TPM News

Gillespie: Obama 'Has A Very Disdainful View Of The American People' On Muslim Center Appearing on Face The Nation, former Republican National Committee Chairman Ed Gillespie criticized President Obama's remarks in support of the Muslim community center in New York. "I thought it was a revealing comment by the president. He said that the 70% of Americans who are opposed to this controversial imam building this mosque at ground zero are denying the freedom of Muslims in this country. That's how he cast it," Gillespie said. "It was said in the reporting this morning that he made a conscious decision to weigh in on it in that regard. I think it tells you that he has a very disdainful view of the American people. I think that's why his favorability ratings have come down. People see that in him. There's a kind of condescension towards them they don't like."

Kaine: Religious Freedom Is In The Constitution For A Reason Also appearing on Face The Nation, Democratic National Committee Chairman Tim Kaine stood by Obama's remarks on the Muslim center. "I'm going with my Virginian, James Madison and Thomas Jefferson on this one. They put the religious freedom to worship in the First Amendment of the Constitution for a reason," Kaine said. "This wouldn't be a controversial if it was to build a synagogue or church. I'm not the New York zoning commissioner, don't know the reason for this decision, but we can't stop people from doing something that others could do because of the religion they practice."

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Obama: Republicans Want To Privatize Social Security, Haven't 'Learned Any Lessons' From Financial Crisis In this weekend's YouTube address, President Obama attacked Republicans for wanting to privatize Social Security.

"I'd have thought, after being reminded how quickly the stock market can tumble, after seeing the wealth people worked a lifetime to earn wiped out in a matter of days, that no one would want to place bets with Social Security on Wall Street; that everyone would understand why we need to be prudent about investing the retirement money of tens of millions of Americans," said Obama. "But some Republican leaders in Congress don't seem to have learned any lessons from the past few years. They're pushing to make privatizing Social Security a key part of their legislative agenda if they win a majority in Congress this fall."

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The closing days of a GOP primary race for state Senate between state Rep. Brian Nieves and Washington mayor Richard Stratman in Missouri got especially heated and ugly -- but accusations that Nieves committed adultery and paid alleged rapist Rod Jetton as a campaign consultant were nothing compared to what has happened since election day. Nieves, now the GOP nominee, stands accused of physically assaulting Stratman's campaign manager, Shawn Bell, threatening him with a gun, forcing him to strip and threatening the manager's boss.

Bell is seeking a restraining order; Nieves denies the allegations.

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Former hospital executive Rick Scott is on top in Florida's Republican gubernatorial primary, leading state Attorney General Bill McCollum 42-32, according to an Ipsos poll released today.

The last Ipsos poll, from May, showed McCollum leading Scott 46-22, with Paula Dockery at 3%.

Polling for the race has been all over the place this week. This morning, a poll sponsored by a group that endorsed McCollum showed the establishment pick with a 44-40 lead over Scott. A Mason-Dixon poll released yesterday showed McCollum up 34-30. Prior to those two polls, Scott had led in every poll released over the course of the last month.

The TPM Poll Average shows Scott leading McCollum 37.9-34.9.

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Sharron Angle is further clarifying her calls for the privatization of Social Security, saying that Chile has done it successfully. That is, Angle is now speaking favorably of a system that was enacted by a military dictator.

"So when I said private, that's what I meant -- that I thought we would have to go just to the private sector just for a template on how this is supposed to be done," Angle told the CBS affiliate in Las Vegas. "However, I've seen been studying, and Chile has done this."

The station noted that Chile's private pensions system, which was originally enacted by the military dictator Augusto Pinochet, has been criticized for being subject to market volatility, though its proponents argue that it gives all citizens a stake in the market.

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Bryan Fischer, the "Director of Issues Analysis" for the American Family Association who said there should be "no more mosques, period," now believes that Gov. David Paterson is attempting to impose sharia law on New York.

Paterson had offered to help the Cordoba House developers get state land for their proposed Muslim community center that's become known as the "Ground Zero mosque." Fischer wrote in a blog post today that Paterson "quite deliberately offered to grant Islam a favored status under New York public policy that is denied to Christian churches."

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Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) has announced that he does not supporting amending the Constitution to eliminate birthright citizenship for the children of illegal immigrants, an idea that has become a cause célèbre on the right.

Last week, McCain had told reporters, "I support the concept of holding hearings," a less than totally clear response that led people to believe he might support pursuing a change. But now McCain has clarified exactly what he meant -- telling the Associated Press that he was simply affirming the processes of the Senate itself.

"When I was asked ... I said 'Look, if senators want to have hearings then senators have hearings, that's how the Senate works, but I'm not requesting hearings,'" McCain said in an interview Thursday. "I'm devoting all my efforts to getting the borders secure, and if you get the border secure than the difficulties and challenges with this issue of people coming across our border illegally to have children is dramatically reduced."

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The new Rasmussen poll of the Georgia gubernatorial race gives Republican former Congressman Nathan Deal, who just won his primary runoff by a narrow margin this week, the lead over Democratic former Gov. Roy Barnes.

The numbers: Deal 51%, Barnes 42%. The survey of likely voters has a ±3% margin of error. In the previous Rasmussen poll from three weeks ago, conducted while Deal was fighting out the Republican runoff with Karen Handel, Deal led Barnes by 49%-43%. The TPM Poll Average gives Deal a lead of 50.6%-42.6%.

From the pollster's analysis: "Republicans seem to have come together quickly following Deal's 50.2% to 49.8% runoff win this week over Georgia Secretary of State Karen Handel, who quickly endorsed the victor. Deal earns 92% support from Republicans in the state. Eighty-eight percent (88%) of Georgia Democrats back Barnes. Voters not affiliated with either major party prefer the Republican by a 56% to 33% margin."

South Carolina Senate candidate Alvin Greene (D) has been indicted by a grand jury on two charges relating to an incident last November in which he allegedly showed porn to a college student.

Greene was indicted on one felony count of disseminating obscenity and one misdemeanor count of "communicating an obscene message to another person without consent."

You can read the indictment here.

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