By Michael Ward | Cross posted at SaveJersey.com
As a Ron Paul supporter, one concern I occasionally hear from potential voters is that they “like Ron Paul’s stances, except on foreign policy”. It’s a concern that is understandable and also one that I personally held until recently.
Ron Paul usually scores high marks with both republican and independent voters on taxes and spending. For decades, Dr. Paul has warned the American people of the dangers of the Federal Reserve system and of periodic government intervention in the economy. His strict adherence to the U.S. Constitution while in elected office is also something to be praised.
In fact, Dr. Paul has been praised by many of his colleagues who are currently running for President. Mitt Romney punted a question regarding the U.S. Constitution to Paul during a New Hampshire debate, bestowing the title of ‘Constitutionalist’ upon Dr. Paul. Newt Gingrich frequently compliments Paul on his fight against the Federal Reserve. Gingrich even went so far as to mention Paul’s Fed stance during his South Carolina victory speech. Ron Paul’s economic platform has slowly entered the mainstream of the GOP political discourse, and has finally broken through with great reception from conservative voters.
Without Ron Paul, the gold standard, the federal reserve, the dangers of a fiat currency, and a nation continually saddled with debt would have gone by un-raised. At least until it was too late.
What drives a big chunk of conservatives up a wall is the mention of Ron Paul’s foreign policy. Many syndicated ‘conservative’ pundits label Ron Paul’s foreign policy as ‘extreme’, ‘dangerous’, and ‘isolationist’. With this context in mind, it’s easy to see why many establishment republican voters would turn their backs on Dr. Paul. The position of bringing the troops home along with talking heads like Hannity and Beck, jumping and screaming about Paul’s apparent ‘isolationism’ would strongly encourage many conservatives to not take a second look at Ron Paul and dismiss him entirely.
First and foremost, Ron Paul is many things. However, an isolationist isn’t one of them. An excellent example of an isolationist country would be North Korea. The ironically named ‘Democratic People’s Republic of Korea’ has closed itself off from the rest of the world. There is no trade. There is no diplomacy. There is no immigration or emigration. Being isolated from the rest of the world is the antithesis of what Ron Paul believes, and the notion that he is anything close to an ‘isolationist’ should be expelled from any informed voter’s mind.
Non-interventionism, the foreign policy of Ron Paul, put’s America’s needs and concerns first, instead of the needs of other nations. It is important to know that at present the United States has over 900 military installations in over 130 foreign countries.
The overreach and spreading thin of our troops throughout the world leaves our home front vulnerable. One has to look no further than the United States’ own borders, which are seriously undermanned and without any protection whatsoever for many miles. Another example closer to home is the recent shut down of the Fort Monmouth Facility in Monmouth County. The federal government shut down the base late last year as a means of cost savings.
The simple fact that we’re closing bases in New Jersey to open new bases abroad does not make me feel safer as a United States citizen.
The United States military currently has:
◦ 52,440 military personnel in Germany.
◦ 35,688military personnel in Japan
◦ 28,500military personnel in Korea
◦ 9,015military personnel in the United Kingdom
◦ 9,660military personnel in Italy
America’s fighting men and women should only be sent overseas when our nation is at war. Our nation should only be at war when the Congress, representing the American people, passes a Declaration of War, as mandated by our Constitution. These used to be conservative principles that our nation held dear up until recently in our history. Since our founding and up to 1945 we declared wars, won them, and the troops have come home. This has been due to our government picking its battles carefully, and only entering conflicts with clear, concise objectives, and naturally, voting on the war in the congress.
As President, Ron Paul has made it clear that he would not hesitate to go to war if necessary, but only as a last resort. The war would obviously have to be legitimized by a vote in the congress, as stated in the constitution.
Ron Paul’s foreign policy is approved by the most important pundits of all, the troops. Ron Paul has received more donations from active duty military personnel than all the rest of the candidates, including President Obama, combined.
If you listen to the troops (particularly those who support Ron Paul), they’ll tell you that the United States Military is creating enemies faster than they can kill them overseas. The troops would tell you, that bringing them home and building our defense here would be more profitable than sending our money and young men and women to the sands of some foreign land.
Military veterans like Adam Kokesh and active duty Cpl Jesse Thorsen have been speaking out about the dangerous foreign policy that the U.S. Government currently engages in, and they offer Ron Paul’s foreign policy as a clear alternative to the lunacy that exists today.
The extreme fiscal expense that the United States incurs by stationing troops around the world will leave our treasury bare and we’ll have nothing to show for it. It is a fiscally conservative position, as well as a constitutional position to support a strong national defense and a foreign policy of non-interventionism, which is the position Paul holds. We can either elect to withdraw from our international installations now, or we’ll be forced to leave in a few years when our government can no longer afford anything and we’ve run out of creditors.
I can’t imagine how someone who considers themselves to be a fiscal conservative can possibly support the fiscally liberal position of excessive spending to subsidize other nations’ defense. Not only do the troops like Ron Paul, but defense employees from companies like Lockheed Martin contribute to Ron Paul as well because they know Dr. Paul would build up our national defense, not engage in careless militarism abroad. Under Ron Paul’s Plan to Restore America, we’d still spend four times more than China on Defense and reduce all other budgetary obligations to 2006 levels. The total savings from rethinking our defense and other careful cuts would result in $1 Trillion of savings in the first year. This would effectively save social security and medicare, without touching promised benefits to seniors or the less privileged. Sounds pretty fiscally conservative to me.
Want to support the troops? Support Ron Paul.
Posted: January 25th, 2012 | Author: admin | Filed under: 2012 Presidential Politics | Tags: Michael Ward, Ron Paul | 5 Comments »
By Robert Costa, National Review Online
Des Moines, Iowa – One hot August night in Ames, Rick Santorum stood on the mat-covered basketball court at Iowa State University’s Hilton Coliseum. As pop-country songs played softly over the arena’s loudspeakers, he huddled with his wife, Karen. Few people noticed him, and his handlers, if he had any, were elsewhere. Reporters breezed past the couple, hustling to chat with big-name strategists working for Mitt Romney and Tim Pawlenty.
A couple steps away, under a cavern of Klieg lights, Sean Hannity of Fox News bantered with Michele Bachmann, the Minnesota congresswoman, who was widely expected to sweep the upcoming straw poll. Santorum, surveying the scene, scowled. As he waited for Bachmann to finish the interview, he tapped his foot, like a backup player itching to get into the game. Once again he had participated in a Republican primary debate, and once again he was a bench-warmer.
Minutes after the televised spar, here he was, in a post-debate “spin room” stuffed with political junkies, and he was ignored – an also-ran, a B-list pol waiting to appear on cable. The proud, boyish-looking former Pennsylvania senator was miffed. “This is unbelievable,” he told Karen, shaking his head. “Two questions in the beginning, and I had to wave my hand to get them.”
Five months later, on a bitterly cold January morning in central Iowa, Santorum’s summer doldrums have largely evaporated. All week, as he has greeted burly voters, many of them decked in Carhartt jackets, he has been swarmed by hundreds of media types – print reporters, network producers, camera-toting Swiss bloggers – out in force to cover every move of the man who, quite suddenly, has shaken up the GOP presidential scramble.
But Santorum’s sustained buzz in Iowa’s small diners and Pizza Ranch restaurants is not due in any way to his celebrity or his charm. His usual outfit – single-color, slightly pilled sweater-vests over a pressed white shirt – is the look of the ill-at-ease soccer dad, not the confident frontrunner. His remarks are always delivered rapid-fire, are frequently testy, and are too often focused on long-forgotten legislative yawners. Regardless, Iowans have flocked to him at the eleventh hour, partly because they’ve soured on Bachmann and Gov. Rick Perry, and partly because he is the last alternative to Mitt Romney left, the nice-enough guy who has visited all 99 counties.
That’s just fine with Santorum, who tells me that he is confident that Republicans will nominate him, a “reliable conservative,” rather than “settle” on Romney. But as Iowans prepare to caucus, Romney’s well-organized and lavishly funded campaign looms over the Pennsylvanian’s upstart effort – the Death Star to Santorum’s X-wing fighter. Whatever the outcome tonight, the former Massachusetts governor will be a formidable competitor in the months ahead, as will Texas congressman Ron Paul, who has the money and ground game to stay in the hunt. And the rest of the field, should they choose to carry on, will give Santorum headaches, knocking him as they fade.
