POLITICAL WIRE’S HEADLINES – 8/23
Dr. John Willke, who was Rep. Todd Akin’s (R-MO) source for claiming “legitimate rape” doesn’t cause pregnancy, told the Daily Telegraph that he had a private meeting with Mitt Romney at his Cincinnati home last October and that Romney thanked him for his support and told him, “we agree on almost everything.”
A new SurveyUSA poll in Nevada finds Sen. Dean Heller (R-NV) leading challenger Rep. Shelley Berkley (D) by five points, 44% to 39%.
A new Gravis Marketing poll in Florida finds Mitt Romney leading President Obama in the key battleground state by three points, 48% to 45%.
In an interview with KDKA-TV, Rep. Paul Ryan dodged a question about whether abortions be available to women who are raped.
Said Ryan: “Well, look, I’m proud of my pro-life record. And I stand by my pro-life record in Congress. It’s something I’m proud of. But Mitt Romney is the top of the ticket and Mitt Romney will be president and he will set the policy of the Romney administration.”
McKay Coppins: “While neither Mitt Romney nor Barack Obama is keen to talk about it publicly, the family trees of both are rooted in polygamy, a practice that, for each candidate, has defined generations of family history.”
“It’s a connection that’s been largely ignored by the campaign chroniclers this year, without any objection from the candidates, both of whom have had to grapple with far less exotic biographical eccentricities. But while reporters may relegate the men’s polygamist roots to a footnote in the broad story of the election, the candidates’ common background is being celebrated across the diverse spectrum of American polygamy.”
Wall Street Journal: “The U.S. economy will slide into recession in fiscal 2013 if Congress fails to act to maintain current tax rates and avert deep cuts to federal spending, the Congressional Budget Office said Wednesday in likely the last non-partisan economic forecast before the November elections.”
“In a high-stakes election that could help determine the presidency and control of the U.S. Senate, a judge has ruled Nevada’s unique ‘none of the above’ ballot option is unconstitutional and has to go,” the AP reports.
The judge ruled “that because the ‘none’ option can never win, even if it gets the most votes, it essentially makes those votes not count.”
Rick Hasen: “The case has important implications — Republicans want to eliminate NOTA because they think doing so will help get more anti-Obama votes for Romney.”
Ann Romney “may not make prime time during next week’s Republican National Convention,” Dylan Byers reports.
“The three major television networks — NBC, ABC and CBS — are not airing prime-time coverage of the RNC on Monday, the opening night of the convention and the night that Ann Romney has been scheduled to deliver the keynote address. So in order to get Mitt’s wife onto television, the campaign may have to scramble and reschedule her speech.”
A new Marquette Law School poll finds President Obama leading Mitt Romney in Paul Ryan’s home state by three points, 49% to 46%.
Said pollster Charles Franklin: “The two-point shift in Romney’s direction is within the margin of error for the poll but suggests Ryan’s addition to the ticket may have slightly increased Romney’s chances in Wisconsin.”
A new Survey USA poll in Nevada finds President Obama leading Mitt Romney by two points, 47% to 45%.
Matthew Dowd: “The calls for Todd Akin’s resignation by many Republican leaders likely had nothing to do with the substance of his remarks — keep in mind, the Republican platform has a call for a ban on abortion even in cases of rape. They had nothing to do with the fact that Akin has long held out-of-the-mainstream positions on many issues and made numerous extremely conservative statements. Akin’s mistake was that by opening his mouth with crazy talk — as my nine-year old daughter says — made it much harder for Republicans to win a sure Senate seat pickup with him on the ballot.”
Bloomberg notes that since Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI) was first elected in 1998, he “hasn’t voted against any bills backed by the National Right to Life Committee. The group gives him a lifetime voting score of 100 percent.”
The group scored Rep. Todd Akin (R-MO) “at 90 percent support during one of his six terms and at 100 percent for the rest of his tenure. Akin cosponsored every abortion bill supported by Ryan in the almost 12 years the two Republicans have served together in Washington.”
Tropical Storm Isaac “is posing a potential threat to next week’s Republican National Convention in Florida,” the AP reports.
“National Hurricane Center computer models had predicted Isaac would become a hurricane over the next few days, meaning maximum winds must be at least 74 mph. Some models had the storm striking Florida, including the Tampa Bay area, after moving across Cuba or the Bahamas as early as Sunday morning.”
“Fueled with $43,000 in secret money, Rep. David Rivera (R-FL) helped run a shadow campaign that might have broken federal laws in last week’s Democratic primary against his political nemesis Joe Garcia,” the Miami Herald reports.
“As part of the effort, a political unknown named Justin Lamar Sternad campaigned against Garcia by running a sophisticated mail campaign that Rivera helped orchestrate and fund, campaign vendors said. Among the revelations: The mailers were often paid in envelopes stuffed with crisp hundred-dollar bills.”
The Tuesday night session at the Republican National Convention will be themed “We Built This!” in a dual effort to celebrate American entrepreneurship and attack President Obama’s infamous comments to business owners.
However, the Daily Dolt reports the stadium was financed primarily with public funds. “The Tampa Bay Times Forum arena, which houses the Tampa Bay Lightning, was built in 1996 as the ‘Ice Palace’ with 62% government funds. The total budget for the project was $139 million, of which public money accounted for $86 million and team money accounted for $53 million.”
Alex Burns reports the Obama and Romney campaigns “are out with a pair of ads this morning that effectively sum up where the on-air debate is at this point in the presidential cycle: it’s a battle of attacks on the Ryan budget versus attacks on Obamacare.”
Mitt Romney “claims he’s got a winner with his criticism that President Barack Obama is giving welfare recipients a free ride. Never mind that aspects of his argument against the Democrat are factually inaccurate,” the AP reports.
“Those flaws aside, Romney’s team is pressing on with the charge that the president ended a provision requiring welfare recipients to work. Romney aides insist the argument is helping them gain ground with middle-class voters anxious about the economy and independents who see Obama’s welfare changes as an indication that he is a typical liberal, not a moderate. But the campaign offers little evidence to back up those assertions.”
A new Associated Press/GfK poll shows President Obama just ahead of Mitt Romney nationally, 47% to 46%.
However, there’s a far wider gap when people were asked who they thought would win. Some 58% of adults said they expected Obama to be re-elected, while just 32% said they thought Romney would win.
Democrats already are using the incendiary comments about rape made by Rep. Todd Akin (R-MO) “as a political bludgeon” in House races across the country, the AP reports
“Those moves might only be the beginning… It’s a scene repeated in House races nationwide, as Akin’s comments on rape are playing a role in more than dozen House races in battleground states — particularly those in which the incumbents joined Akin last year in co-sponsoring a resolution that would have redefined rape as ‘forcible rape.'”
Democrats can’t believe their good fortune that Rep. Todd Akin (R-MO) is not bowing to GOP pressure to drop his U.S. Senate bid against Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-MO)
Amy Walter: “The importance of this Senate seat to the GOP’s chances of taking control of the Senate cannot be underestimated. It is not impossible for Republicans to pick up the four seats (three, if Romney wins the White House) needed for a majority without Missouri. But it will be a long, hard slog.”
“If McCaskill wins, Republicans would need to win four of the five most vulnerable Democratic-held seats – Nebraska, North Dakota, Wisconsin, Virginia and Montana – while not losing any of their own vulnerable seats, such as Massachusetts, Maine, Nevada or Indiana. At this point, Republicans are favored to win Nebraska while Democrats have the edge in Maine.”
“With Akin sticking to his bid, if Republicans stick by their commitment not to help or fund him, they are essentially writing off a path to the majority. That is pretty astounding.”
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