A Series of Unfortunate Events
White House Press Secretary Jay Carney responded to a plea from a group of sixth graders who had their tour of the presidential residence canceled due to the so-called “sequester” cuts in a press briefing this afternoon. Mr. Carney described the situation as “extremely unfortunate,” but unavoidable due to the $85 billion in automatic budget cuts that took effect March 1 after lawmwakers were unable to reach a deficit reduction deal.
“The President and the First Lady have throughout the time that they’ve been here made extraordinary efforts to make this the people’s house, and it is extremely unfortunate that we have a situation like the sequester that compels the kinds of tradeoffs and decisions that this represents,” Mr. Carney said. “The fact is the Secret Service, like other agencies of government, is affected by the sequester. And the Secret Service presented options that ranged from canceling tours to potential furloughs and cuts in overtime. And in order to allow the Secret Service to best fulfill its core mission, the White House made the decision that we would, unfortunately, have to temporarily suspend these tours.”
A group of sixth graders from St. Paul’s Lutheran School in Waverly, Iowa has turned to the internet to save their school trip to the White House. The children were scheduled to tour the White House on March 16, but their visit was cancelled yesterday along with all other tours of the presidential residence due to “staffing reductions” caused by the so-called “sequester” budget cuts that took effect last Friday after lawmakers failed to make a deficit reduction deal. In an effort to muster support and salvage their trip, the school posted a brief video on Facebook featuring a plea from the children.
“The White House is our house, please let us visit!” the sixth graders say in the clip.
Vice President Joe Biden is in Iowa today to appear at a campaign rally at the Mid-America Center in Council Bluffs. On his way there, Mr. Biden visited a Hy-Vee store where, according to the press pool report, he mingled with the other patrons and cracked jokes. One of his interactions, which was particularly priceless, occurred as Mr. Biden stopped at a food counter and poured himself a cup of vegetable beef soup while lamenting that he had to take it to go in order not to be late for the rally.
“They’re hard on me, man,” Mr. Biden said to his fellow shoppers. “This vice president stuff is tough.”
In his latest campaign ad, Democratic Iowa Congressman Bruce Braley highlights the differences between Brooklyn, New York and his hometown, Brooklyn, Iowa.
“In the movies, growing up in Brooklyn meant the rough and tumble of New York. Well, I grew up in Brooklyn, Iowa where I learned that it’s less important how loud you talk than how well you listened,” Mr. Braley says in the ad.
Mitt Romney has already shown television audiences what he would do on the first day of his hypothetical presidency, but his newest ads reveals what he’d like to do with his first 100 days in office. Mr. Romney released four variations of an ad entitled “First 100 Days” for audiences in Ohio, Virginia, Iowa and North Carolina. The ads contain different promises for each state.
At a campaign rally at the Iowa State Fairgrounds in Des Moines last night, President Barack Obama reiterated his campaign’s message that their criticism of Mitt Romney’s work at Bain Capital isn’t an attack on the private equity industry as a whole. President Obama said the discussion of Bain is about wheter Mr. Romney’s time “engaged in corporate buyouts” was proper preparation for the presidency.
“He should be proud of the great personal success he’s had as a CEO of a large financial firm. There are plenty of good and honest people in that industry, and there’s an important, creative role for it in the free market,” said the president. “But Governor Romney has made his experience as a financial CEO the entire rationale of his candidacy for president. Now, he doesn’t really talk about what he did in Massachusetts. But he does talk about being a business — business guy. Right? He says this gives him a special understanding of what it takes to create jobs and grow the economy. … So I think it’s a good idea to look at the way he sees the economy.”
Today, political types were focused on the demise of Ron Paul, obsessions and puppies! Here’s our roundup of the day’s best Tweets from the campaign trail.
Abby Huntsman suggested her father, Jon Hunstman,
Politico’s Dylan Byers needed some
Iowa Senator Chuck Grassley lost a race against New Hampshire Senator Kelly Ayotte.
Mitt Romney’s campaign is continuing to keep their focus on the economy with a new web ad that tells the stories of Americans who are unemployed or underemployed under President Barack Obama. The ad features brief interviews with struggling workers in Iowa accompanied by a moody piano soundtrack.
“Hope and change has not been kind to millions of Americans, but they still believe in this great country, and deserve a leader who believes in them: Mitt Romney,” the narrator said in the ad.
With his latest campaign ad blitz in the battleground states, President Barack Obama would like to remind you that the economic crisis began before he was in office. His ad, which will air in nine states, articulates what are clearly becoming the main early messages of his reelection bid; the economic recovery may be slow, but it is happening and the Obama administration has made a number of acheivements that make it worth keeping the faith for the many voters who believed in him during the last election.
“In 2008 an economic meltdown, 4.4 million jobs lost, America’s economy spiraling down. All before this president took the oath” a narrator says in between grim news clips from the financial crisis as the ad begins.
The Republican competition to see who will finally face off against Barack Obama experienced a notable development tonight when Former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney won the Iowa caucus by the narrowest of margins over former Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum.
Iowa’s Republican Chairman made the announcement shortly after 2:30 am EST that Mr. Romney managed to finish with a mere 8 vote lead over Mr. Santorum, resulting in what is certainly the closest Iowa caucus vote count in memory. Although Mr. Romney’s ultimate victory is impressive, the results are particularly remarkable for Mr. Santorum, who was polling near last place while running a shoestring campaign for all of the past year.