2012 candidates woo voters on Labor Day
Labor Day is no day off for President Barack Obama and the Republicans who want his job. The holiday to pay tribute to American workers traditionally marks the start of the general election campaign. And although 15 months remain before the 2012 election, you’ll find the 2012 White House hopefuls on the road Monday hoping to score points with voters.
Democrat Obama travels to Detroit on Labor Day to talk about how to create jobs and strengthen the economy, the White House said. With U.S. unemployment steady at 9.1 percent, Reuters’ Jeff Mason writes Obama’s on the spot to boost hiring and economic growth as he campaigns for a second term in the White House.
Obama also spoke in Detroit on Labor Day 2008 as his general election race heated up against Republican presidential rival Senator John McCain.
McCain’s vice presidential running mate, Sarah Palin, is not a declared candidate, but the whole world is waiting to find out whether she’ll join the the race for the 2012 Republican presidential nomination.
The former Alaska governor is the headliner at a Tea Party Express rally in Manchester, New Hampshire on Monday. Will she use her Labor Day speech to end the suspense over her intentions? Palin has indicated she’ll make a decision sometime this month. ABC News analyst Rick Klein poses the question: when Palin’s decision finally comes will she still be relevant?
Former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney was greeted by a small group of Tea Party protesters at a pre-Labor day rally Sunday in Concord, New Hampshire. There was a bit of an intraparty battle over whether Romney should be invited to speak at all. Some Tea party activists who do not want him to win the Republican presidential nomination have launched an “anyone-but-Romney campaign,” The Washington Post reports. That includes the protest in New Hampshire, home of the first-in-the-nation-primary election.
Republican front-runner Rick Perry, favored by many Tea Party supporters, is concentrating his Labor Day efforts in South Carolina, another early and important primary state. The Texas governor has a town hall meeting in the morning before joining fellow Republican contenders at Senator Jim DeMint’s Palmetto Freedom Forum.
“This is a chance for the candidates to define themselves in their own terms. And we’ve picked the candidates that are over 5 percent of the poll, so we’ve narrowed the field a little,” DeMint said on CNN’s State of the Union.
Romney added the South Carolina forum to his schedule after an initial decision to skip it . Minnesota Congresswoman Michele Bachmann, businessman and talk show host Herman Cain, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, and Texas Congressman Ron Paul are also participating in the question-and-answer session in what could be a preview of Thursday’s Republican debate in California.
DeMint, a South Carolina Republican, is highly regarded in the Tea Party movement. His endorsement would be considered a prize, although he says he’s not ready to make a pick.
“There is no one in the group that I couldn’t support as our nominee, and there’s no one who would not do a better job than our current president. So I’m very open right now,” he said. “I’m listening to what they say.”
Photo Credits: REUTERS/Rebecca Cook (Obama in Detroit, Labor Day 2008); REUTERS/Brian Snyder (Romney opponents in Concord, NH, Romney with supporters); REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst (DeMint); REUTERS/Jim Young (Palin at rally in Indianola, Iowa);