The Fix: Rick Perry

The most important moment at CPAC that no one noticed

The most important moment at CPAC that no one noticed

Rick Perry, Chris Christie and, sadly, Donald Trump drew most of the headlines during the first two days of the CPAC, an annual conservative confab held just outside of the nation's capitol. But, the most important moment as it relates to the future of the Republican party didn't come in a speech from a big name Republican thinking about running for president in 2016. It came on a panel about criminal justice reform.

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Everything you need to know about the Texas abortion law battle

Everything you need to know about the Texas abortion law battle

The fight over abortion laws moved back into the national spotlight on Monday when a federal judge blocked key parts of a controversial antiabortion law in Texas.

Wondering what the law says, what was blocked and what it means going forward? You’ve come to the right place. Below we give you everything you need to know.

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Jay Leno on Rick Perry's future (VIDEO)

Might Texas Gov. Rick Perry (R) run for president again? NBC's Jay Leno explains why it might not be such a good idea.

David Dewhurst: A lesson in political peaks and valleys

David Dewhurst: A lesson in political peaks and valleys

There is an interesting political story unfolding right now in Texas. And it's not about Gov. Rick Perry (R) or state Sen. Wendy Davis (D).

We're talking about Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst (R). Once a promising prospect for higher office, Dewhurst is now in a primary fight to keep his job against a trio of Republicans who have taken aim at his handling of a legislative debate over abortion that has captured national attention.

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Rick Perry's decision opens a clear path for Greg Abbott in governor's race

Rick Perry's decision opens a clear path for Greg Abbott in governor's race

Monday was all about Texas Gov. Rick Perry's future. But in announcing that he will not run for another term, the Republican made an immediate impact on the future of another GOP politician: Attorney General Greg Abbott, now the overwhelming frontrunner to succeed him as governor.

Abbott has been laying the groundwork for a gubernatorial run for some time. He has built a huge war chest, is well-connected in in Texas GOP circles, and is close to Perry.

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What's in Rick Perry's future? The smart money says he doesn't run for another term.

What's in Rick Perry's future? The smart money says he doesn't run for another term.

3:27 p.m. update: Perry announced Monday afternoon that he will not seek reelection, saying, "The time has come to pass on the mantle of leadership." As for what's next, Perry said: "Any future considerations I will announce in due time, and I will arrive at that decision appropriately."

It's decision day for Texas Gov. Rick Perry (R).

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The Texas abortion battle could be just what Rick Perry needs

The Texas abortion battle could be just what Rick Perry needs

Rick Perry might well owe Wendy Davis a thank you card one day.

The pitched battle over abortion law in Texas has thrust the longtime Republican governor back into the center of the political universe with social conservatives squarely in his corner. All in all, it's not a bad place for him to be right now.

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Texas special session kicks off amid thousands of protesters

EARLIER ON THE FIX:

The nastiest Senate race in the country just started

What makes Ohio's new abortion law unique

Gay marriage fight will cost tens of millions

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Why round two of the Texas abortion fight won't end like round one

Why round two of the Texas abortion fight won't end like round one

Welcome to day one of Texas's special legislative session, in which a heated debate over abortion that burst onto the national radar last week will pick up where it left off.

But this time, the story is likely to end differently. Equipped with more time, GOP majorities and renewed urgency, Republicans are poised to pass a measure to tighten abortion restrictions that state Sen. Wendy Davis (D) successfully blocked last week, catapulting onto the national radar.

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Rick Perry loses. Again.

One year ago, Texas Gov. Rick Perry was a world-beater in the world of Republican politics, having come off a big primary win over an incumbent senator in 2010 and inching toward what seemed to be a perfectly laid-out path to victory in the GOP presidential race.

Today, Perry’s political capital in his own state is being called into question.
In this June 7, 2012, file photo, Texas Gov. Rick Perry speaks during the Texas Republican Convention in Fort Worth, Texas. (AP Photo/LM Otero, File)

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Rick Perry endorses Mitt Romney

Texas Gov. Rick Perry has endorsed Mitt Romney for president, switching his endorsement now that reports indicate Newt Gingrich will drop out of the race.

Here’s the full Perry statement:

“Mitt Romney has earned the Republican presidential nomination through hard-work, a strong organization, and disciplined message of restoring America after nearly four years of failed job-killing policies from President Obama and his administration. So today I join the many conservative Republicans across the nation in endorsing Mitt Romney for President and pledge to him, my constituents and the Republican Party that I will continue to work hard to help defeat President Obama. American jobs, economic stability and national security depend on electing a new president. Mitt’s vision and record of private sector success will put America back on the path of job creation, economic opportunity and limited government.”

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Ranking the Republican presidential candidates: The best and worst

Ranking the Republican presidential candidates: The best and worst

The Republican primary is now over. Former Pennsylvania senator Rick Santorum’s decision to end his bid on Tuesday means that former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney will be the Republican standard-bearer against President Obama in the fall.

The end of the race means a time for reflection in Fixworld. (We are nothing if not introspective.) And, regular readers know the Fix loves looking back at the campaign that was and deciding who did it best and, more deliciously, who did it worst. (Some people call this back seat driving; we call it “analysis”!)

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Rick Perry spent more than $1,000 per vote

Rick Perry spent more than $1,000 per vote

Texas Gov. Rick Perry (R) spent more than $1,000 per vote during his failed presidential campaign.

Perry, who ended his campaign after the New Hampshire primary earlier this month, released his fourth quarter fundraising numbers on Monday, showing that he raised less than $3 million in the fourth quarter and burned through more than $14 million.

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Why “oops” is overrated in the Rick Perry political obituary

Texas Gov. Rick Perry’s inability to remember the three federal agencies he would eliminate — culminating with his now famous/infamous “oops” comment — is the most memorable moment of his now-ended presidential campaign.

But, Perry’s campaign was in free fall long before “oops”. It didn’t signal the beginning of the end but rather the end of the end for the Texas governor. In fact, Perry’s prior debate performances — all bad — led to a far faster and larger erosion in his polling support than did the aftermath of “oops”.

Since a picture says a thousand words, here’s a terrific graphic from the folks at the Texas Tribune on how “oops” fit into Perry’s overall downward polling spiral. (Make sure to check out their full report on the decline and fall of the Texas governor too.)

Rick Perry and the 10 biggest presidential campaign flops

Rick Perry and the 10 biggest presidential campaign flops

Rick Perry’s fall from political grace is complete.

The Texas governor who entered the Republican presidential field five months ago with such a roar exited with a whimper this morning.

But where does the Perry campaign rank in the historical record of all time worst presidential campaign flameouts?

Below we take a stroll down memory lane to bring you the top 10 biggest presidential campaign flops.

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Rick Perry ends campaign: His top five moments

Texas Gov. Rick Perry may not have won any primaries — or even come close — but he gave us some of the best television of the 2012 election so far. Now that he’s suspending his campaign, here’s a look back at the weirdest, most entertaining and most controversial moments in the Perry campaign. Good-bye, Rick Perry. We’ll miss you.

