Herman Cain may have crashed out of the Republican presidential nomination contest but now the battle begins for his followers, donors and supporters, orphaned by Cain’s decision to drop out.
Cain is said to be holding a press conference at 2pm today – supposedly to announce who he is endorsing – although Cain’s chaotic campaign appears once again to be in two minds about what is actually happening, including whether Cain will endorse anyone and whether the press conference will actually take place at all. So no change there.
In other political news, soi-disant Republican front-runner Newt Gingrich will make a visit to Donald Trump in New York City, as controversy swirls over Trump’s plan to hold a Republican candidates debate in Iowa on 27 December.
And with exactly a month to go until the Iowa caucuses, Gingrich launches his first television ad in the Hawkeye State as a new poll shows him leading, and Mitt Romney suffers a backlash from his “Mittless protection programme” campaign strategy.
Now Fox News is quoting “reports” that there will be no Herman Cain endorsement today. Why does that not surprise me?
Donald Trump. Photograph: Matthew Lewis/Getty Images
Earlier this morning serial self-publiscist Donald Trump got into a verbal tussle with MSNBC’s Chuck Todd that was – how can we put this? – not the highest point in either man’s career.
Part of the issue was Trump’s vanity Republican presidential debate supposedly scheduled for 27 December – although criticism from within the Republican base may mean it never actually happens, which would be a loss to the gaity of the nation.
So far Jon Huntsman and Ron Paul have said they will not appear. Huntsman – who appears to be enjoying a mini-revival – appeared on Fox News just now, and said à propos of Trump’s debate:
I’m not going to kiss his ring, I’m not going to kiss any other part of his anatomy.
That’s not image we need on a Monday morning, Jon Huntsman.
could be handy:
Cruel, cynical journalists are pointing out that Newt Gingrich’s meeting with Donald Trump at Trump Tower is conventiently next door to Tiffany’s. Which
In 2005 and 2006, the former House speaker turned presidential candidate carried as much as $500,000 in debt to the premier jewelry company, according to financial disclosures filed with the Clerk of the House of Representatives.
picked up by Mediaite:
Will the Trump debate happen? Karl Rove isn’t happy at the idea, and blasted the concept in a Fox News interview this morning,
It’s really odd. Here’s a guy [Trump] who is saying, I’m going to endorse one of you and that gives him leverage … more importantly, what the heck are Republicans candidates doing showing up to a debate with a guy who says, ‘I may run for president as an independent’? I think the Republican national chairman should step in and say, we strongly discourage every candidate from appearing….
And anyway, says Karl Rove, nobody will watch a political debate on 27 December.
excellent Roll Call piece explaining that the 2012 Iowa ground operations are a shadow of the frantic activity that marked 2008:
What is going on in Iowa? This is the most interesting news piece of the day – an
Presidential candidates have minimally organized their Iowa campaigns — if they’re organizing at all. One month before the Jan. 3 caucuses, Iowa veterans expect one of the most unpredictable, nontraditional caucuses in recent history.
“To be sitting here on Dec 1 with no campaign announcing a 99-county chair organization is mind-boggling,” said Tim Albrecht, a veteran of the caucuses and spokesman for Governor Terry Branstad, who has not endorsed a candidate. “That’s the first thing you check off on your organizational checklist. This is the clearest, most glaring indication of just how wide open the Iowa caucus is at this point.”
Not a single presidential candidate has opened more than one office in the Hawkeye State. Former Speaker Newt Gingrich, who polls show is a frontrunner in the race, just opened his first Iowa office, a headquarters based in Urbandale.
That is amazing. So here’s my prediction: Ron Paul will win the Iowa caucus on 3 January. You read it here first, or first-ish. The reason being: winning caucuses requires a huge administrative effort: lots of staff, lots of volunteers and lots of effort. From what I can tell, Ron Paul is the only one with all three in Iowa right now.
And also: hats off to Roll Call for doing some reporting on ground, rather than sucking their thumbs in their NYC or DC offices.
