Chalk Up a WIN in Maine for Romney

Mitt Romney speaking at a caucus in Portland, Maine. Feb 11, 2012
(Photo AP/Robert F. Bukaty)

Thousands of hard-working Mainers have spoken…

Mitt Romney wins the Maine caucuses!

Coming on top of Governor Romney’s straw poll win at CPAC, today’s Maine caucus poll win is especially sweet:

Romney – 2,190 votes – 39%
Paul – 1,996 votes – 36%
Santorum – 989 votes – 15%
Gingrich – 349 votes – 6%

It is estimated that Romney will receive six delegates, Paul will take five delegates, and Santorum will receive three delegates. Gingrich receives nothing. That would put the total delegate count at:

Romney – 121
Gingrich – 38
Santorum – 37
Paul – 25

UPDATE – Boston, MA – Romney issued the following statement on the results of the Maine caucuses:

I thank the voters of Maine for their support. I’m committed to turning around America. And I’m heartened to have the support of so many good people in this great state.

“We stand for conservative principles, liberty and prosperity. All of these are under threat. I’m in this race because I believe that America can be turned around, that we don’t have to accept unemployment over 8 percent, a national debt that is as large as our entire economy, and a President who, even as his own policies fail, apologizes for America’s past successes. We’ve had enough. It’s time to reverse Barack Obama’s legacy of domestic disarray and foreign-policy weakness.

“I congratulate my fellow Republicans on a campaign well fought. We may have our differences, but we’re united in our determination to bring Barack Obama’s reign of failure to an end. I am the only candidate in the race who has never served a day in our broken federal government. The voters of Maine have sent a clear message that it is past time to send an outsider to the White House, a conservative with a lifetime of experience in the private sector, who can uproot Washington’s culture of taxing and spending and borrowing and endless bureaucracy.”

(emphasis added)

► Jayde Wyatt

Results of the 2012 CPAC Straw Poll: Mitt Romney WINS!

Romney Wins 2012 CPAC Straw Poll

Romney Wins 2012 CPAC Straw Poll

Romney – 38%
Santorum – 31%
Gingrich – 15%
Paul – 12%

UPDATE from Jayde: Upon hearing of his CPAC straw poll win, Governor Romney tweeted:

Honored to have won the CPAC straw poll. I’m heartened that so many friends here agree with me about the need for conservative change.

CONGRATS, Gov Romney!

Here’s video of Romney’s fantastic CPAC speech:
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Maine Caucuses: Down to the Wire for Romney and Paul

Click on map to enlarge.

Romney supporters are eyeing Maine today…

Coming down to the wire in the Pine Tree State, it’s a two-man caucus race today between Governor Mitt Romney and Congressman Ron Paul.

Caucusing has been taking place since February 4th. Only registered Republicans are allowed to participate (a ‘closed’ caucus) but unaffiliated independent voters may register as Republicans on the day they vote and hence, may participate. (Additional information may be found here.)

Yesterday, Romney held a well-received town hall meeting at the Portland Company Marine Complex in Portland, ME. He also deftly handled a few OWS hecklers:

Among the sites Romney visited today, Romney was greeted by a packed high school gymnasium crowd at the York County GOP caucus in Sanford. The Romney campaign ran a cable television ad yesterday and it continues today. Surrogates for The Gov have been in the state in recent days and Romney also hosted a telephone town hall this week.

Choosing not to speak at this year’s CPAC gathering in Washington D.C., Ron Paul opted instead to focus instead on the ME caucuses. Reports are that he is well organized; he is hoping to get his first campaign win.

Caucus results will begin to come in tonight around 7:30 PM local time. (Note: A few contests will be held on Sunday; a snow storm caused Washington County, in the state’s far eastern region, to postpone its caucuses until Feb. 18th.)

A livefeed for caucus results can be found here:

As results come in, Romney supporters are invited to join us on our chat forum.


► Jayde Wyatt

Mitt hits a homer! Text of CPAC Speech

“Barack Obama is the poster child for the arrogance of government.” –Mitt Romney at CPAC

Read for yourselves. Mitt needs to be our next president. UPDATE: Watch the speech here.

Thanks, Al, for that warm introduction.

This year, here at CPAC, we’ve got a great crowd. It’s been a great conference. For that I suppose we should acknowledge President Obama, the conservative movement’s top recruiter. Turns out, he really is a great community organizer. Although, I don’t think we were the community he had in mind.

Today we are poised for a great victory in November. The pundits and the pollsters tell us we can win this election. But we must tell the nation why we should win. It is up to us to prove that we are truly ready to step forward and lead this country. This election is not just about getting more votes. Defeating Barack Obama is only one step toward our greater goal of saving America.

Of course we can defeat Barack Obama! That’s the easy part! Believe me, November 6th will be the easiest day our next President will face.

This country we love is in jeopardy. It’s more than the economic statistics we read, it’s the pain we feel in our hearts. For three years we have suffered through the failures not only of a weak leader, but of a bankrupt ideology. I am convinced that if we do our job, if we lead with conviction and integrity, that history will record the Obama Presidency as the last gasp of liberalism’s great failure and a turning point for a new conservative era.

But it’s not enough to show how they have failed. We must prove we deserve to lead. I am here today to ask you to stand with me shoulder to shoulder as we go forward to fight for America.

As we step forward together, now is the time to reaffirm what it means to be a conservative and why this must be our greatest hour. America is like no other country in history. At the very heart of our American conservatism is the conviction that the principles embodied in the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence are uniquely powerful, foundational, and defining. Some see the hand of Providence in their authorship. Others credit the brilliance of the Founders. Many of us see both. But conservatives all agree that departing from these founding principles is a departure from the greatness of America– from our mission, from our freedom, from our prosperity, and from our purpose.

I know this President will never get it, but we conservatives aren’t just proud to cling to our guns and to our religion. We are also proud to cling to our Constitution! Click here to continue reading

Mitt Romney: “Will Dominate” / The Glitter Gunman / Gingrich Going South / Secret Service / The KARL / faith

Photo: Emmanuel Dunand

Santorum’s wins this week in Missouri, Minnesota, and Colorado caused some to cry out, “The sky is falling!” Everybody needs to calm down and look to our file leader. None of us should allow the mainstream media (or “new media”) or outside source define how the campaign for Governor Romney is progressing, or not.

From day one, Governor Romney told the world the race to the nomination would be a long, competitive process, probably not decided until April. Yet, we allow the MSM make us feel that Governor Romney has it in the bag early, or not. Governor Romney has told us from day one that the nomination process would be competitive and then when it is, the MSM tells the world that he does not have conservative backing, when in fact he does. Governor Romney has told us from day one that his strategy is based on securing as many delegates along the way as possible — the MSM tries to change the subject at every turn — because it needs a new story every day; and that is what it does.

We all just need to settle down and take our lead from Governor Romney.

Remember this: Every writer, every pundit, every blog, every “news” organization, every knucklehead out there needs to write something new every day. Their desire to be clever causes them to come up with crazy stuff to make us all think that Governor Romney’s strategy is somehow not working. Just keep your eyes on Governor Romney himself. Nobody has more experience in planning a successful strategy and executing to it than Governor Romney. Nobody still left in this hunt.

On the Hannity show yesterday, Governor Romney leads the way — CLICK TO WATCH

Meanwhile, the boogeyman Gingrich would have us all believe that he will be hitting doubles, triples, and home runs (I can’t wait for baseball’s spring training!) on Super Tuesday and in the South. Oooooooh, my knees have been shaking for weeks now as I have imagined him secretly lining up support down there. Well yes, he is going South. BTW, I heard that his wife may speak soon! Can’t wait!

Karl Rove brought some sanity to the race yesterday in the Journal in his Op-Ed column titled, NEWT’S SOUTHERN STRATEGY WON’T WORK. While the many points Rove makes below are all spot-on, I will never count Gingrich out — not ever — with an ego the size of Texas and a determination driven by revenge, he will always be dangerous.

I just love Rove’s pragmatism and dry humor!

By Karl Rove

Newt Gingrich’s remarks Saturday night after the Nevada caucuses and on NBC’s “Meet the Press” the next morning proved that presidential candidates should talk policy, not process.

