By Holly Bailey, Yahoo! News | The Ticket – 9 hrs ago WOODBRIDGE, Va.—President Barack Obama took another shot at Mitt Romney’s suggestion that 47 percent of Americans have a „victim” mentality, casting his opponent as out of touch with the country.”I don’t believe we can get very far with leaders who write off half the nation as victims who will never take responsibility,” Obama declared at a rally here.The president also defended his suggestion before a Univision forum yesterday, in which he said he’d learned „you can’t change Washington from the inside.” Obama said that he meant the only real change comes from outside Washington—and mocked Romney for twisting his comments.”My opponent got really excited. He stood up at a rally and proudly declared, ‘I’ll get the job done from the inside,'” Obama said. „What kind of inside job is he talking about? … We don’t want an inside job in Washington. We want change in Washington. … That can’t happen if you’ve written off half the country.”It was the second time in 24 hours that Obama took a shot at Romney’s „47 percent” comment, which was captured in a secretly taped video of the Republican candidate speaking at a Florida fundraiser in May. The video, leaked to Mother Jones magazine, showed Romney saying that Obama’s supporters—which he estimated to be about 47 percent of the country—view themselves as victims and are reliant on government handouts.Romney has downplayed his comments, suggesting he was just talking about the political landscape of the race. During his appearance at the Univision forum, Romney insisted he was running to represent „100 percent of America.”But the GOP candidate’s remarks have clearly given an opening to Obama, who wove in multiple references to the video throughout his appearance in Virginia, a hotly contested battleground state.A Washington Post poll released earlier this week found Obama had significantly expanded his lead in the state, edging out Romney by 8 points—52 percent to 44 percent.At least 11,000 people turned out to see the president here—spreading across the outfield of a minor-league baseball stadium. Echoing his speech at the Democratic National Convention, Obama repeatedly insisted he needed another term to accomplish the „change” he promised as a candidate in 2008.”We’ve always said that change takes more than one term or even one president. It certainly takes more than one party,” Obama said, insisting he would work with Republicans if they were willing.Making yet another reference to Romney’s „47 percent” remark, Obama acknowledged that half the country didn’t vote for him four years ago—and that half the country might not support him again in November. But he explained he was not running „to create Democratic jobs or Republican jobs” but rather „American jobs,” and that he wasn’t running to improve circumstances in „blue states” versus „red states.” Obama insisted he’s running to represent all Americans—whether he wins someone’s vote or not.”I still believe we are not as divided as our politics suggest,” Obama said. „I still believe we have more in common than the pundits tell us.”To his supporters, he added, „I still believe in you, and I’m asking you to keep believing in me.”
Polar bear bill ties Senate in knots By MARY CLARE JALONICK | Associated Press – 1 hr 1 min ago WASHINGTON (AP) — On its last day in session before the election, the Senate tied itself in knots over 41 polar bear carcasses that hunters want to bring home from Canada as big game trophies.After punting tough decisions on far weightier issues like raising taxes and cutting spending, Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., insisted that the Senate address the wide-ranging sportsmen’s bill before voting on must-pass legislation to prevent the government from shutting down at the end of next week.Republicans resisted for a while Friday, contending the only reason Reid wanted the vote now on the bill long sought by hunters and sport fishermen was to benefit Democratic incumbent Jon Tester ‘s re-election prospects in a tossup race in Montana that could determine which party runs the Senate next year.”This isn’t a campaign studio, It’s the Senate,” Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., complained on the Senate floor Friday. „We’ve got responsibilities to meet. Let’s meet them. And leave the politics out of it for once.”The House had passed a similar bill in April that was co-sponsored by Rep. Denny Rehberg, Tester’s Republican opponent in the Montana Senate race. In the end, Tester would get only a test vote as the Senate, yet again, punted another issue until after the election.Tester’s bill combines 19 measures favorable to outdoorsmen. In addition to dealing with the polar bear hides, it would allow more hunting and fishing on federal lands, let bow hunters cross federal land where hunting isn’t allowed, encourage federal land agencies to cooperate with state and local authorities to maintain shooting ranges, exclude ammunition and tackle from federal environmental laws that regulate lead, boost fish populations and protect animal habitatTester suggested that Friday’s compromise allowing for a test vote but delaying a final one exemplifies why Congress has such a poor approval rating from voters.”That might take some of the politics out of it and if we ever made a decision here without politics it would be an earth shattering day,” Tester said. „This bill right here is a prime example of what is wrong in Washington, D.C. — it’s being held up for no reason whatsoever.”The polar bear provision would allow the 41 hunters —including two in Montana — who killed polar bears in Canada just before a 2008 ban on polar bear trophy imports took effect to bring the bears’ bodies across the border. The hunters involved were not able to bring the trophies home before the Fish and Wildlife Services listed them as a threatened species.Tester said it would just allow a few people who have polar bear trophies stored in Canada to finally bring them home. „These polar bears are dead, they are in cold storage and we know exactly who they are,” he said.Michael Markarian of The Humane Society of the United States criticized the measure. „The cumulative impacts of incentivizing this killing over and over again are contrary to American conservation law,” he said.