Blog Posts by Chris Moody

  • ORLANDO, Fla. -- Former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum clarified his answer to a question he fielded at Thursday's presidential debate from Stephen Hill, a gay solider serving in Iraq, who asked the candidates if they would reinstate the policy that restricts service members from discussing their sexual orientation. Santorum said he would allow gays currently serving to be "grandfathered" in if the policy is reinstated.

    When the video with the soldier's question played in the debate hall, a few in the audience were heard booing him--though others in the audience told the booers to hush. In his reply, Santorum reaffirmed his call for putting the "don't ask, don't tell" policy back in place.

    "I would say any type of sexual activity has absolutely no place in the military," Santorum said. "The fact they are making a point to include it as a provision within the military that we are going to recognize a group of people and give them a special privilege to, and removing don't ask don't tell. I think tries to inject social policy into the military."

    The Dept. of Defense officially stopped enforcing the Clinton-era policy earlier this week.

    Read More »from Santorum clarifies ‘don’t ask, don’t tell’ remarks: Gays currently serving would be ‘grandfathered’ in
  • VIDEO: Herman Cain explains economic plan with salt and pepper shakers

    ORLANDO, Fla.-- It's too bad they don't allow props at presidential debates.

    Hardly a day goes by on the campaign trail that presidential candidate Herman Cain doesn't mention his "9-9-9 Plan" for economic growth, which he claims would spur investment and create jobs.

    The plan is meant to be simple: It would scrap the existing tax code and replace it with a three different 9 percent tax rates: a personal income tax, a corporate income tax and a federal sales tax.

    Cain sat down with The Ticket on Friday morning, grabbed all the salt and pepper shakers on the table and gave a little lesson in Cainomics.


    Read More »from VIDEO: Herman Cain explains economic plan with salt and pepper shakers
  • Johnson got his ‘dog poop’ line from a friend’s text message before the debate

    ORLANDO, Fla. -- Republican presidential candidate Gary Johnson, a former governor of New Mexico who was allowed to debate the other GOP contenders at the last minute, may go down in history as the guy who made "that dog poop joke," at a presidential debate. But if it gets people talking about him, he's fine with that.

    "It's a sad state of affairs if I somehow catapult into the spotlight because of that joke," Johnson said of the quip, "my next-door neighbor's two dogs have created more shovel-ready jobs than this current administration"--which turned out to be one of the biggest crowd-pleasers of the night. "But I will take it, if that's the case."

    Radio host Rush Limbaugh made the same joke earlier that day on his show, but that's not where Johnson heard it--at least directly. According to Johnson, he heard the joke from Jim Villanucci, a former writer for The Tonight Show with Jay Leno who has a radio show in New Mexico. Villanucci, a friend of Johnson's, sent him a text just a few hours before the debate with eight lines, and Johnson chose that one.

    Read More »from Johnson got his ‘dog poop’ line from a friend’s text message before the debate
  • Bachmann tells social conservatives to go big in 2012

    Bachmann and Romney (Mike Carlson:AP)ORLANDO, Fla. -- Minnesota Rep. Michele Bachmann took what appeared to be an early swipe at former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney just hours before Thursday's Republican presidential debate, telling a crowd of 3,000 that 2012 would be the best opportunity for social conservatives to put one of their own in the White House.

    Speaking at an event hosted by the Faith and Freedom Coalition, Bachmann said that Republicans should not "settle" for a candidate who isn't a strong advocate on social issues. Pointing to President Obama's sagging poll numbers, Bachmann argued that if anyone could beat Obama next year, that candidate may as well be someone who focuses as much on social issues as they do on economics.

    "Some people have said that this election has to be anybody but Obama. How many times have we heard that? That it's conservatives, and in particular, social conservatives that somehow we have have to settle for someone who's just going to pat social conservatives on the head and not take our issues seriously," Bachmann said, choosing not to mention any of other candidates by name. "Of any election, this is the one where conservatives don't have to settle."

    "We don't have to sit at the back of the bus in this election," she added.

    Read More »from Bachmann tells social conservatives to go big in 2012
  • Reporters work in style in Google ‘lounge’ at GOP debate

    ORLANDO, Fla. -- Whatever you do, don't call it a press room. It's the Google "lounge."

    Google, a co-sponsor of Thursday's Republican presidential debate, pampered reporters covering the event in Orlando, Fla., by rolling in a white carpet, billowy 15-foot curtains, modern-style couches, beanbag chairs, and tables full of snacks and bottomless gourmet coffee.

    "There's a smoothie machine!"  one reporter exclaimed when he walked in, spotting glass cylinders filled to the brim with fresh fruit.

    There was supposed to be a pinball machine, but the Florida Republican Party made the event organizers move it.

    Needless to say, reporters don't get treated like this very often.

    Take a look after the jump.

    Read More »from Reporters work in style in Google ‘lounge’ at GOP debate
  • Candidates begin three-day Sunshine State marathon

    Candidates line up for last week's debate in Tampa Fla. They meet again Thursday in Orlando. (AP)

    Over the next 72 hours, nine presidential candidates and thousands of Republican activists will descend on Orlando, Fla. for a series of events that will include a debate, a conservative conference and a straw poll to compete for the attention of what has become one of the most important swing states in the nation.

    The debate, co-hosted by Fox News and Google, will kick off the Florida marathon Thursday night at 9:00 p.m. The candidates will take questions from Fox News hosts and via citizens who post videos on

    Among the contenders, Texas Gov. Rick Perry has remained in the lead nationally since he joined the race last month--and he's ahead of former Gov. Mitt Romney in the state, according to the most recent survey.

    In the past two debates, Romney has criticized Perry for his rhetoric on Social Security, and for supporting a proposal to transfer the program from the federal government to the states. Perry has repeatedly called the program that provides federally funded pensions a "Ponzi scheme," and despite Romney's attacks, Perry has refused to back down from his remarks. Romney's campaign this week unveiled a series of questions about how Perry would give states the control of the program. Romney has his own ideas for reforming Social Security, but he has focused more on hitting Perry in the last few debates than explaining them on the debate stage.

    Perry has said that he felt like "a piñata" in the last few debates--but it's unlikely that the rest of the GOp field is going to dial down its attacks on the front-runner in Thursday's debate. 

    Read More »from Candidates begin three-day Sunshine State marathon
  • Unorthodox GOP candidate Gary Johnson gets his chance in Orlando debate

    Johnson (Jim Cole:AP)

    Gary Johnson, a former governor of New Mexico and little-known presidential candidate, will get his moment in the spotlight Thursday night at the Republican debate in Orlando, Fla., but he's fully aware of where he stands in the nominee pecking order.

    "I'm different," Johnson is quick to admit. "I will be the least known candidate on the stage."

    Johnson enjoys a modest but passionate following of fiscal conservatives and social liberals who are drawn to his mixed bag of policy ideas: He wants to legalize marijuana, balance the federal budget, repeal the Democrats' health care law and let gay people marry. He participated in the first Republican debate in May, but didn't receive an invitation to any of the four debates all summer. Since then, his poll number have remained around one percent and his campaign's lackluster fundraising efforts haven't allowed him to participate in the big Republican events such as the straw poll in Ames, Iowa. He knows that he may not get much time to speak on Thursday, so when he gets his chance, he plans to focus on his own ideas, not the other candidates.

    "Based on nine candidates up on stage, what am I going to get, two and a half questions? I'm going to have to state in a very succinct and quick way how I'm different from everybody else," he says. "I'm promising to submit a balanced budget to Congress in 2013. I am promising to veto expediters that exceed revenue. I believe we should scrap the entire federal tax system and replace it with a Fair Tax."

    Read More »from Unorthodox GOP candidate Gary Johnson gets his chance in Orlando debate
  • Congressman Thad McCotter ‘bummed’ that R.E.M is splitting up

    McCotter (AP)

    Thaddeus McCotter, a Republican congressman from Michigan known for his ability to shred on the guitar, never got to see R.E.M play live.

    The band announced they were splitting up Wednesday after more than three decades together, and McCotter, who plays in the rock band "Dr. Zaius and The Bright Eyes," said he was "bummed" about the news.

    "What's Peter Buck going to do now?" McCotter told The Ticket, referring to the band's guitarist. "That's too bad. I just downloaded all my stuff onto my iPod late last year during lame-duck. And it was one of the ones I found myself going back and listening to. You know, especially when they do the Velvet Underground covers."

    McCotter said he has listened to R.E.M since the 1980s, when they first started to make it big on MTV.

    "I'm bummed, that's too bad," he said. "But all things must pass. They had a good run."

    Read More »from Congressman Thad McCotter ‘bummed’ that R.E.M is splitting up
  • Chris Christie gives campaign advice to 6th grader

    Zack Martini, an 11-year-old from Springfield, N.J., is thinking about running for his 6th grade student council. So, like any smart politician should, he asked for advice from someone who knows a thing or two about campaigning.

    At a town hall in Union Township, N.J., Martini asked Gov. Chris Christie for some guidance. Christie offered four points of advice:

    1) Get a group of friends to tell other people they're supporting you.
    2) Ask people for their vote. Don't tell them to vote for you. "That's powerful when you do that."
    3) Have colorful posters. If the rules don't allow that, Christie said, "hang them up until they tell you to take them down."
    4) Don't make promises you can't keep. "If you do, they won't be voting for you in seventh grade."

    Aspiring grown-up politicians pay consultants a lot of money for those secrets every election cycle ...

    You can watch the full video below:

    Read More »from Chris Christie gives campaign advice to 6th grader
  • Obama photobombs man at United Nations event

    Obama poses at the United Nations (Getty Images)

    President Barack Obama waves during a group photo at Tuesday's Open Government Partnership event at the United Nations. For the guy standing to the president's right, it's the ultimate photobomb.

    (Via MSNBC photo blog)


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