POLITICAL WIRE’S HEADLINES – 3/6

Clinton Will Help Obama Raise Money

Former President Bill Clinton has agreed to make joint appearances with President Obama at a series of fundraisers, Bloomberg reports.

The 42nd and the 44th presidents will appear together at events in Los Angeles, Chicago and New York.

 

Obama Schedules Super Tuesday News Conference

The White House announced President Obama will hold a news conference tomorrow afternoon.

National Journal: “Three senior administration officials just laughed when asked if they had decided to schedule a President Obama press conference for Tuesday to insert the White House into a busy news day that otherwise was guaranteed to be dominated by Republicans fighting for delegates in ten states… Regardless of the motivation, putting the president out for a long give-and-take that will be carried live on multiple television channels does serve the purpose of pushing the Republicans aside, if only for an hour.”

 

Barbara Bush No Fan of the Presidential Campaign

Former first lady Barbara Bush doesn’t like the way the 2012 GOP presidential campaign has been going, the Dallas Morning News reports.

Said Mrs. Bush: “I think it’s been the worst campaign I’ve ever seen in my life. I hate that people think compromise is a dirty word. It’s not a dirty word.”

She added: “I think the rest of the world is looking at us these days and saying, ‘What are you doing?'”

 

Flashback of the Day

“No, no, I like mandates. The mandates work.”

— Mitt Romney, quoted by Huffington Post in a 2008 GOP presidential debate, on the health care insurance mandate he now says is unconstitutional.

 

Bonus Quote of the Day

“If enough people were praying He would’ve intervened.”

— Pat Robertson, on the 700 Club, saying that people could have asked God to stop the deadly tornadoes that killed a dozen people in the Midwest.

(Pat and Rush — the bookends of the GOP!)

 

Republican Race is Helping Democrats

A new Pew Research survey shows the Republican presidential nomination battle is rallying Democrats behind President Obama.

Key finding: 49% of Democrats say that as they learn more about the GOP candidates, their impression of Obama is getting better. That compares to just 36% of Democrats who expressed this view in December.

In contrast, there has been virtually no change in Republicans’ views of the GOP field over this same period. Just 26% of Republicans say their impression of the GOP field has improved as they have learned more about the candidates, largely unchanged from the 30% who felt that way in December.

 

South Carolina County GOP Requires Pledge to Run

To be on the ballot as a Republican in Laurens County, South Carolina you have to sign a pledge that you are the “right kind” of Republican, the Clinton Chronicle reports.

Along with opposing abortion and supporting gun right, you must pledge abstinence before marriage, be faithful to your spouse and you cannot look at pornography.

 

King Will Run for Senate in Maine

Former Maine Gov. Angus King (I) plans to announce tonight that he is going to run for the U.S. Senate, the Portland Press Herald reports.

“A run by King as an independent for the seat being vacated by GOP Sen. Olympia Snowe of Maine is sparking fears among some Democrats that the socially liberal former two-term governor could siphon off enough votes from a Democratic Senate nominee to throw the election to the GOP candidate.”

 

How Romney is Lying About Health Care

Jonathan Chait notes how Mitt Romney was left in a difficult position when President Obama suddenly embraced the individual health care insurance mandate — which Romney passed in Massachusetts and even offered as a model for Obama.

“What was once a Republican idea in good standing was now, suddenly, unconstitutional and the greatest threat to freedom in American history. This left Romney in an awkward spot. It’s hard to run for president as the advocate of an idea that your party considers the greatest threat to freedom in history. His response was to simply revise the past, much as he did with abortion. Romney now claimed he had never advocated a federal version of his Masscare program…”

“Romney is now on the verge of escaping with the party nomination having embraced a program his party considers inimical to freedom itself and blatantly lied about having done so without any major opponents pointing this out. It’s pretty incredible.”

BuzzFeed has three videos from 2009 showing Romney urging Obama to use his Massachusetts health care plan a national model.

 

A History of Super Tuesday

Domenico Montanaro describes how Super Tuesday became so pivotal.

It dates back to the 1980s when Southern Democrats were upset with liberal presidential nominees and wanted to nationalize the message and lessen the impact of early voting states like Iowa and New Hampshire.

See more…

 

Gingrich Will Challenge Rivals to Debate

Newt Gingrich will challenge his rivals for the GOP presidential nomination to a debate next week in Mississippi or Alabama, where voters head to the polls on March 13, CNN reports.

Said Gingrich: “I don’t think Romney can just hide behind millions of dollars of paid ads. He’s got to come out in the open.”

 

Putin’s Paid Flash Mob

After Vladimir Putin’s speech after winning yesterday’s presidential election “bands began to play and the people dispersed, some heading into the metro to receive payment for attending. Near the platform inside one station, about 100 people, mostly pensioners and college students, stood in line to receive 300 rubles each (about $10) for helping to fill the square,” Time reports.

“The young man who was paying them declined to give his name, but he did not deny that the payments were in exchange for attending the ‘concert’ at the Kremlin walls.”

Said the man: “It’s a paid flash mob. What? It’s normal.”

 

Imus Not Impressed with Limbaugh’s Apology

Don Imus called Rush Limbaugh’s apology to Georgetown law student Sandra Fluke “lame” and said Limbaugh should apologize in person.

Said Imus: “He’s an insincere pig.”

See more…

 

Romney’s Return to Inevitability

ABC News notes the growing drumbeat towards Mitt Romney’s once again inevitable march to the Republican presidential nomination.

“It’s not a done deal yet, but a Romney win in Ohio — a rust-belt state that border’s Santorum’s stronghold of Pennsylvania — could end up being one giant leap toward securing the nomination for Romney… Super Tuesday also comes at a moment when many top Republicans are beginning to indicate that they’re ready to close the curtain on this year’s primary drama. Already top figures in the party establishment are rallying around Romney, including Sen. Tom Coburn of Oklahoma and House Majority Leader Eric Cantor of Virginia, who both endorsed him yesterday.”

Rick Klein: “The net result is that even Romney’s nightmare scenario — a loss in Ohio to Santorum and getting swept by Gingrich and Santorum in the Southern Super Tuesday states of Georgia, Tennessee, and Oklahoma — would likely still see him walk away with the most delegates.”

 

Obama Campaign Keeping Its Cash

President Obama’s reelection team has told congressional Democrats that they will not be receiving help from Obama for America or the Democratic National Committee, reportsPolitico, foreshadowing the expensive presidential general election campaign.

“Democratic congressional leaders, including Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, have privately sought as much as $30 million…a replay of the financial help they received from Obama in 2008 and 2010… Hill Democrats won’t be seeing much of Obama at their own fundraisers this year, either. Obama has offered to do one money event each for the DCCC and DSCC.”

“It was a stark admission from a presidential campaign once expected to rake in as much as $1 billion of just how closely it is watching its own bottom line.”

 

Romney’s Image Problem

First Read notes Mitt Romney’s ratings in the latest NBC/WSJ poll have slid to 28% favorable to 39% unfavorable.

“In fact, Romney’s image right now is worse than almost all other recent candidates who went on to win their party’s presidential nomination: Obama was 51%/28% and McCain was 47%/27%, per the March 2008 NBC/WSJ poll; Kerry was 42%/30% at this point in ’04; George W. Bush was 43%/32% in 2000; and Bob Dole was 35%/39%. The one exception: Bill Clinton, in April 1992, was 32%/43%. That means that if Romney becomes the GOP nominee, he has a LONG WAY to go to rehabilitate his image.”

 

Is the GOP Primary Almost Over?

John Podhoretz: “Maybe, just maybe, if Mitt Romney does well — by which I mean he wins or all but wins in Ohio and Tennessee, the two most important states to watch — we can get out of the political doldrums in which we have been trapped for months and months and months and… move on. This would come as a relief to me, and countless others like me, because, frankly, I can’t take much more of it.”

 

Senate Democrats May Seek Early Fight on Bush Tax Cuts

Senate Democrats “are considering a debate on ending the George W. Bush-era tax cuts for top earners before the November election because they think they’re in a stronger position than in 2010,” Bloomberg reports.

 

Presidential Race Still a Toss Up

Though things are looking good for Democrats now, Paul Begala warns the presidential race this fall will be close.

“The GOP will unify. Where once their central organizing principle was opposing communism, now it is opposing Barack Obama. As long as he is on the ballot, the Republicans will be able to reunite. There is not much the White House can do about that. The reality is the GOP demolition derby will end soon enough, and the president will be in a neck-and-neck race all year.”

 

Quote of the Day

“I don’t think he’s very apologetic. He’s doing it because some people were taking their advertisements off his program. It was his bottom line that he was concerned about.”

— Ron Paul, in an interview on Face the Nation, about Rush Limbaugh’s apology for calling a Georgetown law student a “slut.”

 

Final Super Tuesday Polls

Ohio

Quinnipiac: Romney 34%, Santorum 31%, Gingrich 15%, Paul at 12%.
American Research Group: Romney 35%, Santorum 28%, Gingrich 18%, Paul 13%.
Rasmussen: Santorum 32%, Romney 31%, Gingrich 13%, Paul 13%.
Merriman: Romney 38%, Santorum 33%, Gingrich 18%, Paul 8%.
Suffolk: Santorum 37%, Romney 33%, Gingrich 16%, Paul 8%.
CNN/Opinion Research: Romney 32%, Santorum 32%, Gingrich 14%, Paul 11%

Georgia

Mason-Dixon: Gingrich 38%, Romney 24%, Santorum 22%, Paul 3%.
American Research Group: Gingrich 44%, Romney 24%, Santorum 19%, Paul 9%.

Tennessee

We Ask America: Romney 30%, Santorum 29%, Gingrich 29%, Paul 12%

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