GOP Gathers For Fund Raiser In Iowa And Huckabee Jams

Nine of the Republican presidential candidates gathered together in Iowa for a fund raiser and banquet. 1000 people paid $75 each to hear the Republicans speak. There were two no shows, Duncan Hunter and Ron Paul. Everyone was given 6 minutes to get their message out, but none could do it that quickly turning it into a 4 hour stump speech. Among the guest appearing at the fund raiser was the Flip-flop Romney dolphin that was first spotted at the CPAC, and Mike Huckabee invited a Bill Clinton impersonator. Also in the crowd was a giant rabbit with a sign that read, “Varmints against Mitt.” Rudy used the moment to remind people that he was the mayor of New York during 9/11. “This country needs someone who is going to keep us on the offense in the war on terror,” said Giuliani. “Right now, what the Democrats are doing in Washington is just to me another indication how they have not properly learned the lesson of Sept. 11. No more defense. From now on we are on the offense in the war on terror.” John McCain told the audience that he supported the war in Iraq. Mitt Romney’s schedule was so tight he just flew in for the dinner. Mike Huckabee took a shot at the front runners saying, “Every single person who comes to this podium will tell you he’s a true conservative. You’ll have to sort out whether that’s true, but let me tell you the good news: At least it proves in our party it still matters to be a conservative and no one but a conservative has any hope of getting elected to the presidency from the Republican party in 2008.” Later on Huckabee’s band, Capital Offense, jammed at another location. Huckabee said, “If they really want to drive the crowd out, they crank us up.” “People ask why am I running for president,” Huckabee joked. “Well, my band didn’t make it on ‘American Idol.” Jim Gilmore used the played line saying, “Rudy McRomney is not a conservative and he knows he is not a conservative.” Another one of the back of the pack group, Tom Tancredo took a swipe at the lack of conservative credentials of the front runners. “We have many good men in this race. Many have even recently converted to our cause. They are welcome, of course, but my concern is that the conversions have occurred not on the road to Damascus but on the road here to Des Moines,” Tancredo told the crowd. Sam Brownback hit the front runners with, “We are a party based on principles, not personalities.” Clearly a shot at McCain and Giuliani. And Tommy Thompson gave hope to those that have not raised much money, “We got beat in the last election. We went to Washington to change Washington, and I think Washington changed us. We tried to spend money as foolishly and as fast and as ridiculously as the Democrats.”…… “If the voters are going to vote for a spender, they’ll always vote for the professional spenders, the Democrats,” he said. John Cox also spoke saying this, “We can get the principles of the Republican Party back in the Republican Party, and we will win if we stick to our principles.” Most of the candidates mentioned a yearning for the Reagan times, as opposed to continuing the Bush years. This was just a fund raiser, yet the differences are clear. There is a split in the Republican party, and they need a strong front runner to pull them back together.
Alan Cosgrove

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