Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Brownback Drops Out; Is Criticized for Meeting with Giuliani

Kansas Senator Sam Brownback dropped out of the presidential race last week in the wake of poor fundraising and polling numbers. Several of the remaining GOP candidates have contacted Senator Brownback in hopes of seeking his endorsement, including Rudy Giuliani. Giuliani and Brownback met in Washington, DC in Senator Brownback's office several days ago, after which Brownback stated his comfort with Giuliani's positions on social issues.

However, following the meeting, Jim Bopp, a lawyer for the National Right to Life, criticized Brownback for meeting with Mayor Giuliani simply because of their differeneces on issues such as abortion and stem cell research. The National Right to Life came to the defense of Senator Brownback in the situation. Jim Bopp is a noted far-right conservative who has often been in the headlines because of his extremist views. This is just another example of a far-right extremist being so focused on the issues that divide our Party that they are unable to see the reality that a moderate, common sense Republican who is leading in nationwide polls is the best opportunity for the GOP to retain the White House.

If the conservative Right to Life can see beyond the differences in Brownback and Giuliani, then Mr. Bopp should be able to do the same.

Monday, October 22, 2007

Giuliani Declared "Winner" of GOP Debate

The Republican Presidential candidates met last night in Orlando, Florida for a debate sponsored by Fox News and the Republican Party of Florida. One of the most notable round of questioning in the debate was the ability for the candidates to further discuss who the 'real Republican' candidate in the race is, and why they are the most conservative. In the days leading up to the debate, each campaign had been making a public effort to tout their 'Republicanism' and many attacked another candidate for why that person was not a true conservative.

The field of candidates argued over who would be able to beat Senator Hillary Clinton, whom many assume will be the Democratic nominee. In the end, many political pundits said that Mayor Rudy Giuliani was the victor of the night. He showed an understanding of all the issues and a passion that many did not see in some of the other candidates. Senator McCain was also strong, adding humor at many times. Fred Thompson waffled on some questions, but overall exhibited a passion that he lacked in his first debate performance.

For more, click here.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Mukasey AG Hearings

Attorney-General nominee Michael Mukasey testified before the Senate Judiciary Committee on Wednesday; hearings will resume today. Many believe Mukasey will receive unanimous approval from the committee, as he has thus far appeared as an independent thinker and someone who could disagree with Administration polices should the situation arise.

Mukasey clearly stated his intentions to keep partisan politics out of the Justice Department, something that former Attorney General Alberto Gonzales was criticized for not doing. Mukasey's confirmation could be a breath of fresh air to the DOJ and to Washington as a whole. He has vowed to keep White House affairs separate from the Department of Justice and said he would resign if his legal or ethical questions about Administration policy are ignored.

Today, Senators will delve deeper into the topics of his view of executive power in regards to wiretapping. Could the confirmation of Mukasey bring back the approval ratings of the GOP? How will a unanimous, or near-unanimous, vote of confirmation impact the public's perception of politics?

For more, click here.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

3rd Quarter Presidential Numbers are Reported

Presidential candidates had until midnight Monday to submit their quarterly reports to the Federal Election Commission.

Mayor Rudy Giuliani, the leading candidate in most national polls, raised $11.4 million during the three month span, the largest figure among the Republican candidates. He has $11.6 million available for use in the primary campaign. Senator Fred Thompson, who officially entered the race during this quarter, had $7.1 million on hand. He raised $12.8 million since June-- an extra month added since it was June when he started his exploratory committee.

Gov. Romney closed the quarter with $9.2 million cash on hand. In total, Romney has lent his campaign $17.35 million- a huge sum of money. Is Governor Romney trying to buy the nomination? He leads in polls in Iowa, where it should also be noted that he has spent the most on television advertisements, but falls behind the other leading candidates (namely Giuliani and Thompson) in several other statewide polls and has yet to lead in any national poll. Will voters buy the gimmick that Romney is as invested in the campaign as his supporters are, or will they see that he is lagging behind and his self-funding of the campaign is merely to keep his head above water?

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Far Right Continues to Bash GOP

Family Research Council Tony Perkins has continued to lambaste the GOP and cause the Party further harm in his relentless statements attacking Mayor Giuliani's presidential campaign. Most recently, Perkins equated Giuliani with Senator Clinton, calling their positions on abortion "indistinguishable".

Perkins continued, "You don't beat a liberal with a moderate. "People are not going to get excited about Giuliani." Has Perkins been paying attention to the presidential race at all? Mayor Giuliani is leading the Republican field in all nationwide polls and enjoys a broad range of support, including many of Perkins own followers. Unline Perkins and his comrades, intelligent Americans recognize true leadership in someone who has proven to be a protector of our nation-- the majority of Americans want a president who can bring unity, not someone focused on a few divisive issues. Instead of "rallying the base" as Perkins is attempting to do, he may only alienate the members of his organization and cause the further demise of our GOP.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Candidates Spar at Economic Debate

Presidential candidate Fred Thompson's debate debut was overshadowed yesterday by leading candidates Rudy Giuliani and Mitt Romney. Held in Dearborn, Michigan, the debate was dedicated solely to discussing economic issues-- including taxes and spending.

