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

Hong Kong Democracy Calls Spread to Macau

Macau and Hong Kong are China’s two 'special administrative regions' which gives them a measure of autonomy More

After Nearly 2 Years, Pistorius Remains Elusive

Reporter Anita Powell reflects on her experience covering the Olympic athlete's murder trial More

Kenyan Coastal Town Struggles With Deadly June Attacks

Three months after al-Shabab militants allegedly attacked their town, some Mpeketoni residents are still bitter, question who was really behind the assaults 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.
Obama to Ramp Up Anti-Ebola Efforts in Africai
X
Luis Ramirez
September 15, 2014 11:01 PM
President Barack Obama on Tuesday will unveil his plan to ramp up efforts against the spread of the Ebola virus in Africa. VOA White House Correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.
Video

Video Obama to Ramp Up Anti-Ebola Efforts in Africa

President Barack Obama on Tuesday will unveil his plan to ramp up efforts against the spread of the Ebola virus in Africa. VOA White House Correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.
Video

Video West Trades Accusations Over Ransoms

As world leaders try to forge a common response to the threat posed by Islamic State militants in Iraq and Syria, there is simmering tension over differing policies on paying ransoms. In the past month, the jihadist group has beheaded two Americans and one Briton. Both countries refuse to pay ransom money. As Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London, there is uncertainty in the approach of some other European nations.
Video

Video Scotland Independence Bid Stokes Global Interest

The people of Scotland are preparing to vote on whether to become independent and break away from the rest of Britain, in a referendum being watched carefully in many other countries. Some see it as a risky experiment; while others hope a successful vote for independence might energize their own separatist demands. Foreign immigrants to Scotland have a front row seat for the vote. VOA’s Henry Ridgwell spoke to some of them in Edinburgh.
Video

Video Washington DC Mural Artists Help Beautify City

Like many cities, Washington has a graffiti problem. Buildings and homes, especially in low-income neighborhoods, are often targets of illegal artwork. But as we hear from VOA’s Julie Taboh, officials in the nation's capital have come up with an innovative program that uses the talents of local artists to beautify the city.
Video

Video US Muslim Leaders Condemn Islamic State

Leaders of America's Muslim community are condemning the violent extremism of the Islamic State group in Iraq and Syria. The U.S. Muslim leaders say militants are exploiting their faith in a failed effort to justify violent extremism. VOA correspondent Meredith Buel reports.
Video

Video Americans' Reaction Mixed on Obama Strategy for Islamic State Militants

President Barack Obama’s televised speech on how the United States plans to “degrade and destroy” the group known as the Islamic State reached a prime-time audience of millions. And it came as Americans appear more willing to embrace a bolder, tougher approach to foreign policy. VOA producer Katherine Gypson and reporter Jeff Seldin have this report from Washington.
Video

Video Authorities Allege LA Fashion Industry-Cartel Ties

U.S. officials say they have broken up crime rings that funneled tens of millions of dollars from Mexican drug cartels through fashion businesses in Los Angeles. Mike O'Sullivan reports that authorities announced nine arrests, as 1,000 law enforcement agents fanned out through the city on Wednesday.
Video

Video Bedouin Woman Runs Successful Business in Palestinian City

A Bedouin woman is breaking social taboos by running a successful vacation resort in the Palestinian town of Jericho. Bedouins are a sub-group of Arabs known for their semi-nomadic lifestyle. Zlatica Hoke says the resort in the West Bank's Jordan Valley is a model of success for women in the region.


Carnage and mayhem are part of daily life in northern Nigeria, the result of a terror campaign by the Islamist group Boko Haram. Fears are growing that Nigeria’s government may not know how to counter it, and may be making things worse. More

AppleAndroid