AZ for Mitt

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

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Here's some interesting tidbits from CNN's exit polls:

Romney wins amongst pro-life voters, McCain wins amongst pro-choice voters.

Romney wins amongst voters who say they attend church weekly or monthly. McCain wins amongst those who attend church a few times a year or never.

Romney wins amongst those who feel that illegal immigration or terrorism are the most important issues. McCain gets the most votes from those who place the war in Iraq or the economy first.

Romney wins amongst white voters, McCain wins amongst Latino voters.

17% of voters in the GOP primary were independents, with McCain winning 44% of those, or 143,000 votes from independents. His overall margain of victory was 96,000 votes.


Super Tuesday Math: Far, Far from Over
By Hugh Hewitt

CNN puts McCain with 97 delegates and Romney at 74.

Let's look at the worst case for Romney on Super Tuesday.

Next Tuesday the winner-take-all states that lean McCain are New York (101), Missouri (58), Arizona (53), New Jersey (52) Connecticut (30), and Delaware (18) for a total of 312 delegates. (Even though Missouri, another winner-take-all leans Huck right now, lets give its 58 delegates to McCain.) Romney is favored in winner-take-all Utah (36) and Montana (25), for a total of 51 delegates.

Thus before the sorting takes place in the other states, McCain's got 409 delegates and Romney's got 126.

Huckabee will certainly get the 34 Arkansas delegates to go with his 29, for a total of 63.

States dividing delegates Tuesday on other-than-a-winner-take-all basis:
California 173
Georgia 72
Illinois 70
Tennessee 55
Alabama 48
Colorado 46
Massachusetts 41
Minnesota 40
Oklahoma 41
West Virginia 30
Alaska 29
North Dakota 26
Total 671

If these divide 40-40-20, McCain and Romney will add 269 delegates each, and Huck 133. But since we are going worst case for Romney, make it 50-30-20, or 336 for McCain, 201 for Romney, and 134 for Huck.

Total at the end of Super Tuesday without a major reversal of fortune for Romney:
McCain 745, Romney 327, and Huck 197.

It takes 1,191 delegates to secure the nomination. There are more than 900 delegates left to fight for after Super Tuesday.S

tart looking hard at the numbers and put yourself in the discussions with Team Romney. It isn't pretty, but it is far, far from over.And if the Huckabee voters look at the reality and see they are voting for McCain when they vote for Huck, anything can happen.

Romney beat McCain amongst conservatives, but McCain gets the liberal and moderate vote. Click here for CNN's coverage.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Here's my report card on the four main candidates in the GOP:

Executive Leadership Experience
Mitt Romney--A
He's had a quarter of a century running businesses, the Olympics and a state. He's known for turning things around. The Democrats have zero executive leadership experience, and Romney's resume will be a stark contrast and a boon for the GOP

John McCain--D
He has none. Some might say he's a leader in the Senate, but if that's the case, where has he led us the past 22 years? He's never worked in the private sector, and legislating is not leading. Never having managed or run anything larger than a Senate office is not impressive, and it's the same credential Hillary and Obama have, so the GOP has no advantage with McCain.

Rudy Giuliani--B
He was the mayor of New York for almost a decade and did accomplish some good things. Before that he was a government lawyer, so he's had some good experience in the public sector, but none in the private sector.

Mike Huckabee--C+
He was governor of Arkansas for 10 years, however his record there was quite unimpressive. He has more experience than McCain, Clinton or Obama, but not that much success. Before that he was a preacher.

Fiscal Conservatism
Mitt Romney--A
He erased a 3 billion dollar defecit in one year without raising taxes, and turned it into a billion dollar surplus with a couple of years. He understands that the problem with government budgets isn't income but outgo, and he knows how to cut waste.

John McCain--B-
He previously opposed Bush's tax cuts, but now supports them. He's against pork-barrel spending, but doesn't seem to really understand the economy. And some of his environmental policies would significantly increase gasoline taxes and thus prices at the pump.

Rudy Giuliani--B
Decent record of cutting taxes, but also fought keeping some taxes.

Mike Huckabee--D+
Cut some minimal taxes as governor, but also raised taxes 20 time resulting in a $500 million tax increase during his administration. He's a big government type of politician and he received an F from the Club for Growth.

Traditional Values
He's pro-life, against human embreyo farming, and probably the most passionate defender of traditional marriage in the country.

He's pro-life, but for embryonic stem cell research and doesn't support a federal marriage amendment.

He's pro-choice and against the federal marriage amendment, though claims he'd try and support adoption programs to reduce abortions.

Pro-life and supports federal marriage amendment.

Illegal Immigration
He sought and received permission to authorize his state highway patrol officers to arrest illegal aliens, something no other governor did or has done. He's for legal immigration, but thinks illegal immigration has to stop and our borders have to be secured.

Pushed the so-called Amnesty bill this past summer. He says he's learned his lesson, but his Latino outreach director is King Amnesty (see post below)

New York city was a sanctuary city under Rudy.

Supported free instate tuition and other such friendly policies for the children of illegal immigrants, turning Arkansas into a magnet.

War on Terror
Most of the pundits agree that he understands the issues and the mindset of the enemy better than any other candidate. He's willing to use force when necessary and diplomacy when necessary.

Obviously a military background, though I don't trust his temperment. I think he might be more likely to use aggression when aggression is the wrong choice.

He tries to ride on the coattails of 9/11, but his leadership helping New York recover really has nothing to do with fighting terrorists. Though I think he'd be a decent wartime leader.

Seems to be pretty clueless when it comes to foreign policy.

Private Life/Character
Happily married for nearly 40 years with 5 solid sons. There is nothing remotely shady in his background and all that know and work with say he is a decent and kind man. His demeanor in the debates when being attacked attests to his solid temperment.

He's mean, distorts the truth, and admitted to having an affair that led to the termination of his first marriage.

He's on his 3rd marriage because of numerous affairs. He's too much like Bill Clinton and if a man won't be faithful to his wife why would he be faithful to anyone else, like the citizens of the U.S.

Solid marriage and family, but investigated 14 times for ethical violations as governor, convicted twice, though he got one conviction overturned. He also has been dishonest in his attacks on Romney, and has been rather slick in running an overtly secretarian campaign. I don't trust him.

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The NRO's Rich Lowry:

I think it’s totally dishonest, and I took away a couple of things from it. One, I think McCain just kind of feels entitled to this cheap shot, because he was genuinely up front about the surge, he was more courageous about it than pretty much any other major politician. So he just feels, though, he can deliver this low blow. And the other thing that is going on, I think, is McCain is much more comfortable attacking harshly and unfairly his enemies within the Republican Party than he is attacking Democrats. And layered on top of this is his obvious, and I think I find it very distasteful, but his obvious hatred for Mitt Romney. If you saw the clip of McCain today, chortling as he was talking about Romney’s flip-flopping, it’s this kind of insincere McCain laughter that masks his true bile that he’s directing towards Mitt Romney. So I find the whole thing, from the dishonesty to the kind of sentiment animosity it’s revealing about Mitt Romney, to be really unworthy of John McCain, and kind of a shame.


George Will chimes in on McCain's crooked talk and his increasing similarities to the Clintons.

This was a garden-variety dishonesty, the manufacture of which does not cause a Clinton in midseason form to break a sweat. And it was no worse than -- actually, not as gross as -- St. John of Arizona's crooked-talk claim in Florida that Mitt Romney wanted to "surrender and wave a white flag, like Senator Clinton wants to do" in Iraq because Romney "wanted to set a date for withdrawal that would have meant disaster."

Imitation being the sincerest form of flattery, the Clintons should bask in the glow of John McCain's Clintonian gloss on this fact: Ten months ago Romney said that President Bush and Iraqi Prime Minister Maliki should discuss, privately, "a series of timetables and milestones." That unremarkable thought was twisted by McCain, whose distortions are notably clumsy, as when Romney said, accurately, that he alone among the candidates has had extensive experience in private-sector business. That truth was subjected to McCain's sophistry, and he charged that Romney had said "you haven't had a real job" if you had a military career. If, this autumn, voters must choose between Clinton and McCain, they will face, at least stylistically, an echo, not a choice.

But that dreary scenario need not come to pass. Romney seems to have found his voice as attention turns to the economy, a subject on which McCain seems neither conversant nor eager to become so. And in South Carolina, Obama, more than doubling Clinton's 27 percent, won a majority of the votes, becoming the first person in either party to do so in a contested primary this year. He won a majority of men and of women, which pretty much covers the rainbow of genders. And he used his victory speech to clearly associate the Clintons with "the idea that it's acceptable to say anything and do anything to win an election" (hello again, Bill, you political ethicist who famously said "you gotta do what you gotta do") and "the kind of partisanship where you're not even allowed to say that a Republican had an idea -- even if it's one you never agreed with."

Obama is running against two Clintons -- or one and a fraction of one, given how much she has been diminished by her overbearing spouse. Romney is marginally better off running against a Clinton impersonator.

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Governor Romney On Cutting Wasteful Earmarks (Fox News, 1/28/08):

Governor Romney: "My record as the Governor of Massachusetts has been to veto over 800 items, and I would take my veto pen with me to Washington and do the exact same thing. I've said that if I get spending bills, which in discretionary accounts raise our spending by more than inflation less one percent, I'll veto them. I believe the President's executive order specifically saying don't spend these earmark accounts – if they haven't been voted on by congress, don't spend the money, that makes a lot of sense to me. It's a policy I'd maintain going forward. We're going to have to rein in these earmarks, rein in the pork barrel spending. I think that's essential."

