Blog Posts by Chris Moody

  • A good omen for Gingrich in New Hampshire?

    The state amphibian of New Hampshire, where the Republican presidential candidates are battling for victory for the first primary in the nation, is...

    The spotted newt, New Hampshire's official state amphibian.

    ... the spotted newt.

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  • Newt Gingrich unloads on Mitt Romney and Ron Paul in New Hampshire

    Newt Gingrich talks to reporters after a campaign stop, Wednesday in Concord, N.H. (AP)CONCORD, N.H. -- They poked the bear one too many times.

    After a long effort to stay on message and stick to discussing his ideas for the future, Newt Gingrich on Wednesday morning unloaded on Mitt Romney and Ron Paul in front of reporters here. Gingrich's choice of targets was clearly deliberate, since Paul and Romney have spent millions attacking him directly in campaign ads, and indirectly through surrogates, over the past month.

    And now, it seems, Newt's had enough. In one lengthy sentence, Gingrich recited his rendition of Romney's biography. Among other things, Gingrich blasted Romney for backing "the most liberal" Democratic presidential candidate in 1992, for signing an abortion provision into the Massachusetts health care law passed under his leadership and for being "to the left" of most in the party.

    "Governor Romney was first an independent, then repudiated Reagan-Bush, then voted for Paul Tsongas, the most liberal candidate in the '92 campaign, then ran to the left of Teddy Kennedy in 1994, then became a moderate to run for governor in 2002, and then with Romneycare, for example, that included state-funded abortions and specifically designating Planned Parenthood as a part of Romneycare, appointed liberal judges in order to placate Democrats and raised taxes on businesses, which I think is a job-killing approach," Gingrich said. "The contrast will be very wide and that will be a key part of what we describe going forward. I suspect it's going to be a very lively campaign."

    His comments are part of a new effort to show a heightened "contrast" between him and his competitors.

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  • Wheels down in New Hampshire: Newt Gingrich high-tails it out of Iowa

    Newt Gingrich speaks during his caucus night rally in Des Moines, Iowa. (AP)CONCORD, N.H. -- After coming in fourth place in Iowa--8 percentage points behind third-place finisher Ron Paul--Newt Gingrich chartered a late-night plane to New Hampshire and was in the air even before the full Iowa caucus results were even tallied.

    But first, he made a brief stop in Des Moines to address a small but enthusiastic crowd at the city's convention center. There, he vowed to take Mitt Romney to the mat in New Hampshire for running a punishing negative ad campaign against him that political observers cite as one of the primary reasons for sinking Gingrich's campaign in the Hawkeye State. "We are not going to go out and run nasty ads. We are not going to go out and run 30-second ads. But," Gingrich said, emphasizing the last word, "I do deserve the right to go out and tell the truth."

    The message was clear: His campaign efforts in New Hampshire will be more aggressive than the mild-mannered approach the Gingrich operation adopted in Iowa. He won't sling mud, he says, but he'll make an extra effort to ensure you know about his opponents' pasts. His supporters, many who have urged him to take off the gloves and rumble with Romney, ate it up.

    "This is going to be a debate that begins tomorrow morning," he said.

    With the New Hampshire primary race entering its final phase, negative ads from most GOP campaigns will start flooding the airwaves in the Granite State in the week ahead.

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  • Rick Santorum in 2007. (Steve Pope:AP)Three months after Rick Santorum gave up his Senate seat on April 16, 2007, he was appointed to the board of directors of United Health Services, a Pennsylvania-based hospital management company. While Santorum served on the board, a clinic operated by UHS began being investigated for Medicaid fraud by the Justice Department, documents show.

    United Health Services ran a psychiatric clinic in Marion, Virginia, that offered care to adolescent boys with mental health problems. According to the Justice Department investigation, filed jointly with the Commonwealth of Virginia on March 2, 2010, the clinic--known as the Marion Youth Center--billed "Medicaid for inpatient psychiatric care that was not provided, in violation of federal and state Medicaid requirements, and falsified records to cover up their serious violations."

    The Marion clinic allegedly misrepresented the cost of the services it provided to the children and profited from the taxpayer-funded reimbursements.

    "We intend to prove that these defendants billed Medicaid for providing troubled children with much-needed psychiatric medical care when, in fact, they provided no such service," said Timothy J. Heaphy, the United States attorney for the Western District of Virginia, in a March 2010 statement. Heaphy added that the company took "advantage of troubled children in order to feed their own desire for wealth."

    In an interview with Yahoo News, Santorum said that he cooperated with the investigation when it was brought to the board's attention.

    "Any investigation, you obviously engage and fully cooperate with it, and that's what we did. You try to get to the bottom of it. There's always accusations that take place and that's part of the responsibility of directors to make sure that we investigate that and get to the bottom of it," Santorum said. "I don't have any stock options. I did, but I exercised them and they're gone."

    Representatives with UHS did not immediately reply to a request for comment from Yahoo News. This past June, however, the company released a statement addressing an earlier report on the controversy in the Huffington Post. "UHS has always made quality and patient safety its highest priorities at all of our facilities," the statement read in part.

    UHS  went on to add that "Marion Youth Center denies the allegations contained in the lawsuits currently pending and is defending these cases vigorously. All patients at Marion Youth Center received appropriate treatment in accordance with standards of mental healthcare for the community and all reasonable rules and regulations"

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  • Rick Santorum kisses his wife, Karen, after speaking during a meet and greet campaign stop at Pizza Ranch in Altoona, Iowa. (AP)ALTOONA, Iowa--If you judged Rick Santorum solely by his campaign's financial records, you'd never guess that he was near the top of the polls in Iowa, the former senator from Pennsylvania said Monday.

    Wrapping his last town hall in the state, Santorum made a final pitch to Iowa voters here, promising that no matter how he ranks in Tuesday's first-in-the-nation caucuses, he'll continue with the same grassroots strategy in the next state primary to keep his candidacy alive.

    "We're not going to run a big campaign," Santorum told voters at a Pizza Ranch restaurant, where an overflow crowd required him to give two separate speeches in the same venue. "We're not going to hire a bunch of experts and staff. We're going to run the campaign that keeps continuing to interact with voters that is accessible and accountable. We're going to do our best to be lean and mean and set an example that you can win the presidency that way and you can govern the country that way."

    Before a few recent polls showed him beginning to rise in the polls in Iowa, Santorum often struggled to get people to show up for his appearances; his campaign reported some of the lowest fundraising numbers of all the candidates running for the 2012 Republican nomination for president.

    "When we report our financial picture it's going to be embarrassing," Santorum said. "Except for the fact that in the last four or five days we've raised more money than in the last three or four months."

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  • Rupert Murdoch urges Iowans to support Rick Santorum

    Media mogul Rupert Murdoch comes out for Rick Santorum the night before the Iowa caucuses:

    Via Murdoch's official Twitter feed

    Before launching his bid for the presidency, Santorum was a paid contributor to the Fox News cable channel, which is owned by Murdoch's News Corporation.

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  • 19 endorsements and counting: Duggar dad supports Santorum, says Romney snubbed him

    The Duggar Family

    BOONE, Iowa -- It's too bad for Rick Santorum that Jim Bob, Michelle, Joshua, Jana, John-David, Jill, Jessa, Jinger, Joseph, Josiah, Joy-Anna, Jeremiah, Jedidiah, Jason, James, Justin, Jackson, Johannah, Jennifer and Jordyn-Grace can't vote in Iowa.

    The Arkansas-based Duggar Family, stars of the reality TV show "19 Kids and Counting," have thrown their support behind the former senator from Pennsylvania in the final days before the Iowa caucuses. The Duggar parents are traveling across Iowa with a dozen of their kids to push his message.

    "This is the family values candidate," Jim-Bob Duggar, the family patriarch, said during a Santorum town hall here. "This is somebody who we believe in."

    The Duggars have transformed their family bus into a "Santorum Express" that will be tearing across Iowa highways for the next two days. The two oldest boys stayed up all night on New Year's Eve, slapping a professional-grade pro-Santorum sign on each side of the bus. Santorum himself--who has been strapped for cash during most of the campaign and has been riding around the state in a volunteer's Dodge Ram--didn't know about the Duggars' plans and was surprised when he saw the bus roll up at his hotel Wednesday morning, an aide said.

    "We're trying to get him on the bus," Dugger told Yahoo News. "And then we're trying to get him into Air Force One."

    The (unofficial) Rick Santorum Express

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  • Rick Perry to reporter: Out your sources or I won’t talk

    Out on the trail with Texas Gov. Rick Perry in Iowa, Politico's Mike Allen tries to ask a few questions about disarray within the Perry operation based on information from anonymous sources within the campaign. Perry refuses to play ball unless he gives up the names. Awkward hilarity ensues.

    Must watch:

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  • New poll: Paul, Romney and Santorum tied in Iowa

    SIOUX CENTER, Iowa--Here's where we stand in the final day before the caucuses. According to the latest survey from Public Policy Polling, it looks like a statistical dead heat between Mitt Romney, Ron Paul and Rick Santorum for the top slot in the state.

    With a margin of error of plus or minus 2.7 percentage points, Paul leads with 20 percent, followed by Romney with 19 percent and Santorum with 18  percent. As with the Des Moines Register poll unveiled Saturday night, Santorum appears to have the most momentum of all of the candidates, with an 8-point surge from last week. Santorum also has the highest favorability rating of all the candidates—60 percent—which could give him an edge with the 41 percent of Iowa caucus voters who say they are willing to change their minds.

    Public Policy Polling

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