Tales from the Trail

from Political Theater:

Cain warns of impending accusations from new woman

Herman Cain was scheduled to appear on CNN's "The Situation Room" this afternoon to talk about his "9-9-9" tax plan and his new, six-minute animated video, "9-9-9: The Movie," which advocates for his alternative to the "dorky mechanical monster" that he says symbolizes the federal tax code.

But the conversation quickly detoured when Cain told CNN that a woman, later identified as Ginger White, would soon go public with claims that she had a thirteen-year affair with Cain.

“This particular individual...is gonna accuse me of an affair for an extended period of time,” Cain told Blitzer. “I don’t want to specify, because I don’t know what’s in the story."

"I just wanted to give you a heads up, and your audience a heads up. Here we go again," he said.

Cain admitted to knowing White but denied an affair, and told Blitzer he wasn't sure if the latest accusations would lead him to abandon his bid for the White House. "I would make that decision depending on the circumstances and how it is impacting my wife and my family," he said.

from Political Theater:

Gingrich challenges Obama to debates, says he can use a teleprompter

Newt Gingrich delighted a crowd of supporters with jokes about President Obama's debating skills and "ego" at a campaign stop in Naples, Florida, over the weekend, where he repeated his promise to challenge Obama to “seven Lincoln-Douglas style debates” in the general election.

Gingrich, who described the debates as, "two adults, talking about the nation," told the crowd that if Obama wanted to use a teleprompter during the debates, "it would be fine" with him. "It has to be fair," he said to cheers.

"If you had to defend ObamaCare, wouldn’t you want a teleprompter?”

Gingrich predicted Obama would agree to the debates because of his "ego":

"Can you imagine him looking in the mirror -- graduate from Columbia, Harvard Law, editor of the Law Review journal, greatest articulator in the Democratic party...How is he going to say that he's afraid to be on the same podium with a West Georgia College teacher?"

from Political Theater:

With Barney Frank’s farewell, a few video highlights

Whatever your view of his politics, it is difficult to deny Rep. Barney Frank's inimitable facility with the spoken word. With the news of his retirement, it seems only appropriate to look back on a few of his best video moments.

Ezra Klein deserves a hearty hat tip for his roundup (do check it out), which leads with the most must-see of Frank's takedowns:

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Frank also has strong opinions about members of the current Republican presidential field, particularly Newt Gingrich, who suggested during a recent debate that Frank might deserve prison time for his role in the housing crisis (more at this video):

Romney camp hits back at DNC for “Mitt v. Mitt” attack ad

Mitt Romney’s campaign lined up a bevy of surrogates on Monday to respond to the DNC’s new “Mitt v. Mitt” ad campaign by pressing home their point that Obama is attacking Romney in order to avoid talking about the sputtering U.S. economy.

Although Romney had no public events scheduled for Monday, his campaign arranged a series of conference calls with supporters to “discuss President Obama’s record.”

Former Minnesota Governor and presidential candidate Tim Pawlenty, three Ohio legislators, and New Hampshire’s state Senate Majority leader and House Majority leader were among supporters who set up at least six different press conference calls with reporters in states targeted by the DNC.

Newt, schmoot – Democrats keep sights firmly on Romney

 

Newt Gingrich may have jumped into the lead among Republican presidential hopefuls in some national polls, but the Democrats — at least – seem convinced that Mitt Romney will be President Barack Obama’s opponent in November 2012, at least if you look at how they are spending their advertising dollars.

The latest barrage, an early salvo in what is expected to be a particularly nasty presidential campaign, is a four-minute-long attack titled “Mitt v. Mitt: The Story of Two Men Trapped in One Body.” Slamming the former Massachusetts governor as having changed his position on a wide range of issues, the ad uses clips showing Romney speaking at varying points in his career and expressing different viewpoints on issues such as healthcare, immigration, climate change and even Ronald Reagan.

Speaking of Reagan, the video shows the former president saying, “There you go again,”  a particularly devastating line the Republican icon used in a debate with Democratic President Jimmy Carter, whom Reagan defeated in the 1980 election. It also uses clips from late-night television hosts depicting Romney as a candidate who “flip-flops” by changing his position, echoing Democratic attacks on Romney.

Gingrich takes heat over “amnesty”

Electrified fences, predator drones and anchor babies were nowhere to be found when the subject of illegal immigration came up in the latest of a series of Republican presidential debates.

The softer, gentler tone Tuesday night at Constitution Hall was a contrast from when the White House hopefuls took on the subject at a debate in Las Vegas last month.

But there was still heat at the Washington debate — and this time Newt Gingrich got scorched by expressing a relatively moderate position on illegal immigration.

Romney opens ad offensive against Obama

Republican presidential hopeful Mitt Romney’s first television commercial attacking Barack Obama’s record  hits the airwaves in New Hampshire on Tuesday — just in time to welcome the president on a  visit to the early primary state.

A discussion of jobs was on the agenda for Obama’s quick trip to a high school in Manchester. But Romney didn’t wait for the president’s arrival.

The former Massachusetts governor previewed his new  ad Monday night on Fox News Channel’s “Hannity” show.

Washington Extra – Turkey talks

The good news? Thanksgiving will not be interrupted by eleventh-hour negotiations by the “super committee” to strike a deal to cut the burgeoning deficit. After months of work, the 11 men and one woman called it quits today. Their statement said “it will not be possible to make any bipartisan agreement.” No mention of the word on everyone’s tongues: failure.

Even in the early days of the super committee, we are learning, hope was in short supply. At one of the early breakfast meetings, members kept saying how hard it would be to reach agreement. South Carolina’s  Democratic Representative James Clyburn said to his fellow panel members: “Do you want to know what’s hard? Desegregating South Carolina in the 1950s. I met my wife in jail.”

Right now, it’s hard to believe this Congress “can build on this committee’s work,” as the committee co-chairs said hopefully in their statement. There seems to be little faith left on the Hill. Just look at the harsh words from Republican Senator Olympia Snowe, who said the panel’s failure “represents yet another regrettable milestone in Congress’s steady march toward abject ineffectiveness.”

Highlights from the GOP Thanksgiving Family Forum

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Six of the Republican presidential candidates met at the First Federated Church in Des Moines, Iowa, last night for a dinnertime “family discussion” at the Thanksgiving Family Forum. Gathered around a wooden table garnished with a centerpiece of artificial pumpkins, moderator Frank Luntz asked Michelle Bachmann, Herman Cain, Newt Gingrich, Ron Paul, Rick Perry, and Rick Santorum about their views on social issues, morality, personal responsibility, and God. Neither of the two Mormon candidates, Mitt Romney and Jon Huntsman, were in attendance. Here are some of the most memorable moments:

1. Gingrich tells OWS: “Go get a job — right after you take a bath.”

Asked about the role of personal responsibility in society, Gingrich quoted John Smith (of Pocahontas fame): “In 1607 in the first English speaking permanent colony, [Smith said] to the aristocrats who had paid their way and didn’t want to work: ‘If you don’t work, you won’t eat.’”

The same principle, he said, should apply to Occupy Wall Street protesters, all of whom “start with a premise that we all owe them everything.”