Morning Briefing: May 16, 2012

Vice President Joe Biden will be touting “Obama economics” during his campaign swing through Ohio over the next two days, emphasizing a populist economic message to draw sharp policy contrasts between the president and Mitt Romney.

A key reason for Deb Fischer’s upset win in yesterday’s Nebraska GOP Senate primary: a huge infusion of Super PAC cash. Conservative outside groups spent more than $2 million on advertising, nearly $1 million of which was for ads attacking presumed front-runner Jon Bruning.

Crossroads GPS will unveil an $8 million TV ad campaign criticizing President Obama on the economy “by using his own words against him.” The ad “shows clips of Obama making pledges that critics say he hasn’t kept on issues like taxes, health care and federal deficits.”

Rep. James Clyburn (D-SC) believes Democrats have “a fighting chance” of taking back the House if they emphasize the party’s health reform law. As Clyburn put it, Democrats “can’t run from [healthcare reform]. You have to go out and say, ‘This is what we did and this is why we did it.’ And I think that you win like that.”


A new survey from Mason-Dixon shows that a large majority of Americans believe that federal government should respect medical marijuana laws enacted by states. The Huffington Post reports, “Nearly three-quarters of Americans and more than two-thirds of Republicans believe” that state laws should remain unfettered by federal government.

Catholic bishops are threatening to sue over the contraception mandate. Though the Obama administration came to a compromise on requiring religious employers to provide birth control as part of their health plans, the bishops say they are still unhappy with insurers being forced to provide copay-free contraceptives, and will take legal action if Congress does not rectify the situation.

On average, U.S. law enforcement has 55 interactions with suspected terrorists a day. Officials told Reuters today that very few of those interactions lead to arrest, but that they keep an eye on the huge number of people who are on U.S. watch lists.