AZ for Mitt

A blog dedicated to informing Arizonans about Mitt Romney and the campaign for the 2008 presidential nomination.

Friday, September 28, 2007

If Thompson is the great hope of the GOP's conservatives, why is he only raising a quarter of what Romney raised his first quarter of fundraising?

Former Tennessee Sen. Fred Thompson will report raising more than $7 million in the third quarter, a source inside the campaign tells CNN Senior Political Analyst Gloria Borger.

How is that going to make him competative with Hillary/Obama? But he is going to best McCain:

On the Republican side, Arizona Sen. John McCain is expected to show he raised more than $5 million this quarter...

Now, I know the third quarter is traditionally slow, but with Hillary and Obama raising close to $20 million each, do we dare trust the nomination to two men who just don't excite people enough to open up their wallets?

Hello socialism. At least according to Hillary's latest proposal:

Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton said Friday that every child born in the United States should get a $5,000 "baby bond" from the government to help pay for future costs of college or buying a home...

The New York senator did not offer any estimate of the total cost of such a program or how she would pay for it. Approximately 4 million babies are born each year in the United States.

Well, Sen. Clinton, that's approximately $20 billion annually. Sounds like taxes are going up again after she already said she'd raise taxes to have the government provide everyone health care.

Who needs personal responsibility and initiative anymore anyway.

According to CNN:

Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich told supporters on Thursday that if they pledge at least $30 million to his campaign over a three-week period starting Monday, he will compete for the GOP 2008 presidential nomination.

That's a pretty big request of his supporters, considering no GOP candidate has raised that much in three months, much less three weeks.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

I couldn't resist these two photos of Hillary from

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Here's an article covering a recent event in Florida. A seven-year-old was so impressed he asked to donate half of his $5 allowance to Mitt (thanks to EFM for the scoop):

Romney even was a hit with the younger crowd as Thrasher's 7-year-old grandson, Will Jordan, wanted to donate half his allowance - $5 - to the campaign.

"I told him to give the money to me and I will write a check," Thrasher said. "Goodness knows I have already written a lot of checks to him."
Image from My Clay Sun

Surely we can at least match, if not easily out-give, a second grader.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Here is an interesting article comparing the campaign energy of different candidates:

Mitt Romney
Republican Mitt Romney exhibits the energy of a hummingbird, often starting at 7 a.m. and finishing at 10 p.m. The former Massachusetts governor can pack six or seven public appearances in a day, with radio interviews and staff calls along the way...

A recent snapshot of candidate schedules shows the most consistently prolific campaigners include Romney...

"It's not unusual to find ourselves in four states in a single day, particularly in the last month of a quarter, when the emphasis is on fundraising," said Fehrnstrom [a Romney spokesman].

Fred Thompson
Republican rival Fred Thompson takes a more leisurely pace, with just two scheduled public stops in Iowa the day after he declared his candidacy on NBC's "The Tonight Show With Jay Leno."

Last week, the former Tennessee senator dropped out of public view for a day, prompting the Democratic National Committee to jab in a release, "Thompson Tuckered Out After Only a Week of Campaigning."

Rudy Giuliani
Former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani, also seeking the GOP nomination, had a burst of public events in the days leading up to Sept. 11, the sixth anniversary of the terrorist attacks that targeted his home city and boosted his national prominence such that he is now the national front-runner for his party's nomination.

More typically, Giuliani's day will include one or two splashy public events, followed by an undisclosed number of private meetings with donors and supporters. One day in August, he flew back and forth to Saratoga, N.Y., so he could attend a fundraiser amid a New Hampshire campaign swing.

Giuliani's events frequently begin at 9 a.m., two hours after Romney is often on the trail.

What type of person do you want sitting in the Oval Office?

Friday, September 14, 2007

AZ for Mitt would like to welcome Anthony Winters as a contributer. While he's a busy guy, we look forward to his future posts.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

For more on Fred look at MyManMitt's composite post of recent coverage.

George Will's latest column takes aim at Fred Thompson. He makes some good points, and I've posted the entire article below. As a disclaimer, however, I must mention that I don't fully accept Will's judgement on all of the candidates, as he calls Rudy's New York years the best example of a conservative administration in a long while (yes, that's pro-gay, pro-abortion, anti-gun, defecit spending, Rudy Giuliani). Thanks to Nancy French at EFM for the scoop.

