Paul Ryan is clearly an ambitious man. He either wants to be President or Speaker of the House. That explains why in a recent debate he said didn’t know if humans caused climate change, and that scientists didn’t know either. Such a statement is designed to appeal to the party’s base and to many of its big money donors. Those are two groups Ryan will need if he wants to go further in either pursuit. Which office will he go for? That’s a question we’ll find out soon enough.
Rand Paul may have earned the undying love of Reason Magazine and GOProud but the following quote may kill him in Iowa and South Carolina:
“I don’t want my guns registered in Washington or my marriage. Founding Fathers all got married by going down to the local courthouse. It is a local issue and always has been. Society’s changing. I mean, people change their minds all the time on this issue, and even within the Republican Party, there are people whose child turns out to be gay and they’re like, oh well maybe I want to rethink this issue. So it’s been rethought. The President’s rethought the issue. So I mean, a lot of people have rethought the issue.”
First, this is a no-go with social conservatives. If you don’t believe me go back and watch the Values Voter Summit from last week. You simply cannot win Iowa or South Carolina without the support of Christian conservatives. Exit polls from Iowa show and South Carolina show they made up the majority of voters. You can bet this issue is going to be stoked by people like Huckabee, Cruz and Santorum. They know social conservatives panic when they see the progress gay rights has made in the past decade and are looking for a champion to stand up and fitgh against this.
Third it adds to the narrative that Paul is not really one of them. Take his wanting to eliminate aid to Israel and his position on drugs and a theme starts to form that Paul isn’t really someone social conservatives can call one of their own. Certainly Cruz and Huckabee will push this message.
Lastly, Paul equated himself to Barack Obama in the quote. That’s a not a winner with today’s GOP.
The GOP fight is going to be nasty and Paul has given his opponents some ammo with this one.