I watched Governor Mike Huckabee’s forum on Fox News this past weekend, as I have watched all the GOP debates so far. If you did not see it, here are a couple of good recaps by Jazz Shaw at Hot Air and Doug Mataconis at Outside The Beltway
Huck’s Forum was a positive event and perhaps the first time we have had to really see and hear, in some depth, what a few of the remaining candidates had to say… and say on an equal playing field. Each candidate took questions from 3-GOP State Attorneys General (Pam Bondi, Ken Cuccinelli and Scott Pruitt who are all part of the ObamaCare suit) with Governor Huckabee as the moderator. Each candidate received exactly the same amount of time and they were also each interviewed one at a time so the viewer saw each from the same perspective.
My focus here is primarily on the current state of the Republican primary race to examine the political strengths and weaknesses of the GOP field and what has to happen for the GOP to have the greatest chance to defeat President Obama. And Obama’s defeat is and must be the number one goal of all conservatives, independents and patriotic non-progressive Americans. (I also touch on the effects of the Presidential race on down-ticket campaigning that will be important for the GOP to solidify their control of the House and possibly gain control of the Senate.) I am not focusing on issues or the individual political beliefs of the candidates… on my preference(s).
This is now a two-man/person race and barring a miracle will remain a 2-man race. Wish all you want but Huntsman, Perry and Santorum are not going to win. Bachmann has a slight chance to catch on and Ron Paul, although second or third in many polls and even a possible winner in the Iowa Caucuses probably has also reached his saturation point because of some of his Libertarian views in certain areas, especially foreign policy and how it affects his approach to situations like Iran.
Posted: December 02, 2011 on WND
by Joseph Farah “Between the Lines”
Pray for a Michele Miracle
I like a lot of what Rick Santorum and Ron Paul have to say. I also have some problems with both of them. But if either of them got the nomination, I would support them enthusiastically. But neither one is going to get the nomination.
That leaves one other candidate – Michele Bachmann.
She’s the real deal, folks. She’s 100 percent. She’s gaffe-proof. She’s smarter than Newt, but doesn’t brag about it (He’s already choosing his cabinet) half as much. She’s honest. She’s sincere. And she really believes in what she says.
What we need to pray for prior to the Iowa primary is a Michele Miracle.
Pray fervently for the future of this country – that it should be worthy of the blessings God has bestowed upon it for 235 years.
And ask God for a little miracle this year.
Ask Him to give us Michele.
To be honest… Bachmann and Santorum are the true consistent Conservative candidates and if evangelicals, constitutionalists and tea party members thought that was the highest priority, both their poll numbers would be a lot higher! So it will take prayer and a miracle to move Michele (or Rick) up in the polls.
But for our purposes here since the race is now between Mitt Romney and Newt Gingrich, the focus needs to be on their strengths and weaknesses and what should be done by each of their campaigns immediately.
What I saw in the Huck Forum was both enlightening and a bit frightening at the same time. The panel asked some excellent even probing questions. And they pressed the candidates when appropriate for clarifications, as with Governor Perry when they tried to lead him away from his stand on repealing ObamaCare using Executive Order(s), that just wouldn’t be possible. (Something that Michelle Bachmann is very aware of and vocal about and has been ignored every time she has brought it up during the debate series.) The format overall turned out to be a winner giving viewers a good chance to learn more about each candidate.
However, given the reasonable ease for each campaign to anticipate the general areas of the questions that would be focused on, including the obvious questions that would probably be asked, it was disappointing to watch Romney fumble his way through a couple of his answers. And while Gingrich handled himself better he too could have been more on message and less bloated in his answers. I’ve heard some say that Newt’s performance outdistanced Mitt’s by a fair amount and others say they were pretty even, just a matter of style.
My thoughts then turned to the current state of each campaign’s organization and fund-raising performance. Here is where Romney has it all over Gingrich, and when it comes down to pure politicking Romney is still the odds on favorite to get the nomination.
I heard an interesting comment by liberal (and past campaign organizer) Bob Beckel say on Monday on the Five (Fox Cable News’ successful replacement for the former Glenn Beck slot where Beckel is a co-host) that what should happen is that Romney should convince Bachmann to pull out of the race, pay off her campaign debt (much like they did with Pawlenty) and have Bachmann endorse Romney so she can focus on her re-election to Congress campaign. (It would be a terrible shame for Bachmann and conservatives to not only lose for president but then to also lose her seat in the House! With Ron Paul not running for his House seat alongside his presidential run, Conservatives could lose two strong conservative voices in the House (who won’t be President).
