Entries in GOP Leaders (6)


Perry Slams Romney, Talks Gun Control and Church on Sunday

Photo By Tom Williams/Roll Call(CONWAY, S.C.) -- Texas Gov. Rick Perry came out swinging today in South Carolina, making his fiercest hit yet on former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney and his record as a job creator.

“There is no one going to be sitting on that stage who has the record of job creation that I have,” Perry said at Rep. Tim Scott’s, R-S.C., town hall in Conway, S.C. Monday morning. “There’s going to be some that get up and say ‘Well I’ve created jobs,’ and that’s true. There’s one in particular who’s created jobs all over the world, but while he was the governor of Massachusetts, he didn’t create very many jobs.”

The two were set to appear at Sen. Jim DeMint’s Palmetto Freedom Forum in Columbia, S.C. Monday afternoon, but Perry, who overtook Romney’s position as front-runner in recent polls, cancelled his appearance to attend to the wildfires scorching thousands of acres across central Texas

The Texas governor, who is the third candidate to participate in Scott’s presidential town hall series, answered questions from the crowd ranging from his commitment to pro-life issues to explaining where exactly he stands on gun control.

“I’m actually for gun control – use both hands,” Perry quipped.

Perry stressed his commitment to balancing the federal budget, ridding the country of over taxation and over regulation, and downsizing the federal government, including reforming the Department of Education and Department of Energy.

“If you want to leave the education department there for a while to be a repository of best practices, I could get along with that, but the fact of the matter is they have not educated one child, just like the department of energy has not created one bit of energy.”

Perry, who hosted a day of prayer attended by 30,000 people in early August in Houston, Texas, vowed to incorporate his Christian faith in his work as president and shared a story of his wife, Anita, recently boasting about her husband’s commitment to his faith.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


SC Forum Offers a Prelude to Pivotal Period in 2012 Race 

Mark Wilson/Getty Images(COLUMBIA, S.C.) -- On a day that kicks off a more intense period of campaigning in the presidential election cycle, it’s clear the gloves are coming off.

Nearly all of the Republican candidates will gather Monday for a forum in South Carolina where Sen. Jim DeMint, a Tea Party icon, will have the chance to question five of them. Mitt Romney, Michele Bachmann, Ron Paul, Newt Gingrich and Herman Cain will take the stage separately, but look for each of them to draw some sharp contrasts with their rivals.

Texas Gov. Rick Perry was a late scratch from the event after a spokesman for the governor said he decided to skip it in order to immediately return to Texas to deal with the raging wildfires there. He took part in another event Monday morning with Rep. Tim Scott, R-S.C. in Conway, S.C.

The Palmetto Freedom Forum, which begins at 3 p.m. Monday at the Columbia Metropolitan Convention Center, is a prelude to a series of face-to-face debates over the next month that could help bring focus to the race.

It has been a tumultuous month in the 2012 field. With Perry’s entrance, other candidates have been forced to readjust their strategies to deal with his rapid surge in the polls -- not only nationally but in key primary states.

Chief among them is Mitt Romney, who was initially expected to skip Monday’s forum in the Palmetto State but changed his mind. This weekend has been a Tea Party coming out party of sorts for Romney, who spoke at a Tea Party Express rally in New Hampshire Sunday night.

Romney received DeMint’s endorsement during the 2008 election cycle, but the South Carolina senator said in an interview with ABC’s Christiane Amanpour he was unlikely to officially back any candidate for several months.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Mitt Romney Blasts Rick Perry at Tea Party Rally

Darren McCollester/Getty Images(CONCORD, N.H.) -- Gov. Mitt Romney was visibly fired up Sunday night at a Tea Party rally in Concord, N.H., where he continued his veiled swipes at Texas Gov. Rick Perry.

“Of the people running for president there aren’t many who have less years in government than me,” Romney said. “I served four years as governor but I joke I didn’t inhale.”

Repeating a line he’s used all week Romney said, “Career politicians got us into this and they don’t know how to get us out…I’m a business guy.”

Of the jobs report released last week, which showed the unemployment rate hold at 9.1 percent, Romney quipped: “Shutouts are good in baseball…not with jobs.”

Despite promises to heckle Romney, the large crowd -- about 150 people -- behaved during the speech.

Romney was accompanied by his wife, Ann, who introduced her husband, joking that she swore after the 2008 election she wouldn’t do it again -- much like she said she wouldn’t have more kids after each of her five children.

Romney’s supporters, wearing campaign T-shirts and holding signs, cheered throughout the speech.

Shaking hands after his speech Romney was greeted by a swarm of supporters screaming, “President Romney!” as they posed for photos with the candidate.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


GOP Leaders: ‘It’s Time for the President to Tell Us What He’s For’

ABC News(WASHINGTON) -- Moments after the House of Representatives voted to reject Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid’s plan to increase the debt limit, Congress’s top-two ranking Republicans say President Obama must now enumerate a legislative solution to the looming financial crisis that he will sign into law.

“It’s time for the president to tell us what he’s for,” House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, said at a joint news conference with Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell. “It’s time for the president to outline how do we get out of this cul-de-sac that he’s driven us into.”

“We all know that if the president decides to reach agreement with us, the Democrats – most of them – will fall in line,” McConnell, R-Kentucky, added. “He is leader of the Democratic Party. He is the president of the United States. He needs to indicate what he will sign and we are in those discussions now.”

Although the Senate will not vote on the Reid proposal until early Sunday morning, Boehner said that this afternoon’s vote in the House “indicates there’s bipartisan opposition to Senator Reid’s proposal.” Boehner also said that Congress could have passed the Boehner plan last week but “the only thing standing in way of the House proposal over in the Senate is the president and Senator Reid.”

McConnell also predicted that a vote on the Reid plan will fail early Sunday morning, and he revealed that he had spoken to both the president and the vice president Saturday afternoon to begin the process of finalizing an agreement.

Earlier Saturday, the House of Representatives voted 173-246 to defeat Reid’s version of a plan to increase the debt limit by $2.4 trillion along with $2.4 trillion in cuts. No Republicans voted in favor of the legislation while 11 House Democrats voted against it. The bill required a two-thirds majority to pass because it was moved to the floor under the rules of suspension.

The House adjourned shortly after the vote at 3:16pm and will be in a pro forma session Sunday with no votes expected.

Still, the two GOP leaders did their best to assure the public that the deadline will not pass without a deal to raise the debt ceiling in place.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Boehner Tweaks Debt Bill to Include Balanced Budget Amendment

MANDEL NGAN/AFP/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- After House Republicans failed to line up a majority to pass the Boehner debt plan Thursday night, the GOP leadership decided Friday to once again tweak the bill, and once again Republicans have recaptured confidence that they will pass a bill to raise the debt ceiling and send it to the Senate.

House Speaker John Boehner urged his colleagues to pass the measure and put the onus to get a deal done back on the Democrat-controlled Senate, according to a senior GOP leadership aide.

“If we pass this today, we will have sent not one, but two bills to the Senate that would end this crisis,” Boehner, R-Ohio, reportedly told the conference. “All that will stand between the American people and a resolution to this crisis will be the Senate, which has passed nothing.”

Sources inside the room say that Boehner again pleaded for party unity and said the House would vote Friday on a debt ceiling bill -- one way or another.

While the Republicans were strategizing, President Obama went to the airwaves and called on the GOP to stop wasting time and compromise with Democrats, saying the stalled GOP House bill “has no chance of becoming law.”

“The House of Representatives is still trying to pass a bill that a majority of Republicans and Democrats in the Senate have already said they won't vote for,” Obama said. “It's a plan that would force us to relive this crisis in just a few short months, holding our economy captive to Washington politics once again.  In other words, it does not solve the problem, and it has no chance of becoming law.”

As the GOP meeting began to wrap and lawmakers began to trickle out, Rep. Mo Brooks of Alabama was asked about the president’s comments. Brooks, a tea party-supported freshman, dismissed the president’s comments and broke the news that the leadership had tweaked the bill to include a Balanced Budget Amendment element -- likely boosting the Whip count over the top.

Boehner’s plan, also known as the Budget Control Act of 2011, was revised only to ensure that a balanced budget amendment is passed by both Houses of Congress before the second installment of debt limit increase authority is granted to the president.

All the numbers confirmed by the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office stand. The measure would find $917 billion in savings over 10 years, while the debt limit will be increased by $900 billion. The second stage of the plan would still create a select joint committee on deficit reduction before the debt limit is increased again.

As Boehner left the meeting he announced "we have a deal" and some noted that he was smiling. The speaker is expected to be on the House floor Friday afternoon to discuss the changes to the bill prior to a vote.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Obama Lunches With GOP Leadership

Photo Courtesy - Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- After emerging from their closed-door lunch with President Obama, Vice President Biden, and White House Chief of Staff Bill Daley the new House Republican leadership touted in the White House driveway that there were some areas of common ground found.

“It was a very good lunch, and we're able to find enough common ground, I think, to show the American people that we're willing to work on their behalf and willing to do it together,” Speaker John Boehner said.

The new Speaker pushed -- as did the other Republicans in the room -- for a cut in spending.

“Our number-one issue is getting the economy going again and getting people back to work,” Boehner said, “And we believe that in order for that to happen, that we need to cut spending, we need to stop unnecessary regulation that's hampering small business's ability to hire people.”

White House press secretary Robert Gibbs said the president thought the meeting was “very constructive” and echoed that they agreed that there should be a broad discussions about cutting spending and reducing the deficit.

Republican Leader Cantor said there was a “fairly robust conversation” about the need for everyone to work together “to send a signal that we’re serious about cutting spending,” and that there was some agreement on that. But, as Cantor said himself, the devil is in the details.

“I guess the particulars and the details will be where the disagreements may  lie,” Cantor confessed, “But we're coming out of this lunch committed to trying to do that, because the economy so desperately needs us to work together to send a signal that we should start growing again as America.”

Republican Whip McCarthy said that the main portion of the entire lunch was talking about the economy.

“We looked to places that we could work together on, from jobs to cutting of government spending,” McCarthy said, “And it was a beginning and a start.  And we look forward to having the president on his word where we can move legislation, where we can create new jobs in America."

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

ABC News Radio