As a result, Obama said his administration would be implementing a new executive order to bolster prohibitions against human trafficking and that the government would be working closely with Amtrak and other transportation services in an effort to “do more to spot it and stop it.”
TOMORROW’S AGENDA TODAY: President Obama will be campaigning in Ohio with stops in Bowling Green at 1:05 p.m. and Kent at 5:30 p.m.
Paul Ryan will be campaigning in Colorado with a rally in Fort Collins at noon and a rally in Colorado Springs at 6:25 p.m.
DVR ALERT: Ann Romney will be on “The Tonight Show with Jay Leno” tonight.
TWEET OF THE DAY: “NFL fans on both sides of the aisle hope the refs' lockout is settled soon. –bo” — President Obama, on his official Twitter account
QUOTE OF THE DAY: "If there’s one thing we’ve learned in his election season, by the way, it’s that a few words from Bill Clinton can do a man a lot of good. All I got to do now is wait a couple days for that bounce to happen.” — Mitt Romney, speaking at the Clinton Global Initiative Conference
The Romney campaign and other Republicans say polls showing President Obama with a significant lead over their candidate are inaccurate. They argue many mainstream polls skew in Obama’s favor because of sample sizes that base 2012 turnout projections on 2008, when Democrats — and Hispanics, blacks and young voters in particular — turned out in record numbers.
A majority of Americans believe they are worse off economically than they were four years ago — but still believe Obama is a better choice than Mitt Romney to manage the recovery. The CNBC All-America Economic Survey found that even though 55 percent of adults believe the economy is worse now than when Obama took office, 43 percent believe he is better for the economy, compared to 34 percent favoring Romney.
Obama has opened a significant lead in Ohio and holds a narrow advantage in Florida, according to new polls from The Washington Post. Obama holds a 52-44 percent lead in Ohio. He also holds a 51-47 percent advantage in Florida.
President Obama's campaign is targeting Mitt Romney for saying that uninsured Americans can seek care in emergency rooms. The Obama team released a Web video juxtaposing Romney's remark to CBS with apparently contradictory statements he made about ER care in 2010.
Obama's reelection campaign released a video using man-on-the-street interviews to knock Romney for his defense of lower tax rates on investment income.
Obama’s new ad, "Fair Share," attacks Romney for saying in a closed door fundraiser in May that 47 percent of the country depended on government handouts. The ad ties those comments to Romney's recently released federal tax rate, which never fell below 13.66 percent over the last 20 years.
Libertarian presidential candidate Gary Johnson appealed to voters by trying to "stop" Democratic and Republican "zombies" in a new video. In the ad, Johnson, who is running as a third-party candidate, yells at the political zombies outside the New Hampshire State House, attempting to wake them from their zombie daze.
"We are not a mindless society. We care about things. We care about the fact that we are in endless wars, that we militarily intervene, that we need to stop that. We care about the fact that we have a heightened police state in this country. Stop. Stop. We need to balance the federal budget now or we're going to find ourselves without a country. You all look like a bunch of zombies," says Johnson.
BATTLE FOR THE HOUSE:
A Democratic PAC geared toward obtaining a Dem majority in the House is launching $1 million in advertisements in four competitive races nationwide. House Majority PAC is running ads in Arizona's 1st and 9th districts, as well as Illinois's 17th district and Virginia's 2nd district.
The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee targeted Republican Matt Doheny, running in New York's 21 district, for saying that Rep. Paul Ryan's (R-Wis.) budget doesn't go "far enough" in a new ad, its first in the district. It also launched an ad against Rep. Mike Coffman (R-Colo.) focused on his record on women's health issues. The ads are two different sides of the same coin — both are essentially efforts to tie the candidates to what Democrats see as effects of the Ryan plan.
ARIZONA: Republican candidate Vernon Parker, running against Democrat Kyrsten Sinema, released a bio spot that describes him as being "raised by his grandmother in a drug-infested neighborhood" and managing to succeed in spite of adversity. The ad came the same day as the release of an ad from the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee's independent expenditure arm that highlights Parker's positions on Medicare and Social Security and previous comments he's made about getting rid of the Department of Education.
CALIFORNIA: The House Ethics Committee officially cleared Rep. Maxine Waters of all ethics charges after nearly three years of investigating the California Democrat. Members of the panel handed the lawmaker a gigantic victory by voting unanimously to find her not guilty of allegations that she tried to secure federal money during the financial crisis for a bank in which her husband owned stock.
CONNECTICUT: Democrat Elizabeth Esty released her first ad of the general election cycle hitting Republican Andrew Roraback on his position on policies that affect the elderly, primarily Social Security. "Trying to balance our budget on the backs of the elderly is wrong," she says in the ad.
FLORIDA: Rep. Allen West (R-Fla.) said if he could address the United Nations General Assembly, he’d have told the diplomats that those who attack U.S. embassies will be visited by “the angel of death.”
“My statement to the United Nations would have been, ‘The future does not belong to those who attack our Embassies and Consulates and kill our Ambassadors,’ ” West wrote on his Facebook page.
FLORIDA: Democrat Keith Fitzgerald issued a new ad that features news reports on the various investigations into Rep. Vern Buchanan's (R-Fla.) campaign finances and touts his own position backing transparency initiatives. It comes the same day as a new ad from the Buchanan campaign that attempts to paint him in a positive light, asserting that he "fights for lower taxes, a balanced budget and incentives for small businesses to create good-paying jobs."
FLORIDA: Democrat Joe Garcia released a largely positive ad that features the candidate speaking directly to the camera about his ability to work with both parties, interposed with clips of him chatting with locals.
IOWA: A new poll from the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee shows Reps. Leonard Boswell (D-Iowa) and Tom Latham (R-Iowa) tied at 45 percent each. Most have long expected the race would be close but Latham has been far outspending Boswell and some Democrats were concerned that sustained spending would have moved things in his direction.
ILLINOIS: Rep. Joe Walsh (R-Ill.) is in a bad spot against Tammy Duckworth (D), according to a new poll from the League of Conservation Voters, which supports Duckworth. In it, she leads him by 52 to 38 percent.
MASSACHUSETTS: A new Republican poll gives party nominee Richard Tisei a double-digit lead over Democratic Rep. John Tierney. In the survey, conducted by the National Republican Congressional Committee, Tisei has 47 percent support to Tierney's 35 percent support.
NEW JERSEY: Rep. Rob Andrews (D-N.J.) blasted his local newspaper this week as he vehemently denied violating House ethics rules.
NEW YORK: An eighth-grade student has admitted to vandalizing Rep. Michael Grimm's (R-N.Y.) campaign headquarters, according to the New York Police Department. A new poll puts Grimm comfortably ahead of Democratic challenger Mark Murphy, even as the congressman is dogged by a federal investigation into his campaign donations. The poll, from Siena College, gives Grimm 48 percent support to Murphy's 38.
WISCONSIN: The SEIU has canceled a week of reservations targeting Rep. Reid Ribble (R-Wis.). His opponent, Jamie Wall (D), released a poll soon after showing him trailing Ribble by 47 to 41 percent — not a great position to be in this close to the election. The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee still has a reservation in the district beginning in early October.
The GOP political juggernauts American Crossroads and Crossroads GPS are up with another big ad buy, a $5.5 million purchase for ads in Florida, Indiana, Nevada, Ohio and Virginia.
ARIZONA: Democratic candidate Richard Carmona is out with the first negative ad of his campaign for Arizona's Senate seat, tagging opponent Rep. Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.) for his record on veterans' issues.
CONNECTICUT: Linda McMahon (R) released a new ad on Tuesday in response to one from Democratic challenger Rep. Chris Murphy out the day before attacking her record on women's issues. It features McMahon speaking directly to the camera, touting the benefits for women offered by WWE, Inc. when she was its CEO.
INDIANA: Rep. Joe Donnelly (D-Ind.) is out with a new ad touting his support of two proposals usually backed by Republicans in an appeal to Indiana's GOP-leaning electorate: an extension of the Bush tax rates for all income levels and a balanced-budget amendment.
MASSACHUSETTS: Staffers for Sen. Scott Brown (R-Mass.) can be seen chanting Native American "war whoops" and making "tomahawk chops" during a rally for the senator last weekend, an incident that takes on added gravity as Brown attempts to make Democrat Elizabeth Warren's claimed Native American heritage an issue in their race. Warren responded to attacks over her claims of Native American heritage with a new ad, accusing Brown of "attacking" her family.
MISSOURI: With the deadline for him to exit the race just hours away, Rep. Todd Akin (R-Mo.) reaffirmed his commitment to staying in the race, saying that he has "one purpose going into November, and that's replacing Claire McCaskill." Sen. Jim DeMint’s (R-S.C.) leadership PAC, the Senate Conservatives Fund, says the Missouri Senate race is still winnable.
MONTANA: Rep. Denny Rehberg (R-Mont.) released an ad touting his opposition to "senseless federal regulations" that "strangle business." The ad makes no mention of his opponent, Sen. Jon Tester (D-Mont.), but shows a photo of President Obama, who is not as popular as Tester in the state. The two are in a tight race.
NORTH DAKOTA: The Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee is working to make the farm bill an issue in the North Dakota Senate race with two new ads tying Republican Rep. Rick Berg (N.D.) to congressional inaction on the legislation.
OHIO: Sen. Sherrod Brown (D) is touting his work on a bill that would increase bus safety in a new campaign ad featuring the father of an Ohio teenager who was killed in an accident in 2007.
VIRGINA: Former Sen. George Allen's (R-Va.) new ad rips former Virginia Gov. Tim Kaine's (D) tax record, teeing off on a recent debate flub in which Kaine said he'd be "open to a proposal that would have some minimum tax level for everyone." The ad opens with Kaine saying, "We ought to be held accountable for what we do in public life," before accusing him of pushing to raise taxes.
IN CASE YOU MISSED IT:
Paul Ryan criticized the replacement referees who made a disputed call that caused the Green Bay Packers to lose the Monday Night Football game. “You guys watch that Packer game last night?” Ryan said at his Cincinnati, Ohio, town-hall meeting. “I mean give me a break. It’s time to get the real refs, and it reminds me of President Obama and the economy. If you can't, if you can't get it right, it's time to get out.”
“I half think these refs worked part-time for the Obama administration in the budget office,” he added.
Madonna offered a profanity-laced endorsement of Obama at her concert Monday night, which involved the singer stripping down to her underwear to reveal the president's name written on her body.
Obama admitted on "The View" that politics and policy weren't the only things on his mind as he took the stage to accept his party's nomination at the Democratic National Convention earlier this month. Sitting next to the first lady in a joint interview, the president credited his daughters, Malia and Sasha, for reenacting a scene from the Disney hit "Hannah Montana" backstage in Charlotte, N.C. "This is an example of how they make sure I don't take myself too seriously," he said.
Obama condemned the violent protests that have swept through the Muslim world in an address to the United Nations General Assembly. Obama’s speech served as an election-year defense of free speech and indictment of intolerance to a body of international leaders whose applause was often tepid at best.
Mitt Romney railed against Chinese attempts to game trade regulations during a campaign appearance in Ohio, as the Republican candidate looked to regain footing after a series of discouraging polls in the crucial swing state. "People in Ohio can sell products anywhere, and can compete with anyone in the world. I understand when we trade and when other nations trade on a fair basis, we will create jobs. I understand when people cheat that kills jobs. China has cheated. I will not allow that to continue," Romney said.
Romney took shots at the teachers' unions but otherwise struck a softer tone on education, calling for higher teacher pay and even complimenting Obama's secretary of Education.
Vice President Biden held his first mock debate session with Rep. Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.) last week.
Biden cited his work passing legislation with the late Sens. Strom Thurmond (R-S.C.) and Jesse Helms (R-N.C.) as evidence that the partisan gridlock in Washington can be overcome.
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) said during a conference call Monday that he agreed Romney had "sullied" their shared Mormon faith with his comments about "47 percent" of Americans, secretly recorded during a fundraiser earlier this year.
Registering to vote is considered a rite of passage for most Americans, and now Facebook is giving users the opportunity to commemorate the event on its social networking site. Facebook on Monday gave users the ability to add when and where they registered to vote on their profile's timeline.
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