POLITICAL WIRE’S HEADLINES – 8/17

Half Billion and Counting

First Read: “Campaign spending on radio and television advertising has crossed the half-billion-dollar mark. With the $37 million being spent this week on political advertising — including the campaigns and the Super PACs that support them — the grand total for this campaign is now more than $512 million, about the amount spent on advertising in the entire 2008 general election, according to an NBC News/Smart Media Group Delta analysis.”

“Almost half of that money is coming from outside groups, like Super PACs — and the vast majority of the outside money is going to support presumptive Republican nominee Mitt Romney. Outside groups have spent a whopping $238 million on the 2012 general-election campaign. And about $9 out of every $10 – in total, $205 million – spent by an outside group is going to support Romney or hammer President Obama.”

Romney Claims He’s Paid At Least 13% Taxes

Mitt Romney told reporters today that he’s paid an income tax rate of at least 13% for each of the last 10 years, providing more detail than ever on his recent payments.

Obama Voter Registration Effort Falters

Boston Globe analysis of voter registration data in swing states reveals scant evidence that the massive undertaking by President Obama’s campaign is yielding much fresh support for the incumbent.”

“In stark contrast to 2008, when a strong partisan tailwind propelled Democratic voter registration to record levels, this year Republican and independent gains are far outpacing those of Democrats.”

Ex-Officers Attack Obama Over National Security Leaks

A group of former special operations and C.I.A. officers started a campaign accusing President Obama of “recklessly leaking information about the raid that killed Osama bin Laden and other security matters to gain political advantage,” the New York Times reports.

“The Obama campaign immediately compared the effort to the Swift Boat advertisements against Senator John Kerry in the 2004 presidential campaign. Like that effort, which attacked Mr. Kerry’s military record in Vietnam, the Opsec site goes after Mr. Obama’s strong points on national security — specifically his role in overseeing the military-Central Intelligence Agency raid that killed Bin Laden, the founder of Al Qaeda, in May 2011.”

Romney Gains in Pennsylvania

A new Franklin & Marshall College poll finds President Obama leading Mitt Romney by six points, 44% to 38%.

In June, Obama led by 12 points in the poll.

Romney Campaign Unsure When Budget Would Balance

Romney senior adviser Ed Gillespie told CNN that he did not know when his candidate would balance the federal budget, the day after Rep. Paul Ryan said the campaign had not yet “run the numbers.”

In June, Romney claimed he could balance the federal budget in 8 to 10 years but offered few details.  (JUST TRUST HIM! fvm)

Quote of the Day

“The president, I’m told, is talking about Medicare today. We want this debate, we need this debate, and we will win this debate.”

— Rep. Paul Ryan, quoted by NBC News, on what is quickly becoming a key issue going into the November election.

McCotter Should Have Been Disqualified in 2010

Former Rep. Thaddeus McCotter (R-MI) — who could not qualify for the Republican primary ballot and ultimately left Congress — had less than the minimum 1,000 petition signatures from registered voters to make the 2010 ballot, a Gongwer News Serviceanalysis of those petitions shows.

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