2012

Trump targets Florida electoral haul with Orlando campaign kick-off
Booming and diverse state presents challenge, and is key to re-election bid

Bikers after a Republican rally in Orlando, Fla., last November. For President Donald Trump, any hopes of winning a second term depend on him winning Florida and its 29 electoral votes again. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

President Donald Trump will pull out all the stops Tuesday in Orlando, Florida, when he announces his re-election bid in a state he narrowly won in 2016 and needs again as he tries to reconfigure the electoral map that put him in the White House.

But Democrats are already countering his expected message of a strong economy and tough trade tactics, arguing that Trump’s tariffs are hurting middle-class voters and causing battleground states to shed jobs. That’s the message the party and many of its 2020 candidates are pushing in hopes of reversing Hillary Clinton’s 1-point loss in the Sunshine State three years ago. 

Trump, Biden and the battle for Pennsylvania
‘Biden deserted you,‘ president roars in Montoursville rally, as former veep sets up shop in Philly

Former Vice President Joe Biden removes his jacket at the Eakins Oval in Philadelphia on Saturday as he formally kicks off his 2020 White House bid. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

ALLENTOWN, Pa. — Three times President Donald Trump mentioned former Vice President and Pennsylvania native Joe Biden, the 2020 Democratic front-runner, and three times his crowd of loyalists booed at a rally Monday night in Lycoming County. But it is swing voter-rich places, like the one here in Lehigh County, two hours to the southeast, that will help determine who is president in January 2021.

Biden clearly has attracted the president’s attention since he jumped into his party’s race to take on Trump in the general election.

The political gospel of Karamo Brown
Can the ‘Queer Eye’ star’s message of inclusiveness succeed in polarized times?

“Queer Eye” star Karamo Brown visits Capitol Hill on Wednesday to push for legislation that would prohibit LGBTQ parents from being discriminated against in the adoption and foster care process. (Thomas McKinless/CQ Roll Call)

Karamo Brown talks like a man who has spent many hours in introspection. His speech is steeped in the language of therapy, peppered with words like “trauma” and “healing” and “boundaries.” He wants people to live their truth and accept who they are so they can be better for the people around them.

It should come as no surprise that the former social worker talks this way — especially to anyone who watches Brown on Netflix’s “Queer Eye,” a runaway television hit that preaches inclusion and asks its audience and subjects to accept people who are different from themselves.

Trump Compares His Win, Romney’s Loss in Responding to Harsh Critique
RNC chairwoman McDaniel condemns her uncle’s ‘attack’ on Trump — without naming him

Mitt Romney will be sworn in this week as the junior senator from Utah, but the former GOP presidential nominee already is in a war of words with President Donald Trump. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Donald Trump on Wednesday fired back at Sen.-elect Mitt Romney after the onetime GOP nominee for president wrote in an op-ed that the sitting president “has not risen to the mantle of the office.”

As he waits to be sworn in on Thursday as the junior senator from Utah, the former Massachusetts governor provoked the president Tuesday with a Washington Post opinion piece that harshly criticized Trump. And in classic counter-puncher fashion, Trump questioned in a Wednesday morning tweet whether Romney would be “a Flake,” a reference to outgoing Arizona GOP Sen. Jeff Flake, who clashed with Trump but ultimately opted to leave office after Trump’s base in his state abandoned him.

Search for Third Chief of Staff Down to Five Candidates, Trump Says
Some GOP insiders wonder just who can get along with president for very long

President Donald Trump speaks to the media before boarding Marine One to depart from the White House on Dec. 7. (Mark Wilson/Getty Images)

President Donald Trump has narrowed the search for his third White House chief of staff to five “mostly well known” people, he told reporters Thursday.

“We are interviewing people now for chief of staff,” the president said five days after he announced John Kelly would leave the post at the end of the year. Nick Ayers, Vice President Mike Pence’s chief of staff, turned him down Sunday and is leaving the White House to leave Washington and work for a pro-Trump political action group.

Campaign Aide to Rep. Robert Brady Found Guilty on 9 Counts
Feds secure conviction on fraud spread over multiple election cycles

A federal jury found Rep. Robert Brady’s aide, Kenneth Smukler, guilty of 11 counts of breaking campaign finance laws. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

A federal jury found Rep. Robert Brady’s top political strategist, Kenneth Smukler, guilty on nine counts of breaking campaign finance laws and obstructing a Federal Election Commission investigation.

The jury found Smukler guilty of conspiracy to violate federal law, making and causing unlawful campaign contributions and causing false statements to the FEC in connection with a 2012 congressional primary campaign in a Philadelphia-area congressional district.

Witnesses Implicate Rep. Bob Brady for Corruption in Former Aide’s Trial
Prosecutors have allowed statute of limitations to expire, freeing Philly Dem from legal worries

Rep. Bob Brady, D-Pa., may be free from prosecution, but former aides and opponents have testified under oath that he conspired in illegal campaign finance schemes. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Multiple witnesses in the trial of Rep. Robert A. Brady’s former campaign strategist have implicated the congressman for conspiring to commit campaign finance crimes, recasting the spotlight on his past alleged corruption.

Brady, a longtime Philadelphia Democrat who is retiring in at the end of his 11th term in January, allegedly conspired with his former campaign strategists, Ken Smukler and Donald “D.A.” Jones, to pay a 2012 Democratic primary challenger $90,000 for him to exit the race.

Trump’s Condolences Bookend Complicated Relationship With McCain
President went from supporting McCain to trashing him to refusing to acknowledge him

Will Simms, Newseum graphics specialist, posts The Arizona Republic’s front page at the Newseum’s front-page display on Sunday, the day after Sen. John McCain died. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

President Donald Trump’s tweet sending condolences after Sen. John McCain’s death bookended a relationship that began with support but ended with contempt.

Trump tweeted that his “deepest sympathies and respect go out” to the Arizona Republican’s family. 

North Carolina GOP Candidate Preached Extensively on Wives Submitting to Husbands
Former Baptist preacher Mark Harris is running in the 9th District

North Carolina Republican Mark Harris upset Rep. Robert Pittenger in the 9th District GOP primary in May. (John D. Simmons /The Charlotte Observer via AP)

Democrats were already targeting North Carolina’s 9th District before incumbent Rep. Robert Pittenger lost his Republican primary in May. And they’re hoping that past comments from the former Baptist minister who defeated him improves their chances of flipping the seat this fall. 

Mark Harris on multiple occasions — as a preacher and political candidate — has said that women should submit fully to their husbands and that he believed homosexuality is a choice. Before venturing into politics, he was a pastor at First Baptist Church in Charlotte. 

Democrats Will Make Fairer Districts, Democrats Say
But historically, gerrymandering isn’t just a Republican issue

People demonstrate against partisan gerrymandering outside the Supreme Court last October. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Democrats say there’s one easy way to create more equitable and fair districts throughout the country: Elect more Democrats.

“More Democrats in office will give us fairer lines,” Sabrina Singh, a spokeswoman for the Democratic National Committee, said in an interview before the Supreme Court kicked back two cases on partisan gerrymandering to the lower courts on procedural grounds.