Archives for Politics

Does Tim Pawlenty have the right stuff?

  Tim Pawlenty, the first senior Republican to take the formal step to seek the party’s presidential nomination, brings some advantages into the 2012 race but national recognition isn’t one of them. The former Minnesota governor’s low public profile puts him far behind other more established national party figures in the early courtship of voters, even though they remain undecided on whether to challenge President Barack Obama. But a strong team and a personal narrative that fits the key election issues of jobs and deficit reduction will likely make the soft-spoken Pawlenty a more serious contender. “He has a lot
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GOP wannabes pan Obama’s budget plan

The Republicans vying to challenge President Barack Obama next year are universally panning his budget proposal as political gimmickry and another example of his inability to lead. The likely candidates lined up Wednesday against Obama’s budget proposal, which would cut the federal deficit by $4 trillion over 12 years by eliminating health care fraud, raising taxes on the wealthy and paring defense spending. Republicans cast it as a hollow response to spending outline proposed earlier by Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wis. “It was as if Ryan was the president and (Obama) was a desperate challenger,” former House Speaker Newt Gingrich told
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The Trump Doctrine?

Call it the Trump Doctrine. The next time America is called upon to act as global policeman, expect a bill from Uncle Sam. Property developer, reality TV star and would-be Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump says he’d apply his business acumen to geopolitics if he wins the White House. A cultural phenomenon known as “The Donald,” Trump is leveraging his reputation as a showy business mogul to set up a possible run for president. Some of Trump’s proposals fall way outside the political mainstream. But his message that America needs radical change draws support from some voters dismayed by diminished
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Pawlenty not running for President…yet

Former Minnesota Republican Governor Tim Pawlenty told a CNN interviewer on Tuesday he was “focusing on running for president” but was not ready to make a formal announcement. Asked whether, hypothetically, he would consider being vice president with someone like Donald Trump at the top of the ticket, Pawlenty replied: “I’m running for president. I’m not putting my hat in the ring rhetorically or ultimately for vice president. So I’m focused on running for president.” But asked if he was making a formal announcement, Pawlenty responded: “I’ve got an exploratory committee up and running and we’ll have a final or
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Romney officially in White House race

Republican heavyweight Mitt Romney entered the 2012 race for the White House on Monday, forming an exploratory committee to raise money for a challenge to President Barack Obama. Romney, an unsuccessful presidential contender in 2008, opens his campaign as a well-funded early front-runner to Obama, a Democrat. He scores high in opinion polls against other Republicans likely to seek their party’s nomination. The former head of a private equity firm and a multimillionaire, Romney said Obama’s economic policies had failed because he did not understand how jobs were created in the real world. “It is time that we put America
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Obama set to kick off 2012 fundraising

President Barack Obama will kick off his 2012 campaign fundraising efforts later this week in his hometown of Chicago, which will also serve as the headquarters for his campaign. The president, who raised a whopping $750 million in 2008 and may raise as much as $1 billion this time around, formally announced his re-election last week. The Democratic National Committee says that on Thursday he travels to Chicago where he’ll hold a fundraising kick-off at the Navy Pier. Ticket prices will start at $100, making the event relatively accessible to supporters compared with the high-dollar events he often attends. Obama
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Bachmann, Paul fault Republicans

Two possible Republican presidential candidates speaking in Iowa on Monday criticized their own party leaders for failing to cut enough from the federal budget. Texas Congressman Ron Paul criticized both President Barack Obama’s budget and a proposal by Wisconsin Republican Congressman Paul Ryan in a speech at an Iowa college. “Neither of those budgets will solve our problems, won’t even come close,” said Paul, speaking at the Dordt College Campus Center in Sioux Center Monday morning. In a speech at an Iowa high school, Minnesota Congresswoman Michele Bachmann criticized a last-minute budget deal reached Friday between Obama and congressional leaders
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Romney tries to learn from past

In his first presidential run in 2008, Mitt Romney sought back-to-back victories in Iowa and New Hampshire to propel him to the GOP nomination. He won neither, the two-state sprint failed and so did his candidacy. This time his strategy is more of a multi-state marathon, with economically suffering Nevada an important round in what advisers predict could be a protracted fight to be the party’s 2012 nominee. On his first trip this year to Nevada, the former Massachusetts governor toured a neighborhood north of Las Vegas Friday that has been very hard hit by foreclosures and talked throughout his
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Will feds indict John Edwards?

Prosecutors deciding whether to indict John Edwards over payments made to keep his pregnant mistress in hiding are spending more time with their chief witness, Andrew Young, who posed as the father of Edwards’ out-of-wedlock baby during the 2008 presidential campaign. The Associated Press saw Young leaving his attorney’s Washington office after meeting with the prosecutors for more than four hours Thursday. The interview is particularly notable because of its timing. Young has already been questioned by a grand jury investigating Edwards in 2009, and the Justice Department is considering whether to move forward with an indictment. Justice Department officials
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Supremes unimpressed with Arizona campaign finance law

The Supreme Court appeared poised Monday to strike down a provision of a campaign financing system in Arizona that gives extra cash to publicly funded candidates who face privately funded rivals and independent groups. Such a decision would be another blow to public campaign financing, once thought of as an antidote to the corrupting influence of money in politics. President Barack Obama has been the most prominent example of politicians who have abandoned public financing because they can raise far more money privately. The justices heard arguments in a challenge to the Arizona system that gives candidates who opt for
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