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Democrats Ding Potential GOP Presidential Candidates

Seeking an early jumpstart on the approaching 2008 presidential race, the Democratic National Committee released a series of reports Friday on some of the Republican politicians most-often named as likely candidates for the GOP nomination.

"With the holiday season upon us, DNC Research keeps our own list of who's been naughty and who's been nice -- and unfortunately, we think most of our GOP 08ers will find coal in their stocking this year," writes DNC research director Devorah Adler.

Eleven potential candidates are profiled. Each document lists some of the more impolitic statements the candidate has made over the past year, where he stands in the chase for campaign cash, and a counter to log how many times each has stopped in the key early primary and caucus states of Iowa, New Hampshire and South Carolina.

Here's a sampling:

* Arizona Sen. John McCain "swerved to the right this year and there's no turning back," according to Adler. As evidence, the "McCain watch" document details the Arizona senator's positive remarks about conservative Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum ("He represents what is in my view the next generation of GOP leadership.") as well as his advocacy for Mississippi Sen. Trent Lott (R) and Alabama Lt. Gov. candidate George Wallace Jr. during a recent campaign swing through the south.

* Virginia Sen. George Allen takes heat in the document for his decision to reverse course and oppose making hate crimes against homosexuals a federal offense the next time the matter comes up for a vote. "And what will George Allen ask for when he sits on Santa's lap," asks Adler. "He'll be hoping that the right wing will be so busy focusing on [Massachusetts Gov. Mitt] Romney's flip-flops they won't notice his own."

* Speaking of Mitt Romney, who announced last week he would not seek a second term as the Bay State's chief executive, the document bashes him for flying on Pfizer's corporate jet during a recent trip to California to attend a Republican Governors Association meeting, noting that at the time the Massachusetts legislature was considering health care legislation -- a conflict of interest, the Democrats argue.  Romney is also hit for his six combined trips to Iowa (2), New Hampshire (3) and South Carolina (1); "Mitt Romney will probably ask Santa for luggage since he's moved from Utah to Massachusetts to Iowa in just three years," writes Adler.

While few people outside the most hardcore political insiders are paying attention to the 2008 presidential jockeying at the moment, the DNC document could have an impact on the race. Since the aspiring GOPers know they are being watched (and watched closely) they may be less likely to take political risks, choosing instead to play it safe rather than stir up a potential controversy fueled by the DNC.

Here are links to the DNC research documents (PDFs):

* George Allen
* Haley Barbour
* Sam Brownback
* Bill Frist
* Newt Gingrich
* Rudy Giuliani
* Mike Huckabee
* Chuck Hagel
* John McCain
* George Pataki
* Mitt Romney

By Chris Cillizza  |  December 19, 2005; 3:57 PM ET
Categories:  Eye on 2008  
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Next: Paychecks For the Party Chairs


I would love to put all these people who keep accusing Chris, the Post, and the entire media of being either liberal or conservative into a room together and watch them duke it out.

Posted by: Sandwich Repairman | December 21, 2005 2:27 PM | Report abuse


What do you mean the RNC didn't have a big press release??? Most of the mainstream media like Chris here wouldn't have given it any play regardless. It doesn't fit in with his own politcal beliefs and leanings. The DNC knows that the most media is sympathetic to thier cause and will take anything the want to say and run with it. I admire the recent UCLA study of bias in the media and encourage you to read it, might be hard pressed to find any coverage of it in most media outlets I bet, you maybe suprised at what they found. Can't rightly call UCLA a bastion of right-wing kool aid drinkers.....

Posted by: spike | December 21, 2005 12:34 PM | Report abuse

Scoot- Except, if you see the whole segment, with the QUESTION, not just the answer, it was strictly on the powers in the Patriot Act, not FISA. PA, and FISA taps for calls with both points in the US do require the warrant first.

But, it is easier to take things out of context to make a point.

BTW, why didn't Graham, as Chairman of the Intel committee request a secret hearing on this in 2002 if it was so onerous? The committee held at least a dozen classified hearings that year, one more wouldn't have hurt. They were briefed at least 3 times that year on the project.

Posted by: Crazy Politico | December 21, 2005 11:15 AM | Report abuse

Deuces, that story does seem to be exploding. Yesterday, the text and audio of Bush's comments from 2004 and 2005 where he said wiretaps would never be done without a court order was showing up quite a bit. If that does not constitute 'lying' to the AMerican people, nothing does.

This will become the major political story for the foreseeable future imho.

