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Inside Politics: Bernanke says emerging markets not hurt by move

- - Sunday, October 14, 2012

Chairman Ben S. Bernanke is rejecting arguments that the Federal Reserve's bold moves to bolster U.S. job growth could have unwanted consequences in emerging market countries.

In a speech Sunday, Mr. Bernanke disagreed with criticism that the Fed's efforts to drive U.S. interest rates lower could result in higher inflation in emerging markets or trigger a destabilizing flood of investment money into those nations.

In fact, he said, the efforts of the Fed and the central banks of other industrial countries should benefit the global economy by boosting growth and providing stronger markets for the goods of developing nations.

Mr. Bernanke's speech in Tokyo was at a conference sponsored by the Bank of Japan and the International Monetary Fund.

CAMPAIGN

Views of Romney soften, Obama still seen a threat

Gun-rights groups perceive President Obama as a threat to unfettered access to firearms.

And they once had qualms about Mitt Romney.

But times and circumstances have changed for Mr. Romney. The GOP presidential nominee is now in tune with the National Rifle Association and similar organizations, whose members are motivated voters.

In the tight White House race, every bit of support helps, especially in the most closely contested states and particularly from groups that claim millions of members nationwide.

Mr. Romney's prior embrace of weapon-control proposals had put him crossways with the NRA and others. These days, Mr. Romney is on their good side by opposing renewal of a federal ban on semiautomatic weapons, additional regulations on gun shows and suggested federal gun registration requirements.

OHIO

Ryan courts blue-collar workers across state

YOUNGSTOWN — Republican vice presidential candidate Paul Ryan was in Ohio over the weekend trying to rally blue-collar votes for the Romney ticket.

The Wisconsin congressman told a crowd of 1,400 people at Youngstown State University on Saturday that a strong manufacturing industry is key to a strong economy. He said President Obama hasn't done enough to strengthen the U.S. economy.

The Democrats countered that the GOP is pushing the same policies that led to the economic crisis in the first place.

The Republicans were also trying to energize Ohio's young voters. Mr. Ryan attended tailgate parties at Bowling Green State University later Saturday and GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney had an afternoon rally the same day at Shawnee State University in Portsmouth.

CAMPAIGN

Biden's son defends dad's debating smiles

A son of Vice President Joseph R. Biden's has defended his father's debate performance and penchant for smiling and laughing while his opponent discussed serious issues.

"Any time the other side, Karl Rove or other folks on the far right, go after my father for smiling too much, you know that's a victory," said Beau Biden, Delaware's attorney general, during an appearance Sunday morning on ABC's "This Week."

The vice president has come under fire for repeatedly smiling and cackling while his debate opponent, Rep. Paul Ryan, the Republican vice presidential hopeful, spoke during last week's debate. The vice president's constant amusement also inspired parodies on "Saturday Night Live" and elsewhere.

Beau Biden said the debate and the larger presidential campaign aren't about his dad's smiles or laughs, but rather about the problems facing the nation.

PENTAGON

Investigation under way in submarine collision

The Pentagon is investigating why a Navy submarine collided with an Aegis cruiser during routine operations at an undisclosed location on Saturday.

The U.S. Fleet Forces Command said in a news release that the submarine USS Montpelier and the Aegis cruiser USS San Jacinto collided at about 3:30 p.m. No one was injured, and the extent of any damage to the vessels was not clear, said Lt. Commander Brian Badura of the Fleet Forces Command.

Navy officials said the collision was under investigation and declined to say where the incident took place.

"If we do have an incident that does take place, there are folks that swing into action ... to help us make a better, more conclusive explanation of exactly what happened," Commander Badura said.

The news release said "overall damage to both ships is being evaluated," and that the sub's propulsion plant was "unaffected by the collision." Both Navy ships are based at Norfolk, Va. and continued to operate on their own power after the collision, according to the press release.

From wire dispatches and staff reports