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Perry to Pose Major Threat to Romney

The biggest development of the Republican presidential campaign on Thursday happened in Austin, Texas – 1,000 miles from the leadoff caucus state where GOP front-runner Mitt Romney and seven of his opponents squared off ahead of an important test vote this weekend.

Texas Gov. Rick Perry sent word that he was running for the GOP nomination, casting a shadow over the debate and threatening to upend the race.

Back in Iowa, Romney emerged unscathed with his leader-of-the-pack status intact after two feisty hours; his two Minnesota rivals – Rep. Michele Bachmann and former Gov. Tim Pawlenty – sparred repeatedly as each sought advantage ahead of Saturday’s Iowa straw poll.

Overall, the dynamics of the campaign did not change with a single debate. And they may not change when Saturday’s straw poll results are announced.

But the race could well change in the coming days as Perry dives into it.

Read More at Real Clear Politics By Thomas  Beaumont, Real Clear Politics

Angry Tea Party Stirring up GOP Revolt

A significant faction of the tea party movement is prepared to revolt against any GOP deal to raise the debt ceiling – even if it is “revenue neutral” and cuts trillions from federal spending, grass-roots sources tell Newsmax.

For the most part, tea party leaders have coalesced around the “cut, cap, and balance” approach to raising the debt ceiling: Trillions in real spending cuts, a cap on how much federal spending can consume as a percent of GDP, and, ultimately, a balanced budget amendment that would prevent the federal government from running up future deficits.

But the fractious tea party movement actually consists of thousands of loosely affiliated groups. They generally support constitutionally limited government, but don’t always agree on specific policies. And they are by no means united on whether the debt ceiling should be raised at all.

The leaders of at least one major tea party organization, Tea Party Patriots, are adamantly opposed to any deal to raise the debt ceiling, under virtually any circumstances. Doing so, they say, only invites more deficit spending.

Some analysts call such fiscal hawks “debt-ceiling absolutists.” The absolutists say Uncle Sam must go cold turkey and swear off the spending binge that has saddled America with over $14.3 trillion in national debt. But labels aside, their influence within the GOP caucus is substantial.

Read More at Newsmax By David A. Patten, NewsMax

Cave on the Debt Ceiling and Kiss 2012 Goodbye

If the GOP is really serious about winning back the presidency, it needs to win the deficit debate. The government of these United States is broke — flat broke — and if the nation is to survive as the prosperous nation it has long been, Republicans must restore fiscal sanity and call a halt to spending money we don’t have!

That’s what the Republicans promised us they would do last November, and largely on the strength of that pledge we let them take back the House. After all, it’s obvious that we can’t trust the Democrats to spend the public’s money wisely and well.

President Obama is promising to seek $3 in spending cuts for every $1 of new taxes, exactly as my father Ronald Reagan sought to do. When my dad passed away in 2004, he was still waiting for that $3. Barack Obama can expect the same dismal outcome.

Ask the first President George Bush how it worked out when he cut a deal with the Democrats in 1991 to reduce the deficit by $500 billion. All he had to do was go back a little on his “Read my lips — NO NEW TAXES” pledge and raise taxes just a little bit.

The Democrats promised not to use the tax issue in the 1992 elections. They promptly hung President Bush with it. So I say to the Republican leadership, as Margaret Thatcher once said to GHW Bush, “Now is not the time to go wobbly.” Stick to your guns and call a halt to spending nonexistent dollars.

Read More at Floyd Reports by Michael Reagan

Tea party pushes GOP candidates to right

In the first presidential election since the tea party’s emergence, Republican candidates are drifting rightward on a range of issues, even though more centrist stands might play well in the 2012 general election.

On energy, taxes, health care and other topics, the top candidates hold positions that are more conservative than those they espoused a few years ago.

The shifts reflect the evolving views of conservative voters, who will play a major role in choosing the Republican nominee. In that sense, the candidates’ repositioning seems savvy or even essential.

But the eventual nominee will face President Obama in the 2012 general election, when independent voters appear likely to be decisive players once again. Those independents may be far less enamored of hard-right positions than are the GOP activists who will wield power in the Iowa caucuses, the New Hampshire primary and other nominating contests.

“The most visible shift in the political landscape” in recent years “is the emergence of a single bloc of across-the-board conservatives,” says the Pew Research Center, which conducts extensive voter surveys. Many of them “take extremely conservative positions on nearly all issues,” Pew reports. They largely “agree with the tea party” and “very strongly disapprove of Barack Obama’s job performance.”

Read More at the Washington Times by Chris Babington, The Washington Times

The GOP Loss In New York Was About New York, Not Paul Ryan

Republicans suck in New York. Period. End of Story.

The GOP lost the special election in NY-26 and the media and Democrats are heralding it as proof that the GOP is getting punished for wanting to reform medicare.

Back when the GOP lost the 2009 special election in New York featuring Dede Scozzafava, et al, the Democrats heralded the GOP defeat as proof that Republican opposition to Obamacare and being the “Party of No” was a clear sign that the Democrats were right on the agenda and the GOP’s obstruction of Barack Obama would be punished by the voters.

That was before the GOP went on to win the Virginia and New Jersey gubernatorial races and pick up Ted Kennedy’s (!!!!) seat in Massachusetts.

To say that this special election defeat of the GOP is a repudiation of the GOP’s efforts on Medicare is laughable on its face.

The truth of the matter is that the Republican Party of New York sucks and has sucked for a while. It is especially terrible at special elections where the out of touch party leaders pick state legislators who everyone hates and runs them.

Read More at Red State by Erick Erickson, Red State