Blog Posts by Holly Bailey

  • 2012 hopefuls cool to Boehner’s debt proposal

    (J. Scott Applewhite/AP)House Speaker John Boehner isn't just getting the cold shoulder from the White House and conservative Republicans on his debt ceiling proposal.

    So far, just one 2012 GOP presidential hopeful--Jon Huntsman--has come out in support of the Boehner's legislation, which would require two separate votes by Congress to increase the debt ceiling and mandate nearly $3 trillion in spending cuts over the next decade.

    In a statement Monday, Huntsman called the plan "a good first step" to deal with the nation's ballooning federal deficit and called for further "meaningful steps toward addressing the long-term drivers of debt" including entitlement and tax reform.

    But he's the only GOP 2012 hopeful who has offered any enthusiasm about Boehner plan. Since Monday, Michele Bachmann and Ron Paul have come out against the bill, citing their opposition to any increase in the debt limit--a position Bachmann reiterated during a campaign swing in Iowa on Tuesday.

    'The premise is wrong," Bachmann said, per Radio Iowa's O. Kay Henderson.

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  • Jon Huntsman wagers big in New Hampshire

    Huntsman (Brett Flashnick/AP)Jon Huntsman appears ready to bet his entire 2012 bid on winning New Hampshire's crucial first-in-the-nation primary.

    Per the Associated Press's Steve Peoples, the former Utah governor is assembling what may be the most extensive GOP primary push in the state's history in hopes of upsetting frontrunner Mitt Romney's nomination bid.

    Huntsman already has 21 paid staffers in the state—more than three times the number other 2012 hopefuls, including Romney, have on their payroll. The campaign, which opened its state headquarters in Manchester earlier this month, plans to open three or four offices throughout the state in coming weeks.

    The ramp-up comes as Huntsman makes his sixth visit to the state this week and just days after a major campaign staff shake-up.

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  • More dismal poll numbers for Obama and the GOP on debt crisis

    (Jim Watson/Pool/AP)More than a third of Americans now believe President Obama's policies have made the nation's struggling economy worse--but they blame Republicans just as much for the sorry state of the economy, according to a new Washington Post/ABC News poll.

    The survey finds that 37 percent of Americans believe Obama's policies are hurting the economy, while 39 percent blame Republicans in Congress.

    But in a sign of how politically dangerous the ongoing debate could be for both sides, the poll finds that Obama and congressional Republicans facing serious doubt within their political bases.

    Just 30 percent of Republicans believe GOP lawmakers are making the economy better. At the same time, Obama has suffered major erosion in support among blacks and liberal Democrats for his economic policies.

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  • LAST TICKET: Obama to address nation on debt debate; Another Blue Dog bites the dust

    Here are the stories we took note of today but didn't give the full blog treatment:

    • President Obama will address the nation tonight on the debt stalemate. (AP)

    • Rick Perry leads the GOP field in Florida. (Miami Herald)

    • Arkansas Rep. Mike Ross, a prominent Blue Dog Dem, won't seek re-election. (National Journal)

    • Newt Gingrich closed his Tiffany's account. (The Note)

    • …Which is odd since someone saw Gingrich and his wife at Tiffany's this weekend. (Politico)

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  • Perry and Palin left off Iowa straw poll ballot

    Gingrich and Romney (Jim Cole/AP)Iowa GOP officials voted Saturday to expand the ballot of next month's presidential straw poll in Ames, but two prominent 2012 hopefuls were left off the list.

    Rick Perry and Sarah Palin will not be included on the official straw poll ballot, according to the Iowa state GOP, because they are not yet official candidates for the nomination. But the committee did reverse tradition to include three candidates who have opted to skip the Aug. 13 straw poll: Mitt Romney, Jon Huntsman and Newt Gingrich.

    Six other candidates have already qualified for the ballot by purchasing space at the event: Tim Pawlenty, Michele Bachmann, Ron Paul, Rick Santorum, Herman Cain and Thaddeus McCotter.

