POLITICAL WIRE’S HEADLINES – 8/27

Huckabee Rallies Support for Akin

Mike Huckabee rallied hundreds of Southern Baptists on a conference call in support of Rep. Todd Akin (R-MO), offering advice about how they can help the embattled Missouri Senate candidate stay in the race, Politico reports.

Said Huckabee: “This could be a Mount Carmel moment. You know, you bring your gods. We’ll bring ours. We’ll see whose God answers the prayers and brings fire from heaven. That’s kind of where I’m praying: that there will be fire from heaven, and we’ll see it clearly, and everyone else will to.”

Paul Refused to Endorse Romney

Rep. Ron Paul (R-TX) told the New York Times that GOP convention planners had offered him an opportunity to speak before delegates under two conditions: that he deliver remarks vetted by the Romney campaign, and that he give a full-fledged endorsement of Mr. Romney. He declined.

Said Paul: “It wouldn’t be my speech. That would undo everything I’ve done in the last 30 years. I don’t fully endorse him for president.”

Charles Mahtesian: “Paul’s refusal to play ball stands in contrast to his son, Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul, who at some personal political cost has endorsed Mitt Romney’s bid — and has a speaking slot.”

Bonus Quote of the Day

“When you have a party that says coded things, that makes totally false ads up, falsely saying the president is trying to undo welfare reform, I think you’re going to see a lot of heavily and not-so-subtly coded messages from the Romney-Ryan campaign.”

— Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley (D), in an interview on CNN’s State of the Union, accusing the Romney campaign of playing dog whistle politics.

Romney Adopts a Harder Message

New York Times: “Having survived a summer of attacks but still trailing the president narrowly in most national polls, Mr. Romney’s campaign remains focused intently on the economy as the issue that can defeat Mr. Obama. But in a marked change, Mr. Romney has added a harder edge to a message that for most of this year was focused on his business and job-creation credentials, injecting volatile cultural themes into the race.”

“The strategic shift in the campaign message that has been unfolding in recent weeks reflects a conclusion among Mr. Romney’s advisers that disappointment with Mr. Obama’s economic stewardship is not sufficient to propel Mr. Romney to victory on its own.”

Ohio is a Dead Heat

A new Columbus Dispatch poll in Ohio finds the presidential race a dead heat with President Obama and Mitt Romney each at 45%.

Caveat: The poll is a mail-in survey.

Both Sides Agree on Shape of Race

“The Obama and Romney campaigns spend all day beating the pulp out of each other over policy differences, big and small. But when it comes to the political landscape and the dynamics of who prevails, the two sides agree on an awful lot,” Politico reports.

“Both sides predict the race will remain tied in the national polls — and in the 10 states that matter most — until three weeks before Election Day, if not longer. Both think the race will finish 51-49, or closer. But both believe that if one candidate could win bigger — and reach a tipping point that provides a real cushion — it would be Mitt Romney, pulling away at the very end because he crossed the plausibility threshold after the third and final debate.”

Quote of the Day

“I don’t think about it. I’m not motivated by it. It takes an incredible amount of discipline and ambition. I’m not there yet in my life.”

— Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, in a Meet the Press interview, on whether he’ll run for president in the future.

The Tampa Bay Times also has a very interesting interview with Bush.

Democrats “Preview” GOP Convention

The DNC released a movie-style preview called The Do-Over which makes mocks Republicans for trying to remake Mitt Romney’s image at their convention.

It’s rated “N” for “Not Gonna Work.”

See more…

Charlie Crist Endorses Obama

Former Florida Gov. Charlie Crist, elected as a Republican but now an independent, used a Tampa Bay Times op-ed to endorse President Obama:

“Pundits looking to reduce something as big as a statewide election to a single photograph have blamed the result of my 2010 campaign for U.S. Senate on my greeting of President Obama. I didn’t stand with our president because of what it could mean politically; I did it because uniting to recover from the worst financial crisis of our lifetimes was more important than party affiliation. I stood with our nation’s leader because it was right for my state.”

“President Obama has a strong record of doing what is best for America and Florida, and he built it by spending more time worrying about what his decisions would mean for the people than for his political fortunes. That’s what makes him the right leader for our times, and that’s why I’m proud to stand with him today.”

Presidential Race Remains Tight

A new Tarrance Group poll shows President Obama leading Mitt Romney by just one point nationally, 47% to 46%, with another 7% still undecided.

Brown Leads in Massachusetts

A new Kimball Political Consulting poll in Massachusetts finds Sen. Scott Brown (R-MA) leading Elizabeth Warren (D) in the U.S. Senate race by six points, 43% to 49%.

The result is similar to a PPP poll released earlier this week.

RNC Cancels First Day of Convention

RNC Chairman Reince Priebus announced that the GOP would cancel Monday’s convention events due to Tropical Storm Isaac, The Hill reports.

“Immediately following Priebus’s announcement, the White House said Vice President Joe Biden had postponed his entire trip to Florida scheduled next week.”

Just Seven States

The AP says the presidential race is coming down to seven states: Colorado, Florida, Iowa, Ohio, Nevada, New Hampshire and Virginia, which offer a combined 85 electoral votes.

“The analysis, which also took into account the strength of a candidate’s on-the-ground organization and travel schedules, found that if the election were held today, Obama would have 19 states and the District of Columbia, offering 247 votes, solidly in his column or leaning his way, while Republican Romney would have 24 states with 206 votes.”

Mysterious Mitt

The Economist absolutely rips Mitt Romney.

“All politicians flip-flop from time to time; but Mr Romney could win an Olympic medal in it… And that is a pity, because this newspaper finds much to like in the history of this uncharismatic but dogged man, from his obvious business acumen to the way he worked across the political aisle as governor to get health reform passed and the state budget deficit down. We share many of his views about the excessive growth of regulation and of the state in general in America, and the effect that this has on investment, productivity and growth. After four years of soaring oratory and intermittent reforms, why not bring in a more businesslike figure who might start fixing the problems with America’s finances?”

“But competence is worthless without direction and, frankly, character. Would that Candidate Romney had indeed presented himself as a solid chief executive who got things done. Instead he has appeared as a fawning PR man, apparently willing to do or say just about anything to get elected. In some areas, notably social policy and foreign affairs, the result is that he is now committed to needlessly extreme or dangerous courses that he may not actually believe in but will find hard to drop; in others, especially to do with the economy, the lack of details means that some attractive-sounding headline policies prove meaningless (and possibly dangerous) on closer inspection. Behind all this sits the worrying idea of a man who does not really know his own mind.”

Priebus Predicts Convention Bump for Romney

RNC Chairman Reince Priebus predicted a “visible” boost for Mitt Romney after the GOP convention next week, The Hill reports.

Said Priebus: “I think we are going to get a bump; I think we have a better opportunity for the bump as a party, as a challenging party… I can’t give you a scope, but I can tell you I think it’s going to be real and it’s going to be visible, but I don’t know what it will end up being.”

Obama Says Debates Could Shake Up Race

President Obama told the AP that the moment that could finally shake up a close president race “could come in the three debates Obama and Romney hold in October. The president said Romney could run into trouble because of arguments that are not backed up by facts, citing a widely debunked television ad campaign in which Romney accuses Obama of gutting the work requirement in the federal welfare law.”

Said Obama: “It will be a little tougher to defend face-to-face.”

Bonus Quote of the Day

“I can’t speak to Governor Romney’s motivations. What I can say is that he has signed up for positions, extreme positions, that are very consistent with positions that a number of House Republicans have taken. And whether he actually believes in those or not, I have no doubt that he would carry forward some of the things that he’s talked about.”

— President Obama in an interview with the Associated Press.

The Romney Bunch

A new DNC video celebrates the marriage of Mitt Romney, Paul Ryan and other Republicans to the theme song of The Brady Bunch.

See more…

The Anti-Science House Science Committee

“Aside from the sheer biological ludicrousness of Todd Akin’s ideas on female physiology, one unsettling subplot to the debacle is his presence on the House of Committee on Science, Space and Technology,” Wired reports.

“That’s right: A man who, to put it gently, ignores what science tells us about how babies are made, helps shape the future of science in America. It would be shocking, but for the fact that many of the committee’s GOP members have spent the last several years displaying comparable contempt for climate science… But in both cases, there exists a factual proposition that can be studied through observation and hypothesis-testing — and it’s the scientific method itself that’s ultimately under attack in the House science committee.”

Quote of the Day

“I can’t say I’m looking forward to heading to Tampa. I mean, you know it’s hot and humid down in August in Tampa. I mean, you imagine me down there? You know they’re gonna have to put me in a freezer for a couple days to make sure I’m in the right situation when I get up on that stage. So I hope they have one of those freezers where they hang meat.”

— New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R), quoted by the Philadelphia Inquirer, on his keynote speech at the Republican convention.

Obama Leads Big in Pennsylvania

A new Philadelphia Inquirer poll in Pennsylvania finds President Obama with a big lead over Mitt Romney, 51% to 42%.

Akin Collapses in Missouri

A new Mason-Dixon poll in Missouri finds Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-MO) now significantly ahead of Rep. Todd Akin (R-MO) in the U.S. Senate race, 50% to 41%.

In the presidential race, Mitt Romney leads President Obama, 50% to 43%.

Obama Hits Romney on Birther Joke

The Obama campaign hammers Mitt Romney in a short new video: “American doesn’t need a birther-in-chief.”

See more…

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