KWAME HOLMAN: Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney will not be watching the Obama speech tonight. He made that clear today during a brief appearance in Concord, New Hampshire, where he met with veterans.
Romney said he’d watch the speech only if the president admits his failures.
MITT ROMNEY (R), Presidential Candidate: If I heard or if in the excerpts that are put out, I hear the president’s going to report on the promises he made and how he has performed on those promises, I would love to watch it.
But if it’s another series of new promises that he’s not going to keep, I have no interest in seeing him, because I saw the promises last time. Those are promises he did not keep and the American people deserve to know why he didn’t keep his promises.
KWAME HOLMAN: Romney’s vice presidential running mate, Paul Ryan, stepped up his criticism at a rally in Colorado. He called Mr. Obama “the most partisan president I have ever seen.”
U.S. and European markets rallied sharply today on word of new efforts to deal with the European debt problem. On Wall Street, the Dow Jones industrial average gained 244 points to close at 13,292, its best finish since 2007. The Nasdaq rose 66 points to close at 3,135. That’s the highest it has been in 12 years.
The news that drove the stock surge came from the European Central Bank. Its president, Mario Draghi, announced a broad new plan to buy the bonds of the Eurozone’s most troubled countries. The bond purchases are intended to push down interest rates, so hard-pressed governments can borrow at lower cost. In turn, that could stave off defaults in Spain and Italy, which could wreck the Eurozone currency system.
MARIO DRAGHI, President, European Central Bank: We will do whatever it takes within our mandate, within our mandate, to have a single monetary policy in the euro area and to maintain price stability in the euro area and to preserve the euro. And we say — we say that the euro is irreversible.
KWAME HOLMAN: The European bank’s announcement came hours after a report said the Eurozone faces a new recession. The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, which watches trends in leading economies, said heavy debt is slowing growth across Europe.
Meanwhile, in Greece, thousands of police and firefighters rallied against planned pay cuts. The protest came as Greek unemployment was reported above 24 percent in June.
There were new claims today that the Bush administration made more extensive use of water-boarding than was ever acknowledged. The CIA has confirmed water-boarding three suspects. But Human Rights Watch reported on other instances involving Libyan exiles who were swept up in the hunt for terrorists after 9/11. The exiles were opponents of Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi.
A fishing boat packed with migrants sank today just off the western coast of Turkey. At least 61 people died. Most were Palestinians and Syrians and more than half were children. Local officials said smugglers had promised them passage into Europe. Rescue crews searched in vain for survivors, beyond the few dozen who swam to shore. An initial investigation determined the vessel was overloaded.