Monday, July 27, 2015

Constitutional Freedom Party’s Ratings for the 2016 Presidential Nominees-2nd Tier

The 2016 Presidential Race will be the most important race of our time as our country is facing threats on many fronts.
We realize that no candidate is perfect and there will be various important issues will arise. Everyone has those which mean most to them while others don’t seem so important. We hope that the information and links we provide meet the needs to weigh when making decisions for your favorite candidates.

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. 

*See rating method at end of article

For a recap of our first round of candidates, you can check them out here. The following are our ratings for the rest of the 2016 Republican Presidential Candidates:


Donald Trump


There’s something about the Donald, that even if one doesn’t like him, you’ve got to respect that he says what he feels and doesn’t back down. Some of his recent opinions have been taking a lot of incoming from some fellow candidates and other people in high places, but he’s still sticking by his convictions.
Face it; people are sick of politicians spineless, caving, whichever way the wind blows styles of ‘leading’ and guys like Donald Trump seem like a breath of fresh air in spite of his own past political schizophrenia…
The fact that he’s a billionaire business mogul is like an added bonus. Trump’s bluntness speaks loud to a lot of people sick of the same old same and its making folks take note and throw in their support.
It’s understandable that people would be quick to jump on the Trump train by listening to his rhetoric; however by looking at where he’s travelled over the years, we can tell that the Trump Train will most likely not be stopping at Conservativeville.
Looking at the man who has repeatedly stated he’d love to have Oprah Winfrey as his V/P running mate, one can see he’s all over the political spectrum when it comes to past support with campaign donations. He has supported everyone from progressives such as Obama, Charlie Rangel, Harry Reid, Hillary Clinton, Mitch McConnell and Charlie Crist to Conservatives like Tim Scott and Tom Cotton.
While that may be to his advantage because it shows bipartisanship and no real political favoritism, he has donated a significantly higher amount to progressives than conservatives.  It also could be that he doesn’t really care about politics unless it’s something to benefit the economy which benefits Donald, no matter the potential consequences to others.

Donald Trump may be articulate when it comes to playing his audiences. He’s a master and he wouldn’t be where he is if it weren’t for knowing how to manipulate and speak whatever he needs to, to any given audience, depending on whom he’s talking to or what it will do for him. 
He may have a way of being hard core and doing what he says he’ll do. In our current climate that’s a rarity in many politicians, however there are a few including in this POTUS race that have always  stood on what they believe in even if it goes against what others believe. This isn’t a unique qualifier if that’s all you’re basing your vote on.
We need a constitutionally strong, conservative principled candidate who has been consistent on important issues concerning all of our country, from fiscal, social, domestic and foreign/diplomatic. Can Trump measure up?
Back in 2011 when Trump was considering throwing his hat into the political ring, Andrew Breitbart viewed it as a bad sign for America when people are elected to public office based on celebrity status.  Yes he has business experience, but during this most important election, it’s foolhardy to elect an ego driven businessman celebrity just because he says all the right things.

Many people remember Trump as a candidate in waiting during the last go. It seemed as if he was flirting with the idea out of something to do. What’s a billionaire to do when he’s bored? His last bid was more of a vote splitter than anything, and this time, he may end up taking votes away from seriously qualified candidates because his ego says he’s the best man to “Make America Great Again.”  Well, America is still great- it’s our leadership and the people who keep voting for them who are not. But is Trump the answer?

When asked who he believed was the best president out of the last four, he answered Bill Clinton.  The idea of Willie being Slick and with Hillary’s apparent coat of Teflon, he seems to admire that quality. He listed GW Bush as the worst. Not Obama- whom he did vote for and donate to. 
Speaking of Clinton, Trump did donate between $100,000 and $250,000 to the Clinton Foundation.

On the issues, especially terrorism and foreign policy- Trump is gaining a lot of traction with his tough talk.  And yet here at home, he has an issue with freedom of speech when it comes to pointing out Islam’s hypocrisy of being called the religion of peace while threatening death to anyone who criticizes the ideology or their prophet.
Somehow calling Pamela Gellar and others publicity seekers when they’ve spent decades warning the west about the Islamic ideology is petty, and, especially from someone as ego inflated as Donald Trump is not so admirable.
On Healthcare, Trump has praised universal healthcare, but opposes Obamacare. In 2000, in his book The America We Deserve, Trump said, “I’m a conservative on most issues but a liberal on health…. Working out detailed plans will take time. But the goal should be clear: Our people are our greatest asset. We must take care of our own. We must have universal healthcare. Our objective [should be] to make reforms for the moment and, longer term, to find an equivalent of the single-payer plan that is affordable, well-administered, and provides freedom of choice…”

He is for school choice and giving more control back to the States in education.
On the 2nd Amendment, Trump is against gun control but is for infringement by believing so called assault weapons should be banned and through longer wait times and background checks.
On illegals and immigration, Trump has been pro border security and against amnesty consistently since the 1990s, and also believes in making it harder for people to immigrate legally. He is against using the 14th Amendment for anchor babies.
Speaking of babies, Trump is now prolife, but he has like many politicians ‘evolved’ over the years and was once very prochoice even to the point where he said, “I support a woman’s right to choose, for example, but I am uncomfortable with the procedures. When Tim Russert asked me on Meet the Press if I would ban partial-birth abortion if I were president, my pro-choice instincts led me to say no.” 

What it comes down to with Donald Trump, is that much like broken clocks are right twice a day, Trump has some good ideas and says some good things once in a while. He’s an entertainer and knows how to play an audience. We are at a most critical time and can’t afford not to nominate the best candidate possible. While he’s not in the top tier of our preferred candidates, with Trump’s toughness, we could do worse. But hopefully we can do better.
Twitter @realDonaldTrump

Jeb Bush

Wow. What can we say about Jeb that hasn’t been already thought of or said out loud? While people may have issues with everything Bushes, I will say for me personally, I thought GW was the right man for the job when September 11, 2001 happened. And as far as Jeb goes, I did appreciate him as Governor for Florida and thought he did well. He was an outspoken champion of tax cuts, smaller government, school choice and vouchers, faith-based prisons and staunchly prolife.  During his terms, 8 major hurricanes hit the state and both before and after the storms he was tirelessly warning, then showed real leadership in getting rebuilding and relief efforts implemented.  Most importantly, Jeb was great on 2nd Amendment rights.

He signed Florida’s “Stand Your Ground” self-defense law and expanded access to concealed carry for out-of-state residents and enhanced it for Florida residents.
His terms weren’t without controversy; as Bush’s attempt at a state wide voucher program was ruled by the Florida courts as unconstitutional and his attempt at ending affirmative action at Florida Universities and state contracting met with everything from sit in’s, student demonstrations and a huge protest on the capital led by Jesse Jackson.  There was also the Terri Shiavo case, when he signed a special law to restore Schiavo's feeding tube. The courts ruled no, and on March 31, 2005, the 41-year-old Schiavo died after having the feeding tube removed and being denied water.
He ran the state much in the same way his brother GW led from the Oval Office- standing hard on convictions, doing what he says whether people liked it or not and not asking for advice.
So what about now? How does Jeb match up to the other candidates and his own record?
As far as illegals and immigration goes, Jeb’s not feeling the love so much from Conservatives who know that the system is not “broken” and that illegals are not here out of an “act of love”, unless it’s love for free stuff and a pathway which Jeb and progressives would no doubt grant should they have their way.

Focusing on whatever Jeb’s opinion is on why they come is taking important focus off the open border and also ignoring the fact that the immigration process works and we have laws on the books that many people DO follow.  We don’t need reform. We need people to obey the laws and stop rewarding those who break them. Period.

We need to focus on border security.

From “Immigration Wars” in 2013, Jeb wrote “A Proposal for Immigration Reform” which would include what he calls Fundamental Reform, because he claims like many falsely do that the system is broken. He focuses on work based immigration, which in times of so many still under or un-employed in the US, favors illegals over citizens. He proposes an “Increased Role for the States” which would focus on social services and benefits. Again, in a time when there are more people in the US on food stamps already, and we have Veterans who are denied benefits while people breaking the law are given benefits.  Where’s the love Jeb?
He proposes a path to permanent legal resident status for those who plead guilty to having entered our country illegally as adults and who have committed no additional crimes of significance. Not sure what he considers crimes of significance. 
Ah, he finally mentions the Border saying “Many on the right say that we must secure the border before we do anything to reform our immigration system. The fact is that we can't do one without the other.”
Sure we can. Secure the border, cut benefits and welfare to illegals in this country and they will for the most part self deport. Close the door behind them until they go through the same process which legal immigrants follow.
While Jeb was governor, he was a staunch supporter of the 2nd Amendment; however that seems to have gone by the wayside as he is pushing background checks on private sales which will make a federal gun registry necessary to enforce it which is a clear infringement.

Jeb was and is all over the board when it comes to education. While he did favor vouchers and school choice as governor, he also disagreed with reducing class sizes at public schools claiming the cost would have been prohibitive. Instead billions were spent on new schools, which as far as student achievements and scores go, didn’t make much difference. Since then, he is one huge proponent of common core.  One has to wonder how someone can be for school choice,
while applauding one size fits all standards- unless he intends for all schools to implement it, including private and home schools.
On social issues, many people say they don’t matter, and would much rather leave such issues alone, up to the states to decide or keep all government out of them. These would be the ideal solutions, but unfortunately, government has been involved in social issues for decades, and people who don’t think social issues matter are why we have a supreme court who just decided that States have no right (nor the people who voted) to keep the definition of Marriage as between one man and one woman.
Jeb Bush was always strong on social issues, however where he once supported changing the Florida Constitution to include a ban on gay marriage, since the Supreme Court ruling, he has not challenged the ruling. He says he believes it’s a State issue, yet respects the court’s decision to trample State’s rights in the matter.
As far as health care goes, he reformed Medicare by allowing individual choice and access to private plans, which focused on patient-centered healthcare reform.  He has been opposed to Obama care, yet he also opposed Republicans efforts to defund it.
When it comes to defense and foreign policy, Jeb has no record, yet it’s telling that while he has criticized Obama’s leading from behind, he has no clear policies laid out yet. He backtracked and flipped on his position when it came to his brother’s handling of the war in Iraq, even though US forces were successful in spite of the demoralizing rhetoric from US politicians and media. It was only after Obama announced and pulled out all our troops that the region collapsed into chaos and became a breeding ground for ISIS and resurgence of terrorists.
He is pro-Israel, and supports strengthening ties with NATO and allies, has criticized Obama on gutting the military and believes in re strengthening the military and leading with moral clarity.
Jeb may be conservative in some instances, but is far from being the Constitutional Conservative that our country needs to get us back on track. He’s like warmed over pizza for breakfast- on the third day when it was good the first few times, but now just plain tiring and a little bit nauseating.

So… again, what can be said about Jeb Bush, except, please… no more Bushes.

Twitter @JebBush

Mike Huckabee

A lot of people like Mike. I like Mike. But what is it about Mike (and a few others) who believes that this time (out of running again for the third or more times) they will suddenly appeal to the people and win the nomination? This isn’t meant as an insult, but honestly, this is a problem with too many politicians, especially on the Republican side. 

Let’s just jump to the issues. Mike Huckabee is and always has been a pro-life champion. In recent days with the latest vile information out about Planned Parenthood’s selling of baby ‘parts’, Huck would be a great candidate to lead the fight to shut down PP once and for all, and focus on life choices.  He has also been strong on social issues such as Supreme Court rulings concerning Homosexual marriage and religious rights. However, there are more issues at stake in our country now. How would he measure up?

While Huck is pro strengthening the border and against amnesty; in 2005 he opposed a Republican bill to require proof of legal status when applying for state services that aren't federally mandated and proof of citizenship when registering to vote. As Governor of Arkansas, he discouraged government raids and supported an instate tuition rate for illegals.  When his effort to make children of illegal immigrants eligible for state-funded scholarships and in-state tuition to Arkansas colleges failed, Huckabee had this to say, "It hurts me on a personal as well as a policy level to think that we are still debating issues that I kind of hoped we had put aside in the 1960s, maybe at the latest the '70s, and yet I understand people have deep passions about things usually they don't fully understand."
As a legal immigrant who obtained Citizenship the same way millions of others have who have come through the supposedly broken system, I am tired of being mocked and criticized by politicians who claim we don’t “understand”.  Yes, I do fully understand- and so do the American people, when they know politicians are ignoring the system and rewarding lawbreakers for personal gains and self-preservation.

Next. Speaking of education, his past positions on education have been mixed. While in 2008 Huckabee promised to clarify the differences between the roles of the Federal and state government, he seemed to believe that the Feds have a role in providing a national set of standards. During an interview he said, “I think if there’s a role it is to encourage, it’s to recognize the value and importance. Ronald Reagan tried to get rid of the Department of Education, found that it was virtually impossible to do it. So, if we are going to have one, let’s make sure it serves a role that is consistent with the Constitution, which is to become a clearinghouse of best practices that are being employed by the states and by local school districts, rather than becoming a center of mandating educational initiatives pushed back down to the states.”

