Wayne Allyn Root, 2008 Libertarian Party’s Vice Presidential nominee and political commentator, resigned this morning from the Libertarian National Committee (LNC) to, according to his resignation letter, “elect good people and change the direction of this country outside of a third party.”
In the letter to the LNC, which is available at Independent Political Report, Root explains that his decision much is not unlike those of previous Libertarian Party presidential candidates, including Ron Paul and David Koch; both of whom left the LP to become prominent Republicans.
When I asked if he was now backing Mitt Romney, Root responded, “I am,” adding, “I don’t deny that Romney and Ryan aren’t libertarians, but Romney is a pro-business capitalist and Obama is a Marxist-socialist.”
“The economy has been trashed. This is about my kids’ future, it’s about my businesses,” said Root. “There is no hope for America if Obama is re-elected.”
Root, who lives near Las Vegas, noted in his resignation letter that he “plan[s] to join Tea Party U.S. Senators like Rand Paul, Jim DeMint, Marco Rubio and Mike Lee in the near future, representing the great state of Nevada.” It’s obviously too late for him to run this year. It would 2016 before Root could make a run, presumably against Sen. Harry Reid; though Root told me that he believes the Democratic leader will retire.
Bob Barr, a former Republican Congressman from Georgia and the 2008 Libertarian Party’s presidential nominee, backed Newt Gingrich during the GOP primary. Barr has indicated that he will support Romney in 2012.
Disclosure: I served as campaign blogger for Barr/Root in 2008.
As Jason has carefully detailed, the Republican Party at their convention last week changed the nominating process in a way that consolidates power among party elites. As long-time political operative Roger Stone notes, both Barry Goldwater and Ronald Reagan probably couldn’t have been nominated under the new rules inacted by party. Dean Clancy of FreedomWorks has a good blog post about this issue here.
September 2, 2012
Dear Fellow Delegate,
Many delegates and others have asked me, now that the national convention is over, to sum up my views on the controversy at the convention regarding The Rules of the Republican Party and where we should go from here.
What happened regarding the party rules in Tampa was a totally unnecessary but largely successful attempt to concentrate and centralize more power at the top of the party and restrict or shut off opportunities for power in the party to flow from the bottom up.
Michelle Fields, the Daily Caller’s star reporter and a frequent contributor to Fox News, has a great blog post on what is happening to the GOP, and where it is going:
The biggest threat to conservatives right now is President Barack Obama, but the long-term threat to conservatism is an internal threat– young republicans. The RNC is doing everything in its power to prevent them from gaining power, but will it work?
If you were to talk to any reporter covering this year’s election they’ll tell you that most of the attendees at GOP events are over 40 years old. You can’t help but ask yourself “where are the young people?” Well, they’re organizing a libertarian take-over.
Young republicans aren’t on board with social conservatism, instead we’re seeing an unprecedented level of enthusiasm for libertarianism. Many of my conservative colleagues will argue that, “ah, this is just a phase amongst young republicans.” But being socially liberal isn’t a phase. What we’re seeing is a cultural shift that is inevitably going to force the Republican Party to make some major adjustments. For example, take gay marriage— Millennials have grown up a time where it’s no longer taboo to be openly gay. Our favorite films and television shows have gay characters. Some of the most prominent figures in American culture are openly gay. And if you look at the polls, public opinion has moved sharply in favor of gay marriage in recent years with 76% of 18-34 year olds saying that the law should recognize same sex marriage.
There was a lot of speculation leading up to Rep. Ron Paul’s appearance on The Tonight Show last night. Breitbart quoted a source who said that Rep. Paul was a “Republican no more” after the events that transpired at the RNC and was seriously considering a third party or Independent bid for president, even this late in the game. Others thought that Paul would endorse Gov. Gary Johnson, the Libertarian Party’s presidential nominee.
When asked by Jay Leno if he was planning a third party bid, Rep. Paul jokingly said, “No, not much. I have to prepare for 2016.” Paul explained that it would be too difficult to run as a third party, noting that had he done that, he would have never made it onto Leno’s show. Paul also made no mention or endorsement of Gov. Johnson. In fact, Jesse Benton, who served as Paul’s campaign chairman, said in advance of the show that Paul would not endorse Johnson.
In case you missed it, here is the full segment with Paul:
With almost a week removed from the shenanigans at the Republican National Convention, many of Ron Paul’s supporters are still steaming. The frustration is two-fold. First, establishment Republicans managed to push through rules changes that effectively disenfranchise grassroots activists. Secondly, votes for Ron Paul were counted as “other” during the nomination process, despite nominating petitions from more than five states — more than the number required under the original rules to place a name into nomination.
