Posts Tagged ‘Michele Bachmann’
Newt Gingrich was the clear winner in last night’s debate because no one drew blood. So no one was able to knock him off his front-runner perch.
He got off a marvelous retort when Mitt Romney tried to go after Newt for being a career politician. Newt answered: “You would have been a career politician if you had not lost to Ted Kennedy.”
Romney tried to go after Newt over his Palestinians are an “invented people” comment. But even that backfired against Romney when Newt went into a riff about how, like Reagan, he would not be timid about telling the truth. Reagan, he said, went against his advisers by calling the Soviet Union and “evil empire” and telling the Soviets to “tear down this wall.”
Newt said he would be bold and conservative like Reagan, not moderate and timid like Mitt. He did not cite Mitt by name in his comeback, but it was clear who he was talking about.
Romney’s biggest gaffe was to challenge Rick Perry to a $10,000 bet, saying his book never called for a national individual mandate to require individuals to buy health insurance. Who in this audience makes $10,000 bets?
If you’re going to issue challenges to bet, best to make it on the “I’ll treat you to a steak dinner” level.
That would sound friendly and congenial, not defensive and not like a spoiled rich kid.
And, if it turns out an early edition of his book really did call for a national individual mandate (as Perry’s opposition research seems quite certain it did), what a great ad that $10,000 bet moment will make. It will be something like Gary Hart challenging the media to follow him everywhere to prove he’s not cheating on his wife.
The media then found Hart cheating on his wife with Donna Rice on the good ship “Monkey Business.” (That was the real name of the boat Gary Hart was doing his Monkey Business on)
So this was Mitt’s worst debate yet.
He also spent much of the night, for some reason, attacking Rick Perry, who is now in single digits in the polls and going nowhere. That’s like continuing to kick a midget when he’s down. It’s just not necessary.
Actually, this was Perry’s best debate performance. It just wasn’t good enough. But he might have inadvertently ended Mitt’s bid for the Presidency by triggering the $10,000 bet gaffe.
So credit Perry for causing that accident by accident.
The unheralded Chuck Wepner once knocked Muhammad Ali on the canvas with a lucky punch.
Rick Perry may be the Chuck Wepner of this contest.
Michele Bachmann and Rick Santorum both turned in good debate performances. Of the two, Bachmann was better.
Her riff about “Newt Romney” was effective, where she ran down a list of liberal positions that have been taken by both Newt and Mitt, including (and especially) that they have both supported a government mandate on individuals to buy health insurance.
Newt’s answer on this was lame — that his support for the individual mandate was when they were looking for ways to combat HillaryCare in 1993-94.
So, if anyone drew blood on Newt in the debate, it was Michele.
She’ll likely get a boost in the polls from this by positioning herself as the true-blue conservative alternative to “Newt Romney.”
Rick Santorum also tried to do this for himself, but was not as effective as Bachmann. He drew no blood, but was solid, articulate, and likable as always. If Newt implodes (always possible), Bachmann might be there to pick up the conservative ball and run with it.
Ron Paul was Ron Paul. He was great, as always, on government spending, the Fed, and the need for the federal government to return to following the Constitution. And he toned down the most zany aspects of his foreign policy and defense positions.
Overall, the winner of the debate was Newt because no one knocked him off his surf board. But Bachmann is lurking in the wings as a credible conservative alternative to Mitt if Newt self-immolates ala Herman Cain.
PUBLIC POLICY POLLING: Newt Gingrich has taken the lead in PPP’s newest poll of Iowa Republican caucus voters with 27% to 18% for Ron Paul, 16% for Mitt Romney, 13% for Michele Bachmann, 9% for Rick Perry, 6% for Rick Santorum, 4% for Jon Huntsman, and 1% for Gary Johnson.
Gingrich has gained 19 points since PPP’s last poll of the race in early October. Also showing momentum are Paul whose support is up 8% and Bachmann whose support is up 5%. Romney has dropped 6 points since then with the other candidates mostly standing in place.
Gingrich’s rise to the top is being fueled by strong support from seniors and the Tea Party. With voters over 65 he’s at 37% leading Romney’s 18% and Paul’s 11% by 19 and 26 points respectively. With Tea Party voters Gingrich is at 35% with Bachmann actually coming in at second with 23%, Paul in third at 14%, and Romney all the way back at just 4%.
