Tales from the Trail

Romney’s claims don’t match reality, Obama team says in new ad

In its latest ad, “Mitt Romney versus Reality: Global Edition,” the Obama reelection campaign is hitting back on several of Romney’s attacks on the president’s foreign policy, splicing together video of Romney’s claims and what the campaign calls “reality” — mostly videos of Obama claiming to have done the opposite.

So where Romney is shown accusing Obama of wanting Israel to “go back to the ’67 borders,” a clip follows of Obama saying that “Israelis and Palestinians will negotiate a border that is different than the one that existed on June 4, 1967.” Video shows Romney telling an audience Obama “spends a lot of time apologizing for America”; the next clip shows Obama telling a different audience, “We will not apologize for our way of life, nor will we waver in its defense.”

Watch the full ad, via barackobama.com:

Photo credit: Screenshot/barackobama.com

GOP Super PAC ad targets Obama for being too “cool”

A day after President Obama wrapped up his multi-state tour of American colleges, where he drummed up youth support for an extension of low interest rates on student loans, and presumably also his reelection campaign, American Crossroads, the Republican Super PAC backed by Karl Rove, has released a new ad targeting the same demographic.

The ad runs through some of Obama’s most famously “cool” moments — when he killed a fly with his hand during an interview, his dancing entrance on Ellen Degeneres’ show, singing Al Green at the Apollo Theater, “slow jamming the news” with Jimmy Fallon — followed then by a series of harsh claims about the economy into which college kids are graduating. “1 in 2 recent college graduates are jobless or underemployed,” the ad contends. “85% moving back in with their parents.”

“After 4 years of a celebrity president, is your life better?”

Watch the ad, via American Crossroads:

The Romney campaign followed up with its own ad echoing the statistics cited in the American Crossroads video. Watch:

Washington Extra – Moonshot no more

U.S. Republican presidential candidate Newt Gingrich bows his head in prayer before speaking at First Redeemer Church while on a campaign tour in Cumming, Georgia, February 26, 2012. REUTERS/Tami Chappell

Earth calling Newt: When the biggest news of your presidential campaign is the penguin biting your hand at the zoo, it’s probably time to pack it in.

Even though Newt Gingrich’s odds of winning the Republican nomination were about as long as those of realizing his dream for a moon colony, the 68-year-old seemed to enjoy himself to the end. “I never got the sense that he was quote-unquote down,” said adviser Charlie Gerow. “I got the sense on a couple of occasions that he was tired. Really tired.” And really in debt. His campaign spent $4.3 million more than it brought in.

Obama “slow jams the news” with Jimmy Fallon

Jimmy Fallon taped a special episode of his show in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, yesterday, where he was joined by President Obama, who, fresh from a speech to students at the University of North Carolina, made a dramatic entrance.

Fallon announced that he wanted to “slow jam the news,” a recurring segment on his show usually featuring Brian Williams. “And I’m not the only one,” Fallon said suggestively, as Obama stepped out from behind a curtain to raucous cheers from the audience. “I’m President Barack Obama, and I, too, want to slow jam the news,” said Obama, who without cracking a smile talked about student loan interest rates whilst accompanied by Fallon’s house band, The Roots. “Now is not the time to make school more expensive for our young people,” he said.

Obama, on a two-day, multi-state college tour to spotlight the cost of a college degree and urge support for an extension of low interest rates on student loans — which Congress is expected to take to a vote on Friday — returned to the issue in a sit-down interview with Fallon, who also asked him, among other things, about the Secret Service scandal, his most embarrassing moment in the White House, and his own college experience, showing a picture of a college-age Obama to the audience.

Washington Extra – The bench’s backstories

As the Supreme Court justices convene Wednesday to hear arguments in the case Arizona v United States, will their thoughts drift to Italy, Ireland, Poland and Puerto Rico? 

The challenge to Arizona’s tough immigration law may have the justices thinking about their own families’ origins and journeys to America. As Reuters reports today, nearly all of them, like their countrymen, descend from people who came looking for a better life (the notable exception is Justice Clarence Thomas whose great-grandmother was a slave).

The justices of the U.S. Supreme Court seen in a October 8, 2010 group portrait. Seated from left to right in front row are: Associate Justice Clarence Thomas, Associate Justice Antonin Scalia, Chief Justice John G. Roberts, Associate Justice Anthony M. Kennedy, Associate Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. Standing from left to right in back row are: Associate Justice Sonia Sotomayor, Associate Justice Stephen Breyer, Associate Justice Samuel Alito Jr., and Associate Justice Elena Kagan. REUTERS/Larry Downing

Washington Extra – Gift of the gas

 

Gasoline drips off a nozzle during refueling at a gas station in Altadena, California in this March 24, 2012 file photo. Picture taken March 24, 2012. REUTERS/Mario Anzuoni

After negotiating a tricky stretch of road, the Obama campaign may be easing into the straightaway in the gas-driven presidential race.

News on Monday of a delay in the planned closure of the largest refinery on the East Coast could mean an end to skyrocketing gas prices. And that would effectively take the wind out of a forceful Republican line of attack — that the president is to be blamed for $4 a gallon gas, arguably the most visible price in the American economy today.

No privilege for most stay-at-home moms -poll

Mothers relax on the grass with their babies at Central Park during a warm day in New York, March 22, 2012. REUTERS/Lucas Jackson

The recent flap over women voters — especially stay-at-home mothers — has sent both Republican and Democratic pundits scrambling and with good reason: many stay-at-home moms aren’t affiliated with either party and are a ripe target for swing votes, a new poll shows.

The survey from Gallup Inc also finds that moms who don’t work aren’t exactly a pampered lot, despite Ann Romney – the wife of a multi-millionaire businessman – being portrayed as their standard bearer. It found most moms who stay home are more economically disadvantaged than their working peers.

Washington Extra – Going nuclear?

 

U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission commissioner Kristine Svinicki (L) is seen here with Chairman Gregory Jaczko (C) and fellow commissioner George Apostolakis (R) listening to testimony at a meeting at the NRC's headquarters in Rockville, Maryland in this March 21, 2011 file photo. REUTERS/Larry Downing

Obama to renominate Republican to nuclear panel – President Obama will renominate Republican Kristine Svinicki to the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, defying opposition from Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, a White House official told Reuters. Republicans want Svinicki, whose term as a commissioner expires in June, to stay on the panel and believe the process is being held up because she, along with three other commission members, accused the current NRC chairman, a Democrat, of bullying women. For more of this story by Jeff Mason and Roberta Rampton, read here.

U.S. House passes Republican business tax cut – The Republican-controlled House of Representatives passed a tax break for small businesses, giving voters a stark alternative to President Obama’s politically popular “Buffett Rule” surtax on the wealthy. In an escalating election-year war of words over taxes, the Republican measure, like the Buffett Rule, is not expected to become law. It is opposed by Democrats, who control the Senate, where the bill was expected to die. For more of this story by Kim Dixon, read here.

Obama camp’s latest fund-raising draw? Clooney

 

First it was dinner with Barack. Then it was the chance to have dinner with President Barack Obama and first lady Michelle Obama. The campaign has also added the chance to dine with the president and Vice President Joe Biden to the mix in its perennial “Dinner with Barack” fundraising scheme.

But now it’s offering the chance to meet someone who might make some earlier supporters sorry they didn’t wait to enter the campaign’s fund-raising lottery — Hollywood star George Clooney.

The Obama campaign sent out an email today telling supporters that if they donate $3 “or whatever you can,” they will enter a drawing to win one of two chances to attend a fundraiser Clooney is holding at his home in Los Angeles in May.

Washington Extra – Going to the dogs

U.S. Republican presidential candidate and former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney (C) is seen here in 2008 with his grandson Parker and his son Craig greeting a dog at a campaign stop in Bluffton, South Carolina in this file photo (REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst). AT LEFT: U.S. President Barack Obama bends down to pet his dog, Bo, outside the Oval Office of the White House in Washington March 15, 2012 (REUTERS/Larry Downing).

U.S. President Barack Obama bends down to pet his dog, Bo, outside the Oval Office of the White House in Washington March 15, 2012.   It’s now official: The presidential campaign is going to the dogs. And like a lot of things this election year, it’s doing so via Twitter.

For months, aides to Republican Mitt Romney have tried to live down the much-publicized tale of the Romney family’s trip to Canada in 1983, when Romney transported the family dog, Seamus, in a crate that was strapped to the top of the car. The episode, in which the dog lost control of his bowels, has been lampooned by Democrats who have portrayed Romney as an uncaring former corporate executive.