The Devil In The Details (The Note)

Spencer Platt/Getty Images; SAUL LOEB/AFP/GettyImages

By MICHAEL FALCONE ( @michaelpfalcone ) and AMY WALTER ( @amyewalter )


  • FREAK-OUT-ONOMICS: The Romney campaign is moving swiftly to capitalize on what they see as last week's "abysmal" jobs report, holding a "barrage" of conference calls today in key battleground states hitting President Obama's jobs record. Meanwhile, the Obama campaign is out with their latest television ad, and they are starting the week on a negative note. The spot asserts that Romney finished his term as governor of Massachusetts with one of the "worst economic records in the country."
  • RECALL RUNDOWN: It's the eve of Wisconsin's gubernatorial recall and the race between incumbent Gov. Scott Walker and Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett is coming down to an 11th-hour push to turn out every last voter. The latest forecast indicates that 60 to 65 percent of the state's voting-age adults will head to the polls tomorrow - a huge number - in a race that is being closely-watched for its national implications.
  • WHERE WERE THEY NOW? A look at past presidents' June re-election polling shows that in every year since 1980 except 1992 (when Ross Perot led handily in June), the leader in June went on to win in November. That's good news for Obama, who leads Romney by three percentage points in the latest ABC News-Washington Post survey and by four in the latest NBC News-Wall Street Journal survey, although he trails Romney 46 percent to 45 percent in the latest poll by Gallup.
  • VEEP BEAT: In today's roundup of all things veepstakes, Ohio Sen. Rob Portman's little-known role as a debate-prep stand-in, Jeb Bush tells ABC's Jonathan Karl that the vice presidency is simply "not in the cards" for him," and Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell goes off script.


If there was one consistent message from this weekend's political chatter, it was this: The economy may be driving this election, but neither Mitt Romney nor President Obama has much control over it or many specific recommendations for how they are going to fix it.

On ABC's "This Week," Romney strategist Eric Fehrnstrom and Obama's deputy campaign manager Stephanie Cutter debated how the country can emerge from its economic woes, with Fehrnstrom accusing the president of having a "deficit in leadership."

"This president came into office without any prior experience running anything," Fehrnstrom told ABC's George Stephanopoulos. "He never even ran a corner store. And I think it shows in the way that he's handling the economy."

Despite last week's gloomy jobs report, Cutter pointed out "areas that we've been able to affect policy," including the manufacturing sector and the automobile industry."

"The president stepped in and did what nobody else was willing to do to save the auto industry," she noted. "And that has had a great impact on manufacturing jobs up and down the supply chain."

But with the results of a recent ABC News-Washington Post poll showing that 52 percent of Americans view the economy as the single most important issue in their vote this election year, something's going to have to give.

Here's another key data point: Americans who are more hopeful than anxious about the economy's prospects pick Obama 59 percent to 37 percent for Romney. By contrast, those who are more anxious about the economy flock to Romney over Obama by a 61 percent to 33 percent margin.

(In our most recent poll, 57 percent of registered voters described themselves as "more hopeful" compared to 39 percent who said they were "more anxious" about the economy.)

The Obama campaign isn't doing much to sugar coat their strategy, which most recently has focused on systematically dismantling Romney's record as governor of Massachusetts.

The latest ad to come out of Chicago features Romney saying, "I speak the language of business. I know how jobs are created" just before the ad's narrator notes: "But it ended like this. One of the worst economic records in the country. When Mitt Romney was Governor, Massachusetts lost 40,000 manufacturing jobs."

So much for Obama making the case for why to re-elect him instead of why they shouldn't even think about looking at Romney.

OBAMA CAMP STARTS WEEK ON A NEGATIVE NOTE. The campaign's new one-minute ad titled "Heard it Before" doubles down on Democrats' theme and message of last week, namely that Romney has not proven himself to be an effective job creator and didn't keep his promises on state debt and size of government.  ABC's Devin Dwyer reports that the new ad will air in Colorado, Florida, Iowa, North Carolina, New Hampshire, Nevada, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Virginia. A campaign official describes this as a "significant buy." (The first major Obama for America buy launched on May 7 - the positive flight of spots on Obama's record - was $25 million and ran in the same nine states). As part of the push, Massachusetts state officials will begin to travel to battleground states this week to discuss Romney's record as governor.  Those events begin Monday in Ohio and Iowa, a campaign official said. WATCH:

