Sarah Palin rolls out first round of 2014 endorsements

Sarah Palin, former Governor of Alaska and 2008 Republican vice presidential nominee, has rolled out her first endorsements of the 2014 mid-term election cycle, hailing each of her picks as the “conservative” choice in their respective races.

In a post on her Facebook page on Wednesday, Palin, who has substantial sway in the conservative movement, told her 4-plus million fans that her endorsements would be announced in “in coming days.”

“I’m excited to announce that big U.S. Senate and House of Representatives endorsements are on the way!” Palin wrote. “Lots of vetting and research goes into these endorsements because this is for YOU. It’s to allow you to take a closer look at good men and women with servants’ hearts who are willing to get in the rough and tumble arena to help save America.”

Palin weighed in on three U.S. Senate races, all of which are expected to remain in Republican hands this fall. She began the string of endorsements, done in coordination with her political action committee, with T.W. Shannon, who is seeking the Republican nomination in Oklahoma, on Wednesday and announced two more on Thursday. She posted graphics with each endorsement, which have been included below.

“Tom Coburn leaves large conservative shoes to fill as he retires from the U.S. Senate. At 6’5 feet tall, T.W. Shannon is just the leader to fill them,” Palin wrote. “T.W. is the underdog in his race, but that’s not a position he’s unfamiliar with. He’s had to beat the odds all of his life.”

Today in Liberty: Republicans win in FL-13, Obama’s approval rating hits new low

“There can be no faith in government if our highest offices are excused from scrutiny - they should be setting the example of transparency.” — Edward Snowden

— Republicans hold on to FL-13: Though most political analysts had given Democrats a slight edge in the special election, David Jolly (R-FL) defeated Alex Sink (D-FL) last night in Florida’s Thirteenth Congressional District. This was the race Roll Call said that “Democrats can’t afford to lose.” Sink outraised and outspent Jolly. Even when outside groups are accounted for, Sink had an advantage. While it’s true that the GOP had control of the district for many years, it had been trending Democratic. President Obama, for example, won FL-13 in 2008 and 2012. Most Republicans are saying that this race was a referendum on Obamacare, and they’re right. That’s where Jolly staked his claim, while Sink wanted to “fix” the law. Though a close race, as every suspected it would be, voters in FL-13 rejected Obamacare. We’ll have more on the 2014 implications a little later today.

NC Senate: Mike Lee endorses Greg Brannon in Republican primary

Sen. Mike Lee (R-UT) has endorsed Dr. Greg Brannon in the North Carolina Republican Senate primary and plans to campaign for the conservative candidate in the Tar Heel state later this month.

In a statement released this morning by Brannon’s campaign, Lee called 2014 a “critical year for conservatives,” noting that North Carolina will play an important role in this year’s mid-term election. He stressed the importance of electing candidates that will “work to restor[e] the proper role of government” and “forward positive, specific policy proposals to get America back on track.”

“Greg Brannon is dedicated to enacting a conservative reform agenda in Congress.  He is willing to challenge the status quo and entrenched special interests,” said Lee in the statement. “And he has pledged to work alongside myself, Ted Cruz, Rand Paul, and others in the Senate to change the way Washington works.”

Lee, a Tea Party favorite, has put forward a number of reform proposals in recent months, including pro-family tax reform and policies that would strengthen the middle class as well as create opportunity for the poor.

“Greg Brannon will be a strong voice for the people in the Senate and I am proud to endorse him,” Lee added.

Liberty-minded group backs conservative candidate in West Virginia

Pat McGeehan

If Rep. Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV) thought she was going to coast to the GOP’s Senate nomination in West Virginia, she may have another thing coming.

The Republican Liberty Caucus has endorsed Pat McGeehan, a veteran and former member of the West Virginia House of Delegates who is challenging Capito for the Republican nomination in the state.

“Pat McGeehan has shown leadership skills badly needed in the Senate,” said RLC National Chair Matt Nye in a press release from the group. “Receiving the Republican Liberty Caucus endorsement is a testament to his commitment to the principles of individual liberty, limited government, and free enterprise.”

“At the Republican Liberty Caucus we believe that less government means more liberty. We advocate the principles of individual rights, limited government, and free enterprise,” added Nye. “We work in the Republican Party because we believe it is the best vehicle for bringing about the political changes we want and we believe that Pat McGeehan will become part of the growing number of Liberty Republicans advancing those goals in Washington.”

Rand Paul explains the Romney endorsement

As has been noted since last week, Ron Paul supporters are furious over Sen. Rand Paul’s endorsement of Mitt Romney. They’re calling him a everything but a child of God, which is truly sad. But late yesterday, Sen. Paul explained the strategy behind the endorsement on Peter Schiff’s radio show.

During the interview, Sen. Paul explains that the endorsement was political. In order for him to get support during his Senate bid in 2010, Paul had to convince his potential backers that he was a Republican and would back the GOP presidential nominee, which his father did not do in 2008. Paul also notes, though not in these words, that it’s a little absurd to cast him aside as a traitor when he is part of the liberty movement and push our issues in the Senate.

Paul points out that his father supports his endorsement of Romney. He also weighs in on whether or not the elder Paul will follow suit. Unfortunately, Sen. Paul explains that some of the reaction to the endorsement has been, well, violent.

