Archive for December, 2011

New Perry ad promises health care “Repeal”

A day after accusing President Obama of waging war on religion, Gov. Rick Perry turned his focus to health care in a new ad released today. The :30 second spot is called "Repeal" and promises to "repeal Obamacare, starting day one." The ad also ties Newt Gingrich and Mitt Romney to mandated health care.

Watch the full ad, here:

In an email statement from Perry’s campaign, communications director Ray Sullivan said :

"Gov. Perry opposes government-mandated health coverage and is firmly committed to repealing the job-killing Obamacare to protect families and job creators from the burden it imposes on them. As someone who has never served in Washington or been an establishment favorite, Rick Perry is the candidate who can bring true change to Washington, D.C., starting with repealing Obama’s government takeover of our health care system."

Perry passing on Trump debate invitation

Gov. Rick Perry joined three of his fellow Republican presidential candidates in declining an invitation to a Dec. 27 debate moderated by Donald Trump in Iowa.

In a statement sent by his campaign, spokesman Ray Sullivan said:

"Governor Perry has talked to Donald Trump in recent days and respects him and the folks at NewsMax very much. There two debates in the next 7 days.

Traditional retail campaigning in the days and weeks leading up to the Iowa caucus is the Perry campaign’s top priority. In the coming weeks, Gov. Perry will be in Iowa almost continually, meeting with real voters, doing town hall meetings and events and talking American jobs, faith and overhauling Washington, DC to Iowa voters.

Perry is one of four candidates who have met with Trump hoping to land an endorsement. He joins Rep. Ron Paul, Mitt Romney and Jon Huntsman, who also declined the invitation.

That leaves just Newt Gingrich and Rick Santorum as the only confirmed participants. Michele Bachmann has not said if she will take part.

Tonight on Capital Tonight:

Here’s a look at what you can expect for tonight’s live show:

Perry’s Controversial Ad
At the time of this post, Gov. Rick Perry’s anti-gay ad released yesterday already has 747,019 views and 184,887 dislikes. On tonight’s show, we will have reaction from MCC Austin, a local church that serves the GLBT community. We are also trying to get a comment from a local parish who will offer a different take on the ad.

Change of Course for Afghanistan?
After a visit to Afghanistan, Rep. Michael McCaul is calling for a "change of strategy in America’s War on Terror." Our Washington DC Bureau Reporter Erin Billups is interviewing McCaul at the US Capitol. We will have that interview, tonight.

A Pledge to Revisit Redistricting
If re-drawn redistricting maps win out, Texas Republican Party Chairman Steve Munisteri is asking Republican candidates to sign a pledge, promising to bring up redistricting again next session. We’ll talk about the implications of another legislative go ’round with the Quorum Report’s Harvey Kronberg. Chairman Munisteri will also join Democrat Harold Cook for our Capital Commentary, tonight.

Staffer advised against Perry anti-gay Iowa ad

Gov. Rick Perry’s new anti-gay ad is raising some eyebrows. It hit airwaves in Iowa Wednesday, one day after Perry criticized President Obama for a memo directing agencies to provide humanitarian aid to programs designed to protect gay rights in other countries.

Is seems, though, that some of Perry’s own staff wasn’t onboard with the controversial ad.
The Huffington Post is citing sources who say top pollster Tony Fabrizio was uncomfortable with the script and called it ‘nuts.’

In an email to the Huffington Post, GOP operative Nelson Warfield wrote, "Tony was against it from the get-go. It was the source of some extended conversation in the campaign. To be very clear: That spot was mine from writing the poll question to test[ing] it to drafting the script to overseeing production."

In the ad, Perry says he’s "Not ashamed to admit he’s a Christian. But you don’t have to be in a pew every Sunday to know there’s something wrong when gays can serve openly in the military, but ourkids can’t openly celebrate Christmas."

You can see the full ad, below.

Hardly downtime for Texas lawmakers between sessions

The Texas Capitol looks and feels much different than it did just eight months ago, but just what are the state’s lawmakers up to now that the Legislative session is over?

Texas has what is called a “citizen legislature,” meaning that lawmaking for the state serves only as a part-time job for the legislators. In return, they earn $600 per month as lawmakers and $150 per day when the Legislature is in session.

"The whole idea behind meeting part-time is to have a citizen legislature,” Republican State Representative Larry Gonzalez said. “To have men and women that come to the Capitol, serve the state and then go back and live under the laws they helped to create."

While lawmakers head back to their day-jobs and keep an ear out for constituent concerns, suggestions on what needs to be worked on and possibly addressed in bills next session, called interim charges, are issued by Speaker and Lieutenant Governor.

"Those hearings are ongoing, a variety of issues, lots of committees meet,” Rep. Gonzalez said. “Austin’s the hub, so they meet here."

In November, many lawmakers had already returned to the Capital City to start tackling drought and state water supply concerns, just one of Speaker Joe Straus and other House members’ 175 interim charges.

Others include looking at the problems with the Texas’ so-called franchise tax and enhancing public and higher education.

Click here to read a full list of the interim charges to be examined by lawmakers over the break.

Poll: Perry in distant third for who is likely to win GOP nomination

A Gallup poll shows Gov. Rick Perry in a distant third place –and Ron Paul in fourth — when Republicans are asked which candidate is likely to win the GOP nomination.

Courtesy: Gallup (Click to enlarge)

Mitt Romney leads the poll, beating out Newt Gingrich with 39 percent of the vote. Gingrich is in second with 35 percent. Perry is lagging far behind the two GOP front-runners. Only 9 percent of people say Perry is likely to be the next GOP presidential nominee. Ron Paul garnered 2 percent support.

The poll sampled Republican and Republican-leaning independent voters nationwide by phone. The margin of error is ±3.

Perry says he’ll stop president’s ‘war on religion’

In light of President Obama’s declaration that some federal foreign aid will be used to defend gay and lesbian rights in foreign countries, a new ad from Gov. Perry accuses the president of waging a "war on religion." In the 30-second ad, Perry says there is something "wrong in this country when gays can serve openly in the military but our kids can’t openly celebrate Christmas or pray in school."

In a press release the ad is tied to Perry’s vow to start foreign aid at zero if elected president.

You can watch the ad here:

Romney turns down Trump debate invitation

Republican candidate Mitt Romney is the latest to decline an invitation to take part in a debate moderated by Donald Trump. Romney took a softer stance than some of his opponents, though, telling Fox News, "We’ve already set our calendar in December and I communicated to Mr. Trump that that schedule is completed." Romney said he called Trump, to let him know.

While not the harshest criticism we’ve heard from ‘The Donald,’ Trump took a swipe at Romney’s decision. Speaking through a spokesperson, he said, "It would seem logical to me that if I was substantially behind in the polls, especially in Iowa, South Carolina, and Florida, I would be participating in the debate. But, I can also understand why Governor Romney decided not to do it."

Texas Representative Ron Paul and former Utah Gov. John Huntsman have also declined invitations to the December 27 Des Moines debate. Both made it abundantly clear that they did not take a debate hosted by Trump seriously, with Rep. Paul calling it "wildly inappropriate".

So far, only Newt Gingrich and Rick Santorum have confirmed that they will attend.

Iowans key to extending Perry’s White House bid

Moving up the Iowa Caucuses to Jan. 3, 2012 has accelerated the campaign process to such an extent that the number of likely caucus-goers who have seen one of the candidates in person is up from the last presidential race. This includes Gov. Rick Perry, who is mounting an all-out effort to make it beyond Iowa in his presidential bid.

Political columnist Kathie Obradovich recently broke down some of the myths and facts about the Iowa caucus campaign, which included this “fact” regarding the number of Iowans who have an up-close and personal look at the candidates. What does not bode well for Perry is the fact that of all the candidates doing extensive grassroots campaigning in Iowa, he is the only candidate in single digits.

One “myth” about the Iowa process mentioned in the Des Moines Register column is that social conservatives dominate the process. The Iowa Poll conducted at the end of November shows that 46 percent of likely caucus-goers indicated they are very conservative. That means that more than half of likely caucus-goers are either only "mostly" conservative (18 percent), moderate, or less-than-moderate.

Meantime, Perry hopes his recent TV ad focused on faith strikes a chord among all Iowans, particularly the social conservatives. In it, he says that while liberals believe “faith is a sign of weakness,” he’s not afraid to talk about his own faith. It’s a message to play over Iowa airwaves as Perry tries to meet as many Iowans in person as possible. Based on the trends, he may run into many of his fellow Republican candidates as they press the flesh.

Gingrich dominates, Perry creeps back up in new poll

Republican candidate Newt Gingrich is extending his lead in the latest Iowa poll. According to a new Washington Post-ABC News poll, 33 percent of likely caucus-goers say they’d vote for Gingrich if the caucus was held today. Gingrich got high marks for his experience and voters said they trust him to handle the economy; obviously one of the biggest issues this election season. Voters also said Gingrich had the best chance of beating President Obama in the general election and of all the candidates, best reflects the core values of the Republican party.

Texas Congressman Ron Paul is holding on to the second place spot he secured this weekend. He held steady at 18 percent. Paul got top marks when it comes to the candidate voters think is most honest and trustworthy, however most don’t believe he could beat President Obama.

Former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney is tied with Paul for second place. He saw a two point bump from 16 percent Saturday, to 18 percent today. Despite his slipping poll numbers lately, nearly a quarter of voters polled say they think he has the best chance of winning the general election.

There was also a sliver of good news for Gov. Rick Perry. He placed fourth in the ABC-WaPo poll, and crept back into the double digits with 11 percent. That’s better than the sixth place, single digit support he received in a Des Moines register poll over the weekend. Perry remains in the middle of the pack when it comes to voters view his stance on the issues issues. As for whether he could beat President Obama: Perry ranks near the bottom with just 6 percent saying he could win in a general election.

As for the rest of the Republican primary field, Michele Bachmann placed fifth among likely caucus goers with 8 percent. She only scored first in one area: 24 percent of voters said they would definitely not give her their vote. Rounding out the remaining candidates were Rick Santorum with 7 percent and Jon Huntsman with 2 percent.

This poll was conducted while Herman Cain was still in the race. Any support he gathered was reallocated to the other candidates, based on their second choice.