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Posts Tagged ‘Fred Thompson’

  I have to admit, though I suspected this would be outcome for sometime, that I am disappointed by Tuesday’s outcome.  I really felt, and still feel, that Governor Mike Huckabee is the best candidate for President of the United States.  I also thought that after having a good Super Tuesday sweeping the South that he would have picked up traction.  This was a great race and had a couple of things went differently, well then… who knows?

Like if Fred Thompson dropped out before South Carolina – that likely would have been a Huckabee win.  Would that have given him momentum in Florida?  Who knows?  On Super Tuesday had he won Missouri.  Perhaps Tuesday would have been a lot different.  But those things didn’t happen and Tuesday wasn’t different.  It is what it is.  Mike Huckabee pledged to stay in it until the delegates needed to secure the nomination was achieved by somebody.  Until then he wanted people to have a choice, and that is something I believe many conservatives wanted.  They still wanted a voice.  Values voters want to be heard, and if nothing else Mike Huckabee staying in the race made Senator McCain listen.

I became somewhat disillusioned with the process with the vitriol conservative pundits dished out toward Huckabee.  I hated, absolutely hated, how Mitt Romney launched attack ads and then was dishonest about his record and current believes.  Negative ads and campaigning is one of the reasons I withdrew my support of Senator Sam Brownback back in June and then endorsed Huckabee.  It turns me off.  I expect better.

I am also disappointed with the Louisiana GOP for not awarding Mike Huckabee most of the delegates even though he won the popular vote in that state’s primary.  I think the chairman of the Washington GOP needs to resign for stopping the counting of votes in their primary when there was only 500 votes separating McCain from Huckabee.  Shame on them.

While I disagree with Rudy Giuliani’s positions on several issues that are important to me I did appreciate his honesty and consistency.  I didn’t think he had much of a chance to win the nomination, and I’m glad his campaign strategy was a non-starter.

I am thankful for the campaign that Mike Huckabee ran.  I liked his message.  I liked that he talked about the issues.  I liked that he stayed positive when he could have easily gone negative.  I liked where he stood on the issues.  I liked his humor and his communication style.  Most importantly I liked his values and where he stood on issues that I care about.  I would have loved to see him debate Barack Obama or Hillary Clinton.  Thank you Governor Huckabee for such a great campaign!  You proved that money doesn’t equal might.

Now our eyes turn to Senator John McCain.  McCain likely will have my vote… he is going to have to earn my endorsement.  He has some weaknesses that need to be addressed with me and other conservatives.

  • He is wrong on embryonic stem cell research.   He is wrong on the  Right to  Life Amendment.  Governor Huckabee is solidly pro-life.  McCain has some gaps.  I appreciate that his voting record for the most part is good, but it doesn’t seem to be an issue that is of great concern to the Senator.  He followed rather than led the pro-life movement in the Senate.
  • McCain-Finegold… enough said, and it is probably going to end up biting you in the butt during the general election.
  • You need to support a Federal Marriage Amendment.
  • While I’m not absolutely hard-line on immigration, he needs to further refine his immigration policy and focus on border security.  He is starting to do that.
  • His domestic policies, not his strong suit.  I don’t think the tax code needs to be tweaked… it needs to be overhauled.  I also believe he needs to spend more time speaking on the economy.
  • He also needs to stop talking about global warming… talk climate change, talk fuel economy and conservation, but drop global warming.

I do not have to be convinced, however, that he will be anything less that an excellent commander-in-chief.  I think he is strong on national security, Iraq, and War on Terror issues.  There is a definite contrast between him and whoever will be the Democratic nominee.

He also needs to be careful about who he chooses as a running mate.  That person needs a solid, impeccable record when it comes what values voters hold dear.  It also would be a good idea to have a running mate who is strong domestically.  My top pick?  I would like to see Mike Huckabee as his running mate.  Pundits would hate that, but I don’t think they are in touch with mainstream Americans anyway.  I could definitely go beyond just voting for him to endorsing and campaigning for him if Huckabee is on the ticket.  Another name I’ve heard circulated around is Former Oklahoma Congressman J.C. Watts.  He would also be an excellent choice.

Another suggestion I’ve heard is Michael Steele, the former Lt. Governor of Maryland, and I wouldn’t be surprised to hear former Speaker Newt Gingrich’s name come up as well.  I’ve even seen Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal’s name mentioned, but he just took the oath of office so I don’t think the voters of Louisiana would be very happy with that.  Besides, I’m not even sure he’s old enough.