Proclaiming “We want to get to Georgia, to Alabama, to Tennessee,” Mr. Gingrich said primaries in the South would produce “a series of victories” that by the April 4 Texas primary would make him “very, very competitive in the delegate count.”

Well, the Gingrich Southern strategy faces big obstacles, starting with Rick Santorum and Ron Paul. Demanding that these two candidates drop out so he becomes the only conservative alternative to Mitt Romney hasn’t worked.

Mr. Paul sees himself as the leader of an insurgency. He’s made it clear he’s in the race to stay. And while Mr. Santorum’s victories on Tuesday in the Minnesota and Colorado caucuses and Missouri’s beauty contest primary didn’t produce any national convention delegates (Missouri’s vote was nonbinding, and the caucuses were for precinct delegates), his wins also spell trouble for the former House speaker’s plans.

Headed South -- Photo: Getty Images

Mr. Santorum’s success came because while Mr. Romney and Mr. Gingrich battled in Florida and Nevada, he barnstormed Colorado, Minnesota and Missouri, making 22 stops in the three states to Mitt’s three and Newt’s two. He demonstrated that showing up matters and gained critical momentum toward becoming the not-Romney alternative.

Newt’s Southern strategy also faces a geographical obstacle. There are 25 contests in February and March, and 18 of them, with 579 delegates, are outside the South.

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Santorum in the Limelight

With the spotlight newly placed on Santorum, the vetting process of Santorum begins in earnest. The public and the press will now start to really pay attention to every word spoken. And after just one day as a front-runner, some comments made by Santorum drew some heat. The Drudge even posted a link to the controversial comments made by Santorum today. In an interview today, Santorum was asked whether women should be allowed to work on the front-lines of war as medics or involved in communication, and this is what he said:

“I want to create every opportunity for women to be able to serve this country . . . but I do have concerns about women in front-line combat.

“I think that could be a very compromising situation, where people naturally may do things that may not be in the interest of the mission because of other types of emotions that are involved. It already happens, of course, with the camaraderie of men in combat, but I think it would be even more unique if women were in combat,” Santorum added. “And I think that’s not in the best interests of men, women or the mission.”

It appears that Santorum is saying that women are not fit to be in front-line combat even when acting as medics or communication techs. I am not sure many women would agree with Santorum on this issue.

The article goes on to say that, in the past, Santorum has stirred up controversy in regard to women’s roles in society. In one of his books published in 2005, Santorum says that women’s desires to work outside the home are a result of “radical feminist propaganda” from the 1960’s. Again, I think there are many women out there who would be offended by these remarks, not just women on the left, but women on the right and especially independents.

UPDATE: Santorum’s comments have drawn criticism from women’s advocacy groups. An ABC/Washington Post poll last year found that 73 percent of women support women serving in frontline roles.

Mitt Romney — (WSJ:6) Strong Conservative Strength / Gingrich Evaporating / Colorado Game-Changer? / Female Force! / Fathers & Sons / Appeasement / Humor

[ Political Cartoons and Great Audio Clip below the fold ]

Where to start?

Does Obama deserve a second term as President? I cannot believe that is a question to be answered by sitting President! To ask an affirmative question such as this one of a President places all the focus on the person — implying that if so deserving, he will receive a gift or that a second coronation will occur or something — because it is all about you Mr. President.

What is worse is that Obama did not even hesitate to answer the question in the affirmative! In effect, stating, “Yes, I deserve this gift.” After reading a few stories on this today, I tried to imagine what President Romney would say if asked the same question by a skilled reporter attempting to elicit the unexpected answer toward the end of a first term. What came to mind was this response:

Relaxing at Home

“Mr. Lauer, with complete respect to you, I think your question is wholly inappropriate. This Office is not about me; it is not about any individual. I have worked my heart out these last three plus years for the nation I love and for the people of America. They will decide who best will lead them for another four years. Of course, I hope they will select me, and if they do, I can promise them that I will work as hard as I can, giving all my strength of heart and will to improve upon the great things we have already accomplished.”

