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Media was all abuzz with the impending end of Gov. Rick Perry’s 2012 presidential bid leading up to his formal announcement at 11:00 AM on Thursday January 26, 2012. In his more than 20 minute announcement, Perry gave a speech that embodied his campaign style and platform.
Stating that “what’s broken in America is our politics,” Perry led up to his formal endorsement of Newt Gingrich calling him a “visionary who can transform this country” with the “heart of [a] conservative reformer” who has the “courage to tell Washington interests to ‘take a hike’.”
With full grace and a strong stance, Gov. Perry recalled former Texas Gov. Houston by saying, “I know when it’s time to take a strategic retreat.” Vowing to continue to support conservative values and principles, and reminding his supporters that “President Obama’s road is a very dangerous one,” Perry stated that he will be heading back to Texas with his wife Anita by his side knowing that “with a loving God, things gonna be good no matter what” he does.
And while the conservative portion of the GOP presidential field is now narrowed even further, and conservatives are now vying for a spot behind the remaining candidates, it is hopeful that Gov. Perry’s message resonates with the voters… “The mission is greater than the man.”
- Gingrich rising in SC, but in time to edge Romney? (mercurynews.com)
- Gingrich urges Santorum, Perry to drop out (politicalticker.blogs.cnn.com)
- Gingrich suggests Santorum, Perry should exit race (thehill.com)
- Gingrich Faith Leaders’ Statement on Results from Texas (draftcain.wordpress.com)
Question at town hall: “What I’ve been looking for in my candidate is fire in the belly. We’ve got to bloody Obama’s nose. You’ve mentioned challenging him to seven, three-hour debates. He has this armor of media surrounding him. If he doesn’t agree to that, how do you plan to aggressively take the gloves off and go after him?”
Newt Gingrich: “Let me say first of all, I don’t want to argue with you about the analogy. I don’t want to bloody his nose, I want to knock him out.”
- Gingrich: ‘I Would Be Delighted’ If Santorum Dropped Out (blogs.wsj.com)
- Newt Gingrich Amps up Negative Attacks on Mitt Romney (usnews.com)
- Gingrich wins Fox South Carolina Debate (brvanlanen.wordpress.com)
Mitt Romney, once again, proved that spending millions of dollars in a political campaign isn’t worth a spit if voters don’t like you.
Same goes for Rick – Oops – Perry.
Iowa also proved that a candidate with little money – Rick Santorum – can slug it out with the big boys the old fashioned way. And somehow Newt Gingrich, the target of millions of dollars in negative TV ads, still did well enough to stay in the race and make Mitt Romney’s political life a living hell.
Get your popcorn ready.
As I’m writing this the final tally has not been announced, but it doesn’t matter. Regardless of the final vote count Romney lost. He needed a big win in Iowa in order to be able to enter New Hampshire with his focus solely on defeating Obama. Now he still has to still fight it out with Gingrich AND Santorum.
The President could not have scripted a more favorable republican primary.
Mitt Romney’s bottom line: after campaigning in Iowa since he lost to Mike Huckabee in ’08, with a well run political organization on the ground and millions to spend blanketing the airwaves, 75% of Caucus goers still wanted somebody else.
Lots of people don’t respond well to Mitt Romney, and I think I know why. Mitt is not the top 1%, he’s the top .001%, which is fine. He may not have more money than God, but they belong to the same country club.
That’s not the problem. The problem is he tries to pass himself off as regular guy. He once quipped to a group of unemployed workers, ‘I’m out of work, too!.’ His blue jeans are pressed. He eats pizza with a fork.
The good news: The 2012 Presidential is officially under way. The process may not always be pretty and there’s too much money spent campaigning, but Iowa showed that money doesn’t always buy elections. Even though – technically – this was a caucus and not an election.
Regardless, it’s another great day for America.
- Iowa Caucus: It’s Actually Totally Okay If You Haven’t The Faintest Clue About What Is Going To Happen (huffingtonpost.com)
- James Moore: The Non-Romney Race in Iowa (huffingtonpost.com)
- Des Moines Register Poll Shows Mitt Romney In Lead Ahead Of Iowa Caucus (huffingtonpost.com)
Due to left-wing threats to disrupt the Iowa Republican caucuses next week, state GOP officials have opted to move the vote tabulation to an “undisclosed location,” reports the POLITICO.
The state party has not yet told the campaigns exactly where the returns will be added up, only that it will be off-site from the Iowa GOP’s Des Moines headquarters. The 2008 caucus results were tabulated at the state party offices, which sit just a few blocks from the state capitol.
Activist groups including the Occupy movement have indicated that they’ll attempt to interrupt rallies in the closing days before next Tuesday’s caucuses.
The AP reported today that Occupy is making plans to even attend some caucuses and vote “no preference,” but not disturb the voting process.
