By Brandon Moseley
Alabama Political Reporter
Alabama Republican Party Chairman Bill Armistead said that he recently attended the Republican National Committee meeting in Scottsdale, Arizona. Former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney met with the powerful group and “Gov. Romney got a great reception. Everyone was united and excited.” Sen. John McCain was also there and Armistead said that both gave a good presentation. Armistead called it a “command performance,” by both men.
Chairman Bill Armistead said that the party is “all about beating Barack Obama” this fall. Armistead said that having Barack Obama at the top of the Democrat ticket is a plus for Alabama Republicans. Chairman Armistead said that the Alabama GOP is, “working hard at the courthouse level.” Chairman Armistead said that the Alabama Republican Party will be concentrating on a lot of the local races. The party has never done that before. In a lot of these counties you used to have to be a Democrat to get elected. The Republicans will be targeting 20 or 30 counties especially the offices of probate judge and circuit clerk. Armistead said that the party will focus on changing this state “from the grass roots up.” Historically, “We have let the Democrats control 2/3s of the counties.” Armistead said that winning at the county courthouse level will build a “Foundation for our future.”
Everybody is concerned about Obamacare. 60% of Americans want Obamacare abolished. If Barack Obama is reelected the Supreme Court Justices he names will be there for a generation. Our grandchildren will be dealing with his Supreme Court appointees. Alabama is going to go for Romney, but “Florida is going to be very close.” “I committed that we would send swat teams to Florida to make sure that Romney gets over the top there,” Chairman Armistead said.
In 2014, the Alabama freshmen legislators will be up for reelection. “If we can flip some of these counties it will help,” them in their efforts to get reelected. Armistead says that the Republicans “will be emphasizing our ticket versus them. They have Barack Obama, Bill Maher, Al Franken. There is no difference between Alabama Democrats and national Democrats.” Chairman Armistead said that Alabama Democratic Party Chairman Judge Mark Kennedy has steered the Alabama Democrats to the far left. “We want to make voters understand that the Democrat party stands for something and the Republican Party stands for something.” Armistead said that the Alabama Republican Party stands on a prolife, conservative, pro-business platform. “Momentum will pick up as we go to the convention.”
Chairman Armistead said that Tampa Bay is “shaping up to be the best convention we have ever had.” Armistead did warn that hotels would be an issue. There are four good hotels downtown and a lot of delegations are going to have to stay in St. Petersburg. Some delegations will be 50 to 60 miles away. “We (the Alabama delegates) probably won’t be downtown.” The Chairman said 5000 media will be present and predicted that everyone will have a great time. “I like doing things that we have never done before.” “In Tampa the delegation, the alternate, and our guests (donors) will be having activities all day long.” The Alabama groups will have breakfast each day paid for by sponsors and there will be a reception each day starting at four. Alabama will have 50 delegates.
One issue that is coming up before the convention is what to do with Florida’s delegates. The Republican Party said that if any state moved up to soon in the primary and convention season that the party would punish them by stripping them of half of their delegates. Florida moved their primary up anyway. Now Alabama and Florida have the same number of delegates even though Florida is a much bigger state in population and there is a debate as to whether or not to restore Florida’s lost delegates.
Chairman Armistead said, “They broke the rules so they should have to pay. I am voting for enforcing the rules.”
This is the second party of our lengthy conversation with Alabama Republican Party Chairman Bill Armistead at the regular meeting of the Red Mountain Republicans.