Entries in republican primary (6)


Christie ‘Very Leery’ of Picking a President from Congress

Ramin Talaie/Getty Images(ELMHURST, Ill.) – New Jersey Governor Chris Christie stumped on behalf of Mitt Romney in a Chicago suburb on Friday, telling the crowd packed into a student center at Elmhurst College that it would be a bad idea to send a member of Congress to the Oval Office.

“In our Republican primary, let’s be very leery, very wary of sending another member of Congress to the White House. Now see members of Congress they can be okay, but they don’t know the first thing most of the time about using executive authority. They don’t know the first thing about getting things done,” said Christie. “We don’t need Ron Paul, we don’t need Newt Gingrich , and we don’t need Rick Santorum. We need an executive. We need Mitt Romney in the White House.”

Christie hailed Romney’s personal success, arguing that his record as a job creator and as an executive has extended wealth to other Americans.

“He didn’t just create wealth for himself. He did what American entrepreneurs have done better than any entrepreneurs around the world in the history of the world. He created wealth for himself and he created wealth for lots of other people,” said Christie.

The blunt talking Christie also took a swipe at President Obama and his background as a community organizer.

“Do we really want a failure in the White House?” asked Christie. “Let me just tell you this, here’s one set of people I don’t think belong in the White House anymore – community organizers.”

Christie told the crowd that he’s “inherently optimistic” about the future of the country, particularly under Romney’s leadership, and he squeezed in some teasing at the expense of his favorite baseball team – the Mets – and a popular, yet unlucky team in Chicago – the Cubs.

“I see a guy sitting out in the audience who’s got to be inherently optimistic too. He’s wearing a Cubs T-shirt,” said Christie. “I’m a Mets fan, and we’re worse off than you are. Yeah it’s okay to boo us. It’s all right. We stink anyway.”

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Lou Dobbs: Long Primary Will Build Consensus around Strong Nominee

ABC News(WASHINGTON) -- Fox Business Network host Lou Dobbs said he was “elated” with the volatile Republican presidential race, saying a long primary process will help build consensus around the strongest potential nominee.

“Truthfully, I think this is a good thing for the Republicans,” Dobbs said on the This Week roundtable. “The national media is clacking about this is unresolved. I say, great, we’re supposed to be building something of a national consensus in this primary process. I’m, frankly, elated with it.”

Rick Santorum has carried his recent surge in national polls into Mitt Romney’s home state of Michigan, which hosts its key primary on Feb. 28. An upset win by Santorum there could possibly extend the race well into the spring and summer — similar to the 2008 Democratic race between Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton.

ABC’s George Will said that Santorum could take Michigan, relying on social conservatives outside of metro areas like Detroit to carry him.

“Michigan has the Detroit metropolitan area, where Romney in 2008 did very well and should do well again. Then there’s the rest of it,” Will said. “And over in the west, particularly, you have the Dutch Calvinists in Kalamazoo and Holland and Muskegon and places like that, Grand Rapids. Out there, the social conservatives are strong.  I would expect Santorum to carry non-metro [Michigan]. The question is, by how much?”

Former White House press secretary Dee Dee Myers said “the extended primary season is not really working that well for any of the Republican candidates,” claiming they have turned to wedge issues and attacks on each other that will weaken them in the general election.

“Republicans are talking about the president’s theology. They’re talking about whether a fetus is a person,” Myers said. “They’re attacking each other personally and talking about earmarks.”

Myers criticized Santorum supporter Foster Friess’ recent controversial comments on contraception, and Santorum’s past responses on the issue.

“One of the things he says is that he thinks [contraception is] bad for the country and that he’s counseling women that they ought not to use it,” Myers said. “Most women don’t want Rick Santorum’s advice about whether or not they should use birth control.”

ABC News senior political correspondent Jonathan Karl said a focus on such social issues could hurt Santorum in the long run.

“He cannot be the niche candidate of the far-right social conservatives,” Karl said. “He’s the guy that can connect to blue-collar Republicans. He is not surging because he is Rick Santorum, social conservative, niche candidate. This is not a good thing for him to be talking about.”

