Rick Perry claims GOP positioned itself to the left of the electorate in ’08, ’12


Texas Gov. Rick Perry ripped into the GOP’s last two presidential nominees in his speech at CPAC today. “The popular media narrative is that this country has shifted away from conservative ideals, as evidenced by the last two presidential elections,” Perry said. He followed up with, “That might be true if Republicans had actually nominated conservative candidates in 2008 and 2012.”

Perry supporters on the web ate it up.







Alas, the 2012 election results do not provide much support for his hypothesis.

In battleground states Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Virginia, the Republican presidential nominee, Mitt Romney, outperformed relatively conservative GOP Senate candidates.

Even in conservative Texas, Romney performed nearly as well as Tea Party favorite Ted Cruz: Romney carried the state by 16 points, while Sen. Cruz won by 17 points.

We won’t even mention Indiana and Missouri.

Yet Perry implies the Republican Party will prevail if it moves to the right.

Isn’t it pretty to think so?

  • GotMyLoveGlassesOn

    So by the comments here, I’ll assume the Twitchy Team are ‘moderates.’ Ppffff.

    • Danno Mann

      And everyone knows the moderates do what the liberals tell them to do in Congress…

  • Rafael Eduardo Peña-Rios Riber

    may be awkward for romney seeing as he also is a speaker in cpac

  • Steve_J

    Romney might have performed better than conservatives in Ohio, PA, and Virginia but he still didn’t win those States. Is it possible that in Ohio, PA, and Virginia, the more conservative candidates didn’t perform as well as Romney becuase Romney was the nominee and Conservatives stayed home? Also, is it possible that in Texas the Cruz’s being on the ballot helped Romney more than Romney helped Cruz?

    • Peyton

      I think you nailed it.

    • goldwater89

      Where were the conservatives when Rick Santorum lost his senate seat by 18%

      This whole ‘conservatives stayed home’ thing is getting so old.

      • Steve_J

        What’s getting old in running people like Romney, McCain, and Dole who seem to take the fight to their primary opponents and more or less disappear in the general election. GWB was better than those three and better than Gore and Kerry but in the end he turned out to be nothing more than a big government, bid spending, Northeast Rockefeller Republican.

      • Mario Leone

        Rick Santorum is not a conservative. Neither is Rick Perry, although he is a bit better than Santorum.

    • Mellow Melon

      No one stayed home. Romney improved McCain’s total by a million. Romney was just a really stiff guy (publicly) who didn’t know how to sell himself and who was surrounded by people who also didn’t know how to sell him. And we really underestimated Obama’s power. End of story. It’s about packaging, not policy.

      • Steve_J

        You can’t sell something you don’t believe in.

        • Mellow Melon

          Yes and no. Do you really think Obama believed in half the things he talked about? We know he doesn’t care about people getting their fair share – he’s in bed with big money and isn’t limiting tax hikes to the wealthy. Do you seriously think he believes that Republicans want to invade your uterus? Probably not. And do you honestly think he cares about black Americans more than Romney, especially when black unemployment is at 15%? It’s mostly about faking emotion, and Obama could do it and Romney couldn’t.

          • Steve_J

            He believes in what he’s selling the examples you mention are only tools used to achieve his goal, which seems to socialism of some sort or at least the opposite of what the U S stands for. Romney has never been a conservative and wasn’t able to convey, convincingly, a conserative message.

    • Danno Mann

      I know that people stayed home in my district, which hurt us since we took Michigan back in 2010, so what changed? I know, but others refuse to admit what hurt us.

  • glockster23

    4 million plus conservatives sat on their hands last election. Many never bought the narrative that Romney was an authentic Conservative. We will lose again if we go the Christie route in 2016. No more RINOS.

    • Danno Mann

      I also know that the Ron Paul voters stayed home because of [according to them] the GOP changing the rules after the Primaries. That FACT didn’t help us one bit!


      • Stone Bryson

        That was a minor issue. The real reason Paul/libertarian voters ‘stayed home’ (or, in most cases, voted third party) was the fact that the GOP – through word and action – made it clear they were not interested in having those votes. Whether one blames the Neo-Con/Rove branch of the party for that is anyone’s guess, but when a party tells you they have no interest in your thoughts or ideas it’s really difficult to ‘support’ them.

  • Maxx

    Oh, enough of this circular firing squad of Monday morning quarterbacks using CPAC to break Ronaldus Magnus’ Eleventh Commandment.

    Romney would have made a fine conservative President and Ann a wonderful First Lady. He damn sure wouldn’t be trying to take away our firearms so take that as a lesson for those that stayed home because their preferred primary candidate didn’t get it done. A center-right conservative on his worst day is still better than a hard Marxist liberal on his best.

    We lost, not because of Mitt; rather too many of our own stayed home when the left got their people out…even the ones who weren’t happy with Obama’s first four years STILL came out and voted for him. Elections are always about getting the base out.
    Our participation rate was an astonishingly bad 27.2%. We must do better but the road to success cannot be paved with the bitterness of primary defeats and opportunities lost.

    All of the men who battled Romney who are now attacking him need to be reminded that a lifetime of smooth seas rarely makes for a good skipper. The party must learn from our mistakes and become better for them. Enough of this finger pointing.

    Governor, before you announced your candidacy, I was one of your biggest fans. I still am…but clearly the debates showed you weren’t ready…perhaps down the road you will be but attacking fellow conservatives in a non-campaign season is not the answer. Calling Romney a moderate at the same time you are advocating for the children of illegals to attend college for in-state tuition costs probably is a bit hypocritical, wouldn’t you say? That most certainly is a moderate position.

    I know I’m not the only one tired of primary losers and sideline conservatives blaming election losses on our nominee. Figure out what you did wrong and become a better primary candidate down the road. That goes for all of you. Give me a reason to vote for you and not the other conservative. Reagan did exactly that. So can you.

    But enough of the blame game. We’re turning our party into the Hatfields and McCoys.

    Finally…we’ve become a party that shoots ourselves in the foot because too many of us stay home on election day, riddled with indifference over the eventual party nominee. We need to remind ourselves as we approach the midterms but ESPECIALLY 2016 that our political opponent isn’t the fella who isn’t conservative enough..

    …it’s the fella (or woman) who isn’t conservative at all.

    • Mellow Melon

      thank you. Not all moderation is good, but not all moderation is bad either. As various people have said, “All things in moderation, including moderation.” We don’t need a neocon foreign policy and we don’t need a pacifist foreign policy. We don’t need people who REFUSE to ever raise taxes, and we don’t need people who think that more and more taxes are the only way to go.

    • http://extremesplash.wordpress.com/ Ben Bollman

      We NEED to be disagreeing with fellow Republicans because our party leaders are destroying our party and NOW when we don’t have an election to worry about is the time to do it. I follow no one blindly especially with people like McCain and Graham in our party. I like Romney as a person and he would have been a decent leader BUT his policies would have only been a band-aid on the spending and entitlement problem and no real reform would have occurred. People didn’t vote for Romney not because of us since we rallied around him but because independents perceived that he was not very much different from what we had and to a certain extent they were right. At least this way Obama gets to own his mistakes and people will be ready to vote for a real conservative in 2016. We MUST drive the snakes in the grass who have no real backbone out of our party if we hope to keep our freedom and get the debt from around our children’s necks.

  • FreedomFighter

    Who do you think the 13 million voters who didn’t vote were??? Liberals had their liberal candidate.

  • goldwater89

    Perry is a complete boob. The guy couldn’t even remember the third agency he wanted to get rid of. Even Texans are sick of him. The only way the GOP will get back into the WH is if they actually come to the center and stop ranting about gays and abortion.

    • aegean1

      At this point if the GOP came to the center, they’d be moving RIGHT.

  • Danno Mann

    The RINO’s LOST! What more proof do you need when the GOP Elitist choice loses when ABO was THE message before he got the nod? Also worth mentioning: http://www.breitbart.com/Big-Government/2013/02/05/Bozell-Pushes-Back-Hard-Against-Rove-War-On-Tea-Party

    • sqeptiq

      It was more the other way around. RINO Romney carried Indiana, Missouri and North Dakota, while conservative Senate candidates Mourdock, Akin and Berg (respectively) lost to Democrats in those states.

  • comfypaws

    Perry’s rhetoric adds to the division within the party. There are varying degrees of conservatism (and Liberalism) but conservatives are constantly bashing others who aren’t cookie cutter shapes of themselves. Liberals don’t do that but they do win. Do extreme Libs attack moderate Libs? NOPE But Conservatives eat their own. Perry and others need to learn they damage the brand when denigrating others.

    The 11th commandment is “Thou shalt not speak ill of any Republican.”

  • Neil Leininger

    Perry is scum. Trying to turn the University of Texas into a paper mill college. He’s hardly the conservative he claims to be.

  • Worship Dancer

    shoot i’ve been saying this – especially about MCCAIN for a LONG time. now we just need to find the right CONSERVATIVE candidate & running mate. NEED TO DO IT NOW NOT IN 2016.

  • Mark Tenney

    Romney campaigned on STEM green cards for foreign students. Why should anyone vote for such a self interested position from part of the financial elite?

    Romney promised to take your good job if you had one and give it to a foreign student. He also promised more 3rd world poor people to disrupt schools and state and local govt.

    Local govt has laid off 300,000 teachers in the last several years, even with 1.1 million green cards a year. This is because immigration is bankrupting the states. Immigrants are not net taxpayers, but net tax takers. Govt is going broke. Romney wants to continue the low wage workers and cut govt to save himself tax payments.

  • Tommy Joe

    So, wait, Twitchy…You’re implying the party needs to become more liberal to appeal to the masses?? Should we really position ourselves left of center in an effort to…what? Bring the country back to the right? The logic doesn’t play.

  • dtschuck

    The RINOs lost big in the election, but it doesn’t follow that a true-blood conservative would have won. In fact, the evidence is the true-blood conservative would have resulted in a blood bath for the GOP.
    One has to wonder how many conservatives “stayed home” when Mittens drew more votes than Bush. More likely is that there just aren’t that many conservatives left, at home or at the polls. When you insult women, gays, and asians and threaten blacks and Hispanics…..there’s not many voters left for you.

  • HIllbillyHatfield

    I dont think they have nominated a conservative since the early 90’s.