Chicken Fried Politics

Home » Posts tagged 'Rick Perry' (Page 2)

Tag Archives: Rick Perry

Former U.S. Senator Jim Webb enters 2016 Democratic race with shot at Hillary Clinton

Webb, who left the Senate in 2012, says Americans “need to shake the hold” of political elites

♦By Rich Shumate, Chickenfriedpolitics.com editor

virginia mugRICHMOND (CFP) — Saying the United States “needs a fresh approach to solving the problems that confront us and too often unnecessarily divide us,” former U.S. Senator Jim Webb of Virginia has announced that he will seek the 2016 Democratic presidential nomination.

Former U.S. Senator Jim Webb

Former U.S. Senator Jim Webb

“I understand the odds, particularly in today’s political climate where fair debate is so often drowned out by huge sums of money,” Webb said in a message announcing his candidacy posted on his campaign website July 2. “Our fellow Americans need proven, experience leadership that can be trusted to move us forward.”

In his opening campaign salvo, Webb positioned himself as an outsider in the race, noting that “more than one candidate in this process intends to raise at least a billion dollars.”

“Highly paid political consultants are working to shape the ‘messaging’ of every major candidate,” he said. “We need to shake the hold of these shadow elites on our political process.”

Webb also took a direct swipe at the Democratic frontrunner, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, for her initial support of the 2003 invasion of Iraq, which Webb publicly opposed.

“Let me assure you, as president, I would not have urged an invasion of Iraq,” Webb said. “I warned in writing five months before that invasion that we do not belong as an occupying power in that part of the world and that this invasion would be a strategic blunder of historic proportions.”

When she ran for president in 2008, Clinton defended her vote authorizing the use of military force in Iraq — a vote which was used against her with great effect by Barack Obama. But in a 2014 book, she conceded that her vote was a mistake.

Webb also said he would have opposed military intervention in Libya in 2011 — which Obama authorized and Clinton supported as secretary of state — and that the subsequent terrorist attack on a U.S. diplomatic outpost in Benghazi on her watch “was inevitable.”

Webb, 69, is a U.S. Naval Academy graduate who served in Vietnam and was the secretary of the Navy during the Reagan administration. In 2006, he won a surprise victory to the Senate, narrowly ousting incumbent Republican George Allen in an election in which anti-war sentiment lifted Democratic fortunes.

In the Senate, Webb was considered a centrist who frequently bucked the party line, including an assertion that Obamacare would be a “disaster” for the Democratic Party. In 2012, facing the prospect of a contentious rematch with Allen, he decided not to run for re-election and left the Senate after a single term.

More recently, Webb sounded a cautionary note on the renewed drive to remove the Confederate battle emblem in the wake of the Charleston church shootings, saying in a Facebook post that “we all need to think through these issues with a care that recognizes the need for change but also respects the complicated history of the Civil War.”

“The Confederate Battle Flag has wrongly been used for racist and other purposes in recent decades. It should not be used in any way as a political symbol that divides us.”

Recent national polls have shown Webb’s support for the Democratic nomination in single digits, well behind Clinton and second-place U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont.

In the message launching his campaign, Webb touted his sponsorship in the Senate of a GI Bill providing benefits to veterans of the Iraq and Afghanistan and his support for reform of the criminal justice system.

“It’s costing us billions of dollars. It’s wasting lives, often beginning at a very early age, creating career criminals rather than curing them. It’s not making our neighborhoods safer,” he said.

Like a number of other presidential contenders in both parties, Webb also sounded a note of economic populism.

“Let’s work to restore true economic fairness in this great country, starting with finding the right formula for growing our national economy while making our tax laws more balanced and increasing the negotiating leverage of our working people,” he said. “Our goal will be to increase the financial stability of the American workforce.”

Webb also said he would “work toward bringing the complex issue of immigration reform to a solution that respects the integrity of our legal traditions, while also recognizing the practical realities of a system that has been paralyzed by partisan debate.”

Webb is the only Southerner among the five candidates seeking the 2016 Democratic presidential nomination, although Clinton was a resident of Arkansas before moving to New York to run for the Senate in 2000.

Eight Southerners are seeking the Republican nomination: U.S. Senators Ted Cruz of Texas, Marco Rubio of Florida, Rand Paul of Kentucky and Lindsey Graham of South Carolina; former governors Jeb Bush of Florida, Mike Huckabee of Arkansas and Rick Perry of Texas; and Governor Bobby Jindal of Louisiana.

Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal opens White House bid pledging “never to lead from behind”

Jindal touts his record, says Republicans “must stop being afraid to lose”

♦By Rich Shumate, Chickenfriedpolitics.com editor

louisiana mugKENNER, Louisiana (CFP) — Taking a swipe at both Democratic “socialism” and a Republican Party that he says has been “beaten into submission,” Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal launched his campaign for the 2016 GOP presidential nomination by calling himself a “doer,” not a “talker.”

Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal

Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal

“There are a lot of great talkers running for president. But none of them — not one — can match our record of actually shrinking the size of government,” Jindal said in his June 24 kickoff rally in Kenner, a New Orleans suburb. “I’m not running for president to be somebody. I’m running for president to do something.”

“If you want somebody who’s just going to pretend that everything is fine, just make some small tweaks, then you want somebody else. I’ll make this promise to you. I will never lead from behind.”

Jindal, 44, is in the last year of his second term as the Pelican State’s chief executive. He touted his record as governor in his opening address, noting that he took office just two years after Hurricane Katrina devastated New Orleans.

“Our economy was locked in a downward spiral. Our biggest city was reeling. For 25 straight years, more people had left this state than had moved into it,” he said. “Louisiana was in big trouble, so we had to make big changes.”

Among the achievements Jindal cited were education reform, particularly in New Orleans where the entire school system was converted into charter schools, and a 26 percent reduction in the state’s budget.

“It wasn’t easy. The big government crowd fought us every step of the way,” he said. “But in the end, we won.”

However, Jindal had to delay his widely anticipated presidential campaign while Louisiana’s legislature struggled to close a massive budget deficit that the governor’s critics blame on his refusal to consider tax increases to offset sharp declines in revenues from oil production.

Those budget problems have taken a toll on Jindal’s popularity, with a poll in March putting his approval rating at just 27 percent.

Jindal, a Rhodes scholar, was something of a wunderkind in Louisiana politics, becoming head of the state health department at the tender age of 24 and president of the University of Louisiana System at just 28. He was appointed assistant secretary of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services during the administration of President George W. Bush.

Jindal left the Bush administration to run unsuccessfully for governor in 2003. In 2004, he was elected to the U.S. House, representing a suburban New Orleans district until his election as governor in 2007.

In the opening speech of his presidential campaigns, Jindal signaled that he plans to run as an unvarnished conservative who would cut the size of government and defend religious liberty.

“Republicans must stop being afraid to lose,” he said. “If we try to hide who we are again, we will lose again.”

Jindal took a direct shot at one of his chief GOP rivals, former Florida Governor Jeb Bush, by lampooning Bush’s assertion that GOP candidates “need to be willing to lose the primary in order to win the general election.”

“We’re going to help him do that,” Jindal said. “What Jeb Bush is saying is we need to hide our conservative ideals … Let’s do something new. Let’s endorse our own principles for a change. Let’s boldly speak the truth without fear.”

In recent months, Jindal, the son of Indian immigrants who converted to Roman Catholicism as a teenager, has been courting religious conservatives, particularly with his outspoken opposition to same-sex marriage. In his campaign kickoff, he charged that Christianity “is under assault today in America.”

“I want to say this slowly so that even Hillary Clinton can understand this — America did not create religious liberty. Religious liberty created the United States of America,” he said.

Jindal — whose given name is Piyush and who, if elected, would be the nation’s first Indian-American president — also lashed out at “all this talk about hyphenated Americans.”

