Entries in Delaware (15)


Sher Valenzuela Set to Burst onto Scene During Primetime Address at GOP Convention

ABC News(TAMPA, Fla.) — Most people in the United States probably identify the singer Cher as the most popular woman with that first name. But soon, that could all change.

Tuesday night, Republicans believe one of their star candidates, Sher Valenzuela, will burst into the national spotlight when she delivers a primetime address during the Republican National Convention.

Valenzuela, who is running for lieutenant governor of Delaware, is a small businesswoman who runs an industrial upholstery facility that manufactures everything from padding for Major League Baseball umpires to bulletproof vests for the Israeli military and protective covering for the U.S. military’s Boeing V-22 Osprey.

Tuesday night, she has one of the best speaking slots. She is slated to address the convention for eight minutes beginning at 7:50 p.m. ET on the moral defense of free enterprise.

But her newfound glory hasn’t excited everyone. Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaragosa told reporters Tuesday in Tampa, Fla., “You can’t just tout out a brown face or a Spanish surname and expect the people are going to vote for your party or your candidate.”

Those comments were perceived as a direct assault on Valenzuela, whose husband, Eli, is Latino. Valenzuela is white.

Still, the mayor’s comments didn’t appear to faze Valenzuela.

“They’ve got a lot of things going on in their own state, in their own backyard,” she told ABC News Tuesday afternoon. “We have enough to worry about with what’s happening in our nation to worry about what’s happening in California. Keep your feet grounded in your own backyard and together we’re going to build communities that work.”

Valenzuela, who has never before sought political office, drew a parallel between her candidacy and the leadership qualities of Mitt Romney.

“We’re looking at somebody that has a solid understanding of what it means to balance a budget and who has a track record of supporting small businesses,” she said. “I relate to what Gov. Romney brings. I know what it means to balance a budget. I know what it means to write a paycheck and not only cash one. I know what it means to create a job, and I know what it means to struggle with my business every day in terms of keeping our doors open any day, but definitely in a difficult economy.”

The convention’s theme Monday night, “We Built It,” has also attracted some criticism toward Valenzuela, whose business employs about 70 people, because it accepted federal loans and contracts. Valenzuela said that when she launched her business from her garage, she applied for a Small Business Administration-backed loan.

“I had to put my house on the line for that loan and, thankfully, I didn’t lose my house and, thankfully, I was able to create the jobs that I committed to provide,” she said. “It’s businesses versus big government. We don’t need big government. We need a more efficient, lean government, and that’s exactly the kind of government we intend to deliver.”

“It doesn’t matter if you have a D or an I or an R after your name if you have a job – a J-O-B,” she added. “It really matters to people that they have an opportunity to contribute to their economy in a very meaningful way, and this is outside party lines. So we believe that these are the solutions that America is craving.”

So does she have any nerves heading into what is likely the biggest moment of her life?

“Of course,” she laughed. “I wouldn’t be human if I didn’t say that I was humbled by this, but I just expect to be myself – and everybody that’s here, I’m sure, will relate to that.”

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Gingrich Loses Big, Says He’ll ‘Look Realistically’ at Future

Jessica McGowan/Getty Images(CONCORD, N.C.) -- Although Newt Gingrich lost the Delaware primary by an overwhelming 29 percent to Mitt Romney, the former speaker of the House still did not announce the suspension of his presidential campaign Tuesday night.

Gingrich, who simultaneously lost to Romney in New York, Connecticut, Rhode Island and Pennsylvania on Tuesday, said earlier in the week that if he lost the winner-take-all state of Delaware -- where he focused his campaigning -- he would “reassess” his presidential bid. 

On Tuesday night, a more subdued and somber Gingrich told a small crowd in Concord, N.C., that while he still wants to take the conservative fight “all the way to Tampa” to the Republican National Convention, he also wants to be pragmatic.

“Over the next few days, we’re going to look realistically at where we are at,” he said.

Possibly hinting that he will be returning to regular life as a non-candidate, Gingrich told the crowd at Concord’s Vintage Motor Club that he wanted to stand together to defeat President Obama.

“So we want you to know that as citizens, we are going to be right there standing shoulder by shoulder with you and that as we think through about how we can best be effective citizens over the next week or two -- we are going to rely on you for help and you for advice,” Gingrich said.

One man shaking Gingrich’s hand on the rope line pleaded with him to stay in the race.

“I think there’s a point where we have to be realistic about what you can accomplish.  But as a citizen, I’m not … I’m going to stay at it,” Gingrich told the man.

Another telling sign the Gingrich campaign was possibly moving on Tuesday was that Callista Gingrich’s stump speech, which has not varied much since she began introducing her husband, left out a key component: she did not refer to him as “the next president of the United States.”

Gingrich told the crowd he wanted to be clear that he was going to continue to campaign in North Carolina as he evaluates his place in the GOP race.

“We have, I think, 23 events all together here in North Carolina this week.  We will be at 23 events here,” Gingrich said.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Northeast Primary Day: What to Watch After Santorum’s Exit

Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- Five Northeastern states -- Connecticut, Delaware, New York, Pennsylvania and Rhode Island -- will hold their primaries on Tuesday, and a total of 231 delegates are at stake.

Before Rick Santorum dropped out of the race, polling had indicated that Mitt Romney was the strong favorite in these contests -- the only truly close contest was Santorum’s home state of Pennsylvania.

After Santorum dropped out of the race, all of these primaries ceased to be contested.  Romney is likely to walk away with at least a strong majority of the delegates, possibly all of them.  Still, there are several important things to watch in Tuesday’s battles:

1. How many delegates will Romney win?

Although Romney is his party’s presumptive nominee, he is still several hundred delegates shy of the 1,144 he needs to officially clinch his party's nomination.  Romney has amassed 697 delegates so far, according to ABC News’ projections.

In Tuesday’s contest, the most delegate-rich state is New York with 95.  There are 72 delegates at stake in Pennsylvania, 28 in Connecticut, 19 in Rhode Island and 17 in Delaware.  Delaware awards their delegates on a winner-take-all scheme, but the other states are proportional, meaning there is an opportunity for Newt Gingrich and Ron Paul to pick up a couple of delegates here or there.

2. Will Gingrich pick up a bounce after Santorum’s exit?

Back in January, Gingrich encouraged Santorum to drop out of the race and endorse him.  The logic behind the encouragement, aside from wanting to narrow down the field, was that Santorum supporters would be more likely to back Gingrich over Romney -- that Gingrich and Santorum were splitting the more conservative base of the party. 

This theory has been floated throughout the primary season: If either candidate were to drop out and endorse the other, it would benefit the remaining candidate.  There are no hard numbers to back it up the suspicion, however.

Santorum hasn’t endorsed anyone in the race, and the talk of his endorsement so far has been centered on a possible Romney endorsement, not a Gingrich endorsement.  But Tuesday’s primary offers a chance to see whether Gingrich can in fact benefit from Santorum’s departure in any way.

3. Will Santorum still get a percentage of the vote?

Although he suspended his campaign weeks ago, Santorum’s name remains on the ballot in all five of these primaries, so technically speaking there’s nothing to stop dedicated supporters from checking his name.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Obama Spending Day behind Closed Doors, Will Host Iftar Dinner

Official White House Photo by Pete Souza(WASHINGTON) -- After spending Tuesday in Dover, Del., paying tribute to the 30 U.S. service members killed in Afghanistan over the weekend, President Obama is expected to spend Wednesday behind closed doors at the White House.

Obama will meet separately with Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner. The president, who continues to wrestle with the struggling economy, was originally scheduled to meet with Geithner on Tuesday, but their meeting was postponed for Obama’s Dover trip.

Wednesday evening, the president will host his third Iftar dinner at the White House celebrating Ramadan. The dinner continues a tradition started under President Clinton and continued by President George W. Bush. Invited guests include elected officials, religious and grassroots leaders in the Muslim American community, and leaders of diverse faiths.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Police Visit Home of Minor Who Communicated with Weiner

Alex Wong/Getty Images(NEW CASTLE COUNTY, Del.) -- ABC News has learned more about Congressman Anthony Weiner's online contacts.

Police in New Castle County, Del. visited the home of a 17-year-old girl who was one of Weiner's followers on Twitter who boasted that she has communicated with the congressman online.

It remains unclear who called the police, or exactly why they were there.  But Weiner's newly hired spokeswoman told ABC News in a statement, "According to Congressman Weiner, his communications with this person were neither explicit nor indecent."

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


ABC News: Christine O'Donnell Projected to Lose Delaware Senate Race

Photo Courtesy - Getty Images(WILMINGTON, Del.) -- Democrat Christopher Coons is projected to beat Tea Party candidate Christine O'Donnell in the race to keep Vice President Joe Biden's former Senate seat in Democratic hands.

The Delaware race was rarely in doubt as Coons, the New Castle County executive, enjoyed double digit leads in polls in recent weeks, but the national spotlight remained on the state. It was one of the first defeats of the Tea Party in the 2010 Midterm Elections.

O'Donnell first burst into the political limelight as a Tea Party candidate who defeated a moderate and popular Republican, Rep. Michael Castle, in the September primary. She quickly raised $1 million from jubilant Tea Party supporters and won the endorsement of Sarah Palin.

The spotlight, however, turned harsh as O'Donnell struggled to defuse a series of revelations about her past that included dabbling in witchcraft, unpaid student debts, and income taxes, IRS liens, and improperly used campaign funds.

Coons' victory could be vital to the Democrats in the Senate. Should Democrats lose nine other seats in the election, leaving the Senate at 50-50, Coons could emerge as a party savior of sorts, because Democrats would retain the majority by virtue of the vice president holding a tie-breaking vote in the Senate.

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio


Christine O'Donnell TV Ad Struggles to Air

Photo Courtesy - Getty Images

UPDATE: (WILMINGTON, Del.) -- The Christine O'Donnell ad finally aired at 3 pm Monday on Delaware channel 28, O'Donnell spokesman Doug Satchleben said in a statement.  The delay was apparently due to miscommunication between the campaign and station managers.

"Delaware 28 Executive Producer Tim Qualls explained to the campaign that he was out of the area for the weekend because of a family illness, and was apparently unaware of the campaign’s transaction last Friday between a local third-party buyer and Channel 28 employees," he wrote.

"Mr. Qualls is being incredibly cooperative now that he fully understands the situation, and we cannot thank him enough for helping us get Christine’s message out to the voters of Delaware. We are sincerely sorry for any misunderstanding that has transpired and that may have added stress to his family situation."

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio


(WILMINGTON, Del.) -- Delaware U.S. Senate candidate Christine O’Donnell appears to be having some technical difficulties getting a 24-minute documentary-style television ad on the air before Tuesday’s vote.

O’Donnell announced the premiere of her elaborately-produced video on Twitter Sunday night, telling followers to tune in to a local channel for a “look at the unconventional campaign touching Delawareans like no other.”

But when the 11:30 p.m. time slot arrived, there was no O’Donnell.

The campaign sent out a press release Monday morning heralding a second attempt to air the video. But for a second time in as many days, O’Donnell’s ad never made it on the air as planned.

O'Donnell campaign spokesman Doug Sachtleben suggested politics could be at play.

“It’s still unclear as to why the local cable channel failed to air the half-hour long special," he wrote. "Our hope is that this is not another case of the liberal media or political dirty tricks trying to silence Christine’s message to the voters of Delaware."

The piece, entitled “We the People of the First State,” opens to beauty shots of the Delaware landscape and cuts to vacant strip malls and interviews with struggling small business owners.  O’Donnell narrates, telling voters she can best empathize with their plight and showcasing similar themes to the “I'm you” advertisement she ran earlier in the campaign.

O'Donnell is trailing Democrat Chris Coons by 10 points in the most recent poll conducted by Monmouth University.

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio


Christine O’Donnell Claims Divine Mandate for Candidacy

Photo Courtesy - Christine2010 [dot] com(DOVER, Del.) -- Delaware Republican Christine O’Donnell says “God is the reason” that she’s running for U.S. Senate and that prayer has played “a direct role in this campaign.”

“I know that God has called me to this,” she told the Christian Broadcasting Network’s David Brody in an interview to be aired Tuesday on The 700 Club program.

“If I didn’t believe that there were a cause greater than myself worth fighting for, if I didn’t believe that it takes a complete dying of self to make things right in this election cycle I would not be running,” she told CBN. “When you die to yourself you rely on a power greater than yourself, so prayer is what’s gotten us all through.”

O’Donnell, who has been trailing Democrat Chris Coons, also directly credits prayer with helping her narrow the gap in some recent polls.

O’Donnell’s outspokenness on matters of faith and her punditry on several television talk shows during the 1990s, which she has since described as a “ministry opportunity,” have garnered national attention during the campaign. 

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio


Christine O'Donnell: 'Separation of Church and State' in Constitution?

Photo Courtesy - Getty Images(WILMINGTON, Del.) -- Delaware Republican Senate candidate Christine O'Donnell considers herself a constitutional originalist, believing that only rights and government powers enumerated in the document's text should exist.

In a debate at Widener University Law School Tuesday, O'Donnell and Democratic nominee Chris Coons clashed over whether teaching creationism in public schools would violate the First Amendment protection against government establishment of religion.

"The First Amendment...establishes the separation -- the fact that the federal government shall not establish any religion, and decisional law by the Supreme Court over many, many decades clarifies and enshrines that there is a separation of church and state," said Coons, a graduate of Yale Law School.

"So you're telling me that the separation of church and state is found in the First Amendment?" interrupted O'Donnell.

"It is important for us in modern times to apply the Constitution as it exists today and as it has been interpreted by our justices," continued Coons. "And if there are settled pieces of constitutional law, like the separation of church and state, like the individual right to reproductive freedom that Roe v. Wade represents, that we've lived with and under for decades, in my view it is important to know that on my side you have a candidate who believes and supports those things and on the other side a candidate who's both unfamiliar with and..."

"So you're telling me the separation of church and state is found in the First Amendment?" repeated O'Donnell.

"Government shall make no establishment of religion," Coons replied.

"That's in the First Amendment?" asked O'Donnell.

The First Amendment states that "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof." But it does not specifically state that there should be a "separation of church and state" as has been popularly construed.

After the exchange, the crowd of legal scholars and law school students began rumbling among themselves as the moderator cut in for a commercial break.

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio


Obama Campaigns For Delaware Senate Seat: Don’t Take this For Granted

Photo Courtesy - ABC News Radio(WILMINGTON, Del.) -- While Democratic Senate candidate Chris Coons has a comfortable lead over Republican candidate Christine O’Donnell President Obama campaigning Friday in Delaware had a message to Democrats:  Don’t take this race for granted.

“I think Chris has so far run an extraordinary race, I don't want anybody here taking this for granted,” the president said from Wilmington Friday, “This is a tough political environment right now.  This is a difficult election because we've been through an incredibly difficult time as a nation.”

Polls show Coons with at least a 17% lead on O’Donnell.  The president never once mentioned Christine O’Donnell by name, arguing more broadly for the Democratic Party’s case versus the broader Republican Party’s, casting his party as working against the status quo.

“It was the conventional wisdom two years ago.  Do you remember that?  Everybody said, no you can't.  And two years ago, you said yes we can.  And you can say that same thing two weeks from now.”

The president said the Republican Party wants to make this election “simply a referendum on the current state of the economy,” but he said this election is really about a choice of the direction of the country.  “I'm here to tell you, don't let anybody tell you that this fight is not worth it.  Don't let them tell you that we're not making a difference."

Vice President Biden and President Obama each spoke at the event Friday in the race for Biden’s old Senate seat, leading to some questions at Thursday's White House briefing as to why the White House is putting so many resources in this race, given that it is not nearly as close as other competitive races.

“I think it's a very important race,” White House press secretary Robert Gibbs said, “we understand that every vote and every race is important, and obviously this one's, sort of, near and dear to the vice president.   And -- and they're both happy to -- to go do that.”

Gibbs said they “hope and expect” to win the race.

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio

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