To watch Governor Romney, please see:

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"When the most important pro-growth tax cuts in a generation were proposed by President George W. Bush in 2001 and 2003, Sen. McCain vigorously opposed them." – Club For Growth President Pat Toomey (Pat Toomey, Op-Ed, "The McCain Record," The Wall Street Journal, 3/13/07)

#1: Admits He Knows Little About The Economy:
- Sen. McCain: "The Issue Of Economics Is Not Something I've Understood As Well As I Should." "Like Mike Huckabee, who joked recently that he 'may not be the expert that some people are on foreign policy, but I did stay in a Holiday Inn Express last night,' McCain suggested to reporters Monday that American consumer culture offered a short cut to expertise. 'The issue of economics is not something I've understood as well as I should,' McCain said. 'I've got Greenspan's book.'" (Sasha Issenberg, "McCain: It's About The Economy," The Boston Globe,, Posted 12/18/07)

- Sen. McCain: "I Still Need To Be Educated." "On a broader range of economic issues, though, Mr. McCain readily departs from Reaganomics. His philosophy is best described as a work in progress. He is refreshingly blunt when he tells me: 'I'm going to be honest: I know a lot less about economics than I do about military and foreign policy issues. I still need to be educated.'" (Stephen Moore, "Reform, Reform, Reform,", 11/26/05)

#2: Opposed The Bush Tax Cuts In 2001:
- In 2001, Sen. McCain Was One Of Only Two Republicans To Vote Against The $1.35 Trillion Tax Cut. The bill lowered marginal rates, eliminated the marriage penalty, and doubled the child tax credit. (H.R. 1836, CQ Vote #170: Adopted 58-33: R 46-2; D 12-31; I 0-0, 5/26/01, McCain Voted Nay)

#3: Opposed The Bush Tax Cuts In 2003:
- In 2003, Sen. McCain Was One Of Only Three Republicans To Twice Vote Against The $350 Billion Tax Cut. The comprehensive bill lowered taxes by $350 billion over 11 years – including increasing the child tax credit and eliminated the marriage penalty. (H.R. 2, CQ Vote #179: Passed 51-49: R 48-3; D 3-45; I 0-1, 5/15/03, McCain Voted Nay; H.R. 2, CQ Vote #196: Adopted 50-50: R 48-3; D 2-46; I 0-1, 5/23/03, McCain Voted Nay)

#4: Opposed Making The Bush Tax Cuts Permanent:
- In 2004, Sen. McCain Said He Would "Clearly" Not Support Extending The Tax Cuts. RUSSERT: "Since the Civil War, every president who has been at war has increased taxes. Should the president consider postponing his tax cut?" SEN. MCCAIN: "I would have – I voted against the tax cuts because of the disproportionate amount that went to the wealthiest Americans. I would clearly support not extending those tax cuts in order to help address the deficit. But the middle-income tax credits, the families, the child tax credits, the marriage tax credits, all of those I would keep." (NBC's "Meet The Press," 4/11/04)

#5: Was Against The Bush Tax Cuts Before He Was For Them:
- Within The Span Of 15 Seconds, McCain Was For, Against, And For Tax Cuts. SEN. MCCAIN: "I've been involved in all of these issues, I know how to stop the irresponsible spending. I've always been for tax cuts, I have always...uh... although, I voted against the first tax cuts, but these tax cuts have to be made permanent..." (Fox News' "Fox & Friends," 1/24/08;

#6: Still Says He Was Right To Vote Against The Bush Tax Cuts:
- Sen. McCain Still Believes He Was Right To Vote Against Numerous Republican Tax Cuts. RUSSERT: "Do you believe that voting against the Bush tax cuts was a mistake?" SEN. MCCAIN: "Of course not." (NBC's "Meet The Press," 1/6/08;

#7: Used Democrat Class-Warfare Rhetoric To Attack The Bush Tax Cuts:
- Club For Growth President Pat Toomey: Sen. McCain's Statements Sounded Like Kennedy's And Kerry's "Class Warfare." "In 2001, Sen. McCain argued, 'I cannot in good conscience support a tax cut in which so many of the benefits go to the most fortunate among us at the expense of middle-class Americans who need tax relief.' That statement is virtually indistinguishable from the class-warfare demagoguery used by Democrats like Ted Kennedy and John Kerry." (Pat Toomey, Op-Ed, "The McCain Record," The Wall Street Journal, 3/13/07)

#8: Included A Tax Increase In His 2000 Campaign Economic Plan:
- McCain Said His 2000 Tax Plan Would Have A Tax Increase. O'REILLY: "All right. So you want to target the – the middle-class people, and you're willing to live with the rich people paying the taxes they're – they're paying." SEN. MCCAIN: "Sure. And I don't want to take any money. In fact, the program that I have gives them a slight tax increase, but the question is what do you do with the surplus. Governor Bush puts it all in tax cuts. I want to give middle-class Americans a tax break, spend it on Social Security, Medicare, and paying down the debt." (Fox News' "The O'Reilly Factor," 1/20/00;

#9: Opposes Permanent Repeal Of The Death Tax:
- In 2002, Sen. McCain Was One Of Only Two Republicans To Twice Vote Against Permanent Repeal Of The Death Tax. (S. 1731, CQ Vote #28: Adopted 56-42: R 45-2; D 11-39; I 0-1, 2/13/02, McCain Voted Nay, H.R. 8, CQ Vote #151: Motion Rejected 54-44: R 45-2; D 9-41; I 0-1, 6/12/02, McCain Voted Nay)

#10: Joined Sen. Joe Lieberman To Propose Higher Energy Taxes On Consumers:
- McCain-Lieberman Would Dramatically Raise Taxes On All Carbon-Based Fuels, Like Gas For Your Car And Home Heating Oil. "What is not widely understood is that [Sen. McCain] is currently sponsoring legislation that, in the name of fighting global warming, would dramatically raise the tax on all carbon-based fuels, including gasoline, home heating oil, coal, and to a lesser extent, natural gas." (Roy Cordato, "McCain's Costly Tax On Energy," National Review,, Posted 1/10/08)

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Monday, January 28, 2008

Here are two previous posts that outline Gov. Romney's strengths and accomplishments.

Here's why many Evangelical Christians support Mitt.

Here's some biographical information about Mitt.

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From MyManMitt:

Miami Herald: Robo calls paint Romney as pro-Castro, says Cardenas
Mitt Romney' s state chairman Al Cardenas says robo calls portraying Romney as soft on Castro have been going out this afternoon to Miami voters.
The calls almost immediately following appearances by diplomat Roger Noriega praising the candidate on Spanish-language radio, said Cardenas, who called the calls "dirty pool" and "despicable."
He said he's not sure who is behind the calls but said "we can only assume it's one of our opponents."

St. Petersburg Times: Anti-Romney pushpolling
Romney campaign is getting reports of anti-Romney pushpolling in Orlando, Fort Myers and West Palm Beach, the calls started this morning.
The poll calls are saying that Romney never supported Bush tax cuts, supports tax-payer funded abortions and wants relations with Fidel Castro. Some calls have targeted the Cuban community in South Florida and are in Spanish, said Al Cardenas, Romney's Florida chair.
"These are clearly negative and false attacks against Gov. Romney by a flailing campaign desperate to change the dialogue on issues that matter most to Florida voters like lower taxes, less government and stronger families," said campaign spokeswoman Kristy Campbell.

Funny, I never hear the news reporting on pushpolling calls from Mitt Romney or in support of Mitt Romney.

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John McCain's Latino outreach director is scary.

Mexico First?
McCain has embraced a Vicente Fox’s aide as his own.
By Mark Krikorian of the National Review Online

“I want the third generation, the seventh generation, I want them all to think ‘Mexico first.’ ” These are the words of Juan Hernandez, John McCain’s “Hispanic outreach director,” on Nightline June 7, 2001.

The blogosphere has been abuzz over the news of Hernandez’s position in the McCain campaign, thanks to the spadework of Michelle Malkin (see here, here, and here) and Jerry Corsi. Thanks also to the power of the Internet, McCain was actually asked about this at an event in Florida Sunday, though he tap-danced his way out of answering directly.

But this potentially explosive story hasn’t gotten any traction in the mainstream press. The first explanation that comes to mind, of course, is that McCain is the media’s preferred Republican, a sense reinforced not only by Thursday’s endorsement of him by the New York Times , but also the Washington Post’s quasi-endorsement on Sunday.

But the more likely explanation is that many people don’t see the news value. After all, whom do you expect McCain would name as his Hispanic outreach director but a fellow supporter of amnesty and accelerated mass immigration? But this is a bigger deal than that.

Contrary to some of the more enthusiastic venting on the web, the problem is not that McCain has a Hispanic outreach director; while the government shouldn’t have anything to do with race or ethnicity, it’s perfectly natural for a political campaign to do outreach to any and every kind of voter. In fact, McCain’s “very close” friend, Hillary Clinton, last spring named Raul Yzaguirre to lead her Hispanic outreach effort. Naturally, Yzaguirre is a big supporter of amnesty and mass immigration — until he retired in 2004, he was president of the National Council of La Raza.

But even Yzaguirre has never been a foreign government official.

After Vicente Fox was elected in 2000, he named the U.S.-born dual citizen Hernandez (a professor at the University of Texas at Dallas) to head the newly created, cabinet-level Presidential Office for Mexicans Abroad (making him, in effect, Fox’s “Hispanic outreach director”). Hernandez’s oath of office was presumably similar to the one taken by his boss:

I swear to follow and uphold the Political Constitution of the United Mexican States and the laws that emanate from it, and to perform the job of President of the Republic which the people have conferred upon me with loyalty and patriotism, in all actions looking after the good and prosperity of the Union; and if I do not fulfill these obligations, the Nation will demand them of me.

“Loyalty,” “patriotism” — it’s a good oath. For a Mexican. Not for an American.

Before Earl Warren started making up emanations and penumbras of the Constitution (in this instance, the case of Afroyim v. Rusk in 1967), Hernandez would have been stripped of his American citizenship for having committed an “expatriating act,” specifically “accepting, serving in, or performing the duties of any office, post, or employment under the government of a foreign state or a political subdivision thereof.” (8 USC 1481)

On the radio Saturday, Hugh Hewitt and Michelle Malkin noted the incongruity of the McCain campaign’s embrace of this former foreign government official:

HH: I know. I’ve got a question for you. If John Kerry had employed as a senior adviser a dual citizen who had served in the French cabinet under any of our many French adversaries/allies, how would the Republicans have treated that Kerry adviser position? Wouldn’t we have raised holy hell about that?

MM: Oh, yeah, it would be worth five Drudge sirens in 100 point, World War IV font.

No kidding.

The contempt for American citizenship that McCain has shown by naming this political bigamist to a post in his campaign isn’t even the whole problem. One might also ask how McCain could even consult with a person of such extreme views, let alone name him Hispanic outreach director. McCain’s support for amnesty and accelerated mass immigration is bad enough, but you can, at least in theory, be for those things and still support firm borders and patriotic assimilation.

But McCain’s Hispanic outreach director is a man who has spent years opposing the very legitimacy of America’s borders and Americanization in the most public way possible. The man has been on every TV-news show in creation rejecting as passé the very idea of sovereign borders and patriotic assimilation into the American mainstream. (Digger’s Realm has compiled a greatest-hits video.)

Before teaming up with McCain, Hernandez became (he still is) a senior fellow at the Reform Institute, the think tank McCain set up after his unsuccessful 2000 presidential campaign — Brian Anderson of City Journal described it as “the 2008 McCain-for-President campaign-in-waiting.”

And Hernandez’s job there is to run — what else? — the Comprehensive Immigration Reform Initiative. If any more evidence of the institute’s leanings were needed, note that last year it sponsored an online contest to “Design Your Portion of the Border Fence” and gave top honors to a design that explicitly compared border fencing to the Berlin Wall. (See all the entries here.)

This is much worse than the similar controversy over Ron Paul’s ghost-written newsletters; it’s obvious McCain and his people knew perfectly well what Hernandez was about, and they didn’t see anything wrong with it. That tells us all we need to know about the sincerity of McCain’s newfound support for secure borders.

— Mark Krikorian is executive director of the Center for Immigration Studies and an NRO contributor.

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I just got done making phone calls for Mitt. One of my fellow callers in the call center spoke with a woman who had received a call from the McCain campaign earlier in the day. When the woman indicated she would be supporting Romney, the McCain campaign caller asked if she would still support Romney if she knew that Romney had voted against the Bush tax cuts.

Funny, I didn't know that governors could vote on federal tax legislation?

The straight talk just gets more and more crooked.

A woman I talked to asked if it was true that Romney engineered taxpayer-supported abortions underneath the his health care plan. I gave her the correct information. I don't know who was the source of that fallacy, but McCain did send out a mailer with that info on it in South Carolina, so I doubt we'd have to look far.

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For a breakdown of McCain-onimics, click here. For a look at Romney's economic prowess, click here.

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Re: Low Blow [Andy McCarthy] of NRO's The Corner:

I'm starting to think Sen. McCain should not be allowed to mention the other candidates' names within 30 days before a primary. I mean, he levels an allegation about Romney that's just flat not true, and if some organization wanted to run an add calling him on it, they would be in violation of his "reform" of campaign finance regulations. What a racket!


McCain-onomics. That spells "recession."

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John McCain is dishonest. He has made claims about Mitt Romney that he can't produce proof to back up. He has attacked Mitt Romney for something he didn't say, but gave a free pass to Democrats for actually saying what McCain claims Mitt said.

John McCain is no straight-talker. He is a desperate man. For evidence of his duplicity, click here, here, here and here.
Here's what CNN (of all networks) is saying about McCain:
Speaking of straight talk, no American politician has gotten more adoring press coverage than John McCain. But let's be clear about what John McCain is doing about Mitt Romney. He's lying. He's lying about Mitt Romney's position, no question about it. And you know I think that -- this idea that Mitt Romney supports timetables, now, in fact most Americans support timetables to get out of Iraq, Mitt Romney doesn't happen to be one of them. That's really outrageous what McCain is doing bringing up this ancient interview and distorting it at the last minute so he doesn't have to talk about the economy.

In New Hampshire Romney rad ads contrasting his position with McCain's on several key issues. Despite the fact that those ads said McCain was an honorable man, McCain whined that Romney was unfairly attacking him. McCain then rad an add that did not talk about issues or accomplishments, it merely called Romney a phoney. While Romney praised McCain's character while pointing out differences on positions, McCain ignored positions and slurred Romney's character.

In South Carolina, as noted in a previous post, McCain sent out a mailer with blatant falsehoods about Romney's record. Romney didn't return the favor.

Now in Florida McCain, trying to get the topic back on the War in Iraq, makes the false claim that Romney supported a withdrawal timetable for the troops like the Democrats. He did not. Now, McCain repeatedly lies about Romney and attacks his character. Romney calls McCain an honorable man.

Why does John McCain have more nice things to say about Hillary Clinton than Mitt Romney? Here's what Bill Clinton has to say:
If Hillary Clinton and John McCain become their party's presidential nominees, the general election race is likely to be a love-fest.
At least according to Bill Clinton.
Campaigning in Spartanburg, South Carolina, Friday, the former president brushed aside suggestions his wife would prove to be a divisive nominee for the Democratic Party, pointing out how she has successfully worked with Republicans in the Senate — including one of the current GOP presidential candidates.
"She and John McCain are very close," Clinton said. "They always laugh that if they wound up being the nominees of their party, it would be the most civilized election in American history, and they're afraid they'd put the voters to sleep because they like and respect each other."

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John McCain thinks Sam Alito is too conservative and wouldn't appoint justices like him (from the Wall Street Journal via NRO):

More recently, Mr. McCain has told conservatives he would be happy to appoint the likes of Chief Justice John Roberts to the Supreme Court. But he indicated he might draw the line on a Samuel Alito, because "he wore his conservatism on his sleeve."

Mitt Romney, on the other hand, has called for more justices in the mold of Alito and Roberts. I don't trust John McCain to appoint conservative justices to the bench.

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Friday, January 25, 2008

From James Fallows of The Atlantic:

Man from Mars perspective on the Republican debate
24 Jan 2008 11:19 pm

As soon as this evening's Florida debate ended, the MSNBC TV commentators were wondering how it would have looked to "someone who was seeing these candidates for the first time."

Why didn't they just ask me?

This is the first debate among the Republicans that I've seen at full length and in real time.* So factoring in all the expectations I'd gathered from coverage (Romney too weaselly, McCain really the strongest one, Huckabee a charmer, etc), how did it look?

Romney by a mile. More precisely, the only candidate you could imagine putting up a plausible general-election fight. Again, I'm not handicapping the GOP race, which I know nothing about. I'm not saying how each candidate did relative to previous appearances. I am telling you how this one debate looked if you had never seen these guys on the same stage before.

McCain, Giuliani, and Huckabee all notably ill at ease when asked to say anything about the economy. (Huckabee: building two new lanes on I-95, Maine to Florida, as an energy saving measure???) When Romney asked Giuliani a specific question about how to deal with China, the answer reminded me of the way I would sound if asked to fill 90 seconds discussing my favorite fashion designers. McCain attempting to describe his economy policy by listing his advisors. (Jack Kemp?) The more the economy matters as The general election issue, the less this will cut it -- and the more Romney can use at least the veneer of his being able to discuss the issue.

Two other random points:- Boy, do these people hate Hillary Clinton! Her name was mentioned at least ten times as often as George Bush's (and all Bush mentions, that I heard, were from Romney).
The intrusiveness and badgering nature of Tim Russert's questions! I wonder whether the two parties will subject themselves to another presidential cycle of "debating" on these demeaning terms.

Here endeth the report from outer space.

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What They're Really Saying About Gov. Romney At The Boca Raton, FL, GOP Debate - Vol. III

MSNBC's Pat Buchanan: "I got to say that I think clearly Mitt Romney dominated tonight. His performance was flawless. He looked presidential." (MSNBC's "Live," 1/24/08)

- Buchanan: "I think Romney clearly won tonight." (MSNBC's "Live," 1/24/08) - Buchanan: "He looked terrific. He got off the best two lines of the night." (MSNBC's "Morning Joe," 1/25/08) - Buchanan: "I think he was crisp and strong." (MSNBC's "Morning Joe," 1/25/08)

- Buchanan: "If Romney is in the lead tonight and people are looking at this, he looks to me like a man, quite frankly that can beat Hillary Rodham Clinton and can be president of the United States." (MSNBC's "Live," 1/24/08)

ABC News' Jake Tapper: "Romney, who is in a dead heat with McCain for first place in some recent polls here in Florida, had perhaps the best night, presenting a polished and confident demeanor." (Jake Tapper, "GOP Debate: Not Quite A Smoka In Boca," ABC News' Website,, Posted 1/24/08)

The Washington Post's Michael D. Shear And Juliet Eilperin: "The debate offered Romney a chance to shine as he received several opportunities to discuss economic issues and his experience in the private sector." (Michael D. Shear and Juliet Eilperin, "Republicans Play To Right In Fla. Debate," The Washington Post, 1/25/08)

The Weekly Standard's Dean Barnett: "With that preamble out of the way, I must unequivocally state that last night was an enormously successful evening for Romney. He's a serious guy, and a capable one. That came through last night." (Dean Barnett, "Boca Break Down," The Weekly Standard,, 1/25/08)

Time's Mark Halperin: "... Romney came out strong, unapologetic and on message." (Mark Halperin, "GOP Debate Report Card," Time,, Posted 1/25/08)

- Halperin: "[Romney] settled comfortably into the 'looks and sounds like a president' zone that is one of his chief assets." (Mark Halperin, "GOP Debate Report Card," Time,, Posted 1/25/08)

- Halperin: "[Romney] Seemed to anticipate an eventual one-on-one contest with McCain, and displayed the confidence of a man who feels certain he has a spot in the finals. Bottom line: Benefited more than anyone else from the oddly low-key nature of a high-stakes." (Mark Halperin, "GOP Debate Report Card," Time,, Posted 1/25/08)

National Review's David Freddoso: "By the time he was done, Romney even demonstrated that he understands why a one-time rebate is not a real economic stimulant." (David Freddoso, "The Debate Begins," National Review's The Corner,, Posted 1/24/08)

Townhall's Jennifer Rubin: "Romney had perhaps his best debate performance? He was at his best when speaking on economics and he successfully ducked a question from Giuliani on his position on a national catastrophic insurance fund." (Jennifer Rubin, "Republican Debates Offer Little Foresight," Townhall, 1/25/08)

