Campaign Buzz November 5, 2011: GOP Presidential Candidates Herman Cain & Newt Gingrich Face-off in Cain-Gingrich Debate 2011 — Debate Transcript


By Bonnie K. Goodman

Ms. Goodman is the Editor of History Musings. She has a BA in History & Art History & a Masters in Library and Information Studies from McGill University, and has done graduate work in history at Concordia University. Ms. Goodman has also contributed the overviews, and chronologies in History of American Presidential Elections, 1789-2008, 4th edition, edited by Gil Troy, Fred L. Israel, and Arthur Meier Schlesinger to be published by Facts on File, Inc. in late 2011.


Eric S. Swist/The Courier, via Associated Press

The Republican presidential candidates Herman Cain, left, and Newt Gingrich were introduced before the start of a debate in The Woodlands, Texas, on Saturday.


Cain and Gingrich Meet for a Congenial Debate: The rancor that defined much of the last week on the Republican presidential campaign trail subsided a bit here on Saturday night, as Newt Gingrich and Herman Cain basked in each other’s company and the warm embrace of the Texas Tea Party for what was styled as an old-fashioned issues-focused debate.
The challenges facing the Cain campaign over the last week, as it struggled to deal with revelations of sexual harassment accusations made against Mr. Cain while he was head of the National Restaurant Association in the late 1990s, were not addressed at all.
The event, formally titled the Cain-Gingrich Debate 2011, was actually a fund-raiser held in a cavernous hotel ballroom north of Houston that was packed with 1,000 people. It felt more like a conservative love-in, with each candidate going out of his way to compliment the other and shower praise on the audience…. – NYT, 11-5-11

  • Cain and Gingrich Face Off: Herman Cain and Newt Gingrich squared off Saturday night in an unusual, one-on-one debate that allowed the candidates for the Republican presidential nomination relatively long, uninterrupted blocks of time to explain their similar views on Social Security, Medicaid, and Medicare.
    What they did not discuss is the issue that has dented Mr. Cain’s front-runner status in recent days: allegations that he sexually harassed employees of a restaurant trade organization in the 1990s, when he was president of the group.
    The issue was not raised during the formal program, which was sponsored by a Texas Tea Party…. – WSJ, 11-5-11
  • For Gingrich and Cain, it’s a friendship and a contest: Finally, they had the debate stage to themselves: The philosopher-politician vs. the businessman-preacher. And for 90 minutes on Saturday night, there were no rehearsed attacks. Gone were the shiny podiums and 30-second rebuttals. … – WaPo, 11-5-11
  • Herman Cain, Newt Gingrich and an oasis of scandal-free debate in Texas: Two presidential candidates with deep Georgia roots – one a long-time survivor of a personal life made public, the other newly wrestling with its consequences – created an oasis of scandal-free discussion Saturday…. – Atlanta Journal Constitution, 11-5-11
  • Harassment claim off limits in Gingrich-Cain forum: The two-man debate between GOP presidential candidates Herman Cain and Newt Gingrich started out Saturday evening with questions on health care spending and Social Security’s future — and completely … – AP, 11-5-11
  • Cain preps for Gingrich debate: Republican presidential hopeful Herman Cain is lying low as he prepares for Saturday evening’s head-to-head debate with fellow GOP candidate Newt Gingrich. Cain has no events on his public schedule for the weekend other than the debate in the Lone Star state…. – Politico, 11-5-11
  • The Herminator and the Newt to debate, politely, in Texas: Hounded by the media hordes over allegations of sexual harassment more than a decade ago, the former pizza magnate who presumes to be president will flee the fetid swamps of Washington tomorrow and land in Texas — in The Woodlands, of all places. … – Houston Chronicle, 11-5-11



Video and Transcript of Cain-Gingrich Debate

Source: Texas GOP Vote

The Cain-Gingrich Debate was sponsored by the Texas Patriots PAC and took place in The Woodlands, TX on November 5th. See video and transcript below:

Partial transcript of the debate:

The debate opens up with moderator, Iowa Congressman Steve King who thanks the debate organizers and proceeds lay out details about the national debt crisis.

GINGRICH: If we are stupid enough to do nothing about the debt, we will be bankrupt like Greece. Paul Ryan would fundamentally change Medicare by getting younger Americans into a premium support model — I do not favor a mandatory premium support model. I want us back into the habit of giving Americans a range of choices so people have those choices in the free market that would beat out the bureaucratic system. They need to go to something because it is better for them not because the government forced them. Americans are not going to let politicians impose things on them.

We have to come up with solutions that are actually BETTER than what the government would force on you. Look at WalMart, people shop there because they think they will get a good deal. We need to defeat so many entrenched elements of the Left that we have to convince Americans that we represent a better future than the Left does.

We have to get to a better health system before we get to an affordable health system.

Look at Stop Paying the Crooks and read it.

Medicare pays between $70-120 billion a year to crooks…like dentists who file 982 procedures a day. The Super Committee is not looking at this, because it requires thinking about Government…and getting people in Washington to THINK is a very big challenge.

