Why I miss Rick Perry (alternate headline: Obama administration chooses to jeopardize women’s health over politics).

Because he’s willing to put his money where is mouth is, or in this case, he isn’t backing down to the federal government.

Via Hot Air, Tina Korbe relates the aftermath of the battle in Texas over “women’s health.” Perry cut Planned Parenthood out of the Texas’ Women’s Health Program, and now the federal government has chosen to withhold funds from Texas that kept the program afloat. In other words, the Obama administration has chosen to truly jeopardize women’s health to protect Planned Parenthood. Funny how that works, no? Tina Korbe:

The answer to my original question is: Yes, the Obama administration actually does want to cut funding and jeopardize the Texas’ Women’s Health Program entirely. He cares more to protect Planned Parenthood than he does to protect women’s health, in general. Fortunately for low-income women in Texas, Rick Perry won’t stand for it.

Korbe highlights Guy Benson, who adds:

Perry, who slammed the federal government constantly during his short-lived bid for the Republican presidential nomination, has directed state health officials to find the funding to keep the program going from other parts of the budget, but he has promised not to raise revenues to cover the costs.

Ah, I pine for what might have been. Another Benson zinger:

So I guess indigent Texas women will simply have to go without because Obama’s government prioritizes protecting a political ally and Democrat cash cow over the “women’s health” they claim to hold dear.

Ah, reality: the irony of it will be lost on liberals.

Gingrich-Perry ticket rumor: will it help Newt win Alabama and Mississippi?

I wonder. Fox News via Memeorandum:

Sources close to the Gingrich campaign say preliminary “what-if”  conversations are underway that could lead to a Gingrich-Perry ticket being  announced prior to the  Republican National Convention at the end of  August.

Gingrich insiders hope forming a predetermined ticket with Perry will unite  the evangelical, Tea  Party and very conservative voters that make up the core of the GOP.

As discussions got underway, a spokesman for Texas Gov. Rick  Perry released a statement saying, “Gov. Perry thinks Newt  Gingrich is the strongest conservative to debate and defeat President Obama  and truly overhaul Washington. The speculation is humbling but premature.”

Floating Perry as a running mate two days before Alabama  and Mississippi could energize conservatives or turn them off.

A senior aide to Rick  Santorum called it a desperate hail mary to create buzz ahead of contests in Alabama  and Mississippi Tuesday.

After learning of the Gingrich-Perry ticket discussions, the Romney camp said  it preferred to focus on the Mississippi and Alabama delegate race, noting that  they expect to win about a third of the delegates in a three-way split with  Santorum and Gingrich.

Gingrich faces high expectations of his own making in Alabama and Mississippi  this coming Tuesday.

Prior to winning Georgia, which Gingrich said was necessary to remain  “credible,” Gingrich and his team repeatedly said it would take winning Alabama  and Mississippi to  restore momentum and fundraising capacity.  Newt  2012 is barely in the black.

Gingrich in recent days shifted gears and began saying regardless of what  happens Tuesday in the deep South, he will continue to campaign against his  rivals until the convention in Tampa.

As a broken-hearted Perrykrisna who loathes Newt, I’m faced with a dilemma: could I pull the lever for him if Perry were on the ticket? Hell, that’s what I did in 2008. So maybe it isn’t that much of a stretch.

What say you?

In a nutshell, the two Ricks

Not Romney

Via Erick Erickson who reminds us that even after tomorrow’s New Hampshire primary, the candidate field will have completed 1.80% of the primary process. Less than 2%. In other words, it ain’t over despite what all the Romneybots think. Even after South Carolina in 2 weeks, less than 3% of the delegates will be allocated.

Truth be told, I still don’t understand the Santorum surge. After GW–whom I adored, yes–nearly destroyed conservatism with that “compassionate” tag of ever-increasing government expansion in the name of … expansion–we don’t need another Republican who believes the answers lie in more government. I’m not an Ann Coulter fan, but this made me laugh because it’s true (H/t: Legal Insurrection):

Santorum is not as conservative as his social-issues credentials suggest. He is more of a Catholic than a conservative, which means he’s good on 60 percent of the issues, but bad on others, such as big government social programs. He’d be Ted Kennedy if he didn’t believe in God.

Professor Jacobson calls it a smear against another not-Romney, but there’s truth in the statement.

Meanwhile, we have a choice as outlined by Rick Perry. He identifies what this election is about and is still the only small-government conservative running. He’s also the longest-serving governor in the country of that giant state. The one that dominates job creation.

