TPM News

In an interview on Monday with ABC News' George Stephanopoulos, President Obama called himself an "underdog."

Responding to Stephanopoulos' query if the odds were against him given the current economic situation, the President replied "Absolutely. I'm used to being the underdog. But at the end of the day people are going to ask -- who's got a vision?"

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The White House Monday continued its war of words with House Republicans over their unwillingness to move his entire jobs package, confidently vowing to let voters decide how to react to Republicans' refusal to pass provisions such as infrastructure spending and retaining teachers.

"Congress can take it up, vote on it...then if there's a desire to take things out, we would accept that although we would not be satisfied by that... [President Obama] would say, 'Where's the rest of it? What about teachers and construction workers...or incentives to hire veterans?" White House spokesman Jay Carney told reporters during a briefing Monday.

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Rick Perry may be under fire for his old campground's racist name, but as even his toughest opponents admit, the Texas governor has virtually no history of racist rhetoric in his past either personally or politically.

The Texas Tribune talked to a number of Perry's Democratic rivals and found a strong consensus that, whatever their problems with Perry are, racism is not one of them.

"He appointed a black man chief justice of the state Supreme Court, for crying out loud, one of the many high-profile positions he's given to minorities during his time as governor," Jason Stanford, a Democratic opposition researcher who is writing a book on Perry, wrote in a blog post. "If he were an n-bomb dropping cracker, we'd all know."

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As the Occupy Wall Street protests reach their third week, mainstream media organizations are beginning to take notice. Here, courtesy of the New York Observer, comes an as yet unaired Fox News interview with outspoken protester Jess LaGreca.

LaGreca told the Fox reporter, who isn't identified, that the Occupy Wall Street protests are a "spontaneous movement" -- one he wouldn't like to see end.

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Some tough words from Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) about President Obama and his team's communications strategy were raising eyebrows in Washington Monday morning, but that was before Pelosi disavowed the quote and Newsweek's Daily Beast admitted a mistake and retracted it.

"I think you need to talk about how poorly they [the White House] do on message," Pelosi is quoted as saying in a story by Howard Kurtz. "They can't see around corners; they anticipate nothing."

Pelosi's office quickly denied having ever made the comments, and Newsweek/Daily Beast has since issued a broad correction.

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Former RNC Chair Michael Steele criticized Rick Perry's handling of a family hunting site known to locals by an inflammatory racial slur.

Steele, one of the most prominent African-Americans in the GOP, told TIME on Monday that, while he wasn't impugning Perrys motives, the Texas governor didn't do enough to get rid of a rock labeled "Niggerhead," as the area was popularly known.

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The election is more than a year away, but as of right now, a majority of Americans in a new ABC News/Washington Post poll say they expect to see a new President after January 20th, 2013.

The new survey shows that only 37 percent of Americans think President Obama will win re-election, while a majority of 55 percent think he will lose in November of next year. Polling firm Langer Research conducted the survey, and pointed to the partisan breakdown as the main driver in the result, especially unaffiliated voters. From their report:

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A 26-year-old Michigan man the feds suspected of supporting terrorist groups has been ordered held by a federal judge after he crashed into the car of an FBI agent following him around the anniversary of Sept. 11.

Reed S. Berry, 26, of St. Joseph was being tailed by an FBI special agent and a Michigan state police detective on the night of Sept. 9.

Berry, described as "very surveillance-conscious," had spotted an FBI agent earlier in the day and allegedly got out of his car and "ran directly at her parked vehicle while staring directly at her." Around 10:30 p.m., Berry allegedly did the same thing to a Michigan detective who had been trailing him, except he screamed this time.

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California Gov. Jerry Brown on Sunday signed a bill that prevents the state from banning the practice of male circumcision, Reuters reports.

An organization -- dubbed the Male Genital Mutilation Bill -- led an effort to make the practice of circumcising minors a misdemeanor crime. The group hoped to put the measure to a vote on a November ballot, and garnered thousands of signatures in support of the initiative.

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