Alexander's Column

The Patriot's 2012 GOP Candidate Ratings

By Mark Alexander · Oct. 27, 2011

The Pros and Cons

“If men of wisdom and knowledge, of moderation and temperance, of patience, fortitude and perseverance, of sobriety and true republican simplicity of manners, of zeal for the honour of the Supreme Being and the welfare of the commonwealth; if men possessed of these other excellent qualities are chosen to fill the seats of government, we may expect that our affairs will rest on a solid and permanent foundation.” –Samuel Adams, November 27, 1780

Barack Hussein Obama is in full campaign mode (not that he’s been in any other mode since 2008). Summarizing his 2012 re-election bid at a recent Hollywood fundraiser, Obama said, “This election will not be as sexy as the first one. We’ve got to grind it out a little bit. We’ve got to grind it out. I’m going to keep on pushing.”

The regrettable double entendres aside, what Obama was trying to say is, given the abject failures of his policies to restore our economy, his re-election campaign will be difficult. But make no mistake: Obama kept his promise about “fundamentally transforming the United States of America.” He has broken the back of free enterprise and consequently, seeds of discontent are sprouting in urban centers across the nation in support of his vision for Democratic Socialism.

Of course, history records that the terminus of Socialist ideology, whether it be the Marxist, Nationalist or Democratic variety, is tyranny. Therefore, this election cycle is about much more than bantering back and forth on matters of policy. It is, at its core, about the future of Liberty defended by our Founders at the dawn of our Republic.

In 2010, the “Tea Party Movement,” a term used to describe the national grassroots body of outspoken and articulate constitutional activists, emerged to restore a Republican majority in the House.

To put it simply, the Tea Party stopped Obama’s agenda from moving forward; they did so by mobilizing a conservative electorate that, last November, put a congressional restraining order on this president and his destructive policies. The 2012 presidential and congressional elections, however, must build upon that resounding conservative victory in order to reverse the socialist agenda.

To that end, next year’s presidential campaign will dominate the national debate and will ultimately determine whether Obama’s failed statist propositions will be rejected and free enterprise restored.

The critical question for conservatives is, who best to lead that debate? In the interest of restoring free enterprise and our national economy, which in turn will provide the opportunity to further reinvigorate the principles of Essential Liberty, we offer the following “pro and con” assessment of the current field of GOP presidential candidates, each of whom will be assigned a “Patriot Rating.”

Now, “pros” could be understood to mean “professionals” and “cons” could mean deceivers. In that context, there are indeed pro and con elements within some of the GOP candidates' platforms. However, our pro and con appraisals are in the context of exposing the good, bad and ugly of all candidates, as reflected by their records and platforms.

Our list of candidate pros and cons is compiled from responses to a questionnaire sent to our editors and members of our National Advisory Committee, and the responses posted are those which occurred most frequently.

Additionally, we have assigned all candidates a Patriot Rating based on comprehensive analysis of many factors. Among these are their record, experience, capability, character, leadership qualifications and, of course, a demonstrated ability to abide by their prescribed oath “to support and defend” our Constitution. We evaluate their record of defending Essential Liberty, and their support for restoration of constitutional limits upon government – including the judiciary – the promotion of free enterprise, national defense and traditional American values. The rating is from 1 to 10, the higher the better.

In short, our Patriot Rating reflects each candidate’s ability to reignite the Conservative Revolution launched by Ronald Reagan in 1980. Notably, we do not rate candidates on “electability,” as that is often a reflection of Leftmedia propaganda. Nor is a candidate’s Patriot Rating based solely on the “pros and cons,” which are just collected observations.

Many voters support candidates on the basis of one or two platform issues. However, our Patriot Rating is based upon a broad profile for each candidate, which is to say that if your favored candidate did not score as highly as you anticipated, it is likely because of platform issues or qualifications we assessed in addition to those on which you base your support.

If we could combine the best qualities of all candidates into one, the 2012 election would be won. Unfortunately, by our rating standards, the most capable leaders among the GOP slate, only merit average ratings, which is to say we do not identify any outstanding conservative among the contenders, who also has the leadership experience and capabilities to succeed as president.

However, we certainly hope that the number of constituencies represented by the GOP slate will combine forces, at the end of the primary, in support of one candidate. If that coalition holds, Obama will be defeated.

Suffice it to say that every GOP candidate has, in our assessment, more ability than Obama, who has yet to demonstrate any real skill beyond that of a smooth-talking “community organizer.” (As one of our respondents noted, “If the choice was between Obama and a mushroom, I would choose the latter.”)

Obama, however, controls a loyal constituency that will support him regardless of mitigating factors, and in the next election as with the last, his deceptive charisma will make up for his aptitude deficit. Those factors, combined with the unfortunate fact that GOP contenders continue to hack away at each other rather than at Obama, constitute Obama’s greatest re-election assets.

Let us be clear about this: At the end of this primary cycle, we WILL throw our full support behind the victor in order to defeat Barack Hussein Obama. At the same time, we will continue doing what we do best – building the ranks of Constitutional Conservatives one foot soldier at a time, until we have sufficient numbers to nominate outstanding candidates to take on the Left.


The 2012 GOP candidates, in alphabetical order:

(NOTE: As additional information and platform positions are released, Patriot Ratings may change. Visit The Patriot Post’s campaign resource page, where we’ve compiled all the 2012 presidential candidate links as well as debate transcripts and videos.)


Newt Gingrich – Patriot Rating: 8

Pros: Smarter than the rest of the slate, combined; incredibly articulate; straight up conservative with strong track record and leadership; demonstrated track record (as House Speaker); does not attack other GOP candidates; child of a career military family; an acute sense of humor; a keen sense of history; name recognition; can take Obama down with one hand in presidential debates; acts presidential; positions based on logic (his understanding of the issue), not expediency; ability to boil complex ideas down to simple core soundbites, but commands great understanding of complexities and details; Contract with America.

Cons: DC insider; notable marriage/moral issues; his grandiose plans (“moon colony”) are out of touch with current economic realities; lightning rod; list of political liabilities as long as list of career accomplishment; no military service; limited business experience; wavers on anthropogenic global warming; comes across as a policy wonk.


Ron Paul – Patriot Rating: 6

Pros: Strong constitutional advocate; articulate economic positions; energetic; energizes his adherents; served as a flight surgeon in the United States Air Force for five years; bold and brash; speaks his mind; intelligent; good family man; true libertarian. Ron Paul has earned a great debt of gratitude for elevating the debate about our Constitution and what it authorizes, to the national level.

Cons: His isolationist foreign policy is incredibly naïve and thus, dangerous; singular focus on narrow foreign policy and Federal Reserve calls into question his knowledge on the broad range of other issues; name recognition negatives; perpetual presidential candidate.


Mitt Romney – Patriot Rating: 7

Pros: Executive experience as governor; strong appearance; quick on his feet; smooth talker; high profile with the public, stemming from his 2008 presidential candidacy; accomplished businessman; acts, speaks and looks presidential; good family man; appeals to centrists; deep pockets (personal and campaign); big-name supporters; campaign organization and experience; old enough to have gravitas, not old enough to look like John McCain; good speaker; great command of most issues.

Cons: Big government establishment Republican; RomneyCare and all associated baggage; mirrors Democrat tax policies; misleading attacks on Republican opponents; political inheritance as son of George Romney (former governor of Michigan and 1968 presidential candidate); no military service; high-profile flip-flops on key conservative issues (gun control, global warming, abortion, homosexual “unions,” health care); Mormon; Massachusetts moderate to left of George W. Bush.


Rick Santorum – Patriot Rating: 6

Pros: Solid conservative; articulate on conservative positions; well-versed on both foreign and domestic policy; principled; good family man; passionate and genuine; energetic; good debater; strong grassroots appeal. Santorum has a very high “trust factor” and has done a good job of standing his ground in debates.

Cons: Not ready for Prime Time; Senate “loser” baggage; endorsed Arlen Specter, over Pat Toomey in 2004; no military service; does he have the gravitas?


(Publisher’s Note: A member of our management team is available for radio interviews and speaking engagements. Jim Cuffia, Essential Liberty Project Executive Director & Patriot Post Contributing Editor, is a seasoned radio veteran and can address the Liberty angle or just about any political topic you throw his way. To book Jim for an interview, email us at Radio@PatriotPost.US)

View all comments

734 Comments

Kim Larsen said:

This struck me out of the blue: if the Republican tent doesn't lift up a presidential candidate from its' Tea Party constituency in this election, there will not be a valid election. Legally, valid perhaps. But in terms of moral authority? Not a chance. Your highest rated candidates above, don't seem to fit that bill.

Thursday, October 27, 2011 at 12:09 PM

Tracie said:

In my opinion, Herman Cain is a Patriot above all the rest. Early American Patriots held normal jobs and took a stand on policy to safeguard the freedoms and traditions of this country. And what does "more novelty than substance" really mean here in regards to Cain? He was the first candidate to propose substantive economic solutions with real numbers and analysis to back it up. Cain has my vote!

Thursday, October 27, 2011 at 12:11 PM

ks_chem_guy said:

I don't know how the Patriot gets their rankings, but to have Cain as a 5 and Romney as a 6 is ridiculous. Mitt Romney is a RINO. He IS the establishment and will do nothing to change the Washington machine. I'm very disappointed in the Patriot Post and this analysis....WAY OFF BASE!

Thursday, October 27, 2011 at 12:13 PM

The Editor replied:

Every four years at this stage in the Republican presidential primary cycle, we publish a brief summary of [candidate pro and cons | http://patriotpost.us/alexander/2011/10/27/the-patriots-2012-gop-candidate-ratings/], and thus subject ourselves to contemptuous criticism from graduates of the "shoot the messenger" school of politics. Notably, however, the "highest ratings" this year were no better than John McCain received four years ago -- just a thin notch above average, which is far removed from an enthusiastic endorsement of any of this years candidates. By our assessment, though each candidate has their own subset of outstanding qualities, there is no candidate of the standing of a [Ronald Reagan | http://patriotpost.us/alexander/2011/02/03/the-reagan-centennial/] among the GOP contenders, and even he would not have ranked a perfect 10. If we have learned anything in all the election cycles we have endured, it is that there is no "perfect candidate," though if we could combine the strongest elements from the contenders, we could construct a perfect candidate from the GOP slate. That notwithstanding, let us repeat our conclusion: "At the end of this primary cycle, we WILL throw our full support behind the victor in order to defeat Barack Hussein Obama." We hope each of our readers will do the same.

wjm in Colorado said:

I would reverse the Gingrich/Cain ratings, as Cain is not a politician; as you write, it works both ways, and Gingrich has way too much baggage. Cain is the only candidate to date that has a plan coherent enough that he speaks to it regularly, while the others have either mirrored it or ask the interrested to "view a website". If they can't speak to a plan directly, how complicated is it, and why can't they talk about it in an interview? I also note that no candidate exceeds a 6. That is a pretty mediocre rating on a 1-10 scale.

Thursday, October 27, 2011 at 12:15 PM

wjm in Colorado said:

I also applaud the omission of Huntsman, negative ratings need not be listed.

Thursday, October 27, 2011 at 12:17 PM

Leland Stowell said:

I was leaning towards Newt for a while now and after listening to Perry, Romney, et al shoot themselves in foot I think I made a wise decision. Cain is also strong. Maybe a Gingrinch/Cain ticket?

