POLITICAL WIRE’S HEADLINES – 10/21

Rubio Exaggerated Family Story

Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) frequently repeats “a compelling version of his family’s history that had special resonance in South Florida. He was the son of exiles, he told audiences, Cuban Americans forced off their beloved island after ‘a thug,’ Fidel Castro, took power,” the Washington Post reports.

“But a review of documents — including naturalization papers and other official records — reveals that Rubio’s dramatic account of his family saga embellishes the facts. The documents show that Rubio’s parents came to the United States and were admitted for permanent residence more than 2½ years before Castro’s forces overthrew the Cuban government and took power on New Year’s Day 1959.”

Cain Taps Experienced Iowa Operative

Herman Cain — leading in a new Iowa poll — hired former Iowa GOP party chairman, Steve Grubbs, to lead his Iowa campaign, Politico reports.

“Grubbs recently noted to me that he couldn’t recall a year with such a relatively low level of organizing this close to the caucuses on a broad scale, suggesting it left an opening for Cain to catch up.”

Cardoza Will Not Run Again

Rep. Dennis Cardoza (D-CA) announced he will step down at the end of 2012 “rather than battle it out in a newly redrawn congressional district with his long-time friend and colleague,” Rep. Jim Costa (D-CA), the Sacramento Bee reports.

As Markos Moulitsas notes, the decision accelerates the death of the Blue Dog Democrats— from 54 in 2008 to just 22 today.

Perry Fades to 6th Place in Iowa

A new Rasmussen survey of likely Iowa caucus-goers shows that Herman Cain leads with 28% followed by Mitt Romney at 21%, Ron Paul at 10%, Newt Gingrich at 9%, Michelle Bachmann at 8%, and Rick Perry at 7%.

Interesting: “Among those absolutely certain they will show up and participate in the caucus, Cain leads Romney 31% to 18%.”

Who Are Obama’s Million Donors?

Ben Smith points to a great set of data from the Obama re-election campaign that breaks down the numbers behind their 1 million campaign contributors.

“One random and interesting stat: The likeliest time to give was the noon hour, and Thursday was the richest day for the campaign.”

Teacher Who Clashed with Christie is Running for Office

Marie Corfield (D), the school teacher who famously sparred with New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R) last year, is running for the state legislature, the Newark Star Ledger reports.

Said a fellow candidate: “You can say Chris Christie hand-picked her to run.”

When Does Obama’s Low Approval Rating Matter?

Gallup’s Frank Newport and USA Today‘s Susan Page take a look at historical presidential job approval data to reveal the point at which President Obama should start worrying about his approval ratings.

The bottom line: “It looks like if we’re sitting here talking next February for March and Obama’s approval rating is still in the lows 40s, I think his campaign team will have a real reason to be alarmed.”

Romney Gets Heated

NBC News shows that feisty exchanges on the campaign trail — like during the GOP debate earlier this week — aren’t really new for Mitt Romney.

See more…

Is Cain “Pro-Life” or “Pro-Choice”?

In an interview with Piers Morgan last night, Herman Cain took a strong anti-abortion position that puts him solidly in the “pro-life” camp.

CAIN: I believe that life begins at conception. And abortion under no circumstances. And here’s why —

MORGAN: No circumstances?

CAIN: No circumstances.

But later in the interview, he seemed to suggest he might actually be “pro-choice” on the issue of abortion.

CAIN: “I can have an opinion on an issue without it being a directive on the nation. The government shouldn’t be trying to tell people everything to do, especially when it comes to social decisions that they need to make.”

What If Bush Did It?

Andrew Sullivan reflects on President Obama’s recent foreign policy successes:

“To rid the world of Osama bin Laden, Anwar al-Awlaki and Moammar Qaddafi within six months: if Obama were a Republican, he’d be on Mount Rushmore by now.”

Obama in Trouble in Ohio

A new Public Policy Polling survey in Ohio shows that if the presidential election were today, President Obama would likely lose to Mitt Romney.

Key findings: Obama’s approval rating in the state is only 43%, with 52% of voters disapproving of him. He’s very unpopular with independents at 39% to 57%, and even with Democrats his approval has dropped to a worrisome low of 73%.

While a head to head match up between Obama and Romney shows both getting 46%, those numbers “are worse for Obama than they appear to be on the surface though — just 18% of the undecided voters approve of the job he’s doing. When those folks make up their minds they’re not very likely to end up in Obama’s camp.”

Cain Still Giving Paid Speeches

Joshua Green reports that Herman Cain is still giving “paid motivational speeches to corporations at $25,000 a pop even as he campaigns for President.”

Said Cain: “I’m still doing paid speeches. But I have not raised my prices. This economy’s on life support, so I’m very mindful of those companies that would like to have me come and speak. But I’m not gonna take advantage of my newfound popularity just to put more dollars in my pocket.”

Cain estimates that he has earned $250,000 this year through his speeches.

Romney Returns to Iowa

Mitt Romney visits Iowa today for the first time since the straw poll in August, the Des Moines Register reports.

First Read: “Given the current polls (which show him leading in Iowa) and given Rick Perry’s reversal of fortune, does he make a stronger play for the Hawkeye State? The reward: If he heavily competes and wins, he could wrap up the nomination VERY early, a la John Kerry in ’04… The risk: If he makes a strong play but loses, it could devastate his campaign and give Perry (or someone else) a real boost, leaving Romney in a situation similar to Hillary in ’08. So right now, Romney is trying to have it both ways, occasionally dipping his toes in the Iowa waters (like today) but only employing four full-time staffers there. But with 75 days until the caucuses, Romney will soon have to make a choice.”

Misleading Mitt

Rick Perry is out with a very tough new ad on Mitt Romney “misleading” people.

The big question is will Perry use some of his campaign war chest to actually put it on the air in key early voting states?

See more…

Romney Edges Cain in Latest National Poll

A new AP-GfK poll shows Mitt Romney leading the Republican presidential field with 30%, followed by Herman Cain at 26%, Rick Perry at 13%, Ron Paul at 8%, Newt Gingrich at 7%, Michele Bachmann at 4%, Jon Huntsman at 2% and Rick Santorum at 2%.

Majority Blame Obama for Economy

For the first time, a USA Today/Gallup poll finds a majority of Americans blame President Obama for the nation’s economic problems.

Key findings: 53% say Obama deserved “a great deal” or a “moderate amount” of the blame for the economic problems that the country currently faces.

That said, an even larger number — 69% — said that former President George Bush deserved a “great deal” or a “moderate amount” of blame for the economy.

The Uncompetitive House

Kyle Kondik: “Instead of looking at the House through the competitive races, consider instead the uncompetitive races — the large number of seats that should be safe for one party or the other for the foreseeable future. Based on the latest Crystal Ball ratings, less than one in four of the 435 House seats will be competitive next year, and if one only considers the seats we rate as ‘leaning’ to one party or the other or as ‘toss-ups,’ there are only 46 truly competitive contests, or about 10% of all House seats.”

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