Politics Today: Perry's Anti-Gay Campaign Ad, Trump's GOP Debate Problems Continue, And More
Rick Perry's controversial anti-gay television ad, in which the GOP presidential candidate criticizes openly gay soldiers being allowed to serve in the military while blasting President Obama for his "war on religion, may be creating cracks within his own campaign. The ad apparently is not sitting well with some of Perry's campaign staff. Among those against the ad was lead pollster Tony Fabrizio, who called it "nuts."
In other Rick Perry news, the Texas Governor has become the latest Republican presidential candidate to opt out of the Donald Trump-moderated GOP debate. Perry joins most of the Republican presidential field in his decision to sit the debate out. The other candidates who have declined Trump's invite: Mitt Romney, Ron Paul and Jon Huntsman. So far, only Newt Gingrich and Rick Santorum have accepted Trump's offer.
A new poll conducted by CNN/Time/ORC International Polls shows Newt Gingrich is ahead in three of the first four GOP presidential voting states. Gingrich leads in Iowa, South Carolina and Florida, while Mitt Romney is the frontrunner in New Hampshire.
File this one under "TMI": Newt Gingrich apparently requires multiple bathrooms when traveling on the road--or at least he did before he decided to run for president. A copy of Gingrich's standard speaking "contract addendum," which The Smoking Gun posted on its website, reads, "Mr. Gingrich requires a non-smoking one bedroom suite (preferably with two bathrooms)."
The Senate has deadlocked yet again over the issue of payroll tax cuts. Competing plans offered by Republicans and Democrats were each voted down on Thursday in the chamber’s last vote series of the week.
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid is criticizing Republicans for blocking the confirmation of former Ohio Attorney General Richard Cordray to head the new Consumer Financial Protection Agency. Said Reid: "They're blocking his nomination, not allowing a vote because they don't like the federal agency he would lead, an agency that has been established by law."
POLITICAL AD WATCH: Is Massachusetts Democratic Senate candidate Elizabeth Warren an "Occupy Wall Street" sympathizer, or is she too cozy with big banks? A pair of ads by the Karl Rove-founded Crossroads GPS apparently wants you to believe she is both.
VIDEO OF THE DAY: You knew it was only a matter of time before someone parodied Rick Perry's "Strong" ad. This one comes from video blogger James Kotecki. Check it out: