Bachmann sticks to her guns, says Paul lured Sorenson with cash (audio)

Republican presidential candidate Michele Bachmann just held a news conference in Des Moines (in the parking lot of WHO Radio).  She is sticking with her story that state Senator Kent Sorenson was offered money by Ron Paul’s campaign to leave his role as chairman for Bachmann’s Iowa campaign and to join his effort quite publicly last night with an endorsement at a rally in Des Moines.

AUDIO of Bachmann’s news conference.  (The questions about the flap start at 8 minute mark.)

Bachmann said she had a conversation by phone with Sorenson on Tuesday. Here’s what Bachmann told reporters this morning:

“I had a conversation with Kent Sorenson and in the direct conversation that I had with him he told me that he was offered money. He was offered a lot of money by the Ron Paul campaign to go and associate with the Ron Paul campaign. No one else knows about that conversation other than Kent Sorenson and myself and I know what he said to me about that.

“…Clearly what that reflected was the nervousness on the part of the Ron Paul campaign that they were losing steam in Iowa, they were losing momentum in Iowa because Iowans’ eyes were opening up. They understood not only was Ron Paul dangerous when it came to foreign policy, but they’re understanding now that Ron Paul would be willing to legalize drugs in the United States, including heroin and cocaine. Iowans don’t want that. 

“…Yesterday I was with Kent Sorenson. He talked to a number of people on our campaign. He told a number of people on our campaign — there’s a list an arm long of people that he spoke to who said he apologized to me for considering leaving. He said that he would be staying. He was with me at our campaign stop in Indianola. He told all of our campaign that he was definitely on board and then he got in his car and he went and announced that he was going with the Ron Paul campaign, but he had told me specifically that he was offered money, a great deal of money by the Ron Paul campaign, and that’s why he was leaving.”

Several reporters asked, “How much money?” and Bachmann said: “I direct you to go to the Ron Paul campaign and talk to them.”

It’s unclear whether Wes Enos, Bachmann’s political director, is still with the campaign. Enos issued a statement last night, under Ron Paul campaign letterhead, saying Sorenson was not leaving for money. I asked Bachmann’s new Iowa campaign chair, state Senator Brad Zaun, as he got on the Bachmann bus is Enos was still on board the Bachmann campaign. “I don’t have a statement for the media,” Zaun said.

Holy cow! Bachmann’s Iowa chair now supporting Ron Paul! (AUDIO)

The biggest news of the political day in Iowa just happened. State Senator Kent Sorenson, a Republican from Indianola, has served as Michele Bachmann’s Iowa campaign chair for nearly a year.  He is no longer serving in that role.  Sorenson just announced he is backing Ron Paul now.  (I’ll be back with the audio in a moment. Here’s the AUDIO of Sorenson’s brief remarks.) “When the Republican establishment is going to be coming after Ron Paul, I thought it is my duty to come to his aid,” Sorenson said, mentioning that Paul had campaigned on his (Sorenson’s) behalf for his state senate campaign.

Sorenson, as you may recall, is the person involved in the backstoryof Bob Vander Plaats’ endorsement of Rick Santorum.  Sorenson was said to have threatened to burn BVP in effigy for failing to endorse Bachmann.  The account came from Chuck Hurley, leader of The Iowa Family Policy Center:

“…I do regret that one erstwhile friend and culture warrior has threatened to, ‘Burn Bob’s body, drag it through the streets and hang it from a bridge,’ if Bob doesn’t endorse who that person wants him to endorse,” Hurley said. “Unfortunately, this individual claims to follow the ‘good book’ which says things like, ‘Let all anger, bitterness and malice be put away from you.’”

Hurley, as you may know, endorsed Santorum, too.

Soon after Ron Paul took the stage tonight, a couple of “Occupy Wall Street” protesters started yelling in the hall.

“Freedom of speech! Ain’t it wonderful,” Paul said.  “…We’re all upset and we want a change in Washington. As a matter of fact, that’s what our purpose is.”   The protesters were escorted out.

Time/CNN numbers out: Romney 25, Paul 22, Santorum 16

The latest polling data for Iowa is out this afternoon.  Read the numbers here (top three reflected in headline above).  It’s based on sampling BEFORE Christmas Eve in Iowa.

Bachmann says Paul’s foreign policy views “a total disqualifer” (AUDIO)

Republican presidential candidate Michele Bachmann just appeared on KSCJ (Keep Sioux City Jumpin’) Radio this morning.  She had a brief conversation with host Sam Clovis. Clovis was offering his critique of Paul’s foreign policy views, as expressed last night during the debate, and Bachmann said Paul’s views are a “total disqualifier” for the presidency.  Listen to the brief, 30-seconds-worth of AUDIO of that particular exchange. Here’s a partial transcript:

Clovis: “I couldn’t believe what I was hearing last night.”
Bachmann: “It was unbelievable…It’s a total disqualifier as far as I’m concerned…This is so off-base and this isn’t just one thing. This is all foreign policy. I could not disagree with Ron Paul more.”

