At a three day party rally in New Orleans (June 16 – 18), a Republican strategy for the 2012 Presidential election started solidifying: Hang the economy, unemployment, federal budget deficit, out-of-control spending, Obamacare, stimulus, TARP, bailouts, and unending wars around Obama’s neck like albatrosses and let them rot there until November, 2012. This will all be put against a backdrop of patriotism and American exceptionalism.
Much to the chagrin of the liberal media elites and the Democrats, the Republican candidates for the party’s nomination in 2012 are not attacking each other, but rather are so far unanimously focused on attacking Obama. The Republicans’ opposition are praying that the Republicans will have a vicious street fight for the nomination so that whoever emerges will be bloodied to the point of being a weak candidate. It does not appear as though that will happen.
Haley Barbour, Governor of Mississippi but not a presidential candidate, said that the 2012 election will be about Obama’s record. He said bigger government means a smaller economy. On energy, he pointed out that energy is 100% of the American economy, but yet Obama wants to drive up the price of the domestic supply. He also called for party unity, saying whoever the Republican nominee turns out to be, he/she will be many times better than Obama. His final advice for Republicans between now and November 2012 was to remember that, “The main thing is to keep the main thing the main thing”, meaning Obama’s record.
Herman Cain played off of the “I have a dream” theme, saying he was taught to believe in God, yourself, and America. He took a jab at the media by saying that the people are going to elect the next President, not the media. He focused on the economy and “common sense solutions”. He recounted that the Founding Fathers gave us a new form of government based upon the exceptional idea that our human rights come from God, not from the king or the government, and that now it is up to us to be the “Defending Fathers” to preserve that.
From Michele Bachman we heard that peace comes from strength. She also pointed out that the per capita share of the national debt has gone from $35,000 to $46,000 so far with Obama, a 31% increase. She talked about fiscal conservatism and social conservatism, and noted that she had founded the Congressional Tea Party Caucus.
Rick Santorum is in a class by himself. He talked about the economy, as did all the others. He also explained how the Marcellus share in Pennsylvania and elsewhere contains the largest natural reserve in the world. But after talking about those and some other specific issue, he moved into something like a spiritual realm. He started taking in a whisper, and the room became so quiet that you could literary hear a pin drop. He said things like, “In 2012, we don’t need a President we can believe in, we need a President who believes in us”. “Passionate” is not the right word to describe him, although he is that. Maybe ethereal. I don’t think being President is his destiny, but he does seem to have one.
Ron Paul called for abolishing the Federal Reserve.
Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich promised to end the 80 year rule of the left in the United States.
Former Louisiana Governor and current bank CEO Buddy Roemer decried money in politics. He wants to downsize government (e.g., eliminate the Department of Energy), reduce spending, and enact the fair tax. He also talked about “greedy” corporations, a little odd juxtaposed with his other comments. He is a declared candidate for the presidential nomination, but is given little chance.
Jeff Landry, Representative from Louisiana and not a candidate for the nomination, said, “As government expands, liberty contracts.”
Texas Governor Rick Perry is not a declared candidate but will probably soon be. He emphasized his work as the longest tenured Governor of Texas ever. He lambasted Obama, at one point saying, “The arrogance of the Obama administration is an affront to every freedom-loving American and to every private sector job in this country.”
Mitt Romney, considered by some to be the frontrunner for the nomination, did not attend. Former Utah Governor Jon Huntsman did not attend either; he declared his candidacy after the conference.