The Cook Political Report, run by Charlie Cook, is one of the most well-respected political organizations in the country — not to mention one of the most impressively accurate in its electoral predictions. So we should all sit up and take note when they publish an article by their national editor, Amy Walter, with this sentence:
At the end of the day, when you put all the assets and liabilities on the table, it’s hard to see anyone but Rubio, Bush or Walker as the ultimate nominee.
That may seem like a no-brainer to some of us, but in a field that will potentially have 20 challengers, for a prediction made ten months before any actual voting takes place, and for such a reputable organization, this qualifies as a pretty significant assertion.
The futures betting sites (or what’s left of them after Intrade got shut down after the last presidential election) generally agree with Ms. Walter. Sites like PredictWise and Betfair give the trio of Rubio, Bush, and Walker a combined 70% chance at the nomination. (Bush currently comes in at 31%, with Rubio at 20 and Walker at 19.) In fact, the only other two candidates who are even given more than a 2% shot are Rand Paul (4%) and Mike Huckabee (6%).
In the latest Quinnipiac poll (a survey where Rubio, Bush, and Walker have all taken a turn leading the pack in the past several months), we can see just how strong the support for the trio is: they are the only three candidates in double digits in the topline results. But it goes even further than that: when Bush supporters were asked who their second choice was, Rubio and Walker were the only ones in double digits again (at 18% and 12%, respectively). When Walker supporters were asked their second choice, Rubio and Bush again clock in as #1 and #2, with 20% and 12% respectively.
In other words, if you chop of one of the three heads of this hydra, the others will only get stronger.
That’s a good reason to predict that one of those three will end up as the Republican nominee. It’s also one of the reasons I will go on record as predicting this primary will be less divisive than many think it will be.
With twenty candidates, it’s easy to imagine a scenario where the party splinters, messy intraparty fighting breaks out, and a brokered convention becomes a reality in Cleveland. Every slice of the Republican electorate will back their preferred candidate until the bitter end, with primary and caucus winners walking away with less than 20% of the vote. It’s going to be a messy, bitter fight, right?
I don’t think so.
A comparison between our potentially massive 2016 field of candidates and the fields of 2008 and 2012 is quite instructive on this point. In 2008, the three-headed frontrunning hydra was comprised of Rudy Giuliani, John McCain, and Mitt Romney. None of the three satisfied the grassroots side of the party — who could forget the campaigns against “Rudy McRomney”? The unease with the three moderate frontrunners led to a shifting groundswell of support, first for Sam Brownback, then for Mike Huckabee, and finally in the epic failure that was the Fred Thompson campaign. Eventually, the activist side of the party gave in to McCain’s inevitable nomination, but not before Huckabee stayed in far longer than he should have (“I didn’t major in math, I majored in God,” anyone?), leaving lasting wounds in the party.
And in 2012, the field only had one legitimate frontrunner: it was Mitt Romney versus everyone else. Some commentators even referred to the GOP primary as “Mitt and the Munchkins.” The fact that Governor Romney had to expend so much effort, time, and resources to dispatch ridiculously weak candidates like Rick Santorum and Newt Gingrich displayed again how deeply uneasy and dissatisfied the party was with the GOP frontrunner. The White Knight candidacy of Rick Perry is also illustrative of this fact; likewise, many folks were pining for Mike Huckabee, Sarah Palin, Mitch Daniels, Paul Ryan, Jeb Bush, Haley Barbour, or Chris Christie to enter the race late into the campaign.
Our 2016 frontrunners stand in stark contrast to those of 2008 and 2012. In fact, after two elections where “dissatisfied” was the word most often used to describe the field, the opposite might be said of 2016. At this early stage, it seems everyone could be quite satisfied. The establishment-type folks who never like Romney find a champion in Jeb Bush — but even if Bush falters, they are okay with Rubio and Walker. The grassroots folks who never trusted McCain or Romney are finding plenty to like in Walker and Rubio. Even if they may be backing Cruz or Huckabee or Perry right now, when those candidates fall short those voters are generally okay with Walker or Rubio as well.
In 2016, there will be little yearning for a white knight candidate — partially because the field will be so large to start with, but mostly because the three frontrunners are acceptable to the varying factions in the GOP. And so this primary campaign will take on a different look: there will be no “flavor-of-the-month” candidates this time around because voters will not be attempting to find acceptable alternatives. There will be the big three, Bush and Rubio and Walker, who will ebb and flow, but remain the big three. And there will be movement in the second and third tier candidates below them as candidates like Huckabee and Cruz and Perry catch fire and cool off, but that movement will do little to impact the ultimate outcome of the race.
As Amy Walter put it, at this point in the Republican primary race it’s hard to see anyone other than Rubio, Bush, or Walker as the ultimate nominee.
First, my map guess earlier today, compared with the final map:
All-in-all, I came pretty close, all but nailing South Florida and the I-4 corridor. But I consistently over-estimated Romney in the Panhandle and especially in Northeast Florida. It seems that Romney’s strength with wealthier voters wasn’t enough to overcome the overall conservatism of the North. Romney remains a candidate with limited appeal to rural or lightly suburban base voters. Still, the map confirms the central contention of Team Romney: Mitt is the only candidate who can plausibly win in November. Take a look at two other maps. One, from McCain’s ’08 loss. The other, from Governor Scott’s ’10 victory (a baseline for a narrow Republican victory in Florida):
Darker counties are more partisan (red counties are Democratic, blue are Republican). These are very similar looking maps. But Scott’s victory (as you may or may not be able to see) came from essentially 5 counties (all highlighted in the Scott map). First, Orange, Osceola, and Volusia in the I-4 corridor. These 3 counties accounted for nearly 10% of the total vote and Scott outran McCain by 8, 12, and 8 points respectively. And then secondly, in Collier and Lee Counties, in Southwest Florida. These two counties account for more than 5% of the total vote and Scott outran McCain by 11 and 12 points respectively. Everywhere else in the state, Scott ran merely a point or two ahead of McCain (and in some places a little behind). Had he simply matched McCain’s percentages in those 5 counties, he would have lost the state by around a percentage point.
Now here were today’s results in those counties.
Of nearly equal concern are Gingrich’s performance in 2 counties which are typically associated with robust Republican victories but which Scott managed to skate by without: Pinellas and Hillsborough. They account for roughly 12% of the state’s vote total. Here’s the 2004 map with those two counties highlighted:
Bush carried these counties by .05% and 6% respectively. McCain lost them by 8% and 7%. Scott lost them by 6% and 3%. And how did Romney and Gingrich fare tonight?
In short, tonight Gingrich was competitive nowhere where a GOP candidate is likely to face competition and was positively blown out in several critical general election counties.
It’s true that rank-and-file conservatives in the Republican Party are unrepresented or poorly represented by their national leaders on issues such as trade and immigration, and this is because it’s definitely true that the economic interests of a lot of working- and middle-class conservative Republican voters are neglected by the national party. The electoral record also shows that the relative moderate candidate tends to prevail in the presidential nominating contest, and this is happening again as anyone could have seen that it would. As Cost later acknowledges, the relative moderates eke out nomination victories because there are always so many conservative candidates splitting the much larger conservative vote, which is proof that there are often too many conservative candidates in the mix and not that self-styled conservatives don’t control the party.
There is also always a large number of movement conservative activists and pundits more than willing to embrace the relative moderate as a bold conservative leader on the grounds that he is more electable, which is how George W. Bush and Romney acquired their ill-deserved reputations as conservatives in the first place. When a field has seven reasonably competitive conservative or libertarian candidates and arguably just one moderate (counting Romney as the moderate), it’s no wonder that the one moderate comes out ahead, especially when there are more than a few movement conservatives willing to make the case for him.
But neither Cost, nor Larison, get at one of the fundamental reasons there are frequently several relatively conservative candidates: the inability of conservatives to winnow their field. Conservatives aren’t actually over-represented in GOP fields. In this cycle, there were 3 relative moderates (Romney, Pawlenty, and Huntsman), 4 relative conservatives (Perry, Bachmann, Santorum, and Cain) and 2 relative oddballs (Gingrich and Paul). This is a pretty representative sample. But the establishment has skillfully winnowed the “moderate” field down to one contestant, sending Pawlenty packing early, and ignoring Huntsman entirely. Conservatives, however, have jumped for every single conservative and one of the oddballs. Let me suggest 2 ways to explain this phenomenon.
1.) The Effect of the Invisible Primary. This is essentially the race for money and endorsements. Candidates who perform well in the invisble primary tend to have success. So money and endorsements matter, right? Well, yeah, but I think something more complex is going on. Establishment candidates compete in the invisible primary- grassroots candidates don’t. Candidates who compete in the invisible primary, and later stumble, are more likely to be weeded out. Why should be it the case that Tim Pawlenty should drop out immediately after Ames, despite running 4 points ahead of Rick Santorum and 5 points ahead of Herman Cain? Isn’t this a little curious? A little odd? Both Santorum and Cain competed at Ames, and Santorum devoted as much to the straw poll, relative to his resources, as Pawlenty did. Sure, Pawlenty would have had a hard time getting noticed when his money dried up, but Santorum didn’t get noticed until 3 days before the first caucus and had no money at all. And yet it was obvious to an awful lot of people that Pawlenty needed to drop out. The invisible primary seems to function as a winnowing process for establishment candidates and the grassroots has no equivalent.
2.) Viability. Viability does not really matter to the grassroots. This is not an exaggeration. Even now, you can head over to RedState and read a dozen Erick Erickson posts since Christmas which have A.) Called Rick Santorum a pro-life statist and B.) Admitted that Santorum was preferrable to Romney. Presumably, though I don’t follow his every post, Erick Erickson- along with many other grassroots conservatives- is inclined to support Texas Governor Rick Perry. Erick Erickson thinks Perry “can still win” and therefore sees his criticism of Santorum as both a good faith effort to expose someone less than ideal and a way of improving Perry’s odds of winning the nomination. He is, along with many grassroots conservatives, a true believer. The True Believer may have many superior qualities, but strategic thinking is not among them.
Rick Perry has now been at 5% in SC for 4 straight polls. He has not been in double digits in South Carolina in 2 and 1/2 months. The odds of him coming back in the state are objectively quite low and any improvement he makes is bound to come at the expense of Santorum who, the True Believer admits, is preferrable to Romney. An establishment oriented voter would, at this juncture, abandon Perry and Gingrich, go all-in with Santorum, and hope for the best. And indeed, establishment oriented voters have done that all year. There will be no Huntsman surge in NH to mirror the Santorum surge in Iowa. Establishment Republicans, concerned about electability, do not see Huntsman as viable. Therefore Huntsman has been cheerfully ignored. After NH he will have exited the race, while 3 more grassrootsy alternatives continue on fruitlessly. In ’08, the establishment Giuliani, despite leading in national polls by a gazillion points for an age, was all but abandoned after December and led in just one Florida poll after NH. Meanwhile, conservatives seemed entirely unable to choose between Romney, Fred, and Huckabee, even as McCain seemed likely to waltz to the nomination. Establishment candidates are winnowed by the viability test while grassroots candidates are apparently encouraged to stay in forever.
There is no grand establishment conspiracy to consistently foist relatively moderate nominees on the party. The establishment simply does a better job of winnowing out unlikely nominees, thereby allowing one establishment choice to have free roam of the field.
Hotline has a really intriguing story up about the Romney campaign’s “new” website, careerpolitician.com, which serves as the home for attacks on rival Rick Perry. According to Hotline, the Romney campaign actually purchased the domain in March of 2007 when the primary battle between Giuliani, McCain, and Romney was heating up.
Presumably, Romney was going to launch the website as a method of attack against John McCain, who had been in Washington for 25 plus years at the time. It was a favorite line of Romney’s in the 2007-08 primary campaign to point out that people who had been in Washington caused the mess in Washington and couldn’t help solve the problem; he contrasted himself as a Washington outsider. This website would have fit into that narrative.
For whatever reason, Romney never launched the website in 2007. I wonder if, perhaps, the website never launched because the McCain campaign imploded in the early summer of 2007. Nobody thought McCain was a threat, and Romney fixed his aim squarely at Rudy Giuliani, and later, at Fred Thompson. Neither of them fit the “career politician” label. By the time McCain made his comeback, it was too late – just days prior to the New Hampshire primary, his poll numbers began to skyrocket, and with Romney’s loss to Huckabee in Iowa, the once left-for-dead McCain ran away with the nomination.
Whoever was responsible for the website at the Romney HQ, though, kept the registration active for four years until the site launched last week. And as I think about that 2007-08 storyline, I have to wonder if that’s not why Mitt Romney continues to attack Rick Perry. Four years ago, one of his chief rivals was written off. Everybody said, ‘Don’t worry about McCain. He’s not going anywhere’ — just as everyone is now saying the same about Rick Perry. And so this time around, Romney intends to keep his rival, who appears to be down for the count, laying on the mat. He wants to ensure there is no miraculous comeback a week before the actual voting starts. And so he revives the website which was intended to do just that in 2007, but which, in what Romney must view as a tactical error, was never launched.
Understanding the context of the past gives us a clearer understanding of what is going on today. That’s not to say the decisions made today are the best ones — or that the ones made in the past were mistakes. I think the attack of “career politician” used against McCain would have backfired because of McCain’s long and honorable military service, and the attacks on Rick Perry this time around may draw Romney into a spat he’d rather, as front runner, avoid. However, we can start to at least understand why Romney is making these decisions when we look at the narrative of his past experiences.
2008 Presidential candidate and former US Senator Fred Thompson wrote an excellent piece entitled, “The Dark Horse Effect.” In this piece he rips apart the media’s take on dark horse Presidential candidates and debunks the myth that Fred Thompson was a lazy candidate. Here’s an excerpt.
The media are beginning to get restless. They are ready for the campaign games to begin, but the contestants are not lining up in the starting gate.
So, with space and airwaves to fill, we are now being treated to the speculative phase of the proceedings. Pollsters and pontificators tell us who is in, who is out, who may be in, who may be out, who is definitely out, and how the outs would do if they got in. Included is the obligatory “dissatisfaction with the field” phenomenon.
This results in another candidate category for the media — candidates who should not get in. These are your “dark horses,” recruited or drafted candidates who have obvious qualities, but who may not be committed to running for president, “deep within their bones.” Critics say these people sometimes wind up running out of a sense of civic obligation instead of an innate desire to spend endless hours in moldy basements with strangers. The pundits believe such candidacies never turn out well
This is the theme of Ed Kilgore’s recent piece in The New Republic, “The Fred Thompson Effect.” Perhaps you can tell from the title who is being used as exhibit A for Kilgore’s thesis. The dark-horse-as-savior topic is an interesting one, but there is also a collateral issue: In the minds of some commentators, the candidate who enters the fray late (by media standards) is by definition a dark horse, and therefore suspect. That is, the candidate would not be a dark horse if his heart were truly in it. If he had the fire in the belly, he would not be late entering the field. Some writers will go to extremes to make the facts fit their thesis.
Seriously take a read of the entire article – it’s well worth the read. As a once and future Fred-head, it’s good to see Fred Thompson address these types of accusations head on.
I enjoyed Matt Coulter’s recent post showing how different the race for the Republican presidential nomination looked in March of 2007, compared to how things eventually turned out. But, since this election season is beginning so much later than the last one, I think it might be even more accurate to look at where the race for 2008 stood when, like today, there were only three major candidates (Governors or federal office holders) with exploratory committees.
At this point in time, only former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, former Governor Tim Pawlenty, and former Governor Buddy Roemer have presidential exploratory committees. None of these committees are even a month old.
On November 10, 2006, there were three major candidates with exploratory committees: Congressman Duncan Hunter, Senator John McCain, and former NYC Mayor Rudy Giuliani (for all practical purposes a governor). In early-to-mid November of 2006, which is more comparable to this point in the 2012 election, the polls looked like this:
The national numbers according to Rasmussen:
- Rudy Giuliani – 24%
- Condoleezza Rice – 18%
- John McCain – 17%
According to McLaughlin & Associates:
- John McCain – 28%
- Rudy Giuliani – 22%
- Condoleezza Rice – 13%
- George Allen – 2%
- Bill Frist – 2%
- George Pataki – 1%
According to Gallup:
- Rudy Giuliani – 28%
- John McCain – 26%
- Condoleezza Rice – 13%
- Newt Gingrich – 7%
- Bill Frist – 4%
- George Allen – 2%
- George Pataki – 1%
- Chuck Hagel – 1%
And, finally, according to Pew:
- Rudy Giuliani – 27%
- John McCain – 26%
- Condoleezza Rice – 20%
- Bill Frist – 4%
The race for Iowa looked like this:
- Rudy Giuliani – 28%
- John McCain – 26%
- Newt Gingrich – 18%
- Chuck Hagel – 6%
The race for New Hampshire looked like this:
- John McCain – 29%
- Rudy Giuliani – 25%
- Newt Gingrich – 14%
What I find most fascinating is not how only the candidates changed positions, but how many names were being purported as serious, major potential contenders for the Republican nomination, only to stay out of the race completely–as well as the candidates who weren’t even on anyone’s imagination yet, but would eventually become major players in the election.
For instance, for 2012, what if Mike Huckabee and Sarah Palin never even run, and some out-of-left-field individual like Stanley McChrystal or Clarence Thomas suddenly swoops in during the last leg of the race, in response to some major dissatisfaction with the field, and instantly becomes a frontrunner, a la Fred Thompson? Might one misworded joke send a presumed frontrunner like Mitt Romney or Tim Pawlenty tumbling into oblivion, a la George Allen? I’m not making any predictions here, but it’s interesting to note that, at this point, it’s so early, we don’t even know who the candidates are going to be, let alone their polling statuses.
Just for fun on a Friday afternoon…
Four years ago, going into the last week in March 2007, this is where the Republican primary race stood:
The national numbers according to Rasmussen:
- Giuliani – 35%
- McCain – 15%
- Romney – 10%
- Thompson – n/a
According to Zogby:
- Giuliani – 27%
- McCain – 13%
- Romney – 9%
- Thompson – 9%
And finally, according to Gallup:
- Giuliani – 31%
- McCain – 22%
- Thompson – 12%
- Romney – 3%
The race for Iowa looked like this:
- Giuliani – 29%
- McCain – 29%
- Thompson – 12%
- Romney – 10%
And New Hampshire looked like this:
- McCain – 23%
- Giuliani – 19%
- Romney – 17%
- Thompson – 10%
Not trying to make any specific point in particular (as fanboys and girls of any candidate can use these numbers as a Rorschach picture) other than this: the campaign hasn’t even begun yet. Numbers are going to move. And conventional wisdom will probably be shattered twenty-three times between now and February 6, 2012.
As Gov. Pawlenty attempts to curry favor with the small government, Tea Party wing of the GOP in the run-up to the 2012 presidential election, I feel it is important we do not let Tim Pawlenty 2.0 erase his true colors from our collective memory.
Here’s some choice quotes from the Wall Street Journal‘s 2008 article, “Pawlenty’s Record“:
“The era of small government is over . . . government has to be more proactive, more aggressive.”
— Tim Pawlenty, 2006
But in 2005, signs of his “progressive” instincts emerged. In a quest for new revenue, Mr. Pawlenty supported a 75 cents per-pack cigarette tax. He called it a “health impact” fee. No one was fooled. User fees are generally charged to ensure that those who use a government service pay for the cost of providing that service. In this case, however, it was obvious that smokers were just being tapped to fund health-care entitlement programs.
Following the tax hike, the governor pushed through a state-wide smoking ban in workplaces, restaurants and bars. Aggressive, Nanny-state government seems to be big with Republican governors these days — although policies such as smoking bans do little to stem the costly tide of state-run health care.
Mr. Pawlenty responded with a more limited proposal to expand the state’s child health-care program, Minnesota Care, to cover all children. More recently, the governor’s Health Care Transformation Task Force recommended imposing a mandate — à la Massachusetts — on residents to buy health insurance.
The South St. Paul populist also advocated a temporary ban on ads paid for by pharmaceutical companies. Not exactly the stuff of which markets are made.
Nevertheless, Mr. Pawlenty has presided over back-to-back biennial budget increases of 12.4% and 9.8% respectively. Last year the governor’s proposed budget survived essentially intact but still spent the state’s $2 billion surplus, with half the general fund increase going to education. Minnesota, with five million people, now has a biennial budget of nearly $35 billion.
Mr. Pawlenty’s proactive government stance extends to support for mass transit and sport stadium subsidies, as well as for hiking the state’s minimum wage, which is now $6.15 an hour for large employers (the federal minimum wage is $5.85). But it is education and the environment where Mr. Pawlenty hopes to establish his progressive bona fides.
Mr. Pawlenty has courted the unions, telling the Minnesota Business Partnership that “I can’t have the Republican governor talk about changing the school system without having the support and help of the teachers’ union and my friends on the other side of the aisle. It just won’t work.”
On the environment, Mr. Pawlenty imposed some of the most aggressive renewable energy mandates in the country. Other states will be requiring, in coming years, that energy producers get 20% of their electricity from “renewable” sources such as wind, solar or animal manure. In Mr. Pawlenty’s Minnesota, the state’s largest utility will be required to generate 30% of its power from renewable sources by 2020.
In April, Mr. Pawlenty delivered the remarks that probably best reveal his views on the environment. “It looks like we should have listened to President Carter,” he told the Minnesota Climate Change Advisory Group. “He called us to action, and we should have listened. . . . Climate change is real. Human behavior is partly and may be a lot responsible. Those who don’t think so are simply not right. We should not spend time on voices that say it’s not real.”
Mr. Pawlenty responded by calling for a state gas tax increase.
Seeing that I’ve been posting a couple of times a month this year, opposed to every day, I was somewhat taken back to find that one of my posts on this guy has found it’s way back to front page discussions this far out of the 2012 primaries. So, I figured I would clear up just what I said about Bill Keller, so there is no confusion among the masses about the self appointed replacement of St. Peter guarding the pearly gates. Without taking sides in the current debate that is going on here at this site, I wanted to make a few points about what my posts said in full.
Since the first post is apparently now unavailable on this web site, I will quote David’s post. The “claim” is in referral to Kristofer’s post, while the “truth” is David’s response:
CLAIM: “Tommy Oliver highlighted the vicious anti-Mormon bigotry this Huckabee-aligned group has engaged in.”
The link to Tommy’s article which is here, says nothing about anti-Mormon bigotry, in fact it talks about a statement by pastor Bill Killer where he says:
Sadly, Michael (Jackson) grew up in the Jehovah’s Witnesses cult. This is the cult born out of the depraved mind of Charles Taze Russell and denies the very deity of Christ. You can go to Google and type in “cults Jehovah’s Witnesses” and it will give you many websites to document their false theology.
- Does Lorelli know that Mormon and Jehovah’s Witness is not the same faith?
- Does Lorelli think that pastors are not allowed to address belief systems that they believe are false? To not address the truth claims of various faiths would be intellectual ignorance.
- Also, how is a statement by pastor Bill Keller evidence that ARTL is an anti-Mormon group?
- What evidence does he have that connected Bill Keller with ARTL?
What are the SPECIFIC “anti-Mormon” acts by ARTL?
While technically the post which is linked by David that I authored does not specifically point out what Keller stated about Mitt Romney, the LDS faith, Gays, Guns, Rock and Roll, or the plot to sabatoge America, some of my previous posts have. David may not be aware that the particular post (written by me) that was linked to was, in fact, a follow up to a few earlier posts that I had written. At the time, Kristofer had done an interview with Steve Deace for this website, and had stated that one of the groups leaders was Mr. Keller. He also posted a video that was produced by this group, the ARTL, which tore into Governor Romney, Ann Coulter, and just about everything else on this side of black helicopters, UFO sightings, and Jonathan Christian (J.C.) Webster III. In this interview with Mr. Lorelli, Mr. Deace also tore into Governor Romney.
Now, as most of our readers who followed this site during the last primaries probably remember that I went after both the Romney and the Huckabee camp, so I have no dog in this fight. However, at the time of those interviews, I followed up with posts concerning Mr. Keller’s attacks on a whole bunch of different denominations, including Mitt Romney’s, Fred Thompson’s, Michael Jackson’s, and just about anyone else who Mr. Keller deemed unworthy of entrance into the pearly gates.
2 John 7 says, “For many deceivers have gone out into the world who do not confess Jesus Christ as coming in the flesh. This is a deceiver and an antichrist.” So Christians who stand on true Biblical principles are faced with bleak choices for the moment in Thompson and cult member Mitt Romney.Voters beware.
He also said this about Mr. Thompson’s religion:
Christians looking for a Presidential candidate in Fred Thompson ought to think about it a bit more before jumping on the bandwagon. Thompson has been very elusive about his faith since Focus on the Family’s James Dobson suggested that Thompson should declare his faith. At that time, a Thompson spokesman said that the prospective candidate was baptized into the Church of Christ- a sect that some consider a dangerous cult because of its teachings on baptism and works based doctrines that question the atonement of sins through Jesus Christ.
Mr. Keller, who is one of the people behind the ARTL video about Ann Coulter and Mitt Romney (as Kristofer pointed out on this post), became somewhat notorious during the 2007 primaries for his insistance that “a vote for Mitt Romney is a vote for Satan.”
Originally, I had a post up here at race42008 (as it was called then) that highlighted Mr. Keller’s quote at the time he was referring directly to Governor Romney. Since I cannot currently find it, I will quote his website directly. Here is exactly what Mr. Keller said, quoted word for word, on Governor Romney:
If you vote for Mitt Romney, you are voting for satan! This message today is not about Mitt Romney. Romney is an unashamed and proud member of the Mormon cult founded by a murdering polygamist pedophile named Joseph Smith nearly 200 years ago. The teachings of the Mormon cult are doctrinally and theologically in complete opposition to the Absolute Truth of God’s Word. There is no common ground. If Mormonism is true, then the Christian faith is a complete lie. There has never been any question from the moment Smith’s cult began that it was a work of satan and those who follow their false teachings will die and spend eternity in hell. This message is about the top Christian leaders in our nation who are supporting this cult members quest to become the next President of the United States.
I’m not taking sides here because I have no clue what is going on in this current argument, but I wanted to clear up this point about what I said about Mr. Keller because, apparently, he takes it upon himself to educate us on just who he will let enter Heaven, and who he (Mr. Keller) will personally cast into the pits of Hell. By the way, I forgot to mention that he is a convicted felon for… you guessed it… insider trading.
A former businessman convicted of insider trading in 1989, Keller served two years in federal prison, was released and later earned a degree in biblical studies from Liberty University in Lynchburg, Virginia.
UPDATE: Apparently some folks have forgotten that I am not some sort of “Rombot in Disguise.” I am neither Rombot nor Huckster. I personally could care less who won Iowa in 2008 since I didn’t vote there and would not have voted for either of them if I had. So… in all fairness, I will provide links to some of my pieces that I’ve written about Governor Romney, such as this one, this one, this one, and this one.