Chad’s Morning Brief: President Obama is Offended That You Think He Hasn’t Been Completely Honest Regarding Libya, Hurricane Sandy Throws Off Campaigns, & More
Here is your Morning Brief for the morning of October 30, 2012. Give us your feedback below and tune in to The Chad Hasty Show for these and many more topics from 8:30 to 11 am.
1. Obama is Offended (link)
President Obama is offended that you think he hasn't been honest when it comes to the terrorist attack in Benghazi that killed four Americans, including our Ambassador.
“Anytime a U.S. ambassador and three other Americans who were serving our country get killed, we have to figure out what happened and fix it,” he said, speaking with Morning Joe hosts Joe Scarborough and Mika Brzezinski in New Hampshire. “But I do take offense with some suggestion that in any way, we haven’t tried to make sure that the American people knew as the information was coming in what we believed.”
Sure, there is now evidence that the administration knew less than 24 hours after the attack that it was indeed terror-related. Yes, the administration lied and continued to point to a video and say it was all a protest that went badly. Yes, more and more evidence is coming out that shows that the President either lied or mislead the public. But, you know he is offended that you don't think he is 100% honest.
2. McCain Calls Out Obama (link)
Senator John McCain is calling out President Obama. McCain says that either Obama is conducting a massive cover-up in regard to the Libya attack or the President is just incompetent.
On CBS News’ “Face the Nation” Sunday, the 2008 Republican presidential nominee said President Obama has been incompetent with the way he has been handling the aftermath of the Sept. 11 attack.
“I don’t know if it’s either a cover-up or the worst kind of incompetence, which doesn’t qualify the president as commander in chief,” McCain said.
The Republican senator was primarily talking about statements the administration made early after the attack where U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice said the Consulate attack was a “spontaneous” event caused by the anti-Mohammed film that caused massive protests across the Middle East.
Witnesses to the attack told The Associated Press that some 150 gunmen took part in the assault on the Benghazi compound.
“We now know there was no demonstration. There was no mob,” McCain told CBS News. “So for literally days and days, they told the American people something that had no basis in fact whatsoever.”
McCain added that this might cost Obama the election.
“Nobody died in Watergate. But this is either a massive cover-up or incompetence that is not acceptable service to the American people,” McCain told “Face the Nation.” “The American people may take that into consideration a week from Tuesday.”
A cover-up or incompetence? I'd say both.
3. Hurricane Sandy Throws Off Campaigns (link)
We are now 7 days away from Election Day and both the Obama and Romney campaigns are all but shutdown. Hurricane Sandy hit at a bad time for both campaigns. The Romney campaign had a rally in Ohio yesterday before shutting it down while the Obama campaign has started cancelling events as well. According to The Hill:
“It’s really the only thing for a sitting president to do,” said Cal Jillson, a professor of political science at Southern Methodist University. “The criticism that would be levied if he would campaign through the natural disaster would be bad.”
A source close to the campaign agreed, saying Obama is “doing what he needs to do.”
“Is it ideal? Maybe not,” the source said. “But he can’t not oversee this crisis. This is his Number one priority.”
Meanwhile, the Romney campaign was tight-lipped on Monday about the political ramifications of the storm, a tacit acknowledgment of the tight-wire act facing the candidate: appearing both appropriately sympathetic to those affected by the storm, while still making the carefully crafted closing argument intended for deployment across the campaign's final weeks.
"Governor Romney's concern is the safety and well-being of those in the path of this storm, not political considerations," said a Romney aide on Monday.
Still, the campaign was clearly looking to keep the Republican candidate relevant as media attention focused on the deadly storm barreling down on the Eastern Seaboard. Romney campaign staff repeatedly promoted a message from the Republican nominee to those affected by the storm, urging them to help neighbors, donate to the Red Cross and prepare for the storm by removing yard signs.
"I'm never prouder of America than when I see how we pull together in a crisis. There's nothing that we can't handle when we stand together," Romney said in the note.
The campaigns may not get back up and moving at full strength for a few days. Don't be surprised to see both campaigns target Ohio while the swing states on the coast deal with clean-up.
4. It May or May Not All Be About Ohio (link)
No Republican has even won the White House without it, but does Ohio really matter in 2012? Reuters says Ohio is important, but it may not be the end all be all.
Obama still has a slight electoral map advantage fueled by his slim lead in Ohio, but Romney has steadily closed the gap or moved slightly ahead in some other battleground states. Eight states remain relative toss-ups.
Both candidates can construct multiple winning scenarios, with or without Ohio. And it's now possible that the tipping point could emerge from another battleground, such as Colorado, where Obama and Romney are deadlocked in the polls.
"At this point, there are probably more electoral map scenarios than there are undecided voters," said Lee Miringoff, a pollster at Marist College, which is conducting surveys in key swing states.
"In a 50-50 race ... everything and everywhere is going to matter," he said.
That gives Obama slightly more leeway in the fight for the remaining 95 electoral votes available in the eight toss-up states, all won by Obama in the 2008 election - Colorado (9 electoral votes), Florida (29), Iowa (6), Nevada (6), New Hampshire (4), Ohio (18), Virginia (13) and Wisconsin (10).
Obama is clinging to slight poll leads - which typically are less than the polls' margins of error - in five of those states with a combined 44 electoral votes: Ohio, Iowa, Nevada, New Hampshire and Wisconsin. That would be enough to put him over the top.
Even if he loses Ohio, Obama could still get to 270 electoral votes - and clinch the election - by winning Colorado instead. Obama won Colorado by 9 percentage points in 2008, aided by support from young and suburban voters and the growing Hispanic vote, but he is virtually tied with Romney there now.
Romney's path is tougher without Ohio, but still possible.
The former Massachusetts governor has a slight lead over Obama in Florida and has pulled even with the president in Virginia. If Romney sweeps those two states and adds Colorado, he would still need to win Iowa, New Hampshire and Wisconsin to capture the White House.
As I said yesterday, Romney doesn't have to win Ohio but it sure does make everything easier if he does.
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