We must vote for those candidates of any party that reflect these values: hard work, self-determination, smaller government, fiscal responsibility and honesty. Look to the character of anyone you chose to support. Their past does matter if they haven't learned from it. Their personal life is as relevant as their public one. We must be able to trust those who will be advising and leading us on what our country must do next. -Glenn Beck

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Reagan the Liberal

The Newt campaign appears to finally be imploding... thank goodness! Here are Newt's latest statements:

"The fact is I don’t believe the Republican party is going to nominate a liberal who is pro- abortion, pro gun-control pro tax-increase pro gay-rights and I don’t think Romney can frankly raise enough money to sustain the falsehoods that are the basis of his campaign."

Newt has said that Romney is "breathtakingly dishonest", and yet he is saying that Romney is pro-abortion, which is false, pro gun-control, which is false, pro tax-increase, which is false, and pro gay-rights, which is false.

Now what Newt probably meant is that Romney has held those positions in the past, but he didn't say "was" -- He said "is", even though the latest time Romney held any of those positions was years ago, and he has been consistent since.

If we are going to "was", then unfortunately Newt is in trouble, because then people have to analyze his voting record. How he is getting away with being the "conservative" candidate, I'll never know.

If we are looking at "is", how are Newt's current positions any more conservative than Romney's current positions?

Ronald Reagan, the greatest conservative maybe in history, was a liberal Democrat before he was a Republican.



Reagan actively supported Democratic candidates. But somewhere along the way, he realized he was wrong. His views changed, his stances on issues changed, and he slowly became a conservative. If Newt were running against Reagan, he would be calling him a liberal who "is" pro New Deal.

Newt is upset with Romney over being "dishonest" about a few accusations:

  • Lobbyist: Romney has called Newt a lobbyist. That's not true. Newt was simply a person who was being paid by health companies at the same time he was trying to influence legislation that affected those health companies. (Which is exactly what lobbyists do.)

  • Resign in Disgrace: Romney has said that Newt was forced to resign in disgrace as the Speaker of the House. That's not true. Newt was simply reprimanded by the majority of the House (395-28), and then he chose to resign. (As if he had a choice.)

  • Ethics Violation & Fine: Romney has said that Newt was investigated for 84 ethics-charge violations and handed a $300,000 fine. That's not true. 83 of the ethics-charge violations were dropped, and the $300,000 he paid was simply for the costs of the investigation. (He was investigated on 84 charges and paid a $300,000 fine.)

Newt does not like how Romney presents facts, and that is why he calls him "breathtakingly dishonest." But to say Romney is a "pro abortion liberal" when Romney has explained his position over and over again is somehow not dishonest.

Romney made this statement earlier in the week which I thought was absolutely perfect:

"[Gingrich] is now finding excuses everywhere he can," Romney said. "He's on TV this morning going from station to station complaining about what he thinks were the reasons he thinks he's had difficulty here in Florida. But you know, we've got a president who has a lot of excuses, and the excuses are over, it’s time to produce."

Newt needs to man up and buckle down and take his opponent on without resorting to slander. But that is not the campaign strategy of a desparate candidate.

Monday, January 30, 2012

Out of Touch

Just read this story:

Agent Provocatuer Sales Boosted by US First Lady Michelle Obama

Wow. And Romney is the one that's out of touch?!

The Obama advisers need to be fired. You would have to know that this story is going to get out. What kind of a message does it send to the public? The Obamas are so far out of it that they obviously don't see any problem with this.

Then again... maybe they are just trying to win back some votes from the Clinton supporters.

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Interesting

Funny how many other stories have come out like this from former colleagues (including Ron Paul in the debate on Monday) who served in the House of Representatives when Newt was Speaker:

The Newt I Know

And funny that those who seem to be defending and supporting Newt like Rush and Sarah Palin and Michael Reagan never worked with Newt.

I find it interesting that the people who know him best seem to support him least.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

State of the Union: President Obama's Bake Sale

I watched the State of the Union last night, and I can honestly say that I don't get it. It is beyond my comprehension to understand the mind of Obama and the liberals.

