Roll Call: Latest News on Capitol Hill, Congress, Politics and Elections
November 24, 2014

September 17, 2012

For Obama, Ohio Is Ground Zero on China Trade Debate

For Obama, Ohio Is Ground Zero on China Trade Debate

(Brendan Smialowski/AFP/Getty Images)

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.

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Maryland: Nancy Pelosi Fundraises for John Delaney

Maryland: Nancy Pelosi Fundraises for John Delaney

(Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) hosted a fundraiser last Thursday evening on behalf of Democratic House candidate John Delaney.

Delaney is challenging Rep. Roscoe Bartlett for Maryland’s 6th district, and the Pelosi fundraiser is a sign of national Democrats’ determination to take the seat. In redistricting, Democrats dismantled Bartlett’s western Maryland district, adding liberal areas of the state around the Washington, D.C., suburbs that made re-election for the 10-term Congressman increasingly difficult.

That said, Bartlett has a rare across-the-aisle popularity among Democrats. Many state and national Democrats privately profess a personal affinity for him, but publicly, they are working overtime to help Delaney.

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Republicans Launch New Round of Ads in House Races

The National Republican Congressional Committee and other GOP-aligned outside groups launched a new round of television advertising over the weekend in a bevy of House races.

With seven weeks to go until Election Day, the NRCC on Sunday released 10 new TV ads — six in districts the group is working to hold and four in districts the GOP hopes to pick up. Democrats must score a net gain of 25 seats in November to wrestle back control of the House majority. Full story

DSCC, NRSC Fuel Battle for Indiana Senate Seat

The Hoosier State officially became a Senate battleground last week as both parties dropped six-figure ad buys into the race.

During the weekend, the National Republican Senatorial Committee bought $650,000 worth of airtime for a week-long buy to boost its nominee, state Treasurer Richard Mourdock, Roll Call confirmed.

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September 16, 2012

Nancy Pelosi Maintains House in Play

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) in an interview that aired this morning pushed back  against the growing consensus that Democrats have a difficult path ahead to win back control of the House of Representatives.

“So we have the message, we have the messengers, we have the money, we have the mobilization,” Pelosi said on CNN’s “State of the Union.” “We have a very excellent chance to take back the House.”

Democrats need 25 seats to gain control of the House.

Anchor Candy Crowley asked Pelosi if she agreed with a recent Roll Call story that stated that Democratic House chances are “theoretically possible but unlikely.”

“No. I think that, first of all, I don’t know what the source of that is,” Pelosi said. “But I do know what the source of our confidence is, and that’s the quality of our candidates. They’re just great, the fact that they are strong in terms of their grassroots mobilization and their resource raising and the rest.”

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September 14, 2012

South Dakota: Mike Rounds Explores 2014 Senate Bid

Former Gov. Mike Rounds (R) is making moves to challenge Sen. Tim Johnson (D) in 2014.

Even though there are 53 days to go before Election Day, Rounds opened an exploratory committee to examine a Senate race more than two years away, according to the Argus Leader.

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September 13, 2012

Mitt Romney Pitches for NRCC

Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney tonight pitched National Republican Congressional Committee supporters to give to the campaign committee and help the GOP keep control of the House.

Blaming President Barack Obama and his “liberal allies” for pushing the country “backward,” Romney asked for supporters to donate “$10 or more” in an email titled “Cleaning House.” Full story

Democrats Claim Advantage in House Races

Democrats Claim Advantage in House Races

(Bill Clark CQ/Roll Call File Photo)

Medicare. Medicare. Medicare.

Despite the steep uphill battle Democrats have in taking back the House, in a briefing today with reporters, Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee Chairman Steve Israel (N.Y.) was bullish about his party’s chances for winning the chamber.

And you can probably guess why.

“Paul Ryan has become a downballot disaster for Republicans across the country,” he said in a pen-and-pad briefing with the Washington, D.C., press corps at the Democratic National Committee headquarters.

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Kentucky: Mitch McConnell Hires Jesse Benton as 2014 Campaign Manager

Kentucky: Mitch McConnell Hires Jesse Benton as 2014 Campaign Manager

(Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (Ky.) today announced he has hired Jesse Benton to manage his 2014 campaign.

Benton, who has deep ties to the tea party movement in Kentucky and around the country, led Rep. Ron Paul’s (R-Texas) White House bid and managed now-Sen. Rand Paul’s (R-Ky.) general election campaign in 2010.

If McConnell accrues any political vulnerability on his right flank in Kentucky — and Bluegrass State GOP political operatives believe he doesn’t have much right now — having Benton as his top campaign aide is likely to help significantly reduce the threat of a serious primary challenge. But the move does more than just help in the primary. Full story

September 12, 2012

Nebraska: Deb Fischer, Bob Kerrey Commit to Third Debate

State Sen. Deb Fischer (R) and former Sen. Bob Kerrey (D) have agreed to a third debate, according to the Associated Press.

The debate will take place on Oct. 1 and will air statewide on public television, radio and online.

The pair have squared off once before. The Omaha Chamber of Commerce will host the second debate on Sept. 28 in Omaha; it will be broadcast on an affiliate the following Sunday.

Roll Call rates this race as Likely Republican.

North Carolina: GOP Super PAC Boosts Anti-McIntyre Ad Buy

The Republican-aligned YG Action Fund, a super PAC formed by former aides to House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.), boosted its TV advertising against Rep. Mike McIntyre (D) on Tuesday by almost $200,000.

The group now has $734,000 backing its TV spot in the Raleigh-Durham media market from Sept. 7 through Oct. 12.

The current spot — and others could be rotated in — is entitled “Two Mikes.”

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New Jersey: Shelley Adler Pokes Fun at Jon Runyan

Attorney Shelley Adler (D) has put up an off-beat television ad poking fun at Rep. Jon Runyan’s (R) past as a professional football player. Adler is looking to unseat Runyan in New Jersey’s 3rd district.

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California: Scott Peters Launches First TV Ad

In a top pickup opportunity for Democrats in California, San Diego Port Commissioner Scott Peters (D) launched the first television ad of his bid to defeat Rep. Brian Bilbray (R).

The clever ad features young children sitting around a boardroom table arguing, screaming and pounding their fists. Full story

Pennsylvania: Mark Critz Airs First Spot Against Keith Rothfus

Rep. Mark Critz (D) hit the airwaves for the first time today in his heavily targeted race to fend off a challenge from attorney Keith Rothfus (R).

The spot focuses on Critz’ conservative credentials, highlighting his opposition to President Barack Obama’s energy policies.

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Pennsylvania: Mike Fitzpatrick Airs First TV Spot

Updated | 2:06 p.m. Rep. Mike Fitzpatrick (R-Pa.) will air his first television advertisement of the general election today against his opponent, attorney Kathy Boockvar (D).

Fitzpatrick’s first spot focuses on his daughters.

“As parents, my wife and I worked to give our kids a strong future,” Fitzpatrick says. “But if our country doesn’t change course, our kids won’t have the same opportunities we had.”

Full story

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