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Entries in DNC (41)

Thursday
Jun162011

Romney Says He's Unemployed, DNC Slams Him as 'Out of Touch'

James Devaney/WireImage(WASHINGTON) -- Presidential candidate Mitt Romney was criticized Thursday by the Democratic National Committee for being "out of touch" after remarking during a campaign stop in Florida that he too is unemployed.

The DNC's "Rapid Response" team circulated a New York Times article Thursday afternoon along with the message "Out of touch much…" to subscribers.

Romney was in Tampa as part of a three-day trip to the Sunshine State for multiple fundraisers, and made a campaign stop along the way at Buddy Brew Coffee to talk to small business owners and Floridians looking for jobs.

After listening to stories about how hard it is to find work, Romney said, "I should tell my story, I'm also unemployed," The Times reported.

"I have my sight on a particular job," Romney added, according to the report, before saying that he might be without a job for "longer than [he'd] like."

But aides who were with Romney at the event told ABC News that his remarks garnered laughter from the crowd and that the remark was meant to be self-deprecating, an attempt by the candidate to make fun of himself.

Romney has so far focused much of his campaign on pegging President Obama as the one who is out of touch when it comes to creating jobs to spur the struggling economy.

Following the May jobs report that showed an increase in the unemployment rate -- it went up from 9 percent to 9.1 percent -- Romney remarked at a town hall in Manchester, N.H., that President Obama has "failed the American people."

"The borrowing and the spending and the 1.6 trillion dollar deficit these numbers are his, they are on his back, and that is why he it's why he is going to lose," Romney said.

And earlier this week the Romney campaign released a new web video "Bump in the Road," a jab at President Obama's remarks that there are "always bumps in the road to recovery."

The video featured individuals declaring, "I am an American, not a bump in the road."

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Monday
Jun062011

President Obama, DNC Mobilize 2012 Campaign Volunteer Army

JEWEL SAMAD/AFP/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- A legion of 1,600 newly-recruited Democratic campaign volunteers, armed with tweet-producing smartphones and a contagious spirit of enthusiasm, are fanning out across 40 states Monday to begin laying the groundwork for the reelection of President Barack Obama.

The forces -- college students, recent graduates, teachers, and retirees -- will work unpaid through August, aides say, to grow and re-energize Obama's grassroots volunteer network that had remarkable success in 2008, and gather troves of voter data in the process.

Obama campaign managers hope the effort will give the president something of a head start over his yet-to-be-determined Republican rival, in what is expected to be a tough campaign.

The operation kicked-off Saturday at boot-camp-style training sessions held jointly by the Obama campaign and the Democratic National Committee in conference rooms and community centers across the country.

ABC News received exclusive access to one of the two-day sessions held at DNC headquarters, where 15 volunteers received a briefing on campaign strategies and ground operations for the summer ahead.

Over coffee and bagels, sub sandwiches and pizza, the recruits shared personal stories, flipped through glossy official instruction manuals and studied up on the Obama's first term with a game of "POTUS Accomplishments Jeopardy."

They also received the so-called "Rules of the Road."  Colorful posters on the wall exhorted the new organizers to "Be on time," "Be positive," obey the "chain of command" -- and talk to the media? "No, no."

Campaign aides emphasized a goal of running a "different campaign" than 2008, but stressed the renewed importance of using personal relationships and one-on-one conversations to drive participation.

It's also clear they believe 2012 will be defined by Twitter.

One large sign hung from the conference room wall encouraging the volunteers to Tweet: "The Summer Organizers who write the best tweets will be re-tweeted by campaign leadership," it reads.

With 8.4 million followers on Twitter, Obama has more than any other American politician.  He added more than 162,000 in the last week alone.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Tuesday
May242011

With 2012 Campaign Underway, DNC Out-Raises Republicans in April

Brand X Pictures/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) -- Less than two months after formally launching his bid for reelection, President Obama is demonstrating why he could be on track to set a new campaign fundraising record in 2012.

Obama helped the Democratic National Committee (DNC) collect more than $14 million last month, more than double the amount raised by Republicans, according to Federal Election Commission filings.

The president has attended 18 fundraisers since April 4, many held jointly with the DNC, including three fundraisers in his hometown of Chicago, six in California neighborhoods outside Los Angeles and San Francisco, and three in New York City.

Obama raised more than $127 million in California and New York in 2008, the top two states of donors giving to his campaign.

Many of the events so far, with ticket prices ranging from $25 to $35,800, have padded the party's coffers, with only a small portion of the monies raised directly to the Obama Victory Fund for 2012, organizers say.

Campaign finance reports for Obama and the Republican presidential candidates due for release in mid-July will offer the first official glimpse of individual fundraising efforts. 

Obama raised a record $745 million in 2008, the first time a presidential campaign topped $1 billion in fundraising overall.  In 2012, many expect the Obama campaign alone could raise $1 billion or more.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Tuesday
Apr052011

Debbie Wasserman Schultz Will Be New DNC Chair

Mark Wilson/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- With the announcement Tuesday that current DNC Chair Tim Kaine is running for the Senate in Virginia comes news that Florida Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz will replace him.

Wasserman Schultz, 44, brings some significant assets to the table. Besides the obvious fact that she’s a woman, she’s also a proven fundraiser and a skilled on-air surrogate. A breast cancer survivor, she is also a close friend of Rep. Gabby Giffords.

The official announcement came in the form of an email from Vice President Biden to DNC members.

"In selecting Debbie to lead our party, President Obama noted her tenacity, her strength, her fighting spirit, and her ability to overcome adversity. President Obama expressed great admiration for her as a leader, and he was honored that she accepted this important challenge on behalf of the Democratic Party," writes Biden.

Now that she has been nominated to the DNC job, the full committee will vote on her nomination. This is really a formality since DNC members aren't going to buck the president.

If she wins the election, she will become the first woman elected by the full membership to serve as chair. There have been two other women who have served as chair of the DNC but one was on an interim basis and one was appointed but never stood for election.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Tuesday
Apr052011

Tim Kaine Announces Virginia Senate Bid

Brendan Hoffman/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- It might have been the worst-kept secret in Washington in recent weeks, and on Tuesday it was a secret no more: Democratic National Committee Chairman Tim Kaine is running for Senate in Virginia.

Kaine, who served as governor of Virginia from 2006-2010 before President Obama asked him to head the DNC, made the announcement in a video message to supporters.

“I’m running for the United States Senate because America has big challenges, and I’m convinced that Virginia has answers to help strengthen our nation” Kaine said. “While we still have a lot of work to do to help Virginians who are struggling, I know Washington can learn a few things from Virginia.”

Democrats have long viewed Kaine as their best chance to keep the Virginia seat that Sen. Jim Webb is vacating in their hands. Kaine could face another former governor, George Allen, a Republican who announced in January that he would seek the seat.

Democrats, including President Obama, have been not-so-subtly pushing Kaine to run. At a recent fundraiser in New York City, the president referred to the rumors that Kaine "might plunge back into electoral politics."

“If he does,” Obama said, “I want even people up here to be paying attention and to be rooting for him.”

Kaine's coming departure from his job at the DNC, also means that President Obama will soon have to name a replacement. Former Ohio Gov. Ted Strickland and Florida Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz are among those who have been mentioned as possible contenders for the job.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Wednesday
Mar162011

President Obama Discusses Japan, Middle East at DNC Fundraiser

SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- Golf, NCAA brackets, Democratic fundraisers, trips to Rio...the president may be engaged in a lot of hard work on Japan, the Middle East and North Africa, the budget, and the economy behind the scenes, but he seems conscious of the fact that participating in some of these other activities might not look so good.

At a Democratic National Committee fundraiser at the Marriott Wardman Park Hotel late Wednesday afternoon, President Obama took a moment to discuss Japan and American leadership.

"We're at a moment in time where obviously all of us are heartbroken by the images of what's happening in Japan,” the president told the crowd. “And we're reminded of how American leadership is critical to our closest allies, even if those allies themselves are economically advanced and powerful, there are moments where they need our help. We're bound together by a common humanity. But we also have the convulsions in the Middle East that offer the prospect of incredible change and offer enormous opportunities so that our children could live in a more peaceful world, but we're gonna have to take advantage of them."

