Originally published on Thu January 19, 2012 1:40 pm
Like the saying goes in his home state, everything about Texas Gov. Rick Perry's presidential campaign was big.
From the start of his candidacy, when he garnered instant front-runner status in some polls, to his embarrassing debate performances and his slide to the back of the pack, Perry's bid for the Republican nomination seemed outsized. So, too, were the expectations.
On Thursday, Perry left the GOP race and strongly endorsed former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, citing his "heart of a conservative reformer."
The chairman of the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff, Gen. Martin Dempsey (left), is in Israel to talk about the growing tension with Iran. Here, Dempsey speaks with Israel's top military officer, Lt. Gen. Benjamin Gantz, during a meeting at NATO headquarters in Brussels on Wednesday.
The nation's top military officer, Gen. Martin Dempsey, is in Israel where he's expected to send a clear message: Don't attack Iran, and let the tougher sanctions take hold.
Dempsey's trip to Israel was scheduled weeks ago, but it comes at a particularly sensitive time. Iran has threatened to close the Strait of Hormuz, the key route for oil shipments, and has stepped up its naval activities.
An Iranian nuclear scientist was recently killed by a drive-by assassin, and Iran is blaming Israel.
Mitt Romney's tax returns and the tax rate he paid on his income have been hot issues in the recent Republican primaries.
"What's the effective rate that I've been paying? It's probably closer to the 15 percent rate than anything because my last 10 years, my income comes overwhelmingly from investments," the GOP front-runner recently told reporters.
So why does a multimillionaire pay just 15 percent on his income? After all, the top income tax rate is 35 percent and many middle-class people pay over 20 percent.
There are reports Thursday that Texas Gov. Rick Perry will leave the GOP presidential race, and Iowa officials announced final results of the state's Republican presidential nominating caucuses held earlier this month.