(Hamdan Azhar) “I’m handicapped! I need a doctor!” “Sir, this is the chairman!” The Louisiana State Republican Convention descended into chaos Saturday morning, with several delegates being arrested and the convention chairman being thrown to the ground by police. Continue reading →
(CBS) Republican presidential candidate Rick Santorum has suspended his campaign.
Senator Santorum appeared at a hotel room in Gettysburg at 2 p.m. where he announced he was suspending his campaign.
“We were very concerned about our roles as being the very best parents has we can be to our children,” Santorum said. “We made a decision over the weekend while this presidential race is over to for me and will suspend our campaign effective today – we are not done fighting.”
Senator Santorum gained traction in Iowa shortly before the January 3 caucuses and tied former Mass. Governor Mitt Romney in Iowa, before going on to win 10 more states.
“Against all odds we won 11 states, millions of votes,” said Santorum, who said he found more support and a deeper love for this country than he could imagine. “It was a love affair for me, going state to state, and seeing the difference. I care deeply about where this country is going and the people who are feeling left behind or hopeless.”
Santorum became the conservative alternative to Romney – who then picked up speed and gained a delegate lead to pick up wins in Ohio and Michigan.
Santorum’s move to suspend his bid removes the last significant obstacle in Romney’s now all-but-certain march to the Republican presidential nomination.
Stay with CBSPhillly.com for the latest on this developing story.
(Alex Isenstadt) Ron Paul isn’t going to win the Republican presidential nomination, and his long Capitol Hill career is coming to end. But even as he winds down his career in elected office, his voice is being amplified across the country by dozens of House and Senate candidates who are seeking to carry on his legacy.
There’s no exact way of measuring how many Paul-inspired candidates are running this year. But Jared Paine, a Paul supporter who operates a website that tracks the campaigns of libertarian-minded candidates, said he counted around two dozen active Paul backers who are running for House or Senate seats and another 200 or so who are seeking local offices — almost all of them running as Republicans.
It’s a measure of the depth of the passion Paul inspires from his supporters, which is marked by a ferocity and commitment to the cause that few other pols can command.
Many of the candidates have sought to tap into the energy surrounding Paul’s presidential campaign. John Dennis, a San Francisco Republican looking to unseat House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, has spoken at Paul rallies and cut a Web video urging voters to support Paul prior to the Iowa caucuses. Florida Senate candidate Mirand Sharma, who has worked as a Paul organizer, has sought to recruit campaign volunteers from among those who also support the congressman. Missouri hopeful Jason Greene, who is running for a House seat, has vigorously promoted his candidacy on Paul-focused online bulletin boards.
To hear those aligned with the GOP presidential candidate tell it, the proliferation of Paul-affiliated candidates underscores a simple truth: Paul, once regarded as a fringe candidate, has gone mainstream. Despite the fact that he has announced he is not running for reelection to Congress, his ideas have established him as an important figure in American politics.
“I don’t think people expected Paul to accomplish so much,” said Scotty Boman, a Senate candidate in Michigan who met Paul in 1988 when the Texan was running for president on the Libertarian ticket. “He’s been able to break a barrier and be heard by the mainstream.”
“He’s activated a lot of people around his message,” added Boman, who includes on his website a picture of himself waving a Paul presidential campaign sign.
The rise of the Paul babies also reflects the increasingly central role of the Internet in political organizing. Paul’s grass-roots supporters have become known for their extensive use of the Web to promote the congressman, establishing sites like the Daily Paul and Ron Paul Forums to bring like-minded activists together. In recent months, Paul’s supporters have also begun using those online bulletin boards to promote their own candidacies.
“I didn’t think it would happen in American politics,” Paine said of the surge of Paul-inspired candidacies. “But it happened with the Internet, which I think changed the game a little bit.”
Paine’s website, one of several that promote Paul-aligned candidates, features weekly fundraising drives for the hopefuls and has regular question-and-answer sessions with them.
Christopher David, a 25-year-old Web consultant who worked on Paul’s 2008 campaign and is now running for a Los Angeles-area congressional seat, said Paul supporters recognized that his presidential campaign was coming to an end and were looking for a new avenue to express their support for him.
