Friday, June 19, 2015

Constitutional Freedom Party’s Ratings for the 2016 Presidential Nominees

The 2016 Presidential Race will be the most important race of our time as our country is facing threats on many fronts. While not everyone may have a favorite pick yet, not everyone knows much about each candidate and potential candidate.

CFP has vetted each and each candidate has been rated on:
-How well he or she shows an appreciation, and a dedication to upholding the Constitution,
-How his or her views closely match CFP’s beliefs as laid out in our Mission Statement
-Trust and consistency
-Both good and not so good past and present views, votes, business practices, speeches and debates. 

We realize that no candidate is perfect and there will be various important issues which each individual needs to consider. We hope that the information and links we provide meet the needs to weigh when making decisions for your favorite candidates.
As we continue the vetting process, please check back often as we add more Candidates as they enter the 2016 race.


Constitutional Freedom Party’s Endorsed Candidate:

Senator Ted Cruz

Over all Score- 4 ½ Bells

Senator Cruz has a history of being a strong advocate for the Constitution specifically the freedoms of speech and religion as protected in the 1st Amendment, and a strong advocate of our 2nd Amendment, even arguing for rights before the Supreme Court.
He has always had a clear understanding and commitment to the Federal government’s proper and Constitutional roles, including fighting for the people against government over reach and intrusion. He has been steadily fighting against Obamacare, religious freedoms stemming from the mandates and against the IRS.

He is strong on defense and our military. He has never shied away from calling Islamic terrorism for what it is or taking a tough stance against ISIS.  He led legislation which was passed unanimously by Congress and signed by Obama to prevent known terrorists from entering the United States as ambassadors to the United Nations. Cruz wrote legislation which allowed victims of the Fort Hood terrorist attack to finally be awarded the Purple Heart and receive appropriate and much needed benefits. He is working on making existing law stronger to prevent discrimination or retaliation against military service members who express their religious faith.
Cruz joined Texas and 25 other states in a lawsuit to stop Obama’s illegal executive orders.  He also wrote legislation to triple the size of the U.S. Border Patrol and legislation to streamline and simplify our legal immigration system.

He is a strong and consistent supporter of Israel.
Senator Cruz called for a special prosecutor to investigate the IRS targeting of conservatives. He has been fighting against Obamacare since it was shoved down our throats. He's argued before the Supreme Court and won on 2nd Amendment rights.

He's been solicitor general, used to delegating to staff members, he's been consistent on everything he has stood for or against, doesn't flip flop and his respect for the Constitution and our country is impeccable.
Senator Cruz matches or comes close to all of our platform issues, including protecting States rights when it comes to marriage between one man and one woman, and has always been a strong prolife advocate. He is for parents’ choice for education and advocates for education being returned to the States and local communities.

While Senator Cruz is strong in most areas, there are a few issues which people are concerned about, mainly questions about his views of the TPP and Fast Track:
And on his ‘yes’ vote on Iran, even though he opposes Obama’s deal with Iran over their nuclear programs which will give Iran the abilities to build a nuclear weapons arsenal.
Endorsements include: Rep. Louie Gohmert R Texas, radio host & comedian, Adam Carolla, Actor, R. Lee Ermey and Radio Host Michael Savage.
The Constitutional Freedom Party at this time believes that with Senator Cruz’s consistent stand on important issues facing our country, he is the strongest Constitutional Conservative candidate.

Candidate website
Twitter @Sentedcruz 

Voting record

Rated Nominees and Potential Nominees:

Senator Marco Rubio

Over all rating- 2 ½  bells

Marco Rubio described himself when he announced, as “uniquely qualified” and as a “forward-looking, next-generation leader…” I believe we’ve heard similar from another candidate about 8 years ago.
Some people think Rubio’s age will set him apart with younger voters. Rubio isn’t much younger than half the other candidates. Ted Cruz is less than one year older, Scott Walker is only four years older and Bobby Jindal is actually younger than Rubio by a few weeks.
Some may think his Hispanic heritage is strength yet Cruz shares similar and should Bobby Jindal throw his hat in, he has an Indian heritage.  While heritage is a part of what makes us who we are, we have got to get back to picking candidates on their records, votes and issues, not their skin shades, heritage and gender.
Senator Rubio is known for his early status as a Tea Party favorite who lost a lot of support when he endorsed the Gang of 8 illegal immigration push. While Marco is staunchly conservative on some issues, and has “evolved” on others, as far as immigration goes, Rubio has always been pro amnesty even during his time in the Florida legislature.
Rubio has a strong record protecting the people’s right to keep and bear arms. He took part in the filibuster of gun control legislation in the Senate, voting against restrictions on the Second Amendment and against the expansion of background checks on private gun sales. He also introduced a bill strengthening the 2nd Amendment in Washington, D.C.
He introduced the Firearms Manufacturers and Dealers Protection Act, which would defund Eric Holder’s Operation Choke Point and prohibits the funding of other similar programs under a new name.  He also voted against the Manchin-Toomey amendment expanding background checks.
Senator Rubio has a mixed past when it comes to taxes. During his years in Florida politics, he proposed raising property taxes, and then later proposed raising the State Sales tax in order to eliminate property taxes. He is a proponent of small businesses and opposes excessive regulations. Rubio sponsored The American Growth, Recovery, Empowerment and Entrepreneurship Act, which contained tax relief for businesses and startups, but did nothing to simplify the tax codes. In some cases it made the codes more burdensome. He also proposed legislation to replace the earned income tax credit with a government imposed minimum wage for low wage jobs which was called, “federal wage enhancement”.
On the plus side, Rubio voted against the "fiscal cliff" deal in 2013, which increased taxes and spending by billions of dollars, supported extending the Bush tax cuts and called capital gains taxes double taxation.  
Recently Rubio and Mike Lee came out with their “Economic Growth and Family Fairness Tax Reform Plan.” which has its share of critics from both sides of the aisle.
Where again Rubio comes off tough on some issues, he is mixed when it comes to Terrorism and defense. He’s a strong supporter of Israel, has criticized Obama’s hostility towards Israel, he also introduced legislation that would further sanction Iran and Russia, called for increased U.S. involvement in the fight against ISIS and has been a strong opponent to Obama on normalizing relations with Cuba.
On the weak side, he was part of the Gang who vilified Congresswoman Michele Bachmann and a few other congress members when they questioned the Muslim Brotherhood connections of Huma Abedin and others in sensitive government positions.
He was on board with McCain and Graham again when it came to arming Syrian rebels even though there was no clear U.S. interest at stake, he voted for John Kerry’s appointment as Secretary of State, called for U.S. intervention in Libya and supported U.S. military intervention in Syria to remove Assad from power.

As far as Civil Liberties go, Rubio supports state-passed religious freedom and voter ID laws, has voted twice against reauthorizing the unconstitutional Violence against Women Act and is a strong advocate of religious freedom.
He opposed reforms to the NSA mass surveillance program, voted against an amendment ensuring Fourth Amendment protection in data collection by requiring warrants for all wire-tapping of U.S. citizens (FISA) in 2012, voted against reforms to the NSA mass surveillance program which included provisions for privacy concerns and introduced the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, a bill that would permanently extend the NSA’s counterterrorism surveillance yet provides nothing to address privacy concerns. 
For more on Marco Rubio and the issues:
Campaign Website

Senator Rand Paul

Over all rating- 3 bells

Senator Paul has been a Tea Party favorite as well as picking up a strong base of Libertarians who have supported his dad Ron in the past. When one thinks of Rand Paul, they think Constitutional and a champion of Liberty.  On the flip side, one of the problems the past few years with the Republican Party is the so called “tent widening.” On this, there is little difference between Paul wanting to bring in younger voters, independents and those who traditionally vote democrat, or with progressive republicans whose goal is to push out Constitutional Conservatives.
Paul has a “Different, younger, more hip and libertarian” type of republican who can appeal to the youth and minority voter approach going on and it can get confusing. 

Rand Paul is completely libertarian in priorities like shrinking government or surveillance and he fights hard for what he believes as we’ve seen recently with his filibuster against the NSA spying and Patriot Act.  On the other side, Paul insulted many conservatives when he said “Everybody’s gone completely crazy on this voter ID thing. I think it’s wrong for Republicans to go too crazy on this issue because it’s offending people.”

While he’s not against voter ID, and much was made of the quote which was taken out of context, it assumes that he capitulates to those who claim to be offended by a perceived treatment and makes it about race when race has nothing to do with it.  The same thing with his working on restoring voting rights for felons going so far as co-authoring bills on reforming the criminal justice system with Democrat Senator from New Jersey, Cory Booker and meeting with Al Sharpton.

As for Rand’s stance on big government, we had his awesome nearly-13-hour filibuster in opposition to Obama’s drone policy and the nomination of John Brennan to head the CIA, and stood for 2nd Amendment rights against fellow republican senators who voted for more restrictions on private gun sales.
On the other hand, he has no problem engaging in political favoritism while climbing the political ladder by deal making with establishment rinos such as fellow Kentuckian Senator Mitch McConnell who promised before the 2012 elections that  “I’m going to crush conservatives.”
Rand Paul says he’s for term limits which are something most conservatives also believe in, and yet Rand has a problem with his own State’s law. Back in March, Paul met with Kentucky GOP leaders, and with help from McConnell, asked them to switch from a presidential primary to caucuses.  That would allow him to run for both the Senate and the presidency without breaking a state law that forbids a name from appearing twice on a ballot.

Rand Paul is strong on libertarian issues regarding States rights, and constitutionally he is a strong candidate.  When it comes to illegal immigration however, Rand falls in among other flip floppers on this issue.
On the one hand, Rand believes that birthright citizenship needs to end, which is an issue many conservatives agree with.   

On the other hand, in 2012 he wanted to carve a compromise immigration plan with an “eventual path” to citizenship for illegals. He said his plan would “assimilate” millions of illegal currently in the country who could apply for legal status.  Paul said the “trade-off” would be “not to accept any new legal immigrants while we’re assimilating the ones who are here.” 
Paul claimed republicans must “evolve” on immigration debate “So I am concerned, but I’m also open-minded enough to say that it is an issue that we do need to evolve on… But I’m not willing to be so much in adapting that I believe you allow people to come in without having a secure border and not without letting people get to the front of the line…”
It seems like he’s been evolving back and forth for a long time. If you have to keep clarifying yourself on an issue, that means you either don’t have a clue, you stink at communicating or you don’t believe what you’re telling people.
When it comes to foreign issues, terrorism and defense, Paul has been getting tougher in his language, yet still has enough of his dad’s views instilled in him. 
When talking about sanctions against Iran, Paul compared it with World War 2, “There are times when sanctions have made it worse. I mean, there are times... Leading up to World War II we cut off trade with Japan. That probably caused Japan to react angrily. We also had a blockade on Germany after World War I, which may have encouraged them … some of their anger.”

Asfor taxes, Rand has come out with a flat tax style plan, which sounds promising, however more details need to be clarified, such as "inheritance" and charitable giving incentives.
For more information on Rand Paul-

Senate record-
Rand’s Website
Twitter @RandPaul

Dr. Ben Carson


Over all rating- 3  bells

Ben Carson has been known by a lot of folks for quite a few years due to his incredible career as a top neuro surgeon, but most people remember his amazing speech at the National Prayer Breakfast in 2013.  Since then he has been a ‘darling’ of Conservatives all over the country. He’s soft spoken, speaks common sense and from traditional values which is sorely lacking these days.
While the good Doctor has a lot of common sense which could benefit Washington, does he have what it takes to take the reins of the out of control government and help fix the serious threats both foreign and domestic which we face?  It’s hard to vet someone who has never been a political insider or politician. 
On immigration, Dr. Carson’s earlier views match that of most that ignore the legal and immigration system we have in place.  From his 2012 book, America the Beautiful, Dr. Carson said, "Is it moral for us, for example, to take advantage of cheap labor from illegal immigrants while denying them citizenship? I'm sure you can tell from the way I phrased the question that I believe we have taken the moral low road on this issue. Some segments of our economy would virtually collapse without these undocumented workers--we all know that--yet we continue to harass and deport many individuals who are simply seeking a better life for themselves and their families…”
When it comes to healthcare, who better to ask about our healthcare system than a Doctor? Dr. Carson has some good ideas and has been an outspoken critic of Obamacare.  One idea he spoke about in his book was the idea of a two tiered system. 
Dr. Carson seems to believe in some government involvement, borrowing ideas from other Countries with socialized 'care', and suggests regulating insurance companies as nonprofit services and government managing catastrophic coverage.

Carson focuses more on domestic policies than foreign Issues. He has been a critic of Obama's handling of the Middle East, and questions the lack of a "consistent policy that governs military intervention."
Speaking about Iran, Carson called the framework for an Iran nuclear deal "a slap in the face," for leaving Congress out of the negotiation process.  Dr. Carson supports and stands with Israel, recognizing the State as our only democratic ally in the Middle East. He also believes in maintaining the detention of terrorists at Guantanamo Bay.
His views on religion may or may not speak about his views of Islamic jihad and how he would deal with issues should he be Commander in Chief as he believes in confronting radical and violent groups of all religions, echoing Obama's "High horse" speech.
He has spoken of what he called a “void in ethical world leadership” over the past few decades.  He believes the US needs to “step forward and offer effective, morally consistent policies unconstrained by political correctness. If a bully faction or bully nation is beating up on those with whom it disagrees, we should immediately stop them with brutal force, if necessary, because it is the right thing to do. If that were done consistently, such incidents would cease almost immediately.”
On education, Dr. Carson believes in school choice, is against federal government intrusion through programs such as common core and believes in State and local education decisions.
On 2nd Amendment rights, Carson has flipped his position from when he told Glenn Beck in 2013, "It depends on where you live. I think if you live in the midst of a lot of people, and I'm afraid that that semi-automatic weapon is going to fall into the hands of a crazy person, I would rather you not have it."  He did add that if you live "out in the country somewhere by yourself and want to own a semi-automatic weapon, I've no problem with that."
While Carson used to believe in gun registration, He has said in 2014 that "I would never advocate anything to interfere with Second Amendment rights; however, I do think we have to be intelligent… We need to discuss, 'Is there something we can do?' We have to keep in mind that law-abiding American citizens absolutely should have gun rights."
For some of Carson’s more centrist comments and views, progressive sites have fun wondering what Conservatives think. While reading progressive sites isn’t a usual pastime, it sometimes comes in handy when fully vetting candidates, so in our process, some of the links you may notice are progressive and are included for a reason.
Dr. Carson’s campaign has run into some issues lately which raise important questions on how much or little interaction he has with those who keep him informed or pays attention to the details of the campaign. Armstrong Williams, a long time close associate and campaign manager told reporters, “Dr. Carson doesn’t get involved in the minutia… You have to understand his personality. He’s informed, but this whole process is new to him, and he’s relying on the judgment of others.”

While no one person can know every detail of every little issue, if Carson is having a hard time being involved in his campaign other than a once a week conference call, what will his management skills and style be like if he is the Commander in Chief?

For more on Dr. Ben Carson-

Campaign Website
Twitter @RealBenCarson

Carly Fiorina


Over all rating- 2 ½ bells

The top thing many seem to think about when it comes to Carly Fiorina is that she’s a woman and perfect match against Hillary Clinton. She is tough, and has a lot of experience in business, foreign policy, and politics. She ran a hard race in 2010 for US Senate California against progressive Barbara Boxer in a heavy blue state and was within single digits when Boxer won the election. 
Fiorina has been a strong Pro Life candidate since 2010 and has had 100 percent ratings from California Pro Life Council. She is a strong supporter of gun rights and earned an A rating from both Gun Owners of America and NRA in 2010.
On healthcare, Carly Fiorina supports repealing Obama care, instead focuses on competitive insurance market, medical malpractice reform.
Fiorina’s business experience can help her as she was the first woman to lead a Fortune 500 company when she took over as CEO of Hewlett Packard.  During her time, HP experienced doubled revenues, quadrupled cash-flow and grew from the 28th to 11th largest company in the US.  Critics will draw from some of the decisions Fiorina made as CEO and also from her time before HP as head of Lucent Technologies.
Fiorina at the time was one of the US most powerful women in business, and Lucent under her leadership saw sales growing from $15.7 billion in 1997 to $23.6 billion in 1999. However, much like the Subprime Mortgage scandals which helped create the housing bubble and eventual bust, companies such as Lucent were financing similar deals during the height of the telecom industry boom.  They lent to customers betting on the boom and in turn it helped keep stock prices up and kept lenders financial records on the plus side. Right after Carly left Lucent for HP, an SEC document filed showed that Lucent had $7 billion in loan commitments to financially unstable customers. When the market turned, they collapsed with other companies doing the same wheeling and dealing.
When she left, her stock and options were worth a total of $85 million, according to her. HP gave her $65 million worth of restricted stock to compensate her for the Lucent stock and options she was leaving behind. If she had have held onto the Lucent stock, it would have been worthless within a year. 
This may not seem like a big deal, maybe more like a lucky break that she switched companies at the right time, but it’s still a point which opponents are sure to capitalize on along with the controversies swirling about her time at HP.  When it comes to one of the issues which has had little focus on is when Fiorina was CEO of HP, HP was still doing business with Iran even though there were sanctions against the terrorist state.

One has to wonder why she ignored HP’s getting around the sanctions and dealt with Iran when she was at the helm.
Maybe because everyone else seemed to be doing it, but that doesn’t make it right. Especially if one feels so strongly now about sanctions.

Maybe her views on Islam after 9/11 have changed since, or maybe that explains her willingness to ignore a loophole to sell to a sanctioned terrorist state.
On Immigration, Carly does not support a pathway to citizenship for immigrants already here, saying in 2010 that she does not support amnesty.
When Arizona was facing so much heat for the State law SB 1070 signed by then Gov. Jan Brewer, Fiorina supported saying the federal government was not doing their job.
About Obama’s immigration “policies” she said, “He sunk comprehensive immigration reform in 2007. He did nothing to push forward immigration reform when he had the Senate, the House and the White House. He said in ’11 and ’12 he couldn’t do anything. And then he delayed his action for the elections. Unbelievable cynicism.” 
She did support the Dream Act, while saying during an interview with Katie Couric, “We have the cart backwards, when we pass something called the Dream Act before we've even secured the border all we're doing is making the problem worse…”
She is against amnesty as far as citizenship goes, however does suggest they can earn legal status. This is a problem which many politicians believe is fair to those who work hard for citizenship, yet giving  illegals “legal status” is still rewarding law breakers when millions work hard for the same status as legal residents or here on work visas.

On issues such as “Climate Change” Fiorina believes it is real and manmade, but government has limited ability to address it. She claimed there is scientific consensus that climate change is real and caused by humans. But she also argued that it is not clear that a single nation or state can reverse it. She believes government should work towards innovation not regulation when it comes to the environment and global warming… change.
Carly is running on a platform which separates her from the political DC insiders.  Her past as a businesswoman helps, yet she has political experience in working on John McCain’s 2008 presidential campaign, being Chairman of the American Conservative Union Foundation which hosts the annual CPAC event and her run in 2010 against Barbara Boxer. This could go either way, as a positive, showing she’s got enough knowledge on how DC works, or that she’s more of an insider than she’s leading people to believe.

She nails Hillary Clinton, and has proven she can go toe to toe against hard progressives even as she goes through personal battles.  While the CFP doesn’t consider her the strongest Candidate and we don’t believe in using her gender as a qualifier to win, we do appreciate her intellect, varied experiences and common sense approaches to many issues our country faces.
For more information on Carly Fiorina-
Campaign Website

On the Issues

Twitter @CarlyFiorina

Stay tuned for vetting information on Jeb Bush, Donald Trump, Rick Perry, Lindsay Graham, Bobby Jindal and Mike Huckabee