Will GOP Presidential Debate Tonight be a Doozy? CNN, The Heritage Foundation, AEI Watch LIVE Stream

Ready for another presidential debate tonight? Weary GOP presidential hopefuls may be rejoicing that there is just one more day until Thanksgiving, but this one may prove to be a doozy…

Tonight’s event marks the first time Republican-leaning think tanks The Heritage Foundation and the American Enterprise Institute (AEI) have sponsored a presidential debate. CNN is also hosting, hence, moderator Wolf Blitzer.

Airing live, just down the street from the address each candidate hopes to occupy (1600 Pennsylvania Avenue) at the historic Daughters of the Revolution Constitution Hall, the excitement begins tonight at 8 p.m.-10 p.m. ET.

The format will zero in on national security and foreign policy issues. Expect to hear some on the economy, especially the Super Committee’s failure to come to an agreement to cut $1.2 trillion from our long-term debt. (As a result, Moody’s and Standard & Poor’s are threatening another downgrade to our credit rating…)

From AEI:

The Republicans vying to challenge Barack Obama in the 2012 presidential election have revealed precious little of their vision for American national security. Do they appreciate the implications of China’s rise? Do they understand the principles behind America’s alliance with Israel? What will their answer be to the challenge from Iran? How will they respond to the collapse of the Eurozone? Will they keep troops in Afghanistan? Can they articulate a clear vision for America’s role in the world?

Viewing/listening options:

TV Airing nationally at 8 p.m. ET on CNN, CNN en Español, and worldwide on CNN International

RadioCNN Radio


Video from The Heritage Foundation:

Here’s a timelapse video of prep work at DAR Constitution Hall:

Anyone rooting for Romney is invited to join us here on our chat forum. Let’s do it!

Mitt 2012!

► Jayde Wyatt

Fmr NH Gov John Sununu to Give “Holy Grail” Endorsement to Romney

Former New Hampshire Governor John Sununu will formally endorse Mitt Romney on Monday, Oct 24, 2011. Sununu will also serve as Chairman of Romney's National Steering Committee.

He said he had narrowed his nominee choice down to two candidates – Rick Perry or Mitt Romney.

He said he would make up his mind, regarding which man to endorse, after a series of presidential debates.

He said it would be some time in mid-to-late October.

He’s made up his mind.

On Monday, Former New Hampshire Governor John Sununu will formally endorse…

Mitt Romney.

Sununu to endorse Romney for President
Union Leader
By John DiStaso, Senior Political Reporter
Oct 23, 2011

MANCHESTER — Former Gov. John H. Sununu on Monday will throw his considerable political influence behind Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney.

“I’m viewed as a good, solid conservative Republican and I’m supporting a good, solid conservative Republican,” Sununu said in disclosing his long-awaited endorsement.

In exclusive interview, Sununu said he narrowed his choice to Romney and Texas Gov. Rick Perry, but was won over by what he views as Romney’s conservative approach to pressing domestic and national security issues.

He said the final component that persuaded him to back Romney was the former Massachusetts governor’s early October foreign policy speech at The Citadel in South Carolina.

“That showed me that he understands that the principal role of the President of the United States is the security of the country and participating in trying to stabilize the world,” Sununu said.

Sununu, 72, will be named chairman of the Romney campaign’s national steering committee and will on hand Monday morning when Romney files his candidacy in the first-in-the-nation presidential primary at the New Hampshire State House and then attends a campaign rally there.

While the importance of big political endorsements are subject to speculation in independent-minded New Hampshire, Sununu’s backing is viewed as a plus not only locally, but also nationally. A Boston newspaper recently went so far as to term Sununu “the Holy Grail” of New Hampshire endorsements.

Sununu elaborates:

While critics try to portray Romney as a moderate Republican, Sununu called him “truly a conservative. He’s committed to cutting spending and taxes, and he’s committed to some issues that I really care about.”

Sununu noted that Romney kept Massachusetts out of the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI), “believes in local control of education and understands the importance of maintaining the integrity of our national borders.”

He also said Romney has sufficiently answered criticisms of the Massachusetts health care plan he signed into law, which imposed an individual mandate and has been portrayed by Romney opponents as a forerunner to President Barack Obama’s Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.

Sununu said Romney did well with the plan considering the “constraints” of having a Democratic-controlled Legislature. He said the Romney plan was “built on” an idea put forward by the Heritage Foundation, which Sununu said was the “gold standard” for conservative thinking.

“His firm commitment to repealing ‘Obamacare’ is a very important part of his agenda,” Sununu said.

(emphasis, link added) Continue reading here.

This is BIG news; we’ve been hoping for Sununu’s endorsement! By the way, Sununu’s son, NH Executive Councilor Chris Sununu, recently endorsed Romney.

Stay tuned…

► Jayde Wyatt

Romney vs. Health Care, Part 4: “Mandates . . . Did Mitt Get Left Holding the Bag?”

Part 4 in a developing series of in-depth analysis by Dr. Jeff Fuller (See part 1 and part 2 and part 3)

Firstly, as an addendum to my last post (Part 3 about Romney opposing ObamaCare from Day one), Romney has upped the ante on his rejection of ObamaCare and his willingness to fight for it’s repeal.  In a brief National Review Online Op-ed on March 22nd entitled “If I Were President: ObamaCare, One Year in” he brought up a new angle that I hadn’t considered:

If I were president, on Day One I would issue an executive order paving the way for Obamacare waivers to all 50 states. The executive order would direct the Secretary of Health and Human Services and all relevant federal officials to return the maximum possible authority to the states to innovate and design health-care solutions that work best for them.

As I have stated time and again, a one-size-fits-all national plan that raises taxes is simply not the answer. Under our federalist system, the states are “laboratories of democracy.” They should be free to experiment. By the way, what works in one state may not be the answer for another. Of course, the ultimate goal is to repeal Obamacare and replace it with free-market reforms that promote competition and lower health-care costs. But since an outright repeal would take time, an executive order is the first step in returning power to the states.

Powerful, pragmatic leadership, with both experience and foresight.  That’s what our country needs in the White House, and that’s what Mitt Romney has in spades!

OK, now onto the questions of RomneyCare and Mandates.  Admittedly, this will be the stickiest subject for Romney and may be a stumbling block of gaining the support of some conservatives.  The individual mandate is at the crux of both ObamaCare and RomneyCare, really, the sine qua non of the respective plans.

Mitt recently defended the individual mandate.  This has been his consistent position since 2004-5 when the law was being crafted.  In fact, Romney was often questioned about the plan during the last GOP primary in 2007-8 and he provided solid answers about how an individual mandate could help solve the problem of “free riders” . . . those that could afford health insurance, but choose not to because current federal law MANDATES that emergency rooms assess/triage/treat all patients who present, irrespective of their insurance status or citizenship (EMTALA & COBRA laws: “It requires hospitals and ambulance services to provide care to anyone needing emergency healthcare treatment regardless of citizenship, legal status or ability to pay. There are no reimbursement provisions. As a result of the act, patients needing emergency treatment can be discharged only under their own informed consent or when their condition requires transfer to a hospital better equipped to administer the treatment.”)  Take 90 seconds and hear Mitt discuss the conservative side of the mandate issue:

I like how Romney summed this up in writing in the following WSJ article in 2006:

Click here to continue reading

START Treaty: The Heritage Foundation Supports Mitt Romney, Behind-the-Scene Look at Uneasy Progressives

Mitt Romney’s op-ed on the START treaty (7/6/10) urging law-makers to reject the lopsided agreement, rattled progressives. On the very next day Senator John Kerry (D-MA) railed that Romney failed the test in arguing against START. In the uproar, Obama tossed a life-line to tax-evader-ex-senator Tom Daschle to wrangle words on behalf of his New Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty. Daschle dusted off the moth-balls and promptly hustled on over to left-of-left Center for American Progress to deliver his rhetoric, proclaiming that rejection of the treaty would be ‘nuclear anarchy’. With theatrical flair he added:

Republican senators “can choose Mitt Romney or they can choose the entire U.S. military establishment,” Daschle said.

The former senator went on to accuse some Republicans of caring more about scoring political points against the president than about the future of the country. He suggested that they are ignoring the responsibilities of their office to pander to the conservative chattering class.

“If Glenn Beck or Sarah Palin or Rush Limbaugh choose to make a living peddling partisan hate and anger and mangled conspiracy theories, there will always be people for them to sell a bill of goods,” Daschle said. “It is not healthy for our democracy.”

(emphasis mine)

Strongly supporting Governor Romney’s START assessment, The Heritage Foundation responded:  

New START’s Many Problems: What the Experts Say

• The Honorable Eric Edelman, Former Undersecretary of Defense for Policy: “[A] START-like treaty that ignores North Korea and Iran may be a step backward rather than forward.” Testimony, Senate Foreign Relations Committee, June 24, 2010

Constrains Missile Defense
• Ambassador Robert Joseph, former Undersecretary of State “Initially, the Obama Administration gave numerous assurances that there would be no limitations on missile defenses in the Treaty—‘no way, no how.’ Later, once the Treaty text was made public, the line changed to ‘no meaningful’ limitations and ‘no constraints on current and planned’ programs.” Testimony, Senate Committee on Foreign Relations hearing, June 24, 2010

Weak on Verification
• Senator James Inhofe (R-OK): “[V]erification appears to be less robust than in the 1991 treaty. … I am concerned that it will make it harder for our intelligence community to monitor Russian nuclear forces and may require additional resources, which we do not currently have, to ensure we are adequately monitoring … developments. I am also concerned that 18 inspections per year … is not robust enough given the fact we conducted on the order of 600 inspections during the 15 years of START I.” Statement on the Senate Floor, June 18, 2010

Reverts to Cold War–Style Arms Control
• Senator Jim DeMint (R-SC): “We have the technology, the capability and the responsibility as a federal government to defend our citizens, and to sign a major treaty that agrees in perpetuity to make ourselves vulnerable to a nuclear attack. … I can’t accept that when we have the capability to change it.” American Foreign Policy Council conference, May 20, 2010

Click here to read more from The Heritage Foundation on:
‘The Advantage to Russia’ by Senator Jeff Sessions (R-AL)
‘America Less Safe’ by Richard Perle (former Assistant Secretary of Defense for Arms Control)
‘Fails to Advance Non-Proliferation’ by Kim R. Holmes (former Assistant Secretary of State)

Given its deep flaws, Americans should join Governor Romney and others to call for a halt to this treaty. In the meantime, what is Obama really doing to prevent Iran from weaponizing its nuclear program? What is Obama doing about North Korea’s obsession to create long-range nuclear warheads and their exportation of nuclear and ballistic technology?

UPDATE 7/23/10: Ratification uncertain with Republicans holding back support of U.S.-Russia nuclear treaty

An affiliate of the Heritage Foundation, a conservative think tank, has taken the lead in opposing the treaty. The Heritage Action for America, an advocacy group, has started a petition drive and may run political advertisements on the issue during the election season. It also is lobbying in the Senate.

Though arms control is hardly a major issue in a campaign season dominated by economic worries, the divisive political environment makes it difficult for Republicans to buck the conservative mainstream and hand Obama a victory that might be considered his top foreign policy achievement.

Tom Daschle, a former Democratic Senate Majority leader, who supports the treaty, says Heritage’s influence may explain why so many Republicans have been reticent about taking a stand.

“It is certainly serious enough to silence some Republican senators,” he said. He added that he expected enough Republicans eventually would come around for passage.

Heritage won some prominent support when a likely GOP presidential candidate, Mitt Romney, announced opposition to the treaty in a newspaper column this month.

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There’s more.

A story within a story; connecting dots…

The Center for American Progress (CAP), where Daschle delivered his denunciation of Romney and other conservatives, is a consummate progressive ‘think tank’ based in Washington DC. (Surprise! Tom Daschle is a CAP fellow.) Created in 2003 by John Podesta, former Chief of Staff for President Bill Clinton and head of Obama’s presidential transition team after the election, his goal was to create a liberal think tank on steroids. Think lefty-left-left. CAP is a 501(c)(3)organization whose major individual donors include George Soros, Peter Lewis, Steve Bing, and Herbert M. Sandler. CAP also receives undisclosed sums from unknown corporate donors. In 2009, they created Progressive Media:  

The Center for American Progress — which has emerged as perhaps Washington’s most influential idea factory in the age of Obama — is launching a major new war room, to be staffed by nearly a dozen people, that will focus on driving the White House’s message and agenda, I’m told. The Democratic operatives running the project are already holding a daily early morning call with dozens of operatives from liberal groups – labor, health care, the environment – to coordinate messaging and to deliver usable talking points for the day, according to liberal operative Jennifer Palmieri, who’s the project’s communications director.

The new war room – which is called Progressive Media – represents a serious ratcheting up of efforts to present a united liberal front in the coming policy wars. The goal of the war room will be to do hard-hitting research that boils down complex policy questions into usable talking points and narratives that play well in the media and build public support for the White House’s policy goals.

