Unsurprisingly, neoconservatives are resisting defense spending cuts as part of the Super Committee. If you caught the GOP debate last night, you heard Newt Gingrich demagogue this by erroneously claiming that President Barack Obama is “gutting our military.” Neoconservatives have dishonestly tried using Adam Smith to gain tea party support for spending the most on defense since World War II. But at least some tea party leaders are urging the Super Committee to consider defense spending cuts:
Groups affiliated with the conservative grassroots movement say defense cuts should be on the table as the supercommittee tries to compile at least $1.5 trillion in deficit cuts.
The pressure from Tea Party groups could put pressure on establishment Republicans named to the supercommittee, who may wish to protect the Pentagon from severe cuts.
“Nothing should be sacred, and everything needs to be evaluated and cut as much as it can be,” said Jenny Beth Martin, co-founder of Tea Party Patriots.
Tea Party activists say defense programs should come under the same knife as any other taxpayer-funded programs, and that massive national security budgets were not exempt from their definition of “big government.”
“The liberty movement is about the fundamental limitation of government, and that doesn’t have departmental boundaries with regards to this principle,” said Chris Littleton, co-founder of the Ohio Liberty Council.
If you bothered to watch the GOP debate last night, you caught the most entertaining show yet as candidates sparred over each others record and on certain issues. There were plently of questions about credibility and viability, most of which were entirely valid. But if you were looking for a serious discussion on the real issues the country faces, including dealing with entitlements, you were no doubt disappointed.
Here is the debate, in case you missed it:
As far as winners go, I’d say that Mitt Romney could be considered a winner since he came out unscathed, not because he offered impressive knowledge of the issues or gave a dominating performance. Michele Bachmann probably should be considered a winner as well because the sparring with Tim Pawlenty probably helped her more than it hurt her.I don’t know why any candidate would purposefully pick a fight with her and keep at it like that. It only endures her more to her base.
Who are the losers? Anyone that watched and Newt Gingrich, who spent part of the evening complaining petulant 10 year-old that the questions were unfair.
With the Ames Straw Poll this weekend, the most important date in the campaign at this point, candidates are feverishly fighting for position in Iowa. The latest from poll Rasmussen out of the Hawkeye State shows three candidates, Michele Bachmann, Mitt Romney and Ron Paul within 6 points of each other and Rick Perry, who will finally announce that he is running on Saturday, isn’t far behind.
- Michele Bachmann: 22%
- Mitt Romney: 21%
- Ron Paul: 16%
- Rick Perry: 12%
- Tim Pawlenty: 11%
- Newt Gingrich: 5%
- Herman Cain: 4%
- Jon Huntsman: 2%
- Other: 7%
Pawlenty is downplaying the significance of the straw poll, that is if a “credible” candidate doesn’t win; clearly a shot at Bachmann and Paul. Nevermind that he is flirting with Huntsman and Santorum for the least likely to win the nomination, that is if you pay attention to the national polling. Even Paul, for example, has a good chance of winning, it shouldn’t been passed off as a fluke; as David Boaz notes in response to George Will:
Rasmussen Reports reported new numbers in the race for the Republican presidential nomination this week, which like most other polls show Mitt Romney holding a small lead. However, Rick Perry, who is expected to enter the race some time this month, has pulled ahead of Michele Bachmann.
- Mitt Romney: 22%
- Rick Perry: 18%
- Michele Bachmann: 16%
- Ron Paul: 10%
- Herman Cain: 9%
- Newt Gingrich: 6%
- Tim Pawlenty: 3%
- Jon Huntsman: 2%
- Other: 4%
- Undecided: 9%
Rasmussen notes that Perry has a small advantage over Bachmann with the tea party, taking 28% over the movement’s support to her 22%. According to the poll, the tea party makes up 39% of the GOP’s electorate - a higher number than most other firms have showed in their data sets. Among non-tea party voters, Romney brings in 29%. Perry is the closest to him with 13%.
What if the race were just between Romney, Perry and Bachmann? According to Rasmussen, Romney would hold a slight lead (he’d also lead each candidate in head-to-head matchups, though it would be very close):
- Mitt Romney: 34%
- Michele Bachmann: 27%
- Rick Perry: 26%
- Other: 5%
- Undecided: 8%
So, there you go. I’ve been saying it for awhile now, but once Perry gets in this race, I really do expect him to be Romney’s biggest roadblock toward the nomination.
Ron Paul is running for president, and as such it’s no surprise that he has his own solution to the budget problem we’ve been having. It was posted recently on The Hill’s website. I have little doubt that detractors will call it “radical”, but after reading it, I just don’t see it. It calls the proposed cuts “illusory”. He’s got a great analogy for how many Washington cuts are made:
No plan under serious consideration cuts spending in the way you and I think about it. Instead, the “cuts” being discussed are illusory, and are not cuts from current amounts being spent, but cuts in projected spending increases. This is akin to a family “saving” $100,000 in expenses by deciding not to buy a Lamborghini, and instead getting a fully loaded Mercedes, when really their budget dictates that they need to stick with their perfectly serviceable Honda. But this is the type of math Washington uses to mask the incriminating truth about their unrepentant plundering of the American people.
Yeah, that’s kind of the way it works up in D.C.
Paul’s suggestion? Freeze spending as a start.