(Apparently we are beyond the comprehension of liberals as well. "Yes, there's a lot we don't understand about the GOP". Although in this case, and I can't believe I'm saying this, I agree with Paul Begala and James Carville!)

But to listen to Obama last night, demanding that companies and individuals and schools and Congress do what he says, is just beyond my comprehension.

If Obama were putting on a bake sale, and nobody was buying the cakes, his strategy would be to first demand that people buy the cakes. Then he would ridicule and belittle anybody who left without buying a cake. Then if they still wouldn't buy, he would declare that there would be a penalty for anybody who tried to leave without buying a cake. Then he would raise the prices of milk so that the price of cake looked more attractive. Finally, he would have some goons physically force people to hand over their credit cards so he could swipe them... and then give their cake to someone more deserving. That is apparently the Obama way.

OR, President Obama, here's an idea... you could lower the price of the cakes to the point where people would want to buy them.

Saying to businesses "Ask yourselves what you can do to bring jobs back to your country" does not work.

Pop quiz. You have your choice to have your business headquartered in:

A) A country with a corporate tax rate of 35.0%
B) A country with a corporate tax rate of 12.5%

Which do you choose?
(ANSWER: Congratulations! Your business is now headquartered in Ireland.)

Lower the corporate tax rate to 12.0%, and all the jobs flow back into the U.S. from other countries. Simple economics.

What about the tax revenue lost? If 100 business make a combined $1 billion in revenue, that is $350,000,000 in taxes at the U.S. rate. Let's say the lower tax rate lures 100 businesses back plus 100 new business from other countries. If 300 businesses make a combined $3 billion in revenue, that is $360,000,000 at 12% (at triple the amount of jobs.)

In 2010, Ferrari sold 6,573 vehicles, and had a net income of $392 million. In 2010, Ford sold roughly 1,931,534 vehicles for a net income of $7 billion dollars. How does the company selling the vehicle for $300,000 earn 1/20th of the company selling the vehicle for $30,000? The answer to that is the answer to our economic woes. (P.S. One of those companies employs 2,721. The other employs 164,000.)

President Obama, you can fight all you want to try to manipulate the system, but when you are ready for true hope and change, you will utilize the natural laws we studied in Econ 101.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Exactly!

This is exactly what I was talking about in the last post. For anybody who is complaining about Romney paying a 15% tax rate, look what 15% of a person like Romney's income pays for:

Romney Paid 42 Percent of 2011 Income in Taxes and Charity

He paid his taxes on his income as the current tax system dictates. I can see how someone would complain about the way the current tax system is set up, but I have no clue how anyone could attack Romney for paying exactly what he was supposed to pay. The 50% of Americans who pay nothing in income taxes would especially be ungrateful to attack him and want him to pay more after the Top 5% already pick up 60% of the bill. 60%! In what world is that fair?

What we need is to create an environment that is condusive to business so that more people can become "Romney"s who pay $3.2 million in taxes every year. (Not to mention the charitable contributions.)

Monday, January 23, 2012

Romney & Taxes

Romney has been really solid in the face of a barrage of criticism from all sides. That is what makes it so interesting that he has struggled to find a response when he has been asked about his taxes.

The problem has nothing to do with Romney doing anything unethical or illegal with his taxes. He has stated he has been very careful to pay all of his taxes. The problem is simply that he has been very successful in his career, and he is a very wealthy individual.

The Democrats are chomping at the bit to paint Romney as out of touch with the American people. They think that is the key to success in beating Romney.

This is the same Democratic party, by the way, that nominated John Kerry as their candidate in 2004. Romney's net worth is estimated to be $250 million. Kerry's net worth in 2004 was estimated to be $750 million.

Nevertheless, the Democrats will try to show that Romney is out of touch, and that the Obamas (with a measly net worth of $10 million) are just the people's people. (How many of you have a $2,000 sun dress hanging in your closet?)

This is to be expected of the left, but it is completely insane that these attacks are coming from the so-called "Republican" candidates.

PR

I can see from a PR perspective why Romney struggles with these questions though. There is no requirement anywhere for a candidate to release their tax records. I'm sure Romney, like everyone else, would prefer to keep their financial information confidential. But is something that has been done voluntarily in the past, and so the precedence has been set.

Because that precedence has been set, from a PR perspective, someone refusing to release their tax records would give the impression that they are hiding something. So you have to release the records. Normally that would be done after the primary is over and the nominee has been selected.

But because Romney was facing such extreme pressure from the other candidates, it was becoming a PR dilemma. The Romney camp either had to directly dig their heels in and say, "We'll release them in the summer as has been done in the past", or come out with the information and try to diffuse the situation. Romney was in a "damned if you do, damned if you don't" situation.

I actually thought the move for Romney to tell a reporter he pays about 15% in taxes was good strategy. There was a flurry of news stories, but there will be no surprises when he releases his tax records, and there will be no fuel left for that fire when President Obama tries to attack him later in the year -- It will be old news.

I also think the timing was not accidental. I think they knew that it was unlikely they would win the strongly evangelical South Carolina because of the evangelical view on the Mormon religion. They were willing to concede South Carolina, and they could hang the defeat on the tax information.

But I think they didn't account for having the Iowa win swept out from under them, and they didn't account for the surge that would push Gingrich to not just a win, but a win with a huge margin.

FIFTEEN PERCENT

As conservatives though, we should not and cannot buy into these attacks. Gingrich, Perry, and Santorum have attacked capitalism by attacking Bain Capital. Someone please tell me how that represents conservatism?

If we could see James Carville or Sean Penn or Susan Sarandon's tax returns, we would see that they work with their accountants to try to minimize the amount of tax they pay on their income. They might pay 15% as well. That is the structure of the current tax system.

If you had the choice to pay either 15% or 30% of your income in taxes, which would you choose? Attacking Romney for paying 15% in taxes is like attacking him for going 65 mph in a 65 mph zone. It makes absolutely no sense.

The fact that Gingrich paid a 30% tax on his income is not a compliment to Gingrich in my mind. It makes me think he "didn't get on the Virginia ballot" with his taxes, so to speak.

Furthermore, let's say that Romney made a conservative 10% in interest on his $250 million and paid a 15% tax rate. He would have paid $3,750,000 in taxes in 2011... which is more tax than most of us will pay in my lifetime. I think what the poor Democrats don't understand is that the "Romneys" of the world pay for the streets they drive on, the cash they get for their clunkers, the stamps they get for their food, and the income they get for each additional child.

In 2009, tax breaks included, the top 1% paid 37% of the taxes. The Top 5% paid 59% of the taxes. The Top 25% paid 87% of the taxes.

"IF YE HAVE NOT CHARITY..."

The other attacks at Romney have been directed at his giving significant amounts of money to the Mormon church, which is also insane.

Mitt Romney is a Mormon. A "tithe" is 10% of one's income. So if Romney is worth $250 million, it would make sense that he would have paid at least $25 million to his church. There are articles about him paying in kind with stocks, which is a perfectly legitimate thing to do. Mitt Romney has been very generous with the wealth he has generated. And he has been attacked for it.

Newt Gingrich just released his returns which show that he paid 2.5% of his adjusted gross income to charity. John Kerry's tax returns showed that he had paid $0 in charitable donations in 2003.

THE AMERICAN DREAM

The crazy thing is that all Mitt Romney has done to incite these attacks is live the American dream. The poor Democrat on food stamps dreams of starting their own business and being worth $250 million some day.

If someone were to give you a business tomorrow, you would work your guts out, you would try to maximize your profits, you would hope to be successful and become wealthy, you would hire an accountant to minimize the amount of taxes we pay so that we could decide what to do with your money, and you would be charitable with your wealth.

To attack Romney for doing what any of us (Republican or Democrat) would do is ludicrous. Romney has been very successful in his career. The tax records should be a reminder to all of us as conservatives of what is possible when the government gets out of the way and lets capitalism work.

Romney, like the other Republican candidates, wants to create an environment that best allows for individuals to live the American dream. Why his opponents are criticizing him for actually living it is beyond me.

The calling on the field is confirmed.

Not 24 hours after my last post, Ann Coulter says almost the exact same thing I was getting at (but in a more concise, entertaining way.)

Ann Coulter on Newt's Win in SC

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Romney vs. Gingrich

As I watched the South Carolina primary results coming in tonight, I wasn't surprised to see Gingrich win. (I actually would have been more surprised to see Romney win.) I think it will be a different story in Florida, but what did surprise me was to see the margin of victory for Gingrich.

It did make me consider the possibility that Romney could actually lose, and that Gingrich could end up being the Republican nominee. Based on the speech he gave tonight after he had won, he would be good.

Unfortunately, speeches do not a President make. (Otherwise, President Obama would have been a great President!)

NEWT

The difficulty I have with Gingrich is that there is nothing that tells me he is not just a Washington politician. I just looked up his voting record to see if my memory was playing tricks on me about him not being all that conservative, and the thing that struck me was not moderate votes... It was his lack of votes. I just grabbed a random year, 1997. There were roughly 69 "key votes" in 1997, and Newt did not vote 47 times. 70% of the time, he did not vote. Is that normal? (I didn't count up every year, but it all looks roughly the same.)

I read a few more articles on various positions Newt has taken over the years, and then I went to Newt's website and read these answers to questions on his record. I thought it was really interesting. For example, this is a response to attacks from the Democrats about Newt being a hypocrite for attacking Clinton for having an affair when Newt had admitted to having affairs himself:

"Opponents often try to delegitimize Newt Gingrich by pointing out that he had admitted to having an extramarital affair during the impeachment of President Bill Clinton. What these accusers are ignoring is that the impeachment proceedings against President Clinton were due to the fact that the president committed perjury in front of a sitting federal judge, which is a felony. As the Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives, Newt felt that he had a duty to uphold the rule of law by pursuing impeachment. He stands by that decision today."

He's right. Perjury just crosses a line!

Read through a few of those responses from Newt, and look at the quantity of positions he has to defend, and what those positions are. There is a definite pattern there.

LEADERSHIP

Like I said, based on Newt's speech on Saturday night, he would make a great President. He does talk like a conservative. He might be a good President. But the thing that concerns me most about him is that he is just like Obama in one regard -- He has never run anything. Or has he?

I hear over and over again about these "little guys" like Gingrich fighting against the Romney machine and all of his campaign money. Ummmmm... How did Romney get all of this money?

Romney's campaign runs like a well-oiled machine. He reportedly currently has $19 million on hand, with more money pouring in each day.

Newt so far, has had his campaign manager, press secretary, and senior aides all jointly resign last June. His campaign was rumored to be over $1 million in debt at the time. And then his campaign failed to meet the requirements by the deadline to even get on the ballot of Missouri (which he responded to by saying he didn't want to be on the ballot there anyway) AND in Virginia (which he blamed on one guy in his campaign committing fraud.)

Romney, on the other hand, is on the ballot in both Missouri and Virginia, because his campaign was aware of the requirements and gathered the necessary signatures by the deadline. (Wouldn't you think that getting on the ballot would be a #1 priority for a campaign?)

Should this tell us something about the candidates?

PROF. GINGRICH

My dad pointed out something interesting to me the other day. We both teach at a University. Newt finished school and started teaching at West Georgia College in 1970. One year later, he applied to be president of the college.

In 1974, he left the history department for the geography department. Why? I find that interesting.

Then in 1978, he was denied tenure by the college. This may not mean much to people outside the academic world, but this was very telling to my dad and I. The bottom line is that the College did not want Newt Gingrich.

He then left to become a politician.

84 ethics charges were filed against Gingrich as Speaker of the House and, in 1997, Gingrich was penalized $300,000 by a 395-28 vote in the House (which means the majority of the Republicans also voted for it.) He was forced out in 1998 as Republicans lost control of the House.

This just seems to be a theme in his personal, professional, and political lives.

CONCLUSION

Leadership is not the only important quality in a President. It obviously must be matched by correct views. But correct views alone obviously do not qualify an individual either.