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Rick Perry ends presidential candidacy, endorses Newt Gingrich

Rick Perry ends presidential candidacy, endorses Newt Gingrich

NORTH CHARLESTON, S.C. — Texas Gov. Rick Perry ended his bid for the Republican presidential nomination today and threw his support behind former House speaker Newt Gingrich.

“I have come to the conclusion that this is no viable path forward for me in this 2012 campaign,” said Rick Perry. “Therefore I am suspending my campaign and endorsing Newt Gingrich for president of the United States.”

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Conservatives urge Perry to drop out

New Obama campaign hires (and ads), a campaign to get Rick Perry out of the race, offshore tax havens and sitting on sofas.

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Afternoon Fix: ‘King of Bain’ ads airing tomorrow

The anti-Romney Bain ads will start airing tomorrow, Herman Cain won’t endorse, Gingrich is having second thoughts but Perry isn’t, and Perry might not qualify for the next debate.

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5 storylines to watch in the New Hampshire primary

5 storylines to watch in the New Hampshire primary

MANCHESTER, N.H. – Polls will close across New Hampshire in three hours time and we should start getting results (rubbing hands gleefully) shortly after that.

Need to while away the hours until the polls close and the Fix live chat goes, um, live? Us too! Below is a look at a few storylines to keep an eye on tonight as ballots get counted. Have storylines of your own we need to watch? The comments section awaits.

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Why South Carolina matters more than New Hampshire

Why South Carolina matters more than New Hampshire

New Hampshire’s presidential primary may be the news of the day but talk to any Republican strategist and it’s clear that the Granite State vote is only the appetizer to South Carolina’s main course in 11 days.

The South Carolina primary, which is set for Jan. 21, has long been circled on the calendars of political junkies everywhere for two big reasons: 1) The state has voted for the man who has gone on to win the Republican nomination in every primary since 1980 and 2) The state has a history of, how should we put this, contentious campaigns. (Think John McCain vs George W. Bush in 2000.)

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Afternoon Fix: Perry mocks Romney with ringtone

Mitt Romney is mocked by rivals for firing comment, the Club for Growth wants Gingrich to knock it off, Huntsman is gearing up for South Carolina and Scott Brown is riding high.

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Afternoon Fix: Perry still running, calls Iowa ‘quirky’

Rick Perry will keep on running, Newt Gingrich will never congratulate Mitt Romney, and Jon Huntsman says no one cares about Iowa or John McCain.

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Perry to reassess his campaign after poor Iowa finish

Texas Gov. Rick Perry announced Tuesday night that he will return to the Lone Star State to reassess his GOP presidential campaign after a fifth-place finish in the Iowa caucuses.

“With the voters’ decision tonight, I’ve decided to return to Texas, assess the results of tonight’s caucus, determine whether there is a path forward for myself in this race,” Perry said.

Perry had been scheduled to travel to South Carolina on Wednesday to campaign.

Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.), who finished in sixth place, offered no indication of any plans to drop out in her speech Tuesday night. She is also scheduled to go to South Carolina on Wednesday.

Perry’s fifth-place finish came despite him and his supporters spending more than anyone else on TV ads in the Hawkeye State.

His prospects in the next few contests don’t appear much better at this point. And pausing to reassess the campaign isn’t going to help him raise money if he decides to stay in the race.

2012 Iowa caucuses: The 6 counties to watch

It’s caucus day!

After months of campaigning, debating and spinning, the moment of reckoning has arrived, as the Iowa caucuses officially kick off the Republican presidential nomination fight tonight.
The sun sets over a farm Sunday in Johnston, Iowa. (Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images)

We’ll have tons of coverage throughout the day — both on The Fix as well as our Election 2012 blog — and a live blog tracking all the results right here beginning at 8 p.m. eastern time.

In the meantime — and, yes, the wait for results will be interminable for all of us — here’s six counties to keep an eye on as the results roll in. They’ll tell us where the race is headed before it gets there.

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Virginia AG to intervene in primary ballot dispute

Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli (R) announced today that he will intervene to ensure that more Republican presidential candidates will appear on the state’s primary ballot.

Thanks to newly stringent enforcement of rules requiring 10,000 valid signatures, only Rep. Ron Paul of Texas and former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney made it onto the ballot for the state’s March 6 primary. Former House speaker Newt Gingrich and Texas Gov. Rick Perry both cried foul, with the latter suing in federal court. Gingrich, Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.), former Pennsylvania senator Rick Santorum and former Utah governor Jon Huntsman all signed onto that effort on Saturday.

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Republicans showcase wives in pre-Christmas, pre-Iowa ads

A few days before Christmas, the wives of former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, Texas Gov. Rick Perry and ex-Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney are all featured in their husband’s political ads.

All three Republican candidates have something to gain from highlighting their spouses just two weeks shy of the first-in-the-nation Iowa voting on Jan. 3.

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Iowa Republican debate: Winners and losers

Iowa Republican debate: Winners and losers

The last Republican presidential debate of 2011 is in the books. It was a remarkably sedate affair with the frontrunning candidates — former House Speaker Newt Gingrich and former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney — playing it safe and staying away from any direct attacks on one another.

If you missed any of the debate, never fear: We live-blogged it! We also jotted down some winners and, yes, some losers from the night that was. Our picks are below. Agree? Disagree? The comments section awaits.

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Iowa Republican debate: What to watch for

Iowa Republican debate: What to watch for

For the final time before the Jan. 3 Iowa caucuses, the seven men and women running for the Republican presidential nomination will face off on a debate stage tonight.

The debate will run on Fox News Channel starting at 9 p.m. eastern time. (And, yes, The Fix will be live-blogging it all!)

We’re calling this the “kitchen sink” debate because you can bet any and every attack that the Republican candidates might have been keeping in their pocket will come out tonight. Why? Because it’s the last chance for Iowa voters — and voters nationally — to compare and contrast the candidates before an actual ballot is cast.

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Iowa Republican debate: Winners and losers

Iowa Republican debate: Winners and losers

It’s all over but the spinning at Drake University in Des Moines, Iowa where six Republican presidential candidates duked it out earlier this evening.

We live-blogged the debate but also managed to come up with some of the winners — and losers — from the night that was. Our picks are below. Have some of your own? The comments section awaits.

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Rick Perry, the Iowa x-factor

Rick Perry, the Iowa x-factor

Remember Rick Perry?

The Texas governor has largely played a bit part (Lemonheads reference!) in the presidential race in the six weeks (or so) since his disastrous “oops” moment in a nationally televised debate. But he may now be poised to play a bigger role in the contest — if not as a primary contender than as a spoiler.

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Rick Perry is the latest GOP candidate to turn down Trump Newsmax debate

Texas Gov. Rick Perry is the latest presidential candidate to reject a debate moderated by real-estate mogul and reality-TV star Donald Trump .

The Dec. 27 forum is being hosted by the conservative Web site Newsmax and broadcast on Ion Television. Republican leaders have been urging candidates to avoid the event, warming that it could easily devolve into a circus-like atmosphere.

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Perry hits Gingrich and Romney on health-care mandates in TV ad (video)

While former House Speaker Newt Gingrich and former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney take aim at eachother, Texas Gov. Rick Perry is hoping to get in on the action with an ad that targets both rivals for supporting individual health-care mandates.

