Entries in Democratic National Committee (26)


Obama Taps Debbie Wasserman Schultz to Remain DNC Chair

Vallery Jean/FilmMagic(WASHINGTON) -- President Obama has tapped Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz of Florida to remain at the helm of the Democratic National Committee as the party looks toward the 2014 midterm election and an opportunity to solidify electoral gains.

“I’ve asked Debbie Wasserman Schultz to continue her excellent work as chair of the DNC,” Obama said on Twitter. “Thanks for all you do, Debbie.”  He signed the tweet “-bo,” signifying that he personally penned the message from his campaign’s @BarackObama account.

Schultz tweeted in reply, “Thank you, Mr. President. I am honored to serve. #Forward.”

Democrats will formally select their party leadership for the next cycle at their annual meeting in Washington on Jan. 22, the day after Obama’s inauguration. By tradition, members will affirm the president’s pick to lead the DNC.

While her effectiveness was reportedly questioned in some Democratic circles during the 2012 campaign, Schultz has been praised since Nov. 6 for helping to add Democratic seats in the House and Senate and keeping her home state of Florida blue for Obama.

Schultz has also been a shrewd fundraiser for Obama and Democrats and an outspoken advocate on the president’s behalf, particularly on women’s issues and in the Jewish community.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Democrats Hit Mitt Romney for Comment on Teachers, First Responders

JEWEL SAMAD/AFP/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- Amid swirling criticism from Republicans over President Obama’s characterization of the private sector as doing “fine,” Democrats are seizing on Mitt Romney’s suggestion that the country does not need more teachers and first responders.

Speaking after Obama’s news conference on Friday, Romney assailed the president’s call for more aid to state and local governments to boost hiring.

“His answer for economic vitality…was, of course, pushing aside the private sector, which he said is doing fine.  Instead, he wants to add more to government,” Romney said at an event in Council Bluffs, Iowa.

“He says we need more firemen, more policemen, more teachers. Did he not get the message in Wisconsin? The American people did.  It’s time for us to cut back on government and help the American people.”

The Obama campaign and Democratic National Committee blasted out the comments in a series of email statements, web videos and tweets, saying that Romney was advocating the elimination of jobs for firefighters, cops and teachers.

“Not only has Mitt Romney opposed the President’s plan to create one million jobs, he is actually calling for further job loss in the sector that needs the most urgent boost,” said Obama campaign spokesman Ben LaBolt.

R.T. Ryback, vice chair of the Democratic National Committee, said “Romney’s assertion that the American people don’t benefit from firemen, policemen and teachers is so detached from reality I did a double take – I had to check twice to be sure he had actually said it.”

In a web video released Saturday, the Obama campaign juxtaposed recent newspaper headlines that highlight layoffs of state public sector workers with Obama’s call for federal aid to stem the losses. “President Obama has a plan to help,” the video says.

Over the past year, the public sector has shed 161,000 jobs – the vast majority of which were at the state and local level – according to the Labor Department. The private sector added nearly 2 million jobs during the same period.

Romney argued Friday that federal aid to states for public sector hiring is not a prescription for sustainable job creation and that expanding the ranks of government inhibits growth.

“Job creators and small businesses are not ‘doing fine.’ The middle class is not ‘doing fine,’” said Romney campaign spokeswoman Amanda Henneberg, noting that the nation’s unemployment rate stands at 8.2 percent.  “There is no denying that President Obama has been fundamentally hostile to job creators and his policies have prevented our economy from rebounding.”

Henneberg did not clarify as to whether Romney believes the ranks of teachers and first responders, or federal aid for the same, specifically needs to be reduced, as Democrats allege he does.

The attacks by both sides Friday — Republicans on Obama’s private sector remark, Democrats on Romney’s public sector comment — underscored just how much political rhetoric and the perception of insensitivity to average Americans can be exploited by the opposing sides in a rapidly escalating general election campaign.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Obama, Dems Raise $43.6 Million in April

JEWEL SAMAD/AFP/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- President Obama's reelection campaign raised $43.6 million in April, the campaign announced Wednesday morning.

That's down from the $53 million raised in March -- the Obama camp's best fundraising month of the cycle -- but well above the $31 million Obama raised the same month four years ago.

The total reflects funds collected directly by Obama for America, the Democratic National Committee and two joint fundraising accounts.  Combined, they have now raised nearly $400 million total for the 2012 campaign -- on pace to hit their record-setting $746 million from 2008.

In a video posted online Wednesday, Obama campaign manager Jim Messina says more than 437,000 supporters donated last month, 169,500 of them giving for the first time.

