Entries in Texas (85)


With Texas Win, Romney Clinches the GOP Nomination

JEWEL SAMAD/AFP/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- Mitt Romney has clinched the Republican presidential nomination.

It has been projected that Romney has won the Texas GOP primary, and ABC News estimates he will win at least 88 of Texas’s 155 delegates, giving him the 1,144 needed to win the nomination.

“I am honored that Americans across the country have given their support to my candidacy and I am humbled to have won enough delegates to become the Republican Party’s 2012 presidential nominee. Our party has come together with the goal of putting the failures of the last three and a half years behind us. I have no illusions about the difficulties of the task before us,” Romney said in a paper statement issued to reporters.

“But whatever challenges lie ahead, we will settle for nothing less than getting America back on the path to full employment and prosperity. On November 6, I am confident that we will unite as a country and begin the hard work of fulfilling the American promise and restoring our country to greatness,” Romney said.

Romney now moves on to the general election against President Obama in November. Polls have shown a tight race between the two candidates.

Romney isn’t the nominee yet. The 2,286 Republican delegates will officially confer that mantle in August when they select the nominee in a floor vote at the Republican National Convention in Tampa.

His campaign planned no victory party for this long-predicted mathematical triumph. Romney held two public campaign events Tuesday, one in Colorado and one in Nevada, and did not mention his imminent clinching of the nomination in either.

The win in Texas brings Romney one step closer to the official conclusion of a long campaign in which he held front-runner or co-frontrunner status from the outset. Romney staved off a revolving cast of Tea Party darlings who included Herman Cain, Michele Bachmann, Rick Perry, Newt Gingrich, Rick Santorum, and for a brief moment, Romney’s now-surrogate Donald Trump.

The last major candidate standing against Romney was Ron Paul, the Texas congressman who announced on May 14 that he would no longer campaign in new primary states, but will still organize at state conventions to accrue delegates who will bolster his presence in Tampa, even if many of them will be allocated to Mitt Romney in the presidential-nomination vote.

After Santorum dropped from the race on April 10, Romney became the presumptive winner.

Thanks to a delayed primary calendar and pressure from the Republican National Committee for states to allocate delegates proportionally, this year’s Republican primary has dragged on relatively late into the election year. John McCain also clinched the nomination with a win in Texas in 2008, but he did it on March 4.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Mitt Romney Set to Clinch GOP Nomination

JEWEL SAMAD/AFP/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- Mitt Romney is about to become mathematically inevitable.

When Texas ends its GOP primary tonight, the presumptive nominee is all but certain to clinch his party’s presidential bid, surpassing the 1,144 delegates he’ll need to secure the GOP nomination at the Republican National Convention in Tampa in August.

Romney will need to secure a little more than 38 percent of the vote in Texas to reach the magic number. He has taken more than 60 percent in every primary since April 24, when he fell short of that mark in Pennsylvania and Delaware, two weeks after Rick Santorum dropped from the race.

Romney controls 1,086 delegates, according to the latest ABC News estimate. To clinch the nomination, he’ll need to win 58 of Texas’s 155 delegates.

It has been a long campaign for Romney, who has shared front-runner status since its beginning. In total, 48 contests have been held, not counting Missouri’s nonbinding primary and caucuses.

Romney has won 36 of the contests, collecting 6.8 million votes, 48 percent of the popular vote in GOP primaries across the United States and its territories. His nearest competitor, Santorum, won 10 contests, 253 delegates and 3.5 million votes for a 25-percent share of the overall popular vote. Newt Gingrich won two states, 131 delegates and 18 percent of the votes; Ron Paul has won no states, 119 delegates and 11 percent of the votes.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Texas Primary: Romney Expected to Clinch GOP Nomination

Bill Pugliano/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- Everything’s bigger in Texas, and Tuesday’s state and presidential primary is no exception.

Mitt Romney is expected to reach (and surpass) 1,144 delegates Tuesday night -- the magic delegate number needed to officially win the GOP nomination.  With 155 delegates at stake, Texas’s GOP primary is the largest delegate prize in the contest so far -- the second largest overall.  California will offer the most delegates on June 5.

Bigger than the delegate math however, is the Republican Senate primary, which is so far the most expensive Senate race in this election cycle.  Some $25 million has been spent on behalf of the candidates seeking to fill the seat left open by Kay Bailey Hutchison’s retirement.  Although the list of candidates on the ballot is long, the race is mostly considered to be contained to David Dewhurst, the state’s lieutenant governor, and Ted Cruz, the former solicitor general.

The Dewhurst/Cruz race has been largely framed as an establishment vs. Tea Party battle, with Dewhurst labeled as the establishment candidate, and Cruz appearing to claim the Tea Party mantle.  Cruz has received endorsements from national Tea Party figures like Sarah Palin and Jim DeMint, but Dewhurst has numerous conservative endorsements as well such as Rick Perry and Mike Huckabee.

Texas election code stipulates that a candidate must receive 50 percent of the vote to win their party’s nomination outright.  If no candidate passes that mark, the two top finishers will go into a runoff, which would take place on July 31.

Polls show Dewhurst, 66, in the lead and Cruz, 41, in second place, but Dewhurst is shy of 50 percent.  A Dewhurst/Cruz runoff seems very possible at this point.

The Democratic Senate primary looks likely to go to a runoff as well, with polls showing a close contest between former state Rep. Paul Sadler and Sean Hubbard, a 31-year-old newcomer to the Texas political stage.  But that race has received considerably less attention and funding, in large part because Texas is viewed as a solidly Republican state.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Rick Santorum Announces Latest Endorsement

Jay LaPrete/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- Rick Santorum has endorsed Texas U.S. Senate candidate Ted Cruz, announcing Thursday his backing of the former state solicitor general and Tea Party favorite.

The former presidential candidate praised Cruz, calling him “spellbinding, a tremendous orator, and principled.”

Former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin and South Carolina Sen. Jim DeMint had already endorsed Cruz, who goes up against Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst — the front-runner — in the May 29 primary to replace  retiring GOP Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchinson.

Dewhurst has been endorsed by Texas Gov. Rick Perry and former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee.

If neither candidate gets more than 50 percent in Tuesday’s primary, the race goes to a runoff, which would take place July 31. Polling shows Dewhurst ahead, but not at the 50 percent mark, so a runoff between Cruz and Dewhurst seems likely.

There are also two others running: the former Dallas Mayor Tom Leppert and former football player and ESPN commentator Craig James.

Santorum had strong support in Texas before abandoning his presidential bid. He campaigned several times to large crowds  and his super PAC held a fundraiser in Dallas that he attended in February.

The former Pennsylvania senator’s campaign staff tried feverishly to change the primary to a winner-take-all from a proportionate awarding of delegates to try to win that state’s large delegate  bounty. When that proved impossible, Santorum said that was one of the reasons he left the race last last month.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Rick Perry Stars in Ad for Texas Senate Race

Alex Wong/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- A week before Texas Republicans head to the polls to select a Senate nominee, Gov. Rick Perry starred in a television advertisement on behalf of Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst, who has poured millions of his personal fortune into the race.

“Texas Republicans have an important election on May the 29th.  We have a lot to be proud of.  That’s why I’m proud to endorse David Dewhurst,” Perry says in the 30-second TV spot. “David Dewhurst repeatedly cut spending.  David strongly opposes a state income tax.  David’s the one candidate best prepared to make conservative change happen in Washington.  Don’t let anyone tell you differently. Our country needs him and so does Texas.”

Dewhurst is running against former Texas solicitor general Ted Cruz, former Dallas Mayor Tom Leppert and ESPN college football analyst Craig James for the Senate seat occupied by Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison, who decided to retire at the end of the term

While Dewhurst, who has worked alongside Perry since 2003, received the Texas governor’s support, former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin has taken sides in the race and backed Cruz, even recording a “robo-call” for the Tea Party favorite.

Palin, who has helped a number of underdog candidates by doling out endorsements for them, recently endorsed a little-known Minnesota Senate candidate, Deb Fischer, which helped Fischer solidify the Republican nomination in the state’s primary last week.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


For Rick Perry, Signs Point to 2014 Gubernatorial Run

Allison Joyce/Getty Images(AUSTIN, Texas) -- Will Rick Perry run for Texas governor in 2014 and continue his streak as the longest-serving current governor? All signs suggest a re-election bid, but a decision will come “at the appropriate time,” a Perry spokeswoman said Wednesday.

“The governor’s conservative policy development, job creation efforts and strong political organization point to another run for governor in 2014,” Catherine Frazier said in an email. “Any such announcement will be made publicly at the appropriate time.”

Paul Burka, an editor at Texas Monthly, wrote earlier Wednesday that Perry told donors at a fundraiser that he would run in 2014, sparking questions about whether he will pursue a bid for the governorship again.

Perry assumed the governorship Texas in 2000 when George W. Bush, then governor of Texas, was elected president. Perry has served as governor for 11 years.

Perry’s team has said in the past that the Texas governor has not ruled out a presidential bid in 2016.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Santorum's Push to Change Texas Primary Rules 'Unlikely,' Says RNC

Hemera/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) -- Rick Santorum might need a delegate miracle, and he shouldn’t expect any help from the Republican National Committee.

The Santorum camp is pressing for Texas to change its delegate-allotment scheme from proportional to winner-take-all, which would allow Santorum a chance at snagging 152 delegates en masse, making up some of his deficit to Mitt Romney, and depriving Romney of any delegates in the May 29 contests. The Santorum campaign circulated a delegate-strategy memo on Thursday claiming that the Texas GOP is in the process of making this change.

But an RNC official tells ABC News that to change its delegate rules the Texas GOP would need to obtain a waiver from the RNC’s executive committee, and the official said that’s unlikely.

RNC bylaws gave states an Oct. 1, 2011 deadline to finalize primary dates and delegate plans. Texas already obtained a waiver for that deadline, as its primary was repeatedly delayed by a federal court case over redistricting; however, that waiver only applied to Texas’s primary date, not its delegate-allocation rules.

The Texas GOP, meanwhile, appears to be officially uninterested in pursuing such a change, despite the push by some Santorum supporters in the state and elsewhere. A Texas GOP spokesman told ABC News that, as of now, the party’s proportional delegate-allocation plans stand.

With 155 total delegates, Texas will be second only to California in representation at the Republican National Convention in Tampa, Fla., this August.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Obama Plugs Health Care Law at Texas Fundraiser

JIM WATSON/AFP/Getty Images(HOUSTON) -- President Obama tonight honed a defense of his administration’s controversial health care law, calling pledges by his Republican rivals to roll back the legislation an affront to women.

“Because of this law, preventive care is now covered and, yes, that includes preventive care for women: check-ups, mammograms, birth control,” Obama told an applauding crowd of more than 750 campaign donors in Houston.

“So when you see politicians trying to take us back to the days when this care was more expensive and harder to get for women – and I know you’re seeing some of that here in Texas – you just remember we can’t let them get away with it,” he said.

The comments on women and the health care law are a notable, new twist in Obama’s campaign stump speech.  Previously, Obama has tended to focus only on provisions of the law that banned preexisting condition restrictions,  allowed young adults to remain on their parents’ insurance plans and expanded prescription drug coverage for seniors.

They also came the same day his administration decided to cease funding a state Medicaid program for low-income women in protest of a decision by the Republican-dominated Texas government to block Planned Parenthood and other affiliates from receiving some of the federal cash.

“This is not just a political debate. This is the defining issue of our times,” Obama said later of the ideological debate with Republicans over issues like health care. “A make or break moment.”

The event at Minute Maid Park, home of the Houston Astros baseball team, was one of two evening fundraisers at which Obama was expected to net at least $2.8 million combined, according to a campaign official.

The biggest checks of the night for Obama and Democrats were cut at an intimate $35,800-per-person reception with 70 donors at the private River Oaks home of Dr. Dina Alsowayel, associate director of the women’s studies program at the University of Houston, and Tony Chase, a University of Houston law professor and former Harvard Law School classmate of Obama.

Proceeds from both events – Obama’s 35th and 36th of the year — go to the Obama Victory Fund, a joint account of the Obama Campaign and Democratic National Committee, which funnels the first $5,000 of an individual’s contribution to the president and the remainder, up to $30,800, to the DNC.

Harris County, which includes Houston, is friendly turf for Obama in an otherwise red state.  Voters there backed him by more than 18,000 votes over John McCain in 2008, though Obama ultimately lost the state by 946,000 votes.

Still, Texas is among the most generous states to Obama’s re-election effort – and more generous to Obama than to any of the other remaining Republican candidates, according to the Center for Responsive Politics.

