Revolution PAC, a so-called “super” political action committee run by supporters of Ron Paul, released its first web ad of the cycle. The ad, which runs just over a minute long, calls the leading GOP contenders, Rick Perry and Mitt Romney, “plastic men” that supported the Wall Street bailout. It also made note of Perry’s executive order mandating the HPV vaccine for young girls and Romney’s health care plan that became the blueprint for ObamaCare:
Remember the photo of Rick Perry grabbing Ron Paul during a commercial break at Thursday’s GOP debate? Paul supporters said it was “assault,” but according to Paul, there was nothing controversial about it:
Rep. Ron Paul (R-Texas) dismissed Internet rumors that Texas Gov. Rick Perry (R) had tried to intimidate him during a commercial break at the Republican presidential debate Wednesday night, saying no “cross words” were exchanged between the two.
A Reuters picture snapped during the break showed Perry walking up to Paul’s lectern, grasping Paul’s arm, and pointing his finger in the congressman’s face.
But at a campaign event Thursday, Paul laughed about the exchange.
“A picture came out last night, it’s on the Internet this morning, with … I think the governor of Texas, or something? We had several governors up there, but truth was I never met him before,” Paul joked.
Paul said everyone — “my kids included” — had been writing to him to find out what had happened when the men spoke.
“Truth is, I wish it were a much more interesting story,” Paul said. “I don’t even recall the moment that was occurring and I don’t remember exactly what he said and we didn’t have any cross words.”
Yeah, it may have looked like more than it really was, but there is no reason to blow it out of proportion. Nevertheless, the Perry/Paul rivalry that is developing should be fun to watch during this race.
So, in case you missed it, there was a debate Wednesday night. It seems that everyone’s favorite target, predictably, was front runner Rick Perry. When you’re the frontrunner, that’s just what’s going to happen. While much of the attention was on Mitt Romney’s back and forth throughout the debate, there were some points worth discussing.
For one, Michele Bachmann’s campaign has been centered around her desire to repeal ObamaCare. Not a bad plank to have, at least in the GOP primary. Bachmann took issue with both Perry’s and Romney’s comments that they would issue an executive order to deal with ObamaCare. As reported on The Hill:
Bachmann reiterated her promise to repeal Obama’s healthcare law, a centerpiece of her campaign, and said that Romney and Perry’s promises to sign executive orders upon taking office to dismantle the law were inadequate.
“With all due respect to the governors, issuing an executive order will not overturn this massive law,” she said.
On this, she’s 100% correct. An executive order is an easy fix, but it’s not the right one. An executive order can be over turned with…wait for it…another executive order. That’s all it would take. The next Democratic president would put ObamaCare in place with a stroke of his pen. And that’s assuming that the executive order doesn’t get blocked by Congress who can overturn executive orders within a certain period of time.
Another interesting point was when Ron Paul took aim at Perry’s past as a Democrat. Again, from The Hill:
Ron Paul is putting heat on Rick Perry for his Democratic Party past, including backing Al Gore for president in 1992, with a new ad that will air in New Hampshire; a crucial early primary state:
I noted last week that Perry was going to have to contend with this at some point in the future, either from Mitt Romney or another candidate, after The Daily Caller released a letter Perry wrote to Clinton, who embraced a single-payer system during her presidential campaign, praising her efforts to enact health care reform.
Over and over again, I get told that Ron Paul isn’t a serious candidate. After all, he’s Ron Paul. However, Jason posted yesterday showing a recent Rasmussen poll of Iowa of voters likely to take part in the Iowa Caucus that clearly shows Paul is among the so-called top tier of candidates:
A Rasmussen Reports telephone survey of those likely to participate in the Iowa GOP Caucus shows that Perry is the first choice for 29%. Essentially tied for second are Minnesota Congresswoman Michele Bachmann at 18% and former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney at 17%. Texas Congressman Ron Paul picks up 14% of the vote, and nobody else currently reaches the five percent (5%) mark. (To see survey question wording, click here.)
With the margin of error at on +/- 3%, Paul is clearly holding his own against everyone but Rick Perry. However, historically, front runner status this early isn’t always an indication of later victory. He wouldn’t be the first candidate to crash and burn later in the race. A lot of Perry’s polling comes from being the “shiny and new” candidate, though a fair amount also comes from being a very charismatic governor. While those drawn to his charisma aren’t likely to back down in the near future, the “shiny and new” crowd are likely to jump ship later.
Having only three years or so of libertarian experience, I sometimes find myself in the midst of a learning opportunity. This may well be one of those, but if it spurs some discussion, I am willing to be a martyr.
In the 2008 Presidential election, I was amazed at the intelligence of Bob Barr. I was constantly impressed at the depth of each subject he was asked about. How much basic sense each answer made even though some answers contained a level of sophistication that may have been over the heads of some.
Well, all except for one question.
In an interview with Sean Hannity fairly close to Election Day, Mr. Barr was put on his heels and frankly never recovered. Hannity’s style of attack, which one might term as that of an angry pit bull, didn’t help. That question of course was about the legalization of drugs.
Now don’t get me wrong, I have documented my struggle with this concept, and documented the “light bulb moment” I had - finally understanding that it was part of individual liberty, not to mention the amount of futile spending and creation of powerful underworld figures. It makes sense to me. I agree with it.
However, this question seems to take a serious, if not mortal, toll on all candidates running as small “l” libertarians within the Republican Party. In 2008, it halted what I believe might have been a staggering number of Independents and Republicans willing to vote for the Libertarian Party candidate when the best the Republican Party could offer was John McCain.
My theory is not about this question being asked… it’s going to be asked… but about the available answers. It’s about viable candidates explaining this concept in a thirty second sound bite or a timed answer during a debate that took me weeks, many hours of research and discussion with libertarians, to understand.
As we head into tonight’s debate at the Reagan Library in California, the first since Rick Perry joined the field, we have three polls to go through since so much has come out in the last few days. This is probably too much for one post, but it’s probably best to lay it out all at once instead of three separate posts.
With this also, the only commentary I’ll offer is just to say that the race is now a two-man race between Perry and Romney. That’s not to say that other candidates aren’t deserving of attention or respect, especially since a couple of them will continue to help drive the narrative over the course of the primary. But the numbers don’t lie.
We’ll start with the latest Wall Street Journal/NBC News poll, which is good news for Perry and bad for Romney; who trials by 15 points:
- Rick Perry: 38%
- Mitt Romney: 23%
- Ron Paul: 9%
- Michele Bachmann: 8%
- Newt Gingrich: 5%
- Herman Cain: 5%
- Rick Santorum: 3%
- Jon Huntsman: 2%
- None/Not sure: 7%
And while President Barack Obama is taking heat for the economy, he still leads in pospective head-to-head matchups against both Romney and Rick Perry. Here are those numbers:
- Obama: 47%
- Perry: 42%
- Neither/other: 4%
- Unsure: 5%
Ronald Reagan was said to have “Redefined the Republican Party”. Where that party is now… well, that’s anybody’s guess.
One reason libertarians are seen as pompous is because they actually have the answers that lead to less government. To reduced spending, and to individual liberty. This fact was illustrated in glaring truth at the Republican debate in Iowa when candidate Rick Santorum pointed to how Islamic countries treat gays as a reason to continue war. Santorum is a staunch Social Conservative and does not support gay marriage.
One has to wonder what exactly the boundaries are in order for someone to be a Republican. Especially those running for office.
Taxes: If there is a consistent issue in the party, I suppose it’s low taxes. Bush 41 famously broke his promise of “No new taxes” though.
Spending: This might have the widest array of stances as any subject. The Republican controlled congress, senate and held presidency of 2000-2006 certainly didn’t seem to cut anything. More recently, the TEA party seems to be hell bent on limited spending – but in almost every direction you look, elected Republicans seem to offer little resistance to any new spending measures.
Gay Marriage: This issue is divided within the party, from the religious base clearly in opposition to small “l” libertarians ranging from non federal intervention to all out support.
Abortion: Another basic non issue, but clearly a divide. Seems like a large majority are pro life, but a few exist in the other direction.
- Mitt Romney: 22%
- Rick Perry: 22%
- Ron Paul: 11%
- Michele Bachmann: 10%
- Newt Gingrich: 6%
- Herman Cain: 4%
- John Huntsman: 1%
- Rick Santorum: 1%
- Thad McCotter: 0%
- Other: 1%
This is the first poll from the Los Angeles Times in the race, but a field poll released back in June show Romney leading the pack. The two names closest to him were Rudy Giuliani and Sarah Palin, neither of whom have declared their intentions for 2012. Perry, obviously, wasn’t in the race at that time.
But California seems far from being in play for Republicans. A “generic Republican” manages to grab 37% against President Obama in the poll, but Romney doesn’t the best out of the candidates they paired with him.
Barack Obama v. Mitt Romney
- Obama: 54%
- Romney: 35%
- Other: 2%
Barack Obama v. Michele Bachmann
- Obama: 57%
- Bachmann: 31%
- Other: 2%
Barack Obama v. Rick Perry
- Obama: 56%
- Perry: 32%
- Other: 2%
Rassmussen released a new survey out of Iowa on Friday, their first since the Ames Straw Poll, showing Texas Gov. Rick Perry with a double-digit lead over Minnesota Rep. Michele Bachmann and former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney.
- Rick Perry: 29%
- Michele Bachmann: 18%
- Mitt Romney: 17%
- Ron Paul: 14%
According to Rasmussen, nobody else in the race polled above 5% (that info is behind a paywall and I’m reluctant to share it here), so it’s a four person race; including Texas Rep. Ron Paul. Bachmann and Romney were at 22% and 21%, respectively, in the last Rasmussen poll out of Iowa. Paul was at 16%. But there has been a shakeup in the race since then as Perry has jumped in (he polled at 12% in the last Rasmussen poll) and Tim Pawlenty has dropped out (he was at 11%).