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Thursday, March 14, 2013

Daily Political Wire

George Wenschhof 

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Meet The Man Who Filmed The "47% Video" - "My name is Scott Prouty. I'm a regular guy, middle class, hardworking guy," he said. "You know, I think, I'd like to think I have a good moral compass and a core, and I think I have a little bit of empathy. I think I have a little more empathy than Mitt Romney had."
Prouty, who was bartending that night, said he brought a camera in his backpack because he thought Romney might pose for pictures with the staff. He said he was interested to hear what Romney had to say at the event.

"I didn't go there with a grudge, you know, against Romney, I was more interested as a voter," he said.

Prouty added that after he heard Romney's remarks, he felt an obligation to get the tape out there.  MSNBC has more here.


New Pope Highlights Growing Power of Latinos - The surprise selection on Wednesday of an Argentine, Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio, as the new pope shifted the gravity of the Roman Catholic Church from Europe to Latin America in one fell swoop, and served as an emphatic salute to the growing power of Latinos across the Americas.

The new pope took the name Francis and is the 266th pontiff of the church. He is the first pope from Latin America, and the first member of the Jesuit order to lead the church.  The NY Times has more here.


Senate Judiciary Committee Approves Assault Weapons Ban - The Senate Judiciary Committee has approved a hugely controversial ban on assault weapons and high-capacity ammunition clips, but the measure faces nearly certain defeat on the Senate floor.
The proposal, authored by Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), bans 157 different models of assault weapons, as well as magazines containing more than 10 bullets.

The vote was 10 to 8, with all Democrats supporting it and all Republicans opposed.
The Senate now faces a floor fight in coming weeks over Democrats’ push to dramatically alter U.S. gun laws for the first time in two decades. has more here.


GOP Divide on Display as CPAC Conference Begins - The Republican Party’s internal struggle over how to expand its reach will play out in stark relief at this week’s Conservative Political Action Conference, with activists locked in a near-civil war over the basic question of who should be part of the movement – and who should not.
This year’s meeting has already made news with its exclusion of notable names from the invite list: New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie and Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell.

American Conservative Union chairman Al Cardenas spoke briefly with reporters ahead of the beginning of the CPAC conference -- explaining why he didn't invite New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie and insisting that the GOP is "not a home for everybody."

As the conference opens, the GOP's identity crisis -- expand the tent, or try to convince more people to crowd under what's already built -- is on sharp display.

"I'm a firm believer that if the Republican Party's going to have success, it's going to do so by being a conservative party and not a home for ah, for everybody," Cardenas said. "And that's how you grow. I mean, look, you grow your tent by convincing others, and persuading others, that yours is the way, and you build your tent by reaching out to the new demographics of America not with a watered down version of who we ought to be but with a true, real, solid version of who we are."   First Read has more here. has the list of 23 candidates who will be on the CPAC 2016 presidential straw poll, to be conducted on Saturday, here. 


Republican Lawmakers Want To Talk to Benghazi Suvivors - The recent revelation that U.S. survivors are recuperating at Walter Reed Hospital has sparked GOP demands that the White House provide Congress with access to them. It has also breathed new life into the controversy that was highlighted repeatedly during the 2012 presidential campaign.

Reports that as many as 30 Americans may have been wounded in the attack — including seven treated at Walter Reed — have put Benghazi back in the spotlight. has more here.


Netanyahu Forms New Government Prior To Obama Visit - After weeks of tough bargaining, and facing a looming deadline, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has reached a coalition agreement with his two major partners, paving the way for the formation of a new Israeli government days before a visit by President Obama. 
The accord, expected to be signed Thursday, awards important cabinet posts to two rising stars who emerged from the Israeli election in January: Yair Lapid, leader of the centrist Yesh Atid party, the second largest faction in parliament, and Naftali Bennett, head of the rightist Jewish Home faction, politicians told reporters.  The Washington Post has more here.


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