Archive for the ‘Mitt Romney’ Category

Reid Epstein’s article on Sen. Cruz isn’t a flattering portrayal of Sen. Cruz. Frankly, Sen. Cruz’s statements sound whiny and jealous. When Sen. Cruz said “I understand that in the media newsrooms and in the Washington establishment circles, Marco is the chosen one”, it came across as if Sen. Cruz is jealous that Sen. Rubio is getting glowing attention from reporters. At some point, Sen. Cruz should examine why he isn’t getting positive coverage in the press.

It isn’t a secret that Sen. Cruz loves bragging that he isn’t liked by “the Washington cartel.” He wears like it’s a badge of honor. If Sen. Cruz wanted more positive coverage, it might help to not wear his disdain on his sleeve.

That isn’t to say that Sen. Cruz should thirst for the MSM’s approval. Conservatives shouldn’t want that. There’s a difference in degrees, though, between wanting fair coverage and wanting the MSM’s approval.

Launching into bitter-sounding diatribes won’t improve Sen. Cruz’s image with voters. Already, Sen. Rubio is reaching out to the entire Republican Party, something that Sen. Cruz should’ve already started. Instead, Sen. Cruz did this:

Later, inside the packed bar while a repeat of Wednesday night’s hockey games played on the flat-screen TVs, Mr. Cruz launched into another tirade against Mr. Rubio, seeking to cast doubt on the Florida senator’s argument he’s the most electable in the GOP field.

“The media adores him,” Mr. Cruz said. “These are the same people who told us Bob Dole was the electable one, that told us John McCain was the electable one, that told us Mitt Romney was the electable one. You’re always the electable one until you win the nomination, and then you cannot possibly win the election.”

First, comparing Sen. Rubio to Dole, McCain and Romney is like comparing Cadillac Escalades with a Prius. While they’re both vehicles, that’s where the similarities end. Rush Limbaugh never said that Dole, McCain or Romney was “a legitimate, full-throated conservative.”

What’s worse is that Sen. Cruz’s unscripted complaining diminishes him. Rather than being bitter, Sen. Cruz should work on not being as antagonistic as he’s been thus far this campaign.

The reason why the press likes Sen. Rubio is because he’s actually an interesting, positive person. What person, whether they’re a member of the media or not, doesn’t appreciate listening to calm-tempered people over bitter-sounding people?

Rather than complaining about Sen. Rubio, Sen. Cruz should try changing his approach towards the media. Loosen up a little. Don’t be an antagonist. It might help.

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A super PAC announced tonight that they’re hitting Donald Trump with some hard-hitting ads featuring Sen. McCain. When I read the part about Sen. McCain, I was skeptical. After reading the Our Principles super PAC probably shift strategy “to remind voters in New Hampshire about the disgraceful things that he said about John McCain”, it makes sense. Katie Packer, who was Mitt Romney’s deputy campaign manager in 2012, is now “the leader of Our Principles PAC.” She noted that “McCain has long and deep ties to New Hampshire” because “he’s considered to be a war hero.”

The great thing about Our Principles PAC is that it doesn’t attack Trump. It simply uses Trump’s own words against him. With Mr. Trump stagnating in New Hampshire and Sen. Rubio rising fast, this round of advertising couldn’t be better timed. Saying that the race is fluid is understatement. That doesn’t mean that Trump’s support will crater. I’m just saying that with 40+ percent of voters either undecided or willing to change their votes, Trump’s victory-in-waiting isn’t a certainty. It’s a likelihood but it isn’t a certainty.

Packer sees Trump as wounded, saying “He was getting a lot of great publicity because of this air of inevitability and that nothing could take him down. [But] we started seeing his negatives go up considerably almost immediately after we went up in the air and started dropping mail.”

That air of invincibility is disappearing. It isn’t entirely gone but Trump’s act is getting boring. The cable networks aren’t falling over themselves to have him on like they did a month ago. TYhis isn’t good news for Trump:

“We have a little bit more time in South Carolina, which is nice, so we will be able to hit with more content,” Packer said. “You can expect to see some more delving into his business stuff as we move into South Carolina. Because we have more time to put more lead on the target.”

