Posts Tagged Romney

Romney Stumps in Iowa for Senatorial Candidate Joni Ernst Ahead of Midterms

Romney ErnstFormer 2012 Republican candidate Mitt Romney lumped President Obama and Iowa Congressman Bruce Braley together Sunday in taking shots at Democratic policies while touting Republican senatorial candidate Joni Ernst as the tonic needed to fix the nation’s ills in Washington.

“She’s going to be an extraordinary breath of fresh air in Washington,” Romney told 200 Republicans who turned out for a rally at the Iowa Farm Bureau Federation headquarters. “I can’t wait until she goes there and makes them squeal.”

Ernst, a state senator from Red Oak, is locked in a neck-and-neck battle with Braley, a four-term Waterloo Democrat, in the Nov. 4 contest to see who will succeed Democrat Tom Harkin as Iowa’s next U.S. senator.

Romney said Obama, who defeated him in the 2012 presidential election, has noted that he is not on the ballot in this year’s midterm election but his policies are.

“Now I know that Iowa voted for president Obama, but Iowa is not going to vote for Bill Braley and vote for him a third time, that’s for sure,” said Romney, a reference that put him the company of former President Bill Clinton and first lady Michelle Obama who also came to Iowa and got Braley’s name wrong.

Romney said health care costs have gone up under Obamacare, poverty has gotten worse for Americans, the federal budget deficit has nearly doubled, bad things have happened internationally as Obama has pulled back and shrunk the military and traveled the world apologizing for America.

“This is not a philosophy of the presidency that is working,” noted Romney.

“It’s time for the president to apologize to America,” he said.

The former Massachusetts governor said Ernst brings Midwest values and leadership experience as an officer in the Iowa National Guard who saw combat duty in Iraq.

“Iowa has a choice. Iowa can make a decision to change the course in Washington,” he said.

Ernst joined Gov. Terry Branstad and Lt. Gov. Kim Reynolds in touting successes during their time at the Statehouse before she took aim at Braley for missing veterans’ affairs hearings at a critical time when he could have had an impact in addressing their health care needs.

“He left 120,000 American veterans hanging out to dry without the health care not only that they deserved but they had earned with their honorable service to this great nation,” she said.

Ernst also accused Braley of twice voting to “defund our troops as they were serving in combat” during Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan, leaving them vulnerable.

“He will try to deny it, but what he was doing was putting politics ahead of our men and women in uniform and that is absolutely unacceptable,” Ernst told the crowd.

Braley’s campaign issued a statement later Sunday saying the congressmen made it clear during the vote Ernst referenced that he supported funding for the American troops and raising their pay, but he could not support bills that left them fighting ground wars indefinitely.

“This is a shameful and false attack,” said Braley campaign spokesman Sam Lau. “Joni Ernst knows she is misleading Iowans about Bruce’s record in order to hide her out-of-step agenda that puts millionaires and special interests ahead of Iowa’s families.

“As the son of a Marine veteran, Bruce has always supported our men and women in uniform, and like most Iowans, does not believe we should commit them to a prolonged ground war with no end date,” he added.

At one point during his speech, Romney noted that “I’m not running for anything.”

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President Obama to meet Romney at White House

Romney Obama

President Barack Obama will host Mitt Romney for a private lunch at the White House on Thursday, their first meeting since Obama defeated him in this month’s presidential election.

The encounter follows Obama’s promise, in the aftermath of the bitterly fought November 6 election, to consult the former Republican governor of Massachusetts by the end of the year. It also comes amid Obama’s efforts to work out with congressional leaders a way to avoid a looming “fiscal cliff” that could push the U.S. economy back into recession.

“Governor Romney will have a private lunch at the White House with President Obama in the private dining room,” the White House said of the meeting, which will be closed to the media. “It will be the first opportunity they have had to visit since the election.”

Obama’s talks with Romney will be sandwiched between a series of events this week in which he is making his case to Americans to raise taxes on wealthy Americans while extending tax cuts for the middle class – an approach that his former Republican rival strongly opposed during the campaign.

Obama’s Democrats and their Republican foes remain deadlocked over dramatic, year-end tax increases and spending cuts known as the fiscal cliff that will kick in unless a deal is struck.

Seeking to make good on his post-election pledge to reach across the political aisle, Obama told a November 14 news conference he wanted to “sit down and talk” to Romney to hear his ideas and see whether they could work together.

Obama said he could envision a future role in public service for Romney but had no specific “assignment” for him.

Romney, in a conference call with donors after the election, was widely reported to have said that Obama won by using targeted initiatives to reward specific constituencies, including African-Americans, Latinos and young people.

Obama, who won a decisive victory after a bruising campaign, had sought to depict Romney as out of touch with ordinary Americans and intent on shielding the rich from higher taxes.

Romney had accused Obama of failed economic policies and wasteful spending to promote big government.

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President Obama wins Re-election

Obama ReelectedBarack Obama the post-partisan candidate of hope four years ago who became the first black U.S. president, won re-election by overcoming four years of economic discontent with a mix of political populism and electoral math.

“Tonight, in this election, you, the American people reminded us that, while our road has been hard, while our journey has been long, we have picked ourselves up, we have fought our way back,” Obama said in his victory speech in Chicago. “We know in our hearts that for the United States of America, the best is yet to come.”

Obama defeated Republican Mitt Romney, winning at least 303 electoral votes in yesterday’s election with 270 needed for the victory. With one state — Florida — yet to be decided, Romney had 206 electoral votes.

The president faces a partisan divide in Congress, with Republicans retaining their House majority while Democrats kept control of the Senate, and a looming fiscal crisis of automatic spending cuts and tax increases set to begin next year unless a compromise is reached.

Romney Remarks

“This is a time for great challenges for America, and I pray that the president will be successful in guiding our nation,” Romney said in a concession speech in Boston, where he had watched returns with family and friends. He called Obama to concede and offer congratulations shortly before his remarks.

“At a time like this, we can’t risk partisan bickering,” Romney, 65, said in a speech that lasted less than five minutes. “We have given our all to this campaign.”

Obama, 51, said he looks forward to sitting down with Romney to discuss ways they can work together to move the country forward.

“We may have battled fiercely, but it’s only because we love this country deeply, and we care so strongly about its future,” Obama said in his victory speech to a crowd that roared its approval.

Obama won the battleground states of Ohio, Virginia, Iowa New Hampshire, Wisconsin, Nevada and Colorado. He also carried Pennsylvania, where Romney made an 11th-hour bid for support to try to derail the president’s drive for re-election. North Carolina was the only battleground Romney won.

Votes were still being tallied in Florida, with Obama in the lead for its 29 electoral votes as the state remained too close to call.

Campaign Message

Beginning more than a year ago, Obama and his advisers cast the president as a champion of middle-class opportunity pitted against an opposition party more determined to protect preferences for the wealthy.

“I want you to know that this wasn’t fate, and it wasn’t an accident. You made this happen,” Obama said in an e-mail to supporters after television network projections late last night put him past the 270 threshold. “I will spend the rest of my presidency honoring your support.”

Obama said the victory is the “clearest proof yet that, against the odds, ordinary Americans can overcome powerful interests.”

States the president won included Michigan, where Romney’s father served as governor and where the president benefited from his support of the government’s bailout of the auto industry. Obama also easily carried Massachusetts, Romney’s home state where he served a term as governor.

With Obama’s win in Wisconsin, the home state of Romney running mate Paul Ryan, it was the first time since 1972 that both members of a presidential ticket lost in their home states.

Defining Romney

Throughout a volatile Republican nominating contest, Obama’s political team never wavered from the view that its eventual opponent would be Romney, a former private equity executive whom they would portray as an out-of-touch embodiment of moneyed privilege and heartless capitalism.

Even before the Republican primary contest ended, as the public was still forming impressions of Romney, Obama and his allies began a campaign to define their opponent.

By summer, they inundated battleground states with commercials featuring layoffs at companies purchased by Romney’s former firm, Bain Capital LLC, as well as his Swiss banks accounts and tax returns showing how he took advantage of breaks not available to most middle-income taxpayers.

Romney didn’t counter with his own aggressive effort to establish an identity with voters as he focused his campaign on turning the election into a referendum on persistent high joblessness. The unemployment rate under Obama exceeded 8 percent for 43 months, the longest period of such high joblessness since the start of monthly records in 1948.

