Would he pack a punch and take it to Obama?
"Absolutely," Ryan said, responding to a woman who said she was concerned after watching GOP presidential nominee John McCain debate Obama in 2008. "One little difference between then and now, President Obama has a record and President Obama has a record and a string of broken promises."
Ryan said that the Republican ticket owes the electorate alternatives to the policies of the last four years. Recent polls have shown Romney trailing Obama is several key swing states, sparking criticism that the campaign has not offered sufficient details of its alternative vision.
"We are not simply asking you to fire Barack Obama because he's not worth re-hiring," Ryan said. "We're asking you to fire Barack Obama because we are worth hiring because we have better ideas."
(CBS News) MIAMI -- Following up on his well-received keynote speech at the Democratic National Convention, Bill Clinton on Tuesday hit the campaign trail for President Obama in this pivotal swing state, giving another expansive address that touched on a litany of topics.
At a nighttime rally before a wildly appreciative audience at Florida International University, the former president spent 41 minutes delving into such issues as the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act stimulus law, the Affordable Care Act and deficit reduction, once again living up to the moniker Obama gave him as "Secretary of Explaining Stuff."
"I will say again in much less time what I tried to say last week," Clinton said at the outset of his remarks. "If you look around the world today, no country making progress on creating a society where people share a future, not a single one got there with a militant, bitter anti-government strategy."
The former president framed the election as less about where things stand now than about where he said Obama can take the nation.Continue »
Biden enraged Republicans when he declared in Virginia before a racially mixed audience that Mitt Romney would them "back in chains" -- a comment the GOP said conjured up unfair racial divisions. But in Minneapolis, the vice president did deride Romney for "changing his tune" on the issue of China.
Biden said the administration had taken measures to stop Chinese-made tires from overwhelming the American market, establishing a trade enforcement unit.
"I was surprised by Romney's response to our actions when we did that," Biden said. "He called us - our actions against China -- protectionism. He said, quote, it was bad for the nation, bad that we exercised our rights under international trade agreements to stem the flow of cheap Chinese tires saving American jobs.
"Tell that to the people making those tires here in the United States of America. A bad thing to save jobs? I got news for you. The president and I brought trade cases against China twice the rate of any previous administration, and as long as they're not playing by the rules, we're going to continue to, no matter what Romney calls it."Continue »
PHILADELPHIA - Vice President Joe Biden on Wednesday gave an audience of firefighters his view of GOP rival Mitt Romney: "I don't think he gets you."
Biden offered the assessment in the context of the White House's support of allowing the Bush tax cuts expire for the wealthiest Americans while pushing the "Buffett rule" calling for those in that income bracket to pay a higher percentage of their earnings in taxes.
"Wealthy people are just as patriotic as poor folks. They're just as decent as any middle-class folk I know. The difference here is, no one asked them to do anything," Biden told the 3,200 workers gathered for International Association of Fire Fighters convention. "This is about shared responsibility."
In the next breath, Biden added that Republicans push for "top-down" policies because "they have to make room for more benefits and more opportunities for the very wealthy."Continue »
"It reminds me of a little bit of...the old cartoons of taking the pigtails of the little girl who's ahead of you in second grade and putting it in the ink well," Hickenlooper said. "And the throwing spitballs and the teasing. They just can't resist poking the other person across the aisle and causing a little bit of a ruckus."
Indeed, at the annual National Governor's Association meeting this weekend, collective sniping over the gridlock in D.C. was a rare point of bipartisan consensus. The paralysis in the nation's capital, after all, has tangible ramifications for the state's executives, the governors said.
Questions loom over the Medicaid expansion that the Supreme Court made optional with its ruling last month, with many governors saying they need more clarity from the federal government before they can move forward--unlikely, given that the fate of the health care law may hang in the balance of the November elections. Even more pressing, the so-called "fiscal cliff" threatens to bust state budgets around the country when automatic tax hikes and spending cuts go into effect at the start of the year if federal lawmakers fail to forge a compromise.
"The biggest issue I have with the federal government is that they don't act," said Republican Gov. Dave Heineman of Nebraska at the opening National Governor's Association press conference. "What I'd prefer is for president and Congress to make some tough decisions and then maybe go on vacation for a couple of years."Continue »
Asked on the sidelines of the National Governor's Association annual meeting about their diagnosis of Mitt Romney's campaign, the Republican governors had all kinds of advice for the candidate who comes from their ranks, from release-those-tax-returns-already to give-us-more-specifics.
Despite the Beltway buzz and grumbling from some conservatives that the former Massachusetts governor has not been nimble or aggressive enough in responding to the Obama team's attacks, many of the Republican governors here said Romney had hit on an economic message that voters in their states wanted to hear, and lauded his progress.
"I believe he's moving down the right road, going in the right direction. Is he where he needs to be? No. But can he get there? Yes," said Utah Gov. Richard Herbert, referring to Romney's numbers in several swing states, where he is trailing President Obama. "He's come a long way since when he first ran four years ago and right now, in a dead heat with a current incumbent president who has all the powers of incumbency."
Herbert added, indignantly, ""I was in Utah when he was running the Olympics! He wasn't running Bain Capital."Continue »
(CBS News) WILLIAMSBURG, VA-- Battle-tested Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker offered some advice Saturday to Mitt Romney: Forget all that Bain stuff, and campaign as a reform-minded fiscal crusader.
"For him to do well, the R next to his name has to stand for more than just for Republican, it has to stand for reformer," Walker said during a meeting of the National Governors Association here. "We got significant swing votes, independents, even some discerning Democrats voting for me ... because they like someone who's willing to take on the tough issues facing our state. I think those are the same sorts of voters that Gov. Romney at least has a shot with."
Walker provoked a furious backlash after he made deep cuts to his state's budget and sharply curbed collective bargaining rights for public employee unions. He survived a recall election last month.
(Watch Walker's remarks in the video to the left.)
While the news cycle has been dominated by the Obama campaign's aggressive claims that Bain Capital invested in firms that outsourced jobs while Romney was at its helm, Walker said voters have other more pressing concerns. He suggested more clarity from the Romney campaign about how he would curb spending and the national debt would resonate with Wisconsin voters.Continue »
WILLIAMSBURG, Va. -- Virginia Republican Gov. Bob McDonnell on Friday accused President Obama's reelection team of waging a "campaign of division and misrepresentation" in advance of the Obama's visit to the state.
McDonnell, who is hosting the National Governors Association meeting in Williamsburg, was specifically referring to recent attacks by the Obama campaign that Bain Capital outsourced jobs while Republican nominee Mitt Romney was at the firm's helm.
McDonnell, a frequent Romney campaign surrogate who has been mentioned as a possible vice presidential nominee, said the argument was "dishonest" because Romney had left to head the Salt Lake City Olympics and that the Obama campaign ads should be pulled.
"To the degree that there is any truth to these sorts of outsourcing allegations, they happened after 1999 when he was not the managing director," McDonnell said. "It's a reckless way of campaigning."
McDonnell clarified at a later event that not all of Romney's Bain record is off-limits, but that he believes latching on to that particular piece is unfair.
Asked about whether or not Romney should release a fuller version of his tax returns, as many Democrats have demanded, McDonnell answered: "It's not Mitt Romney's tax returns people are concerned about, it's their own tax returns."
Updated 5:40 p.m. ET
(CBS News) Vice President Joe Biden on Tuesday delivered a rousing defense of public workers and the labor movement at the annual convention of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees in Los Angeles.
"You guys are under full-blown assault," he said, speaking to members of one of the nation's largest unions. "This is the greatest assault on working-class people and their unions that I've seen in my lifetime."
Public workers have faced cuts to salaries and benefits as their unions have stared down the prospect of having collective-bargaining powers severely restricted in states currently governed by Republican governors and legislatures. Presumptive GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney threw fuel on the fire when he was accused of endorsing that kind of belt-tightening--even at the risk of slashing firefighters, teachers, and police officers.Continue »
Deace, who endorsed rival Newt Gingrich before the Iowa caucuses, took offense to Romney senior adviser Eric Fehrnstrom's comments on CNN in which he decried intolerance within the party.
Grenell, a foreign policy expert who had worked as a spokesperson at the United Nations under the Bush administration, was hired by the Romney campaign last month but resigned after his appointment as a foreign policy spokesperson for Romney prompted ire from social conservatives.
"Wherever there are voices of intolerance within the party, or the Democratic Party for that matter -- it doesn't matter where it's coming from -- it's disappointing," Fehrnstrom said in an interview with CNN shortly after Grenell's resignation. "And the governor has taken the opportunity in the past to denounce those voices of intolerance."Continue »
(CBS News) Will we ever see presumptive GOP nominee Mitt Romney follow in President Obama's footsteps and slow jam the news?
Maybe, Romney senior adviser Eric Fehrnstrom said on Saturday, but not at the risk of making light of the struggles of youth voters - a bloc with which the Romney campaign is trying to make inroads.
Mr. Obama amused some and irked others when he appeared on "Late Night with Jimmy Fallon" on Tuesday night and talked about keeping student loan rates low, over a beat laid down by The Roots.
The Romney campaign didn't seem to find it funny.
"I do think there was something a little bit off-key about the president slow jamming and appearing to make light of the fact that students are struggling," Fehrnstrom said Saturday at an event put on by The Washington Post. "I don't think it's something to slow jam about or to make light of it."Continue »
Updated: 5:43 p.m. ET
Rick Santorum on Monday attacked his chief rival Mitt Romney regarding recent reports that he suggested the Massachusetts health care law could be used as a model for the nation.
The website BuzzFeed dug up a series of television clips in which Romney seemed to encourage President Obama to look to the Bay State during the health care debate in 2009. During the course of this year's presidential campaign, Romney has repeatedly had to defend the Massachusetts plan, saying it was good for his state but should not have been adopted at the federal level.
"When it was fashionable to be for individual mandate, he was for individual mandates," Santorum said in a conference call Monday. "He tried to persuade the president in this debate to adopt his government mandate."
He added, "Conservatives will not trust him. They will not rally around him."Continue »
SUWANEE, Ga. - Republican presidential candidate Newt Gingrich got a much-needed lift on Saturday from another Georgian in his home state: Former rival Herman Cain.
The Atlanta businessman, who bowed out of the race in early December and later endorsed Gingrich, said the former House Speaker's economic plan comes the closest to his trademark "9-9-9" plan for a nine percent corporate business flat tax, income flat tax and national sales tax.
"I'm still working on him," Cain told an audience of about 300 at a meeting of the Forsyth County Republicans.Continue »
Updated 10:20 p.m. ET
PEACHTREE CITY, Ga.-- Newt Gingrich had a message for rivals Rick Santorum and Mitt Romney at a campaign event in his native Georgia Friday: bawk bawk bawwwk.
After two people dressed in chicken suits entertained the crowd, holding a sign reading "I'm Chicken to Debate Newt," Gingrich hit his rivals for backing out of a CNN-sponsored debate that had been scheduled for March 1 but was canceled after Santorum, Romney and Rep. Ron Paul of Texas said they would not attend.Continue »
Not a family member, not an elected official, or in fact, a more traditional surrogate. Rather, it was millionaire Wyoming businessman Foster Friess, who has contributed generously to the Super PAC backing Santorum, the Red, White and Blue Fund.
Sporting a Santorum sweater vest, Friess peppered his brief remarks with jokes and delivered a ringing endorsement of Santorum's candidacy.
"Life is so much fun and filled with humor," Friess began, smiling widely. "There is a little bar a couple doors down, and recently a conservative, a liberal and moderate walk into the bar. The bartender says "Hi, Mitt." The crowd gave Friess a rousing round of applause.Santorum's big benefactor Continue »
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