House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) “pushed back hard” against an upcoming 60 Minutes report “that is expected to raise questions about potential conflicts of interest between congressional leaders’ personal stock holdings and their involvement in legislation that may affect those investments,” Politico reports.
Republicans More Enthusiastic About Voting
A new Gallup poll finds Republican voters are more likely to express enthusiasm about voting in next year’s presidential election.
On the national level, 56% of Republican registered voters and 48% of Democratic voters are extremely or very enthusiastic about voting. In 12 key swing states, the Republican advantage in enthusiasm is 59% to 48%.
Quote of the Day
“Are you better off today than you were $4 trillion ago?”
— Rick Perry, quoted by National Journal, in a campaign swing through Iowa.
Boehner Says Debt Deal Will Include Tax Increases
House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) acknowledged that any bipartisan agreement on debt reduction will need to include some new tax revenue, CBS News reports.
Said Boehner: “I think there is room for revenues, but I think there clearly is a limit to the amount of revenues that are available.”
“The comment was significant because Boehner and other Republican leaders have repeatedly insisted that tax increases are off the table, and most Republicans in the House and Senate have signed a ‘taxpayer protection pledge’ vowing not to raise taxes.”
Unemployment Ticks Down to 9%
The U.S. government reports 80,000 jobs were created last month as the unemployment rate inched down to 9.0%
Cain Stays Steady in the Polls
A new Washington Post-ABC News poll finds Herman Cain “is showing initial resilience in the face of allegations of sexual impropriety: More than half of potential Republican voters say the controversy is not serious, fewer than a quarter say it makes them less likely to support Cain, and he’s running essentially evenly with Mitt Romney for the Republican presidential nomination.”
Romney edges Cain nationally among Republican voters, 24% to 23%, essentially a dead heat between the two. Rick Perry trails with 13% followed by Newt Gingrich at 12%.
A warning sign: Cain slips to third place among those who see the charges as serious and Republican women are significantly more likely than men to say the scandal makes them less apt to support Cain.
Montana Senate Race Very Close
A new Montana State University Billings poll finds Rep. Denny Rehberg (R) barely ahead of Sen. Jon Tester (D-MT) in the U.S. Senate race, 36% to 35%, with 25% still undecided.
Former New Jersey Gov. Jon Corzine (D) resigned as chairman and chief executive officer of MF Global Holdings Ltd, Bloomberg reports.
“His resignation came four days after the bankruptcy filing as the company’s bets on European sovereign debt rattled investors. U.S. regulators are investigating about $633 million missing from MF Global customer accounts.”
First Read: “Why not stick around and fix this? Why run away? Perhaps there are legal
reasons to do. Perhaps he thinks it’s the honorable thing to resign.
Maybe he was an absentee CEO and is embarrassed this happened on his
watch. Whatever the explanation, it’s not good for Corzine’s reputation.
The whole point of Corzine’s relevance in politics was his knowledge
and success of the financial world. Politicians can recover from sex
scandals because the public is willing to separate the personal flaws if
the professional work is on the up and up. Corzine’s fall may be harder
to recover from.”
In Defense of the Cain Story Tipster
Whether or not Rick Perry is behind Herman Cain’s sexual-harassment troubles, Paul Begala says there’s nothing “despicable” about giving reporters a tip about a candidate’s impropriety,
“Here’s the Begala Standard: if an attack is fair, factual, and about the public record, it’s not dirty. Business experience — and, yes, one’s conduct around the office or in an after-work watering hole — is relevant. Scrutinizing it is fair. You don’t attack someone’s race or religion or gender or sexual orientation. You don’t go after family. You don’t pry into private lives, but you look at public performance in office, or in prior campaigns; you look at business and financial matters, votes and quotes (and for the presidency and vice presidency I think health is a legitimate inquiry). And there’s nothing wrong with encouraging journalists to do so as well.”
Bonus Quote of the Day
“He hasn’t handled a largely irrelevant media ambush very well. He isn’t a
sufficiently good enough liar to be president, I guess.”
— Rush Limbaugh, on Herman Cain facing sexual harassment allegations.
New Details Contradict Cain’s Account
Herman Cain flatly denies that he made an unwanted sexual advance toward a female employee at a work event, but multiple sources tell Politico “there were urgent discussions of the woman’s accusations at top levels of the National Restaurant Association within hours of when the incident was alleged to have occurred.”
The new details “put the woman’s account even more sharply at odds with Cain’s emphatic insistence in news media interviews this week that nothing inappropriate happened between the two.”
The woman in question “told two people directly at the time that Cain made a sexual overture to her at one of the group’s events… She was livid and lodged a verbal complaint with an NRA board member that same night.”
Meanwhile, the New York Times reports Cain’s wife will no longer do an interview with Fox News tomorrow night as previously planned.
Swing States Hit Hardest by Bad Economy
While Americans across the nation are downbeat, a special USA Today/Gallup Poll finds that “voters in a dozen key battleground states for the 2012 election are in an even deeper funk about their lives, Obama’s tenure and the nation’s politics.”
“The underlying perils for the president are particularly pronounced in these battlegrounds, presumably because they are in parts of the country that have been hit hardest by the nation’s economic troubles.”
States polled: Colorado, Iowa, Florida, Michigan, Nevada, New
Hampshire, New Mexico, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Virginia and
Cain Still Leads GOP Field Nationally
Despite sexual harassment allegations becoming the focus of his campaign this week, a new Rasmussen survey finds Herman Cain continues to lead the GOP presidential field with 26%, followed by Mitt Romney at 23% and Newt Gingrich at 14%.
The rest of the field: Rick Perry at 8%, Ron Paul at 7%, Michele Bachmann and Jon Huntsman at 2% and Rick Santorum at just 1%.
Are Republicans Sabotaging the Economy?
Greg Sargent foudn this question in the recent Suffolk University poll conducted in Florida: Do you think the Republicans are intentionally stalling efforts to jumpstart the economy to insure that Barack Obama is not reelected?
By a 49% to 39% margin, Floridians said they were, while 12% were undecided.
Steve Benen: “Here’s a suggestion for other pollsters: given these results in one of
the nation’s largest states, and the fact that the charge has been made
by so many prominent political voices, perhaps it’s time to start
putting the question to a national audience?”
Update: National Journal reports Senate Republicans blocked a $60 billion infrastructure bill, making the bill the second piece of President Obama’s jobs proposal to be voted down in the Senate.
Can Cain Survive?
Andrew Sullivan: “The only way past this for Cain is through it. Let the women speak, if
they wish. If they refuse to come forward or detail the accusations,
then there’s nothing more to be done. But the golden rule of political
scandal applies: disclose everything, apologize for what needs to be
apologized, and get it over with.”
Meanwhile, Michael Tomasky plays out the various permutations.
Cain Accuser Got $45,000
One of the women who accused Herman Cain of sexual harassment received a payout of about $45,000 as part of her settlement, Politico reports, “significantly more than the two or three months’ salary Cain initially recalled the woman obtained.”
“The woman who received the approximately $45,000 is the staffer who Cain has acknowledged formally lodged a complaint about his behavior.”
“It was also more than the payout a second association employee received after complaining about Cain’s behavior. According to the New York Times, the second woman received $35,000 — a year’s pay.”
Meanwhile, PJ Media claims to have details of another encounter with a staffer. Said a source: “Herman took advantage of seniority and power with a young woman. It was an abuse of power.”
Flashback Quote of the Day
“I don’t have any of those kind of skeletons in my closet. And what I have told people is if they come up with something to try to damage my reputation, they will have made it up.”
— Herman Cain, recorded at a March 2011 meeting with conservative bloggers.
60 Minutes is apparently doing a piece on House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) as correspondent Steve Croft showed up at a routine press conference today to ask her about a conflict of interest with her investments.
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