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Tie? Romney Clinches Iowa Caucus Vote But Santorum, In Second Place, Real Winner



Perry Hints He’s Quitting GOP Race

In a dead-heat three-way tie almost the entire evening, Rick Santorum, Ron Paul, and Mitt Romney all averaged about 25% each of the Iowa Caucus votes, until Romney edged out as the winner, proving that Iowa Caucus voters have no strong desire to boot President Obama out of the White House, but would rather place their egos and ideology above all else. Santorum came in a close second. Ron Paul (21%) came in third, Newt Gingrich (13%) fourth, Rick Perry (10%) fifth, and Michele Bachmann (5%) sixth. Only about 123,000 Iowa Republicans bothered to vote. By comparison, in 2008, Iowa Democrats cast about 239,000 votes at the Iowa Caucuses. And Romney, placing first at 25%, is the lowest ever, eclipsing Bob Dole’s 1996 all-time low of 26%.

At 12:50 AM Wednesday morning, only five votes had separated Romney and Santorum. At 1:35 AM, Romney was winning by one vote. At 1:40, Santorum retook the lead, by four votes, with just one precinct outstanding.

Ultimately, Romney won with about an eight vote lead, as declared at 2:32 AM by the Iowa GOP Chairman.

Santorum quoted C.S. Lewis in delivering his speech, said he attended 381 town hall meetings, and added, “I survived the challenges so far by the daily grace that comes from God… for loving me, warts and all.”

Santorum touched on the Barack Obama quote that struggling Americans are bitter and “cling to guns or religion or antipathy toward people who aren’t like them or anti-immigrant sentiment or anti-trade sentiment as a way to explain their frustrations.”

He closed mentioning his daughter with “what they call a disability” who, according to statistics Santorum quoted, say she only had a year to live when she was born.

2008 Republican nominee Senator John McCain is expected to endorse Mitt Romney Wednesday, ensuring a New Hampshire win for Romney.

Romney, delivering the final speech of the evening, acknowledged n one yet knew who had won, but graciously congratulated Santorum for his surprise showing.

Santorum, who spent more than 100 days knocking on the thousands of doors he visited in a borrowed pick-up truck, won second-place on a shoe-string budget, having never reached front-runner status. As everyone knows, Santorum has neither the infrastructure nor the fund-raising ability, nor the likeability to wage a nationwide race successfully.

Early in the evening, Iowa Republican Congressman Steve King told NBC’s Andrea Mitchell that Michele Bachmann drove her campaign through her sheer will, strongly suggesting she, along with Rick Perry, would drop out Wednesday morning. King called Santorum’s old-fashioned retail politics “the Rick Santorum method,” warning that in the future, “Democrats and Republicans will be out here running the Rick Santorum method.” King said Santorum has raised the bar of Iowa Caucus voters’ expectations.

In his concession speech, Rick Perry, taking two small counties and a mere 10% of the vote, said he was returning home to Texas, where he would “re-assess” his campaign. He is expected to pull out shortly.

Former Bush 43 Press Secretary Ari Fleischer said Newt Gingrich’s concession speech was “the most ungracious moment” he’s ever seen in politics. And Democratic political consultant James Carville called Rick Perry the “worst candidate in American political history.”

Santorum had been the butt of jokes in social media circles all night long, even from politicos like Jonathan Alter, who retweeted Paul Begala’s response to his comment, “If Santorum pulls this out, he’ll dog Romney for months.” Begala replied, “That would be dog-on-man, no?,” alluding to Santorum’s iconic comments against same-sex marriage:

“In every society, the definition of marriage has not ever to my knowledge included homosexuality. That’s not to pick on homosexuality. It’s not, you know, man on child, man on dog, or whatever the case may be.”

Saying the people of Iowa have spoken, Bachmann’s concession speech indicated she would not drop out, despite the AP reporting her campaign manager wasn’t sure she would stay in. CNN’s John King noted that the people of Iowa, where Bachmann grew up but did not carry a single county did, in fact speak, loudly. Four months ago, Michele Bachmann placed first in the Iowa straw poll, with 28%. Tonight, she placed last, with 5%.

Politico notes:

Reflecting the general tone of tonight’s press coverage, the New York Times is already casting the story as a victory for Santorum, who “spoiled” Romney’s quest to lock down the nomination early “by winning over conservatives who remain skeptical of Mr. Romney,” according to Jeff Zeleny. (One piece of data working in Santorum’s favor, noted by one Michael Li, is that Santorum spent $1.65 per vote in Iowa, whereas Romney spent $113.07.)

Talking Points Memo founder Josh Marshall wrote, late in the evening, “the entire Republican establishment is going to be coming out in the next couple days to shut this down and say it’s Romney … The avalanche of attempted GOP establishment coronation will be one of the big things to watch over the coming days. Can they pull it off? Probably so. But now it’s from a footing of relative weakness.” marshall adde that Gingrich now “has a new goal in this campaign, maybe in life: hurt Mitt Romney. That’s dangerous for Romney. There are more debates coming. Newt’s good at debates. And reporters love drama. That’s hazardous for Romney.”

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Pelosi Delivers Brutal Response After McCarthy’s Acting Replacement Orders Her to Vacate Her Office Immediately



Within hours of Kevin McCarthy being ousted as Speaker of the House late Tuesday afternoon, his hand-picked acting successor, U.S. Rep. Patrick McHenry (R-NC), ordered Speaker Emerita Nancy Pelosi to vacate her Capitol Hill offices “by tomorrow.”

McHenry, whose title technically now is “Speaker Pro Tempore,” is a staunch McCarthy ally who worked diligently behind the scenes in January to help the now-former Speaker get elected on the fifteenth attempt, had an aide issue the order.

“‘Please vacate the space tomorrow, the room will be re-keyed,’ wrote a top aide on the Republican-controlled House Administration Committee,” Politico reported Tuesday night. “The room was being reassigned by the acting speaker ‘for speaker office use,’ the email said.”

Politico adds that “House Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries’ staff helped Pelosi’s office make the move, according to a spokesperson for the former speaker.”

Pelosi, who was honored with the title “Speaker Emerita” in 2022 by the House Steering and Policy Committee in an effort to help unite the House, did not vote for or against McCarthy’s ouster. She remained in California to attend the funeral of her friend and colleague, the late U.S. Senator Dianne Feinstein.

READ MORE: ‘Radical Left Marxists’: Trump Launches Attack Hours After Judge Imposes Gag Order

But Pelosi, the first and only woman Speaker of the House, who served from 2007 to 2011 and again from 2019 to 2023, did not take McHenry’s order lying down.

“With all of the important decisions that the new Republican Leadership must address, which we are all eagerly awaiting, one of the first actions taken by the new Speaker Pro Tempore was to order me to immediately vacate my office in the Capitol,” Pelosi said in a statement, according to Politico’s Nicholas Wu. “Sadly, because I am in California to mourn the loss of and pay tribute to my dear friend Dianne Feinstein, I am unable to retrieve my belongings at this time.”

“This eviction is a sharp departure from tradition. As Speaker, I gave former Speaker Hastert a significantly larger suite of offices for as long as he wished,” She noted.

“Office space doesn’t matter to me, but it seems important to them,” Pelosi added. “Now that the new Republican Leadership has settled this important matter, let’s hope they get to work on what’s truly important to the American people.”

READ MORE: ‘Terrorist Attacks’: Murphy and Cornyn Slam House GOPers Over McCarthy Ouster


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‘Radical Left Marxists’: Trump Launches Attack Hours After Judge Imposes Gag Order



Just hours after New York Supreme Court Justice Arthur Engoron imposed a limited gag order and directed Donald Trump to remove his social media post targeting and attacking, by name, the judge’s law clerk, the ex-president Tuesday evening issued an attack targeting the legal system, and apparently, by extension, Attorney General Letitia James.

Judge Engoron’s Tuesday order barred Trump from “posting, emailing or speaking publicly about any of my staff,” as Politico reported. The judge’s gag order did not extend to any officer of the court, witnesses, or anyone else involved in Attorney General James’ $250 million civil fraud case against Trump.

“Consider this statement a gag order forbidding all parties from posting, emailing or speaking publicly about any of my staff,” Engoron said Tuesday afternoon. “Failure to abide by this order will result in serious sanctions.”

Judge Engoron had announced in court: “This morning one of the defendants posted to his social media account a disparaging, untrue and personally identifying post about a member of my staff.”

“Personal attacks on members of my court staff are unacceptable, inappropriate and I will not tolerate them in any circumstances,” Engoron added.

Politico described Trump’s social media post as “a message alleging [the law clerk] ‘is running this case against me.’ The message was pulled from an account on X with fewer than 200 followers. Trump then linked to an Instagram account for Greenfield’s campaign for a judgeship in Manhattan civil court.”

READ MORE: ‘Part of the Authoritarian Playbook’: Trump’s Courthouse Rant Slammed by Fascism Scholars

“’How disgraceful! This case should be dismissed immediately!!’ Trump added. He also posted a photo of her alongside Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and referred to her as ‘Schumer’s girlfriend.'”

And while the judge ordered the social media post taken down, there’s nothing that can be done about the email blast Trump sent to “millions” of his supporters that included the post, as The New York Times reported.

Tuesday evening, despite having already been given one gag order, Trump appeared to tear into the legal system and Attorney General Letitia James in a series of false claims.

After claiming James’ civil lawsuit against him was unconstitutional and election interference, Trump wrote the decision to apply that statute to him “was done by Radical Left Marxists design, and is not the America we know.”

“It is so unfair that I am being tried under Section 63(12), which is unconstitutionally being used to punish me because I am substantially leading Crooked Joe Biden in the polls,” Trump wrote on Truth Social. “It is a Consumer Protection Statute, and not meant, at all, for Election Interference purposes, which is what this is all about! Under this Section of the law, I am not even entitled to a JURY (there is no checking of a box alternative!).This was done by Radical Left Marxists design, and is not the America we know. MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN!”

As The New Yorker reported last week, the law Trump is referring to was “passed at the behest of one of” James’ “Republican predecessors, Jacob Javits.”

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‘Terrorist Attacks’: Murphy and Cornyn Slam House GOPers Over McCarthy Ouster



After U.S. Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL) and seven of fellow far-right House Republicans voted to oust their own Speaker of the House for supporting a bipartisan vote to keep the federal government of the United States from a shutdown, a powerful Senate Republican and Democrat are both strongly denouncing the work of the few GOP extremists who toppled Kevin McCarthy.

U.S. Senator John Cornyn, a hard-core Republican of Texas and a former member of the Senate Republican leadership team, blasted the eight House Republicans for their “terrorist attack,” and warned it will happen again.

“We saw a similar thing happen to Boehner, Ryan, and now McCarthy. I’m sure the next speaker is going to be subjected to the same terrorist attacks,” Senator Cornyn said, according to HuffPost’s Igor Bobic.

Responding to a Texas radio talk show host from his official social media account, Sen. Cornyn added, “A handful [of] House members just want to blow up the institution and themselves in the process. Sad.”

READ MORE: McCarthy Ousted as Speaker in Historic First as Republicans Vow Vengeance Against Gaetz: ‘Kiss My A–’

U.S. Senator Chris Murphy (D-CT) called the ouster “a deeply embarrassing moment for America. A consequence of a Republican Party that has become so radicalized that it can no longer function as an organized political party.”

“Nobody should be rooting for this circus,” added Sen. Murphy in video recorded as he watched the House voting to remove McCarthy as Speaker. He warned that the ouster of McCarthy will now take the House away from the critical work of keeping the government open after November 17, “instead of working on a budget.” And he warned that no new funds to help Ukraine defend itself against Russian President Vladimir Putin’s war have been authorized.

“These are life and death stakes,” Murphy said, lamenting this “makes us look so weak and foolish around the world.”

Watch Sen. Murphy’s remarks above or at this link.

READ MORE: ‘Part of the Authoritarian Playbook’: Trump’s Courthouse Rant Slammed by Fascism Scholars

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