Romney already has the organization in place to see his candidacy through the primaries and into the general, plus his campaign is well placed to down-ticket campaign to the betterment of his Presidential run and Congressional GOP candidates. He also is well-funded. The task at hand is that Mitt has to step up and elevate his game right now. He must get better prepped for debates, forums and interviews, and he must stop playing it safe. All candidates have bad weeks over the course of any campaign but the Romney organization has to step it up and insure their candidate does not suffer another debate like this last one, where people have a question who… he or Gingrich, did a better job at debating… but rather know that the only difference is just a matter of style.
The Gingrich campaign organization is weak and disjointed, and is playing catch up right now. They are also are not as well funded. The challenge is to establish a true national-level structure quickly and effectively, for without it Newt will ultimately come up short and lose any chance of getting the nomination, especially because of his old baggage. There are plenty of excellent political operatives out there, some of which may need to be lured from current jobs with lower level candidates. The Gingrich organization has to go on a talent search blitz immediately now that funds are coming in more readily. There’s barely a month until the Iowa caucus with the New Hampshire primary is a week later. Newt must elevate his organizational game considerably by early January 2012.
Considering the reality and gravity of what is at stake in this election, it is time for both Speaker Gingrich and Governor Romney to step up their game. And it is perhaps time for the other candidates, including Michele Bachmann to consider making their exists and especially if they lose in Iowa. What is an absolute is that the GOP candidates and those focused on replacing Obama must stop tearing each other apart and start focusing on the job at hand… beating Obama!
In several recent polls, although the numbers vary a little, there are some consistent votes no matter who is doing them:
Who will bring the most change: Newt Gingrich
Who is most likeable between Mitt and Newt: Mitt Romney
Best Debater : Newt Gingrich
Who is the most intelligent GOP candidate: Newt Gingrich
Who is most acceptable to moderates and independents (who end up deciding elections): Mitt Romney
** Who is most electable in the General Election: Mitt Romney **
Another factor is that the Democrats could not be making it more obvious that they consider Mitt Romney the greater threat and that they would much rather run against Newt Gingrich, even though Newt would probably make mince meat of Obama in the debates.
Both Mitt and Newt have done their share of flip-flopping but Newt Gingrich has a lot more baggage (affairs, 3-marriages and lots of turmoil as former Speaker of the House (which Pelosi has already threatened to expose… (of course that was yesterday) plus a more recent question involving money paid to Newt’s firm for his consulting on Fannie and Freddie) for the Democrats to attack. Mitt has led a pretty scandal free life and is much more the businessman verses the career politician. (The Mormon issue still surfaces now and again (Romney and Huntsman) in discussions about evangelical votes, but many of them are just as wary of Catholics.
Former Clinton advisor and strategist Dick Morris, now turned conservative and Fox News contributor, says that really Mitt’s only flip-flop that needs more explaining other than “facts have changed and I’ve adjusted and re-thought my position based on those new facts” is Mitt’s change on abortion or a woman’s right to choose… because those facts don’t change. But MItt has already said that he has always been pro-life personally and then when he was in office and it came to signing legislation that was pro-choice that he just couldn’t do it and changed his position as did Ronald Reagan and George W. Bush. Morris thought that explanation is sufficient and believes that RomneyCare was a state rights issue and ObamaCare is not and that Romney will over-turn ObamaCare.
Both men could win the nomination and both would be formidable candidates against Obama. So Gentlemen… “Start Your Engines and Step on the Gas Full Throttle! No More Playing it Safe!!”
By Marion Algier
The interview: Glenn v. Newt
More accurately, it was Newt vs. Newt as Glenn played a series of past Newt quotes on the issues and the current frontrunner had to answer for them. He’s known as an intellectual who enjoys a good debate — did he acquit himself from himself? Take a listen and decide for yourself if Newt is a big government progressive or the right man for the job. WATCH (Transcript)
Ron Paul, Gary Johnson, Donald Trump, Sarah Palin and Chuck Baldwin have all been mentioned as possible 3rd Party Candidates. Beck even stated lately that he thinks a 3rd Party Candidate Could Win in 2012… Beck is someone I agree with most of the time in most areas, but not on this one… and neither does anyone else that is credible, that I’ve heard. A 3rd party run will split the Republican Party (like with Ross Perot in 1992) and guarantee an Obama re-election and pretty much bring the end of America as we know it. And not voting or writing in candidates will help do the same.
Obama and the Progressives will run a dirty campaign and you can bet that there will be a lot of fraud from their operatives, including the unions. Every single non-Obama vote and every patriot volunteer monitoring what is going is needed.