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February 7, 2016

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October 8, 2012

Mitt Romney on Obama Foreign Policy: Hope Is Not a Strategy

Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney campaigns recently at the American Legion Post 176 in Springfield, Va. Romney criticized proposed defense cuts and called for better employment options for veterans. (Photo by Chris Maddaloni/CQ Roll Call)

Mitt Romney indicted President Barack Obama’s foreign policy today in a speech delivered at the Virginia Military Institute.

The Republican presidential nominee repeatedly described aspects of Obama’s foreign policy as “failed.” But Romney’s critique was far less bellicose than his previous forays into foreign policy and was delivered in a statesman-like tone and with a formal, presidential backdrop on VMI’s Lexington, Va., campus as opposed to a campaign atmosphere.

“It is our responsibility and the responsibility of the president to use America’s greatest power to shape history, not to lead from behind, leaving our destiny at the mercy of events,” Romney said. “Unfortunately, that’s exactly where we find ourselves in the Middle East under President Obama.”

“I know the president hopes for a safer, freer and more prosperous Middle East, allied with us,” Romney also said. “I share this hope. But hope is not a strategy.”

Full story

May 2, 2012

Newt Gingrich Ends Presidential Campaign

Former Speaker Newt Gingrich and his wife, Callista, share a moment before announcing the suspension of his presidential campaign in Arlington, Va., on Wednesday. (Chris Maddaloni/CQ Roll Call)

The winner of the South Carolina Republican presidential primary has gone on to win his party’s nomination in every election since 1980 — until now.

Just less than a year after entering the race, former Speaker Newt Gingrich (Ga.) ended his presidential campaign today, a week after former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney claimed the mantle of the GOP’s presumptive nominee. Full story

April 25, 2012

Reports: Newt Gingrich Preparing to End Campaign

(Bill Clark/ CQ Roll Call)

Former Speaker Newt Gingrich (Ga.) is preparing to end his now-longshot bid for the presidency, according to multiple reports.

Senior campaign aides told Fox News that Gingrich will formally exit the race for the Republican nomination on Tuesday. Gingrich indicated he was on his way out while speaking with reporters in Cramerton, N.C., this morning, just hours after former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney swept five primaries and was anointed the “presumptive nominee” by the Republican National Committee. Full story

April 24, 2012

Mitt Romney Accepts GOP Nomination

(Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

Mitt Romney effectively accepted the Republican nomination for president this evening, as he cruised to victory in five primaries and padded his delegate lead over the two other GOP candidates left in the race.

During a speech delivered in Manchester, N.H., where the former Massachusetts governor launched his 2012 campaign nearly one year ago, Romney focused his fire on President Barack Obama with contrasting rhetoric clearly intended to introduce himself to a general election audience and set the tone for the November contest.

The address appeared to serve as an unveiling for a number of themes likely to re-emerge throughout the campaign against Obama, and Romney attempted to turn the president’s “fairness” message against him, arguing that the commander in chief’s dismal record has led to a condition of “unfairness” for millions of Americans.

Among the more memorable lines from Romney’s speech: “A better America begins tonight” and “It’s still about the economy, and we’re not stupid.”

Full story

April 2, 2012

Romney’s Chief Whip Roy Blunt Has a Good Week

(Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

By all accounts, the end of March and the beginning of April have been kind to Sen. Roy Blunt (R-Mo.), the leader of Mitt Romney’s effort to secure Member endorsements.

In recent days, the former Massachusetts governor and GOP presidential frontrunner has been endorsed by a group of much sought after tea party stalwarts, including GOP Sens. Ron Johnson (Wis.), Mike Lee (Utah) and Marco Rubio (Fla.). Also endorsing on the cusp of Tuesday’s key Badger State presidential primary was House Budget Chairman Paul Ryan (R-Wis.).

But in an interview with Roll Call last week, during which Blunt discussed his plans to use his leadership position as Senate GOP Conference vice chairman to improve coordination between House and Senate Republicans, the Missourian reflected on an endorsement whip operation that functioned much differently than when he did the same thing in 2000 for George W. Bush, the Texas governor who would go on to be elected president. Full story

March 29, 2012

Rubio on Romney: ‘I’m Excited About My Support for Him’

(Chris Maddaloni/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Sen. Marco Rubio explained in greater detail today why he waded into the Republican presidential primary to endorse former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney.

“I think Mitt Romney has won this primary,” the Florida Republican told reporters. “I think the primary’s over now, by the admission of his opponents.”

Former Speaker Newt Gingrich (Ga.) and ex-Sen. Rick Santorum (Pa.), who Rubio was referring to, might take issue with that assertion given that Romney has yet to win the 1,144 delegates he needs to secure the nomination. Rep. Ron Paul (R-Texas) might also quibble. Rubio, who knows what it’s like to challenge the Republican establishment’s preferred candidate in a primary, acknowledged that some conservatives might be upset with his decision to declare the race over and back Romney. But he didn’t back down, and in fact, he used the words of Gingrich and Santorum against them in explaining his decision and its timing. Full story

March 28, 2012

Rubio: Convention Fight ‘Recipe for Disaster’

(Chris Maddaloni/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Sen. Marco Rubio said all of the things you’d expect in a TV interview explaining his decision to back Mitt Romney for president.

The Florida Republican said Romney offers “such a stark contrast” to President Barack Obama’s record, adding that “I have zero doubt in my mind that Mitt Romney will govern as a conservative.”

But it’s what else Rubio said during the interview on Fox’s “Hannity” that caught my attention. Rubio appeared to set about very purposely to shoot down the notion — currently being promoted by former Speaker Newt Gingrich (Ga.) and ex-Sen. Rick Santorum (Pa.) — that a contested or brokered nominating convention would be good for the Republican Party’s chances of defeating Obama on Nov. 6.

Full story

March 27, 2012

Newt Gingrich Scales Back Presidential Campaign


(Win McNamee/Getty Images)

Former Speaker Newt Gingrich is dramatically scaling back his presidential campaign, according to news reports.

The Georgia Republican will cut one-third of his staff and has already replaced campaign manager Michael Krull with deputy campaign manager Vince Haley.

The campaign will also refocus its strategy around persuading delegates to the August convention in Tampa, Fla., to support him, according to multiple news reports. Full story

March 20, 2012

Mitt Romney Easily Wins Illinois Primary

Mitt Romney

(Mandel Ngan/AFP/Getty Images)

Updated: 10 p.m. | Mitt Romney easily won the Illinois Republican primary today, leading networks to call the race just a half-hour after polls closed.

With 7 percent of precincts reporting, the former Massachusetts governor had 55 percent of the vote, while former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum had 28 percent.

Farther back in the pack, Texas Rep. Ron Paul had 10 percent and former Speaker Newt Gingrich (Ga.) had 7 percent. Full story

March 9, 2012

For the GOP, It’s Back to the Future

(Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Given the protracted battle for the Republican presidential nomination and the regional, ideological and political underpinnings of the four remaining candidates, one might think the GOP is engaged in a pitched battle for the direction, future and soul of the party.

Except it’s not — at least not as a matter of policy and generational leadership.

Rep. Ron Paul (Texas) represents the only attempt of any candidate to drag the Republican Party in a distinctly different direction than that which has defined it at least since Ronald Reagan was elected president in 1980. But Paul is not, and never has been, considered a possible winner of the nomination. Of the three remaining candidates who are, or have been considered, viable at one time or another — former Speaker Newt Gingrich (Ga.), former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney and former Sen. Rick Santorum (Pa.) — virtually nothing separates their plans for the country should they win their party’s nod and defeat President Barack Obama in November. On matters of domestic and fiscal policy — nothing; on matters of social policy — nothing; on matters of foreign policy and national defense, again, nothing. Full story

March 7, 2012

Super Tuesday Analysis: The Long Slog Continues

(Emmanuel Dunand/AFP/Getty Images)

Several hours removed from the final Super Tuesday contest being called in Alaska for former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, the long, drawn-out, momentum-less Republican presidential primary campaign appears as protracted as ever.

Romney won six of the 10 contests, but only narrowly survived in Ohio with a 38 percent to 37 percent victory over former Sen. Rick Santorum (Pa.) — and the results of the Buckeye State campaign are shaping the political analysis of events. Romney could have delivered a symbolic knock-out blow to Santorum with a victory in the realm of 4 points or more. But the tight outcome there, combined with Santorum’s wins in North Dakota, Oklahoma and Tennessee have revived the narrative — one somewhat quashed last week after Romney victories in Arizona and Michigan — that Romney can’t close the deal and that at least one of his opponents is well-positioned for an upset. Full story

March 6, 2012

Super Tuesday Results

From left: Rick Santorum, Mitt Romney and Newt Gingrich have tasted victory in tonight's Super Tuesday contests. (Emmanuel Dunand/AFP/Getty)

Updated 12:45 a.m. | It’s 8 p.m. on the East Coast, and Mitt Romney, Newt Gingrich and Rick Santorum have all picked up victories so far as the Super Tuesday showdown for Ohio remains uncalled.

Gingrich won his native state of Georgia by a wide margin — he represented the state for two decades in Congress, including his four years as Speaker. Romney easily picked up Massachusetts, where he served as governor from 2002 to 2006, as well as Vermont and Virginia. Oklahoma was quickly called for Santorum, the former Pennsylvania Senator.

But the real prize is Ohio, where Romney and Santorum are battling in a close race, according to early returns. Tennessee might also be shaping up as a close race between Romney and Santorum. Full story

February 11, 2012

Mitt Romney Wins CPAC Straw Poll

Mitt Romney

Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney won the Conservative Political Action Conference straw poll with 38 percent of the vote. (Mandel Ngan/AFP/Getty Images)

Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney won this year’s Conservative Political Action Conference presidential straw poll, carrying 38 percent of the vote.

It is a comeback of sorts — Romney was a three-year winner from 2007 to 2009, but had come in behind Rep. Ron Paul (Texas) the past two years. Full story

February 10, 2012

Scenes from CPAC: Top Swag

If you’ve ever been to the annual Conservative Political Action Conference in Washington, D.C., you know that it’s a virtual treasure trove of political tchotchkes.

Below is just some of the swag that our photographers and reporters captured this year. Read some of Roll Call’s coverage of the three-day conservative confab here, here, here and here.

The event wraps up tomorrow with straw poll results announced at 4:15 p.m., followed by a speech from former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin at 4:30 p.m.

(Chris Maddaloni/CQ Roll Call)

Full story

Gingrich Goes for Wonk Over Red Meat at CPAC

(Win McNamee/Getty Images)

While the other presidential contenders may have tailored their Conservative Political Action Conference speeches to the crowd, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich chose to stick to his standard campaign speech today, ticking off a series of policy positions to largely polite applause.

Gingrich was repeatedly interrupted by sustained applause during last year’s CPAC and was treated like a conquering hero before and after his speech.

But this year, the Georgia Republican found himself in a much different position. Instead of a rousing stem-winder, Gingrich walked the listless crowd through dozens of his domestic and foreign policy proposals. Instead of constantly finding himself interrupted by standing ovations, Gingrich went nearly five minutes before hearing his first applause. Full story

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