Archive for the ‘Newt Gingrich’ Category

Your daily jolt: ‘The Lawmakers’ shifts to twice a week

For 41 years, every day that the Legislature has met during its annual, 40-day sessions, Georgia Public Broadcasting’s “The Lawmakers” has been there with a 30-minute, televised recap.

That’s about to change. One of Georgia’s longest-running public affairs programs will shift to a twice-a-week format for its 42nd season.

GPB executives say the decision has more to do with viewership than budget cuts. The problem is that “The Lawmakers” has aired only on days when state lawmakers meet. But the 40 days allotted to each session are spread out over four months.

“We’re trying to make it easier for the viewer to know when to expect it. If you don’t have a legislative calendar in front of you, in the past it was really hard to figure out when the show was airing,” said Robert Brienza, vice president for news and sports at GPB.

“One week it may be on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday, the next week it may not be on at all. The third week, it may be on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday,” he …

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Your daily jolt: Isakson, Chambliss say White House will have to bargain over debt ceiling

President Barack Obama may not want to negotiate over another increase in the federal debt ceiling, but Republicans nonetheless intend to bring him to the table, Johnny Isakson said this morning, in one of his first interviews as a member of the Senate Finance Committee.

Isakson was on CNBC’s “Squawk Box,” and first was asked to explain his vote in favor of a fiscal cliff agreement that set tax rates – but failed to address spending. Said the Georgia senator:

”It gave certainty to American business, small business, and families on what taxes would be. It made them permanent for everybody except those at $400,000 – and $450,000 for a couple. It’s good policy to make your tax policy permanent, so there’s not uncertainty every year….

“That was the good part. The bad part is that it was done behind closed doors, between just a very few people, when the issue should have been debated before the American people. That I’m sure will happen on the debt ceiling.

“….You have three …

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Newt Gingrich vs. Johnny Isakson on the fiscal cliff

One of two Republicans you know quite well is struggling with reality. Your job this evening is to decide which one.

On Wednesday, former U.S. House speaker Newt Gingrich, in a speech at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library in Simi Valley, Calif., declared the fiscal cliff to be a gross fiction, and urged House Republicans not to “cave” to President Barack Obama. From the Daily Caller:

“There is no fiscal cliff. It’s absolute, total, nonsense,” Gingrich said.

Former U.S. House speaker Newt Gingrich. (AP file /Jeff Roberson)

Former U.S. House speaker Newt Gingrich. (AP file /Jeff Roberson)

“It is an excuse to panic. It’s a device to get all of us running down the road so we accept whatever Obama wants because otherwise we have failed the fiscal cliff, and how can you be a patriot if you don’t do what the fiscal cliff requires, and the fiscal cliff will appear to us one afternoon, much like the land of Oz, where there will be this person hiding behind the machine who will say, ‘Raise taxes now,’” Gingrich intoned, “and if you don’t raise …

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Your daily jolt: Republicans absorb Tuesday’s lessons

The message from last night: The dynamics of Georgia politics haven’t changed much in four years. Republican Mitt Romney on Tuesday won this state (53.4 percent) by nearly the same margin as John McCain (52 percent) in 2008.

Here’s the county-by-county map of last night’s returns.

In fact, with the exception of D.C.-infected Virginia, Republicans won every state in the Old Confederacy, and a few border concerns besides. But 206 electoral votes won’t win you a presidency. Elsewhere, the GOP clearly needs to recalculate its audience and its message.

Republicans had bet the demographic changes measured in countless surveys and the 2010 census wouldn’t show up at the polls. They were wrong. The quick and simple from the Associated Press:

In exit polling Tuesday, voters mirrored the voting public’s makeup of four years ago, when Obama shattered minority voting barriers and drove young voters to the polls unlike any candidate in generations.

White voters made up 72 percent of the …

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Your daily jolt: Georgia doesn’t need more abortion laws, says Hunter Hill

State Sen. Doug Stoner, the Smyrna Democrat whose district has been extended into Republican Buckhead, on Thursday night continued to draw out GOP challenger Hunter Hill on abortion and contraception. From the Marietta Daily Journal:

Hill said his opponents claim he’s been endorsed by Georgia Right to Life.

“It’s not true. I was endorsed by Georgia Right to Life in my 2008 campaign — incidentally, against Sen. Stoner — but I’m not endorsed this time around,” he said. “But to clear the record, I am pro-life. I’ve come to that belief through a lot of prayer and personal belief and talk with my wife, and that’s just where I am personally, but I don’t believe that we need additional laws at the state level to address this very personal issue.”

We’ve said it before: In this day and age, that’s a notably unusual statement from a Republican. But District 6, while thoroughly Republican, is a different kind of Republican.

That personhood question on the GOP primary ballot in July? It …

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Frank Luntz to GOP delegates: Avoid the word ‘capitalism’

We were barred from listening to him speak, but we’re told that GOP pollster Frank Luntz this morning – in a lecture on messaging — urged Georgia delegates to the Republican National Convention to avoid the word “capitalism” in their arguments.

It’s a term that Karl Marx favored, and sounds leftist. When attempting to persuade independents, it’s better to use the phrase “free markets,” he said. We presume that sounds more Adam Smithish.

Possibly, “free markets” would test even better if spoken with a soft Kirkcaldy lilt.

According to several Georgia delegates, Luntz also said that Republicans had lost control of the phrase “middle class.” But the GOP wins when the phrase “hard-working taxpayers” is employed, he said.

The latter point isn’t too far from what we’ve already heard Michele Bachmann and Newt Gingrich hammer on here. “It’s not going to work when half of the people aren’t paying income tax, and half of the people are,” Bachmann said at a Sunday rally of tea …

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Your morning jolt: Charlie Crist to speak at Democratic National Convention

Tampa – Vice President Joe Beiden canceled his trip to Florida, but Democrats have found a way to make headlines while Republicans mill around, waiting for things to start. From the Miami Herald:

Florida’s former Republican Gov. Charlie Crist will be a speaker at the Democratic National Convention.

An official with President Barack Obama’s campaign said Sunday that Crist will speak at next week’s convention in Charlotte, N.C., but the days hasn’t been worked out.

The official wasn’t authorized to speak and requested anonymity.

Crist announced Sunday that he is endorsing Obama. Republicans called the decision political opportunism and pointed out Crist has previously criticized the president on issues like his health care overhaul.

For those new to politics, Crist withdrew from the 2010 Republican race for U.S. Senate, as Marco Rubio overshadowed him, then attempted a run as an independent.

The weather in Tampa today is windy, but the heavy rain that was predicted hasn’t …

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Your morning jolt: Sam Olens wins speaking role at GOP convention

Attorney General Sam Olens, Mitt Romney’s top elected supporter in the state, was rewarded this morning with a speaking role at this month’s Republican National Convention in Tampa.

His will be the most prominent Georgia face at the four-day launching of the fall presidential campaign. Olens was one of five convention speakers announced by RNC Chairman Reince Priebus. Apparently intended to advertise the diversity of the GOP, they include:

Attorney General Sam Olens at the state Capitol in February. Jason Getz,

Attorney General Sam Olens at the state Capitol in February. Jason Getz,

– Pam Bondi, Florida’s first female attorney general;

– Ted Cruz, who was Texas’ first Hispanic solicitor general. Cruz just won the Republican nomination for U.S. Senate. Consider this a nod to tea party enthusiasts;

– Luis Fortuño, the first Republican elected governor of Puerto Rico since 1969;

– And Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, the first U.S. governor to beat a recall election.

Olens is identified as the former chairman of the Cobb County commission. …

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Your morning jolt: Mountain vs. tea party strategies in 9th District race

Within 48 hours of landing in a runoff, the 9th District congressional campaigns of Republicans Doug Collins and Martha Zoller found themselves in agreement over what the next three weeks will look like.

They just don’t agree on what to call it.

On Wednesday, the Collins campaign declared itself in a fight against interlopers – Alaskan ex-governors, celebrities from D.C. and such. By which it meant Sarah Palin, Newt Gingrich, and Herman Cain. All have endorsed Zoller, a former radio talk show host, and were joined today by another GOP presidential candidate, Rick Santorum.

Call Collins approach a North Georgia mountain strategy that could require much input from former U.S. senator and governor Zell Miller, whose grandson Bryan Miller is running the Collins campaign.

Meanwhile, the Zoller campaign on Thursday fully embraced as precursor the tea party victory of Ted Cruz in Texas, who beat Gov. Rick Perry’s choice in the Republican race to replace Kay Bailey Hutchison in the …

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Newt Gingrich on Muslim infiltrators, Tony Blair – and some guy named Mitt

My esteemed AJC colleague Daniel Malloy ventured out of D.C. today to witness the following:

ARLINGTON, Va. – Newt Gingrich played surrogate Monday afternoon for Michele Bachmann, Tony Blair, his own accomplishments from the 1990s, and – oh, yes — Mitt Romney.

Though it might have been hard to tell, Romney’s campaign organized the news conference at Belmont TV, an electronics retailer a few miles from Gingrich’s home, as one of 18 events by major Republican names across the nation intended to drive President Barack Obama’s “You didn’t build that” remark into the skull of every swing voter.

After owner Ken Sickmen, who took over the business from his father, lamented that the shaky economy means fewer people want to buy big-screen televisions, Gingrich took the podium for the kind of delightful, self-referential skewering of the president that was the basis of his primary stump speech. The former Georgia congressman also picked up on the news of the day, that his former White …

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