Tags: The Primary Event

On Capitol Hill, Cain Slams Obamacare


Washington, D.C.– As the media firestorm over decade-old sexual-harassment allegations continues, Herman Cain, in a Capitol Hill speech this afternoon, kept his remarks focused on health-care policy.

Cain, appearing in a small conference room in the Rayburn building, reiterated his opposition to President Obama’s health-care programs as scores of reporters and cameramen looked on.

“I am 100 percent behind — and will sign legislation as soon as it hits my desk — the repeal of Obamacare in its entirety, because it is a disaster,” he said. “And if Congress moves fast enough — hint, hint, hint — to give me the repeal legislation, I plan to sign the repeal on March 23, 2013, because it was on March 23, 2010, that President Obama signed that disastrous legislation into law, which happens to be my son’s birthday. So I’m gonna ‘un-pass’ it on my son’s birthday.”

Cain then discussed the “unintended consequences” of the legislation, including rising health-care costs and diminishing availability. Instead, he said, he supports “market-driven, patient-centered reform.”

“We do not have a health-care problem in America,” he said as he concluded his talk. “We have a health-care cost problem in America. And that’s different.” Americans need more customized benefit plans, he added, and insurers should be allowed to compete across state lines.

All of those thoughts were warmly welcomed by the scattered House Republicans in the first two rows. But he won applause when he talked about his own medical history. He noted that he had been diagnosed with cancer — which he described as “Stage 4.” After the implementation of the president’s health-care legislation, he argued, he may not have survived.

“Here is the coup d’état as to why our system saved my life. . . . My chance of surviving, when I went through cancer treatment, was 30 percent. Three-zero, 30 percent! If a bureaucrat had to make that decision on the likelihood that it would work, what do you think that bureaucrat would have said? Don’t waste the money.”

At that, a few members nodded. A few minutes later, Cain departed, surrounded by reporters — and not one asked about health care.

Third Woman Accuses Cain



A third woman is now charging that Herman Cain sexually harassed her during his tenure at the National Restaurant Association, reports the Associated Press. The woman said that Cain invited her up to his corporate apartment.

Cain told Fox News Monday that “if more allegations come, I assure you, people will simply make them up.”

Former NRA Pollster: If Cain Accuser Allowed to Speak, Could ‘End ... Campaign’


An Oklahoma political consultant said in a radio interview this morning that he had witnessed Herman Cain’s interactions with the woman who made the sexual harassment claims and predicted that if the woman is allowed to speak, it would “be the end of his campaign.”

Chris Wilson, who worked as a pollster at the National Restaurant Association during the time, told radio station KTOK that “This occurred at a restaurant in Crystal City (in Arlington,Virginia) and everybody was aware of it. It was only a matter of time because so many people were aware of what took place, so many people were aware of her situation, the fact she left—everybody knew with the campaign that this would eventually come up.”

“If she talks about it, I think it’ll be the end of his campaign,” Wilson added.

Perry Camp Slams Romney on Carbon Dioxide Emissions Record


The Perry campaigned e-mailed reporters this Politico piece about Mitt Romney’s decision to limit carbon dioxide emissions:

While the former Massachusetts governor often touts his decision not to sign up for a regional cap-and-trade compact, he also glosses over a six-year-old set of carbon dioxide rules that his aides touted at the time as the first in the country for electric utilities.

Democrats and environmentalists panned Romney’s rules as weak tea.Under Romney’s regulations, finalized in September 2006, Massachusetts’s six largest power plants faced mandatory CO2 limits with several market-friendly compliance options designed to help keep the costs down.

Democrats and environmentalists panned Romney’s rules as weak tea. 

“Mitt Romney should clear the air, take a position on regulating CO2 emissions, and stick with it,” said Perry spokesman Ray Sullivan in a statement. 

In Pittsburgh last week, Romney said, “And the idea of spending trillions and trillions of dollars to try to reduce CO2 emissions is not the right course for us.”

UPDATE: “Two things: Mitt Romney opposes cap-and-trade because it would cost trillions of dollars for consumers and businesses,” e-mails Romney spokesperson Andrea Saul. “Also, Rick Perry served as Al Gore’s campaign chairman in Texas. Instead of distorting Mitt Romney’s record, Gov. Perry should explain why he lined up behind Al Gore’s radical environmental agenda.” 

Cain on China


Is Herman Cain unaware that China has nuclear capability? From his PBS interview Monday night (hat tip: Ace of Spades):

JUDY WOODRUFF: Do you view China as a potential military threat to the United States?

HERMAN CAIN: I do view China as a potential military threat to the United States.