Sure, Republicans did pay tribute to Paul on Tuesday evening by showing a touching video on his 22-year career and the respect he’s earned from many of his colleagues. However, the push back against Paul supporters may be something that comes back to haunt Mitt Romney and the Republican Party.
There is now a lot of talk about Paul supporters bolting from the Republican Party over what happened at the convention. While they may be a small number, the Romney-Ryan ticket will need every vote possible to win come November. But in a new video, Julie Borowski passionately urges libertarians and Ron Paul supporters to stick around the GOP, despite the tactics used at the RNC:
Most political commentators have dismissed Clint Eastwood’s speech at the Republican National Convention, where the respected actor and director spoke to an empty chair as though President Barack Obama were sitting there, as odd and off-the-wall. But conservatives took to social media sites yesterday to defend Eastwood with a new meme called “Eastwooding” with what was called “National Empty Chair Day.”
Users would take a picture of an empty chair and upload it to Twitter or Facebook. Some users some got creative with the meme. @craigcarroll uploaded this humorous pic of an empty chair in front of a faded Obama poster — a play on a line from Rep. Paul Ryan’s speech at the RNC on Wednesday evening:
Another hilarious pic via @kesgardner showed an empty chair in front of the Solyndra sign, the politically-connected failed green energy company that received millions in taxpayer-funding:
Many of the photos that came across my Twitter and Facebook feeds were funny, but the concept did little more than rile up liberals, which may be worth the trouble just by itself. And while pundits will be talking about Eastwood’s stunt at convention time every four years, Jim Huffman argues that the actor’s time at the RNC was a success:
Peter Schiff, one of the few people who predicted the Great Recession, was stopped on the street during the Republican National Convention and was asked about who he was supporting in November. Schiff, who was a prominent backer of Ron Paul, qualified his endorsement, but noted that he was backing Mitt Romney because he is the lesser of two evils:
H/T: Daily Paul
On Tuesday evening, Republicans paid tribute to the career of Rep. Ron Paul (R-TX), who served in Congress for 22 years and ran for president twice under the GOP banner. The video features comments on Rep. Paul from Carol Paul, Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY), Sen. Jim DeMint (R-SC), Rep. Justin Amash (R-MI), Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-KY) and others.
It notes the impact that Rep. Paul has had inside the Republican Party, his commitment to individual liberty and limited government. It also notes that Rep. Paul never voted for a tax increase. Unfortunately, it leaves out some of Rep. Paul’s more well known ideas, such as his anti-war views and criticism of the Federal Reserve (though it does briefly touch on monetary policy).
The video is a nice touch, but counting the votes for Rep. Paul during the nominating process would have added to the tribute, even though it was clear that he wouldn’t win. It would have paid respect where it is due.
Here is the video, in case you haven’t seen it:
Earlier this month, I said that one of the reasons you may want to vote for Mitt Romney is if you think the GOP is too conservative. My premise in that statement is that the party will move the direction of its leading politicians until they are rejected. Based on some new data, we see that already taking place, without Romney even being elected.
The data is part of a poll that compares responses of registered voters in April and then again four months later in August. The telling data is with voters who consider themselves “conservative” or “very conservative.” Here is the chart used on that WP article I linked to above:
Notice the blue sections in the image. In April, roughly one-fourth of conservative and very conservative voters said Romney was too liberal. In August, those numbers decreased, and there was an increase in the number of voters who say Romney’s views are “about right.”
Of course, this doesn’t hit specific issues. It’s a question about a candidate. If respondents were asked specifically about issues, we probably wouldn’t see such a quick change. Two important things that would impact this data have happened since April:
1. Romney is the last man standing.
Last night was highly anticipated as both New Jersey Gov. Chris Christe and Ann Romney, wife of GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney, spoke to delegates at the Republican National Convention.
There had been some talk that Gov. Christie was asked by the RNC to tone down his usual firebreathing for the national stage. Based on what I’ve read this morning and afternoon, that was probably a mistake. Gov. Christie looked slightly out of his element, not necessarily uncomfortable, but it obviously wasn’t what we’re used to seeing from this very animated character.
Here’s video of Gov. Christie. You can judge for yourself:
On the other hand, Mrs. Romney’s speech has received rave reviews, definitively putting herself on the national stage, offering a sorely needed human side to the Romney family. And I don’t mean that as an insult, but polls show that Romney needs help connecting with skeptical voters:
Ted Cruz, a Tea Party candidate who won a tough primary against an establishment-backed favorite, also spoke yesterday. Cruz, along with Mia Love and Artur Davis, showed diversity in the Republican Party lineup: