Entries in Campaign (7)


Obama Hails the ‘Miami Heats’

JEWEL SAMAD/AFP/GettyImages(MIAMI) -- Unfazed by a partisan spat sparked by his comment on former Red Sox player Kevin Youkilis, President Obama Tuesday night opined on a professional sports team again, publicly praising the NBA champion Miami Heat at a campaign fundraiser in the city.

The only problem this time was that Obama mispronounced the name of the team -- referring to it as the “Miami Heats."

At the top of his remarks at the Jackie Gleason Theater in Miami Beach, Obama said his public recognition of dignitaries and special guests would be “incomplete if I did not congratulate the city of Miami for having the world champion Miami Heats here in town.”

“You guys earned it,” Obama said as the crowd applauded.

“And since one of my favorite people is [sic] Alonzo Mourning is here and Tracy Mourning,” he added. “I just want to give them a special shout out. Alonzo looks like he can still play. Hasn’t aged a bit … looks the same, except he doesn’t have a flat top.”

Mourning, 42, spent 15 years in the NBA playing longest for the Miami Heat.

At an event in Boston on Monday night, Obama ribbed donors for the trade of beloved Red Sox third baseman Youkilis to his adopted hometown team the Chicago White Sox: and the crowd ribbed him right back.

“Boston, I just want to say, thank you for Youkilis,” Obama told the crowd, drawing a mix of boos -- which Team Obama claimed were "Youks!" -- and laughter. “I’m just saying, he had to change the color of his socks.”

The remark drew a rebuke from Republicans, who seized on the boos as a sign of Obama’s alleged insensitivity to his audiences.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Bill Clinton on Bin Laden Raid: ‘I Hope That’s the Call I Would Have Made’

Brendan Smialowski/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- Former President Bill Clinton says in a forthcoming Obama campaign documentary that he hopes he would have made the same decision as President Obama to authorize the daring raid that killed Osama bin Laden.

“He took the harder and more honorable path,” Clinton says in a newly released excerpt of The Road We’ve Traveled.  “When I saw what had happened, I thought to myself, ‘I hope that’s the call I would have made.’”

The documentary, which is directed by Academy Award winner Davis Guggenheim and narrated by actor Tom Hanks, was produced by Obama’s re-election campaign in an attempt to shape the national debate about the president’s first term. It is set to premier at Obama campaign field offices around the country on Thursday.

Vice President Joe Biden also lends his voice to the effort, portraying Obama in the latest excerpt as a tough decision-maker. “It dawned on me, he’s all alone,” Biden says of the day the president faced the final call on the bin Laden raid. “This is his decision.”

Clinton, who is stepping up his role in the campaign to re-elect the president, will reportedly appear with Obama at several re-election fundraisers in the next few months.

Biden officially begins a campaign role later this week with the first of a series of battleground state speeches aimed at framing the key issues in the general election.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Lady Gaga Attends Obama Fundraising Event

ABC/ Ida Mae Astute(ATHERTON, Calif.) -- Lady Gaga was among the guests at a $35,800 per couple Obama fundraiser Sunday night at the home of Facebook’s Chief Operating Officer Sheryl Sandberg and David Goldberg in Atherton, Calif.

At the event, which took place under a tent in Sandberg’s yard, a source said Gaga asked a question during the Q&A session. She first thanked the president for what he’s accomplished, then read from what she said was a letter from a fan about the suicide of another fan who had been subjected to bullying.

She thanked Obama for hosting his anti-bullying conference with Michelle Obama, and then made a general plea to everyone in the room, including the president, to do what they can to prevent bullying.

Obama thanked her, spoke about his administration’s anti-bullying campaign, and then more generally about the importance of values and who we are as Americans.

Before the dinner, Gaga came through the photo line with her manager. She and Obama reportedly spoke for two minutes, with many others in the room.

Gaga’s attendance at the fundraising event comes after the singer tweeted that she would be meeting the president and intended to discuss youth bullying with him in relation to the suicide of Jamey Rodemeyer, the 14-year-old student who took his own life last week after years of bullying.

“I am meeting with our President. I will not stop fighting. This must end. Our generation has the power to end it. Trend it #MakeALawForJamey,” the singer posted to twitter.

Gaga dedicated the song “Hair” to Rodemeyer at the iHeartRadio Festival this weekend in Las Vegas. The performance included a video tribute to Rodemeyer.

Earlier in the week, the pop singer, who Rodemeyer idolized, spoke out about the situation via twitter: “The past days I’ve spent reflecting, crying, and yelling. I have so much anger. It is hard to feel love when cruelty takes someones life.”

She added, “Bullying must become illegal. It is a hate crime.”

Rodemeyer took his life on Sept. 18. In his final Twitter message he referenced Lady Gaga, writing “thank you for all you have done.”

