Last week, Texas Governor Rick Perry burst onto the GOP Presidential scene, managing to step all over the Ames straw poll by making his official announcement the same day.
By waiting until after the straw poll to enter the race, Perry avoided answering the tough questions that voters care about. Rather than use his first week in the race to show Americans where he stands on today's most pressing issues, he upstaged himself with a series of gaffes and extreme statements, revealing that he's just not ready for prime time.
Rick Perry was quick to recognize and capitalize on the tea party’s rise in 2009, casting himself as a strong advocate for “state-based” solutions and railing against perceived encroachments from Washington. But activists have been less than impressed with Perry’s deviation from the movement’s hardline stances on immigration, property rights, government mandates and spending itself.
See the research after the jump.
During tonight’s debate the American people will see the Republican candidates firsthand and will get a glimpse at the positions and ideology driving the field.
Over the last few months, as they have scrambled further and further to the right, American Bridge’s research and tracking has documented the candidates adopting positions that are: hypocritical (Romney and taxes), evasive (Huntsman and Libya) and just downright out of the mainstream (Bachmann and contraceptives).
Yet tonight, as the candidates face a national audience, and not solely a fawning crowd of TEA party activists, the nation will see if they will maintain their extreme positions as the candidates attempt to answer the following questions...
Transcript after the jump.
On July 5, 2011, Roll Call reported:
Heather Wilson (R-N.M.) sounds like a tea partyer.
The former Congresswoman, who ran on her national security expertise and independent voting record to win five full terms representing Albuquerque, is now boasting that she has signed a conservative “cut, cap and balance” pledge, says she wouldn’t increase the debt ceiling unless a deal includes significant budget cuts and calls the new health care law unconstitutional.
On June 6, 2011, The Hill's Healthwatch reported:
A Republican amendment adopted last week by House appropriators could weaken efforts to protect the public from unsafe drugs, tobacco, lead-filled candy and even tainted blood, the Food and Drug Administration said Monday in several documents.
The amendment, from Rep. Denny Rehberg (R-Mont.), would restrict the kind of information regulators use when making their decisions. The amendment cleared the Appropriations Committee last week.
Club For Growth: Romney’s Health Care Plan And “ObamaCare” Are Similar In Three Significant Ways: Mandate, Health Exchanges And Low-Income Subsidies. According to the Club for Growth, Romney’s health care plan and Obama’s health care law “are similar in at least three significant ways.” Club for Growth wrote, “Both have an individual mandate that requires people to purchase a private good – in this case, health insurance – and levies a financial penalty against those who don’t. Both implement a new government bureaucracy called an “exchange” through which all insurance policies are approved, sold, and heavily regulated. Both have sizeable subsidies for low-income people to purchase the mandated coverage.” [Club for Growth, 2012 Presidential White Paper #5, 6/7/11]
National Review Editorial: Romney’s Signature Health Care Legislation Looks Like A Pilot Program For Obamacare. In an editorial for the National Review, contributor Mark Steyn wrote, “Unfortunately for [Romney], his signature legislation in Massachusetts looks awfully like a pilot program for Obamacare. So in recent days, he’s been out yet again defending his record: If I understand him correctly, his argument is that the salient point about Romneycare and Obamacare is not that they’re both disasters, but that one’s local and the other’s national, and that Obama has a one-disaster-fits-all approach to health care whereas Romney believes in letting a thousand disasters bloom. Celebrate diversity!” [National Review, 5/14/11 ]
Mandel Voted Against $209,035,021 For Medical And Health Programs, Including $10,020,403 For Hospitals. In 2010, Josh Mandel was one of only 18 legislators in both the House and the Senate (out of 129 legislators) to vote against House Bill 462, the capital re-appropriations bill. The bill included $209,035,021 for medical and health programs, including $10,020,403 for hospitals. [H.B. 462, 3/16/10]