Former Arkansas Gov. Turned Fox Talk Show Host, Mike Huckabee Just Launched His White House Bid

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Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee.Hat/Tip to WeaselZippers.

So the tally of GOP nominee-hopefuls grows longer with nearly each passing day. We’re up to a half dozen already and it’s not even summer time, yet.

At least it cannot be said that the GOP has shallow bench this time…

POTUS:

For the GOP:

  • Ted Cruz
  • Marco Rubio
  • Rand Paul
  • Dr. Ben Carson
  • Carly Fiorina
  • Mike Huckabee

For the Dems:

  • Hillary Clinton
  • Bernie Sanders

Will Huckabee get the nomination this time? If so, can he beat Hillary?

Mike Huckabee on Tuesday told Americans he wants to take the country from hope to higher ground as he became the sixth Republican to declare for president during a rousing speech in his hometown of Hope, Ark.

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The former Arkansas governor, who ruled in Little Rock for over a decade before leaving office in 2007, is hoping to recapture some of the magic that transformed him from an unknown to Iowa caucus winner during his first run for president seven years ago. Huckabee, 59, delivered a late morning speech before a full auditorium on the campus of a local community college, making a populist pitch for the White House that included term-limiting Supreme Court justices, replacing the income tax with a national sales tax and vowing no changes whatsoever to popular retirement programs like Social Security and Medicare.

“It was eight years ago that a young, untested, inexperienced and virtually unknown freshman senator made great speeches about hope and change. But eight years later, our debt’s more than doubled, America’s leadership in the world is completely evaporated and the country is more polarized than ever in my lifetime,” Huckabee said. “Ninety-three million Americans don’t have jobs, and many of them who do have seen their full time job with benefits they once had become two part time jobs with no benefits at all. We were promised hope, but it was just talk, and now we need the kind of change that really get America from hope to higher ground.”

The spot Huckabee chose to reveal his 2016 plans was meant to send another message — that he is uniquely qualified to take on the Clinton political machine. Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee, got her start in politics as the wife of Bill Clinton, the other famous politician to hail from Hope, Ark. Bill Clinton served as governor before going on to be elected president in 1992.

Read the full story here.

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GOP Rep Introduces Bill To Gut EPA

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Rep. Sam Johnson (R-Texas) introduced the Wasteful EPA Programs Elimination Act, which he said is a money-saving measure, citing a Heritage Foundation forecast that it would save $7.5 billion over 10 years

Hat/Tip to Doug Ross @ Journal and Timothy Cama at The Hill.

It may pass, but it’ll never get signed by Obama.

A House Republican wants to cut 13 programs at the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), including all of its grants and its ability to regulate ground-level ozone and carbon dioxide.

Rep. Sam Johnson (R-Texas) introduced a bill, the Wasteful EPA Programs Elimination Act, which he said is a money-saving measure, citing a Heritage Foundation forecast that it would save $7.5 billion over 10 years.

“As a fiscal conservative, I believe Washington should be respectful of taxpayers’ dollars and live within its means,” Johnson said in a Thursday statement.

“American taxpayers certainly don’t need to be paying for the EPA’s empty and unused buildings and its wasteful programs,” he said. “This bill does right by the hardworking folks in my district and across the country and is part of my ongoing effort to get our fiscal house in order.” 

The measure would force the EPA to close all of its field offices, sell or lease certain properties, cut various climate change programs and stop its environmental justice activities.

It would also stop the EPA from regulating ground-level ozone and from limiting the greenhouse gas emissions from vehicles and power plants, the subject of the most controversial EPA programs recently.

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Carly Fiorina: ‘Yes, I Am Running For President’

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FORMER HEWLETT-PACKARD CO-CEO CARLY FIORINA WAVES AFTER SPEAKING AT THE FREEDOM SUMMIT IN DES MOINES, IOWA
Former Hewlett-Packard CEO, Carly Fiorina throws her hat into the ring for the GOP nomination for President of the United States

 

 

Hat/Tip to Newsmax.

Once again, to recap who is officially running for POTUS:

For the GOP:

  • Ted Cruz
  • Marco Rubio
  • Rand Paul
  • Dr. Ben Carson

For the Dems:

  • Hillary Clinton
  • Bernie Sanders

 

Fiorina ran an unsuccessful campaign to unseat California Democrat Barbara Boxer. Carson gained political fame when he criticized President Barack Obama at the 2013 National Prayer Breakfast while the president was sitting a few feet away.

Fiorina served as an executive at AT&T and Lucent before assuming the leadership role at HP, then America’s largest computer maker, in 1999. That business experience, along with her leading role at a number of charitable organizations—such as the micro-financing non-profit Opportunity International and Good360, which helps coordinate corporate donations — will serve as a centerpiece of a campaign that is expected to portray Fiorina as the antithesis of the career politician, and the only Republican who can neutralize Democratic frontrunner Hillary Clinton’s advantage among women voters.

“We have to have a nominee who can take punches, but we have to have a nominee who will throw punches,” Fiorina told the National Review Ideas Summit on Saturday. “We’ve got to take that fight to Hillary Clinton.”

Read the full story here.

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Ben Carson Is Running For President

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Acclaimed Neurosurgeon, Dr. Ben Carson throws his hat into the ring for the GOP nomination for President of the United States

Hat/Tip to Newsmax.

So officially it’s now:

For the GOP:

  • Ted Cruz
  • Marco Rubio
  • Rand Paul
  • Dr. Ben Carson

For the Dems:

  • Hillary Clinton
  • Bernie Sanders

He made a splash on the national scene when he politely, but effectively ripped Obama’s nanny state policies to shreds. Now he’s asking you to vote for him for POTUS.

Retired surgeon Ben Carson declared his candidacy for the Republican presidential nomination Monday, resting his longshot bid on his vision of the nation as “a place of dreams” where people can thrive when freed from an overbearing government.

Carson, the only African-American in the race, spoke in front of hundreds of people at Detroit Music Hall, a few miles from a high school that bears his name. A choir singing the chorus from Eminem’s “Lose Yourself” set the stage.

He told supporters that he’s not anti-government but believes Washington has exceeded its constitutional powers.

“It’s time for people to rise up and take the government back,” he said. “The political class won’t like me saying things like that. The political class comes from both parties.”

The former head of pediatric neurosurgery at Johns Hopkins hospital has never run for public office. But he’s a star among some conservatives and will try to parlay his success as an author and speaker into a competitive campaign.

