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Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Daily Political Wire

George Wenschhof

Obama, Bush Mourn al-Qaeda Victims in Tanzania - President Barack Obama and his predecessor George W. Bush met in an African capital Tuesday to honor the victims of Osama bin Laden’s opening salvo in his war against America.
The near-simultaneous bombings at two U.S. embassies in Kenya and Tanzania in 1998 claimed the lives of 224 people, including 12 Americans.

A few months before the attacks in August 1998, bin Laden had warned his war would "inevitably move ... to American soil." U.S. embassies are American territory, according to international law.  NBC News has more here.


Obama Calls Egyptian President Morsi, Urges Peaceful Resolution - President Barack Obama called Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi on Monday to discuss the recent developments in Egypt, according to the White House.
Obama told Morsi that the U.S. is committed to maintaining democracy in Egypt and does not support any one party or group. He urged Morsi to show that he is receptive to the public's concerns and to solve the conflict through a political process, stressing that "only Egyptians can make the decisions that will determine their future," per the White House readout of the call.

The President also stated his commitment to maintaining the safety of U.S. citizens and diplomats in Egypt during that process. has more here.


Snowden Drops Asylum Request in Russia - Fugitive Edward Snowden has withdrawn his request for Russian political asylum, a presidential spokesman said Tuesday, apparently because he was unwilling to go along with President Vladimir Putin’s requirement that he stop any activity damaging to the United States.

“He has abandoned this idea and his request for permission to stay in Russia,” Dmitri Peskov, Putin’s spokesman, told Interfax and other reporters Tuesday.

Peskov reiterated that Russia had no intention of returning Snowden to the United States, where he has been charged with leaking classified documents.  The Washington Post has more here.


Clinton Leads Bush, Rubio Among Latino Voters for 2016 - A new poll of likely Hispanic voters in the 2016 presidential election shows strong support for the two candidates seen as potential Democratic nominees: former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Vice President Biden.

The survey, by Latino Decisions, also revealed Republican candidates continue to significantly trail among Hispanic voters, with even champions of immigration reform like Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) and former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush significantly behind top Democrats.

Rubio, unsurprisingly, would begin with a major deficit in a head-to-head matchup with Clinton. According to the poll, Clinton would win Hispanic voters 66-28 percent, with 6 percent remaining undecided. Biden fares nearly as well, holding a 60-28 percent advantage over Rubio with 12 percent undecided. has more here.


Opponents of Abortion Restrictions Rally in Texas - Thousands of opponents of a Texas proposal to tighten abortion restrictions rallied outside the statehouse on Monday, giving a hero's welcome to Democratic state Senator Wendy Davis, whose 11-hour speech stalled the measure last week.

As the Republican-dominated state legislature convened for a second special session on Monday, supporters said they expected the bill would pass this time. With few exceptions, it would ban abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy.

The proposal would also subject abortion clinics to stronger health and safety rules, which the nation's biggest abortion provider, Planned Parenthood, has said could cause all but six of Texas' 42 abortion centers to close. Republicans have called that an exaggeration. has more here.


Alison Lundergan Grimes to Challenge McConnell in Kentucky Senate Race - Kentucky Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes announced she will challenge Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell in 2014, ending months of speculation about whether Democrats could deliver a top recruit for that targeted race.

“I have met with my supporters, we have had a great conversation, and determined and decided that we can next make the best move, the best difference in the commonwealth of Kentucky, by running for the U.S. Senate,” Grimes said at a Monday event in Kentucky.

National Democrats had laid all their hopes with Grimes’ bid since March, when actress Ashley Judd announced she wouldn’t run against McConnell. A top fundraiser and brutal campaigner, McConnell is a top target for Democrats this cycle. has more here.


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