News

Top Contenders Emerge in Crowded Field of US Presidential Candidates

Texas Gov. Rick Perry makes remarks at his first campaign event on Saturday, Aug. 13, 2011, in Greenland, New Hampshire after announcing earlier in the day that he's running for president in 2012
Texas Gov. Rick Perry makes remarks at his first campaign event on Saturday, Aug. 13, 2011, in Greenland, New Hampshire after announcing earlier in the day that he's running for president in 2012

In U.S. politics, the crowded Republican presidential field is beginning to clarify, following a test vote in Iowa on Saturday and the addition of Texas Governor Rick Perry to the race.

Political experts say the Republican race for the moment features three contenders who stand above the rest of the crowded field-former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney, Texas Governor Rick Perry and Minnesota Congresswoman Michele Bachmann.

Rep. Michele Bachmann waves to supporters outside her campaign bus after being named the winner of the Iowa Republican Party's Straw Poll, Aug. 13, 2011, in Ames, Iowa
Rep. Michele Bachmann waves to supporters outside her campaign bus after being named the winner of the Iowa Republican Party's Straw Poll, Aug. 13, 2011, in Ames, Iowa

Bachmann got a boost with her victory in the Iowa Republican straw poll, a test vote for the contenders that could serve as a preview for Iowa’s important presidential caucus vote early next year.

“Obama is my strategy.  I intend to be the nominee of the Republican Party and to take him on and defeat him in 2012,” she said.

But Bachmann’s victory was overshadowed somewhat by the entrance into the race of Texas Governor Rick Perry.

“I believe in America.  I believe in her purpose and in her promise,"Perry said.  "I believe her best days have not yet been lived.  And with your help and the grace of God, we will get America working again.”

Like Bachmann, Perry appeals to both social conservatives and Tea Party activists who want to reduce the size of the federal government.

Perry also hopes to win support from economic conservatives who have favored the frontrunner for the Republican nomination, former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney.

Mitt Romney speaks at the Republican Jewish Coalition annual leadership meeting in Las Vegas (file)
Mitt Romney speaks at the Republican Jewish Coalition annual leadership meeting in Las Vegas (file)

Romney has been concentrating his fire on President Barack Obama.

“I saw this morning that his approval ratings are at an all-time low for him.  That is not because he is not campaigning.  It is because he is not leading," he said.  "The American people need a president who will lead this economy back to vitality.”

Experts say Perry’s decision to enter the race has shaken up the fight for the nomination.  Matthew Dowd, an ABC News political analyst who worked for former-President George W. Bush, predicts Rick Perry will be a formidable candidate.

“This guy is an incredible campaigner and for me, having watched George Bush and having worked for George Bush and having known Rick Perry, he is actually a better campaigner at this point than George Bush was,” he said.

Romney has a narrow lead among the Republican contenders in public-opinion polls, but many conservatives are skeptical of his record as governor of Democratic-leaning Massachusetts and are looking for a more conservative alternative.

“So they are looking for this other candidate, this other person to stand against Mitt Romney," said Reid Wilson, editor of the Hotline political newsletter.  "Rick Perry represents that perfect opportunity.  He has got a good relationship with the evangelical base and he is the only Republican who has won a statewide primary really running on the sort of Tea Party mold.”

Perry is popular with conservatives, but some Republicans wonder if he can appeal to the type of moderate voters so often needed to win presidential elections.  Perry will be tested in the weeks ahead, since three Republican presidential debates are scheduled in September alone.

 

Declared and Potential 2012 Republican Presidential Candidates:

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Olympics Construction Scars Sacred Korean Mountaini
X
July 02, 2015 4:10 AM
Environmentalists in South Korea are protesting a Winter Olympics construction project to build a ski slope through a 500-year-old protected forest. Brian Padden reports that although there is strong national support for hosting the 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Olympics, there are growing public concerns over the costs and possible ecological damage at the revered mountain.
Video

Video Olympics Construction Scars Sacred Korean Mountain

Environmentalists in South Korea are protesting a Winter Olympics construction project to build a ski slope through a 500-year-old protected forest. Brian Padden reports that although there is strong national support for hosting the 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Olympics, there are growing public concerns over the costs and possible ecological damage at the revered mountain.
Video

Video Xenophobia Victims in South Africa Flee Violence, Then Return

Many Malawians fled South Africa early this year after xenophobic attacks on African immigrants. But many quickly found life was no better at home and have returned to South Africa – often illegally and without jobs, and facing the tough task of having to start over. Lameck Masina and Anita Powell file from Johannesburg.
Video

Video Family of American Marine Calls for Release From Iranian Prison

As the crowd of journalists covering the Iran talks swells, so too do the opportunities for media coverage.  Hoping to catch the attention of high-level diplomats, the family of American-Iranian marine Amir Hekmati is in Vienna, pleading for his release from an Iranian prison after nearly 4 years.  VOA’s Heather Murdock reports from Vienna.
Video

Video UK Holds Terror Drill as MPs Mull Tunisia Response

After pledging a tough response to last Friday’s terror attack in Tunisia, which came just days before the 10th anniversary of the bomb attacks on London’s transport network, British security services are shifting their focus to overseas counter-terror operations. VOA's Henry Ridgwell has more.
Video

Video Obama on Cuba: This is What Change Looks Like

President Barack Obama says the United States will soon reopen its embassy in Cuba for the first time since 1961, ending a half-century of isolation. VOA White House correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.
Video

Video Hate Groups Spread Influence Via Internet

Hate groups of various kinds are using the Internet for propaganda and recruitment, and a Jewish human rights organization that monitors these groups, the Simon Wiesenthal Center, says their influence is growing. The messages are different, but the calls to hatred or violence are similar. VOA's Mike O’Sullivan reports.
Video

Video US Silica Sand Mining Surge Worries Illinois Residents, Businesses

Increased domestic U.S. oil and gas production, thanks to advances known as “fracking,” has created a boom for other industries supporting that extraction. Demand for silica sand, used in fracking, could triple over the next five years. In the Midwest state of Illinois, people living near the mines are worried about how increased silica sand mining will affect their businesses and their health. VOA’s Kane Farabaugh has more in this first of a series of reports.
Video

Video Blind Somali Journalist Defies Odds in Mogadishu

Despite improving security in the last few years, Somalia remains one of the most dangerous countries to be a journalist – even more so for someone who cannot see. Abdulaziz Billow has the story of journalist Abdifatah Hassan Kalgacal, who has been reporting from the Somali capital for the last decade despite being blind.
Video

Video Texas Defies Same-Sex Marriage Ruling

Texas state officials have criticized the US Supreme Court decision giving same-sex couples the right to marry nationwide. The attorney general of Texas says last week's decision did not overrule constitutional "rights of religious liberty," and therefore officials performing wedding services can refuse to perform them for same-sex couples if it is against their religious beliefs. Zlatica Hoke reports on the controversy.
Video

Video Rabbi Hits Road to Heal Jewish-Muslim Relations in France

France is on high alert after last week's terrorist attack near the city Lyon, just six months after deadly Paris shootings. The attack have added new tensions to relations between French Jews and Muslims. France’s Jewish and Muslim communities also share a common heritage, though, and as far as one French rabbi is concerned, they are destined to be friends. From the Paris suburb of La Courneuve, Lisa Bryant reports about Rabbi Michel Serfaty and his friendship bus.
Video

Video Saudi Leaks Expose ‘Checkbook Diplomacy’ In Battle With Iran

Saudi Arabia’s willingness to wield its oil money on the global diplomatic stage appears to have been laid bare, after the website WikiLeaks published tens of thousands of leaked cables from Riyadh’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video In Kenya, Police Said to Shoot First, Ask Questions Later

An organization that documents torture and extrajudicial killings says Kenyan police were responsible for 1,252 shooting deaths in five cities, including Nairobi, between 2009 and 2014, representing 67 percent of all gun deaths in the areas reviewed. Gabe Joselow has more from Nairobi.

VOA Blogs