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Richard Viguerie: Conservative Voters Winnowing Out Moderate Candidates

by Staff
August 15, 2011
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MANASSAS, Va., ( -- The following is a statement from Richard A. Viguerie, Chairman of, regarding the withdrawal of former Governor Tim Pawlenty from the race for the Republican presidential nomination:

"Conservative voters in the Iowa Republican straw poll eliminated Tim Pawlenty from the Republican primary field and took the first step to winnow the wheat from the chaff to find the conservative standard bearer for the 2012 presidential election.

"Pawlenty's exit demonstrates a dynamic in Republican politics that few in the media grasp: It is no longer enough to appear conservative just to the liberal elites of the media. Conservative voters are demanding a Republican presidential candidate who is conservative and will govern according to conservative principles.

"To the media, Pawlenty was a conservative because his personal story was one of a man who lives by conservative principles. But his campaign failed to gain traction in Iowa or anywhere else because his record as governor--and candidate--was one of flip-flopping and compromise on fundamental conservative principles.

"On the other hand, despite their limitations as candidates, Representatives Michele Bachmann and Ron Paul thrived in Iowa because of their unwavering adherence to conservative principles.

"Inside-the-Beltway pundits and commentators will attribute Pawlenty's withdrawal to his poor performance in the FOX News debate or the tactical limitations of his campaign, but that analysis is too shallow to tell the whole story.

"The real reason Pawlenty is out is because Tea Party and grassroots conservative activists are no longer going to allow the liberal media to anoint the conservative candidate. In 2012, they will nominate a candidate who both shares their principles and can be relied upon to uphold them. Governor Pawlenty is merely the first in the field to fail that test."

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