Entries in Republican Candidate (8)


Newt Gingrich Knows What It Takes to Be Southern

Jessica McGowan/Getty Images(DOTHAN, Ala.) — Republican presidential candidate Newt Gingrich accused Mitt Romney on Saturday of pandering to Southern voters, while adding a few “aint’s” and some colorful colloquial phrases to his normally grammatically correct stump speech.

Gingrich was a congressman from Georgia for 20 years, so talking the talk with voters isn’t something new.

Taking it a step further today while visiting the Gulf in Dothan, Gingrich shed his usual suit for a Bassmaster’s shirt. The audience cheered as Gingrich walked out wearing the fishing shirt, complete with Bassmaster logos, after being introduced and endorsed by the founder of the Bass Anglers Sportsman Society, Ray Scott, the person responsible for creating the first pro-Bass fishing tournament.

“What a crowd. I am really impressed. There must be nobody left at Walmart this afternoon,” Gingrich said.

The crowd laughed and cheered at Gingrich’s expression — a phrase used by Southerners to say something big is happening in town. Gingrich told the crowd a story about his son-in-law fishing and then switched his stump speech on gas prices to fit the audience.

“I want to talk to you a little bit about gas prices and energy prices and if you’re a fisherman and you take your boat anywhere and you try to fill up your boat and you try to fill up your truck to be able to take your boat somewhere, you have a real interest in the price of gasoline,” Gingrich said.

Gingrich took the opportunity to suggest Mitt Romney was pandering to Southern voters when the former Massachusetts governor said Friday that he liked eating grits.

“He is now turning me into, I don’t know, an unofficial Southerner, and I’m learning to say y’all and I like grits. Things … strange things are happening to me,” Romney said on a campaign stop in Jackson, Miss.
Gingrich responded to Romney saying that he liked eating grits many different ways.

“Governor Romney yesterday tried grits and I just want you to understand that as someone who has represented Georgia for a long time, I like grits, I like cheese grits, I like it with gravy, and there are a number of ways you can have it,” Gingrich said. “I’m glad that the governor is beginning to learn about the South.”

Gingrich also added new words to his vocabulary: “ain’t” and “y’all,” words not heard in the former speaker’s rhetoric in states like New Hampshire and Nevada. Though every state carries an issue the candidates pander to voters while visiting: ethanol in Iowa, the Northern Pass in New Hampshire, the port of Charleston in South Carolina, the space program in Florida, the Mojave desert cross in Nevada, Gingrich stuck to talking about gas prices and foreign policy.

One issue Gingrich was told about today on the rope line in Orange Beach, Ala., was the frustration of a shortened snapper fishing season.

“I’ll be sure and check into that,” Gingrich said. A surrogate introducing Gingrich told the crowd that the endorsement from the creator of Bassmaster meant that every fisherman in the country would vote for Gingrich.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Huntsman Will Drop Out of Republican Race

EMMANUEL DUNAND/AFP/Getty Images(NEW YORK) --  Jon Huntsman will drop out of the Republican presidential race on Monday, a campaign spokesman told ABC News.

A source close to the Huntsman campaign said the former ambassador to China and Utah Governor was “proud of the race that he ran” but “did not want to stand in the way” of rival Mitt Romney, the current front-runner for the Republican nomination.

Huntsman plans to endorse Romney at an 11 a.m. press conference Monday in Myrtle Beach, SC.

After a disappointing third place finish in New Hampshire – a contest on which he had staked his candidacy – Huntsman vowed to fight on. In his concession speech in New Hampshire, he told his supporters:  “I say third place is a ticket to ride, ladies and gentleman! Hello, South Carolina!”

But just six days from the South Carolina primary, Huntsman has said goodbye to the Palmetto state after all.

A Huntsman aide tells ABC News that the decision came in the wake of the results in the New Hampshire primary.

“He has been discussing with his family after they woke up after a successful evening in New Hampshire. They felt good about their performance in New Hampshire, but he and his family had a discussion and this is the decision came to,” the aide said. “At the end of the day he decided he did not want to hurt the best chance of beating Barack Obama and that’s Mitt Romney. By continuing into South Carolina and Florida, that’s what he would have been doing.”

While Huntsman will be throwing his support to Romney on Monday, it was only a week ago that he told ABC’s John Berman just the opposite.

When asked if he trusts Governor Romney, Huntsman replied, “He has not put forth reason to give us a reason for us to trust him.”

Earlier this month, he told another ABC reporter that Romney is “completely out of touch.”

And as recently as Saturday, Huntsman was questioning Romney’s electability.

Reporters asked Huntsman if any of the Republican establishment  had reached out to him and asked him to tone down his criticism of Romney and his work with Bain Capital. Huntsman explained:
“Nope. And listen. I have said what I have said. My problem is really a political issue. And that is, when you have a candidate that talks about enjoyment in firing people, talks about pink-slips, who makes comment that seem to be so detached from the problems that Americans are facing today. that makes you pretty much unelectable. And I say, we want a nominee who can actually go on to win. That’s the issue…. the bigger issue is one of electability.”

