TPM News

by Marian Wang ProPublica

Ask any campaign-finance expert about super PACs and you'll likely keep hearing one word: "coordination." That's because Super PACs -- the super-powered groups that can raise and spend unlimited amounts of money from anyone -- have just one crucial restriction on their powers: By law, they're not supposed to coordinate with candidates.

Think that sounds clear? Think again.

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ABC News' Michael Falcone reports that GOP candidate Mitt Romney alleges that President Obama will attempt to “assassinate” his character during an interview that will be broadcast on Fox News on Monday night.

“What he’ll do is try and assassinate — on a character basis, his opponents and — or his opposition,“ Romney says while predicting the Obama campaign’s tactics. "I’m hoping that’s me, but I’m not looking forward to those attacks.”

Romney was referring to a blind quote from an older Politico story in which a person described only as a “prominent Democratic strategist aligned with the White House” is quoted as saying: “Unless things change and Obama can run on accomplishments, he will have to kill Romney.”

After the Politico article was published, Obama advisor David Axelrod told The Hill that the article “doesn’t reflect our thinking,” before going on to call Politico’s sourcing “garbage.”

The super committee co-chairs, Jeb Hensarling of Texas and Patty Murray of Washington, released the following statement regarding the body’s inability to reach an accord in deficit negotiations. Read below:

(Washington D.C.) – Today, the Co-Chairs of the Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction, Representative Jeb Hensarling and Senator Patty Murray, released the following statement.

“After months of hard work and intense deliberations, we have come to the conclusion today that it will not be possible to make any bipartisan agreement available to the public before the committee’s deadline.

“Despite our inability to bridge the committee’s significant differences, we end this process united in our belief that the nation’s fiscal crisis must be addressed and that we cannot leave it for the next generation to solve. We remain hopeful that Congress can build on this committee’s work and can find a way to tackle this issue in a way that works for the American people and our economy.

“We are deeply disappointed that we have been unable to come to a bipartisan deficit reduction agreement, but as we approach the uniquely American holiday of Thanksgiving, we want to express our appreciation to every member of this committee, each of whom came into the process committed to achieving a solution that has eluded many groups before us. Most importantly, we want to thank the American people for sharing thoughts and ideas and for providing support and good will as we worked to accomplish this difficult task.

“We would also like to thank our committee staff, in particular Staff Director Mark Prater and Deputy Staff Director Sarah Kuehl, as well as each committee member’s staff for the tremendous work they contributed to this effort. We would also like to express our sincere gratitude to Dr. Douglas Elmendorf and Mr. Thomas Barthold and their teams at the Congressional Budget Office and Joint Committee on Taxation, respectively, for the technical support they provided to the committee and its members.”

New data from a CNN/ORC poll shows that since the Super Committee seems headed for failure, the resulting budget "haircut" will produce precisely the cuts the American public least desires.

Both parties in Congress are viewed as part of the problem -- Americans disapprove of the job Republicans are doing at a 77 percent clip, and 68 percent think Democrats are doing a lousy job as well. But when it comes to specific policy proposals, it's fairly one sided. Support for higher taxes on businesses and high income individuals is the highest rated idea with two thirds of Americans for it, second is cuts to domestic programs at 60 percent.

One of the least popular options are actually what's slated to happen if the Super Committee doesn't reach an accord -- support for cuts to defense hovers around forty percent. So does "major changes" to the Medicare systems and Social Security. The current plan should the Super Committee fail is a two percent cut to Medicare providers, cuts to defense and to other domestic programs. Of course, leaders can still reach another deal before those cuts become reality in 2013, but they'll have to overcome a filibuster vote.

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In case it wasn't obvious already, Herman Cain's brief outreach to the Muslim community to atone for his unending list of inflammatory statements is definitely over.

Visiting a Jesus-themed amusement park in Orlando, Cain gave a moving speech to visitors after the daily reenactment of the crucifixion about his experience battling colon cancer. But per Yahoo's Chris Moody, things got awkward once the topic turned to his choice of physician:

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An emotional UC Davis Chancellor Linda Katehi apologized to students on Monday at a rally on campus. The student news outlet AggieTV reports that Katehi told students, “I want to apologize. I don’t want to be the chancellor of the university we had Friday.”

The crowd chanted “Shame on you” and “resign” at Katehi after she finished her remarks, AggieTV reported.

Photo via Keith Bradnam.