(CBS News) In response to the Colorado mass shooting in which at least 12 people were killed and dozens injured, President Obama on Friday morning cut short his planned campaign stops in Florida and chose instead to lead a moment of silence for the victims.
"There are going to be other days for politics," Mr. Obama said in Ft. Myers, Florida. "This, I think, is a day for prayer and reflection."
The president thanked the gathered crowd and told them he was grateful for their support.
"I was looking forward to having a fun conversation with you about some really important matters we face as a country... the differences between myself and my opponent in this election," he said. "But this morning we woke up to news of a tragedy that reminds us of all the ways we are united as one American family."
At around 12:30 a.m. Friday morning, a gas mask-wearing gunman opened fire at the Century 16 theaters in Aurora, Colorado, where the latest Batman movie "The Dark Knight Rises" was playing. The suspected gunman, identified as 24-year-old James Holmes, is in custody.Continue »
(CBS News) In the wake of a mass shooting in a suburban Denver movie theater, New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg is calling on President Obama and Mitt Romney to offer up more than "soothing words" and talk about how they will address gun-related violence.
"Maybe it's time that the two people who want to be president of the United States stand up and tell us what they are going to do about it, because this is obviously a problem across the country." Bloomberg said in an interview on WOR News Talk Radio 710 in New York City.
"I mean, there are so many murders with guns every day, it's just got to stop," he continued. "And instead of the two people - President Obama and Governor Romney - talking in broad things about they want to make the world a better place, okay, tell us how. And this is a real problem. No matter where you stand on the Second Amendment, no matter where you stand on guns, we have a right to hear from both of them concretely, not just in generalities - specifically what are they going to do about guns?"
(Bloomberg called on Obama, Romney to get specific on gun control in interview with Bob Schieffer. More on Sunday's "Face the Nation.")
Bloomberg's remarks came after the mass shooting in Aurora, Colorado that has left at least 12 people dead and dozens more injured. A gas mask-wearing gunman opened fire at about 12:30 a.m. Friday morning at the Century 16 theaters at the Aurora Mall, where the latest Batman movie "The Dark Knight Rises" was playing.Continue »
(CBS News) In a radio interview Friday morning, Republican Rep. Louie Gohmert of Texas associated the Colorado mass shooting that's left at least 12 people dead to "attacks on Judeo-Christian beliefs."
As the Huffington Post first reported, the conservative congressman was asked about the shooting during a radio interview on "Istook Live!", a show produced by the conservative group the Heritage Foundation.
Host Ernest Istook asked Gohmert, "What is your experience with the way that we have too many twisted minds in our society?"
Gohmert responded, "Some of us happen to believe that when our founders talked about guarding our virtue and freedom, that that was important. Whether it's John Adams saying our Constitution was made only for moral and religious people... Ben Franklin, only a virtuous people are capable of freedom, as nations become corrupt and vicious they have more need of masters... We have been at war with the very pillars, the very foundation of this country."
(In an interview with Bob Schieffer for "Face the Nation," NYC Mayor Michael Bloomberg called Gohmert's comments "nonsensical.")
The congressman continued, "And what really gets me as a Christian is to see the ongoing attacks on Judeo-Christian beliefs and then some senseless crazy act of a derelict takes place."
Gohmert lamented that civic organizations like schools have discouraged religious discussions. "What are we doing with God? We told him we don't want him around," he said. "I kind of like his protective hand being present."Continue »
Updated at 10:20 a.m. ET
(CBS News) On the campaign trail in Florida today, President Obama will respond for the first time to Mitt Romney's aggressive attacks suggesting the president doesn't support small businesses.
Romney this week has hammered Mr. Obama for remarks he made last Friday in Virginia, where he argued that successful businesses rely on public resources funded by the government.
"If you were successful, somebody along the line gave you some help," Mr. Obama said. "There was a great teacher somewhere in your life... Somebody invested in roads and bridges. If you've got a business -- you didn't build that. Somebody else made that happen... The point is, is that when we succeed, we succeed because of our individual initiative, but also because we do things together."Continue »
(CBS News) The tiny state of New Hampshire has just four electoral votes to boast of, but when Mitt Romney campaigns there Friday, he'll be making good use of his time.
If recent history has proven anything, it's that New Hampshire is the quintessential swing state. In a year when polling suggests the state could be as competitive as ever, the Granite State's four electoral votes can't be ignored.
Given the state's tendency to favor fiscal conservatism and small government, as well as Romney's natural advantages in the state, the Romney campaign says it's poised to win in the competitive battleground.
