Archive for the ‘Ron Paul’ Category

WMUR-ABC Republican Debate

January 6, 2008

Thirty minutes into the Republican debate from St. Anselm College, I have the following observations:

• They all look tired. I am surprised by how fatigued Mitt Romney looks.

• The question on whether each candidate would follow President Bush’s foreign policy seemed to put the candidates on their heels. So did the use of video and sound from President Bush. The last things these guys want is to be lumped in with Bush.

• On the substance, I thought the responses of Giuliani, McCain, Thompson and Romney on the danger of terrorism were all solid. It was interesting to see Romney reach for some foreign policy substance by invoking specific Islamist clerics. Politically, however, Huckabee had the best comment, saying he’s “not running for George Bush’s third term.”

• Given the level of scrutiny on Huckabee’s past critiques of Bush’s foreign policy, I have to note that I was the first columnist to examine his statements in this area. I wrote: “Quick to personify nations while talking about international relations, at times he sounds like he is channeling a European member of the Green Party.”

9/11 Remembered

September 11, 2007

We remember that terrible day six years ago. We mourn those who lost their lives that day as well as for those soldiers who have fallen in combat since then.

In my New York Sun column, I write about the prevalence of 9/11 conspiracy theories on the campaign trail in New Hampshire. I report:

“Back in August, two of his New Hampshire backers were on hand at a Hillary Clinton event on the crisis in mortgage lending. They were an innocent looking pair, a young man, age 19, and his sister, age 22, handing out a brochure titled “Why You Should Demand a New 9-11 Investigation.” The brochure laid out what have become the standard tenets for those who challenge the accepted view of the attacks: questions about the collapse of World Trade Center Building 7 and the destruction of the Twin Towers as well as assertions of motive.

The main premise behind the brochure and the array of accompanying Web sites seems to be that individuals or elements within the American government had foreknowledge of the attacks. The brochure cites a publication of “The Project For a New American Century, a neo-con think tank” as supplying their motive – a cataclysmic attack that would spur a military build-up. Questions from the conspiracists persist despite a comprehensive and highly detailed rebuttal in ” Popular Mechanics.” The pair, whose appearance recalled the character of A.J. Soprano and his female friend, both of whom became obsessed with Al Qaeda in the final season of ” The Sopranos,” said they were supporters of Mr. Paul. “Enough of liars,” the young woman said of the other candidates.

When Senator Clinton finished her remarks that day, the crowd applauded — except for these two who booed. Two of Mrs. Clinton’s supporters turned around in their seats to chastise the young pair, who exited quickly amid epithets. “

Huckabee Scores

September 6, 2007

Hats off to Mike Huckabee who did just about as good a job as somebody can do in refuting Ron Paul last night. Paul had been launching into his tirades all night, and it fell to Huckabee, whom just weeks ago I criticized on the grounds of his foreign policy, to confront him. NOTE: none of the other major candidates went near Paul. I thought he showed guts.

“MR. HUCKABEE: We have to continue the surge. And let me explain why, Chris. When I was a little kid, if I went into a store with my mother, she had a simple rule for me. If I picked something off the shelf of the store and I broke it, I bought it.

I learned don’t pick something off the shelf I can’t afford to buy.

Well, what we did in Iraq, we essentially broke it. It’s our responsibility to do the best we can to try to fix it before we just turn away because something is at stake. Senator McCain made a great point, and let me make this clear. If there’s anybody on this stage that understands the word honor, I’ve got to say Senator McCain understands that word — (applause, cheers) — because he has given his country a sacrifice the rest of us don’t even comprehend. (Continued applause.)

And on this issue, when he says we can’t leave until we’ve left with honor, I 100 percent agree with him because, Congressman, whether or not we should have gone to Iraq is a discussion that historians can have, but we’re there. We bought it because we broke it. We’ve got a responsibility to the honor of this country and to the honor of every man and woman who has served in Iraq and ever served in our military to not leave them with anything less than the honor that they deserve. (Cheers, applause.)

MR. HUME: Go ahead. You wanted to respond? He just addressed you; you go ahead and respond. (Continued applause.)

REP. PAUL: The American people didn’t go in. A few people advising this administration, a small number of people called the neoconservative hijacked our foreign policy. They’re responsible, not the American people. They’re not responsible. We shouldn’t punish them. (Cheers, applause.)

MR. HUCKABEE: Congressman, we are one nation. We can’t be divided. We have to be one nation under God. That means if we make a mistake, we make it as a single country, the United States of America, not the divided states of America. (Cheers.)

REP. PAUL: No. When we make a mistake — (interrupted by applause) — when we make a mistake, it is the obligation of the people through their representatives to correct the mistake, not to continue the mistake! (Cheers, applause.)

MR. HUCKABEE: And that’s what we do on the floor of the —

REP. PAUL: No! We’ve dug a hole for ourselves and we dug a hole for our party!

We’re losing elections and we’re going down next year if we don’t change it, and it has all to do with foreign policy, and we have to wake up to this fact.

MR. HUCKABEE: Even if we lose elections, we should not lose our honor, and that is more important to the Republican Party.

REP. PAUL: We’re losing — we’ve lost over — (cheers, applause) — we have lost — we have lost 5,000 Americans killed in — we’ve lost over 5,000 Americans over there in Afghanistan and Iraq and plus the civilians killed. How many more do you want to lose? How long are we going to be there? How long — what do we have to pay to save face? That’s all we’re doing is saving face. It’s time we came home!”