TPMDC Saturday Roundup

Obama: I Will not ‘Shortchange Our Children’s Education’
In this weekend’s YouTube address, President Obama declared his commitment to strengthening the country’s education system, and attacked Republicans for wanting to cut education spending by 20 percent.

“Now, it is true that when it comes to our budget, we have real challenges to meet. And if we’re serious about getting our fiscal house in order, we’ll need to make some tough choices. I’m prepared to make those choices,” said Obama. “But what I’m not prepared to do is shortchange our children’s education. What I’m not prepared to do is undercut their economic future, your economic future, or the economic future of the United States of America. Nothing would be more detrimental to our prospects for success than cutting back on education. It would consign America to second place in our fiercely competitive global economy. But China and India aren’t playing for second. South Korea and Germany aren’t playing for second. They’re playing for first – and so should America.”

Barrasso Offers ‘A New Direction’ With GOP
In this weeks’ Republican address, Sen. John Barrasso promoted the Republicans’ “Pledge To America” platform, and attacked the Democrats on the issues of taxes, spending, the economy and health care.

“The President’s policies are irresponsible, and unsustainable. Worse, many Americans fear the damage done by these policies may also be irreversible. I believe there is too much at stake, and far too much to lose, for us to allow bad policies and reckless spending to remain unchecked or unchallenged. And so we will fight for a dramatic change in priority and direction. Republicans have a Pledge to America. A Pledge to prevent tax hikes, to reduce federal spending, and to work every day to repeal the massive new health care law and replace it with commonsense reforms that lower costs. If you are tired of Washington’s broken promises, you now have a choice. More of the same or a new direction.”

Republicans Expand The Number Of Targeted Races
The Washington Post reports: “The Republican Party and its allies are using a clear financial advantage to pursue a rare opportunity this year, spreading resources across an unusually large number of races, including many considered safe for Democrats just weeks ago. The conservative push further endangers Democratic control of the House and Senate in a political environment already highly favorable for the GOP. Rather than pursuing the usual political strategy of focusing on close races, Republicans and conservative groups have spent money on longshots as well – testing to see whether a nudge can make a sleepy race competitive.

Senate Staffers Rush To Help In Key Races
Roll Call reports: “Looking for a top Senate staffer? You might have more luck in West Virginia than on Capitol Hill: Numerous veteran aides from both parties — but Democrats in particular — have decamped in recent weeks to help candidates in some of the tightest Senate races in the country. Since the Senate adjourned Sept. 29, high-ranking Democratic staffers have hitched up with campaigns in West Virginia, Nevada and other battleground states, while many GOP aides are nervously idling in Washington, D.C., frustrated with their party’s decision to suspend its last-minute get-out-the-vote deployment.”

GOP Seizes On Bright Comments To Pressure Democrats On Pelosi
The Hill reports: “A conservative House Democrat’s statement that he won’t support Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) for another term is ramping up pressure on other vulnerable incumbents who have been dodging the question. Republicans have seized on the comments by freshman Rep. Bobby Bright (D-Ala.), who told a local television station on Thursday that neither Pelosi nor House Republican leader John Boehner (Ohio) would get his vote in January. While the defection is the first by an incumbent Democrat, it could complicate Pelosi’s bid to keep the Speaker’s gavel if her party retains a slim majority in the House after Election Day.””

Rove-Backed American Crossroads Welcomes Presidential Attention
CNN reports: “An official with American Crossroads, the third party group associated with Karl Rove and Ed Gillespie, welcomes President Obama’s attacks on the organization insisting they’re helping to drive up contributions. According to American Crossroads, which was founded by former presidential adviser Karl Rove and former Republican National Committee Chairman Ed Gillespie, it has seen healthy online contributions since the president’s has called attention to it.”

Palestinians Give U.S. One Month To Curb Israeli Settlements
Reuters reports: “The Palestinians, backed by Arab powers, said on Saturday they would give the United States one month to persuade Israel to halt the building of settlements in the West Bank or risk the collapse of peace talks. The message, issued at an Arab League meeting in Libya, represented a reprieve for Washington as it tries to salvage 5-week-old talks stalled over Israel’s refusal to extend a settlement freeze on occupied land where Palestinians seek statehood.”