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  • Bunny Mellon breaks her silence on John Edwards, insists they were ‘great friends’

    Jackie Kennedy and Rachel "Bunny" Mellon in 1961 (AP)A reclusive banking heiress who gave $725,000 to John Edwards that was used to conceal his affair with a former campaign aide is finally speaking out about the scandal.

    Rachel "Bunny" Mellon, a 100-year-old billionaire who is among the richest people in America, has long insisted through her attorneys that she had no idea where the money she gave Edwards was going.

    But in an interview with Newsweek's Meryl Gordon, Mellon gushes about Edwards and hints she knew he was having marital problems with his wife, Elizabeth, who died of cancer last year.

    "You know that John had a hard time with Elizabeth," she tells the magazine in her first interview in nearly 25 years.

    Her lawyer, Alex Forger, confirms his client wasn't a fan of Elizabeth Edwards and was sympathetic toward the former presidential hopeful. "She was not enamored of his wife and didn't want his wife to know that he was getting money," he says.

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  • Bachmann slams Pawlenty, comparing him to Obama

    Bachmann (Brett Flashnik/AP)Michele Bachmann is finally pushing back on Tim Pawlenty's claims that she doesn't have the experience and record to be the next president.

    In a lengthy statement issued Sunday, the Minnesota congresswoman slammed Pawlenty, suggesting he doesn't have "real world" experience. She likened his record to President Obama's, claiming the two have a shared political philosophy.

    "Gov. Pawlenty said in 2006, 'The era of small government is over … The government has to be more proactive and more aggressive,'" Bachmann said. "That's the same philosophy that, under President Obama, has brought us record deficits, massive unemployment, and an unconstitutional health care plan."

    Citing Pawlenty's past support for a health care mandate, cap-and-trade legislation and 2008's Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP), Bachmann insisted "actions speak louder than words."

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  • Gingrich and Pawlenty insist they have no plans to drop their 2012 bids

    Gingrich (John Amis/AP)Tim Pawlenty and Newt Gingrich may be struggling in most 2012 polls, but in separate interviews, both GOP hopefuls insisted they have zero plans to drop out of the presidential race.

    In an email to The Daily Beast's Lloyd Grove, the former House Speaker insisted he's still aiming to win the Republican presidential nomination, in spite of the fact his campaign has been hobbled by staff defections and fundraising troubles.

    "I ran 5 years to win my seat," Gingrich told Grove. "I worked for 16 years to create a majority in the house. I worked for 42 years to create a Georgia GOP majority. My dad served 27 years in the infantry. One of my closest friends served eight years in a Vietnam prison camp. Quitting isn't an option."

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  • GOP official wants to expand Iowa straw poll ballot

    Perry and Palin (Dave Einsel/Getty Images)Mitt Romney, Rick Perry and Sarah Palin won't be at next month's Iowa straw poll. But a top Republican in the state is pressing GOP officials to include their names on the ballot anyway.

    Steve Scheffler, one of the state's two Republican National Committee members, tells the Des Moines Register he believes Romney, Perry, Palin and other GOP hopefuls, including Jon Huntsman and Newt Gingrich, should have their names included on the Aug. 13 ballot even if they are skipping the event or are not yet formal candidates.

    "If we don't include credible candidates beyond the six that have purchased ground, I believe that it will be very challenging to keep our Straw Poll and maintain our first in the nation caucus status," Scheffler tells the Register's Kathie Obradovich.

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  • Rick Perry statistically tied with Romney in new 2012 polls

    Perry and Romney in 2005 (Danny Johnston/AP)Rick Perry is still weeks away from announcing whether he'll run for president in 2012. But his potential candidacy already appears to be challenging Mitt Romney's front-runner position for the GOP nomination.

    Two new polls find Perry statistically tied with Romney in the 2012 GOP race. A Fox News survey released late Thursday found Romney leading Perry by just 3 points among likely GOP primary voters, 17 percent to 14 percent. Meanwhile, a new CNN/ORC International poll released Friday found Romney just two points ahead of Perry, 16 percent to 14 percent. (Both results were within the two polls' margins of error.)

    The surveys appear to indicate Republicans are still largely unsettled about Romney as their party's best bet to challenge President Obama and are looking for an alternative.

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