The Note: Candidates, Pork Chops and Harleys: Everything You Need to Know About Joni Ernst's Iowa 'Roast and Ride'

Scott Walker and Rick Perry plan to hop on "hogs" in Iowa this weekend.

ByABC News
June 5, 2015, 8:36 AM



--HOGS AND HARLEYS: Saturday is shaping up to be a major moment for Sen. Joni Ernst, the freshman U.S. senator from Iowa who rode into power with a campaign ad that touted her experiencing castrating hogs. This weekend she will be taking a ride of a different kind, hosting her inaugural "Roast and Ride" fundraiser that will draw seven presidential candidates to the Hawkeye State. The day will start with a 39-mile motorcycle ride from Des Moines to Boone that will take riders past Camp Dodge where Ernst serves as a Lt. Colonel in the Iowa Army National Guard. They'll end up at the Central Iowa Expo (also the venue for the Iowa Straw Poll this August) where a pork roast and outdoor games (think cornhole and horseshoes) await. Full coverage this weekend on, @ABCPolitics and Sunday on "This Week with George Stephanopoulos."

--WHO'S GOING: Attendees include several candidates and potential candidates: Former neurosurgeon and conservative activist Ben Carson, former Hewlett-Packard CEO Carly Fiorina, South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham, former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, former Texas Gov. Rick Perry, Florida Sen. Marco Rubio and Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker. All the hopefuls will have a chance to address the crowd Saturday afternoon.

--THIS WEEK ON 'THIS WEEK': In an ABC News exclusive, likely 2016 GOP presidential candidate Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker comes to "This Week" Sunday. And the powerhouse roundtable debates all the week's politics, with Democratic strategist and ABC News contributor Donna Brazile, ABC News political analyst Matthew Dowd, former House Speaker and CNN political commentator Newt Gingrich, and Berkeley professor and former Clinton Labor secretary Robert Reich. Be sure to use #ThisWeek when you tweet about the program. TUNE IN SUNDAY:

--WHO'S RIDING: Scott Walker and Rick Perry. Perry, who officially announced his presidential candidacy yesterday, is taking his own route to Boone, starting out in the town of Perry, Iowa (get it?). According to his campaign, the newly-minted candidate "will be riding a motorcycle that belongs to Taylor Morris, a Navy explosive ordinance disposal technician from Cedar Falls, Iowa. Taylor served in Afghanistan, where he sustained injuries to all four of his limbs. Taylor asked Gov. Perry to use his motorcycle, which he purchased shortly before deploying, and has been unable to ride since being injured."

--WHO'S NOT: Ben Carson, Carly Fiorina, Lindsey Graham, Mike Huckabee and Marco Rubio.

--THE LATEST POLLING: A recent Bloomberg Politics-Des Moines Register Iowa Poll gives Scott Walker an early lead in the important caucus state. The Wisconsin governor pulls in 17 percent support, followed by Rand Paul and Ben Carson (10 percent each). Jeb Bush and Mike Huckabee both garner 9 percent. Marco Rubio and Rick Santorum each get 6 percent. "Scott Walker's momentum puts him solidly in first place," J. Ann Selzer, the noted Iowa pollster whose firm conducts the survey, told Bloomberg. "For the time being, he's doing the right things to make the right first impression."

--THE JONI FACTOR: Besides delivering the Republican response to President Obama's State of the Union address earlier this year, Ernst has kept a relatively low public profile during her freshman year in the Senate -- at least so far. But back in her home state this weekend's event is sure to spark talk of "kingmaker" status for Ernst. Here is a look at some of her greatest hits:

PHOTO: Sen. Joni Ernst, R-Iowa, speaks to the crowd at CPAC in National Harbor, Md., on Feb. 26, 2015.
Sen. Joni Ernst, R-Iowa, speaks to the crowd at CPAC in National Harbor, Md., on Feb. 26, 2015.


TODAY ON THE TRAIL with ABC's CHRIS GOOD: Chris Christie will be in New Hampshire, where he'll visit the Corner View Restaurant in Concord and hold a roundtable with the mayor and sheriff in Franklin. Jeb Bush speaks at 12:50 pm ET at the Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts in Miami. Scott Walker will speak at the North Carolina GOP state convention in Raleigh tonight. Ted Cruz holds a meet and greet with North Carolina Republican women at the Raleigh Convention Center at 5:30 pm ET. Marco Rubio attends the Idaho GOP's summer meeting in Idaho Falls at 9 pm ET. Rick Santorum will talk about ISIS and "the growing threat of Radical Islam" at 3:30 pm E in McKinney, Texas. Rand Paul opens his New Hampshire campaign office at 6:30 pm ET in Manchester. Mike Huckabee campaigns this afternoon at the Mason City Municipal Airport in Clear Lake, Iowa. Later, he attends a house party in Mason City. Lindsey Graham will be in Iowa, where he'll hold a town-hall at the West Des Moines Sheraton at 11 am ET.


FIVETHIRTYEIGHT IN THE NOTE: RICK PERRY REDUX. Rick Perry's second presidential campaign, which kicked off Thursday, is the first of its kind. No candidate ever polled so high, finished so low and ran again, FiveThirtyEight's MICAH COHEN notes. During Perry's first full month in the 2012 race, he averaged 28 percent in the national primary polls. After a string of terrible debate performances, Perry ended up earning less 0.3 percent of the vote. That's the biggest collapse in the modern primary era. Every other candidate who experienced a similar fall (think Howard Dean and "the scream" in 2004) decided not to jump in the ring a second time. Perry is the first, and he'll have to climb all the way back from ninth place (or worse) in Iowa, New Hampshire and national primary polls. Here are all the candidates since 1972 who fell short of their pre-voting polling high by at least 10 percentage points:


EXCLUSIVE: ALLEGED DENNIS HASTERT SEX ABUSE VICTIM IS NAMED BY FAMILY. In Steve Reinboldt's 1970 high school yearbook, wrestling coach Dennis Hastert wrote that Steve was his "great, right hand man" as the student equipment manager of the Yorkville, Illinois wrestling team. But Steve was also a victim of sexual abuse at the hands of Hastert, Steve's sister said today in an interview with ABC News. It is the first time an alleged Hastert victim has been identified by name since his indictment for lying to the FBI and violating federal banking laws to cover-up past misconduct, ABC's BRIAN ROSS, RHONDA SCHWARTZ and JOHN CAPELL report. Hastert, due in court next week, has not responded to the allegations. In an emotional interview, Steve Reinbodlt's sister Jolene said she first learned of her brother's purported years-long sexual abuse at the hands of the future Speaker of the House back in 1979 when her older brother had been out of high school for eight years and revealed to her that he was gay. "I asked him, when was your first same sex experience. He looked at me and said, 'It was with Dennis Hastert,'" Jolene said. "I was stunned."




HILLARY CLINTON BLASTS BUSH, WALKER, CHRISTIE, PERRY FOR 'CRUSADE AGAINST VOTING RIGHTS.' For the first time since launching her presidential campaign, Hillary Clinton called out some of her likely Republican opponents by name, accusing them of launching a "crusade against voting rights" during giving remarks at a historically black college in Houston, Texas. "Here in Texas, former governor Rick Perry signed a law that a federal court said was actually written with a purpose of discriminating against minority voters," Clinton said. "But Governor Perry is hardly alone in his crusade against voting rights," Clinton added. "In Wisconsin, Governor Scott Walker cut back early voting and signed legislation that would make it harder for college students to vote. In New Jersey, Governor Chris Christie vetoed legislation to extend early voting. And in Florida, when Jeb Bush was governor, state authorities conducted a deeply flawed purge of voters before the presidential election in 2000." She also condemned laws that she said suppress voting, particularly among minorities and young people and called out GOP lawmakers for "systematically and deliberately trying to stop millions of American citizens from voting." LIZ KREUTZ has more.

--REPUBLICAN RESPONSE: Republican National Committee spokesman Orlando Watson called Clinton's assertions "misleading and divisive." "In reality, the vast majority of Americans -- including minority voters --support commonsense measures to prevent voter fraud," Watson said in a statement. "Clinton's shameless attacks ignore the fact her Democrat-led home state of New York does not allow early voting while dozens of Republican-led states do."

RICK PERRY MAKES IT OFFICIAL: 'WE HAVE THE POWER TO MAKE THINGS NEW AGAIN'. Former Texas Gov. Rick Perry told a crowd at an airport hangar outside Dallas Thursday that he would seek the presidency a second time, saying "we have the power to make things new again." "That is why today I am running for the presidency of the United States of America," Perry, 65, told those gathered at a public airfield in Addison, Texas, to hear the longtime politician formally announce his campaign. Perry, whose more than 14 years in office made him the longest-serving governor in Texas history, joins a stronger presidential field than he faced four years ago, ABC's BEN GITTLESON notes. Already, nine other Republicans have formally announced presidential candidacies, and at least half a dozen more are expected to jump into the 2016 race.

NOTED: MEET THE TWINS WHO FLANKED RICK PERRY DURING HIS PRESIDENTIAL ANNOUNCEMENT. Rick Perry's speech wasn't the only part of his presidential announcement that had people talking Thursday. Many viewers were distracted by the burly male twins standing behind him, flanking him on either side. At first it appeared that they may have just been lucky members of the crowd who happened to have snagged key podium spots behind the former Texas governor, but Perry eventually introduced him in his speech, according to ABC's MEGHAN KENEALLY. Marcus and Morgan Luttrell are Texan brothers and Navy SEALs. Marcus Luttrell is best known for his book "Lone Survivor," which was later turned into a movie. It documents a mission in Afghanistan where he was the only one of four SEALs to survive a mission.

AMERICA'S TOP METRIC SYSTEM ENTHUSIAST JUST FOUND OUT ABOUT LINCOLN CHAFEE'S PRESIDENTIAL PLATFORM. When Lincoln Chafee announced that he planned to run for president on a platform that, among other things, pushes the metric system, it was an immeasurable surprise to Don Hillger. In fact, Hillger, who is the president of the U.S. Metric Association and also a meteorologist at Colorado State University, didn't know the latest candidate for the Democratic presidential nomination at all. Until now. "I do not know Chafee nor his plans, but they are a pleasant surprise to us," Hillger told ABC News in an email yesterday, ABC's MARYALICE PARKS notes. "It is bringing metric into the media and to the public like it has not been for some time." The former Rhode Island governor announced Wednesday he was running for president and listed a number of ways he would seek to change the country if elected. "Let's join the rest of the world and go metric," Chafee said. Referring to the time he lived in Canada, he added, "It's easy. ... It doesn't take long before 34 degrees is hot."



A HUNT FOR DEMOCRATIC VOTES ON TRADE DEAL. The White House is hunting for support among House Democrats as President Obama seeks "fast-track" authority to negotiate trade deals, despite just a handful of his party members voicing support for the measure. The move comes as Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi signaled that the president will have to count on Republicans to get the measure passed. "I think that 200 is what [House Speaker John Boehner] should come up with," Pelosi, D-California, said Thursday. "The speaker should be able to deliver 200 votes. The awesome power of the speaker -- I know of what I speak." ABC's JOHN PARKINSON and JORDYN PHELPS reports that currently, just 17 Democrats have publicly declared their support for the Trade Promotion Authority (TPA) -- that's only about 9 percent of House members supporting one of the top legislative agendas of their party leader.



@PhilipRucker: Today's A1 w/ @costareports on right's apocalyptic view of Caitlyn Jenner coming out, highlighting GOP's struggle

@bgittleson: Rick Perry did pretty well on FB yesterday. 422k ppl generated 763k likes, posts, etc., related to him, his announcement (via @powelldennis)

@tripgabriel: Laugh at @realDonaldTrump if you like. Iowa GOP insiders fairly convinced this time it's not a head fake & he's getting in.

@AlexConant: Marco Rubio talked about the strong 2016 field on #Outnumbered yesterday. Watch:

@CarrieNBCNews: Guys, @idaveprice has something to say about the caucuses, so you should listen up. Is Iowa over?