Negative Ads

The negative tone of the campaign on both sides was reflected in their advertising. Between April, when Romney clinched his primary victory, and Oct. 28, nearly nine in 10 of all campaign ads — 87 percent — were negative, according to New York based Kantar Media’s CMAG.

Obama started the campaign with an advantage on the electoral map. The ethnic composition of eligible voters shifted in his favor in many critical states since his 2008 election.

The portion of adult citizens who are members of racial or ethnic minority groups grew by four percentage points in Nevada, three points in Virginia, two in Florida and by one point in Ohio and Iowa between 2008 and 2011, according to an analysis of Census data by William Frey, a demographer at the Brookings Institution in Washington.

Obama’s team took advantage by organizing to motivate supporters in the remaining states considered electoral battlegrounds. In some cases, Obama’s campaign never disbanded its 2008 efforts and early in the 2012 contest it built more field offices and hired professional staff.

New Voters

By Election Day, the Obama team claimed to have registered 1.8 million new voters in the battleground states, almost double the number of new voters the campaign registered four years earlier. By last weekend, 28 percent of those new voters had cast ballots through early voting, the campaign said.

“Don’t wait” to vote, Obama urged a mostly black crowd of 13,500 voters packed into Cincinnati’s Fifth Third Arena on Nov. 4. “Who do you trust?” the president asked the crowd, which shouted back “You!” Saying he knows what “real change” is, Obama added: “I delivered it; I’ve got the scars to prove it.”

The geography of the economic recovery also favored the president in the eight swing states that received the most attention from the two campaigns: Colorado, Florida, Iowa, Ohio, Nevada, New Hampshire, Virginia and Wisconsin.

In five of those states, joblessness was lower than the national average by September, the most recent month for which state-level unemployment data is available.

Pivotal Ohio

In Ohio, a state won by every Republican who has ever won the White House, unemployment dropped to 7 percent by September. The Obama campaign promoted the comeback of the auto industry, which was boosted by a government bailout the president backed. One in eight Ohio jobs is directly or indirectly tied to the auto industry, according to a 2010 report by the Center for Automotive Research in Ann Arbor, Michigan.

While Romney took a trip to Europe in July designed in part to heighten his profile on the foreign stage, $1.2 million worth of ads attacking him played 1,947 times on Ohio TV stations.

The Obama campaign hammered relentlessly at Romney’s opposition to the federal bailout, memorialized in a November 2008 New York Times opinion article the Republican candidate authored entitled “Let Detroit Go Bankrupt.”

Immigration Issue

A tough stance on illegal immigration that Romney took in the Republican primaries also contributed to lopsided support for Obama among Latino voters.

As the national economy improved during the election year, it weakened the central theme of Romney’s campaign. A slowdown in job growth in the last spring and early summer kept Romney close; hiring accelerated again as the election approached.

The 7.9 percent October unemployment rate was a full percentage point lower than a year earlier, the biggest 12-month improvement in joblessness over the period during any election year since 1948 except President Ronald Reagan’s 1984 re- election, when unemployment dropped 1.4 percentage points.

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Romney Campaign Still Upbeat Despite New Polls

MittMitt Romney’s presidential campaign sought Monday to reassure donors and supporters in a “State of the Race” bulletin after polling data showed a convention bounce for Barack Obama.

“Don’t get too worked up about the latest polling. While some voters will feel a bit of a sugar-high from the conventions, the basic structure of the race has not changed significantly,” said Romney campaign pollster Neil Newhouse.

In his “State of the Race” memo, Newhouse argues that there are three sets of numbers that will ultimately affect the way people will vote in November: unemployment trends, how many Americans are looking for work, and how many are on food stamps.

“President Obama is the only president in modern American history to stand before the American people asking for re-election with this many Americans struggling to find work,” Newhouse writes. “The key numbers in this election are the 43 straight months of 8% or higher unemployment, the 23 million Americans struggling to find work, and the 47 million Americans who are on food stamps.” “The reality of the Obama economy will reassert itself as the ultimate downfall of the Obama presidency, and Mitt Romney will win this race.”

Following last week’s Democratic convention in North Carolina, a series of national polls showed Obama edging ahead of his Republican rival and a survey in the must-win swing state of Ohio put him five points clear.

Newhouse, however, argued that Romney was still the preferred candidate on the crucial issue of the economy and that all the signs pointed to a tight race in which the former Massachusetts governor had a money advantage.

The message was seen as an attempt to shore up support for the Republican candidate after some disappointing polls and after Obama outraised Romney in August for the first time in four months.

Newhouse said Romney’s supporters were more enthusiastic and that the campaign had crossed a 20 million volunteer threshold as they deploy an all-out “Ground Game” across the key states in the November 6 election.

“Mitt Romney will be the next president,” he said. “The outcome of this race will ultimately be determined in favor of governor Romney because he has the better leadership skills, the better record, and the better vision for where he wants to take the country.

“In short, the combination of having the superior candidate, being in a margin-of-error race with an incumbent president, having a cash advantage, and having an unprecedented grassroots effort and a winning message on the economy ensure that Americans will make a change in leadership in Washington on November 6.”

He results though may not be as bad as they suggest, The Gallup seven day tracking poll of 3050 registered voters, that has a margin of error of 2.0 percent, samples Democrats by about a 8 percent margin based on calculations from the reported data. If the data is properly weighted for the partisan makeup of the electorate, the data from this poll unskewed would show a Romney lead of 49 percent to 44. By skewing the poll, it gives Obama a five point lead instead of showing Romney leading by the same total.

The Gallup tracking poll has Democrats favoring Obama by a 90 percent to seven percent margin while Republicans surveyed in the poll favor Romney by a 91 percent to six percent margin. Independent voters to support Romney by a 43 percent to 42 percent edge. The significance of this is, somewhere along the way the weighting and sampling used by Gallup appears to have changed. The polling output resulting from this change demonstrates an apparent change that may not have happened at all, resulting in the showing of a Barack Obama post-convention “bounce” much larger than what might have actually occurred.

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Obama Secures Post Convention Polls bump

Barak Obama-United States-PoliticsPresident Barack Obama claimed the early momentum in the US presidential election on Monday night as he pulled clear of Mitt Romney in four polls, but Republican rival Mitt Romney is still within striking distance with eight weeks to go before the election.

Obama expanded his edge over Romney after their back-to-back nominating conventions and has leads in eight of the top nine battleground states, giving him an advantage but not a lock on the race.

A Gallup seven-day tracking poll out Monday also showed Obama ahead, with a five percentage point cushion, while another post-convention survey gave the Democratic incumbent a five-percent lead in the key battleground of Ohio.

The candidates were tied at 48 percent support in the previous CNN/ORC poll, conducted before last week’s three-day convention in Charlotte, North Carolina, at which Obama was formally nominated for a second term.

Forty-three percent of Americans said last week’s Democratic Convention makes them more likely to vote for Obama, and slightly better than the 40 percent reading for Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney right in a previous poll after the Republican Convention in late August.

At the same time, a relatively high 38 percent of Americans said the Democratic convention made them less likely to vote for Obama, resulting in a net impact rating of 5 percent, which is on the low-end of Gallup’s historical comparisons.

According to the poll, 43 percent of Americans also rated Obama ‘s nomination acceptance speech last Thursday night as “excellent” or “good,” marginally better than the 38 percent who gave the same ratings to Mitt Romney’s speech in Gallup’s post-Republican Convention poll.

However, it is also a much less favorable reaction than Americans gave to Obama’s 2008 acceptance speech in a large stadium in Denver, Colorado, where 58 percent rated his speech positively, including 35 percent who rated it as “excellent,” a record high since 2000.

The Romney camp played down the significance of Obama’s gains, and predicting economic realities would bring the race back to the tight margins that have characterized it for months.

“The basic structure of the race has not changed significantly,” Newhouse said.

“The reality of the Obama economy will reassert itself.”

Romney, has argued his business experience makes him uniquely qualified to boost job growth and turn around a stumbling economy suffering from 8.1 percent unemployment.

But he has made no headway against Obama, whose campaign spent the summer hammering Romney in advertisements as an out-of-touch millionaire whose business experience mostly involved raiding companies for cash and leaving workers jobless.

Friday’s weaker than expected jobs report, released the morning after Obama concluded his convention, did not keep Obama from cracking 50 percent in the CNN poll and in his job approval rating recorded by Gallup.

Romney has also battled a likeability gap with Obama, and much of his convention was spent trying to paint a softer side of the former Massachusetts governor for voters who have not warmed to him.

But the CNN poll found the number of likely voters who viewed Romney favorably dropped from 50 percent before the two conventions to 48 percent. The number who viewed Obama favorably rose from 52 percent before the conventions to 57 percent.

Both camps plan to bombard swing states with television advertisements down the stretch. Republicans hope a sizable cash-on-hand advantage, $60 million in August, will help them make their case against Obama’s economic leadership and convince voters a change is needed.

But Obama and his Democratic allies stayed even in the money race last month, outraising Republicans $114 million to $111 million after trailing Romney and Republicans in every month since April.

Unexpected events, like an economic meltdown in Europe or an Israeli strike against Iran’s nuclear program, could still change the picture. In 2008, the financial crisis in September shifted a tight race with Republican John McCain toward Obama.

“We’ve still got a long way to go to the election, and we’re probably going to see the race tighten up again, particularly ahead of the debates and the key to the debates will be who is most credible on the economy.”

Polls show Obama with a clear advantage on the campaign map in the battle for the 270 electoral votes needed to capture the White House.

The Real Clear Politics average of polls in nine of the key toss-up states won by Obama in 2008 showed the president leading in Colorado, Florida, Iowa, Nevada, New Hampshire, Ohio, Virginia and Wisconsin. Romney led only in North Carolina.

Those leads exceeded 3 percentage points in only three states, however – Colorado, Nevada and New Hampshire – leaving plenty of room for change.

Democrats have been heartened by Obama’s steady lead in Ohio, a critical battleground that Romney cannot afford to lose. The Real Clear Politics average gives Obama a 2.2 point lead in Ohio, which enjoys an unemployment rate lower than the national average and where Obama’s auto industry bailout is popular.

Obama also has leads in the other big battleground state, Florida, as well as the emerging swing states of Virginia and Colorado, where improving local economies and shifting demographics have helped his cause.

Romney is hoping the choice of Wisconsin Congressman Paul Ryan as his No. 2 helps him flip that state to his column. He leads in North Carolina, a historically Republican state that Obama narrowly won in 2008.

Top Romney advisers insisted they remain well-positioned to take Ohio and the White House in November. They took heart in the Republican primary race, which featured several challengers who moved past Romney in polls only to fade in the end.

Romney has already been preparing for the debates, which begin on October 3 in Denver with a focus on domestic policy. The vice presidential debate is October 11 in Kentucky, while Romney and Obama will meet again in a town hall format on October 16 in New York and to debate foreign policy on October 22 in Florida.

Romney began debate practice last week during the Democratic convention, sparring against Ohio Senator Rob Portman, who played Obama. Obama will sharpen his debating skills against Massachusetts Senator John Kerry.

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President Obama beats Romney in the August fundraising stakes

Obama romney fundraisingPresident Barack Obama’s campaign and its Democratic partners raised more than $114 million in August, narrowly beating Republican Mitt Romney for the first time in months as the race for the White House enters its final stretch.

Romney, the former Massachusetts governor, and fellow Republicans raised more than $111 million in the same month, continuing a string of high-dollar hauls that has equipped him well for the last two months of the presidential campaign.

While Obama shattered every fundraising record in 2008 after the becoming the first presidential candidate to opt out of a federal matching funds system, Romney has outpaced him significantly on the fundraising front this year.

That has added to a cash advantage on the Republican side that is helped by the success of outside groups, or Super PACs, that have spent lavishly in support of the Republican candidate.

The Obama campaign appeared to stumble in July, raising $75 million to Romney’s $101 million. That changed in August.

The Democratic incumbent broadened his donor base with more than 317,000 donors who had never given money before, said Obama campaign manager Jim Messina in a statement.

“The key to fighting back against the special interests writing limitless checks to support Mitt Romney is growing our donor base, and we did substantially in the month of August,” he said. “That is a critical downpayment on the organization we are building across the country – the largest grassroots campaign in history.”

Romney, the Republican National Committee and state Republican parties reported that together they have about $168.5 million in cash at their disposal. Republicans argued over the weekend that Obama had spent nearly $100 million to “poison” voters’ views of Romney, but polls show a tight race as evidence that they have withstood the advertising onslaught Obama’s campaign launched early in the year.

“Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan are offering bold solutions to our country’s problems. That is why we are seeing such tremendous support from donors across the country,” Romney’s national finance chairman Spencer Zwick and Republican National Committee chairman Reince Preibus said in a joint statement.
Obama’s advisers say they are confident they spent their campaign cash well by seeking to define Romney over the summer months, but the discrepancy in available funds is a top concern.

The average donation the Obama team collected in August was $58 and 98 percent of donations were for $250 or less. It is the first month Obama’s campaign and its Democratic partners have broken the $100 million monthly threshold this year.

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Romney and Obama hit the battleground states with 60 days to go

President Barack Obama took his “ready to go forward” message to Florida voters in his first stop Saturday on a bus tour through the swing state.

The president was introduced by former Florida Gov. Charlie Crist, who was once a Republican but is now an independent and an Obama supporter. Obama said Crist backing proves “the values we are fighting for aren’t just Democratic values or Republican values, they’re American values.”

President Obama on Saturday pronounced Republicans “dead wrong” for calling America a country in decline, offering a rebuttal to the “naysayers” who drew attention to the nation’s staggering debt and anemic job growth. Mitt Romney said there’s nothing wrong that a new president can’t fix.

Both clawed for advantage in a post-convention push through some of the most closely contested states, Obama on a Florida bus tour, Romney rallying in Virginia, opening the homestretch to the election in less than two months.

Obama told a spirited rally that America’s “basic bargain” is at stake in the election, the promise that “if you work hard it will pay off.” He pledged to make education more affordable, reduce dependence on foreign oil and slash deficits “without sticking it to the middle class” if he gets another term.

“When our opponents say this nation is in decline they are dead wrong,” he said. “This is America. We still have the best workers in the world and the best entrepreneurs in the world. We’ve got the best scientists and the best researchers. We’ve got the best colleges and the best universities.”

He went on: “We are a young nation with the greatest diversity of talent and ingenuity from every corner of the globe so no matter what the naysayers may say for political reasons, no matter how dark they try to make everything look, there’s not a country on earth that wouldn’t gladly trade places with the United States of America.”

Obama’s visit to Florida is his first since Romney and the GOP held their convention in Tampa last month. With 29 electoral votes, the state is a lynchpin in both candidates’ strategies for winning the election.

Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney told a flag-waving crowd at the Virginia Aviation Museum in Virginia Beach this afternoon that Virginia’s voters have the power to change the nation’s streak of anemic jobs reports.

“I know that this week has not been a week of a lot of good news,” he said. “You saw the reports that we’re not creating as many jobs as even would keep up with our population growth. And you saw that for every net new job that was created last month, four people dropped out of the workforce. So this was not the kind of news that the American people were hoping for and deserve. I’m here to tell you that things are going to get a lot better, but that’s going to require you doing something important and that’s electing me the next president of the United States,” he said.

Romney noted that the nation’s unemployment rate has remained above 8 percent for 43 consecutive months. Romney also emphasized the importance of a strong Navy and Air Force. He said America must have a military so strong that no foe would consider testing it.

Romney said America is creating about nine ships a year, and that he would increase it to 15 ships as president. “It’s time to have a rebuilding of our Navy to make sure it’s the strongest in the world and it fulfills our missions,” he said. “I will not cut our military. I will maintain our miltary commitment.”

He also cited the automatic defense cuts, called “sequestration,” that will start to take effect in January if the president and Congress cannot reach a deficit reduction agreement. “If I’m president of the United States we’ll get rid of those sequestration cuts and rebuild America’s military might,” he added.

Romney said that at the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte, the president did not detail how he plans to put people back to work.

“He doesn’t have a plan. He doesn’t have any ideas. We’ve got to make sure he doesn’t have any more days in the White House after January.”

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