Archive - January, 2012

Romney’s Tax Return Could Be a ‘Teaching Moment,’ Says Expert

Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney relented to pressure and released two years of tax returns today, an action that an expert on investing and entrepreneurship believes can be used as a “teaching moment” to educate voters on the nation’s complicated tax structure.

The Romney’s 2010 tax return shows the couple paid 13.9 percent in taxes, and an estimate of their 2011 return shows an estimated 15.4 percent tax rate. With both years combined, this amounts to about $6.2 million in taxes on about $42.4 million of income. The returns are more than 500 pages and can be found here.

The couple gave around $4.1 million to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, also known as the Mormon Church. ($2.6 million in 2011 and $1.5 million in 2010). They also contributed to The Tyler Foundation thus making their charitable contributions well above 10 percent.

One reason Romney may have been hesitant to release his tax returns are due to the complex nature of the return, it takes more than a 30 second sound byte to explain.

For example, the vast majority of the couple’s income has already been taxed, thus underestimating his total tax burden on the same dollar.

Click here to read the remainder of this article.

Santorum, Gingrich Children Play Vital Role in Dad’s Campaign

Charleston, S.C. – Voters are accustomed to seeing the spouses of political candidates stump for their better half’s on the trail. But in this week’s South Carolina primary, the children of two of the remaining GOP hopeful are fulfilling critical role in their father’s campaigns and in a unique ways.

The children of the other candidates may be more active, but none are larger than the Santorum clan of seven children ranging in age from 20 to 3 and a half. They include Elizabeth, John, Daniel, Sarah Maria, Peter, Patrick and Bella.

The former Pennsylvania Senator and his wife Karen are tireless campaigners and public servants who have chosen to involve their children in all aspects of their political life. When Santorum moved from the House of Representatives to the Senate in 1995, the couple decided it was best to move the family to Washington so the Senator could come home, have dinner with the kids and put the younger ones to bed, before returning to the Hill for late night votes.

Seeing them on the campaign trail offers a unique glimpse into their family dynamics.

To read the rest of the article click here.

Study: Presidential Candidates Expressing Their Faith May Be Turning Voters Off

Charleston, SC – A new poll released by LifeWay Research shows that presidential candidates who share their faith on the campaign trail may not be helping their cause. The results of this study may go against the strategy being implemented by at least two of the GOP candidates this week in South Carolina as they try to woo evangelicals to the polls on Saturday.

The online survey of adult Americans was conducted Sept. 23-26 and asked the question, “When a candidate running for office regularly expresses religious conviction or activity, how does that impact your vote?”

According to the study’s findings, only 1 in 6 Americans, or 16 percent, are more likely to vote for a candidate who regularly shares their religious beliefs.

Even more interesting, 30 percent indicated they would be less likely to vote for a candidate expressing religious activity, 28 percent say it would have no impact on their choice of a candidate and 21 percent of Americans said it would depend on the candidate’s religion.

Despite this study’s findings, at least half of the GOP candidates have been touting their personal religious convictions when speaking to groups in Iowa, New Hampshire and now in South Carolina.

Former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum refers to his faith and religion in almost every stump speech he gives.

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Gingrich Still Surging On Eve of South Carolina Primary

Former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich is continuing to ride a wave of support despite revelations from his second wife on Thursday that he asked her for an “open marriage.”

I’ve been in South Carolina all week and I have to say that things have changed drastically since Sunday. At the beginning of the week there were six GOP presidential hopefuls. Now that Huntsman and Perry have dropped out we’re down to four. If one of the remaining group does not have a respectable finish in the Palmetto State, there could be one less.

Needless to say, Thursday was the most eventful day in the presidential campaign season to date. Besides the news of Marianne Gingrich “outing” her former husband, Texas Gov. Rick Perry dropped out of the race and endorsed Gingrich, who later the same day laid into CNN’s John King for beginning the networks Thursday evening debate on the marriage issue. Many of my colleagues in the press feel that Gingrich won the debate.

Yet despite all the negative news the Gingrich campaign had to deal with, I sense he is going to win in South Carolina. Romney will come in second which means Santorum will finish third. Personally, I wish Santorum would finish higher.

Now I am off to see if I can find some undecided voters among the tourist in Charleston. At least the whether is nice. More to come.

As SC Primary Looms, GOP Candidates Rush to Nab Undecided Values Voters

CHARLESTON, S.C. – With less than 48 hours until the South Carolina primary, GOP presidential candidates are hustling about to win over the state’s many still undecided, if not conflicted, Values Voters.

Former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum stopped in Mt. Pleasant, S.C., this afternoon to try to convince undecided voters why he is their best option. But before speaking to voters, Santorum presented Family Research Council President Tony Perkins with a sweater vest – now a Santorum trademark.

FRC along with The Heritage Foundation are sponsors of the Values Voter bus tour. Santorum spoke at the bus tour’s stop in Mt. Pleasant.

“I would encourage voters to look for core convictions,” said Santorum.  It’s one think to talk about values; it’s another to live them – to walk the walk. Plus they need to look for someone who is not afraid to lead.”

To read the remainder of the article click here. 

Candidates Preach Politics to Undecided Christian Voters at SC Tent Revival

Myrtle Beach, S.C. – It had the feeling of a Great Depression tent revival, but the speakers weren’t calling for the participants to come to Jesus, because most of them already have. They were searching for the right words to get politically active Christians in South Carolina to come together before primary voting Saturday.

The candidates and other key leaders spoke to about 300 people in a tent across Monday’s debate location, who appeared to mostly be evangelical Christians undecided, and looking for a candidate to settle on.

South Carolina Rep. Tim Scott fired the audience up by asking, “Do you love Jesus? Yes you do!” said Scott as the audience roared.

“Here we are on the birthday of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., but we know now the minority who is under the greatest attack are Christians. I believe we can look no further than the word of God to help save from these attacks,” Scott screamed.

The tone of the event was established by Faith and Freedom founder, Ralph Reed, who is no stranger to rallying Christian troops and keeping track of them. He also is keenly aware that 17 million evangelicals failed to show up to vote in 2008 and he knows that if that even half of those people don’t cast their votes, then President Obama can serve another four years.

“At our peak during the heyday of the Christian Coalition, we had a database of about 80 thousand evangelical voters,” Reed told the crowd. “Because of technology, we have a tremendous amount of data. We know who you are because we’re tracking over 130 million households today.”

To read the rest of the story, click on this link.

A Few Hours Sleep & Back on the Campaign Trail

My week in South Carolina is shaping up to be all that I expected and more. I spent several hours yesterday interviewing voters, candidates and their family members. I just posted an article I wrote after spending time with Jackie Gingrich Cushman and Kathy Gingrich Lubbers. I’ll let you guess who they are “kin” to. They do a great job stumping for their dad.

Here is the link to the story I posted on The Christian Post today.

It was good to see the gloves come off last night and by all indications, most people I talked to agreed that Newt came out on top in the debate. Although a few blows were landed by others including Perry and Santorum, there wasn’t a “knock-out” punch that did any damage.

Interestingly, there are a lot of undecided voters in the Palmetto State; and I mean a lot. Sure, some are sticking my their original picks but that may change depending on who survives after the states primary on Saturday.

For example, Debbie Griffin is a die-hard Rick Perry supporter and she was excited to show me the many pictures she had of herself and the Texas Governor on her phone. And though she won’t admit it, her candidate is probably cooked it he doesn’t turn things around before the weekend.

Where will she go? She hasn’t made up her mind. I bet Perry wishes he had a few thousand more like her in South Carolina.

I’ll be posting a story tomorrow about the old fashioned “tent revival” that all of the candidates spoke at prior to Monday night’s debate. All that was missing were some snakes and someone speaking in tongues. Wait, I think I may have heard a few people speak in tongues. Ron Paul supporters, I bet.

A Big; No a Huge Week in South Carolina

There are a lot of big weeks in politics. We’ve all heard the phrase, “this is the most important election in our lifetime.” The reality is it’s usually always true and I believe it certainly is the case for the South Carolina GOP primary.

There are still seven candidates in the race (well, six and a half counting Huntsman) and at least one will most likely fall by the way side after Saturday’s election in the Palmetto State.

I arrived in Charleston late last night before having to make the two-hour drive to Myrtle Beach. Nonetheless, I was up bright and early this morning covering the Faith and Freedom Prayer Breakfast that featured Texas Gov. Rick Perry and former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum.

Santorum received a bit of a bump yesterday after getting the endorsement of an influential group of evangelicals at a last-minute meeting in Texas. The group’s endorsement surprised everyone, including the group itself, and it remains to be seen precisely what tangible benefits the Pennsylvania GOP hopeful will get as a result. Of course, a win in Saturday’s primary would be a great start. You can read my article on the breakfast by going to:

But tomorrow is the first of two GOP debates this week that will be the determining factor in just how much of a threat either Santorum or Gingrich will be to Romney.

As for Perry – well I don’t think he can stay in much longer. His bankroll has to be getting smaller and his poll numbers are hovering around 6 percent. Plus, from my discussions with some of the folks who attended the Texas meeting, Perry’s support among social conservatives is waining. But as one South Carolina St. Rep told me today, “the only polls that really matter are the ones on election day.” He’s right.

Santorum Gets ‘Blessing’ of Christian Leaders; Now What?

Former Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum received a major boost to his campaign on Saturday as a result of being endorsed by a group of the nations leading evangelical leaders. Now voters and candidates are wondering what will happen as a result of the endorsement?

“Everyone was invited here under the premise of ‘would you be willing to drop your support for someone if the group is able to reach a consensus on one candidate,’” Perkins explained. “Given the outcome, I think you see what the answer to that question was for the overwhelming majority of attendees.”

Tony Perkins, the head of the Family Research Council assumed the role as the group’s spokesperson and held a tele-conference at the conclusion of the Saturday meeting.

“What I did not think was possible – is possible,” Perkins told reporters. “This group of Christian conservatives, after three rounds of voting, has endorsed Rick Santorum as the GOP nominee and hopefully the next president of the United States.”

To read the rest of the article, click on:

Some Christian Leaders to Skip Meeting on GOP Race

A host of prominent Christian leaders, many of whom attended a similar gathering in August at the home of wealthy Texan Paul Pressler, have been summoned once again next weekend to discuss the future of the GOP presidential race and whom they may support. The only problem – several on the invite list are not attending.

Pressler, who is a former Texas legislator, Judge and now international lawyer, has been heavily involved in conservative politics since the 1970’s and was a leader in the Southern Baptist political movement that held to propel Ronald Reagan to the presidency in the late 1970’s.

In addition to Pressler, others spearheading the meeting include former presidential candidate Gary Bauer, the former chairman of American Family Association, Donald Wildmon and Focus on the Family Founder Dr. James Dodson.

However, The Christian Post as learned that the meeting might be much smaller than the invitation list.

To read the rest of the article, click on this link:


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