CAIN: I am supposed to have a minute to disagree with Gingrich, but I don’t disagree with anything. So I would like to instead to add a historical perspective, since Gingrich and I can change the rules as we go. I remember talking about Medicare when I first went to Godfather’s pizza. Things inside the company were easier to control outside. Medicare started in 1965 and our government told us it would cost $6 billion to rollout, and we were told that by 1990 it would cost $12 billion. But in 1990, it actually cost $109 billion. IT WAS A 900% MISS.

How many businesses can survive missing a target like this. Long term government projections about cost have never been right. NAME ONE.

That being said, I believe as Speaker Gingrich believes that we can’t reshuffle Medicare or Medicaid, we must RESTRUCTURE. A guiding principle in the Ryan Plan that I love is that if you want to solve a problem, you must go to the source closest to the problem. It is not Washington DC…it is the states…it is the patients. Allowing Medicare accounts for younger workers is an option.

Another thing we have learned for decades is that people spend other people’s money more recklessly than they spend their own money. Let it be their money and they will spend it better. Get it out of Washington DC.

Politicians have over promised for decades. We have got to get real because we are headed off a cliff.

What to do about rising healthcare costs…services, x-rays, etc…going up 17% regardless of the economy in a market of their own. Why does it occur and how do we deal with this? CAIN: We have the best healthcare in the world.

We have a healthcare cost problem, you are absolutely right. In order to solve the healthcare cost problem, we must use market driven patient centered approaches. Talk to doctors. Here again, you cannot micromanage healthcare costs out of DC. Every program we have had out of DC has failed. What we have to do is unravel the system with market driven ideas. HR3000 — introduced by Rep. Price in Georgia, used to be HR3400 — open healthcare savings accounts, allow association health plans. At the Restaurant Association we wanted a plan to customize to our workforce. Under the current structure, we couldn’t do that. Another thing doctors would like is loser-pay laws at the state and federal level. That’s what’s driving up malpractice insurance. A loser pays law is a big step in health reform.

GINGRICH: I think that the mess of the health system is an everything problem. It is federal, state, doctor, patient problem. You can go back to 1943 wage price control decisions which was a gimmick in WWII, but what happens in a third party payer system. The person receiving services isn’t paying so they don’t value it. The person writing the checks thinks the doctor is a crook.

Think about McDonalds. You show up and ask for a quarter pounder. They give it to you. You give them money. Everyone’s happen. But if you pay them and you don’t get the quarter pounder, there’s a problem. This is not silly, it’s basic, and this does not happen with healthcare.

We need to be in these non-30 second debates because there is a lot of material that needs to be talked about…common sense regardless of what the national establishment thinks is acceptable. Cain and I are the two most radical candidates in this because we are willing to talk common sense, when most in Washington think that does not count.

I am the only Speaker in modern history to balance the budget in 4 years. We reformed an entitlement, we reformed Medicare very carefully and had AARP neutral in a presidential election year. If you are serious about real health reform, you must abolish the Congressional Budget Office because it lies.

Every hospital will tell you that if you get the family and patient involved, it is better and less expensive. The Congressional Budget Office refuses to see this as a savings. It wants more bureaucracy and less patient involvement.

CAIN: If you go back to Ryan’s plan, first of all if you are 55 or older or you are already on Medicare you will not be affected so don’t allow the Left to use scare tactics on you. For the younger workers, if they take that option of the Medicare account they will treat it as their own money.

Initially it would be about $11,000 and you would have to buy a Medicare approved plan. When you treat it like it is your money that is how you wean people off expecting that someone else will pay for it and it will be someone else’s money.

GINGRICH: I wrote a book in 2002 called Saving Lives and Saving Money, and I outlined what to do. Washington will do three stupid things instead of one smart thing.

I just put on the table trillions of dollars that would be saved by not paying crooks. Why is it so hard to not penalize good people before you stop paying crooks. You can take existing IBM technology and use it to stop paying crooks.

Why is it so hard to say you can turn this around and pass a bill to contract out to American Express, VISA, and IBM to handle Medicare payments and in 60 days you would save a TRILLION DOLLARS.

Anyone who currently prefers to go to a premium support system should do it next year. Tom Price has a great bill that says if you want to contract out for healthcare let’s give you more freedom. Medicare is more restrictive than the British system.

When you get the government in the business of defining what you should have, the government will say you don’t need this or that when you do.

Prostate Example — Medicare says not to test for prostate cancer, when lives can be saved if detected quickly. No one who is a urologist or cancer specialist is making these decisions. It is just bureaucrats. You need to move to a place where people get help buying insurance but the family, the patient, and the doctors make the primary decisions on keeping you healthy. Just imagine if there was government approval on IPhones or computers…bureaucrats would stop innovation and would say that 1960 model is just fine for you.

CAIN: I will make this brief. In the private sector for decades now they have been making the change from defined benefits plans to define contributions plans. It is your money. And so what the Ryan plan does with Medicare accounts is that they have individual names on it with defined contributions where everyone will have an account and own it and spend more responsibly. GINGRICH: I want to ask Cain what happened at Godfather’s regarding the encroaching of government when CEOs are faced with the out of control bureaucracy.

My advice to them is something I realized when I first became CEO in 1986. If I did not get involved in these issues then the entire free market system would be collapsed. Don’t stand back and play it safe. Get involved with the solution. I want to congratulate the Tea Party for putting these talks together and educating people. Better informed people will change this country. You are all becoming better involved. The Tea Party movement is real and growing. The Left is calling people racists to scare them away. My advice to CEOs and business people is to get involved and not sit on the sidelines. You can’t stop it with expensive lobbyists down the road.

My question to Speaker Gingrich is that you spent a lot of distinguished years in Congress and then you left Congress and started other ventures and you were thinking outside the Washington bubble…what are three things you realized outside that bubble.

GINGRICH: As a business, you don’t get to stay in business unless you wake up every day thinking about how to keep customers. If you don’t earn your pay in business, a business won’t pay you. We need to apply LEAN Sigma Six principles to government.

In every aspect of the private sector someone is doing something brilliant that could be applied to government to reduce costs…but the Left and the media block this. If you found Best Practices across the country, you would be amazed at how quickly you could balance the budget and resolve the deficit.

When I left office as Speaker, there was a swing of 5 TRILLION dollars and we had a balanced budget.

CEOs set big goals with tight deadlines, delegate smartly, and don’t let any so call experts in the room. Social Security Reform….

CAIN: Social Security….I am a firm believer in solving problems. Old ideas have prolonged the problem. I am a strong proponent of an idea that Bush introduced, these optional personal retirement accounts. 30 countries have optional personal retirement accounts. Look at the Chilean model and I ask why can’t we do that? We can do it if we fight the demagoguery and fight all those who don’t want the current system to change. We need to educate the public so they understand this.

30 years ago, Chile had a social security system like we do. The workers got to 27% of every dollar earned going into this and the system was broken. When they gave people the option — within 3 years, 90% of people said we want the option because it became their money on an account with their name on it and they don’t have the problems we have dealing with social security.

If older Americans who have paid into the system, they have a choice to continue on, or they can take the option of controlling it yourself. If you are close to retirement,your benefits will keep being paid. For younger people, they will have an option to control that benefit yourself. I have asked young workers if they would want to start investing and controlling their own retirement…I have not found one person who would rather keeping things as they are. Investing conservatively will work better than the current system.

I am about fixing the problems. Payroll tax is the biggest tax that most people pay. We should be invited back to talk about the economy at another time. We have to change the tax code. It is one of the reason that healthcare costs keep going up. It makes no sense. It promotes the idea that this is all someone else’s money and not the employee’s.

The payroll tax would be eliminated in 9-9-9 we would setup those optional accounts with that money that people could control themselves.

GINGRICH: I am going to sidestep the opportunity to talk about 9-9-9. Sean Hannity has asked us to spend an hour in this format with him and I think we should do that. Here in Texas, there is the Galveston System where they discovered that if you put in about half as much money in the private sector you would get twice as much as you would giving it to government.

Any candidate who is not prepared to give younger Americans the right to choose has not serious plan for social security. Everyone who is currently on it, it won’t be touched, so don’t let the LEFT and AARP lie to you.

First of all, with growth, you go back to where we were when I left the Speakership, you can’t look at the current static model from the CBO and see anything…it’s amazing what 10-15 extra million Americans working does to social security.

Lyndon Johnson scored a cheap political point by sucking social security into the budget to try to show a balanced budget. Johnson began the problems of giving people the idea that they could steal this money. Senior citizens should not be scared like this.

Get social security out of the budget and make it a freestanding retirement account again.

If you want to stay in the current system, and let politicians like Barack Obama scare you that they are going to take your money away from you, then you can stay in the system.

If you have your own personal social security savings account and you want to retire early why would Congress tell you not to…or if you were like Andy Rooney and stayed active until age 92, why should Congress tell you that you can’t. Let’s get back to allowing Americans to control own lives.

CAIN: We as a nation are not short on good ideas of how to fix social security. What we are short on is the ability to educate people on the solutions. CEOs can help educate and inform their workers on what is truth and what is garbage. I believe the businesses in America could provide a service of changing the paradigm of DC and inform the employees on what is fact and what is not.

One of the big advantages in this election cycle is the Tea Party, and the Internet. More people are smart and informed today. The President needs to be a communicator in chief informing and educating people, not scaring them.

GINGRICH: Let’s talk about Herman’s role in turning around Godfather’s pizza. He came in and totally transformed that business. Let’s also talk about the Green Bay Packers and their leadership. I became a leader in Congress just like Herman did in business because I was willing to tell the truth and talk directly to people.

The current president is as accurate and honest as Bernie Madoff in what he tells the American people.

It is a fraud and a lie the way that Congress deals with social security. The American people have put money into a trust fund. It is not hidden. It is there. But every politician in Washington wants to find a gimmick to balance the budget off the backs of working Americans.

If you take it off budget, you could solve social security. You take what’s in that fund, and you model it on what’s in Chile, you find with a few modest cuts in spending you get to a stable retirement program.

Since Johnson, we have been hiding the real size of our budget deficit by obscuring it with social security. We need to be honest and separate these two things and deal with them.

CAIN: This is what we have to be honest about, it is going to take a long time to work ourselves out of this mess that has been created for decades. We can’t deal with unfunded liabilities, we have to deal with a bill that says starting from now all social security contributions will go towards social security benefits only. What the money is collected for, let’s put it towards that only.

