imageMinnesota Congresswoman Michele Bachmann In an email sent out yesterday to supporters she said:

With the breaking news that Governor Palin and Governor Christie will not seek the Republican nomination for president of the United States — there is only one true conservative in this race.

Only one person who has experience fighting to repeal Obamacare. Only one person who has introduced legislation to repeal Dodd-Frank — the credit-killing law that is delaying economic recovery. Only one person who has time and time again stood up for the rights of the unborn.

The other candidates can talk the talk, but I am the only one who is actually “walking the walk.” As a member of Congress, I have fought every single day against the Washington establishment for our conservative values and beliefs. I am not in politics for my personal benefit — I am a public servant because I know and believe Americans deserve better.

I know candidates are going to pull out the, “I’m more conservative than you card,” but Iowans need to look past that rhetoric like this and look at records, and not just things the other candidates are pointing out.

For instance looking at Texas Governor Rick Perry’s record (while yes he has a couple clunkers – big ones) has a good record on life for instance among other issues.  People seem to think the only two things he has done as Governor of Texas was to mandate Gardisil and allow in-state tuition for children of illegal immigrants.  Not true, we need to dig deeper.

I think former Senator Rick Santorum can make the case that he has been a champion for life, he helped to bring about welfare reform, and he’s strong on defense.  Texas Congressman Ron Paul would also disagree with that statement though I would say that Paul is the true libertarian in the race, and that he holds positions that can’t accurately be labeled “conservative.”  In his defense however he has also been against Obamacare, Dodd-Frank, and a whole host of other poor fiscal decisions.

Former Speaker Newt Gingrich has a record we can look at as well.  I’m sure that we can completely pick a vote here and there.  He has certainly done some things outside of Congress that give conservatives pause, but we need to look at his record and plans.  He just gave us an extensive outline of what he wants to accomplish as President.

Herman Cain has also laid out his plan for reforming the tax code and to help promote job growth in his 9-9-9 plan.  Cain’s problem for those who seek to vet him is that he doesn’t have a record of votes or government executive experience.  So we can only go by what he has done as a CEO and what he has said.  For people who tire of politicians that just may be enough.

Iowans need to do the hard work of vetting these candidates, learning their records, and most importantly hear what their plans are.  Congresswoman Bachmann points out her record as she should, and I agree that it is very good.  What I want to know is what is your plan and how will you govern?  I’d like to see a concrete action plan.  I haven’t seen that yet.

I’m certainly going to ask.  I’ll be weighing different candidates (there are four on my short list) and hope to make my decision early next month.  I am looking at their character, their records, and their vision and strategic plans.  I want to know about their positions and convictions.  I want to know what principles drive them.  I also would like to choose the most conservative candidate that I can feel can also has the ability to do well beyond Iowa.  Electability is important, but is certainly isn’t at the top of my list and that can be pretty subjective at this point.  So it will a backseat to character, convictions, record, vision and plans.

I’m digging past rhetoric, and so should you.


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