On a campaign stop in South Carolina Thursday, Perry also attacked Gingrich’s multiple marriages , saying he made “an oath to God when I married my wife” and that it was “an important issue.” Together, the two charges are a sign that Perry has decided go negative on the new frontrunner. Romney has also gone after the thrice-married Gingrich by contrasting his own stable family life to that of his rival’s.

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Rick Perry ad condemns Obama’s ‘war on religion’

Texas Gov. Rick Perry is out with a new television ad in Iowa that accuses President Obama of engaging in a “war on religion” and criticizes his decision to overturn the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy for gays in the military.

“I’m not ashamed to admit that I’m a Christian,” the Texas governor says in the spot. “But you don’t have to be in the pew every Sunday to know that there’s something wrong in this country when gays can serve openly in the military, but our kids can’t openly celebrate Christmas or pray in school. As president, I’ll end Obama’s war on religion, and I’ll fight against liberal attacks on our religious heritage.”

Bill Burton, a former Obama White House aide who now runs a super PAC supportive of the president, tweeted that the Perry ad was “astonishingly intolerant”.

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Rick Perry mocks “Oops” moment in new TV ad

Rick Perry mocks “Oops” moment in new TV ad

Give Texas Gov. Rick Perry this much: He’s got a sense of humor.

In a new television ad that will run in Iowa, a clip of Perry forgetting the third department he would eliminate if elected president is shown. Then Perry himself appears on screen and says “department of Energy”. (That’s the department he forgot.)

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What the Union Leader means for Newt Gingrich (and what it doesn’t)

What the Union Leader means for Newt Gingrich (and what it doesn’t)

The endorsement by the New Hampshire Union Leader of the presidential candidacy of Newt Gingrich provides the former House speaker with a boost in the Granite State and likely solidifies him as the conservative alternative to former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney.

“The endorsement gives Newt credibility with New Hampshire voters, and conservatives especially, just when he needs it most,” said Mike Dennehy, who managed the New Hampshire presidential campaigns for Arizona Sen. John McCain in 2000 and 2008. “As with McCain in ‘08, the [Union Leader] has brought to life the comeback for Newt Gingrich.”

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CNN national security debate: What to watch for

Eight Republican candidates will gather for the billionth — oops, sorry, twelfth— time tonight in Washington, D.C. for a debate focused on national security.

The festivities get started at 8 p.m. on CNN — we will ramp up the Fix live-blog around 7:30 p.m. — but in the meantime we thought we’d offer a few things to keep an eye on in tonight’s debate.

As always, your thoughts are welcome in the comments section.

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Ron Paul is for real in Iowa. Seriously.

Ron Paul is for real in Iowa. Seriously.

Texas Rep. Ron Paul, long dismissed by the GOP establishment as a fringe candidate, has broadened his electoral appeal and emerged as a major player in the Jan. 3 Iowa caucuses, according to several recent polls and conversations with a handful of longtime Hawkeye political operatives.

“He has certainly broadened his coalition from the ‘rage against the machine’ types that primarily comprised his supporters in 2008,” said one senior Iowa Republican operative granted anonymity to speak candidly about Paul’s prospects. “The expanded coalition includes more traditional activists — as a number of GOP county chairs have endorsed his campaign, as have a handful of legislators.”

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Rick Perry’s comeback strategy: Attack Obama

Rick Perry’s comeback strategy: Attack Obama

Looking to claw back to relevance in the Republican presidential race, Texas Gov. Rick Perry appears to have settled on a simple strategy: attack President Obama.

His latest ad, which began airing today in Iowa and on national cable stations, takes Obama to task for a recent comment that America has grown “a little bit lazy” in selling the country overseas over the past few decades.

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Rick Perry, conservative hero no longer

Rick Perry, conservative hero no longer

When Texas Gov. Rick Perry entered the Republican presidential race in mid-August, he was touted as the candidate conservatives had been waiting for — the antidote to the more country club sort of appeal of former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney.

No longer.

Three months into his campaign, a new Washington Post-ABC News survey reveals that his numbers have not only fallen considerably among self-identified conservative Republicans, but also lag behind Romney and the majority of the other candidates for the GOP nomination.

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2012 Fix Face-Offs: Rick Perry’s ‘Oops’ and more

A lot happened in the past week, so much that sometimes it’s hard to remember it all. If you’ve got a question, we’ll (hopefully) have the answer in today’s Fix Face-off.

Use the form below to submit your own question or just fill out one of our pre-written ones. Then tune it at noon today to see if we’ve picked yours.

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Rick Perry: Is he the worst presidential debater ever?

Rick Perry: Is he the worst presidential debater ever?

So just where does Rick Perry rank on the list of all-time worst presidential debaters?

Or let’s just ask the question bluntly: Is he the worst?

Of course, such things are difficult to characterize and are a matter of opinion. With so many candidates having run in their parties’ primaries, lots of politicians have turned in some underwhelming and gaffe-prone debate performances that we may not remember.

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CNBC presidential debate: What we learned

CNBC presidential debate: What we learned

Texas Gov. Rick Perry’s near-minute long unsuccessful attempt to remember the three federal agencies he would eliminate if he became president dominated the post-game analysis of Wednesday night’s presidential debate in Michigan.

And, while the Perry gaffe likely ensures he will have never have the chance to eliminate any federal departments there were a few other take-aways from the debate that are worth noting.

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The worst debate moments ever

Obviously, Texas Gov. Rick Perry’s “oops” moment Wednesday night was one of the biggest debate gaffes of all time. But how does it fit into the long history of debate slipups?

Thanks to the Fix community — on the blog, on Twitter and on Facebook — we’ve gathered a list of some of the best of the worst. They’re below. Think we missed one? Add it in the comments — we’ll keep updating.

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Perry’s big ‘oops’ could be the beginning of the end

Perry’s big ‘oops’ could be the beginning of the end

Rick Perry declared in the middle of Wednesday’s CNBC debate that he wanted to plant a “big ole flag” that declares the United States “open for business.”

By the end of the debate, he may have preferred a big white flag that declared his campaign over.

Perry suffered easily the ugliest moment of an already troublesome set of debate performances Wednesday when he struggled mightily to name the third agency of the federal government that he wanted to eliminate.

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Rick Perry’s ‘Oops’ in Republican debate could have long-lasting implications for his campaign (Video)

Rick Perry wants to get rid of three agencies of the federal government. Just don’t ask him to identify the third one.

In easily the most painful moment of an already uneven set of debate performances, the Texas governor on Wednesday night fumbled badly when describing how he would cut government in the CNBC Republican debate.

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GOP presidential debate: What to watch for

GOP presidential debate: What to watch for

Eight Republican presidential candidates will gather tonight at 8 p.m. at Oakland University in Michigan for their tenth debate of the primary season.

We’ll be live-blogging the proceedings — natch! — but thought we’d provide a viewer’s guide to keep you occupied in the hours before things get started in earnest.

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Herman Cain was never fond of Rick Perry

When Herman Cain accused Texas Gov. Rick Perry of leaking damaging information about his rival last night, there was little love lost.

Sources say there is no personal animosity between the two candidates. But Cain, in deflecting attention away from himself in this controversy, seized on a familiar target.

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Cain blames Perry for sexual harassment story

Cain blames Perry for sexual harassment story

As more sexual harassment allegations against former Godfather’s Pizza CEO Herman Cain come to light, the presidential candidate is accusing Texas Gov. Rick Perry of leaking the story to the press.

In an interview with Forbes magazine, Cain said he had told consultant Curt Anderson about the allegations when he ran for Senate in 2004. Anderson began working for Perry two weeks ago, about when Politico first asked Cain whether he was accused of sexual harassment while leading the National Restaurant Association in the 1990s.

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Rick Perry’s New Hampshire speech: Playful or plain odd?

Rick Perry’s New Hampshire speech: Playful or plain odd?

Texas Gov. Rick Perry’s speech on Friday night to a conservative audience in New Hampshire is generating considerable chatter in the political world.

Perry’s delivery and tone was considerably more relaxed than in the vast majority of his other public appearances as a presidential candidate. That much is without question. What is up for debate is why.

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All politics is national? In 2012, yes.

All politics is national? In 2012, yes.

It’s accepted wisdom in presidential politics that national polling on a primary race is largely meaningless since the nominees of both parties are typically picked in the crucible of the Iowa caucuses and New Hampshire primary.

But, in the 2012 Republican presidential primary, it appears as though the national dynamic is overriding in-state realities and, in many ways, dictating the terms of the races in these early states.

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Afternoon Fix: Perry falls for Occupy Wall Street satire

Rick Perry falls for a forwarded email, Ohio Democrats want to repeal the map, Herman Cain is doing more interviews and Oakland could shut down tomorrow.

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Rick Perry: It’s now or never

Rick Perry: It’s now or never

Texas Gov. Rick Perry stands at a now-or-never moment for his presidential campaign, teetering between second-tier status and emerging as the prime alternative to former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney in the nomination fight.

There’s little question that circumstances have provided Perry with an opening that is almost too good to be true. Just as his inexplicable flirtation with birtherism raised further questions about his readiness for primetime — and earned him our “Worst Week in Washington” award — a path to a Perry comeback has presented itself.

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Perry defends tax plan: ‘There’s nothing wrong with lower revenue’

Perry defends tax plan: ‘There’s nothing wrong with lower revenue’

Texas Gov. Rick Perry (R) defended his flat tax plan on Fox News Sunday, pushing back on questions from host Chris Wallace about the proposal’s economic consequences.

“There’s nothing wrong with lower revenue,” the presidential candidate said of his flat tax’s lower returns. “I don’t want more revenue in Washington D.C.’s hands.”

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The contenders and the pretenders of the Republican race

The contenders and the pretenders of the Republican race

And then there were eight.

As in eight candidates on this month’s Friday presidential Line — the first time this election cycle that we aren’t including ten Republicans in our rankings of who might wind up as the GOP nominee.

Why? Because with the no-go decisions by New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie and former Alaska governor Sarah Palin , there simply aren’t ten people left in the Republican field who can make even a semi-reasonable case that they could wind up as the party’s standard-bearer against President Obama next November.

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Mitt Romney: Unstoppable in New Hampshire?

Mitt Romney: Unstoppable in New Hampshire?

New Hampshire is at the center of the 2012 Republican presidential race today, as Texas Gov. Rick Perry travels to the state to formally file as a candidate for the first-in-the-nation primary and former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney and Texas Rep. Ron Paul also make campaign stops in the state.

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Rick Perry skipping debates? Bad idea jeans.

Rick Perry skipping debates? Bad idea jeans.

After a series of mediocre debate performances over the past six week, Texas Gov. Rick Perry seems to be signaling that he may not take part in future candidate gatherings.

Perry has committed to the next debate in Michigan on November 9 but, according to campaign spokesman Ray Sullivan, the governor’s participation in future debates is very much up in the air.

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How Rick Perry’s birther comments are hurting him

How Rick Perry’s birther comments are hurting him

On Monday we wrote that Texas Gov. Rick Perry had seized — at least temporarily — on the issue of President Obama’s citizenship not because he genuinely believed that the president wasn’t born in this country but because he wanted to send a signal to Republican activists that he wasn’t afraid to stand up to this president early and often.

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Rick Perry’s flat tax speech: Go bold or go home

Rick Perry’s flat tax speech: Go bold or go home

If there was one word that Texas Gov. Rick Perry wanted Republican voters to remember about the tax reform plan he unveiled this morning in South Carolina it was “bold”.

He said it no fewer than three times — he even threw in a “very bold ” — during his 30-minute speech designed to unveil his 20 percent flat tax proposal. Perry also railed against the “status quo” on any number of occasions — “Americans are not looking for a reshuffling of the status quo,” he said at one point — and repeatedly used words like “re-invent” and “re-order” to describe what he was aiming to do.

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Why Rick Perry is flirting with birtherism

Why Rick Perry is flirting with birtherism

Texas Gov. Rick Perry’s decision to raise the idea of President Obama’s citizenship in an interview with Parade magazine over the weekend left many people — Republicans included — scratching their heads.

But Perry — whether intentionally or not — shed some light on why he’s willing to flirt with the birther movement during an interview with CNBC’s John Harwood.

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Rick Perry tries to hit the ‘reset’ button

Rick Perry tries to hit the ‘reset’ button

Rick Perry’s unveiling of a flat tax plan today in South Carolina is the latest piece of evidence that the Texas governor is trying to push the “reset” button on a presidential campaign that has faltered badly after a strong start.

Perry’s economic speech comes on the same day his campaign is reportedly set to launch its first ads in Iowa and just 24 hours after news broke that he was expanding his political team to include a trio of veterans of Florida Gov. Rick Scott’s (R) 2010 campaign, as well as George W. Bush loyalist Joe Allbaugh.

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How Mitt Romney’s rule-following tendencies explain his campaign

How Mitt Romney’s rule-following tendencies explain his campaign

Former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney’s strong performance over a five-week, six-debate debate national gauntlet has, without question, boosted his prospects in the 2012 presidential nomination fight.

Here’s our conclusion about why: The more rules that govern an interaction, the better Romney does. His mind is a brilliant organizing and contextualizing machine — able to synthesize scads of disparate information, analyze it and produce a smart output. (He is, you’ll recall, a management consultant to his core.)

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Rick Perry=Rick Scott?

Rick Perry=Rick Scott?

As his campaign seeks to re-establish itself in the top tier of the Republican presidential nomination fight, suggest that Texas Gov. Rick Perry is hiring on a series of consultants who last worked together on the 2010 campaign of Florida Gov. Rick Scott.

Curt Anderson, a partner at OnMessage Inc. and Nelson Warfield will bulk up Perry’s media and advertising operation while Tony Fabrizio will help direct polling. (Mike Baselice, Perry’s longtime pollster, confirmed to the Fix that he will stay on board as well.)

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2012 Fix Face-off!

Got 2012 questions? We have answers.

It’s the 2012 Fix Face-off. Submit your own question — or use one of our pre-written ones — using the form below.

Then tune in at noon on Monday to see if we answer it!

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Is the flat tax Rick Perry’s political silver bullet?

Is the flat tax Rick Perry’s political silver bullet?

Texas Gov. Rick Perry’s planned embrace of a flat tax proposal to address the nation’s ongoing economic woes amounts to a major political gamble on which the fate of his presidential bid could rest.

While Perry won’t offer specifics on the plan until next week, a survey of senior Republican party operatives suggests that the Texas governor might well have stumbled onto a bit of political gold.

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Rick Perry and what he means by a ‘flat tax:’ An explainer

In a speech next week, Texas Gov. Rick Perry plans to call for a “flat tax.” The presidential candidate said Wednesday that his plan would be “flatter and fairer” than the ones proposed by his rivals. 

Perry clearly felt the need to respond to former Godfather Pizza CEO Herman Cain’s 9-9-9 plan with a bold tax proposal of his own. But a flat tax, an idea kicking around for years, is unlikely to see the light of day.

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Perry’s attack on Romney for landscaping by illegal immigrants will likely fizzle

In Tuesday night’s Las Vegas debate, Texas Gov. Rick Perry answered a question about uninsured children in his state by attacking former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney for once having undocumented immigrants at work on his lawn.

“And Mitt, you lose all of your standing, from my perspective, because you hired illegals in your home and you knew about it for a year,” Perry said, in a total non-sequiter.

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Republican debate: The Caption Contest!

A picture is worth a thousand words — but which words? That’s what we want from you.

Offer your best caption for the photo below in the comments section or on the PostPolitics Facebook page. The winner — as judged by yours truly — gets an official Fix t-shirt and the adulation of political junkies everywhere.

The deadline for submissions is Thursday at 4 p.m.

Update: The deadline for submissions has passed. The Fix will announce his winners tomorrow.


(AP Photo/Chris Carlson)

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The Republican Debate :What we learned

Interactive GOP Debate transcript

Republican debate: What we learned in Las Vegas

In an attempt to stave off debate withdrawal — there won’t be another one until, gasp, November 9 — we spent the morning sifting through last night’s rock ‘em, sock ‘em affair in Las Vegas in search of lessons learned.


(RICHARD BRIAN - REUTERS)

Our thoughts are below. Have some of your own? Offer them in the comments section.

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Las Vegas Republican debate: Winners and losers

The eighth Republican presidential debate — and fifth in the last six weeks! — is over.


LAS VEGAS, NV - OCTOBER 18: (L-R) Former CEO of Godfather's Pizza Herman Cain, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney and Texas Gov. Rick Perry participate in the Republican presidential debate airing on CNN, October 18, 2011 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)
We liveblogged the whole thing but also made time to scribble down a few of the best — and the worst — moments of the night.

Our take is below. Have thoughts of your own on the debate? The comments section awaits.

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Las Vegas Republican debate: The Live Blog

Tonight at 8 p.m. eastern time seven Republican candidates running for president will take the stage in Las Vegas for the fifth debate in the last six weeks.

And what would a Republican debate be without a Fix live blog? (Answer: It would be, somehow, empty. Like “Two and a Half Men” without Charlie Sheen. Or Van Halen without David Lee Roth.)

Starting around 7:30 p.m. — we like to warm up to avoid injury — the Fix posse will be detailing every quote and note from the debate. If you’ve never participated in a Fix live blog before, there’s no time like the present. It’s “Mystery Science Theater 3000” and the “McLaughlin Group” rolled into one. Sort of.

Come. Comment. Hang out. It’s the only way to watch a debate!

Las Vegas Republican debate: What to watch for

Las Vegas Republican debate: What to watch for

For the fifth time in the last six weeks and the eighth time in 2011 — neither of those are typos — the Republican presidential field will gather on a debate stage with Las Vegas providing the backdrop to tonight’s tete a tete.

Unlike the last several debates there will be seven not eight men and women on stage as former Utah governor Jon Huntsman is boycotting the debate in solidarity with the New Hampshire Republican party, which is upset with the Silver State for scheduling their presidential caucus on Jan. 14, 2012. (Follow all of that?)

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2012 Fix Face-off: The Las Vegas Republican debate edition!

Earlier today we fielded questions on tonight’s Republican debate — the eighth in a series! — in Las Vegas.

Missed it? Never fear. It’s archived forever on the Internet(s) and available in all of its uninterrupted glory below.

And don’t forget: we’ll be liveblogging every minute of the CNN-sponsored debate starting at 8 p.m. eastern time right here on the Fix. Tune in!

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2012 Fix Face-off!

With the eighth Republican presidential debate scheduled for tonight at 8 p.m. in Las Vegas, there’s plenty to talk about when it comes the 2012 race.


Republican presidential candidate former Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman, from left, speaks as Rep. Michele Bachmann, R-Minn., Texas Gov. Rick Perry, businessman Herman Cain, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, Rep. Ron Paul, R-Texas, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich and former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum at a presidential debate at Dartmouth College in Hanover, N.H., Tuesday, Oct. 11, 2011. (AP Photo/Toni Sandys, Pool)
So, let’s talk together. You ask the questions, we (hopefully) provide the answers. We call it the Fix Face-off. Submit your question using the form below and then tune in at noon to see if we pick it. See you then!

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New poll: Democrats losing enthusiasm in presidential campaign

New poll: Democrats losing enthusiasm in presidential campaign

As the 2012 election draws closer, Democrats are getting less — not more — enthusiastic about the prospect of voting for president.

In a new CNN/Opinion Research Corporation poll just more than four in 10 (42 percent) Democrats said they were either “extremely” or “very” enthusiastic about the 2012 vote.

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Obama gets worst coverage, Perry gets best, according to Pew survey

Obama gets worst coverage, Perry gets best, according to Pew survey

It’s an article of faith for many conservatives that the media is in Obama’s corner. But according to a new Pew Research Center survey of media over the past five months, the president gets far worse coverage than any of his 2012 Republican would-be rivals.

The center surveyed stories in 1,500 news outlets and found that stories in them about President Obama were consistently negative, by a four-to-one margin. Only nine percent of the news coverage in those outlets over the last five months was positive; 34 percent was negative.

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The fallacy of generic presidential ballots

The fallacy of generic presidential ballots

The headline writes itself: “Obama losing to a ‘generic’ Republican candidate in 2012 matchup!”.

But while new numbers out of Gallup do show the “Republican party’s candidate for president” taking 46 percent to President Obama’s 38 percent in a general election face-off, drawing any sort of conclusions about the incumbent’s relative vulnerability off of that data point is a major mistake.

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Perry’s next last chance to recover?

Perry’s next last chance to recover?

Rick Perry will blanket the airwaves today with a series of media appearances and a speech on energy policy in Pittsburgh.

To call it a chance to recover what his campaign has lost would be fair. But it’s also fair to ask just how many chances he has left.

The media blitz is a rare thing in Perryworld, where the candidate has mostly been off-limits to the media and has avoided submitting to questions in general (even Fox News’ Sean Hannity has had a tough time landing an interview).

