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GOP Partyers, Talking McCain and Thinking Rain


NNEAPOLIS — Normally, you have to pace yourself at pre-convention parties for a grueling week of free food, drinks and swag. Most insiders juggle invites for four or more receptions and dinners each night — on top of swinging by, oh yeah, the actual convention. But with Gustav threatening to stop everything, Saturday’s official media party was the only sure bet of convention week.

The city was at its most appealing: balmy temperatures, sunset on the Mississippi, tons of volunteers exuding Midwestern good cheer, with the Guthrie Theater’s modern chic as backdrop. But Topic A (and B-Z) was the impending hurricane, which put a damper on even the cheeriest GOP stalwarts.

“We just evacuated my horse,” said Houston’s Mica Mosbacher, national co-chair of Women for McCain and wife of former commerce secretary Bob Mosbacher. Instead of celebrating, she was fretting about her dogs boarded with a Texas vet: “We had to sign a waiver saying they couldn’t be responsible” in case of emergency.


Partisan sniping was in short supply; even protesters lacked bite. Code Pink’s Nancy Mancias grabbed what might be her only chance to tweak Sarah Palin, parading around in a navy suit, lapel pin, glasses and the governor’s retro updo. “It’s the only thing that keeps me up,” she mocked. But Mancias may be onto something: Even GOP insiders ecstatic about the veep pick started buzzing about an extreme makeover of Palin’s hair — ASAP.

The Arctic Fox

Notice anything about Sarah Palin? Mmmm-hmmm, you know what we mean. Don’t worry, apparently it’s okay to talk about; commentators were taking note long before she got the veep nod.

· “Let the rest of the country drool while we honeymoon with a hottie.” (Anchorage Daily News, Dec. 10, 2006)

· “New quarter design blah blah blah Alaska blah blah blah OMG Sarah Palin continues to be the hottest governor ever.” (, April 25, 2007)

· “Is it just me or do you get a kind of naughty librarian vibe from the governor? . . . I think she was kind of coming on to me a little bit, because she said ‘succulent.’ North to Alaska! Thank you, Governor, and I don’t mean to be disrespectful about your sexiness.” ( Craig Ferguson, June 27, 2007, after Palin offered him honorary citizenship and “rich, succulent wild Alaskan salmon.”)

Mica Mosbacher quotes

I have a lot of respect for Rick Perry, but his time has passed.

Mica Mosbacher

Found on CNN
7 months ago


It’s not that they dislike Jeb — they feel like he doesn’t quite have the passion.

Mica Mosbacher

Found on CNN
7 months ago


Full story

Anita Perry’s Political Baggage

As her husband’s presidential campaign stumbles, Anita Perry has become his most vocal cheerleader. But she’s got baggage of her own, Jacob Bernstein reports.

It’s rare that you find anything controversial to say about a woman who goes to work for a nonpartisan organization that fights sexual violence against women. But Anita Perry is not most women.

With her husband, Rick, fighting an increasingly nasty and uphill battle for the Republican presidential nomination, Mrs. Perry has become a formidable presence in his campaign: helping open campaign offices, doing town halls with potential voters, and defending her husband after several lackluster performances in the debates. “It’s been a rough month,” the Texas first lady said in a speech at North Greenville University in South Carolina, a Baptist Christian school. “We have been brutalized and beaten up and chewed up in the press. We are being brutalized by our opponents and our own party. So much of that is, I think they look at him, because of his faith.” (The Perrys are evangelical Christians.)

Mrs. Perry is also fending off claims from people who say that her own career amounts to a series of conflicts of interests, in which she and the folks she works with benefit from her association with the governor.

Since 2003, Mrs. Perry has worked for the Texas Association Against Sexual Assault (TAASA), where she’s raised roughly $1.5 million as a $60,000-a-year contract employee during her eight-year association with the organization, Deputy Director Torie Camp tells The Daily Beast.

This summer, a report in the Austin American-Statesman noted that a significant portion of Mrs. Perry’s salary at TAASA comes indirectly from the governor’s “political donors, state contractors, and companies that do business with the state or have issues before the legislature.” Indeed, of 37 major donors to the organization, the paper reported, only three have “no ties to the governor or state business.”

As TAASA sees it, the article in the Statesman was much ado about nothing. “We hired Anita Perry to be a development specialist and fundraiser and she has done exactly that,” Camp tells The Daily Beast. “In my opinion, there would be more of a story if she hadn’t raised $1.5 million and we’d continued to contract her for work. That would be a story.”

Still, if Perry’s campaign picks up steam again, his wife, 59, could find herself vulnerable. As she herself noted while campaigning in Iowa a few weeks back, “We know that every little nook and cranny is going to be examined.”

This last statement extends to questions about Mr. Perry’s sex life, which has been the source of unsubstantiated gossip over the years. In 2004, when some of these rumors reached a fever pitch, Mrs. Perry issued a statement saying, “It’s very sad that some people believe that spreading false, vicious and hurtful rumors is acceptable behavior. Rick and I are both outraged that people would drag our family into such ugly, politically motivated nonsense.”

As friends describe her, Mrs. Perry is a good ol’ Southern gal, a stand-by-your-man type, albeit one with a fairly substantial career of her own and a reputation for being a straight shooter.


Born in Haskell County in 1952, Anita Thigpen got her degree in nursing in 1974 from West Texas State University and married Perry in 1982 after a 15-year on-again, off-again courtship that began when the two were in high school. In the early years of her career, she worked in an emergency room and did a significant amount of work with victims of domestic violence and sexual abuse, according to Mica Mosbacher, a prominent Texan and friend of Mrs. Perry’s who’s done work with TAASA. “Sexual assault is an unglamorous kind of charity. It takes a lot to be able to comfort victims,” Mosbacher says. “She’s remarkable.”

After that, while her husband was serving as agriculture commissioner, Mrs. Perry worked for a PR firm called MEM Hubble Communications, where she did health-care consulting for pharmaceuticals like Merck and a local hospital that wound up in a debacle surrounding more than $1 million in allegedly mismanaged funds, according to The Austin Chronicle. When Perry became lieutenant governor, local Democrats wondered aloud whether she wasn’t doing lobbying “on the sly,” serving as a go-between for the firm’s clients and her ascendant husband. “Bullshit,” her old boss Bill Miller said at the time.

Still, Mrs. Perry’s work in the field of health care and women’s issues seems to have had at least some influence on her husband’s views. He supported Hillary Clinton’s 1994 health-care plan. He’s also made appearances at the Texas Conference for Women, an annual event his wife has helped spearhead for the last several years. And in 2007 he took a surprising stand in favor of administering the HPV vaccine to teenagers.

Last month, Michele Bachmann attacked Perry’s position on the HPV issue, saying that his support for the vaccine was nothing more than cronyism that occurred after its manufacturer, Merck, donated hundreds of thousands of dollars to him and the Republican Governors Association, an organization in which Rick Perry has been heavily involved. But Merck wasn’t just a donor to Perry—it was also his wife’s former client from her days at MEM Hubble.

As for Mosbacher, she was approached several years back by Mrs. Perry about doing work with TAASA. The two women went out for a meal, where Mosbacher told Mrs. Perry that she was a sexual-abuse survivor herself and that she would be glad to do work for the organization and tell her story publicly to help raise awareness. Subsequently, she and her late husband, Bob (the secretary of commerce during the first Bush administration), became big supporters and fundraisers for Mr. Perry.

When the Statesman pounced on Mrs. Perry this summer, it also took a swipe at Mosbacher, noting that she and her husband donated $113,000 to Governor Perry’s 2006 reelection campaign. Meanwhile, the Houston Chronicle reported that 155 people who’ve collectively given $6.1 million to Perry’s various gubernatorial campaigns have been rewarded with regentships within the state’s various universities. Among them Mica Mosbacher, who is now a regent at the University of Houston.

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Speaking with The Daily Beast, Mosbacher bristles at the notion there’s anything improper about her myriad connections to the Perrys. “I got a nonpaying job as a regent and opened myself and exposed what I thought was a very humiliating sexual assault when I was 20,” she says.

How did everything get so confusing, with friends doubling as political appointees, doubling as spokespeople for the charities of the wives of state officials? The answer is that Texas is one of a handful of states with virtually no campaign-finance laws. Says Andrew Wheat, the research director for Texans for Public Justice, a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization that formed in 1997 to study political corruption: “Texas has long been the Wild, Wild West when it comes to money and politics. It’s a culture of pay-to-play and crony capitalism deals, and that covers both parties. What puts Rick Perry apart is that he’s been governor longer than anyone in history, so his people are everywhere. He’s built an unparalleled patronage machine. Is it possible somebody seeing this money machine might hire his wife for access to those contacts? Sure. That might be a shrewd strategic move.”

An effort to wrangle an interview from Mrs. Perry was met with radio silence from folks at the Perry campaign, though they have frequently shrugged off complaints of cronyism. In August, when The New York Times wrote a piece about Perry’s complicated ties to his donors, spokesman Mark Miner said, “These issues have been brought up in previous elections to no avail.”

Bad blood: Tension between Cruz, Bushes

AUSTIN — Ted Cruz once proudly wore a belt buckle borrowed from George H.W. Bush that said: “President of the United States.”

He campaigned and worked for that former president’s son, Dubya, former President George W. Bush. And Cruz helped write a book lavishing praise on him.

Also, the endorsement of George P. Bush, the family’s latest rising political star and son of Jeb Bush, lent credibility to Cruz’s then little-known 2012 Senate campaign.

Now, though, things aren’t so simpatico between the Bushes and Cruz — and not only because one of the Texas senator’s GOP presidential primary competitors is Jeb Bush, the former governor of Florida.

Rising tensions reflect Cruz potentially helping to dent the Bushes’ position as one of the nation’s pre-eminent political families, personifying a deeper internal Republican Party struggle between insurgent conservative outsiders and the old guard establishment.

“There is this question of, ‘When are the adults going to come in and change the race?’ I think the adults are at the table. I certainly consider myself one,” said Mica Mosbacher, a prominent Cruz fundraiser whose late husband, Robert, was secretary of commerce under George H.W. Bush. “Some people are still in denial.”

Cruz supporters point to October, when George W. Bush said of Cruz to a roomful of donors: “I just don’t like that guy.”

“I think it hurt him,” Mosbacher said of the former president. “He failed to have his finger on the pulse.”

Ray Sullivan, who was national spokesman for George W. Bush’s 2000 campaign, said the comment “underscores a highly competitive, multicandidate race and different segments of the Republican Party.”

But he also conceded that it was somewhat unusual for George W. Bush to openly criticize a fellow Republican.

“The Bushes are a competitive lot,” said Sullivan, who ran a PAC backing Rick Perry’s short-lived 2016 presidential bid before jumping to Jeb Bush’s campaign in September. “I viewed that as almost a game-day, rally-the-troops commentary.”

Cruz hasn’t retaliated, but being criticized by George W. Bush delighted his tea party base. Since then, Cruz’s candidacy has risen in the polls, while Jeb Bush’s bid has struggled.

Clay Johnson III, a friend of George W. Bush since high school and former top budget official in his administration, said he recently spent time with the former president and they discussed how many of the crowded field of GOP White House hopefuls “have no idea at all about what’s involved in being president.”

Still, that public display of bad blood in Bush’s comment to donors was a far cry from Bush’s 2000 presidential campaign, when Cruz was a domestic policy adviser.

Cruz later held jobs in the Bush administration in the Justice Department and Federal Trade Commission and, on the verge of the 2004 Republican National Convention, wrote a chapter in “Thank You, President Bush,” a book meant to answer “Bush-haters.” In it, Cruz likened George W. Bush to Abraham Lincoln and Ronald Reagan and wrote that some fiscal conservatives decried Bush for increased government spending, but “those concerns are often overstated.”

In his own autobiography published last year, however, Cruz made it clear his views had changed, criticizing Bush for excessive federal spending.

Also in his book, Cruz recalled borrowing jeans, a shirt and that belt buckle from George H.W. Bush for a 2009 sailing outing, writing that “it was surreal to be wearing his clothes.”

Before his 2012 Senate bid, Cruz explored running for Texas attorney general. In the autobiography, he detailed how, after the sailing trip, George H.W. Bush agreed to endorse that campaign. But Cruz wrote that Karl Rove, a top strategist for George W. Bush, pressured him not to publicize that.

Rove disputed the book’s assertion last summer, prompting the Cruz campaign to release 2009 emails from Rove that it said backed up Cruz’s account.

Cruz wrote that George H.W. Bush had wanted to call him “the future of the Republican Party.” Three years later, Bush’s grandson, George P., used those same words to praise Cruz during his Senate run.

In a 2012 statement backing Cruz, who was then an underdog in Texas’ Republican primary, George P. Bush saluted him and another now presidential hopeful, Marco Rubio, saying both “will inspire a new generation of leaders to stand up and defend American Exceptionalism.”

George P. Bush, Jeb’s eldest son, was elected Texas land commissioner in 2014. Through his office, George P. Bush declined to comment for this story, but he has said he still considers Cruz a friend — even if he’s now campaigning for his dad.

Brendan Steinhauser, a GOP strategist who is uncommitted in the presidential race, called the falling out between Cruz and the Bushes “a good example of the battle for the heart and soul” of the Republican Party.

“There may be frustration on the Bush side that this isn’t the party from 2000 to 2008, and certainly not before that under Bush senior,” Steinhauser said. “The tea party, the rise of the grassroots … that started during the younger Bush’s presidency.”

New York Polls on Fox News Live with Mica Mosbacher

Mica Mosbacher interviews on the New York primary

Mica Mosbacher is on Fox News discussing Scott Walker’s endorsement of Ted Cruz.

Mica Mosbacher supports women for Cruz and Ted Cruz in the race in Wisconsin

US Presidential race: Ted Cruz reaches out to Jewish donors and voters


When Ted Cruz headlined a recent fundraising luncheon in New York, the Baptist senator was presented with a gift: a menorah.

“It was very heartfelt,” Mica Mosbacher, a Cruz supporter who was there, said of the feelings on both sides. “He strikes a chord with the Jewish community.”

Cruz, the son of a pastor, has spent several years aggressively courting the support of Jewish voters, particularly those who are Orthodox. Touting his conservative views on Israel, his opposition to the Iran nuclear deal and his adherence to traditional values, Cruz has found a conservative niche in the Orthodox community in a faith that leans Democratic overall.

On Monday, Cruz will address the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, which is also hosting speeches from rivals Donald Trump and John Kasich. Last year, Cruz spoke at a dinner put on by a Jewish organisation in New York, attended a Passover gathering at a high-end California resort and met with Orthodox leaders in Brooklyn. He also has had numerous private meetings and fundraisers with Jewish voters in New York, South Florida and Los Angeles.

Mica Mosbacher on Fox News