Transcript: Republican National Convention platform statement on restoring constitutional government

Edited by Jenny Jiang

Click here to download the 2012 Republican National Convention Platform “We Believe in America” (PDF)

Transcript of Republican National Convention platform statement by Jim Bopp, Vice Chair of the Indiana Republican Party and Co-chair of the RNC Platform Subcommittee on Restoring Constitutional Government, on Aug. 21, 2012:

“This election is about big things, and there’s nothing bigger than the United States Constitution.

“You know, the United States Constitution was a very radical development in the history of the world. For the first time, it was the people controlling the government rather than the government controlling the people.

“The Constitution was based on the idea of the consent of the governed and that our citizens were actually engaged in an exercise of self-government.

“Now, the United States Constitution guarantees a limited government so that the people will have the maximum freedom to pursue their life’s dreams. And of course, this has resulted in the freest and most prosperous country in the history of the world – something that all people throughout the world seek to emulate.

“The Obama administration, however, has taken numerous steps to put out this flame of freedom by defying the protections of the United States Constitution.

“Our subcommittee on restoring constitutional government addresses these big and fundamental issues for the first time in a separate section in our platform.

“We started with an excellent 6-page draft, and after the consideration actually, Mr. Chairman, of some 100 amendments I think that I can say that we have met the challenge to develop a section that celebrates the promise of our U.S. Constitution.

“That, second, explains how the Obama White House has shown utter disregard for many of our constitutional guarantees as it grabs unprecedented executive power and how our Republican Party respects the genius of our founders in framing our constitution and how it will restore that vision. Many substantive issues are addressed in this section.

“We condemn the Obama administration’s violation of the rule of law by exercising authority in defiance of acts of Congress and the United States Constitution in calling for a balanced budget amendment.

“We condemn judicial activism and call for constitutional amendments to protect traditional marriage and to restore legal protection for the unborn.

“We support the separation of powers set out in our Constitution and the federalist system against the assaults by the Obama administration.

“We support the electoral college and oppose the national popular vote and interstate compact.

“We affirm measures for the support and protect the integrity of our election system, particularly the right to vote.

“We condemn the Obama administration’s war on religion and affirm the First Amendment’s protection of free exercise of religion. We support the First Amendment’s freedom of speech and call for the repeal of the remaining provisions of McCain-Feingold and for repealing contribution limits to candidates and political parties.

“We support the Second Amendment’s right to keep and bear arms and advocate further protection of that right.

“We urge measures to be taken to protect the Fourth Amendment against unreasonable searches and seizures and the Fifth Amendment’s protection of private property from being taken by the government.

“We urge a respect for the Ninth and Tenth Amendments, which protect the rights of the people and the states against encroachment by the federal government.

“We support the protection of the flag and the recitation of the Pledge of Allegiance.

“And we oppose the use of foreign laws in interpreting U.S. statutes and our U.S. Constitution.”

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3 Comments on “Transcript: Republican National Convention platform statement on restoring constitutional government

  1. Pingback: Republican National Convention 2012: Platform Committee Statements | What The Folly?!

  2. In 1969, The U.S. House of Representatives voted for a national popular vote by a 338–70 margin. It was endorsed by Richard Nixon, Gerald Ford, and various members of Congress who later ran for Vice President and President such as then-Congressman George H.W. Bush, and then-Senator Bob Dole.

    Jason Cabel Roe, a lifelong conservative activist and professional political consultant wrote in National Popular Vote is Good for Republicans: “I strongly support National Popular Vote. It is good for Republicans, it is good for conservatives . . . , and it is good for America. National Popular Vote is not a grand conspiracy hatched by the Left to manipulate the election outcome.
    It is a bipartisan effort of Republicans, Democrats, and Independents to allow every state – and every voter – to have a say in the selection of our President, and not just the 15 Battle Ground States.

    National Popular Vote is not a change that can be easily explained, nor the ramifications thought through in sound bites. It takes a keen political mind to understand just how much it can help . . . Republicans. . . . Opponents either have a knee-jerk reaction to the idea or don’t fully understand it. . . . We believe that the more exposure and discussion the reform has the more support that will build for it.”

    Former Tennessee U.S. Senator and 2008 presidential candidate Fred Thompson(R), former Illinois Governor Jim Edgar (R), and former U.S. Representative Tom Tancredo (R-CO) are co-champions of National Popular Vote.

    National Popular Vote’s National Advisory Board includes former Senators Jake Garn (R–UT), and David Durenberger (R–MN) and former congressman John Buchanan (R–AL).

    Saul Anuzis, former Chairman of the Michigan Republican Party for five years and a former candidate for chairman of the Republican National Committee, supports the National Popular Vote plan as the fairest way to make sure every vote matters, and also as a way to help Conservative Republican candidates. This is not a partisan issue and the NPV plan would not help either party over the other.

    Rich Bolen, a Constitutional scholar, attorney at law, and Republican Party Chairman for Lexington County, South Carolina, wrote:”A Conservative Case for National Popular Vote: Why I support a state-based plan to reform the Electoral College.”

    Some other supporters who wrote forewords to “Every Vote Equal: A State-Based Plan for Electing the President by National Popular Vote ” include:

    Laura Brod served in the Minnesota House of Representatives from 2003 to 2010 and was the ranking Republican member of the Tax Committee. She was the Minnesota Public Sector Chair for ALEC (American Legislative Exchange Council) and active in the Council of State Governments.

    James Brulte served as Republican Leader of the California State Assembly from 1992 to 1996, California State Senator from 1996 to 2004, and Senate Republican leader from 2000 to 2004.

    Ray Haynes served as the National Chairman of the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) in 2000. He served in the California State Senate from 1994 to 2002 and was elected to the Assembly in 1992 and 2002

    Dean Murray is a member of the New York State Assembly. He was a Tea Party organizer before being elected to the Assembly as a Republican, Conservative Party member in February 2010. He was described by Fox News as the first Tea Party candidate elected to office in the United States.

    Thomas L. Pearce served as a Michigan State Representative from 2005–2010 and was appointed Dean of the Republican Caucus. He has led several faith-based initiatives in Lansing.

    * * *

    Support for a national popular vote is strong among Republicans, Democrats, and Independent voters, as well as every demographic group in virtually every state surveyed in recent polls

    By state (Electoral College votes), by political affiliation, support for a national popular vote in recent polls has been:

    Alaska (3) — 66% among (Republicans), 70% among Nonpartisan voters, 82% among Alaska Independent Party voters
    Arkansas (6) — 71% (R), 79% (Independents).
    California (55) – 61% (R), 74% (I)
    Colorado (9) — 56% (R), 70% (I).
    Connecticut (7) — 67% (R)
    Delaware (3) — 69% (R), 76% (I)
    DC (3) — 48% (R), 74% of (I)
    Florida (29) — 68% (R)
    Idaho(4) – 75% (R)
    Iowa (6) — 63% (R)
    Kentucky (8) — 71% (R), 70% (I)
    Maine (4) – 70% (R)
    Massachusetts (11) — 54% (R)
    Michigan (16) — 68% (R), 73% (I)
    Minnesota (10) — 69% (R)
    Montana (3)- 67% (R)
    Mississippi (6) — 75% (R)
    Nebraska (5) — 70% (R)
    Nevada (5) — 66% (R)
    New Hampshire (4) — 57% (R), 69% (I)
    New Mexico (5) — 64% (R), 68% (I)
    New York (29) – 66% (R), 78% Independence, 50% Conservative
    North Carolina (15) — 89% liberal (R), 62% moderate (R) , 70% conservative (R), 80% (I)
    Ohio (18) — 65% (R)
    Oklahoma (7) — 75% (R)
    Oregon (7) — 70% (R), 72% (I)
    Pennsylvania (20) — 68% (R), 76% (I)
    Rhode Island (4) — 71% liberal (R), 63% moderate (R), 35% conservative (R), 78% (I),
    South Carolina (8) — 64% (R)
    South Dakota (3) — 67% (R)
    Tennessee (11) — 73% (R)
    Utah (6) — 66% (R)
    Vermont (3) — 61% (R)
    Virginia (13) — 76% liberal (R), 63% moderate (R), 54% conservative (R)
    Washington (12) — 65% (R)
    West Virginia (5) — 75% (R)
    Wisconsin (10) — 63% (R), 67% (I)
    Wyoming (3) –66% (R), 72% (I)

    NationalPopularVote.com

  3. The National Popular Vote bill would change existing state winner-take-all laws that award all of a state’s electoral votes to the candidate who get the most popular votes in each separate state (not mentioned in the U.S. Constitution, but since enacted by 48 states), to a system guaranteeing the majority of Electoral College votes for, and the Presidency to, the candidate getting the most popular votes in the entire United States.

    The National Popular Vote bill preserves the constitutionally mandated Electoral College and state control of elections. It ensures that every vote is equal, every voter will matter, in every state, in every presidential election, and the candidate with the most votes wins, as in virtually every other election in the country.

    Under National Popular Vote, every vote, everywhere, would be politically relevant and equal in every presidential election. Every vote would be included in the state counts and national count. The candidate with the most popular votes in all 50 states and DC would get the 270+ electoral votes from the enacting states. That majority of electoral votes guarantees the candidate with the most popular votes in all 50 states and DC wins the presidency.

    National Popular Vote would give a voice to the minority party voters in each state. Now their votes are counted only for the candidate they did not vote for. Now they don’t matter to their candidate.

    And now votes, beyond the one needed to get the most votes in the state, for winning in a state are wasted and don’t matter to candidates. Utah (5 electoral votes) alone generated a margin of 385,000 “wasted” votes for Bush in 2004. 8 small western states, with less than a third of California’s population, provided Bush with a bigger margin (1,283,076) than California provided Kerry (1,235,659).

    With the Electoral College and federalism, the Founding Fathers meant to empower the states to pursue their own interests within the confines of the Constitution. The National Popular Vote is an exercise of that power, not an attack upon it.

    The Electoral College is now the set of dedicated party activists who vote as rubberstamps for their party’s presidential candidate. That is not what the Founders intended.

    The current state-by-state winner-take-all method of awarding electoral votes (not mentioned in the U.S. Constitution, but since enacted by 48 states), under which all of a state’s electoral votes are awarded to the candidate who gets the most votes in each separate state, ensures that the candidates, after the conventions, in 2012 will not reach out to about 76% of the states and their voters. Candidates have no reason to poll, visit, advertise, organize, campaign, or care about the voter concerns in the dozens of states where they are safely ahead or hopelessly behind.

    More than 2/3rds of the states and people have been just spectators to the presidential elections. That’s more than 85 million voters.

    Policies important to the citizens of ‘flyover’ states are not as highly prioritized as policies important to ‘battleground’ states when it comes to governing.

    States have the responsibility and power to make all of their voters relevant in every presidential election and beyond.

    Unable to agree on any particular method, the Founding Fathers left the choice of method for selecting presidential electors exclusively to the states by adopting the language contained in section 1 of Article II of the U.S. Constitution– “Each State shall appoint, in such Manner as the Legislature thereof may direct, a Number of Electors . . .” The U.S. Supreme Court has repeatedly characterized the authority of the state legislatures over the manner of awarding their electoral votes as “plenary” and “exclusive.”

    Federalism concerns the allocation of power between state governments and the national government. The National Popular Vote bill concerns how votes are tallied, not how much power state governments possess relative to the national government. The powers of state governments are neither increased nor decreased based on whether presidential electors are selected along the state boundary lines, or national lines (as with the National Popular Vote).

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