Obama has biggest lead of last three candidates

Obama up 8; Romney calls himself the "grandfather" of Obamacare; and other top Thursday stories

Topics: Mitt Romney, Barack Obama, Polling, 2012 Elections,

Obama has biggest lead of last three candidates

Obama still winning … by a lot: President Obama now holds a bigger lead at this point in the campaign than any presidential candidate since Bill Clinton, according to a new Pew poll, which shows him up 8 points over Mitt Romney. The poll also finds Obama beating Romney on a host of dimensions — he’s more likable, viewed more favorably, seen as more credible and empathetic, and his supporters are more excited about voting. With the exception of jobs and the deficit, on which voter opinion is about evenly divided, Obama leads Romney on most key policy issues, especially healthcare, Medicare, abortion and foreign affairs. Just another area where Obama is trying desperately to catch up to Bill Clinton.

Shocking video shows Obama likes capitalism: Remember that video the Drudge Report posted and the Romney campaign hyped earlier this week showing Obama talking about how he supports redistribution of wealth? It was patently ridiculous then, considering it revealed nothing, but it’s even more so now. The rest of the video of Obama’s remarks from 1998 show him praising the free market, competition and innovation. He also spoke about the need to “decentralize” things so as to not let the government get too much control. Nice try, though, Drudge (not really).

Romneyshambles spread to bank account: Except for August, Mitt Romney has been consistently outraising Obama for much of the year. But as the New York Times reports today, “Romney’s campaign finances have been significantly less robust than recent headlines would suggest. Much of the more than $300 million the campaign reported raising this summer is earmarked for the Republican National Committee, state Republican organizations and Congressional races, limiting the money Mr. Romney’s own campaign has to spend.” This has led the campaign to be miserly with its ad spending, potentially leaving the Republican with a disadvantage in key swing states.



Self-deported: Romney tried to reach out to Hispanic voters during a forum hosted by Univision last night, where he addressed his “self-deportation” immigration policy. “I’m not in favor of a mass-deportation effort, rounding up 12 million people and taking them out of the country … I believe people make their own choices as to whether they want to go home and that’s what I mean by ‘self-deportation,’” Romney said.

What? Are you even trying anymore?: Romney also bizarrely said he took it as a compliment to be called the “grandfather” of Obamacare. “I have experience in health care reform. Now and then the president says I’m the grandfather of Obamacare. I don’t think he meant that as a compliment but I’ll take it,” he said at the Univision forum. He later walked back the remark and insisted he wants to repeal Obamacare.

GOP says no jobs for veterans: In a move that is equal parts baffling and offensive, Senate Republicans filibustered a bill yesterday to create 20,000 jobs for veterans. The bill would have provided $1 billion over five years to hire veterans, who have unemployment rates far above the national average, but Republicans blocked it out of a desire to thwart Obama’s legislative agenda before the presidential election and because they said it wasn’t paid for. The opposition was led by Sen. Tom Coburn, who filibusters pretty much everything, and Sen. Rand Paul, who was trying to attach an unrelated amendment that would cut off foreign aid to Egypt, Libya and Pakistan until those countries’ governments can prove they love America enough. The procedural vote was 58 to 40, with 60 votes needed to overcome the GOP objection. “It’s both shocking and shameful that Republicans today chose to kill a bill to put America’s veterans back to work,” said Democratic Sen. Patty Murray, who sponsored the bill. 

Alex Seitz-Wald

Alex Seitz-Wald is Salon's political reporter. Email him at aseitz-wald@salon.com, and follow him on Twitter @aseitzwald.

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