Huntsman, 51, entered the race last summer to high expectations, but he struggled from the start to win over conservative Republican voters.

Huntsman is now the fourth Republican candidate to drop out of the campaign. Tim Pawlenty, the former governor Minnesota, dropped out last summer after a disappointing finish in the Iowa straw poll. Rep. Michele Bachmann of Minnesota dropped out just after the Iowa Caucus and businesman Herman Cain left the race in a storm of sexual harassment allegations.  With Huntsman’s endorsement of Romney on Monday as well as Pawlenty’s endorsement of Romney last summer, two of the four have thrown their support behind the former Massachusetts governor. The other two – Cain and Bachmann – have yet to endorse.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Ron Paul Receives Media and Public Attention

ABC News(CONCORD, N.H.) -- Republican presidential candidate Ron Paul is learning what it's like to be a top tier contender.

Flanked by two dozen members of the national and local press corps, Ron and his wife Carol were forced to abandon a leisurely breakfast at a New Hampshire diner when the media circus became too much for the small mom and pop establishment to handle.

Paul and his wife Carol twisted and turned through the tight Windmill Family Restaurant in Concord, shaking hands and answering voter's questions.

At one point, an elderly woman stopped Paul and politely asked his position on gay marriage, "I understand that you are for gay marriage," said the woman.

"I'm for government staying out of marriage," said Paul. "The government screws it all up."

As the woman retorted, "but it’s unnatural," the cameramen pressed in, some jumping in nearby booths, pressing against confused diners enjoying their breakfast.

"The important thing is how they live and what examples they set," said Paul trying to dodge the boom microphones hovering overhead.

Blocked by media swarm, Paul's security team was forced to clear a path for the U.S. Congressman from Texas to sit down at a nearby table.

However it was soon evident that the media corps wasn't going away and Paul, sitting alone at a large table as his security detail debated what to do, eventually abandoned his breakfast.

Getting into his car, Paul was asked for his prediction at tonight's debate.

Shaking his head and clearly annoyed by the whole experience, Paul mumbled, "nothing special."

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Pawlenty Drops Out of Presidential Race After Straw Poll 

Scott Olson/Getty Images(AMES, Iowa) -- Former Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty is dropping out of the Republican presidential contest, after a disappointing third place finish in the Iowa Straw Poll Saturday.

“We needed to get some lift to continue on and have a pathway forward,” Pawlenty said Sunday morning in an exclusive interview with ABC's This Week. "That didn’t happen, so I’m announcing this morning on your show that I’m going to be ending my campaign for president.”

Pawlenty finished with 2,293 votes, giving him 14 percent of the total ballots cast—more than 2,500 votes behind winner Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-MN) who finished with 28 percent of the vote, and runner-up Rep. Ron Paul (R-TX), who was close behind with 27 percent.

The former Minnesota governor was reportedly planning to spend a total of around $1.5 million on his Iowa campaign from his launch in late May through mid-August.

Despite better resources and organization in Iowa, Pawlenty was only able to beat fourth-place finisher Rick Santorum by just over 600 votes.

Pawlenty sent out an email to supporters last night titled, “Just the Beginning” congratulating Bachmann on the straw poll win, but vowing to continue his campaign.

“As I've said all along, we needed to show progress to do well, and we did just that. This is a long process to restore America—we are just beginning, and I'm eager for the campaign,” the email to supporters read.

But the weak showing at the Iowa Straw Poll proved to be too large a blow for the campaign to continue.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Herman Cain Declines to Sign Pro-Life Pledge

ABC News(WASHINGTON) -- Republican presidential hopeful Herman Cain declined to sign Susan B Anthony List’s Pro-Life Presidential Pledge, while the organization says five other GOP 2012 candidates have signed the pledge.

SBL List called on each GOP presidential candidate to agree to four specific anti-abortion pledges including only nominating pro-life judges and selecting pro-life appointees to key positions in their administrations if they were elected president.

Cain issued a statement to explain why he chose not to sign the pledge.  He said he agrees with the first three parts of the pledge because he “adamantly” supports the appointing pro-life judges and selecting pro-life appointees to his Cabinet and the Executive Branch as well ending taxpayer funding for abortions, but he had a problem with the last part of the pledge.

“The fourth requirement demands that I 'advance' the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act. As president, I would sign it, but Congress must advance the legislation,” he said.  “I have been a consistent and unwavering champion of pro life issues.  In no way does this singular instance of clarification denote an abandonment of the pro-life movement, but instead, is a testament to my respect for the balance of power and the role of the presidency.”

SBL List announced at the Republican Leadership Conference in New Orleans that Michele Bachmann, Newt Gingrich, Ron Paul, Tim Pawlenty, and Rick Santorum signed the pledge.  According to the organization, Mitt Romney and Gary Johnson declined to sign it.

“We applaud those candidates who did sign the pledge for vowing to support and advance the protection of life at all stages if elected to the White House,” said Marilyn Musgrave, a former congresswoman and Project Director for SBL List. “Their signatures demonstrate that mere lip-service to protecting women and the unborn is not enough—it must be backed up by concrete action.”

When asked about his position on abortion, Herman Cain has repeatedly said that he is “pro-life from conception.”

Cain is expected to speak at the National Right to Life Convention along with other GOP presidential candidates in Jacksonville, Florida on June 24.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Herman Cain Flags Obama on Troop Withdrawal

ABC News(WASHINGTON) -- Republican presidential hopeful Herman Cain criticized President Obama for promising the commencement of troop withdrawal from Afghanistan by July 2011.

“You don’t make those kind of statements not having all of the information.  So now even his own party, they’re now demanding that he get more specific about when he’s going to get out,” said Cain on ABC’s This Week with Christiane Amanpour.

Cain has seen a recent uptick in his popularity, according to Gallup polls released last week. The former CEO of Godfather’s Pizza showed the highest voter intensity score out of any Republican contender.

When asked if he thought former Alaskan governor Sarah Palin will enter the presidential race, Cain says he’s uncertain.

“But if I had to guess, I would say ‘no.’ But I wouldn’t bet on that,” Cain added.

Cain pushed back on criticism from Republicans like former Bush advisor Karl Rove who have dismissed him as a candidate with a compelling personal narrative.

“They are working off of the traditional model of great name ID before you start out, whole lot of money, and you’ve held public office before. Well, Herman Cain is just the reverse,” said Cain. “But guess what’s happening the American people aren’t looking at it from the traditional model standpoint.” 

Republican presidential advisor Mark McKinnon agrees, saying that the 2012 presidential election will not be conventional.

“People are looking for non-traditional, anti-establishment candidate. And that’s not Mitt Romney,” said McKinnon.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Herman Cain Jumps into Presidential Race

Comstock Images/Thinkstock(ATLANTA) -- Herman Cain, the former CEO of Godfather's Pizza, announced his bid for the Republican presidential nomination on Saturday at a rally at Centennial Olympic Park in Atlanta.

"After prayerful consideration with my family and closest friends, I have decided to seek the Republican nomination for president of the United States," Cain said. "I look forward to continuing my travels across the country, engaging in discussions with the American people about the concerns facing our nation and sharing my 'common sense solutions' with them."
The 65-year-old businessman hit the political stage in 1994, when he argued with President Clinton over the Democrat's health care plan at a televised town hall meeting.

Cain joins former a still unsettled GOP field that includes Newt Gingrich, the former speak of the House, who formally announced his candidacy last week, and former Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty, who is expected to formally announce on Monday.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Minnesota Congresswoman Michele Bachmann: ‘I Am An Iowan’

Bachmann[dot]house[dot]govDES MOINES, Iowa -- Congresswoman Michele Bachmann represents Minnesota’s sixth Congressional district, but lately she sounds a lot like she’s looking to relocate.

Bachmann, who was born in Iowa and appears to be setting herself up for a presidential bid, played up her local roots at a forum for potential 2012 Republican candidates in Des Moines Saturday.

“I am an Iowan,” she declared before a cheering crowd, noting that she was born in Waterloo in 1956. “I am a seventh generation Iowan -- that’s even better.”

Bachmann said her “forebears were big, tall, strapping” Norwegians. “I don’t know where I came from in the DNA chain,” she joked.

She recounted how her ancestors settled in Iowa, believing it to be “the land of milk and honey.”

“And it’s all true isn’t it? It is the land of milk and honey,” she said. “But everything that my great, great, great, great grandparents worked for and that your ancestors worked for is at risk today.”

Speaking at the Conservative Principles Conference, a gathering organized by her friend and House colleague, Iowa Rep. Steve King, Bachmann received an enthusiastic reception, delivering a series of applause lines aimed at pleasing the largely Republican activist audience.

“They've got Iowa's money in Washington, DC,” she said. “Let's bring it home!”

Bachmann, who recently told ABC News that she is “in for 2012” -- not an official declaration of a candidacy, but close enough to keep political observers in Iowa and the rest of the country talking -- repeated the same promise on Saturday. If she does decide to run, she will clearly be hoping that the years she lived in the state as a child will give her an edge with caucus-goers.

She has spent the better part of the last week here, speaking at a home-schooling convention in Des Moines on Wednesday, a conference of religious conservatives on Thursday as well as King’s event.

“What happens between now and November 6 of 2012 -- especially here in Iowa -- will forge the difference with what happens in 2012,” Bachmann said. “What we are about to determine here in Iowa is whether or not, quite frankly, we will pass the American dream on to the next generation.”

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

ABC News Radio