Blog Posts by Chris Moody, Yahoo News

  • Romney pans Cain’s 9-9-9 plan before CNN debate, calls it a tax increase on most of the middle class

    (Toni Sandys/AP)Mitt Romney has remained relatively quiet about Herman Cain's "9-9-9" economic plan, but during a conference call with supporters on Tuesday, Romney offered some serious criticisms of the tax proposal, calling parts of it "troubling."

    "If you do a back of the envelope calculation, you'll find that many, many people and, probably on average, most people in middle income categories will have their taxes go up under a 9-9-9 plan," Romney told his New Hampshire supporters on a conference call, after being asked his opinion of 9-9-9.

    Cain's plan would replace the entire federal tax code--income taxes,  payroll taxes, capital gains taxes, estate taxes and more--with a 9 percent sales tax, a 9 percent tax on personal income tax and a 9 percent tax on business income.

    The conference call took place a few hours before Tuesday's presidential debate in Nevada, a state that stirred up controversy by moving its caucuses ahead of New Hampshire's primary election date. Several candidates have threatened not to participate in the Nevada caucuses and on, Jon Huntsman, is boycotting Tuesday's debate.

    Romney continues to campaign in the state, but when given the opportunity to confront him about, the New Hampshire Republicans asked instead about the economy, specifically about Cain's economic plan.

    "I think it's going to be pretty clear over the coming weeks as we take a close look at Herman Cain's proposal that there will be some people who find it very troubling," Romney said. "There will be some, by the way, who find that their taxes will go down a lot, and they'll find it very attractive. There are others who will find that their taxes go up a lot."

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  • Herman Cain explains past donations to Democrats

    Cain campaigns in Cookeville, Tenn. (AP)

    Herman Cain has worn several hats over the course of his career--rocket scientist, businessman, motivational speaker, radio host and now, presidential candidate. But during his time in the private sector, he was an active participant in politics through political giving.

    For more than two decades, the current Republican front-runner has donated hundreds of thousands to political causes and candidates, including a handful of Democrats. Since 1988, Cain has given close to $400,000, according to data collected from the Federal Election Commission and the Center for Responsive Politics.

    All but one of Cain's contributions to Democrats went to candidates in Nebraska, where Godfather's Pizza, the company Cain led from 1986 to 1996, had been headquartered for more than 35 years: In 1993, Cain gave $500 to former Nebraska Gov. Bob Kerrey and $250 to New York Rep. Jose Serrano. In 1994, Cain wrote a check for $500 to former Nebraska Rep. Peter Hoagland. Two years later, he gave $500 to Nebraska Sen. Ben Nelson and in 1998, he donated another $500 to Omaha newscaster Michael Scott's campaign for Congress.

    "They were business decisions and personal decisions," Cain told The Ticket when asked about the donations to Democrats. "One was a restaurateur. One was a personal friend. All moderate Democrats."

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  • Republicans square off for presidential debate in Las Vegas

    Cain and Romney at last week's debate (AP)

    The Republican presidential candidates face off for another debate round Tuesday night, this time in Las Vegas, Nevada.

    As the current front-runner, businessman Herman Cain could have the most to lose, as tonight's performance will provide a glimpse into whether he can sustain his new prominence--or whether, in his own words, he'll become the latest "flavor of the week." Support for Cain has risen steadily since the debate in Orlando, Fla., a month ago, which led to his victory at the state's Republican straw poll. Cain spent the past several weeks in the spotlight--not always a pleasant experience when you're running for president--and will head into the debate with strong poll numbers behind him.

    At last week's debate in New Hampshire, the moderators and candidates grilled Cain on his economic plan, but that just seemed to elevate him even more. In recent days, several prominent conservatives, including Grover Norquist of Americans for Tax Reform have voiced opposition to Cain's plan, which would replace the current tax code with three 9 percent federal taxes on income, business and consumption. After last week's debate, when the candidates and moderators gave Cain's "9-9-9 Plan" free advertising by saying the word "nine" 85 times over the course of the debate, don't be surprised if tonight's contenders shift their attention back to former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney.

    Despite the short-term spikes in support for other candidates-- Texas Gov. Perry went from leading Florida this summer to polling at just 3 percent in the state this week--Romney has remained steadily in the top tier since he announced his candidacy several months ago.

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  • President Obama’s Teleprompters stolen

    Barack Obama reflected in the TelePrompTer during the 2008 campaign. (AP/Jae C. Hong)Talk about the ultimate joy ride.

    A local NBC affiliate in Richmond, Virginia reports that thieves stole a truck carrying hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of equipment that travels with President Obama, including his Teleprompters.

    Officials recovered the truck on Monday. Here's the NBC 12 breakdown of the caper:

    When you see President Obama speak, there is a pretty typical setup including the presidential seal on a podium, the see-thru Teleprompter and a portable sound system.

    Thieves saw the truck carrying that equipment and couldn't resist the target.

    We're told the truck was parked at the Virginia Center Commons Courtyard Marriott in advance on Wednesday's presidential visit to Chesterfield.

    Sources said inside that vehicle was about $200,000 worth of sound equipment, several podiums and presidential seals, behind which only the President himself can stand.

    They told NBC12 around 12:30 Monday afternoon that truck was recovered in the parking lot of the Holiday Inn

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  • Rick Perry nabs just three percent in Florida poll

    Only 3 percent of Floridians polled over the weekend said they would vote for Texas Gov. Rick Perry, Political Wire reports.

    According to an InsiderAdvantage/Florida Times-Union poll of likely Florida voters, Perry has plummeted from front-runner to the bottom tier in the Sunshine State.

    Support for Perry, who once held a national double-digit lead over his closest competitor, began to decline after his poor debate performance Orlando, Florida last month. Perry led in Florida just a few weeks ago according to a Quinnipiac University poll unveiled on Sept. 22.

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  • Video: Cain sings ‘Imagine there’s no pizza’ to John Lennon’s ‘Imagine’

    Republican presidential candidate Herman Cain, a part-time gospel singer and former Godfather's Pizza CEO, sings "Imagine there's no pizza" to the tune of the late John Lennon's "Imagine."

    From the Omaha World-Herald via The Daily Beast, this is a must watch:

    Watch Cain sing another tune from the campaign trail after the jump:

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  • Cain adviser who wrote the ’9-9-9 Plan’ donated to Romney in ’08

    Researchers at the Center for Responsive Politics dug into the contribution history of Rich Lowrie, Republican presidential candidate Herman Cain's top economic adviser, and found that in 2008, Lowrie gave the maximum amount allowed under the law to Mitt Romney, Cain's current rival.

    Richard Lowrie, Jr., a Wells Fargo financial analyst in a small town in Ohio, is the man behind Cain's 9-9-9 plan. In 2007, Lowrie contributed the legal maximum of $2,300 to Romney's presidential campaign, according to the Center's research, as did Lowrie's wife, Rhonda. Romney is now considered the most formidable opponent to Cain in the 2012 Republican presidential field.

    This year, Lowrie has not donated to Romney, according to the Center's research, but he's only given $500 to Cain thus far in the campaign. (In May of 2010, he also donated $1,000 to Cain's leadership PAC.)

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  • Perry: End subsidies and tax credits to all energy companies

    Perry (Michael Conroy:AP)In his first major policy speech as a presidential candidate, Texas Gov. Rick Perry outlined a plan to increase domestic energy exploration Friday, but vowed to end federal subsidies and tax credits for all energy industries.

    Speaking at a steel plant in Pittsburgh, Pa., Perry said that his plan "will kick-start economic growth and 1.2 million American jobs." He explained that he intends to implement the proposal through "a series of executive orders and other executive actions" within the first days of his presidency.

    The plan, which would eliminate federal regulations on business and industry, would also strip companies of government subsidies and tax credits.

    "This will stop the practice of Washington writing subsidy checks to any and all sectors of the energy industry," Perry said. "And it will also stop industry-specific tax credits, phasing them out over a period of time and allowing the marketplace the time to adjust."

    The assertion, however, could put Perry at odds with members of his own party--even some of the most conservative Republicans in Congress--who support subsidizing pet energy companies. Most recently, Republicans split over a bill that would offer $5 billion in tax credits to the natural gas industry. One strain of the party wanted to encourage American production while the other argued that the subsidy would give natural gas companies an unfair advantage. On Friday, Perry sided with the latter faction.

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  • Losing the wrestling primary: Hulk Hogan tells Fox News he recants former support for Obama

    Hogan (AP)

    Fake wrestling champion Hulk Hogan supported President Obama in 2008, but alas, the honeymoon is over, Hogan said Thursday during a Fox News appearance.

    "I was a big Obama supporter and kinda, like, believed everything he said he was gonna do," Hogan said on Fox and Friends. "But now that nothing's happened..."

    Hogan said he was still sore about the president using his theme song, "I Am a Real American" when Obama addressed the 2011 White House Correspondents' Dinner shortly after he released his long form birth certificate earlier this year.

    "I kinda was a little upset that he didn't ask me permission to use my music," Hogan added. "But the change of heart is that I think I should be president. I know nothing about politics. I think a flat tax across the board would straighten everything out."

    When told that the Hulk's idea sounds something like presidential candidate Herman Cain's "9-9-9 Plan," he responded, "Wow, yeah well he's not a real American like I am. . . . I've been around, people know me, they know everything about me, they know I'm for real, they know I know nothing about politics. I'll just make decisions on what's right or wrong."

    You can watch the video after the jump:

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  • Haley Barbour: Herman Cain would sweep the South

    Haley Barbour, the Mississippi governor who considered a run for president himself in 2012, said on Thursday that Herman Cain would sweep the South if he were the Republican nominee.

    "If this election is where it ought to be, and that is a referendum on how President Obama is doing, Republicans are going to win," Barbour said Thursday on Laura Ingraham's radio show. "If Herman Cain is our nominee against Barack Obama, I think he'll sweep the south."

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