Blog Posts by Chris Moody

  • Newt Gingrich’s campaign staffers return

    Months after several staffers from former House Speaker Newt Gingrich's presidential campaign left the candidate for greener pastures, some are returning now that Gingrich is surging in the polls:

    "It's good to have some old friends come back," R.C. Hammond, spokesperson for the Newt Gingrich campaign, told ABC News about the return of two former Iowa staff members.


    The returning staff members are Craig Schoenfeld and Katie Koberg, who left the campaign in June among the mass exodus of two national advisers and several other Iowa staff members.

    "What you've seen over the past six months is Newt establish himself as the smartest candidate, capable of leading, an increase in fundraising, showing he's able to run a national campaign and growth of staff and grassroots efforts in several states where he'll be able to compete in each contest," Hammond said.

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  • New Hampshire publisher slams Herman Cain after campaign cancels interview

    Meeting with the editorial board of New Hampshire's Union Leader is traditionally a campaign essential for presidential candidates looking to secure the endorsement--or just some positive ink--from the largest newspaper in the first primary election state in the country. But after businessman Herman Cain abruptly canceled his meeting Thursday, it doesn't look like he's going to get either any time soon.

    Speaking through his own paper Friday, Union Leader publisher Joseph McQuaid ripped Cain for blowing off the board interview.

    "It's kind of funny, I think, that with candidates complaining that the media doesn't give them enough time for depth, that Cain's camp blows off an in-depth interview," McQuaid told the paper's senior political reporter John Distaso. "It's politics and campaigns. I don't think he's going anywhere from here at this point, anyway."

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  • Herman Cain channels ‘The Simpsons’ on foreign policy

    At a campaign stop in Nashua, N.H., Wednesday, Republican presidential candidate Herman Cain addressed his lack of experience on foreign policy issues by repeating his assertion that he would surround himself with experts who would guide him.

    One of Cain's lines, caught by ABC News embed reporter Susan Archer, stands out in particular:

    "We need a leader, not a reader"

    Sound familiar? Roll the tape:

  • Jon Huntsman’s strict focus on New Hampshire

    Huntsman (Jim Cole/AP)Former Utah governor and Ambassador to China Jon Huntsman has held 100 public events in New Hampshire, the early-primary state that's been the main focus of his presidential campaign.

    But even if he wins the state, comments like this won't help him get far anywhere outside of New England. AP has the story:

    "We are working this state like no one else," the former Utah governor told several dozen New Hampshire voters gathered in the Portsmouth Elks Lodge Tuesday night. "I don't care what the rest of the country thinks or feels; that's not important. I do care about what the people of New Hampshire feel."

    Speaking to reporters after the town hall, he clarified that he didn't mean to insult voters in other states.

    "Of course I care what people think in the rest of the country. Specific to the poll numbers is what I was referring to," he said. "I don't care too much about where the polls are in the rest of the country."

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  • Herman Cain would loosen federal marijuana restrictions

    Cain (Mike Roemer/AP)At a campaign stop in Urbandale, Iowa, Tuesday, Republican presidential candidate Herman Cain said he supports letting states establish their own laws regarding medical marijuana.

    "If states want to legalize medical marijuana, I think that's a state's right," Cain said, according to NBC News. "Because one of my overriding approaches to looking at all of these issue --most of them belong at the state, because when you do something federally . . .  you try to force one-size-fits-all."

    The federal government restricts consumption of marijuana under current law, but 16 states and the District of Columbia have passed measures to allow use of the drug in some form, causing friction between federal and state authorities. Despite  support in years past from President Obama for reforming federal marijuana laws, the Drug Enforcement Agency continues to raid  dispensaries that operate where marijuana use is legal on the state level.

    A Gallup Poll conducted in October found that half of the population supports legalizing the drug. Cain's fellow GOP presidential candidates Texas Rep. Ron Paul and Texas Gov. Rick Perry have also voiced support for allowing state and local discretion on the issue.

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  • Poll: It’s now a four-way race in Iowa

    Four Republican presidential candidates are currently in a statistical dead heat in Iowa just seven weeks before the caucus date, a Bloomberg Poll released late Monday shows.

