Ron Paul: National Press Ignores Me

ABC News(WASHINGTON) -- Rep. Ron Paul, R-Texas, speaking to a crowd at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C., Wednesday, said his campaign had an uphill battle in trying to get attention from the news media.

As proof, Paul pointed to Jon Stewart's comedic take on The Daily Show, which has taken several news organizations to task for ignoring Paul's strong second-place finish in the Ames Straw Poll in August.

"I think people should ask why things are news and others are not," Paul said.

Paul then asked for a show of hands if they knew anyone who'd won the Florida GOP Straw Poll.

Paul remarked that it looked as if almost everyone knew.

He then asked for a show of hands if they knew who'd won the California Straw Poll.

Paul said it looked as if one person knew.

Raising his voice several octaves, he said, "I won the California Straw Poll."

Paul started his speech by saying that his campaign had raised more than $8 million in the third fiscal quarter, which ended Sept. 30. That's more than the $4.5 million he raised in the second quarter and more than the $5 million he raised in the third quarter of 2007, when he ran four years ago.

Later in the event, Paul was asked if he worried about the almost $17 million haul by the Perry campaign this quarter. He said all money is not equal.

"I don't get special interest money," Paul said. "Banks don't give me money. All donations are not equal."

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Romney Says He Has a 'Good Shot' at Becoming President

James Devaney/WireImage(TALLAHASSEE, Fla.) -- Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney was optimistic during a campaign stop at a Florida restaurant Wednesday, telling voters that there is a “good shot” he might become the next president.

“There’s a good shot I might become president and if so I want to hear from the American people who are leading enterprises that are hiring people on what we need to do better,” said Romney.

Romney spent more than an hour shaking hands and speaking with voters at the Seminole Wind Restaurant in Tallahassee, where he also remarked about the anti-Wall Street protests that have been sweeping the nation.

Asked by ABC News if he had any thoughts on the movement, Romney paused for a few moments before responding.

“I’m just trying to get myself to occupy the White House,” Romney said, before climbing into his SUV.  

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio



Sarah Palin Wondered ‘Will I Die?’ -- Politically -- before Making 2012 Decision

Jeff Fusco/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- Sarah Palin reiterated her reasons for not seeking the GOP presidential nomination Wednesday night, saying that she considered whether not jumping into the race would be the end of her political career.

“If I say no to the opportunity that’s in front of me, politically speaking, will I die?” she said on Greta Van Susteren’s Fox News show, discussing her decision making process. “But no, after making the decision today and making the announcement, I know beyond a shadow of the doubt...I know that it’s the right decision.”

The former Alaska governor apologized again to her supporters.

“I apologize to those whom are disappointed in this decision,” she said. “But I believe that they, when they take a step back, will understand why the decision was made and understand that really, you don’t need a title to make a decision in this country.”

Palin said she’s already receiving calls from the Republican presidential contenders seeking her endorsement and advice.

“Good old Todd,” she said, referring to her husband. “He’s the one answering the phone and setting up meetings for us. I do look forward to hearing more personally from these politicians.”

As for who’s calling, Palin said, “You’ll have to ask Todd.”

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Obama Schedules News Conference; Expected to Talk Jobs

Joseph Sohm-Visions of America/Photodisc(WASHINGTON) -- President Obama will hold a previously-unscheduled news conference Thursday in the East Room of the White House.

The 11 a.m. news conference is expected to focus on jobs, and not just the president's jobs creation package; the president will also likely comment on the passing of Apple co-founder Steve Jobs, who died Wednesday after a battle with pancreatic cancer.

The president issued a statement following the news of Jobs' death, calling him "among the greatest of American innovators."

Jobs, he said was, "brave enough to think differently, bold enough to believe he could change the world, and talented enough to do it."

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Sarah Palin Will Not Run for President

Scott Olson/Getty Images(WASILLA, Alaska) -- After months of “will she or won’t she” speculation, Sarah Palin hammered the nail into the coffin of her 2012 presidential aspirations: She’s not running.

