Tax Hike Mike
According to a Gallup survey, the Republican nomination for president in 2012 is basically open, with four potential candidates (Mitt Romney, Sarah Palin, Tax Hike Mike and Newt Gingrich) essentially tied for the lead.
Out of the “second-tier” names below, Tim Pawlenty and Haley Barbour have a good shot at making a run at the nomination.
Personally, I’m going with Gary Johnson for now.
Even though we just wrapped up the mid-term election (though a handful of races are yet to be decided), the presidential election is just around the corner. This was something I noted last week on my personal blog. In case you don’t remember, the first debate for the Republican nomination for president for the 2008 cycle took place on May 3, 2007 at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library in Semi Valley, California.
Yesterday, Politico and NBC announced the first debate for the 2012 cycle will take place “during the spring of 2011” at the same location, the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library. You can read the press release below.
We’ve compiled a list of potential candidates. We expect more names to be floated out there over the next several months, so we’ll be adding to it. But the obvious names are that you’re going to here are Sarah Palin, Mitt Romney and Newt Gingrich.
While visiting with Judge Andrew Napolitano on Freedom Watch this past weekend, Mike Huckabee, a potential GOP candidate for president in 2012, took issue with libertarians and free marketers over his record, saying, “If a libertarian thinks he’s a better Republican and calls people like me a RINO or a liberal, I have a real problem with that.”
Here is the segment:
While many are fans of Huckabee because of his support of the “Fair Tax,” there is little question that he is a fiscal liberal. During his tenure as Governor of Arkansas, Huckabee gave residents of the state a net tax hike of over $505 million to finance his big government agenda. His record on taxes is worse than Bill Clinton.
We’re not even out of the mid-term election yet, but some are already looking towards the 2012 presidential election as Right Wing News brings us a survey of conservative bloggers and their preferences for the candidate to go up against Barack Obama:
If you had to choose today, which of the following candidates would you be most likely to support for President in 2012?
17) John McCain: 0.0% (0 votes)
17) Mike Huckabee: 0.0% (0 votes)
17) Rudy Guiliani: 0.0% (0 votes)
17) Scott Brown: 0.0% (0 votes)
13) Rick Santorum: 1.4% (1 vote)
13) Eric Cantor: 1.4% (1 vote)
13) John Thune: 1.4% (1 vote)
13) Condi Rice: 1.4% (1 vote)
7) Newt Gingrich: 2.8% (2 votes)
7) Jeb Bush: 2.8% (2 votes)
7) Herman Cain: 2.8% (2 votes)
7) Haley Barbour: 2.8% (2 votes)
7) Ron Paul: 2.8% (2 votes)
7) Tim Pawlenty: 2.8% (2 votes)
6) Mitt Romney: 5.6% (4 votes)
5) Bobby Jindal: 8.3% (6 votes)
3) Mitch Daniels: 11.1% (8 votes)
3) Mike Pence: 11.1% (8 votes)
2) Sarah Palin: 15.3% (11 votes)
1) Chris Christie: 26.4% (19 votes)
I’m glad to see that Tax Hike Mike Huckabee got no love, but the lovefest on the right for Sarah Palin seems to still be there. Chris Christie has repeatedly said that he has no presidential aspirations.
Out of this list, I could live with Ron Paul or Mitch Daniels…maybe even Tim Pawlenty. Of those not listed, I could also see myself voting for Sen. Jim DeMint and Gary Johnson.
The Atlantic’s Marc Ambinder points out that the Republicans may be ignoring a very important constituency:
Economic libertarianism is the message du jour, and Pawlenty’s budget-cutting in Minnesota may get some attention. But really, neither he nor the other sober wing candidates have figured out exactly what the non-Palin wing of the party wants. There’s no way to court social conservatives with Palin or Mike Huckabee in the race. So who’s left to help you win primaries and caucuses?
To the Republican Party, they are — they could be — what the anti-war left was to Democrats in 2003: the out-of-the-establishment power center that can drive the narrative of the race. How do you get the attention of libertarians without losing conservatives? You could shift positions on the war in Afghanistan, or try to fashion a more realist foreign policy. That seems to be a non-starter; the consultants for these candidates are fairly covnentional and risk-averse. Endorse medical marijuana? Legalize gambling? Something else?
The problem for the GOP is that they’ve never quite figured out what that “something else” is, and they’ve spent so much time supporting candidates, and backing policies, that are anathema to libertarians that it’s hard to beleive them when they say they’ve changed this time.
In my time, I’ve lived through two occasions when the GOP claimed to be the party of small government.
The goal of a new Chinese government campaign is to “eradicate all social evils” and “advocate a healthy, civilized and high-minded lifestyle,” according to the Washington Post. Some elements of the state just don’t like the way the Chinese people are using their newfound freedom.
