Blog Posts by Joel Roberts, Yahoo! News

  • Are attacks on Romney’s business record working? Polls are split

    Romney in New Hampshire (Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)Two new polls reveal different findings about whether the Obama campaign's attacks on Mitt Romney's tenure at Bain Capital are hurting the Republican challenger.

    USA Today/Gallup poll released Monday night suggests that "Democratic attacks on Romney seem to have had little effect on voters' assessments of him. In February, 53 percent said the former Massachusetts governor had the personality and leadership qualities a president should have; now 54 percent do."

    By a margin of 63 percent to 29 percent, those surveyed say Romney's business background, including his time at Bain, "would cause him to make good decisions, not bad ones" on the economy.

    The poll also shows Romney with "a significant advantage" over the president on "managing the economy, reducing the federal budget deficit and creating jobs."

    But a Reuters/Ipsos poll released early Tuesday finds that the sustained Democratic attacks on "Romney's business history and refusal to release more tax records appear to be working."

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  • Poll: White House race still even, despite Bain attacks

    Obama and Romney. (Carolyn Kaster, Evan Vucci/AP Photo)Obama and Romney. (Carolyn Kaster, Evan Vucci/AP Photo)

    The race for the White House remains a dead heat, according to a new CBS News/New York Times poll, despite several weeks of tough attacks by Democrats on Republican Mitt Romney's tenure at the private equity firm Bain Capital and his refusal to release more of his tax returns.

    The poll shows Romney at 47 percent and Obama at 46 percent among registered voters, a difference that's within the poll's three-point margin of error.

    Most voters, 60 percent, say Romney's experience at Bain will not influence their decision. Even more, 73 percent, say Romney's personal wealth will not be a factor.

    However, about one in five voters say these issues will make them less likely to support Romney.

    Romney gets the edge over Obama on handling the economy, 49 percent to 41 percent, but Obama is seen as doing more to help the middle class, by a margin of 52 percent to 38 percent.

    Slightly more than half of those polled say Romney's policies favor the rich.

    A majority of voters say Obama's polices have

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  • Where’s Palin’s convention invite?

    Sarah Palin (J. Scott Applewhite/AP)Mitt Romney currently has no plans to give Sarah Palin a role at the 2012 Republican National Convention. In fact, John McCain's 2008 running mate hasn't even been invited to the GOP soiree in Tampa, reports Newsweek's Peter J.  Boyer.

    "Palin would certainly light up the base at the convention … but a jolt of Palin at Romney's convention seems most unlikely," Boyer writes. "The Romney campaign prides itself on a slavish adherence to script, and Palin cannot be trusted to avoid the impulse to go rogue."

    [Related: Where in the world is Sarah Palin?]

    Palin herself seems to be taking the apparent snub in stride. "What can I say?" she told the magazine in an email from Alaska. "I'm sure I'm not the only one accepting consequences for calling out both sides of the aisle for spending too much money, putting us on the road to bankruptcy, and engaging in crony capitalism.

    "In accepting those consequences" she added, "one must remember this isn't Sadie Hawkins and you don't invite yourself and a

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  • Cheney to host major Romney fundraiser

    Cheney (Rose Palmisano/Orange County Register via AP)Former Vice President Dick Cheney will host a high-priced fundraiser for Mitt Romney at his Wyoming home Thursday night.

    The $30,000-a-couple dinner at Cheney's home outside of Jackson Hole will follow a reception at the fancy Teton Pines country club nearby. Together, the two events are expected to raise more than $2 million for the Romney campaign.

    The evening represents Cheney's "grandest gesture to pass a torch to Romney," says the Washington Post. But it also draws attention to Romney's "complicated and not always comfortable" relationship with the last Republican administration.

    The Associated Press says Romney rarely appears in public with Cheney or with former President George W. Bush, and even goes out of his way at times to avoid saying Bush's name out loud, simply calling him President Obama's "predecessor."

    Romney advisers characterize his relationship with Cheney as cordial, though not particularly close, and say there's little evidence of Cheney's influence on Romney's

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  • Skydiving great-grandmothers take a leap for charity

    Marjorie Bryan with retired Sgt. 1st Class Michael Elliott. (AP Photo/Courtesy Sgt. 1st Class Marc Owens)Marjorie Bryan with retired Sgt. 1st Class Michael Elliott. (AP Photo/Courtesy Sgt. 1st Class Marc Owens)

    Two daring Ohio great-grandmothers jumped from a plane Saturday to help raise money for a veterans' food pantry.

    Marjorie Bryan, 83, and Marianna Sherman, 82, parachuted from more than 10,000 feet at the Allen County Airport in Lima, reports the Lima News.  They jumped in tandem with retired Sgt. 1st Class Michael "Big Mike" Elliott, who has made similar jumps with former President George H.W. Bush on Bush's 83rd and 85th birthdays.

    [Slideshow: Wacky pics of the week]

    After the jump, safely on the ground with a glass of champagne in her hand, Bryan said she wants to join Bush if he makes another jump for his 90th birthday.

    "I'll be 85, and I want to go with him," she said.

    [Slideshow: Nik Wallenda tightrope walks across Niagara Falls]

    Sherman was less certain about returning to the skies. She said the view was breathtaking, but the ride was a little uncomfortable.

    Would she do it again?

    "Not if I wasn't asked," she said with a smile.

    Bryan and Sherman made the jumps to raise funds for

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  • Rand Paul endorses Romney, but dad ‘still my first pick’

    Sen. Rand Paul (R-Kentucky). (AP Photo)Republican Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky endorsed Mitt Romney for president Thursday night, but he made clear he'd prefer someone else.

    "My first choice had always been my father. I campaigned for him when I was 11-years-old. He's still my first pick," the tea party favorite told Fox News' Sean Hannity. "But now that the nominating process is over, tonight I'm happy to announce that I'm going to be supporting Gov. Mitt Romney."

    Paul's father, Texas congressman Ron Paul, suspended his active campaign operation last month, but is still pursuing delegates so he can have an influence at the GOP nominating convention in August.

    Paul noted in the Fox interview that Romney's father, George, also fell short in a presidential bid in 1968.

    Romney said in a statement on his campaign website that he was "honored" by the endorsement and called Rand Paul "a leading voice in the effort to scale back the size and reach of government and promote liberty."

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  • Romney: Wisconsin victory ‘will echo beyond’ state borders

    Gov. Scott Walker celebrates his victory. (REUTERS/Darren Hauck)Gov. Scott Walker celebrates his victory. (REUTERS/Darren Hauck)

    Mitt Romney hailed Republican Gov. Scott Walker's victory over Democratic challenger Mayor Tom Barrett of Milwaukee in Tuesday's Wisconsin recall election, and said the vote has national implications.

    "Tonight's results will echo beyond the borders of Wisconsin," the presumptive GOP presidential nominee said in a statement released on his campaign website.

    Walker's win shows that "citizens and taxpayers can fight back — and prevail — against the runaway government costs imposed by labor bosses," Romney said. "Tonight voters said 'no' to the tired, liberal ideas of yesterday, and 'yes' to fiscal responsibility and a new direction."

    The Obama campaign, meanwhile, tried to find some positives in Tuesday's vote.

    State campaign director Tripp Wellde said, "While tonight's outcome was not what we had hoped for — no one can dispute the strong message sent to Governor Walker."

    Wellde also highlighted exit polls showing Obama beating Romney 52 percent to 43 percent in Wisconsin, which he said

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  • ‘Uncommitted’ and unknown score points against Obama

    President Obama. (Carolyn Kaster/AP)President Obama easily won Tuesday night's Democratic primary in Kentucky, capturing 58 percent of the vote.

    That sounds like a solid victory. But with the president running unopposed in the Bluegrass State that means more than four in 10 voters didn't pick him.

    Who did they choose instead? Forty-two percent of those going to the polls rejected the president in favor of "uncommitted."

    And, according to Louisville's Courier-Journal newspaper, in 67 of Kentucky's 120 counties, "uncommitted" received more votes than the president.

    Over in Arkansas, where he had an actual opponent, Obama lost a similar percentage of the vote. According to preliminary returns from the state's open primary, John Wolfe, a lawyer from Tennessee, is polling at about 40 percent.

    [Related: Romney leads Obama in crucial state]

    Though little known, Wolfe is no stranger to politics. The Washington Post reports he was previously on the primary ballots in Louisiana, Missouri and New Hampshire, and will be on next

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  • Hawaii verifies Obama birth records to Arizona

    A nearly three-month-long tussle between two states over President Obama's birth records may be at an end.

    The state of Hawaii said late Tuesday it has provided verification of the president's birth to Arizona's secretary of state, who claimed he needed proof of Obama's citizenship before he could place his name on the state's November ballot.

    Joshua Wisch, special assistant to Hawaii Attorney General David Louie, told The Associated Press that the matter is now resolved.

    Hawaii didn't give in to the request quickly or easily, pressing Arizona Secretary of State Ken Bennett for proof that the records were needed as part of normal business.

    Wisch said Hawaii got the necessary proof, so it sent Bennett's office the verification.

    A spokesman for Bennett said he received Hawaii's verification and will comment Wednesday. It was not clear if the new  information would satisfy Bennett or bring the dispute to a close.

    In a radio interview last week, Bennett insisted he is "not a birther. I

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  • Reagan foundation fights back over blood sale

    Vial of blood allegedly from Ronald Reagan (PFC Auctions)

    The Ronald Reagan Presidential Foundation is taking legal action to stop an online auction of a vial alleged to contain the late president's blood.

    "The Reagan Foundation is actively pursuing legal matters against both the seller and the auctioneer," spokeswoman Melissa Giller said Tuesday, according to AFP.

    John Heubusch, the foundation's executive vice president, condemned the sale of the vial, which is claimed to date from the 1981 assassination attempt on Reagan, by PFC Auctions, an auction house in the British Channel Islands.

    "If indeed this story is true, it's a craven act and we will use every legal means to stop its sale or purchase," Heubusch said.

    PFC Auctions' web site describes the item as "a glass vial which was used to hold a sample of President Ronald Reagan's blood after an assassination attempt in 1981."

    As of late Tuesday night on the East Coast, the top bid for the vial was $14,463.75. Bids will be taken until Thursday.

    The vial has a label with Reagan's patient ID

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