“There are a lot of people around the country and the world who identify with the things Ron Paul is saying,” said David, who highlights his work for Paul on his campaign website. “As the presidential campaign winds down, he’s going to have to pass the baton — and I don’t think it should be to just one person.”
Getting elected, however, is another matter entirely. While Paul’s son, Rand, managed to win Kentucky’s open Senate seat in 2010, most of the Ron Paul-inspired candidates are long shots who will need to broaden their appeal if they hope to be competitive. Some are still grappling with the basics of running a campaign.
One of them, Paul activist Dan Stojadinovic, announced last fall on the Ron Paul Forums website that he intended to run for Senate in Florida.
“My plan is to go around Florida and speak about Liberty,” Stojadinovic wrote. “The bad part is that I have no clue what to do so I need some help with paperwork first and understanding the process. I think I can speak well and promote Ron Paul and liberty but don’t understand the mechanics of the process right now.”
A few months later, Stojadinovic said on his website that he was aborting his bid. “Due to the lack of public donations and other needed political support such as media access, the campaign is unable to function and is in a state of suspension,” he wrote.
David said he was energized about trying to unseat California Rep. Henry Waxman, an entrenched 37-year Democratic incumbent, but understood that he had a very tough road ahead.
“I think it’s extremely daunting,” he said.
Not everyone faces such long odds. Thomas Massie, local officeholder and businessman who has been a vocal supporter of Paul and his son, is running competitively for a vacant Kentucky congressional seat.
For some of his backers, Paul has begun offering endorsements. Jesse Benton, a Paul campaign spokesman, said the congressman had pledged his personal support for two of his backers , Minnesota state Rep. Kurt Bills, who is running for Senate, and Massie, and had provided financial support to them through his political action committee, Liberty PAC. Benton said more endorsements could come later.
Not all of Paul’s supporters say they’re looking to feature the Texas congressman prominently in their campaigns.
Congressional candidate Karen Kwiatkowski, a retired Air Force officer who has written on pro-Paul websites and contributed to a book about the Texas congressman, said she wasn’t attaching herself to Paul. Some voters, she said, didn’t like his isolationist views on foreign policy.
“I’m not running under his banner,” said Kwiatkowski, who’s looking to unseat GOP Rep. Bob Goodlatte in Virginia. “He’s not popular in a lot of places.”
And while he said he appreciated Paul’s endorsement, Massie said he didn’t mention the congressman much on the campaign trail.
“Everybody has to run their own race,” Massie said. “You won’t find a Ron Paul clone. Everybody has a different background from a different district.”
(Brian Ross) Newt Gingrich lacks the moral character to serve as President, his second ex-wife Marianne told ABC News, saying his campaign positions on the sanctity of marriage and the importance of family values do not square with what she saw during their 18 years of marriage.
In her first television interview since the 1999 divorce, to be broadcast tonight on Nightline, Marianne Gingrich, a self-described conservative Republican, said she is coming forward now so voters can know what she knows about Gingrich.
In her most provocative comments, the ex-Mrs. Gingrich said Newt sought an “open marriage” arrangement so he could have a mistress and a wife.
She said when Gingrich admitted to a six-year affair with a Congressional aide, he asked her if she would share him with the other woman, Callista, who is now married to Gingrich.
“And I just stared at him and he said, ‘Callista doesn’t care what I do,’” Marianne Gingrich told ABC News. “He wanted an open marriage and I refused.”
Marianne described her “shock” at Gingrich’s behavior, including how she says she learned he conducted his affair with Callista “in my bedroom in our apartment in Washington.”
“He always called me at night,” she recalled, “and always ended with ‘I love you.’ Well, she was listening.”
All this happened, she said, during the same time Gingrich condemned President Bill Clinton for his lack of moral leadership.
She said Newt moved for the divorce just months after she had been diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis, with her then-husband present.
“He also was advised by the doctor when I was sitting there that I was not to be under stress. He knew,” she said.
Gingrich divorced his first wife, Jackie, as she was being treated for cancer. His relationship with Marianne began while he was still married to Jackie but in divorce proceedings, Marianne said.
There was no immediate comment from Gingrich on his ex-wife’s allegations. Gingrich has said during the campaign he has “no relationship” with Marianne.
While she had been quoted earlier as saying she could end his career, Marianne Gingrich defended Newt’s ethics while he served in Congress and came under several ethics investigations.
“At the time, I believed him to be ethical,” she said in the interview.
The former Mrs. Gingrich says Newt began to plan a run for President at the time of the divorce and told her that Callista “was going to help him become President.”
In a statement to ABC News provided by the campaign, Gingrich’s two daughters from his first marriage said, “The failure of a marriage is a terrible and emotional experience for everyone involved.”
The daughters, Kathy Lubbers and Jackie Cushman said they would not say anything negative about Marianne and said their father “regrets any pain he may have caused in the past to people he loves.”
Marianne Gingrich said Newt has never expressed any such regrets or apologized to her.
(Paul Joseph Watson) From rightly heralding the Iowa primary as a crucial indicator as to who will eventually capture the GOP nomination, the establishment has closed ranks and now decided that a Ron Paul victory doesn’t count and that the focus will be on who finishes second.
A Politico article entitled Ron Paul panic seizes Iowa establishment perfectly illustrates the supreme arrogance of the very political elite Paul is fighting against and goes a step beyond Fox News pundit Chris Wallace’s insistence that the Iowa result “won’t count” if Ron Paul wins.
Despite the fact that two out of the last three winners of the Iowa primary have gone on to successfully capture the Republican nomination, the political class have decided that Ron Paul doesn’t deserve the opportunity to build the same kind of momentum, and that a victory for him in Iowa “would do irreparable harm to the future role of the first-in-the-nation caucuses.”
The hierarchy is so petrified at the possibility of a Ron Paul win that the state’s own Governor, Terry Branstad, has pre-empted the result by urging people to ignore Paul if he secures a first place finish and instead concentrate on who comes second.
“People are going to look at who comes in second and who comes in third,” said Branstad, adding, ““If [Mitt] Romney comes in a strong second, it definitely helps him going into New Hampshire and the other states.”
As we have seen from the Republican race thus far, the identity of the frontrunner has changed several different times. Rick Perry, Herman Cain and now Newt Gingrich all saw their campaigns rise and fall dramatically. Ron Paul is the only candidate to slowly build momentum and not suffer any major setback.
Yes, it’s true that Ron Paul’s national figures are significantly lower than both Gingrich and Romney, but the Texan Congressman would have a very real chance of overturning that deficit if his potential victory in Iowa was treated with a modicum of respect, but the establishment are determined not to let that happen. This is why we are now seeing a deluge of whining “Ron Paul can’t win” articles every day.
A D V E R T I S E M E N T
The establishment has gone all out to virtually sabotage the credibility of the primary weeks before it even takes place, terrified that a Ron Paul success could upset the apple cart of the two RINO establishment candidates.
In addition, the Politico piece floats the hoax that a Ron Paul win would ensure an Obama re-election, when in reality Ron Paul has the best chance of beating Obama out of all the Republican candidates.
Isn’t it fascinating that the political class doesn’t consider how Newt Gingrich, who is about as conservative as Mao Tse-Tung, would also cause “irreparable harm” to the reputation of the primary if he won? Their concern for the potential harm caused by a Mitt Romneycare victory is also notable by its absence.
Ron Paul has the most conservative voting record since 1937 – so why on earth should a Paul victory cause “irreparable harm” to Iowa?
His success in the state should be celebrated as a sign that the Republican Party is finally starting to return to its constitutional principles.
(Atlantic Wire) A new poll from Public Policy Polling shows that Ron Paul has taken the lead in the Iowa caucus race, while Newt Gingrich’s support is fading fast. A different Gallup poll shows Gringrich still holding the lead, but slipping, while The New York Times has Paul in the lead as well.
Gingrich has seen his numbers in the PPP poll drop from 27 percent to 14 percent in just three weeks, while his favorability rating is now split at 46 percent for to 47 percent against, the worst of any candidate not named Jon Huntsman. That’s quite a fall for someone who looked to be running away with the state and taking charge on the national level.