Almost universally, Republicans hold in contempt the real-life “ends” of the Obama administration’s policies, though admittedly there are those self-described conservatives who have favored (and even authored) Obamacare-like approaches to health care and policies like cap-and-trade. To us, those ends look decidedly liberal and reminiscent of European social democracies, and out of step with our vision for America.

Yet some conservatives, while rejecting the “ends” have not yet fully rejected the means, despite the fact that many Americans—and not just conservatives or libertarians— have reached the conclusion that the federal government has just become too big and has its fingers in too many pies, with the predictable negative real-world consequences for the rest of us.

They argue that a big intrusive government is fine, desirable even, so long as it pursues “conservative” goals, which frequently when scrutinized are neither conservative nor worthy. Earmarks are okay, as long as they are directed by “conservatives.” Expansions of government like Medicare Part D and No Child Left Behind were acceptable because they represented “Republican” policy. Congress spending all its time in Washington, DC, and legislating madly is fine, so long as the congressmen are Republicans and they are pursuing something that the Washington, DC, establishment has deemed “conservative.” It’s okay to have a government so big, so unaccountable and playing with so much money that serving Members of Congress can get rich while on the job, and once off the job, they can get even richer by becoming high-powered corporate consultants before skipping over to K Street itself, to try to grow government and spend even more of your money.

To paraphrase Ronald Reagan, we have reached a critical juncture at which government is not the solution to our problems; government is the problem.

Do we really need the Rick who has no executive experience, who supported Arlen Specter at the expense of a real conservative, and whose record in the Senate consistently betrays conservative principles?

Not really.

 

“While Santorum events on Saturday were reportedly drawing more reporters than caucus-goers, Perry was drawing healthy crowds”

So writes Molly Ball of The Atlantic, who asks “Is Rick Perry the Iowa Dark Horse?” More:

As the days to the caucuses wane, Perry has things other candidates would kill for: Crowds who want to meet him, ads all over the airwaves, a decent ground organization, an anti-Washington message people are hungry for, and terrific hair. The question is whether it’s too little, too late, to get through the crowded pack ahead of him.
 
Several Perry-inclined voters in Boone said they were former Herman Cain supporters, which helps explain Perry’s uptick. 
 
Marti Melton-Streeter, the former GOP chairwoman in Boone County, said she couldn’t support Romney because of his health-care record, and she’s frightened by Ron Paul’s foreign policy views. Perry, she recently decided, deserves a second chance with voters. 
 
“I’d really like to see Rick Perry come out of Iowa. I think he needs that opportunity on the national level,” she said. “I know there have been missteps along the way, but his philosophy is what we need in a candidate.”
 
Carolyn Erickson, an 81-year-old from Ogden, thought she’d made up her mind to support Romney, but Perry changed her mind.
Granted, this is The Atlantic, so gratuitous stupid-Republican comments must be noted to make smart-ass liberals feel better about themselves:
 
Perry still comes across as far from a rocket scientist, and his campaign staff is at war with itself, never a good sign. On Saturday, his campaign announced that he’d proceed directly to South Carolina after Tuesday’s caucuses; the move to skip New Hampshire drew unnecessary attention to his lack of appeal beyond the Bible Belt.
 
But Perry is still the affable governor of Texas, and voters still want to like him, which has become easier since he’s mostly stopped screwing up all the time. (He did forget the name of a Supreme Court decision this week, but it was no “oops.”) 
That’s the only dig, and it’s followed by a big BUT. Since he’s-such-a-genius-Obama has gotten us so far, so fast, I’m willing to take my chances with not-a-rocket-scientist. What say you?
 
 

Separating the legitimate conservatives from the rest

Rather than the hypocrite or megalomaniac, you, too, have choices according to Rush Limbaugh, who listed Perry, Bachmann, and Santorum as legitimate conservatives. Pundette has the story. I’m more than a little stunned that he made a comment like this during the primary. 

Perry, by the way, is rising in the polls. Ken Klukowski says don’t count Perry out just yet:

A long-serving governor of America’s second-largest state, Perry has executive experience and an almost-perfect record on economic, social, and national-security issues. Three of the best lines from the last debate were his—seeing the big picture on Newt’s Palestinian comments, knowing Obama should have recovered or destroyed our stealth drone, and declaring that securing the borders will change the national mood enough to discuss long-term immigration reform.

Moreover, he has tons of campaign cash and a large organization. And coupled with pushing for a flat tax and Balanced Budget Amendment, his support for guns, marriage, and faith will help in Iowa and South Carolina.

If Romney or Gingrich falter, Perry might take it all.

From your lips to God’s ears.

Ed Morrissey reports of Perry’s road trips crisscrossing Iowa now in progress, which is Perry’s greatest strength:

Assuming his back troubles are behind him (pardon the pun), Perry can be a force of nature in retail politics.  He got off to a good start in Iowa when he jumped into the race, but his immediate rise in national polls took his focus elsewhere.  Now with Iowa the only prize that Perry can reasonably grasp at the moment, he’s going all in — like Bachmann and Rick Santorum, the latter of whom has already visited all 99 counties and has built a surprisingly extensive organization.

As for the hypocrite and megalomaniac, this shoots holes in their supposed electability over all the others:

If the election were held today, both Mitt Romney and Newt Gingrich would lose to President Obama according to a new Wall Street Journal/NBC News survey. But given the choice between Obama and “the Republican candidate,” Americans choose the Republican by a 45%-43% margin.

Only 46% of Americans approve of the job Obama is doing as president, but Obama bests Romney 47%-45% in a head-to-head match-up among registered voters. That is a four point improvement for Romney over last month’s 49%-43% spread.

Obama crushes Gingrich head-to-head match-up by a double digit 51%-40% margin and half of all registered voters say they would never vote for Gingrich. Only 44% say the same thing about Romney.

A generic Republican bests Obama, but neither hypocrite nor megalomaniac can. Telling, no?

 

Who is the pro-life candidate?

Not the one who told abortion activists that he thought Republicans weren’t doing themselves a “favor” by being so “vehemently anti-choice.”

Not the one who thinks embryonic stem cells can be harvested because life begins at implantation, either.

Who does that leave? Oh, the one who defunded Planned Parenthood in his state, effectively shuttering the doors of 12 clinics. And who signed into law a sonogram requirement for all mothers seeking to abort their babies, in the off chance that seeing a moving life within would convince some to defer to that life.

Yeah, him. Via Steven Ertelt at LifeSiteNews:

Republican presidential candidate Rick Perry today received the endorsement of the president of a statewide pro-life group in New Hampshire, the location of the second GOP primary election battleground.

Kurt Wuelper, the president of New Hampshire Right to Life, which is not affiliated with the National Right to Life Committee, endorsed Perry this afternoon as the best pro-life candidate to take on pro-abortion President Barack Obama in next year’s presidential election.

“I know that Gov. Perry unequivocally believes that life begins at conception and does not waiver in his protection of the unborn, unlike some self-professed pro-life candidates,” said Wuelper. “But more than just talking the talk, Rick Perry has shown he is a man of strong faith and strong action.”

He added: “He has a proven consistent record of protecting innocent human life and has signed more pro-life legislation than any governor in Texas history, including the Parental Notification Act, the Parental Consent Act, the Prenatal Protection Act, and the Woman’s Right to Know Act. That’s why I am supporting him for President.”

“In Texas, Gov. Perry successfully de-funded the nation’s leading abortion provider, Planned Parenthood,” Wuelper added. “His courage and convictions are just what America needs right now as it tries to find its way through these tough times. I am so very proud to support Gov. Perry for president and encourage anyone who cares about fostering a culture of life in America to consider doing the same.”

Read the rest. Perry signed the most pro-life legislation as a governor, and Texas has special provisions in each budget prohibiting the use of tax dollars to fund abortions.

When fighting the most pro-abortion President in history, do we want someone who really believes in the evil of abortion, or do we want someone who sneers about pro-lifers to NARAL staffers? Or someone who–despite being told he’s the smartest man in the room–believes life begins at implantation? No thanks. I’ll stick with the one who actually believes in something. Once again: there’s no need to flip-flop if you have convictions.

H/t: Pundette.

“My purpose was never to be the President of the United States.”

So said Rick Perry last night at the Huckabee forum last night (H/t: Dan Riehl on twitter). More:

“I’ve lived a purpose-driven life, and my purpose was never to be the President of the United States, but our country is in trouble and our country needs us working together to take our country back. So I hope, again, that you’ll take a look at my plan and give me that second opportunity,” Rick Perry said at the Huckabee Presidential Forum on FOX News. “I’ll promise you this. That every day I will work to make Washington, D,C, as inconsequential in your life as I can. God bless you. Thank you for your support and your vote.”

Imagine, a man who feels called to serve. He isn’t the perfect candidate. Is there such thing? But he’s my 75% solution, and that’s a lot better than having to convince myself that he’s a different man. Bryan Preston:

For all of Rick Perry’s flaws as a debater and his various verbal miscues, he’s never said or done anything that would make me question whether the man is worthy of my support. There are no lingering doubts about whether I’ll live to regret the day decided to support him as the Republican nominee. I don’t have to rationalize my decision to advocate on Rick Perry’s behalf. I don’t have to convince myself that he’s a changed man in order to feel good about my choice.

Exactly.

A friend asked me how I could support Perry, an evangelical, rather than Newt, a Catholic. Easy-peasy. Newt converted–not a problem–after divorcing not wife number one, but number two, with the gal he diddled while pointing the finger at Clinton for doing the same. Not so much. I don’t need a President who likes who hear himself talk and who can excuse his past behavior as an aside. Catholic or no.

Jazz Shaw at Hot Air says Perry had a good night–good enough to be one of the bright spots of the evening.

“A candidate who is weak at debating can become better at it, but no candidate who has a weak record or no record at all can go back and create a good record”

So argues Bryan Preston at the PJ Tatler of Rick Perry. Point to ponder, eh? And then there’s this:

That’s a big piece of pie.

More Preston:

Does Perry deserve credit for all of this job growth? No. But he does deserve credit for a great deal of it. When the economy tanked he could have gone the big government route. When the media and Democrats were making health care the crisis du jour, he could have done what Romney did and signed off on a massive expansion of government power. But he didn’t do either one. He keeps Texas’ government out of the way despite the never-ending push to expand the power of government. For a conservative, that’s a good thing.

One could argue that, well, Texas is big so of course it’s leading on job growth. Problem with that argument: California is bigger, and its jobs record is a whole lot worse than Texas’. Policy does matter.

I know, I know, Perry’s had some bad debates and a gaffe or two or three. That makes him a dicey prospect against Obama in the debates next year, unless he can improve that part of his candidacy. But unlike Cain, who has been great in the debates, Perry has an actual record in office, and it’s a very strong record. Unlike Romney and Gingrich, he also has a record of not chasing the latest policy fad (global warming, national health care mandates) and of standing his ground. His higher education reforms ought to become a national model. He has a record of helping turn the Democratic Party in Texas into a shell of its former self.

Emphasis mine on the last. What a lovely thing to aspire to nationally. I didn’t understand the Cain-mentum, nor do I understand the Newt wave. It’s Newt. Perry may not be a natural debater with a mastery of adverbs, but I’d take his record over the rest any day. Debate skills can be polished. I don’t want a candidate whose convictions have been, too.

I stand in good company. Pundette sees Perry’s use of the debate goof in an ad as a positive:

Perry’s ad suggests he has a sense of humor and maybe even [gasp] some humility. What a refreshing contrast to the egotism we’re used to.

Indeed.

Also:  The comment thread at Hot Air.

UPDATE: linked by Pundette. Thanks!

Pundette: “I hope Perry keeps going.”

Me, too. Granted, we’re two smart moms with a news habit, not the big heads who proclaim Perry’s chances dead. I argued with my husband ad nauseam last night who sang the glories of how polished Mitt is in the face of Perry’s gaffe. Sad truth: Perry’s performance up to that point was his best debate showing yet.

Pundette:

Laugh if you like. At least he’s real. I’ll take him over the smooth faux-conservative Romney any day.

Republican support for Romney based on his supposed electability is pure group-think. And the eager rush to bring Perry down based on his lack of debating skills is unseemly. I thought conservative minds were more incisive and independent than that. America is in dire need of a principled and courageous leader but all we care about is a smooth performance with no awkward silences? Too bad Alex Trebec isn’t eligible; he’s very good in front of a camera. How about Ryan Seacrest? Then you’d get the youth vote, too. He’s probably pretty liberal but does that really matter? He can pay lip service to conservative beliefs and we can pretend to believe him.

I’m with her. Count me among the Perrykrishnas. I’d rather believe in something genuine sans polish than Mitt.

Exit question: why is Gingrich still up there? Why hasn’t he been run out of town on a rail? Seriously. For those who stake their last hopes on a polished, smart man who happened to conduct his personal affairs (no pun intended) in the most odious manner possible. I scoffed at tweets last night horrified at how he alienated women with his treatment of the moderator. A joke, right? All women have to do is realize what a skunk he is.

A pair of Perry interviews

Can he turn it around? As Cain’s campaign implodes from within, you never know.

I loved seeing Perry whip the postcard out of his pocket.

What do you think?

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