The 2012 Republican presidential race has been nothing if not entertaining, as the writers for The Daily Show with Jon Stewart will undoubtedly attest.
A new poll commissioned by Roger Ailes’ Fox Noise network, conducted from September 25–27, finds that Mitt Romney is now the frontrunner for the Republican nomination. The poll showed Romney at 23 percent, Texas Governor Rick Perry at 19 percent, and former Godfather’s Pizza CEO Herman Cain in third with 17 percent. Fox had Perry ahead with 29 percent almost three weeks ago. At the time, Romney had 22 percent, while Herman Cain was not in the top five.
Next week, the former Massachusetts governor will take the stage at the annual Values Voters Summit, an event organized by a group of religious right-wing leaders and activists. Among those expected to be in attendance is Bryan Fischer, the issues director of the American Family Association, who could probably contend for the title of most bigoted political operative. Here’s Mother Jones:
He has said that Muslims should be banned from serving in the military; that a whale at Sea World should have been stoned to death for killing its trainer; that inbreeding makes Muslims stupid and violent; and that gay sex is a form of domestic terrorism. So naturally, he has been invited to speak to a huge gathering of conservative political activists this weekend, alongside such GOP luminaries as Rick Santorum, Mike Huckabee, Mitt Romney, Sen. Jim DeMint (R‑S.C.), and Rep. Michele Bachmann (R‑Minn.).
Rick Perry, considered by the media to be Romney’s most formidable rival, once talked about Texas seceding from the union, but he recently denied ever using the word secession in an appearance on Sean Hannity’s show.
When Hannity asked why his use of the word was so heavily reported he replied, “I have no idea, to be real honest with you, because it was never a really factual piece of reporting. It was shouted out by an individual at an event — at a Tea Party, actually — and I said ‘Listen, America is a great country. We have no reason why we would ever dissolve this union.’ ”
Perry has also disavowed a book he wrote only a few months ago — a conservative manifesto titled “Fed Up”. A campaign spokesman has claimed the book “is not meant to reflect the governor’s current views.” What the spokesman really meant to say is that the book was conceived and published before Perry realized he wanted to be a presidential candidate.
Are these guys the best the Republican Party can do? Their field looks pretty weak. No wonder much of the party’s base seems to be pining for another candidate they can rally around. If they could somehow resurrect Ronald Reagan and run him against President Obama, they probably would.