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Is This The Best The GOP Can Do? Mitt, Jeb and Huck?

Huckabee, Romney, Bush

Conservatives were thrilled with the announcement that Mitt Romney was joining Jeb Bush and Mike Huckabee in the 2016 presidential sweepstakes – to create the Party’s first ever all Big Government Republican primary field.

Well, maybe conservatives were not so much thrilled as they were appalled, disgusted or simply turned-off by the thought of choosing between three candidates whose careers were defined by the growth of government in the states in which they made their reputations as Governors.

And make no mistake about it, the dividing line between the conservative “traditional values” grassroots base of the GOP and its more secular elite that has often separated the Republican primary field won’t hold with these three – what defines them as elected officials is the growth of government.

Of the three, Governor Huckabee may have the greatest claim on social conservative voters. A one-time Baptist minister, Huckabee has been a reliable voice for the social conservative point of view and traditional family values in his post-political stint on FOX News.

Except that neither Mitt Romney nor Jeb Bush are likely to have problems similarly defining themselves as social conservatives or supporters of traditional family values.

Romney, a devout Mormon, and Jeb Bush, a devout Catholic, will point to their faith as informing their politics and potentially pull some segment of the values voter demographic. 

What separates them – and Huckabee – from the Republican base is their willingness to be the tax collector for the welfare state and their reliance on government to address matters that limited government constitutional conservatives prefer to allow the market and individual free will to decide.

As Governor of Arkansas, Huckabee dramatically increased state spending. During his two-term tenure, spending increased by more than 65 percent — at three times the rate of inflation.*

On Jeb Bush’s watch, Florida state spending ballooned by 52 percent, from $48.6 billion in 1999 to $73.9 billion in 2006.**And state expenditures per capita rose from $2,809 in 1999, to $3,942 in fiscal year 2006-2007.

As for Mitt Romney, there is of course the ultimate Big Government Republican program – “Romneycare” the Massachusetts state universal health care mandate.

But if you just look at state spending and ignore policy, comparing fiscal 2007 (the last year Romney had any influence on the Massachusetts state budget) to fiscal 2002 (the last year before he had any influence on the budget), spending rose by about 24 percent over five years, or a little under 5 percent per year.***

About the best you can say is that of the three, Mitt Romney travelled the road to fiscal perdition at a slightly slower pace than did his two Big Government Republican colleagues.

While there are still some outliers in Republican politics who advocate the same kind of secularism that Democrats have long-embraced, social conservatives continue to hold sway in the Republican Party; even conservative boogeyman John McCain got the National Right to Life endorsement in 2008.

The 2016 Republican presidential primaries won’t be decided on the social conservative agenda. While they may tack and try to veil their positions, none of the three candidates who appear to be running for the GOP nomination as of now will deviate significantly from reliable social conservative positions – at least until after the election. 

The great fault line in American politics today is not between Republicans and Democrats, it is the divide in the Republican Party between the “ruling class” of Washington’s inside elite and what Angelo Codevilla called “the country class” of Americans who believe in the rule of law and limited constitutional government.

If Republicans want to win the White House in 2016 running three Big Government Republican candidates is a sure path to disaster. A candidate with real limited government constitutional conservative principles and a record that appeals to “the country class” needs to emerge, and emerge fast, before Romney, Bush and Huckabee define the race in terms that will drive grassroots limited government constitutional conservatives away from the GOP, perhaps forever.

