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BLITZER'S BLOG: Is it too late for a new GOP candidate?
November 9th, 2011
02:57 PM ET

BLITZER'S BLOG: Is it too late for a new GOP candidate?

By CNN’s Wolf Blitzer

(CNN) - With all the turmoil surrounding the sexual harassment allegations against Herman Cain, some GOP insiders have raised this question to me in recent conversations: Is it too late for yet another Republican to jump into the race for the party’s presidential nomination?

My instinctive answer is yes – it’s too late in the game to mount an effective campaign. The Iowa caucuses are January 3.

But some Republicans still appear to be rather unimpressed with their choices.

Cain is coming under increasing pressure and scrutiny. Many worry he’s simply not ready for prime time.

Some can’t stomach front-runner Mitt Romney, given his changed positions on several sensitive issues over the years.

Rick Perry still has plenty of campaign cash, but the state and national polls show a steady and dramatic collapse since his initial splash.

There’s lots of buzz right now about the recent impressive climb by Newt Gingrich.

And there are even those who suggest Jon Huntsman can eventually emerge as a top-tier candidate.

But I can’t tell you how many GOP activists have recently whispered to me that they hoped a Jeb Bush, Paul Ryan, Sarah Palin, Chris Christie, Haley Barbour, Mitch Daniels or someone else might reconsider.

I don’t think that is going to happen.

But the fact that some serious Republicans have even mentioned that notion to me in recent days underlines their concern that their party might wind up nominating someone who loses to President Obama. Some influential Republicans are very worried.

Follow Wolf Blitzer on Twitter: @WolfBlitzerCNN

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Filed under: 2012 election • Republicans • Wolf Blitzer
soundoff (185 Responses)
  1. bk753

    I wish people would take a look at Gary Johnson. He's been in the race for months, but having a hard time being heard. He is a capable, moderate voice that could garner support from Moderates of both parties. He's a fiscal conservative and a social liberal who has broad appeal and a track record of success as Governor of New Mexico. He has rock-star popularity in his home state (a blue state, which elected him twice) and has some great ideas for how to shake up the status quo in Washington...

    November 29, 2011 at 5:02 pm |
  2. CypressSteve

    Yeah, well... the Dems aren't too impressed with their candidate, either. I mean, when even Chris Matthews turns on Obama, they've got trouble and they know it. But the question remains: So what? We are so early in the campaign that almost anything could happen.

    Wolf, your piece is simply another attempt at portraying the Republicans as weak while ignoring the discontent within the Democrat party. As a journalist, I would have expected a much more objective post from you, like: "Neither Party Thrilled with Choices."

    November 21, 2011 at 6:06 pm |
    • Ronaldo

      As far as Dr. Paul morally and lllagey rejecting abortion: as an OBGYN, he can be held lllagey accountable if he commits an act that harms an unborn child. So perhaps a woman does have a right to privacy and choice in the matter of abortion, but if we employ the same basic legal principles on parents in charge of a child's life as doctors in charge of a child's life, one could argue that the father could have grounds for pursuing tort justice against the mother. Just my two cents worth.

      April 5, 2012 at 10:19 am |
  3. John Pasley

    I watch your show every night and it is one of the best news show on T.V. period! With regards to the debate tonight...screw the security questions!Asked them again what their going to do about the fiasco going on in Washington.
    As you can see today from the markets,David Gergen,etc.,The greatest security threat in the U.S. today is not terrorists,Iran,China,Afganistan or nuclear weapons;It from your own politcans within!!!!Your polarized politicians are taking the "greastest country on earth"apart one piece at a time.You never have to worry about being attacked because everyone in the rest of the world is sitting back watching you all self destruct, because of the people you have been duped into electing.It is a very relevent question.If something isn't done soon,even if one these candidates becomes President,It could be a very different country they take control of this time next year.What Americans do or don't do about this will greatly effect my country as well the rest of the world greatly whether they admit it or not!

    John Pasley

    November 21, 2011 at 3:42 pm |
  4. dingleberry

    Ron Paul/Gary Johnson for pres. and VP... otherwise I'm moving to Canada... Both parties should be outlawed IMO.

    November 10, 2011 at 4:41 pm |
  5. dkc1978

    So I was right about a particular Presidential candidate being totally ignored CNN. Your "moderators" deleted all three posts I wrote about the candidate I support who is getting no airtime because he is not beholden to your media machine. So much for fairness, balance and integrity in journalism.

    November 10, 2011 at 1:30 pm |
  6. Ken in Victoria BC

    Dear Mr. Wolf Bliter
    I really enjoyed your comment but enjoyed your readers comments even more. Mr. Ron Paul certainly has a well deserved and faithful following. I suggest he has good ideas and would make a good President only for a minority of your population. Mr. Obama remains the best choice for the majority. From day one GOP supporters have done everything in their power to defeat him in the next election. Result has been a disaster to the American Public and only resulted in feeding their big fat egos.
    In Canada, we are struck with a right wing leader who is basically a dictator. So many policies are against the wishes of the majority. However, he only considers his 40% knowing that is enough to obtain a majority of seats. In the last election, four major parties where reduced to three. The two opposition parties remaining are close to agreeing on policies and for the good of Canada should unite.
    As for your country, the Tea Party policies dominated the 2010 election. Hopefully, the Occupy movement will prevail in 2012. Returning to the question asked, if I voted in your country I would just write in the names Jack and Wolf.

    November 10, 2011 at 10:52 am |
  7. Rosalie Bhatnagar

    The Tea Party and 2010 has imploded the Republican Party. Republicans in the primary have to lean so far to the Extreme Right to appeal to those on the fringe, so any sensible (moderate) Republican is not going to run. They will wait until the Congress is culled of those people and the mentality of most Americans has dropped back to some level of sanity, then go for 2016. Unfortunately that's the way it is. Perhaps after 2012 Obama will have a congress that can read the new lines in the sand and they will be more willing to compromise. I hope so.

    November 10, 2011 at 9:39 am |
  8. Nash

    Why are people asking about Ron Paul and Gary Johnson? If this people are polling lower than the alleged front runners, how in the hell will they get nominated by those Republicans and win in the general elections? I like Huntsman, but he would probably be successful in 2016 or 2020. This is not the time or place for him. Face it Ron Paul supporters, he will never be nominated and even if he ran as an independent he would lose. Period.

    November 10, 2011 at 9:17 am |
  9. RJ in California

    Unfortunately for America Ron Paul will never win the Republican nomination. He's a true conservative which means he's fiscally conservative and pro individual freedom, unlike all the rest of these Republican clowns that are faux conservatives using various degrees of laughably unworkable fiscal plans to get their foot in the door so they can ultimately engage in a social engineering strategy to strip away our individual freedoms. I would like to see Ron Paul run as an Independent candidate and give the millions of us independent voters someone we can back. I can only barely tolerate Democrats, but I would never vote for any Republican as that party stands for intolerance to individual freedom, religious intolerance, and a misogynist attitude toward women.

    November 10, 2011 at 8:49 am |
  10. dkc1978

    What I would like to know is why the media is ignoring Buddy Roemer?

    November 10, 2011 at 8:10 am |
  11. Don1966

    If either one had any guts, Ron Paul or Donald Trump (neither will get the GOP nod) should run as indepenedents. They won't show up on the ballot, though. Yawn.

    November 10, 2011 at 7:25 am |
  12. Mr Stubbs

    RON PAUL should have been the front-runner from the start. He is the only GOP candidate who will actually get votes from both democrats and republicans alike (because he makes sense regardless of your party). That is what makes him the only GOP candidate that can actually win. He just needs his party to realize this and then step up and throw their support behind him istead of pretending like he does not exist.

    November 10, 2011 at 6:28 am |
  13. tomo

    Let's have a rematch.
    Obama vs McCain

    November 10, 2011 at 12:56 am |
  14. manny oliver

    The GOP has created the best soap opera on TV, but they have no leading man or women.

    November 9, 2011 at 11:46 pm |
  15. O from DC

    I'm a democrat,I'm an President Obama supporter but if Ralph Nader were to run, then I could vote for him... Maybe Ron Paul but I'd need to do more research. I almost feel bad for the GOP... Well, not really lol, you guys are getting what you deserve. Republicans would've been able to beat Obama if they would have worked more with each other in congress. The constant filibustering, and hating has made Americans feel like republicans need to be removed period!

    November 9, 2011 at 11:38 pm |
  16. Greg, Ontario

    Wolf you guys can't even comment on a blog without throwing darts at each other how in the name of god can the GOP pick a leader? The biggest problem is the GOP doesn't really have anyone that can do a better job than President Obama has done or will do in the next 5 years. Mit what's his name is running because he can afford to run this time (and the next time) until he gets the office. As a friend looking in it's obvious to me the man America really needs is Ron Paul but that fact alone means he won't win. All my prayers America.

    November 9, 2011 at 8:01 pm |
    • Alkali

      As a liberal, i would consider voting for Ron Paul. The man is not insane, that already sets him miles ahead of the other candidates. But that is why he wont win, he just makes too much sense. A catch 22 if i ever saw one.

      November 10, 2011 at 8:24 am |
    • Lovneet

      libertarian and tea party foednur Dr. Ron Paul. ?? Help me out here, isn't Mr. Paul a Republican? Also, are we sure he is the tea party foednur? With a false lead-in to the story, why bother with the rest of it, since it too may just be slanted and a wast of time.

      September 9, 2012 at 1:17 am |
  17. Mike C

    Influential Republicans are worried about losing the next election? I'm sorry, I don't see what the problem is. This is good news.

    November 9, 2011 at 7:55 pm |
  18. skydiverc

    I hate to say it but as much as I dislike Obama, from what I've seen from the GOP there's no contest.
    Better to go with the devil you know......heaven help us.

    November 9, 2011 at 7:48 pm |
  19. Your Panties

    Ron Paul is still the best man for the job.

    November 9, 2011 at 7:31 pm |
    • dingleberry

      Agreed.. if RP isnt elected president RIP America...

      November 10, 2011 at 4:37 pm |
  20. anonymous

    AMAZING! Another article about the Republican nominee that completely ignores Ron Paul! I can't say I blame you though. Whether you're CNN, Fox or MSNBC – a guy like Ron Paul has to potential to turn your world upside down. It's absolutely in your best interest to back establishment candidates and preserve the status quo. Nicely done.

    November 9, 2011 at 7:24 pm |
    • David

      With the exception that Ron Paul has never had a chance on any poll I've ever seen at beating Obama. He is chronically unelectable. Good guy though. That is too bad.

      November 10, 2011 at 8:35 am |
  21. Glyn Jeffries

    It doesn't really matter.who the candidate is. Obama is a one-termer

    November 9, 2011 at 7:20 pm |
    • Pepinium

      Glyn, maybe in your world, irrational moral certitude is of great value, and you can simply bend reality to your will by merely wishing it. Hate to break it to you but in this here reality, people are more upset at the Tea Party-controlled Congress than they are at Obama. Most people are VERY upset and this election is going to be about punishing those viewed as responsible for letting the elite get away with the rape of America. Get ready for 5 more years of Obama.

      November 9, 2011 at 8:49 pm |
    • SKS

      Glyn, you are so blinded by the one term Michele Bachman chant. Just watch this space next year on the day after elections on wednesday November 7th 2012, just keep an eye on this CNN wont be a Republican Pres. declared winner.

      November 9, 2011 at 9:56 pm |
    • Hawk in Texas

      After what the republicans have done to this country in the last 10 years how could any one even consder one of them. even ron paul and it could be that he has alzhimers he wants to finish destroying america. by doing away with every thing but the job of president which these nut jobs all seem to want but it is a funny thing that they all want to do away with every thing but tax cuts for the uber wealthy. wake up people.

      November 9, 2011 at 11:49 pm |
    • David

      Obama v. Perry? Would probably be Obama. Obama v. Cain? Probably Obama again. Obama v. Ron Paul? Again Obama. Obama v. Gengrich or Romney... who knows. You have the crystal ball, why don't you shed some light on how that is easy for the Republicans?

      November 10, 2011 at 8:37 am |
  22. parker

    And the only people paying attention to Ron Paul are those participating in the straw polls, because the media certainly isn't. WHy is that? Because he hasn't fondled women while married? Because God didn't tell him to run for President? Because his religion isn't better than the other candidates religion? Because he isn't pretty for the tv? The media is only interested in covering dirty or photogenic candidates, and Ron Paul is neither. Someone said the media covers candidates on those two points – looking photogenic or dirt to clean off. And that is because the media talking heads dont know anything about journalism, never mind what distinguishes a good candidate from a flake. Most of the media didn't know about JFK's trespasses, and didn't acknowledge that one of our President's was wheelchair bound (do your own research). How are they to take Ron Paul seriously if they don't look into his positions and background?

    November 9, 2011 at 7:10 pm |
    • David

      The reason is self evident. Look at his stage presence – or lack of it. He is simply a wisp of a man with a whiny voice. Doesn't have the appearance of a president, and never did. He has some consistent and good ideas, but it is hard for me to imagine why people don't think he is electable. If I recall right, he did very badly against Obama in the 'what if' matchups.

      November 10, 2011 at 8:40 am |
  23. Jay L

    I am a life long Republican and completely agree, Wolf. I have not been "swept off my feet" by anyone as of yet. I even asked someone this week myself if it was too late for someone to jump in right now. I guess as long as it is anyone but Obama in the White House I can deal with that for four years and then hope someone new emerges.

    November 9, 2011 at 6:59 pm |
  24. Mark

    Interesting that Ron Paul was not mentioned at all in the above article. Ironically, he is the only Republican in the picture above who would win against Obama. Not only would he get all the GOP voters and most of the independents, but a lot of Democrats would jump the fence to vote for him.

    November 9, 2011 at 6:57 pm |
    • Tyler D

      This is very true. People who say that Ron Paul stands no chance against Obama are crazy. In my mind he has the best chance against Obama.

      November 10, 2011 at 7:11 pm |
      • Roxanna

        Your's is the intelligent aporpcah to this issue.

        December 24, 2011 at 12:22 pm |
  25. Dennis1020

    As long as the Republicans pander to the Tea Party, they have no chance against President Obama. The problem in American politics these days is the primary elections, with the fringe on both ends of the political spectrum controlling the outcome. When the general election comes around, the American voter has to decide which candidate is the lesser evil. The "Silent Majority" (and that is not the right wing that Nixon/Agnew referred to) is really the majority in the middle of the political spectrum, but their decency and goodwill are obscured by the shrill voices of the far Left and far Right.

    November 9, 2011 at 6:56 pm |
  26. sunlight99

    Yes, I would love a new candidate. The current party candidate is a huge FAIL that I cannot support for 2012. I don't want to vote for the other party but there seems very little choice....

    Go Hillary 2012 (NOBAMA)

    November 9, 2011 at 6:55 pm |
  27. QuietStormX

    Smart people know to come up against President Barack Obama is going to be really tough. Let alone that the lowly republicans fighting to breakout of the pack, and looks, sound good to the american public. All you hear are the old stuff and not taking ownership of the past economy they left and lied about to the end.No way to solve the jobs issue or get us into the future and beyond. Just rehashing the past, tax cuts and less rules or overturning the fixes done by President Obama. I predict the Democrats will regain the HOUSE and get things done that wern't y the republicans. Lots still need to be done without the lowly republicand in the way.

    November 9, 2011 at 6:54 pm |
  28. Jueceman

    Ron Paul should be the front runner, but u know the media, they just feed into stupidity

    November 9, 2011 at 6:48 pm |
  29. lvm

    Gary Johnson. The people's president. Wolf, why is the media ignoring Gary Johnson? And why is he getting the run around on the polls and being excluded from the debates?

    November 9, 2011 at 6:47 pm |
  30. GOPisGreedOverPeople

    Just think. When the republicans regain power, they will start a war with Iran (totally unfunded of course). Then we can draft all the Poor people to fight (die) in the war (just like republicans want) and we can give "no bid" contracts to the rich people. Killing two birds with one stone!! We can use Iran's oil to pay for the war. And when the war is over, Iran will sell us cheap oil!! Just like Iraq!!!!.........Oh wait......Never mind.

    November 9, 2011 at 6:46 pm |
  31. Eric

    All of the Republicans running are anti-science no-nothings. Romney is a worm, Cain a joke, Bachman an idiot, Gingrich has managed to be on the wrong side of every issue since Bill Clinton chased him out of office, Ron Paul is Ron Paul and always will be, Huntsman, who would be a good candidate, is too moderate for suicidal conservatives, and Santorum proves that if you can't find a job, might as well run for President. Oh, and Rick Perry...gimme a break!

    November 9, 2011 at 6:41 pm |
  32. John N Florida

    I'm just waiting to see how long it takes Romney to FLOP on his backing of Ohio Issue 2. It lost by better than 61% with more votes against it than Kasich had FOR his Governor run. Romney came out last week 100% FOR Issue 2.
    It's going to be interesting to see how he tries to spin this one.

    November 9, 2011 at 6:27 pm |
  33. yourmom

    Attention all you Ron Paul losers! He's not gonna win, no one in the media is gonna "profile" him more exclusively etc. Let it go, we all know you love him...we get it.

    November 9, 2011 at 6:24 pm |
    • dingleberry

      I dont know you but it appears you are very misguided... theres a REASON why Ron Paul has such deep support... Google is a better source of enlightenment than any of the mainstream media outlets.. i suggest you use it.

      November 10, 2011 at 4:58 pm |
  34. JoePublic

    Sounds like another story with no backing or proof. Who whispered in his ear – Obama, Biden, Clinton or the little birdie. Back up your stories with proof or shut up

    November 9, 2011 at 6:22 pm |
  35. Debbie

    YES! Since January 2009 the GOP has stated their mission was to make Obama a one term President. They had plenty of time to come up with qualified candidates. Several of the ones they have had ran before so those were already vetted. The flurry of candidate of the month just makes the GOP look desperate.

    November 9, 2011 at 6:11 pm |
  36. Jose Figueroa

    Wolf, this is exactly why the country is in a mess. If we had a media that could think for themselves, rather than read what has been told to them to read, the country would be better informed. There is 1 candidate that can and will beat Obama in 2012, and that is Ron Paul. Just like the Occupy movement which you ignored, we will prevail and do the real journalism that CNN has forgotten. No longer will this and other media outlets tell We The People how we should vote. Ron Paul 2012

    November 9, 2011 at 6:09 pm |
    • RenDoc

      I just don't get you Ron Paul supporters. First of all, he's too old at this point. And while his ideas are quite good, his practical approach is way too extreme. Things like cutting a trillion in 1 year? Seriously? The guy sounds a little crazy.

      November 10, 2011 at 2:05 am |

    Republicans are unimpressed with their choices because none of their candidates have real, reasonable solutions to the problems we face. They are just pandering to different groups in 2000 type campaigns. I think they're learned their lesson, because they recognize now that the last Republican to be President put us into a death spiral! Obama took the controls and all he's been able to do is pull up, overcorrecting probably.
    And part of the blame lies with you, Wolf. The media sensationalize everything you can, and real, reasonable solutions are very boring.

    November 9, 2011 at 6:02 pm |
  38. Craig from Pa.

    Throw your hat in there Wolf!!

    November 9, 2011 at 5:57 pm |
    • steveareno

      CNN (Censored News Network) is on a mission to persuade voting results. They want us to think that they know all future outcome (remember where they vehemently stood concerning the future verdict in the Casey Anthony trial). They have a long running history of this behavior. Of course they don't like my comment, so you won't see it posted here for long.

      November 9, 2011 at 6:17 pm |
  39. DrEJG

    New candidate? Not necessary. If you, the media, would start paying attention and be a journalist about Ron Paul's policies, then you wouldn't be searching for a "new" candidate!

    November 9, 2011 at 5:56 pm |
    • LNB

      I agree. Paul is the only person who should be hthecandidate. I am a Democrat, but he is the only one qualified. I bet Palin is reconsidering......if it is not too late, I am sure thoughts are bumbling around in her small cranial cavity.

      November 9, 2011 at 6:02 pm |
    • Rick

      The press is scared of Ron Paul because the corporations are scared of Ron Paul. I'm surprised they put your post up,

      November 9, 2011 at 6:13 pm |
    • Pablo695

      Agree that Paul would be an excellent choice to fix the problems, but the GOP Nazi's will never nominate or vote for him because he would close down their pig trough.

      Party First, baby, Party First – Paul wants to help the citizens of the USA where as the GOP wants to help the GOP (and only the GOP). Hence, Paul will NEVER get the nod from the GOP. Pity

      November 9, 2011 at 6:18 pm |
    • Howard in Allexandria, VA

      Oh, pulleeease! Get this through your head. Americans don't elect mere congressmen to the Presidency. They elect sitting and former governors and U.S. senators, and the occasional victorious general. The depth of your ideological convictions are blinding you to the political realities.

      November 9, 2011 at 7:08 pm |
    • Ron Paul

      Ron Paul!

      November 9, 2011 at 7:33 pm |
      • Chinedu

        I sure wish Ron Paul wasn't such a lassez faire citapilast. It's true that the system would be more honest under him, but he would pull the rug out from under too many people.

        May 21, 2012 at 4:07 am |
    • Gezellig

      Ron Paul's problem is not that people don't know his policies, it is his policies. Perhaps someday enough Americans will be convinced of his positions to make him electable; but for now, he just has a small group of devotees. This will not get him elected at the present time. I just wish his devotees would stop treating his low poll numbers is due to some conspiracy.

      November 9, 2011 at 7:43 pm |
    • HHN1999

      Lets be real for a second. Paul's policy may or may not be good, but he just doesn't have enough appeal to get conservative repubs or independent.

      November 9, 2011 at 7:49 pm |
  40. Cody (D.C.)



    November 9, 2011 at 5:56 pm |
  41. Tyler D

    Wolf, I have always had nothing but respect for you as a journalist but why are you completely ignoring Ron Paul. He has won several straw polls and is in the top 3 in nearly every major poll. Paul is ideologically consistent, has tons of experience, and is a true conservative, someone who could appeal to republicans and moderate voters. Your failure to mention him in your blog makes me only more sure that the media is trying to bury his campaign. Your pretty much as open-minded as they come and you still were more willing to mention Huntsman then Ron Paul. Huntsman?! That's just ridiculous.

    November 9, 2011 at 5:55 pm |
    • Rick

      He's probably not allowed to mention Ron Paul's name. After all Ron Paul does not believe corporations are people.

      November 9, 2011 at 6:15 pm |
  42. 40acres

    Perhaps it isn't the candidates but the message.

    November 9, 2011 at 5:55 pm |
  43. Goodguy1

    I don't believe we even know what a qualified candidate is these days. We have no deal makers or reality talkers running for President on either side. I think we have a lot of bad days coming and we will be powerless to change things because our folks on The Hill won't stop lining their pockets or feeding their massive egos.

    November 9, 2011 at 5:54 pm |
  44. DavidE7

    Mike Huckabee was THE most popular Republican candidate before he announced he would not be running in 2012. Yet he is never mentioned in these articles about finding another Republican candidate. It can be surmised that the complete and long-running freeze-out by the mainstream media is the reason he decided not to run. The establishment is not going to tolerate any candidate who has the guts to threaten the status quo. All the more reason we should all try to perceive who the media is ignoring and support them with all our hearts.

    November 9, 2011 at 5:50 pm |
  45. John Smith

    I don't believe there is any Republican qualified to be President anyway. One more or one less candidate won't make any difference.

    November 9, 2011 at 5:49 pm |
    • Paul Lindblad

      If Obama was qualified than most Republicans are over qualified!

      November 9, 2011 at 5:59 pm |
      • Jueceman

        Obviously you haven't seen Obama's resume.

        November 9, 2011 at 6:50 pm |
      • Bill in Florida

        We've heard this story for 3.5 years now. Can't you think of something original? Besides, Obama is indisputably the incumbent President of the United States, so by definition has far more qualifications than all the GOP candidates combined. Only Carter, Bush I, Clinton, and Bush II have equal experience to Obama.

        November 9, 2011 at 7:34 pm |
      • Rosalie Bhatnagar

        Yes Paul Lindblad. And the correct word there in your sentence is 'then' not 'than' so I guess you are not qualified to run.

        November 10, 2011 at 9:45 am |
    • A Messenger

      Agree but it is not just the candidate it is their message. They are so out of step with the American public that the "WHO" is a non event. All the cantidates want to satisfy their base even be it a minority. What has happened to the base called America and Americans? Caught between the two extremes? Is it time for a candidate from a new party? One who represents America and Americans?

      December 16, 2011 at 11:11 am |
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