JUDY WOODRUFF: And what could you do as president to head that off?

HERMAN CAIN: My China strategy is quite simply outgrow China. It gets back to economics. China has a $6 trillion economy and they’re growing at approximately 10 percent. We have a $14 trillion economy — much bigger — but we’re growing at an anemic 1.5, 1.6 percent. When we get our economy growing back at the rate of 5 or 6 percent that it has the ability to do, we will outgrow China.

And secondly, we already have superiority in terms of our military capability, and I plan to get away from making cutting our defense a priority and make investing in our military capability a priority, going back to my statement: peace through strength and clarity. So yes they’re a military threat. They’ve indicated that they’re trying to develop nuclear capability and they want to develop more aircraft carriers like we have. So yes, we have to consider them a military threat.

I e-mailed the Cain campaign for clarification and have not received any response. 

N.H. Event Organizer: Perry Wasn’t Drunk


Rick Perry delivered a speech last week in New Hampshire — highlights video here — that created a lot of speculation about whether he was, well, perhaps the worse for drink. (I appear to be in the minority in thinking that he was showing off his ability to connect with people — although he did get a standing ovation after the speech from the audience, so apparently they were enthused. And from what I’ve seen, Perry is no Herman Cain: standing ovations are no sure thing.) 

Anyway, Kevin Smith, the director of the group that hosted the event Perry spoke at, told The Hill Perry wasn’t drunk during the speech. ”I can tell you unequivocally he wasn’t drinking at the event and he hadn’t been drinking prior to the event. I was sitting with him, and I found him to be very engaging with all of the people he was talking with, he was very articulate,” Smith said.

Post-Allegations, Cain Leads in SC


In a Rasmussen poll conducted entirely after the sexual harassment allegations were publicized, Herman Cain has a double-digit lead among likely GOP voters in South Carolina.

Cain is at 33 percent, followed by Mitt Romney (23 percent) and Newt Gingrich (15 percent). 

Bachmann: GOP Should Avoid Candidate with ‘Surprises’



In Iowa last night, Michele Bachmann insinuated that the allegations against Herman Cain should give voters pause.

“This is the year when we can’t have any surprises with our candidate,” she told voters, acccording to the Associated Press

‘Gov. Perry: An Inspiration to Liberal California’


The Romney campaign released a new web video this morning targeting Gov. Perry’s immigration record:

UPDATE: “Governor Perry is the only candidate in the race with front line experience on border security and immigration issues,” e-mails Perry spokesman Mark Miner. “It’s hypocritical for Mitt Romney to be critical on this issue considering he not only hired illegal immigrants but also provided them with free healthcare when he was governor.”

Cain Tops New National Poll


Results from a Quinnipiac poll released today of Republicans and those leaning GOP: Herman Cain (30 percent), Mitt Romney (23 percent), Newt Gingrich (10 percent), Rick Perry (8 percent), Ron Paul (7 percent), Michele Bachmann (4 percent), Jon Huntsman (2 percent), and Rick Santorum (1 percent).

The poll was conducted Oct 25 – 31. The Politico story about the sexual harassment accusations Cain had faced broke the night of Oct. 30.

Woman Who Accused Cain at NRA Received Year’s Salary


One of the women who accused Herman Cain of sexual harassment during his tenure at the National Restaurant Association received a year’s salary ($35,000) from the NRA in severance pay, reports the New York Times.

UPDATE: For clarification, here are a few details from the NYT piece, including that “other factors” had played a role in determining the severance the woman received:

Four people with contemporaneous knowledge of the incident said the encounter had taken place in the context of a work outing during which there was heavy drinking, a hallmark, they said, of outings with an organization that represents the hospitality industry. They spoke on condition of anonymity to avoid being publicly drawn into the dispute, and declined to provide details of the encounter, saying they did not want to violate the privacy of the woman.

Two of them said that other factors had been involved in her severance, and that other, less-loaded issues had been making her unhappy at the association. But they said the encounter with Mr. Cain had added an emotional charge, and contributed to the size of her payment. One former colleague familiar with the details said such a severance was not common, especially for an employee with the woman’s years at the association and her pay grade.

Cain: ‘Parallels’ Between His Case and Thomas’s


Herman  Cain said in an interview tonight that he saw “parallels” between his case and Clarence Thomas’s, but was quick to reject the notion that the two scenarios were identical.

“I see some parallels but there’s one big difference: I’m running for president of the United States,” Cain told Fox News host Bill O’Reilly. “I believe I have people on both sides of the aisle who really do not want me to get the nomination and become president. Why? Because I am unconventional candidate and the American people are connecting with my message and they’re connecting with me. So it’s a little different in that regard.”

Ryan Rates the Field


From the Weekly Standard’s John McCormack:


“I spent an hour with Romney on Thursday,” Ryan says. The two talked about entitlements on Capitol Hill. “I think he gets the situation, and I think he’s serious about fixing it if elected. I think Perry’s the same way. I know Herman’s the same way.”

But what about Romneycare? Ryan has said Romneycare is “not that dissimilar to Obamacare.” Is Ryan “intellectually dishonest,” as New Jersey governor Chris Christie said of those who claim the two programs are similar?  

“Well, I guess from a federalism standpoint, I understand that point,” Ryan says with a laugh. He doesn’t back off of his judgment about Romneycare, but says the issue is irrelevant. “I don’t think this question matters that much anymore because Romney’s been very clear that he’s against Obamacare and he’s going to repeal it. So I for a second don’t worry about whether he’s going to shy away from repealing the president’s health care law.”

Ryan praises the rest of the field, commending Perry for proposing a pro-growth flat-tax and crediting Herman Cain for encouraging his rivals to offer bold plans. Ryan says he’s even on good terms with Newt Gingrich, who called Ryan’s reform “right-wing social engineering” on Meet the Press last spring.

Full piece here.

Huntsman’s Energy Speech



Jon Huntsman’s speech outlining his energy policy, delivered today in Durham, N.H.:

It’s an honor to be back at the University of New Hampshire; a university that has distinguished itself as a leader in academics, research and innovation.

A few minutes ago I visited your cogeneration plant, which has earned national accolades.

Using processed landfill gas, it serves as this campus’s primary energy source – powering your gymnasium, your dorm rooms and to the dislike of some, your lecture halls.

By taking more control of its energy supply, the university benefits from a stable energy source and predictable energy prices.

The need to make our nation itself energy secure is what I’d like to address today.

We are all too familiar with the statistics.

Fifty years ago, President Eisenhower warned we should import no more than 20 percent of our oil. Today we import 60 percent.

Energy security can no longer be a catchphrase; it will be a driving force behind my administration’s agenda.

Because this is an issue critical to solving two of America’s most urgent challenges: putting people back to work, and ending our heroin-like addiction to foreign oil.

Every year we send $300 billion – half our trade deficit – overseas for oil, to unstable and unfriendly regimes.

300 billion dollars to our competitors and nations with whom we have nothing more than a transactional relationship. I want that money going to American energy suppliers, spent in American stores, saved in American banks, and invested in American communities to create American jobs.

That’s just one economic aspect of our dependence on foreign imports.


10 of our last 11 recessions were preceded by sharp spikes in the price of oil. Three years ago, it was the doubling of oil prices that helped bring our economy to its knees.

When prices rise, and motorists and truckers have no choice but to pay more at the pump, it depresses economic growth.

Energy drives everything we do.

How can we stabilize our economy when its most fundamental building block is controlled in large part by despots and dictators half a world away?

Even if a political crisis doesn’t threaten oil supplies, increased demand from China, India and other developing countries will lead to permanently heightened prices that exceed the highs of 2008.

Today oil remains in the high 80’s despite a global recession.  Imagine where prices will be when the global economy recovers.

Ladies and gentlemen, for the sake of America’s economic and national security, we must unshackle ourselves from the scourge of foreign oil.

So how do we do that?

There are three basic steps that need to be taken.

First, America is drowning in energy resources. So we must remove the regulatory constraints on the production of domestic energy.

Second, we need to break oil’s monopoly as a transportation fuel, and create a truly level playing field for competing fuels.

Third, we need to build an environment that will incubate the next generation of energy technologies and ensure that America leads the global energy economy in the decades to come.

So number one, we must increase domestic production.

Oil is a plentiful resource across America.  From the Gulf of Mexico to Alaska, our country has abundant untapped resources.

Yes, there is a balancing act between utilizing our resources and maintaining the integrity of our oceans and forests. But there is no reason drilling cannot be safely conducted in the Gulf, across the states and in Alaska.

It’s important to note that from beginning to end – that is, from initial geologic survey to the time oil reaches the gas pump – it can take ten years.

Regulations and approvals for new wells and pipelines need to be streamlined and directed to “move at the speed of business.”

President Reagan created a mechanism for the swift resolution of regulatory delays without sacrificing safety. With one in ten Americans out of work, the same approach must be duplicated again.

On top of the resources available here in our own country, our friend and ally Canada has enormous energy reserves.  In fact, America imports twice as much oil from Canada as Saudi Arabia, and our neighbor is increasing production every day.

