Entries in Republican Presidential Candidates (2)


Lou Dobbs: Long Primary Will Build Consensus around Strong Nominee

ABC News(WASHINGTON) -- Fox Business Network host Lou Dobbs said he was “elated” with the volatile Republican presidential race, saying a long primary process will help build consensus around the strongest potential nominee.

“Truthfully, I think this is a good thing for the Republicans,” Dobbs said on the This Week roundtable. “The national media is clacking about this is unresolved. I say, great, we’re supposed to be building something of a national consensus in this primary process. I’m, frankly, elated with it.”

Rick Santorum has carried his recent surge in national polls into Mitt Romney’s home state of Michigan, which hosts its key primary on Feb. 28. An upset win by Santorum there could possibly extend the race well into the spring and summer — similar to the 2008 Democratic race between Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton.

ABC’s George Will said that Santorum could take Michigan, relying on social conservatives outside of metro areas like Detroit to carry him.

“Michigan has the Detroit metropolitan area, where Romney in 2008 did very well and should do well again. Then there’s the rest of it,” Will said. “And over in the west, particularly, you have the Dutch Calvinists in Kalamazoo and Holland and Muskegon and places like that, Grand Rapids. Out there, the social conservatives are strong.  I would expect Santorum to carry non-metro [Michigan]. The question is, by how much?”

Former White House press secretary Dee Dee Myers said “the extended primary season is not really working that well for any of the Republican candidates,” claiming they have turned to wedge issues and attacks on each other that will weaken them in the general election.

“Republicans are talking about the president’s theology. They’re talking about whether a fetus is a person,” Myers said. “They’re attacking each other personally and talking about earmarks.”

Myers criticized Santorum supporter Foster Friess’ recent controversial comments on contraception, and Santorum’s past responses on the issue.

“One of the things he says is that he thinks [contraception is] bad for the country and that he’s counseling women that they ought not to use it,” Myers said. “Most women don’t want Rick Santorum’s advice about whether or not they should use birth control.”

ABC News senior political correspondent Jonathan Karl said a focus on such social issues could hurt Santorum in the long run.

“He cannot be the niche candidate of the far-right social conservatives,” Karl said. “He’s the guy that can connect to blue-collar Republicans. He is not surging because he is Rick Santorum, social conservative, niche candidate. This is not a good thing for him to be talking about.”

Chicago Tribune
columnist Clarence Page said he believes Romney’s financial advantage may help him fend off Santorum in the ad war in Michigan, but said he is still having trouble connecting with voters on the campaign trail.

“We see he has not been able to get his verbal message together,” Page said. “He still sounds rather in disarray.”

And Karl said that with Santorum’s rise, Michigan has now become a “must-win” for Romney.

“The central argument of his candidacy is that he is the candidate who can beat Barack Obama, he is the one that is electable,” Karl said. “If you can’t convince Republicans in your home state to vote for you, how are you going to convince anybody else?”

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Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Detail Time for Republican Candidates on Constitution

Jupiterimages/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON ) -- The Republican presidential candidates are about to get a chance to put some policy meat on the rhetorical bones when it comes to talking about the Constitution.

On ABC’s Top Line Friday, Princeton Professor Robert George, who’s moderating a Republican presidential forum Monday in South Carolina, discussed his role with the American Principles Project.

George—who will question candidates at the American Principles Project Palmetto Freedom Forum alongside Sen. Jim DeMint, R-S.C., and Rep. Steve King, R-Iowa—said he plans to press candidates on what they mean when they cite the federal government as growing beyond its constitutional bounds.

“A number of the Republican candidates have made clear that their view is that the national government has grown too big, too intrusive, too expensive. And they have claimed—I think quite plausibly—that there are constitutional questions and not just policy questions at issue here,” George said.

“The trouble is that the Republican candidates who make those claims and arguments have not gone into much detail about their views. And I think it’s time to press those candidates about the details.”

In George’s view, reining in the federal government shouldn’t fall to the Supreme Court exclusively, or even primarily.

“It seems to me that the primary responsibility for ensuring that the national government does stay within its constitutional limits rests with the Congress and the president—with the elected representatives of the people,” he said.

“I would reject any theory that says that Congress and the president should just do whatever they think is best from a policy point of view and then wait for the Supreme Court to tell them whether it’s permissible or not,” he said. “I would add that I think it’s the responsibility of the people—who are sovereign in this constitutional system—the people to police those boundaries by making politicians who transgress the boundaries pay the consequences at the polls.”

And with all the talk about the Tenth Amendment inside the Tea Party movement these days—it “reserved to the States” powers not delegated to the federal government—George explained why the textbooks he assigned in his class in the mid-1990s did not even include that amendment in its index.

“The Tenth Amendment is actually not something that adds a new dimension to the Constitution. It is rather a reminder of the original theory of constitutional government under the original Constitution, before the adoption of the first eight amendments, which we call the Bill of Rights,” he said.

“Now of course, if you talk to Rick Perry, if you talk to Ron Paul, probably a number of the other candidates, they’ll say there’s an additional reason that it’s been forgotten, and that is that the national government has grown too big and too strong and too powerful and that the Supreme Court has walked away since about 1937 from its responsibility to try to hold the national government to its proper constitutional limits and bounds.”

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

ABC News Radio