Monday, 5 May 2008
Convening its national convention in Kansas City today, the Constitution Party picked radio talk-show host Chuck Baldwin over former Ambassador Alan Keyes as its 2008 presidential candidate.
The pick was seen as something of an upset, given Keyes' higher national profile. Known for his fiery stem-winders, Keyes is a two-time GOP presidential candidate who abandoned the Republican Party this month to join the Constitution Party, which believes in limited government and is committed to ending abortion and bringing American troops home from Iraq.
But Baldwin's roots in the Constitution Party run deeper. He was the party's 2004 vice-presidential candidate, and party members said his stands were more in line with party thinking.
"Chuck is the real deal," said Jim Clymer, the party's national chairman.
Still, the two waged a fierce battle described as the most contentious in the party's 16-year history. Baldwin wound up winning easily on a 384-126 vote. The Missouri and Kansas delegations basically split their votes between the two.
"They just rejected the most qualified man to be president," said Tom Hoefling of Lohrville, Iowa, Keyes' national political director. "Chuck Baldwin will have no impact on this election whatsoever."
The party's immediate tasks, Clymer said, are raising money and gaining ballot access in each state. The party now has qualified to be on the ballots of 21 states. He expects the eventual total to top 40 and include Kansas and Missouri. "We're always short on money," Clymer said.
In his acceptance speech, Baldwin said his presidency would result in the ending of illegal immigration, abortion, the streamlining of the federal government, the tapping of oil reserves in Alaska and withdrawal from Iraq.
"We will stop the international meddling...this international empire-building," Baldwin said.
When he takes office, Baldwin said, "The new world order comes crashing down!"
He pledged not only to pull out of the United Nations, but to push the international organization out of New York.
"The U.N. is going to have to find themselves another (home) because their rent is up in New York City," he said.
He said he would phase out the Internal Revenue Service and end the paying of personal income taxes. He said the country should return to the gold standard.
Home schoolers, he said, would have the best friend they ever had in the White House.
Chuck Baldwin's 33 minute acceptance speech
Fox News coverage of Constitution Party prior to choosing candidate:
Constitution Party Website
Posted by Jemdude