Entries in Presidential Candidate (9)


Mitt Romney Next Up to Meet Donald Trump

James Devaney/WireImage(WASHINGTON) -- Presidential candidate Mitt Romney has requested—and been granted—a meeting with Donald Trump on Sept. 26 in New York City, sources close to Trump confirm to ABC News.

Romney’s meeting with Trump, first reported by the Washington Post, will come about two weeks after Texas Gov. Rick Perry met with the real estate mogul at his Manhattan apartment.

According to one of Trump’s top aides, it was Romney who asked for the meeting “several weeks ago”—before Perry’s meeting happened, but after it became known that the Texas Governor was speaking with Trump.

Trump has yet to endorse a candidate because his aides say he has not actually decided whether he will pursue a bid for the White House. He is waiting to meet all the candidates who wish to speak with him before making that decision, according to the source.

While Perry was taken to Jean Georges restaurant and former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin to a pizza parlor in Times Square by Trump, there is no word yet on where Romney will be taken, just that a dinner offer will certainly be extended.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Michele Bachmann Tells Jay Leno She’s ‘Convicted’ in Her Views

Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images(NEW YORK ) -- Republican presidential candidate Michele Bachmann hit the late-night comedy circuit Friday evening with an appearance on NBC’s The Tonight Show with Jay Leno.

“If you become president—and you seem pretty strident in your views,” Jay Leno said, before Bachmann interrupted him.

“Convicted. I’m convicted,” she said.

“Convicted?” Leno replied. “No, you don’t get convicted until after you’re in office. That’s later. You have to get elected first.”

Leno asked the Minnesota congresswoman about Monday’s GOP debate when she ripped rival Rick Perry for his executive order requiring young girls to receive inoculations against a sexually-transmitted disease that can cause cervical cancer and then later suggested that the vaccine could cause mental retardation.

“I wasn’t speaking as a doctor,” Bachmann said. “I wasn’t speaking as a scientist. I was just relating what this woman said. She came up and I wasn’t soliciting that information, she gave it to me. But the bigger issue in all this was the abuse of executive privilege and also just the connection of crony capitalism if you have a political donor that is giving to you and an action is taken by a government official that could potentially benefit that donor, that’s really the issue right now. That’s what people are worried about.”

Asked about her family’s Christian counseling clinic and if they try to make homosexuals “pray away the gay,” Bachmann pointed to her hair and joked, “When I heard that I really thought it was like kind of a mid-life crisis line, like, ‘Pray away the gray.’”

But unfortunately for her, the joke fell flat with the audience not laughing at all.

Later in the often awkward interview, Leno asked Bachmann who she would pick as her running mate and she said, “You’re taken. You don’t want a cut in pay.” To which he replied, “Well, we’d probably have an argument over the gay thing.”

Also Bachmann described the Tea Party as a group that stands for “pretty mainstream stuff.” And when asked about Rick Perry’s surge up the polls since he entered the race at the same time as she won the Iowa straw poll last month, Bachmann stated, “We’re in for the marathon. We’re not in it for the sprint.”

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


It’s Official: Texas Gov. Rick Perry Announces, ‘I'm a Candidate for President’

Justin Sullivan/Getty Images(CHARLESTON, S.C.) -- It’s official: Texas Gov. Rick Perry announced his candidacy for president Saturday in Charleston, S.C., almost nine months after the Texan vowed he was not interested in pursuing a presidential run.

"I came to South Carolina because I will not sit back and accept the path America is on because a great country requires a better direction because a renewed nation needs a new president," Perry said. "It is time to get America working again and that's why with the support of my family and the unwavering belief of the goodness of America I declare for you today that I'm a candidate for President of the United States."

Perry announced his candidacy at the RedState Gathering, a convention of more than 300 conservative bloggers, before a backdrop of American flags. Portraits of President Ronald Reagan and President Theodore Roosevelt adorned the room, along with paintings of the Lincoln Memorial, Statue of Liberty and George Washington crossing the Delaware River with troops.

The Obama campaign was quick to respond to Perry's announcement, saying Perry is "more of the same" in a statement issued immediately after Perry's speech.

"Governor Perry's economic policies are a carbon copy of the economic policies of Washington Republicans. He pledged to support the cut cap and balance plan that would preserve subsidies for oil and gas companies and tax cuts for the wealthiest while ending Medicare as we know it, eroding Social Security, eliminating hundreds of thousands of jobs and erasing investments in education and research and development," Obama campaign spokesman Ben LaBolt said in the statement.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Donald Trump Back in the Presidential Picture?

Mike Stobe/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- While the bulk of GOP hopefuls jockey for position this week in Ames, Iowa, ahead of Saturday’s straw poll -- and an economy seemingly in freefall -- one former would-be contender has signaled he might officially make the jump into the 2012 presidential race.  

In a phone interview from New York Monday afternoon with CNN, Donald Trump said he “would seriously consider” running. While discussing the recent downgrade by Standard and Poor’s, Trump said the creeping economic downturn was the impetus behind him re-visiting the question of a run.    

“If the economy continues to go the way it’s going, and if the Republicans pick the wrong candidate, I would certainly consider it,” Trump said. 

While the real estate mogul-turned reality star decided against running for the Republican nomination in May, Trump has indicated a number of times the question of running for president is not definitively settled.

“I made a decision for a reason and I will tell you I was happy with the decision,” Trump said of not running.

Trump told CNN if he runs, he “would seriously consider [running] as an Independent. I think it’s maybe time for that," Trump said.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Michele Bachmann Latest GOP Candidate to Suffer Glitter Attack

ABC News(WASHINGTON) -- Minnesota Rep. Michele Bachmann got a warm reception from her home state on Saturday at a conference of conservative bloggers in Minneapolis, but a few gay rights protesters still managed to make her the latest victim of the glitter attacks that have already been waged on fellow GOP presidential candidates Newt Gingrich and Tim Pawlenty.

Following her speech at the RightOnline conference Saturday morning, Bachmann had some glitter thrown on her as she made her way off stage to greet the audience.

After the brief glitter shower, the protester was swiftly removed by security.

"You can run, but you can't hide," the protester yelled as she was hauled off.

Meanwhile, Bachmann proceeded to work the ropeline, seemingly unfazed by the incident.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Pawlenty Says He Would Back Paul Ryan's Medicare Plan

ABC News(WASHINGTON) -- Republican presidential candidate and former Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty says that while he plans to introduce his own budget plan in the coming weeks, if he were president today and it came to his desk, he would support Rep. Paul Ryan’s (R-WI) budget proposal to overhaul the Medicare system.

“Let me start by saying my campaign is based around the notion that it's time for the truth, so as to Medicare, everybody knows it's sinking. It's going broke,” Pawlenty told Christiane Amanpour, anchor of ABC’s This Week. “So we have to fix it.”

“I'll have my own plan. It will have some differences” from the Ryan proposal, Pawlenty added, saying his budget plan will address Social Security reform, which Ryan’s does not. “But if the only choice is we're doing nothing, like President Obama is doing and Paul Ryan's plan, I'd sign it,” he said.

Pawlenty had sidestepped a firm answer on whether he would support the Ryan budget for much of his first week on the campaign trail, before making similar comments in support of Ryan's plan in New Hampshire on Thursday.

He said his Medicare plan will allow individuals to choose to stay in the current Medicare system, while offering “a series of other choices so they can pick what's best for them and their families and then they'll have the opportunity to be in the driver's seat.”

Pawlenty also hopes to alter the way providers are paid, moving to “a performance pay system, not just a volume pay system.”

On another major budget issue consuming Washington, Pawlenty said he does not support raising the debt ceiling without permanent structural reform to spending, while questioning “the false choice between default and rais[ing] the debt ceiling.”

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Indiana Governor Mitch Daniels Opts Out of Presidential Race

Michael Hickey/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels has decided not to seek the Republican nomination for President, citing family considerations as a major factor in his decision.

For several months, many Republicans had been urging Daniels, hailed for his success in addressing economic issues, to consider joining the 2012 race.

Recently on ABC’s This Week television program, conservative columnist George Will predicted Daniels would be among the frontrunners in the Republican primary race.

"I think we know with reasonable certainty that standing up there on the west front of the Capitol on January 20th, 2013 will be one of three people:  Obama, Pawlenty and Daniels," Will said.

