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Inside Politics: Obama, Romney to address Clinton Global Initiative

- - Monday, September 10, 2012

NEW YORK — President Obama and Republican Mitt Romney are set to address a major gathering of world leaders in government, business and other fields held annually by Bill Clinton.

The former president announced Monday that Mr. Obama and Mr. Romney would participate in the annual meeting of the Clinton Global Initiative on Sept. 25 in New York.

Mr. Romney is scheduled to lead a panel looking at ways to redesign the global food-production system. Mr. Obama is set to address a session later that day looking at how banks and other financial institutions can help the world's poor.

Mr. Clinton supports Mr. Obama's re-election bid and gave a rousing speech at the Democratic convention last week that criticized Mr. Romney. The former president said he was "grateful" that both Mr. Romney and Mr. Obama will participate in the meeting.

WHITE HOUSE

Obama reportedly angered by failed budget deal

President Obama is acknowledging he was angry with House Republicans last year when a supposed "grand bargain" budget agreement with House Speaker John A. Boehner collapsed.

Mr. Obama told CBS News' Scott Pelley he doesn't know if he was angry enough to break a telephone receiver, but says "I wasn't happy."

According to author Bob Woodward's new book, "The Price of Politics," a person in the room with Mr. Obama said he thought the president was going to smash the receiver.

Mr. Obama told CBS he was angry over what he called "the willingness on the part of some House Republicans to potentially see the United States default on its obligations for the first time, which could have undone all the repair work that we had done coming out of the financial crisis."

FLORIDA

Ex-Republican tops Florida Democrats' poll for 2014

Former Florida Gov. Charlie Crist, who served as a Republican before abandoning the party, holds a commanding lead in a poll testing potential candidates in a hypothetical matchup for the 2014 Democratic primary for the state's governor.

The Republican-turned-independent would win 61 percent of the vote, followed by Alex Sink — who lost to current Republican Gov. Rick Scott in the 2010 general election — who mustered only 25 percent, a St. Pete Polls survey of Florida Democratic voters showed.

Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer was third with 7 percent, while two other candidates got less than 4 percent apiece.

A whopping 73 percent of survey respondents said they have a favorable opinion of Mr. Crist, while 16 percent rate him unfavorably. Mrs. Sink, a former Florida chief financial officer, held a favorable rating of 55 percent and an unfavorable rating of 21 percent.

SENATE

Reid mocks Ryan's marathon time claim

The Senate Democratic leader says Republican vice presidential candidate Paul Ryan's math doesn't add up — on marathons or budgets.

Majority Leader Harry Reid opened the Senate session Monday by mocking Mr. Ryan, who had to correct his initial claim last month of running a marathon in "2 hour and 50-something." In fact, Mr. Ryan's time was just over 4 hours.

Mr. Reid, who finished the 1972 Boston Marathon in three hours, 16 minutes, says that based on Mr. Ryan's math, he could have made the Olympic team. Mr. Reid said Mr. Ryan's math doesn't work with budgets, Medicare or taxes.

Mr. Reid said the math from presidential nominee Mitt Romney and Mr. Ryan doesn't add up.

WHITE HOUSE

Obama: I've cut taxes for small business 18 times

President Obama says his administration has cut taxes on small business 18 times over the past 31/2 years.

In an interview broadcast Monday on WPYO-FM in Orlando, Fla., the president says the Small Business Administration has expanded its lending capacity and lowered fees during the recent recession.

A lot of companies, he said, "kept their doors open because of what we did through the SBA."

The president says he's ordered the head of the SBA to test all of its forms and applications with business owners. If the paperwork proves too complicated or time-consuming, he says, it should be simplified.

He said he wants to better promote the SBA with small-business owners to "make it something people can take advantage of."

CAMPAIGN

Conventions done, candidates energized in final stretch

President Obama's challenge in the art of connecting with an audience has always been to meet the high expectations. For challenger Mitt Romney, it has been to exceed the low ones.

Their party conventions now over, both men are entering the high-speed flat-track ahead of them with new vigor. The two have their own distinctive alchemy with their crowds — Mr. Obama with his lectern-grabbing riffs and his "love-you-backs" and Mr. Romney with his jeans-clad informality in a ramrod frame.

They're not comparable. But each man, in his own way, heads into the final weeks of the campaign newly energized.

From wire dispatches and staff reports