And yet he fully supported the No Child Left Behind Act and common core before he was against it…

In the past Huckabee has not clearly supported school choice while he does support charter schools and public school choice.
Huckabee is a strong conservative on social issues, but not so conservative when it comes to big government and supporting RINOs

He was for it before he was against it when it comes to global warming which he believes is real and man caused.
And backed US Cap and Trade to reduce global warming emissions,

Defense and Military

Mike Huckabee has been a proponent of closing Gitmo,

As far as his record on Cuba goes, in 2002 as Governor of Arkansas he had said that the embargo against Cuba was harmful to American business. Then in December of 2007 he said he would veto any efforts to end trade restrictions and also promised to punish those who do business there. 
In 2007 he argued for a larger military and an increase in defense spending, writing "Right now, we spend about 3.9 percent of our GDP on defense, compared with about six percent in 1986, under President Ronald Reagan. We need to return to that six percent level."
He is a strong supporter of Israel, has been critical of Obama’s policies and believes that the deal with Iran is insanity.  “You don’t compromise with cancer; you cut it out before it kills you first.”
He believes we should have been arming the Kurds and talks tough on ISIS, saying we should “Bomb the daylights” out of them.
A lot of people like Mike, he’s had some good policies and ideas, but in a monumental election race such as this, we need someone who stands head and shoulders above everyone else. Someone we can trust, but also someone with a consistent record of Constitutional and conservative ideals.  Mike Huckabee might be a great guy, but after running multiple times for President, does he have the right stuff this time around?
Twitter @GovMikeHuckabee

Bobbie Jindal


Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal has been in the National spotlight for the past few years as a possible Conservative contender for the Republican Party.  His background resume includes being a Rhodes Scholar; serving in a Louisiana cabinet post at the age of 25, serving a short time in GW. Bush‘s Administration, and was a member of the Louisiana House before becoming Governor. He is a Christian, opposes abortion, gay marriage and restrictions on gun rights and is favored by many social conservatives.
While many people point to his state’s low unemployment and cut budget as proof of being a qualified leader, others point to Jindal’s questionable practices which resulted more in what many see as a disaster for the state. According to his office, he has “cut taxes a total of six times, which included the largest income tax cut in the state’s history – giving back $1.1 billion over five years to the hard working tax payers across the state, along with accelerating the elimination of the tax on business investment...”
Here’s where it gets dicey and he’s faced criticism from both political parties, “When the state faced a $341 million budget shortfall, Governor Jindal chose to make state government more lean by finding strategic costs savings in the budget, rather than making across the board cuts or passing the bill on to taxpayers.”
What his office doesn’t mention is that his strategic cost savings have included gutting the state’s health care and higher education, leaving thousands scrambling as the money that was earmarked specifically for state employees and retirees was taken to pay down the state’s debt. Even then, by shuffling money from one problem area to another, Louisiana’s budget shortfall is still projected to reach $1.6 billion next year and their budget woes are far from over. No matter how Governor Jindal spins his success of not raising taxes, he’s still contributed one heck of a mess for Louisiana taxpayers to clean up.

On social issues, Jindal received a scathing report from the liberal New Civil Rights Movement, calling him “among the most anti-gay, anti-women, pro-religious extremism governors and likely presidential candidates for several years.” This is like a badge of honor if one is a Christian conservative.

Jindal is not afraid to speak his mind or the truth as far as Christian conservative issues are concerned. He is staunchly pro-life and pro traditional family.  In 2008 Jindal co-sponsored prohibiting taking minors across state lines for abortion, and has scored 100 percent from National Right to Life. In 2006 he voted YES on constitutionally defining marriage as one-man-one-woman and in 2008 he supported a constitutional amendment to define marriage.
As far as Constitutional rights go, Jindal is staunchly pro-2nd Amendment. However, he voted in 2005 to make the Patriot Act permanent and in 2006 he voted YES on allowing electronic surveillance without a warrant.  He was consistent when he agreed with Chris Christie and came down on Rand Paul’s position on the NSA.  However, more recently Jindal has softened his stance saying, “Look: I think we need the tools to hunt down terrorists and protect ourselves from them, but where I think we need to draw the line is this mass collection of data of innocent Americans. Certainly, our agencies that are there to protect us, they should be able to get a court order and go after those that seek to do us harm. I want them to have the tools to go after those that are seeking to do us harm. But we can't give powers to government that weren't intended in the Patriot Act."
Gov. Jindal’s strongest position rests on his stance on illegal immigration. He has been consistent on the immigration issue, as in 2006 he voted YES on building a fence along the Mexican border, believes English should be the official US language and government agencies services given in English only.  He also had this to say in 2010, a belief with him which hasn’t changed since, “We need to find a controlled way to continue welcoming immigrants. That approach would require three main things: first, to ensure that our borders are secure--not talk about it or study it, just do it; second, enforce our existing immigration laws; and third, refocus our legal immigration policy to encourage high-skilled immigrants who embrace American values. I also think we need to continue to be a place where refugees fleeing persecution can find safe harbor and a new home. Immigration should help our country compete in the world and improve the quality of life for US citizens while offering unlimited opportunity to hard-working immigrants looking for freedom.”
One last issue of focus is Education. Bobby Jindal was for common core before he was against it. Louisiana adopted the standards in 2010 and Bobby Jindal was all for it being one of the first to embrace it for his state.  In 2012 he said that Common Core standards were as a step forward for education that "will raise expectations for every child."
He still stood by Common Core into 2013, even though there was a fight over the standards in Louisiana and by this time even the RNC had trashed CC.  Then suddenly he changed his mind.
From Washington Times 2014, “With his outspoken opposition against Common Core, Jindal finds himself on the same page as grass-roots conservatives, who dub the standards "Obamacore." [One Republican State Representative], who has led efforts to gut Common Core, said Jindal could have done more at the statehouse to get lawmakers on board: "He has not been engaged in the legislative process to get rid of Common Core, whereas with school choice he was very much engaged."
[One activist said], "it makes us question just exactly his true intent after he was so adamantly for Common Core." [Another activist said] Jindal has talked the talk and now she wants him to walk the walk, much like he did on school choice: "All we have is words right now," she said. "We've had no action.”

