Since the beginning of the GOP primary race, I have kept an open mind about the various candidates. As I have stated in the past, while I like some of the candidates it is up to them to convince me that they are ready to be our party’s nominee. It is still early in the process, but I have seen enough in the debates to begin forming an opinion. As I present my thoughts however, I will reserve the right to change that opinion as the process continues.
First, let me say that almost any of the candidates would be a better choice than the man who currently holds the office. The problems this country faces are serious, and they are being compounded by President Obama’s radical ideology, his disregard for the Constitution, and his stunning lack of leadership. What we must do then, is to elect a leader who understands and respects the Constitution, and one who has enough leadership ability to perform the duties as President.
has had the opportunity to see where liberalism leaves them, we have the best opportunity we have ever had to elect a leader who can champion the conservative message. To do that, the candidate must be someone who is conservative to the core, not just someone who wears the T-shirt. Additionally, that candidate must be able to clearly articulate the conservative message. America
From the beginning, I had high hopes that Michelle Bachman would be that person. She is clearly a true conservative, and she had been fighting for conservative issues for some time. Unfortunately, she has not been able to defend her positions well enough to convince people that she is the best choice. She still has time to do that, but that time is quickly running out.
The two “front runners” are obviously Rick Perry and Mitt Romney. Mitt was one of the few that I knew enough about to reject from the start, but I had hopes for Rick Perry. What the two have managed to do during the debates is to convince me that neither of them are worthy of my vote. It has been clear from the beginning that Romney is only as conservative as he needs to be in order to win the primary, and Rick Perry is cut from the same cloth. I could vote for either of them in the General election, but I can’t see any compelling reason to give either my primary vote.
Herman Cain has done very well for himself. I have long been a fan of Mr. Cain, even campaigning for him when he ran for the U.S. Senate in
. My concern however, is that everyone is giving him a pass on the tough questions, so he has not had enough experience standing up to the type of withering attacks he will face in the race against Obama. Another concern I have is that he has abandoned the Fair Tax to push his 9-9-9 plan. His plan sounds good on paper, but I can’t support any plan that creates a national sales tax without first abolishing the income tax. Without a constitutional amendment, there will be no guarantees that this won’t be a path to higher taxes on all of us. Georgia
Rick Santorum is right on most issues, and does a great job of articulating the conservative message. The problem is, however, that he does not inspire with his delivery. Ronald Reagan was the kind of man who was instantly a presence in any room he walked into, and was able to express his ideas in a way that inspired people and gave them the desire to follow him. Although it is true that few people can ever be a Ronald Reagan, Santorum doesn’t even come close. Rather than being a presence in the room, he can easily be lost in a crowd. I like the man, and would happily vote for him in the primary, but I don’t believe he will be able to win the primary.
Ron Paul sounds really good as long as he stays out of the Twilight Zone. During the last debate he managed to not go there, but in the back of my mind was always the thought that he still has a key to the door and would gladly go there once he is elected President. Even at his worst however, he stands head and shoulders above our current President, and I would be one of Ron Paul’s biggest supporters if he were the nominee. The reality is though, this will never be an issue.
Gary Johnson was the newest face on the stage and he managed to do two things. First, he got the most laughs with a great line borrowed from Rush Limbaugh; and second, he replaced John Huntsman as the least likely candidate to get my vote. I’m still not sure why Huntsman is running for President.
As surprised as I am to find myself saying this, Newt Gingrich has emerged as the candidate that I can support. Obviously I have issues with Newt’s previous infidelity, but frankly the problems we face today are far too serious to allow it to be a defining issue. Newt clearly has the experience to understand how government works, and no one can question his depth of knowledge on the important issues. While he and I have some disagreements on a few points, I have no doubt that he is a conservative to the bone. His ability to present his ideas and to explain them in a convincing way far surpasses that of anyone else in the race. Newt is a teacher at heart, and he understands how important it is to convince people that conservatism works rather than simply convincing them that liberalism doesn’t.
The question remains, could Newt win the general election? My answer is, of course he can. Frankly, I feel confident that I could beat Obama in the general election, so I have no doubt a man with the depth of knowledge and experience that Newt possesses would be able to win in a landslide. Pitting Newt against Obama in a debate would be akin to a cage match between Hulk Hogan and … well, Obama.