Archive for January, 2012

Doggett ‘hopeful’ SCOTUS will uphold interim redistricting maps

Congressman Lloyd Doggett is one of the candidates waiting to to hear which district he’ll be running in. The original legislative maps moved Doggett out of his current district 25 and into district 35, which includes much of San Antonio. But the interim maps restored Doggett’s original district. He says for now, he’ll actively campaign in both districts.

He issued this statement Monday:

"I am hopeful. While the final district boundaries remain uncertain, I am prepared to seek reelection in whichever district contains the largest number of those I now represent. Ultimately, I believe that the courts will reject Governor Perry’s scheme to divide our community and to exclude the many here, who know me best from having a say on my continued service. Meanwhile, I will continue working actively in San Antonio, Austin, and the entire IH-35 corridor.

The election may very well be postponed beyond April 3, but the most important consideration is that these districts be drawn consistent with the principles of the Voting Rights Act. There was no indication in this case that the Court was questioning the constitutionality of the Voting Rights Act. Next up, is the redistricting trial in Washington, which begins next Tuesday, in a three-judge court that has already strongly rejected the State’s motion for summary judgment."

Paul cuts New Hampshire campaign stop short

GOP hopefuls are now in their final push in New Hampshire.

Voters will hit the polls Tuesday, and many haven’t decided on a candidate just yet. The latest poll in the state shows Jon Huntsman and Rick Santorum encroaching on Ron Paul’s second place status.

Paul’s campaign held three events Monday, but that was not nearly as many some of the other GOP hopefuls. Santorum held five events Monday, Huntsman held seven and Newt Gingrich also held seven.

Candidates hoped to offer more opportunities for undecided voters to meet them, but with cameras everywhere, Monday was not exactly how Ron Paul anticipated meeting New Hampshire voters.

Paul tried to outsmart the media by sneaking in a side door at Moe Joe’s Breakfast Nook in Manchester. He shook the hands of some high school seniors for a time and then left.

"I shook his hand. That’s about all I got to see of him. He passed by. Everyone’s already swarming around him," one person said.

The overwhelming attention on the man who’s running a distant second in New Hampshire to Mitt Romney was too much to even move around the event.

When the first of three events of Paul’s campaign ended prematurely, voters weren’t so happy.

"[I’m] just disappointed he didn’t come in. He’s got to eat breakfast somewhere. Why didn’t he eat right here — you know, a couple tables over from me. That would’ve been great," Jim Barr, a Paul supporter, said.

Much like Iowa, it’s all about retail politics in New Hampshire. Voters want candidates to be out shaking hands and giving them an up-close and personal encounter, but Paul’s primary eve schedule may not have afforded enough New Hampshire Republicans the chance to form an opinion before Tuesday.

Statement from Ron Paul campaign on morning incident in Manchester, NH:

“Dr. Paul has been committed to meeting one on one with New Hampshire voters, and has aggressively campaigned at town halls, house parties, and meet and greets since early last spring.

This morning, he attempted to hold an event at Moe Joe’s Diner in Manchester, to speak with patrons and supporters in the last push before the New Hampshire primary. Unfortunately, Dr. Paul and his family were forced to leave early after over 120 members of the press created a mob-like atmosphere that was deemed to be unsafe for the candidate, Moe Joe’s customers, and reporters themselves.

The campaign had planned to cover our normal degree of media interest, which is always ample. However, a significant increase in the press corps, largely driven by an influx of foreign journalists, exceeded all expectations.

Mrs. Paul herself, attempting to campaign alongside her husband, was shoved aside by one reporter and told to ‘get out of the way.’

While we are very welcoming of media coverage and grateful for the interest in Dr. Paul and his campaign, basic safety simply must come first. On behalf of Dr. Paul and his campaign team, I would like to apologize to customers at Moe Joe’s who may have been distressed by this incident, and extend our gratitude and apologies to the owners, who were kind enough to have us.

We ask the press, at all upcoming events over the next day and a half, to be respectful of both Dr. Paul and of New Hampshire voters, who are entitled to examine their candidates in a safe and responsible atmosphere."

Dewhurst picks up conservative endorsement

Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst picked up an ultra-conservative endorsement for his Senate bid, today. Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee announced he and his political action committee would support the Lieutenant Governor.

In an email statement, Huckabee said:

"Not only is he a fiscal conservative, but he shares are social values as well and will continue to fight for our shared values in Washington. Lt. Governor Dewhurst has worked on passing legislation to protect the sanctity of life and define marriage as a union between one man and one woman. He also strongly believes in our 2nd amendment rights."

Huckabee is a former presidential candidate and currently hosts a show on Fox News. He formed a political action committee, HuckPAC, in 2008. The PAC is dedicated to getting support for Republicans running for the U.S. House and Senate.

Paul skipping Florida primary

Rep. Ron Paul says he’s skipping the Florida Primary. Instead, he will focus on February caucuses in Nevada, Louisiana and Maine.

A Paul campaign spokesman told Politico "It’s such an expensive state, and with their delegates cut in half, the math just doesn’t make sense." Paul’s National Campaign Chairman told Politico it would cost an "estimated $9 million to run a comprehensive program in the Sunshine State."

Fifty delegates are at stake in Florida, and it’s winner-take-all. Florida lost half of its delegates after it violated RNC rules by moving its primary to January 31.

Florida is also a closed primary, which means Paul won’t be able to take advantage of independent voters, there.

Paul support slipping in New Hampshire

A new WMUR poll shows Rep. Ron Paul polling in second place, but it seems support for the Congressman is slipping. The poll shows Mitt Romney taking a commanding lead, with 41 percent of the vote. Paul is still holding on to second with 17 percent, but that’s down from the 20 percent support he received just a few days ago. Rick Santorum and Jon Huntsman are tied at third with 11 percent.

The door is still wide open for an upset, though. Just 44 percent of those polled said they’ve made up their minds.

Gov. Rick Perry, meanwhile, skipped New Hampshire to focus on South Carolina. He’s currently polling at just one percent in the Granite State.

Paul releases Santorum slamming ad; Disavows Huntsman “Manchurian Candidate” spot

A new Ron Paul ad slamming rival Rick Santorum will start airing in South Carolina, Monday. The :30 second spot is called ‘Betrayal.’

In an email today, National Campaign Chairman Jesse Benton called Santorum a serial hypocrite. In the statement, he said "Ron Paul can come to South Carolina with a clear conscience and an impeccable record on the issues important to voters there: fiscal restraint, right to work, and strict adherence to the Constitution and one’s own promises."

Here’s the ad:

Meanwhile, Ron Paul calling an anti-John Huntsman ad ‘disgusting’. The ad asks if Huntsman is a "Manchurian Candidate." Paul told CNN this afternoon that "whoever put it up should remove it immediately." Paul said he can’t control the actions of all of his supporters, but he disavowed the ad.

The ad was posted online by the group "New Hampshire Liberty 4 Paul." Aside from the YouTube video, though, we were not able to find any mention of the group or any indication it is connected to the Paul campaign.

This is the ad that is stirring all the controversy:

Poll: Romney surging in South Carolina, Perry at 5 percent

Mitt Romney won in Iowa, and a win is likely for him Tuesday night in New Hampshire. Now, a new CNN/ORC poll shows Romney with a strong lead in South Carolina. Romney has 37 percent support according to the poll, up 17 points from December.

Gov. Perry, who is banking on a comeback there, is sitting in fifth with 5 percent.

Here’s what it looks like:

Courtesy: CNN

Rep. Ron Paul is in fourth there with 12 percent support, up 6 percent from the last CNN survey in early December.

The poll surveyed 485 South Carolina voters who are likely to cast ballots in the Republican primary on January 21. It was conducted on January 4-5, after the Iowa Caucus. It has a sampling error of plus or minus 4.5 percentage points.

CNN contributed to this report.

Game on: Perry campaign re-releases ‘Values’ ad in South Carolina

The "Perry Press" emails have started up again. Friday, the campaign re-released its "Values" ad, which played in Iowa, in South Carolina. In a statement the campaign says the ad highlights Perry’s "perfect-for-South-Carolina status."

You can watch the ad for yourself below:

Perry stops the “presses?”

If you’re a journalist covering Gov. Perry’s presidential race, you’re no stranger to the flood of ‘Perry Press’ emails that flood your inbox. With the governor seemingly hell bent on continuing his campaign through South Carolina, you’d think his campaign would send an official notice to the press. You’d be wrong.

The governor announced Tuesday he was reassessing his campaign. The official press stayed silent. And even when he made it clear via Twitter that he planned to charge forward: crickets.

Maybe Perry’s campaign is still regrouping since the governor surprised us all by sticking it out? Perhaps his shocked staff is trying to come up with a new strategy? Or maybe they’re just enjoying a few days off in Austin?

Your guess is as our good as ours. Whatever the case, we’re interested to see what the first communications from the press staff will say.

So far, the only official sign is his newly revamped, South Carolina touting webpage:

Perry home from Iowa

Gov. Rick Perry has returned to Austin following the Iowa Caucus. He landed at ABIA just after 2 p.m. The media was not allowed on the tarmac, and Perry did not pause to give interviews.

Earlier: State officials return home ahead of Perry
Hours after announcing he would "reassess" his campaign, Gov. Rick Perry is on his way home to Austin. He is expected to arrive at ABIA this afternoon before leaving again for South Carolina.

Earlier today, members of his "strike-force" team arrived home; including State Senators Dan Patrick and Troy Fraser and Rep. Paul Workman. They were in Iowa to help the governor in his final push for votes ahead of yesterday’s caucus.

Many assumed Perry would bow out of the race following his announcement last night. He surprised some supporters, the media, and by some Let’s keep the conversation going on our political blog! Capital Roundup is an extension of the interviews, debates, analysis and commentary seen on our nightly political show, Capital Tonight. We invite you to join the discussion.

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