- Rubin: "He forcefully rebuffed the moderator's inquiries about how much of his personal fortune he has spent on the campaign. He too should be pleased that voters saw a confident, economically literate candidate." (Jennifer Rubin, "Republican Debates Offer Little Foresight," Townhall, 1/25/08)

Orlando Sentinel's Scott Maxwell: "Overall, Mitt Romney had a good night. He sounded informed, human and comfortable. And he handled several tough questions with ease." (Scott Maxwell, Op-Ed, "Debate Was A Good Night For Everyone But Pimps, Gamblers, Non-Republicans," Orlando Sentinel, 1/25/08)

RedState's Alexham: "There weren't many fireworks between our candidates last night, but one did stand out in a big way: Mitt Romney. He was good. Very good." (Alexham, "Romney Rising: And This Time, It's For Real," RedState,, Posted 1/24/08)

- Alexham: "I think we are finally seeing the real Mitt Romney: The smart, wonkish, well-mannered, technocrat, problem-solving businessman. That's who Mitt Romney is, and he has finally revealed his true persona to the rest of us. And I, for one, appreciate it." (Alexham, "Romney Rising: And This Time, It's For Real," RedState,, Posted 1/24/08)

- Alexham: "Romney is at his best when he is engaged in wonkish problem solving ..." (Alexham, "Romney Rising: And This Time, It's For Real," RedState,, Posted 1/24/08)

- Alexham: "Be who you are Mitt, and you may just become the next president of the United States." (Alexham, "Romney Rising: And This Time, It's For Real," RedState,, Posted 1/24/08)

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The NY Times (probably the most liberal paper in the country) has endorsed John McCain in the GOP primary (hat tip Hugh Hewitt). Here are some quotes:

Still, there is a choice to be made, and it is an easy one. Senator John McCain of Arizona is the only Republican who promises to end the George Bush style of governing from and on behalf of a small, angry fringe...

We have shuddered at Mr. McCain’s occasional, tactical pander to the right because he has demonstrated that he has the character to stand on principle. He was an early advocate for battling global warming and risked his presidential bid to uphold fundamental American values in the immigration debate...

But Mr. McCain took a stand, just as he did in recognizing the threat of global warming early. He has been a staunch advocate of campaign finance reform, working with Senator Russ Feingold, among the most liberal of Democrats, on groundbreaking legislation, just as he worked with Senator Edward Kennedy on immigration reform.

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What They're Really Saying About Governor Mitt Romney At The Boca Raton, FL GOP Debate - Vol. II

MSNBC'S Chuck Todd: "Romney looks good and sounds confident tonight." (Chuck Todd, "Romney Starting Off Well Tonight," MSNBC's First Read,, Posted 1/24/08)

The Atlantic's Marc Ambinder: "Romney made a strong first impression." (Marc Ambinder, "Live Twittering Of The Debate," The Atlantic,, Posted 1/24/08)

Captain's Quarters' Ed Morrissey: "Florida voters got their final head-to-head look at the Republican presidential candidates tonight, and the winner of the debate was Mitt Romney." (Ed Morrissey, "Florida Debate: Romney Scores, Rudy Close Behind," Captain's Quarters' Blog,, Posted 1/24/08)

- Morrissey: "He looked presidential, poised, and factually prepared." (Ed Morrissey, "Florida Debate: Romney Scores, Rudy Close Behind," Captain's Quarters' Blog,, Posted 1/24/08)

- Morrissey: "In a debate that spent the first two-thirds with everyone doing well, Romney not only broke out on his own in the last stanza, he successfully parried some strange attacks from Tim Russert as well." (Ed Morrissey, "Florida Debate: Romney Scores, Rudy Close Behind," Captain's Quarters' Blog,, Posted 1/24/08)

Michelle Malkin: "Romney's being treated like the front-runner and he's acting like it." (Michelle Malkin, "GOP Florida Debate: Show Us The Conservatism," Michelle Malkin's Blog,, Accessed 1/24/08)

Townhall's Hugh Hewitt: "Mitt Romney should send a thank you card to Tim Russert and Brian Williams. They threw hard balls at the former Massachusetts governor and he hit them all, many out of the park. Romney's allocation of time had to be disproportionate, but that was the Williams/Russert choice, and Romney made the most of it." (Hugh Hewitt, "'General Hillary Clinton' And 'They're Doing It In Europe Now,'" Townhall Blog,, Posted 1/24/08)

- Hewitt: "Democrats watching tonight have to be very worried that Mitt Romney will be the GOP nominee." (Hugh Hewitt, "'General Hillary Clinton' And 'They're Doing It In Europe Now,'" Townhall Blog,, Posted 1/24/08)

American Spectator's Wlady: "Terrific Romney answer to Russert's nosiness about how much he's spent in Florida. Russert's mistake: his insinuation that he was asking the question on behalf of the people's right to know. Romney instead let it be known he'll report his spending on Jan. 31, as required by law; and there's no reason to give his opponents a competitive advantage." (Wlady, "Rich Man, Poor Man," AmSpec Blog,, Accessed 1/24/08)

ABC News' Rick Klein: "Romney gets an initial question on the economy -- this is tailor made for him. ? He sounds authoritative and in control on this subject." (Rick Klein, "Live Blogging During GOP Debate," ABC News' Political Radar,, Posted 1/24/08)

National Journal's Jennifer Skalka: "Winners?Mitt Romney -- Mistake-free night." (Jennifer Skalka, "No Battle In Boca," National Journal's On Call,, Posted 1/24/08)

Heading Right's Ed Morrissey: "Best line of the evening so far: General Hillary Clinton." (Ed Morrissey, "Best Line Of The Evening So Far," Heading Right Blog,, Accessed 1/24/08)

- Morrissey: "Romney just delivered a hell of a punch against Hillary Clinton, Bill, and the Democrats." (Ed Morrissey, "Romney Lapping The Pack," Heading Right Blog,, Accessed 1/24/08)

- Morrissey: "I am impressed." (Ed Morrissey, "Romney's Running Away With It!" Heading Right Blog,, Accessed 1/24/08)

American Spectator's Phillip Klein: "Romney is clearly benefiting from the focus on the economy." (Phillip Klein, "Quick Debate Reaction," AmSpec Blog,, Accessed 1/24/08)

Heading Right's Fausta Wertz: "[Y]es, this is the Mitt Romney hour." (Fausta, "Back To Mitt," Heading Right Blog,, Accessed 1/24/08)

Townhall's Matt Lewis: "If one had to assign a winner tonight, Mitt Romney would probably get the nod." (Matt Lewis, "GOP Debate Analysis: Florida Now A Two-Man Race," Townhall Blog,, Posted 1/24/08)

- Lewis: "The debate focused more on the economy than it did on any other topic, and I think he is more adept at talking about this topic than is his primary opponent, John McCain." (Matt Lewis, "GOP Debate Analysis: Florida Now A Two-Man Race," Townhall Blog,, Posted 1/24/08)

- Lewis: "He also did a good job of going after the Clintons -- something that McCain should have actually done more of." (Matt Lewis, "GOP Debate Analysis: Florida Now A Two-Man Race," Townhall Blog,, Posted 1/24/08)

- Lewis: "Romney was ahead in the last Florida poll I saw, and since nothing that happened tonight is likely to radically upset the apple cart, he wins tonight merely by maintaining the status quo." (Matt Lewis, "GOP Debate Analysis: Florida Now A Two-Man Race," Townhall Blog,, Posted 1/24/08)

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What They're Really Saying About Governor Mitt Romney At The Boca Raton, FL GOP Debate

MSNBC's Joe Scarborough: "I think conservatives probably related to Mitt Romney, talking about tax cuts, talking about being a governor, talking about what he did in the private sector for all those years. On the economic part of this debate, I don't think there is any doubt that this was Mitt Romney's best performance." (MSNBC's "Live," 1/24/08)

- Scarborough: "The first 30 minutes - it was about the economy. I thought Mitt Romney absolutely dominated that segment of it." (MSNBC's "Live," 1/24/08)

Time's Mark Halperin: "Romney A-" (Mark Halperin, "Who Wants To Be The Nominee?" Time's The Page,, Posted 1/24/08)

MSNBC's Chuck Todd: "I thought this was Mitt Romney's best debate performance." (MSNBC's "Live," 1/24/08)

National Review's Rich Lowry: "Romney has seemed authoritative – confident and on his game..." (Rich Lowry, "The Debate So Far," National Review's The Corner,, Posted 1/24/08)

- Lowry: "'We're the Party of Change' ... Home-run answer from Romney. It was drawn from his standard lines on the stump, but a terrific message, convincingly delivered." (Rich Lowry, "'We're The Party Of Change'," National Review's The Corner,, Posted 1/24/08)

- Lowry: "Good night for Romney." (Rich Lowry, "Good Night For Romney," National Review's The Corner,, Posted 1/24/08)

- Lowry: "Romney is dominating the last half-an-hour." (Rich Lowry, "In Terms Of Sheer Time..." National Review's The Corner,, Posted 1/24/08)

Townhall's Mary Katharine Ham: "Romney just stole that issue from both Rudy and McCain. His answer was intelligent and far-reaching. I liked the idea of high-risk areas getting together to pool risk. Rudy's been trying to pander with this idea and I think both Romney and McCain made the pandering look silly by taking a broader approach." (Mary Katharine Ham, "The Cat Fund," Townhall Blog,, Posted 1/24/08)

National Review's Kate O'Beirne: "Romney's insights about his state's National Guard was helpful. He seems particularly aggressive and sure-footed tonight." (Kate O'Beirne, "On Offense," National Review's The Corner,, Posted 1/24/08)

Michelle Malkin: "Excellent Romney answer on Iraq. Strong, tough, focused on the surrendercrats. He takes on Dems for their withdrawalmania?cites debate in SC when Hillary refused to say she wanted to win and recycled Code Pink line." (Michelle Malkin, "GOP Florida Debate,", Posted 1/24/08)

- Malkin: "Romney excoriates Dems and says 'how dare they' take credit for surge." (Michelle Malkin, "GOP Florida Debate,", Posted 1/24/08) - Malkin: "Romney just out-McCained McCain on the war." (Michelle Malkin, "GOP Florida Debate,", Posted 1/24/08)

The Atlantic's Marc Ambinder: "Romney was swell on the economy..." (Marc Ambinder, "Romney Made A Strong First Impression... No One Tried To Jab At Him," Twitter Blog,, Posted 1/24/08)

Hot Air's Bryan Preston: "Mitt Romney is asked whether the war in Iraq was worth the sacrifice and effort. He delivers the best answer of the bunch and punches the hippies in the Democrat party to boot." (Bryan Preston, "Debate Highlights: Huckabee On The Economic Stimulus; Romney On Iraq," Hot Air,, Posted 1/24/08)

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Wednesday, January 23, 2008

This would be funny if it wasn't so untrue (from the American Chronicle):

"Huckabee praised McCain for running a clean campaign in South Carolina, insinuating that Romney did not."

