Campaign Buzz December 3, 2011: Republican Presidential Forum with Mike Huckabee on Fox News — GOP Candidates Tout Their Conservative Credentials — VA AG Ken Cuccinelli Remains Unconvinced


By Bonnie K. Goodman

Ms. Goodman is the Editor of History Musings. She has a BA in History & Art History & a Masters in Library and Information Studies from McGill University, and has done graduate work in history at Concordia University. Ms. Goodman has also contributed the overviews, and chronologies in History of American Presidential Elections, 1789-2008, 4th edition, edited by Gil Troy, Fred L. Israel, and Arthur Meier Schlesinger to be published by Facts on File, Inc. in late 2011.


Todd Heisler/The New York Times

Six candidates joined the Republican Presidential Forum with Mike Huckabee on Fox News on Saturday night.


Republican Candidates Pressed to Prove Their Conservatism: Six Republican presidential candidates faced tough questioning on their ideological bona fides and the coherence of their proposals during a policy-heavy forum shown on Fox News Channel on Saturday night.
With a gantlet of three conservative state attorneys general peppering the candidates with questions, Newt Gingrich, the former House speaker, was pressed on how conservatives can “trust that a President Gingrich will not advance these sorts of big government approaches” that he had advocated in the past, including his one-time support for a mandate that citizens obtain health insurance. Mr. Gingrich noted that he did so in league with other conservatives and that “every conservative has in fact left that kind of a model.”….- NYT, 12-3-11

“My benchmark was: I want to leave with comfort that each of these six candidates is going to be a limited-government, conservative president. And despite pressing Newt Gingrich several times, I didn’t get that. I did not get that. We could have another compassionate conservative on our hands.

I don’t see a lot of difference there between him [Romney] and the president.” — Ken Cuccinelli

“That is what we do in a jury trial. That’s the whole point. That’s why the founding fathers who distrusted judges insisted on juries. Because ultimately, in a free society, the citizens have to bear responsibility for their own culture and their own society. And ultimately, they are — I believe they are — more trustworthy. If you ask me would I trust a jury or a Washington bureaucrat, I would rather have my fate decided by a jury of my peers than have my fate decided by a Washington bureaucrat.” — Newt Gingrich

“Sitting on the couch with Nancy Pelosi is the dumbest single thing I’ve done in the last few years — but if you notice, I’ve never favored cap and trade, and in fact I actively testified against it. I was at the U.S. House Energy and Commerce Committee the same day Al Gore was there to testify for it, I testified against it and through American Solutions we fought it in the Senate and played a major role in defeating it.” — Newt Gingrich

“President Bush recognized that the only way for us to determine which schools were succeeding and which were failing, which teachers were succeeding and which were failing was to test our kids. And the only way that could happen was for the federal government to stand up to the huge federal teachers’ unions that have massive resources, huge number of members. He stood up to them. I look forward to the day when we don’t have to have that federal role because education should be held at the local level. It should be managed and controlled by states, by localities, by parents and families, and not by the federal government.” — Mitt Romney

“Do I like the bill overall? Yes. Am I proud of what we did for our state? Yes. But what the president has done is way beyond what we envisioned.” — Mitt Romney

“Even on the Federal Reserve — everybody knows my position on the Federal Reserve — it is unconstitutional, but I don’t advocate that you close down the Federal Reserve tomorrow. I advocate competing currencies… so I have transition programs, and that makes a big difference.” — Ron Paul

Rick Perry: “The executive order obviously gives you that authority [to repeal the law]. But also, as I said earlier, having men and women in those agencies who are going to share your philosophy – I think that’s an important message.”

Ken Cuccinelli: “I just want to be real clear to make sure I understand this: You are taking the position that you can stop the implementation of a law passed by Congress, signed by the president, with an executive order?”

Rick Perry: “I’m saying we can stop parts of it. The other parts of it obviously would have to be done from the rules standpoint, those rules are going to be implemented by the Health and Human Services, etc.”


  • Candidates Respond to State Attorneys General at Huckabee Forum: Six presidential candidates participated in Mike Huckabee’s presidential forum in New York City Saturday, fielding questions from three Republican attorneys general – Pam Bondi of Florida, Ken Cuccinelli of Virginia, and Scott Pruitt of Oklahoma…. – Fox News, 12-4-11
  • GOP hopefuls keep it friendly at Huckabee forum: The presidential race began Saturday with Herman Cain’s dramatic, theatrical exit from the contest, but it ended with a substantive and subdued discussion of constitutional issues at Mike Huckabee’s presidential forum. Each allotted an equal…. – Politico, 12-3-11
  • Republican hopefuls make pitch at Huckabee forum: Former House speaker Newt Gingrich, facing increased scrutiny as he solidifies his standing atop the Republican presidential field, sought to convince conservatives in a forum Saturday night that he would not stray from a limited-government philosophy. … – WaPo, 12-3-11
  • State attorneys general grill Republican candidates at forum: Six presidential hopefuls court conservatives with shows of commitment to the Constitution and a less powerful federal government…. – LAT, 12-4-11
  • Perry pleads for 2nd chance, Gingrich admits “dumb” mistake: Six Republican presidential candidates went head-to-head Saturday with some of the nation’s conservative attorneys general to discuss their views on the Constitution, a forum that produced some illuminating moments from some of the contenders…. – CBS News, 12-4-11
  • Gingrich Defends Conservative Bona Fides at Candidates’ Forum: Former US House Speaker Newt Gingrich defended his fiscal conservative credentials last night in a televised Republican presidential forum, arguing that his achievements in Congress outweigh his past…. – BusinessWeek, 12-4-11
  • Cuccinelli dings Gingrich, wins praise: Newt Gingrich may be the latest hot ticket in the anybody-but-Romney wing of the Republican Party. But he hasn’t yet convinced Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli he’d be a conservative president. Cuccinelli, who announced his plans to run for … – Politico, 12-3-11
  • Behind the Scenes at a Forum for Republican Candidates: A newspaper reporter was invited into the Republican candidates’ inner sanctum after the Fox News forum on Saturday night…. – NYT, 12-4-11
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