Thursday, October 27, 2011 at 12:21 PM

Metalchemist said:

You can NOT satisfy everyone at once, But Ron Paul knows what is going on and has addressed it as well as the remedy. Some may not like the medicine but the Doctor dosen't change his diagnossis, NOR his opinion. Ron Paul is NOT a flip flopper / waffeler as I have seen all the other (posers) canidates do in the debates (if you can call them that) as well as in interviews.The status quoe is afraid of Ron Pauks message as well as being terrified of what his solution would be (could be / if elected). He is the LEAST globalist of the bunch. Is well aware of all the corryption going on in this government as well as the U.N.s meddeling in American affairs.Ron Paul in 2012.Semper Peratus . Acta Non Verba !!!!

Thursday, October 27, 2011 at 12:22 PM

James said:

I like Newt, but he has managed to shoot himself in BOTH feet !He will make a great Secretary of State !

Thursday, October 27, 2011 at 12:23 PM

Bill said:

If we get Romney or Perry we get someone the Republican Machine has picked and that just means more of the same. That is GHW Bush's NWO that punishes America and re-distributes the wealth world wide. We need an America first President please.

Thursday, October 27, 2011 at 12:24 PM

Gary D Rhodes said:

Your "objective" critique of Ron Paul is beneath contempt.His "non interventionist" foreign policy is nuts?I think playing the world's policeman for free, perpetual wars and nation building with money borrowed from China or printed up out of thin air is what's naive.Your analysis of his positions concludes that people think he's too cranky? Some people THINK he's a nut-job.He's a devout Christian. He doesn't think that his personal religious beliefs aren't a campaign issue.I will not be reading your objective opinions any more.

Thursday, October 27, 2011 at 12:24 PM

Metalchemist said:

Sorry for the typographical errors. You see I do suffer from "fat finger syndrome".

Thursday, October 27, 2011 at 12:24 PM

Ronald Christian said:

Best candite for president

Thursday, October 27, 2011 at 12:25 PM

Joshua Williams said:

I normally agree with all of your points in your Thursday essay. This piece, however, makes me question if you actually wrote it. Did you read the "pros and cons" before writing the introduction? Your claim that electability is not considered is completely false. From Congressman Paul's 'cons': "fails the "nut job" test with many voters...comes off as a crank; too narrow a support base; name recognition negatives; perpetual presidential candidate;." How is that not a consideration of electability? And given Mr. Romney's "cons", how could he receive a Patriot Rating of 6? All of his "pros" are about his electability and his cons correctly mark him as the white Obama that he is. I have always considered the Patriot Post to stand for true conservatism, but this "ranking" would better fit as a FoxNews hack job.

Thursday, October 27, 2011 at 12:26 PM

The Editor replied:

You know, no other conservative organization will venture out to rate candidates based on the criterion we established because most are too thin-skinned. Fact is, we know that doing so is going to displease just about everyone whose first choice was not in among the highest rated. Let us point out that "highest rated" in this case is just a thin notch above average, which is far removed from an endorsement of Romney, Gingrich or Perry. Fact is, by our assessment, there is no single outstanding candidate among the slate, though each candidate has there own subset of outstanding qualities. As for RON PAUL (SCREAM!!!), predictably, a full third of comments posted here are from RON PAUL (SCREAM!!!) supporters, and a number of those provide ample evidence why we noted he does not pass the "nut job" test among most conservative voters. That having been said, you will note that we clearly identified some of Rep. Paul's admirable qualities.

Brad Tupi said:

I am surprised you rated Romney so high and Santorum so low. Santorum is conservative fiscally and morally. He has a strong conservative record. His idenas on foreign policy are right out of Reagan's playbook. Rick's election loss in 2006--let's face it, that was just a Demo year. On the other hand, Rick has beaten Dem incumbents. Rick's 2004 support for Specter is a negative, I agree, but was justified by party protocol. By contrast, how can Romney justify government healthcare and statements in support of global warming, gay marriage and abortion? Santorum should be 6 or higher on your scale; Romney a 4.Keep up the good work.Brad

Thursday, October 27, 2011 at 12:26 PM

RICHARD said:

Knute is the best candidate in the race. In any case they are all much more qualified than Obama ever was.

Thursday, October 27, 2011 at 12:26 PM