A group supporting Michele Bachmann, who is struggling to remain relevent in the race for the Republican nomination for president, has purchased airtime in South Carolina for an attack ad against Rick Perry, who holds a substantial lead in the state:
Criticisms against Perry on spending and taxes have merit. I understand that the tea party is seemingly in love with him, Perry isn’t all he’s cracked up to be. Those issues will no doubt be fleshed out during the course of the race, but it’s clear that most view Perry as the most electable conservative in the race.
But on the other hand, Bachmann is sort of an oddball that doesn’t seem to understand that our defense spending is just as unsustainable as our entitlements. Despite her attempts to gain a larger base of support, Bachmann’s appeal will always remain limited.
As Mitt Romney tries to do more to appeal to the tea party movement, a sizeable and influential voting bloc looking to make its mark on the Republican primary, FreedomWorks is putting a target on his back:
A top tea party organizing group, FreedomWorks, is planning to protest Mitt Romney’s appearance this weekend at a New Hampshire stop of a bus tour intended to encourage tea party sympathizers to participate in the Republican presidential nominating process.
Romney, a former Massachusetts governor, is among the leading candidates for the GOP presidential nomination but is viewed warily by tea party activists, who believe him to be insufficiently conservative and particularly blame him for the Massachusetts state health care overhaul he signed into law.
And Romney, for his part, hasn’t focused much energy on appealing to the movement. So it attracted considerable attention — both within the tea party and among the GOP operative class — when it was announced Tuesday that he intended to speak at a Sunday evening rally being staged by the Tea Party Express in Concord, N.H., as part of a cross country bus tour set to culminate in Tampa, Fla., ahead of a Sept. 12 GOP presidential debate co-sponsored by the Tea Party Express and CNN.
FreedomWorks, which had been participating in the Tea Party Express’s tour and had helped turn out activists at rallies during prior stops, decided it could no longer be affiliated with the tour, said Brendan Steinhauser, a lead organizer for FreedomWorks.
Rep. Andre Carson (D-IN) put his foot in his mouth yesterday by absurdly claiming that the some of the tea party-influenced or movement-backed members of Congress want to hang black people from a tree:
Rep. André Carson (D-Ind.), whip of the Congressional Black Caucus, is standing by remarks he made at a recent town hall when he said that Tea Party-affiliated members of Congress see African-Americans as “second-class citizens” and would be happy to see blacks “hanging from a tree.”
“This is the effort that we’re seeing of Jim Crow,” Carson said. “Some of these folks in Congress right now would love to see us as second-class citizens.”
“Some of them in Congress right now of this Tea Party movement would love to see you and me … hanging on a tree. Some of them in Congress are comfortable where we were 50 or 60 years ago.”
Carson later walked back his comments somewhat, but still likened some tea partyers to Dixiecrats and John Birchers:
“Well, I wasn’t talking about the entire tea party. I think the tea party is absolutely right when they call for increased transparency in government, when they call for a cutback on excessive government spending. I am deeply concerned about some elements of the tea party who are extremist and who have reflected a mentality going back to the John Birch society, going back to George Wallace’s Dixiecrats,” Carson said.
Mitt Romney, who has seen his lead vanish in national polls, has put his new strategy of going after Rick Perry in action. Yesterday, while visiting Texas, Romney knocked “career politicians” for the nation’s current problems:
Though Mr. Romney has assiduously avoided taking on one rival for the Republican presidential nomination, Gov. Rick Perry of Texas, Mr. Romney took a veiled swipe at Mr. Perry in a speech Tuesday before the Veterans of Foreign Wars national convention in San Antonio.
“I have spent most of my life outside of politics, dealing with real problems in the real economy,” Mr. Romney said. “Career politicians got us into this mess, and they simply don’t know how to get us out.”
