Speaking in to hundreds of fellow conservatives in Iowa on Saturday, former New Hampshire House speaker Bill O’Brien took barely veiled shots at Mitt Romney and Jeb Bush, urging the group not to nominate for President a Republican who has run twice before or “a liberal supporter” of the Common Core education program.
“I don’t know what is worse,” O’Brien told the “Freedom Summit,” sponsored by the conservative Citizens United group and Iowa U.S. Rep. Steve King, “nominating someone because he has been nominated twice before or nominating a liberal supporter of Common Core, because he has a familiar name.” The references were clearly to Romney and Bush, respectively, although O’Brien did not mention their names.
O’Brien appeared at the summit among a host of potential presidential candidates and conservative leaders of other states. In his brief address, he identified himself as the Republican leader of the New Hampshire House.
“We must not fall victim to the quadrennial phase that starts off with the establishment Republicans and the liberal media telling us to nominate a moderate so we can win, and ends up with a moderate losing,” O’Brien told the group. “These moderates lose because they cannot draw distinctions between themselves and the real Democrat candidates.”
He said that Republicans the early-decision states of Iowa, New Hampshire and South Carolina “must not again send a Republican candidate who either does not have the courage of his convictions, or has no convictions, into a debate with the presidential nominee of the Democrats. Let us nominate a Republican with convictions, our convictions.
“Republicans win when we directly and unapologetically present our philosophy of liberty permitted by limited government and founded on individual sovereignty,” O’Brien said. “We lose when we nominate RINOs (Republicans In Name Only).”