Here’s the interview. It’s 18+ minutes, but well worth a listen:

Tom Woods’ message for Ron Paul

Editor’s note: Tom Woods has apparently made the video private, but I found it on another YouTube channel.

With the backlash against Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) still strong after his endorsement of Mitt Romney and some of his supporters taking legal action against the Republican Party, Tom Woods put together a message for Ron Paul urging him to resist pressure from GOP acolytes to toe the party line in the presidential race this fall.

In the video, Woods notes that Paul’s tendency to speak his mind, noting the first GOP debate back in 2007 where the Texan noted the problems with our foreign policy, and his ability to inspire supporters are unique qualities that set him apart from others in today’s political world. Woods also points out that an endorsement from the elder Paul probably wouldn’t help his son. He briefly takes a jab at Campaign for Liberty, Paul’s advocacy organization, for it’s failure to take on foreign policy.

In closing Woods says, “Dr. Paul, you changed the world in 2007. Don’t change it back. Just be Ron Paul and millions of us will support you”:

Jack Hunter on Rand Paul’s endorsement of Mitt Romney

If you’ve been following the reaction to Sen. Rand Paul’s endorsement of Mitt Romney, you know there are a lot of people disappointed. Our own Brian Lehman noted on Friday that Sen. Paul didn’t have much of a choice other than to endorse Romney if he wanted to have any future or influence inside the Republican Party.

In a new video, Jack Hunter (also known as the “Southern Avenger”) explained that Sen. Paul had always said that he would endorse the Republican nominee, regardless of whom it may be, against President Barack Obama. He also explains that Sen. Paul only made the endorsement after his father, Rep. Ron Paul (R-TX), conceded that he didn’t have the delegates to secure the GOP nomination:

Herman Cain endorses Newt Gingrich

Seeking to remain relevant in Republican politics, Herman Cain endorsed Newt Gingrich, in what couldn’t have been a more predictable move:

The move by the former GOP candidate and tea-party favorite comes three days before the Florida primary, at a moment when Gingrich is badly in need of something to rekindle the momentum he gained in the wake of his South Carolina primary victory.
“I had it in my heart and mind a long time,” Cain said of his endorsement, appearing with Gingrich at a Republican fundraiser. “Speaker Gingrich is a patriot. Speaker Gingrich is not afraid of bold ideas.”

Gingrich joked, “I had no idea it would be this interesting an evening.”

Cain is the latest in a series of popular conservative figures to back the former House speaker, while much of the GOP establishment is marshaling against him. Among Gingrich’s other recent supporters are former Alaska governor Sarah Palin; his onetime presidential rival, Texas Gov. Rick Perry; and former senator Fred Thompson (Tenn.).

Cain backed Romney in 2008, but both he and Gingrich are from Georgia and it was obvious during the debates that they had had an affection for each other. And while the endorsement will be played up by anti-Romney conservatives, Gingrich’s actions as Speaker of the House, such as trying to diminish the influence of fiscal conservatives, are continuing to come under fire.

DeMint will not endorse before South Carolina’s primary

In recent days, Sen. Jim DeMint (R-SC), an outspoken fiscal conservative, has defended Rep. Ron Paul (R-TX), noting that Republicans should embrace some libertarian ideas. DeMint also sees the risk many Republican take in their public criticism of Paul, who has an incredibly dedicated group of followers, many of whom are young.

This led to rumors of an endorsement yesterday on Twitter and Facebook before the all important South Carolina primary. But DeMint, keeping with a statement he made a couple of months ago, has said he will not endorse:

One of the most sought-after South Carolina politicians said Monday he would not endorse a candidate ahead of the Palmetto State’s primary.

Sen. Jim DeMint, who has offered praise to all of the candidates in the field, said in a statement, “I do not have a favorite in this race and I will not endorse a candidate.”

DeMint said his stance reflected the view of many voters in South Carolina.

“I’ve gotten to know each of the candidates over the past year and they are all far superior to Obama,” DeMint said. “My view reflects what I’ve heard from Republican voters across South Carolina who remain divided in this race.”

DeMint would have been a big get for any candidate in the GOP field, given his high regard among conservative voters. Many of the contenders have met with the senator in person, looking to gain his backing.

Herman Cain thinks he still matters

Herman Cain, who exited the race for the GOP nomination early last month, announced last week that he would launch a bus tour in support of his gimmicky “9-9-9” plan, which was panned by several prominent conservatives, hoping that the push will lead to support in Congress:

The one-time Republican front-runner announced his “Cain’s Solutions Revolution” during a Fox News interview with Sean Hannity on Wednesday night.

“I started a new movement. The biggest comment I got when I ended my candidacy was to keep 9-9-9 alive. That’s what this is about, and I’m going to keep it alive with what I’m calling Cain’s Solutions Revolution,” Cain said.

“You have a bus,” Hannity interjected.

“Yes, sir. I have a bus with my picture on it,” Cain said, smiling, as Hannity displayed a photo of a vehicle that looked similar to the campaign bus he used on the trail until the day he pulled up in it at the early December rally in Atlanta when he ended his campaign.

The Atlanta businessman said he plans to “get commitments from members of Congress in 2012 before Election Day” and that the legislation is currently being drafted.

Cain also announced that he’ll be making an endorsement in the race on Thursday, January 19th — just before the primary in South Carolina. Given that he is from Georgia and is close to Newt Gingrich, you can probably guess who he’ll wind up backing.

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