Interested Californians? March 27th in Irvine

The Orange County Register is a conservative (they say libertarian) newspaper covering southern California. They ran an article yesterday referring to the March 27th event in Irvine:

Republican presidential frontrunner Mitt Romney will be coming to Orange County next Tuesday to bolster his campaign purse, with a fundraising luncheon at a private home in Irvine’s exclusive Shady Canyon.
[...]
I’m tracking down whether Romney will hold any public events, if I can get an interview, and whether I can post the information here on how to contact the fundraiser.

No need to wait for details from The Register reporter. Just contact Amanda and she will get you all dialed in. She informs me she has a few slots left ———> CONTACT AMANDA

‘Weekly Standard’ Magazine Debunks the Myth that Romney is a “Moderate” – Romney is “More Conservative Than You Think”

There is a lot of talk these days about how Mitt Romney is a so-called “Massachusetts moderate” and how other candidates are trying to be the “conservative alternative” to Gov. Romney. Some even compare Mitt Romney to John McCain’s candidacy of 2008.

One very conservative and influential magazine called ‘The Weekly Standard,’ whose editor (Bill Krystol) is a regular panelist on Fox News Sunday, looked into the issue. The conclusion that they found is that Romney is “no moderate,” in fact:

“Romney is at least as conservative as his GOP rivals on jettisoning Obamacare and more conservative than some on entitlements, national security, and immigration. He’s no match for Gingrich on taxes, but that’s about it. Overall, he’s to the right of Gingrich.”

The article goes on to say that in regard to the top four most pressing issues of the day (namely Immigration, Tax Reform, Health Care, and Military Defense spending), Romney is “anything but moderate.”

“On four of the biggest issues in 2012, Romney is anything but moderate—or timid. He gets no special credit for advocating repeal of Obamacare. That’s Republican dogma. But he’s been the most specific among the GOP presidential candidates in backing the Ryan budget in all its parts, including its remake of Medicare. It was House Budget Committee chairman Paul Ryan’s plan that Gingrich zinged as “right wing social engineering” before reversing himself under duress.

When Romney announced in November his own proposal for cutting spending and reforming Medicare and Social Security, Paul Ryan was thrilled. “Look at what he put out!” he told Jennifer Rubin of the Washington Post. “This is a great development.” Ryan said Romney’s package of spending cuts “tracks perfectly with the House budget,” which Ryan had drafted.”

Further Evidence

Further evidence of Romney’s conservative credentials is the fact that Romney made history in New Hampshire’s vote last week. Not only was he the first non-incumbent Republican to win both Iowa and New Hampshire, but in New Hamphire Romney got more votes from self-identified Republican voters than any other Republican candidate in history. Here is a brief summary on how New Hampshire Republicans voted:

“Mitt picked up 49% of GOP voters. Romney’s 49 percent is the highest mark among self-identified Republicans for any presidential candidate since New Hampshire moved its primary forward in the calendar.

Contrast that with John McCain, with whom he’s often compared as a squishy moderate with problems with Republicans.

McCain is the only candidate since 1980 to win New Hampshire even as he lost among self-identified Republicans.

That means McCain was essentially the worst winner with Republicans in New Hampshire over the past 30 years, while Romney was the best.”

As the Weekly Standard and polls from New Hampshire show, Romney is no moderate. He is a solid conservative. Strikingly, Romney is getting equal support from both conservatives and moderates among the voters and also from among congressmen and Governors who have endorsed Romney. Part of Romney’s strength is that he is a conservative that also appeals strongly to independents. That sounds like the kind of candidate we need running for the White House. 

(more…)

Gingrich Super PAC Ad Pounding Private-Equity Rates Four Pinhead Pinocchios


Glenn Kessler, sleuth at The Washington Post, applied his magnifying glass to Newt Gingrich’s King of Bain Super PAC film. After close examination, he’s rendered a verdict:

Four Pinocchios (I’m throwing pinheaded in there, too).

Newt Gingrich, meet Michael Moore!

The 29-minute video “King of Bain” is such an over-the-top assault on former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney that it is hard to know where to begin. It uses evocative footage from distraught middle-class Americans who allege that Romney’s deal-making is responsible for their woes. It mixes images of closed factories and shuttered shops with video clips of Romney making him look foolish, vain or greedy. And it has a sneering voice-over that seeks to push every anti-Wall Street button possible.

Here’s just a sampling of what Romney and Bain Capital, which he once headed, is accused of: “Stripping American businesses of assets, selling everything to the highest bidder and often killing jobs for big financial rewards . . . high disdain for American businesses and workers . . . upended the company and dismantled the work force; now they were able to make a handsome profit . . . cash rampage . . . contributing to the greatest American job loss since World War II . . . turn the misfortune of others into their own enormous financial gain.”
[...]

Kessler then offers insight on the four closed companies mentioned in the film. Before reading his conclusion, let’s see what Hot Air’s Ed Morrissey has to say:

Let’s begin with how the filmmakers present their case that Unimac went out of business thanks to the predatory nature of Mitt Romney. It turns out that not only did Romney have little to do with Unimac, the firm hasn’t gone out of business at all. It’s currently producing appliances in Wisconsin, having moved there long after Romney left Bain and actually as Romney was concluding his term as governor of Massachusetts:

Bain Capital bought the business from Raytheon in 1998, and Romney left Bain a year later to run the Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City. In 2005, Bain sold UniMac (also called Alliance Laundry) to a Canadian entity known as Teachers’ Private Capital. The factory was moved from Marianna to Ripon, Wisc., in 2006, after Bain’s involvement ended — a fact made clear on the Web site of a laundry repair business co-owned by the people featured in the film.

In fact, Mike Baxley, who was interviewed for the film, said that he and his partner had “absolutely no idea” that the interviews were for a film about Romney and Bain. He said they thought they were being interviewed for a documentary about the factory closing.

They said they wanted to know what it was like when the factory closed down,” he said, and he, his partner and his partner’s wife agreed to interviews after “they flashed a little money at us.” (Baxley, a Republican who said he had not yet thought much about the nomination contest, declined to reveal the amount.)

After watching “King of Bain” at The Fact Checker’s request, he said: “We were pretty shocked. Our quotes were seriously taken out of context. There is a real lack of facts.”

Kessler concludes:

First of all, it is a stretch to portray Romney as some sort of corporate raider, akin to Carl Icahn (whose image is briefly seen). … Private equity deals, such as leveraged buyouts in which the company borrows lots of debt, can be more rewarding but also more risky. … Private equity revolutionized American business, demanding efficiencies (which can mean layoffs) and helping place much more emphasis on increasing shareholder value.

He writes that of the four closed companies mentioned in the film, only one of the cases actually involved Romney – Ampad. That company declined - not failed – as stated in the film. Though Ampad did close a facility in Marion, Indiana because less expensive retail competitors chipped away at its business supply core, it still operates as a subsidiary to Esselte.

Kessler also punches the Gingrich Super PAC with this:

The manipulative way the interviews appeared to have been gathered for the UniMac segment alone discredits the entire film.”

(emphasis, italics added)

Morrissey’s conclusion:

Romney, however, isn’t sitting still. He has responded in South Carolina with an ad balanced between positive and negative, looking at his record of creating jobs in the private sector, but also slamming Gingrich for “taking the Obama line”:

Here’s the ad – Bright Future:

South Carolinians are also hearing a new Romney radio ad titled “Shares Our Values.” He’s supported by pro-life conservatives because he shares their values and displayed pro-life leadership as governor:

(more…)

Two for two: Can Mitt Romney be stopped for the nomination?

From USA Today:

NASHUA, N.H. – Iowa: Won by a whisker. New Hampshire: Won in a walk.

Can Mitt Romney be stopped for the Republican presidential nomination? There is time, his opponents say, although perhaps not much. To be precise, another 10 days to unleash a barrage against the front-runner and persuade conservatives to coalesce around an alternative who then could carry the South Carolina primary.

On Tuesday night, though, the confetti cannons were being fired at Romney’s victory party. He achieved what no non-incumbent Republican has ever done: win both the Iowa caucuses, dominated by evangelical Christians, and the New Hampshire primary, with its live-free-or-die independents.

“Thank you, New Hampshire,” Romney told an exuberant victory party. “You know, tonight we celebrate. Tomorrow, we go back to work.”

After watching one rival after another soar and then crash, the slow and steady candidate prevailed in this year’s opening contests — and succeeded in the state where his presidential ambitions crumbled four years ago as Arizona Sen. John McCain surged from behind to defeat him.

If he also manages to win the Palmetto State on Jan. 21 — scoring what South Carolina GOP strategist Chip Felkel admiringly calls “the trifecta” — supporters and opponents say the former Massachusetts governor credibly could claim to be the presumptive Republican presidential nomination.

. . . .

The Romney camp is braced for what one top strategist called “a war” in South Carolina, a state known for its bruising primary politics. The TV ads and two debates are likely to be the harshest to date

A majority of voters in New Hampshire said Romney would be the strongest general-election candidate, and he was seen as broadly acceptable.