South Carolina is a rough-and-tumble primary. Mr. Trump will have lots of incoming in the days before the First in the South primary. It isn’t a state that’s a good fit for him. (Before I get the emails, yes, I know he’s leading there by a gazillion points. That will change before the New Hampshire Primary and it’ll change even more after the First in the Nation Primary.)

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Donald Trump isn’t the only presidential candidate that doesn’t hesitate in laying things on a little too thick. Based on this article, Ted Cruz fits that description, too. Wednesday afternoon, Sen. Cruz sat down for an interview with Jeff Kuhner. Kuhner opened by asking “Is Marco Rubio a genuine conservative?” He asked that after listing Rubio’s support for “open borders,” “NSA spying,” and the Obama administration’s Trans Pacific Partnership during an onstage interview.

Sen. Cruz’s reply was predictable, though a bit dishonest. Cruz said “On each of the issues you just listed, Marco’s views are virtually indistinguishable from Hillary Clinton. Let me say this, if we nominate a candidate who’s pro-amnesty, we’ll lose. It’s not complicated. It’s real simple.”

First, Sen. Cruz’s support for taking tools away from the NSA is disappointing. If Sen. Cruz wants to defend taking away a valuable tool from our intelligence-gathering community, let’s hear him make that part of his stump speech. Sen. Cruz has the opportunity to explain why he thinks it’s wise to seriously limit the NSA’s abilities without hurting people’s civil rights. I’d love to hear Sen. Cruz’s explanation.

Further, Mrs. Clinton doesn’t support TPP. Apparently, Ted won’t let little things like the facts get in the way of an old-fashioned ad hominem attack against one of his chief rivals.

Third, Sen. Cruz isn’t being honest when he says that Marco supports amnesty. Here’s what Sen. Rubio supports:

Marco has consistently advocated fixing America’s immigration system, beginning with securing our border, enforcing immigration laws in the workplace, and implementing effective visa tracking systems.

That sounds a lot like Sen. Cruz’s plan. This does, too:

Starting on Day One of his presidency, Marco will be focused on immigration security.

He will:

  1. Cancel President Obama’s unconstitutional executive orders
  2. Eliminate federal funding for sanctuary cities
  3. Deport criminal illegal aliens
  4. Hire 20,000 new Border Patrol agents
  5. Finish all 700 miles of walls on our southern border
  6. Implement an entry-exit visa tracking system
  7. Implement a mandatory eVerify system
  8. Install $4 billion in new cameras and sensors on the border

If that doesn’t sound like the Gang of Eight bill, it’s because it isn’t similar to the Gang of Eight bill.

If Sen. Cruz is serious about this, then we’re in trouble:

Cruz pointed to the 2012 election as evidence for his theory and noted the Republican Party got clobbered after nominating Mitt Romney, whose record on healthcare caused headaches for conservatives seeking contrast with Obamacare.

That’s breathtaking. Comparing Mitt Romney with Sen. Rubio is like comparing Tim Scott with Mitch McConnell. Comparing Mitt Romney with Sen. Rubio is like comparing Trey Gowdy with Lindsey Graham. It’s a preposterous comparison. Nobody thought that Mitt Romney was a conservative. No less a conservative’s conservative than Rush Limbaugh called Sen. Rubio “a legitimate, full-throated conservative.”

Listening only to Sen. Cruz, you’d think that Sen. Rubio was an establishment RINO. It isn’t just that the facts don’t support Sen. Cruz’s opinion. It’s that a conservative’s conservative, Rush Limbaugh, rejects this opinion.

This points to a simple question: when will Sen. Cruz stop with the exaggerations?

