In the final run-up to the Jan. 3, the GOP presidential hopefuls are calling in favors from their friends and families to help them reach every likely caucusgoing Iowa.
Newt Gingrich’s daughters, Kathy Lubbers and Jackie Gingrich Cushman, arrived in Iowa Dec. 27 to help dad in his late-blooming campaign.
Today, Team Romney arrives in force led by New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie. He’ll be joined by senators from neighboring states: Sen. John Thune of South Dakota and former Sens. Norm Coleman of Minnesota and Jim Talent of Missouri. Illinois U.S. Rep. Aaron Schock’s also on the team.
Schock will meet with Romney fans at 7:20 a.m. at Elly’s Tea and Coffee in Muscatine before joining Romney at a 5:40 town hall at Centro Inc., 950 N. Bend Dr., North Liberty.
Christie will be in Cedar Rapids at 1 p.m. Friday a location to be announced before heading to Dubuque for a 5:20 p.m. event at a location TBA.
Surrogate visits often feed speculation that the surrogates have their own motives. In the case of both Christie and Thune could be 2016 seeking the party’s presidential nomination in 2016 or 2020. Christies was encouraged by Iowa Republicans to seek the nomination and Thune gave it some thought.
It’s never too early to start.
Preempting Romney: The Iowa Democratic Party will keep up its offensive against Romney, who will be making stops in Muscatine, Clinton and North Liberty today.
Sen. Bob Dvorsky, D-Coralville, and State Treasurer Michael Fitzgerald will have a news conference in North Liberty at, where else, Pizza Ranch.
Also, the party will release a memo from Democratic National Committeeman and Minneapolis Mayor R.T. Rybak going after Romney for trying to “rewrite history, distract voters from out-of-touch positions, failed policies that won’t help the middle class.”
According to Rybak, Romney “would settle for an economy where fewer Americans succeed regardless of how hard they work.”
Romney is trying to use to “use his personal fortune and massive war chest” to “buy his way to victory without having to face hardworking Iowans and tell them the honest truth about his failed agenda,” Rybak writes. “Romney knows that if Iowa’s middle-class families had a real chance to kick the tires and check under the hood, they would not like what they had to see.”
In the 1,654-word memo, Rybak attacks Romney on several fronts before concluding that “it’s not hard to see why (Iowans) still may be harboring doubts about who Mitt Romney really is.”
“After all, throughout the course of his political career, Romney has been taking reckless positions and supporting failed policies that demonstrate he could not be more out-of-touch when it comes to understanding what it takes for middle-class families to survive in America. … [U]ltimately it will be up to voters in Iowa and across America to decide what lies beneath the surface of Mitt Romney’s candidacy.”
C-SPANning the caucuses: C-SPAN starts its Iowa caucus coverage today with live coverage of candidate speeches, appearances, and rallies leading up to Jan. 3.
Also, Washington Journal will feature live interviews from Iowa each day starting at 6 a.m.am ET.
On Caucus Night, the C-SPAN preview program will begin at 6 p.m. with live caucus coverage starting at 7 p.m. on C-SPAN & C-SPAN2
For more C-CPAN programming information, visit www.c-span.org/campaign2012.
On the calendar:
Rick Santorum, 8 a.m., Ariana’s Café, Independence; noon, Café MannaJava, Dubuque; 2:30 p.m., USA Furniture and Bedding, Dubuque; 6:30 p.m., TrueNorth Learning Center, 500 1st St. SE, Cedar Rapids
Mitt Romney, 7:20 a.m., Elly’s Tea and Coffee, Muscatine; 12:20 p.m., Homer’s Deli and Bakery, Clinton; 5:40 p.m., Centro Inc., 950 N. Bend Dr., North Liberty
Rick Perry, 7 a.m., Westside Conservative Club, Machine Shed Restaurant, Urbandale; 1:30 p.m., The Sports Page, Indianola; 3:30 p.m. Smokey Row Coffee Shop, Pella; 5 p.m., Smokey Row Coffee Shop, Oskaloosa
Michele Bachmann, 9, Nodaway Diner, Greenfield; 10 a.m., Adams Street Espresso, Creston; 11 a.m., Kay’s Kafe, Corning; noon, Junction Café, Bedford; 1 p.m., Peggy Sue’s Good Eats, Mount Ayr; 2 p.m., Dinky Diner, Decatur; 3 p.m., Family Table Restaurant, Osceola; 4:10 p.m., Pizza Ranch, Indianola; 5:15 p.m., Pizza Ranch, Waukee; 8:15 p.m., Pizza Ranch, Boone
Ron Paul, noon, Iowa Speedway Media Center, Newton; 3 p.m., employee meeting at GuideOne Insurance, West Des Moines; 7 p.m., salute to veterans, Knapp Learning Center, Iowa State Fair Grounds, Des Moines
Rick Santorum, 8 a.m., Coralville City Hall, 1512 7th St.; noon, Button Factory, Muscatine; 7 p.m., CASI Center for Active Seniors, Davenport
Rick Perry, 10 a.m., Coffee Corner, Washington; 12:30 p.m., Blue Strawberry, 118 2nd St. SE, Cedar Rapids; 5:30 p.m., Fisher Community Center Auditorium, Marshalltown
Ron Paul, noon, Hotel Pattee, Perry; 3 p.m., Cass County Community Center, Atlantic; 7 p.m., Mid-America Center, Council Bluffs
Rick Perry, noon, Doughy Joey’s, 300 W. 4th St, Waterloo; 2:45 p.m., Fainting Goat, Waverly; 5:30 p.m., Cerro Gordo County GOP fundraiser, Mason City County Club
Newt Gingrich, 10 a.m., Moms Matter Coffee Break, Java Joe’s, Des Moines
Ron Paul, 1 p.m., Le Mars Convention Center; 3 p.m., Sioux Center Public Library’ 7 p.m., River Bend Convention Center/Stoney Creek Inn, Sioux Center
Rick Perry, 10:30 a.m., Bloomers at Central Coffee Shop, Fort Dodge; 12:45 p.m., Dutch Oven Bakery, Boone
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