Entries in president (55)


President Michelle Obama? ‘Absolutely Not’

Alex Wong/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- First lady Michelle Obama made clear Thursday that she does not plan to follow in Hillary Clinton’s footsteps and run for president after her husband leaves office.

“Absolutely not,” the first lady declared Thursday, when a girl at the White House for its "Take Your Daughters And Sons To Work Day,” asked if she will ever run for president.

“One of the things you learn about yourself as you get older are what are your strengths and what are your interests,” she said.  ”And for me, it’s other stuff, that is not being the president. So I probably won’t run.”

In fielding questions from the youngsters, the first lady expressed confidence that her husband will win reelection and that she’ll be in her current role for another four years.”

“When my husband is running for president, we’re right in there; we’re serving, too,” she said. “And I think that once his terms are over, we’ll go on to do other important things — because there are so many ways that you can help this country and the world, even if you’re not president of the United States,” she said.

Mrs. Obama revealed that what she most wants to do is “sneak around.” Asked if she would change anything about the position of first lady, she said she yearns to ditch her security detail and go for a walk.

“I’ve done it a couple of times. But you know, one fantasy I have — and the Secret Service, they keep looking at me because they think I might actually do it — is to walk right out the front door and just keep walking,” she said laughing. “Just go right over there and go into some shops, and stop and have some ice cream.”

“But I can’t do that. I can’t just up and decide, ‘I think I’m going to go for a walk’ and… I’m going to walk to Georgetown. So if I could change something, I’d be able to sneak around a little bit more. But it causes people a lot of stress when I do that so I try not to,” she said.

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Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Romney Won’t Rule Out Romney-Santorum Ticket

Win McNamee/Getty Images(WARWICK, R.I.) -- For the second time in as many days, Mitt Romney was quizzed about his potential vice presidential pick during a town hall and declined to rule out a possible Romney-Santorum ticket.

“Everybody is on my list,” Romney said, answering a voter who asked whether he would consider former presidential candidate Rick Santorum as his running mate. “Everybody is on my list. I’m not taking anybody off the list, alright?”

But Romney quickly stopped himself -- backtracking to say that there actually isn’t a list of potential vice presidential candidates. At least not yet.

“I actually don’t, I don’t have a list, yet,” said Romney. “So I can’t say someone is on or off my list.”

“But I can tell you that the people who I had the privilege of running against would surely be among those I would consider,” said Romney. “The criteria, I think, has to be, first and foremost, is this a person who could be president of the United States, if that were needed? And do people recognize that and see that as a person who has that kind of qualification and so he -- I’ve said this before. If any of the people I ran against happened to become the nominee, I would have endorsed them and supported them for president.”

“So of course they’d be on that list -- and he, among others,” Romney said of Santorum.

“If any of you have any other ideas, just pass them along here,” Romney added, laughing, before searching the room for another questioner.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Rick Santorum Suspends Presidential Campaign

ABC News(GETTYSBURG, Pa.) -- Former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum suspended his presidential campaign Tuesday in a speech to supporters in his home state.

The announcement comes the day after Santorum's 3-year-old daughter Bella was released from the hospital -- her second trip this year. Bella suffers from a rare and often fatal disorder called Trisomy 18.

"This was a time for prayer and thought over this past weekend," Santorum said. "Just like it was when we decided to get into this race... we were very concerned about our role of being the best parents we possibly could to our kids," Santorum said of the kitchen-table discussion with his family before he launched his campaign.

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Santorum said he balanced his desire to be a good father with his desire to do something positive for the country. He mentioned Bella and her condition as one of the reasons he joined the race -- to look out for Americans like her, who he said are "left behind."

"While this presidential campaign is over for me, we are going to continue fighting for those voices," Santorum told a sedate crowd in Gettysburg, Pa.

Santorum waged a scrappy and unexpectedly strong campaign for the Republican nomination, essentially moving to Iowa before narrowly winning the caucus there. Barely registering on opinion polls throughout 2007, he was the first candidate to visit all of the state's 99 counties. He built his campaign around engaging audiences in town hall meetings, often wearing a sweater vest and uttering his campaign battle cry, "Game on."

But like many of his stronger showings in the primaries, Santorum's Iowa victory was marred by some bad luck; party officials there initially called Mitt Romney the narrow victor on caucus night, only to later give the nod to Santorum.

In total, Santorum has won 10 presidential preference contests. That's one fewer than Romney carried in his losing bid in 2008. Santorum has recently compared his current run to Ronald Reagan's 1976 bid. Reagan carried his attempt to unseat President Gerald Ford all the way to the Republican convention that year. Ford eventually got the nomination, but lost the general election to Democrat Jimmy Carter. Reagan was the Republican nominee four years later in 1980 and became a two-term president.

"Miracle after miracle this race was as improbable as any race you will ever see for president," Santorum said Tuesday.

Santorum became the main conservative alternative to Romney, but Romney and his allies outgunned Santorum in television advertising and out-maneuvered him in the delegate race.

Party elders had begun to coalesce around Romney and urged Santorum to end his campaign in recent days.

Santorum didn't mention Romney or the need to coalesce as he ended his campaign, focusing instead on his family.

Romney, in a statement, said Santorum had been an able competitor.

"Senator Santorum is an able and worthy competitor, and I congratulate him on the campaign he ran. He has proven himself to be an important voice in our party and in the nation," wrote Romney. "We both recognize that what is most important is putting the failures of the last three years behind us and setting America back on the path to prosperity."

Santorum's move makes Romney, the former Massachusetts governor who has a commanding delegate lead, the all but certain Republican nominee, although Newt Gingrich and Ron Paul both remain actively in the race.

Gingrich praised Santorum in a statement, but said he has no plans to leave the contest before the Republican convention in Tampa, Florida.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Romney: $40 Tax Cut Would Make 'Substantial Difference' to American Families

ABC News(LANCASTER, N.H.) -- Mitt Romney said Thursday that the $40 dollars many Americans would lose if the payroll tax holiday isn’t extended would make a “very substantial difference” to those who would be without it.

“It’ll be the difference between having a meal that includes meat or just Hamburger Helper,” said Romney in an interview with ABC News’ John Berman aboard the GOP candidate’s new campaign bus in Northern New Hampshire. “It could be the difference between being able to take your family to McDonald’s at the end of the week, it means the difference between being able to go to a movie or not going to a movie.”

“It makes a real difference to the American people,” he said.

Romney said that he believes both Republicans and Democrats need to “sit down and work out” a deal regarding the payroll tax extension, and that it was time to “put the sausage in the sausage grinder and come out with a bill that provides an ongoing payroll tax holiday.”

Often repeating on the trail that the “economy is his wheelhouse,” emphasizing his experience in the private sector as the quality that makes him best fit to replace President Obama, Romney said he did not think an improvement to the country’s economy would detract from his campaign message.

“Look I’m very much in favor of an improving economy -- I want to see America go back to work,” said Romney. “The reality is that the economy is going to get better.  It always does. The question is how long will this economy have been held down by this president’s policies. I’ll make the point very clearly that this is the slowest recovery since [President Hoover]. The president’s policies have not worked.”

As his bus rolled on between Littleton, N.H., and Lancaster, N.H., on the second day of his “Earn It” bus tour through the Granite State, Romney declined to accept an offer from former Speaker Newt Gingrich to debate him one-on-one.

“My view is that I’m going to debate with all the contenders,” said Romney. “Why would I have a debate without the other leading people in this race, and the other candidates? Only a few months ago Speaker Gingrich was in low single digit numbers, we didn’t say, ‘OK, let’s not debate speaker Gingrich, let’s only debate Rick Perry.”

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


‘Burn a Quran’ Pastor Sets Sights on White House 

Mario Tama/Getty Images(GAINESVILLE, Fla.) -- Add Pastor Terry Jones to the list of controversial religious leaders making presidential endorsements this season.  The Florida preacher who set fire to the Quran, sparking a deadly riot, told ABC News he would back GOP front-runner Herman Cain.

But he’d rather not have to endorse anyone, because Jones, 59, whose resume includes managing a hotel and founding a small Florida church, is running for president.

“I think Herman Cain would make a tremendous president,” Jones said. “I would definitely pick Cain. He’s got lots of guts and comes the closest to telling American people the truth. But don’t forget, I’m running too.”

Jones skyrocketed to infamy in 2010 on the eve of that year’s 9/11 anniversary when he planned International Burn a Quran Day.  He balked after political and military leaders convinced him not to set fire to a pile of Muslim holy books. But in April 2011, he went ahead with burning a Quran, leading to a riot in Afghanistan, in which 10 U.N. officials were killed.

Jones called those deaths “very much of a surprise” and said as president he wouldn’t burn any Qurans at the White House.

He would, though, “confront sharia law and radical Muslims” and is “definitely for the deportation of all of the illegal immigrants.”

He also supports recalling all U.S. troops back to the United States.

Unlike GOP contenders Rep. Michele Bachmann and Gov. Rick Perry, Jones, a fundamentalist preacher, says he was not called by God to run for office; there were “just a lot of people who thought it would be a good idea.”

Jones says he has begun raising funds, but would not disclose how much. He said he’s looking into getting on the ballot and will likely run as an independent.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio 


Biden for President in 2016?

Official White House Photo by Pete Souza(WASHINGTON) -- Vice President Joe Biden is leaving the door open for a possible presidential run for 2016, telling CNN, “I’ll make up my mind on that later.”

While Biden, who has made two previous bids for the Democratic presidential nomination, said he is focused on President Obama’s reelection campaign, he did not rule out his own campaign in the future.

"We’ll find out,” Biden said. “You know, let’s get the president reelected."

“I’m in one of the, probably the best shape I’ve been in my life,” Biden, approaching his 70th birthday, told CNN’s Candy Crowley in an interview set to air Sunday. “I’m doing pretty well. I’m enjoying what I’m doing, and as long as I do, I’m going to continue to do it.”

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Obama to Spend Columbus Day Visiting Wounded Troops 

iStockphoto/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) -- President Obama, who spent the weekend at Camp David, will spend the afternoon with wounded service members at the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Maryland.

