Speaker John Boehner and Republican leaders in the House are apparently worried about Rep.-elect Mark Sanford (R-SC):
Boehner on Tuesday morning suggested that he was less than thrilled about Sanford’s potential return to the House. And while the Speaker tweeted out a quick “congrats” to Sanford with the hash-tag jobs, a comment from his spokesman following the results was less than a bear-hug.
“He could be an added voice to the opposition — to those who like to make trouble for the Republican leadership,” GOP strategist Ron Bonjean, a former top House leadership aide, told The Hill. “It’ll definitely be a leadership management issue.”
Sanford made it clear in Tuesday night’s victory speech that he wasn’t returning to Washington to make friends — the same approach he took when he was a thorn in the side of GOP leadership during his first stint in Congress in the 1990s, and when he fought tooth-and-nail with the Republican-controlled statehouse during his governorship.
The newly elected congressman said voters had sent a “message to Washington, D.C., and a messenger to Washington, D.C., on the importance on changing things in that fair city.”
While combing through the post-election coverage, I found this little gem from Tony Lee of Breitbart News:
Jenny Beth Martin, National Coordinator of Tea Party Patriots, criticized the Republican Party for hand-picking a Beltway elite candidate who did not campaign forcefully on America’s founding principles and said the “presidential loss is unequivocally on them.”
“For those of us who believe that America, as founded, is the greatest country in the history of the world – a ‘Shining city upon a hill’ – we wanted someone who would fight for us,” Martin said. “We wanted a fighter like Ronald Reagan who boldly championed America’s founding principles, who inspired millions of independents and ‘Reagan Democrats’ to join us, and who fought his leftist opponents on the idea that America, as founded, was a ‘Shining city upon a hill.’
Instead, Martin lamented, “what we got was a weak moderate candidate, hand-picked by the Beltway elites and country-club establishment wing of the Republican Party.”
No, really, I want to know what’s going on here. Because it seems evident to me that Republican voters went to Republican primaries and voted for their candidate for the Republican nomination. The “Establishment” did not foist Romney upon them. Republican voters made their choices at primaries and caucuses across the nation this past spring.
After an incredibly disappointing end to his campaign, including more than $4 million in debt, Newt Gingrich will officially “suspend” his presidential campaign next Tuesday at a press conference in Washington:
Newt Gingrich will officially end his bid for the Republican presidential nomination next week, his spokesman said Wednesday, and will back Mitt Romney in his bid to defeat President Barack Obama in November.
In a phone call Wednesday between the candidates, Gingrich told Romney that he planned on suspending his campaign next week, Gingrich spokesman R.C. Hammond said.
Details are still being worked out, but Gingrich is likely to hold his final campaign event Tuesday in Washington, D.C., where he will make the announcement surrounded by his family and supporters, according to sources close to the Gingrich campaign.
The decision to hold the event next week was made for logistical reasons, the sources said, adding that Gingrich told Romney in the phone call that he will try to help elect Romney in November.
When it’s all said and done, I believe Gingrich’s campaign will go down as one of the worst in history. He entered the race and received a decent amount of support. But then he made mistake after mistake, such as taking a two-week cruise instead of campaigning in early primary states. He lost key staffers because they didn’t feel his heart was in the campaign.
Republican voters have finally figured out what Republican politicians over the last decade or so haven’t been able to grasp: we have a spending problem in Washington.
This year we have an opportunity to reject the big spending ways of Obama and embrace a strong fiscal conservative, to find a man who practices what he preaches when it comes to handling money.
Enter Ron Paul.
Paul’s campaign hasn’t really been in the frontrunner position in the presidential race (according to the media), nor is he the presumed nominee for the GOP. His strategy of grabbing delegates continues, though, funded by people who believe in his message.
As for campaign debt, there is none. That fact shouldn’t come as much of a shock to anyone; Paul has been preaching fiscal conservatism for decades, so one would expect his presidential campaign to adhere to common sense practices like keeping expenses lower than revenues and not running up debt.
