- - Wednesday, August 22, 2012

GOP vice presidential hopeful Rep. Paul Ryan says President Obama’s “you didn’t build that” remark explains why the U.S. recovery has been so sluggish.

At a campaign rally in Roanoke, Va., the Wisconsin congressman said it revealed Mr. Obama’s “mindset” of favoring big government over private entrepreneurs — and shows why his policies have failed to create jobs.

Last month, at a Roanoke fire station, Mr. Obama said successful businesses depend on things like bridges and schools that governments created — and said to successful business owners, “You didn’t build that. Somebody else made that happen.” Since then, Mitt Romney and his running mate have denounced the comment as anti-business. Mr. Obama’s campaign insists his words have been taken out of context.

CAMPAIGN

Saddleback’s Warren cancels presidential forum plans

The Rev. Rick Warren says he has canceled plans for a “civil forum” featuring the presidential candidates because their campaign is so uncivil.

Neither the Obama campaign nor the Romney campaign said its candidate had committed to appearing at the forum at Mr. Warren’s Saddleback Church in Lake Forest, Calif. The forum had been planned for this week.

In an interview published Wednesday by the Orange County Register, Mr. Warren said the forum’s goal was to promote civility and personal respect between people with major differences. He said that has not been the climate of the presidential campaign, and that he doesn’t expect that to change.

In 2008, Mr. Warren’s church sponsored a forum with then-Sen. Barack Obama and Republican Sen. John McCain.

MISSOURI

Virginia’s McDonnell raises money for gubernatorial hopeful

JEFFERSON CITY — Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell is helping pad the campaign account of Missouri gubernatorial candidate Dave Spence.

Mr. McDonnell, who is chairman of the Republican Governors Association, headlined a suburban St. Louis fundraiser Wednesday for Mr. Spence’s challenge of Democratic Gov. Jay Nixon.

Spence campaign manager Jared Craighead said the event drew about 125 people and raised more than $150,000.

Both the Republican and Democratic governors associations have been active in Missouri’s race.

The national Republican group has given $1.75 million this summer to its Missouri affiliate. The national Democratic group gave $2.5 million to its Missouri affiliate earlier this year.

JUSTICE

Department joins lawsuit against pollster Gallup

The Justice Department has joined a lawsuit against the Gallup Organization alleging the polling company filed false claims on contracts with the U.S. Mint, the State Department and other government agencies.

A fired Gallup employee who became a whistleblower, Michael Lindley, alleges in the lawsuit that he discovered shortly after going to work for the polling company that it had engaged in widespread fraud against the government.

The lawsuit, filed nearly three years ago and unsealed Wednesday in federal court, says that Gallup routinely submitted inflated cost estimates, which enabled the company to reap huge profits from its government business.

In addition to its polling work, Gallup provides consulting services to government, corporate and other clients around the world.

MINNESOTA

Democrat who had sex with boy agrees to quit campaign

ST. PAUL — A 56-year-old member of the Minnesota Legislature who had a rest-stop sexual encounter with a 17-year-old boy dropped his re-election bid Wednesday, hours after declaring he would stay in the race in defiance of Democratic leaders who wanted him out as they fight to regain control of the House.

Rep. Kerry Gauthier, Duluth Democrat, told the Associated Press the decision was his own after multiple conversations with party leaders pressing him to withdraw. He said he had been going back and forth about running “every 20 minutes for a week.”

“I changed my mind,” he said. “Too much. It’s just too much.”

Mr. Gauthier’s decision came after Democratic leaders, from Gov. Mark Dayton on down, urged the first-term lawmaker to step aside so the party could field another candidate in a reliably Democratic district. Democrats need to gain at least six House seats to take control of the chamber.

State election officials have said Mr. Gauthier can’t be replaced on the ballot, which would mean a write-in campaign for a replacement that would be much more difficult to win. But Democrats said earlier this week they were looking at legal avenues to replace him if he dropped out.

• From wire dispatches and staff reports