TPM News

A day after Gary Johnson told TPM he plans to stay in the presidential race as a Republican, he said he will "not rule out considering" dropping out of the GOP race and running as a Libertarian.

"If I continue to be locked out, I would not rule out considering it," Johnson told TPM Wednesday.

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Polling firm Public Policy Polling (D) released new numbers yesterday which showed that Texas Gov. Rick Perry's campaign has indeed fallen on hard times. Perry has seen his favorability drop to 18 percent among general election voters, against a 67 percent who see him unfavorably. Even Republicans are tepid on the conservative Gov., as PPP's October GOP poll showed a nearly even 42 - 38 split on the favorability rating while he has dropped to near the bottom of the pack in the race, a move that Gallup also showed in a new survey of the Republican field. But Perry's situation also describes the former place of another GOP candidate in the race: the former House Speaker Newt Gingrich's position of five months ago.

In June of this year, PPP's numbers showed one thing: voters did not like Newt Gingrich. The former Speaker was seen favorably by only 16 percent of general election voters, versus 68 percent who saw him unfavorably. He was even underwater within his own party, down five points in a 39 - 44 split among GOP voters. His numbers in the Republican primary reflected this, as he toiled in the single digits as his campaign seems to have no life and no money (at all).

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The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel spent a day aboard Herman Cain’s campaign bus and came away with several noteworthy quotations from the former Godfather’s Pizza CEO.

“I’m not supposed to know anything about foreign policy,” Cain said. “I want to talk to commanders on the ground. Because you run for president (people say) you need to have the answer. No, you don’t! No, you don’t! That’s not good decision-making.”

Cain is apparently already making his post-presidency plans.

“I call it a journey, not just a campaign, because it doesn’t stop,” he said. “We’re in the primary. Then you run for president. You win the presidency, serve four years. (Then you) might have to serve eight at the insistence of the people. Then after that, launch a Cain library,” then a post-presidential speaking tour, he mused.

The Bachmann campaign has just sent out a press release, announcing that the candidate would be canceling previously scheduled events on Friday in order to return to DC. Bachmann will be returning to the capital in order to “present her unwavering support for the Balanced Budget Amendment” that is expected to be voted on.

“With her vote, Bachmann will be delivering on her promise to stand for fiscal responsibility, cutting spending and reducing the national debt,” the release says.

The events previously planned for Friday will be rescheduled and Bachmann will return to Iowa on Saturday.

UPDATED: This article has been updated to include a statement from Obama campaign manager Jim Messina.

In a conference call on Wednesday morning, SEIU International President Mary Kay Henry endorsed President Barack Obama for reelection.

“We believe in a country that invests in good jobs here at home,” she said as she announced the union’s support. “We think President Barack Obama is going to help make that vision a reality in our country.”

Obama campaign manager Jim Messina was pleased with the endorsement. “SEIU and the President share many common goals – chief among them a belief that we must do everything we can to create good-paying American jobs and a fair economic foundation that will let all workers succeed,” he told TPM. “Throughout the next year we’ll employ that same energy and unity, working together to do everything we can to ensure the President has four more years to strengthen middle-class families’ economic security.”

Yvonne Richardson, an SEIU leader from Florida told reporters “I will be doing everything in my power to see that [Obama] is elected into office.” Richardson emphasized that the SEIU would be “visible” in aiding voter turnout efforts in Florida.

Mary Kay Henry added that the SEIU would be keeping a careful eye on voter suppression efforts, and would fight to ensure that every American voter has a voice.

There were several references made to the 99% during the call. When asked if the timing of the endorsement had to do with recent developments in the OWS protests, Henry downplayed the connection. “For us, ‘we are the 99%’ is a spontaneous response,” she said. “We see it as our act of solidarity with the movement.”

Responding to reports that housing giant Freddie Mac paid him $1.6 million, GOP presidential contender Newt Gingrich said he didn’t know exactly how the transaction came to be.

“I have no idea about the details… It was paid to Gingrich Group. Gingrich Group has many clients,” said Gingrich.

"My life has taken a bit of a turn," lobbyist-turned-felon-turned-reform advocate Jack Abramoff told the crowd assembled in Tucker Carlson's living room in Northwest D.C. on Tuesday night. "I used to be a right-wing guy who sort of disdained the New York Times, 60 Minutes and Michael Moore. Now, I'm happy to be on 60 Minutes, I love the pieces in the New York Times and Michael Moore is my new best friend."

Meet Abramoff 2.0. Sixteen months after his prison term from the most infamous Washington corruption case in recent memory ended, Abramoff was addressing an audience of journalists and friends about how his world has been turned upside down. In the midst of a publicity tour for his book Capitol Punishment: The Hard Truth About Washington Corruption From America's Most Notorious Lobbyist -- Twitter feed, Facebook page, snazzy website, the works -- Abramoff said he knows his new stances on reform aren't earning him any friends.

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Late update, Nov. 16, 2:11PM: The Secret Service announced the suspect was taken into custody in Pennsylvania.

The Secret Service searched Occupy D.C. on Monday for a man suspected of firing bullets at the White House on Friday, one of which was stopped by the building's ballistic glass.



Protestor Ralph Wittenberg told TPM on Tuesday evening that authorities came through "searching for a so-called terrorist who shot at the White House, with no warrant, they went into everybody's tents."

A person handling media requests for Occupy DC confirmed the searches and said they were led by the Secret Service. The agency did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

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There's little mystery as to where Rick Perry came up with his new plan to halve Congressional salaries and keep legislators out of DC for half the year. It's how the Texas governor's own state operates.

"When they're not here it is necessarily limited government," Perry staffer Will Franklin said Tuesday, describing Texas' legislature on a conference call with bloggers. "It's limited government by design because they're not here messing things up. And thats the idea."

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