Photo by Rex C. Curry Associated Press

Photo by Rex C. Curry Associated Press

As expected Sen. Ted Cruz easily won the presidential straw poll at the Texas state Republican convention this past weekend in Ft. Worth, but the margin of victory over Gov. Rick Perry was the real story. Cruz, the freshman Tea Party Senator, “cruised” to victory with 43.4 percent of the vote.  Coming in a distant second was Dr. Ben Carson-who wasn’t even at the convention with 12.2 percent, narrowly edging out Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) who garnered 12.1 percent of the vote.  Finishing a disappointing fourth was Perry, who spoke at the convention and is leaving office after a record 14 years leading the state.

Perry who ran for president in 2012, but flamed out after a disastrous debate where he lost his train of thought, is believed to be a potential 2016 candidate and has been relatively popular in Texas, but he left the convention badly wounded with his poor showing.

In general straw polls don’t matter that much and are generally conducted with 1,000 or so votes.  But in Texas there were over 5,000 votes cast and Perry just totally fell flat.  If he has finished a distant second that would have been okay, since Cruz has become a star on the national stage.  But not only did he finish fourth he trailed Ben Carson who is gaining greater national prominence but has never held public office and has avoided any discussion of any presidential aspirations.

Perry wasn’t really ready to run in 2012, and it’s still early, but to badly lose a straw poll in his home state can’t be good for his chances going forward.


Texas Gov. Rick Perry addressed the NRA convention in Houston yesterday and sent the liberal media into a tizzy for the video introduction that preceded his speech which showed him shooting down “human shaped targets” according to the New York Daily News using a semi-automatic weapon.

I guess the reporter, Kristen Lee has never seen a target before.

Maybe Lee and the rest of the liberal media didn’t appreciate the fact that Perry is not only a gun owner, but know how to use one, but the audience loved it and it gave Perry a real bad-ass image before he addressed the crowd, which won’t hurt after his failed presidential bid last year.

Mitt Romney handily won the New Hampshire primary last night and became the first Republican to win both the Iowa Caucus and the New Hampshire primary in the same year.

The victory came despite a heavy barrage of attacks on Romney’s time as the CEO of  private equity firm Bain Capital where Romney accumulated most of his overall wealth.

While there is nothing wrong in attacking an opponent, it is the level and intensity of the attacks launched by Newt Gingrich that have raised the ire of conservatives.

Gingrich who promised to run a positive campaign in Iowa and was largely undone by Romney’s SuperPAC ads, put on his boxing gloves and hit Romney with Super PAC ads of his own as well as statements on the campaign trail that heavily criticized the former Massachusetts governor for the tactics Bain used in buying and restructuring companies while he was CEO.

The problem with the attacks is that they in essence criticized Romney for being a capitalist and served only to delight Democrats for having done the work for them.

Romney, who is the current front-runner for the Republican nomination spent the last week fending off the criticism, and it didn’t appear to hurt him too much if at all in New Hampshire, but if Gingrich keeps this up, it could seriously wound Romney’s campaign as he heads to South Carolina.

While Gingrich foundered in new Hampshire and is liming into South Carolina, he has managed to raise the ire of Rush Limbaugh and other conservatives who claim that the ads, as well as a forthcoming mini-movie are not helping the GOP, but doing the work of Obama and the DNC for them.   Others have compared Gingrich to members of the Occupy movement by labeling Romney as a “one-percenter” at a time when that has a largely negative connotation.

Even Rick Perry who is barely hanging on at this point has called Romney a “vulture capitalist” and not a “venture capitalist”.

As the Wall Street Journal pointed out, many of the companies Bain invested in during Romney’s tenure went bust, but several were very successful.  Bain had hoped that most if not all their investments would be successful and profitable, but they also knew that they were investing in distressed companies and that nothing is guaranteed.

It’s never easy when people lose their jobs and companies go out of business, but that is our system.  Bain wanted to make their investments work out for all involved, but sometimes businesses are just too far gone for that to occur.

If Romney wins the nomination and the right to face President Obama in November, you can bet that after watching Gingrich’s ability to ding Romney on his role at Bain, it will be a central part of the Democrats campaign against him.

All the Republicans have to do is look and see how giddy Chris Matthews and the gang are at MSNBC as well as Obama’s own advisers to know that they the anti-Bain campaign will come back to haunt them in November.

The much anticipated debate between Republican presidential nominees Mitt Romney and Rick Perry (and a few others)  took place last night and the results were largely as expected with the two top nominees duking it out leaving the other candidates fighting for their table scraps.

Romney who is more experienced in the debate arena than Perry as a result of his presidential run in 2008 held his own and didn’t make any major mistakes though his answer to a question on whether or not he was a member of the Tea Party was a cop out.

Perry who will probably get better as time goes by disappointed the liberal media with a solid performance and not coming off as a country bumpkin though his calling of Social Security a Ponzi scheme will undoubtedly raise a few eyebrows in states like Florida with a large senior citizen population.

Ron Paul showed that he deserves to be a part of the conversation if for nothing more than he knows Rick Perry better than anyone else in the GOP field and isn’t afraid to go on the offensive against the current front runner.

Michele Bachmann who won the Ames, Iowa straw poll appeared to be lost as she tried to find the voice that made her a media phenom earlier in the campaign and stumbled badly when asked a question about illegal immigration.

Jon Huntsman only enhanced his RINO credentials when he went criticized the other candidates for refusing to recognize global warming as a threat and supporting the theory of evolution.  He also said a conservative candidate couldn’t win the presidency which should signal the end of his campaign but probably won’t just yet.

Newt Gingrich probably got in one of the best lines of the night when he accused the moderator, John Harris of Politico of ” trying to get Republicans to fight with each other,” with his line of questioning.  But overall Gingrich showed he is still a policy wonk at heart who sounds good but puts everyone to sleep.

Herman Cain who has been wowing crowds with his speeches but has polled poorly didn’t do much to rise above the rest of the field and may have hurt his chances when he said that we need to fix FEMA and TSA rather than abolish them or use a free market solution.  That’ s all we need is to keep throwing more good money after bad.

Rick Santorum looked very concerned, worried or constipated and didn’t do anything to improve his chances of winning the nomination and makes me wonder why he is in the race except to feed his own ego.  Then again the same can probably be said of many of the candidates.

With several more debates scheduled it might be nice to have an American Idol elimination vote so that we can narrow the field and get to some more serious discussion of the issues rather than this merry-go-round format that is necessitated by a bloated field.

In the end the debates might give voters a clearer view of who they will want to support but the eventual nominee will still have to win the primaries next year and what they said last night might easily be forgotten in a few months when the real battle begins.

MSNBC’s Chris Matthews turned his attention tonight to Texas Gov Rick Perry who is expected to announce his bid for the Republican presidential nomination tomorrow by calling him a clown and full of B.S.

Matthews: He looks like a clown when you watch him in these pictures. I assume they can be totally not very representative but he dresses very fancy. There’s something about the way he puts himself together that doesn’t look authentic. He looks like a wax figure presenting to be a governor or something.  I can’t quite get this, there’s something about this that doesn’t add up to me. Maybe it’s this Texas B.S.thing, this boots and tuxedo thing they do down there.

Maybe Matthews can be forgiven since he is a Philadelphia boy and wouldn’t know an authentic Texan if he met one, but this sounds like another attempt by Matthews to remove any potentially viable GOP candidate in order to pave the way for Obama’s re-election.

Here we go again.

Mitt Romney the media anointed GOP presidential frontrunner had his Mormon faith questioned once again, more than three years after he thought he put the matter to rest with his “Mormon speech.”

The surprise though is that this time the attack on whether or not Mormons are Christians didn’t come from the Evangelical community of other religious groups that have a doctrinal difference with Mormons but by Saturday Fox and Friends host Ainsley Earhardt.

During a discussion on the Republican presidential hopefuls in which Texas Gov. Rick Perry’s viability was questioned Earhardt tried to single-handedly keep him alive by saying that Perry will get a lot of help from the Christian Coalition “with Romney obviously not being a Christian.”

Earhardt didn’t score any points for Perry with that statement especially since religion wasn’t a part of the discussion up to that point.

If Earhardt is going to attack someone’s religious faith, I suggest that she do her homework beforehand  and come back with some facts to make her case.  Otherwise she just looks like another media fool.

Watch the video.