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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

Republican strategist Karl Rove on Fox News Sunday advised the Obama campaign to stop suggesting that Mitt Romney may be a felon over allegedly inaccurate statements he made on his SEC forms regarding Bain.

"The fact of the matter is that if the president continues to make this charge -- this outrageous charge that his campaign had that Mitt Romney is guilty of felonious activity, could've committed a felony -- that's a big mistake," Rove said. "Remember who's up for grabs in this election: independent voters."

Rove, who runs the GOP super PAC American Crossroads, said independents were drawn to Obama's promise to transcend politics as usual in 2008 and predicted the felony charge won't work with them. "This is gutter politics of the worst Chicago sort," he said.

Democratic consultant Joe Trippi said Sunday he's shocked at how "unready" and "flat-footed" Mitt Romney has been for the tough Bain attacks from President Obama.

"My own view is I think this is really hurting Romney right now," Trippi said, arguing that he needs to proactively release evidence debunking the charges of him continuing to work at Bain beyond 1999, such as minutes from the company's meetings.

He conceded that it's too early to know whether the attacks will work, but  that "as somebody who's been in a presidential campaign you can't let this stuff go unanswered. You've got to put the proof and the facts out there, and it didn't seem like they were ready to do that."

Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad (R) fired away on Fox News Sunday at President Obama over his tough attacks on Mitt Romney's record at Bain Capital.

"Well, it's pretty pathetic when the president of the United States -- instead of running on his record, as Ronald Reagan did with good morning in America -- is spending his time attacking other people," Branstad said. "Attacking Romney, attacking the entrepreneurs and the businesses that we need to have the guts to invest and create jobs and grow our economy."

"It's the blame game. And that's the wrong thing for the president of the United States."

Florida Gov. Rick Scott (R) said on Fox News Sunday that President Obama's fierce attacks on Mitt Romney's record at Bain won't affect voters in his state on Election Day.

"Look, I think it's going to come down -- what Gov. Romney needs to do is keep talking about the plan he's got to get our economy back to work," Scott said. "When you go to the polls and you decide in November, it's going to be, who's going to help me get my job back, who's going to help me keep my job. They're not going to worry about some attack on Bain. They're going to worry about, who's got the right jobs plan."

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) said Thursday that new revelations about Mitt Romney's tenure at Bain Capital mean he'd have trouble gaining Senate approval for pretty much any job.

"He not only couldn't be confirmed as a cabinet secretary, he couldn't be confirmed as dog catcher," Reid told reporters at a Capitol press briefing, in response to a question from TPM. "Because a dog catcher, you're at least going to want to look at his income tax returns."

"The long report that we have in the Boston Globe today indicates that, as one of his own employees said, it doesn't make sense," Reid continued. "He said he left Bain to go to the Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City and stopped any association with Bain. But his SEC filings indicated that he was Chief Executive Officer, sole stockholder, and ran the corporation for at least 3 more years. And that's why people who say there's been advertisements where businesses were closed, people laid off - and he says oh I wasn't there, I left in 1999. As his own operative said, it doesn't make sense. And it doesn't."

Reid said the issue is important because Bain was accused of being involved with outsourcing jobs in those ensuing years, and Romney's campaign has argued that he had left by then.

The Romney campaign pushed back on the Globe story Thursday morning.

"The article is not accurate," said Romney spokesperson Andrea Saul. "As Bain Capital has said, as Governor Romney has said, and as has been confirmed by independent fact checkers multiple times, Governor Romney left Bain Capital in February of 1999 to run the Olympics and had no input on investments or management of companies after that point."

But don't expect Democrats to let up on the attacks.

"The latest [report] shows that even when he said he didn't have an affiliation with Bain, he did," Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY) told TPM. "And so this is one big morass for Mitt Romney, and it's going to stay with him until he comes clean and reveals everything."

Mitt Romney's campaign manager Matt Rhoades issued a scorching statement Thursday calling on President Obama to apologize for top aide Stephanie Cutter's suggestion that the ex-governor either lied or committed a felony regarding his tenure at Bain.

Rhoades's statement:

"President Obama’s campaign hit a new low today when one of its senior advisers made a reckless and unsubstantiated charge to reporters about Mitt Romney that was so over the top that it calls into question the integrity of their entire campaign. President Obama ought to apologize for the out-of-control behavior of his staff, which demeans the office he holds. Campaigns are supposed to be hard fought, but statements like those made by Stephanie Cutter belittle the process and the candidate on whose behalf she works."

House Republicans stood together in Wednesday's 244-185 vote to repeal 'Obamacare' -- the 33rd vote in the chamber to roll back the law.

Five Democrats broke with their party to join them, two more than last year's repeal vote. All five represent Republican-leaning districts. All five were among 39 Democrats to vote against final passage of the Affordable Care Act in March 2010. The three who are seeking re-election are politically vulnerable and face tough Republican challengers.

Rep. Jim Matheson (D-UT)

Matheson, a Blue Dog serving since 2001, voted against the GOP's repeal effort last year. He flipped this time around to realign with Republicans against Obama's signature law.

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Ahead of a Republican-led House vote Wednesday to try to repeal 'Obamacare' for the 33rd time, House Democrats expressed a growing sense of optimism that their biggest achievement in a generation is here to stay, invoking the lessons of history.

"This [law] is alive and well and has a big future," House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) told TPM in her Capitol Hill office, during a discussion with a handful of reporters and bloggers. "I knew it would pass, I knew it would be upheld and I know it will survive."

Energized by the Supreme Court's decision to uphold the Affordable Care Act, as well as recent polling indicating a favorable swing in public opinion, Democrats are less worried about the fierce, unabated conservative push to repeal the law.

Read More →

A judge in Mississippi on Wednesday extended an injunction on a state law aimed at shutting down its sole surviving abortion clinic, according to CNN.

The order keeps the abortion clinic open and gives the plaintiffs an opportunity to argue why the law is unconstitutional and should be struck down.

Here's the backstory.

TPMLivewire