Newt Gingrich has certainly had a good last several days. In addition to other polls showing him rising to the lead in the race for the GOP nomination, Rasmussen showed him with a 21 point lead over Mitt Romney. A third poll out of Florida showed Gingrich not only leading, but taking 50% of GOP voters.
But Gingrich’s rise is bringing a renewed interest in his past, not just his exploits as a lobbyist and consultant, but his failures as Speaker of the House, which has some of his former colleages still in the Congress are concerned that he may actually win the nomination:
Despite being in Washington for decades and leading the 1994 GOP revolution, Gingrich only has garnered six endorsements from Republican House members, and none in the Senate. Texas Gov. Rick Perry, who has sunk in the polls, has 13 (including from one senator) while former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney has 46 (including from 8 senators).
Some of Gingrich’s former colleagues attribute the scarce endorsements to the former House Speaker’s leadership style.
Sen. Richard Burr (R-N.C.), who served in the House from 1995 through 2004, said that sentiment is true from a certain standpoint.
“Any time you throw a thousand ideas out there, you got a great likelihood that a great majority of them are not very good,” he said.
New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie seems to be one of the few Republicans that understands the so-called “war on drugs” has been an utter failure. The narrative does slowly seem to be changing. Right on Crime, a new right-leaning initiative, seems to be gaining traction in some states, including my home state of Georgia.
The goal of the push is to save taxpayers millions in that would go towards incarceration or the construction of new jails to house non-violent drug offenders and focus instead on rehabiliation and teaching job skills. Right on Crime has had tremendous success in Texas as recidivism rates have fallen.
But with all of that said, Christie is probably the most high-profile Republican to speak out on criminal justice reform, which includes the misguided war on drugs. Let’s hope more catch on, and quickly:
On Tuesday, MSNBC reported that the advisors assistedMitt Romney in drafting the Massachusetts health care also aided the White House with coming up with what would become ObamaCare:
Newly obtained White House records provide fresh details on how senior Obama administration officials used Mitt Romney’s landmark health-care law in Massachusetts as a model for the new federal law, including recruiting some of Romney’s own health care advisers and experts to help craft the act now derided by Republicans as “Obamacare.”
The records, gleaned from White House visitor logs reviewed by NBC News, show that senior White House officials had a dozen meetings in 2009 with three health-care advisers and experts who helped shape the health care reform law signed by Romney in 2006, when the Republican presidential candidate was governor of Massachusetts. One of those meetings, on July 20, 2009, was in the Oval Office and presided over by President Barack Obama, the records show.
“The White House wanted to lean a lot on what we’d done in Massachusetts,” said Jon Gruber, an MIT economist who advised the Romney administration on health care and who attended five meetings at the Obama White House in 2009, including the meeting with the president. “They really wanted to know how we can take that same approach we used in Massachusetts and turn that into a national model.”
The White House visitor logs suggest that, if Obama officials didn’t talk directly with Romney, senior presidential aides did consult with others — like Gruber — who played important roles in helping to craft and implement the Massachusetts law.
In what some see at the Republicans beginning to coalesce around the eventual nominee, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, who decided against a bid for the GOP nomination last week, endorsed Mitt Romney yesterday:
New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie says he is backing Mitt Romney for president as “the man we need to lead America” and said attacks on his Mormon religion are “beneath the office of the president of the United States.”
Christie announced his endorsement at a surprise appearance in New Hampshire with the former Massachusetts governor on Tuesday.
A senior Romney adviser told NBC News that Romney secured the endorsement on Saturday when he and his wife, Ann, met with Christie and his wife, Mary Pat, at the Christie home.
Romney described Christie as an “American hero” who has battled to “rein in the excesses of government in New Jersey.”
Christie’s support — which was considered to be coveted among the GOP field — could come with his network of donors and admirers.
I’m not trying to downplay the importance of this endorsement; but, was anyone actually surprised by this? It was obvious that Christie wasn’t going to get behind Rick Perry. Jon Huntsman, the only other candidate that would be up his alley, is doing terribly in the polls and the other candidates in the race seem are too far out there for him. Not to mention that a prominent Christie fundraiser immediately went to Romney after his guy opted against a run.
It certainly seemed that Chris Christie was reconsidering running for the Republican nomination for president and would make final decision by mid-week, but the word out of Trenton today is that he will not run
New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie has decided against entering the race for president, most likely ending once and for all the GOP establishment’s hope for a new candidate in the 2012 race.
Christie has scheduled a 1 p.m. press conference in his state’s capital, where he’s expected to announce that he will not seek the presidency. Two sources said he has started informing people of his decision in advance of his Trenton press conference.