I will likely vote third party (no, not Ralph Nader)  if he chooses Mitt Romney as a running mate.  That would be an extremely bad choice.  Giuliani as well for reasons mentioned above.  Quite frankly I don’t see any scenario where having two current senators running on the ticket would be a good thing.

It will be interesting to see what happens next.

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Congratulations to Senator John McCain who won the South Carolina primary.

With 97% of the precincts coming in:

  • McCain – 33%
  • Huckabee – 30%
  • Thompson – 16%
  • Romney – 15%
  • Paul – 4%
  • Giuliani – 2%

McCain won the independent vote, the moderate vote, the military vote, and seniors.  Huckabee and McCain split with Republicans.  Huckabee won among evangelicals, though not as much as he had hoped, Fred Thompson took some of the evangelical vote away from him.  Huckabee also won among conservatives.

Future?  Who knows?

This has definitely put Senator McCain in a very good position going into Florida where there is currently a four-way statistical tie in the polls (with McCain with a slight edge over Huckabee, Romney and Giuliani).

Romney won the Nevada Caucus, but I don’t think will be a big bounce for him since he was expected to win.  Twenty-five percent of the GOP voters who caucused are Mormon and he won 100% of them.  So nobody really campaigned there.  He is currently leading in delegates, but still don’t see him winning the nomination.  His strength is that he can self-fund his campaign.

Not winning South Carolina does hurt Governor Huckabee.  Winning Florida will be extremely difficult.  He still is leading polls in several southern states, but what kind of bounce McCain will see after South Carolina is uncertain.  He has a disadvantage with money and organization.

Thompson is done.  I will be surprised if he doesn’t hang it up after tonight.  He said that he needed to do well in South Carolina, I don’t think coming in third place with 16% of the vote could be considered doing well.

Giuliani, if he doesn’t win Florida I think he will be through.  Frankly, I don’t think somebody who has come in second to last in every contest so far really deserves the nomination.

Congressman Paul, kudos for him coming in second in Nevada, he has no chance and I’m not sure who is helped by him staying in it.

Congressman Hunter will be dropping out I heard on Fox News.  I’m surprised it took this long.

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The latest poll in South Carolina

ARG GOP South Carolina Primary

  • Mike Huckabee 33% (23%)
  • John McCain 26% (33%)
  • Fred Thompson 21% (13%)
  • Mitt Romney 9% (20%)
  • Rudy Giuliani 3% (4%)
  • Ron Paul 2% (1%)
  • Duncan Hunter 1% (1%)
  • Alan Keyes 1% (2%)
  • Undecided 4% (3%)

Among Republicans (81% of the sample) likely to vote in the GOP primary, Huckabee leads with 37 percent of the vote. McCain and Thompson are tied for second, each with 22 percent.

Among independents (19% of the sample) expected to vote in Saturday’s primary, McCain has a 48-19% lead over Huckabee.

Survey of 600 likely Republican primary voters (487 Republicans and 113 independent voters) was conducted January 17-18. The margin of error is ± 4 percentage points. Results from the poll conducted January 15-16 are in parentheses.

HT: Race42008

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In last night’s debate, Fred Thompson woke up and decided take out his post-slumber grumpiness on Mike Huckabee early in the debate.

He said of Mike Huckabee (the question was related to Reagan Republican coalition):

He would be a Christian leader, but he would also bring about liberal economic policies, liberal foreign policies. He believes we have an arrogant foreign policy … he believes that Guantanamo should be closed down … he believed in taxpayer-funded programs for illegals, as he did in Arkansas. He has the endorsement of the National Education Association, and the NEA said it was because of his opposition to vouchers.

Huckabee responded by pointing out that if Reagan running for president today he would be labeled as a liberal by Club for Growth.  Reagan raised taxes as Governor of California.  He shared that he cut spending by 11% in discretionary areas (there were parts of the Arkansas budget that are constitutionally mandated), taxes were cut in Arkansas for the first time in 160 years.  He governed well, and that was affirmed by his being re-elected twice.

He only had 30 seconds to respond during the debate (after a 90 second attack by Thompson) he responded further after the debate with Hannity and Colmes.  You can also read responses to other attacks here.

Huckabee shared his thoughts on how to return to a strong coalition and strong GOP:

Make sure that people understand that when we lower taxes, when we cut spending, when we have a strong national defense, when we stick to our principles on the sanctity of human life and the primacy of traditional marriage. And we also unapologetically hold to the idea that the Second Amendment is just as precious as the First Amendment.

