Should Newt Gingrich Get out of the Race?

Mitt Romney and Newt Gingrich have been fighting for the same goal for the last several months: The spot of the GOP candidacy. They have been opponents this whole time and have not passed up opportunities to out-do each other in debates nor attack each other in advertisements. They do not act friendly on the surface and many are wondering why late last week reports came out that they had a secret meeting.

According to ABC news Mitt Romney confirmed that he and Gingrich had a secret meeting the day before the Louisiana Primary. Gingrich had already been scaling back his campaign and cut back 1/3 of his campaign staff, according to the Huffington Post.

Romney said the meeting was not important or of significance. He told Sean Hannity in a radio broadcast interview “We’re pretty much in regular communication between the different campaigns and I said hello to Newt. Nothing new, nothing exciting except we keep a friendly discourse open.”

Romney added “We do meet from time to time and I’m sure that the Speaker meets with Rick Santorum as well but we don’t go off and report the discussions. But they are friendly and we discuss the issues, we discuss the way forward but we don’t reveal our secret campaign strategies.”

Gingrich has yet to pull out of the race, although many feel as though the time is coming near. The likelihood of Newt gaining enough support to sustain as the spring progresses is slim, but he seems to continue to move forward. Some speculate that Romney and Gingrich may have been trying to come to some sort of agreement during their meeting.

Gingrich told the Washington Times, however, that he had not been offered a position with Romney’s administration in exchange for dropping out.  “There is no agreement of any kind, and I plan to go all the way to Tampa,” Gingrich said in that article.

In regard to the changes within his campaign, he said he was “downsizing the campaign, not suspending it.” According to the Washington Times, some of the tactics he is using to downsize include ceasing the use of the campaign airplane or the two campaign buses.

 Gingrich had announced that he will tone down his attacks against Romney in his advertisements, and his main priority is making sure President Barack Obama does not win a second term. He did reaffirm, however, that he is not done fighting for the spot as the GOP nominee. “Romney has to earn this. It’s not going to be given to him,” said Gingrich.

As of Wednesday, March 28 the delegate count was as follows: Romney-568, Santorum-273, Gingrich-135 and Paul-50. The magic number of delegates to shoot for is 1,144. Romney has a substantial advantage now, but there is still a chance for another to take the lead. Some feel, however, that for the sake of Romney and Santorum moving forward in getting the nomination, Gingrich needs to drop out and let his delegate votes go to a stronger candidate.

How do you weigh in? Is it time for Gingrich to drop out? Or is this a fight he needs to keep fighting?

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Happy Birthday Obamacare.

There is a birthday in Washington. On March 23 2010, the Affordable Health Care Act was signed into law. As its two year birthday came around, it became a hot topic among Republican groups working against both the act and Obama himself. Obama’s administration, however, continues to support and promote the law.

According to the Christian Science Monitor, an email came out from the Obama Campaign that read:  “Today is the two-year anniversary of the Affordable Care Act. Since then, the law that almost everyone calls Obamacare has been doing exactly what the other side has hoped it wouldn’t do: It’s been working. It’s about time we give it the love it deserves.”

According to Barack Obama’s Twitter, he sent out a tweet on March 23 that said “Happy birthday to Obamacare: two years in, the Affordable Care Act is making millions of Americans’ lives better every day.” The twitter account encouraged people to tweet back with the hashtag #IlikeObamacare and supply why they support the law.

Not everyone, however, was excited to celebrate the birthday. It’s no secret that “Obamacare” has its fair share of opposition. The health care act was one of President Barack Obama’s main goals he wanted to achieve, and it’s a monumental act that will forever be associated with his name. It was a huge task on his part, and with any politician and any major action, it was immediately met with boatloads of criticism and continues to meet scrutiny.

To speak in general terms, Republicans tend to hate the bill. Many of the GOP candidates have talked about “killing” the bill as soon as they get into office.  The Republican National Committee strongly opposes President Obama and they have taken fire to Obamacare in recent days. They posted this photo on Facebook on March 23:

Banner hanging from the Republican National Committee headquarters in DC.

The banner was hanging from the Republican National Committee headquarters in Washington DC.  According to a blog on the Republican National Committee website, a Fox News poll conducted in 2010 found that 39% of voters approved of the law. The blog reported that a USA Today poll found similar beliefs to be true now. 50% of voters found “’Obamacare’ as a bad thing”.

