Republicans accused Rep. Wasserman Schultz of linking the Tea Party movement to the shooting.
Republicans are upping their efforts to reach out to the Hispanic community ahead of an election season in which Hispanics will play a larger role than ever before.
The Republican National Committee announced on Wednesday that it created a new position for a director of Hispanic outreach, and named campaign veteran Bettina Inclán to the position. Inclán previously headed the Republican National Hispanic Assembly and worked on Florida Gov. Rick Scott's (R) successful 2010 campaign.
"By placing staff at the local communities, we will be engaging with the community where they work and live and bringing them the Republican message of economic opportunity and family values," Inclán said in a conference call with reporters.
RNC Chairman Reince Priebus said the party's efforts to connect with Hispanic voters would include digital outreach, get-out-the-vote campaigns and voter identification strategies, bolstered by an on-the-ground staff coordinating outreach to the nation's fastest growing voter bloc.
The expanded efforts signal a realization that Republicans have a long way to go to be competitive with Democrats in appealing to Hispanics, who now make up a substantial portion of the vote even in states far removed from the country's southwestern border with Mexico.
A new super-PAC has been created in support of Republican presidential front-runner Newt Gingrich.
The independent expenditure committee Winning Our Future sent registration paperwork to the Federal Election Commission on Tuesday, an individual associated with the committee told The Hill.
"What is so exciting is that more and more Americans are beginning to realize that Newt Gingrich is the right choice and Barack Obama is the wrong choice," committee President Becky Burkett said in the release. “And so, we are proud to be part of an effort to enhance the momentum he has created.”
The race for control of the House in 2012 will likely end in a photo finish, Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee Chairman Steve Israel (N.Y.) predicted.
In an interview airing Friday night on Bloomberg TV, Israel said there was a feasible path for Democrats to flip the 25 seats they need to take back the majority from Republicans, but only if they simultaneously protect their incumbents.
"I’m not saying we’re going to win 25 seats. It’ll be razor close," Israel said.
Despite Republican claims that a high number of Democratic retirements will create an even steeper incline for Democrats, Israel said math is on their side. He noted that Republicans are defending more seats than Democrats and almost 20 of those districts voted for the Democratic presidential candidate in both 2004 and 2008.
Israel downplayed speculation that President Obama could drag down Democratic candidates up and down the ballot in 2012, saying it paled in comparison to the drag Republicans would see from what he called their radioactive poll numbers.
"There is a certain reality here that the president’s numbers are challenged in certain areas," he said. "But House Republican numbers are about half of where the president is."
A drop in the unemployment rate to the lowest it has been in almost three years might seem like good news, but Republicans aren't ready to let President Obama and Democrats take credit.
Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus threw cold water on the latest Labor Department figures on Friday, acknowledging it was positive news but claiming it failed to mask the damage Obama has inflicted on the nation's economy.
“Only in an economy so badly damaged by Democrats’ policies would the White House celebrate 8.6 percent unemployment," Priebus said in a statement shortly after the numbers were released. "The fact is, unemployment remains unacceptably high."
Priebus pointed to another part of the unemployment report that showed many unemployed Americans have stopped looking for work, which also drives down the unemployment rate, calling it evidence that Obama had so discouraged the job market that workers had simply given up.
Priebus joined a chorus of Republican leaders Friday who downplayed the significance of the unemployment report, which showed a steep drop from the 9 percent jobless rate one month ago.
Democrats are trying to raise indignation over GOP presidential candidate Herman Cain’s nickname for House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) — and possibly raise some money off it.
The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee on Thursday included in its weekly email to supporters a note calling Cain out for referring to the former House Speaker as “Princess Nancy.” Recipients were invited to sign a petition denouncing Cain’s comment.
“That’s outrageous. As the first and only woman Speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi has spent decades standing up for women and fighting for the middle class,” DCCC Executive Director Robby Mook wrote in the email. “She earned the Speaker’s gavel.”
The email also included a “contribute” button so supporters could make donations to the committee.
During a CNBC debate Wednesday for GOP presidential candidates, Cain was asked how we would replace President Obama’s healthcare reform law, and accused Pelosi of burying an already-introduced measure to repeal it.
“We didn’t hear about it in the previous Congress [when Pelosi was Speaker] because Princess Nancy sent it to committee and it stayed there, it never came out,” Cain said.
He later apologized to Pelosi, but noted that she had also used harsh terms to refer to the Tea Party.
— This post was updated at 7:47 p.m.
Former Rep. Patrick Kennedy (D-R.I.) invoked his late father and uncles in a fundraising appeal for the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee sent to supporters Tuesday.
“My father and uncles fought to build a society that takes care of the least among us. Yet that social safety net is in imminent danger,” Kennedy wrote.
Kennedy’s father, Sen. Ted Kennedy (D-Mass.), died in 2009. His uncle, President John F. Kennedy, was assasinated in 1963, and another uncle, Sen. Robert F. Kennedy (D-N.Y.), was assasinated five years later.
“If my father were here, he’d tell you it’s going to be a dogfight. We need you in it,” Patrick Kennedy wrote in the fundraising appeal. “I’ve always been proud to be part of a family that has done so much to help build a strong American middle class. And I’m just as proud to be part of a political party that fights for the needs of that middle class.”
Patrick Kennedy served eight terms in the House before retiring in 2011.
With the House likely to vote on a balanced budget amendment when it reconvenes the week of Nov. 14, Republicans are laying the groundwork to knock any Democrats who vote against it.
The National Republican Congressional Committee launched a website on Monday to detail how Democratic members vote on the amendment, and to document how those who were in Congress voted during a 1995 attempt.
Users will also be able to submit their own videos in support of a balanced budget amendment.
The name of the site, www.coderedink.com, is a reference to another Code Red site the NRCC launched during the healthcare debate to raise money and target Democrats who supported Obama's push for the Affordable Care Act.
In a video posted on the site, NRCC Chairman Pete Sessions (R-Texas) calls it "a one-stop site you can use to hold House Democrats accountable for spending too much and listening too little."
Key barometers of the political climate are leading House Democrats to predict better days ahead, but with one year to go until the 2012 elections, they aren’t sitting back and waiting.
Successful recruitment efforts and fundraising, better-than-feared redistricting results and generic polling that shows Democrats on top give the minority hopes of retaking control of the House, Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC) Chairman Steve Israel (D-N.Y.) said Friday in a briefing with reporters.
To make that happen, he said, Democrats will continue to be hyper-aggressive, pro-active and energetic.
“We’re going to keep them on the ropes. We’re going to tie them to the ropes. We’re going to encase the ties with cement,” Israel said.
Republican groups embraced the spooky spirit on Monday, using Halloween-themed attacks to blame Democrats for a ghoulish economy.
"This Halloween, Democrats are dressing up as themselves," blasted a release from the National Republican Congressional Committee. "The Democrats’ job-destroying policies make a frightening costume."
The NRCC then pointed to comments House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) made over the weekend about Democratic economic initiatives and her support for a National Labor Relations Board decision forcing a Boeing plant to shutter in South Carolina over union issues.
Meanwhile, the Republican National Committee sent a memo to reporters saying they had planned to send out a statement about "Obama's Haunted House," but were thwarted.
"Unfortunately, the house was foreclosed on due to the Obama Administration’s policies and we will therefore spare you from any additional Halloween themed references," wrote RNC Communications Director Sean Spicer.
On Monday, when asked at an American Enterprise Institute event which of his GOP opponents he would dress up as for Halloween, White House hopeful Herman Cain thought for a few moments before answering: "I believe I would go as Ron Paul," his rival from Texas.