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Does Intrade matter? Political betting explained

Texas Gov. Rick Perry is tumbling on the political prediction site Intrade in the wake of a series of lackluster debate performances. The once formidable Perry stock is now selling for just .86 cents a share. Former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney, meanwhile, just keeps going up in price — as of writing, he’s at $6.70 a share.

“Perry enjoyed a nice boost when he first announced he was running,” said Carl Wolfenden, the Intrade Exchange Operations Manager. “The initial enthusiasm for his chances has fallen away after largely being bested by Romney in the debates and being raked over the coals for his stance on immigration and the HPV vaccine.”

InTrade — and the bets it handles — have become candy to political junkies of late, a sort of day-trading service for politics. But is it an accurate predictor of the GOP presidential nominee — or any of the other political bets it takes? Maybe. Sort of. Let us explain.

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New Hampshire debate: Word cloud style

The Fix is an unapologetic lover of word clouds. And so we asked the graphic wizards at the Post to cook us up one after Tuesday night’s Republican presidential debate at Dartmouth College. The result is below. (And make sure to check out our detailed transcript of the debate here.)

Not surprising: “Taxes” was the most mentioned word. Somewhat surprising: “9-9-9” wasn’t mentioned more.

Rick Perry defends support for Al Gore in Republican debate (Debate Video)

At Tuesday’s Washington Post-Bloomberg News debate, Rick Perry was asked about his support in 1988 for then-Democratic presidential candidate Al Gore.

The Texas governor, who was then a Democrat but soon switched to become a Republican, pointed out that Ronald Reagan made that same party switch later in his life than Perry.

“I, like most people in the state of Texas and those Southern states, grew up a Democrat,” Perry said.

Perry also defended his spending in Texas, saying the state’s debt, per person, is the second lowest in the country.

Watch the video after the jump.

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Huntsman needles Perry on Mormonism flap at GOP debate

Former China ambassador Jon Huntsman was full of one-liners in Tuesday night’s Washington Post/Bloomberg News debate. In one memorable exchange, he took a dig at Texas Gov. Rick Perry for his association with a controversial pastor.

Asked to pose a question to one of the other candidates, Huntsman chose former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney.

“Since this discussion is all about economics, Governor Romney, I promise this won’t be about religion,” Huntsman said. He paused, then added, “Sorry about that, Rick.”

Perry has taken heat for refusing to disavow the comments of evangelical pastor Robert Jeffress, who introduced the governor at last weekend’s Values Voter summit and later called Mormonism a “cult.”

Both Huntsman and Romney are Mormons.

Romney called on Perry to “repudiate” the remarks earlier today.

Republican debate: Winners and Losers

Republican debate: Winners and Losers

The Washington Post-Bloomberg News presidential debate at Dartmouth College is in the books. (That’s seven presidential debate for those of you counting.)

We live-blogged every minute of it but also came out with a quick take on who won and who lost. Our thoughts are below. Offer your own in the comments section.

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Rick Perry: Stakes are high

Rick Perry: Stakes are high

Late last week, we asked the world of Quora — a very cool question and answer site — which of the eight candidates had the most to lose in tonight’s economic focused debate sponsored by the Washington Post and Bloomberg News.

The answer from Matt McDonald, a friend of the Fix and Republican consultant, was Texas Gov. Rick Perry and it’s the right one.

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Romney: Perry should ‘repudiate’ Jeffress comment

Romney: Perry should ‘repudiate’ Jeffress comment

In a press conference to announce that he had won the support of New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney made another bit of news. He called on his presidential rival, Texas Gov. Rick Perry, to repudiate Pastor Robert Jeffress’ belief that Mormonism is a “cult.”

Jeffress endorsed Perry at last weekend’s Values Voter summit, an event organized by the Christian conservative Family Research Council, and introduced the governor. He went on to tell reporters that he did not believe Romney to be a Christian and that Mormonism is a “cult.”

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Rick Perry’s greatest Republican debate misses

Rick Perry’s greatest Republican debate misses

Texas Gov. Rick Perry has become known in a few short weeks as a bad debater. As we get ready for tonight’s Washington Post/Bloomberg News debate, he has a chance to set things right — or to reinforce a narrative that he cannot hold his own on stage. Here are some of the lowlights of Perry’s debate performances so far.

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Herman Cain’s moment

Herman Cain’s moment

In each of the first six debates of the Republican presidential race, Herman Cain has been an afterthought — on the receiving end of few questions from the moderators and virtually ignored by his better-known and -financed rivals.

That ends tonight, when Cain — along with seven other men and women running for president — take the stage in Hanover, N.H., for a debate sponsored by the Washington Post and Bloomberg News.

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Robert Jeffress says he’s no Jeremiah Wright

Robert Jeffress says he’s no Jeremiah Wright

In an interview on MSNBC’s Monday, prominent evangelical pastor Robert Jeffress tried to explain his position that Mormonism is a cult, saying it was a theological issue and not an insult.

The pastor of the First Baptist Church of Dallas, who has been under fire since he introduced and endorsed Texas Gov. Rick Perry at Friday’s Values Voter summit, has been doing a damage control tour of the media of sorts.

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The most important week of Rick Perry’s campaign

The most important week of Rick Perry’s campaign

For Texas Gov. Rick Perry, this week will show the kind of political stuff he’s made of.

After a soaring start to his campaign, September was far less kind to Perry. A series of fair-to-poor debate performances, coupled with negative press over his immigration position and a hunting camp owned by his family, side-tracked Perry and handed the title of “frontrunner” back to former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney.

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Who has the most to lose in the economic debate (and why)?

The Washington Post and Bloomberg News are sponsoring an economic-focused debate among the 2012 Republican presidential candidates at Dartmouth College in New Hampshire on Tuesday.


presidential candidate former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, right, listens as Texas Gov. Rick Perry makes a statement during a debate Thursday, Sept. 22, 2011, in Orlando, Fla. (AP Photo/Phelan M. Ebenhack, Pool)
The economy is the dominant issue of both the Republican primary fight and next year's general election so each of the candidates have a considerable amount riding on their debate performance.

Our question for you: Which of the Republican presidential candidates has the most at stake at the debate?

Is it former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney who has staked his campaign on the economic know-how he learned in the private sector? Or Texas Gov. Rick Perry whose job creation successes in the Lonestar State have formed the foundation of his nascent campaign? What about businessman Herman Cain who is the fastest rising star in the GOP field? Or is is someone else?

Offer your thought via Quora or in the comments section below. We’ll incorporate them into our debate preview in advance of Tuesday’s debate.

Perry responds to hunting camp story

Perry responds to hunting camp story

Texas Gov. Rick Perry (R) denied that a racial epithet was visible on a rock outside the hunting camp his family once leased in his first on-camera television interview since the Post reported its existence over the weekend.

“I think there were very much some strong inconsistencies and just misinformation in that story,” Perry told Fox News Channel reporter Juliet Huddy in an interview this morning. “I know for a fact that in 1984, that rock was painted over. It was painted over very soon, my family did that.”

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Afternoon Fix: Santorum weighs in on Perry hunting camp

Rick Santorum weighs in on the rock, Michele Bachmann is headed to New Hampshire, Chris Christie supporters are scattering and most candidates are boycotting a Univision debate.

Make sure to sign up to get “Afternoon Fix” in your e-mail inbox every day by 5 (ish) p.m.!

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Chris Christie won’t run for president: Now what?

Chris Christie won’t run for president: Now what?

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie‘s decision not to run for president almost certainly means that the 2012 Republican presidential field is set, news that some donors and party activists may greet grimly.

“Dream dating is over,” said Republican consultant Mark McKinnon. “It’s time to love the one you’re with.”

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Rick Perry’s silence on the hunting camp story (and whether it will work)

Rick Perry’s silence on the hunting camp story (and whether it will work)

In the immediate aftermath of the Washington Post story about a racial epithet marking a hunting camp owned by Texas Gov. Rick Perry’s family, his presidential campaign put out a statement insisting that “a number of claims made in the story are incorrect, inconsistent, and anonymous.

And, when businessman Herman Cain denounced Perry as “plain insensitive” during appearances on the Sunday chat shows, the governor’s campaign quickly responded — arguing that “Mr. Cain is wrong about the Perry family’s quick action to eliminate the word on the rock, but is right the word written by others long ago is insensitive and offensive.”

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Rick Perry’s hunting camp problem

Rick Perry’s hunting camp problem

Texas Gov. Rick Perry’s presidential campaign is fighting back against a Washington Post report that his family leased a hunting camp that had been known by a racially insensitive name.

Exactly when the name of the hunting camp was obscured is still being debated. What we do know is that this is something Perry would rather not be dealing with right now.

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Perry disputes hunting camp story; opponents pounce

Perry disputes hunting camp story; opponents pounce

Texas Gov. Rick Perry’s presidential campaign says a Post report that his family’s hunting camp went by a racially insensitive name is inconsistent and incorrect.

The Post’s Stephanie McCrummen reported Sunday that Perry, early in his political career, brought friends and supporters to a West Texas hunting camp his family leased that was called “Niggerhead.”

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Romney in-state tuition attack could backfire

Romney in-state tuition attack could backfire

In a web ad released Friday, former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney goes after Texas governor Rick Perry on his perceived soft spot with conservatives: immigration.

But he does it in an interesting way. The web ad ties the governor, who supports in-state tuition rates for undocumented student immigrants, to Barack Obama, Nancy Pelosi, Harry Reid ... and Vicente Fox, the former president of Mexico.

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The Supreme Court and the politics of health care

The Supreme Court and the politics of health care

The news that the Justice Department had requested that the Supreme Court examine President Obama’s health care law means that a verdict from the nation’s highest court will likely come sometime next year — right in the heart of the 2012 race.

While the decision will undoubtedly draw massive amounts of media attention, political strategists on both sides of the aisle questioned how large an impact the ruling would have on how health care will play out in the 2012 presidential election.

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The slowness of the 2012 fundraising race (and what it means)

The slowness of the 2012 fundraising race (and what it means)

Friday marks the end of the third fundraising quarter of the year and, almost to a candidate, the men and women running for the Republican presidential nomination are downplaying expectations.

Lowering the bar to declare victory in fundraising is, of course, de rigeur — French! — in politics. But the amounts being floated out suggest that this group of candidates will be well behind where their counterparts — on both the Republican and Democratic side — were at this time in 2007.

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Afternoon Fix: Perry apologizes for calling DREAM Act foes heartless

Rick Perry says he shouldn’t have said that, Herman Cain says he’s not the flavor of the week.

Make sure to sign up to get “Afternoon Fix” in your e-mail inbox every day by 5 (ish) p.m.!

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Ron Paul’s Republican problem

Ron Paul’s Republican problem

Texas Rep. Ron Paul is the most enigmatic figure in the Republican race for president.

On the one hand, his call for fiscal austerity resounds with tea party-affiliated primary voters. On the other, his views on foreign policy — including the idea that America all but incited the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11 — are decidedly less popular.

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Perry out on his own against Obama education program

Perry out on his own against Obama education program

It was one of Mitt Romney’s worst moments, a low point in an otherwise strong debating streak. Last Thursday, Texas Gov. Rick Perry accused the former Massachusetts governor of supporting the Obama administration’s “Race to the Top” educational competition.

Flummoxed, Romney denied supporting the program, which led to a Perry web ad attacking him as a flip-flopper for saying earlier in the week that “Race to the Top” (RTT) makes sense.

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Sarah Palin, second-tier candidate

Sarah Palin, second-tier candidate

Amid the “will she or won’t she” speculation about former Alaska governor Sarah Palin’s 2012 presidential plans, one important thing seems to be getting lost: Palin is simply not a top-tier candidate.

New numbers from a CNN/Opinion Research poll confirm it. In a hypothetical 2012 Republican primary, Palin stood at 7 percent — tied with businessman Herman Cain and Texas Rep. Ron Paul, neither of whom are considered anything but the longshots for the nomination.

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2012 Fix Face-off: How will the Republican debates be remembered?

How will we remember the 2012 Republican presidential debates? What’s more likely to help President Obama’s re-election chances? Is there any drink better than the pumpkin spice latte?

We answered these questions — and many more! — in today’s live video Fix Face-off chat. Missed it? Check it out below.

2012 Fix Face-off!

We love the presidential race. You love the presidential race. Let’s all get together and talk about it.


(Former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney and Texas Gov. Rick Perry.)
Noon. Monday. We call it the 2012 Fix Face-off. You can either fill out one of our pre-written faceoffs or write one of your own using the form below. You can also submit your face-off via Twitter using hashtag #fixfaceoff.

The tune in Monday at noon to see if we picked your question.

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Rick Perry as Sarah Palin

Rick Perry as Sarah Palin

At Thursday’s debate, it was hard to watch Texas Gov. Rick Perry’s performance and not recall Sarah Palin.

It was Palin who, in 2008 as the GOP’s vice presidential nominee, responded to questions about her foreign policy expertise with the idea that she understands international relations because Russia is close to her home state of Alaska, where she served as governor.

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GOP Debate: What we learned

GOP Debate: What we learned

The only thing more fun than live-blogging a presidential debate is sifting through the aftermath and figuring out what it all means.

With a (short) night’s sleep to think on the fifth Republican presidential debate, we came up with a few lessons learned from the night that was.

Agree or disagree? Sound off in the comments section.

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GOP Debate: Winners and Losers

GOP Debate: Winners and Losers

The fifth Republican presidential debate — this one from Orlando, Florida — is over.

We live-blogged the proceedings but also jotted down a few of the winners and, more deliciously, the losers from tonight’s debate.

Have picks of your own? The comments section is all yours.

WINNERS

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Orlando debate: Rick Perry vs Mitt Romney, round 3 (VIDEO)

Nine Republican presidential candidates — the usual suspects plus former New Mexico Gov. Gary Johnson — will gather tonight in Orlando, Florida at 9 pm for the third presidential debate in the last 15 days.

We’ll have our “what to watch for” guide — aka the debate cheat sheet — a little later in this space and, of course, will be live blogging the proceedings too. (You can watch the debate live on Fox News Channel.)

But before you do all of that, make sure to check out our “Fast Fix” video preview of what to expect tonight. Hint: It’s all about former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney versus Texas Gov. Rick Perry.