He told his rally: “I’m Ben Carson and I’m a candidate for president.”

Carson was the second White House hopeful to get into the Republican race Monday. Former technology executive Carly Fiorina declared her intent to run earlier in the day.

 Read the full story here.

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Is There A Universe Where The GOP “Leaders” Aren’t Morons? I Want To Live In That One

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Mitch Mclownell and Johnny Bozoehner
Mitch Mclownell and Johnny Bozoehner (Bo-zaner)

 

 

Once upon a time I naively thought that electing a Republican congress would put the brakes on Obama’s lawless destruction of our once-great nation.

Silly me.

Why did these bozos just vote to confirm Loretta Lynch as Attorney General? Do they want more gun control? Do they like seeing unlimited late-term abortions? Do they enjoy it when “law enforcement” seizes private property without due process?

I suppose that they do. Which makes Mitch McConnell no better than Dingy Harry.

Need more proof of that?

OK, Ole Mitch is gonna bail out ObamaCare’s subsidies if SCOTUS strikes them down. Because we elected his team so ObamaCare could live another day, didn’t we?

Yeah, well, there’s an election to be won. Or something. Ergo, pandering trumps statesmanship.

Un-freaking-believable.

But wait, there’s more treachery.

Cryin’ John Boehner says he is “open” to eliminating spending and borrowing caps, and thus effectively handing Obama a blank check for the last 2 years of his term. Because our taxes aren’t already too high, and we clearly haven’t borrowed enough money yet.

Oh, but the government might shut down again and The New York Times will be mad about that. Boo freakin’ hoo, right? Wrong. Cryin’ John is scared to death that liberals might be mad at him.

Putz.

Can we please find some Republicans with balls? Is that really too much to ask?

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Comedian Louis CK Apologizes To Sarah Palin: Fear And The Far Left

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 photo sarahpaliniowafreedomsummitjan242015_zpsdb59db79.jpg
 

In 2010 comedian Louis CK took it upon himself to publish some pretty nasty, and some would say vile tweets about Tea Party favorite, Sarah Palin. Five years later he meets her at the 40th Anniversary of Saturday Night Live and no one could have predicted the results.

Actually, she approached him. She didn’t do so to take him to task over his past verbal attacks, but to simply tell him that she thought he was funny and admired his work.

“I’ve never in a million years apologized for anything I’ve said,” C.K. told Howard Stern in a recent interview. But this time, he said, “Something came over me emotionally.” Palin was the one who approached C.K. to tell him she thought he was funny — and that’s when he decided to say sorry for the Twitter rant. – Source

And of course, every chance he gets Chris Matthews is on MSLSD running down Sarah Palin, over and over again. Will the left never learn? The more they run her down, the higher her popularity rises. He said she was an “empty vessel” with “nothing going on mentally.” This from the same person who said he forgot Obama was black after the SOTU speech and also during the campaign said that when he was around Obama, he got a thrill running up his leg.

What is fear, and why does it affect us so? The process of creating fear starts with a scary stimulus and ends with the fight-or-flight response. It can cause us to run, to fight, to freeze or create other mystifying responses. So exactly what is this powerful emotion that can consume us for brief periods of time?

To quote Brian Maxwell, from his ezine article, “What is Fear?” he says: “The medical definition of fear is a chain reaction in the brain that starts with stressful stimulus and ends with the release of chemicals that cause a racing heart, fast breathing and energized muscles, among other things, also known as the fight or flight response.” That stimulus could be anything; an evil looking bug, a spider, a gun pointed at you, or Sarah Palin resigning from her position as Governor of Alaska.

Of course Mr. Maxwell didn’t put that part about Sarah Palin in his article. I added it to illustrate how the left views Ms. Palin and what she represents to them. Why is it that she strikes fear into the left? What is it about the former Vice Presidential candidate that bothers the left so much? She represents something they do not like. That is evidenced in the 20 different ethics charges that were brought against her; each one beaten in the court of law at considerable tax payer expense. Let’s examine what she has accomplished and maybe that will give us the answer we are looking for.

In her role as Mayor of Wasilla, she made her political name first known. Now Wasilla, with around 10,000 residents as of 2007, is the fifth largest city in Alaska and is located in the south central part of the state. Upon winning the mayoral race in 1998, Sarah set to work. She reduced her own salary by 10%, consolidated some city departments and created the position of city administrator. An interesting note that shines a light on the type of leadership Sarah Palin provides is that she kept a jar on her desk with all the names of the residents of Wasilla in it and once a week, she would randomly choose a name, call that person and elicit their thoughts on how the town was doing. I think that we need more mayors like this in America with this kind of dedication, no matter their political party. That is real government accountability and transparency.

She cut property taxes by a whopping 75% by using a 2% sales tax increase that was enacted before she took office. She also eliminated business inventory and personal property taxes. She made improvements to city streets and sewers using municipal bonds and increased Police Department funding. When Sarah ran for re-election against the man she beat to win her first term, she got 75% of the vote. The Boston Globe ran a story that quoted a local business owner who credited Sarah with making the town “more of a community … It’s no longer a little strip town that you can blow through in a heartbeat.”

And all this was only as mayor of a small town and only her first term. One can begin to see why the left fears Sarah Palin. Her second term as Mayor of Wasilla was also successful, seeing her bring to fruition the Wasilla Multi-Use Sports Complex. An eminent domain issue had to be dealt with; however, it was built on time and under budget and for only a half percent sales tax increase. Due to term limits, she was limited to running for only two consecutive terms as Mayor of Wasilla. So she set her sights on the state capitol.

After an unsuccessful run for Lieutenant Governor in 2002, she chaired the Alaska Oil and Gas Conservation Commission as Ethics Supervisor. She resigned in 2004 citing unethical practices by her Republican colleagues. She filed charges against them and essentially cleaned house.

In 2006 Sarah ran and won the state Gubernatorial Seat. During her tenure she doubled state revenues. Yes, you read that right; she DOUBLED state revenues to $10 billion. And that is without a state sales tax or a state income tax. She ran on a platform of clean government and delivered, even selling a state owned business jet for $2.1 million dollars.

Yes, it is easy to see why the left fears Sarah Palin. She is the quintessential conservative candidate. And now that she has left office, there are many questions as to why she did so.

  • Money? The speaking circuit can be quite profitable, as everyone knows.
  • Power? Well, giving up the top position in a state is not quite doing that.
  • The ever-popular “run for President?” Who knows, and more importantly, who cares? It is ultimately up to Sarah to reveal that to the American public in her own good time.

