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Paul Ryan Headlines Values Voter Summit

Sep 14, 2012

Republican vice-presidential nominee Paul Ryan addressed the annual Values Voter Summit on Friday. Audie Cornish talks with Don Gonyea.

Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney says President Obama's foreign policies have sent "confusing messages" to the world. The critique argues that the Obama foreign policy is not muscular enough. It's a message that echoes the presidential campaign of 1980 when Ronald Reagan challenged Jimmy Carter.

Audie Cornish speaks with Richard Williamson, Mitt Romney's senior foreign policy adviser. They discuss Romney's foreign policy positions, Libya and other news.

Along with political agendas and visions for the future, every once in a while along the campaign trail there are potential TMI moments.

Arguably, one occurred Friday when Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney and his wife, Ann, were taping ABC's Live! With Kelly and Michael in New York.

The interview is scheduled to air Tuesday. But notes from a pool reporter traveling with Romney show what happens when an invited White House guest — in this case Ann Romney — decides to do some poking around 1600 Pennsylvania Ave.

Mitt Romney has sought to distinguish his views on foreign policy and the world from positions held by President Obama. So far, it hasn't gained him much traction.

The Republican presidential nominee has insisted that Obama has not done enough to promote America's values and interests, instead "apologizing" and appeasing the nation's enemies.

Republican vice presidential nominee Paul Ryan used an appearance at an annual gathering of his party's social conservatives Friday to pointedly criticize President Obama's foreign policy record and to testify to his own Catholic faith and opposition to abortion.

"We're all in this together," said Ryan, a representative from Wisconsin, echoing a theme of Obama's convention speech. "It has a nice ring."

Detecting the 'Artful Dodge'

Sep 14, 2012

During the Republican debates, Mitt Romney told a moderator "You get to ask the questions you want. I get to give the answers I want." Social psychologist Todd Rogers talks about how likely voters are to notice a subtle dodge. James Fowler joins to discuss whether social media can send more people to the polls.

It's All Politics, Sept. 13, 2012

Sep 14, 2012

In an election that's supposed to be about the economy, tragic deaths overseas push foreign policy onto the political stage in the race between Mitt Romney and President Obama. While Romney seems to have lost the initial battle, questions remain about the administration's Middle East goals.

Join NPR's Ron Elving and Ken Rudin for the latest "It's All Politics" roundup.

Where Political Ads Go To Be Mocked

Sep 14, 2012

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

At the rate we're going, there may be plenty of news before those debates. Today, the White House is expected to release a list of budget cuts totaling about $100 billion. At the end of last year's debt ceiling battle, Congress voted to either agree on deficit reductions or these big automatic across-the-board cuts known as sequestration would go into affect. They didn't agree, so here we are.

As NPR's David Welna reports, many Republicans who voted for sequestration now oppose it.

Appearing in Virginia on Thursday, Republican Mitt Romney tried to bring his campaign back to the issues he has focused on before in the swing state: the nation's economy and strengthening the military.

A day after Romney ignited a debate over his criticism of President Obama's handling of events in Libya and Egypt, the Republican presidential nominee largely steered clear of discussing unrest in Egypt and the attack on an American consulate in Benghazi, Libya, that left four Americans dead.

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Two decisions this week could make voting easier in the crucial swing state of Florida. One involves early voting, the other deals with the state's controversial effort to purge non-citizens from its voter registration rolls.

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Republican hopes of capturing the Senate in November rest on a handful of tossup races in states like Montana, Missouri and Virginia.

Surprisingly, some analysts also are putting Hawaii in the tossup column.

Hawaii is the bluest of blue states; it hasn't elected a Republican to the Senate since 1970. But with the retirement of 22-year incumbent Daniel Akaka, Republicans believe they have a chance.

And regardless of who wins, the state will have its first female senator come January.

In Hawaii, the language of politics is a little different.

Smiley, West: Poverty Is A Political Issue

Sep 13, 2012

Transcript

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This is TALK OF THE NATION. I'm Neal Conan.

UPDATE: 11:37 a.m. As expected, the New York Board of Health passed a rule banning sugary drinks like soda in sizes 16 oz. or larger at restaurants, concession stands and other eateries in an effort to combat obesity today. The ban is expected to take effect in March, but according to the Wall Street Journal, opponents are already considering a legal challenge to prevent that. It passed 8-0.

Most of the election-year attention Ohio gets is focused on the heavily Democratic areas in the northeast around Cleveland, or in GOP strongholds in rural areas and in the south around Cincinnati.

But it's also worth keeping a close eye on the state's less-traveled southeastern border with Pennsylvania and West Virginia — the Ohio River Valley. It's a place where there is a lot of doubt about how much either candidate can help.

It's become conventional wisdom that President Obama's new lead in the polls is a bounce, coming out of the Democratic convention in Charlotte, N.C.

But an analysis from the Wesleyan Media Project suggests that the bounce might be due to TV ads as much as grand speeches. The Obama campaign and its allies laid out $21.1 million for TV during the two weeks of the party conventions. Over that same stretch, Republican Mitt Romney and his backers spent significantly less, $12.9 million.

For months, the tax-exempt Crossroads GPS has argued that its anti-Obama ads were merely issue ads and not political ads. No more. Today the group went up with ads explicitly telling viewers to vote against President Obama.

Co-founded by Republican operative Karl Rove, the group began running a 30-second spot Wednesday morning in Nevada that blames a weak economy and poor housing market on Obama and ends with the wording: "This election ... don't blow another vote on Obama."

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

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And I'm Audie Cornish.

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Every election season Republicans and Democrats tried to rally their base and to go after undecided voters. They're increasingly using the Internet in Get Out The Vote efforts.

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And I'm Melissa Block.

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.

Outrage Builds After U.S. Embassy Attacks

Sep 12, 2012

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.

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.

The Turns Ahead On The Campaign Trail

Sep 12, 2012

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.

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.

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.

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