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Bachmann says no to Trump/Newsmax debate

Friday, December 9th, 2011 by Dara Kam

U.S. Rep. Michele Bachmann won’t participate in a GOP presidential candidate debate hosted by West Palm Beach’s Newsmax and moderated by part-time Palm Beacher Donald Trump.

Bachmann’s spokeswoman Alice Stewart confirmed late last night that Bachmann will not take part in the Dec. 27 debate – the last before the first-in-the-nation Iowa caucuses meet on Jan. 3 – but did not give a reason. Bachmann has met at least four times with Trump since she entered the race, most recently in New York on Nov. 21.

Thus far, only Newt Gingrich and Rick Santorum have agreed to field questions from “The Donald,” although Newsmax executives have said three candidates have confirmed but would not identify them. Mitt Romney, Jon Huntsman, Rick Perry and Ron Paul have also refused to join the debate.

As recently as two weeks ago, Trump, who once flirted with running in the GOP primary, said he hasn’t ruled out running as an independent.

The possibility of the real estate mogul and reality TV show host entering the race prompted some GOP leaders, including Karl Rove and Republican National Committee chairman Reince Priebus, to condemn the debate.

“We appreciate what Mr. Trump has done, but if you’re still talking about potentially running as an independent candidate, I think that’s a problem,” Priebus said on Fox News last night. “I think that would be malpractice for me as an RNC chairman to not believe that that is an issue.”

The debate is slated to air on another Palm Beach institution – Ion Television, the former PAX TV, which is based in West Palm Beach and reaches more than 99 million households nationwide.

Bondi to co-host GOP presidential debate

Tuesday, November 29th, 2011 by Dara Kam

Bondi with Fox News correspondent John Roberts

Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi will co-host the GOP presidential debate on Fox News this weekend, according to a press release distributed by the Republican Party of Florida this morning.

Bondi, a Fox fave who often appeared on the news channel as a legal analyst before her election in January and a frequent guest star since, will join fellow Republican attorneys general Ken Kuccinelli of Virginia and E. Scott Pruitt of Oklahoma on former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee’s show Saturday night at 8 p.m.

Bondi is leading the charge in the multi-state federal health care lawsuit, launched by her predecessor Bill McCollum, now before the U.S. Supreme Court. Undoing the health care law is among the GOP presidential wannabes’ top campaign pledges.

“This forum is an excellent opportunity to engage each of the candidates in a candid conversation about issues that are important to voters in our state and across the nation,” Bondi said in the press release. “This will be a historic election, and I am excited to play a part in helping voters gain a better understanding of candidates’ beliefs on fundamental issues such as constitutionalism and the role of government.”

U.S. Rep. Michele Bachmann, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, U.S. Rep. Ron Paul, Texas Gov. Rick Perry, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney and former U.S. Sen. Rick Santorum have all agreed to participate in the forum, according to the release.

Some Michele Bachmann Florida links…

Monday, June 27th, 2011 by George Bennett

Bachmann at tea party event in Jupiter in March.

Minnesota Republican Rep. Michele Bachmann, the House Tea Party Caucus leader who kicked off her presidential campaign today in Iowa, made a well-received stop in Jupiter at a tea party gathering back in March but doesn’t appear to have much of a Florida campaign organization.

Palm Beach Town Councilman and major GOP moneyman Bill Diamond — a key Florida financier for Rudy Giuliani‘s 2008 presidential bid and recently part of the Draft Donald Trump movement — says he’s a Bachmann backer and hopes to raise money for the Minnesotan, but isn’t too clear on her campaign structure in Florida.

Bachmann’s spokeswoman is Alice Stewart, a veteran of Mike Huckabee‘s Arkansas administration and presidential campaign who worked on Rick Scott‘s primary campaign in Florida last year. Stewart said Bachmann, who’s been spending lots of time in Iowa and New Hampshire and South Carolina, doesn’t have any Florida trips on her schedule now.

Bachmann’s consultants include Washington-based Ed Brookover, who’s also a consultant for U.S. Rep. Allen West, R-Plantation.

Glenn Beck’s ‘dream’ presidential ticket: Allen West-Michele Bachmann

Monday, April 11th, 2011 by George Bennett

Glenn Beck says his presidential “dream team” would feature rookie U.S. Rep. Allen West, R-Plantation, for president and U.S. Rep. Michele Bachmann, R-Minn., as his running mate.

“I want to start a Draft Allen West movement,” Beck said on his radio show today.

West has a strong national following, but has rejected presidential speculation and criticized “leadership by cult of personality.” Bachmann is exploring a White House run.

Beck praised West for the 2003 incident in Iraq in which West fired a gun near the head of an Iraqi detainee to get him to divulge details of a suspected ambush. West, who was initially charged with assault, ended up being relieved of his command, paying a $5,000 fine and retiring as a lieutenant colonel with a full pension.

Said Beck of West (around the 4:00 mark on this therightscoop.com clip): “He’s not afraid to pull the trigger. He’s not afraid, and he takes responsibility. That’s what I love about him the most. The guy takes responsibility. He’s like ‘OK, yeah, I did it. I did it. Here’s my gun. Cuff me. Take me away, ’cause I’ll do it again.’ And he was right, but he was willing to take the consequences for what he did….I love that. That’s the kind of honor that we need….It is time to restore honor and I think Allen West, I think he’s the guy.”

Bachmann on 2012 White House bid…

Friday, March 4th, 2011 by George Bennett

JUPITER — U.S. Rep. Michele Bachmann, R-Minn., has just begun speaking to about 300 tea party activists here. Later, she’ll be speaking to the conservative Club for Growth in Manalapan.

This morning in West Palm Beach, she told about 20 local GOP activists and donors that Republicans need a “really tough cat” to challenge President Obama in 2012. Asked directly by conservative operative and blogger Jack Furnari if she’ll run, Bachmann said: “I haven’t made a decision to or not to.”

Bachmann’s been to Iowa and South Carolina recently and will be in New Hampshire next week as she comes to a decision.

Four potential GOP presidential candidates coming to private powwow here

Wednesday, March 2nd, 2011 by George Bennett

Four potential 2012 GOP presidential candidates — Minnesota Rep. Michele Bachmann, Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour, former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty and former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney — will be in Manalapan for the conservative Club For Growth’s private annual winter meeting Thursday through Saturday at the Ritz-Carlton.

Sen. John Thune, R-S.D., who recently ruled out a 2012 run, and House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, and more than a dozen other congressional Republicans will also be on hand.

The event is closed to the media.

Bachmann Tea Party Overdrive in Palm Beach County this week

Tuesday, March 1st, 2011 by George Bennett

Bachmann

U.S. Rep. Michele Bachmann, R-Minn., the House Tea Party Caucus leader and potential 2012 presidential candidate, will be making the rounds in Palm Beach County on Friday.

She’ll be meeting with local GOP heavyweights in West Palm Beach, speaking at a South Florida Tea Party event in Jupiter, appearing at a conservative Club For Growth conference and sitting for an interview with influential conservative mag NewsMax.

Florida is one of several early Republican primary states on Bachmann’s itinerary. She has visited South Carolina and Iowa and plans a trip to New Hampshire soon. Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad recently told PBS he’s hoping for a Bachmann-Sarah Palin presidential showdown in his state.

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