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Sahil Kapur

Sahil Kapur is TPM's senior congressional reporter and Supreme Court correspondent. His articles have been published in the Huffington Post, The Guardian and The New Republic. Email him at sahil@talkingpointsmemo.com and follow him on Twitter at @sahilkapur.

Articles by Sahil

Appearing Sunday on ABC's "This Week," Newt Gingrich defended Indiana GOP Senate candidate Richard Mourdock over his controversial remarks that conception from rape can be "something that God intended to happen."

Gingrich's exchange with host George Stephanopoulos:

STEPHANOPOULOS:  Finally, Mr. Speaker, you heard Stephanie Cutter bring up this issue of Richard Mourdock, the Republican Senate candidate in Indiana, and saying that Governor Romney is wrong not to stand up to him and say his comments were wrong and to take down his ad endorsing him.  Your response? 

GINGRICH:  Well, my response is, if you listen to what Mourdock actually said, he said what virtually every Catholic and every fundamentalist in the country believes, life begins at conception.  Now, this seems to be fixated by the Democrats, but the radical on abortion is Obama, who as a state senator voted three times in favor of allowing doctors to kill babies in the eighth and ninth month who were born, having survived late-term abortion, and the Democratic Party platform, which says you should pay with your tax money for late-term abortion, something which is about a 20 percent issue, but doesn't seem to fascinate the press nearly as much as the Stephanie Cutter... 

STEPHANOPOULOS:  But, Mr. Speaker, what -- what Mr. Mourdock said exactly was that this life after rape, as horrible as it may be, is something that God intended to happen.  You agree with that? 

GINGRICH:  And he also immediately issued a clarification saying he was referring to the act of conception, and he condemned rape.  Romney has condemned -- I mean, one part of this is nonsense.  Every candidate I know, every decent American I know condemns rape.  OK, so why can't people like Stephanie Cutter get over it?  We all condemn rape.  Now let's talk about whether we also condemn killing babies in the eighth and ninth month.  

Appearing Sunday on ABC's "This Week" roundtable, George Will argued that the Obama campaign's push to label Mitt Romney a flip-flopper is playing into the Republican nominee's hands.

"Right now that charge is really an accusation that Romney can live with. Which is, don't believe him ... because you might like him," he said. "And I think people say, well look, our last impression of him ... is of something that we can live it. And so I think the Obama attack is buttressing the Romney tactic."

Appearing Sunday on ABC's "This Week," Newt Gingrich predicted that Mitt Romney will decisively win both the popular vote and the electoral college.

"I think it's very unlikely, as a historian ... he can win a significant popular victory vote and not carry the electoral college," he said.

"I think he's actually going to end up wining 53-47."

President Obama's deputy campaign manager Stephanie Cutter responded Sunday on ABC's "This Week" to the Des Moines Register's endorsement of Mitt Romney.

"They endorsed Mitt Romney in the primary, so this is not much of a surprise," she said. "It was a little surprising to read that editorial because it didn't seem to be based at all in reality. Not just in the president's record but in Mitt Romney's record."

She claimed Romney did not "reach across the aisle" as governor of Massachusetts and has "never once stood up to the far extreme right wing" of his base during his 2012 campaign.

"He's not willing to stand up when it matters, so the fact that he's going to bring people together -- work across the aisle -- is just nonsense."

President Obama's deputy campaign manager Stephanie Cutter said Sunday on ABC's "This Week" that the campaign is confident it will win Ohio, despite a new poll that showed the race tied.

"That's one poll. There've been several polls out this week, one including that showed us up 5 in Ohio. We feel pretty good about where we are on the ground there. In many cases we're beating Mitt Romney 3-1 in the early vote."

"We feel good about Ohio. We think we're going to win it."

On Fox News Sunday, Karl Rove said it's possible that we could have a situation where Mitt Romney wins the popular vote but loses the electoral vote on Election Day.

"We could, though I think it's a small chance," he said. "If the margin is as big nationally as it appears in these national polls, then you'll have the state polls follow.

The architect of George W. Bush's 2000 and 2004 victories added, "We're endowing all these polls with a precision they don't have."

On Fox News Sunday, Karl Rove said there has been "very little movement" in the polls over the last week or so, signaling that Mitt Romney's surge after the first debate has waned.

"Right now we're at a point in the campaign where there's very little movement -- you know, sort of, the momentum was on Romney's side but -- the closer we get to the end, one of two scenarios happens," Rove said.

The Republican strategist and American Crossroads chief speculated that either there'll be "rapid movement in one candidate's direction" like in 1980 or "slow" movement toward Romney because "we're getting down to a very thin group of people left undecided."

Sen. Ron Johnson (R-WI), a Mitt Romney surrogate, said on Fox News Sunday that abortion does not register as an issue in voters' minds in Wisconsin.

"It's not even an issue here in Wisconsin. It doesn't even move the radar at all," he said, arguing that Wisconsinites are more concerned about what happened in Benghazi. "Abortion doesn't even show up."

Johnson said only "one person" had brought up the issue of abortion and rape to him.

A potential Mitt Romney presidency carries huge implications for the Supreme Court that have conservatives excited and progressives fearful about the future.

Liberal-leaning Justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg, 79, and Steven Breyer, 74, are likely candidates for retirement during a Romney administration. The GOP nominee has vowed to appoint staunch conservatives, and the influential conservative legal community will make sure he follows through.

Replacing even one of the liberal justices with a conservative, legal scholars and advocates across the ideological spectrum agree, would position conservatives to scale back the social safety net and abortion rights in the near term. Over time, if a robust five-vote conservative bloc prevails on the court for years, the right would have the potential opportunity to reverse nearly a century of progressive jurisprudence.

For all those reasons, conservative legal activists anticipate that a Romney win would be the culmination of their decades-long project to remake the country's legal architecture.

Read More →

The premise of the Romney-Ryan plan to convert Medicare into a voucher system is that private insurance plans would compete with traditional government-run Medicare to drive down costs and improve care for seniors.

But a new study suggests that may be an overly optimistic view.

Read More →

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