Political Headlines March 18, 2013: RNC Republican National Committee’s Releases Review of 2012 Presidential Campaign in “Growth and Opportunity Project” Report

POLITICAL HEADLINES

http://historymusings.files.wordpress.com/2012/06/pol_headlines.jpg?w=600

OBAMA PRESIDENCY & THE 113TH CONGRESS:

THE HEADLINES….

RNC Completes Report on 2012 Loss

Source: ABC News Radio, 3-18-13

Growth and Opportunity Project Report

In what they called the “most comprehensive post-election review” ever made of an electoral loss, the Republican National Committee and a group of project co-chairs unveiled a report Monday saying that they need to open their playbook and put their “cards on the table face up” in order to win presidential elections in the future.

While unveiling the 100-page report at the National Press Club, RNC Chairman Reince Priebus said he wanted the report, or autopsy, to be “honest” and “raw,” stressing the message of inclusion to Americans who might not be on board with all the party’s policies….READ MORE

Political Headlines March 3, 2013: Mitt Romney in First Interview Since Election Says it ‘Kills’ Him Not to Be in Washington

POLITICAL HEADLINES

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OBAMA PRESIDENCY & THE 113TH CONGRESS:

THE HEADLINES….

In First Interview, Romney Says it ‘Kills’ Him Not to Be in Washington

Source: ABC News Radio, 3-3-13

Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

A reflective Mitt Romney Sunday blamed his loss in the presidential election last November to his inability to connect with minorities, and the former Republican nominee admitted to Fox News’ Chris Wallace that it still “kills him” not to be in Washington….READ MORE

Campaign Buzz October 18, 2012: Great Leadership Profiles of Presidential Candidate & Running-Mates: Barack Obama, Mitt Romney, Joe Biden & Paul Ryan

CAMPAIGN 2012

CAMPAIGN BUZZ 2012

THE HEADLINES….

Great leadership profiles of Barack Obama

JASON REED/REUTERS – U.S. President Barack Obama

Source: Jena McGregor, The Washington Post, 10-18-12

What’s worth reading after more than four years of scrutinizing one person has become harder and harder to discern.

Great leadership profiles of Mitt Romney

Source: Jena McGregor, The Washington Post, 10-18-12

A few profiles rise above the rest, either for how well they illustrate a certain period in his life or for how lucidly they reveal details about his leadership style.

 

Leadership profiles of Paul Ryan

Leadership profiles of Paul Ryan

A look at three definitive profiles of Ryan—what kind of leader he might be, what has shaped his background and more detail on his policies.

Leadership profiles of Joe Biden

Leadership profiles of Joe Biden

There’s more to Biden’s style and the role he’s played as vice president than being the garrulous uncle of the current White House.

Campaign Buzz October 18, 2012: Barack Obama & Mitt Romney Trade Barbs, Jokes at Al Smith Dinner — Speech Excerpts

CAMPAIGN 2012

CAMPAIGN BUZZ 2012

THE HEADLINES….

IN FOCUS: BARACK OBAMA & MITT ROMNEY AT AL SMITH DINNER

Obama, Romney Trade Barbs, Jokes at Al Smith Dinner

BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP/Getty Images

Two days after their contentious brawl at the second presidential debate, Mitt Romney and President Obama faced off again Thursday night in a war of wit at the annual Al Smith dinner, poking fun at themselves and each other.

“I’m pleased that the president is here. We were chatting pleasantly this evening as if Tuesday night never happened,” Romney joked at the top of his remarks.

“This is the third time that Governor Romney and I have met recently. As some of you may have noticed, I had a lot more energy in our second debate. I felt really well-rested after the nice long nap I had in the first debate,” Obama said, making fun of his widely-panned debate performance….READ MORE

QUOTES

BARACK OBAMA: 

“I felt really well rested after the nice long nap I had in the first debate.”

“Everyone please take your seats, or else Clint Eastwood will yell at them.”

“In less than three weeks, voters in states like Ohio, Virgina and Florida will decide this incredibly important election. Which begs the question, what are we doing here?”

“I particularly want to apologize to Chris Matthews. Four years ago, I gave him a thrill up his leg. This time around, I gave him a stroke.”

“Early today, I went shopping at some stores in midtown. I understand Gov. Romney went shopping for some stores in midtown.”

“Of course, the economy is on everybody’s minds. The unemployment rate is at its lowest level since I took office. I don’t have a joke here. I just thought it’d be useful to remind everybody that the unemployment rate is at the lowest it’s been since I took office.”

MITT ROMNEY

“I was actually hoping the president would bring Joe Biden along this evening, ‘cause he’ll laugh at anything.”

“As President Obama surveys the Waldorf banquet room, with everyone in white tie and finery, you have to wonder what he’s thinking: so little time, so much to redistribute.”

“He knows how to seize a moment, this president. And already he has a compelling new campaign slogan: you’re better off now than you were four weeks ago.”

“Usually when I get invited to gatherings like this, it’s just to be the designated driver.”

“By the way, in the spirit of Sesame Street, the president’s remarks tonight are brought to you by the letter O and the number 16 trillion.”

“My job is to lay out a positive vision for the future of the country, and their (the press) job is to make sure no one else finds out about it.”

Campaign Buzz October 16, 2012: Barack Obama v. Mitt Romney: Who Won? Draw in Second Presidential Debate

CAMPAIGN 2012

CAMPAIGN BUZZ 2012

THE HEADLINES….

IN FOCUS: SECOND PRESIDENTIAL DEBATE

Barack Obama and Mitt Romney are shown. | AP Photo

‘Gov. Romney doesn’t have a five-point plan; he has a one-point plan,’ Obama said. | AP Photo

Mitt Romney, left, addresses President Barack Obama during the second presidential debate at Hofstra University. | AP Photo

Romney has closed on Obama in swing-state polling in recent days. | AP Photo

STATS

IN THE NEWS

Rivals Bring Bare Fists to Rematch

Source: NYT, 10-17-12

Doug Mills/The New York Times

Mitt Romney and President Obama during the debate, their second, Tuesday night at Hofstra University in Hempstead, N.Y. More Photos »

President Obama and Mitt Romney engaged Tuesday in one of the most intensive clashes in a televised presidential debate, with tensions between them spilling out in interruptions, personal rebukes and accusations of lying as they parried over the last four years under Mr. Obama and what the next four would look like under a President Romney.

Competing for a shrinking sliver of undecided voters, many of them women, their engagements at times bordered on physical as they circled each other or bounded out of their seats while the other was speaking, at times more intent to argue than to address the questions over jobs, taxes, energy, immigration and a range of other issues….READ MORE

Obama and Romney Get Fired Up in Heated Second Debate

Source: ABC News Radio, 10-16-12

Circling each other like boxers at times and looking one another in the eye, President Obama and Mitt Romney came out swinging as soon as Monday night’s debate began, sparring over Libya, energy production, and an assault weapons ban.

At one point during a particularly heated exchange, Romney snapped when Obama tried to interrupt, “I’m still speaking.”

An another point, Obama said Romney’s insinuation that his administration played politics with the deaths of four Americans in Libya was “offensive.”

Obama, whose performance at the first debate two weeks ago was roundly considered to be lackluster, tried to make up lost ground Monday night….READ MORE

Obama goes on attack against Romney in debate rematch

Source: Reuters, 10-16-12

President Barack Obama and Republican rival Mitt Romney clashed repeatedly on jobs, energy and Libya in their second debate on Tuesday, with Obama moving aggressively to challenge his opponent.

Obama was much sharper and more energetic than in their first encounter two weeks ago, when his listless performance was heavily criticized and gave Romney’s campaign a much-needed boost….READ MORE

Presidential debate 2012: Fight night on Long Island

Source: Politico, 10-16-12

Barack Obama and Mitt Romney confronted each other almost face to face on the debate stage here at Hofstra University Tuesday, as the president delivered an aggressive, prosecutorial critique of his Republican challenger for the first time in the 2012 debate season.

In one of the most combative presidential debates in recent memory, the two nominees circled each other in the town hall-style format, frequently interrupting each other and squabbling over the rules of engagement. “I want to make sure our timekeepers are working here,” Obama complained at one point, while Romney protested to an interjecting Obama: “You’ll get your chance in a second.” CNN anchor Candy Crowley, who moderated the debate, was at times powerless to keep the two candidates at more than arm’s length….READ MORE

QUOTES

FORMER MASSACHUSETTS GOVERNOR MITT ROMNEY

Answering question on women paid less than men:

“What we can do to help young women and women of all ages is to have a strong economy, so strong that employers that are looking to find good employees are bringing them into their workforce and adapting to a flexible work schedule that gives women opportunities that they would otherwise not be able to afford.”

On Obama’s record:

“The president has tried, but his policies haven’t worked. He’s great as a speaker and at describing his plans and his vision. That’s wonderful, except we have a record to look at and that record shows that he just hasn’t been able to cut the deficit, to put in place reforms for Medicare and Social Security to preserve them, to get us the rising incomes we need.”

On his own job plan:

“I want to make small businesses grow and thrive. I know how to make that happen. I spent my life in the private sector. I know why jobs come and why they go. And they’re going now because of the policies of this administration.”

On comparisons to President George W. Bush:

“President Bush and I are different people and these are different times. And that’s why my five-point plan is so different from what he would have done.”

On energy:

“I want to make sure we use our oil, our coal, our gas, our nuclear, our renewables… But what we don’t need is to have the president keeping us from taking advantage of oil, coal and gas. This has not been Mr Oil, or Mr Gas, or Mr Coal.”

On taxes:

“I will not under any circumstances reduce the share that’s being paid by the highest-income paying taxpayers and I will not under any circumstance increase taxes on the middle class. The president’s spending, the president’s borrowing will cause this nation to have to raise taxes on the American people, and not just at the high end.”

On unemployment:

“We have fewer people working today than we had when the president took office… We have not made the progress we need to make to put people back to work.”

On employment after college:

“The key thing is to make sure you’ve got a job when you get out of school. And what’s happened over the last four years has been very, very hard for America’s young people… Half of college kids graduating this year without a job, without a college level job, that’s just unacceptable…. When you come out in 2014, I presume I’m going to be president. I’m going to make sure you get a job.”

PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA

On his response to Libya:

“Not everybody agrees with some of the decisions I’ve made, but when it comes to our national security I mean what I say… When I say that we’re going to find out exactly what happened, everybody will be held accountable and I am ultimately responsible for what’s taking place there, because these are my folks and I’m the one who has to greet those coffins when they come home – you know I mean what I say.

On Romney’s responses to Libya attack:

“While we were still dealing with our diplomats still being threatened, Governor Romney put out a press release, trying to make political points. And that’s not how a commander-in-chief operates. You don’t turn national security into a political issue, certainly not right when it’s happening.”

On women’s issues:

“These are not just women’s issues. These are family issues. These are economic issues… That’s been one of the hallmarks of my administration. I’m going to continue to push on this issue for the next four years.”

On Romney’s tax plan:

“What he says is he’s going to make sure that this doesn’t add to the deficit and he’s going to cut middle-class taxes. But when he’s asked, ‘how are you going to do it, which deductions, which loopholes are you going to close?’ he can’t tell you… We haven’t heard from the governor any specifics beyond Big Bird

and eliminating funding for Planned Parenthood in terms of how he pays for that.”

Answering why Americans should vote for him again:

“The commitments I’ve made, I’ve kept. And those that I haven’t been able to keep, it’s not for a lack of trying and we’re going to get it done in the second term.”

On Romney’s promise to crack down on China:

“When he talks about getting tough on China, keep in mind that Governor Romney invested in companies that were pioneers of outsourcing to China… Governor, you’re the last person to get tough on China.”

On energy:

“When I hear Governor Romney say he’s a big coal guy, I mean, keep in mind, Governor, when you were governor of Massachusetts, you stood in front of a coal plant and pointed at it and said, ‘This plant kills,’ and took great pride in shutting it down. And now suddenly, you’re a big champion of coal.”

On lower gas prices when he took office:

“The economy was on the verge of collapse because we were about to go through the worst recession since the Great Depression, as a consequence of some of the same policies that Governor Romney now promotes. So it’s conceivable that Governor Romney could bring down the gas prices, because with his policies we might be back in that same mess.”

On Romney’s energy plan:

“He’s got the oil and gas part, but he doesn’t have the clean energy part. And if we’re only thinking about tomorrow and the next day and not thinking about ten years from now, we’re not going to control our economic future. Because China, Germany, they’re making these investments, and I’m not going to cede those jobs in the future to those counties.”

On Romney’s economic plan:

“Governor Romney says he’s got a five-point plan. Governor Romney doesn’t have a five-point plan, he has a one-point plan. And that plan is to make sure that folks at the top play by a different set of rules. That’s been his philosophy in the private sector, that’s been his philosophy as a governor and that’s been his philosophy as a presidential candidate.”

HISTORIANS & ANALYSTS COMMENTS

Dr. Paul A. Rahe, professor of history, Hillsdale College, Michigan:

Source: One News Now, 10-17-12

“It seems to me that when you have a draw between a president of the United States and a challenger, the challenger wins; and when you have a president of the United States whose policies have obviously failed, that he’s trying to sell you a bill of goods for the future, he’s at a real disadvantage in the debate. So I think Romney did well enough that he will build upon what he achieved in the first debate when he throttled Obama…. You know, if you leave aside the Libya business where Candy Crowley sided with Obama and told an untruth – it’s as simple as that about what went on in the Rose Garden that day. What Obama said was that it was an act of senseless violence, not that it was a terrorist act. Now, an act of senseless violence is consistent with the line that they were peddling – that this was just a demonstration and a reaction to the movie.”

Michael Beschloss, presidential historian:

Source: PBS Newshour, 10-16-12

1984, Ronald Reagan as president was debating Walter Mondale, famously, bad for him, turned in a performance that thought that — many thought that President Reagan had lost it. He just wasn’t with the intensity that he had had before. People wondered whether he was up for a second term, a lot of the same things that were said about Barack Obama.

The thing is Reagan in the second debate, after the first one had caused him in some polls to be actually tied with Walter Mondale, reversed the damage, swept it away.

So I think — with this performance tonight, I think Barack Obama may very well do the same thing….

You know, this is the sixth town meeting debate. And the idea of this in the first place when it was started in 1992 was that it’s one way of making sure that at least you have got one debate where they’re kindly to each other because they’re not going to confront each other.

This was the iciest town meeting debate of all six. I used to think that 2000 between George W. Bush and Al Gore was an uncomfortable evening. Compared to this one, that was Valentine’s Day….

Well, and the other thing is that, in terms of degree of difficulty, it’s almost always harder for an incumbent president running for reelection because he’s got to defend the record. He’s done all sorts of things for four years.

The challenger can always say, I will do this and that, I will do better. It sounds better. So I think by that standard also, Barack Obama did very well tonight…..

But what he didn’t do is what we have seen with other incumbent presidents, which is they’re very heavy on rebutting what the challenger says, very light in terms of saying what they would do in the second term, Ronald Reagan especially.

Campaign Buzz October 12, 2012: Joe Biden v. Paul Ryan: Who Won the Vice Presidential Debate? Both

CAMPAIGN 2012

CAMPAIGN BUZZ 2012

THE HEADLINES….

IN FOCUS: JOE BIDEN VS. PAUL RYAN: THE VICE PRESIDENTIAL DEBATE

[ CLICK HERE TO READ A FULL TRANSCRIPT OF THE VICE PRESIDENTIAL DEBATE ]

STATS

Vice-Presidential Debate Fact-Checks and Updates

Source: NYT, 10-11-12

Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. and Representative Paul D. Ryan square off on Thursday night in Danville, Ky. in the only vice presidential debate. Live coverage begins at 8 p.m. eastern….READ MORE

IN THE NEWS

Who Won the Vice Presidential Debate? Depends Who You Ask

Source: ABC News Radio, 10-12-12

Partisan Democrats had a lot to be happy about Thursday night’s vice presidential debate.  Vice President Joe Biden turned in an aggressive and energetic performance that they wished they’d seen in President Obama.

And while Republicans have cried foul on Biden’s behavior (GOP surrogates called him “rude”), they argue that Rep. Paul Ryan’s calm, unflustered demeanor and his solid performance on foreign affairs was appealing to swing voters, especially women….READ MORE

Debate watchers split in new poll

Forty-eight percent think Paul Ryan won; 44 percent say Joe Biden won

Source: CNN, 10-12-12

Call it a draw.

Biden Laughs and Calls Ryan’s Statements a ‘Bunch of Stuff’

Source: ABC News Radio, 10-12-12

Vice President Joe Biden came to Thursday night’s debate ready to make up for his boss’ admittedly lackluster performance of a week ago, bringing the fight to Republican Paul Ryan within moments of the debate starting, calling his challenger’s statements “a bunch of malarkey” and a “bunch of stuff.”

Ryan also spared the pleasantries, quickly citing the death of U.S. Ambassador Chris Stevens in Libya last month and saying it demonstrated the “unraveling of Obama’s foreign policy.”

“With all due respect, that’s a bunch of malarkey,” Biden shot back. “Not a single thing he said is accurate,” Biden said. He added that Ryan voted for a bill that would cut embassy security by $300 million.

Biden appeared exasperated, laughing at answers he disagreed with, rolling his eyes and calling one of Ryan’s answers a “bunch of stuff.”…READ MORE

Biden comes out swinging at debate, clashes with Ryan

U.S. Vice President Joe Biden leaped to the attack against Republican challenger Paul Ryan in a lively debate on Thursday, aggressively defending the Obama administration’s economic and foreign policies to try to regain momentum in the White House race.Biden was looking for a Democratic rebound after President Barack Obama’s poor debate performance last week. But the younger and less experienced Ryan held his own in a series of testy exchanges.

First estimates of who prevailed at the debate in Kentucky were split. A CBS News survey of undecided voters showed Biden as the winner by 50 percent to 31 percent, while a CNN poll of debate watchers scored Ryan the victor by 48 percent to 44 percent.

The vice presidential candidates in the November 6 election frequently interrupted each other, talking at the same time and sometimes staring at each other in disbelief….READ MORE

 

QUOTES

* On the fatal assault on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya, that killed U.S. Ambassador Christopher Stevens:

BIDEN: “I can make absolutely two commitments to you and all the American people tonight. One, we will find and bring to justice the men who did this. And secondly, we will get to the bottom of it, and whatever – wherever the facts lead us, wherever they lead us, we will make clear to the American public, because whatever mistakes were made will not be made again.”

RYAN: “Look, if we’re hit by terrorists we’re going to call it for what it is, a terrorist attack. Our ambassador in Paris has a Marine detachment guarding him. Shouldn’t we have a Marine detachment guarding our ambassador in Benghazi, a place where we knew that there was an al Qaeda cell with arms?

“… What we are watching on our TV screens is the unraveling of the Obama foreign policy.”

* On U.S. policy in the Middle East:

RYAN: “We should not be imposing these devastating defense cuts … When we show that we’re cutting down on defense, it makes us more weak. It projects weakness. And when we look weak, our adversaries are much more willing to test us.”

BIDEN: “With all due respect, that’s a bunch of malarkey … not a single thing he said is accurate.”

* On Iran’s efforts to obtain a nuclear weapon:

RYAN: “When Barack Obama was elected, they had enough fissile material – nuclear material to make one bomb.

“Now they have enough for five. They’re racing toward a nuclear weapon. They’re four years closer toward a nuclear weapons capability.

“The Obama administration says the military option’s on the table but it’s not being viewed as credible.”

BIDEN: “Imagine had we let the Republican Congress work out the sanctions. You think there’s any possibility the entire world would have joined us, Russia and China, all of our allies? These are the most crippling sanctions in the history of sanctions, period.

“So all this bluster I keep hearing (from Republicans), all this loose talk, what are they talking about?”

* On the economy:

BIDEN: “We knew we had to act for the middle class. We immediately went out and rescued General Motors. We went ahead and made sure that we cut taxes for the middle class. And in addition to that, when that – when that occurred, what did Romney do? Romney said, ‘No, let Detroit go bankrupt.’ We moved in and helped people refinance their homes. Governor Romney said, ‘No, let foreclosures hit the bottom.’”

RYAN: “Look, did they come in and inherit a tough situation? Absolutely. But we’re going in the wrong direction. Look at where we are. The economy is barely limping along. It’s growing at 1.3 percent. That’s slower than it grew last year and last year was slower than the year before.

“Job growth in September was slower than it was in August, and August was slower than it was in July. We’re heading in the wrong direction; 23 million Americans are struggling for work today; 15 percent of Americans are living in poverty today. This is not what a real recovery looks like.”

* On Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney’s videotaped remarks that the roughly 47 percent of Americans who do not pay income taxes are “victims” looking for handouts:

RYAN: “This is a man who gave 30 percent of his income to charity, more than the two of us combined. Mitt Romney’s a good man. He cares about 100 percent of Americans in this country. And … I think the vice president very well knows that sometimes the words don’t come out of your mouth the right way.”

BIDEN: “I don’t doubt his personal generosity. … But you know what? I know he had no commitment to the automobile industry. He just – he said, let it go bankrupt, period. Let it drop out. All this talk – we saved a million jobs. Two hundred thousand people are working today. And I’ve never met two guys (Romney and Ryan) who’re more down on America across the board.”

* On Social Security:

BIDEN: “Let’s talk about Medicare. What we did is, we saved $716 billion and put it back, applied it to Medicare. We cut the cost of Medicare. We stopped overpaying insurance companies, doctors and hospitals. The AMA supported what we did. AARP endorsed what we did. And it extends the life of Medicare to 2024. They want to wipe this all out.

“With regard to Social Security, we will not … privatize it. If we had listened to Romney and the congressman during the Bush years, imagine where all those seniors would be now if their money had been in the market. Their ideas are old and their ideas are bad.”

RYAN: “Here’s the problem. They got caught with their hands in the cookie jar, turning Medicare into a piggy bank for Obamacare. Their own actuary from the administration came to Congress and said one out of six hospitals and nursing homes are going to go out of business as a result of this.”

BIDEN: “That’s not what they said.”

RYAN: “Mr. Vice President, I know you’re under a lot of duress to make up for lost ground but I think people would be better served if we don’t keep interrupting each other.”

BIDEN: “… The bottom line here is that all the studies show that if we went with Social Security proposal made by Mitt Romney, if you’re … in your 40s now you will (get) $2,600 a year … less in Social Security. If you’re in your 20s now, you get $4,700 less.

“The idea of … (cutting) benefits for people without taking other action you could do to make it work is absolutely the wrong way. (Republicans) haven’t been big on Medicare from the beginning. … And they’ve always been about Social Security as little as you can do.”

RYAN: “This is what politicians do when they don’t have a record to run on: try to scare people from voting for you.

“Medicare and Social Security did so much for my own family. We are not going to jeopardize this program but we have to save it.”

* On taxes:

RYAN: “What we are saying is, lower tax rates across the board and close loopholes, primarily to the higher-income people. We have three bottom lines: Don’t raise the deficit, don’t raise taxes on the middle class and don’t lower the share of income that is borne by the high-income earners.”

BIDEN: “Let’s look at how sincere they are. Ronald – I mean, excuse me, Governor Romney on ’60 Minutes’ … was asked, ‘Governor, you pay 14 percent (income tax rate) on $20 million (income). Someone making $50,000 pays (a higher rate) than that. Do you think that’s fair?’ He said, ‘Oh, yes, that’s fair.’”

RYAN: “You can – you can cut tax rates by 20 percent and still preserve these important preferences for middle-class taxpayers.”

BIDEN: “Not mathematically possible.”

RYAN: “It is mathematically possible. It’s been done before. It’s precisely what we’re proposing.”

BIDEN: “It has never been done before.”

RYAN: “It’s been done a couple of times, actually.”

BIDEN: “It has never been done before.”

RYAN: “Jack Kennedy lowered tax rates, increased growth. Ronald Reagan…”

BIDEN: “Oh, now you’re Jack Kennedy?”

* On Afghanistan:

BIDEN: “We went there for one reason: to get those people who killed Americans, al Qaeda. We’ve decimated al-Qaeda central. We have eliminated Osama bin Laden. That was our purpose.

“We’ve agreed on a gradual drawdown so we’re out of there by … 2014. (Ryan and Romney) say (their plan for withdrawal would be) based on conditions, which means it depends. It does not depend for us. It is the responsibility of the Afghans to take care of their own security. We have trained over 315,000, mostly without incident. But we are leaving … And in the process, we’re going to be saving over the next 10 years another $800 billion.”

RYAN: “We want to make sure that 2014 is successful. That’s why we want to make sure that we give our commanders what they say they need to make it successful. We don’t want to extend beyond 2014.”

* On abortion:

RYAN: “You want to ask basically why I’m pro-life? It’s not simply because of my Catholic faith. That’s a factor, of course. But it’s also because of reason and science.

“You know, I think about 10 1/2 years ago, my wife Janna and I went to Mercy Hospital in Janesville (Wisconsin) where I was born, for our seven-week ultrasound for our first-born child, and we saw that heartbeat. A little baby was in the shape of a bean. And to this day, we have nicknamed our firstborn child Liza, ‘Bean.’ Now I believe that life begins at conception.

“That’s why – those are the reasons why I’m pro-life. Now I understand this is a difficult issue, and I respect people who don’t agree with me on this, but the policy of a Romney administration will be to oppose abortions with the exceptions for rape, incest and life of the mother.”

BIDEN: “My religion defines who I am and I’ve been a practicing Catholic my whole life. And has particularly informed my social doctrine … With regard to abortion, I accept my church’s position on abortion as a … doctrine. Life begins at conception in the church’s judgment. I accept it in my personal life.

“But I refuse to impose it on equally devout Christians and Muslims and Jews, and I just refuse to impose that on others, unlike my friend here, the congressman. I do not believe that we have a right to tell … women they can’t control their body.”

Campaign Buzz August 29, 2012: 2012 Republican National Convention Day 2 Roundup

CAMPAIGN 2012

CAMPAIGN BUZZ 2012

THE HEADLINES….

IN FOCUS: 2012 REPUBLICAN NATIONAL CONVENTION

WHAT THEY’RE SAYING ABOUT THE SECOND NIGHT OF THE REPUBLICAN CONVENTION

Source: Mitt Romney Press, 8-29-12

“Rock-Star Welcomes” …. “Absolutely Sensational” … “Wows The Crowd” … “Deafening Applause”

NBC News: “Ryan, Former Secretary Of State Condoleezza Rice And New Mexico Gov. Susana Martinez Received Rock-Star Welcomes…” “Ryan, former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and New Mexico Gov. Susana Martinez received rock-star welcomes from delegates here in Tampa in speeches extolling nominee-in-waiting Mitt Romney and the virtues of leadership.” (NBC News, 8/30/12)

CNN’s Wolf Blitzer: “Dealt With The Most Important Issues Of The Day…” BLITZER: “What I really liked about the Paul Ryan speech tonight is at least it dealt with the most important issues of the day, the substantive economic issues, health care, Medicare. He didn’t skirt those issues.”  (CNN, 8/30/12)

CBS’s Jan Crawford: “A Speech That Appealed To The Brain And The Heart.” CRAWFORD: “What was most interesting about it was this is a speech – and it was a speech that appealed to the brain and the heart. And it had one message to President Obama: bring it on.” (CBS, 8/30/12)

Fox News’ Steve Doocy: “Putting The American Dream Into Perspective…” DOOCY: And Condoleezza Rice putting the American dream into perspective by sharing her own story growing up in Birmingham.” (Fox, 8/30/12)

National Journal’s Major Garrett: “The Reaction On The Floor Was Absolutely Sensational. … A Breakout Star….” GARRETT: “Another big star last night was Susana Martinez. The reaction on the floor was absolutely sensational. Not too many people have seen her before or heard her before – the new Governor of New Mexico. I think she was a breakout star last night.” (CBS, 8/30/12)

Time’s Mark Halperin: “Ryan’s Speech, In Tone, Style, And Substance, Reflects Exactly Why Mitt Romney Picked Him.” “Ryan’s speech, in tone, style, and substance, reflects exactly why Mitt Romney picked him. … Until Wednesday night, Democrats did not seem too worried about what was coming out of Tampa; now, there is manifest concern.” (Time, 8/30/12)

Politico: “Paul Ryan Brought Delegates To Their Feet Here Over And Over Again…” “Wisconsin Rep. Paul Ryan brought delegates to their feet here over and over again Wednesday night, telling the Republican National Convention in a dozen different ways: Obama isn’t working.” (Politico, 8/29/12)

The Wall Street Journal: “The GOP’s Sharpest Cases Yet Against A Second Term For President Barack Obama…” “Rep. Paul Ryan took the national political stage Wednesday as the Republican Party’s vice presidential candidate, giving a televised speech that laid out one of the GOP’s sharpest cases yet against a second term for President Barack Obama, and for Republicans as the party of small government.” (The Wall Street Journal, 8/30/12)

The Hill: “Electrified The Republican Party…” “Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) on Wednesday night electrified the Republican Party with a speech that combined lacerating attacks on President Obama with homespun values and a tribute to GOP candidate Mitt Romney.” (The Hill, 8/29/12)

The Washington Post: “Condoleeza Rice Brings Down The House” (The Washington Post, 8/29/12)

Politico: “Condoleezza Rice Wows The Crowd” (Politico, 8/29/12)

Univision’s Jordan Fabian: “Martinez Hit It Out Of The Park.” “Martinez hit it out of the park. She gets the tone & can truly empathize and relate with Latino community…” (Twitter.com, 8/29/12)

The Wall Street Journal’s Neil King: “Gov. Martinez Makes The Case For Hispanics Switching Over To The Republican Party.” (Twitter.com, 8/29/12)

Tampa Bay Times: “Deafening Applause…” “Republican vice presidential nominee Paul Ryan was greeted with deafening applause and hailed as the face of a new GOP on Wednesday night as he tore into President Barack Obama’s policies, casting him as a failure on the economy who is unwilling to make dramatic change.” (Tampa Bay Times, 8/30/12)

The Washington Examiner’s Byron York: “Ryan Got It All Done.” “Ryan’s 36-minute address did everything he needed to do: offer a devastating indictment of President Obama’s economic record, with a few memorable barbs about the president’s legendary self-importance; offer enough personal background so that viewers feel they know a little about Ryan; and most of all, convince voters that he and Mitt Romney will devote all their energy to jobs, the economy, and debt. Ryan got it all done.” (The Washington Examiner, 8/30/12)

The New York Times: “Brought The Crowd To Its Feet Several Times…” “But two hours later, Condoleezza Rice, national security adviser and secretary of state under President George W. Bush, brought the crowd to its feet several times in a rare foray into electoral politics, even reprising Republican accusations that Mr. Obama has failed to project American strength, saying, ‘We cannot be reluctant to lead — and one cannot lead from behind.’” (The New York Times, 8/30/12)

Milwaukee Journal Sentinel: “A Self-Styled Happy Warrior, Earnest And Eager…” “What they saw was a self-styled happy warrior, earnest and eager to persuade the voting public that the answer to the nation’s economic woes is a Romney-Ryan partnership of freedom-loving, can-do problem-solvers.” (Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 8/29/12)

Minneapolis Star-Tribune: “A Feisty Tim Pawlenty…” “In his most high-profile speech before a nationwide audience, a feisty Tim Pawlenty told thousands of cheering Republicans on Wednesday they were celebrating at ‘Barack Obama’s retirement party.’” (Minneapolis Star-Tribune, 8/29/12)

The Wall Street Journal: “A Defense Of American Exceptionalism…” “Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R., Ky.) offered a defense of American exceptionalism with the first speech Wednesday night at the Republican National Convention.” (The Wall Street Journal, 8/29/12)

The Washington Post’s Chris Cillizza: “In Listening To Martinez, She Struck Us As The Female Equivalent Of New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie – Very Comfortable In Her Own Skin.” (The Washington Post, 8/29/12)

Campaign Buzz August 28, 2012: 2012 Republican National Convention Day 1 Roundup

CAMPAIGN 2012

CAMPAIGN BUZZ 2012

THE HEADLINES….

IN FOCUS: 2012 REPUBLICAN NATIONAL CONVENTION

WHAT THEY’RE SAYING: A “ROUSING” AND “PITCH PERFECT” NIGHT IN TAMPA

Source: Mitt Romney Press, 8-28-12

CNBC’s John Harwood: “They Got Underway With A Bang.” HARWOOD: “They got underway with a bang. Chris Christie, who’s known as a very good speaker, came out very powerful delivery in his speech.” (CNBC’s “Squawk Box,” 8/29/12)

The New York Times: “A Full-Throated Defense Of Entrepreneurship And Free Enterprise…” “Sher Valenzuela, a candidate for Delaware lieutenant governor, kicked off the Republican National Convention’s theme du jour Tuesday evening with a full-throated defense of entrepreneurship and free enterprise against what she called President Obama’s stifling regulations. The message: We Built It.” (The New York Times, 8/28/12)

Los Angeles Times: “Giving Voice To Those Disillusioned By The Promise Of The Obama White House.” “One of the president’s early supporters, former Democratic Rep. Artur Davis, emerged on the prime-time stage at the Republican convention – giving voice to those disillusioned by the promise of the Obama White House.” (Los Angeles Times, 8/28/12)

Politico: “Romney Spoke Directly To The Women Of America…” “The Romney campaign rolled out its most powerful female surrogate on Tuesday night: Ann Romney, who delivered a single-minded speech aimed directly at women. Addressing the opening night of the Republican National Convention here, Romney spoke directly to the women of America, telling them ‘you are the best of America, you are the hope of America, there would not be an America without you.’” (Politico, 8/28/12)

CBS’s Jan Crawford: “Christie’s Speech Was Pitch Perfect, A Speech For Our Time.” CRAWFORD: “In many ways, Christie’s speech was pitch perfect, a speech for our time. He talked directly to all those people, Charlie and Norah, who are worried our best days are behind us. And he said, you know, we’re not going to sugar coat this. He made an indirect hit on President Obama and said we’re not going to pander to you. We’re going to tell you the truth, the hard truths, and we’re going to get this done. It was never, never give up, almost like Winston Churchill. But also morning in America, Reagan, we can get to those better days.” (CBS’s “This Morning,” 8/29/12)

MSNBC’s Willie Geist: “A Rousing Keynote Address … An Appeal To Women…” “It started a day late but with a bang on a rousing keynote address from New Jersey Governor Chris Christie preceded as you saw there by an appeal to women from Ann Romney.” (MSNBC’s “Way Too Early,” 8/29/12)

Tampa Bay Times: “Ann Romney Caressed And Chris Christie Punched, Delivering Rousing Speeches Tuesday Night…” “Ann Romney caressed and Chris Christie punched, delivering rousing speeches Tuesday night at the Republican National Convention that were designed to rally Republicans behind Mitt Romney and show him on more personal terms.” (Tampa Bay Times, 8/28/12)

The Hartford Courant: “The Night Belonged To Ann Romney” (The Hartford Courant, 8/29/12)

ABC’s Rick Klein: “Ann Romney Handled The Man, Chris Christie The Message.” (Twitter.com, 8/28/12)

NBC’s David Gregory: “Appealed To Independent Voters…” GREGORY: “I think he did say some things that also appealed to independent voters that are tough messages that would apply to both parties.” (MSNBC’s “Morning Joe,” 8/29/12)

The Washington Post’s Chris Cillizza: “Ann Romney Isn’t — And Never Has Been — A Politician. That Makes Her Performance That Much More Impressive.” “Unlike almost everyone who spoke on Tuesday night, Ann Romney isn’t — and never has been — a politician. That makes her performance that much more impressive.” (The Washington Post, 8/28/12)

The Washington Examiner’s Michael Barone: “A Brilliant Job…” “Ann Romney. A brilliant job of relating her and Mitt’s experiences to those of millions of ordinary Americans.” (The Washington Examiner, 8/29/12)

The Washington Post’s Jennifer Rubin: “No One In The GOP Gives A Speech Like New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie.” “No one in the GOP gives a speech like New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie. Clapping his hands and punching the air he strode onto the stage at the RNC, and then he proceeded to wow the crowd. If Ann Romney was empathetic, he was tough. If she vouched for her husband, he vouched for Americans. They were the yin and yang of the first night of the convention.” (The Washington Post, 8/29/12)

Full Text Obama Presidency August 22, 2012: President Obama Holds a Press Conference During the White House Daily Press Briefing — Defends His Campaign’s Tone

POLITICAL SPEECHES & DOCUMENTS

OBAMA PRESIDENCY & THE 112TH CONGRESS:

POLITICAL QUOTES & SPEECHES

President Obama Holds a Press Conference

Source: WH, 8-21-12 

President Barack Obama holds a press conference (August 20, 2012)

President Barack Obama holds a press conference in the James S. Brady Press Briefing Room of the White House, Aug. 20, 2012. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

President Obama Defends His Campaign’s Tone

Source: ABC News Radio, 8-21-12

President Obama today defended his campaign’s persistent demand that Mitt Romney release more than two years of his tax returns, saying it’s standard procedure and the American people want to know that “everybody’s been playing by the same rules.”

“The American people have assumed that if you want to be president of the United States that your life’s an open book when it comes to things like your finances,” he told reporters in an impromptu press conference at the White House today.

“This isn’t sort of overly personal here, guys. This is pretty standard stuff. I don’t think we’re being mean by asking you to do what every other presidential candidate’s done, right? It’s what the American people expect,” he said….READ MORE

Remarks by the President to the White House Press Corps

Source: WH, 8-21-12 

James S. Brady Press Briefing Room

1:27 P.M. EDT

THE PRESIDENT:  Hello, everybody.

MR. CARNEY:  Looks like there’s a surprise guest here.

THE PRESIDENT:  Jay tells me that you guys have been missing me.  (Laughter.)  So I thought I’d come by and just say hello.

Before I take some questions, let me just mention, since Medicare has been a little bit in the news lately, I thought it would be useful to start with some actual facts and news about the program.

Today, HHS announced that thanks to the health care law that we passed, nearly 5.4 million seniors with Medicare have saved over $4.1 billion on prescription drugs.  That’s an average savings of more than $700 per person.  This year alone, 18 million seniors with Medicare have taken advantage of new preventive care benefits like a mammogram or other cancer screening at no extra cost.

These are big deals for a lot of Americans, and it represents two important ways that the improvements we made as part of the Affordable Care Act has strengthened Medicare and helped seniors everywhere get better care at less cost.  That’s been our goal from the very beginning, and I’m going to continue to do everything I can to make sure that we keep our seniors healthy and the American people healthy.

So with that, let me start off with Jim Kuhnhenn.

Q    Thank you, Mr. President.  Thank you for being here.  You’re no doubt aware of the comments that the Missouri Senate candidate, Republican Todd Akin, made on rape and abortion.  I wondered if you think those views represent the views of the Republican Party in general.  They’ve been denounced by your own rival and other Republicans.  Are they an outlier or are they representative?

THE PRESIDENT:  Well, let me, first of all, say the views expressed were offensive.  Rape is rape.  And the idea that we should be parsing and qualifying and slicing what types of rape we’re talking about doesn’t make sense to the American people and certainly doesn’t make sense to me.

So what I think these comments do underscore is why we shouldn’t have a bunch of politicians, a majority of whom are men, making health care decisions on behalf of women.

And so, although these particular comments have led Governor Romney and other Republicans to distance themselves, I think the underlying notion that we should be making decisions on behalf of women for their health care decisions — or qualifying forcible rape versus non-forcible rape — I think those are broader issues, and that is a significant difference in approach between me and the other party.

But I don’t think that they would agree with the Senator from Missouri in terms of his statement, which was way out there.

Q    Should he drop out of the race?

THE PRESIDENT:  He was nominated by the Republicans in Missouri.  I’ll let them sort that out.

Nancy Cordes.

Q    Yes, Mr. President, thank you.  As you know, your opponent recently accused you of waging a campaign filled with “anger and hate.”   And you told Entertainment Tonight that anyone who attends your rallies can see that they’re not angry- or hate-filled affairs.  But in recent weeks, your campaign has suggested repeatedly, without proof, that Mr. Romney might be hiding something in his tax returns.  They have suggested that Mr. Romney might be a felon for the way that he handed over power of Bain Capital.  And your campaign and the White House have declined to condemn an ad by one of your top supporters that links Mr. Romney to a woman’s death from cancer.  Are you comfortable with the tone that’s being set by your campaign?  Have you asked them to change their tone when it comes to defining Mr. Romney?

THE PRESIDENT:  Well, first of all, I’m not sure all those characterizations that you laid out there were accurate.  For example, nobody accused Mr. Romney of being a felon.

And I think that what is absolutely true is, if you watch me on the campaign trail, here’s what I’m talking about.  I’m talking about how we put Americans back to work.  And there are sharp differences between myself and Mr. Romney in terms of how we would do that.  He thinks that if we roll back Wall Street reform, roll back the Affordable Care Act — otherwise known affectionately as Obamacare — that somehow people are going to be better off.

I think that if we are putting teachers back to work and rebuilding America and reducing our deficit in a balanced way, that’s how you put people back to work.  That is a substantive difference.  That’s what I talk about on the campaign.

When it comes to taxes, Governor Romney thinks that we should be cutting taxes by another $5 trillion, and folks like me would benefit disproportionately from that.  I think that it makes a lot more sense and have put out a detailed plan for a balanced approach that combines tough spending cuts with asking people like me — millionaires and billionaires — to do a little bit more.  That’s a substantive difference in this campaign.

Whether it’s on wind energy, or how we would approach funding education, those are the topics that we’re spending a lot of time talking about in the campaign.

Now, if you look at the overall trajectory of our campaign and the ads that I’ve approved and are produced by my campaign, you’ll see that we point out sharp differences between the candidates, but we don’t go out of bounds.  And when it comes to releasing taxes, that’s a precedent that was set decades ago, including by Governor Romney’s father.  And for us to say that it makes sense to release your tax returns, as I did, as John McCain did, as Bill Clinton did, as the two President Bushes did, I don’t think is in any way out of bounds.

I think that is what the American people would rightly expect — is a sense that, particularly when we’re going to be having a huge debate about how we reform our tax code and how we pay for the government that we need, I think people want to know that everybody has been playing by the same rules, including people who are seeking the highest office in the land.  This is not an entitlement, being President of the United States.  This is a privilege.  And we’ve got to put ourselves before the American people to make our case.

Q    Well, why not send a message to the top super PAC that’s supporting you and say, I think an ad like that is out of bounds?  We shouldn’t be suggesting that –

THE PRESIDENT:  So let’s take that particular issue, as opposed to — because you lumped in a whole bunch of other stuff that I think was entirely legitimate.  I don’t think that Governor Romney is somehow responsible for the death of the woman that was portrayed in that ad.  But keep in mind this is an ad that I didn’t approve, I did not produce, and as far as I can tell, has barely run.  I think it ran once.

Now, in contrast, you’ve got Governor Romney creating as a centerpiece of his campaign this notion that we’re taking the work requirement out of welfare, which every single person here who’s looked at it says is patently false.  What he’s arguing is somehow we have changed the welfare requirement — the work requirement in our welfare laws.  And, in fact, what’s happened was that my administration, responding to the requests of five governors, including two Republican governors, agreed to approve giving them, those states, some flexibility in how they manage their welfare rolls as long as it produced 20 percent increases in the number of people who are getting work.

So, in other words, we would potentially give states more flexibility to put more people back to work, not to take them off the work requirement under welfare.  Everybody who has looked at this says what Governor Romney is saying is absolutely wrong.  Not only are his super PACs running millions of dollars’ worth of ads making this claim; Governor Romney himself is approving this and saying it on the stump.

So the contrast I think is pretty stark.  They can run the campaign that they want, but the truth of the matter is you can’t just make stuff up.  That’s one thing you learn as President of the United States.  You get called into account.

And I feel very comfortable with the fact that when you look at the campaign we’re running, we are focused on the issues and the differences that matter to working families all across America.  And that’s exactly the kind of debate the American people deserve.

Jake Tapper.

Q    Mr. President, a couple questions.  One, I’m wondering if you could comment on the recent spate of green-on-blue incidents in Afghanistan, what is being done about it, why your commanders tell you they think that there has been an uptick in this kind of violence; and second, with the economy and unemployment still the focus of so many Americans, what they can expect in the next couple months out of Washington, if anything, when it comes to any attempt to bring some more economic growth to the country.

THE PRESIDENT:  On Afghanistan, obviously we’ve been watching with deep concern these so-called green-on-blue attacks, where you have Afghan individuals, some of whom are actually enrolled in the Afghan military, some in some cases dressing up as Afghan military or police, attacking coalition forces, including our own troops.

I just spoke today to Marty Dempsey, the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, who happens to be in Afghanistan.  He is having intensive consultations not only with our commander, John Allen, on the ground, but also with Afghan counterparts.  And I’ll be reaching out to President Karzai as well — because we’ve got to make sure that we’re on top of this.

We are already doing a range of things, and we’re seeing some success when it comes to better counterintelligence, making sure that the vetting process for Afghan troops is stronger.  And we’ve got what’s called the Guardian Angel program, to make sure that our troops aren’t in isolated situations that might make them more vulnerable.  But obviously we’re going to have to do more, because there has been an uptick over the last 12 months on this.

Part of what’s taking place is we are transitioning to Afghan security, and for us to train them effectively, we are in much closer contact — our troops are in much closer contact with Afghan troops on an ongoing basis.  And part of what we’ve got to do is to make sure that this model works but it doesn’t make our guys more vulnerable.

In the long term, we will see fewer U.S. casualties and coalition casualties by sticking to our transition plan and making sure that we’ve got the most effective Afghan security force possible.  But we’ve got to do it in a way that doesn’t leave our guys vulnerable.

So we are deeply concerned about this from top to bottom.  And hopefully, over the next several weeks, we’ll start seeing better progress on this front.

In terms of the economy, I would love to say that when Congress comes back — they’ve got a week or 10 days before they go out and start campaigning again — that we’re going to see a flurry of action.  I can’t guarantee that.  I do think that there’s some specific things they could do that would make a big difference.  I’ll give you a couple of examples.

First of all, just making sure that we’ve got what’s called a continuing resolution so that we don’t have any disruptions and government shutdowns over the next couple months, that’s important.  It appears that there’s an agreement on that, but we want to make sure that that gets done.

Number two, we have put forward an idea that I think a lot of Americans think makes sense, which is we’ve got historically low interest rates now, and the housing market is beginning to tick back up but it’s still not at all where it needs to be.  There are a lot of families out there whose homes are underwater. They owe more than the house is worth because housing values dropped so precipitously, and they’re having trouble refinancing.

We’re going to be pushing Congress to see if they can pass a refinancing bill that puts $3,000 into the pockets of the average family who hasn’t yet refinanced their mortgage.  That’s a big deal.  That $3,00 can be used to strengthen the equity in that person’s home, which would raise home values.  Alternatively, that’s $3,000 in people’s pockets that they can spend on a new computer for their kid going back to school, or new school clothes for their kids, and so that would strengthen the economy as well.

Obviously, the biggest thing that Congress could do would be to come up with a sensible approach to reducing our deficit in ways that we had agreed to and talked about last year.  And I continue to be open to seeing Congress approach this with a balanced plan that has tough spending cuts, building on the trillion dollars’ worth of spending cuts that we’ve already made, but also asks for additional revenue from folks like me, from folks in the top 1 or 2 percent, to make sure that folks who can least afford it aren’t suddenly bearing the burden, and we’re providing some additional certainty to small businesses and families going forward.

Alternatively, they could go ahead and vote for a bill that we’ve said would definitely strengthen the economy, and that is giving everybody who’s making $250,000 a year or less certainty that their taxes aren’t going to go down [sic] next year.  That would make a big difference.

Now, obviously the Republicans have voted that down already once.  It’s not likely, realistically, that they’re going to bring it back up again before Election Day.  But my hope is after the election, people will step back and recognize that that’s a sensible way to bring down our deficit and allow us to still invest in things like education that are going to help the economy grow.

Chuck Todd.

Q    Mr. President, could you update us on your latest thinking of where you think things are in Syria, and in particular, whether you envision using U.S. military, if simply for nothing else, the safe keeping of the chemical weapons, and if you’re confident that the chemical weapons are safe?

I also want to follow up on an answer you just gave to Nancy.  You said that one of the reasons you wanted to see Mitt Romney’s tax returns was you want to see if everybody is playing by the same set of rules.  That actually goes to the question she asked, which is this implication, do you think there’s something Mitt Romney is not telling us in his tax returns that indicates he’s not playing by the same set of rules?

THE PRESIDENT:  No.  There’s a difference between playing by the same sets of rules and doing something illegal.  And in no way have we suggested the latter.  But the first disclosure, the one year of tax returns that he disclosed indicated that he used Swiss bank accounts, for example.  Well, that may be perfectly legal, but I suspect if you ask the average American, do you have one and is that part of how you manage your tax obligations, they would say no.  They would find that relevant information, particularly when we’re going into a time where we know we’re going to have to make tough choices both about spending and about taxes.

So I think the idea that this is somehow exceptional, that there should be a rationale or a justification for doing more than the very bare minimum has it backwards.  I mean, the assumption should be you do what previous presidential candidates did, dating back for decades.  And Governor Romney’s own dad says, well, the reason I put out 10 or 12 years is because any single year might not tell you the whole story.  And everybody has, I think, followed that custom ever since.

The American people have assumed that if you want to be President of the United States, that your life is an open book   when it comes to things like your finances.  I’m not asking him to disclose every detail of his medical records — although we normally do that as well — (laughter.)  You know?  I mean, this isn’t sort of overly personal here, guys.  This is pretty standard stuff.  I don’t think we’re being mean by asking him to do what every other presidential candidate has done — right?  It’s what the American people expect.

On Syria, obviously this is a very tough issue.  I have indicated repeatedly that President al-Assad has lost legitimacy, that he needs to step down.  So far, he hasn’t gotten the message, and instead has double downed in violence on his own people.  The international community has sent a clear message that rather than drag his country into civil war he should move in the direction of a political transition.  But at this point, the likelihood of a soft landing seems pretty distant.

What we’ve said is, number one, we want to make sure we’re providing humanitarian assistance, and we’ve done that to the tune of $82 million, I believe, so far.  And we’ll probably end up doing a little more because we want to make sure that the hundreds of thousands of refugees that are fleeing the mayhem, that they don’t end up creating — or being in a terrible situation, or also destabilizing some of Syria’s neighbors.

The second thing we’ve done is we said that we would provide, in consultation with the international community, some assistance to the opposition in thinking about how would a political transition take place, and what are the principles that should be upheld in terms of looking out for minority rights and human rights.  And that consultation is taking place.

I have, at this point, not ordered military engagement in the situation.  But the point that you made about chemical and biological weapons is critical.  That’s an issue that doesn’t just concern Syria; it concerns our close allies in the region, including Israel.  It concerns us.  We cannot have a situation where chemical or biological weapons are falling into the hands of the wrong people.

We have been very clear to the Assad regime, but also to other players on the ground, that a red line for us is we start seeing a whole bunch of chemical weapons moving around or being utilized.  That would change my calculus.  That would change my equation.

Q    So you’re confident it’s somehow under — it’s safe?

THE PRESIDENT:  In a situation this volatile, I wouldn’t say that I am absolutely confident.  What I’m saying is we’re monitoring that situation very carefully.  We have put together a range of contingency plans.  We have communicated in no uncertain terms with every player in the region that that’s a red line for us and that there would be enormous consequences if we start seeing movement on the chemical weapons front or the use of chemical weapons.  That would change my calculations significantly.

All right, thank you, everybody.

END
1:49 P.M. EDT

Campaign Buzz August 11, 2012: Republican & Democratic Reactions & Responses on the Selection of Congressman Paul Ryan as Mitt Romney’s Vice Presidential Running Mate

CAMPAIGN 2012

CAMPAIGN BUZZ 2012

THE HEADLINES….

RESPONSES: MITT ROMNEY CHOOSES REP. PAUL RYAN AS HIS VICE PRESIDENTIAL RUNNING-MATE IN NORFOLK, VIGINIA ANNOUNCEMENT

REPUBLICANS

Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell: The Romney-Ryan Team Will Lead From Day One

“Gov. Romney showed today that he is determined to confront a host of growing crises that President Obama has ignored. Where the current President has simply refused to act, Gov. Romney has now pledged to lead. Paul Ryan is an excellent choice, and a confirmation that Gov. Romney is serious about strengthening America’s economic future, tackling the deficits and debt that have skyrocketed under President Obama, and returning to a path to solvency and security.

“Americans are looking for leadership that has been lacking on the most critical issues facing our country’s economic future. The Romney-Ryan team can return much-needed leadership from day one and help bring real recovery to our economy, reverse the damage of the Obama economy, and take a serious approach to the Obama debt and focus on growing jobs—not the size of the government.

“President Obama’s term has been marked by overwhelming national debt, a first-ever downgrade of America’s credit rating, high unemployment and a disappointing lack of leadership when it comes to addressing spending. It’s time to change that, and Gov. Romney and Chairman Ryan will be ready on day one to give America the leadership it deserves.”

 

Governor Chris Christie: Mitt Romney And Paul Ryan Will Get Results

“With Paul Ryan on the ticket this is a team that understands the economic stagnation our country has been facing the last four years and the urgency with which we need to change course. The Romney-Ryan team is uniquely positioned to make the tough choices necessary to confront our fiscal challenges and get results.”

 

Sen. John McCain: Mitt Romney And Paul Ryan Will Return America To Prosperity

“Governor Romney and Representative Ryan are the strongest team to return America to prosperity and to defend our interests abroad. Paul Ryan has proven that he is fully prepared to address our nation’s economic challenges, which have only worsened over the last four years under the Obama-Biden Administration. I look forward to working for the election of the Romney-Ryan team this fall.”

 

Speaker John Boehner: Paul Ryan Will Help Mitt Romney Get America’s Economy Moving Again

“Paul Ryan is a reformer and a proven leader who will be a great partner to Governor Romney in his efforts to get our country, and our economy, back on track.  At a time when millions of Americans are still looking at President Obama’s policies and asking ‘where are the jobs?’ Paul Ryan and Mitt Romney will focus on common sense solutions to stop Washington from spending money it doesn’t have and get the federal government out of the way of small business job creators.

“I’m proud to call Paul Ryan a friend, and I will do everything in my power to make sure that he and Mitt Romney – along with our entire Republican ticket – are well positioned to win in November.”

 

President George W. Bush: Romney And Ryan Will Confront The Difficult Issues

“This is a strong pick.  Governor Romney is serious about confronting the long-term challenges facing America, and Paul Ryan will help him solve the difficult issues that must be addressed for future generations.”
Gov. Jeb Bush: Paul Ryan’s Command Of Economic Policy Will Prove Invaluable

“I applaud Mitt Romney’s selection of Paul Ryan as his Vice Presidential running mate. Congressman Ryan’s command of economic policy and the federal budget will prove invaluable as Governor Romney fights to reform government, accelerate job growth and rein in the out-of-control spending that has been a hallmark of President Obama’s years in office. This courageous choice is the type of leadership American voters deserve. And, I believe it will ensure a victory for the Romney-Ryan ticket this November.”

Gov. Bob McDonnell: With The Romney-Ryan Team, America Is On Its Way Back

“Paul Ryan is a tremendous choice to serve as the Republican nominee for Vice President of the United States. In selecting a bold, innovative thinker, Mitt Romney has ensured that his campaign—and ultimately his administration—will be led by individuals with courage, determination, judgment, and wisdom. With this great announcement, America is on its way back. The Romney-Ryan team will get our fiscal house in order, our economy back on track and Americans back to work.”

 

House Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy: Mitt Romney And Paul Ryan Will Restore The American Dream

“I believe that by choosing my good friend Paul Ryan as his running mate, Mitt Romney has once again shown why he possesses the leadership and vision to get this country back on the right path. Paul has dedicated his career to promoting ideas of economic growth and fiscal responsibility. I am confident that a Romney-Ryan ticket will not only energize our party, but will energize our nation as well, further drawing a distinction between President Obama’s failed record on jobs and the Romney-Ryan record of solutions. The Obama Administration has relentlessly advanced policies that have deepened our economic malaise, causing many Americans to question whether their children will have the same opportunities for success that past generations had. Under the leadership of Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan, I believe we can restore the American dream and create a brighter tomorrow.”

 

Amb. John Bolton: Mitt Romney And Paul Ryan Will Restore American Leadership 

“Every American and every American ally abroad should be heartened by Mitt Romney’s selection of Paul Ryan as his running mate.  Congressman Ryan deeply understands that American leadership in foreign policy makes for a more peaceful world and a safer, more prosperous America. And he and Governor Romney will restore our economic strength at home that is the basis of our influence abroad.  For nearly four years, we have seen the dangerous conditions that are created when a president refuses to lead. Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan will restore American leadership.”

 

Senator Ron Johnson: Paul Ryan Has The Leadership And Integrity We Need

“Paul Ryan is going to be a great Vice President. He brings a record of leadership and personal integrity that we need in Washington. Nobody understands the federal budget better than Paul, or has worked harder to develop and offer real solutions to the fiscal challenges facing America.  Paul will be a tremendous asset to Governor Romney in crafting policy and helping get legislation passed through Congress.  I will look forward to working with Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan to repeal Obamacare and instill fiscal discipline in Washington so that we can restore real, self-sustaining private sector growth to America.”

Sen. Kelly Ayotte: Romney And Ryan Will Put America Back To Work 

“Governor Romney has made a fantastic choice in selecting Paul Ryan to be our nominee for Vice President. Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan will put America back on a path to prosperity by reforming government, enacting real deficit reduction, and overhauling the tax code to spur economic growth. America needs a Romney-Ryan administration to get our fiscal house in order and put Americans back to work.”

 

Ted Cruz: Romney And Ryan Will Get Our Country Back On The Right Path

“In Paul Ryan, Mitt Romney has chosen a champion of fiscal sanity and a formidable advocate for policies that will get our country back on the right path. When it comes to the federal budget, we can’t afford four more years of reckless, runaway spending. As the next President and Vice President of the United States, Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan will lead an administration that finally brings fiscal responsibility back to Washington.”

 

Sec. Condoleezza Rice: Paul Ryan Is A Bold And Inspiring Choice

“Paul Ryan is a bold and inspiring choice as Governor Romney’s running mate. Congressman Ryan shares the belief that American leadership is vital to a more peaceful and prosperous world.   He will help to restore America at home so that we can lead again because he understands that America is an exceptional and indispensable nation on the world stage.”
Sen. Marco Rubio: Paul Ryan Is A Courageous Reformer Who Understands Our Nation’s Challenges

“Throughout his life, Mitt Romney has made great decisions, and choosing Paul Ryan as his running mate is a truly inspired choice. I got to know Paul during my Senate campaign when he endorsed me early on when I was still considered a long shot. Paul Ryan is a courageous reformer who understands our nation’s challenges, has proposed bold policy solutions to solve them, and has shown the courage to stand up to President Obama and other Washington politicians trying to tear him down.

“The Romney-Ryan ticket is going to win in November because it offers the American people visionary leadership to recapture the free enterprise spirit that has empowered countless Americans to build businesses from scratch and live the American dream. I’m excited about the visionary change a Romney-Ryan team will bring to Washington, and I look forward to campaigning with them this fall.”
SARAH PALIN, FORMER GOVERNOR OF ALASKA, 2008 REPUBLICAN VICE PRESIDENTIAL NOMINEE

Congratulations to Mitt Romney on his choice of Congressman Paul Ryan as his running mate. President Obama has declared that this election is about “two fundamentally different visions” for America. Goodness, he’s got that right. Our country cannot afford four more years of Barack Obama’s fundamentally flawed vision. We must now look to this new team, the Romney/Ryan ticket, to provide an alternat…e vision of an America that is fiscally responsible, strong, and prosperous – an America that understands and is proud of her exceptional place in the world and will respect those who fight to secure that exceptionalism, which includes keeping our promises to our veterans….
Gov. Bobby Jindal: Paul Ryan Has The Courage Of His Convictions

“Paul is a good friend and one of the smartest guys I served with in Congress.  He has the courage of his convictions, which is what our nation needs.”

 

WISCONSIN GOVERNOR SCOTT WALKER, REPUBLICAN

“Governor Mitt Romney made a bold and reform-minded selection in Congressman Paul Ryan of Wisconsin. This election has to be about who is going to look out for the next generation. America needs a comeback team to turn around the economy and to turn around the fiscal status of our country. Romney and Ryan have the ideas and the experience needed to take on these core issues. This is a great day for Wisconsin and an even greater day for America.”

 

FLORIDA GOVERNOR RICK SCOTT, REPUBLICAN

“Like Governor Romney, Congressman Ryan understands that government doesn’t create jobs, people do, and that the best way to create jobs is to get government out of the way. I’m confident that Congressman Ryan will be a great partner for Governor Romney in getting America back to work.”

 

U.S. SENATOR ROB PORTMAN, REPUBLICAN

“Mitt Romney has made a great choice in Paul Ryan. He is an accomplished public servant and a leading voice on the most pressing issues facing our country. Paul is one of my best friends in Congress and someone I have worked closely with as a former colleague on the House Ways and Means Committee.”

 

FORMER MINNESOTA GOVERNOR TIM PAWLENTY, REPUBLICAN

“Congressman Ryan is a respected leader and a bold thinker regarding the changes needed to restore America. His selection will also help Governor Romney win the key swing state of Wisconsin. I am excited about a Romney-Ryan ticket and look forward to doing all I can to help them win this election.”
FORMER U.S. SENATOR RICK SANTORUM, REPUBLICAN

“Congressman Paul Ryan is an outstanding choice as our country’s next vice president, and today’s announcement demonstrates Governor Romney’s commitment to returning fiscal sanity back to Washington, D.C. I have long supported Paul Ryan’s fiscal and entitlement reforms to return our country back on a path of fiscal health. At a time when our country is at an economic crossroads, Congressman Ryan’s depth of knowledge on how to tackle these challenges is unparalleled. … He is solidly pro-life, pro-family, and will be an advocate for our military and our national security priorities. I look forward to supporting the Romney-Ryan ticket in the weeks to come.”

 

DEMOCRATS

OBAMA CAMPAIGN MANAGER JIM MESSINA

“In naming Congressman Paul Ryan, Mitt Romney has chosen a leader of the House Republicans who shares his commitment to the flawed theory that new budget-busting tax cuts for the wealthy, while placing greater burdens on the middle class and seniors, will somehow deliver a stronger economy. … As a member of Congress, Ryan rubber-stamped the reckless Bush economic policies that exploded our deficit and crashed our economy. Now the Romney-Ryan ticket would take us back by repeating the same, catastrophic mistakes.”
TEA PARTY PATRIOTS, A CONSERVATIVE ADVOCACY GROUP

“Tea Party Patriots welcomes the selection of Paul Ryan as the vice-presidential running mate for Governor Mitt Romney. With this selection, Governor Romney and the Republican Party make it clear that they have accepted the Tea Party Patriots’ values of fiscal responsibility, limited government and free markets as the best course of action for economic recovery and restoring personal freedom and individual responsibility to our national values.”

 

MARY KAY HENRY, PRESIDENT OF THE SERVICE EMPLOYEES INTERNATIONAL UNION

“Representative Ryan has made a name for himself by fighting in the halls of Congress for tax giveaways for the wealthy and big corporations while proposing to gut vital services like Medicare and education, and eliminating any sense of retirement security for working families. His no-holds-barred record of attacking seniors, children, and working men and women is frightening for the 99 percent of Americans who are not rich — but for Mitt Romney it was a calling card to choose him as a running mate.”

 

RICHARD TRUMKA, PRESIDENT OF THE AFL-CIO

“Whether its outsourcing American jobs or picking his running mate, Mitt Romney’s proven just how bad his decision making is for working people. Aligning himself with the poster-child for ending Medicare and Social Security puts to rest any suggestion that Romney has a clue what the middle-class needs. We’re witnessing the radical Tea Party extremes drive its final nail in what was once the Republican Party.”
SENATE MAJORITY LEADER HARRY REID, DEMOCRAT

“By picking Representative Paul Ryan, Governor Romney has doubled down on his commitment to gut Social Security and end Medicare as we know it. Romney’s choice demonstrates that catering to the Tea Party and the far-right is more important to him than standing up for the middle class. The months ahead will provide Americans with a clear choice between the Romney-Ryan plan to gut Social Security and Medicare and Democrats’ balanced approach to deficit reduction that combines smart spending cuts with asking millionaires and billionaires to pay their fair share. Democrats in the Senate look forward to engaging in that debate.”

 

HOUSE MINORITY LEADER NANCY PELOSI, DEMOCRAT

“There is no question that former Governor Romney now owns the Republican Ryan budget that puts millionaires ahead of Medicare and the middle class. Congressman Paul Ryan led House Republicans in voting to end the Medicare guarantee, which increases costs on seniors and weakens America’s great middle class in order to give tax breaks to millionaires, Big Oil and corporations that ship jobs overseas.”

 

JUSTIN RUBEN, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR OF MOVEON.ORG, A LIBERAL ADVOCACY GROUP

“Romney and Ryan are the 1 percent Dream Team. Representative Paul Ryan is an extremist ideologue who wants to end Medicare, radically redistribute wealth to the top 1 percent, and throw America’s middle class under the bus. Ryan’s proposed budget would cost America more than a million jobs in less than one year. Like Romney, Ryan believes the poor and middle class should pay more so the rich can get richer. Romney’s choice of Ryan is sure to energize MoveOn’s more than 7 million members as we work to ensure voters know the truth about Romney and Ryan’s extreme plans to demolish Medicare, raise middle class taxes to fund tax cuts for billionaires, and destroy jobs.”

Campaign Buzz August 11, 2012: GOP Ticket Complete: Mitt Romney Chooses Rep. Paul Ryan as His Vice Presidential Running-Mate in Norfolk, Virginia Official Announcement

CAMPAIGN 2012

CAMPAIGN BUZZ 2012

THE HEADLINES….

IN FOCUS: MITT ROMNEY CHOOSES REP. PAUL RYAN AS HIS VICE PRESIDENTIAL RUNNING-MATE IN NORFOLK, VIGINIA ANNOUNCEMENT

Romney names Ryan his vice presidential running mate: Mitt Romney has selected Rep. Paul Ryan of Wisconsin as his running mate in the presidential race and will make the long-awaited announcement in Norfolk, Va., on Saturday morning.
Romney’s campaign told supporters at about 7 a.m. via an iPhone app that the seven-term congressman would be the Republican vice presidential nominee…. – WaPo, 8-11-12

  • Romney Picks Paul Ryan of Wisconsin: Mitt Romney introduced Representative Paul D. Ryan of Wisconsin as his running mate at a boisterous rally here Saturday morning, a choice that puts the issue of the nation’s fiscal soundness at the center of the presidential race….. – NYT, 8-11-12 

     

  • Mitt Romney Picks Paul Ryan for VP: Mitt Romney has named Wisconsin Rep. Paul Ryan to be his running mate. “Mitt’s choice for VP is Paul Ryan. Spread the word about America’s Comeback Team. #RomneyRyan2012,” was the message the Romney campaign sent out via their VP app early this morning…. – ABC News, 8-11-12 

     

  • Romney taps Ryan to be running mate: Mitt Romney named Wisconsin Rep. Paul Ryan as his vice presidential running mate Saturday, ending weeks of speculation about the No. 2 slot on the GOP ticket. The Romney campaign announced the pick through its “Mitt’s VP” smart phone app….. – USA Today, 8-11-12 

     

  • Romney chooses Ryan as vice presidential running mate: Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney said on Saturday he has chosen Congressman Paul Ryan as his vice presidential running mate, a move that will bring the debate over how to reduce government spending and debt… – Reuters, 8-11-12 

     

  • Romney Picks Ryan as Vice-Presidential Running Mate: Mitt Romney picked Rep. Paul Ryan as his running mate, a decision that could spark enthusiasm for the Republican ticket among conservatives and all but ensures the election will…. – Wall Street Journal, 8-11-12 

     

  • Romney names Paul Ryan his No. 2: Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney introduced Rep. Paul Ryan of Wisconsin as his vice presidential running mate on Saturday, turning to the architect of a deeply conservative and intensely controversial long-term budget plan to remake Medicare and cut trillions in federal spending…. – AP, 8-11-12 

     

  • Ryan’s selection as Romney’s running mate energizes both sides: Mitt Romney on Saturday announced US Rep. Paul Ryan of Wisconsin as his running mate for the White House — a bold and risky move that energized both conservatives and their opponents…. – CNN, 8-11-12 

     

  • Obama camp blasts Ryan; GOP hails “comeback team”: On the heels of Mitt Romney’s Saturday announcement that he is tapping Wisconsin Rep. Paul Ryan to be his vice presidential running mate, both parties found reason to be excited: Democrats wasted no time…. – CBS News, 8-11-12 

     

  • Mitt Romney picks Paul Ryan as running mate: Romney and Ryan are embarking on the first day of a four-day bus trip that will take the White House hopefuls to four key swing states: Virginia, North Carolina, Florida and Ohio…. – WaPo, 8-11-12 

     

  • Romney Chooses Ryan, Pushing Fiscal Issues to the Forefront: Mitt Romney introduced Representative Paul D. Ryan of Wisconsin as his running mate Saturday in Norfolk, Va., making a selection that will intensify the campaign debate on the size and role of government…. – NYT, 8-11-12 

     

  • Elevating Ryan, and His Budget Details: To date, Mitt Romney has been criticized for a lack of detail in his plan to reduce the nation’s debt. Tapping the architect of the House Republican budget plan changes that…. – NYT, 8-11-12 

     

  • A Risky Rationale Behind Romney’s Choice: When a prudent candidate like Mitt Romney picks someone like Paul Ryan as his running mate, it suggests that he felt he held a losing position against President Obama…. – NYT, 8-11-12 

     

  • In Romney and Ryan, a Pair Who Don’t Mind Their Differences: Paul Ryan acknowledged that he would fill a void on the ticket, serving as the energetic Beltway yin to Mitt Romney’s experienced corporate yang…. – NYT, 8-11-12 

     

  • Democrats seize upon Romney’s choice of Ryan: Democrats pounced on Mitt Romney’s selection of Wisconsin Rep. Paul Ryan as his running mate Saturday, saying the pick showed a commitment to “budget-busting tax cuts” for the wealthy and greater burdens on the middle class and seniors…. – AP, 8-11-12 

     

  • Romney’s choice of Ryan reshapes race for White House: * Choice of congressman aimed at energizing conservatives * Democrats relish battle over Ryan budget * Romney kicking off four-state bus tour…. – Reuters, 8-11-12

What They’re Saying: “A Campaign Of Substance”

“A Bold Decision” … “Reagan-Like Quality” … “A Campaign Of Substance”

Time: “The 2012 Presidential Campaign Just Became A Debate About That Most Substantive Of All Issues.” “To anyone who ever complained that politics wasn’t substantive, buckle up: the 2012 Presidential campaign just became a debate about that most substantive of all issues, the federal budget.” (Time, 8/11/12)

The Wall Street Journal’s Paul Gigot: “He Is Earnest, He’s Serious, He’s A Real Policy Wonk.” (Fox News, 8/11/12)

  •  Gigot: “Going To Make This A Fundamental Choice About The Direction Of America.” GIGOT: “Right now, with this choice, Romney is committed, alright. He is basically saying, by picking Ryan, I’m not going to make this a safe election. I am going to make this a fundamental choice about the direction of America. And we are going to debate the future of Medicare and entitlements. We are going to debate the future of tax reform. Those are the issues now front and center.” (Fox News, 8/11/12)

National Review’s Jonah Goldberg: “I Am Delighted By The News … A Bold Decision.” “I am a huge, huge, Paul Ryan fan. So I am delighted by the news he will be Romney’s running mate. … It shows that for all of the talk of Romney’s timidity and cautiousness he can make a bold decision when he needs to.” (National Review, 8/11/12)

The Washington Post’s Charles Krauthammer: “Ryan Has That Reagan-Like Quality.” KRAUTHAMMER: “The best analogy is, I think, the late 1970s when Reagan became the candidate … I think Ryan has that Reagan-like quality.” (Fox News’ “Fox and Friends,” 8/11/12)

Weekly Standard’s William Kristol: “This Is A Strong Pick, It’s A Bold Pick, It’s A Gutsy Pick.” KRISTOL: “This is a strong pick, it’s a bold pick, it’s a gutsy pick. It doesn’t run away from the controversial house budget. It’s really picking the intellectual leader of the Republican Party.” (Fox News’ “Bulls & Bears,” 8/11/12)

CNN’s Jim Acosta: “The Campaign Equivalent Of A Call To Arms.” “The battleship was a tip-off in more ways than one. Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan descended from the USS Wisconsin in Norfolk, Virginia Saturday with the campaign equivalent of a call to arms.” (CNN, 8/11/12)

The New York Times’ Ross Douthat: “This Will Make The Race More Exciting And More Serious, And I’m Looking Forward To Watching It Play Out.” (The New York Times, 8/11/12)

Fox News’ Liz Peek: “The Selection Of Mr. Ryan Sends A Very Different Message – That Romney Is Focused On Solving The Nation’s Financial Crisis.” (Fox News, 8/11/12)

Philadelphia Inquirer’s Kevis Ferris: “A Welcome Move, One That Shows This Will Be A Campaign Of Substance – At Least On The GOP Side.” “This weekend, Romney made it official. It was a welcome move, one that shows this will be a campaign of substance – at least on the GOP side.” (Philadelphia Inquirer, 8/11/12)

National Review’s John Fund: “If Republicans Were Looking For A Superior Candidate, They’ve Found It in Ryan.” “Five, if Republicans were looking for a superior candidate, they’ve found it in Ryan. His maiden speech as the GOP vice-presidential candidate was perfectly pitched…” (National Review, 8/11/12)

What They’re Saying: “An Inspired Choice”

“Shook Up The Presidential Race” … “A Bold Set Of Ideas” … “A New Promise For Presidential Politics”

CBS News’ John Dickerson: “The Choice Offers The First Real Hints About What Kind Of President Romney Will Be. … He’s Willing To Campaign On A Bold Set Of Ideas…” “Mitt Romney has made his first presidential-level decision, picking Paul Ryan, the 42-year-old, seven-term Congressman from southern Wisconsin, as his running mate. The choice offers the first real hints about what kind of president Romney will be. Here’s what we learned: He takes risks, he can adapt, and he’s willing to campaign on a bold set of ideas rather than generalities.” (Slate, 8/11/12)

National Journal’s Ron Fournier: “A New Promise For Presidential Politics And Leadership: Authentic, Bold, Positive And Focused On Results Over Partisan Gridlock.” “Mitt Romney used the choice of running mate Rep. Paul Ryan to script a new promise for presidential politics and leadership: Authentic, bold, positive and focused on results over partisan gridlock.” (National Journal, 8/11/12)

Time: “Romney Shook Up The Presidential Race Saturday Morning With A Single Stroke…” (Time, 8/11/12)

The Atlantic’s Molly Ball: “Overnight, It Was Clear, Romney Has Reoriented The Campaign Around A New, Daring Premise.” (The Atlantic, 8/11/12)

  • The Atlantic Headline: “Paul Ryan’s Message: ‘Courage’” (The Atlantic, 8/11/12)

Milwaukee Journal Sentinel: “In Ryan, Romney Is Getting His Party’s Most Influential Politician On The Budget And Economy…” “In Ryan, Romney is getting his party’s most influential politician on the budget and economy, a huge favorite of pro-business and free-market conservatives, a skilled politician and self-styled ‘policy wonk,’ a prolific fundraiser and ubiquitous cable news presence…” (Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 8/11/12)

BuzzFeed’s Ben Smith: “The Ryan Pick Is Going To Take What Has Felt Inside The Beltway Like A National Debate And Turn It Into An Actual National Debate.” “The Ryan pick is going to take what has felt inside the beltway like a national debate and turn it into an actual national debate, I think.” (Ben Smith, Twitter Feed, 8/11/12)

Yahoo News’ Walter Shapiro: “What Stays With Me Was The Earnestness And Policy-Oriented Seriousness Of Ryan…” “I recall the fledging candidate walking me around downtown Janesville to show the houses and the historical markers that trace his family’s influence on this small industrial city since the late nineteenth century. But what stays with me was the earnestness and policy-oriented seriousness of Ryan, even then.” (Yahoo! News, 8/11/12)

National Review Editorial: “Governor Romney Has Made An Inspired Choice.” (National Review, 8/11/12)

  • “Paul Ryan Is The Republican Who Has Made The Most Pointed Critique Of The Philosophy That Underlies Obama’s Economic Policies…” “Paul Ryan is the Republican who has made the most pointed critique of the philosophy that underlies Obama’s economic policies: the notion that government can direct resources toward rising industries. Solyndra is not just a scandal, Ryan notes: It is the kind of crony-capitalist fiasco to which Obama’s view inevitably leads.” (National Review, 8/11/12)

What They’re Saying: “Philosophical Debate Worthy Of A Presidential Campaign”

“A Big Debate” … “A Breath Of Fresh Air” … “Most Well-Respected Fiscal Mind”

Reuters: “His Choice Of Running Mate Is A Bold One…” “Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney said on Saturday he has chosen Congressman Paul Ryan as his vice presidential running mate, a move that will bring the debate over how to reduce government spending and debt to the forefront of the race for the White House. … His choice of running mate is a bold one…” (Reuters, 8/11/12)

CNN’s John King: “A Choice By Mitt Romney To Say Sure, Let’s Have A Big Debate About The Big Choices Facing The American Economy.” KING: “Again, this is a bold choice … It’s essentially a choice by Mitt Romney to say sure, let’s have a big debate about the big choices facing the American economy and American spending…” (CNN, 8/11/12)

Boston Herald: “A Breath Of Fresh Air…” “Romney’s choice of Ryan … brings a breath of fresh air to the ticket generationally.” (Boston Herald, 8/11/12)

The Wall Street Journal: “Mr. Ryan Best Guarantees The Country Will Get The Kind Of Philosophical Debate Worthy Of A Presidential Campaign.” “But as the author of the budget plan that most clearly delineates the view of limited government that most Republicans hold, and with more specificity and crystalline explanation than most can muster, Mr. Ryan best guarantees the country will get the kind of philosophical debate worthy of a presidential campaign.” (The Wall Street Journal, 8/11/12)

CNN’s John Avlon: “It’s A Bold Decision. … Moves This Into A More Substantive Stage Of The Campaign.” AVLON: “It’s a bold decision. It is a strong, confident decision. And what it ultimately does is moves this into a more substantive stage of the campaign.” (CNN, 8/11/12)

Roll Call: “The Former Massachusetts Governor Promoted The Most Well-Respected Fiscal Mind Among Capitol Hill Republicans…” “The former Massachusetts governor promoted the most well-respected fiscal mind among Capitol Hill Republicans…” (Roll Call, 8/11/12)

New York Daily News: “A Bold Choice…” “Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney selected Wisconsin Rep. Paul Ryan as his running mate Saturday – a bold choice meant to excite the GOP’s conservative base and further make the economy the defining issue of the election.” (New York Daily News, 8/11/12)

CNN’s Gloria Borger: “I Think The Debate Is Going To Shift Onto A Very Substantive Ground.” BORGER: “But I think what they are trying to do is say, you know what, he hasn’t made the tough choices that we need to make in a serious way to save the economic future of this country, so I think the debate is going to shift onto a very substantive ground.” (CNN’s “Your Bottom Line,” 8/11/12)

Campaign Buzz June 26, 2012: Senatorial & Congressional Primary Night Results: Senator Orrin Hatch, Rep. Charlie Rangel Survive Primary Challenges

CAMPAIGN 2012

CAMPAIGN BUZZ 2012

THE HEADLINES….

IN FOCUS: SENATORIAL & CONGRESSIONAL PRIMARY NIGHT RESULTS

Sen. Orrin Hatch, Rep. Charlie Rangel Survive Primary Challenges

Source: ABC News Radio, 6-26-12

Two Capitol Hill stalwarts — a conservative senator and a liberal congressman — easily won their respective primaries on Tuesday, fending off what were viewed as the toughest challenges of their careers.

In Utah, Republican Orrin Hatch, a U.S. senator for six terms, defeated the Tea Party-supported Dan Liljenquist by a two-to-one margin.

There were questions earlier this year about whether Hatch would win the GOP nomination, as the Tea Party seemed intent on replacing him with a candidate to the far right even though Hatch’s conservative credentials were impeccable.

However, Hatch’s base rallied for him and the senator’s war chest of $7 million was no match for Liljenquist, who had less than $1 million to spend.  Hatch is expected to cruise to re-election in November.

Meanwhile in New York City, Democratic Congressman Charlie Rangel had no problem beating state Sen. Adriano Espaillat even as his 15th District in Harlem was melded into the mostly Latino 13th District.

Rangel, seeking his 22nd term in the House, is normally considered a lock to win the Democratic primary but this redistricting, along with ethics issues, posed a threat to his long tenure….READ MORE

Hatch Overcomes Challenge in Republican Primary in Utah

Source: NYT, 6-26-12

The six-term Republican fended off a primary challenge from a Tea Party-backed insurgent candidate on Tuesday….READ MORE

Rangel Fends Off Challengers to Win a Congressional Primary

Source: NYT, 6-26-12

Representative Charles B. Rangel’s victory capped a gripping campaign and preserved a career that had been threatened by ethics troubles and changing demographics….READ MORE

Full Text Campaign Buzz June 22, 2012: GOP Presidential Candidate Mitt Romney’s Speech on Immigration to Latino Leaders at the NALEO Annual Conference in Orlando

CAMPAIGN 2012

CAMPAIGN BUZZ 2012

THE HEADLINES….

 

romney-2012-blog-naleo.jpg

IN FOCUS: MITT ROMNEY’S SPEECH ON IMMIGRATION TO LATINO LEADERS AT THE NALEO CONFERENCE IN ORLANDO

Romney Rips Obama’s Immigration Approach in Speech to Latinos: In a high-profile address to Latinos on Thursday, presumptive Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney said President Obama had “failed to address immigration reform” after promising to do so during the 2008 campaign and vowed that, if elected, he would enact comprehensive measures that would enable families to remain together and improve economically.
“I will work with Republicans and Democrats to build a long-term solution,” Romney said in Lake Buena Vista, Fla., to scattered applause from the audience. “I will prioritize efforts that strengthen legal immigration and make it more transparent and easier. And I will address the problem of illegal immigration in a civil but resolute manner. We may not always agree, but when I make a promise to you, I will keep it.”
Romney’s much-anticipated address to the annual conference held by the National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials (NALEO) came at a time when Obama’s advantage with Latinos appears to be growing…. – ABC News Radio, 6-21-12

  • Romney’s immigration promises hard to deliver: Republican presidential candidate, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, speaks at the NALEO (National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials) conference in Orlando…. – AP, 6-21-12
  • Mitt Romney immigration policy: Will it win some Latino voters? (+video): In an address to Latino officials Thursday, Mitt Romney softened his tone as he laid out immigration policy. But he still won’t say whether he would first overturn Obama’s new policy to help young illegal immigrants…. – CS Monitor, 6-22-12
  • Romney reaches out to Latinos: Mitt Romney offered a family-friendly approach to the nation’s immigration woes in his first general-election outreach to Latino voters, but the modest steps that he sketched underscored the political pull-and-tug the issue has…. – LAT, 6-21-12
  • Romney Exhibits a Change in Tone on Immigration: Mitt Romney struck a more conciliatory tone toward illegal immigrants on Thursday than he took during the Republican primary season, but he backed only limited steps to address the concerns of many Hispanic voters as he … NYT, 6-21-12
  • Mitt Romney seeks ‘common ground’ on immigration issue: If elected president, Mitt Romney said in a speech to Latino officials Thursday, he will strive to “find common ground” on the issue of immigration, which has stymied presidents of both parties. Reactions from groups on both sides of the issue Thursday…. – USA Today, 6-21-12
  • Mitt Romney tries to soften image among Hispanic voters: Mitt Romney, who courted conservative Republican primary voters with hard-line opposition to illegal immigration, took a first step Thursday toward trying to soften his image among skeptical Hispanic voters — pledging to speak in a “civil and…. – WaPo, 6-21-12

Remarks To NALEO: “Growing Opportunity For All Americans”

Source: Mitt Romney, 6-21-12

Thank you for inviting me to your annual conference. It’s an honor to be here among so many dedicated elected leaders.

I come to you today as a candidate for President of the United States of America. I will govern from the principle that while this is a land of extraordinary diversity, there is much more that unites us than divides us. Though each of us walks a different path in life, we are united by one great, overwhelming passion: We love America. We believe in America.  We are one nation, under God.

Today, we are united not only by our faith in America. We are united also by our concern for America.

This country we love is in peril. That is why I am running for President.

Almost four years ago, Americans did something that was very much the sort of thing Americans like to do: We gave someone new a chance to lead; someone we hadn’t known for very long, who didn’t have much of a record but promised to lead us to a better place.

At the time, we didn’t know what sort of a President he would make. It was a moment of crisis for our economy, and when Barack Obama came to office, America wished him well and hoped for the best.

Three and a half years later, over 23 million Americans are out of work, underemployed or have just quit looking for work.  At a time when we should be gaining momentum, we’re losing it.  Job growth has slowed and this week, we learned that the number of job openings has fallen again.

Hispanics have been hit disproportionately hard.  While national unemployment is still above 8%, Hispanic unemployment is at 11%.

The middle class has been crushed under President Obama. More Americans are living in poverty today than at any point in history. Over two million more Hispanics are living in poverty today than the day President Obama took office.

Home values have plunged, our national debt is at record levels and families are buried under higher prices for food and gasoline.

And yet our President says the private sector is doing fine. This is more than a policy failure; it is a moral failure.

Now, I know the President will say that he inherited an economic crisis.  But we shouldn’t allow the challenges he faced four years ago to divert our attention from another important fact:  The President pursued policies that have made this the slowest recovery since the Great Depression.  And he broke promises many were counting on to build a brighter future.

It did not have to be this way.

Just compare this President’s record with Ronald Reagan’s first term.  President Reagan also faced an economic crisis.  In fact, in 1982, the unemployment rate peaked at nearly 11 percent. But in the two years that followed, he delivered a true recovery – economic growth and job creation were three times higher than in the Obama Economy.

If President Obama had delivered a real recovery – a Reagan recovery – we would have five million more jobs today. The unemployment rate would be about six percent. And our economy would be at least one trillion dollars larger.

Tomorrow, President Obama will speak here, for the first time since his last campaign. He may admit that he hasn’t kept every promise. And he’ll probably say that, even though you aren’t better off today than you were four years ago, things could be worse. He’ll imply that you really don’t have an alternative. He’s taking your vote for granted.

I’ve come here today with a simple message: You do have an alternative.  Your vote should be respected.  And your voice is more important now than ever before.

This November, we’ll make a choice.  We can continue along the path we’re on – or we can choose a better way.

Instead of continuing with the policies of the last three and a half years, we can revitalize our free-enterprise economy.  We can lead the world in what we invent and build and create. And let me make this very clear—this is the only way we can strengthen the middle class.  And this is the only way we can create sustained prosperity. Raising taxes to grow government does not grow the middle class.

Today, I am asking you to join me because, while we may not agree on everything, we share the same goal, the same vision, and the same belief in American greatness that draws so many to our shores.  Liberty’s torch can burn just as brightly for future generations of immigrants as it has burned for immigrants past.

We know our businesses can’t succeed, grow, and hire more workers without a more competitive tax code. That’s why I will lower our corporate tax rate, and reduce individual marginal rates by 20 percent, across the board.

We also know that our businesses and families need affordable and reliable energy.  Producing more of our energy resources will create jobs in America and generate greater revenues for America.  It will also help bring manufacturing back to our shores.

We know our economy can’t grow if we’re mortgaging our future to pay for the big government programs of today.  As President, I will rein in spending and balance the budget.  And I will repeal Obamacare.  We cannot afford another $2 trillion entitlement.  Obamacare depresses job growth.  In one study, 73 percent of business owners said that Obamacare has made it harder for them to hire people.  Repealing Obamacare and replacing it will give businesses the certainty they need to hire, expand, and grow.

We can also jumpstart our economy by expanding trade in our hemisphere.  Yet, the President has not completed a single new trade agreement with Latin America.  And he’s failed to crack down on countries like China that don’t follow the rules.

We know our kids can’t succeed if they’re trapped in failing schools. That’s why, as President, I will give the parents of every low-income and special-needs student the chance to choose where their child goes to school.  When it comes to education, a choice for every parent means a chance for every child.

An effective immigration system can also strengthen our economy, as it has since the nation’s founding.

Unfortunately, despite his promises, President Obama has failed to address immigration reform.

For two years, this President had huge majorities in the House and Senate – he was free to pursue any policy he pleased.  But he did nothing to advance a permanent fix for our broken immigration system. Instead, he failed to act until facing a tough re-election and trying to secure your vote.

Last week, the President finally offered a temporary measure that he seems to think will be just enough to get him through the election.  After three and a half years of putting every issue from loan guarantees for his donors to Cash For Clunkers before immigration, now the President has been seized by an overwhelming need to do what he could have done on Day One.  I think you deserve better.

Some people have asked if I will let stand the President’s executive action. The answer is that I will put in place my own long-term solution that will replace and supersede the President’s temporary measure.

As President, I won’t settle for a stop-gap measure.  I will work with Republicans and Democrats to find a long-term solution.  I will prioritize measures that strengthen legal immigration and make it easier. And I will address the problem of illegal immigration in a civil but resolute manner. We may not always agree, but when I make a promise to you, I will keep it.

Let me speak to a few principles that will guide me.

As I have said many times, it is critical that we redouble our efforts to secure the borders. That means both preventing illegal border crossings and making it harder to illegally overstay a visa.  We should field enough border patrol agents, complete a high-tech fence, and implement an improved exit verification system.

Our immigration system should help promote strong families, not keep them apart.  Our nation benefits when moms and dads and their kids are all living together under the same roof.  But, today, too many families are caught in a broken system that costs them time and money and entangles them in red tape.  For those seeking to come to America the right way, that kind of bureaucratic nightmare has to end.  And we can do this with just a few common-sense reforms.

As President, I will reallocate Green Cards to those seeking to keep their families under one roof.  We will exempt from caps the spouses and minor children of legal permanent residents.  And we will eliminate other forms of bureaucratic red tape that keep families from being together.

Immigration reform is not just a moral imperative, but an economic necessity as well.  Immigrants with advanced degrees start companies, create jobs, and drive innovation at a high rate.  Immigrants founded or cofounded nearly half of our 50 top venture-backed companies.  They are nearly 30 percent more likely to start a business.  And that kind of risk taking is something we need more than ever because new business starts are now at a 30-year low.

I will work with states and employers to update our temporary worker visa program so that it meets our economic needs.

And if you get an advanced degree here, we want you to stay here – so we will staple a green card to your diploma. We want the best and brightest to enrich the nation through the jobs and technologies they will help create.

We also have a strong tradition in this country of honoring immigrants who join our military and put their lives on the line to keep this country safe. Since September 11, 2001, the United States has naturalized almost 75,000 members of the Armed Forces. Too many of these patriots died on distant battlefields for our freedom before receiving full citizenship here in the country they called “home.”

As President, I will stand for a path to legal status for anyone who is willing to stand up and defend this great nation through military service. Those who have risked their lives in defense of America have earned the right to make their life in America.

But improving access to legal immigration is only one part of the equation. We must also make legal immigration more attractive than illegal immigration, so that people are rewarded for waiting patiently in line. That’s why my administration will establish a strong employment verification system so that every business can know with confidence that the people it hires are legally eligible for employment.

We can find common ground here, and we must. We owe it to ourselves as Americans to ensure that our country remains a land of opportunity – both for those who were born here and for those who share our values, respect our laws, and want to come to our shores.

I’ve spoken often about how proud I am of my father.  He was born to American parents living in Mexico. When he was five, they left everything behind, and started over in the United States.

His dad – my grandfather – was a builder who went bust more than once. My grandfather didn’t make much money.  There were times in my dad’s life when he lived in poverty.   But my grandfather had big hopes for my dad, and tried to help him as best he could.

My Dad didn’t finish college. But he believed in a country where the circumstances of one’s birth were not a barrier to achievement – and he wasn’t afraid of hard work.  He held odd jobs – lath and plaster and selling paint.  He was lucky enough to live in America, where hard work can turn aspirations into realities. And he became the leader of a great car company and the governor of a great state.

This is my father’s story – but it could be any American’s. Most of you here today are leaders in your community. You are here because you have benefitted from this land of opportunity, and you want to give back to this country, to fight for its people, so that they have the same chance to succeed.

We are truly one America. Everyone here has made this exceptional nation what it is today.

This isn’t an election about two people.  This isn’t an election about being a Republican, Democrat, or an independent.  This is an election about the future of America.  I would ask each of you to look at the last three and a half years, and ask whether we can do better.

Is the America of 11% Hispanic unemployment the America of our dreams?  I know we can do better.  We can prosper again, with the powerful recovery we have all been waiting for, the good jobs that so many still need, and, above all, the opportunities we owe to our children and grandchildren.

Thank you all, and God bless America.

Political Headlines June 19, 2012: Mitt Romney Says Despite ABC News Report Marco Rubio is Being Vetted for Veep — Vice President Running Mate

CAMPAIGN 2012

CAMPAIGN BUZZ 2012

THE HEADLINES….

Romney Says Marco Rubio is Being Vetted for Veep

Source: ABC News Radio, 6-19-12

ABC News

Marco Rubio is being vetted for the vice presidential spot, Mitt Romney told reporters in Michigan Tuesday afternoon.

“Marco Rubio is being thoroughly vetted as part of our process,” Romney said, adding reports from Tuesday that said Marco Rubio is not being vetted is “entirely false.”

“There was a story that originated today, apparently at ABC, based on reports of supposedly outside, unnamed advisors of mine,” Romney told reporters. “I can’t imagine who such people are but I can tell you this. They know nothing about the vice presidential selection or evaluation process. There are only two people in this country who know who are being vetted and who are not, and that’s Beth Myers and myself.”

Myers is Romney’s long time aide heading up the vice presidential search and vetting process.

“I know Beth well. She doesn’t talk to anybody,” Romney said….READ MORE

Campaign Buzz June 13, 2012: Former Gabrielle Giffords Aide Democrat Ron Barber Wins Arizona Special Election to Finish her Congressional Term

CAMPAIGN 2012

CAMPAIGN BUZZ 2012

THE HEADLINES….

Ron Barber, second from left, gets a hug from former Rep. Ann Kirkpatrick, left, as Giffords husband Mark Kelly, right, looks on as Barber celebrates a victory before speaking to supporters at a post election event, Tuesday, June 12, 2012, in Tucson, Ariz. | AP Photo

Barber ran as a moderate, never identifying himself as a Democrat in his ads. | AP Photo

IN FOCUS: FORMER GABBY GIFFORDS AIDE DEMOCRAT RON BARBER WINS ARIZONA SPECIAL ELECTION TO FINISH HER CONGRESSIONAL TERM

Former Giffords Aide Ron Barber Wins Arizona Special Election: Ron Barber, the former district director for Gabrielle Giffords, has won the special election for his old bosses’ seat.
For Barber, 66, victory is bittersweet. The top aide to Giffords was also injured in the grocery store shooting on January, 2011 — he was shot in the leg and the cheek….. – ABC News Radio, 6-13-12

  • Arizona Race to Succeed Giffords Won by Democrat: Ron Barber, whom former Representative Gabrielle Giffords picked as her successor, defeated his Republican rival on Tuesday in a closely followed special election…. – NYT, 6-13-12
  • Former Gabrielle Giffords aide Ron Barber wins election to finish her term: Former Rep. Gabrielle Giffords’ hand-picked Democratic candidate won a special election Tuesday in southern Arizona to finish her term, defeating a Republican who narrowly lost to Giffords in 2010…. – AP, 6-13-12
  • Ron Barber wins Arizona special election: Ron Barber gave Democrats a much-needed boost Tuesday by winning an Arizona special election that came just one week after the party suffered a demoralizing loss in Wisconsin.
    In a House contest to finish the term of former Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, Barber defeated Republican  to win a southern Arizona-based seat that has been vacant since Giffords announced her resignation in January to focus on her recovery following a January 2011 assassination attempt.
    The special election ranked as the highest-profile contest on a day when six other states cast ballots in House primaries…. – Politico, 6-13-12
  • Democrat Ron Barber Retains Gabby Giffords’s Arizona Congressional Seat: Former Giffords aide Ron Barber beat his Tea Party opponent in an election that was far less close than predicted. Democrats said the victory is a good omen for Obama, but Republicans attributed it to…. Daily Beast, 6-13-12
  • Arizona Voters Pick Former Aide to Fill Giffords’ Seat: Democrat Ron Barber, an aide to former US Representative Gabrielle Giffords, won a special election to fill the remaining term of the congresswoman who resigned after being shot in the head … BusinessWeek, 6-13-12What to Draw from Gabby Giffords Special Election: Voters in southeastern Arizona are at the polls Tuesday in a special election to fill the seat vacated by Gabby Giffords’ retirement.
    The Democratic nominee, Ron Barber, has a very personal connection to Giffords. Not only is he Giffords’ former district director, but he was also shot in the leg and cheek in the assassination attempt on Giffords in January 2011.
    Tea Party supporter and former Marine Jesse Kelly is the Republican nominee. Kelly narrowly lost his 2010 race against Giffords by 4,000 votes.
    While a new poll out Monday showed Barber ahead of Kelly by 12 points, insiders on both sides say their polling shows the race much tighter. Many of those closest to the contest give Barber a narrow advantage…. – ABC News Radio, 6-12-12
  • Arizona voters go to polls to fill Gabrielle Giffords’s seat in Congress: Voters in Arizona were set to select a replacement for former congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords (D) in a competitive special election on Tuesday, but late poll closings left the winner undetermined late Tuesday night…. – WaPo, 6-12-12
  • Special election to replace Gabrielle Giffords set for Tuesday in Arizona: Voters in southeastern Arizona will decide Tuesday whether to continue the legacy of former congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords (D) by electing a former aide who was among those injured with her in a tragic 2011 shooting or to punish President Obama…. – WaPo, 6-11-12
  • Gabrielle Giffords’ House seat: Final scramble underway: Democrat Ron Barber and Republican Jesse Kelly made a last-ditch plea for votes ahead of Tuesday’s special election to succeed former Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, as an independent poll showed Barber poised to win.
    With momentum apparently in his favor, Barber spent the day trying to mobilize his get-out-the-vote operation and avoid complacency. The tea party-backed Kelly went on a popular conservative talk radio show and pressed his case that Barber would be a rubber stamp for President Barack Obama…. – Politico, 6-12-12
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