Ron Paul's closing message ahead of the Iowa caucuses goes a little something like this: I've always been here, you guys just started noticing.
"It's not because I've changed my message," he told FOX News's Chris Wallace, in one of several interviews on the Sunday political talk show circuit. "This is what I've worked my whole career to warn people about," he said, dismissing criticism that he's a candidate of the lunatic fringe.
Paul remains in good position to win on Tuesday -- he's polling just a few points behind former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney in trial heats tracking likely GOP caucus-goers, but the real key is his campaign organization. Known for being the most fervent and best organized in the state, Paul is betting his core support will be more committed to getting out and caucusing than Romney's.
Jon Huntsman is trying to knock Ron Paul out of second place in New Hampshire. First, he put up a video hitting Paul on his racist newsletters. Now, the Huntsman campaign has a new video up hitting Paul on his foreign policy positions. The ad portrays Paul as a conspiracy theorist with crazy ideas, and shows clips of some of Paul’s more far-out statements set to Twilight Zone-themed music (via Politico).
Former Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum repeated his pledge to order airstrikes on Iran should that nation come close to creating a nuclear weapon. “Iran will not get a nuclear weapon on my watch,” he said, saying that President Obama had been soft on the issue. When Gregory said that all Presidents say they won’t allow Iran to gain nuclear capabilities, Santorum argued that unless they are willing to back it up with military action, it makes the country look like a “paper tiger.”
Former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum continued a pitch based on electability in an interview with David Gregory on Meet The Press, taking aim at former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney a liberal. But when Gregory asked whether he himself made deals as a blue state Republican Senator, he embraced the idea that pols need to work together to achieve accomplishments.
“Of course my background has compromise in it,” he said. “That’s what you have to do to get things done.”
Romney stands not as a last resort, but as a solid, first preference.
Like Presidents Ronald Reagan, George H. W. Bush and Sen. John McCain, Romney makes his second presidential bid as a much stronger candidate. We wished we'd have seen him more often this go-round. But his choice of a national -- not just Iowa -- strategy affirms our belief that his sights are set on the presidency, not just a nomination.
Texas Gov. Rick Perry continued his pitch to Iowa’s social conservatives with a full bore attempt to highlight his anti-abortion efforts. Perry said he’d signed a bill requiring parental notification for minors seeking abortions, that as Governor he was the first to defund Planned Parenthood, and now “Twelve abortion clinics are closed” because of his actions.
Presidential Candidate Rep. Ron Paul (R-TX) doubled down on statements made in his book that didn’t just downplay the idea of sexual harassment laws in the workplace — he said we really don’t need them at all.
“Because people are insulted by behavior, I don’t think we should make a federal case out of that,” Paul said on FOX News Sunday.
In an interview from Iowa with NBC News’s Chuck Todd, former Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum made an interesting pitch — he argued that former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney is too liberal to attract the voters necessary to win the presidential election as a Republican. Romney has “no track record of actually attracting voters who are Reagan Democrats,” he said.
The idea is a little counter-intuitive, as Santorum is saying that Romney is too moderate for conservative Democrats, who therefore would go for a more liberal President Barack Obama. But he pressed on: “That’s how you win the industrial Midwestern states that are necessary to win this election,” he said. “Reagan Democrats — that’s my bread and butter.”
You can't tie Iowa Republicans down. They just love who they love. And with three days to go until the presidential caucuses, they might just be in love with former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum.
The Des Moines Register (DMR) poll, regarded as the best of Hawkeye polling, shows a basic trend that's been developing for the last week or so in the state: former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney ahead with 24 percent, Rep. Ron Paul (R-TX) right behind with 22, and Santorum moving to third with 15 in a late sprint to the finish.