Afternoon Fix: Biden says tea party Republicans acted like terrorists

at 05:15 PM ET, 08/01/2011

The vice president met with angry House Democrats, Americans for Prosperity sent out confusing mailers in Wisconsin, and Jon Huntsman thinks Michele Bachmann gets press because of her looks.

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WHAT YOU MIGHT HAVE MISSED:

* A meeting between Vice President Joe Biden and House Democrats today, meant to last an hour, went on for more than two as angry lawmakers aired their greivances. “I didn't go to convince,” he said on the way out of the meeting. “I went to explain.” Biden agreed with caucus members that tea party Republicans acted like “terrorists” in this fight. Many Republicans also left their meeting with House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) unsatisfied with the deal leaders in both parties negotiated over the weekend.

* The Wisconsin chapter of Americans for Prosperity, the tea party organization backed by David Koch, has been sending out absentee ballots to Democrats in at least two state Senate districts with the wrong date. The fliers say to return the ballot by Aug. 11th, two days after the recall elections in those districts. AFP’s state director said it was a typo; complaints were filed with the election board. AFP has also bought $150,000 of ad time in Wisconsin in support of GOP candidates.

* Former Utah governor Jon Huntsman told a New York Magazine reporter for a new profile that Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.) gets a lot of press coverage in part because of her looks: “She makes for good copy—and good photography.” An adviser to former Minnesota governor Tim Pawlenty took heat last month for saying Bachmann had “sex appeal,” but Bachmann herself said she was flattered.

* Political newcomer Patrick Murphy (not to be confused with former Pennsylvania Rep. Patrick Murphy) managed to outraise former West Palm Beach Mayor Lois Frankel last month in the primary to take on Rep. Allen West (R-Fla.). One donor: former governor Charlie Crist, making his first donation since the 2008 presidential campaign.

WHAT YOU SHOULDN’T MISS:

* Former Wisconsin senator Russ Feingold (D) is expanding his Progressives United operation with a new 501(c)(4) non-profit. The new arm is allowed to spend and raise unlimited amounts of undisclosed money, but Feingold — a long-time advocate of campaign finance reform — has pledged to practice strict disclosure requirements and contribution limits. The expansion could be a sign that Feingold is not running for Senate next year despite Democratic hopes.

* Nevada Senate candidate Byron Georgiou (D) hasn’t gotten much traction in a primary dominated by Rep. Shelley Berkley (D) despite massive self-funding. Now he’s antagonizing Democrats by suggesting he might run as an independent in the election to replace former Sen. John Ensign (R). Sen. Dean Heller (R-Nev.) was appointed to the seat by Gov. Brian Sandoval (R) earlier this year.

* Former state senator Mark Amodei (R) is out with another ad in the Sept. 13th special election to fill the House seat vacated by Heller. “Grew Up Here” is a simple spot focused on Amodei himself, “I grew up here. I don’t ever recall seeing the economy this bad,” he says. “Washington has failed. It’s up to us.”

* Florida Democrats are hoping that Rep. Vern Buchanan (R) will run for Senate, giving them a chance to pick up the state’s 13th district. Remapping under the state’s new fair redistricting law could make a seat that was already becoming more competitive for Democrats even more of a pick-up opportunity.

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