Depending on what matters most, Governor Bobby Jindal is strong on social and moral issues, the 2nd Amendment, and immigration.  As far as flip flopping on multiple issues, Jindal isn’t the first to, and he won’t be the last.


Rick Perry


What can one say about Rick Perry which wasn’t said during the last Presidential election cycle, except for the fact that the CFP wasn’t in existence yet. Perry is as patriotic as they come. He’s former Military and former Governor from the Reddest State of Texas. When one thinks of Texas, one can’t help but think of border issues and illegals right off the bat.
In 2001 Perry signed the Southern Governors' Association resolution which included importing farm workers from Mexico.  There was the famous statement from Perry during debates in the 2012 debates when he said (akin to Jeb’s they do it out of love statement) “you don’t have a heart” if you don’t feel for the children of illegal immigrants. “We have to educate these children…”

That fell on the heels of a previous debate when he said, “it doesn’t make any difference what the sound of your last name is” when talking about Texas’ giving in state tuition to illegals.

When it comes to Texans, many love Perry and his tough talk on illegals and border issues, but many conservative Texans say he hasn’t done nearly enough to fix Texas’ illegal problems. Perry is tough on the idea of border security, focusing on getting the border secure before figuring what to do with the millions of illegals already here.  Except Perry’s ideas of border security doesn’t include a Mexico/U.S. barrier or border fence.  Instead he’s proposed boots on the ground and using technology such as drones to improve safety.

Perry signed the 2001 Texas DREAM Act into law which granted in-state tuition to illegals and his advocating expanding work visa programs for illegals may be an indication of what he’s willing to do with those millions of law breakers once the border is secure.  Amnesty perhaps?

On the economic front, Governor Perry has claimed to be one of the most successful Governors when it comes to Texas’ economy and budget.  When looking at the numbers however, Texas state debt increased from $13.4 billion to $37.8 billion between 2001 and 2011. By the end of 2014, it had grown to $44.33 billion.

On Moral social issues Perry is strong on Christian principles, even as recently as condemning the Supreme Court’s overstepping State’s rights and redefining the definition of marriage. He said the founders never intended for judges to legislate from the bench and was spot on when he said that Constitutional principles had been violated as a result of the ruling.
He has been fairly strong on pro-life issues as well. In 2005 Perry signed a bill into law limiting late-term abortions and requiring minors to notify their parents before receiving an abortion. He also signed a bill into law prohibiting third trimester abortions, and one requiring abortion clinics to provide informational brochures to women considering abortion. He signed HB 15, the mandatory ultrasound bill into law in 2011 which required every abortion to be preceded by a sonogram.  However he was not on the side of parents with his executive order making Texas the first state to require that all schoolgirls get vaccinated against the sexually transmitted virus which can cause cervical cancer.  Instead of giving parents the option to vaccinate, the bill instead allowed parents to opt out by filing an affidavit objecting to the vaccine on religious or philosophical reasons.
On Education, in 2013 Perry ignored Texans who begged him to veto HB 2103 which allows the sharing of Texas students’ personal data with entities all across the United States. Instead, he signed it into Law. Which kind of messes up the law he signed outlawing Common core in Texas.
Another contentious issue some people may not realize is that Perry helped Saudi based Wahibism infiltrate our country through education.

