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Influence Alley Notebook—Barbour Defends Obama Influence Alley Notebook—Barbour Defends Obama

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Influence Alley Notebook—Barbour Defends Obama

President Obama was criticized this week for campaigning across swing states while Hurricane Isaac ripped through Louisiana. But frankly, former Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour isn’t sure what all the fuss is about.

“I don’t think that’s warranted criticism,” Bar­bour said. “This storm is not a mega-disaster. Everybody’s keeping an eye on it, and the local governors are down there on the scene.”

 

Barbour, who earned accolades for his management of Mississippi during Hurricane Katrina seven years ago, said that it’s unfair to expect Obama to suspend his campaign because of bad weather. “I’m not going to be critical of Obama for doing business as usual,” he said, before adding with a grin: “It’s been a perpetual campaign since the day after he got inaugurated. So what else is new?”

Influence Ads

The National Association of Home Builders came out on Wednesday with two print ads pushing back against proposed legislation that would regulate the housing market and tie bolstering homeownership to job creation.

The American Petroleum Institute’s new ad pushes for energy policies based on domestic gas and oil development; the Generic Pharmaceutical Association’s new ad touts the cost savings of using generic drugs; another ad, which is anonymous, pushes against higher taxes on alcoholic beverages.

 

Others with new print ads include the Creative Coalition; Disruptive Women in Health Care; General Motors; Microsoft; Scott Safety; and unPac.

Rubio: Ryan an Asset in Florida

When Mitt Romney tapped Paul Ryan to be his running mate, conventional wisdom dictated that the former Massachusetts governor put himself at a distinct disadvantage in this battleground state, where Ryan’s controversial plan to reform Medicare wouldn’t sit well with millions of government-dependent seniors.

Florida’s Sen. Marco Rubio isn’t buying it.

Rubio argued that Ryan’s proposal will help—not harm—Romney’s chances of winning the Sunshine State. He predicted that older voters will support Romney and Ryan because they are trying to “save Medicare” instead of pretending that nothing is wrong with the fiscally unsustainable program.

 

“Look, you have 3 million people in the state who are on Medicare—one of whom is my mom, one of whom is Paul Ryan’s mom,” Rubio said. “These are people who understand the reality of Medicare: that it’s spending more money than it takes in; that anyone who’s in favor of leaving it the way it is is in favor of bankrupting it.”

Crosby, Stills & Nash Are Barber Fans

Woodstock folk rockers Crosby, Stills & Nash are known for their harsh critiques of American politics—but that hasn’t stopped the trio from pledging support to one lucky lawmaker.

The Rock and Roll Hall of Famers are holding a pre-concert fundraiser to support Rep. Ron Barber, D-Ariz., in Tucson on Sept. 5. P

Influence Alley is National Journal’s home for the coverage of power, people, and influence—from Capitol Hill to K Street: nationaljournal.com/congress.

This article appears in the August 30, 2012 edition of NJ Convention Daily.

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