3 Views: Republican primary- Rob Roper on John McCain, Craig Bensen on Mike Huckabee, and Lincoln White on Ron Paul
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John McCain has a very personal relationship with the people of Vermont. He has come to our state many times over many years. His visits have usually been in answer to a call for help of one kind or another. Asked to speak at a Vermont event, John McCain would come through. Asked to come rally support for lesser known but still fellow candidates, John McCain would not hesitate. Even though Vermont is a small state in a far off corner of a very big electoral map, with John McCain - Arizona's Senator - Vermonters, have always been heard, helped, and never forgotten. That is why I am sure that with John McCain, President of the United States, Vermont will continue to be heard. and will never be forgotten.
John McCain has always been the candidate in this election with the most to offer Vermont. It is McCain whose record of individual conviction resonates most clearly with Vermont voters' legendary independent streak. A genuine hero and former POW, John McCain's connection with and respect within Vermont's military and veteran community is unparalleled. John McCain's
record as a budget hawk and pork cutter does more than just appeal to Vermonters' traditional sense of Yankee fiscal responsibility, it is exactly what the country desperately needs at this time.
And John McCain's core values, as they relate to family, personal honor, and the conduct of politics - values that are encapsulated in his trademark quality of "straight talk" - are something special that all Vermonters, regardless of party affiliation, can respect, admire and trust.
Our next president must be prepared to deal with some very tough challenges: an economic slowdown at home, and a world struggling to embracing a fragile transition out of war. John McCain is uniquely prepared to address the challenges based on his experience and character. Vermonters know that to overcome these challenges successfully, it's straight talk, not sweet talk,
that will serve us, and the world at large, best.
John McCain has proven throughout his life and career that he has the unique capacity to keep one eye on the big picture, without taking his other eye off the important little things - like our little Vermont.
(HOST) Rob Roper on his support of John McCain. Next, Craig Bensen, pastor of the Cambridge United Church, explains why he likes Mike Huckabee.
(BENSEN) Last summer, among the GOP presidential contenders, I was liking Fred Thompson as a potential heir to the Reagan mantle. Once Fred's campaign began to sputter, I started checking Mike Huckabee out.
He certainly had the essential Value Voter appeal. I especially appreciated that he was himself a Value Voter, not just a candidate seeking votes.
I knew that Mike's "Baptist minister" credentials might be problematic for Vermont voters. Not the minister part -- Al Sharpton, Jesse Jackson and Scudder Parker have cleared that trail -- but the "Baptist" part. Package that with the deep south accent and Huckabee's a real flatlander.
But we'd warmed up to another fellow from Hope, Arkansas back in the 90s and Bernie from Brooklyn has helped stretch us a bit on accents.
Come December, I was talking up Huckabee to people. Look at this guy - an experienced ex-governor of Arkansas, articulate, witty, personable, a web site full of straight forward policy statements and positions - an innovative, progressive tax proposal, a sensible immigration plan ... the only real Washington outsider in the race.
Will you sign this petition to have him on the Vermont ballot?
After Huckabee won in Iowa, I skipped the sales pitch and just passed the petition around.
The Sunday before the New Hampshire Primary some of us traveled to Windham, New Hampshire to catch a church service where Huckabee was preaching. We sat right behind him and his wife. Even had a chance to interact a bit. We were all impressed. Friendly, humorous, insightful - an everyman with human failings yet determined to serve his God and his fellow citizens with all his heart and strength.
About then some Ron Paul folk started harping that Huckabee wasn't a "real conservative" -- seems he'd worked with the Teachers Union and raised some taxes.
After fact checking, I found that the Union had endorsed his plan which markedly improved Arkansas' schools and that the tax hike was really bonding to improve roads and infrastructure as part of a jobs initiative. I also noted his record was one of non-partisan, "let's fix this problem together" effectiveness. That's speaking Vermont's language.
(HOST) Craig Bensen on his support of Mike Huckabee. And finally, this afternoon, we hear from Lincoln White, who helped organize Ron Paul's Vermont campaign, and believes that candidate Ron Paul is still the best choice.
(WHITE) Congressman Ron Paul is the right presidential candidate for Vermont because Ron Paul is the only candidate from either party with a consistent record of fighting for the limited role of federal government that is outlined in our Constitution.
Somehow we've strayed from the limited federal government our forefathers intended. America has turned towards Washington D.C. to solve problems that we in Vermont are better off solving ourselves.
In addition to asking for president that is commander in Chief, we seem to be looking for a president that is educator in-chief, physician in-chief , economist in-chief, policeman in-chief and so on.
As President, Ron Paul would give freedom and control back to Vermonters.
Ron Paul believes that our local towns and our Vermont state government will do much a better job of addressing important issues like education, healthcare, poverty and crime than a monolithic, centralized, one-size-fits all bureaucracy in Washington
Like many Vermonters, I am opposed to the interventionist foreign policy that led us into the Iraq war.
President Ron Paul would bring Vermont soldiers back home from Iraq and end the unconstitutional foreign policy of military interventionism and undeclared war that is bankrupting our great nation, ending thousands of lives, and weakening our national security.
Ron Paul is the only presidential candidate promising to withdraw all American troops from Iraq. John McCain recently said we could stay in Iraq for 100 years and Mike Huckabee has no timetable or plan to leave.
Even Senator Obama has said he will keep some American troops on Iraqi soil indefinitely.
Dr. Ron Paul is the only true anti-war presidential candidate.
According to the Federal Elections Commission, Congressman Ron Paul has received more contributions from active duty military members than Senator McCain, Governor Huckabee, Senator Clinton and Senator Obama combined.
Our troops support Congressman Ron Paul more than any other candidate because the soldiers on the front lines know firsthand that our foreign policy of military intervention is not working.
I want a President who restores constitutionally guaranteed freedom and privacy to Vermonters. I don't want a president who sends our brave Vermont soldiers to fight undeclared wars or who allows Washington politicians to intrude into our doctors' offices, our bedrooms, or our classrooms.
During his 20 years in Congress Ron Paul has worked harder than any presidential candidate in either party to limit the power of federal government to interfere in our everyday lives.
Ron Paul is the only presidential candidate with a constitutional and small government approach to the national issues that are most important to Vermonters. In my opinion Congressman Ron Paul is the only reasonable and true Republican in this race.
Every vote for Congressman Ron Paul sends the message that Vermonters believe in the promises of liberty outlined in the Constitution.
Lincoln White on his support of Ron Paul. You can find these Views of the Vermont Primary race - and more - on line at VPR-dot-net.