Thursday, December 14, 2017
Politics

Campaign notebook: Romney speeches to focus on policy differences

Notebook

Moderator Lehrer lost control, never got it back

Pundits and the Twitterverse had harsh criticism for Jim Lehrer, moderator of Wednesday night's debate. The candidates often talked over him and ignored his attempts to enforce time limits. The Washington Post wrote, "The attempt to structure the debate around a series of 15-minute segments discussing different aspects of the economy and other domestic policy matters failed almost before it started.''

"I am not going to say I have done a poor job," Lehrer said near the end. But others did.

Al Roker, of NBC's Today, tweeted: "I hope Jim Lehrer gets license plate of truck that drove over him in this debate.''

Someone created a Twitter account: @silentjimlehrer. Late Wednesday night, it had more than 7,000 followers. And what did @silentjimlehrer tweet? "... uh, excuse me ... " ''... I ... so, I ... guys ...'' "... er ... okay so ... now...''

Rubio speech takes off on Biden's remark

Sen. Marco Rubio kicked off a Mitt Romney rally in Denver on Wednesday by quoting the new Republican superstar, Joe Biden. "Over the last four years, the American middle class has been buried," he said, telling a crowd what "the distinguished vice president" uttered this week. The crowd booed. "Don't boo," Rubio said. "He's the best thing we've got going. In a moment of clarity, in a brief moment of clarity, he just told us what we already knew." Rubio then ran down a list of the economic troubles he said were caused by President Barack Obama, arguing to a receptive audience that government burdens the middle class and small business. Rubio then gave remarks in Spanish, mentioning Biden again. "This election is not just a choice between a Republican and a Democrat," he said, switching back to English. He called it a "referendum" on the nation. The audience, which included a number of Hispanics, was familiar with the Florida Republican. "I was hoping he would be our VP choice," said Vera Ortegon, a Romney volunteer who drove two hours to introduce Rubio.

Obamas' anniversary in traded Tweets

The Obamas' 20th wedding anniversary was Wednesday and they took to Twitter to toast each other. From @Barack-Obama: Twenty years ago today, I married the love of my life and my best friend. Happy anniversary, Michelle. -bo. Tweets written by the president carry his initials, B.O. Then there's @Michelle-Obama: Happy 20th anniversary, Barack. Thank you for being an incredible partner, friend, and father every day. I love you! –mo

Romney to deliver policy speeches

Romney is planning to deliver a number of policy-focused speeches with new details during the presidential campaign's final five weeks. The Republican nominee is trying to deepen his contrast with President Obama and answer criticism that he hasn't clearly outlined his plans. Obama has narrow leads in a number of state and national polls. Romney plans a speech on foreign policy next week in Virginia. Aides say that subsequent speeches are expected to focus on his plans for job creation, debt and spending, although the subjects may change.

Debate schedule ramps up now

The two presidential rivals are scheduled to debate Oct. 16 in Hempstead, N.Y., and Oct. 22 in Boca Raton. Vice President Joe Biden and Republican Rep. Paul Ryan of Wisconsin have one debate, Oct. 11 in Danville, Ky.

Times staff writer Alex Leary contributed to this report, which includes information from POLITICO, the Associated Press and Washington Post.

   
Comments
House Speaker Paul Ryan says he’s not leaving Congress soon

House Speaker Paul Ryan says he’s not leaving Congress soon

WASHINGTON — House Speaker Paul Ryan said Thursday he’s not leaving Congress anytime soon, trying to squelch rumors that he will walk away in triumph after the Republicans’ treasured tax bill is approved. Politico and the Huffington Post published re...
Updated: 12 minutes ago
Pence to delay Mideast trip as tax deal nears vote

Pence to delay Mideast trip as tax deal nears vote

WASHINGTON — Vice President Mike Pence is delaying his weekend departure for the Middle East as Congress nears completion of a tax overhaul, his office announced Thursday. White House officials said Pence now plans to leave for Egypt on Tuesday so he...
Updated: 17 minutes ago
Senator: Comey’s remarks on Clinton probe heavily edited

Senator: Comey’s remarks on Clinton probe heavily edited

WASHINGTON — A draft statement former FBI director James Comey prepared in anticipation of concluding the Hillary Clinton email case without criminal charges was heavily edited to change the "tone and substance" of the remarks, a Republican senator s...
Updated: 1 hour ago
William March: AG candidate Ashley Moody called ‘liberal;’ bill takes Orlando money for Tampa transit

William March: AG candidate Ashley Moody called ‘liberal;’ bill takes Orlando money for Tampa transit

Ideological divides in Florida’s Republican attorney general primary race are producing some early negative campaigning, with a strong Tampa Bay area flavor.State Rep. Jay Fant, R-Jacksonville, one of four candidates, has attacked the early frontrunn...
Updated: 7 hours ago
Florida lawmakers want stronger college free speech rules amid First Amendment flareups

Florida lawmakers want stronger college free speech rules amid First Amendment flareups

Rising up in defiance to Richard Spencer, hundreds of University of Florida students sounded off in a deafening chant."Go home, Spencer!" they shouted, as the exasperated white nationalist paced the stage, pleading to be heard.Were the students exerc...
Updated: 2 hours ago
Senate race motivated Alabama’s white, black evangelical voters in different ways

Senate race motivated Alabama’s white, black evangelical voters in different ways

Nationally, the word "evangelical" has become in recent years nearly synonymous with "conservative Republican" and Alabama is one of the most evangelical states in the country. But in Alabama, there is a difference: black Christians.While in many par...
Published: 12/13/17
Minnesota Lt. Gov. Tina Smith named to fill Franken seat

Minnesota Lt. Gov. Tina Smith named to fill Franken seat

ST. PAUL, Minn. — Minnesota Gov. Mark Dayton appointed Lt. Gov. Tina Smith on Wednesday to fill fellow Democrat Al Franken’s Senate seat until a special election in November, setting up his longtime and trusted adviser for a potentially bruising 2018...
Published: 12/13/17
Elections chief: Automatic recount unlikely in Alabama race

Elections chief: Automatic recount unlikely in Alabama race

MONTGOMERY, Ala. — Still-uncounted ballots are unlikely to change the outcome of the U.S. Senate race in Alabama enough to spur an automatic recount, the state’s election chief said Wednesday as Democratic victor Doug Jones urged Republican Roy Moore...
Published: 12/13/17
Democrats jubilant, and newly confident about 2018, as Alabama delivers win on Trump’s turf

Democrats jubilant, and newly confident about 2018, as Alabama delivers win on Trump’s turf

The Democrats’ seismic victory Tuesday in the unlikely political battleground of Alabama brought jubilation — and a sudden a rush of confidence — to a party that has been struggling to gain its footing since Donald Trump won the presidency 13 months ...
Published: 12/13/17
Tax package would lower top tax rate for wealthy Americans

Tax package would lower top tax rate for wealthy Americans

WASHINGTON — Congressional Republicans on Tuesday rushed toward a deal on a massive tax package that would reduce the top tax rate for wealthy Americans to 37 percent and slash the corporate rate to a level slightly higher than what businesses and co...
Published: 12/12/17