RNC Chair Reince Priebus to seek second term

Reince Priebus

With the presidential election finally over and analysts still guessing what went wrong for Mitt Romney, Reince Priebus, chairman of the Republican National Committee, announced on Friday that he will seek a second term in that post:

Mr. Priebus, who took over the RNC in 2011, announced his intentions in an email to party leaders, a majority of whom have already pledged to support the chairman, according to a letter first reported by Politico.

The Wisconsin Republican’s track record at the RNC is mixed. On the one hand, Mr. Priebus took over the RNC when it was some $22 million in debt with a nearly empty bank account. As of Oct. 17, the party carried $9.9 million in debt and had $67.6 million to spend. On the other, Mitt Romney lost the presidential race and several GOP Senate candidates lost their races, too.

Mr. Priebus is not expected to face any serious opposition and no one else has announced a campaign for the post.

While Priebus doesn’t have a challenger, his role in shutting down grassroots activists at the Republican National Convention hasn’t been forgotten. The rule changes pushed through by establishment Republicans were intended to disenfranchise. While scrolling Twitter, I caught this from Richard Viguerie, a still influential figure in the conservative movement:

Clint Eastwood chats about RNC speech, libertarianism, and gay marriage

Clint Eastwood

Clint Eastwood’s speech last month at the Republican National Convention (RNC) caught many people by surprise. His ad-libbed “conversation” with an empty chair, which Eastwood said was President Barack Obama, managed to overshadow Mitt Romney on the night he accepted the GOP presidential nomination.

Eastwood visited with Ellen DeGeneres yesterday to discuss his new movie, but also some of the reaction to his speech at the RNC, libertarianism, and his view on gay marriage.

The relevant part is within the first three minutes of the video. It was great to hear the reaction from the audience after Eastwood described libertarianism, the political philosophy to which he subscribes:

Should libertarians stick around after dirty tricks at the RNC?

Paul supporter on convention floor

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:

Electoral Vote: No post-convention bump for Romney

Mitt Romney

With it being an election year, the noise from both the Romney-Ryan and Obama-Biden campaign has been hard for most voters to avoid. But with election day just 63 days away, more undecided voters are beginning to pay attention to what could be the most important election in a lifetime.

Team Romney is hoping that voters will ask themselves, thanks to gaffes from prominent Obama supporters, if they are better off than they were four years ago. But what they envision in their ticket coming off the Republican National Convention hasn’t been beared out in polls. Philp Klein notes that Gallup shows that there has been almost no boost for Republicans in the last week:

It’s still too early to say for sure whether the Republican National Convention rejuvenated Mitt Romney’s campaign, but at least according to Gallup numbers so far, it hasn’t moved the polls much.

Romney currently trails President Obama by an insignificant one-point margin, 47 percent to 46 percent. That’s a 7-day tracking poll running from last Monday through yesterday and therefore includes a full three days of polling after Romney’s Thursday night acceptance speech. If he were to have received a substantial bump, the tracking poll would have likely picked it up by now. In the last poll before the start of the RNC, running through last Monday, it was Romney who was edging out Obama by one point.

Confused, Yet Natural, Libertarians Protesting at RNC Convention

I just arrived at the RNC convention and noticed the protesting is quite scattered and not serious. According to a police officer I spoke to, there was only 1 convention-related arrest within the past 24 hours… which is pretty amazing considering that much of Tampa is under heavy surveillance.

Below is a great video of a furious protester who, while denouncing capitalism, projected a libertarian message which is common amoung protestors, but is never reported on- Because it doesn’t fit into a neat template set by the liberal media.

When asked what system should replace our current government, the masked protestor explains, “People should have the right to do what they please as long as it doesn’t… hurt anyone else.”

That, in one sentence, is what libertarianism is all about.

Someone should buy this guy a Henry Hazlitt book asap!

H/T: Revealing Politics

Chatting with Matt Kibbe of FreedomWorks

Matt Kibbe

Just a few moments ago, I got a chance to chat with Matt Kibbe, President of FreedomWorks, about the Republican National Convention, efforts by pro-establishment GOPers to curtail grassroots activists, libertarian involvement in the Tea Party movement, and what to expect from a Romney-Ryan administration.

Republicans complain about “birther” charges against Romney

Donald Trump

This weekend, RNC Chairman Reince Priebus complained that the media is taking Mitt Romney’s “birther” joke far too seriously, saying, “Nobody seems to have a sense of humor anymore.” New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, who will speak tonight at the Republican National Covention, also says that the joke isn’t a big deal.

Romney himself has said that the joke wasn’t intended to be a shot at President Barack Obama, but the defense is falling on deaf ears. Romney and Republicans have essentially asked for criticism over the issue any by associating themselves with Donald Trump, the billion real estate mogul who has championed this absurd conspriacy theory.

During a press conference on Sunday, Trump, who backs Romney and was supposed to have a role at the RNC before Tropical Storm Isaac altered the schedule, again pushed the birther issue:

Speaking to reporters at a press conference in Sarasota, Fla., Donald Trump said Mitt Romney’s birth certificate quip in Michigan last week may have been a lighthearted joke, but that the issue of President Obama’s birth certificate is far from settled.

Georgia Tea Party Patriots not happy about RNC rules

Tea Party Movement

Julianne Thompson, one of the founders of Georgia Tea Party Patriots and a convention delegate, has written an open letter to Republican National Committee on rule changes made that would allow the party’s presidential nominee to revoke delegates. You can read the letter in its entirety below:

Chairman Reince Preibus, members of the Rules Committee, and the entire voting delegation of the 2012 Republican National Convention:

As a National Delegate to the 2012 RNC, I am extremely disappointed that a rule would be passed throug committee that essentially strips the grassroots of all of it’s representative power by ridding State Parties of their ability to choose whom they will send as delegates and alternates to represent their State to the Republican National Convention. The rules change would allow the Presidential nominee sweeping new power to override that process and choose their own National Delegates. The rule also allows the RNC (with only a 3/4 vote) the power to amend the party’s rules without a vote by the full Republican National Convention.

The GOP is the political Party of the grassroots. Our national delegates are the boots-on-the-ground that get Republicans elected. We are there for County meetings, State Conventions, National Conventions, and most importantly we spend our time and money canvassing our neighborhoods, going door to door, making phone calls, writing personal endorsement letters, and getting-out-the-vote for Republicans. We are the worker bees, and we are the heart and soul of the Republican Party.

Ron Paul turned down speaking role at RNC

Ron Paul

Supporters of Ron Paul are all around Tampa. Even though their guy won’t be the nominee, they did come out for the Paul-themed events. Many still believe it’s unfair that Ron Paul didn’t get a speaking slot during the Republican National Convention, but in a recent interview, Paul explained that he turned down a coveted spot because he refuses to back Mitt Romney:

Republican Rep. Ron Paul, the libertarian leader who competed against Mitt Romney in the GOP primary, isn’t speaking at the Republican National Convention because he isn’t willing to give Romney his full endorsement, Paul told the New York Times.

In an interview with the Times, Paul said that he was offered an opportunity to speak at the convention this week on two conditions: that he let the Romney campaign vet his speech, and that he give Romney his full support. He declined the offer.

“It wouldn’t be my speech,” Paul said. “That would undo everything I’ve done in the last 30 years. I don’t fully endorse him for president.”

Rule changes threaten GOP activists

Tropical Storm Isaac isn’t the only thing on the minds of many conservatives who made the trip to Tampa for the Republican National Convention. There is also some concern over what is being viewed as a power grab to give unprecedented influence to estasblishment Republicans over the platform and rules beginning in 2016:

The Republican National Convention Rules Committee voted 63-38 to approve a new rule allowing granting the Republican National Committee — and Mitt Romney — sweeping new powers to amend the governing document of the GOP.

The move came at the encouragement of Mitt Romney supporters on the committee, including Romney’s top lawyer Ben Ginsberg, who stressed that it would grant “flexibility” to Romney and the committee to adapt to changing political environments. The rule allows the RNC to amend the party’s rules without a vote by the full Republican National Convention. And it offers the Republican Establishment a new tool to keep at by Tea Party initiatives that threaten to embarrass or contradict party leadership and stray from a planned message.

Romney, as his party’s nominee, exerts significant influence over the RNC, which is made up of elected party officials from all 50 states, while the larger Convention Rules Committee is larger and has a more grassroots membership.

“This is necessary for the world in which we find ourselves in,” Ginsberg told the committee, adding that it is “important for the political survival of the party in the electoral context,” for the committee to be able to change the rules as it sees fit in the intervening four years between conventions.


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