Tim Carney’s article about how the presidential candidates did at the Southern Republican Leadership Conference reaffirms my beliefs. First, it reaffirms that Jeb Bush is a frontrunner only because of his fundraising operation and his name recognition. Second, it reaffirms my belief that this race isn’t about who wins ‘the establishment primary’ vs. who wins ‘the movement primary’. Third, it reaffirms my belief that candidates like Mike Huckabee, Rick Santorum, Rand Paul, Chris Christie and Donald Trump are sideshows and don’t have a chance at winning the nomination. Finally, it reaffirms my belief that I’ve had from the start that Scott Walker is still the frontrunner.

OKLAHOMA CITY — The annual Southern Republican Leadership Conference provided a glimpse into the state of the Republican base and the presidential field. The conference revealed a Republican base that is (1) broadly happy with the crowded and conservative field, (2) still smitten with Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, and (3) unimpressed and uninterested in Florida Gov. Jeb Bush.

Senate chaos over the Patriot Act kept the four senators who are running from making it, dampening the mood a bit. The candidates running a second time — Rick Santorum, Rick Perry, and Mike Huckabee — do not excite the conservative base.

What’s interesting is Carney’s statement that the activists are “still smitten with Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker.” Marco Rubio has climbed to frontrunner status on Special Report’s Candidate Casino segment because he’s excellent on foreign policy and he’s got a terrific life story to tell. Jeb Bush is accorded top tier status for the reasons I’ve stated above. Scott Walker still gets strong support but there’s little buzz about him.

Perhaps that’s because he’s just the guy everyone quietly likes? This part is interesting:

Straw Poll: The straw poll results mostly reflected Scott Walker’s popularity, and the apprehension the Republican base has for Jeb Bush and Chris Christie, the perceived establishment moderates in the field.

1) Dr. Ben Carson won the straw poll handily, thanks to his having the biggest organized effort. His campaign bought a booth and bought 100 tickets, to allow supporters to attend for free. Many of these supporters came in from out of state. All told, Carson won about 240 votes.

2) The biggest winner may have been Wisconsin Gov. Walker, who finished a close second, with about 200 votes. He had no organized effort to win the straw poll, but he still won the most votes among Oklahomans in the crowd. His Friday afternoon speech was spot-on and well delivered. His strong showing reflects that the good will Walker garnered through his fights in Madison, Wis., sill buoy him, even after other conservative stars have entered the race.

Dr. Carson showed that he’s put together an organization. Still, what’s impressive is that Gov. Walker didn’t bring his organizers to the event and still was competitive. This might be more impressive, though:

3) What recommends Walker most to Republican voters is his successful battles with powerful labor unions, the media, and the Wisconsin Democratic Party. Walker made these battles — including his recall election victory — the focus of his talk.

4) Walker was able to tick off a long list of legislative accomplishments, touching on all the major conservative policy priorities: cutting spending, cutting taxes, bringing the bureaucracy to heel, defunding Planned Parenthood, expanding gun rights, passing right to work, requiring photo ID for voters and so on.

5) Walker cast his political and policy wins as populist victories over powerful insiders. He described his fight against the government unions as “taking power out of the hands the big-government special interests” and putting it in the hands of ordinary people.

6) Walker closed with a pointed critique of his rivals. He said many Washington politicians are good at picking fights, but they don’t win — a clear reference to Cruz’s failed Obamacare shutdown, and Marco Rubio and Paul’s lack of a record. Alternatively, many Republicans, Walker said, are good at winning races, but they never fight for important, tough things — presumably referring to Christie and Bush.

In other words, he’s a confident leader with a lengthy list of conservative accomplishments who isn’t afraid to pick a fight. Simply put, he’s everything McCain, Romney, Huckabee and Santorum weren’t and Jeb Bush isn’t.

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Last night on ‘On the Record’, host Greta van Susteren played a clip of Harry Reid saying something utterly outrageous, which isn’t surprising. Greta then asked her Political Panel why Democrats haven’t spoken up about Reid. Kirsten Powers’ response was the obligatory ‘Harry Reid has been effective’ chanting point.

I’m tired of getting that reply. There’s no justification for the disgusting things Sen. Reid has said, especially the lie that he told about Mitt Romney not paying taxes for 10 years. I know that Sen. Reid is protected from litigation because his statements on the Senate floor are covered by the Speech and Debate Clause of the Constitution.

