Tea Party conservatives brace for disappointment in Iowa

In 1996, Republican presidential candidate Steve Forbes failed to wow Iowa caucus goers, placing fourth behind rivals Bob Dole, Pat Buchanan and Lamar Alexander. He’s trying to woo them all over again this year, however, as a supporter of Texas Governor Rick Perry. He sent an email plea Monday on behalf of the Perry campaign that struck the desperate tone that has come to mark the contest in Iowa over the last month as Mitt Romney, who Tea Party conservatives love to hate, has chugged along consistently amid the mostly erratic rising and falling popularity of each one of his competitors.

Under the subject line “ideas matter,” Forbes, the wealthy editor of Forbes magazine who has moved for decades between publishing and politics, touted Perry’s credentials as a true conservative and viable candidate. The email takes as a given the idea that Romney must be defeated.

“I’m afraid that the results from the Iowa Caucuses in less than two days will still show Conservatives fractured in their support, leaving a huge opening for Mitt Romney to become our party’s nominee,” he writes.

“But… Rick Perry has proven he can raise the money necessary to compete with Romney.  He already has an impressive war chest. And he has the necessary national organization for a long campaign. If we as Conservatives don’t want a repeat of 2008, and are serious about nominating a true Conservative as our nominee, then the time is upon us to unite behind the VIABLE Conservative, the CONSISTENT Conservative — Rick Perry.”

Forbes bashes remaining top-trending rivals Ron Paul as a kook and an isolationist dove and Rick Santorum as an unvetted earmark sympathizer and an uncertain conservative team player, based of course on Santorum’s endorsement of “Arlen Specter over true conservative Pat Toomey in the 2004 GOP primary for U.S. Senate.” Santorum has heard no end of the Specter endorsement on the stump in the state for the last 10 months.

As to the Perry ideas that matter, Forbes cites Perry’s jobs-creation efforts in Texas, his proposal to establish a 20 percent flat tax to “do away with the IRS as we know it,” and his plan to cut pay to members of Congress and trim the congressional session calendar by weeks.

The weather in Iowa is well below freezing today, although the skies are clear. Caucus meetings begin at 7 pm.

The Forbes letter written for RickPerry.org:

Dear Friend & Supporter,

There is no question that all Conservatives are united in their unwavering goal of defeating Barack Obama this November.  The problem has been that Conservatives haven’t been united on who the best candidate to defeat Obama might be.

I’m afraid that the results from the Iowa Caucuses in less than two days will still show Conservatives fractured in their support, leaving a huge opening for Mitt Romney to become our party’s nominee.

While I’m not sure of the order in which they will finish on Tuesday night, based on what I’ve seen it is clear that Mitt Romney, Ron Paul, Rick Perry and Rick Santorum will be the top four finishers in the Caucuses.

And let me be blunt, facing Paul and/or Santorum would be a dream come true for the Romney high command. 

We all know that Ron Paul can’t stop Mitt Romney.  Romney’s campaign will focus on certain of Paul’s past positions and his strange willingness to allow Iran to develop nuclear weapons. All this makes a Paul victory absolutely impossible. 

And while Rick Santorum is the latest in a long line of candidates to get a temporary surge, he has only begun to get vetted by the national media and his opponents.  He will be constantly forced to defend his inexcusable addiction to earmarks including projects like the “Bridge to Nowhere”. And no one has yet to scratch the surface on his unqualified support and endorsement of the liberal, pro-abortion former Pennsylvania Senator Arlen Specter over true conservative Pat Toomey in the 2004 GOP primary for U.S. Senate.  Santorum’s support for Specter enabled Specter to win a narrow victory, by a bare 20,000 votes.  Specter then provided the critical, 60th vote for the passage of Obamacare and Obama’s budget busting, Economic Stimulus package, which is ballooning our national debt. Please ponder this: if Specter had been defeated we never would have had Obamacare. 

Bottom line — There is only ONE consistent conservative that can go toe to toe with Romney and win the nomination — Rick Perry.

We all know that Rick is a consistent conservative and Washington outsider — a man of faith who isn’t afraid to stand up to the liberal establishment to protect our values.  I’ve supported him all along because of his outstanding decade- long record and bold positions: creating more than a million new jobs in Texas; his plan to establish a 20% flat tax to do away with the IRS as we know it; and his plan to overhaul Washington by cutting Congress’ pay and sending them home.  This is the type of leadership we desperately need to reverse the Obama deficit-spending fueled recession. 
But as important as his record, beliefs and proposals is that Rick Perry has proven he can raise the money necessary to compete with Romney.  He already has an impressive war chest. And he has the necessary national organization for a long campaign.   

If we as Conservatives don’t want a repeat of 2008, and are serious about nominating a true Conservative as our nominee, then the time is upon us to unite behind the VIABLE Conservative, the CONSISTENT Conservative — Rick Perry.

Steve

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