Chicago Tribune
columnist Clarence Page said he believes Romney’s financial advantage may help him fend off Santorum in the ad war in Michigan, but said he is still having trouble connecting with voters on the campaign trail.

“We see he has not been able to get his verbal message together,” Page said. “He still sounds rather in disarray.”

And Karl said that with Santorum’s rise, Michigan has now become a “must-win” for Romney.

“The central argument of his candidacy is that he is the candidate who can beat Barack Obama, he is the one that is electable,” Karl said. “If you can’t convince Republicans in your home state to vote for you, how are you going to convince anybody else?”

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Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Mitt Romney to Receive Secret Service Protection

Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images(TAMPA, Fla.) -- Mitt Romney’s presidential campaign has been informed that it will start receiving Secret Service protection this week, two campaign sources and a senior Republican tell ABC News.

Romney's campaign initially denied it had requested Secret Service protection, but federal officials tell ABC News that Romney's campaign did, in fact, make the request. Romney's campaign has not confirmed the latest report.

Secret Service protection is being given to the campaign not because of a specific threat but because of the increase in crowd sizes as the primary season has progressed over the past few weeks, according to the sources, who refused to be identified because they don’t have authority to comment on such matters publicly.

The Secret Service is charged with protecting presidential candidates in addition to the president himself, and providing protection to a candidate before he secures a nomination has become fairly common. Such decisions are made by the Department of Homeland Security, in consultation with congressional leadership.

The Romney campaign, which has long traveled with private security of its own, did not request Service protection, and was approached about the additional security steps in the weeks following the New Hampshire primary, the sources told ABC News.

Officials with the campaign and the Secret Service declined to comment on the decision.

Romney will become the only current Republican candidate with Secret Service protection. Herman Cain became the first candidate to receive Service protection, in November, but he ended his candidacy in December.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Santorum Loses in Florida and Focuses on West

ABC News(LAS VEGAS) -- Rick Santorum was far away from Florida on Tuesday night, learning the results from that primary here in Nevada, one of several Western states on which he is now staking his campaign.

“I want to congratulate Governor Romney,” Santorum said, calling Mitt Romney’s win a “resounding victory.”  It appeared Santorum would place third, behind Romney and former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich.

Santorum, trailing in the polls behind Romney and Gingrich, turned his sights this week away from Florida and began focusing on Western states. In the past two days, while Gingrich and Romney duked it out in Florida, Santorum has visited Missouri, Minnesota, Nevada and Colorado.

Speaking of Nevada, he told a small crowd at his headquarters, “I think we’re going to have a little different result than what we saw in Florida.” Santorum called the Florida contest, perhaps the most negative of the campaign so far, a “mud wrestling match.”

“If there’s one message from the campaign in Florida, it’s Republicans can do better,” he said of the negative campaigning and “accusations” flung in the Sunshine State. Santorum thanked supporters for their prayers concerning his 3-year-old daughter Bella, who late last week was hospitalized with double pneumonia. She remains in a Virginia hospital.

The former Pennsylvania senator, who won the Iowa caucus but has placed dismally in the contests since then, also announced Tuesday he would purchase air time to run television ads in Nevada and Colorado. He ran no ads in Florida.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Analysis: Romney Claims Electability Mantle With Florida Win

ABC (TAMPA, Fla.) -- Mitt Romney snapped back from South Carolina with a Florida primary victory that took advantage of a more diverse electorate, re-established his image of electability and economic leadership, and demonstrated his organizational firepower in attracting – and retaining – early-deciding voters.

Far fewer Florida voters made up their minds in the campaign’s closing days than in any previous GOP contest this year -- and Romney won his largest share of those who did. His final barrage of ads may both have helped limit the number of late-deciding voters, and to stem defections in this group.

Romney had other advantages -- much more positive personal appeal than his top competitors; a sharp gender gap for the first time this year, with far greater support among women; fewer evangelicals, a group with which he’s struggled; lots of seniors; and, in another first for the GOP in 2012, a substantial number of minority voters, primarily Hispanics.

Yet, while the result pulled Romney back to his strong New Hampshire showing, there was enough in the results to give Newt Gingrich a continued line of attack. A substantial 41 percent of Florida voters described Romney’s positions on the issues as “not conservative enough.” Gingrich, indeed, won “very” conservative voters by a broad 43 to 29 percent, won the strongest anti-abortion voters by 13 points and won strong supporters of the Tea Party political movement -- more than a third of all Florida primary voters – again by 13 points.

In a more general kvetch and possible nod to ex-Gov. Jeb Bush, nearly four in 10 voters said they’d like to see someone else run for the nomination. But Romney nonetheless prevailed on enough personal measures to stick it to Gingrich -- and to overcome negative-campaigning criticism at the same time. Sixty-five percent of Florida voters said they’d be satisfied with Romney as the Republican nominee -- well more than said the same about Gingrich or Rick Santorum, 53 percent apiece. And more, a broad 76 percent, expressed a favorable opinion of Romney overall -- compared with 55 percent for Gingrich.

Gingrich also may have trouble sustaining another argument, the claim he’d have run a closer race without Santorum in the contest. To the contrary, Santorum’s voters were more apt to see Romney favorably than Gingrich, 63 percent vs. 49 percent, and equally apt to say they’d be satisfied with either of them as the eventual Republican nominee.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


ABC News Projects Mitt Romney Will Win Florida Primary

JEWEL SAMAD/AFP/​Getty Images(TAMPA, Fla.) -- Mitt Romney will win the Florida Republican primary, ABC News projects, based on the exit polls and analysis of the vote in so far.

Newt Gingrich will be second, Rick Santorum third and Ron Paul will place fourth, ABC News projects.

Romney appeared to win most of the state's southern and central region, while Gingrich's support was concentrated in the north.

The former Massachusetts governor's debate performance last week and negative ad campaign against chief rival Gingrich played a key role in his victory in the Sunshine State.

Preliminary exit polls found that Republican voters were heavily influenced by the debates and campaign ads that dominated the Florida airwaves for weeks. As in Iowa and South Carolina, voters were looking for the candidate who has the best chance to defeat President Obama. About two-thirds of Florida voters in these preliminary results said they would be satisfied with Romney as the Republican nominee.

Romney jumped into Florida well before any of his competitors, launching TV ads even before the South Carolina primary. That move may have helped him, as exit polls found that four in 10 voters made up their mind before the start of the month, much more than in South Carolina.

Both candidates and the super PACs supporting them have spent millions of dollars in attack ads, but the former House speaker was far outweighed by his chief rival when it comes to spending.

Romney's campaign spent nearly $7 million on television ads leading up to the primary, more than six times that of Gingrich, whose campaign spent about $1 million.

The super PACs have even outspent the campaigns. The group supporting Romney, Restore Our Future, spent a whopping $8.5 million on ads in Florida, while Winning Our Future, the super PAC backing Gingrich, spent about $2.2 million.

Neither Rick Santorum nor Ron Paul, the other two candidates in the race, are on the airwaves. Both were instead focusing on Nevada, the next voting state.

Romney was actually on the airwaves more in 2008, when he lost the state to Sen. John McCain. But in this race, he dominated the airwaves against his rivals, airing almost 13,000 ads on broadcast television across the state, as of Wednesday, Jan. 25 -- much more than Gingrich and his support groups, which together have aired about 200 spots, according to the Wesleyan Media Project.

Ninety-two percent of all TV ads aired in the Sunshine State over the last week were negative, mostly targeted at Gingrich, according to Kantar Media Campaign Media Analysis Group.

Gingrich had made his mark by stellar debate performances that set him apart from other candidates. It was one of the reasons why he won by an overwhelming margin in South Carolina. But that changed last week as Romney aggressively attacked Gingrich on his past connections to Freddie Mac and his immigration ads.

Fifty delegates are at stake in today's primary, an important number for Romney.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

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