GOP’s Path to Senate Control Narrows in August

GOP’s path to Senate control narrows in August
By: David Catanese
August 31, 2012 04:41 AM EDT
In this Aug. 7, 2012 file photo, Todd Akin arrives to give a victory speech at his campaign party at the Columns Banquet Center in St. Charles, Mo. | AP PhotoRepublican odds of taking the Senate took an undeniable hit in August thanks to Todd Akin, but it’s not over for the GOP.

And the fact there are still plausible paths to the majority for the party speaks to a stubbornly competitive Senate map that’s unlikely to break dramatically either way over the next 60 days.

In August’s Senate Monthly 10 — POLITICO’s rankings of the closest races of the cycle — tightening contests in Ohio and Florida loom larger than ever, Missouri slips out of the GOP column as Wisconsin moves in, and Republican-leaning races in Montana and North Dakota are making the GOP sweat.

(Also on POLITICO: McConnell: GOP majority without Akin)

The takeaway, based on POLITICO’s projections: Republicans are still two seats short of the mark — even assuming that Sens. Scott Brown and Dean Heller stave off fierce challenges in Massachusetts and Nevada, as current polling indicates they will.

The biggest change to our list is the addition of Connecticut (and removal of New Mexico) as a battleground. That’s welcome news for Republicans, given their problems in Missouri.

July’s ratings are here. Continue reading “GOP’s Path to Senate Control Narrows in August”

The Upside-Down World of Paul Ryan

The Upside-Down World of Paul Ryan

Last night, vice presidential nominee Paul Ryan, a Wisconsin congressman, accepted the nomination with a speech that took place in a world of his own making. The breathtaking dishonesty of Ryan’s speech seems to have shocked a lot of journalists and observers.

A lot of outlets talked around the “L” word. The Associated Press fact-check used the term “factual shortcuts” and said Ryan “strayed from reality,” while USA Today came closer by saying Ryan’s speech “contained several false claims and misleading statements.” But let’s say it outright: Paul Ryan lied. He lied, deliberately, about a lot of things.

It’s especially galling because Rep. Ryan has acquired an undeserved reputation in Washington as a “serious” guy, a courageous teller of bold truths. One hopes that the straight-shooting Paul Ryan myth will fade away after last night. We’ll see. Continue reading “The Upside-Down World of Paul Ryan”

Not in Romney speech: Afghanistan, Social Security

Not in Romney speech: Afghanistan, Social Security

LAURIE KELLMAN | August 31, 2012 08:49 AM EST |

WASHINGTON — Social Security. Medicare. Iraq. Afghanistan. Illegal immigration.

They’re all costly to taxpayers and the next president presumably will have to address them to one degree or another. Yet GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney made no mention of those issues Thursday in his wide-ranging acceptance speech that closed the Republican National Convention.

The address was Romney’s most sweeping attempt yet to outline the case for his candidacy. It was no time to get into the nitty-gritty of federal budgeting and solutions to the nation’s ills. But Romney did find ways to talk about an array of other issues, some of them sensitive for him personally and politically.

Romney did, for example, pledge to “protect the sanctity of life,” a reference to abortion, even though there are clear differences on the issue between him and running mate Rep. Paul Ryan of Wisconsin. He referred to his family as Mormons, a rarity for a candidate who typically refers to his religion as “my faith.” And Romney even showed emotion, which he seldom does in public, when he spoke of longing to wake up again with a pile of children in the bedroom he shares with wife Ann. Continue reading “Not in Romney speech: Afghanistan, Social Security”

Facts Take a Beating in Acceptance Speeches

New York Times

Facts Take a Beating in Acceptance Speeches

By Published: August 31, 2012

Representative Paul D. Ryan used his convention speech on Wednesday to fault President Obama for failing to act on a deficit-reduction plan that he himself had helped kill. He chided Democrats for seeking $716 billion in Medicare cuts that he too had sought. And he lamented the nation’s credit rating — which was downgraded after a debt-ceiling standoff that he and other House Republicans helped instigate.

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Ozier Muhammad/The New York Times

Barack Obama touring the G.M. plant in Janesville, Wis., in 2008.

And Mitt Romney, in his acceptance speech on Thursday night, asserted that President Obama’s policies had “not helped create jobs” and that Mr. Obama had gone on an “apology tour” for America. He also warned that the president’s Medicare cuts would “hurt today’s seniors,” claims that have already been labeled false or misleading.

The two speeches — peppered with statements that were incorrect or incomplete — seemed to signal the arrival of a new kind of presidential campaign, one in which concerns about fact-checking have been largely set aside.

In recent weeks, the Romney campaign has broadcast television advertisements leveling the widely debunked assertion that Mr. Obama had gutted the work requirements for welfare recipients. The Obama campaign, for its part, ran a deceptive ad saying that Mitt Romney had “backed a bill that outlaws all abortion, even in case of rape and incest,” although he currently supports exceptions in cases of rape, incest or when the life of the mother is at risk. Continue reading “Facts Take a Beating in Acceptance Speeches”

Romney Vows to Deliver Country From Economic Travails

 New York Times

August 30, 2012

Romney Vows to Deliver Country From Economic Travails


TAMPA, Fla. — Mitt Romney accepted the Republican presidential nomination on Thursday by making a direct appeal to Americans who were captivated by President Obama’s hopeful promises of change, pledging that he could deliver what the president did not and move the country from its worst economic downturn since the Great Depression.

The speech by Mr. Romney, delivered on the closing night of the Republican convention, signaled an attempt to redefine the race around his business background, which Democrats have spent the summer attacking. He urged voters not to feel guilty about giving up on Mr. Obama, even if they were proud to support him as the nation’s first black president. Continue reading “Romney Vows to Deliver Country From Economic Travails”