Politics

It's All Politics
11:25 am
Tue October 9, 2012

Sesame Workshop To Obama Campaign: Leave Big Bird Out Of It

Sesame Workshop asked President Obama's campaign to stop running an ad featuring its Big Bird character.
Obama campaign ad

Originally published on Tue October 9, 2012 12:12 pm

In its attempt to turn the tables on Mitt Romney following the Republican presidential nominee's big win in the first presidential debate, President Obama's campaign has sought to enlist Big Bird.

The president has repeatedly reminded supporters at rallies that Romney, during the debate, specifically cited Big Bird when he promised to defund the Public Broadcasting Service to reduce federal deficits.

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Commentary
10:32 am
Tue October 9, 2012

One Debate, Two Very Different Conversations

President Obama and Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney finish their debate at the University of Denver on Oct. 3.
Saul Loeb AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Tue October 9, 2012 12:13 pm

When you consider how carefully staged and planned the debates are and how long they've been around, it's remarkable how often candidates manage to screw them up. Sometimes they're undone by a simple gaffe or an ill-conceived bit of stagecraft, like Gerald Ford's slip-up about Soviet domination of eastern Europe in 1976, or Al Gore's histrionic sighing in 2000. Sometimes it's just a sign of a candidate having a bad day, like Ronald Reagan's woolly ramblings in the first debate with Walter Mondale in 1984.

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Election 2012
4:49 am
Tue October 9, 2012

Virginia Senate Candidates Square Off In Debate

Originally published on Tue October 9, 2012 9:25 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

It's MORNING EDITION from NPR News. Good morning. I'm Steve Inskeep.

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

And I'm Renee Montagne.

There was a time when Republicans seemed very likely to take control of the Senate this fall. They still have a good chance of that - though political odds makers now see the contest as close. It will be decided by races like the one in Virginia, where two former governors are running and debated last night. Republican George Allen and Democrat Tim Kaine are among the biggest political names in their state.

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Election 2012
4:49 am
Tue October 9, 2012

At VMI, Romney Criticizes Obama's Foreign Policy

Originally published on Tue October 9, 2012 9:25 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

On a Tuesday, it's MORNING EDITION, from NPR News. I'm Steve Inskeep.

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

And I'm Renee Montagne. Just about every poll since last week's presidential debate, shows that Mitt Romney has made the race very close. A Pew survey showed Romney tied with President Obama, among registered voters; and leading by four points, among likely voters.

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Election 2012
4:49 am
Tue October 9, 2012

Outside Political Groups Swamp Montana's Media Market

Originally published on Tue October 9, 2012 9:25 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

You heard Brian mention outside groups spending in Virginia. That spending was made easier by the Supreme Court's Citizens United ruling back in 2010, which opened the door to more corporate political spending. Loud complaints about that decision came from the state of Montana, where we're going next. It has a history of restricting corporate political spending, and officials worried that outside groups would swamp their tiny media market - which they have, as NPR's Martin Kaste reports.

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Political Junkie
4:48 am
Tue October 9, 2012

Is The V.P. Debate A Sideshow Or Something More?

Sen. Lloyd Bentsen (D-Texas) shakes hands with Sen. Dan Quayle (R-Ind.) before their vice presidential debate at the Omaha Civic Auditorium in Omaha, Neb., on Oct. 5, 1988.
Ron Edmonds AP

Originally published on Tue October 23, 2012 8:28 am

The reviews are in and, agree with them or not, most people thought Mitt Romney bested Barack Obama in Wednesday's presidential debate. The two don't meet again until Oct. 16, but in the meantime, there will be the vice-presidential face-off this Thursday.

How much pressure is riding on Vice President Joe Biden and Republican challenger Paul Ryan?

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Politics
2:41 pm
Mon October 8, 2012

In Calif., 2 Democrats, 2 Incumbents, 1 Race

Originally published on Mon October 8, 2012 3:38 pm

One of the toughest, and strangest, congressional races in the country is between two Los Angeles incumbents. Redistricting put Democrats Howard Berman and Brad Sherman into the same territory. Their faceoff in this election is a result of California's new non-partisan primary system, which sends the top two finishers to the general election, even if they're from the same party.

It's All Politics
2:31 pm
Mon October 8, 2012

Romney's Debate Performance Swings Polls In His Favor

Mitt Romney and President Obama wave to the audience during the first presidential debate at the University of Denver, on Wednesday.
David Goldman AP

Originally published on Mon October 8, 2012 8:10 pm

In the five days since Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney was declared by many the winner of the first presidential debate, political watchers have waited to see if polls would shift in response to his performance. And, they did.