Harry Reid’s actions condemn him. Reid didn’t think about troop morale when he said that “the war is lost” shortly after President Bush ordered the start of the Surge. It didn’t take long for Sen. Reid to be proven wrong. The surge worked.

Key question: What type of dirt bag puts a higher priority on criticizing the commander-in-chief than the puts on maintaining the morale of true American patriots who are putting their lives on the line?

Harry Reid didn’t hesitate in lying about Mitt Romney. He didn’t have proof that Mitt didn’t pay taxes. He didn’t care. Sen. Reid put a higher priority on winning at all costs than he put on being a man of character.

Key question: What type of political party sits silent while their leader repeatedly lies about the other party’s presidential candidate?

Frankly, it’s disgusting that a political party wouldn’t criticize a dirt bag like Sen. Reid. Today’s Democratic Party isn’t just without character. They’re disgusting to the core. They’re unrepentant. Their first concern is accumulating and maintaining power. Their next priority is to never criticize a fellow Democrat no matter what they’ve done.

Edmund Burke said something that Democrats should think about if they still have a heart. He said “All it takes for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing.” Right now, the Democratic Party is filled with people who a) apparently don’t have a heart and b) haven’t lifted a finger to criticize one of the nastiest politicians that’s ever served in the US Senate.

Key question: Are there any Democrats still in the Senate or in Punditland that will excoriate Sen. Reid and run him out of DC?

Kirsten Powers has done some honorable things. Still, last night, she didn’t do a thing to excoriate Sen. Reid. She had the opportunity to criticize him and take down the nastiest man in the Senate. Ron Fournier had the same opportunity. He didn’t lift his voice to excoriate Sen. Reid, either.

Key principle: Americans shouldn’t trust a political party that doesn’t care about ethical behavior.

The Democratic Party is infested with disgusting people who don’t have the character required to consistently do the right thing. During the last 6 years, they’ve consistently put doing what their special interests wanted them to do ahead of doing what’s right for the American people.

If people with character within the Democratic Party don’t rip the party away from the Harry Reids of the world, then the Democratic Party should be vanquished to the trash heap of failed political parties. They will have earned it.

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This morning’s biggest political headline is Ted Cruz’s announcement that he’s running for president. Right behind that headline, though, is this Washington Post article:

COLUMBIA, S.C. — When Jim Ulmer came to see Scott Walker here last week, he was transfixed. “He’s the little engine that could,” Ulmer said, describing the Wisconsin governor who successfully battled labor unions and has rocketed to the front of the Republican presidential race. “He has guts,” said Ulmer, 52, Republican Party chairman in rural Orangeburg County. “The people of America are looking for another Ronald Reagan, someone we can believe in, someone who will keep freedom safe. Walker could be it.”

That’s the basis for the article’s headline. Still, that isn’t what should give the Bush campaign pause. This should:

Those who turned out in droves to size up Walker during two days of events here said his top rival, Jeb Bush, a former Florida governor and heir to a political dynasty, gives them pause. None mentioned Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Tex.), a tea party favorite who will announce his candidacy Monday at Liberty University in Virginia.

This isn’t a prediction but it wouldn’t surprise me if Jeb Bush flopped. The media love Jeb Bush. They’re love that he isn’t willing to rule of raising taxes. They love the fact that he’s a fierce advocate for federal control of education, aka Common Core. Mostly, though, they love him for supporting the Democrats’ immigration bill.

That puts him out of step with Republicans.

It isn’t that Bush “gives them pause.” It’s that Republican activists don’t trust Jeb. They don’t trust Bush because he represents the loser wing of the Republican Party. There isn’t a dime’s worth of difference between Jeb Bush, John McCain and Mitt Romney. They don’t fight for conservatism. Their chief attribute is that they’re supposedly electable.

Contrast that with Scott Walker:

As they see it, he’s a fighter, tenacious and decisive. He fought the unions again and again, and he won each time. They see the 47-year-old governor as a truth-teller, a pure conservative and an energetic, fresh face, as the future.

“He represents everything I want in a president,” Joan Boyce, 61, a school cafeteria worker, said after seeing him speak at a barbecue dinner in Greenville. “He’s refreshing for a change. He feels honest to me; he really does. He doesn’t talk like a politician. He talks like a regular guy.”

Scott Walker has a substantial list of conservative accomplishments. People appreciate that. They don’t appreciate Gov. Bush’s attempt to sell conservatives down the river on important things like immigration and Common Core.

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This morning, Mitt Romney officially announced that he isn’t running for president:

Mitt Romney announced Friday he will not run for president in 2016, after briefly flirting with a third White House run — a decision that only slightly narrows the crowded field of potential Republican candidates.

“After putting considerable thought into making another run for president, I’ve decided it is best to give other leaders in the Party the opportunity to become our next nominee,” Romney said in a written statement. He also was announcing his plans on a conference call with donors Friday morning.

Though this is a bit of a surprise, it might be as simple as Mitt being unable to put together a national organization rather than him not wanting to run. It might also be that he’s finally accepted the fact that he’s history in the eyes of GOP activists.

Lots of people, myself included, think he would’ve been vastly superior to President Obama. Obama’s national security policies are a disaster. President Obama’s economic policies have revived terminology like new normal. President Obama’s economic policies haven’t revived talk about a booming economy.

Mitt won the nomination in 2012 against a weaker field than this year’s field of candidates. Adding to Mitt’s worries is the fact that he started talking like a liberal. That isn’t how to win the GOP nomination. Mitt was a compromised candidate in 2012, too. He couldn’t take the fight to President Obama on President Obama’s biggest failure, aka Obamacare. This time around, Mitt would’ve had to fight against the economic accomplishments and conservative reforms of people like Scott Walker and Rick Perry.

The simple fact is that Mitt couldn’t win.

Jim Geraghty’s evaluation of the GOP presidential candidates is fascinating. Rather than starting with the top tier candidates, let’s start by hearing what he said about the MSM’s top tier:

Jeb Bush: Sure, he’ll have the money, and he’ll have the name. But let’s not even get into the immigration, Common Core, business ties or family dynasty issues yet. Republican primary voters, particularly conservative ones, think that the Obama presidency is the worst calamity to hit America in their lifetimes, and fear it is doing permanent damage to the national values, identity, and standing in the world. GOP primary voters are going to want a fighter, and do they think Jeb Bush has been leading the fight against Obama?

Mitt Romney: When people tell Mitt Romney, “Governor, I really wish you had won in 2012,” they’re not saying, “Governor, I think you would have been one of the greatest presidents in our lifetimes.” They’re saying, “Governor, Obama is really, really, really terrible, and electing you would have spared the country a lot of pain.” He’s a good man, but a lot of Republicans are ready to move on to new options. Plus, you know… Gruber.

Chris Christie: If Bush and Romney are both in, you have to wonder how many big donors stick by him. He did better in his Iowa appearance than some might have expected, and he’s undoubtedly going to be a dominant figure in the debates. But he’s positioned himself in opposition to the rest of the party way too often, and you can’t win the GOP nomination from the Jon Huntsman slot, as the Republican nominee most acceptable to the Acela class that can’t stand Republicans.

Rand Paul: He’ll have his dad’s network, and he’s way more compelling than his father was. But there’s a ceiling to Libertarian-minded candidates in the modern Republican Party, and it’s going to be tougher to sell quasi-isolationist non-interventionism as the world blows up and grows even more dangerous in Obama’s final two years in office.

This isn’t 2008 or 2012, when the GOP didn’t field a bunch of top tier candidates like they’re fielding this year. In 2012, Paul Ryan would’ve swamped the field, including Mitt. This year, Paul Ryan would have a respectable following but he wouldn’t be seen as the prohibitive favorite.