The long, dark tea time of the American political soul

Americans are in a historically bad mood.

The question for candidates — from President Obama and the men and women running to replace him all the way down to people seeking state and local office in 2012 — is how to you win elections in an era where people feel so dismal about politics?

In an apocalyptic web ad released on Wednesday, Texas Governor Rick Perry embraces the “grim is good” approach to politics and dubs Obama “President Zero” for the struggling economy and the lack of new jobs created by it.

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Is Obama an underdog in 2012?

A look around the political landscape paints a grim picture for President Obama’s re-election prospects.


President Obama makes a point during remarks at the Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute's awards gala in Washington, September 14, 2011. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst
To wit:

* The unemployment rate stood at 9.1 percent in August, nearly two points above the highest that number has ever been and seen an incumbent president win a second term. Even the most optimistic economic prognosticators acknowledge that the unemployment rate is unlikely to drop in a significant way prior to November 2012.

* Obama’s job approval rating in the latest Gallup weekly tracking poll stood at 40 percent; from July 20 through Sept. 20, Obama’s average job approval is 41 percent.

* Large majorities — 77 percent in the latest Washington Post/ABC News poll — say the country is headed off in the wrong direction.

* Matched against the two most likely Republican nominees — Texas Gov. Rick Perry and former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney — Obama usually finds himself in the mid-40s and in a statistical dead heat.

Numbers like that raise a basic question: Is Obama an underdog for re-election in 2012?

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Who can beat Obama?

Who can beat Obama?

Last week, we took note of a piece of data from a CNN survey that showed 42 percent of Republicans said Texas Gov. Rick Perry had a better chance of beating President Obama next fall while 26 percent said former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney was the stronger of the two choices.

The conclusion? That Romney’s electability argument — the core of his attack against Perry now and going forward — didn’t have the numbers to back it up.

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Huckabee emerges as unlikely Romney ally, by default

Huckabee emerges as unlikely Romney ally, by default

Some in Mitt Romney’s 2008 presidential campaign think Mike Huckabee deliberately torpedoed any shot that the former Massachusetts governor had at the GOP nomination three years ago.

In 2012, however, Huckabee may prove to be one of Romney’s biggest assets.

Texas Gov. Rick Perry’s entrance into the 2012 presidential race has turned the one-time political enemies into frenemies (Best. Term. Ever.) — as Huckabee has emerged as perhaps Perry’s most high-profile detractor to date.

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2012 Fix Face-off!

Mark your calendars: The Iowa caucuses are only 140 days away!

The race for the Republican presidential nomination continues its debate-a-palooza this week with another set-to in Florida on Thursday night. And President Obama rolls out his much-awaited deficit reduction plan Monday morning in the Rose Garden.

In other words: It. Is. On.

What better time then for us to answer your 2012 questions? In a live video chat, no less! We call it the 2012 Fix Face-off.

Submit your question(s) using the form below and then tune in at noon on Monday to see if we pick it.

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Women slow to embrace Rick Perry

Women slow to embrace Rick Perry

Rick Perry may be surging in the GOP presidential race, but by and large, women aren’t along for the ride.

Multiple polls shows the Texas governor does well among male voters but not isn’t getting as much love from female voters.

In the most recent Washington Post/ABC News poll, Perry led Mitt Romney 31 percent to 20 percent among men but trailed him by 1 percent among women.

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What Rick Perry learned from Donald Trump

Texas Gov. Rick Perry has been running for president for a month.

In that time, he has called Social Security a “Ponzi scheme”, affirmed his belief that the Obama Administration is “socialist” and suggested that “maybe it’s time to have some provocative language in this country.”

He has also rapidly emerged as the frontrunner for the Republican presidential nomination.

Coincidence? We think not.

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Why Rick Perry’s debate performances haven’t hurt him (yet)

Texas Gov. Rick Perry has been an uneven — to put it nicely — presence in the first two debates of his 2012 Republican presidential bid.


Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, left, and Texas Gov. Rick Perry during a Republican debate Tuesday, Sept. 13, 2011, in Tampa, Fla. (AP Photo/Mike Carlson)
For every strong moment, Perry has had two (at least) where he seems either taken aback by the level of vitriol directed his way by his rivals or simply uncertain of exactly how he should address some of his more problematic past positions.

From Social Security to the HPV vaccine to immigration, Perry has struggled to find answers that put those issues behind him.

And it doesn’t matter. Or at least it doesn’t matter yet.

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Bobby Jindal to endorse Rick Perry

Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal will endorse Rick Perry for president, becoming the second major GOP governor to offer a presidential endorsement Monday.

A source close to Jindal confirms the endorsement, which was first reported by CNN’s Mark Preston.

Jindal, who is often thought to be a potential future presidential candidate himself, has worked closely with Perry on hurricane-related issues and, as the governor of a neighboring Southern state, was a logical pick to back the Texas governor.

Earlier Monday, former presidential candidate and Minnesota governor Tim Pawlenty endorsed Mitt Romney for president.

Both Pawlenty and Jindal are expected to serve as important surrogates in the 2012 race.

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Rick Perry: The most electable GOP candidate?

One in an occasional series of posts looking at the most important number in politics; check out past “MINP’s” here.

42

A single number in the new CNN/Opinion Research Corporation poll released this morning epitomizes the challenge before former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney when it comes to Texas Gov. Rick Perry.


Texas Governor and Presidential hopeful Rick Perry, gives a "thumbs up" sign to supporters as he leaves a town hall meeting hosted by Rep. Tim Scott, R-S.C., at Horry-Georgetown Technical College on Monday Sept. 5, 2011 in Conway, S.C. (AP Photo/Willis Glassgow)

Asked which of the Republican candidates had the best chance of beating President Obama next November, 42 percent chose Perry while 26 percent named Romney. No other candidate won double-digit support.

Couple those numbers with the fact that three-quarters of Republicans in that same poll say they prefer a candidate who can beat Obama to one that agrees with them on every issue and you begin to see the shape of Romney’s potential problem.

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Fast Fix: Rick vs Mitt (VIDEO)

Tonight’s Republican presidential debate in Tampa, Florida is likely to focus on the burgeoning fight between the two frontrunners: Texas Gov. Rick Perry and former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney.

It’s the second time in five days the two men will share a debate stage and if past is prologue expect them to duel over Perry’s assertion that Social Security amounts to a “Ponzi scheme”.

In today’s episode of the “Fast Fix” we offer our video preview of how that scrap might shake out. Don’t forget to tune into The Fix tonight for our live-blog of the debate.

Florida takes center stage in 2012 campaign

For the next 12 days, Florida will stand at the center of the 2012 Republican race, playing host to two debates — one tonight and a second on Sept. 22 — as well as a straw poll that will help shape the presidential nomination fight.

The next week and a half will also serve as the precursor to the Sunshine State primary early next year — a contest that many people believe could decide the identity of the party’s nominee.

“Early caucuses and primaries give the candidates a chance to shine with a certain segment of the electorate, but in Florida candidates will face the largest and most diverse GOP primary electorate of any early state,” said Sally Bradshaw, a longtime political adviser to former governor Jeb Bush.

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