But, regardless of what one thinks of her – neither she, nor anyone else could effectively build a campaign for President from the great state of Alaska. It is just too geographically removed from the mainland. Add to the fact, now that she is a civilian, the muckrakers who want to press made up ethics charges against her now have to pony up their own money, and one can see why she did what she did. It was a smart move for more than one reason.

She is intelligent, holds traditional conservative views, is pleasing to the eye and has a presence on the stage or behind the podium as the case may be that we have not seen in this nation since Ronald Reagan. That being said, I think the reason she came off less than stellar during the campaign is twofold.

  1. The mainstream media gave her a very rough time. Waiting like vultures to pick on each and every word she misspoke. For example, she told a grade schooler, I think the child was 8 years old, a very simplified version of what the Vice President does. The media took that and ran with it, saying she didn’t even know what her job would be if McCain won. On the other hand, Obama said he had been to “all 57 states.” The media was strangely silent on that. Imagine if you will that Palin had made that faux-pas. It has been said that she was picked from relative obscurity and thrust into the limelight. A difficult proposition no matter which side of the aisle you sit on. Due to McCain waiting so long, she basically had to hit the ground running.
  2. First hand accounts at the McCain rallies testified to the political star power that Palin wields. McCain’s rallies swelled in number and he was quoted as saying, “The response to her has been overwhelming, it’s been incredible. She’s ignited America.” I believe that McCain’s handlers actually became wary of that, and therefore they joined in the left’s efforts to malign her. To his detriment, McCain did not put a stop to it as he should have. It would have made him look like a leader and actually, I think, scored points with the GOP base.

The left is still maligning Sarah Palin and this only proves that she is a person that they fear. Saleem Rana said in his ezine article, “How Fear Inhibits Self-Expression and Personal Growth” that “Fear left unchecked can lead to all kinds of neurosis and inhibitions.” And that “the reaction to fear is so extreme that something is actually created to fear.”

The left is in danger of pushing their hatred of Sarah Palin too far. Because to go back to the fear article I cited at the beginning of this essay, the left needs to remember the Law of Attraction, which states that “Excessive focus on a feared event will attract to us exactly the event which we fear.” In other words: what we focus on we create. So keep it up, far left. You are helping to forge if not a great conservative Presidential candidate, then surely a great conservative voice.

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James Carville Says Romney Will ‘Get Back In The Race’ After Jeb Drops Out

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Jeb Bush, James Carville and Mitt Romney

Hat/Tip to Karen Tumulty and Robert Costa at The Washington Post.

With only Ted Cruz, Rand Paul and Marco Rubio on the Republican side and Hillary Clinton on the Democratic side OFFICIALLY in the race for the 2016 Presidential Election, speculation still abounds.

Saint Anselm College has been a required stop on the pilgrimage for presidential aspirants, going at least as far back as John F. Kennedy and Richard M. Nixon more than a half-century ago.

When former Florida governor Jeb Bush (R) made his first speech here on Friday, he pointed to the historic photos on the wall.

“I’m looking out at this room, and I’m seeing these incredible pictures, some of which bring back really fond memories — guy over there, guy over there,” Bush said.

They were decades-old images of two former candidates who happened to be Bush’s father and brother.

The lessons that George H.W. Bush and George W. Bush had learned in New Hampshire were hard ones. Both stumbled the first time they ran here, in 1980 and 2000, respectively.

But this time around the competition on the GOP side is going to be much stiffer and well funded, so the Granite State could be nearly crucial to a successful run on the Republican side.

For Jeb Bush, an even trickier set of challenges awaits in the Granite State in 2016. The first-in-the-nation primary may well be a do-or-die situation for the third Bush to run in it.

Not yet formally declared as a candidate, Bush already is being seen as the establishment front-runner. But that status means less than it used to, given that the GOP has moved further to the right than it was when the older Bushes ran. It also appears that Jeb Bush will be running in a far larger field of credible, well-financed contenders.

Even more significant, New Hampshire could be a crucial test of Bush’s core argument that he is the GOP candidate who stands the best chance of beating Democratic front-runner Hillary Rodham Clinton in the general election.

Democrats will also be watching Bush’s New Hampshire effort closely, as a sign of how much of a free-for-all the GOP nominating process is likely to become.

“Jeb Bush has to win New Hampshire. It’s a must-win for him, because he will lose Iowa. You’ve got to win one of them, particularly if [you’re] considered to be something of a front-runner,” Democratic strategist James Carville said at a panel discussion in February celebrating the New Hampshire primary’s upcoming 100th anniversary.

“I will go further,” Carville said. “If Jeb Bush loses New Hampshire, they’ll get Mitt Romney back in the race” — a reference to the GOP’s 2012 nominee, who briefly flirted with the idea of making a third bid for the White House.

Read the full story here.

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Second Amendment? Ted Cruz Smacks Down A Reporter – Hard

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poster 002Hat/Tip to Mike Miller at Doug Ross @ Journal.

On the 2nd Amendment Ted Cruz Mops The Floor With Reporter’s Attempt At A “Gotcha Question.”

You’ve gotta love how he so Reaganesguely deconstructs, and thus takes the power away from the typical far left ‘gotcha’ question.

 

At a recent event, GOP presidential candidate Ted Cruz was asked the following question:

“In the wake of the Sandy Hook shooting, a statistic surfaced putting support for background checks at 90%. Did you go against the want of the nation with your vote against Manchin-Toomey (a bill that would have required background checks on all commercial sales of guns)?”

After patiently listening to the questioner read the prepared question, Cruz responded:

“You know there’s an old line: there are lies, damn lies and statistics. You’re right, that was a poll that was bandied around a lot, but you can find a lot of results in a poll depending on how you frame the question. As you and I both know, we have a system of background checks in place right now.

What Manchin-Toomey was trying to do was extend that to every private sale between two individuals … two guys in a duck blind selling their shotgun, one to the other. The federal government doesn’t have any business there.

When you asked about the role of public opinion polls, when it comes to Constitutional rights, what matters is what the Bill of Rights says. It doesn’t matter what happens to be popular at the moment.

The entire reason for the Second Amendment is not for hunting, it’s not for target shooting … it’s there so that you and I can protect our homes and our families and our lives. And it’s also there as fundamental check on government tyranny.”

Classic Cruz.

