Tuesday, February 14, 2012

In Defense of Santorum...This Time

Michael Sherer has a new piece up at TIME's Swampland entitled, "Rick Santorum Wants to Fight ‘The Dangers Of Contraception’." Sherer thinks he's caught Santorum in an embarrassing predicament. Santorum recently sat down with (the great) Shane Vander Hart of CaffeinatedThoughts.com, whom I give a lot of credit for endorsing Santorum when almost no one else was.

Sherer is shocked that a devout Roman Catholic such as Santorum is concerned about "dangers of contraception in this country." After making this statement in his interview with Vander Hart [around the 19 min mark], Santorum proceeded to comment upon sex and marriage and how the sexual union ought to be "procreative" and not simply for pleasure. Sherer counters Santorum's view with polling data aimed to portray him as outside the mainstream. He also gives kudos to Mitt Romney for not "weigh[ing] in on the moral question of contraception" when Romney stated in the New Hampshire debate, "Contraception. It’s working just fine. Just leave it alone."

Now there is a candidate for President who is not leaving the issue alone and this is President Obama. Here's the difference between Santorum and Obama on this one: Santorum has his view but he doesn't want the government to ban contraception in America. On the other hand, President Obama is, in fact, forcing his view upon an unwilling citizenry. Again.

Here is what Sherer's article failed to point out: Rick Santorum is pro-choice on contraception by allowing folks to make their own decisions while Obama is anti-choice and coercive. If Sherer likes Romney's "just leave it alone" policy, he might want to start taking President Obama to task for violating it so obscenely.

While I support Newt Gingrich for President rather than Rick Santorum, I want to thank Michael Sherer for bringing this interview to my attention. It's actually very good. Watch it and enjoy!

Jeff Wright is co-founder and admin of Evangelicals With Newt, a graduate of Dallas Theological Seminary (ThM) and Philadelphia Biblical University, and is a member of the Evangelical Theological Society. Evangelicals With Newt can also be found on Twitter and Facebook.

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Evangelicals for Mitt: Lots of Heat, Not Much Light

Why Evangelicals Are Dumping Romney, Not Gingrich

Evangelicals for Mitt really, really wants you to know that Newt Gingrich is a no-good, lying, adulterer totally devoid of character. The latest expression of their much-repeated narrative comes in the form of today's 'My Take: Why evangelicals should dump Gingrich' from Evangelicals for Mitt co-founder, David French.

Time to get out your Bibles, according to French, because you need to see that Newt is a complete failure when it comes to "fidelity, honesty, humility and charity." Look at what Matthew 19:9 says about divorce! And Gingrich misled Congress so there goes "honesty." Psalm 101:5 and Proverbs 16:5 give us some strong warnings about a proud heart and "yet is there a more arrogant public figure in American political life than Gingrich?" No way. At least not until the general election, that is. If Romney is the nominee you can be sure Evangelicals for Mitt will scratch out Newt's name and replace it with Obama's. And, lastly, Mitt gave more money to charity than miserly, old, selfish Newt. Hello! "Generosity," anyone? Yup, Newt fails to live up to the Bible's teachings there too.

When it comes to evaluating their man Romney, however, Evangelicals for Mitt wants you to lay the Bible aside. What really matters is who's the best advocate for our positions:

"Evangelicals do not historically vote for the 'most Christian' person on the ballot. When Jimmy Carter (a Southern Baptist Sunday School teacher) ran against Ronald Reagan, evangelicals correctly voted for the divorced Hollywood actor. After all, he was the one who would best represent their values. Similarly, in 2012, we should look for the candidate who will most effectively represent our values by beating Obama and being a good advocate for our social positions. Gov. Romney is that candidate."

We can't get caught up with worrying about who the most "Christian" person on the ballot is! C'mon, don't worry about that stuff. Evangelicals correctly voted for that divorced reprobate actor because he would best represent our values, remember? Mitt Romney is a good advocate for our positions and can beat Obama. That's what matters. Unless...unless the biggest threat to Romney getting the nomination is someone who's not a very good "Christian" person. Forget what Evangelicals for Mitt said earlier about making a good choice with that divorced guy. They're making an appeal for their guy who's running for office, for Pete's sake! Pull your Bibles back out again, brothers and sisters. They've got weaknesses to exploit.

French did mention that "honesty" is important, didn't he? Since it's ok to pull our Bibles back out again when evaluating the candidates maybe we ought to see if Scripture has anything to say about this. Proverbs 6:19 says that a false witness that speaks lies is an abomination to the Lord. Exodus 23:1 warns against giving a false report and glibly remarking that "politics ain't beanbag" doesn't change that fact. Just this morning we had conservative stalwart Thomas Sowell complaining about Romney's "smear campaign."  Citing the fact of Gingrich's well-known exoneration from charges of unethical conduct with tax-exempt money, Sowell asks, "Do the Romney camp and the Republican establishment not know this, a dozen years later? Or are they far less concerned with whether the charges will stand up than they are about smearing Gingrich on the eve of the Florida primaries?" The answer is obvious and the Bible does indeed say something about bearing false witness. Romney has now spent more money on negative ads in Florida than John McCain did in the entire 2008 primary. Has Evangelicals for Mitt run these ads through their biblical filter? As Mike Huckabee said about Mitt Romney, "If a man's dishonest to get a job, he'll be dishonest on the job."

Boston newspaper "Bay Windows," 8/31/94
Many trusted members of the conservative movement have expressed concerns over Mitt Romney's dishonesty and destructive smear campaigns. Just two days ago talk-show host Mark Levin posted a note entitled, 'Character Matters and Mitt Romney's Worries Me.' Levin point out how Romney "resorts to spending multi-millions of dollars trashing his opponents, rather than providing thoughtful arguments on conservatism and constitutionalism." And, "My great fear is, however, that he is the weakest candidate who can face Obama and will go into the general election with a fractured base, thanks to his own character flaws, which are now on display, and his tactics of personal destruction."  Whenever an opponent has arisen as Romney's chief opponent, Mitt has unleashed underhanded attacks such as when Team Romney deliberately lied about Gov. Perry's position on Social Security by sending out mailers asking how can you trust Rick Perry when he would "kill" Social Security? In December Rudy Giuliani complained, "[Romney is] a man that will say anything to become president of the United States." Indeed. Apparently Romney's surrogates will as well.

In concluding his personal attack dressed up as a Bible lesson, David French imperiously writes, "No one doubts that God forgives, but only God knows Newt Gingrich’s heart. We only know his actions, and we know that he has a history of deceiving even those who are closest to him. Three other Republican candidates are anti-abortion. Three other Republican candidates have been faithful and honest in their personal and professional lives. With honest alternatives to choose from, evangelicals will soon abandon Gingrich." Mitt Romney was concluding one of the most duplicitous scorched-earth campaigns in Florida as French was reminding evangelicals of Gingrich's past deception in his marriages. He deceives himself by assuming that Romney is in the "faithful" and "honest" camp despite that fact that a large number of conservatives reject his candidacy precisely because we question his character due to his consistently demonstrated lack of honesty and unfaithfulness to any sort of core principles. In the previously cited interview, Rudy Giuliani nicely summarizes the problem:

"I’ve never seen a guy change his positions on so many things, so fast, on a dime, on everything. Pro-choice, pro-life. And pro-choice because somebody, a close friend, died, and he became pro-choice because this woman died of an abortion. Then he figures out there are embryos and he changes. Then he was pro-gun control. Fine. Then he becomes a lifetime member of the NRA. Then he was pro cap and trade. Now he’s against cap and trade. He was pro-mandate for the whole country, then he becomes anti-mandate and he takes that page out of his book and republishes the book. I could go on and on."

If evangelicals ought to dump Newt Gingrich over David French's Bible lesson then there is no doubt they must certainly reject Mitt Romney. There may be "honest alternatives to choose from" but Mitt Romney is not among them. As French cited, "we don’t discard our core values for the sake of political victories" which is why we do not support the candidate who will do anything and say anything to get elected for six years running. Evangelicals have rejected Mitt Romney in favor of Newt Gingrich once again today in Florida, not because we're ignorant and in need of a Bible lesson, but because Nancy French was right: sometimes the divorced guy who's a bad example when it comes to marriage is the candidate who will most effectively represent our values by beating Obama and being a good advocate for our social positions, rather than the bishop.

Jeff Wright is co-founder and admin of Evangelicals With Newt, a graduate of Dallas Theological Seminary (ThM) and Philadelphia Biblical University, and is a member of the Evangelical Theological Society. Evangelicals With Newt can also be found on Twitter and Facebook.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Mitt's Supporters Think You're An Anti-Mormon Bigot

Some supporters of Mitt Romney are so enamored with their candidate that they simply cannot accept the fact that voters advocate other candidates due to policy differences and Romney's record. They believe so strongly in Romney's candidacy that they cannot fathom that anyone could possibly vote for another candidate based on principled reasons. Those who do not vote for Mitt Romney, especially if they are evangelicals, MUST be anti-Mormon bigots. It is their hatred of Mormonism that is causing them to oppose Mitt because noting else could possibly make sense.

On the night of the primary in South Carolina, one fan on a pro-Romney Facebook page wrote: "It's hard for me to understand how anyone with good reasoning could even consider voting for anyone in this S.C. Republican Election today except Mitt Romney..." OK, over-exuberance is common during primaries but add the bogeyman of anti-Mormon bigotry to the belief that no reasonable person could vote for anyone but Mitt and you have a recipe for far-fetched conspiracy theories.

"CNN is reporting that Romney's Mormonism has definitely and still is effecting the SC voters...I SERIOUSLY CAN'T BELIEVE THESE FREAKIN EVANGELICALS...WTH!," wrote one Mitt fan. Another replied with, "I can hardly stand it. Anti-Mormon beats Anti-Adultry. Republican Party no longer the home of Values voters in SC" and "Why not Santorum? Because this was an anti-mormon vote." This sentiment continued throughout the night: "Folks, RELIGIOUS BIGOTRY is the same IF NOT WORSE than racial bigotry." "I am a conservative but I have grown tired of the Republican Party. The party is full of religious bigots." Evangelicals With Newt fields similar accusations each day on our website and Facebook page. Mitt's supporters may find some comfort in the anti-Mormon excuse but the facts point in another direction.

Mitt Romney's ever-shifting policy positions have taken a toll on his credibility. A poll released today conducted by Public Policy Polling and commissioned by Daily Kos and SEIU (yes, those guys but the respondents consisted of Dems, Republicans, Independents) asked registered voters: "Which of the following statements do you agree with more: 'Mitt Romney has strong principles' or 'Mitt Romney will say anything he has to to get elected'?" The results? "Has strong principles: 26, Will say anything: 61, Unsure: 12." This is devastating. 61% answered they believe Mitt Romney will say anything to get elected. This is a serious problem for Mitt Romney and it has nothing to do with his Mormonism.

Columnist Rod Dreher recently asked, "Why do conservatives dislike Mitt Romney?" Referring to a discussion he had with a friend on this topic, he wrote, "On style and character, my friend gets it; he says Romney is wholly smarmy. But on policy? Romney is a by-the-books Republican. So what gives? My friend can’t figure out why any Republican finds Romney so detestable that they would go all-in for an “unelectable” Republican like Santorum or Gingrich." On policy Dreher says, "Romney is a by-the-books Republican" and that may be so. Today. As of now. See, Dreher and his friend "get it": on character, Romney is seen as smarmy (ingratiating and wheedling in a way that is perceived as insincere or excessive).

No matter how conservative Romney's shifting vision for the country is, many voters are not satisfied because they do not believe he truly means it. His vision is just that, merely a vision. A vision divorced from any record of conservative achievement. Philip Klein asked in the Washington Examiner this week, "What has Romney done for conservatism?" Klein concludes his article with the statement, "When Gingrich gets attacked for not being conservative enough, he can also point to examples that people remember to deflect the charges. Romney can't."Again, this is devastating to Romney's candidacy. Romney was pressed on this issue during the recent NBC debate and he answered that his contribution to conservatism was raising a family. Romney's lack of achievement cannot be blamed on anti-Mormon bigotry.

If Romney's supporters want to challenge anti-Mormon bigotry, go find one of the 27% of Democrats who said they would oppose a Mormon candidate. Those of us who support Newt Gingrich are doing so based on the policies, principles, and records of the candidates, not their religion. Some Romney supporters see bigotry in the fact that those who said the religious beliefs of the candidates matter a great deal/somewhat went to Gingrich 46%, Santorum 22, and Romney 20. Certainly supporters of both Romney and Gingrich can agree with David Limbaugh who tweeted on the night of the South Carolina primary, "Evangelical Christians aren't the only ones who prefer 2 support people w/ same worldview. Only a fool wouldnt prefer it, other things equal." All things being equal, evangelicals Christians prefer a candidate who shares the most similar worldview. Is this bigotry? Of course not. We are with Newt because all other things are, in fact, not equal.

If Mitt's supporters want to learn what's motivating voters they could begin by looking at the rest of the exit polling from South Carolina. The born-again/evangelical vote went to Newt over Romney 42-22% (Santorum 20) but this is nearly identical to the split with tea partiers who went with Newt over Romney 43-26%. What's motivating voters? RealClearPolitics reports, "Given a choice of four issues that mattered most in deciding how to vote, more than half chose the economy." Also, "The preliminary data also show that when it comes to the desired qualities of a candidate, nearly half want someone who can defeat Obama this November. Smaller, roughly equal numbers were seeking a contender with the right experience, with strong moral character and a true conservative." Newt beat Mitt on the economy and electability against Obama (48-39%) and Romney supporters are going to have to come to grips with that. 

Any of us can point to random individuals who are saying all sorts of things about the candidates but it would be a mistake to paint an entire movement with such a broad brush. Surely Mitt Romney's supporters can do better than blame their candidate's failures and weaknesses on anti-Mormon bigotry from evangelicals. We're already attacked by Democrats for opposing Barack Obama because of racism. We don't need to be attacked by Republicans for opposing Mitt Romney because of bigotry.

Jeff Wright is co-founder and admin of Evangelicals With Newt, a graduate of Dallas Theological Seminary (ThM) and Philadelphia Biblical University, and is a member of the Evangelical Theological Society. Evangelicals With Newt can also be found on Twitter and Facebook.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Fred Thompson Issues a Challenge to Join the Cause [Video & Text]

Fred Thompson endorsed Newt Gingrich for President on Hannity last night and now he has released a video further explaining the challenge we face in this election. This isn't just another election as Thompson explains,

"We don't need to just manage the way Washington works. We need to fundamentally change Washington. It would be a major setback for our party and our country if we elect a president who is not up to that challenge. We need someone who has the courage and ability to communicate the truth to the American people. Someone who will explain the hard choices that we must make if we are to give our children and grandchildren the same opportunities our forefathers bestowed on us and avoid the fate that other great nations have suffered throughout history."

Please watch and read Fred Thompson's call to join the cause.

"Hello I'm Fred Thompson

I am one of the countless number of Americans who know firsthand that, in this country, a person may be born into modest circumstances, but that he comes into the world blessed in ways that have been unimaginable to the vast majority of people who have ever lived. We are born with the birthright of freedom and opportunity -- free to make our own choices about the important things in life and the opportunity to fulfill our God-given potential.

The greatest fear that I have for my country is that our government now has us on a different path. Instead of freedom and opportunity, it is one of debt, dependence division and decline -- a path that will weaken our country and sap the vitality of the American people.

We have moved from an era of balanced budgets, to a time of debt as large as our entire economy and of lost credit ratings. In 2001, when I was chairman of the Senate Government Affairs Committee, I released a report "Government On the Brink," in which I laid out the extent to which our government was bloated, growing, wasteful, subject to massive fraud, and basically out of control. A decade later, it is worse. Today, federal bureaucrats think they can tell a family where they can build their home and a business where it can locate.

