Herman Cain gets the bad lip reading treatment.
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.”
“That’s what I find absolutely bizarre: Republicans moralizing about deficits. That’s like an arsonist moralizing about fire safety. These guys have zero credibility.”
— Vice President Joe Biden, quoted by the Orlando Sentinel, speaking to Florida Democrats.
The latest Economist/YouGov survey shows Herman Cain leading the Republican presidential field with 28%, followed by Mitt Romney at 24%, Ron Paul at 9%, Rick Perry at 9%, Newt Gingrich at 7%. All other candidates are below 5%.
Meanwhile, in general election match ups President Obama leads Romney, 48% to 45%, tops Cain, 48% to 40%, and crushes Perry 48% to 38%.
The AP notes Cain’s rise in the polls “appears to be no fluke. Unlike some other Republican presidential contenders who have flamed out after auditioning as the conservative antidote to Mitt Romney, Cain is still riding high atop public opinion surveys.”
Though Mitt Romney said last summer he thought global warming was real and that human activity contributed to it, he was recorded on video at a campaign event changing his position for a conservative audience.
Said Romney: “My view is that we don’t know what’s causing climate change on this planet. And the idea of spending trillions and trillions of dollars to try to reduce CO2 emissions is not the right course for us.”
Jon Huntsman Sr. tells the Deseret News that people just need to get to know his son — former ambassador to China Jon Huntsman Jr. — to see how perfect he’d be for the job.
Said the edler Hunstman: “If he were running for president of China, he would have already won the election. But he’s had to come here and start from scratch.”
A new Bliss Institute poll in Ohio finds that registered voters oppose Issue 2 — the ballot referendum on public employee collective bargaining — by a double-digit margin, 37% to 25%.
However, voter opinion on these issues is fluid and changeable, with 38% of voters still undecided.
“Turn on CNN in 15 minutes. The president will have an announcement —
and, by the way, tell Ted to get ready to open that bottle.”
— CIA Director Leon Panetta, quoted by the Los Angeles Times, talking to the wife of restauranteur Ted Balestreri, who bet a $10,000 bottle of wine that Panetta couldn’t find Osama bin Laden.
Gary Johnson “knew he was an underdog for the Republican presidential nomination, but his campaign laid out a strategy for breaking through, called ‘the New Hampshire Path,'” the Los Angeles Times reports.
“The idea was that Johnson could build a base of support in the small state where voters place a premium on retail politics. The campaign’s limited resources would go further there than in more expensive states. He even rented a house in Manchester to serve as a base of operations.”
One problem: Johnson nearly failed to qualify for the New Hampshire primary ballot and had to rearrange plans to get to New Hampshire today to file the necessary paperwork in person.
First Read notes that with the Super Committee’s Thanksgiving deadline fast approaching, “the presidential race might actually take a back seat – at least for a few weeks — to what’s happening in Washington.”
“Of course, the same dividing lines that caused Boehner and Obama from failing to come to a grand bargain are still there. And now with political finger-pointing taking place among committee members themselves, this seems destined to end in stalemate. What’s worse: There’s talk the deadline of Nov. 23rd is not real. In fact, even the threatened automatic cuts, which wouldn’t go into effect until 2013, seem less real today. Who doesn’t envision Congress saying, ‘Well, no agreement, the automatic cuts will take place in 2013’ — only to have the lame duck Congress after the ’12 election react to the election results and go in another direction?”
After weeks of missteps, Howard Kurtz reports Herman Cain’s strategists “are slowing the pace to give their man a chance to focus.”
“Cain has made one high-profile blunder after another since his unlikely surge to the top of the GOP presidential polls. By the normal rules of political discourse, he should be back to peddling pepperoni any day now. He has somehow managed to emerge unscathed — but his team is determined to stop the bleeding.”
Said one top aide: “We’re trying to slow down a little bit, make sure he’s rested, make sure he’s focused.”
This post is part of our guest series from Inkwell Strategies analyzing the 2012 campaign ad war.
Political commentators generally agree that the 2012 Republican race will come down to two slots: Mitt Romney and Other. Former Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum clearly agrees with this view, which is why his latest ad attacks Romney’s current biggest threat, Herman Cain.
In an effort to appeal to Iowa’s right wing social conservatives, Santorum zeroes in on Cain’s muddled position on abortion in a new 3 minute web ad. Taking a page from the classic attack ad playbook, the ad mixes unflattering photographs of Cain with quick zooms and clips from recent television appearances in which Cain appears to take a pro-choice stance.
Bloomberg: “A record 49% of Americans live in a household where someone receives at least one type of government benefit, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. And 63% of all federal spending this year will consist of checks written to individuals for which the government receives currently no services, the White House budget office estimates. That’s up from 46% in 1975 and 18% in 1940.”
“Those figures will climb in coming years. The 75 million baby boomers have only begun their long march into retirement, while President Obama’s health-care overhaul will extend insurance coverage to more than 30 million additional people.”
Jonathan Alter says that while President Obama goes into his re-election campaign with a weak economy, he still has one asset that hasn’t received much attention: He’s honest.
“How did we end up in such a scandal-less state? … For starters, the tone is always set at the top. Obama puts a premium on personal integrity, and with a few exceptions (Tim Geithner’s tax problems in 2009) his administration tends to fire first and ask questions later. The best known example is Shirley Sherrod, the Agriculture Department official who was mistakenly fired by her boss over a miscommunication that led higher-ups to believe — wrongly — that she had made inappropriate racially tinged remarks. In several other cases, the decision to give staffers accused of wrongdoing the boot was made within hours, taking the air out of any possible uproar.”
The latest National Journal Political Insiders Poll finds GOP insiders almost unanimous in thinking Mitt Romney will win their party’s presidential nomination.
Charlie Cook takes a look at the most recent national polling on the presidential race.
“These numbers certainly don’t show Obama’s reelection fortunes as hopeless, but they paint a very challenging situation. If events and the state of the economy don’t change enough to raise his approval rating and his chances of winning an election that is framed as a referendum on his tenure, he will have to try to turn the contest into a choice between him and the GOP nominee. That will be easier if Republicans nominate an ideologue (and this still might be possible in a matchup with Romney). Recall the 2004 Bush-Cheney reelection campaign when it turned Democratic nominee John Kerry into an ideological weathervane, an unacceptable choice.”