- - Wednesday, July 18, 2012

BOWLING GREEN, Ohio — Mitt Romney says “monster” is not a word he would use to describe President Obama.

The Republican presidential candidate was responding to an audience member who referred to Mr. Obama that way at a Romney event Wednesday in Bowling Green.

The self-described “angry mom” rose during the town-hall event to say her son’s small business is suffering because of the economy. Referring to Mr. Obama, she said her son’s troubles are, in her words, “all because of what this monster has done to this country.”

Mr. Romney jumped in and said he wouldn’t use that term to describe his Democratic opponent.

Earlier this year, Mr. Romney was criticized for not challenging another questioner who suggested Mr. Obama should be tried for treason.


Lawmaker: Muslim sensitivity paralyzed FBI in Hasan case

In emails to a known terrorist, the man charged with killing 13 people in a 2009 attack at Fort Hood, Texas, expressed his support for suicide bombings and killing civilians — glaring signs that the FBI did not act on but should have, a lawmaker briefed on a new report on the rampage said Wednesday.

Army Maj. Nidal M. Hasan told the U.S.-born cleric Anwar al-Awlaki — a man well-known to the U.S. intelligence community — that he advocated using suicide bombers and that he believed it was OK to kill civilians, Rep. Michael T. McCaul, Texas Republican, told the Associated Press.

Al-Awlaki, who later was killed in Yemen in a U.S. drone strike, told Maj. Hasan in an email that the Army psychiatrist should keep the terrorist’s contact information handy,  Mr. McCaul said.

But the agents on the FBI’s Washington anti-terrorism task force thought the issue of a Muslim soldier talking to extremists was too sensitive to bring up with the Defense Department, Mr. McCaul said the report found.

“It shows you the length of the political correctness stuff going on,” Mr. McCaul said after he was briefed on the findings of the independent review Wednesday. The FBI is expected to release an unclassified version of the report this week, Mr. McCaul said.


Scalia denies rumors of feud with Roberts

Justice Antonin Scalia says he hasn’t had a “falling out” with Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. over the Supreme Court’s landmark 5-4 decision validating much of President Obama’s health care overhaul.

In an interview that aired Wednesday on CNN’s “Piers Morgan Tonight,” the justice said that despite reports that he and Chief Justice Roberts had clashed, there is not a personal feud going on between the court’s two leading conservatives.

“There are clashes on legal questions but not personally,” Justice Scalia said of the court. “I haven’t had a falling out with Justice Roberts.”

The Supreme Court late last month upheld much of Mr. Obama’s signature health care law, with Chief Justice Roberts siding with the court’s liberals to uphold the hotly debated core requirement that nearly every American have health insurance. Since then, Justice Roberts has been the focus of derision from some of the nation’s leading conservatives and speculation over whether he switched his vote at the last minute.


Military sport sponsorships can continue, as vote fails

The military and NASCAR will drive on together.

The House on Wednesday rejected an effort by Reps. Jack Kingston and Betty McCollum to trim $72.3 million from a $608 billion defense bill that the military spends on sports sponsorships to attract recruits.

The measure had targeted the money the National Guard spends to sponsor Dale Earnhardt Jr., NASCAR’s most popular driver, as well as IndyCar Series driver JR Hildebrand. It also would have cut money for other military sponsorships from fishing to the Ultimate Fighting Championship.

The amendment to the fiscal 2013 defense spending bill failed on a negative vote of 216-202.


Ann Romney: No decision yet on GOP running mate

The wife of Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney says her husband hasn’t yet decided on a running mate.

Ann Romney told ABC News in an interview taped Wednesday that the campaign is “not quite there yet” on the final decision.

She said discussions about vice-presidential candidates took place last week and ran into the weekend. The Romneys spent that weekend at their vacation home in Wolfeboro, N.H., where they also plan to spend this coming weekend.

Romney aide Beth Myers is leading a search that is thought to include Ohio Sen. Rob Portman, former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty and Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal, among others.

From wire dispatches and staff reports

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