Welcome back to Hotline Sort. The Obama campaign launches its first Medicare ad, Van Hollen will play Ryan in mock debates, Tester "welcomes" McCain to Montana, and Charlie Crist stars in a new ad.
10) "Romney" narrowly beat "Obama" in the 16th running of the Cockroach Derby in New Jersey. See the Newark Star-Ledger story for the video.
9) Hmm. Former Florida Gov. Charlie Crist stars in a new television ad -- for his law firm -- asking people to "thank a teacher today."
The Republican-turned-Independent has been mentioned as a possible 2014 gubernatorial candidate.
8) Another DCCC IE ad, hitting North Carolina's 7th District GOP nominee David Rouzer on Medicare.
7) The NRCC launched its first IE television ads in four districts, as first reported by Roll Call on Monday. The ads hit Georgia Rep. John Barrow, North Carolina Rep. Mike McIntyre, Kentucky Rep. Ben Chandler, and Pennsylvania Rep. Mark Critz.
Interestingly, as the Rothenberg Political Report points out, all four ads hit different themes - on Obama, health care, and taxes, among other things. The Raleigh News and Observer reported that the NRCC's initial buy against McIntyre, for one, is a relatively small $27,600; it's possible the Republican committee is using this early round of ads as a live testing ground for a few different messages that could work this fall.
6) North Dakota GOP Senate nominee Rick Berg is up with a new television ad featuring a soldier who told the story of the congressman helping him get a purple heart after he was injured in Iraq.
The Hill reports that Berg has told at least three Fargo-area stations to stop airing his previous ad, which was the subject of some controversy. The new ad begins airing statewide today.
5) Sen. Jon Tester
's, D-Mont., campaign is running a full page ad in the Great Falls Tribune in honor of Sen. John McCain
campaigning for GOP Rep. Denny Rehberg
The ad welcomes McCain to Montana and thanks him for "standing with Montanans against Citizens United," and then hitting Rehberg for supporting the "dangerous, out of touch" Supreme Court decision.
4) Rep. Chris Van Hollen
, the ranking Democrat on the Budget Committee, will play Paul Ryan
in mock debates with Vice President Biden
3) The New York Times reports
on Mitt Romney
's transition team:
Mr. Romney's transition team, which has quietly been ramping up since June, is an extension of his campaign and reflects many hallmarks of the Romney operation -- methodical and disciplined, with acute attention to detail. The team also offers a glimpse of what might be Mr. Romney's approach to governing, functioning much like his old private equity firm, Bain Capital. The team is assessing the government and looking for ways to make it more efficient and streamlined.
2) President Obama
's campaign manager Jim Messina
wrote to Romney's campaign manager asking Romney to release five years of tax returns -- and saying if he does so, they won't criticize him for not releasing more.
1) The Obama campaign is up with its first television ad
attacking the Ryan plan.
The ad invokes the AARP in defense of the President's health care plan, citing the group saying the plan "cracks down on Medicare fraud, waste, and abuse" and "strengthens guaranteed benefits," while also saying the Ryan plan would "undermine" Medicare and "lead to higher costs for seniors.
Scott Bland contributed