Wolf Blitzer delivers the most important breaking news and political, international, and national security stories of the day. Tune to The Situation Room weekdays 5-7pm ET on CNN.
By Wolf Blitzer, CNN
(CNN) – I’m just back from a couple days in Iowa, where I had a chance to sit down with Mitt Romney, Newt Gingrich and Rick Santorum. I also spoke with Iowans who are planning on attending Tuesday night’s caucuses. Here are some impressions:
Romney is confident about his chances of winning in Iowa and then in New Hampshire. His campaign’s internal polling is looking good. He’s getting nice crowds on his Iowa bus tour. Things seem to be moving in the right direction for his campaign.
Gingrich is in trouble. My own sense is that he made a major mistake in not hitting right back when the bombardment of attacks ads against him began. He tried to take the high road; that clearly has not worked. The truth remains the same: Campaigns engage in negative attacks because they work. Gingrich is the most recent victim.
Santorum has worked really hard in Iowa. Even though he maintains that he always thought his campaign would eventually get on track, I suspect even he’s surprised by how well he’s doing right now in Iowa, according to our latest CNN/Time/ORC poll. It seems much of the support lost by Gingrich in recent weeks has moved over to Santorum.
All three of these candidates, by the way, had only nasty things to say about the other front-runner in the race, Ron Paul. They are all deeply worried about his positions on national security issues.
Gingrich was the toughest on Paul, suggesting he could not vote for the Texas congressman if he were to get the GOP nomination. Romney and Santorum said they could vote for him even though they strongly disagree with so many of his positions.
As far as Iowans are concerned, many of the most ardent Republican caucus-goers told me they are still open to changing their minds. They have preferences, but they have not cemented their decision.
All of which means we could be in for some more political turbulence in the coming days.
Follow Wolf Blitzer on Twitter: @WolfBlitzerCNN
In Honor of Mitt Romney's "landslide" win in Iowa I'm coining a new phrase that will
become more relevant as the year passes: I've been BAINED! (Fired to save company money)....
As a middle class American our tax burden is
quickly putting us into a lower class!
We watch CNN morning to night and we've not heard one word in weeks from the GOP
canidates on what they would do to change our tax code! It's not fair that as many as half
don't pay any taxes! This is a main issue for us in who we will vote for!!
CNN is trying a new tactic – use the third person to discredit Ron Paul. When has a politician EVER said nice things about a strong competitor? It's obvious the RNC wants to see Ron go away and is using the press to "influence" the public – but unfortunately that won't happen, and if the RNC doesn't wake up – the votes will continue to be split since Ron Paul's supporters won't go to Romney (or they would have been there already) and the RNC can hand the election to Obama. Ron Paul's fund raising has been very successful. He's the only candidate that can lead us to taking our government away from the special interest groups. The economic implosion could easily occur in the next five years and I'd rather hav Dr. Paul in the WH instead of another candidate who will try the bailout again on the backs of tax payers. At least we know he won't let it happen. Helicopter Ben would be gone as well.
I'm a faithful follower of Wolf Blitzer. He never takes a political stand no matter how lop-sided the popular slants may be. We have Fox News of the Right, MSNBC on the Left. Mr Blitzer always manages to stand at the no man's land and be noncommital.He provides no analytical comments like some of the others do. What is CNN??? Is he trying to be impartial? But there's no suchthing in politics
Besides, his injecting the redundant "Uhs" and "Ahs" in his presentations does not add anything to his delivery. None of the other anchors do that.
Best presenter – Gloria Borger, sound views and clear delivery. Erin Burnett is cute and young, who needs that in news. What all this hoopla?
Do any of you people saying the media chooses the winner remember who the media was so certain of in the last election?? All we heard was Clinton and Guilianni (sp")-didn't quite work out that way!!
We need a good,strong 3rd.party period.Ron Paul is the only one that can run and ,who will pull this country back up to #1 in the world.If obama and his idiots get back in our country is history.Is this what you want,people of the USA?Jim Thomas Phx.Az.
Jim – the GOP/TP are hard at work to make this country “history” – before the President took office and during his time in office over the last 3 years.
It was and is the President that works for the people and has accomplished a lot considering the stance the GOP/TP put up. Just sit back and watch the country come back to life when the President gets reelected and a Democratic House and Senate elected. Happy new year!
What I'm amazed at is Ron Paul a John Birch Society member,wants to make so many wild changes to our country, but did he ever get any bills he wrote through Congress...any at all...so how is he going to do anything as President?....We have a smart good President with Obama..he just deserves a second term without the Tea Party blocking his every move...The Republicans are determined to make Obama a one term President..no matter what it does to the country..
So it will be up to us voters to see to it that the President is reelected and a Democratic House and Senate elected. Happy New Year to all!
Romney will abide by the will of the Republican Establishment Bosses, and pick Lindsey Graham for a running mate. They won't win, but it will help improve Lindsys name recognition for 2016, without diminishing his aura, the way losing as the ticket bearer would. Its all about 2016 for the Republicans as far as the Presidency is concerned. Take the next four years, please Obama, is what they are thinking. Doug.
The truth remains the same: Campaigns engage in negative attacks because they work. Gingrich is the most recent victim....because in American politics they are permitted. They don't even have to be based on the facts. They also work because American journalists love to see someone taken apart in public, they consider it news. Again whether it's based on facts or not.
I have yet to hear one of them say "look this is why Ron Paul's approach could never work." Have you Wolf? They can't because his way has never been tried. So the home of the "brave" (to afraid to try something new)will continue as usual to stick it's nose in other countries businesses all in the name of democracy and looking after American interests (oil companies) . The American tax payer will foot the bill and the dream will die. I just wish I didn't have to watch the process unfold in my life time.
I hate to break it to the paid northeastern contributors, whatever their motives, but Rick Santorum will not be the nominee. I just hope he has enough gas money to make it back to his failed senate bid in which he was creamed.
The robot voters who seem to pull a different lever depending on what day it is need to consider the sources. Does anyone reading this really think those at this network now touting and praising Santorum the last few days will be voting for him?
Old trick, controlled anarchy, to knock those like the current successful Texas Gov out now so that he will not continue into the south and in the long run have a better chance of beating obama.
Does anyone really think Santorum, can beat obama, of course not, this is reverse Rush Limbaugh. Santorum is going nowhere and this network knows it. There is your motive for this networks current praise of Santorum, to keep those in the race that have no chance.
Question is, are you going to fall for it..
Im an independent and Ron Paul has my vote. Im tired of the media not giving him the credit he deserves. He is the best choice out of all the Republican candidates. RON PAUL 2012!
Jennifer, I agree that the reporting of Ron Paul has not been extensive – but, Ron is thankful for that. Too much there that would surely turn you off! So do not vote on your stated reason, go and research for yourself and vote smart – not as an reaction of if they cover him or not.
In the interest of keeping the public informed you ignored Ron Paul but when it comes to hit pieces you are among the first in line to deliver the punches. Good promotion piece on Mitt Romney, and the little jabs thrown at Ron Paul were so obvious to your viewing audience. Take a look at what Iowa meant in 2008 and how little it will mean if Ron Paul wins in 2012. This election has only proven that you, and others in the broadcast media, are rapidly losing all credibilty.
Ron Paul is a 30 year politician. This is his 3rd attempt at being president. His economic and foreign policies would destroy our country. He is unelectable.
I have no idea who is going to win this vote except to say that the last data I can find showed around 5% of total registered voters went to caucus in 2008. Now that's more people than the recent poll but sorry since it's mainly Republicans who are voting it is absolutely no guide to the ultimate victor of this presidential candidacy race, or President ultimate choice.
Nor will the addition of NH or Carolina. If you believe these three states decide you are calling the rest of the caucus members in other states followers and not voters; away with the insult please.
Also, so often Iowa or NH has predicted presidents or whatever is about as good a guide as the good history of a share being a guide to its future price growth etc. which every financial adviser reminds you of... political pundits need to do the same.
Romney, Gingrich, Bachmann, Perry, and Santorum! Please republican voters dont do this! What because they oppose abortion, don't like liberals, and talk about killing terrorists their qualified? Any votes for these people will be a big mistake.
So, who then? Ron Paul? Big misstake too!
considering the way caucuses work, with Romney being a front-runner, and seemingly is everyone else's second choice, he will win it and steamroll throug the rest of the country
Please pass the popcorn... the circus is about to begin!!
Straight Dem Ticket 2012... first time in my life.
…It's about integrity and character…
He has neither! Likes people to fend for themselfs...All for the 1% just like the other GOP/TP candidates! Just in a little different outfit!
Straight Dem Ticket 2012...
Ron Paul is the only candidate with integrity. It just shows through. The rest of the candidates pander to special interests like the Israel-firsters. Ron Paul tells it like it is. It's about integrity and character.
Why is that all Ron Paul nut jobs all say the same thing word for word, can't they think for themselves !!!!!
Ron Paul's ideas would be the death of this country. Have you really paid attention to what he's saying or are you just echoing the other people that haven't read/heard what he's saying?
I wish you were correct. but its really about who has the most money, organization and powerful backers. If Dr. Paul was just a little more reasonable about foreign policy I might consider him worth looking at, but you are right about his integrity even though its a bit old fashioned today.
Has anyone asked how many of the current Republican hopefuls are NOT millionaires? Just askin'.
But classifying the current situation as turbulent is like saying the Titanic had a little flooding problem. I do believe that Chaotic would be a better term. You have the Annointed Candidate tryin to maintain a "front runner" status; you have a rotating "heir presumptive" and numerous others trying to break in,
Gingrich resigned as speaker of the house instead of going to trial for 84 ethics violations including felony bribery and hiding Mark Foley's homosexual pedophile crimes with a house page to protect the republican majority. The lowest form of life is Gingrich.
and 83 of the 84 violations were found to be invalid, he WAS fined $300,000 for funding a college course (how terrible, it was a mistake). The IRS also later ruled he committed no wrong doings. So get your facts straight, instead of spewing the same garbage
@GregD – So, you concur with Reverand Wright that our "chickens have come home to roost"?
A lot of Ron Paul supporters hitting the blogs today. What the weather is bad, so you don't want to stand on an overpass holding your Ron Paul signs? (just a joke) He actually makes some good points – that is, when he's not being bat-guano crazy.
@ThinkAgain – Exactly. If it's true, it's "in-bounds". If it's rediculously exaggerated or just plain made up (for reference, see many, if not most, of the criticisms of President Obama), then it is out of bounds. Personal stuff may not be directly appropraiate, but should be considerations if the go to character.
Man, what a choice...of all the millions of people in this country, this is the best the republican party can come up with?
Given the option, I'd be candidate NoneOfTheAbove would be the sure winner.
Who are the ones writing the anti-freedom agenda and driving this propaganda machine??
As a frustrated American who is concerned with the direction of the country I take solace in reading the comments as they seem to offer a good balance to the rubbish being foisted by the propaganda machine.
Wolf Blitzer travels to Iowa for a few days to do research. Here is the result: One paragraph about how confident Mitt Romney is, without a (critical) Blitzer comment! One paragraph about Newt Gingrich without Gingrich's thoughts, just Blitzer comments (he is in trouble, made mistake), one paragraph about Rick Santorum, telling us that even Santorum cannot believe that people would support him. NO paragraph about his interview with Ron Paul, one of the frontrunners – because Wolf Blitzer did not need him for his research. Why bother to get first hand information. He got sufficient information about him from the other three candidates. They all said "nasty things" of Ron Paul, they are "deeply worried", "disagree strongly". Luckily, by talking to a few (!) Iowans, Blitzer found out that the Iowans might still change their minds. So, you still got a chance to make up their minds for them, Mr. Blitzer! Thank you CNN for outstanding journalism – world leader in news ...
Totally agree CNN is so busy trying to and telling us regularly that we need them be the first to know.
What they mean is thier opinionated view of the news. They are so busy forecasting the news and events ( and seriously bad weather) that what was supposed to allow us to be the first to know turns out just to be hot air and wind and the necessary element of divisiveness.
I want real news factually reported and balanced not this rubbish.
Maybe because Ron Paul has no chance of wining anything,any why is it that All Ron Pauls Nut jobs say the same thing word for word, can't they have a thought of their own.
I hope the people of Iowa remember that Romney is a major flip-flopper.
wow. complete ignorance of ron paul. I find it humorous that the repubs and mainstream media are terrified of a Ron Paul victory. Go Ron Paul!
Just glad to know that Rick Perry is not in the conversation now....
After reading this article, I am CONVINCED that I will be voting for RON PAUL. I love AMERICA, and so does RON PAUL. RON PAUL in 2012! I can see it now, PRESIDENT PAUL! Cnn, please stop blatanly iginoring this man, the more you ignore him the more obvious it becomes that you are nothing more than a medium for propaganda. CNN – Corporate News Nonsense. Take that to the bank.
The other candidates all hate Ron Paul because he is the only one who has a clear easy to understand message about his policies that most Americans when it comes down to it cannot disagree with.
His clear, easy to understand message is simplistic. Today's world is faced with a fragile global economy, trans-national terrorism, a mad scramble for energy, a virtual explosion of nuclear weapons technology, global climate change, and the evolution of formerly third world nations into the global market. You can't "defend America with four submarines". You can't let the uninsured person "die on the table". You can't let the states regulate an environment where pollution crosses all boundaries and corporations have a record of profit-first environmental controls. WOuld you trust Texas to regulate pollution from the oil industry? You Paul supporter seem to think you're the only people with a brain. COuld it be we have reasons not to vote for this Ralph Nader of the right-wing?
Larry, I am so glad you commented! Could not agree more!
I do not understand why people would even consider these loony tune characters stating“…That's the mission here, who can defeat Barack Obama." And that is all that matters; not solving our economic problems, not moving us forward in technology and manufacturing, not taking steps to make sure we are a populous of healthy, educated, employable people. No, it is all about defeating the tall, fit, erudite, handsome, charming, respected, intelligent, accomplished man that makes them feel so inferior.
I don't get it, why do some of you guys actually like Ron Paul? He would be the worst thing for this country, especially if he follows through with his policies. We need a moderate in office that's willing to reach across the aisle. We don't need another dictator like Bush.
Ron is now making Vice Pres selections and will announce after Iowa.
Wolf Bliz is against front runner Ron Paul cause he is part of media who are tryin to run the elections THEIR way. Remember sheeple........media has to make YOUR choice and then they can show THEY knew all along. SHOW THEM THIS TIME.........Ron Paul is the winner.
Ron Paul WILL BE THE WINNER.........only thing left for him to do is pick Vice Pres ! DONT PICK SARAH........gezzzus dont mess it up !
You Do realize this Iowa caucus is just about Iowa, not the whole country. Ron Paul, if he wins there, will have a long road ahead of him if he's to win the nomination next August.
"They are all deeply worried about his positions on national security issues." Sure Wolf – they're all losing sleep over Ron Paul. If they are, it's only in their self-interested contrast with his winning.
Wolf, did you question Santorum about his position on gays and Muslims? Seems odd that your network goes all out with false accusations of Ron Paul being a bigot and racist because of what someone else wrote without his knowledge, meanwhile Santorum somehow gets a pass for stuff he has said openly.
Of course its turbulent, and will get even more so as the caucuses move forward – all a sign this field is still a wild card, and that is not good for the GOP so late in the game. Anyone that thinks they know who the winner is seriously needs a cat scan. Better off waiting till Jan 3 and let the dust settle.
“He’s getting nice crowds on his Iowa bus tour.” Wolf Really
2008 Obama and Hillary drew thousands of people in their meeting compare to 2008 Romney not even close. Only Ron Paul is doing better
Past one year media was saying republicans are more enthusiasm than democrats where is that enthusiasm gone now ?
Paul IS the man for president. All of the other candidates are trying to run against him but it will backfire on them! It just gets him more press which is exactly what Ron Paul needs since the mainstream media tries to ignore him.With other candidates, the more bad press they get, the further they sink in the polls. With Paul it is just the opposite. And now he is finally getting the press! Paul/2012!!!!!!!!!!
Wolf, I am not sure if you can ask him during this interview....but could you please ask him to address his comments he made about the State of Iowa. "They pick corn in Iowa. They pick presidents in New Hampshire." ....then will he step down if Romney wins N.H. ??
Blitzer is a Zionist who debated a Jewish anti-Zionist professor many years ago. The three candidates he chose to focus on are all known lackeys of the Israel lobby. No mention of Ron Paul in Blizer's world even though he leads in Iowa polls. Why, because Paul would not let us continue to pour billions of our tax money to the apartheid regime otherwise known as Israel (Paul is not doing it for human rights or justice merely on practical and libertarian grounds- we cannot afford it),
Here we go yet again... Ignoring Ron Paul – who is in the number one spot in almost all of the polls except the "breaking news" CNN poll which indicates second place by less than the poll's margin of error.
How sad that "journalists", and I do use the term loosely, fail the American Public by bowing to their masters goal of influencing voters by PURE propaganda! Your efforts and behavior defies logic and there for is "plain as day" obvious. SHAME
No kidding ...i so agree . they will give media attention to everyone except Ron Paul ...wish the media would stay out of politics .... But thats not going to happen ..lol
Ron Paul is coming, I think more and more people will see the other candidates as more of the same, including Obama.
Deeply worried about his positions on national security, huh? They are worried that Ron Paul wants to DEFEND America, not attack innocent civilians? Come general election, a stance on peace from both sides would be a breath of fresh air. If they're so deeply worried, let me see some stock portfolios that don't include major defense contractors.
I think it is rather obvious that none of the other candidates have nice things to say about Ron Paul. He is the front runner and the front runner always gets attacked. Even more than his front runner status, they are scared by the fact that Ron Paul actually means what he says. Agree with him or not, the man says exactly what he believes and has always voted in line with what he says.
I actually like his foreign policy. People over the middle east hate us because we have been invading them, arming rebels, assassinating leaders etc for more than 50 years. Wouldn't that piss you off if another country was doing that to the USA?
I don't think Iran has or is close to getting a WMD. I've heard this story before. Fool me once...
Even if they do get a WMD, they won't use it. North Korea, china, and Russia have had WMDs for many years and never used them. They have them in order to feel respected. To make other countries like the US afraid to attack them. They know that if they ever used a WMD against another country, they would immediately be wiped off the face of the earth.
So I agree with Ron Paul, the CIA, and the 911 commission when they talk about blowback and that the best thing we can do is leave them be. Think about it this way: Do they hate Canadians? They are a free democratic capitalist society like us but they are a non-interventionist (not isolationist) country. They haven't interfered with Iran and other middle eastern countries for decades and thus aren't hated. Think about it.
great ponit ...from a Canadian that has been living in the US for ten years ...
They are all deeply worried about his positions on national security issues. Really? I mean both political parties have done such a GREAT job keeping us safe buy bankrupting the country. Ron Paul has my vote.
since you went all the way to Iowa, one would think you would speak to Ron Paul, the one leading in the caucuses, but you instead, speak to the losers, which speaks volumns about you, and cnn
It all seems rigged! How does everyone get a chance to lead in the polls? People can't be that fickle to just change candidates so quick unless they just don't have any core beliefs or no care about who you believe in. It all looks like a game where the media just gives the lead to a candidate for the news story......
Why didn't Blitzer interview Ron Paul? is it because Ron Paul is the only candidate that tells the truth about Israel?
I just read some of the posts on other articles about Ron Paul and I swear, his supporters think he's the Second Coming! And to all those "Independents" out there whom you think will vote for Paul: Don't count on a majority of them doing so. While they may like Paul's desire to decrease our military reach, they know better than to be suckered with that "the market will correct itself", de-regulation BS that got us into this financial mess in the first place. They are also not so naive as to think that letting the states decide everything won't result in a balkanized country with no consistency across state lines, wrecking havoc with fundamentals such as education and transportation.
If you think it through, Ron Paul would do our country great harm.
You must be reminded about WHO predicted the 2008 crash, and WHY it happened. The Housing Bubble, The Fed. ect. He new it and said it all along and even had time to write books about it for God's sake ! For sure, without a shadow of a dout , One thing is sure: He knows what shouldn't be done ! He also knows the cause ( way before it ever happened ) He has raised topics that the rest of the GOP and Dems never talked about. Gingrich is sleeping with the special-interest groups ,making big bucks on the side ,and being exposed for It ! He is an Excellent talker,I'll give him that !
Ron Paul may have predicted the crash and written books about it, but it is precisely his version of capitalism that made it happen! The market is correcting itself: the rich are feasting on those less fortunate and our nation's wealth grows more and more concentrated at the top. In Paul's worldview, that's how it should be.
Afterall, he so loved Ayn Rand that he named one of his sons after her – and she was a self-centered atheist who despised the poor.
Ron Paul is right.
Romney = Snake Oil salesman.
He is paying a 15% tax rate on the hundreds of millions he made as "Carried interest". The voters have to stop being naive and ask for his tax returns. Also, estimates of job losses while he milked millions from hi private equity investments need to be made.
"The truth remains the same: campaigns engage in negative attacks because they work. Gingrich is the most recent victim."
Huh? Gingrich is going down because people have been looking at the FACTS of his life and they don't like him because of it.
When you present an ugly truth, it's not "negative." It's the truth – and sometimes it hurts!
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