Last fall, when Dick Morris published his latest book, 2010: Take Back America: A Battle Plan, he detailed what it would take for Republicans to take the United States House of Representatives. One of the forty races that Morris cited as a must win in his book was Iowa’s Third Congressional District, which is currently held by Congressman Leonard Boswell.
Morris was in Des Moines yesterday to strategize and lend his celebrity to help raise money for Brad Zaun’s congressional campaign. More than 100 people packed Denny and Candy Elwell’s party barn in West Des Moines for the fundraiser.
Morris was a huge hit with those in attendance. He began his remarks by saying, “Hey, I hope everybody had a nice recovery,” ribbing the National Bureau of Economic Research’s recent declaration that the recession was over.
He then launched into a multi-faceted critique of the Obama Administration’s economic polices. Morris concluded that if the recession is over and ten percent unemployment is the new normal, then President Obama has been successful in transforming America into a nation that looks like a European country. He also noted that unemployment in Europe has never fallen below nine to ten percent in recent times.
Morris contends that President Obama has used the high unemployment rates as an excuse to pass massive reforms like Obamacare, as well as other new entitlement programs and stimulus spending.
When talking about the Republicans’ chances to win majorities in the House and Senate, Morris is optimistic. He believes that Republicans will win control of both chambers. Morris then used a chess analogy to describe what Republicans need to do this fall.
Morris told the crowd, “Republicans will defeat a lot of pawns this fall, a bunch of first term Democrats who were swept into office on Obama’s coattails, but Boswell isn’t a pawn.” He referred to Boswell, a seven-term incumbent as the bishop. “In 2013 we will take the King, but we can take the queen [Pelosi] if we get Boswell this fall,” Morris quipped.
It was obvious that Morris has done his homework on Zaun’s race. He told the audience that Boswell and the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee have spent nearly $500,000 on ads beating up on Zaun. He discussed a poll that showed Zaun up by 10 points, but acknowledged that Boswell’s attacks have probably cut into Zaun’s lead.
Morris noted that the campaign thus far has been pretty one sided. He said that Republicans like Zaun don’t need to resort to negative ads. Instead, he insisted that Zaun and other Republicans around the country should focus on just four phrases – Obama Care, Stimulus, Cap and Trade, and T.A.R.P.
He said the question that needs to be presented to the voters is simple. People just nee to vote for the candidate that agrees with them. Boswell voted for Obama Care. Zaun opposes it. Boswell supports stimulus spending. Zaun does not. Boswell voted for Cap and Trade. Zaun wouldn’t. Boswell voted for T.A.R.P. Brad Zaun would have noted no.
While the direction of the country is troubling, Morris believes that it can be easily turned around. He believes that the Republicans need to put forward a proactive plan to get the economy growing again. To Morris, that means getting government “the hell out of the way.”
He advocated that Republicans remove the threat of Cap and Trade to get manufacturers moving again. He believes that all of the Bush tax cuts should be extended. Morris supports eliminating the inheritance tax so that existing businesses will continue to reinvest in their companies instead of stockpiling cash so that the company can pay the taxes that will allow them continue to exist from generation to generation.
The event with Morris was a huge success for Zaun. Morris captivated the audience for over a half hour. In addition to discussing policy, he also shared a number of stories. Many of his one-lines caused the audience to either burst into laughter or applause. At one point in his speech, Morris said, “Obama is stupid,” which was greeted by applause. He then said, “No, he’s evil.” After pausing briefly, he said, “Well, misguided.” The crowd loved it.
Morris had the crowd eating out of the palm of his hand last night. Having been to a number of candidate fundraisers over the years, I can’t remember one that would have been more entertaining. Fortunately for Zaun, the event not only helped him raise some much needed financial resources for his campaign, but it also got some key supporters excited about his campaign.
Photo by Dave Davidson
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