Entries in 2012 (26)


Mitt Romney to Hold First Town Hall Meeting Friday

James Devaney/WireImage(WASHINGTON) -- Mitt Romney, who is scheduled to announce his official campaign for presidency Thursday in Stratham, New Hampshire, will also hold a town hall meeting on Friday in the Granite State, ABC News has learned.

The town hall -- the first of Romney's 2012 campaign -- will take place in the morning at the University of New Hampshire's Manchester campus.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Sarah Palin Confirms Tour Will Go National

Jeff Fusco/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- Sarah Palin's northeast tour took to the water Wednesday as she hit Liberty Island with her parents and youngest daughter, Piper. They were accompanied by park rangers and police escorts as they made their way to the Statue of Liberty.

It's a scene we'll likely be seeing for some time to come. Palin confirmed that she's going to Boston after New York and that after the northeast, she'll go back to Alaska before re-launching the tour -- called the "One Nation Tour" -- on the West Coast.

She told ABC News about her plans after she leaves the northeast:

"Go back to Alaska -- in fact today, Willow [the middle Palin daughter] already had to get back to work so she had to leave -- go back to Alaska, come back on the trail again, and take the tour west as the summer progresses."

Asked if she'll go all over the country, Palin said, "that is our plan, our tentative plan, anyway."

Has the tour made her want to run for president in 2012?

"Oh man," she said, "It makes me want to travel across the U.S. to see the great people who've contributed so wonderfully to this country."

Still, she maintained that she does not know if she'll jump into the pool of Republican contenders and doesn't see her trip as a campaign tour.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Rick Santorum to Officially Launch Presidential Campaign

Brendan Smialowski/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- Rick Santorum will announce his candidacy for president on June 6 in Pennsylvania, a source close to the former Pennsylvania senator told ABC News on Thursday.

Santorum will be the sixth major candidate to declare his candidacy in the wide open race for the Republican nomination.

The announcement will take place at a location in southwestern part of the state, near where his grandfather worked in the coal mines after arriving in America from Italy.

A social conservative, Santorum served as a Pennsylvania senator for two terms until 2006 when he was defeated by 18 points. However, this loss has not deterred him from a 2012 run.

Well before many of his contenders, Santorum was out campaigning heavily in battleground states. Last week he completed his 14th visit to Iowa. He's visited the Hawkeye State far more than any of the other Republican presidential nominees. Earlier this week, Santorum was in Sarasota, Florida meeting with supporters and local Republican leaders.

According to a campaign source, the location of Santorum's June 6 announcement "is significant because when Senator Santorum's grandfather left fascist Italy, he came to this country for America's freedom and the opportunity our nation afforded him."

Santorum launched his presidential exploratory committee in May and has since beefed up his staff in Iowa and New Hampshire.  He will be joining other presidential hopefuls -- former Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty, former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney, and former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich.

It will be an uphill battle for the former senator, who is a well-known conservative voice, but is still polling in the low single digits in most national surveys.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Democrats Will Retake House in 2012, DNC Chair Claims

Mark Wilson/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- Six months after Republicans regained control of the House of Representatives, DNC chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz thinks voters have seen enough and are ready to return Democrats to power.

"The election results of the past two weeks of special elections really bode well for Democrats chances up and down the ticket in 2012," Wasserman Schultz told reporters Thursday.

The election last week of an African-American Democratic mayor in Jacksonville, Fla., a staunchly conservative city, a Democratic state representative in a conservative New Hampshire District, and a Democratic U.S. Representative from the solidly-red 26th district of New York are all indicators Democrats have momentum, she said. 

"All of those elections turned on the hardcore, radical, right-wing agenda that the Republicans have given us a preview of if they were given total control of all branches of government," said Wasserman Schultz. "And the voters have resoundingly rejected those overtures, their agenda."

"The reason that we believe that this is an indicator that we will continue to make progress and re-take majority of the House and re-elect the president is that the voters got a glimpse of what it would be like under Republican control," she said. "And they don't like it."

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Mitch Daniels: No Second Thoughts on Entering 2012 Race

Michael Hickey/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels says he and his family have had no second thoughts about his decision to not enter the presidential race.

"Well they're not going to, and I know I haven't had any second thoughts," Daniels told reporters following his appearance at the Peterson Foundation's Fiscal Summit.

Daniels sees the current Republican field as adequate but said additional candidates could elevate the debate.

"The more the merrier, and if others get in, I think that's good,"
Daniels said. "I think that a very vigorous contest of ideas about how we reaffirm the promise of this country is a really good thing, and I think my party would benefit from a really diverse debate."

"I think there's some excellent people there. If the field doesn’t get any better, there are plenty of people there I think who could be quite excellent spokesmen for what needs doing."

Daniels commended Wisconsin Rep. Paul Ryan, saying his budget proposal "grounded in reality" and called on skeptics to produce plans of their own.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Mitt Romney Plans Iowa Campaign Trip

TIM SLOAN/AFP/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- For the first time this year, former Massachusetts Governor and likely presidential candidate Mitt Romney will travel to Iowa on Friday, a state he's largely been criticized for avoiding after coming in second to former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee in the 2008 Iowa caucuses.

Just days after naming former 2008 campaign staffer Sara Craig as his State Director for Iowa, Romney will head to the Hawkeye State himself, starting his day Friday meeting with employees at AgVision Agriculture Software, a company that specializes in providing computer software to grain elevators, seed processors, fertilizer retailers, and feed stores, to name a few.

Romney will then be the kick-off speaker for the Greater Des Moines Partnership's Presidential Forum Speaker Series. The series, sponsored by the Greater Des Moines Partnership, Mediacom and, will extend invitations to all prospective presidential candidates before the 2012 Presidential Caucuses.

Later Friday, Romney will head to Cedar Rapids to attend a picnic at the Hughes Farm, hosted by the Johnson and Linn County GOP.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Michele Bachmann Prepping a 'Money Bomb'

ABC News(WASHINGTON) -- Michele Bachmann's goal? Raise $240,000 in 24 hours.

Though the Minnesota Republican says she won't officially announce whether she is running for president until June, it has not stopped the Tea Party favorite from an aggressive grassroots fundraising effort.

"Please make a contribution and join my 24-hour money bomb to raise $240,000 in 24 hours and make Barack Obama a one-term president," Bachmann writes on her website.

Bachmann has already proven herself an adept fundraiser, capable of raising large sums of money through small donations.

Wednesday's "money bomb" appeal is the latest in recent months, in which she has used the Web to launch clever fundraising opportunities aimed at small donors.

Already this year, Bachmann's small donor rate outpaces that of President Obama, and she has raised more from small donors than any of the leading Republican presidential contenders did four years ago, according to the Center for Responsive Politics.

Bachmann is one the most successful fundraisers in the House.  In the first quarter for the year she raised more than $1.7 million for her re-election campaign, according to the Center for Responsive Politics, more than any other candidate aside from Speaker of the House John Boehner, R-Ohio.

As of March 31, Bachmann's campaign committee reported $2.8 million cash on hand. That cash can be directly donated to a potential presidential fund.

In a video posted alongside today’s "money bomb" appeal, Bachmann deftly skirted around whether or not she had made a decision about ultimately running.

"My family and I are prayerfully considering what the next 18 months or so may bring," she said.

"We've seen incredible support pouring in through Facebook, through our new website and the Team Bachmann momentum is building and it's very encouraging as we look to our next steps. So, with your generous support right now whether its $24 or $240 will continue this momentum and connect with conservatives all across this country, because I believe that together we're going to make Barack Obama a one-term president."

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Rick Santorum to Officially Launch Presidential Bid

Brendan Smialowski/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- Rick Santorum will officially jump into the presidential race during the week of June 5, a source close to the socially conservative former Pennsylvania Senator told ABC News on Tuesday.

Santorum would become the sixth Republican candidate to officially declare he is running for the GOP presidential nomination (assuming no one else announces before him), following in the footsteps of former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, former Godfather's Pizza CEO Herman Cain, former New Mexico Gov. Gary Johnson, and Rep. Ron Paul, R-Tex.

Santorum has been polling in the low single digits, making his road to the GOP nomination a tough one. But he has real appeal among conservatives and he has already shown a willingness to be an "attack dog" within the GOP field. He has tangled with Sarah Palin, Mitt Romney and, most recently, Gingrich.

Santorum has been traveling extensively to early nominating states, including Iowa, New Hampshire, and South Carolina over the past few months. He has been to each of those states more than a dozen times since he began exploring a presidential run.

Santorum plans to participate in a June 13 presidential debate at Saint Anselm College in New Hampshire.

The Pennsylvania Republican established a presidential exploratory committee in early May.

The aide had no further details about where or in what form Santorum will make the announcement.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Cantor Dismisses 2012 Run, Suggests Paul Ryan Mount Campaign

FIle photo. (ABC News)(WASHINGTON) -- House Majority Leader Eric Cantor unequivocally shut the door on a “Cantor for President” 2012 campaign Monday, but urged another top House Republican – Rep. Paul Ryan - to launch his own run for the GOP nomination.

“Sure,” Cantor answered when asked if Ryan, a seven-term lawmaker, should get into the race. “Paul’s about real leadership. I think that’s what this public so desperately wants to do right now is they want to see Washington that will lead. They don’t want to see individuals that dismiss the current problem that’s something that we can just sweep under the rug.”

Ryan, the chairman of the House Budget committee, has received both cheers and jeers from some contenders for the GOP nomination, including former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, who started off his own candidacy on a rocky note last week by attacking the Ryan budget as “right-wing social engineering,” only to quickly walk back on those comments amid a firestorm of disapproval from prominent conservatives, including Cantor.

When asked whether support for Ryan’s "Path to Prosperity" budget reform would be a prerequisite for candidates seeking the nomination, Cantor said that candidates entering the 2012 race should “embrace a leadership role that takes the tough positions” and suggested that Ryan had demonstrated those qualities through his controversial plan to reduce the deficit by taking on entitlement reform.

The “Path to Prosperity," which passed the House on April 15, is likely to be a political lightening rod in the 2012 election, with Democrats up and down the ticket already fiercely pounding at the plan they say would “end Medicare as we know it.”

“Our field is a field that still has a lot of time. I think the candidates who are in the race are strong candidates. It is early still. These campaigns will begin to focus as the primary season nears,” Cantor added. “The choice is going to be: are you for more government and more taxes, or are you for more growth and more jobs? That’s going to be the choice, so candidates that want to embrace that – all in.”

Ryan, who last week decided against running for Wisconsin’s open Senate seat, appeared on NBC's Meet the Press Sunday and flatly rejected a potential bid for the White House as well.

Asked whether he would consider mounting a “Cantor for President” campaign, the No. 2 House Republican emphatically rejected the idea.

“Absolutely not,” Cantor, a six-term lawmaker, deadpanned. “I have no intention or desire to run.”

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Donald Trump Back in the 2012 Race?

Matthew Cavanaugh/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- Perhaps Donald Trump didn't really bow out after all.

The billionaire business mogul phoned into Fox News' Fox & Friends Monday to lament the state of the Republican field. He took issue with Mike Huckabee exiting the race, saying he's sure Huckabee could win and he's still sure he himself could have won.

Trump refused to rule out a late entry into the Republican presidential field.

"Who knows if I did the right thing," he said. "I am not seeing a lot out of the Republican candidates."

Asked if there's any chance he'll jump in later in the race, Trump replied, "I can't rule out anything...[It's] vital that we choose the right person, and at this moment, I don't see that person."

Michael Cohen, an executive at the Trump Organization who doubles as Trump's chief political adviser, told ABC News, "The statement speaks for itself and Mr. Trump has no additional comment at this time."

On May 8, Trump squashed speculation about his potential candidacy, saying in a statement that he "decided not to pursue the office of the presidency" and was "not ready to leave the private sector." In typical Trump fashion, he pushed his potential political career aside with bravado, saying "I maintain the strong conviction that if I were to run, I would be able to win the primary and ultimately, the general election."

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

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