13 Days Out: Good Morning Iowa

Good morning and Happy Chanukah from Davenport, Iowa. We are 13 days out from the Iowa caucuses. We here at Good Morning Iowa are always open to news tips, suggestions, and praise…critiques too. Thanks to the other morning notes that this takes much of its inspiration from. We love all the suggestions and tips we have received since we started…and all our new readers! 

Five…yes five of the candidates are in the state today. It's a packed trail day with campaigns trying to get their last minute stumping in before the candidates go home this weekend for Christmas. It's another day where candidates are circling each other…this time mostly in Northeast Iowa. Rick Santorum begins today at the Broadway Cafe in West Burlington, Iowa. He visited the same restaurant at the same time exactly four weeks ago: http://abcn.ws/vdReCw . It will be interesting to compare crowds today. He then holds a town hall in Fairfield before attending a Christmas party this evening in Iowa City. Newt Gingrich is in Des Moines this morning to get the endorsement of the Iowa Speaker of the House Kraig Paulsen. He's then off to New Hampshire to get the backing of the New Hampshire Speaker of the House. Michele Bachmann starts Day Six of her bus tour and has another whirlwind day with ten stops. She starts at 9:30 this morning in Muscatine and her last stop is at 8:30pm tonight in Cedar Rapids. In between she will stop in Wapello, West Burlington (a different stop than Santorum's), Fort Madison,  Keosauqua, Fairfield, IA, Mount Pleasant, Washington, and Tipton. Ron Paul is also in Northeast Iowa today stopping in some of the same cities that Bachmann has on her schedule. He starts the day with a town hall in Fort Madison, before holding other town halls in Mt. Pleasant, Washington, and Bettendorf this evening. Rick Perry is also in Northeast Iowa starting Day Seven of his bus tour. He's making a breakfast stop this morning before holding events in Muscatine and Mt. Pleasant.

Weather: It's 36 degrees now in Davenport. It will be a rainy morning before clearing up to make way for some sun, and temperatures that creep into the 40s. Thank you to the GMI friends that are keeping an eye on my hats and scarves so no more are lost.

Make sure to read The Note from Michael Falcone  (@michaelpfalcone) and Amy Walter  (@amyewalter): Rivals Try To Rain On Romney's New Hampshire Parade:  http://abcn.ws/sd6O18

This is the fantastic front page that Davenport and other residents of the Quad Cities are waking up to today: http://bit.ly/uQSJMp

What's in the Quad-City Times? 

Bachmann: Here's James Q. Lynch on Bachmann's bus tour: Rolling through eastern Iowa - including a Tuesday night stop in Bettendorf, Michele Bachmann took aim at her rivals as she worked to win the support of "values voters." "The people of Iowa are looking for the one, true, core conservative in this race," she said outside the Falcon Civic Center in Independence. "They need to know who it is that will represent them and their values. They want to make sure their nominee will be someone who will look out for their interests and not their own personal interests." Those words do not, Bachmann said, describe fellow 2012 GOP nomination competitors Mitt Romney or Newt Gingrich, who she called "compromise candidates."  http://bit.ly/snY0OF

Santorum: Kurt Allemeier (@KurtAllemeier) on Santorum's day in Northeast Iowa: Endorsements gained Tuesday from two Iowa social conservative leaders show he is recognized as an authentic, consistent conservative, Republican presidential hopeful Rick Santorum said at a stop in Davenport. Santorum…said the endorsements by Bob Vander Plaats, president of the Iowa Family Leader, and Chuck Hurley, president of the Iowa Family Policy Center, show that he is the best contrast to President Barack Obama. Even though the Family Leader as a group did not endorse any of the candidates for the GOP nomination, Santorum did not see that as a slight. "I look at it as them being leaders of the Family Leader," he said. "Six of one, half dozen of the other."  http://bit.ly/vwR7wu

Perry: Ed Tibbetts (@EdTibbetts) on the Texas governor's bus tour rolling through the Northeast:  Quoting the 10th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, Texas Gov. Rick Perry told a Davenport audience Tuesday that he is the best candidate to overhaul the federal government. He also mounted a strong defense of his state's health care system when asked about its high rate of uninsured children. Perry spent much of the day in the Quad-City area, campaigning with Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal at events in Maquoketa, Clinton and Davenport, as well as a stop along DeWitt's main downtown street. On a statewide bus tour, Perry's route ran through eastern Iowa the same day his campaign released a new TV advertisement accusing rival Newt Gingrich of being the candidate of "K Street" and Mitt Romney of "Wall Street."  http://bit.ly/tsaYK4 

Timmy Talks: Albrecht's (@TimAlbrechtIA) wisdom and insight for the day: 

Rick Santorum had another good day yesterday, when he received the latest in a steady stream of endorsements. From mega-church pastors to radio talk show hosts, Rick Santorum continues to build an impressive network of support. Santorum's time on the ground here is making up for a lack of ads over the past few months. These endorsements, combined with his workhorse schedule, and a fresh beginning of ads airing on television stations makes a Santorum surge unavoidable, and it's happening at just the right time. Only Jan. 3 will tell us if it's enough, but there is no doubt that other candidates vying for the same voting bloc are looking at him with an eye of envy this morning.

GMI heard Gov. Branstad's Christmas Party last night was very fun. We are sorry we didn't make it. 

Here's GMI on those big Santorum endorsements, including a staffer who couldn't help but get a jab in at Santorum's opponents, specifically Bachmann:  http://abcn.ws/vf7vJf

Paul: The Associated Press' Tom Beaumont  (@TomBeaumont) and Steve Peoples  (@spppeoples) report on Paul's chances here and in New Hampshire. Beaumont knows all when it comes to the state. Read it:  http://bit.ly/sBdK0E

This is the front page Des Moines residents are waking up to today:  http://bit.ly/s0wS1q

What's In The Register?

Jennifer Jacobs (@JenniferJJacobs) has a front page look at the evangelical vote here and how-despite Vander Plaats endorsement yesterday-the group is still splintered: Division amid Iowa's evangelicals is so deep that it's extremely unlikely they will unite behind one candidate in the two weeks before the caucuses, evangelical leaders agreed Tuesday, after the influential Family Leader organization announced it would not endorse in the race. That deepens fears among some Christian conservatives that their vote will be fractured among three or more candidates, said Steve Scheffler, president of the Iowa Faith & Freedom Coalition. "It's maddening," he said…Vander Plaats called Bachmann on Saturday to ask her to consider merging her campaign with another candidate's, but didn't suggest whether he thought she should be president or vice president, Bachmann spokeswoman Alice Stewart said.  http://dmreg.co/tnj9ot

Santorum: And here's some of the inside detail on the bargaining around Vander Plaats' endorsement: The Des Moines Register confirmed Tuesday that Vander Plaats had asked for help in raising money to promote the endorsement. Santorum spokesman Hogan Gidley said his campaign made no deal to drum up cash to pay to help promote the endorsement. "I don't know about the discussions other campaigns had, but we never agreed to raise a single penny," Gidley said. "We're focused on our own campaign, and that's where our resources will be spent." Vander Plaats said he'd like to have the money to do television advertisements to promote his personal endorsement of Santorum, and he urges Santorum backers to contribute money for that purpose. Questioned about asking for help to raise money, Vander Plaats told the Register in a telephone interview, "That's part of our ethical responsibility. You can't say, 'We endorsed you. Now see you later.' That's not going to do a lot in the long run." Although candidates with more campaign cash could be more viable, that wasn't a factor the Family Leader considered, he said. It's a must read:  http://dmreg.co/tnj9ot

Perry: William Petroski (@WilliamPetroski) was on the Perry bus tour yesterday with Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal traveling with Perry:  Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal told Iowans here today that Texas Gov. Rick Perry offers the best choice among Republican candidates for the presidency…"What I see in Washington, D.C., worries me," Jindal said. "We know that we are spending our chidren's money."…Jindal also said Perry understands how to cut government spending and make tough decisions to balance a budget. He also praised him as someone who is opposed to excessive federal regulations. "Most importantly, he is a governor who has led. He will not need on-the-job training," Jindal said.  http://dmreg.co/uMxvgf

More Perry: ABC's Arlette Saenz (@Arlette Saenz) reports just how helpful Jindal was yesterday to Perry: Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal joined Rick Perry on his Iowa bus tour Tuesday and will continue on the tour through Wednesday.  Jindal leant Perry a hand during one of his meet and greets when the Texas governor forgot a component of his tax code. "Thank you for correcting me on that governor, not that I ever make a mistake," Perry joked. "But it's always good to have Bobby here to correct me."  http://abcn.ws/unIURG

What Else Is In The Register? 

Gingrich: Clayworth observes an odd exchange between the presidential candidate and a voter:  Newt Gingrich told a gay man and longtime resident of Oskaloosa here today that he should vote for President Obama. "I asked him if he's elected, how does he plan to engage gay Americans. How are we to support him? And he told me to support Obama," said Scott Arnold, an associate professor of writing at William Penn University." Arnold, a Democrat, said he came to the event at Smokey Row coffee house with an open mind. But he wanted to ask Gingrich about how he would represent him as president after reading past comments the former U.S. House Speaker as made about gay and lesbians. "When you ask somebody a question and you expect them to support all Americans and have everyone's general interest," Arnold said. "It's a little bit frustrating and disheartening when you're told to support the other side. That he doesn't' need your support."  http://dmreg.co/rv1BU1

Bachmann: Jason Noble (@jasonnoble1) was with Bachmann and her children on the trail yesterday:  Presidential candidate Michele Bachmann brought in reinforcements on the fifth day of her 10-day, 99-county tour through Iowa. Four of her five children. Harrison, Elisa, Caroline and Sophia Bachmann joined the tour this afternoon in Postville and will ride the bus with her through the week. Only her eldest son, Lucas, didn't make the trip. Her husband Marcus traveled with the campaign through the weekend, but returned home to Minnesota at the start of the workweek. The three sisters recently returned home to Stillwater, Minn., from colleges in Minnesota, Florida and Virginia. Harrison Bachmann is a teacher in the Twin Cities who just finished a two-year stint with Teach for America, the nonprofit that places young teachers in disadvantaged schools. "And as many of you know, she's from Iowa," Harrison Bachmann said of his mother to a crowd of about 30 at the Pizza Ranch here. "Growing up, we heard all about Iowa and her love for Iowa and so for us to get to come down here and meet people close to where she grew up is an honor for us."  http://dmreg.co/uIjuMF

Air Wars:

Gingrich: Clayworth reports Gingrich has a Christmas themed ad up in Iowa:  http://dmreg.co/sNh57U

Romney: TheIowaRepublican has the details on a new Romney SuperPAC ad up here going after Gingrich:  http://bit.ly/si2Rc5

The Associated Press' Beth Fouhy reports on all the negative ads raging on air here:  http://bit.ly/v6y4LE

Ground Wars:

Romney: Jacobs was the first to report that Romney will be back in the state and on a bus tour after Christmas: Mitt Romney will tour Iowa in his new campaign bus for three days shortly after Christmas, campaign aides said today. Romney will be here Dec. 28, 29 and 30. Several GOP candidates are doing bus tours in Iowa - Michele Bachmann and Rick Perry are already on the road; Newt Gingrich's bus trip starts soon.  http://dmreg.co/taSvI9

Even More Gingrich: ABC's Elicia Dover  (@EliciaDover) reports a Gingrich supporter critiqued him yesterday for what he told ABC's Jake Tapper  (@jaketapper) in his interview with him earlier this month:  A Newt Gingrich supporter had some harsh criticism for her candidate of choice today, telling him she was disappointed in a comment he made to ABC's Jake Tapper earlier this month, when Gingrich said, "I'm going to be the nominee." In the question and answer session at a HyVee grocery store, Iowan Jenny Turner told Gingrich she wanted clarification from the ABC News interview she saw. "You did an ABC interview where you said 'I'm going to be the nominee.' I'm for you, I'm a big fan, but that felt a little bit presumptuous," Turner said. "He is going to be the nominee," another crowd member yelled. "It was a mistake," Gingrich said. "Part of what I'm still getting over, I used to be an analyst at Fox, and every once in a while a reporter will ask me an analytical question and I'll forget, I'm not an analyst, I'm a candidate."  http://abcn.ws/rG33nO

And More: Dover also reports Gingrich blasted Romney for his SuperPAC ads in this state:  Newt Gingrich wouldn't back down today on the negative attacks plaguing his campaign in Iowa and slowing his momentum in the polls. Gingrich went after Mitt Romney's super PAC, even questioning Romney's involvement with the organization, saying Romney was being "misleading" about having no ability to stop his super PAC from sending out negative ads against Gingrich. Today on MSNBC's "Morning Joe," Romney said he could "land in the big house," if he communicated with the super PAC supporting him. "His comments today are palpably misleading, clearly false and are politics in its worst form," Gingrich said. "All he has to do is simple, he can say 'I condemn any further negative ads, I would ask that PAC to run only positive ads.' And anything short of that is baloney."…Gingrich said Romney planned to spend $1 million in negative ads and added that he doesn't object to being outspent, but he objects to lies. "What we've got to understand is these are his people, doing his ads, doing his dirty work, while he pretends to be above it," Gingrich said. Gingrich also had a message for his super PACs: Solutions 2012/Time For Newt, which formed a couple of months ago, and Winning Our Future, which formed last week. "Run only positive ads or I'll disown you," Gingrich said. "By the way, I said that publicly, where it's legal and it's quite clear and I'm sure that message will reach the PAC." Winning Our Future is headed by former Gingrich employee Becky Burkett and just today, the PAC announced that former Gingrich 2012 campaign spokesman, Rick Tyler, who left the campaign during the mass exodus of staffers in June, was joining the super PAC.  http://abcn.ws/uHshxL

And Even More Gingrich: Kevin Hall from TheIowaRepublican reports, "Newt Gingrich's runaway momentum has run away from him."   http://bit.ly/s8NUAU

Santorum-mentum: Craig Robinson (@IowaGOPer) on yesterday's endorsement, including its impact and what it means. Read it:  http://bit.ly/sQtlqg

Santorum vs. Bachmann: GMI was in Bettendorf last night and got to see the stark differences in campaign style between Santorum and Bachmann. They also went after each other for one of the first times on the trail: Both Rick Santorum and Michele Bachmann made appearances at a Christmas party fundraiser for a congressional candidate on Tuesday evening in Bettendorf, Iowa, and despite similar platforms and a similar electorate they are hoping to persuade in these final two weeks, the contrast between the two could not have been starker. Santorum mingled and lingered, relishing the time with likely caucus goers. He spoke for almost 30 minutes and took questions from the audience for another twenty. Upon leaving he stood in the driveway with his daughter and two staffers for a few minutes before they got in their car to leave. Bachmann was at the end of the small street in her bus, but the two candidates never crossed paths. By the time Bachmann's campaign bus drove up the street with Christmas music playing there would be no run-in, or even a holiday greeting between the rivals. The hosts waited outside Bachmann's bus to greet her for several minutes until she bounded off the bus and into the party with four of her five biological children in tow. She was immediately enveloped into the crowd who gave her a warm welcome.   http://abcn.ws/rVahiE

More Santorum: And with his new momentum comes more scrutiny:  Presidential candidate Rick Santorum scored more than just the  endorsements of two influential Iowa social conservatives on Tuesday. He also won the attention of a Democratic super PAC that's been keeping a close eye on the top contenders for the Republican nomination. Up until now the super PAC, American Bridge 21st Century, paid little attention to the former Pennsylvania senator, but with two weeks to go until the Iowa caucuses, Santorum's experiencing something of a last-minute bump. And now he's getting a tracker dispatched by American Bridge…Armed with a video camera and a laptop, Santorum's new tracker from American Bridge plans to do just that as he trails the candidate to a select number of his campaign events each day. A senior adviser to the super PAC, Ty Matsdorf, said in an interview with ABC News that anecdotal evidence of new momentum behind Santorum has suddenly catapulted the long-shot candidate into the group's top tier of GOP hopefuls.  http://abcn.ws/vYL3rM 

Paul: Ron Paul has a very real possibility of winning here and ABC's Jason Volack (@JasonVolack) takes a look at how his opponents are now taking aim:  http://abcn.ws/v5FRKm

WATCH: ABC's John Berman (@johnsberman) looks at Paul's chances to take Iowa on GMA this morning:  http://abcn.ws/ttRNhv

Even More Paul: Read Amy Walter's analysis on the Paul ceiling and what it means for Romney:  http://abcn.ws/tnQmdP

Bus Tour Bonanza: ABC's Matt Negrin (@MattNegrin) has a fantastic comparison of all the bus touring going on in the Hawkeye State with "a guide to the strengths and weaknesses of the three road runners" :  http://abcn.ws/tSdd8f

Perry: ABC's Arlette Saenz (@ArletteSaenz) reports on Perry's take on the ads flooding the state. Hint: it's very different than Gingrich's:  In a wide ranging media avail Tuesday, Rick Perry said he didn't consider the attacks he and his opponents have lobbed at each to be negative as long as the statements being made are factual.   I think it's always in the eye of the beholder, frankly," Perry said to reporters outside his bus Tuesday. "If somebody is saying something that's truthful, even though one person might consider it to be negative, I don't get concerned that that's doing anything other than just expressing the truth of the matter."  Perry has launched three negative ads on Iowa airwaves in the past month while incorporating attack lines against Newt Gingrich, Ron Paul, and Mitt Romney at most of his events since his bus tour began.  Perry also said he has eye on a first place finish in the Iowa caucuses this January.  "My expectation and my intent is to be number 1," said Perry. http://abcn.ws/tLdQFs

Perry: Saenz also reports on a lighter moment from the bus tour: While touring Main Street in DeWitt Tuesday, Perry popped into Art's Barber Shop, grabbed a pair of clippers and a comb from the barber, and pretended he was going to help one of the patrons with a haircut.  "You don't even want me to do this. Trust me," Perry joked as he approached the man's hair with Louisiana Gov.  Bobby Jindal, who was standing at his side. "Trust me. The last thing you want me to do is give you a haircut. Two things, you don't want - me singing to you, and you don't want me giving you a haircut." Lucky for Leroy Claussen, Perry handed over the clippers to Art Barber, who has owned the shop for 43 years.   http://abcn.ws/vFuPdX

Paul: Bloomberg's Margaret Carlson reports on how a Paul win will hurt Iowa's first in the nation status:   http://bloom.bg/rvy0Iu

Iowa Fact of the Day: Iowa is the birthplace of the United States' 31 st president, Herbert Hoover.  He was the first president born west of the Mississippi River.

Who's Tweeting About Iowa:

@rickklein Paul on his IA supporters: "they're not going to be sent away because the wind is blowing."  @GMA

@ JenniferJJacobs  @ BobVanderPlaats  called  # Michele on Saturday to ask her to consider merging w/ other R, but didn't suggest as prez or VP, @ alicetweet  says.

@ EmilyABC  Bachmann on Fox as Friends on being asked to drop out "I'm the only one whose won anything in this state," she says of Iowa.

@SteveDeaceShow So I'm thinking whoever advised #RickPerry to avoid my show but to reach Iowa voters via ads on Pandora probably ought to be fired.

The Schedule:


8:00am CT - West Burlington, IA: "Faith, Family and Freedom" town hall at the Broadway Café (111 Broadway Street, West Burlington, IA)

12:00pm CT - "Faith, Family and Freedom" town hall at the Fairfield Arts & Convention Center (200 North Main Street, Fairfield, IA)

5:30pm CT - Iowa City, IA: Guest at Christmas house party hosted by Tim and Sheryl Schwager (4811 Southchase Court, Iowa City, IA)


8:30amCT - Des Moines, IA: IA Speaker of The House Kraig Paulsen / NH Speaker of the House Bill O'Brien endorsement at the Iowa State Capitol - Supreme Court Room (East 9 th and Grand)


9:30am CT - Muscatine, IA: Meet and greet at Elly's Tea and Coffee House (208 West 2 nd Street #8, Muscatine, IA)

10:40am CT - Wapello, IA: Meet and greet at Godfather's Pizza (13410 Highway 78, Wapello, IA)

11:45am CT - West Burlington, IA: Meet and greet at Ivy Bake Shoppe (309 South Gear Avenue, West Burlington, IA)

12:35pm CT - Fort Madison, IA: Tour of Ivy Bake Shoppe (622 7 th Street, Fort Madison, IA)

2:10pm CT - Keosauqua, IA: Tour of Village Cup and Cakes (202 Main Street, Keosauqua, IA)

3:00pm CT - Fairfield, IA: Tour stop at First National Bank (100 East Burlington Avenue, Fairfield, IA)

4:00pm CT - Mount Pleasant, IA: Tour stop at Pizza Ranch (708 North Grand Avenue, Mount Pleasant, IA)

5:10pm CT - Washington, IA: Meet and greet at Frontier Family Restaurant (112 North Iowa Avenue, Washington, IA)

7:20pm CT - Tipton, IA: Tour stop at Cedar Lanes/T-Beck's Lounge (605 East 7 th Street, Tipton, IA)

8:30pm CT - Cedar Rapids, IA: Tour stop at Noelridge Park Church (1147 Clifton Street NE, Cedar Rapids, IA)


10:00am CT - Fort Madison, IA: Town hall meeting at the Comfort Inn & Suites (6169 Reve Court, Fort Madison, IA)

12:00pm CT - Mt. Pleasant, IA: Town hall meeting at the Civic Center meeting room (307 E. Monroe Street, Mt. Pleasant, IA)

3:00pm CT - Washington, IA: Town hall meeting at the Washington Public Library (115 W. Washington Street, Washington, IA)

7:00pm CT - Bettendorf, IA: Town hall meeting at the Quad Cities Waterfront Convention Center - Iowa Room (2021 State Street, Bettendorf, IA)


**NOTE: Will be joined by LA Governor Bobby Jindal at these events

1:30pm CT - Muscatine, IA: Meet and greet at The Button Factory (215 West Mississippi Drive, Muscatine, IA)

4:15pm CT - Mt. Pleasant, IA: Meet and greet at De Brito Baking Bistro (101 West Monroe Street, Mt. Pleasant, IA)