In a statement obtained by ABC News and first reported by Mark Levin’s syndicated radio show, Palin said that she made her decision “after much prayer and serious consideration.”

“My decision is based upon a review of what common sense Conservatives and Independents have accomplished, especially over the last year,” she said. “I believe that at this time I can be more effective in a decisive role to help elect other true public servants to office -- from the nation’s governors to Congressional seats and the Presidency.”

The former Alaska governor addressed her fervent supporters, many of whom, like those running grassroots organizations dedicated to her all over the country, stepped away from their jobs and families to ramp up for her potential campaign.

“From the bottom of my heart I thank those who have supported me and defended my record throughout the years, and encouraged me to run for President,” she said. “Know that by working together we can bring this country back -- and as I’ve always said, one doesn’t need a title to help do it. ”

She concluded, “In the coming weeks I will help coordinate strategies to assist in replacing the President, re-taking the Senate, and maintaining the House.”

Many observers speculated that Palin would not enter the race after she failed to announce in September -- her one-time, self imposed deadline. She further indicated that the White House may not be in her sights last week, when she suggested that a presidential title might be too “shackle-y” on Greta Van Susteren’s Fox News show.

Still, her announcement comes as somewhat of a surprise. As recently as Tuesday, Palin aides did not know whether she was running and were calling various states to find out filing deadlines for the primaries.

For some of Palin’s supporters, her decision not to run is heartbreaking.

Peter Singleton moved to Iowa almost a year ago to campaign for Palin, setting up a chapter of Organize4Palin in the first caucus state. He told ABC News that he “expected her to run.”

“I’m disappointed, but disappointed for the country because she was the best choice for president at this time,” Singleton said. “I believed she would run, but I understood there was a chance that she didn’t. It was always her choice. And I have enormous respect for Gov. Palin as a leader and I respect her decision.”

Complete text below:

October 5, 2011

Wasilla, Alaska

After much prayer and serious consideration, I have decided that I will not be seeking the 2012 GOP nomination for President of the United States. As always, my family comes first and obviously Todd and I put great consideration into family life before making this decision. When we serve, we devote ourselves to God, family and country. My decision maintains this order.

My decision is based upon a review of what common sense Conservatives and Independents have accomplished, especially over the last year. I believe that at this time I can be more effective in a decisive role to help elect other true public servants to office -- from the nation’s governors to Congressional seats and the Presidency. We need to continue to actively and aggressively help those who will stop the “fundamental transformation” of our nation and instead seek the restoration of our greatness, our goodness and our constitutional republic based on the rule of law.

From the bottom of my heart I thank those who have supported me and defended my record throughout the years, and encouraged me to run for President. Know that by working together we can bring this country back -- and as I’ve always said, one doesn’t need a title to help do it.

I will continue driving the discussion for freedom and free markets, including in the race for President where our candidates must embrace immediate action toward energy independence through domestic resource developments of conventional energy sources, along with renewables. We must reduce tax burdens and onerous regulations that kill American industry, and our candidates must always push to minimize government to strengthen the economy and allow the private sector to create jobs.

Those will be our priorities so Americans can be confident that a smaller, smarter government that is truly of the people, by the people, and for the people can better serve this most exceptional nation.

In the coming weeks I will help coordinate strategies to assist in replacing the President, re-taking the Senate, and maintaining the House.

Thank you again for all your support. Let’s unite to restore this country!

God bless America.

– Sarah Palin

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Salazar Defends Obama on Environment, Energy: We've Moved Out of 'Hummer Age'

Brendan Smialowski/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- Interior Secretary Ken Salazar Wednesday defended President Obama's record on the environment amid deepening criticism from green allies over a 2008 campaign promise to "end the tyranny of oil."

"It's like moving the Titanic," Salazar said of the administration's effort to work with Congress to build a "new energy framework."

"Notwithstanding that, we have made a lot of progress," he said. "As a U.S. senator, I remember using the statistic of our imports of 70 percent of oil from other countries. Today, our imports are down to less than 50 percent, the last figure I saw."

Salazar said Obama has moved the U.S. out of the "Hummer Age" -- referring to the gas-guzzing General Motors-made SUV -- by imposing sweeping new fuel efficiency standards for vehicles and promoting new technologies that allow some cars and trucks to run solely on renewable energy.

"I think that when the environmental community looks at what it is we've done to transform the energy reality, the energy future of the United States, I think they ought to say we've done a pretty good job," he said.

The comments came as the administration tangles with environmental activists over the proposed Keystone XL oil pipeline that would run from Canada to the Texas gulf coast.

A coalition of groups filed a lawsuit in federal court Wednesday to block land-clearing for the project, which the State Department has not yet approved but which Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has said she's "inclined" to do. They have also alleged bias and corruption in the administration's vetting process for the deal, charges that officials deny.

The issue has even spilled onto the campaign trail, when hecklers interrupted Obama during a St. Louis fundraiser Tuesday night, asking, "Will you stop the pipeline?" Obama continued undeterred except to say, "We've got a couple of people here who are concerned about the environment."

Critics say the issue is shaping up to be the clearest test of Obama's commitment to environmental policy after a string of decisions by his administration deeply opposed by green allies.

This week, the administration upheld 500 leases for drilling in the Arctic Ocean, while earlier this month it shelved new EPA standards for ozone emissions, which Obama said imposed undue regulatory burdens.

Many Republicans and oil industry groups support the pipeline, saying construction will create American jobs and lead to greater access to oil supplies for U.S. markets.

The administration is holding a public hearing on the pipeline on Friday. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is expected to rule on the matter before the end of the year. It's unclear whether or not Obama will get directly involved.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Ann Romney Says She’ll Work with Troubled Teens as First Lady

Darren McCollester/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- At a campaign stop in Iowa, Ann Romney, wife of GOP frontrunner Mitt Romney, said working with “at risk” kids would be the cause she devotes herself to if she becomes first lady.

“At risk youth has been a concern of mine and love of mine for a lot of years,” she said.

Mitt Romney, the former Massachusetts governor, hinted that his wife would choose to work with troubled young people if he were elected president as he campaigned in Florida earlier this week.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


GOP Pressures for Health Reform Repeal with 1.6 Million Signatures

ABC News Radio(WASHINGTON) -- About a dozen congressional Republicans gathered Wednesday morning to pressure Democrats to repeal the president’s health care law and to receive 1.6 million hand-signed signatures demanding that Congress overturn the law before it can be fully implemented.

Rep. Steve King, who has helped champion the effort to repeal the law and also to defund it, said he wakes up every day “to fight ‘ObamaCare.'”

“Health care costs more. We have fewer insured. Everything good that [President Obama] said it was going to do we got the inverse of the president’s promise on this,” King, R-Iowa, said. “What they really designed this to do was create a socialized medicine policy.”

Twenty-nine boxes filled with petitions containing 1.6 million signatures to repeal the Affordable Care Act were delivered to Capitol Hill Wednesday morning by Ken Hoagland, the chairman of Restore America’s Voice Foundation and

King said that the petitions serve as a reminder to members of Congress not to give up on their effort or wait for the courts to overturn the legislation, but rather to press forward and attempt to repeal the legislation until a like-minded Republican is in the White House.

“We need to do everything we can do within the job that we’ve been assigned here in the legislature, and then in the end the presidential candidates will be the ones that help us out the most. They’ve all been clear; they’re all for repeal of Obamacare,” King said. “We need to find a way to get it done, get it on the president’s desk. And some would say that the president wouldn’t sign that if it’s on his desk…Let’s just get it there and see.”

Sen. Jim DeMint, a leading conservative associated with the Tea Party movement, admitted that there are genuine problems in the country’s health care system but he said that any solutions Republicans proposed when the law was being drafted “were summarily ignored by the president” as Barack Obama forced the “socialization of medicine, the federal control of health care, that has proved all his promises false.”

“It’s obvious the president has done harm to health care, to our economy and to the American people,” he added. “This is not a partisan issue, this is an American issue. We have got to stop this before it is implemented. We cannot wait for the Courts. It’s something we need to do for the American people here in Congress.”

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


First Lady Reveals Her Daughters Fight over Secret Service Detail

Official White House Photo by Pete Souza(WASHINGTON) -- First Lady Michelle Obama visited the Secret Service headquarters Wednesday to thank the agents for their hard work and for being like family, so much so that her daughters actually fight over which detail gets assigned to cover them.

“You all have really made us feel at home and safe, and there is no amount of thanks that I could convey that would give you a sense of how important you all are to us,” the first lady told more than 200 agents. “We love our details...for us, it’s like having family around.”

The first lady explained that there’s a “fight among our family” over who works with which agents.

“Sasha will come in, it’s like, ‘You took Scott!’… Malia’s like, ‘You took Scott? That’s not fair!’” Mrs. Obama said, impersonating her daughters.

The squabbling doesn’t stop there, however. “Then I’ll say the same thing to Barack – it’s like ‘Why did you get Beth?’”

“It’s dinner table conversation. But that’s because we feel close to each of you.  And particularly for the girls, they have just transitioned beautifully because of the work that you all do,” she said.

Mrs. Obama also toured the headquarters Wednesday and came to the conclusion that “ignorance is bliss.”

“I mean, the work you do here is pretty scary, let’s just say that,” she said. “I just don’t want to know. You all can handle all that; just tell me when -- where to run.”

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Democrats Revise Obama Jobs Bill: New Tax On Millionaires 

US Senate(WASHINGTON) -- Hoping to win over Democratic support for the president’s jobs bill, Senator Reid announced Wednesday he’s tweaking the $447 billion jobs plan by substituting some of Obama’s provisions for a tax increase on the “richest of the rich,” those earning $1 million a year or higher. 

“The American people believe it is time for millionaires and billionaires to pay their fair share to help this country thrive,” Majority Leader Reid, D-NV., said on the Senate floor Wednesday  morning. “So when Democrats bring this common sense job legislation to the floor, we'll ask Americans who make more than $1 million a year to contribute more to help this country reduce its jobs deficit.”

The move would throw out the pay-for provisions that were listed in the White House-written American Jobs Act and replace it with a 5% tax increase on millionaires. The 5% surtax on a millionaires' earned income rate would not be permanent, lasting for the next ten years and would completely fund the $447 billion jobs bill, Reid said today. 

Obama had proposed higher taxes on family incomes over $250,000 and on the oil and gas industry as a way to pay for the bill. Some Democrats, like Senator Schumer, D-NY., faced a constituent base that would have been hit hard by the higher tax rates, so the increase to a surcharge on millionaires will likely win over Democratic votes.

The Democratic leadership believes they have an “overwhelming majority” of Democrats for this bill now, although confess there has not been a proper whip count yet, with the new proposal.

Democrats said they have consulted with the White House over the change to the president’s original proposal and they are “fine with the idea,” because the president was always open for alternative ways of paying for the bill.

Republicans will surely stand in opposition to this tax increase. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-KY., said that Senate Democrats have decided to make the changes to the bill in order to “sharpen” their “political edge.”

Reid today was asked why he would propose this when he knows he will not have Republican support for the bill, nor would it go anywhere in the Republican-controlled House of Representatives.

“Seventy-five percent of Republicans support this tax.  The problem is, none of them are in the Senate.  So they're going to have to listen to their constituents,” Reid said, “the Republicans have to make a decision.  They can -- they can hang on to their mantra:  no new taxes.  But I would suggest that they're really not keeping in touch with their constituents.”

The Democrats are setting up a contrast -- hoping to cast a Republican vote against this as a vote to protect tax breaks for the wealthiest 1% of America instead of aiding in the economic recovery.

Majority Leader Reid says that he’d like to set up a first vote on this “very soon,” likely within the next few days after finishing the China currency bill.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

ABC News Radio