a series of white papers on candidates running for the Republican Party’s presidential nomination. They’ve already looked into Newt Gingrich. The next candidate to go under their microscope is Tim Pawlenty, the former Governor of Minnesota.
The Club notes that Pawlenty was strongly supportive of lower taxes as a state legislator, but that his record on that issue wasn’t entirely clean. As Governor, his record seems to be mixed; he supported maintaining some existing taxes that were supposed to expire. He also backed a corporate tax hike. However, they note that Pawlenty vetoed $7.5 billion in tax increases.
According to the report, Pawlenty did a good job in keeping spending hikes down and his support of a Balanced Budget Amendment to the Constitution. However, Pawlenty doesn’t get away with accepting stimulus funds or supporting reauthorization of SCHIP.
Pawlenty’s record on free trade and entitlements are mixed; though I should note that he just came out with a Medicare reform proposal. The Club also hit him pretty hard on regulation, noting that he supported increasing the minimum wage and cap-and-trade (a position that he has recanted).
So what’s the bottomline?:
Over at Slate, Dave Weigel offers up an interview by Neil Cavuto from early 2009 with Jon Huntsman, former Governor of Utah, Ambassador to China and likely GOP presidential candidate, where he not only expressed support in the concept of economic; but believed the package being pushed through Congress wasn’t large enough (emphasis Weigel’s):
CAVUTO: Were you against the stimulus, Governor?
HUNSTMAN: Well, if I were in Congress, I probably would not have voted in favor because it didn’t have enough stimulus and probably wasn’t big enough to begin with.
Huntsman has been playing down his support of the stimulus. For example, in a recent interview with George Stephanopoulos, Huntsman said that he wanted more in terms of tax breaks; including a corporate income tax cut. However, Weigel points to a post at Washington Monthly by Steve Benen, who breaks down that claim; posting video of Huntsman in his on words:
While it’s hard to find a Republican running for president that hasn’t supported cap-and-trade - although most of them have magically changed positions, Jon Huntsman, the former Governor of Utah and US Ambassador to China, still seems to support the concept, according to comments recently made in an interview with Time:
Cap-and-trade ideas aren’t working; it hasn’t worked, and our economy’s in a different place than five years ago. Much of this discussion happened before the bottom fell out of the economy, and until it comes back, this isn’t the moment.
So, “this isn’t the moment”? I guess we’ll wait until the economy improves to try it? Sorry, that’s not good enough. The proposal that has been put forward is not something to be so passive about. It would could cost American families a lot of money. The Obama Administration estimated that it would cost the average family nearly $2,000 a year; or as CBS noted, the “equivalent of hiking personal income taxes by about 15 percent.” The Heritage Foundation gave a much higher figure in terms of average costs over the long-term; nearly $7,000 by 2035.
Even if the economy improves, would you really consider implementing a policy that is clearly going to make energy more expensive? That is the question that Republican voters should be asking Huntsman.
As I noted yesterday, Newt Gingrich is having a rough go of it lately. On Sunday, he slammed Rep. Paul Ryan’s budget plan, even though he seemed to endorse it two weeks earlier. He also endorsed an requirement that would force Americans to purchase health insurance whether they want it or not. He says it’s not the same as the individual mandate in ObamaCare, but explain that to a voter.
The comments haven’t been well-received by the House GOP (after all, Gingrich threw them under the bus) and other Republican politicians - including South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley - and conservative talk shows hosts. If this conversation with an Iowa Republican is any indication, Gingrich has a lot of fences to mend: