Failing the competence primary; Update: VA GOP chair statement added

posted at 8:55 am on December 28, 2011 by Ed Morrissey

Candidates for office face many tasks, but a few of those are basic to their mission.  One of the most basic is understanding and meeting the requirements to get onto the ballot in the first place.  Presidential candidates don’t do this themselves, of course; they hire a staff to handle these basic functions, and the performance of their staff becomes a test of the candidate’s competence and executive performance.  Unfortunately, at least two of the Republican presidential hopefuls flunked this test in Virginia, and I write in my column for The Fiscal Times today that this amounts to a competence primary on the eve of the Iowa caucuses.

Both campaigns have claimed some level of victimization, but both Virginia Republicans and the facts don’t support them:

Gingrich and his supporters have argued that he and Perry have been victimized byunreasonable ballot-access rules and by a change of enforcement prompted by a court case this year.  They claim that the Republican Party had never verified signatures in the past, a claim disputed by a contemporaneous account in 2007 by Erick Erickson, a conservative activist and now a CNN commentator.   Erickson included an e-mail from the state GOP informing the campaigns on December 14, 2007, that the party would do “a hard count for number of signatures based on correctness of form” three days later – a process to which Erickson objected at the time as needlessly stringent.

It’s also disputed in an e-mail to me by a Republican Party official at the county level in Virginia (as it happens, a Perry supporter). The official claimed that signature verification has taken place for at least a decade, saying, “This is not Chicago politics.”  Furthermore, Mitt Romney’s campaign sent volunteers to “target rich” party events over the last several months to get signatures in a common, “pitch and catch” process in the state.  He has never seen representatives with petitions for either Gingrich or Perry at these events, where party officials will usually sign petitions for all candidates regardless of whom they support in order to ensure a meaningful primary for Virginia.  Nothing significant has changed in Virginia law on petitions in the past decade, except to make it easier to get signatures by reducing the requirement for Social Security number collection to a voluntary choice.

Remember Fred Thompson?  A popular figure among Republicans, his campaign performance underwhelmed voters who initially flocked to his side in 2007 when he jumped into the race late in the cycle.  Like Perry, Thompson raised a lot of money fast — $21 million for 2007, which will probably end up being quite a bit less than Perry in 2011. With less time than Perry and a campaign that seemed lethargic all year, Thompson still managed to qualify for the ballot in Virginia.  For that matter, so did Dennis Kucinich on the Democratic side, who ended up with a grand total of 1,625 votes in the Virginia primary in 2008, a fraction of the number of required signatures to have qualified for the ballot in the first place.

Michele Bachmann, Rick Santorum, and Jon Huntsman also failed to qualify.  In my column, I attribute that less to executive incompetence than a strategic deployment of very finite resources.  Bachmann and Santorum will be finished if they can’t win, place, or show in Iowa, and Huntsman will be out if he can’t win or place in New Hampshire.  Kucinich managed to qualify even with a small campaign war chest, but Kucinich is more analogous to Ron Paul — a protest candidate marching to the beat of his own drum.  Clearly, Perry had the resources to get on the ballot in Virginia, and Gingrich has lived in Virginia for the last 12 years and couldn’t afford to ignore his own home state.

The Washington Examiner’s Steve Contorno report also disputes the notion that Gingrich, Perry, and the rest of the Republican field got stymied by new processes.  Instead, it’s clear that the campaigns simply didn’t get the job done (via Instapundit):

There is speculation that Gingrich and Perry were rejected because Virginia Republicans used stricter criteria to judge the validity of voters’ signatures, including checking each voter’s current address. The blog Ballot Access News reported that the GOP gave candidates a free pass in previous elections but checked the petitions more diligently this year after Mike Osborne, an independent candidate for state delegate, sued the party over its procedure for verifying signatures.

However, state party officials insisted nothing changed from previous election cycles. Gingrich and Perry simply failed to meet the standard, they said.

Chris Woodfin, third district GOP chairman, said Perry failed to submit 10,000 signatures and Gingrich turned in only a few more than the bare minimum, making it likely that just a few disqualified signatures would prevent him from getting on the ballot.

“I didn’t hear from a lot of these campaigns until the beginning of December or after that. They had since July 1,” Woodfin said. “Some other people might have sympathy for them. I don’t.”

Let’s say for the sake of argument that the Virginia GOP tightened its standards because of the lawsuit last year.  Shouldn’t the campaigns have been in contact with the state party early in this cycle to get a handle on the requirements?  It’s called due diligence, and either way it’s very clear that neither campaign did their due diligence in regard to Virginia.  That speaks directly to executive competence.  Perry has never run a campaign outside of Texas, and Gingrich has never run a campaign outside of his own district in Georgia while serving in the House and hasn’t run at all for more than a decade, and it shows in both cases.  They both showed up late, didn’t bother to determine the task requirements, and ended up failing where Mitt Romney and Ron Paul succeeded.  Perry can’t claim a lack of resources, and for Gingrich, Virginia is his home state, and has been for twelve years.

In my conclusion, I argue that this matters strategically for the GOP:

This takes us back to the competency issue.  If Republicans choose to make executive competence an issue, the failure to understand Virginia ballot law will not speak well of the executive competence of either Gingrich or Perry.  With Gingrich taking hits from former House colleagues on the issue of his managerial competence as Speaker, this is a primary test that Gingrich very much needed to pass.  For Republican voters in Virginia and around the nation, only Mitt Romney and Ron Paul won the competence primary in the Old Dominion, which has to have some impact on the calculus for the rest of the primaries.

It matters even more in the sense of trust.  If these two campaigns were this sloppy about a Super Tuesday primary state, how can Republicans trust them to run a general-election campaign against the Barack Obama re-elect campaign machine?

Update: Via commenter Swamp Yankee, here’s the notice that the VA GOP published to inform campaigns of the petition requirements, among others, to gain a ballot slot.  This went out in March of this year.  A few choice quotes, emphasis mine:

Must be signed by not less than 10,000 qualified voters in Virginia,  including at least 400 qualified voters from each of Virginia’s eleven congressional districts, who attest that they intend to participate in the primary of the same political party as the candidate named on the petition.

Because many people who are not registered to vote will sign a petition, it is recommended that 15,000 – 20,000 signatures be obtained with at least 700 signatures from each congressional district.

Must provide the true signature, the printed full name and the full resident address of each qualified voter and the date each signed the petition.

Virginia Republicans handed candidates a road map.  Petitions could be gathered from July 1 forward, and yet only two of the candidates proved they could follow a map in more than five month’s time.

Update II: The chair of the Republican Party of Viriginia, Pat Mullens, posted a statement on Facebook late last night defending the RPV from accusations that it played favorites in the certification process:

First of all, I am neutral in the Primary. As the Party’s leader I think that it’s important I ensure a level playing field, not take a side. Plus, any one of our nominees will be better than the current occupant of the White House. Our Country is spiraling downward, economically and socially, and we need to be united to win in November, 2012.

Second, the Republican Party of Virginia merely certifies petition signatures. We don’t set ballot access laws. Those laws are set by the General Assembly, not by the RPV.

The candidates for President all knew the laws set by the Commonwealth of Virginia that they needed to abide by to get on the ballot. We can’t change the rules mid-game to right what may or may not be a wrong. The law is the law.

Lastly, this is a personal opinion. Virginia is the cradle of Democracy. The ballot access laws should be modified and streamlined to allow greater participation. We can’t do anything about 2012 at this point. But I do intend to appeal to our General Assembly and elected leaders to bring Virginia’s ballot access more in line with other states — simpler and streamlined with greater access. I think it’s important that the people in Virginia get to vote for the candidate of their choice, not be restricted.

One more thing — Rick Perry sued Virginia, RPV and me today, so I probably going to be told by our lawyers I can’t say anything more about this. It’s not usual that I’m sued by someone I like, but politics is strange, huh? :}

The laws that govern the petitions were documented in March by the RPV to any candidate looking to access the ballot in Virginia, as shown above, but the law is accessible to anyone regardless of whether the RPV made it easy as they did in their March circular.  They even stressed that the usual rate of bad signatures would probably mean collecting a ratio of 3:2 or 2:1 to ensure that enough legitimate signatures were collected between July 1 and mid-December to qualify for the ballot.  I’m not sure what else the RPV was expected to do.

Update III: A few people have pointed to this undated announcement from Pat Mullins as a kind of “smoking gun” to prove that the rules changed late in the game.  However, all this memo does is explain exactly how Virginia law requires the RPV to certify petitions, and doesn’t change anything at all.  State law allows them to assume that a submission of more than 15,000 signatures amounts to enough signatures to assume the 10,000, but otherwise the signatures must be checked against state law, in subsection 24.2-506, which states (emphasis mine):

The name of any candidate for any office, other than a party nominee, shall not be printed upon any official ballots provided for the election unless he shall file along with his declaration of candidacy a petition therefor, on a form prescribed by the State Board, signed by the number of qualified voters specified below after January 1 of the year in which the election is held and listing the residence address of each such voter. Each signature on the petition shall have been witnessed by a person who is himself a qualified voter, or qualified to register to vote, for the office for which he is circulating the petition and whose affidavit to that effect appears on each page of the petition.

Each voter signing the petition may provide on the petition the last four digits of his social security number, if any; however, noncompliance with this requirement shall not be cause to invalidate the voter’s signature on the petition.

Note that the 15,000 threshold is actually less restrictive than the party’s suggestion to get as many as 20,000 to ensure qualification.


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I’m starting not to care anymore. Just wake me when we have a nominee so I can vote against Obama.

gophergirl on December 28, 2011 at 10:52 AM

I’m there. Palin was my candidate. Perry blew it, in my mind. Bachmann had too many gaffes. Santorum….too conservative for the general public. Gingrich? Yes, but it was a matter of time before he eliminated himself. Paul? Some good domestic, economic stuff, but too extreme and his foreign policy is NUTS. So, Romney is the last one standing.

ABO. Yes, I’ll vote for Romney, but I will not campaign for him. If anything, I’ll campaign for our country and against Obama.

conservative pilgrim on December 28, 2011 at 11:14 AM

Perry and Gingrich are completely incompetent and yet all the bots here continue making excuses for them. God forbid one of them wins the presidency and Iran changes the rules of negotiation a few months before the deadline, we’ll be panned.

STOP TRYING TO EMBARRASS THE PARTY BY NOMINATION LAZY IDIOTS PLEASE.

Ruiner on December 28, 2011 at 11:09 AM

This is pure cant, that does not address the facts of the situation in the least. Just spamming cant doesn’t mean that Romney’s signatures, if checked, wouldn’t have as high a reject rate as Perry’s and Gingrich’s, thus dropping him below 10,000, and removing him from the VA ballot.

cane_loader on December 28, 2011 at 11:15 AM

Massachusetts homeowners paid a steep price for Romney’s shell game. The average single-family property tax bill statewide rose from $3,015 in fiscal 2002 to $3,799 in 2006, a 26 percent increase, or $784 a year.

cyclo on December 28, 2011 at 10:13 AM

How much of that increase was due to appreciation in home value rather than increases in the property tax rate? During Romney’s term, home prices went up quite a bit in some places, so the increase in taxes may not be due to an increasing rate.

I don’t know and am not being snarky; I am just curious.

cabbie25 on December 28, 2011 at 11:16 AM

If you can’t figure out how to get on a stupid ballot, you should not be anywhere near the nuclear football. Perry is a fool and should drop out for gross incompetence. Handed the nomination on a silver platter, he manage to squander every drop of credibility he ever had.

andy85719 on December 28, 2011 at 11:11 AM

I hardly get annoyed at a fellow commenter but permit me to say you are a big fool.

And you will remain so until you can document within this thread that your resume surpasses Perry’s.

Don’t go about calling your betters fools.

TheRightMan on December 28, 2011 at 11:18 AM

BTW, none of the candidates — NOT A ONE — has come close to the catastrophic disorganization of the McCain campaign in 2007/8. Yeah, no ballot access problems, but multiple rounds of staff firings, wild overspending, no message, impromptu campaign suspensions, and attacking the VP nominee in the press a month before the campaign was over.

Robert_Paulson on December 28, 2011 at 9:16 AM

Remind us who won that one again?

Hope on December 28, 2011 at 11:18 AM

nonpartisan on December 28, 2011 at 10:08 AM

I assume that was a joke?
Pretty good one. Its like the settled science of other things.
I mean..Hey!!…who can argue with science??

Mimzey on December 28, 2011 at 11:19 AM

(2) Romney’s sigs were not checked, because he had over 15,000. Oddly, though, Paul’s sigs were also simply accepted without checking–even though he did not in fact meet the 15,000 threshold. Perry’s and Gingrich’s sigs were checked.

(3) The rules were not changed in November, but the IMPLEMENTATION of the rules was. Prior to last month, anyone who submitted at least 10,000 signatures had their sigs simply deemed sufficient. It wasn’t until November that the “deeming” threshold was raised to 15K.

….I think Perry did the right thing in filing the suit. There do seem to be First- and Fourteenth-Amendment issues, and I hope the court provides redress. I also find it puzzling that, in the face of so many questions, oddities, and inconsistencies regarding the rules, implementation, and conflicts of interest at the VAGOP (Lt. Gov. Bolling, anyone?), Mr. Morrissey and others still insist on giving the VAGOP a pass while faulting Perry and Gingrich for incompetence. I don’t see how it’s incompetent to fail to jump through a hoop that gets moved after your feet have already left the ground.

racetraitor on December 28, 2011 at 11:08 AM

That bears repeating…..again and again and again. Thank you racetraitor fpr saying this so clearly!!

oldroy on December 28, 2011 at 11:19 AM

gophergirl on December 28, 2011 at 11:09 AM

Everyday shouldn’t be a circus, no matter how funny the clowns are.

Cindy Munford on December 28, 2011 at 11:19 AM

Must be signed by not less than 10,000 qualified voters in Virginia, . . . .

Sigh. Apparently grammar didn’t make it on the Virginia curriculum. This should be “not fewer than”. Oh well.

cabbie25 on December 28, 2011 at 10:03 AM

Hee hee I laughed right out loud at less/fewer…I thought the same thing. Kind of like since/because. Since implies time, because implies reason.

herm2416 on December 28, 2011 at 11:20 AM

What more important job is there for a manager in a campaign to make sure one follows established rules. Even our form of government has rules. And a manager, particular one who has been a governor and for 10 years, should understand the rules,follow up with staff as a part of implementing measures to meet deadlines. Santorum is my candidate. Not a Romney fan, and he has done way too much Liberal stuff, but anyone except Obama [and Paul].

democratsarefools on December 28, 2011 at 11:20 AM

its not a coincedence that the only 2 to qualify were the 2 who ran in 2008 and had campaign organization running since then.

jp on December 28, 2011 at 11:21 AM

It is obviously unfair and ridiculous to have a cutoff (15,000) beyond which signatures would not be verified. An ACORN-style outfit could easily generate 15,001 bogus sigs.

But all this is just an example of the absurdity of the current primary system of selecting candidates. The parties should just eliminate the primaries and go back to selecting their presidential candidates in convention. See Jay Cost’s argument:

http://www.weeklystandard.com/blogs/morning-jay-three-years-obama-still-doesnt-know-what-it-means-be-president_613350.html

MrLynn on December 28, 2011 at 11:21 AM

ABO. Yes, I’ll vote for Romney, but I will not campaign for him. If anything, I’ll campaign for our country and against Obama.

conservative pilgrim on December 28, 2011 at 11:14 AM

If you have written off all the Not-Romneys without a vote being cast, then you are welcome to vote for Romney.

I, as well as a decent number of conservatives in my circle of family and friends, will NOT vote for Romney either in the primary or the general.

If Romney is the nominee, I will vote for Obama and will enjoy doing so.

TheRightMan on December 28, 2011 at 11:21 AM

racetraitor on December 28, 2011 at 11:08 AM

The current pending Virginia election lawsuit, Osborne v Boyles apparently changed how the rules were to be implemented.

sunshinek67 on December 28, 2011 at 11:22 AM

Thanks Ed! That should extinguish the conspiracy theories about changing the rules in mid-cycle, right? Right?

conservative pilgrim on December 28, 2011 at 11:05 AM

Except that fire doesn’t melt steel I tell ya!

Rational Thought on December 28, 2011 at 11:23 AM

Everyday shouldn’t be a circus, no matter how funny the clowns are.

Cindy Munford on December 28, 2011 at 11:19 AM

Somedays I just get tired of fighting. I know I shouldn’t, I know it’s important to fight now more than ever.

Just some days – it wears me out.

gophergirl on December 28, 2011 at 11:23 AM

If you have trouble getting emails and collecting signatures you might be a “person who shouldn’t be the nominee.”

Seriously, none of you Perrykrishnas think it is even the weest bit pathetic to only collect 6000 valid sigs when you needed 10000 minimum? Perry would only collect 100 electoral votes and then complain that 270 is too onerous.

andy85719 on December 28, 2011 at 11:23 AM

Here’s the timeline.

2008 Primary: The VA GOP (rpv.org) instructs all candidates to get 10000 sigs, with 15000 as a safety margin. This repeats the recommendations of the State Board of Elections. All candidates do submit 10000+ sigs. The VA GOP waives the requirement to verify the signatures and submits them without checking.

May 2011: The VA GOP instructs all candidates to get 10000+ sigs, with 15000 as a safety margin (same as 200.

July 2011: Candidates are allowed to begin collecting signatures.

October 2011: Some guy named Osborne, who is running in a state election, files a lawsuit protesting that the no-check rule is unfair.

November 2011: In reaction to the lawsuit, the VA GOP decides to change the no-check rule for presidential primaries. They increase it from 10000 sigs to 15000 sigs. They send an electronic notice (e-mail or fax) to all candidates advising of the rule change.

For whatever reason Newt’s campaign didn’t get the notice. The e-mail/fax was never received or misrouted, unclear.

December 2011: The Gingrich campaign announces they have over 10000 sigs (the requirement) and are pushing for 15000 to meet the recommended number (see May above). At this point they believe they have breathing room. Getting 15000 is not essential just a good cushion so they aren’t too worried.

December 21, 2011: The VA GOP publishes an undated letter announcing the rule change.
http://tinyurl.com/8yxgw69

The PDF contains a hidden Microsoft Word creation date of 12/21/2011. This is the first public announcement of the rule change AFAIK.

Newt’s campaign freaks out at the surprise rule change (claims ‘Pearl Harbor’). Now getting 15,000 sigs isn’t nice-to-have but absolutely essential. Newt flies to VA to scramble to get 15,000 sigs.

Newt’s campaign turns in 11,000 sigs, short of the new rule’s 15,000 no-check requirement.

December 23: Because Newt/Perry are below 15,000 sigs the VA GOP runs the sigs through a computer-based address checking system. This has never been done before, not in 2008 nor prior primaries, for any candidate. Enough sigs are rejected to toss Newt and Perry off the ballot. The VA GOP announces this on Twitter.

December 27: The VA GOP turns in the final slate to the State Board of Elections.

It is unclear at this point if the VA GOP even bothered to turn in Newt’s or Perry’s petitions.

Gideon7 on December 28, 2011 at 10:31 AM

Has anyone confirmed this timeline?

This would make Newt and Perry justified in challenging the GOPV on several grounds.

It also undermines Ed’s post, and would justify an update either way.

WhatNot on December 28, 2011 at 11:23 AM

The current pending Virginia election lawsuit, Osborne v Boyles apparently changed how the rules were to be implemented.

sunshinek67 on December 28, 2011 at 11:22 AM

It is pending, pray tell how that forced a change in implementation mid-game.

Constitutional historian of conservative values on December 28, 2011 at 11:26 AM

Rare Ed piece that I agree with.

All you conspiracy theorists give the smarter republicans a bad way. They changed the rules in November… HA HA HA HA!! How absurd.

Its a competence test or even really an IQ test and Newt and Yeeehaw both are major fail.

Mitt will make a great president.

Jailbreak on December 28, 2011 at 11:26 AM

Why check only the signatures that fail to meet the established requirement and not all of them? Do they need help up there in the VA elections commission? I’m available to check the Paul/Mitt sigs guys, in the spirit of fair, free and lawful elections.

RepubChica on December 28, 2011 at 11:26 AM

Karl Magnus on December 28, 2011 at 10:19 AM

I like the Hail Mary reference. I don’t think it’s blasphemous at all (BTW, I’m Catholic). I’m assuming you know the history of the term “Hail Mary” used in reference to a long pass? If not, here’s the quick and dirty: Roger Staubach, Dallas Cowboys, really close game with Cowboys losing and down to the wire, Staubach (Catholic) says a quick “Hail Mary” and launches the ball, the rest is history.

I will disagree with you, though, that Perry’s move is quite as “desperate” as a Hail-Mary pass. He arguably has Supreme Court precendent behind him, and several circuit courts have decided this very issue in a way that backs up Perry (however, none of those lower courts binds Virginia). I think he’s got maybe a bit better than a 50-50 chance of success.

Like you, give me the gun-totin’, coyote-pluggin’ conservative governor any day of the week.

racetraitor on December 28, 2011 at 11:27 AM

The timeline proves nothing. Nothing changed. All you needed was 10000 sigs. However, if you got 15000, you were likely beyond the point at which invalid sigs would disqualify. Perry and Gingrich chose to be lazy and blew it. Too bad for them.

andy85719 on December 28, 2011 at 11:27 AM

At least Obama is up front about what he believes in.

Romney is a serial liar.

For what he would do to the party and the country, Romney would be worse than Obama.

Much worse.

cyclo on December 28, 2011 at 11:27 AM

Seriously, none of you Perrykrishnas think it is even the weest bit pathetic to only collect 6000 valid sigs when you needed 10000 minimum? Perry would only collect 100 electoral votes and then complain that 270 is too onerous.

andy85719 on December 28, 2011 at 11:23 AM

You have proof that Perry collected anything less than 11,900 signatures as was reported by his campaign?

Several media outlets and blogs, including Hot Air, will like to see the proof.

TheRightMan on December 28, 2011 at 11:27 AM

So Gingrich and Perry are basically going to argue that the dog ate their homework? This should instill confidence in their leadership abilities…

Seixon on December 28, 2011 at 11:29 AM

TheRightMan on December 28, 2011 at 11:21 AM

I am not voting for Mitt Romney with his pseudo-R next to his name. Have never voted for a Democrat, a moderate one at that, in my lifetime for President and have no plans to do so now. Conservative grassroots movements have been quoted as doing absolutely nothing for a nominee Mitt Romney in the general election, rather will push hard for the Senate and more seats in the House. Using the other two branches of government to put the fire to Obama so to speak is better than a Mitt Romney Presidency in and of itself.

I see my state turning blue for the first time in decades if Mitt Romney ends up with the nomination. As a mother of three children, I want a President for once that can be inspiring to generations, value based and will bring honor and integrity back to the Office. That is not Mitt Romney.

sunshinek67 on December 28, 2011 at 11:29 AM

You have proof that Perry collected anything less than 11,900 signatures as was reported by his campaign?

Several media outlets and blogs, including Hot Air, will like to see the proof.

TheRightMan on December 28, 2011 at 11:27 AM

He said he “cheated” yesterday. So take it with a grain of salt and all that :)

gophergirl on December 28, 2011 at 11:30 AM

You have proof that Perry collected anything less than 11,900 signatures as was reported by his campaign?

Several media outlets and blogs, including Hot Air, will like to see the proof.

Have you read his friggin’ filing in the lawsuit? Obviously not. If you had you would know that, in the end, he only submitted 6,000 valid signatures.

Esoteric on December 28, 2011 at 11:30 AM

Cause I’m crabby as hell today.

I’ll care tomorrow I’m sure. Today I don’t :)

gophergirl on December 28, 2011 at 11:09 AM

This is just blog fodder for Ed. Ed’s got to post on the republican primary ups and downs SMILE. Ed’s repeating the response to the Perry suit, from the RPV. It’s not like they can’t do more than blame the campaigns, they just hope primary voters buy it, because they think voters are naive, and will believe anything they tell them. This is Gingrich’s home state where he’s leading in the polls, and they think the primary voters are going to buy “incompetency” well they ran it up the flag poll, and I don’t see anyone saluting, in fact Perry’s legal team is waving a law suit in their face.

I hope they don’t settle the lawsuit, because I want to see the depositions that are going to ensue, this is a fluid thing…..let’s get that republican dirty laundry out on the lawn where everyone can see it ;)

Dr Evil on December 28, 2011 at 11:31 AM

If you have written off all the Not-Romneys without a vote being cast, then you are welcome to vote for Romney.

I, as well as a decent number of conservatives in my circle of family and friends, will NOT vote for Romney either in the primary or the general.

If Romney is the nominee, I will vote for Obama and will enjoy doing so.

TheRightMan on December 28, 2011 at 11:21 AM

Anyone who will vote for Obama over Romney deserves what the country gets. Romney is bad, but he is in no way close to the Marxist tyrant that Obama is. If Romney is the GOP nominee, I will take my chances with him over Obama. It’s absurd to think otherwise, and it’s a shame that you and your family feel that way.

conservative pilgrim on December 28, 2011 at 11:31 AM

He might have collected 11900, but more than 1900 were invalid, therefore disqualifying him. They told everyone to anticipate at 2:3 disqualification rate. They were generous in assuming a 1:2 disqualification rate. Smart people collected 15000, pushing them outside 1:2 threshold. Dumb people collected fewer than 15000 and suffered dearly.

andy85719 on December 28, 2011 at 11:32 AM

The timeline proves nothing. Nothing changed. All you needed was 10000 sigs. However, if you got 15000, you were likely beyond the point at which invalid sigs would disqualify. Perry and Gingrich chose to be lazy and blew it. Too bad for them.

andy85719 on December 28, 2011 at 11:27 AM

You never deviate from the meme that the Romney campaign sent you here to spew, right?

- Change the rule or the implementation thereof in midstream
- Ensure only Romney meets the rule change through inside info from one of the key people supervising the implementation of the rule change
- Label his rivals incompetent

Only problem they didn’t foresee:

- Result in a lot of pissed-off conservatives moving from Anyone but Obama in the general to Anyone but Romney.

TheRightMan on December 28, 2011 at 11:32 AM

Romney’s record in Massachusetts is actually more Left-wing than Obama’s record as President.

If Romney is the nominee, I too am voting for Obama.

cyclo on December 28, 2011 at 11:33 AM

Seixon on December 28, 2011 at 11:29 AM

Governor Perry has been the ceo of the world’s 13th largest economy, 2nd most US populous state, Commander in Chief over 20,000 Texas National Guard troops. Texas leads the nation in jobs and pro-business environment. Speaker Gingrich led the House back to GOP after 40 years, welfare reform since the 60′s. Mitt Romney’s tenure as one-term Governor, leaving office with a 35% approval rating, Romneycare has drained the treasury in MA and is a jobs killer.

I’ll compare Perry/Gingrich resumes with Mitt Romney’s with absolutely no problem.

sunshinek67 on December 28, 2011 at 11:33 AM

If Romney is the nominee, I will vote for Obama and will enjoy doing so.

TheRightMan on December 28, 2011 at 11:21 AM

So you are saying you want four more years of destruction? You will accept it with pleasure?

You should hang your head in abject shame.

herm2416 on December 28, 2011 at 11:34 AM

Somedays I just get tired of fighting. I know I shouldn’t, I know it’s important to fight now more than ever.

Just some days – it wears me out.

gophergirl on December 28, 2011 at 11:23 AM

The “fighting” at Hot Air is unique. It can be draining and I stay away from most of the back and forth bickering.

conservative pilgrim on December 28, 2011 at 11:34 AM

gophergirl on December 28, 2011 at 11:23 AM

I hear you, for me this is a tired rerun of 2008.

Cindy Munford on December 28, 2011 at 11:34 AM

The laws/rules favor the rich, e.g. Romney. I’ll vote for Obam before even thinking about Romney…

Karmi on December 28, 2011 at 11:35 AM

Anyone who will vote for Obama over Romney deserves what the country gets. Romney is bad, but he is in no way close to the Marxist tyrant that Obama is. If Romney is the GOP nominee, I will take my chances with him over Obama. It’s absurd to think otherwise, and it’s a shame that you and your family feel that way.

conservative pilgrim on December 28, 2011 at 11:31 AM

What do you mean?

Romney is WORSE than Obama and having an R by his name doesn’t change that.

I have never seen a guy that wanted so badly to become President simply because his dad failed at becoming President.

Why should the good people of America suffer because some guy has daddy issues?

TheRightMan on December 28, 2011 at 11:35 AM

If Romney is the nominee, I too am voting for Obama.

cyclo on December 28, 2011 at 11:33 AM

Then you hand Obama a mandate. Just wait and see what Obamao does with a mandate.

conservative pilgrim on December 28, 2011 at 11:36 AM

Chris Woodfin, third district GOP chairman, said Perry failed to submit 10,000 signatures and Gingrich turned in only a few more than the bare minimum, making it likely that just a few disqualified signatures would prevent him from getting on the ballot.

as i said on previous post-only Perry’s campaign said he had 11,900
signatures. he didn’t even submit the minimum to begin with

gerrym51 on December 28, 2011 at 11:36 AM

People on HotAir have become deranged, cutting off their nose to spite their face.

andy85719 on December 28, 2011 at 11:37 AM

It’s absurd

conservative pilgrim on December 28, 2011 at 11:31 AM

Some folks think it absurd to vote for a candidate with a fake R next to his name. At the end of the day, a man’s record and his character matters.

sunshinek67 on December 28, 2011 at 11:38 AM

So you are saying you want four more years of destruction? You will accept it with pleasure?

You should hang your head in abject shame.

herm2416 on December 28, 2011 at 11:34 AM

You think Romney offers any meaningful change from Obama?

Just think of this: Romney as President, McConnell as Senate Majority Leader, and Boehner as Speaker.

Doesn’t that sound like a team that will enact major conservative reforms and make Govt. inconsequential in our lives? /sarc

Sorry, I pass. Enjoy trillion and quadrillion dollar deficits and debts for as far as the eye can see.

RIP, America. We will hope that a new nation rises out of the ashes. One where records of an aspirant for President matters more than glib talk and debating skills.

TheRightMan on December 28, 2011 at 11:40 AM

andy85719 on December 28, 2011 at 11:37 AM

Yes, because anonymous commenters are ruining the world before a single vote is cast. Settle down, Ophelia.

Cindy Munford on December 28, 2011 at 11:40 AM

People on HotAir have become deranged, cutting off their nose to spite their face.

andy85719 on December 28, 2011 at 11:37 AM

LOL! LOL! LOL! LOL! LOL! LOL! LOL! LOL!

This coming from you is rich.

gophergirl on December 28, 2011 at 11:42 AM

The poster “conservative pilgrim” is like so many GOP voters who are clearly clueless about Romney’s actual record in Massachusetts or that Romney’s record as Governor is in fact more Left-wing than Obama’s record as President.

What makes Romney more dangerous than Obama isn’t just that Romney’s track record is more Feft-wing (which it is)…

It’s that Romney is a deceiver and pathological liar.

Yes. Mitt is far more dangerous than Barack.

No conservative who knows the truth about Mitt Romney could in good conscience cast a vote for him. The man is vile.

cyclo on December 28, 2011 at 11:43 AM

Then you hand Obama a mandate. Just wait and see what Obamao does with a mandate.

conservative pilgrim on December 28, 2011 at 11:36 AM

At least Obama and the Dems will know how to use their mandate to enact items on liberals wish list.

Unlike Boehner and his band of RINOs.

Has there ever been a mandate bigger as the one the Tea Party gave to the GOP in 2010? And how was it used?

The GOP deserves to languish in the majority until all the RINOs are kicked out from leadership.

TheRightMan on December 28, 2011 at 11:44 AM

Some folks think it absurd to vote for a candidate with a fake R next to his name. At the end of the day, a man’s record and his character matters.

sunshinek67 on December 28, 2011 at 11:38 AM

Gingrich is a man of good character.

haner on December 28, 2011 at 11:44 AM

andy85719 on December 28, 2011 at 11:37 AM

Yes, because anonymous commenters are ruining the world before a single vote is cast. Settle down, Ophelia.

Cindy Munford on December 28, 2011 at 11:40 AM

GRIN

Dr Evil on December 28, 2011 at 11:44 AM

Anybody but Romney.

cyclo on December 28, 2011 at 11:45 AM

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KB181Lm9shs&feature=youtu.be Newt is my choice right now, BUT, you are right on with this quote..

I’m starting not to care anymore. Just wake me when we have a nominee so I can vote against Obama.

gophergirl on December 28, 2011 at 10:52 AM


ANYONE BUT OBAMA

reshas1 on December 28, 2011 at 11:46 AM

Should read:

The GOP deserves to languish in the majority minority until all the RINOs are kicked out from leadership.

TheRightMan on December 28, 2011 at 11:44 AM

TheRightMan on December 28, 2011 at 11:46 AM

TheRightMan on December 28, 2011 at 11:40 AM

I know that you will vote for romney in the general AND YOU WILL LIKE IT.

I also know your vote doesnt count. You flood the HotGas threads telling us over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over that you wont vote for Romney in the general. OK, whatever…your vote, and your friends and families vote…isnt going to matter, too small a group, so please stop boring us with the incessant I aint voting for Romney no matter what schtick.

THANKS!!!!!!!!!!!!

Jailbreak on December 28, 2011 at 11:46 AM

TheRightMan on December 28, 2011 at 11:35 AM

We agree that Romney stinks, but I don’t think he is worse than Obama. I am just as disappointed in this primary as the next non-Mitt person, but here we are. I refuse to vote for Obama out of principle–I disagree with everything he stands for, believe he is a liar, demagogue, extremely partisan to the point of breaking the law, and will not have blood on my hands with his pro-death beliefs.

conservative pilgrim on December 28, 2011 at 11:46 AM

If a community organizer can do this I would think a governor and former speaker can do this. How embarrassing.

tommer74 on December 28, 2011 at 11:47 AM

ANYONE BUT OBAMA ROMNEY even in the general
reshas1 on December 28, 2011 at 11:46 AM

FIFY.

TheRightMan on December 28, 2011 at 11:47 AM

ANYONE BUT OBAMA

reshas1 on December 28, 2011 at 11:46 AM

I really love Perry but if he doesn’t get it I’m not voting Obama or third party.

I’m voting for our nominee – even if it’s Romney.

gophergirl on December 28, 2011 at 11:47 AM

The “fighting” at Hot Air is unique. It can be draining and I stay away from most of the back and forth bickering.

conservative pilgrim on December 28, 2011 at 11:34 AM

And, none of it will remotely affect the nomination outcomes. I read it for the entertainment value and am amazed that intelligent people(for the most part) can get so emotionally invested in a politician.

a capella on December 28, 2011 at 11:48 AM

Correction: Mitt Romney has a made a career out of being a serial political liar.

cyclo on December 28, 2011 at 11:49 AM

I refuse to vote for Obama Romney out of principle–I disagree with everything he stands for, believe he is a liar, demagogue, extremely partisan to the point of breaking the law, and will not have blood on my hands with his pro-death beliefs.

conservative pilgrim on December 28, 2011 at 11:46 AM

I changed only one word in your comment but it remains accurate.

And that is the problem.

TheRightMan on December 28, 2011 at 11:49 AM

For me, such a failure disqualifies these two men from serious consideration.

Sheerq on December 28, 2011 at 11:49 AM

I’m not sure what else the RPV was expected to do.

They could have provided the Perry campaign with a copy of “Politics For Dummies”.

whatcat on December 28, 2011 at 11:52 AM

I’m not sure what else the RPV was expected to do.

They’re supposed to indulge and accomodate Romney Derrangement Syndrome… any way, any how. That’s the Democrat way.

rhombus on December 28, 2011 at 11:53 AM

If Romney is the nominee, I will vote for Obama and will enjoy doing so.

TheRightMan on December 28, 2011 at 11:21 AM

If that isn’t hammer worthy, I don’t know what is.

BettyRuth on December 28, 2011 at 11:54 AM

I also know your vote doesnt count. You flood the HotGas threads telling us over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over that you wont vote for Romney in the general. OK, whatever…your vote, and your friends and families vote…isnt going to matter, too small a group, so please stop boring us with the incessant I aint voting for Romney no matter what schtick.

THANKS!!!!!!!!!!!!

Jailbreak on December 28, 2011 at 11:46 AM

Yep.

I was told the same thing by McCain’s supporters in 2008. And not even Palin could save him from defeat.

I sure will like to see the man (Romney) that couldn’t defeat the nominee that lost to Obama the first time try to defeat Obama this time.

The 25% support of his will go far. We will even lend him 25% more.

Hooray for President Romney. /sarc

I wonder who he will pick for VP. I recommend Huntsman. Because no one wins like liberal RINOs.

TheRightMan on December 28, 2011 at 11:54 AM

I changed only one word in your comment but it remains accurate.

And that is the problem.

TheRightMan on December 28, 2011 at 11:49 AM

That’s your choice and your vote. Be thankful you have it. I hope you decide that Obama means absolute destruction for our country and he truly intends to “remake” it, and you decide to vote against that even if that means voting for Romney. I am committed to ABO.

conservative pilgrim on December 28, 2011 at 11:55 AM

People on HotAir have become deranged, cutting off their nose to spite their face.

andy85719 on December 28, 2011 at 11:37 AM

Relax, buddy. They’re just a handful of online posters, not the entire Republican electorate. Romney and Gingrich are both seen as acceptable candidates by a majority of Republican voters; most of the rest will fall in line once the primary is over. But there will still be these few — but loud — folks around here posting about how “happy” they’ll be to vote for Obama, and the Obamamedia will find ‘em and quote ‘em because they think it’ll help drag their loser president over the finish line. And the angry “true conservatives” will happily allow themselves to be used by the Obamamedia because it makes them feel important. It won’t work. Obama is going to lose in 2012.

Rational Thought on December 28, 2011 at 11:55 AM

TheRightMan on December 28, 2011 at 11:40 AM

I know that you will NOT vote for rRomney in the general AND YOU WILL LIKE IT BE VOTING YOUR CONSCIENCE.

I also know your vote doesnt count. You flood the HotGas threads telling us over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over that you wont vote for Romney in the general. OK, whatever…your vote, and your friends and families vote…isnt going to matter, you are too small large a group, so please stop boring us with the incessant Keep repeating, I aint voting for Romney no matter what schtick.

THANKS!!!!!!!!!!!!

Jailbreak Prison Food Sucks on December 28, 2011 at 11:46 AM

FIFY

Dr Evil on December 28, 2011 at 11:57 AM

wonder who he will pick for VP. I recommend Huntsman. Because no one wins like liberal RINOs.

TheRightMan on December 28, 2011 at 11:54 AM

Well he sure in hell wont be picking a clown like Sarah Palin. I think he will pick a smart guy/gal who will contribute the idea of a competent ticket. I bet he picks somebody who can answer hard questions like “what newspapers do you read?”

Jailbreak on December 28, 2011 at 11:57 AM

If that isn’t hammer worthy, I don’t know what is.

BettyRuth on December 28, 2011 at 11:54 AM

If Mittbots on this forum demonstrating bigotry towards Texans and calling Perry unprintable names was not hammer worthy, then nothing is.

Buckle up and enjoy the ride.

I am usually a nice fellow unless crossed by annoying Mittbots, who believe they can game every rule and do anything to foist their guy on us – and we have no choice but to vote like good hobbits come the general.

Maybe Ron Paul’s landslide win in Virginia will be the first to wake them up.

We are just not into Romney. And it’s not us – it’s him.

TheRightMan on December 28, 2011 at 11:58 AM

sunshinek67 on December 28, 2011 at 11:22 AM

Sunshine, I realize that the VAGOP changed their implementation of the rules after the filing of the Osbourne case. However, I have 2 questions:

(1) Since the case is pending (and, therefore, there has been no court order requiring that anything actually change), why did the VAGOP rush to change the rules’ implementation barely a month before the signature deadline in an ongoing primary?

(2) The VAGOP maintains that they made the changes in November in order to respond to the Osbourne case. However, as per #1 above, there is in fact nothing to respond TO. Could it be that the VAGOP is using Osbourne as an excuse/cover to put the fix in for Romney?

racetraitor on December 28, 2011 at 11:59 AM

The poster “conservative pilgrim” is like so many GOP voters who are satisfied just to see the “R” there, but are clearly clueless about Romney’s actual record in Massachusetts or that Romney’s record as governor is in fact more left-wing than Obama’s record as president.

What makes Romney more dangerous than Obama isn’t just that Romney’s track record is more left-wing (which it is)…

It’s that Romney is a deceiver and pathological liar, which makes Mitt far more dangerous than Barack.

No conservative who knows the truth about Mr. Romney could in good conscience cast a vote for him. Mr. Romney is a vile snake with an insatiable lust for power.

cyclo on December 28, 2011 at 11:59 AM

Michele Bachmann, Rick Santorum, and Jon Huntsman also failed to qualify. In my column, I attribute that less to executive incompetence than a strategic deployment of very finite resources.

by Ed Morrissey

You fail by trying and you win by not trying. Strange thought process there, Ed.

So as it stands, VA has allowed only 2 of the 7 major candidates running to appear on their ballots. Is this a victory for VA voters? How does having less choice benefit VA voters?

ZGMF_Freedom on December 28, 2011 at 11:59 AM

Gingrich is a man of good character.

haner on December 28, 2011 at 11:44 AM

I’m sure his ex-wives would agree.

gerrym51 on December 28, 2011 at 11:59 AM

For details on the Osborne lawsuit and the subsequent November rule change to the no-check rule, see http://biggovernment.com/cjohnson/2011/12/27/how-the-virginia-gops-short-sightedness-led-to-the-ballot-access-mess/

Gideon7 on December 28, 2011 at 12:00 PM

If Romney is the nominee, I will vote for Obama and will enjoy doing so.
TheRightMan on December 28, 2011 at 11:21 AM

If that isn’t hammer worthy, I don’t know what is.
BettyRuth on December 28, 2011 at 11:54 AM

It has been suggested that with so many over-the-top nonsensical broadsides of such nature that TRM could be a “moby”.

whatcat on December 28, 2011 at 12:02 PM

It won’t work. Obama is going to lose in 2012.

Rational Thought on December 28, 2011 at 11:55 AM

Yep, the charismatic first black President with union, black, Hispanic, and other Dem support will lose to the milquetoast liberal RINO, who could only attract 25% support from his own party in the primaries. /sarc

McCain attracted how much? And he was a respected veteran too.

If Romney is the nominee, it will be time to pre-order sacks of popcorn and enjoy the show. I guess nothing will cause Romney to retire and go back to decorating his huge mansion – save a humiliating defeat.

TheRightMan on December 28, 2011 at 12:03 PM

“I’m not sure what else the RPV was expected to do.”

Isn’t it obvious? They were supposed to crown Newt king of Virginia.

Zaggs on December 28, 2011 at 12:04 PM

If that isn’t hammer worthy, I don’t know what is.

BettyRuth on December 28, 2011 at 11:54 AM

I hate to suggest that anyone be muzzled, but in a case like this, I have to agree with all my heart. Any sick-making bastage who claims to have a Conservative bone his body and announces his intent to vote or Obamandias, the Great Destroyer is deserving of the strongest contempt and ostracizing.

If he wants to vote for PBHO, he can get the f–k out of here. He’s not wanted. I wouldn’t pizz on that jerk if he were on fire. I cordially invite him and those like him to go straight to hell.

MJBrutus on December 28, 2011 at 12:07 PM

Need to check birth certificates also.

patch on December 28, 2011 at 12:07 PM

Esoteric on December 28, 2011 at 11:30 AM

I have read Perry’s filing, and I think you misunderstand what Perry actually said. He said he submitted over 6,000 qualified signatures. In legal-speak, that means he submitted over 6,000 signatures that the VAGOP approved. This says nothing about the number of sigs that they threw out (somewhere between 5,000 and 6,000 signatures, in fact). Thus, Perry is not claiming to have only submittted a total of 6,000 sigs. The total submitted was 11,191. Sorry to be so repetitive, but a great number of people seem to be misreading Perry’s filing.

Again, 6,000 qualified signatures is not the same thing as 6,000 total signatures.

racetraitor on December 28, 2011 at 12:08 PM

racetraitor on December 28, 2011 at 11:59 AM

That would be feeding the whole “conspiracy” theories that are oft debunked without “sound” ruling. I use that term somewhat loosely as this case could have ended up in a kangaroo courtroom, however, I read somewhere that the judge in this instance is competent.

Suffice to say, judges tend to rule on voter participation, not voter suppression. Regardless of the lack of crossed t’s and dotted i’s, you have 20,000+ Virginians that wished for there to be choices on their ballot. To say otherwise, makes the poster deemed frivolous and irrelevant. Bad optics for Camp Romney/VA GOP though, no doubt.

sunshinek67 on December 28, 2011 at 12:08 PM

The poster “conservative pilgrim” is like so many GOP voters who are satisfied just to see the “R” there, but are clearly clueless about Romney’s actual record in Massachusetts or that Romney’s record as governor is in fact more left-wing than Obama’s record as president.

What makes Romney more dangerous than Obama isn’t just that Romney’s track record is more left-wing (which it is)…

It’s that Romney is a deceiver and pathological liar, which makes Mitt far more dangerous than Barack.

No conservative who knows the truth about Mr. Romney could in good conscience cast a vote for him. Mr. Romney is a vile snake with an insatiable lust for power.

cyclo on December 28, 2011 at 11:59 AM

Good grief. Content? Satisfied? I am well aware of Romney’s record and think he should be running against Obama. But who are the GOP primary choices? I’ve stated above my thoughts about them. Right now I get to vote between Romney and Paul in the VA primary. Whoopee. Whoever emerges as the nominee, will most likely get my vote. If I have to choose between Romney and Obama, it’s Romney. Obama’s record for the past 3 years is enough to put the fear of the reality of the USSA into anybody. You can be a purist and get Obama. I’ll be pragmatic and hope for the best with Romney. At least there’s a chance he’ll make the right choices.

conservative pilgrim on December 28, 2011 at 12:08 PM

Perry turned in 11,900 signatures and only 6000 were considered valid. That’s about half. Mitt turned in 15,000. If half are disqualified, that will still be thousands less than the 10,000 minimum required. At the very least, I want to see Mitt’s list carefully checked and I want to know how many signatures still remain afterwards considered valid.

And I want the same rigor applied to checking Mitt’s list as was applied to Perry’s and Newt’s.

That’s just a first step. That’s basic.

After Mitt has been disqualified, I’m hoping Ed will write another column arguing that Ron Paul is the only candidate competent enough to be elected. This I want to see very badly because I need a good laugh these days.

Burke on December 28, 2011 at 12:08 PM

“We can’t do anything about 2012 at this point. But I do intend to appeal to our General Assembly and elected leaders to bring Virginia’s ballot access more in line with other states — simpler and streamlined with greater access. I think it’s important that the people in Virginia get to vote for the candidate of their choice, not be restricted.”

Well, that’s nice. As a VA voter, I’m hosed for 2012. But at least I can vote for the NotJebBush in 2016.

La Troienne on December 28, 2011 at 12:09 PM

———-Intellect—–Stamina—–Family—–Looks—–Oratory
Romney——–10———-10———-10——–10———9.5–
Perry———6————4———-9———9.5———6—
Gingrich——8————7———(-3)——–4———-7—

Obama———10———-10———-10——–9.5———10–

Only Romney matches up well against Obama.

nonpartisan on December 28, 2011 at 10:08 AM

Ha. Love the RPG style rating.

ZGMF_Freedom on December 28, 2011 at 12:10 PM

racetraitor on December 28, 2011 at 11:08 AM

I understand the argument of late movement of the goal posts….but there is something that is counterbalance to those who would argue that Perry and Gingrich are Lazy and simply it is this…WHAT has Romney done since 2008 BESIDES preparing for his 2012 bid…basically he has been in campaign mode since 2006 at least so he is coming up on 6 years of campaigning and living off his non-effort required income (dividends, stocks, etc.) Gingrich has been writing and SELLING books and providing consulting and gving speeches. Perry has been running a state. So go ahead and talk about how their non-qualifying smacks of a lack of executive experience and I will argue that Perry operates in the vein of BO, doing practically nothing of significance and merely using position to advance nothing but a political power grab.

RedLizard64 on December 28, 2011 at 12:11 PM

No conservative who knows the truth about Mr. Romney could in good conscience cast a vote for him. Mr. Romney is a vile snake with an insatiable lust for power.

cyclo on December 28, 2011 at 11:59 AM

Wow, hyperbole much?

rockmom on December 28, 2011 at 12:12 PM

Malachi45

You should really check the phone book and find a local chapter of “Anger Anonymous.” There is a solution to your problem. They even helped George Costanza once.

I find my posts quite entertaining – I don’t mind at all being an audience of one.

Heck, sometimes I think I’m as funny Gov. Perry trying to put his boots on the correct foot after some jokester erased the “R” and the “L” printed on the heels.

Smile and the whole world smiles with you. Watch some Stooges – that always cheers people up.

Horace on December 28, 2011 at 12:13 PM

You think Romney offers any meaningful change from Obama?

Just think of this: Romney as President, McConnell as Senate Majority Leader, and Boehner as Speaker.

Doesn’t that sound like a team that will enact major conservative reforms and make Govt. inconsequential in our lives? /sarc

. Enjoy trillion and quadrillion dollar deficits and debts for as far as the eye can see.

RIP, America. We will hope that a new nation rises out of the ashes. One where records of an aspirant for President matters more than glib talk and debating skills.

TheRightMan on December 28, 2011 at 11:40 AM

Nope, I despise Romney, but we have already seen the damage BO has done to our nation, why vote for four more years of that certainty? He will be term limited, and, like he says, he hasn’t finished the job yet.

Re:McConnell, I’m hoping that someone will give him a run for his money, ditto Boehner. I do think if there is a Republican majority in Congress, Romney will be limited in his scope. That may be wishful thinking.

I absolutely and utterly disagree that we are in the ashes….period. These times are trying our souls, no question; but there are too many of us out there willing to fight and not just say……”Sorry, I pass”.

herm2416 on December 28, 2011 at 12:14 PM

I understand the argument of late movement of the goal posts….but there is something that is counterbalance to those who would argue that Perry and Gingrich are Lazy and simply it is this…WHAT has Romney done since 2008 BESIDES preparing for his 2012 bid…basically he has been in campaign mode since 2006 at least so he is coming up on 6 years of campaigning and living off his non-effort required income (dividends, stocks, etc.) Gingrich has been writing and SELLING books and providing consulting and gving speeches. Perry has been running a state. So go ahead and talk about how their non-qualifying smacks of a lack of executive experience and I will argue that Perry operates in the vein of BO, doing practically nothing of significance and merely using position to advance nothing but a political power grab.

RedLizard64 on December 28, 2011 at 12:11 PM

Except that Rick Perry has one of the most experienced and successful drill-sergeant campaign managers in recent history and $30 million. And Newt Gingrich LIVES in Virginia! Stop making excuses for these two epic failures.

rockmom on December 28, 2011 at 12:14 PM

If he wants to vote for PBHO, he can get the f–k out of here. He’s not wanted. I wouldn’t pizz on that jerk if he were on fire. I cordially invite him and those like him to go straight to hell.

MJBrutus on December 28, 2011 at 12:07 PM

So as a Mittbot, you are suggesting I should be banned because I am exercising my democratic right not to vote for Romney given a choice between him and Obama?

Nice.

What next? Those who oppose the coronation of Romney should be caught and flogged in the public square?

TheRightMan on December 28, 2011 at 12:15 PM

If Romney is the nominee, I will vote for Obama and will enjoy doing so.

TheRightMan on December 28, 2011 at 11:21 AM

Only a troll would say that…or a Paulbilly.

Norky on December 28, 2011 at 12:15 PM

TheRightMan on December 28, 2011 at 12:03 PM

Obama isn’t a “charismatic” candidate this time around; he is an utterly failed president. By most people’s estimation, the worst president in United States history. He isn’t running on a dream, he’s running on a record, and it sucks. He’ll lose because the old “Are you better off now than you were four years ago?” always applies. Charisma isn’t going to get pookie off the couch this time. I expect whomever the GOP candidate is to run ads along the lines of: “It’s OK if you like President Obama, if you think he’s a nice guy with a nice family, but that nice guy’s policies are hurting your family. He’s got to go.” It will be devastating for Obama — to be painted as a nice — but hopelessly incompetent — man who just isn’t up to the job of being president.

Rational Thought on December 28, 2011 at 12:16 PM

6,000 qualified signatures is not the same thing as 6,000 total signatures.
racetraitor on December 28, 2011 at 12:08 PM

It’s just 4,000 short of the bare minimum and only 16,000 short of the recommended number of valid signatures, that’s all.

whatcat on December 28, 2011 at 12:16 PM

Perhaps the VA GOP should be hand checking the signatures rejected by the automated process. The results were quick to come out so I doubt they did that.

Ed’s comment about Fred Thompson leaves out the fact that by the time the 2008 primary actually happened here in VA, Fred Thompson had already dropped out along with other candidates. We only had McCain to choose from.

TerryW on December 28, 2011 at 12:16 PM

gerrym51 on December 28, 2011 at 11:59 AM

Especially the first one, his high school geometry teacher, seven years his senior who held off marrying him until he was nineteen.

Cindy Munford on December 28, 2011 at 12:16 PM

aers ago I worked on a campaign in which the candidate only got on the ballot because two buddies of mine spent their nights in a hotel room forging signatures – which we never challenged, btw. You’d think these guys could come up with someone at least that determined.

urban elitist on December 28, 2011 at 12:17 PM

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