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Sunday Study Guide: Rubio, Axelrod, Portman, Roundtable

Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL)

  • Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) is in his first term as Florida’s senator. He won his U.S. Senate seat in 2010, after serving in Florida’s House of Representatives from 2000 until 2008 and as the speaker of the Florida House from 2006-2008.  
  • The senator released this statement via Mitt Romney’s campaign website following Tuesday’s town hall debate. Rubio said, “After tonight’s debate, the choice in this election is even more clear than before – as is the fact that Governor Romney is the only candidate who can turn the economy around. The President couldn’t explain to the American people how the next four years would be better than the last.”
  • Rubio was a prime-time speaker at the Republican National Convention in August, where he called Romney a man “who understands what makes America exceptional” and that “[u]nder Barack Obama, the only ‘change’ is that ‘hope’ has been hard to find.” He has also campaigned for the Romney-Ryan ticket across the country.
  • He is also the author of “An American Son.” Watch his most recent Meet the Press here.


David Axelrod

  • David Axelrod is a chief strategist for the president’s re-election campaign. It is also a position he held during President Obama’s 2008 presidential bid. He served as White House senior advisor before stepping down in 2011 to begin preparations for the 2012 race.  
  • Following this week’s debate, Axelrod admitted President Obama “knew that he had not made the case aggressively enough in Denver [debate].” Of this week’s performance, Axelrod said he thought the president was feeling good, “not because he scored political points but made the case that needed to be made for where we should go as a country.”
  • Axelrod recently accused Mitt Romney of exploiting the attack in Libya. Axelrod also said of Romney’s “binders full of women” comment: “I'm not surprised that he needed the help because if you look at the business that he ran before he was governor, they had no women at a senior level, they had no women partners.”
  • Here is his latest appearance on the show.


Sen. Rob Portman (R-OH)

  • Sen. Rob Portman (R-OH) won his U.S. Senate seat in 2010 after former Sen. George Voinovich (R-OH) retired. Prior to joining the Senate, Portman served in the U.S. House of Representatives from 1993 until 2005. He then served as U.S. trade representative and later as director of the Office of Management and Budget under President George W. Bush's administration.
  • At the moment, Portman’s job within the Romney campaign is helping with Mitt Romney's debate preparations by portraying President Obama during practices. Portman has served as the stand-in for Republicans since President George W. Bush’s debates in the 2000 election. During debate practices, it is his job to embody the opposition, including how they will lay out their arguments and how they will attempt to provoke the GOP nominee. Portman has said he enjoys the role, “It forces me to really understand where the other side is coming from.”
  • Portman, who was considered a candidate for the vice presidential pick, has been campaigning for the GOP ticket, especially in his home state of Ohio. He recently appeared with Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI) and Condoleezza Rice at a Cleveland Browns practice and at Baldwin Wallace University. Portman has said that Romney “can probably win the presidency without Ohio, but I wouldn’t want to take the risk.”  He has also said the race in Ohio is “about dead-even.”
  • Watch his previous Meet the Press appearance.


Roundtable: Myers, Murphy, Friedman, Cooper

  • Democratic strategist Dee Dee Myers is the former White House press secretary for President Clinton and is a contributing editor to Vanity Fair. After the town hall debate, Myers said, President Obama did what he did not do in the first debate, “he achieved strategically what he needed to do. And he was energetic and he fought for the American people, for the middle class.” Myers is also the author of “Why Women Should Rule the World.” Watch her most recent appearance on the show.
  • During his latest Meet the Press appearance, Republican strategist Mike Murphy said the debates were changing the race for Mitt Romney and he had “shattered the fiction of the advertising.” He said, “What I think really worked in the debate was Romney seemed like a guy with energy and ideas and the president didn’t.”
  • Tom Friedman is a columnist for The New York Times. This week he wrote that he was scoring the debate based on “what I believe many Americans really want from the next president.” He said, “[T]hey will embrace a candidate who trusts them with the truth, that is, an honest diagnosis of where we are and how we get out of this mess. Up to now, neither candidate has been willing to do that.” He is also the author of “That Used To Be Us.” Watch Friedman’s latest appearance on Meet the Press here.
  • New York Times White House correspondent Helene Cooper wrote this week about Obama’s campaign surrogates in Ohio this week, President Clinton and Bruce Springsteen. Ohio is “working-class country — the prime Springsteen demographic,” Cooper wrote. “If Mr. Obama can win the state, campaign aides figure, the path to victory for the Republican challenger, Mitt Romney, will look like one of those single-track dusty roads that Mr. Springsteen is always singing about.” She is also the author of “The House at Sugar Beach.” Watch her latest appearance on the show here.


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