TPM News

Obama: We'll Give GOP A Ride, 'But We're Not Gonna Let You Drive' Speaking at a fundraiser last night for Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-CA), President Obama continued his metaphor likening the Republicans to people who drove a car into a ditch. "If you wanna get in we'll give you a ride," said Obama, according to the pool report. "But we're not gonna let you drive."

Obama's Day Ahead President Obama will tour Solyndra, Inc., a solar panel manufacturing facility in Fremont, California, at 12:35 a.m. ET. He will deliver remarks on the economy at 1:20 p.m. ET. He will depart from San Francisco at 2:15 p.m. ET, arriving at Andrews Air Force Base at 6:55 p.m. ET, and at the White House at 7:10 p.m. ET.

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South Carolina blogger and political consultant Will Folks has released a series of what he claims are text messages between himself, an AP reporter, another GOP political operative, and the campaign manager for gubernatorial candidate Nikki Haley -- with whom Folks claims he had an inappropriate physical relationship.

The texts, posted on Folks site, FITSNews, are dated about 10 days ago and consist of discussions about various reporters working on a story that involves Haley and Folks, and how to kill the story. In one May 15 text, Haley campaign manager Tim Pearson tells Folks "I'm telling you man, we keep this under wraps and nh is going to win."

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The New Jersey Supreme Court today heard arguments on a Tea Party-led campaign to recall Democratic Sen. Robert Menendez -- an effort that has little chance of ultimate legal success, but sure provides for a fun civics lesson.

Menendez attorney Marc Elias argued that this case is very simple and straightforward -- that federal recalls are not allowed under the Constitution: "The committee has asked this court to ignore the Constitution's plain text, a century of US Supreme Court precedent, the overwhelming consensus of legal scholars and executive branch officials around the country, and the opinion of the attorney general of this state."

The recall committee was represented by Andrew Schlafly, a conservative activist, son of Phyllis Schlafly, and founder of the right-wing Conservapedia website. Interestingly, Schlafly took a broad and expansive -- dare we say, activist -- view of the Constitution allowing for rights that are not expressly enumerated, which he said would include the ability to recall a Senator. "There are many rights of the people that are not in the Constitution," Schlafly said. "There's no freedom of association in the U.S. Constitution -- it's a very important right."

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The Republican candidates for Senate in California just debated on the local KFI AM talk radio station -- with ex-Congressman Tom Campbell and state Rep. Chuck DeVore turning their fire on the establishment frontrunner in the race, former Hewlett Packard CEO Carly Fiorina.

While sparks flew at the debate, though, it's not immediately clear whether any candidates scored knockout blow that could sufficiently damage Fiorina in the home stretch of the campaign, or for that matter whether Fiorina fully sealed the deal. The TPM Poll Average gives Fiorina a sudden lead with 29.1%, Campbell 27.0%, and DeVore 15.9% -- in the wake of some very strong poll results for Fiorina -- after Campbell had previously led in polling for this primary all year.

During a period when the candidates were given the opportunity to question each other, DeVore grilled Fiorina on her lack of a voting record -- not simply as someone who has not been an elected official, but as a voter who missed many elections. It was noted that in 2000, she advocated for the failed Proposition 26, which would have relaxed an anti-tax statute that has been in effect since the 1970s. As if that wasn't bad enough for GOP orthodoxy, it was then added that she did not actually vote in the election itself.

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Former Massachusetts Gov. (and presidential hopeful) Mitt Romney is sticking with South Carolina GOP gubernatorial candidate Nikki Haley -- scandal or no.

"I stand four square by Nikki Haley," Romney said in a statement to CBS News.

Blogger and political consultant Will Folks claimed yesterday that he had an "inappropriate physical relationship" with the married Haley a few years ago. Haley denies the allegation.

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Sen. Blanche Lincoln (D-AR) -- locked in a tough runoff with Lt. Gov. Bill Halter in Arkansas' June 8 Democratic Senate primary runoff -- wants progressives back home to know something about her: She stood up to Wall Street.

Lincoln's latest advertisement -- which seems to be targeted at liberals in her party -- opens with none other than Rachel Maddow declaring: "Breaking news at this hour, the United States Senate has just passed the Wall Street reform bill."

And who do we have to thank for that?

"The Senate legislation was largely shepherded by Arkansas Senator Blanche Lincoln," the narrator says.

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How is it that former Hewlett Packard CEO Carly Fiorina, the GOP's establishment-backed candidate for Senate in California, has quickly shot into the lead in the Republican primary? After having been down by double-digits against former Rep. Tom Campbell, she's now ahead by an even bigger double-digit margin, according to a pair of recent polls. The answer appears to be mainly money and a well-timed television ad campaign going into the home stretch of the June 8 primary -- along with a big push by conservatives against Campbell.

As recently as last week, a Daily Kos/Research 2000 poll gave Campbell a lead of 37%-22% over Fiorina in the GOP primary. But now, SurveyUSA gives Fiorina an even bigger lead of 46%-23%, and Public Policy Polling (D) similarly has her ahead of Campbell by 41%-21%. (The other candidate, Tea Party-backed state Rep. Chuck DeVore, has consistently polled in third.) The TPM Poll Average gives Fiorina a sudden lead with 29.1%, Campbell 27.0%, and DeVore 15.9%, after Campbell had led in polling for this primary all year.

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