Commentator and author Dick Morris returned to Rockford Tuesday to speak for a second time at state Sen. Dave Syverson’s annual fund-raising luncheon at the Radisson Hotel and Rockford Conference Center.
Morris, a Republican who has written 10 books and appears regularly on the Fox News Channel, is an ex-Democrat who once advised President Bill Clinton. To about 300 lunch-goers, he predicted a GOP landslide in November 2012 that not only would unseat President Barack Obama, but add to the Republican majority in the House and flip the Senate to Republican control.
“I’m predicting from 55 to 57 Republicans in the next Senate,” Morris said in an interview I did with him following the speech. Republicans will also add to their majority in the House, he said.
Morris said Mitt Romney is the front-runner among Republican presidential candidates but he doesn’t rule out Newt Gingrich’s chances of becoming the nominee, and said there’s still hope for Herman Cain and Michele Bachmann.
“As of now the nominee is most likely Romney but it’s still a wide open race,” he said.
Morris told Syverson aficionados that Obama has purposely sacrificed the nation’s economic recovery to accomplish long-deferred Democratic social policy goals, chief among them national health care. He predicted that once the GOP takes over in 2013, Congress will repeal “ObamaCare” and cut the strings of numerous regulations that he said are stifling businesses from expanding.
I asked Morris what three things the Republicans will do should they win Congress and the White House next year. He provided four:
“First, they repeal ObamaCare, second, pass the Paul Ryan budget, third, roll back EPA regulations on business, and a fourth one, repeal the section of the Dodd-Frank banking regulation law that affects small banks.”
This was a unique Syverson fund-raiser because apart from a short greeting at the beginning of the luncheon, the veteran 19-year senator literally left the building — he had to vamoose to Springfield for some important votes scheduled for the afternoon. Road Ranger’s Chief Ranger Dan Arnold flew him down to the capital city — in a plane.
Syverson, who has represented the 34th district for all his political career, is now running for an open seat in the 35th district. He’s being challenged in the Republican primary by appointed state Sen. Christine Johnson, R-Shabbona.