Wednesday, October 03, 2007

No Religious Test for Public Office - Article VI

Joyce Comments: Mr. Dobson, you may consider yourself a politically savy guy with a big following, but if you continue to put your personal ego before your country and not back such great Republican candidates like Fred Thompson or Duncan Hunter, you in your own unAmerican way are breaking Article VI of the United States Constitution which states that religion is out as a qualification for office. If you personally weigh a candidate by their religion, then that is your own business. Consider it illegal to publicly qualify or disqualify a candidate based on whether or not the person practices a certain religion. If Fred Thompson's Senate record and view of life impresses you, then back him, but if you try to steer Americans to vote against him because of his faith, you would practically be throwing our country to the socialist wolves because you see no perfect candidate that satisfies your list of criteria to rally your followers behind. You as a respected conservative with clout, especially for Election 2008, have the responsibility in this day and age to be an educated voter and encourage your followers to be as well. It is not in the interest of the United States for the Republican party to split for a one-issue principle vote for a third party candidate with no chance of winning. Come together around Fred Thompson. He is the all-around man the country needs from 2009 forward. The country does not need or deserve another Ross Perot type candidate to open the door to the Clintons flagrantly breaking the 22nd Amendment.


Article 6 - Debts, Supremacy, Oaths

...The Senators and Representatives before mentioned, and the Members of the several State Legislatures, and all executive and judicial Officers, both of the United States and of the several States, shall be bound by Oath or Affirmation, to support this Constitution; but no religious Test shall ever be required as a Qualification to any Office or public Trust under the United States.


Dobson: I didn't disparage Fred Thompson's faith
Quoted: 'I don't think he's a Christian; at least that's my impression'

Posted: March 30, 2007
6:03 p.m. Eastern

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James Dobson (Photo: Rocky Mountain News)

Focus on the Family founder James Dobson claims U.S. News and World Report mischaracterized remarks reported by the magazine as disparaging of Sen. Fred Thompson and the potential presidential candidate's Christian faith.

The online story appeared this week with the title "Dobson Offers Insight on 2008 Republican Hopefuls: Focus on the Family Founder Snubs Thompson, Praises Gingrich."

Reporter Dan Gilgoff wrote Dobson "appeared to throw cold water on a possible presidential bid by former Sen. Fred Thompson while praising former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, who is also weighing a presidential run, in a phone interview Tuesday."

Gilgoff quoted Dobson saying of Thompson, "Everyone knows he's conservative and has come out strongly for the things that the pro-family movement stands for, [but] I don't think he's a Christian; at least that's my impression."

In the U.S. News story, Dobson added, according to Gilgoff, that such an impression would make it difficult for Thompson to connect with the Republican Party's conservative Christian base and win the GOP nomination.

In a statement issued today, Focus on the Family said Dobson did not mean to disparage Thompson.

"His words weren't intended to represent either an endorsement of former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich or a disparagement of former Sen. Fred Thompson," the statement said.

"Dr. Dobson appreciates Sen. Thompson's solid, pro-family voting record and his position that Roe v. Wade was wrongly decided."

Dobson, according to Focus on the Family, was "attempting to highlight that to the best of his knowledge, Sen. Thompson hadn't clearly communicated his religious faith, and many evangelical Christians might find this a barrier to supporting him."

Dobson told Gilgoff he had never met Thompson and wasn't certain that his understanding of the former senator's religious convictions was accurate.

"Unfortunately, these qualifiers weren't reported by Mr. Gilgoff," the group's statement said. "We were, however, pleased to learn from his spokesperson that Sen. Thompson professes to be a believer."

Gilgoff quoted Mark Corallo, a spokesman for Thompson, who took issue with Dobson's reported characterization.

"Thompson is indeed a Christian," Corallo said. "He was baptized into the Church of Christ."

The former senator from Tennessee has had a successful career in TV and feature films, starring in the series "Law & Order."

Focus on the Family also clarified that Dobson did not excuse Gingrich's "past moral failures," including an affair that ended his second marriage. Gingrich spoke to Dobson of his family life in an interview on the group's daily radio show.

"The former speaker was offered a chance to address the subject openly and honestly, and he did so, stating, 'I have turned to God and have gotten on my knees … and sought God's forgiveness,'" the Focus on the Family statement said. "Dr. Dobson firmly believes that Scripture teaches there is redemption available through Christ for those who confess their sins – were it not so, we'd all be in a world of trouble. Of course, only the Lord knows the condition of individual hearts."

The statement cautioned "friends of our ministry not to believe what they read about Dr. Dobson in the secular media today."

"Never in the 30-year history of this ministry has there been more misreporting and outright distortion of his beliefs and teachings," the group said. "It is apparent that those who represent a liberal worldview seek to marginalize him and confuse our friends."

While Dobson does not endorse candidates in his role with Focus on the Family, he told a talk radio host in January he would not back Arizona Sen. John McCain for the Republican nomination.

"Speaking as a private individual, I would not vote for John McCain under any circumstances," he said.

As WND reported, talk of a possible Thompson presidential candidacy has excited the Republican base, and several movements to draft him are underway.

The best-known was formed by two prominent members of the Tennessee congressional delegation – Reps. Zach Wamp and John J. Duncan, Jr. – who will serve as co-chairmen of the "Draft Fred Thompson 2008" committee.

Thompson's political consultant wife, Jeri Kehn, is reportedly urging the former senator to announce for the GOP nomination this summer.

Why Conservatives Are Fed Up by Rush Limbaugh


October 2, 2007


RUSH:  You know, it's sad to be told, ladies and gentlemen, by a wounded vet returning from the theater that I have challenged his legitimacy and his heroism and his service and called him phony when no such thing has ever been said.  I really don't even want to accept the premise of this because that would mean it necessary to defend it, and there's nothing to defend here, because this is a smear and a false charge.  I've been to Walter Reed, the amputee rehab unit.  I have been to bases, combat bases in Afghanistan on troop visits.  I've raised millions of dollars and donated a lot to the Marine Corps-Law Enforcement Foundation.  To have these people lied to like this is just shameless on the part of the people who are lying.  What's happening with all this, folks, I must tell you, people say, "Rush, what have you accomplished?  I mean, what's left to accomplish?  Why do you keep doing this?  You don't need to do this."  Folks, this stuff energizes me.  They are energizing me. They are energizing conservatives throughout the country in ways that they don't even understand.  They are underscoring for the one thousandth time to our military and civilians alike how they lie about and abuse our soldiers and lie to them.  

Folks, I am more energized and focused on the task of advancing liberty and victory than ever before.  I am more energized and focused on the task of defeating Harry Reid, Nancy Pelosi, and Hillary Clinton than ever before.  I will not rest.  I'm not going to stop until they are exposed, until they are pushed back and defeated.  They must not control our government; they must not be put in charge of our military; they must not gain the power they crave to shut down talk radio and free speech wherever they don't like it.  They must not control anything in which our future is at stake.  Let me add another point about all this.  It has not gone unnoticed here that only a handful of Republicans and conservatives have dared to speak up about what has been taking place here.  I see it.  Most of them think I can handle these things on my own and so forth, but there's a fear out there.  The fear and the weakness that permeates the Republican Party, and even parts of the conservative movement is also on display now, as it has been for too long.  

We've talked about it at length on this program and on many occasions.  It's this fear and the weakness that you, members of the base of the conservative movement in the Republican Party, are sick and tired of, and I am, too.  I was thinking about this last night.  I have a theory to advance.  Where are the Bill Buckleys of today who dared join up with Whittaker Chambers?  That was gutsy.  Whittaker Chambers, a defector from the Communist Party.  My theory is that all these new blogs, and all this new cable TV, and all this media, has actually not been helpful to our side.  I don't want to mention any names, but it is apparent to me that many on our side are far more interested in image, reputation, getting time on television just to get time on television, rather than being focused on a movement, the issues, if you will.  People who used to be of substance have lost some of the substance and now are focused on being media stars, focused on being on television.  I think it's been detrimental.  

There is a fear that if they take on anything controversial, if they defend something that's happening out there to somebody, that they will be associated with the smear and they'd rather not be associated with the smear, so they leave it alone, which is understandable if you understand motives and reasons, and it doesn't bother me.  I'm just passing this off to you because you and I talk on this program constantly: Where are the Republicans?  Where are the conservatives?  Why are they not responding?  Well, they don't want to defend President Bush because they're afraid they'll be tarred and feathered just like him if they do.  This extends not just to elected Republicans, but also people in the media, who have their own little turf staked out, happy with what they've got, and they've got their TV appearances, and they want to hold onto those.  They don't want controversy swirling around them.  So they hunker down and let these things play out as they might.  It's easier that way, and there's less opposition.  

But what are we conservatives about?  We're about liberty.  We are about country.  We are about faith.  We are about loyalty to our troops on the battlefield.  We are about winning wars.  We are about sending whatever reinforcements and resources our soldiers need to defeat the terrorists or our enemies anywhere they appear on the battlefield.  We are about, as conservatives, limited government and individual liberty, free, genuinely free, political speech.  The freedom to exercise your religion, your private property rights, the right to keep most of what you earn.  This is who we are.  This is what we believe.  This used to be our movement.  These are things that Harry Reid, Tom Harkin, Nancy Pelosi, and the rest of the Democrats work day and night to diminish.  The left is about seizing and keeping power.  They are about undermining the traditions and institutions that have made the country great.  That would include the Constitution, which they dismiss as a living and breathing document, to be interpreted by activist judges at the behest of liberal trial lawyers.  They want the Constitution to bend and shape to accommodate where they happen to be in a given year, in a given month, on a given day.

We know who they are.  They are John Kerry, who was celebrated when he lied about our soldiers in Vietnam in testimony before a Senate committee, who met with the enemy while still in the military, and who has spent most of his career smearing the military and undermining them.  It's about Jack Murtha, who is now the subject of a lawsuit for calling our brave Marines murderers of innocent civilians before any facts were known, and he did it at a press conference, not the floor of the House, just to make sure the entire world would hear it.  It's about Dick Durbin, the number-two Democrat in the Senate, who actually compared our soldiers to Nazis, to Stalin's assassins, and to Pol Pot's killers.  It's about Ted Kennedy, who compared our military to Saddam Hussein's henchmen.  What he said was, during Abu Ghraib, "No difference, just under new management, the US military."  It's about Harry Reid, who declared the war lost, while brave men and women are on the battlefield winning the war against the terrorists.  These are the leaders and the voices of the Democrat opposition.  

Not a single resolution was offered by any Democrat or Republican repudiating these libels against our armed forces.  Not a single vote was taken to condemn any of the things these Democrats have said and offered.  Why would there be?  These are the beliefs of the Democrat leadership, and the Republicans are too scared and weak to confront them.  So I confront them, with you, my audience, giving me the strength to do so, because I know that you are always going to be there.  I denounce them, I expose them, again with you, my audience.  We are disgusted with the abuse of our soldiers -- hell, our entire country.  We are fed up with the abuse our entire country has taken at the hands of Reid and Pelosi and the rest of them.  We are sick and tired, getting up every day and looking at the news and listening to Democrats about how this is wrong and that's bad, everything is going to hell in a hand basket.  Every day is a crisis. We're going to die of global warming. We're going to die of too much coffee. They scare us, they are doom and gloom apocalyptic pessimists, and we are sick and tired of this abuse of our military and our country.  

We don't want to sit quietly while they try to lose this war, while they stab the troops in the back, lying to them, misleading them, while they run roughshod over anyone and anything they perceive as standing in their way.  They wage war on me with greater energy and more sense of purpose than they wage war on the enemies of the United States of America.  They wage war on President Bush with more fervor and more energy, more passion, more desire, than they join the war on genuine enemies of this country.  We are not going to sit quietly while their hit operation,, trashes the very general who is leading our troops in this current victory and who cannot defend himself against these vile attacks and attackers.  We're not going to be silenced; we're not going to be intimidated by these same political hacks who have lied repeatedly about what I said.  More importantly, didn't say.  They can try to use Hillary's group, which she admits to helping found and form, Media Matters.  They can try to use their favorite anti-war organization. They can write all the letters they want. They can introduce resolutions; they mean nothing to me.  They can't do a thing to me.  

There are tens of millions of us, both in this audience and outside this audience, who have had enough of what these people are doing, and that is why Congress rates at 11% approval, an all-time low.  We despise, do we not, what these people are doing to our country?  But we can remove them -- that's what elections are about -- one by one if necessary.  For example, I don't believe the people of Nevada thought they were voting for an anti-war, big government, big taxing character assassin when they voted for Harry Reid.  Reid tells his constituents he supports the troops.  Somebody tell me how?  I guess you support the troops by attacking me.  He's proclaimed defeat, waved the white flag of surrender, said the surge wouldn't work, offered numerous resolutions to bring the troops home in defeat.  Somebody name a single way in which Senator Reid's helped fight the war in Iraq and the war against the terrorists genuinely?  

He tells his constituents he is a frugal steward of their tax dollars, yet in Washington he demands massive new spending and tax increases.  He better represents the views of the people of Massachusetts than the people of Nevada.  He tells the people in Nevada that he supports good people being named to the federal bench, but back in Washington he leads filibusters to block some of the greatest legal minds from becoming judges because he, in truth, supports activist judges who undermine the Constitution.  One day he's going to have to answer to the people, Harry Reid will, as do all of these politicians.  They're just temporary inhabitants of these public offices, and when they abuse their offices, as Reid does every day, it eventually catches up with them.  Ask Tom Foley.  Ask Tom Daschle.


Monday, October 01, 2007

Why I Decided Not to Run For President by Newt Gingrich

Why I Decided Not to Run For President

by Newt Gingrich

October 1, 2007
Vol. 2, No. 40

Dear Friend,
Last Saturday, my family and I faced a big decision about how we can best serve America.

Before the opening of Solutions Day on Thursday, the success of Solutions Day and the American Solutions movement to create real change with real solutions was unknowable. But by Saturday morning, the verdict on the American people's desire to actively participate in creating the next generation of solutions to the daunting challenges America faces was in.

American Solutions had resonated with and had captured the imagination of the American public, and it became clear Saturday that American Solutions would be an active and successful voice in the American dialogue going forward.

That left us with a choice on how best to serve: Move forward with assessing a Gingrich candidacy for President of the United States with its uncertain outcome; or remain the citizen leader of American Solutions for Winning the Future, which has now proven to be an organization that will play a major role in shaping the 2008 election debate and beyond by offering solutions and representing millions of Americans who want real change.

Some have asked why I couldn't have explored the possibility of running and remained the Chairman of American Solutions. The fact is -- because of the current, misguided and destructive campaign finance laws, as well as the willingness of some to make misguided allegations without knowing all the facts -- if I had decided to explore being a candidate, it would have become necessary to sever my relationship with American Solutions to protect it from false allegations of being used as a devise to promote the feasibility of my candidacy, which is not permissible under the law. Moreover, under those same destructive campaign finance laws, I would have had to absolutely sever all ties with American Solutions to guard against allegations that I was "coordinating" with the group I had help found. This would have left American Solutions which is less than a year old, without a leader and, therefore, extremely vulnerable to failure.

As of Saturday, thousands of people from all across the nation came together to make Solutions Day the incredible success that it was. That would not have happened without the untold number of volunteer hours spent, the talent of the board, the millions of dollars donors invested and the incredible professionalism of the American Solutions staff led by Dave Ryan and Pat Saks.

I was not willing to sacrifice American Solutions and its future potential to change American for the better for what would have been an uncertain run to be President.

I have said all along that the agent of change was not the presidency but the more than 513,000 elected officials and millions of citizen activists. I still believe that change will not come from Washington but from the American people, and we proved it over the weekend. Let me just share with you what would have been sacrificed if I had abandoned leadership of the American Solutions movement.

The Inaugural Solutions Day Begins a National Movement to Win the Future

Last week, almost 200,000 Americans visited our website,, to learn about the inaugural Solutions Day, which had more than 35 workshops from six different locations in different parts of the country and more than 2,000 gathering sites around the nation -- and that did not including any of the individuals watching independently either online or via satellite television. To give you an idea of how operationally big the challenge was, it was the equivalent of producing 35 television shows with substantive content to be broadcast live within five hours, and we did it without a technical glitch that led to an interruption of any workshop.

It all began Thursday night with a nationally televised opening at the Cobb Galleria Centre in Atlanta, Ga. So great was the response that we had to expand the ballroom we were in by removing a wall and setting up more chairs, but even so, it was standing room only. More than 1,200 people came to the Cobb Galleria for Solutions Day. Texas Railroad Commissioner Michael Williams emceed with great enthusiasm, which he said came from the audience. Georgia Republican Gov. Sonny Perdue, Sen. Saxby Chambliss, Democratic Mayor of Atlanta Shirley Franklin, former Gov. Roy Romer and Kellyanne Conway all joined me in helping launch American Solutions as a positive idea-and-solution-oriented movement to change America.

On Saturday, the bipartisan American Solutions effort featured former Democratic Gov. Roy Romer (the head of Edin08) leading an education workshop in Denver and Elaine Kamarck, the former head of Vice President Al Gore's Reinventing Government project, leading a workshop on how to replace bureaucracy with 21st Century approaches to governance.

Adding to the solution-oriented series of programs were two income tax replacement models. Former Republican Majority Leader Dick Armey discussed the optional flat tax and in another workshop, Neal Boortz and Congressman John Linder discussed the Fair Tax. Students for Saving Social Security led a workshop for optional personal Social Security Retirement Savings Accounts. Former Congressman Bob Walker discussed the impact of a hydrogen economy as part of our energy future as well as the future of space exploration. Conservationist and former ZooAtlanta director Terry Maple led a workshop on "green conservatism."

Congressman Brian Bilbray led a workshop from San Diego on immigration and protecting the border. David Barton of WallBuilders presented a workshop from Des Moines, Iowa, on Rediscovering God in America. Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee taught his workshop from New Hampshire.

The Center for Health Transformation developed the health materials for the workshops and, by last Saturday, presented 28 different topics on health transformation, including ideas from former Gov. Jeb Bush discussing Medicaid reform in Florida and Gov. Tim Pawlenty doing the same thing in Minnesota.

The center had also recruited national figures such as Dr. Mark McClellan, the former head of the Food and Drug Administration and of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, and Center for Disease Control Director Dr. Julie Gerberding to outline specific areas of health progress.

All 35 workshops are available for viewing at Also, be sure to check out the lists of "go-dos" that workshop moderators included to bring about real change in our communities.

The Choice and Making the Right Decision

On Saturday morning, as Callista and I were on our way to the University of West Georgia in Carrollton where I was speaking and where many of the workshops were preparing to get underway, we were confronted with a choice: I could continue to lead what I believe will be the most successful movement for change in a generation or I could abandon that effort to pursue the uncertain road of running for President.

As you know, an effort to assess a Gingrich candidacy was to have begun today, Monday, October 1, two days after the completion of Solutions Day. That assessment was to discern whether there was sufficient support for a candidacy. My decision not to seek the presidency preempted that effort. Because it never began, the outcome of such an assessment can never be fully known, but I was humbled by the messages of support and by the people who said they would be willing to make a pledge to raise resources had I elected to run.

We do know that we could have met Federal Election Commission requirements and that there would have been sufficient resources to start filing for primaries on October 15 (the Utah deadline, the earliest in the country).

We also knew from recent trips to the Republican Conference on Mackinac Island, Mich., and the conservative dinner for the Nevada Policy Research Institute that there was and is a hunger for new ideas and new energy in the race.

I had said publicly for months that I was committed to focusing on American Solutions and the success of Solutions Day and would not begin to assess a candidacy until after the completion of the workshops Saturday, September 29. And that is what I did. I did not and would not take a single step toward running before Saturday.

Late last week, I outlined a process by which an assessment headed by my friend and advisor Randy Evans could begin, but my directions were clear: No activity could take place before Monday, October 1.

Randy was prepared to take leave, if necessary, from his law firm to complete the assessment.

I had suspended my relationship as a contributor with Fox News until the results of the assessment were known.

As of yesterday, a website,, was preparing to launch.

On Saturday morning, Callista and I fully expected to see Randy hold a press conference on Monday to announce the website and explain why we had established $30 million in pledges as the threshold for running.

I will tell you that like most middle-class Americans, I cannot afford to match someone like former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney's ability to write a $100 million personal check, which is permissible under the law to support his campaign. I reasoned, therefore, that if we could find enough pledges to mount a serious effort, I would consider a campaign focused on solutions, using new communications approaches in order to have a genuinely solutions-oriented dialogue with the American people.

The Most Open and Non-Partisan 527 to Date

The still-open question was whether we could do both. As American Solutions emerged on September 27 and 29, our legal advisers fully assessed the McCain-Feingold censorship law on the simultaneous activities of the newly conceived candidacy assessment and my desire to continue leading American Solutions and what implications, legal and otherwise, that would have on American Solutions were I to become a candidate.

American Solutions is technically organized as a 527. That means it can raise unlimited personal and corporate after tax dollars. However, it cannot engage in federal campaign activities. American Solutions had been designed as a unique non-partisan institution -- the only 527 of its kind.

Every aspect of American Solutions and how it operates is well within the law -- even though I disagree strongly with the law.

Democrats, Republicans, Libertarians and independents were invited to present Solutions Day workshops.

Similarly, anyone could join in the program as a viewer by signing up without regard to party affiliation.

Over the next few weeks, American Solutions plans to release the results of six national polls and $250,000-plus worth of research to the candidates of both parties and will post it on the Internet for everyone to see and use.

I am proud to say that American Solutions for Winning the Future is the most open, transparent and non-partisan 527 in existence.

Under the McCain-Feingold Censorship Law, We Could Raise Money or Raise Ideas -- Not Both.

I became all too familiar with political attempts to censure citizens when I taught a class called Renewing American Civilization at Kennesaw College in Georgia when I was Speaker of the House. Even though I had been a college teacher for eight years and had a Ph.D. in Modern European History, some did not like the fact that I was teaching a course on a college campus. A full-scale attack was launched on me and ethics charges in the House soon followed. Ultimately, the bipartisan ethics committee, a federal judge and the IRS reached the same conclusion that should have be obvious all along: There is nothing unethical or unlawful about a former college teacher with a Ph.D. teaching a non-partisan class to college students. That was more than a decade ago, and McCain-Feingold has only made it worse by what I can only describe as criminalizing citizenship participation in civic affairs and the right to free speech.

But the law is the law whether I agree with it or not. With the success of American Solutions and the recognition that it will be a viable enterprise going forward, it became clear Saturday that I could not under the McCain-Feingold censorship law, the current law governing campaign finance, participate in leading American Solutions while exploring a candidacy because quite simply, under McCain Feingold, it would have been illegal. Moreover, I would have put American Solutions at risk for politically motivated attacks and endless investigations not based upon facts but based upon the desired political outcomes of those who seek to protect the status quo from citizen activists who desire real change.

The whole purpose of a presidential race for me would be to bring new solutions and new ideas into the political arena.

But under McCain-Feingold, I had to choose between being creative and being a candidate. I could raise money or raise ideas, but not both.

I am not willing to subject the American Solutions team to wither under endless attacks and politically charged investigations with criminal penalties including jail time. Moreover, I am not willing to abandon our supporters, donors, volunteers and staff who have made American Solutions the success that it is.

For me, it was impossible to imagine walking into this extraordinarily successful gathering with its amazing number of workshops and remarkable nationwide participation (all 50 states) in its very first outing, only to announce we were going to shut it down.

We Need Three or Four Years to Develop a New Generation of Solutions

Once we fully understood the legal and other implications that running would have on American Solutions and what I expect it will become, Callista and I had to make a choice between these mutually exclusive opportunities. We immediately decided that our authentic path was to keep growing and developing American Solutions. The decision was immediate, unequivocal and without regret.

We need three or four years to build the American Solutions movement into the kind of broad non-partisan movement for real change that America so desperately needs.

We need three or four years to develop a new generation of solutions for the poorest Americans and the worst neighborhoods in our biggest cities.

We need time to flesh out and develop in-depth the Green Conservatism Terry Maple and I write about in Contract With the Earth, which will come out later this month.

We need time to expand on the work which the Center for Health Transformation has been doing to develop a science and technology based and entrepreneurially led 21st Century Intelligent Health System.

Our decision last Saturday not to run was not a step away from active citizenship.

It was a positive decision that, for now, our best efforts should be as solutions oriented and idea oriented citizen activists working with all Americans who want to develop real change for America. I am entirely optimistic about the future.

It was the right decision.

A Final Note on McCain-Feingold

You've heard me say it before: The McCain-Feingold censorship law should be repealed.

It has actually made politics more focused on money.

One presidential candidate told me Saturday that I was right about the focus on money and that he had done 68 fundraisers in the last month.

And the very idea of limiting free speech is not only unconstitutional, it's un-American.

I have no problem with wealthy Americans spending millions of their own money if their middle-class opponents can raise the same size contributions from their supporters.

I object deeply, however, to a system that makes it almost impossible for middle-class candidates to raise money and that is rapidly moving us towards a plutocracy in which only the rich can compete for office.

This cycle's presidential campaign is a year longer than it should be because of the terrible burdens on fund raising created by McCain-Feingold.

We need a simple system that says Americans can spend any amount of their after-tax income they want as long as campaigns reports each night every check that was deposited that day on the Internet so the country knows where the money is coming from.

That would be transparent, simple and fair.

It would shorten campaigns.

It would level the playing field between the rich and the middle class.

It would allow candidates to return to studying issues and thinking deeply about policies instead of exhausting themselves begging for money three or four times a day, seven days a week.

The simple act of repealing McCain-Feingold and replacing it with that straightforward, transparent system of reporting would make our politics healthier and more idea oriented in a matter of weeks.

