Monday, February 13, 2012

To: Friends & Supporters

From: Gary L. Bauer


Romney Wins Maine & CPAC

Mitt Romney won the Maine caucuses Saturday by fewer than 200 votes after fending off a strong challenge from Ron Paul. In 2008, Romney ran away with the Maine caucuses by 30 percentage points. That Romney had such a close call in his own backyard indicates again the difficulty his campaign is having in getting conservative voters to rally to his cause.

Romney also won the straw poll at the Conservative Political Action Conference this weekend, taking 38% of the vote. Rick Santorum posted a strong second place finish with 31%, while Newt Gingrich and Ron Paul faded with 15% and 12%, respectively.

Yet in spite of these wins, the bottom line remains the same: The conservative base of the party is not fired up about the current front-runner, a fact which undermines the Romney campaign's claim of electability. How can a party win an election by nominating an individual who generates the least amount of enthusiasm among its base?

And think about the message this sends to independent voters: We know conservatism is such an embarrassment that we don't dare nominate a real conservative. Do we really have such an inferiority complex? I'm doubtful voters will rally to a flag of "pale pastels."

The conservative message is a winning message. We believe in lower taxes and less spending. We believe in a strong national defense. We believe in the right to life and that marriage is the union of one man and one woman. Far more Americans identify as conservative than liberal. We should embrace Ronald Reagan's "banner of bold colors" and give the American people a clear, conservative choice in November.

Santorum Surging

Two new polls find Rick Santorum surging into the lead in the upcoming Michigan primary. According to Public Policy Polling, Santorum is leading Mitt Romney by 15 points -- 39% to 24% -- while the second poll, by the American Research Group, finds Santorum leading by six points -- 33% to 27%. Four years ago, Romney won Michigan by nine points. It would be a huge upset if he lost the state where his father once served as governor.

Today, the editors of National Review called on Newt Gingrich to "endorse Santorum and exit" the presidential contest.

Controversy Continues

Late Friday afternoon, the nation's Catholic bishops issued a statement rejecting Barack Obama's so-called compromise on the contraception mandate. This morning dozens of conservative leaders, including me, issued statements blasting the mandate as another example of ObamaCare's overreach, as well as an assault on religious liberty.

In his press conference Friday, Obama chided his critics, accusing them of cynically turning this debate into a "political wedge issue." Just to be clear, Obama started this fight! But in his mind those of us who are trying to defend the Constitution and the First Amendment are dividers exploiting "wedge issues."

Mr. Obama, the Constitution is not a wedge issue. It is the "owner's manual" of America!

There is no debate in Washington about "women's health" or "preventive medicine." But that is not what this is about. When the left talks about "women's health," it means abortion and the ability to destroy an unborn child with a saline solution in much the same way that a bully would pour salt on a slug.

When the left talks about preventive care, is it referring to a low fat diet? No. It means the morning after pill and other abortion-inducing drugs. During his press conference, Obama said, "It's a lot cheaper to prevent an illness than to treat one. … free preventive care includes access to free contraceptive care." It doesn't get clearer than that: A child is the "illness" that Obama is trying to prevent.

During the ObamaCare debate, some conservatives objected to the broad, sweeping powers that the new law granted to the federal government. They warned that it would lead to more mandates, bigger government and less freedom. They were roundly condemned and mocked by the liberal media. Well, here we are confronted by the specter of big government threatening to force religious institutions to violate their core values.

Democrats think they have found their "wedge issue." The radically pro-abortion group NARAL is running ads thanking Obama for free birth control. But there are far more important issues at stake here, and the White House may have overplayed its hand.

Just a few weeks ago, the administration argued a case before the Supreme Court regarding an employment discrimination issue. The court said it was a religious liberty issue and ruled unanimously against the Obama White House. That's right. Nine to zero. Even the court's leftists couldn't stomach Obama's blatant disrespect of the Constitution.

The justices do not live in a vacuum. They have been watching this debate as it plays out in the media every day for the past few weeks now. When the administration attempts to argue next month that ObamaCare is about the regulation of interstate commerce, let's hope the justices see the bigger issues at stake. You can read more about this issue in my latest Human Events column.

Obama's Budget = Broken Promises

In 2009 Barack Obama announced that he would cut the deficit in half by the end of his first term. Today, he unveiled his latest budget proposal, and it's more of the same: more debt, more spending and more taxes.

According to ABC News, Obama's $3.8 trillion budget raises $1.5 trillion in new taxes and adds another $1.3 trillion to the debt in 2013 alone. Over the course of the next ten years, the national debt would balloon to $26 trillion. According to one analysis, "In his 10-year projection, the annual deficit falls below $600 billion just once -- in 2018." Let's be clear about that, my friends: Obama has just produced a document that projects deficits well in excess of $500 billion a year, every year for the next ten years.

And Reuters reports that investors would take a big hit if Obama's budget were to become law. Consider this excerpt:

"President Barack Obama's 2013 election-year budget took investors by surprise with a call for significantly higher taxes on dividends… Households earning more than $250,000 a year would see the tax they owe on dividends rise to a maximum of almost 40 percent next year… Kenneth Kies, a tax lobbyist for major Fortune 500 companies at the Federal Policy Group, noted that the top tax rate for high-income individuals could exceed 43 percent in 2013 once taxes from the healthcare reform law are imposed."

This is no way to grow our economy and create jobs. Dividends are already subject to a form of double taxation, and raising the rate so high will only make America less attractive for investment. All the evidence shows that higher taxes on dividends results in less revenue, which will only make the deficits worse.

But Obama is blinded by his socialist ideology. He has said repeatedly that in his opinion it's about "fairness" not sound economic policy. But it fails the fairness test too. There is nothing fair about destroying our economic system.

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