POLITICAL WIRE’S HEADLINES – 6/15

Perry Traveling with Former Gingrich Aide

A source tells Politico that Texas Gov. Rick Perry is visiting New York with longtime aide Dave Carney at his side.

“Carney was one of the 16 staffers who walked off en masse from Newt Gingrich’s campaign last week. He’s also been Perry’s political strategist for years, and his departure from Gingrichland helped further fuel the Perry speculation.”

 

Bachmann Says She Won’t Run for Re-Election

Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-MN) says she’s not running for re-election while campaigning for the GOP presidential nomination, but the Minneapolis Star Tribunenotes “the 2012 political calendar makes it easy for her to change her mind.”

“If she stumbles in the primaries, state law would allow her to discontinue her presidential campaign and file for re-election to the House by June 5, 2012. That could discourage other Minnesota candidates.”

Why Early Debates are Important

Mike Murphy: “Right now there is a fierce underground battle being waged over high dollar campaign donors. If you can’t raise money now, before the voters care, you will not have the resources you need to communicate with them when they do tune in. Organizing multiple states, waging straw polls, flying around raising money and running loads of TV and radio is all very expensive. Without constant fuel, a campaign locomotive grinds to a halt. For lesser known candidates like Tim Pawlenty this can create a cruel feedback loop; you need money to buy your way up in the polls, yet without good poll numbers it is very hard to raise money. Early debates are important because if you get good media reviews, you can aggressively peddle those to old and new donors to raise money.”

 

DeMint Says Obama Wants a Debt Crisis

Sen. Jim DeMint (R-SC) told Laura Ingraham the debt ceiling negotiations are only killing time in order to create a debt crisis in early August.

Said DeMint: “We’ve fallen for this Obama trick to negotiate in secret with this Biden group which is only to kill time until we create a crisis on August 1st.”

He added that Obama “believes Americans are stupid” because “he can do one thing and say another and expect people to believe it.”

Boehner Warns Obama He’ll be in Violation of Law

House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) told President Obama that he and his administration will be in violation of the War Powers Resolution unless by Sunday he receives authorization from Congress for military operations in Libya — or ends them,ABC News reports.

Romney’s Confidence

The Los Angeles Times notes Mitt Romney felt confident enough he would not only win the Republican presidential nomination but the general election against President Obama that in chatting with the owner of a New Hampshire hardware store he promised a return visit in four years, when “I’ll probably have Secret Service with me.”

Perry Says GOP Voters Want More Choices

Texas Gov. Rick Perry told the Texas Tribune that voters “seem hungry for more candidates to pick from in the presidential contest.”

Said Perry: “It’s pretty interesting. People would like to have some other options in the race, obviously.”

He added: “There is some, I guess, drop dead time that you have to be in. I don’t think it’s (arrived) yet.”

Gingrich Charity Under Scrutiny

“A non-profit charity founded by Newt Gingrich to promote freedom, faith and free enterprise also served as another avenue to promote Gingrich’s political views, and came dangerously close, some experts say, to crossing a bright line that is supposed to separate tax-exempt charitable work from both the political process and such profit-making enterprises as books and DVDs,” ABC News reports.

The charity “not only featured Gingrich on its website and in fundraising letters, it also paid $220,000 over two years to one of Gingrich’s for-profit companies, Gingrich Communications. It purchased cases of Gingrich’s books and bought up copies of DVDs produced by another of the former House speaker’s entities, Gingrich Productions.”

Schwarzenegger’s Housekeeper Talks

Mildred Baena, the housekeeper with whom former California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger had a child, tells Hello magazine that Maria Shriver “had started to put two and two together when she heard whispers in the household” that her 13 year old son looked like the governor.

Baena expressed sympathy for Schwarzenegger: “He’s a good man and I know he’s suffering too. He loves Maria. I hope with time they work things out.”

McConnell Draws Line in the Sand on Debt Talks

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) tells National Journal that Republicans will never agree to raise taxes as part of an agreement to raise the nation’s debt ceiling.

“I can say pretty confidently, as the speaker has, that we are not going to raise taxes in this agreement. And what the president ought to say to his own political left is, ‘Those crazy Republicans won’t let me raise taxes, but we need to do this for the country.’ That would be my advice to him. I’m not his political adviser.”

Few Like Weiner

A new Public Policy Polling survey finds 70% of voters nationally have an unfavorable opinion of Rep. Anthony Weiner (D-NY) compared to just 8% with a positive one.

Interestingly, 66% of men but just 55% of women think that Weiner needs to resign from office.

Minnesota Race Not Over Yet

“A campaign finance dust-up that roiled the final weeks of Minnesota’s epic 2008 Senate campaign apparently isn’t quite over,” the Minneapolis Star Tribune reports.

“Former FBI Director Louis Freeh planned to hold a news conference Tuesday to announce a new development in a dispute whether his client, Minnesota businessman Nasser Kazeminy, tried to improperly funnel $75,000 to the family of former Sen. Norm Coleman through a Minneapolis insurance company that employed Coleman’s wife, Laurie.”

Update: The Minneapolis Star Tribune reports no charges will be filed against Coleman or Kazeminy.

Huntsman Will Announce Next Week

Jon Huntsman will formally announce his intentions to run for president next Tuesday at Liberty State Park in New Jersey, the Salt Lake Tribune reports.

“Huntsman, who plans an insurgent campaign to knock through a wide-open Republican field, will enter the race with a speech in the shadow of the Statue of Liberty.”

Politico: “A smart colleague reminds us that Ronald Reagan kicked off his formal general election campaign in 1980 with a Liberty Park speech, as Jon Huntsman is doing for his primary effort.”

Economic Confidence Plunges

Gallup: “A sharp deterioration in the jobs outlook and six straight weeks of Wall Street declines sent Americans’ confidence in the U.S. economy plunging to an average of -35 during the week ending June 12 — a decline of nine percentage points from two weeks ago, and six points worse than it was in the same week a year ago. Economic confidence is now approaching a 2011 weekly low.”

Lawmaker Says Weiner Might Resign Soon

Heading into a closed-door meeting with House Democrats to discuss the Anthony Weiner “sexting” scandal, the AP reports Rep. Carolyn McCarthy (D-NY) told reporters, “Hopefully, we’re hearing he might resign in a couple of days.”

She did not elaborate.

What About the Economy, Stupid?

First Read notes there was no “serious, substantive discussion on the economy” at last night’s Republican presidential debate.

“After spending the last few weeks criticizing the Obama administration on this subject, not a single GOP presidential candidate offered a convincing plan on how to create jobs. We heard plenty about lower taxes and less regulation. The problem: Taxes are already at their lowest level since the 1950, and that hasn’t really jump-started the economy. Moreover, there was little regulation during the Bush administration, and that didn’t produce a wave of jobs between 2001 and 2009.”

 

Quote of the Day

“Tim Pawlenty had a chance to get in the ring tonight with the heavyweight champion and create such a moment. He refused to enter the ring. It was like LeBron refusing to take the big shot Sunday night.”

— GOP consultant Alex Castellanos, quoted by Politico, on the Republican presidential debate.

Palin’s Missing Emails

Nearly a month of former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin’s emails “are missing from the documents released to media organizations last week, a gap that raises questions about what other emails might also be missing from what’s being nationally reported as her record as Alaska governor,” the Anchorage Daily News reports.

“That means, if the record is to be trusted, Palin did not send or receive a single email about state business during a time when she was busy taking the first major actions of her new administration… One likely factor is Palin’s decision to use private email accounts for state business rather than her official state account.”

Perry Travels to New York

Political Wire has learned that Texas Gov. Rick Perry (R) requested a sit down with the Wall Street Journal editorial board today while he’s in New York City. It’s certain to increase speculation that he’s readying a possible presidential bid.

Meanwhile, the Austin American Stateman notes Perry is filling in for Donald Trump at a speech to New York City Republicans tonight.

Have House Democrats Lost the South?

Roll Call notes that even with the best candidates, House Democrats “face a steep uphill battle in winning back any seats in the South, outside Florida, which is a political and cultural anomaly in the region. The 2010 midterms and retirements appeared to seal the political realignment of the region by wiping out many of the remaining moderate, white Democrats representing culturally conservative territory.”

“Redistricting, almost exclusively controlled by Republicans now in the region, has also dimmed Democratic prospects in the South. Add to that Republicans’ plans to target the Democrats who held on last cycle in places such as North Carolina, and the difficulty of what Democrats in the South face during the next 17 months becomes clear.”

Democrats Wrestle with How to End Weiner Scandal

House Democrats will meet behind closed doors today for the first time since Rep. Anthony Weiner (D-NY) “admitted to sexually charged online relationships with several women and lying to hide his misdeeds. Frustration among Democrats is increasing as the scandal moves into its third week,” the AP reports.

“Democrats could try to oust the seven-term congressman from the House Democratic caucus or try to strip him of his committee assignment on the Energy and Commerce panel in hopes of persuading him to quit Congress.”

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