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

August 29, 2012

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.

Full story

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

Arizona: David Schweikert Defeats Ben Quayle in GOP Primary

Arizona: David Schweikert Defeats Ben Quayle in GOP Primary

(Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Rep. David Schweikert will be returning to Congress and Rep. Ben Quayle will not.

The two Republican freshmen have engaged in one of the nastiest Member-vs.-Member primaries of the cycle. At the time the Associated Press called the GOP primary, Schweikert was leading Quayle, 53 percent to 47 percent.

The two men shared similar political records. In the final stretch, it was a brutal, personal fight.

Full story

August 28, 2012

Arizona: Jeff Flake Defeats Wil Cardon in GOP Senate Primary

Arizona: Jeff Flake Defeats Wil Cardon in GOP Senate Primary

Arizona Rep. Jeff Flake is favored to hold a Senate seat for Republicans this fall. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Rep. Jeff Flake easily defeated real estate investor Wil Cardon in Tuesday’s Arizona Senate GOP primary, setting up a battle with Democrat Richard Carmona this fall.

Flake led Cardon 70 percent to 20 percent with just 15 percent of the vote counted, according to the Associated Press.

A year ago, Flake was the frontrunner to succeed retiring Sen. Jon Kyl (R). In the spring, Cardon initiated a television ad campaign that at times was highly personal and negative. In the summer, Flake returned the favor and the race became increasingly nasty. Full story

Oklahoma: Rob Wallace, Markwayne Mullin Win Primaries in 2nd District

Former district attorney Rob Wallace (D) and plumbing company owner Markwayne Mullin (R) will face off this November in the 2nd district.

Wallace defeated a well-funded seed company owner, Wayne Herriman, for the Democratic nod, 57 percent to 43 percent. Mullin defeated state Rep. George Faught, 57 percent to 43 percent, to become the GOP nominee, according to unofficial results from the Oklahoma Secretary of State.

This marks the second time both pairs of candidates have run against each other. Neither candidate won enough support in the June 26 primary to avoid today’s runoff.

Their victories set up the race for retiring Democratic Rep. Dan Boren’s “Little Dixie” seat in eastern Oklahoma. Roll Call rates the seat as Leans Republican.

The 2nd district overwhelmingly supported Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) for the national ticket in 2008. But Boren always won re-election by a comfortable margin.

GOP Delegates Nominate Mitt Romney; Ron Paul Backers Protest

GOP Delegates Nominate Mitt Romney; Ron Paul Backers Protest

(Chris Maddaloni CQ/Roll Call File Photo)

TAMPA, Fla. — Mitt Romney cinched his party’s nomination early this evening, capturing sufficient support among delegates at the Republican National Convention.

The Republican faithful erupted into cheers as Speaker John Boehner (Ohio) announced Romney collected the support of 2,061 delegates. Immediately following, House Budget Chairman Paul Ryan (Wis.) was nominated by acclamation for vice president.

However, the nominations of Romney and Ryan were preceded by an intraparty feud over a new RNC rules package pushed through by party officials and the former Massachusetts governor’s campaign and opposed by some grass-roots conservatives and delegates supportive of Rep. Ron Paul (Texas). Delegates for and against the rules changed tried to shout each other down multiple times.

Still, the fighting ended when the convention program moved on to the roll call vote of nominating delegates. In traditional style, officials announced their delegate tallies, state by state. New Jersey put Romney over the edge, pushing the new nominee past the necessary 1,144 votes around 5:40pm.

Full story

Focus on Economy or Broaden the Message? GOP Poll Has Clues

TAMPA, Fla. — After a few days here talking to GOP insiders, it’s clear that there are quite a few of what I would call nervously optimistic Republicans.

A mix of party professionals and movement-oriented conservatives, these Republicans believe wholeheartedly that Mitt Romney can beat President Barack Obama on Nov. 6, but are worried he won’t do what’s necessary to win. And they tend to have divergent opinions about what “necessary” is. The two most common arguments?  That Romney should go big and broaden his argument beyond simply a focus on the economy and jobs and that he should focus only on the economy and jobs.

A new poll conducted by GOP pollster David Winston for the Republican super PAC American Action Network indicates that both arguments have merit, but that a winning campaign for Romney will include both lines of attack.

The survey’s findings suggest that relentlessly focusing on the economy and jobs gives the Republican presidential ticket its best opportunity to capture independent voters and deflect the central attack being leveled by Obama. However, selecting House Budget Chairman Paul Ryan as his running mate and going on the attack on Medicare has also proved valuable for the GOP, according to a comparison of political messages tested by Winston in this poll.

In the poll, which Winston tells me had a plus-two, self-identified Democratic sample and a plus-three self-identified moderates over conservatives sample, 1,000 registered voters — particularly independent voters — responded more favorably to a jobs-oriented test message than to a message that focuses on saving Medicare in its current form.

Full story

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