TPM News

Gov. Jon Corzine (D-NJ) called in a big Democratic gun today, with Vice President Joe Biden campaigning for him at the state AFL-CIO legislative conference.

"This is not only one of the most important states in the union, this is one of the most consequential governors serving in any state in the union, and it's critical he be re-elected," Biden said. "You are the key to getting this man elected, so go out and get those votes."

Corzine has been working to tie his own reputation to that of the Obama administration, which is much more popular in New Jersey than he himself is. At the very least, having Biden stump for him couldn't hurt.

House Republicans plan to introduce a resolution today calling on Rep. Charles Rangel (D-NY), who has been dogged by charges of financial misconduct and influence peddling, to resign from his powerful post at the head of the Ways and Means Committee.

Rep. John Carter (R-TX), who is leading the charge against Rangel and wrote the resolution -- which House Dems are vowing to block -- said in a statement:

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In an interview with Newsweek today about his resignation from Dancing With The Stars, former House Majority Leader Tom DeLay said he doesn't know if President Obama is a citizen.

Do you think he isn't a citizen?
I have no idea.

In an August appearance on Hardball, when he said, "I would like the President to produce a birth certificate."

Asked about that today, he told Newsweek, "You have to show a birth certificate to play little league baseball. It's a question that should be answered. It's in the Constitution that you have to be a natural-born citizen of the United States to be president."

DeLay also said he's moved on from his indictment on conspiracy and corruption charges.

Are you worried that you're going to go to jail?
No. I don't think a jury is going to convict me on a law that didn't exist in Texas. It's all politics. I've put that behind me. It's been four years.

Of course, DeLay is still under indictment and a trial is pending.

Rep. John Carter (R-TX) issued the following press release today regarding a resolution he introduced today calling for Rep. Charlie Rangel (D-NY) to be removed as chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee. Here's the full text:

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In recent days, Senate Democratic leadership, and even the White House have been sounding a bit more bullish on the public option than they had in recent weeks. Majority Leader Harry Reid even went so far as to say that 'some kind' of public option will be in the Senate bill at the end of the day. But just how great a range of ideas is under discussion at this point?

In a press conference this morning with other Democratic senators, Sen. Debbie Stabenow (D-MI) -- member of the Senate Finance Committee and a supporter of a robust public option -- says it's a "broad definition."

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Speaking to reporters yesterday, Republican former U.S. Attorney Chris Christie brushed off the new Fairleigh Dickinson poll that showed Democratic Gov. Jon Corzine taking a one-point lead, after having trailed Christie during the whole general election season.

"Did anybody think I was going to win this by 10? Raise your hand if you thought it was going to happen," said Christie. Nobody raised their hands.

"We're in a dog fight in the last four weeks in New Jersey as the Republican candidate for governor. Who would have predicted that?" Christie said sarcastically. "All I can tell you is this: 45 polls, 44 of them we've been ahead. We're still ahead in every other public poll except the FDU poll."

It should be noted that when Christie referred to 45 polls, he meant all the polls this whole year (and maybe even going back further). But as a general rule in politics -- and especially in New Jersey -- it doesn't matter where you are in January, but where you are in October and November.

The Creigh Deeds campaign is now raising money off of the attack by McDonnell supporter Sheila Johnson, who made fun of Deeds for stuttering.

"Before introducing Bob at a campaign event, a top McDonnell surrogate resorted to mocking Creigh's speaking style -- insulting people who truly suffer from speech impediments," the e-mail from Deeds senior adviser Mo Elleithee says.

"Creigh is the first to tell you he's not the smoothest talker. But when he says something, you know it's honest," Elleithee later adds. "Bob McDonnell has not been honest in this campaign. Not about his transportation and energy plans, and certainly not about his record."

The McDonnell campaign initially did not apologize, but released a statement saying that Deeds "never had a problem voicing his false attacks," but "had difficulty expressing" a positive vision. After some more media coverage, Johnson apologized.

The full e-mail is available after the jump.

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With new polls showing Gov. Jon Corzine (D-NJ) catching up with his Republican opponent Chris Christie, after having trailed Christie by solid margins all of the past general election season, it's worth examining a New Jersey trend that has been talked about a lot this year: That Republicans can often run strong for most of the campaign, only to see a Democratic surge in the home stretch.

"A lot of people have had trouble believing that Christie was gonna win, even when he was up in the polls significantly," said John Weingart, the associate director of the Eagleton Institute of Politics at Rutgers University, "just because of the presumed power of incumbents, the Democratic nature of New Jersey, and the amount of money Corzine was gonna put in the race. Really, nobody is confident of what the outcome will be at this point."

New Jersey Republicans have frequently come up dry in Senate races. Despite high hopes in many cycles, the last time they actually won a Senate campaign was 1972. Things haven't been nearly as bad on gubernatorial races, with the GOP winning four out of the last nine races -- but three of those have only been by margins of about one point. So why is it that these patterns exist?

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At an event endorsing New York City mayoral candidate Bill Thompson on Monday, Sens. Chuck Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand would not say whether they'll endorse Gov. David Paterson in next year's gubernatorial election.

Asked about an endorsement, Schumer said: "You know, these are very, very difficult times for a governor, any governor, giving the economy and everything else. I'm doing everything I can to help David Paterson work together and maximize New York's help from Washington."

"As for elections, let's stick to this one today. One election today," he added, according to the Daily News.

As for Gillibrand, she said, "Well, I support the governor and, you know, he said he's going to run and we are all focused right now on this election cycle."

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Rep. Alan Grayson (D-FL) has rolled out a funny picture in a campaign fundraising e-mail, seemingly made for viral campaign tactics -- that his presence in Washington is "The Invention of Truth-Telling."

The poster is a takeoff on the new movie The Invention of Lying set in an alternate reality where people only tell the truth, and one man discovered how to lie and uses it for his personal benefit. Grayson, then, would view himself as living in a world where people only lie, and he is the one man who has discovered honesty -- and yes, he is using it for his personal benefit.

NRCC spokesman Andy Seré gave this comment to the St. Petersburg Times: "'Narcissistic personality disorder' comes to mind. So does 'one-term congressman.' This circus act is getting tiresome."