What I like about Rick Santorum 2


By Tom Quiner

Rick Santorum and Newt Gingrich

I like something about each Republican candidate.

There is something I very much like about Rick Santorum: he is authentic.

This is a huge deal in the year 2012. Many Republicans look at Mitt Romney and Newt Gingrich and have concerns about what they really stand for.

Independent voters have legitimate concerns about what Barack Obama really stands for (see: Do you really trust Barack Obama more than Newt Gingrich; and “Gingrich v Obama:  who is really more trustworthy?”)

Rick Santorum, along with Ron Paul, stand out for presenting a consistent, authentic message. Agree or not, voters have little doubt that Rick Santorum is sincere in his convictions. If he is elected, we know what we’re getting. That case can’t be made with Mitt Romney. Although I think we can count on Newt Gingrich to deliver high stakes conservative accomplishment, too many Republicans and Independents don’t share my confidence.

Not so with Rick Santorum. Wall Street Journal columnist and best-selling author, Peggy Noonan, describes him with hefty adjectives that make us stop and listen closely. She describes him as “intelligent, accomplished, experienced, highly sophisticated, someone not screaming a slogan or selling a book.”

In other words, serious.

His economic plan is pro-growth, but not as robust as New Gingrich’s. He wants to simplify the tax code by reducing deductions and rates. Good.

He wants to lower capital gains tax rates. Good. President Obama, his economic instincts always exactly wrong, wants to increase it. Newt Gingrich, though, wants to eliminate it which would have a tremendously positive impact on new business and job creation. Although Gingrich’s plan is better, Santorum’s instincts are good on everything except this: he wants a targeted reduction in corporate income tax rates for manufacturers.

Sounds good, but we don’t government picking winners and losers. Both parties have done way too much of this over the years. Mr. Obama’s embarrassing green energy industrial policy is the latest case in point.

Like every candidate, Rick Santorum has some winning ideas, some that look to be less winning when it comes to the economy. What he offers more than every single candidate, though, is character.

That is worth a lot.

Remarkable media bias at last night’s debate Reply


By Tom Quiner

George Stephanopoulos

Just when you think the media can’t crane to the left any further, they surprise you.

Take ABC’s George Stephanopoulos with this question in last night’s Republican debate:

[Do you believe] “that states have the right to ban contraception, or is that trumped by a constitutional right to privacy?”

Think about this question.

As Mitt Romney, the target of the question, pointed out, no state is interested in banning contraception.

No candidate is calling for a ban on contraception.

Not even the Catholic Church is calling for legislation to ban all contraception. (The Church believes that “contraception offends against the openness to procreation required of marriage and also the inner truth of conjugal love.” They only call for the ban of contraception approaches that are known abortifacients.)

Mr. Stephanopoulos’ goal was to simply stir the pot and try to get Republicans in trouble with a ridiculously obtuse hypothetical question.

Stephanopoulos was joined by another ABC liberal, Diane Sawyer, in setting up questions to pit candidates against each other and portray them in as unfavorable light as possible. One line of questioning involved the sensitive subject of gay marriage.

Newt Gingrich turned the tables with a sharp retort:

“I just want to raise a point about the news media bias. You don’t hear the opposite question asked. Should the Catholic Church be forced to close its adoption services in Massachusetts because it won’t accept gay couples, which is exactly what the state has done? Should the Catholic Church be driven out of providing charitable services in the District of Columbia because it won’t give in to secular bigotry? Should the Catholic Church find itself discriminated against by the Obama administration on key delivery of services because of the bias and the bigotry of the administration?”

Quiner’s Diner has written on all of these subjects. [See “The relentless assault on our religious liberties.] The MSM is pointedly disinterested in the same subjects. I wonder why?

Kudos for Mr. Gingrich for re-framing the question properly. I’d like to see all the candidates employ this technique more frequently.

I thought Santorum, Gingrich, and Huntsman came across very strong last night. However, so did Romney. Ron Paul came across in his usual uninspiring squeaky whine. Rick Perry did pretty well for Rick Perry.

The two top conservatives, Santorum and Gingrich, need to focus their sites on Romney. Gingrich, in particular, needs to expose Romney’s economic plan for what it is: Keynesian economics, or in other words, Obama Lite. Gingrich alone presents a robust Supply Side economic approach that creates jobs by the bucket full.

Santorum, like Obama, wants to choose winners and losers with targeted tax rates for manufacturers. Let’s not discriminate. Gingrich’s approach benefits all and will put the economy in overdrive quicker than you can say, “Barack Obama, former president of the United States.”

 

Iowa Caucus postmortem 3


By Tom Quiner

My fair state has given us much to chew on after last night’s Caucuses. A few reactions …

Negative campaigning pays. Mitt Romney, Ron Paul, and their pressure groups launched a focused smear campaign on former Speaker of the House, Newt Gingrich. It worked. Mr. Gingrich lost half of his support in one month thanks to the unprecedented hit ads run by Mssrs. Romney and Paul. The ads distorted much of Mr. Gingrich’s record. The Republican Party was surely dishonored by their shameless attacks on one of our own. Should either Paul and Romney win the nomination, they will have a hard time engendering any passion from those of us who support Newt Gingrich.

Positive campaigning pays. Rick Santorum ran a clean, issue-oriented campaign. As Newt Gingrich stated in his gracious post-caucus speech last night:

“I’d like to take a minute to congratulate a good friend of ours, someone we admire, whose family we admire, Rick Santorum. He waged a great, positive campaign. I served with Rick. We’ve had a great relationship over the years. I admire the courage and the discipline, and the the way he focused, and admire how positive he remained.”

Rick Santorum is a good man and a good candidate. I am delighted by his strong showing.

Republicans should be worried. Turnout was only incrementally higher than four years ago. If a watershed election like this one can’t turn out an outpouring of new voters, what can? On the other hand, it was still a record turnout. Let’s see what happens in other states.

The field narrows. With the news that Michelle Bachman has suspended her campaign, can Rick Perry be far behind? And if Jon Huntsman has a weaker-than-expected performance in New Hampshire next week, his candidacy will be on extremely shaky ground. That means that the next round of debates will loom large. Rick Santorum should get more debate time because of his strong Iowa finish and smaller field. And Newt Gingrich can regain momentum doing what he does best: debating. There is no love lost between Mssrs. Gingrich and Romney. Watch the gloves come off. No one will want to miss the show.

Obama should be feeling pretty good. Mitt Romney’s strong performance solidifies his front-runner status. Assuming he wins New Hampshire next week as expected, he will have a lot of momentum and will be tough for his Republican rivals to slow down. Mitt Romney is the weakest of the Republican candidates in a one-on-one against Barack Obama (excluding Ron Paul who has no serious chance of winning the nomination). His convictions are in question. He was an unpopular one term Governor of Massachusetts whose style of governing would best be described as Obama-lite. Coupled with his smear campaign against Newt Gingrich, a lot of Republicans and Independents may have a tough time putting up Romney yard signs; talking him up to their fence-sitting friends; and perhaps even voting for him.

The Catholic connection. Two candidates, Rick Santorum and Newt Gingrich, embrace the Roman Catholic faith. Mr. Romney, via his surrogates, has attacked one. Will he attack the other whose candidacy is in ascendancy? I hope not, because the Catholic vote may very well swing this year’s election. [See a previous post, “The Catholic Vote Will Determine the Next President.”] Mr. Romney needs the enthusiastic backing of practicing Catholics who view abortion and traditional marriage as top-burner issues.

 

 

Quiner’s Diner’s readers react to Newt Gingrich … 1


By Tom Quiner

Newt Gingrich is the most interesting candidate in the field. Love him or hate him, you’re going to listen to him and talk about about what he is saying.

I’ve gathered together comments from reader’s of this blog post regarding Speaker Gingrich.

A Des Moines attorney who was a Pawlenty backer this Spring said this about Gingrich to me last June:

“Newt is not viable, by the way. He is running a terrible campaign.”

Interesting how things can change.

A pro life advocate on the Des Moines scene had this to say:

“I like Newt.  I think he’s totally, 100% prolife and knows the political scene in and out.  I love how he can’t be duped in debates, calls a spade a spade and doesn’t allow the MSM to railroad him.  It matters not that he’s had 2 failed marriages.  Wrong choices in love do not necessarily indicate bad judgement in all areas of life.  If that were so half of America wouldn’t be qualified to hold public office! I would be stunned if the Republican party actually nominates a candidate for whom I wouldn’t have to hold my nose before I cast my vote.  Newt could be that man and I would vote for him without reservation based on what I know about him today.”
Here’s what she said about Mitt Romney:
“I wouldn’t trust him any further than I could throw him. He was pro-abortion before it became necessary for political purposes to claim to be pro-life.  Don’t walk away from this guy. RUN!”
A Quiner’s Diner reader who voted for Mr. Obama last time had this to say about Newt Gingrich:
“Newt Gingrich may sound good on tv, may have good ideas,  but I don’t  think I could trust him.  He’s the one who so relentlessly castigated President Clinton for his affair with Monica Lewensky and tried to bring him down with the Starr investigation.  While, at the same time he was cavorting around with a woman while he was married.  Talk about the height of hypocrisy!  I’m no longer interested in Cain either.   If I was to support a Republican right now, it would have to be Ron Paul.  In listening to him he’s willing to make hard and necessary decisions to actually lower our country’s debt that actually make sense to me. .  Plus I think he is trustworthy.  I would enjoy talking with you about Ron Paul, and would even listen to what you have to say on Gingrich.”
I would ask this gentleman, did you trust Bill Clinton?  Hmmm. And Mr. Obama has done a great job at reducing the debt, hasn’t he!
A faithful reader who is a pilot in Georgia weighed in with these thoughts:
“I like Newt. He comes across as presidential. I like what he has to say. And, even more important, I like the way he says it.  He is, undoubtedly, the most qualified candidate in the race with the greatest ability to get the most things done during his presidency. My mom and I randomly crossed paths with him several months back. The last time something like that happened to her, George W. Bush ended up becoming president. I’m just sayin’!”
A Catholic journalist viewed Mr. Gingrich this way:
“Despite the difficulties Gingrich’s campaign has encountered I don’t think it’s wise to count him out. Anything’s possible.A lot has been made about the “baggage” he carries. Does he have some? I’d say most likely, but specifically what that is depends on your particular perspective.

Certain things are deal-breakers for certain people. Vote for him because he’s Catholic? Vote against him because he’s divorced? Those two and many other elements could be debated on many levels. And the idea of a completely purist approach is the subject of controversy in more things than just candidate selection.

It’s just too bad there is so much decision-making based on perception created by the media.

I think Newt Gingrich is the object of significant derision precisely because those who oppose him find him to be a threat.

Really, before we ask, “Is there a spotless candidate,” I think we should ask whether a spotless candidate could get elected with the government and media we have today.

I am supporting another candidate, not because I want to vote against Gingrich, rather, I want to vote FOR my candidate.

Something I heard at a recent gathering regarding Gingrich has stuck with me for some reason. That was: Say what you will about him, any of the other candidates in the field, or anything that’s occurred in the campaign, he’s still the smartest one in the room. Now someone is always going to dispute a statement like that. But this gathering was a diverse sampling of candidate loyalty, and no one said a word in reply.

I hope and pray my candidate wins. If that is not God’s will, my prayer is that it is someone who is smart, as well as someone possessing character and fear of the Lord; because those are all things our country desperately needs restoration of at the helm.”

A retired Des Moines grandmother had this to say:

“To be honest, I’m at a loss for words about Newt’s candidacy!  I think he is very intelligent and surely “knows the ropes”  of politics much better than some of the other candidates.  I have to admit that I was not very aware of things back when the Libs were dragging all the skeletons out of his closet and caused his “fall from grace”.  It’s a sure thing he can lead– for instance, the success of the “Contract With America.”   He’s currently being bad-mouthed about some financial debt, and that may cause problems down the road.  You can be sure the Dems will be digging as much dirt as possible on every candidate!”

A retired employee of the federal government, a staunch Catholic, was short and sweet:

“We have a president who is a great campaigner and is clueless when it comes to governing. Newt is a mediocre campaigner but based on his past, would be excellent at governing.”

A Des Moines college professor reacted thusly:

“I do not know much about Newt. I can say that I think he is very bright—perhaps the brightest of all the candidates.  He is also a very good thinker.  He is clear.  He understands economics. However, I find him to be unreliable, and a loose cannon.”

A Des Moines Catholic Mom said:

“I’m not the one to ask…I like Newt…think he’s so darn smart and tough too…I’m supporting Santorum.  He’s the real deal.”

Finally, a Chicago attorney with Des Moines roots offered a thoughtful analysis of Newt Gingrich in reaction go my blog a couple days ago titled, “Analyzing Gingrich’s baggage”:

“I enjoyed reading your post today and agree completely with your analysis re: the three possible candidates in 2012.  I would take it a step further: if Romney is the nominee, he wins; if Gingrich is the nominee, he loses.  I think this will be the case unless there is significant economic deterioration between now and voting day.  Independents have been hugely important in recent elections, and I think the majority of them (myself included) care more about social issues (which to me means limiting government interference in my life) than whether the top marginal tax rate is 39.4% or 42% (just making up numbers).  I don’t believe a President really has that much control when it comes to the economy, but I am very critical of Obama running up the deficit.  I think it would be a tactical mistake to shoot for the moon with a staunch social conservative, believing that Obama will be so unappealing that he will lose no matter what.

As for Newt, I’m a bit put off by him — maybe that will change.  He’s clearly intelligent and has a better grasp on policy issues than any other contender, but I doubt that I would be able to vote for him because of his stance on social issues.  I don’t have any issues with his divorces per se; I have an issue with his blaming it on his passion for our country.  I also think you kind of lose the right to moralize about “traditional marriage” when you’ve cheated on your wives and have gone through multiple marriages.  I also think — and this isn’t hyperbole — that it would be somewhat of a disgrace if we have a First Adulteress instead of a First Lady.  Anyway, I’m looking forward to the race.  It should be interesting.  I’m sure my thoughts about Newt will evolve as he spends more time in the limelight.
Most importantly, congratulations on your 400th post.  That is a huge accomplishment, and I know you have put a lot of effort into it and are putting out a great product.  I don’t always agree with your positions, but I know that you have really thought about them.  You’ve certainly made me re-think some of my positions, and I thank you for that.  Keep up the good work!”
Lay it on me. What do YOU think of Newt Gingrich and the other candidates in the field? The day of decision nears.

Rick Santorum to participate in this Sunday’s Life Chain in Des Moines 2


By Tom Quiner

Join Rick Santorum at this Sunday's Life Chain

Republicans and Democrats have differing viewpoints when it comes to the human fetus (Latin for offspring or Little One).

Republicans view the Little One as being worthy of human rights. Democrats don’t.

Republicans view the Little One as being a person. Democrats don’t.

Republicans view the Little One as having a fundamental right to life. Democrats don’t.

Democrats and their judicial soulmates have had far more power than Republicans over the past thirty-some years when it comes to formulating policy affecting Little Ones.  They have stripped just about every human right away from them.

Interestingly, though, both current Democratic President Obama and previous Democratic President Clinton have expressed the same sentiments, that abortion should be legal, but rare. Clearly, they sense there is something wrong with the wanton destruction of Little Ones, but they have been unwilling to do anything about it.

There is something Democrats can do with Republicans this Sunday.  They can join us in prayer on behalf of Little Ones everywhere during the annual Life Chain.  Here in Des Moines, the faithful will come together in respectful prayer along Merle Hay Road, stretching from St. Theresa’s Church to the First Assembly of God church.

Rick Santorum

Presidential candidate, Rick Santorum, will be joining the chain in front of St. Theresa’s Church on Merle Hay and University Avenue. Join the Chain this Sunday and shake his hand. Mr. Santorum is passionately pro-life. He believes that Little Ones are entitled to full human rights at their conception.

Although Republicans will be praying for the end of abortion, Democrats can pray that a conflicted woman carrying a Little One will have a change of heart and let her child be born.

Democrats can pray that adoption will flourish in a land where broken-hearted couples unable to conceive pray daily for a Little One.

Democrats can pray that abortion won’t be needed because fathers and mothers recognize the humanity of the Little Ones in their mothers’ wombs.

The Democratic Party still has a sizable number of the faithful in their ranks. Republicans extend a hand of friendship to join with us in prayer starting at 2 PM on Sunday, October 2, that abortion will never be needed in America again.

We can agree on that, can’t we?