Jeb Bush has irritated conservatives far too often to win the nomination. Sen. McCain got away with that in 2008 because he ran against a field of weaklings. Jeb won’t get away with that this time because he’s running against a virtual team of Olympic weightlifters. Mitt’s time came and went. Whether he officially runs is almost irrelevant at this point. That’s because he’s overmatched.

First Tier:

Scott Walker: He’s serious and accomplished enough for the “Establishment,” and indisputably conservative enough for the grassroots. The Left threw everything it had at this guy and he’s still going strong. Despite the questions about his charisma, he’s getting rave reviews for his passion in his appearance this weekend.

Marco Rubio: He’s arguably the best communicator in the Republican Party, and the Republican Party desperately needs a good communicator as its nominee.

With rave reviews from Charles Krauthammer and James Pethokoukis, he could end up being the conservative pundits’ favorite choice. Yes, there’s still irritation about the gang of “Gang of Eight” and anti-Senator skepticism to overcome, but he’s speaking about the broad, unifying national theme of American exceptionalism since 2010. Obviously, he offers a fantastic contrast with Hillary.

Rick Perry: The former governor of Texas is likely to be the only re-running candidate who improves upon his past performance. He still has a sterling economic record to point to, he’s been going toe-to-toe with the Obama administration consistently, he’s got enough charm to work on Jimmy Kimmel. This time, he won’t be coming off back surgery, he won’t start late and we’ll see just how much the hipster glasses help.

Bobby Jindal: Yes, he needs to speak slower. Yes, it’s not clear that a style that works in Louisiana will work on the national stage. But he’s a bit like Walker in that he’s amassed an indisputably conservative record while getting things done in two terms. There’s probably not another contender who knows more detail about more policies, and he’s guided his state through some severe challenges – post-Katrina rebuilding, a pair of serious hurricanes, the Deepwater Horizon and the drilling moratorium. What’s more, he’s been fighting the administration on issues like school choice for years and he moves fast when an opportunity opens like the House GOP botching a late-term abortion bill.

After Gov. Walker’s performance at Saturday’s Freedom Summit, he’ll be one of the most formidable candidates on either side of the aisle. While Hillary has her supporters, she doesn’t have supporters that’d run through brick walls to help her win. Gov. Walker’s supporters are passionate and they’re willing to do anything to help him win. (You don’t win 3 elections in 4 years by having supporters who are indifferent.)

As for Marco Rubio, there’s no question that his participation in the Gang of Eight immigration bill will hurt him with primary voters. Still, there’s no denying that he’s a powerful communicator with a compelling personal story that shouts ‘I’m living the American dream.’

Rick Perry is being written off by the MSM. That’s a mistake. They’ve focused too much on Perry’s oops moment during the 2012 and not enough on what he’s done on securing Texas’ border during the flood of unattended children. He’s a much more serious candidate this time.

At this point, I’d argue that Republicans are likely to win the White House. People are sick of President Obama and they just aren’t excited about Hillary. She’s been on the national scene for a quarter century. It’s impossible to sell yourself as a fresh face with Hillary’s resume.

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After reading Daniel Halper’s article, it’s clear that there isn’t a clear Republican frontrunner. Still, the unscientific poll is helpful. Here’s the results of TWS’ unscientific poll:

Scott Walker–mentioned on 44% of the ballots as either first, second or third choice; first choice on 18%. Thus, 44/18.

Ted Cruz–35/16.
Ben Carson–26/10.
Mitt Romney–24/12.
Bobby Jindal–20/3.
Jeb Bush–18/8.
Marco Rubio–18/4.
Rand Paul–16/6.
John Kasich–15/4.
Rick Perry–15/3.
Mike Huckabee–12/3.
John Bolton–10/3.
Mike Pence–9/2.
Chris Christie–8/2.
Rick Santorum–7/2.

I don’t agree with Bill Kristol’s statement:

So the most important take-away from the poll is this, I think: not only isn’t there a clear front-runner, there’s not even a clear handful of front-runners.

I strongly disagree with that statement, though I agree that there isn’t “a clear front-runner.” I’d disagree that there isn’t a “handful of front-runners.” Clearly, there’s a handful of front-runners. That group is made up of Scott Walker, Ted Cruz, Mitt Romney and Jeb Bush, with Gov. Bush coming in with a lackluster finish.

At this point, it’s difficult to take Bobby Jindal, Marco Rubio, Rand Paul, Mike Huckabee, Chris Christie and Rick Santorum seriously. I’ll give Pence, Perry and Kasich a shot, though it’s clear they’re in a lower tier at this moment, because they can raise money and they have a compelling record to run on.

It’s impossible to picture a path to the nomination for Rand Paul, Ben Carson, Mike Huckabee, Chris Christie or Rick Santorum. Huckabee and Santorum won the 2008 and 2012 Iowa caucuses but their base of Christian conservatives isn’t their’s anymore. Scott Walker’s message will play well with Christian conservatives. Rand Paul’s libertarian message will appeal to voters in New Hampshire but it won’t play well in Iowa and Florida. Sen. Paul’s message definitely won’t play in South Carolina, with its military bases and its Bible Belt roots.

In 2012, Mitt Romney got trounced in South Carolina. It isn’t a stretch to think that he won’t do well this time.

It’s a million political lifetimes away but there’s already some voter sorting happening already. It’ll be interesting to see whether that stratification continues.

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After reading this part of this article, it’s clear that Mitt Romney shouldn’t be the GOP presidential nominee:

He said Mr. Obama and Clinton would have America “walk back from red lines…lead from behind…[carry] a small stick.” He ticked through the world’s hotspots: Libya, Iraq, Ukraine, Iran. “Terrorists are not on the run,” he said. In a “post-Obama era,” he argued, the next president will need to use economic and diplomatic strength to shape events around the world and “make the world safer for freedom.”

Mitt’s right that President Obama’s red lines are seen by President Putin as being more of a rose color than red. Mitt’s wrong that diplomacy is what’s needed to shape world events, especially with terrorists and Putin.

What’s needed with President Putin is a combination of supplying Ukraine with arms to defend themselves against President Putin’s expansionism and the US announcing plans that they’re building a natural gas pipeline to Ukraine. Couple those things with hitting reset on Hillary’s reset button. That isn’t done with a cheesy-looking red button. It’s done by putting US missiles in Poland, Romania and throughout the Baltic States. That doesn’t mean going to war with Russia. It simply means confronting Putin’s expansionist initiatives. Better yet, it means acting proactively to prevent Russia from attempting to expand its influence.

President Putin is acting like a superpower. The West’s mistake is in treating Putin’s Russia like they’re a superpower. They aren’t. They never will be. Their economy can’t produce the wealth they need to compete with an economic and military superpower.

This paragraph highlights what went wrong with Mitt’s 2012 campaign:

On the third principle, he said, “We’re an abundant nation. We have the resources” to lift people out of poverty. He didn’t say precisely how he would accomplish that without increasing the size of the government, but he argued that Mr. Obama’s policies have not worked. “They work for a campaign, but they don’t get the job done,” he said. Only conservative principles like a focus on family formation and education, he added, would “end the scourge of poverty in this great land.”

That’s exceptionally timid. Just blast it out there. Capitalism is the only economic system that lifts families out of grinding poverty. Mitt’s biggest personal weakness is that he’s an apologetic capitalist. What he needs is a lesson like this from Milton Friedman:

Republicans need a candidate who a) isn’t bashful about being a capitalist, b) loves explaining the virtues of capitalism vs. the tyranny of collectivism and c) highlights the times where capitalism has improved people’s lives.

In 2015-16, that means highlighting how Obama’s EPA has hurt the coal, the natural gas and oil industries and how private citizens and local governments have made life significantly better for people. Highlight how North Dakota’s state policies have helped the Bakken lead a fossil fuel comeback that led to cheap gas prices. The GOP presidential nominee needs to remind people of the Democrats that said we “can’t drill our way to cheap gas prices.’

Mitt won’t make that case. That’s why he’s wrong.

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