July 2012

Jul 26, 2012

Senate passes bill to keep tax cuts for the middle class

By Lori Montgomery, The Washington Post

The Senate on Wednesday narrowly approved a plan to preserve tax cuts for the middle class while letting them expire for the wealthy, a powerful if largely symbolic victory for Democrats who have been pushing to raise taxes on the rich for more than a decade. The measure is dead on arrival in the Republican-controlled House, where leaders are preparing to vote next week on their own plan to extend the George W. Bush-era tax cuts for households at every income level through 2013.

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Obama, Romney differ over guns after Colo. attack

By Charles Babington, Associated Press

The politics of guns leapt to the top of the presidential race Wednesday, as President Barack Obama embraced some degree of control of weapons sales and Republican Mitt Romney seemed to suggest an alleged mass killer in Colorado had obtained his weapons illegally even though he hadn't. Speaking to a mostly black audience in New Orleans, Obama said he would seek a consensus on combating violence. He said some responsibility also rests with parents, neighbors and teachers to ensure that young people "do not have that void inside them."

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Assessing Romney's trip abroad, and both sides' negative ads

With John Dickerson, CBS News

What are the goals of Mitt Romney's trip in Europe? And how attack ads defining both Romney and President Obama? Charlie Rose and Erica Hill asked CBS News political director John Dickerson.

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Jul 25, 2012

NBC-WSJ Poll Shows Obama with Slight Lead

With John Harwood, CNBC

A recent poll shows how much the economy is playing into the presidential election. CNBC's John Harwood breaks down the results of a recent poll.

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Romney Adviser: Cut Entitlements to Spare Defense, Save Jobs

By Jim Tankersley, National Journal

President Obama and Congress should spare defense from planned budget cuts by reducing entitlement spending instead, a campaign adviser to Gov. Mitt Romney said on Tuesday, arguing that defense has a greater impact on jobs than spending on social programs. “If you want to reduce the impact of government cuts on creating jobs, you should be looking more at entitlements” than military spending, John Lehman – an investment banker, a former secretary of the Navy under President Reagan, and a special adviser and co-chair of Romney’s Defense Working Group – said in an interview.

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New Obama Ads Were Filmed in the West Wing

By Peter Baker and Michael Shear, The New York Times

Two ads released in the last two days were filmed just a few feet from the Oval Office in the West Wing workplace of his chief of staff, an unusual — but not unprecedented — use of the official space of the White House for campaign purposes. Speaking directly to the camera in one ad, Mr. Obama urges voters to see the election as a big choice between competing visions for the country. The backdrop? The floral couch, rust-colored pillows and white mantel in the room that currently serves as Jack Lew’s office.

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Romney, speaking to VFW, slams Obama on leaks, planned defense budget cuts

By Nia-Malika Henderson and Scott Wilson, The Washington Post

Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney outlined Tuesday an assertive American nationalism that would guide his foreign policy, calling for a more aggressive posture in confronting the United States’ rivals and more consistency in dealing with its allies. Romney advisers had billed the half-hour speech before the Veterans of Foreign Wars National Convention here as a major foreign policy address, one his campaign originally said he intended to give months ago. The presumptive GOP nominee has spoken little about foreign policy recently, but on Tuesday he did so sharply on an issue generally considered a strength of President Obama’s.

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Mogul’s Latest Foray Courts Jews for the G.O.P.

By Jeff Zeleny, The New York Times

A Republican group backed by the casino magnate Sheldon Adelson is starting a new effort in battleground states to win over Jewish voters who could be persuaded to turn away from President Obama and support Mitt Romney. The group, the Republican Jewish Coalition, plans to begin a multimillion-dollar advertising campaign in the coming weeks called “My Buyer’s Remorse,” targeting voters in Florida, Ohio and Pennsylvania, aides said. The campaign uses testimonials from people who say they regret supporting Mr. Obama because of his economic policies and his posture toward Israel, in hopes of cutting into the wide advantage Democrats have held over Republicans among Jewish voters.

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Jul 24, 2012

How Obama Defies Gravity

By John Dickerson, Slate

Nevada should be a state Barack Obama has no chance of winning. In an election about the state of the economy, no state has been harder hit. The unemployment rate is 11.6 percent, the highest in the nation. Sixty-one percent of the homes are worth less than the mortgage on them, also the highest in the nation. Las Vegas is in the middle of the desert, but everyone there is underwater. Still, Barack Obama has a shot in Nevada. He won Nevada by 12 points in 2008 and an average of polls right now shows the president ahead by 5 points (and perhaps more if you believe pollsters underestimate the Hispanic vote). Analysts in both parties say the state is the president’s to lose. Nevada is the most acute example of the key political dynamic in this election: The weight of a bad economy should sink the incumbent, but a combination of fortunate demographics and superior organization in the battleground states might rescue him in the end.

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How Aurora, Colo., Shooting Suspect Bought Ammo

With Pierre Thomas, ABC News

James Holmes easily purchased ammunition online.

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Shooting Disrupts Political Campaigns

With Laura Meckler, The Wall Street Journal

Politics came to a pause Friday as tragedy in Colorado trumped the partisan attacks that have come to define the political discourse. President Obama said "Such violence, such evil is senseless. It's beyond reason," Laura Meckler has details on Lunch Break.

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Obama announces Transition GPS effort in Nevada as he courts military families

By Amy Gardner and Nia-Malika Henderson, The Washington Post

President Obama, resuming a three-day swing up the West Coast after pausing to visit victims of the deadly shooting in Colorado, turned on Monday to military families as he announced a new effort to help service members transition back to civilian life. Republican Mitt Romney returned to the campaign trail as well, calling once more for the repeal of the Affordable Care Act at a business roundtable in Costa Mesa — but refraining from harshly criticizing the president.

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