A Primer on Thursday's Presidential Race Headlines

Mitt Romney on Thursday will fundraise in South Carolina and Massachusetts. Paul Ryan will speak at Walsh University in Ohio. President Barack Obama has no public events scheduled. And Vice President Joe Biden, after two days full of gaffes in which he told an audience in Virginia that Republicans are "gonna put ya'll back in chains" and then forgot what century he was in before he was not served at a Virginia bakery because the owner was upset at Obama's "you didn't build that" comment,  gets a day off from the trail, as there are no public events scheduled for him. 

On Wednesday, Obama, knowing he is in trouble in Iowa, brought Michelle Obama on the trail with him. Despite having cut $700 billion from Medicare, Obama tried to cast himself as someone who made Medicare stronger. Meanwhile, in Ohio, Paul Ryan spoke at Miami University -- his alma mater -- and directly confronted Democrats on Medicare. 

"We want this debate," Ryan said. "We need this debate. And we will win this debate." 

Obama, the celebrity-in-chief, then went on "Entertainment Tonight," of all places, and defended Biden's "chains" remark, even though Democrat-turned-Republican Artur Davis, who was one of Obama's earliest endorsers in 2008, and former Virginia Governor and Richmond Mayor Doug Wilder, who historically became the nation's first black governor to be elected after Reconstruction when he was elected as Virginia's governor in 1989, denounced Biden's comments. 

Here is what to look for on Thursday on the campaign trail: 

  1. Will the mainstream media ignore the shooting at the Family Research Council building now that it has been revealed the shooter had worked at an LGBT organization and is, in no way, affiliated with the Tea Party? Will the presidential candidates comment on the case? Or will they use this incident to focus more on gun control, ignoring the potential connections to left-wing organizations? 
  2. Will the mainstream media continue to discuss immigration in order to galvanize Hispanic voters to vote for Obama after thousands of young illegal immigrants lined up for amnesty on Wednesday, the first day Obama’s executive order on illegal immigration went into effect? 
  3. Now that Ryan has challenged Obama on Medicare and said it is a winning issue for Republicans, will the mainstream media highlight Obama’s cuts from the program and entertain serious, substantive discussions on Medicare and what may be needed to make the program solvent? Will the mainstream media mindlessly parrot false talking points that Ryan and Medicare would hurt Romney in Florida before the issue -- and the state -- again come front and center this weekend?
  4. With a batch of polls suggesting Ryan may be helping Romney siphon off some of the young and affluent voters that made up Obama’s 2008 coalition, will the mainstream media begin to coordinate their efforts to bring down Ryan’s favorables? 

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