May 03, 2012

Rep. Bachmann endorses Romney

Count Rep. Michele Bachmann in the Mitt Romney camp.

The Minnesota congresswoman, who sought the Republican presidential nomination, has endorsed Romney, the presumptive GOP nominee.

Here's her statement:

"This November, Americans will be at the polls with a serious choice- they can vote for more of Barack Obama's transformation of America, with more joblessness, higher energy prices, fewer opportunities for our children, more government controls, bailouts, and failed economic policies, or they can vote for a new vision of prosperity and liberty. I'm honored to announce that today, I am endorsing Governor Mitt Romney for President of the United States, a man who will preserve the American dream of prosperity and liberty.

We've had a hard fought battle already to choose a candidate. Being personally involved in the endorsement process was an honor for me. And I want to thank everyone involved in the campaigns, from the candidates, the delegates, the volunteers, all of us can be proud of our efforts.

"This is the last chance we have to keep America from going "forward", over the cliff, as Governor Romney said, and restore the values of prosperity and freedom. This is the opportunity for conservatives, independents, and disaffected Democrats to join me and Governor Romney in denying Obama a second term. On November 6th, the only option is Mitt Romney for President."

March 27, 2012

Loud, lively scene outside the Supreme Court

It was a loud morning of health care supporters vs. opponents outside the Supreme Court Tuesday morning.

Tea party activists paraded a host of speakers to a podium at the foot of the steps, but it was often hard to hear as the law's backers marched in a circle nearby, beating drums and shouting slogans.

"This is the day we have been waiting for," declared law opponent Rep.  Michele Bachmann, R-Minn. It was tough to hear her, and three bill backers stood with the press corps and kept shouting at her.

Bachmann pressed on. "This is one of the most important, consequential decisions that will every come for the Supreme Court," she said.

Others had the same view. Ralph Reed of the Faith and Family Coalition called the law a "dagger aimed at the heart of religious freedom in this country."

Supporters set up a "Radio Row'' for sympathetic talk show hosts in a building across the street; about 25 were broadcasting. And they set up a booth outside urging people to tell their health care stories.

The court was holding its second day of arguments this week on the 2010 law Tuesday. Arguments continue Wednesday, with a decision likely by early summer.

March 19, 2012

Iowa GOP names panel to study caucuses mess

In the wake of its screw up of the Republican presidential caucuses, the Iowa Republican Party Monday named a special committee to review the way it counts the votes.

The 17-member panel, which will include the deputy director of elections from the Iowa Secretary of State’s office, is an effort to clean up the mess from the Jan. 3 caucuses.

The party first reported that Mitt Romney won the caucuses, edging out Rick Santorum. Party officials at first denied reports that some counties did not count votes adequately.

Later, however, they said that some ballots would never be counted, and conceded that a closer count found that Santorum actually won. The party chairman resigned.

From the party’s statement Monday:

The Republican Party of Iowa (RPI) State Central Committee today approved the formation of a 17-member Iowa Caucus Review Committee and confirmed Chairman A. J. Spiker’s nominees to the committee.

The committee will be chaired by RPI Co-Chair Bill Schickel. Iowa Secretary of State Deputy of Elections Mary Mosiman will serve as committee co-chair.

“My challenge to the committee is to bring back recommendations that will build upon the most open and transparent presidential preference process in the country,” Spiker said.
“The purpose of the committee is to conduct a full audit and review of the Republican Caucus,” said Schickel. “We’re going to review what went right and what went wrong. We will fix what went wrong and promote what went right.”

The committee will hold its first meeting at 10 A.M. Thursday, April 26 in Des Moines. Future meetings will be held in other communities across the state.
Committee members will be assigned to sub-committees on public relations, operations and training. A research subcommittee will gather data and background information for the committee.

The committee and each of the sub-committees will be asking for ideas and suggestions from experts and ordinary citizens alike throughout the state and nation, Schickel said.

“Although this will be a review of the Republican caucuses, we will be acting in consultation with our colleagues in the Democrat Party,” Schickel said. “Having open, honest and transparent caucuses is in the interest of all Iowans.”


January 04, 2012

Romney praises Bachmann for "tenacity and leadership"

Looks like Mitt Romney likes Michele Bachmann.

After she left the Republican presidential race, Romney praised the Minnesota congresswoman, saying her "tenacity and leadership inspires millions."

Here's his statement:

 “Ann and I salute Congresswoman Bachmann. She ran a campaign to advance the principles of limited government that I hold dear. Michele is a friend and a strong competitor. Her tenacity on the campaign trail and her fierce intelligence in the debates have left me no doubt that, as advertised, she does indeed have a titanium spine. Michele inspires millions of Americans by the way she has lived her life, raised her family and served her country. With leaders of her caliber coming up the ranks, the future of the Republican Party – and the future of the country – is bright.”

January 02, 2012

Romney, others will campaign in S.C. this week

Looks like some candidates will take a detour to South Carolina this week, as the presidential action moves from Iowa to New Hampshire.

iowa's Republicans caucus Tuesday night, and New Hampshire voters go to the polls in the nation's first primary a week later.

But South Carolina holds its first in the South primary Jan. 21. Texas Gov. Rick Perry has a full South Carolina schedule starting Wednesday, and Minnesota Rep. Michele Bachmann is also expected to head there this week.

IThey'll be joined by former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, a heavy favorite to win New Hampshire. Romney's campaign announced Monday night he'll host a campaign event in Charleston Thursday afternoon and another Friday morning in Myrtle Beach.

January 01, 2012

Romney has big lead in new New Hampshire poll

Mitt Romney has opened up a big lead among New Hampshire Republicans as that state's first-in-the-nation primary draws closer, a new Suffolk University poll released Sunday night has found.

The poll showed Romney, the former governor of Massachusetts. leading with 41 percent of the vote, followed by Texas Rep. Ron Paul at 15 percent, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich at 11 percent, and former Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman at 9 percent. Trailing were former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum, who is surging in Iowa polls, as well as Minnesota Rep. Michele Bachmann and Texas Gov. Rick Perry.

Huntsman has skipped Iowa, which holds the nation's first GOP caucus Tuesday, but has made little headway in New Hampshire.

“There is only one candidate who can win both Iowa and New Hampshire,” said David Paleologos, director of Suffolk University’s Political Research Center.  “That candidate is Mitt Romney.  Although the 16 percent undecided is high right now, it is unlikely that Romney will lose New Hampshire, despite what Iowa voters may do.”

The survey polled 500 likely voters on Dec. 30 and 31. Margin of error is plus or minus 4.4 percentage points.

The ups and downs of Iowa Republican voter sentiment

The Des Moines Register Iowa poll dramatically illustrates the wild swings of voter opinion in the nation's first caucus state--and shows how Mitt Romney's support has held steady over the last few months.

Romney, the former governor of Massachueetts, leads the new poll, with 24 percent, but Texas Rep. Ron Paul is close and former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum is surging.

Here's the Register's candidate-by-candidate analysis:

December 31, 2011

Romney leads new Iowa poll, but Santorum gaining fast

Mitt Romney has a slim lead in the latest Des Moines Register Iowa poll, released Saturday evening, but Ron Paul is close and Rick Santorum is surging.

The results came as Republican presidential candidates spent the last day of 2011 Saturday making their closing arguments to curious, often uncertain voters as the race remained fluid.

In the Iowa poll, taken Tuesday through Friday, Romney, the former Massachusetts governor, led with 24 percent of likely caucus-goers. Next was Paul, a Texas congressman, at 22 percent followed by Santorum, the former Pennsylvania senator, at 15 percent.

Trailing were former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, 12 percent; Texas Gov. Rick Perry, 11 percent, and Minnesota Rep. Michele Bachmann, 7 percent.

But results Thursday and Friday only told a different story. While Romney still had 24 percent, Santorum was up to 21 percent, while Paul sank to 18 percent.

December 29, 2011

N.H. scientists to candidates: Climate change is real

Forty-nine scientists in New Hampshire today sent a letter to the presidential candidates, asking them to "acknowledge the overwhelming balance of evidence for the underlying causes of climate change."

The letter notes that the National Academy of Sciences and all scientific societies in the country have stated that the climate is warming as a result of human activities, mostly from burning fossil fuels.

"Ignoring the issue of climate change places our health, our quality of life, our economic vitality, and our children’s future at risk," it argues.

Scientists in Iowa sent a similar climate change letter to candidates last month.

December 15, 2011

Romney, Gingrich in virtual tie among white evangelicals

Mitt Romney and Newt Gingrich are in a virtual tie in favorability ratings from white evangelical voters, new survey found Thursday.

The Public Religion Research Institute, a nonpartisan organization, surveyed 1,012 people, including 178 white evangelical voters. Such voters tend to have clout in Republican circles in Iowa, the site of the nation's first caucus Jan. 3. Romney is the former governor of Massachusetts. Gingrich is former Speaker of the House of Representatives.

Among the poll's findings:

"A majority of white evangelical voters say that they have a strongly favorable or somewhat favorable impression of Gingrich (53 percent) and Romney (52percent). However, evangelical voters are twice as likely to strongly favor Gingrich than they are to strongly favor Romney (16 percent to 8 percent respectively).

"Evangelical voters have a much less favorable view of the other candidates. About one-third have a favorable opinion of Rick Perry (31 percent), Ron Paul (33 percent), and Michele Bachmann (33 percent). Paul, a Texas congressman, and Bachmann, a Minnesota congresswoman, have made a strong push for the evangelical vote.

Some other findings:

 Reasons why Republican voters have a favorable view of Romney:

  • When Republican voters with a favorable opinion of Romney were asked why they viewed him favorably, they most frequently cited Romney’s moral, family or religious values (37 mentions).
  • Nearly as many cited his business or political experience (33 mentions). Fewer mentioned his political views (16 mentions) or his electability (17 mentions).
  • Republican voters were more than twice as likely to refuse to offer an opinion or to be unable to provide a reason why they had a favorable view of Romney than Gingrich.

Reasons why Republican voters have an unfavorable view of Romney:

  • Among Republicans with an unfavorable view of Romney, the most frequently mentioned reason was the belief that he was not consistently conservative (15 mentions).
  • Fewer said that he was not trustworthy (11 mentions) or reported having religious or personal objections to him (9 mentions).
  • Relatively few Republican voters mentioned Romney’s role in passing health care reform as the reason for their unfavorable view (6 mentions).

Reasons why Republican voters have a favorable view of Gingrich:

  • Republican voters who have a favorable view of Gingrich most frequently cited his leadership experience (39 mentions).
  • Nearly as many Republican voters said his political views (36 mentions) or his intelligence and knowledge (33 mentions) were reasons they had a favorable impression of him. Fewer Republican voters mentioned his honesty (13 mentions) or his electability (7 mentions).

Reasons why Republican voters have an unfavorable view of Gingrich:

  • Among Republicans with an unfavorable view of Gingrich, the most frequently cited reason was also his past political experience (17 mentions).
  • Equal numbers mentioned his political views (12 mentions) or negative personal qualities like arrogance, selfishness or dishonesty (12 mentions).
  • Relatively few Republican voters cited Gingrich’s personal life or morality (7 mentions).


"Planet Washington" covers politics and government. It is written by journalists in McClatchy's Washington Bureau.

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