Entries in 2012 presidential candidate (12)


Huntsman Uninvited from GOP Gathering Following Remarks

Win McNamee/Getty Images(PALM BEACH, Fla.) -- Jon Huntsman couldn’t win the Republican nomination, and now he can’t even get into Republican events.

The long-shot presidential candidate won’t be allowed at a gathering of donors in Palm Beach this weekend, sponsored by the Republican National Committee, because he called for a third-party candidate last week.

Huntsman’s daughter Abby confirmed to ABC News that her dad has been uninvited. He was supposed to be a speaker at the event.

The snub was first reported by the social meme and political news website BuzzFeed.

Huntsman dropped out of the race after he did poorly in the New Hampshire primary and quickly endorsed the front-runner establishment candidate, Mitt Romney. But last week, Huntsman said on MSNBC that “I think we’re going to have problems politically until we get some sort of third party movement or some voice out there that can put forth new ideas.”

“Someone’s going to step up at some point and say we’ve had enough of this,” he said. “The real issues are not being addressed and it’s time that we put forward an alternative vision, a bold thinking. We might not win, but we can certainly influence the debate.”

The former China ambassador and Utah governor had played down speculation that he might run for president in a third party, and his endorsement of Romney appeared to put that idea to rest — while raising the notion that he could mount another bid in 2016 or 2020.

BuzzFeed reported that an RNC staff member told a former member of Huntsman’s campaign staff that his invitation had been revoked.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Bachmann Stirs Base, Pans Socialism in Speech

Win McNamee/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- President Obama’s policies will strip the United States of its sovereignty and slip the country into socialism, GOP contender Rep. Michele Bachmann said Monday to a group of conservative activists.

In a speech titled  ”Core of Conviction,” which is also the title of Bachmann’s new book, scheduled for release Nov. 21, Bachmann found ways to work in the phrase, or something similar to it, no less than five times.

Invoking the states’ rights of the 10th Amendment and the morality of the 10th Commandment, Bachmann accused the president of legislating from the Oval Office and warned that “America needs to open its eyes.”

“The president’s economic policies, most notably ‘Obamacare,’ represent the most ambitious social-economic engineering project in the history of this country,” Bachmann said Monday at the Family Research Council.

Bachmann said the 10th Commandment, the biblical prohibition against coveting anything someone else has, underpins her opposition to the president’s health care proposal.

“The 10th Commandment teaches those shall not covet thy neighbor’s goods. It’s time to act on this self-evident truth.  …  America needs to open its eyes.  Look at Europe. Focus your attention on Greece.  Socialism is unsustainable.  There simply isn’t enough money to pay for all the wants of all the people.”

Though the United States has signed the U.N. Convention on the Rights of the Child, it is one of only two countries; the other is Somalia, which has yet to ratify it. President Obama said he wants the Senate to ratify the treaty, but the agreement has long been held up by conservative groups like the Family Research Council. Those groups fear it supplants federal and state law with international law.

Calling the U.N. a “threat to the American family,” Bachmann said that if elected she would “withdraw the signature of the United States from this treaty and every other unratified U.N. treaty of this type.”

Bachmann made a point to reiterate her position on those social issues held dear by the Family Research Council – opposition to abortion and same-sex marriage.

“I am not confused by what it means to be 100 percent  pro-life.  I am both personally and publicly pro-life.  I believe it is the role of government to protect life from conception to natural death.  I’ll never be confused about that issue, and you won’t find You.Tube clips with me advocating otherwise.  For starters, Planned Parenthood will be zeroed out if I am president.”

Bachmann said she fully supported an amendment to the Constitution that would define marriage as between a man and a woman.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Fourth Woman Accuses Herman Cain of Sexual Harassment

Justin Sullivan/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- A fourth woman will come forward Monday and accuse Republican presidential frontrunner Herman Cain of sexual harassment, according to attorney Gloria Allred.

Allred and the unidentified woman plan to hold a joint press conference in New York at 1:30 p.m. Eastern time.

The woman would be the fourth to allege sexual harassment by the presidential candidate, former restaurant chain owner and former president and CEO of the National Restaurant Association. Two women filed internal complaints against Cain alleging harassment at the NRA in the 1990s and received settlements from the trade group.

On Friday, an attorney for one of the women said she would decline to come forward and discuss the case further.

Cain had denied the allegations of harassment, and has charged the presidential campaign of Texas Gov. Rick Perry with leaking the story. Perry's campaign denies any involvement, which surfaced in Politico more than a week ago.

Gloria Allred is well known for representing witness Amber Frey during the Scott Peterson murder case, the family of the late Nicole Brown Simpson during O.J. Simpson's murder trial and former Tiger Woods girlfriend Rachel Uchitel during the public controversy over the golfer's extramarital affairs.

Cain defenders have tried to turn the tables, with a commercial that paints the allegations as fabrications from rivals and the liberal media. It includes pointed comparisons to Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, who faced charges that of inappropriate behavior during confirmation hearings 20 years ago.

The ad, produced by a group called Americans for Herman Cain, ends with Thomas' closing statement at his 1991 hearings. "This is a circus," Thomas says in a video clip. "It's a national disgrace, it is a high-tech lynching for uppity blacks who in any way deign to think for themselves."

Americans for Herman Cain is a SuperPac that is independent of the presidential campaign.

Former employees tell ABC News that Cain was a regular on Washington's after-work bar scene, often with young women who worked with him at the National Restaurant Association, where he was president and CEO from 1996 to 1999.

Though some defenders say it was just Cain being personable and gregarious, Thursday the presidential candidate was pressed about new accounts that he asked one young female employee to return to his corporate apartment with him.

Cain told Fox News, "That is absolute fabrication, man," and said he had an apartment "near the airport because I traveled so much." Cain's wife Gloria had continued to live in Omaha after he took the job at the NRA, according to reports, and he often flew home to see her.

Cain told Fox News that he never even made flattering remarks to an accuser he had allegedly asked to accompany him to his apartment.

"I didn't make those kind of compliments," said Cain. "I didn't say that she was hot, or that sort of thing. ... I know I didn't do that kind of stuff."

As ABC News has reported, two of the women who received settlements from the Restaurant Association are well known in government circles.

One, now in her forties, is single and registered as a lobbyist in New Jersey.

The woman who declined to speak publicly Friday is in her fifties now, married, and a spokesperson for a federal agency in Washington. On Friday, she released a statement through lawyer Joel Bennett saying she was a victim of "a series of inappropriate behaviors and unwanted advances" while working for Cain at the National Restaurant Association.

"Mr. Cain knows the specifics" of the harassment complaint, Bennett said during a press conference in front of his Georgetown law office. "It had very specific incidents in it. If he chooses not to remember or to not acknowledge those, that's his issue."

Bennett read the woman's statement Friday afternoon after the restaurant industry association once led by the Republican presidential contender announced it would waive a confidentiality agreement that had barred her from discussing the harassment complaint she filed in July of 1999.

Friday's disclosure provided few details about the specific incidents that led her to complain. However it did, for the first time, reveal that Cain allegedly made repeated, unwanted advances, and that there were alleged to have been multiple incidents over the course of "at least a month or two."

"She has decided not to relive the specifics of the incidents so I cannot give any further details," Bennett said.

Bennett said he did not want to characterize "what was physical and what was verbal," but that Cain's behavior "quailed as sexual harassment in our opinion."

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Libertarian Party Supports Ron Paul

Jason Merritt/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- Rep. Ron Paul may not win the Republican nomination for president, but the prospect of him running as a third-party candidate in the general election is not off the table, he says.

Paul, long a favorite of the Libertarian Party, is drawing enthusiastic support from its leaders, who are openly pushing him to consider a third-party run for the White House.

“Absolutely, that would be fabulous,” said Jim Lesczynski, media relations director for the Manhattan Libertarian Party.

Lesczynski says his party agrees with Paul on most of the major issues, calling him an “ideal candidate.” He added that Paul will do better than he did four years ago, but ultimately thinks he will fail in his bid to gain the Republican nomination.

The Libertarian Party would be a perfect ideological fit for Paul, who advocates limited government intervention and hands-off social policy. More than 30 members from the Manhattan chapter of the party actively campaign for Paul.

If Paul did decide to seek the Libertarian Party nomination, it wouldn’t be the first time. In 1988 he gained the party’s nod after publicly criticizing the Reagan administration for large budget deficits.

When asked on FOX News this week if he would pledge to not run on a third-party ticket, Paul coyly responded that he has “no intention” of doing so.

And he told CNN Sunday that it would cause a bit of a problem for the Republican Party, but wouldn’t “doom it.”

Paul continues to poll well among likely GOP voters, often placing among the top three in polls in important states such as Iowa and New Hampshire. Since September, however, his support has hovered around 8 percent, according to ABC News polls.

Lesczynski said that if Paul wants to run as a Libertarian, he had better hurry up. The party plans to pick a candidate the first week of May.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Ron Paul’s Economic Plan: Slash $1 Trillion from Budget; Eliminate Department of Education and 5 Others

Jason Merritt/Getty Images(LAS VEGAS) -- A second presidential candidate has unveiled his economic plan in Nevada.

One month after Mitt Romney laid out his 59-point plan to create 11.5 million jobs, his fellow GOP presidential candidate Ron Paul put forth a plan that would slash $1 trillion from the federal budget in the first term of a Paul presidency.

But where Romney’s plan focused on job creation, Paul’s No. 1 goal is reducing the size of the federal government and balancing the budget, which his plan achieves by wiping out five cabinet departments and gutting funding to many others.

Paul claims his plan would produce a budget surplus by 2015.
Under a Paul presidency the departments of Energy, Education, Housing and Urban Development, Commerce and Interior would cease to exist. Their elimination would slice about $179 billion from the federal budget and cut about 134,000 federal jobs.

Paul said his plan would not lay people off, but would transfer them to other departments until they retire.

Paul would slash funding for the remaining departments, including a 40 percent cut for the Food and Drug Administration and a 30 percent budget reduction for the EPA. The Department of Defense would see $832 billion disappear from its budget during Paul’s first term in office, most of which would stem from Paul’s plan to end all foreign wars and foreign aid.

“The ideas that Congressman Paul espouses are not unique to him,” said Richard Parker, a lecturer in public policy at Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government. “They are kind of standard fare for libertarians.”

Parker said Paul’s plans are aimed more at educating the public about Libertarian policies than laying out a solution that could feasibly get him elected. While Paul is running as a Republican this presidential campaign cycle, as he did in 2008, the Texas congressman campaigned as the Libertarian Party nominee during his 1988 bid for the White House.

Paul is the only candidate to call for such massive and immediate spending cuts, but on the revenue side of things his plan is quite similar to his GOP rivals. Just as Herman Cain, Michele Bachmann, Newt Gingrich and Jon Huntsman have proposed, Paul calls for eliminating taxes on capital gains and dividends as well as getting rid of the estate tax.

Paul’s plan cuts the corporate tax rate from 35 percent down to 15 percent. Romney wants to drop the rate to 25 percent, Gingrich said it should be 12.5 percent and Cain would put it at nine percent.

Paul also eliminates taxes on profits earned overseas and brought back into the country, as would Cain and Romney.

The Joint Committee on Taxation estimates this tax holiday on repatriated profits would give an initial boost to the economy but would cost the federal government $79 billion over the next decade in lost revenue.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Obama Stops for BBQ in North Carolina

JIM WATSON/AFP/Getty Images(MARION, N.C.) -- On the road from Asheville to Millers Creek, President Obama stopped for some Southern comfort food at Countryside Barbeque in the small town of Marion, N.C.

After placing his order at the front counter -- a barbeque platter and a large sweet tea -- the president got down to business, shaking hands and posing for pictures.

According to the pool reports, the president spent just over half an hour snapping pictures and greeting diners in the packed restaurant, speaking with a member of the City Council, uniformed paramedics and a group of older women dressed in matching Native American costumes, complete with “war paint” on their faces. The women are reportedly members of the McDowell County Senior Line Dancers and had just participated in a performance earlier in the day.

Working his way through the banquettes, the president also met a little boy named Jack Nicholson and spent some one-on-one time with a little baby boy.

“You know most of your meal is on the floor? Yes it is…It’s on the floor,” the president told one-year old Dakota in a pseudo baby voice.

The menu at the roadside restaurant boasts chopped pork barbeque, fried chicken and country ham, among other Southern favorites. There are also a few salads on the list for good measure.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Voters Like Candidates with Religious Beliefs but Fuzzy on Their Faith 

George Doyle/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) -- Strong religious beliefs are important in a presidential candidate, according to a majority of Americans.

A new survey by Public Religion Research Institute in partnership with Religion News Service finds that 56 percent of voters agree with that opinion, which includes nearly three in four white evangelicals and ethnic minority Christians.

However, there is confusion about the exact faiths of President Obama and Republican White House hopefuls Mitt Romney and Michele Bachmanm.

For instance, just 44 percent of white evangelicals know that Romney is a Mormon. In what could spell trouble for the former Massachusetts governor, eighty percent of evangelicals say that Mormonism differs greatly from their own faith.

As for Minnesota Congresswoman Bachmann, who has been gaining steam in recent polls, just over half of white evangelicals don't know her religion, even though she's a Baptist, and a third think that her beliefs differ from her own.

Meanwhile, Americans still remain all over the map about the president's religion. Just a third know for sure that he's Christian while 18 percent still think Obama is a Muslim, despite his claims to the contrary and his attendance at Christian church services in the past. 

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


The Truth About Gingrich's Twitter Followers

Jessica McGowan/Getty Images(ATLANTA) -- Newt Gingrich has laid out a new argument for why he should be the GOP presidential nominee: He's got the most Twitter followers. But according to a former Gingrich staffer, he bought them.

The former staffer tells media website Gawker that many of the former House speaker’s followers are creations of a firm he allegedly hired to boost his Twitter numbers.

Gingrich said recently that the media hasn’t taken into account that he has “six times as many Twitter followers as all the other candidates combined.”

That criteria, Gingrich contends, means he should be the obvious pick to run against President Obama next year. Former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney and Minnesota Congresswoman Michele Bachmann each have fewer than 100,000 Twitter followers.

However, the one-time Gingrich staffer makes the claim that 80 percent of Newt's “followers” are linked to inactive or dummy Twitter accounts created by “follow agencies,” while another ten percent belong to a network of people who follow others back or who themselves paid for followers.

If all that’s true, Gingrich’s actual number of real Twitter followers is around 132,500 – which is still impressive, but doesn’t make him the runaway political choice of the social networking crowd.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Herman Cain Wins Straw Poll in Denver

Steve Pope/Getty Images(DENVER)  -- Presidential candidate Herman Cain won the straw poll at the Western Conservative Summit in Denver over the weekend with 48% of the votes, followed by Texas Governor Rick Perry.  

“How about spectacular,” Cain said to ABC News when asked how he felt about winning. “I would say that winning the straw poll is not bad for somebody who has a 48% name ID and with a lot of people who didn’t really give me a chance.  I am doing as well as I’m doing for one simple reason.  My message is resonating with the people.  Secondly, my approach to problem solving, so I guess there’s two reasons, is resonating with the people, so that does make us feel really really excited.”

Cain gave a rousing speech at the summit Sunday morning, energizing the crowd with his message about American independent energy, immigration, and fighting the establishment.  Many people turned in their straw poll ballot before Cain’s speech and tried to switch their votes after hearing him speak, though the conference did not allow it.

On Saturday, Cain placed second in the Smart Girls Conference straw poll, losing to Rep. Michele Bachmann by only 4 votes.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Mystery Candidate Leads to Walk-Out at Ames Straw Poll Land Auction

Comstock/Thinkstock(AMES, Iowa) -- Representatives of Republican candidates met Thursday in Ames, Iowa for, what is essentially a real estate auction, buying up the best pieces of the Hilton Coliseum at Iowa State University, where August's Ames Straw Poll will be held.

The presence of operatives who refuse to identify which candidate they work for, however, has led the representatives of the declared candidates to threaten to walk, tweeted Andy Parrish, a key player on Michele Bachmann’s campaign.

“At Ames land auction. One campaign refusing to ID themselves,” Parrish tweeted Thursday afternoon.

“All declared campaigns on their feet and agreed to walk from Ames auction until all campaigns say who they represent,” he continued on Twitter. The last of his tweets read, “All campaigns are now outside because one campaign will not say who they represent. All have agreed to walk.”

Sources tell ABC News the mystery candidate is Rep. Thad McCotter, R- Mich., an undeclared candidate.

The auction is a money-making venture for the Iowa Republican Party, which divides the venue and puts a value on each section where a candidate can set up shop to sway voters. Bidding starts at $15,000 and goes up from there.

Ames is located in the geographical center of the state and is Iowa’s most prominent Republican straw poll. This year’s event will be held Aug. 13.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

ABC News Radio