Posted by: scootmandubious | December 21, 2005 10:06 AM | Report abuse

Whoever the Republicans put into the running will have a tough go at it considering that they are rife with corruption. The only way that they'll win is if the electronic voting machines, that don't leave a paper trail, and are easily manipulated. The manufacturer of the Diebold machines is a staunch Republican, and Republican supporter, and as far as I'm concerned, will manipulate the voting machines to ensure Republican wins. IT'S BEEN ALMOST A WEEK SINCE IT WAS REVEALED THAT PRESIDENT BUSH ORDERED THAT AMERICAN CITIZENS BE SPYED ON WITHOUT COURT ORDERS SINCE RIGHT AFTER 9/11. WHY ISN'T THAT A SUBJECT? What this ethically challenged numbskull has done deserves that his administration and whatever legal twit okayed the spying on Americans be IMPEACHED! wHERE ARE THE DEMOCRATS SPINES?

Posted by: Deuces | December 20, 2005 6:37 PM | Report abuse

Not to mention Condi has ZERO (0) experience in elected office.

Why are you all so hard on Chris? I erad this blog every day, it's simply reporting what has been giong on. It's gossipy, but you can hardly say that's biased. The GOP's assessment of Democrats is not reported because they didn't just have a big press release.

Posted by: Anonymous | December 20, 2005 10:56 AM | Report abuse

This is rather amusing.

If Condi does decide to run, the disclosure of her complicity in the misleading of our nation on Iraq, combined with other reminders (such as her shopping excursions, post-Katrina)will derail her pretty quick.

Combine this with the innate bigotry and sexism of a substantial number of the Good Ol' Boy GOP base and you have a candidacy that will sink quicker than you can say 'Harriet Meiers.'

The ONLY reason she is performing well at this point is because she has come under very little scrutiny. Do you really think her role in the Iraq cabal isn't going to tarnish her chances? Think again.

Posted by: scootmandubious | December 20, 2005 10:07 AM | Report abuse

Crystal, nice rant on Rice. If she decides to run, like Michael Steele, she will give the left fits. They have to find a way to attack her without sounding like their favorite cartoonist (Ted Rall).

Posted by: Crazy Politico | December 20, 2005 7:52 AM | Report abuse

Where's Jeb Bush?

Posted by: David Van Wie | December 20, 2005 12:19 AM | Report abuse

Good thing the national polls show people are paying attention to the 2008 race. The latest Zogby poll show Rudy and Condi Rice along with McCain as the strongest leaders in the Republican party. That same Zogby polls show Condi at 47% vs Hillary at 46%. Condi is also at 48% vs Kerry at 45%. When placed against Warner, it is Condi 50% and the Governor at 32%. In the past year, Secretary Rice has either tied or stayed near the top of the polls (Marist, USA Today, CNN, Gallup) as well as state polls in Iowa and Wisconsin. Perhaps the reason the Democrats do not include Secretary Rice on their radar screen is that Condi is busy doing her job as our top diplomat instead of trying to plan a scheme or sabotage against a person from her own political party. She has a 60% job approval ranting, has been given the status by Forbes magazine as the Most Powerful Woman in the World, and listed at the top person out of 100 black leaders in Ebony for 2005. If Time magazine has placed her face on its cover as Person of the Year, I bet the Dems would just put it on a wall and toss darts. Now if Secretary Rice tossed her bonnet into the ring in 2007, I wonder how the Dems would handle a strongly admired woman from a minority segment of our population seeking to represent the United States as the new face to the world?

Posted by: Crystal Dueker | December 19, 2005 11:06 PM | Report abuse

No one on the DNC stands out as a front runner other than McCain. Running around with the likes of Santorum, will not help McCain. Perhaps he was getting some tips on beastiality from Santorum's book.

Posted by: ImpeachBushNow | December 19, 2005 8:50 PM | Report abuse

Stop warning your friends about the big bad democrats, who have NO power and NO oversight of your buddy Bush.

Jaysus, the WP labels Froomkin opinion and this guy objective? No wonder Woodward shrugged off outing a CIA agent.

Posted by: Anonymous | December 19, 2005 6:24 PM | Report abuse

Actually, don't know how I could have missed what the other BW wrote.

C'mon Chris, do you really think a potential GOP candidate is going to base their behavior on what might appear in a DNC talking point? You are joking, right?

I think this is a case of pundits taking their roles a little too seriously. Maybe those GOP candidates are going to not take risks so they don't wind up in your blog. That is about as realistic as what you just suggested.

Posted by: scootmandubious | December 19, 2005 5:30 PM | Report abuse

"While few people outside the most hardcore political insiders are paying attention to the 2008 presidential jockeying at the moment, the DNC document could have an impact on the race. Since the aspiring GOPers know they are being watched (and watched closely) they may be less likely to take political risks, choosing instead to play it safe rather than stir up a potential controversy fueled by the DNC."

This is the dumbest conclusion I have ever read.

Posted by: Bob Woodward | December 19, 2005 5:12 PM | Report abuse

Since the point of this post is to expose the Democratic talking points against potential GOP candidates, when are you planning on sharing the GOP talking points on the Dems?

Or will they just be part of the postings, without being identified as such?

Posted by: scootmandubious | December 19, 2005 5:04 PM | Report abuse

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