Assuming credibility on the issue that both parties lack, Republicans are looking to shame President Obama for politicizing the death of Osama bin Laden. If they can accomplish that, they will have mitigated what Obama has fashioned into a centerpiece of his reelection pitch.
Making their case on Sunday was Ed Gillespie, a party wise man and adviser to Mitt Romney. Gillespie was chairman of the Republican National Committee in 2004, when Republicans brandished 9/11 like a campaign sign. That election came two years after a Georgia Senate race when Democrat Max Cleland, who won Silver and Bronze stars in Vietnam but lost two legs and part of his right arm, faced GOP ads expressing doubts about his homeland security credentials and his “courage,” and featuring photos of Osama bin Laden.
In response to Obama’s questioning whether Romney would have given the order (“Even Jimmy Carter would have given that order,” Romney said today), Gillespie said on Meet the Press: “This is one of the reasons President Obama has become one of the most divisive presidents in American history.”
No, it’s not. There are other, numerous, reasons for that. This? This is just politics.
-- Jim O’Sullivan
NATIONAL JOURNAL’S PRIMARY REPORT
'Forward' Starts in Reverse; Obama Campaign Anchors 2012 Message to Economic Deluge of 2008 NEW!
[National Journal, 4/30/12] Obama knows the U.S. economic recovery is weak, consumer confidence timid, job growth uninspiring and optimism jittery. So to better emphasize his accomplishments, Obama's highlighting how bad things were.
Romney’s Road to the Presidency Looks Narrow on Electoral Map
[Washington Post, 4/29/12] A detailed analysis of Mitt Romney’s various paths to the 270 electoral votes he would need to claim the presidency suggests he has a ceiling of somewhere right around 290 votes -- a paper-thin margin for error.
Romney: 'Of Course' I Would Have Attacked bin Laden
[National Journal, 4/30/12] Romney said on Monday that "of course" he would have ordered military forces to make the 2011 raid that ended with the death of Osama bin Laden. Romney’s remarks come on the heels of recent attempts by the Obama camp to capitalize on what they see as one of the greatest achievements of Obama’s presidency.
Obama Fails to Stem Middle-Class Slide He Blamed on Bush NEW!
[Bloomberg, 4/30/12] The recession may have started under Bush, but the recovery under Obama hasn't resulted in the creation of many of the jobs that once buoyed the middle class.
Keystone Aside, Labor Shows Obama Love
[CBS News, 4/30/12] Obama spoke at the legislative conference of the AFL-CIO's Building and Construction Trades Department, and found himself in front of a supportive crowd which, despite differences over the Keystone XL pipeline, has made moves to aid his reelection this year.
Details of Romney's Economic Plan Keep Evolving
[USA Today, 4/30/12] Since Romney released his economic blueprint in September, his views have changed, but the blueprint hasn't. Now, supporters and critics alike are clamoring for an updated, fleshed-out policy -- but what would that look like?
Mitt Romney, Evangelicals Seek Marriage of Convenience
[Kansas City Star, 4/30/12] Evangelicals backed Santorum in force when he was still running, butf now that Romney's essentially swept up the nomination, that voting bloc is begrudgingly coalescing behind him.
What a Dearth of Small Donations May Mean for Romney NEW!
[New York Times, 4/30/12] According to the New York Times, just 13 percent of Romney's funds have come in small checks, possibly indicating a lack of support for him among the GOP base.
Obama’s Nuclear Plan Tangled in Election Politics
[Boston Globe, 4/30/12] The Obama administration is almost done with a plan to reduce the nation's nuclear weapons stockpile, but because such a move could be politically risky, advisers are privately grappling with when and how to unveil the plan.
Mitt Romney’s Frenemies
[Politico, 4/30/12] With the nomination all but wrapped up, a number of high-profile national Republicans who'd stayed on the sidelines have reluctantly emerged as Romney endorsers. Jeb Bush, Marco Rubio, Mitch Daniels, and Rudy Giuliani are just a few to jump on the Romney bandwagon -- and each one less enthusiastically than the last.
Obama Campaign Launches Long-Form Web Ad
[National Journal, 4/30/12] The Obama camp released a new long-form Web ad on Monday that touts the president’s accomplishments in his first term. From killing Osama bin Laden to credit card reform, the campaign's new 7-minute Web ad, called “Forward,” paints the president as a strong commander in chief. The "Forward" motto could be the Obama campaign's slogan in the coming months.
Gingrich, Romney Camps Talking About Future Joint Event NEW!
[National Journal, 4/30/12] Gingrich is expected to hold his farewell rally on Wednesday, and he's planning to campaign with Romney in the near future. Rom Paul, however, remains mum on whether he'll back Romney.
Election Will Be Boring—and That’s Fine
[Daily Beast, 4/30/12] Head's up, America: this election is going to be dull. But Peter Beinart argues that this is quite all right. With little chance of starting a major war overseas, a recovery that is slow to take place, and a culture war with little resemblance of the days of old, a boring election with played-out issues is exactly what the U.S. needs, he argues.
Portman Wants Policy Details From Romney, Obama
[BuzzFeed, 4/29/12] Sen. Rob Portman, R-Ohio, is asking Romney and Obama, “What’s your plan?” The insiders’ favorite VP pick called for both candidates to release detailed outlines of their tax plans ahead of the general election. Portman was a top economic official during the last Bush administration, and has warned against a possible “taxmageddon.” Meanwhile, Sen. Kelly Ayotte of New Hampshire, another possible running mate, will make a campaign appearance with Romney today.
Bill Clinton Joins Obama for First of Three Fundraisers
[National Journal, 4/29/12] President Clinton appeared alongside President Obama on Sunday at a fundraiser for Obama’s reelection campaign, the first of at least three joint fundraisers. Obama and Clinton both went after the presumptive Republican nominee in their remarks.
Ryan's Path From Follower to GOP Trailblazer
[New York Times, 4/29/12] Paul Ryan has become the most influential policymaker in the GOP, its de facto head of economic policy and potentially a running mate for Romney. Now, Ryan faces some big questions about his ideas and his future.
White House to Rubio: Don't Blame Obama If Your Dream Act Fails
[Talking Points Memo, 4/30/12] Rubio is attempting to blame the White House for blocking action on the Dream Act. But the White House on Monday shot back. Rubio, a possible Republican vice presidential candidate, has broken from his party on this issue—and, if selected, would give Romney a boost in the much-needed Latino voting bloc.
SEALs Slam Obama for Using Them as 'Ammunition' in Bid to Take Credit for bin Laden Killing During Election Campaign
[Daily Mail, 4/30/12] A former SEAL member told the Daily Mail that the decision to okay the raid on bin Laden's compound was a "no-brainer," and that the Obama administration is "positioning [Obama] as a war president using the SEALs as ammunition."
Iowa Straw Poll Safe in Caucus Tweaks
[Des Moines Register, 4/29/12] After being humiliated on caucus night—and the days following—the Iowa Republican Party is reviewing its process and reevaluating the future of its first-in-the-nation status. One thing that isn't going to change: the Iowa straw poll, where Michele Bachmann claimed victory in 2011.
Obama Campaign Puts Bo On the Trail NEW!
[Washington Post, 4/30/12] The "war on dogs," characterized by controversy swirling around Romney's dog Seamus and Obama's admittance to eating dog as a child, means the Obama campaign has brought out an unlikely surrogate for the president: Bo Obama, the family's Portuguese Water Dog.