Roll Call: Latest News on Capitol Hill, Congress, Politics and Elections
April 25, 2014

May 10, 2012

Marco Rubio Prepared for Role as Mitt Romney Surrogate

Marco Rubio Prepared for Role as Mitt Romney Surrogate

(Chris Maddaloni/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Sen. Marco Rubio might end up as Mitt Romney’s vice presidential running mate. But as demonstrated at this early stage of the general election campaign, the Florida Republican will be among the former Massachusetts governor’s most high-profile surrogates.

Rubio’s fulfillment of this role — potentially crucial for Romney given the Senator’s position as a leading Hispanic Republican and a conservative stalwart — was on display this past weekend during a lengthy interview on “Fox News Sunday.”

In fact, a prescient and strategic Rubio has been preparing to play this role at least since January, when Romney was battling former Speaker Newt Gingrich (Ga.) in Florida’s GOP presidential primary.

Full story

North Carolina: GOP Nominee Attacks Mike McIntyre in 7th District

State Sen. David Rouzer, who won a contested GOP primary contest Tuesday night in the 7th district, immediately took aim at his general election opponent, Rep. Mike McIntyre (D).

“He’s walked in lock step with Barack Obama and Nancy Pelosi,” Rouzer said in a short interview Wednesday, echoing national GOP talking points. “The stimulus bill in particular” would be an issue, he said. “Clearly the stimulus failed.”

Rouzer said he thought he needed to raise $1.5 million to $2 million to win. McIntyre had $764,000 in the bank in mid-April. Full story

May 9, 2012

Montana: Denny Rehberg Airs First TV Ad

Montana: Denny Rehberg Airs First TV Ad

Rep. Denny Rehberg (above) launched his first TV ad in his race against Sen. Jon Tester. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Montana Rep. Denny Rehberg today launched his first TV ad in his challenge to Democratic Sen. Jon Tester.

The ad, which a source tracking ad buys said was for $50,000, opens with a quick clip of Tester saying, “You’ve got to have honest leadership.”

“But Jon Tester’s dishonest attacks hide his votes for higher taxes 55 times, to raise his own pay, spend your tax dollars on bonuses for Wall Street executives, give Obama his way with your money 95 percent of the time,” the ad’s announcer says. Full story

Florida: Connie Mack IV Gets Rand Paul Endorsement

Florida: Connie Mack IV Gets Rand Paul Endorsement

(Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Republican Rep. Connie Mack IV has been endorsed by Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.).

Paul’s backing could boost Mack’s conservative credentials. The Florida Congressman is battling former Sen. George LeMieux for the GOP Senate nomination.

Full story

Sarah Palin Endorses Deb Fischer in Nebraska Senate Race

Sarah Palin Endorses Deb Fischer in Nebraska Senate Race

(Douglas Graham/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Sarah Palin and her husband, Todd, have endorsed Deb Fischer, providing the state Senator’s struggling bid to succeed retiring Sen. Ben Nelson (D) an adrenaline shot six days before the GOP primary.

Full story

Pete Sessions Confident GOP Will Expand House Majority in November

Pete Sessions Confident GOP Will Expand House Majority in November

(Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

National Republican Congressional Committee Chairman Pete Sessions (Texas) took a bullish stance on House GOP prospects this morning, insisting Republicans would add to their huge gains of last cycle this November and that Democratic House candidates would be dragged down by an unpopular president.

“The landscape in 2012 is exactly the same as it was in 2010,” he said. “The dominating issues are Obamacare, big government and spending, and the economy and jobs.”

“What is out there” for November, Sessions said at the Christian Science Monitor’s breakfast, “is a Republican pickup, not a Republican loss of 10 to 15 seats,” as many House prognosticators predict. Full story

Indiana: How Richard Mourdock Won the Club for Growth

Indiana: How Richard Mourdock Won the Club for Growth

(Shira Toeplitz/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

The first meeting between Indiana Treasurer Richard Mourdock and the Club for Growth was a disaster — so it wasn’t necessarily a given that the organization would end up investing $1.7 million and playing such a pivotal role in the conservative challenger’s GOP primary victory over six-term Sen. Dick Lugar.

When Mourdock first interviewed with the conservative activist group in their downtown Washington, D.C., office, he grew testy and even raised his voice at club officials when they peppered him with their standard questions about monetary policy. The interview went so poorly that Mourdock figured he’d never see a dime from the fundraising powerhouse.

“I told my campaign staff all the way along, don’t count on the Club for Growth,” Mourdock said in an interview. “We have to assume the won’t endorse us because that first meeting did go so badly.”

Full story

Massachusetts: Scott Brown Launches First TV Ad

The Bay State Senate air war has begun — and it’s surprisingly positive.

Sen. Scott Brown, in a highly competitive race with Harvard Law School professor Elizabeth Warren (D), launched his first television ad of the cycle today. Backed by a significant six-figure ad buy on broadcast and cable TV, the positive 30-second spot highlights the Republican’s independence and biography.

It’s competing with an ad from Warren, backed by about $800,000, that’s already on the air.

Full story

May 8, 2012

North Carolina Picks Primary Winners

Updated: 11:37 p.m. | North Carolina voters went to the polls Tuesday to select candidates in a series of primary elections, but the results may have broader implications. The winners of a number of competitive Republican contests are likely to be elected to Congress this November.

An extreme gerrymander by the GOP-controlled statehouse means Republicans could net as many as four seats from the Tar Heel State this cycle.

Voting ended at 7:30 p.m. and here are some of the top results by district, updated as they come in from the Associated Press. In primaries where no candidate got more than 40 percent, the top two finishers will battle in a runoff on July 17. Full story

Indiana: Messer, Brooks Win Open-Seat GOP Primaries

Updated 10:13 p.m.| Luke Messer, the former executive director of the state Republican Party, won the crowded primary for Rep. Mike Pence’s (R) eastern Indiana seat.

Messer defeated conservative activist Travis Hankins with almost 42 percent of the vote and 83 percent of precincts reporting, according to the Associated Press.

Pence is running for governor instead of re-election to his safe Republican seat, so Messer will serve as the next Member of Congress from the 6th district in all likelihood. Full story

Dick Lugar Ousted by Richard Mourdock in Bid for Seventh Term

Dick Lugar Ousted by Richard Mourdock in Bid for Seventh Term

(Darron Cummings/Associated Press)

Updated 9:06 p.m. | Sen. Dick Lugar was defeated in a blowout in Indiana’s Republican primary on Tuesday, capping a 36-year Congressional career punctuated by foreign affairs accomplishments and potentially putting the Senate seat in play for Democrats.

State Treasurer Richard Mourdock led 61 percent to 39 percent, with 40 percent of precincts reporting. The Associated Press called the race around 7:49 p.m., less than an hour after all polls in the state closed.

“I don’t think you can find one factor” for his defeat, former Rep. Tom Davis (R-Va.) said. “He traveled the globe and was a leader in foreign affairs, but he grew more estranged from the conservative base in Indiana.”

Full story

Tim Kaine: Barack Obama Link a Wash Politically

Tim Kaine: Barack Obama Link a Wash Politically

(Chris Maddaloni/CQ Roll Call)

Tim Kaine thinks the Senate and presidential races in Virginia are as close as most recent polls have shown and conceded his political fate is closely tied to the performance of his good friend in the White House.

Kaine spoke with reporters today in Washington, D.C., at a breakfast hosted by the Democratic-leaning think tank Third Way, three days after rallying a Richmond crowd to help kick off President Barack Obama’s re-election campaign. The Senate candidate and former Virginia governor said there will undoubtedly be a “strong linkage” in the results of the presidential race and Kaine’s expected matchup with Republican George Allen. Full story

DSCC Reserves Airtime in Three Key States

In its first television advertising reservation for the fall, the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee reserved $14.1 million in Missouri, Montana and Virginia — three states Democrats are looking to hold as they seek to preserve their four-seat Senate majority.

As the Hotline first reported, the DSCC reserved $7.4 million in Virginia, $3.5 million in Missouri and $3.2 million in Montana. The Virginia and Missouri reservations are for Oct. 9 to Nov. 5, and the Montana reservation is from Aug. 28 to Nov. 5, Roll Call confirmed with a Democratic source. Full story

Arizona: Democratic PAC Hitting TV Airwaves in Special

The Democratic-aligned House Majority PAC is placing a $340,000 television ad buy in Arizona’s 8th district special election to replace former Rep. Gabrielle Giffords (D).

The three-week buy is set to begin running Friday on broadcast and cable in Tucson, and targets Republican nominee Jesse Kelly, who faces former Giffords aide Ron Barber. The buy is intended to supplement a two week ad buy placed by the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, which is due to expire the same day the House Majority PAC TV spot hits the airwaves.

Full story

Rick Santorum Endorses Mitt Romney

Rick Santorum Endorses Mitt Romney

(Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

It happened while many on the East Coast slept — and you had look hard to find the key passage — but late Monday evening Rick Santorum formally endorsed Mitt Romney for president.

In an email to supporters that hit around 11 p.m., the former Pennsylvania Senator backed his one-time rival for the GOP presidential nomination, saying the race against President Barack Obama was too important for him to stand on the sidelines. Santorum’s backing, clear and unmistakable, was delivered about a month after he dropped out of the primary and essentially delivered the nomination to Romney, a former Massachusetts governor. Full story

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