Tales from the Trail

Stephen Colbert, Herman Cain team up at South Carolina rally

Stephen Colbert, who last week announced that he would explore a “possible candidacy for the president of the United States of South Carolina,” is joining forces with former GOP presidential candidate Herman Cain at a rally — dubbed the “Rock Me Like a Herman Cain: South Cain-olina Primary Rally” – in Charleston today. 

Colbert is not on the ballot in South Carolina because he missed the filing deadline by several months, but Cain, who suspended his bid for the White House on December 3, still is, and Colbert is asking supporters to vote for Cain in his stead. South Carolina permits Democrats and Independents to vote in the state’s Republican primary. 

“Herman Cain is my main man,” Colbert said in an appearance on Morning Joe this morning. “He’s my main man with a tax plan so fine, they called it 9-9-9. The Mad Max of the flat tax. Herman Cain has qualities that I admire — he’s a family man, he’s pro business, and he has something I don’t think I’ll ever have: a place on the South Carolina ballot.” 

Watch highlights from the rally, via ReutersTV:

Poll shows Buddy Roemer leading Perry in New Hampshire

Remember when Rick Perry was the Republican presidential frontrunner? A new poll now shows him trailing former Louisiana Governor Buddy Roemer in New Hampshire. Though Roemer lacks an entourage of Texas Rangers mumbling into their collars and can walk the length of a Main Street in New Hampshire unrecognized, he can, it seems, still spin with the top tier candidates.

“I am encouraged by the strong support from Granite Staters” Roemer said in a press release. “We’ve held over 200 campaign stops in New Hampshire, by far the most out of any presidential candidate, and my message is resonating very well with voters here.”

Before Roemer takes his spot at the center podium at the debates next to Mitt Romney, it’s worth looking closer at the numbers (and no, Roemer hasn’t actually been invited to a debate yet). It’s true the 7News/Suffolk University poll reported Roemer tied with former Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum at 2 percent and ahead of Perry, who garnered just 1 percent — the same figure as former New Mexico Governor Gary Johnson. However, the poll of 400 likely primary voters had a margin of error of 4.9 percent — and it may be more instructive to look at the survey’s absolute figures.

from Political Theater:

Cain sums up world powers with foreign policy map

Herman Cain's presidential campaign has released its "Vision For Foreign Policy & National Security," a tidy seven-page summary of the candidate's take on exactly twenty countries, accompanied by an even tidier map classifying the states in Cain's own terms.

Canada, in Cain terminology, is a "Friend and Ally," Brazil, merely a "Friend," and the UK is "Our Special Relationship." Venezuela, Iran, Syria, and North Korea are each deemed an "Adversary Regime," while Russia is a "Rival," China a "Competitor," and Libya is "Clarity Needed."

Cain brands Egypt "Danger and Opportunity," noting in the memo that "Under President Hosni Mubarak, Egypt was a friend. With Mubarak shoved out by Arab Spring protests – with help from President Obama – Egypt could be a nightmare unfolding."

from Political Theater:

Atlanta woman details alleged thirteen-year affair with Herman Cain

An hour after Herman Cain announced on live television that he expected to soon face another accusation of infidelity, Atlanta's FOX 5 news aired a segment with a local woman named Ginger White who claimed to have engaged in a thirteen-year affair with the Republican presidential candidate.

FOX 5 contacted White after receiving a phone tip from someone who knew her, and White -- who says she had already been contacted by several other news outlets that had been similarly tipped off -- agreed to a taped interview.

“I wanted to give my side, before it was thrown out there and made out to be something filthy,” she told reporter Dale Russell. “Some people will look at this and say that is exactly what it is. I'm sorry for that.”

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.”

Herman Cain promises more “Powerful Pauses”

White House hopeful Herman Cain defended his now infamous “Milwaukee pause” while stumping in Manchester, New Hampshire, on Thursday, and even termed a new phrase putting a positive spin on his apparent gaffe.

Earlier this week Cain stumbled in an interview at the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, pausing at length when asked a question about U.S. policy in Libya.

“Unlike politicians, I don’t shoot from the lip,” Cain told Reuters at the Airport Diner, saying that as a businessman he takes in information and considers it before responding.

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)

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:

from Political Theater:

Five must-see moments from the GOP foreign policy debate

The Republican presidential candidates assembled in Spartanburg, South Carolina, last night for a primary debate, the first to focus entirely on foreign policy and national security. In a dialogue that spanned assorted geopolitical challenges -- including Iran's quest for nuclear weapons, America's strategic relationship with Pakistan, and trade with China -- the eight Republicans outlined the approaches they would take to diplomacy if elected head of state. Here are five of the most notable exchanges:

1. Is torture acceptable under any circumstances? And is water boarding torture?

"I served on an aircraft carrier during the Vietnam War," wrote a veteran in a question submitted via email that was posed to the candidates. "I believe that torture is always wrong in all cases. What is your stance on torture?"

Cain backers reprise ‘high-tech lynching’ theme

A group of Herman Cain supporters has pulled out the heavy artillery in defense of the Republican presidential hopeful against sexual harassment allegations.

“Americans for Herman Cain” — an outside group not affiliated with his campaign — released this ad comparing the media treatment of Cain to what Clarence Thomas went through during his 1991 U.S. Senate confirmation hearings for the Supreme Court. Thomas — who also faced sexual harassment allegations and a media frenzy — denounced his treatment as “a high-tech lynching for uppity blacks.”

The sponsors of the pro-Cain ad reprise the phrase and use video of Thomas speaking two decades ago. It urges Cain supporters not to let the “left” do it again.