Thursday, January 05, 2012

The Republican Field of Candidates: My Evaluation

Almost no one I know is ecstatic about any of the Republican candidates for president.  Here's what I think about them:
1.  Mitt Romney:  I see him as dangerous for conservatives because he has not governed as a conservative.  My intuition tells me that Romney lacks the core beliefs of conservatives:  smaller government, less regulations, lower taxes, cheap energy.  I greatly fear that he would turn left once elected, "compromise" on key issues and provide a weak, watered-down approach to Obamacare, the national debt, federal spending and taxes.  Still, he would be better than Obama.  A fire hydrant would be better than Obama.

2.  Newt Gingrich:  I have the same concerns for Newt that I have for Romney.  Like Romney, I fear that Newt lacks core beliefs, will accommodate any stupid idea or political fad that comes down the pike (like global warming, cap and trade) in order to augment his popular appeal.  His campaign ads portraying him as Reagan's right-hand man and a strict conservative are ludicrous.  Further, Newt is showing himself to be a hothead prone to emotional outbursts, i.e. thin-skinned and shooting himself in the foot.  I doubt that he has the temperament to run a successful campaign if nominated.  The leftwing mainstream press would play him like a fiddle.  I could care less how many times he has been married, but ethics charges against him, fair or unfair, would be used against him to great advantage by the Democrats.

3.  Rick Perry:  Perry is ideologically acceptable and might make a good president.  I think his stance on allowing the children of illegal aliens (in Texas) to pay in-state college tuition has been misunderstood and misconstrued by many conservatives.  He thought that kids who were brought here by their parents through no fault of their own, and went to grade school and high school and essentially grew up here, should be allowed to pursue their college education.  I would have voted the same way that Perry did.  I think it is less likely than for Romney and Gingrich that he would turn left once elected.  My major concerns about Perry have to do with his ability to debate and his way of presenting himself to the public.  Could he win the election if nominated?   I think so, though he will be portrayed as a tongue-tied fool by the mainstream media.

4.  Rick Santorum:   I believe that Rick Santorum has core beliefs and knows what he stands for, and in that regard, is less dangerous than Romney or Gingrich -- I doubt that he would surprise us, once elected, by turning left.  He has caused some concerns with some of his statements about birth control, saying that states have the constitutional right to outlaw it, and voicing the Catholic Church's position on the matter as if it were a moral certainty applicable to everyone.  Those statements will be used against him, even though they have little bearing, if any, on his performance as president.  All candidates have vulnerabilities to Democrat attack, so that is not a deal-breaker with me.  I like Santorum better than Romney or Gingrich, and about the same as Perry.  However, Santorum has momentum whereas Perry seems to have lost his, and therefore Santorum may have a better chance at being nominated.

Conclusions:  I am supporting Rick Santorum for the reasons stated above.  For now.  I reserve the right to change my mind.


Always On Watch said...

Interesting evaluation.

You'll be interested in my brief post next week: "Mitt Romney's Convictions."

I'll put a link to this post of yours at the bottom of my post.

Randy-g said...

The first two I will hold my bloody nose and vote for if it comes to that. I am still am a Perry fan, but Santorum would be a good Pres too.

Stogie said...

AOW, looking forward to it. Romney has convictions?

Stogie said...

Randy, I feel the same way.

david7134 said...

This is a difficult field to chose from. I really would like to see someone like Paul win, but doubt that the American people are intelligent enough for that. Many that I know in Texas don't care for Perry, especially after his immunization order. That was fairly tyrannical. He seems like a nut when in front of the camera. As to Santorum, I am afraid of the guy. Much of our freedom has been lost secondary to religous movements. I am afraid Santorum would institute such an agenda and thus get the government more into our lives. Romney might be easier to control. Newt is a communist.

Stogie said...

David, I like Paul's stance on economic issues, but do not agree with his isolationist foreign policy. Whereas we should not be "nation building" and trying to turn barbarians into republicans, there are times when intervention is necessary to protect our legitimate interests and our democratic friends.

If I were elected president, I would consider making Ron Paul Secretary of the Treasury.

The Griper said...

if you accept the separation of powers between State government and federal government then you cannot judge any of the candidates past history as governor of a State as determinate of how they would govern as president.

what you need to do is find out if they recognize the different roles that each office has in the governing of this nation and if they would place that restriction on themselves if elected.

pjm said...

I was impressed with Santorums Iowa Speech.

He talks about doing away with Corporate Income Taxes on Manufacturers..... try to get our manufacturing base going again. I'm a big proponent of this.... and quite honestly doing away with the Corporate Income Tax all together. It brings in 5% of the budget.... but companies spend millions to avoid taxes. Lets create a situation where Global Companies want to move jobs to the US because of Tax Benefits. Get back the money that is sitting outside the US because US companies don't want to deal with the tax consequence. But at the same time do away with Gov't Subsidies to Corporations. It would be a net gain... and a job creator.

He is too much of a Social Conservative for me... but now that I know he is a Catholic, I am more comfortable with his views. That sounds strange... but it's a comfort and trust thing.

I don't like Romney at all... the guy bothers me. The way he stares during the debates. He is so smug.

Perry I find amusing. I like his self deprecating humor; but I don't see him as President. And quite honestly his job creation numbers are BS. Texas has benefited from the Oil Boom.... and a large number of the jobs are low wage service oriented jobs. Plus he is dead in the water.

pjm said...

Was just watching a Washington Week in Review on PBS... they spoke of the advantage that Romney has with his organization. He is much more established with phone banks, canvassers, volunteers etc. But then they mentioned that Obama has 20 election offices in New Hampshire, compared to Romney's 8 offices.

That was a big part of Obama's win in 2008. My GF volunteered for Obama in Carson City, NV. The organization that they had set up was quite impressive. They were out knocking on doors and calling everyday... making sure their constituents got out to vote etc. They had this going on for months before the election.... and she was their the last 3 weeks. Not until the final week did they run into anyone from McCains camp. And Nevada was a toss up State.

Stogie, being that we are from California we don't see much of this jockeying in the Presidential Election because California is really never in play.... the candidates come to California to get money... that is about it. :) But it's a key part of a successful campaign. When I was in College I volunteered for the Ross Perot Campaign... it was an interesting experience.

Stogie said...

pjm, back in the 1970's I helped man the GOP phone banks in Phoenix, Arizona. I met Barry Goldwater in person and shook his hand - he was wearing black cowboy boots under his gray business suit.

Yes, California is too remote from all of the political action in the east, and that is too bad. I'd like to be more involved.

I agree about Santorum's social conservatism.