Roll Call reporting on Iowa mentioned below. It comes from Chuck Laudner, said to be a Santorum supporter and “longtime Iowa operative”:
Quote of the day from the
I would remind people that this is a caucus, not a primary. And the caucus is on January 3, after a three-day, federal, drunken holiday.
So, Newt Gingrich to be the Republican nominee? Not according to those who know Newt well – such as Republicans who served in Congress under Gingrich’s leadership a million years ago in the 1990s.
Tom Coburn, now the Republican senator from Oklahoma, was first elected to Congress as part of the 1994 wave of “Contract With America” Republicans and served in the House under Speaker Gingrich. He’s unleashed this killer quote:
His life indicates he does not have a commitment to the character traits necessary to be a great president. I am not inclined to be a supporter of Newt Gingrich, having served under him for four years and experienced personally his leadership.
Daily Beast reporting:
The Daily Beast gets an interview with Ginger White, the former lady friend of Herman Cain. It’s a typically tasteful, restrained piece of
White said that over the years, her arrangement with Cain took an emotional toll. “One time we were having sex, and I was looking up at the ceiling, thinking about, ‘What am I going to buy at the grocery store tomorrow? What am I going to do with my kids tomorrow?’” she recalled.
Los Angeles Times takes a closer look at Romney’s record there:
Non-career politician (prior to 2001) Mitt Romney likes to boast of his success at Bain Capital as part of his resume as a private sector “job creator”. The
Four of the 10 companies Bain acquired declared bankruptcy within a few years, shedding thousands of jobs. The prospectus shows that Bain investors profited in eight of the 10 deals, including three of the four that ended in bankruptcy.
Interesting sidenote, in light of the fact that Herman Cain’s CV highlight was as head of Godfather’s Pizza, is this:
The firm’s largest investment was its 1999 buyout of Domino’s Pizza, into which Bain put $188.8m, eventually reaping a fivefold return.
So after Cain was head of Godfather’s Pizza, Romney was de facto head of Domino’s Pizza? Basically the 2012 Republican nomination was a re-run of the late 1990s pizza wars.
New York Times’s Caucus blog talks to the lonely, orphaned supporters of Herman Cain in Iowa, now floating in political purgatory:
No news on Herman Cain’s endorsement today. The
Jeff Jorgensen, the Republican chairman in Pottawattamie County, who endorsed Mr Cain, said the main priority was finding a viable candidate who can defeat Mitt Romney for the Republican nomination.
“We are definitely trying to stop the steamrolling Romney machine,” Mr Jorgensen said. “It’s not that we don’t like him – he’s a formidable candidate. But we don’t think he espouses the conservative values we’d like to see in our nominee.
Here’s that Donald Trump interview-cum-slagfest with dear old Chuck Todd on MSNBC today.
Visit msnbc.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy
Donald Trump doesn’t take no for an answer. Or Yes. Or anything.
Roll the “breaking news” screen splash: President Obama – remember him? – is to make a statement at 1.30pm ET. We think it’s about a compromise deal with Republicans over the payroll tax. Or it could be to appoint Herman Cain as Secretary of State. Who knows? Actually we know and it’s the former.
While we are waiting on President Obama to do some actual presidenting, here’s Newt Gingrich’s new campaign ad now running in Iowa:
“Some people say the America we know and love is a thing of the past,” says cuddly Uncle Newt, adding: “I don’t believe that.” Who are these “some people” Newt?
Vanity Fair’s Juli Weiner notes: “the one-minute spot includes a dreamy, vaguely upbeat flute-driven song that sounds identical to the one that plays when Sam returns to the Shire at the end of The Lord of the Rings.”
Insert your own geeky Lord of the Rings reference here comparing Newt to Saruman or something:
Once he was as great as his fame made him. His knowledge was deep, his thought was subtle, and his hands marvelously skilled; and he had a power over the minds of others. The wise he could persuade, and the smaller folk he could daunt.
There’s also a Gladiator reference in there. Anyway, Newt’s wasting his time with LOTR’s references. Everyone knows Ron Paul has got that fanbase sewn up.
reading Coburn’s book about the 1994 Republican revolution, Breach of Trust. He finds a few gems of Newtophobia:
Slate’s David Weigel follows up on Senator Tom Coburn’s attack on Newt Gingrich by
Before the government shutdown we thought Newt Gingrich was invincible,” writes Coburn. “After the shutdown, however, he was like a whipped dog who still barked, yet cowered, in Clinton’s presence.
Get that quote into an attack ad, pronto.
Meanwhile, here’s a rocking ad from the Ron Paul campaign, which appears to be aimed at the crucial 15-year-old male demographic:
As the Washington Post’s Aaron Blake notes: “The only thing missing from this Ron Paul ad as Denis Leary as narrator and more Ford trucks.” Indeed. Someone should sue.
So we had the two minute warning for Obama to appear … about 10 minutes ago.
Another two-minute warning for Obama to start speaking at the White House briefing room.
Obama appears, finally. CNN has lost the sound feed.
Obama says he wants to extend the payroll tax cut, to “provide security for middle class families” by adding around $1,000 for the average working family. His jobs package would extend and widen the payroll tax cut, taking the benefit to $1,500 a year – but Republicans won’t join him:
I know there are plenty of Republicans who have sworn never to raise taxes … How come the only time there’s a catch is when it comes to middle class families?
Obama says he is willing to work with Republicans for tax cuts “in a responsible way”. But in a surprise move, it appears the Republican proposals are “irresponsible”. Obama is also calling for extending unemployment insurance for long-term out of work
In what can only be pure coincidence, Obama’s delayed statement happened to coincide with the start of the Newt Gingrich-Donald Trump joint press conference. Fancy.
But even after Obama has finished, Fox News isn’t cutting over to Gingrich/Trump.
tweets his foreboding about the Donald Trump debate:
Sensible Republican operative Mike Murphy
GOP candidates would be foolish to show up at Trump’s clown circus/debate. Walk away…
Obviously as a journalist I hope the Trump debate goes ahead. As a human being, not so much.
Herman Cain announcing the suspension of his presidential campaign. Photograph: John Adkisson/Reuters
So Herman Cain will be making no endorsement today, according to the man himself:
I am not endorsing anybody today or in the very immediate future. I can’t say I won’t endorse, but not in the immediate timeframe.
That’s from MSNBC, which listened into a conference call between Cain and his soon-to-be former staff members:
Cain’s plans for the next chapter of his career were quickly followed by an attempt to directly address accusations that he sought to promote his recently-published book while campaigning, or perhaps host a cable news television show in the future.
“That is not my motivation,” he said. “I did not choose to run for the president of the United States to advance my own self.
By the way, Cain sent out an appeal for donations from his supporters the day before “suspending” his campaign.
Currently trending on Twitter –
Mr Grover, who, exactly are the monsters at the end of this ‘book’ that you keep warning us about?
for West Wing fans:
Exclusive: The upcoming HBO drama about cable news from The West Wing creator Aaron Sorkin finally has a name. TVNewser has learned that HBO is expected to call the series Newsroom.
Sorkin’s series follows fictional cable news anchor Will McCallister (Jeff Daniels) and his “News Night” staff at the fictional cable news channel UBS.
Not sure that the Swiss investment bank UBS will be delighted. Or the BBC’s Newsnight, for that mater. But otherwise: high pressure TV environment … hmm, shades of Studio 60 anyone?
Newt Gingrich hearts Donald Trump. Photograph: Paul Sancya/AP
So Newt Gingrich met Donald Trump today, with Newt making industrial-grade sucking noises to attract Trump’s endorsement, as if that’s of any value.
The two held a press conference – well, they talked into some TV cameras – afterwards, according to AP, where Gingrich defended his decision to take part in Trump’s vanity-debate later this month:
This is a country that elected a peanut farmer to the presidency. This is a country that elected an actor who made two movies with a chimpanzee to the presidency. Donald Trump is a great showman; he’s also a great businessman. I think one of the differences between my party and the other party is we actually go to people who know how to create jobs. We need to be open to new ways of doing things.
For his part Trump defended Gingrich’s recent remarks that poor children should be working part-time cleaning toilets in schools:
I thought it was a great idea. We’re going to be picking 10 young wonderful children and make them ‘apprenti’. We’re going to have a little fun with it.
See, Newt Gingrich? You meet with Donald Trump and all he does is launch a new reality TV show.
slightly different to the rest of America:
Politics in Vermont is always
The state of Vermont threw its support Monday behind a folk artist whose T-shirt business is being threatened by the nation’s second largest chicken restaurant chain because of his use of the phrase “eat more kale.”
Governor Peter Shumlin said that state would do all it could to help Bo Muller-Moore raise money to defend his small business, and by extension all Vermont small businesses and local agriculture, against what they both see as “corporate bullying” by the Atlanta-based Chick-fil-A.
AP reports that the White House is backing its ambassador to Belgium, accused by some – including Mitt Romney – of downplaying anti-semitism in a recent speech. State Department spokesman Mark Toner said today that Howard Gutman would remain in his post in Brussels.
Here’s the transcript of Gutman’s remarks:
What I do see as growing, as gaining much more attention in the newspapers and among politicians and communities, is a different phenomena. … It is the problem within Europe of tension, hatred and sometimes even violence between some members of Muslim communities or Arab immigrant groups and Jews. It is a tension and perhaps hatred largely born of and reflecting the tension between Israel, the Palestinian Territories and neighboring Arab states in the Middle East over the continuing Israeli-Palestinian problem.
It too is a serious problem. It too must be discussed and solutions explored. No Jewish student – and no Muslim student or student of any heritage or religion – should ever feel intimidated on a University campus for their heritage or religion leading to academic leaders quitting in protest. No high school or grammar school Jewish student – and no Muslim high school or grammar school student or student of any heritage or religion – should be beaten up over their heritage or religion.
The National Review also thunders against the Trump debate idea, calling it a “sideshow”:
We had hoped that after the brief and frivolous publicity stunt Trump branded as exploration of a presidential run, there would be no further occasion to rehearse the many ways in which his sometime association with the Republican party hurts the conservative cause. So we’ll keep it brief: Trump is a tax-hike-supporting, missile-defense-opposing, universal-health-care-advocating, eminent-domain abusing, Schumer-Weiner-Rangel-Reid-donating, long-time-pro-choice economic protectionist who in 2008 called George W. Bush “evil” and lauded president-elect Barack Obama as a potentially “great president” who would “lead by consensus.
Oh dear. It appears that former vice president Dan Quayle is endorsing Mitt Romney. Yes, that’ll do it.
Republican officials on Monday told The Associated Press that Quayle plans to announce his support for the former Massachusetts governor Tuesday afternoon.
Romney has an event scheduled Tuesday in Paradise Valley, Arizona, where Quayle has a home.
only Mitt Romney and Newt Gingrich pass the voters’ acceptability threshold, in effect making this a two-horse race from now on:
The National Journal breaks down the latest Gallup poll of the Republican candidates and concludes that
Romney and Gingrich are the only two candidates that Republican primary voters believe would be acceptable presidential nominees. Gingrich holds a narrow, but significant advantage over Romney on this front, with 61% viewing him as acceptable, with 54% viewing Romney acceptably.
Polling figures can change, as we have seen so far.
Time to wrap things for the evening – which means Herman Cain will probably endorse Donald Trump for president at 5.01pm ET. In which case, we’ll have to cover it tomorrow when Cain retracts the endorsement and instead backs Hillary Clinton.
And as for Donald Trump: an online Fox News poll found that 31% said a Trump endorsement would make them less likely to vote for that candidate.
, controversy swirls
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Categories: The Western Press