“We are not Indian-Americans, African-Americans, Irish-Americans, rich Americans or poor Americans. We are all Americans.”

Jindal also leveled a broadside against President Obama, saying “this president and his apprentice-in-waiting, Hillary Clinton, are leading America down the path to destruction economically, culturally and internationally.”

“The simple fact is they are trying to turn the American dream into socialism.”

Jindal said his four main objectives as president would be to secure the border, replace Obamacare with a market-based health care system, cut the size of government and improve “America’s defenses.”

Jindal is one of eight Southern Republicans seeking the presidency in 2016. In addition to Bush and Jindal, the other Southern candidates are former governors Mike Huckabee of Arkansas and Rick Perry of Texas and U.S. Senators Ted Cruz of Texas, Marco Rubio of Florida, Rand Paul of Kentucky and Lindsey Graham of South Carolina.

The Southern GOP field is divided equally between senators and governors. Two of the last three Republicans elected president — George W. Bush and Ronald Reagan — served as governor, while the last GOP senator elected to the presidency was Warren Harding in 1920.

On the Democratic side, former U.S. Senator Jim Webb of Virginia has launched an exploratory committee for the 2016 Democratic nomination — a race that’s expected to be dominated by former Secretary of State Clinton, a former first lady of Arkansas who went on to be elected to the Senate from New York.

Former Florida Governor Jeb Bush kicks off 2016 presidential campaign

The brother and son of former presidents says no one deserves White House “by right”

♦By Rich Shumate, Chickenfriedpolitics.com editor

florida mugMIAMI (CFP) — Arguing that the United States is “on a very bad course,” former Florida Governor Jeb Bush has announced his candidacy for the 2016 Republican presidential nomination, saying Democrats are trying “to hold on to power, to slog on with the same agenda under another name.”

Former Florida Governor Jeb Bush

Former Florida Governor Jeb Bush

“We will take command of our future once again in this country. We will lift our sights again, make opportunity common again, get events in the world moving our way again,” Bush said at a June 15 rally at Miami-Dade Community College.

“We will take Washington — the static capital of this dynamic country — out of the business of causing problems. We will get back on the side of free enterprise and free people.”

Bush, the son and brother of presidents, also tried to put a bit of distance between himself and his famous family name, saying “not a one of us deserves the job by right of resume, party, seniority, family or family narrative.”

“It’s nobody’s turn. It’s everybody’s test, and it’s wide open — exactly as a contest for president should be,” he said. “The outcome is entirely up to you, the voters.”

At the rally, the Bush campaign unveiled its logo, which features the word “Jeb” followed by an exclamation point — with no mention of his last name.

Bush also delivered part of his opening speech in Spanish, and his campaign website is in both English and Spanish — nods to Latino voters who in recent elections have trended Democratic.

Bush’s wife, Columba, whom he married in 1974, was born in Mexico, which he jokingly described as part of his “cross-border outreach.”

Bush, 62, served two terms as governor of the Sunshine State from 1999 to 2007. He was mentioned as a candidate for president in 2012 but opted not to run.

In his opening address, he touted his record as governor, noting that during his time in Tallahassee, Florida topped the nation in job creation and taxes were cut every year he was in office.

“A self-serving attitude can take hold in any capital, just as it once did in Tallahassee,” he said. “I was a governor who refused to accept that as the normal or right way of conducting the people’s business. I will not accept it as the standard in Washington. We don’t need another president who merely holds the top spot among the pampered elites of Washington.”

While not mentioning any of his Republican opponents by name, Bush took a strong swipe at Democrats, attacking the “phone-it-in foreign policy” of the “Obama-Clinton-Kerry team” and saying the opposition has “offered a progressive agenda that includes everything but progress.”

“They are responsible for the slowest economic recovery ever, the biggest debt increases ever, a massive tax increase on the middle class, the relentless buildup of the regulatory state and the swift, mindless downturn of a military that was generations in the making,” he said.

And in a remark that drew strong applause from Cuban-American Republicans in the audience, he criticized Obama for considering making a state visit to Communist Cuba.

“We don’t need a glorified tourist to go to Havana in support of a failed Cuba,” he said. “We need an American president to go to Havana in solidarity with a free Cuban people, and I am ready to be that president.”

Bush also steered clear of two issues that have caused him heartburn with the GOP’s Tea Party base — immigration reform and the Common Core educational standards, both of which he supports.

Bush is one of eight Southern Republicans who have launched, or are expected to launch, presidential bids in 2016.

Those already in the race include former governors Mike Huckabee and Rick Perry of Texas and U.S. Senators Ted Cruz of Texas, Marco Rubio of Florida, Rand Paul of Kentucky and Lindsey Graham of South Carolina. Gov. Bobby Jindal of Louisiana expected to announce his candidacy soon, now that his state’s legislature has adjourned for the year.

The Southern GOP field is divided equally between senators and governors. Two of the last three Republicans elected president — George W. Bush and Ronald Reagan — served as governor, while the last GOP senator elected to the presidency was Warren Harding in 1920.

On the Democratic side, former U.S. Senator Jim Webb of Virginia has already launched an exploratory committee for the 2016 Democratic nomination — a race that’s expected to be dominated by former Secretary of State Clinton, a former first lady of Arkansas who went on to be elected to the Senate from New York.

Watch the video of Bush’s campaign kickoff:

Former Texas Governor Rick Perry launches second bid for the White House

Perry, the longest-serving governor in Texas history, touts his executive experience in campaign kickoff

♦By Rich Shumate, Chickenfriedpolitics.com editor

texas mugADDISON, Texas (CFP) — Charging that Americans “are at the end of an era of failed leadership,” former Texas Governor Rick Perry launched his campaign for the 2016 Republican presidential nomination by touting his experience as the longest-serving governor in the history of the Lone Star State.

Texas Governor Rick Perry

Former Texas Governor Rick Perry

“Leadership is not a speech on the Senate floor. It’s not what you say, it’s what you do. And we will not find the kind of leadership needed to revitalize the country by looking to the political class in Washington,” Perry said at his campaign kickoff at an airport in Addison, a Dallas suburb.

“I have been tested. I have led the most successful state in America. I have dealt with crisis after crisis, from the disintegration of a space shuttle to hurricanes Katrina, Rita and Ike, to the crisis at the border and the first diagnosis of Ebola in America.”

Perry, 65, a former Air Force officer who was a cotton farmer in West Texas before getting into politics, left office in January after serving 14 years as governor. He began his political life in 1984 as a Democrat before switching the GOP in 1989, as it became ascendent in Texas politics.

In 2012, Perry unsuccessfully sought the GOP presidential nomination. He entered the campaign as one of the frontrunners, only to see his stock plummet after a series of of gaffes, including a moment in a debate when he could not remember the name of a federal agency he had previously pledged to abolish.

Perry — who later blamed his faltering 2012 performance on lack of preparation and the aftereffects of back surgery — did not mention his first campaign during his kickoff rally. But he did offer scathing criticism of President Barack Obama’s leadership.

“We have been led by a divider who has sliced and diced the electorate, pitting American against American for political purposes,” he said. “Weakness at home has led to weakness abroad. The world has descended into a chaos of this president’s own making, while his White House loyalists construct an alternative universe where ISIS is contained and Ramadi is merely a setback.”

Perry also decried what he called “the arrogance of Washington DC, representing itself as some beacon of wisdom, with policies smothering this vast land with no regard for what makes each state and community unique.”

He also sounded a note of economic populism, saying “it is time to create real jobs, to raise wages, to create opportunity for all, to give every citizen a stake in this country, to restore hope — real hope — to forgotten Americans, millions of middle class families who have given up hope of getting ahead.”

As he pursues the presidency, Perry is also battling felony charges of abuse of power and coercion brought by a prosecutor in Austin stemming from his veto, as governor, of $7.5 million in funding for a public integrity unit in the office of Travis County District Attorney Rosemary Lehmberg.

