October 8, 2015

Santorum says it’s ‘baloney’ to blame ‘inanimate object’ for Oregon shooting

Republican presidential candidate Rick Santorum says blaming guns for last week’s mass shooting at a community college in Oregon is “baloney.”

“We have fewer per capita now than we used to years ago and we have more crimes, so what do you think the issue is?” Santorum says. “Do you think the issue is guns?”

Santorum says there are trends in society to blame instead, including “the breakdown of the family.”

“The breakdown of morals and culture in America,” Santorum says. “The president’s not going to talk about that. He’s going to blame some inanimate object…and I think most Americans know that’s a bunch of baloney.”

On Friday President Obama plans to visit Roseburg, Oregon, where nine people were killed last week at a community college. The gunman committed suicide. Since then, Obama has been more vocal in denouncing opponents of gun control measures. Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton said Tuesday during a stop in Davenport that she’d take aggressive executive action on gun control if she was elected. Santorum says Obama and Clinton are politicizing the Oregon tragedy.

“You look and you say, ‘How low can they go?'” Santorum says. “They continue to set the bar lower and lower. I mean, I think they have to start digging holes to set the bar lower.”

Santorum made his comments earlier this week in Mason City as part of a three-day swing through Iowa.

(Reporting by Bob Fisher, KGLO, Mason City)

Bush says voters want ‘sincere plans’ rather than ‘platitudes’

Republican presidential candidate Jeb Bush says the nation’s problems will never get solved unless there’s a culture change in Washington — and to create that culture, Bush suggests style matters.

“I’ll do it in a way that I guess is like ‘Iowa Nice’. I’ll do it with civility,” Bush says.

Polls show that more than half of likely Iowa Republican Caucus-goers are supporting outsiders like Donald Trump, Ben Carson and Carly Fiorina, but Bush — who served two terms as Florida’s governor — is banking on a shift among voter attitudes as the February 1st Iowa Caucuses draw near.

“When you get closer and closer to this, it’s going to matter,” Bush said. “That experience matters…Lofty patitudes are not going to be as relevant as direct, sincere plans and the heart to be able to fix things and the leadership skills that are proven.”

Bush spoke this morning at an event hosted by the Greater Des Moines Partnership, a group that represents the chambers of commerce in the Des Moines metro area. Bush called for ending the education “monopoly” and giving parents more choices about where their children go to school. He also called for gradually raising the retirement age for Social Security and “means testing” benefits, so wealthy Americans would not get part or all of the monthly benefits others receive.

A handful of people in the crowd got to ask Bush a question during the event. One man asked Bush whether he supports the effort to “reauthorize” the Voting Rights Act.

“If it’s to reauthorize it to continue to provide regulations on top of states as though we were living in 1960 — ’cause those were basically when many of those rules were put in place — I don’t believe that we should do that,” Bush said. “There’s been dramatic improvement in access to voting, I mean exponentially better improvement and I don’t think there’s a role for the federal government to play in most places, there could be some, but in most places where they did have a constructive role in the ’60s.”

The issue has flared in recent days as Alabama officials closed drivers’ license stations in areas with large black populations. Critics say the move is designed to prevent blacks from getting the photo IDs they must show in order to vote in Alabama. Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton has issued a statement, calling Alabama’s move a “blast from the Jim Crow past.”

Bush: ‘No other campaign comes close to the details’ in my tax plan (AUDIO)

Jeb Bush.

Jeb Bush.

Republican presidential candidate Jeb Bush this afternoon told Radio Iowa his message to voters is “grounded in reality” and he’s “confident” about how his campaign is positioned in Iowa and elsewhere.

“There’s one path to prey on people’s angst and prey on their fears and prey on their anger and leave it at that, just say, ‘I’m the big guy on the stage and I’ll take care of it,'” Bush said, ‘or say: ‘We’re on the verge of greatness and here’s the plan to get there.”

Bush has just unveiled a tax plan that would reduce the number of tax brackets from seven down to three. It would end Social Security payroll taxes for Americans who’re 67 years old or older, but still working.

“No other campaign comes close to the details,” Bush said.

A series of other steps, including the end of the so-called “marriage penalty”, would mean 15 million more Americans would pay no federal income taxes, according to Bush. And Bush would reduce the corporate tax rate to 20 percent.

“I think it’s the right way to empower people that are struggling in the middle and to create a business tax environment that would create big investing,” Bush said.

Bush said the campaign “is a long-haul” and he’s not concerned by the polls, including one in his home state of Florida that shows him trailing Donald Trump.

“People are going to want someone who has a consistent, reform, conservative message based on the actions that they’ve taken, not just the words that they’re speaking,” Bush said.

And Bush told Radio Iowa he plans to remind voters of his eight-year record as Florida’s governor and his 2002 “landslide” reelection victory. Bush is wrapping up a three-day campaign swing through Iowa tomorrow.

AUDIO of Bush’s interview with Radio Iowa’s O. Kay Henderson, 13:40



Trump raps ‘dumb trade’ policies during Waterloo stop

Donald Trump talks to supporters.

Donald Trump in Ames. (File photo).

Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump held a campaign rally in Waterloo early this afternoon that drew an overflow crowd at the Electric Park Ballroom.

“This is a big movement that’s going on all over the country,” Trump said near the end of his appearance.

Trump talked about a wide range of issues, from his own tax plan to the international nuclear deal with Iran. And Trump said he’s “angry at our leaders for not knowing what’s happening” with the trade deficit with China.

“You know, people talk about free trade. That’s not free trade. That’s dumb trade,” Trump said. “It’s dumb trade for us. I’m a free trader, but you need to have people who can represent us properly.”

Trump did not mention the pending Trans Pacific Partnership deal, but he promised to replace “political hacks” who’ve been conducting U.S. trade talks with “horrible, mean” negotiators. Trump said his team will be able to reduce the trade deficit to zero with China. The audience reacted a few moments later when Trump used the word “if” rather than “when” in the phrase: “if I get elected president.”

“Honestly, look, I’m running against a lot of different people and who knows what happens…I don’t want to be too braggadocios. Does that make sense?” Trump said and the crowd cheered.

Trump closed by noting there are now less than four months remaining in the Iowa Caucus campaign.

“Think of it. Four months until we hit that big day, that special day,” Trump said. “You know where that starts. Right here.”

The Iowa Caucuses are scheduled for February 1, 2016.

Trump’s speech was briefly disrupted by climate change activists. Trump urged the crowd to be “nonviolent” and after the protesters were escorted out, Trump thanked the crowd for its conduct.

Huckabee blasts TPP, warns U.S. growing vulnerable due to manufacturing losses

Mike Huckabee (file photo)

Mike Huckabee (file photo)

Republican presidential candidate Mike Huckabee says trade deals like the Trans Pacific Partnership are shipping too many manufacturing jobs to foreign countries and endangering this country’s ability to defend itself.

“I feel like a voice in the wilderness among the Republicans because everybody just sort of lines up with the Wall Street crowd,” Huckabee says.

Huckabee toured Quality Manufacturing in Urbandale this morning and spoke with reporters afterwards.

“There will be a lot of money to be made if the TPP does go through,” Huckabee said. “Unfortunately, it won’t be made by guys out here on this floor as much as it will by guys on Wall Street ’cause they don’t care where the money gets made. If it’s made in Indonesia, gets made in China, gets made in Mexico — it deposits in their accounts all the same.”

But Huckabee said American workers will suffer by losing their paychecks.

“While we enter into trade agreements and we keep our end of the deal ’cause we’re people that play by the rules, we have partnerships with people who don’t play by the rules and they’re beating our brains out,” Huckabee said, “and so it’s not free trade if it’s not fair trade.”

Huckabee cited statistics indicating the U.S. has lost five million manufacturing jobs since 2000 and 60,000 manufacturing plants in the United States have closed since the turn of the century. He said that means the U.S. will find it increasing difficult to make the weapons and ammunition it needs to defend itself in an increasingly dangerous world.

“If we can defeat the enemy by having a software program, we’re kidding ourselves,” Huckabee said.

Huckabee said a country that cannot feed itself, fuel itself and fight for itself will fail. Huckabee is among the half dozen presidential candidates who are campaigning in Iowa today.

Bush: GOP must understand voter anger and “offer solutions”

Republican presidential candidate Jeb Bush began a three-day campaign swing through Iowa with a speech last night in Davenport at a fundraiser for Scott County Republicans.

“We have to be a party that understands why people are angry, but gives them solutions,” Bush said.

Bush says in the “age of Obama” it is a “difficult time” to choose public service as a career.

“What we need to do is disrupt Washington, to challenge every aspect of what it does, to take it on,” Bush said, to applause.

Bush joked about that Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders would get the “gold medal” for making the most campaign promises and he warned Hillary Clinton would impose a third term of the “bad foreign policy” agenda President Obama has pursued. Bush also aimed at Republican competitor Marco Rubio, a Florida senator who has missed 42 percent of the votes taken in the U.S. Senate since he launched his campaign.

“We should cut the pay of elected officials who don’t show up for work,” Bush said, and the crowd applauded. “I don’t know about you but this idea that somehow voting isn’t important, I mean, what are they supposed to do? They should go to the committee hearings. They should vote.”

Rubio has said the main job of a senator is constituent service, not “lifting a finger” to vote on non-controversial issues. Bush is holding campaign events in Muscatine and Oskaloosa today. Democrat Hillary Clinton and four other Republican candidates are campaigning here today as well.

Jindal keeps pressuring Branstad over Planned Parenthood money

Bobby Jindal

Bobby Jindal

Republican presidential candidate Bobby Jindal, the governor of Louisiana, isn’t backing off his criticism of Iowa Governor Terry Branstad for failing to cut off state funding for Planned Parenthood.

“I disagree with Governor Branstad,” Jindal said during an interview with KSCJ Radio. “I think that the reality is we have to push and find ways to get this done.”

Planned Parenthood gets no state or federal money for abortions, but it does get reimbursed for other services provided to Medicaid patients.

We cancelled their Medicaid contracts,” Jindal said. “We cut their funding in Louisiana, so they’re not getting taxpayer dollars.”

On Monday, Branstad said he was advised the State of Iowa would be sued by Planned Parenthood and the Obama Administration — just like Jindal and Louisiana have been — if he took the same step. Jindal said he was compelled to act against Planned Parenthood after watching a series of controversial undercover videos.

“They can send as many attorneys as they want. We’re not going to back down,” Jindal said. “We’re fighting to protect innocent human life.”

The Family Leader, a Christian conservative organization headed by Branstad’s 2010 Republican Primary opponent Bob Vander Plaats, asked Jindal to write Branstad a letter, which Jindal did on September 23. On Monday, Branstad told reporters he had not spoken with Jindal and Branstad rejected the “legal analysis” Vander Plaats and The Family Leader are offering.

Jindal is campaigning in Iowa this week, with stops today in Atlantic and Council Bluffs.

(Reporting by Woody Gottburg, KSCJ, Sioux City; additional reporting by Radio Iowa’s O. Kay Henderson)