“He is not running,” said a fundraiser informed of the decision. “Mary Pat and the gov just called tier one [donor] group to say he was out.”
There was skepticism that Christie could pull together an effective team quickly enough given that the first primary is scheduled for January 21st, a decision made just yesterday by the South Carolina Republican Party in reaction to a move by Florida to hold their primary on January 31st. Byron York explained the obstacles in front of Christie, including his inexperience:
We’ve been meaning to run a poll here for sometime on the Republican nomination, but I haven’t gotten around to putting it together. But since I’m short on content this morning thanks to an incredibly busy evening last night, I figured this would be the perfect chance for it.
Below is our poll of the nine candidates Republican candidates that participated in the most recent debate. In other words, Rudy Giuliani, Sarah Palin, and Chris Christie aren’t included since they haven’t confirmed anything at this point.
Back in July, Executive Vice President of the libertarian Cato Institute David Boaz chimed in on the 2012 GOP nomination asking “Is There Still Time?“
Barry Goldwater announced his candidacy for president on January 3, 1964, about nine weeks before the New Hampshire primary. A decade later, Ronald Reagan announced his challenge to President Gerald Ford on November 20, 1975. After that unsuccessful race, he announced another, this time successful candidacy, on November 13, 1979.
I’m not suggesting that Sarah Palin, Rick Perry, or Chris Christie is another Ronald Reagan or even another Goldwater. Nor am I unaware of the changes in the campaign process. But I do wonder if a candidate with real appeal really has to announce his or her candidacy so many months before earlier candidates did.
Now he’s asking “Is It Too Late for Another Candidate?“
Now the William J. Clinton Presidential Center (whatever happened to good ol’ Bill? I guess “William J. Clinton” sounds more presidential) reminds us of a more recent president who started his campaign later than any of today’s contenders. From September 30 to October 3, the center will celebrate the 20th anniversary of Bill Clinton’s announcement of his candidacy, which happened on October 2, 1991.
Is time running out? Or could a candidate with something attractive to offer still get into the race? It’s still earlier in the season than when Ronald Reagan and Bill Clinton announced their candidacies.
Below is a collection of several links that we didn’t get around to writing about, but still wanted to post for readers to examine. The stories typically range from news about prominent figures in the liberty movement, national politics, the nanny state, foreign policy and free markets.
Countdown to Government Shutdown (National Journal)
DCCC targets House Republicans on budget (The Hill)
2012 Ad Blitz for Obama Planned (Wall Street Journal)
In Turnabout, U.S. Says Marriage Act Blocks Gay Rights (The New York Times)
The capital’s red-light district (Las Vegas Sun)
The reaction to Ron Paul’s straw poll victory reveals the GOP’s hypocrisy (Charleston City Paper)
For the second year in a row, Rep. Ron Paul (R-TX) won the CPAC presidential straw poll. According to organizers of CPAC, more than 11,000 people attended this year’s conference, with 3,742 of them casting ballots in the straw poll (also a record number).
- Ron Paul: 30%
- Mitt Romney: 23%
- Gary Johnson: 6%
- Chris Christie: 6%
- Newt Gingrich: 5%
- Tim Pawlenty: 4%
- Michele Bachmann: 4%
- Mitch Daniels: 4%
- Sarah Palin: 3%
- Herman Cain: 2%
- Mike Huckabee: 2%
- Rick Santorum: 2%
- John Thune: 2%
- Jon Huntsman: 1%
- Haley Barbour: 1%
- Other: 5%
- Undecided: 1%
Other highlights from the straw poll:
On Tuesday evening, President Barack Obama will deliver his State of the Union address to a joint session of Congress. We’re beginning to get an idea of what he will say - most of which will probably fall short of what Republicans want to hear:
President Barack Obama will call for new government spending on infrastructure, education and research in his State of the Union address Tuesday, sharpening his response to Republicans in Congress who are demanding deep budget cuts, people familiar with the speech said.
Mr. Obama will argue that the U.S., even while trying to reduce its budget deficit, must make targeted investments to foster job growth and boost U.S. competitiveness in the world economy. The new spending could include initiatives aimed at building the renewable-energy sector—which received billions of dollars in stimulus funding—and rebuilding roads to improve transportation, people familiar with the matter said. Money to restructure the No Child Left Behind law’s testing mandates and institute more competitive grants also could be included.
While proposing new spending, Mr. Obama also will lay out significant budget cuts elsewhere, people familiar with the plans say, though they will likely fall short of what Republican lawmakers have requested.