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Wednesday
Aug172011

Rick Perry Accuses White House of Lecturing Him

Justin Sullivan/Getty Images(BEDFORD, N.H.) -- On his first stop as a presidential candidate in the state that holds the nation’s earliest presidential primary, Rick Perry responded to President Obama’s criticism of the Texas governor’s assertion that Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke’s actions border on treason.

“The president said I needed to watch what I say,” Perry said. “I just want to respond back if I may. Mr. President, actions speak louder than words. My actions as governor are helping create jobs in this country. The president’s actions are killing jobs in this country. It’s time to get America working again.”

When a member of the audience asked Perry a question about the Federal Reserve, Perry began his answer by saying: “I got in trouble talking about the Federal Reserve yesterday. I got lectured about that yesterday.”

"When you're president or you're running for president you have to think about what you're saying because your words have greater impact,” White House Press Secretary Jay Carney said of Perry’s remark that if Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke were to print more money between now and the election it would be “almost treasonous.”

Carney added, “President Obama and we take the independence of the Federal Reserve very seriously and certainly think threatening the Fed chairman is probably not a good idea."

Perry addressed the White House criticism Wednesday morning to an audience of New Hampshire’s political leaders.

At the outset of a two-day campaign swing, the Texas governor also challenged those (he referred to “some people on the left”) who seek to “dismiss” his record of job creation in Texas -- and slammed President Obama's recent claim he turned the economy around but "a run of bad luck" derailed the recovery.

“Just luck?” Perry asked. “Well, Mr. President, America’ crisis is not bad luck, it’s bad policies from Washington, D.C.”

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Wednesday
Aug172011

Obama to Give Major Speech on Economy Next Month

JIM WATSON/AFP/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- President Obama will deliver a major speech on the economy shortly after Labor Day, a White House official tells ABC News.

The president will propose a package to help boost the economy and to reduce the deficit, the official said.

Ideas that the president will present include a payroll tax cut, an infrastructure bank, patent reform, the passage of three important trade deals, and tax credits to encourage the hiring of veterans, among others -- all bullet points he's mentioned before.

The speech will also include ways to reduce the deficit and to pay for the new programs to stimulate job growth.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Wednesday
Aug172011

Perry Up, Romney and Bachmann Down in New 2012 Poll

Justin Sullivan/Getty Images(ASBURY PARK, N.J.) -- Republican voters are really enjoying the new flavor of the week, Texas Gov. Rick Perry, according to a new Rasmussen Reports poll.

Perry, who announced his candidacy for the GOP presidential nomination last Saturday, has already jumped to the front of the pack, commanding 29 percent support from likely Republican voters.

He surpassed the former frontrunner, one-term Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, who's now second with 18 percent, and Minnesota Congresswoman Michele Bachmann, currently third in the Rasmussen survey with 13 percent.

Even more distressing for Bachmann -- the winner of last weekend's Ames Straw Poll in Iowa -- is that her support among the socially conservative Tea Party has eroded due to Perry's entrance in the race.

The governor leads Tea Partiers with 39 percent, compared to just 21 percent for Bachmann, who needs major Tea Party backing beyond Iowa if she's to have any shot of winning the Republican nod for president.

Support for other candidates showing in the poll is in the single digits: Texas Congressman Ron Paul, Atlanta businessman Herman Cain and former House Speaker Newt Gingrich.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Wednesday
Aug172011

While in Iowa, Obama Makes Surprise Stops in Small Towns

JIM WATSON/AFP/Getty Images(PEOSTA, Iowa) -- While the White House continues to assert that President Obama’s bus tour is purely official business, Obama spent Tuesday afternoon making surprise stops in small towns across Iowa, in what looked a lot like campaigning.

After wrapping up the Rural Economic Forum in Peosta, Iowa, Obama headed to Maquoketa to visit the local high school.  The president spent time with the volleyball team, who were practicing ahead of the start of school next week, taking photos with the girls and making small talk about their summers.  He also spoke with the school superintendent.

For his next stop, Obama grabbed some ice cream at the DeWitt Dairy Treats, where he greeted patrons and took photos with the staff.

The president stepped up to the window and ordered a big cone of soft serve alongside Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack.  Obama, who took orders for his team, also asked the press if they wanted anything.

“You sure?  This is the last time I’m gonna buy you anything,” Obama said when members of the media declined.

Finally, the president stopped in LeClaire, Iowa, along the Mississippi River, where he perused the wares at Grasshoppers craft store and spoke with the store’s owner.

The president joked that the owner’s dog looked a bit like Bo.

“He's kind of like Bo because he just stood there and wouldn't sit," the president said.

Obama then greeted the crowd of locals gathered across the street at the So Loco Fresh restaurant and signed some autographs.

The president will next head to Illinois on Wednesday, where he'll wrap up his three-day bus tour holding two town halls in Atkinson and Alpha.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Wednesday
Aug172011

Donald Trump Calls Rick Perry an 'Impressive Guy'

ABC News(NEW YORK) -- Donald Trump appears to be "impressed" with the latest candidate to enter the 2012 race -- Texas Gov. Rick Perry.

“Well, I think he's a very impressive guy.  I've spoken to him a number of times.  He's going to come and see me next week,” Trump, who thought about running for the GOP nomination himself, told ABC's chief political correspondent George Stephanopoulos.  “And I think he's a very impressive guy with a very good record.”

Specifically, Perry’s job record -- Texas has created more jobs than any other state since the recession.  But that stat has been criticized by people who say it’s due to population growth and low-wage jobs and shouldn’t be a model for the rest of the country.

“I think at this point, America would accept anything in terms of jobs, whether it's great jobs or okay jobs.   We need jobs…We're losing our jobs.  People are leaving this country and our products are all being made in other countries.  We have to reverse that immediately,” Trump said.

Perry already has a reputation for shooting from the hip, as he displayed in Iowa Monday when he said it would be “treasonous” for Ben Bernanke and the Federal Reserve to print more money before November.

Trump defended the candidate and said Perry is still prepared for the trail.  

“I think he feels very strongly about it.  But it's just an expression,” the real estate mogul and reality show star said.

“I think he's very ready.  He's been governor of Texas for a long time.  Texas has done very well.  I think he's very ready.  No, he's a tough guy.  He's a smart guy and…like everybody else in this country.  We're all frustrated.  He's very frustrated and he's probably angry.  So I think he has the right to show some emotion,” Trump said.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Tuesday
Aug162011

Taxes: Michele Bachmann vs. Warren Buffett

Win McNamee/Getty Images(GREENVILLE, S.C.) -- Michele Bachmann rejected Warren Buffett’s plea for the wealthy to pay more in taxes.

“We also believe, unlike Warren Buffett, that taxes are high enough already,” said Bachmann at a campaign event in South Carolina.

Buffett’s argument was that because of lower rates on certain types of income, like capital gains made in the stock market, he pays a far lower tax rate -- percentage of his annual income -- than his secretary.

“I have a suggestion. Mr. Buffett, write a big check today," said Bachmann. "There’s nothing you have to wait for. As a matter of fact the president has redefined millionaires and billionaires as any company that makes over $200,000 a year. That’s his definition of a millionaire and billionaire. So perhaps Mr. Buffett would like to give away his entire fortune above $200,000. That’s what you want to do? Have at it. Give it to the federal government. But don’t ask the rest of us to have our taxes increased because you want to have a soundbite. We want to have real job creation in this country and that’s what we’ll stand for as fiscal conservatives.”

Bachmann’s own soundbite is not entirely accurate. Buffett did not suggest no one could make more than $200,000. President Obama has said he wants Bush-era tax cuts for those individuals making more than $200,000 and families making more than $250,000 to expire after next year. But those people would not have to hand over every dollar made over $200,000 -- just a higher percentage of that income. And, if the Bush-era tax cuts expire, they’d have to hand over a higher percentage of money made on the stock market.

She would prefer to lower tax rates for the rich and broaden the tax base, making more Americans pay tax. Currently, nearly half of Americans -- those at the lower end of the economic spectrum - do not pay income tax.

The president during the debt ceiling debate also endorsed closing tax loopholes that benefit corporate jet owners and others.

But the White House is betting that Americans won’t mind some tax hikes if it can help close the budget gap, as the president’s top campaign adviser told ABC News' George Stephanopoulos after Republican presidential candidates all said last week they would reject even tax hikes that were offset 10-1 by spending cuts.

Buffett caused a stir with the argument, published in The New York Times, that the rich should pay more in taxes. And he’s trying to influence the “super committee” of lawmakers tasked by Congress with suggesting a solution for the nation’s deficit woes.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Tuesday
Aug162011

Christine O'Donnell: Romney 'Very Good at Keeping His Focus' on Obama's 'Failed Policies'

ABC/Donna Svennevik(WASHINGTON) -- Former Delaware Senate candidate Christine O’Donnell has some advice for candidates running in 2012: Keep your focus on the policy, not the personal.  

Asked to respond to Gov. Rick Perry’s comments Monday that suggested that Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke might be close to committing a “treasonous” act, O’Donnell told ABC’s Top Line that “you have to stick to the policies, and what we see happening in Washington, what the Obama administration is doing, is outrageous enough that there are enough broken policies coming from Washington that we need to make that our target.”  She went on to say that she thinks that “Mitt Romney is very good at keeping his focus on what's coming from the Obama administration, the failed policies coming from the Obama administration.”

O’Donnell plans to remain active in politics in 2012 with Christine PAC. The PAC, she said, will serve to fund “filing counter-complaints” on behalf of candidates she feels have been maligned. “We want to help clean up the political process,” O’Donnell told Top Line, “so that when candidates run, it's about your policies, it's about your platform.

“You know in my race, both Republicans and Democrats filed false claims against me and they do this as a political weapon so that during the election, the headlines read, you know, 'Candidate O'Donnell Accused of This Illegal Activity,' and while I've been cleared of all charges, and these complaints have been proven to be the malicious political motivated complaints that they are, the damage was done in the political process,” said O’Donnell.