He also points out that 98 percent of the donations received in April were less than $250, with the average donation being $50.23.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


DNC Chair Slams Wis. Gov. Walker for Equal Pay Repeal

Bill Clark/Roll Call/Getty Images (NEW YORK) -- The Democratic National Committee chairwoman called out Republican Gov. Scott Walker today for repealing Wisconsin’s Equal Pay Enforcement Act, a law intended to lower the cost for plaintiffs suing employers for pay discrimination.

“He tried to quietly repeal the Equal Pay Act. Women aren’t going to stand for that,” Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz said on CNN’s “State of the Union.”

The law allowed for victims to sue employers in state court which is often less expensive than filing in federal court.

The Republican controlled state Senate passed the measure in November, followed by passage in the state Legislature in February. Walker then repealed it Thursday.

“The focus of the Republican Party on turning back the clock for women really is something that’s unacceptable and shows how callus and insensitive they are towards women’s priorities,” the Florida congresswoman said.

National Republicans have yet to comment on the Wisconsin repeal but the Obama campaign has seized the opportunity to tie Walker’s law to Mitt Romney, who has argued that women voters in 2012 only care about pocketbook issues.

“Does Romney think women should have ability to take their bosses to court to get the same pay as their male coworkers? Or does he stand with Governor Walker against this?” Obama campaign representative Lis Smith said Friday.

Republicans have been accused of waging a war on women since speaking out against President Obama’s health care law that requires insurance companies to pay for female contraceptives.

Many religious employers objected to the rule so the administration carved out an exception for religious institutions. But Republicans, in turn, have characterized the battle as a fight for religious freedom.

But not all Democrats are convinced that the GOP is intentionally attacking women. Rep Emanuel Cleaver, D-Mo., who is chairman of the Congressional Black Caucus, defended Republicans while on CNN’s “State of the Union,” saying that it would be “wrong” to accuse Republicans of waging a war on women.

“We have got to quit exaggerating our political differences,” said Cleaver, who is also a Methodist pastor.

Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus has been dismissive of attacks by Democrats, comparing their concerns to a “war on caterpillars.”

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Million Mailers to Women Plug Obama Health Law

Jupiterimages/Thinkstock(CHICAGO) -- Seeking to expand the edge that President Obama holds over Mitt Romney among women voters, the Democratic National Committee this week is sending out 1 million mailers to women in several states to show how the health care law benefits them.

The two-sided flyers aim to succeed where previous Democratic messaging campaigns have failed: to convince women voters in key general election battlegrounds that the law is laden with cost-saving benefits especially for them, and that the savings could be quickly lost if a Republican wins the White House.

“You may now get many of your preventive care services for FREE,” reads one DNC flyer in big bold lettering. “Without co-pays, thanks to America’s New Health Care Law,” it adds in highlighted text.

Another piece heralds “3 WAYS America’s New Health Care Law is Helping You and Your Family.”  It touts future parity for women with insurance premiums, an end to lifetime benefits caps, and the ability to let children remain on their health plans until age 26.

A Democratic Party official would not confirm which states would receive the mailing or how the party determined its list of recipients.

The mailing, paid for and organized by the DNC, is part of a broader effort led by the Obama campaign in Chicago to leverage recent debates over contraception coverage and the health care law to their advantage. It also comes ahead of the one-year anniversary of the Affordable Care Act next week and the first Supreme Court hearing on the law later this month.

Obama for America recently rolled out a new online interactive tool that lets users input information about themselves to learn which aspects of the law apply directly to them.

And President Obama himself has begun publicly touting benefits for women under the new law, including in his campaign stump speech for the first time last week a line about free preventive care for women.

“So when you see politicians trying to take us back to the days when this care was more expensive and harder to get for women -- and I know you’re seeing some of that here in Texas -- you just remember we can’t let them get away with it,” Obama said Friday during a Houston, Tex., fundraiser.

Still, selling the health care law anew will be an uphill climb for Obama who, after months of debate over the law and its benefits, has struggled to win over public opinion.

A USA Today/Gallup poll of voters in 12 general election battleground states last month found majorities believe the health care overhaul is a “bad thing” and, if a Republican wins the White House, would favor the law’s repeal.

Seventy-two percent of voters in the survey said early provisions of the law have had no effect on their health care situation, while 42 percent said full implementation after 2014 would likely make their situation worse.

All the GOP Republican candidates have vowed to repeal or dismantle the law upon taking office.

Republican National Committee spokeswoman Kirsten Kukowski said the new Democratic flyers touting the health law’s financial incentives for women won’t be able to gloss over the increasing burdens their families face in the remaining months of Obama’s first term.

“While President Obama tries to spin his failed record with women, budgets are being stretched by increasing prices on everything from food to gasoline as families wonder how they can afford to pay their mortgage, medical bills or send their children to college,” Kukowski said.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Obama to Accept Nomination at Bank of America Stadium

Marc Piscotty for Congressional Quarterly/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- President Obama will close out the 2012 Democratic National Convention in September with an acceptance speech at Bank of America stadium in Charlotte, N.C., convention CEO Steve Kerrigan announced in an email.

The open-air venue, which seats more than 73,000, will significantly expand access to Obama’s speech for his supporters and the public and replicate the dramatic setting from four years ago, which came complete with enormous faux marble columns.

Obama accepted the Democratic presidential nomination in 2008 with a speech and rally before a crowd of 75,000 at Denver’s Invesco Field, home to the NFL’s Broncos.  Bank of America stadium is home to the Carolina Panthers.

The convention will also be shortened by one day, from four days to three, Kerrigan said, making Monday, Sept. 3, (Labor Day) a, “day to organize and celebrate the Carolinas, Virginia and the South” with a rally at the Charlotte Motor Speedway.

The first two days of the formal convention program -- Sept. 4-5 -- will take place at Time Warner Cable Arena before moving to the outdoor stadium on the final night of the nominating event.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Romney Draws Fire for ‘Irritable’ Interview

Ethan Miller/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- A one-on-one national news interview with GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney is a rare commodity these days, and perhaps this ad released Wednesday by the Democratic National Committee is why.

The two-and-a-half minute web video is a montage of news commentators criticizing Romney’s performance in an interview with Fox News’ Bret Baier that aired Tuesday.

First, bold white words zoom out of a black background calling Romney “tense,” “irritable,” and “flustered.”  Then, clips from various news broadcasts show pundits calling the interview “disastrous” and “uncomfortable,” and saying Romney was “overly testy,” “snippy” and that “he clearly didn’t like being challenged on some of the simplest questions.”

The Baier interview did get heated at times, with Romney telling Baier “You’re wrong, Bret” when he mentioned that Romney had said the Massachusetts health care law was a model for the nation.  And when Baier asked about the law’s individual mandate, Romney criticized him for conducting “an unusual interview” as he shifted his weight uncomfortably.

Romney grew irritated when he fielded a question from Baier on the accusations that he has flip-flopped on ”climate change, abortion, immigration, gay rights.”

“How can voters trust what they hear from you today is what you will believe if you win the White House?” Baier asked.

Romney responded: “Well, Bret, your list is just not accurate.  So, one, we’re going to have to be better informed about my views on issues.”

Romney saved some of his criticism for the newest addition to the top of the GOP polls, Newt Gingrich, whom he called a “life-long politician.”

“Speaker Gingrich is a good man.  He and I have very different backgrounds,” Romney said.  “He spent his last 30 or 40 years in Washington.  I spent my career in the private sector.”

And when asked about the big endorsement Gingrich picked up this week from New Hampshire’s largest newspaper, the Union Leader, Romney played off the paper’s obvious snub to his campaign with a joke.

“You know, the union leaders have not always been happy with me,” he told Baier.

Romney has dedicated ample resources to campaigning in New Hampshire and even launched his campaign from the Granite State.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


DNC Ad Lampoons Romney as ‘Two Mitts Willing to Say Anything’

Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- The Democratic National Committee released an ad Monday morning that describes Mitt Romney as “two men trapped in one body.”

The 30 second ad, titled “Trapped,” will play in six markets, including Albuquerque, N.M.; Raleigh-Durham, N.C.; Columbus, Ohio; Pittsburgh; Washington, D.C.; and Milwaukee. The DNC declined to specify how large of an ad buy this was or how much was spent on the spot.

[Click here to watch the ad]

The Romney campaign did not immediately respond to a request for comment regarding the ad.

The DNC accuses Romney of being “Two Mitts willing to say anything,” a reference to his change in stance on abortion.

In an extended version of the ad on the new website, the DNC edits together clips from the CNN debate in which Texas Gov. Rick Perry suggested that Romney had hired illegal immigrants to do his yard work.

While Romney is heard saying that he’s never hired an illegal immigrant in one frame, the next has him explaining how the company he contracted with had hired illegals without his knowledge.  The intricacies of the hiring are not evident in the ad.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Democrats Request Records from Romney’s Governorship

Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- The Democratic National Committee is now requesting records sent during Gov. Mitt Romney’s tenure in office in Massachusetts, filing a Freedom of Information Act request just hours after Romney’s campaign used the same means to request records of correspondence between President Obama’s re-election staff and current Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick.

According to the DNC, the formal paperwork was filed because “Americans deserve to know whether the Romney administration deliberately sought to delete public records in anticipation of requests regarding Gov. Romney’s record on a range of issues -- from abortion to health care -- and how he reached policy decisions when in office.”

An article in the Boston Globe earlier Thursday launched the back-and-forth requests, unveiling an investigation into Romney aides who the paper claimed tried to digitally cleanse Romney’s office in 2006 when he was still governor of Massachusetts. The piece led Romney’s presidential campaign to accuse his gubernatorial successor -- Obama ally Patrick -- of being “an opposition research arm of the Obama re-election campaign.”

Now, the DNC is asking the state of Massachusetts for any electronic correspondence dated between Jan. 3, 2003 and Jan. 4, 2007 between any of the 11 aides described in the Boston Globe investigation as having purchased hard drives and working to wipe a digital data server prior to leaving office.

Eleven of Romney’s top aides purchased 17 state-issued hard drives for $65 each, some doing so just weeks before Gov.  Patrick -- a Democrat and strong supporter of President Obama -- took office, effectively obliterating the electronic record of the Romney administration, the Globe reported.

In a statement to the paper, Romney spokeswoman Andrea Saul had this to say: “In leaving office, the governor’s staff complied with the law and longtime executive branch practice. Some employees exercised the option to purchase computer equipment when they left. They did so openly with personal checks.”

Saul did not immediately respond to the DNC records request.

Following the Globe’s article Thursday, Romney campaign manager Matt Rhoades responded and submitted a Freedom of Information Act request asking that Patrick’s office make public all email correspondence, phone logs and visitor logs showing contacts that his office has had with Obama campaign figures David Axelrod, David Plouffe and Jim Messina.

In the letter to Patrick's office, Rhoades wrote, “State law strictly prohibits you and your staff from using public resources for political campaign purposes. Under state law, a public employee may not provide services to a candidate or campaign during his or her work hours.”

“Nonetheless, it is evident that your office has become an opposition research arm of the Obama re-election campaign,” Rhoades continued, making reference to the Globe investigation and accusing Patrick's chief legal counsel of supplying the paper with copies of checks used by Romney staffers to buy the computers.

“This action was nothing more than a weak attempt to disparage practices that you know were in complete compliance with the law,” wrote Rhoades.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Obama, DNC Raised $70 Million in Third Quarter

Kevin Lamarque-Pool/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- The Obama Campaign and Democratic National Committee raised a combined $70 million for the 2012 campaign from July through September, the groups reported Thursday in an email to supporters.

Obama for America brought in $42.8 million, while the DNC banked $23.7 million, a campaign official told ABC News. The figures include transfers from the Obama Victory Fund, a joint account that funnels money to both groups.

All 17 fundraisers Obama attended during the quarter supported the fund, with the first $5,000 of an individual’s contribution going to the Obama Campaign and the rest, up to $30,800, going to the DNC.

Obama’s total, surpassing the campaign’s $55 million goal, reflects the continued effectiveness of his campaign money machine, and the advantages of incumbency to help turn out cash, all despite months of sagging poll numbers and flaring economic frustration.

While Obama did not best George W. Bush’s record $50.1 million raised in the same period in 2003 he demonstrated that he retains a solid base of grassroots financial support.

More than 606,000 people donated to Obama in the third quarter, including 257,000 first-time donors.  The campaign has now received contributions from nearly one million Americans so far this year.

“Getting to a million grassroots donors isn’t just a huge accomplishment this early in the campaign,” Obama campaign manager Jim Messina said in an email to supporters. “It’s our answer to our opponents, the press, and anyone who wants to know whether the President’s supporters have his back.”

Many of those are small donors, giving $250 or less, according to numbers provided by the Obama Campaign.  Of the 766,000 donations received in July, August and September combined, 98 percent were $250 or less, officials said.  The average donation was $56.

Obama’s $42.8 million puts him well ahead of some of his Republican rivals, who are forced to compete for cash amongst a field of GOP donors with divided loyalties.  Texas Gov. Rick Perry reported raising $17 million in the third quarter, while Rep. Ron Paul raised $8 million.  Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney has not yet released his total.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

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