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Run Rubio, Run!: The Florida Senator Bets It All On Becoming POTUS

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Florida Senator Marco Rubio Is Not Running For Reelection To The United States Senate, Instead Betting All On Becoming The Next POTUS

Hat/Tip to Ken McIntyre at The Daily Signal.

Marco Rubio said that if he ran for President, that he wouldn’t seek reelection to the United States Senate. You have to admire that type of integrity.

There’s a great piece at The Daily Signal, by Ken McIntyre. It’s a very thorough article, covering everything from Rubio’s family to his stance on foreign policy.

Here it is, in its entirety:

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Marco Rubio, little more than four years into his first term in the Senate, is back home in Miami today. The Republican is scheduled to announce for higher office again, this time the presidency of the United States, with the city’s storied Freedom Tower as the backdrop.

It is a place that became synonymous with Cuban refugees—much like the family of Rubio—who sought freedom and a new life in America. Rubio sounds related themes in a video released Friday:

Turning His Focus to U.S. Interests

To the extent primary voters question the wisdom of putting forward another first-term U.S. senator for president, Rubio fans counter not only with his rise to the speakership of the Florida legislature but his engagement with key foreign policy questions in the Senate.

Last May, delivering the Republican address that counters President Obama’s weekly message on radio and online, Rubio boiled down his post-9/11 thinking on the subject:

Today, foreign policy is an important part of our domestic policy. And our economic well-being is deeply dependent on our national security. The problem is that President Obama doesn’t seem to understand this. Instead of shaping world events, he has often simply reacted to them. And instead of a foreign policy based on strategy, his foreign policy is based on politics.

Rubio routinely evaluates Obama’s defense and foreign policy decisions in commentaries for digital outlets such as Fox News and CNN.

In an April 9 piece for National Review Online, he castigates the president for weakness and neglect, paving the way for Cuban dictator Raúl Castro to participate for the first time in the Summit of the Americas—what used to be a gathering of the leaders of the Western Hemisphere’s democratic nations:

So far, the Castro regime has made a mockery of the president’s overtures to normalize relations. At this week’s gathering in Panama, President Obama should be forceful about demanding full respect for the Cuban people’s human rights; otherwise, he risks emboldening the dictator to escalate his repression because he believes the normalization will happen regardless. He should also meet with the Cuban dissidents who will be in Panama.

While decrying political repression in Cuba, Venezuela and elsewhere, Rubio identifies brutal Islamist terrorists such as ISIS as posing the biggest danger to America and the rest of the free world. He has supported Obama’s measures to meet the threat while also criticizing him as indecisive and slow to act.

The Tea Party and Rubio’s Hawkishness

Rubio’s personal story—his father and mother fled pre-revolution Cuba in 1956, taking jobs as bartender and maid to get a foothold in the United States—is a triumphant American one of hard work and pluck. The couple settled for good in Miami after paying their dues in Las Vegas hotels when Rubio was an adolescent.

Russia’s recent re-insertion of its power into this hemisphere, reigniting a relationship with Cuba, provides an opportunity for Rubio to show his stuff, notes Mark Meckler, a pioneer in the Tea Party movement and now head of Citizens for Self-Governance. “That has got to be dead in his sweet spot.”

It’s an open question to what extent some tea party conservatives are willing to forgive Rubio for his lead role in Senate passage in 2013 of legislation they saw as granting amnesty to millions of illegal immigrants. The senator later called the bill a mistake as the House refused to take it up, however, and many openly admire his other domestic policy positions and his dependably hawkish stands on national security.

Mention the words foreign policy, Meckler says in an interview with The Daily Signal, and Rubio is far and away the presidential hopeful seen by tea party conservatives as having invested the time and energy.

“If that becomes the driving primary issue, then it’s a big advantage for Marco Rubio,” Meckler says, adding:

The base is like the rest of the country. We’re all war-weary also. … Tea partiers don’t want to be engaged in interventions all over the world, but we don’t want to let the world go to heck in a handbasket either.

Tea party activists in Florida and elsewhere, however, came to see Rubio as unengaged with them on border security and other issues after his election, Meckler says. The disconnect is contrary to media depictions, he notes, and how Rubio treats the grassroots as a presidential candidate could be “his win-or-lose move” with them.

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“It’s going to be fundamentally about character,” @JJCarafano says of voters’ choice for president on national security issues.

2016 and Foreign Policy

Even if 2016 looks to be a national security and foreign policy election, others say, domestic concerns such as the economy tend to be uppermost on voters’ minds and a favored candidate rarely prompts second thoughts on foreign policy grounds.

In any case, age and length of time in Congress or a governorship aren’t the decisive factors, argues James Carafano, Heritage’s vice president for foreign and defense policy studies.

“Leadership on a strategic level is not about resumes,” Carafano says in an interview with The Daily Signal, citing President Lincoln during the Civil War as one dramatic example:

Abraham Lincoln was the greatest war president we ever had [but] other than throwing a tomahawk in the Black Hawk War, Lincoln didn’t have a smidgen of the political and military experience of his generals and Cabinet. And yet he was an extraordinary war leader. … It’s not so much about age, it’s not about resumes, it really is about the core and the quality of that strategic leader and the team they surround themselves with.   

Carafano says Rubio clearly communicates how a strong national defense prepares America to lead in the world and look after our interests, acting as neither aggressor nor isolationist. His rivals will say much the same, he adds.

“It’s going to be fundamentally about character,” Carafano says. “Is this the kind of commander in chief I’m going to trust my sons and daughters under  … who allows me to go to sleep at night and not worry about being murdered in my own bed? That’s what people are going to vote on.”

Carafano argues that Obama’s tenure proves that assembling some good hands can’t compensate for a president’s failures of leadership.

At home, Rubio has championed tax reform, a federal “wage enhancement” for the working poor, downsizing the federal workforce, defending religious freedom and exempting defense spending from mandatory budget cuts.

‘Living Proof of What America Stands For’

From his seat on the Foreign Affairs Committee, Rubio has pushed for ways to stem the spread of ISIS and other Islamist terrorist groups, the denial of human rights and the evil of human trafficking around the world. He has advocated greater controls to ensure that foreign aid is used in ways that reflect American “values and interests.”

In late January, as the Republicans regained control of the Senate, Rubio took a more direct hand in such issues as he assumed the chairmanship of the Subcommittee on Western Hemisphere, Transnational Crime, Civilian Security, Democracy, Human Rights and Global Women’s Issues.