But Iowa Republicans are also bracing for other threats, sources say, including hacking.
“That same energy has shifted from the electoral arena to the streets.”
Obama, says Goodner, gave birth to the Occupy movement when he “failed to deliver” on the promise of widening the tax base, securing Medicare and Social Security, abolishing “Wall Street greed” and limiting campaign spending.
So who is David Goodner?
He is a 30-year-old veteran Iowa protestor, who works with Iowa Citizens for Community Improvement Action Fund. He is frequently arrested and in controversy, so much so that the FBI infiltrated his organization because they were concerned he might be plotting to disrupt the 2008 RNC Convention.
Though no one will say it officially, Goodner, who vows to disrupt the Iowa caucus, is part of the reason the Iowa Republican party announced on Tuesday it was moving its voting tabulation to a secure location.
Last week he was escorted out of a security during a news conference headed by Newt Gingrich. The pictureabove really is worth a thousand words.
Read the rest of his charming bio at Big Govenment.
Another worry for Iowa Republicans is a threat from the hacker group Anonymous to hack the Caucus.
Taking seriously an apparent threat from a notorious collective of computer hackers, the Iowa Republican Party is boosting the security of the electronic systems it will use in two weeks to count the first votes of the 2012 presidential campaign.
Investigators don’t know if the threat is authentic, but it has nonetheless led the state party to confront a worst-case scenario. Their fear: an Iowa caucus marred by hackers who corrupt the database used to gather votes and crash the website used to inform the public about results that can shape the campaign for the White House.
“With the eyes of the media on the state, the last thing we want to do is have a situation where there is trouble with the reporting system,” said Wes Enos, a member of the Iowa GOP’s central committee and the political director for Minnesota Rep. Michele Bachmann’s campaign in the state. “We don’t want that to be the story.”
Confident in the existing safeguards protecting the vote count itself, Enos and other members of the party central committee told The Associated Press they recently authorized additional security measures aimed at ensuring hackers are unable to delay the release of caucus results.
- #Occupy Activists Meet In Iowa, Plan Caucus Attacks (actualgrit.wordpress.com)
- Iowa GOP Borrowing Cheney’s Undisclosed Location for Caucus Ballot-Counting (news.firedoglake.com)
- Iowa caucus counting moved due to ‘Occupy Caucus’ concerns (thehill.com)
- The Iowa Occupiers’ Chilling Plot to Engage in Participatory Democracy  (gawker.com)
- Iowa Republicans to move counting due to security concerns (politicalticker.blogs.cnn.com)
Newt Gingrich told CNN tonight that he wouldn’t vote for Ron Paul even if the Republican Party nominated his former House colleague for president. Gingrich doesn’t see a Paul nomination happening, however.
“I think Ron Paul’s views are totally outside the mainstream of virtually every decent American,” Gingrich said on CNN’s “The Situation Room with Wolf Blitzer.”
Gingrich continued: “He’s got to come up with some very straight answers to get somebody to take him seriously. Would I be willing to listen to him? Sure. I think the choice of Ron Paul or Barack Obama would be a very bad choice for America.”
Gingrich’s poll numbers in Iowa have been driven down, in part by a series of Paul ads attacking the ex-speaker of the House. Gingrich said Paul’s “ads are about as accurate as his newsletter.” Paul campaign chairman Jesse Benton shot back:
“Frustration from his floundering campaign has Newt Gingrich showing who he really is: a divisive, big-government liberal,” Paul Campaign Chairman Jesse Benton said. “Newt has a long record of standing against conservatives dating back to his support for liberal Nelson Rockefeller over Barry Goldwater, so this sort of childish outburst is nothing new.”
The gloves are coming off in Iowa.
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Already they have interrupted Michele Bachmann and drawn a withering putdown from Newt Gingrich as “all noise, no thought.”
Now, to the dismay of Iowa Republicans, Occupy activists in Des Moines are vowing to expand their protests as GOP presidential hopefuls converge on the state that speaks first in the race for the party’s presidential nomination.
“The 99 percent have woken up and we’re not going to take it anymore,” Occupy activist Stephen Toothman, of Des Moines, said as an advance guard met Tuesday to decide which candidates to target in the coming week.
Hundreds of Occupy activists from at least 10 states were expected to participate in a “People’s Caucus” near the Capitol to plot activities between now and the Jan. 3 caucuses. The activists are promising to interrupt candidates at events and camp out at their Iowa campaign offices. They say they want to change the political dialogue, but critics fear their tactics could tarnish Iowa’s reputation for civil political discourse ahead of the contest. Activists say mass arrests are possible.
They planned to break up into preference groups based on which candidates they want to target and present with a list of grievances.
Organizers are encouraging activists who live in Iowa to show up on caucus night and vote “no preference” as a protest but say they have no plans to interfere with the voting itself. Nonetheless, state Republican Party officials have instructed precinct leaders to report any disruption to police and the party.
Iowa GOP Chairman Matt Strawn criticized Occupy activists for targeting the caucuses, which have long been held up as a model of democracy where citizens in the months leading up to the event can directly question candidates and then gather with their neighbors on caucus night. Strawn said he worried most of the problems would be caused by those from out of state.
“It would be an absolute shame if outside agitators ruin the Iowa caucus experience,” he said.
Occupy activists, who came from as far away as New York and Seattle, said the caucuses were largely meaningless because the parties and candidates were overly influenced by wealthy, special interests that led them to ignore key issues.
“The caucuses are really a statement as to where the nation is as a whole. I think this occupation is really a statement that they are dissatisfied with all the choices that we’ve been given,” said Ivan Burghart, an activist from St. Louis who mingled with others at the group’s Des Moines headquarters.
Occupy Des Moines organizer Jess Mazour, 24, said protesters wanted candidates to address issues ranging from campaign finance reform to college debt to the home foreclosure crisis. She said the weeklong set of actions marked a new phase for the nationwide Occupy movement, and would be a test of whether activists could flex political muscle as one group.
The group insists it will practice non-violence, and activists were going through civil disobedience training Tuesday. Still, police fear scuffles could break out between frustrated candidates’ supporters and protesters at events.
Already, the tactics have annoyed candidates and angered supporters.
When Occupy activists started chants against Bachmann at an Iowa City diner last week, campaign aides blared Christmas songs from a sound system to drown them out. That prompted one activist to yell in the face of a Republican organizer to turn down the music, and the restaurant manager called police as tensions rose. Bachmann soon departed – and her supporters left upset by what had transpired.
Stephany Hoffelt, a member of Occupy Iowa City, said protesters believed the in-your-face tactics were justified because their message hasn’t gotten through in the past.
“It’s perfectly appropriate if you were listening to what we were saying,” Hoffelt said of the group’s chant blasting Bachmann’s positions on health care and taxes. “She is part of the 1 percent.”
Protesters with Occupy Des Moines startled Gingrich when he started speaking at a news conference at the Capitol this month, surprising him from behind and shouting “put people first,” before being ushered out. Protesters later trailed Gingrich through the Capitol halls and taunted him. “You can run but you can’t hide,” one said.
Gingrich dismissed them as the “one-tenth of one percent” and noted he’d been similarly heckled during an earlier stop in Iowa City. “All noise, no thought, tried to drown out conversation,” he said.
In the Des Moines suburb of Urbandale, where Gingrich, Bachmann and former U.S. Sen. Rick Santorum, have campaign offices, police met with staffers to discuss how to handle protests.
Urbandale police Lt. Kent Knopf said offices may keep their doors locked to prevent sit-ins, and he advised campaign aides to call his department if they want protesters to leave. Knopf said protesters would be cited for trespassing if they ignore orders to leave or camp directly outside offices instead of a public space within 15 feet of the street.
“It’s a waste of everybody’s energy for what they are trying to accomplish,” Knopf said. “They think they’re doing something. We’ll see if it makes a difference or not, but it hasn’t yet.”
Extra-marital dating website AshleyMadison.com has erected a billboard of serial adulterer and presidential hopeful Newt Gingrich in Bucks County, Pennsylvania that reads: “Faithful Republican, Unfaithful Husband. Welcome to the AshleyMadison.com Era.”
Given that Gingrich’s edge in the polls has recently been dwindling, could the former Speaker’s clinching of the coveted pro-adultery demographic be just what his campaign needs?
Considering that the thrice-married Republican candidate recently took a “no-adultery pledge” to increase his clout — much to the glee of snarky political bloggers — it’s probably not what the Team Newt had in mind. But according to Ashley Madison CEO Noel Biderman, the billboard can only help him.
“We thought that this was the most appropriate way to contribute to the campaign,” Biderman told Business Insider. “Seeing [Gingrich] as a human and flawed makes him more relatable. Just because someone has an affair doesn’t mean that they aren’t personally capable of leading a state or city or country.”
In fact, Biderman continued that without adulterous leaders like FDR, JFK, and Clinton, “our country would be decimated.”
Gingrich was not Ashley Madison’s first choice. Biderman reached out to Herman Cain last week to be the site’s president of international affairs.
“We offered to pay him the same salary that he would have gotten as president,” Biderman told B.I., but Cain did not respond to the $400,000 offer.
“It’s not the first time we’ve been left at the altar,” Biderman said.
But Ashley Madison, which caters to 12 million users from 7 countries, has moved on. There is currently one Gingrich billboard in the Pennsylvania swing county, and Biderman said he has at least two more billboards in the works.
The Gingrich campaign did not respond to a message requesting comment.