. . . .

Nationally, he is showing growing strength. In the daily Gallup Poll, he has ticked up to 30% for the first time; Gingrich is second at 18%. That puts history on Romney’s side: Since 1976, the candidate who led nationally after the New Hampshire primary has won the nomination.

What’s more, Romney is the only candidate whom a majority of both conservative and moderate Republicans see as an “acceptable” nominee, according to a Gallup Poll taken Thursday through Sunday.

. . . .

The next goal for Team Romney: a Trifecta.

Ken Starr Op-Ed “Can I Vote for a Mormon?”; Also– MSNBC’s Larry O’Donnell Admits Obama Fears Romney

Lot’s of good news tonight for Romney and his supporters.  First off, Ken Starr (most notably known for the Clinton/Lewinsky case, but a man who is a true legal scholar and current President of Baylor University) has penned an Op-ed entitled “Can I Vote for a Mormon?”  While it’s not an endorsement, and doesn’t even mention Romney by name, it is a great historical and constitutional argument why he/we could definitely vote for a Mormon.

I strongly encourage Americans who would ask this question ["Can I vote for a Mormon?] of themselves to consider and weigh thoughtfully our nation’s constitutional traditions. At their best, those are traditions of welcoming religious forbearance.

To support this proposition, I return to the founding of our constitutional republic — boasting as we rightly do the oldest Constitution in the history of the planet. Only 27 amendments have been ratified to that basic document over our 222 years as a representative democracy. In fashioning this remarkably enduring document, the 55 delegates to the Constitutional Convention in Philadelphia made it absolutely clear that no religious test should ever be imposed to hold office. The Founders also made clear that religious dissenters (such as the Quakers) should not be compelled to take an oath if doing so would be a violation of conscience. Building on those twin pillars of tolerance, the Supreme Court at its finest moments has likewise vigorously defended the right of all persons to participate in the democratic process, including holding office, without the burden of religious tests or qualifications.

According to the American political tradition, there are essential questions by which all office seekers are qualified, regardless of their faith journey or history. The first is: Does the candidate subscribe completely to our constitutional structure, including freedom of conscience for persons of all faiths — or no faith? A second question for the thoughtful voter is related to and flows from the first: Will the candidate subscribe, without any “mental hesitation or purpose of evasion,” to the oath to protect and defend America’s Constitution? If the answers to those closely connected questions are yes, then voters should proceed to cast their ballot on the basis of the candidate’s qualifications, platform and policy positions — not the candidate’s membership (or lack thereof) in a particular faith community.  …

In my own life, I have drawn great strength from my religious practices and, according to the teachings of my faith tradition, I intend to continue to keep in prayer those who are chosen to lead our nation. That said, the litmus for our elected leaders must not be the church they attend but the Constitution they defend.  …

America should stand — in an intolerant world characterized all too frequently by religious persecution — as a stirring example of welcoming hospitality for highly qualified men and women of good will seeking the nation’s highest office. Life experience, personal qualities and policy views are the pivotal points to guide Americans as they go to the polls in 2012.

I realize that most American’s already agree with Mr. Starr on this point, but for those that may feel that voting for Romney is an endorsement of Mormonism, the strong case that is presented above may open some hearts and minds to supporting the best choice and best chance to replace President Obama … Mitt Romney!

********And in a relatively raw video clip, BreitbartTV interviewed MSNBC’s Larry O’Donnell at a Bar in New Hampshire where he admits that Romney is the GOP candidate most feared by Obama.

Money quote:  ”Romney is the one they don’t want. They know they can beat anybody else. Romney, they think they can beat, but it’s a harder road.”  Watching the whole 6 minute video shows this to be a candid and honest exchange, not a liberal plant or talking point (We saw that in the immediate post-debate analysis on ABC last night when Democratic Strategist Donna Brazelle stated to the panel and audience that they want to run against Romney because he’s the weakest candidate … she was met with laughs and jeers from the rest of the panel and the audience for that obvious lie)

Some other interesting tidbits from the video:  O’Donnell’s perplexed by Newt’s attack on Romney’s career at Bain saying it should have no effect in a GOP primary, but that those attacks may have some effect with some voters in a general election.  He also doesn’t think the GOP VP choice will matter much, though the interviewer mentioned my favorite choice, Marco Rubio, being able to take Florida off the map for Obama.

New National Polls by Rasmussen and Gallup: Romney Up 8 Points!

