OVERNIGHT CAMPAIGN: Romney tries to pivot as GOP sounds alarm

He noted: "When I won in 2008, 47 percent of the American people voted for John McCain. … They didn’t vote for me, and what I said on election night was: ‘Even though you didn’t vote for me, I hear your voices, and I’m going to work as hard as I can to be your president.’”

Romney looked to pivot from comment about the "47 percent' by highlighting new audio that shows Obama saying in 1998 that he "believe[s] in redistribution."

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Appearing on Fox News, Romney defended his comments by saying he was drawing a contrast between his own economic vision and that of the president's.

"Frankly we have two different views about America," Romney said. "The president's view is one of a larger government. There is a tape that came out where is the president is saying he likes redistribution. I disagree. I think a society based upon a government-centered nation where government plays a larger role and redistributes money, [that's the] wrong course for America."

Romney was referencing a YouTube video linked prominently on the influential website the Drudge Report, from a 1998 conference at Loyola University. In the clip, Obama, who was an Illinois state senator the time, discusses fighting against anti-government sentiment through government reforms, and says that he believes in the idea of redistribution.

Team Obama shot back: “The Romney campaign is so desperate to change the subject that they’ve gone back to the failed playbook co-authored by Sarah Palin and Joe the Plumber," said Obama campaign press secretary Ben LaBolt.


IN CASE YOU MISSED IT — ROMNEY REMARK SPECIAL EDITION

There has been so much coverage of Mitt Romney’s remark and its fallout that we’ve complied all of The Hill’s reports in one spot for you:

Vice President Biden refused to fully weigh in on Mitt Romney's comment. "I’ll let his words speak for themselves," Biden said to reporters after a campaign speech in Ottumwa, Iowa.

The White House slammed Romney over the video. “When you're president of the United States, you're president of all the people, not just the people who voted for you,” White House press secretary Jay Carney said.

Paul Ryan lamented the problem of government dependency at a town-hall meeting, but he avoided direct discussion of Romney's controversial comment. "This is what Mitt and I are talking about when we’re worried about more and more people becoming net dependent upon the government than upon themselves," Ryan said. "Because by promoting more dependency, but not having jobs and economic growth, people miss their potential.”

The Florida fundraiser who hosted the closed-door meal where Romney made the controversial remark said he had not yet seen the video surreptitiously taped at his home.

Even as some Republican strategists and columnists are blasting Romney for his “47 percent” remarks, other conservatives see them as an opportunity. They see Romney’s secret video revelations as a chance to have a real debate on entitlement and tax reform — and to elevate these issues in the campaign.

Romney’s comment that 47 percent of voters pay no income tax appears to come from a study by the nonpartisan Tax Policy Center. The most recent study by the Center, in 2011, found that 46 percent of taxpayers would not be eligible to pay the federal individual income tax either because of their low income or owing to specific tax breaks.

Large chunks of voters who don’t have an income tax liability vote for Democrats, recent studies and figures suggest, but the issue isn’t as clear-cut as Romney made it seem. Many of these voters are senior citizens who are more likely to vote for Republicans. Others don’t pay an income tax because of deductions championed by Republican lawmakers.

The grandson of former President Jimmy Carter told NBC News that he was motivated by Republican attacks on his grandfather's foreign policy record to help leak a secretly recorded video that has become Romney's latest headache.

The Obama campaign said Romney's statement is completely different from Obama's 2008 comments that some frustrated voters "cling" to religion and guns. Stephanie Cutter, the deputy manager of the Obama campaign, said then-candidate Obama's comments, which received wide criticism during the 2008 presidential campaign, were the exact opposite of Romney's.

Donald Trump said Romney "cannot apologize" for the comments he made. "He has to not apologize, because we've seen enough apologizing already, and he cannot apologize," Trump told NBC News. "What he said is probably what he means."

President Obama is getting some social mileage out of Romney’s comment about “47 percent of Americans.”


TOMORROW’S AGENDA TODAY: President Obama is scheduled to be in meetings as the White House, as is Vice President Biden.

Michelle Obama will be campaigning in Durham, N.C., and Greenville, N.C.

Mitt Romney
will be in Texas for fundraisers and then will head to Miami to participate in the Univision “Meet the Candidates” Forum at the University of Miami. He will then hold a campaign rally at Darwin Fuchs Pavilion in Miami.

Paul Ryan will be campaigning in Danville, Va., and Greensboro, N.C.


QUOTE OF THE DAY: “The race is not over, he can turn it around, but this is one of the worst weeks in a general election I can remember." — MSNBC’s Joe Scarborough, on Mitt Romney’s “47 percent” remark, on “Morning Joe”


POLL POSITION:

President Obama’s small bounce in the polls following the Democratic National Convention has all but vanished in Gallup’s daily tracking poll. Obama takes 47 percent support among registered voters over Mitt Romney's 46 percent.

The latest Reuters/Ipsos poll finds Obama with 48 percent to Romney’s 43 percent.

A poll by Fox News Latino found that Obama leads with 60 percent to Romney’s 30 percent among likely Latino voters.

Obama has opened up an 8-percentage-point advantage over Romney in the critical swing state of Virginia, according to a Washington Post poll, 52 percent to 44 percent.


AD WATCH:

The Obama campaign piled on Mitt Romney in a new Web video that hits the GOP nominee over the undercover video. “Recently, Mitt Romney held a high dollar fundraiser behind closed doors,” text from the ad reads. “We asked Americans what they thought about what he said to his donors.”

Conservative super-PAC American Crossroads and its nonprofit arm, Crossroads GPS, are launching more than $10 million in ads targeting President Obama in eight swing states and five candidates for the Senate and House nationwide.

Obama released a new ad focused on female voters and the economy Tuesday, just hours after Romney released a similar woman-centric spot earlier in the day. Check out Romney's ad here.


 BATTLE FOR THE HOUSE:

Democrats Anne Kuster, running in New Hampshire's 2nd District, and Mark Murphy, running in New York's 11th District, condemned Mitt Romney's remarks about the 47 percent of Americans who will not vote for him, marking a surprisingly slow trickle of Democratic outrage from House candidates and indicating the remarks aren't likely to play in these races as much as they might on the national stage.

Both House committees debuted a series of new ads on Tuesday. The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee released ads attacking Reps. Allen West (R-Fla.) and Sean Duffy (R-Wis.) for backing the House Republican Budget's plans to overhaul Medicare, as well as against Arizona candidate Jonathan Paton.

The National Republican Congressional Committee is up with ads attacking Reps. Mike McIntyre (D-N.C.) and Lois Capps (D-Calif.) and Cheri Bustos (D), who is challenging Rep. Bobby Schilling (R-Ill.). Center Forward, a group that backs mostly Democratic centrists, is also up with a new ad attacking embattled Rep. John Barrow (D-Ga.)'s opponent, and Now or Never, a GOP PAC, is up with a new positive ad helping embattled Rep. Joe Walsh (R-Ill.).

The House Majority PAC, a super-PAC geared toward helping Democrats take the majority in the House, is launching ads in four new districts, targeting incumbents in New Hampshire, Illinois and Ohio and a Republican candidate in Washington.

NEW HAMPSHIRE: Carol Shea-Porter (D) released her first television ad in her fight to take Rep. Frank Guinta's (R) seat in New Hampshire's 1st District. The spot showcases her support for veterans' benefits, and is part of a $37,600 buy that will run through Monday.

NEW YORK: Rep. Nan Hayworth (R) leads Democratic challenger Sean Patrick Maloney by 13 percentage points in New York's 18th District, with 46 percent support to Maloney's 33 percent, according to a new Siena College poll — and 49 percent of survey respondents say she should be reelected.

FLORIDA: Democrat Joe Garcia leads Republican Rep. David Rivera by 7 percentage points, with 46 percent support to Rivera's 39 percent support, according to a new poll out from progressive PAC Democracy for America and Democratic firm Public Policy Polling. The poll indicates that investigations surrounding Rivera's possible tax evasion and misuse of campaign funds could be taking a toll on the incumbent.


SENATE SHOWDOWN:

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce slammed Democratic incumbent Sens. Jon Tester in Montana and Sherrod Brown in Ohio, as well as Independent Angus King in Maine, on their healthcare and energy positions and on King's record as governor, The Associated Press reports. The Chamber spent hundreds of thousands in each race in July, and the new ad buy marks the group's persistence in some of the toughest races in the nation.

ARIZONA: Rep. Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.) released his second ad in the general election cycle for Arizona's Senate seat, this one — just like his last — touting his true conservative credentials in contrast to Obama-backed Democratic challenger Richard Carmona.

CONNECTICUT: Democrat Chris Murphy is campaigning on Mitt Romney's controversial comments, attempting to tar Republican Linda McMahon as out of touch with the middle class because her business background is similar to Romney's. But McMahon was quick to respond to Romney's comments as well, insisting that she disagreed with Romney's comments and that her previous financial struggles made her well-suited to help Connecticut families in office.

And McMahon is hammering Murphy with a new ad highlighting what her campaign is framing as a sweetheart loan he received from a bank he supported during his tenure in Congress.

INDIANA: The Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee released its first independent expenditure ad in the state, hitting GOP candidate Richard Mourdock for his views on Social Security and Medicare and his opposition to bipartisanship. He faces Rep. Joe Donnelly (D-Ind.) in a tight race in the Republican-leaning state.

The National Republican Senatorial Committee also released an Indiana ad saying Donnelly supports the "Obama-Pelosi agenda."

MASSACHUSETTS: Sen. Scott Brown (R-Mass.) came out in opposition to Mitt Romney's controversial comments that were made public Monday night in an attempt to distance himself from a candidate that remains deeply unpopular in Massachusetts. "That’s not the way I view the world. As someone who grew up in tough circumstances, I know that being on public assistance is not a spot that anyone wants to be in. Too many people today who want to work are being forced into public assistance for lack of jobs," he said in an email to The Hill.

A new independent poll gives Democrat Elizabeth Warren a lead over Brown in the race for his Senate seat, making this the third poll showing her ahead in two days. According to the Suffolk University/7News poll, Warren has a 4-percentage-point lead among likely voters, with 48 percent support to Brown's 44 percent support.

Warren released a new ad just as her race for Brown’s seat heats up. The ad features Warren talking straight to the camera, explaining to viewers why she would look out for Massachusetts voters — and why, though Brown's "not a bad guy," "on the things that really matter, he's not with you."

MICHIGAN: Sen. Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich.) has a 6-point lead over former Rep. Pete Hoekstra (R-Mich.) in a new MRG poll. That's a closer margin than other polls had shown and indicates the race could be slightly tightening, though Stabenow is still heavily favored.

MISSOURI: As the clock ticks down to the final deadline for Rep. Todd Akin (R-Mo.) to withdraw from the Senate race in Missouri, other legal provisions of the state’s election law will begin to take effect, hampering efforts favored by much of the Republican establishment to force him from the race.

MONTANA: The Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee is out with an ad using Rep. Denny Rehberg's (R-Mont.) comments at a private event with lobbyists against him. "I think lobbying is an honorable profession," the ad quotes Rehberg as saying. "I have to rely on you guys to tell me the information."

Sen. Jon Tester (D-Mont.) is up with a new ad that attacks both of his opponents: Rehberg and the big-spending GOP outside groups that have been flooding the state's airwaves. "The big corporations are back to elect Congressman Dennis Rehberg with no accountability and little disclosure," the ad's narrator says.

PENNSYLVANIA: A new poll for the Allentown Morning Call shows Sen. Bob Casey (D-Pa.) with a solid 12-point lead over businessman Tom Smith (R).

VIRGINA: A new poll from PPP shows former Virginia Gov. Tim Kaine (D) leading former Sen. George Allen (R-Va.) by one point. Nearly every poll of the Senate race in the last few months has shown them within the margin of error.

WISCONSIN: Rep. Tammy Baldwin (D-Wis.) holds a narrow 3-point lead over former Gov. Tommy Thompson (R), according to a new poll conducted by Public Policy Polling for the liberal group Democracy for America. The results mirror a recent poll conducted for Baldwin's campaign. Though partisan polls should be taken with a grain of salt, this is good news for Baldwin, who trailed Thompson in polls one month ago but who has outspent him on the air in recent weeks.


IN CASE YOU MISSED IT:

Mitt Romney accused Palestinians of being “committed to the destruction and elimination” of Israel and dismissed the likelihood of a two-state solution during a recent fundraiser. “I look at the Palestinians not wanting to see peace anyway, for political purposes, committed to the destruction and elimination of Israel, and these thorny issues, and I say, 'There's just no way,' ” Romney said at a GOP fundraiser in video posted by Mother Jones magazine. “And so what you do is you say, 'You move things along the best way you can.' You hope for some degree of stability, but you recognize that this is going to remain an unsolved problem.

Mitt and Ann Romney sat down with morning talk show hosts Kelly Ripa and former New York Giants player Michael Strahan to talk personal and politics.

Romney received his first intelligence briefing Monday during a campaign stop in Los Angeles. The regular intelligence briefings are customarily given to major-party presidential candidates after they secure the nomination to ease the transition if they go on to win the White House.

A U.S appeals court overturned an earlier district court decision that increased disclosure requirements on certain groups that run political advertisements.

The Pennsylvania Supreme Court, in a 4-2 decision, has ordered the state’s Commonwealth Court to review its decision upholding the state’s controversial voter ID law.

House Democrats on Tuesday introduced legislation designed to empower more people at the polls in November.  Authored by Rep. Rick Larsen (D-Wash.), the proposal would essentially nullify many of the state-based ID requirements enacted in recent years — mostly by Republican legislatures — in the name of fighting election fraud.

The AFL-CIO is expanding a program that will allow volunteers to direct where the union's super-PAC spends its money. 

Tim Tebow, known for his unexpected plays as an NFL quarterback, seems to be getting closer to declaring an interest in a future political career. “I haven't ruled it out,” Tebow told ESPN New York, when asked about a future in politics. “It'll be something I'll at least look at and consider one day.”


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