Of course, such a scenario depends on Santorum finishing in Iowa’s top tier, near or above Paul and Romney. The latest polls hint at this happening, but in this tumultuous primary season, most every reporter is wary of trusting any last-minute temperature-taking of the conservatives among the cornfields. Still, Santorum looks poised for a good night, and should he pull it off the real question becomes: What’s next?
To get some answers, I recently spoke with John Brabender, Santorum’s own Karl Rove – the senior strategist who has been with him since his first House race in 1990, when he toppled Democrat Doug Walgren, a seven-term incumbent from the Pittsburgh suburbs. Brabender tells me to keep an eye on seven factors as the Iowa HQ closes and the plane for Manchester is fueled.
Santorum will make a play for the Granite State: “We’re not like these other campaigns that look at New Hampshire, surrender, and say ‘We can’t be competitive there; we’re going to the South.’ We think South Carolina is extremely important, and we’re the only ones who’ve won a straw poll there. But we think that to be a legitimate presidential candidate, you have to, at the very least, be willing to compete in each region of the country,” Brabender says. “And that includes the Northeast. We’re not expecting to walk into every place and feel like we have to win, but by going to New Hampshire, it lets us continue a dialogue with the country. That’s where the press is, that’s where people are paying attention, and we want to show we have national strength.”
Santorum staffers are prepping for the long haul: “We knew this day would come,” Brabender says. “There is this perception that the senator, duffel bag in hand, has been wandering around Iowa, but behind the scenes, there is a lot going on.” In coming days, many of the top Iowa field staffers will be shifted to new roles in other early primary states, taking the turnout strategies and outreach techniques they honed in Iowa to South Carolina, New Hampshire, and Florida. “We’re not an expensive campaign, not a huge-bureaucracy campaign,” so there is flexibility in terms of personnel, he says. Regarding payroll, “we don’t need to bring in the same amount as other campaigns.”
New hires will begin in the finance department: “We’re probably going to make a few small hires,” Brabender says, and they will mostly be money raisers, “due to the uptick in donations that has really picked up in recent weeks.” Beyond that, “you’re not going to see some wholesale expansion. The biggest mistake we think we could make right now is simply trying to become the other candidates, running the same type of model that’s outdated. You can be sure we’re not going to do that.”
Santorum, more than ever, is at ease: Even Santorum’s confidants acknowledge that he can become frustrated and flustered at times. Republicans saw this side of him during the early stages of the primary, when he would complain about the lack of attention. Now that he’s ticked up in the polls and spent countless days crisscrossing Iowa, he’s “in the zone,” Brabender says. The candidate is peaking at the right moment. “He’s hitting his stride,” Brabender tells me. “The crowds are getting bigger, and when that happens, he feeds off of it. More than the typical candidate, he finds a way to ride that kind of energy, and you see him doing that right now.”
Santorum is comfortable as an outsider: When he lost his 2006 reelection bid by 18 points to lackluster Democrat Bob Casey Jr., Santorum’s political career nearly ended. He went from being a member of the Senate GOP leadership to a political nobody. Five years later, as he surges in the polls, Brabender says that loss is shaping Santorum’s perspective in innumerable ways, but most importantly in how it buoys his ability to speak about issues as both a former insider and a Beltway outsider. “He thinks it was actually beneficial for him to get out of Washington for a while,” Brabender. “It turned out to be a huge benefit as he began to look at a presidential run, since he came into this with fresh eyes, not as someone in a position of power.”
The family is “all in” after Iowa: Santorum’s large, growing family is slowly coming back into the spotlight, Brabender says, and his wife and children joined him on the trail in Iowa on Monday and will be with him all day today. In coming months, look for the older Santorum children to continue to show up at their father’s side, supporting him as he stumps. “Their son, John, delayed going to college this year to be part of the campaign, and their daughter Elizabeth is taking a year off from college to be part of the campaign, playing significant roles.”
The inner circle remains the same: “It’s not a big group,” Brabender says. “Hogan Gidley works at my firm, and he’s the communications director. He directs a small communications team. You have Mike Biundo, who’s from New Hampshire; he’s the campaign manager. You have Nadine Maenza, who’s the finance director and who’s been with the senator since the 1990s. There is also Mark Rodgers, Santorum’s former chief of staff, who works in a senior advisory role. And unlike many campaigns, we keep Rick and Karen as part of the strategic team.” There is also, he claims, little drama. “So many of us have been with Rick for many years, and there’s nothing like you’ve read on Politico about other campaigns and their infighting. We mostly spend our time looking over historical polling data for Santorum, seeing what we can apply to this race.”
“We all started together in Pennsylvania,” Brabender says, commenting on Santorum’s senior team. “And just as Rick grew, we all grew in sophistication, but none of us has ever lost our roots. At 4:15 p.m. on Sunday, you can be sure that we were all finding a place to watch the Steelers game.” Later tonight, they’ll all be tuned to the same channel, this time watching the caucus returns. On Sunday, the Steelers beat the Cleveland Browns. In a few hours, Brabender expects to be cheering once again.
– Robert Costa is a political reporter for National Review.
Posted: January 4th, 2012 | Author: admin | Filed under: 2012 Presidential Politics | Tags: Bob Casey Jr, Doug Walgren, Fox News, Hogan Gidley, Iowa, John Brabender, Karen Santorum, Karl Rove, Mark Rodgers, Michele Bachmann, Mike Biundo, Mitt Romney, Nadine Maenza, National Review Online, New Hampshire, Pizza Ranch, Rick Perry, Rick Santorum, Robert Costa, Ron Paul, Sean Hannity, South Carolina, Tim Pawlenty | Comments Off on Santorum, After Iowa
Jon Huntsman increased his name recognition 8000% by turning down the invitation to attend the Newmax ION TV presidential debate to be moderated by Donald Trump.
Huntsman, the former Utah governor and President Obama’s former ambassador to China, is now best known for saying he “won’t kiss his ring or any part of his anatomy,” about Trump while explaining why he won’t attend the debate.
Texas congressman Ron Paul joined Huntsman in turning down The Donald’s invitation, saying through a spokesman that a debate hosted by a reality TV star is beneath the dignity of the presidency.
Trump called Huntsman and Paul joke candidates.
All of the remaining GOP candidates for president have accepted the invitation, even though Trump has not ruled out running for president as an Independent himself. Trump said he’s leaning toward endorsing a GOP candidate and that he might do so shortly after the debate.
The Trump debate will take place in Des Moines Iowa on December 27, one week before the Iowa caucus and two weeks before the New Hampshire primary.
Millions will be tuning in to see who gets fired.
Posted: December 6th, 2011 | Author: Art Gallagher | Filed under: 2012 Presidential Politics | Tags: Donald Trump, ION TV, Jon Huntsman, Newsmax, Ron Paul | 3 Comments »
Thanks, I think, for the post on your website about my new skill, pundit/comedian. We need some levity around here. However, if you read my post, I said it appears the Kochs would like Christie to get the GOP presidential nomination. And if Christie goes all the way to the Oval Office, then Lonegan, part of the Koch team as head of AFP in NJ, would probably get their backing for the gubernatorial nomination in 2013. One thing we know about politics is that there are no certainties. I did not predict Christie would win nor that Lonegan would be the next governor. I just wrote about what apparently is in the offing, Christie’s entry into the presidential race.
Four years ago, the pundits predicted a Giuliani/Clinton presidential contest. So much for the experts. There is a “lifetime” between now and the first caucuses and primaries. Yesterday, the FL straw poll results add fuel to the Christie for President bandwagon. Bachmann is toast, Perry is toast, and the others are marking time. Santorum and Gingrich had their egos stroked from yesterday’s results but they are going nowhere.
Cain is the latest “flavor” of the week. But he in not going anywhere either. He wants even bigger government than Obama as DiLorenzo points out today on the LRC blog. Ron Paul benefited enormously from the results yesterday. He was right there with the other candidates. In short, he is not a fringe candidate as much as the MSM would like to portray him as such.
One more thing; The title of my post: Is the fix in? Not, The Fix is In as in your post. Big difference.
Posted: September 25th, 2011 | Author: admin | Filed under: 2012 Presidential Politics, 2013 Gubernatorial Politics | Tags: Chris Christie, Herman Cain, Koch brothers, Murray Sabrin, Ron Paul, Steve Lonegan | Comments Off on From the comedian…