Thompson said that he helped change Washington as a senator by working on welfare reform and helped generate balanced budgets.  In, my opinion, one of Huckabee’s best moments came in his argument that as Governor he implemented the laws created in Washington.

It’s easy to be in Congress and pass a bill that maybe will change some mandates to the states, but those of us who had to govern at the state level were forced with something that members of Congress didn’t have to do. They actually had to make it work.

Responding to the New Hampshire NEA – the National NEA did not endorse Mike Huckabee as Thompson seems to suggest.  If there reason for endorsing him is a belief that he is against school vouchers, they would be mistaken.

Here is a response to this claim made elsewhere by Joe Carter, then director of research for the Huckabee Campaign.

Here’s the governor’s position on vouchers:

Governor Mike Huckabee is a supporter of school vouchers, and has always been a supporter of school vouchers; he supported them as far back as his first run for public office, as a U.S. Senate candidate, in 1992.

The quote referenced by the Club for Growth was about the governor’s concern with the way some of the funding for school vouchers is carried out, and that he doubted school vouchers would be offered anytime soon in his state of Arkansas, not his opposition to vouchers; this conversation, on his monthly radio show, came after the latest bill proposing school vouchers had failed in the Arkansas state legislature.

In fact, the same article referenced by the Club for Growth goes on to say:

“Huckabee ultimately supports parental choice for how to educate children.
Huckabee called the school vouchers issue a ‘valid policy discussion’ he hopes to discuss more in the future.”

On November 7, 2007 while discussing school vouchers at an education forum, Governor Huckabee said he did support school vouchers.

“Huckabee fielded questions from a panel and audience of students, faculty, reporters and business leaders for the bulk of the afternoon forum. The questions touched on teacher testing, No Child Left Behind, college debt, teacher pay and school vouchers, among others.

He favors:

Giving parents a choice of education for their children through school vouchers, (“No. 1 school problem: Boredom, Huckabee says” by Jared Strong, The Des Moines Register, 11-7-07).

Mike Huckabee is for school choice – public, private, charter, and home education.  He also received the endorsement of the Home School Legal Defense Association PAC, something that Thompson can’t claim.

Fred Thompson should learn that those living in glass houses shouldn’t throw stones.  Consider:

He opposes the Human Life Amendment which is part of the GOP party platform.

He opposes the Federal Marriage Amendment.

Then there is also his questionable lobbying activities. 

He was charged with lobbying for a pro-abortion group, he defended himself saying that there is a difference between a lawyer and his client.

“Don’t confuse the lawyer with the client,” Thompson said. “It has nothing to do with one’s political views. Lawyering is a profession but it’s also a business.”

“I’m not representing an issue,” he added. “I’m representing a client who has an issue.”

Thompson drew an analogy to defense attorneys who represent criminals because they deserve their day in court, even though they strenuously disagree with their actions.

“I’ve represented people accused of crimes,” Thompson said. “These are people who deserved representation.”

Source: Life News

Does that sound like a principled conservative?  I’m not in favor of abortion, but I’m perfectly ok with taking their money and representing them.  I don’t know.  Sounds kind of liberal to me.  I wonder if Reagan would approve?

Update: Over at Nuke’s News & Views – one post on Thompson’s real record on gun control, and another post on his flip flopping on Immigration.

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I would have liveblogged the debate last night, but instead I thought it was better to go out to dinner with my lovely wife.  Fortunately Fox News replayed the debate.  I’m surprised that we are having another one so soon after having two over the weekend.  Just a tad much I think.  By and large it was a lively debate and pretty well moderated.

By the candidate:

Mitt Romney:  He likely didn’t hurt himself or really help himself for that matter.  He best response was on the economy.  How to prevent recession?  1. Stop housing crisis.  2. Tax cuts for the middle class.  3. Address price of gas.  4. Invest more in research and development.  He was pretty vague in his response to the question about Massachusetts having the third slowest job growth in the nation during his term.  His response to the abortion coverage in Massachusetts universal health care plan being the result of a court decision needs to be verified.  “I came down on the side of life as governor.”  Really now?

