Drew Cline: Bob Smith's three 'p's': Principle, platform, party
On Wednesday, Smith said “the national Republicans, and by that I mean the RNC and the Senate committee, have made it very clear who they want” to win the primary. But their favored candidate, Scott Brown, does not support the party platform, Smith said. With Brown, “the only thing we get is a vote against Harry Reid ... If you want to win, then win on principle.”
In 2002, Karl Rove promised him a presidential endorsement in the primary if John E. Sununu entered the race, Smith said. Sununu got in, the endorsement never came, and Smith lost. His letter to Kerry was “a get even thing,” he said. He nursed a personal grudge for two years, just waiting for the chance to get his revenge. This is one elephant that never forgets.
For Bob Smith, there can be no deviation from the platform, which he equates with principle. He said he is the “only platform Republican,” the “only constitutional conservative,” the “best pro-gun candidate” and “the only pro-life candidate” in the race. Check the boxes, and Bob Smith will have the most checks. That’s what should matter. Principle. Platform. Party.
Politics might be about principles, but elections are about popularity. Smith says that if he is elected, he will join Sens. Ted Cruz and Mike Lee, two men he considers principled conservatives, to champion true Republicanism in the U.S. Senate. Reminded that the two could hold their meetings in a closet, he said he has already spoken with them and told them that if he gets there “I can help you build a bigger closet.”
Andrew Cline is editorial page editor of the New Hampshire Union Leader. His column runs on Thursdays. You can follow him on Twitter @Drewhampshire.
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