Politics

'It's All Politics': NPR's Weekly News Roundup
10:27 am
Fri November 2, 2012

It's All Politics, Nov. 1, 2012

Joe Raedle Getty Images

Originally published on Fri November 2, 2012 11:47 am

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Superstorm Sandy, the October Surprise no one anticipated, throws a monkey wrench into the final days of the campaign. NPR's Ken Rudin and Ron Elving spend the final pre-election podcast scouting the key presidential battleground states and have a forecast for control of the House and Senate in advance of Tuesday's voting.

Join NPR's Ron Elving and Ken Rudin for their pre-Election Day political roundup.

Economy
9:58 am
Fri November 2, 2012

What's The Priority: Unemployment Or Deficit?

Transcript

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

This is TELL ME MORE, from NPR News. I'm Michel Martin. Later in the program, Superstorm Sandy might've turned out the lights along the East Coast, but Twitter was ablaze with comments. We want to talk about the good, the bad and the ugly that Sandy brought out on social media. We'll have that conversation in a few minutes.

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It's All Politics
9:04 am
Fri November 2, 2012

Final Pre-Election Jobs Report Can Be Spun By Both Obama And Romney

President Obama gives a girl a high five at a campaign rally in Hilliard, Ohio, on Nov. 2.
Jewel Samad AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Fri November 2, 2012 11:20 am

(Revised @ 12 p.m. ET)

The final monthly jobs report before Tuesday's general election contained something for both President Obama and Republican Mitt Romney to work into their closing arguments to voters.

For Obama, it was the news that the economy in October created significantly more jobs — 171,000 — than many economists had forecast. And the Labor Department revised upward the job numbers for September and August, suggesting even more underlying strength in the economy than earlier appeared to be the case.

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It's All Politics
8:01 am
Fri November 2, 2012

In Oklahoma, Republicans Take Two Views Toward Taxes

Rowers return to the Chesapeake Energy Boathouse after training on the river near downtown Oklahoma City. The riverfront recreation area is one of the most visible examples of the city's sales tax initiatives in action.
Joe Wertz/StateImpact Oklahoma

Originally published on Fri November 2, 2012 8:45 am

On Tuesday, voters in Tulsa County, Okla., will weigh in on a pair of ballot measures that would extend a sales tax hike to fund economic development and public works projects.

Tulsa's Republican mayor, Dewey Bartlett, and other local GOP leaders support the idea of continuing the tax hike. So does the local business establishment, represented by the Tulsa Metro Chamber.

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Shots - Health News
3:04 am
Fri November 2, 2012

Romney's Baffling Claim About Medicare Pay Cuts For Doctors

Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney makes his case about Medicare during a briefing in South Carolina in August.
Evan Vucci AP

Originally published on Fri November 2, 2012 8:19 pm

Health care in general — and Medicare, in particular — have been big parts of this year's presidential campaign.

But over the last couple of weeks, Republican Mitt Romney has been making a new claim that doesn't quite clear the accuracy bar.

It has to do with $716 billion in Medicare reductions over 10 years included in the federal health law, the Affordable Care Act. And it's become a standard part of Romney's stump speech.

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House & Senate Races
3:35 pm
Thu November 1, 2012

Sept. 11 Becomes Issue In Wisconsin Senate Race

Originally published on Thu November 1, 2012 4:42 pm

One of the most liberal members of the House, Wisconsin congresswoman Tammy Baldwin was not supposed to stand a chance in a statewide Senate run after she won the Democratic primary. And, a week out from the election, she remains in a tight race with former Governor Tommy Thompson for the open seat. Wisconsin Public Radio's Shawn Johnson has this report.

Presidential Race
3:35 pm
Thu November 1, 2012

Obama Pitches Bipartisanship Before Election

Originally published on Thu November 1, 2012 4:42 pm

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

With his city picking up the pieces left by Sandy, New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg used the spotlight today to make a high-profile endorsement. President Obama gets his vote for a second term. Bloomberg singled out the president's leadership on climate change.

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

Mr. Obama, meanwhile, resumed campaigning. He's holding rallies today in Wisconsin, Nevada and Colorado while his opponent, Mitt Romney, spends the day in Virginia.

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Presidential Race
3:35 pm
Thu November 1, 2012

Obama, Romney Begin Final Swing State Tours

Originally published on Thu November 1, 2012 4:42 pm

It's a tight race in Nevada, where the vaunted Democratic machine is being challenged by Republicans. The GOP hopes a higher turnout will counter a Democratic registration advantage. Unions — which have half Hispanic membership — and the Obama campaign are doggedly pursuing every voter. Meanwhile, the Romney campaign's Nevada team is doing the same. Early voting ends Friday.

Politics
3:35 pm
Thu November 1, 2012

Mobile Apps A Digital Take On Political Canvassing

Originally published on Thu November 1, 2012 4:42 pm

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

Canvassing has long been a part of the political process. But now, new social networking technologies are changing how people go door-knocking. Mobile apps with integrated voter registration rolls make it possible to collect and react to voter sentiment instantly. And a new Facebook tool enables volunteers to evangelize for their candidates like never before.

From member station KQED in San Francisco, Aarti Shahani reports.

(SOUNDBITE OF TAPPING)

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Presidential Race
3:35 pm
Thu November 1, 2012

Romney Says Obama Doesn't Understand Business

Originally published on Thu November 1, 2012 4:42 pm

Transcript

ARI SHAPIRO, BYLINE: I'm Ari Shapiro, traveling with the Romney campaign. After a few days of muted criticism of the president, Mitt Romney let loose in Virginia today.

MITT ROMNEY: We really can't have four more years like the last four years. I know the Obama folks are chanting four more years, four more years. But our chant is this, five more days. Five more days is our chant.

(APPLAUSE)

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It's All Politics
3:12 pm
Thu November 1, 2012

A Campaign Map, Morphed By Money

Adam Cole NPR

Originally published on Wed December 19, 2012 2:36 pm

Campaign reporters spend a lot of time pointing at color-coded electoral maps like the one below, showing which states voted for Republican John McCain (in red) and Democrat Barack Obama (in blue) in 2008.

But these maps lie — visually speaking.

Red appears to be the clear winner, dominating a vast swath from the South to the Rockies. It's all geographically accurate, but electorally skewed. For example, Montana (three electoral votes) dwarfs Massachusetts (which had 12 electoral votes in 2008).

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It's All Politics
2:42 pm
Thu November 1, 2012

Superstorm Sandy May Have Blown In Fresh Breeze Of Bipartisanship

President Obama is greeted by New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie upon arriving in Atlantic City, N.J., on Wednesday to visit areas hardest hit by Superstorm Sandy.
Jewel Samad AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu November 1, 2012 5:02 pm

Amid the devastation caused by Sandy, there are signs the superstorm might have blown a fresh breeze into the nation's politics. Suddenly, everyone's talking about something that seemed impossible just days before — bipartisanship.

Nothing sums that attitude up better than the actions of New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie. Republican Christie, who has worked closely with GOP hopeful Mitt Romney's campaign and has consistently proved one of President Obama's harshest critics, put that aside in the aftermath of Sandy.

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It's All Politics
2:00 pm
Thu November 1, 2012

What Romney's Run Means For Mormonism

The Mormon Salt Lake temple in Salt Lake City.
George Frey Getty Images

Originally published on Thu November 1, 2012 8:59 pm

Win or lose on Election Day, Republican Mitt Romney has already made history as the first Mormon to win a major party presidential nomination.

But has his race for the White House changed Americans' perceptions and stereotypes of the small, insular but fast-growing religion, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints?

And, by extension, has Romney affected how Mormons view their place in the nation?

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Politics
12:05 pm
Thu November 1, 2012

Well-Liked Leaders Know The Secret: Make Us Laugh

Originally published on Thu November 1, 2012 3:15 pm

Transcript

NEAL CONAN, HOST:

Last week, after Donald Trump asked President Obama to produce more records to prove his citizenship, the president used an appearance on "The Tonight Show" to dismiss the issue with a one-liner. Host Jay Leno asked, what's this thing between you and Trump?

(SOUNDBITE OF TV SHOW, "THE TONIGHT SHOW WITH JAY LENO")

PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA: This all dates back to when we were growing up together in Kenya.

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It's All Politics
11:36 am
Thu November 1, 2012

If Presidential Election Held Today, Clint Would Beat Oprah

A life-sized cardboard cutout of actor, director and politician Clint Eastwood stands next to an empty chair cutout north of Los Angeles, California. Eastwood's 12-minute conversation with an empty chair representing President Obama sparked much attention at the 2012 Republican National Convention.
David McNew Getty Images

Originally published on Thu November 1, 2012 1:12 pm

File this under "I didn't really think there was anything else I could learn about or care about swing state voters, and then came this."

Swing state voters by 42-38 percent would prefer a President Clint Eastwood over a President Oprah Winfrey.

Republican swing state voters would prefer President Stephen Colbert over President Jon Stewart by a 3-to-1 margin. Flip that for swing state Democrats.

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It's All Politics
11:31 am
Thu November 1, 2012

Obama Returns To The Post-Sandy Campaign Trail

President Obama campaigns Thursday in Green Bay, Wis.
Tom Lynn AP

Originally published on Thu November 1, 2012 12:49 pm

Just five days before Election Day, President Obama returned to the campaign trail after spending several days preoccupied with overseeing the federal response to the devastation in the Northeast in the wake of Superstorm Sandy.

Obama began his campaign re-emergence Thursday with a rally in Green Bay, Wis., a state where his once-substantial lead in polls over Republican Mitt Romney has narrowed to only a few points in a majority of the polls.

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It's All Politics
8:15 am
Thu November 1, 2012

The GOP Has Its Eyes On Another Election Day Prize: Arkansas

Welcome to Arkansas ... will it apply to the GOP on Election Day? Republicans haven't had control over both state legislative chambers since 1874.
Fotosearch Getty Images/Fotosearch RF

Originally published on Thu November 1, 2012 9:17 am

Arkansas voters are about to make history, one way or another.

Democrats have selected as their incoming House leader Darrin Williams, who would serve as the state's first African-American speaker.

But Williams might never get to hold the gavel. Republicans believe they have a good shot at taking control of the Arkansas House — and Senate — for the first time since 1874.

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The Two-Way
6:25 am
Thu November 1, 2012

For Obama And Romney, It's Back To The Campaign After Sandy

Early voters waited in line Wednesday in Miami.
Joe Raedle Getty Images

The campaign calm after the storm is about to end.

Both President Obama and his Republican challenger, Mitt Romney, will be out stumping for votes today. The race for the White House, which was just about put on hold as Superstorm Sandy bore down on the East Coast and then roared ashore, is back on with just five days to go before Election Day.

Romney will be in Virginia. The president will be in Wisconsin, Colorado and Nevada.

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Politics
3:06 am
Thu November 1, 2012

Obama Gets A Bird's-Eye View Of Sandy's Damage

Originally published on Thu November 1, 2012 4:41 am

On Wednesday, President Obama toured some of the hardest-hit parts of New Jersey, along with Republican Gov. Chris Christie. The two have become a political odd couple since the storm — each offering praise for the other's leadership.

It's All Politics
5:12 pm
Wed October 31, 2012

The Destructive Storm That Built An Unlikely Political Bridge

President Obama and New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie at the Brigantine Beach Community Center in Brigantine, N.J., where they met with local residents displaced by Sandy.
Pablo Martinez Monsivais AP

Though Superstorm Sandy destroyed much in its path, it did apparently build at least one bridge, that of bipartisanship between President Obama and New Jersey's Republican Gov. Chris Christie.

Christie, a strong ally of Mitt Romney, the GOP presidential nominee, and a key critic of the president before the storm, has had little but praise for Obama for the assistance provided to New Jersey leading into the epic storm, which hit this week.

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It's All Politics
3:59 pm
Wed October 31, 2012

Mysterious Anti-Obama Spam Texts Linked To Republican Consulting Group

A screenshot of an anti-Obama text message received Tuesday evening.
NPR

Originally published on Wed October 31, 2012 4:53 pm

If you're using social media to follow the presidential campaign or even if you're related to someone else who's doing that, there's a good chance your cellphone got spammed Tuesday night with an anti-Obama text message.

The messages went out between 7:30 and 10 p.m. They were anonymous but quickly traced to a Republican consulting firm in Northern Virginia.

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House & Senate Races
3:53 pm
Wed October 31, 2012

Allen West Faces Challenge After Redistricting

Originally published on Wed October 31, 2012 4:53 pm

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Audie Cornish.

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

And I'm Robert Siegel.

Among the hundreds of races underway for seats in the U.S. House of Representatives, one of the most expensive and nastiest is in a district on Florida's Atlantic Coast. Although he's just a freshman, Republican Allen West is known nationally for his Tea Party conservatism, his frequent appearances on Fox News and his provocative statements. He once called House Democrats members of the communist party.

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Presidential Race
3:53 pm
Wed October 31, 2012

In Context: Mitt Romney, Ohio And The Auto Bailout

Originally published on Wed October 31, 2012 4:53 pm

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

It's ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News. I'm Audie Cornish.

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

I'm Robert Siegel.

And in the presidential race this week, the focus in the pivotal state of Ohio has been on the federal bailout of General Motors and Chrysler. President Obama backed it. Mitt Romney opposed it, and the Romney campaign is running some controversial ads on the subject in Ohio.

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Around the Nation
3:27 pm
Wed October 31, 2012

Obama, Christie Unlikely Partners After Sandy

Originally published on Wed October 31, 2012 4:53 pm

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Robert Siegel.

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

And I'm Audie Cornish.

The most populous city in the country is drying out and beginning a long and complicated recovery. One positive sign: Tomorrow, some New York City subway routes are scheduled to reopen. But today, gridlock ruled as people took to their cars. And that means it's car pool time.

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It's All Politics
1:46 pm
Wed October 31, 2012

Auto Legend Iacocca Backs Romney In Ohio Car Wars

Mitt Romney campaigns Monday in Avon Lake, Ohio.
Tony Dejak AP

Originally published on Wed October 31, 2012 3:06 pm

As the presidential race zeroes in on Ohio, and the auto industry gets renewed focus in the all-important swing state, Mitt Romney's campaign is touting the backing of former Chrysler CEO Lee Iacocca and the company's former president, Hal Sperlich.

"In our opinion, Mitt Romney is the leader we need to help turn our economy around and ensure that the American auto industry is once again a dominant force in the world," Iacocca and Sperlich write on Romney's website.

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Election 2012
12:08 pm
Wed October 31, 2012

Sandy's October Surprise May Change 2012 Race

Transcript

NEAL CONAN, HOST:

This is TALK OF THE NATION. I'm Neal Conan in Washington. The storm stops top-of-the-ticket campaigning for a couple of days; the president plays chief of state; Romney collects cans and water for disaster relief; it's Wednesday and time for a...

PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA: Sandy...

CONAN: Edition of the Political Junkie.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDINGS)

PRESIDENT RONALD REAGAN: There you go again.

VICE PRESIDENT WALTER MONDALE: When I hear your new ideas, I'm reminded of that ad: Where's the beef?

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It's All Politics
11:59 am
Wed October 31, 2012

In Sandy's Wake, Romney Struggles To Regain Attention

Mitt Romney helps collect and pack donated goods for those affected by Hurricane Sandy, in Kettering, Ohio, on Tuesday.
Emmanuel Dunand AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Wed October 31, 2012 1:53 pm

It's not yet time to change the subject. That might pose a problem for Mitt Romney.

Media coverage of Hurricane Sandy and its aftermath has been intense in recent days, dominating regular news shows and prompting prime-time specials. With just a few days left before the election, the presidential contest has become an afterthought.

"It interrupted the news cycle at a time when there were favorable horse race stories for Mitt," says Tom Rath, a senior adviser to the Romney campaign. "In a campaign, you don't get to design the racetrack; you play the cards you're dealt."

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It's All Politics
9:56 am
Wed October 31, 2012

In Ohio, Teachers Run For Statehouse — And Could Give Obama A Boost

An attendee holds up a button at a speech by President Obama on Sept. 17 in Cincinnati.
Carolyn Kaster AP

Originally published on Wed October 31, 2012 1:08 pm

Teachers unions in Ohio are supporting President Obama in the race for the White House. But way down the ballot, in races for the state Legislature, it's teachers themselves who want some support on Nov. 6.

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Political Junkie
9:15 am
Wed October 31, 2012

It's ScuttleButton Time!

Ken Rudin collection

In the wake of the devastation of the East Coast these past horrific days, this is not the time to be cute or clever. So we'll just cut to the chase and offer this week's ScuttleButton puzzle.

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It's All Politics
8:53 am
Wed October 31, 2012

Presidential Race: What If There Are Two Winners?

Kimberly Fisher cast her ballot Wednesday at a polling place at the Wicomico County Youth and Civic Center in Salisbury, Md.
Alex Brandon AP

Originally published on Wed October 31, 2012 2:10 pm

Even before Hurricane Sandy came roaring up the East Coast, political prognosticators were worried about next week's election being thrown into chaos and confusion.

The reason is that with the race between President Obama and Mitt Romney so close, there's a possibility of something other than a clean outcome.

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