He did have a pretty good statement about foreign policy:

Today, foreign policy is no longer like it was in the last century, which was more like a game of checkers that was our side and their side. We tried to get friends and allies and go after each other. Now foreign policy is more like three-dimensional chess, where we have to understand all the players throughout the world and develop strategies to help move the world towards more stability and safety for ourselves,” he said. “We need to think more broadly than just those hot spots and come together with other developed nations … and develop an effort to help move the world of Islam towards modernity.

John McCain: Not a bad debate for him either.  I didn’t care for his position on global warming, but do agree that the Republican party does need to consider the principles of  Teddy Roosevelt Republicanism.  He as always is solid on Iraq and War on Terror.  Having been a Navy Commander he said that he placed confidence in the ships’ captains (during the Strait of Hormuz incident with the Iranians).

McCain had a great statement on the Iraq surge and possible reduction of troops:

I’m telling you, it’s succeeding. And these young people are going to come home. But it’s not going to be decided by any politician in Washington. It’s going to be decided by the man that should have been Time magazine man of the year, General David Petraeus. That’s who should decide when American troops come home.

Fred Thompson: He’s awake!  He had some great one liners.  He really didn’t say much about his record.  Perhaps because there isn’t much there.  He was on a Mike Huckabee hit parade, probably because if he doesn’t do well in South Carolina where Mike Huckabee is a frontrunner (in most polls – 2nd in today’s) he’s done.  Frank Luntz’ focus group had a Thompson love-in (probably out of shock that he is alive), but something that was pretty noteworthy was that there was a sense of “too little, too late.”

Fred Thompson’s money quote:

You can’t take the judgment like that out of the hands of the officers on the ground there. I think one more step and they would have been introduced to those virgins that they’re looking forward to seeing.

Mike Huckabee:  He was straight forward in addressing growing the economy by reducing our dependency on oil (in light of the high gas prices, among other things), dealing with subprime mortgages (he did say President Bush is handling it well without using taxpayer money to bail people out), he said that we also need to address healthcare costs and education cots.  He said that we must not raise taxes, but cut mariginal taxes and the best thing of all pass the Fair Tax.  He also gave a good answer to the Strait of Hormuz question.  The money quote that received the best response from the Luntz focus group:

I think we need to make it very clear, not just to the Iranians, but to anybody, that if you think you’re going to engage the United States military, be prepared not simply to have a battle. Be prepared, first, to put your sights on the American vessel. And then be prepared that the next things you see will be the gates of Hell, because that is exactly what you will see after that.

He also turned an out-of-line question about religion around and was able to present his position on marriage and family values which will definitely appeal to social conservatives.

Update: Video on his answer to Carl Cameron’s question.  Awesome.

Rudy Giuliani: Regarding staving off recession Giuliani referred to his tax plan, but also said that we need to cut spending, and said that we need regulatory reform.  I laughed out loud when he called himself a conservative when talking about the Reagan coalition (social conservatives, fiscal conservatives, and defense conservatives).  He labels himself such because he believes in a strong national defense and lower taxes/spending cuts.  Regarding social concerns, “we believe in the same goals, but disagree with methods.”  Whatever… he thinks it is perfectly ok to not only allow, but fund the innocent slaughter of a child in his mother’s womb.  But, that’s ok, at least he’ll appoint strict constructionalist judges to the bench.

Just a quick digression here.  I have not seen anyone in the Republican establishment hammer Giuliani on this issue.  I mean Huckabee is labeled a liberal because he doesn’t tow the Club for Growth line, but I haven’t heard one pundit call Giuliani a liberal – which he clearly is, at least socially.  But we hear from the establishment and the elite… “it’s ok.  He’ll appoint the right kind of judges.”  That’s nice what about the Mexico City policy?  Will he allow the federal funding of abortions?  There is a lot that a president can do via executive order.  When Huckabee says he’ll cut spending – the establishment and elite don’t believe him, but give Giuliani a pass when he said he’ll appoint strict constructionalist judges.  I am sickened by the double standard, and it shows me where their priorities lie, but I digress.

I really don’t think Giuliani’s performance was that wonderful, he didn’t hurt, but he didn’t help either.  Lackluster.  He did make a good statement on Iran, however.

I think an incident like this reminds us that we shouldn’t be lulled into some false sense of confidence about Iran. We have to be very focused on the fact that Iran should not be allowed to become a nuclear power. We should make it very, very clear that we’re not going to allow that, and we should go to every country that we can think of to impose serious sanctions on Iran.

Ron Paul: What to say about Congressman Paul.  First off, I’m glad they included him in this debate.  I think that Fox News made the wrong decision in not including him in last Sunday night’s debate in New Hampshire.  Especially in light of the fact that he had 10% in the Iowa Caucus (beating Giuliani), and was polling ahead (and beat) Fred Thompson in New Hampshire.  I do, however think that he is out of touch with reality.  For instance his take on the Strait of Hormuz issue with Iran:

Let’s put it in perspective. We have five small speedboats attacking the U.S. Navy with a Destroyer? They could take care of those speedboats in about five seconds. And here we’re ready to start World War III over this? … You know there are people in this administration and in Washington, D.C., that are looking for the chance” to bomb Iran.

Has he forgotten about the U.S.S. Cole?  The boat that attacked it was little, but still killed 19 sailors and injured many more, not to mention disabled the ship.  Maybe the Navy should just allow these speed boats to come right up on them.  What is this guy thinking?  Then most of his other answers were incoherent ranting.  The statement he made on funding Israel’s neighbors was an interesting point, and one that the next administration should consider.

The winners – no clear winner out this I think.  Many say Thompson, but I think that is because he shocked everybody by being awake in this debate.  The only clear loser was Ron Paul, but I didn’t really have any expectations there.  That’s my take.  I’m going to post on the Thompson vs. Huckabee exchange in a separate post because old Fred needs to be corrected.

Update:  Some reactions to the debate.

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Latest Florida poll from Datamar:

Mike Huckabee 23.9%
Mitt Romney 19.5%
John McCain 17.9%
Rudy Giuliani 16.4%
Fred Thompson 9.4%
Ron Paul 4.8%

Pretty interesting.  Perhaps Giuliani’s late primary/big state strategy is going to backfire?

Update: 10:50 PM – USA Today/Gallup Poll

Mike Huckabee 25%
Rudy Giuliani 20%
John McCain 19%
Fred Thompson 12%
Mitt Romney 9%
Ron Paul 4%

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John McCain has been declared the GOP winner in New Hampshire by NBC and Fox.  Mitt Romney came in second, and Mike Huckabee third.  I’ll update later with official results. 

The Democratic race is still too close to call despite exit polls that showed Barack Obama ahead.

My thoughts – John McCain certainly surged late in the last few weeks.  Romney had a solid lead in polls a few weeks ago, so I think Mitt Romney is hurt the most by tonight’s results.  While Mike Huckabee only came in third he has seen a bounce since the Iowa Caucus he was polling about sixth.  He now comes ahead of Rudy Giuliani, Fred Thompson and Ron Paul.

I’ve very surprised by the early results that have Hillary Clinton ahead.  The latest polls had Obama up by 4 to 10 points depending on the poll you were looking at.

Update: 10:03 PM – Clinton is declared winner of New Hampshire Democratic Primary by 3% with like 70 something percent of vote in.  Pundits are saying that the independent vote they thought was going to go vote Democrat and for Obama instead went Republican and voted for McCain.

Senator Clinton speaking…. “she has a full heart.”  Almost makes me want to cry like Hillary.  Acting warm and fuzzy, I think I’m going to puke.

Some new SurveyUSA head to head polls with different GOP contenders vs. Barack Obama.

Iowa

Obama (55%) vs. McCain (38%)
Obama (58%) vs. Huckabee (35%)
Obama (66%) vs. Giuliani (26%)
Obama (59%) vs. Romney (33%)

Ohio

Obama (43%) vs. McCain (50)
Obama (46%) vs. Huckabee (46%)
Obama (49%) vs. Giuliani (41%)
Obama (51%) vs. Romney (39%)

Kentucky

Obama (35%) vs. McCain (54%)
Obama (35%) vs. Huckabee (54%)
Obama (41%) vs. Giuliani (47%)
Obama (44%) vs. Romney (43%)

HT: Right Wing News

Thoughts – I think we can safely say that Iowa is trending Democrat, but it is still early.  I read in a comment section on Right Wing News that we are becoming “Illinois Light, but without the corruption” Some may wonder why Thompson wasn’t included the fact that Thompson has no organization.  He needed only to collect 500 signatures in Delaware – to get on the ballot, only 500, but fell way short.  If he can’t even manage his campaign well, how in the world do we think he could govern capably?

I also wonder if Romney can’t poll ahead of Obama in the solidly red state of Kentucky, how in the world do some think he would be the best nominee?  Clearly with an Obama nomination Huckabee or McCain would be the best to run against him.

 

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