ABC News/Yahoo! News Hear From Leading GOP Presidential Candidates (The Note)

Nov 8, 2011 7:47am

By MICHAEL FALCONE (@michaelpfalcone) and AMY WALTER (@amyewalter)

Herman Cain’s presidential campaign is struggling under the weight of fresh allegations of sexual misconduct, and before Cain holds a press conference at 5 p.m. ET today in Phoenix, the embattled candidate will sit down with ABC’s Jonathan Karl to discuss the latest developments.

Mitt Romney has found it next to impossible to break through a mid-20 percent ceiling in national polls yet he is the candidate who Republican voters see as most electable against President Obama. Romney will weigh in on his path to the nomination with ABC’s George Stephanopoulos this afternoon.

Rick Perry’s roller-coaster presidential bid, which earlier this year catapulted him to the top of the polls, doesn’t seem to be catching on. But his campaign has very deep pockets and he will tell our Christiane Amanpour how he plans to come back.

Those interviews — as well as conversations with five other presidential candidates — are part of ABC News and Yahoo! News special “Newsmaker” election preview taking place today. They will be streamed live throughout the day on ABCNews.com and Yahoo.com. http://abcn.ws/gopintvu

Watch the Interviews at http://abcnews.go.com/politics  throughout the day.

Here’s the schedule:

–Sharyn Alfonsi to interview Jon Huntsman in Coral Gables, Florida at 8:10 am ET

Watch the Huntsman interview and learn about his New Hampshire -focused strategy here.

–Ron Claiborne to interview Michele Bachmann in Charleston, SC at 9:30 am ET

–Terry Moran to interview Ron Paul in Clute, Texas at 11 am ET

–Christiane Amanpour to interview Rick Perry in Austin, Texas at 11:15 pm ET

–George Stephanopoulos to interview Mitt Romney in Chicago, Illinois at 12:15pm ET

–John Berman to interview Rick Santorum in Manchester, New Hampshire at 2:00 pm ET

–Jonathan Karl to interview Herman Cain in Scottsdale, Arizona at 2:30 pm ET

–Jake Tapper to interview Newt Gingrich in Washington, DC at 3:00 pm ET

Portions of the interviews will also air on ABC News broadcasts and platforms including “World News with Diane Sawyer,” “Good Morning America,” “Nightline,” “This Week with Christiane Amanpour,” and ABC News Radio.

Check The Note http://abcnews.go.com/blogs/politics/the-note/ for live updates throughout the day. That’s where ABC News’ Political Director Amy Walter will also be providing a real-time analysis of the interviews.

 

CAIN ACCUSER ON ‘GOOD MORNING AMERICA’: ‘I Was Not Paid to Come Forward’ Sharon Bialek, the woman who went public Monday with an accusation that GOP presidential candidate Herman Cain had sexually harassed her in 1997, said today that despite questions raised by Herman Cain’s campaign, she was not financially compensated for speaking out. “I was not paid to come forward, nor was I promised any employment. Nothing at all,” Bialek said on ABC News’ “Good Morning America”. “I’m just doing this because it’s the right thing to do.” http://abcn.ws/vSilK8

JOKES ON A SCANDAL: CAIN TRIES TO LIGHTEN UP. “In the midst of a barrage sexual harassment allegations, including a forth accuser speaking out today, Herman Cain made an appearance on “Jimmy Kimmel Live!,” ABC’s Susan Archer reports. “Kimmel devoted much of his opening monologue to the allegations made by Sharon Bialek, who is the latest woman to accuse Cain of sexual harassment during his tenure at the National Restaurant Association, and the first woman to come forward publicly in a press conference. ‘Well all things considered, I’m still alive. It got off to somewhat of a rough start. We had a little surprise show up on TV,’ Cain said. In recent days Cain has refused to answer questions about the allegations, saying he wants to get his campaign ‘back on message.’ But he did take questions from Kimmel regarding the sexual harassment allegations, announcing a press conference tomorrow, and the need to set the record straight on this latest ‘firestorm.’ ‘At least it wasn’t one of the many that have the first name ‘Anonymous’ — so now this one actually had a name and a face and we’re gonna see who it was and what it was, and tomorrow we’re gonna have a press conference,’ Cain added. Cain spoke about the amount of money he has raised since these allegations came out, describing record fundraising numbers. Kimmel asked Cain if he thought the other candidates would hire women to charge them with sexual harassment. Cain joked, ‘If they’re smart they will.’” More from Cain’s television appearance last night: http://abcn.ws/v8oWrY WATCH: http://abcn.ws/vHFQXs

IN THE NOTE’S INBOX: CAIN COUNTER-PROGRAMMING: “In response to the allegations made today by Gloria Allred, Mr. Cain will conduct a press conference on Tuesday, November 8th at the Scottsdale Plaza in Phoenix, Arizona at 3:00 pm local time. It is noteworthy that Gloria Allred is a celebrity lawyer who specializes in generating publicity for herself and her clients. … After attacking Herman Cain through anonymous accusers for a week, his opponents have now convinced a woman with a long history of severe financial difficulties, including personal bankruptcy, to falsely accuse the Republican frontrunner of events occurring over a decade ago for which there is no record, nor even a complaint filed.”

FIFTH WOMAN RAISES QUESTIONS ABOUT CAIN’S BEHAVIOR. The Washington Examiner’s Susan Ferrechio reports: “A former employee of the United States Agency for International Development says Republican presidential candidate Herman Cain asked her to help arrange a dinner date for him with a female audience member following a speech he delivered nine years ago. Donna Donella, 40, of Arlington, said the USAID paid Cain to deliver a speech to businessmen and women in Egypt in 2002, during which an Egyptian businesswoman in her 30s asked Cain a question. ‘And after the seminar was over,’ Donella told The Washington Examiner, ‘Cain came over to me and a colleague and said, ‘Could you put me in touch with that lovely young lady who asked the question, so I can give her a more thorough answer over dinner?’ Donella, who no longer works for USAID, said they were suspicious of Cain’s motives and declined to set up the date.” http://bit.ly/uoUBDP

 

ON TODAY’S “TOP LINE”:  ABC’s Amy Walter and Rick Klein get the Democratic perspective on today’s GOP candidate interviews. Watch “Top Line” LIVE at 12:00 p.m. Eastern. http://abcn.ws/toplineliveabc 

 

YAHOO ANNOUNCES RE-DEFINED 2012 ELECTION COVERAGE. Yahoo! the premier digital media company, today launched the first stage of an ambitious yearlong program for the 2012 elections, informing and engaging millions of citizens in conversation about the political and economic issues facing the nation. Yahoo! reaches nearly 90 percent of the nation’s online voting age adults each month more than any other media company – and Yahoo! users will ultimately determine the outcome of the U.S. elections.  In addition to expanding our editorial coverage with ABC News, we’re also unveiling the casting call for ”Remake America,” an online original series that will launch in early 2012 at: news.yahoo.com/remake-america We’re also announcing the launch of The Signal, which was created by scientists from Yahoo! Research.  The site leverages Yahoo!’s planet-scale cloud technology and deep research resources to run sophisticated prediction models using live data to capture the national sentiment and accurately predict outcomes throughout the campaign season: http://news.yahoo.com/signal.

 

THE BUZZ

U.S. FRUSTRATION INDEX: HOT AND BOTHERED. “Americans are steamed, and the economy’s providing the heat: The ABC News Frustration Index stands at 72 on its scale of 0 to 100, one of its highest readings on record,” writes ABC News Pollster Gary Langer. “The index, based on presidential approval, ratings of the economy, dissatisfaction with the government and anti-incumbent sentiment, matches its level in September 2010, shortly before the Republican Party seized the reins of economic discontent to take control of the House of Representatives and score major inroads in the Senate. The public has not mellowed since, particularly among those most stressed economically or least enamored of the Obama administration. The index, drawn from the latest ABC News-Washington Post poll, soars to 85 among Americans who say their economic situation has worsened since Barack Obama took office, 83 among those who rate the economy as “poor,” 82 among those most worried about their standard of living and 81 among people who most fear they won’t have adequate resources for retirement.” http://abcn.ws/vryhiY

WHITE HOUSE CHIEF OF STAFF’s ROLE CHANGING. Coming off a difficult Summer for President Obama and headed into what is shaping up to be a difficult re-election season, White House Chief of Staff Bill Daley’s role at the White House is changing, sources told ABC News, with senior adviser Pete Rouse assuming an expanded operational and coordination role with White House staff akin to that of a chief operating officer,” ABC’s Jake Tapper reports. “White House officials denied that this was in any way a demotion for Daley, insisting that several weeks ago Daley had asked Rouse, a top aide to the president since his election to the Senate in 2004, to expand his role by helping the West Wing run more smoothly, making it more effective and efficient. Daley made the announcement at a White House staff meeting on Monday. ‘As a lot of you know, I’ve asked Pete to take on a greater operational role,’ Daley said, according to one attendee, who said Daley described Rouse’s role as that of a ‘chief operational officer.’ Rouse had been assuming this expanded role for several weeks, and Daley decided to make it official Monday, a source said. This does not mean that Rouse will assume responsibility for running day to day operations at the White House, the source said, insisting that Daley would continue to run the 7:30 a.m. meeting for top senior staff, the 8:15 a.m. expanded senior staff meeting and all meetings when President Obama meets with his senior advisers.” http://abcn.ws/tjeREu

ROMNEY WORKS TO CONNECT IN IOWA. “Hop-scotching down the eastern side of Iowa, Mitt Romney told Hawkeye residents today that it was up to them to decide what headline will be broadcast a year from today, saying again and again that he’d like the phrase “Mitt is It” to hog the airwaves,” ABCs Emily Friedman reports. “‘About a year from now you’re going to wake up and turn on the TV and it’s going to say one of two things,’ Romney said. ‘One, the TV could come on and say President Obama has been re-elected to a second term. And if that’s the case, you know what the next four years look like. They’ll look like the last four years we’ve just endured.’ But Monday’s trip marked just the third trip to the state for Romney since announcing his presidential campaign in June, and reaction from the audience differed greatly from crowds seen at campaign stops in New Hampshire, where Romney has spent the bulk of his time campaigning. Romney has held as many as 45 public events in New Hampshire; today’s Iowa events bring the Hawkeye state’s tally to nine. The Iowa caucus is less than 60 days away. While crowds in the Granite State often green Romney with cheers of ‘Mitt! Mitt!’ reception in Iowa was more reserved, a feeling Romney seemed to acknowledge when he offered at both events to stick around and spend time with voters.” http://abcn.ws/unn2cE

CHRISTIE CAMPAIGNS FOR ROMNEY. “New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie will make his first surrogate campaign appearance for presidential candidate Mitt Romney in New Hampshire on Wednesday,” The New Hampshire Union-Leader’s John DiStaso reports. “The Granite Status has learned that Christie will make two public stops in the Granite State before heading to Boston for a debate-watching party at Romney’s national headquarters. We’ve also learned that Romney has picked up the endorsement of prominent Nashua businessman and former state Republican Party Chairman John Stabile, who will host Christie at a house party.”

IN THE NOTE’S INBOX: HUNTSMAN CAMP HITS ROMNEY. “The Jon Huntsman for President campaign today announced the creation of a new website, www.ScaredMittless2012.com, which focuses on Mitt Romney’s repeated attempts to avoid questions from voters and the press on the campaign trail. Coinciding with the release of today’s website, the Huntsman campaign also released a new web video entitled ‘Scared Mittless.’”

FROM HOUSE SPEAKER JOHN BOEHNER’S DESK: “Over the last two months, the White House has repeatedly suggested that independent economists believe only the President’s plan will have a near-term effect on job creation. Today, the Speaker is unveiling a list of 132 respected economists who reject that idea. From institutions including Harvard, Stanford, Columbia, and the University of Chicago, these economists have signed their name to a statement declaring that the approach offered by House Republicans is better for the economy in BOTH the near- and long-term than what the President is offering.” http://bit.ly/tQt1rQ

 

WHO’S TWEETING?

@GOP12: Radio host who saw Cain and Bialek’s encounter at a tea party rally is “shocked” at Bialek’s accusations bit.ly/uB0BT8

@mlcalderone: RedState’s @EWErickson blasts Romney–he wins nomination and conservatism dies. Reconsidering Huntsman. bit.ly/udvUzn

@ZekeJMiller: Check Out The Democrats’ New Anti-Romney Ad That Spoofs The Eminem Super Bowl Commercial j.mp/s4oGiG

@amyewalter: MT @SimonMarksFSN#Cain prepares for a news conference, and Justin #Bieber prepares for a paternity test. Can I please take the day off?”

@benpolitico: Twitter picks up @mindyfinn politico.com/blogs/bensmith…

 

POLITICAL RADAR: Check out The Note’s Futures Calendar: http://abcn.ws/ZI9gV

 

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