Two potential 2016 Republican Primary Presidential candidates are making decisions and surrounding themselves with advisors that should be a cause for concern amongst conservatives.
With the race baiting in the Mississippi Senate primary still bitter in conservatives’ mouths, tone deaf Texas Governor Rick Perry recently hired Henry Barbour of Mississippi to help with his 2016 Presidential bid. As the man responsible for funding the racist ads, and spreading vicious lies about tea partiers and Chris McDaniel, Henry Barbour is clearly no friend of conservatives. Yet, bubba like, he continues to proudly announce that he was happy to have been a part of “expanding the electorate” in the Mississippi race. He and his uncle, Haley Barbour, are the quintessential big government Republicans who live in a world where the end justifies the means and whose ideology is power and money. And this is who Rick Perry chooses to surround himself with?
And just as Rick Perry chooses questionable friends from amongst the Republican Establishment, Senator Rand Paul has been working overtime to curry favor there but to no avail. In the Kentucky Senate primary, he was merely McConnell’s political beard for the primary and now that his shelf life there has expired, it’s becoming more and more apparent that his time on the national stage will be short. He is a man without a political country.
Not only has he lost his political moorings, his crowd of advisors and operatives clearly leaves something to be desired. Just last week, Rand’s 2010 campaign manager, Jesse Benton, resigned from his role as the manager for Mitch McConnell’s Senate campaign for his involvement in the Iowa Caucus scandal. It appears that in 2012 Benton might have played a part in spreading money around Iowa to help get Ron Paul into the White House, a series of events that is likely to land former Iowa state senator Kent Sorenson in jail.
Both Rick Perry and Rand Paul have high-level advisors with serious issues in their past that should raise red flags in the conservative movement. Why does this matter? Because when integrity is removed at the expense of all else, how can we believe that there will not be more integrity lost down the road? It is a slippery slope that once crested provides no point of return. We need to take candidates and elected officials to task for not only their votes, but their staff choices as well.
Personnel is policy and the American voters will see right through this.
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