Republicrat Musings

Friends blogging their way through the 2012 election

Posts tagged republican

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Quick Election Update!

Just wanted to give everyone a quick update on the GOP Primary. 

Nevada - The state went to Romney, as it did in the 2008 primary.  Gingrich, Paul and Sanatorium came in second, third and forth respectively.

Maine - The caucus began on Feb. 4 and will end on Feb. 11.

Today are the Colorado and Minnesota caucuses.  Rick Sanatorium, who is polling favorably in these states, is looking for a strong victory.  

Either today will see the eventual nominee become more presumptive or the race will be shaken up.  The 2012 GOP Primary season has been characterized by a level of unpredictability.  We will know more tonight!  Stay tuned!

Braedon Taylor

PS:  Keep you questions about tough issues coming!!!

Filed under gingrich paul nevada maine gop GOP republican election president rick santorum santorum maine nevada colorado minnesota

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“Mister Speaker The President of the United States!”

With these eight words, the United States begins its yearly political ritual known as the State of the Union Address.  This address is required by the Second Article of the U.S. Constitution: “He shall from time to time give to Congress information of the State of the Union and recommend to their Consideration such measures as he shall judge necessary and expedient.”  The Address being yearly is merely tradition set forth by the college of presidents.   Also, it important to note that before President Woodrow Wilson, many presidents did not give an address in person rather sent a letter to congress, fulfilling the Constitutional requirement.  Tonight we will once again enjoy an amazing American political custom.  Co-Contributor Michael Burleson will be providing a commentary of our President Barack Obama and I will be providing the commentary for the Republican response by Governor Mitch Daniels (R-IN) and the Tea Party Response giving by former Republican Presidential Candidate Herman Cain.

Braedon Taylor

Filed under President of the United States POTUS US State of the Union SOTU Constitution president democrat republican tea party cain daniels obama speaker of the house

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And Then There Were Four: A Commentary on the CNN South Carolina Debate, 19 January 2012

In honor of the palmetto state primary today I thought I would do a recap of Thursday nights debate.  This debate was likely the most exciting of the season so far.  With only four remaining candidates I felt like each one received adequate time (meaning candidates were not buzzed to stop talking) to fully answer questions and respond to objections from their opponents directly. However, Ron Paul did not get equal air time. Before each paragraph I will be stating the question or topic that was discussed.

Personal History and the Presidency

The debate began with controversy.  Speaker Gingrich was ask about an interview with one of his ex-wives and him wanting an “open marriage.”. He responded with a pointed attack at CNN calling discussing this at a presidential debate “despicable.”  Each of the other candidates chimed in with their thoughts, Santorum: all people are fallen and sinful, Romney: move on, and Paul: I have been married for fifty year, low blow.

Federal programs to put people back work

Each candidate responded with their plan to put people back to work.  Paul wants a sound currency (gold standard), reduce income taxes and in force the law in the areas of bankruptcy and current economic regulations. Gingrich as president would repeal the Dodd-Frank bill and institute a more efficient work force by focusing less of studies and research and more on implementing what we know. Romney feels the tax code needs refines, remove over regulation, crack down on china and crony capitalism, and prevent situations like GM and Solendra from happening. Finally, Santorum would remove the creation of economic squalor by pulling for the working people of this country, a national right to work amendment and returning manufacturing to the states.

A disappointing response:

In the previous dialogue the issue of Romney and Bain Capital surfaced.  When ask to respond Romney avoided the question initially by attacking the President and then giving the same numbers and information he has in the past.  There is nothing wrong with profit and sometimes companies fail.

Should the Government help subsidies young veterans returning from Iraq and Afghanistan?

Paul the only veteran on the stage says he would focus on making the economy beneficial for everyone by cutting taxes getting rid of debt and getting everyone on in this country back to work. Santorum focused his answer on the cutting of the military budget.  He believes this country should be aggressive in caring for its veterans especially for mental illness from war.  With this treatment he thinks more people would be equipped to return to the workforce.  Romney made it a states rights issue, as president he would turn veterans affairs to the states (still funded by federal dollars) because in his opinion they would better handle it then the federal government.  Finally, Gingrich would institute another GI Bill, tax cuts and focus on the transition process for soldiers.

Affordable Care Act:

Romney would begin by issuing an executive order to allow for a state opt out program, then urge congress for a complete repeal, replace it and allow people to buy their own insurance regardless of preexisting conditions. Gingrich thinks its a total mess, distrusts congress.  When ask about 22-26 year olds getting to stay on their parents insurance his response was they can get their own insurance and a job (this is difficult though when many people this age are still in college getting a high level degree and cannot hold jobs that will provide insurance or enough money to buy insurance).  Santorum feels Obamacare is an abject failure, would institute health savings accounts and turn health care provision completely to the private sector.

Tax Returns:

Paul: not released at all, does not think it is needed because he does not consort with lobbyists
Romney: “Maybe” in April, but will not release multiple years until they are gone though
Gingrich: an hour ago (during the debate)
Santorum: does his own taxes, when he gets home he will release them

Apple computers and foreign manufacturing

Santorum has a specific plan to cut corporate taxes, specifically in manufacturing.  Government gets in they way of energy policy and regulation cuts.  He thinks there should be a national  right to work amendment. Paul feels the right conditions need to be created to perpetuate consumerism again focusing on the importance of right to work. The other candidates focused on attacks and did not contribute anything substantial.


Gingrich thinks SOPA is censorship, he favors freedom and not the interests of corporations.  Romney thinks SOPA got it right just not in the way it was being implemented. Paul thinks republicans are on the wrong side of a bipartisan movement to protect American intellectual property. Finally, Santorum said the Internet is not a free zone to do anything, there should be laws but SOPA is not the way to accomplish the regulation.

What would you change about your campaign:

Newt:  not a traditional candidate focus, more on the Internet
Romney:  25 more votes in Iowa, more time about Obama
Santorum: would change nothing, good ideas and hard work still pay off in the US
Paul: deliver message better

Illegal immigration:

Gingrich wants to control the border by deploying up to half of the DHS along the border, supports English as the official language, make it easier to deport people and institute a guest worker program and sanction employers of illegals.  Romney is hesitant
At first to answer the states he would make a private worker company where employers would have to check the card.  If people came here illegally they would have a grace period to order affairs but then have to go home and “get in line.” Paul sees an economic incentive to immigration and we should institute and reform immigration so it is more generous.  Finally, Santorum thinks immigration in the best option but people that come here illegally disrespect our laws do not deserve to stay.  America is worth the wait.

Closing arguments:

Paul: protection of liberty, reduce debt
Newt: principal victory, overcome billon dollar campaign, wants Lincoln-Douglas debates
Romney: entitlement society, return to the principals that made American great
Santorum: conviction conservative and a clear contrast, reduce government, record defeated a democratic incumbent, won a swing state

 - Braedon Taylor 

Filed under south carolina debate GOP primary republican romney gingrich paul santorum

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South Carolina Debate Highlights

South Carolina GOP Debate Highlights

(Candidates are in the order that they first spoke)

Gingrich: When asked about his attacks on Romney, he said that he raised harsh questions because that Romney’s record would not stand up to Obama in the fall. When asked how long unemployment benefits should go on, he said that there should be required job training while on those benefits. He cited that 90 weeks is the equivalent of an Associates degree and a government should help people who help themselves. Supports a 15% tax rate. When asked about his statement about poor adolescents being “lazy” and proposed that impoverished students should work as janitors in their schools. He cited that if students work, they will learn an ethic and show up for school, which will eventually improve their economic situation. Wants to offer a private retirement savings account that is voluntary. He pointed to the model in Chile, where the private accounts have a much higher return. Wants to consolidate programs that are used to help the poor into a single one and then use what’s left to balance the budget. Called No Child Left Behind a failure, says to get rid of regulation, the department of education and return that power to the states and the individual school districts.

Romney: Defending his work in the private sector, Romney said that in his experience, there was some success and some loss. He quickly moved from his record in the private sector to his record as Governor and the successes he had there. When asked if he believed that felons who have served their time should be given the right to vote, he said that people who have committed violent crimes should not be able to vote.  When asked about keeping the financial system going, he said that importance would come in getting government out of business, reforming the tax system, opening up new markets across the world and getting people back to work.  Supported lower tax rates of about 25%. Anticipates releasing his income tax records around April. When asked about his position on immigration and the Dream Act, he said that people who come to the U.S. illegally should not be given extra help over people who come the “correct” way and said that he would veto the Dream Act if he has the chance as President. When asked about the War on Terror and negotiations he said absolutely not and that America needs to recognize that we are under attack and to have a military so strong and pursue interests around the world so that no other force would consider the challenge. Said that he supports the National Defense Authorization Act. On retirement, he said that he would balance social security by offering higher benefits for lower income people and lowering it for higher income reciepients. and offer a premium medicare plan where people could buy extra care and letting competition exist. Does not support new gun laws.

Perry: He is still leaning on his efforts as Governor and the very strong Texas economy. He then stated that his tax records have been public for several years, Gingrich will soon release his and then he called on Romney to release his. He said that he plans on repealing business regulations that “strangle” the economy. Supported a flat tax rate. When asked if Turkey still belongs in NATO due to the current situation there, he responded with “no” as well as not giving foreign aid to countries that are a threat. On help to the housing market, he cited his proposed flat tax, which he says would give people peace of mind on their investment. He cited the “healthy and growing” Texas housing market and moved on to his proposal of a balanced budget amendment and making congress a part time position so they “could live under the laws they pass” Wants to secure the border within a year of his presidency. 

Ron Paul: When asked about some of the adds his campaign ran being too harsh towards the other candidates, he said that he pointed to Santorum’s voting record. When asked about proposed in military cuts, he said he wants to cut defense spending that is outside of the country and bringing more of those troops back to the U.S. He cited that he receives more than twice the funding from the military than all of the other candidates. 0% tax rate? Asked how he would fix disparities in arrest rates in minorities, he cited discrimination in sentencing as well as the drug war that unfairly hits the minority. When asked about the War on Terror, he said he wants to end the war, and that we should not do to other countries things that we do not want done to us.

Santorum: Responding to Ron Paul’s comments on his voting record, he said that he is “not perfect” and there are things that he would repeal in office that he previously voted for like NCLB. When asked about extending jobless benefits, he said he did not support benefits that extended over 90 weeks. He said that he would give decisions like unemployment programs back to the states to meet their individual needs. Has two tax rates similar to Reagan Era. When asked about the situation on poverty, he said cited a study that said the ways to avoid poverty are to work, finish high school and get married before having children. Does not support a military mission in Syria. About the National Defense Authorization Act, said that the standard of due process and habeaus corpus should be upheld. Supports a flat tax rate for big and small companies that would level the playing field here. He strongly supports savings plans as well as balancing the budget. Supported trigger locks and background checks on gun purchases. He also voted with the NRA.

Filed under south carolina debate GOP republican election 2012 gingrich romney perry paul Santorum debate

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What Does an Incumbent President do on an Election Year?

Well, they do heavy campaigning, of course. In the last election cycle, President Obama raised over $760 Million and is expected to top that by raising over $1 Billion this year. The year, the candidates over all are predicted to spend over $8 Billion. 

But besides vamping up on the re-election campaign, President Obama is taking steps to appeal to the “undeclared” voters that he may have gotten in the last election that are in the toss up this round. Today, the President called on Congress for the power to shrink the size of the federal government, something that the GOP candidates are really pushing. This proposal comes at a very strategic time and poses a contrast to statement made by GOP candidates who have called the Obama Administration a far-left, government expanding, ploy. 

Bottom line, we can look forward to proposals and promises that appeal to middle of the road voters from both sides. 

Filed under Obama election GOP republican democrat 2012 campaign

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The Education System and the Election

Before we look at the current views on education, let’s look at education historically. 

The Constitution does not explicitly state anything about education and at the time children would have received education in the form of common life lessons from their parents in between household duties and possibly working on their family’s land. The closest thing the federal government did was suggest that an education system be in place as states enter the union in the Northwest Land Ordinance of 1787. 

 Religion, morality, and knowledge, being necessary to good government and the happiness of mankind, schools and the means of education shall forever be encouraged”

Then looking back at the Constitution once more: 

"The powers not delegated to the Unites States by this Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the states, are reserved to the states, respectively, or to the people." 

According to these documents, education should be left up to the states. But because our nation and our educational needs have changed so dramatically, should these documents be able to “breathe” to accommodate? Are mandates for education an “implied power?” In the 1700s, it would have been impossible to demand that children attend school on a regular basis because children had a great deal of responsibility in the farming sector. (Our school calendars are still based on harvest seasons.) Not to mention, new states entering the union may not have had the chance to build a great infrastructure yet and poor infrastructure coupled with making children attend school on a regular basis… the impacts of disease could have been terrible. 

Moving on…

Our economic future depends on an educated population. It will be high tech and international, no doubt about it. But if we left education up to the states and parents today would our nation be prepared for that future? 

Here is what the current candidates had to say on education: 

Presidential candidate Ron Paul has stated that he wants to get rid of the Department of Education and leave the matter up to individual states and parents. Stated that No Child Left Behind hooks institutions on federal funding. He wants to encourage homeschooling and private school through a tax write off. 

