Politics

Election 2012
4:05 pm
Thu September 20, 2012

Senate Race Tough To Call As Wisconsin Swings

Wisconsin Senate candidate Tammy Baldwin sits with state delegates during the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte, N.C., on Sept. 5.
David Goldman AP

Republicans hoping to gain control of the U.S. Senate in November's elections are banking on Wisconsin where they want to flip the seat held by Democrat Herb Kohl, who's retiring.

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It's All Politics
3:46 pm
Thu September 20, 2012

Despite Obama's High Latino Support, Univision Puts Him On Hot Seat

President Obama got few if any softball questions when he had his turn at a Univision forum for the two major-party presidential candidates.
Carolyn Kaster AP

Originally published on Thu September 20, 2012 4:46 pm

President Obama may have the overwhelming support of Latino voters in his race against Republican Mitt Romney, but that didn't get him a free pass during his appearance Thursday at Univision's presidential candidate forum.

Obama faced repeated tough questions from the hosts of the forum on the Spanish-language channel, and from some in the audience, for his failure to deliver on his promise as a candidate in 2008 to push comprehensive immigration reform during his first year in the White House.

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Election 2012
3:31 pm
Thu September 20, 2012

Parties Debate Meaning, Value Of 'Redistribution'

Mitt Romney speaks in Miami on Wednesday.
J Pat Carter AP

Originally published on Thu September 20, 2012 4:19 pm

Cuban-Americans know a thing or two about what can happen when a government seizes wealth and redistributes it, as Fidel Castro's regime did five decades ago in Cuba.

So Mitt Romney had an especially receptive audience Wednesday night at a rally of Cuban-Americans in Miami, when he launched his campaign's latest line of attack on President Obama.

"He said some years ago something which we're hearing about today on the Internet," Romney told the crowd. "He said that he believes in redistribution."

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National Security
3:25 pm
Thu September 20, 2012

Automatic Budget Cuts Still Loom Over Defense Dept.

Originally published on Thu September 20, 2012 4:05 pm

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.

Presidential Race
3:19 pm
Thu September 20, 2012

Obama Answers Questions From Latino Voters

Originally published on Thu September 20, 2012 4:04 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. 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.

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It's All Politics
11:00 am
Thu September 20, 2012

Tim Pawlenty Exits Romney Campaign To Lead Bank Lobbying Group

Tim Pawlenty at the 2012 Republican National Convention in Tampa, Fla.
Charles Dharapak AP

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.

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It's All Politics
10:04 am
Thu September 20, 2012

Ohio Senate Race Gets Nasty Amid Flood Of Ads And Cash

Originally published on Thu September 20, 2012 11:37 am

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It's All Politics
9:55 am
Thu September 20, 2012

Hispanics Certain To Back Obama, But In What Numbers?

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.
Chip Somodevilla Getty Images

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.

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Election 2012
9:16 am
Thu September 20, 2012

Is 'Tough On Crime' No Longer A Talking Point?

Originally published on Thu September 20, 2012 12:21 pm

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.

Planet Money
9:04 am
Thu September 20, 2012

The Fiscal Cliff, In Three And A Half Graphics

Lam Thuy Vo / NPR

Originally published on Tue November 6, 2012 9:50 am

For more, see this story from NPR's Marilyn Geewax on how Congress might pass some stopgap measures to blunt the effect of the fiscal cliff.

A bunch of federal tax increases and spending cuts are scheduled to kick in around Jan. 1, 2013. This is what people are talking about when they talk about the "fiscal cliff."

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Election 2012
3:24 am
Thu September 20, 2012

Romney: Immigration System Needs To Be Fixed

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.

Election 2012
3:14 am
Thu September 20, 2012

Warren's Senate Bid Gets A Boost From DNC Speech

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

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.

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It's All Politics
1:31 am
Thu September 20, 2012

Military Vote Seen As A Key To Capturing Virginia

Mitt Romney takes the stage at a campaign rally at the Military Aviation Museum in Virginia Beach, Va., on Sept. 8.
Brian Snyder Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Thu September 20, 2012 6:38 pm

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.

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Election 2012
1:29 am
Thu September 20, 2012

Voter Purges Under Review Ahead Of Election Day

Originally published on Thu September 20, 2012 3:14 am

Noncitizens aren't allowed to vote in federal and state elections, but efforts to remove them from the nation's voter registration rolls have produced more angst than results.

Opponents say the scope of the problem has been overblown; those behind the efforts say they've just begun to look at the problem.

'Early Stages'

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Politics
2:44 pm
Wed September 19, 2012

Political Consulting And The 'Lie Factory'

Originally published on Wed September 19, 2012 6:09 pm

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

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.

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Election 2012
2:42 pm
Wed September 19, 2012

Congress Is Busy, But Not With Legislative Business

Originally published on Wed September 19, 2012 6:09 pm

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

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.

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Presidential Race
2:41 pm
Wed September 19, 2012

Poll: Obama Leads Romney 3 To 1 On Some Topics

Originally published on Wed September 19, 2012 6:09 pm

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

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.

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Politics
1:32 pm
Wed September 19, 2012

Deep South Democrats Seek Path Back To Relevance

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."
Rogelio V. Solis AP

Originally published on Wed September 19, 2012 6:09 pm

It can be lonely being a Democrat in the Deep South. Just ask Steve Wilson.

The young lawyer was a first-time delegate at the Democratic National Convention, but it's not something he brags about back home in Meridian, Miss.

"I don't talk about it," he says. "It's the elephant in the room, so to speak. Most of my friends are Republican, I think, but I just don't bring it up."

That climate can make it hard to recruit viable Democratic candidates in the Deep South — once a solidly Democratic region that is now reliably Republican.

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U.S.
1:21 pm
Wed September 19, 2012

Smoke Cleared, Texas Gun Owners Remain Wary

Originally published on Wed September 19, 2012 6:09 pm

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.

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It's All Politics
12:29 pm
Wed September 19, 2012

Obama Has 8-Point Lead In Pew Poll; Big Advantage With Women, Blacks, Young

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.

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It's All Politics
12:01 pm
Wed September 19, 2012

Welfare Wasn't Always A Dirty Word In The Romney Family

Mitt Romney reads on his campaign bus earlier this year. A 1960s campaign poster supporting his father, George, is behind him.
Gerald Herbert AP

Originally published on Fri September 21, 2012 10:24 am

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Politics
12:00 pm
Wed September 19, 2012

The Inner Workings Of The Romney Campaign

Originally published on Wed September 19, 2012 12:07 pm

Transcript

NEAL CONAN, HOST:

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.

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It's All Politics
11:50 am
Wed September 19, 2012

Republicans Race To Reframe Romney Comments As Campaign Opportunity

Mitt Romney speaks at a fundraiser in Dallas on Tuesday.
Nicholas Kamm AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Wed September 19, 2012 12:43 pm

Republicans scrambling to turn Mitt Romney's videotaped aspersions cast on 47 percent of Americans into a campaign opportunity are hoping for a "Chick-fil-A moment."

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Election 2012
10:09 am
Wed September 19, 2012

Unique Obstacles For Asian Americans In Voting

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.

Election 2012
10:03 am
Wed September 19, 2012

House Democrats Offer Their Solution For Voter ID

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.

Election 2012
9:28 am
Wed September 19, 2012

6 Quirky Tie-Ins To The 2012 Election

Spirit Halloween political masks
Spirit Halloween PR Newswire

Originally published on Wed September 19, 2012 11:48 am

This being America, the Galactic Capital of Capitalism, it's no wonder folks try to cash in on just about everything — including the presidential election.

Give us a big event — the Olympics, the World Series, a blockbuster movie — and we will offer you all kinds of foodstuffs and folderol that are linked, however loosely, to the occasion.

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It's All Politics
6:55 am
Wed September 19, 2012

The End Of WASP-Dominated Politics

The Obamas walk back to the White House after attending Easter service at St. John's Episcopal Church on April 8. President Obama is the only Protestant on either 2012 presidential ticket.
Mandel Ngan AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Wed September 19, 2012 12:02 pm

Just looking at Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan, you might not think of them as cultural pioneers. But the Republicans make up the first presidential ticket in history not to feature a Protestant.

Romney is Mormon, Ryan, Catholic. That might not seem like such a big deal — especially when you consider they are running against the first African-American president.

But all of these individuals are emblematic of an enormous shift in both American demographics and political power.

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Election 2012
2:49 am
Wed September 19, 2012

Romney Campaign Should 'Embrace' Taped Comments

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.

Politics
2:49 am
Wed September 19, 2012

Univision Hosts Presidential Forums

Univision host Jorge Ramos will be one of the moderators at the "Meet the Candidate" events featuring President Obama and rival Mitt Romney.
Lynne Sladky AP

Originally published on Wed September 19, 2012 6:55 am

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.

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Election 2012
2:46 am
Wed September 19, 2012

Flap Over Romney's Tax Remarks Still Generates Buzz

Originally published on Fri September 21, 2012 11:13 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

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

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

And I'm Steve Inskeep. Entirely aside from the statements that made news, a hidden video of presidential candidate Mitt Romney shows a candidate trying to lay out how he thinks.

MONTAGNE: He discusses routine matters of a campaign - like whether to appear on "Saturday Night Live." Past candidates have turned up on the program, but Romney felt it wouldn't look presidential.

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