POLITICAL WIRE’S HEADLINES – 3/29
Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) endorsed Mitt Romney last night on Fox News.
Said Rubio: “Not only is he going to be the Republican nominee, he offers a stark contrast to this president’s record.”
Sheldon Adelson, who with his wife has given more than $15 million to Newt Gingrich’s Super PAC, said he believes Gingrich is “at the end of his line” regarding the race for the Republican presidential nomination, Jewish Journal reports.
Adelson also predicted it’s unlikely Gingrich will become a vice presidential candidate.
Gawker has photos of congressional candidate Matt Doheny (R) — who was picked as one of “the strongest GOP challengers in the country” by House Republican leaders — making out with a campaign consultant “who is not his fiance.”
Doheny’s engagement is still on, his press secretary says, and invitations go out next week for the June 30 wedding.
In advance of the GOP primary next week, Mitt Romney tried to prove his Wisconsin connections by relating a “humorous” story about his father shutting down a factory, the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel reports.
Said Romney: “One of most humorous I think relates to my father. You may remember my father, George Romney, was president of an automobile company called American Motors… They had a factory in Michigan, and they had a factory in Kenosha, Wisconsin, and another one in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. And as the president of the company he decided to close the factory in Michigan and move all the production to Wisconsin. Now later he decided to run for governor of Michigan and so you can imagine that having closed the factory and moved all the production to Wisconsin was a very sensitive issue to him, for his campaign.”
Romney recalled a parade in which a school band marching with his father’s campaign only knew the Wisconsin fight song, not the Michigan song.
He continued, while laughing: “So every time they would start playing ‘On, Wisconsin, On, Wisconsin,’ my dad’s political people would jump up and down and try to get them to stop, because they didn’t want people in Michigan to be reminded that my dad had moved production to Wisconsin.”
A new CNN/Opinion Research poll finds President Obama with a double-digit lead over Mitt Romney, 54% to 43%.
Said pollster Keating Holland: “President Obama currently wins majority support among groups that have been problematic for him in the past, including men, older voters, and suburbanites. He has a solid lead among independents as well.”
Obama’s approval rating has also inched over the 50% mark for the first time since last May, when the polls were still registering the after effects of the death of Osama bin Laden.
“I can tell you one thing. If I’m the godfather of this thing, then it gives me the right to kill it.”
— Mitt Romney, in an interview with Hugh Hewitt, on President Obama’s health care law.
After another round of Supreme Court questions, Jeffrey Toobin told CNN the fate of President Obama’s health care law looks even worse.
Said Toobin: “This still looks like a train wreck for the Obama Administration, and it may also be a plane wreck. This entire law is now in serious trouble. It also seems that the individual mandate is doomed. I mean, Anthony Kennedy spent much of this morning talking about if we strike down the individual mandate, how should we handle the rest of the law? Now, it is less clear that they are going to strike down the whole law. There does seem to be some controversy in the court about that. Certainly there are some members of the court, Antonin Scalia, Justice Alito, who want to strike down the entire law, but it seemed almost a foregone conclusion today that they were going to strike down the individual mandate, and the only question is does the whole law go out the window with it?”
He added: “Well, it’s hard to imagine how things could be going much worse for the Obama Administration.”
First Read looks at the “distinct possibility” that the individual health insurance mandate — and perhaps the entire health-care law — could be decided by another controversial 5-4 Supreme Court decision.
“Such an outcome, especially after other 5-4 decisions like Bush vs. Gore and Citizens United, would have two potential consequences. One, it would feed the perception that the U.S. Supreme Court is as partisan as Congress and increasing parts of the media; in other words, these nine justices (either trained at liberal law schools or members of the conservative Federalist Society) are essentially political actors wearing black robes.”
“And two and most importantly, a 5-4 decision would satisfy no one. If the court strikes down the mandate and the health-care law by that narrow margin, liberals and Democrats would blame it on the conservative justices. If the mandate and law are upheld by a 5-4 decision, conservatives would point their fingers at the liberals and the unpredictable “mushy” swing justice, Anthony Kennedy. That’s the problem with a split decision: The losers would feel like they lost on a political technicality, not because there was a legal consensus.”
The Washington Post reports Mitt Romney’s presidential campaign has been selling official “Romney Super Fan” T-shirts for $30 apiece but has managed to sell just 346.
Rick Santorum, by contrast, has sold 3,000 of his $100 souvenir sweater vests.
Rep. Bobby Rush (D-IL) spoke on the House floor wearing a hooded sweatshirt — to protest the killing of Florida teen Trayvon Martin — and the presiding Republican ordered him removed from the chamber, reminding members they are not allowed to wear hats.
Said Rush: “Racial profiling has to stop. Just because someone wears a hoodie does not make them a hoodlum.”
Jay Leno pushed Mitt Romney last night “to explain what he would offer Americans with pre-existing medical conditions so that they might retain their coverage, perhaps the most popular provision of the president’s health care law,” NBC News reports.
Romney: “People with pre-existing conditions, as long as they have been insured before, they are going to be able to continue to have insurance.”
Leno: “Suppose they haven’t been insured.”
Romney: “If they are 45 years old and they show up and say I want insurance because I have heart disease, it’s like, ‘Hey guys. We can’t play the game like that. You’ve got to get insurance when you are well and then if you get ill, you are going to be covered.'”
Though Republicans are hoping the U.S. Supreme Court declares President Obama’s health care law unconstitutional, David Frum points out the GOP has no alternative and says they will be punished for it by voters.
“Republicans will need a Plan B. Unfortunately, they wasted the past three years that might have developed one. If the Supreme Court doesn’t rescue them from themselves, they’ll be heading into this election season arguing, in effect, Our plan is to take away the government-mandated insurance of millions of people under age 65, and replace it with nothing. And we’re doing this so as to better protect the government-mandated insurance of people over 65 — until we begin to phase out that insurance, too, for everybody now under 55.”
“Mitt Romney changes positions more often than a pornographic movie queen.”
A must-read from Matt Bai:
“The Republican version of reality goes, briefly, like this: Boehner and Obama shook hands on a far-reaching deal to rewrite the tax code, roll back the cost of entitlements and slash deficits. But then Obama, reacting to pressure from Democrats in Congress, panicked at the last minute and suddenly demanded that Republicans accede to hundreds of billions of dollars in additional tax revenue. A frustrated Boehner no longer believed he could trust the president’s word, and he walked away. Obama moved the goal posts, is the Republican mantra.”
“In recent weeks, as it became clear that I was planning to write a more nuanced and detailed account of the final week of negotiations, both sides — but primarily the speaker and his aides — went out of their way to give extensive accounts to reporters at other outlets, in an effort to reinforce their well-rehearsed narratives. And yet it’s possible now to get beyond these clashing realities.”
A new Franklin & Marshall poll in Pennsylvania finds Rick Santorum barely ahead of Mitt Romney in his home state, 30% to 28%, within the poll’s 4.2% margin of error.
That’s a big change from February, when Santorum held a commanding 15-percentage-point lead over Romney in the poll.
A new ABC News-Washington Post poll finds Mitt Romney trails President Obama by 19 points in popularity. Just 34% hold a favorable opinion of Romney as compared to 53% for Obama.
Meanwhile, Romney’s 50% unfavorable score is higher than Obama ever has received; it’s been exceeded by just one other Republican candidate this year, Newt Gingrich, and by only one top candidate in 28 years, Hillary Clinton in 2008.
A new Quinnipiac poll finds President Obama leading Mitt Romney in three crucial swing states.
Florida: Obama 49%, Romney 42%
Ohio: Obama 47%, Romney 41%
Pennsylvania: Obama 45%, Romney 42%
Said pollster Peter Brown: “President Obama is on a roll in the key swing states. If the election were today, he would carry at least two states. And if history repeats itself, that means he would be re-elected.”Explore posts in the same categories: Candidates, National, Politics