Sunday, February 18, 2007

Hunter Conservative Hope

Check out the following article from the Washinton Post about Duncan Hunter, published last week.

George F. Will - 2/15/07

When Bob Hunter, a Riverside, Calif., businessman, would hear of a conservative's campaign that needed volunteers, he would pile his family into the station wagon and drive off to ring doorbells. Hunter's son Duncan grew up believing in retail politics.

When Hunter returned home after serving as an alternate Goldwater delegate at the 1964 Republican convention in San Francisco, he told Duncan about chatting with another alternate, an amiable fellow, some actor, named Reagan. Who two years later was elected governor. Duncan learned early on about rapid upward mobility in politics.

In 1969, he dropped out of college, joined the army and was sent to Vietnam. From there he mailed his pay to a friend who purchased for him an island in Idaho's Snake River, where Duncan farmed after his discharge. Then another friend said a San Diego law school would admit him without a college degree. In 1980 he was a lawyer with a storefront office in San Diego's Hispanic community when his father walked in and told him he could be a congressman. Never mind, his father said, that this district was only 29 percent Republican. Reagan was at the top of the ticket.

Duncan says his Baptist minister, respecting the separation of church and state, told parishioners they should vote for the Reagan of their choice. They distributed 400,000 Duncan brochures. Today Duncan is in his 14th term representing eastern San Diego County. Three weeks ago he formally launched his presidential candidacy.

Why does he think he can become the first House member elected president since James Garfield in 1880? Why does he think he can do better than the two strongest House candidates in recent elections? In 1976, Arizona Rep. Mo Udall finished second to Jimmy Carter in the New Hampshire primary (28.4 percent to 22.7 percent), then narrowly lost Wisconsin (Carter 36.6, Udall 35.6). In 1988, Missouri Rep. Dick Gephardt won Iowa, finished second to Michael Dukakis in New Hampshire, then ran out of money.

"For some candidates," Hunter says, "the conservative constituency is an inconvenience. For me, it is my hope." He hopes to be seen as the most conservative Republican candidate, as he understands conservatism. He is pro-life, an expert on defense issues, a hawk on border security (he authored the legislation that mandates 854 miles of fences across the major southern border routes used by smugglers of narcotics and people) and a skeptic about free trade.

He chaired the Armed Services Committee in the previous two Congresses and believes that the principal issue for the foreseeable future will be national security ---- not just Iraq and terrorism, but also the rise of China's military (perhaps nine submarines under construction, with five more to come; the purchase of Russian-built destroyers designed to attack U.S. aircraft carriers with very fast and sophisticated missiles; upward of 800 medium-range ballistic missiles deployed).

He believes U.S. forces can pacify Iraq, where his son served two tours as a Marine.Asked what his wife said when he told her he was running for president, he pauses, then says, smiling: "She's happy now." She seems remarkably resilient. Not long after a wildfire consumed his house, he asked her, "Honey, can you do a fundraiser in two weeks?" She said, "Sure. My son is in Fallujah, my house has burned down, how many people do you want to invite?""God bless New Hampshire," Hunter says, noting that its population (1.3 million) is less than half that of San Diego County.

But he almost certainly overestimates the power of retail politics in a nominating process that is becoming increasingly compressed. California, Illinois, New Jersey and Florida might move their primaries to Feb. 5. If they do, both parties' nominees might be known a year from now.Hunter won what might have been the first contest of this presidential cycle ---- the Maricopa County (Phoenix) straw poll. It's a start.

He says he has $300,000 "in pledges," a sum that could be a rounding error in the McCain campaign's accounts. But he says, "I kind of know what I stand for" so "I don't need consultants, and that saves a lot of money." He has produced some commercials ---- just talking to the camera ---- for $200.One-third of new businesses fail within two years; 50 percent to 70 percent of new products that make it to market fail. Hunter, a burly, rumpled political product seeking a market niche, probably will fail. But as Goldwater said when he entered politics in Phoenix in 1949, "It ain't for life and it may be fun."

Thursday, February 15, 2007

Hunter on MSNBC regarding Iraq

Duncan Hunter has appeared on MSNBC to discuss the Iraq resolution in the House. Hunter stands firm behind the President Bush escalation.

He believes that the Democrats are sending a message to the enemy and the troops that they don't support the mission.

Sunday, February 11, 2007

Hunter on Blitzer Late Edition

Duncan Hunter will today be a guest on CNN's Late Edition with Wolf Blitzer.

The Topic of discussion and the guests are as follows:

Iraqi insurgents change tactics - Is it time for the United States to chart a new course?

Plus, the other terror front, Afghanistan.

Guests - Senator Ron Wyden, D-Oregon - Select Intelligence Committee member
Senator John Cornyn, R-Texas - Armed Services Committee member
Representative Duncan Hunter, R-California - Armed Services Committee member and Presidential candidate
Lt. General Karl Eikenberry - Former Commander of U.S. forces in Afghanistan
Terry McAuliffe - Former Democratic National Committee Chair and author of “What a Party!”

Sunday, February 4, 2007

Hunter Story in USA Today

A good profile piece from USA Today on Presidential hopeful, Duncan Hunter.

2/2/07 LOS ANGELES — Rep. Duncan Hunter sees his opening in the race for the 2008 Republican presidential nomination as the conservative's conservative.

"I believe strongly in this nation that we can have a new American sunrise of opportunity, faith and freedom," he says. "I think this is a time for the type of leadership I can offer."

Hunter, 58, is a veteran congressman from eastern San Diego County who chaired the House Armed Services Committee for the last four of the dozen years that Republicans controlled the House of Representatives.


Hunter in Florida This Weekend

Duncan Hunter has been campaigning in Florida in the last few days, following on from his visit to New Hampshire early last week.

It's not the best time to be in Florida, thunderstorms and tornadoes have wreaked havoc across the state.

Hunter visited Jacksonville on Thursday and met with business leaders and veterans. On Friday, he was in Amelia Island speaking to the Board of Governors of the Council for National Policy.

Last night he was scheduled to be in Lamont, near Tallahassee for a cookout.

Thursday, January 25, 2007

Duncan Hunter is Running for President

"Let's begin this race for the American Presidency and let's win"

Rep. Duncan Hunter this morning announced that he will be seeking the Republican nomination for President of the United States.

Hunter made the announcement in the crucial early voting state of South Carolina which he called the arsenal of democracy. "Nobody wins the nomination without winning South Carolina", he said.

Hunter is a 14 term representative from California (52nd District).

A strong anti immigration and pro military advocate, Hunter is said to have little support outside of California.

And he is joining a very extensive GOP field, with more announcements expected to come in the next few weeks. Chuck Hagel is seriously considering a bid, and Mike Huckabee is in Iowa next week in what is expected to be the precursor to a run for the nomination.

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

New Border Fence Affordable - Hunter

Duncan Hunter yesterday repeated his ongoing commitment to the border security of America

Hunter said that the new border fence between America and Mexico is affordable and can be built for a lot less than some are reporting.

According to the Congressional Research Office, the cost to build the 700mile fence could be as much as $50 billion.

Hunter disputes this, saying he has seen bids from fencing companies that say it can be built for less than one twentieth of that amount.

Hunter will fight for the allocation of funds in Congress for this "..much needed and common-sense approach to achieving an enforceable border."

"Through the implementation of additional border fencing and its accompanying infrastructure, our borders will truly be our first line of defense and not our greatest vulnerability," Hunter said in a statement.

Hunter Supports Iraq Surge but says use more Iraqi Troops

Duncan Hunter has said that more Iraqi troops should be used to help secure the peace, and the training that they have undertaken under the Americans should be utilized. However, he has also supported the President Bush plan for an escalation to the war in Iraq.

Hunter said that after consulting with military leaders, President Bush has a plan and "..I think it's incumbent upon us, in light of the fact that we are engaged in combat right now, that reinforcements have been requested, that they are needed".

As a senior member of the House Armed Services Committee, Hunter has made a number of recommendations to President Bush, many of which he says have been adopted.

Hunter said that it was too soon to tell if America was winning the war, and we may not know for perhaps 5 years after America leaves.

Saturday, January 13, 2007

Hunter forms Exploratory Committee

Duncan Hunter, long term Representative from California's 52nd District, announced yesterday that he has filed papers to form an exploratory committee to run for the Republican nomination for President.

Hunter, 58, announced that he would be a candidate last October, but will formally declare in South Carolina later this month.

In his press statement, Hunter said that “Our citizens deserve a new American sunrise of opportunity, faith and freedom".

Hunter was the recent Chair of the House Armed Services Commitee before the Democratic takover of Congress. Hunter's record includes a tough stance against immigration from Mexico and trade issues with China.

Hunter is considered an outside chance for the nomination, but has already made visits to Iowa, New Hampshire and South Carolina, key early states in the Republican primaries. Expect more visits over the coming months.

Hunter has been in Congress since 1981, making him one of the most senior Representatives. However, his popularity within the GOP is said to be limited.