In addition, Paul refuses Secret Service protection because he sees it as a form of welfare: “You’re having the taxpayers pay to take care of somebody and I’m an ordinary citizen and I would think I should pay for my own protection and it costs, I think, more than $50,000 a day to protect those individuals. It’s a lot of money.”
Then there’s Newt Gingrich.
Gingrich’s campaign also hasn’t really been in the frontrunner position (except for a brief time late last year), nor is he the presumed nominee for the GOP. He continues campaigning as a fiscal conservative, but when you look at his campaign’s finance reports, he doesn’t look like much of a fiscal conservative at all.
It’s been a rough go at the Republican nomination for Newt Gingrich. He enjoyed a bump in the polls back in the December as conservatives were still trying to find a viable alternative to Mitt Romney. But when Rick Santorum was able to gain traction in the race, Gingrich struggled mightily, winning only his home state of Georgia and neighboring South Carolina to date.
Now that Santorum is out of the race, Gingrich is again trying to convince Republicans to back him. Not long after sending an e-mail claiming to be the “last conservative standing,” it was reported that Gingrich’s campaign bounced a $500 check to get on the primary ballot in Utah:
GOP presidential hopeful Newt Gingrich might fail to appear on the Utah primary ballot after a check for the required filing fee bounced, according to media reports.
The check for $500 bounced on March 27, Utah state election director Mark Thomas told ABC News, which first reported the story.
“Our office immediately attempted to contact the campaign and the designated agent, but no phone calls were returned,” Thomas said, according to ABC.
“We also asked the state Republican Party to assist us, but they also could not get into communication with them, although I do not know how they attempted to contact them,” he added.
According to Bloomberg, Gingrich’s campaign has had severe fundraising woes and is $4.5 million in debt. However, Gingrich insists that he is going to take his campaign to the Republican National Convention in August where he hopes to influence the party’s 2012 platform. After all, that’s about the only thing he can hope to do at this point.
Looking for away to bring conservatives together even as Republicans being to coalesce around Mitt Romney, Rick Santorum met with movement leaders in hopes to come up with a last ditch effort to make a comeback and take the GOP nomination:
The conversation focused on the struggling candidacy of former House speaker Newt Gingrich and whether a final push could be made to unite conservatives and stop the likely nomination of former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney. The idea of Santorum leaving the race was not raised.
“It was a discussion of how to win, not a discussion of anything other than that,” said Gary Bauer, a prominent social conservative leader who was at the meeting.
Despite this optimism, there are signs that the wear and tear of the campaign trail and the daunting odds against his winning the nomination are weighing on Santorum.
“He is exhausted,” said one influential Republican who has talked to Santorum in recent days. “He is very, very worried about losing Pennsylvania. He is trying to find a way to throw a very long pass that could change the game.”
That search for game-changers seems unlikely to produce success for Santorum. A Gingrich decision to exit the race and endorse Santorum in an attempt to unite conservatives seems unlikely to happen or to affect the outcome of the nomination fight.
As you know, earlier this week President Barack Obama launched into a rather odd attack on the Supreme Court as they consider overturning ObamaCare. But he also attacked Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI) and House Republicans over the recently passed budget proposal, channeling comments made by former Speaker Newt Gingrich last May:
President Barack Obama on Tuesday will shred the House GOP budget as a “Trojan horse” built around radical right-wing, “thinly veiled social Darwinism” and the makings of a renewed recession.
That’s the message he’ll take to The Associated Press’s annual luncheon in Washington, according to prepared remarks provided by the White House: The plan written by House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan is directly opposed to the message of economic fairness he’s been pushing since late last year.
“It’s antithetical to our entire history as a land of opportunity and upward mobility for everyone who’s willing to work for it — a place where prosperity doesn’t trickle down from the top, but grows outward from the heart of the middle class,” Obama will say of Ryan’s budget, drawing on the same themes he touched on in his December speech in Osawatomie, Kan., and his State of the Union address in January. “[B]y gutting the very things we need to grow an economy that’s built to last — education and training; research and development — it’s a prescription for decline.”
