Here’s what went down on the campaign trail this week:
The jobs report came out but no one cared. The U.S. added 163,00 new jobs in July, but the unemployment rate rose to 8.3%. Politically speaking, the numbers won’t do much to change the state of the presidential race — Barack Obama will still probably have to defy history to win the election, but that’s everyone knew that yesterday. Mitt Romney tried to remind supporters that the numbers are “real people,” but as the AP points out, most undecided voters don’t really care about statistics.
Everyone would much rather talk about the Romney vs. Reid death match. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid went off the rails this week, claiming that an anonymous source told him Romney didn’t pay any federal income taxes for 10 years. Romney told Reid to “put up or shut up,” but Reid says he won’t be quiet until Romney coughs up his tax returns.
Reid’s baseless accusations have drawn fire from both the right and the left — even Jon Stewart thinks he’s out of line. But we’re still not sure if Reid’s crazy…or crazy like a fox. It all depends on how much he’s rattled Romney.
Romney’s tax problems are getting worse. Obama got an early birthday present this week when the Tax Policy centre released a new report that found Romney’s tax plan would cut taxes for the wealthiest 5% of Americans while increasing the burden on everyone else. But hat the paper really shows is that Romney’s tax plan isn’t a plan at all. Romney says he’ll pay for income tax cuts but broadening the tax base, but he won’t say how. The Tax Policy centre guys try to fill in the blanks, but it’s all guesswork until Romney gives people some actual numbers to crunch.
In news that could actually matter, the Des Moines Register reported this week that Romney has come out firmly against tax credits for wind power — a position that basically hands Iowa and its six electoral college votes to Obama. Iowa has the most wind energy jobs in the nation, and more than half of the state’s voters — including 41% of Republicans and 59% of Independents — say they are less likely to support a candidate who doesn’t support expanding wind power generation, according to an industry poll. Needless to say, Iowa Republicans are not happy with Romney.
The Chik-Fil-A culture wars are finally over. And the Religious Right definitely won this round.
The Tea Party lives! Tea Party favourite Ted Cruz proved the haters wrong Tuesday when he cruised to victory in the Texas Republican Senate runoff. An A-Team of powerful surrogates — including Sen. Jim DeMint, Sarah Palin, Sen. Rand Paul, and Rick Santorum — went to bat for Cruz against the Establishment, rallying together a powerful coalition of Tea Partiers, Ron Paul Republicans, and Mama Grizzlies. If you want to see the future face of the GOP, take a hard look here.
Next up for the Republican rabble-rousers is this Tuesday’s Missouri Republican Senate primary. We’ll be watching to see how Palin’s pick Sarah Steelman performs.
Bubba is back! Bill Clinton will deliver the keynote on the opening night of the Democratic National Convention this month. Not excited yet? These hilarious photos of Clinton in the 90s should do the trick.
Where in the world is Hillary? The other half of Washington’s fav power couple is in South Sudan, where she’s trying to get leaders to solve their oil and land disputes with the Sudan. prevent another civil war by helping leaders solve land and oil disputes with the Sudan. get leaders to solve
Up next week: Veepstakes mania! Send us your top picks!
And because it’s the weekend, here’s a complete, pictorial guide to the Book of Mormon.
NOW WATCH: Briefing videos
Business Insider Emails & Alerts
Site highlights each day to your inbox.