GOP Bosses Back Candidate Who Voted For Obama, Sestak
By Chris Freind
To say the Republican presidential primary has become interesting
would be a gross understatement. With three different winners in the
first three contests—an unprecedented situation—everyone is asking why
the frontrunners keep falling and why the GOP base cannot unite behind a
Well, hold on to your seat, because here’s a big question: Would you
believe that both Mitt Romney and Newt Gingrich voted for Barack Obama
in the 2008 primary? And after they became disenfranchised by the
Republican Party for moving too far Left, they decided to do the only
logical thing: become Democrats? And in addition, does it blow your mind
that besides voting for the Big O, they took out their frustrations
over a too-liberal GOP by financially supporting the most far-left
Democrats in the entire Congress?
Seem far-fetched? Well, it is—and it isn’t.
No, of course, Romney and Gingrich didn’t switch parties, vote for
Obama or support liberal Democrats. If either had, it would, without
question, be lunacy for any element of the Republican Party to endorse
them. To many in the GOP, Obama is not just a political adversary but
the Devil Incarnate who must be defeated at all costs. So running
someone against Obama who had previously supported him would be a
surefire recipe for disaster.
In some respects, Jon Huntsman fell victim to this exact situation.
Many Republicans refused to trust him after he served as President
Obama’s ambassador to China, and his candidacy tanked. Likewise, one of
Romney’s biggest obstacles to winning over Republicans stems from his
implementation of an Obamacare-type health-care system in Massachusetts,
since many feel that he would be unable to effectively run against
Obama on that critical issue.
Enter the Republican primary for U.S. Senate in Pennsylvania.
There are seven candidates vying for the opportunity to take on
incumbent Bob Casey. The election is in April, but it’s this Saturday,
January 28th, that may well determine the nominee. That’s when the
Republican State Committee convenes to decide whom it will endorse—if
Incomprehensibly, but not surprisingly, certain factions within the
GOP leadership are pushing to endorse Montgomery County’s Steve Welch, a
A. Became a Democrat because the GOP wasn’t conservative enough.
B. Financially supported (former) Congressman Joe Sestak, one of the most liberal members of Congress.
C. Voted for Barack Obama in 2008.
For those who may think this is also a fairy tale to illustrate a point, think again.
Steve Welch voted for Barack Obama and supported Joe Sestak. So why
on earth would the state committee want to endorse Welch, and in doing
so become the laughingstock of the nation?
Good question. And since committee members are elected officials, perhaps they should be asked that before Saturday’s vote.
This is just another example of brain-dead GOP leadership choosing
laziness over hard work. Since Welch is a millionaire who could
self-fund, GOP leaders wouldn’t have to engage in fundraising activities
(AKA “doing their job”) nearly as much as they would for other plebian
candidates—no matter how much more qualified they may be.
Many GOP faithful want to believe that the majority of the state
committee sees a Welch endorsement for what it would be: a political and
public relations disaster, one that would seriously erode what
credibility Pennsylvania’s Republican Party has left. Such an
endorsement would also cement the growing perception—not incorrect, by
the way—that the only thing of importance to the GOP hierarchy in
choosing a candidate is the size of his wallet. Qualifications? A lot of
money. Period. Republican values? Irrelevant.
Given his recent support of leftist Democrats, would Steve Welch make
a good Republican senator? Tough to tell, but Pennsylvania’s Republican
voters should be the ones making that determination, not party leaders
in a smoke-filled backroom who only see dollar signs from a candidate.
Republicans deserve straight answers from Steve, and to this day,
they really haven’t received them. Did he vote for Obama to spite his
“true” party. Did he truly support him? Or did he do it to stop
“Hillarycare,” as was reported? We don’t know. With those significant
questions unanswered, and by extension, character and judgment issues
swirling around Welch, an endorsement would only serve to muddy the
waters and foster an anger among Republicans that hasn’t been seen in
Pennsylvania in decades.
Amazing as it now seems, Hillary Clinton was a Goldwater girl,
supporting Barry in his presidential election. It took years for her to
evolve into the more liberal Hillary that we know today. So perhaps most
disconcerting is the speed in which Steve Welch evolved with his party
loyalties—and then back again.
If one was disgruntled with the Republicans not being conservative
enough, fine. Many felt the same way. But that’s why God made the
If one is truly seeking more conservative values, where is the wisdom
and good judgment in switching to a party that, for years, has
unabashedly moved further to the Left? And regarding Obama and Sestak,
give them credit where it’s due: Both were crystal clear about where
they stood on issues. Nationalized health care? Absolutely.
Redistribution of wealth through higher taxes? Yep. More government
spending is the answer, as a paternalistic government knows best?
So someone abandoning the Republicans to join the Democrats, and
march behind people such as Obama and Sestak, may well indicate that
person’s true political leanings. All the more reason for such a
candidate to be vetted by ALL Republicans, not just the state committee.
There are some on the right who seem opposed to the endorsement
process every time it rolls around. Yet in many instances, it has its
rightful place, a key instrument in a political party advancing its
vision through whom it deems the best candidate. When candidates are
vetted correctly, with the best interest of the party in mind and not
the selfish agendas of individual leaders, endorsements can be
critically important in winning elections.
But when unprecedented situations arise that scream for an open
primary, endorsements should never be forced, as they will virtually
Given this situation, it absolutely boggles the mind that Tom
Corbett—the Republican governor of Pennsylvania—would not only get
involved in a primary, but would choose to endorse someone with Welch’s
background, as he did last week.
For the good of its party, the Republican State Committee should do
the right thing this weekend by voting for an open primary. If it
chooses to self-destruct by endorsing Steve Welch, that laughing you’ll
hear will be Bob Casey as he wraps up another six-year term 10 months
before the election.
GOP Bosses Back Candidate Who Voted For Obama, Sestak