Romney speaks to the NAACP

Rove groups to spend $70 million on Senate races; Jesse Jackson Jr. is missing; and other top Wednesday stories

Published July 11, 2012 12:36PM (EDT)

Mitt Romney addresses the NAACP: Mitt Romney will try to peel away some black voters from President Obama today when he addresses the NAACP convention in Houston. It it a futile effort? As the Washington Post notes, it won’t be easy: Romney “faces a daunting task as he tries to appeal to a core Democratic constituency that is largely at odds with his policy prescriptions, suspicious of his record on diversity and civil rights, and largely committed to his general-election opponent.” Still, NAACP officials have promised a warm reception for the presumed GOP nominee.

It’s unknown what Romney will speak about, but if his speeches before Hispanic and other ethnic groups are any predictor, he will stick to broad economic themes and avoid a message tailored to the audience.

Super PACs not just for White House wannabes: Karl Rove’s two post-Citizens United political groups, American Crossroads and Crossroads GPS, are planning to spend $70 million to support Republicans in Senate races across the country. The two groups spent a combined $70 million in the 2010 campaign, but $20 million of that went to House races, so this would be a step up on Senate spending. One of the groups is a super PAC, which has to disclose its donors, and the other is a “social welfare organization,” which does not. The president of both groups explained the motivation to Roll Call, “We agree with Sen. McConnell that the current odds of taking the Senate are 50-50, and it’s our job to improve those odds.”

Where in the world is Jesse Jackson Jr.? The Illinois Democratic congressman, who is the son of the civil rights activist, has been missing from Capitol Hill since June 10 and his staff says he’s been experiencing health and emotional issues. Rumors have swirled about possible addiction and even a suicide attempt. Politico reports that Jackson “may not return to the House until after the August congressional recess.” Meanwhile, NPR reported that aides may clarify his condition later today. Jackson Sr. told the radio network, "The crisis is deeper than we thought it was. But ... he's on the rebound."

Can't repeal, can't replace: House Republicans are prepared to take their 33rd vote to repeal the Affordable Care Act today, even though the repeal will inevitably be stopped (again) by the Senate and White House. Meanwhile, CBS news notes, Republicans have nothing to replace it with, despite running on a message of “repeal and replace" in the 2010 elections. Instead, they focus on railing against Obama’s healthcare, and make vague noises about their own plan, afraid to put anything forward that could be attacked.

Bain's “director of outsourcing”: Bain & Co., the consulting firm from which Mitt Romney spun off his private equity firm, used to have someone with the title “director of outsourcing,” BuzzFeed’s Zeke Miller notes. The Romney campaign has claimed that the Obama campaign has overplayed talk of Bain’s involvement with outsourcing, and this may undercut that argument. Mark Gottfredson, who headed outsourcing at Bain, “has worked and written extensively about corporate outsourcing strategies — including a piece in Harvard Business Review on the successes 7-Eleven had in so-called capability sourcing.”

By Alex Seitz-Wald

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2012 Elections Mitt Romney