    Businessman Herman Cain (20 percent), Texas Rep. Ron Paul (19 percent), former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney (18 percent) and former House Speaker Newt Gingrich (17 percent) are statistically tied for the top slot in the state that will hold the first caucuses in the nation on Jan. 3. The poll, conducted Nov. 10-12, has a margin of error of plus or minus 4.4 percentage points.

    Support for Cain, who continues to battle allegations of past sexual harassment, slipped by just three percentage points since the Des Moines Register released its poll of likely caucus-goers on Oct. 29, but Gingrich has surged from single digits to the top tier in this new round of polling.

    Enthusiasm for Texas Gov. Rick Perry, who led nationally for several weeks, remains stagnant in Iowa. As in the Register survey, Perry was unable to escape the the second tier of candidates in the state at just seven percent.

    These numbers, however, could still fluctuate before January. According to the poll, six in 10 said they would be open to changing their top choice and ten percent were still undecided, a sign that victory in Iowa is still for the taking.

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  • Herman Cain’s ‘oops’ moment on Libya

    Republican presidential candidate Herman Cain has struggled throughout the campaign with foreign affairs, but even after adding new foreign policy advisers, he's still having trouble.

    During a videotaped discussion with the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel editorial board, Cain flubbed a straightforward question about whether he agreed with President Barack Obama's decision to devote American resources to the uprising in Libya. Cain paused for several seconds, but could not offer a clear answer.

    "President Obama supported the uprising correct? President Obama called for the removal of Gaddafi? Just want to make sure we're talking about the same thing before I say yes, I agree or no, I didn't agree," Cain said. "I do not agree with the way he handled it for the following reasons. Nope that's a different one. I gotta go back. I got all this stuff twirling around in my head. Specifically what are you asking me if I agree or don't agree with President Obama?"

    Cain went on to criticize Obama for the way he "assessed the situation" in Libya, but said he "would have supported" the uprising against Moammar Gadhafi.

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  • Newt Gingrich rises to the top tier in two new polls

    Gingrich (Nick Wass/AP)Two national polls released Monday show former Speaker Newt Gingrich surging from the bottom tier to double digits in the past week, replacing businessman Herman Cain near the top with former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney.

    A CNN/ORC International Poll conducted from Nov. 11-13 shows 22 percent of Republicans and independents who lean Republican saying they now support Gingrich. With a sampling error of plus or minus 4.5 percentage points, that puts Gingrich in a statistical dead heat with Romney, the longtime frontrunner. In a Public Policy Polling survey also released Monday, Gingrich rose to the lead, a full 10 percentage points ahead of Romney.

    The data suggest that Gingrich's presence in the top tier comes at the expense of businessman Herman Cain, whose support dropped by 11 percentage points in the CNN poll and five points according to PPP amid accusations of sexual harassment made over the past two weeks.

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  • Poll will show Newt Gingrich in the lead

    Public Policy Polling teased the firm's latest survey Monday morning on Twitter:

    Our national poll, out this afternoon, finds Newt Gingrich taking the lead in the GOP race.

    A CBS News survey conducted last week showed Gingrich tied for second in the horse race with Mitt Romney at 15 percent.

    We'll post the results of the poll when PPP releases them later today.

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  • Supreme Court to review federal health care law before 2012 election

    The U.S. Supreme Court will review a challenge to President Obama's federal health care law before the presidential election in 2012, the justices announced Monday.

    More from Bloomberg News:

    The court will wield unprecedented influence over the presidential election campaign, with a decision in the case likely in late June, months before the election. The eventual ruling may define Chief Justice John Roberts' court, either as an aggressive enforcer of the constitutional constraints on Congress or as a nonpolitical body inclined to defer to the elected branches on policy questions.

    The dispute turns on Congress's constitutional power to regulate interstate commerce. Opponents of the law, including a group of 26 states led by Florida, contend that Congress exceeded that authority by requiring people to buy insurance even if they say they want to pay their own health expenses or don't plan to ever seek medical care.

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