Perry is a friend of the Aga Khan, the religious leader of the Ismailis and founder of the Aga Kahn Foundation. The Ismailis is a sect of Shia Islam that claims 15 to 20 million adherents worldwide. The Aga Khan is a title for Imam, given to those who are to be claimed a direct lineage to Mohammed. He owns or controls a huge international network of business and philanthropic ventures, and in 2010 Forbes put his net worth at $800 million.
The friendship between Perry and Khan was questioned because of the Islamic friendly education curriculum which was implemented in Texas schools and through what is known as CSCOPE, and also the ties between the foundation and terrorists from groups such as Hamas and Hezbollah.
Rick Perry and other republicans vilified people such as Pamela Gellar and Robert Spencer for reporting on all of this, and yet, Texas has been dealing with curriculum based on Islam, such as children dressing up in burkas all while teaching under the umbrella of multiculturalism and culture. While republicans accuse concerned Americans of being bigoted, they have allowed Islamic Religious extremists from Turkey and Saudi Arabia to have an influence on what American students learn about Islam and have given millions of dollars to organizations that produce K-12 curricula whose ideological leanings are sympathetic to Islamic fundamentalism and of course, critical of the United states and Israel. Much of it is also supported by our tax dollars.
Rick Perry talks tough, even against fellow contenders for the 2016 Presidential race. He may have been a great Governor for many Texans, and still enjoys a popular following. A Perry Administration wouldn’t be a complete disaster for our country, but like many of the same old same contenders in this critical time, we need people who have what it takes to make it through the debates and go up against the progressive liberal Democrat nominee. Perry may be a good guy, but does he have what it takes to make it? Time will tell.


Chris Christie


There’s something about being insulted by politicians that doesn’t set well with folks. Chris Christie talks tough on issues, yet he’s been in step with fellow republican contenders Bush and Perry when it comes to insulting his constituents such as when he appointed Muslim Judge Sohail Mohammed to New Jersey’s Superior Court. At a time when people were vocal about their concerns over sharia law which had begun being implemented in courts throughout the US, Governor Christie’s words echoed McCain’s most recent screed calling people crazies.  “It’s just crazy, and I’m tired of dealing with the crazies,” Christie said in 2011, “It’s just unnecessary to be accusing this guy of things just because of his religious background. I’m happy that he’s willing to serve after all this baloney.”
Liberal media sites were giddy in their reporting, following the lead of Christie’s insult with more colorful descriptions,

Speaking of courts, Christie had a chance to place 5 judges on the New Jersey Supreme Court. All of them have been far left, one being so liberal he was considered as an Obama pick for the SCOTUS.
There’s something to be said about “Conservatives” who are elected in Blue States. There must be enough liberalism in their ideals or they’d never get the votes in the first place.  We all remember the infamous Christie/Obama hug, but that’s not really indicative of being a liberal.

On Obamacare, Christie says he opposed it, but he pushed back against attempts to defund it and blamed the handful of Republicans who voted to defund it for shutting the federal government down. He also expanded Medicaid eligibility which relied on increased Obamacare spending by the federal government.

Christie may be a conservative in some way if one chooses to really dig for examples, but definitely not when it comes to the fundamental right protected under the 2nd Amendment.

But all of a sudden, we need a right balance on Gun rights… in a primary year.



Rick Santorum


Rick Santorum is another name added in an already overcrowded field of Republican contenders. The problem is, when the field gets so crowded, very few seem to stand out. This will be round two for Santorum, having done well during the 2012 U.S. presidential election. Before announcing his campaign suspension in April of 2012, he had won 11 primaries and caucuses and received nearly 4 million votes, making him the runner-up behind Romney.

Santorum is well known for his conservative Catholic views and he has never been shy about standing on his Christian principles.  He was one of Washington's most outspoken traditional political voices on issues such as abortion, sexual morality and evolution. He is staunchly pro-life, and has been a favorite among Conservative Evangelical voters.
One reputation Rick Santorum has is that of a big government conservative. 
He opposed the Wall Street bailouts and the auto bailout, saying it was the “biggest government intrusion into the private sector.”
In 1997 he voted yes on a Constitutional Amendment for a Balanced-budget. In 2000 he voted to prioritize national debt reduction below tax cuts, and in 2005, he voted YES on $40 billion in reduced federal overall spending.  
That doesn’t sound so bad, but he did vote for taxpayer funding of the National Endowment for the Arts, against National Right to Work Act, Voted for mandatory Federal child care funding, voted twice for a congressional pay raise, and, in light of all the focus on the IRS lately, it’s interesting to note in 1998 Santorum also voted to exempt IRS union representatives from criminal ethics laws.

On the 2nd Amendment, as of 2012 Santorum did have a Lifetime A+ rating with the NRA; despite his voting for trigger locks, in 1999. However, he did vote YES on loosening license & background checks at gun shows the same year. His record is mixed when it comes to votes for rights and restrictions.

On Illegals and border security, Santorum has consistently opposed amnesty, however, in 2006 he voted to allow illegal aliens to receive tax credits under the Earned Income Credit (EIC) and against increased border patrol presence in 2005. He did vote yes in 2006 on the Secure Fence Act and also on a Triple-Layered Fencing Amendment in the same year.
On civil liberties and homeland security, Santorum defended the NSA mass surveillance program, saying the public does not have the right to know and that the program is not an invasion of privacy.

On foreign policies and terrorism, Rick Santorum has never been afraid to call terrorism what it is, a war on radical Islam. He’s been consistent on the war from supporting GW Bush and Congress voting to go into Iraq, and most recently about ISIS, he said, “If these folks want to return to a 7th Century version of Islam, then let’s load up our bombers and bomb them back to the 7th Century…”

All in all, in a crowded field, there is very little about Rick Santorum which makes him stand out from the rest.  During the last primary season, Santorum was popular among “values voters” but this time, we have principled men as well who are strong on values and social/moral issues as well as border security and foreign issues.
As far as conservatism goes, there’s nothing especially outstanding in his record which would have much of an impact among people who are desperate to rein in an out of control federal government, and who are tired of a lagging economy.
He’s not even a favorite among establishment Republicans and while he’s had a strong standing with Evangelicals, his past statements on contraception, gay rights and feminists most likely wouldn’t draw many over from the center either.


John Kasich

John Kasich is the two term Governor from Ohio. He previously served as Ohio congressman from 1995-2001 and he also served on the House Armed Services Committee. He ran for the Republican presidential nomination in 2000.
Throughout his career, Kasich has shown strong conservative values when it comes to fiscal responsibility and budgets. When first elected as governor he eliminated Ohio's multibillion-dollar budget shortfall without raising taxes. He signed a balanced budget into law in 2011, and has cut taxes in Ohio several times. He cut small-business taxes in half, reduced Ohio’s income tax rates by 10 percent, and eliminated the death tax. He also strongly favored a labor law that would have imposed harsh strictures on collective bargaining rights in his state, but when that matter went to a popular vote, the proposition was defeated with 61% opposition.

On immigration, illegals and border security, Kasich is open to all options saying, "Now, I don't like the idea, personally, of a path to citizenship," he said. "But you can't start any discussion by saying, 'OK, these things are off the table.'"
In the same quote he says he’s not ready to give a definitive answer right now. Since illegal immigration and open borders have been a serious issue for over 20 years, I wonder when Kasich will be ready with an answer.

On the Middle East, Kasich said, “We failed to arm the opposition in Syria to push Assad out, which would have been strategic because of the support for Iran and Russia in regard to [Syrian President Bashar] Assad. Then we had a red line and we ignored that. And now we find out that over in Syria, they're dropping barrel chlorine bombs on people. So, you know, it's been a feckless foreign policy."  The only problem is, we did arm the “rebels” in 2013 and again when Congress approved arming them in 2014, when after the ‘rebels’ in turn ran across to Iraq and started fighting with ISIS.

As far as foreign policies goes, he believes America needs to engage internationally but choose missions carefully and believes we ought to focus on terrorism, oil, & nuclear development.
He did vote YES on $156M to IMF for 3rd-world debt reduction and also for Permanent Normal Trade Relations with China.
On 2nd Amendment rights, Kasich most recently signed (H.B. 234) Gun Law Reform Bill into law, which wasn’t everything gun rights activists were after, but better than expected as well.

Kasich is pro-life, and signed a bill placing restrictions on abortion, voted yes on banning partial birth abortion and on prohibiting transporting minors to get abortions. He opposes federal abortion funding.
He runs counter to many conservatives however when it comes to Obamacare. While he has said he is opposed to most of the law and that he favors the “repeal and replace” goal of the Republican Party, he used increased federal funding made available by the law to strengthen Medicaid in Ohio. He also used the Bible’s Matthew 25:42-43 in support of Obamacare, and in defense of his expanding Medicaid saying, “I think, ‘I wanna feed the hungry and clothe the naked,’ and I have to tell you — I read a horrible story in The Wall Street Journal on the weekend about people, one man in particular freezing to death over in Montana. And they’ve turned down about half a billion dollars of help, I’m told. That disturbs me.”
On Education, Kasich believes in more after-school programs with federal and local funding. He is also a supporter of School Choice and believes local boards instead of bureaucrats should have power over education. He believes in creating competition in public schools and has voted yes on allowing vouchers in DC schools as well as for private & parochial schools. In 1997 he supported a Constitutional Amendment for school prayer. However, he is also a strong proponent of Common Core.

