(Flickr/Gage Skidmore Grover Norquist, president of a taxpayer advocacy group, Americans for Tax Reform
Presidential debates often configure their rules in subtle ways to include certain candidates rather than others, though it's usually not spelled out explicitly. But when Grover Norquist's Americans for Tax Reform delayed a Nevada debate they were to host in July, they left no doubt that the move was made to accommodate their favored candidate. "We're waiting for Perry," Norquist toldThe Washington Post at the time. It's not the only instance where Norquist has operated to bolster Rick Perry's nascent presidential campaign.
Rick Perry has already been declared the front-runner to gain the GOP nomination less than a month after launching his campaign. He's posted a significant lead in recent polls over previous front-runner Mitt Romney. The only problem is that national polls mean nothing at this point in the election cycle -- it's all about how the candidates will perform in the early primary states. The current crowded field will get narrowed down to a handful of candidates by the time most of the states hold their primaries.
When politicians hit the campaign trail and make sweeping policy statements, it's the press's role to call them out when their comments stray too far from reality. Basic questioning forces the candidates to stay honest. Fox News, though, reversed that traditional press role during an interview with Jon Huntsman this morning.
The Electric Park Ballroom in Waterloo, Iowa, is on the grounds of the National Cattle Congress, right next to the Sunrise Children's Petting Zoo. It's a dimly lit hall, plastered with neon beer signs and old photos of singers like Elvis or Buddy Holly.
The day after Texas governor Rick Perry ended the will-he-won't-he speculation by announcing his candidacy for the Republican nomination in South Carolina, he traveled here to speak at the Blackhawk County Republican Dinner. When he entered the room, Perry ducked to greet each table and pose for photos, despite a throng of reporters surrounding him at all times.