Here is a quick round-up of news from the 2016 horse race.  It looks like U.S. Senator Ted Cruz (R-Texas) will have some company pretty soon.

Will Marco Rubio jump in?  U.S. Senator Marco Rubio (R-Florida) announced that he will make a “huge” announcement on April 13 at the Freedom Tower in Miami.  Rubio has made several appearances in Iowa in the last couple of years, including campaigning for U.S. Senator, Joni Ernst (R-Iowa).

I doubt this is an announcement that he is announcing his re-election bid for U.S. Senate, but stranger things have happened.  For instance, you have Congressman Louie Gohmert (R-Texas) hinting that he was considering a run for President, but not really.

The Tampa Bay Times reports that “The Freedom Tower, a Mediterranean Revival landmark beside Biscayne Bay, is apparently one of several venues under consideration by Rubio, but it could be an ideal postcard setting to kick off a presidential campaign promoting the promise and greatness of America by the son of Cuban immigrants.”

Having lived in Miami for a time, I’d have to agree about the venue.  Rubio has some big money backing a prospective presidential bid and there has been a lot of Beltway “buzz” about him.  The latest Florida primary poll shows Rubio gaining support in Florida, but he still trails former Florida Governor Jeb Bush.

Rubio will have to overcome previous support of the “Gang of Eight” immigration deal that hurt him badly with grassroots activists.  He has since come out and said that he was wrong.

Rubio does have a compelling story and background, and has been a conservative stalwart on foreign policy, fiscal and social conservatives issues.  Will he be successful in wooing Iowa grassroots conservatives to himself?  It will be an uphill climb, but not an impossible one in what could be an incredibly crowded field.

U.S. Senator Rand Paul (R-Kentucky) is expected to announce a 2016 bid on April 7th at the Galt House in Louisville, KY.  He will then tour the early primary states visiting the Milford Town Hall in Milford, NH on April 8th, the USS Yorktown in Mt. Pleasant, SC on April 9th, the University of Iowa Student Union on April 10th, and a to-be-determined location in Nevada on April 11th.

This week CBN’s David Brody reports that Paul spoke at a pastors’ breakfast last week and expressed that the country needed revival.  “We need a revival in the country. We need another Great Awakening with tent revivals of thousands of people saying reform or see what’s going to happen if we don’t reform,” Paul said.

Paul also last week proposed increasing defense spending by approximately $190 Billion over the next two years.

Carly Fiorina is more than 90% sure.  The former Hewlett-Packard CEO said she’s almost certain she’ll run, but won’t make her announcement until late April or early May.  Today she announced that she hired a New Hampshire State Director for her Super PAC that launched on February 24th prior to her speech at CPAC.

A video announcement released earlier this month.

Texas Governor Rick Perry says he will run a different race in 2016 should he decide to run.  He said this to a conservative talk show host in his home state.  He said much the same thing to media when he was in Iowa earlier this month.

Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker appears to be limiting his media availability.  Dylan Byers at Politico reports:

But in the wake of a few controversial, headline-grabbing quotes about evolution and President Barack Obama’s religion, the Wisconsin governor and likely Republican presidential candidate has put the brakes on his media availability, reporters who follow him say.

On Friday, Walker toured the Texas-Mexico border with Texas Gov. Greg Abbott. The tour was closed to the press, and Walker did not take part in a media avail afterward. Similarly, Walker visited Greenville, South Carolina, last weekend but refused to take questions from the media. Of the six likely Republican candidates to visit the state in the past two months, Walker was the only one to pass on the press.

Scott Bauer, a Madison-based reporter who covers Walker for The Associated Press, reported earlier this month that the Republican governor “has become much harder to reach as he ramps up for a likely 2016 presidential campaign.” In the past, Walker had “repeatedly shown a fearlessness, and even affinity, for patiently taking questions from reporters following the most mundane events or in the face of embarrassing slip-ups,” Bauer wrote. Now, most of his comments come through formal statements.

Walker isn’t totally spurning the media, of course: In recent weeks, he’s granted interviews to New Hampshire’s Union Leader and The Tampa Bay Times, as well as radio host Hugh Hewitt. But he is starting to put limits on his availability to reporters, often declining to hold Q & As with them and restricting their ability to tag along on his travels.

I’m sure that’ll change he’ll jump at the opportunity to interview on Caffeinated Thoughts Radio.

Strange, but true, a magazine published by ISIS targets Rick Santorum.  I didn’t realize that ISIS had a magazine, but apparently in the latest version of their apocalyptic magazine, Dabiq, they target former U.S. Senator Rick Santorum as a “Catholic Crusader.”

That is an interesting addition to a presidential resume… “hey, I’m the only candidate targeted by the ISIS propaganda machine.”  Here is what their English language publication printed.


HT: P.J. Tatler

Mike Huckabee interviews with Bill Maher.

Former Governor Mike Huckabee (R-Arkansas) discussed his new book God, Guts, Grits and Gravy on Real Time with Bill Maher.  It was, ahem, interesting.

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