Juan Williams Spells Out GOP Leadership "Dilemma" for 2012 Republican Convention

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Political analyst and commentator, Juan Williams, sees a dilemma ahead for the 2012 Republican convention. In a lively interview on KSCO AM 1080, with host of The Costa Report, Rebecca Costa, Williams said the central question the GOP leadership faces in 2012 is whether to “sacrifice victory in the general election by giving the nomination to someone who is too extreme and just pleases the (Republican) base.”

Political analyst and commentator, Juan Williams, sees a dilemma ahead for the 2012 Republican convention. In a lively interview on KSCO AM 1080, with host of The Costa Report, Rebecca Costa, Williams said the central question the GOP leadership faces in 2012 is whether to “sacrifice victory in the general election by giving the nomination to someone who is too extreme and just pleases the (Republican) base.”

According to Williams, an expert analyst for over 25 years, the current struggle in the party over Federal budget cuts is a preview of what lies ahead for Republican leaders at the 2012 convention. Williams explains:

“John Boehner, the Speaker of the House, is trying to reign in the fury - the passion - that comes from his freshman Tea Party Republicans – 87 of them – (who say) ‘We don’t give a hoot - we just want big budget cuts!’ (That’s) putting Boehner in a position where he is having to remember that it was (these same) Tea Party enthusiasts that made him the Speaker of the House.”

Williams continued, "Transport that to the nominating convention down in Tampa and you see the dilemma that the leadership will face. They want to retain the passion and energy of the Tea Party – but they’ve got to make sure they (stick to) the ‘mainstream’ positives of the tea party without getting into ‘Oh, he’s (Obama) a socialist,’ or ‘He was born somewhere else,’ and all the rest of that negativity.”

When asked about the effect extremism within the Republican Party may have on the outcome of the 2012 race, Williams points to the latest Fox News poll which shows support for Obama among moderates and independents has increased to 49-50 percent - a figure far greater than the number of moderates which helped catapult Clinton and Reagan to victory. Williams believes recent support for Obama is the result of extreme ideological positions espoused by Tea Party leaders who are driving mainstream voters away. According to Williams, the Tea Party has succeeded in “energizing” the GOP and many of their initiatives would appeal to moderates if extreme views were tempered. “The Tea Party is not (only) about extremism – when you think about cutting deficits, reducing taxes, opposition to Obama healthcare – a lot of those things are quite mainstream.”

Furthermore, Williams sees a scenario where there is no clear nominee after two and three ballot calls at the convention - clearing a path for Palin to take the Republican nomination in spite of being too extreme to win the moderate and independent votes needed to win a national election. When asked by Costa whether he was implying that Palin might win the GOP nomination by “default,” Williams congenially replied, “Now let’s not get negative. Wining is winning. No matter if the ref makes a wrong call, (if) you walk out of there with the ball, you’ve won.”

The full interview is available at http://www.rebeccacosta.com, KSCO.com and iTunes.

About Juan Williams

Juan Williams is an award-winning journalist and political commentator for the Fox News Channel and frequent contributor to The Wall Street Journal, New York Times, The Washington Post, The Atlantic Monthly and Time Magazine. Williams worked at The Washington Post for 23 years and was a senior news analyst for NPR from 1999 to 2010. He is the author of Eyes on the Prize: America’s Civil Rights Years, 1954-1965, Thurgood Marshall: American Revolutionary and Enough. Williams has been a regular panelist on Inside Washington, the Capitol Gang, ABC’s Nightline and Washington Week and hosted news programs such as Crossfire, Face the Nation, Crossfire Sunday and America’s Black Forum. In 1989, Williams received an Emmy Award for his work in television documentary writing.

About Rebecca D. Costa

Rebecca Costa is a sociobiologist who offers a genetic explanation for current events, emerging trends and individual behavior. A thought-leader and provocative new voice in the mold of Thomas Friedman, Malcolm Gladwell and Jared Diamond, Costa examines “the big picture”– tracing everything from terrorism, crime on Wall Street, epidemic obesity and upheaval in the Middle East to evolutionary forces. Retiring at the zenith of her executive career in Silicon Valley, Costa spent six years researching and writing The Watchman’s Rattle: Thinking Our Way Out of Extinction. The success of Costa’s book led to a weekly radio program in 2010 called Rattler Radio. In 2011 the program was renamed and became nationally syndicated as The Costa Report. A former CEO and founder of one of the largest marketing firms in Silicon Valley (sold in 1997 to J. Walter Thompson), Costa developed an extensive track record of introducing new technologies. Her clients included industry giants such as Hewlett-Packard, Apple Computer, Oracle Corporation, Seibel Systems, 3M, Amdahl, and General Electric Corporation. Additional information available at http://www.rebeccacosta.com

About KSCO

KSCO AM 1080 has served the Central Coast of California since 1947 and remains one of the last independent, locally owned-and-operated radio stations in the United States. The station broadcasts the top names in syndication as well as over 87 hours per week of locally-originated news talk, some of which is distributed via satellite to other stations nationwide. In the early 1950’s, due to its signal strength, KSCO was designated as the Emergency Broadcast System station for Central California and has received much praise from local communities and agencies for its extraordinary service during times of earthquakes, floods, fires, storms and power/communications outages.

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Tod Hardin

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