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Ear to the Ground

Rand Paul’s CPAC Victory, Karl Rove’s Feud With Sarah Palin, and More

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Posted on Mar 17, 2013

Surveying the Scene: Like father, like son. Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul has been declared the winner of the Conservative Political Action Conference’s annual straw poll, the very same one his father, former Republican congressman and presidential candidate Ron Paul, won in 2010 and 2011. Paul garnered 25 percent of the vote to finish slightly ahead of Florida Sen. Marco Rubio in the CPAC poll. Former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum placed third. The three-day conservative gathering wrapped up Saturday. (Read more)

Trading Barbs: Karl Rove ripped Sarah Palin over disparaging comments the former Republican vice presidential nominee made about the GOP strategist at CPAC. During her speech, Palin suggested the poor showing of Rove-backed candidates in the last election indicated it was time for him to stop his political consulting work. Rove responded on “Fox News Sunday,” mocking Palin for not finishing her term as Alaska governor. “I appreciate her encouragement that I ought to go home to Texas and run for office. I would be enthused if I ran for office to have her support, but I don’t think I’m a particularly good candidate, a balding fat guy. Second of all, if I did run for office and win I would serve out my term and I wouldn’t leave office midterm,” he said. (Read more)

No Way on Gay: John Boehner says he would never support same-sex marriage, even if he had a gay child. The House speaker was asked by Martha Raddatz on ABC’s “This Week” on Sunday whether he could ever see himself changing positions on the issue, like Ohio Sen. Rob Portman—a onetime same-sex marriage foe—did last week after learning his son was gay. Boehner responded: “Listen, I believe marriage is a union between one man and one woman. It’s what I grew up with, it’s what i believe, it’s what my church teaches me and I can’t imagine that position would ever change.” (Read more)

Battle Weary: Ten years after the beginning of the Iraq War, a newly released ABC News/Washington Post poll shows nearly 60 percent of respondents say the conflict was not worth fighting. The results represent a dramatic shift from a similar survey conducted after the war started a decade ago, when 80 percent said it was worth fighting. A majority of Americans also have unfavorable opinions of the war being waged in Afghanistan, with 56 percent now opposing it. According to ABC News: “A key reason: a substantial sense that neither war did much to achieve their goals of enhancing U.S. security. Only about half of Americans say either war contributed to the long-term security of the United States, and just two in 10 say either contributed ‘a great deal’ to U.S. security—clearly insufficient, in the minds of most, to justify their costs in lives and lucre.” (Read more)

Video of the Day: A CPAC panel on Republican outreach to minority voters descended into chaos when an audience member stood up and defended slavery. The man, identified as Scott Terry of North Carolina, made the disturbing comment when presenter K. Carl Smith referenced a letter by Frederick Douglass in which he forgave his former master. “For what? For feeding him and housing him?” Terry asked. Terry also claimed that the federal government was trying to “systematically disenfranchise” white people and also reportedly later said that he didn’t know that “the legacy of the Republican Party included women correcting men in public.” As Towleroad noted, “Terry claims to base his outlandishly, shockingly racist politics on his literature degree, a degree given from an unnamed school for the study of unspecified letters. So Terry either attended KKK U, has a severe case of temporal dyslexia or is just a terrible racist, the type against whom the odds are thankfully stacked. “

 

—Posted by Tracy Bloom.

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