Tales from the Trail

Cain’s ’9-9-9′ plan in focus at Republican debate

The buzz word was definitely “9-9-9″ in Tuesday’s Republican debate at Dartmouth College in New Hampshire that focused on economic issues.

During the debate, the catchphrase 9-9-9 was mentioned 25 times (including 16 times by the man who conceived it — Herman Cain).

“I think it’s a catchy phrase. In fact, I thought it was the price of a pizza when I first heard about it,” said Jon Huntsman, the former Utah governor and former ambassador to China.

9-9-9 has nothing to do with pizza, even though Cain is best known on the campaign trail as the former CEO of the Godfather’s Pizza chain.

It’s a tax proposal Cain is promoting as his remedy for what’s ailing the U.S. economy. It would replace the current tax code with a 9 percent corporate tax, a 9 percent income tax and a 9 percent national sales tax.

Perry video batters Romney with healthcare

In his latest campaign video, Texas Governor Rick Perry takes direct aim at Republican frontrunner Mitt Romney over healthcare.

The video casts the former Massachusetts governor as a mirror image of President Barack Obama when it comes to the federal healthcare overhaul, which conservatives deride as “Obamacare.”

Obamacare morphs into “Romneycare” in the video, which links the Republican frontrunner to the Democratic president’s plan.

Perry still leads Republican pack – CNN/ORC poll

Rick Perry is still the front-runner in the field of 2012 Republican presidential hopefuls, according to a new CNN/ORC International Poll released on Monday.

The Texas governor’s latest debate performance — rated shaky by some political analysts — apparently did not disappoint actual potential voters who support him.

Perry leads his nearest opponent, Mitt Romney 28 percent to 21 percent among Republican voters, according to the poll taken over the weekend — after last Thursday’s Republican debate in Orlando, Florida.

Ron Paul vs. the “pretty boys” – Corrected

The race for the 2012 presidential nomination comes down to this: Ron Paul against the “pretty boys” — at least that’s what some of the most ardent supporters of the Texas congressman think.

The political action committee Revolution Pac , dedicated to Paul’s candidacy, compares their man to “media darlings” Mitt Romney (“this pretty boy”) and Texas Governor Rick Perry (“that pretty boy”) in a new ad branding the congressman  “a  statesman not a plastic man.”

“Wait a minute, can’t we do better?” the announcer asks, referring to Paul’s more popular opponents (who appear in animation) in the polls.

Obama campaign goes on the attack against “attacks”

The website is dark and ominous-looking.

Pictures of conservative commentator Glenn Beck and leading Republican presidential candidates fade in and out.

Headlines such as “Rick Perry’s massive jobs lie” and “Romney’s job chart shows flawed understanding of the facts” scroll across the top.

Is it a left-leaning blog meant to criticize a “right wing conspiracy”?

Tea Party flavors Republican debate in Tampa

Maybe it was the Tea Party Express influence or maybe it was just being in Tampa where Republicans hold their presidential nominating convention next year.

But the atmosphere at Monday’s  Republican debate had the festive feel of a major sporting event and the stars of the game were the eight candidates vying for the party’s 2012 presidential nomination.

The pregame show began with a video introduction of “tonight’s players”…

Perry vs. rivals in Republican debate

There were eight candidates in the first big Republican debate of the 2012 campaign season.

Two of them dominated the stage from the start in a contest over who has created more jobs.

And the winner is…..  Mitt Romney, according to his campaign.

“Mitt Romney won tonight’s debate because he demonstrated that he is the only candidate in the race who can return the country to economic prosperity. Career politicians got us into the mess and it will take someone with experience in the real economy to get us out,” the campaign’s communication director Gail Gitcho said in a statement released after Wednesday’s debate at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library in Simi Valley,  California.

Obama focus on policy, not polls – White House

The White House is downplaying several new polls showing President Obama’s job approval ratings plunging to new lows along with rising public concern over high unemployment and the sluggish economy.

“The president is focused on the measures he can take…  to address the urgent need to grow our economy and create jobs; to deal with the fact that economic growth is not fast enough and that job creation is not substantial enough,” White House spokesman Jay Carney said at Tuesday’s press briefing when asked how concerned Obama is about the poll numbers.

An NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll shows Obama’s overall job approval rating at a low of 44 percent, down 3 percentage points since July.  More than half of Americans  now disapprove of Obama’s job performance and one in three say they’re worse off financially since he’s been in the White House, according to an ABC News/Washington Post poll. And a poll by Politico and George Washington University shows 72 percent of voters believe the country is heading in the wrong direction.

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.

Tea party boosts Perry to top of GOP polls

Texas Governor Rick Perry has vaulted into the lead among Republicans vying for the nomination to oppose  President Barack Obama’s 2012 re-election bid, according to several new  polls. And he may have the Tea Party to thank for it.

A CNN/ORC International poll released  Monday showed Perry strongly favored by Republicans and independent voters who lean Republican. Among the declared candidates, Perry has 32 percent support, followed by former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney at 18 percent, Minnesota Congresswoman Michele Bachmann at 12 percent, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich at 7 percent, Texas Congressman Ron Paul at 6 percent and the rest of the field in the low single digits.

This could reflect shifting allegiances among Tea Party supporters, according to Gallup, which released its own poll last week also showing that Perry had replaced Romney as the early front-runner.