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Posts in "White House Campaigning"
January 4, 2013
The Federal Election Commission has imposed a $375,000 fine on President Barack Obama’s 2008 presidential campaign for reporting violations, Politico is reporting, citing as-yet-unpublished FEC documents.
The fine appears to stem from missing reports for close to 1,300 donations totaling more than $1.8 million, according to Politico, which obtained a copy of a conciliation agreement that was shared with the Republican National Committee, one of the original complainants. The fine is described as one of the largest-ever imposed on a presidential campaign.
Obama campaign spokeswoman Katie Hogan told Politico that at the time, the Obama team was collecting record contributions from more than 3 million donors, and that “the very few outstanding questions about the $750 million that was raised have now all been resolved.”
In other FEC news, Commissioner Cynthia Bauerly has announced that she will resign effective Feb. 1. The move is sure to increase pressure on Obama to name new members to the frequently-deadlocked FEC, which is comprised mostly of holdover commissioners.
Bauerly, a Democrat, is one of five commissioners on the six-member commission whose terms have expired. Activists opposed to unrestricted political money have become increasingly shrill in their demands that Obama name new commissioners, staging press conferences and launching a petition drive aimed at forcing a White House response.
President Barack Obama was officially re-elected on Friday with the tallying of the Electoral College vote during a joint session of Congress.
As expected, Obama and Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. won 332 electoral votes, exceeding the 270 necessary for a majority of the 538 votes. Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney and Rep. Paul D. Ryan, R-Wis., won 206 votes.
The quadrennial occasion is constitutionally mandated to certify the presidential election. But it’s largely a formality, and the only surprise may have been the scant number of members of the House and Senate who witnessed it — far fewer than four years ago, when Obama was set to become the country’s first African-American president. Full story
November 28, 2012
Mitt Romney will sit down Thursday for a private lunch at the White House with President Barack Obama.
The White House announced Wednesday that the two will meet in the private dining room for their first visit since Obama defeated the former Massachusetts governor just more than three weeks ago. The White House is not allowing press coverage.
While in town, Romney will reportedly also meet with his former running mate, Rep. Paul D. Ryan, R-Wis., who will again chair the House Budget Committee in the 113th Congress.
November 8, 2012
President Barack Obama’s campaign team took a final victory lap this afternoon, boasting of statistics in battleground states that brought their candidate a resounding victory on Tuesday.
A successful coalition of Hispanic, black and female voters delivered wins in key battleground states, Obama campaign manager Jim Messina emphasized in a conference call with reporters.
Messina declared that Obama won a “record” 71 percent of the Latino vote. He said minority turnout increased to 28 percent this cycle, while women maintained their same percentage as in 2008.
“The issues that Latino voters care about, like everyone else, are the economy, jobs, education,” Messina said. “But they watched the Republican party in the primary use them as a political football.”
November 6, 2012
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.
November 4, 2012
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 1, 2012
New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg endorsed President Barack Obama’s re-election today, highlighting the issue of climate change in the wake of Hurricane Sandy’s devastation, as well as other issues, including health care, abortion and gay rights.
“The devastation that Hurricane Sandy brought to New York City and much of the Northeast — in lost lives, lost homes and lost business — brought the stakes of Tuesday’s presidential election into sharp relief,” Bloomberg said in a column on his eponymous news service.
Bloomberg pointed to the hurricane as a sign that the world should act on the climate change issue.
“Our climate is changing. And while the increase in extreme weather we have experienced in New York City and around the world may or may not be the result of it, the risk that it might be — given this week’s devastation — should compel all elected leaders to take immediate action,” he said.
AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka said today he will head to Ohio for the final four days before the elections as part of the labor group’s get-out-the-vote strategy on behalf of President Barack Obama and downballot Democrats nationwide.
“We’re facing a dramatic choice of visions and paths forward,” Trumka said today during a conference call with reporters.
He said working-class Americans are rejecting the agenda of the Republican ticket, led by Mitt Romney and Rep. Paul Ryan (Wis.).
The AFL-CIO has mobilized 128,000 volunteers who plan to knock on 5.5 million voters’ doors in battleground states such as Ohio, he said.
“We’ll make 5.2 million phone calls,” Trumka added. “We’ll be talking to voters at their homes, on their phones, at their worksites.”
He said union volunteers and organizers are also making a difference for Democratic Senate candidates Elizabeth Warren (Mass.), Rep. Tammy Baldwin (Wis.) and Sen. Sherrod Brown (Ohio), among others.
“We also continue to monitor reports of voter suppression,” Trumka said. “We’re going to have over 2,000 people available as poll monitors that will be connected to a number of lawyers around the country. We’ll be able to have a rapid response team that will respond immediately to that.”
Trumka said he visited an early voting site in Las Vegas last week where Republican volunteers were also on the ground. He said Ohio would be a major focus of such poll watching and predicted that Obama would ultimately win the state by 3 points or 4 points.
Michael Podhorzer, the AFL-CIO’s political director, said working families, particularly those in unions, have “decisively chosen Barack Obama’s path.”
Trumka said a Romney campaign ad claiming that Jeep has planned layoffs — a claim that parent Chrysler Corp. has called erroneous — “is backfiring on him” particularly in Ohio. “It shows how desperate he is,” Trumka said.
Trumka said the labor movement has much at stake on Nov. 6. If Romney wins, he said, “I think it would be devastating for America, including the trade union movement.” He added that a Romney administration would be “geared toward corporate America and away from workers.”
No matter what happens this cycle, the union leaders said they would maintain a full-time staff in Ohio and other states so they can grow the program into future elections.
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 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 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 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.
September 18, 2012
Forget 2012. Who’s ready for the next presidential race?
Quite a few people, actually. Several potential future presidential candidates — Democrats and Republicans — visited Iowa in recent months, proving it’s never too early to start making friends in the first-in-the-nation caucus state. To wit:
- Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley headlined Iowa Sen. Tom Harkin’s annual steak fry Sunday. In previous cycles, Harkin’s event served as a proving ground for presidential prospects, including President Barack Obama in 2006.
- In June, Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick was the keynote speaker for Iowa Democrats at their Hall of Fame Celebration dinner during the state party’s convention.
- Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa will headline the Iowa Democratic Party’s Jefferson Jackson Dinner on Oct. 20.
- Several oft-mentioned presidential prospects appeared at the state party’s breakfast at the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte, N.C.: Virginia Sen. Mark Warner, Newark Mayor Cory Booker, Montana Gov. Brian Schweitzer, New York Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, Villaraigosa and O’Malley.
- Today, former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum announced he’s headed back to the Hawkeye State on Thursday for an event in Sioux City with Iowa Rep. Steve King to celebrate the 225th anniversary of the signing of the U.S. Constitution. In early August, Santorum headlined the Family Leadership Summit. Santorum narrowly won the 2012 caucuses after diligently working Hawkeye State caucus-goers for months on end.
- Earlier on Thursday, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie will headline a luncheon for King in Sioux City. Christie campaigned for Iowa Rep. Tom Latham earlier this year, according to the Congressman’s campaign staff. Latham and King face tough re-election fights this fall.
- Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal campaigned last July on behalf of Mitt Romney in Iowa — one of several trips he’s made to the state as a surrogate. He also headlined an August rally to help Iowa Legislature candidates hosted by the National Rifle Association.
- Texas Gov. Rick Perry also appeared at the Family Leadership Summit in August, along with Santorum. He’s scheduled to return to the state Oct. 27 for the 12th annual Iowa Faith & Freedom Coalition Fall Dinner.
- In July, Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell appeared as a surrogate for Romney alongside Jindal.
The trips present a dicey situation for Republicans, who do not want to appear presumptuous about the 2016 cycle if Romney wins in November. Still, given today’s highly orchestrated campaign operations, it’s hard to see how any candidate visits the state by happenstance.
September 17, 2012
President Barack Obama delivered a counter punch to GOP nominee Mitt Romney’s attacks on his China policy today, heading to manufacturing-heavy Ohio to tout a new trade action against Chinese auto parts subsidies and to blast Romney’s record on outsourcing.
“Now, I understand my opponent has been running around Ohio claiming he’s going to roll up his sleeves and take the fight to China,” Obama said. “But here’s the thing: His experience has been owning companies that were called ‘pioneers’ in the business of outsourcing jobs to countries like China.”
Obama said his administration has brought and won twice as many trade cases against China as the Bush administration did in two terms, including a case against Chinese tires that Romney criticized at the time.
“I like to walk the walk, not just talk the talk,” he said, accusing Romney of “taking advantage of unfair trade practices” while in business but talking tough with an election around the corner.