On a different level, we face the same arguments here in the United States. Both the Hillarys and the Huckabees in our world seek to fight “social evils” and lead us to “a healthy, civilized and high-minded lifestyle.” The Huckabees focus on our souls, urging the government to stamp out sin and push us to do God’s will (as they see it). The Hillarys often focus on our bodies, with campaigns against smoking, popcorn, sodas, salt, and all manner of “unhealthy lifestyles.” Then again, the Hillarys do want to save our souls, as well, with campaigns to eradicate racism and sexism and spread the environmentalist gospel.
I’ve mentioned this before, but that does sum up Tax Hike Mike Huckabee, as Jonah Goldberg noted back during the race for the GOP presidential nomination:
Recently, Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels suggested economic issues should the focus for the next president. Of course, this didn’t sit well with an authoritarian like Tax Hike Mike Huckabee:
“Let me be clear…the issue of life and traditional marriage are not bargaining chips nor are they political issues,” the former Arkansas governor and 2008 Republican presidential candidate said in an e-mail to supporters Friday. “They are moral issues. I didn’t get involved in politics just to lower taxes and deficit spending though I believe in both and have done it as a Governor. But I want to stay true to the basic premises of our civilization.”
Daniels’ comments came in an interview with the Weekly Standard, during which the Indiana Republican said the next president “would have to call a truce on the so-called social issues” so he or she could focus on the fiscal problems facing the country.
The comments have riled several prominent social conservatives, including Tony Perkins, president of the Family Research Council, who called them “astonishing.”
In his e-mail Friday, Huckabee said Daniel’s sentiment was “heartbreaking.”
“For those of us who have labored long and hard in the fight to educate the Democrats, voters, the media and even some Republicans on the importance of strong families, traditional marriage and life to our society, this is absolutely heartbreaking. And that one of our Republican ‘leaders’ would suggest this truce, even more so,” he wrote.
A new survey on prospective match-ups against Barack Obama in 2012 by Public Policy Polling shows that Ron Paul could be competitive (emphasis mine):
Polling close to Obama are Mike Huckabee and Mitt Romney. The President leads Huckabee 46-44 and Romney 45-42. They both do a good job of consolidating the GOP vote and holding a solid advantage with independents.
Doing less well are Newt Gingrich, Sarah Palin, and Ron Paul. Obama has a 47-39 advantage over Gingrich, a 50-41 against Palin, and 46-36 edge matched against Paul.
One thing that’s very interesting about these numbers is that Ron Paul is the most popular out of the whole group with independents. They see him favorably by a 35/25 margin. The only other White House hopeful on positive ground with them is Romney at a +2 spread and they’re very negative on the rest: -5 for Huckabee, -16 for Gingrich and Palin, and -17 for Obama. All five of the possible GOP contenders lead Obama with independents, but Paul does so by the widest margin at 46-28.
That is encouraging. It means that independents are becoming more familiar with what Ron Paul has been saying over the last several years. Unfortunately, the GOP presidential primaries will come down between Tax Hike Mike, Multiple Choice Mitt and a couple others, maybe Tim Pawlenty and Mitch Daniels.
“When goods don’t cross borders, soldiers will.” - Frédéric Bastiat
Last week, John Stossel took up the issue of free trade on his show. If you’ve listened to any of our podcasts, you know this is an important issue to me because I consider the freedom to trade to be one of our most basic rights.
Unfortunately, it’s an issue that populists and statists like Lou Dobbs, Mike Huckabee, Barack Obama and many others like to demagogue to score political points by appealing to different special interests or to the nationalist tendencies of certain segments of voters.
It was the belief of many Founding Fathers that we should trade with all nations and have entangling with none. This is not isolationism, as some would call it, it’s non-interventionism.
Many will says that trade is costing Americans jobs, recessions aside (which, by the way, have nothing to do with trade), that is not true. Unemployment after passage of NAFTA has been about the same compared to previous years.
I could keep going, but here is Stossel:
Republican activists who attended the Southern Republican Leadership Conference this past weekend don’t seem too thrilled with the 2012 contenders they saw:
NEW ORLEANS — Southern Republicans wrapped up a three-day meeting in New Orleans on Saturday unified in fervent opposition to President Barack Obama, but wide open at this early stage about whom they want to challenge him in 2012.
Party activists at the Southern Republican Leadership Conference cheered potential presidential candidates such as Newt Gingrich, Sarah Palin and Tim Pawlenty, as well as absentee Mitt Romney.
But they also readily volunteered objections to the same names: Gingrich has personal baggage, Palin’s too inexperienced, Romney pushed Obama-like health care while governor of Massachusetts and Pawlenty lacks charisma.
Given those commonly heard objections among rank-and-file party workers, it appears that no potential Republican candidate can yet claim to be the heir apparent and the race could be wide open.
Everyone one of them has flaws, some of them, like Palin, flaws that make the prospect of being able to win a General Election seem remote at best. However, this is the field the GOP has and, while others may come along over the coming year, there isn’t going to be a GOP superstar: