George Will slams Mitt Romney’s flip-flopping

Republican presidential candidate and former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney speaks at a town hall meeting campaign stop in Manchester, New Hampshire October 28, 2011. REUTERS/Brian Snyder (UNITED STATES – Tags: POLITICS ELECTIONS)

Many establishment Republicans are rallying around Mitt Romney, mostly because the rest of the GOP field is an utter embarrassment. But Romney keeps making it tough for them with his parade of flips and flops.

Romney’s establishment support took a hit over the weekend when prominent essayist George Will slammed Romney in a column over his inability to be consistent. After a devastating summary of Romney’s various positions on the issues, Will concludes with this:

Romney, supposedly the Republican most electable next November, is a recidivist reviser of his principles who is not only becoming less electable; he might damage GOP chances of capturing the Senate. Republican successes down the ticket will depend on the energies of the Tea Party and other conservatives, who will be deflated by a nominee whose blurry profile in caution communicates only calculated trimming.

Republicans may have found their Michael Dukakis, a technocratic Massachusetts governor who takes his bearings from “data” (although there is precious little to support Romney’s idea that in-state college tuition for children of illegal immigrants is a powerful magnet for such immigrants) and who believes elections should be about (in Dukakis’s words) “competence,” not “ideology.” But what would President Romney competently do when not pondering ethanol subsidies that he forthrightly says should stop sometime before “forever”? Has conservatism come so far, surmounting so many obstacles, to settle, at a moment of economic crisis, for this?

This is a devastating critique. While Will represents the conservative wing of the GOP, he’s not part of the crazies and he has significant influence with the establishment. He’s now provided an argument against Romney’s principle claim – that of electability.

Herman Cain’s non-traditional campaign

This ad from the Herman Cain campaign is getting a ton of attention and ridicule, and every traditional method of analysis tells us that this is another nail in the coffin of his campaign.

Yet Cain continues to lead in the polls. He keeps making ridiculous gaffes, but he still has significant support.

He’s also going very slowly with traditional campaign methods like building staff in the early primary states. He doesn’t have any organization focused on getting people to the polls.

He claims he’s running a “national” campaign, yet critics charge he’s just promoting his book or angling for a TV show on Fox.

Regardless of your politics, the Cain insurgency is fascinating to watch, and in a political climate where the Tea Party seems to love candidates more the less they look like traditional politicians, we have to ask ourselves whether this guys can actually win! It sounds nuts, but anything is possible. He doesn’t need much more than 30% support to win out.

Mitt Romney latest flip flops reach absurd levels

Mitt Romney is turning into a joke. If you don’t like his position on something just wait a bit. He might change it if the wind blows in a different direction.

His latest feat of mental gymnastics occurred in Ohio, where he once supported Governor Kasich’s union-busting bill. Romney came to the state to support the efforts to support Issue 2, but he must have seen the polls which showed how unpopular the bill had become. So he wavered. Conservatives were justifiably outraged, so a day later Mitt flipped again and said he was 110 % behind the bill.

Rick Perry and the others GOP candidates will savage him for this. Meanwhile, the Democrats are happy to chime in as well. See the video above.

Rick Santorum’s bizarre views about sex hold back his campaign

Former U.S. Senator Rick Santorum (R-PA) speaks to delegates during the Republican Party of Florida Presidency 5 Convention in Orlando, Florida September 24, 2011. REUTERS/Phelan Ebenhack (UNITED STATES – Tags: POLITICS ELECTIONS)

Rick Santorum is notorious for his comments about gay marriage and homosexuals. But his strict Catholic upbringing leads him to comment about sex quite often, and he seems intent on imposing his views on everyone else.

We’ll repeal Obamacare and get rid any idea that you have to have abortion coverage or contraceptive coverage. One of the things that I will talk about that no president has talked about before is I think the dangers of contraception in this country, the sexual liberty idea and many in the Christian faith have said, you know contraception is OK. It’s not OK because it’s a license to do things in a sexual realm that is counter to how things are supposed to be.

Really? Now he has a problem with contraception?

With the collapse of Rick Perry and the incomprehensible abortion comments from Herman Cain, I thought there might be room for a conservative like Santorum to emerge as one of the anti-Romney candidates. But Rick Santorum’s obsession with sexual issues keeps holding him back. He also seems clueless that these views might hinder his campaign.

He’s certainly entitled to his opinion, and many believe that the sexual revolution has been a bad thing for our culture (I don’t), but he seems intent on turning the clock back. As a result, the only thing he’s really running for is a commentator position on Fox News.

Hopefully I’m wrong, as Santorum would be one of the easiest Republicans for President Obama to defeat in 2012 if he somehow snagged the nomination.

Obama announces end to Iraq War

U.S. soldiers take a rest in the shade of armoured vehicles at a courtyard at Camp Liberty in Baghdad September 30, 2011. U.S troops are scheduled to pull out of the country by the end of this year, according to a 2008 security pact between the U.S. and Iraq. Picture taken September 30, 2011. REUTERS/Mohammed Ameen (IRAQ – Tags: CONFLICT POLITICS MILITARY)

President Obama just announced in a news conference that all American troops in Iraq will be withdrawn by the end of the year, and the troops will be home for the holidays.

This was expected, but it’s still monumental. After spending trillions of dollars and suffering thousands of American casualties, we’re finally leaving Iraq.

The U.S. was open to keeping trainers in Iraq past the end of the year, but the Iraqi government would not grant immunity to American soldiers, so we told them to forget it.

Herman Cain is clueless on abortion

GOP voters will be very interested in this video.

Herman Cain’s stated position on abortion is that he’s pro-life, even in cases of rape and incest. Yet when pressed in this video, he goes on to state that it’s up to each family and the government can’t get involved in the decision. Of course that’s a libertarian, pro-choice position.

Does he even understand the difference? Cain has embraced his own ignorance of issues relating to foreign policy, and apparently that ignorance extends to social issues as well.

This present a huge opening for candidates like Rick Perry and Rick Santorum. Rasmussen now has Cain leading in Iowa. Can that last with statements like this? Can he keep his Tea Party support?

Rick Perry hits Mitt Romney hard with video on double-talk

We’re seeing a battle of videos out there and the Rick Perry-Mitt Romney feud gets personal and nasty.

Mitt Romney’s campaign put out a scathing video yesterday implying that Perry wasn’t capable of speaking coherently. The video was taken down after complaints by CNN of clips from their pundits, and now it’s been re-posted by an organization that downloaded the original video.

Perry’s video above hit Romney where it hurts. Not only is Romney a compulsive flip-flopper who will take different positions depending on the political environment he’s facing, Romney will also lie about his past positions. This video is devastating, and provides fodder for Romney attacks during the GOP primaries and in a potential general election match-up.

Perry is also vulnerable, and we can expect to see more videos from Romney showing Perry’s difficulties with the English language. He makes George W. Bush sound like a Shakespearean actor.

It’s game on folks, and this political cage match should be fun to watch, and it’s precisely what the Obama campaign has been waiting for.

Reports that Muammar Gaddafi was killed in Sirte

Residents celebrate at Martyrs square in Tripoli October 20, 2011 after hearing the news that former leader Muammar Gaddafi was killed in Sirte. Gaddafi died in an attack by NTC fighters, a senior NTC official said on Thursday. REUTERS/Ismail Zitouny (LIBYA – Tags: POLITICS CIVIL UNREST)

Libyans are celebrating with the reports that Muammar Gaddafi was killed in Sirte. It’s not completely confirmed but more reports are trickling in.

This is further validation of the policies President Obama pursued in Libya in the face of withering criticism from the left and the right. It’s an example of how air power can work, and how we can avoid problems when we don’t send our troops.

The Buffoonery of Herman Cain

Republican presidential candidate Herman Cain waves as he arrives on stage before the start of the CNN Western Republican Presidential Debate in Las Vegas, Nevada, October 18, 2011. REUTERS/Richard Brian (UNITED STATES – Tags: POLITICS)

Few people if any thought Herman Cain could be a viable candidate for the GOP nomination. I certainly didn’t think so, particularly when he made some early gaffes.

Yet he’s leading the polls, presumably because he’s a Tea Party conservative with a sunny personality who has been pushing a simplistic 9-9-9 plan. How long will it last? Who knows when you consider some of the candidates that the Tea Party supported in the 2010 Senate races.

Even before Cain’s embarrassing debate performance last night, Joe Klein called him out in response to this Cain quote:

When they ask me who is the president of Ubeki-beki-beki-beki-stan-stan, I’m going to say, you know, I don’t know.

Klein wasn’t impressed:

Let’s say Cain was just joking, which is his all-purpose excuse on the myriad of occasions where his ignorance erupts into public view. Let’s say he actually knows that the name of the country is Uzbekistan. Does a prospective President of the United State really want to make fun of that? I mean–and I hope, Herman, you’re listening–there is a major airport in southern Uzbekistan that NATO has been using as a crucial transfer point for troops and materiel headed into Afghanistan. Wouldn’t want to tick off the Uzbek president, Islam Karimov…because it might make life significantly tougher for our troops over there. Not the sort of thing one jokes about, Hermanator.

I know what I’m about to say is impolite, but Herman Cain strikes me as something of a jerk and an ignoramus. He has made absolutely outrageous statements about Muslims, immigrants and homosexuals; he takes the most extreme position imaginable on abortion. Indeed, I have never, ever seen him acknowledge the idea that complexity exists in the world…or that an ability to weed through complex issues might be a qualification for the presidency.

No, the guy is a marketer. He had other people handle administration and finance at Godfather’s; he was all about the pies. Hence, we have his 9-9-9 plan, a truly rancid scheme to benefit the rich at the expense of the rest of the country, a scheme that would tax a gallon of milk and a loaf of bread.

As if to make Joe Klein look like a genius, Herman Cain had one of those days yesterday that would make normal people cringe. First, he stated on CNN before the debate that he would be open to trading all the prisoners at Guantanamo Bay in exchange for an American soldier held hostage by al Qaeda. He was called out on this idiotic statement by none other than Michele Bachmann. If Bachmann makes you look stupid, then you really have problems.

He also sounded like a buffoon as he tried to explain his 9-9-9 plan by using fruit metaphors. The other candidates were not impressed, and I doubt that anyone other than die-hard Tea Party fanatics thought me made any sense. The candidates pretty much ignored Cain after that.

Who knows what happens next. I think Romney took some serious shots yesterday and Rick Perry is obviously going to keep on swinging at him.

Can money save Rick Perry?

Republican presidential candidate Texas Governor Rick Perry. REUTERS/Brian Snyder (UNITED STATES – Tags: POLITICS PROFILE)

Rick Perry has been taking a beating, and not from Democrats. Perry has been pounded by his rivals for the GOP nomination and also by other conservatives after a string of humiliating debate performances. His comments on Social Security along with past positions on issues like HPV vaccines and permitting illegals to get in-state tuition rates in Texas have made him a target. He’s plunging in the polls and his wife is complaining that they’re being targeted for their religious beliefs.

But it’s still too early to count Rick Perry out, mostly because he has a ton of money. He raised $17 million last quarter, and he has a ton of cash on hand to go after Mitt Romney. Of course this is bad news for Romney and good news for Barack Obama, as it raises the possibility that Perry will use his money to weaken Romney and hammer him for his countless flip-flops.

The rise of Herman Cain and Romney’s flat poll numbers suggest that the GOP electorate is desperate for a conservative to emerge to take on Obama. Again, this is great news for Obama. This should also give Perry some hope, as Cain says things on a daily basis that disqualify him as a serious candidate.

That said, we can’t count Cain out either. We’ve seen that the Tea Party wing will nominate anyone as long as they come across as pure enough (see Sharon Angle and Christine O’Donnell), so maybe Cain will last longer that we expect.

In the end, the entire field is looking more and more like a confederacy of dunces. We knew we would have some wackos like Michele Bachmann and some earnest yet strange candidates like Rick Santorum, but this field looks worse and worse each day.

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