MEMO/VIDEO: Bully Seeking Pulpit

Chris Christie enters the race as a brazen, outspoken bully hoping to use the 2016 pulpit to pull his GOP opponents like Jeb Bush further to the extreme right. With nine credit downgrades and a 30 percent approval rating under his belt, Christie has made the calculation that his charming personality alone won’t do the trick in the wake of Bridgegate.

American Bridge is also releasing a new video that shows Christie is now aligning himself with the extreme wing of his party in an attempt to gain traction.

Read more after the jump.

MEMO: Scott Walker Refusing to Answer Questions after Doubling Down on Extreme Positions

As Scott Walker gets closer and closer to announcing his run for president, he’s doubling down on extreme positions that are taking him closer and closer to the right wing conservative base. On top of that, he’s avoiding answering press questions on these positions because he only wants to talk about them to extreme audiences who share his views. In just the past couple weeks, he avoided answering press questions at CPAC in late February, after a speech to the Wisconsin Manufacturers & Commerce last week, at the Iowa Ag Summit this past weekend, and after signing his disastrous right-to-work bill in Wisconsin yesterday.

Since Scott Walker won’t talk about his positions, we’re happy to fill the void. Here’s what Walker has been up to lately:

Read more after the jump.

POLITICO’s Arena: Gov. John Kasich chastened?

Tuesday’s vote in Ohio to strike down a law restricting collective bargaining for public workers is a clear repudiation of the Republicans’ economic message. Voters know that police officers, firefighters, and teachers aren’t responsible for our nation’s economic struggles. Each monthly jobs report shows that continued Republican attacks on public workers are negating the employment gains made in the private sector and holding back our recovery. Voting to treat the individuals who protect our communities and educate our children with respect is not a matter of being in denial about the fiscal situation, but an expression of priorities.

The vote also shows that voters disagree with Republicans about the true meaning of shared sacrifice. Republicans want to punish teachers and first responders, or put the burden on the 99%, asking more from families already struggling just to make ends meet. Voters would rather see millionaires and billionaires pay a little bit more to give back to the communities that helped make their success possible. If Republicans continue to spout their extreme rhetoric, the message sent by Ohio voters on SB5 will be repeated loud and clear across the country in 2012.

Read more after the jump.

Paul Ryan Thanks Union-Busting Wisconsin GOP

In this clip, Wisconsin Congressman Paul Ryan thanks the Republicans in the state legislature for pushing through Governor Scott Walker’s union-busting initiatives earlier this year.

“Right here in Wisconsin, you’ve got a government of doers,” Ryan says. “I just want to say for a second as a constituent, to all those state representatives and state senators who are here… thank you for having the backbone and the guts and for standing up for us and doing what you said you would do.”

This footage was captured by an American Bridge tracker in Elkhorn, WI, on September 10, 2011.

Read more after the jump.

Mitt Romney’s Ohio “Confusion”

This may be Mitt Romney’s fastest and most transparently political flipflop to date.

On October 25, he told reporters that he wouldn’t comment on local Ohio politics — namely, the anti-union initiative supported by Ohio Gov. John Kasich. Here’s what he said specifically: “I’m not speaking about the particular ballot issues, those are up to the people of Ohio.”

The next day, Romney changed his mind. “I’m sorry if I created any confusion in that regard,” he said on October 26. “I fully support Gov. Kasich’s — I think it’s called ‘Question 2′ in Ohio. Fully support that.”

Read more after the jump.

AP: State issues can be tricky for presidential field

On October 27, 2011, the Associated Press reported:

Mitt Romney gingerly distanced himself from a labor issue on the Ohio ballot one day. The next, he embraced the initiative “110 percent.”

The equivocation not only highlighted his record of shifting positions but also underscored the local political minefields national candidates often confront in their state-by-state path to the presidency.

Read more after the jump.