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December 21, 2014

Posts in "Presidential 2012"

May 8, 2013

Super PACs Fuel GOP Civil War

Republicans who have long pushed for campaign finance deregulation are now paying for one of its consequences: the rise of influential conservative super PACs vying for the soul of a fractured GOP.

That Republicans crushed by the 2012 election results are feuding over what went wrong and what comes next is nothing new. Less noticed has been the big money bankrolling GOP factions and the influential new super PACs and outside groups that hold the party’s future in their hands.

More than a dozen such groups have sprung up since Election Day, CQ Weekly reports this week — some promoting centrists, minorities or liberalized immigration rules, others championing conservatives at odds with “establishment” party leaders. As the story notes: Full story

January 18, 2013

Burton Leaves Super PAC for Advocacy Group

Having helped re-elect President Barack Obama with his unrestricted super PAC Priorities USA Action, former White House official Bill Burton will now join the public affairs firm Global Strategy Group.

“Bill has played a major role in two successful presidential elections, advised and represented the President of the United States, and has a deep understanding of the communications and political landscapes in Washington,” the firm’s CEO, Jon Silvan, said in a statement.

Burton will be executive vice president and managing director in Global Strategy Group’s Washington office. Before running Priorities USA Action as senior strategist, Burton was deputy press secretary at the White House. Burton’s previous posts include communications director at the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee and communications adviser to several Capitol Hill Democrats.

Having initially kept unrestricted outside groups at arm’s length, Obama reversed course and embraced super PACs last February. Priorities USA Action got off to a slow start but eventually raised $76 million, according to the Center for Responsive Politics, making it the top-grossing super PAC backing Democrats.

December 12, 2012

GOP Poll: Republican Brand Tarnished Among Hispanics

In the wake of Mitt Romney’s historically poor performance among Hispanic voters, GOP pollster Whit Ayres delivered more sobering news for his party on just how damaged the Republican brand is among that community.

According to a poll Ayres conducted in four battleground states that have high Hispanic populations, Hispanic voters said the GOP does not respect the values and concerns of their community. The GOP’s favorable rating is upside down in each state and the respondents did not equate the GOP with issues that are at the bedrock of the party. Full story

December 4, 2012

In 2012, ‘Blame Bush’ Worked Again

In 2012, Blame Bush Worked Again

Former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice leaves after her speech on the third day of the 2012 Republican National Convention. The president she worked for, George W. Bush, did not appear at the convention. (Chris Maddaloni/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Republicans insisted that President Barack Obama couldn’t win a second term by blaming George W. Bush for the lackluster economy.  The 43rd president left office nearly four years ago, and blaming high unemployment and stagnant growth wouldn’t fly with voters in 2012, they argued.

But according to at least one Republican pollster, this strategy worked exceedingly well — thanks in large part to an assist from Mitt Romney and his campaign team. Yes, the Republicans encountered challenges with voter demographics that aren’t going away, acknowledged David Winston in his post-election survey and analysis of the presidential contest. Yes, the Democrats’ voter turnout operation is significantly more advanced than the GOP’s. Full story

November 7, 2012

Marco Rubio: GOP Needs to Broaden Appeal to Minorities

Marco Rubio: GOP Needs to Broaden Appeal to Minorities

(Chris Maddaloni/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Sen. Marco Rubio (Fla.) — a top surrogate for failed GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney — said early this morning that his party needs to be more inclusive of “minority and immigrant communities who are trying to make it.”

President Barack Obama won by huge margins across the country with Hispanic and African-American voters, just days after telling the Des Moines Register that if he were to win “a big reason … is because the Republican nominee and the Republican Party have so alienated the fastest-growing demographic group in the country, the Latino community.”

Rubio, a prominent Cuban politician considered in the mix for the GOP presidential nomination in 2016, released a statement calling out his party on its failures this cycle with minority and immigrant voters, perhaps setting the stage for future elections and work on immigration reform next Congress.

“Now comes the hard part. America faces monumental challenges in putting people back to work, reducing our crushing debt and advancing our interests around the world,” Rubio said.

Full story

November 6, 2012

President Barack Obama Wins Re-Election

President Barack Obama Wins Re Election

(Chris Maddaloni/CQ Roll Call)

11:15 p.m. | President Barack Obama has defeated Mitt Romney and won re-election, capping the most expensive and divisive national campaign in memory, according to network news and Associated Press projections.

The president’s victory — built on key swing states including Ohio, Wisconsin and New Hampshire — will give him a second term in a deeply divided nation, and he will be facing a similar lineup in Congress, which has thwarted the bulk of his agenda for the past two years.

Obama’s victory was sealed by the critical state of Ohio — the focus of both candidates for months — where Romney, his running mate Rep. Paul Ryan (Wis.) and Vice President Joseph Biden all made appearances on Election Day.

 

Updated 10:57 p.m. | At Republican and Democratic election night events in Washington, D.C., Democrats seemed to be having the better time.

With President Barack Obama racking up wins in battleground states and Mitt Romney yet to put one away, the Republican National Committee party at the Ronald Reagan Building seemed to be thinning out after 10 p.m. At one point, a smattering of applause rang through the hall when Fox News announced Romney won Utah.

Attendees seemed to be clinging to any good news after announcements that Democrats won Senate seats in Massachusetts and Indiana. But they soldiered on, holding out hope despite the fact that it’s a cash bar. Full story

K Street Lobbying for Votes

Empty offices. Lobbyists scattered across the country volunteering on campaigns. This is K Street on Election Day.

Take the Podesta Group. Many of the bipartisan firm’s staffers spent the day working at phone banks from Arizona to Virginia or knocking on doors, urging voters to turn out.

“I did phones this morning, then I walked some neighborhoods as well,” said Arlington, Va., resident Josh Holly, a principal at the lobby firm.

Full story

New York Voters Compare New System to ‘Third-World Country’

Even as some New York City residents waited in lines to take buses to the polls, Mayor Michael Bloomberg said today there’s a bigger problem: the state’s new voting machines.

“The system that we now have in place, instead of you going to one place to get your card and then into a booth, you go to one place, you get a folder, a card, a ballot, then you have to go to another place to fill it out while people look over your shoulder, then you’ve got to go to another place to stick that piece of paper into a scanning machine,” Bloomberg said at a news conference.

Bloomberg said he encountered delays and confusion at his own polling place today, with many voters unsure of the traffic flow to voting machines and the extra steps required to cast a ballot.

“They were just stunned, and I kept hearing, ‘What’s this, a third-world country?’” Bloomber said. “We did have machines incidentally that worked; they worked fine. You could go in, you closed the curtain behind you, you pulled the levers.”

Full story

Chris Christie Criticizes ‘Know-Nothing Romney Staffers’

Chris Christie Criticizes Know Nothing Romney Staffers

(Chris Maddaloni/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R) ripped into campaign aides for GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney at a news conference this morning to discuss the recovery efforts from Hurricane Sandy.

Christie fired back at a story published Monday evening by the Huffington Post, which cited an unnamed Romney campaign source saying that Christie rejected a request from the Romney campaign to appear at a campaign event in Morrisville, Pa., not far from Trenton, N.J.

Christie said there was no such invitation. Moreover, he said that he spoke directly with Romney the weekend before Sandy made landfall to say that his responsibilities as governor would preclude him from making any more campaign trips. Christie had been a leading Romney surrogate.

“All this other noise, I think, are coming from know-nothing, disgruntled Romney staffers who — you know — don’t like the fact that I said nice things about the president of the United States. Well, that’s too bad for them,” Christie said.

Full story

Barack Obama Plays Basketball, Mitt Romney Barnstorms in Ohio and Pennsylvania

Barack Obama Plays Basketball, Mitt Romney Barnstorms in Ohio and Pennsylvania

GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney at a campaign rally at George Mason University in Fairfax, Va. (Chris Maddaloni/CQ Roll Call)

The campaign may have slowed down for Election Day, but it hasn’t stopped, as both presidential contenders make their last ditch pitches to voters heading to the polls today.

After casting his ballot in Bedford, Mass., the state’s former governor and GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney was en route to Ohio and Pennsylvania to urge voters to head to the polls. President Barack Obama planned to spend the day close to his Chicago home conducting television and radio interviews — many with stations in swing states.

Obama, who will participate in what has become a traditional Election Day basketball game, this morning made an unscheduled stop at a small Chicago campaign field office at the corner of Harper Avenue and Hyde Park Boulevard, according to pool reports. He was greeted by applause from his campaign aides and volunteers. He helped the get-out-the-vote effort by calling voters personally.

“This is Barack Obama. You know, the president?” he said, according to pool reports. “She was very nice to me even though she initially didn’t know who I was,” Obama said after the call ended.

Obama voted early in Chicago on Oct. 25, and the first lady cast her vote by mail on Oct. 15.

But like Romney, the vice presidential contenders — Joseph Biden and Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) — cast their ballots today.

Biden voted at Alexis I. DuPont High School in Greenville, Del., along with his wife, Dr. Jill Biden, and other family members.

“Oh, I’m feeling pretty good,” Biden said after voting. When asked if this was the last time he expected to vote for himself, the vice president said with a grin, “No, I don’t think so.”

Biden then made an unannounced visit to Cleveland, Ohio, where his plane parked next to Romney’s. According to CNN, the vice president then headed over to the GOP challenger’s plane to greet Romney.

Ryan and his wife, Janna, voted this morning at the Janesville, Wis., library. They were photographed with their young children accompanying them. Ryan was then scheduled to head to campaign stops in Virginia and Ohio before meeting up with the top of the GOP ticket for an election night rally in Boston.

Obama, according to reporters traveling with him, planned to eat dinner at his home before delivering a speech at an unspecified time from Chicago’s McCormick Place.

November 5, 2012

Andrew Cuomo Clears Way for Statewide Voting for Displaced New Yorkers

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) signed an executive order Monday allowing voters displaced by Hurricane Sandy to vote at any polling place in the state, with some limitations.

At a press conference late Monday, Cuomo announced that he would allow voters in affected areas to cast ballots by affidavit for president and statewide races at any polling place in the state. Voters using this option will not be able to vote in local races, including for Members of the House.

Unlike in New Jersey, New York voters will not be allowed to cast absentee ballots by email or fax.

Full story

Hawaii: President Barack Obama Makes Closing Argument for Mazie Hirono

Rep. Mazie Hirono (D) appears to be cruising to victory in the open-seat Senate race in Hawaii, but she’s nonetheless getting a final boost from President Barack Obama.

A new radio ad released over the weekend by the Hirono campaign features Obama expressing support for the Congresswoman, highlighting her connection to his family.

“Years ago, Mazie worked with my late grandmother.  So Mazie isn’t just a reliable partner of mine in Washington; she is part of my ohana at home in Hawaii,” Obama said. “Now, I need Mazie’s cooperative style and commitment to middle-class families in the U.S. Senate.”

Full story

November 4, 2012

Presidential Campaigns Make Closing Arguments in Sprint to Election Day

Presidential Campaigns Make Closing Arguments in Sprint to Election Day

President Barack Obama fires up supporters at a late-night rally in northern Virginia on Saturday. Obama and MItt Romney are barnstorming swing states in the last push to turnout voters on Election Day. (Chris Maddaloni/CQ Roll Call)

President Barack Obama and Mitt Romney made their closing pitches to swelled crowds of swing state supporters in the final weekend before voters deliver their verdict, while top surrogates hit the Sunday show circuit to spin their map to victory on Tuesday.

Much of the debate in the campaign’s final hours has focused on Pennsylvania, where Romney is campaigning today and where President Bill Clinton will stump for Obama on Monday. Republicans insist their last-minute play for the Keystone State is based on polling showing it’s winnable. But Democrats charge that the move is a sign of desperation from a team whose path to 270 electoral votes is narrowing.

Later today, Romney will stop in Morrisville, Pa., a suburb of Philadelphia across the river from New Jersey. The Romney team sought to expand the battleground map with a late multi-million dollar investment on Pennsylvania airwaves, vastly outspending Democrats there in the last two weeks.

“It’s a remarkable juxtaposition here that Mitt Romney will be in the suburbs of Philadelphia today, and, you know, four years ago, Barack Obama was in Indiana,” Romney senior adviser Ed Gillespie said on ABC’s “This Week.” “When you look at where this map has gone, it reflects the — the change and the direction and the momentum toward Governor Romney.  And the fact is that a state like Pennsylvania being in play, a poll out today showing Michigan a dead heat, you know, this — the map has expanded.” Full story

November 3, 2012

New Jersey to Allow Voting by Email, Fax

New Jersey Lt. Gov. Kim Guadagno issued a series of directives late today that will allow voters displaced by Hurricane Sandy to cast absentee ballots by email and fax.

Guadagno, a Republican, serves as the state’s top elections official. In one of her new directives, she instructs county clerks to accept absentee voting applications by fax or email up until 5 p.m. on Election Day and to accept ballots themselves electronically until 8 p.m. that day.

Under the directive, all voters displaced by the storm are deemed to be overseas voters under New Jersey law.

Full story

Chris Christie Says New Jersey Is Ready to Vote ‘Old School’

Chris Christie Says New Jersey Is Ready to Vote Old School

(Chris Maddaloni/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie said today that the National Guard would be on hand to help ensure a smooth Election Day Tuesday in parts of his state that remain without power after Hurricane Sandy.

“Everybody should be ready to vote on Tuesday, and in fact you can vote beforehand. I’ve order the county clerks’ offices in every county in New Jersey to be open both days of the weekend.” the Republican said. “You don’t have to wait to vote. If you’ve got a little time on your hands, you’re tired of cleaning this stuff up, go there, in person, you’ll get a ballot, you vote, hand it in and you’re done.”

“If you wait until Tuesday, there’s one of three things that’ll happen. First,  if your polling place has power, you’ll go and you’ll walk in as normal and vote. If you’re polling place doesn’t have power, we will have a truck there, set up with National Guardsmen guarding it, for you to be able to go in and vote old school, with a paper ballot,” Christie said.

Full story

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