ROMNEY CAMP PLANS 'BARRAGE' OF CALLS ON OBAMA'S 'ABYSMAL' JOBS RECORD. The Romney campaign is ready to mount their most intense offensive yet against President Obama's jobs record. A campaign official tells The Note that they will be kicking off the week with a "barrage of press conference calls with supporters and small business owners in battleground states. In light of the abysmal jobs report, the calls will focus on how President Obama's policies and rhetoric are hostile to job creators, and are preventing them from hiring people." According to the campaign, calls will be held in Florida, Iowa, Michigan, North Carolina, New Hampshire, Pennsylvania, Virginia, Ohio, Colorado, Nevada and New Mexico.  The following surrogates will participate in the counter-programming effort: NM - Monty Newman, New Mexico Republican Party Chairman; IA - Lieutenant Governor Kim Reynolds; OH - Congressman Bob Latta; PA - Congressman Lou Barletta; FL - Former House Speaker Allan Bense, Partner, GAC Contractors; NV - Lieutenant Governor Brian Krolicki; CO - Congressman Scott Tipton; VA - State Senator Jeff McWaters; MI - Attorney General Bill Schuette; NH - Congressman Charlie Bass; NC - Speaker Thom Tillis.  Each one will be joined by small business owners in those states to capitalize on what the campaign sees as the failures of the Obama administration's efforts on the jobs front.


ABC's RICK KLEIN: The news on the economy has gotten very big, but will the campaign follow? The focus on jobs has been narrow and largely about disqualifying the other side - Solyndra dueling with the Boston State House's Golden Dome in photo ops last week. But the possibility of a summer of true economic misery leaves an opening for one side or the other to reset the conversation, going big about voters' choices, in a campaign where every temptation is to play small.

ABC's AMY WALTER: One important reminder to many in pundit-and pundit-wannabe world about writing off Obama's attacks on Romney's record as "ineffective": The campaign has only just begun. In fact, most voters have yet to even begin to check in on the campaign and won't for many weeks. To declare a campaign strategy over just a couple weeks after it started is short-sighted and shows a very "inside the bubble" way of looking at the world. To be sure, this strategy of making Romney's economic record look like a flop may indeed, well, flop. It's just too soon to say it now.

ABC's JAKE TAPPER: It's hard to overstate how much the latest jobs report signaled a change in the view of this election among opinion-makers. Some wise folks who cover and participate in the world of politics would go so far as to say that this has become Romney's race to lose. Whether or not that's the case, the White House has fewer and fewer tools remaining in their economic arsenal. Obama's been able to argue that the recovery isn't strong but at least the numbers are all headed in the right direction - but can he continue to say that? And if not, does the storyline become that of a president who was unable to revive the economy - the number one issue in the country? To top off what has been a string of bad weeks for the president - with Romney growing stronger in the polls - on Tuesday, in the blue-leaning battleground state of Wisconsin, voters could very well keep controversial GOP Gov. Scott Walker in the recall election. None of this is to say that the president cannot turn things around, or that this election won't be close, or that Romney is a flawless candidate running a perfect campaign. But it is to underline that the Obama campaign is on its heels for issues far more significant that Donald Trump's latest "birther" talk.


VIDEO OF THE DAY: MEET OBAMA'S BUNDLERS. ABC's Jake Tapper explores the murky world of bundlers: Of President Obama's top 350 bundlers, Bill Allison, Editorial Director at the Sunlight Foundation, says Obama's list includes 68 who serve on some kind of government board. Obama's bundlers include George Kaiser, the single largest investor in Solyndra. "Kaiser and folks from his foundation had a number of meetings at the White House," says Allison. "There's email traffic that shows that Solyndra was discussed at some of these meetings. So clearly…the bundlers get in the door and get the chance to present their priorities and their interests."  WATCH the latest edition of ABC's "Power Players":


HUGE TURNOUT PREDICTED. ABC's Amy Walter passes along these predictions from the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel's Craig Gilbert: "The official turnout forecast for Tuesday is 60 to 65 percent of the state's voting-age adults, which in the context of recent decades is a more or less insane figure. Dating back to 1950, average turnout in a mid-term election for governor is 47% and the highest was 52.4% in 1962: In the nation's only other modern-day recall for governor (California in 2003), 36 percent of voting-age adults turned out."

RECALL AS REFERENDUM. ABC's Matt Jaffe gives an overview of Tuesday's vote and its implications: "In a battle viewed largely as a barometer for November's showdown between President Obama and Republican challenger Mitt Romney, Wisconsin voters on Tuesday will decide whether to oust Gov. Scott Walker for what Democrats contend is an unacceptable attack on organized labor by the GOP lawmaker. … "It's a statement about what role we think the public sector ought to play," said Barry Burden, a professor of political science at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. "There are fundamental differences between the two parties here, and they mimic the debate in Washington. Republicans want to reduce the size of government, and they view the public sector as a hindrance to job growth, while Democrats want to use the public sector to spur job growth, promote fairness and serve as a safety net. We can't do both. Wisconsin is a swing state, and it represents a lot of the diversity we find in the country in general, so for that reason I think the recall here is a symbol of the larger argument going on."

STATE OF THE RACE. More from Jaffe: Recent polls show Walker leading his Democratic opponent, Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett. A survey of likely voters conducted by Marquette University Law School from May 23-26 showed Walker with a 52 percent to 45 percent advantage over Barrett. But public polling can be unpredictable because of the special nature of the summertime election, and that poll came before the two opponents engaged in a heated debate Thursday night. … According to the Marquette poll, 92 percent of Republicans said they were "absolutely certain to vote" on Tuesday, compared with 77 percent of Democrats.

AFL-CIO SUPER PAC SHIFTS ONLINE ADS. From The Hill's Kevin Bogardus: "Up until this point, Workers' Voice has been running online ads directing people to sign up to volunteer for the campaign against Walker. Now, the super-PAC for the nation's largest labor federation is moving into advertising for its get-out-the-vote effort. "Scott Walker's extreme agenda is wrong for Wisconsin," reads one online ad by the group. 'Find your polling place.' … A Workers' Voice spokesman estimated the online ad buy would end up somewhere between $50,000 and $60,000."

BARRETT PREPARING FOR A ONE-VOTE RACE. The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel's Don Walker, Jason Stein and Mike Johnson report from the Brown County dairy breakfast, where Republican Scott Walker and Democrat Tom Barrett both campaigned on Sunday: "Though behind in most polls, Barrett said he was optimistic that he would win on Tuesday with a strong Democratic turnout. He said a tracking poll conducted for his campaign on Thursday and Friday, with a sampling of 800 voters, showed a one-vote difference. 'Not a percentage point. One-vote difference,' Barrett said. 'The energy we feel throughout the entire state leads us to be very optimistic.'"

BREWERS FANS FOR WALKER? National Review's Jim Geraghty posts a note from a reader: "I drove from Chicago to Milwaukee on Sunday to watch my beloved Pittsburgh Pirates defeat the Milwaukee Brewers. During the third inning, the jumbotron began showing random crowd shots (which had the attention of the crowd and generated friendly cheers) - the cute baby in the Brewers jumper, the shirtless guys with beers, the pretty girls dancing to the music. Then, the camera panned to a guy holding up a 'Vote Barrett' sign. The crowd erupted…in boos! These were significant, sustained boos."

WSJ EDITORIAL: THE RECALL STAKES. The paper informs us epic implications for unions' political clout: "[W]e will learn if a politician can dare to cross government unions and survive. Mr. Walker isn't facing this extraordinary midterm challenge because he and a GOP legislature asked public workers to pay 12.6% of their health insurance premiums and put 5.8% of their paychecks toward their pensions. Those are small sums compared to what private employees typically pay. His political offense was daring to challenge the monopoly sway that public unions have come to hold over modern state government through collective bargaining. … [A]s public unions began to dominate the modern labor movement, collective bargaining became a sacrosanct part of the liberal agenda. Mr. Walker and his fellow Republicans challenged that status quo, and the unions have reacted with such vitriol because they realize the threat to their long-unchallenged clout."

IN MILWAUKEE, JESSE JACKSON COMPARES WALKER TO WALLACE. From The Weekly Standard's Stephen F. Hayes and John McCormack: "Two days before the election, a crowd of 250 Democratic and union activists gathered to hear from Reverend Jackson and a host of left-wing leaders. The crowd applauded mightily when one union leader compared Scott Walker's reforms to the attacks on 9/11. They rose to their feet when a local teachers union head screamed that Walker is a serial liar. And they cheered wildly when Jackson compared Walker to segregationist Alabama governor George Wallace. 'So now you have a governor,' Jackson thundered. 'Wallace did it in Alabama and now Walker in Wisconsin - trying to take back access to vote.' … 'Milwaukee is the number one most segregated big city in America…and number four in poverty,' he said, urging the activists to vote for the man who has served as Milwaukee's mayor for the past eight years."


ICYMI FROM 'THIS WEEK': KRUGMAN CALLS RYAN/ROMNEY PLAN A 'FRAUD.' ABC's George Stephanopoulos recaps: This morning on "This Week," New York Times columnist Paul Krugman called Rep. Paul Ryan's proposed budget plan a "fraud" as Romney campaign senior advisor Eric Fehrnstrom confirmed his candidate's support for the plan that would trim trillions in federal spending over the next decade. "The Ryan plan - and I guess this is what counts as a personal attack - but it isn't.  It's not an attack on the person; it's an attack on the plan.  The plan's a fraud," said Krugman. "And so to say that - just tell the truth that there is really no plan there, neither from Ryan, nor from Governor Romney, is just the truth. That's not - if that's - if that's being harsh and partisan, gosh, then I guess the truth is anti-bipartisanship."

FEHRNSTROM: ARMING SYRIAN OPPOSITION WOULD LEVEL PLAYING FIELD. More from ABC's George Stephanopoulos: Romney campaign senior adviser Eric Fehrnstrom defended Mitt Romney's call to arm opposition forces in Syria, saying it would create "a level playing field" this morning on "This Week." "They are brave, and they're not going away," Fehrnstrom said of those opposing the rule of Syrian president Bashar al-Assad. "What they need is the capacity to wage a fair fight. So what Governor Romney would do is encourage the United States to work with our partners to identify, organize, and arm the opposition." "They're going up against vastly superior forces in Assad's army and have suffered 10,000 losses, just slaughtered by the government," Fehrnstrom added.

ROUNDTABLE: WHO CAN FIX THE ECONOMY? Eric Fehrnstrom vs. Stephanie Cutter:



with ABC's Chris Good ( @c_good)

DEMOCRATS 'CELEBRATE' ROMNEY-RYAN BROMANCE.  The pro-Obama super PAC, Priorities USA Action, sent a greeting card of sorts to Mitt Romney over the weekend, congratulating him on the one-year anniversary of his declared support for Rep. Paul Ryan's budget proposal. "The plan," Priorities USA notes, "to essentially end Medicare as we know it." Ryan, a Wisconsin congressman, is now considered one of Romney's potential vice presidential contenders. "You may not have the support of middle class Americans-but at least you have each other!" With the help of JibJab, here's the group's e-card:

RNC COUNTER-PROGRAMMING: VOGUE DINNER. The Republican National Committee released a video mocking the Obama campaign's Sarah Jessica Parker/Anna Wintour fundraiser on June 14 in New York. Statement from Chairman Reince Priebus: "The president of 'Hope and Change' is now the president who is out of touch with the American people and out to lunch on job creation. The president hasn't lived up to his promise on jobs, and no amount of Vogue fundraisers will fix it because Americans deserve better." WATCH:

FIRST NATIONAL OBAMA AD: SARAH JESSICA PARKER ON MTV. ABC's Devin Dwyer reports: The Obama campaign tonight aired its first national TV ad of the election cycle - a 30-second spot on the MTV Network that features actress Sarah Jessica Parker plugging President Obama's record and soliciting donations for a campaign sweepstakes. "OK, the guy who ended the war in Iraq; the guy who says you should be able to marry anyone you want; the guy who created 4 million new jobs.  That guy - President Obama - and his wife Michelle are coming to my house for dinner on June 14th," Parker says to camera. "And I want you to be there too. But, you have to go to for a chance to win …

ROMNEY PICKS TRANSITION LEADER. Presumptive GOP nominee Mitt Romney has chosen former Utah Gov. Mike Leavitt to lead his transition team to the White House, ABC's Emily Friedman reports. The team, dubbed by the campaign the "Readiness Project," will help a future Romney administration be poised to transition into the White House smoothly during the short time period between Election Day and Inauguration Day. "This is exactly what the bipartisan legislation signed into law by President Obama in 2010 encouraged candidates to do," said Romney spokeswoman Andrea Saul, who confirmed Leavitt's appointment. Leavitt's new position was first reported by Politico.

IF OBAMA WINS, ROMNEY PAYS $5 MILLION IN TAXES. From AP's Connie Cass: "To see where the presidential candidates stand on taxing the rich, just look at how they'd tax themselves. Under his own proposal, Mitt Romney would pay half what he would under President Barack Obama's tax plan. For a man of Romney's means, that could save almost $5 million a year. For Obama, not so loaded as Romney but still well-off, losing re-election could provide a tax windfall. He'd save as much as $90,000 a year if Romney's plan were enacted rather than his own tax-the-rich vision. Two nonprofit research groups, the liberal-leaning Citizens for Tax Justice and conservative-leaning Tax Foundation, did the calculations, based on the most recent completed tax returns released by the candidates."

OBAMA'S 2008 DONORS ARE SITTING OUT 2012. In 2008, more than 550,000 gave more than $200 to Barack Obama, entering their names in the longest list of individual donors ever seen in American politics. … According to a BuzzFeed analysis of campaign finance data, 88% of the people who gave $200 or more in 2008 - 537,806 people - have not yet given that sum this year. And this drop-off isn't simply an artifact of timing. A full 87% of the people who gave $200 - the sum that triggers an itemized report to the Federal Elections Commission - through April of 2008, 182,078 people, had not contributed by the end of last month. … "Where's the change I can believe in?" asked Lisa Pike, a 55-year-old from Williamsburg, Va. with a small medical transcription business who gave $658 in 2008. She said she is not planning on contributing this time around. "I wish he was the socialist they accused him of being. I wish we had the tons of change that would justify the right freaking out. I wish him well - I don't dislike him personally - but I'm disappointed that he's not the change-agent I had hoped for." An Obama campaign spokeswoman, Katie Hogan, disputed BuzzFeed's analysis with the statistics, noting that 98% of its donors have given less than the $200 threshold this year and that the campaign is ahead of its 2008 pace."

GABBY GIFFORDS HITS THE CAMPAIGN TRAIL. Tucson Weekly's Jim Nintsel reports: "Gabby Giffords will make a special appearance on behalf of Democrat Ron Barber at a get-out-the-vote concert at downtown's Rialto Theatre next Saturday, June 9. Giffords, who stepped down from Congress in January to focus on her recovery from a gunshot wound to the head during a shooting rampage that left six dead and 13 wounded, asked Barber to run for the remainder of her congressional term."

DAVID AXELROD'S DENIAL. ABC's Matthew Larotonda reports: The communications director of President Obama's reelection campaign today denied a report in the New York Times that he had sat in on weekly White House meetings on terrorism. On Tuesday the paper said that after the failed 2009 Christmas Day "underwear bombing," David Axelrod started attending the discussions with Obama and top national security advisers. … Today on CBS' "Face the Nation," Axelrod steadfastly denied the claim, telling host Bob Schieffer that he was "flat out asserting that that is not true." "There were meetings," he said. "I know there were weekly meetings dealing with terrorist threats and planning around it, but I did not attend those meetings."

OBAMA: PLEASE EXCUSE TYLER. ABC's Nick Schifrin reports: [O]n Friday, [Tyler] Sullivan skipped school for the first time in his life, to meet President Barack Obama. Obama was in town visiting the Honeywell facility in Golden Valley, Minn. Tyler's father, Ryan, had introduced Obama before his speech at Honeywell, and Obama approached the family after the speech. "First I said, 'Hi, Mr. President.' Then he says, 'Hi Tyler, you must be out of school then,'" said Tyler. Obama realized Tyler was skipping school, and asked an aide for a pen and a card with presidential letterhead. "Do you want me to write an excuse note? What's your teacher's name?" Tyler remembered. "And I say, 'Mr. Ackerman.' And he writes, 'Please excuse Tyler. He was with me. Barack Obama, the president." Tyler has framed the note.

CNN POLL: OBAMA STILL MORE POPULAR. From Yahoo's Phil Pruitt: "President Barack Obama remains more popular than Mitt Romney, according to a CNN/ORC International survey released Monday. Romney's favorable rating among Americans has jumped from 34% in February to 48% now. Forty-two percent say they see Romney in a negative light. Romney still trails the president, however, who currently has a 56% favorable rating, with 42% saying they have an unfavorable opinion of Obama, the CNN/ORC poll shows. The president's favorable and unfavorable ratings are unchanged from CNN polls in March and April."

CONGRESS VS. THE CONVENTIONS. Politico's Manu Raju reports: "In the aftermath of Congress's public shaming of the General Services Administration for throwing an $800,000-plus conference in Las Vegas, lawmakers find themselves squeezed between their rhetoric on fiscal responsibility and the festivities celebrating their presidential nominees - which is costing taxpayers more than $36 million. Enter Sen. Tom Coburn. The combative Oklahoma Republican plans to unveil bipartisan legislation this week that would prohibit future conventions from receiving federal dollars and would call on the committees running the parties' conventions this year to return the money to the Treasury in order to pay down the national debt. … 'They shouldn't be taking the money,' Coburn told POLITICO. Sen. Mark Udall (D-Colo.) has already signed up as a co-sponsor of Coburn's bill, and interviews with lawmakers from both sides reveal that many more are ready to buck their national parties so they can proclaim the high ground on fiscal concerns."

UTAH: ROMNEY'S WESTERN STAGING GROUND. The Boston Globe's Matt Viser reports: "Campaign officials consider the state - with its prime location, its large number of highly motivated volunteers, and a population that shares Romney's Mormon faith - a staging area for battles across the country, particularly in Western swing states such as Colorado and Nevada. College Republicans at Brigham Young University are primed for grass-roots organizing when they return from summer break. A virtual war room is in the works for Salt Lake City. And the state Republican Party is making plans beyond its borders.   … Romney's campaign headquarters opened here in November, two months before the first primaries. It is in a strip mall within a 10-minute drive of two campuses: one of the state's largest universities (Utah Valley University) and the largest Mormon-affiliated school in the country (Brigham Young University). … One recent weekday around lunchtime, Hildred Anderson, a 76-year-old retiree from Orem, strolled in to make calls into Virginia. She has never volunteered for a campaign before, but Romney inspired her. She shares his Mormon faith and was impressed with his work running the 2002 Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City."

VIDEO: IT'S 3 A.M., WHERE'S ROMNEY ON WOMEN'S PAY? With Congress set to consider the Democratic Paycheck Fairness Act, the group recasts the 2008 Hillary Clinton 3 a.m. ad to ask where Mitt Romney stands on the bill.

VEEP BEAT: Our daily look at all the action on the veepstakes front, brought to you by ABC's Arlette Saenz ( @ArletteSaenz ):

ROB PORTMAN STARS AS DEBATE PREP STAND-IN: From playing Hillary Clinton in the 2000 Senate race to Barack Obama in 2008, Sen. Rob Portman, R-Ohio, has perfected the role of the debate prep stand-in, taking on Democratic opponent's mannerisms, intonations and personality as he aids Republican candidates with their preparation ahead of debates, Yahoo! News' Chris Moody reported.  "When Republicans need to get inside the brain of a Democrat, they call Rob Portman," Moody wrote. "For nearly 20 years, Republicans have turned to Portman, now a senator from Ohio and widely rumored to be near the top of Mitt Romney's list of preferred running mates, for help with debate preparation. The freshman senator has a natural talent for throwing himself into the role of the opposing candidate in mock debates. According to people who have seen Portman perform this feat, he nails it every time."

JEB BUSH: VP SLOT 'NOT IN THE CARDS' Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush repeated his VP denials Friday, saying a spot on the GOP ticket in the fall is "not in the cards" for him, ABC News' Jonathan Karl reports. "It's not in the cards for me," Bush told reporters Friday.  "I don't know how many times I have to repeat this.  I have been repeating it for the last two years.  I've been pretty consistent." Asked by ABC News how he would respond if Romney called offering him the VP Spot, Jeb Bush responded "It's not going to come."

BOB McDONNELL GIVES A LITTLE CREDIT TO OBAMA FOR ECONOMY: Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell went slightly off script Sunday when he admitted President Obama deserves a little bit of credit for helping Virginia balance its budget and maintain a low unemployment rate. "Did it help us in the short run with health care and education spending to balance the budget? Sure. Does it help us in the long term to really cut the unemployment rate? I'd say no," McDonnell said on CNN's State of the Union Sunday.  Asked by Candy Crowley if President Obama deserve a little bit of credit, McDonnell replied, "Well, sure. I think there's national policies that have had some impact."



@tackettdc : Today's must read from  @juliannagoldman on Bill Clinton's complicated role as surrogate in chief #2012

@DavidMDrucker : In  #AZ08 Giffords seat, the OTHER special election:  @RollCallAbby reports frm Tucscon

@ZekeJMiller : Great read from  @maggiepolitico: Mitt Romney's top political adviser: Mitt Romney

@jimacostacnn : Despite wks of neg attacks, Romney rebounds in new CNN/ORC poll - Favorable 48% Unfavorable 42% (up 14 pts)

@shushwalshe : Serious question: do average Americans that don't have an interest in fashion know who Anna Wintour is?



-President Barack Obama holds evening fundraisers in New York City, including a "Barack on Broadway" concert and fundraiser with former President Bill Clinton.

-Mitt Romney holds fundraisers in Washington State and Oregon today. On Tuesday he holds fundraisers and campaigns in Texas.

ABC's Joanna Suarez

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