POLITICAL WIRE’S HEADLINES – 8/30

Romney Readies Blitz for Florida Hispanics

McKay Coppins: “The effort will include a dramatic increase in Spanish-language ad spending, an aggressive bilingual mail program geared toward early voter turnout, and an ambitious ground game led by 13 full-time field staffers dedicated solely to courting Hispanics — more, the aide claimed, than ‘any other Republican presidential campaign in history.’ The stakes are high: Swings of a few percentage points among Hispanic voters in Florida, as in other crucial states, could easily swing the election.”

 

Mixed Views of Ryan

A new Gallup poll finds Americans have mixed views of Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI), who will be confirmed as the GOP’s vice presidential nominee tonight, with 38% saying their opinion is favorable, and 36% saying it is unfavorable.

 

Convention Helps Romney Pull Even with Obama

Reuters/Ipsos poll tracking poll finds Mitt Romney getting a boost from his party’s nominating convention in Tampa this week.

Romney and President Obama are deadlocked among likely voters at 43% each. That was an improvement for Romney from Obama’s two-point lead on Tuesday and four-point lead on Monday.

Said pollster Julia Clark: “There is movement toward Romney, which is traditional for a convention. It’s small and the change is incremental, but it’s been moving the last couple of days.”

 

Romney’s Sister Says He Won’t Change Abortion Law

Mitt Romney’s eldest sister, who has backed prominent Democrats for office, had some reassuring words for women concerned about the Republican Party’s hard line on abortion,National Journal reports.

Said Jane Romney: “He’s not going to be touching any of that. It’s not his focus.”

Wonk Wire: How presidents shape abortion rights.

 

Perry Already Looking to 2016

Texas Gov. Rick Perry told NBC News he “absolutely” would consider another presidential run.

Said Perry: “Oh absolutely. There’s a long time until 2016 and a lot of good things can happen.”

 

Obama’s Lead Narrows in Nevada

A new Public Policy Polling survey in Nevada finds President Obama with a small lead over Mitt Romney, 50% to 47%.

In late March Obama led by 8 points, in early June it was down to 6 points, and now it’s just 3 points.

 

Romney Holds Convention Party on Cayman Islands Yacht

Mitt Romney’s presidential campaign toasted its top donors today aboard a 150-foot yacht flying the flag of the Cayman Islands, ABC News reports.

“The exclusive event, hosted by a Florida developer on his yacht ‘Cracker Bay,’ was one of a dozen exclusive events meant to nurture those who have raised more than $1 million for Romney’s bid.”

 

An Anatomy Lesson for Republicans

Stephen Colbert teaches Republicans about the female body.

See more…

 

GOP Still Working to Push Akin Out

Sen. Roy Blunt (R-MO) said that he believes Rep. Todd Akin (R) will ultimately decide to withdraw his U.S. Senate bid in Missouri, The Hill reports.

Said Blunt: “I didn’t say I was confident … I’m hopeful he will and I believe he will. He’s an engineer, he’s a quantitative guy. I think at some point you have to add up the columns here, and my belief is that by anyway you add them up, they don’t add up.”

Meanwhile, John Fund reports “behind-the-scenes efforts to figure out a way to have Akin exit from the Senate race before the final deadline of September 25 continue unabated.”

 

Author of Voter ID Law Admits to Racist Email

South Carolina state Rep. Alan Clemmons (R), the author of a voter ID law considered discriminatory by the Justice Department, testified in federal court that, “while crafting the bill, he had responded favorably to a friend’s racist email in support of the measure,”McClatchy reports.

An email from Ed Koziol said that if the legislature offered a reward for voter identification cards, “it would be like a swarm of bees going after a watermelon.”

Clemmons responded: “Amen, Ed, thank you for your support.”

However, Clemmons testified that he did not remember giving out packets of peanuts with cards that said “Stop Obama’s nutty agenda and support voter ID.”

 

Murphy Has Edge in Close Connecticut Senate Race

A new Public Policy Polling survey in Connecticut finds Rep. Chris Murphy (D-CT) just ahead of Linda McMahon (R) in the U.S. Senate race, 48% to 44%.

The poll confirms results of a Quinnipiac poll yesterday that also found this race unexpectedly close.

Meanwhile, President Obama leads Mitt Romney in the presidential race by 13 points, 53% to 40%.

 

Two People Ejected from Convention

CNN reports that two people were removed from the Republican National Convention yesterday after they threw nuts at an African-American CNN camera operator and said, “This is how we feed animals.”

 

How Mitt Romney Really Made Money

Matt Taibbi: “But what most voters don’t know is the way Mitt Romney actually made his fortune: by borrowing vast sums of money that other people were forced to pay back. This is the plain, stark reality that has somehow eluded America’s top political journalists for two consecutive presidential campaigns: Mitt Romney is one of the greatest and most irresponsible debt creators of all time. In the past few decades, in fact, Romney has piled more debt onto more unsuspecting companies, written more gigantic checks that other people have to cover, than perhaps all but a handful of people on planet Earth.”

“By making debt the centerpiece of his campaign, Romney was making a calculated bluff of historic dimensions – placing a massive all-in bet on the rank incompetence of the American press corps. The result has been a brilliant comedy: A man makes a $250 million fortune loading up companies with debt and then extracting million-dollar fees from those same companies, in exchange for the generous service of telling them who needs to be fired in order to finance the debt payments he saddled them with in the first place…”

“If Romney pulls off this whopper, you’ll have to tip your hat to him: No one in history has ever successfully run for president riding this big of a lie. It’s almost enough to make you think he really is qualified for the White House.”

 

How Romney Decided to Talk About Mormonism

McKay Coppins: “Since Romney announced his second presidential campaign 15 months ago, his strategy in dealing with questions about his Mormon faith could be boiled down to three steps: duck, dodge, and weave. But the past two weeks, the candidate and his team of advisers have made a dramatic about-face in their approach to the religion question… an unexpected series of moves that comprise, as one campaign adviser conceded, ‘a total 180.'”

“The official explanation for the sudden shift in strategy is that the campaign was always waiting for Tampa — where they would have tight control over the choreography and the narrative — to start telling Mitt’s Mormon story… But the decision to start owning his religion on the campaign trail was more complicated — and personal — than a mere convention course correction.”

Ross Douthat: “One useful way to think about Mormon culture is to envision an outpost of old-fashioned Yankees dropped down in the Mountain West.”

 

20% of Voters Not Paying Attention

A new CBS News poll finds that 45% of voters are paying a lot of attention to the campaign, 34% say they are at least paying some attention, but 20% say they are tuning out the election almost entirely.

 

Bain Capital Goes Unmentioned

Huffington Post: “Among all the rhetoric and exultant language on the first day of the 2012 Republican Convention, one phrase was notably absent: Bain Capital.”

“Not a single speaker was heard mentioning the name of the private equity firm founded by the Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney… It shows how toxic Bain has become for the former Massachusetts governor after sustaining attacks both from fellow Republicans during a vicious primary race and more recently from President Barack Obama’s campaign, which highlighted Bain’s investment in companies that sent American jobs overseas.”

 

Obama Launches Preemptive Strike on Ryan

As Rep. Paul Ryan prepares to introduce himself to the nation in a prime-time speech at the Republican convention tonight, the Obama campaign offers their own take on Mitt Romney’s vice presidential running mate.

Politico: “The video harkens back to the newsreel days of old, using grainy, black-and-white footage to try and portray the GOP vice presidential nominee as a throwback to a bygone era.”

See more…

 

Is Clint Eastwood the Mystery Speaker?

“A well-placed Republican source tells Townhall that Oscar-winning director and actor Clint Eastwood will travel to Tampa, Florida to attend Mitt Romney’s nominating convention this week… Our source — who spoke on the condition of anonymity — could not confirm if Eastwood is, in fact, the intriguing ‘to-be-announced’ speaker, but stated unequivocally that the Dirty Harry star will arrive in Florida late on Wednesday or early on Thursday, and will return to southern California on Friday.”

 

GOP Bases Convention on a Grammatical Error

With the Republican convention seemingly crafted around President Obama’s infamous “you didn’t build that,” the Washington Post fact-checkers reevaluated their take on the line which they say was merely a grammatical error by the president.

“We originally gave Romney’s use of the phrase Three Pinocchios… However, in light of the GOP’s repeated misuse of this Obama quote in speech after speech, we feel compelled to increase the Pinocchio rating to Four. (Warning to Democrats: You will get the same scrutiny of out-of-context Romney quotes next week. It’s really a silly thing on which to base a campaign.)”

 

Navy SEAL Account Differs from Obama Administration

The AP obtained an early copy of No Easy Day: The Firsthand Account of the Mission That Killed Osama Bin Laden, a firsthand account of the Navy SEAL raid that killed the terrorist leader and notes it “contradicts previous accounts by administration officials, raising questions as to whether the terror mastermind presented a clear threat when SEALs first fired upon him.”

The author “also writes disparagingly that none of the SEALs were fans of U.S. President Barack Obama and knew that his administration would take credit for ordering the May 2011 raid. One of the SEALs said after the mission that they had just gotten Obama re-elected by carrying out the raid.”

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