The Republican National Committee is in the midst of a huge campaign to oppose Obamacare. When you visit their website, it immediately prompts you to sign a petition and join their grassroots movement. When you continue on to the site, they offer a number of ways to get involved including volunteering, donating money and contacting members of congress.

In an effort to drum up support and get more people to voice their complaints against Obamacare, they released this campaign video and posted it to their Facebook stream. Some feel that it does a great job pointing out the negativity that Obamacare drives and is an effective tool to convince people to join in the movement to kill the bill. Others feel like it’s a childish political ad with no substance, and it only makes a mockery out of the fight that the Republican National Committee is pushing.

What do you think? Is their campaign an effective measure to gain support, or did they miss the mark? Do you support Obamacare? Or would you support the Republican National Committee’s efforts to get it repealed? Comment and let me know your thoughts.

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Romney’s Planned Parenthood Debacle

Is Mitt Romney on a crusade to shut down Planned Parenthood? Not exactly, but he is looking to remove federal funding from the organization, according to the Chicago Sun-Times. Romney experienced somewhat of a “flub” when it appeared that he wanted to get rid of Planned Parenthood to help balance the federal budget. According to the Huffington Post, Democrats took this nugget and went running with it. Romney’s campaign staff fights that his comment was taken out of context, but it still could cost Romney some female supporters.

Huffington Post shares the original remark that set the motion in fire. At a Missouri television station interview, Romney said “”Is the program so critical that it is worth borrowing money from China to pay for it? And on that basis, of course you get rid of ObamaCare, that’s the easy one. But there are others: Planned Parenthood, we’re going to get rid of that. The subsidy for Amtrak, I would eliminate that. The National Endowment for the Arts, the National Endowment for the Humanities, both excellent programs, but we can’t afford to borrow money to pay for these things.”

This statement only adds to anger from when, in January, Romney said “I’m not concerned about the very poor” because he felt there was adequate support for them. You can see more of that remark in Politico’s article. Planned Parenthood is a service often accessed by those who find themselves struggling financially, and some Democrats are fighting hard that pulling funding from Planned Parenthood only goes to show how much Romney “doesn’t care about the poor”.

 In a later interview, Romney said “Planned Parenthood is a private organization. What I want to get rid of is the federal funding of Planned Parenthood.”  Top Romney Campaign Advisor Eric Fehrnstromr explained that Planned Parenthood has other sources of funding, and difficult decisions need to be made when it comes to balancing the budget, according to Aurora Sentinel. Romney’s campaign staff quickly worked to explain that Romney was not looking to eliminate women’s health care but was simply looking at where to shave some money from in the budget.

Many, however, are not seeing it as economic decision to help the budget. House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi said his statement was “an assault on the judgment of women”. An interesting twist to the situation also comes to light in the aftermath of his statement. In 2002, when Romney was a gubernatorial candidate, he signed a document that offered broad support for Planned Parenthood. In that document, he supported using state tax dollars to fund abortions through Medicaid and he supported easy access to the “morning after pill”.

Romney has declared that he had a shift from pro-choice to anti-abortion after becoming governor. He maintains that all his other social views have been the same, but it still causes concern for those who believe that Romney is too liberal of a candidate to have the GOP nomination. Romney spokeswomen Andrea Saul explained that “”Mitt Romney is firmly pro-life and he explained his reasons for becoming pro-life many years ago.”

How do you weigh in on this issue? Do you think Romney had a slip of the tongue? Do you think he actually wants to eliminate Planned Parenthood? Or do you think he is trying to cover his past to seem republican enough for the position?

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Is Romney Fighting Satorum or the Latino Population?

Is the Latino population being excluded in the scope of concern of the GOP candidates? According to campaign officials with Barack Obama, they are.

According to the Census Bureau, in 2010 16.3 percent of the United States population was of Latino and Hispanic decent. That is a significant enough portion that the Latino vote could have a noticeable impact in the election season.

An article on Fox News, a recent poll indicated that Latino voters favored Obama to the republican candidates six to one. Some suspect the reason behind that might be related to various GOP candidate’s views on immigration, and on the Latino population.

