On The Road

2012 Presidential Election
7:14 pm
Sat December 10, 2011

On the Road: Winning Iowa in Three Weeks

Rick Perry speaks to reporters at the Veterans for the Strong America forum in Des Moines.
Photo by Ben Philpott for KUT News

It almost feels like the GOP Presidential campaign has been going on since 2008. There have been 14 major debates and forums since May, and Republican Presidential hopefuls started visiting Iowa so long ago it was still above freezing.

But you could say the race for the Iowa caucus really begins tonight with the ABC News debate at Drake University.

That's certainly the case for Texas Governor Rick Perry. He's got a two week bus tour coming up, and is hoping Iowa voters will give him a second chance. His campaign has shown flashes that it could make a move in the caucus.

But just when you think he's back on the right track... he makes a mistake.

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2012 Presidential Election
12:16 pm
Fri December 9, 2011

On the Road:The Final Push (Pt. 1)

Back on the campaign trail for the next two months.
Photo by Ben Philpott for KUT News

I'm sitting at gate 18 at Austin's airport waiting for my fight out to Des Moines, Iowa. This trip will take about two weeks. I'll attend two GOP debates, one at Drake University in Des Moines, the other in Sioux City. And follow Gov. Perry on an eight day tour of the state that will include multiple stops and towns each day.

This is the start of the governor's last attempt to get Iowa voters to give him a second chance. Perry will also criss-cross the state immediately after Christmas until caucus day January 3 (That will be "The Final Push Pt. 2).

Based on media coverage this week, Perry may be starting the trip off on the wrong foot. His campaign ad titled "Strong," which disparages gays in the military, has received harsh criticism.

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2012 Presidential Election
10:12 am
Wed December 7, 2011

On The Road: Packing For Iowa

I finally get back to covering the campaign this Friday. Gov. Rick Perry and the rest of the GOP presidential field have two debates coming up in Iowa.

All of the major candidates, except John Huntsman who has a "New Hampshire or Bust" campaign, will be living in the Hawkeye state until caucus day January 3.

Which means I'll be living there too, minus three days back in Austin for Christmas. So I've started packing for the trip.

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2012 Presidential Election
5:26 pm
Mon December 5, 2011

With Perry Stumbling, Ron Paul Near The Top in Iowa

Can Ron Paul make a move in Iowa?
Picture courtesy Texas Tribune for KUT

Much of the GOP primary coverage out of Texas has been focused on the campaign of Governor Perry, which you can explain by his dramatic entry and ascension to the top of the GOP field.

But as Perry has become an afterthought in recent national and state polls, Ron Paul and his followers have begun to wonder why they aren't getting more attention.

Paul ranked second in the most recent Des Moines Register poll released last week, sandwiched in between Newt Gingrich and Mitt Romney.

The Register has a great story up today talking about what each of the top three needs to do to pull out a win in Iowa. Number one on Paul's list: grow his base. The Texas Congressman's 18 percent support in the poll isn't likely to decline, because the people who like Paul, love him. They aren't likely to change their minds between now and the caucus. But he'll need to add supporters if he wants to win.

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2012 Presidential Election
9:55 pm
Sat December 3, 2011

Good News, Bad News for Perry Campaign

Gov. Perry heads into December needing lots of help to leapfrog GOP rivals.
Photo by Ben Philpott for KUT News.

The "comeback" scenario for Texas Governor Rick Perry usually has him being able to outlast other candidates and be the last man standing between Mitt Romney and the nomination. Perry is believed to have enough money to get through January. Most of the others definitely don't.

So for Perry, having Herman Cain drop out of the race today, should give him a little boost going into the Iowa caucus.

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2012 Presidential Election
3:18 pm
Thu December 1, 2011

Double Dose of Campaign Ads

Perhaps seeking to ignite a spark in his followers, Texas Governor Rick Perry released a couple of new campaign ads today. One focusing on energy policy. The other...oh wait...umm...oh yeah, his debate brain freeze.

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2012 Presidential Election
4:15 pm
Tue November 22, 2011

On The Road: Roughing It Behind The Scenes at GOP Debates

The KUT recording studio at a campaign stop in Michigan.
Photo by Chelsea Hagger for KUT

Tonight is Texas Governor Rick Perry's eighth Republican primary debate. I will have been at seven of them.

Each debate is remembered by what happens on stage. What was said, what wasn't said, and whether or not one of the candidates messed up.

Reporters view them the same way. But we also can't help but compare the behind-the-scenes set up from debate to debate. 

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2012 Presidential Election
12:09 pm
Mon November 21, 2011

On the Road: It's Cold Out Here!

Rick Perry enjoys some Chili at the Manchester NH Chili festival.
Photo by Ben Philpott for KUT News.

Voters in  Iowa and New Hampshire are accustomed to having dozens of reporters roaming around their fair cities and towns - usually trailing a presidential candidate or two. So it's often pretty easy to find someone to talk about his or her impressions of or interactions with candidates. 

At least once a day a reporter on the road meets up with someone who has - let's say - unique information about a candidate he or she doesn't like.

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2012 Presidential Election
6:28 pm
Tue October 11, 2011

On the Road: The Other Half

Protesters at Dartmouth College in Hanover, NH let Gov. Perry and other GOP candidates know they don't like some of their economic policies.
Photo by Ben Philpott for KUT News

With all the attention on the GOP presidential primary, it can be hard to remember that recent polls show voters are still evenly split on who they want to win the 2012 election. 

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2012 Presidential Election
11:42 am
Tue October 11, 2011

On the Road: What's at Stake at Dartmouth

The debate hall on the campus of Dartmouth College.
Photo by Bob Daemmrich

All eyes are on the top three GOP presidential candidates tonight - with each hoping to answer lingering questions about their ability to win the nomination.

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