If you’re Rick Santorum or Newt Gingrich, you’re taking a hard look this morning at whether or not you should stay in the race for the Republican nomination. Last night, Mitt Romney had a very good showing in three primaries — Maryland, Wisconsin, and the District of Columbia, taking some 90% of the delegates on the table.
- Romney: 49%
- Santorum: 29%
- Gingrich: 11%
- Paul: 10%
- Romney: 43%
- Santorum: 38%
- Paul: 12%
- Gingrich: 6%
- Romney: 70%
- Paul: 12%
- Gingrich: 11%
As it stands now, Romney has 655 delegates, more than half of the 1,144 needed to secure the nomination. Santorum is far behind with 278 delegates. Gingrich has 135. And Ron Paul, who has had a better showing that four years ago, only has 51.
It’s becoming more apparent that Romney isn’t going to be stopped at this point. And The Hill reports this morning that Santorum may go ahead and withdraw from the race before Pennsylvania, his home state, heads to the polls on April 24th. It would be a face saving move. He wouldn’t risk losing his home state to Romney, where he only holds a small lead, and he wouldn’t harm his chances in 2016 — assuming Romney doesn’t win in the fall.
There is no denying that Mitt Romney has had a very good March, finally pulling away from the rest of the field. He’s also managed to pick up some endorsements from conservatives, including Sen. Mike Lee (R-UT), a Tea Party favorite, and Al Cardenas, president of the American Conservative Union.
But the biggest endorsement Romney has received came on Wednesday from Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL), who is a big name in today’s conservative movement and often thought of as possible presidential candidate in 2016:
Florida Sen. Marco Rubio, a Republican superstar expected to top the vice presidential shortlist, on Wednesday said Mitt Romney has “earned’’ the Republican nomination for president and called a potential floor fight at the convention a “recipe for disaster.’‘
In an interview with Fox News host Sean Hannity, Rubio didn’t name Romney rivals Rick Santorum and Newt Gingrich but said it was clear to him they would not be able to win enough delegates to lock down the nomination before the Republican convention.
“I think we’re at a stage now where at least two of the candidates have openly admitted that the only way they’re going to be able to win the nomination is to have a floor fight in Tampa in August. I don’t think there’s anything good about that,’’ he said. He added, “It’s increasingly clear that Mitt Romney will be the Republican nominee.’‘
Pressed by Hannity whether he was in fact offering his endorsement, Rubio said yes. But he offered something even better: The rising figure in the conservative and tea party movements vouched for Romney’s conservative credentials.
With all of the excitement over this week’s arguments in the Supreme Court, the on-going race for the Republican nomination for president has largely fell off the radar. However, there is still plenty of news to share, but not all of it is good, depending on which candidate you’re backing.
Republicans in Wisconsin will head to the polls next Tuesday, April 3rd, to cast their votes in the race. And while Rick Santorum had been doing well there recently, it looks like Mitt Romney has surged to the front in the latest poll:
The GOP race for president has flipped in Wisconsin since last month, with Mitt Romney overtaking Rick Santorum in the latest poll by Marquette Law School.
Romney leads Santorum 39% to 31% in a survey of GOP primary voters taken last Thursday through Sunday.
Ron Paul is running third in the poll with 11%, followed by Newt Gingrich with 5%.
The new numbers represent a major shift from Marquette’s February poll, which showed Santorum leading Romney in the state 34% to 18%, followed by Paul at 17% and Gingrich at 12%.
They are also roughly consistent with a poll done almost one week ago on March 21 by Rasmussen Reports, which showed Romney leading Santorum 46% to 33%.
If Santorum loses in Wisconsin, the pressure will only increase on him to drop out of the race. Many are saying that if he wants to be a player in 2016, assuming Romney doesn’t beat Barack Obama, than he needs to bow out very soon. But people close to Santorum say that a exit from the race is unlikely.