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Solve This
2:30 pm
Mon October 8, 2012

Obama's Jobs Plan Focuses On Federal Investment

President Obama speaks during a campaign event at George Mason University in Fairfax, Va., on Friday.
Pablo Martinez Monsivais AP

Originally published on Tue October 9, 2012 5:48 am

In the next two installments of Solve This, NPR's series on the major issues facing the country, we'll examine each presidential candidate's approach to boosting employment. First, President Obama's strategy, then Mitt Romney's.

Job creation is the centerpiece of President Obama's campaign speeches.

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Election 2012
2:12 am
Mon October 8, 2012

Romney Campaigns In Florida, Obama In California

Originally published on Mon October 8, 2012 2:35 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

It's MORNING EDITION, from NPR News. I'm Steve Inskeep.

Mitt Romney's campaign spent almost the whole month of September in freefall. Almost nothing he did seemed right and almost everything was criticized, at least in part because he was trailing in the polls. That's a perception that feeds on itself. Then came last week's presidential debate, and surveys over this past weekend show the race much tighter. Now we watch to see what happens next.

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It's All Politics
10:35 am
Sun October 7, 2012

What If They Held A Debate And Nobody Won?

President Obama and Republican challenger Mitt Romney greet one another before Wednesday's debate in Denver.
Chip Somodevilla Getty Images

Originally published on Sun October 7, 2012 12:06 pm

For most people reacting to last week's presidential debate, their first thought was probably not about who made the best arguments or told the most truths. Rather it was likely deciding who won.

The answer this time around was unusually definitive: Mitt Romney, by virtually every account and measure.

But in presidential debates — and the vice presidential version, which takes place on Thursday — does there need to be a winner?

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Economy
5:55 am
Sun October 7, 2012

As Fiscal Cliff Nears, Simpson-Bowles Re-Emerges

Originally published on Tue October 9, 2012 11:24 am

Transcript

RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

This is WEEKEND EDITION, from NPR News. I'm Rachel Martin. Simpson, Bowles - the names flew by eight times, without explanation, during Wednesday's presidential debate. Google reported that Simpson-Bowles was among the most searched-for terms online that night. The reference was to Republican elder statesman Alan Simpson and his Democratic counterpart, Erskine Bowles. The two headed a 2010 commission on the national debt.

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Presidential Race
5:55 am
Sun October 7, 2012

As N.H. Wobbles, Third Party Could Push It Over

Originally published on Tue October 9, 2012 11:24 am

Transcript

RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Rachel Martin.

The latest national polls show the presidential race tightening in some of the all-important battleground states, with Republican Mitt Romney gaining on President Barack Obama's lead. We've been talking with political reporters in these swing states and this morning, we focus on New Hampshire. President Obama won the state back in 2008 with 54 percent of the vote to John McCain's 45 percent. The state's four electoral votes could be crucial this year.

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It's All Politics
4:06 am
Sun October 7, 2012

Massachusetts Senate Race Gives New Meaning To Gender Politics

Republican U.S. Sen. Scott Brown (left) answers a question during a debate against Democratic challenger Elizabeth Warren on Monday at the University of Massachusetts in Lowell, Mass.
Matt Stone AP

Originally published on Tue October 9, 2012 11:24 am

Despite its liberal reputation, the home of Jack Kennedy and Tip O'Neill has never elected a woman as governor or senator. And in Massachusetts Sen. Scott Brown's tight re-election race with Democratic challenger Elizabeth Warren, gender could prove the difference.

When Brown won his Senate seat in a special election in 2010, he came away unscathed by something his female opponent at the time would have had a much harder time explaining away. He posed nude for Cosmopolitan when he was 22 to help pay for law school.

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Solve This
4:06 am
Sun October 7, 2012

Afghanistan Deadline Awaits Next U.S. President

Afghan children run to school on Sept. 24. Whoever takes over as the next U.S. president will have to determine how many troops will remain after the December 2014 deadline to help with long-term security.
Jeff Pachoud AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Tue October 9, 2012 11:24 am

How does a president bring the war in Afghanistan to an end? There are 68,000 American troops serving in the country as the war enters its 12th year.

The war hasn't been a major issue in the presidential campaign, and polls show American voters are tiring of the war. But the next commander in chief will find the Afghan war among the most difficult of many foreign policy challenges.

Both President Obama and Gov. Mitt Romney appear to agree on a date: the last day of December 2014. That's when the Afghan security forces are scheduled to takeover.

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Presidential Race
4:04 am
Sun October 7, 2012

Taxes Are Certain, But What About Romney's Cuts?

Supporters watch Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney speak on Friday in Abingdon, Va. Romney started off his campaign calling for big tax cuts, but has backed off that somewhat.
Justin Sullivan Getty Images

Originally published on Tue October 9, 2012 11:24 am

Republican Mitt Romney started his campaign calling for big tax cuts, but now he has changed course. He's warning middle-class families not to raise their hopes too high.

Romney couldn't have been more emphatic than he was last November at a candidates' debate in Michigan.

"What I want to do is help the people who've been hurt the most, and that's the middle class," he said. "And so what I do is focus a substantial tax break on middle-income Americans."

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Politics
3:18 pm
Sat October 6, 2012

Week In News: The Debate Mattered

Originally published on Sat October 6, 2012 4:44 pm

President Barack Obama and Republican challenger Mitt Romney squared off in their first debate this week. Some pundits say the debates don't really matter in the final outcome of the election, and yet polls show Romney got a big bounce following his performance. Host Guy Raz talks to Jim Fallows, of The Atlantic, about what, if any, effect debates may have on undecided voters.

Politics
3:02 pm
Sat October 6, 2012

Defense Companies Hold Off On Pink Slips, For Now

Air Force F-22 Raptors, made by Lockheed Martin, are prepared for flight operations at Langley Air Force Base. Despite the looming defense spending cuts that would go into effect in January if Congress does not pass a deficit reduction plan, Lockheed Martin and other defense contractors announced this week they would not issue layoff notices.
Gary C. Knapp AP

Originally published on Sat October 6, 2012 4:44 pm

Major defense companies said this week they will not send out layoff notices to warn of big job cuts in January, taking away the prospect of embarrassing layoff notices right before the November elections.

That's led to charges that the White House overstepped when it told the industry the notices are not needed.

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Presidential Race
2:56 pm
Sat October 6, 2012

The NPR Third-Party Candidate Debate

Moderator Jim Lehrer sits at his desk before last Wednesday's debate between President Obama and Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney in Denver. For third-party candidates, getting into a presidential debate is practically impossible.
Pool Getty Images

Originally published on Fri October 26, 2012 1:00 pm

What's it like to be a third-party candidate running for president? Ralph Nader can tell us.

"You're excluded from the debates," he says. "You spend an exhausting amount of time, until Labor Day, trying to get over the ballot access barriers. Your petitioners are harassed in the streets; you're subjected to baseless lawsuits by one party or another."

Nader has run for president three times – four if you count the time he ran unofficially. In 2000, he managed to win almost 3 percent of the national vote.

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Simon Says
6:05 am
Sat October 6, 2012

Does Voting Early Prompt Hasty Choices?

Voters cast their ballots during early voting in Bowling Green, Ohio. Early voting began Oct. 2 in the battleground state, five weeks before Election Day on November 6.
J.D. Pooley Getty Images

Originally published on Sat October 6, 2012 5:55 pm

Nov. 6 is 32 days away, but for millions of Americans, there is no longer an Election Day.

Thirty-two states and the District of Columbia now have early voting, which is under way even now in eight states. Hundreds of thousands of votes have already been cast, most before this week's presidential debates or Friday's jobs report, and all ahead of the three future debates and any unforeseen October event that might test the mettle of a candidate.

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Presidential Race
5:58 am
Sat October 6, 2012

Economic News Brightens Obama Rally

Originally published on Sat October 6, 2012 5:55 pm

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

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Presidential Race
5:58 am
Sat October 6, 2012

Romney Skirts Drop In Unemployment

Originally published on Sat October 6, 2012 5:55 pm

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

And Mitt Romney a little more than a day to savor his presidential debate win before the September unemployment figures forced him to recalibrate. High unemployment has been Mitt Romney's number one argument for why voters should replace President Obama. Now, the jobless rate is still high, but it is below the important psychological threshold of 8 percent. NPR's Ari Shapiro reports on how the Republican presidential nominee reacted to the news.

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Shots - Health Blog
3:57 am
Sat October 6, 2012

Romney Health Care Debate Claim Gets Corrected By His Own Staff

Mitt Romney speaks during the presidential debate Wednesday in Denver.
Chip Somodevilla Getty Images

Originally published on Fri March 21, 2014 2:17 pm

Independent fact checkers have not been particularly kind to Mitt Romney since Wednesday's first presidential debate in Denver. But one of the candidate's claims turned out to be so far off the mark that he had to be corrected by his own aides — a fact not unnoticed by the Obama campaign.

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Presidential Race
2:46 pm
Fri October 5, 2012

Romney Brushes Off Positive Unemployment News

Originally published on Fri October 5, 2012 9:07 pm

Transcript

ARI SHAPIRO, BYLINE: I'm Ari Shapiro, traveling with the Romney campaign. The Republican presidential nominee had been chugging along on momentum from Wednesday's debate performance when this morning's unemployment numbers changed the story. At a rally near Virginia's border with Tennessee, that did not faze voters like Nancy Lemieux(ph). She says the statistics are bogus.

NANCY LEMIEUX: Because they twist the numbers to suit the politicians and right now, it's Obama's cronies. So I don't believe anything I hear on TV.

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Presidential Race
2:45 pm
Fri October 5, 2012

Jobs Report Buoys Obama On The Campaign Trail

Originally published on Fri October 5, 2012 9:07 pm

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

This is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News. I'm Melissa Block. Another page turned today in the presidential campaign. After a day of debate analysis giving Mitt Romney a leg up, President Obama got some news he can play to his advantage - the jobs numbers, which show the unemployment rate dropped sharply to its lowest level since he took office, 7.8 percent.

And quickly, both candidates started the spin.

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House & Senate Races
2:41 pm
Fri October 5, 2012

Indiana Senate Race No Longer A Sure Shot For GOP

Originally published on Fri October 5, 2012 9:07 pm

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

This is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News. I'm Melissa Block. In the 2008 election, Indiana was a surprise. It voted for Barack Obama by a tiny margin. Typically, it's a solidly red state. And this year, Indiana seems on the verge of a Republican sweep, that is, except in the race there for U.S. Senate. The campaign to replace longtime Republican Richard Lugar is heating up in the Hoosier state.

Though Lugar is out of the running, that doesn't mean he's out of the race as NPR's Sonari Glinton reports.

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It's All Politics
1:40 pm
Fri October 5, 2012

Commission On Presidential Debate Defends Moderator Jim Lehrer

Moderator Jim Lehrer addresses the audience before the first presidential debate at the University of Denver on Wednesday
Charlie Neibergall AP

Longtime PBS anchor Jim Lehrer was heavily criticized for his role in moderating the first presidential debate on Wednesday.

Today, the Commission on Presidential Debates defended him, saying the format of the debate was intended facilitate a long discussion on each subject.

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Election 2012
11:24 am
Fri October 5, 2012

Old Dominion May Hold Keys To White House, Senate

President Obama takes the stage Friday during a campaign event at George Mason University in Fairfax, Va.
Pablo Martinez Monsivais AP

Originally published on Fri October 5, 2012 12:50 pm

Barack Obama made history in Virginia four years ago when, on his way to winning the White House, he became the first Democratic presidential candidate to capture the state in more than four decades.

His surprisingly comfortable 53-46 percent win over Republican John McCain mirrored more closely than any other state the 2008 national result and provided potent evidence of demographic and economic changes that have been sweeping the Old Dominion.

It's more diverse, wealthier, better educated than ever before.

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It's All Politics
10:58 am
Fri October 5, 2012

For Obama, 7.8 Could Be Lucky Number

President Obama smiles during a rally Friday at George Mason University in Fairfax, Va.
Brendan Smialowski AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Fri October 5, 2012 11:09 am

To become president and to be re-elected president takes much luck (among other factors, like money and political skill.) And President Obama appears to be one of the most fortunate presidents in recent memory with the release of the latest employment report.

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Business
10:27 am
Fri October 5, 2012

One Jobs Report, Two Different Political Spins

Democrats say the economy is growing and jobs consistently are being added. But Republicans note that the pace is far too slow to absorb the more than 12 million people still looking for work.
Mladen Antonov AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Fri October 5, 2012 1:22 pm

With a new report showing the nation's unemployment rate fell to 7.8 percent last month, the Obama administration got good news Friday: Jobs are indeed growing. But, as Republicans noted, the pace remains well below the level needed to provide paychecks for the 12.1 million people seeking them.

The truth is, each party could find evidence to support either a positive or negative spin on the labor market, which is recovering — yet weak.

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