POLITICAL WIRE’S HEADLINES – 7/1
Rep. Thaddeus McCotter (R-MI) “will launch his presidential campaign on July 2, making him the third sitting member of the House to run for the White House in 2012,” USA Today reports.
“I didn’t say that things are worse.”
— Mitt Romney, quoted by NBC News, backtracking from a comment about President Obama that he’s made repeatedly over the last month: “He did not cause this recession, but he made it worse.”
“A normally obscure board in Kansas unanimously approved new regulations Thursday for abortion providers, moving the state closer to becoming the first in the nation without a clinic or doctor’s office performing the procedures,” the AP reports.
Mother Jones: “The new law, which takes effect Friday, establishes new standards for abortion providers–standards apparently designed to make compliance difficult. The rules require changes to the size and number of rooms, compel clinics to have additional supplies on hand, and even mandate room temperatures for the facilities. Given that the rules were released less than two weeks before clinics were expected to be in compliance, many providers knew they wouldn’t be able to obtain a license to continue operating.”
A new study from Northeastern University finds that the current economic recovery in the United States “has been unusually skewed in favor of corporate profits and against increased wages for workers,” the New York Times reports.
Since the recovery began in June 2009, “corporate profits captured 88 percent of the growth in real national income while aggregate wages and salaries accounted for only slightly more than 1 percent” of that growth.
Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner “has signaled to White House officials that he’s considering leaving the administration after President Barack Obama reaches an agreement with Congress to raise the national debt limit,” Bloomberg reports.
Larry Sabato just released a nice chart sorting the Republican presidential candidates into three tiers.
First: Mitt Romney, Michele Bachmann and Rick Perry.
Second: Tim Pawlenty, Herman Cain and Jon Huntsman.
A new documentary based on interviews with John Lennon’s personal assistant, Fred Seaman, “claims that the iconic rock star’s political views had evolved by the end of the 1970’s and that by the time Ronald Reagan was running for office Lennon had morphed into a Republican,” according to Southern California Public Radio.
Coming in January: Can’t Is Not An Option: My Story by South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley (R).
She’s expected to address the fact that two men accused her of marital infidelity during the election last year.
It’s probably just a coincidence, but Republican presidential candidate Herman Cain will campaign this weekend in Winterset, Iowa, the birthplace of actor John Wayne, the Des Moines Register reports.
Rep. Michele Bachmann made headlines earlier this week when her own reference to the actor was confused with serial killer John Wayne Gacy.
Gawker uncovered an amazing document written by Fox News chief Roger Ailes in 1971 when he served as a consultant to President Richard Nixon. The plan was buried within Nixon’s presidential archives and explains how Republicans could circumvent the “prejudices of network news” and deliver “pro-administration” stories to television viewers.
Most interesting is why television was seen as the preferred medium: “Today television news is watched more often than people read newspapers, than people listen to the radio, than people read or gather any other form of communication. The reason: People are lazy. With television you just sit — watch — listen. The thinking is done for you.”
With the nation facing a possible debt crisis, Andrew Sullivan says “there are two options the president can take. The first is what you are told to do when a criminal or terrorist holds a gun to your head. You surrender.”
“The point of economic blackmail is that it works. If you have a scintilla of public responsibility and you hold public office, you cannot allow default. And so you give them everything they want. You announce this while declaring you abhor the package but have to back it for the sake of the national interest in preventing catastrophe. You detail and expose the Republican priorities far more aggressively than in the past. You blame the performance of the economy entirely on them from now on out. And you run on a platform of shared sacrifice – of revenue-enhancing tax reform and tax hikes for millionaires. Then you run against the Republicans as hard as you can.”
“The second option is to bypass them, invoke the 14th Amendment, and order the Treasury to keep paying its debts because an extraordinarily reckless faction wants to destroy the American economy in order to save it (and pin the subsequent double-dip recession on Obama).”
In the mail and highly recommended: CQ’s Politics in America 2012: The 112th Congress, edited by John Bicknell and David Meyers.
Stephen Colbert’s bid to launch a super PAC “is no laughing matter, especially now that the comedian has won approval to raise unlimited campaign cash to influence the 2012 elections,” USA Today reports.
“The Federal Election Commission today voted 5-1 to approve Colbert’s political action committee, giving him a shot at doing what political types such as Bush strategist Karl Rove and former Obama aide Bill Burton are already doing to finance TV ads ahead of next year’s elections.”
Rick Hasen has the backstory.
Sarah Palin and Bristol Palin did a joint book signing yesterday in Minnesota, but theMinneapolis Star Tribune notes the real draw was the former vice presidential candidate and not her daughter.
The Salt Lake Tribune has a photo of Will Huntsman, son of presidential candidate Jon Huntsman, attending a rally last week and posing for a photo with rival Mitt Romney.
“If they [the Republicans] said, look, that now is not the time for big tax increases to harm the recovery, they would be right. But it’s also right to say that now’s not the time for big spending cuts.”
— Bill Clinton, in an interview with ABC News, proposing a possible deal on the debt ceiling talks.
A new Public Policy Polling survey in Texas finds home state Gov. Rick Perry (R) trailing President Obama in a potential 2012 match-up 47% to 45%, even though the president’s job performance numbers in the state are an upside down 42% approve to 55% disapprove.
The only other potential Republican candidate that Obama leads in the poll is Sarah Palin, while he trails Michele Bachmann, Tim Pawlenty, Mitt Romney, and Ron Paul and ties Herman Cain.
Dave Carney, the top strategist for Texas Gov. Rick Perry (R), tells the New Hampshire Union Leader that the amount of interest Perry has generated in New Hampshire for a possible presidential bid has been unexpected.
Said Carney: “We are preparing to sit down over the next several weeks and begin to assess the time frame… The amount of organic calls of support from New Hampshire has been surprising since Governor Perry has yet to visit. But we’re still in the data collection stage. In the coming weeks, we will present this information to the governor and he’ll made his decision.”
A senior Democratic aide tells NBC News: “At 9:30 Senator Reid will go to the floor to announce that the Senate will forego its scheduled recess for the week of July 4th and stay in session to continue forging a deal to cut the deficit and create jobs.”
National Journal: “The decision to cancel comes after President Obama chided the Congress Wednesday for not working hard enough on the debt ceiling problem and urged that the recess be canceled if there was not sufficient progress on the debt negotiations.”
First Read: “There was an obvious reason why President Obama picked a fight with Congress yesterday: As Truman, Clinton, and practically every other modern president has shown, it’s always easy to beat up on it. After all, just 18% approved of Congress’ job in our latest NBC/WSJ poll, and only 10% said they had a high level of confidence in the legislative branch.”
“What’s the hurry? I’m out developing my issues, listening to people.”
— Buddy Roemer, in an interview with National Journal, still waiting to officially announce his presidential bid.
With the debt ceiling negotiations apparently broken down, the two political parties “are moving to the sort of policies they’d prefer if they didn’t have to make a deal at all, which are also the sort of policies their bases will prefer,” Ezra Klein notes. “As their bases come to like the new positions better and demand their legislators stop wavering and rewarding the other side’s insane negotiating posture, it’ll get tougher and tougher for either group to seriously return to the table.”
“And Republicans, meanwhile, are returning to the task of convincing themselves that nothing seriously bad will happen if we simply blow through the debt limit. Which means we’re probably going to have to wait for the debt limit to begin shutting down parts of the government or panicking portions of the market before we get the sort of outside pressure capable of convincing both sides that the practical consequences of continued inaction are worse than political consequences of action. This is exactly where we didn’t want to be.”
A new Time/Aspen Ideas Festival poll finds a startling 71%, including a majority of every major demographic group other than African Americans, see the United States as worse off now than it was a decade ago.
Mark Penn: “This poll confirms that the country is going through one of its longest sustained periods of unhappiness and pessimism ever. Today’s teenagers hardly remember a time before 9/11, the war on terrorism, the war in Iraq and constant economic upheaval. Baby boomers, the generation known for continuous reinvention, are filled with worry and doubt about their future and the future of their children.”
On the same day President Obama will attend two DNC fundraisers in Pennsylania,The Hill reports Mitt Romney will “visit the same plant, Allentown Metal Works, that Obama visited in December of 2009 to tout his $787 billion stimulus.”
“Obama talked up the plant in a subsequent Saturday radio address, too, but the 100-year-old plant eventually closed down this January after the stimulus dollars it had been promised didn’t come through.”
Mark Halperin: “This is yet another super-smart move by the frontrunner, and it is a four-fer. It keeps up the Romney strategy of focusing on ‘Obama versus Romney’ (rather than ‘Romney versus the Republican field’), thereby elevating Romney. It keeps the focus on the economy, which is almost all Romney wants to talk about. It cues up Romney for the general election in a now-Blue-former-battleground state (Obama probably can’t win re-election without the Keystone State.). And it allows Romney to get a press conference under his belt with few national reporters present, and (very likely) few questions (and certainly few answers, regardless of the questions!) focused on anything but the economy — and not, say, health care.”
Romney also put out a devastating new ad.