A 2012 Republican Strategy for Congress

A great editorialearlier this month by Wisconsin Senator Ron Johnson.

English: Official photo of Senator Ron Johnson...

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America’s Choice seeks to highlight the differences between the Republican Party and the Democratic Party led by President Obama. It could do so over the coming months by presenting to the country, through a series of votes in the House of Representatives, the battle between those who believe in broadest terms in limited government and freedom and those who promote government control and dependency.

What are the choices these votes could present? Growing government spending and debt or growing the private sector and reducing government. Limiting energy development or using America’s energy resources. Punishing success or pro-growth tax reform. A government takeover of health care or repealing ObamaCare and replacing it with patient-centered, free-market reforms.

The alternatives are stark. President Obama’s faith in government is so strong that he has increased its size to 24% of gross domestic product from 21%, and increased our nation’s debt by over $4 trillion. Republicans, on the other hand, believe long-term self-sustaining jobs are created in the private sector—that government cannot tax, spend and borrow our nation to prosperity.

As Senator Johnson points out, this strategy highlights the stark differences in vision with the Democrats and President Obama.

America’s Choice would clearly present two different visions of the country’s future—one represented by the Republican Party and the other represented by the Democratic Party and its leader, President Obama. Once Congress returns from recess later this month, the Republican majority in the House could focus on one major area of domestic policy at a time. For example, February could be used to debate, craft and pass an energy utilization policy.

When the House debates and passes an agenda item, Republican senators, candidates and conservative groups could concentrate on the same issue, using the same powerful facts and figures to inform and persuade the American public. Coordinating our focused efforts improves our ability to compete with the presidential bully pulpit and counteract media outlets that often work to marginalize us.

In 2011, President Obama stopped running the country and started running his re-election campaign. In his cynical attempt to divert attention away from his record by dividing us, Republicans have been put on defense. The America’s Choice agenda would put us on offense.

If done well, we just might put enough pressure on Senate Democrats and the president to actually pass legislation that will begin to solve our problems. If not, Republicans will have provided Americans with a clear choice in November.

And ultimately that is what Republicans need to do in the coming months, provide a clear choice to voters.  Especially since the prospects of President Obama working with Republicans are very slim.

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Senator Johnson Voting “No”

This is good news.

“I made a commitment to support the House in its pledge to cut $100 billion from the budget – a budget that should have been passed last year, when Democrats controlled both Houses of Congress and the presidency. I did so because I believe it was important to take that first step in enacting real spending cuts.

“This is the first CR that does not achieve that level of spending reduction. As a result, I will vote no when this CR comes before the Senate.

“We can do better; we must do better. In order to get the economy growing again we must limit the size, scope, and cost of the federal government. The first step is to establish very hard spending caps. My preference is a constitutional limit on spending married with an identical legislative spending limitation. Once the spending caps are established, then the hard work of prioritizing spending under those caps must begin.

“I stand ready to work with anyone willing to seriously address these issues.”

Senator Ron Johnson is ready to fight the battle now when it comes to making the tough decisions on spending.  Who else from the Wisconsin contingent is willing to vote against this deal that was brokered at the 11th hour last Friday night?

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Penny Pincher

Another hard-hitting ad by Ron Johnson.  This time revealing the facts by highlighting just how the national deficit and the national debt have skyrocketed since Senator Russ Feingold went to Washington in 1992.

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Tea Party groups taking another look at Johnson

Wisconsin tea party groups largely stayed out of endorsing candidates in the U.S. Senate race before the September primary, but now some in the movement are reconsidering and pushing to get behind the Republican candidate Ron Johnson.

Johnson, an Oshkosh millionaire who burst onto the political stage this spring with fiery speeches at two tea party rallies, has a checkered past with some tea party groups. He fell out of favor with the Rock River Patriots after a vetting session in which several members said they were unimpressed with his knowledge of the Constitution.

Straw polls of other tea party groups in Madison and western Wisconsin show that members overwhelmingly backed his opponent Dave Westlake. Other groups, including one in Racine, showed members supported Johnson although they didn’t endorse anyone in the primary. A coalition of more than 70 tea party groups did not endorse anyone but may reconsider that for the general election.

Johnson beat Westlake with 85 percent of the primary vote. Johnson spent more than $4 million of his own money blanketing the airwaves, overpowering Westlake who was running on a shoestring budget. After the election Westlake threw his support behind Johnson.

Westlake said he was working to convince his backers reluctant to support Johnson that they ought to because he’s a better alternative to Feingold.

Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour, head of the Republican Governors Association, said in Milwaukee last week that he expected tea party members to rally around Republican candidates because both groups care about the same issues _ the economy, job creation and excessive spending.

There has been some pressure from local Republicans for the tea party movement to unify behind Johnson, said Tim Dake, organizer of the Milwaukee-area group the GrandSons of Liberty. But Dake and others in the tea party movement say they don’t know enough about Johnson to feel comfortable endorsing him. Dake said Johnson committed to attending roughly a dozen tea party vetting sessions but then canceled at the last minute.

“We feel we don’t really know him at this point,” Dake said. “We would kind of like to see some substance. So far we haven’t gotten that. … We don’t feel we have a good grasp of who he is and what he would do.” (Source: Wisconsin State Journal)

A smart move considering Ron Johnson won the primary.  However I wonder if Johnson realizes why he wasn’t endorsed by the groups in the first place.

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