President Obama will not push for stricter gun laws this election year, the White House said Thursday, one day after his impassioned remarks about the need to keep assault weapons off the streets suggested that he could plunge into that political fight and challenge Congress to act.
Instead, Obama's stand on the government's role ended up right where it was after the mass shooting in Colorado last week: Enforce existing law better. That is same view held by his Republican opponent, Mitt Romney.
Obama still wants Congress to reinstitute a federal ban on military-style assault weapons that lapsed years ago, spokesman Jay Carney said. But he is not and has not been pushing for that ban, a nod to the politics of gun control. There is no interest among many lawmakers of both parties to take on the divisive matter. Especially not with an election in just over 100 days.
The U.S. Olympic Committee has a message for the presidential candidates and their supporters: leave the Games out of your politics.
The committee Friday panned an ad released by Priorities USA Action, the super PAC supporting President Obama, which used footage of Mitt Romney at the 2002 Winter Olympics. The spot poked fun at Romney's international investments and pointedly referred to foreign countries where Romney's private equity firm, Bain Capital, helped create jobs.
That was not in line with the Olympic spirit. "The Olympic Games are a celebration of friendship, excellence and respect. While we are absolutely confident that neither presidential candidate nor campaign has participated in the production or distribution of these negative ads, the attacks, using Olympic themes and images, need to stop," said USOC spokesman Patrick Sandusky.
A horse is a horse, of course, of course -- unless, of course, it's a fancy Olympic dancing horse.
And if that horse is partly owned by GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney, who has been struggling with his rich-guy image and his refusal to release his tax returns, it turns into fodder for political jousting.
Romney plans to be in London for the Opening Ceremony of the Summer Olympics, where he and his wife, Ann, have a personal stake: They received a $77,000 tax credit in 2010 for their part-ownership of Rafalca, a 15-year-old Oldenberg mare worth a reported $100,000. The horse will compete for the U.S. dressage team, ridden by Ann Romney's riding teacher, German immigrant Jan Ebeling, who co-owns the horse.
In recent days, Romney has been ribbed by comedians and criticized by political insiders for his family's decision to plunge into a blue-blood sport during an election year. Comedian Stephen Colbert joked, "the image of Romney as a privileged princeling ends today -- because now Romney is just your average blue-collar fan of dressage."
But Jen Psaki, spokeswoman for President Obama's re-election campaign, offered a carrot, saying: "We are rooting for the Romney horse."