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.


    Jim Malone

    Jim Malone has served as VOA’s National correspondent covering U.S. elections and politics since 1995. Prior to that he was a VOA congressional correspondent and served as VOA’s East Africa Correspondent from 1986 to 1990. Jim began his VOA career with the English to Africa Service in 1983.

    You May Like

    Top US General: Turkish Media Report ‘Absurd'

    General Dunford rejects ‘irresponsible' claims of coup involvement by former four-star Army General Campbell, who led NATO forces in Afghanistan before retiring earlier this year

    Video Saving Ethiopian Children Thought to Be Cursed

    'Omo Child' looks at efforts of one African man to stop killings of ‘mingi’ children

    Protests Over Western Troops Threaten Libyan 'Unity' Government

    Fears mount that Islamist foes of ‘unity' government plan to declare a revolutionaries' council in Tripoli

    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.
    London’s Financial Crown at Risk as Rivals Eye Brexit Opportunitiesi
    X
    VOA News
    July 25, 2016 5:09 PM
    By most measures, London rivals New York as the only true global financial center. But Britain’s vote to leave the European Union – so-called ‘Brexit’ – means the city could lose its right to sell services tariff-free across the bloc, risking its position as Europe’s financial headquarters. Already some banks have said they may shift operations to the mainland. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
    Video

    Video London’s Financial Crown at Risk as Rivals Eye Brexit Opportunities

    By most measures, London rivals New York as the only true global financial center. But Britain’s vote to leave the European Union – so-called ‘Brexit’ – means the city could lose its right to sell services tariff-free across the bloc, risking its position as Europe’s financial headquarters. Already some banks have said they may shift operations to the mainland. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
    Video

    Video Recycling Lifeline for Lebanon’s Last Glassblowers

    In a small Lebanese coastal town, one family is preserving a craft that stretches back millennia. The art of glass blowing was developed by Phoenicians in the region, and the Khalifehs say they are the only ones keeping the skill alive in Lebanon. But despite teaming up with an eco-entrepreneur and receiving an unexpected boost from the country’s recent trash crisis the future remains uncertain. John Owens reports from Sarafand.
    Video

    Video Migrants Continue to Risk Lives Crossing US Border from Mexico

    In his speech Thursday before the Republican National Convention, the party’s presidential candidate, Donald Trump, reiterated his proposal to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border if elected. Polls show a large percentage of Americans support better control of the nation's southwestern border, but as VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from the border town of Nogales in the Mexican state of Sonora, the situation faced by people trying to cross the border is already daunting.
    Video

    Video In State of Emergency, Turkey’s Erdogan Focuses on Spiritual Movement

    The state of emergency that Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has declared is giving him even more power to expand a purge that has seen an estimated 60,000 people either arrested or suspended from their jobs. VOA Europe correspondent Luis Ramirez reports from Istanbul.
    Video

    Video Calm the Waters: US Doubles Down Diplomatic Efforts in ASEAN Meetings

    The United States is redoubling diplomatic efforts and looking to upcoming regional meetings to calm the waters after an international tribunal invalidated the legal basis of Beijing's extensive claims in the South China Sea. VOA State Department correspondent Nike Ching has the story.
    Video

    Video Four Brother Goats Arrive in Brooklyn on a Mission

    While it's unusual to see farm animals in cities, it's become familiar for residents of Brooklyn, New York, to see a little herd of goats. Unlike gas-powered mowing equipment, goats remove invasive weeds quietly and without adding more pollution to the air. As Faiza Elmasry tells us, this is a pilot program and if it proves to be successful, the goat gardener program will be extended to other areas of New York. Faith Lapidus narrates.
    Video

    Video Scientists in Poland Race to Save Honeybees

    Honeybees are in danger worldwide. Causes of what's known as colony collapse disorder range from pesticides and loss of habitat to infections. But scientists in Poland say they are on track to finding a cure for one of the diseases. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Wall Already Runs Along Parts of US-Mexico Border

    The Republican Party’s presidential nominee, Donald Trump, gained the support of many voters by saying he would build a wall to keep undocumented immigrants and drugs from coming across the border from Mexico. Critics have called his idea impractical and offensive to Mexico, while supporters say such a bold approach is needed to control the border. VOA’s Greg Flakus has more from the border town of Nogales, Arizona.
    Video

    Video New HIV Tests Emphasize Rapid Results

    As the global fight against AIDS intensifies, activists have placed increasing importance on getting people to know their HIV status. Some companies are developing new HIV testing methods designed to be quick, easy and accurate. Thuso Khumalo looks at the latest methods, presented at the International AIDS conference in Durban, South Africa.
    Video

    Video African Youth with HIV Urge More Support

    HIV, the virus that causes AIDS, is the top killer of teens in sub-Saharan Africa. But many youths say their experience with the virus is unique and needs to be addressed differently than the adult epidemic. VOA South African Correspondent Anita Powell reports.
    Video

    Video Pop-Up Art Comes to Your Living Room, Backyard and Elsewhere

    Around the world, independent artists and musicians wrestle with a common problem: where to exhibit or perform? Traditional spaces such as museums and galleries are reserved for bigger names, and renting a space is not feasible for many. Enter ArtsUp, which connects artists with venue owners. Whether it’s a living room, restaurant, office or even a boat, pop-up events are bringing music and art to unexpected places. Tina Trinh has more.
    Video

    Video Scotland’s Booming Whisky Industry Fears Brexit Hangover

    After Britain’s vote to leave the European Union, Scotland’s government wants to break away from the United Kingdom – fearing the nation’s exports are at risk. Among the biggest of these is whisky. Henry Ridgwell reports on a time of turmoil for those involved in the ancient art of distilling Scotland’s most famous product.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora