NPR: Don Gonyea

Although Don Gonyea is a NPR National Political Correspondent based in Washington, D.C., he spends much of his time traveling throughout the United States covering campaigns, elections, and the political climate throughout the country. His reports can be heard on all NPR programs and at NPR.org.

During the 2000 presidential campaign, Gonyea chronicled the controversial election and the ensuing legal recount battles in the courts. At the same time George W. Bush moved into the White House in 2001, Gonyea started as NPR’s White House Correspondent. He was at the White House on the morning of September 11, 2001, providing live reports following the evacuation of the building.

As White House correspondent, Gonyea covered the Bush administration's prosecution of wars in both Afghanistan and Iraq and during the 2004 campaign he traveled with President Bush and Democratic nominee John Kerry. In November 2006, Gonyea co-anchored NPR's coverage of historic elections when Democrats captured control of both houses of the US Congress.  In 2008, Gonyea was the lead reporter covering the entire Obama presidential campaign for NPR, from the Iowa caucuses to victory night in Chicago. He was also there when candidate Obama visited the Middle East and Europe.  He continued covering the White House and President Barack Obama until spring 2010, when he moved into his current position.

Gonyea has filed stories from around the globe, including Moscow, Beijing, London, Islamabad, Doha, Budapest, Seoul, San Salvador, and Hanoi. He attended President Bush's first ever meeting with Russia's Vladimir Putin in Slovenia in 2001, and for subsequent, at times testy meetings between the two leaders in St. Petersburg, Shanghai and Bratislava.  He also covered Mr.Obama’s first trip overseas as president.

In 1986, Gonyea got his start at NPR reporting from Detroit on labor unions and the automobile industry. He spent countless hours on picket lines and in union halls covering strikes, including numerous lengthy work stoppages at GM in the late 1990s. Gonyea also reported on the development of alternative fuel and hybrid-powered automobiles, Dr. Jack Kevorkian's assisted-suicide crusade, and the 1999 closing of Detroit's classic Tiger Stadium — the ballpark of his youth.

Over the years Gonyea has contributed to PBS's NewsHour with Jim Lehrer, the BBC, CBC, AP Radio, and the Columbia Journalism Review. He periodically teaches college journalism courses.

Gonyea has won numerous national and state awards for his reporting. He was part of the team that earned NPR a 2000 George Foster Peabody Award for the All Things Considered series “Lost & Found Sound.”

A native of Monroe, Michigan, Gonyea is an honors graduate of Michigan State University.

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4:30am

Mon August 20, 2012
Around the Nation

Janesville Library Prepared For Inquiring Reporters

Originally published on Mon August 20, 2012 1:50 pm

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

For the residents of Janesville, Wisconsin, Mitt Romney's selection of Paul Ryan as his running mate was a story of a local man becoming the biggest news in the country. But for the librarians of Janesville, it meant something else entirely, as NPR's Don Gonyea found out last week.

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5:14am

Wed August 15, 2012
Election 2012

In Colorado With Rep. Ryan

Originally published on Wed August 15, 2012 7:03 am

Wisconsin Congressman Paul Ryan continues to introduce himself to voters. Over the weekend, Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney announced Ryan would be his running mate. So far, Ryan has campaigned exclusively in battleground states that were carried by Democrats in 2008.

6:15pm

Wed August 8, 2012
It's All Politics

In Brawl Over Romney's Tax Returns, Harry Reid Gets Marquee Billing

Originally published on Wed August 8, 2012 6:57 pm

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev. speaks to the media at the Capitol in March.
T.J. Kirkpatrick Getty Images

Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney's decision not to release more of his past tax returns has fueled countless attacks and counterattacks.

The former Massachusetts governor has released his 2010 tax return and promises that his 2011 return is forthcoming. He says that's enough.

But that's not enough for Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev. The result is an increasingly ugly fight.

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3:26am

Tue August 7, 2012
Election 2012

Older, Tougher — But Will The Tea Party Be Stronger?

Originally published on Wed August 8, 2012 2:39 pm

Ted Cruz, Republican candidate for the U.S. Senate, speaks at a rally organized by the Tea Party Express in San Antonio in May.
Hernan Rozemberg AP

The 2010 elections were a coming of age for the Tea Party, with big gains in Congress and in statehouses. As 2012 approached, the movement was looking for similar success. Then came this year's GOP presidential primaries, with no surviving Tea Party favorite.

Polls showed public support for the movement falling off significantly after several nasty showdowns in Congress. But the Tea Party remains a force in many states. Its favored candidate for the U.S. Senate won big in Texas last week, sending the strongest signal yet that the movement will be a factor this fall.

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6:29am

Sun July 22, 2012
Election 2012

He's A Long Shot, But Don't Count Huckabee Out

Originally published on Mon July 23, 2012 11:08 am

Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee delivers remarks to the Conservative Political Action Conference in February in Washington, D.C.
Chip Somodevilla Getty Images

Among the many contenders who could wind up becoming presumptive Republican nominee Mitt Romney's running mate, there are some potential surprises — like former presidential candidate-turned TV and radio host Mike Huckabee.

Putting Huckabee on the GOP ticket could certainly liven up the presidential race. In addition to being a respected former governor of Arkansas, he's well known for his good-natured public persona. At a Huckabee campaign event, you might find him playing an electric bass with the old-time rock 'n' roll band Capitol Offense.

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5:09am

Fri July 13, 2012
Politics

NAACP Applauds Biden's Voting Rights Message

Originally published on Fri July 13, 2012 11:04 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Voting rights have been a big topic at this year's convention of the NAACP in Houston. Republicans across the country have been pushing for tougher voter I.D. laws, which the nation's oldest civil rights organization contends are aimed at hurting voter turnout among African-Americans. Yesterday, Vice President Joe Biden joined a long list of convention speakers addressing that issue, as NPR's Don Gonyea reports.

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5:36pm

Fri June 29, 2012
Politics

Tea Party Sees Ruling As New Rallying Cry

Originally published on Fri June 29, 2012 10:26 pm

The Supreme Court is reflected in the sunglasses of Susan Clark on Thursday as she demonstrates against President Obama's health care law.
David Goldman AP

Some of the earliest and most vocal opponents of President Obama's health care law were members of the Tea Party. In fact, health care quickly became the issue fueling the rise of the movement.

Anger over the Affordable Care Act drove the Tea Party and Republicans to big gains in the 2010 elections, but since then the movement has seen its prominence and influence wane.

Now, Tea Party activists say the Supreme Court's decision to uphold the law will reignite that original passion in time for this fall's election.

Call For Repeal Continues

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4:46am

Wed June 20, 2012
Election 2012

Mitt Romney Wraps Up Bus Tour To Battleground States

Originally published on Wed June 20, 2012 8:08 am

Transcript

LINDA WERTHEIMER, HOST:

Mitt Romney has wrapped up his most extensive campaign trip since becoming the all-but-official Republican nominee for president. Over the past five days, he visited six potential battleground states, touring each by bus. Along the way, he honed his attacks on President Obama, while also trying to show voters a more relaxed Mitt Romney than they've seen so far.

The tour, called Every Town Counts, stayed mostly in counties friendly to Republicans, ending with three stops in Michigan yesterday, the state where Romney was born.

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5:23pm

Tue June 19, 2012
It's All Politics

With Polka Band And Pie, Romney Wraps Up Small-Town Tour In Michigan

Originally published on Fri June 29, 2012 4:00 pm

Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney makes a pie shell with store owner Linda Hundt during a campaign stop Tuesday in DeWitt, Mich.
Joe Raedle Getty Images

GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney wrapped up a five-day, six-state tour in Michigan on Tuesday.

Each of the states he visited was won by President Obama in the 2008 election. Each is also shaping up as a potential battleground this year.

In Michigan, the state where Romney was born, he avoided big cities and stayed in places friendly to the GOP. As he traveled east to west across central Michigan by bus, there were some pockets of protesters, but mostly at a distance.

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5:39am

Tue June 5, 2012
Politics

For Wisconsin Voters, Recall Day Is Here

Republican Gov. Scott Walker faces Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett in a recall election Tuesday that has attracted a lot of outside money. The attempt to remove Walker came after he successfully pushed to limit collective bargaining rights for public sector unions.

4:26pm

Tue May 29, 2012
It's All Politics

Fueled By Outside Money, Ad Blitz Hasn't Stopped For Weary Iowans

Originally published on Tue May 29, 2012 8:45 pm

6:18am

Sat May 12, 2012
Presidential Race

Iowa On Same-Sex Marriage: It's Complicated

Originally published on Sat May 12, 2012 9:17 pm

Iowans attend a marriage rally sponsored by The Family Leader on Tuesday at the Statehouse in Des Moines. The head of the organization says President Obama's endorsement of gay marriage could cost him the election.
Charlie Neibergall AP

Immediately after President Obama announced his support this week for same-sex marriage, attention turned to politics. The outcome of this year's election will be determined by a handful of states — one of them is Iowa, where the politics of same-sex marriage are complicated.

Same-sex marriage is legal here, but three of the state Supreme Court justices upholding that 2009 decision were removed from office by voters a year later.

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5:54pm

Fri April 27, 2012
Election 2012

Obama Team Changes Line Of Attack Against Romney

Originally published on Fri April 27, 2012 7:02 pm

Vice President Biden defends the administration's foreign policy --€” and questions Mitt Romney's ideas — on Thursday at New York University.
Lucas Jackson Reuters/Landov

General-election battle lines are taking shape between President Obama and likely Republican challenger Mitt Romney.

Romney is sticking with his long-standing attack on the president as someone not up to the huge job of turning around the economy.

But the Obama campaign has recently changed its message: Instead of portraying Romney as a flip-flopping, say-anything politician, it is now arguing that the former Massachusetts governor is a man with extreme positions far outside the American mainstream.

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5:04pm

Mon April 23, 2012
Around the Nation

President Obama Takes Steps To End Mass Atrocities

Originally published on Mon April 23, 2012 7:39 pm

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Robert Siegel.

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

And I'm Melissa Block.

President Obama toured the U.S. Holocaust Museum in Washington today joined by Holocaust survivor, author and Nobel Laureate, Elie Wiesel. Mr. Obama said the U.S. must never again allow such atrocities to take place.

As NPR's Don Gonyea reports, the president also announced new tools to punish countries that use technology to track and target their citizens.

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3:41am

Mon April 23, 2012
Mitt Romney

Immigration Remains A Dicey Issue For Romney, GOP

Originally published on Mon April 23, 2012 8:29 am

Republican presidential candidate and former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney speaks at a campaign rally in Tempe, Ariz., on Friday.
Jae C. Hong AP

At a Republican candidates' forum in Wisconsin before the state's primary earlier this month, a speaker who wasn't on the ballot had strong words for the GOP regarding its low standing among Hispanic voters.

"The way the party ... talks about immigration is going to impact the future course of this party and the future course of this nation," said former U.S. Attorney General Alberto Gonzales, the first Hispanic to hold the nation's highest law enforcement post.

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8:50am

Tue April 17, 2012
It's All Politics

Other Options Gone, Tea Party Members Warm Up To Romney

Originally published on Tue April 17, 2012 12:26 pm

Courting Tea Party voters in Philadelphia on Monday night, Mitt Romney speaks next to a large statue of Benjamin Franklin at the Franklin Institute.
Tim Shaffer Reuters/Landov

Likely GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney is reaching out to a segment of the Republican base that has given him trouble in this year's primary season: the Tea Party. On Monday night in Philadelphia, he spoke to activists from Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Delaware, and what might have been a tough crowd turned out to be just the opposite.

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4:00am

Tue April 17, 2012
Election 2012

Tri-State Tea Party Welcomes Romney To Philly

Originally published on Fri April 20, 2012 9:27 am

Transcript

LYNN NEARY, HOST:

Likely GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney is reaching out to a segment of the Republican base that has given him trouble in this year's primary season: the Tea Party. Last night in Philadelphia, he spoke to activists from Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Delaware. And as NPR national political correspondent Don Gonyea reports, what might have been a tough crowd turned out to be just the opposite.

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4:00am

Wed April 11, 2012
Election 2012

Santorum Suspends Campaign But 'Isn't Done Fighting'

Former Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum suspended his presidential campaign Tuesday. It had lasted longer than anyone expected, but Santorum was well behind front-runner Mitt Romney in the race for delegates.

6:05am

Sun March 25, 2012
Presidential Race

Another Southern Win Keeps Santorum Optimistic

Rick Santorum won the Louisiana Republican presidential primary Saturday, beating front-runner Mitt Romney in the race to challenge President Obama.
Jae C. Hong AP

Rick Santorum had been expected to win Louisiana's Republican presidential primary Saturday, but the size of the victory was a surprise. The former Pennsylvania senator captured 49 percent of the GOP vote. Mitt Romney, who is the front-runner nationally, finished a distant second with nearly 27 percent. Santorum sees his win as evidence that the party still has big doubts about Romney.

Among those who voted for Santorum was 54-year-old Curt Thurmon in Shreveport.

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12:01am

Thu March 15, 2012
Presidential Race

Campaign Videos: A Time-Tested Election Tactic

Originally published on Thu March 15, 2012 8:34 am

A screen shot of President Obama from the trailer for his campaign's movie The Road We've Traveled.
BarackObama.com/YouTube

5:05pm

Wed March 14, 2012
It's All Politics

Romney Might Like The View From Peoria

Originally published on Wed March 14, 2012 10:10 pm

Peoria, Ill., as seen from across the Illinois River.
Jeff Haynes Reuters /Landov

Mississippi and Alabama were big wins for Rick Santorum in the fight for the GOP presidential nomination.

While never considered strong for Mitt Romney, those states further revealed the vulnerabilities of his campaign, specifically, problems identifying with many elements of the Republican base.

The next big contest is Tuesday in Illinois.

It's a state rich in delegates (69) and in something else that should be good news for Romney: more moderate Republicans. But he still needs to connect with even those voters.

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4:00am

Wed February 29, 2012
Election 2012

Romney Scratches Out Close Victory In Michigan

Originally published on Wed February 29, 2012 11:02 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

This is MORNING EDITION from NPR News. Good morning. I'm Renee Montagne.

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

And I'm David Greene. For Mitt Romney, this is a day to savor victory and feel a lot of relief. The former Massachusetts governor turned back former Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum in two states. Romney won an easy victory in Arizona. In Michigan, Romney had to scratch out a close win in the state where he was born.

Romney has reclaimed his status as clear front-runner one week before 10 more states vote on Super Tuesday.

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12:01am

Tue February 28, 2012
Mitt Romney

Michigan Primary A Test Of Romney's Family Legacy

Originally published on Wed May 23, 2012 10:59 am

A supporter of Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney holds a vintage campaign poster of Romney's father, George Romney, in Albion, Mich.
Justin Sullivan Getty Images

Michigan and Arizona hold presidential primaries Tuesday, and in Michigan, where Mitt Romney was born, the race has been as hard-fought as anywhere in the country.

For Romney, the campaign there has been personal. He often evokes the Michigan of his youth, when his father, George, ran American Motors and went on to become a very popular three-term governor.

But does that family legacy mean anything today?

If you were to go to a Romney event in Detroit or Kalamazoo or Traverse City, you'd be almost guaranteed to hear some Romney family history.

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9:14am

Fri February 24, 2012
It's All Politics

Romney Reaches Out To Skeptical Tea Partiers In Michigan

Originally published on Fri February 24, 2012 3:08 pm

Mitt Romney sings the national anthem before speaking at a Tea Party event at the Bakers of Milford Banquet Hall on Thursday in Milford, Mich.
Scott Olson Getty Images
  • Listen to the Story On Morning Edition

Campaigning in Michigan on Thursday night, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney reached out to Tea Party voters — a segment of the party that he has had a hard time winning over in previous states this primary season.

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4:00am

Fri February 17, 2012
Election 2012

Santorum Campaigns In Michigan

Originally published on Fri February 17, 2012 9:34 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

And at his stops in Michigan yesterday, Rick Santorum spoke of economic revival through low taxes, fewer regulations and his commitment to conservative family values.

Here's NPR national political correspondent Don Gonyea.

DON GONYEA, BYLINE: Rick Santorum can't outspend Romney in Michigan, and he's facing a barrage of ads on radio and TV paid for by the pro-Romney superPAC Restore Our Future. The ads attack Santorum's U.S. Senate record.

(SOUNDBITE OF POLITICAL ADVERTISEMENT)

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12:01am

Fri February 10, 2012
Politics

Catholics Split Over Obama Contraceptive Order

Originally published on Fri February 10, 2012 9:02 am

The conflict between the Catholic Bishops and the White House over contraceptive coverage has American Catholics choosing sides.

Catholics narrowly support the White House position in polls. There are potential political consequences: In presidential elections, Catholics are swing voters. They supported Al Gore in 2000, President George W. Bush in '04 and President Obama in '08.

The GOP presidential hopefuls are certainly using this issue. Framing it as a question of religious freedom is a guaranteed way to fire up the conservative base.

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4:00am

Wed February 8, 2012
NPR Story

Rick Santorum Sweeps 3 GOP Nominating Contests

Originally published on Wed February 8, 2012 5:08 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

It's MORNING EDITION, from NPR News. Good morning, I'm Renee Montagne.

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

And I'm Steve Inskeep. Good morning.

Several factors may affect your thinking as you decide how important last night's voting was. Turnout was low, and no convention delegates were awarded as Missouri held a primary, and Minnesota and Colorado held caucuses.

MONTAGNE: Then again, nobody awarded delegates when Iowa voted, either. The fact is, people voted, and Rick Santorum won all three states.

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4:00am

Tue February 7, 2012
Election 2012

GOP Rivals Campaign In Minnesota Ahead Of Caucuses

Minnesota holds non-binding GOP caucuses Tuesday. Newt Gingrich, Rick Santorum and Ron Paul all campaigned in the state Monday. Each of front-runner Mitt Romney's rivals is looking at the state as a place where they can regain their footing.

3:00pm

Sun January 29, 2012
Politics

Gingrich Attacks Front-Runner Romney

Originally published on Sun January 29, 2012 9:48 pm

Transcript

GUY RAZ, HOST:

Just a little more than a day left before voters in Florida have their say in the GOP primary. The latest polls by the Miami Herald and the Tampa Bay Times show Mitt Romney with an 11-point lead over Newt Gingrich, with Rick Santorum and Ron Paul trailing far behind. Newt Gingrich, who's had trouble getting support from establishment Republicans, picked up a nod from a decidedly non-establishment figure - one of his former rivals, Herman Cain.

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8:00am

Sun January 29, 2012
Presidential Race

Romney, Gingrich Fight To The Finish In Fla.

Originally published on Mon January 30, 2012 4:43 pm

Transcript

RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Rachel Martin.

Florida holds its primary the day after tomorrow. If Mitt Romney wins, it could be a decisive victory for the former Massachusetts governor's bid for the nomination. But if Newt Gingrich comes out on top there will likely be a long battle ahead. Both men have a lot at stake in Tuesday's vote, which explains all the strong attacks they hurled at one another on the campaign trail and in TV spots across Florida yesterday.

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