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Perry tweets, `Here we come South Carolina’

Photo courtesy Twitter.

Texas Gov. Rick Perry is staying in the presidential race despite a fifth-place finish in the Iowa caucuses.

He’s written on his official Twitter account that the “the next leg of the marathon is the Palmetto State. … Here we come South Carolina!!!”

He’s attached a photo of himself jogging near a lake, wearing a Texas A&M running shorts and showing a thumbs-up.

The South Carolina primary is Jan. 21. New Hampshire’s is next Tuesday.

Copyright 2012 Associated Press, All rights reserved.
This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

GOP presidential candidates aim for last-minute support in Iowa

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.

Perry challenges exclusion from VA primary ballot

Republican Rick Perry is challenging his exclusion from Virginia’s primary ballot.

The Texas governor’s presidential campaign filed a lawsuit in federal court Tuesday in Virginia. The move is an attempt to get his name on Virginia’s March 6 primary ballot.

Currently Mitt Romney and Ron Paul are the only GOP presidential candidates who have qualified for Virginia’s ballot. Perry failed to collect the required 10,000 signatures. Newt Gingrich also failed to gather enough signatures.

Perry campaign spokesman Ray Sullivan said Virginians should be able to choose among all the candidates, not just two. Sullivan says Virginia’s ballot access rules are among the most onerous in the country and that the 10,000-signature requirement is unrealistic.

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In pursuit, GOP contenders rumble through Iowa

Michele Bachmann, Rick Perry and Newt Gingrich are hoping their bus tours can form enough of a roadblock for Mitt Romney.

Bachmann, Perry and Gingrich are ready to start bus tours through Iowa Tuesday, making their final pitch as conservative alternatives to Romney. The former Massachusetts governor is set to visit with voters in New Hampshire in the morning before returning to Iowa.

Their campaigns are weighing the challenge they face from Ron Paul, the Texas congressman who has deep support among libertarians. Paul’s supporters have not really stopped organizing in the state since his 2008 bid, and he could have a better-than-expected showing in the Jan. 3 Iowa caucuses. The caucuses begin the GOP nominating calendar.

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

Federal court issues new political maps for Texas

A federal court has issued new Texas political maps for the 2012 election.

Every 10 years, lawmakers redraw districts to reflect changes in the U.S. census, but minority groups have mounted a legal challenge to the redistricting maps drawn by the Texas Legislature during the last session. A federal court had to draft temporary maps for 2012.

The maps released on Thursday for the state Senate and House give minorities a better chance of electing their choice of candidate in some areas than did the maps drawn by the Republican-controlled Legislature. That’s believed to give Democrats a better chance of winning seats.

Republican leaders said the districts were drawn to benefit their party, not hurt minority representation. The attorney general is still fighting for the original maps passed by the Legislature.

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