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

Video For West Ukraine City, Conflict Far Away Yet Near

Physically and culturally close to Western Europe, Lviv feels solidarity with compatriots in country’s east but says they need to decide own future More

West African Women Disproportionately Affected by Ebola

Women's roles in families and the community put them at greater risk for contracting the disease, officials say More

Video NASA's MAVEN Spacecraft Arrives at Mars

Mars Atmosphere and Volatile Evolution craft will measure rates at which gases escape Martian atmosphere into space 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.
NASA’s MAVEN Probe Enters Mars Orbiti
X
September 22, 2014 9:20 PM
NASA’s newest Mars probe, called MAVEN, has successfully entered its designated orbit around the Red Planet. Scientists will use its sophisticated instruments to try to learn what happened to the atmosphere Mars had a few billion years ago. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video NASA’s MAVEN Probe Enters Mars Orbit

NASA’s newest Mars probe, called MAVEN, has successfully entered its designated orbit around the Red Planet. Scientists will use its sophisticated instruments to try to learn what happened to the atmosphere Mars had a few billion years ago. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video For West Ukraine City, Conflict Far Away Yet Near

The western Ukrainian city of Lviv prides itself on being both physically and culturally close to Western Europe. The Russian-backed separatists in the eastern part of the country are 1,200 kilometers away, and seemingly even farther away in their world view. Still, as VOA’s Al Pessin reports, the war is having an impact in Lviv.
Video

Video Saving Global Fish Stocks Starts in the Kitchen

With an estimated 90 percent of the world’s larger fish populations having already vanished, a growing number of people in the seafood industry are embracing the concept of sustainable fishing and farming practices. One American marine biologist turned restaurateur in Thailand is spreading the word among fellow chefs and customers. VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from Bangkok.
Video

Video Chinese Admiral Key in China’s Promotion of Sea Links

China’s President last week wrapped up landmark visits to India, Sri Lanka and Maldives, part of a broader campaign to promote a new “Maritime Silk Road” in Asia. The Chinese government’s promotion efforts rely heavily on the country’s best-known sailor, a 15th century eunuch named Zheng He. VOA's Bill Ide reports from the sailor’s hometown in Yunnan on the effort to promote China’s future by recalling its past.
Video

Video Experts Fear Ebola Outbreak ‘Beyond Our Capability to Contain’

Each day brings with it new warnings about the deadly Ebola outbreak already blamed for killing more than 2,600 people across West Africa. And while countries and international organizations like the United Nations are starting to come through on promises of help for those most affected, the unprecedented speed with which the virus has spread is raising questions about the international response. VOA's Jeff Seldin has more from Washington.
Video

Video Natural Gas Export Plan Divides Maryland Town

A U.S. power company that has been importing natural gas now wants to export it. If approved, its plant in Lusby, Maryland, would likely be the first terminal on the United States East Coast to export liquefied natural gas from American pipelines. While some residents welcome the move because it will create jobs, others oppose it, saying the expansion could be a safety and environmental hazard. VOA’s Deborah Block examines the controversy.
Video

Video Difficult Tactical Battle Ahead Against IS Militants in Syria

The U.S. president has ordered the military to intensify its fight against the Islamic State, including in Syria. But how does the military conduct air strikes in a country that is not a U.S. ally? VOA correspondent Carla Babb reports from the Pentagon.
Video

Video Iran, World Powers Seek Progress in Nuclear Talks

Iran and the five permanent members of the U.N. Security Council plus Germany, known as the P5 + 1, have started a new round of talks on Iran's nuclear program. VOA State Department correspondent Pam Dockins reports that as the negotiations take place in New York, a U.S. envoy is questioning Iran's commitment to peaceful nuclear activity.
Video

Video Migrants Caught in No-Man's Land Called Calais

The deaths of hundreds of migrants in the Mediterranean this week has only recast the spotlight on the perils of reaching Europe. And for those forunate enough to reach a place like Calais, France, only find that their problems aren't over. Lisa Bryant has the story.
Video

Video Westgate Siege Anniversary Brings Back Painful Memories

One year after it happened, the survivors of the terror attack on Nairobi's Westgate Shopping Mall still cannot shake the images of that tragic incident. For VOA, Mohammed Yusuf tells the story of victims still waiting for the answer to the question 'how could this happen?'
Video

Video Whaling Summit Votes to Uphold Ban on Japan Whale Hunt

The International Whaling Commission, meeting in Slovenia, has voted to uphold a court ruling banning Japan from hunting whales in the Antarctic Ocean. Conservationists hailed the ruling as a victory, but Tokyo says it will submit revised plans for a whale hunt in 2015. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video A Dinosaur Fit for Land and Water

Residents and tourists in Washington D.C. can now examine a life-size replica of an unusual dinosaur that lived almost a hundred million years ago in northern Africa. Scientists say studying the behemoth named Spinosaurus helps them better understand how some prehistoric animals adapted to life on land and in water. The Spinosaurus replica is on display at the National Geographic museum. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Colonel Steve ‘Spiros’ Pisanos left Greece and came to the U.S. to learn to fly. He flew fighters for the Allies in World War II, narrowly escaping death multiple times.Colonel Steve ‘Spiros’ Pisanos left Greece and came to the U.S. to learn to fly. He flew fighters for the Allies in World War II, narrowly escaping death multiple times.

AppleAndroid