Ron Paul: the “figures are fudged” on unemployment, CPI

GOP presidential candidate Ron Paul told a crowd at the Principal Financial in Des Moines this afternoon that governments aren’t always “straightforward” and indeed “don’t tell us the truth” in every circumstance, particularly when it comes to economic statistics.

Paul cited the government-calculated unemployment rate, CPI and PPI as examples of faulty stats.

“The figures are fudged,” Paul said. “There’s always a spin, and yet the people have to sort things out.”

Paul also criticized a provision in a bill that passed the U.S. Senate which would “treat every american citizen as if you’re an enemy combatant” and let citizens be arrested by the military and held indefinitely without being charged if they’re suspected of being a terrorist.

“That’s an attack on our liberties,” Paul said.

Paul said the federal government’s in a “mess” financially.

“We’re just as bankrupt as Greece,” Paul said. “…We’re insolvent and it’s just a matter of time before the markets rule.”

According to Paul, there’s no recognition in congress or among the other presidential candidates that the world is facing “a major, major crisis” that is the worst in history. He said “a lot of conservatives pay lip service to cutting” federal spending and he touted his proposal to cut $1 trillion in his first year as president.

“We have a bad attitude about government,” Paul said of the American people, rapping the idea that government can protect citizens “from cradle to grave” and that the U.S. should be the world’s policeman.

Paul described the country’s politicians as engaging in a “guns and butter forever” philosophy since the 1960s. “We have to do something about it,” Paul said, ridiculing other proposals as just “nibbling” at the problem rather than making dramatic cuts.

Paul suggested deep cuts in federal spending might create a “bad year” in the economy, but “it won’t be a bad decade.”

“Yes, there has to be a correction, but the correction is the treatment,” Paul said. “…You do have withdrawal systems…but they’re not long-lasting…What we’re doing now is prolonging the agony.”

The first questioner asked about the “leadership deficit” in Washington, D.C.  “One person can’t do it and that’s why I’m here, to get you to join me because governments are always a reflection of the prevailing attitude of the people,” Paul said. “….This is where I’m very optimistic…attitudes are changing.”

The second questioner from the crowd of Principal employees asked about zero-baseline budgeting.  “The president has a lot to say…You have a veto…That would be the best way to get back to zero baseline budgeting,” Paul replied.  However, Paul said baseline budgeting wasn’t enough. “Shrink it,” Paul said of the federal budget.

Liquidation of debt and liquidation of mal-investment needs to occur, according to Paul, before the U.S. economy can recover.

The third question asked Paul to explain his stand on women’s reproductive rights. Paul said his stand on life is sometimes questioned as at odds with his generally libertarian views.  “I think it’s a life.  I’m legally liable for that life and if I do something wrong, I get sued,” Paul said in a reference to his work as an OB/GYN. “…Who speaks for the small?” 

“…I don’t like any national laws on this because the federal government messes things up so badly,” Paul said, adding state-level laws should govern abortion-related policy.

The fourth questioner asked about the separation of powers among the branches of government. “We don’t have to do much other than having people of principal that would read and understand the constitution,” Paul said of judicial power.  “…The founders believed the legislative branch should be the most important branch…Every regulation written is unconstitutional.”

Paul said “internationalism” is coming for a “new fiat currency that will be run by the IMF and the World Bank” — taking authority reserved for congress.

The fifth question was about eliminating the Department of Education.  “It’s a total failure,” Paul said, adding the deparmtnent, in his opinion, was unconstitutional.  “We’ve created an educational monster,” he said of government-managed college grants and loans.

The sixth questioner asked for a “time frame” for getting rid of the five cabinet-level agencies.  “I think I can get the troops home faster than I can get rid of some of this domestic spending,” Paul quipped.  “…It would take a couple of years to do it. You can’t wave a wand and turn the key.”

The seventh questioner asked about monetary policy. “Isn’t it true that creditors are benefitted in some sense by a debased currency?” a man asked.  “…and aren’t most people creditors?”  Paul talked about the housing bubble.  “The people who owned mortgages — they lost their jobs and they lost their houses,” Paul said. “If you miscalcuate, then you’re going to get holding a lot of debt.”  Debt has to be liquidated, Paul said. “…It is this interference with credit that affects the interest rates and this is why it’s so hard for people to get the right information in business…Interest rates should be determined by savings,” Paul said. 

The eighth questioner asked about Paul’s plan for legal immigration.  “I think we should have more legal immigration and, obviously, a lot less illegal immigration,” he replied, talking about hard-labor industries which “can’t get workers and they want the immigrants to come in” and take those jobs.

Ron Paul says debate hosted by Trump would yield “circus”

The Paul campaign has issued an emphatic, “No thanks,” to a Donald Trump-hosted debate:

ANKENY, Iowa – The Ron Paul 2012 Presidential campaign released the following statement concerning the selection of Donald Trump as moderator for the December 27th Republican debate to be held in Iowa.  Below please find comments from Ron Paul 2012 National Campaign Chairman Jesse Benton:
“The Ron Paul 2012 Presidential Campaign Committee rejects the selection of Donald Trump as moderator for the Republican presidential debate to be held on December 27th in Iowa.
“We have conferred with our Iowa campaign chairman Drew Ivers and vice-chairmen David Fischer and A.J. Spiker who are all RPI State Central Committee Members, and they concur with this decision.
“The selection of a reality television personality to host a presidential debate that voters nationwide will be watching is beneath the office of the Presidency and flies in the face of that office’s history and dignity.  Mr. Trump’s participation as moderator will distract from questions and answers concerning important issues such as the national economy, crushing federal government debt, the role of the federal government, foreign policy, and the like.  To be sure, Mr. Trump’s participation will contribute to an unwanted circus-like atmosphere.
“Mr. Trump’s selection is also wildly inappropriate because of his record of toying with the serious decision of whether to compete for our nation’s highest office, a decision he appeared to make frivolously.  The short-lived elevation of Mr. Trump’s stature as a candidate put him on the radar of many organizations and we recall that last spring he was invited to keynote the Republican Party of Iowa’s annual Reagan Dinner, yet at the last minute he left RPI holding the bag by canceling.  In turn, RPI canceled its biggest fundraising gala of the year and suffered embarrassment and in addition RPI was required to engage in refunding measures.  Our candidate will not even consider participating in the late-December debate until Mr. Trump publicly apologizes to Iowa party leaders and rectifies in full the situation.
“Therefore our candidate Ron Paul, the champion of the Constitution, has advised he will not attend.”

Ron Paul video casts Gingrich as flipper

Ron Paul’s campaign has been producing some movie-trailer-quality videos and tonight it has released a video which attacks rival Newt Gingrich for “serial hypocrisy.”

According to an email from the Paul campaign, the ad will be distributed via “a far-reaching email list of conservative voters nationally, including in key early voting states.”  The campaign will also “purchase banner ads on national and state websites where conservative readers congregate.”

“Our campaign is making a bold move to debunk the myth that the Newt we are seeing on the 2012 campaign trail is the conservative he has been touted to be all along.  This step we are taking is necessary, as voters are seeking authenticity among conservatives who are able to show a decades-long career of consistently walking the walk of Constitutional principles, limited government, and promoting sound money and economic policy. Ron Paul is the only Republican presidential candidate with that record,” said Ron Paul 2012 National Campaign Chairman Jesse Benton.

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

Ron Paul @ NFRA

The National Federation of Republican Assemblies is having a “presidential preference convention” in Des Moines today.  “We believe in conservatism…a lot of us believe in the more libertarian strain of that,” said NFRA president Ron Martin, who opened the event at 9:12 a.m.  He said the group’s goal is to “take back the Republican Party from the establishment….Enough is enough. The elites have had their say…It’s time for a change.”

GOP presidential candidate Ron Paul took the stage first, at about 9:20 a.m.  Nearly all in the crowd stood to applaud his entry into the room.  “Glad to see everybody up and ready to go this morning,” Paul began, telling the crowd he had a  “soft spot” for the NFRA. 

“I consider this the constitutional wing of the Republican Party,” Paul said. “…Our goal right now has to be the defense of liberty…and make sure those individuals in Washington live within the law,” he said.

[Read more…]

Paul cites Bible to make case on monetary policy

GOP presidential candidate Ron Paul is the fifth of six candidates scheduled to speak at tonight’s Iowa Faith & Freedom Coalition event.  He began by talking about kings.

“We have drifted in the direction of accepting a king in Washington, D.C. and I would like to undermine this,” Paul said. “….We need more family values, more governance by the family, not by the United States Government.”  The crowd applauded that declaration.

Paul quoted from I Timothy 5:8, where it says anyone who doesn’t care for his own family has denied the faith and “is worse than an unbeliever.”

“There are dozens of quotations in the Bible telling us we should have honest money.” Paul said. 

When asked (as all the other candidates have been) about “abortion on demand” and traditional marriage, Paul said: “Traditional marriage is obviously between a man and a woman and I have supported the Defense of Marriage Act.”

“…As an OB doctor, I know when life begins.”  Paul also touted his “We the People Act” which he has filed in congress to remove the jurisdiction on “all these issues from the federal courts.”

“I know it’s tempting to wait for the courts to be changed and the amendment to be passed, but it’s taking too long,” Paul said.