DANCING ON THE EDGE OF DEFAULT: House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, said repeatedly in an interview yesterday with ABC’s GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS that he does not intend to have the nation default on its debt. But he declined to guarantee that he’d bring a debt-limit bill to the floor of the House without concessions from Democrats. “The nation’s credit is at risk because of the administration’s refusal to sit down and have a conversation,” he said. “The votes are not in the House to pass a clean debt limit. And the president is risking default by not having a conversation with us…. We’re not going down that path. It is time to deal with America’s problems. How can you raise the debt limit and do nothing about the underlying problem? ” Asked by Stephanopoulos whether that no negotiations means the country will default on its debt, Boehner responded: “That’s the path we’re on. Listen, the president canceled his trip to Asia. I assumed, well, maybe he wants to have a conversation. I decided to stay here in Washington this weekend. He knows what my phone number is. All he has to do is call.” http://abcn.ws/19rVocU
THE NOTE’S SHUTDOWN SONG OF THE DAY: House Speaker John Boehner’s seemed to be channeling singer-songwriter James Taylor when he told ABC’s GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOSyesterday that he was “willing to sit down and have a conversation with the president” and “all he has to do is call.” Has the Speaker been listening to Taylor’s 1970′s-era hit, “You’ve Got A Friend”? “You just call out my name, and you know where ever I am / I’ll come running to see you again. / Winter, spring, summer, or fall, all you have to do is call and I’ll be there, yeah, yeah, / you’ve got a friend.” http://youtu.be/Q7RPCFfudmU
BOEHNER — NO ‘CLEAN’ VOTES ON REOPENING GOVERNMENT WITHOUT NEGOTIATIONS: Speaker Boehner yesterday flatly refused to schedule votes for full government funding or to raise the debt ceiling without concessions from Democrats, asserting that the House couldn’t and shouldn’t take either step without addressing problems with the new health care law and the nation’s debt crisis, ABC’s RICK KLEIN reports. Boehner said he does not know how and when the current standoffs will end. But he made clear that, in his view, President Obama and Democrats in Congress are to blame for both the government shutdown and the possibility that the United States will default on its debt. The speaker reiterated his demand for negotiations with the president to find a path forward on both fronts. ”The American people expect in Washington when we have a crisis like this that the leaders will sit down and have a conversation. And I told my members the other day that there may be a back room somewhere, but there’s nobody in it,” said Boehner, R-Ohio. “We’re interested in having a conversation about how we open the government and how we begin to pay our bills. But it begins with a simple conversation.” http://abcn.ws/19rVocU
Millions of Americans are missing out on billions in forgotten cash.
Currently, states, federal agencies and other organizations collectively hold more than $58 billion in unclaimed cash and benefits. That’s roughly $186 for every U.S. resident. The unclaimed property comes from a variety of sources, including abandoned bank accounts and stock holdings, unclaimed life insurance payouts and forgotten pension benefits.
The story of Ampad, a company acquired by Bain Capital in 1992 that later went bankrupt, was used successfully by Democrats 18 years ago to help derail Mitt Romney’s run for a U.S. Senate seat from Massachusetts.
Now, the Obama campaign is resurrecting the case to help keep Romney out of the White House.
A new five-minute campaign web video aims to discredit Romney’s key selling point of his candidacy – his business experience – featuring testimonials of workers laid off from a Marion, Ind., office products factory acquired by Ampad in 1994. Romney was CEO of Bain at the time.
“Good paying job with good benefits. I loved the people I worked with. I thought I was settled in for life,” says worker Jerry Rayburn who lost his job after Bain came in.
Ampad went bankrupt in 2000, shedding a total of 1,500 jobs, according to the film. Bain profited $100 million from the deal.
“He’s just the opposite from Robin Hood,” one worker says of Romney.
With the Ampad video, the Obama campaign signals it is doubling down on the argument that Romney was a corporate raider more interested in amassing personal wealth than in creating jobs. Last week, Democrats focused on the case of Kansas City, Mo., steel company GST Steel, which was also acquired by Bain and later closed.
GST was featured in a TV ad attacking Romney that ran in five battleground states. Obama campaign officials said Sunday that they are extending the ad buy in Ohio.
Republicans and the Romney campaign have called the assault on Romney’s business record “character assassination” and an affront to capitalism and private equity – the same industry that employs some of Obama’s biggest donors, they note.
“The purpose of the president’s ads are not to describe success and failure, but to somehow to suggest that I’m not a good person or not a good guy,” Romney said last week.
Even Obama campaign surrogate, Newark mayor Cory Booker, argued the line of attack may be going too far, saying Sunday that he is “very uncomfortable” with it.
“President Obama continues his assault on the free enterprise system with attacks that one of his supporters, Newark Mayor Cory Booker, called ‘nauseating’ and a former adviser, Steven Rattner, called ‘unfair,'” said Romney campaign spokeswoman Andrea Saul.
“Under President Obama, too many Americans have lost their jobs and their homes. President Obama’s policies have failed every American who expected their president to focus on the economy and make things better,” she said.
The Romney campaign has been highlighting businesses that have been successful, job-creating Bain investments, including Staples and Sports Authority.