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The Romney Statement: Not Running. “I’ve decided it is best to give other leaders in the Party the opportunity to become our next nominee.”

Friday, January 30, 2015  |  posted by Hugh Hewitt

I’ve been emailed this text of remarks Mitt Romney will be making to his supporters shortly:

Let me begin by letting you know who else is on this call, besides Ann and me. There are a large number of people who signed on to be leaders of our 2016 finance effort. In addition, state political leadership from several of the early primary states are on the line. And here in New York City, and on the phone, are people who have been helping me think through how to build a new team, as well as supporters from the past who have all been kind enough to volunteer their time during this deliberation stage. Welcome, and thank you. Your loyalty and friendship, and your desire to see the country with new, competent and conservative leadership warms my heart.

After putting considerable thought into making another run for president, I’ve decided it is best to give other leaders in the Party the opportunity to become our next nominee.

Let me give you some of my thinking. First, I am convinced that with the help of the people on this call, we could win the nomination. Our finance calls made it clear that we would have enough funding to be more than competitive. With few exceptions, our field political leadership is ready and enthusiastic about a new race. And the reaction of Republican voters across the country was both surprising and heartening. I know that early poll numbers move up and down a great deal during a campaign, but we would have no doubt started in a strong position. One poll out just today shows me gaining support and leading the next closest contender by nearly two to one. I also am leading in all of the four early states. So I am convinced that we could win the nomination, but fully realize it would have been difficult test and a hard fight.

I also believe with the message of making the world safer, providing opportunity to every American regardless of the neighborhood they live in, and working to break the grip of poverty, I would have the best chance of beating the eventual Democrat nominee, but that is before the other contenders have had the opportunity to take their message to the voters.

 I believe that one of our next generation of Republican leaders, one who may not be as well known as I am today, one who has not yet taken their message across the country, one who is just getting started, may well emerge as being better able to defeat the Democrat nominee. In fact, I expect and hope that to be the case.

I feel that it is critical that America elect a conservative leader to become our next president. You know that I have wanted to be that president. But I do not want to make it more difficult for someone else to emerge who may have a better chance of becoming that president. You can’t imagine how hard it is for Ann and me to step aside, especially knowing of your support and the support of so many people across the country.   But we believe it is for the best of the Party and the nation.

I’ve been asked, and will certainly be asked again if there are any circumstances whatsoever that might develop that could change my mind. That seems unlikely. Accordingly, I’m not organizing a PAC or taking donations; I’m not hiring a campaign team.

I encourage all of you on this call to stay engaged in the critical process of selecting a Republican nominee for President. Please feel free to sign up on a campaign for a person who you believe may become our best nominee.

I believe a Republican winning back the White House is essential for our country, and I will do whatever I can to make that happen.

To all my supporters, friends and family who worked both tirelessly and loyally to support my campaigns in the past, I will always be deeply appreciative. What you have already done is a tribute to your patriotism. We are overwhelmed and humbled by your loyalty to us, by your generosity of spirit, and by your friendship. God bless you all.

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The New Terror Network

Friday, January 30, 2015  |  posted by Hugh Hewitt

A chilling article this morning from the Wall Street Journal’s Noemie Bisserbe, Benoit Faucon and Stacy Meichtry details the existence and effectiveness of “an underground railroad” for jihandists, linking ISIS-land and Europe.  The key finding:

Islamic State’s ability to provide safe harbor to friends and family removes potential obstacles for would-be attackers in the West. They no longer need to be part of a terror group’s rank-and-file to benefit from its resources, according to Western counterterrorism officials and people close to militant networks.

The West has confronted terror networks before, as famously detailed in Claire Sterling’s book with that title of nearly 35 years ago.  But then, even in the Carter years, the West was serious about finding and stopping terrorists even as they moved secretly and with the well-financed backing of nation states as large and powerful as the Soviet Union.  Courts did not seek to intervene and interfere with investigations into the networks, almost wholly rejected the idea of “terrorist” as “criminal,” as opposed to a combatant wen they were part of a gang or a movement.

Now the senior levels of the Obama Administration seems to spend more time quarreling with Israel than it does alerting the public to the danger that exists and is growing.  Indeed, the now infamous “are the Taliban terrorists” exchanges in the White House press room underscore just how confused and adrift the president and his team are on the central issue of the age.  Of course another 9/11 is the objective of the newest terror network –and the old one run since 1978 by the Islamic Republic of Iran– and the professionals are doing their best to stop it (them) from happening, but the same underground railroad that gave Hayat Boumeddiene all the assistance she needed can move material of any sort, including the worst things that can be found in all of ISIS occupied Iraq and Syria, Iran has been able to arm Hezbollah to the teeth using its own means of distribution, and don’t forget our new “friends” in Cuba have recently tried to ship arms to the North Koreans.

Networks of bad guys everywhere, and a president who can’t even name the enemy.  Tick, tick, tick.

Congressman Mike Pompeo On The New Document Dump On The Benghazi Committee

Thursday, January 29, 2015  |  posted by Hugh Hewitt

Congressman Mike Pompeo is a member of the House Select Committee on Benghazi and he joined me today to discuss the massive document dump on the Committee by the Department of State and plans for the appearance of former Secretary of State Clinton before the Select Committee:

Audio:

01-29hhs-pompeo

Transcript:

HH: Joined now by Congressman Mike Pompeo representing Kansas’ 4th Congressional District. You can follow the Congressman @RepMikePompeo on Twitter. Congressman, thank you for joining me. It’s always a pleasure to talk to you.

MP: It’s great to be with you, Hugh. How are you today?

HH: Good. It’s a busy day, I’m sure, on the Intelligence Committee with a massacre in Egypt and I mean, the Hezbollah attacking Israelis and a coup in Yemen. I don’t know if you’ve had any time to spend on the Benghazi Select Committee today. Was that anything going on there today?

MP: So we had a hearing this week where we basically were calling the administration to task for having continued to refuse to provide us documents. And it won’t surprise you, Hugh, a handful of days before the hearing, all of a sudden, they started turning over all kinds of stuff. And so we did get some documents, 15,000 pages of documents that so far as we can tell, no member of Congress has seen before. I don’t know why they were kept from previous committees. We are now plowing through those. But the list is not yet complete. We’ve got lots of witnesses left to talk to, and go over a whole bunch of documents that have not been turned over. Continue Reading

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