.
Who can save the Republican Party from itself?
February 23rd, 2012
04:00 PM ET

Who can save the Republican Party from itself?

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

The Republican Party resembles a circular firing squad.

They may manage to lose an election they could win - against a weakened incumbent in a troubled economy.

Which is why many Republicans are dissatisfied with the state of the GOP race for president and the remaining candidates.

There's Mitt Romney, who's been running for six years, has all the money in the world, and still can't get the party to line up behind him. Newt Gingrich seems to have done himself in after a couple spikes of momentum. Ron Paul has rabid supporters, just not enough of them to make a difference.

And of course, Rick Santorum, the current flavor of the month - who has a history of controversial comments, including about Satan, and lost his own U.S.Senate seat in Pennsylvania by double digits.

It's no wonder some Republicans are still looking for a savior.

A new Quinnipiac poll shows New Jersey Governor Chris Christie is the top choice of Republicans if there winds up being a "brokered convention." Christie - who gets 32% support - is followed by former Governors Sarah Palin and Jeb Bush at 20% and Indiana governor Mitch Daniels at 15%.

One of the reasons a lot of people like Christie is because he's such a straight talker. Most recently Christie told Warren Buffet to "just write a check and shut up." Gotta love it.

Christie is a Romney supporter who insists he's not interested in running himself. Too bad. You could put the Christie-Obama debates on Pay-Per-View and retire the national debt.

Other Republicans who might still jump into the race include Congressman Paul Ryan, Florida Senator Marco Rubio and former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee.

Here’s my question to you: Who can save the Republican Party from itself?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?

FULL POST

Posted by
Filed under: 2012 Election • GOP • Republican Party
Why can't Mitt Romney catch fire with conservatives?
February 13th, 2012
03:16 PM ET

Why can't Mitt Romney catch fire with conservatives?

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

Mitt Romney's not selling what conservatives want to buy.

His focus on jobs and the economy just isn't connecting with the right wing of the GOP.

Peter Beinart writes in The Daily Beast that the Republican base is more fired up about how to keep government from destroying liberty than how to use government to grow the economy.

Yes, conservatives see shrinking government and boosting the economy as related, but their focus is on greater freedom.

It helps explain the success of many of the GOP candidates who have caught fire this time around - from Michele Bachmann to Ron Paul, Newt Gingrich, and currently Rick Santorum.

All of them have described the 2012 election on some level as a struggle between government tyranny and individual freedom.

Chances are in November, more Americans will want to hear about how the next president can fix the economy and create jobs - which would play into Romney's strengths.

But for now he needs to figure out how to make conservatives like him.

And, here's a hint: His speech at the Conservative Politcal Action Conference is not the answer. In it, Romney described himself as a "severely conservative Republican governor." That's just awful.

Severely conservative?

It once again highlighted his problems on the right.

But Romney did get some good news over the weekend. After the Santorum sweep last Tuesday, Romney narrowly defeated Ron Paul to win the Maine caucuses, and he won the straw poll vote at CPAC.

And there's this: Should Romney become the nominee, conservatives could fall into line faster if they think it means defeating President Obama.

Here’s my question to you: Why can't Mitt Romney catch fire with conservatives?

Tune in to the Situation Room at 4pm to see if Jack reads your answer on air.

And, we love to know where you’re writing from, so please include your city and state with your comment.

Posted by
Filed under: 2012 Election • GOP • GOP Ticket • Republican Party • Republicans
How much will Sarah Palin and Herman Cain help Newt Gingrich?
January 30th, 2012
05:00 PM ET

How much will Sarah Palin and Herman Cain help Newt Gingrich?

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

As the Florida primary comes down to the wire, Newt Gingrich finds himself trailing badly in the polls but getting support from two high-profile Republicans.

The question is whether it will do him any good.

Former presidential candidate and businessman Herman Cain endorsed Gingrich over the weekend.

He called Gingrich a "patriot" who is not afraid of bold ideas.

Cain – who pulled off a surprising win in a Florida straw poll last summer – remains popular among grass-roots conservatives.

But he dropped out of the race in December amid allegations of sexual harassment and marital infidelity.

Then there's Sarah Palin. While she hasn't formally endorsed anyone, it sure seems like the former governor of Alaska is rooting for Gingrich.

Palin is calling on Republicans to vote for Gingrich to "shake up" the establishment "if for no other reason to rage against the machine, vote for Newt, annoy a liberal."

Palin has described the establishment Republicans backing Romney as "cannibals."

While Palin says she respects Mitt Romney, she says there are serious concerns about his record as a conservative. Palin says this primary should not be rushed to an end, adding, "we need to vet this."

