Obama slammed Romney and other Republicans for wanting to extend the Bush-era tax cuts for everyone — not just the middle class.

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Romney, meanwhile, looked to brand Obama’s recent call to extend the tax cuts only to those making less than $250,000 annually an “extreme liberal” position that would halt job creation.


TOMORROW’S AGENDA TODAY: Mitt Romney addresses the 103rd NAACP National Convention in Houston.


QUOTE OF THE DAY: “This will be my last political campaign, no matter what." — President Obama, campaigning in Iowa.


POLL POSITION:

President Obama leads Mitt Romney in the pivotal Southern swing states of North Carolina and Virginia, according to a new poll released Tuesday. The president has opened a substantial eight-point lead in Virginia, leading Romney 50-42 percent, according to the survey released by the Democratic firm Public Policy Polling. In North Carolina, Obama leads 47-46 percent, well within the poll's margin of error.

A new poll shows Romney and Obama deadlocked at 47 percent, but with the GOP challenger leading on voters' key concern: the economy. The poll from The Washington Post and ABC News found that 54 percent disapprove of the job Obama is doing on the economy, while 44 percent approve.


BATTLE FOR THE HOUSE:

The House Majority PAC, a Democratic-aligned super-PAC focused on House races, raised $4.3 million in the last three months.

Florida: The House Ethics Committee cleared Rep. Vern Buchanan (R-Fla.) on charges that he violated House rules by intentionally misleading Congress about his finances.

Florida: House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee Chairman John Mica (R-Fla.) does not mention the recently approved $105 billion transportation bill in a new campaign ad touting his achievements.

Illinois: Rep. Robert Dold (R-Ill.) raised $720,000 in the last three months, slightly outpacing his Democratic challenger, businessman Brad Schneider, who raised $580,000. Dold has a big cash on hand advantage, with $2.1 million to $570,000 for Schneider, who had to spend heavily to win his January primary. The district leans Democratic but a cash edge is key there, as it falls in Chicago’s highly expensive media market.

Illinois, Part Two: Former Rep. Bill FosterGeorge (Bill) William FosterOvernight Regulation: House passes bill to overturn joint-employer rule | Trump officials to allow work requirements for Medicaid | Lawmakers 'alarmed' by EPA's science board changes Lawmakers ‘alarmed’ by EPA’s science board changes From fire to floods, recent natural disasters highlight the need for uniform claims adjustor licensing MORE (D-Ill.) raised a strong $475,000 and has $1.27 million in the bank for his run against Rep. Judy Biggert (R-Ill.). Biggert hasn’t released her numbers yet. Foster has outpaced her in fundraising the last few quarters. The two are facing off in a Democratic-leaning district southwest of Chicago.


SENATE SHOWDOWN:

The GOP-affiliated Crossroads GPS spent $2.5 million in advertising in Virginia, Ohio and Montana, which is being used to slam Democratic Senate candidates for backing President Obama's agenda.

Two Democratic-aligned outside groups are up with new ads blasting Sen. Dean HellerDean Arthur HellerDems look to use Moore against GOP Senate hearing shows Fed chair nominee acts the part Senate GOP votes to begin debate on tax bill MORE (R-Nev.) and Rep. Rick Berg (R-N.D.) for voting to "end Medicare as we know it" by backing House Republicans' 2011 budget. 

Arizona: Rep. Jeff FlakeJeffrey (Jeff) Lane FlakeGOP strategist donates to Alabama Democrat Sasse: RNC help for Roy Moore 'doesn't make any sense' Sasse calls RNC decision to resume support for Moore 'bad' and 'sad' MORE (R-Ariz.) and businessman Wil Cardon (R) are out with harsh ads against each other: Flake’s features a local report that Cardon hired a number of illegal immigrants, while Cardon calls Flake a “liar” for breaking a promise to leave office after three terms.

Hawaii: Rep. Mazie HironoMazie Keiko HironoDemocrats turn on Al Franken The Hill's 12:30 Report Avalanche of Democratic senators say Franken should resign MORE (D) launched a new 60-second statewide television ad, titled Determined.

Michigan: Clark Durant (R) has made a statewide television buy for the first ad of the primary campaign, a biographical spot touting him as a “rebel with a cause.” Durant faces former Rep. Pete Hoekstra (R-Mich.) in what appears to be an increasingly competitive primary to face Sen. Debbie StabenowDeborah (Debbie) Ann StabenowThe Hill's 12:30 Report Avalanche of Democratic senators say Franken should resign Democrats to Trump: Ask Forest Service before shrinking monuments MORE (D-Mich.).

Missouri: Jon Brunner (R) was two months late in paying taxes on his own private plane and paid a $700 penalty, an admission which Democrats hope will undercut attacks on Sen. Claire McCaskillClaire Conner McCaskillDemocrats turn on Al Franken Trump rips Dems a day ahead of key White House meeting The Hill's 12:30 Report MORE (D-Mo.) for having to pay $300,000 in back taxes for her husband’s private plane.

New Mexico: Rep. Martin HeinrichMartin Trevor HeinrichAvalanche of Democratic senators say Franken should resign Senators introduce bipartisan gun background check bill Dem senator: 'Super close' on bipartisan deal on guns MORE (D-N.M.) raised $1.41 million in the second quarter of this year.

North Dakota: The Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee released its third independent expenditure ad of the cycle in North Dakota, criticizing Rep. Rick Berg (R) for voting to raise his own pay while being a millionaire.

Texas: Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst (R) is out with a new ad touting his support for the full repeal of Democrats’ healthcare law. He and former Texas Solicitor General Ted CruzRafael (Ted) Edward CruzDebbie Wasserman Schultz marks 10 years as breast cancer survivor Foreign agent registration is no magical shield against Russian propaganda Let Trump be Trump and he'll sail through 2020 MORE (R), who has run to his right, will face off in a late July runoff to become the state’s next senator.

Wisconsin: The super-PAC affiliated with EMILY's List is up with a new ad in Wisconsin slamming former Gov. Tommy Thompson (R) and businessman Eric Hovde as "D.C. insiders" and touting Rep. Tammy BaldwinTammy Suzanne BaldwinDemocrats turn on Al Franken The Hill's 12:30 Report Avalanche of Democratic senators say Franken should resign MORE (D-Wis.).

Wisconsin, Part Two: Hovde has surged past Thompson in the state's crowded Republican Senate primary, according to a new poll from the Democratic-aligned Public Policy Polling.

Wisconsin, Part Three: Former Rep. Mark Neumann (R-Wis.) debuted his first television ad of his campaign, a spot that blasts say President Obama will “bankrupt America” with his healthcare law and that he is “forcing church-run hospitals to provide abortion-causing drugs.” 


IN CASE YOU MISSED IT:

House Speaker John BoehnerJohn Andrew BoehnerJohn Feehery: A political forest fire Trump's pick for Federal Reserve chief is right choice at right time The two-party system is dying — let’s put it out of its misery MORE (R-Ohio) said Americans nationwide would be “enthusiastic” about backing Mitt Romney in November, BoehnerJohn Andrew BoehnerJohn Feehery: A political forest fire Trump's pick for Federal Reserve chief is right choice at right time The two-party system is dying — let’s put it out of its misery MORE-predicts-voters-will-be-enthusiastic-about-backing-romney" href="http://thehill.com/homenews/house/236939-boehner-predicts-voters-will-be-enthusiastic-about-backing-romney">clarifying an earlier remark that most voters probably wouldn’t “fall in love” with the presumptive Republican nominee.

Romney insisted in an interview that there is "nothing hidden" in his tax returns, amid new calls from President Obama and other top Democrats for the Republican presidential challenger to release more details about his financial holdings.

Obama reelection strategist David Axelrod and members of the administration visited Capitol Hill to give Democrats tips for attacking Romney.

Sen. Rob PortmanRobert (Rob) Jones PortmanMcConnell names Senate GOP tax conferees Overnight Finance: House approves motion to go to tax conference — with drama | GOP leaders to consider Dec. 30 spending bill | Justices skeptical of ban on sports betting | Mulvaney won't fire official who sued him How four GOP senators guided a tax-bill victory behind the scenes MORE (R-Ohio) has met with Romney's top campaign advisers six times in recent weeks and did not deny that he's met with Beth Myers, who is in charge of Romney's vice presidential vetting process, according to ABC News.

Romney told a supporter that "all suggestions were welcome" after he was urged to consider freshman Rep. Allen West (R-Fla.) for his vice presidential nomination.

Romney’s campaign is offering a new line of products inspired by Romney's father — Michigan Gov. George Romney — with psychedelic stylings reminiscent of his 1986 presidential campaign.


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