POLITICAL WIRE’S HEADLINES – 7/14
A new University of Wisconsin Survey Center’s Badger Poll finds 59% of Wisconsin residents disapprove of Gov. Scott Walker’s (R) performance and 55% are dissatisfied with the way things are going in Wisconsin.
House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-VA) said that President Obama “abruptly” and “angrily” walked out of debt ceiling negotiations and suggested all progress in the debt talks had been erased.
Chuck Todd describes what’s causing the impasse: “Neither the president nor the House Republican leadership is truly ready to put agreement down on paper. For the president, the hesitancy is about giving a promise of real entitlement reform. For Republicans it’s reistance to make a pledge that part of tax reform could mean the expiration of the Bush tax cuts on the wealthiest Americans (the Republicans).”
A new Gallup Poll finds that just 26% of GOP voters think a deal to lift the debt ceiling should consist entirely of spending cuts.
The vast majority of Republicans believe that at least some tax revenue increases are necessary, which is contrary to the current position of the Republican congressional leadership.
Nate Silver: “The Republicans in the House of Representatives are extremely conservative on fiscal matters and are significantly out of step with the public as a whole.”
A new Mason-Dixon poll in Iowa finds Michele Bachmann leading among likely caucusgoers with 32%, followed by Mitt Romney at 29%, Tim Pawlenty at 7% and Rick Santorum at 6%. All other candidates had 3% or less.
In general election match ups, Mitt Romney leads President Obama, 42% to 39%, but the president is ahead of Bachmann, 47% to 42%.
“They want to blame the economy on us. The reason that default is no better an idea today than when Newt Gingrich tried it in 1995 is that it destroys your brand and would give the president an opportunity to blame us for the bad economy… We refuse to let him entice us in to co-ownership of a bad economy.”
— Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY), in an interview with Laura Ingraham.
Moody’s was the first of the big three rating agencies to place the United States’ credit rating on review for a possible downgrade, Reuters reports.
The son of Washington, DC council member and former mayor Marion Barry, Marion Christopher Barry, was arrested in connection to drug charges, WUSA reports.
A new Public Policy Polling survey finds that Utah Republicans would prefer Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-UT) to be their U.S. Senate nominee instead of incumbent Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-UT), 47% to 43%.
Key finding: “What’s interesting about that is only 30% of GOP voters actually express the sentiment that Hatch is ‘too liberal.’ There’s a significant chunk of the Republican electorate that thinks Hatch is fine ideologically but just wants someone more conservative anyway.”
A new Public Policy Polling survey in Utah shows Mitt Romney way ahead of former Gov. Jon Huntsman in the GOP presidential race, 63% to 10%.
A new Magellan Strategies survey in Iowa finds Michele Bachmann leading among likely caucus attendees with 29%, followed by Mitt Romney at 16%, Tim Pawlenty and Herman Cain at 8%, Ron Paul and Newt Gingrich at 5% and Rick Santorum at 3%. Another 24% of respondents are undecided.
A new Reuters/Ipsos poll finds the number of Americans who believe the country is on the wrong track rose to 63% this month.
“As your congressman on the House floor, I will do anything short of shooting them. Anything that is lawful, it needs to be done because illegal aliens need to quit taking jobs from American citizens.”
— Rep. Mo Brooks (R-AL), quoted by the San Antonio Express-News, on illegal immigrants.
With Janice Hahn’s (D) special election victory in California’s 36th congressional district,Smart Politics notes that Republicans have failed to pick up a Democratic held U.S. House seat since 1998 — or 200 elections.
John Avlon: “The first elections of 2012 started yesterday as the Wisconsin recalls got underway. Tip O’Neil’s time-honored admonition that ‘all politics is local’ has been turned on its head. Out-of-state activist groups now flood local elections with cash in an attempt to frame a national narrative. Welcome to the post-Citizens United world.”
“The stuff that’s going on in my party, where the — pettiness overcomes the patriotism — it’s just disgusting to me.”
— Former Sen. Alan Simpson (R-WY), quoted by ABC News, in reaction to House Republicans rejecting President Obama’s “grand bargain” on raising the debt ceiling.
Tennessee state Rep. Julia Hurley (R) “who admits carving her initials into her desk in the state House chamber is going to have to pay to fix it,” the AP reports. Hurley admitted she “wasn’t thinking straight.”
Hurley drew national attention earlier this year for crediting her success in politics to the time she spent working at Hooters restaurants.
First Read notes that everyone at Tuesday’s White House meeting — Obama, congressional Democrats, congressional Republicans — seems to be on board with Sen. Mitch McConnell’s (R-KY) last-ditch proposal to raise the debt ceiling.
It’s a realization “that Republicans realize they can’t ‘win’ this stalemate. They only lose badly or lose honorably. The president had painted McConnell and Boehner (especially) into a corner.”
“Yet perhaps the biggest takeaway from McConnell’s proposal is that it exposes Republicans leaders for not acting on the deficit and debt when they had the power to do so, and when they had a Democratic president willing to do things that probably won’t be seen for a generation. When Obama put $4 trillion in deficit reduction on the table (as long as Republicans added revenues to the mix), they walked away. And when they had Democrats tying spending cuts to the debt increase, they ended up punting.”
“Apparently if you don’t change the standard security code that every phone comes with, then anyone can call your number and, if you don’t answer, tap in the standard four digit code to hear all your messages. I’ll change mine just in case, but it makes me wonder how many public figures and celebrities are aware of this little trick.”
— Piers Morgan, writing in his 2005 book, The Insider: The Private Diaries of a Scandalous Decade, showing an early knowledge of phone hacking when he was editor of the British tabloid News of the World.
Meanwhile, the Wall Street Journal reports News Corp. has withdrawn its bid for BSkyB following growing pressure from U.K. lawmakers amid the phone-hacking scandal that ultimately closed News of the World.
Despite bipartisan agreement that raising the nation’s debt ceiling is necessary, a new Gallup Poll finds more Americans want Congress to vote against such a bill than for it, 42% vs. 22%, while one-third are unsure.
Key caveat: “This measure reflects public opinion about raising the debt ceiling in the abstract. The question wording did not mention the rationales for or against raising the debt ceiling, nor did it explain that any such move would ultimately be a part of a broader budget bill involving spending cuts and perhaps tax increases.”
Texas Gov. Rick Perry (R) “has been dialing GOP establishment bigwigs across the country” as he feels out a possible presidential bid, the Washington Post reports.
What he’s found: “A vast reservoir of the Republican Party establishment — including elected officials, donors, strategists and activists whose support fuels presidential campaigns — remains untapped.”
Politico: “Those close to Perry say despite the strong hints that both he and his high command are dropping in conversations with senior Republicans — hints that have left party elites in Texas and beyond convinced that Perry will enter the race — the country’s longest-serving governor has not yet made up his mind. Questions about money and infrastructure remain. Not only that, he isn’t in a rush to decide… Behind the scenes, however, the Texan and his confidantes have stepped up their outreach efforts.”
President Obama’s reelection campaign released a video revealing that they have raised a combined $86 million for Obama for America and the DNC between April and June, shattering previous single-quarter fundraising records and far surpassing the campaign’s stated goal of a $60 million haul. The funds were raised from 552,462 donors.
Technically, the re-election campaign raised $47 million while the DNC raised $38 million.
Morning Score: “The $86 million raised for Obama’s reelection easily doubles — and nearly triples — all the major GOP candidates to announce so far, combined. While there are a few Republicans who haven’t shared their numbers, including Michele Bachmann, the group that includes Mitt Romney, Ron Paul, Tim Pawlenty, Jon Huntsman and Newt Gingrich has taken in just $33.1 million.”
The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports that six fake Democratic candidates “put up by the Republican Party to buy time for Republican state senators subject to recalls” were defeated handily, though they were still successful in their goal of delaying the general election until August 9.
“That the primaries were held at all is a function of the twists and turns of political strategy played out in recent months as the state broke into warring camps over Walker’s attempt to restrict collective bargaining for public employees.”
More upcoming tests: “Three Democratic state senators also face recall elections… Elections in the recalls of the Democrats are July 19. Two of those races will be Republican primaries; the third, between Sen. Dave Hansen (D-Green Bay) and Republican challenger David VanderLeest of Green Bay, is a general election. The other two general elections will be Aug. 16.”
Janice Hahn (D) has defeated Craig Huey (R) in the special election for California’s 36th congressional district 55% to 45%, according to the AP.
Hahn’s margin is underwhelming for Democrats, who hold an 18-point registration advantage in the district, and largely tracks with the results of a recent poll in the district.
A new Sunshine State News poll in Florida confirms what other recent surveys have found: Gov. Rick Scott (R) is horribly unpopular.
Scott has a 58% disapproval rating among Florida voters while just 27% approve of the way he’s doing his job.
A new Quinnipiac national poll finds Mitt Romney leading the Republican presidential field with 25%, followed by Michele Bachmann at 14%, Sarah Palin at 12% and Rick Perry at 10%. No other contender is over 6%.
President Obama holds double-digit leads over all of the GOP White House contenders, hitting the all-important 50% mark against every candidate but Romney. Obama leads Romney, 47% to 41%.
Said pollster Peter Brown: “The question about Rep. Bachmann is whether she is the flavor of the month, like Donald Trump was for a while, or does she have staying power? Perhaps more than any of the other GOP contenders, Bachmann’s fortunes may depend on whether Governors Palin or Perry get into the race. All three of them are likely to appeal to the GOP’s Tea Party constituency.”