Republican Campaign for 2016 Kicks Off, Unofficially

25 Jan 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

‘Seal the border’: Potential GOP 2016 rivals hit immigration, Obama at Iowa summit.

DES MOINES, Iowa – Conservative heavyweights joined with up-and-comers in hammering the Obama administration Saturday over its record on national security, immigration and more as they played to a sold-out Iowa crowd in what amounted to the opening bell of the Republican presidential campaign. Comments from leading political figures who spoke Saturday at the Iowa Freedom Summit, a gathering of social conservatives set to play an important role as the early voting state helps determine the GOP’s 2016 presidential nominee: “In a Republican primary every candidate is going to come in front of you and say I’m the most conservative guy that ever lived.DES MOINES — More than half a dozen likely Republican presidential candidates gathered here Saturday to unofficially kick off their party’s primary process, navigating the challenge of competing for the conservative grass roots while still emerging as a credible general election candidate.

Addressing the conservative crowd in apparent tease for his own 2016 presidential bid, he downplayed the relevance of both Mitt Romney and Jeb Bush as Republican contenders for the White House. The event, organized by Iowa Congressman Steve King and conservative advocacy group Citizens United, is the highest profile gathering of likely 2016 candidates to this point. The all-day forum brought into bold relief the divide between the party’s passionate activist base, nearly 1,000 of whom attended, and its major donors and Wall Street wing. His brother gave us Obama – because Abraham Lincoln coming back from the dead could not have beaten Obama.” The Des Moines summit is packed with potential 2016 GOP candidates, who are set to speak throughout the day. He said Romney couldn’t have a successful run because he “failed.” He also pointed out that Romney’s Massachusetts healthcare plan, which was the corner stone for Obamacare, would be difficult to reconcile with conservative voters.

Ted Cruz called on Republican voters to hold presidential candidates accountable for their conservative credentials Saturday in a speech to the party’s grassroots faithful at Rep. Drawing some of the biggest applause of the day, Carson took on the thorny subject of immigration, saying fixing the country’s immigration issues should rest on Congress’ shoulders and not the president’s – in a dig at President Obama’s executive actions. Romney and Bush, though, did not attend, making them an even bigger target for event organizers and speakers who deem them too moderate, particularly for the first-in-the-nation caucus state. As well, he took the former governor to task for his comment about 47 percent of Americans who don’t “take personal responsibility” for their lives and live off the government. Cruz received thunderous applause with calls to repeal fully President Barack Obama’s health care law, lock down of the southern border, handcuff environmental regulators and abolish the IRS.

Carson, who has been flirting with the idea of a 2016 presidential run, told the crowd the next president should “make it their goal to seal the border within a year.” “We have to reverse the magnet,” he said. “We should not be employing illegal immigrants. Speakers include Chris Christie, Scott Walker, Ted Cruz, Rick Santorum, Rick Perry, Mike Huckabee, Ben Carson Carly Fiorina, and Sarah Palin, among others.

Trump, in his signature style, laid out a laundry list of reasons why conservatives should not vote for Romney or Bush and said if he were president, the first thing he’d do is build a fence to keep out illegal immigrants. “I’m looking at it very seriously … I want to make this country great again,” Trump said. “I am seriously thinking of running for president.” We don’t have the will.” Carson suggested adopting a guest-worker program similar to the one Canada has and said anyone applying for guest-worker employment should do so while in another country. You see, I think that sends a powerful message to Republicans in Washington and around the country that if you’re not afraid to go big and go bold you can actually get results.” — Wisconsin Gov.

Jeb Bush, a vocal immigration reform advocate, and former presidential nominee Mitt Romney, who lost the Hispanic vote by a 71-27 margin in 2012, both declined to attend. But here in Des Moines, at least at this gathering, you might think Christie wears psychedelic tie-dyed T-shirts and listens to Neil Young songs to unwind. Cruz said that when his father Rafael, now a pastor, was invited to Bible study by a friend, “he gave his life to Jesus,” and returned to his wife and son. Rand Paul, who has said he could support a path to legal status for undocumented immigrants, although he has previously joined King on the trail in Iowa.

Several of them mentioned, without prompting, Christie’s famous hug of President Obama in the days before the 2012 campaign, during the dark days after Hurricane Sandy. “When he walked on that boardwalk with Obama, hand in hand, that was too much for me,” said Wayne Prather of Indianola, Iowa. “I want someone like Cruz.” Christie often pitches himself as a guy who can make bipartisan deals, a conservative at heart, but a practical man who gets things done. To many at the summit, that was regarded as a dark art, one that could take the steam out of the movement. “It makes me nervous when they talk about bipartisan deals,” said Danny Carroll, a former state Republican chairman. “It ends up with them caving in way too soon.” “I think we’ve become a nation of pansies,” she said. “I think we need some more bullying. He’s a tough guy, and he seems to want to get back to the basics, with small government.” “Many people see New York, Washington, Hollywood, and then the fly-over area. Instead, he offered a preview of a national campaign that would rely heavily on his record of defying teachers’ unions and protesters in his first term. “The Occupy movement started in Madison four years ago and then went to Wall Street, so my apologies for that,” he said. He gave a shout-out to a “woman in Waterloo” who had donated three times to his campaign, and thanked Iowans for their prayers during “the dark days” when he and his family received threats in his showdown with public employee unions.

King, in his opening remarks, called for abolishing the IRS and going after Obama’s “executive overreach,” while largely sidestepping the broader immigration issue. Did you know, I asked her, that Christie promised during his 2009 campaign that he would never cut pension and health benefits for public workers, and then proceeded to make that the centerpiece of his first year in office? King, known for controversial statements on immigration, recently called a 21-year-old illegal immigrant who was Michelle Obama’s guest at the State of the Union address “a deportable.” He told an Iowa radio station Friday he was being “kind and gentle” with that description. William O’Brien, a member of the New Hampshire House of Representatives, warned the crowd against nominating a moderate “who either does not have the courage of his convictions or has no convictions.” “I don’t know what is worse,” he said, “nominating someone merely because he’s been nominated twice before or nominating a liberal supporter of Common Core because he has a familiar name.” Mr.

The Iowa gathering offered up red-meat rhetoric to the activist base, while illuminating the challenges the party’s establishment candidates are almost certain to face in early caucus and primary states like Iowa and South Carolina. And even many here see him as a flaming liberal who is ready to sell his soul to Democrats, Christie might win over a chunk of this crowd on style points. Flake said. “If you can go to Iowa and not take Steve King’s position, more power to you, but if you’re tempted to appeal to a small demographic, then it doesn’t help us in the general.” Opening the forum, Mr. The Republican gathering, held at the Hoyt Sherman Place theater — which, with its plush red seats and ornate ceiling, offered more the vibe of an indie rock show than of a political rally — seemed to mark the beginning of the 2016 primary season, at least for Republicans.

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