Iowa GOP to count votes for Cain, “other” as well as “no preference”

A couple of interesting bullet points to ponder from a “Caucus Procedure” memo from the Iowa GOP:

• We will be reporting the votes for Michele Bachmann, Herman Cain, Newt Gingrich, Jon Huntsman, Ron Paul, Rick Perry, Buddy Roemer, Mitt Romney, Rick Santorum, “No Preference,” and “Other.”
•“No Preference” votes include those who vote “present,” “no preference, “uncommitted,” or “none of the above.” 

In that “other” category would be lumped folks like Sarah Palin and Paul Ryan, both of whom have groups pushing a write-in campaign.

Grubbs reacts: “my counsel would have been to stay the course”

Steve Grubbs, the just-now-former chairman of Herman Cain’s Iowa campaign, called Radio Iowa moments after Cain stopped speaking this afternoon.  Here’s the transcript:

Henderson: Are you on board for this Plan B?

Grubbs: “I’ve not talked to Herman Cain about plan B. That’s a later conversation. Right now we need to communicate with our Iowa supporters, thank them for their willingness to work for us at the caucuses and then figure out what’s next.

Henderson:  Was this a surprise?

Grubbs: “I guess I can’t say it was a surprise, but my counsel would have been to stay the course and see it through, but obviously he thought a different way and I’ll be at peace with that.”

Henderson: What do you do with 3000 yard signs?

Grubbs: “You recycle.”

Henderson: Will you be following his endorsement lead?

Grubbs: “It’s really too soon, but clearly I no longer have a presidential candidate so we’ll consider the future and it may be that I get on board with some other candidate.  We’ll see what happens.”

Henderson: What ran through your mind as you listened to what he had to say?

Grubbs: “I thought I have never been with a candidate who is so capable of commanding media attention in my entire life, you know, whether he’s in, whether he’s out — almost no matter what he does, he captures the attention of people. It’s an amazing thing to watch.”

Conservative group takes Cain, Paul off their list

The group that hosted Saturday’s “Thanksgiving Family Forum” featuring six GOP presidential candidates has released its narrowed-down list of candidates it might endorse.  See details below. The Family Leaders’ board of directors met Monday, hence the reference to “tonight” in one of the quotes, although this news release came into my email box today.


Pleasant Hill, IA – The FAMiLY LEADER Board of Directors is very reflective of the Iowa caucus goer and are still praying for clarity on whether or not to endorse a candidate and, if they endorse, who to endorse.   

Bob Vander Plaats, President and CEO, remarked, “We had a very healthy discussion tonight regarding our leadership role in the 2012 presidential caucuses.  In many ways, what the board did tonight is typical of the Iowa caucus process.  They fully understand the importance of this election and the weight of their leadership.  They want to make a wise decision.”

Each individual of the seven member voting Board of Directors expressed many positives of Representative Ron Paul and businessman Herman Cain.  The stumbling block for the board regarding Representative Paul dealt primarily with “States’ Rights” as it pertains to the sanctity of human life and God’s design for marriage.  Regarding Mr. Cain, the board cited a narrative of questions versus clarity on the key issues of life, marriage, foreign policy, and presidential readiness.  The board did not give consideration to Governor Romney.

Last Saturday evening’s Thanksgiving Family Forum was designed to bring clarity and closure to the decision-making process for The FAMiLY LEADER and for many Iowa conservatives.  Although the forum was monumentally successful on every level, each candidate’s superb performance has made this process most difficult.  The board concluded this is a good dilemma due to having many principled conservatives in the race.

“As difficult as this first step proved to be in narrowing the field to four, the next step of final selection and recommendation to our supporters will be tougher.   Congresswoman Bachmann, Speaker Gingrich, Governor Perry, and Senator Santorum all have many presidential traits that will serve our great country well.” commented Vander Plaats.

The board has committed to be prayerful, diligent, and expeditious in reaching their final conclusion.  No timeline was placed on a decision

Cain calls for 10 % ACB cut in fed budget + 10 % more (audio)

GOP presidential candidate Herman Cain granted Radio Iowa a telephone interview this morning. [Transcript below]  AUDIO 6 min

Henderson: “I’m wondering how you reassure your supporters here and attract back former supporters who’ve been disconcerted and disappointed by what has transpired over the past month.”

Cain: “First of all, some people are going to naturally convict me in the court of public opinion, and so all I can do is ask them to consider the facts. The good news is most of the voters here have considered the facts, that those accusations are baseless, and we are moving on and so where some people are going to believe that, there is nothing I can do other than to continue to put my message out there, talk about the solutions that I offer for this economy, the solutions that I offer relative to energy and move forward because there has been no new information, no new data, no new facts, no new nothing, so there isn’t anything we can do other than to stay on message.”

Henderson: “You’ve said that if elected president you’d surround yourself with trusted advisors who agree with your philosophy, then collect the pertinent data and then make decisions. and then make decision. In regards especially to foreign policy, what is the Cain Doctrine or the core value that your staff would have to share and then try to project around the world?”

Cain: “The Cain Doctrine relative to foreign policy is an extension of the Reagan philosophy. Reagan’s philosophy was ‘peace through strength.’  My philosophy is ‘peace through strength and clarity.’ I believe we need to clarify who are friends are, clarify who are enemies are and stop giving money to our enemies and relative to our friends, let the world know who our friends are. Secondly, with respect to clarity, we need to clarify many of the relationships we have around the world and we need to be real clear what’s in America’s best interest before we go into a country or before we put men and women in uniform in harm’s way. Clarity is a big component of my philosophy about how we approach this and, yes, it starts with surrounding yourself with good people and one of my other guiding principles in addition to ‘peace through strength and clarity’ is if you want to solve a problem, go to the sources closest to the problem and in this case I would always consult with and listen very closely listen to the commanders on the ground.”  

Henderson: “This is a policy question and I’d like you answer it as such. As a chief executive, what sort of edit did you make to staff about conduct in the workplace?  In all this discussion about sexual harassment, I’ve heard you talk about personal conduct, but I’ve never heard you articulate the work standards that you set out for the entire organization when you were with the Restaurant Association and Godfather’s.  And, as the CEO of the U.S. government and the commander in chief of the U.S. military, what standards of conduct would you require of the federal government?”

Cain: “The standards of conduct — in fact in our campaign office we have these standards posted on various boards in various places throughout the office. The number one standard and the number one guiding principle is, ‘Do what’s right.’ I didn’t say, ‘Do what’s politically right.’ We don’t start there. What is the right thing to do when making a decision? What is the right thing to do when dealing with other workers? What is the right thing to do in dealing with the public? That has always been my number one rule wherever I have worked in terms of let’s start with what is the right thing to do and from that, quite frankly, everything else flows. I have never run an organization where I have tolerated any sort of inappropriate behavior. I have never run an organization where I have tolerated any one who might want to do some sort of cover up. That’s just not my style nor my nature and so it’s starts with, ‘Let’s just do what is right.'”   

Henderson: “One of your competitors, Mr. Perry, this morning is outlining some specific changes he would make in the federal bureaucracy. You have talked specifically about tax policy. I’m wondering if in the weeks before the Iowa Caucuses you might talk specifically about systemic changes in the federal government that you would propose.” 

Cain: “Yes, some of those systemic changes that I will propose in the government would start with how I would approach spending cuts. I would start with an executive order to cut a 10 percent cut across-the-board in every federal agency with maybe the exception of the Defense Department, although that would also be on the table.  Then you would do, as business people do, you do a deep dive agency-by-agency-by-agency to find at least another 10 percent reduction. I happen to believe it’s there. The Government Accounting Office documents areas that we can cut and areas that we can reduce all the time, it’s just that nothing is ever done with it so it’s not like we’re going to be starting from scratch and so when I say I want people who share my philosophical approach, I’m talking about my philosophical approach to problem solving, my philosophical approach to how we’re going to cut expenses and I believe that if we do that, at the same time we are growing this economy with that 999 economic growth and jobs plan, we will then be able to get to a balanced annual budget sooner rather than later and, in doing so, we will also be in a position to begin to pay down this horrendous debt.”    

Boswell says Cain bears some blame for Newton’s woes

Iowa Congressman Leonard Boswell (D-Des Moines) issued a statement late tonight, criticizing GOP presidential candidate Herman Cain.

Des Moines, IA – Congressman Leonard Boswell today released a statement regarding GOP presidential candidate Herman Cain and his directorship with the Whirlpool Corporation.

“As we continue to hear more and more about Herman Cain’s past, Iowans should also know about Mr. Cain’s role in overseeing the closure of the Maytag plant in Newton and the export of thousands of jobs to Mexico,” Boswell said.

Cain first served on Whirlpool’s board of directors from 1992 to 2003 and again from 2005 to April 2011. In 2006, Whirlpool acquired Maytag and shuttered its the plant in Newton soon after.

“Herman Cain is no friend of working Iowans as he personally played a major role in the economic devastation of the central Iowa town. Newton has never been the same since Maytag left. While Cain continues to make money from Whirlpool, it’s rather apparent that his backwards idea of fixing the economy is putting Americans out of work,” continued Boswell.

Just last week, Whirlpool announced plans to cut 5,000 workers in the U.S. and Europe, which includes the complete closure of its Fort Smith, Arkansas plant.

Governor says Iowans won’t “jump to any conclusions” about Cain

I had to file for noon-time newscasts in the middle of the late-morning National Association of Manufacturers forum in Pella, so I was unable to live blog the last three candidates to speak.  Read the Radio Iowa story about the event, with comments from candidates Perry, Santorum, Bachmann, Paul & Gingrich, who participated.  Governor Branstad (who was one of the moderators) spoke with reporters after the event concluded:

…Governor Branstad suggested candidates Mitt Romney and Herman Cain made a mistake by skipping the event.\

“They missed out on the opportunity to address the number one issue in this campaign and that is creating jobs,” Branstad said. “…It was not a situation where (there were) a lot of gotcha questions, but it was really an open-ended opportunity to talk about reducing regulatory and tax burdens and revitalizing the American economy.”

Branstad told reporters he hasn’t closely followed recent revelations that Herman Cain’s previous employer paid cash settlements to two women who accused Cain of sexual harassment.

“Iowans are pretty fair-minded people and just because somebody makes an accusation and anybody that’s in a high-profile position (has) the potential to have people make these kind of accusations,” Branstad said. “I think Iowans will, you know, carefully look at the real situation and not jump to any conclusion.”

Perry pokes at Cain on abortion issue (audio)

GOP presidential candidate Rick Perry used a portion of his remarks at tonight’s Iowa Faith & Freedom Coalition event to articulate his actions, as Texas governor, on the abortion issue.  But Perry also characterized Cain’s remarks about abortion earlier this week on CNN as “pro-having-your-cake-and-eating-it-too.”

“It is a liberal canard to say I am personally pro-life, but government should stay out of that decision. If that is your view, you are not pro-life,” Perry said of Cain, without directly saying Cain’s name. “You are pro-having-your-cake-and-eating-it-too.”

AUDIO of Perry’s remarks on abortion issue.

Perry began with this declaration:  “As governor of Texas and throughout my career I have taken an unwavering stand in defense of life.”  Just before he launched into Cain, Perry said: “Being pro-life is not a matter of campaign convenience.  It is a core conviction.”

Cain @ IFFC: “no abortions; no exceptions” (AUDIO)

Herman Cain was the first candidate to speak this evening.  He began by quoting Ronald Reagan.”This is a battle, a fight for freedom,” Cain said, before talking about the “strength” of the Declaration of Independence, the U.S. Constitution, and the free market system.

“We have the greatest economic engine on the planet…Our economy’s on life support, but when it receives the right fuel no other nation on the planet can touch it,” he declared.

Cain made a declaration of, “No abortions, no exceptions,” and the crowd applauded.

Cain used his “stupid people are ruining America” line a few moments later, to another round of applause.  “There are more of us. We’ve just got to out-vote them,” he said.

First question posed, asking for a comprehensive plan for energy policy.  “Current administration doesn’t have a policy. We will have an energy independence strategy because America has the resources to become energy independent…and my team is already working on putting that strategy together….It is a national security imperative.”

He got huge applause when he promised he would ensure the EPA has an “attitude adjustment.”

What energy policy over past three years would you have reversed?  “I would have allowed the American people what kind of light bulbs they want to put in their homes…Green energy is a joke.”

What would you do specifically to prevent abortion on demand and defend traditional marriage?  “I believe that we need a constitutional guarantee for traditional marriage between a man and a woman.”

As for abortion, Cain said: “I would not sign any legislation that where government-funded abortion. I would not sign any legislation that in any way allowed the government to be involved in it.  I would strengthen all of our current laws that prevent abortion. I believe that abortion should be clearly stated and illegal across this country and I would work to defund Planned Parenthood and I will make sure that I appoint judges that will enforce the constitution — no activist judges — and I would also make sure that we didn’t allow any bureaucrats to get in the way in order to protect the life of the unborn.”

Here’s the AUDIO of Cain’s answer, transcribed above.

The final question was about cutting the federal budget.   Cain mentioned 999 in his answer.

Paul says Cain’s “inconsistent or…confused” on abortion issue

GOP presidential candidate Ron Paul seems to have some compassion for the plight of his competitor, Herman Cain, who is being lambasted for how he has described his views on abortion, as Paul says he has found some of the criticism “confusing.”  But Paul also uses that word to describe what Cain himself has said on the issue.

“Obviously he’s come across as either being inconsistent or very confused on that,” Paul said late this morning during an interview with Radio Iowa. “And this is one issue that supporters of the issue — they don’t want confusion.”

Bachmann suggests recent Cain statements raise questions

Touting her own membership on the House Intelligence Committee, Michele Bachmann says rival Herman Cain has made some “shocking” statements on foreign policy issues.  Cain recently said if he were asked to name the president of Uzbekistan, he wouldn’t know the man’s name — because knowing the answer wouldn’t create jobs in the United States.  This past Tuesday, Cain said he “misspoke” when talking about negotiating with terrorists over the release of hostages.

“I think people were especially shocked just this last week when, just two hours before the last debate in Las Vegas, Mr. Cain had gone on a show with Wolf Blitzer and said that he would be open to negotiating all of the prisoners that are in Guantanamo Bay in exchange for a United States hostage and I think that was shocking when people heard that, and then during the course of the debate he reiterated a similar statement, that he would be willing to engage in that kind of a negotiation,” Bachmann said today.  “Certainly we would never do anything like that.  That’s not our history in the United States….One thing that I know without a shadow of a doubt, as president of the United States I wouldn’t even consider negotiating those who are prisoners at Guantanamo Bay, to release them in exchange for an American hostage. That’s just something we would never do.  That would only courage further hostage taking.”

Bachmann made her comments during an interview this afternoon with Radio Iowa.  She also brought up Cain’s recent interview on CNN in which he made what have been characterized as confusing statements about his views on abortion.

“Clearly the words out of his mouth indicated that he was in favor of a pro-abortion position, so I think there’s a lot of questions that people have (about Cain),” Bachmann said.  “I’m 100 percent prolife.”

Both Bachmann and Cain are among the candidates who will speak tomorrow night in Des Moines at a forum hosted by the Iowa Faith & Freedom Coalition.