O’Donnell is currently on a publicity tour promoting her new book, Troublemaker.

“I wrote my book,” said O’Donnell, “because we need to continue to press against the lashing back, the push back that we're gonna get from the Washington establishment, because they don't want to change politics as usual.”

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Tuesday
Aug162011

Obama Enlists Iowans in Fight to End Partisan Gridlock

JIM WATSON/AFP/Getty Images(PEOSTA, Iowa) -- At the White House Rural Economic Forum in Iowa on Tuesday, President Obama made his case to “enlist” Iowans in the fight to end partisan gridlock in Washington, which he said is to blame for the lack of economic growth.

“The only thing that is holding us back is our politics… The refusal of a faction in Congress to put country ahead of party. And that has to stop. Our economy cannot afford it,” Obama said at the Northeast Iowa Community College in Peosta, Iowa.

The president is spending the second day of his three-state Midwest bus tour focusing on the rural economy, urging Iowans to send a message to Congress to “put politics aside and get something done.”

“There's nothing wrong with this country.  We'll get through this moment of challenge. The only question is if, as a nation, we're going to do what it takes to grow this economy and put people back to work right now. Can we get our politics to match up with the decency of our people,” Obama said.

The president announced several new initiatives aimed at boosting the rural economy and creating jobs, including doubling the amount of investment capitol funneled to rural small businesses and recruiting more doctors for rural hospitals.

“We want to leave no stone unturned when it comes to strengthening this economy,” Obama said. “All the proposals we're making today didn't require new laws.  It just means that we're doing things smarter, we're eliminating duplication; we're allocating resources to places that we know are really making a difference.”

However, the president, who participated in two “breakout sessions” on the rural economy at Tuesday’s forum, seemed more intent on soliciting ideas from the community for how to “jumpstart” the economy.

“I'm also convinced that [a] comeback isn't going to be driven by Washington.  It is going to be driven by folks here in Iowa,” he said. “It's time Washington acted as responsibly as you do every single day.  It's past time.”

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Tuesday
Aug162011

White House to Rick Perry: 'Threatening' Bernanke 'Not a Good Idea'

Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- White House press secretary Jay Carney was asked Tuesday about comments made by Republican presidential candidate Gov. Rick Perry of Texas.

Perry on Monday at a local Republican Party event said of Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke, “If this guy prints more money between now and the election, I don’t know what y’all would do to him in Iowa, but we -- we would treat him pretty ugly down in Texas. Printing more money to play politics at this particular time in American history is almost treacherous -- or treasonous in my opinion.”

The White House spokesman said, "When you're president or you're running for president you have to think about what you're saying because your words have greater impact. President Obama and we take the independence of the Federal Reserve very seriously and certainly think threatening the Fed chairman is probably not a good idea."

A Perry campaign spokesman, Ray Sullivan, responded Tuesday morning to the Texas governor’s comments the previous night that if Bernanke were to print more money between now and the election it would be “almost treasonous” and that things could get “ugly” for him.

“The governor is passionate about reducing federal spending and moving towards a balanced budget as quickly as possible. He does not believe that printing more money is the answer to our economic problems,” Sullivan told a gaggle of reporters at Perry’s first campaign stop of the day.

He repeated, “The governor was passionate and energized by a full day of the Iowa State Fair, public events and interacting with the people of Iowa. And it was a way for him to talk about his concerns about the federal budget and his strong belief that printing more money is not the solution.”

A reporter pressed Sullivan on whether Perry’s words were perhaps too harsh.

“I think you’ll just have to listen to what the governor says every day,” Sullivan said. “The message is certainly going to evolve and be responsive to the news of the day. Just keep watching.”

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Tuesday
Aug162011

Ron Paul Ad Compares GOP Field to Obama

ABC News(WASHINGTON) -- Following a weekend where Rep. Ron Paul’s campaign says he was virtually ignored by the press -- the campaign is out with a new TV ad that takes aim at Mitt Romney, Rick Perry, and Barack Obama, labeling them as “smooth talking politicians.”

The ad, "The One," has a cinematic movie trailer feel and flashes between images of Perry, Romney, Obama, Michele Bachmann, and Nancy Pelosi, suggesting they're all the same. Ron Paul, the ad suggests, is the only different candidate in the race: he's never voted for a tax increase, and he would end the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

"Ron Paul," says the announcer, "the one who will stop the spending, save the dollar, create jobs, bring peace."

It also suggests the other politicians represent rhetoric and division. It does not say how Paul, who votes against most bills on Capitol Hill, would represent a move away from division.

The new ad is similar in style to his first TV ad "Conviction," which debuted in July in New Hampshire and Iowa.

A campaign spokesperson says the ad is now running in New Hampshire and Iowa and is part of a six-figure ad buy.

The campaign is flexing its financial muscle and using some of the war chest it has accumulated over the past several months. By the end of June, Ron Paul raised around $4.5 million in the second quarter fundraising -- second only to Mitt Romney.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio







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