TPM News

A new political action committee dedicated to ending the Republican majority in the House unveiled its first major ad buy Wednesday -- attacking Republicans for voting to end Medicare while giving wealthy Americans a tax cut.

"House Republicans are breaking the trust our country has with its seniors by ending Medicare as we know it, making them pay more for prescriptions drugs, and by forcing them to turn to the private health insurance market," said Alixandria Lapp, Executive Director of House Majority PAC, in a statement. "House Republicans have no problem asking seniors, middle class families and veterans to make sacrifices, yet refuse to do the same for big corporations and millionaires who would receive trillions in new tax breaks. We will hold House Republicans accountable for their backwards priorities."

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In an interview with George Stephanopoulos on Good Morning America, Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-MN) tried to hedge on the matter of birtherism -- using the line used by some Republicans who fall short of fully endorsing the conspiracy theory, while saying that Obama should just release his birth certificate (which he already did three years ago). To which George Stephanopoulos answered: Obama has released his birth certificate -- and here it is.

During the interview, Stephanopoulos asked Bachmann about how a prominent supporter of hers in Iowa has introduced a "birther bill" in the state legislature, which would require presidential candidates to supply their birth certificates to the state.

"Well, Governor Jan Brewer just vetoed that bill in Arizona," said Bachman, "because she felt that that was a bridge too far -- that it wouldn't be up to the authenticators in each state to do that, that that would be a federal issue. There is a federal piece of legislation that hasn't gone anywhere that would also require that candidates put forward their birth certificate. I have no problem giving my birth certificate, it wouldn't bother me at all. I've got one, its authenticated, take it."

"Well, but so does the president," Stephanopoulos replied.

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Donald Trump brushed aside questions about his business record in an interview with NBC Nightly News on Tuesday, saying that he gets paid millions of dollars "because of my genius."

NBC's Michael Isikoff probed Trump about several of his business deals that have gone sour, most notably the hotel and casino venture in Atlantic City which bears his name that has filed for bankruptcy protection three times. Trump deflected that question, saying that he was not in charge of day to day management.

"I was chairman but I didn't run the company," Trump said. "I had nothing to do with running the company."

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Despite heated words in progressive circles during the health care vote, House Democrats who bucked the party last year and voted against the Affordable Care Act had little to fear from primary challengers. Until now: Dan Lipinski is facing a highly credible challenge in his Chicago district from the left that could put his health care vote front and center

John Atkinson, a health care activist and insurance executive, is laying the groundwork for a high-spending campaign, reports Politico. Atkinson has not formally announced a run, but calls health care his "threshold issue" and says that Lipinski's opposition to the ACA "caused me to open my eyes a little bit."

Atkinson opened some eyes of his own with a huge $535,000 fundraising quarter this year, the most of any Democratic challenger. $270,000 came out of his own pocket.

Lipinski, who is pro-life, voted against the final health care law because he felt its language on abortion wasn't sufficiently restrictive. He took office in 2005 after succeeding his father, Bill Lipinski, who held the seat for over two decades. The seat is solidly Democratic, voting 64% for President Obama in 2008, providing an opening for a progressive challenger.

Republican governors stormed into state houses this January after campaigning against federal spending, and various so-called state bailouts. They won in part by painting a slanted picture of fiscal mismanagement by their Democratic predecessors.

That rhetoric -- and the rhetoric of their more senior Republican peers -- continues to this day, and occasionally translates into genuinely puzzling acts of malgovernance. Florida Governor Rick Scott, for example, turned down $2.4 billion in federal funds to build a high-speed rail line from Orlando to Tampa.

But in other ways, their failure to publicly embrace additional federal commitments during tough economic times has left them behind the eight ball, politically. As the costs to their states of providing needed social services has risen, and their revenue has fallen, they're looking for sub rosa ways to take the money without catching flak from their bases.

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Forget enthusiasm. Republicans are so jaded about their party's current crop of presidential contenders that barely a plurality say they're even 'satisfied' with the likely GOP candidates, according to a new Washington Post/ABC News poll.

In the poll, 43% of Republicans adults said they were satisfied with the potential GOP contenders. But nearly as many, 40%, said they were dissatisfied with the party's options for president. Only 5% of respondents said they were very satisfied with the Republican field.

By comparison, Republicans were far more excited about the GOP field last time around than they are now. In a February 2007, a em>Washington Post/ABC News poll found that almost three-fourths of Republicans (73%) were satisfied with their choices. While that number dipped slightly to 69% at the end of 2007, it was still much higher than the level of satisfaction found in the latest poll.

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