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GOP establishment worried about its ‘loony list’ of candidates

As the Republican Party struggles to find a candidate with the best chance to beat Barack Obama in 2012, it faces a major problem: A proliferation of flawed, scandal-scarred candidates who — if successful — could doom the party’s changes of reclaiming the White House. Capitol Hill Blue has learned that a confidential “loony list” is circulating among senior aides at the Republican National Committee as strategists huddle in closed-door meetings trying to figure out ways to weed out the problem candidates. On the’ loony list’ are: Herman Cain, the former Godfather’s CEO under fire for a past history of
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Cain turns to Secret Service to hide from the press

Herman Cain is hiding behind a new security barrier of Secret Service agents — the first GOP candidate to request such protection in the 2012 campaign — and claims he wants the guards because of threats against him. But a source close to the Cain campaign confirmed to Capitol Hill Blue this week that the candidate is more concerned about the threat of a free press than any potential assassin. “He wants to keep reporters at bay,” the source said.  “He sees the media as an enemy.” In fact, Cain is so afraid of the press that he canceled a
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Debt talks collapse as deadline nears

Partisan bickering drove a wedge into deficit reduction efforts by the so-called Congressional “super committee” Friday as next week’s Wednesday deadline looms. “We in trouble,” a committee staff member told Capitol Hill Blue Friday night. The latest deadlock came as Democrats rejected the latest proposal from Republicans although the plan included some compromises. House Speaker John Boehner unveiled the new offer that he said could save $643 billion over the next decade but that only meets half the committee’s goal of $1.2 trillion. Democrats disputed Boehner’s claim that the plan would generate $229 billion in new revenues, saying the only
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A Republican presidential quagmire

Welcome back my friends to the show that never ends We’re so glad you could attend Come inside! Come inside!* From any rational point of view, the Republican party is in a mess as it stumbles towards naming a candidate to face Barack Obama in 2012. In its manic scramble to find someone — anyone — to stave off former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney‘s seemingly inevitable march to the nomination, the GOP is turning to an endless series of flawed, unqualified or inept pretenders to the throne. With scandal-scarred, former speaker of the house Newt Gingrich joining the latest revolving
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GOP deficit plan: Limit deductions, tax health insurance

Republicans are looking at limiting deductions for mortgage interest, charitable donations and other traditional areas as well as taxing employer-provided health benefits as ways to raise taxes without calling it a tax increase. The plan, floated by Rep. Pat Toomey of the 12-member “super committee” is spurring considerable debate within both committee meetings and the GOP caucuses on Capitol Hill. Some Republicans feel the plan violates the party’s promise to hold the line on taxes but others say it is not a tax increase, per se, but simply a revamping of the current tax code. Still others call it smoke
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Bloomberg: Iowa is a four-man race

With the Iowa caucus just weeks away, the latest poll from Bloomberg News shows the race for the GOP nomination for President is a four-man race and a statistical dead heat. Bloomberg’s latest numbers: Herman Cain — 20 percent; Ron Paul — 19 percent; Mitt Romney — 18 percent; Newt Gingrich — 17 percent. Because the differences fall within the poll’s margin of error, the poll is considered an even split. However, support for all the candidates is shallow at best. Some 60 percent of those polls say their choice could change, given more information.  Ron Paul’s support is the
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Sadly, class is not a prerequisite for the presidency

A commenter on one of Capitol Hill Blue’s recent stories noted that GOP presidential contender Ron Paul has more “class” than another challenger — the constantly whiny Michelle Bachmann. That’s true — and if class had any bearing in presidential elections, Paul would be a frontrunner instead of a second tier contender who has no chance at winning the nomination, much less the presidency. Sadly, class has nothing to do in determining who becomes a party’s nominee or eventually president of this nation. Neither, unfortunately, does competence, honesty, ability or morality. If ability were a determining factor, we would not
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Bialek’s ex-boyfriend confirms her story on Cain’s sexual assault

Sharon Bialek’s former boyfriend stepped forward Monday to confirm her story of an upsetting encounter with GOP presidential encounter Herman Cain in 1997. Victor Zuckerman says Bailek told him then that Cain groped her and wanted sex in exchange for help in finding her a job during a trip to Washington. “Sharon indeed did meet and spend time with Mr. Cain. She said that something had happened and that Mr. Cain had touched her in an inappropriate manner.  I can confirm that when she returned, she was upset,” Zuckerman said in a press conference. Biaek went public after Cain denied
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Bachmann goes ballistic over perceived media slight

Michele Bachmann is apparently unaware that her 15 minutes of presidential contention fame were up long ago. She’s pissed at CBS News because the network — sponsors of Saturday night’s debate in Spartanburg, South Carolina — didn’t feel she was important enough to give extra air time. Alice Stewart, a staffer for Bachmann, who is hovering near the bottom of the polls, offered up her candidate for a post-debate interview.  When the offer reached CBS political director John Dickerson, he wasn’t all that interested. “Okay let’s keep it loose though since she’s not going to get many questions and she’s
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Romney, Gingrich shine in latest GOP debate

Former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney and former speaker of the house Newt Gingrich emerged as clear winners of the latest Republican presidential debate Saturday night while Herman Cain and Rick Perry failed to impress, GOP and Democratic insiders say. A poll of political operatives taken immediately after the debate by The National Journal gives the debate to Romney with Gingrich coming in a strong second. Among Republican political operatives, Romney was the clear winner with half the vote, Gingrich finished second with 30 percent and Perry was a distant third with 13 percent. Democratic political pros gave the debate to
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