“Rick Perry is going to go down in history for the all-time train wreck
beginning. Because private polling in Iowa 40 days ago had him leading.”
Top aides to Herman Cain “ran a private Wisconsin-based corporation that helped the GOP presidential candidate get his fledgling campaign off the ground by originally footing the bill for tens of thousands of dollars in expenses for such items as iPads, chartered flights and travel to Iowa and Las Vegas — something that might breach federal tax and campaign law,” the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel reports.
“Have you ever been accused, sir, in your life of harassment by a woman?”
“He breathed audibly, glared at the reporter and stayed silent for several seconds. After the question was repeated three times, he responded by asking the reporter, ‘Have you ever been accused of sexual harassment?'”
— Herman Cain, responding to a question by Politico, in a story that broke last night.
Rick Perry continues to introduce himself to Iowa voters with a new positive television ad set to air this week.
Paul Begala: “Perry has had it bass-ackwards, attacking in person and using paid TV for positive spots that have been surprisingly bad. Right now he’s running ads claiming he will create 2 million jobs by loosening regulations on coal and oil companies. First, someone needs to tell Rick we need about 20 million jobs. And second, no one thinks the recession was caused by too few drilling rigs. You work with what you have, so if your candidate can’t debate, just get him through the events without an unforced error — and then use TV to carpet-bomb the most dangerous opponent.”
Republicans in states like Florida and Ohio are making it more challenging to vote or to register others, the Los Angeles Times reports.
It’s part of a national trend, “as election law has become a fierce partisan battleground. In states where Republicans have taken majority control, they have tightened rules for registering new voters, reduced the time for casting ballots and required voters to show photo identification at the polls. The new restrictions were usually adopted on party-line votes and signed by Republican governors.”
“Democrats have denounced new restrictions as ‘voter suppression’ laws intended to deter voting by students, the elderly, the poor, the disabled and minorities.”
One more sign of how far Texas Gov. Rick Perry has fallen since he announced his presidential bid: A new University of Texas/Texas Tribune poll shows Herman Cain edging Perry in his home state among Republican voters, 27% to 26%.
Rep. Ron Paul was next with 12%, followed by Mitt Romney at 9% and Newt Gingrich at 8%. The other Republican primary candidates — Michele Bachmann, Jon Huntsman, Gary Johnson and Rick Santorum — each got 2% or less.
In general election match ups, President Obama loses to each of the top four GOP candidates.
Michael Calderone: “The Romney campaign, running this cycle from a frontrunner position, has
scaled back on the candidate’s accessibility from four years ago and
rarely allows for such unguarded moments on the campaign trail. While
Romney has taken the stage for primetime debates and has done a few
cable news hits, he’s avoided lengthy interviews with magazines to which
he spoke in 2008 — such as Time and Newsweek — and hasn’t appeared on any of the Sunday morning chat shows, a traditional pit stop for any presidential contender.”
“During Herman Cain’s tenure as the head of the National Restaurant Association in the 1990s, at least two female employees complained to colleagues and senior association officials about inappropriate behavior by Cain, ultimately leaving their jobs at the trade group,” Politico reports.
“The women complained of sexually suggestive behavior by Cain that made them angry and uncomfortable, the sources said, and they signed agreements with the restaurant group that gave them financial payouts to leave the association. The agreements also included language that bars the women from talking about their departures.”
Byron York: “Cain is likely to face questions about the matter on Monday. He is
scheduled to appear at the American Enterprise Institute in Washington
in the morning to discuss his 9-9-9 tax plan, and then speak — and take
questions — at the National Press Club at lunch.”
“Our team wants someone authentic, creative,
fresh, bold and likeable. And we don’t have much tolerance for too many
facts or too much information. In politics, a bumper sticker always
beats an essay.”
— Republican strategist Ed Rogers, writing in the Washington Post, on the
psychology of GOP activists.
John Heilemann: “If Romney decides to go all-in in Iowa, the national story line will shift in a direction that the candidate and his team have successfully kept it from doing all year — making the caucuses, instead of New Hampshire, the first test of his strength, and making central the question of whether Romney can slay the demons of 2008…”
“A number of Romney’s senior advisers are broadly sympathetic to this view. But others are increasingly tempted to take the plunge. Below the radar, Romney’s people in Iowa have labored long and mightily to maintain the network of activists and volunteers who were behind the governor in the last go-round. And with each passing day that the field remains fragmented and Perry remains unable to revivify himself, the lure of Iowa only grows for those in Romney’s Boston brain trust.”
A Wisconsin Policy Research Institute poll shows voters still divided over the possible recall next year of Gov. Scott Walker (R) with 47% supporting and 49% opposed.
Rick Perry plans to participate in at least five more debates, “dismissing speculation that the Texas governor’s lackluster performances so far would lead him to skip future Republican debates,” the AP reports.
He will attend all of the events scheduled in November as well as an early December debate.
“The decision comes after questions over whether Perry would bypass some debates to concentrate on other types of campaigning. He has always conceded he is not a strong debater, and has often avoided the sparring matches in his past campaigns.”
George Will: “A straddle is not a political philosophy; it is what you do when you do not have one… Romney, supposedly the Republican most electable next November, is a recidivist reviser of his principles who is not only becoming less electable; he might damage GOP chances of capturing the Senate. Republican successes down the ticket will depend on the energies of the Tea Party and other conservatives, who will be deflated by a nominee whose blurry profile in caution communicates only calculated trimming.”
“Republicans may have found their Michael Dukakis, a technocratic Massachusetts governor who takes his bearings from ‘data’… Has conservatism come so far, surmounting so many obstacles, to settle, at a moment of economic crisis, for THIS?”
A new Des Moines Register Iowa poll shows Herman Cain and Mitt Romney leading the GOP presidential race.
Cain edges Romney, 23% to 22%, with Ron Paul at 12%, Michele Bachmann at 8%, Newt Gingrich at 7%, Rick Perry at 7%, Rick Santorum at 5% and Jon Huntsman at 1%.
Cain has surged 13 points since the first Iowa Poll of the caucus cycle, conducted in late June. His rise has come despite spending little time in Iowa recently, campaigning just once in the state since the August 13 Iowa straw poll.
The Iowa caucuses are scheduled for January 3.
Rep. Jim Matheson (D-UT) told the Salt Lake Tribune that he will not run against Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-UT), “narrowing the options for Utah’s most prominent Democrat, but leaving open the prospect of a bid for governor.”
“The six-term congressman also may still run for the U.S. House in the redrawn 2nd Congressional District, where he lives, or in the newly created 4th Congressional District.”