Nancy Armstrong summarizes the views of candidates on issues and offers her thumbnail take on their qualities and prospects in the December Tea Party Boise Newsletter.
Idaho's first GOP presidential caucus is March 6, with more delegates at stake than in Iowa or New Hampshire. Idaho is projected to have 32 delegates, Iowa 28 and New Hampshire 23.
Armstrong begins with an essay, "Searching for Conservative Values," saying voters "more than ever before are taking their time to look through the veils of theatrical posturing to know the candidate."
"Three years have passed since the voices of Tea Partiers resonated across the country initiating the 'stop spending, stop trampling the Constitution' dialog. These individual voice gave Conservatives a foothold in Congress and though they are outnumbered in the Senate, opportunity to squelch the liberal agenda lies ahead.
"A great president, is a leader who brings a nation together. Once who honors the oath to 'support and defend the Constitution of the U.S. ---'. A promise that supersedes personal arrogance."
Here is Armstrong on the seven GOP contenders (punctuation is in the original, excepting ellipses I've added):
Michele Bachmann: "Michele Bachman is a true conservative...Her ideals and fundamental principles are necessary attributes in promoting the healing of America. The question may be; is she ready to lead as president? She may be using this election as a platform for the future."
Mitt Romney: "...I believe that he leans towards moderate...When asked by (Bill) O'Reilly, 12/19, if he (Romney) thinks Obama is a Socialist, Romney couldn't 'call it as it is' but rather circumvented the question by saying, Obama is for'----- big government and is a Liberal Democrat'. It poses the question, 'Will Romney represent Conservative values when the heat's on?'"
Newt Gingrich: "Gingrich is moderate. His 'new' Contract with America seems to be more 'impassioned' that his previous contract...It may be that Gingrich has instilled renewed trust in voters or is he speaking with political tongue---?"
Ron Paul: "He is a Libertarian, a Conservative, consistent in his ideals regardless of political gain. I would like to see him clarify his foreign policy position. Is he an isolationist? Does he stand for a strong military for defense?"
Rick Perry: "A Christian and defender of the Second Amendment. Conservative. The conservative principles that have guided him as a governor are the same principles that will guide him as president...Not a polished debater of politician. Many Texas jobs are government jobs using Stimulus money."
Rick Santorum: "Dedicated to his Conservative ideas. He is passionate and hard working. Perhaps he is under-resourced as his message gets lost in the political campaign arena. He is a young candidate and may be in the presidential race with an eye on the future."
John Huntsman: "Conservatives applaud Huntsman's five-year record as Utah governor, however, he is moderate to liberal in other views he supports...I have found it difficult to get to 'know' the man. Though he is smart and has proven capable leadership, I believe that he may have waited too long to connect with voters."
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