PJTV and Pajamas Media are live at the 2011 Straw Poll in Ames, Iowa. PJTV is proud to have a prominent placement at the Google/TheIowaRepublican booth, hearing from the candidates who are coming by including Sen. Rick Santorum, Rep. Thaddeus McCotter, former Speaker Newt Gingrich and others.
Keep tabs on PJTV throughout the weekend, as we continue to post videos from the event. Right here, we will be adding updates throughout the day.
UPDATE #17 – Another 20 minutes until the polls close. Be sure to check PJTV.com for Straw Poll results and analysis.
UPDATE #16 – According to operatives from RebelPundit.com, there are reports that supporters of Rep. Ron Paul have been pranking the Rep. Bachmann campaign by messing with their golf carts (meant for moving people and supplies.) The only real gossip of the entire event…..thank goodness.
UPDATE #15A – Once again, PJTV is called on stage at the Google/TheIowaRepublican.com Soap Box to ask Sen. Santorum questions in front of the live crowd. Be sure to look for it at PJTV.com.
UPDATE #15 – Sen. Rick Santorum takes the stage. So far, he has visited 68 of the 99 counties here. He refers to America as a “moral enterprise” and that rights come to us from G-d. He then went into a history lesson about Washington, and the concept of American Exceptionalism, ending with, “Mr. President, you don’t understand America.” He then states that Obamacare is the example of government control that existed in the colonies before the Declaration of Independence. He further pushed for his belief in smaller government, and how Democrats aren’t “evil,” they just believe in something different. The crowd was the the biggest of the day.
UPDATE #14 – Texas Gov. Rick Perry has made his official announcement that he is in the race for president in 2012. We knew it was coming. However, while there are t-shirts a plenty here with “Americans for Rick Perry” on them, I haven’t heard much other chatter about him. The Straw Poll results may say otherwise.
UPDATE #13 – The crowd is waiting for Sen. Rick Santorum. The biggest crowd of the day so far.
UPDATE #12 – I caught up with former Speaker Newt Gingrich after he spoke at the Google/TheIowaRepublican Soap Box. Here is the video.
UPDATE #11 – OK…a man named Al Shearer just took to the stage to announce that he is running for President, and is passing out bumper stickers. Anyone heard of him?
UPDATE #10 – Up next is Sen. Thaddeus McCotter (R-MI). The crowd is truly intrigued, as they don’t know much about him. A surprise! He’s not just giving a speech, he’s doing a Q&A, and I start the questioning for PJTV. The crowd in the tent is growing, and McCotter’s style – not dramatic, not overtly passionate, has this group of people fully engaged. It seems that if he is given the chance to speak, he wins people over…just don’t know if that can translate into donations and a strong challenge.
UPDATE #9A – Sen. Grassley agreed to speak with us, on the stage at the Google/TheIowaRepublican.com Soap Box, in front of well over 150 people. Be sure to look for it at PJTV.com.
UPDATE #9 – Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-IA) is now speaking, and the tent just got really full. He is talking about “The Buck Stops Here,” and how President Obama has failed to take any responsibility for the current state of affairs. To quote, “You (the President) shouldn’t have any more excuses than Harry Truman had – the buck stops here!” The crowd is now applauding on every other line….they are crazy about him, and love the message. Big applause line comes when he sings the praises of the Tea Party.
UPDATE #8 – A quick word from former New York Lt. Governor Betsy McCoughey about the need to repeal Obamacare, and the viciousness of the IRS in implementing this law.
UPDATE #7 – A break in the action on stage, but lots of activity in this booth. Across the way, the Rep. Bachmann tent is jam-packed. Next to her, the Herman Cain tent also has plenty of activity. As for passers by, the Ron Paul t-shirts are now out and about, along with lots of signage.
UPDATE #6 – Congressman Tom Latham (R-IA) is now speaking. He is pushing for a majority in the Senate, to get the “regulatory burden” off the people. It was a simple talk, speaking to the members of his district, which Ames is a part of.
UPDATE #5 – I just spoke at TheIowaRepublican.com soap box, comparing and contrasting the Tea Party and the Iowa voter with the rhetoric of the Democratic party.
UPDATE #4 – Newt Gingrich is now on the stage. He was quick to say, “I don’t want you to be for me, I want you to be with me.” He then made the same plea he made at the close of the FOX debate, imploring people not to wait 15 months to get started, start doing now. He then started talking about the problems with bureaucratic Socialism. (Aside from McCotter, you won’t hear that talking point from anyone else.) He finished up by stating that you can not describe America without saying that our rights come from G-d, and that President Obama is wrong about the nature of America. NEW – Catch the interview here.
UPDATE #3 – Spotted! Americans for Rick Perry t-shirts….lots of them. Has someone been organizing?
UPDATE #2 – Rep. Steve King (R-IA) is speaking at the Google/TheIowaRepublican booth, where close to 100 people have gathered to listen to him. His biggest applause line came when he asked the crowd to sign a pledge to help repeal Obamacare, which Rep. King referred to as a, “malignant tumor.”
UPDATE #1 – Walking on to the Iowa State University campus, where the Straw Poll is taking place, the first sight I saw was Sen. Rick Santorum, who is shaking hands as fast as he can. Once on the main campus, I was struck at the number of Tim Pawlenty t-shirts I saw. I don’t know how that translates to votes, but the shirts – a bright green with the number 12 on the back of them – are very visible.