10/09/2012 06:30 PM by Lauren Molenburg
NEW YORK (AP) - President Barack Obama deployed Big Bird in a new campaign ad Tuesday mocking Mitt Romney's vow to end federal funding for public broadcasting. Romney's campaign dismissed it as an … Click to Read More and see additional updates
10/09/2012 06:30 PM by Lauren Molenburg
NEW YORK (AP) - President Barack Obama deployed Big Bird in a new campaign ad Tuesday mocking Mitt Romney's vow to end federal funding for public broadcasting. Romney's campaign dismissed it as an example of Obama being small-minded while the foundation behind Big Bird's program, "Sesame Street," asked that the ad be taken down.
The satirical spot, set to air on national broadcast and cable TV stations, shows images of convicted financiers, including Bernie Madoff and Enron's Ken Lay, and suggests Romney thinks Big Bird is behind their crimes.
"Only one man has the guts to speak his name," the ad says.
Romney said in last week's nationally televised debate with Obama that he liked Big Bird but would, if elected, end federal subsidies for the Public Broadcasting Service to help balance the budget. PBS airs "Sesame Street."
Obama seized on that comment the day after the debate and has used it every day since to poke at Romney.
"He'll get rid of regulations on Wall Street, but he's going to crack down on Sesame Street. Thank goodness somebody is finally cracking down on Big Bird," Obama joked at a campaign rally in Madison, Wis., the day after the debate, as his audience roared with laughter. "Who knew that he was responsible for all these deficits? Elmo has got to watch out."
But Sesame Workshop, which supports "Sesame Street," didn't see it as a laughing matter.
"Sesame Workshop is a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization and we do not endorse candidates or participate in political campaigns," the organization said in a terse, two-sentence statement. "We have approved no campaign ads and, as is our general practice, have requested that the ad be taken down."
Obama campaign spokesman Ben LaBolt said the campaign was reviewing Sesame Workshop's concerns.
Romney's campaign countered that the ad shows Obama is focusing on inconsequential matters rather than the urgent issues voters care about, like the economy and unemployment.
"Right now you've got 23 million Americans struggling to find work," spokesman Kevin Madden told reporters Tuesday. "I just find it troubling that the president's message, the president's focus 28 days from Election Day, is Big Bird."
PBS receives a portion of its funding from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, which receives an annual appropriation from Congress. In 2012, CPB received $445 million in federal funding. PBS said in a news release after last week's presidential debate that public broadcasting receives about one one-hundredth of 1 percent of the federal budget.
(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.)
10/09/2012 04:30 PM by Lauren Molenburg
DENVER (AP) - Colorado's county election clerks are sounding alarms about possible voting problems next month,
The clerks sent a four-page letter of complaint Monday to Colorado's top elections officer, Republican Secretary of State Scott Gessler.
Among the fears expressed by the Colorado County Clerks Association was a complaint about new mobile registration applications. The clerks say those apps weren't properly tested and required emergency rules.
The clerks also took issue with a new policy for overseas voters. The clerks said that a print-your-own-ballot system for overseas voters was also improperly tested and has led to problems.
The clerks requested an in-person meeting with Gessler.
(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.)
10/09/2012 10:32 AM by Associated Press, Posted by Kirsten Bennett
WASHINGTON (AP) - President Barack Obama and Republican rival Mitt Romney spun one-sided stories in their first presidential debate, not necessarily bogus, but not the whole truth.
They made some flat-out flubs, too. The rise in health insurance premiums has not been the slowest in 50 years, as Obama stated. Far from it. And there are not 23 million unemployed, as Romney asserted.
Here's a look at some of their claims and how they stack up with the facts:
OBAMA: "I've proposed a specific $4 trillion deficit reduction plan. ... The way we do it is $2.50 for every cut, we ask for $1 in additional revenue."
THE FACTS: In promising $4 trillion, Obama is already banking more than $2 trillion from legislation enacted along with Republicans last year that cut agency operating budgets and capped them for 10 years. He also claims more than $800 billion in war savings that would occur anyway. And he uses creative bookkeeping to hide spending on Medicare reimbursements to doctors. Take those "cuts" away and Obama's $2.50/$1 ratio of spending cuts to tax increases shifts significantly more in the direction of tax increases.
Obama's February budget offered proposals that would cut deficits over the coming decade by $2 trillion instead of $4 trillion. Of that deficit reduction, tax increases accounted for $1.6 trillion. He promises relatively small spending cuts of $597 billion from big federal benefit programs like Medicare and Medicaid. He also proposed higher spending on infrastructure projects.
ROMNEY: Obama's health care plan "puts in place an unelected board that's going to tell people ultimately what kind of treatments they can have. I don't like that idea."
THE FACTS: Romney is referring to the Independent Payment Advisory Board, a panel of experts that would have the power to force Medicare cuts if costs rise beyond certain levels and Congress fails to act. But Obama's health care law explicitly prohibits the board from rationing care, shifting costs to retirees, restricting benefits or raising the Medicare eligibility age. So the board doesn't have the power to dictate to doctors what treatments they can prescribe.
Romney seems to be resurrecting the assertion that Obama's law would lead to rationing, made famous by former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin's widely debunked allegation that it would create "death panels."
The board has yet to be named, and its members would ultimately have to be confirmed by the Senate. Health care inflation has been modest in the last few years, so cuts would be unlikely for most of the rest of this decade.
OBAMA: "Over the last two years, health care premiums have gone up - it's true - but they've gone up slower than any time in the last 50 years. So we're already beginning to see progress. In the meantime, folks out there with insurance, you're already getting a rebate."
THE FACTS: Not so, concerning premiums. Obama is mixing overall health care spending, which has been growing at historically low levels, and health insurance premiums, which have continued to rise faster than wages and overall economic growth. Premiums for job-based family coverage have risen by nearly $2,400 since 2009 when Obama took office, according to the nonpartisan Kaiser Family Foundation. In 2011, premiums jumped by 9 percent. This year's 4 percent increase was more manageable, but the price tag for family coverage stands at $15,745, with employees paying more than $4,300 of that.
When it comes to insurance rebates under Obama's health care law, less than 10 percent of people with private health insurance are benefiting.
More than 160 million Americans under 65 have private insurance through their jobs and by buying their own policies. According to the administration, about 13 million people will benefit from rebates. And nearly two-thirds of that number will only be entitled to a share of it, since they are covered under job-based plans where their employer pays most of the premium and will get most of the rebate.
ROMNEY on the failure of Obama's economic policy: "And the proof of that is 23 million people out of work. The proof of that is 1 out of 6 people in poverty. The proof of that is we've gone from 32 million on food stamps to 47 million on food stamps. The proof of that is that 50 percent of college graduates this year can't find work."
THE FACTS: The number of unemployed is 12.5 million, not 23 million. Romney was also counting 8 million people who are working part time but would like a full-time job and 2.6 million who have stopped looking for work, either because they are discouraged or because they are going back to school or for other reasons.
He got the figure closer to right earlier in the debate, leaving out only the part-timers when he said the U.S. has "23 million people out of work or stopped looking for work." But he was wrong in asserting that Obama came into office "facing 23 million people out of work." At the start of Obama's presidency, 12 million were out of work.
His claim that half of college graduates can't find work now also was problematic. A Northeastern University analysis for The Associated Press found that a quarter of graduates were probably unemployed and another quarter were underemployed, which means working in jobs that didn't make full use of their skills or experience.
OBAMA: It's important "that we take some of the money that we're saving as we wind down two wars to rebuild America."
THE FACTS: This oft-repeated claim is based on a fiscal fiction. The wars in Iraq and Afghanistan were paid for mostly with borrowed money, so stopping them doesn't create a new pool of available cash that can be used for something else, like rebuilding America. It just slows down the government's borrowing.
ROMNEY: "At the same time, gasoline prices have doubled under the president. Electric rates are up."
THE FACTS: He's right that the average price has doubled, and a little more, since Obama was sworn in. But presidents have almost no influence on gasoline prices, and certainly not in the near term. Gasoline prices are set on financial exchanges around the world and are based on a host of factors, most importantly the price of crude oil used to make gasoline, the amount of finished gasoline ready to be shipped and the capacity of refiners to make enough to meet market demand.
Retail electricity prices have risen since Obama took office - barely. They've grown by an average of less than 1 percent per year, less than the rate of inflation and slower than the historical growth in electricity prices. The unexpectedly modest rise in electricity prices is because of the plummeting cost of natural gas, which is used to generate electricity.
OBAMA: "Gov. Romney's central economic plan calls for a $5 trillion tax cut - on top of the extension of the Bush tax cuts, that's another trillion dollars - and $2 trillion in additional military spending that the military hasn't asked for. That's $8 trillion. How we pay for that, reduce the deficit, and make the investments that we need to make, without dumping those costs onto middle-class Americans, I think is one of the central questions of this campaign."
THE FACTS: Obama's claim that Romney wants to cut taxes by $5 trillion doesn't add up. Presumably, Obama was talking about the effect of Romney's tax plan over 10 years, which is common in Washington. But Obama's math doesn't take into account Romney's entire plan.
Romney proposes to reduce income tax rates by 20 percent and eliminate the estate tax and the alternative minimum tax. The Tax Policy Center, a Washington research group, says that would reduce federal tax revenues by $465 billion in 2015, which would add up to about $5 trillion over 10 years.
However, Romney says he wants to pay for the tax cuts by reducing or eliminating tax credits, deductions and exemptions. The goal is a simpler tax code that raises the same amount of money as the current system but does it in a more efficient manner.
The knock on Romney's plan, which Obama accurately cited, is that Romney has refused to say which tax breaks he would eliminate to pay for the lower rates.
ROMNEY: What would I cut from spending? Well, first of all, I will eliminate all programs by this test, if they pass it: Is the program so critical it's worth borrowing money from China to pay for it?
THE FACTS: China continues to be portrayed by Romney and many other Republicans as the poster child for runaway federal deficits. It's true that China is the largest foreign holder of U.S. debt, but it only represents about an 8 percent stake. And China has recently been decreasing its holdings, according to the Treasury Department. Some two-thirds of the $16 trillion national debt is owed to the federal government, with the largest single stake the Federal Reserve, as well as American investors and the Social Security Trust Fund.
OBAMA: "Independent studies looking at this said the only way to meet Gov. Romney's pledge of not ... adding to the deficit is by burdening middle-class families. The average middle-class family with children would pay about $2,000 more."
THE FACTS: That's just one scenario. Obama's claim relies on a study by the Tax Policy Center, a Washington research group. The study, however, is more nuanced than Obama indicated.
The study concludes it would be impossible for Romney to meet all of his stated goals without shifting some of the tax burden from people who make more than $200,000 to people who make less.
In one scenario, the study says, Romney's proposal could result in a $2,000 tax increase for families who make less than $200,000 and have children.
Romney says his plan wouldn't raise taxes on anyone, and his campaign points to several studies by conservative think tanks that dispute the Tax Policy Center's findings. Most of the conservative studies argue that Romney's tax plan would stimulate economic growth, generating additional tax revenue without shifting any of the tax burden to the middle class. Congress, however, doesn't use those kinds of projections when it estimates the effect of tax legislation.
ROMNEY on cutting the deficit: "Obamacare's on my list. ... I'm going to stop the subsidy to PBS. ... I'll make government more efficient."
THE FACTS: Romney has promised to balance the budget in eight years to 10 years, but he hasn't offered a complete plan. Instead, he's promised a set of principles, some of which - like increasing Pentagon spending and restoring more than $700 billion in cuts that Democrats made in Medicare over the coming decade - work against his goal. He also has said he will not consider tax increases.
He pledges to shrink the government to 20 percent of the size of the economy, as opposed to more than 23 percent of gross domestic product now, by the end of his first term. The Romney campaign estimates that would require cuts of $500 billion from the 2016 budget alone. He also has pledged to cut tax rates by 20 percent, paying for them by eliminating tax breaks for the wealthiest and through economic growth.
To fulfill his promise, then, Romney would require cuts to other programs so deep - under one calculation requiring cutting many areas of the domestic budget by one-third within four years - that they could never get through Congress. Cuts to domestic agencies would have to be particularly deep.
But he's offered only a few modest examples of government programs he'd be willing to squeeze, like subsidies to PBS and Amtrak. He does want to repeal Obama's big health care law, but that law is actually forecast to reduce the deficit.
ROMNEY: "Simpson-Bowles, the president should have grabbed that."
OBAMA: "That's what we've done, made some adjustments to it, and we're putting it before Congress right now, a $4 trillion plan."
THE FACTS: At first, the president did largely ignore the recommendations made by his deficit commission headed by Democrat Erskine Bowles and Republican Alan Simpson. He later incorporated some of the proposals, largely the less controversial ones. He did not endorse some of the politically troublesome recommendations, such as trimming popular tax deductions like the one for home mortgage interest.
10/08/2012 12:39 PM by Greg Boyce
First Lady Michelle Obama will speak in Fountain on Wednesday afternoon. Her trip to Colorado includes stops in Durango, Fountain and Douglas County.
She'll obviously promote her husband's election and ask Coloradans to vote in the upcoming election.
The event is free, but tickets must be picked up at the following locations:
Public Access: 9:00 a.m. Wednesday
Dean Fleischauer Activity Center
326 West Alabama Avenue
10/08/2012 06:39 AM by Garrett Boyd
DENVER (AP) - First lady Michelle Obama and Vice President Joe Biden are bringing the presidential campaign back to Colorado.
On Wednesday, the first lady will be in Fountain and Durango, and on Thursday, she will be in Douglas County talking to supporters.
Vice President Joe Biden plans to stop in Boulder for a fundraising event for Democratic President Barack Obama on Oct. 16.
This year, Colorado is a hotly contested battleground in the race between Obama and Republican Mitt Romney. The two men held the first of their debates in Denver last week.
10/07/2012 08:32 PM by Monica Gouty
LOS ANGELES (AP) - President Barack Obama has a new critic of his debate performance - himself.
Speaking at a celebrity-led fundraiser at the Nokia Theatre, Obama came on stage after performances by such singers as Katy Perry, Jon Bon Jovi and Stevie Wonder and remarks by actor George Clooney. He marveled at how they are able to perform flawlessly night after night and then said, quote, "I can't always say the same."
It was a shot at his listless debate showing against Republican Mitt Romney on Wednesday. Supporters in the crowd laughed at the line.
Obama was raising millions of dollars over two days of campaigning in Los Angeles and San Francisco. He was capping his night at a ritzy 150-guest dinner costing $25,000 person.
10/07/2012 04:17 PM by Lacey Steele
Campaign issues preached biblically from the pulpit.
You probably haven't heard that in church, but for the past several years some pastors have decided to participate in Pulpit Freedom Sunday.
This year more churches than ever took part.
We sat in on one of these sermons.
Since 1954 pastors haven't been able to talk about politics during sermons.
That changed Sunday morning at the Church for All Nations.
"When you vote for someone that does these things, you're tied with them," Pastor Mark Cowart preached to the congregation.
In 2008 a few churches started Pulpit Freedom Sunday.
This year more than one thousand churches took part, but Pastor Cowart made one thing clear.
"Now we don't endorse candidates," said Pastor Cowart. "We're not here for a party platform. We're speaking about issues of the day."
The problem is the church's tax code.
The IRS could take it to court, and the church may have to pay their own taxes.
They don't think that will happen because of the group Alliance Defending Freedom.
"To date, no churches have been challenged, but were there to be a challenge then ADF stands ready to defend," said Pastor Cowart.
Several church goers agree.
"You can't really separate church and politics because I think it's so meshed in together," said TJ Hanway, a church member who supports Pulpit Freedom Sunday.
"The spiritual leadership is absolutely needed and necessary in our land today," said Randy Wilson, another supporter of campaign discussion within the church.
But some we spoke with this past week who disagree say it may show favoritism for one candidate over the other.
"These rules are easy to play by," said Groff Schroeder, of Freethinkers of Colorado Springs. "It's not hard to just stick to the issues and not advocate for candidates or oppose candidates."
At the Church for All Nations, the pastor says he was sticking to the issues, like abortion, gay marriage, and healthcare, all based around the Bible.
Pastor Cowart did not say during his sermon who he supports.
He says the point was to lay out what each presidential candidate stands for, then discuss the campaign issues from the Bible.
10/06/2012 04:45 PM by Stefanie Boe
Citizens of who wish to register to vote for the General Election have until Tuesday to make the Voter Registration cut-off deadline.
In order to participate in the November Presidential Election citizens must be registered by Tuesday, October 9.
There are three ways to register to vote:
• Register online at: GoVoteColorado.com
• Register in person at any of the four Clerk & Recorder's Office locations:
Main Office - Citizens Service Center - 1675 W. Garden of the Gods Road, Suite 2202
North Branch - Union Town Center - 8830 N. Union Blvd. (Research Pkwy. and Union Blvd.)
Downtown Central - Centennial Hall - 200 S. Cascade Ave., lower level (Cascade Ave. and Vermijo)
Southeast Branch - 5650 Industrial Place (Powers and Airport)
• Download a Colorado Voter Registration Form from the website GoVoteColorado.com and submit it to the Clerk & Recorder's Office by mail (must be postmarked by October 9, 2012), fax, or scan and return it by email (must be received by the Election Department by 11:59 p.m. on October 9).
Fax: (719) 520-7327
Mail: Election Department
P O Box 2007
Colorado Springs, CO 80901
Registered voters also may request to receive a mail-in ballot or sign up to be a permanent mail-in voter by contacting the Clerk & Recorder's Office or by visiting GoVoteColorado.com.
10/06/2012 09:07 AM by Posted by Alyse Rzemek
WASHINGTON (AP) - When conspiracists suggested Friday that the Obama administration had engineered a sharp drop in unemployment to aid President Barack Obama's re-election, the response was swift.
Career government officials, economists and even some Mitt Romney supporters issued a collective sigh.
The staffers who compute the U.S. unemployment rate work in an agency of the Labor Department. Officials who have overseen the work say it's prepared under tight security with no White House input or supervision.
"To think that these numbers could be manipulated. ... It's impossible to do it and get away with it," said Keith Hall, a former commissioner of the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the agency that calculates the unemployment rate.
"These numbers are very trustworthy," said Hall, who was appointed by President George W. Bush and whose four-year term ended in January.
The figures that produce the unemployment rate are crunched by several dozen people at the bureau. The only BLS employee appointed by the White House is the commissioner, who operates independently of the White House.
The job is now vacant but is being handled by Acting Commissioner John Galvin, who has worked at the BLS for 34 years.
Yet conspiracy theorists came out in force Friday after the government reported a sudden drop in unemployment a month before Election Day - to 7.8 percent for September from 8.1 percent in August.
Their message: The Obama administration would do anything to ensure a November victory, including manipulating unemployment data. Labor Department officials, joined by Democrats and some Republicans, called the charges implausible.
That didn't stop the chatter. The allegations were a measure of how politicized the monthly unemployment report has become near the end of a campaign that's focused on the economy and jobs.
The conspiracy erupted after former General Electric CEO Jack Welch, a Republican, tweeted his skepticism five minutes after the BLS announced the unemployment rate at 8:30 a.m. Eastern time.
"Unbelievable jobs numbers..these Chicago guys will do anything..can't debate so change numbers," Welch tweeted, referring to the site of the Obama campaign headquarters.
The drop in unemployment was announced two days after Obama's lackluster performance in his first debate with Romney.
Republican Rep. Allen West of Florida soon announced via Facebook that he agreed with Welch.
"Somehow by manipulation of data we are all of a sudden below 8 percent unemployment, a month from the presidential election," West wrote. "This is Orwellian to say the least."
The Obama administration was forced to defend Labor's statisticians and economists against accusations that came without supporting evidence.
"No serious person ... would make claims like that," said Alan Krueger, chairman of the White House Council of Economic Advisers.
The monthly jobs report is prepared with raw data collected by Census workers. The workers interview Americans in about 60,000 households or visit them door-to-door.
People are asked whether they're employed and, if so, whether their jobs are full or part time. The Census workers gather other information about the respondents' education, age and gender and ask whether they're self-employed.
Most of the interviews are done in the week that includes the 19th day of the month. The resulting pile of data is transferred securely by Census to BLS about a week before the jobs report is due.
The office suites where the report is prepared and compiled goes on lockdown. Employees can't access the area without a hard pass. Staffers working on a paper copy of the report are expected to keep it under lock and key if they aren't at their desk - even when they go to lunch.
The security isn't just about keeping the data free of political pressure. The unemployment figures, if leaked early, could improperly move financial markets.
Tom Nardone, a 36-year veteran of the BLS, oversees the report's preparation. The goal, Nardone said, is to make the report as accurate and "apolitical" as possible.
"We strive to be like Joe Friday, just presenting the facts," he said.
A draft of the report is completed by early Wednesday before the Friday when it's released. Several groups of staffers review it. That Wednesday is usually the earliest that the commissioner of the BLS gets involved.
On Thursday afternoon, the report is sent to the White House's Council of Economic Advisors. Krueger provides a copy to the president.
Hilda Solis, Obama's labor secretary, doesn't see the report until around 8 a.m. Friday, a half-hour before its public release.
A week later, Labor releases the raw data on its website. Many academics use the data, which is stripped of all identifying information, for their own research.
The commissioner is the BLS' only political appointee. And even he or she operates independently of the presidential administration. The Obama administration has selected a new commissioner: Erica Groshen, a vice president at the New York Federal Reserve. She has yet to be approved by the Senate.
On Friday, Romney refrained from discrediting the government data. But plenty of conservatives did that work for him.
Conn Carroll, an editorial writer at the Washington Examiner, tweeted: "I don't think BLS cooked numbers. I think a bunch of Dems lied about getting jobs. That would have same effect."
Rick Manning, communications director of Americans for Limited Government and a former public affairs chief of staff at the Labor Department, said "anyone who takes this unemployment report serious is either naive or a paid Obama campaign adviser."
Rep. Paul Broun, a Georgia Republican, weighed in with a statement saying the report "raises questions for me, and frankly it should be raising eyebrows for people across the country."
Conspiracy theories are nothing new for Obama. He has been dogged by discredited claims that he wasn't born in this country and that he is Muslim.
On Friday, one leading Republican sided with Obama's team in rejecting the latest accusations.
"Stop with the dumb conspiracy theories. Good grief," Tony Fratto, a strategist who was a top communications official in the Bush White House, tweeted.
10/03/2012 10:56 PM by Stefanie Boe
DENVER (AP) - President Barack Obama and Republican Mitt Romney have sparred aggressively in their first campaign debate over taxes, deficits and strong steps needed to create jobs in a sputtering national economy.
Obama accused Romney of seeking to "double down" on the same economic policies that created the economic downturn four years ago. Romney responded that "The status quo is not going to cut it."
Romney said he had plans to fix the economy, overhaul the tax code, repeal Obama's health care plan and replace with a better alternative, remake Medicare, pass a substitute for the legislation designed to prevent another financial crash and reduce deficits - but he provided no new specifics despite Obama's prodding.
Both candidates went over time limits with their responses and wrecked the format of the 90-minute event that was moderated by PBS' Jim Lehrer.
The rivals debate twice more this month.
10/03/2012 08:15 PM by David Ortiviz
A crowd of about 50 people gathered at Democratic headquarters in Pueblo to watch the Presidential debate live. The audience is filled with men and women, in their 20s to senior citizens.
There were boos and hisses at Romney's tax plan and proposal to offer a public and private Medicare plan.
We also have a crew covering a watch party with Republicans. We'll have complete reaction from both parties tonight on News 5 at 9 and 10 p.m.
10/03/2012 07:32 PM by Stefanie Boe
DENVER (AP) - President Barack Obama says at the start of the first presidential debate that 20 years ago he "became the luckiest man on earth" when married his wife, first lady Michelle Obama.
Republican rival Mitt Romney congratulated the Obamas at the start of the debate, joking that, quote, "I'm sure it's the most romantic place you can imagine, here with me."
The Obamas are celebrating their 20th wedding anniversary at the Denver debate. The first lady is in attendance.
Obama called the first lady "sweetie" and wished her a happy anniversary from the debate podium.
He says, a year from now, quote, "we will not be celebrating it in front of 40 million people."
10/03/2012 07:30 PM by Stefanie Boe
DENVER (AP) - President Barack Obama says the United States is making progress in repairing the struggling economy he inherited when he took office while his Republican rival, Mitt Romney, says the Democratic incumbent favors a "trickle-down government, if you will."
Obama and Romney opened their first of three presidential debates Wednesday with disagreements on how the government could help add jobs.
Obama pointed to progress made in saving Detroit's auto industry and rebuilding the housing market. Romney, meanwhile, says he would take a different path that gets government out of the way for American businesses.
Obama says Romney's plan would cut taxes for high-income workers. Romney says that is incorrect and that wealthy Americans will do just fine regardless whether he or Obama is in the White House.
10/03/2012 05:08 PM by Andy Koen
Drivers in Colorado Springs can cash-in on cheap gas tomorrow afternoon when the Gas Can Man arrives at the Conoco Acorn station at the corner of Cimarron and S. 8th Street. The first 150 customers will be able to fill up at a cost of $1.84 per gallon starting at 4:00 p.m.
The Pain in the Gas promotion is a deliberate political event and not a marketing ploy. Tyler Houlton of the group conservative group Compass Colorado says they chose the $1.84 price because that the average cost of a gallon of unleaded on Inauguration Day in January of 2009.
Houlton says the point is to criticize President Obama for failing to pursue more domestic sources of oil production, particularly in the Gulf of Mexico and as it relates to the Key Stone Pipeline project.
In fairness to the president, the highest average gas prices of $4.12 a gallon occurred during under the Bush administration in the summer of 2008. An 8 year historical chart of gas prices shows a sharp drop in the fall of 2008 and that prices were still climbing back to the statistical average during the winter of 2009.
10/03/2012 04:40 PM by Alyse Rzemek
DENVER (AP) - Colorado registered voters who received letters questioning their citizenship are getting follow-up letters thanking them for responding and letting them know their status is verified.
About 3,900 registered voters initially got letters in August as part of a contentious effort by Republican Secretary of State Scott Gessler to find illegally registered non-citizens on the state's voter roll. Gessler says a federal immigration database found that 141 voters on the list are not citizens - about .004 percent of the state's nearly 3.5 million voters.
Gessler mailed follow-up letters last week to 1,104 people who responded with proof of citizenship.
Gessler's office says they want to reassure voters who received letters that their status has been verified and correct a misperception from critics that eligible voters may have been purged.
10/03/2012 04:03 PM by Rob Quirk
The media has descended on Magness Arena for tonight's first presidential debate.
Literally hundreds of reporters, anchors, technical staff, and commentators have gathered to listen to the first of three debates.
Tonight's focus is on domestic policy. Moderator Jim Lehrer of the PBS News Hour has crafted the format, which includes six 15-minute segments. 45 minutes of the hour and a half long debate will focus on jobs and the economy, another fifteen minutes will focus on governing, and the remaining half hour, although not specified yet, will presumably cover such issues as education, health care, energy, and immigration.
A group of family members of the Aurora shooting victims have made a request that Lehrer ask about gun control, although we have not heard yet if that will be included in the line of questioning.
Each candidate will get a chance to respond to each question for two minutes, and then it will be opened up for some back and forth debate.
News 5 anchor Rob Quirk is in Denver tonight, and will have live reports at 5, 6, and 10. News 5 will also air a special half hour long debate special beginning at 9 p.m., right after NBC's two hour long debate coverage which begins at 7 p.m.
10/03/2012 03:51 PM by David Ortiviz
Tonight News 5 will have crews covering two Presidential debate watch parties in Southern Colorado. News 5's David Ortiviz will be covering a Democratic watch party in Pueblo. News 5's Zach Thaxton will have coverage from a Republican watch party in Colorado Springs. We'll have live shots from both crews at 5, 6, 6:30, 9 and 10 p.m.
10/02/2012 11:37 PM by Andy Koen
There's a good chance this week's presidential debate will be a popular topic at church come Sunday. More than a thousand churches across the country are preparing to openly defy the federal tax code by talking about the candidates from the pulpit as part of a coordinated movement called Pulpit Freedom Sunday.
Pastor Mark Cowart of the Church for All Nations in Colorado Springs says he will be joining the demonstration.
"We're going to take and examine what their records are and how they have stood on issues that are important for us as Christians," he explained.
Cowart says he wants his congregation to have spiritual guidance when they cast their votes for president, even if it means a run-in with the IRS.
"You can't separate faith and politics anymore than you can separate faith and morality."
Some in the community say the churches are going too far. Groff Schroeder, the Vice President of the Freethinkers of Colorado Springs, believes they should just obey the law.
"These rules are easy to play by, it's not hard to just stick to the issues and not advocate for candidates or oppose candidates," he said.
His understanding of the tax code comes from helping to form the Freethinkers in the early 1990's as a non-profit organization opposition to Amendment 2. Schroeder believes any churches that advocate for candidates should be dealt with by the IRS.
"You should face the music for that and have your status reviewed," he said.
Under the existing Internal Revenue Service Code, any 501 (c) 3 not-for-profit organization could lose its tax-exempt status and be charged an excise tax for "participating in, or intervening in, any political campaign on behalf of (or in opposition to) any candidate for public office."
IRS spokeswoman Karen Connelly couldn't directly comment on the protest, but instead directed us to pamphlets they provide to churches to clarify questions about the tax code.
Pulpit Freedom Sunday is organized by the group Alliance Defending Freedom that was also formed in the early 1990's with the stated mission of wanting to transform the legal system and advocate "for religious liberty, the sanctity of life, and marriage and family."
They believe the barrier from endorsing candidates imposed in the tax code is unconstitutional because it violates the freedom of religion clause of the First Amendment. It was added as an amendment to the 1954 tax code overhaul by then Senator Lyndon B. Johnson as an attempt to "muzzle" a pair of non-profit organizations that threatened his reelection. The amendment passed on a voice vote without committee hearings or legislative analysis.
There hasn't been a constitutional challenge to the Johnson Amendment since it was added to the tax code. Many view this Sunday's demonstration as a dare to the IRS and the Obama administration to actually tax the churches so as to create the legal grounds to fight the issue in court.
10/02/2012 05:39 AM by Summer Yu
WASHINGTON (AP) - The presidential candidates are leaving the heavy lifting of campaigning to their running mates as they spend one more day preparing for their first debate, scheduled for Wednesday night.
President Barack Obama is in Henderson, Nev., for a strategy run-through ahead of the debate in Denver.
Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney is set to spend most of Tuesday in debate prep at a Denver hotel. He told supporters at a rally Monday night that he would get America working again.
In Iowa, Romney's running mate, Paul Ryan, is set to visit three towns during a bus tour. The Wisconsin congressman will be in Clinton, Muscatine and Burlington on Tuesday.
Vice President Joe Biden has two campaign events scheduled in another swing state, North Carolina. He'll be in Charlotte and Asheville.
10/01/2012 11:41 AM by Greg Boyce
DENVER (AP) - A man wounded in the shootings at an Aurora movie theater is appearing in a TV ad aimed at getting voters' and candidates' attention before the first presidential debate - and to shed some light on gun violence.
Stephen Barton, a 22-year-old from Southbury, Conn., was among the 58 people injured in the July 20 attack that also left 12 people dead.
In a 30-second spot that started airing Monday, Barton urges people to ask themselves during the debates which candidate has a plan to stop gun violence.
Filmed inside an empty movie theater, Barton talks about his experience during the shooting as photos of jagged gunshot wounds to his face and neck are shown.
President Barack Obama and Republican challenger Mitt Romney, who will debate at the University of Denver, have been largely quiet about guns during the campaign.
10/01/2012 06:24 AM by Garrett Boyd
DENVER (AP) - Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney is headed to Colorado for a rally ahead of his first debate with President Barack Obama.
Romney will attend a Victory Rally at Wings Over the Rockies Air and Space Museum in Denver on Monday. Obama is huddling with top advisers at a desert resort in Nevada.
The debate on Wednesday is expected to give Romney one of his best opportunities to stem Obama's momentum and convince the public to back his vision for the nation's future.
10/01/2012 04:38 AM by Garrett Boyd
WESTMINSTER, Colo. (AP) - It's October in an election year - that means political debates are heating up.
At least four Denver-area congressmen are headed to Westminster for a candidate forum at the Metro North Chamber of Commerce. Democratic Reps. Ed Perlmutter and Jared Polis are scheduled to appear and debate their Republican challengers, Joe Coors and Kevin Lundberg.
Republican Rep. Cory Gardner will face Democrat Brandon Shaffer, and Republican Rep. Mike Coffman will also appear. Coffman's Democratic opponent, Joe Miklosi, declined to attend, citing a scheduling conflict.
Colorado's seven-seat House delegation is now held by four Republicans and three Democrats. That means that any seat changing hands could give Democrats control of the entire House delegation from Colorado.
09/30/2012 10:34 AM by Matt Stafford
DENVER (AP) - Ann Romney, the wife of Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney, is set to speak in Littleton on Tuesday.
The Denver Post reports her appearance at the Hudson Gardens and Event Center marks her first public rally for her husband in Colorado this year. The rally is scheduled for 2:50 p.m., and doors open at noon.
Ann Romney's visit will follow her husband's rally Monday night in Denver and occurs on the eve of first presidential debate at the University of Denver on Wednesday.
Mitt Romney is scheduled to spend the day in Denver on Tuesday to prepare for the debate.
09/30/2012 09:55 AM by Matt Stafford
WASHINGTON (AP) - When Mitt Romney's wife, Ann, was diagnosed with breast cancer in late 2008, one of the people who reached out to the couple was newly elected President Barack Obama.
The call was one of the few personal interactions between Obama and Romney.
Even as their political fates have become more entwined, Obama and Romney have had little opportunity to connect directly.
When the political rivals stand alongside each other during Wednesday night's debate in Denver, it will be their first face-to-face meeting in nearly five years.
They have offered kind words about each other in their roles as father and family man.
But most of their descriptions during the campaign have been far less complimentary, and that may be the case in the debate, too.
09/29/2012 05:44 PM by Monica Gouty
FORT MYERS, Fla. (AP) - As their first debate nears the presidential candidates are letting their running mates do the talking today.
Campaigning in Florida, Vice President Joe Biden says he and President Barack Obama were presented with the prospect of a trillion-dollar budget deficit during their first week in office. Biden blames the deficit on the previous Bush administration, adding that it "put two wars on a credit card" and gave tax cuts to the wealthy after inheriting a balanced budget and revenue surplus from the Clinton administration.
In New Hampshire, Republican Paul Ryan is promising voters they will "live free and prosper" if they elect Mitt Romney. Speaking in Derry this morning, Ryan contrasted the economic stagnation he says will continue if President Barack Obama is re-elected with the prosperity he and Mitt Romney will create.
It was Ryan's second trip in as many weeks to New Hampshire, which backed Obama in 2008 but is considered a swing state this time. An NBC News/Wall Street Journal/Marist poll released this week showing Obama ahead in New Hampshire.
09/29/2012 07:56 AM by Summer Yu
WASHINGTON (AP) - President Barack Obama is blaming congressional Republicans today for not passing legislation he proposed in February that would lower lending rates for millions of borrowers who have not been able to get out from under burdensome mortgages.
In his weekly media message, Obama cited historically low mortgages and pressed Republicans to back housing policies the White House says would help struggling homeowners refinance their debts and prevent foreclosures.
For the Republicans, Arizona congressional candidate Vernon Parker faulted U.S. corporate tax rates for pushing jobs overseas. He says the country needs "a pro-growth tax code that brings jobs home and keeps jobs here."
He also called for the repeal of Obama's health care law.
09/29/2012 07:56 AM by Summer Yu
WASHINGTON (AP) - With the first of the presidential debates ahead this week, the candidates are taking a break from campaign appearances today.
President Barack Obama is cruising into the debates with momentum on his side, yet he's still struggling to revive the passion and excitement that propelled him to the White House.
Mitt Romney is grasping for his last, best chance to reboot his campaign after a disastrous September.
The fierce and determined competitors in the tight race have a specific mission for the three debates. The first is Wednesday night in Denver.
Obama must convince skeptical Americans that he can accomplish in a second term what he couldn't in his first - restoring the economy to full health.
Romney needs to instill confidence that he is a credible and trusted alternative to the president, with a better plan for strengthening the economy.
09/28/2012 11:45 AM by Alyse Rzemek
DENVER (AP) - The Colorado Republican Party has severed ties with a political consulting firm after questions were raised in Florida over voter registration.
Strategic Allied Consulting was registering voters in Colorado when a Palm Beach County, Fla., elections supervisor reported finding more than 100 potentially false registration signatures and home addresses.
According to the Denver Post, Colorado GOP Chair Ryan Call said Thursday the state party is not taking any chances.
The consulting company did not return requests for comment.
09/28/2012 07:26 AM by Summer Yu
PHILADELPHIA (AP) - The Obama campaign says it expects Mitt Romney "to be a prepared, disciplined and aggressive debater" when the two meet in Denver Wednesday.
The campaign has released a political memo, saying President Barack Obama would be laying out his vision for the coming years, but says Romney "signaled that he will come to indict the president for the fact that the economy has not fully recovered from the collapse of 2008."
Romney campaigns in suburban Philadelphia today, and then heads to Boston for an evening fundraiser and a weekend focused on more debate preparation.
Obama is expected to meet with advisers today to prepare for next week's debate.
He'll leave for Nevada Sunday, where he plans to hold practice sessions.
09/27/2012 11:34 PM by Jacqui Heinrich, firstname.lastname@example.org
As both parties continue to court the Colorado vote, Colorado Springs hosted Republican Vice-Presidential nominee Paul Ryan for a GOP rally and Colorado Senator Michael Bennet, campaigning for President Barack Obama.
Speaking to crowds at America The Beautiful Park, Paul Ryan said, "We're gonna fix this budget we're gonna put these real pro-growth reforms in place, put people back to work, we're gonna rebuild our military and stop apologizing for the greatness of this country." Ryan outlined the Romney-Ryan plan, focusing on what he calls Obama's failed stimulus plan, pointing to unemployment numbers still over 8% for forty-three straight months. "That money was not just spent and wasted it was borrowed spent and wasted," he said.
At a Democratic rally in Colorado Springs, Senator Michael Bennet said the Romney-Ryan tax cuts would not solve the problem, and veterans could suffer if Romney were in the Oval Office. "It leads to extraordinary cuts in discretionary spending, among them cuts to our veterans, potentially 20% a year," Bennet said, calling Ryan's rhetoric empty. "They've tried very hard to obscure the specifics, especially in their budget."
Ryan points to Mitt Romney's run as governor of Massachusetts as the blueprint for success, saying he has the business background and experience to turn the economy around. "Unemployment went down, household income went up, the credit was upgraded and he balanced the budget without raising taxes," Ryan told crowds.
Another reason for money troubles, Ryan says: Obama's weak foreign policy, catering to nations that don't respect American values like freedom of speech and religion. "We project weakness abroad, our enemies are more willing to test us, ' more brazen, our allies are less willing to trust us." He says to facilitate real change, Obama must be voted out of office, since a strong military means peace and prosperity. "To the soldiers in Fort Carson, to the airmen at Petersen and Shriever Air Force Base, and to those cadets at the Air Force Academy: we respect you, we appreciate you, and we will back you because we need you," Ryan announced to the crowd of about 500 people.
Bennet says the Romney-Ryan campaign rhetoric is all smoke and mirrors-- not specifically outlining where the proposed tax cuts would come from-- and claims the cuts would cause military families and veterans to suffer.
09/26/2012 08:13 AM by Summer Yu
WESTERVILLE, Ohio (AP) - Mitt Romney says the nation's debt could grow to more than $20 trillion if the country re-elects President Barack Obama.
Romney also says his policies would do more to help middle-class families than the president's.
Campaigning in Ohio, where polls give the advantage to Obama, the Republican presidential nominee combined a sharper focus on the mounting debt with an insistence that middle-class families are struggling. Said Romney: "I want to help them."
The national debt is $16 trillion and growing. Romney says the interest payments alone cost more than what the U.S. spends on several government departments combined.
Romney planned two additional stops Wednesday in Ohio.
09/21/2012 06:23 AM by Summer Yu
WASHINGTON (AP) - Now it's Mitt Romney who wants to be the candidate of change.
Romney seized on President Barack Obama's comment that "you can't change Washington from the inside." Grasping for a way to right his campaign and appeal to independents, the Republican nominee said he has what it takes to end the nasty partisanship in the nation's capital.
"I can change Washington," Romney said Thursday. "I will change Washington. We'll get the job done from the inside. Republicans and Democrats will come together."
Romney was expected to press the issue again Friday during a campaign rally in Nevada, a state hard hit by the nation's housing and unemployment woes.
Obama, traveling Friday to Virginia and addressing an AARP convention by satellite, planned to keep hammering Romney for comments he made in a private fundraiser about 47 percent of the country believing they are victims and entitled to a government handouts.
Obama, who ran for president in 2008 on a pledge to fix Washington's combative tone, said in an interview that he had come to the conclusion "you can't change Washington from the inside. You can only change it from the outside." Adding that he wanted people to speak out on issues, he went on to say: "So something that I'd really like to concentrate on in my second term is being in a much more constant conversation with the American people so that they can put pressure on Congress to help move some of these issues forward."
After Romney focused on the "can't change Washington from the inside" segment of Obama's remarks, the president's campaign countered quickly by noting that Romney said exactly that in 2007, when he was running for the 2008 Republican nomination: "I don't think you change Washington from the inside. I think you change it from the outside."
Obama adviser David Axelrod defended the president's comments on NBC's "Today." ''He said in order to move Washington and to move the Congress, you have to enlist the American people," Axelrod said.
"That was the lesson he learned from the standoff on the debt ceiling last summer, and he's been making that point consistently," Axelrod said. "The fact that Gov. Romney picked up on it and attacked him on it is just one more example of how he's just cascading from one gratuitous attack to another, instead of talking about solutions to the problems we face."
Obama's campaign also released a web video Friday morning targeting older voters, many of whom would fall into the group of Americans Romney referenced when he said that nearly half of Americans don't pay income tax but get benefits. Senior citizens receiving Medicare make up about 15 percent of those getting federal benefits; about 22 percent of those not paying income tax are seniors who get tax breaks that offset their income.
The Obama video features voters commenting on Romney's assertions, including one man who says "It offends me."
Polling shows Obama with a slight lead nationally, as well as in many of the eight or so battleground states that will decide the election. That includes Virginia, where Democrats with access to internal polling say Obama is up 3 or 4 percentage points over Romney in Virginia, a slimmer margin than in some recent public polling.
Obama has also pulled ahead of Romney in cash on hand, a key measure of a campaign's financial strength. The Democrat has more than $88 million to spend in the campaign's final weeks, while Romney has just over $50 million at his disposal.
Romney's campaign is seeking to regroup after a rough stretch that included the emergence of a video in which he tells wealthy donors at a private fundraiser that 47 percent of Americans pay no income tax and that they believe they are victims and entitled to an array of federal benefits. Obama has cast those remarks as a sign that Romney is out of touch with most Americans.
"When you express an attitude that half the country considers itself victims, that somehow they want to be dependent on government, my thinking is maybe you haven't gotten around a lot," Obama said Thursday during a forum on Univision, the Spanish-language TV network.
Romney is also facing criticism from some in his own party that he's spending too much time raising money and not enough time talking to voters in the eight or so battleground states that will decide the election. In response, his campaign added a Sunday rally in Colorado to his schedule and announced a three-day Ohio bus tour that kicks off Monday.
At the same time, his wife, Ann, said GOP critics should lay off. "Stop it. This is hard. You want to try it? Get in the ring," she said Thursday evening in an interview with Radio Iowa.
"This is hard, and you know, it's an important thing that we're doing right now, and it's an important election," she said. "And it is time for all Americans to realize how significant this election is and how lucky we are to have someone with Mitt's qualifications and experience and know-how to be able to have the opportunity to run this country."
The president will campaign this weekend in Wisconsin, a state Romney is trying to put in play. Republicans are hoping the addition of Wisconsin Rep. Paul Ryan to the GOP ticket will help them claim victory there - or at least force Obama to spend time and money to hold the state.
Even with Election Day under seven weeks away, voters across the country are already casting ballots. By week's end, early voting will be under way in two dozen states.
Obama was also making a play for older voters Friday by speaking via satellite to an AARP convention and taking questions from the group's members. The president's campaign is seeking to gain an advantage with seniors and voters nearing retirement by attacking the Republican ticket's plan for Medicare.
The popular federal entitlement for seniors was the focus of a new television ad from the Obama campaign. The ad, scheduled to air Friday in Colorado, Florida and Iowa, presents a Democratic refrain - that Romney and Ryan would turn Medicare into a voucher program that could raise seniors' health costs by up to $6,400 a year.
Independent groups have said that a House Republican budget proposal led by Ryan could lead to higher costs for older Americans. But exactly how much is far from clear. The ad relies on the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, a liberal-leaning think tank, for the figure it cites.
Supporters of the Ryan plan say competition among private insurance providers could wring waste out of the system and bring down costs.
09/19/2012 06:55 AM by Summer Yu
WASHINGTON (AP) - President Barack Obama spends a rare full day today at the White House, while Republican Mitt Romney has scheduled a fundraiser in Atlanta and two appearances in Miami.
He'll take part in a candidate forum with the Spanish-language TV network Univision.
Last night, the David Letterman show aired an interview with Obama, in which the president jabbed at Romney's claim that nearly half of Americans believe they are victims entitled to a range of government support, and that as a candidate he doesn't feel a need to worry about them.
Obama said, "If you want to be president, you have to work for everyone, not just for some."
09/06/2012 05:51 PM by Andy Koen
Visiting Colorado Springs Thursday morning, Republican Vice Presidential Candidate Paul Ryan stuck with the campaign theme of asking voters "are you better off?" He told the enthusiastic crowd of supporters gathered at WestPac Restorations that he and running mate Mitt Romney are committed to improving the economy.
"So, here is our commitment. We are not going to duck the tough issues and kick the can down the road. We are going to lead and fix this mess in Washington. And we are not going to spend the next four years blaming people from the last four years. We're going to take responsibility and get the job done, reach across the aisle and fix this problem, get people back to work, create jobs, growth," Ryan said.
He pointed to the continued high number of foreclosures and record food stamps usage, coupled with lower household incomes, as proof of economic failures under the Obama administration. Ryan also said he welcomes the debate with the president and vice president over healthcare reform.
Saying "you can't spend the same dollar twice" he again singled out provisions of the president's Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act that cut over $700 billion in Medicare spending in the next decade.
Democrats responded in news releases saying the Romney-Ryan plan would "slash critical investments in education and infrastructure to pay for tax cuts for millionaires and billionaires."
The liberal group ProgressNow also attacked Ryan on his claim that he climbed some of Colorado's 14,000 foot plus peaks 38 times. In a news release, the group's political director Alan Franklin mocks the Wisconsin native while posing in a photo at the summit of Pikes Peak next to an empty chair.
09/06/2012 06:50 AM by Summer Yu
CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) - Before President Barack Obama takes to the stage at the Democratic convention tonight, delegates will hear from Vice President Joe Biden.
Ted Kaufman, a longtime Biden confidant who took his seat in the Senate, says look for Biden to use words such as "conviction," ''character" and "values," and to talk about what he's regularly mentioned in his campaign appearances, that "Osama bin Laden is dead and General Motors is alive."
09/02/2012 10:31 AM by Garrett Boyd
CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) - Republican Mitt Romney casts President Barack Obama as a failed coach of a struggling team.
Obama dismisses the GOP convention as an event suited to the era of black-and-white TV and promises to outline "a better path forward" at the upcoming Democratic convention.
The two rivals campaigned Saturday across several battleground states in the closely fought presidential contest. Obama was in Iowa before heading to Colorado. The president is on a three-day tour that will take him into his convention, which begins Tuesday in Charlotte, N.C.
08/26/2012 08:59 AM by Matt Stafford
TAMPA, Fla. (AP) - With the Republican convention beginning tomorrow and the Democrats kicking off a week later, President Barack Obama and Mitt Romney are still looking to lock up states that could get them to the 270 electoral votes needed to win in November.
An Associated Press analysis of a variety of factors finds that neither candidate has a significant advantage in Colorado, Florida, Iowa, Ohio, Nevada, New Hampshire and Virginia, which offer a combined 85 electoral votes.
The analysis finds that if the election were held today, Obama would have 19 states and the District of Columbia, offering 247 votes, solidly in his column or leaning his way. Republican Romney would have 24 states with 206 votes.
Unknown factors include the unemployment rate, an unexpected foreign policy crisis or the outcome of the candidates' October debates.
08/25/2012 07:54 AM by Summer Yu
WASHINGTON (AP) - President Barack Obama says the Medicare program is about keeping promises to millions of seniors who have put in a lifetime of hard work.
Obama is using Saturday's radio and Internet address to discuss a surging campaign issue. He says his goal is to strengthen Medicare and preserve the program for future generations.
Obama makes no mention of Republican rival Mitt Romney but says Republicans in Congress would turn Medicare into a voucher program that wouldn't keep up with costs. The GOP ticket has accused Obama of cutting more than $700 billion from Medicare to pay for his health care law.
In the Republican address, Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky says the nation is being hurt by "the looting of the Treasury and 20 years of deficit spending."
08/22/2012 06:58 PM by Matt Stafford
LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) - Republican Mitt Romney says he didn't realize how effective Paul Ryan would be as a campaigner when he picked him as his running mate.
Speaking to donors Wednesday in Little Rock, Ark., Romney praised Ryan for drawing large crowds on the campaign trail, raising money and making sure people know the election is about big things. Romney says he can't wait to see Ryan debate Democrat Joe Biden in October's vice presidential debate.
Romney and Ryan have been campaigning separately much of the week, but they plan a joint rally Friday in Michigan.
Romney is speaking at a 250-person fundraiser with tickets ranging from $2,500 to $50,000. The presumptive GOP nominee is making a fundraising push in Republican-leaning states ahead of next week's GOP convention.
08/17/2012 05:46 AM by Summer Yu
GREENVILLE, S.C. (AP) - Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney is spending much of this week in noncompetitive states to raise money for the campaign's final push.
Romney is traveling this week in Alabama, South Carolina, Massachusetts and New York. He plans visits next week to Texas, Louisiana and New Mexico.
None is seriously contested in the presidential race.
Fundraising remains a top Romney priority even with the election less than 12 weeks away and President Barack Obama making extended visits to toss-up states such as Iowa and Ohio.
Obama attends numerous fundraisers of his own. And Romney has spent significant time at public campaign events in swing states.
Romney and his allies have raised more money than the Obama camp has in recent months. But the biggest fundraiser is not guaranteed to win elections.
08/11/2012 08:43 AM by Matt Stafford
NORFOLK, Va. (AP) - Appearing for the first time as Mitt Romney's running mate, Wisconsin Rep. Paul Ryan is attacking President Barack Obama for what he calls a "record of failure."
With the political world watching, Republican presidential contender Mitt Romney misspoke while introducing his running mate.
Romney mistakenly introduced Wisconsin Rep. Paul Ryan on Saturday as the next president of the United States. Ryan, of course, has been tapped to serve as Romney's vice presidential nominee.
It was the first time they appeared together as the Republican presidential ticket. They faced supporters while standing on the USS Wisconsin, a retired World War II battleship.
A sheepish Romney puts arms around Ryan and clarified his mistake before Ryan took the microphone. Romney says that he makes a mistake every once in a while. But he says he didn't make a mistake with his selection of Ryan.
The seven-term congressman, Ryan, says President Obama has led the "worst economic recovery in 70 years." He notes that unemployment has been above 8 percent for more than three years - the longest stretch since the Great Depression.
Romney says Ryan is a man of what he calls "great steadiness" and "unquestioned integrity." The former Massachusetts governor says Ryan is a "shining exception" in a political world of pettiness.
Ryan, the architect of a controversial budget plan, is promising not to "duck the tough issues." And he says he has the courage to tell the truth.
Just hours after his campaign confirmed Ryan as his selection, Romney says Ryan won't demonize his opponents. Romney says that Democrats may disagree with Ryan's policies, but he doesn't know anyone who doesn't respect his character and judgment.