- - Thursday, October 4, 2012

CAMPAIGN

Romney wins endorsement of National Rifle Association

FISHERSVILLE, Va. — The National Rifle Association on Thursday endorsed Mitt Romney minutes before the Republican presidential nominee prepared to speak to a loud crowd in the Shenandoah Valley full of NRA supporters.

“It is the NRA that protects the Second Amendment. I am proud to have their support for my candidacy,” Mr. Romney said in a statement touting the group’s backing.

The NRA’s backing was not a surprise, and it’s not clear how much more of a boost Mr. Romney needs in the gun-rights community.

But it does bring the prospect of added ground troops in places like Virginia, where hundreds of supporters at Mr. Romney’s rally sported blaze-orange NRA caps and held NRA hand fans with the slogan “Defend Freedom — Defeat Obama.”

More than backing Mr. Romney, however, the NRA’s message was to oust President Obama at all costs. “We stand on the edge of an Obama cliff of freedom,” said NRA Executive Director Wayne LaPierre.

CAMPAIGN

Poll: Voters seek agreement with stance on abortion

A growing number of Americans say they will only vote for political candidates who agree with their stance on abortion, according to a poll released Thursday.

A Gallup poll surveyed 1,301 registered voters last week, and found that 17 percent of them say a candidate for major office must share their views on abortion, matching the highest percentage leading up to a presidential election in the past 20 years.

The poll found that 34 percent of voters do not see abortion as a major issue when choosing a candidate, and that 45 percent say it is one of many important factors. According to the poll, 48 percent of registered voters identify themselves as being pro-choice while 45 percent say they are pro-life.

NEW YORK

Ann Romney to host ABC morning show

Ann Romney will be a guest host on “Good Morning America” on Wednesday.

ABC said the wife of Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney will be on hand at the morning news program for its 8 a.m. (EDT) hour. Joining George Stephanopoulos at the anchor desk, Mrs. Romney will be filling in for co-anchor Robin Roberts, who is on extended medical leave.

ABC said it is in discussions with first lady Michelle Obama for a similar guest appearance when her schedule allows.

Comedian Stephen Colbert, TV celebrity Oprah Winfrey and the cast of “Modern Family” have previously been announced to substitute for Ms. Roberts, who had a bone marrow transplant last month.

MAINE

Mayor: City’s immigrants should leave culture at door

LEWISTON — Critics say a Maine mayor who said his city’s Somali immigrants should “accept our culture and leave your culture at the door” should resign.

The Maine People’s Alliance says it has collected hundreds of signatures calling for Lewiston Mayor Robert Macdonald to step down for his comments to the BBC.

About 6,000 Somali immigrants have settled into this former mill town in search of affordable housing and a safe place to live.

Mr. Macdonald has since tried to clarify his comments, saying immigrants should try to assimilate into American culture, not that they need to give up their language, religion or traditions.

CAMPAIGN

AARP not endorsing anyone for president

AARP has reminded voters that it is not endorsing a candidate for president.

President Obama mentioned the lobbying organization for seniors twice Wednesday in discussing Medicare and Social Security. He noted that AARP supports his health care law and opposes the voucher program Republican Mitt Romney has proposed for Medicare in the future.

AARP’s Senior Vice President, John Hishta, said AARP is nonpartisan and has never consented to the use of its name by any campaign or political group and doesn’t take sides in political races.

Mr. Hishta said in a statement released after the debate in Denver that voters deserve more than sound bites about Medicare, Social Security and other programs for seniors.

From wire dispatches and staff reports