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Ear to the Ground

Party Backs Away From Sanford, GOP Lawmaker Calls Women ‘Vaginas,’ and More

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Posted on Apr 17, 2013

Sinking Sanford: Former disgraced South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford’s political comeback is in peril after his ex-wife, Jenny Sanford, filed a court complaint accusing him of trespassing at her home. Sanford, who is still—and probably will be for a long time—best known for disappearing from his office for several days and lying about his whereabouts while he went to see his then-mistress in South America, is due in court two days after the special election in which he is the Republican nominee for Congress. In the wake of the accusations, the National Republican Congressional Committee has decided not to spend any more money backing Sanford’s campaign, dealing a major blow to his chances of defeating Democratic nominee Elizabeth Colbert Busch in the May 7 election. (Read more)

Out With a Fizzle: A bipartisan gun control deal that would have expanded federal background checks to buyers on the Internet and those at gun shows fell apart in the Senate on Wednesday after it failed to garner enough support. The compromise measure, brokered by Democrat Joe Manchin of West Virginia and Republican Pat Toomey of Pennsylvania, and backed by the White House, fell six votes shy of the 60 needed to delay GOP tactics and pass. (Read more)

Changing Gears: Also in the Senate on Wednesday, Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., who has an “A” rating from the National Rifle Association, announced he was breaking with the powerful gun lobby and said he now supports a ban on assault weapons and high capacity magazines. “We can and should make the same common sense approach to safeguard Americans from modern weapons of war, assault weapons,” Reid said in a stirring speech on the Senate floor. “That’s why I will vote for Dianne Feinstein’s assault weapons ban, because we must strike a better balance between the right to defend ourselves and the right of every child in America to grow up safe from gun violence.” (Read more)

Bush League: Several years after his presidency ended, George W. Bush is still highly unpopular with the American public. According to a new NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll, just 35 percent view the ex-president favorably, while 44 percent hold an unfavorable opinion of him. Bush’s net favorable/unfavorable ratings were the worst among the six political figures measured in the survey, which included Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton, Michael Bloomberg, Marco Rubio and Rand Paul. (Read more)

The Vagina Monologue: A Republican state lawmaker is in hot water after referring to women as “vaginas” in an email to colleagues. New Hampshire state Rep. Peter Hansen was debating the repeal of part of a law that allows people to defend themselves with deadly force, when he used the word “vagina” as a substitute for women. Hansen wrote the following to fellow GOP lawmakers: “There were two critical ingredients missing in the illustrious stories purporting to demonstrate the practical side of retreat. Not that retreat may not be possible mind you. What could possibly be missing from those factual tales of successful retreat in VT, Germany, and the bowels of Amsterdam? Why children and vagina’s [sic] of course.” After saying Tuesday that he didn’t regret the April 1 email, Hansen apologized Wednesday, saying he was “embarrassed” over it. It’s unclear whether he was sorry about what he said, or that the email was made public. (Read more)

Bad Call: On the off chance you were wondering what happened to former Fox News contributor Dick Morris in the wake of his epic election 2012 prediction failure, he’s hosting his own radio show in Philadelphia. From the Philly Post’s Stephen Silver: “Local radio station WPHT, for mysterious reasons, has handed its afternoon drive-time radio show over to a man who’s never hosted a radio show, has no ties to Philadelphia save for a few long-ago political consultancy gigs, and whose credibility—for a myriad of reasons—is at an all-time low.” (Read more)

Video of the Day: Republican Congressman Louie Gohmert of Texas is at it again. Gohmert warned in the aftermath of the Boston Marathon bombings that “radical Islamists” were “being trained to come” into this country and “act like Hispanics.” He connected the attack to the debate over immigration reform, suggesting that the U.S. should build a big fence for protection. As The Atlantic Wire put it, Gohmert has effectively won the race to offensively politicize the Boston bombings.

 

—Posted by Tracy Bloom.

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