Failed Republican presidential candidate and right-wing nutjob Michele Bachman was back at it this week, warning on the conservative Christian radio talk show “Faith and Liberty” that gays and lesbians are gaining ground in our efforts to enact hate speech laws that promote “tyranny” and intolerance of any dissenting points of view, to enact laws allowing polygamy and to abolish age of consent laws so that we can freely “prey on” children sexually.
Bachmann also proudly displayed her ignorance of history with this claim: “For all of the thousands of years of recorded human history, about 5,000 years, there is no instance of any culture, nation or tribe ever having as the established standard for marriage anything other than between man and woman. It may have been multiple women and a man, it may have been something like that, but it was always between men and women.”
The tea party is certainly not one unified political organization. And as a group the tea party has not backed any one particular GOP presidential candidate. While many supported Michele Bachmann, there’s been no consensus. But most tea party support has gone to Republicans and most tea party candidates have run as Republicans.
“We manned up and realized that the problem is that the recession began during the previous administration,” they wrote.
They wrote that they’re tired of being called nut jobs and racists and looked at all the candidates and found no one to support on the Republican side. So they looked at Barack Obama’s record.
Reducing the size of government and the amount people pay in taxes are two main tea party demands.
Just a few weeks ago, the president proposed combining agencies to reduce the size of government and make it easier to do business with the government.
“Last time we checked, Obama forced GOP in Congress to approve tax cuts for payroll,” they wrote.
Here’s Tea Party for Obama’s list of the president’s accomplishments:
• Reduced government size
• Largest tax cut ever
• Provided health care for everyone
• Protected Medicare
• Saved country from the worst recession ever
• Saved the U.S. auto industry
• Took out Osama bin Laden
So is this an actual tea party group or is this a group of Democrats co-opting the tea party name for attention? The website doesn’t give a clue because no names or other information is included.
The New Hampshire Secretary of State’s office corrected vote totals in the New Hampshire primary and openly gay candidate Fred Karger received 485 votes to Minnesota Congresswoman Michele Bachmann’s 347. The original vote tally had Karger trailing Bachmann, who dropped out of the race after her last-place finish in Iowa, by three votes. Karger received votes in every New Hampshire county.
“Congresswoman Bachmann was in 12 national debates, raised $10 to $12 million, received massive news coverage, has huge name ID and we beat her in New Hampshire,” Karger wrote in an email blast to supporters today. “She and I had been tied in several recent New Hampshire polls. Early last month I said that I wanted to beat Santorum or Bachmann in New Hampshire. It’s a big win for me.”
Karger is skipping the South Carolina and Florida primaries. From New Hampshire he headed to Michigan, which holds its primary on Feb. 28.
“There are only seven Republicans still in the running on that ballot and [I] am sure there will be a few less after South Carolina and Florida,” he said. “I will be competing in [the] Michigan Primary no matter what.”
The latest Suffolk University/7 News poll shows Texas Gov. Rick Perry tied for dead last in New Hampshire with, of all people, openly gay candidate Fred Karger. A screen grab from the poll is above (click to enlarge), and you can view the full PDF here. Karger and Perry are both at 0 percent — or just two out of 500 likely New Hampshire voters. From the Austin Chronicle:
Both were beaten handily by former Louisiana Governor Buddy Roemer, a protectionist flat-taxer who wants to end corporate tax loopholes and dismantle superPACs. Roemer’s five votes actually measured on the polls enough for him to be registered as getting 1% of the vote: His campaign site says that he is aiming for a whopping 5% in New Hampshire on Jan. 10.
Then, as if things could not get worse for Perry, he came in behind Michele Bachmann (four votes) – and she’s suspended her campaign!
So, where in that data do you think Perry’s people started sobbing into their “I miss ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,’ corporations are people too!” memory book?
Mitt Romney, left, and Rick Santorum finished in a virtual tie in the Iowa caucuses, with Romney winning by eight votes.
Perry returns to Texas after 5th-place showing
LISA KEEN | Keen News Service
The Republican presidential field’s most anti-gay candidate scored big Tuesday night when he landed in a virtual tie for first place in the Iowa caucuses with the candidate who has been seen by the media as the party’s most viable candidate against President Barack Obama.
Former U.S. Sen. Rick Santorum of Pennsylvania, who took numerous opportunities in his campaign to espouse his opposition to equal rights for LGBT people, secured just eight votes fewer than former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, out of about 60,000 cast for the two men. Each won 25 percent of the 122,000 votes cast for seven candidates, in what may be the closest Republican caucus race in history. The final result was not announced by the state Republican Party until after 1 a.m. Iowa time.
U.S. Rep. Ron Paul of Texas came in third, with 21 percent of the caucus votes. U.S. House Speaker Newt Gingrich of Georgia followed in fourth place, garnering 13 percent. Texas Gov. Rick Perry took 10 percent of the vote in fifth place, followed by U.S. Rep. Michele Bachmann of Minnesota in sixth place with 5 percent of the vote.
Bachmann canceled a trip to South Carolina — which holds its primary Jan. 21 — and was expected to announce Wednesday that she is ending her campaign. Perry, meanwhile, also canceled a planned trip to South Carolina saying, “I’ve decided to return to Texas, assess the results of tonight’s caucus, determine whether there is a path forward for myself in this race.”
Early Wednesday Perry indicated on Twitter that he will continue his campaign. “And the next leg of the marathon is the Palmetto State…Here we come South Carolina!!!” read a tweet from Perry’s verified Twitter account, which was accompanied by a photo of Perry in jogging gear. A Perry campaign source reportedly told CNN that, “We’re back on.”
Openly gay candidate Fred Karger did not compete in the Iowa caucuses. The field’s only candidate supportive of legal recognition of same-sex relationships (albeit through civil unions only), former Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman, claimed less than 1 percent of the vote.
Although an Iowa victory is an important symbolic victory, especially in the eyes of the media, it does not secure any of the state’s eventual 25 delegates to the Republican national convention.
Also, polls nationally and in other key states suggest Santorum still has an uphill battle for the nomination. The latest national poll, by Gallup, showed Santorum in fifth place with only 6 percent of support from 1,000 Republican voters surveyed. Romney led the field with 24 percent. The poll was conducted from Dec. 26 to Jan. 2.
A CNN poll of New Hampshire voters on Tuesday night after Santorum’s success showed an increase in support for Santorum — to 10 percent, twice what it was in late December. But Romney held fast to his 47 percent of the New Hampshire support, Paul held onto 17 percent, and Huntsman held onto 13 percent.
Santorum’s success in Iowa will probably bring increased attention and support for his passionately proclaimed anti-gay views. Those views and his toughly stated opposition to abortion appeared to fuel his strong showing in the caucuses. A CNN entrance poll indicated that 84 percent of those participating described themselves as either “very conservative” (47 percent) or “somewhat conservative” (37 percent). The majority of those participants (54 percent) voted for Santorum.
Fifty-seven percent of participants also described themselves as “white evangelical/born-again Christians.” And 32 percent of those supported Santorum.
The most important issue for Santorum supporters in Iowa, was abortion, according to CNN. (CNN apparently did not ask about same-sex marriage on the entrance poll.) For Romney supporters, it was the economy.
“[N]o other candidate has made opposing basic rights for LGBT Americans such a guiding principle of his or her public life,” said Joe Solmonese, president of the Human Rights Campaign.
One CNN commentator, Gloria Borger, suggested Santorum’s ascension might draw Romney into more discussions about social issues, such as same-sex marriage. However, Santorum himself took his rhetoric down a notch during his remarks Tuesday night.
Santorum, on stage with a large crowd of supporters, thanked his wife Karen, God and Iowa. He said “rights come to us from God,” he talked about the need for “a plan that includes everyone,” and he talked about the “dignity of every human life.” He said that “when the family breaks down, the economy struggles.” But, despite repeatedly emphasizing his opposition to same-sex marriage throughout his campaign, Santorum did not mention his definition of marriage as being “one man and one woman.”
Romney, on stage with his wife and four of his sons, congratulated Santorum for his success and noted, at 12:40 a.m. Wednesday, that he did not yet know what the final result would be. (Two percent of the vote was yet to be counted, and Romney was leading by only 41 votes. Before he finished his speech, Santorum was leading by five votes.) Romney said nothing about same-sex marriage either, and said “freedom is a gift from God.”
Santorum, who polled near the bottom of the field with only single-digit support for months on end, jumped ahead in the polls in the last few days before the caucus. Bob Vander Platts, one of the leaders against same-sex marriage in Iowa, reportedly took some credit for Santorum’s surge, which started about a week after Vander Platts’ group, The Family Leader, endorsed Santorum.
Both national and local media gave much credit to Santorum’s decision to campaign in every one of Iowa’s 99 counties for his victory. And the Des Moines Register pre-caucus poll indicated that Santorum’s supporters showed a greater likelihood of showing up at the caucuses (76 percent) than those of other candidates.
More than 40 percent of Iowa Republicans were undecided going into the caucuses.
In remarks after most media declared him the third place candidate in Iowa, Paul emphasized the importance of staying faithful to the Constitution and limiting government interference in private lives. Perry, who went on stage with just his wife and three kids, mostly read from a letter from a supporter.
An unusually low-key Bachmann initially vowed to continue her campaign, but she, too, read her remarks to the crowd, including a reiteration of her promise of “protecting marriage between one man and one woman.”
The openly gay Karger did not compete in the Iowa caucuses, saying he knew the turnout would be “mostly social conservatives” and that his strongholds of support there, the colleges, were not in session.
Karger was in New Hampshire Tuesday night, where he has been campaigning for months. He said that, regardless of how he does in New Hampshire’s primary, Jan. 10, “I’ll absolutely stay in all primaries and caucuses.”
CNN commentator Al Sharpton said Santorum’s success in the race is good for Democrats.
“As long as a Santorum is in the race, Romney’s going to have to keep playing to the right,” said Sharpton, “and the longer he has to debate and stay to the right, he loses the middle.”
Log Cabin Republicans Executive Director R. Clarke Cooper issued a state early Wednesday morning saying that Romney was “one of the best” of the Republican candidates in Iowa on issues affecting LGBT Americans.
“By contrast,” said Cooper, “Sen. Santorum rose by appealing to a uniquely socially conservative electorate. The divisive social issue politics which helped Santorum’s campaign in Iowa will only hurt him in New Hampshire and beyond as voters learn more about his record. Winning the White House will require the politics of addition, not division.
“If using gay and lesbian Americans as a wedge can’t score enough political points to win more than 25 percent in Iowa,” said Cooper, “it certainly won’t help the Republican nominee in November.”
Jimmy LaSalvia, head of GOProud, a national gay conservative group, issued a statement that ignored Santorum’s success in Iowa. Instead, LaSalvia praised Romney and Paul on taking “two of the three top spots in Iowa” and said, “It is clear that the message of economic renewal and limited government is resonating with Republican voters.”
“While there are certainly big differences between Governor Romney and Congressman Paul, especially when it comes to foreign policy,” said LaSalvia, “both chose to emphasize issues like the economy and the size of government over demonizing gay people. We are pleased to see that so many Republicans in Iowa are focused on the issues that unite us as conservatives, instead of the side show issues.”
There are two debates this weekend. The first is in New Hampshire, Saturday at 9 p.m. on ABC. The latter is on NBC’s Meet the Press program on Sunday at 9 a.m.
Senior political writer John Wright contributed to this report.
The Iowa caucus is tonight and one name that has been mentioned in very few news reports is openly gay candidate Fred Karger.
Karger is mostly sitting out Iowa but has spent more time campaigning in New Hampshire than any other candidate. Two recent polls have him tied with Michele Bachman and Rick Santorum in that state.
The New Hampshire primary takes place Tuesday, Jan. 10.
While his bid was always considered a long shot, he is one of just eight Republicans still left in the race. Herman Cain suspended his campaign. Buddy Roemer is seeking the nomination of Americans Elect. One candidate who is not anti-gay, Gary Johnson, announced last week that he will seek the nomination of the Libertarian Party, rather than the Republican Party. Thaddeus McCotter, another candidate who has been excluded from all of the debates, also left the race.
So while Karger is a long shot, he also remains in the narrowing field along with Bachmann, Newt Gingrich, John Huntsman, Ron Paul, Rick Perry, Mitt Romney and Santorum.
Karger has been excluded from the debates to keep him from embarrassing the other Republicans over their homophobia.
To keep him from participating in the debates, rules were changed to refuse him a place on stage with other candidates. Those rules included raising the percentage candidates had to poll to qualify and increasing the number of polls in which a candidate had to score that higher percentage. Then polls where he scored the required 2 percent were discounted.
Still, Karger continues in the Republican race, but don’t look for him until next Tuesday.
While other candidates who don’t finish in the top three may be considered big losers in the Iowa caucus and New Hampshire primary, Karger will be considered a big winner if he finishes with more than 1 percent of the vote in New Hampshire or with more votes than any of the other better-known candidates.
Texas Gov. Rick Perry’s presidential campaign suffered yet another setback Tuesday when Bob Vander Plaats, a leading social conservative in Iowa who serves as president of the anti-gay Family Leader organization, endorsed Rick Santorum in the state’s Jan. 3 Republican Caucus.
Perry’s campaign had actively courted the Family Leader’s endorsement, and he signed the group’s controversial “marriage pledge” last month. Politico notes that Perry is in a three-way battle for Iowa’s coveted evangelical vote against Santorum and Michele Bachmann. Vander Plaats’ endorsement could help determine who moves on to New Hampshire and who does not.
Adding salt to Perry’s wounds, Don Wildmon, founder of the American Family Association, endorsed Newt Gingrich on Tuesday. If you’ll remember, the AFA, which is considered an anti-gay hate group, teamed with Perry for The Response, the August prayer rally in Houston that served as a kickoff for his presidential campaign — and at which Wildmon embraced Perry on stage. Right Wing Watch reports on Wildmon’s endorsement of Gingrich:
Wildmon today appeared on Focal Pointwith Bryan Fischer where he explained that while he was initially “ecstatic” about Rick Perry’s candidacy, he decided that because of the Texas governor’s disastrous debate appearances his candidacy “cannot recover.” Wildmon said that electability matters because “we are facing the most critical election this nation has ever seen, the stake in this election is Western civilization.”
At a historic hotel in Maquoketa, 61-year-old Len Ditch sat in the front row, wearing a Perry for President sticker. He said he liked Perry’s commercials in Iowa — especially one recommending that Congress be made part-time. He liked another one advocating prayer in schools but questioned why Perry had included a reference to gays serving openly in the military.
“I don’t believe in the gay world. But I believe live and let live,” he said.
Meanwhile, KWQC Channel 6 in Davenport, Iowa, has posted a transcript from an interview with Perry in which the station asked Perry about “Strong” and whether he thinks being gay is a choice. Read the excerpt below:
We all know that good traditional GOP values include family and limited government. So of course it makes sense to demand of GOP presidential candidates that they insist on pursuing a divisive family issue by creating needless bureaucracy. (Insert sarcastic eye roll here.)
I think that’s what frustrates me the most about Republicans: Not that we have disagreements over policy (I hardly walk lock-step with Dems on all issues, for that matter), but that the astounding hypocrisy of their positions goes unnoticed by their followers.
The height of hypocrisy this week is a demand by those bigoted hatemongers at the National Organization for Marriage that GOP presidential candidates sign a pledge to investigate the gay community for making their malicious members feel bad for being homophobes. Well, sorry, but I think you should feel bad for being a racist or a hater, though you certainly have a right to do it. That’s what America is about.
What’s remarkable is, three frontrunners — gay closet-bride Michele Bachmann, gay-sex by-product namesake Rick Santorum and politically desperate flip-flopper Mitt Romney — have signed the pledge.
You can read more about it here, but really, that’s all you need to know.
Who’da though Newt Gingrich and Rick Perry could look like progressives next to these morons?
Current Republican presidential frontrunner Newt Gingrich used a right-wing Christian forum Saturday, Nov. 19, to claim “the left” is trying to “drive out the existence of traditional religions … and use the government to repress the American people against their own values.”
He made the comment in the context of a discussion about whether religious-oriented adoption agencies should be allowed to refuse adoptions to same-sex couples. Some states, such as Massachusetts, have cut off government funding to adoption groups that refuse to obey state laws prohibiting discrimination based on sexual orientation.
At that same event, Texas Gov. Rick Perry said that gay couples in Texas cannot adopt, which isn’t true, strictly speaking. Gays and lesbians can adopt as individuals, and in most cases, that person’s partner can do a second-parent adoption separately.
Without referring to gay groups or the LGBT community specifically, Gingrich lashed out against a movement that, since the 1960s, has gone from “a request for tolerance to an imposition of intolerance … [and] closing down those with traditional values.”
Gingrich said he would support a law that would cut off “all federal funding to any jurisdiction that discriminates against religious beliefs in that format.”
The forum was the “Iowa Thanksgiving Family Forum,” sponsored by the Family Leader group of Iowa, as well as the National Organization for Marriage and Focus on the Family. Its format was an “around the family table” kind of conversation with Gingrich and five other Republican presidential hopefuls, including Ron Paul, Michele Bachmann, Rick Santorum, Herman Cain and Perry.
Mitt Romney, who has been eschewing most Iowa events, declined an invitation.
The candidates responded to questions from a moderator and from several representatives of the host groups, including Brian Brown of the National Organization for Marriage. The topics centered around such broad themes as values, morality and liberty, with a strong bent toward the view that the country is divided into conservatives — who are all happy, God-loving citizens — and liberals, who are all sad and out to destroy religious freedom.
As has become his routine, Santorum boasted about his superiority in the GOP field when it comes to opposing marriage between same-sex couples. Same-sex marriage, he said, “radically changes the entire moral fabric of our country.
“Gay marriage is wrong,” said Santorum. “As Abraham Lincoln said, the states do not have the right to do wrong. … America is an ideal. It’s not just a Constitution.”
But only Cain spoke up when Brown solicited responses for what each candidate would do, as president, if the U.S. Supreme Court should overturn the Defense of Marriage Act.
Cain said he would “lead the charge to overturn the Supreme Court.” After some prodding from the moderator, Gingrich did offer up that he thought it important to “make DOMA not appealable” in the courts.
Brown’s questions came near the end of the two-hour event, held at the First Federated Church in Des Moines. His first, directed to Rep. Paul, was whether he would support an amendment to the federal Constitution to ban same-sex marriage. It was an odd question, given that Paul has for years been on record publicly as opposing such an amendment and voted against it in 2004.
Paul reiterated his opposition, noting that he believes generally that the issue should be left to the states or, preferably, to individual churches and families.
But Paul added that he does support DOMA.
Brown then asked other candidates to explain why they believe a federal marriage amendment is necessary. Santorum jumped in with a recap of his strategy to “stop this problem” through battles state by state. Bachmann touted her own leadership against same-sex marriage in Minnesota.
The forum was marked by dramatically emotional moments in which the candidates shared personal stories related to their faith.
Santorum acknowledged having decided to keep an emotional distance from his infant daughter who he believed would soon die in order to avoid the pain of the potential loss.
Herman Cain talked about what it was like to hear that he had stage four cancer.
Michele Bachmann recalled what it was like, as a child, to watch her mother sell the family’s dishes and other possessions after she divorced Bachmann’s father.
The moderator, Fox News contributor Frank Luntz, and news reports indicated 3,000 people were in attendance at the forum. The chief sponsor, The Family Leader, helped organize last year’s ousting of three Iowa Supreme Court justices who voted with the unanimous court to say the state constitution required equal treatment of same-sex and heterosexual couples under marriage laws.