Fred Thompson's plunge into the presidential pool -- more belly-flop than swan dive -- was the strangest product launch since that of New Coke in 1985. Then, the question was: Is this product necessary? A similar question stumped Thompson the day he plunged.

Sean Hannity, who is no Torquemada conducting inquisitions of conservatives, asked Thompson: "When you look at the other current crop of candidates -- Republicans -- where is the distinction between your positions and what you view as theirs?" Thompson replied: "Well, to tell you the truth, I haven't spent a whole lot of time going into the details of their positions."

He also is unfamiliar with the details of his own positions. Consider his confusion the next day when talk radio host Laura Ingraham asked him about something he ardently supported -- the McCain-Feingold expansion of government regulation of political speech. His rambling, incoherent explanation was just clear enough to be alarming about what he believes, misremembers and does not know.

Thompson said he had advocated McCain-Feingold to prevent, among other things, corporations and labor unions from "giving large sums of money to individual politicians." But corporate and union contributions to individual candidates were outlawed in 1907 and 1947, respectively.

Ingraham asked about McCain-Feingold's ban on issue ads that mention a candidate close to an election. He blamed an unidentified "they" who "added on" that provision, which he implied was a hitherto undiscussed surprise. But surely he knows that bills containing the ban had been introduced in previous sessions of Congress before passage in 2002.

In 1997, Thompson chaired a Senate committee investigating 1996 election spending. In its final report, issued in 1998, Thompson's committee recommended a statutory "restriction on issue advocacy" during "a set period prior to an election" when the speech includes "any use of a candidate's name or image." And in 1999, Thompson co-sponsored legislation containing what became, in 2002, the McCain-Feingold blackout periods imposed on any television or radio ad that "refers to" a candidate for federal office -- a portion of which the Supreme Court declared unconstitutional in June.

Thompson, contrary to his current memories, was deeply involved in expanding government restrictions on political speech generally and the ban on issue ads specifically. Yet he told Ingraham, "I voted for all of it," meaning McCain-Feingold, but said "I don't support that" provision of it.

Oh? Why, then, did he file his own brief urging the Supreme Court to uphold McCain-Feingold, stressing Congress's especially "compelling interest" in squelching issue ads that "influence" elections?

Most lamely, Thompson takes credit for McCain-Feingold doubling the amount of "hard money" an individual can give to a candidate, which he says reduces the advantages of incumbency. But that is absurd: Most hard money flows to incumbents.

Ingraham asked why government should be telling individuals how much they can give to fund political speech by candidates they support. Thompson replied: "Why should the government . . . tell a loan officer that he cannot accept money from someone trying to get a loan from him . . . and then go ahead and give that person a loan? . . . I mean, it's bribery in the real world."

So he believes, as zealous regulators of political speech do, that political contributions are incipient bribes -- but that bribery begins with contributions larger than $2,300. Which brings us to the financial implausibility of his late-starting campaign.

Suppose he does something unprecedented -- gets 100 people a day, from now until Jan. 1, to contribute the permitted maximum of $2,300. After subtracting normal fundraising costs and campaign overhead, he would still enter 2008 vulnerable to being outspent at least 3 to 1 by his major rivals.

Is there, however, a huge cash value in the role for which he is auditioning -- darling of religious conservatives? Perhaps. But their aspiring darling recently said in South Carolina, "I attend church when I'm in Tennessee. I'm in McLean right now. I don't attend regularly when I'm up there."

"Right now"? He has been living "up there" in that upscale inside-the-Beltway Washington suburb, honing his "Aw, shucks, I'm just an ol' Washington outsider" act, for years. Long enough to have noticed that McLean is planted thick with churches. Going to church is, of course, optional -- unless you are aiming to fill some supposed piety void in the Republican field.

New Coke was announced on April 23, 1985, with the company's president piling on adjectives usually reserved for Lafite Rothschild -- "smoother, rounder yet bolder." Almost 80 days later, the public having sampled it, the company pulled the product from stores. Perhaps Thompson's candidacy will last longer than New Coke did.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Lately Rudy's main point on why he should be the GOP nominee is that he can win in traditionally blue states. And given his name recognition, he generally does the best in head-to-head matchups.

But what if you took a state where the other main GOP candidates are well-known, such as New Hampshire, which is right next to Mitt Romney's Massachussetts, and picked John McCain over Bush in the GOP primary in 2000? Then name recognition wouldn't be a factor and we could get a more accurate view of Rudy's claim.

A new poll does just that. Here are the results:

51% Clinton--41% Thompson (I'm assuming they get Law and Order on tv up there too).
47% Clinton--47% Giuliani
44% Clinton--45% Romney

So Romney actually fares better than Rudy in a head-to-head matchup with Clinton in a state where Rudy's name recognition is negated by geography and history. I think Republicans should think twice about nominating someone they're not too comfortable with just because he claims he can win in the general election. His claim just might turn out to be smoke and mirrors.

So much for Fred's Christian credentials according to this article from the Washington Post:

Chalk it up as another quirk of the 2008 GOP presidential field: The top-tier Repubican who entered the race as the supposed godsend for socially conservative voters in the Bible Belt who are dissatisfied with the other candidates is someone who does not attend church on a regular basis.

Asked about his religious beliefs during an appearance before about 500 Republicans in South Carolina yesterday, Fred Thompson said he attends church when he visits his mother in Tennessee but does not belong to a church or attend regularly at his home in McLean, Va., just outside Washington. The actor and former senator, who was baptized in the Church of Christ, said he gained his values from "sitting around the kitchen table" and said he did not plan to speak about his religious beliefs on the stump. "I know that I'm right with God and the people I love," he said, according to Bloomberg News Service. It's "just the way I am not to talk about some of these things."

Making Thompson's church avoidance in McLean all the more interesting is that there is no shortage of religious options in the town for the GOP elite, who dominate the Sunday morning scene in the upscale suburb. There is McLean's Trinity United Methodist Church, where the pastor is Kathleene Card, wife of former Bush chief of staff Andrew Card. There is McLean Bible Church, the evangelical mega-church that looms near the Beltway in a $90 million complex, where the many Republican dignitaries in attendance have included Clinton nemesis Ken Starr, and senators current and former James Inhofe, Dan Coats and Don Nickles. There are also plenty of bold-faced sightings at nearby Vienna Presbyterian, and in fact Thompson and his wife Jeri have on occasion been glimpsed there, sparking on-line speculation about whether he had simply switched denominations.

But the candidate put such speculation to rest yesterday. And he did not seem particularly concerned that his admission would hurt him with voters. "Me getting up and talking about what a wonderful person I am and that sort of thing, I'm not comfortable with that, and I don't think it does me any good," he said. "People will make up their own mind about that, and that's the way I like it."

So, according to Fred, he's uncomfortable telling us what a wonderful person he is, but he's fine with telling us he's "right with God." Also, to be "right with God" one does not need to attend Church which seems to me to be a slam to organized religion.

Monday, September 10, 2007

Good news out of Michigan (thanks to MyManMitt for the scoop):

He's leading second place Rudy by 26% points. Now this poll might be a little off since that's the biggest lead he's ever enjoyed in the state, but it points to a trend that in the early states he's clearly ahead of the pack.

I kind of wonder that with McCain staying in the race, and Thompson joining the fray, if enough votes aren't being siphoned from Rudy that Romney will be able to score a solid victory.

I agree with Rick Brookhiser's observations on Fred Thompson:

Now that Fred Thompson is officially in the race, it is appropriate to say that he is, on the face of it, by far the weakest potential president of the top tier Republicans...

Fred Thompson came to the offices of National Review some years when he was still in the Senate. I liked him fine. He has done nothing, anywhere, ever. The Hubble Telescope could not find what he has done, because he has not done it.It would be unwise to put such a man in the White House at this moment in history.

But I think he goes a little overboard on Rudy:

Strongest is Giuliani who, alone of all the candidates in both parties, has done something. Two things—saved New York City; and led America for two days six years ago.

Come on--"led America for two days six years ago?!" I didn't realize Rudy temporarily became the nation's commander-in-chief, scrambling F-16 jets and shutting down all commercial flights in the U.S. I find this statement part of the myth surrounding Rudy. How exactly did Rudy lead the nation for two days? I'd like more evidence than emotionally-driven rhetoric.

As for being the only candidate to have done two things, Romney saved the Winter Olympics, saved Massachussetts financially (while saving the taxpayer at the same time), and has numerous accomplishments in the private sector. I think it could be argued that he's the only major candidate with significant accomplishments in both the public and private sectors.