Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee (D-Tex.) emerged briefly from the House Democratic caucus meeting and said Vice President Biden is providing a lengthy "point-by-point presentation" on the fiscal cliff plan that was passed by the Senate Tuesday morning.
Lee said Biden reminded his colleagues that by striking the deal, Democrats had successfully convinced Republicans to back a tax hike for upper-income Americans. Asked whether Democrats worried about raising tax rates for the first time in more than two decades, Lee said she wasn't concerned.
The war of words has heated up on Capitol Hill as the fiscal cliff approaches.
A spokesman for House Speaker John A. Boehner (R-Ohio) has responded to Senate Majority Leader Harry M. Reid's charge Thursday morning that Boehner is running a "dictatorship" in the House.
"Senator Reid should talk less and legislate more," said Boehner spokesman Michael Steel. "The House has already passed legislation to avoid the entire fiscal cliff. Senate Democrats have not."
The House in August passed a bill extending tax breaks for Americans at all income levels — Democrats want to extend those rates only for the middle class. In May, the House passed a bill that would avert part of automatic spending cuts set to hit the military next month — the other half of the fiscal cliff — by shifting those cuts onto domestic programs.
The Massachusetts Senate race between incumbent Republican Scott Brown and Democratic challenger Elizabeth Warren remains a close one in a new Suffolk University/7NEWS poll, though it appears that first-time candidate Warren has improved her popularity.
The poll shows Warren running slightly ahead of Brown by 48 percent to 44 percent, which is a statistically insignificant lead within the survey’s 4 percent margin of error. By comparison, in May, the same poll had Brown leading Warren 48 percent to 47 percent.
Perhaps more significant is the improvement in Warren’s favorability. Where 43 percent viewed her positively in May, 52 percent do today, the poll found. Brown’s favorability has remained steady.
Poll director David Peleologos credited Warren’s speech at the Democratic National Convention, as well as her recent ad campaign, for the shift.
“The Democratic National Convention appears to have connected the dots for some voters in Massachusetts,” said Paleologos. He said the voters have linked Obama, Bill Clinton, Warren and congressional candidate Joseph Kennedy, whose district includes Southeastern Massachusetts. “Warren benefited not only from her own speech, but from the oratory of others, both inside and outside of Massachusetts.”
The two candidates are scheduled to have their first of four debates on Thursday.
Republican Mitt Romney cast President Obama as weak on foreign policy, lamenting Thursday that the United States was “at the mercy of events instead of shaping events” and promising a military revival that he said would bring “American leadership” to the Middle East and across the world.
Romney paid tribute to the four Americans lost in this week’s deadly assault on diplomatic missions in Egypt and Libya at a campaign rally Thursday in Northern Virginia. The Republican nominee indirectly suggested that unrest overseas was a result of a president he portrayed as a weak commander in chief.
“As we watch the world today, sometimes it seems that we’re at the mercy of events instead of shaping events, and a strong America is essential to shape events,” Romney told an estimated 2,700 supporters at Van Dyck Park in Fairfax. “A strong America, by the way, depends on a strong military. We have to have a military second to none and that’s so strong no one would ever think of testing it.”
Romney rhetorically pressed the same themes of his statements Tuesday and Wednesday responding to the crisis overseas, but he only indirectly attacked Obama. Unlike in his earlier statements, Romney did not slam him by name Thursday in his discussion of foreign affairs.
“The world needs American leadership,” Romney said. “The Middle East needs American leadership. And I intend to be a president that provides the leadership that America respects and will keep us admired throughout the world.”
This story has been updated.
The memo comes as Romney kicks off a campaign swing at an Ohio university Friday afternoon, and days after Obama’s campaign advisers announced a slate of official campaign events on May 5.
Romney’s campaign manager, Matt Rhoades, in the memo compared President Obama’s campaign to “one of those gyrating, intermittent lawn sprinklers, spewing out attacks in seemingly random directions, hoping to get somebody wet somewhere but hoping even more to talk about anything but the unemployment rate, federal debt, gas prices, or rising health insurance premiums.”
As the 2012 presidential election draws nearer, Mitt Romney and President Obama are ramping up their Twitter feeds to interact with followers and voters. We analyzed the candidates’ past 200 tweets to determine what subjects they’re tweeting about the most.
As the chart below shows, the @BarackObama Twitter account — maintained by staff of the campaign — has focused heavily on the Buffett Rule and women. The Twitter account frequently mentions latest news on campaign efforts and — tallied separately here — specific ways to donate to the campaign.
By far, the most mentioned subject on the @MittRomney account is President Obama. The Twitter feed makes frequent references to limiting Obama to a one-term presidency and issues where Romney and Obama differ.
Updated, 3:40 p.m.
ASTON, Pa. — As the White House ramps up its push to woo young voters by urging Congress to head off a scheduled increase in student loan interest rates, GOP presidential front-runner Mitt Romney struck back Monday, throwing his support behind an extension of the current rates at a campaign event outside Philadelphia.
The former Massachusetts governor made the announcement at a press availability with U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio, the first joint appearance of Romney and the Florida Republican whose name is often floated as a top choice for his running mate.
“There’s one thing that I wanted to mention, that I forgot to mention at the very beginning, and that was that particularly with the number of college graduates that can’t find work or that can only find work well beneath their skill level, I fully support the effort to extend the low interest rate on student loans,” Romney said at the end of a seven-minute joint news conference with Rubio.
SOUTH PARK TOWNSHIP, Pa. — On the eve of the Keystone State’s GOP primary, former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney (R) delivered a withering critique of President Obama’s leadership on energy and the economy, telling a crowd of several hundred supporters who had braved unseasonably wintry weather that Obama is “a president who by his own measure has failed, and so he looks around for someone to blame.”
In a 20-minute speech at the headquarters of Consol Energy, a Fortune 500 coal and natural gas company, Romney sought to place responsibility for the country’s sluggish recovery squarely on Obama’s shoulders. And he contended that Obama’s move to “blame Congress” is moot because for Obama’s first two years in office, Democrats controlled Capitol Hill.
“So he’s out of ideas, and he’s out of excuses, and in 2012, we’ve got to make sure he’s out of office,” Romney said to loud applause from the early-morning crowd.
President Obama’s reelection campaign has returned $50,000 raised by a New York supporter who was accused in court of defrauding a businessman out of $657,000, impersonating a bank official and dodging creditors, officials said Friday.
Spokesman Ben LaBolt said the Obama campaign returned a donation of $35,000 from the fundraiser, Abake Assongba, and another $15,000 from her husband, Anthony J.W. DeRosa. Assongba had been listed on the campaign’s public list of campaign bundlers in March, but was absent from an updated list released Friday.
The Washington Post reported last month that Assongba was dogged by a collection agency and a court order to pay more than $10,000 in unpaid rent for her former Brooklyn apartment, among other issues. A Swiss businessman also sued Assongba in Florida, accusing her of engaging in an e-mail scam to take his money. Assongba disputes the allegations.
President Obama will travel to college campuses in North Carolina, Colorado and Iowa next week to urge Congress to keep interest rates low on student loans, the White House announced Friday.
Obama will also appear for the first time on “Late Night With Jimmy Fallon,” which will be taped Tuesday on the campus of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, according to NBC.
An earlier version of this post incorrectly quoted President Obama’s reference to not being born with a silver spoon in his mouth. This version has been corrected.
After President Obama took a not-so-subtle jab at his Republican opponent Mitt Romney by saying, “I wasn’t born with a silver spoon in my mouth,” Romney on Thursday accused the president of “attacking people” when he should be “attacking problems.”
“I’ll be real frank here,” Webb said at a breakfast organized by Bloomberg News. “I think that the manner in which the health-care reform issue was put in front of the Congress, the way that the issue was dealt with by the White House, cost Obama a lot of credibility as a leader.”
Webb voted for the law, but also for more than a dozen GOP-offered amendments to it.
“If you were going to do something of this magnitude, you have to do it with some clarity, with a clear set of objectives from the White House,” added Webb, who opted not to run for a second term this year. “...It should have been done with better direction from the White House.”
He faulted Obama for playing too passive a role in shaping the legislation. Taking a lesson from Bill Clinton’s failed 1994 health-care overhaul effort--which was faulted for its micromanagement of the details of the bill--Obama opted to spell out a broad set of goals, and let Congress work out the details.
What happened in the end, Webb said, “was five different congressional committees voted out their version of health-care reform, and so you had 7,000 pages of contradictory information. Everybody got confused. ... From that point forward, Obama’s had a difficult time selling himself as a decisive leader.”
Webb also said that if Obama had opted for a smaller measure, he would have stood a chance of winning the support of a significant number of Republicans on Capitol Hill.
The White House had no immediate comment on Webb’s statement.
Webb added that he believes most Virginia voters--outside the staunchest partisans--have not yet begun to focus on former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, the all-but-certain Republican presidential nominee.
“People are getting ready to pay attention to his message, the average person, rather than the nominating base,” Webb said. “Romney has a case to make. He has to make his case.”
It’s Tax Day, and the presidential candidates are celebrating by doing battle over their respective tax proposals.
Today we take a look at President Obama’s tax rate versus Mitt Romney’s and how both stack up against the Buffett Rule, which was blocked by the Senate late Monday.
The Keystone XL oil sands pipeline takes center stage on Capitol Hill -- again -- as congressional and campaign politics collide:
Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney’s camp seized on a Sunday morning interview in which Obama senior adviser David Axelrod appeared to suggest that the country’s economic recovery is not on the right path.
“The choice in this election is between economy that produces a growing middle class and that gives people a chance to get ahead and their kids a chance to get ahead, and an economy that continues down the road we are on, where a fewer and fewer number of people do very well, and everybody else is running faster and faster just to keep pace,” Axelrod told host Chris Wallace during a contentious interview on “Fox News Sunday.”
Axelrod went on to argue that the country should “take that first route,” and later in the interview appeared to suggest that by “the road we are on” he meant “the same failed policies that were so disastrous in the last decade” and not the Obama administration’s current policies.
Still, the Romney campaign pounced on the comments and quickly circulated a Web video of the Axelrod interview under the headline, “Obama adviser David Axelrod makes the case for Mitt Romney for President.”
President Obama said Thursday that there is “no tougher job than being a mom” as he distanced himself from the remarks of veteran Democratic strategist Hilary Rosen, who created a firestorm when she attacked Ann Romney’s decision to be a stay-at-home mom.
In an interview with an ABC television affiliate in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, Obama sought to diffuse the budding controversy over Rosen’s comments on CNN on Wednesday that the wife of presumptive GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney had “never worked a day in her life.”
Obama told interviewer Bruce Aune of KCRG-TV9: “When I think about what Michelle had to do, when I think about my own mom, a single mom who raised me and my sister: That’s work. Anyone who would argue otherwise probably needs to rethink their statement.”
DeKALB, Ill. — Richard Waddell, a retired engineer and salesman of industrial storage equipment, might sum up the unexpectedly tight race in the Land of Lincoln.
A staunch conservative, Waddell is looking for someone to beat President Obama, first and foremost, but also wants it to be someone with great passion and intellect who will aggressively confront him. “I’ve been between a rock and a hard place,” Waddell said Tuesday afternoon at a senior center in this small town about 65 miles west of Chicago.
It’s a common spot for much of the electorate, as the race appears to be very close based on a recent Chicago Tribune poll that showed Mitt Romney leading Rick Santorum, 35 to 31 percent; a full 16 percent were undecided on any of the four remaining candidates in the race, with the potential to swing the race in either direction.