The presidency is all about Obama: in his mind. He is already whining like Gingrich. He has failed; he is a failed executive. Never mind that he had a Democrat House and Senate his first two years. He is still blaming President Bush. When that doesn’t go over well, he blames Congress. Nothing makes me angrier than Obama blaming Congress! President Reagan had an intransigent Congress at times too and he still passed and accomplished most of what he wanted! How? When Congress threw up the stop sign, he went to the bully pulpit and asked Americans to contact their elected officials to demand a change and they did! Obama has no clue how to do this — its called leadership — he has no idea how to lead. The lazy leader blames and then whines about failure. Obama deserves to go away to do some community organizing of his presidential library in Chicago (and why not take another golfing vacation or two before November?).

And Obama’s latest? He is now blaming our founding fathers for setting up a constitution that makes it difficult for the executive branch to act unilaterally! Nice Mr. President! A great way to make friends in America and secure votes. Keep complaining — very becoming of an officer and a gentleman!

* * * * * This clip is the BEST VIDEO CLIP of the day, in my opinion. It is of Ann Coulter touting Governor Romney’s conservative credentials while also ripping on Obama for his (and Justice Ginsberg’s) dismissive comments regarding the constitution: WATCH HERE

If you are wondering why I provide excerpts from The Wall Street Journal so often, it is because I think this newspaper provides the finest journalism of any source in the world — bar none. Just a fact (I have no stock in it). Yesterday’s Journal was chocked full of great pieces about Governor Romney, his campaign, and his rivals. Great insight! Much of it is fascinating, especially regarding strategies. Usually, I select one or two articles at most.

However, tonight I chose six. If you do not have the time to read all of these, just scroll down and pick the ones that interest you most. Each article I chose is in all caps and bold below.

(by Janet Hook & Patrick O’Connor)

Mitt Romney, buoyed by a fresh victory in Nevada, appears to be shoring up support among the conservative voters who once appeared tempted by his rivals, putting the former Massachusetts governor in the strongest position since Republicans began voting a month ago.
But it is a perilous stretch for Mr. Romney’s rivals as they try to raise money and convince Republican voters they have a real shot at the nomination.
Mr. Gingrich and the remaining Romney rivals are facing growing pressure to end their campaigns, especially from Republicans concerned about the negative tone of the battle between Mr. Romney and the former speaker.

Nevada Win / Photo: AP

Former House Majority Leader Dick Armey, in a CNN interview Sunday, called Mr. Gingrich’s recent campaign rhetoric vindictive. “I think he’s digressed into a state of taking a second-rate campaign and turning it into a first-rate vendetta,” said Mr. Armey, who has become a leading figure in the tea-party movement. “I think he’s putting himself out of the game.” Mr. Armey’s criticism was dismissed by the Gingrich team as carping of a longtime political rival.

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Gov Tim Pawlenty: Santorum “A Champion of Pork” + Santorum’s Falsehoods on MA Healthcare

Gov Tim Pawlenty

Thus far in the campaign, Rick Santorum has been tickled to ham up being the one who is above the fray. Well, he wasn’t polling high, hasn’t truly been vetted, and up until his 34-vote win in Iowa, wasn’t getting a lot of attention. Interestingly, Santorum gets plenty bristly-haired during the debates (political pundits note that he comes across as mean), and closer inspection of his record could elicit some real squealing from him.

Yesterday, Governor Tim Pawlenty held an enlightening press conference call which highlighted Santorum’s propensity for pork-barrel spending. Here’s the entire call:

Highlights of the Rick Santorum’s Long History Of Pork-Barrel Spending call:

GOV. TIM PAWLENTY: What I wanted to focus this morning on the notion that Rick Santorum is presenting to caucus attendees in Minnesota and to conservatives beyond that Rick Santorum is really as conservative as those caucus attendees and he’s not. If you look at his record overall there’s a number of things that should be concerning about that record to conservatives. And I’ll just focus this morning on the spending and fiscal aspects of that. Rick Santorum has been a champion of earmarks, when he was both in the House and subsequently in the Senate. He reflected on his time in the House at one point by saying that he is no longer a fiscal hawk. And the reason he cited for no longer being a fiscal hawk is because he wanted to spend the surpluses which is not the philosophy or perspective of somebody that conservatives would look to as a strong, unabashed fiscal hawk. In fact he just admitted and disclaimed that he was no longer a fiscal hawk. And his votes and his behavior in the Congress reflected that drift away from fiscal discipline.

He proudly and enthusiastically embraced earmarking. Some of the more well-known examples of earmarking he supported was the so-called ‘Bridge to Nowhere,’ which was one of the biggest earmark debacles in the modern history of the Congress. He supported things like a polar bear exhibit in Pittsburgh that was federally funding under one of these earmarks. He provided a Philadelphia developer an earmark for a project in the Philadelphia area, and there was a developer that he had some other contacts and associations with. He voted numerous times to raise the debt ceiling and here we as a nation facing fiscal crisis, I mean literally on the edge of the fiscal abyss.

We need a next president who’s been strong and proven in fiscal and spending matters, and we had Rick Santorum voting numerous times to raise the debt ceiling. So, he clearly has been part of the big spending establishment in Congress and in the influence peddling industry that surrounds Congress. He has been part of that. He has been a champion of earmarks, and to hold himself out now as somebody who is an unquestionable conservative in these matters, just is not supported by the facts. So we wanted to call that out this morning as part of his record, part of debate back and forth, and the contrast between these candidates, and Rick Santorum is clearly not as conservative on these matters as Minnesota caucus attendees or Republican or conservative activists and the people who are part of the conservative movement more broadly. So that’s the message we wanted to convey with you this morning, but we also wanted to give you a chance to ask questions or make comments about that topic or others that may be of interests to you, or obviously on the eve of the Minnesota caucuses, as well as other contests around the country tomorrow and the Romney campaign is in full gear as you know and there’s a lot of activity going on, so we’ll be delighted to take your questions on any topic related to those things.

Governor Pawlenty also released this statement yesterday:

“Rick Santorum is a nice guy, but he is simply not ready to be President. Plus, he wants Minnesota conservatives to believe he’s as conservative as they are, but he’s not. As a U.S. Senator, he was a leading earmarker and pork-barrel spender. He described himself as ‘very proud’ of the billions of dollars in pork-barrel projects he championed, and promised to defend the wasteful spending. Even in the face of crushing federal debt, Rick Santorum voted for the infamous ‘Bridge to Nowhere.’ That type of leadership will not help us rein in government and slash the unprecedented federal debt.”

(emphasis added)

Voters need to know about Santorum’s piggy-pork record while serving on Capitol Hill. He loved toting home taxpayer bacon for his state.

By the way, I greatly appreciate Pawlenty’s press conference call and his continuing hard work for Governor Romney.

Disappointingly, Santorum has also been hog-jowled on the campaign trail giving false information about health care in Massachusetts. Click below the fold for a must-read summary from the Romney Press Office:

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Mitt It and Quit It — Ruminations on the First Four Primaries by a SkepMitt

Colorado -- Photo: Agence France-Presse/Getty Images

Recently, I asked a friend if he would write a brief editorial for MRC. His submission is below. Don Martin and I worked together on the same team for several years. He is one of the most conservative people I know and our association introduced him to aspects and sides to Mitt Romney of which he was previously unaware. You will see in Don’s editorial here that he is not yet 100% for Governor Romney, but I wanted to include his opinion to give you a sense of how some, outside our tent, view the man.

I happen to disagree with the point he makes at the end about Massachusetts governors, but that is an argument for another day. I am simply going to suggest that Don study up a little more to discover what most of MRC readers already know about Governor Romney: That he is the most conservative of all four Republican candidates.

Don wrote this prior to the Nevada caucuses, so it does not refer to them.

By Don Martin

Well, I’m glad that’s over.

After all the drama and media moments in the first four contests, we’ve hopefully started the real phase of the election — the audacity of nope. No more Obama, no more expanded government, no more tepid recovery. Florida was the first test of what the real general election will look like — a big state, a swing state, a diverse voting public, a secular voting public, and significantly, what a non-debate centric election will look like. Because Newt’s hopes aside, it shows what happens when he is merely average to good in debates rather than given (unintentional) softballs by the mainstream media (MSM).

