Political insiders say there could be more to South Carolina Sen. Jim DeMint's decision to resign his seat than just a bigger paycheck at a coveted Washington policy organization. Even some legislators on the hill are pointing out that GOP leaders are relegating their tea party types to the backbench and that is making them seek additional outlets to advance their cause.
Conservatives pay high accolades to DeMint for helping to recruit conservative candidates, oftentimes getting them through crowded primaries before setting the stage for general election victories.
Jenny Beth Martin, national coordinator for Tea Party Patriots, praised DeMint for bringing other conservatives to the Senate such as Sens. Marco Rubio (Fla.), Rand Paul (Ky.), Mike Lee (Utah) and newly elected Sen. Ted Cruz (Texas). more >>
Since the Republicans lost both the White House and any chance of gaining control of the U.S. Senate for the foreseeable future, party leaders are licking their wounds and trying to determine how to attract Hispanic voters. Now Florida Sen. Marco Rubio is saying that goal will be a "challenge."
"The challenge for the conservative movement, the challenge for every movement in America … is applying [our] principles to the 21st century," he said to Politico's Mike Allen at Wednesday's Playbook Breakfast. "We applied them to the 20th century, but now we have to apply them to the 21st century."
However, Rubio does think there is a decent chance of immigration reform being passed before the end of President Obama's second term, including a path to citizenship. more >>
Former Rep. Dick Armey, the battle-scarred majority leader who served under Newt Gingrich, has left the chairman's role at FreedomWorks, one of the first tea party type groups to advocate the principles of individual liberty. Armey said he was leaving because of "serious concerns about the ethical and moral behavior of the senior leadership."
Armey served in Congress from 1985 to 2003 and was known for his brash and outspoken style, especially after Republicans took control of the House in 1994. However, his departure from FreedomWorks with an $8 million parachute has brought an unwanted spotlight on the politically powerful organization.
"I left there because I had serious concerns about the ethical and moral behavior of the senior leadership," Armey said on Fox Business Network's Cavuto on Wednesday. "I don't particularly want to discuss that at length. I think it will be resolved. I am consoled by my certain knowledge that time wounds all heals." more >>
The Public Religion Research Institute confirmed that the religiously unaffiliated and minority Christian vote largely went to President Obama while Mitt Romney attracted most of the white, evangelical vote in November. The group's recent surveys highlight the challenge the GOP has in attracting minority voters.
According to the surveys, 25 percent of religiously unaffiliated voters supported Obama, with Romney winning only 7 percent of the same group. However, 40 percent of white, evangelical Protestants supported Romney while Obama received only 8 percent of that vote.
Each candidate received equal support from white, Catholic voters. more >>
Mitt Romney, the Republican nominee for president this year, received the lowest level of support among evangelicals of any Republican presidential candidate since Bob Dole in 1996, according to a report by Barna Group, a Christian polling organization.
Romney received the support of 81 percent of evangelicals, compared to 88 percent for John McCain in 2008, and 83 percent and 85 percent, respectively, for George W. Bush in 2000 and 2004. Only Dole received a lower level of evangelical support at 74 percent in Barna's polling.
Barna's results differ from other polls showing Romney received a higher proportion of the evangelical vote than McCain. The exit polls for the National Election Pool, for instance, showed Romney getting a share of the white evangelical vote that was four percentage points higher, 78 to 74 percent, than McCain. The differences can be explained, though, in how "evangelical" is defined for the different polls. more >>
Former President George W. Bush who has spent the past four years out of the political limelight, addressed immigration reform in a speech in Dallas on Tuesday, saying it would help boost the economy.
"Immigrants come with new skills and new ideas," Bush told those gathered at the Federal Reserve Bank in Dallas. "They fill a critical part in our labor market. They work hard for a better life."
During his second term, the former Texas governor tried to pass a comprehensive immigration reform package with the help of Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) and the late Sen. Ted Kennedy (D-Mass.) in 2007. However, it was dealt a deathblow by fellow Republicans. more >>