Roll Call: Latest News on Capitol Hill, Congress, Politics and Elections
September 17, 2014

August 30, 2012

Paul Ryan Does Job He Was Hired to Do

Paul Ryan Does Job He Was Hired to Do

(Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

TAMPA, Fla. — Four years ago, a previously unknown Alaska governor surprised and electrified a Republican convention that was yearning for something to get excited about as a historic November defeat loomed.

This time around, the GOP knew what it was getting in Paul Ryan, the party’s 2012 vice presidential nominee — and it was already excited about him. But the unanswered question was whether this relatively young, 42-year-old Wisconsinite making his debut on the national stage would project the aura of a president and instill the kind of confidence among independents, undecided swing voters and soft partisans to boost Mitt Romney’s case against President Barack Obama.

The main event for Romney (and the most important speech of his political career, so far) is still tonight, when he will formally accept the Republican presidential nomination. But Wednesday evening was important for the former Massachusetts governor nonetheless, as Ryan’s performance would either validate or cast doubt on his first major presidential decision.

The House Budget chairman didn’t deliver the stem-winder that Sarah Palin served up to convention delegates in St. Paul, Minn., in 2008. But in the professorial, plain-language tone that has been the hallmark of his speeches on the House floor and at think tanks across Washington, D.C., for years as he pushed his sometimes-controversial fiscal reforms, he dissected Obama’s record with humor and precision — and in a way that might appeal to the geographic and demographic voting blocs Romney needs to beat Obama.

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Arizona: Jeff Flake Talks Senate Race

Arizona: Jeff Flake Talks Senate Race

(Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

TAMPA, Fla. — On the first day of the general election campaign for Arizona’s open Senate seat, GOP nominee Rep. Jeff Flake popped up on the floor of the Republic National Convention, greeting well-wishers and discussing the state of his race.

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California: John Garamendi Leads in 3rd District Democratic Poll

California: John Garamendi Leads in 3rd District Democratic Poll

(Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

California Rep. John Garamendi (D) led his Republican challenger by 15 points in a new poll conducted for a Democratic-aligned super PAC.

Garamendi led Colusa County Supervisor Kim Vann 54 percent to 39 percent. The two are running in the redrawn, Sacramento-area 3rd district, which became more competitive after redistricting.

The poll of 400 likely voters in the district was conducted August 26-27 by GBA Strategies on behalf of House Majority PAC. It had a margin of error of 4.9 points.

The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee released an internal automated poll last month that showed Garamendi ahead by 15 points.

Roll Call rates the race as Leans Democratic.

August 29, 2012

Ron Paul Supporters Protest Delegate Swap

TAMPA, Fla. — Chanting “as goes Maine, so goes the nation,” scores of supporters of Rep. Ron Paul (R-Texas) marched through the hallway surrounding the Tampa Bay Times Forum, angry that the RNC replaced some delegates supporting Paul with those supporting Romney.

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Dick Durbin: Conventions Are On the Way Out

Dick Durbin: Conventions Are On the Way Out

(Chris Maddaloni/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

TAMPA, Fla. — Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin (Ill.) arrived at the Republican National Convention to provide rapid Democratic response, but he also questioned whether the party nomination hoopla might soon be a thing of the past.

“I wonder about conventions as part of our political process,” Durbin said tonight in an interview with Roll Call in the media workspace at the RNC. “It’s a pretty expensive undertaking and time-consuming undertaking, and the day may come, in the world of social media, that there’s another way to do this.” Full story

Rick Santorum Rallies Like a Candidate

Rick Santorum Rallies Like a Candidate

(Chris Maddaloni/CQ Roll Call)

TAMPA, Fla. — This week, it’s hard not to wonder whether former Sen. Rick Santorum (R-Pa.) keeps thinking, “It should have been me.” Full story

Paul Ryan Speech Excerpts Released

Rep. Paul Ryan will accept the GOP’s nomination for vice president tonight with a call to deal with the tough problems the country faces, and he will draw a stark contrast with President Barack Obama.

“I accept the calling of my generation to give our children the America that was given to us, with opportunity for the young and security for the old — and I know that we are ready,” the Wisconsin Republican will say, according to excerpts released by his campaign. “Our nominee is sure ready. His whole life has prepared him for this moment — to meet serious challenges in a serious way, without excuses and idle words. After four years of getting the run-around, America needs a turnaround, and the man for the job is Gov. Mitt Romney.”

Ryan also will target Obama’s health care law.

“Obamacare comes to more than 2,000 pages of rules, mandates, taxes, fees and fines that have no place in a free country. The president has declared that the debate over government-controlled health care is over. That will come as news to the millions of Americans who will elect Mitt Romney so we can repeal Obamacare,” Ryan will say.

And Wisconsin lawmaker, who has made his name on his budget acumen and push for spending cuts, will say that he and Romney are going to solve the nation’s economic problems “before the math and the momentum overwhelm us all.”

“And I’m going to level with you: We don’t have that much time. But if we are serious, and smart, and we lead, we can do this. … We will not duck the tough issues — we will lead. We will not spend four years blaming others — we will take responsibility. We will not try to replace our founding principles, we will reapply our founding principles. The work ahead will be hard. These times demand the best of us — all of us, but we can do this. Together, we can do this.”

Paul Ryan Revs Up Home State Crowd at Brats and Beer Event

Paul Ryan Revs Up Home State Crowd at Brats and Beer Event

Rep. Paul Ryan and his wife, Janna, wave to the crowd at a Wisconsin event at the Republican National Convention. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

TAMPA, Fla. — Rep. Paul Ryan, the Republican vice presidential nominee, dropped by a Wisconsin delegation party today, just a few hours before he will formally accept his nomination and address the national GOP convention.

Ryan stepped on stage, which is already set up for a Kid Rock concert tonight, and surprised the home state crowd that was munching on brats, sipping beer and swaying to the tunes of the Swinging Bavarians.

Standing alongside his wife, Janna, the native of Janesville thanked the delegation for making the trip down and pumped up the crowd with brief remarks. Full story

CQ Roll Call Daily Briefing: Where Is the Wow?

CQ Roll Call Daily Briefing: Where Is the Wow?

Mitt Romney's running mate, Rep. Paul Ryan, prepares for his speech tonight at the 2012 Republican National Convention. (Chris Maddaloni/CQ Roll Call)

The CQ Roll Call Daily Briefing is being published from the GOP Convention in Tampa, Fla., this week. For more information on signing up to receive this free email, click here.

THE PODIUM: The convention convenes for its second day at 7 — but the broadcast networks won’t start showing anything until 10, half an hour before Paul Ryan appears to deliver his acceptance speech and introduce himself to the nation.

The proceedings open with Ayla Brown singing the national anthem (while her dad’s back in Massachusetts working to save his Senate seat). The first hour’s most prominent speakers are Mitch McConnell and his Kentucky colleague Rand Paul — who’s been having a tough time this week balancing his filial loyalty to the convention’s No. 1 killjoy with his desire to be a player in the Senate and the mainstream national GOP. (Romney’s most nettlesome rival, denied his own turn on stage, is leaving town before his son speaks but will be given a video tribute.) The 8 o’clock hour’s top appearances will be by John McCain, John Thune and Rob Portman; beyond personifying the party’s generational shift, all three senators will tout their roles in shaping defense and foreign policy as part of the day’s “We change it” theme.

Full story

Virginia: Tim Kaine Rallies in Charlottesville With Obama, Tom Perriello

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. — The commonwealth of Virginia is riddled with battlefields from centuries of American conflict, a fact hammered home on the journey here from Washington, D.C., as it passes through the site of the Battle of Chancellorsville and the Battle of the Wilderness, two turning points of the Civil War.

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Race Rating Change: New Mexico Senate Now Leans Democratic

Race Rating Change: New Mexico Senate Now Leans Democratic

Recent polling has shown Rep. Martin Heinrich with a growing lead in the New Mexico Senate race. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

The New Mexico Senate race appears to be moving in Democrats’ direction.

That’s the sense after a string of new polling showed Rep. Martin Heinrich (D) expanding his lead beyond the margin of error against former Rep. Heather Wilson (R). Plus, national Republicans have shifted money for television time out of the state to a more competitive race.

With these developments, Roll Call is moving the race from Tossup to Leans Democratic. Full story

Nevada’s Brian Sandoval Embraces Hispanic Outreach Role

Nevadas Brian Sandoval Embraces Hispanic Outreach Role

(Chris Maddaloni/CQ Roll Call)

TAMPA, Fla. — Nevada Gov. Brian Sandoval on Tuesday addressed Republican convention delegates in what turned out to be a forgettable speech that was panned by the pundits for its stiff delivery.

But Sandoval, a Hispanic, is a high-ranking soldier in the Republican Party’s effort to woo minority voters. In an interview with Roll Call before his speech, the governor discussed his role in helping GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney close the gap with a voting bloc that could be key to his prospects in Nevada and other states. In fact, Sandoval, who was elected in 2010, appears to be embracing this role.

“I’m reaching out to the Hispanic community and letting them know that if they work hard, there is great opportunity in this country,” Sandoval said. “I hope that I can inspire Hispanics to know that anything is possible.”

Full story

California: Dan Lungren, Ami Bera Tied In Democratic Poll

California: Dan Lungren, Ami Bera Tied In Democratic Poll

A new poll shows Republican Rep. Dan Lungren (above) tied with his Democratic challenged in the race for California's 7th district. (Bill Clark CQ/Roll Call File Photo)

A Democratic poll released this morning found physician Ami Bera (D) and Rep. Dan Lungren (R) dead even in California’s 7th district.

Both got 47 percent, with 6 percent undecided. It’s their second straight matchup in the Sacramento area, but the district was altered in favor of Democrats during redistricting.

The poll also found President Barack Obama ahead of former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, 52 percent to 44 percent. Full story

Arizona: Paul Gosar, Matt Salmon Win GOP Races; 9th District Battle Set

Arizona: Paul Gosar, Matt Salmon Win GOP Races; 9th District Battle Set

Rep. Paul Gosar won a competitive GOP primary on Tuesday in Arizona. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Rep. Paul Gosar beat back a competitive GOP primary challenge Tuesday and former Rep. Matt Salmon won the nomination that clears the way for him to return to Congress after a more than decade long hiatus.

The GOP races in the 4th and 5th districts were the two most-watched Republican primaries outside of the blockbuster Member-vs.-Member race involving Reps. David Schweikert and Ben Quayle in the 6th district. Full story

DCCC Starts Ads in Illinois’ 13th District

House Democrats are on the air in Illinois and hitting a GOP candidate in regard to Ryan — jailed former Gov. George Ryan, that is.

Rodney Davis, the GOP nominee in the 13th district, is the recipient of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee’s first independent expenditure in the Land of Lincoln.

The 30-second spot kicks off a $230,000 television buy in the Champaign, Ill., media market.

Full story

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