Entries in Des Moines (5)


Gingrich Leads in Des Moines Register Poll, Romney Drops to Third

Nicholas Kamm/AFP/Getty Images(DES MOINES, Iowa) -- Newt Gingrich is now the frontrunner in the first caucus state of Iowa, according to a Des Moines Register poll released Saturday night.

With only a month before the caucuses, the former Speaker of the House received 25 percent support of likely Republican caucus-goers, up from only 7 percent in the Register’s last poll in October. Ron Paul came in second place with 18 percent support, and Mitt Romney was third with 16 percent support.

Caucus campaign veteran and current spokesman for Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad, Tim Albrecht calls the results an “accurate snapshot” of what’s going on here on the ground, but Albrecht says now it’s Gingrich’s turn to play the expectations game.

“The poll places Newt Gingrich in a must-win position with regard to the Iowa caucuses,” said Albrecht, who is currently unaligned but served as Romney’s communications director last cycle in the state. “The question is if he can build the ground game necessary to be successful. Time will tell.”

The poll was taken before Herman Cain’s suspension of his campaign Saturday and he received 8 percent of the support, the same as Michele Bachmann. But the fact that 11 percent of those polled remained undecided, while 60 percent may still change their mind, combined with Cain being now out of the running means the race is still very much up in the air.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Rick Santorum Announces Major Policy Rollout

Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call(DES MOINES, Iowa) -- Presidential candidate Rick Santorum plans to pivot from his 99-county tour of Iowa to a series of detailed policy speeches that will span the areas of cultural and social issues, the economy and foreign policy, his campaign told ABC News.

Santorum is set to launch a “Faith, Family and Freedom Tour” on Friday in Iowa, a state where he has been campaigning particularly hard.

The first of three addresses the former Pennsylvania senator will deliver in connection with the tour is titled “Moral, Cultural Policies for a Santorum White House.” He will deliver the speech Friday morning at his Iowa headquarters in Urbandale.

Santorum plans to travel to New Hampshire and South Carolina in the coming weeks to give two additional speeches. A campaign strategist told ABC News the candidate plans to address in detail how a Santorum administration would focus on “returning to traditional American values of faith and family, promoting freedom via economic security and stability, energy independence, and securing our nation from international threats.”

Hogan Gidley, Santorum’s national communications director, said that during the candidate’s “Faith, Family and Freedom Tour,” the former senator hopes to bring to the forefront issues that have received less attention so far during the primary season.

“The press would have you believe that the only issue is the economy -- and yes, the economy is certainly a pressing issue -- however, to have debates with no questions about the threat of a nuclear Iran and no questions about preserving the traditional American family is a disservice to American people,” Gidley said.

Santorum’s marathon schedule in Iowa puts him at the top of the field when it comes to campaign visits to the Hawkeye State. He is expected to reach the 99-county milestone Wednesday night at the Decker House Hotel in Maquoketa in the Eastern Iowa.

According to the Des Moines Register “Candidate Tracker,” Santorum spent 69 days in the state with 187 events -- more than his closest competitor Michele Bachmann, who has spent 51 days in Iowa holding 98 events.

Traditionally, meeting Iowans face to face is the key to winning the state. It worked for Gov. Terry Branstad’s gubernatorial campaign last year. But Santorum is still struggling to gain traction nationally and in this key state. A recent Des Moines Register poll showed Santorum near the bottom of the pack with 5 percent support.

Nevertheless, on Tuesday, the former Pennsylvania senator told ABC he thinks his “hard work is going to pay off.”

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Rick Perry Takes On Obama, Romney

Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images(DES MOINES, Iowa) -- Texas Gov. Rick Perry, on his third day as a presidential candidate, fired shots at both President Obama and a main rival for the GOP nomination -- Mitt Romney.

"Take a look at his record when he was governor, take a look at my record," Perry said. "That's apples to apples."

Perry, who was campaigning at the Iowa State Fair on Monday also drew a distinction between running a business and running a state -- "that's apples to oranges," he said.

As he was being asked about Romney, the front-runner for the nomination who is campaigning in New Hampshire on Monday, Perry smiled, blew an air kiss and said, "Send him my love."

Just minutes earlier, while delivering remarks at the Des Moines Register Soapbox, Perry focused his fire on President Obama, who was scheduled to be in a different part of the state later Monday.

"He says he's on a listening tour," Perry said, "so I'm going to talk to him."

"Mr. President, you need to free up the employers of this country to create jobs." Perry called on Obama to "free up this country" from "stifling regulation."

"I'm a pro-business governor, I don't make any apologies about it and I will be a pro-business president."

Perry warned that a "big black cloud" hangs over the country.

"I think you want a president who is passionate about America -- that's in love with America."

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Pawlenty Steps Up Ames Push With $200,000 Ad Buy

Scott Olson/Getty Images(AMES, Iowa) -- In an effort to boost his struggling campaign ahead of the Ames straw poll on Aug. 13, Tim Pawlenty has reserved around $200,000 of TV advertising in the Des Moines media market starting Monday and running through the straw poll, a source familiar with the ad buy told ABC News.

On Monday, Pawlenty starts a five-day RV swing through the Hawkeye State. The new ad purchase by the former Minnesota governor -- who has a lot riding on Ames -- is the biggest to date in the 2012 race. He had previously run TV ads in Iowa and this week launched a radio ad touting a video about his faith.

Earlier Friday, Pawlenty revealed that his campaign had raised a total of $4.45 million during the second quarter and entered the crucial upcoming stretch with $1.4 million cash on hand for the GOP primary.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Pawlenty's Presidential Campaign Gets Rolling in Iowa

ABC News(DES MOINES, Iowa) -- Eight months before the Iowa caucuses, Tim Pawlenty formally kicked off his campaign for president Monday in Des Moines, Iowa, denouncing President Obama's policies, touting his record as governor of Minnesota, and promising to tell Americans the "hard truths" even if it hurts.

"Fluffy promises of hope and change don't buy our groceries, make our mortgage payments, or pay for our children's clothes," Pawlenty told the crowd at the State Historical Building. "So in my campaign I'm going to take a different approach. I am going to tell you the truth. The truth is, Washington is broken."

"We've tried Barack Obama's way and his way has failed," he said. "Three years into his term, we're no longer just running out of money. We're running out of time."

One of the "hard truths" that Pawlenty told the Iowa audience was that it is time to start phasing out ethanol subsidies, something that will be a tough sell in the Hawkeye State.

"We need to phase out subsidies across all sources of energy and all industries, including ethanol," he said. "We simply can't afford them anymore. Some people will be upset by what I'm saying. Conventional wisdom says you can't talk about ethanol in Iowa or Social Security in Florida or financial reform on Wall Street. But someone has to say it. Someone has to finally stand up and level with the American people. Someone has to lead - I will."

Pawlenty's week-long roll-out tour will take him to Florida and New York in the coming days. But the state he talked about the most Monday was his home of Minnesota, from his upbringing there - when he lost his mom as a teenager and later became the first in his family to graduate from college - to his tenure as governor.

"I know the American dream because I've lived it," he said. "I am running for president to keep that dream alive."

After an introduction by his wife Mary, Pawlenty spoke for about 20 minutes, a speech kicked off by his proclamation, "I'm Tim Pawlenty and I'm running for president." Pawlenty said the same thing in a video message released Sunday night.

In the days leading up to his long-expected announcement, Pawlenty had been bolstered by Mike Huckabee and Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels both deciding not to run. However, even Pawlenty's roll-out was partially overshadowed by who's not in the GOP race, rather than who is. The front page of Monday's Des Moines Register focused on the impact of Daniels' announcement late Saturday that he was not going to run. While noting that Daniels' absence could help Pawlenty, the paper pointed out that Daniels' "decision not to run disappoints conservatives with fiscal focus."

The story on Pawlenty's roll-out was relegated to page A4.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

ABC News Radio