Conservative Icon Paul Weyrich Endorses Huckabee

Conservative Icon Paul Weyrich Endorses Huckabee

I believe that the voters in this Republican nomination contest—here in Virginia and across the country—deserve a real choice. And Governor Huckabee is clearly the conservative alternative. He is the best choice, and he is my choice. So I am voting for him on Tuesday, here in Virginia.

I don’t buy the idea that John McCain is a true conservative. Nor do I buy the idea that Mike Huckabee should get out of this contest. The people in the Potomac area—Virginia, Maryland, and the District of Columbia. In addition, we have many important states coming up, including my home state of Wisconsin. Folks in all those states deserve a choice a real choice.

I had been a supporter of Mitt Romney, but now I am very glad that Governor Huckabee has decided to stay in the race. I appreciate that he is staying in, just as I appreciate that Governor Huckabee and Senator McCain are not going at each other’s throats—a vigorous debate about important issues is the healthiest thing possible for the Republican Party.

Governor Huckabee has articulated some very clear differences with Senator McCain: on immigration, on McCain Feingold, and also on the McCain Lieberman global warming scheme. Mike Huckabee is much more solid on the social issues, including right to life. Yes, Senator McCain says that he has a right to life record, but he can’t be supportive of embryonic stem cell research and have a clear right to life record, because the right to lifers, including me, want to protect all life, from conception of natural death.

Governor Huckabee is also good on marriage, insisting that it be limited to one man and one woman. Unfortunately, Senator McCain refused to vote for the marriage amendment.

These are important differences.

By voting for Governor Huckabee, people will be telling Senator McCain and the Republican Party establishment that they better accommodate these conservatives and their heartfelt beliefs, or else they the GOP will not be able to win the general election this November. Like Governor Huckabee, I have great respect for Senator McCain, but he and his Republican Party backers have to make sure that they accommodate the base of the Republican Party.

If they don’t, Senator McCain may find that the conservative grassroots won’t turn out to vote this November. I know my fellow conservatives. I have been active in the conservative movement since 1960. I was an early supporter of Barry Goldwater, and I was a delegate for Ronald Reagan in 1976 and 1980. And so I remind all the Washington DC-oriented political strategists that outside-the-beltway conservatives don’t have to vote for every candidate if they don’t want to. They can stay home, or they can skip over some candidates. That is a very real possibility this year. I have had hundreds of people that have contacted me, telling me, “I can’t vote for McCain.” I hope that Senator McCain will accommodate those people, for the sake of the conservative movement, as well as the Republican Party. But to repeat: I am voting for Governor Huckabee.

The Republican Party must reach out to social conservatives, like me, and so Mike Huckabee is solid. But Mike Huckabee also appeals to working people. The Republican Party by and large ignores the concerns of these people, especially when they are hurting. Governor Huckabee is the only candidate who has consistently reached out, during this campaign, to those who are hurting. It’s great for the GOP hierarchy to say that the fundamentals of the economy are sound. But it’s even more important to concentrate on real people, and to look for sound conservative solutions. Mike Huckabee is one of them by his own background, and so naturally he listens to them. By voting for him, millions of ordinary Americans will make their voice heard, loud and clear.

I call upon all my fellow conservatives to get out and support Governor Huckabee. A big vote for him is the best way to send a message to Senator McCain and the Republican Establishment that this is an election, not a coronation.

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Paul Weyrich is the Chairman and CEO of the Free Congress Foundation. The opinions expressed here are his own.

Huckabee Wins Louisianna!

Huckabee won Louisianna by 2%!! Huckabee 44%  McCain 42%

Washington is too close to call with only about 200 votes seperating!  They will not report any more results until tomorrow morning! 

 What a day for Huckabee! This has truly been amazing to watch!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Huckabee Wins Kansas GOP Caucuses

Huckabee Wins Kansas GOP Caucuses

Mike Huckabee won the Kansas Republican caucuses Saturday, FOX News projects, demonstrating the lingering rift in the party after rival John McCain was minted the clear front-runner following Super Tuesday.

With 65 percent of precincts reporting, Huckabee had 61 percent and McCain had 24 percent. Texas Rep. Ron Paul had 11 percent.

Both McCain and Huckabee were wooing conservatives in the state Friday. Huckabee had the support of anti-abortion activists , while McCain had the backing from conservative Kansas Sen. Sam Brownback.

Huckabee pledged Saturday morning at the Conservative Political Action Conference in Washington, D.C., that he would be staying in the race, even though Mitt Romney’s exit from the race earlier in the week made McCain the virtual heir to the GOP nomination.

But McCain is still trying to reach out to conservatives, many of whom are skeptical of him for taking moderate positions on campaign finance, taxes and immigration.

“This is a huge win for us,” Huckabee campaign manager Chip Saltsman said. “This is a state that both candidates competed in. This shows that Washington pundits don’t pick the nominee. The folks in the states and outside the Beltway pick the nominee. So not so fast, we still have a long way to go until the nominee is picked, with 20-plus states left.”

Huckabee will have a lot farther to go to catch McCain. Kansas offers 36 total delegates, but the Arizona senator began the day with 719 delegates.

Huckabee had 198, and Texas Rep. Ron Paul had 14.

Eighty delegates are stake for the GOP in Saturday’s contests in Kansas, Louisiana, Washington and Guam. McCain’s campaign has said the earliest the Arizona senator could seal the nomination with the needed 1,191 delegates is the March 4 primary.

Some Kansas Republicans thought their caucuses would provide an indication of whether conservatives grudgingly accepted McCain as the GOP candidate or whether they still hoped to nominate someone else despite the long odds.

Huckabee Wins Huge in Kansas Caucus!

 YOu can get more upto date Results at www.ksgopcaucus.org/results

here are the results via Fox News:

Republicans

Candidate # of votes % of total # of delegates
Huckabee 4,903 60.56% 0
McCain 1,911 23.60% 0
Paul 891 11.01% 0
Romney 229 2.83% 0
Thompson 27 0.33% 0
Giuliani 17 0.21% 0

Mike Huckabee Rally in Wichita Kansas 2-8-08

Huckabee, McCain woo conservatives on eve of Kansas caucuses

– Mike Huckabee drew enthusiastic crowds Friday in Kansas and campaigned on the eve of the state’s caucuses against the notion that rival candidate John McCain has a lock on the Republican presidential nomination.

But McCain, the Arizona senator, made a stop in Wichita and wooed the same conservative Republicans that Huckabee, the former Arkansas governor, was courting. Conservatives control the Kansas party, making abortion opponents and evangelical Christians important constituencies.

Republicans planned to caucus Saturday at 67 sites. Their votes will determine how the candidates divide 36 of the state’s 39 delegates to the Republican National Convention in September in Minneapolis.

“I’ll stay in until I’m completely defeated or until the convention has ruled me out,” Huckabee told reporters after a rally in Topeka. “Certainly, a lot of the McCain supporters would like for me to leave. It sure would make it easier on them.”

Huckabee’s tour of the state began in Olathe with a rally at MidAmerica Nazarene University where an estimated crowd of 1,200 to 1,300 people filled an auditorium and its lobby and flowed into other rooms.

A rally in Wichita attracted about 1,000 supporters, and about 600 people crowded a hotel meeting room in Topeka to hear him speak before he finished his tour with a rally in Garden City.

Many were conservatives who hoped to show that the GOP race isn’t over, despite McCain’s commanding lead in the delegate count. In Topeka, one woman held up a sign that said, “Christ is alive & so is Huckabee.”

“The conservatives will come out, so if Huckabee does well, it will show that the conservatives have not given up on trying to defeat McCain,” said Bob Beatty, a Washburn University political scientist.

About 300 people turned out for McCain’s appearance in Wichita, and Sen. Sam Brownback, a leading conservative, rallied the crowd, declaring, “He is a conservative.”

McCain also took up that theme: “I am proud to carry the banner of a conservative Republican with a record of conservative thought and action and voting and principles and values into this election in November.”

McCain not only has Brownback’s support but also the endorsement of the state’s two representatives on the Republican National Committee, both moderates. Also, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney’s decision Thursday to suspend his campaign had many Republicans viewing McCain as the certain nominee.

He has 707 of the 1,191 convention delegates he’ll need to secure the nomination, compared to 195 for Huckabee.

Some conservatives think the race is over. Alan Weldon, an activist from Wichita, said McCain is the likely nominee but said the caucuses in Kansas remain relevant.

If Huckabee does well, he said, “I think that sends a message to John McCain that he needs to reach closer to his base.”

But later, while traveling with McCain, Brownback said it will be difficult for McCain to prevail in Kansas because Republicans are holding a caucus rather than a primary. In caucuses, fewer – and more conservative – voters tend to turn out.

After Huckabee’s rally in Topeka, nine conservative Republican legislators, including House Speaker Melvin Neufeld, announced their support for him. Kansans for Life’s political action committee also endorsed him, urging its members, who form the state’s largest anti-abortion group, to attend his rallies.

Huckabee didn’t disappoint abortion opponents, telling the Topeka crowd: “If we come to the conclusion where we say abortion is not wrong, then nothing is wrong.”

McCain has faced criticism from conservatives for having voted against President Bush’s tax cuts, helped write a campaign finance law some of them see as restricting advocacy groups and supported a path to citizenship for illegal immigrants.

“I don’t think he’s at all a conservative. I am,” said Ron Rice, a 75-year-old retired General Motors salesman who attended Huckabee’s rally in Olathe but said he was undecided.

At the Topeka rally, 21-year-old Eric Stein, who’s studying military history at the University of Kansas, called Huckabee a “God-fearing man” and said it was important to him that Huckabee is an ordained Baptist minister.

“Us Baptists, we kind of stick together,” he joked.

Huckabee also received the endorsement Thursday of prominent evangelical leader James Dobson, founder of Focus on the Family.

Asked about that in Wichita, McCain noted that he’d won primaries in every part of the nation and would continue to wage a national campaign.

“We will contest every state and we are confident that we can proceed with success,” he said.

During his rally, McCain discussed national security, his opposition to withdrawing American troops from Iraq and proposals for improving veterans’ health care.

McCain’s service in the Senate and his status as a Vietnam War hero made him an attractive candidate to Evan Lassen, 71, who’s semiretired from the petroleum industry.

“He knows the inner working of the government,” Lassen said. “He knows the inner working of the military.”

Some Republicans are weary of hearing about a conservative backlash against McCain and suggest it’s time for the party to rally around him, so that he can prepare for a tough general election campaign.

“This mentality, in my opinion, is completely backward,” said Ryan Wright, executive director of the Kansas Traditional Republican Majority, a moderate group. “I don’t know how many more states John McCain has to win before this narrative goes away.”

Associated Press Writers Roxana Hegeman and Libby Quaid in Wichita contributed to this story.

Memorandum to Huckabee Campaigners

Memorandum to Huckabee Campaigners

From: Ed Rollins, Campaign Chairman; Chip Saltsman, Campaign Manager

Re: Our Path to Victory at the Minneapolis-St. Paul convention

Too many Republicans have tried to turn this nomination battle into a coronation, not a series of further election contests. Big mistake on their part. They are wrong. We know that we are running an underdog campaign, but that’s nothing new—we have always been the underdog. And yet a whole lot of onetime “overdogs” are now on the sidelines, licking their wounds. The Republican National Convention is seven long months away; a lot can happen in that much time. A lot will happen.

But in the meantime, as you all know, Governor Huckabee is not a quitter. He has never shirked from a challenge, and he never will. He has always told us—and personally reaffirmed to us just today—that he is in this race to win. That is, to win the Republican presidential nomination, and to win the White House. Why? Because he cares deeply about the issues that inspired him to get into politics in the first place—back in the 60s, when he started studying the works of the great conservative thinkers and writers, back in the 70s, when he was an ardent supporter of another underdog Republican. And what was that fellow’s name? Oh yes—it was Ronald Reagan.

So don’t let anyone tell you that it’s over! In fact, as of today, no fewer than 27 states, districts, and territories have not yet had a chance to vote. That includes such big states as Texas (Chuck Norris’ home state, ‘nuff said), Ohio, and Pennsylvania. All the Republicans and Republican-minded independents in those states want to be part of the process, too, and they deserve to have a choice put before them. Folks don’t want the Republican Establishment to pick the nominee for them, through a premature rush to judgment, and they sure as heck don’t want the media to pick the nominee!

We note that in many of the hottest contests so far, the vote has been divided into thirds—typically, about one-third for Governor Huckabee, one third for Senator McCain, and one third for all the other candidates. And as you know, typically, Governor Huckabee has done best among hardcore Republicans—the activist base. That’s one reason why we are looking forward to Governor Huckabee’s speech to the legendary CPAC, the Conservative Political Action Conference, in DC tomorrow morning. You’d better believe that the folks gathered at the Omni Shoreham hotel are the go-getters who make or break primary elections. Just wait till they get a load of Mike Huckabee!

We are confident that we will get most of the activists, the folks who work the hardest because they care the most about the issues. In addition, we note that many of the jurisdictions that have already voted have merely had the first round of their delegate-selection process. To be frank, there’s still plenty of time for politicking, as Republicans really focus on the question of who should lead their party into the November election. Who’s the most stalwart champion of Republican and conservative values? Who’s the most articulate and effective campaigner? We know the answer to those questions—that’s why we have been working our hearts out for Mike Huckabee. But soon, everyone paying attention will know that, too. As the campaign season grinds on—and let’s again remember, this is just February!—there will be plenty of time for reflection and reconsideration, especially among those hundreds of delegates pledged to candidates who have now dropped out.

As we saw in West Virginia on Tuesday—where Governor Huckabee swooped in on the day of the state convention and won a decisive victory that changed the tone of the remaining Super Tuesday coverage—a single good speech from our candidate is often worth more than all the tens of millions of dollars, and all the big-shot endorsements, that the other candidates have been able to drum up.

Indeed, it’s interesting that Mike Huckabee has done so well in the states so critical to Republican prospects this November. That is, those “swing states” that are essential building blocks of a Republican victory coalition this year. Let’s face it: This November, we’re not likely to be looking forward to a GOP landslide! The last two presidential elections were close—the GOP won 271 electoral votes in ’00, and 286 in ’04—and we fully expect the ’08 election to be hard-fought and close, too, as both parties wrestle to get the majority of those 538 electoral votes. What does all this mean to Republican activists? Well, it means that the next Republican nominee has to be able to nail down the electoral votes of such “must-win” states in the South and Border States—exactly the states where Mike Huckabee has done so well this year. Hard-nosed political activists know that it doesn’t do much good, November-wise, to run well in the blue bicoastal states. Sure, it would be great to carry New York and Massachusetts and California, but those mostly liberal states aren’t a part of any gut-it-out “270” strategy. (In fact, we think that Mike Huckabee would actually run stronger among traditional Independent and Democratic constituencies than any other Republican, but that’ll be the subject of a future memo.)

And now, with the endorsement of Dr. James Dobson, who is the “gold standard” of social conservatism, we fully expect that Movement Conservatives—those who fight the good fight on Life, on Marriage, on the Second Amendment—will increasingly rally to our cause. In fact, come to think of it, any American who reveres the US Constitution has a stake in Mike Huckabee’s success, because he has been an unstinting proponent of all our Constitutional freedoms, including the First Amendment, which he believes has been wrongly abridged by wrong-headed campaign finance “reform” legislation. Of course, there is one amendment that MH doesn’t like: The 16th Amendment. That one was a mistake, which he will fix with the Fair Tax!

Mike Huckabee has great respect for John McCain. He has always defended the senior senator from Arizona against unfair and scurrilous attacks, and he always will. And because MH is who he is, he will continue to campaign as he always has—in an honorable and honest way. He will draw distinctions, he will debate and debate hard, but he will always be civil and decent. In fact, even many McCain supporters have told us that they appreciate the constructive role that Governor Huckabee can play in the months to come, because a vigorous discussion will keep all the media “oxygen” from migrating over to the heated Democratic contest.

Faith. Family. Freedom. Those are the words that have guided Mike Huckabee this far, and they will continue to guide him, and us, all the way to the White House next January. The 44th governor of Arkansas will be the 44th President of the United States.

See you at the Inauguration!