Ronald Reagan was a great conservative. But he also ran the state of California (the largest in the U.S.) for 8 years. He became an amazing leader who changed the world and who was well-respected and almost universally liked. (What struck me as I watched that video was the contrast between Reagan and Gingrich -- Has Newt smiled during this campaign?)

There is no evidence that I've seen that supports the argument that Gingrich is somehow more conservative than Romney. In fact, in recent days, Gingrich has attacked capitalism, which is one of the wars that liberals are waging daily.

But there is ample evidence supporting Romney's leadership abilities. He has a consistent record of success. Whether in the business world, in the Olympics, in the state of Massachusetts, or in running the campaign, when Romney is involved, success follows. Wherever Newt goes, it would appear that failure eventually follows.

I'm sorry, South Carolina. Santorum, yeah -- He is a likable guy and at least feels like a leader (even though he also has never run anything.) Even Ron Paul -- He has an created an impressive following, and his campaign at least made it on the Missouri and Virginia ballots. But Newt Gingrich?... I'm just not seeing it.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

A Letter to Rush Limbaugh

I was listening to Rush Limbaugh on Monday to see what he had to say about the debates that occurred over the weekend. As I listened, the following thoughts came to mind, and if I thought if I had the time to try to get through to him, here is what I would say:

I love you, Rush. Love the program. It's always very entertaining. And I agree with you almost all the time. But I listened to the show yesterday, and I think you are wrong to constantly be taking shots at Mitt Romney.

I agree with what you've often said, that we don't need to try to find a moderate to appeal to the "independent" voters. As you've mentioned over and over again, Reagan won a landslide vote by running on conservative principles.

But Reagan isn't running in 2012. The field is Newt Gingrich, Jon Hunstman, Ron Paul, Rick Perry, Mitt Romney, and Rick Santorum. Those are the choices. Bobby Jindal isn't in the race. Mark Rubio isn't in the race. Sarah Palin isn't in the race. All of our favorites aren't in the race. It has to be one of the six that ARE in the race.

Ron Paul: Good guy, lots of great ideas, and seems to be right on about 80% of the time. The other 20%, he gets loco (legalize marijuana, let Iran have nuclear weapons, etc.), and has some extreme views that makes himself unelectable to the general population. You shake your head when callers mention his name. He's obviously out.

Newt Gingrich: You said yourself yesterday that Newt sounds like the liberals. Newt would never win the presidency -- WAY too much baggage. Not "presidential" enough -- The fit he's thrown over negative ads from Romney's Super PAC has proved that. Unelectable. He's out.

Jon Hunstman: If you want to talk about moderates, Rush, maybe you ought to look at Huntsman. He got less than 1,000 votes in Iowa. He'll do better in New Hampshire, but you've seen him in the debates. Obama would chew him up and spit him out. Seems like a nice guy, did some good things in Utah, but no way he'll win the nomination, much less the general election. He just hasn't connected with the people. Not a strong candidate. He's out.

That leaves Rick Perry, Rick Santorum, and Mitt Romney. Who do you want, Rush? Perry has already proved that he has a hard time connecting with the people. His debate performances were not great, with a few major flubs. How is he going to do once the DNC attack-machine starts in on him?

That leaves Romney and Santorum. Those are the only two real choices. It's easy to sit and take shots at Romney based on his supposed "flip-flops" from 10 years ago, but I don't see you saying who you would vote for and why. Who do you want?

I like both Romney and Santorum. Both are likeable and "presidential". Both have done good things in their careers. Both have proved to do well in the debates, although Santorum only recently was able to gain any traction. And I don't get the feeling that Santorum is a bigtime Reagan conservative though. I'm just not sure what you're trying to accomplish by focusing on the negative things of our candidates.

I heard you say about Romney's response in the debate explaining how he would reach across the aisle to work with the Democrats saying he had been able to do so in Massachusetts that "That's one position I wish he would flip-flop on." What did you want him to say?? The question was something about, "Congress is divided -- How would you work to get things done with the other side?" Should he have answered, "Forget the Democrats -- We'll do things our way." That would have gone over really well. I don't get it, Rush -- You're not making sense.

Regardless of what you say, Romney was able to get elected as a Republican in one of the most liberal states in the Union. He is a businessman who graduated from Harvard. He understands how the free market works. He understands that we need to cut taxes to stimulate business. In fact, what position of Romney's do you currently not agree with?

Yes, Reagan is a better candidate than Romney. We all know that. But I've got news for you, Rush: Reagan isn't running.

Friday, January 6, 2012

Mitt Romney: "Flip-flopper"?... Or "Flip-per"?

PRESIDENT OBAMA

It's finally 2012! We've been waiting for this year since about a month after President Obama took office when we realized that all our fears were well-founded. Who could have guessed that it would have turned out worse than we could have imagined? As someone who has studied some public relations, I am dumbfounded by some of the decisions that our current President makes (like his latest "recess" appointments.)

When Jimmy Carter is giving you advice about not alientating voters in your first term, you know you're in trouble. Beginning with ramming through Health Care that the majority of the country was opposed to, to critcizing Bush for his deficit spending... and then doubling that spending, to manipulating unemployment numbers by using jobs created "or saved", to elaborate vacations and $2K sun dresses, to excusing his lack of success in the economy on President Bush... 3 years after President Bush is out of the office, to claiming to want to compromise and then blocking Republicans from meetings, to golfing more than I do (which is a lot), to going on late-night comedy shows as a sitting President of the United States, to bowing to every foreign leader he comes in contact with, to claiming transparency without being transparent, to providing no leadership or direction or even a statement on what our position was on the overthrow of the Libya government, and on, and on, and on. It's like he takes everything his PR people tell him, and he does exactly the opposite.

The only rationale I can think of for the decisions he makes is that he really only ever wanted to be President for the glory. He had never run anything. He had never really managed anything, certainly in a private setting. His jobs had consisted of securing "free" taxpayer money and then finding ways to spend it. He had never needed to provide a value or a service or turn a profit. He was an organizer. He is relatively young and inexperienced, having been handed much of what came to him in life (including the nomination for the presidency after giving his speech at the Democratic convention in 2004.) He appears to be in over his head. He never expected the job to be as hard as it is. He never expected it to entail the hours it was going to entail. He never realized how hard it is to get two sides to come together in relative compromise to get things done in Washington. Managing a dozen people at a McDonald's is a difficult job. President Obama's first experience as a manager was managing a country of 300 million people.

I get the feeling that President Obama hates going into work every day. He can't quit, because that would be disgraceful, and he does want to have his picture up in school classrooms around the country. I think he does want to leave a legacy of some sorts, even if it means just satisfying those to the extreme left with health care and green jobs and those types of initiatives. But his actions show that he has no interest in a second term. I honestly think he will breathe a sigh of relief if he is not reelected.

So will we.

LOOKING FORWARD

George W. Bush ran the state of Texas (and the Texas Rangers before that.) Bill Clinton ran the state of Arkansas. George H.W. Bush ran an oil company. Ronald Reagan ran the state of California. Jimmy Carter even owned a peanut farm. Barack Obama... organized.

I've discussed this idea in a previous post, but I believe we should always look to candidates with executive experience to run our country. Too many times we look to Senators and Representatives, who are mostly lawyers who specialize in law and have never run anything other than committees.

Barack Obama was a lawyer, a community organizer, and then a Senator. We see where that lack of executive experience has gotten us. George W. Bush may have been divisive because of his stances, but he was still able to get congress to come together to pass laws. President Obama makes Republicans look back fondly on the days of Bill Clinton.

We hope for change.

REPUBLICAN CANDIDATES

As I've watched the field for Republican candidates first grow and then debate and then attack and now begin to shrink, I've discovered that I like most of the candidates. We have a good group of people.

I've heard liberal commentators try to accuse the Republicans of being splintered because Mitt Romney won the Iowa caucus with only 25% of the vote. Could it be that there are just a lot of good candidates, so it is hard to choose, because many different people have their favorite and each can only vote once?

Bachmann has dropped out, and Perry and Huntsman likely won't be far behind. That 16% of the vote is going to go somewhere. And then we'll see a couple more candidates drop, and we'll end up with a top three and probably a front-runner. This is just part of the process. I like that we have so many good candidates, and to hear them unite over and over again in the debates against President Obama's policies is refreshing.

NEWT

That's why we need to be careful. Rick Santorum gave a great and inspiring speech on the night of the Iowa caucus. Newt Gingrich used his time to declare war on Romney. Newt had pulled into the lead in the polls, and then the Romney super PAC came after Newt with a series of negative ads. Romney has said that he has no influence, nor could he legally have any contact or influence with the super PAC. Newt has now accused Romney of being a "liar" and secretly funding those ads, and has now made it his mission to derail Romney's campaign.

I lost a lot of respect for Newt in that moment. Here is a man who has a very respectable career in politics. He is a great debater and has a lot of good experience to pull from. But this move shows why he will never be President of the United States: He is waging a war against one of his own to act out a personal vendetta. He is thirsty for revenge. What I got out of his speech was, "If I'm going down, Mitt's coming down with me." A President needs to be able to take an attack, because they more than likely will on a daily basis.

Then Newt says that he won't go negative, BUT he does reserve the right to tell the truth about another candidate... which is exactly what the "negative" Newt ads were doing. The difference is, as Newt pointed out, is that he will do it with happy music instead of scary music.

We really need to be careful about bloodshed inside the party. Of course voting records are going to be used against each other in ads. Of course stances on issues are going to be brought up and old quotes are going to be played. But to call another candidate a "liar", and accuse them of illegal activity with no evidence is exactly the type of negativity that Newt claims to be above. This proves to me what I've thought every time I've heard him speak over the years: Newt is a grown up 5 year-old.

MITT ROMNEY

All of the candidates are now banding together to attack Mitt as the front-runner, and then if Mitt drops in the polls and Santorum moves ahead, I suppose they'll attack Santorum (except for Newt, who will still be attacking Mitt.) That is to be expected in a primary.

But when our own party is saying the same things as the liberals are saying, we know we're in the wrong place. I heard over and over again as I watched the Iowa caucus coverage on CNN was about how Romney has a ceiling of 25% of the voters because that's the same percentage he had in 2008 (when McCain won with 35% of the vote.) And now I've heard other Republicans repeating the same thing.

Rick Santorum has a good day in the Iowa caucus, nearly beating the front-runner Romney. But few people are talking about the fact that Romney made little effort to win Iowa -- His goal was to finish in the top three there. He campaigned relatively little in Iowa, and spent relatively little in Iowa (roughly $1.47M compared to Perry at $4.5M, who spent 3 times as much and got less than halfof the vote.) And he won. He spent less time and money than he did in 2008, and still won with 25% of the vote. As you look at the map, basically where he campaigned, he won.

Santorum chose to focus almost exclusively on Iowa to get this win. He spent approximately 250 days campaigning in Iowa, holding town meeting after town meeting, and criss-crossing the state in the Dodge pickup truck. He faced little opposition from the other candidates (who were focusing their attacks on Gingrich and Romney.) And he still lost. The strategy seemed to be effective, as he went from basically unknown to the top story in the election and raised $1M in one day, but I will be very suprised if he can come within 10% of Romney in New Hampshire where Romney has focused his efforts.

Jon Huntsman was content to concede Iowa, spending no time there, and recieved 1% of the vote. But I would not be suprised to see Hunstman beat Santorum in New Hampshire, where Huntsman has used the same strategy Santorum used in Iowa.

I've heard a number of times in the last couple days about how "75% of the Republicans voted against Romney" and "How is Romney the most electable when he can only get the vote of 25% of his people?" Ummmmm... he won. He got the highest amount of votes of any candidate. That means that 75% also voted against Santorum. And 79% voted against Ron Paul. And 87% voted against Newt Gingrich. So Romney is still the most electable by that measure.

The liberals would like us to believe we're splintered. We're not. Iowa is one state. Jon Hunstman is right that New Hampshire doesn't care what Iowa thinks. We are 50 states. Things will become a little clearer as the dust settles in New Hampshire on Tuesday.

FLIPPER

I've heard from some "conservatives" that having Romney in the White House would be no different than Obama. That is simply ridiculous. Romney may be left of Ron Paul, but he is a conservative. The left will try to paint him as a moderate so that the Republicans will shy away from him, but if he wins the Republican nomination, watch how they switch their tactics to paint him as ultra-conservative, "not sharing the views of the mainstream America."

One thing that really bothers me is when people refer to Romney as a "flip-flopper." That is also ridiculous. The true definition of a flip-flopper is someone like who flips on a view and then flops the next day or week or month on that view. Kerry and other true flip-floppers adapt their view to their audience or the latest poll.

I know Romney flipped on his stance on abortion. When has he flopped? I've heard that Romney flipped his stance on gay rights and "Don't ask, don't tell." When has he flopped?

Mitt Romney has told the story about why he changed his view on abortion again and again until he is blue in the face. He had held the view of being pro-choice, but the first time a bill crossed his desk that he was going to sign legislation that would lead to actual deaths of these unborn infants, he couldn't do it -- He changed his stance. He has been consistent on that new stance to this day (since 2002.) Where is the flop?

It sounds to me like he studied out the issue, and changed his position based on new information. I would hope that we would have a President who would be willing to research a particular problem or issue, and if they found that they had previously been in error, would change their mind in order to do what was right. (Just like I hope all of the Keynesian-economics disciples will realize that this trillion dollars in deficit government stimulus spending has done little to nothing for the economy... Maybe Reagan was right after all with his supply-side stimulus.)

Not only that, but the left tries to paint Romney as a chronic flip-flopper, and then they cite a couple of examples dating back 2002 and 1994. Nonsense.

FRONT-RUNNER

If the left wants to try to paint Romney as a flip-flopper, fine. We can expect them to. But we need to be careful about following their lead. And it may be instructive to note that the few "flips" that Romney has made in his lifetime have been to a more conservative position.

Romney is the front-runner. By Tuesday, he will likely have won both Iowa AND New Hampshire... a feat that no other Republican nominee has accomplished in recent history. He consistently polls higher than Obama than any other nominee. Thus, he will more likely than not be the Republican nominee come August.

These candidates are good men. But Santorum is a lawyer and a lifelong politician. Gingrich is a lifelong politician. Ron Paul was a doctor, but has been a politician for more than 30 years. Like Obama, none of them have ever run anything.

Rick Perry is a lifelong politician, but he has at least run the state of Texas. Jon Huntsman has been an executive of the Huntsman Corporation, and he ran the state of Utah. Between Perry and Huntsman though, they received only 12% of the votes in Iowa. For whatever reason, they're not connecting with voters.

Mitt Romney is a businessman. Most of Romney's adult life has been spent as an executive of one type or another. He has run the state of Massachussetts (which is a feat for a Republican.) His professional career has been spent taking broken companies and fixing them. Leading up to the 2002 Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City, the event was running $379 million deficit on expected revenue. Romney was hired as the CEO of the Salt Lake Organizing Committe when there were fears the games would be moved elsewhere. By the time Romney finished three years later, the Games cleared a $100 million profit. (P.S. I just read that he donated the $1.4 million salary he earned to charity.)

It just so happens that the biggest challenge facing our country right now is the economy. That makes Romney very electable to those who care about having a job, regardless of party.

O FIM

We have a lot of good candidates. Any of the candidates would be better than the current President. We'll see how it all shapes out over the next couple weeks and months leading up to the election.

But in the meantime, we can't let ourselves be divided. We can debate and we can talk about stances and issues, but name-calling is counter-productive. We can't echo liberal talking points. Mitt Romney may have "flipped" his stance on abortion nine years ago, but he is not a "flip-flopper" in any Kerry sense of the word.

The "flip-flopper" label is fatal in politics if it can be made to stick. The liberals know that, and that's why they always try their best to make it stick. I expect that from liberals, but I have no idea why someone who calls themselves a conservative would want to try to deal a fatal blow to the man who it appears will likely be the one to face off against Obama come November.

Let's debate issues and let's talk about records and let's find the best candidate through the process. But let's also remember that, regardless of who your candidate is, we're on the same side. We fight for a common goal -- A one-term President Obama. Here's to victory in November!