Paul’s benefiting from the lack of action on the Democratic side this year. 20% of likely caucus goers are either Democrats or independents and with them he’s leading the way with 28% t0 18% for Gingrich and 13% for Romney and Bachmann. He’s also very strong with younger voters, getting 23% with those under 45 to 21% for Gingrich, 16% for Bachmann, and 15% for Romney.
When PPP polled Iowa for the first time this year in January 57% of voters had a favorable opinion of Romney to 26% with an unfavorable one. Now he’s at only 49/45, representing a 27 point decline in his net favorability over the course of the year. Perhaps most troubling for Romney, only 48% of those who voted for him in 2008 say they’re planning to do so again this year.
Bachmann, Santorum also take shots at wounded Cain in effort to revive their campaigns
WASHINGTON POST: Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.) last night joined Sen. Rick Santorum (R-Pa.) in questioning former Godfather’s Pizza CEO Herman Cain over recently-uncovered sexual harassment allegations from Cain’s time at the National Restaurant Association.
“This is the year when we can’t have any surprises with our candidate,” Bachmann told a crowd of Iowa supporters. She echoed Santorum strategist John Brabender, who said Tuesday morning that Cain needed to “be forthcoming so that you are vetted.”
BEN SAYS: The sad truth is neither Rick Perry nor Mitt Romney are acceptable, not at this stage of the game. The way I see it, Michele Bachmann has clearly won two of the three debates plus the Ames, Iowa straw poll. Why not her?
The big problem with Bachmann is she has no executive experience. But she could bring strong executives into her Administration.
I’m not saying I’m sold on Bachmann. I’m just definitely not sold on either of the other two media-picked so-called GOP frontrunners.
Rick Santorum and Herman Cain would also be better than either Romney or Perry.
Newt’s super smart and has lots of good ideas. I always enjoy listening to Newt. But let’s face it, he’s far from a reliable conservative.
Perry’s record is very mixed. He opposes building a fence along the U.S. border with Mexico and favors his version of the Obama-Reid DREAM Act — which is amnesty for illegal aliens plus taxpayer subsidies for their education. That should be unacceptable to any conservative.
Instead of a border fence, Perry says he’s for using the troops and the National Guard to secure the border. That’s sure a lot more expensive than a fence. A fence along the entire U.S. border with Mexico would cost about $3 billion, according to most estimates — a drop in the bucket of our $750 billion national defense budget. We would still need some boots on the ground to go along with the border fence; but nowhere near the number of troops we’d need without the border fence.
Perry’s answer made absolutely no sense on this. He’s clearly not serious about securing the border.
Perry’s non-answer about his troubling Gardasil executive order also displayed poor instincts.
Why would he ever think it a good idea for the government to force 12-year-old girls in school to have an injection for a venereal disease?
You can make a case for highly contagious horrifying diseases such as Polio or Smallpox. But the public schools don’t even require flu vaccinations, even though flu kills 20,000 Americans every year.
So why force 12-year-old girls to have an anti-STD vaccine for the purpose of potentially curbing a non-contagious and rare cervical cancer in 12-year-old girls?
Strange, at best. Frankly, a little creepy.
Yes, there was a parentel opt-out provision. But rarely do parents hear about this.
As Rick Santorum asked: If this is such a good idea, why not make the case to parents for the vaccination and make it an opt-in program rather than opt-out?
Probably not many parents are overly worried that their 12-year old daughter is sexually active and would need such a vaccine.
Then Michele Bachmann raised the crony capitalism possibility on this when she pointed out that Perry’s former chief of staff is Merck’s chief lobbyist and that Merck was a substantial contributor to Perry. Not good — especially when one of our big problems with Obama is his “pay to play” corruption. If you’re General Electric, you pay no taxes on your billions of dollars in profits because you’re one of Obama’s biggest backers.
So Perry potentially undermines the crony-capitalism critique of Obama if Perry is the nominee.
We should not countenance corruption (in this case crony capitalism) in Democrats or Republicans.
Perry loses on four counts on this issue:
1) BAD PROCESS: Using an executive order rather than legislation to do this.
2) BAD POLICY.
3) WRONG PRINCIPLE (Big Government, Nanny State bias by Perry)
4) POTENTIAL CORRUPTION (in the form of crony capitalism)
Romney also has big problems.
The conservative Republican base just isn’t buying anything Romney is saying.
