Yesterday, GOP presidential nominee hopeful Rick Santorum followed other candidates Newt Gingrich and Mitt Romney along with President Barack Obama in releasing his tax returns.
The above Reuters graphic shows how the four men’s 2010 tax returns stack up against each other. [REUTERS]
YOUR 2012 GOP PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATES (via: silas216):
- Michelle Bachmann: ”Don’t misunderstand. I am not here bashing people who are homosexuals, who are lesbians, who are bisexual, who are transgender. We need to have profound compassion for people who are dealing with the very real issue of sexual dysfunction in their life and sexual identity disorders.” (2004)
- Ron Paul: ”The rate of AIDS infection is on the increase again. From the gay point of view, the reasons seem quite sensible. First, these men don’t really see a reason to live past their fifties. They are not married, they have no children, and their lives are centered on new sexual partners… because sex is the center of their lives, they want it to be as pleasurable as possible, which means unprotected sex. Third, they enjoy the attention & pity that comes with being sick.” (1995 in a newsletter)
- Rick Perry: ”I’m not ashamed to admit that I’m a Christian, but you don’t need to be in the pew every Sunday to know there’s something wrong in this country when gays can serve openly in the military but our kids can’t openly celebrate Christmas or pray in school. ” (2011 in a campaign ad)
- Mitt Romney: ”I should tell my story. I’m also unemployed.” (2011 while speaking to unemployed people in Florida. Romney’s net worth is over $200 million.)
- Newt Gingrich: ”She’s not young enough or pretty enough to be the wife of the President. And besides, she has cancer.” (1994, about his first wife)
- Rick Santorum: ”Is anyone saying same-sex couples can’t love each other? I love my children. I love my friends, my brother. Heck, I even love my mother-in-law. Should we call these relationships marriage, too?” (2008)
- Michelle Bachmann: ”Carbon dioxide is portrayed as harmful. But there isn’t even one study that can be produced that shows that carbon dioxide is a harmful gas.” (2009 during a debate)
- Mitt Romney: ”PETA is not happy that my dog likes fresh air.” (2006, when questioned about driving 12 hours with his dog in a cage strapped to the top of his car)
- Rick Perry: “Every barrel of oil that comes out of those sands in Canada is a barrel of oil that we don’t have to buy from a foreign source.” (Dec 2011)
- Ron Paul: “I also do an investment letter — it’s called the ‘Ron Paul Survival Report’ — which is a gold oriented newsletter. But it’s also expressing concern about surviving in this age of big government.” (1995 video)
- Ron Paul’s campaign: “Dr. Paul did not write that solicitation. It does not reflect his thoughts and is out of step with the message he has espoused for 40 years.” (Dec 2011, responding a day after Reuters reported that a direct-mail ad for Paul’s political and investment newsletters – they were sent around 1993 and appeared to include Paul’s signature at the end – warned of a “coming race war” and a “federal-homosexual cover-up” to play down the impact of AIDS.)
- Mitt Romney: (aka Braveheart): “By in large, Rush Limbaugh speaks a number of conservative principles that a lot of us agree with.” (kissing the ring, Dec 2011)
- Newt Gingrich: (summary): If elected, he says he might (1) eliminate courts he doesn’t like; (2) ignore court rulings he doesn’t like; and (3) take judges into custody if he disapproves of their legal analyses. (Dec 2011)
- Ron Paul: some things he’s against — Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, the National Labor Relations Board, the Federal Reserve, income taxes, and even the dollar bill. (video)
- Newt Gingrich: “Really poor children in really poor neighborhoods have no habits of working and nobody around them who works. So they literally have no habit of showing up on Monday. They have no habit of staying all day. They have no habit of ‘I do this and you give me cash,’ unless it’s illegal.” (Dec 2011)
- Michele Bachmann: “Our nation needs to stop doing for people what they can and should do for themselves. Self reliance means, if anyone will not work, neither should he eat.” (Nov 2011)
- Michele Bachmann: “… I believe that Iraq should pay the families that lost a loved one several million dollars per life, I think at minimum.” (Nov 2011)
POLITICO’s Reid Epstein and Ericka Bolstad of McClatchy put together very similar stories in recent days asking a simple question: What the heck are all of these no-shot presidential contenders doing in the GOP field?
Before the sparks fly, Decoder sympathizes - sort of - with Ron Paul supporters who are melting down right now at the suggestion that Paul belongs in this group. Yes, he polls above everyone else in the POLITICO photo montage shown above. And we would not put him remotely in the same category as, say, Buddy Roemer (anyone heard of him? We think not). But when it comes to Paul’s actual chances of winning the nomination… c’mon. It’s not going to happen.
Candidate by candidate, then, here is our take on why GOP presidential hopefuls not named Rick Perry or Mitt Romney are still hanging in there.
- If you don’t think Paul is in it to win it, then he might be engaged to further the libertarian cause for his son, Kentucky Senator Rand Paul (R). Paul’s “pretty motivated to win now,” Paul’s New Hampshire campaign chairman, state Sen. Jim Forsythe, told POLITICO. “But I know a lot of people in the movement are looking at Rand Paul further down the road.”
- Beat Ron/Rand Paul to the punch as the libertarian movement’s next standard bearer. Johnson’s campaign manager told POLITICO: “Ron Paul is 76 years old, this is wearing him out. A lot of people will see that Ron is a fantastic prophet, and he’ll need an Aaron at some point. I think that’s the way it’s going to go.”
- Elevate himself to “party elder” status. Cain, who has spent 0 percent of his life up to this point as a politician, could ensconce himself as a thought leader and part of the public face of a segment of the Republican party. (Also, he’s selling a book).
- Rebuild brand Rick. Santorum, smarting after being absolutely dismantled in his third bid for the US Senate, has improved his public image by serious debate performances and his decent fourth-place finish in the Iowa straw poll. As the chairman of the Pennsylvania Republican party noted, Rick has seven kids and needs a job: he “is exposing himself to a lot of different people, and a lot of different people will want him to work for them.”
- Get national attention for two issues that drive Roemer bonkers: big money campaign contributions and America’s trade policy with China.
- A combination of Santorum and Roemer. Gingrich’s debate appearances let him show off his broad intellectual approach and help shape the GOP’s discussion of various issues. He may also be hanging in there to gain distance from his early gaffes, including his massive credit line at luxury jeweler Tiffany’s, his vacation to Greece, staff defections, and his knock on Wisconsin Rep. Paul Ryan’s (R) budget plan. Brand Newt needs some time to rebound.
We would also add two other candidates - that escaped mention in these articles - to the list:
- Playing for 2016. Huntsman is hoping his introduction to a national audience this year puts him in a better position to run in 2016 (if the GOP doesn’t win this year’s election, of course). At that point, Romney would likely be off the national scene and Huntsman would be a significant player in New Hampshire, where a recent poll put him in third place with 10 percent support.
- Cement her status as a leader of the most conservative wing of the GOP and tea party. Bachmann has consistently portrayed herself as a “fighter” in the debates, recently arguing that conservatives should not “settle” for a candidate who doesn’t represent their views well. While her momentum has died after winning the Iowa straw poll, Bachmann could solidify her role as Queen of the Tea Party. (Also, she’s selling a book).
- Check out RealClearPolitics’ excellent site for tracking the latest in polling data to see how the candidates stack up in the eyes of the public.