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EDITOR OF REDSTATE

Bob Bennett: An Old Dog With an Old Schtick

I keep saying that conservatives need to take Bob Bennett out at the Utah Republican Convention. It would be relatively low cost. The odds are the GOP would keep the seat. Any of the candidates from Cheryl Eager to Mike Lee would push the seat right.Bob Bennett is the 8th most liberal Republican in the Senate from the most conservative state in the nation.He can and must be beaten. If he fails to get 60% in the Utah GOP Convention, he will be forced into a primary. If someone else gets 60%, that person automatically becomes the nominee.I don’t want to pick between the candidates — I’m partial to Eager and Lee — but if the candidates start going after each other, I will weigh in. This is about taking out Bob Bennett. The candidates need to focus on him.Here is another reason why. I’ve told you all along that Bennett was working behind the scenes to undermine the GOP effort on health care obstruction. The Heritage Foundation considers Bennett’s health care proposal worse than what Barack Obama proposed.A lot of you did not believe me or questioned it. Well, consider what he did in 1994.Fred Barnes, writing in the American Spectator in July of 1994, noted this exchange:

Republican Senator Robert Bennett of Utah didn’t like what he heard. William Kristol, who runs the Project for the Republican Future, was talking about health care last March at a retreat in Philadelphia for GOP senators. “The first duty of the opposition is to oppose,” Kristol asserted. He urged the senators—about twenty-five Republicans attended—to stake out a principled opposition to President Clinton’s health-care plan. The principles they adopt, presumably conservative ones, would steer them to a positive but decidedly non-Clinton alternative, he added.Bennett took sharp exception. “We have to be constructive,” he said. He and other senators were not sent to Washington to oppose Clinton. Their job, Bennett said, is to help govern. Not true, Kristol shot back. “If voters want their senators to help Clinton govern, they’ll send Democratic senators.”

This guy was wrong in 1994. He is wrong today. And if the GOP is ever going to reclaim any credibility with the public they must stand for something other than creeping socialism. Bob Bennett must be defeated.

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