Afternoon Fix: Jon Huntsman deep in debt
By Chris Cillizza,
Jon Huntsman is in debt, Clint Eastwood could have been vice president, Herman Cain has joined the Nevada boycott and Ben Nelson is slipping in the money race.
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WHAT YOU MIGHT HAVE MISSED:
* Former Utah governor Jon Huntsman is deep in debt, according to CNN. Since declaring his presidential bid in June, Huntsman has raised just $2.26 million and contributed $2.25 million of his own money to the campaign. The long-shot candidate has just $327,000 in the bank and $890,000 in debt. While Huntsman initially said he raised $4.1 million in his first week-plus in the race, spokesman Tim Miller now says that “fundraising dried up and the actual results did not match the pledges our campaign had received.”
* Seriously: former president George H.W. Bush once considered picking Clint Eastwood as his running-mate in the1988 campaign. In audio interviews from a decade-long oral history project, former Secretary of State James Baker explains: “When we were way behind. Honestly, [Eastwood] was suggested in not an altogether unserious – Well, he was a mayor. He was a Republican mayor.” Eastwood was mayor of the small city of Carmel, California for two years.
* Herman Cain has become well-known for not naming his economic advisers, and today he explained that it’s for their own protection. “I'm not going to tell you!” the former Godfather’s Pizza CEO said on a campaign stop in Tennessee. “They're my advisers, not yours. [Reporters] just want to know who my smart people are so they can attack them.” The presidential candidate won’t reveal his foreign policy advisers either.
* Cain has joined the candidates threatening to boycott the Nevada caucuses. Rep. Michele Bachmann, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, and Huntsman are all boycotting unless the state moves its caucus date to appease New Hampshire. Former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney, who is heavily favored to win Nevada, says he has no plans to join. Huntsman has actually taken his boycott a step further — he’s planning to skip next week’s CNN debate in the Silver State. He will attend a New Hampshire town hall instead.
* In a Pittsburgh speech this morning, Texas Gov. Rick Perry laid out his energy plan, calling for increased oil drilling and limiting the Environmental Protection Agency’s power to regulate emissions. The struggling presidential candidate still has yet to offer a comprehensive jobs plan.
WHAT YOU SHOULDN’T MISS:
* Big money in the Texas GOP Senate primary. Former Dallas Mayor Tom Leppert announced today that he raised over $640,000 and put $500,000 of his own cash into his campaign in the third quarter, giving him $1.14 million for the quarter and $4.1 million on hand. Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst raised a record-breaking $2.64 million this past quarter and has over $4 million in the bank. Former state Solicitor General Ted Cruz raised close to $1.1 million dollars and has $2.4 million on hand.
* Good news for Republicans in Nebraska as the fundraising tables turn. Sen. Ben Nelson (D) slipped in the third quarter, raising only $443,000. That’s less than half what he took in over the summer. Meanwhile, Attorney General Jon Bruning (R), who had a surprisingly weak start, raised a solid $583,000 over the past three months.
* National Republican Congressional Committee Chairman Pete Sessions (R-Tex.) says he’s not worried about tea party challenges to incumbent House freshmen. “I think that it's a natural thing for a brand new member of Congress to be challenged his first time out,” Sessions told C-SPAN in an interview airing this Sunday. “This is a healthy thing.”
* A bit more news from Hawaii — Rep. Mazie Hirono (D) raised over $300,000 in the third quarter. Not a great number, although Hawaii is a difficult state for fundraising. Former governor Linda Lingle (R) got into the race too late to file a report; former Rep. Ed Case (D) has yet to release his numbers.
THE FIX MIX:
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With Rachel Weiner and Aaron Blake