You mean the way Palin was vetted for the vice presidency four years ago?

Meanwhile, Gingrich may need all the help he can get in Florida.

Four polls in a row there show Romney with a double-digit lead over Gingrich; the latest one shows Romney up by 14 points.

Here’s my question to you: How much will Sarah Palin and Herman Cain help Newt Gingrich?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?

FULL POST

Posted by
Filed under: 2012 Election • GOP • GOP Ticket • Herman Cain • Newt Gingrich • Republican Party • Republicans • Sarah Palin
Is it good or bad that Newt Gingrich makes establishment Republicans nervous?
January 26th, 2012
04:00 PM ET

Is it good or bad that Newt Gingrich makes establishment Republicans nervous?

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

Newt Gingrich is sending chills down the spines of establishment Republicans, and it's positively entertaining to watch.

These Republicans say things like it would be "a disaster" if he's the nominee, "There's a reason most people who know him best aren't supporting him" and "Newt means losing 45 states."

They say they're worried Gingrich would bring back the erratic, chaotic and crazy leadership from his time as House Speaker.

What's more, many worry that Gingrich at the top of the ticket would drag down Republican candidates for the House and Senate. In a nutshell, they don't think Gingrich could ever beat President Obama.

So far only 12 sitting Republican lawmakers have backed Gingrich, while more than 60 support Mitt Romney. Many who worry about Gingrich also say they doubt he'll be the party's nominee.

The irony here is that being the anti-establishment candidate could be the best thing Gingrich has going for him. The so-called establishment includes a few hundred of the most powerful and elite Republicans, from lobbyists to senior members of Congress to TV and newspaper pundits.

But Americans are fed up with the political establishment and if the inner circle of Republicans is nervous about Newt, it could actually help him with the average voter. Gingrich also seems to thrive when he's playing the insurgent.

Meanwhile, you can bet the GOP establishment has got a close eye on Florida. They say they're not at DEFCON 5 yet.

But they just might get there if Gingrich wins Florida and presents an even more serious challenge to Romney. I love it.

Here’s my question to you: Is it good or bad that Newt Gingrich makes establishment Republicans nervous?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?

FULL POST

Posted by
Filed under: 2012 Election • GOP • GOP Ticket • Newt Gingrich • Republican Party • Republicans
When is the proper time to release a potentially damaging interview with one of Newt Gingrich's ex-wives?
FILE PHOTO: Newt Gingrich sits next to his now ex-wife, Marianne, in a 1995 photo.
January 19th, 2012
12:40 PM ET

When is the proper time to release a potentially damaging interview with one of Newt Gingrich's ex-wives?

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

What's that phrase of which Republicans are so fond? "Family values"?

Just two days before the South Carolina primary, Newt Gingrich's second ex-wife is out with some tawdry details about him that suggest he has the morals of an alley cat.

In fact, Marianne Gingrich tells ABC News that Newt lacks the moral character to be president. Married to Gingrich for 18 years, says she's coming forward now so voters can know what she knows about him.

And here's what she knows:

She says Newt asked for an "open marriage" so he could have a wife and a mistress. That mistress has since become his third and current wife, Callista.

Gingrich reportedly asked Marianne if she would "share him" when he admitted to a six-year affair with Callista, who is a former congressional aide.

Keep in mind this was around the same time that Gingrich was going after President Bill Clinton for his lack of moral leadership during the Monica Lewinsky scandal.

Marianne says Newt asked for a divorce just months after she was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis. Gingrich divorced his first wife while she was being treated for cancer. Family values.

Meanwhile, ABC News will air the full interview tonight on "Nightline." Apparently there was disagreement at the network over the timing of the interview, given its potential effect on Saturday's primary in South Carolina.

The Drudge Report first leaked word of the interview last night –14 years and a day after Matt Drudge broke the Monica Lewinsky story.

As for Gingrich, so far his response to all this seems to be referring the press to ask his daughters about it. It's part of that whole family values thingy.

Here’s my question to you: When is the proper time to release a potentially damaging interview with one of Newt Gingrich's ex-wives?

Tune in to the Situation Room at 5pm to see if Jack reads your answer on air.

And, we love to know where you’re writing from, so please include your city and state with your comment.

Posted by
Filed under: 2012 Election • GOP • Newt Gingrich • Republican Party • Republicans
If Mitt Romney wins South Carolina, should the other Republican candidates drop out and support him?
January 17th, 2012
03:00 PM ET

If Mitt Romney wins South Carolina, should the other Republican candidates drop out and support him?

