POLITICAL WIRE’S HEADLINES – 10/11
“The fact that, you know, some moron can stand up and make a comment like that, you know, first of all, it’s outrageous. Second of all, the fact that we are spending so much time discussing it makes it even worse.”
— Jon Huntsman, in a CNN interview, on the Dallas pastor who described Mormonism as a “cult” and a “false religion” over the weekend.
A new Gallup poll finds Mitt Romney barely leading Herman Cain for the GOP presidential nomination, 20% to 18%, with Rick Perry at 15%, Ron Paul at 8%, Newt Gingrich at 7% and Michele Bachmann at 5%.
Important point: “Republicans’ current lack of consensus about who should face President Barack Obama next fall is in stark contrast to Republican primary contests over the past half century in which, in all but one case, the eventual nominee was the runaway leader by this point in the campaign.”
In October 1999, George W. Bush led the Republican field with 60%, Bob Dole led in 1995 with 46%, George H.W. Bush in 1987 with 41%, Ronald Reagan in 1979 with 41%… and so on back to Richard Nixon in 1959, when he led with 67%. The exception occurred in 2007, when the eventual Republican nominee, John McCain, was drawing just 16%.
David Brody note there is “a certain segment of evangelicals who simply won’t vote for a Mormon. To make matters worse, many of these folks live in Iowa and South Carolina, which puts Romney at a severe disadvantage. It’s not easy to win the nomination when you spot evangelical candidates a lead in the race for a pool of voters. So there’s always going to be work to be done in Romney’s camp.”
“The way The Brody File sees it Florida is absolutely critical to Romney’s chances. If he can win New Hampshire, Nevada and then Florida, the party will begin to galvanize around him and it will begin to feel like the train is leaving the station. Then when Super Tuesday comes (read: lots of southern states) his Mormonism probably won’t hurt him as much because he will be seen as the eventual nominee. It will be seen mostly as an afterthought. On the other hand, if one of the other candidates wins Iowa, South Carolina and Florida then Romney’s in trouble heading into the deep south where his Mormonism will become more of an issue.”
A new Washington Post/Bloomberg national poll finds Mitt Romney leading Herman Cain among likely Republican voters, 24% to 16%, with Rick Perry in third at 13%.
All other candidates are in the single digits. Jon Huntsman gets zero support.
The New York Times reports that Sean Hannity’s Fox News show “has become something of a safe harbor for Republican challengers this year” because he’s not going to embarrass them.
However, Rick Perry doesn’t give many interviews and Hannity had to call him “at least seven or eight times” to finally book him last month.
With Rick Perry slipping in the polls, Ben Smith reports he’s has been “pushed out of center stage by Herman Cain in tomorrow night’s New Hampshire Republican presidential debate.”
“A source on one Republican campaign forwards on the seating chart for tomorrow night’s debate in Hanover, whose organizers have given the leaders in the national polls — presently, Mitt Romney and Cain, the central spots, pushing Rick Perry a space to the left.”
A new IBD/TIPP survey finds 51% of Americans say that “someone new deserves a chance” over President Obama while 41% say he “deserves to be re-elected.”
For the first time, Grant Leslie tells Frontline what happened when she opened a letter addressed to then-Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle (D-SD) on October 15, 2001 and white powder “poured onto her lap, her shoes and the floor.”
For years, she hid her strange place in American history. “I didn’t want to be known as Grant Leslie, the girl who got anthrax.”
Scott Wilson: “This president endures with little joy the small talk and back-slapping of retail politics, rarely spends more than a few minutes on a rope line, refuses to coddle even his biggest donors. His relationship with Democrats on Capitol Hill is frosty, to be generous. Personal lobbying on behalf of legislation? He prefers to leave that to Vice President Biden, an old-school political charmer. Obama’s circle of close advisers is as small as the cluster of personal friends that predates his presidency… Obama’s isolation is increasingly relevant as the 2012 campaign takes shape, because it is pushing him toward a reelection strategy that embraces the narrow-cast politics he once rejected as beneath him. Now he is focused on securing the support of traditional Democratic allies — minorities, gays, young people, seniors, Jews — rather than on making new friends, which was the revolutionary approach he took in 2008, when millions of first-time voters cast their ballots for his promise of change.”
A new Harvard University/St. Anselm College poll in New Hampshire finds Mitt Romney leading the GOP presidential pack with 38%, followed by Herman Cain at 20%, Ron Paul at 13%, Newt Gingrich at 5%, Jon Huntsman at 4%, Rick Perry at 4% and Michele Bachmann at 3%.
However, only 10% say they are “definitely” voting for Romney.
John Avlon: “What gets lost in the pendulum swing of populist protests is a sense of citizen responsibility to actually solve problems in a democratic republic — defining the common ground that exists and then building on it. In the current polarized political environment, that just might be the most revolutionary idea of all.”
“Wurzelbacher catapulted into the national spotlight in October 2008, when he confronted Barack Obama about the effect of his proposed tax plan on Wurzelbacher’s small business. The encounter, during a campaign stop in Ohio, came a few days before the final presidential debate, and the plumber’s everyman cause was then picked up by Senator John McCain, and became a big part of the Republican message.”
“The supercommittee is struggling. After weeks of secret meetings, the 12-member deficit-cutting panel established under last summer’s budget and debt deal appears no closer to a breakthrough than when talks began last month,” the AP reports.
“While the panel members aren’t doing much talking, other lawmakers, aides and lobbyists closely tracking the committee are increasingly skeptical, even pessimistic, that the panel will be able to meet its assigned goal of at least $1.2 trillion in deficit savings during the next 10 years.”
The New York Times reports Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) “considers the White House chief of staff, William M. Daley, to be ham-handed. Democratic leaders complain that Team Obama’s zeal for secrets creates more problems than it solves.”
The president’s advisers think Reid “has overreacted to perceived slights.”
Meanwhile, some Obama advisers “look back at the springtime standoff over government spending as a missed opportunity to confront Republicans, risking a government shutdown then that might have averted debt-ceiling paralysis later.”
“I’m not running for theologian-in-chief.”
— Herman Cain, in a CNN interview, refusing to comment on whether a Mormon is a Christian.
Rick Perry released a tough new ad linking Mitt Romney to President Obama’s new health care law.
ABC News calls it the “harshest and most slickly produced attack ad of Campaign 2012.”
“There’s no word yet from the Perry campaign on where or how much the ad will run. But a knowledgable GOP source unaffiliated with any of the candidates tells me Perry plans to unleash a $20 million ad barrage against Romney going into the early primaries.”
Micah Sifry: “Alone among the major candidates running for president, the Obama campaign not only has a Facebook page with 23 million ‘likes’ (roughly 10 times the total of all the Republicans running), it has a Facebook app that is scooping up all kinds of juicy facts about his supporters.”
“Users of the Obama 2012 – Are You In? app are not only giving the campaign personal data like their name, gender, birthday, current city, religion and political views, they are sharing their list of friends and information those friends share, like their birthday, current city, religion and political views. As Facebook is now offering the geo-targeting of ads down to ZIP code, this kind of fine-grained information is invaluable.”
Herman Cain said that “his national book tour — which some Republicans have argued could undermine his surging presidential campaign — will help his efforts, and that he plans to pick up the number of book tour events,” The Hill reports.
Said Cain: “Signing books helps to raise my name I.D. As a matter of fact it’s not inconsistent to be on a book tour signing books as well as campaigning. Because we have integrated campaign events along with events related to this.”
The DNC launches WhichMitt.com which lets you take a multiple choice quiz on Mitt Romney’s positions on various issues.
Hint: You can’t go wrong with “All of the above.”
Boston Globe: “Mitt Romney faced relentless criticism four years ago for changing his positions on abortion and gay rights and equivocating on other issues, including immigration and gun control. This year, the former Massachusetts governor has largely escaped such attacks as he competes again for the Republican presidential nomination. That might be changing.”
John DiStaso reports on the preparations for tomorrow’s Republican presidential debate in New Hampshire.
“Moderated by Charlie Rose, the debate will feature Mitt Romney, Rick Perry, Jon Huntsman, Michele Bachmann, Newt Gingrich, Rick Santorum, Herman Cain and Ron Paul. The unique 105-minute ‘discussion-style’ format will have them seated around a table with the audience spread out around them.”
David Shribman: “Tuesday’s debate likely marks the beginning of the last phase of the campaign before balloting commences.”
Rick Perry “struggled through his first three debates, so his aides have staged practice sessions, complete with a stand-in for Mitt Romney,” the New York Times reports.
“And as he prepares for two more debates in the next nine days, along with his first major policy address, his advisers have devised another way to help: requiring Mr. Perry to get more sleep.”
Washington Post: “No one disagrees that Perry must be better than he was at a debate in Orlando late last month where he looked totally outclassed by Romney. But how high the bar is for Perry is a matter of opinion.”Explore posts in the same categories: Candidates, National, Politics