Inside Politics: Hugo Chavez says he’d vote for Obama

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CARACAS, Venezuela — Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez has weighed in on the U.S. presidential race, saying he prefers President Obama.

The Venezuelan leader said in an interview televised Sunday that “If I were American, I’d vote for Obama.”

If Mr. Obama came from a working-class Caracas neighborhood, he would “vote for Chavez,” the socialist president claimed.

“Obama recently said something very rational and just: Venezuela is not a threat to the interests of the United States,” Mr. Chavez said, calling the U.S. president a “nice guy” and that Venezuela would like to have “normal” relations with the U.S. government.

MISSOURI

Blunt: Voters’ desire for change gives Akin hope

Sen. Roy Blunt said Sunday that Missouri voters are so fed up with the status quo in the Senate that Rep. W. Todd Akin may win his race against Democratic incumbent Claire McCaskill in spite of the congressman’s “legitimate rape” comment.

“Todd very well may win,” the Republican senator said Sunday on CNN’s “State of the Union.”

“At the end of the day, that race does largely become a debate about the majority in the Senate. Harry Reid is the majority leader,” the Missouri senator said. “[Akin is] on a ticket at a time when people are looking at a Senate that is not doing its work, and the only way to change the Senate is to change the majority.”

Mr. Blunt was one of several leading Republicans who urged Mr. Akin, for the good of the GOP, to drop out of the race after his comments.

CAMPAIGN

Ryan: Explaining tax plan math too time-consuming

Paul Ryan says it would take too long to explain the numbers behind the tax plan he and Mitt Romney are proposing.

The Republican vice presidential nominee said he and Mr. Romney want a 20 percent cut in all income tax rates. He said they would pay for those cuts by closing loopholes and deductions.

President Obama and Democrats have hammered Mr. Romney and Mr. Ryan for refusing to say until after the election which tax loopholes they would close.

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