May 15, 2012 |
DES MOINES - Returning to the state that launched Barack Obama to the presidency, Mitt Romney on Tuesday accused his rival of carelessly driving the country into "a financial crisis of both debt and spending that threaten what it means to be an American. " The presumptive GOP nominee's stop in the Hawkeye State, which he largely ignored before its first-in-the-nation caucuses in January, reflected the importance Iowa will play in selecting the next president. Though there has been little recent public polling in Iowa, both sides clearly see a competitive race here - made clear by the fact that Romney's visit came three days after one by the vice president's wife, Jill Biden.
January 6, 2012 |
A mere week ago, the Rick Santorum boom seemed a distant possibility. In a Des Moines Register poll published the weekend before the Iowa caucuses, 41% of respondents said they weren't sure whom they were going to support. And these were people who expressed an intention to attend a caucus. Some of them had inclinations, certainly. But, like diners poring over the menu at a fancy restaurant, they might yet change their minds. Indeed, if the polls are to be believed, many Iowa voters changed their preferences multiple times over the last few months.
January 5, 2012 |
As a U.S. senator who ascended quickly into a leadership position, Rick Santorum was known for his sharp elbows, sharp rhetoric and partisan fighting style. He said gay marriage could lead to bestiality. He blamed "radical feminism" for women going to work at the expense of children. He compared women seeking abortions unfavorably to slaveholders, saying that even they "did not have the unlimited right" to kill their slaves. It was a manner that eventually wore thin on Pennsylvania voters, who turned him out of office in 2006 with a resounding 18-point loss.
January 4, 2012 |
The sound system hissed and spit so loudly they finally had to turn it off. This meant the attorney general of Texas had to yell from his wheelchair. Newt Gingrich's daughter had to cup her hands to her mouth and shout. Mitt Romney's second son, cool like his father, effortlessly projected his voice. It was an Iowa caucus, a messy, delightful, maddening exercise of democracy that takes place simultaneously every four years in churches, schools and living rooms across the state.
January 3, 2012 |
Mitt Romney kicked off caucus day without the usual obligatory appeal urging Iowans to support him when Iowa holds the first presidential contest in the nation. Instead, he continued to act as the presumptive nominee and sharply criticized President Obama on Tuesday, saying he has failed to deliver much of what he campaigned on, from righting the nation's economy to dealing with Iran's efforts to acquire a nuclear weapon. “There's a huge gap between the promise and the delivery, the promise and the performance,” Romney said, speaking to a few dozen voters and a crush of media at the Temple of Performing Arts.
January 3, 2012 |
For a time, he flashed like lightning across Iowa, grabbing the lead in the Republican presidential race and electrifying voters with his ideas and scrappiness. But on Monday, Newt Gingrich was just another bottom-tier candidate struggling to survive the ruthless culling of Tuesday's caucuses. They say there are three tickets out of Iowa, though that is probably generous. Even so, Gingrich will be lucky to claim even one of them. The former House speaker has been buried under a toxic waste dump of negative advertising, financed in good part by his chief rival, Mitt Romney, and backers of the former Massachusetts governor.