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President Obama, whose job Mr. Romney is seeking, also did not serve in the military.


Lawmakers consider pick for ambassador to Iraq

Democrats and Republicans pressed ahead on President Obama’s choice for U.S. ambassador to Iraq, even though a top GOP lawmaker has “grave concerns” about the nomination of Brett McGurk.

The Senate Foreign Relations Committee has scheduled a confirmation hearing on Wednesday, with members of the panel saying they saw no obstacles to Mr. McGurk winning their approval to the posting to one of the United States’ largest diplomatic missions in the world.

“He’s had diverse experience in Iraq. He’s probably had more assignments there than anyone I can think of and in very senior positions,” Sen. Robert P. Casey Jr., Pennsylvania Democrat, said Tuesday. “I think he’ll do quite well.”

But Sen. John McCain of Arizona, the top Republican on the Armed Services Committee, remains critical of what he says is Mr. McGurk’s failure to negotiate with Baghdad to ensure a U.S. residual force in Iraq after combat troops left at the end of 2011.

“I think when you see the unraveling of Iraq that’s taking place, we should have had a residual force,” Mr. McCain told reporters Tuesday. “Everybody knows that. But that wasn’t what Obama wanted.”

Asked if he would try to block the nomination, Mr. McCain said, “I have to see what happens in his hearing.”


Romney eyes Keystone State as possible pickup

GETTYSBURG — Presumptive Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney and his allies are pouring money into Pennsylvania even though his party’s nominees have lost there five straight times.

Some independent analysts say the same result is likely this year. But few expect President Obama to repeat his double-digit victory of four years ago.

If Republicans can make Mr. Obama sweat and scrape for Pennsylvania, it will consume resources he otherwise could use in crucial states such as Florida and Ohio. They say Mr. Obama’s economic record gives them a chance.

Mr. Obama campaign aides say they will fight hard to win the state again. They say women in the Philadelphia suburbs will be turned off by GOP stances on sex issues and deliver crucial votes.

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