The attack line, which lit up the Twittersphere Tuesday morning when the campaign released some early excerpts, was met with some applause, but it is a point that Mr. Romney makes frequently on the campaign trail. Mr. Romney often argues that he is not a career politician and is one of the few candidates, having spent 25 years in the private sector, with the executive know-how to create jobs.
In his speech before the V.F.W., Mr. Romney tried to walk the line between offering an optimistic vision for the nation’s future — he even name-checked former President Ronald Reagan and mentioned “the shining city on a hill” — and painting a grim picture of the country under President Obama’s leadership.
“I believe in America,” Mr. Romney said, wearing a blue tie and speaking in a measured, even voice. “We believe in freedom and opportunity. We believe in the inherent dignity of every human being. We have deep and abiding faith in the goodness and the greatness of America.”
With the last few polls showing Rick Perry as the frontrunner in the Republican field for president, Mitt Romney is no doubt trying to figure out how to slow that train down. Pver the Washington Post, Marc Thiessen explains Romney’s plan:
If Perry fails to implode and continues to surge in the polls, Romney eventually will have to go on the attack — an assault his advisers say will commence “at a time of our choosing.” Romney strategists are quick to note that in his book, “Fed Up!,” Perry writes that “By any measure, Social Security is a failure” and calls the program “something we have been forced to accept for more than 70 years now” that was created “at the expense of respect for the Constitution and limited government.”
Look at what happened to Paul Ryan when he proposed a plan to save Medicare, they say. Romney’s campaign will argue that Perry is against the very idea of Social Security and Medicare, and that he will use Perry’s book to scare seniors in early-primary states with large retiree populations, such as Florida and South Carolina.
Is President Obama a Tea Partier? That’s what AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka thinks apparently based on comments reported by Talking Points Memo. Obviously, this will come to news to the Tea Party folks I personally know who take issue with so much of what President Obama has either done, or tried to do, during his Presidency.
“This is a moment that working people and quite frankly history will judge President Obama on his presidency; will he commit all his energy and focus on bold solutions on the job crisis or will he continue to work with the Tea Party to offer cuts to middle class programs like Social Security all the while pretending the deficit is where our economic problems really lie,” AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka told reporters at a breakfast roundtable hosted by the Christian Science Monitor.
You see, Republicans are supposed to compromise with Democrats but Democrats aren’t allowed to compromise with Republicans. Translation: Republicans should give ground, but Democrats never should.
I am not a fan of President Obama. I think anyone who reads this blog probably knows that. However, I’m going to defend him for a second. He felt it essential that the debt limit be raised, so he finally did whatever he had to to get the limit raised. Do I agree with him? Not so much. However, Trumka is talking out of body parts that one shouldn’t vocalize through.
Despite speculation - largely due to the folks at The Weekly Standard - that he was considering a bid for the GOP nomination for president, Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI) put the rumors to rest yesterday:
GOP congressman Paul Ryan said Monday he has ruled out running for president in 2012, amid another round of political speculation about his potential interest in the campaign.
“I sincerely appreciate the support from those eager to chart a brighter future for the next generation. While humbled by the encouragement, I have not changed my mind, and therefore I am not seeking our party’s nomination for President,” Ryan said in a statement.
The House budget chairman from Janesville has been urged to jump into the race by some GOP insiders dissatisfied with the current field, which is led by former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, Texas Gov. Rick Perry and U.S. Rep. Michele Bachmann from Minnesota. Ryan’s fans within the party see him as a skilled, swing-state politician who can make the party’s best case for attacking the federal debt and overhauling entitlement programs. At the same time, some Democrats have argued that the Medicare changes he’s proposing would be a huge liability for a GOP ticket.
“I remain hopeful that our party will nominate a candidate committed to a pro-growth agenda of reform that restores the promise and prosperity of our exceptional nation,” said Ryan in the statement.
In an earlier interview this summer with the Journal Sentinel, Ryan cited at least two reasons for not running: his family (he has three young children) and wanting to see through, in Congress, the debate he started there with his controversial House budget plan, which makes sweeping changes to Medicare and Medicaid.
