Harry Reid: Scott Brown ‘doesn’t want to debate’

September 20, 2012

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Is the 2012 election tilting toward Democrats?

WHAT YOU MIGHT HAVE MISSED:

* President Obama said at a Univision forum Thursday that, "you can't change Washington from the inside," a remark Mitt Romney promptly pounced on during his stump speech. "I’ve learned some lessons,” Obama said at the forum. “Most important is you can’t change Washington from inside, only from the outside. That’s how some of our biggest accomplishments like health care got done -- mobilizing the American people.” Obama campaign spokeswoman Lis Smith said: "What the President said today is no different than what he has been saying for many years – that change comes from outside Washington, not inside. When Americans came together and stood up to special interests, we reformed health care, cut taxes for the middle class and put in new rules for Wall Street. And, that’s why we have elections."

* Former Democratic National Committee chairman Tim Kaine said at a debate that he would be open to a minimum income tax for every American. He offered his comment in response to a question about Romney's widely publicized "47 percent" remark at a spring fundraiser. “I would be open to a proposal that has some minimum tax level for everyone, but I do insist many of the 47 percent that governor Romney was going after pay a higher percentage of their income in taxes than he does,” Kaine said at the debate with former senator George Allen (R). Kaine said after the debate he was not proposing a minimum income tax.

* Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid suggested Sen. Scott Brown (R-Mass.) was looking for an excuse to skip a Thursday night debate with Elizabeth Warren (D). Tussling over an amendment offered by Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.), the Senate delayed a vote on a short-term spending bill that is expected to pass. Brown had suggested he might miss the debate if Democrats scheduled votes conflicting with its start time. "I’ve been to a few of these rodeos. It is obvious there is a big stall taking place. One of the senators who had a debate tonight doesn’t want to debate. Well, he can’t use the Senate as an excuse. There will be no more votes today," Reid said.

* A new CNN/ORC International poll of likely voters in Nevada shows Obama running about even with Romney, with the president at 49 percent and Romney at 46 percent.

WHAT YOU SHOULDN'T MISS:

* Former Minnesota governor Tim Pawlenty (R) will head up the Financial Services Roundtable, a Wall Street lobbying group. He's stepping down as Romney's campaign co-chair in order to accept the position.

* The Missouri governor's race is heating up, with businessman Dave Spence (R) hitting Gov. Jay Nixon (D) with a TV ad tying him to Obama. Nixon struck back with an ad of his own attacking Spence for sitting on the board of a bank that took TARP money that hasn't been paid back.

* Bill Clinton will appear on CBS's "Face The Nation" this Sunday.

* A former staffer on Rep. Michele Bachmann's (R-Minn.) presidential campaign filed a police report accusing Bachmann's former Iowa campaign chair of stealing a private email list. She accused Iowa state Sen. Kent Sorenson, who switched over to Rep. Ron Paul's (R-Texas) presidential campaign just before the caucuses in January. The former staffer, Barb Heki, had previously filed a civil suit against the Bachmann campaign, arguing she was improperly blamed for the use of the email list.

THE FIX MIX:

First encounters of a Google kind.

With Aaron Blake

Sean Sullivan has covered national politics for The Washington Post since 2012.
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Aaron Blake | September 20, 2012