Blog Posts by Chris Moody

  • Alternative history: Gingrich-Santorum 2012?

    Newt Gingrich, Rick Santorum and Mitt Romney (Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

    Writing in Bloomberg Businessweek, Joshua Green tells the story of how the Republican primary could have played out much differently in 2012, if only Rick Santorum and Newt Gingrich could have gotten along better.

    Green reports that both men considered joining forces against Mitt Romney last spring:

    As Mitt Romney struggled in the weeks leading up to the Michigan primary, Newt Gingrich and Rick Santorum nearly agreed to form a joint “Unity Ticket” to consolidate conservative support and topple Romney. “We were close,” former Representative Bob Walker, a Gingrich ally, says. “Everybody thought there was an opportunity.” “It would have sent shock waves through the establishment and the Romney campaign,” says John Brabender, Santorum’s chief strategist.

    Talks fell apart, Green writes, when neither party could "agree on who would get to be president."

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  • Boehner super PAC plays offense: New ad hits Democrats who rejected Ryan budget

    Let the air war over Paul Ryan's budget begin.

    The Congressional Leadership Fund, a super PAC with ties to House Speaker John Boehner, released its first series of television ads for the 2014 mid-term elections, a signal that Republicans plan to play offense in the messaging battle over their budget.

    The ads, seen first at Yahoo News, target Democratic Reps. Joe Garcia of Florida and Sean Maloney of New York for voting against the Republican budget resolution, which the House approved Thursday. The identical spots emphasize that Ryan's proposal balances the budget within 10 years, and they will air during cable programs popular with women in their districts. The initial buy is very small--just $300 in Florida and $900 in New York for four days of cable ads, according to a media source--but it offers a peek into how Republicans will defend the budget until Election Day.

    The commercials show a mother worried about finding enough money in her family budget to pay for a new bike for her

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  • For March Madness, Nancy Pelosi is rooting ‘for everybody’

    House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (Win McNamee/Getty Images)

    If you're playing in this month's NCAA basketball tournament, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi is rooting for you.

    The California Democrat said on Thursday that while her first allegiance is to Georgetown University, the school her children and husband attended, she wants "everybody" to win.

    "I have a lot of allegiances to many of those schools. I don't even want anybody to lose. I'm just rooting for everybody, especially the players," Pelosi told reporters when asked who she supported in the March Madness tournament. "I want them all to succeed, whatever team they're on. I'm crazy—I'm March Mad. I'm addicted to basketball. All sports, but college basketball, very exciting."

    Spoken like a true politician.

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  • House approves Ryan budget, departs for two-week recess

    House Budget Committee Chariman Rep. Paul Ryan of Wisconsin (Win McNamee/Getty Images)

    The House on Tuesday approved Wisconsin Rep. Paul Ryan's budget proposal, which, if implemented, would defund the federal health care law, balance the federal budget in 10 years and overhaul the nation's entitlement programs. The measure passed with 220 votes, just two more than it needed to pass.

    But it's not going to be implemented.

    The proposal, a political document that serves as more of a vision for how Republicans would govern if they had full control over the House, Senate and the White House—call it a GOP wish list—serves as a starting point for debate with Democrats on the government's future.

    Many of the provisions are similar to the House budget passed last year, including measures to change how the federal government pays for Medicare. The newest iteration of the Ryan budget would:

    - Repeal Obamacare, the federal health care law passed in 2010. (But keep its tax revenue. More on that in a moment.)

    - Slow the growth of federal spending by about $4.6 trillion over the next

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  • A growing divide among conservatives over same-sex marriage

    (Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

    The official platform of the Republican Party calls for a constitutional amendment to overturn state laws permitting same-sex marriage, but within the party—and the conservative movement—there is growing pressure to change the message.

    The stakes are high. After last year's bruising election in which Republicans suffered a string of national defeats, the party is picking up the pieces to determine how to regain its edge in upcoming elections. Virtually every strategy of the past is facing intense scrutiny, including how the party addresses the marriage issue.

    A new report from the Republican National Committee about last year's election suggests that Republicans were not "welcoming and inclusive" enough to gay Americans and other minority groups. The report, written by a team of veteran Republican strategists, did not recommend an official change in policy, but it did call on Republicans to find a way to show they "care" about that voting demographic.

    In recent years, Republicans seem

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  • For an expression so ubiquitous in today's immigration debate, no one seems to agree on what the term "pathway to citizenship" actually means.

    That lack of clarity tripped up Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul on Tuesday. What was supposed to be a major speech on immigration reform for the likely 2016 Republican presidential hopeful was overshadowed by a messy debate about the "pathway" term.

    To some of the most liberal proponents of immigration reform, a pathway to citizenship means putting illegal immigrants on their own fast-track to citizenship. On the other end of the spectrum, some conservatives see the pathway as telling illegal immigrants to return to their home country where they can apply for citizenship just like anyone else. In the center, where immigration reform legislation will most likely be crafted, a pathway to citizenship generally means that current illegal immigrants will have an opportunity to apply for permanent residency after living in the United States legally under a

    Read More »from Rand Paul latest pol to be tripped up by ‘pathway to citizenship’ in immigration debate
  • Paul Ryan buys Rob Portman beer after losing basketball bet

    Ohio Republican Sen. Rob Portman sure has chilled out since announcing his support for same-sex marriage last week.

    BuzzFeed's Jon Stanton snapped this picture of the senator clutching a six-pack of Miller High Life near the entrance to the Senate floor Tuesday.

    Rob Portman clutches a six-pack of Miller High Life. (Jon Stanton/BuzzFeed)

    Portman told Stanton the beer was the "spoils of a bet" with Wisconsin Rep. Paul Ryan after the Ohio State-Wisconsin basketball game over the weekend that didn't go so well for Ryan's Badgers.

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  • Rand Paul urges conservatives to support immigration reform

    Kentucky Republican Sen. Rand Paul, who rose to power with support from the tea party movement, is urging conservatives to support efforts in Congress toward an immigration overhaul that would provide illegal immigrants a pathway to legality.

    In a speech to the United States Hispanic Chamber of Commerce Tuesday, Paul outlined his plan, which would allow illegal immigrants already in the country an opportunity to remain legally when defined border security goals are met. Once they secure work visas, according to Paul's proposal, they would be able to apply for legal residency, which would give them the option to seek citizenship, but only after a period of several years.

    In his remarks, Paul urged Republicans to take leadership on the issue or risk losing future elections.

    "Republicans need to become parents of a new future with Latino voters or we will need to resign ourselves to permanent minority status," Paul said.

    He added, "In order to bring conservatives to this cause, however,

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  • Once-conservative child star Jonathan Krohn faces his past at CPAC

    Jonathan KrohnNATIONAL HARBOR, Md.—In a bustling sports bar filled with lanyard-wearing Conservative Political Action Conference attendees, an anxious Jonathan Krohn stared at the blank screen of his worn-out smartphone.

    "My battery's dead again," he sighed, wanting to monitor what people at the conference were saying about him online while he took a break to eat a cheeseburger.

    Krohn, an 18-year-old journalist, had good reason to feel stressed-out. Earlier that day, a group of CPAC attendees had cornered him in a hallway and peppered him with questions about why he was there. There was shouting. Two people mocked his clothes, and one cursed at him. (Krohn cursed right back.) Krohn answered their questions and, when he asked to be left alone, they pressed him even more. The incident had left him shaken.

    Four years ago, Krohn was a featured speaker at the conference. A precocious 13-year-old with outspoken conservative views, he had authored a book, "Defining Conservatism," which landed him the

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  • Ten ways Republicans say they went wrong in 2012

    Growth & Opportunity ProjectGrowth & Opportunity Project

    Within a month after last year's presidential election, the Republican National Committee launched a massive project to diagnose the problems that contributed to the party's defeat. Now, the final draft of the "Growth & Opportunity Project" is here and, as promised, it's a behemoth.

    The RNC on Monday released the findings of the three-month project led by a group of veteran Republican strategists that propose ways the party can improve its outreach to minorities, the primary election process, messaging, fundraising and its relationship with third-party groups.

    The dense, 100-page report includes 219 recommendations that are a result of input from about 36,000 online surveys, thousands of conference calls and personal meetings with the project's co-chairs, more than 50 focus groups, 3,000 listening sessions in nine states and the District of Columbia, and surveys targeting the views of women, Hispanics, pollsters, consultants, campaign volunteers and field staff.

    Below are 10 lessons

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