Tales from the Trail

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.

The 60-second spot opens with a shot of Obama delivering a campaign speech in New Hampshire  — in Oct. 2008. About a third of the way in, the ad shifts focus to Romney.

“The contrast between what he said and what he did is so stark, people will recognize we really do need to have someone new lead this country,” Romney said, describing what he’s trying to convey in the TV spot. “And then I, of course, described why I’m the right person for that responsibility.”

Cain seeks “Cuban” lesson in Miami

Herman Cain landed in the heart of Miami’s Little Havana neighborhood on Wednesday and tried out his signature “9-9-9″ tax proposal in Spanish — “nueve, nueve, nueve” — (just the numbers, not the details).

After sampling Cuban coffee and a croqueta the Republican presidential candidate and former pizza executive asked: “How do you say ‘delicious’ in Cuban?” Here’s video from Fox News.


Watch the latest video at video.foxnews.com

Front Photo Credit: REUTERS/Joe Skipper (Cain at ‘Versailles’ restaurant in Miami’s Little Havana neighborhood)

Washington Extra – Patriotic millionaires

As Democrats and Republicans hunkered down on opposite sides of the Capitol on Wednesday, showing no signs of a compromise on slashing the deficit, a group called the Patriotic Millionaires for Fiscal Strength made its move.

Nearly 140 members wrote a letter to President Barack Obama and the U.S. Congress to “do the right thing” and “raise our taxes.” Next they hit up the bipartisan “super committee,” laboring under a Nov. 23 deadline to reach agreement on the deficit or trigger unpalatable budget cuts.

One of the corporate patriots said if Congress ended Bush-era tax cuts it would affect him and his fellow millionaires in his group “about as much as a dead fly interrupts a picnic.”

Cain’s wife speaks out in his defense

Herman Cain’s famously media-shy wife, Gloria Cain, steps into the media spotlight to defends her husband against sexual harassment allegations in an interview with Fox News’ Greta Van Susteren.
The Cain’s have been married for 43 years and Mrs. Cain says the allegations sound nothing like her husband, who she says totally respects women.

Cain’s fundraising has grown in the wake of the accusations, hauling in $9 million since Oct. 1, according to his presidential campaign. But he’s losing ground in some recent polls as support for rival Republic presidential candidate Newt Gingrich rises.

Here’s a clip from the interview airing  Monday evening:

In the clip below, Mrs. Cain reflects on the possibility of becoming first lady:

Perry freezes – normal guy or doomed presidential candidate?

Republican presidential hopeful Rick Perry drew a blank at the Michigan debate while trying to make a point about cutting government waste.

Afterwards, his campaign spokesman said it was an error of style not substance. Tony Fratto, former President George W. Bush’s spokesman, tweeted: “Perry can end his campaign right now.”

The affable Texas governor said he would eliminate three government agencies if elected president — but he could only name two.

Obama says biggest task left for him is to fix U.S. politics

President Barack Obama has lots of reasons he wants to hold on to the White House in 2012.

There’s energy policy, for example, which he would like to revamp. There’s immigration reform, which he hopes to “implement.”

But at a fundraiser on Monday night, the president said the real challenge he had left to handle was “fixing” the political atmosphere in Washington.

Rick Perry’s animated speech

A video of Texas Governor Rick Perry’s speech Friday in New Hampshire became a popular online and cable television attraction, with viewers drawn in by the Republican presidential candidate’s animated performance.

The head of the group that hosted the event says Perry’s speech was well received by the audience and that there was nothing wrong with the governor, thehill.com blog Ballot Box reported on Tuesday.

“When I started seeing all of the blog stuff going up on Sunday and the video going viral it caught me by surprise,” Kevin Smith, the executive director of Cornerstone Action. “He was definitely more animated than we’ve seen him during the campaign but the reports that he was buzzed or whatever never crossed any of our minds.”

Perry is on for next debate… but after that?

Texas Governor Rick Perry is definitely on for the next  Republican debate  in Michigan  on Nov. 9th.  But after that — we’ll see.

Questions were raised about whether the GOP presidential hopeful would skip upcoming debates after he  suggested in an interview that participating in the previous debates  had been a mistake.

Perry spokesman Mark Miner told Reuters the governor is committed to the Michigan debate.  Miner also said  that with a little over two months before the start of the crucial early primaries the campaign plans to make the best use of its time –  perhaps taking its case directly to voters in Iowa, which kicks off  the nominating race on January 3. (There are a half dozen debates planned between now and then.)

“Birther” talk bubbles up again

The “birther” question rises again in a wide-ranging interview with Republican presidential candidate Rick Perry in  “Parade.”

The Texas governor dismissed the questioning of whether President Barack Obama is a native-born U.S. citizen as a “distractive issue” — after responding to several questions about the issue.

Asked whether he believes Obama was born in the USA, Perry said he had no reason to think otherwise. But the governor suggested he was not certain about the birth certificate released by Obama.

Romney, Perry heat up stage at Las Vegas debate

In an earlier Republican presidential debate, Mitt Romney delivered a composed, “nice try” when he and Rick Perry locked horns over their respective records.

But at the debate in Las Vegas Tuesday night, a fight for domination between the two 2012 Republican presidential hopefuls came through strong verbal punches.

In one  prolonged verbal battle over illegal immigration, it seemed as if Perry was back in fighting form after poor performances in the early debates.