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

Between Aug. 26-28 and Sept. 5-7, the Gallup economic confidence index rose by 17 points -- from -33 to -16 -- a remarkable jump in just over a week.

It's the highest level of economic confidence in the Gallup tracker since earlier this year when jobs were growing more quickly.

The measure could be an outlier as there's little other evidence to suggest a spike in economic confidence. But if it's accurate, changing views on the economy could have a major impact on the election.

Mitt Romney suggested Saturday in Virginia Beach that President Obama wants to remove God from coins, provoking a fierce retort from the president's campaign.

"I will not take God out of our platform," the Republican nominee said after reciting the Pledge of Allegiance. "I will not take God off our coins, and I will not take God out of my heart."

In response, Obama spokeswoman Lis Smith called the insinsuation false and an act of desperation.

"It’s disappointing to see Mitt Romney try to throw a Hail Mary by launching extreme and untrue attacks against the President and associating with some of the most strident and divisive voices in the Republican Party, including Rep. Steve King and Pat Robertson," she said in a statement. "This isn’t a recipe for making America stronger, it’s a recipe for division and taking us backward."

The Obama campaign announced Saturday that Bill Clinton will hit the campaign trail next Tuesday, Sept. 11 in the Miami area, and Wednesday, Sept. 12 in the Orlando area.

The campaign said additional details are forthcoming.

Seizing on Mitt Romney's endorsement of Rep. Steve King (R-IA), a new Democratic National Committee video aims to label the Republican nominee and the ultraconservative lawmaker "partners in extremism."

The video, circulated on Saturday, highlights clips of King's controversial comments on rape, immigration and President Obama's birthplace, alongside Romney's remark that "I want him as my partner in Washington, D.C." 

Accepting his party's renomination for president at the Democratic National Convention Thursday night, Barack Obama zeroed in on the top policy goals he will seek to accomplish in a second term.

The Obama campaign issued a white paper sketching out -- in some areas ambiguously -- the policy prescriptions for a total of nine ambitious goals, three of which the document prioritized.

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The final night of the Democratic convention highlighted Republicans' determination to thwart President Obama's agenda from early in his presidency.

Footage immediately preceding a clip package of Obama's accomplishments featured House Republican leaders John Boehner and Eric Cantor nay-saying his agenda and Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell vowing that the party's top priority should be to deny the president a second term.

The message: Obama has overcome relentless Republican obstruction to achieve change.



Bill Clinton's riveting, policy-heavy speech to the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte, N.C. has received praise from allies and foes alike. One key reason is that it systematically dismantled Mitt Romney's case for throwing President Obama out of office -- both the attacks on Obama's record, and the GOP's forward-looking policy agenda.

Here are the eight key GOP arguments Clinton chipped away at.

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As the Democratic convention wraps up Thursday, the Romney campaign is preparing to launch a new round of ad buys worth $4.5 million in eight swing states, according to NBC News.

NBC News pegs his ad spending at roughly $1 million in Florida, Ohio and Virginia; $600,000 in North Carolina and additional funds in Colorado, Iowa, Nevada and New Hampsire.

Two Romney spokespersons declined requests from TPM to confirm or dispute the figures. One said the campaign does not discuss ad buys.

The news comes alongside a report that the Romney campaign and his allies have pulled their ads from the battleground states of Michigan -- the candidate's home state -- and Pennsylvania.

The NBC report notes that the Obama campaign is outspending the Romney campaign in ads, but when outside groups are factored in, the Republican nominee has the edge by $303 million to $269 million. 

Paul Ryan's counterpart on the House Budget Committee, Ranking Democratic Rep. Chris Van Hollen (D-MD), on Wednesday night attacked him for backing Bush-era billd that created a multi-trillion dollar debt.

"Congressman Ryan, America is literally in your debt," Van Hollen said.

"When President Clinton left office, America had projected surpluses of trillions of dollars over the next decade. Then came two wars, two tax cuts tilted to the wealthy and a new entitlement. Republicans didn't pay for any of it. Paul Ryan voted for all of it. On top of that, they left behind an economy in free-fall."

The Maryland Democrat bashed Romney and Ryan for embracing the "rigid ideology" of trickle down economics that he said "crashed in the real world."

Appearing on CNN Wednesday, former Secretary of State Madeline Albright decried Mitt Romney's criticism of President Obama over Israel policy "ludicrous."

"Well, I think that's one of the more ludicrous statements that was made in Tampa," she said.

Albright was referring to Romney's argument that Obama's foreign policy has been perilous for the security of Israel and enhanced the likelihood that Iran will obtain a nuclear weapon.

"And Governor Romney, I think, needs to examine what President Obama's record has been on Israel," she said. "And also to hear what many Israeli officials say in terms of President Obama's support for Israel. As you know, helping on some of the military issues, the iron dome complex. Giving Israel a military edge. I truly think that is a statement that makes absolutely no sense by Governor Romney along with a few others."

The Democratic convention hit a snag Wednesday when, under criticism, the party platform was revised to support Jerusalem being Israel's capital.