Conservative Intelligence Briefing Coverage of Conservative Political Candidates and Campaigns. Fri, 25 Jul 2014 15:23:21 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Bad Blood Ensues Between Rick Perry and Chris Christie Fri, 25 Jul 2014 15:23:21 +0000 Conservative Intel The often cool temps in Aspen, Colorado, were heated this week amid frustration among GOP governors in attendance of the annual Republican Governor’s Association meeting.
Chris Christie, currently serving as chairman of the RGA, has refused to give financial support to New York Republican gubernatorial candidate Robert Astorino, who is running against incumbent NY governor and friend of Christie, Andrew Cuomo.
Making matters worse, reports have surfaced that Christie urged the NY State GOP chairman to “disinvite” Astorino from the RGA meeting.
When Rick Perry heard of the feud between Astorino and Christie camps over the refused funds, he invited Astorino to attend as his personal guest. And lest anyone question Perry’s intent on making good on his promises, Perry tweeted a photo with Astorino and the caption, ”Glad to be with my buddy @RobAstorino in Aspen.
The Astorino camp responded in-kind, “The Aspen trip made it clear that governors from around the nation will be helping County Executive Astorino become Governor Astorino. It also made it clear that RGA Chairman Chris Christie will not be among them. We can live with that and we will move on.”
Making matters worse, contrary to what Christie administration officials have indicated in terms of his hope that Astorino would beat Cuomo, Andrew Cuomo made explicit that Christie has no such hope, quipping, “I spoke to Gov. Christie this morning, who told me the exact opposite.”
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Mitchell launches false attacks on Moolenaar Thu, 24 Jul 2014 16:43:03 +0000 Conservative Intel There are opinions and then there are verifiable facts. John Moolenaar’s positions on the Obamacare exchange and Medicaid expansion are verifiable facts, as he spent time in the Michigan legislature when those edicts came down from on high in Washington and each state had to make decisions on how to handle them.

Moolenaar stood firm in opposition. On the Obamacare exchange, he was one of twelve Senate Republicans to vote against its implementation. On Medicaid, he was one of eighteen Senate Republicans against expansion. He even explained his opposition to the latter on the House floor, which you can view here.

But that’s not what his opponent Paul Mitchell would have you believe.

(Yes, this is the same Paul Mitchell who donated twice to Democrat Senator Debbie Stabenow in 2005.)

Apparently, Moolenaar’s votes against these two pieces of legislation – in Medicaid expansion’s case, a razor thin vote passed it – were his way of covering up his support. Sound plausible? I didn’t think so.

So on what basis does Mitchell make his charges? He argues that when John Moolenaar voted for HB 5014 in 2011 it was a vote to “create a Michigan Obamacare exchange” and when he voted for SB 763 in 2014, it was part of his leading “efforts to pass the budget that expanded Medicaid and funded Obamacare.”

As you may surmise, these are budget bills. Jack McHugh, senior legislative analyst at the Mackinac Center for Public Policy – a Michigan-based think tank whose website was cited as the source in the Mitchell attack ad –said this of such budget bills:

“Budgets typically pass with votes from lawmakers who may have opposed the creation of individual line-items contained in that budget. It’s up to voters to decide if a lawmaker’s vote for a budget constitutes his or her support of every item in that budget. A campaign may say that it does, but that’s not the purpose of”

Even Michigan Tea Party Scorecard editor Ray Hamman says, “We tend to not score on those kinds of messy budget bills. They are just too complex.”

Moolenaar clearly opposes the Obamacare exchange and the Medicaid expansion, so what is Mitchell’s motive? Often the simplest solution is the correct one. Mitchell is getting desperate. Moolenaar was previously endorsed by popular conservative Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette and Michigan Right to Life, among others. Now he’s fresh off an endorsement from conservative icon Russell Kirk’s wife, Annette – a rare occurrence.

Mitchell is grasping at straws. Sadly these kinds of dirty attack ads are all too common in politics these days.

(Hat tip to Michigan Tea Party News for exposing this.)

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Dr. Ben Carson ‘Starting to Think About’ 2016 WH Run Wed, 23 Jul 2014 16:58:05 +0000 Conservative Intel On the day he won a Western Conservative Summit straw poll, Dr. Ben Carson reported he’s “starting to think about” the possibility of a White House bid in 2016.

Reporting that hundreds are showing up for his book signing tour, Carson says of the idea it’s one he “cannot simply ignore.”

Carson rose to prominence after the public dressing down of Obamacare at a prayer breakfast at which President Obama was in attendance. Since that address, Carson’s star has continued to rise among key GOP constituents fed up with what is perceived as a less-than-aggressive response by House leadership.

Despite his popularity, Carson’s electoral prowess is untested, and history does not reflect well on outsider candidates. With an expectedly crowded GOP field of contenders in 2016, Carson’s potential path to the White House is littered with land mines.

Ever coy, Carson reminded, “But it certainly wasn’t on my bucket list when I retired.”

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Reporters Mob Christie at Connecticut Diner Tue, 22 Jul 2014 21:10:52 +0000 Conservative Intel Among the gaggle of 2016 GOP hopefuls, Chris Christie made a surprise visit to a local Connecticut diner while in the state to stump for Republican gubernatorial candidate Tom Foley. Apparently intending to grab a bite to eat, Christie was mobbed by reporters firing questions across the spectrum from local politics to foreign relations.

When asked about the prospects of the November 4th gubernatorial election in CT, Christie beamed,

“I’m feeling very good about this race on Nov. 4th. Remember something, we lost by a very small amount four years ago and since then the people of this state have gotten to see Governor Malloy’s policy up close now for four years. It was only a theory four years ago. Now they have the highest tax rate in Connecticut’s history, and just the way the jobs have been driven out of the state. So we need someone with Tom’s background with jobs, and that’s why I’m here now.”

Four years ago, Malloy bested Foley by less then one percentage point, the closest Connecticut gubernatorial race in more then 50 years.

Christie continued on a question about the on-going unrest in the Gaza Strip explaining that Israel has an “absolute right to do what it’s doing.”

When pressed about his 2016 prospects, Christie remained coy but confident, “I wasn’t a viable candidate in 2009, but I think I’ve done fine since then.” Christie, along with Rand Paul, continues to top polls among the long list of likely GOP presidential contenders.

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Silicon Valley Buys Into the Rand Paul Pitch Tue, 22 Jul 2014 17:30:52 +0000 Conservative Intel A new moniker is being tossed around to describe the brand of voters that consider themselves “conservative with libertarian leanings”, ‘conservatarian’, and Rand Paul is aiming to win them over.

During a recent visit to Silicon Valley, Paul pitched his conception of what a conservatarian America might look like, and he gained a surprising following from a base that has historically followed left-leaning trends in the voting booth.

Paul bated the crowd at the Lincoln Labs Reboot event, “Is government inherently stupid? I say no, but it’s a debatable question.”

In a post-NSA-scandal world, questions of innovation versus national security are ever at the fore of the minds of those drive the tech world. Paul challenged Reboot attendees, “I come out here, and people say, ‘we loved President Obama, we’re all for President Obama, we’re from the tech community’ but why? He’s not for innovation, he’s not for freedom, he’s for the protectionism crowd, the crowd that would eliminate the activity of these companies.”

Paul continued, “Since the NSA scandal, there have been people losing money. People selling stuff in Asia and Europe aren’t very happy with us now. There have been articles written citing as much as 22 billion in lost sales.”

Though the 2016 presidential election is still a political eternity away, Senator Paul increasingly is shown as a leader in the polls conducted among likely voters for preference in the GOP nomination for the White House.

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CA Gov. Jerry Brown to Challenge Hillary? Tue, 22 Jul 2014 14:03:09 +0000 Conservative Intel With mid-term elections just over 90 days away, speculation about who will make bids for the White House in 2016 continue to mount. On the Republican side it’s anyone’s guess not just who but also how many will throw their hat in the ring.

On the Democrat side of the aisle, the presumptive nominee is Hillary Clinton. But increasing rumors of stiff competition are making waves as Clinton’s reputation continues to take blows in the polls. Among those speculated to run are Vice-President Joe Biden and Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA). But another name continues creep into the mix: California Gov. Jerry Brown.

The governor of the most populous state in the union and Democrat strong-hold, Brown was once considered a political has-been until he made his resurgence during the explosion of Democrat gains under the Obama era.

President Obama’s term limitations create an open-seat in the White House that may be one of the most hotly contested races in the modern era.

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Bill Clinton Promises Not to ‘Jump the Gun’ on Hillary’s Bid Mon, 21 Jul 2014 19:58:47 +0000 Conservative Intel Asked whether his wife, the former U.S. Secretary of State, will make a run for the White House in 2016, Bill Clinton says he knows nothing of her intentions. “She hasn’t asked me yet,” he said in a CNN interview.

Calling her the “ablest public servant” he’s ever worked with, Clinton indicated he’s in full support of a potential Hillary bid for the White House. He added, “I’m not going to try to jump the gun.”

Hillary’s bid for the White House has been assumed by most since the re-election of President Obama, and many believe that behind-the-scenes coordination between the Obama and Hillary camps may already be in play.

Should she ultimately announce a run to succeed Obama, the Clinton political machine that includes an apparatus begun in the days of Bill Clinton’s successful governorship in Arkansas will be brought to bear on the race for the Democratic nomination and will be a formidable force.

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Poll: Majority of Americans Want More Limited Foreign Policy Mon, 21 Jul 2014 19:14:20 +0000 Conservative Intel Fresh off the crisis in the Ukraine after the downing of a Malaysian passenger jet, speculation of additional foreign entanglements has Americans spooked over prospects of war and rumors of wars.

With some calling the icy foreign relations between the U.S. and Russia a ‘new Cold War’, America’s position under the Obama administration as a peaceful regime is anything but certain.

A new Politico poll conducted last week with voters in competitive Senate and House races shows only 17 percent of Americans in favor of a more aggressive posture with Russia.

Additionally, the poll indicates that over 75% of voters approve of the Obama Administration’s planned draw-down of troops in Afghanistan, a promise made by Barack Obama in his first bid for the White House in 2008.

Nearly half of the respondents indicated that they oppose further involvement in Iraq despite the growing insurgence from ISIS and other sectarian violence that continues to undo security established by U.S. forces in recent years.

As the campaigns continue to heat up for mid-term elections this November and preparations are made to replace President Obama in the White House, further foreign engagements threaten to hurt candidates seen by voters as tied to the Obama Administration or in support of increased military action.

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Potential GOP White House Rick Perry Moves to the Front on Border Wars Mon, 21 Jul 2014 14:41:40 +0000 Conservative Intel Fed up with inaction from the Obama Administration, Texas Gov. Rick Perry continues to step up to the plate — and the cameras — to take an active roll in addressing the problem of the influx of illegal immigrants across the southern border.

Local media outlets in Texas and surrounding areas are reporting that Perry is preparing to mobilize the Texas National Guard to the border to stem the tide of illegal immigrants.

Reports indicate that initial deployment of the TNG could be as high as 1,000 troops. A leaked memo on the deployment explained, “This is not a militarization of the border. The DPS and the National Guard are working to keep any drug and human trafficking south of [U.S. Highway] 83 and with the goal of keeping any smuggling from entering major highways to transport East/West/and North.”


Gov. Perry has undergone a rebranding of sorts since his underwhelming White House bid in 2012. Complete with black-rim glasses, a new policy prowess and aggressive travel schedule, Perry has taken advantage of the missteps and controversy from the Obama Administration in order to demonstrate leadership amid crisis.

The second most populous state in the union, Texas boasts a significant percentage of the total Republican vote in the presidential primaries. Should Rick Perry ultimately make a bid for the White House, commanding his own state’s votes will give him a large advantage.

However, the question surrounding a potential Perry bid is whether he can improve on his lackluster debate performance from 2012. The so-called ‘first in the nation’ states of Iowa and New Hampshire have proved to be a stumbling block for many campaigns, but a successful showing in staunchly conservative South Carolina could be a significant boost to a Perry candidacy.

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Hillary: I May Not Run for President Fri, 18 Jul 2014 22:52:02 +0000 Conservative Intel Recent comments by former U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton may come as a surprise to many in both parties who likely assume she is the presumptive Democrat nominee for president in 2016.

Responding to questions from PBS anchor Charlie Rose, Clinton speculated that the presidency “has only gotten harder” and it is now an “all-consuming commitment.”

“You’ve got to get the money from the Congress to really improve what you’re doing, personnel policies, and all the rest. So the job is as challenging as it’s always been, but I would say almost to a degree of amplification that’s hard to imagine,” she continued.

Citing personal reasons, ranging from expecting her first grandchild, to the unprecedented pressure the office entails.

“The Job is an all-consuming commitment for obvious reasons… I just have to decide whether or not that’s what I want to do with this time in my life. It’s a very personal choice, and only I can make that decision.”

Of course, comments like these are not out of the ordinary for the coy former first lady, and campaign operatives and mechanics are increasingly seen as gearing up for the an expected 2016 presidential juggernaut.

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