We’re coming up quickly on the Ames Straw Poll on Saturday, August 13th, arguably the most important event for these presidential hopefuls yet (or at least the ones actively campaigning in Iowa). It looks like Rep. Ron Paul (R-TX) may be candidate to beat there right now, according to the National Review:
The Paul campaign has aggressively laid the groundwork for an impressive showing at Ames, including buying the priciest (and best) location by the arena where the straw poll is held for $31,000. In a fundraising letter last month, Paul wrote, “I’m counting on you to help me send shockwaves throughout the national political establishment with a strong finish at the Iowa Straw Poll.” His “Ready, Fire, Ames” appeal resonated: The campaign raked in $600,000. The Paul campaign is running TV ads, and Paul himself has been actively campaigning in Iowa.
Earlier this week in Iowa, he openly speculated about winning at Ames. “I wished I could say I’m the frontrunner and nobody’s ahead of me and it’s a shoo-in. But the truth is that we can do and will do very, very well and hopefully come in first,” Paul said, according to Radio Iowa.
Drew Ivers, Iowa chairman of the Paul campaign, is cautiously optimistic. “All things are possible,” he says of a first-place finish at Ames. But he is also realistic, pointing out that while Paul has had significant poll movement (an American Research Group July poll showed Paul at 14 percent, up from the 3 percent he had in April), Bachmann has had even more movement (in the same poll, Bachmann went from 9 percent in April to 21 percent in July).
Gallup is out with fresh numbers today in the battle for the Republican presidential nomination. And while the poll shows Mitt Romney in the lead, his lead would be slashed if Rick Perry and Rudy Giuliani enter the race. .
As I’ve said before, national polls don’t matter as far as it goes, but they make for good fodder. Romney has never been able to attractive the necessary support to win the nomination, though many Republican view it as “his turn.” Skepticism over RomneyCare, which became the blueprint for ObamaCare, is no doubt in the back of th monds of many Republican primary voters. The good news for Romney is Giuliani’s history of not committing to campaigns, so you’d have to see at least a chunk of that support going back to him should the former New York City Mayor opt not to run.
Just like in 2008, the Club for Growth is putting together a series of white papers on candidates running for the Republican Party’s presidential nomination. We’ve already covered their reports on the records of Newt Gingrich, Tim Pawlenty, Herman Cain, Mitt Romney, Jon Huntsman and Ron Paul. Next up is Gary Johnson, who served two terms as Governor of New Mexico (1995-2003).
The Club for Growth notes that during his eight years of service in New Mexico, Gary Johnson received at “B” on each of the Cato Institute’s biannual Fiscal Policy Report Card on America’s Governors (1996, 1998, 2000 and 2002). However, these scores don’t do him justice.
Johnson’s record on taxes is described by the Club as “excellent,” noting that he pushed back against all forms of tax hikes:
With the Ames Straw Poll fast approaching, every candidate is looking to gain ground in any way possible. Rep. Ron Paul (R-TX) managed to pick up the endorsement of Cory Adams, chairman of the Story County Republican Party:
Republican presidential candidate Ron Paul has fresh bragging rights after picking up what is surely a coveted endorsement on Monday.
Cory Adams - the Republican chairman of Story County in Iowa – endorsed the Texas congressman’s presidential bid at a campaign event in Ames, Iowa.
That’s significant for a few reasons. Ames is the largest city in Story County, home to over 50,000 residents. And it is in this city that a widely-watched showdown between the GOP presidential candidates will play out on August 13. The Ames Straw Poll will test the candidates’ popularity and could be a sign of their electability.
Adams explained to CNN the rationale behind his endorsement of Paul.
“I try to go for the candidates that line up mostly with the values, the principles of the [nation’s] founders,” Adams said. “Out of all the candidates in this cycle, I found Ron Paul to be the one with the longest, most consistent voting record to back up those principles and concepts.”
How might Adams’ endorsement help Paul with voters?
Adams explained: “Back in 2008 there were a lot of people within the Republican Party that kind of disregarded Congressman Paul. And basically didn’t just count him in and/or wouldn’t even mention him. So when you can have a county chair who is part of the Republican Party, part of the establishment and support him, it gives him more credibility within the party and brings him back from the fringe.”
The latest national poll for the Republican Party’s presidential nomination from CNN shows five current and possible contenders within 4 points of each other. Given the margin of error is 4.5%, the race is a statistical tie.
The survey also shows Texas Gov. Rick Perry rising past Minnesota Rep. Michele Bachmann and sneaking up on former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney. However, 34% of Republican voters are not satified with the field of candidates. That’s down, though not by much, from 39% at the end of May.
Here is the full rundown of the CNN poll:
- Mitt Romney: 16%
- Rick Perry: 14%
- Rudy Giuliani: 13%
- Sarah Palin: 13%
- Michele Bachmann: 12%
- Ron Paul: 8%
- Herman Cain: 6%
- Newt Gingrich: 4%
- Tim Pawlenty: 3%
- Rick Santorum: 2%
- Jon Huntsman: 1%
- Other/None: 9%
- No opinion: 1%
Given the recent exposure that Bachmann has received and the increasing perception that she isn’t cut out for the national stage, Perry may well find himself the conservative movements answer to Romney; after all, he wins 22% of the tea party vote in the poll.
While some conservatives attribute the attacks on Bachmann to Democrats, that is simply untrue. Most of what is coming out about her now is from Republicans scared that she may be able to bring in enough dissatisfied voters to edge out other candidates for the nomination. Expect to see more Republicans point out her shortcomings and overall lack of experience.