POLITICAL WIRE’S HEADLINES – 4/18

Romney Claims Kerry Released Just Two Tax Returns

Mitt Romney told CNBC that there’s precedent for presidential candidates releasing just two years of tax returns.

Said Romney: “Well, we’ve had people run for president before, and they’ve released two years. John Kerry released two years of taxes… I’ve released one already, put the estimate out for the next year. We’ll have two years of taxes.”

But Think Progress points out Kerry actually released 20 years of tax returns when he was a candidate in 2004.

 

Christie Would Talk to Romney About Veep

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R) told ABC News he’s “not looking to become vice president” but left the door open to a conversation about it with Mitt Romney.

Said Christie: “But I also think it is extraordinarily arrogant for you to say you won’t even listen to the nominee of your party — especially for me. It’s someone who I’ve been supporting since last October vigorously around the country — that I wouldn’t take a call from Mitt Romney.”

Meanwhile, a new Public Policy Polling survey finds Christie is the early leader of the GOP’s 2016 field.

 

Santorum Mailing Still Ripping Romney

The Des Moines Register reports that a week after he quit the presidential race, a fundraising letter from Rick Santorum arrived in Iowa mailboxes saying, “It truly frightens me to think what’ll happen if Mitt Romney is the nominee.”

“The blunt message quickly had Republicans here speculating: Did Santorum order up the mailer right before he suspended his campaign on April 10, so its timing was just a simple and understandable mistake? Or, did Santorum, who is still raising money and possibly not quite ready to come to grips with his loss, send this wording out deliberately?”

 

Obama Lead Over Romney Narrows

A new Pew Research poll finds President Obama holds a slim 49% to 45% advantage over Mitt Romney nationally.

Obama’s lead has narrowed since last month, when he had a 12-point advantage, though it is comparable to margins from earlier this year.

Most interesting finding: “The gender gap remains comparable to those in previous surveys during the current campaign, as well as past election cycles; women favor Obama by a 53% to 40% margin; among men voters, 50% favor Romney, while 44% back Obama. Obama has lost ground among both men and women at about the same rate over the past month.”

 

Obama Opens Up Lead in Florida

A new Public Policy Polling survey in Florida shows President Obama starts the general election with a 5 point edge over Mitt Romney, 50% to 45%.

Obama’s approval is now 51% in the state while 45% who disapprove.

This is the biggest lead Obama’s had in Florida over five polls since the beginning of 2011.

 

Obama Gears Message to Middle Class

Josh Kraushaar notices that President Obama’s reelection messaging against Mitt Romney has shifted away from “charges of the expected GOP nominee as a flip-flopper, and in its place have been a barrage of attacks portraying him as the consummate plutocrat.”

“Two lessons to pick up from this: 1) Many Democratic strategists weren’t sold on the effectiveness of the flip-flop charge because they worried that it unwittingly suggested a pragmatic side to Romney’s politics, something that could be appealing to independents… 2) Even though Obama has fundamental problems winning over working-class whites, his campaign appears to be going all-in on trying to capture enough of those votes against Romney, knowing it may be their best chance at threading the victory needle.”

 

Is Michigan in Play?

While many continue to list Michigan in President Obama’s column in the presidential race,Charles Mahtesian notes that “with native son Mitt Romney as the nominee, big GOP gains in 2010 and the state’s continued economic woes, it looks competitive at the moment.”

 

Alec Baldwin for Mayor?

In an interview with Bloomberg, Alec Baldwin reopened talk about running for New York City mayor:

“I have a contract to work for NBC through some point in 2013. We don’t know how long the season is going to be or how long we are going to work, but I do know that there is one more season to do next year, contractually. Right now I am just looking at finishing what is in front of me. It is something that I would love to do. The only thing that I can suggest is that two years, four years, is an eternity in an American political life. Let’s see what things are like in 2014 and maybe I can find some opportunity. I would love to do it because I have had a job that has been very good to me. I have been very lucky and very successful in a lot of ways, but I would still like to consider doing that because I do a lot of this kind of work now and I wonder what it would be like if I had a staff and budget to do it.”

 

What Would Obama Do in a Second Term?

Jeffrey Toobin: “The President and his campaign have been strikingly quiet about plans for a second term. As a rule, all incumbents, of whatever office, run for reëlection on their records rather than on their future promises, but Obama appears to have taken the strategy to an extreme.”

 

The Presidential Campaign Kicks Off

Jon Stewart sees the future of the presidential campaign and it’s not pretty.

See more…

 

No More High Priced Haircuts

John Edwards was criticized for getting $400 haircuts while running for president, but theNew York Post reports he “now goes to Supercuts in Raleigh, NC, for a $12.95 job, employees say.”

Said one hairdresser: “We just talked about his hair.”

 

Veep Speculation is Just Speculation

Al Hunt: “It’s the time of the political season when conjecture runs wild, much of it ill-informed. Mr. Romney’s choice of a vice-presidential candidate will evolve, in ways unforeseeable today, over the next four months.”

 

Romney Closes Gap with Obama

A new Reuters/Ipsos poll shows that President Obama’s lead over Mitt Romney has narrowed to 4 percentage points from 11 points a month ago, 47% to 43%, now that Romney has established himself as the probable Republican presidential nominee.

Meanwhile, Obama’s approval rating remains steady, with 49% approving and 49% disapproving of his performance as president.

 

Coburn Says 90% of Senate Should be Fired

Sen. Tom Coburn (R-OK) rips his colleagues in a new book out today, The Debt Bomb, saying the U.S. Senate is “heavily sedated.”

ABC News has excerpts: “Congress today is a stagnant pond that needs to be drained and refilled with a steady stream of new public servants. I’m a fan of the Jack Welch principle in reverse for Congress … fire 90 percent of members every election and only keep the 10 percent who were productive.”

 

Santorum Not Ready to Endorse Romney

Rick Santorum “sounded no closer to endorsing Mitt Romney than when he dropped out of the presidential race last week, telling supporters on a conference call that he hasn’t even had a chance to speak to his onetime rival,” CBS News reports.

Santorum has spoken with Newt Gingrich, however.

Said Santorum: “I haven’t had a chance yet to talk to Governor Romney, but we’ll be talking to both of them and we’re going to go out and do what we believe is in the best interest of our country.”

 

Quote of the Day

“I even endorsed Newt Gingrich at one point because I thought that he had a shot. Well, not now. He doesn’t have a shot.”

– Herman Cain, quoted by ABC News, backing off his presidential endorsement.

 

Huntsman Loans Campaign Another $1.5 Million

Jon Huntsman “has forked over another $1.5 million from his personal fortune to pay down campaign debt since abandoning his presidential bid, but he still owes more than $1.3 million to vendors,” the Salt Lake Tribune reports.

“Huntsman, who has now loaned his campaign just over $4 million, said recently that he planned to pay down his debt through a combination of loans and fundraisers, though he collected only $6,000 in donations in recent months.”

 

Christie Approval Remains Strong Despite Gender Gap

A new Monmouth University poll shows New Jersey Chris Christie with a 51% to 35% approval rating.

However, the gender gap in the governor’s ratings, which closed for a short time in the fall, has widened again. Currently, 59% of men approve of Christie while 28% disapprove. Among women, approval stands at 43% and disapproval at 42%.

Explore posts in the same categories: Candidates, National, Politics

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