News / USA

Republican Presidential Contenders Woo Conservatives

Republican presidential candidate, former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum speaks at the Conservative Political Action Conference, Feb. 10, 2012, in Washington.
Republican presidential candidate, former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum speaks at the Conservative Political Action Conference, Feb. 10, 2012, in Washington.

In U.S. presidential politics, the top Republican White House contenders were in Washington Friday making a pitch for support to a leading group of conservative activists. 

The annual Conservative Political Action Conference provided a venue for three of the four remaining Republican candidates to make the case that they are true conservatives who can defeat President Barack Obama in the November election.

There was a lot of interest in the appearance by former senator Rick Santorum of Pennsylvania.  Santorum was fresh off his surprise victories earlier in the week in Missouri, Minnesota and Colorado and he argued that only a true conservative Republican would offer voters a choice in November.

“Ladies and gentlemen, we are not going to win with money," he said.  "We are going to win with contrast.  We are going to win with ideas.  We are going to win by making Barack Obama and his failed policies the issue in this race!”

Santorum did not refer to rival Mitt Romney by name, but his references to money and more moderate political positions clearly indicated he was talking about the former Massachusetts governor.

Santorum’s victories in the latest nominating contests came at Romney’s expense and have raised fresh doubts about Romney’s ability to lock down the Republican nomination after earlier victories in New Hampshire, Florida and Nevada.

During his remarks Romney emphasized his background as a conservative businessman who stuck to conservative principles as governor of the Democratic-leaning state of Massachusetts.

“This election really is about a battle for the soul of America and it is going to come down to a choice, a choice between whether we want a nation to be of and by Washington or a nation of and by a free people, and we conservatives believe in freedom and free people and free enterprises!,” said Romney.

Former U.S. House speaker Newt Gingrich also addressed the conservative group.  Gingrich has done poorly in recent contests but portrayed himself as a true conservative who can defeat the president in November.

“And that is why the Republican establishment, whether it is in 1996 or in 2008, can’t win a presidential campaign because they don’t have the toughness, they don’t have the commitment and they don’t have the philosophy necessary to build a majority in this country,” he said.

Texas Congressman Ron Paul also remains in the Republican race but he did not speak at the conservative gathering.

Political experts say Mitt Romney’s recent stumbles in the caucus and primary voting suggest he still has problems winning over conservative Republican voters.

Larry Sabato directs the Center for Politics at the University of Virginia.

“It is that conservative base having buyer’s remorse, having second thoughts about Mitt Romney just as he was being installed by the ‘punditocracy’ as the potential or likely Republican nominee.  And they are saying slow down, let’s think about this thing again,” said Sabato.

But other analysts argue that Romney’s well-funded and well-organized campaign still makes him the favorite to win the Republican Party nomination, even though it could take months.

“I do think Mitt Romney is somewhat stronger among conservatives than he is sometimes given credit for," said John Fortier, who is with the Bipartisan Policy Center in Washington.  "I think he suffers from a bit of a lack of enthusiasm for him, but I don’t think most of the [party] base thinks he would be a very bad nominee.  They are still considering their options and have some preferred choices.”

The next major test for the remaining contenders will come at the end of the month when Arizona and Michigan will hold primaries on the same day.

You May Like

Nigeria Incumbent in Tight Spot as Poll Nears

Muhammadu Buhari is running a strong challenge to Goodluck Jonathan, amid a faltering economy and Boko Haram security worries More

Video Liberia's Almost Last Ebola Patient Grateful but Still Grieving

Beatrice Yardolo tells VOA that despite her fame, life is still a struggle as she waits for government's promise of support to arrive More

Video Cambodian Land Grabs Threaten Traditional Communities

At least seven different indigenous groups in Ratanakiri depend mainly on forest products for their survival, say they face loss of their land, traditional way of life More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Liberia's Almost Last Ebola Patient Grateful but Still Grievingi
X
Benno Muchler
March 26, 2015 3:41 PM
Beatrice Yardolo was to make history as Liberia’s last Ebola patient. Liberians recently started counting down 42 days, the period that has to go by without a single new infection until the World Health Organization can declare a country Ebola-free. That countdown stopped on March 20 when there was another new case of Ebola, making Yardolo’s story a reminder that Ebola is far from over. Benno Muchler reports from Monrovia.
Video

Video Liberia's Almost Last Ebola Patient Grateful but Still Grieving

Beatrice Yardolo was to make history as Liberia’s last Ebola patient. Liberians recently started counting down 42 days, the period that has to go by without a single new infection until the World Health Organization can declare a country Ebola-free. That countdown stopped on March 20 when there was another new case of Ebola, making Yardolo’s story a reminder that Ebola is far from over. Benno Muchler reports from Monrovia.
Video

Video Cambodian Land Grabs Threaten Traditional Communities

Indigenous communities in Cambodia's Ratanakiri province say the government’s economic land concession policy is taking away their land and traditional way of life, making many fear that their identity will soon be lost. Local authorities, though, have denied this is the case. VOA's Say Mony went to investigate and filed this report, narrated by Colin Lovett.
Video

Video US, South Korea Conduct Joint Military Exercises

The Eighth U.S. Army Division and the Eighth Republic of Korea Mechanized Infantry Division put on a well orchestrated show of force for the media this week during their joint military training exercises in South Korea. VOA’s Seoul correspondent Brian Padden was there and reports the soldiers were well disciplined both in conducting a complex live fire exercise and in staying on message with the press.
Video

Video Space Program Status Disappoints 'Last Man on the Moon'

One of the films that drew big crowds last week at the annual South by Southwest festival in Austin, Texas, tells the story of the last human being to stand on the moon, U.S. astronaut Eugene Cernan. It has been 42 years since Cernan returned from the moon and he laments that no one else has gone there since. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports.
Video

Video Young Filmmakers Shine Spotlight on Giving Back

A group of student filmmakers from across the United States joined President Barack Obama at the White House this month for the second annual White House Student Film Festival. Fifteen short films were officially selected from more than 1,500 entries by students aged 6 through 18. The filmmakers and their families then joined the president and a group of celebrities for a screening of their films. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.
Video

Video VOA Exclusive: Interview with Afghan President Ashraf Ghani

Afghan President Ashraf Ghani, during his first visit as president to Washington, gave a one-on-one interview with VOA Afghan Service reporter Said Suleiman Ashna, about his request for a change in U.S. troop levels, the threat from the Islamic State, and repairing relations with the United States and Pakistan. The interview was held at Blair House, late Sunday, in Pashto.
Video

Video California Science Center Tells Story of Dead Sea Scrolls

The ancient manuscripts were uncovered in the mid-20th century, and they are still yielding clues about life and religious beliefs in ancient Israel. As VOA's Mike O'Sullivan reports, an exhibit in Los Angeles shows how modern science is bringing the history of these ancient documents to life.
Video

Video Angelina Jolie Takes Another Bold Step

Hollywood actress and filmmaker Angelina Jolie has revealed she had her ovaries and fallopian tubes removed to lower her odds of getting cancer. Doctors say the huge publicity over her decision will help raise awareness about the importance of cancer screening. VOA’s George Putic has more

All About America

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More