Three more GOP Presidential candidates will join the three men who have already announced their intention to run. Senators Ted Cruz (R-TX), Rand Paul (R-KY) and Marco Rubio (R-FL) will be joined on Monday by famed pediatric neurosurgeon Dr. Ben Carson and former Hewlett-Packard CEO Carly Fiorina. And then on Tuesday, the other man from Hope, Arkansas, former Governor Mike Huckabee (R-AR) plans to announce his bid.
The new trio may spark more conversation about the GOP hopefuls, but all three face steep odds in the ever-deepening Republican field.
Governor Huckabee is a popular figure in the GOP – but seemingly more as a spokesman and beloved philosopher than as an actual Presidential candidate. He is more of a populist than a fiscal conservative, he is deeply conservative on social issues (while the establishment becomes ever more liberal), and as a Baptist preacher, he becomes easy for the Democrats to caricature. While Governor Huckabee is a threat in Iowa and will have many supporters throughout the Bible Belt, his most important role may actually be as a spoiler for other conservatives. His entry into the race may actually HELP the failing candidacy of Jeb Bush, by splitting the conservative vote even further.
Carly Fiorina is formidable as an intelligent and competent business woman, but she has no political experience, and the left has already been attacking her tenure at HP. She does have a previous run for office under her belt, but it was a loss suffered against Barbara Boxer (D-CA) in the hyper-liberal California. Fiorina is a solid Republican candidate, but thus far she’s had little to say on foreign policy and social issues.
Dr. Ben Carson was once the most energizing GOP possibility of this election season. However, much has happened in the intervening months and none of it has been good for Dr. Carson. He’s flubbed a few questions that should have been easily avoided minefields – which draws into question the good Doctor’s ability to handle media pressure. (Not a good thing in the middle of a heated campaign.) Adding to those problems have been Dr. Carson’s well-documented views on restricting gun rights and the possibility that other similar liberal leanings exist in his personal philosophy. (We really just don’t know enough of Dr. Carson yet, to know if he’s philosophically consistent as a conservative.)
All-in-all, none of these three new candidates is as formidable as the first trio, and honestly, none of these three is as consistently conservative as the first three either. While Fiorina and Carson will inject some vitality and diversity to the debate, and Huckabee will bring gravitas to the race…I don’t think any of these three candidates has what it takes to unseat the more likely nominees. Even so, more candidates is usually a good thing because it ensures more diversity to the debate and greater choice for the voters. So… welcome Huckabee, Fiorina and Carson! We hope you enjoy the race for the White House.