The president's remarks were more somber than you might expect at a DNC fundraiser. He mentioned Iraq, the need to bring Afghanistan war to an end in a way that's safe and secure, fighting terrorism, education and other issues.

The remarks come at a time when pundits and others are starting to criticize President Obama’s leadership style as too remote and detached, ceding too much leadership in international affairs when it comes to Libya and spending too much time engaged in activities that seem less than priorities, such as the round of golf he played over the weekend and the NCAA picks he revealed on ESPN and ESPN 2.

President Obama urged those watching his NCAA picks special to donate to Japan relief at usaid.gov. On Wednesday, a reporter asked White House press secretary Jay Carney if it was appropriate for the president to be addressing a crisis of this gravity as he's standing before a whiteboard talking about the basketball tournament.

“There are crises all the time, and for every president,” Carney said. “And again, this one is happening halfway around the world, and it is severe, and it is important, and it is the focus of a great deal of the president's attention, as are the events in the Middle East, as are the agenda items that he is pursuing to grow the economy and increase jobs in America and make sure we out-innovate, out-build and out-educate the competition in the 21st century.”

Carney continued, “It's a hard job. It requires a lot.” He noted the president urged March Madness fans to take a moment while filling out their brackets to make financial donations to a variety of charitable organizations to help the Japanese. “So yes, I do think it was appropriate,” Carney said.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio 

Tuesday
Feb012011

Democrats Pick Charlotte for 2012 Convention

Photo Courtesy - JIM WATSON/AFP/Getty Images(CHARLOTTE, N.C.) -- The 2012 Democratic National Convention will be held during the week of Sept. 3 at the Time Warner Cable Arena in Charlotte, N.C., the DNC announced Tuesday.

First lady Michelle Obama announced the pick in an email to “Organizing for America” supporters, noting that Charlotte is a city marked by “southern charm, warm hospitality, and an 'up by the bootstraps’” mentality.

During the 2008 presidential election, then-Senator Obama fought hard as the party’s nominee to flip the state from red to blue.  Mr. Obama won the state narrowly in the general election 50 percent to John McCain’s 49 percent.

In 2012 the president will likely make an equally heavy push targeting the state in the general election. The choice of Charlotte to hold the party’s convention is just another sign the party hopes to keep the state squarely blue in 2012.

The city of Charlotte beat St. Louis, Minneapolis, and Cleveland.

The Republican Party has set their own convention for Tampa, Fla., the week before the Democrats have their convention.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Tuesday
Nov022010

DNC, RNC Spokesmen Set Expectations for Election Day

Photo Courtesy - Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- Other than, of course, the voting, it's all about the expectations-setting now -- with both major political parties' fates judged not just based on numbers of votes, but how they fare against the collective conventional wisdom.

ABC News invited the communications directors for the Democratic National Committee and the Republican National Committee to make their final pitches.

The DNC's Brad Woodhouse said the night won't be as bad as Republicans might have voters believe.

"I think it is great -- just go ahead and set those expectations," Woodhouse told us. "But I will tell you: we feel really good about what we are seeing in the early vote. If there was going to be a tsunami, it would be in the early vote. We are winning with sporadic and new voters and we are running even or ahead in the other states with actual votes...I think we can surprise some people."

The RNC’s Doug Heye joked that the empty studio he was in made him "feel like I am at the Obama rally."

"The voters certainly want to make adjustments and corrections and whatever number people want to pick out and speculate...we are optimistic," Heye said. "We are seeing, in our early voting in Florida, where we are clobbering the DNC who clobbered us in 2008 in early voting. We think we are in a good position, and to use a sports term: We have got the ball, it is the end of the game, we want to score the basket."

Woodhouse said Democrats should have been less shy about touting their accomplishments on items like health care.

"That has been our perspective the whole time. If you take tough votes, if you think that the votes are right, then you should be proud of what you voted for," he said. "I am not sure what we could have done to change the dynamic of the election. One thing we do have though is a ground game that is turning people out, and I think we are going to surprise people tomorrow."

We also asked them both if they'd like their opposing party chairman -- the DNC's Tim Kaine and the RNC's Michael Steele -- to serve additional terms.

Said Heye: "If that is what the chairman of the Democrats wants, that is fine. We don't care who their chairman is, we care about who the candidate is."

Said Woodhouse: "I would like to see nothing more than to see Michael Steele reelected as the chair of the Republican National Committee."

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio

Monday
Nov012010

Exclusive: Michael Steele, Tim Kaine Fire At Members of Own Party 

Photo Courtesy - ABC News(NEW YORK) -- Republican National Committee Chairman Michael Steele agrees with what former Florida Governor Jeb Bush told The New York Times -- the GOP’s expected gains on Tuesday are, “not a validation of the Republican Party at all.”

“I think the American people right now are much more skeptical of the direction the president and Mrs. Pelosi and Mr. Reid are taking the country,” the RNC chairman told ABC News. “But they also have some concerns about the direction that Republicans will then lead when we take control of the congress in 2011.”

Steele is looking for a “fresh start” with voters and admitted that if the GOP doesn’t live up to expectation, they will encounter a problem in 2012.

Acknowledging his own problems, Democratic National Committee Chairman Tim Kaine said President Obama knows about “the need going forward to make some adjustments and corrections,” adding that those will “play out” over the course of the next few weeks.

Both chairmen fired back at their own party.  Kaine pointed fingers at Democrats who have run against their party and “who’ve kind of been holding their own accomplishments at arm’s length.” Steele responded forcefully to the anonymous sources cited in a Politico story that said “stopping Sarah Palin” is next for the GOP.

“If you are not willing to put your name with your comments, then there is not validity to it...Put your name next to your quote and then have a conversation with Sarah Palin. Until then, leave it alone,” he said. “You know all this kind of dissension and, you know, frustration within the party is not doing anything to get Republicans elected tomorrow. So until we get that job done let’s not worry about 2012.”

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio

Thursday
Oct282010

Pawlenty Plays FOIA Game With DNC

Photo Courtesy - Governor dot State dot MN dot US(WASHINGTON) -- A day after ABC News reported that Democratic Party officials asked the Pentagon for records of communication between military agencies and nine Republican presidential contenders, one of those possible candidates is firing back with his own public records request. 

Gov. Tim Pawlenty, R-Minn., was set to announce Thursday that he’s filing his own Freedom of Information Act request with a range of federal agencies. He’s asking for details of the Democratic National Committee’s role in promoting President Obama’s health care law.

"Next week’s election isn't even here -- and it will largely be a referendum on the president’s failure to create jobs, out of control government spending, and an ill-conceived health care bill -- but I find it ironic that they have given up the current fight and are instead so focused on the president's own re-election," Pawlenty said in a statement.

"But since they asked, and since they are so worried, I have some questions of my own about President Obama's time in the White House. For example, what was the DNC's role in selling Obamacare? Did the president's political advisers know the true costs of Obamacare?"

The DNC’s request for documents also drew a response from former Gov. Mike Huckabee, R-Ark., who joked to CNN that it was “flattering” to be on the Democrats’ short list for 2012, after a 2008 candidacy where he struggled to gain traction. 

He said the opposition research effort reflects Democrats’ concerns about a "political tsunami" next week.

"They know they are going to get wiped out next Tuesday," he said. "They wouldn't be looking down the road in two years if they thought that they really had any shot at winning these races next week."
The DNC fired back Thursday evening, hitting Pawlenty for his frequent out-of-state travels as governor:

“That Tim Pawlenty, who has taken more trips to Iowa and New Hampshire this year than to several counties in Minnesota - the state he’s supposedly governing - would lecture anyone about where their focus is certainly funny.  As a matter of fact, if Pawlenty is so suddenly interested in transparency he should start by releasing his political travel records and meetings with lobbyists that he’s adamantly refusing to allow the people and press of Minnesota to review despite repeated requests,” said DNC spokesman Hari Sevugan.  

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio







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