Politics

Presidential Race
3:10 pm
Wed September 12, 2012

Romney Criticizes Obama's Response To Libya Attack

Originally published on Wed September 12, 2012 3:58 pm

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

It didn't take long for the attacks in Benghazi and Cairo to become part of the presidential campaign. Mitt Romney jumped in first. In a statement last night before Ambassador Stevens' death had been announced, Romney accused President Obama of sympathizing with those who waged the assault. The Obama campaign responded, saying it was shocked that Romney would launch a, quote, "political attack" at this moment. And the politics have continued today as NPR's Mara Liasson reports.

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Asia
12:35 pm
Wed September 12, 2012

The Role For The U.S. In The South China Sea

As tensions mount between China and several neighboring countries over control in the Asia-Pacific region, U.S. Sen. James Webb talks with NPR's Neal Conan about the role the United States can and should play in the growing disputes in the South China Sea.

Middle East
12:29 pm
Wed September 12, 2012

Outrage Builds After U.S. Embassy Attacks

Ambassador Chris Stevens and four other Americans died Tuesday after a mob attacked the U.S. embassy in Benghazi, Libya in protest of a film that mocks Islam. In Egypt, protesters stormed the U.S. embassy in Cairo. These attacks raise concerns about U.S. policy in the region.

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

With No Latino Moderators For Debates, Univision Announces Its 'Own Party'

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 12, 2012 12:54 pm

Spanish-language network Univision announced Wednesday that, along with Facebook, it will host discussions with the presidential candidates next week, calling them "the first-ever events of their kind targeting Hispanic Americans."

The "Meet the Candidate" events — featuring Republican nominee Mitt Romney on Sept. 19 and President Obama on Sept. 20 — will be held at the University of Miami and will be broadcast on Univision and streamed online in English.

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NPR Story
12:03 pm
Wed September 12, 2012

The Turns Ahead On The Campaign Trail

Transcript

NEAL CONAN, HOST:

This is TALK OF THE NATION. I'm Neal Conan at NPR West today. We'll bring you the latest on Libya and Egypt later this hour, after the death of the U.S. ambassador and three other Americans in an attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi and an attack on the U.S. embassy in Cairo, where a mob took down the American flag.

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It's All Politics
10:48 am
Wed September 12, 2012

U.S. Embassy Attacks In North Africa Reverberate On White House Campaign

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton looks on as President Obama hugs a State Department employee Wednesday. Obama met with State Department workers after the killing of four Americans in Libya.
Paul J. Richards AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Wed September 12, 2012 7:45 pm

Updated and revised at 4:26 pm ET:

The death of the U.S. ambassador to Libya and three other Americans at the hands of extremists there became the latest fodder in the 2012 presidential race early Wednesday.

Republican Mitt Romney used the incident to continue his campaign's attacks on President Obama's approach to foreign policy.

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Election 2012
10:33 am
Wed September 12, 2012

Jorge Ramos: Debate Commission Stuck In 1950s

This year's presidential debates have no Latino moderators on the slate. So one network is taking matters into its own hands. Univision's Jorge Ramos is set to moderate discussions with each of the major party presidential candidates. He tells host Michel Martin it's time for the Commission on Presidential Debates to move into the 21st century.

It's All Politics
9:44 am
Wed September 12, 2012

Pro-Romney SuperPAC: 'Enormous Opportunity' In Western Swing States

Americans for Prosperity brought its "Failing Agenda" bus tour to suburban cities in Colorado's heavily populated Front Range.
Kirk Siegler KUNC

Originally published on Wed September 12, 2012 12:55 pm

Some well-funded pro-Mitt Romney superPACs and other advocacy groups are pulling their TV ad dollars in Pennsylvania and Michigan and are doubling down on efforts in what they consider to be more crucial swing states — such as Florida, Ohio, Iowa and Colorado.

Those are states where President Obama has also been spending considerable time campaigning lately, but where he's facing a barrage of attack ads from his Republican rival and the conservative superPACs, such as American Crossroads, and nonprofit advocacy groups, like Americans for Prosperity.

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It's All Politics
9:12 am
Wed September 12, 2012

Bill Clinton, Obama's New 'Secretary Of Explaining Stuff,' Takes Show On Road

Former President Bill Clinton speaks Tuesday at Florida International University in Miami.
Joe Raedle Getty Images

President Obama has joked that he should appoint former President Bill Clinton to a new post: "Secretary of Explaining Stuff."

That's basically the role Clinton played at the Democratic National Convention in telling Americans why — in his view — they should give Obama another four years in office.

Now Clinton is on the campaign trail in the key battleground state of Florida. He's in Orlando today after stumping for Obama in Miami on Tuesday.

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Law
1:38 am
Wed September 12, 2012

U.S. Grows An Industrial Complex Along The Border

A Border Patrol agent offers water to two men caught after illegally entering the U.S. through the Arizona desert. Roughly 80,000 federal workers have jobs related to immigration enforcement.
Ted Robbins NPR

Originally published on Wed September 12, 2012 7:28 pm

The United States' southern border bristles with technology and manpower designed to catch illegal immigrants and drug smugglers. Since 1986, the government has spent hundreds of billions of dollars on fences, aircraft, detention centers and agents.

But even as federal budgets shrink and illegal immigration ebbs, experts say that there's no end in sight for the growth of the border-industrial complex.

A Growing Investment On The Border

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The Salt
5:04 pm
Tue September 11, 2012

Yelp Reviewers Slice And Dice The Politics Of Pizza

President Obama is lifted off the ground by Scott Van Duzer, owner of Big Apple Pizza and Pasta Italian Restaurant, during an unannounced stop Sunday in Fort Pierce, Fla.
Pablo Martinez Monsivais AP

Originally published on Wed September 19, 2012 2:07 pm

When Scott Van Duzer welcomed President Obama to his pizza shop Sunday with a massive bearhug, it was the beginning of the end of his anonymity.

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National Security
3:00 pm
Tue September 11, 2012

Romney Pitches National Security, Foreign Policy Plan

Originally published on Tue September 11, 2012 7:57 pm

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

Today, in Reno, Nevada, Mitt Romney previewed the pitch he'll make at that foreign policy debate. National security and foreign policy were the topics of a speech he delivered at the annual National Guard convention.

MITT ROMNEY: With less than two months to go before Election Day, I would normally speak to a gathering like this about the differences between my and my opponent's plans for military and for our national security. There is a time and place for that, but this day is not that.

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It's All Politics
2:59 pm
Tue September 11, 2012

Chicago Teachers' Strike Forces Obama To Steer Carefully Between Two Allies

Striking Chicago public school teachers have a message for Mayor Rahm Emanuel on Tuesday.
Robert Ray AP

Originally published on Tue September 11, 2012 4:19 pm

Getting caught in a fight between two important allies is not where a president locked in a tight re-election race would willingly choose to be.

But that's where President Obama is today as he attempts for now to stay above the fray pitting the striking Chicago teachers against Mayor Rahm Emanuel who, in an earlier incarnation, was Obama's White House chief of staff.

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Presidential Race
2:59 pm
Tue September 11, 2012

Obama, Romney Pull Campaign Ads On Sept. 11

Originally published on Tue September 11, 2012 7:57 pm

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Audie Cornish.

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

And I'm Melissa Block.

Blue skies, a late summer day with hints of fall: The weather in New York and Washington today felt eerily similar to September 11, 2001.

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Education
2:51 pm
Tue September 11, 2012

Chicago Teacher Strike Puts Obama In Awkward Spot

Originally published on Tue September 11, 2012 7:57 pm

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

Now, to the potential political implications of the strike and how it might shake up the presidential race. Here's NPR's Brian Naylor.

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It's All Politics
2:34 pm
Tue September 11, 2012

Reporter's Pledge-Of-Allegiance Quandary Sparks Twitter Debate On Romney Trail

Attendees at Monday's Mitt Romney rally in Mansfield, Ohio, recite the Pledge of Allegiance.
Charles Dharapak AP

Mitt Romney's rally in Mansfield, Ohio, on Monday began the way every political event begins. "Please stand for the Pledge of Allegiance and our country's national anthem."

This is always an uncomfortable moment for me. While I sat at my laptop, most of the reporters around me stood and put their hands over their hearts. This time instead of just sitting and working, I tweeted what I was feeling:

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It's All Politics
12:36 pm
Tue September 11, 2012

Politics, The Pledge And A Peculiar History

A woman recites the Pledge of Allegiance at the Republican National Convention in Tampa, Fla., on Aug. 29.
Spencer Platt Getty Images

Originally published on Tue September 11, 2012 3:05 pm

When Mitt Romney uses the Pledge of Allegiance as a metaphor for all that's good and right with America, how many in his audience know that the two-sentence loyalty oath was penned not by the Founding Fathers in 1776, but a fascist preacher more than 100 years later?

Or that the original recommended posture was with a straightened arm raised upward and outward? Or that it was changed to the hand over the heart during World War II after the Nazis adopted the original as their salute?

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Parenting
10:03 am
Tue September 11, 2012

Does Political Mommy Talk Make You Cheer Or Gag?

Transcript

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

I'm Michel Martin and this is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. They say it takes a village to raise a child, but maybe you just need a few moms in your corner. Every week, we check in with a diverse group of parents for their common sense and savvy advice and, if you followed the political conventions, then you know that there was a lot of talk about leadership and the economy, but there was also a lot of talk about family.

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Presidential Race
1:31 am
Tue September 11, 2012

Rhetoric Aside, Few Details Of Romney's Tax Plan

Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney campaigns at PR Machine Works in Mansfield, Ohio, on Monday.
Charles Dharapak AP

Originally published on Tue September 11, 2012 1:59 pm

Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney's proposal to overhaul the tax code continues to draw scrutiny.

Romney says it is possible to cut tax rates without driving the government deeper into the red, and that he can make up for the lost revenue by closing tax loopholes. But analysts have had a hard time testing Romney's claim because he hasn't offered many specifics.

When he was pressed by NBC's David Gregory this weekend to give an example of a loophole he would close, Romney didn't offer much detail.

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Politics
1:30 am
Tue September 11, 2012

Inside Obama's Decisions: From Libya To Lunch

President Obama answers questions at the White House on Aug. 20.
Saul Loeb AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Tue September 11, 2012 7:57 am

To try to get a sense of what it really means to be the president of the United States, writer Michael Lewis spent six months in President Obama's shadow. Lewis hoped to find out just what it's like to be in the president's shoes — down to something as simple as how he decides what to wear every day.

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Shots - Health Blog
4:26 pm
Mon September 10, 2012

Mitt Romney's Shifting Stance On Health Care

Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney talks about the Supreme Court's health care ruling near the U.S. Capitol in Washington in late June.
Charles Dharapak AP

Mitt Romney seemed to make health care news in a Sunday interview on NBC's Meet the Press.

He said he might not want to repeal all of the Affordable Care Act.

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It's All Politics
4:09 pm
Mon September 10, 2012

Political Pro With Race-Baiting Past Doesn't See It In Romney's Welfare Charge

From 1990's Sen. Jesse Helms "White Hands" campaign ad.
YouTube screen shot detail YouTube

Originally published on Mon September 10, 2012 5:58 pm

If you want to get an opinion on whether a presidential campaign's message is race-baiting, why not ask someone who has actually been involved in a racially tinged campaign ad or two in his life?

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Law
3:12 pm
Mon September 10, 2012

ID Laws Bring New Attention To Voting Rights Act

Originally published on Mon September 10, 2012 4:26 pm

Around the country there are moves to tighten restrictions on voters at the polls, some of which fall under the purview of the Voting Rights Act of 1965. Melissa Block takes a step back with voting and election law expert Nate Persily of Columbia University, to talk about the Voting Rights Act, and in particular Section 5. That provision, originally aimed at states in the South, requires certain states, counties and townships to get "pre-clearance" from the federal government before changing laws that affect voters.

Presidential Race
3:10 pm
Mon September 10, 2012

Obama Campaign Edged Ahead In August Fundraising

Originally published on Mon September 10, 2012 4:26 pm

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

This is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News. I'm Melissa Block.

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

And I'm Audie Cornish.

Relentless fundraising efforts paid off last month for President Obama and Mitt Romney. Their campaign said today they each took in more than $110 million.

NPR's Peter Overby has details.

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Education
3:07 pm
Mon September 10, 2012

Teacher Strike In Chicago Becomes Political

Originally published on Mon September 10, 2012 4:26 pm

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

This is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News. I'm Audie Cornish.

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

And I'm Melissa Block.

In Chicago today, teachers walked picket lines at more than 600 schools. It's the city's first teacher strike in 25 years. Over the weekend, negotiators failed to reach agreement on a contract. They're back at the bargaining table today in hopes of sending 350,000 students back to school before the public's patience wears thin.

From member station WBEZ in Chicago, Becky Vevea has the story.

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Election 2012
2:11 pm
Mon September 10, 2012

Voting Laws In Several States Remain Unsettled

In South Carolina, Pennsylvania and several other states, new voter ID laws are being challenged in court just eight weeks before the general election.
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Mon September 10, 2012 4:26 pm

Eight weeks before the presidential election, new laws passed by Republican legislatures that concern who can vote and when remain in the hands of federal and state judges.

Among the cases: The Pennsylvania Supreme Court this week will hear an appeal to overturn that state's new voter ID law. An appeal is expected in a case involving early voting in Ohio. And a federal court is still considering whether South Carolina can go ahead with its new voter ID law.

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Political Junkie
1:05 pm
Mon September 10, 2012

It's ScuttleButton Time!

Ken Rudin collection

They may have shut down Stephen Strasburg, but they'll never shut down ScuttleButton.

ScuttleButton, of course, is that once-a-week waste of time exercise in which each Monday or Tuesday I put up a vertical display of buttons on this site. Your job is to simply take one word (or concept) per button, add 'em up, and, hopefully, you will arrive at a famous name or a familiar expression. (And seriously, by familiar, I mean it's something that more than one person on Earth would recognize.)

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Election 2012
9:39 am
Mon September 10, 2012

Former Aides Talk Strategy For Homestretch

Originally published on Mon September 10, 2012 12:17 pm

Transcript

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

I'm Michel Martin, and this is TELL ME MORE, from NPR News. Coming up: The designers are sending their creations down the runway at Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week in New York City. And just in case your invitations to some of those big-name shows got lost in the mail, we will bring the runway to you. We'll talk with a reporter who's in the mix to tell us what's hot and what's not. That's later in the program.

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Political Junkie
5:39 am
Mon September 10, 2012

Obama Got The Convention Bounce, As Well As Bad Economic Numbers

President Barack Obama joins Former President Bill Clinton on stage during the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte, N.C., on Wednesday.
J. Scott Applewhite AP

Originally published on Mon September 10, 2012 1:06 pm

The Democrats were no sooner out of Charlotte when the bad economic news came.

A more disappointing job report than had been forecast. Economic numbers weaker than expected. Just 96,000 jobs were created in August, far fewer than what economists were anticipating. And even a lower unemployment rate — down to 8.1 percent from 8.3 — was explained as that more people had simply stopped looking for work. The hope of four years ago is quickly becoming a fading memory, especially for those whose lives have not seen the change Barack Obama once promised.

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Middle East
1:25 am
Mon September 10, 2012

Next U.S. President Faces A Middle East 'In Turmoil'

A rebel fighter fled after attacking a tank with a rocket-propelled grenade last week in Aleppo, Syria. The escalating Syrian conflict is among several issues in the Middle East that the next U.S. president must confront.
Manu Brabo AP

Originally published on Sun September 16, 2012 6:25 am

Foreign policy has not been a major focus of this election campaign, but whoever wins in November will have a messy inbox when it comes to the delicate tangle of issues in the Middle East.

For decades, the U.S. relied on authoritarian regimes to provide stability in the region. Now, it must deal with a new government in Egypt, an intensifying conflict in Syria, nervous allies in the Persian Gulf — and a major decision about Iran.

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