This became a hot topic this week due to a new campaign advertisement that Mitt Romney released. In his ad, which can be viewed here, he showed the significance of Sonia Sotomayor being appointed to Supreme Court, among many other issues as examples of opponent Rick Santorum being too liberal and not ready to be the GOP candidate. It seems like another simple move to try to rip down a candidate, but as with most political moves in the campaign season, this one is receiving some backlash.

Santorum voted to confirm Sotomayor to the federal circuit court in 1998, according to this CNN article. Sotomayor is a liberal democrat, a viewpoint that opposes the republican stance that Romney takes. Some think the ad was simple created to show how Santorum supports a more liberal agenda, but others are taking it in a very different context. According to Angelo Falcon, president of the National Institute for the Latino Policy, “This unprovoked attack is another example of how Romney and the Republican Party are pushing the Latino vote to Obama … They forget that Judge Sotomayor is an icon for the Latino community. It’s like attacking Martin Luther King or George Washington, for blacks and whites.”

David Axelrod, who works on Obama’s campaign staff, was quoted saying, “This Republican debate should be very concerning to people in Hispanic communities across this country … because you know you’ve seen particularly Gov. Romney use the Latino community as foils to try and gain advantage over his candidates.” The CNN article points to Romney’s “bold” stance against immigration and his vocal appreciation of Arizona’s anti-immigration as two ways Romney pushes against the Latino population.

The Latino population, according to Axelrod, could also view the GOP’s views on several primary issues including education, job training and health care negatively. Democratic National Committee Senior Advisor for Hispanic Affairs, Juan Seulveda, targeted in on Romney, saying, “Mitt Romney has shown time and again that he is after the Tea Party vote, not the Latino vote, and with each attack he locks himself more to his extreme positions.”

Romney spokesperson Albert Martinez said that Sotomayor was picked due to her “liberal sympathy” and Santorum did not do his part to oppose her appointment.  The CNN article pointed towards Newt Gingrich as well, bringing up the fact that he sent a tweet in 2009 calling Sotomayor a racist.

How do you weigh in on this issue? Is this a subtle racism from Romney masked in a campaign ad, or is it simply a GOP candidate attacking another candidate?

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Does Separation of Church and State Mean Anything?

Rick Santorum is well-known for his religious viewpoints, but some are starting to wonder if he has gone to far. On ABC’s “This Week”, Santorum said ““I don’t believe that the separation of church and state is absolute. The First Amendment means the free exercise of religion and that means bringing people and their faith into the public square.”

According to this article from Bloomberg, Santorum greatly disagreed with a speech former President John F. Kennedy gave in 1960 about separation of church and state. Santorum is quoted in the Huffington Post saying “ “The idea that the church can have no influence or no involvement in the operation of the state is absolutely antithetical to the objectives and vision of our country…to say that people of faith have no role in the public square? You bet that makes me want to throw up.”

According to this CBS article, Kennedy was a Catholic, which brought concern by some people. He gave a speech explained he was the Democratic candidate for president who happens to be Catholic, not the Catholic candidate for president. Santorum has built his entire campaign on his faith, and this only solidifies that approach even more.

Santorum feels that America is based on diversity and Kennedy’s speech promoted the opposite idea. Santorum expresses a viewpoint that implies that the separation of church and state would actually prohibit individuals from expressing their freedom of religion and would only end up in the government imposing their personal religious viewpoints on the average citizen.

Santorum is attempting to use this to pop some holes in President Barack Obama’s image. In the Huffington Post article, Santorum said “”[Obama believes in] some phony ideal, some phony theology … not a theology based on the Bible, a different theology.” This is not the only complaint Santorum has lodged against Obama. The Los Angeles Times explained that Santorum feels that Obama wants everyone to go to college so society can “impart liberal ideology” on young adults. He also implied it was a slap in the face to all non degree holding adults.

Santorum also expressed anger that Obama apologized for the incident in which U.S. personnel in Afghanistan burned copies of the Koran. Apologizing “shows weakness””, according to the Times article. Santorum felt that Obama could have expressed that the Koran was the Islamic Holy Book without apologizing.

How do you weigh in on this argument? Do you think America should have definite separation of church and state? Or do you think a more flexible definition needs to be afforded to encompass the right of freedom of religion?

