TPM News

The new NBC/Wall Street Journal poll shows Mitt Romney leading the Republican primary race nationally, with Michele Bachmann in second.

The numbers: Romney 30%, Bachmann 16%, Perry 11%, Paul 9%, Gingrich 8%, Cain 5%, Santorum 3%, Pawlenty 2%, Huntsman 2%.

NBC notes of Bachmann's huge rise in the poll: "A month ago -- before she announced her presidential bid -- Bachmann was just at 3 percent in the survey."

Earlier today, a national survey from Public Policy Polling (D) put Bachmann ahead of Romney. This very different result is much better for Romney, but still signals potential dangers for him and openings for Bachmann.

Ethics watchdogs are calling on Rep. Jo Bonner (R-AL) to step down as chairman of the House Ethics Committee -- at least temporarily -- for his role in the ongoing turmoil over Rep. Maxine Waters' (D-CA) case.

"I think there needs to be an investigation into the whole matter, including Mr. Bonner's role and that Mr. Bonner should step aside during the course of that investigation," Melanie Sloan, executive director of Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington, told TPM Tuesday. "If Mr. Bonner is found to have broken the committee's rules, he should be sanctioned by the full House."

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Michele Bachmann's relationship with the press has always been tense at best, but it spilled over into open conflict on Tuesday as aides to the Congresswoman allegedly shoved ABC reporter Brian Ross.

Ross was chasing after Bachmann after an event to ask about a Daily Caller story on her migraine condition. According to TIME's Swampland blog, things went downhill from there:

"That's when things got interesting. Ross dashed after Bachmann, repeatedly asking whether she had ever missed a House vote due to a migraine. She ignored him. Ross pursued her into a parking area behind the stage. Her aides grew alarmed. When Ross made a beeline for the white SUV waiting to carry Bachmann away, two Bachmann men pounced on him, grabbing and pushing him multiple times with what looked to me like unusual force. In fact, I have never seen a reporter treated so roughly at a campaign event, especially not a presidential one. Ross was finally able to break away and lob his question at Bachmann one more time, but she ignored him again.

Afterward, I asked Ross-a hard-nosed pro who nevertheless seemed slightly shaken-whether he'd ever been treated so roughly. "A few times," he told me. "Mostly by mafia people."


TPM reached out to Bachmann's camp for comment and will post their response.

Update: ABC Vice President Jeffry Schneider condemned Bachmann's behavior in an interview with the Washington Post's Greg Sargent. He added that ABC has footage of the incident and will likely post it on their website soon.

"He was certainly shoved around and pushed," Schneider said. "It's unfortunate when physicality is involved. He was just doing his job."

Second Update: The Washington Post's Aaron Blake posted a response from Bachmann's campaign on Twitter: "We didn't have time for any questions and we made it clear ... he disregarded repeated requests to stay back."

Dan Savage says President Obama's decision to support efforts to repeal the Defense of Marriage Act signals a big shift in the way Democratic politicians handle the LGBT community -- a community that often supports them, only to see their hopes dashed once those Democrats take office.

He credited the move as a sign gay politics are now going mainstream.

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A new NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll being released on Tuesday shows that a majority of Americans now agree that yes, defaulting on U.S. debt obligations would be a serious problem.

Previous polling had shown not only that raising the debt ceiling itself is unpopular, but that Americans were shaky on the impact of inaction. A recent Pew Research poll, conducted from July 15th to the 17th, showed 39% rejected the idea that the August 2nd deadline was a serious issue at all, with only 40% saying it would cause a major economic crisis, and the rest not sure of either.

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The alacrity with which Democratic and Republican senators have thrown themselves behind the Gang of Six's framework for deficit reduction -- including cuts to entitlement spending and major tax reform -- illustrates how desperate the Senate is to put the debt ceiling brinksmanship behind them.

But the leaders of both parties are well aware there's no time to ram this through the House and Senate before the United States defaults on its payment obligations early next month -- and increasing the country's borrowing limit has to be Congress' top priority.

Here's Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV), addressing reporters in the Capitol on Tuesday.

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Michele Bachmann is butting heads with ex-aides over their anonymous claims that her chronic migraines may disqualify her from the presidential race.

A piece in The Daily Caller reported that Bachmann suffers from serious headaches, which she treats with medication, and has even been hospitalized several times. An ex-aide described the attacks as "incapacitating"

"As president, when she's in crisis management mode, is she going to have the physical ability to withstand the most difficult challenges facing America?" the ex-staffer asked in the piece.

In a statement to reporters, Bachmann said her condition was not an issue. "I have prescription medication that I take whenever symptoms arise and they keep the migraines under control," she said. "Let me be abundantly clear - my ability to function effectively has never been impeded by migraines and will not affect my ability to serve as Commander in Chief."

Full statement below:

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President Obama is officially backing legislation that would repeal the 1996 Defense Of Marriage Act, which prohibits the federal government from recognizing same-sex marriage even for couples married under state law.

The President has "long called for a legislative appeal for the so-called Defense of Marriage Act, which continues to have a real impact on families," White House spokesman Jay Carney told reporters at Tuesday's briefing.

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President Obama likes it. A wide array of Senators, including influential conservative Tom Coburn (R-OK), have given it their blessings. Out of nowhere, the Gang of Six's bipartisan plan for addressing the country's fiscal imbalance has returned from legislative hinterlands -- and has become the only viable, publicly available framework by which Congress can make good on its supposed desire for a grand bargain on deficit reduction.

But according to an aide briefed on the Gang of Six's negotiations, the fledgling framework is still too new and incomplete to be included in a package to raise the debt limit before August 2nd -- and it's more likely to become the basis for a bigger-deal in the weeks and months ahead.

"It will play into getting us through August 2nd in absolutely no way," the aide said. Senators on Tuesday, according to the aide were given "a briefing on a framework of what could become a plan," but the imperative now is to get the debt limit raised one way or another.

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