Entries in Candidate (8)


Analysis: Rick Santorum Struggles to Transition to Major Candidate

Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call(MANCHESTER, N.H.) -- Rick Santorum’s transition from scrappy Iowa underdog to national contender hit some bumps in his first full day campaigning in New Hampshire since his near-upset in the Hawkeye State.

During a stop Thursday at the Merrimack train station in Northfield, N.H., the former senator from Pennsylvania charmed the crowd, telling his life story, making his pitch and winning them over. Diving into the traditional engagement that New Hampshire voters demand, Santorum excelled in the back-and-forth.

But at the New Hampshire College Convention, at the Grappone Conference Center in Concord, N.H., he seemed lecturing and occasionally prickly. And while perhaps an instructive tone is not entirely inappropriate in front of students, he did some of the same Wednesday night at a senior center in Brentwood, N.H.

His debate with college students about same-sex marriage grew contentious.

“Why shouldn’t marriage [be] between three men?” he asked at one point.

His position on the issue is one that certainly will have appeal for the social conservatives in this state, where same-sex marriage is legal, and even more so for his next audience in South Carolina. But the extensive back-and-forth -- he clearly relishes debate -- distracted from his task at hand: introducing himself to voters, explaining his rationale for his candidacy, and becoming a contender. While his bona fides as a social conservative are part of that, his task is to now expand beyond those base Republican voters. Even before that debate over marriage, Santorum’s stump speech was long on history lessons, short on rallying supporters.

Santorum at one point asked for a show of hands as to who knew the national motto. He expressed a shocked disgust that “only five percent of you are raising your hands.”

Moreover, he was wrong. He said the motto was “E Pluribus Unum.” It isn’t. It’s “In God We Trust” -- as Republicans pointed out two months ago in a House resolution after President Obama made the same mistake.

Presidential campaigns provide opportunities for candidates to grow and mature, to step into the role of a national leader. Not every candidate is able to meet the moment -- witness Howard Dean, for example, or Mike Huckabee. Sometimes the thinking is: Well, this worked for me up until now, so I might as well continue doing it. But that is a fallacy. Campaigns are opportunities to grow into something else. No nominee starts the same as he ends.

Santorum will need his campaign to grow in infrastructure, fundraising, endorsements and national reach. After New Hampshire, as the candidates move to states that depend less on retail politics and more on money, TV ads and major rallies, this will become a resource war.  But that won’t be enough. He will need to grow, as well.

Conservatives are looking for a candidate around whom they can rally. Santorum will need to rise to the occasion, or like others before him, he could fall.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Mitt Romney Files for Candidacy in Washington, DC

ABC News(WASHINGTON) -- Mitt Romney is now the only Republican officially running for president in the District of Columbia.

Josh Romney, the third-oldest son of the former Massachusetts governor, handed in a stack of 700 signatures at the D.C. Board of Elections on Wednesday, accompanied by two local campaign supporters in Republican National Committeewoman Betsy Werronen and D.C. State Board of Education member Patrick Mara. As of yet, no other candidate has completed D.C.’s filing process, though three have started it.

“Sorry for this -- we appreciate it,” Josh Romney told the registrar on duty, smiling as a few cameras flashed with reporters looking on. “I guess you have to do this a few more times.”

“Probably,” she replied.

The heavily Democratic district isn’t generally a hotbed of Republican primary competition. After its April 3 presidential primary, D.C. will send just 19 voting delegates to the Republican National Convention in Tampa, Fla., out of over 2,200 delegates total -- fewer than every state except New Hampshire (12), Vermont (17), Delaware (17) and Rhode Island (19).

Republicans could face a drawn-out primary process in 2012, after the Republican National Committee changed its rules and pressured states to reject winner-take-all rules for delegate allotment, and it’s narrowly conceivable that every delegate vote could count.

The Romney campaign has already paid a $5,000 filing fee to the D.C. Republican Party, as have Rep. Ron Paul, R-Texas, former Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman, and former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, R-Ga., all of whom have taken initial steps to file for candidacy in D.C.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Nikki Haley: Health Care Will Remain Issue For Romney

Chris Keane/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- Republican South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley said GOP presidential hopeful Mitt Romney "will have to continue to deal with" fallout over his Massachusetts health care reform bill, and that it will remain a challenge for his primary prospects.
"I will tell you we do not want a Massachusetts health care plan in South Carolina," Haley said in an exclusive interview with ABC News This Week anchor Christiane Amanpour.

Last Thursday, former Massachusetts Governor Romney gave an address in Michigan attempting to distinguish the 2006 Massachusetts health care reform law that he signed into law from President Obama's plan passed into law last year. Romney has come under fire from conservatives, who say his health care plan closely resembles Obama's reform efforts.

"I think that we are looking for a leader that's willing to, one, make courageous stands, take strong policy decisions, but two, also admit when a mistake was made," Haley said. "Every candidate's going to have their challenge, I certainly think that's going to be his challenge," Haley added.
Haley also weighed in on other potential candidates for the GOP nomination, some of whom kicked off the campaign season in a presidential debate in Greenville, S.C. on May 5.

"I think that the people of South Carolina and across this country are really going to push these candidates in a way that we've never pushed them before," Haley said. "I think that Newt Gingrich has dealt with a lot of issues in the past, and I think now he's going to have to show that he's got those ideas to deal with the future."
Indiana governor Mitch Daniels is still mulling a 2012 run, and this week drew coverage in major newspapers over his wife's apparent reluctance to have their personal lives scrutinized on a national stage.

