TPM News

ORLANDO, FL -- The official line from the Rick Perry campaign following their surprising defeat by Herman Cain at the P5 straw poll is to congratulate Cain and call out Mitt Romney (who skipped the poll, officially) for not doing better.

But that spin can't hide what really is a pretty epic fail for Team Perry in Florida this weekend.

"Mitt Romney's been running for five-and-a-half years and you think he'd do better in a straw poll in a state like Florida," campaign spokesman Mark Miner told reporters immediately after the poll results were announced.

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ORLANDO, FL -- It's official: Cainmentum is back. In Florida anyway.

In what can only be seen as a major defeat for frontrunner Rick Perry, former Godfather's Pizza CEO and tea party superstar Herman Cain swept the results of the Presdiency5 straw poll, a gathering of several thousand state Republicans, Saturday.

Perry had pushed hard to win the poll, and rival Mitt Romney didn't officially participate (neither did Michele Bachmann.) But after a debacle of a debate Thursday night, Perry's efforts fell flat and Cain took home the gold.

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ORLANDO, FL -- Is it time to declare Cainmentum 2.0?

Since Thursday night's debate here, Herman Cain has banked "several thousand" new donors and raised more money in a 2-day period than he has for the entirety of his presidential campaign, spokesperson Ellen Carmichael tells TPM. She declined to provide specific dollar totals.

Here in Orlando, Cain was very well-received by delegates at the Presidency 5 straw poll. Stickers were affixed to a lot of them and talk of Cain was everywhere. The St. Petersburg Times' political editor, Adam Smith, noted that many delegates who couldn't choose between Mitt Romney and Rick Perry in the straw poll voting were taking a look at Cain.

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Bill Burton, the former Obama spokesperson and now chief of the Obama-backing Priorities USA Super PAC, says the last several days on the Republican presidential campaign trail show a party interested in appearing to court the Hispanic vote while doing everything they can to to amp-up fears of illegal immigrants in the GOP base.

Yesterday, big names in the GOP -- like Rick Perry backer and Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal -- gathered in New Mexico to woo the Hispanic vote. The night before, candidates on stage at the Fox News debate wailed away at Perry for being soft on illegal immigration, a charge that seems to be sticking here in Orlando where Republicans are gathered for a big straw poll Perry had hoped to win.

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Humans and our machines have always been separated by a language barrier of sorts. Machines and gadgets use electrons (negatively charged particles) to send information and commands through their circuitry--turn on, turn off, increase volume, and so on. But living creatures use protons (positively charged particles) or ions (charged atoms) to send signals within our bodies and drive actions like flexing muscles or pumping molecules in and out of cells.

This basic difference in electrical languages keeps us from interfacing directly with computers, sensors, and other electronics. But this week, researchers from the University of Washington and the University of Waterloo published a new study the in journal Nature Communications that is a step toward getting around this language barrier.

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ORLANDO, FL -- Sorry, Rick: That dog don't hunt.

Following a less-than-ideal performance in Thursday's debate here, Rick Perry spent the last day or so trying out a new line on audiences in Orlando: You don't need a good debater, or a guy who's "slick," he says, you need a strong conservative.

I asked a bunch of delegates gathered for the Presdiency5 straw poll at the Orange County Convention Center what they thought of Perry's new spin. In a word, they thought it was lame.

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ORLANDO, FL -- Jokes about President Obama's Teleprompter are standard-issue at any Republican gathering these days. And the Florida GOP's Presidency 5 straw poll is no different.

But the joke went a little meta here when Gov. Rick Scott (R-FL) took the stage to kick off P5. The first-term Gov. Scott (not known for his public speaking skills, to be sure) started reading his speech off the a set of prompters at the podium. As he started talking, the state GOP sent reporters the prepared version of his remarks.

You know where this is going.

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In a huge but unsurprising upset for anyone who was in the room, former pizza mogul Herman Cain won the Presidency5 straw poll in Orlando today.

The Justice Department says their Inspector General's conclusion that they paid $16 per muffin at a legal conference in 2009 is, pardon the pun, half baked.

"Under a complete accounting of the services provided for the Executive Office for Immigration Review conference, it is clear that the muffins did not cost $16," DOJ spokeswoman Gina Talamona said in a statement.

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