Republicans on Republicans

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While Sen. John McCain builds a lead over Governor's Mitt Romney and Mike Huckabee heading into "Super Tuesday," he still faces some tough critics on the right. Ann Coulter said she'd rather vote for Sen. Hillary Clinton than McCain, and on his radio show Rush Limbaugh has taken issue with some of McCain's stances. The complaints: taxes, same-sex marriage bans, and immigration among others. But in the end, will conservative Republicans come together over the prospect of losing the White House? If you're a Republican, do you feel like there's a candidate that represents you? Do you feel like you're settling in this election?



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It took me years to warm up to McCain (he was a carpetbagger just like Hillary), but over time I've come to respect a lot of his actions. I will cheer loudly if he does indeed win the Republican nomination while losing the votes of evangelicals and the right wing Christian conservatives. It's high time the Republican party accomplished something without the influence of the bigoted albatross of that group. They're directly responsible for much of the polarization this country and the Congress has experienced and it's time for them to learn the lessons of compromise and real compassion.

Sent by James Moore, Phoenix AZ | 2:17 PM | 2-4-2008

Listening to this story right now, and I must say I'm disappointed in the discussion so far. The basic issue is the definition of "conservative" to ignore financial conservatism; by that definition, Ron Paul is the only conservative in the race.

Sent by Brad | 2:17 PM | 2-4-2008

I am a registered Republican who will vote for whomever the Democrats put up if the Republicans can't get out of the bedroom and doctor's office. I am pro choice. I am for the rights of gay couples. It is only since the rise of the Christian Right that the Republican party has been so focused on social / personal issues. It is time for Republicans to reclaim our party for limited government and fiscal responsibility.

Sent by Heidi McCarthy | 2:18 PM | 2-4-2008

re: Republicans on Republicans. This program will have little credibility if you do not bring up Ralph Reed's ties to now imprisoned Jack Abramoff and how it factors on his position.

Sent by Scott Hight | 2:21 PM | 2-4-2008

I am a moderate pro choice Republican from Colorado, having grown up on the east coast. I have not been able to identify with this party in years and wonder what the heck happened to the old GOP, which never tolerated anyone nosing around in one's personal choices, nor was religion ever a part of the party conversation. I am so sick of the hijacking of the party by the evangelicals. That McCain or any candidate has to answer to anyone's religious belief's is outrageous. The Republicans I grew up knowing were socially liberal and fiscally conservative. It will be hard to vote for McCain, but knowing he was ONCE pro choice and counts Lieberman amongst his closest friends makes it more palatable. Maybe god ol' Joe can talk some sense into him! I may still vote for Obama.

Sent by Margaret Brown | 2:21 PM | 2-4-2008

What's wrong with spending your own money, and not depending on the people, to fund your campaign? Wouldn't that be a good quality to have in a President. One who is self reliant, shouldn't that quality rub of on the people and government?

Sent by Jason Hanna | 2:28 PM | 2-4-2008

i gotta tell you, having mr reed on is extremely
disappointing. aren't there better people to have on, people who have always operated in their lives with INTEGRITY? he's an amazing hypocritical criminal!

this guy has unashamedly stolen money from indian
tribes while laughing at them, proven guilty, and
fleeced lots of people.

is TOTN PAYING this man to be on? why give him any
"credibility" by being on NPR at all?

i don't care that he was an INSIDER on the extreme
right and can *maybe" give you *truthful* insights.

very bad choice.

Sent by judith merryman & john britton | 2:31 PM | 2-4-2008

As a Democrat, I am more concerned about John McCain as an opponent in the general election than any of the other candidates. I think he would have a better chance at beating either Obama or Clinton than any of the other potential Republican nominees.

Sent by Christine | 2:33 PM | 2-4-2008

Actually I find Sen. McCain the ideal president. Given his age, he may only be a one term president meaning he will be forced to take on the very hard issues immediately such as the war, social security, health care and immigration.

Sent by Steve From Washington State | 2:33 PM | 2-4-2008

Ralph Reed!!? Who pulled the stake out of this hypocrite's heart. This man has no place in ANY national discussion. TOTN can do much better than this. I'm ashamed for you.

Sent by John Miller | 2:38 PM | 2-4-2008

The Republican Party left the conservative movement years ago.

Sent by Ned Stone | 2:40 PM | 2-4-2008

I'm a bit bewildered, amongst all the discussion of the Republican field and the supposed lack of anyone with real conservative appeal, that NPR has had zero discussion of Ron Paul. He has the most conservative credentials out of any of the remaining candidates. I feel the only reason that the conservative base is not flocking to his campaign is that he is consistently marginalized or left out of the discussion, as he has been from this program. I'm really disappointed that his name hasn't even come up.

Sent by Brandon | 2:43 PM | 2-4-2008

I feel that I will vote for John McCain. He is the candidate that can bring this country together. I wish someone would ask Mike Huckabee one and only one question: If you are elected president and have taken to oath of office and are presented with a situation where the constitution required the President to react one way but your religion steers you another way which way will you follow?

Sent by Reed Melton | 2:44 PM | 2-4-2008

I am a registered Republican who supports McCain now and did so in 2000. For many years I have felt marginalized within and abandoned by my party, which I feel has been hijacked by social and religious fundamentalists. For example, there is no place within today's Republican party for a fiscal conservative who cares about the environment but does not list opposition to gay marriage among her top concerns. I am hopeful that John McCain can broaden the appeal of the Republican party. Rush Limbaugh says that McCain will ruin the Republican Party, but the truth is, Limbaugh, George Bush and other polarizing, ultra-conservative (and unrealistic) voices have already done that job quite well.

Sent by Alexis Raymond | 2:45 PM | 2-4-2008

"Change" in the context of this campaign, regardless of the candidate, is meaningless. Whomever is elected has to deal with the establishment of all other elected office holders in WA DC. No newly elected president has ever walked in and been able to effect "change." It has to be a government of cooperation and cooperative effort.

Sent by Karen | 2:52 PM | 2-4-2008

I'm all for Change, and Obama's ideas are great. BUT HOW?? Also, if he his so for change, why is he lavishing in all of his old-school political endorsements? Those are a couple of reasons why I am supporting Hillary Clinton.

Sent by Stefanie | 2:55 PM | 2-4-2008

I'm an independent that has traditionally voted democrat in past elections. i'll be voting for Obama tomorrow. in the general election if Obama is the democratic candidate i will vote for him. however if hillary is the democratic candidate i will take a favorable view of john mccain and just might vote for him. under no circumstances will i vote for romney.

Sent by sean birmingham | 2:57 PM | 2-4-2008

Don't we always have to "settle" in an election? Is there ever a candidate that truly represents everything we are looking for as voters, whether Democrat or Republican? The key word is "compromise." Voters give and take a little in each election, to put in office the person best suited to represent the country as a whole. Ideally, the person elected will give and take a little in return, to act in our country's best interest, not furthering personal agendas. Going into an election, it is important to know where our candidates stand, and how they intend to work for us. McCain has impressed me so far in that regard, and so has Obama. Upstate New York is my home, and Clinton has yet to impress me as our state Senator. As a Republican, I don't feel like I am "settling" for anything.

Sent by Christine | 3:10 PM | 2-4-2008

Your intentional dismissal of Ron Paul's truthspeak demonstrates your bias and interference in the US political process, which I think we all agree is INTENDED to be a fair process. Your show embarrassed me today, embarrassed that NPR does the same things as the mainstream media in serving the "status quo" that is literally killing us. We thought you were better than this.

Sent by Martin | 3:21 PM | 2-4-2008

McCain is old, he is deluded and he is dangerous. Anyone who wants to stay involved in Iraq for "a 100 years" is not fit to be President. Ron Paul is the only candidate on the Republican side that is worth anything...and the only one that would probably lose to every other Republican candidate.

Sent by George from Oregon | 3:24 PM | 2-4-2008

Against Obama or Clinton, McCain will win the presidency. I don't think 'Americas heartland' will accept a woman or an African-American as president. Change, that part of the country is not ready for change. If Bush could run again, he would win there.

Sent by Victor | 3:31 PM | 2-4-2008

I am a person of faith but I am more afraid of the right wing religious zealots that are ramrodding the Republican party right now than any Democrat on candidate. To me they are no different than the extreme Muslims who are convinced their way is the only way to worship and conduct themselves. Thank GOD Hucakbee won't be the candidate, because I would have voted for Hillary against him and I would only vote for Hillary if she was running against Bin Laden. McCain is the last best hope for the Republicans.

Sent by Linda | 4:47 PM | 2-4-2008

Many have voiced concern that if elected, Hillary Clinton would be influenced by her husband.These people are afraid her husband would run the country again. I cannot believe how deep sexism runs in the American psyche. Wake up people!!! Hillary Clinton is a very intelligent, independent and strong willed individual. She would never let anyone tell her what to do. I have no doubt Hillary Clinton would be running the government - not Bill -no way- She is has too much self respect, confidence and intelligence. She would make a very strong, and capable president. I am sick of hearing theories predicting Bill Clinton running the presidency from the sidelines.

Sent by Jenn from Connecticut | 10:17 PM | 2-4-2008

ralph reed? he was in kahoots with abrahnoff(sic) the convicted felon.

why can't the religious right see they the tail wagging the dog? the far right is far wrong this season. we moderate republicans are sick of the "base" being our spokesman. they are uncompromising, intolerant, and out of touch of current realities.

Sent by toby | 12:24 AM | 2-5-2008

Ralph Reed seems the perfect spokesperson for all that's wrong with the Republican Party. Incompetence, intolerance, ignorance and corruption. Oh! And did I mention incompetence? How soon NPR and "Talk of the Nation" seem to have forgotten Ralph Reed's connections to Jack Abramoff. Talk about a guest with a credibility gap. What the Republicans need to do is start reevaluating their leaders or they'll find themselves out in the cold come November.

Sent by Chet Dallas | 3:37 AM | 2-5-2008

Your sales pitch for John McCain seems transparent. The process is flawed- There are only two primaries- Two choices. A nice change would be an Independent primary- A third choice. Isn't it true that 40% of voters are considered independent? Half of the population over 18 doesn't even vote. That in itself is saying something about the process.

Sent by Charles | 9:15 AM | 2-5-2008

Now, it won't matter who wins the Presidency in November the "Left" will be assured of a victory. We will just have to wait for them to get the country more messed up than it is. Perhaps then some form of sanity will return to our nation, and we can again find a Regan to lead us into the light.

Sent by John Dallas | 2:25 PM | 2-7-2008