POLITICAL WIRE’S HEADLINES – 8/1
A new Obama ad makes clear that Mitt Romney would return the policies of George W. Bush: “You watched… and worried. Two wars. Tax cuts for millionaires. Debt piled up. And now we face a choice.”
The ad will run in Colorado, Iowa, New Hampshire, Nevada, Ohio, and Florida.
Tennessee state Rep. Kelly Keisling (R) emailed constituents “with a rumor circulating in conservative circles that President Barack Obama is planning to stage a fake assassination attempt in an effort to stop the 2012 election from happening,” the Huffington Post reports.
Keisling “sent an email from his state email account to constituents containing a rumor that Obama and the Department of Homeland Security are planning a series of events that could lead to the imposition of ‘martial law’ and delay the election. Among the events hypothesized in the email is a staged assassination attempt on the president that would lead to civil unrest in urban areas and martial law.”
Rep. Geoff Davis (R-KY) announced that he is resigning from his seat immediately, theLouisville Courier-Journal reports.
In December, Davis had announced that he would not be seeking re-election but said today a “family health issue has developed that will demand significantly more of my time to assist. As a result, I cannot continue to effectively fulfill my obligations to both my office and my family. Family must and will come first.”
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) told the Huffington Post that a Bain Capital investor told him that Mitt Romney didn’t pay any taxes for at least a decade.
The person also told Reid that Romney’s wealth was significantly more than the $250 million estimated.
“Tellingly, neither Reid nor his office would reveal who the investor was, making it impossible to verify if the accusation is true. And as his quote makes clear, he’s uncertain if the information is accurate… But there is limited political downside to the type of open speculation that Reid is making, so long as Romney refuses to budge on the issue of his tax returns. Increasingly, other Democrats are growing more assertive in their goading.”
Mitt Romney’s campaign “is quietly laying the groundwork for a high-profile blitz of several key battleground states in the run-up to the Republican National Convention in Tampa, and Republicans briefed on the plans say it has all the trappings of a vice presidential rollout tour,” CNN reports.
The Denver Post reports that Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper (D) and his wife, Helen Thorpe, announced they are separating after 10 years of marriage, but plan to remain a family that spends a “great deal of time together.”
From a statement: “Both the Governor and Ms. Thorpe want the public to know that neither has had an affair, that they did seek extended counseling, and that this decision is unrelated to the difficult events Colorado has faced this summer.”
A new Public Policy Polling survey in Connecticut finds Linda McMahon (R) crushing former Rep. Chris Shays (R) in the GOP Senate primary by a stunning 48 points, 68% to 20%.
The Democratic contest is closer but Rep. Chris Murphy (D) is still a clear favorite there, leading Susan Bysiewicz (D) by 17 points at 49% to 32%.
Lowell Turpin “suspected his live-in girlfriend of planning an affair, and when he saw a picture of a man he didn’t recognize on her Facebook page, it set him off,” the Knoxville News-Sentinel reports.
He “jerked her laptop computer from her grasp, smashed the machine into a wall, and then hit her in the face with his fist.”
The man on the computer screen: Mitt Romney.
Mitt Romney, under fire for suggesting that culture explains the economic disparities between Israelis and Palestinians, blamed the media for mischaracterizing his remarks and insisted that he hadn’t actually criticized Palestinian culture.
But Greg Sargent points out that in his 2010 book, No Apology, Romney made “almost precisely the same point about Israelis and Palestinians, even using the same language: ‘culture makes all the difference.'”
John Enright (R), a candidate for Pinal County supervisor candidate, “has withdrawn from the race in the wake of voter-fraud allegations involving a former companion who, records show, has continued to vote by absentee ballot in the five years since her death,” theArizona Republic reports.
The woman, Sheila Nassar — whom Enright described as his “life companion” — lived with Enright at the time of her death.
A new Public Policy Polling survey in Florida finds President Obama edging Mitt Romney in the key battleground state among likely voters, 48% to 47%.
However, Romney would gain an edge if he picked Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) as his running mate.
“Regardless of who Romney picks it looks like Florida is once again a sheer toss up, and there’s not much reason to think that will change between now and November.”
Rep. Shelley Berkley (D-NV) has a catchy new radio ad in her challenge to Sen. Dean Heller (R-NV) criticizing him for voting twice — once in the House and again in the Senate — to privatize Medicare.
Businessweek has a slide show.
Rep. Richard Hanna (R-NY) blasted the Republican Party in an interview with the Syracuse Post-Standard, saying his party is “too willing to accommodate its most extreme members.”
Said Hanna: “I have to say that I’m frustrated by how much we — I mean the Republican Party — are willing to give deferential treatment to our extremes in this moment in history.”
He added: “We render ourselves incapable of governing when all we do is take severe sides… If all people do is go down there and join a team, and the team is invested in winning and you have something that looks very similar to the shirts and the skins, there’s not a lot of value there.”
Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa (D) tells Yahoo News that he’s not interested in running for president someday.
Said Villaraigosa: “The answer is no… The job I’ve said to people I would like is I would like to be governor of the state of California.”
David Brooks: “President Obama’s proposals are small and medium-size retreads, while Mitt Romney has run the closest thing to a policy-free race as any candidate in my lifetime. Republicans spend their days fleshing out proposals, which Romney decides not to champion.”
A new We Ask America poll in Wisconsin finds Eric Hovde (R) deadlocked with Tommy Thompson (R) at 23% each for the GOP U.S. Senate nomination, followed by Mark Neumann at 17% and Jeff Fitzgerald (R) at 12%.
The primary is on August 14.
Reports that the Democratic party will support gay marriage in its party platform are in keeping with a big shift in public opinion over the last four years. A new Pew Research survey finds support for gay marriage among Democrats has jumped to 65% today, more than double the percentage that is opposed (29%).
In 2008, only 50% of Democrats favored allowing gays and lesbians to marry legally, while 42% were opposed.
The Washington Post compares the campaign trips abroad taken by Barack Obama in 2008 and Mitt Romney in 2012.
“So what’s the difference — other than four years and two vastly different candidates? Here’s one big distinction: the Obama campaign loaded up on staff firepower while the Romney camp had a relative ghost crew.”
“For his trip, Obama got assists from at least 14 top staffers and advisors, many of whom were heavy hitters with serious foreign policy and economic credentials… Romney, on the other hand, has only three senior staffers with him for the entire trip: policy director Lanhee Chen; foreign policy aide Alex Wong; and press secretary Andrea Saul.”
Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) “may be slipping down the shortlist of potential Mitt Romney running mates,” Politico reports, but the vice presidential buzz surrounding him “has helped put his new memoir on The New York Times‘s best-seller list, creating a windfall that could potentially wipe out the senator’s personal debt. Coffers for his campaign committee and leadership PAC also have become flush with cash in recent months — he’s seen a 50 percent uptick in donations.”
Said one GOP strategist: “This could be one of those times when you’re better off being the one everybody wants rather than being the one who actually gets picked.”
Rep. Steve LaTourette (R-OH), who surprised nearly everyone by announcing his retirement last night, is holding a news conference in Ohio at 10:00 am ET.
Politico: “LaTourette was one of the last of a dying breed — a moderate, union-friendly Republican who stood up to the right flank of the House Republican Conference. In the 112th Congress, it put him at odds with a good bulk of his GOP colleagues, including, at times, his longtime friend and ally, Speaker John Boehner (R-OH). But LaTourette’s political isolation within the party was at odds with his ambition within the House Republican Conference. He wanted to resume his place toward the top of the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, according to several GOP aides.”
First Read: “Trust us folks, this press conference has the whiff of ‘score settling’ written all over it.”
First Read: “Since we’re in Olympics season, think of it as a floor exercise in gymnastics. Romney picked a routine with a low degree of difficulty — a cartwheel here (visiting Great Britain), one somersault there (the stop in Israel), and a grand finale featuring a simple back flip (the last leg in Poland). There were some upsides for him: Americans saw him on their TV sets during the opening ceremony at the Olympics; he bonded with Israeli PM Netanyahu; he gave a solid speech in Israel; and got his photo-op with Lech Walesa in Poland.”
“But because the routine was so simple, the mistakes stuck out even more. So as Romney performed his cartwheel in England, he stepped out of bounds when he questioned London’s readiness for the Olympics. He lost additional points for flubbing the end of the somersault in Israel when he tried to explain the economic differences between Israel and the Palestinian Authority through a cultural prism (that may end up offending Mexican Americans as much as he appeared to offend Palestinians). And after sticking his landing in Poland, his campaign got into a spat with the judges — that is, the reporters following him.”
Mitt Romney will announce his running mate via an app for mobile phones.
Charlie Cook: “Romney has a chance to hit the reset button with his vice presidential pick. It’s not that his choice itself is likely to make that much difference, but it is likely to begin a new and different narrative, shifting the focus away from his finances and his critical review of the United Kingdom’s handling of preparations for the London Olympics, and that’s probably a good thing.”Explore posts in the same categories: Candidates, National, Politics