- - Sunday, November 6, 2011


Boehner says friendship with Obama has cooled

House Speaker John A. Boehner says his relationship with one-time golf partner President Obama has grown “a little frosty.”

The Ohio Republican complains in an interview with ABC’s “This Week” that Mr. Obama is engaging in what Mr. Boehner calls “class warfare” by pushing for higher taxes for wealthy Americans.

Mr. Boehner says the rich pay enough taxes, and it’s wrong for the president to “pit one set of Americans against another.”

Mr. Boehner says he and Mr. Obama have had a good relationship in the past, but it has grown cool in the last few weeks.

The Republican speaker and Democratic president played a round of golf together last summer in a mostly futile effort to bridge the ever-widening gap between the two political parties.


Immigration a focus of state recall vote

MESA | The architect of the groundbreaking Arizona immigration law that thrust the issue into the national political debate faces a recall election Tuesday likely to be viewed as a referendum on the state’s hard-line immigration policies.

The effort to oust Republican state Sen. Russell Pearce has transformed a normally quiet legislative district in a Phoenix suburb into a closely watched battleground on immigration that also features issues such as school funding cuts and state mandates on local governments.

People on both sides of the debate think that removing Mr. Pearce would send a powerful message to the Legislature that uncompromising stands on immigration and other issues will not be tolerated by voters.

On the flip side, a Pearce victory will say a tough stance on illegal immigration is just what voters demand.


Huntsman to Cain: Address all allegations

Republican presidential contender Jon Huntsman Jr. said Sunday that rival Herman Cain should disclose all information about the allegations of sexual harassment that have consumed the GOP race.

Mr. Huntsman said on NBC’s “Meet the Press” that the information needs to come out “in total” and that the matter has distracted from real issues on the campaign trail.

“Legitimate questions have been raised and that information has to come forward,” said Mr. Huntsman, who added that it is up to Mr. Cain to divulge the details.

“This is taking all the bandwidth out of the discussion,” he said. “So we’re not able to talk about jobs. We’re not able to talk about our position in the world. That hurts the American people.”

Mr. Cain has repeatedly denied ever sexually harassing anyone.

He told reporters Saturday night that he won’t answer any more questions about the decade-old allegations from at least three women.

J.D. Gordon, a spokesman for the Cain campaign, said Sunday that Mr. Cain looked forward to getting back to focusing on the country’s major issues, such as the economy and national security. He blamed a “malicious smear campaign” by the media for steering attention elsewhere.

But Mr. Huntsman isn’t the only Republican calling for Mr. Cain to set the record straight.

Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour, also appearing on NBC, said the best way for Mr. Cain to get back on message “is to get all the facts on the table.”


State in spotlight over union-limits vote

COLUMBUS — The fight over Ohio’s new collective-bargaining law pits the union rights of public workers against Republican efforts to shrink government and limit the reach of organized labor.

A ballot question called Issue 2 will asks voters on Tuesday to accept or reject a voluminous rewrite of union rules signed by Republican Gov. John Kasich in March.

Labor specialist Lee Adler of Cornell University says the outcome of the election will be a gauge nationally of how the public feels about public workers, labor unions and government spending.

The legislation, known as Senate Bill 5, affects more than 350,000 police, firefighters, teachers, nurses and other government workers. It sets mandatory health care and pension minimums, bans public worker strikes, scraps binding arbitration and prohibits seniority-based promotions.


Biden pitches bill, time ‘to step up’

Vice President Joseph R. Biden on Saturday continued to press Congress to pass the Obama administration’s nearly $450 billion jobs bill.

Filling in for President Obama in the weekly White House radio and Internet address, Mr. Biden asked listeners to tell Republican lawmakers “to step up” and approve the legislation.

“Tell them to stop worrying about their jobs and start worrying about yours, because we’re all in this together, and together is the way we’re going to bring America back even stronger than it was before,” Mr. Biden said.

Mr. Obama, who returned to Washington late Friday after attending an international economic summit in France, made a similar appeal in last week’s address.

Mr. Biden said as opposition from Republicans continues a piece of the larger jobs bill was blocked last week the president has used his executive authority to help veterans find jobs, homeowners refinance mortgages and reduce the cost of student loans.

The vice president said those efforts would continue so long as Republican oppose the president’s jobs bills.

“If the Republican Congress won’t join us, we’re going to continue to act on our own to make the changes that we can to bring relief to middle-class families and those aspiring to get in the middle class,” Mr. Biden said.

From wire dispatches and staff reports

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