Mitt Romney has also seen his numbers tick up slightly (to 20%), putting him just behind Paul (23%) for second place. The poll measured voters who are planning to vote in the Republican caucus.
Perhaps the most telling secondary question was, “Do you think Newt Gingrich has strong principles?” Only 36 percent say that he does, but for Paul that number was 73 percent.
The bad news for Paul, however, is that when asked for their second choice for President, only 9% said they would vote for him after their preferred candidate. That means if supporters of any of the second-tier candidates sense defeat and decided to abandon their choice at the last minute, those votes are more likely to go to Romney. Even if Romney doesn’t win, the stronger than expected showing could be the snowball that starts a primary avalanche for him.
One other tidbit from the PPP poll, the first question about Barack Obama asked if the respondents think he was born in the United States. Fifty-two percent either said he was not or they’re not sure.
(LNN) John F. McManus anaylzes the voting record and actions of former Congressman Newt Gingrich, revealing that Gingrich is not the conservative he portrays himself to be. This is a must see video that touches on Newt’s career and Larry Mcdonald. If you don’t know who Mr. McDonald is please vies his skewed Wikipedia page to get a taste.
(Thomas Dishaw) Video highlight of Ron Paul’s Presidential Debate in Iowa. By far his best performance. Ron makes a lot of sense,unlike the crooks standing to his right. Please re-post this video on Facebook and send this link out to your e-mail list.
(Eric W. Dolan) Speaking to a Current TV panel after the Republican presidential debate on Saturday, former Michigan Gov. Jennifer Granholm (D) suggested that Texas Rep. Ron Paul may see a new influx of support.
The post-debate panel included Former Vice President Al Gore, Current TV Anchor Cenk Uygur, and The Young Turks contributors Michael Shure and Brian Unger.
“Ron Paul going into this debate was essentially tied with Mitt Romney, and Newt [Gingrich] of course was ascendant,” Granhold said. “I think Ron Paul may end up seeing a surge as a result of this.”
“But I think Romney, especially with the $10,000 bet, showed that he is completely out of touch.”
Paul, a libertarian, has gained an enthusiastic following for his strong views on limited government, free market economics and non-interventionist foreign policy. In the 2008 Republican presidential primary his views clearly made him an outlier, but many of his economic positions have now been adopted by mainstream Republicans — thanks in part to the tea party movement.
Paul is outperforming Romney in the key GOP primary state of Iowa but trailing behind Gingrich, according to a poll released last week.
(Joe Wolverton) Senator Rand Paul, a self-described representative of the Tea Party, worries that the small progress toward the restoration of limited government may be “set back” by the upcoming Republican presidential nomination.
In a letter to the Des Moines Register, the son of GOP White House hopeful Ron Paul set forth his two goals for striving to protect the “conservative movement” from being hampered by the nomination of a candidate with “a different set of ideas and values.”
The first of Senator Paul’s two goals is to “prevent the European debt crisis from consuming America next.” Although certainly a priority for the Senator, the rest of the letter is devoted to details of his second goal: electing a “constitutional[ly] conservative president in 2012.”
An urgent issue for the Republican Party and the United States is the election of a president who will remain faithful to his Oath of Office from the moment his hand is placed on the Bible on Inauguration Day.
While Senator Paul admits that anyone on the current roster of Republican candidates would be an improvement over Barack Obama, he calls out the two men leading in the polls — Mitt Romney and Newt Gingrich — for not representing “the tea party, the conservative movement, or the type of change our country desperately needs….”
In his indictment of the former Governor of Massachusetts and the former Speaker of the House, Paul’s first charge against both is their support for the $700-billion bank bailouts signed into law by President George W. Bush in 2008.
Paul quotes the Obama Treasury Department as describing the bailouts, officially called the Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP), as “one of the most unpopular government programs in American history.”
A D V E R T I S E M E N T
In a debate in October, Romney defended the bailouts as necessary “to keep the entire currency of the country worth something. My experience tells me that we were on the precipice, and we could have had a complete meltdown of our entire financial system, wiping out all the savings of the American people. So action had to be taken.”
As for current “frontrunner” Newt Gingrich, he claims to have changed his mind on TARP after having his ear bent by a number of “very right wing” businessmen. These unnamed advisors convinced Gingrich that the financial meltdown was a “true crisis” and that the bailouts were necessary to prevent the financial system from suffering a “heart attack.”
Further evidence of the necessity for the bailout of financial institutions was provided to Gingrich by the fact that the Chairman of the Federal Reserve and Secretary of the Treasury agreed “that the global financial system was on the edge of total failure” and so Gingrich changed his position and favored passage of the legislation.
The next charge leveled by Senator Paul at Romney and Gingrich is their “outspoken and unapologetic” support for the individual mandate of ObamaCare.
The individual mandate provision of the Obama health care requires that all residents of the United States purchase a qualifying medical insurance policy or face tax penalties and possible imprisonment. This mandate is the first time in history that the Congress of the United States has passed a law forcing citizens to purchase a commodity regardless of personal preference or financial ability.
Neither candidate can run from their record as both have for years ardently advocated the government-mandated purchase of health insurance.
As Governor of Massachusetts, Mitt Romney signed a health care plan into law that contains an individual mandate provision nearly identical to that included in the ObamaCare legislation.
In the case of Newt Gingrich, in an interview in 2005, Gingrich said that if a person earning over $50,000 a year did not have health insurance, then he was in favor of the government forcing that person to either purchase a policy or post a bond.
While serving as a Congressman in 1993, Gingrich made similar comments advocating a national healthcare system supported by an individual mandate. “I’ve said consistently we ought to have some requirement you either have health insurance or you post a bond or in some way indicate that you are going to be held accountable.”
Senator Paul’s letter is his way of making sure Gingrich, Romney, and all of the potential Republican nominees are held accountable for their policy positions and that they are truly dedicated to principles of freedom as enunciated in the Constitution.
So seriously does Paul take the support of these two men for TARP and the individual mandate that he argues that it “disqualifies” them from receiving the support of the Tea Party.
Beyond their support for two programs that must be undone if the American Republic is ever to return to within its proper, constitutional bounds, Rand Paul points out that both men cannot sincerely commit to accomplishing that critical goal in light of their irrefutable promotion of expansive government intervention in the lives of citizens and of corporate welfare.
Briefly, Paul describes Romney as a “moderate, northeastern, don’t-rock-the-boat Republican” and that everyone in the party gets that.
As for Gingrich, however, Paul is concerned that the rank and file of his party are “being sold a bill of goods” that doesn’t represent the truth about Newt Gingrich and his philosophy and policies.
Paul proposes that despite Gingrich’s multiple “flip-flops,” his heart remains with the left wing of the Republican Party. Says Paul, “His record features ‘highlights’ such as global warming commercials with Nancy Pelosi, support for cap-and-trade, funding Planned Parenthood, and, recently, announcing that life does not begin at conception.”
All those acts are certainly antithetical to the positions taken by the conservative wing of the Republican Party.
The list of sins against the Constitution for which Newt Gingrich has never repented is long, according to Senator Paul’s opinion piece.
Next, there is Gingrich’s work as a lobbyist for Freddie Mac — one of the agencies whose malfeasance precipitated the nation’s economic meltdown.
Gingrich, Paul says, “took in nearly $40 million promoting big-government ideas….”
Then there is Gingrich’s alleged capitulations on “right-to-work laws” and the Second Amendment, both critical components of the conservative agenda.
And, as opposed to calling for the abolition of the Department of Education, Gingrich actually voted to create it.
When push comes to shove, Paul warns, Gingrich will put party above principle, as he did in the congressional race in New York in 2009 when he supported the “liberal” Republican candidate who eventually lost and threw her support behind the Democrat in the race.
So, Paul ably presents the case for the prosecution against the two men at the top of recent Iowa polls.
The conclusion drawn is that neither man is a conservative and that if the Republican Party is to “continue the work [it] resolved in 2010 to undertake” then it must not elect a nominee who has a track record of advocating the expansion of government and the concomitant abandonment of the Constitution and the small federal government of limited and enumerated powers created by it.