The first post-Iowa national polls are out and Mitt’s path to the nomination is becoming clearer every day! Romney leads both the Rasmussen and the Gallup polls that were published yesterday, each by 8 points – though Gallup was +8 vs. Gingrich, and Rasmussen was +8 vs. Santorum. Here are the figures:

Rasmussen 1/4/12:
29% Romney
21% Santorum
16% Gingrich
12% Paul
4% Perry
4% Huntsman

Gallup Tracking 12/28/11 – 1/4/12:
27% Romney
19% Gingrich
13% Paul
11% Santorum
6% Perry
2% Huntsman

I’m inclined to think the Rasmussen numbers are more accurate since the entire poll was taken after the Iowa caucuses, while the Gallup poll is a rolling average of their last 5 daily polls. Their figures will be accurate soon enough.

So the Gingrich slide and Santorum surge are official. Rick Santorum finally gets his turn on the GOP pendulum – how about that? As of now, each candidates except Romney and Huntsman have enjoyed a surge. Examining the graph below you get the feeling the GOP has been taken on quite the roller coaster ride, except for Romney’s campaign whose is more of a high-wire act. (Move slowly and steadily toward your goal, and don’t stray off course… and you’ll stay on top.)

RCP National Poll Average as of 1-6-2012:


26.8 Romney +4.2 22.6 Gingrich 12.8 Paul 8.6 Santorum
5.8 Perry 2.2 Huntsman 6.3 Bachmann Cain

RCP National Poll Average Chart:

As Gingrich and Santorum begin to trade places the new question is how low/high (respectively) will they go? Will Santorum muster enough support to become competitive in South Carolina? With Romney as the clear winner-to-be in New Hampshire, South Carolina truly is the last stand for most of the other candidates, and it may be Romney’s most difficult task yet. Whomever wins in SC will have great momentum going into Florida. If that happens to be Mitt we could officially dub his momentum as “unstoppable”.

~Nate G.

———————————————————————————————————

UPDATE: The following tweet is even better news than the 8-point national lead:
(more…)

Mitt Romney Participates in the First Election 2012 Fox News Google+ Hangout with Bret Baier

Gov. Mitt Romney webcasted from Columbia, South Carolina to Bret Baier and three voters with the aid of the new Google+ Hangout program.

Add Mitt Romney to one of your circles on Google+ and add Mitt Romney Central while you’re at it.

It’s great to see Gov. Romney leading the pack when it comes to embracing new mediums and social networks in order to reach voters in a more personal way. Gov. Romney seems to be utilizing Tout and Foursquare effectively as well.

UPDATE: Check out these two encouraging video clips from Hannity:



Then, Ann Coulter came out with an article titled “IF NOT ROMNEY, WHO? IF NOT NOW, WHEN?“.

Watch video of a marching band performing at the Mitt Romney Rally at the Polish Cultural Center in Troy, MI following the Republican Debates at Oakland University below the fold (more…)

South Carolina: Romney Touring Colite Intl, Endorsed by State Rep Phyllis Henderson

Governor Romney is in the Palmetto State today to discuss jobs, the economy, and labor policy. At 11:15 this morning (ET) he will tour Colite International in Columbia.

Sweetening his SC visit today is news of the endorsement by SC State Representative Phyllis Henderson:

Boston, MA – Mitt Romney today announced the support of South Carolina State Representative Phyllis Henderson.

I am honored to have Phyllis’ support,” said Mitt Romney. “She is a conservative voice in Columbia. Her support and leadership mean a great deal to me and I’m looking forward to having her be part of my campaign.”

Phyllis Henderson, SC State Representative

Announcing her support, Henderson said, “Mitt Romney is the only Republican candidate who has a proven business record and is the conservative leader we need to get our economy turned around and start creating jobs. He has a long record of keeping taxes low, creating jobs, cutting spending, and reducing burdensome regulations on small businesses. I am proud to support Mitt Romney for President.”

Background on State Representative Phyllis Henderson:

Representative Henderson Was Elected To The South Carolina House Of Representatives In 2010 And Serves The 21st District. Henderson is a local businesswoman, community leader and former Chairman of the Greenville County Council. She served as Senator Jim DeMint’s campaign manager in 1988 and has served as Vice President of Governmental Affairs for the Greater Greenville Chamber of Commerce.

(emphasis added )

Welcome to Team Romney, Representative Henderson!

► Jayde Wyatt

New Romney Video ‘Mitt On The Road’ Highlights South Carolina

With South Carolina battling it’s ‘seventh most impoverished state in the nation’ status and unemployment at 11.1 % (in Aug 2011), Mitt Romney’s new video, Mitt on the Road: The Low Country, South Carolina, has a timely message:

As president, on Day One, I will focus on rebuilding America’s economy. Let future generations look back on us and say, they rose to the occasion, they embraced their duty, and they led our nation to safety and to greatness.

Mitt On The Road: The Low Country, South Carolina

ajc.com/Metro Atlanta State News

Poverty defies ‘New South’ promises in S. Carolina
By Margaret Newkirk and Frank Bass
Bloomberg News
Oct 16, 2011

SPARTANBURG, S.C. — Nineteen years ago, when BMW announced a new factory off I-85 just outside of Spartanburg, South Carolina looked like the king of smokestack recruiting.

The world’s biggest manufacturer of luxury vehicles would make the city a “Mecca of foreign investment in the United States,” The Independent of London predicted. It would see a rush of industry chasing Munich-based BMW. Downtown would spring to life. I-85 would be America’s Autobahn.

“Oh, they were going to solve all of our problems,” said Cynthia Lounds, director of community economic development at Piedmont Community Actions Inc., a social service agency.

Today, South Carolina is one of the most impoverished states in the nation, climbing to seventh poorest in 2010 from 11th in 2007, according to recent Census data. Its percentage of residents living in poverty shot to 18.2 percent from 15 percent in that period.

In downtown Spartanburg, near-empty Morgan Square features a used clothing store and two pawn shops.

South Carolina and other Southern states topped the nation’s poverty rankings, a sign of trouble in the so-called New South, known for its growth and ability to lure employers with laws restricting union organizing. The South was the country’s only region with an increase from 2009 to 2010 in both the number of poor and their proportion of the population, the census said.
[..]
South Carolina on Jan. 21 will play a key role as host to the first Southern primary in the race to select President Barack Obama’s Republican challenger.

Gov Mitt Romney gestures while answering a question at Senator Jim DeMint's Palmetto Freedom Forum in Columbia, SC. Sept 5, 2011. (Photo by Stephen Morton/Getty) Click on photo to enlarge.

Its rising poverty rate coincides with a dispute over the Obama administration’s stance toward expansion of a Boeing plant in North Charles-ton. The National Labor Relations Board sued Boeing over its decision to locate a 4,000-job facility there, saying the move was illegal retaliation against unions at its manufacturing base in Washington state.

“It’s like the Obama administration can’t come up with anything else to stifle business growth in this state,” said Lewis Gossett, president of the South Carolina Manufacturers Alliance.
[...]
Like much of the Southeast, South Carolina lost construction employment during the recession. Its textile industry continued to bleed jobs as well: Union County, about 20 miles from Spartanburg, had the state’s fourth-highest unemployment rate after a sock factory and a mill closed in 2009 and 2010. The county also lost a 150-job Disney distribution warehouse it had lured from Memphis 12 years earlier with tax breaks. Disney moved the operation back to Tennessee in July.

(emphasis added )

Governor Romney is a strong supporter of South Carolina’s fiscally conservative Governor Nikki Haley.

Romney recently delivered a major foreign policy speech at the Citadel in Charleston and toured the SC Boeing plant. In September, The Gov participated in Senator Jim DeMint’s Palmetto Freedom Forum. Last spring, he met with South Carolinian small business owners and during the summer, Ann Romney was in The Palmetto State campaigning for Mitt.

► Jayde Wyatt

Romney Speaks to Veterans on USS Yorktown, Will Deliver Foreign Policy Speech 10/7/11

Mitt Romney speaks to veterans aboard the USS Yorktown, South Carolina. October 6, 2011 (Photo ABC/News)


Standing aboard the USS Yorktown today, a World War II-era aircraft carrier in South Carolina, Mitt Romney addressed veterans and offered a preview of his foreign policy speech which he will present tomorrow:

“The speech will present a strategy for securing America’s enduring interests and ideals in a world of growing threats, and it will discuss specific policies to implement that strategy. It is a strategy that does not assume American decline, but recognizes that American strength — in our values, economic strength, and military strength — is the best ally peace has ever known. “Andrea Saul a Romney for President Spokesperson said in a statement.” This is a strategy of American leadership, one in which our ties with our allies are strong and our policies clear and resolute.”

From ABC News:

“You would think the President would recognize the importance of the US military,” Romney said. “My view is, we cannot and should not shrink the Department of Defense budget.”

Romney says he would rebuild the Navy, Air Force, and add 100,000 active duty personnel. He also says he would treat veterans the way they should be treated.

I will protect the United States of America by protecting a strong military,” said Romney. “I don’t want to go down the path Europe did by cutting back their military. Europe doesn’t have it right. America has it right. I will not shrink the military budget.”

More:

Romney said he would protect the United States by protecting the nation’s military and cut spending at the Defense Department to reduce waste. But he said the nation would be mistaken to follow the example of European nations, which cut their military and then use the savings for social programs.
[…]
The investment is necessary, he said, because the U.S. faces increased threats from emerging countries such as China, India and Russia as well as threats from unstable nations such as Pakistan, which possess nuclear weapons.






Mitt Romney will deliver a foreign policy speech tomorrow morning (10/7/11) at 10:45 AM ET at The Citadel in Charleston, South Carolina.


With the Citadel as his backdrop (also known as the military college of SC), Romney will deliver his foreign policy speech tomorrow morning (Oct 7th) in the Buyer Auditorium in Charleston at 10:45 AM ET.

On October 3rd, Romney did a radio interview with Sean Hannity. He was asked about his upcoming speech. Listen here.

Later tomorrow afternoon, The Gov will also speak to veterans at 2:00 PM at Patriots Point in Mount Pleasant, SC.

When/if viewing info becomes available, we’ll post it here and on MRC chat. Check back for updates.

UPDATE: I’ve removed the CNN link; it isn’t working. The speech is also being livestreamed here. Another livestream link may be found here.

UPDATE 2 - Here’s the transcript of Romney’s speech:

Mr. Romney: It’s a great honor to be in South Carolina, where patriotism is a passion that tops even barbeque and football.

And it’s a great honor to be here at the Citadel.

Every great university and college produces future engineers, doctors, lawyers and entrepreneurs. Here at the Citadel, you do all that but you have another specialty – you produce heroes. Over 1400 of your alumni have served in Iraq, Afghanistan, and elsewhere fighting the war against terrorism. And sixteen have paid the ultimate price.

Since 1842, every tyrant, petty thug or great power that threatened America learned that if you wanted to take on America, you were taking on the Citadel. That’s a line of heroes that’s never broken and never will be.

This is a true citadel of American honor, values and courage.

The other day I heard the President say that Americans had gone “soft.” I guess he wasn’t talking about how hard it is for millions of Americans who are trying to get a job or stretch a too small paycheck through the week.

As each of you looks beyond this great institution, to the life before you, I know you face many difficult questions in a world fraught with uncertainty. America is in an economic crisis the likes of which we have never seen in our lifetime. Europe is struggling with the greatest economic crisis since the Cold War, one that calls into question the very definition of the European Union.

Around the world we see tremendous upheaval and change. Our next President will face extraordinary challenges that could alter the destiny of America and, indeed, the future of freedom.

Today, I want you to join me in looking forward. Forward beyond that next Recognition Day, beyond Ring Weekend to four years from today, October 7th, 2015.

What kind of world will we be facing?

Will Iran be a fully activated nuclear weapons state, threatening its neighbors, dominating the world’s oil supply with a stranglehold on the Strait of Hormuz? In the hands of the ayatollahs, a nuclear Iran is nothing less than an existential threat to Israel. Iran’s suicidal fanatics could blackmail the world.

By 2015, will Israel be even more isolated by a hostile international community? Will those who seek Israel’s destruction feel emboldened by American ambivalence? Will Israel have been forced to fight yet another war to protect its citizens and its right to exist?

In Afghanistan, after the United States and NATO have withdrawn all forces, will the Taliban find a path back to power? After over a decade of American sacrifice in treasure and blood, will the country sink back into the medieval terrors of fundamentalist rule and the mullahs again open a sanctuary for terrorists?

Next door, Pakistan awaits the uncertain future, armed with more than 100 nuclear weapons. The danger of a failed Pakistan is difficult to overestimate, fraught with nightmare scenarios: Will a nuclear weapon be in the hands of Islamic Jihadists?

China has made it clear that it intends to be a military and economic superpower. Will her rulers lead their people to a new era of freedom and prosperity or will they go down a darker path, intimidating their neighbors, brushing aside an inferior American Navy in the Pacific, and building a global alliance of authoritarian states?

Russia is at a historic crossroads. Vladimir Putin has called the breakup of the Soviet empire the great tragedy of the 20th Century. Will he try to reverse that tragedy and bludgeon the countries of the former Soviet Union into submission, and intimidate Europe with the levers of its energy resources?

To our South, will the malign socialism of Hugo Chavez’s Venezuela, in tight alliance with the malign socialism of Castro’s Cuba, undermine the prospects of democracy in a region thirsting for freedom and stability and prosperity?

Our border with Mexico remains an open sore. Will drug cartels dominate the regions adjoining the United States, with greater and greater violence spilling over into our country? Will we have failed to secure the border and to stem the tide of illegal immigrants? And will drug smugglers and terrorists increasingly make their way into our midst?

This would be a troubling and threatening world for America. But it is not unrealistic. These are only some of the very real dangers that America faces, if we continue with the feckless policies of the past three years.

But of course, it doesn’t have to be this way. This isn’t our destiny, it is a choice. We are a democracy. You decide. In this campaign for President, I will offer a very different vision of America’s role in the world and of America’s destiny.

Our next President will face many difficult and complex foreign policy decisions. Few will be black and white.

But I am here today to tell you that I am guided by one overwhelming conviction and passion: This century must be an American Century. In an American Century, America has the strongest economy and the strongest military in the world. In an American Century, America leads the free world and the free world leads the entire world.

God did not create this country to be a nation of followers. America is not destined to be one of several equally balanced global powers. America must lead the world, or someone else will. Without American leadership, without clarity of American purpose and resolve, the world becomes a far more dangerous place, and liberty and prosperity would surely be among the first casualties.

Let me make this very clear. As President of the United States, I will devote myself to an American Century. And I will never, ever apologize for America.

Some may ask, “Why America? Why should America be any different than scores of other countries around the globe?”

I believe we are an exceptional country with a unique destiny and role in the world. Not exceptional, as the President has derisively said, in the way that the British think Great Britain is exceptional or the Greeks think Greece is exceptional. In Barack Obama’s profoundly mistaken view, there is nothing unique about the United States.

But we are exceptional because we are a nation founded on a precious idea that was birthed in the American Revolution, and propounded by our greatest statesmen, in our fundamental documents. We are a people who threw off the yoke of tyranny and established a government, in Abraham Lincoln’s words, “of the people, by the people, and for the people.”

We are a people who, in the language of our Declaration of Independence, hold certain truths to be self-evident: namely, that all men are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights. It is our belief in the universality of these unalienable rights that leads us to our exceptional role on the world stage, that of a great champion of human dignity and human freedom.

I was born in 1947, a classic baby boomer. I grew up in a world formed by one dominant threat to America: the Soviet Union and Communism. The “duck and cover” drills we learned in school during the Cuban Missile Crisis resulted from a threat by a known, identifiable enemy, with clear borders and established leaders. We needed spy planes to find the hidden missile bases in Cuba but we didn’t need them to find Nikita Khrushchev. President Reagan could negotiate with Soviet Premier Mikhail Gorbachev and sign treaties for which each side could be held accountable. And when we caught the Soviets cheating, we could bring the world’s attention to their transgressions.

Today, our world is far more chaotic. We still face grave threats, but they come not from one country, or one group, or one ideology. The world is unfortunately not so defined. What America and our allies are facing is a series of threatening forces, ones that overlap and reinforce each other. To defend America, and to secure a peaceful and prosperous world, we need to clearly understand these emerging threats, grasp their complexity, and formulate a strategy that deals with them before they explode into conflict.

It is far too easy for a President to jump from crisis to crisis, dealing with one hot spot after another. But to do so is to be shaped by events rather than to shape events. To avoid this paralyzing seduction of action rather than progress, a President must have a broad vision of the world coupled with clarity of purpose.

When I look around the world, I see a handful of major forces that vie with America and free nations, to shape the world in an image of their choosing. These are not exclusively military threats. Rather, they are determined, powerful forces that may threaten freedom, prosperity, and America’s national interests.

First, Islamic fundamentalism with which we have been at war since Sept. 11, 2001.

Second, the struggle in the greater Middle East between those who yearn for freedom, and those who seek to crush it.

The dangerous and destabilizing ripple effects of failed and failing states, from which terrorists may find safe haven.

The anti-American visions of regimes in Iran, North Korea, Venezuela, and Cuba—two of which are seeking nuclear weapons.

And these forces include rising nations with hidden and emerging aspirations, like China, determined to be a world superpower, and a resurgent Russia, led by a man who believes the Soviet Union was great, not evil.

There is no one approach to these challenges. There is no Wall that the next President can demand to be torn down. But there is one unifying thread that connects each of these possible threats: when America is strong, the world is safer.

Ronald Reagan called it “Peace through Strength” and he was never more right than today. It is only American power—conceived in the broadest terms—that can provide the foundation of an international system that ensures the security and prosperity of the United States and our friends and allies around the world.

American strength rises from a strong economy, a strong defense, and the enduring strength of our values. Unfortunately, under this President, all three of those elements have been weakened.

As President, on Day One, I will focus on rebuilding America’s economy. I will reverse President Obama’s massive defense cuts. Time and again, we have seen that attempts to balance the budget by weakening our military only lead to a far higher price, not only in treasure, but in blood.

