Wednesday, March 14, 2012

IL Christian Tea Party Counters Establishment GOP

As the Illinois Republican primary election approaches (March 20th), virtually every major Republican officeholder in the state has endorsed Mitt Romney for president, yet polls show most voters will choose either Rick Santorum or Newt Gingrich over Romney.

The battle of the Illinois conservative grass roots vs. the Illinois GOP rages on!

For background, read Proved: Tea Party Movement is Christian and also read Tea Party Nationwide Campaign Against Illinois Liberal Republican Senator Mark Kirk

-- From "All eyes on Illinois after Santorum wins in Alabama, Mississippi" by Abdon M. Pallasch, Political Reporter, Chicago Sun-Times 3/13/12

“All eyes are going to turn to Illinois,” said Santorum’s Illinois Chairman, former state Rep. Al Salvi. “I think in Mississippi and Alabama, the exit polls showed women came out for Rick Santorum. I think he’s the beneficiary of President Obama’s big mistake in mandating that private employers pay for birth control.”

Much of Illinois’ Republican establishment has signed on to front-runner Mitt Romney’s campaign. Sen. Mark Kirk, state Treasurer Dan Rutherford and state GOP Chairman Patrick Brady are all on board.

In roughly half the states so far in primaries or caucuses, the conservative wing of the Republican Party is defying the establishment and opting for Santorum’s more-conservative-on-social-issues message.

Santorum noted he had “all the establishment” against him in Mississippi and won anyway.

To read the entire article above, CLICK HERE.

From "Suburbs are prime battleground for GOP presidential primary" by Kerry Lester, Daily Herald 3/4/12

Republican Congressman Aaron Schock of Peoria, an early Romney backer, reiterated the campaign's focus on the economy.

Romney will be looking for independent, swing votes in the suburbs, especially among women, who may disagree with the conservative social policies of Santorum.

Santorum's Illinois political director, Jon Zahm, formerly of Batavia, said he expects the campaign to do well in towns on the Missouri and Iowa borders, but he also sees the suburbs as a stronghold. . . . He describes the campaign as “bottom up” with a grass-roots focus and the help of Tea Party groups and anti-abortion groups.

The Gingrich campaign says much of its support lies in suburban Tea Party groups, but concedes those numbers can be hard to gauge.

To read the entire article above, CLICK HERE.

From "Romney, Santorum Continue Long-Running IL Republican Battle over Social Issues" by Political Editor Mike Flannery, FOX Chicago News 3/12/12

“If we allow abortion to define a good Republican from a bad Republican, we will be the party of the perpetual minority,” Dan Rutherford said. “If we allow positions in regard to gay rights and in regards to guns to define good from bad, we will be the party of the perpetual minority.”

The executive director of Santorum's Illinois campaign said he could not disagree more strongly.

“I think it would be a dereliction of duty to not stand on those core principles. You know, and as for traditional marriage, I think that's the backbone of society. You know, if we had only gay marriage, we wouldn't be able to further have children,” Illinois Santorum Campaign’s Jon Zahm said. “I'm afraid that for every person that the treasurer [Rutherford] tries to reach out for that doesn't believe in those values, we may lose somebody who believes in those core principles. So I think that's the wrong approach.”

Rutherford's argument was that Illinois Republicans should focus on last year's 67 percent increase in the state income tax on individuals, instead of social issues. Santorum supporters said they're all for clobbering the Democrats who enacted that big tax increase, in addition to stressing the social issues that they point out are part of the Republican platform at the state and national level.

To read the entire article above, CLICK HERE.

From "Evangelical voters prefer Romney’s rivals" by Katrina Trinko, National Review 3/13/12

. . . On average, there is a 19-point difference between Romney’s support among non-evangelicals and his support among evangelicals in Republican primaries, according to ABC News’s survey of primary states with exit- or entrance-polling data available.

Bob Vander Plaats, a prominent social-conservative activist in Iowa and head of the Family Leader, also highlights Romney’s record in Massachusetts. “We hear today that’s he pro-life, but we also hear that when he was governor he put in $50 co-pay abortions in the state,” he says. “We hear today that God’s design for marriage [is] one man, one woman, yet he basically presided over same-sex marriage in the state.”

“There’s a trust gap,” Vander Plaats adds. “I think a lot of us conservatives feel that he will morph into who you want him to be depending on which campaign he’s in.”

Gary Bauer, president of American Values . . . agrees that some may be concerned that Romney’s position switches aren’t authentic. However, he argues that the larger problem Romney faces is that even voters who are willing to believe he has sincerely changed his views are wary of his willingness to passionately fight on those issues. Evangelicals, Bauer observes, are doubtful that values issues “would play much of a role in the expenditure of political capital or energy in his administration.”

There are signs, too, that evangelicals aren’t so much opposed to a Romney presidency as they simply prefer his rivals.

To read the entire article above, CLICK HERE.

Also read Illinois primary pits leaders vs. Tea Party (GOP Reps. Adam Kinzinger and Don Manzullo face off)