- Franken Maintains Lead in Minnesota
- Senator's Refusal to Resign Changed South Dakota Politics
- Political Ads Flood the Airwaves
- Bonus Quote of the Day
- Rubio Changes Tune on Immigration
Posts in "Presidential 2012"
October 16, 2012
Speaker John Boehner will be in Iowa campaigning for GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney on Wednesday, and he also plans to fundraise for two House challengers while he’s in the state.
Ben Lange and John Archer, who are running against Democratic incumbents in Iowa’s 1st and 2nd districts, respectively, will get a boost from the Speaker.
The Ohio Republican will start the day with a fundraising luncheon in Davenport for Archer, a lawyer who is running against Rep. Dave Loebsack (D). The event will be held at the Davenport Country Club, and donations range from $250 to $1,000 a person, according to the Quad-City Times. Full story
October 15, 2012
Campaigns, committees and outside groups are flooding the airwaves with negative television ads. A common hit to those who have held public office is a vote to increase one’s own salary.
American Action Network, a Republican super PAC, announced this morning that it was targeting four House races — California’s 10th, Minnesota’s 8th, New Hampshire’s 1st and New York’s 27th. The new ads released will have $5 million behind them, and more money and ads are expected to come in the closing weeks.
But it was a rare positive ad that best cut through the clutter today:
North Dakota Senate
This new statewide broadcast ad, which features former state Attorney General Heidi Heitkamp (D) swinging away at a batting cage, created angst among female members of the Washington press corps who participate in the annual Congressional Women’s Softball Game.
The game annually pits female reporters against female Members. The Member roster is postured to lose its best hitter in Rep. Laura Richardson (D-Calif.), who was recently named Roll Call’s most endangered incumbent. If Heitkamp is able to pull out her Tossup race against Rep. Rick Berg (R), it is a safe bet to assume that two of her first congratulatory calls will be coming from Member team captains Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-Fla.) and Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.) looking to recruit her for their team.
Wasserman Schultz, who does double duty as chairwoman of the Democratic National Committee, jokingly tweeted on the ad, “I cannot confirm nor deny that batting average is a question on our candidate recruitment forms!”
October 13, 2012
Bruce Springsteen is set to team up with President Bill Clinton to campaign for President Barack Obama in Parma, Ohio, on Thursday.
Even as October Springsteen appearances have become something of a Democratic tradition since 2004, this was not exactly an expected development. Back in February, Springsteen had expressed a reluctance to campaign and disappointment with some of Obama’s economic policies.
Up until this announcement, Springsteen had been largely quiet about the election. He rarely, if ever, mentioned Obama in recent appearances on his current world tour.
The pairing with Clinton is further evidence that wounds from the 2008 primary have healed. Then-Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton was forced to cease playing “The Rising” at campaign stops because Springsteen endorsed Obama during one of the most heated moments of that campaign — the lead-up to the Pennsylvania primary.
In the past, Springsteen campaign appearances are as much about organizational strategy as they are about boosting excitement. As Springsteen plays, campaign workers use the opportunity to campaign, register voters and to collect contact information. However, Ohio’s voter registration deadline has passed.
October 12, 2012
Denver police say that a shot was fired into a busy Barack Obama field office earlier this afternoon, according to an account in the Denver Post.
People were inside the office at the time of the incident, but no one was hurt, per a police statement issued to the Post. The shot was fired around 3 p.m. local time, and police have a “possible vehicle of interest” but are not releasing further details pending an ongoing investigation.
The Obama campaign declined to comment when contacted by Roll Call and referred inquiries to the Denver Police Department.
October 11, 2012
Democrat Rob Zerban, who is challenging vice presidential nominee Paul Ryan (R) in Wisconsin’s 1st district, will travel to Kentucky today for the vice presidential debate, his campaign announced.
Ryan, who is running simultaneously for the House and the White House, is still heavily favored in the race. But Zerban has proven to be a formidable candidate, outraising the well-funded Ryan in the third quarter by more than $200,000, bolstered by the support of liberal groups such as former Sen. Russ Feingold’s Progressives United and the Progressive Change Campaign Committee. As Roll Call recently reported, Ryan has made ad reservations in the state to boost his re-election cause.
Roll Call rates this race as Safe Republican.
October 9, 2012
A cascade of poll numbers confirms Mitt Romney’s big bounce after Wednesday’s debate with President Barack Obama, putting him ahead in several national and state polls and closing the gaps in swing states where he had trailed.
However, there are signs that Friday’s surprising September jobs report may help Obama stanch the bleeding.
Gallup, which unveiled its seven-day likely voter tracker for the first time today, showed Romney with a 49 percent to 47 percent advantage, while Obama led 49 percent to 46 percent among registered voters. This and other recently released polls confirmed an enthusiasm gap that favors the GOP. Gallup did have one bright spot for Obama: Its three-day job approval for the president hit a recent high of 53 percent among “all adults,” possibly aided by Friday’s unexpectedly low 7.8 percent unemployment rate.
Still, polling generally continues to show a strong bounce for Romney, the Republican presidential nominee — most pronounced in Monday’s Pew poll that showed the former Massachusetts governor swinging to a 4-point lead from an 8-point deficit after the debate. Today, Romney led Obama nationally in the RealClearPolitics.com average for the first time in the 2012 campaign.
October 8, 2012
President Barack Obama isn’t the only Democrat running this year that’s benefiting from appearances by Bill Clinton.
For the past month, since his well-received speech at the Democratic National Convention, the former president has hit the campaign trail for Obama. He has said his top goal is returning Obama to the White House, but he’s also finding time in the final push before Election Day for some downballot Democrats who also find themselves in close races and could use the boost Clinton can provide. Full story
Mitt Romney indicted President Barack Obama’s foreign policy today in a speech delivered at the Virginia Military Institute.
The Republican presidential nominee repeatedly described aspects of Obama’s foreign policy as “failed.” But Romney’s critique was far less bellicose than his previous forays into foreign policy and was delivered in a statesman-like tone and with a formal, presidential backdrop on VMI’s Lexington, Va., campus as opposed to a campaign atmosphere.
“It is our responsibility and the responsibility of the president to use America’s greatest power to shape history, not to lead from behind, leaving our destiny at the mercy of events,” Romney said. “Unfortunately, that’s exactly where we find ourselves in the Middle East under President Obama.”
“I know the president hopes for a safer, freer and more prosperous Middle East, allied with us,” Romney also said. “I share this hope. But hope is not a strategy.”
October 7, 2012
Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.) unveiled a new ad this weekend that makes reference to the comments that turned her challenger, GOP Rep. Todd Akin, into an underdog.
The ad tackles Akin’s August comments that in cases of “legitimate rape,” a woman’s body can prevent pregnancy. But McCaskill goes further by attempting to link Akin’s erroneous statements to his position against emergency contraception.
The ad notes the Missouri Democrat’s work as a prosecutor with victims of sexual violence. McCaskill worked as a prosecutor before becoming state auditor in 1999.
“It’s why Claire understands that survivors of rape deserve the option of emergency contraception, whether they accept it or not,” the ad says. “But Todd Akin opposes emergency contraception for victims of rape and incest. So it’s more than what Todd Akin said, it’s what he believes.”
October 6, 2012
President Barack Obama’s campaign manager Jim Messina announced this morning in an email to supporters that the campaign and Democratic National Committee raised $181 million in September.
According to The Washington Post, it is the best month of the campaign for Obama and the Democrats, but the number “falls just shy of the all-time record of $193 million” that Obama set in September 2008.
Mitt Romney has yet to release his numbers.
October 4, 2012
People seem to really love Big Bird.
That’s one of the top takeaways from TiVo’s analysis of the “Top Moments” of Wednesday night’s presidential debate. Republican nominee Mitt Romney’s comments on eliminating federal funding for public broadcasting was, in essence, the most rewound and replayed moment of the entire debate by users of the digital recording devices, the company said today.
Twitter reported similar interest in Big Bird and PBS on the social media platform.
“The evening’s real breakout star was a certain tall yellow Muppet. There were more than a quarter million Tweets mentioning Big Bird, following Governor Romney’s statement that he wants to cut Federal funding for PBS, the Muppet characters’ TV channel, even despite his stated fondness for the Sesame Street character,” a blog post from Twitter said.
Asked by moderator Jim Lehrer of the “PBS NewsHour” to identify federal programs that he would cut to help reduce the federal budget deficit, Romney first said he would repeal the 2010 health care overhaul but then turned to funding for public broadcasting.
“I’m sorry, Jim. I’m going to stop the subsidy to PBS. I’m going to stop other things. I like PBS. I love Big Bird. I actually like you, too,” Romney said to Lehrer. “But I’m not going to — I’m not going to keep on spending money on things to borrow money from China to pay for it.”
President Barack Obama’s budget request calls for an advance appropriation of $445 million for the Corporation for Public Broadcasting for fiscal 2015. The corporation is supporting that level of funding. It has been funded through a two-year advance appropriation since 1976, in an effort that the corporation’s leadership says helps ensure editorial independence of Lehrer and others.
The Sesame Workshop, which produces the “Sesame Street” program featuring the lovable giant yellow bird responded with a statement today.
“‘Sesame Street’ has been a proud partner of PBS for 43 years, and is dependent on PBS to distribute our commercial-free educational programming to all children in the United States. Sesame Workshop is a nonpartisan, nonprofit, educational organization,” the group said. “We do not comment on campaigns, but we’re happy we can all agree that everyone likes Big Bird.”
Sesame Workshop, previously called the Children’s Television Workshop, is a charitable nonprofit organized as a tax-exempt 501(c)(3) organization.
TiVo reported the Big Bird moment took the top prize among viewers on CNN, Fox News and NBC.
Other leading moments included Romney’s explanation of his position on Medicare benefits for upper-income beneficiaries and an exchange between Romney and Obama regarding Romney’s tax proposals.
October 3, 2012
Republican vice presidential nominee Paul Ryan sent an email soliciting donations from conservatives as he called on Attorney General Eric Holder to resign. The message was sent to a listserv titled ConservativeIntel.com and sponsored by Romney Victory Inc.
Under the subject line “Fast and Furious,” Ryan wrote that Holder needed “to step aside.” The email then linked to a donation page of mittforpresident.com.
“He’s misled Congress, and entirely botched the investigation of the Operation Fast and Furious debacle — yet he still leads our nation’s Justice Department,” Ryan wrote. “It’s just another example of the Obama Administration’s transparent hypocrisy that despite the tragic and very human toll of this scandal, Attorney General Holder refuses to resign — and President Obama refuses to remove him.”
October 2, 2012
Romney told the Denver Post that he would not take administrative action to invalidate work permits issued to undocumented immigrants as part of the Obama administration’s deferred action policy, which allows people who entered the United States illegally when they were young to work legally in the country under certain conditions.
“The people who have received the special visa that the president has put in place, which is a two-year visa, should expect that the visa would continue to be valid. I’m not going to take something that they’ve purchased,” Romney told the newspaper. “Before those visas have expired we will have the full immigration reform plan that I’ve proposed.”
October 1, 2012
It is a busy week on the campaign trail for Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.). Except this time around, he is hitting the trail in support of others in his party.
On Monday, he endorsed former WWE CEO Linda McMahon in Danbury, Conn., for her Senate bid to replace McCain’s friend, retiring Sen. Joe Lieberman (I), according to the Hartford Courant. McMahon faces Rep. Christopher Murphy in a race that Roll Call rates as Leans Democratic.
Today and Wednesday, McCain will campaign across Florida on behalf of Mitt Romney’s presidential campaign. That tour will include mostly veterans events in Pensacola, Niceville, Panama City and Tallahassee.
The Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee is going up with a $526,000 weeklong ad buy in support of Arizona Senate nominee Richard Carmona.
The money is set to cover this week only and is part of the first independent expenditure the committee has made in the race.
Carmona, a former surgeon general, faces Rep. Jeff Flake (R) in what has become a competitive race. The Washington Post first reported the news of the DSCC’s move.
Carmona has spent heavily on advertising in September in an effort to define himself in a positive light. According to a recent Carmona internal poll, he has narrowed the race’s margin.
But the next couple of weeks are crucial to the trajectory of this race. Early voting is only nine days away, and Flake just went up with negative advertising against Carmona. Outside groups are also expected to jump into the race to support Flake. Politicos are watching closely to see how Carmona holds up against the barrage.