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

There's a saying in politics that goes "Democrats fall in love, Republicans fall in line."

And it looks like it's about time for the remaining Republican candidates to fall in line behind the dominant front-runner, Mitt Romney.

If Romney wins South Carolina's primary on Saturday - where he's ahead in the polls, he will have pulled off a trifecta - winning the first three nominating contests in a row.

At that point, the other candidates - Newt Gingrich, Rick Santorum, Ron Paul and Rick Perry - ought to think about packing their bags and heading home.

It would be a fine time for them to go the way of Tim Pawlenty, Herman Cain, Michele Bachmann and Jon Huntsman before them.

In case they haven't noticed, Republican voters for the most part are backing Romney, as he's opened up a commanding 23 point lead in one national poll.

The new Gallup poll shows Romney with 37% support from Republicans - that's a 13 point jump in this poll since just before the Iowa caucuses.

Rick Santorum and Newt Gingrich are at 14%, Ron Paul is at 12%, Rick Perry is at a measly 5%.

Pollsters suggest that historically, the post-New Hampshire leader in national polls has gone on to win the Republican nomination. Romney is not only leading by more than 20 points, but his margin is growing.

If the other Republicans choose to stay in the race and keep beating up on Romney, they're only giving the Democrats and President Obama more material to use against Romney in the general election.

Here’s my question to you: If Mitt Romney wins South Carolina, should the other Republican candidates drop out and support him?

Tune in to the Situation Room at 5pm to see if Jack reads your answer on air.

And, we love to know where you’re writing from, so please include your city and state with your comment.

Posted by
Filed under: 2012 Election • GOP • Mitt Romney • Republican Party • Republicans
Is the Republican race over?
January 11th, 2012
04:49 PM ET

Is the Republican race over?

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

If the Republican primary race was a movie, the director might be ready to yell "Cut, print. That's a wrap!"

Mitt Romney is plowing ahead into South Carolina with the wind at his back after becoming first non-incumbent Republican in modern history to win both Iowa and New Hampshire. He may now be all but unstoppable.

Not too bad considering the Republicans have spent the past year trying out a whole roster of other candidates as the anti-Romney.

They've kicked the tires of everyone from Rick Perry to Herman Cain to Newt Gingrich and, most recently, Rick Santorum. And despite brief spikes in the polls, none of these candidates has been able to present a serious challenge to Romney. And if they're going to, they better start. Time is running short.

John Avlon writes for The Daily Beast that Romney is "ready for prime time" after his double-digit New Hampshire victory.

Consider this: Romney won almost every major demographic in New Hampshire. He won Catholic voters - even though he is a Mormon and ran against two Catholics. He also won evangelical voters and tea party supporters - despite all the talk that he wasn't conservative enough for the right wing of the party.

And the rest of the crowd doesn't seem to get it. Despite weak performances in New Hampshire - especially by Newt Gingrich, Rick Santorum and Rick Perry - the whole group will stumble on into South Carolina.

There's an old expression that goes, "When it's over, it's over."

Here’s my question to you: Is the Republican race over?

Tune in to the Situation Room at 5pm to see if Jack reads your answer on air.

And, we love to know where you’re writing from, so please include your city and state with your comment.

Posted by
Filed under: 2012 Election • GOP • GOP Ticket • Gov. Rick Perry • Mitt Romney • Newt Gingrich • Republican Party • Republicans • Rick Santorum • Ron Paul
What issues will ultimately decide the Republican nomination?
January 10th, 2012
03:45 PM ET

What issues will ultimately decide the Republican nomination?

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

What issues will decide GOP nomination? Economy, foreign policy, health care?

As the Republican candidates for president scramble to try to win their party's nomination, they're appealing to voters on a wide range of issues - everything from the economy to foreign policy.

But the candidate that Republicans wind up choosing may say a lot about what issue matters most.

Recent polls show that Americans on the whole are overwhelmingly concerned about the economy, citing issues like high unemployment and the deficit.

Other top concerns include health care, entitlement programs like Social Security and Medicare and the threat from terrorism.

Further down the list are taxes, the size of government, illegal immigration, foreign policy and moral issues like abortion and gay marriage. The so-called wedge issues that always play a large role in the primaries.

If Mitt Romney turns out to be the Republican nominee - as many people expect - to some extent, his support could come from voters who see his business background as a strength in turning around the economy.

Of course all the Republicans have been vocal in slamming President Obama's economic policies.

When it comes to foreign policy, Ron Paul has strong views against the wars and a more isolationist perspective than the other candidates. Jon Huntsman also comes to the table with his experience as ambassador to China.

On health care, Romney could have a difficult time opposing President Obama's health care law due to a similar law he supported as governor of Massachusetts.

As for social issues, Rick Santorum is appealing to social conservatives in large part based on issues like gay marriage and abortion.

Here’s my question to you: What issues will ultimately decide the Republican nomination?

Tune in to the Situation Room at 5pm to see if Jack reads your answer on air.

And, we love to know where you’re writing from, so please include your city and state with your comment.

Posted by
Filed under: 2012 Election • GOP • GOP Ticket • Republican Party • Republicans
How much faith do you have in an online betting site to pick the winner in the Republican primary?
January 4th, 2012
05:00 PM ET

How much faith do you have in an online betting site to pick the winner in the Republican primary?

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

While some of us obsess over the polls, maybe there's a better way:

In Ireland there is an online betting parlor which boasts stunning accuracy in predicting the outcome of elections.

Intrade is a website which lets users swap contracts on events and its users are amazingly good at getting election results right.

In the 2004 presidential election Intrade bettors correctly picked the winner of every single state. In 2008 - they missed only two.

And, not to discourage the gaggle of GOP wannabees this year, but according to Intrade they have no shot. None.

Intrade pegs Romney at an 80% chance of winning the nomination. The next closest candidate is Newt Gingrich at 5%.

Which means the crop of Republican hopefuls can probably go home now and dream of what might have been.

Granted some of them will now that Iowa is over - see Michele Bachmann - and especially after New Hampshire is over, where Romney is expected to win by a landslide.

But there will likely be a few who refuse to recognize reality and instead stumble forward into South Carolina and beyond, spending other people's money, banging their jaws together in a never-ending quest to avoid what in their heart of hearts they know is going to happen anyway: They're going to lose.

And according to Intrade, if their name isn't Romney, they've already lost.

So wouldn't it be better if they just went away? Yes, it would. For all of us.

We're one week into the election year and I'm already tired of it.

I remember the national root canal that was Barack Obama vs. Hillary Clinton... as the two of them lurched from one primary to the next in a vicious knife fight for delegates that I thought would never end.

In the end, the country has a clear case of political fatigue.

If you believe Intrade, we can avoid all that.

Here’s my question to you: How much faith do you have in an online betting site to pick the winner in the Republican primary?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?

FULL POST

Posted by
Filed under: 2012 Election • GOP • GOP Ticket • Republican Party
What does Mitt Romney have to do to recapture his front-runner status?
December 13th, 2011
04:00 PM ET

What does Mitt Romney have to do to recapture his front-runner status?

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

With three weeks to go until the Iowa caucuses, the pressure is squarely on Mitt Romney. It wasn't supposed to go this way at all. The Republican presidential nomination was supposed to be a coronation for Romney. But instead, Romney finds himself chasing Newt Gingrich, and Gingrich is pulling away.

In New Hampshire, Romney and Gingrich took off the gloves, throwing direct jabs at each other. Romney can no longer simply remain above the fray. The fray has frayed his lead rather badly.

New Hampshire was once considered a sure thing for Romney. Now it could be a make-or-break contest for him.

One New Hampshire pollster tells The New York Times that expectations are so high for Romney there that Gingrich could lose by 10 percentage points and still spin it as a win.

Gingrich – who is leading in the national polls as well as in Iowa, South Carolina and Florida – has narrowed the gap in New Hampshire to just 9 points in one recent poll.

What's working in Romney's favor is that New Hampshire voters think he's much more likely to beat President Obama than Gingrich is.

But these voters don't appear excited by Romney ... and the momentum is clearly with Gingrich.

For example, Gingrich held a town-hall-style meeting for a 1,000-person overflow crowd at a New Hampshire high school on Monday night. The applause was described as "deafening."

Meanwhile, Howard Kurtz writes in the Daily Beast that it's not time to rule out Romney just yet. Kurtz suggests that Romney is still a plausible president in these tough economic times and that his campaign is financed for the long haul. Maybe so, but remember, Romney already lost this race once. He's the same guy voters rejected four years ago.

Kurtz says Romney needs to demonstrate real passion and can't simply wait for Gingrich to self-destruct.

Oh, and he should probably stop making $10,000 bets.

Here’s my question to you: What does Mitt Romney have to do to recapture his front-runner status?

Tune in to the Situation Room at 4pm to see if Jack reads your answer on air.

And, we love to know where you’re writing from, so please include your city and state with your comment.

Posted by
Filed under: 2012 Election • GOP • GOP Ticket • Mitt Romney • Republican Party • Republicans
« older posts
newer posts »