White House: CAMPAIGN 2012

Bachmann Would Waterboard

Add to Briefcase
Nov. 12, 2011, 4:08 p.m.

Na­tion­al Journ­al’s Gar­rett writes, “Con­gres­sion­al Demo­crats can’t cam­paign on health care, and they can’t vote on middle-class tax cuts.” That “il­lus­trates the polit­ic­al strait­jack­et” the Dem ma­jor­ity wears as it bolts from Wash­ing­ton in a “fe­ver­ish at­tempt to stave off midterm re­pu­di­ation.” Some in the party “wanted to fight” GOP­ers over taxes, an ar­gu­ment ad­voc­ated by one of its chief ad­visers, poll­ster Stan­ley Green­berg. But House Speak­er Nancy Pelosi “re­fused to lose a high-stakes vote on eco­nom­ic policy” — with nearly 40 Dems in her caucus want­ing to vote with GOP — “even though they meant hanging cent­rist Dems who needed the vote out to dry.

Dems, in the end, “de­cided it was bet­ter to muddle than fight.” Rep. Richard Neal (D-MA): “There was a feel­ing, ‘Take an­oth­er tough vote? For what?’. The lead­er­ship is in­ter­ested and I’m in­ter­ested in pre­serving the ma­jor­ity on Novem­ber 13” (10/2 is­sue).

Pelosi, on how to move for­ward on taxes if more GOP­ers are in the House: “We in­tend to have a ma­jor­ity in the Con­gress after Novem­ber. But the fact is if they want to go in­to oth­er is­sues re­lated to the tax code, we’re all for put­ting everything on the table, talk­ing about sim­pli­fic­a­tion, talk­ing about fair­ness, or per­haps lower­ing the cor­por­ate rate if we close loop­holes, and some of the things that we have done have very good for small busi­nesses.”

Pelosi, on tax com­prom­ise: “Our po­s­i­tion is clear. Every­body gets a tax cut. If you make over $250,000 a year, you do not get an ex­tra tax cut, and most of that tax cut, by the way, at the high end, goes to people mak­ing — 80 per­cent of it goes to people mak­ing over a mil­lion dol­lars a year as joint filers. We feel very clear about our po­s­i­tion” (“News­Hour,” PBS, 9/30).

Time Run­ning Out

Na­tion­al Journ­al’s Cook writes, “if a new NBC News/Wall Street Journ­al poll is cor­rect, the tide for the GOP “may have ebbed a bit.” The in­ter­est­ing res­ult is that the GOP’s likely voter edge dropped from 9 points to 3 points since 8/10” (10/1.

ABC News’ Wal­ter writes, “This tight­en­ing of the gen­er­ic bal­lot does not mean that Demo­crats are out of the woods or that Re­pub­lic­ans are less likely to gain con­trol of the House.” Wave elec­tions are “like tor­nadoes.” There are some places where the winds will level everything in its path, but “there will in­ev­it­ably be those can­did­ates who sur­vive” (9/30).

You Call That Bi-Par­tis­an?

Dems have “made clear” what they will be talk­ing about in the clos­ing six weeks of this midterm elec­tion cycle: Ar­guing GOP­ers will ad­vance an agenda they say “will re­vive the failed eco­nom­ic policies of” George W. Bush. DSCC Chair Robert Men­en­dez (D-NJ): “That is the choice they will have to make in this elec­tion — wheth­er they want to go back to the very es­sence of those who cre­ated the eco­nom­ic anxi­ety and troubles they are in, or wheth­er they want to con­tin­ue to move to the fu­ture” (Dav­is, Con­gress­Daily, 10/1).

Bill Clin­ton, on the midterms: “And it’s al­most im­possible with only a month to go — and they’ve been do­ing it for maybe a month — to fill up the tank as much and — but it’s worth re­mind­ing Amer­ic­ans that every elec­tion is a choice. If you have to run against the ideal, if it’s a ref­er­en­dum, every one of us will get beat. Nobody’d get elec­ted. We’d have nobody in of­fice be­cause there’s no such thing as the per­fect pub­lic ser­vant. Every — the choices you make in polit­ics are like the choices you make in life. You look at the facts as best you can and you make the best avail­able choice” (“Hard­ball,” MS­N­BC, 9/30).

“Hours after ad­journ­ing a week early and punt­ing on tax cuts and ap­pro­pri­ations bills,” House Dem lead­ers “offered a broad de­fense of their agenda, fram­ing their ac­com­plish­ments as his­tor­ic while cast­ing” GOP­ers as “ob­struc­tion­ists not worthy of the pub­lic trust.”

“In some of their sharpest, and most co­ordin­ated, at­tacks thus far against” GOP­ers, Dems “dir­ectly took on” House Min. Lead­er John Boehner. House Speak­er Nancy Pelosi, on Boehner’s speech about Con­gres­sion­al re­form: “It’s no won­der that Mr. Boehner wants to talk about pro­cess. They have no sub­stant­ive is­sues to take to the Amer­ic­an people, they want to talk about pro­cess, we can talk to them about that, but we’d rather be talk­ing about pro­gress than pro­cess.”

Dems “took it a step fur­ther.” Rep. George Miller (D-CA), who worked with Boehner on “No Child Left Be­hind,” in a press re­lease: “The fact is, the only bi-par­tis­an mo­ment Rep. Boehner can point to is work­ing with me nine years ago on a bill Pres­id­ent Bush had made a pri­or­ity. Everything since has been par­tis­an op­pos­i­tion to is­sues of great im­port­ance to Amer­ica’s middle class” (Sher­man, Politico, 9/30).

Sur­viv­al Of The Fit­test

Dem lead­ers “are de­cid­ing where to spend pre­cious re­sources as they de­bate which Sen­ate can­did­ates can sur­vive” the GOP “on­slaught.”

Eight states — CO, IL, KY, MO, NV, PA, WV and WI — “are emer­ging as the battle­grounds that will de­cide” who con­trols the Sen­ate. The DSCC and the NR­SC agree CO, IL and NV “will be among the closest” races (Bolton, The Hill, 10/1).

Hit­ting The Streets

House Dem lead­ers 9/30 “de­fen­ded their move to cut their le­gis­lat­ive ses­sion short.” Pelosi: “Our mem­bers left [Wed.] even­ing in a spir­it of op­tim­ism. … The job is not just what is hap­pen­ing in Wash­ing­ton, D.C.”

DCCC chair Chris Van Hol­len, on the lead­er­ship meet­ing with Obama: “He’s go­ing to be cris­scross­ing the coun­try, fram­ing the choice for voters very clearly: con­tinu­ing the pro­gress we’ve made, or go­ing back to failed policies” (Ber­man, The Hill, 9/30).

What We're Following See More »
Kasowitz Out, John Dowd In
2 days ago

As the Russia investigation heats up, "the role of Marc E. Kasowitz, the president’s longtime New York lawyer, will be significantly reduced. Mr. Trump liked Mr. Kasowitz’s blunt, aggressive style, but he was not a natural fit in the delicate, politically charged criminal investigation. The veteran Washington defense lawyer John Dowd will take the lead in representing Mr. Trump for the Russia inquiry."

Trump Looking to Discredit Mueller
2 days ago

President Trump's attorneys are "actively compiling a list of Mueller’s alleged potential conflicts of interest, which they say could serve as a way to stymie his work." They plan to argued that Mueller is going outside the scope of his investigation, in inquiring into Trump's finances. They're also playing small ball, highlighting "donations to Democrats by some of" Mueller's team, and "an allegation that Mueller and Trump National Golf Club in Northern Virginia had a dispute over membership fees when Mueller resigned as a member in 2011." Trump is said to be incensed that Mueller may see his tax returns, and has been asking about his power to pardon his family members.

Why Yes, Mueller Is Looking into Trump Businesses
2 days ago

In addition to ties between Russia and the Trump campaign, Robert Mueller's team is also "examining a broad range of transactions involving Trump’s businesses as well as those of his associates, according to a person familiar with the probe. FBI investigators and others are looking at Russian purchases of apartments in Trump buildings, Trump’s involvement in a controversial SoHo development in New York with Russian associates, the 2013 Miss Universe pageant in Moscow, and Trump’s sale of a Florida mansion to a Russian oligarch in 2008, the person said. The investigation also has absorbed a money-laundering probe begun by federal prosecutors in New York into Trump’s former campaign chairman Paul Manafort."

Mueller Expands Probe to Trump Business Transactions
2 days ago

Special Counsel Robert Mueller's team is "is examining a broad range of transactions involving Trump’s businesses as well as those of his associates", including "Russian purchases of apartments in Trump buildings, Trump’s involvement in a controversial SoHo development with Russian associates, the 2013 Miss Universe pageant in Moscow and Trump’s sale of a Florida mansion to a Russian oligarch in 2008."

32 Million More Uninsured by 2026 if Obamacare Repealed
2 days ago

"A Senate bill to gut Obamacare would increase the number of uninsured people by 32 million and double premiums on Obamacare's exchanges by 2026, according to an analysis from the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office. The analysis is of a bill that passed Congress in 2015 that would repeal Obamacare's taxes and some of the mandates. Republicans intend to leave Obamacare in place for two years while a replacement is crafted and implemented."


Welcome to National Journal!

You are currently accessing National Journal from IP access. Please login to access this feature. If you have any questions, please contact your Dedicated Advisor.