Last week, I noted that Ron Paul and Mitt Romney had been discussing priorities that could come in some sort of deal between the two candidates as part of an endorsement. The prospects of Paul’s support, given the built-in constituency that comes with the libertarian-leaning Congressman, is certainly attractive to Romney.
It’s been rumored that part of a deal could include Romney adding Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) to the ticket. The younger Paul is generally more popular than his father among conservatives and could help Romney in wooing Tea Party voters. Chris Smith, who writes at The Other McCain, really likes the idea:
A Vice President Paul is a signal that Mitt isn’t simply a tool of the plutocrats, a Massachusetts Manchurian sent to proudly repeal ObamaCare, then re-instate it with altered acronyms. That Mitt has taken pretty much every side on every issue, and continues to spout Newspeak slogans in place of real communication is worrisome. Seriously. You may not like Newt or Rick or Ron, but when they’re talking, you know they are in the room. Mitt has sounded phoned in Every. Single. Time. Even Mitt’s wife sounds more authentic than he does. While I do not advocate alcohol consumption, I confess an academic interest in hearing Mitt after a couple of shots of tequila, purely to satisfy the question of whether there is any ‘there’ there. Does he play cards? Does he collect memorabilia? Paint? Anything? Bueller? I feel I know something of the remaining candidates. Mitt is opaque.
I’m not a fan of Rick Santorum, and my very direct opposition to the liberal Republican from Pennsylvania (see, there I go again) has brought several of my Christian friends to the surface to ask why I could oppose such a God-fearing, wholesome, family-oriented man like Rick Santorum. After all, isn’t that the exact type of person we need in the White House?
And, yes, the man Rick Santorum wants us to believe he is – that is the type of man we need in the White House. I want a President with a backbone, who knows when to put his foot down and stand strong against an issue, who has the moral character to stand against what is wrong, and who has the courage to stand for smaller government. That man, however, is not Rick Santorum.
Erick Erickson, who I don’t always agree with, but who is certainly right on Santorum, explains in great detail Santorum’s record as a liberal Republican. You can’t look at that record and still make the argument that Santorum is a conservative. It’s impossible.
But beyond his liberal record in Washington is his violent opposition to the concept of freedom. In this interview with Jennifer Rubin, David Boaz (Cato Executive VP) talked about why he opposes Santorum:
If you’ve followed Ron Paul’s campaign, then you’ve no doubt heard the rumors of a deal between he and Mitt Romney. Some of us, including myself, dismissed this out of hand since Paul really doesn’t have much in common policy-wise with Romney. Not to mention that Paul is almost nearly as disliked among conservatives, mostly because of his views on foreign policy, as Romney.
But Time reports that Paul’s camp is indeed actively talking with Romney about priorities and possibly the Paul name appearing on the ticket:
Even as they tamp down rumors of a pact, Paul’s advisers concede that the friendship between Paul and Romney is the initial step toward a deal. And behind the scenes, discussions between the two campaigns — as well as initial discussions with the Santorum and Gingrich camps, according to one Paul adviser — are slowly taking shape.
There is no mincing words about it, last night was a bad night for Mitt Romney and an even worse one for Newt Gingrich, who really needed to win the two Southern states headed to the polls to show that he is still a viable alternative to the former Massachusetts Governor.
On the other hand, Rick Santorum was able to sneak out a win in Mississippi, where it was indeed a close race between himself, Gingrich, and Romney. He also did well in Alabama, finishing six points ahead of Gingrich and Romney.
The good news for Romney is that he won the Hawaii caucus, but that was expected. Ron Paul, who didn’t compete in Alabama and Mississippi, finished a distant third. Romney also added to his total delegate, despite losing in the South.
- Santorum: 35% (16)
- Gingrich: 29% (12)
- Romney: 29% (10)
- Paul: 5% (0)
- Santorum: 33% (13)
- Gingrich: 31% (12)
- Romney: 30% (12)
- Paul: 4% (0)
A few weeks ago, Conn Carroll, responding at the Washington Examiner to a list of flip-flops charged by Ezra Klein, noted that the reason for the shift increasing libertarian influence among Republicans:
Some Republicans used to like Keynesian stimulus, now they don’t. Libertarians never did. Some Republicans used to like individual mandates, now they don’t. Libertarians never did. Some Republicans used to like cap and trade, now they don’t. Libertarians never did. You get the idea. There is a reason Sen. Jim DeMint, R-S.C., has been speaking so highly of Ron Paul.
The fact is, Americans are just becoming more libertarian. Republican leaders are only responding to those changing beliefs. That may be frustrating for a policy wonk who wants to see as much power transferred to Washington, D.C., as possible, but the American people just have a diametrically opposed view of which direction the country should be going.
To borrow a memorable phrase from the tumultuous ’60s, you don’t need a weatherman to know which way the wind blows. Despite the greatly exaggerated reports of the “death of the tea party,” the political wind is undeniably blowing against more bailouts and debt, and toward smaller, constitutionally limited government. If the tea party is “dead,” it’s because tea party ideas have taken over the GOP.
The dust from Super Tuesday is still settling. Some conservatives are trying to downplay Mitt Romney’s wins and Rick Santorum and Newt Gingrich are arguing about who should drop out of the race. But there is one common theme — observers are sensing that the writing is on the wall for anti-Romney candidates.
Despite being the conservative alternative to John McCain just four years ago, Romney has been their boogeyman in 2012. Some of the criticism is justified and understandable, specifically that dealing with RomneyCare and ObamaCare. But in the face of the criticism, Romney now holds a 1.2+ million vote lead in the primary and the delegate math says that he should coast to the nomination.
Of course, Romney path to the nomination may still have a bump in the road. As noted above, Santorum’s “super PAC” has called on Gingrich to drop out. He declined, and there is certainly a case to be made to backup his decision. But that doesn’t mean that Gingrich would deal with reality if he performs poorly next week and if Santorum does well.
Welcome to United Liberty’s Super Tuesday Live Blog. We’ll be getting started around 6:30pm or so. But before you join in on the conversation, here are some links to read on things to look for this evening.
Over at FiveThirtyEight, Nate Silver lays out the various scenarios that could unfold tonight, including delegate projections for all four candidates. Politico has a list of 10 things to watch for tonight, including Ohio, where a win could help Romney put the race to bed much quicker. CNN only gives three things for us to watch, but one of them (voter turnout) could obviously be a game-changer.
Watch returns come in:
You may recall that back in January, Rick Santorum’s nephew came out in support for Ron Paul because of his uncle’s very statist record. Well, Ron Paul can now boast the support of some of Mitt Romney’s cousins, who came out for him ahead of Super Tuesday:
Ron Paul announced Monday that the Texas congressman had earned the endorsement from a group of who seem like they should be solidly in the corner of rival Mitt Romney: the former Massachusetts governor’s own family members.
Five distant cousins of Romney will all appear in Idaho on Monday in support of Paul’s presidential bid.
Tomorrow is shaping up to be a very interesting day in the race for the GOP’s nomination for president. Mitt Romney has momentum on his side heading to Super Tuesday, but some of the states that are heading to the polls aren’t exactly ones that you would think that he’d be running very strong in.
Nevertheless, Romney is running on a high after four straight wins, and Nate Silver explains that, despite the states voting tomorrow, Romney still could come out with a majority of the 422 delegates on the table tomorrow.
Other candidates in the race are just hoping that they can slow Romney down, but they have their on problems to deal with. Rick Santorum is trying to refocus his message after a few weeks of fighting to explain his position on social issues, where no candidates needs to be given the volitility of the economy. Newt Gingrich is just trying to prove that he’s still a viable candidate.
Ron Paul serves his purpose in the race, but it seems that many of his supporters are planning to go underground to try to become delegates at the Republican National Convention and hijack the delegate vote for the nomination.
Here is a look at states heading to the polls on Super Tuesday and what we can expect by the end of the night; some it’s straightforward, others, not so much.
Alaska (27 Delegates): If Ron Paul hopes to have an impact on Super Tuesday, it’ll most likely be in Alaska and Idaho, which both hold a caucus, where his campaign has been focusing.
While some Republicans are still looking for another candidate to emerge this late in the ballgame, hoping that a brokered convention can unseat other candidates that they are not so happy with; it looks like Mitt Romney has momentum in his corner. At least for now.
The latest national poll from Rasmussen Reports shows Romney jumping to a 16-point lead over Rick Santorum, with Newt Gingrich and Ron Paul lagging behind (numbers from the previous Rasmussen poll are off to the side):
- Romney: 40% (+13)
- Santorum: 24% (-15)
- Gingrich: 16% (-1)
- Paul: 10% (-2)
In mid-February, Santorum was crusing at 39%, a 12-point lead over Romney. So you’re looking at a 15-point drop for him and a 13-point gain for Romney. So we’re still seeing a lot of volatility in the race.
But Romney’s momentum could be short-lived if he doesn’t do well on Super Tuesday. Polls out of states that will vote next week show that Santorum and Gingrich will most likely do well, but Romney may be weighed down; and that suggests that Santorum may see another bump.
Santorum has some hurdles facing him; however, at least concerning electability. The focus on social issues, which he wrongly blames on the media, is going to hurt him in a general election. And his reaction to questions about his views on contraception, which apparently includes lashing out at a talk show host, will be used against him; a point that he doesn’t seem to understand: