Recent Event Highlights: Obama' victory speech, CNN and NBC call Obama win, The long wait to vote in Florida, Ohio - the bulls-eye state, Florida - the press endorses, CNN calls debate for Obama, and 42 more...
Created by sfgate on Sep 11, 2012
Last updated: 11/08/12 at 08:59 AM
COUNTDOWN 2012 - the battle for the Presidency has no followers yet. Be the first one to follow.
(Click "details" to see the whole speech) Thank you so much. Tonight, more than 200 years after a former colony won the right to determine its own destiny, the task of perfecting our union moves forward. It moves forward because of you. It moves forward because you reaffirmed the spirit that has triumphed over war and depression, the spirit that has lifted this country from the depths of despair to the great heights of hope, the belief that while each of us will pursue our own individual dreams, we are an American family and we rise or fall together as one nation and as one people. Tonight, in this election, you, the American people, reminded us that while our road has been hard, while our journey has been long, we have picked ourselves up, we have fought our way back, and we know in our hearts that for the United States of America the best is yet to come. I want to thank every American who participated in this election, whether you voted for the very first time or waited in line for a very long time. By the way, we have to fix that. Whether you pounded the pavement or picked up the phone, whether you held an Obama sign or a Romney sign, you made your voice heard and you made a difference. I just spoke with Gov. Romney and I congratulated him and Paul Ryan on a hard-fought campaign. We may have battled fiercely, but it’s only because we love this country deeply and we care so strongly about its future. From George to Lenore to their son Mitt, the Romney family has chosen to give back to America through public service and that is the legacy that we honor and applaud tonight. In the weeks ahead, I also look forward to sitting down with Gov. Romney to talk about where we can work together to move this country forward. I want to thank my friend and partner of the last four years, America’s happy warrior, the best vice president anybody could ever hope for, Joe Biden. And I wouldn’t be the man I am today without the woman who agreed to marry me 20 years ago. Let me say this publicly: Michelle, I have never loved you more. I have never been prouder to watch the rest of America fall in love with you, too, as our nation’s first lady. Sasha and Malia, before our very eyes you’re growing up to become two strong, smart beautiful young women, just like your mom. And I’m so proud of you guys. But I will say that for now one dog’s probably enough. To the best campaign team and volunteers in the history of politics. The best. The best ever. Some of you were new this time around, and some of you have been at my side since the very beginning. But all of you are family. No matter what you do or where you go from here, you will carry the memory of the history we made together and you will have the lifelong appreciation of a grateful president. Thank you for believing all the way, through every hill, through every valley. You lifted me up the whole way and I will always be grateful for everything that you’ve done and all the incredible work that you put in. I know that political campaigns can sometimes seem small, even silly. And that provides plenty of fodder for the cynics that tell us that politics is nothing more than a contest of egos or the domain of special interests. But if you ever get the chance to talk to folks who turned out at our rallies and crowded along a rope line in a high school gym, or saw folks working late in a campaign office in some tiny county far away from home, you’ll discover something else. You’ll hear the determination in the voice of a young field organizer who’s working his way through college and wants to make sure every child has that same opportunity. You’ll hear the pride in the voice of a volunteer who’s going door to door because her brother was finally hired when the local auto plant added another shift. You’ll hear the deep patriotism in the voice of a military spouse who’s working the phones late at night to make sure that no one who fights for this country ever has to fight for a job or a roof over their head when they come home. That’s why we do this. That’s what politics can be. That’s why elections matter. It’s not small, it’s big. It’s important. Democracy in a nation of 300 million can be noisy and messy and complicated. We have our own opinions. Each of us has deeply held beliefs. And when we go through tough times, when we make big decisions as a country, it necessarily stirs passions, stirs up controversy. That won’t change after tonight, and it shouldn’t. These arguments we have are a mark of our liberty. We can never forget that as we speak people in distant nations are risking their lives right now just for a chance to argue about the issues that matter, the chance to cast their ballots like we did today. But despite all our differences, most of us share certain hopes for America’s future. We want our kids to grow up in a country where they have access to the best schools and the best teachers. A country that lives up to its legacy as the global leader in technology and discovery and innovation, with all the good jobs and new businesses that follow. We want our children to live in an America that isn’t burdened by debt, that isn’t weakened by inequality, that isn’t threatened by the destructive power of a warming planet. We want to pass on a country that’s safe and respected and admired around the world, a nation that is defended by the strongest military on earth and the best troops this — this world has ever known. But also a country that moves with confidence beyond this time of war, to shape a peace that is built on the promise of freedom and dignity for every human being. We believe in a generous America, in a compassionate America, in a tolerant America, open to the dreams of an immigrant’s daughter who studies in our schools and pledges to our flag. To the young boy on the south side of Chicago who sees a life beyond the nearest street corner. To the furniture worker’s child in North Carolina who wants to become a doctor or a scientist, an engineer or an entrepreneur, a diplomat or even a president — that’s the future we hope for. That’s the vision we share. That’s where we need to go — forward. That’s where we need to go. Now, we will disagree, sometimes fiercely, about how to get there. As it has for more than two centuries, progress will come in fits and starts. It’s not always a straight line. It’s not always a smooth path. By itself, the recognition that we have common hopes and dreams won’t end all the gridlock or solve all our problems or substitute for the painstaking work of building consensus and making the difficult compromises needed to move this country forward. But that common bond is where we must begin. Our economy is recovering. A decade of war is ending. A long campaign is now over. And whether I earned your vote or not, I have listened to you, I have learned from you, and you’ve made me a better president. And with your stories and your struggles, I return to the White House more determined and more inspired than ever about the work there is to do and the future that lies ahead. Tonight you voted for action, not politics as usual. You elected us to focus on your jobs, not ours. And in the coming weeks and months, I am looking forward to reaching out and working with leaders of both parties to meet the challenges we can only solve together. Reducing our deficit. Reforming our tax code. Fixing our immigration system. Freeing ourselves from foreign oil. We’ve got more work to do. But that doesn’t mean your work is done. The role of citizen in our democracy does not end with your vote. America’s never been about what can be done for us. It’s about what can be done by us together through the hard and frustrating, but necessary work of self-government. That’s the principle we were founded on. This country has more wealth than any nation, but that’s not what makes us rich. We have the most powerful military in history, but that’s not what makes us strong. Our university, our culture are all the envy of the world, but that’s not what keeps the world coming to our shores. What makes America exceptional are the bonds that hold together the most diverse nation on earth. The belief that our destiny is shared; that this country only works when we accept certain obligations to one another and to future generations. The freedom which so many Americans have fought for and died for come with responsibilities as well as rights. And among those are love and charity and duty and patriotism. That’s what makes America great. I am hopeful tonight because I’ve seen the spirit at work in America. I’ve seen it in the family business whose owners would rather cut their own pay than lay off their neighbors, and in the workers who would rather cut back their hours than see a friend lose a job. I’ve seen it in the soldiers who reenlist after losing a limb and in those SEALs who charged up the stairs into darkness and danger because they knew there was a buddy behind them watching their back. I’ve seen it on the shores of New Jersey and New York, where leaders from every party and level of government have swept aside their differences to help a community rebuild from the wreckage of a terrible storm. And I saw just the other day, in Mentor, Ohio, where a father told the story of his 8-year-old daughter, whose long battle with leukemia nearly cost their family everything had it not been for health care reform passing just a few months before the insurance company was about to stop paying for her care. I had an opportunity to not just talk to the father, but meet this incredible daughter of his. And when he spoke to the crowd listening to that father’s story, every parent in that room had tears in their eyes, because we knew that little girl could be our own. And I know that every American wants her future to be just as bright. That’s who we are. That’s the country I’m so proud to lead as your president. And tonight, despite all the hardship we’ve been through, despite all the frustrations of Washington, I’ve never been more hopeful about our future. I have never been more hopeful about America. And I ask you to sustain that hope. I’m not talking about blind optimism, the kind of hope that just ignores the enormity of the tasks ahead or the roadblocks that stand in our path. I’m not talking about the wishful idealism that allows us to just sit on the sidelines or shirk from a fight. I have always believed that hope is that stubborn thing inside us that insists, despite all the evidence to the contrary, that something better awaits us so long as we have the courage to keep reaching, to keep working, to keep fighting. America, I believe we can build on the progress we’ve made and continue to fight for new jobs and new opportunity and new security for the middle class. I believe we can keep the promise of our founders, the idea that if you’re willing to work hard, it doesn’t matter who you are or where you come from or what you look like or where you love. It doesn’t matter whether you’re black or white or Hispanic or Asian or Native American or young or old or rich or poor, able, disabled, gay or straight, you can make it here in America if you’re willing to try. I believe we can seize this future together because we are not as divided as our politics suggests. We’re not as cynical as the pundits believe. We are greater than the sum of our individual ambitions, and we remain more than a collection of red states and blue states. We are and forever will be the United States of America. And together with your help and God’s grace we will continue our journey forward and remind the world just why it is that we live in the greatest nation on Earth. Thank you, America. God bless you. God bless these United States.
Even as President Obama was about to give his victory speech early Wednesday, dozens of Florida voters waited in line waiting to cast ballots more than five hours after the polls officially closed. In Miami-Dade County, extremely long lines of voters at the 7 p.m. poll-closing time meant ballots were still being cast well after 1 a.m. Wednesday. Democratic operatives even brought pizza to voters to keep them from giving up. Thousands of people in Virginia, Tennessee and elsewhere also had to vote in overtime.
President Obama and Mitt Romney storm into the final day of their long presidential contest, mounting one last effort to protect their flanks while engaging in the toughest battleground of all — Ohio. A new dispute has broken out in Ohio over the validity of provisional ballots. That fight increases the possibility that, if Tuesday’s election comes down to the Buckeye State, it won’t end on Tuesday night at all. Instead, it might be weeks before that state has a final result. - Chronicle News Services - Cartoon - Nick Anderson, Houston Chronicle
It is closing time. For Republican challenger Mitt Romney, the last full day of campaigning will aim at overcoming President Obama’s razor-thin but steady leads in the states where the election will be decided. New national polls seemed to show that it was Obama who had a bit of momentum in the race’s last weekend. The Pew poll, released Sunday, found Obama with a three-point lead nationwide among likely voters, 48 percent to 45 percent. A week ago, the same poll had the two candidates tied. The Pew poll found that Hurricane Sandy may have given Obama a boost: Sixty-nine percent of likely voters approved of the president’s handling of the storm. Beyond the polls, data on early voting seemed to show Democrats with an edge in several key states, although not as wide as the advantages Obama held four years ago. - Washington Post -
In a closing pitch to voters over the last week in Toledo, the Romney campaign has aired TV and radio ads implying that Chrysler and GM were using auto bailout money to ship Ohio jobs to China. “What happened to the promises made to autoworkers in Toledo and throughout Ohio — the same hardworking men and women who were told that Obama’s auto bailout would help them?” an announcer asks in the radio ad. But Romney’s effort to overcome Obama's edge in Ohio may have backfired as complaints about the ad's veracity roll in. Citing the ad as one example, the Washington Post editors opined Friday that the one consistency in the Romney campaign is "a contempt for the electorate". And, in a rare move, Chrysler and GM denounced the ads as untrue.
In what may be the first broadly disseminated mention of global warming in this election cycle, New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg titled his endorsement of President Obama "A vote for a president who will lead on climate change" (published Thursday on MikeBloomberg.com). Climate change was not mentioned in any of the presidential debates.
“The devastation that Hurricane Sandy brought to New York City and much of the Northeast – in lost lives, lost homes and lost business – brought the stakes of Tuesday’s presidential election into sharp relief,” said Bloomberg, who did not directly attribute Sandy to climate change.
Bloomberg did not discount his disappointment in Obama’s last four years including what Bloomberg termed "a divisive populist agenda", but cited the candidates' stances on the issues as decisive.
“One (candidate) sees climate change as an urgent problem that threatens our planet; one does not,” he said.
Business Week, which is owned by Bloomberg News, published its own piece on climate change nearly simultaneously.
It was a tableau that seemed impossible a week ago — a president struggling to defend his economic record in a tight election, flying off to a non-battleground state to spend the afternoon in the company of the man who delivered the keynote address at Romney's Republican National Convention this summer.
After New Jersey’s Republican Governor Chris Christie and Obama's tour of the destruction wrought by superstorm Sandy, the two men praised one another.
"He has sprung into action immediately," said Christie.
"He has put his heart and soul into making sure the people of New Jersey bounce back stronger than before," said Obama.
-Associated Press -
To see Obama and Christie on the tour, go to;
Hurricane Sandy, after killing at least 69 people in the Caribbean, streamed northward, merged with two wintry weather systems and socked the Northeast, mid-Atlantic and Great Lakes with wind, waves, rain and snow eclipsing electoral politics.
If Obama wins Ohio's 18 electoral college votes, Romney’s path to the presidency becomes almost insurmountable. The newest survey, released Saturday night by a consortium of Ohio newspapers, showed Obama and Romney tied at 49 percent each. A handful of other states remain in play. Florida is a must-win for Romney with 29 electoral votes. Both campaigns expect Virginia to be a nail-biter. Colorado and New Hampshire appear exceedingly close. The Obama campaign refuses to give up on North Carolina, though Romney is favored there. Romney will not yield in Nevada, though the Obama team remains confident there. Wisconsin, too, is expected to be close. Still, because of its centrality in the electoral-college calculations, Ohio continues to draw the most focus and intensity, with the battle being waged at all times and on all fronts. - Washington Post -
A Mitt Romney volunteer from Pleasanton, California loads luggage into a bus bound for Nevada's Washoe County. The GOP voters plan to go door to door to help get out the vote in the swing state.
With days until the Nov. 6 election, the passions on the GOP side are a dramatic departure from just months ago when Romney was only halfheartedly embraced by his party's conservative voters.
But that was before Romney's post-debate momentum accelerated and before "Anybody But Obama" fever swept the once-fragmented Republican Party.
Press endorsements in Florida are split, mirroring the popular vote. Here's how they come down;
The Tampa Bay Times, the state’s largest newspaper and home of Politifact.com, endorses Obama.
"The recovery has proven more difficult than anyone imagined. But conditions would be far worse without the president's steady leadership. This is not the time to reverse course and return to the failed policies of the past. Without hesitation, the Tampa Bay Times recommends Barack Obama for re-election as president."
Sun Sentinel - Romney
"Brush away all the rhetoric, all the vitriol, all the divisiveness from the presidential campaign. To most Americans, only one thing matters — the economy."
Miami Herald – Obama
Orlando Sentinel – Romney
See link for more press endorsements.
John Sununu, the former Republican governor of New Hampshire and the co-chair of the Romney campaign, suggested in an interview with Piers Morgan that race was a factor in Colin Powell's endorsement of Obama.
"When you take a look at Colin Powell, you have to look at whether that's an endorsement based on issues or he's got a slightly different reason for endorsing President Obama," Sununu said. "I think when you have somebody of your own race that you're proud of being president of the United States, I applaud Colin for standing with him."
President Obama intensified his pressure Thursday on Mitt Romney to break any ties with Republican Senate candidate Richard Mourdock who said that if a woman becomes pregnant from rape it is "something God intended."
"We've seen again this week,” said Obama referring to the Mourdock controversy, “I don't think any male politicians should be making health care decisions for women."
Romney, who appears in a television advertisement declaring his support for Mourdock, brushed aside questions on the matter from reporters during a stop at a downtown Cincinnati diner and held to an optimistic campaign tone as he fought for victory in crucial Ohio.
Obama wrapped up a 40-hour battleground state blitz and headed for his hometown of Chicago to cast his ballot in a high-profile attempt to boost turnout in early voting.
General Colin Powell endorsed Obama for re-election Thursday.
Powell, a onetime chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and former Secretary of State under George W. Bush, backed Obama in 2008 and reaffirmed his support on the CBS News “This Morning” show, endorsing both his economic and national security policy initiatives.
On national security, Powell said Obama’s actions “protecting us from terrorism have been very, very solid. We ought to keep on the track that we are on.”
Release of an unclassified e-mail is likely to fuel Republican efforts to show that the White House knew that the attack that killed Ambassador J. Christopher Stephens and three others was a terrorist attack. Two hours after the U.S. mission came under attack in Benghazi, Libya, a State Department e-mail sent to intelligence officials and the White House situation room said the Islamist group Ansar al-Shariah claimed responsibility on Facebook and Twitter and also called for an attack on the U.S. Embassy in Tripoli. A U.S. intelligence official said Wednesday that it was "clear from the outset that a group of people gathered that evening" but that it took until the week after the attack to determine "whether extremists took over a crowd or if the guys who showed up were all militants." The official said the briefing included the analysis that the "attacks appeared spontaneous," but also mentioned possible links to regional al-Qaeda groups. Meanwhile, the Tunisian government said it has arrested a 28-year-old Tunisian linked to the U.S. Consulate attack.
President Barack Obama and Republican rival Mitt Romney joined their running mates in rallying thousands of supporters in must-win battleground states Tuesday as they entered the final, frenzied two-week stretch of the presidential race.
A new Washington Post-ABC News national tracking poll released late Tuesday found a statistical dead heat with Romney at 49 percent and Obama at 48 percent among likely voters.
See the link for a veteran Democratic strategist's take on the state of the ground game - advantage Obama.
According to CNN's post debate poll, 48 percent of polled registered voters think that Obama won the foreign policy debate compared to 40 percent who thought Romney prevailed. Other polls showed a wider margin favoring Obama in the debate.
President Obama won the final presidential debate because it was on foreign policy, and the president's foreign policy - unlike his domestic spending - is popular with the American people.
Mitt Romney didn't win the debate, but he did undercut Team Obama which had spent the day hitting Romney for being too warlike, too much like George W. Bush.
Romney changed the game as he talked up peace, and said he wanted to be a partner with China. He graciously congratulated Obama for killing Osama bin Laden, then added, "We can't kill our way out of this mess." He did everything but slip a flower into Obama's gun barrel.
Debra J. Saunders
Republicans pounced Friday on disclosures that President Obama's administration could have known early on that militants, not angry protesters, launched the deadly attack on U.S. diplomats in Libya.
Within 24 hours of the Sept. 11 attack, the CIA station chief in Libya reported to Washington that there were eyewitness reports that it was carried out by militants, officials said.
Paul Ryan, the Republican vice presidential nominee, led Friday's charge.
Obama, speaking Thursday on Comedy Central's "The Daily Show," insisted that information was shared with the American people as it came in.
See "McClatchy report clarifies Benghazi" for more information.
A new report from McClatchy clarifies Benghazi events.
In the first 48 hours after the deadly Sept. 11 attacks on U.S. diplomatic outposts in Libya, senior Obama administration officials strongly alluded to a terrorist assault and repeatedly declined to link it to an anti-Muslim video that drew protests elsewhere in the region, transcripts of briefings show.
The administration’s accounts, however, changed dramatically in the following days.
See link to read a detailed account of the information known to date.
Social media erupted the moment Romney uttered the phrase in response to a question about equal pay for women.
As he described his administration's search for women to serve as cabinet members in Massachusetts, Romney said,
“And – and so we – we took a concerted effort to go out and find women who had backgrounds that could be qualified to become members of our cabinet. I went to a number of women’s groups and said, ‘Can you help us find folks,’ and they brought us whole binders full of women.”
CNN's post debate poll declared Obama the popular winner of the hotly contested town hall debate.
Obama needed to halt the momentum Romney had gained from winning the first debate and came out swinging.
Perhaps the most telling single moment came when Obama responded to Romney on the Benghazi siege that resulted in the death of four Americans including the U.S. ambassador to Libya.
Obama said, "The suggestion that anybody in my team, whether the Secretary of State, our U.N. Ambassador, anybody on my team would play politics or mislead when we’ve lost four of our own, Governor, is offensive. That’s not what we do. That’s not what I do as president, that’s not what I do as Commander in Chief."
The debate was a contrast in style and substance. While Biden attacked Republican vice presidential candidate Paul Ryan on issues ranging from tax cuts to Iran, the Wisconsin congressman appeared cool and unconcerned. He gave no ground and occasionally counterattacked. In response to Biden’s attacks on his proposals for Social Security and Medicare, he declared, “This is what politicians do when they don’t have a record to run on.”
The vice president showed little respect for his opponent, 27 years his junior. He grinned, chuckled and shook his head at what he called the “malarkey” being spewed by Ryan.
“It looks dismissive,” said David Worth, director of forensics at Rice University.
Still, debate experts said Biden showed greater depth on foreign policy, knowledge of budget matters and passion for middle-class concerns.
“Congressman Ryan clearly passed the competency threshold test,” said Aaron Kall, director of debate at the University of Michigan, “but his performance will not further momentum for the ticket.”
“Obama just called Biden and asked what coffee he uses,” tweeted comedian Albert Brooks.
Jon Ralston, Nevada’s premier political reporter, summed it up with this tweet: “People who like Biden will think this is the greatest debate ever: Folks who don’t will find him at his most obnoxious.”
The widest audience since 2008 saw last night what other Democratic candidates found out during endless debates among Democratic presidential candidates in late 2007 and early 2008. Biden takes the argument to his opponent.
And, last night, commentators on the right — and the Republicans’ presidential nominee — were doing the grousing, very much as left pundits were moaning after President Obama’s performance last week.
Vice presidential candidates Joe Biden and Paul Ryan outlined their stark political differences as they battled to a draw in a fiery and combative debate Thursday on issues including Medicare, foreign policy, jobs and the federal budget. From the opening bell, Biden and Ryan went toe-to-toe as moderator Martha Raddatz of ABC skillfully steered the often-heated, 90-minute discussion. In sharp contrast to President Obama’s lackluster debate performance in Denver last week, Vice President Biden openly challenged Wisconsin Rep. Ryan’s answers, more than once dismissing his statements as “malarkey.”
The Obama campaign is counting on Vice President Biden to turn the tide back in Obama's favor while Ryan has to look presidential and not lose the Medicare battle.
The latest Pew poll, conducted Oct. 4 to Oct. 7, gave Romney a four- percentage point lead over Obama while a Gallup poll, Oct. 2 to Oct. 8, showed Obama ahead.
Obama and Romney are virtually tied in Virginia, North Carolina, Colorado and Florida. Obama is up — but close to the margin of error — in Iowa, Nevada and Ohio.
Both Democratic and Republican pollsters agree that Romney’s support has grown and Obama’s slipped since the former Massachusetts governor’s performance in last week’s first presidential debate in Denver. There’s little consensus, though, on how deep or enduring that change in the race’s dynamic may be.
Joe Garofoli suggests readers keep an eye on RealClearPolitics (on SFGate's Elections 2012 page) which averages the major polls.
The first Obama-Romney presidential debate was the most tweeted political event in United States history but it was Big Bird, not the candidates, who got the most tweets – appropriate for a bird some might say. Tuesday, the Obama campaign capitalized on the upswell with a campaign ad mocking Romney’s vow to cut federal funding to PBS.
Mitt Romney declared on Monday that the United States must join other nations in helping arm Syrian rebels to oust Syrian President Bashar Assad, casting President Obama's efforts as weak and part of a broader lack of leadership in the Middle East and around the globe.
"Unbelievable jobs numbers," former General Electric CEO Jack Welch posted on Twitter to his 1.3 million followers responding to Friday’s Labor Department report showing unemployment dropping below 8 percent. "These Chicago guys will do anything ... can't debate so change numbers."
September's 7.8 percent unemployment figure - down from 8.1 percent in August - is unlikely to move many voters, analysts said.
But, the new number does rob Republicans and Romney of a talking point that they've hammered for three years: that the "unemployment rate has been at or above 8 percent for 43 consecutive months.
In the postgame analyses, even liberal-leaning MSNBC had to admit that the night belonged to Romney, as Ed Schultz fumed that Obama was "off his game" and Chris Matthews thundered that the president should have questioned Romney directly on which specific income tax deductions he would eliminate in his plan to close the deficit.
While there was discussion on all the news channels about substance, much of the discussion was on how Romney successfully used the TV medium and Obama simply did not.
In a lively and unusually civilized debate Wednesday, Democrat Barack Obama and Republican Mitt Romney clashed on who would be the better champion of the middle class - a match that provided high drama but no critical game-changers.
The former Massachusetts governor delivered a confident, often aggressive and energetic performance. It was among the best of his campaign and in clear contrast to the president, whose delivery was more muted and measured.
Romney, who has slipped in recent swing-state polls, needed a breakout performance in the event, at the University of Denver.
On the eve of the first presidential debate between President Obama and Mitt Romney, polls show Obama leading in every battleground state. For the first time since we began our Electoral College Update, Obama has a clear lead in states (and the District of Columbia) with more than 270 electoral votes. He now stands at 271, one more than the magic number needed to claim victory.
There’s been a lot of kvetching among Republican loyalists over polling methodology. Rick’s Rule #1 of polling is that any individual poll can be wrong but they can’t all be wrong. Even Fox News’ polling shows Obama ahead.
The best way for Romney to redraw the map in a hurry is to perform well in the three upcoming debates.
-Rick Dunham, Hearst Washington Bureau-
In this week's debate, Mitt Romney has too much to do. President Obama has a great deal to lose.
Romney needs to use the Denver encounter to reverse the slide he has found himself in since the party conventions.
One of the shortcomings of the contemporary media environment is that while debates are supposed to be occasions when candidates thrash out matters of consequence thoughtfully and in detail, the outcomes are often judged by snippets that are more about personal character than issues or problems. Journalists, to invoke the most promiscuously deployed phrases, are forever in search of "defining moments" and "game-changers."
By this standard, Romney very much needs that game-changer. Obama can live quite happily without one.
- Washington Post Writer's Group -
see link for full text
Republicans lashed out at President Obama and his administration Thursday with charges of Watergate-style scandal, stonewalling and cover-up over the Obama administration's evolving description of the deadly Sept. 11 attack on the U.S. mission in Libya. Republicans have also suggested that the administration had intelligence suggesting the deadly attack might happen and ignored it. "I think it's pretty clear that they haven't wanted to level with the American people. We expect candor from the president and transparency," Romney told Fox News this week. The Obama administration initially termed the attack on the Benghazi mission a spontaneous response to a crude anti-Islam video but has since re-classified it as a terrorist attack. - Real Clear Politics -
Both presidential candidates have used their opponents words for campaign ad fodder. Romney's recent ad turns Obama's "Yes we can" call from the 2008 election into "No, I can't".
With early voting already begun in Virginia, South Dakota, Idaho, Vermont, Wyoming and Iowa, Obama's campaign put out a scathing commercial based on Romney's recorded comment that it wasn't his job to worry about the 47 percent of Americans who don't pay income taxes.
Romney countered with an ad of his own, pointing to comments Obama made four years ago when he said he would support proposals to raise the cost of business for operations that run on coal.
The narrator of the Romney ad concludes, "Obama wages war on coal while we lose jobs to China, which is using more coal every day. Now your job is in danger."
Florida elections officials said Friday that at least 10 counties have identified suspicious and possibly fraudulent voter registration forms turned in by a firm working for the Republican Party of Florida.
The controversy in Florida has engulfed the Republican National Committee which admitted that it urged state parties in seven swing states to hire Strategic Allied Consulting to register voters and run get-out-the-vote operations.
Representative Paul Ryan met boos and heckling when he criticized Obamacare at the AARP annual conference one week ago.
According to new state polls, voters in three critical swing states broadly oppose the sweeping changes to Medicare proposed by Republican vice presidential candidate Paul Ryan and favor President Obama over Mitt Romney on the issue.
Asked whom they trust to deal with the Medicare program, Ohio voters side with Obama over Romney by a 19 percentage-point margin. The president has a 15-point advantage on the issue in Florida and a 13-point lead on it in Virginia.
Mitt Romney joined his running mate, Paul Ryan, for a three day bus tour of Ohio, the state commonly viewed as a must-win for Romney. No Republican candidate has won the presidency without winning Ohio.
President Obama’s opening and closing words to the U.N. General Assembly Tuesday paid tribute to Ambassador J. Christopher Stevens who died two weeks ago in an attack on the U.S. mission in Benghazi, Libya. Obama described Stevens as a man who “was known for walking the streets of the cities where he worked – tasting the local food, meeting as many people as he could, speaking Arabic and listening with a broad smile.” In the telling, Stevens life and tragic death served as a parable for Obama’s wider plea for tolerance and renunciation of violence. Listen to the full speech for Obama's position on Syria and the conflict between Iran and Iraq over nuclear enrichment.
Though Mitt Romney’s humorous opening words complimenting Bill Clinton’s ability to cause a bump in the polls got the most airtime Tuesday, the full text of Romney’s speech before the Clinton Global Initiative provides a substantive look at Romney’s ideas on foreign aid with hints at what is likely to be heard in the debates ahead. On the diplomatic front, Romney listed Egpyt’s popular choice of an Islamist leader as one of the recent events in the Middle East that trouble Americans.
"60 Minutes" interviews of the candidates Sunday capped a tumultuous campaign week that saw Romney’s campaign scrambling to counter the fallout from Tuesday's 47 percent bombshell. Romney hewed close to his central economic theme, preferring broad strokes over specifics and skirting question of whether he’d cut deductions for mortgage interest and charitable contributions. Obama acknowledged disappointment in his administration’s failure to change the tone in Washington. If any one comment presaged the upcoming debates, it may have been Obama’s retort to Romney on Israel and Iran: “If Governor Romney is suggesting that we should start another war, he should say so.” Meanwhile, in the tweetosphere, mention of Romney in the past week outnumbered mention of Obama almost 3 to 1 with 907,966 Romney related tweets to Obama’s 332,740.
Asked if his 47 percent comment might boomerang with his voter base, Romney replied: "I was talking about the fact that I don’t expect to get 60 or 70 percent of the vote. I understand that some portion will be the president’s, some portion of it will be mine. I’ve got to get as many as I can from every single cohort in this country. The intent I want to talk about, and that that was intended to speak about, was the fact that you have a great divide about whether we want a government that is larger and more intrusive and redistributing income or whether instead you want a government that sees its role as protecting freedom and opportunity and letting free people build more wealth for all people." Later Tuesday, Romney refined his response, saying "my campaign is about the 100 percent."
Mother Jones Magazine's release of a 10-minute video which shows Romney dismissing President Obama's supporters as the "47 percent" of Americans who "believe they are victims" - is just one in a trifecta of recent events that has launched Romney's campaign into full damage control.
President Obama's post-convention bounce - combined with recent missteps by Republican rival Mitt Romney - has created an electoral map highly favorable to the Democratic president.
The president currently has a 3.1 percent popular-vote edge which is magnified in the Electoral College where he leads the polls in 11 of the 12 battleground states.
An analysis by RealClearPolitics.com, a nonpartisan website, shows the incumbent leading with 332 electoral votes - 62 more than is needed to ensure his re-election - while Romney is ahead in states with 206 electoral votes. Romney is leading in only two states won by Obama in 2008: Indiana and North Carolina.
Deadly outrage in the Arab world over an American-made video insulting Islam’s founder spread across the Middle East and beyond on Thursday and Friday with demonstrations in more than 20 countries.
Reacting to the upsurge in anti-American protest, Mitt Romney and his running mate, Paul Ryan, appeared eager to draw a sharp contrast with President Obama on key foreign policy questions including American relations with Iran, Israel and other countries and the U.S. government’s handling of the war on terror.
But political observers say Obama has an advantage over Romney in voters' perception of who is better prepared to handle foreign policy issues.
The killing of J. Christopher Stevens, the U.S. ambassador to Libya, in Benghazi on Tuesday set off a political firestorm over whether his death - and events leading up to it - are being unfairly politicized in the heat of the U.S. presidential race.
GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney sparked controversy after his blistering criticism late Tuesday charging that the Obama administration set a "terrible course" when it appeared to "sympathize" with Islamic militants in the Middle East.
His remarks came in the same 24-hour period in which U.S. missions in Cairo and Benghazi were attacked and four people, including Stevens, were killed.
Yemeni protesters climb the gate of the U.S. Embassy in Sanaa, Yemen, Thursday, Sept. 13, 2012.
Chanting "death to America," hundreds of protesters angered by an anti-Islam film stormed the embassy compound and burned the American flag, the latest in a series of attacks on American diplomatic missions in the Middle East.
Protests continued for a second day in Egypt while, in Iraq, hundreds of Shiite followers of the anti-American cleric Muqtada al-Sadr demanded the closure of the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad.
In the U.S., media pundits considered how developments in the Middle East would impact the presidential election.
- Associated Press -