The Defending The American Dream Summit being put on by Americans for Prosperity is being held in Washington DC as grassroots Americans from across this country converge on Washington and demand that Congress stop wasting taxpayers money on frivolous BS. Rallying against earmark reform was also another issue brought up a lot. Many Republican candidates came to speak about fiscal irresponsibility. You can find out more about the rally at the official website. Video of speeches are below.
I think we can all agree that wasteful spending, ridiculous earmarks and high taxes are bad.
Several bloggers are attending the event including my good friend Rob Port of Say Anything who headed to DC from his home base in North Dakota, Bruce Carroll of GayPatriot, Mary Katherine Ham of TownHall and Fausta Wertz of Fausta's Blog.
Rob supports Fred Thompson and Bruce supports Rudy Giuliani.
During Rob's trip he has marveled at the sites, confronted his congressmember on earmark reform and posed with a bum who is on a hunger strike protesting that we don't bomb Iran.
For someone who lives a long ways away from this stuff, it’s amazing to go around this city and suddenly realize that you’re standing in front of the Treasury Department or something.
I second that sentiment as when I was there in April at the Hold Their Feet To The Fire event against illegal immigration it really is quite amazing to be walking where some of our forefathers did. Of course for me it was quite disconcerting to actually have to yell at the White House to Free Our Border Agents and then marching on the Justice Department, but sometimes you have to speak up against injustice even when it means yelling at the top of your lungs at the White House.
Below are excerpts of Rob's, Bruce's and Mary Katherine's takes on the speakers. Fausta has some comments here. Click the links to read their full review. (Videos are below the commentary)
Rob on Rudy Giuliani
The main thrust of his address was taxes. He reviewed his record as a tax cutter in New York City, and it is impressive. In fact, his own review of his performance as the mayor of this country’s largest city coupled with analysis from groups like Club For Growth makes me wonder why, outside of his social liberalism, conservatives are so distrusting with him.
Bruce on Rudy Giuliani
Rudy was the first speaker to the Summit and man, did he bat the ball out of the park! He gave one of the most articulate conservative economic messages I’ve heard in quite sometime. ... Rudy made it simple: “Lower taxes work. And it isn’t just my philosophy — I did it in New York but cutting taxes 23 times and $9 Billion dollars.”
Mary Katherine Ham on Rudy Giuliani
He was really in his element with the fiscal cons, lots of applause, and didn't mention 9/11 once. He touted his fiscal record in NYC instead...
Rob on Tom Coburn
... Coburn shifted gears quickly, going from spending problems with entitlements to spending problems with earmarks. Which was disappointing. As I’ve been saying over and over again, earmarks are a very small part of our overall spending problem. If we need a “culture change,” as Coburn puts it, it should focus cuts on entitlement spending (which nobody is talking about) instead of earmark spending (which everyone is already talking about).
Apparently Ron Paul went on for too long and they started to play music to get him to leave the stage. Ron Paul supporters are now complaining that he didn't get the full time that he wanted on stage.
Rob on Ron Paul
If there’s one thing Ron Paul did at the summit it was prove just how much of a crank candidate he really is. ... But back to Paul’s speech, it was the usual mix of xenophobia (the foreigners are getting our money!), isolationism (we can’t be the world’s police!) and sheer crankish conspiracy theories (the North American Union!).
Bruce on Ron Paul
clearly this is a Ron Paul crowd. I “don’t get him”…. so I’m not elbowing my way back into the ballroom. And I have to go the bathroom something fierce. ... his general message: less government, more freedom, out of Iraq & the world.
Mary Katherine Ham on Ron Paul
This time, the word on the street is that Paul was music-ed off the stage during his speech, Oscars-style. Silenced by the establishment! ... I've asked around and it seems Paul was allotted a certain amount of time ... He spoke past his allotted time by a a decent amount and was reminded by the music, so the event could stay on-schedule.
Rob on Sam Brownback
Brownback came out and said the appropriate things about limiting government, cutting spending and cutting taxes – and I’m sure he’s got a few interesting ideas about those things (his talk of something called an optional flat tax caught my attention) – but he’s ultimately such a bland guy that I just can’t quite bring myself to care about much of anything he says.
Bruce on Sam Brownback
He’s talking about reforming the tax code… an “optional flat tax”. So far neither Brownback nor Romney have talked about the grassroots-supported “Fair Tax” concept. ... Brownback is now stating that fundraising has been difficult and his position on immigration has caused him grief in his campaigning. (As well it should…)
Good, I hope he loses all of his races due to his stance on immigration, just like all of the Americans that have lost their jobs - or had their wages decrease - due to his stance on illegal immigration.
Rob on Michael Steele
I was very impressed with Michael Steele. I became aware of the guy during his congressional race in 2006 and supported the push to install him as GOP chairman instead of Senator Mel Martinez mostly because almost anyone would have been a better pick than Martinez, but I never paid a whole lot of attention to him.
I wish I had been.
Rob on Mike Huckabee
The most exciting thing about Mike Huckabee is that I believe he’s the only Presidential candidate talking about replacing the current income tax with a consumption tax (a/k/a a national sales tax). That’s what the Fair Tax is ... Outside of that, Huckabee’s speech was the usual spiel of “let’s cut taxes” and “let’s limit spending,” but that’s a hard line to buy coming from a guy like Huckabee who has a lengthy record of raising taxes as the Governor of Arkansas ...
Rob on Fred Thompson
It’s also worth noting that Fred easily received the loudest and most rowdy reception from the crowd. It was clear to this observer who the audience wants as their candidate. ... I think the thing most people are surprised to learn about Fred is that, despite his acting career, he’s not a great speaker. His speech today was an example of that. A lot of “uhs” and “ums.” ... But what’s important in selecting a national leader isn’t so much style as substance, right? And I think it’s substance where Fred beats his only real rival in this race (Rudy Giuliani).
Mary Katherine Ham on Fred Thompson
You kind of waaaaaaaait until Fred comes back to his point, very front-porch-talkin'-style. I like that kind of thing in real life, but on the stump, it feels a little disconcerting, like you're not sure if he is gonna come back to the point and wrap it all up. It's also a possible explanation for why Fred had to ask for applause at that recent event. His style can make you a tad unsure when you're supposed to applaud. You know when to laugh, and he tells a good, dry joke, but he doesn't get fired up, leave you with an impassioned thought and let you clap it out.
Rob on Mitt Romney
I was quite surprised at the reaction he received when he took the stage. I don’t know if it’s because he was the penultimate speaker of the event or what, but people went nuts when he came on stage. It was a very strong reaction, but it had me wanting to march up to the stage, grab the microphone, and start shouting: Romneycare!
Rob on John Stossel
... let me tell you that the guy is every bit as good in person as he is on television ... He spent most of his speech talking about the nanny state, and how government is generally a poor solution to the problems of society, and made two great points. ... First, that things like drug laws tend to create more crime than they solve. ... Second, about this insistence by many that government exists to take care of us.
Defending The American Dream Summit Speech Rudy Giuliani (in 3 parts)
Defending The American Dream Summit Speech Fred Thompson (in 2 parts)
Defending The American Dream Summit Speech John McCain (in 2 parts)
Defending The American Dream Summit Speech Jim DeMint (in 2 parts)
Defending The American Dream Summit Speech Mitt Romney (in 2 parts)
Americans for Prosperity Rally for Earmark Reform (In 2 parts)
Two business owners talk to Neil Cavuto about why they attended the event.