Romney’s been campaigning for President now for, oh, six years or so. And we still don’t know what he really thinks . . . about anything.
His answers on RomneyCare have been vaguely plausible. His explanation is that RomneyCare dealt with just 9 percent of the Massachusetts population, while ObamaCare changes health care for 100 percent of the population. Fair enough. But I still have no clue what Romney’s core beliefs are. Going after Perry over the Social Security is “Ponzi Scheme” comment displays poor instincts.
Most conservatives believe Social Security is a Ponzi Scheme. Liberals, when pressed, will also admit it’s a Ponzi Scheme. Even Al Gore said as much during his 2000 campaign when he called for a Social Security Trust Fund “lock box.”
We now only have 1.75 full-time workers for every Social Security recipient.
Clearly, Social Security is unsustainable in its present form. Perry’s Social Security is a “Ponzi Scheme” remark was not artful, but is fundamentally correct. It would be nice if Perry were capable of talking about the Social Security problem the way Paul Ryan would — that is to say: intelligently.
It’s not enough just to say Social Security is a “Ponzi Scheme” and leave it at that. We still have no idea of what Perry’s plan is to fix Social Security because he has yet to tell us his plan.
Perry, to me, just comes off has hopelessly inarticulate. He makes George W. Bush look like William F. Buckley, Jr. by comparison.
Does Rick Perry even prepare for these debates? He stumbles over obvious questions any casual political observer knows will be asked. How tough is it to memorize a few 30-second sound-bite answers that make sense?
He doesn’t seem able to pull that off.
My view is there’s no need to settle on either Romney or Perry. I have made up my mind about on thing: I won’t be voting for either of these two for the GOP nomination.
But we have plenty of time to give the others a chance. And there’s always the possibility someone else will get into the race.
JENNIFER RUBIN: The pundits do it. The GOP operatives do it. The moderators do it. They all act as the only choices for the Republican electorate are Texas Gov. Rick Perry and Mitt Romney. This conviction, an incorrect assumption I will argue, skews the debates toward those two candidates. It prompts conservative pundits to defend Perry’s missteps for fear of enabling Romney. And it soon becomes a self-fulfilling prophesy as donors and media coverage abandon the other contenders.
Moreover, it simply isn’t true that the choice is down to those two. Let’s remember that Bill Clinton in September 1991 was not in the race. No state filing deadlines have been missed for the 2012 primaries. Aside from the Ames straw poll, no significant votes have been cast. So it is possible for another contender to get into the mix. But whom would that be?
Let’s start with those already in the race. The most likely contenders to move up into contention are Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.) and Rick Santorum. Santorum had his best debate so far last night and arguably won the contest (although few would acknowledge that someone not on the media’s top rung of candidates could lap the field). Santorum actually did things in office (welfare reform, NIH funding, etc.) and knows something about national security. Bachmann, as we saw last night, still commands the affection of the Tea Party and can make the case that she’s been battling ObamaCare, TARP and the rest from the get-go.
In order to have a chance, Bachmann or Santorum would have to win Iowa or at least hope Perry loses, thereby knocking him from contention and elevating one of them. Recall that Mike Huckabee (largely on the strength of good debate performances) did just that in 2008 but was unable to extend his appeal beyond his base of social conservatives after the caucuses. To have a chance in Iowa these candidates will have to continue to apply pressure on Perry, hope he stumbles, raise an issue near-and-dear to the base’s heart (perhaps his high-flying lifestyle charged to the taxpayers) and count on social conservatives to help them pull an upset. Likely? Not very. Possible? Absolutely.
ASSOCIATE PRESS: Minnesota Rep. Michele Bachmann won a test vote of Iowans on Saturday, a show of strength five months before the state’s caucuses kick off the GOP presidential nominating season.
The result is the first indication of what Iowans think of the field of Republicans competing for the chance to challenge President Barack Obama next fall. But it’s hardly predictive of who will win the winter Iowa contest, much less the party nod or the White House.
Rather, Saturday’s outcome suggests that Bachmann has a certain level of support and, perhaps even more important, the strongest get-out-the-vote operation and widest volunteer base in a state whose caucuses require those elements.
Texas Rep. Ron Paul finished second, ahead of former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty in third.
The results of this nonbinding vote, held on the Iowa State University campus, came just hours after Texas Gov. Rick Perry entered the race.
“I full well believe I’m going to win,” Perry told South Carolina voters on a conference call
before delivering his first speech as a candidate.
POLITICO: Michele Bachmann has been named the winner of the Iowa straw poll, taking 4,823 votes out of nearly 17,000 cast. Ron Paul was a close runner-up, taking 4,671 votes and trailing Bachmann by less than 200 ballots. In a distant third place was former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty, who took 2,293 votes after investing heavily in the event.
The rest of the lineup: Rick Santorum – 1,657 votes; Herman Cain – 1,456 votes; Rick Perry – 718 votes; Mitt Romney – 567 votes; Newt Gingrich – 385 votes, Jon Huntsman – 69 votes; Thaddeus McCotter – 35 votes.
Romney, Huntsman and Gingrich were listed on the ballot, but did not contest the poll. Perry’s sixth place finish came despite not being listed on the ballot; his votes came through write-ins, since the Texas governor only announced his campaign this weekend.
This headline would be far more accurate if it were about Obama
POLITICO: The Democratic firm Public Policy Polling delivers a new set of national numbers that show Michele Bachmann is not just an early-state phenomenon, and she hasn’t yet hit her ceiling:
Bachmann’s momentum continues to build and she’s taken first place by the smallest of margins on PPP’s newest national Presidential poll. 21% of Republican primary voters say she’s their top choice to 20% for Mitt Romney, 12% for Rick Perry, 11% for Herman Cain, 9% for Ron Paul, 7% for Newt Gingrich, 5% for Tim Pawlenty, and 3% for Jon Huntsman.
Bachmann’s rise has been fueled by her appeal to voters on the far right- and their skepticism about Romney. Romney has the lead with centrist Republicans (23-17) and with those defining themselves as only somewhat right of center (24-17). But among ‘very conservative’ voters only 48% have a positive opinion of Romney to 34% who view him negatively, weak numbers, and Bachmann’s capitalizing on that with a 26-15 lead over Romney, who’s in third place with that group of voters.
Consider this, too: Between the Bachmann, Perry, Cain and Gingrich voters, that’s a 51 percent majority of Republican primary voters who appear to want a candidate to the right of Mitt Romney. Whether or not Bachmann can hold onto her share of that group, her performance is one more data point to suggest there’s room for a serious challenge to the former Massachusetts governor.
Huntsman surges to 1%. Uhhhhh, why is he running?
TIR: Minnesota Congresswoman Michele Bachmann has surpassed former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney in a recent Iowa poll that was conducted by TheIowaRepublican.com. With Bachmann now leading in Iowa, Romney has fallen to second place, but he is still well ahead of third place finisher Tim Pawlenty, who has overtaken Herman Cain my a miniscule margin.
Bachmann received support from 25 percent of likely Iowa caucus goers in the poll, while Romney is backed by 21 percent. The poll also shows signs of growth for former Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty, who now stands in third place in statistical tie with Herman Cain at just under nine percent. Ron Paul finished with six percent, Newt Gingrich with four percent, Rick Santorum with two percent, and Jon Huntsman rounded out the field with one percent.
ANSWER: Yup. Yeserie.
ED MORRISSEY-CNN: Rep. Michele Bachmann, R-Minnesota, made her official announcement for the Republican presidential nomination Monday in Iowa. Speaking from a rally in her hometown of Waterloo, Bachmann told a cheering crowd that America “cannot afford another four years of Barack Obama.” She hit the president on his health care reform plan, foreign policy, the housing crisis, and especially jobs.
Bachmann embraced her membership in the Tea Party and insisted that it represented not just the “right wing of the Republican Party,” but comprised “disaffected Democrats, independents, people who’ve never been political a day in their life, libertarians” as well.
Undoubtedly, Bachmann wants to lay claim to a broad mandate in order to position herself as a serious choice for the nomination. But does she really have a chance to become the GOP’s dark horse and beat the big boys to the finish line?
REUTERS: Republican front-runner Mitt Romney and U.S. Representative Michele Bachmann led a closely watched presidential poll of Iowa Republicans, the state that holds the first contest in the nomination battle.
The Iowa caucuses, often held on a frigid winter night that can limit turnout to those most committed, often serves to winnow the field of candidates.
Whoever captures the nomination in the unsettled Republican field is expected to challenge Democratic President Barack Obama in the November 2012 general election.