- - Wednesday, October 12, 2011


Republicans raise $9M in month of September

The Republican National Committee raised more than $9 million in September as the party prepares to challenge President Obama next year.

The RNC ended the month with $11.4 million in the bank. RNC Chairman Reince Priebus has focused on reducing the party’s large debt since he took over from former chairman Michael Steele in January.

RNC officials say the party’s debt is $14.5 million, down from about $24 million when Mr. Priebus started as chairman.

The Democratic National Committee has not yet released fundraising totals for last month.


Perry says Iran plot requires border security

INDIANAPOLIS — Texas Gov. Rick Perry said Wednesday an Iranian-backed terror plot coordinated in Mexico proves the U.S. must secure its southern border, an attempt to shore up his standing among Republicans on immigration.

The Republican presidential hopeful used Tuesday’s announcement that Iranian forces had sought to assassinate the Saudi ambassador to the U.S. to call for more border troops, improved fencing along the Mexican border and increased border patrols, including the use of predator drone surveillance.

Mr. Perry opened his speech to Republican activists in Indianapolis on Wednesday with a call for increased border security. He called allegations that Iranian forces sought to kill the Saudi diplomat “business as usual” for Iran.

“We cannot have national security until we have border security,” Mr. Perry said.

Federal officials said Tuesday that one of the suspects coordinated with a man he thought was a member of a Mexican drug cartel. He was a Drug Enforcement Administration informant.

Mr. Perry focused the first three minutes of his speech Wednesday on the terror plot and border security, referring frequently to his prepared remarks and talking in a subdued manner. The one-time Republican presidential front-runner eased up, though, as he reverted back to talking about energy policy and attacking President Obama.


Secretary of state: Early primary possible

CONCORD — New Hampshire’s secretary of state on Wednesday called Dec. 6 and 13 “realistic options” for the state’s presidential primary unless Nevada backs up its caucus to Jan. 17.

The Nevada caucuses are set for Jan. 14, and Iowa has tentatively picked Jan. 3 for its lead-off caucuses. Given a New Hampshire state law requiring the primary to be held at least seven days before any similar contest, New Hampshire could vote no later than Jan. 7, but William Gardner said he is unwilling to stick his state between Iowa and Nevada if those contests remain so close together.

“We cannot allow the political process to squeeze us into a date that wedges us by just a few days between two major caucus states,” he said in a statement. “Our primary will have little meaning if states crowd into holding their events just hours after our polls have closed.”

Unlike other states in which political parties run the primaries and caucuses, New Hampshire has taxpayers pay for the primary, and Mr. Gardner has the sole authority to set the date. During the last presidential campaign, he waited until Nov. 21 to set the Jan. 8 date, the earliest date ever.

On Wednesday, he said logistics are in place to have the primary either Dec. 6 or Dec. 13 if necessary.

“Candidates have been campaigning here and elsewhere for months, and it is about time we begin the next stage of the presidential nominating process,” he said.



Romney: Christie on all veep shortlists

Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney says New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie would be on anybody’s short list for a vice-presidential running mate. Mr. Romney calls Mr. Christie an “extraordinary person” and “one of the leading figures in the Republican Party.”

The two appeared together on NBC’s “Today” show and pointedly didn’t reject running-mate rumors the day after Mr. Christie handed Mr. Romney his endorsement. Asked if Mr. Christie would make a good match on a ticket with him, Mr. Romney said the two are great friends who agree on a host of issues.

Mr. Christie, who had considered running for president himself, says he hasn’t been promised a spot on the ticket, or anything else, in return for his endorsement.


Cain noticeably absent in early-voting states

Republican presidential contender Herman Cain says his foreign-policy philosophy is more important than his lack of foreign-policy experience.

The former CEO, who touts his business background, told ABC’s “Good Morning America” on Wednesday that as president he would promote what he called “peace through strength and clarity.”

Mr. Cain said the United States needs to clarify who its friends and enemies are, stop giving money to enemies and “let the rest of the world know who our friends are that we are going to stand by.”

Mr. Cain accused the Obama administration of failing to make clear whom the U.S. would stand by. He said that was one reason for an alleged Iranian plot unveiled by U.S. authorities Tuesday to kill the Saudi ambassador in Washington.

From wire dispatches and staff reports