Obama has raised more than $3.45 million in contributions from Texans through March 5, according to Center for Responsive Politics analysis of Federal Election Commission data.  GOP frontrunner Mitt Romney has raised $3.2 million, Rep. Ron Paul has collected $1.5 million and Newt Gingrich has received $920,000.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Santorum Draws Crowds, Raises Nearly $1M after Tuesday's Three-State Sweep

Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call(PLANO, Texas) -- Standing in front of a massive crowd at a rally in Plano, Texas, Wednesday night, Rick Santorum unleashed criticism of President Obama, telling supporters the president has an “overt hostility to faith.”

“(He’s) trying to weaken them, churches, trying to say that anybody who believes in the values of the Judeo-Christian policies,” Santorum said to about 2,000 people in a converted barn, one of his largest audiences of the campaign.

He told the audience at the rally that Obama is restricting religious freedoms in the country, and even that a situation like the French Revolution could happen in America.

“They are taking faith and crushing it. Why? Why?  When you marginalize faith in America, when you remove the pillar of God given rights then what’s left?” Santorum asked.

“The French Revolution,” he answered. “What’s left is a government that gives you rights. What’s left are no unalienable rights. What’s left is a government that will tell you who you are, what you’ll do and when you’ll do it. What’s left in France became the guillotine. Ladies and gentlemen, we are a long way from that, but if we do follow the path of President Obama and his overt hostility to faith in America, then we are headed down that road.”

Wednesday’s trip to Texas after winning the states of Minnesota, Colorado, and Missouri the night before, turned into a victory lap when Santorum was greeted by a frenzied crowd. Later, his campaign announced they had raised “almost one million dollars” since his speech in Missouri.

The crowd hung on his every word, exploding when he told them, “Now is the time for America to rise up and say enough!”

Santorum campaigns next in Oklahoma, holding events in Oklahoma City and Tulsa on Thursday before flying to Washington D.C. to address the Conservative Political Action Committee.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Rick Santorum Vows Not to Run for ‘Pastor in Chief’

T.J. Kirkpatrick/Getty Images(MCKINNEY, Texas) -- After stunning victories in Missouri, Minnesota and Colorado Tuesday night, GOP presidential candidate Rick Santorum told a group of pastors in Texas Wednesday that despite his focus on “the role of family in our society,” he is not running to be “pastor in chief” and that clergy should be working harder.

“It’s not because I want to be the pastor of the United States,” he said. “I have no intention and no desire to be the pastor of this country. There are pastors all over here who, you know, you guys can do a little better than you’re doing right now, I’ll be honest with you,” Santorum said before asking for an “Amen” from the crowd.

“We could be doing a little better out there in the churches, but I’m leaving that to you, all right? But that doesn’t mean I’m not going to stand and fight for the things that are consistent with what this country was founded upon, which was a moral foundation,” Santorum said.

He briefly mentioned his victories Tuesday night, saying he consistently benefits from being underestimated. He beat Mitt Romney 2-1 in Missouri, which awarded no delegates.

“I got elected to the United States Congress. After these elections, I looked back and I just had to thank God, because there’s no way I should have won this election,” the former Pennsylvania senator said. “One of the great gifts that I’ve had in my political career is that no one ever thinks that I could ever win anything. The gift of being underestimated is a wonderful gift.  I think you may have seen a little bit of that last night.”

The owner of the event space -- the Bella Donna chapel -- a Santorum supporter, started inviting pastors from the Dallas area about a week ago to hear the former congressman speak.

About 100 clergy packed into the small chapel, while an overflow tent next door was open to the public and held several hundred despite the cold temperatures.

Santorum, 53, greeted the crowd and on his way out told a mass of reporters trailing him that his campaign had raised $400,000 in the past two days.

The main reason for traveling to Texas, despite no upcoming primary, is for the candidate to attend a fundraiser in the Dallas area. An aide Tuesday evening told ABC News the state is “very generous,” and donors here were excited to meet him.

The address was notably devoid of much political discussion, although he did accuse President Obama of restricting Americans’ right to freedom of religion, as he has since the Department of Health and Human Services controversial decision last week to require all institutions that provide health insurance, including Catholic hospitals and universities, to cover contraception and emergency contraception.

At the end, the group surrounded the candidate, extended their hands and began praying for his health, safety and candidacy.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

ABC News Radio