The first hearing he called was on Obama’s move toward normalizing relations with communist Cuba and what it would mean for the human rights movement there. He invited the testimony of dissidents, including a young woman whose father was killed by the Castro regime.

Rubio vowed that the subcommittee would apply “light and solutions” to problems such as “growing inhospitality for individual freedoms, deteriorating security environments, lagging competitiveness … and the promotion and support of democracy in places where individual freedoms are all but a dream, such as Cuba and Venezuela.”

Meckler says:

Rubio is an extraordinary spokesperson for the idea that America has to stand for something, and that America is unique, that America is exceptional. And his family—and obviously very recently—is living proof of what America stands for in the world, the shining light of liberty. He tells the story incredibly well. He is the best, most inspiring public speaker of the bunch.

In recent weeks Rubio has pointed to Cuba’s role in repression in Venezuela, the Obama administration’s lack of transparency on Cuba policy and the threat Russian President Vladimir Putin poses to his neighbors and the NATO alliance.

He clashed with Secretary of State John Kerry on whether the administration’s effort to secure a nuclear deal with Iran had undercut the strategy against ISIS.

“It’s very much a traditional conservative perspective on defense, which is the idea of peace through strength,” Quintana says. “The only way you are going to have global peace, or even come close to having a semblance of global peace, is by having a strong United States and a strong U.S. defense posture.”

‘Who Would We Stand With?’

Two years after joining the Senate, Rubio upped his game by hiring Jamie Fly, who was on the National Security Council and Pentagon teams under President George W. Bush, as counselor for foreign and national security affairs. At the time, Fly was executive director of the Foreign Policy Initiative, a nonprofit founded in 2009 to support U.S. engagement around the world.

In the past year and a half, Rubio spoke three times on the Senate floor on the crisis in Venezuela, where drug kingpins control the government and foment trouble with neighbors. He spoke twice on what he considers the administration’s inadequate strategy to defeat ISIS. And he spoke three times on the need to support Israel amid the conflict in Gaza or nuclear talks with Iran.

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“Israel represents everything we want that region of the world to be,” Rubio said in March 20 remarkslamenting the Obama administration’s “historic and tragic mistake” in its brusque treatment of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. He concluded:

If America doesn’t stand with Israel, who would we stand with? … What ally around the world can feel safe in their alliance with us?

According to his staff, official travel has taken Rubio to 16 nations, among them Afghanistan, Kuwait, Pakistan, Jordan, Israel, Libya, Haiti, Japan and Colombia.

The regimes in Venezuela and Nicaragua reacted to Rubio’s criticisms of their abuses of their own citizens by barring him from traveling to those nations.

Rubio’s major addresses on foreign policy since late 2013 include two at other Washington venues plus one in Seoul, South Korea, and one in London.

 

This article has been substantially modified (by the author).

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Ted Cruz Is Serious…And So Is His Fundraising Machine

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Senator Ted Cruz R-TX
Senator Ted Cruz R-TX

Hat/Tip to Rebecca Berg at The Washington Examiner.

Maybe Senator Cruz should give a hat/tip to Jeb Bush…

In his first week as a presidential candidate, the Texas senator raked in more than $4 million for his campaign account, including $1.5 million from major donors, and he has already brought in hundreds of thousands more dollars since. A herd of super PACs supporting Cruz brought in another $31 million, Bloomberg reported Wednesday — an eye-popping sum that has stunned more than a few competing Republicans.

Bush, a former Florida governor whose powerful family has deep roots in Texas, has factored prominently into Cruz’s pitch to big donors. Cruz and his allies have stressed some urgency in light of Bush’s early success raising money, and have pressed upon potential supporters that Cruz is the strongest conservative alternative to Bush.

“What I tell people is, look, if you’re going to wait, then effectively you’re going to say you’re fine with Jeb being the nominee, because Jeb is going to have plenty of money,” said Hal Lambert, who left his fundraising role with the Texas Republican Party to join Cruz’s campaign as finance co-chair. “For Sen. Cruz to mount a strong campaign and be the nominee, then we’re going to have to raise the money.”

And Cruz has so far delivered impressively, bucking the conventional wisdom that his conservative campaign would be propelled solely by grassroots fuel. In addition to the money Cruz has raised, his campaign has secured commitments from roughly 200 bundlers, who will each bring in at minimum $50,000 (the “federalist” tier) or more than $500,000 (the “founders”).

Some of those bundlers were locked in well before Cruz announced his bid for president. On March 5, Cruz’s national finance chairman Willie Langston emailed donors Steve and Debbie Pfeifer to thank them for joining “Team Cruz” and the campaign’s national finance committee.

“Miles to go before we sleep!” Langston signed his email, approximately quoting the poet Robert Frost.

The Pfeifers would be listed among the hosts for Cruz’s first major fundraiser March 31, one week after he announced his bid for president, at Goode’s Armadillo Palace, a barbecue and music joint in Houston. The country music singer Charlie Robison performed, and Cruz outperformed expectations — bringing in $943,000 from an event that his campaign predicted would net around $750,000.

Even Texas Governor Rick Perry seems to be behind Cruz in both crowd size, money and staffers with some of Perry’s previous people now serving on Team Cruz.

On the same evening, nearby, former Texas Gov. Rick Perry held a fundraising event of his own at a high-end private residence. Among those in attendance was Judith DuBose, a former Romney bundler — but she and a group of others soon decided to duck out of Perry’s fundraiser in favor of Cruz’s.

“You walked in the door, and it was electric,” DuBose said. “Ted Cruz didn’t have balloons dropping, but he had that kind of energy.” While Perry’s event had been intimate, the crowd size at the Armadillo Palace flirted with a fire code violation, she said.

Perry has taken a hit as many Republicans in Texas who are wary of Bush have looked not to Perry as a natural alternative, but to Cruz. Those have included some of Perry’s former campaign aides — such as Lambert and Lauren Lofstrom, who served on Perry’s fundraising team in 2011 and now is Cruz’s chief fundraiser.

And when Perry’s team trumpeted a roster of top supporters to media last month, many of those listed had not yet committed fully to the former Texas governor — including Bob Murray, CEO of Murray Energy Corp., who has signed on to host an event for Cruz and has already donated earnestly to his cause.

It has not hurt Cruz that he hails from Texas, where Republican money gushes like oil. When Bush’s political committee listed its Texas leadership committee last month, it read like a who’s who of GOP donors in the state. But what stood out to Cruz’s team were the big names that weren’t listed, and how many big donors were not yet locked up.

“As we’ve talked to them, they’ve said they don’t think another Bush should be in the White House,” Lofstrom said.

Many people are saying Cruz is just going to be a “grass roots” candidate and they aren’t taking him seriously.

Those folks are wrong.

Of the initial $4 million Cruz raised during his first week as a candidate, $1.5 million came from major donors and bundlers, according to his campaign, including the nearly $1 million raised in Houston — a haul one fundraiser for another Republican candidate called “very impressive.” The remaining $2.5 million in small-dollar donations was brought in from online contributions and solicitations by email and phone; the campaign did not send any mail during its first week.

By March 15, 2016, Cruz’s campaign will aim to raise $30 million from big donors and events alone, Lofstrom said, with another $20 million, at minimum, from the grassroots fundraising side.

“My job is to expand the tent, but Ted comes with such a passionate intense following,” Lofstrom said.

“I think that’s probably a stark difference from a Newt Gingrich or Rick Santorum,” who each rose to prominence at turns in 2012 with skeletal staff and a bare-bones fundraising apparatus. “Ted is running out into the field with a lot of people behind him.”

Read the full story here.

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Ever Look At Ted Cruz’s Resume?

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Hat/Tip to The Reaganite Republican.

There’s an old saying about knowing you’re over the target when you start taking flak. Well Ted Cruz must be all over that target because he’s being attacked from the Left AND the Right. From that tired old meme about him not being a natural born citizen to the argument that we can’t elect another freshman Senator without any experience.

Well, hopefully this article from The Reaganite Republican in 2013 will help quell the ‘lack of experience’ crowd a bit.

  • Solicitor General of Texas from 2003 – May 2008, Cruz was the first Hispanic Solicitor General in Texas, the youngest Solicitor General in the entire country, and had the longest tenure in Texas history. 
  • Partner at the law firm Morgan, Lewis & Bockius, where he led the firm’s U.S. Supreme Court and national appellate litigation practice. 
  • Cruz has authored 80+ SCOTUS briefs and presented 40+ oral arguments before The Court
  • Cruz served as a law clerk to Chief Justice William Rehnquist. Cruz was the first Hispanic ever to clerk for a Chief Justice of the United States
  • Described as a superb‘ constitutional lawyer, the man’s considerable skills and laser-like focus were on display for all last week when he took oily reptile Eric Holder by the neck and made him answer the frickin question.
  • In the landmark case of District of Columbia v. Heller, Cruz assembled a coalition of 31 states in defense of the principle that the 2nd Amendment guarantees an individual right to keep and bear arms.
  • Cruz presented oral argument for the amici states in the companion case to Heller before the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit.
  • In addition to his victory in Heller, Cruz has successfullydefended the Ten Commandments monument on the Texas State Capitol grounds, the recitation of the Pledge of Allegiance in public schools and the majority of the 2003 Texas redistricting plan. Cruz also successfully defended, in Medellin v. Texas, the State of Texas against an attempt by the International Court of Justice to re-open the criminal convictions of 51 murderers on death row throughout the United States.
  • Director of the Office of Policy Planning at the Federal Trade Commission
  • Domestic Policy Advisor to U.S. President George W. Bush on the 2000 Bush-Cheney campaign.
  • Adjunct Professor of Law at the University of Texas School of Law in Austin, where he taught U.S. Supreme Court litigation 
  • Ted Cruz is currently junior US Senator from Texas. In order to win the 2012 Republican nomination for the Senate seat vacated by Kay Bailey Hutchison, Cruz had to defeat Texas Lieutenant Governor David Dewhurst -heavily favored/backed by the DC old-guard GOP- in the Republican primary runoff. In the event, TEA Party favorite Cruz crushed Dewhurst, 57-43%…
    he then beat Democrat Paul Sadler in the general election by a similar margin, 56-41. Cruz is also endorsed by the Tea Party Movement and the Republican Liberty Caucus.
  • AWARDS: “America’s Leading Lawyers for Business,” Chambers USA (2009 & 2010) “50 Most Influential Minority Lawyers in America,” National Law Journal (2008) “25 Greatest Texas Lawyers of the Past Quarter Century,” Texas Lawyer (2010) “20 Young Hispanic Americans on the Rise,” Newsweek (1999) Traphagen Distinguished Alumnus, Harvard Law School
  • On November 14, 2012, Cruz was appointed vice-chairman of the National Republican Senatorial Committee. He is now spearheading efforts in the Senate to have Obamacare repealed root-and-branch…

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Five Reactions To The Announcement That Ted Cruz Will Campaign For The Republican Presidential Nomination

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Senator Ted Cruz R-TX
Senator Ted Cruz R-TX, has announced that he is seeking the GOP nomination for President of the United States

Hat/Tip to Doug Ross @ Journal.

Whether you’re a Ted Cruz fan or not, this is an excellent piece from over at Doug Ross Journal.

Honestly, I’m sick and tired of the establishment (both the Democrat-Media Complex and the old, bloated, sputtering GOP crony capitalists) telling us who our candidates should be. I support Ted Cruz for President.

Steve Deace:

Traditionally if you want to win the GOP nomination you have to be one of the three tickets punched out of Iowa, and there is no doubt Ted Cruz is a serious threat to be one of those three. He has the broadest appeal of all the conservative candidates, appealing to Iowa’s evangelicals, tea partiers, and liberty faction without changing anything about who he is. He’s arguably the best soldier the conservative cause has had in recent memory. If he can evolve from soldier to general, and cast the bold vision required of a president, he will be a very formidable candidate.

Tea Party Nation:

The consultant playbook says that a Presidential candidate must hint around for months. That candidate must at first deny that but be “persuaded.” There must be the obligatory leaks about the candidate’s family and friends trying to talk them into the run. This playbook also says avoid controversial issues, run a tofu campaign, devoid of content and don’t go after areas that are Democrat strongholds. Just spend millions on consultants and let them waste millions on advertising that doesn’t work and computer programs that fail. Oh and don’t complain when the consultants make millions off the campaign and the candidate loses.

Ted Cruz represents the only hope the Republican Party has.

Ted Cruz is right on almost all of the issues. But Cruz by coming right out and announcing he is running is setting the tone. He is willing to throw out the consultant playbook… Ted Cruz is a great candidate who will be a great President. I have endorsed Ted Cruz as has Tea Party Nation.

This is going to be a great election cycle. Conservatives are always looking for the next Ronald Reagan.

We’ve found him. His name is Ted Cruz.

Gov. Gerry (Moonbeam) Brown of Mexifornia:

Over 90% of the scientists that deal with climate are absolutely convinced that the human activity, the industrial activity, the generation of CO2, methane, oxides of nitrogen, all the rest of those greenhouse gases are building up in the atmosphere, they’re heat-trapping and they’re causing not just warmth [and] drought in California, but severe storms and cold in the East Coast. So it’s climate disruption of many different kinds. And that man [Cruz] betokens such a level of ignorance and a direct falsification of the existing scientific data. It’s shocking, and I think that man has rendered himself absolutely unfit to be running for office.

Ben Ray, spokesman for the Democratic opposition research organization:

Ted Cruz has been running the Republican Party for years, driving extreme policies that put Tea Party politics ahead of middle class families… [his] run for President will do exactly what he’s done in the Senate: bring out the Tea Partier in every last Republican candidate.

NewsMax:

Cruz’s advisors say he will aim to raise between $40 million and $50 million for his campaign, and will rely on support from his conservative and libertarian tea party base that voted him in as senator in 2012.

Cruz, 44, has considerable appeal among the Republican Party’s base of conservative voters.

Following his election to the Senate in 2012, the former Texas solicitor general quickly established himself as an uncompromising conservative willing to take on Democrats and Republicans alike. Criticized by members of his own party at times, he won praise from tea party activists for leading the GOP’s push to shut the federal government during an unsuccessful bid to block money for President Barack Obama’s health care law.

One of the nation’s top college debaters while a student at Princeton University, Cruz continues to be a leading voice for the law’s repeal. He also promises to abolish the Internal Revenue Service, scrap the Education Department and curtail federal regulators, likening them to locusts.

 

Ted Cruz's Team 2016

Oh, and any of you Cruz Birthers out there can go pound sand.

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Scott Walker Crushing Other GOP Contenders In DRUDGE Primary Poll…

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Hat/Tip to WeaselZippers.

He’s got a whopping 46% of the vote!

It’s not even close. You can check real time results (and vote) here.

Via Breitbart:

With all the caveats about this being a non-scientific online poll, it has to mean something that Wisconsin Republican Governor Scott Walker is murdering every other GOP contender by massive margins among those Drudge readers motivated enough to vote.

Although voting continues, as of this writing nearly 70,000 total votes have been cast. Walker captured a whopping 45% of them, 31,211 votes. Texas Senator Ted Cruz is in second place with 15%, 10,054 votes. Kentucky Senator Rand Paul is in third with 13%, 9297 votes.

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Ben Carson: Obama Letting Islamists ‘Destroy Us’

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Hat/Tip to Greg Richter at Newsmax.

Up and coming political hopeful, Dr. Ben Carson said, while appearing on a Talk Radio show in New York that he thought Obama was allowing Islamists to destroy us. And he gave a peek at what a Carson administration would be like.

Dr. Ben Carson, an expected GOP presidential contender, said he wants to see the size of government reduced if he one day sits in the Oval Office.

Appearing on “The Cats Roundtable” on AM 970 in New York on Sunday, Carson told host John Catsimatidis his top priority would be to get Congress and the rest of government to understand that “we work for the people. They don’t work for us.”

Second, he said, the budget must be under control to reduce the size of government and have a balanced budget and reduce the debt.

The retired chief of pediatric neurosurgery at Johns Hopkins University said President Barack Obama doesn’t understand capitalism and business.

“We have the highest corporate tax rates in the world. And then we criticize companies for doing work overseas,” he said. “People don’t go into business to support the government. People go into business to make money. So we have to create an environment that’s conducive to that.”

America also must take a leadership role in the world, he said, because the vacuum being left is creating chaos and opportunity for America’s enemies.

“And they will destroy us,” Carson said. “Winston Churchill said you must fight your enemies while you can beat them. If you wait too long, you will be fighting for your survival and your freedom.”

Carson has raised $12 million for his political committees as he explores a potential 2016 run.

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Breaking News: Romney Makes Decision On 2016 Run For POTUS

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Mitt decides not to run for President in the upcoming 2016 elections.

Hat/Tip to Foxnews.

He’ finally made the announcement!

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

“After putting considerable thought into making another run for president, I’ve decided it’s best to give other leaders in the party the opportunity to become our next nominee,” Romney told donors on a conference call Friday morning. 

The announcement comes after the 2012 GOP nominee, who repeatedly denied interest in another campaign, surprised donors earlier this month by telling them he was considering it. 

Many thought he was going to run, especially after reaching out to some pretty heavy hitters when it comes to campaign donations and support.

Since then, the former Massachusetts governor spent three weeks calling donors and strategists and giving a handful of addresses, including to a Republican National Committee summit. But while some from his former campaign team were willing to wait for his decision, others were already gravitating toward the budding campaign of former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush. 

The two heavyweights were seen as competing for many of the same donors, supporters and strategists. And some doubted whether Romney, who lost to President Obama in 2012 after a campaign in which Democrats cast him as out-of-touch, would be able to connect on a third run — even as early polls showed him leading the GOP field.

Romney gives his reason:

Romney, in a written statement which he also read from on his conference call, said he believes that he could win the nomination, and that he would have enough funding and support. 

“The reaction of Republican voters across the country was both surprising and heartening,” he said in the statement. At the same time, Romney said it would have been a “difficult test and a hard fight,” and it’s time for a new voice. 

“I believe that one of our next generation of Republican leaders, one who may not be as well known as I am today, one who has not yet taken their message across the country, one who is just getting started, may well emerge as being better able to defeat the Democrat nominee,” Romney said. “In fact, I expect and hope that to be the case.” 

He said he will not hire a campaign team, will not take donations and will not organize a political action committee. 

This announcement comes just days after Mitt’s meeting with New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, but was this the reason for his turn around on the matter?

Romney, in a written statement which he also read from on his conference call, said he believes that he could win the nomination, and that he would have enough funding and support.

“The reaction of Republican voters across the country was both surprising and heartening,” he said in the statement. At the same time, Romney said it would have been a “difficult test and a hard fight,” and it’s time for a new voice.

“I believe that one of our next generation of Republican leaders, one who may not be as well known as I am today, one who has not yet taken their message across the country, one who is just getting started, may well emerge as being better able to defeat the Democrat nominee,” Romney said. “In fact, I expect and hope that to be the case.”

He said he will not hire a campaign team, will not take donations and will not organize a political action committee.

Jeb Bush released a statement after their meeting.

Romney recently spoke with Bush in a private meeting in Utah. It’s unclear whether that meeting set the stage for Friday’s announcement. 

Bush, in a written statement on Friday, praised Romney as a party leader and a patriot.

“There are few people who have worked harder to elect Republicans across the country than he has,” he said. “Though I’m sure today’s decision was not easy, I know that Mitt Romney will never stop advocating for renewing America’s promise through upward mobility, encouraging free enterprise and strengthening our national defense.”

Read the full story here.

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Rick Perry Ramps Up For 2016

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Hat/Tip to Politico.

Rick Perry isn’t waiting this time. In fact, he’s setting meeting with wealthy donors and the movers and shakers in the Republican Party.

Texas Gov. Rick Perry is inviting hundreds of prominent Republican donors and policy experts to a series of gatherings next month that are intended to rebuild his damaged national brand and lay the foundation for a potential 2016 presidential campaign, fundraisers and organizers confirmed to POLITICO.

The small-group sessions kick off Tuesday and Wednesday in Austin with a pair of lunches and dinners held in the governor’s mansion wedged between policy briefings at the nearby office of Perry senior adviser Jeff Miller. In all, Perry’s team expects he will meet in person with more than 500 major donors and bundlers from around the country in December as well as a slew of operatives, Republican National Committee members and policy experts.

And he’s got some competition from Ted Cruz and his former boss’s brother, Jeb Bush.

Perry’s intensive month of foundation-building comes as other prospective Republican presidential candidates – notably former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush and Texas Sen. Ted Cruz – are engaging with the wealthy Texans who for years have been among the GOP’s most significant sources of cash. As the heir to a political dynasty with deep Texas ties, Bush in particular could seriously cut into Perry’s financial base. Bush over the last few months has met with major Texas donors.

He’s also facing some ghosts from his own past.

Perry has long enjoyed support from Texas’s biggest wallets for his state campaigns, but some of the donors remain skeptical of his presidential viability as a result of his bumbling 2012 run, during which some abandoned him in favor of eventual nominee Mitt Romney.

Perry had entered the race to much fanfare as the most formidable GOP foe to Romney. But his debate performances induced cringes, his anti-establishment tough talk prompted grumbles in the business community and he had only limited success expanding his fundraising base beyond Texas. When he dropped out not long after finishing fifth in the Iowa caucuses, Perry further alienated his party’s business wing by snubbing Romney and backing the long-shot rival campaign of Newt Gingrich.

While some in the party wonder if his star dimmed even further this summer when he was indicted on public corruption charges, Perry has nonetheless tried to remake his public image over the past year. In a series of high-profile interviews, the governor, sporting trendy new glasses that give him a more studious look, has admitted that he bungled 2012. He’s said the experience “humbled” him, and admitted he erred by jumping into the race without sufficient preparation and just six weeks after back surgery that left him in pain and unable to sleep.

By all accounts, things seem to be a little different this time around.

Things would be different if he ran again, say sources who have interacted with the three-term governor, who is leaving the office after having held it longer than any other person in Texas history. They describe his health as “tip-top” and his policy expertise as light years ahead of where it was in the last presidential cycle — all of which he intends to highlight in his December donor meetings.

“If Gov. Perry is going to run, he’s going to be better prepared, and he’s going to have the resources necessary to compete,” said Henry Barbour, a Republican national committeeman who is helping plan for a Perry 2016 campaign and organizing next week’s donor sessions.

Read the full story here.

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Scott Walker 2016?

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Scott-Walker

 

Hat/Tip to Matt Vespa at TownHall.com.

Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker is looking stronger and stronger as a possible 2016 GOP Presidential candidate.

Scott Walker appears to be unbeatable. He’s won in a purplish state three times (2010, 2012, and 2014), humiliating labor unions, accruing the support of conservatives, and increasing the odds of a presidential run in 2016.

Also, as Republican political consultant Mike Murphy once said, if you’re going to run for president, make sure your wife is going to vote for you; Walker has seemingly clinched that constituency, along with the rest of his family.

According to Politico, an announcement will be made sometime in the summer of 2015. Walker needs to expand his campaign staff beyond his usual crew of loyalists and everyone knows that, which is why his office is being flooded with consultant resumes. His team is also trying to avoid mistakes from past 2012 candidacies; Perry got in too late and Pawlenty tossed his hat into the ring too early.

Presently he is working on furthering his Conservative agenda by getting key legislation enacted.

Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, pivoting from his bigger-than-expected reelection win this month, is taking active steps toward a presidential campaign that would launch next summer and contrast his record of conservative achievements in a swing state with paralysis in Washington.

In interviews this week, Walker and his top political advisers provided the fullest account yet of his plans for the likely rollout of a national campaign. The 47-year-old Republican intends to use an upcoming legislative session in Wisconsin to push an ambitious agenda that could, in combination with his triumphs over Big Labor, bolster his standing with Republican primary voters: repealing unpopular Common Core standards, requiring drug tests for welfare beneficiaries and cutting property taxes.

Walker cut income and property taxes in the first term, but he wants to go further, pushing a flatter income tax system. On education, he’s planning to push an expansion of school choice and to replace the Common Core program with state standards.

His plan to require welfare beneficiaries to undergo drug testing, he said, is about showing employers that people on public assistance are capable of holding jobs.

“We want to help able-bodied adults transition from government dependence into the workplace,” Walker said, whose efforts will be aided by a state Legislature controlled by Republicans.

For the next few months, political travel will be relatively limited, aides say, as Walker focuses on his legislative agenda. He appears eager to paint a contrast with not only a gridlocked Washington but also New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, who faces a hostile Democratic Legislature and has fewer legislative accomplishments to point to.

But Walker lacks the charisma that other likely candidates, such as Christie or Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas), possess on the stump. He did not graduate from college, though some blue-collar voters might see this as a positive, and lacks foreign policy experience.

Gov. Walker is looking at “flyover country” to help fill the 2016 electoral map for a GOP win in ’16.

“Strong leadership, combined with Midwestern nice, there’s just a certain appeal to that,” Walker said.

“You look at the Electoral College map and what’s required to win. A good chunk of that runs through the Midwest,” Walker said. “There’s Florida, Virginia, out West — Colorado, Nevada – maybe New Hampshire depending on the year – but really most of the rest of the map is Pennsylvania, Ohio, Michigan, Wisconsin, Iowa. It’s all kind of right there. At least in recent political history, that’s kind of where it happens.”

Read the full story here.

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