right to my first reads of the morning. we start with
on defense. his campaign faltering,
took to the airwaves this morning in a rare media blitz for a candidate who has mostly been off limits to the press.
wanted to talk about the energy jobs plan he will lay out just over an hour from now in pittsburgh. but it was hard for him to stay on that message. first he was tested on his slide in the polls.
i don't worry too much about polls. i know a lot of people obsess with them and watch them and talk about them. i'm more worried about those people out there who don't have a job in america. within a hundred days, when i'm the
president of the united states
, without having to deal with congress opening up those
and waters, pulling back those regulations that are killing jobs and rebuilding the epa, we can do that and get 1.2 million people working.
was also asked to respond to these emotional comments by his wife
, who tee teared up in
while on the stump yesterday.
it's been a rough month. we've been brutalized and eaten up and chewed up in the press. we are being brutalized by our opponents and our party. so much of that is i think they look at him --
if he shares those views.
family members always take these campaigns a little more personally than the candidates do. i've been shot at and missed and shot at and hit for 20 years running for
. the fact is those are just distractions. americans want to hear a conversation about who is going to get this country back working again.
was asked to repudiate dallas pastor robert jeffress, who called
's mormon religion a cult. isn't a bit hypocritical to say you are targeted because of your faith when it was a surrogate for your campaign that introduced faith in the first place?
i think you're stretching it to say he was a surrogate. he was picked and he made his comments on his own. we have distanced ourselves from those comments. i've clearly said that i did not agree with his comments and that stands on its face.
's wife ann has said she's a she lion when it comes to defending her husband's record. nbc campaign correspondent weinberg caught up with
on the trail yesterday and asked whether she would characterize herself that way.
how do you feel when you hear what people are saying about your husband?
oh, you know, i take a deep breath and really hope people will give him a fair listening opportunity to listen to what he has to say. i can't say that i'm a she lion. you know, i'm married to the man. i've known him since i was 8 years old. he is a good man. he makes tough decisions. he's a leader. i just want everybody to give a fair look at him.
also aggressively defended her husband's performance in the debates and his jobs record in texas.
i don't think he did near as badly as what i'm reading in the paper so i've quit reading that. we don't need a 59-point plan or a 999 plan to get america working again. because we have the formula in texas that works.
there you go. the president brings his jobs pitch to
. after rolling out the
south korean president
lee at the
last night the president takes the foreign leader on a
. that's the reddest of
as the "new york times" puts it and travels to
to tour a gm assembly plant that produces the new chevrolet sonic
. it is an opportunity to sell the new
to a state where the unemployment rate sits at 11.2%. also,
is a place where if
is the nominee it's going to be fully in play.
really hasn't been in play for 20 years.
on the ballot, his father's ties, his own personal ties, he is going to spend a lot of time trying to put
in play. he's going to do that. that's why you heard very aggressively the dnc use
's comments about using t.a.r.p. funds to bail out the
, that that was one point they grabbed and went after
with pretty quickly.
keep an eye
on it as a
. yesterday at a news conference the president challenged congressional republicans to take up and pass provisions of his jobs bill.
if senator mcconnell or speaker boehner say to me, you know what? we want to get some infrastructure built in this country, i'll be right there. we'll be ready to go. if they are willing to renew the payroll tax as we worked on together in december, i'll be ready to go.
but the relationship is hardly sunny after the president and boehner spoke on the phone yesterday. the speaker's office decided to release a statement about the
. quote, after they discussed trade, the speaker brought up the president's remarks today about, quote, not having yet seen a republican plan for
. and respectfully challenged the president's assertion. quote, i want to make sure you have all the facts the speaker told the president. one way to look at this? the president has hit a nerve a little bit. the other thing we should note yesterday
and rand paul decided to unveil their own version of a jobs plan, plenty of stuff in there that democrats would never agree to when it comes for instance to the
balanced budget amendment
but having something, a piece of legislation called a jobs plan seems to have put a little pressure on some republicans who do this. we had heard senate leadership wasn't going to be doing this. interesting to me that it's mccain and rand paul, two people that are usually comfortable bucking leadership. finally, after two and a half years, is the
finally figuring out how to tap into the clinton brand? for the second friday in a row,
is focusing on the economy. this time in a speech to the economic club of new york. last friday clinton hosted the president's jobs council at the
we have a significant but untapped potential for
that comes with attracting
. we need to show not only that we are open for business but to use every tool in our
to attract it.
so there you go. this is one, okay, two second fridays in a row. usually you wait for three to be a trend. this one feels like though it's already