"We think we stand an excellent chance in New Hampshire," Romney campaign spokesman Ryan Williams told CBSNews.com.
President Obama, meanwhile, won New Hampshire in 2008 by a solid 9 points (54 percent to John McCain's 45 percent), and he intends to win it again. Back in December, the Obama campaign said that New Hampshire was included in four out of the five possible paths to the necessary 270 electoral votes. When asked about it this week, the Obama campaign said New Hampshire is still an important part of its path to victory.
This year's race, however, may turn out more like earlier elections: New Hampshire is the only state that President George W. Bush won in 2000 but lost in 2004 - in both instances by a slim, one point margin. In 2000, New Hampshire's four electoral votes made all the difference -- if then-Vice President Al Gore had those votes in his column, Florida would've been a moot point.Continue »
Updated at 1:25 p.m. ET
(CBS News) Republican Rep. Michele Bachmann continues to draw fire for charging that a longtime aide to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has ties to Muslim extremists. The criticism is coming from Republican lawmakers like House Speaker John Boehner, as well as Democrats, and includes a scathing response from her own former presidential campaign chief, Ed Rollins.
Bachmann on Wednesday said she would not back down from accusations suggesting that Clinton's aide Huma Abedin could have ties to Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood and that the group is trying to infiltrate the U.S. government. Even as Republican Sen. John McCain of Arizona took to the Senate floor to admonish the congresswoman, Bachmann said she will "not be silent as this administration appeases our enemies instead of telling the truth about the threats our country faces."
(McCain defends Clinton aide from "sinister" Bachmann attacks in video to left.)
The criticism stems from a letter Bachmann and four other Republican members of Congress sent to top intelligence and security officials last week questioning the Muslim Brotherhood's access to top Obama administration officials. Abedin -- who the Clintons have described as a like a daughter to them -- was singled out in the letter.Continue »
Updated at 12:45 p.m. ET
(CBS News) Mitt Romney has come under fire from every direction for refusing to release more than two years' worth of tax returns, but many of his critics in Congress are refusing to disclose their own returns, a new report shows.
Over the course of three months, McClatchy Newspapers asked all 535 members of Congress to release their most recent tax returns, and just 17 members complied with the request. Nineteen congressmen refused while most never responded.
Like Romney, many members of Congress are far wealthier than the average American. And like the president of the United States, those congressmen stand to benefit from the tax policies they shape. Currently, the law only requires members of Congress to report their wealth and liabilities in broad ranges.Continue »
CBS News Poll analysis by the CBS News Polling Unit: Sarah Dutton, Jennifer De Pinto, Fred Backus and Anthony Salvanto.
(CBS News) Most Americans are unfamiliar with Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts or have no opinion of him. However, in the wake of Roberts' decision to side with liberals on the court and uphold President Obama's health care law, a new CBS News/ New York Times poll shows that the conservative justice is more popular among liberals than conservatives.
Among Americans overall, 73 percent have no opinion or are undecided about Roberts, according to the poll, conducted July 11-16. Fourteen percent have a favorable view of him while 12 percent have an unfavorable view.
Among self-identified conservatives, just nine percent have a favorable view of Roberts, who was appointed to the high court by President George W. Bush. Twice as many, 18 percent, have an unfavorable view. Among liberals, 13 percent have a positive view of Roberts while 8 percent have an unfavorable view. Twenty percent of moderates approve of the chief justice.
Overall views of the Supreme Court have declined slightly in the aftermath of the health care ruling. Among Americans overall, voters are now split, with 41 percent who approve of the court and 41 percent who disapprove. Another 18 percent have no opinion or don't know. In May of this year, 44 percent approved while 36 percent disapprove.Continue »
Mitt Romney isn't bowing to pressure to release more than two years' worth of tax returns, but the debate over the matter isn't going away. If anything, the dialogue is heating up as Romney's defenders push back and his opponents find new ways to keep the issue alive.
On Wednesday, Democratic Rep. Sandy Levin of Michigan announced that he is preparing legislation that would require presidential candidates to make public 10 years of tax returns and disclose overseas accounts. In a statement, Levin said he would introduce the bill in the coming weeks in response to Romney's refusal to release more than two years of returns.
"The stunning lack of transparency from someone in pursuit of the highest office in the country highlights the need to change the law to require fuller disclosure," Levin said.Continue »
(CBS News) In what may be one of the harshest ads of the 2012 campaign season yet, the liberal grassroots group MoveOn on Wednesday launched an ad that shows Mitt Romney morphing into Richard Nixon, posing the question, "Tricky Mitt: He's not a crook... right?"
The ad isn't the first time the Republican presidential candidate has been compared to President Nixon over transparency issues -- one of President Obama's top advisers recently made the comparison himself. The comparison plays into the Democrats' larger narrative that Romney is a dishonest politician who may be lying about his business record or hiding information about his taxes.
The MoveOn ad points out that Romney's record on outsourcing and his use of Cayman Island tax shelters are already matters of public debate. "So what is it Mitt Romney doesn't want us to know?" a female narrator asks, suggesting that his tax returns could contain politically damaging information or that he may have even broken the law by reporting to the government false information about his role at the private equity firm he founded, Bain Capital.Continue »
(CBS News) Texas Gov. Rick Perry on Tuesday called on Mitt Romney to be as transparent as possible when it comes to his tax returns, joining about a dozen other high-profile Republicans and the Obama campaign in pressuring the presumptive GOP candidate on the issue.
"No matter who you are or what office you are running for, you should be as transparent as you can be with your tax returns and other aspects of your life so that people have the appropriate ability to judge your background," Perry said to CBS News Austin affiliate KEYE-TV.
To date, Romney has released his 2010 return and an estimate of his 2011 return. He's resisted calls to release more, even as the Obama campaign ratcheted up the pressure Tuesday with an ad that asked, "What is Mitt Romney hiding?"Continue »
(CBS News) Before he ended his own bid for the Republican presidential nomination, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich said that Mitt Romney has no good reason to withhold his tax returns from voters.
"If there's nothing [damaging] in there, why not release it? I mean, it's a very simple model," Gingrich said in a January 19 Republican debate.
But now that it's President Obama calling on Romney to release more than two years of returns, Gingrich told CBS News that the demand "comes across as hollow."
If anything, it's Mr. Obama who isn't being transparent, he contended. "This is a president who hasn't even released his undergraduate stuff at Columbia... used executive privilege in Fast and Furious... They're like a lawyer with a bad case," he said.Continue »
Updated at 10:05 a.m. ET
(CBS News) As Mitt Romney travels to Pittsburgh today, the Obama campaign is aiming to sow new doubt into the minds of Pennsylvania's swing voters as to whether the Republican presidential candidate is paying his fair share in taxes.
In a new ad airing in the battleground state, President Obama's team takes its latest swing at Romney for refusing to release more than two years' worth of his tax returns.
"Romney admits that over the last two years he's paid less than 15 percent in taxes on $43 million in income," a narrator says in the ad. Then, as the years 2009, 2008, 2007, 2006 and 2005 flash on the screen, the narrator continues, "Makes you wonder if some years he paid any taxes at all."
The ad charges Romney with using "every trick in the book," such as tax havens and offshore accounts, to avoid paying taxes and ends by asking, "What is Mitt Romney hiding?"Continue »
Updated 2:47 p.m. ET
(CBS News) Mitt Romney's presidential campaign on Monday knocked down reports that the presumptive GOP candidate has chosen his running mate.
Early Monday, the New York Times reported that "Mr. Romney has reached a decision, his friends believe, and he may disclose it as soon as this week."
However, after a fundraiser in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, Romney adviser Eric Fehrnstrom told reporters that no decision has been reached. He later told the Associated Press that Romney could make "a final decision in the coming days."
Romney hosted the fundraiser with one of his potential running mates, Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal, but Fehrnstrom said that Jindal and Romney did not talk today about the vice presidential slot.
By announcing his vice presidential pick before the Republican National Convention, Romney could generate new excitement for his campaign. The move could also provide a distraction from the scrutiny he's received recently over his tenure at Bain Capital and his refusal to release more than two years worth of tax returns.Continue »
(CBS News) Mitt Romney may name his vice presidential pick as early as this week, the New York Times reports.
The move could stir up some excitement for the Republican candidate and potentially provide a distraction from the scrutiny he's received recently over when he worked at Bain Capital and refusal to release more than two years worth of tax returns.
The window of opportunity for Romney to announce his running mate ahead of the Republican National Convention, which starts in Tampa Bay on August 27, is narrowing: Romney is traveling to London to attend the opening ceremony of the Olympics in just 11 days. After that, he is stopping in Israel to meet with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
Announcing his running mate weeks before the convention could cause headaches for Romney, since it opens up the campaign to new scrutiny. As former Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour, a seasoned Republican, said earlier this year of choosing a running mate: "Never make a political decision until you have to."Continue »