In a Saturday late night email to supporters labeled “urgent” Daniels said “I hope this reaches you before the public news does, if so, please respect my confidence for the short time until I make it known to all.”

The email explains his decision:

"The counsel and encouragement I received from important citizens like you caused me to think very deeply about becoming a national candidate. In the end, I was able to resolve every competing consideration but one, but that, the interests and wishes of my family, is the most important consideration of all. If I have disappointed you, I will always be sorry," he added. "If you feel that this was a non-courageous or unpatriotic decision, I understand and will not attempt to persuade you otherwise. I only hope that you will accept my sincerity in the judgment I reached."

“Many thanks for your help and input during this period of reflection. Please stay in touch if you see ways in which an obscure Midwestern governor might make a constructive contribution to the rebuilding of our economy and our Republic. “

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Mike Huckabee: 'My Heart Says No' to GOP Presidential Bid

Rick Gershon/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- Count former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee out of the 2012 presidential race.

"All the factors say go, but my heart says no," Huckabee said Saturday night. "My answer is clear and firm, I will not seek the Republican nomination for president this year."
After more than a day of will-he-or-won't-he speculation about his intentions, Huckabee took to the airwaves of Fox News, which broadcasts his weekly television show, to make the announcement. He said the past few months "have been a time of deep personal reflection."

"I had come to believe that I would begin the race for president," he said, "but I won't be."

Before he broke that news, however, he listed a litany of reasons why he should.

"Polls have consistently put me at or near the top to be the Republican nominee," he said, and added he no longer had concerns "about raising the necessary funds" to mount a campaign.

"I don't have an issue with my family being supportive," he said, noting that his wife and children were supportive. Huckabee described his decision-making process as a "spiritual" journey.

"I'm a believer and follower of Jesus Christ and that relationship is far more important to me than any political office," he said.

"I wish him well," said Ed Rollins, Huckabee's 2008 campaign manager, after Huckabee's show ended. "Obviously he made a tough and personal decision."

"He's never gotten up and looked in the mirror and said, 'There's the next president of the United States," Rollins said. "If you don't do that, you're not going to be the most viable candidate."

Copyright 2011 ABC New Radio


Gingrich Takes to Airwaves First Time as Official Presidential Candidate

ABC News(NEW YORK) -- Hours after announcing his candidacy via Twitter, Newt Gingrich took to the airwaves Wednesday night for the first time as an official presidential candidate, acknowledging the political landscape has changed since his last time in office 12 years ago when Seinfeld, the Spice Girls and pagers reigned. 

“A lot has changed, and I think for the country the fascinating thing is that there's a lot of principles that haven't changed,” Gingrich said on Fox News' Hannity show.  “I think if you apply the right principles to achieve the right results, that we can win the future together.  I don't think that having a president who applies the wrong principles and gets the wrong results is going to lead to winning the future.”

Gingrich credited his desire to be the next president to his family's commitment to “duty, honor, country,” the need to rid the country of liberal policies, and his dedication to citizenship.

He conceded President Obama will be tough to beat in 2012, saying the president will “say whatever he needs to win” and will be aided by the mainstream media, left-wing billionaires, unions and the Hollywood crowd working to pump money into the billion-dollar Obama campaign.

Gingrich has faced criticism of his own as media reports of his murky past have increased in the lead up to his announcement, but the former speaker declared he's learned from his past.

“If you're a conservative, you have to start with the assumption that you're not going to get an even break from the elite media,” Gingrich said. ”It's fair to say that I am more mature.  I've had time to reflect on what worked and didn't work.”

Gingrich touted initiatives from his time as speaker of the House, from welfare reform to balancing the budget, and argued leadership experience equips him with the ability to bring the country back to economic prosperity with conservative principles.

Gingrich said he hopes to establish another “Contract with America,” and thinks the Gingrich presidency could balance the budget in five years.

On the foreign policy front, Gingrich commended Obama for making the tough decisions on Osama bin Laden while criticizing him for not taking a more forceful approach with Iran and Gadhafi in Libya and Iran.

Gingrich did not poke at any other potential 2012 Republican candidates but said he is keeping a steady eye on Obama.

“The only competitor I think about is President Obama,” he said.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

ABC News Radio