In that world, it would be possible to both work with a solutions based organization seeking solutions and be a candidate for public office.

Your friend,

Newt Gingrich

Excerpts From: Why Fred Thompson Will Win by Peter Mulhern


Mon Oct 1, 10:30 AM ET

Conventional wisdom is hardening around the proposition that Fred Dalton Thompson is too lazy, ill-prepared, tired, old, lackluster, inexperienced, inconsistent and bald to make a successful run for President.

Of course, conventional wisdom rarely gets anything right. When it does, it's only by accident.

In this case conventional wisdom is not just wrong but comically so. Thompson will win the Republican nomination for two reasons. First, he's a very impressive candidate. Second, there's no realistic alternative. He will win the general election for the same two reasons.


The Democratic Party was once the dominant political force in American life. It lost that position for two reasons. First, because the electorate discovered that Democrats, beholden as they are to leftist, anti-American supporters, can't be trusted to defend the country. Second, because voters also discovered that Democrats lacked the strength and the wisdom to defend our culture against all sorts of bizarre social experiment.

Democrats have worked very hard to draw the camouflage nets over their irresponsible attitude toward national defense. Republicans have been extremely timid about exposing it. The point of distinction between Republicans and Democrats which works most strongly in the GOP's favor is that Republicans fight back when vandals try to deface fundamental social institutions and Democrats stand shoulder-to-shoulder with the vandals. Nominating Rudy Giuliani would neutralize this advantage.


Fred Thompson is quite different from the other candidates. The conventional critiques of his candidacy all say much more about his strengths than his weaknesses.

Dick Morris complains that he is too lazy to prepare well-scripted answers to questions about local issues. In Florida, for example he deflected a question about the Terri Schiavo case saying he wasn't familiar with the details but in general he preferred local answers to local questions. To a question about oil drilling in the Everglades he said that he wasn't aware of major oil resources there but that we couldn't be in the business of putting energy resources off limits.

Each of these answers was perfectly reasonable and part of a package that is likely to have broad appeal. Neither shows a lazy candidate. They both show a mature and sensible candidate who isn't willing to pander. Thompson, unlike all the others, has important themes to project and can't be bothered to pick up a few supporters here and there by promising to serve the interests of those few at the expense of the many.

This isn't politics as usual in 21st Century America, but it is likely to sell. When it does, it will make a mockery of Dick Morris's entire career, which was grounded on the idea that pandering conquers all.

What about Thompson's experience? He never ran anything. Mitt was Governor of Massachusetts and a successful business executive. Rudy was Mayor of New York. Shouldn't those qualifications trump a lawyer who is also an actor and used to be a senator? They would if we were hiring a manager in chief, but we aren't.

We have gotten so used to speaking of the President of the United States "running the country" that most of us no longer notice how unrealistic and unAmerican that expression is. The whole point of the American Revolution was to establish a country without anyone to run it. We don't want or need a president who is inclined to run things. We need a President who leads and inspires. Fred, with his non-managerial background, is the only candidate of either party who seems to get this.

Much ink has been wasted making the obvious point that Thompson is not an "outsider." After a long career in Washington as a staffer and Senator, as a lawyer and a lobbyist Fred Thompson is as well connected as any "insider" here. But for his entire career Thompson has stood outside the bipartisan consensus that, when it comes to government activity, more is better. His commitment to governmental modesty is most often expressed as concern for the principle of federalism. That commitment put him on the short end of some very lopsided votes as a Senator.

Thompson's view on the proper scope of federal government activities is neither shallow nor passing. It has deep roots and he can defend them against heavyweight attacks. At National Review Online last spring, Ramesh Ponnuru challenged some federalist positions Thompson took as a Senator. Thompson wrote a response which dismantled Ponnuru's arguments. Ponnuru's reply was both snarky and beside the point. It came as close to sputtering incoherence as it is possible to come in print. Ramesh Ponnuru is no fool. The man who can beat him like a rented mule in a battle of the keyboards thoroughly understands the subject of their dispute.

Thompson's commitment to governmental modesty makes him the only serious candidate for president who isn't part of the bipartisan Party of Government. He is the only candidate qualified to build on the success of Ronald Reagan and the only candidate who can counter the Democrat drive for more socialism, particularly as it applies to health care.

Reagan turned America away from the socialist morass of the 1930's and reconnected us with our deepest political traditions. He reminded us that we don't want a government, let alone a President, to run the country. Unfortunately, his successors never understood this essential pillar of Reagan's success. When George W. Bush perpetrated the atrocious statement that "when somebody hurts government has got to move," the Republican break with Reagan was complete.

Fred Thompson isn't Ronald Reagan. But he can restore the Republican Party to Reagan's default settings. He can make the GOP once again the party of the American Revolution and distinguish it sharply from the party of the French, Russian, Chinese, and Cuban Revolutions.

Does Thompson have the rhetorical skills to be the leader we need? Let's put him to the same test both Romney and Giuliani just flunked. Does Thompson understand that our problem with terrorism is now primarily an Iranian problem? Can he face that problem and discuss it in terms most Americans will understand?

Thompson's reaction to General Petraeus' recent testimony before Congress suggests that he can. Before Petraeus said a word everyone knew that our efforts in Iraq have become vastly more successful under his command. Everyone understood that Al Qaeda and Iran's proxies will probably be humiliated in Iraq unless they can adjust to the tactics we are now using with such success. The $64,000 question was this: What is Iran doing to forestall humiliation in Iraq and what will we do to stop them?

General Petraeus dropped some very interesting hints on this subject and Thompson zeroed in on them. His statement on the subject was simple and direct: "Gen. Petraeus' report also leaves me even more concerned about Iran's role in Iraq. Iran is headed down a dangerous path, and President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad must understand that."

Thompson reinforced this barely veiled threat with his reaction to a controversy over Ahmadinejad's request to visit Ground Zero while he is in New York to address the UN. He said "I wouldn't let him in the country." He went on to say, according to the Dallas Morning News, that "the Iranian regime was a threat to Americans and should be dealt with accordingly."

At last a candidate who understands that Iran is at war with us and who is willing to speak as though we are at war with Iran. It's a bonus that he speaks in clear declarative sentences and that everything in his manner and appearance demands that you take him seriously.

When Thompson speaks the chattering class often sputters that he is too laid back, even soporific. People who have never seen him speak themselves often adopt this critique and endlessly repeat the same clichés on various conservative websites - "lackluster," "underwhelming," "tired," "old," "no fire in the belly." Conservatives are hungry for a Hillary slayer and many of them fear that a thoughtful, deliberate senior statesman can't possibly play that role. They are wrong.

Watch a Thompson speech that was widely panned as dull. Just because Fred talks slowly doesn't mean he's stupid, or uninspiring. Notice that he is saying important things and saying them well. How many politicians can talk about Russell Kirk's The Conservative Mind in terms which indicate that he has both read and understood it?

Consider that Fred's calm, sensible demeanor permits him to say things that would terrify many ordinary voters coming from someone who seemed less steady. Thompson can say radical things and nobody turns a hair. If any other candidate talked about overhauling social security and the tax code while we fight a global war of which Iraq and Afghanistan are mere outcroppings, a substantial part of the electorate would faint dead away. Try to wrap your mind around the reality that coming off like an old coot having a conversation as he whittles next to the pot-bellied stove down at the country store is an excellent way to attract most American voters.

Political strategists aren't known for consensus, but they all agree that the public loathes passionate and polarized politics. Attacking Hillary with self-righteous zeal like St. George all set to slay the dragon would be a tactical mistake. The best way for a Republican to beat Hillary is to talk to the American people calmly, simply and sensibly, and let her be the poster child for all the bitterness and anger of the last decade. Fred is just the man to do that.

After a recent Thompson speech in Iowa a member of the audience called out: "Kill the terrorists, secure the border, and give me back my freedom." Thompson replied "you just summed up my whole speech."

No other candidate could have carried off that quip because no other candidate is capable of delivering a convincing speech focused on those powerful themes.

Certainly Hillary's theme - A kinder, gentler America at home and abroad - can't compete. Socialism never had the electoral appeal in the United States that the chattering class expects it to have. Nowadays it is painfully passe. Ségolène Royal couldn't find a socialist wave to ride into power even in France.

Besides, Hillary is indelibly stained by her close association with and the other moonbats of the pseudo-pacifist left. When the calendar reads November, 2008 the world is likely to be much less hospitable to anti-war tomfoolery than it is today. By that time either Iran will have had to cede control of Iraq to the United States giving us an historic victory, or our conflict with Iran will have broken into the open. Either way, the defeatists and obstructionists aren't likely to be in good odor. Hillary will try to cut them loose, too late.

I'm looking forward to Fred's first Inaugural Address.