In April 2013, Lehmberg, a Democrat, was arrested for driving with a blood alcohol level nearly three times the legal limit, and video showed her being combative with the arresting officers. Perry demanded the Lehmberg resign and, when she didn’t, followed through with a threat to veto funding for the unit.

Perry has vowed to fight the charges, which he has dismissed as politically motivated.

Perry is one of eight Southern Republicans who have launched, or are expected to launch, presidential bids in 2016.

Those already in the race include former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee and U.S. Senators Ted Cruz of Texas, Marco Rubio of Florida, Rand Paul of Kentucky and Lindsey Graham of South Carolina. Also expected to enter the race are Gov. Bobby Jindal of Louisiana and former Governor Jeb Bush of Florida.

The Southern GOP field, then, is divided equally between senators and governors. Two of the last three Republicans elected president — George W. Bush and Ronald Reagan — served as governor. The last GOP senator elected to the presidency was Warren Harding in 1920.

On the Democratic side, former U.S. Senator Jim Webb of Virginia has already launched an exploratory committee for the 2016 Democratic nomination — a race that’s expected to be dominated by former Secretary of State Clinton, a former first lady of Arkansas who went on to be elected to the Senate from New York.

Watch the video of Perry’s campaign kickoff:

U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham launches campaign for president

South Carolinian stresses national security and fighting Islamic extremism in kickoff speech

♦By Rich Shumate, Chickenfriedpolitics.com editor

U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham

U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham

south-carolina mugCENTER, South Carolina (CFP) — Saying he wants America to have “security through strength,” U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham formally launched his campaign for the 2016 Republican presidential nomination by calling for stronger action against both Islamic extremism and Russian expansionism

“The next president must be an informed and decisive commander-in-chief, ready immediately to address these threats. We’ve learned over the past six years that speeches alone won’t make us safe. Superior power and resolve will,” he said.

“I am ready to be commander-in-chief on day one.”

Graham, 59, elected to his third term in the Senate last year, launched his campaign in Center, the small town in upstate South Carolina where he grew up living in back of a bar. He saluted people in his hometown who helped him climb from those humble origins to the Senate.

“I’m a man with many debts to my family, to you, to South Carolina and to the country,” Graham said. “I’m running for president to repay those debts, to fight as hard for you as you fought for me.”

Graham, a colonel in the U.S. Air Force Reserves and a member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, is considered something of a hawk on military and foreign policy. He has been particularly critical of one of his 2016 GOP opponents, U.S. Senator Rand Paul of Kentucky, who has taken a less interventionist line when it comes to international relations.

In his kickoff speech, Graham reflected those views, saying that he wants to “defeat the enemies trying to kill us, not just penalize them or criticize them or contain them but defeat them.”

“Simply put, radical Islam is running wild,” he said. “They have more safe havens, more money, more weapons and more capability to strike our homeland than any time since 9/11. They are large, rich and entrenched. As president, I will make them small, poor and on the run.”

During his years in the Senate, Graham has come under fire from conservative forces in his own party for his willingness to make deals with Democrats. When he ran for re-election in 2014, he faced a primary challenge from four Tea Party-backed foes, which he won handily.

In his opening speech, Graham promised his fellow Republicans to “be a champion for limited and effective government,” but he also told Democrats that “on the big things, we share a common fate. I’ll work with you to strengthen the country we both love.”

“You’re not my enemy. You’re my fellow countrymen,” he said.

Should Graham the White House in 2016, he would be the first unmarried man elected to the nation’s top office since Grover Cleveland in 1884.

Graham is one of eight Southern Republican who have launched or are expected to launch presidential campaigns in 2016.

In addition to Paul, those already in the race include former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee and U.S. Senators Ted Cruz of Texas and Marco Rubio of Florida. The others expected to get in include Gov. Bobby Jindal of Louisiana and former governors Jeb Bush of Florida and Rick Perry of Texas.

Watch Graham’s presidential announcement:

%d bloggers like this: