On the campaign trail, April 2012
Saturday, May 5, 2012
The following is the sixth in a monthly series chronicling the U.S. 2012 presidential election. It features original material compiled throughout the previous month after a brief mention of some of the month's biggest stories.
In this month's edition on the campaign trail, a candidate that ended his presidential campaign speaks to Wikinews about what he learned from the experience and his new plan to run for U.S. Constitution Party, and the campaign manager for the top Americans Elect presidential candidate provides insight on the campaign's list of potential ., Wikinews gets the reaction of the new presidential and vice presidential nominees of the
At the beginning of April, former Massachusetts Mitt Romney won primaries in Wisconsin, Washington, D.C., and Maryland, pushing him further ahead of his rivals. A week later, former Rick Santorum, the candidate with the second highest number of delegates, ended his campaign, avoiding a loss to Romney in his home state of Pennsylvania. With the withdrawal, the press began to identify Romney as the presumptive Republican Party nominee, though he had yet to secure enough delegates to clinch the nomination. Thereafter, Romney appointed adviser Beth Meyers to begin the search for a running mate.
These developments set the stage for an election contest between Romney and President Barack Obama, who had secured the nomination of the Democratic Party with victories in Maryland and Washington, D.C. proclaimed the " " as the "opening act in Obama-Romney election battle" as Obama pushed for the Senate to pass a tax increase on wealthy Americans, named for billionaire , who argued it was unfair that because of loopholes, his secretary had to pay a higher effective tax rate than him. The Romney campaign attacked the proposed tax increase as a "politically motivated" and "gussied-up" increase on .
Other stories in April distracted from the discussion of political issues. First, Democratic strategist Indonesia as discussed in his autobiography . Romney strategist Eric Fehrstrom retweeted Axelrod's original photo with the caption, "In hindsight, a chilling photo." Then, Rock musician and Romney supporter said at a event that he would be "dead or in jail" if Obama won re-election, earning him a visit from the . The Secret Service itself was embroiled in controversy in April after it was revealed that agents had retained the services of while protecting the President during his trip to Colombia.described Romney's wife, , as having "never worked a day in her life." Ann Romney responded that "I made a choice to stay home and raise five boys. Believe me, it was hard work." Next, The Obama campaign renewed the story that Romney transported his dog in a kennel on top of his vehicle in 1983, with campaign strategist posting a photo of Obama in a vehicle with his dog , with the caption, "How loving owners transport their dogs." The Romney campaign countered that Obama had eaten dog meat while living in
Despite the portrayal of Romney as the presumptive nominee, delegate contests continued. Romney won additional races in Connecticut, Rhode Island, Delaware, Pennsylvania, and New York, after which former Newt Gingrich announced he planned to end his campaign. Texas Rick Perry, who supported Gingrich, formally endorsed Romney. However, Congressman Ron Paul of Texas continued his campaign. He won the majority of the Minnesota delegates up for grabs at conventions across the state and did the same in Louisiana, pushing his delegate count to 80. Romney has secured 847, which is just short of the required 1,144. 962 delegates remain available.
Presidential candidate drops bid; announces congressional run
In April, former Libertarian Party (LP), citing fundraising difficulties. He announced that instead, he would run an campaign to represent in the against incumbent Congressman . Harris previously challenged Cole for the seat in 2010, but lost in the Republican Party primary.ended his campaign for the 2012 presidential nomination of the
Harris opened his presidential candidacy last year, and was the first LP candidate to speak with Wikinews. His exit leaves activist New Mexico Gary Johnson as the two main contenders for the LP nomination at the party's May 5 .and former
Since exiting, Harris spoke to Wikinews once again, discussing what he learned from his presidential campaign, what he wishes to happen at the LP National Convention, and how his new congressional campaign will differ from his 2010 run.
((WSS )) What did you learn from the experience of running for president?
- Harris: I learned that I am Libertarian to the core by having to research each and every position on the issues and realizing that I almost never saw the answers in any other light than that cast by the Philosophy of Liberty or the . Certainly I will run again when I have built a bigger base and I look forwards to once again being able to fight for Liberty with the courage of informed conviction. I also learned that no party, even the smaller ones, are immune from party politics and I will spend the rest of my political life attempting to live the admonition of and against them and the evils they create.
((WSS )) Who would you now like to see win the Libertarian Party presidential nomination?
- Harris: I have already stated publicly that I think both Lee Wrights and Gov. Gary Johnson are great men who would serve the Libertarian Party very well. I would like to see a ticket with them both included on it. I refrain from making a direct endorsement of either as that smacks of the very party politics I have come to loathe. Let them articulate their messages to the delegates and the delegates decide without the interference of one of the failed candidates, or the party machine, who should be their standard bearer.
((WSS )) How will your 2012 congressional campaign differ from your 2010 run?
- Harris: My 2012 Congressional Campaign will not end until November this time rather than in July. This should give us the time we need to attract wider support from the Liberty movement than we had last time since it is very difficult to get folks fired up so far in advance of the actual election. I will also be spending much more effort in district with various civic organizations, not political parties, and focusing on the registered voters who vote most often. Certainly I will highlight my opponents atrocious voting record which includes voting for the bailouts, the stimulus, raising the , the president's budget, the and the . Aside from that though what is most important is that we get the message of Liberty out to the constituents of Oklahoma's 4th District so that they have something positive to consider up against the incumbent.
Constitution Party presidential and vice presidential picks react to nomination
Virgil Goode of Virginia and of Pennsylvania, the new presidential and vice presidential nominees of the Constitution Party (CP), each responded to Wikinews inquiries requesting their thoughts on their respective nominations.
Goode, who served infor over a decade before joining the CP in 2010, announced his presidential candidacy this past February. At the in April, he won the party's presidential nomination on the first ballot over former football coach and 2008 vice presidential nominee .
Afterwards, Goode echoed his reaction to Wikinews: "I am honored to be the nominee of the Constitution Party for the 2012 election. I offer a real difference from Romney and Obama." He differentiated himself from Romney and Obama, calling for a balanced federal budget, border security, the elimination of illegal immigration, the decrease of legal immigration, support for theand , and the reduction of money in politics. He proclaimed, "I am not taking any donations, and am also limiting individual donations to $200 per person...I favor the many over the special few."
At the convention, Goode selected outgoing CP chairman Jim Clymer as his. Clymer, an attorney from , announced earlier this year that he would step down as chairman of the CP. During his chairmanship, Clymer welcomed Goode into the CP in 2010, and encouraged him to run for president. This is not Clymer's first campaign for public office, having run for in both 1994 and 1998.
Concerning the CP vice presidential nomination, Clymer told Wikinews, "I wasn't seeking it, but how can one say no to a request like that, especially after I had been urging him [Goode] to step forward to make the sacrifice of being our presidential candidate. It's a case of duty calling and I intend to do all I can to answer that call!"
Asurvey conducted at the end of April shows the CP ticket with 5 percent support in Goode's home state of Virginia, behind Mitt Romney with 38 percent and President Barack Obama with 50 percent. In 2008, the ticket of pastor and Darrell Castle appeared on 37 state ballots, and received 199,314 votes or 0.15 percent of the total popular vote.
Top Americans Elect candidate announces '23' potential running mates
Former Louisiana governor Buddy Roemer, the current leader in supporters for the Americans Elect presidential nomination, announced on 's in April that he has compiled a list of "23" potential running mates for his campaign. He says the list will remain a secret until the conclusion of the first round of voting on the Americans Elect website. The vote was scheduled to happen on May 8, but has been postponed to May 15. According to Americans Elect rules, Roemer must select a running mate that is a political Independent or from the Democratic Party since Roemer has been associated with the Republican Party for most of his career. He recently changed his affiliation to the in order to seek that party's presidential nomination.
Roemer's campaign manager Carlos Sierra told Wikinews that he personally knows who makes up the 23 individuals on the list, but would not disclose any names. He added that "some of them [the potential candidates] are aware they are on the list."
Americans Elect is attempting to appear on the Election Day ballot in all 50 states and has currently secured access in 26. Candidates on the website are rated by the number of supporters. Roemer currently leads with 4,632 followed by formerwith 2,824 supporters, activist is third with 1,791, and economics professor is close behind with 1,726. Ron Paul leads all candidates with 8,889, but there is no indication he will seek the nomination.
- "U.S. Constitution Party nominates former Congressman Virgil Goode for president" — Wikinews, April 22, 2012
- "US Secret Service agents face investigation for Colombian sex scandal" — Wikinews, April 19, 2012
- "Rick Santorum drops U.S. presidential bid" — Wikinews, April 11, 2012
- "Buddy Roemer ends Republican presidential bid to seek Reform Party nomination" — Wikinews, February 23, 2012
- "U.S. presidential candidate Gary Johnson leaves GOP to vie for the LP nom" — Wikinews, December 29, 2011
- "Wikinews interviews U.S. Libertarian Party potential presidential candidate R.J. Harris" — Wikinews, June 17, 2011
- Associated Press. "Republican Delegate Tally" — , May 5, 2012 (date of access)
- "Americans Elect 2012" — , May 5, 2012 (date of access)
- "James Clymer" — , May 5, 2012 (date of access)
- Tom Jensen. "Obama tops Romney by 8 in VA, even with McDonnell" — , May 1, 2012
- Richard Winger. "Americans Elect Postpones its First Round of Voting by a Week" — , May 1, 2012
- Steven Nelson. "Ron Paul claims victory in Louisiana" — , April 29, 2012
- Jonathan Tilove. "Buddy Roemer culling Americans Elect running mate from field of 23" — , April 27, 2012
- "Press Release: AE Gains Ballot Access in South Carolina" — , April 27, 2012
- Lexi Stemple. "Perry endorses Romney for president" — , April 25, 2012
- Vince Coglianese. "Report: Newt Gingrich will conclude presidential campaign on May 1" — , April 25, 2012
- David Espo and Kasie Hunt (AP). "Mitt Romney Sweeps GOP Primaries, Promises 'Better America'" — , April 24, 2012
- Josh Fatzick. "Ron Paul racks up Minnesota delegates" — , April 23, 2012
- Steve Olafson. "Nugent says had "solid" meeting with Secret Service" — , April 20, 2012
- Steve Peoples (Ann Romney emerging as husband’s political weapon" — , April 19, 2012 ). "
- Michael Barbaro and Ashley Parker. "Romney Aide Turns Focus to Search for His No. 2" — , April 17, 2012
- Jake Tapper. "Romney Campaign Notes that Obama as a Boy Ate Dog Meat" — , April 17, 2012
- "The Constitution Party Chairmanship Race" — , April 17, 2012
- Megan Rolland. "Independent RJ Harris files for House District 4" — , April 13, 2012
- "‘Buffett Rule’ is opening act in Obama-Romney election battle" — , April 12, 2012
- Jennifer De Pinto and Sarah Dutton. "How Mitt Romney became the presumptive nominee" — , April 12, 2012
- "RJ Harris Ends Campaign for LP Presidential Nomination" — , April 11, 2012
- David Nakamura. "With eye on Romney, Obama makes another appeal to middle class with ‘Buffett rule’" — , April 10, 2012
- William M. Welch and Judy Keen. "Romney sweeps D.C., Maryland and Wisconsin" — , April 4, 2012
- "BREAKING: Obama clinches Democratic nomination" — , April 3, 2012
- "Exclusive: Former Congressman Goode Joins the Constitution Party" — , May 4, 2010