Blog Posts by Chris Moody

  • House Republican campaign group triples digital team for 2014

    The National Republican Congressional Committee on Tuesday will announce its new digital campaign team in preparation for the 2014 midterm elections, tripling the number of aides focused on online advocacy.

    The new members, according to a forthcoming memo from NRCC Chairman Rep. Greg Walden, include Danielle Varallo, who worked on Mitt Romney's presidential campaign in 2012; Chris Georgia, former digital director at the American Action Network; and Todd Carney, a former political advertising fellow at Google.

    “I’m proud to introduce what is now the largest digital team in NRCC history—a group of operatives with expertise in Web design, ads, analytics, videography, graphic design, copywriting and messaging," said Walden in the statement. “Heading into the 2014 election cycle, the NRCC made a strategic decision to invest heavily in our Digital Department and we’re determined to help set new standards for Digital both on the Right and the Left.”

    House Republicans in 2012 trailed Democrats

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  • McConnell pokes fun at possible Democratic Senate challengers

    Kentucky Republican Sen. Mitch McConnell's re-election campaign posted its first video on Tuesday, which mocks the Democrats' search for a viable challenger to the top-ranking Senate Republican and includes cameos from actress Ashley Judd, a possible candidate.

    The Web video, titled "Obama's Kentucky Candidate," features Ed Marksberry, a contractor from Owensboro who declared his candidacy in December, and possible contenders Judd, former U.S. Ambassador Matthew Barzun and Kentucky Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes.

    The video emphasizes clips of Judd praising Tennessee and San Fransisco as her "home," an effort to frame her as an outsider in case she decides to run.

    Until now, McConnell has been coy about discussing his re-election campaign. When asked about his challengers during an interview with Yahoo News last month, the tight-lipped minority leader said: "Who I actually end up running against either in the primary or the general will be determined in 2014, and we'll take

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  • Rubio fundraises off State of the Union response by selling water bottles

    From the very beginning, Florida Sen. Marco Rubio has kept a sense of humor about his now infamous reach-and-sip moment during the official Republican response to President Barack Obama's State of the Union address.

    Now, he's cashing in on it.

    In exchange for a $25 donation to Rubio's political action committee, the Reclaim America PAC will send you an official "Marco Rubio water bottle."

    "Send the liberal detractors a message that not only does Marco Rubio inspire you…he hydrates you too," the page reads.

  • Reid schedules vote to end debate on Hagel nomination

    Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid on Wednesday filed a motion to end debate and vote to confirm President Barack Obama's defense secretary nominee Chuck Hagel, setting the stage for a vote later this week.

    Hagel's confirmation will require support from at least 60 senators to proceed to a vote, forcing Democrats to find at least five Republicans to overcome the procedural hurdle. Many Republicans, most notably Arizona Sen. John McCain and South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham, have voiced strong opposition to Hagel's nomination, citing a lack of information about the nominee.

    Presidential nominees typically require a simple majority vote, but because of Republican opposition the chamber will need 60 to end debate, technically a filibuster.

    "This is the first time in the history of our country that a presidential nominee for secretary of defense has been filibustered," Reid said when he made the announcement from the Senate floor on Wednesday. "What a shame. But that's the way it is."

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  • South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham (Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

    South Carolina Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham does not plan to ease up on his campaign to stall President Barack Obama's national security nominees. On Wednesday, Graham called on Democrats to join him in seeking more information about details surrounding the deadly attack on an American compound in Benghazi, Libya, in September.

    "If this was a Republican president, I gauran-damn-tee ya there'd be a lot of Democrats doing a lot more than I'm doing. And you know what? They probably should," Graham said at a Capitol Hill press conference. "I think Democrats had no problem doing that with Bush and, quite frankly, they did the country a service by probing into failures. I'm going to do the same."

    Graham has been a vocal opponent of Obama's choice of John Brennan to head the CIA and former Nebraska Sen. Chuck Hagel to be defense secretary, saying he would vote to continue debating their confirmations in the Senate. Last weekend Graham suggested he would place a "hold" on the

    Read More »from Lindsey Graham digs in on stalling Obama nominees: ‘I’m gonna hit you and keep hittin’ you’
  • ‘Robin Hood’ photobombs Jack Lew during Senate hearing

    Two men dressed as Robin Hood are attending Treasury nominee Jack Lew's Senate Finance Committee confirmation hearing, and one of them managed to snag a seat in sight of the C-SPAN cameras.

    The quiet demonstrators are from a group called The Robin Hood Tax, who advocate adding a new tax on Wall Street transactions.

    The age-old merry man seems to be making a comeback this week: Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul name dropped him on Tuesday night in his tea party response to Obama's State of the Union address.

    It's only a matter of time before Waldo starts making appearances at these meetings, which are open to the public.

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  • Boehner says no to minimum-wage hike

    In his State of the Union address, President Barack Obama outlined a wish list of liberal policy ideas, including a proposal to raise the federal minimum wage to $9 an hour by 2015 and implement automatic adjustments tied to the rate of inflation in the future.

    “Even with the tax relief we’ve put in place, a family with two kids that earns the minimum wage still lives below the poverty line. That’s wrong,” Obama told a joint session of Congress on Tuesday night. “Let’s declare that in the wealthiest nation on earth, no one who works full time should have to live in poverty.”

    But like many of the ideas Obama put forward during his address, a bill to raise the minimum wage is unlikely to pass the divided House and Senate. And on Monday, House Speaker John Boehner shot down the idea, arguing that raising the rate would stunt job growth.

    "When you raise the price of employment, guess what happens? You get less of it," Boehner said in response to a reporter's question about the president's

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  • Kentucky Republican Sen. Rand Paul accused both Republicans and Democrats of being "guilty of spending too much" in his tea party response to President Barack Obama's State of the Union address on Tuesday night.

    "It is often said that there is not enough bipartisanship up here. That is not true. In fact, there is plenty of bipartisanship," Paul said in a speech for Tea Party Express that streamed live on the group's website shortly after Obama's speech. "Both parties have been guilty of spending too much, of protecting their sacred cows, of backroom deals in which everyone up here wins, but every taxpayer loses."

    Despite being an elected member of the Senate, the junior senator from Kentucky at times spoke as though he were an outsider—even using the word "they" when referring to other members of the institution to which he belongs.

    Paul delivered his remarks after the official Republican response, given by Florida Sen. Marco Rubio from the Capitol. Paul joined Rubio in accusing the

    Read More »from Rand Paul’s tea party SOTU response: ‘What America needs is not Robin Hood but Adam Smith’
  • Florida Sen. Marco Rubio (Getty Images)

    In a speech sanctioned as the official Republican response to President Barack Obama's State of the Union address, Florida Republican Sen. Marco Rubio outlined a personal and direct rebuttal to key parts of the speech, criticizing Obama's call for higher taxes and increased federal spending.

    Speaking from the House Speaker's conference room in the U.S. Capitol immediately after the State of the Union, Rubio accused Obama of treating the "free enterprise economy [as] the cause" of the nation's problems and pushed hard against Obama's assertion that his policies would help the middle class.

    "The tax increases and the deficit spending you propose will hurt middle-class families," Rubio said. "It will cost them their raises. It will cost them their benefits. It may even cost some of them their jobs. And it will hurt seniors because it does nothing to save Medicare and Social Security. So Mr. President, I don’t oppose your plans because I want to protect the rich. I oppose your plans

    Read More »from Rubio’s State of the Union response: Obama must drop ‘obsession’ with raising taxes
  • Top Senate Republican doesn’t see a way to avoid the sequester

    Vice President Joe Biden is known as "The McConnell whisperer" for his ability to broker compromises between Democrats and Republican Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, but his charms may not work on the Kentucky lawmaker when it comes to the impending sequester.

    The federal government will face the sequester—massive automatic budget cuts—should Congress not vote on a package of alternate cuts by March 1. The original deadline was Jan. 1—but Biden had negotiated a deal with McConnell at the last minute that put it off for two months. (Both deadlines were a consequence of not reaching an agreement on a bipartisan deficit reduction deal in 2011.)

    Republicans and Democrats have both proposed plans to replace the $2.1 trillion in across-the-board cuts with more reasonable measures, but McConnell said he doesn't foresee enough time to reach a compromise before the deadline.

    "Read my lips: I'm not interested in an 11th-hour negotiation," McConnell told reporters Tuesday. "It's pretty

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