Governor Romney and Mayor Giuliani criticized each other's records while in office on the issue of tax cuts, claiming that the other's statistics were distorted. The biggest clash came on the issue of the presidential line-item veto, which was found unconstitutional by the Supreme Court in the 1990s. The line-item veto, which Mr. Romney favors, would allow a president to veto only a portion of a spending bill, while approving the remaining facets of the bill. Mayor Giuliani is adamantly against the use of the line-item veto and cited the Supreme Court's rejection of it during the debate.

Though the line-item veto could be useful in cutting prok barrel spending, SCOTUS has already ruled on the matter. To re-examine the issue, and go back on their ruling, could potentially give any president too much power.

Now that we've seen Thompson in a public forum debate his rival GOP candidates, does he have staying power?

For more, click here.

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Real Republicans Respond to James Dobson

Last week, we spoke about the possibility of conservative far-right leaders such as James Dobson and Tony Perkins supporting a third-Party candidate if Mayor Rudy Giuliani were to win the GOP nomination.

Dobson's views were expanded upon in a New York Times op-ed article, published October 4th. His narrow opinion will only serve to further divide our already weakened Party, and many responded to his opinion editorial accordingly. Jennifer Blei Stockman, chairwoman of the Republican Majority for Choice, was featured in a response to his editorial. Her letter said:

To the Editor:

James C. Dobson is not only wrong, but desperate. His thinly veiled threat to take votes away from the G.O.P. clearly shows that he has realized that the Republican Party is moving back toward its core principles and away from a radical social agenda.

A look at the polls shows us that the G.O.P. can nominate a socially moderate candidate for president, and our own polling found that 72 percent of self-identified Republicans believe that the government should not play a role in controlling family planning choices for women.

The real Republican majority is socially tolerant and is demanding a return to the core issues that have historically defined the Republican Party: real economic growth, cutting government waste and ensuring the safety of Americans at home and abroad.

Jennifer Blei-Stockman

The writer is co-chairwoman of the Republican Majority
for Choice.
We would be wise as a Party to come together and support candidates who stand on principle rather than pander to the far-right minority.

GOP Economic Debate Held Today

CNBC/MSNBC/The Wall Street Journal will co-sponsor a Republican presidential debate today in Dearborn, Michigan. The debate will air on CNBC at 4pm EST and again on MSNBC at 9pm EST. This is the first debate of the election season that will focus purely on economic issues.

Additionally, voters for the first time will hear from former Senator Fred Thompson in his first official debate appearance as a presidential candidate. In national polls, Thompson has been running in 2nd and 3rd place. This debate is important for him as it will allow many voters to hear from him for the first time. The other candidates that will participate are Rudy Giuliani, Mitt Romney, John McCain, Mike Huckabee, Ron Paul, Tom Tancredo, Sam Brownback and Duncan Hunter.

Friday, October 5, 2007

Log Cabin Launches New Romney Attack Ad

Yesterday, Log Cabin Republicans, a pro-gay rights GOP group, initiated an attack ad against presidential candidate Mitt Romney that will air locally in Iowa and on the Fox News network. The advertisement focused largely on Romney's flip-flopping on "social issues" such as abortion and gun rights.

Notably, Governor Romney has drastically changed his position on these issues in the past 2-3 years leading up to his decision to run for president. His ever-changing positions give little assurance to those on either side of these issues and more; he could continue to adjust his sails to the appropriate political wind. The Log Cabin ad underscores yet again that Governor Romney's stances on any issues cannot be full trusted.

To view the full ad, click here. http://thecaucus.blogs.nytimes.com/2007/10/04/log-cabin-republicans-release-anti-romney-ad/

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Far Right Conservatives will Further Divide the GOP

Conservative leaders James Dobson and Tony Perkins recently declared their intention to search for a 3rd Party candidate should Rudy Giuliani win the GOP nomination. Clearly, these leaders do not support Giuliani's more moderate views on social issues, but as a Party, we must ask ourselves, "How will statements such as these help to unite our fractured Party?" The answer is simply that inter-Party bashing only serves to bolster the Democratic Party and ensure that the GOP becomes a permanent minority.

Dobson and Perkins have been two of the most outspoken leaders on attacking moderate Republicans on issues such as abortion and stem cell research, calling the real Republican majority "RINOs". Yet now, it seems they have placed select issues ahead of the greater task of reclaiming the nation's agenda for the GOP. Are they willing to sacrifice the future of the GOP and our nation, or will they rally around the candidate, whomever that may be, who proves to be the best opportunity for the GOP to retain the White House?

For more, click here.