Republicans continue to press the Obama administration for more details on how they would cut billions from the defense budget if sequestration is put into place in January. The Department of Defense will now have to explain why it has not planned for an event that is becoming increasingly likely.
From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Robert Siegel.
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And I'm Audie Cornish. This week, President Obama and Mitt Romney are trying to burnish their credentials with Latino voters. Yesterday, Romney appeared on a special Univision broadcast fielding questions from hosts and the audience. Today, the president did the same at a studio in Miami. NPR's Scott Horsley was there and joins us now.
Originally published on Thu September 20, 2012 12:03 pm
With less than seven weeks to go before the presidential election, former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty is leaving his job as co-chairman of the Mitt Romney campaign to take a top Washington lobbying job.
Pawlenty, 51, will become the next CEO of the Financial Services Roundtable, whose 100 members include many of the nation's largest banks and insurance and securities companies.
Four years ago, then-presidential candidate Barack Obama was greeted warmly at the Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute's awards gala in Washington, D.C. Polls show Obama retains strong Hispanic support this year, but also that many who are eligible don't plan to vote.
Originally published on Fri September 21, 2012 8:13 am
There appears to be no question that President Obama will win the lion's share of Hispanic support. But there are still very big questions to be answered about how many votes such support will translate into.
"What we know is that we don't know," says Ruy Teixeira, a political analyst at the Center for American Progress, a progressive think tank.
"If you're the Obama campaign, there's cause for concern, because at least so far, [Hispanic support] is not translating into encouraging data on the turnout front," he says.
There's a growing bipartisan consensus that criminal justice policy needs to change, because of the costs and social consequences of keeping more than 2 million Americans behind bars. Host Michel Martin discusses the parties' platforms on criminal justice with the Sentencing Project's Marc Mauer and Marc Levin of the group Right On Crime.
Republican presidential hopeful Mitt Romney promised to pursue a permanent fix for the country's "broken" immigration system during a Univision forum. Despite pointed questioning, Romney offered few details about how he would deal with millions of immigrants who are already in this country illegally.
And in one of the closest Senate races in the country, it looks like two politicians may be reversing their positions. Massachusetts Republican incumbent Scott Brown had maintained a slim lead in the polls for months, now suddenly he's trailing his Democratic challenger Elizabeth Warren in four of the five most recent voter surveys. From member station WBUR in Boston, Curt Nickisch reports it may be the result of an unusual convention bounce.
Both presidential campaigns are focusing on just a few swing states, and the relatively few remaining undecided voters. One of those states is Virginia, where a key swing constituency is military veterans.
Troops and veterans have long been considered a natural part of the Republican base. But President Obama is pushing hard for the veterans' vote to help him in a state he captured in 2008.
Here are some other guidelines for connecting with voters: Never explain anything. Subtlety is your enemy. Every campaign needs a theme. Keep it simple. Rhyming is good. And, pretend you are the voice of the people. These maxims may sound like fundamentals of today's political campaigns but they were the ideas of the country's first political consultants, Leone Baxter and Clem Whitaker. They got their start in California in the 1930s.
From the race for president, now to Congress. It's caught in a serious time crunch, not to finish its legislative business, though it hasn't done much of that this year. No, the real squeeze is in the campaign fundraising. As NPR's Peter Overby reports, lawmakers are trying to fill up lobbyists' schedules with events hoping to extract a few more dollars for their re-election bids.
This is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News. I'm Robert Siegel.
AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:
And I'm Audie Cornish. In the presidential campaign, it was relatively quiet on the stump today, but it was anything but on the cable channels. Pundits and spinmasters continued to chew over that Florida fundraiser and Mitt Romney's controversial line about America's 47 percent.
Albert N. Gore Jr., a Democratic candidate for the U.S. Senate, speaks at the Neshoba County Fair in Philadelphia, Miss., on Aug. 2. Gore is running against incumbent Republican Roger Wicker. He says there should have been younger people interested in taking on Wicker — "but they didn't want to fight."
Credit Rogelio V. Solis / AP
Arkansas Gov. Mike Beebe speaks to delegates at the Democratic Party of Arkansas state convention in North Little Rock on Aug. 18.
Texas state Rep. Wayne Christian was born two blocks from where he now lives in what is called Deep East Texas.
"We were not wealthy people, [we were] common laborers, but that was typical in rural East Texas at that time," he says.
When he was growing up, Christian says, by first or second grade, an East Texas boy would accompany his father or grandfather on a hunting trip. But before a boy got a gun, he had to learn how to act — how to address the other men respectfully, to watch how it worked.
Originally published on Wed September 19, 2012 1:02 pm
President Obama leads Republican Mitt Romney by 8 points nationally — 51 to 43 percent among likely voters — as the race heads into the final stretch, according to a new Pew Research Center poll released Wednesday.
Obama's advantage, particularly among women, blacks and voters younger than 30, puts him "in a strong position compared with past victorious presidential candidates," Pew reported.
This is TALK OF THE NATION. I'm Neal Conan in Washington. Forty-seven percent, the Palestinians have no interest in peace, and it would be easier to get elected president as a Latino. It's Wednesday and time for a...
MITT ROMNEY: Not elegantly stated...
CONAN: Edition of the political junkie.
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?
SENATOR BARRY GOLDWATER: Extremism in the defense of liberty is no vice.
There's been a lot of attention on how voter ID laws might affect minority groups like African-Americans and Latinos. But some observers say that Asian Americans may also be affected. Host Michel Martin discusses the potential impact with Glenn Magpantay of the Asian American Legal Defense and Education Fund.
Democratic members of the House introduced a bill yesterday that would allow voters without ID to sign an affidavit attesting to their identity at the polls. The new bill is the latest in the ongoing voter ID debate and host Michel Martin speaks with one of the bill's sponsors Congressman Rick Larsen about the proposal.
Originally published on Wed September 19, 2012 4:45 am
Erick Erickson editor of RedState.com says Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney needs to "own" the comments he made in a video released by the liberal publication Mother Jones. In the secretly taped video, Romney was speaking to donors and said President Obama's supporters are "dependent on the government" and "pay no income tax." Steve Inskeep talks to Erickson about his reactions to the video.
Spanish-language network Univision will broadcast the first part of its presidential forum Wednesday night. GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney will be the first candidate to appear, and President Obama follows Thursday night.
The presidential interviews came after a dramatic clash that would rival any of the network's famous telenovelas. Univision confronted the Commission on Presidential Debates, the nonprofit group that organizes the candidate debates, after it announced an all-white lineup of moderators.
The fundraiser where the Romney video was recorded was held in Florida. And today, in that politically important state, reaction was mixed about Romney's unscripted remarks. NPR's Kathy Lohr gathered some views from people at a retirement community.