My strategy of American strength is guided by a set of core principles.

First, American foreign policy must be prosecuted with clarity and resolve. Our friends and allies must have no doubts about where we stand. And neither should our rivals. If the world knows we are resolute, our allies will be comforted and those who wish us harm will be far less tempted to test that resolve.

Second, America must promote open markets, representative government, and respect for human rights. The path from authoritarianism to freedom and representative government is not always a straight line or an easy evolution, but history teaches us that nations that share our values, will be reliable partners and stand with us in pursuit of common security and shared prosperity.

Third, the United States will apply the full spectrum of hard and soft power to influence events before they erupt into conflict. Resort to force is always the least desirable and costliest option. We must therefore employ all the tools of statecraft to shape the outcome of threatening situations before they demand military action. The United States should always retain military supremacy to deter would-be aggressors and to defend our allies and ourselves. If America is the undisputed leader of the world, it reduces our need to police a more chaotic world.

Fourth, the United States will exercise leadership in multilateral organizations and alliances. American leadership lends credibility and breeds faith in the ultimate success of any action, and attracts full participation from other nations. American leadership will also focus multilateral institutions like the United Nations on achieving the substantive goals of democracy and human rights enshrined in their charters. Too often, these bodies prize the act of negotiating over the outcome to be reached. And shamefully, they can become forums for the tantrums of tyrants and the airing of the world’s most ancient of prejudices: anti-Semitism. The United States must fight to return these bodies to their proper role. But know this: while America should work with other nations, we always reserve the right to act alone to protect our vital national interests.

In my first 100 days in office, I will take a series of measures to put these principles into action, and place America—and the world—on safer footing.

Among these actions will be to restore America’s national defense. I will reverse the hollowing of our Navy and announce an initiative to increase the shipbuilding rate from 9 per year to 15. I will begin reversing Obama-era cuts to national missile defense and prioritize the full deployment of a multilayered national ballistic missile defense system. I will order the formulation of a national cybersecurity strategy, to deter and defend against the growing threats of militarized cyber-attacks, cyber-terrorism, and cyber-espionage.

I will enhance our deterrent against the Iranian regime by ordering the regular presence of aircraft carrier task forces, one in the Eastern Mediterranean and one in the Persian Gulf region. I will begin discussions with Israel to increase the level of our military assistance and coordination. And I will again reiterate that Iran obtaining a nuclear weapon is unacceptable.

I will begin organizing all of our diplomatic and assistance efforts in the greater Middle East under one official with the authority and accountability necessary to train all our soft power resources on ensuring that the Arab Spring does not fade into a long winter.

I will launch a campaign to advance economic opportunity in Latin America, and contrast the benefits of democracy, free trade, and free enterprise against the material and moral bankruptcy of the Venezuelan and Cuban model.

I will order a full review of our transition to the Afghan military to secure that nation’s sovereignty from the tyranny of the Taliban. I will speak with our generals in the field, and receive the best recommendation of our military commanders. The force level necessary to secure our gains and complete our mission successfully is a decision I will make free from politics.

And I will bolster and repair our alliances. Our friends should never fear that we will not stand by them in an hour of need. I will reaffirm as a vital national interest Israel’s existence as a Jewish state. I will count as dear our Special Relationship with the United Kingdom. And I will begin talks with Mexico, to strengthen our cooperation on our shared problems of drugs and security.

This is America’s moment. We should embrace the challenge, not shrink from it, not crawl into an isolationist shell, not wave the white flag of surrender, nor give in to those who assert America’s time has passed. That is utter nonsense. An eloquently justified surrender of world leadership is still surrender.

I will not surrender America’s role in the world. This is very simple: If you do not want America to be the strongest nation on Earth, I am not your President.

You have that President today.

The 21st century can and must be an American century. It began with terror, war, and economic calamity. It is our duty to steer it onto the path of freedom, peace, and prosperity. My hope is that our grandchildren will remember us in the same way that we remember the past generations of Americans who overcame adversity, the generations that fought in world wars, that came through the Great Depression, and that gained victory in the Cold War. Let future generations look back on us and say, they rose to the occasion, they embraced their duty, and they led our nation to safety and to greatness.

The Greatest Generation is passing. But as their light fades, we must seize the torch they carried so gallantly at such sacrifice. It is an eternal torch of decency, freedom and hope. It is not America’s torch alone. But it is America’s duty – and honor – to hold it high enough that all the world can see its light.

Believe in America.

Thank you, and God Bless the United States of America.


► Jayde Wyatt