GINGRICH: The private sector money in a personal social security account goes into the private sector. There will be a 1% increase in economic growth just because of the amount of capital that would be saved. In Chile they now have savings in their social security accounts that equal 76% of their capital. That is breathtaking and longterm and stable. We need to have separate money between social security and what would be in the private savings account.

CAIN: In the private sector, most companies have moved to a defined contributions account. The company will make a contribution along with the employee. The employee selects from several options on how to invest. You can declare yourself a low risk, a medium, or a high risk investor. You can do the same thing with personal retirement accounts. Parking the money is never the problem. Yanking it out of the federal budget is the problem.

Next topic: Medicaid

CAIN: I absolutely agree with block granting to states. IN order to solve the problem, the states know better how to use their resources to provide the greatest amount of help to their citizens. Medicaid has gotten states hooked on it like crack. We have to break the crack habit with block grants. The states over time will have more flexibility. We should not cut them off cold turkey, but we need to start to end the dependency of states on Washington bureaucracy. We need to end the mandates to the states and let the states decide.

GINGRICH: Let’s look at Obamacare. Go to for the proposed 21st Century Contract with America. First step is to repeal Obamacare.

I strongly support Paul Ryan’s approach to block granting Medicaid. Block grant all remaining welfare programs. Give the states the power to deal with the poor using innovation and money savings.

We are going to have a real national debate on all this. I do not believe you solve problems under the Left’s policy of people being helpless. Read THE TRAGEDY OF AMERICAN COMPASSION. We need to rethink Medicaid much the way we rethought welfare reform. Governor Bush in Florida had a program where people who took care of themselves and didn’t go to the emergency room got a Christmas bonus. To the shock of academics, poor people were aware of money and strived to get that bonus by not abusing the emergency rooms. If you had the ability to triage and send people to minute clinics, then the hospital wouldn’t charge emergency room rates. If you track someone who abuses the system there should be a consequence for that.

We have to start distinguishing between the taxpayer who is concerned with charitable care and taxpayers who are suckers and are being exploited.

CAIN: One of the principles I believe in is going from an entitlement society to an empowerment society. Help people to help themselves.

No entitlement programs…teach people to fish, not give them fish.

I would support a voucher system but not if a voucher would pay all the costs. People need skin in the game, otherwise they will ask how much more the government will give them.

GINGRICH: We need genuine block grants so states can decide how best they should handle matters. The whole purpose of getting back to 50 states is to have 50 laboratories of experimentation since Washington can’t fix things. We’ve seen this.

We need to think of all of these things being integrated into one human being.

Public Housing — if we give people a place to live, they need to help clean it, paint it, and fix it so they have skin in the game. The Left’s Model: people are weak, helpless, and stupid and need government to tell them what to do…but who does the Left think the government hires to run the bureaucracy?

CAIN: You need to block grant responsibility as well as money. You need the states to adhere to rules, and to have responsibility for making decisions at the state level. Right now they are too caught up in bureaucracy.

GINGRICH: I believe in health information technology. We need to have the same security and ease of information that we have in using ATMs. You can walk up to a machine in a foreign country, you put in a code, and you can get money out in the local currency anywhere in the world. The center for Medicare and Medicaid uses only paper. It is 40 years behind the times. It stops us from getting into a better future.

CAIN: We need to have standards and not make it easy for people to cheat on things. You can’t get on an airplane without showing a valid ID. Why should we allow people to do other things without IDs. Photo IDs are needed and should be required to vote to end fraud. WHY NOT?

People who are fighting to require voter ID are people who want cheating to continue in the voting process. There is much more cheating going on than people want to admit.

GINGRICH: There is a big gap in rational thinking between the government and private sectors. We have technology that allows you to track a package with FedEx with remarkable accuracy. One of my proposals is to send people a package to determine if they are here illegally…(laughter)…but it’s funny but making a point about where we are. We should be able to identify everyone who gets emergency aid and every state should sue the federal government every year for every cent spent on illegals who should not be in the United States.

That is the federal government’s responsibility.

How to address the 72 entitlement programs:

CAIN: We need to change entitlement to empowerment programs. You need to prove you are looking for a job or are taking classes to get a better job. Means testing will help but you need to make people take ownership and WANT to get off those programs. I would block grant all entitlement programs back to the states and give them the flexibility on how to modify the programs and stretch those dollars.

GINGRICH: You must start with the question on whether or not means testing requires people to stay below. We have the most effective food stamp president in history right now and that is not a good thing.

Do you want to rise above the point where you would be means tested? You create a discouragement — read the book LOSING GROUND – you are teaching people to be dependent and fail. You need to rethink the idea that people are getting something for nothing, because that’s not how it works. If someone is an able bodied person who is getting something for nothing than we are stupid for giving it to you.

We need to fundamentally change unemployment compensation. We need to require training. 99 weeks of unemployment sitting doing nothing could be turned into an associate’s degree. I think that each state needs to have primary responsibility for most of these domestic issues.

CAIN: Let me round this out. We have talked about the biggest elephant in the room, entitlement programs. As you can see, Speaker Gingrich and I are not afraid to talk about this. The government has been intellectually dishonest about these programs for 50 years.

Ultimately, all these programs work together and what we come back to is that education and a job are the two best things that get people off these programs. We need to look at how to get people back to work, want to get off it, and there will be a few people who are lazy and they don’t want to help themselves….that’s their little boogiewoogie as my grandmother used to say.

CAIN: I would restructure unemployment so that if you got 26 weeks unemployment one time, then next time you would only get 13 weeks…then 7.5 weeks so that you are encouraged to get and keep a job.

GINGRICH: I would connect the unemployed to the jobs we can’t fill. We have an older workforce who is not trained to do the new jobs we can’t fill. From Day One, you need to get trained as fast as possible to get a full time job because these people will need to do something every single day in order to get a penny. Cain and Gingrich ask each other a question now — not playing Gotcha! one time all night — Gingrich goes first:

GINGRICH: You have had a terrific life. We fought Hillarycare together years ago, what’s been the biggest surprise to you in running for president?

CAIN: The nitpicketyness of the media. I did not realize the fly speaking nature of the media when you move up in the polls….because if there is a journalistic standard, they don’t follow it, and too many people give out misinformation. I thought that — and I did not study political correctness in school — too many people in the media are dishonest and do a disservice to the American people.

CAIN: Mr. Speaker, if you were Vice President of the United States (applause and laughter from crowd) what would you want me to assign you to do first?

GINGRICH: Having studied Dick Cheney, I would not go hunting.

Campaign Buzz October 5, 2011: Sarah Palin Announces Decision Not to Run for President & Republican Presidential Nomination in 2012 Election


By Bonnie K. Goodman

Ms. Goodman is the Editor of History Musings. She has a BA in History & Art History & a Masters in Library and Information Studies from McGill University, and has done graduate work in history at Concordia University.


Former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin speaks to Tea Party members on Sept. 3 in Indianola, Iowa. | AP Photo


Sarah Palin reportedly says she won’t run for president in 2012: Former Alaska governor Sarah Palin said in a statement on Wednesday that she will not seek the GOP nomination for president in 2012, according to media reports.

“After much prayer and serious consideration, I have decided that I will not be seeking the 2012 GOP nomination for President of the United States. As always, my family comes first and obviously Todd and I put great consideration into family life before making this decision. When we serve, we devote ourselves to God, family and country. My decision maintains this order.” — Sarah Palin Statement

Full Text Campaign Buzz October 5, 2011: Sarah Palin’s Statement on Decision to Not Run for President & Republican Presidential Nomination in 2012 Election (Transcript) — History Musings

  • Palin Says She’s Not Running: Sarah Palin tells a radio host that she can be more active in trying to oust President Obama if she is not a candidate…. – NYT, 10-5-11
  • Sarah Palin says she will not run for president: Former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin said Wednesday she will not run for president, leaving little doubt that the eventual Republican nominee will come from the current field of contenders.
    After months of leaving her fans guessing, Palin said in a statement that she and her husband Todd “devote ourselves to God, family and country.” She said her decision maintains that order.
    Palin sent the statement to supporters. She told conservative radio host Mark Levin that she would not consider a third party candidacy because it would assure President Barack Obama’s reelection.
    In a video posted on Youtube, Palin said, “you don’t need an office or a title to make a difference.”… – AP, 10-5-11
  • Palin won’t run for president: In a letter to supporters, the 2008 vice presidential nominee took herself out of the running for the Republican nomination. Instead, Palin said she can be more effective helping other Republicans win office as governors…. – USA Today, 10-5-11
  • Palin Decides Against 2012 Run: Sarah Palin said she won’t seek the 2012 Republican presidential nomination, ending a lengthy and attention-grabbing political flirtation that kept voters and potential rivals guessing…. – Bloomberg, 10-5-11
  • Former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin says she will not run for president, won’t run for President: Palin said in a statement Wednesday, Oct. 5, 2011, that she is not running for president … – WaPo, 10-5-11
  • Sarah Palin says she will not run for president: Former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin said Wednesday she will not run for president, leaving little doubt that the eventual Republican nominee will come from the current field of contenders. … – Forbes, 10-5-11
  • Palin Opts Against 2012 Presidential Run: Former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin announced Wednesday that she won’t enter the 2012 presidential race, making it all but certain that the current crop of GOP candidates has been set.
    In a letter to her supporters, the 2008 vice presidential nominee and Fox News contributor said her decision was based on a “review of what common sense conservatives and independents have accomplished, especially over the last year.”
    “I believe that at this time I can be more effective in a decisive role to help elect other true public servants to office — from the nation’s governors to congressional seats and the presidency,” she said.
    “I will continue driving the discussion for freedom and free markets, including in the race for president where our candidates must embrace immediate action toward energy independence through domestic resource developments of conventional energy sources, along with renewables,” she said.
    “We must reduce tax burdens and onerous regulations that kill American industry, and our candidates must always push to minimize government to strengthen and allow the private sector to create jobs.”…. – Fox News, 10-5-11
  • Sarah Palin 2012 decision: Not running: Sarah Palin will not seek the Republican nomination for president. The former Alaska governor and 2008 GOP vice presidential nominee announced the news to conservative radio talk show host Mark Levin and in a letter to supporters Wednesday evening.
    “I have decided that I will not be seeking the 2012 GOP nomination for President of the United States,” she wrote. “As always, my family comes first and obviously Todd and I put great consideration into family life before making this decision. When we serve, we devote ourselves to God, family and country. My decision maintains this order.”
    Asked if she will support the GOP nominee, Palin told Levin: “I have confidence in that. I look forward to supporting our nominee. . The right candidate will be elevated that will be our nominee. We’ll be able to get behind that person and make sure that Barack Obama is replaced.”…. – Politico, 10-5-11
  • Sarah Palin not running for president: Sarah Palin announced Wednesday evening that she is not going to run for president in 2012. The candidate, who inspired months of speculation regarding a possible presidential bid, announced her decision in an interview Wednesday with conservative radio host Mark Levin.
    Levin read a statement from Palin announcing the decision before speaking to the former vice presidential nominee on his show.
    In the statement, Palin cited family considerations and said she thought she could be more effective in helping others get elected…. – CBS News, 10-5-11

Full Text Campaign Buzz October 5, 2011: Sarah Palin’s Statement on Decision to Not Run for President & Republican Presidential Nomination in 2012 Election (Transcript)




Sarah Palin’s Statement on 2012 Decision

October 5, 2011

Wasilla, Alaska

After much prayer and serious consideration, I have decided that I will not be seeking the 2012 GOP nomination for President of the United States. As always, my family comes first and obviously Todd and I put great consideration into family life before making this decision. When we serve, we devote ourselves to God, family and country. My decision maintains this order.

My decision is based upon a review of what common sense Conservatives and Independents have accomplished, especially over the last year. I believe that at this time I can be more effective in a decisive role to help elect other true public servants to office – from the nation’s governors to Congressional seats and the Presidency. We need to continue to actively and aggressively help those who will stop the “fundamental transformation” of our nation and instead seek the restoration of our greatness, our goodness and our constitutional republic based on the rule of law.

From the bottom of my heart I thank those who have supported me and defended my record throughout the years, and encouraged me to run for President. Know that by working together we can bring this country back – and as I’ve always said, one doesn’t need a title to help do it.

I will continue driving the discussion for freedom and free markets, including in the race for President where our candidates must embrace immediate action toward energy independence through domestic resource developments of conventional energy sources, along with renewables. We must reduce tax burdens and onerous regulations that kill American industry, and our candidates must always push to minimize government to strengthen the economy and allow the private sector to create jobs.

Those will be our priorities so Americans can be confident that a smaller, smarter government that is truly of the people, by the people, and for the people can better serve this most exceptional nation.

In the coming weeks I will help coordinate strategies to assist in replacing the President, re-taking the Senate, and maintaining the House.

Thank you again for all your support. Let’s unite to restore this country!

God bless America.

– Sarah Palin

History Buzz September 9, 2011: New C-Span Series “The Contenders” Profiling Failed Presidential Candidates that Changed and Impacted Political History


History Buzz

By Bonnie K. Goodman

Ms. Goodman is the Editor of History Musings. She has a BA in History & Art History & a Masters in Library and Information Studies from McGill University, and has done graduate work in history at Concordia University.


Associated Press

William Jennings Bryan, the three-time presidential candidate at the turn of the 20th century.


The Contenders Premiere

Fri., 8 – 9:30 pm ET on C-SPAN
Henry Clay
LIVE from his Ashland Estate in Lexington, Kentucky

As the 2012 presidential campaign takes shape, we’ll give historical context to our current politics by taking a look back. This Friday night, C-SPAN debuts the first LIVE program in our new history series The Contenders.

Originating from Henry Clay’s home in Lexington, Kentucky, we’ll explore the life, times, and political legacy of a man known simultaneously by his contemporaries as “The Great Compromiser” and “The Dictator” — and perhaps the most powerful politician of his time. Helping us to understand his relevancy today, his almost 50 years in politics, his support for both slavery and keeping the Union together, his quests for the presidency, and a time period covering the first half of the 19th century, we’ll be joined at Ashland Estate by:

· Kentucky State Historian James Klotter, who is currently writing a book on Clay’s presidential aspirations

· Alicestyne Turly, history professor at Louisville University and an expert on the issue of slavery in Kentucky compared to the rest of the country

· Avery Malone, tour director at Ashland Estate

To help connect the discussion to today, we’ll also see clips from House Speaker John Boehner, former Speaker Nancy Pelosi, and Kentucky Senators Mitch McConnell and Rand Paul talking about Clay and his relevancy almost 160 years after his death.
For more information on the series and our Contenders, go to where you’ll find videos, biographical information, election results, helpful links, and more on each of these 14 Contenders featured in the series:
Henry Clay, James G. Blaine, William Jennings Bryan, Eugene Debs, Charles Evans Hughes, Al Smith, Wendell Willkie, Thomas E. Dewey, Adlai Stevenson, Barry Goldwater, Hubert Humphrey, George Wallace, George McGovern, and Ross Perot.
Watch this Friday at 8 pm ET on C-SPAN,, and C-SPAN Radio. The program re-airs Friday night at 11 pm on C-SPAN.


‘The Contenders’ a Nod to Failed Candidates Who Still Changed History

Source: PBS Newshour, 9-1-11

Mp3 Download


A new C-SPAN series starting this month called “The Contenders” profiles failed presidential candidates who still managed to change political history. Gwen Ifill discusses the presidential race losers with George Mason University’s Richard Norton Smith and’s Carl Cannon.

U.S. presidential campaigns always produce a winner — 43 men have served, one of them twice, as the nation’s commander in chief.History books pay less attention to the losers, even though many had an outsized impact on the election and on the national debate. A good number of them turned out to be ahead of their times.

Beginning Sept. 9, a new C-SPAN series titled “The Contenders: They Ran and Lost but Changed Political History,” will examine 14 of the losers who turned out to be influential, even in defeat.

Richard Norton Smith, scholar in residence at George Mason University, is an adviser to the series, and Carl Cannon is Washington editor for the political website

RICHARD NORTON SMITH, George Mason University:

Well, it has famously been said, the winners write the history books. And there’s a lot of truth to that.

Turns out winning and losing are relative terms. Of these 14 people, there are a number — we could debate who — who went on, perhaps, ultimately to have greater impact than the people who — quote — “won.”

More important, there are people who lost in the immediate sense, but who turned out not only to be ahead of their time, but in fact were catalysts for political transformations, the most recent example certainly being Barry Goldwater, who carried six states against Lyndon Johnson in 1964, and yet who planted the seeds of a conservative movement that arguably has yet to crest…..

I think Henry Clay may be the best president we never had.

Well, Abraham Lincoln said, “He was my beau ideal of a statesman.”He was a constructive force first part of the 19th century. He’s the bridge between Alexander Hamilton and Abraham Lincoln, the idea that government had a significant role to play. I mean, it’s curious. Conservatives in the 19th century believed in using government as an agent of capitalist development….

Clay was like the speaker of the House on the day he arrived in the House of Representatives, he, of course, known as the great compromiser. The last one in 1850 arguably delayed the Civil War for 10 years, which gave the North an opportunity to become that much stronger, and, equally important, allowed Abraham Lincoln to emerge from obscurity….
Charles Evans Hughes…. A very successful governor of New York, reformer beginning in the 20th century. Then he was put on the Supreme Court, left the court in 1916 to run a very close race against Woodrow Wilson.

He went back to service in the 1920s as secretary of state under two presidents. But his greatest contribution, arguably, his greatest historical significance, came in 1937 when FDR tried famously to pack the Supreme Court. Hughes was then chief justice. Employing all of his old political wiles, he almost single-handedly managed to thwart the president’s effort to change the court in a way that I think a lot of people today, and certainly even then, regarded as radical….

Tom Dewey, someone who tends to be written off as the guy who…. … who lost to Harry Truman.

If Tom Dewey had been elected in 1948, I would — I think you would never have heard of Joe McCarthy.

One, Dewey is a prosecutor. The first national political debate in America was in 1948. Tom Dewey in Oregon against Harold Stassen, the question being, shall we outlaw the Communist Party of America? And Dewey, ironically, the old prosecutor, took the civil libertarian position.

But, beyond that, Dewey was a boss. He was used to having his way. Joe McCarthy wouldn’t have been allowed to become the phenomenon that he had. Dewey would have taken care of it, and Dewey would have cut McCarthy off at the knees.


Richard Norton Smith: Don’t Call Them ‘Losers’

Source: NYT, 9-8-11

On cable news these days Republicans are warring for attention, as the presidential primary season reaches a boiling point, and Democrats are wondering how to win despite a wretched economy. Meanwhile the C-SPAN staff is doing what almost no one else on television does: reaching back into history for campaign lessons.

Associated Press

Thomas E. Dewey was twice nominated for president.

Hulton Archive/Getty Images

The first person to be profiled is Henry Clay, the successful speaker of the House and unsuccessful Whig Party candidate for president in 1844.

Underwood and Underwood

Charles Evans Hughes waged a “not very effective campaign” for president in 1916.

Associated Press

George S. McGovern, the senator who was the Democratic presidential nominee in 1972.

But it’s doing so in an unusual way. On Friday night that public-affairs channel will start a 14-week series about the presidents who could have been but never were. Called “The Contenders” — purposefully not “The Losers” — the series is about politicians who lost elections but, to borrow from its self-description, “changed political history” anyway.

“The idea is to offer an alternative school of political history,” said Richard Norton Smith, the presidential historian who is a consultant to C-SPAN and who came up with the idea for the series. He said, “More than a few who were deemed losers in their time turned out to be winners in the longer run.”

The first person to be profiled is Henry Clay, the successful speaker of the House and unsuccessful Whig Party candidate for president in 1844 who was known as the Great Compromiser, revealing one of the reasons that Mr. Smith said the series was “not without relevance in our time.”

So many failed candidates now seem to be staples of our national news diet, whether it’s Sarah Palin with her “will she or won’t she?” run for president; Al Gore, with his continuing campaign about climate change; Mike Huckabee, with his new talk-show career; or even John Edwards, with his fall from the op-ed page to the tabloid cover. But the current crop didn’t inspire the series, said Mark Farkas, its executive producer.

“We knew we wanted to do a history series before the presidential election was really kicked off,” Mr. Farkas said Wednesday, taking a break from reviewing video clips for the Clay episode. Studying the runners-up, he said, is a “great way to track how people have run for the presidency and how they have interacted with the media.”

The most recent crop of candidates wouldn’t have qualified for the series. To be a contender the person had to have run for president before 1996. Mr. Farkas said Mr. Gore, who ran for president in 2000, was considered for the series, but the producing group decided that “history’s still being written about 2000.”

The series starts with Clay and ends on Dec. 9 with Ross Perot, who ran for president in 1992 (and again in 1996). In between are men — they are all men — like William Jennings Bryan, the three-time presidential candidate at the turn of the 20th century; Eugene V. Debs, the union leader who ran on a socialist platform five times, once from prison; Thomas E. Dewey, the New York governor who was the Republican nominee in 1944 and 1948; and George S. McGovern, the senator who was the Democratic nominee in 1972.

Mr. Smith said the producing team was careful to include an equal number of Republicans and Democrats and a “good sampling” of third-party candidates.

“You can play all sorts of parlor games with this topic,” he said. “Would these guys have been better than the people who beat them? How might history have been different?”

C-SPAN’s schedule is determined by Congress much of the time because the channel is committed to showing the House of Representatives whenever it is in session. But Friday night is typically free for original programming because the House tends to dismiss itself for the weekend. In 2007 Mr. Smith was a consultant for a Friday series that was set at presidential libraries. “We were combing the treasures of the collections,” he said.

Similarly, each 90-minute episode of “The Contenders” will be produced live from a location that was important in the life of the featured person. The episode about Clay will be broadcast from his former plantation in Lexington, Ky., which is significant, Mr. Farkas said, because “many of the compromises that Clay made were over slavery.” Guests on each episode will include estate or museum curators, outside historians and authors.

The locations are significant because “these people are really windows into their time period as well,” Mr. Farkas said.

Mr. Smith, who is a professor at George Mason University and the author of books about Dewey, Herbert Hoover, George Washington and others, became one of C-SPAN’s top house historians after befriending Brian Lamb, the founder and chief executive of the network. They have, Mr. Smith said with a laugh, a “curious basis for a friendship:” Mr. Lamb found out in 1993 that Mr. Smith had visited the grave site of every United States president and then decided to do the same. (There are no plans at the moment for a series about the grave sites.)

Mr. Smith said he perceived “The Contenders” to be an alternative to the constant coverage of the current Republican primary campaign, but relevant to the coverage too. Take Mr. Perot, for instance. “Perot put the deficit on the agenda in a way that made it virtually impossible for whoever won to avoid doing something about it,” he said.

Perhaps there are lessons too for the losers — or contenders — themselves. The Oct. 7 episode will profile Charles Evan Hughes, who governed New York before joining the Supreme Court in 1910. A Republican, Hughes waged a “not very effective campaign” for president in 1916, but then became the secretary of state and later the nation’s chief justice. He wrote opinions that supported elements of the New Deal and strengthened free-press protections and fended off a proposal to add more justices to the court.

“He never even served in Congress,” Mr. Smith said. “But it’s hard to find many public servants who did as much, as well, as long.”

A version of this article appeared in print on September 8, 2011, on page C1 of the New York edition with the headline: Don’t Call Them ‘Losers’.

Featured Historians Julian E. Zelizer: Americans want security for 2012


Julian E. Zelizer: Americans want security for 2012

  • Julian Zelizer: Economic security is going to be defining theme of 2012 race
  • Americans want to know jobs are safe and available, he says
  • Zelizer: Neither party has done a good job developing policies for economic security
  • He says FDR provided security to U.S., while Ford and Carter didn’t

Julian E. Zelizer is a professor of history and public affairs at Princeton University. He is the author of “Jimmy Carter” (Times Books) and editor of a book assessing former President George W. Bush’s administration, published by Princeton University Press.

Just as the 2004 presidential election was all about the concept of security, the same term will shape the campaigns of 2012.

But this time around, the issue is not national security and the threat of terrorists but the search for security amid the ongoing struggles that Americans have faced with the economy.

High unemployment, laggard economic growth and a turbulent stock market have left many middle class Americans terrified about what comes next. Almost three-quarters of Americans, according to a recent Reuters/Ipsos poll, said that the country is moving in the wrong direction.

During the 2012 election, voters will be looking for a candidate who can restore some sense of economic security: a candidate who can provide them with confidence that their jobs won’t disappear (and that new jobs will emerge for those without them) and that their income will remain steady….

Republicans have not provided much of a vision of how they would restore economic security for the middle class. They have focused on the traditional conservative magic bullet solutions of deficit reduction and government spending cuts — without tax increases — neither of which would have any major impact on the current unemployment rates or address the underlying challenges that the economy has been facing for over a decade.

Today’s candidates from both parties are closer to their predecessors in the 1970s than the 1930s. Political leaders are having trouble providing guidance and hope as a devastating economy has turned life into a constant struggle for many Americans. In 2012, the nation will have a chance to hear what each party plans to do to turn things around. The candidate who can offer a more compelling case is likely to end up in the White House.

%d bloggers like this: