Politics

Potential 2012 candidates convene in Richmond at Tea Party event

Photo of Matthew Boyle
Matthew Boyle
Investigative Reporter

RICHMOND, Va. –

2:25 p.m. Lou Dobbs announced to reporters he plans to push the Tea Party movement to challenge the left on intellectual issues instead of just defending against attacks from the left. Also, Dobbs, an avid advocate against illegal immigration, discounted accusation by The Nation that he hired illegal immigrants at one of his companies or to work at his house by calling The Nation a left-leaning publication with an agenda.

Congressman Ron Paul (R-Texas) told reporters the Tea Party movement is an intellectual movement in addition to a political awakening. He wouldn’t confirm a 2012 candidacy for president, but said he is considering all options. Also, in regards to cutting spending, Paul said that, if elected president, he would make it a priority to bring troops home from all locations around the globe.

Congressman Steve King (R-Iowa) said, though he foresees President Barack Obama vetoing it, he hopes the next Congress, which he expects to be largely Republican and conservative, to pass anti-Obamacare legislation. King said he then will push the Congress to cut funding for Obama’s Health Care Reform. King said the next Congress’s top priority needs to be repealing Obamacare. King added that, in regard to the “appealing” aspects of Obamacare, such as requiring insurance companies to cover pre-existing conditions, that Obamacare has to be repealed entirely first. Then, he said, Congress can pass “one-piece-at-a-time” bits of legislation to improve the system, ensuring any new legislation is properly vetted by the Congress and by the people.

Former Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum said the new political action committee he started in Iowa is a way for him to explore all options in 2012 talks, including a possible presidential candidacy of his own, something he said he has considered but hasn’t fully vetted yet. Santorum said that, though he hasn’t read it entirely yet, he supports House Minority Leader John Boehner’s Pledge to America, something that’s been a hot topic amongst conservatives in the Tea Party.

10:07 a.m. Though he won’t confirm or deny candidacy, Herman Cain will admit he’s mulling 2012 candidacy and hinted at it again in his speech Saturday morning at a Tea Party Convention in Richmond, Va.

After recounting his story of having survived cancer, Cain said sometimes God keeps people around for a reason they don’t know at the time.

“I might do something crazy,” Cain told the crowd of Tea Partiers in Richmond. “I might just run for president.”

9:03 a.m. Ex-CNN commentator Lou Dobbs, former Godfather’s Pizza CEO Herman Cain, Texas Congressman Ron Paul and former Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum are scheduled to speak Saturday at the Tea Party Convention in Richmond, Va.

Cain is headlining Saturday morning’s events – and told The Daily Caller in a phone interview that he plans to focus on what the Tea Party movement needs to do to stay influential after the midterm elections – and to maintain the momentum it’s had through the elections.

“I’m going to talk about two things: first off, how successful the Tea Party has been to this point and secondly, don’t let up,” Cain said. “My main message to the Tea Party people is: don’t let up. Keep supporting your candidates and make sure we have informed voters on November 2.”

Santorum, who made a significant move towards a presidential candidacy on Thursday by launching a political action committee in Iowa aimed at helping Iowan conservative candidates, will participate in a national policy forum Saturday afternoon. Joining Santorum in the forum will be Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli, Iowa Congressman Steve King and former Virginia Senator George Allen.

The convention has about 2,300 registered attendees and is conducting a straw poll that includes potential 2012 candidates from all political parties – including current President Barack Obama and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

  • sunnyr

    A word to all the Republican re-treads who are going to try to hook on to the Tea Party and run for President in 2012. Don’t! We are in no mood to listen to your BS and we want fresh NEW FACES AND NEW IDEAS. You had your chance and you were rejected for whatever reasons.

    Vote ALL the bums out in 2010 and 2012 and 2014 …..until the stench of corruption is gone from Washington DC! This corrupt Marxist Regime and their agenda to “transform” America are dead ducks in 2012! R I P !!

  • grayzel

    “the cash cow drug war and end the prohibition against marijuana…” robb32

    “A cash cow”? Better explain. The Fed. and States waste tons of money on control of this substance. Please, show me were they make a profit. If you are going to argue for legalization, set the bong down and please inform your self.

    “Yup. It’s the social conservative that have been killing the conservative movement for a generation now. Abortion, drugs, gay marriage, teaching evolution, etc. are all irrelevant in my mind.” Pollyprogressive

    If as you state, they are “irrelevant in your mind” why are they the death of conservatives? You Mam, are a mass of contradictions. Your bigotry for people of faith comes through again. Now for my point of view on the “social issues”. Evolution as Intelligent Design are both theories. Neither have been proven. “Gay marriage” is an oxymoron. Look up the word marriage. Drugs, no problem, go ahead and waste your mind, I do not care if it is alcohol or heroine. Makes no difference to me. Now as to my family, it makes a big difference. We just say no and help anyone who gets addicted to throw it off. As we are doing for my daughter now, pain med addiction. I have a brother who is beyond help. He has been smoking pot for more than 30 years. His long term memory is shot, his poetry is shot, his three failed marriages are shot. Like booze, it only hurts the brain and body and has no redeeming value. Yes, the war on drugs should be stopped, but so also should any government programs to rehabilitate. I will help my own as all should. Abortion, Roe VS Wade was bad law and still is. It forced the Federal government into again taking States Right away. Morally, I think there should never be an abortion but I also do not think it is the place of the Fed. or the State to make that judgment. “Reproductive rights” are not to be legislated just as there should be no state or Fed. money (tax payer) involved for anything to do with the subject. No government supplied condoms, birth control pills, sex education, abortion or anything to do with the subject. Call me a “social conservative” if you wish, I am proud to be one. Will I force my Elohim down your throat, no, I will not. I personally do not care how you lead your life. Go live with another female, have orgies or what ever, I do not care. It is your life. Go murder your babies in your womb. I weep for the baby, not you. Loss your paranoia about me or my fellow “social conservatives” coming to rule your life. Worry about what our government is doing now to your life, liberty and your pursuit of your own happiness as I do. Stop attempting to split us as a nation and as conservatives. You are not a libertarian and never have been. You drip of progressive/comunism.

  • unmutual

    Paul Ryan 2012

    • PolyIndependent

      I’m a fan of both those guys. I disagree with them on some positions, but I believe that they are very intelligent people who believe in what they’re saying. Intelligence + conviction, these are what I look for when voting.

  • bellh

    Obama and the media are on a assault to fool voters with more lies and freebies we cannot let them get back this president is a big a disapoitment as the school system i use that because we never fix it because it needs to be replaced top down and local control having the only say not some federal clown.ie obama the circus master.like states having control of there state not some freeloader from nyc government having control of aliens flooding your state.Go Golf obama maybe a erant ball will hit you in the head and you will forget and stop killing freedom.

    • PolyIndependent

      Then local schools should stop taking federal funding.

      • truebearing

        Yes, they should. The entire education system should be clean sheeted.

  • bellh

    Herman Cain is a good man to support and he can stimulate the blacks who for whatever reason are lock into whatever obama says as all the freedoms are torn away to expose a non free government controled society

  • truebearing

    The candidate who can best beat Obama is the cadidate who can unify the opposition to Progressivism. It remains to be seen who that will be, but whoever it is will have their hands full with same problem that got us to where we are today: people voting for what they see as their special interest instead of what is good for the nation.

  • Blackheart_Six

    My Straw poll….
    Santorum = NO
    Paul = YES
    CAIN = MAYBE, Need more information on him.

    I really don’t like all the politicians that lost their races, coming out of the woodwork, and hitching themselves to the TEA Party movement. Rick Santorum?

    REALLY!? Rick, the TEA Party. Your a republican politician, trying to regain your power, by riding the coattails of the TEA Party, REALLY!?. Your first mistake, supporting the “Pledge”. That thing isn’t worth the paper it was written on, in it’s current form, REALLY!?.

    Second, you better keep your morals and values to yourself. Most fiscal conservatives don’t want to hear about abortion, or gay marriages.
    If you want any success, you better talk about the reduction of the USG, and it’s budget.

  • robb32

    I’m STIll waiting to hear the candidate that says he’s going to end the cash cow drug war and end the prohibition against marijuana…any takers? This Independent, Libertarian leaning voter that has five votes in his block wants to know…..Conservatives, don’t think we’ll support drug war hawks!

    • truebearing

      Ultimately you will either support whoever wins the nomination, even if the a re a drug war hawk, a neo-communist, or not vote at all.

      Anyone who makes legalizing pot their primary issue is living in some form of delusion. There are so many issues that are so much more important than legalizing pot. Face reality here. This nation is is big trouble. Smoking pot solves nothing.

      And don’t bore me with the usual arguments or accuse me of knowing nothing about weed.

      • krjohnson

        It really troubles me that so many conservatives, who espouse support for personal liberty, who acknowledge the need for a limited role of government believe that a prohibition law is somehow OK. It is completely contrary to the principles on which our Republic was founded. And it’s not just me saying that! It’s Abraham Lincoln:

        “Prohibition… goes beyond the bound of reason in that it attempts to control a man’s appetite by legislation and makes a crime out of things that are not crimes. A prohibition law strikes a blow at the very principles upon which our government was founded” -Abraham Lincoln

        Legalizing marijuana is such a simple thing to do that would save so much money, save so much pain and not hurt or disadvantage a single person relative to where they sit now. It is unconscionable for a rational, open minded and informed individual to continue support of our failed, expensive, and bloody war on drugs.

        Statistically 45% of the population supports ending the war on drugs. Statistically 0% of our elected officials support ending the war on drugs. This is about to change, and change rapidly.

        • PolyIndependent

          Yup. It’s the social conservative that have been killing the conservative movement for a generation now. Abortion, drugs, gay marriage, teaching evolution, etc. are all irrelevant in my mind. The fed’s duty is to secure borders and create budgets. Everything else, stay the hell out of our lives.

        • clw

          Nope. The argument has been made and lost several thousand times. Even if you don’t believe in the gateway drug theory, (I don’t), you have to know that there are people who rely on drugs for self medication and escape from reality. Heroin, and the like are also substances that are ‘prohibited’ and for good reason. Weed these days is not like it was when I was 20. Ask Cat Williams, who talks about getting high with Snoop Dogg, and talks about being “too high” and “higher than he’s ever been in 4 and 3/4 minutes. Up in space floatin’ over your mama’s house high with satellites and shit”! It’s funny, but in reality, it’s a slippery slope; and Truebearing nailed it; we have alot more important things to accomplish right now.

          • clw

            AND it’s not a no-lose proposition that you make. People who USE prohibited substances …heroin, crack, meth… cost ME money for their re-hab, housing, unemployment, healthcare… it’s a losing argument.

          • krjohnson

            Well first I would say that the war on drugs has not prevented anyone who wants to smoke pot from smoking pot. About 40% of the population of the country, and a larger population of young people, have smoked pot at some point in their lives. A law in which 60% of the population says to 40% of the population, “we don’t like how you live your life, and we think you belong in prison for it” is a BAD LAW.

            Like you, I am also very concerned about cost. Half of what we spend on the courts, half of what we spend on the prisons, and half of what we spend on law enforcement is drug related. Between Federal, State, and local branches we are talking hundreds of billions of dollars. To do what? Arrest 1.8 million people (the population of New Mexico) each year, incarcerate them, and protect the profits of brutal cartels. And after all that marijuana is still easier for young people to obtain than alcohol. It’s a sad state of affairs.

        • truebearing

          kr,

          Any society has to have laws and a moral code or it will fail. Every legal code on earth prohibits things, and has to for there to be justice and order. The question is what things should be banned and what things shouldn’t.

          I find it ironic that Libertarians frequently are suspicious of social conservatives, who are actually close to them on the political continuum. It is even more ironic that the only way true Libertarianism can work is if the citizens are so moral that no government or police are needed. People who are moral tend to have self restraint and govern themselves without outside enforcement. Remove the moral compunction and you have anarchy.

          Lets look at statistics for a minute. How’s this one: 53% of the voters voted for Obama for president of the United States. How’s that working out for you? I could rest my case there, but will add that many who voted for Obama claimed to be Libertarians. Why would that be?

          Why would I put any faith in a group of people( those who voted for Obama) who didn’t do sh!t for research on a presidential candidate? Now I’m supposed to go along with their opinion on legalizing drugs after they were stupid enough to vote for Obama? (the majority of Obama voters are also the ones supporting legalization)

          Let me point out that the primary point I was making was that pot isn’t a priority right now, unless you are addicted or have no awareness of what is going on. It simply isn’t even close to being a major crisis, and it shouldn’t become a dividing point, but the left is working to find any issue it can to divide Libertarians from conservatives, and moderates from conservatives, and so on.

          Let me also point out to the fools who accuse the social conservatives of killing the conservative movement: they are the backbone of the conservative movement, and anyone with a shred of intelligence or honesty knows that (hence Pollyanna’s contrary opinion).

          People who believe in lax morals, or no morals, are still taking a moral stance. They believe in a lack of morals, and want that represented in our laws. Isn’t that a form of legislating morality? YES.

          Social conservatives believe in Judeo-Christian moralality. Liberals push their version of morals called political correctness. Libertarians are insistent on their one big moral, total freedom. Each political group has their own view, but want it represented in the laws of the land. That makes those who attack social conservatives for “legislating morality” complete hypocrites because they want the laws to reflect their beliefs, just like social conservatives.

          One could legitimately argue that those who oppose legislating morality want to legislate immorality.

          Why don’t we legalize everything? There would be no crimes, no police, no prisons? No moral restraints either. If I want to rape someone, I can just do it. Sure, it would result in total chaos, but at least we wouldn’t have those awful social conservatives legislating morality. We wouldn’t have any government either, just pure freedom, including freedom from order, peace, and safety.

          I have a news flash for those with the “legislating morality” hang up: all laws are legislating morality of some kind.

          As far as pot goes, I have indulged in reefer, and not just casually. I have been involved in most every respect, and I don’t think casual users should be thrown in prison for smoking pot. On the other hand, having smoked plenty of the stuff, if it is legalized it should carry penalties like drunk driving when someone gets high, spaces out and causes an accident. That means blood tests would be mandatory for anyone suspected of driving under the influence. I wonder how much that would cost?

          Pot can get people high on second hand smoke. How are we going to deal with that? Cigarettes, which I personally hate, are being banned everywhere, but now we’re going to allow pot smoking? What about the children exposed to the smoke? It isn’t healthy for them. What about the lung cancer that will result from all of that pot smoking?

          This issue isn’t as simple as the pot smokers spin it. Having used it, and other drugs, I can say with confidence that like alcohol, it is a gateway drug, and any honest person with an IQ over 50 knows it.

          Maybe the answer is partially in reforming our criminal justice system. Maybe instead of sending addicts to jail we send them to a treatment facility, that they have to pay for themselves. Maybe we need to start dealing with addiction as a reality in society and start educating young people about the danger in meaningful ways. One thing is clear however, addiction doesn’t care whether the drug is legal or illegal, and societies with liberal drug policies are having serious problems that legalization was supposed to fix, and didn’t.

          The bottom line is that we can’t take on every problem right now, and pot isn’t the biggest thing on our plate.

          • krjohnson

            The first thing that pops out at me as I read your verbose post is that you clearly have no idea what a libertarian is*. Also, you appear to call *me* a libertarian, which is not totally accurate (I classify myself as a libertarian leaning conservative). You appear to be confusing “libertarian” with “anarchist.” Libertarians like some laws, laws that protect you from your neighbor. Everybody does not have to be moral and perfect, they just have to be held accountable only for the harm they do to others.

            Laws enforcing contracts, courts that preside over bankruptcies, laws against fraud, laws against assault, murder, theft, and dozens of other things are just great in a libertarian world. But laws against things that you do *to yourself* are counterproductive for exactly the reasons Honest Abe gave in the quote I provided in my earlier post. (Honest Abe probably smoked pot, by the way, though at the time it was called “sweet hemp”)

            And I don’t disparage social conservatives, most of my family is made up of social conservatives and I just try to discuss things with them rationally not call them names or claim they’re destroying the party. Quite frankly, we’ve done much better as a political party with the social conservative movement of the 80s, 90s, and 00s than with the libertarian conservative movement of the 40s, 50s, and 60s. I mean, Goldwater got killed in the general.

            As far as the harm that pot could do, there are already laws against child endangerment, against driving impaired by any substance, and I imagine that where it is illegal to smoke a cigarette it would be illegal to smoke a reefer.

            For the record I have drank plenty of alcohol, been around lots of pot (but never smoked it), and I can find absolutely no evidence that pot or alcohol are “gateway” drugs except in that the people willing to take risks with one are more likely to further take risks with others. There is absolutely no cause and effect. Also for the record my IQ is far above 50, and I am being as honest as I can be.

            I also have to reject any notion that this would increase costs because of blood tests or laws against driving high. The fact is it’s already illegal to drive high. And the current prohibition laws aren’t keeping anyone that wants to smoke pot from smoking pot. If this was going to be a problem, it would be a problem now. Are there problems in Portugal from people driving high? No. Amsterdam? No. How about California, where hundreds of thousands of medical users live? No, nothing.

            Speaking of places where it is legal, you say that they are now having problems? How about Portugul where they legalized every drug and heroin use halved over 10 years? That kind of problem? How about Amsterdam where pot use among the under aged is around 5% (a little over a tenth of what it is here), and their minister of health declared “we’ve succeeded in making pot boring?” That kind of problem?

            But in my previous post, I wasn’t necessarily arguing against your earlier statement that we should support whoever wins the nomination. Just voicing some frustration with the way the battle lines have been drawn. In my view, legalization should be the conservative position. The two highest ranking officials to call for legalization while in office (Gary Johnson and Arnold Schwarzenegger) are both Republicans. Ultimately I will support whoever wins the nomination (maybe outside a couple…), and legalization isn’t my first issue, but it does distress me.

            Also my point about the 45% supporting legalization but 0% of politicians supporting it wasn’t an argument for legalization, just a sad observation.

            *May I suggest you read the popular libertarian primer “What it Means to be a Libertarian” by Charles Murray? Or you could just watch Stossel on FBN every Thursday and probably get a good idea, most of his shows are up on hulu too.

    • krjohnson

      Gary Johnson and Ron Paul both support ending the war on drugs.

  • brettrow

    I like all the guys above and they all have their place in the party. I would love to see a far right guy or gal win the presidency as I am far right but Im also a pragmatist and want to win with the most conservative person possible who can win. My problems of the above people is more style I suppose. Santorum puts me to sleep. Lou Dobbs would be a great senator but he would have a tough time running for president. I know little about the Godfathers gentleman but would rather he learn to crawl before he tries to run (perhaps a senate seat). I love Palin but do not want her to be the nominee as the media will crucify her. I like Romney, Perry, Christie, Jindal and Barbour in no particular order as some are farther to the right than others. They all have their strengths and weaknesses.