I believe that how one views the condition and trajectory of our country determines how one views the strengths of our presidential candidates. For me, I believe that we are at a tipping point, one from which we may not return.

To avoid these disastrous consequences, our country needs leadership that is fearless and confident -- a candidate who can give voice to the concerns and frustrations of the American people ...someone who understands -- and will never apologize for American Exceptionalism.

We don't need to just manage the way Washington works. We need to fundamentally change Washington. It would be a major setback for our party and our country if we elect a president who is not up to that challenge. We need someone who has the courage and ability to communicate the truth to the American people. Someone who will explain the hard choices that we must make if we are to give our children and grandchildren the same opportunities our forefathers bestowed on us and avoid the fate that other great nations have suffered throughout history.

I believe that person is Newt Gingrich. And that is why I strongly support him. I came to Washington in 1995, in part as a result of the political revolution that Newt conceived and led. Over the next few years we were able to balance the budget, pass welfare reform, and begin to rebuild a weakened military. So we know it can be done.

Unfortunately, some on our side lost their way, became divided, and fell into recriminations and finger pointing. Sometimes, success is a difficult thing to handle. I believe that most of us have learned from our mistakes and are now focused on the future and the dangers and opportunities that lie ahead for our country.

President Obama's strategy is simple...avoid the hard realities his failed policies have created over the past three years, divide the country, pander to and organize his various constituencies, and eek out another victory. I believe he fails to see what so much of the political establishment and the Washington insiders on both sides of the aisle fail to see -- that these past few years have changed our people and our country.

People in America don't want to be told what to do, and they certainly can't be told what to think. They see for themselves what is happening in Europe with Greece, Spain and the lot, do not want it happening on our shores and are spontaneously organizing in towns all across America. They realize that on our present course we may not recognize our country in a few years. They are waiting to be inspired and energized to a cause that will conserve those first principles that made us the envy of the world.

This cause cannot be led by glossy flip charts, processing data, or reams of talking points poll-tested by a roomful of consultants. It must be led by someone who can forcefully make our basic case for the economy ... for example ... how lower taxes benefit all Americans, and can raise revenue for the legitimate and limited functions of the federal government. Someone who is able to articulate the message of growth, free enterprise and freedom. Someone who knows that bold ideas have preceded every major achievement of mankind -- including the United States of America.

I believe that Newt Gingrich is that person. Please join me and Newt in this effort to renew America's Exceptionalism. Go to Newt.org and show your support."

Monday, January 23, 2012

The United Conservative Front Strengthens: Fred Thompson Endorses Newt Gingrich

Fred Thompson, the candidate many of us strongly supported in 2008, has endorsed Newt Gingrich for President tonight! Fredheads typically represent the heart and soul of the conservative movement so would therefore not be for Mitt Romney anyway but Thompson's endorsement does provide an exciting morale boost as conservatives and independents continue to unite with Newt Gingrich in his campaign to rein in the elites in Washington and reform government so it starts serving the will of the American people again.

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Newt: We Are Going to Work with Rick Perry to Return Power to the States

Gov. Perry's mission to make Washington, D.C. as inconsequential in our lives as possible continues with Newt Gingrich!

Gov. Rick Perry: "I congratulate Newt for the big win in South Carolina, which makes him the conservative standard bearer in Florida and beyond...Newt Gingrich is the conservative change agent we need to contrast, debate and defeat President Obama in November."

Speaker Gingrich: "Part of jobs and the economy frankly is to shrink the power of Washington. I just talked tonight with Gov. Rick Perry, who is deeply committed. I was very generous for his endorsement this week, his passion... his implementing the 10th Amendment," Gingrich said. "We are going to work with him to return power to the states, to local governments, to get it out of Washington DC."

A Landslide Win in South Carolina...Now On to Florida!

Thank you to the people of South Carolina! Tonight is the beginning of a movement of the American people. We are standing up and forcing the political elites in Washington to listen to our voice. Newt Gingrich represents the people's desire for a constitutionally-restrained, limited government that will stop endangering our future through out-of-control spending, overreaching control and intrusion into all aspects of our lives, and a reckless foreign policy. As Newt Gingrich has said, "One day one, we will immediately begin to change government so it starts serving the will of the American people."

Tonight was a big win but it is only the first of many. Please join with Evangelicals With Newt as we continue on to Florida!

If you were unable to see Speaker Gingrich's speech earlier tonight, you can watch it below. Enjoy!

Friday, January 20, 2012

Chuck Norris Doesn't Endorse. He Makes Reality.

In honor of Chuck Norris's mighty endorsement of Newt Gingrich today we started a new list of Chuck Norris Facts. Add yours in the comments section!

- When Newt needs a debate stage, Chuck Norris trims his beard up a bit.

- South Carolina will not vote tomorrow. It will orient itself to who Chuck Norris has endorsed.

- Chuck Norris created Mitt Romney by roundhouse kicking John Kerry and George Pataki.

- Chuck Norris doesn't endorse. He makes reality.

- Mitt Romney won't attend the Tampa GOP Debate because his teleprompter was replaced by a picture of Chuck Norris.

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Our Time For Choosing

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On October 27, 1964 Ronald Reagan took to the airwaves to rally the people to support Barry Goldwater for the sake of fiscal sanity, a strong national defense, and a renewal of the ideas of self-government and individual liberty. Reagan declared,

"This idea that government is beholden to the people, that it has no other source of power except the sovereign people is still the newest and most unique idea in all the long history of man's relation to man. This is the issue of this election: whether we believe in our capacity for self-government or whether we abandon the American Revolution and confess that a little intellectual elite in a far distant capitol can plan our lives for us better than we can plan them ourselves."

Today we are faced with very similar challenges. Our political leaders have given us an out-of-control budget and crippling debt. The Obama Administration is proposing cutting Defense to dangerous levels, has damaged the nation's credit rating, and continues to lower our stature on the world stage. In what may turn out to be his most damaging blow against the nation, the President rammed through his unwanted, unsustainable, socialistic centerpiece program: Obamacare.

In the face of these historic challenges, the Republican establishment wants us to replace one elite in a distant capitol for another. Mitt Romney has campaigned for President longer than he served as Governor and yet the people remain unconvinced that he is the man for job. Mitt Romney is the latest in a long line of establishment elites who believes the solution is to manage our governmental bureaucracy better than the other party's candidate. He may indeed have been a good "turn-around specialist" during his much-touted time in the "private sector" but our times call for something much greater and deeper than a "turn-around." We need serious reform.

The elites of both parties have taken us far from our constitutional boundaries leaving us in need of serious reform. Nothing in Mitt Romney's record gives us confidence that he will make the hard decisions based on a deeply rooted commitment to our founding principles. His critics rightly call his proposals "timid." In his victory speech after New Hampshire, Romney claimed to offer a superior "vision" to President Obama's. Both Romney and Obama continually speak of grand visions because they both lack records demonstrating actions that meet the lofty standards of their rhetoric. President Obama had the rhetoric of change but he and Mitt Romney both lack a record of change.

As Speaker of the House, Newt Gingrich did not merely speak in bold and visionary terms but he followed through with them. He led the historic Republican Revolution of 1994 taking back the House of Representatives for the first time in 40 years. He promised a Contract With America and Republicans were successful in delivering much of the agenda under his leadership. Newt Gingrich is the only remaining candidate who possesses not only the courage of his convictions but a proven track record to give us hope that he will follow through on his lofty rhetoric as we hold his feet to the fire.

Like Reagan, we do not confess that a little intellectual elite in a far distant capitol can plan our lives for us better than we can plan them ourselves. Newt Gingrich has the knowledge, experience, and track record of success to fight for limited government in Washington, D.C. As the video below affirms, the time has come for us to make one of the most important decisions in our nation's history. It is our time for choosing.


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