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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.

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Filed under: 2012 Election • GOP • GOP Ticket • Gov. Rick Perry • Mitt Romney • Newt Gingrich • Republican Party • Republicans • Rick Santorum • Ron Paul
What will happen to the Republican field if Ron Paul wins the Iowa caucuses?
December 20th, 2011
01:12 PM ET

What will happen to the Republican field if Ron Paul wins the Iowa caucuses?

From Jack Cafferty, CNN

Two weeks from now we'll know the answer, but as of this moment, Ron Paul is the odds-on favorite to win the Iowa caucuses. And that has many mainstream Republicans positively apoplectic.

Despite being largely ignored by the mainstream media, the 76-year-old congressman from Texas is at - or near - the top of polls in Iowa entering the homestretch in the first 2012 GOP race for the White House.

What's refreshing is Paul has done it the old-fashioned way, with a consistent message and the best outreach operation in Iowa.

Andrew Sullivan writes for The Daily Beast that Paul is generating enthusiasm and support among young voters and Democrats and independents ... in other words, voters who could help Republicans defeat President Barack Obama in November.

You would think that's just what the Republican Party is looking for - someone who could defeat Obama next year.

Not so fast. Republicans are already set to spin a Paul win in Iowa by basically ignoring it.

A Washington Examiner column by Timothy Carney suggests the primary contest will get "downright ugly" if Paul wins in Iowa.

Carney points to Pat Buchanan's New Hampshire victory in 1996, saying both the Republican establishment and the media rallied to end his campaign.

Carney says if Paul wins, his critics will imply he is "a racist, a kook, and a conspiracy theorist."

Whether the GOP establishment likes it or not, Paul has the power to shake things up if he wins in Iowa.

People in Iowa are rallying around someone who, for the first time in a long time, represents real change. And that has to scare the hell out of both parties.

Here's my question to you: What will happen to the Republican field if Ron Paul wins the Iowa caucuses?

Tune in to "The Situation Room" at 4 p.m. ET to see if Jack reads your answer on the air.

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


Filed under: 2012 Election • Ron Paul
Should Ron Paul launch a third party run if he doesn't win the Republican nomination?
November 21st, 2011
03:55 PM ET

Should Ron Paul launch a third party run if he doesn't win the Republican nomination?

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

Keep your eyes on Ron Paul...

Because the Texas Congressman could have a major effect on the 2012 presidential race - whether or not he's the nominee.

Paul - who probably has the most passionate supporters of all the Republican candidates - is not ruling out a third party run.

He says he has no intention of mounting a third party bid for the White House, but - and it's a big but - he's not ruling it out.

A recent poll shows Paul getting 18% of the vote in a three-way contest against President Obama and Mitt Romney. And most of Paul's support would come at the expense of Mitt Romney.

That's why some Republicans call it a "nightmare scenario." They worry that a Ron Paul run would benefit President Obama - maybe even securing him a second term.

We've seen it before: When Ross Perot ran as a third party candidate in 1992 - the conventional wisdom was he handed Bill Clinton the election. Without Perot in the race, President Bush would have likely won re-election. Ralph Nader has also made several third party runs.

Plus, it's worth pointing out that our electoral system is stacked against a third party ever winning the White House.

Meanwhile - don't count Ron Paul out of the race for the Republican nomination quite yet.

Some say he could be a real threat in the early voting states of Iowa and New Hampshire.

One poll shows Paul in a virtual four-way tie for first place in Iowa... and he's polling in the top three in New Hampshire.

Some experts say they wouldn't be surprised if Paul wins the Iowa caucuses and then shakes up the race even further in New Hampshire.

Ron Paul has been talking sense for a long time.... with the country now circling the drain, maybe more people are ready to listen.

Here’s my question to you: Should Ron Paul launch a third party run if he doesn't win the Republican nomination?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?

FULL POST

Is anyone besides Ron Paul serious about our deepening national financial crisis?
September 20th, 2011
06:00 PM ET

Is anyone besides Ron Paul serious about our deepening national financial crisis?

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

President Obama's $3 trillion debt reduction plan is really a huge tax increase accompanied by very small and somewhat questionable spending cuts.

The president wants $3 in tax increases for every $1 in spending cuts, according to the Washington Times.

His plan will go nowhere in Congress.

Besides the $1.5 trillion in new taxes, here are the president's ideas of spending cuts:

Find "waste" in Medicare. Where have we heard that before?

Count savings from winding down the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, which was going to happen anyway.

Count lower interest costs on national debt.

Where are the cuts? There's no entitlement reform in this plan, no orders to cut the federal workforce, to cut the budgets by a significant amount or to close overseas military bases.

There's no means test for Social Security, no raising of the retirement age. Nothing.

Meanwhile, as we wait for the so-called Super Committee to come up with its plan, this deficit situation is a ticking time bomb.

Here's the scary truth: Even if the committee manages to come up with $1.5 trillion in deficit cuts over the next decade, it's a miniscule drop in the bucket.

The United States is more than $14 trillion in debt and we are adding to this debt at the staggering rate of more than $1 trillion in deficits per year.

So even if the government cuts $3 trillion or $4 trillion over 10 years, we will still have a national debt of $21 trillion in 10 years: $7 trillion more than we have now.

The federal government knows this full well and refuses to be realistic about how dangerous our predicament is.

Here’s my question to you: Is anyone besides Ron Paul serious about our deepening national financial crisis?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?

FULL POST

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Filed under: 2012 Election • Economy • Ron Paul
Ron Paul only grown-up running for president in GOP?
August 16th, 2011
12:47 PM ET

Ron Paul only grown-up running for president in GOP?

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

As the race for the Republican nomination heats up, there's one candidate who's been largely ignored by the mainstream media.

But Ron Paul is talking sense and more people ought to listen to him.

The Texas congressman has visionary ideas about where the country ought to be going and what sea changes are necessary in order to continue being a superpower.

When Paul ran for the Republican nomination in 2008 – he talked about the economy imploding, the untenable nature of the national debt, the eventual destruction of our currency and a limited role for government.

He showed tremendous fund-raising ability and had an absolutely rabid base of support. The problem was – it was too small.

In the four years since then, many of the things Paul warned us about have happened: We're deeper in debt. The dollar is worth less. The federal government is increasingly dysfunctional, and the country is more divided than at any time maybe since the Civil War.

Yes, Ron Paul is a conservative. But he's not one of those who hits you over the head with his bible. And looking at the current batch of republican wanna-bees, he stands out as maybe the only adult in the room.

In politics as in life, it's often the timing that makes the difference. In the case of Ron Paul, it seems events over the last four years have finally caught up with the candidate.

Paul's message hasn't changed – but the urgency of what he's saying has increased. And it seems like this time, more people may be listening.

He came within an eyelash of finishing first in the Iowa straw poll. Less than 200 votes behind Michele Bachmann out of nearly 17,000 cast.

Michele Bachmann has no chance of being the next president of the United States. Maybe Ron Paul should be.

Here’s my question to you: Is Ron Paul the only grown-up running for president on the Republican side?

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.


Filed under: 2012 Election • Ron Paul
April 27th, 2011
04:10 PM ET

Can the third time be a charm for Ron Paul?

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

U.S. Rep. Ron Paul, R-Texas, announced Tuesday he's forming a presidential exploratory committee, a possible first step toward officially entering the 2012 race.

He joins a small pool of not-very-exciting-Republicans who have done the same, including former governors Mitt Romney of Massachusetts and Tim Pawlenty of Minnesota, and Rick Santorum, a former senator from Pennsylvania.

Other names - Newt Gingrich, Sarah Palin, Mike Huckabee and Michele Bachmann - have been thrown around as possible contenders. Billionaire real estate developer Donald Trump has talked a lot about running himself. But according to the polls, voters aren't particularly wowed by any of the possibilities. Paul included.

This is not the first time Ron Paul, a physician, has thought about being president. He won the Libertarian Party nomination in 1988. In 2008, he ran in the Republican primaries but never won more than 10% of the vote. But things could be different this time.

Ron Paul has a small but devoted following and is capable of raising tons of money, a necessity in today's elections. He is an outspoken fiscal conservative, and his main message is smaller government, less spending and less debt. He also doesn't think we should be fighting wars half a world away. He makes a lot of sense. At his announcement Tuesday, Paul said the U.S. has changed a lot in the past four years and that more and more Americans are subscribing to his smaller government, anti-interventionist philosophy. Plus if he's successful, he would be a breath of fresh air compared with the rather disgusting status quo of presidential politics.

Here’s my question to you: Can the third time be a charm for Ron Paul?

Tune in to the Situation Room at 6pm 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.


Filed under: 2012 Election • Ron Paul
December 17th, 2007
01:51 PM ET

Ron Paul’s “money bomb”?

ALT TEXT

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

"Ron Paul becomes the $6 million man."

That's the headline on The Politico about the Republican presidential candidate's astounding fund-raising accomplishment yesterday.

Paul did it again - raising more than $6 million online in a single day. That follows a fund-raiser last month that brought in about $4.2 million in a single day. The campaign says it’s raised more than $18 million this quarter. This could very well mean Paul will outraise his Republican rivals for the 4th quarter and be able to fund a presence in a lot of the states voting on February 5th.

Ron Paul has the kind of grass roots organization politicians dream about. In addition to his phenomenal fund-raising abilities, mostly among small individual campaign contributors, he has a devoted following that in any given moment can almost overpower the Internet.

Any time we mention Ron Paul's name on the Situation Room, his supporters immediately begin writing into us in droves. They're fanatic in their devotion to him and very appreciative of any mentions we have ever given him. It's a phenomenon unique to Dr. Paul. We talk about all the candidates all the time but we never get a response to any of the rest of them like we get to Ron Paul.

Nevertheless, most consider him a distant long-shot and he's stuck in the single digits in most national polls.

Here’s my question to you: If Ron Paul can raise more than $6 million in one day, how come he’s not higher in the polls?

To see The Cafferty file Video click here

Interested to know which ones made it on air:

FULL POST


Filed under: Elections • Ron Paul