Now it’s Ebola that benches Obama from the campaign

The Morning Line

Today in the Morning Line:

  • Obama off the campaign trail
  • He was scheduled to be in seven states before Election Day
  • All about 2016? Obama’s not the only one — Rick Perry cuts short Europe trip

Obama cancels campaign events because of Ebola crisis: The president hasn’t been on the campaign trail much. Republicans are trying to make it all about him. And the key elections are being held in mostly red states. Now, just as the president was about to make a string of stops in states more friendly to Democrats, he’s off the trail again… because of Ebola. After a second health care worker came down with Ebola, the president nixed trips to the Northeast Wednesday and Thursday in New Jersey, Connecticut, Rhode Island and New York. “The key thing to understand about this disease is that these protocols work,” Obama said Wednesday. “But we have to make sure that, understandably, certain local hospitals that may not have that experience are walked through that process as carefully as possible, and we’re going to make sure that this rapid response team can do that.” It was an acknowledgement that not everywhere is equipped or has the training in place to deal with an Ebola outbreak. The president is also creating Centers for Disease Control “SWAT” teams to be deployed when or if there is a new case reported.

Trying to calm nerves: The New York Times notes: “The ramped-up response inside the White House came as a second nurse, Amber Joy Vinson, tested positive for Ebola in Dallas after helping treat a Liberian patient, raising new concerns about the protocols for containing the spread of the deadly virus and heightening fears among the public.” The president tried to allay those fears. “I shook hands with, hugged and kissed — not the doctors, but a couple of the nurses at Emory because of the valiant work that they did in treating one of the patients. They followed the protocols, they knew what they were doing, and I felt perfectly safe doing so.”

The final campaign stretch; Rick Perry cuts short Europe trip: The AP reported Wednesday that the president was set to campaign in seven states to help out Democratic governors, all in places he won — Connecticut (canceled), Illinois, Maine, Maryland, Michigan, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin. By the way, the president isn’t the only politician canceling events because of Ebola. Texas Gov. Rick Perry, who’s in Europe, is cutting short his trip there to deal with the crisis happening in his state. Perry, who is thinking about another run for president in 2016, gave a speech in London, is traveling to Poland and was set to make a speech in Ukraine. The New York Times notes that “the trip was widely seen as a way for Mr. Perry to burnish his foreign policy credentials in the event that he decides to make another run for president in 2016.”

Daily Presidential Trivia: On this day in 2002, President George W. Bush signed a congressional resolution that authorized war against Iraq. Who was the lone Republican senator to vote against the resolution? Be the first to tweet us the correct answer using #PoliticsTrivia and you’ll get a Morning Line shout-out. No one guessed Tuesday’s trivia: What did Eisenhower say, “was one of the greatest disappointments of my life, maybe my greatest”? The answer was: failing to make the baseball team at the U.S. Military Academy.


  • Speaker John Boehner is calling for the president to ban flights from West African countries that are currently dealing with Ebola outbreaks.

  • Wednesday night’s Florida gubernatorial debate got off to a bizarre start, when Gov. Rick Scott initially refused to debate former Gov. Charlie Crist because he was using a fan, which Scott said was not agreed upon in the debate rules.

  • Thanks to last minute donations, Republicans in key Senate races matched or outraised their opponents in the third quarter, according to FEC filings released this week.

  • Both parties are making very calculated decisions for the final three weeks about which seats are winnable and which seats to give up on.

  • The Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee may have pulled out of the Kentucky race, but Hillary Clinton went all in for Alison Lundergan Grimes Wednesday, telling the crowd at a Louisville rally, “let’s put another crack in the glass ceiling.”

  • Meanwhile, Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee Chair Steve Israel is frustrated that most of the money from Democratic outside groups has gone to Senate races. “I still have 20 days,” he said Wednesday, pleading for a late cash infusion.

  • In the Colorado Senate race, GOP Rep. Cory Gardner leads Sen. Mark Udall 47 percent to 41 percent among likely voters in a Quinnipiac poll released Thursday.

  • In the hotly contested North Carolina Senate race, Sen. Kay Hagan has been able to hang onto a small lead over state house Speaker Thom Tillis, and at least some of that can be attributed to her focus on education.

  • From Minnesota’s 8th Congressional District to the Connecticut gubernatorial race, Democrats around the country this cycle have capitalized on the outsourcing attack adapted from President Obama’s 2012 slings against Mitt Romney.

  • Carter may be the most famous name in Georgia’s gubernatorial face-off, but the race is much more a referendum on incumbent Nathan Deal’s administration than it is on the Carter legacy.

  • The Arkansas Supreme Court struck down the state’s voter ID laws, saying they went beyond what Arkansas’ state constitution required to vote.

  • In endorsing Virginia Sen. Mark Warner for reelection, the Washington Post writes that Republican Ed Gillespie has the potential to be a “bipartisan player in the Senate,” like Warner, but his “opposition to any new taxes — read: any compromise –” disqualifies him.

  • A “network of interlocking campaign accounts,” some with no contribution limit, has funded a near permanent ad campaign in New York that has made Gov. Andrew Cuomo invincible. Cuomo, meanwhile, published his memoir this week, but unlike the crowds for a certain other New Yorker’s memoir, there were no long lines at Wednesday’s Union Square book signing.

  • Keep an eye on the Rundown blog for breaking news throughout the day, our home page for show segments, and follow @NewsHour for the latest.


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Questions or comments? Email Domenico Montanaro at dmontanaro-at-newshour-dot-org or Rachel Wellford at rwellford-at-newshour-dot-org.

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