Politics

'It's All Politics': NPR's Weekly News Roundup
10:01 am
Fri October 5, 2012

It's All Politics, Oct. 4, 2012

Nicholas Kamm AFP/Getty Images
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Republican Mitt Romney delivers a needed jolt to his campaign at the first presidential debate. Ron Elving and Ken Rudin dissect the memorable moments and look ahead to next week's matchup between Vice President Joe Biden and Romney's running mate, Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wis.

Join NPR's Ron Elving and Ken Rudin for the latest political news in this week's roundup.

Presidential Race
9:33 am
Fri October 5, 2012

Does Jobs Report Mean Things Are Getting Better?

Originally published on Tue October 9, 2012 8:30 am

Transcript

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

This is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. I'm Michel Martin. Coming up, the sweeping move to modernize the Catholic church known as Vatican II turns 50. We'll talk about that in Faith Matters in just a few minutes.

But, first, it's still all about the economy. The economy is still center stage this election season. This morning's jobs numbers are providing fresh material for the ongoing contest between the candidates and their philosophies and records.

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The Two-Way
8:19 am
Fri October 5, 2012

Labor Secretary Says Talk Of Fudged Jobless Numbers Is Insulting

Labor Secretary Hilda Solis.
Kevork Djansezian Getty Images

The news that the nation's jobless rate fell to 7.8 percent in September from 8.1 percent in August immediately led some of President Obama's critics to charge the the books had been cooked to help his reelection campaign.

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The Two-Way
5:45 am
Fri October 5, 2012

Romney: I Was 'Just Completely Wrong' On 47 Percent

Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney during a rally in Fishersville, Va., on Thursday.
Jewel Samad AFP/Getty Images

Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney's much-discussed remarks about the 47 percent of Americans who "will vote for the president no matter what ... believe that they are victims ... [and] pay no income tax" did not come up in Wednesday night's debate with President Obama.

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Around the Nation
5:04 am
Fri October 5, 2012

Wis. Crowd Welcomes Obama After Lackluster Debate

President Obama's campaign acknowledges that GOP challenger Mitt Romney had the stronger performance in this week's debate. One of Obama's closest advisers acknowledges the president will "have to adjust" his approach to future debates.

Around the Nation
5:00 am
Fri October 5, 2012

Romney Campaigns In Virginia On Debate Momentum

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

This is MORNING EDITION, from NPR News. I'm Renee Montagne.

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

And I'm Steve Inskeep.

For the first time since the start of 2009, the nation's unemployment rate is below 8 percent. Today, the Bureau of Labor Statistics put the number at 7.8 percent in September.

MONTAGNE: Employers added 114,000 new jobs overall. The government also revised the job estimates for July and August, reporting that more jobs were created than previously known, and putting a different cast on the entire summer.

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Solve This
1:21 am
Fri October 5, 2012

Romney, Obama Far Apart On Closing Budget Gap

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

Originally published on Fri October 5, 2012 3:33 am

Here's one thing President Obama and Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney could agree on during their first debate this week: Something has to be done about the enormous gap between what the federal government collects in taxes and what it spends.

But the two men fundamentally disagree on what to do about that budget deficit.

The Problem

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It's All Politics
5:26 pm
Thu October 4, 2012

Obama Aims Post-Debate Barbs At Romney As Many Ask: Why'd He Wait?

President Obama drew a crowd in Madison, Wis., the day after his widely panned first debate against GOP challenger Mitt Romney.
Mandel Ngan AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu October 4, 2012 5:39 pm

For President Obama, Thursday appeared to have its share of what the French call staircase wit.

We've all experienced it. Heading up the stairs to bed, you think of the perfect response to something someone else said earlier. Of course, it's too late.

The day after his widely panned presidential debate performance, Obama delivered the sort of retorts to his Republican challenger, Mitt Romney, that were mainly absent the night before.

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It's All Politics
3:31 pm
Thu October 4, 2012

Voter Registration Deadlines Begin Passing This Week

A voter registration form and absentee ballot application at a Franklin County polling place in Columbus, Ohio, on Tuesday. The deadline to register to vote in Ohio is Oct. 9.
Matt Sullivan Reuters/Landov

If you want to vote in the November elections and you aren't registered yet — you'd better hurry. The registration deadline in five states is this weekend. By the following weekend, the deadline will have passed in more than half the states.

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Presidential Race
3:12 pm
Thu October 4, 2012

Romney's Tax Policy Still Has Holes After Debate

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

Among the most animated exchanges last night was a disagreement between the candidates on the cost of Mitt Romney's tax proposal. Romney forcefully defended his plan, saying, among other things, that it would not add to the deficit. He also offered a few more details to a plan that has been relatively short on details up to this point. We've asked NPR's John Ydstie to walk us through what we do and don't know about Romney's broader tax policy. Welcome, John.

JOHN YDSTIE, BYLINE: Hi, Audie.

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

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Presidential Race
3:12 pm
Thu October 4, 2012

Obama Criticized For Not Pushing Back During Debate

A day after the first debate, President Obama campaigned in Denver and Wisconsin.

Presidential Race
3:12 pm
Thu October 4, 2012

Republicans Thrilled With Romney's Debate Showing

Audie Cornish speaks with Mara Liasson about Wednesday night's first presidential debate in Denver.

Presidential Race
3:12 pm
Thu October 4, 2012

Romney Takes A Mini Victory Lap After First Debate

A day after the big debate in Denver, GOP challenger Mitt Romney campaigned in Virginia. Melissa Block talks to Ari Shapiro for more.

Politics
3:12 pm
Thu October 4, 2012

Step Aside, Reporters — Poets Take On The Debate

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

And finally this hour, it's time for a literary take on one of our top stories today. Reporters step aside. Spin doctors drop those talking points. We've asked two writers to reflect on last night's debate in poetry. One from the right and one from the left. This is still politics, after all. First up, conservative commentator Mark Steyn, author of the book, "After America: Get Ready for Armageddon." He was inspired by the fact that last night's debate coincided with the president's 20th wedding anniversary.

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It's All Politics
2:33 pm
Thu October 4, 2012

Obama's Top Advisers Have Dissed His Debate Chops Before

Originally published on Thu October 4, 2012 3:03 pm

Despite President Obama's celebrated gift for oratory, the Obama supporters least surprised by his underwhelming performance against Mitt Romney may have been two of his top advisers.

Senior strategists David Plouffe and David Axelrod have long doubted Obama's debating skills. Their concerns date back to the 2008 presidential campaign, as Plouffe wrote in his book, The Audacity to Win. He put it plainly: "Historically, Obama was not a strong debater."

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The Two-Way
12:16 pm
Thu October 4, 2012

Friday's Jobs Report Is Campaign's Next Key Moment, Here's What To Expect

The welcome sign at a job fair earlier this year in Washington, D.C.
Chip Somodevilla Getty Images

With the first presidential debate now behind us, what's the next big item on the campaign calendar?

It's Friday's 8:30 a.m. ET release from the Bureau of Labor Statistics about the September unemployment rate and how many jobs were added to payrolls last month.

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It's All Politics
12:14 pm
Thu October 4, 2012

That's Why Incumbents Used To Say No

Mitt Romney makes his point as President Obama listens during Wednesday's debate in Denver.
Getty Images

Originally published on Thu October 4, 2012 4:44 pm

In case anyone was wondering, this week's presidential debate demonstrated why incumbent presidents and others leading in the polls used to refuse to debate their challengers.

After John F. Kennedy used the first TV debates to boost his campaign against incumbent Vice President Richard Nixon in 1960, there simply were no debates until 1976. Running again with a big lead in 1968 and 1972, Nixon declined to debate and won both times. Lyndon B. Johnson also demurred in 1964 without damage en route to a landslide.

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Presidential Race
12:10 pm
Thu October 4, 2012

What Obama And Romney Left Out In First Debate

Originally published on Thu October 4, 2012 2:47 pm

Transcript

LYNN NEARY, HOST:

This is TALK OF THE NATION. I'm Lynn Neary. Mitt Romney proved he could go head-to-head with President Obama in the first of three presidential debates last night in Denver. Romney's strong performance gave Republicans renewed hope for his chance at the White House.

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It's All Politics
9:45 am
Thu October 4, 2012

The Men In The Middle: Jim Lehrer, Big Bird Caught In Debate Crossfire

Big Bird, of the children's television show Sesame Street, in Los Angeles.
Matt Sayles AP

Originally published on Thu October 4, 2012 4:45 pm

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It's All Politics
9:33 am
Thu October 4, 2012

Don't Confuse Us With Facts: Why Debates Are All About Style

Romney vs. Obama. A question of style?
AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu October 4, 2012 4:43 pm

If you think substance trumps style, the analysis of last night's presidential debate might come as a shock. There seems to be a lot more talk today about things like temperament and facial expressions than the facts.

Here's a sampling of opinion:

Writing in Forbes, Frederick E. Allen says President Obama "looked defensive and uncertain," while GOP challenger Mitt Romney "may have said things that were clearly untrue ... but he said them convincingly."

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Politics
2:44 am
Thu October 4, 2012

Military Troops Request Fewer Absentee Ballots

Originally published on Thu October 4, 2012 8:19 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

It's MORNING EDITION from NPR News. I'm Renee Montagne.

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

And I'm Steve Inskeep. Good morning.

Compared with 2008, far fewer American troops are asking for absentee ballots this fall. A new report blames the Pentagon for failing to provide enough help. The Department of Defense says the figures do not reflect the efforts it's making. NPR's Larry Abramson reports.

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NPR Story
2:44 am
Thu October 4, 2012

Close Read: NPR Reporters Examine Denver Debate

Originally published on Thu October 4, 2012 8:19 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

This is MORNING EDITION, from NPR News. I'm Renee Montagne.

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

And I'm Steve Inskeep. Good morning.

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Election 2012
2:44 am
Thu October 4, 2012

Obama, Romney Clash Repeatedly Over Taxes

Originally published on Thu October 4, 2012 8:19 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

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

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

And I'm Renee Montagne. Good morning.

President Obama and his Republican challenger, Mitt Romney, shared a stage last night for the first time in his presidential campaign. The debate in Denver, moderated by PBS anchor Jim Lehrer, focused on domestic policy, which meant there was lots to debate, from health care to energy, though much of the time was devoted to taxes.

NPR's national political correspondent Mara Liasson reports.

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It's All Politics
11:13 pm
Wed October 3, 2012

Lights, Camera, Action (zzzz), Tweet!

Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney and President Barack Obama shake hands at the first presidential debate at the University of Denver, Wednesday.
Charlie Neibergall AP

Originally published on Thu October 4, 2012 10:47 am

I have spent the past few days sequestered with a crack team of political pros — actually, curled into a fetal ball, clutching a fading 1980 John Anderson poster — to gird myself for the vital first debate between President Obama and Mitt Romney.

So many questions lingered:

Would Romney offer to wager Obama $10,000 on who wins the race?

Would Obama tell Romney, "You're taxable enough, Mitt"?

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It's All Politics
10:31 pm
Wed October 3, 2012

Romney Goes On Offense, Pays For It In First Wave Of Fact Checks

Originally published on Thu October 4, 2012 5:03 am

In their first of three debates, President Obama and Republican challenger Mitt Romney "traded barbs" and stretched some facts, say the nonpartisan watchdogs at PolitiFact.com.

Similarly, the researchers at the Annenberg Public Policy Center's FactCheck.org found examples of truth-stretching by both men.

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It's All Politics
10:28 pm
Wed October 3, 2012

Swing State Debate Watchers Give First Round To Romney, And Lehrer The Loss

Kim Deal (left) and Connie Moser, at Deal's house in Occoquan, Va.
Liz Halloran NPR

Originally published on Wed October 3, 2012 11:09 pm

We headed to Virginia's Prince William County, a swing county in a swing state, to watch Wednesday night's presidential debate with four undecided voters — three of whom voted for Barack Obama in 2008, one who voted for Republican John McCain.

They gathered in the Occoquan home of Kim Deal and Jim Drakes, and were joined by Connie Moser of Dale City and Al Alborn of Manassas.

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It's All Politics
3:41 pm
Wed October 3, 2012

Paul Ryan Says TV And Politics Don't Always Mix. Does He Have A Point?

Workers prepare Wednesday for the presidential debate at the University of Denver. Experts differ over whether even a televised debate is a good forum for sharing very specific details about policy proposals.
Chip Somodevilla Getty Images

Originally published on Wed October 3, 2012 4:19 pm

Responding to calls that the Republican presidential ticket provide more detail about some of its policy proposals, vice presidential nominee Paul Ryan says TV isn't always the right medium for such specifics.

"I don't have the time," Paul Ryan told Chris Wallace on Fox News Sunday this week, when asked about his proposed revenue neutral tax cut. "It would take me too long to go through all the math."

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Presidential Race
3:31 pm
Wed October 3, 2012

'Uncovered' 2007 Obama Video Not That New After All

Originally published on Wed October 3, 2012 4:40 pm

Fox News and other conservative media outlets claimed to have a scoop on Tuesday they called "Obama's other race speech." The tape that was supposed to turn this election around, however, was documented and reported on in 2007 by the very same news outlets.

Election 2012
3:28 pm
Wed October 3, 2012

2012 Already A Record Year For Political Ads

Originally published on Wed October 3, 2012 4:40 pm

A new analysis shows that the Obama campaign continues to have superiority over the Romney campaign and its allies when it comes to TV ads. The report also finds that political ads are the most negative since 2000, and that the leading advertiser in congressional races is Karl Rove's tax-exempt group Crossroads GPS.

Africa
3:28 pm
Wed October 3, 2012

GOP Seizes On Shifting Accounts Of Libya Attack

Originally published on Wed October 3, 2012 4:40 pm

When the Libyan consulate was attacked and the American ambassador killed, the immediate word from the administration was that the strike was a spontaneous reaction to a controversial film. In the immediate aftermath, Republican challenger Mitt Romney harshly criticized the Obama administration and soon found himself at the center of controversy. In the weeks since, however, the administration story has evolved and now a congressional hearing on the matter is scheduled for next week.

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