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

All Male Contraception Panel Sparks Controversy

Do you think men are qualified to make decisions in regards to women’s health concerns? Birth control remains at the height of concern in the government. A congressional committee made the positive step forward of holding a panel on contraception, but they made the seemingly unfortunate mistake of forgetting to include anyone who actually has a female reproductive system on the panel. That’s right. A panel dedicated to talking to contraception with zero women weighing in. As you can imagine, women and men everywhere are expressing their dissatisfaction with the panel and its members.

According to an article on Politico, democratic representatives Carolyn Maloney and Eleanor Holmes Norton walked out in protest of the panel. Maloney summed it up pretty neatly when she said “What I want to know is, where are the women?” Both Maloney and Norton felt that chairman Darrell Issa of manipulating committee rules by blocking women from being on the panel. Maloney added “”I look at this panel [of witnesses], and I don’t see one single individual representing the tens of millions of women across the country who want and need insurance coverage for basic preventive health care services, including family planning.”

If you look at my previous post, you can see how President Obama’s plan to include contraception to all employees regardless of the employer’s political affiliation sparked this debate in the first place. According to an article on The Grind Stone a law student by the name of Sandra Fluke was to sit on the panel. Her approach was to look at birth control as a health care issue. Republicans did not agree with that request, arguing they wanted to discuss religious liberty. Fluke, according to Issa, was not qualified to testify about religious liberty.

This is not a completely man versus women argument. Representative Ann Marie Buerkle is also cited in the Politico article as agreeing with Issa. She stated “”I really find it so objectionable that my colleagues on the other side of the aisle would characterize this as something so narrow as being about contraception. This is a fundamental assault on one’s conscience.”

Ranking Democrat Elijah Cummings echoed the voices of Maloney and Norton, feeling as though the Republican Party had committed a massive injustice by ignoring the viewpoints of millions of women across the country. Norton made a motion to force a vote to seat Fluke, due to the fact that he was breaking committee rules (according to Norton). Fluke ignored the motion, prompting Maloney and Norton to vacate the room.

I stumbled across Larkin Callaghan’s blog in which she shared Senator Boxer’s response to the all male health panel. Senator Boxer serves from California and is a well known advocate for women’s rights. The argument right now is the argument that a panel dealing with elements of women’s health should have at least one woman to represent women’s voices on a congressional panel. According to the government census site in 2010 50.8% of the US population was women. With half the population being of the female sex it makes sense that many would be angered by a 100% male panel making rules over contraception.

If you want to see the testimony Sandra Fluke intended to give, you can view it here. What do you think about this debate? Should a woman have been present for the panel? Or do you believe the panel should have merely remained at religious liberty conversations and that the all male panel did not pose an issue?

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Does Rick Santorum’s ad hit the mark?

Rick Santorum has released a new ad, taking a direct hit at Mitt Romney. If you have not seen it yet, take a peak HERE.

Some argue that this advertisement takes a more juvenile approach in an effort to fire at Mitt Romney, who he claims has made childish slaps towards Santorum’s direction. If you notice, during the ad Santorum never gets hit by Romney’s mud, which would resemble Santorum’s real life attempt to come off as a clean and honest candidate.

Santorum does have something going for him in the advertisement. A common thought on people’s minds is that Romney is a little too liberal for the kind of candidate that the GOP wants. Santorum was able to take advantage of that criticism and frame it in an ad that could make Santorum look stronger.

One mistake Santorum made? He needs to be more careful about who he quotes. Appearing in text on the screen was a quote that said “Romney adviser admits Romneycare was blueprint for Obamacare”. That statement may be true, but the source listed was rushlimbaugh.com. Rush Limbaugh has his fair share of supporters, but there are many, many people who cannot stand Rush Limbaugh and his at times exaggerated statements about anything not severely conservative. Using that as one of the main sources in his ad is sure to sour some people from him.

What do you think of this ad? Will it help or hurt Santorum?

Tagged , , , , , ,

Is Romney Conservative Enough to be the Republican Candidate?

Romney has been taking the lead in many polls over recent weeks but does that mean he has the candidate spot in the bag? Not exactly.

Some political analysts feel like Romney is too similar to Barack Obama-the very man many republicans are trying to knock down. As this article in the Washington Times describes, some feel that if Romney gets the nomination, republican voters will be forced to choose between the lesser of two evils.

Washington Post columnist Conor Murphy pointed out that Romney has an economic plan that does not reflect one of a fiscal conservative. In the plan Romney laid out, the only cuts he made were from proposed increases, therefore not really counting as cuts at all. Romney has had wavering opinions on abortion rights and has voiced favor in regards to an individual health insurance mandate (Boston). Some feel he is too moderate to deserve the spot of the GOP.

Romney, on the other hand, has a different opinion of himself. At the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) he labeled himself as “severely conservative”. A press release was also issued outlining his conservative views in terms of fiscal and social issues. At the CPAC, he said “I spent 25 years in business, starting at the bottom and going on to help create a great American success story. I … turned around a state crying out for leadership.”

One question many are asking is if Romney’s political views are truly evolving as he progress in the political campaign, or if they are part of an act so he can win the nomination. What do you think?

Tagged ,

Birth Control on GOP candidate’s minds.

The big question on everyone’s mind’s today? Should employers be required to cover their female employee’s birth control? This should be a simple matter of a health debate and whether or not it should fall under the financial responsibility of the company to provide birth control for their female employees. Naturally, however, the debate has spun into a religious debate between democrats and republicans.

An argument that is coming forward surrounds the Catholic church. Catholics do not believe in birth control. Some do not feel like they should be forced to provide contraception to their employees. Take the instance of a Roman Catholic hospital, however. If a women who does not identify with the Catholic faith happens to gain employment at a Roman Catholic church, should she be allowed to get birth control through her employer’s insurance?

Where do the GOP candidates stand on the issue? Romney, Santorum and Gingrich all voiced their opinions at the Conservative Political Action Conference.

Mitt Romney-Romney is a well known mormon, although he has toned down his relgious impact in the 2012 election after it haulted his progres in 2008. Romney has had flipping opinions when it comes to these issues. His latest goal that he will allow religious freedom to reign again by overturning rulings that came through in the Obama administration.

Rick Santorum- Santorum has been labled as a “religious fanatic” and has called Obama’s plan for contraception a “coercion” according to The Hill. In that article, he is quoted as saying “We’ve seen the president of the United States not only tell you what insurance coverage you should have, how much you’re going to pay, how much you’re going to be fined if you don’t, but now he’s telling the Catholic Church that they are forced to pay for things that are against their basic tenets and teachings, against their First Amendment right.”

Newt Gingrich-He sounded the same argument that Romney and Santorum vocalized. He too feels like Obama is attacking and will continue to attack the Catholic church. All three have grabbed onto this idea and are trying to wedge it into support for the GOP side.

What do you think? Do you think employers should offer birth control as part of their insurance package, even if it goes against their personal beliefs?

Tagged ,

Romney sweeps Nevada and scores Donald Trump’s stamp of approval.

In case you missed it, Mitt Romney had another successful weekend in Nevada, securing 47.6 percent of the vote. According to this Washington Post article, he had a lot of support from the politically active Mormon base.
Romney may have done well for himself in Nevada, but he did just as well in 2008(securing 51% of the votes) but that was not enough to land the GOP nomination in his hands.
Newt Gingrich trailed with roughly 21 percent of the vote, with Ron Paul and Rick Santorum falling behind him.
Here are the results according to the Associated Press:
Mitt Romney 16,486 50.1%
Newt Gingrich 6,956 21.1%
Ron Paul 6,175 18.8%
Rick Santorum 3,277 10%
Other 0 0%
Source: AP
Romney also got the endorsement of Donald Trump, who at one time was speculated to be a GOP candidate himself. Trump held a brief press conference at one of his hotels to make the announcement. “He’s not going to allow bad things to continue to happen to this country that we all love,” said Trump, according to this Los Angeles Times article.
Gingrich took the opportunity to make a jab at the Romney/Trump pairing. Paul made a brief but pointed statement and Santorum continued to focus on his own campaign. In reflection, it’s not a big surprise that Trump went for Romney. Trump is a business man and it’s clear Romney knows what he is doing with his money. It would be a natural attraction for Trump.
The Colorado and Minnesota caucuses will occur today (Feb. 7). Be sure to check back in for updates.
Tagged , , , , , ,