Romney supported No Child Left Behind but knows that it hasn’t met all of the needs in the education system. He supports private and homeschooling as well as standardized testing that “holds schools accountable.” He also supports better pay for teachers. 

Santorum voted in favor of No Child Left Behind but does not believe that it serves the consumer, which is the student. He voted in favor of tax-free education savings accounts but voted no on shifting $11B in corporate tax loopholes to education. (Check out the Kennedy amendment relative to education funding.)

Rick Perry promotes school choice as well as the voucher system. Perry turned down $700M in 2010 for federal stimulus money for education saying that “there were strings attached” that would have required Texas to adopt national standards, claiming they would have cost about $3B. 

Gingrich said that giving out student loans leads to students who take fewer hours and opt to not work, which, he said, leads to more time spent in college and higher debt. He wants to dramatically shrink the size of the Federal Department of Education, giving more power to the states and parents. He proposed “paying kids” as an incentive to succeed in math and science from an early age and then waive interest on student loans for math and science grads. He also said that the U.S. should replace multiculturalism with a more patriotic education. Gingrich also stated that teachers should be paid based on their performance. 

Huntsman has cited the failure of No Child Left Behind and believes in localization of education. He has also mentioned that early learning is critical and supports the pursuit of languages as well as math in order to ensure a strong economic future. He has also said that in order to ensure first-rate students, we need to pay for first-rate teachers. 

With all that said, if education was left up to parents now, would our education system be better off?

What about private schools? 

About 5 million students, only 10%, of students in the U.S. attend a private school, 80% of which are religiously affiliated. The median cost of private school is $17,441. (That number comes front he National Association of Independent Schools.) First of all, WOAH. Most of these candidates are encouraging private schools and want to provide some sort of tax incentive for families who send their children there. $17 grand worth? If someone told me that a single mother with two children is going to be motivated to send her kids to school for close to $40,000 a year because of a tax incentive, I would call that bluff immediately. A possibility is that families with higher income would send their children to high performing private schools while families that couldn’t afford, it and didn’t have the option, would send their children to public school which would be regulate by state standards. 

I just realized that I could go on all night about unequal access to quality education, but I’ll save that for another time. 

Filed under education election presidential candidates GOP republican 2012 public school private school constitution

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Why New Hampshire Matters

First in the Nation state, New Hampshire holds it’s Primary tonight. For those of you who don’t know, New Hampshire is not a closed election, meaning those who are not affiliated with the party-undeclared voters-are able to vote in the Primary. (Undeclared DOES NOT mean undecided) New Hampshire actually passed a law to ensure that they would be the first state in the nation to hold a Primary election (Iowa slipped through the cracks because they hold a Caucus) but when other states tried to schedule their election earlier than the year before, New Hampshire would just move theirs to the week before. The state has historically been a good indicator of who would win the nomination for their prospective party and the winner did receive the nomination up until the pattern broke in 1992 in Clinton. After he lost the New Hampshire Primary, he claimed himself “the Comeback Kid” and went on to receive the nomination and the Presidency. Since 1992 the winner of New Hampshire has NOT gone on to win the nomination, Obama lost to Hillary in 2008, who dropped out of the race in early June and endorsed Obama. 

Filed under new hampshire election primary 2012 GOP Republican historical

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New Hampshire Debate

GOP New Hampshire Debate:
We typed things while watching the debate, so we changed topics with the debate. Below are the highlights that are either summed up or quoted from the candidates.
Across the board, the candidates call Obama’s Presidency “a failed” one. While the current GOP candidates may not be particularly fond of each other, they do agree that there needs to be serious changes in Washington. Romney even said that he “would endorse the GOP candidate” in order to get Obama out of office.

Rick Perry: Claims that he and possibly John Huntsman are the “only ones” who have “not been part of the problem in Washington.” Perry is heavily leaning on his efforts in Texas and the state economy which has the second highest GDP in the nation (coming in just behind California.) Spoke on his military experience and Obama’s cutting of the defense budget, saying that it endangers our freedoms. Still pointing to current administration’s “war on religion.” Said that he would want to send troops back into Iraq, (Something that will make for a tough campaign slogan) says that Iran will soon move back in and our time spent there will be worthless. Wants to get “Washington out of the hair” of business. Says that we could put America back to work on our energy. Said that if New Hampshire were a Right to work state, saying it would create a significant amount of jobs.

Rick Santorum: On the topic of gay marriage, he supports an amendment to the constitution that would illegitimate current marriages that are not between a man and a woman. Claims that our future leader needs a very strong vision for Afghanistan as well as Iran. Has pledged to dump the current tax code and replace it, only offering exemptions based on healthcare, housing, education, children, and charities. He wants to eliminate corporate tax and repeal regulation. Opposed big bail out plans and has made efforts to appeal to blue collar workers. He claims that the Obama administration has used terms like “class warfare” to turn groups against one another and instead he would make efforts to unite our country in order to help the economy recover.

Jon Huntsman: Cites the “trust deficit” in the U.S. that has been created and needs to be bridged in order to fix conflicts. When asked about gay marriage, Huntsman differed from the others in the fact that he supports civil unions and benefits in those unions. Said that as President, he would work to bring troops out of the Middle East by 2013, but also said that there is a threat that can’t be ignored in South East Asia. Predicts that a civil war is around the corner in Afghanistan and rather than allowing more loss, it’s time to recognize our achievements and move out. Claims that he would have “ripped open the tax code” and cited the Simpson Bowles plan and raise revenues. Cites our possible “Manufacturing Renaissance.” Says that if we could fix our tax system, we can rebuild jobs and get our economy moving. Says that our relationship with China is incredibly important in order to serve America’s needs as far as our economy. Says that if we place a tariff on Chinese goods, it would start a trade war that small exporters can’t afford.

Ron Paul:  Made it clear that he is a strict constitutionalists.  Meaning that he believes every power the U.S. Government has is outlined in the founding document.  He especially stresses the importance in his opinion of formally delivered war as opposed to “conflicts” authorised the president.  Concerning the same subject, Dr. Paul feels very strongly about veterans affairs and the importance of military service to the position of Commander-in-Chief, nearly calling Mr. Gingrich a draft dodger.  His libertarian views inform his economic views as well.  In the past 26 years, Dr. Paul has not voted in favor of many appropriations bills in protest of the pork spending he feels is wrong.  Also, along these lines he favors personal privacy over national security particularly concerning the patriot act.

Mitt Romney:  Mr. Romney primarily played defense.  Nothing he said was really controversial, compared to the other candidates.  Honestly, he is biding time for a nearly sure win in New Hampshire on Tuesday.  Romney primarily focused on the economic issues considering his background in business stating that Obama has not helped the economy with his policies and they have made it more difficult for small businesses and entrepreneurs to invest in this country.  He is for changing the corporate tax code to resemble other first world countries in an effort to bring more companies to the US.  On the social front he is non-discriminatory against homosexuals, stating that he nominated bureaucratic and judicial officers that participated in the lifestyle, agrees that homosexual couples should be able to adopt children and include them in the benefits of marriage without marriage.

Newt Gingrich:  Concerning foreign policy, Mr. Gingrich feels that we need a fundamentally new strategy concerning the middle-east and the new Arab spring movement.  His play would be similar to the U.S. strategy during the cold war, this illustrates his tenancy for old foreigner policy rather then a “fundamentally new strategy.”  He also rang in on U.S. infrastructure and the need for improvements to the road system and an energy plan that would remove our dependence on foreign oil.  He also thinks homosexuals should have the right to contractual arrangements to allow for hospital visits and the like but the Catholic Church should not have to place children with homosexual couples.

Filed under new hampshire gop election debate prinary Republican election vote nomination

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Iowa and the Caucus: A Brief History

Over the past forty years the nomination process for President of the United States has radically changed.  Beginning in the 1970s, both Democrats and Republicans began to caucus in Iowa as a way to get more people involved in the nomination process.  Before this, New Hampshire did have a primary election but many other states did not have a popular nominating process at all.  Most presidential candidates were chosen at the respective parties convention rather then directly by the people (delegates were sent to the convention by being nominated by the the individual state legislatures) and the candidates were primarily chosen by regional differences then ideological stances.  Once the Iowa caucuses began other states quickly followed suit and by 1980 every state in the union was holding either a primary or caucus giving the people a direct opportunity to choose their candidate for president.  Since first holding the caucus in 1972 the eventual nominee for the Republican party has won the Iowa caucuses three of the five contested elections. However; well known presidents/candidates John McCain finished fourth, George Bush Sr. third and Ronald Regan second all went on to win the nomination. Iowa will have a place in determining the eventually nominee, but it will primarily narrow down the playing field going into New Hampshire and South Carolina.

Braedon Taylor

Filed under Iowa 2012 election GOP republican Vote U.S.