POLITICAL WIRE’S HEADLINES – 7/19

Still Close Nationally

A new Fox News poll finds President Obama leading Mitt Romney nationally by four points, 45% to 41%.

A new CBS/NYT poll finds Romney ahead by one point, 47% to 46%.

A new NPR poll shows Obama leading by two points, 47% to 45%.

 

More Blame Bush Than Obama for Economic Downturn

A new CBS News/New York Times poll finds that 34% of Americans say President Obama’s policies contributed significantly to the economic downturn, another 30% say they contributed to some degree while 35% say the president’s policies contributed little or not at all to the downturn.

However, more people blame former President George W. Bush.

Nearly half say Bush’s policies played a significant role in creating the nation’s current economic problems. Another 33% say they played some role. Only 18% say Bush’s policies had little to no impact.

 

Exchange of the Day

Email from a conservative blogger to Putlizer prize winning journalist Connie Shultz on July 9, 2012.

Dear Ms. Shultz,

We are doing an expose on journalists in the elite media who socialize with elected officials they are assigned to cover. We have found numerous photos of you with Sen. Sherrod Brown. In one of them, you appear to be hugging him. 

Care to comment? 

Response on July 10, 2012:

Dear Mr. [Name Deleted]:

I am surprised you did not find a photo of me kissing U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown so hard he passes out from lack of oxygen. He’s really cute. 

He’s also my husband. 

You know that, right? 

Connie Schultz.

 

Olympics Documents Described Romney as Bain CEO

BuzzFeed: “Mitt Romney has spent much of the last week arguing that, despite some public records, he was effectively gone from Bain Capital in February 1999. But in February 2000, Romney was introduced as the ‘founder and CEO of Capital’ at the National Press Club during an appearance about the Olympics, and Romney’s biography on the Olympic’s website listed him as Bain Capital ‘founder and CEO.'”

Meanwhile, a new Obama video asks people what “retroactively retired” means.

See more…

 

Obama Too Busy for Jobs Council

President Obama “has not met for six months with the CEOs and others on his Jobs Council in part because he’s simply been too busy,” White House press secretary Jay Carney told Politico.

Said Carney: “There’s no specific reason, except the president has obviously got a lot on his plate, but he continues to solicit and receive advice from numerous folks outside the administration about the economy about ideas that he can act on with Congress or administratively to help the economy grow and help create jobs.”

 

Obama Fades in New Mexico

A new Public Policy Polling survey in New Mexico finds the presidential race tightening with President Obama holding a five point lead, 49% to 44%.

The previous two PPP polls found Obama ahead by 14 and 15 points.

Key finding: “New Mexico still looks like a lean Obama state, but a surprise choice by Mitt Romney of Susana Martinez as his running mate could make the state a toss up. With her on the ticket Obama’s lead drops all the way down to 48-47. That’s a testament to Martinez’s appeal with Democrats.”

 

Missing from Romney’s 2010 Tax Return

As pressure builds on Mitt Romney to release his tax returns, the Huffington Post reports that the GOP nominee has not even disclosed all of his tax documents for 2010 — the only year for which he has presented any final tax forms.

“Romney released his 2010 tax return in January of this year, a document that first informed voters about the existence of his Swiss bank account and financial activities in Bermuda and the Cayman Islands. But people who own foreign bank accounts are required to file a separate document with the IRS that provides additional details on such overseas bank holdings, and Romney has not released that form to the public.”

 

Obama Campaign Sues Ohio Over Early Voting

President Obama’s reelection campaign filed a federal lawsuit against Ohio’s top elections official “in a dispute over the battleground state’s law that restricts in-person early voting in the three days leading up to Election Day,” the AP reports.

“Obama’s campaign and other Democrats argue that the law unfairly ends in-person early voting for most Ohioans on the Friday evening before the Tuesday election while allowing military and overseas voters to cast ballots in person until Monday. Before the changes to the law, local election boards had the discretion to set their own hours for such voting on the days before the election.”

 

Why Mitt Romney Won’t Release His Tax Returns

The Week has six theories.

 

Do Voters Care Whether Obama’s Campaign is Nasty?

The Week weighs the evidence.

 

Romney Team Poring Over Veep Tax Returns

New York Times: “Mr. Romney’s possible running mates, who have handed over reams of documents to the campaign, have probably opened themselves to a greater level of scrutiny than the candidate himself, especially on the thorny question of taxes. Mr. Romney has said he will disclose federal tax returns covering two years by Election Day, far fewer than the 23 years’ worth that he handed over to Senator John McCain as a possible vice-presidential pick in 2008.”

 

Will Romney Have Edge When Pollsters Move to Likely Voters?

Most national pollsters are still using samples of registered voters rather than “likely” voters and some suggest that Mitt Romney will have an advantage when this change is made butMark Blumenthal suggests it’s too early.

“In almost every election dating back to 1980, the margins separating the top candidates in horse race polls shifted significantly after the party conventions. Only in 1996 did those margins remain roughly the same throughout the year. In other years, the shifts in voter preferences that occurred after the party conventions, shifts that have benefited both Democratic and Republican candidates, would have overwhelmed the relatively modest differences that earlier likely voter screens would have produced.”

“In the end, if all pollsters applied likely voter screens right now, Romney’s numbers would be slightly better, but there is a long way to go before any horse race poll should be considered an accurate forecast of the outcome.”

 

Obama Up Big with Hispanic Voters

A new Latino Decisions poll finds President Obama leading Mitt Romney among Latino registered voters, 70% to 22%.

Alex Burns: “The final margin among Latinos in 2008 was a 36-point gap in Obama’s favor. Right now, he’s up by 48 points. Which gives you a sense of why Republican elites think it’s so urgent for Romney to make up ground with this bloc.”

 

Veep Announcement Likely After Olympics

Despite suggestions Mitt Romney might pick a running mate this week, sources close to the Romney campaign tell the New York Daily News the working plan “has been to announce the pick after the Olympic Games, which begin next week and conclude Aug. 12 — two weeks before the Republican convention in Tampa.”

“The running mate choice — a high-stakes pick often described as the first presidential-caliber decision a candidate makes — will dominate the news cycle for days, temporarily changing the subject from Romney’s financial baggage. But some top advisers believe popping the name now would be seen as a panicky overreaction to Romney’s bad press and should be saved for better ‘bounce’ closer to the convention. As a practical matter, moreover, a GOP veteran of vice presidential rollouts said it takes at least a month for a support staff to be up and running before a nominee is named.”

Rick Klein: “An early VP pick would be out of character for Mitt Romney and a campaign team that has made few panic moves in this long campaign. Yes, it would change the storyline in a big way — but it would also acknowledge that the current story needs desperate changing. The one big chip Romney can play that President Obama can’t is his choice for vice president, and even holding onto that chip gives him leverage over the campaign.”

 

Tax Return Issue Won’t Go Away

The conservative National Review calls on Mitt Romney to release tax returns prior to 2010:

He’s a politician running for the highest office in the land, and his current posture is probably unsustainable. In all likelihood, he won’t be able to maintain a position that looks secretive and is a departure from campaign conventions. The only question is whether he releases more returns now, or later — after playing more defense on the issue and sustaining more hits. There will surely be a press feeding frenzy over new returns, but better to weather it in the middle of July.”

 

Spitzer Says It’s Too Soon for Weiner

Former New York Gov. Eliot Spitzer (D) — and expert at scandal pushing a politician from office — discussed recent rumors that former Rep. Anthony Weiner (D) might seek public office again next year, the New York Observer reports.

Said Spitzer: “I think we can all agree that a year is not a terribly lengthy period of time. Obviously I’m in a sort of difficult position to talk about this. It’s been five years since I left office. Five years is more than one. You can see people’s sensibilities change as they see you, talk to you, as you’ve done more things.”

He added: “I think next year is maybe a little short. But the public’s tolerance for this is something that he will only determine by whether he floated this intentionally a not, who knows? I kind of doubt it. I mean, probably a little too short but the public will have to make that decision.”

 

What Happened to Romney’s Death Star?

Byron York: “Now, the general election campaign is here, and the talk is of the Obama killing machine, not the Romney death star.  By most accounts, the Romney campaign is not displaying the super-aggressive effectiveness it showed in the primaries.”

“Newt Gingrich complained loudly — some called it whining — when Romney first hit him with a negative ad barrage in Iowa.  Then, when Romney attacked on a far bigger scale in Florida, Gingrich reacted badly again. Privately, the Romney campaign, which at times seemed to delight at kicking the hell out of a Republican opponent, had no respect for Gingrich’s tendency to complain when attacked. Just take it and hit back harder — that was the way they saw it. Now, however, Romney is complaining about Obama’s attacks. Romney is far more self-controlled than Gingrich, but the effect is the same; he’s whining about the other guy treating him badly. It’s the same thing that happened in the primary campaign, only with Romney on the hurting end.”

 

Don’t Blame Citizens United

Matt Bai: “The reason for this exponential leap in political spending, if you talk to most Democrats or read most news reports, comes down to two words: Citizens United. The term is shorthand for a Supreme Court decision that gave corporations much of the same right to political speech as individuals have, thus removing virtually any restriction on corporate money in politics. The oft-repeated narrative of 2012 goes like this: Citizens United unleashed a torrent of money from businesses and the multimillionaires who run them, and as a result we are now seeing the corporate takeover of American politics.”

“As a matter of political strategy, this is a useful story to tell, appealing to liberals and independent voters who aren’t necessarily enthusiastic about the administration but who are concerned about societal inequality, which is why President Obama has made it a rallying cry almost from the moment the Citizens United ruling was made. But if you’re trying to understand what’s really going on with politics and money, the accepted narrative around Citizens United is, at best, overly simplistic. And in some respects, it’s just plain wrong.”

 

Christie Pegged for Keynote Speech

“The word is going out quietly to Republican activists across New Jersey: If you’re going to the GOP convention in Tampa next month, be sure to be there by Tuesday night, Aug. 28, because Gov. Chris Christie is going to be giving the keynote speech that night,” the New York Post reports.

Said one party activist: “We’ve been told that’s the night to be there, that’s when the governor is going to speak. They’re saying he’s the keynoter.”

 

Dancing Around the Issues

The DNC released a new video hitting Mitt Romney, “the first in a series of digital products highlighting Rafalca, Romney’s very own Olympic dancing horse.”

See more…

 

Romney Takes the Gloves Off

Mitt Romney “has always been careful to hedge his tough digs at Obama with a civil nod toward the president’s moral character,” BuzzFeed notes. But that ended yesterday.

Said an adviser: “Romney has said Obama’s a nice fellow, he’s just in over his head. But I think the governor himself believes this latest round of attacks that have impugned his integrity and accused him of being a felon go so far beyond that pale that he’s really disappointed. He believes it’s time to vet the president. He really hasn’t been vetted; McCain didn’t do it.”

The adviser added: “I mean, this is a guy who admitted to cocaine use, had a sweetheart deal with his house in Chicago, and was associated and worked with Rod Blagojevich to get Valerie Jarrett appointed to the Senate. The bottom line is there’ll be counterattacks.”

Meanwhile, a new Romney ad continues the “crony capitalism” attack and asks, “Where did the stimulus go?”

See more…

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