- THE GREAT DIVIDE: A new ABC News-Washington Post poll shows that 43 percent of Americans see President Obama’s signature health care law favorably while 42 percent see it unfavorably. That’s a closer division than existed on the law itself before last week’s Supreme Court ruling — 36-52 percent, positive-negative, in an ABC-Post poll early last week, according to ABC pollster Gary Langer. http://abcn.ws/LNVQ40
- VEEPSTAKES SHORT-LISTER GETS FACE-TIME WITH ROMNEY. ABC News has learned exclusively that New Hampshire Sen. Kelly Ayotte plans to march with Mitt Romney in Wednesday’s Fourth of July parade in Wolfeboro, N.H. GOP sources tell ABC News that Ayotte will be the first vice presidential short-lister to appear publicly with the presumptive Republican nominee during his week-long vacation at his Lake Winnipesaukee retreat.
- EXCLUSIVE: JAKE TAPPER SITS DOWN WITH CHRIS CHRISTIE. ABC’s Jake Tapper interviewed New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie in Trenton, N.J. yesterday. Admitting they are “stylistically” opposite, Christie told ABC News in an interview at the state capitol that will air Tuesday on “Nightline” that although “he’s much more reserved,” the presumptive GOP presidential nominee should open up. “I think he does,” Christie said, referring to Romney adopting less of a reserved style. Watch the interview tonight on “Nightline,” 11:35 p.m. ET. (h/t ABC’s Shushannah Walshe)
- OBAMA: ON THE ROAD AGAIN. ABC’s Devin Dwyer reports that President Obama will hit the road Thursday for a two-day bus tour — his first of the campaign — that will roll through Maumee, Ohio; Sandusky, Ohio; Parma, Ohio; and, Pittsburgh, Pa., among other smaller towns. Obama’s message will be a familiar one — promoting himself as a champion of the middle class and US manufacturing sector while casting Mitt Romney as an out-of-touch corporate maven who doesn’t know how to create jobs.
- POTUS RETURNS FRIENDLY TURF. ABC’s Chris Good notes that the president’s bus tour will take him to counties he won in 2008. Obama will hold public events in three Ohio counties and one Pennsylvania county, all of which handed him big wins over John McCain, with an average victory margin of 24 percentage points. Obama won both swing states in 2008.
Though politicos on both sides of the issue haven’t stopped talking about it since last Thursday, polls show last week’s Supreme Court decision has done little to change perceptions of President Obama’s health care law.
Republicans still hate it. Democrats still like it.
And as a new ABC News-Washington Post poll and another survey from the Kaiser Family Foundation showed — they like it even more. According to ABC News pollster Gary Langer, “In late June, Democrats expressed favorable rather than unfavorable views of the law by 59-30 percent; today their views on the court’s ruling are more broadly positive by 70-19 percent.”
Similarly, according to the Kaiser poll, released yesterday, 82 percent of Republicans disagreed with the Supreme Court decision, compared to 79 percent of Democrats who said they agreed with it.
Meanwhile, independents remain evenly divided though leaning more on the negative side than positive. Independents, however, see the ruling less negatively than they saw the law itself, by a 9-point margin, ABC’s survey showed.
And, it’s also clear that neither President Obama nor presumptive GOP nominee Mitt Romney want to spend much time talking about it (see, for example, Romney strategist Eric Fehrnstrom’s comments yesterday and White House Chief of Staff Jack Lew’s interview with ABC’s George Stephanopoulos on Sunday.)
Romney’s own past comments have boxed him in on the “tax” vs. “penalty” question, and the individual mandate remains unpopular. Even so, there are signs that the issue can help both sides with their base.
As we noted above, today’s ABC News poll showed Democratic support for the law had jumped significantly — a reminder that winning is the best motivator. Even so, yesterday’s Kaiser poll found that Republicans were more likely than Democrats to say this decision will bring them to the polls in November.
One thing both sides seem to agree on: Republicans and Democrats contend that the aftermath of the ruling has helped to swell their coffers
ABC’s AMY WALTER: Yesterday’s Kaiser Family Foundation poll suggests more risk than reward of a concerted push by Republicans for repeal of Obamacare. Fifty-six percent of Americans, including 51 percent of independents, say they would ” like to see the law’s detractors stop trying to block its implementation and instead move onto other problems, while 38 percent say opponents should try to halt the ACA.”
ABC’s RICK KLEIN: Rick Santorum, surely, is somewhere smiling. This is what he was warning about when he labeled Mitt Romney the “worst Republican” to take on President Obama – Romney is automatically weaker in leveling critiques on health care, as evidenced by his campaign’s unwillingness to call the penalty for not obtaining insurance a “tax.” This deflates some GOP messaging, but it may have needed puncturing. The fee/penalty/tax will only apply to a tiny sliver of voters, as Romney knows first-hand. And to the extent that not calling it a tax leaves Republicans focused on the economy, rather than the now-upheld health care law, the party will be better-positioned to appeal to undecided voters. As the new ABC News/Washington Post poll out today shows, it’s not as if Romney health care plans are any more popular than Obama’s — quite the opposite.
FLASHBACK: SANTORUM CALLS ROMNEY THE ‘WORST REPUBLICAN’ TO TAKE ON OBAMA ON HEALTH CARE. From the AP’s Philip Elliot (Mar. 25, 2012), dateline: Franksville, Wisc.: ”An agitated Rick Santorum on Sunday called Mitt Romney ’the worst Republican in the country to put up against Barack Obama’ even as it appears the former Massachusetts governor is on pace to clinch the party’s nomination in June. … Santorum told voters that Romney is ‘uniquely disqualified’ to be the GOP’s presidential pick and urged his supporters to stand with him even as he faces an increasingly improbable pathway to the nomination. … ‘Pick any other Republican in the country. He is the worst Republican in the country to put up against Barack Obama, Santorum said at an evening rally near Racine. … Santorum later tried to clarify that he was talking only about Romney’s ability to campaign against the national health care law championed by Obama and the Democrats. But the candidate’s temper flared when he was pushed by reporters. ‘On the issue of health care. That’s what I was talking about, and I was very clear about talking about that. OK?’ Santorum told reporters who asked him about the scathing criticism. ‘Come on, guys, don’t do this. I mean, you guys are incredible. I was talking about Obamacare, and he is the worst because he was the author of Romneycare.’” http://yhoo.it/H5PJWG
HOGAN GIDLEY QUOTE OF THE DAY: Former Santorum spokesman, J. Hogan Gidley tells ABC News (tongue-in-cheek): “Santorum must sound like Nostradamus right now” (regarding the former GOP candidate’s prediction during the primary season).
N.H. SEN. KELLY AYOTTE TO JOIN ROMNEY ON THE FOURTH. Kelly Ayotte will be the first vice presidential short-lister to appear publicly with Mitt Romney during his week-long vacation at his Lake Winnipesaukee retreat when she marches with him in tomorrow’s Fourth of July Parade down Main Street in Wolfeboro, N.H., ABC News’ Michael Falcone reports. Her appearance also gives Romney the chance to meet with Ayotte privately at his home. Romney arrived at his lakefront home in the small New Hampshire town last week to begin his annual family vacation, which includes such activities as the ”Romney Olympics,” but there has been heightened speculation about whether Romney would use the time away from the political spotlight to meet with potential vice presidential contenders. Ayotte, the freshman New Hampshire senator, is said to be one of several potential running mates the Romney campaign search team may be considering. Also on that list: Ohio Sen. Rob Portman, who plans to visit New Hampshire later this week. Ayotte plans to bring along her husband, Joe Daley — an Iraq war veteran and small business owner — to Wednesday’s Wolfeboro Fourth of July parade. Daley owns a landscaping company in New Hampshire. Ayotte and her husband will be joined by their children, Katherine and Jacob, who will also march in the parade. http://abcn.ws/LMxv31
KELLY AND MITT, A LOOK BACK: Ayotte campaigned with Romney in New Hampshire in June during his five-day, battleground state bus tour. Ayotte has also appeared with Romney on several other occasions during the campaign and was an early endorser of his candidacy during the primaries. “We know that with his experience, he will make sure that we get our fiscal house in order in Washington, that we stop crushing all of us and our children with mountains of debt, and that we get Americans back to work,” Ayotte said when she announced her support of Romney in November 2011. Last week Romney sent Ayotte to address the pro-life, National Right to Life conference in Arlington, Virginia. In April, she stumped with Romney at a fishing pier in Portsmouth, N.H. — about an hour’s drive from Wolfeboro — and fired up the crowd. “If Washington isn’t broken, I don’t know what is,” she said. “And now more than ever we need Mitt Romney’s leadership in the White House.” http://abcn.ws/LMxv31
MORE HIGHLIGHTS: TAPPER AND GOV. CHRISTIE.
