Politics

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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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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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

Two men — well one man and one big, yellow bird — were caught in the crossfire of last night's debate: the moderator Jim Lehrer and the Sesame Street character Big Bird.

It's safe to say that after last night the two of them are having very different mornings. While the veteran news anchor swallowed scathing reviews, Big Bird enjoyed a strong backing.

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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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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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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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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.

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.

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.

It's All Politics
3:19 pm
Wed October 3, 2012

Here's Where To Get Your 'Fact Checks' During And After Tonight's Debate

The stage is set: Tonight's debate is at the University of Denver.
Kevin Dietsch UPI /Landov

Originally published on Wed October 3, 2012 3:52 pm

Looking to see and hear what the fact checkers are saying during and after tonight's presidential debate about the claims made by President Obama and former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney?

-- PolitiFact.com says it will be updating on its website and on Twitter. It's also pitching an Argument Ender app.

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Presidential Race
3:16 pm
Wed October 3, 2012

Romney, Obama Have Parallel Points On The Economy

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

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

And you can listen to tonight's debate live on many NPR stations. We'll also have analysis and fact checking at NPR.org. Now, our next story looks not at the differences between the candidates, which we're sure to hear about tonight, but at a similarity. President Obama and Mitt Romney share something that goes to the core of this campaign. As NPR's Ari Shapiro reports, it comes up in every stump speech they give.

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Presidential Race
3:14 pm
Wed October 3, 2012

Stage Set For First Presidential Debate In Denver

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

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Audie Cornish. The stage is set in Denver for the first presidential debate tonight at 9:00 p.m. Eastern. The candidates are suiting up, reporters are gathering, live tweeters are sharpening their virtual pencils. And NPR's Mara Liasson is in Denver and she joins us for a preview. Welcome, Mara.

MARA LIASSON, BYLINE: Hi, Audie.

CORNISH: So what is the format for tonight's debate?

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Politics
12:17 pm
Wed October 3, 2012

The Political Junkie's Presidential Debate Preview

President Obama and his Republican challenger Mitt Romney face off in Denver Wednesday for the first of three presidential debates. The president continues to hold a slight lead in many swing states, but Romney's been able to close the gap in the weeks since the conventions.

Election 2012
9:46 am
Wed October 3, 2012

Battle Continues On Who Can Vote, And How

A Pennsylvania judge Tuesday blocked the state from moving forward with changes to its voter ID law until after the presidential election. This news comes just days after some suspicious voter registration activity in states like Florida, North Carolina and Nevada. Host Michel Martin discusses voter issues across the country with two reporters.

It's All Politics
7:56 am
Wed October 3, 2012

Should TV Stations Refuse To Air Political Ads That Make False Claims?

If a television or radio station determines that a political ad is false, should it refuse to run the ad?

That's exactly what the nonpartisan group Free Press is calling on stations to do.

"They certainly could reject some of them," said Matt Wood, the group's policy director.

At the very least, they could do more fact checking, he said.

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It's All Politics
5:37 am
Wed October 3, 2012

OMG! A Deb8! What Young People Really Want To Ask Obama And Romney

Students wait in line to vote last Friday on the campus of the University of Northern Iowa in Cedar Falls, a day after the swing state began in-person early voting.
Scott Olson Getty Images

Originally published on Wed October 3, 2012 2:55 pm

Generation Y is asking why.

Why is it so hard to find a job? Why is health care so expensive? Smart questions from a smart generation. Their inquiries — and the presidential candidate they think can provide the best answers — could be a decisive factor in the 2012 election. If not the Tipping Point, as least a Tilting Point.

For many millennials, economic prospects are murky.

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It's All Politics
5:26 am
Wed October 3, 2012

History Says Debate Moments Matter

Originally published on Wed October 3, 2012 2:54 pm

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It's All Politics
4:13 am
Wed October 3, 2012

On Eve Of First Debate, NPR Poll Shows Romney Within Striking Distance

Early voting has begun in the battleground states of Ohio, Virginia and Iowa. Voting booths were set up for early voting Thursday at the Black Hawk County Courthouse in Waterloo, Iowa. Ahead of Wednesday's first presidential debate, an NPR poll finds President Obama with a 7-point lead nationally, but his GOP challenger, Mitt Romney, is within striking distance.
Scott Olson Getty Images

Originally published on Thu October 4, 2012 11:38 am

The latest poll by NPR and its bipartisan polling team [pdf] shows President Obama with a 7-point lead among likely voters nationally and a nearly identical lead of 6 points in the dozen battleground states where both campaigns are spending most of their time and money.

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Around the Nation
2:20 am
Wed October 3, 2012

Early Voting Gets Underway In Ohio

Originally published on Wed October 3, 2012 8:14 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

Early voting began in Ohio yesterday. More than a million people have signed up for mail-in ballots, and thousands more began voting in person. From member station WKSU, M.L. Schultze reports.

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First And Main
2:02 am
Wed October 3, 2012

Voices From First And Main: What Matters To Swing-State Voters

Becky Lettenberger and John W. Poole NPR

In the run-up to the presidential election, Morning Edition visited communities in swing states — in fact, in swing counties — that are predictably unpredictable when it comes to voting. We wanted to hear from voters where they live — to understand what's shaping their thinking this election year.

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