For evidence that Huckabee is clueless or dishonest, check out the independent, non-partisan

McCain is sending out a postcard mailing in South Carolina that is misleading on more than one point.

It says that "Romney provided taxpayer-funded abortions," a distortion. Romney's Massachusetts health-care plan faced a court order requiring abortions to be covered.

It says Romney "refused to endorse Bush Tax Cut Plan," but fails to note that McCain himself voted against it.

Huckabee wants to be McCain's vice-president, and that's why he can overlook dishonest campaigning.

Here's a great rundown of Romney's conservative accomplishments while Governor:

---In the four balanced budgets he signed into law, Governor Romney used the line-item veto or program reduction power to cut spending by nearly $1 Billion. Over the course of four budgets, Governor Romney made over 300 line-item reductions, 350 line-item eliminations and struck language 150 times.
--- When Gov Romney took office in Massachusetts, he inherited a $2 billion deficit. While in office, he turned the $2 billion into a surplus----WITHOUT raising taxes.
---Gov Romney solved the health care crisis in Massachusetts----and his plans are still used today. He did this by using the free market and competition---and without raising taxes.
--- Gov. Romney was instrumental in passing a bill abolishing a retroactive capital gains tax in the state that would have forced nearly 50,000 taxpayers to pay an additional $200 million in state taxes and fees
--- 4 years ago --- before the illegals marched in our streets --- Romney opposed a bill that would have allowed illegal aliens to get driver’s licenses. "Those who are here illegally should not receive tacit support from our government that gives an indication of legitimacy," the governor said. (Scott S. Greenberger, "Romney Stand Dims Chances Of License For Undocumented," The Boston Globe, 10/28/03)
--- Romney vetoed a bill in 2004 that would have permitted illegal aliens to pay the same in-state tuition rate paid by citizens at public colleges and universities in Massachusetts.
--- Romney vetoed the bill providing state funding for human embryonic stem cell research
--- Romney vetoed a bill that provided for the "morning after pill" without a prescription because it is an abortifacient and would have been available to minors without parental notification and consent
--- He vetoed legislation which would have redefined Massachusetts longstanding definition of the beginning of human life from fertilization to implantation

I would add that it was a 3 billion dollar defecit, not 2, and that he has been the country's most ardent and vocal defender of traditional marriage.

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Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Boston, MA – Today, Governor Mitt Romney issued the following statement on former Senator Fred Thompson withdrawing his candidacy for President of the United States:

"Throughout this campaign, Fred Thompson brought a laudable focus to the challenges confronting our country and the solutions necessary to meet them. He stood for strong conservative ideas and believed strongly in the need to keep our conservative coalition together. Ann and I would like to extend our best wishes to Fred, Jeri and their family and congratulate them on their efforts during this campaign."

Welcome FredHeads. Here in Arizona we like conservatives. Just look at Saturday's Maricopa County GOP Straw Poll results below.

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George Will weighs in on McCain in his latest column: "John McCain--Faux Straight Talker."

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Here's an article that gives us a glimpse of Rudy's character. It's not pretty.


Maricopa County is the heart of McCain country. It is the most populous county in Arizona by far, and houses Phoenix, the capitol. Maricopa County's GOP held a straw poll Saturday, and here are the results (via Sonoran Alliance):

Overall Votes (662 Votes):
#1 - Mitt Romney - 28.4% (188)
#2 - Fred Thomson - 18.3% (121)
#3 - Ron Paul - 17.4% (115)
#4 - Duncan Hunter - 14.0% (93)
#5 - John McCain - 12.1% (80)
#6 - Rudy Giuliani - 5.0% (33)
#7 - Mike Huckabee - 4.8% (32)

Most Acceptable (1781 Votes):
#1 - Fred Thompson - 20.8% (370)
#2 - Duncan Hunter - 20.1% (358)
#3 - Mitt Romney - 20.0% (356)
#4 - Rudy Giuliani - 13.2% (235)
#5 - Mike Huckabee - 11.6% (207)
#6 - John McCain - 7.6% (135)
#7 - Ron Paul - 6.7% (120)

Most Unacceptable (1949 votes):
#1 - John McCain - 21.9% (427)
#2 - Ron Paul - 20.3% (396)
#3 - Rudy Giuliani - 18.3% (357)
#4 - Mike Huckabee - 17.4% (340)
#5 - Duncan Hunter - 8.0% (156)
#6 - Fred Thompson - 7.8% (152)
#7 - Mitt Romney - 6.2% (121 )

Notice that McCain finishes a distant 5th to Romney in the voting, and places first as the most unacceptable candidate amongst those who know him best.

Also, if you remove Hunter (who's already dropped out) and Thompson (who is expected to drop out this week), Romney wins every category (even without those deletions he wins two and finishes .8% behind first on the third).

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Saturday, January 19, 2008

I've already seen headlines at that say Romney gets the Mormon vote. I wonder if this is the MSM's attempt to further rile up Evangelicals in hopes of getting MSM's favoite RINO--Mike Huckabee--more votes in future elections.

But here are the facts.

Mitt got 94% of the vote in Nevada. That means he did worse than Bush in 2004 in the general election were "W" got 95% of the Mormon vote in the entire country.

Bush isn't Mormon. Mormons like conservatives. Romney's a conservative.

UPDATE: Here is the link to the Standard Weekly article that indicates 95% of Mormons voted for Bush in 2004:

And here's the actual quote (about halfway down the page):

Most Mormons would be thrilled at the prospect of a Romney candidacy, and not just because Romney is a Republican and Mormons overwhelmingly vote Republican (they went 95 to 5 percent for Bush in 2004, up from 88 to 12 percent in 2000).

Also, Jeff Fuller did some analysis of the exit polls, and when you calculate the numbers of Mormons (Latter-day Saints) who voted in the Democratic Caucus in Nevada, Mitt actually received 73% of the Mormon vote in the Silver State. Click here for Jeff's analysis.

Friday, January 18, 2008

I've wondered why Mitt gets taken to task for changing his mind on some positions, while other candidates get a free ride. A new study out of Vanderbilt University explains why:

Bias against Mitt Romney’s religion is one of the reasons that the tag “flip-flopper” sticks with the former Massachusetts governor but not his Republican opponents, according to Vanderbilt political scientist John Geer. “There is no question that Romney has changed his positions on some issues, but so have some of the other candidates,” Geer said. “Why does the label stick to Romney but not his opponents? At least some of the answer lies in Romney’s Mormon beliefs.”

Geer and colleagues Brett Benson of Vanderbilt and Jennifer Merolla of Claremont Graduate University designed an Internet survey to assess bias against Mormons, how best to combat it and its potential impact on the nomination process and general election campaign.

“We find that of those who accuse Romney of flip-flopping, many admit it is Romney’s Mormonism and not his flip-flopping that is the real issue,” Benson said. “Our survey shows that 26 percent of those who accuse Romney of flip-flopping also indicate that Mormonism, not flip-flopping, is their problem with Romney.” Benson noted that the pattern is especially strong for conservative Evangelicals. According to the poll, 57 percent of them have a bias against Mormons.

The poll, which was conducted by Polimetrix, included an oversample of Southern Evangelicals that Geer said measured bias with far more precision than previous efforts. The survey shows that 50 percent of conservative Evangelicals evaluate a moderate Christian candidate more positively than a conservative Mormon candidate.

The study’s findings suggest that criticizing Romney for flip-flopping is an effective campaign strategy because it sticks with two different groups: those who are genuinely concerned about Romney’s shifts on certain issues and those who use the label as cover for the fact that they do not want to vote for a Mormon for president.

“As the campaign continues to unfold, these data become increasingly relevant as the Republicans choose a presidential nominee,” Geer said.

Ross Perot will vote for Mitt Romney and slams McCain in this Newsweek interview:

Perot says he intends to vote for Mitt Romney in the Texas Republican primary on March 4, citing Romney's experience in business and his family values. "When I went to the Naval Academy and met my first Mormons I asked why so many were excellent officers," Perot recalls. "I learned it was because of their strong family unit."...

The Perot-McCain relationship goes back to McCain's five and a half years of captivity in Hanoi. When McCain's then-wife Carol was in a serious car accident, McCain's mother called Perot for help. "She asked me to send my people to Philadelphia to take care of the family," Perot says. Afterwards, McCain was grateful. "We loved him [Perot] for it," McCain told me in 2000.

Perot doesn't remember it that way. "After he came home, he walked with a limp, she [Carol McCain] walked with a limp. So he threw her over for a poster girl with big money from Arizona [Cindy McCain, his current wife] and the rest is history."

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Friday, January 11, 2008

The Real McCain Record:
Obstacles in the way of conservative support
By Mark R. Levin (NRO)

There’s a reason some of John McCain's conservative supporters avoid discussing his record. They want to talk about his personal story, his position on the surge, his supposed electability. But whenever the rest of his career comes up, the knee-jerk reply is to characterize the inquiries as attacks.

The McCain domestic record is a disaster. To say he fought spending, most particularly earmarks, is to nibble around the edges and miss the heart of the matter. For starters, consider:

McCain-Feingold — the most brazen frontal assault on political speech since Buckley v. Valeo.

McCain-Kennedy — the most far-reaching amnesty program in American history.

McCain-Lieberman — the most onerous and intrusive attack on American industry — through reporting, regulating, and taxing authority of greenhouse gases — in American history.

McCain-Kennedy-Edwards — the biggest boon to the trial bar since the tobacco settlement, under the rubric of a patients’ bill of rights.

McCain-Reimportantion of Drugs — a significant blow to pharmaceutical research and development, not to mention consumer safety (hey Rudy, pay attention, see link).

And McCain’s stated opposition to the Bush 2001 and 2003 tax cuts was largely based on socialist, class-warfare rhetoric — tax cuts for the rich, not for the middle class. The public record is full of these statements. Today, he recalls only his insistence on accompanying spending cuts.

As chairman of the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation, McCain was consistently hostile to American enterprise, from media and pharmaceutical companies to technology and energy companies.

McCain also led the Gang of 14, which prevented the Republican leadership in the Senate from mounting a rule change that would have ended the systematic use (actual and threatened) of the filibuster to prevent majority approval of judicial nominees.

And then there’s the McCain defense record.

His supporters point to essentially one policy strength, McCain’s early support for a surge and counterinsurgency. It has now evolved into McCain taking credit for forcing the president to adopt General David Petreaus’s strategy. Where’s the evidence to support such a claim?

Moreover, Iraq is an important battle in our war against the Islamo-fascist threat. But the war is a global war, and it most certainly includes the continental United States, which, after all, was struck on 9/11. How does McCain fare in that regard?

McCain-ACLU — the unprecedented granting of due-process rights to unlawful enemy combatants (terrorists).

McCain has repeatedly called for the immediate closing of Guantanamo Bay and the introduction of al-Qaeda terrorists into our own prisons — despite the legal rights they would immediately gain and the burdens of managing such a dangerous population.

While McCain proudly and repeatedly points to his battles with Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld, who had to rebuild the U.S. military and fight a complex war, where was McCain in the lead-up to the war — when the military was being dangerously downsized by the Clinton administration and McCain’s friend, former Secretary of Defense Bill Cohen? Where was McCain when the CIA was in desperate need of attention? Also, McCain was apparently in the dark about al-Qaeda like most of Washington, despite a decade of warnings.

My fingers are crossed that at the next debate, either Fred Thompson or Mitt Romney will find a way to address McCain’s record. (Mike Huckabee won’t, as he is apparently in the tank for him.)

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Thursday, January 10, 2008

Someone has done the math at, and apparently Romney is best positioned to win enough delegates to claim the nomination by just consistently taking second place.

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Wednesday, January 09, 2008

According to CNN's exit polls


some interesting info comes to light:

Romney wins the vote of those who approve of the War in Iraq (37% to McCain's 33%), whereas McCain wins the vote of those who disapprove of the war (44% to Romney's 19%).

Romney wins among those who identify themselves as Republicans (35% to McCain's 34%) and among those who consider themselves Conservative (38% to McCain's 30%).

Romney wins among Urban voters (34% to McCain's 32%).

Romney trounced McCain with voters who placed illegal immigration as the most important issue (56% to 19%).

Romney won among voters who don't want gay civil unions (36% to McCain's 32%).

Romney won among voters who had positive feelings about Pres. Bush (37% to McCain's 32%).

Romney won among those who think the next president should be more conservative than Bush (35% to McCain's 31%).

The strange data here is that Romney's wins the support of those who approve of the War in Iraq/War on Terror, whereas McCain overwhelmingly wins the vote of those opposed. Is this strategic voting on the part of liberal independents who don't want to face Romney in the general election, or are Granite Staters clueless about McCain's stance on the War?

The good news for Romney is that 80% of the country is urban (where he won), illegal immigration is the most important issue in many states (South Carolina, Florida, Nevada, California, etc.), which issue Romney won, and conservatives went with Romney (and very few states will have the liberal leanings of an heavily independent GOP New Hampshire vote).

While McCain is the frontrunner for Michigan, Romney's should be competitive in Nevada, Florida and maybe even South Carolina given the exit poll data above.

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Well, it's going to be a war of attrition, and the candidate with the best resources--organizational and financial--will win, and that's not McCain or Huckabee. As of right now, with one win and two second places, Romney is leading the delegate count:

30 Romney
21 Huckabee
10 McCain
6 Thompson
2 Paul
1 Giuliani
1 Hunter

Who would have thought Rudy would be tied for last in the delegate count after the first three states?

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Tuesday, January 08, 2008

The Huckster is at it again (via Mark Levin at The Corner):

Now, I know most of the Republican candidates have changed certain of their positions. But I have to say, when I read this story this morning, I was floored.

Heading into South Carolina, where illegal immigration appears to be the biggest issue among Republicans, Huckabee is going to support a constitutional amendment prohibiting birthright citizenship? Did I not hear him in several debates, including on Sunday, admonishing those of us who've long opposed birthright citizenship, about God's children coming out of the shadows? Is this not the same man who only a few months ago supported McCain-Kennedy?

Romney has explained his conversion on abortion — the day it occurred, how it occurred, and why it occurred. We have to make judgments about the credibility of a politician making a conversion, based on their records, recent statements, and ultimately, character. You can accept it or not.

But for Huckabee to throw on the table such a dramatic shift of position from one day to the next, just before the South Carolina primary, without ever indicating such a view during any of the debates or in any of his many media appearances since the beginning of his run for president, is to me as cynical as it gets in a season of cynical acts.

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Saturday, January 05, 2008

Huckabee scares me. He's a unhealthy combination of Bill Clinton and Jimmy Carter:

I only could stay for Huckabee's 15-minute opening remarks at a packed—I mean packed—event at a gym in a Londonberry middle school this morning, but it was brilliant, absolutely brilliant. It was one of the most stirring and persuasive defenses of self-government and limited government—including the doctrine of subsidiarity—that I have heard in a long time. This guy is very good, and very shrewd—after playing the evangelical card in Iowa, today he was saying how America is all about "live free or die."

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Romney wins Wyoming. On to New Hampshire.

P.S.--It will be interesting if the media tries to chalk this up to Wyoming's LDS population. If they'll check their statistics, though, they only make up 11% of the state, with the actual percentage of adult voters being smaller due to the higher percentage of children in LDS families.

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I thought this was interesting in a sad sort of way:

In summary, the turnout for the Republican Iowa Caucus was nearly 50% higher than the previous Caucus with a 125,000 record turn out. It was expected that the turnout would be about 75,000-80,000 with the unknown being the evangelical and fair tax groups. Had such been the case, Mitt would have won Iowa with his stable and strong support. It wasn't to be. Of the 35% that voted for Mike Huckabee, 80% claimed the label of evangelical Christians.

Upon further inquiry, a large majority of the evangelicals stated that the most important measure of the candidate was whether his faith and religion were aligned with theirs. Mitt being Mormon was catalytic to their rally around Mike. They further indicated that only 7% felt Governor Huckabee was electable and only 10% felt he had the necessary leadership experience to be POTUS. Unfortunately, a very sad commentary on the failings of the Iowa evangelicals, that they would vote principally on the basis of religion.

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Thursday, January 03, 2008

From Marc Ambinder of The

A Romney volunteer writes:

Today I spent all day at the Romney HQ manning the phones calling voters all over Iowa. We ran into voters who told us they had gotten calls from people stating they represented the Romney campaign and when the voter disclosed they planned to vote for Romney, the caller then asked to take a few minutes to outline Romney's policy positions.
The caller would then provide a litany of misleading statements like how Romney planned to raise taxes and why, etc.


The NRO's Jim Geraghty on Huckabee's false claims in the attack ad that was, then wasn't, then was, then wasn't...

Adding to the theory that the Huckabee's negative ad was never meant to run: It knocked Mitt Romney for "no executions." Of course, Massachusetts doesn't have the death penalty. I suppose Romney could have just gone out and killed somebody - I understand the opposition party in that state is big on leaving people in cars underwater. But it seems unfair to suggest that Romney was somehow soft on crime because his state never legalized the death penalty. (Others would find other supporting arguments for that assertion.)

Had that ad run, the silliness of that line of attack probably would have dominated the final 48 hours of the campaign, and Huckabee, or someone around him must have known that the discussion would not go well for them...

UPDATE: Interesting information from another campaign that does not have a dog in the fight of Iowa, or not a particularly large one, at least.

First, they note a August 21, 2002 article in the Boston Herald that declared, “Republican Mitt Romney and running mate Kerry Healey rolled out a crime-fighting plan yesterday that would … reinstate the death penalty.”

Then they note an April 29, 2005 Boston Globe article: “Governor Mitt Romney yesterday filed a long-awaited bill to reinstate the death penalty in Massachusetts for deadly acts of terrorism, killing sprees, murders involving torture, and the killing of law enforcement authorities. The bill, which Romney called ‘a model for the nation’ and the ‘gold standard’ for capital punishment legislation, draws entirely from the findings of a special commission that set out 10 recommendations last year. That panel sought to design a virtually ‘foolproof’ death penalty law by relying on verifiable science and tougher legal safeguards.”

Then a Globe article from December 16 of that year, noting, “Even on reinstating the death penalty, a hot-button issue on which polls have indicated that Romney had popular support, the governor lost a vote in the house by nearly 2 to 1. Eight years earlier, a capital punishment bill failed on a tie vote.”...

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In the run-up to the Jan. 3 Iowa caucuses, Huckabee is running a TV ad featuring graphics that claim he was "tough on crime" and "brought Arkansas' crime rate down," and that he "cut taxes over 90 times as governor."

In fact, the violent crime rate was higher at the end of his tenure than it was the year he took office. And the tax cuts he claims credit for were minor compared with the large increases he approved, which included an increase in the state sales tax.

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The American Spectator's Quin Hilyar's case against Huckabee and McCain (mostly McCain):

As truly horrific as it would be for the liberal and unethical Mike Huckabee to win the Republican presidential nomination, many Republicans still believe it would be almost as difficult to stomach the nomination of John McCain.

Huckabee, of course, would utterly destroy the old Reagan coalition, as even his campaign chief Ed Rollins has acknowledged. Huckabee's bizarre propensity for letting criminals return early to freedom, combined with his utter cluelessness about foreign policy, also means that he would get absolutely crushed by the Democrats in a general election contest.

But McCain's problems are almost as great, which is why reports of a comeback by the Arizona senator have so many conservatives scratching their heads.McCain is, and looks, more than two years older than Ronald Reagan was when Reagan was elected president, and a poll last year showed that 42 percent of respondents said they would not vote for somebody who is 72 years old. That is a far higher percentage than that of people who would not vote for a Mormon (24 percent), a woman (11 percent), or a black person (5 percent).

McCain is not a tax cutter in a party that has made tax cuts one of its most basic tenets for nearly 30 years. Not only did he vote against President George W. Bush's tax cuts in 2001 and 2003 -- cuts that clearly are responsible for the booming economy of the past four-plus years -- but just last week he told National Review's Rich Lowry that he was correct not to vote for those tax cuts.

Then, of course, there is the large and passionate segment of the Republican electorate that wants to get tough against illegal immigration, and they have good reason to consider John McAmnesty to be not just against them but a highly disagreeable archenemy.And speaking of which, McCain seems almost constitutionally unable to disagree without being disagreeable. When he disagrees with somebody on just about any issue, he gives the sense of being so angry that he is having trouble not jumping out of his own skin to wring the other person's neck.

Witness his politically effective but completely cheap shot at Mitt Romney a couple of debates back when Romney made what actually was a reasonable point about the dangers of discussing the specific procedures used in various forms of "waterboarding" terrorist suspects.

In the same debate, McCain vociferously attacked Rudy Giuliani for supposedly being against the line item veto. McCain was wrong and Giuliani right that the form of item-veto at issue was dangerously unconstitutional legislation. (I write this as somebody who has been writing columns in favor of line item vetoes for a full quarter century. Even I, an item-veto supporter, saw from the start that the version supported by McCain was unconstitutional.) But right or wrong, McCain's demeanor was far too aggressive for the case at issue.

In short, McCain is an angry old man.

THEN THERE ARE McCain's weaknesses (from a conservative standpoint) on government regulation and on judges. On the first topic, what it pretty much boils down to is that if something moves, McCain wants to regulate it. He wants to regulate campaign speech, anything having to do with the environment, smoking, the price of medicines (interfering with free-market savings), oil drilling in Alaska, securities trading, and other things.

On judges, McCain repeatedly boasts about being a main mover behind the "Gang of 14" that supposedly helped garner approval for President Bush's nominees. The numbers say otherwise.With a tiny Republican Senate majority in 2003 and 2004, the Senate approved 19 of Bush's appeals court nominees while blocking 12. But with the Gang of 14 operating in 2005 and 2006, the Senate approved only 16 appeals court nominees (plus two Supreme Court nominees) while again blocking 12 -- even though the party's Senate majority was much bigger, with 55 seats versus just 51 seats in the previous Congress.

What's worse, other than the three nominees immediately approved through the Gang's deal, the few other post-Gang nominees who were approved tended to be less solidly conservative than the ones approved in the previous Congress.The simple fact is that the Gang of 14 "saved" a "right" to filibuster judicial nominations to death that Republicans have never, ever used, while the alternative to the Gang would have been to deny the Democrats the unconstitutional filibuster option they had grievously abused.Conservatives were not helped by the Gang. We were mugged.

SUCH REGULAR MUGGINGS of conservatives by McCain helps explain why so many in the conservative movement are unmoved by McCain's story of personal heroism, his stances against wasteful pork barrel spending, and his undeniable leadership on matters of defense.

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So Mr. Huckabee didn't want to risk his soul by running a negative ad (full of errors) against Romney (and of course showed it to a room full of the press who, of course, would never show it to the public).

However, it appears the ad has been running for the last day or two (via Hugh Hewitt):

Remember that ad attacking Mitt Romney that Mike Huckabee unveiled at a press conference before announcing that he wouldn't be running the ad?

Well, it turns out that the ad, which attacked Romney on a host of fronts, seems to have run on Iowa television anyway -- at least a day and half after Huck promised at the presser he'd pull it, touting his decision as proof of what a noble campaign he's run.

This morning, a reader reported to us that the ad ran last night in Cedar Rapids, on TNT, during a rerun of Law and Order. And a day of run-arounds by the local cable company and unreturned calls by from the Huckabee campaign makes it pretty clear our reader is right.

We've spent a fair amount of time trying to track this one down. First we checked in with a low-level official at the cable provider, an outfit called Mediacom. They put us in touch with the people who do their ad booking, a company called Onmedia. The people at Onmedia were friendly and helpful and went back to check for us -- but once they did, the higher-ups abruptly clammed up and stopped returning our calls.

Then we went to a higher level official at Mediacom. This official, Thomas Larsen, would not confirm or deny that the ad had run. But he did confirm that on Monday they received an order from the Huckabee campaign to yank an ad -- and that the ad hadn't in fact been yanked until today.

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Wednesday, January 02, 2008

Here is an e-mail sent from an Arkansas Evangelical Christian Republican to Hugh Hewitt:

A Plea from Arkansas: Christian Conservatives Need to Take a Closer Look at Mike Huckabee's Record as Governor
by David Thompson

As a conservative, evangelical, politically-active father of four in Arkansas I believe it is imperative for like-minded voters to become more familiar with the Mike Huckabee that just completed 10 years as our governor. I realize it’s sometimes hard to know what to believe during a campaign, so I've tried to include links to published stories, with most coming from years past when the events noted were taking place.

For those who don't know much about me, I attend a very conservative evangelical church in Central Arkansas that includes some other politically active members (past/present elected officials, lobbyists, candidates, etc), and our family currently homeschools our young children. Since 1996, I have been heavily involved in numerous Republican campaigns in Arkansas at all levels (even managing a few). I have also served as vice chairman of the Republican committee in Arkansas' largest county. Yet I don't know of a single person in these circles who is supporting Huckabee for President - although I do know many that are definitely not supporting him. Of course, this is anecdotal evidence, but consider that Huckabee just finished serving 10 years as our governor (and I am sure there are many Republicans in Arkansas who are supporting him - I just don't know them). The truth is, most conservatives in Arkansas had written him off long before his Presidential bid.

That said, here are 7 key reasons I cannot in good conscience support Mike Huckabee as the Republican nominee for President. This is based on his record here and is not a personal attack - I cannot speak for his or anybody's motives. This list is not the result of intense research - it's based on what I know and have experienced first-hand as a politically-active conservative Arkansan. It's a list I could have given you 6 months or even 2 years ago. And I am not attempting to echo or give validity to any criticism he is now receiving nationally (and I don’t think ALL of it is fair). This is the Mike Huckabee we know.

1) Governor Huckabee did lasting damage to the Republican Party and conservative movement in Arkansas.

It's hard to go after Democrats with a conservative message when your Republican Governor is out front releasing violent criminals, providing state benefits to illegals, pushing tax increases, expanding government spending and programs, and constantly walking an ethical tight-rope (more on each of these items to follow). This tied our party's hands - many conservatives got frustrated, apathy set in, and some quit the fight. In addition:

Huckabee insisted on having "his people" controlling the Republican Party campaign organizations that are set up in Arkansas each election cycle. He also insisted that his guy remain as state party chairman when party leaders planned to make a change. The mismanagement and ineptness that followed was so great that the Republican Party plunged into debt and the Federal Election Commission levied the the largest fine ever against a state political party following an investigation of the 2000 and 2002 election cycles. Obviously, this set back the Republican Party of Arkansas for years.

When Huckabee started his first full term in 1998, Arkansas had just elected a Republican Governor, Lt. Governor, U.S. Senator, and 2 Republican Congressmen. Upon his leaving office in 2007, Republicans now hold no statewide offices, have no Republicans in the U.S.Senate, and only one Republican Congressman remains.

It was often said during Huckabee's term that Arkansas had 3 parties: Republican Party, Democrat Party, and the Huckabee Party.

"He destroyed the conservative movement in Arkansas, and left the Republican Party in shambles." - Phyllis Schlafly, president of the national Eagle Forum

"His support for taxes split the Republican Party, and damaged our name brand." – Former Arkansas State Representative Randy Minton (R)

"I think if they knew [his record] it would totally de-energize them . . . his policies are just wrong." – Former Arkansas State Senator Jim Holt’s (R) warning for conservatives around the country who think they have found their candidate in Mike Huckabee.

2) Governor Huckabee's non-stop clemencies continually hindered the work of criminal prosecutors and miffed Republicans. The numbers are staggering - over 1,000 clemencies and commutations of criminals as governor. Most people now are familiar with his push to parole convicted rapist Wayne Dumond, who went on to rape and murder a Missouri woman less than a year after his release. But there are many more troubling facts regarding Huckabee’s pattern of releasing violent criminals. While I cannot speak for Huckabee’s motives, it seems clear that he used poor judgment and was reckless with this executive power.

Huckabee released more criminals than the combined total of every border state to Arkansas (made up of Texas, Oklahoma, Missouri, Tennessee, Mississippi, and Louisiana) - even though the combined population of these states is 16 times higher than Arkansas'. He also issued more than double the clemencies of his three predecessors combined.

In many cases, Huckabee's actions set loose savage criminals convicted of grisly murders over the passionate objections of prosecutors and victims' families. This American Spectator story details some of these violent cases and explains the resulting difficulties they presented prosecutors working with other victims and their families.

Huckabee and his appointees ignored the laws on the books, including the requirement to notify victims' families and explain the reasons for those clemencies. He said to fully explain his reasoning would cost millions of dollars and "take money away from education and Medicaid and other things."

A 2004 investigative article by the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette found that prisoners had a better chance of being granted clemency by Huckabee if they had a mutual acquaintance, labored at the governor's mansion under a prisoner work program, or a minister intervened on their behalf. Prosecutors say Huckabee was more inclined to release or reduce the sentences of prisoners if he had direct contact with them or was lobbied by those close to him.

He often refused to learn the facts of the cases (sometimes not even reading the murderer's own confession), made no attempt to get the police/prosecutor's case files, or even get input from the victims' families before making his decision.

The clemency granted to one multiple DUI offender was likely tied to large political contributions from the offender's family, including a soft money political organization run by Huckabee's people.
Good summary article

"Last January, after Mississippi Gov. Ronnie Musgrove, a Democrat, lost his re-election bid, he issued 16 clemencies, and there was a huge outcry. That's how many Huckabee averages per month." – Arkansas Leader, (August 11, 2004)

"He seems to believe that granting clemency to murderers, rapists, drunk drivers and other convicted criminals is a part of the everyday affairs of the governor's office rather than something that he should approach cautiously and selectively." – Robert Herzfeld, Saline County Prosecuting Attorney during Huckabee’s tenure

"I know some of the people that Huckabee let loose have reoffended. Some of them we've caught and some of them we haven't caught......I used to be able to tell the families of victims, in all good faith and candor, that it was a rare event when a governor commuted a sentence and let a murderer back out, or a rapist back out or a child molester back out. But I can't do that anymore." - Larry Jegley, longtime Pulaski County Prosecuting Attorney

"I felt like Huckabee had more compassion for the murderers than he ever did for the victims." - Elaine Colclasure, co-leader of the Central Arkansas chapter of Parents of Murdered Children.

3) Governor Huckabee's pattern was to ignore immigration laws, often in the name of Christianity.

Huckabee opposed immigration enforcement as governor on a number of fronts. Immigration enforcement groups call Huckabee’s record on immigration "a disaster" and reference him as they guy who "scares the heck" out of them.

In 2001, Huckabee’s human services liaison Robert Trevino pushed for legislation to provide driver’s licenses for illegals. It was understood by legislators that he acted with Huckabee's blessing.

In 2001, Huckabee opposed a measure to require proof of citizenship to vote.

In 2005, Huckabee supported a bill that offered illegal immigrants in-state tuition rates and made them eligible for the same merit-based scholarships to Arkansas state colleges and universities as legal citizens. The bill would have violated federal law and was not enacted by the legislature.

In 2005, he opposed a bill that denied some state benefits to illegals and required proof of citizenship to vote (patterned after Arizona’s Prop 200 that has been successful in curtailing illegal immigration in that state). In this story, Huckabee called the measure "un-American….inflammatory….race-baiting and demagoguery." He added that the bill "inflames those who are racist and bigots and makes them think there’s a real problem. But there’s not." He then singled out State Senator Jim Holt, also an openly professing Christian, saying, "I drink a different kind of Jesus juice."

In 2005, Huckabee criticized federal agents for a recent crackdown on illegals, saying that it wasn’t fair to the innocent family members of those targeted in the operation. (No word on whether he also opposes raids on other law-breakers who might also have innocent family members affected by the fruits of their illegal activity.)

In 2005, Huckabee promoted an "open door" policy on immigration as he addressed the League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC) national convention in Little Rock. LULAC is a left-leaning group that opposes virtually all measures of immigration enforcement.
"He was an absolute disaster on immigration as governor. Every time there was any enforcement in his state, he took the side of the illegal aliens." - Roy Beck, president of NumbersUSA, a group that played a major role in rallying the phone calls that helped defeat this year's Senate immigration bill.

"I would hope he could be trusted to secure the borders, but given his track record in Arkansas, I don't see the conservative he has portrayed himself to be in Iowa." - Jake Files, a former Arkansas state representative and current chairman of the Sebastian County Republican Party

4) Governor Huckabee was no friend to fiscal conservatives in Arkansas.
Huckabee’s record on taxes, government spending, and growing government programs was miserable. Basically, when the economy got tough, Huckabee expected families like mine to tighten our budgets in order to help state government meet its spending whims.

In 2003, Huckabee called a special session of the legislature to push for a tax increase to make up for spending shortfalls. This led to his signing HB1039, an across the board income tax and tobacco tax increase. Huckabee even refused to consider a Republican proposal to cut spending and use general improvement funds (i.e., legislative pork) to make up for the budget shortfall. Ironically, the same day Huckabee was practically begging the Arkansas legislature to raise taxes (here’s the video), President Bush was also in Little Rock to push for his tax cut plan. (Note: When asked about this video recently, Huckabee gave a misleading response to Fox News, blaming his tax increase plea on a court order. This prompted State Representative Johnny Key, the current Republican Leader in the Arkansas House, to send out a letter correcting the accuracy of Huckabee's statement.)

If that weren't enough, Huckabee called a 2nd special legislative session in 2003 to pass a nearly one-cent state sales tax increase. The measure also expanded the sales tax to include previously exempted services (for more information and context, see reason #6 below).

During Huckabee’s term, Arkansas showed a net tax increase of $505 million, and the average Arkansan’s tax burden grew from $1,969 to $2,902. Governor Huckabee raised more taxes in 10 years in office than Bill Clinton did in his 12 years.

During Huckabee’s 10 years as governor, state spending more than doubled (from $6.6 billion to $16.1 billion), higher education and public schools got big increases, as did social services. Meanwhile, the state added about 8,000 full-time workers to its payroll during that period, a 19% increase (according to the Bureau of Legislative Research).

The conservative Cato Institute gave Huckabee an "F" for his final term as governor on its Fiscal Policy Report Card, saying, "Huckabee’s leadership has left taxpayers in Arkansas much worse off." His grade was lower than 15 of the 21 Democrat Governors. His overall grade as governor was a D.

"The main reason for the drop was his insistence on raising taxes at almost every turn throughout his final term." – Cato Institute explaining why Huckabee had dropped from a "D" to an "F" on their Fiscal Policy Report Card.

"[Huckabee] says he’s pro-family. If you’re raising taxes on the families of Arkansas, causing wives to go out and get jobs to make ends meet, that’s not pro-family." - Former Arkansas State Representative Randy Minton (R)

"In the past, he blamed Democrats for raising taxes...We voted for them, but he proposed them." - Arkansas State Senator John Paul Capps, a Democrat

5) Huckabee left a long trail of ethics questions while Governor of Arkansas
This is an area where I think Huckabee does receive some unfair criticism. Some of the ethics charges against him were frivolous and politically motivated. However, it has been concerning for some time just how much the governor accepted in gifts and how he was seemingly always pushing ethical limits.

During his tenure, Huckabee accepted 314 gifts valued overall at more than $150,000, according to documents filed with the Arkansas' Secretary of State office.

The Huckabees set up wedding registries at local department stores as Mike was leaving office – even though they had been married for 30 years. State ethics laws prohibited Huckabee from receiving gifts of more than $100……but there was an exception for wedding gifts.

Judicial Watch, a non-partisan group dedicted to fighting government corruption, listed Huckabee among their Ten Most Wanted Corrupt Politicians of 2007. Huckabee was one of only three Republican politicians to make the list.

6) Huckabee's education record shows him to be an advocate of the "status quo"

The New Hampshire chapter of the National Education Association (NEA) has endorsed Hillary Clinton and Mike Huckabee for the upcoming Primary elections. This is the first time in memory that they have recommended a Republican (in 2004 they endorsed Howard Dean). They likely chose Huckabee because:

Huckabee has consistently opposed virtually all proposals for education reform, including school choice vouchers.

The former president of Eagle Forum of Arkansas said Huckabee "continued the Hillary Clinton education plan" as our governor.

When the Arkansas Supreme Court ruled that Arkansas’ public school funding was "inequitable," Huckabee took the ruling as a mandate to raise taxes in order to once again increase school funding...which he did. (To his credit, however, he also used the opportunity to consolidate some of the school districts in the state - although rural legislators severely watered down the proposal.)

7) Huckabee has very little support for his Presidential bid here in Arkansas

For the most part those in his party who know him best are not supporting him.
In October, a University of Arkansas poll showed that, among all Presidential candidates in both parties, only 8% of Arkansans said they were supporting Mike Huckabee.

That same week, the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette reported that only one-third of Republicans in the Arkansas Legislature said they were supporting their former governor's Presidential bid.
After this story, the Huckabee campaign published a list of supporters in his home state. The Arkansas News Bureau then reported that as some of the names on Huckabee's Arkansas endorsement list were used without permission and had to be removed.

This is purely anecdotal, but despite my involvement in Republican politics, I am unaware of any of my Republican friends who are supporting Huckabee. I have seen maybe 3 Huckabee for President bumper stickers – and I live in Republican west Little Rock and work 2 miles from the state capitol where Huckabee just completed over 10 years as Governor (my wife says she saw her first sticker today…..guess he's picking up steam here!).

"...if Huckabee didn't have things sewn up with Republicans back home, what kind of message did that send?....The truth is that Huckabee hasn't had that much support from former and current Republican legislators." - David Sanders, conservative columnist for Arkansas News Bureau (November 11, 2007)


I realize the Republican Presidential field does not leave true conservatives with much to get excited about. However, it is unlikely I will support Huckabee over any of the Republican frontrunners because of his liberal record, his questionable judgment, and his reckless use of power while Governor. Now is not the time for Republicans to compromise on core conservative values. More importantly, we need a leader with a history of using strong judgment as our nation continues to lead the world in the War on Terror.

Two final questions:

1) Given the many vulnerabilities in his record, what is the likelihood that Huckabee would win in a general election? Democrat National Committee officials have already been quoted as saying that they see Huckabee as "easy kill" and refer to him as "the glass jaw -- and they're just waiting to break it." The DNC has issued over 200 attack press releases on Republican candidates - only 4 on Huckabee, the last one coming 10 months ago.

2) Does his record as governor represent someone who should be given greater power and responsibility? Is he Commander and Chief material? Leader of the free world? National Review recently expressed concern, and Huckabee raised eyebrows with recent comments critical of U.S. Foreign policy and our role in the world - he was essentially repeating the Democrat talking points!

Feel free to pass this letter on or contact me if you have any questions about anything stated here. I have tried very carefully to be fair, accurate, and to stick to facts from Huckabee's record. But it's certainly possible I made a mistake somewhere or worded something poorly. I would be more than happy to further dialogue on any of these issues.

David Thompson
Little Rock, Arkansas

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