Newt is more than a one-trick pony (I’ll be forever grateful to him for being the main architect of the Republican takeover of the House in ’94) but relying on debates in the general election is a no-win strategy in the general election for a nominee Newt for many reasons:

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Maine: Twenty More Elected Officials/Leaders Back Mitt Romney

Ahead of the GOP Maine caucuses this Saturday (Feb 11th), Mitt Romney today announced 20 more endorsements from elected officials and leaders in the magnificent Pine Tree State:

“I am proud to have such a strong backing by elected officials and leaders from across the state of Maine,” said Mitt Romney. “Their support proves that my pro-growth message is breaking through and that Maine voters want someone with real world economic experience in the White House.”

Announcing his endorsement of Mitt Romney, Maine Senate President Kevin Raye said, “In order for the economy to rebound, Washington needs to stop erecting roadblocks for job creators. Mitt Romney understands the importance of strengthening small business and American manufacturing. As President, he will lead the way to rein in the federal debt, reverse the explosive growth of government, and reduce the regulatory burden on America’s businesses to foster an environment that is favorable for job creation. That is why I support Mitt Romney, and why so many other Maine leaders are endorsing his campaign.”

Maine Elected Officials and Leaders Endorsing Mitt Romney:

· Bruce Poliquin; State Treasurer
· Kevin Raye; Senate President
· Nichi Farnham State Senator
· David Hastings; State Senator
· Roger Katz; State Senator
· Brian Langley; State Senator
· Tom Martin; State Senator
· Garrett Mason; State Senator
· Earle McCormick; State Senator
· Christopher Rector; State Senator
· Tom Saviello; State Senator
· Cary Weston; Mayor of Bangor
· Peter Mills; Former State Senator
· Philip Harriman; Former State Senator
· Mark Gartley; Former Secretary of State
· Kathy Watson; Former Maine Republican Party Chairwoman
· Jim Fossel; Augusta City Republican Chairman
· Angela Courchesney; Jay Town Republican Chairwoman
· Dawn Gilbert; Lincoln Town Republican Chairman
· Dwayne Bickford; Former ED of Maine GOP

Maine elected officials and leaders endorsing Romney:

· William Schneider; Attorney General
· Peter Cianchette; Former U.S. Ambassador
· Dave Emery; Former U.S. Congressman
· Jon Courtney; Senate Majority Leader
· Ron Collins; State Senator
· Richard Rosen; State Senator
· Lois Snowe-Mello; State Senator
· Bruce Bickford; State Representative
· Richard Cebra; State Representative
· Dean Cray; State Representative
· Stacey Fitts; State Representative
· Leslie Fossel; State Representative
· Ken Fredette; State Representative
· Peter Johnson; State Representative
· Jim Donnelly; Former House Republican Leader
· Josh Tardy; Former House Republican Leader
· Rick Bennett; Former Senate President & RNC National Committeeman
· Jan Staples; RNC National Committeewoman
· Charlie Cragin; Former National Committeeman
· Maureen Cragin; Ret.Naval Captain, fmr Assist. Sec of Veterans Affairs for Public & Intergovernmental Affairs
· Doris Russell; Former National Committeewoman
· Hattie Bickmore; Former Maine Republican Party Chairman
· Mark Ellis; Former Maine Republican Party Chairman
· Steve Abbott; 2010 Republican Candidate for Governor
· Jason Levesque; Former 2010 Republican Candidate for Congress
· Tim Woodcock; Attorney and former Republican Candidate for Congress
· Chris Gardiner; Washington County Chair
· Howard Bickford: Wilton Town Republican Chair
· David Coleman; Limerick Town Republican Chair
· Gerald Morrison; Perry Town Republican Chair
· Pat Percy; Phippsburg Town Republican Chair
· Janet Plausse; Lincolnville Town Republican Chair
· Jonathan Reisman; Cooper Town Republican Chair
· George Sanborn; Poland Town Republican Chair
· Glyneta Thomson; Surry Town Republican Chair
· Ben Gilman; 2008 Maine State Victory Director
· Ann Robinson; Co-Chair, Transition Team for Governor-Elect Paul LePage
· Kathy Summers-Grice; General Consultant to the Maine Senate Republican Caucus
· Halsey Frank
· Merton Henry

Regarding Maine’s caucuses, The Portland Press Herald reports (Feb 1, 2012):

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