There are 170 billion barrels of oil in Alberta’s oil sands – more reserves than in all of Iraq. Yet lawsuits and legislation threaten to block access to this resource.

My administration will stand behind the Keystone pipeline, creating more than 100,000 American jobs while reducing our dependence on overseas imports.

Every barrel from a friend is one less from a foe.

Hyperbolic fracturing is also an opportunity to expand our domestic energy production.

Because of fracking and its companion, parallel drilling, the United States has surpassed Russia as the world’s leading producer of natural gas.

As we speak, fracking is leading a manufacturing revival across the Midwest in cities like Youngstown, Ohio, where hundreds of jobs are being created.

Unlocking vast new oil deposits, like in North Dakota’s Bakken Field, also will come through fracking.

Hyperbolic fracking has been used on more than one million wells using a technology refined over 60 years, and the industry must continue to demonstrate to the American people it is a safe and sustainable practice.

As president, I will break down barriers to the continued, safe use of fracking, which could increase America’s production of natural gas by 25 percent – an outcome the American people deserve.

Coal, while viewed with hostility by some, is one of America’s most abundant energy resources and the mainstay of many communities.

It generates the majority of America’s power, and the expansion of an emerging technology, coal-to-liquid fuel, will allow us to take full advantage of our coal reserves, which could supply us for 300 years.

Today coal is under siege from government regulations and litigation. There are even efforts to halt the export of our coal, which would destroy American jobs.

This summer, in fact, we will likely see blackouts as a result of the administration’s assault on coal, which will take 8% of U.S. generating capacity offline.

In a time of economic uncertainty, subjecting American businesses to even more volatile energy prices indicates a grave lack of judgment, and a wrong that my administration will make right.

However, we cannot simply drill our way to energy security; we also need to use the power of the marketplace.

This means breaking oil’s monopoly as a transportation fuel, and creating a truly level playing field for competing fuels.

So number two, we must break oil’s monopoly.

America’s prosperity has always flowed from competition, and I believe it’s time to let creative destruction loose in our energy sector.  Energy security, as Winston Churchill said, “lies in variety and variety alone.”

Yet the current system of transportation fuels is essentially closed to competition because of gasoline’s de facto monopoly for light-duty vehicles and diesel’s near-monopoly for heavy-duty vehicles.

The concentration of distribution ownership is similar to the broadcast network domination in the early 1970s, which triggered market-opening FCC rules and an antitrust consent decree.

Accordingly, the Federal Trade Commission and Senate Judiciary Committee must commence an expedited review of the fuel distribution network.

Breaking oil’s monopoly will also require the repeal of regulations that prevent a truly open and fair market.

America has more natural gas than Saudi Arabia has oil. Yet on August 9th, the Obama Administration issued fuel efficiency rules that effectively bar heavy-duty vehicles – which consume 20% of our oil imports – from converting to natural gas.

Amazingly, they did this even after conceding that more alternative-fueled vehicles would increase national security by reducing dependence on foreign oil.

The EPA has also imposed costly rules with respect to converting cars to natural gas, which is cheap, clean and available for refueling in nearly half of American homes.

It has effectively barred states, which have the primary responsibility for meeting air quality standards, from switching fleets to electric cars and clean fuels.

Rolling back these and other similar rules will be an immediate priority of my administration.

And finally, number three, we must build a new energy future.

As we take steps to meet current energy demands, we must also build an environment that will promote innovation and help foster the next generation of energy technologies.

We must reduce barriers and increase investment in a modern “smart grid.”  

Such a system will lead to improved efficiency and resilience, and will be sorely needed if the next generation, for example, chooses to charge electric vehicles in their garages.

Development of a “smart grid” should be done in tandem with support for innovative state-based solutions.

California leads the nation in geothermal. The Northwest has world-class hydropower facilities. 15 percent of Iowa’s energy comes from wind.

When I was governor of Utah, we made great strides in natural gas. We designated a natural gas corridor through our state, and partnered with the private sector to build a network of fueling stations. I even drove a natural gas car.

States are laboratories of innovation, yet federal rules handcuff them with red tape.

Washington needs to give states more flexibility to develop unique energy solutions.

To assure our long-term competitiveness, America must also prioritize investment in basic research that will lead to the energy technologies of tomorrow.

The IEA predicts that by 2035, the global energy economy will be a $38 trillion economy.

Which nation will lead that energy economy?

Which nation’s innovators will develop the technologies that transform our energy future, and then sell those technologies to the world?

That nation must be America.

My administration will remove regulatory barriers that are slowing development of the next generation of nuclear technology, including small modular reactors – thus making America competitive in a sector we once pioneered.

We will also reaffirm our support for non-commercial research at ARPA-E – the DOE’s version of DARPA – and invest more funding in pure research at our universities, like this one.

However, we must not confuse pure research with politically-driven industrial policy such as we saw with Solyndra.

We must have a level playing field, with the federal government setting fair rules, but investing only in basic research.

Breaking oil’s monopoly and freeing ourselves from OPEC’s grasp will not be easy.

For decades presidents have talked about energy independence, with lots of rhetoric but little results.

America cannot afford the status quo any longer, nor can we afford half-measures, nor can we allow reform to be derailed and delayed once again by powerful, entrenched interests.

On my first day in office, I will take three immediate steps to launch a sea change in energy policy.

I will direct my administration to clarify rules that ensure the safe and rapid expansion of offshore drilling and fracking.

I will move to open our fuel distribution network to all forms of energy, biofuels, natural gas and electricity.

I will systemically begin to eliminate every subsidy for energy companies, whether it be oil, natural gas, wind or solar. Under my presidency, the United States will get out of the subsidy business. And if necessary, I will use my executive authority to act unilaterally.

We will stop using limited federal resources to prop up individual companies – directing that money instead to basic energy research.

Whether it is our tax code, our foreign policy, or our energy policy, we need bold reforms that are equal to the monumental challenges we face.

I’m running to transform America’s economic foundation, and give the American people the tools to compete in the 21st Century.

If we succeed, we can leave to our children and grandchildren a safer, healthier, more secure, more prosperous future.

That is our obligation to the next generation – to your generation – and it’s an obligation we must and will fulfill.

Thank you.

Perry ‘Hates Debates’



Rick Perry told an Iowa audience today that he “hates” the debates, reports Byron York. 

Perry, who formerly served in the Air Force, said, “I hate debates like I used to hate spinning in an aircraft. I finally did it and did it and did it, and finally I got better at it.”

In other Perry news, his campaign will begin running TV and radio ads in New Hampshire, reportsthe New Hampshire Journal.

Romney and Iowa


With two months to the Iowa caucuses, it’s still not clear if Mitt Romney intends to make a play in Iowa or not. On one hand, he continues to do very well in the polls there, either leading or in second place in recent polls. On the other hand … he lost to Mike Huckabee there in 2008, and with a huge lead in New Hampshire, he can be relatively confident that he’ll be the Granite State victor heading into South Carolina. 

But an e-mail this morning from his campaign suggests that they have no intention of shutting the door on an Iowa bid just yet: “RICK PERRY: WRONG FOR IOWA,” is the e-mail’s subject line.

“At today’s events in Iowa, Governor Perry probably won’t mention his support for tuition breaks for illegal immigrants at Texas colleges and universities, or the fact that he is promising job creation that would fail to even keep pace with population growth. Rick Perry has been in office for nearly three decades, and Iowans should know that he will say and do anything to get elected,” said Romney campaign spokesman Ryan Williams in a statement in the e-mail.

Perry is doing events in Pella and Des Moines, Iowa today.

Occupy Iowa ... Caucuses


From the Des Moines Register:


Iowa activists are inviting caravans of protesters from across the country to help them “occupy” all the presidential campaign headquarters in Iowa – and to shut the offices down if they feel their message about corporate greed is not being heard.

“You go inside or if they won’t let you in, you shut ‘em down. You sit in front of their doors,” said Des Moines’ Frank Cordaro, who came up with the idea that Occupy Iowa’s “general assembly” approved at their 6 p.m. meeting tonight.

The Occupy Iowa protesters want to capitalize on the fact that Iowa hosts the first-in-the-nation caucuses, Cordaro said. Non-violent protests could be waged throughout December and up until caucus day on Jan. 3, he said.

Other Campaigns Deny Giving Politico Cain Sexual Harassment Story


The Romney, Perry, Bachmann, Santorum, Paul, Gingrich, and Huntsman campaigns have all told The Hill that they did not tip off the media to the past sexual harassment allegations against Herman Cain (hat tip: GOP12). 

Pro-Perry PAC to Run TV Ads in Iowa, SC


Make Us Great Again, a Super PAC supporting Rick Perry’s candidacy, is spending $382,000 to run TV ads in Iowa and South Carolina this week, reports ABC News. 

This ad, “Conservative,” will run in Iowa:

And this ad, “Leadership,” will air in South Carolina:

No NRA Endorsement for Cain


The National Restaurant Association has not endorsed presidential candidates in the past — and this year will probably be no different. The group flirted with endorsing Herman Cain, but has ultimately decided not to formally endorse its former president and CEO, reports Politico. 


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