*CATO Institute figures
**South Florida Sun-Sentinel figures
*** PoliFact based on Massachusetts state budget and Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation figures

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PALIN CAN BEAT HILLARY, ELIZABETH AND MICHELLE

WE NEED SOMEONE WHO CAN BEAT HILLARY! Carson can’t. Cruz can’t. Huck can’t. Jeb can't Mitt can't. Paul can’t. Romney can’t. But Hillary is easy to beat. BEAT HER WITH OBAMACARE which is just a rewording of HillaryCare and RomneyCare. BEAT HER WITH BENGHAZI. Every pro-Hillary ad should be followed by the 10 second clip of a strident Hillary shrilly screaming, “At this point, what difference does it make?” BEAT HER WITH A GIRL. Any criticism of Hillary by a male will be purported to be a sexist beating up on a girl — “war on women.” Get a Reaganesque, conservative, small-government, balanced-budget WOMAN to challenge Hillary’s coronation. The best one on the scene is Gov. Sarah Palin — if we can persuade her to run. Palin is also our best choice if the Democrats run Sen. Elizabeth Warren or First Lady Michelle Obama. Who else do the Democrats have to run — Joe Biden? Joe would beat himself. He could also be accused of being a sexist beating up on a girl when he criticized Palin, although this charge doesn’t seem to have very much powder when aimed at a Democrat. IF YOU KNOW PALIN, BEG HER TO RUN!

No one else for me but....

Rick Santorum only and he has the experience over all the above, Gov of Florida, give me a break, Massachusetts even worse. I will never,ever compromise my principles as a Republican Conservative, Vietnam Vet and Roman Catholic.

The Major Media influence.

It is the Major Media that is keeping these three clowns front and center as leading GOP candidates. They do want one of these jackasses nominated.

They are pretty much ignoring much better conservative candidates, hoping thy will just go away.

I think Rasley, person that

I think Rasley, person that wrote this piece is way off base. He tells a small part of the picture. It is possible that each state needs and wants different things. People of Romney's state weren't complaining about the state healthcare. Things were working for Florida, so looking at spending is not always the answer. I know my bills go up more every year so how can anyone compare the spending percentage within 4, 5, 6,7 or 8 years. This holds no water. Unions also play a huge role in spending. As far as "big government primary field", we need some one with experience, business smarts, values, morals and foresight. Romney had the foresight about Putin and other world affairs but no one listened. BO is a perfect example of inexperience. Therefore, Walker still needs time to listen, grow and learn, but he is a great governor. I also do not know what specific faith beliefs play into this. If they were athiests or muslims that would be a problem. We need a person that believes in small government, laws being enforced, living within a balanced budget, honesty, knowledge, listening to what the people want, tax cuts, bringing American businesses back to our soil, foresight, common sense and integrity. And that person is ROMNEY. Huckabee is a great guy but I don't want religion spoken off as often as he does. I am a person of faith, but to each his own, as long as THEY HAVE A RELIGION...................as in "IN GOD WE TRUST", therefore this will never include a muslim because they are told to kill those with other beliefs.
Romney is the guy........BO lied and had the moderator also lie during 1 debate and since he was elected 99% of the media has covered up his lies or just didn't report it, cover ups, finger pointing, name calling and passing bills without reading them was how this democratic congress worked by old career party line votes and with an unexperienced BO.
Also this piece is once again an anti republican with no true, factual picture of each individual states needs.
RASLEY is not speaking for "WE THE PEOPLE" but pushing his own agenda and beliefs................media propaganda!

Romney

I'm a Mormon and I simply do not have the confidence in Romney that you have. Romney was a terrible candidate. He had to be terrible to lose to Obama in 2012. A true conservative, like Ted Cruz, will galvanize the base and, like Reagan, will be elected. Nominate Romney, Huckabee, or Bush and we will lose again.

I suggest we nominate the

I suggest we nominate the person who handily wins the CHQ straw poll month after month. Sarah Palin. Scott Walker is Ok but has zero charisma, and that will be necessary to win the 2016 election.

Republican 2016 President

I think that the Republican Party's best shot at president in 2016 is Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker. He is a proven small government conservative. His record as governor is a good one and he has shown that he can conduct a winning campaign under very adverse circumstances.

Republican 2016 President

Since I don't want either of the 3 mentioned, I would go along with Gov Scott Walker. But my true choice would be either Cruz or Sessions (from Alabama).
Sessions seems to clearly understand the problems facing the USA and sticks up for the legal citizen.