The Big Question: Who should the GOP avoid nominating in 2012?

Justin Raimondo, editorial director of, said:

They should eliminate from contention all "mainstream" GOP politicians, starting with Romney, Pawlenty, and Palin. The country needs Ron Paul.

A.B. Stoddard, associate editor and columnist at The Hill, said:

Republicans need to avoid nominating a divisive figure in 2012 when trying to knock off an incumbent President Obama. While a healthy primary process will surely highlight divisions within the party — as the Democratic primary battle did in 2008 — the GOP should choose a fiscal conservative who can unite the party and attract independent voters. Republicans will need every vote to win the White House in 2012 and, without the bulk of swing voters and Republicans who crossed over to support Obama in 2008 or those who stayed home because they couldn't support Sen. John McCainJohn McCainOvernight Finance: Puerto Rico bill clears panel | IRS chief vows to finish term | Bill would require nominees to release tax returns Overnight Defense: Pentagon chief fears sequestration's return Groups urge Senate to oppose defense language on for-profit colleges MORE, they will lose. Republicans need to win a substantial portion of the Hispanic vote in 2012 as well. A polarizing figure who disappoints Republicans while turning off independents is a losing proposition.

Grover Norquist, president of Americans for Tax Reform, said:

Long list, really. People under the age of 35. Citizens of Brazil, China, or Latvia. Actually citizens of any country that doesn’t start with a U – excepting Uruguay. Folks who have led lives that would tend to keep them off juries or deny them concealed carry permits. People with long gaps in their resumes to the point that “consultant” doesn’t really pass the laugh test. Past experience with liquor is okay as long as it isn’t serious enough to actually make one forget previous DWIs. An odd number of sex change operations would be unhelpful. Really bad stuff has to have taken place before one is “born again” or at least before Google. Preferably no sex tapes that make one look chubby. No visibly communicable diseases. No votes for tax increases in one’s public record.

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