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Wednesday, January 2, 2008
posted by Kyle Hampton | 2:40 PM | permalink
...unless Huckabee kills it. Taking the statements of Huckabee campaign manager, Ed Rollins, to task, James Bopp, Jr. and Mark DeMoss make the case that the Reagan coalition us not dead. First, James Bopp, Jr.:
If the Reagan coalition is to be torn asunder, major credit for its dismantling would have to go to Ed Rollins, who, after engineering President Reagan’s spectacular reelection campaign in 1984, has spent most of his time supporting candidates who were at odds with one part or another of the Reagan coalition...

While adamantly pro-life and opposed to gay marriage, Huckabee has struck a populist cord on economics. He is hostile to free trade, promoted across-the-board tax hikes, and more than doubled Arkansas’s state budget, from $6.6 billion to $16.1 billion. His proposal to extend state-funded college scholarships to illegal aliens was defeated in the Arkansas legislature. Huckabee is the only GOP candidate to refuse to endorse President Bush’s veto of the Democrat’s bill to vastly expand the S-CHIP health-care program and he supports the discredited cap-and-trade system to limit global-warming. And the liberal National Education Association of New Hampshire has found something they like in Mike Huckabee and gave him their endorsement.

Next, DeMoss:
Well, I can assure you he's wrong on one point and predict he's wrong on another. This Reagan coalition means a lot to me and to most people I know. Perhaps, Mr. Rollins is suggesting it doesn't mean a lot to him, given that his political clients since the days of Ronald Reagan have included the independent Ross Perot and liberal Republicans like Michael Huffington in Reagan's beloved California and Christine Todd Whitman in New Jersey. Having spent my life around movement conservatives, I can tell you, we still care about uniting these various conservatives into a strong coalition.

Then, I'll predict he's wrong in his epitaph: "it's gone." In fact, I think it will coalesce in the coming five weeks as Republicans select a president and then turn their considerable energies toward defeating their Democratic opponent next fall. But regardless of whether he's right or wrong, I'm disappointed to see Mr. Rollins throw in the towel on such a compelling coalition. It may just be that his current client cannot unite the three legs that make up this conservative stool – but I believe there is a candidate who can.

A year and a half ago, I concluded Governor Mitt Romney was the most qualified person to run for president from either party in my lifetime and decided to support and help him as a volunteer.

As an evangelical Southern Baptist and a social conservative, I like the leadership Governor Romney provided our movement in defending traditional marriage between a man and a woman and in opposing embryonic stem cell research. I believe his values are consistent with mine in every way, whether or not his theology is.

As a fiscal conservative I like the fact that Governor Romney understands that the money we send to our state and federal governments is our money, and "not their money," as he told Governor Huckabee in one of the candidate debates. Fiscal and anti-tax conservatives will like his record on not raising taxes and fighting, even against great opposition, to reduce the size of government. He decided on his first day as governor to leave office with a smaller, more efficient state government than when he arrived and managed to do just that.

And as a national defense conservative I like the fact that Governor Romney as supported the President's plan to help Iraq and to give General Petraeus and other military leaders a chance to work their plans and strategies in a complex situation. I like that he understands the threats that radical Islamic jihadists pose to our security, the importance of securing our borders, and the need to equip our men and women in service with the tools they need to succeed on our behalf.

In all three areas, I like the fact that Mitt Romney has a history of surrounding himself with bright, talented, capable, experienced men and woman who can help him make wise decisions. That is what a leader does and he has done it time and time again.
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