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Arne Duncan Feels ‘Very Badly’ for Kids in Rick Perry's Texas Schools

United States Department of Education(WASHINGTON) -- President Obama’s education secretary, Arne Duncan, has taken aim at Texas Gov. Rick Perry for what Duncan describes as the abysmal quality of education in the state’s public schools.

“Far too few of their high school graduates are actually prepared to go on to college," Duncan tells Bloomberg TV’s Al Hunt of Texas in an interview set to air Friday. "I feel very, very badly for the children there."  

Texas ranks 43rd among states for high school graduation rate, according to the Legislative Budget Board’s 2010 Texas Fact Book.  Slightly more than 61 percent of students graduate each year.    

“You have seen massive increases in class size. You’ve seen cutbacks in funding. It doesn’t serve the children well. It doesn’t serve the state well. It doesn’t serve the state’s economy well. And ultimately it hurts the country,” he says.   

Duncan attributes the conditions to Perry’s policies during his decade-long tenure as governor, including a more-than-$4-billion cut to public school funding in the state’s most recent budget.

Perry, who's long been an outspoken critic of federal education standards, has rejected participation in Obama’s Race to the Top initiative, which he has said “could very well lead to the ‘dumbing down’ of the rigorous standards we’ve worked so hard to enact.”

Perry spokesman Mark Miner criticized Duncan’s comments, telling Bloomberg, “The president’s secretary of education may want to do a little more homework before commenting on education in Texas.

“Under Governor Perry, Texas has been a national leader in adopting college and career-ready curriculum standards that will ensure Texas students graduate prepared to succeed in college and the workplace,” he said.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


First Glimpse inside Obama's Armored Tour Bus

Official White House Photo by Pete Souza(WASHINGTON) -- While media requests to get an inside look at the president’s new million-dollar armored bus have been denied, the White House on Wednesday gave the world a peak with a photo taken by official photographer, Pete Souza.

Several White House aides tell ABC News President Obama has been using the front seating area of the bus, two chairs and a sofa, as well as two other sections farther back in the bus which have four seat each.  

There are phones, several flat-screen TVs, an under-the-counter refrigerator, microwave, and apparently, a bathroom with marble countertops.

The "shell" of the bus was designed by Canadian coach manufacturer, Prevost.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Obama Debuts New $1.1 Million Bus on Rural Tour

JIM WATSON/AFP/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- If the presidential limousine is known as "the beast," thanks to its heavy armor plating and other James Bondian extras, the new official tour bus could be called "the behemoth."

The Secret Service is trucking President Obama and his senior staff through the Midwest this week on an imposing jet-black coach, outfitted with top-notch security and communications equipment to keep its occupants safe.

The White House says the $1.1 million bus, and its accompanying motorcade of more than two dozen vehicles, allows the president to visit "real people in real places" that wouldn't otherwise be easily accessible. Obama began the three-day trip in Minnesota and ends in Illinois Wednesday.

Neither the Secret Service nor Hemphill Brothers Co., the Nashville, Tenn.-based company that built the bus, would comment on the "security additions" or what it's like inside as it rumbles along rural roads.

But a review of comparable custom coach designs on the Hemphill company website reveals the president is likely riding in comfort and style.

The bus manufacturer outfits its coaches with luxurious floor plans, some with leather sofas and seating areas, kitchen space, bunk beds with privacy curtains, a full-sized bed stateroom and even a bathroom with a granite shower.

The exterior of the government's custom coach has no presidential or campaign signage or identifiable markings. But it does have a public address system from which the president or a dignitary could address crowds as he or she rolls through town. So far, Obama hasn't tried it out.

The bus, one of two acquired by the Secret Service earlier this year, is government property and will be part of the "protective fleet" used by the Secret Service to transport any official, dignitary, presidential candidate or protectee, officials said.

The bus purchases were long overdue additions to the fleet because the agency was never satisfied with the old practice of renting buses and retrofitting them with added security, Secret Service spokesman Ed Donovan told ABC News in April.

Should the Republican presidential nominee in 2012 want to hit the road, he or she will be able to campaign in one as well, he said.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


MSNBC's Joe Scarborough Suspended for Political Donations

Photo Courtesy - Virginia Sherwood/MSNBC(NEW YORK) -- MSNBC personality Joe Scarborough has been suspended for two days after admitting he had donated thousands of dollars to political campaigns, a breach of network policy.

In a statement released Friday, Scarborough called the donations "simple acts of friendship" and said that he did not seek approval for the donations because they involved "local, noncompetitive races" that he didn't think were "relevant" to his work.

Scarborough's suspension comes two weeks after it was revealed that another MSNBC host, Keith Olbermann, had made donations to three Democratic candidates.

As in Olbermann's case, MSNBC President Phil Griffin, released a statement explaining that Scarborough's donations were against company policy.

Scarborough will be suspended for two days without pay and will return to the air Nov. 24, according to Griffin.

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio

ABC News Radio