Tales from the Trail

President Obama speaks about the U.S. and European economies

President Obama will speak about the U.S. economy and the situation in Europe at 10:15am ET on Friday.

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Obama campaign targets Romney’s record as governor

President Obama’s reelection campaign on Friday released another video bashing Mitt Romney for his record in job creation as governor of Massachusetts.

The video mash-up pulls together footage of his former rivals for the Republican nomination — Newt Gingrich, Rick Santorum, and Rick Perry, as well as John McCain in 2008 — each of whom is shown criticizing Romney for Massachussetts’ rate of job creation and tax increases during his term as governor.

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It follows a longer video, released on Thursday, that mines archival footage for video of Romney, during his 2002 run for governor, promising to use his experience in the private sector to improve the economy in Massachusetts, then contrasts it with a series of former and current state officials who say he didn’t follow through on his promises.

Washington Extra – Surplus shocker!

Speaker of the House John Boehner is seen in February 28, 2012 file photo on Capitol Hill in Washington. REUTERS/Larry Downing

For anyone who thought the term “budget surplus” had been exorcised from the U.S. government’s lexicon, the Treasury Department offered up some interesting news today. 

For the first time since September, 2008, the government’s monthly receipts outpaced its expenditures, resulting in a $59 billion budget surplus in April. The end of the 42-month drought does not mean Washington has solved its budget problems. Indeed, for the first seven months of this fiscal year, $720 billion in cumulative deficits have been racked up.

Romney looks to give Bernanke the boot

U.S. Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke attends the International Monetary and Financial Committee (IMFC) meeting during the spring IMF-World Bank meetings in Washington April 21, 2012.

“I’d be looking for somebody new.”

Those words from the U.S. Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney may give Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke some pause – or at least thinking about some other job prospects if the GOP frontrunner wins the Nov. 6 election.

As we report,  Romney, a former business executive who’s made the economy the cornerstone of his campaign, has made it clear that if he wins the White House he will try to replace Bernanke. The Fed chief’s term ends in January 2014 – a year after the next president takes office. Although Bernanke was nominated by Republican President George W. Bush, Democratic President Barack Obama give him second term in 2009.

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.

Obama – “I deserve a second term”

President Barack Obama said on Sunday he deserves to be re-elected despite having said three years ago that he’d be a one-term president if he didn’t turn the economy around.

“I deserve a second term, but we’re not done,” Obama told NBC’s Matt Lauer in an interview broadcast before the Super Bowl game. Obama listed his administration’s economic achievements but said they weren’t finished.

“We’ve made progress, and the key right now is just, make sure that we don’t start turning in a new direction, that could throw that progress off,” Obama said.

Biden, Romney spar over economic policy

By Eric Johnson

CHICAGO — Vice President Joe Biden, in his first public criticism of a 2012 Republican presidential candidate, criticized Mitt Romney’s economic policies in an opinion piece in Iowa’s biggest newspaper on Friday.

“Romney appears satisfied to settle for an economy in which fewer people succeed, while the majority of Americans are left to tread water or fall behind,” Biden wrote in the Des Moines Register, which last week endorsed Romney for the Republican nomination.

In the piece, Biden laid out his working-class background — which the Obama campaign will tout in rust-belt swing states in 2012 — and said he and Obama were champions of equal opportunity for all, not an entitlement society, as Romney alleged.

Romney camp hits back at DNC for “Mitt v. Mitt” attack ad

Mitt Romney’s campaign lined up a bevy of surrogates on Monday to respond to the DNC’s new “Mitt v. Mitt” ad campaign by pressing home their point that Obama is attacking Romney in order to avoid talking about the sputtering U.S. economy.

Although Romney had no public events scheduled for Monday, his campaign arranged a series of conference calls with supporters to “discuss President Obama’s record.”

Former Minnesota Governor and presidential candidate Tim Pawlenty, three Ohio legislators, and New Hampshire’s state Senate Majority leader and House Majority leader were among supporters who set up at least six different press conference calls with reporters in states targeted by the DNC.

Obama to middle class: Who loves you?

The middle class is back.

Amid the din of Republican cries of class warfare, the Occupy Wall Street movement and a fresh economic report that America’s rich are getting much, much richer, one phrase punctuated weekend remarks from President Barack Obama and his campaign strategists: the middle class.

As the Democratic president struggles to reconnect with his base — liberals, black Americans and younger voters — he is taking up the middle class mantra to target the crucial voting bloc.

This weekend there was no escaping who the Obama team’s message was aimed at.

Perry, Bachmann shine star power at Iowa dinner

Newly-minted Republican presidential candidate Rick Perry (and his black campaign bus)  rolled into Waterloo Sunday, where the Texas governor made a  campaign pitch to Iowa voters.

Minnesota Congresswoman Michele Bachmann showed up at the same event. They weren’t on stage together but Perry ending up sharing the spotlight.

Perry spoke first at the Black Hawk County GOP Lincoln Day Dinner and acknowledged another Republican presidential hopeful in the room, former Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum .