President Barack Obama will give the first State of the Union address of his second term tomorrow night. It’s expected that he will build upon the incredibly partisan, Leftist agenda laid out in his inaugural address at a time when Republicans in Congress are still struggling to find their message.
While Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) will give the Republican response to the State of the Union address, Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) will offer a more stark contrast between the policies of the Obama Administration by giving the official Tea Party response:
Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., will deliver the Tea Party’s official response to President Obama’s State of the Union address on Tuesday, Tea Party Express announced on Friday.
“Since the President has been re-elected, the debt has continued to skyrocket and unemployment has ticked up, but he has offered no solutions and has shown no leadership,” said Tea Party Express Chairman Amy Kremer. “In contrast, Senator Rand Paul has put forth solutions that would spur economic growth and rein in Washington’s out-of-control spending. We are excited that Senator Paul, a conservative leader and strong voice for the Tea Party movement, will be offering our perspective on the state of the union.”
In discussing recent comments made by Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL), who pointedly said that President Barack Obama doesn’t believe in the Second Amendment, Judge Andrew Napolitano explained that the officials in this administration “do not believe in parts of the Constitution.”
Napolitano, who frequently writes about breakdown of the rule of law, explained, “They don’t believe in the Tenth Amendment that reserves powers to the states and they don’t believe in the Second Amendment that guarantees us the right to keep and bear arms, and they will do everything they can to wear away those parts of the Constitution with which they disagree.”
Check out the segment, which appeared on Fox News last week, below:
Often motivated by financial interests, the political consultant, writes Blackwell, often finds himself branching into lobbying, though “he continues to take some candidates as clients, partly to keep his valuable ties with incumbents and partly because there are in each election cycle some rich candidates and others able to raise big war chests.”
But grassroots activists have threatened political consultants in recent years as insurgent campaigns have become the norm inside the Republican Party. Roll Call notes that this has the insider-class scrambling to regain their power:
The internal battle for the direction of the Republican Party has enveloped Washington’s GOP consultant class, as pragmatic party strategists hired to win campaigns ponder how to reclaim control of the primary process from powerful conservative activist groups.
This developing conflict comes in the aftermath of consecutive election cycles that saw Republicans blow as many as five Senate races because the party nominated flawed candidates over those who were better suited to compete in the general election.
In an editoral published last week at The Kansas City Star, Chris Chocola, president of the Club for Growth, had strong words for Sen. Jerry Moran (R-KS), incoming chairman of the National Republican Senatorial Committee (NRSC), when it comes to constested Senate primaries:
In the wake of some missed opportunities to pick up seats in the U.S. Senate over the last few cycles, one tactical change floated by the GOP establishment is that the party apparatus and its affiliated Super PACs should play a more influential role in primaries to make sure that more “electable” candidates are nominated.
It is hard to imagine a bigger mistake.
First, let’s review the Senate races where the Republicans nominated so-called “electable” establishment candidates in 2012: Denny Rehberg in Montana, Rick Berg in North Dakota, Heather Wilson in New Mexico, George Allen in Virginia, Tommy Thompson in Wisconsin. All were establishment favorites because they were all “electable.” All of them lost.
Second, let’s review the recent history of the Republican establishment’s choices of candidates in high-profile Republican primaries against fiscal conservatives.
The names that come to mind include Dede Scozzafava, Arlen Specter, and Charlie Crist. All were supported by the Republican Party establishment as the most “electable” in their respective races. These stellar “Republican” candidates ended up either endorsing the Democratic candidate in the race or became Democrats themselves.
This probably doesn’t come as much of a surprise to those of us that have been involved in the Liberty Movement, but in an interview with ABC News published yesterday, Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) didn’t deny that he was interested in a bid for the Republican Party’s presidential nomination in 2016:
Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) said he’s interested in mounting a 2016 presidential bid.
“I’m not going to deny that I’m interested,” Paul told ABC News in an interview published on Tuesday.
A bid for the Republican nomination would continue a family tradition. Paul’s father, Rep. Ron Paul (R-Texas), has repeatedly sought the party’s nomination. The elder Paul is retiring at the end of this congressional term.
The younger Paul emphasized that he was not yet ready to announce his candidacy, but said he believed his brand of libertarianism could open up the map for Republicans.
“I think we have to go a different direction, because we’re just not winning, and we have to think about some different ideas,” said the Kentucky lawmaker, a favorite of the conservative Tea Party movement.
Among his proposals: undertaking immigration reform, making defense cuts and allowing individual states to legalize marijuana.
“States should be allowed to make a lot of these decisions,” Paul says. “I want things to be decided more at a local basis, with more compassion. I think it would make us as Republicans different.”
Republicans are still reeling from this year’s election results, which secured President Barack Obama another four years in the White House. And at this point, no one really wants to talk about 2016. That hasn’t stopped at least one pollster, Public Policy Polling, from looking at the prospective field for Republicans.
Last week, Public Policy Polling, which was the most accurate pollster this year, released a survey looking at how some potential Republican presidential candidates shape up in the all important state of Iowa:
The Republican Party has no front-runner for the 2016 Iowa caucuses, with even Jeb Bush and Paul Ryan scarcely drawing double-digit support in a new Public Policy Polling survey of the contest.
The poll, which was shared exclusively with POLITICO, found former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee as the nominal leader of the pack, taking 15 percent of the vote in a nine-candidate field.
But that was only 3 points better than Ryan, Florida Sen. Marco Rubio and New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, each of whom took 12 percent. Bush had 11 percent, followed by Rick Santorum at 10 percent and former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice at 9 percent.
Bringing up the rear were Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul at 5 percent and Sarah Palin at 4 percent.
Social conservatives are an important bloc in Iowa, as well as in the South. Rick Santorum carried the state earlier this year, though he was unable to gain enough traction in other primaries across the country to overtake Mitt Romney.
With the distraction of his comments on abortion, most Republicans have disavowed Rep. Todd Akin, who won the GOP primary for United States Senate in Missouri earlier this month. But to this point, Akin has rebuffed calls for him to drop out of the race against Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-MO), who had been seen as incredibly vulnerable this fall.
There are still mixed signals as to what Akin will ultimately do. Akin did leave the door open yesterday to dropping out, presumably before an important September 25th deadline, which is the last opportunity for the GOP to find a replacement:
Here’s what Missouri Congressman Todd Akin said when I asked if he was in the race to stay – even if it looked like he would lose and possibly cost Republicans control of the Senate.
“Well George, I’m never going to say everything that could possibly happen. I don’t know the future, but I do know this. I knew that the party voters took a look at our hearts, understood who we were, had a chance to meet us in many, many different ways and made a decision,” Akin told me. “And it makes me uncomfortable to think that the party bosses are going to dictate who runs as opposed to the election process.”
However, Akin has been in Tampa this week talking with social conservatives about fundraising issues since outside money from the National Republican Senatorial Committee and PACs have dried up.
A little more than two years ago, then-Gov. Charlie Crist, in an effort to avoid what would have been primary loss to Marco Rubio, decided to leave the Republican Party and run for United States Senate as an Independent. During the campaign, Crist had come under fire for backing President Barack Obama’s stimulus bill and being a tax hiker. Crist was apparently so desparate, he met with Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) and said that he would caucus with Democrats if elected.
Because of his more moderate economic positions and perception as a stereotypical politician — someone who will change positions out of convenience, Crist became the poster boy of what grassroots conservatives loathe in Republican politics. During the Senate primary in Texas, which eventually saw Tea Party favorite Ted Cruz walk away victorious, grassroots conservatives began using “Dewcrist” to knock the squishiness of David Dewhurst.
But Crist hasn’t change much over the past couple of years. Still bitter that Rubio and conservative groups worked hard to defeat him, Crist has endorsed Sen. Bill Nelson (D-FL) in his race for re-election against Rep. Connie Mack (R-FL) and will appear at a fundraiser with Bill Clinton for the incumbent Democrat:
Former Gov. Charlie Crist, a former Republican, said Wednesday he is backing Democratic Sen. Bill Nelson’s re-election campaign - a race in which he’ll likely face the son of Crist’s longtime political mentor.
The question of who Mitt Romney will choose to serve as his running mate has been a source of considerable speculation over the last couple of weeks. The New York Times ran a story on Tuesday giving some inside information about the grueling vetting process for prospects. But obviously, that doesn’t put to rest the seemingly endless speculation. Will his running mate be Florida Sen. Marco Rubio, Ohio Sen. Rob Portman, or former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty? Or could it be someone off the wall, like Condoleezza Rice, whose name was dropped into the discussion over the weekend. Every guess is as good as the other.
Many commentators downplay the effect that a potential running mate can have on a ticket, but numbers indicate that it does indeed matter. And while the suggestion has been both dismissed and praised by Republicans, a new Fox News poll shows that Rice, who served in the Bush Administration as National Security Advisor (2001-2005) and Secretary of State (2005-2009), may actually help Romney’s campaign. But conservatives want someone more exciting given that Romney does little to inspire them.