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November 17, 2011 | By James Oliphant
Even Nancy Pelosi is kicking poor Rick Perry when he's down. The Texas governor and GOP presidential hopeful had sent a letter to Pelosi, the House's top Democrat, challenging her to a debate next week over his “Overhaul Washington” plan that calls for a part-time Congress of citizen-legislators. For Perry, the move was straight out of the conservative playbook. Down in the polls, mocked by late-night comedians, his contributions drying up, he picked a fight with Pelosi, the bete noire of the American Right.
January 27, 2012 | By Lisa Mascaro
President Obama said Friday that one of the biggest fights he will wage on the campaign trail is the GOP criticism that his tax proposals amount to "class warfare. " Nothing against the wealthy, Obama said, "everybody wants to be rich. " The question is, he said, whether the nation is offering opportunity to all. "We're going to have a robust debate about whose vision is more promising [for] moving this country forward," Obama said. The president was speaking to House Democrats at their annual retreat here, and drew standing ovations.
May 5, 2011 | By Michael A. Memoli
Polls show that Americans' top concern is the economy, but the killing of Osama bin Laden put foreign policy at the top of the agenda in the first Republican candidates debate of the 2012 presidential campaign. In the forum, broadcast by Fox News from Greenville, S.C., a quintet of lesser-known candidates offered their views on the operation that killed the Al Qaeda leader and how it might affect America's mission in Afghanistan. Tim Pawlenty, the former Minnesota governor, praised President Obama for "being decisive" in launching the raid on Bin Laden's compound, but attacked his broader foreign policy outlook.
December 15, 2011 | By Michael A. Memoli
Tonight's presidential debate in Iowa -- the last such meeting before the first votes are cast in the GOP nominating race -- may be the best chance the candidates get to make a convincing closing argument to voters. After the event, broadcast on the Fox News Channel starting at 9 p.m. EST, there will be just two full weeks of retail campaigning sandwiched around an expected Christmas cease-fire. But given how the race has been heavily influenced by the dozen televised forums, this may be the last real opportunity for a narrative-changing moment to take hold.
January 26, 2012 | By Paul West
Mitt Romney encouraged his supporters to get loud and even storm the gates at Thursday's debate in Florida, the last nationally televised encounter ahead of a potentially pivotal primary Tuesday. Enthusiastic crowd reactions for Newt Gingrich, including standing ovations at a pair of South Carolina debates last week, helped propel the former House speaker to a huge victory in that state's primary. By contrast, a debate in Florida on Monday was a far more sedate affair. Audience members were asked by NBC to refrain from cheers and applause, and to a large extent they complied.
January 16, 2012 | By James Oliphant
We're down to the final five. With Jon Huntsman Jr.'s decision to go no further, the GOP presidential field has been pared down to front-runner Mitt Romney and four others desperate to find some way to slow his momentum. South Carolina remains the best hope for Newt Gingrich, Rick Santorum, Ron Paul or Rick Perry to pull off an upset. But to do it, they'll need to knock Romney off his game at Monday evening's debate in Myrtle Beach, S.C. There's risk involved. Gingrich and Perry have found that some conservatives haven't warmed to their attacks on Romney's work at Bain Capital.
September 7, 2011 | By James Oliphant, Washington Bureau
In the two debates preceding Wednesday night's dust-up in Simi Valley, Mitt Romney had the luxury of being the man above the fray. While rivals such as Michele Bachmann and Tim Pawlenty tore at each other, Romney stayed cool, removed. He didn't break a sweat. That could change in a big way at the Reagan Library. Romney is no longer the favorite - and can no longer approach his candidacy like a long-distance runner. Rick Perry's surge has forced the former Massachusetts governor to recalibrate his approach in multiple ways.
January 23, 2012 | By Paul West and Seema Mehta
In a potentially pivotal GOP presidential debate, Newt Gingrich repeatedly found himself on the defensive Monday night, as Mitt Romney sharply assailed his record as House speaker and his work as a highly paid consultant to Freddie Mac, the federally backed mortgage giant. Romney, reeling from a double-digit loss to Gingrich two days earlier in South Carolina, improved on his halting performances in recent debates but didn't land a knockout blow. Gingrich, who brought debate crowds to their feet last week, was restrained and passed up several opportunities to attack Romney.
January 21, 2014 | By Michael Hiltzik
Whether it's because President Obama recently highlighted the issue or because most Americans are really feeling the pain, the debate over income inequality is now part of the mainstream kitchen-table debate. That's the conclusion to be drawn from a Gallup poll released Monday, on Martin Luther King Day. The survey finds that two-thirds of adults are somewhat or very dissatisfied with income and wealth distribution in the U.S. The poll was taken on Jan. 5-8, or about a month after the president's speech about economic inequality .  The partisan breakdown is about what you'd expect.
January 23, 2012 | By Kim Geiger
It took NBC debate moderator Brian Williams about 15 minutes to turn to Rep. Ron Paul of Texas, and when he did, he hinted at the question on the minds of most observers of the Republican presidential race: When will Paul drop out? “To say that there has only been three races and talk about not being electable, I think is a bit of a stretch,” Paul said. Paul finished in third place in the Iowa caucuses and second in the New Hampshire primary. But he placed last in South Carolina last weekend among a narrowed field of four candidates.
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