Sunday News, January 25
Iowa Freedom Summit Draws Several Potential Presidential Candidates
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Protesters have heckled Republican presidential prospects Rick Perry and Chris Christie over immigration policies during a conservative political forum in Iowa.
The former governor of Texas was interrupted during his speech to the Iowa Freedom Forum by six people chanting, "If you become president, will you deport our families?"
The six young adults claimed to be children of immigrants in the U.S. illegally. Police escorted them from the auditorium.
Perry opposes offering legal status to people in the U.S. illegally. He praised the U.S. as a place "to be able to stand up and tell our government what we want them to do."
Another protester began the same chant during Christie's speech. The governor asked the audience, "Don't they know I'm from New Jersey?"
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - New Jersey Governor Chris Christie is trying to connect with Iowa conservatives by assuring them that "you'll always know who I am" if he runs for president.
While still undeclared, Christie left few doubts Saturday at the Iowa Freedom Summit that he is primed to enter the 2016 GOP race.
Christie told the Republican voters in the leadoff state in the nomination battle that they shouldn't let his blunt style turn them off. For those not enamored with all aspects of Christie's record, he says "you'll always know what I believe and you'll always know where I stand."
He spoke at length about his anti-abortion views, which tends to resonate with Iowa's social conservative caucus-goers.
It was Christie's 11th visit to Iowa in the past five years.
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Former Texas Governor Rick Perry is holding up his home state as a model for economic revival in an Iowa speech with echoes from his 2012 run for president.
Perry is preparing for another presidential bid, telling Iowa Republicans at a forum Saturday that jobs gained on his watch and state-based efforts to control the southern U.S. border are concrete examples of his leadership.
His full-throated remarks to the conservative Iowa Freedom Summit are reminiscent of past campaign speeches. He called for a firmer line of defense against new terror threats and eased environmental regulation.
Perry left office this month after 14 years, the longest-serving governor in Texas history.
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Texas' junior senator is challenging early caucus state voters to back only presidential candidates with a proven conservative track record.
Senator Ted Cruz tells conservatives gathered at the Iowa Freedom Summit that the standard should be, "Don't talk, show me."
The Republican was among several would-be presidential candidates appearing Saturday at the forum. Cruz received thunderous applause with calls to repeal fully President Barack Obama's health care law, lock down of the southern border, handcuff environmental regulators and abolish the IRS.
Cruz used his remarks to gather details on activists by having them text message the word 'Constitution' to a number he gave out.
Cruz isn't the only Texan giving thought to a run. So is former Governor Rick Perry.
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker is holding up his "go big and go bold" attitude as something Republicans need to emulate in Washington.
In a speech to Iowa conservatives Saturday, Walker ran through a litany of changes he's implemented that curtailed union power, relaxed teacher tenure laws, strengthened gun rights and restricted abortions. All resonated with a Freedom Summit crowd sizing up potential 2016 GOP presidential candidates like him.
Walker shared stories of staring down union interests in the face of mass protests, constant jeering and even death threats to him and his family. He fought off a recall attempt and then won re-election last fall.
The neighboring state governor drew connections to the leadoff caucus state, noting how he attended elementary school in Iowa until his family moved.
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - The winner of Iowa's 2012 Republican presidential caucuses says his party needs to do a better job convincing working Americans that the GOP is on their side.
Former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum returned to the state Saturday to warn that the GOP doesn't win the presidency "because too many people think we don't care about them." As he mulls a second campaign, Santorum told a conservative forum that GOP candidates need to do more than criticize President Barack Obama.
Santorum says that means promoting lower taxes, less regulation and stronger family values. But he says the message has to empathize with the plight of middle-class Americans.
After visiting all 99 counties last time, Santorum beat eventual nominee Mitt Romney in Iowa though he wasn't declared the winner until weeks later.
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Businesswoman Carly Fiorina is introducing herself to Iowa's Republican voters by drawing contrast with the top prospective candidate on the Democratic side.
Fiorina went hard at Hillary Rodham Clinton in a speech Saturday at the Iowa Freedom Summit. Fiorina cast the former secretary of state as a disappointment on the world stage who failed to defuse serious foreign policy threats.
The former Hewlett-Packard chief executive says she has her own experience dealing with foreign dignitaries and dangers.
As one of the least-known potential candidates, Fiorina devoted ample time to a biographical introduction, including her distinction as a breast cancer survivor.
While presenting herself as a political outsider, it wouldn't be her first run. Fiorina lost an expensive Senate race in California in 2010. She now lives in Virginia.
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Dr. Ben Carson is appealing to Iowa conservatives with messages about securing the country's borders and cracking down on employers who hire immigrants illegally.
The retired neurosurgeon called for a harder tack on immigration, expanded school choice and less government spending in his speech Saturday to an Iowa gathering showcasing potential 2016 White House candidates. Carson spoke extemporaneously as he roamed the stage.
Carson is a former physician at The Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore and author who is considering a run for the Republican presidential nomination. He has a following among conservatives for his harsh critiques of President Barack Obama's health insurance law.
He told the crowd that he's vehemently against the federal government diving further into health care. "Even if it worked," he said, he would oppose it.
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Prior Iowa caucus winner Mike Huckabee is reacquainting himself with activists who could help decide the next Republican nominee.
Huckabee appeared before the Iowa Freedom Summit on Saturday to deliver a biting assessment of President Barack Obama's policies and make a pitch for his potential candidacy. He recently left a cable news show and is on a book tour.
The former Arkansas governor mocked Obama's elevation of climate change as a critical issue. Huckabee says a greater threat is violent radical elements stoking fear around the world. He says America hasn't done enough to strike those terror groups.
Huckabee also says Democrats are misguided by focusing on raising the minimum wage instead of cultivating better-paying jobs.
Huckabee has re-emerged as a possible presidential candidate seven years after his last bid.
Ernst Pledges To Continue To Fight Against "Executive Overreach"
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Iowa Senator Joni Ernst has followed up a national turn in the spotlight with a speech to home-state conservatives that stressed a need to rein in "executive overreach."
The freshman Republican appeared Saturday at a daylong forum attended by several potential 2016 White House contenders. The Freedom Summit was billed at the start of the Iowa presidential caucus chase.
Ernst has enjoyed celebrity status within GOP circles since winning a long-held Democratic seat in November. Just this week, she delivered the party's televised response to President Barack Obama's State of the Union address.
Ernst revisited themes from that speech, including calls to fight Obama's executive orders on issues like immigration and pass Keystone XL oil pipeline legislation that the president has vowed to veto.
Crash Into House Causes Fire
COUNCIL BLUFFS, Iowa (AP) - Police are still looking for a man involved in a crash that caused a Council Bluffs house fire.
The Daily Nonpareil reports that a man was driving a 2004 Chevy Silverado pickup just after 2 a.m. Friday when he crashed into the home's porch. Witnesses told police the driver fled on foot. No injuries were reported.
Council Bluffs police say the truck caught fire after the wreck and was engulfed in flames by the time officers arrived. The fire spread to the porch, but the house was not damaged.
Assistant Fire Chief Matt Thomas says the wreck caused an estimated $15,000 in damage.
Police Sergeant Jason Bailey says the department hasn't been able to contact the pickup's registered owner.