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Democratic convention security rules raise free speech concerns

Starting Saturday, someone walking through Charlotte’s central business district could run afoul of the law by carrying water bottles, hair spray, socks or magic markers under sweeping security rules enacted ahead of the Democratic National Convention. It would take a particularly strict reading of the rules for someone to be arrested simply for possessing one of those items, but the possibility exists — which worries protesters and free speech advocates. They fear authorities could trample on people’s constitutional rights in the name of protecting public safety. The changes to city ordinances adopted earlier this year for “extraordinary events” ban a
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Obama takes battleground state tour on way to Democratic convention

President Barack Obama is embarking on a four-day march through battleground states and the storm-battered Gulf Coast in the lead-up to his party’s convention as he seeks to blunt any momentum picked up by Republican rival Mitt Romney. As his party’s faithful began streaming to Charlotte, N.C. for next week’s convention, Obama was returning to Iowa on Saturday. For his part, Romney looked to capitalize on a newly energized Republican Party fresh from its convention in Tampa, Fla., with a rally in Cincinnati before joining running mate Paul Ryan later in the day in Jacksonville, Fla. Both campaigns were crisscrossing
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Rising college expenses becomes campaign issue

President Barack Obama would make tax credits for college expenses permanent and expand Pell grants for students from lower-earning families. Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan would emphasize the need to curb rising tuitions and growing federal education expenditures that are burdening families and the government. The different approaches to coping with rising college costs highlight one way Obama and the Republicans trying to replace him in the White House are vying for young voters. Youth voters leaned heavily toward Obama in his 2008 election victory and still prefer him, according to polls, though less decisively. Tuitions and fees for four-year
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Romney took tough welfare line in Massachusetts

  Mitt Romney, who is trying to gain an edge in the presidential contest with the disputed charge that President Barack Obama is giving welfare recipients a free ride, can point to his own record of pushing for tighter welfare rules during four years as governor of Massachusetts. Romney fought to require single parents with children as young as a year old to work to get welfare benefits if they could obtain state-subsidized child care. He also opposed efforts to allow time spent in job training or education programs to count toward the state’s 20-hour weekly work requirement for welfare
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Romney’s campaign focus: jobs, jobs, jobs

His convention behind him, Mitt Romney enters the campaign homestretch with a singular goal: convince Americans disappointed with President Barack Obama that the Democrat is to blame for the stagnant economy and that only he can fix it. “You know there’s something wrong with the kind of job he’s done as president when the best feeling you had, was the day you voted for him,” Romney said, accepting the Republican nomination that eluded him four years ago. It was the start of a closing argument that aides say will be singularly focused on jobs — the issue on the top
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Romney skipped over several key issues in speech

Social Security. Medicare. Iraq. Afghanistan. Illegal immigration. They’re all costly to taxpayers and the next president presumably will have to address them to one degree or another. Yet GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney made no mention of those issues Thursday in his wide-ranging acceptance speech that closed the Republican National Convention. The address was Romney’s most sweeping attempt yet to outline the case for his candidacy. It was no time to get into the nitty-gritty of federal budgeting and solutions to the nation’s ills. But Romney did find ways to talk about an array of other issues, some of them
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Romney’s theme: ‘Time to turn the page’

Lifted by a show of Republican unity that once seemed so distant, Mitt Romney plunged into the presidential campaign’s final 67 days focused more than ever on jobs and the economy, and depicting President Barack Obama as a well-meaning but inept man who must be replaced. “America has been patient,” he told the nation. “Americans have supported this president in good faith. But today, the time has come to turn the page.” Obama, who will hold his own convention next week, served notice that he will use his powers of incumbency to make Romney’s mission hard. Obama planned to visit
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Clint Eastwood’s rambling, incoherent rant: The convention’s worst moment?

Republicans may have made Mitt Romney‘s day with the presidential nomination he long sought, but it was Dirty Harry himself who nearly hijacked the show with a rambling diatribe against President Barack Obama – addressed to an empty chair. Hollywood icon Clint Eastwood brought his star power and trademark gravelly voice to the stage of the convention hall in Tampa on Thursday, jetting in as a surprise last-minute speaker to warm up the crowd for Romney’s acceptance speech. Eastwood’s cameo appearance, including an ad-libbed monologue with an imaginary Obama in an empty chair, seemed to thrill many in the audience,
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Mitt Romney’s big night: Can he deliver?

Mitt Romney is stepping up for the most important speech of his Republican presidential campaign, to an audience of millions, after a rousing warm-up from a running mate who vowed the days of dodging painful budget choices will end if voters toss President Barack Obama from office. Having grasped the nomination on his second try, after years spent cultivating this moment, Romney will use his speech Thursday night to introduce himself to a large portion of voters and claw for advantage in a race that could scarcely be any closer. As part of that introduction, Romney appeared prepared to discuss
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Rising Republican stars fire up the convention faithful

It’s Mitt Romney‘s show. But New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie rocked the house. Florida Sen. Marco Rubio was the talk of the town. And Wisconsin Rep. Paul Ryan‘s rising-star status was blinding as he accepted the party’s vice presidential nomination. “We can get this country working again. We can get this economy growing again. We can make the safety net safe again. We can do this,” Ryan told cheering delegates at the GOP convention Wednesday night. “Whatever your political party, let’s come together for the sake of our country. Join Mitt Romney and me.” Amid the applause for Ryan was
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