Count me among the people that are disappointed that Rep. Jason Chaffetz will not challenge Sen. Orrin Hatch in the Republican primary next year:
In bowing out of a U.S. Senate clash with Orrin Hatch on Monday, Jason Chaffetz avoided what he said would be a “multimillion-dollar bloodbath,” but predicts Hatch is not in the clear.
“I think he’s vulnerable,” Chaffetz said. “He’s got a major task ahead of him in convincing Utahns he’s still the right guy for that job. I think he’s got a serious threat of [Democratic Rep.] Jim Matheson running against him, a serious campaign, and another insurgent campaign on the Republican side.”
Chaffetz ended months of speculation Monday, announcing that he would pass on a Senate bid and instead seek re-election to his House seat.
“If I were to run an interparty battle it would be a multimillion-dollar bloodbath,” Chaffetz said Monday. “I don’t think that’s necessarily in my best interests. I don’t think it’s in the best interest of our party, the nation or our state.”
It looked likely that Chaffetz was going to challenge Hatch. He talked like a candidate and received nudges from grassroots activists and national groups, including the Club for Growth. In fact, poll commissioned by the Club for Growth indicated that Chaffetz would be off to a solid start.
Paul Ryan is incredibly popular with Republicans. Newt Gingrich earned GOP ire when he bashed Ryan’s budget proposal, a gaffe which his campaign still hasn’t recovered from. It seems that Ryan is almost ready to throw his hat in the crowded ring for consideration to be the GOP nominee for President of the United States.
Wisconsin congressman Paul Ryan is strongly considering a run for president. Ryan, who has been quietly meeting with political strategists to discuss a bid over the past three months, is on vacation in Colorado discussing a prospective run with his family. Ryan’s concerns about the effects of a presidential campaign – and perhaps a presidency – on his family have been his primary focus as he thinks through his political future.
“He’s coming around,” says a Republican source close to Ryan, who has been urging the 41-year-old to run.
“With Paul, it’s more about obligation than opportunity,” says another Wisconsin Republican. “He is determined to have the 2012 election be about the big things. If that means he has to run, he’s open to it.”
The truth is, if Ryan does jump in, then he’s likely to become a frontrunner along with Mitt Romney and Rick Perry. He’s young, charismatic, and has been getting a lot of press over the last couple of years so his name recognition should be doing just fine. He’s also a favorite of the Tea Party, which could help or hurt him, depending on who you talk to. However, his support extends past the grass roots “organization” and into a lot of mainstream Republicans as well.
In truth, a Ryan candidacy would really strengthen a fairly weak GOP field. So who would feel the pain?
Libertarian-leaning Republican candidate Ron Paul finished just second to Michele Bachmann in the Ames Straw Poll. The Ames poll is one of the biggest straw polls out there, and Paul has done well at most of them. So what does this mean for Paul? Well, he’s well positioned to make a splash in the GOP convention, that’s for sure.
To start with, there’s been some speculation that Paul may actually win in Iowa. An early Iowa win in and of itself doesn’t mean a whole lot. However, this builds momentum going into New Hampshire. You know, “live free or die” New Hampshire. New Hampshire is one of the most libertarian-leaning states out there, even if you don’t count the Free State folks that have moved there. A strong showing in Iowa would position Paul well for a great showing in New Hampshire.
Now, let’s say that Paul managed to win one of those states and finish strongly in the other. If that were to happen, it would become more difficult for mainstream media to discount Paul’s candidacy like they have been to some extent, and like they did four years ago.
The truth is Paul’s message has always been economics that are extremely popular right now, meaning they can’t hit him with a flip-flop charge. They can’t hit him on a lot of things that will come back to haunt some of the other candidates right now. His consistency through the years, coupled with a media that can no longer ignore him, may bode very, very well for the Texas congressman.