Nick Baumann

Nick Baumann

Senior Editor

Nick is based in our DC bureau, where he covers national politics and civil liberties issues. Nick has also written for The Economist, The Atlantic, the Washington Monthly, and Commonweal. Email tips and insights to nbaumann [at] motherjones [dot] com. You can also follow him on Facebook.

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VIDEO: Daily Show, Colbert Report Respond to Romney's 47 Percent Comments

| Wed Sep. 19, 2012 11:01 AM EDT

President Barack Obama wasn't alone in responding to Mitt Romney's controversial "47 Percent" comments on Tuesday. The Daily Show With Jon Stewart and the Colbert Report weighed in on Mother Jones' scoop, too. Here's Stewart:

And here's Colbert (Highlight: "I hope to see you all later in the Russian f***pit."):

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WATCH: On Letterman, Obama Addresses Romney 47% Comments

| Wed Sep. 19, 2012 9:44 AM EDT

President Barack Obama appeared on "Late Show With David Letterman" Tuesday night and responded to Mother Jones' release of Mitt Romney's controversial comments at a closed-door fundraiser. Here's what Obama said about Romney's claims about the 47 percent:

Well, I don't know what he was referring to, but I can tell you this. When I won in 2008, 47 percent of the American people voted for John McCain, they didn't vote for me. And what I said on election night was, even though you didn't vote for me, I hear your voices and I'm going to work as hard as I can to be your president. And one of the things I’ve learned as president is you represent the entire country. And when I meet Republicans as I'm traveling around the country, they are hard working, family people, who care deeply about this country and my expectation is that if you want to be president you got to work for everybody not just for some.

15 Percent of Ohio GOPers Say Romney Deserves Credit for Bin Laden Raid

| Sun Sep. 9, 2012 10:52 PM EDT
We're pretty sure this is a photo of Mitt Romney planning the raid that killed Osama bin Laden.

In what some (one guy on Twitter) have called "a stroke of comic genius," Public Policy Polling decided to ask Ohio Republicans who they thought "deserved more credit for the killing of Osama bin Laden: Barack Obama or Mitt Romney. In what some (my colleague Tim Murphy) have called "the greatest thing ever," a full 15 percent of Ohio Republicans surveyed said Romney deserved more credit than the president. Another 47 percent said they were "unsure." This led to all sorts of funny quips on Twitter:

This is amusing, but no one should take it particularly seriously. Significant percentages of Americans claim to believe all sorts of crazy things, and it's possible that a large percentage of the people who told PPP that Romney deserves credit for the bin Laden raid simply wanted to say eff-you to the president.

The poll didn't offer an option for "the Navy SEALs" or "the troops," who undoubtedly would have blown out Romney and Obama if they were options. The news in this poll—as much as any one poll can be news—is that it found Obama leading Romney by five percentage points in Ohio. (The full poll results are here.) No Republican has ever won the presidency without winning Ohio. Here's a reality check on the state of the presidential race: Nate Silver, the New York Times' polling guru, now gives the president a nearly 80 percent chance of winning reelection.

Guy in Charge of Electing GOP Senators Hasn't Been Following Pennsylvania Senate Race

| Tue Aug. 28, 2012 2:46 PM EDT

It seems that Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas) doesn't read much news.

On Tuesday afternoon at the Republican National Convention, I asked Cornyn what he thought of the controversy surrounding Pennsylvania Senate candidate Tom Smith, who compared being an unwed mother to being raped. I was wondering whether Cornyn thought Smith's comments (which drew national headlines before his spokeswoman walked them back) might reduce the GOP's chances of winning the seat. Cornyn is the chair of the National Republican Senatorial Committee (NRSC), which is charged with electing GOP senators, but he told me he "honestly hadn't followed" the Smith controversy.

There are only a few possible explanations for this. Assuming Cornyn was telling the truth, and the NRSC is remotely competent, it suggests that the NRSC doesn't think Smith has much of a chance of unseating Democratic incumbent Robert Casey Jr., who leads in the polls. If NRSC staff thought the race was competitive, they would have been monitoring it and would have alerted their boss when the GOP candidate made a deeply damaging, headline-grabbing gaffe. The fact that Cornyn seemed not to have heard of the controversy suggests his staff may think it doesn't matter.

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