Romney adopts Obama’s tax message

Romney says Obama hasn't raised taxes; Obama locks on Ohio; and other top Wednesday stories

Topics: Mitt Romney, Barack Obama, U.S. Economy, Ohio, Brief, 2012 Elections,

Romney adopts Obama's tax message

Textbook gaffe: Mitt Romney undercut months of his own messaging yesterday when he admitted that President Obama has not raised raised taxes during his first term. “I admit this, [President Obama] has one thing he did not do in his first four years-- he’s said he’s going to do in the next four years, which is to raise taxes,” Romney said in Ohio. Paul Ryan, standing behind him, visibly winced as Romney made the comment. For months, Romney has been saying “the president has raised taxes on the middle class,” as he said last month (though it’s not true). The Romney campaign quickly sent out a statement correcting the candidate. “President Obama has raised taxes on millions of middle-class Americans during his first term in office,” spokeswoman Amanda Henneberg said in a statement.

Poll du jour: A new Quinnipiac/New York Times/CBS News poll shows Obama with some of his best numbers in three swing states, where he is above 50 percent and up almost 10 points in each case. In Florida, Obama is up 53-44; in Ohio the president leads 53-43; and in Pennsylvania, the lead is 54-42. In each state, likely voters give Obama the lead in whom they trust to better handle the economy, a key indicator which Romney has led for much of the year. According to a separate Bloomberg poll, half of Americans think Romney is out of touch. That poll found Obama leading Ohio 49-43.

The Romney campaign insists Ohio is still in play.

Economy for Obama: As we head into the last stretch of the campaign, the AP notes that Obama is being buoyed by a string of good economic news: “Consumer confidence is at its highest level since February. Home values are up and, more important in the election season, housing prices in 20 major cities, many of them in battleground states, rose in July. Despite recent declines, the stock market has been on an upswing, adding value to Americans’ 401(k) retirement plans.” The unemployment rate is obviously the most important number, however, and we’ll get a new jobs report next week.

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Akin in: Rep. Todd Akin is staying in the race for Missouri Senate, he announced yesterday. “People have asked me, ‘Are you quitting? Are you dropping out? I don’t believe that is my decision. The decision has been made by the voters of the state of Missouri,” he said at a press conference. Akin announced that he’s launching a statewide tour to campaign for the seat, which he could still very well win. Conservatives are incrasingly, if reluctantly, rallying behind Akin, including Missouri Sen. Roy Blunt, who said yesterday that he would support Akin.

8th grade assault on democracy: Rep. Michael Grimm, a New York Republican with a shady past and uncertain electoral future, said his campaign office had been vandalized and his computers hacked in an “attack on democracy and the political process.” Grimm, who is  under federal investigation for allegedly accepting illegal campaign donations in 2010, said someone had broken into his offices and erased the harddrives on his computers. But when the NYPD investigated, the found the windows which had been broken were too small for someone to fit through and that the computers had not been tampered with. Yesterday afternoon, an 8th grader confessed to tossing concrete blocks through the windows in an act of vandalism.

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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