In a new, 50-page, first of its kind report from the political action arm of the Heritage Foundation, Republican presidential candidates were rated in six main areas: growth, opportunity, civil society, government, favoritism and national security.
While not specifically endorsing a candidate, only one candidate’s positions, analyzed by Heritage Action, came out unscathed with a near perfect assessment — Senator Ted Cruz, who has been running in third or fourth place in most national polls.
Other candidates were sharply criticized for past performance, or in the case of political newcomers with no in-office track record, for stated positions.
For example, establishment-backed RINO Jeb Bush was slammed for cronyism. In the “Favoritism” category, Heritage Actrion wrote, “Bush has shown favoritism toward Florida special interests and supports amnesty.” and in regards to “Limited Government,” the conservative group wrote, “Despite his proposals to rein in federal spending, Bush’s record and rhetoric provide insufficient assurance that he will fight for limited government policies.”
In the “Growth” area, Dr. Ben Carson was condemned for his stance on financial regulations:
Dr. Carson has aligned with liberals like Elizabeth Warren in expressing support for counterproductive financial regulations like Glass-Steagall, the repeal of which he falsely associates with the financial crisis of 2008. This raises the possibility that Dr. Carson might be sympathetic to additional anti-growth regulations of the finance sector.
Americans are looking for a president who can speak to the real anxieties they’re facing, not simply manage the status quo in Washington,” said Heritage Action CEO Michael Needham, according to the Washington Times. “They want someone that will fight the well-connected special interests and advance policies that work for everyone. Fortunately, conservatives have a deep and visionary field to choose from in this Opportunity for All, Favoritism to None primary.”
Donald Trump, who has been the frontrunner in the GOP race until recently replaced by Dr. Ben Carson in some polls, got dressed down for promoting “left-wing values” and for supporting “a variety of big-government programs.”
Senator Marco Rubio was excoriated for squishiness on farm subsidies and, as one might expect, for his support for amnesty for illegal aliens.
Rubio’s openness to policies like amnesty mars his efforts to take on the Washington establishment.
Like Rubio, Senator Rand Paul was also stung for his “openness to amnesty.”
Ted Cruz was roundly praised in every category, and applauded for leading the fight on a variety of different issues, like opposing Obamacare and government intervention in the Internet (net neutrality), as well as for fighting cronyism, and for willing to “pay a political price” for his fights.
Cruz has been willing to pay a political price for taking on government favoritism.
The Heritage Action Presidential Platform Review can be read in full HERE. It’s definitely worth a read to see where your favorite candidate stands on the issues.