The Amazing Race

4 minute read
Adam Sorensen




May 5: The first of more than a dozen GOP debates is held in Greenville, S.C.

May 11: Newt Gingrich enters the race

May 13: Ron Paul begins his third presidential campaign

May 15: Gingrich dismisses the House GOP budget as “right-wing social engineering”

May 21: Herman Cain enters the race

May 22: Indiana Governor Mitch Daniels says he won’t run

May 23: Tim Pawlenty enters the race


June 2: Already leading in the polls, Mitt Romney enters the race

June 6: Rick Santorum enters the race

June 9: Top Gingrich staffers resign after the candidate goes on a cruise to the Mediterranean

June 13: Pawlenty stumbles in a debate when he declines to repeat his criticism of Romney’s health care reform as “Obamneycare”

June 21: Jon Huntsman Jr. declares his candidacy

June 27: Michele Bachmann enters the race


‘Corporations are people, my friend.’

–Romney, rebuffing a heckler who suggested raising taxes on businesses rather than individuals

July 6: Romney’s campaign announces it has raised $18.5 million, dwarfing the competition

July 8: Bachmann and Santorum sign a pledge implying that African-American children were better off under slavery than they have been since President Obama’s election

July 15: The Gingrich campaign admits it’s $1 million in the hole

July 16: Rick Perry electrifies the conservative base with hints that he will run


‘Under President Bachmann, you will see gasoline come down below $2 a gallon again. That will happen.’

–Bachmann, flush with confidence after her Iowa victory

Aug. 11: Romney gets heckled at the Iowa state fair

Aug. 13: Bachmann wins the Iowa straw poll

Aug. 13: Perry leaps into the race

Aug. 13: Paul finishes a close second in the Iowa straw poll

Aug. 13: Santorum places fourth in the Iowa straw poll

Aug. 14: Pawlenty drops out after placing third in the Iowa straw poll

Aug. 18: Cain announces his 9-9-9 tax plan

Aug. 18: Huntsman tweets, “I believe in evolution and trust scientists on global warming. Call me crazy.” Conservatives are not pleased

Aug. 20: Gingrich travels to Hawaii to “campaign”–and to celebrate his wedding anniversary

Aug. 24: Perry takes the lead in national polls


Sept. 7: Gingrich scores when he scolds debate moderators in California

Sept. 12: Pawlenty endorses Romney

Sept. 12: At a Tampa debate, Perry faces criticism over immigration policy, the HPV vaccine and Social Security reform

Sept. 12: Bachmann blasts Perry for mandating the HPV vaccine and inaccurately suggests it could cause “mental retardation”

Sept. 22: At another Florida debate, Perry incoherently mangles an attack on Romney

Sept. 24: Cain wins Florida straw poll

Sept. 26: Perry appears on the cover of this magazine

‘Was it was before he was before the social programs, from the standpoint of he was for standing up for Roe v. Wade before he was against Roe v. Wade?’

–Perry, attempting a takedown of Romney


‘We need a leader, not a reader.’

–Cain, responding to scrutiny of his foreign policy bona fides

Oct. 4: After toying with running, New Jersey Governor Chris Christie says he won’t

Oct. 5: Sarah Palin rules out a run for the presidency

Oct. 8: Paul wins the conservative Values Voter Summit straw poll

Oct. 11: Christie endorses Romney

Oct. 11: Dartmouth hosts the first GOP debate on the economy. Discussion of Cain’s 9-9-9 plan dominates

Oct. 14: Financial records show Huntsman’s campaign to be deep in debt–even after he lent it $2.3 million

Oct. 20: Cain takes the lead in national polls

Oct. 21: Bachmann’s New Hampshire staff quits en masse

Oct. 24: Foundering, Perry hires new advisers


Nov. 2: Santorum completes goal of campaigning in each of Iowa’s 99 counties

Nov. 7: At a press conference, a fourth woman accuses Cain of sexual harassment

Nov. 9: At another debate, Perry can’t remember one of the federal departments he would eliminate. “Oops,” he says

Nov. 11: Gingrich reports an influx of donations after another feisty debate performance

Nov. 16: Despite little news coverage, Paul climbs to second place in Iowa, New Hampshire polls

Nov. 22: Rivals criticize Gingrich’s immigration stance at a debate in Washington

Nov. 27: The Union-Leader, an influential New Hampshire paper, endorses Gingrich

Nov. 28: The DNC releases a TV ad mocking Romney for changing positions on various issues

Nov. 28: Atlanta woman Ginger White alleges a 13-year romantic affair with Cain

Nov. 28–29: After calling for the breakup of big banks, Huntsman gets a bounce in New Hampshire


Dec. 2: Donald Trump is announced as host of a Dec. 27 debate. Trump bows out after all but two candidates say they won’t go

Dec. 3: Cain suspends his campaign

Dec. 6: Gingrich pulls ahead in Iowa and South Carolina polls

Dec. 10: Huntsman’s low poll numbers force him to skip a major Iowa debate

Dec. 12: Romney appears on the cover of this magazine

‘This is exactly what is wrong with politics. It’s show business over substance.’

–Huntsman, rejecting an invitation to Donald Trump’s debate

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