The visit comes one week after the United States marked the 10th anniversary of the war in Afghanistan. In a statement last week, the president stressed how his administration is ending the war “responsibly” and from “a position of strength.”

“As we reflect on 10 years of war and look ahead to a future of peace, Michelle and I call upon all Americans to show our gratitude and support for our fellow citizens who risk their lives so that we can enjoy the blessings of freedom and security,” Obama said, a message he will likely share with troops Monday.
Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Sarah Palin: Inside Her Decision Not To Run

Spencer Platt/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- Sarah Palin kept her decision not to enter the 2012 presidential race shrouded in secrecy until the last minute -- even to her closest confidants.

ABC News has learned that members of Palin’s staff were only very recently informed that she wouldn’t be running and that an announcement would likely come Wednesday, but they were not informed of the exact details of how the information would be released. As recently as Tuesday afternoon, it was said Palin staffers still did not know whether she was running.

Palin made her decision known Wednesday, releasing a statement to ABC News and telling radio host Mark Levin that she will not be a candidate for president in 2012.

A source with knowledge of the inner workings of SarahPAC said staff members’ initial reaction is that they don’t anticipate any major changes into how SarahPAC will be run after the announcement. Their status hasn’t changed: they didn’t work for a candidate yesterday and they don’t work for one today.

Palin told Levin her family supports her decision and that “they came first.” She said the consideration of what the candidacy would do to her family “weighed heavily on her.”

Staff and close confidants always said the decision would be made with her husband Todd and released when she was ready. As recently as Tuesday afternoon, Palin staffers still did not know whether she was running.

Her endorsement will likely be sought out by the 2012 contenders and she said she wouldn’t run a third party campaign saying it would “guarantee Obama’s re-election, and that’s the last thing our Republic can afford.”

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Sarah Palin Wondered ‘Will I Die?’ -- Politically -- before Making 2012 Decision

Jeff Fusco/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- Sarah Palin reiterated her reasons for not seeking the GOP presidential nomination Wednesday night, saying that she considered whether not jumping into the race would be the end of her political career.

“If I say no to the opportunity that’s in front of me, politically speaking, will I die?” she said on Greta Van Susteren’s Fox News show, discussing her decision making process. “But no, after making the decision today and making the announcement, I know beyond a shadow of the doubt...I know that it’s the right decision.”

The former Alaska governor apologized again to her supporters.

“I apologize to those whom are disappointed in this decision,” she said. “But I believe that they, when they take a step back, will understand why the decision was made and understand that really, you don’t need a title to make a decision in this country.”

Palin said she’s already receiving calls from the Republican presidential contenders seeking her endorsement and advice.

“Good old Todd,” she said, referring to her husband. “He’s the one answering the phone and setting up meetings for us. I do look forward to hearing more personally from these politicians.”

As for who’s calling, Palin said, “You’ll have to ask Todd.”

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Chris Christie Not Running for President

Ramin Talaie/Bloomberg via Getty Images(TRENTON, N.J.) -- New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie told reporters in Trenton on Tuesday that everyone from Republican Party bigwigs to a farmer in Nebraska had pleaded with him to run for president, but that he was committed to his job in the Garden State.

“Now is not my time,” he said at a press conference. And, showcasing his humor, Christie gave a message to the state’s citizens: “Whether you like it or not, you’re stuck with me.”

News that Christie was not running was first reported by ABC News earlier Tuesday.

“When you have serious people from across the spectrum, not to mention from all across the country, passionately calling on you to do something as consequential as running for President of the United States, I feel you have an obligation to earnestly consider their advice,” Christie said.

He said he is proud of New Jersey and to leave now for a bruising political campaign would “leave unfinished business.”

Dozens of high-level GOP donors have been paying visits to Christie since the spring in the hopes of changing his mind.

But the governor spent months saying “no.”

In an interview with ABC News’ Diane Sawyer earlier this year, Christie said he was categorically not running for president.

“You don’t make a decision to run for president of the United States based on impulse. I don’t feel ready in my heart to be president,” he told Sawyer in April. “Unless I do, I don’t have any right offering myself to the people of this country. It’s much too big a job. And so you have to first feel in your heart that you’re ready and that you want it more than anything else.”

And during a speech in Washington, D.C., a few months earlier, Christie put an even finer point on it.

“What do I have to do short of suicide to convince people I’m not running?” he asked. “You have to believe in your heart soul and mind that you’re ready. And I don’t believe that in myself right now.”

If he had jumped into the race, Christie would have faced many hurdles. Some candidates have been campaigning for more than a year and have significant infrastructures in place in early primary states. Christie would have been starting from scratch.

And while big-name Republicans were encouraging Christie behind the scenes, he was not on top of recent national polls.

An ABC News/Washington Post poll released Tuesday morning showed Christie in the middle of the 2012 Republican pack with 11 percent support, alongside Ron Paul.  In the lead is Mitt Romney with 22 percent, then Texas Gov. Rick Perry with 15 percent, Herman Cain with 14 percent and both Paul and Christie with 11 percent.

Forty-two percent of Republicans and voters who lean Republican said they’d like him to get in the race, but 34 percent would not, while 24 percent remained undecided.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

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