Perry returns to Waterloo

GOP presidential candidate Rick Perry made three stops in Iowa Friday, trying to cover as much ground as possible before the Jan. 3 caucus. During a speech at a pizzeria, Perry stayed on message, touting the need for smaller federal government.

YNN’s Alana Rocha is traveling with Perry and spoke with some undecided caucus-goers. Hear what one woman from Waterloo had to say about Perry’s visit in the video below.

GOP’s Bachmann limps to Iowa caucus finish line

Republican Michele Bachmann is insisting her presidential campaign is going forward despite staff departures, depleted campaign coffers and calls for her to drop out of the race.

She faces a steep challenge with Iowa’s caucuses looming Tuesday.

It’s a much different situation than she faced in the summer when she was riding high after a victory in the Iowa straw poll. Her slide from contender status started soon after, and she’s struggled for months to reverse the trend.

The Minnesota congresswoman is relying on sheer hustle to stay afloat. On Thursday, she capped a 99-county sprint across Iowa.

But instead of ending the exhausting trek on a high note, Bachmann found herself feuding with her advisers, only the latest supporters to abandon her bid for the Republican nomination.

Newt Gingrich gets emotional; Christie and Romney join forces

Newt Gingrich choked up and wiped away tears Friday while recalling his late mother’s struggle with depression and mental illness.

Speaking at an event with mothers in Des Moines, Iowa, the former House speaker said his focus on brain science issues stems directly from “dealing with the real problems of real people in my family.”

“And so it’s not a theory. It’s, in fact, my mother,” he said as he wiped away tears.

Kit Gingrich died in 2003 at age 77. Gingrich said she spent her final years in a long-term care facility suffering from depression, bipolar disease and gradually acquired physical ailments.

The moment was reminiscent of Hillary Rodham Clinton’s teary-eyed response to a question just before the 2008 Democratic primary in New Hampshire. That rare, emotional response by the former first lady was credited with humanizing her in the eyes of voters. She went on to pull off a win in the state.

After showing his emotions, the cerebral Gingrich said he does “policy much easier than he does personal.”

His wife, Callista, and two daughters, were in the audience.

“Callista will tell you I get teary-eyed every time we sing Christmas carols,” Gingrich said.

Gingrich has fallen in recent Iowa polls, with the state’s caucuses just several days away. He is in the midst of a 22-stop bus tour across the state.

Romney tries to come across as a man of the people

Mitt Romney’s effort to show more of his personal side has been anything but a smooth transition.

In the final stretch of the Iowa caucus campaign, Romney has stepped out from behind the curtain of private fundraising events that for months shielded him from unscripted encounters with voters.

Yet he still can struggle to connect with people on a personal level.

That’s been the rap against him since his 2008 race when he was labeled stiff and robotic. He’s trying to shake that perception this time around.

Copyright 2011 Associated Press, All rights reserved.
This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.