The war room – a joint project of CAP Action Fund and Media Matters Action Network — will be headed by well-known liberal operative Tara McGuinness, who worked on John Kerry’s presidential campaign and was a major player in the anti-war movement during the Bush years. … ‘We do a coordination call to get our content out and to coordinate people so they can fire up for the day,’ Palmieri says.[…]

(emphasis mine)

Head of Media Matters war room Tara McGuinness’ ties to Senator John Kerry (D-MA) sheds extra light on Kerry’s media tirade against Gov Romney the day after Romney’s START article was published (July 7, 2010).

Another individual that may be motivating the barking against Romney is Tom Matzzie, a leader at CAP:

“Tom has worked in progressive politics for more than a decade – with MoveOn.org, the AFL-CIO, Campaign for America’s Future and campaigns at the presidential and statewide level. At MoveOn, he created ground-breaking campaigns on corruption and the war in Iraq that set the stage for the 2006 Democratic takeover. The MoveOn 2006 election program successfully targeted for defeat 29 out of 36 Republicans.” […] He has also served on the Board of Directors of Progressive Majority. […]

“The Politico wrote that the intensity of his 2007 Iraq campaign, “rattled the entire Republican caucus.” The New York Times Magazine said of the Iraq campaign that they are to progressives, “…what the NRA is to the Right.” “Tom was named one of the “Forty Under Forty to Watch” by Washingtonian Magazine for his role as a leader in the emerging Internet-powered politics.”

Tom Matzzie is a strategist on politics, media, and technology for the Huffington Post. His involvement with the groups listed above ties him with  notorious uber-liberals. Listed among Campaign for America’s Future‘s many founders and advisors are hair-raising SEIU’s Howard Stern and Frances Fox Piven of Cloward and Piven Strategy fame.

Matzzie is also the leader of Accountable America, a nasty organization aimed at defeating right-wing groups with threats: “… in 2008, he spearheaded an effort “to confront donors to conservative groups, hoping to create a chilling effect that will dry up contributions.” He described the effort a “going for the jugular.” The letter warned “donors who might be considering giving to right-wing groups [of] legal trouble, public exposure and watchdog groups digging through their lives.”

Still with me?

Looking further into CAP, two names caught my eye. Listed under ‘Personnel’ is the name of David Halperin, Senior VP and Director, Campus Progress. Listed under ‘Fellows’ (besides Tom Daschle and another name)  is Morton H. Halperin – also Executive Director of Open Society Policy Center. Halperin? Could they be related to THE Mark Halperin (senior political analyist for MSNBC and editor-at-large, senior political analyst for Time.com)? The one who started a conservative twitter war a few days ago by claiming unnamed sources associated with Mitt Romney had dissed Sarah Palin?

Yes. They are related. Morton H. Halperin is Mark’s father and David Halperin is his brother.

Morton Halperin, Mark’s father, served many years as Director of the ACLU Washington office from 1984-1992. While in that position he defended the right of the The Progessive to publish details on how to construct an atomic bomb. He was the Senior VP and Director of Fellows at the Center for American Progress. Morton Halperin is the Senior Advisor for the Open Society Institute. OSI was created in 1993 by investor George Soros and is a private operating, grantmaking foundation which aims to shape public policy to promote democratic governance, and economic, legal, and social reform. His current wife, Diane Orentlicher, serves as Deputy, Office of War Crimes, Department of State. To read more about Morton Halperin, George Soros, and The Shadow Party click here. (Scroll down to ‘The Southampton Meeting’.)

David Halperin, Mark Halperin’s brother, is a founding board member of the American Constitution Society (2001). He previously worked as a Special Assistant for National Security Affairs and speechwriter to President Bill Clinton, solo litigation practitioner, and legal associate to Professor Laurence Tribe. Tribe was a teacher and mentor of Barack Obama and one of his earliest supporters. Obama appointed Tribe as ‘Senior Counselor for Access to Justice’ in the Justice Department. David Halperin was a policy associate to Ralph Nader, counsel to the Senate Intelligence Committee, and served as a law clerk to District Judge Gerhard Gessell.

UPDATE 1:Click here for more info on David Halperin.

UPDATE 2: Mark Halperin appeared on Meet the Press on January 17, 2010. During the interview Halperin stated that he thinks Obama has done an extraordinary job. Click here to read article.

It’s hard to believe the cluster of punches at Romney from John Kerry, Tom Daschle, and Mark Halperin are coincidental. This brief rub-your-eyes look at the web of connections between them and Barack Obama is just the tip of the Obama spear. Romney makes them grind their teeth at night. They will stop at nothing to discredit him. Although Romney has said he won’t make any decisions regarding another presidential run until mid-term elections are over, Obama’s pre-emptive stealth campaign for 2012 has begun.

Are you ready?