–CHRISTIE ON HIS WEIGHT: ‘IF IT WERE EASY, I’D ALREADY HAVE IT FIXED.’ From ABC’s Jake Tapper and Shushannah Walshe: New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie opened up about his weight problem and stressed he is “trying” to lose weight, a battle he’s waged for 30 years, but said he’s never considered gastric bypass surgery because it’s “too risky.” “I mean, see, listen, I think there’s a fundamental misunderstanding among people regarding weight and regarding all those things that go into, to people being overweight,” Christie said in an interview that will air Tuesday on “Nightline.” “I think folks say — yeah, well he must just not be disciplined, you know, or he must not have willpower — that kind of thing. I guess the best analogy to make is some people drink too much. Some people take drugs. Some people eat too much. See, you can go live every day without drinking. You can live every day without taking drugs. You can’t live every without eating. … [I]t’s something that’s not easy. If it were easy, I’d already have it fixed.” http://abcn.ws/N87o6a
–CHRISTIE’S ADVICE FOR ROMNEY: LET THEM SEE WHO YOU REALLY ARE. Admitting they are “stylistically” opposite, Christie told ABC News that although “he’s much more reserved,” the presumptive GOP presidential nominee should open up. “I think he does,” Christie said, referring to Romney adopting less of a reserved style. “I think he does, and I think he knows that. I think as time progresses in this campaign, you’re going to see him open himself up more and more to the American people, and let them see who Mitt Romney really is, like I’ve had the opportunity to see. And I think when they do, they’re going to like what they see.” http://abcn.ws/MQYxDB
with ABC’s Chris Good (@c_good)
NEW OBAMA AD: ‘OUTSOURCING VS. INSOURCING.’ ABC’s Devin Dwyer reports: The Obama campaign is up with a new 30-second ad in nine battleground states hitting Romney for outsourcing while promoting Obama as an in-sourcer. “What a president believes matters,” the narrator says. “Mitt Romney’s companies were pioneers in outsourcing US jobs to low-wage countries. He supports tax breaks for companies that ship jobs overseas. President Obama believes in insourcing. He fought to save the auto industry and favors tax cuts for companies that bring jobs home. Outsourcing verses insourcing. It matters.” http://youtu.be/I1pPFlcGav4
RNC WEB VIDEO: OBAMA’S ‘UNPATRIOTIC’ DEBT. The video begins with footage of Barack Obama campaigning in 2008. The candidate says, of president George W. Bush and Republicans, “Driving up our national debt from $5 trillion so that we now have over $9 trillion of debt, that’s irresponsible. It’s unpatriotic.” The video then highlights national-debt growth under Obama’s presidency. The campaign also released an infographic yesterday touting Obama’s “Middle-Class Promise Gap” on unemployment, contrasting predictions of sub-six-percent unemployment as Democrats sought to pass their stimulus measure in early 2009, with the current unemployment rate of 8.2 percent. http://youtu.be/VbJ9ICG3Z_I http://mi.tt/MQu2AE
FRIENDS WITH BENEFITS: OBAMA BOOSTED BY SUPER PAC’S WORK. ABC’s Amy Walter reports: A new study by the media tracking group Kantar Media’s CMAG finds that almost all of the negative TV advertising about Mitt Romney’s role at Bain Capital has come from the Democratic Super PAC Priorities USA, not from the Obama campaign. … “fewer than one percent of all ad occurrences sponsored by the Obama campaign have mentioned Bain Capital by name” … From April 10 through June 28, 2012, writes Kantar Media’s CMAG, ”100% of all ad occurrences sponsored by the Democratic super PAC Priorities USA Action have mentioned Bain Capital by name.” http://abcn.ws/M2T9MV
NOTED: IS THAT A CLOWN COMMENT, BRO? From Mediaite’s Tommy Christopher: “While discussing the President’s weekend conference call to donors, Priorities USA Action co-founder Burton told ‘Now’ host Alex Wagner that ‘a large number of the folks who support President Obama but have been sitting on the sidelines, they look at Mitt Romney and say, ‘Yeah, but is this clown really going to beat President Obama?’ and the answer is well, maybe, if he has four or five times as much money as the president, then yes.’” And then, on Burton’s walkback when scolded on CNN by Wolf Blitzer: “‘The whole point of me saying that is, people need to wake up and realize he is a formidable opponent of President Obama’s,’ Burton continued … ‘Of course not, I wasn’t calling him a clown.’” http://bit.ly/P4Zo9G
ROMNEY TO ISRAEL. ABC’s Emily Friedman and Michael Falcone report: The trip is likely to take place after Romney attends the opening ceremonies at the London Olympics on July 27. Romney is also reportedly scheduled to attend a fundraiser in London that same week hosted by Bob Diamond, the CEO of Barclay’s. … Romney has not delivered a major foreign policy speech since October, when he addressed the Citadel in Charleston, S.C. During that address, Romney vowed to “begin discussions with Israel to increase the level of our military assistance and coordination.” http://abcn.ws/P4WNN1
IS IT A ‘TAX?’ GOP VS. ROMNEY CAMPAIGN. The New York Times’ Michael D. Shear reports: “Mitt Romney’s presidential campaign threw cold water on a central Republican attack line on Monday, saying that President Obama’s health care mandate should be thought of as a penalty and not a tax. … ‘The governor disagreed with the ruling of the court,’ [senior Romney adviser Eric] Fehrnstrom said on MSNBC’s ‘The Daily Rundown.’ ‘He agreed with the dissent written by Justice Scalia, which very clearly stated that the mandate was not a tax.’” http://nyti.ms/MFHdoU
OBAMACARE: UPHELD OR OVERTURNED? PUBLIC IS UNCERTAIN. A new poll from Pew Research Center finds that many don’t know whether the Supreme Court upheld or overturned President Obama’s health-reform law. Question: “Did the Supreme Court ____ most provisions in the health care law?” Answers: Uphold (55 percent), Reject (15 percent), Don’t know (30 percent). http://bit.ly/R1Mmab
IN THE MONEY: DEMS RAISE COIN AFTER RULING. The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee announced this morning: “[T]he Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC) has raised $2.3 million from nearly 65,000 grassroots donations since the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in favor of the Affordable Care Act. The average contribution was $35, and Saturday was the single biggest grassroots’ fundraising day in DCCC history.”
ROMNEY’S CAYMAN MONEY. Vanity Fair’s Nicholas Shaxson digs into Mitt Romney’s offshore finances: “To give but one example, there is a Bermuda-based entity called Sankaty High Yield Asset Investors Ltd., which has been described in securities filings as ‘a Bermuda corporation wholly owned by W. Mitt Romney.’ It could be that Sankaty is an old vehicle with little importance, but Romney appears to have treated it rather carefully. He set it up in 1997, then transferred it to his wife’s newly created blind trust on January 1, 2003, the day before he was inaugurated as Massachusetts’s governor. … That’s not the only money Romney has in tax havens. Because of his retirement deal with Bain Capital, his finances are still deeply entangled … [t]he firm today has at least 138 funds organized in the Cayman Islands, and Romney himself has personal interests in at least 12, worth as much as $30 million, hidden behind controversial confidentiality disclaimers.” http://vnty.fr/MSBJFk
MORE FROM VF: BAIN PENNY-PINCHING EMPLOYEES. “Bain engaged in startling penny-pinching with the laid-off employees [of medical-diagnostics company Dade International]. Their contracts stipulated that if they left early they would have to pay back the costs of relocating to Miami—but in spite of all that Dade had done to them, it refused to release the employees from this clause. “They said they would go after them for that money if they left before Bain was finished with them,” Hewitt recalls. Not only that, but the company declined to give workers their severance pay in lump sums to help them fund their return home.” http://vnty.fr/MSBJFk
FLORIDA RECOUNT IN NEW YORK? After Rep. Charlie Rangel’s lead over his primary challenger shrank to 802 votes over the weekend with a new vote count, The New York Times’ Kia Gregory and Michael M. Grynbaum report: “‘We cannot have a Florida type of situation in New York State,’ [Rangel's challenger, state senator Adriano] Espaillat said in a news conference outside a senior center in Washington Heights … ‘I have received hundreds of complaints of voter suppression, and voters being turned away,’ Mr. Espaillat said. ‘We will go to court, and we will go to the final round. I am going to fight to ensure that every single vote is counted.’” http://nyti.ms/NhnVTH
GOP REP.: WHAT’S ROMNEY’S ANSWER ON IMMIGRATION? BuzzFeed’s McKay Coppins interviews David Rivera, the scandal-plagued Hispanic Florida congressman and friend of Marco Rubio: “‘I think Hispanic voters expect more details as to what that ‘permanent solution’ might be that he keeps talking about,’ Rivera said, referring to Romney’s pledge to fix the immigration system while in office.” http://bit.ly/N66Hu1
IN THE NOTE’S INBOX:
–ROB PORTMAN AND THE ROMNEY BUS. From Romney campaign Ohio spokesman Chris Maloney: “On Tuesday, Senator Rob Portman will take part in the Red, White & BOOM! AEP Independence Day Parade in Columbus, Ohio. Senator Portman will be accompanied by the Romney for President campaign bus. A media availability will take place with Senator Portman following the parade.”
@swheaton: Roll Call on VP contenders’ net worths: Portman= +$6.72 mill, Rubio= -$400k http://www.rollcall.com/news/Vice-Presidential-Hopefuls-Include-Wealthiest-Poorest-Members-of-Congress-215888-1.html
@newtgingrich: Now Obama white house is back saying it is NOT a tax. Shameless dishonesty and repudiation of their own words. Undermines self government.
@dcbengoshi: @unsuckdcmetro @FixWMATA awesomeness on the Redline this morning. http://twitter.com/dcbengoshi/status/220129282033324033/photo/1
–President Obama has no public events scheduled and is on vacation at Camp David.
–Mitt Romney has no public events scheduled and is on vacation in Wolfeboro, New Hampshire.
–Vice President Biden heads to Scranton, Pa. for a Fourth of July celebration in his hometown. Biden will meet with supporters and attend a fireworks show.
ABC’s Josh Haskell (@HaskellBuzz)
Check out The Note’s Futures Calendar: http://abcn.ws/ZI9gV