Politics

2012 Presidential Election
7:24 pm
Tue January 3, 2012

Perry’s A&M Classmate Caucuses For Governor In Urbandale

Gov. Rick Perry at his last campaign stop of 2011 in Boone, Iowa, on Dec. 31, 2011.
Photo by Bob Daemmrich, Texas Tribune

One of Rick Perry’s former classmates at Texas A&M University made an impassioned plea at a caucus meeting in Urbandale, Iowa for voters to support the Texas Governor’s bid for the presidential nomination.

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2012 Presidential Election
5:35 pm
Tue January 3, 2012

Perry Vows To Fight On Past Iowa

Governor Rick Perry speaking this afternoon with CNN's John King

Update at 11:40 p.m. Perry says he is returning to Texas to reconsider his presidential campaign.

Earlier: Texas Governor Rick Perry, speaking this afternoon on CNN, says he will “continue on” tomorrow in South Carolina, regardless of how well he performs tonight in Iowa.

“The idea that one or two states is going to decide who the next nominee for the Republican party is just, that’s not reality,” Perry told CNN’s John King. “This is a fifty-state campaign.”

King asked Perry if he was worried that socially conservative candidates including Perry, Minnesota Congresswoman Michele Bachmann and former Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum could split the far right vote and hand the nomination to Mitt Romney, a former Massachusetts governor.

But Perry dodged the question, saying comparisons to past elections don’t apply in this race.

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2012 Presidential Election
3:55 pm
Tue January 3, 2012

Rick Perry Rallies Troops Ahead of Caucus

It might have been the closing moments of a Texas governor’s race.

There stood Rick Perry, flanked by his fellow Republican leaders Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst, Attorney General Greg Abbott, Comptroller Susan Combs.

Ad man David Weeks lingered in a crowded doorway as aide Robert Black adjusted a sagging campaign sign, one of several being used for backdrops inside the Sheraton West Des Moines hotel. Longtime political allies, donors and friends smiled and cheered at all the appropriate times.

But in the few hours remaining before the results from the Iowa caucuses start pouring in, an unfamiliar air of nervousness and uncertainty hung over the crowd. None of them have ever seen Perry so far out of his comfort zone, so close to his first-ever defeat.

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2012 Presidential Election
3:38 pm
Tue January 3, 2012

Get To Know an Iowa Voter: Ron Paul Supporter Chuck Wheeler

Chuck Wheeler is a precinct captain in Des Moines, Iowa
Photo by Matt Largey, KUT News

Iowa Republicans choose their candidates for president tonight, and KUT has reporters following both Texans in the race: Governor Rick Perry and Congressman Ron Paul.

We’ve been talking with voters, and KUT’s Matt Largey in suburban Des Moines had this conversation with Ron Paul supporter and lifetime Des Moines resident Chuck Wheeler. 

KUT News: You’re going to be caucusing for Dr. Paul tonight?

Chuck Wheeler: Yup. I’m precinct captain of Precinct 54. We’ve been going at it since 7 a.m. this morning. The energy level is like nothing I’ve ever experienced.

I’ve been apathetic since 1984, and working with all these young people, it’s fun because I get their point of view and they get my point of view.

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Opinion
12:58 pm
Tue January 3, 2012

New Republic: Could Rick Santorum Win Big?

Republican presidential candidate and former U.S. Senator Rick Santorum (R-PA) is mobbed by press while hosting a Pinstripe Bowl watch party at Buffalo Wild Wings Grill and Bar on Dec. 30, 2011 in Ames, Iowa.
Scott Olson Getty Images

Originally published on Tue January 3, 2012 8:14 am

Noam Scheiber is a senior editor at The New Republic, where he writes about politics and Obama administration economic policy.

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Politics
11:22 am
Tue January 3, 2012

Some Teenagers Can Serve As Election Clerks

Photo by KUT

As you’re huddled around the radio tonight with your entire family listening to KUT’s coverage of the Iowa caucuses, perhaps your teenager will wish aloud that he or she could participate in this thing called “democracy.”

While casting a vote is still strictly for adults only, teens who are 16 and older can still get a front row seat on the process by serving as a polling clerk during the primaries or on Election Day.

The Secretary of State’s Office pays election workers hourly and says “experience as an election clerk is an impressive addition to a resume or college application.” Teenagers will still need parents to fill out a permission slip.

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2012 Presidential Election
10:06 am
Tue January 3, 2012

As Iowa Goes, So Goes What? Past Losers Still Won The GOP Nomination

Ken Rudin collection

Originally published on Tue January 3, 2012 12:57 pm

The next sounds you hear will be Iowa Republicans rendering their judgment for 2012. The road to the magic number of 1,145 — delegates needed to clinch the GOP nomination — begins Tuesday. The caucuses, all 1,774 of them, start at 7 pm Central time (8 Eastern), and results may start to trickle in within the hour.

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2012 Presidential Election
4:45 pm
Mon January 2, 2012

Governor Perry Casts Pigs In Newest Campaign Ad

With the Iowa caucuses looming just over the horizon, Governor Perry is swinging hard at Rick Santorum. The former Pennsylvania senator leads the pack among the more socially-conservative GOP presidential candidates.

In this new advertisement, the Perry campaign literally shows pigs in an effort to draw a comparison between pork barrel politics and Santorum’s three-year-old comment on Fox News that “I’ll defend earmarks."  Earmarks are provisions added to bills that direct funds to projects in lawmakers' home districts. 

The ad repeats Santorum's one-second comment six times, each time highlighting an earmarks Santorum put into bills while serving in Congress. Unsettling carnival music plays in the background, while a portrait of President Obama slowly transforms into the face of the former Senator.  

Santorum has rebuffed Perry's attack on earmarks, saying he's "proud" of money he brought back to his state.

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2012 Presidential Election
2:04 pm
Mon January 2, 2012

The Caucuses: A Quick Guide

Edward Lewis of Council Bluffs waved an Iowa state flag outside the Family Table Restaurant in Atlantic on Sunday, before the arrival of former Massachusetts governor and Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney.
Chip Somodevilla Getty Images

Originally published on Mon January 2, 2012 1:11 pm

Those who remember newspapers might recognize this as a "clip and save." Maybe the more modern term would be a "cut and paste." Whatever, if you want some of the details and logistics about Tuesday night's caucuses in Iowa, here they are:

-- When: 7 p.m. Central time (8 p.m. ET).

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2012 Presidential Election
1:03 pm
Mon January 2, 2012

Will Ron Paul Take Iowa?

Ron Paul's new ad airing in New Hampshire

Texas Congressman Ron Paul has confounded the Republican establishment by racing to the top of the pack in Iowa. Two polls out this morning show Paul either in second place behind Mitt Romney or tied in a statistical dead heat, leading New York Times’ columnist and statistician Nate Silver to place Paul within one percentage point of Romney.

Silver gives Romney a 42 percent chance of winning and Paul a 34 percent chance. A steady beat of mainstream Republicans have openly hoped Paul tanks in Iowa.

The latest is Marc Thiessen, a former speechwriter for President George W. Bush. He sounds gobsmacked by the poll results in a Washington Post column today titled, “Seriously, Iowa? Ron Paul?”

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2012 Presidential Election
9:29 am
Mon January 2, 2012

On the Road: What's Next?

Perry press corps huddles over their computers scrambling to find a flight to South Carolina.
Photo by Ben Philpott/KUT News

The reporters covering Rick Perry's presidential campaign have, from time to time, complained about a lack of advance notice from the campaign on events. There have been instances of last-second news conferences called where the national media have been unable to attend. And even on a good week, reporters only found out about campaign stops about seven days ahead of time.

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2012 Presidential Election
8:25 pm
Sat December 31, 2011

Romney & Paul Neck and Neck

Texas Congressman Ron Paul's continues to run in a virtual tie with Mitt Romney, according to a Des Moines Register poll released Saturday night.
Photo by Gage Skidmore/Texas Tribune

With the Iowa Republican presidential caucuses four days away, a new Des Moines Register poll show a razor-thin margin between former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney and Texas Congressman Ron Paul.

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2012 Presidential Election
10:19 am
Sat December 31, 2011

On the Road: Wrapping Up the Bus Tour

Photo by Ben Philpott/KUT News

Today ends the Rick Perry Faith, Jobs and Freedom bus tour.

Well, mostly...

This was supposed to be the end, but the campaign added a final day, January 2nd, to the tour. That final blitz will see the governor finally visit Perry, Iowa, A town the Texas Tribune's Emily Ramshaw and I visited on our own back in September while following Perry on the campaign trail.

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2012 Presidential Election
8:25 pm
Fri December 30, 2011

On the Road: The Surge Behind the Scenes

Photo by Ben Philpott/KUT News

The latest polls from Iowa have Texas Governor Rick Perry, former Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum and former House Speaker Newt Gingrich essentially in a tie. Each candidate is within striking distance of 3rd place. And each could just a easily finish 5th.

And you can see the optimism in the Perry campaign staff. A little most jump in their step and a little more seriousness as they go about their work.

You can also see it in the number of reporters covering Governor Perry.

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2012 Presidential Election
10:15 am
Fri December 30, 2011

Polls Show Perry Gaining Momentum

Rick Perry talks with voters in Marshalltown, Iowa
Photo by Ben Philpott for KUT News

The big story out of Iowa Wednesday was the CNN/Time poll, showing former Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum was finally getting his turn to be the "not Mitt Romney" candidate (a position previously held by Michele Bachmann, Rick Perry, Herman Cain and Newt Gingrich).

That same polls showed Rick Perry still in 5th place in Iowa. A finish that some think could lead to the Texas governor dropping out of the GOP Presidential race.

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2012 Presidential Election
4:57 pm
Thu December 29, 2011

Judge Denies Perry's Requests in Virginia Primary Ballot

Gov. Perry's request to add his name or stop the Virginia primary ballots from being printed was denied today by a federal judge. Photo by Ben Philpott/KUT News.

Governor Rick Perry lost a bid to get his named added to the Virginia Republican presidential primary ballot. He needed 10,000  signatures, with at least 400 signatures from the state's 11 congressional districts to qualify.

Governor Perry filed an emergency motion Wednesday in the U.S. District Court in Richmond for an injunction to get his name on the ballot or to stop the state from printing them. He argued the signature requirements were burdensome and unconstitutional.

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Politics
1:05 pm
Thu December 29, 2011

Latinos Upset with Obama But Still Back Him Over GOP

President Obama speaks to a crowd at the University of Texas on Aug. 9, 2010.
Photo by Bob Daemmrich, Texas Tribune

Despite Latinos' mounting disapproval for President Obama over his administration’s immigration policies, a majority of the demographic would still prefer to see him in the White House over his Republican challengers.

study conducted by the Pew Hispanic Center found that 59 percent of Latinos disapprove of his handling of illegal immigrants in this country while 27 percent approve. The center estimates that about 81 percent of the 11.2 million illegal immigrants in the country are of Hispanic descent, although the group accounted for 97 percent of the immigrants deported in 2010.

“Deportations have reached record levels under President Obama, rising to an annual average of nearly 400,000 since 2009, about 30 percent higher than the annual average during the second term of the Bush administration and about double the annual average during George W. Bush’s first term,” according to the report.

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2012 Presidential Election
11:17 am
Thu December 29, 2011

Fighting for Iowa's Evangelicals, Perry Targets Santorum

Gov. Perry campaigning last week in DeWitt, Iowa
Photo by Ben Philpott, KUT News

Texas Governor Rick Perry spent the last two weeks namelessly attacking Newt Gingrich and Mitt Romney by telling voters that they didn't need to elect a Washington D.C. or Wall Street insider.

But at this morning's campaign stop in the Iowa town of Washington, the governor focused his attack specifically on former Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum. A new CNN/Time poll showed Santorum jumping from sixth place in Iowa to third.

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2012 Presidential Election
10:00 am
Thu December 29, 2011

Romney Rolling In Iowa, With Large Crowds And Growing Optimism

Originally published on Thu December 29, 2011 7:58 am

Before the sun was even up here in Iowa this morning, the Mitt Romney campaign bus was rolling on its way to a stop at J's Homestyle Cooking in Cedar Falls.

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2012 Presidential Election
9:59 am
Thu December 29, 2011

Across Iowa, Gingrich Highlights His Experience As Poll Numbers Slip

Newt Gingrich speaks Wednesday at Southbridge Mall in Mason City, Iowa.
Scott Olson Getty Images

Originally published on Mon January 2, 2012 5:26 am

Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich started Thursday's Iowa campaigning with a stop in Sioux City at The Coffee Works. Only about a dozen customers were there, but he was questioned critically by one about his comments on reforming the federal judiciary.

Linda Santi told Gingrich she didn't appreciate him "politicizing" the Iowa Supreme Court's 2009 decision that found unconstitutional a state law banning gay marriage. Santi said the decision was in accordance with the state constitution. Gingrich ended the conversation with: "We'll have to agree to disagree."

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