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Circuses and bread

"Circuses and bread" Continued...

Issue: "Why Grey matters," March 17, 2007

When CPAC announced the straw poll results at the end of the conference, Romney won the vote with 21 percent. Giuliani took second place with 17 percent, while John McCain, the subject of conservative criticism for skipping the conference, slipped to fifth, drawing only 12 percent of the vote. Romney volunteers carried red foam baseball gloves with "MITT! '08" inscribed on the back.

Anti-Romneys, though, passed out flip-flops-indicating that they do not trust the candidate who has changed from support of abortion and the gay political agenda to opposition. One anti-Romney wore a stuffed dolphin suit.

With a record 6,300 in attendance at the Omni Shoreham Hotel, including 2,500 college students, some serious moments occurred. Candidate Brownback spoke of abortion: "Life begins at conception, biologically. This isn't a theological question. If any of you were killed at that very early phase, you wouldn't be here today. And we stand for life. We believe it is sacred. It's unique. It's beautiful. It's the child of a loving God. That applies to the child in the womb, and it also applies to the child in Darfur. This is a full definition of life, and we fight for life."

Candidate Huckabee also brought up the great unmentionable: "Please don't count me among those who think that this is a peripheral issue, because I believe it's a defining issue in terms of how we view each other as human beings. . . . I'm a little troubled when I hear people say . . . 'I hate abortion, but I support the right for people to go ahead and do it.' Let me just tell you, it would be like a Hindu friend of mine saying that 'I really don't care for the slaughter of beef, but I'm going to buy a steak house.' Now, something is just irreconcilable in that very concept."

Giuliani, one of those Huckabee implicitly criticized, spoke of his experience in prosecuting organized crime: "I can never remember anybody coming into my office, knocking on my door and saying, 'I want to tell you about the Gambino crime family.' Nobody comes in and tells you about it. You know how we found about it? We had to intrude into their activities. We had to breach their privacy. We had to have electronic surveillance. . . . This is very, very much the same thing that we have to do with terrorism. But it requires being on offense. It requires understanding that you need the tools like the Patriot Act and legal electronic surveillance."

Romney spoke of the need to "support moderate Muslim governments and nations and peoples. They need to make sure they have public schools that aren't Wahhabi schools, the rule of law, property rights, modern banking and agriculture, and pro-growth economic policies, because in the end, it's the Muslim people themselves who will have to eliminate radical jihad." He said that in Iraq "we were underprepared and underplanned and undermanaged and undermanned. But walking away now because of those mistakes, or dividing the country and then walking away, would have real and severe risks for America and for our troops. And that's why I support the troop surge."

But all such discussions played second fiddle to Ann Coulter's slur.

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