Despite his dwindling poll numbers and poor debate performances, Rick Perry is still hammering Mitt Romney over the health care law that he signed in 2006, which served as the blueprint for ObamaCare.
The ad, made by the guy that did Tim Pawlenty’s epic campaign videos, hits Romney hard with frequent imagery between the GOP frontrunner and President Barack Obama and uses his own words against him. It repeats the fact that Romney removed the line from his book about taking RomneyCare national; now that it has become politically unpopular:
Back in May, Herman Cain answered a few questions from Conor Friedersdorf of The Atlantic dealing with Libya and civil liberties issues. Cain’s answers on the USA PATRIOT Act were disappointing; and quite frankly, showed a severe lack of respect for the Fourth Amendment, especially for someone that supposedly wants to restore the Constitution.
Oddly though, Cain rejected the idea of a president authorizing the death of American citizen, as in the case of Anwar al-Awlaki, without due process guaranteed by the Fifth Amendment. Here the relevant part of the interview (Friedersdorf’s questions are in bold):
President Obama has said that he has the authority to assassinate American citizens if he’s declared them an enemy combatant in the War on Terror. Al Awlaki is one guy who is on the official government list where he can be taken out. Do you have any thoughts on that? Is it a good policy because it allows us to take out Americans who may have joined Al Qaeda? Or is it a bad policy-
Well first of all, this is the first that I have heard - you’re saying it’s okay to take out American citizens if he suspects they are terrorist related. Is that what you said?!
Yes, that’s what I said.
The primary calendar keeps getting pushed more into January. As you know, both South Carolina and Florida announced last week that their respective primaries would be moved earlier in the year to January 21st and January 31st. Not to be outdone, the Nevada GOP yesterday moved its caucus to January 14th:
The Nevada Republican Party announced Wednesday that it will hold its presidential caucus on Jan. 14, likely pushing the first votes of the 2012 election cycle into 2011.
“I’m extremely pleased to finally have a firm date for a caucus that will greatly improve Nevada’s standing and relevance in terms of national politics,” Nevada Republican Party Chairwoman Amy Tarkanian said. “By establishing this date, we maintain Nevada’s standing as one of the first four ‘carve-out’ states and as the very first in the west.”
This move is very likely to bring us a scenario where we’ll see the first votes cast for the Republican nomination in December:
With Nevada’s decision to hold its caucuses on Jan. 14, it’s possible that the presidential primary season could begin immediately after Christmas — with New Hampshire settling on Jan. 7, and Iowa going either Dec. 28 or 29. If that happens, it could be the straw that finally breaks the camel’s back on Iowa’s and New Hampshire’s dominance of the primary calendar.
For all the talk about Rick Perry’s implosion, he may be able to gain back some momentum as his campaign announced a $17 million fundraising haul last quarter (actually seven weeks, given he didn’t get into the race until mid-August); far above anyone else in the Republican field:
Texas Gov. Rick Perry raised $17 million in the first seven weeks of his campaign for president, a large haul that could help right the course of his struggling campaign.
He has $15 million cash on hand and did not say if his campaign had any debt.
“The generous contributions from Americans across the nation prove the overwhelming support for Gov. Perry’s principled, conservative leadership and vision to get America working again,” said Perry campaign manager Rob Johnson. “The governor will continue traveling the country talking directly to Americans about restoring our economic strength, job creation and putting our country on a path to prosperity and opportunity for future generations. Gov. Perry deeply appreciates the energetic support and hard work of the thousands of Republican volunteers and activists who’ve helped us build a strong and growing organization in just seven weeks.”
The Texas governor was expected to have a strong fundraising quarter despite his late entry into the race. (He launched his campaign Aug. 13, about halfway through the third quarter.) By comparison, Romney raised $18 million in the entire second quarter.
The rate that his campaign is spending money is impressive, but it’s unlikely to stay that way given that they have some work to do to rebrand Perry after a terrible past few weeks. According to what we know, Perry brought in a few million more than Romney, who raised around $14 million over the entire quarter.
During an interview yesterday evening with conservative talk show host Mark Levin, Sarah Palin, former Governor of Alaska, will not run for president in 2012:
Former Alaska governor Sarah Palin announced Wednesday evening that she would not be running for president in 2012.
On the Mark Levin radio show Wednesday evening, Palin said she believed she would have more impact outside of the race. The decision ends over a year of speculation about the 2008 Republican vice presidential nominee’s plans.
“Not being a candidate, really you are unshackled and you’re able to be even more active,” she told Levin. “I need to be able to say what I want to say.”
Palin, who made the speculation of a bid unnecessarily dramatic, sent out a full statement shortly after the interview, noting that her efforts in 2012 would be focused on “replacing the President, re-taking the Senate, and maintaining the House”:
It certainly seemed that Chris Christie was reconsidering running for the Republican nomination for president and would make final decision by mid-week, but the word out of Trenton today is that he will not run
New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie has decided against entering the race for president, most likely ending once and for all the GOP establishment’s hope for a new candidate in the 2012 race.
Christie has scheduled a 1 p.m. press conference in his state’s capital, where he’s expected to announce that he will not seek the presidency. Two sources said he has started informing people of his decision in advance of his Trenton press conference.
“He is not running,” said a fundraiser informed of the decision. “Mary Pat and the gov just called tier one [donor] group to say he was out.”
There was skepticism that Christie could pull together an effective team quickly enough given that the first primary is scheduled for January 21st, a decision made just yesterday by the South Carolina Republican Party in reaction to a move by Florida to hold their primary on January 31st. Byron York explained the obstacles in front of Christie, including his inexperience:
We’ve been meaning to run a poll here for sometime on the Republican nomination, but I haven’t gotten around to putting it together. But since I’m short on content this morning thanks to an incredibly busy evening last night, I figured this would be the perfect chance for it.
Below is our poll of the nine candidates Republican candidates that participated in the most recent debate. In other words, Rudy Giuliani, Sarah Palin, and Chris Christie aren’t included since they haven’t confirmed anything at this point.
Mitt Romney’s support in New Hampshire is still overwhelming, according to a new poll from Suffolk University. The numbers show Ron Paul coming in a very distant 2nd and Jon Huntsman, who hasn’t done well in many polls, not far behind.
- Mitt Romney: 41%
- Ron Paul: 14%
- Jon Huntsman: 10%
- Rick Perry: 8%
- Sarah Palin: 6%
- Michele Bachmann: 5%
- Newt Gingrich: 4%
- Rick Santorum: 1%
- Herman Cain: 1%
- Buddy Roemer: 1%
- Undecided: 11%
Romney, Paul, and Huntsmann each picked up 6 points since the previous Suffolk poll out of New Hampshire in June. Bachmann has, unsurprisingly, lost support dropping from 11% to 5%.Perry’s lackluster performance isn’t odd since hasn’t focused much on New Hampshire, despite being hosting the first primary in the nation. He has instead spent much of his efforts in Iowa and South Carolina.
Suffolk notes that Romney’s support is solid:
In the event that their first choice dropped out of the Republican primary, those polled named Romney (21 percent) over Perry (20 percent) as their “second choice.” Paul received 9 percent as a second choice.
“Romney’s added strength in the second-choice question reduces the probability that any other candidate will be able to mobilize and capture all of the non-Romney voters as well as the undecided voters,” said Paleologos. “Romney is not only the overwhelming first choice, but he also has a competitive edge as a fallback option among voters who support other candidates.”
Yes, by now you know that I like Ron Paul. First and foremost, I’m actually pulling for Gary Johnson, but Johnson just hasn’t gotten any traction yet while Paul has it. With that laid out, there’s a very good reason why Republicans need to take a look around and recognize that not only can Ron Paul be their nominee, that’s actually a good thing for the GOP.
First, we must understand that while polling shows Democrats overwhelmingly supporting President Obama at this point, he’s not particularly beloved by his base right now. They see a lot of what he’s done as caving, they see a lack of leadership, and they’re generally not happy with him as a president. The primary reason they’re going to head out next November is to keep the GOP nominee from winning.
Now, take Ron Paul. I spoke with a couple of die hard Democrats after Paul appeared on Piers Morgan’s show. One, who had lost a beloved dance teacher to a self administered abortion, was slightly alarmed that Paul was pro-life. However, as he also deferred it to the state level, she was able to move on with it. That was the whole of their difficulties with Paul as a candidate.
I’ll be the first to admit that it’s hardly a large sample group, but it doesn’t really have to be. A Ron Paul presidency doesn’t terrify many Democrats like a Romney, Perry, or Bachmann presidency does. This is important, since I pointed out that Democrats are far more likely to come out to vote against the GOP nominee than to vote for Obama.