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Entries in Boston (9)

Sunday
Apr212013

Boston Author Dennis Lehane Praises Response to Marathon Bombings

ABC(NEW YORK) -- Speaking Sunday morning on This Week, author and Boston native Dennis Lehane praised the response to the Boston Marathon bombings, calling it as one of the greatest “acts of heroism” he has ever seen.

“I’ve been proud to be from Boston my whole life – I don’t think I’ve ever been as proud as I have been this week. The thing that will stick with me the rest of my life is, the plot of these brothers failed within two seconds of the first explosion. Because the objective of terror is to rattle a populous. It’s to make them paralyzed with fear,” he said. “And to see all of these civilians run toward the blast to help their fellow civilians, to help their fellow Bostonians, their fellow members of the human race was one of the most beautiful things I’ve ever seen. It was one of the great acts of heroism I’ve ever witnessed.”

The iconic author of such books as Mystic River, and Gone, Baby, Gone, praised the people of Boston as “tough and hearty” with a “pugnacious pride.”

“We’re a city that values civil discourse, civil liberties. And then at the same time, we have this kind of pugnacious pride – this romantic, underdog – ‘if you’re gonna hit me, you better hit me very, very hard, or I won’t go down’ kind of vibe. I mean, we were Red Sox fans for a century, so that in and of itself is – is a tough and hearty people,” he said. “I got a couple of different texts from friends that were the same text, essentially, that was ‘they messed with the wrong city.’”

Lehane described the capture Friday night of the second suspect in the Boston Marathon bombings, 19-year-old Dzhokhar Tsarnaev as euphoric.

“When it came back ‘we got him,’ I think you could see the euphoria, you could see the relief. You could see a sense of vindication, of justice prevailing, of our values trumping very corrupt values. I think you could — you could feel that. It felt – it felt wonderful.”

Lehane said the attacks at this year’s marathon would not derail future races, predicting twice the turnout next April.

“I think the citizens of this city were saying ‘we’re not going to change. This is going to change nothing. Whatever you thought, whatever your objective was, whatever you thought you were going to do to our spirit — it’s not going to change.’ You go to the marathon next year, I bet there’ll be twice as many people there.”

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio

Tuesday
Apr162013

Obama to Visit Boston Thursday, Speak at Service for Bombing Victims

Official White House Photo by Pete Souza(BOSTON) -- President Obama is scheduled to travel to Boston on Thursday, three days after the deadly bombings at the Boston Marathon.

As the city grapples with this tragedy, the president plans to speak at an interfaith service “dedicated to those who were gravely wounded or killed in Monday’s bombing,” White House Press Secretary Jay Carney said in a written statement.

Obama’s visit comes as authorities are working around the clock to determine who is behind the twin blasts at the finish line of the marathon. Earlier Tuesday, the president vowed to bring to justice those responsible for this “act of terrorism,” which he called a “heinous and cowardly act.”

“It will take time to follow every lead and determine what happened. But we will find out,” he said. “We will find whoever harmed our citizens, and we will bring them to justice.”

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio

Tuesday
Jul242012

George W. Bush Drops by Romney Campaign Headquarters

SAUL LOEB/AFP/GettyImages(BOSTON) -- Mitt Romney's campaign staff in Boston got an unexpected pep talk Tuesday morning when former President George W. Bush and his wife Laura stopped by.

In Boston visiting a charter school, the Bushes were introduced by Ann Romney and greeted by huge applause from Romney staffers, according to a person familiar with the meeting.  The visit was confirmed by the Romney campaign.

The former president praised the steady leadership of the campaign and encouraged staffers present "to seize the moment."

Bush has seen approval ratings rise since he left office, but he is still a divisive figure and has not been a major factor in Romney's campaign.  He only endorsed Romney when asked by an ABC News reporter who he would support.

Bush will also not be attending the Republican convention in Tampa, Fla., later this summer.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Monday
Jun252012

Obama’s Checklist of Choices for Voters

JIM WATSON/AFP/Getty Images(BOSTON) -- At his 99th fundraiser of the year, on the home turf of rival Mitt Romney’s re-election campaign, President Obama Monday night presented a vigorous case for a second term, framing the November vote as a series of personal choices that will have tangible effects on the lives of everyday Americans.

“The only way we’re going to break that gridlock is through you,” Obama said, underscoring an emerging theme in his campaign. “Very rarely do you see such a stark choice in an election with so much as stake. On every challenge we face, you have the final say on where do we go from here.”

On Afghanistan: “You can decide whether we keep our men and women in Afghanistan indefinitely, as Mr. Romney proposes, or we can stick to the timeline that I established that allows us to finally bring our troops home,” Obama said. “That’s my decision.”

On Women’s Health Issues: “You can decide whether we should restrict access to birth control or defund Planned Parenthood. Or we can make a decision that in this country, women control their own health choices,” he said to thunderous applause and a standing ovation. “That’s the decision that I make.”

On Wall Street: “You can decide whether ending taxpayer bailouts of Wall Street Banks was the right thing to do. Whether protecting consumers from unscrupulous practices, like Elizabeth [Warren] fought for, is the right thing to do,” he said.

On Health Insurance: “Whether preventing insurance companies from discriminating against people who are sick is the right thing to do, or allowing over 3 million young people to stay on their parent’s health insurance plan is the right thing to do, or bringing down the cost of prescription drugs for seniors was the right thing to do,” he said.

“I think it was the right thing to do. I know it was the right thing to do. And it’s your choice whether we keep moving forward,” Obama shouted.

On Gay Rights: “You can decide whether we go back to the days when you can be kicked out of the U.S. military because of who you are or who you love. I know where I stand on this,” he said.

On Immigration: “You can decide whether it’s time to stop denying citizenship to responsible young people just because they were brought here as children of undocumented immigrants,” he said. “I know where I stand on this.”

On Campaign Finance: “You can decide whether we can continue to have elections where multimillion-dollar donations, $10 million checks speak louder than voices of ordinary citizens,” Obama said. “This is going to be up to you.”

Obama spoke in Symphony Hall before an energetic crowd of 1,800 donors who paid $250 or more to attend the reception. The three presidential fundraisers in Boston Monday night were expected to raise north of $3.2 million for the Obama Victory Fund.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Thursday
May312012

Axelrod Nearly Drowned Out by Romney Protesters in Boston

Riccardo S. Savi/Getty Images(BOSTON) -- When senior Obama campaign strategist David Axelrod held a press conference on Mitt Romney’s home turf of Boston Thursday morning, the anti-Obama reception was so loud and rowdy that his message was nearly drowned out.
 
Axelrod stood behind a podium at the foot of the steps to the Massachusetts State House, flanked by Democratic state officials and a few dozen Obama supporters lining the steps behind. His audience: a small bank of TV cameras and dozens of young, pro-Romney activists screaming and shouting just 15 feet away.
 
The Republican crowd held signs that read “Obama Isn’t Working,” “Broken Promises,” “Axelrod is in Fantasyland.”  They chanted “We want Mitt,” “Where are the jobs?” and “Solyndra, Solyndra, Solyndra.”   The noise was so loud that it was difficult to make out what many of the speakers ahead of Axelrod were saying.
 
“This reminds me of the time that Eric Fehrnstrom tried to take me down,” said John Barrett, former mayor of North Adams, Ma., of the demonstration.  “He didn’t take me down then, he’s not going to take us down now.” (Fehrnstrom is Romney’s communications director.)
 
Axelrod, who staged the event as a kick-off for the campaign’s new assault on Romney’s record as governor, seemed visibly distracted as he tried to make his case.
 
"It is great to be in Massachusetts, Obama country," Axelrod said at the top of his remarks. "I get tweets from some of these folks so I feel close to them. You can shout down speakers my friends but it is hard to Etch-a-Sketch the truth away."
 
He then moved through talking points the campaign has highlighted in a new research memo and Web video, that Romney failed to keep his gubernatorial campaign promises on the economy, jobs, size of government and debt and would not follow through on the same in the White House.
 
“If that sounds familiar to you, it’s because the people of Massachusetts have heard it all before,” he said.  “The same promises, the same representations, the very same language. Interestingly, when Gov. Romney rolled out his candidacy just a few miles away in [New Hampshire] a few weeks ago after he clinched the nomination, he spoke for 15 or 20 minutes and never found the time to mention that he once had been the governor of Massachusetts, the one elective office he ever held. And there’s good reason for that."
 
“The Massachusetts record was alarmingly weak,” he said.
 
Axelrod tried to take questions from reporters, who had to crouch down and shout so he could hear.  Protesters chanted “Where are the jobs?” over and over.
 
“You can’t handle the truth my friends. That’s the problem. If you could handle the truth, you’d quiet down,” Axelrod said.
 
Obama campaign spokeswoman Lis Smith shrugged off the debacle and said the campaign has plenty of time to have their message break through.
 
“This is the first time that anyone has gone out and given a full synopsis of what he did in Massachusetts, and we have five months to go in this campaign,” she said. “This is just the introduction of it. Clearly they resorted to some juvenile and circus-like tactics Thursday to try to drown it out but they can’t drown it out for five straight months.”
 
During a press conference of his own outside Solyndra, Inc., in Freemont, Calif., Mitt Romney said he wouldn’t apologize for the hecklers at Axelrod’s event, claiming Democrats have infiltrated some of his.
 
Obama campaign spokesman Ben LaBolt said the governor’s statement “invents a mythic event in which our campaign ‘heckled’ him.”

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Friday
Apr202012

Romney to Quadruple Staff at Boston Headquarters

Darren McCollester/Getty Images(PHOENIX, Ariz.) -- Boston’s bulking up. The Mitt Romney headquarters operation there will see its staff quadruple in the coming weeks as it shifts into general election mode.

As they transition from the primary to the general election, Mitt Romney’s campaign staff will grow by more than four times, from the current level of 87 to more than 400.

The staff changes were first reported by The New York Times, and later confirmed by ABC News.

Among those coming aboard at Romney headquarters in Boston will be Austin Barbour, nephew of former Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour, who will move to Boston to become the deputy to senior adviser Stuart Stevens.

Additionally, Sarah Pompei, previously the communications director for House GOP Whip Kevin McCarthy, will be joining the communications team, while Richard Grenell, formerly communications director for the U.S. at the UN, will come on to be the national security and foreign policy spokesman.

Lindsay Hayes will up her role on the campaign and become the director of speech writing for Romney. Hayes was former vice presidential nominee Sarah Palin’s speechwriter during the 2008 election. She has held a more informal role on the Romney campaign since November.

These additions to team Romney come after Ed Gillespie, former Republican National Committee chairman, was added as a senior adviser to the campaign earlier this month.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Friday
Jun032011

Sarah Palin Offers Her Own Version of Paul Revere's Midnight Ride

Allison Shelley/Getty Images(BOSTON) -- Perhaps this week's lesson in the annals of American history was necessary for Sarah Palin.

In Boston Thursday, visiting Paul Revere's house, she offered her own account of the Revolutionary War hero's midnight ride from Boston to Lexington, Mass.:

"He who warned, uh, the...the British that they weren't gonna be taking away our arms, uh, by ringing those bells and, um, by making sure that as he's riding his horse through town to send those warning shots and bells that, uh, we were gonna be secure and we were gonna be free...and we were gonna be armed."

Of course, Revere was in fact trying to warn John Hancock and Samuel Adams about the approaching British army. And he didn't rely on bells. He was on a covert mission -- although the common folklore retelling of his famous Midnight ride had him yelling,"The British are coming! The British are coming!" for all to hear.

Had he used bells, or shouted, Palin's tour bus might have chugged through the northeast on the left side of the road.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Wednesday
May182011

President Obama Ramps Up Campaign, Holds Boston Fundraisers 

JIM WATSON/AFP/Getty Images(BOSTON) -- As the list of GOP contenders vying for his job becomes clearer, President Obama continued his push to shore up his campaign war chest with two Boston fundraisers Wednesday evening.

“Back in 2004 I gave a speech here that got some attention, and it’s been downhill ever since,” President Obama joked, referring to the famous 2004 speech at the Democratic National Convention in Boston that helped launch his national political career.

In his 30-minute speech Wednesday, President Obama not only reminded the crowd of what he says has been accomplished during his first term, but also gave hints of how he may try to convince voters to give him a second chance.

“All of us can remember that night in Grant Park...I said this is not the end, this is the beginning. This is the start of a steep climb,” said Mr. Obama. “It’s turned out to be a little steeper than expected.”

The president pointed to healthcare, Wall Street and student loan reform, but above all he touted his stewardship over the economy during the Great Recession.

“Some of the things folks said would not work, worked. GM is hiring all its workers back. But we still got some climbing to do. You can’t put away those hiking shoes.”

He lashed out at Republicans in Congress who fought off a Democratic attempt to remove $4 billion in oil subsidies to major oil companies, saying they did it “at a time when they are making tens of billions in profits and you are struggling to fill your tank. Instead of investing in yesterday’s energy we should be investing in the energy of tomorrow.”

He told supporters what he would and would not support as the tough fight to balance the nation’s budget takes shape. He said he would not sacrifice education, or clean energy initiatives. He added that he would fight to end the tax cuts for the wealthiest two percent of Americans.

He ended the speech with the familiar refrain from 2008, "Yes We Can."

Mr. Obama is making two stops in the Bay State. Tickets for the first event at the Boston Center for the Arts, where 900 people are estimated to have attended, went for $200 or more. He was joined there by Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick as well as Boston Celtics basketball legend Bill Russell and future Hall of Famer Ray Allen.

The second event, a dinner, is at the leafy Brookline home of advertising mogul Jack Connors, where 130 supporters will pay $35,800 per couple.

A final tally is unclear but the president could raise more than $2 million from both events.

Earlier in the day, President Obama gave a 20-minute commencement address at the United States Coast Guard Academy in New London, Conn., where he told the assembled crowd of 1,500 that they should be proud of the “brave military and intelligence personnel who made sure the terrorist leader who attacked us on 9/11 will never do so again."

The President's arrival in Connecticut was delayed briefly as poor weather conditions caused Air Force One to miss its first landing attempt at Hartford’s Bradley International Airport.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Tuesday
Mar082011

Obama to Visit Boston Classroom; Call for Creation of Education Agency

Jim Watson/AFP/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- President Obama will travel to Boston Tuesday to visit a classroom at TechBoston Academy with Melinda Gates, co-chair of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, and Secretary of Education Arne Duncan.

TechBoston Academy will be used as an example of the "shared responsibility" the administration is calling for in education -- a school that is using technology in their classroom, and has partnerships with philanthropic and business leaders to provide students with education programs.

"Many sectors of the economy have utilized public-private partnership to drive innovation and growth," Domestic Policy Council Director Melody Barnes said previewing the visit, "and the education sector shouldn't be any different."

President Obama will call for the creation of an Advanced Research Projects Agency for Education with $90 million in funding for its first year during his speech.

The agency will "aggressively pursue technological breakthroughs that will transform educational technology and empower teaching and learning," Secretary of Education Arne Duncan said.  The $90 million for this agency is federal money, included in the 2012 budget sent to Congress.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio







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