All in all, compared to half of the other candidates, Governor Kasich is one of the more conservative candidates running even with his support of agendas which many conservative voters don’t agree with.


George Pataki


George Pataki served three terms as governor of New York and has been out of office since 2007.  He is the last Republican to win a major statewide election in New York in more than 20 years.  He has entered this Presidential race claiming that he stands out “from more than a dozen GOP candidates because of his appeal to the larger electorate.” 
The fact that we now have more than a dozen candidates running is stunning, and while it gives people a lot to choose from, it waters down the vote for more constutionally minded conservatives.

Pataki has said, “It’s not about holding a title, or being able to pat yourself on the back. It’s about changing government. And no government in America changed more than New York State did during the 12 years I was governor.”

So much like Governor Chris Christie, republicans in a blue state, Pataki’s more centrist policies may not be so popular among conservative voters across the nation.
Let’s start off with the 2nd Amendment. In 2000, Governor Pataki signed the strictest gun controls in the nation into law.  The policies in the new law included requiring all new handguns to be test-fired for ballistic fingerprinting before they could be sold and bullet markings entered into a state computer database. So called assault weapons and large-capacity ammunition clips were banned, and background checks mandated for handgun buyers at gun shows even among private citizens. All new guns sold were required to have trigger locks, and gun owners were now required to report lost or stolen guns to the police.

Of the law, Pataki at the time said, “We hope this serves as a national model. We hope other states follow.''
On illegal immigration, Pataki said he would like to “avoid an approach that favors incarceration, large fines or mass deportation”, saying those who don’t have a criminal record and are otherwise responsible would have to “acknowledge” that they broke the law and would have to complete 200 hours of community service to gain residency status. He also said he would limit family reunification rules to only allow spouses and children to join relatives already in the United States. According to him, in case where immigrants are found to have committed other crimes, the government should deport them and work with their home countries to make sure “that they will be monitored and not simply come back across the border time and again.”
Pataki said he doesn’t see his plan as amnesty, asking, “What is the alternative? Send back 10, 11 million people on buses? Is it a perfect solution? There’s no such thing as a perfect solution.”
Well, no there is no perfect solution especially when the border remains wide open, but then again, cutting all welfare programs for illegals including such perks as in state tuition and by implementing E Verify among other reforms, illegals would eventually migrate back to their own countries once the gravy train dried up.
On foreign policies and defense, Pataki was Governor of New York when the September 11, 2001 attack happened, so he saw up close and personal the effects of Islamic terrorist acts.
When it comes to here and now, last year Pataki said, "We just see this global network of extreme Islamic groups committed to attacking us and our citizens anywhere in the world," said Pataki. "We've had a porous border and ISIS is well funded, and if they choose or have chosen to fund people coming across the border of this country, they may well be here…”
He recently told the Clarion Project that he would strip the tax-exempt status of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), a U.S. Muslim Brotherhood entity and designated terrorist group by the United Arab Emirates.

Pataki is a moderate, and in the field with other moderates running, he’s not registering on radar with many folks, especially younger voters who have never even heard of him. However if one is voting largely on foreign issues, Pataki is one of the stronger candidates because of experience and his belief that we need to learn from our past.



Lindsey Graham


You know things can’t be good when a candidate gets a lower rating even than Jeb Bush. The centrist former four-term member of the House actually has a 90% voting record in favor of conservative agendas, but he has consistently proven himself to be a RINO.
He has in the past supported green energy, criticized former president G W. Bush’s Social Security reforms proposal, called the Tea Party unsustainable, and has pushed amnesty along with fellow gang of 8 leaders John McCain and Marco Rubio. He also traveled to Syria with McCain in a bid to arm so called ‘rebels’ against Assad. He makes no apologies for his bipartisan approach in Congress, explaining that the party has shifted too far to the right, and argues that even “Ronald Reagan would have a hard time getting elected as a Republican today.”
Lindsey Graham is so far off our radar, it’s hard to lay out a fair case in his favor. He’s not all bad, but with some of the more serious issues, he is too much like many of the GOP establishment and shows lack of strong leadership when it counts for the American people or our Constitution.

*Note on rating methods-

We've had a few folks ask about our rating method since the Bell score doesn't seem to line up with the individual issue scores.  In the past w
e rated candidates' stances on our platform only. Since some were new to politics, it was hard to judge on past performance. 
With the POTUS race,  our vetting crew wanted to also rate them on specific POSTUS duties as well as trust and likability. So, the Liberty Bell rating is still according to our platform and how they measure up. The smaller individual ratings are for the other issues which is more of a personal score.