Monday November 19, 2012

La. Gov.’s advice to the GOP: If we want people to like us, we have to like them first

WASHINGTON (AP) -- Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal says the Republican Party needs to go back to basics to attract the broad coalition of voters credited with putting President Barack Obama back in the White House.

Kindergarten basics.

"If we want people to like us, we have to like them first," Jindal said on Fox News Sunday.

Former Commerce Secretary Carlos Gutierrez has a more nuts-and-bolts approach to bringing in some of the largest and fastest growing groups of Americans: He’s forming a super PAC to support Republican candidates who back comprehensive immigration reform, including legalizing the status of an estimated 11 million immigrants in the U.S. without authorization.

The 2012 elections drove home trends that have been embedded for years in the fine print of birth and death rates, immigration statistics and census charts. Nonwhites made up 28 percent of the electorate this year, compared with 20 percent in 2000, with Hispanics comprising much of that growth. Obama captured a commanding 80 percent of the growing ranks of nonwhite voters in 2012, just as he did in 2008. Republican Mitt Romney won 59 percent of non-Hispanic whites, and although he dominated among white men -- outperforming 2008 nominee John McCain among that group -- he couldn’t win.


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Obama defends Myanmar visit, says it’s a sign of progress, not a full endorsement

BANGKOK (AP) -- On the eve of his landmark trip to Myanmar, President Barack Obama tried to assure critics that his visit was not a premature reward for a long-isolated nation still easing its way toward democracy.

"This is not an endorsement of the government," Obama said Sunday in Thailand as he opened a three-country dash through Asia. "This is an acknowledgement that there is a process under way inside that country that even a year and a half, two years ago, nobody foresaw."

Obama was set to become the first U.S. president to visit Myanmar with Air Force One scheduled to touch down in Yangon on Monday morning. Though Obama planned to spend just six hours in the country, the much-anticipated stop came as the result of a remarkable turnaround in the countries’ relationship.

The president’s Asia tour also marks his formal return to the world stage after months mired in a bruising re-election campaign. For his first postelection trip, he tellingly settled on Asia, a region he has deemed the region as crucial to U.S. prosperity and security.

Aides say Asia will factor heavily in Obama’s second term as the U.S. seeks to expand its influence in an attempt to counter China.

Congress: Who created Benghazi ‘talking points,’ why terrorism link was omitted

WASHINGTON (AP) -- Lawmakers said Sunday they want to know who had a hand in creating the Obama administration’s now-discredited "talking points" about the Sept. 11 attack on a U.S. diplomatic post in Benghazi, Libya, and why a final draft omitted the CIA’s early conclusion that terrorists were involved.

The answers could explain why President Barack Obama and top aides, including U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice, described the attack for days afterward as a protest against an anti-Islam video that spontaneously turned violent and why they played down any potential link to al-Qaida, despite evidence to the contrary.

Administration officials have defended the portrayal of the attack as relying on the best information available at the time that didn’t compromise classified intelligence. Democrats say CIA and other intelligence officials signed off on the final talking points.

Republicans have alleged a Watergate-like cover up, accusing White House aides of hiding the terrorism link in the run-up to the Nov. 6 presidential election so voters wouldn’t question Obama’s claim that al-Qaida’s power had diminished.

"I know the narrative was wrong and the intelligence was right. ... We’re going to get to the bottom of how that happened," said Rep. Mike Rogers, R-Mich., chairman of the House Intelligence Committee.