Wintery Knight

…integrating Christian faith and knowledge in the public square

53 college newspapers that endorsed Obama in 2008 decline to endorse him in 2012

If you haven’t voted yet, please go vote! There is still time, especially in central, mountain and western time zones. If you have voted already, here’s a nice article to reward you while we wait for the election results. And thank you for voting!

From the Daily Caller.

Excerpt:

Many college newspapers that endorsed Barack Obama for president in 2008 are not supporting his election again this year, another indication that the Obama enthusiasm that swept across campuses four years ago has faded.

A review conducted by The Daily Caller of campus publications indicates that at least 53 papers newspapers that endorsed Obama in 2008 have yet to endorse his candidacy again as Election Day approaches. TheDC arrived at this number by looking at 89 known papers that supported Obama four years ago.

[...]Obama — who won nearly every endorsement made by college newspapers in 2008 — is not as popular on campus as he was four years ago.

Forty-three school papers that endorsed Obama in 2008 tell TheDC that they have decided against endorsing any candidate in the 2012 presidential race.

In addition, 46 newspapers who endorsed Obama in 2008 have not only declined to endorse him again – they have actually endorsed Romney.

Excerpt:

Forty-six newspaper editorial boards that endorsed then-Senator Barack Obama in 2008 have decided instead to endorse Republican nominee Mitt Romney this year, according to a tally from the Republican National Committee.

The list of 46 includes The Des Moines Register, the Orlando Sentinel, Florida’s Sun Sentinel, the Wisconsin State Journal, the Houston Chronicle, The Tennessean, the Los Angeles Daily News, Newsday and the New York Daily News.

The American people still care about whether a President succeeds or fails. It is not just a popularity contest. Obama has failed to do what he promised to do. Now get out there and vote to have him sent home.

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Rick Santorum gets endorsements from James Dobson and John Stemberger

First James Dobson.

Excerpt:

James Dobson, the founder and former president of Focus on the Family, has joined a number of social conservative and pro-life leaders have who announced endorsements for Republican presidential candidate Rick Santorum.

Dobson today announced his personal endorsement of the former Pennsylvania senator, and is not speaking on behalf of the pro-life Christian group he led before his retirement.

“The institution of the family is the key issue facing this great nation. It is the foundation, the bedrock, upon which every dimension of Western Civilization rests,” he said. “If it is undermined or weakened by cultural and governmental forces, the entire superstructure will collapse in short order. And indeed, today it is in serious jeopardy. The very definition of marriage is threatened, which has implications for the next generation and the stability of society itself.”

“Of all the Republican candidates who are vying for the presidency, former Sen. Santorum is the one who has spoken passionately in every debate about this concern,” Dobson continued. “He has pleaded with the nation and its leaders to come to the aid of marriages, parents, and their children. What a refreshing message.”

“The Congress voted in 1969 to impose a marriage penalty tax on husbands and wives who were struggling to raise their children. That unfair tax continued for 32 years, until George W. Bush rolled it back,” Dobson added. “Now, if Democrats and some Republicans have their way, the marriage penalty tax will be re-imposed in 2013. We desperately need a president who will intercede on behalf of those who are caring for the next generation and working to build this nation.”

“While there are other GOP candidates who are worthy of our support, Sen. Santorum is the man of the hour. His knowledge of international politics, especially Israel and the turmoil in the Middle East, is highly relevant to the dangerous world in which we live. This is why I am endorsing former Senator Rick Santorum for president of the United States, and urge my countrymen to join us in this campaign,” Dobson concluded.

[...]Previously, Concerned Women for America president Penny Nance, former Planned Parenthood director turned pro-life activist Abby Johnson, and pro-life nurse and blogger Jill Stanek issued endorsements for Santorum. They follow a weekend meeting in which key evangelical leaders saidthey supported him.

Santorum also picked up the endorsement of CatholicVote as well as former Republican presidential candidate Gary Bauer.

You can’t get a better pro-life and pro-family endorsement than James Dobson! I also like that Dobson talked about Santorum’s foreign policy credentials. Indeed, Rick Santorum is the best candidate if you like social policy and foreign policy. He even sounds better on fiscal policy in the debates – and even better on illegal immigration than Gingrich. Those were his weak points.

But there’s more – a key endorsement for Rick Santorum in Florida:

The Rick Santorum for President campaign is proud to announce that Rick Santorum has received the endorsement of Florida pro-family leader John Stemberger. Stemberger had previously endorsed Gov. Rick Perry (R-TX) and served as Perry’s state co-chairman during the Florida Presidency Five event in Orlando. This marks the latest in a line of national conservative leaders to coalesce behind theSantorum campaign.

John Stemberger, in a statement released to his supporters, said: “Senator Santorum has been a champion for the timeless values of life, marriage, family and religious liberty. His personal life and character is a genuine reflection of the principles he stands for in every way. He is the only candidate in this race who has consistently argued during debates for the primacy of the family unit as the basis for social order and a sound economy. As an economic conservative, Rick Santorum can also unite the tea party, evangelicals and pro-life Catholics to form a winning coalition. I am proud to give my full support to Rick Santorum for President of the United States.”

Rick Santorum said: “I am honored to receive John’s endorsement today. John has been a stalwart defender of the family and the traditional values. I am looking forward to working with John in the coming weeks to help our campaign win the primary in the critical swing state of Florida.”

Stemberger has been a leading conservative voice for Floridians, leading the successful marriage amendment campaign in 2008 and serving as the former political director for the Republican Party of Florida in the1990s.

Don’t count Rick Santorum out yet in Florida – he has a week to make his pitch to Floridians.

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Eric Metaxas endorses Rick Santorum, urges Gingrich and Perry to drop out

Everyone knows Eric Metaxas – he is the author of great biographies of William Wilberforce and Dietrich Bonhoeffer. The Wall Street Journal is talking about something Eric said on Sunday.

Excerpt:

Republican presidential candidates Newt Gingrich and Rick Perry should drop out of the race before South Carolina’s Saturday primary, prominent conservative author Eric Metaxas said at a Sunday prayer breakfast.

Mr. Metaxas said he was optimistic some of the candidates competing for the state’s conservative voters would take themselves out of contention to allow South Carolinians to coalesce around an alternative to former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney.

“It’s more likely that some of these wonderful men that are running will hear God’s voice and get out of the race before Saturday for the good of this country,” Mr. Metaxas, who has endorsed former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum,  said Sunday at a weekend gathering of the South Carolina Republican Party – a day after Mr. Santorum picked up strong support from conservative Christian groups. To be effective, the candidates must drop out before next Saturday’s contest, he said.

“This is the last exit before the bridge,” Mr. Metaxas said in an interview later. “They’ve been dividing the vote and so if they don’t do this now, they will harm the country because they can’t hang on to the bitter end.” Other presidential hopefuls, Texas Rep.Ron Paul and former Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman, are less relevant, Mr. Metaxas said.

Mr. Santorum, who spoke at the breakfast after Mr. Metaxas, did not  explicitly urge other candidates to drop out, but appealed to voters to gather behind him, regardless of his perceived shot at seizing the White House.

“Will the people of South Carolina vote their conscience or will they let people…. tell you who’s the one you should choose because we have to win?” he asked.

Across the pond, Tim Stanley of the UK Telegraph is suggesting something similar.

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Rick Santorum for President of the United States

I am endorsing Rick Santorum for President.

Here’s the break-down on the other two leaders in the Republican primary, Romney and Paul:

Mitt Romney: When Mitt Romney was running for office in Massachusetts, he tried to assure Mass voters that he was solidly pro-abortion and pro-gay rights. And when elected, that’s how he governmed. The only thing that he has ever done to appeal to social conservatives is smile and look handsome, starting in 2006 – when he was out of office. I’ve written before about Romney’s pro-abortion record and Romney’s pro-gay-marriage record. He is a social liberal. The most socially liberal candidate in the primary.

Here is an excerpt from an assessment of Mitt Romney’s economic record from Club for Growth:

Because of his long tenure in public life, especially his presidential run in 2008, Mitt Romney is considered a well-vetted candidate by now.  Perhaps to his consternation, he has developed an unshakeable reputation as a flip-flopper. He has changed his position on several economic issues, including taxes, education, political free speech, and climate change.  And yet the one issue that he doesn’t flip on – RomneyCare – is the one that is causing him the most problems with conservative voters.  Nevertheless, he labels himself as a pro-growth fiscal conservative, and we have no doubt that Romney would move the country in a pro-growth direction.  He would promote the unwinding of Obama’s bad economic policies, but we also think that Romney is somewhat of a technocrat. After a career in business, quickly finding a “solution” seems to be his goal, even if it means more government intrusion as a means to an end. To this day, Romney supports big government solutions to health care and opposes pro-growth tax code reform – positions that are simply opposite to those supported by true economic conservatives.  How much Romney’s philosophy of governance will affect his policy goals if elected, we leave for the voters to decide.

There is no reason for us to counter Obama with Obama-lite.

Ron Paul: Ron Paul is the absolute worst candidate on foreign policy and national security, and bad on social policy, too. Ron Paul opposes a constitutional amendment defining marriage, because he doesn’t think that the federal government should define traditional marriage as being between one man and one woman. He has a moderately pro-life voting record. NRLC says that he votes pro-life only 75% of the time.

Excerpt from the Club for Growth report on Ron Paul’s fiscal policy:

When it comes to limited government, there are few champions as steadfast and principled as Representative Ron Paul.  In the House of Representatives, he plays a very useful role constantly challenging the status quo and reminding his colleagues, despite their frequent indifference, that our Constitution was meant to limit the power of government.  On taxes, regulation, and political free speech his record is outstanding.  While his recent pork votes are troubling, the vast majority of his anti-spending votes reflect a longstanding desire to cut government down to size.

But Ron Paul is a purist, too often at the cost of real accomplishments on free trade, school choice, entitlement reform, and tort reform.  It is perfectly legitimate, and in fact vital, that think tanks, free-market groups, and individual members of Congress develop and propose idealized solutions.  But presidents have the responsibility of making progress, and often, Ron Paul opposes progress because, in his mind, the progress is not perfect.  In these cases, although for very different reasons, Ron Paul is practically often aligned with the most left-wing Democrats, voting against important, albeit imperfect, pro-growth legislation.

Ron Paul has not been able to move legislation to implement his pro-growth vision. His fiscal positions are excellent, but he has no record whatsoever of being able to build enough consensus.

Let’s meet Rick Santorum

Here’s an article that explains the pros and cons of Rick Santorum as candidate. I really recommend this article. It is from a Catholic web site, so there is Catholic stuff in it, but it mentions all the weaknesses and strengths that I’m familiar with – it’s a balanced article.

Excerpt:

As a member of the U.S. Senate from 1995 until 2007, Santorum was the prime author and champion of key pro-life bills, including the Born-Alive Infants Protection Act, a ban on partial-birth abortion, and the Unborn Victims of Violence Act, which makes it a separate crime if an unborn child is harmed or killed during the commission of a stipulated list of federal crimes.

Santorum not only has signed the Susan B. Anthony Pro-Life Presidential Pledge, but he has helped raise money for that organization, too.

Santorum believes that abortion is never justified, including in cases of rape or incest.

[...]Santorum has been similarly staunch in taking a stand against same-sex “marriage,” which has earned him the enmity of homosexual-activist groups.

[...]“Rick Santorum has been a hero of the movement in every sense on marriage, life and religious liberty. No one has been braver or taken more hits for his courage than Rick,” said Maggie Gallagher, co-founder of the National Organization for Marriage.

For Santorum, the issues of marriage and abortion aren’t just social issues — they spill over into his economic philosophy.

“You cannot have limited government if you have broken families, because someone has to pick up the pieces; and the ones who pick up the pieces are the taxpayers,” Santorum has said.

While some argue that an emphasis on social issues is detrimental to a politician’s chances of being elected, Santorum on Dec. 20 got two endorsements from family-issues leaders that some say could provide the needed boost in the Jan. 3 Iowa caucuses to make Santorum a first-tier candidate.

Santorum was endorsed by Bob Vander Plaats, a leading Christian conservative in Iowa, and Chuck Hurley, another family-issues stalwart. Both are affiliated with The Family Leader, which Vander Plaats founded. Hurley is president of the affiliated Iowa Family Policy Center.

“We care about any issue affecting the family, from the sanctity of human life to preserving a biblical view of marriage, and even issues such as gambling and economic issues,” said Julie Summa, spokeswoman for The Family Leader.

Summa said that the board of The Family Leader unanimously supported Santorum but decided that only the two leaders, not the organization, would endorse him because some of their conservative Christian constituency supports other candidates.

“When you listen to Senator Santorum speak,” Summa added, “he ties everything back to the family, including economics. Our economy is better when we have strong families.”

And here is the Club for Growth report on Santorum’s fiscal policy, which is his weakest link.

Excerpt:

On the whole, Rick Santorum’s record on economic issues in the U.S. Senate was above average.  More precisely, it was quite strong in some areas and quite weak in others.  He has a strong record on taxes, and his leadership on welfare reform and Social Security was exemplary.  But his record also contains several very weak spots, including his active support of wasteful spending earmarks, his penchant for trade protectionism, and his willingness to support large government expansions like the Medicare prescription drug bill and the 2005 Highway Bill.

As president, Santorum would most likely lead the country in a pro-growth direction, but his record contains more than a few weak spots that make us question if he would resist political expediency when it comes to economic issues.

It’s not that weak for a weak link, is it?

My concerns about Rick Santorum are mostly on fiscal policy. I don’t like his vote against NAFTA in 1993, and I don’t like his plan to focus corporate tax cuts on the manufacturing only - I want across the board tax cuts. His support for Arlen Specter over Pat Toomey was hard for me to get over, too. But it’s minor – there is no perfect candidate.

Rev. James Leonard points out that Santorum has a good pro-growth record:

First, Santorum was the first of the candidates to endorse the Ryan plan. No statist would ever do so. Santorum has pledged to cut 5 trillion dollars in the next 5 years.

Second, Santorum co-sponsored and fought for a balanced budget amendment that failed by a single vote, prompting Santorum to demand that the RINO (Hatfield, OR) who voted against it be stripped of his chairmanship. He did so even against such stalwart Republicans as Jesse Helms who defended the RINO. Santorum’s fight led to the RINO’s early retirement.

One final thing: Rick Santorum introduced an amendment to No Child Left Behind Act in 2001 to encourage critical thinking on issues like evolution and global warming in the schools. That’s good, but it’s also good that Rick has been pushing away from the idea of a federal role in education at all. Another plus.

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Paul Ryan and Art Laffer love Herman Cain’s 9-9-9 plan

Two big endorsements for Herman Cain’s 9-9-9 plan from two proven conservative supply-side economists.

Here’s Paul Ryan’s interview with the Daily Caller.

Excerpt:

House Budget Committee chairman Paul Ryan said in an interview with The Daily Caller that he “loves” the idea of having “specific and credible” plans, like presidential candidate Herman Cain’s signature “9-9-9″ proposal, in the national debate about tax policy.

Ryan told The Daily Caller in an exclusive interview that Cain’s plan is a good starting point for debate, and shows the GOP presidential campaign season has entered into a more advanced stage where ideas — not just personalities — have come to the forefront.

“We need more bold ideas like this because it is specific and credible,” Ryan said. “I’m more of a flat-tax kind of a guy.”

The budget chairman went on to say that ideas like Cain’s plan could help shape the debate over tax reform moving into 2013.

“It’s great to see such bold ideas,” Ryan told TheDC.

[...]“I consider Paul Ryan to be one of the brightest minds in Washington, D.C.,” said Mark Block, Cain’s chief of staff, “Mr. Cain looks forward to sitting down with Congressman Ryan.

Here’s more about a possible VP nomination for Ryan.

Excerpt:

House Budget Committee chairman Paul Ryan “loves” Herman Cain’s 9-9-9 tax plan and sees the proposal as “specific and credible” – a major endorsement for a surging GOP presidential candidate.

“We need more bold ideas like this because it is specific and credible,” Ryan said in an interview with the Daily Caller. “I’m more of a flat-tax kind of a guy.”

Cain is returning the love. He said Wednesday that he sees Ryan as the type of person he would want as a Vice Presidential nominee were he to win the Republican primary, the Hill reported.

“I’ll give you a name, like representative Paul Ryan. I’m not saying he would be a V.P. pick. He might be. But that’s the type of person that I would want in my cabinet. He is the type of person,” said Cain on the Steve Gill Show.

Ryan said hoped Cain’s plan – which would replace the current code with a 9 percent tax on all personal income, corporate income and sales – would encourage legislators to consider tax reform in coming sessions, the Hill reported.

Ryan says that Cain is thinking the right way, and that he believed that critiques of the plan would make it stronger.

“It’s great to see such bold ideas,” Ryan said.

Excerpt:

The famed economist told HUMAN EVENTS that the proposal was pro-growth and would create the proper conditions for America’s economy to expand and thrive again.

“Herman Cain’s 9-9-9 plan would be a vast improvement over the current tax system and a boon to the U.S. economy,” Laffer told HUMAN EVENTS in a statement. “The goal of supply-side tax reform is always a broadening of the tax base and lowering of marginal tax rates.”

Added Laffer: “Mr. Cain’s plan is simple, transparent, neutral with respect to capital and labor, and savings and consumption, and also greatly decreases the hidden costs of tax compliance. There is no doubt that economic growth would surge upon implementation of 9-9-9.”

Laffer also said that “such a system provides the least avenues to avoid paying taxes, yet also maintains the strongest incentives for work effort, production, and investment.”

Everyone is talking about Chris Christie’s endorsement of Mitt Romney… but Christie is a RINO. I’m sure that Romney will get endorsements from John McCain, Susan Collins and Olympia Snowe, too. But Paul Ryan’s endorsement is the endorsement that really matters.

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