The Washington Post

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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* Texas Gov. Rick Perry (R) is not dropping out, he confirmed today, after he canceled a planned trip to South Carolina to reassess his campaign. He downplayed his fifth place finish in Iowa, calling it a “quirky place” with a “loosey-goosey process.” Earlier today, Perry tweeted that he was headed to South Carolina, but he won’t get there until after this weekend’s New Hampshire debates.

* Former Utah governor Jon Huntsman, hours after saying that “nobody cares” about the Iowa caucuses, added that “nobody cares” about Sen. John McCain’s endorsement of former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney.* In case you didn’t get the hint last night, former House speaker Newt Gingrich still won’t congratulate Romney on his Iowa victory. Asked by a CBS reporter why he congratulated former Pennsylvania senator Rick Santorum but not Romney, Gingrich said only, “Because I know you would be a man of great professionalism, I know that’s a rhetorical question. And a good one.”

* Rep. Ron Paul (R-Texas) isn’t pulling any punches — he told CNN today that Gingrich “chickened out” of serving in the military during the Vietnam War. “He got deferments and didn’t even go.”

* President Obama took advantage of the congressional recess to appoint Richard Cordray as director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. Republicans in the Senate blocked Cordray’s appointment, arguing that the agency does not have proper oversight.


* Wisconsin Democrats have decided not to release any more updates on how many petition signatures have been collected in their fight to recall Gov. Scott Walker (R). The deadline to turn the signatures in to the Government Accountability Board is Jan. 17, and Democrats need 540,208 signatures to get a recall of the governor on the ballot.

* A federal judge in Virginia today granted a motion from Huntsman, Gingrich and Santorum to intervene in a lawsuit filed by Perry that challenges the state’s primary ballot access law. Right now, only Paul and Romney are on the ballot.

* Former Maryland city council member Duchy Trachtenberg (D) has dropped her congressional bid against Rep. Roscoe Bartlett (R), due to a recurrence of breast cancer. “While I undertook the campaign with a clean bill of health, circumstances have now deteriorated to the point where I honestly cannot continue the race,” she said in a statement. State Senate Majority Leader Rob Garagiola is the frontrunner in the race.

* Former New Hampshire GOP Chairman Jack Kimball has endorsed Ovide Lamontagne in the state’s gubernatorial primary. It’s not clear how much this nod helps Lamontagne, who faces conservative activist Kevin Smith in a primary — Kimball was ousted from his post earlier this year.


So creepy.

With Rachel Weiner and Aaron Blake

Chris Cillizza writes “The Fix,” a politics blog for the Washington Post. He also covers the White House.


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