"I think it's a terrible distraction to a campaign," Haley said. "I think what you need to be looking at and what I'm certainly looking at is what type of governor he was.”
Haley added that she found real estate tycoon Donald Trump's profanity-ridden speech in Las Vegas last month would not hold up in her home state.

Haley wasn't certain whether former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, who supported Haley in 2010, would enter the 2012 presidential race, but praised her for "getting people to know the power of their voice."

"I think that she woke up a lot of people in our country that just really thought that government was a waste of time and she got them to care again," Haley said.

Copyright 2011 ABC New Radio


Iowa GOP Donors Court New Jersey Governor Chris Christie

ABC News(TRENTON, N.J.) -- This is the time of year when presidential candidates are traveling to Iowa, trying to drum up support for fledgling candidacies. But not Chris Christie. Iowa is coming to him.

The New Jersey governor has said repeatedly that he won't run for president this year, but a group of GOP fundraisers from Iowa is courting him anyway and plans to meet Christie in New Jersey later this month.

For Christie, it is flattering, politically, to be sought out. But for Republican donors in Iowa, it speaks to the frustration among thousands of their fellow Republicans who are looking at the presidential field and feel uninspired.

Christie has been clear that he's not running, but by welcoming this high-profile delegation of Iowans means his name will stay in the mix for at least the next few weeks.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Tim Pawlenty Announces 2012 Presidential Exploratory Committee

Tom Williams/Roll Call/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- Former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty kicked off the presidential campaign season for Republicans on Monday by announcing the formation of a presidential exploratory committee in a Facebook message to supporters.

"We know what we need to do: grow jobs, limit government spending and tackle entitlements," he says in a video message that emphasizes his mid-America, blue-collar roots. "Join the team and, together, we'll restore America.

The race among Republicans to challenge President Obama has gotten a late start and Pawlenty is the first major Republican to officially announce his intentions, although the formation of an exploratory committee is still one step removed from a full-blown campaign.

"This exploratory committee will be the next step in the process, not the full announcement but assuming the exploratory committee goes well that will come soon enough," Pawlenty, 50, said on a conference call with friends and family Monday morning, adding that the move would put a "structure" and "organization in place to take these initial steps to run for President of the United States."

The Republican former governor has been traveling the country in recent months, focusing on early nominating states such as Iowa, New Hampshire, and South Carolina, and fine-tuning his message in front of potential GOP presidential primary voters.

Pawlenty faces a steeper climb than other potential rivals, such as former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, as he introduces himself to voters. In a recent ABC News-Washington Post poll, for example, 58 percent of Republican-leaning voters had yet to form an opinion of Pawlenty compared to 19 percent for Romney and 5 percent for former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Self-Funded Candidates 'Obliterated' on Election Day

Photo Courtesy - Getty Images(FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla.) -- Despite a large number of mega-rich candidates who funded their own political bids this campaign season, only one self-funded politician emerged from Election Day a winner. 
Republican Rick Scott, a health-care entrepreneur, barely squeaked by Alex Sink in the race to become Florida's governor, despite spending close to $73 million of his own fortune.

Former eBay executive Meg Whitman, however, lost her bid for the California governorship despite spending as much as $142 million of her own money, a new national record. Linda McMahon, a pro-wrestling magnate, burned through $47 million -- more than $90 per vote -- in her unsuccessful run for a U.S. Senate seat from Connecticut.

"This election cycle saw some very notable examples of candidates spending well into the seven if not eight-figure range and effectively getting nothing for their money," said Dave Levinthal, spokesman for the D.C.-based Center for Responsive Politics, which tracks campaign spending.

In particular, self-financed candidates for federal offices "got obliterated," Levinthal said.

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio


Carly Fiorina Released from Hospital; Will Return to Campaign Thursday

Photo Courtesy - Carly for California(LOS ANGELES) -- Carly Fiorina, R-Calif., was released from the hospital Wednesday after spending the night due to complications from an infection.

Fiorina was treated for an illness that developed "as a result of reconstructive surgery following her victory over breast cancer," said Fiorina's chief of staff, Deborah Bowker, in a written statement Wednesday.

"[Wednesday] morning, her doctors gave her the good news that she [would be] released from the hospital today and can resume her busy campaign schedule tomorrow....She is excited to get back to the campaign trail and move forward toward a triumph over Barbara Boxer next Tuesday."

Bowker also expressed Fiorina's gratitude for the "outpouring of well wishes and prayers from so many Californians."

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio


Florida Senate Candidate Focuses on Tea Party 'Extremism'

Photo Courtesy - Getty Images(FLORIDA) -- A new campaign ad by a Florida Senate candidate aims to turn the November elections into a referendum on the Tea Party. In the ad, Independent Charlie Crist, who trails in the polls against Republican Marco Rubio, turns the focus to Sarah Palin and Tea Party “extremism.”

“Down one road is extremism,” said Crist. “That’s the road Sarah Palin, Marco Rubio and the Tea Party want to take us down. It’s a dangerous road and the polls say I’m the only one who can stop them.”

In recent days, Crist has likened Rubio to a “Sarah Palin fellow,” telling voters that they are responsible for choosing a path for Florida and the rest of the country on Election Day.

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio

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