- Bipartisan Negotiators Reach Modest Budget Pact
- Fight To Prove Conservative Purity Turns Into Smear Contest
- Teachers Give Lawmakers Failing Grades
- Wendy Davis Tax Returns Released
- Texas Lt. Gov. Candidate Van De Putte Makes It Official
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- Austin Council Votes Down Fast Food Ban
- In Four-Man Reelection Fight, Dewhurst Ad Attacks A Fifth
- Protestors Gather At UT For Immigration Reform
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- Senator John Cornyn Could Face Tough Road
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- Future Of Austin's Political Geography Almost Set
- Davis and Abbott File For Governor
- Health Secretary Defends Health Care Law
- Voters Decide Fate Of Water Fund; Affordable Housing Bonds
- GOP Sen. Wants Health Care 'Time Out'
- VP Biden To Visit Austin
- Senators Bicker Over State Stand Your Ground Laws
- Growing Calls From The Right To Punish Sen. Cornyn
- Abbott: I'll Fight To Keep Texas Budget Small
- Wendy Davis Hits Cruz On Role In Shutdown
- San Marcos Voters Face Long Ballot
- Health Care Site Needs Dozens Of Fixes
- Cruz Appeals to Iowans, Burns Bridges In Nigeria
- Cornyn Calls For Republican Reset
- First Prayers, Now a Pilgrimage For Drought Relief
- Cruz Vows To Keep Fighting
- Early Voting Begins for November Elections
- Sen Cruz Addresses Texas Medical Association In Austin
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- Congress Sends Gov't Funding, Debt Bill To Obama
- Senate Votes To Reopen Gov't, Avoid Default
- Cruz Slams Senate, Lauds House On Debt-Limit Deal
- White House Praises Senate Last-Minute Budget Deal
- House To Vote Tuesday Night On Budget Bill
- House GOP Floats Alternative To Senate Shutdown Plan
- Perry Traveling To London, Israel
- Dewhurst Lands In National Headlines With Call To Impeach Obama
- Obama: Without Deal 'Good Chance Of Default'
- Popular Proposition Unites Strange Bedfellows
- Cruz Surges With Conservatives
- Texans Express Diverse Opnions About Senator Cruz
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- Gov. Perry Calls On Texans To Approve Water Proposition
- Q&A: Is Government Shutdown Starting To Hit Home?
- Obama To Meet With Democratic And Republican Lawmakers
- Staples Hits Familiar Notes In First Campaign Ad
- Battleground Texas Beefs Up In Cowtown
- Obama Urges Boehner To Vote On Raising Debt Cap
- Second Woman Enters Race For Texas Governor
- Government Shutdown Impacting Federal Court System
- White House Open To Short-Term Hike In Debt Limit
- Veterans At Risk Of Not Getting Disability, Pension Benefits
- Democrat Wendy Davis Running For Texas Governor
- With A Year Left, Most Texans Still Undecided On Perry's Replacement
- Texas Democrats Need More Than Davis In 2014
- Wendy Davis For Governor Campaign Begins Slow Roll Out
- Perry Riding Into Maryland On Business-Rustling Raid
- Syria Plan Not Gaining Traction With Central TX Lawmakers
- Perry Weighs In On Missouri Tax Cut Veto
- Rick Perry Riles Up The Show-Me State
- Dewhurst Breaks Silence About Phone Call
- Attorney General Abbott Thanks Supporter Who Insulted Sen. Wendy Davis
- AG Abbott Thanks Tweeter Who Calls Sen Davis Offensive Names
- Pro-Immigration Supporters Try To Raise Awareness At Palmer Event Center
- Texplainer: Could Canadian-Born Ted Cruz Be President?
- Controversial Lesson Plans Stopped Temporarily
- Perry To Sign Sweeping Abortion Restrictions
- Abbott Wraps Up Campaign Tour In Austin Thursday
- George P. Bush Raised $2 Million For Texas Campaign
- Wendy Davis Raises Nearly $1 Million
- LIVE STREAM: AG Greg Abbott To Make "Major Announcement" Today At 1pm
- What's Next For Abortion Bill?
- Planned Parenthood Launches Statewide Tour
- Nearly 4,000 Give Testimonies On Abortion Restrictions
- Texas Abortion Committee Hearing Underway At Capitol
- Senate Abortion Bill Hearing, Pro-Life Rally Planned Monday
- Texas House Committee Moves Abortion Bill Forward
- House To Hold Abortion Bill Hearing Tuesday Afternoon
- Senate Panels Hear Roads, Juvenile Justice Bills
- Protesters Face Off At Capitol Over Abortion Bill
- Sen. Wendy Davis Ready To Stand Again
- Dewhurst Brings Obama Into Abortion Debate
- Texas Abortion Bill Fails After Challenge
- Hundreds Protest Outside Capitol During SB 5 Debate
- Gay Rights Supporters Erupt In Cheers Over Ruling
- Minute By Minute: How The Abortion Vote Happened
- Gov. Perry Calls 2nd Special Session
- Perry: Wendy Davis Didn't Learn From Own Example
- Gov. Perry Calls 2nd Special Session
- Why Was Abortion Vote Timestamp Changed?
- Gov. Perry To Sign Christmas Bill Into Law
- Gov. Perry Signs Texas High School Curriculum Overhaul Law
- Redistricting Hearings Today In Austin, Dallas
- Texas Lawmakers Take On Redistricting In Special Session
- Time Catching Up To State Legislature
- Patrick's Charter School Bill Faces Test in House
- House Democrats: GOP Shifting Deal On Texas Budget
- Waco Tea Party Says It Was Targeted By IRS
- Hundred Of Texas House Bills Dead At Least For Now
- President Obama Arrives In Austin
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- Lawmakers Consider Online Domestic Violence Database
- Keeping Repeat DWI Offenders Behind Bars
- Perry Jokes About Lawmakers OKing Budget He Likes
- Plan to Expand Charter Schools Clears Senate
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- School Voucher Bill Headed To Full Texas Senate
- Texas House Panel Debates Fetal Pain Bill
- Texas Gov. Rick Perry Makes Surprise Visit To Senate Hearing
- Budget Turns To Texas House After Passing Senate
- Texas Bills To Increase Penalty For Hit And Run Crashes
- Texas Lawmakers Asked To Give More Protection To Cell Phone Records
- Texas Legislative Committee Debates Lesser Punishment For Marijuana
- George P. Bush Formally Enters Race For Texas Land Commissioner
- Texas Senate Committee Finds Beer Compromise
- Texas Senate Consider Changes To School Testing
- UIL Private Schools Bill Advances In Texas Senate
- Gallup: Texas Sets Record For Uninsured Rate
- Jeb, George P. Bush To Speak At Dinner In Texas
- Perry Stands Firm on Rejecting Medicaid Expansion
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- Families Testify At Capitol To Real Dangers Of Texting While Driving
- Texas Gov. Perry Proposes Returning Excess Taxes
- As Teachers Lobby, Civic Group Seeks Broad Reform
- Texas Tribune: Lawmaker Explorer
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- President Obama In Hawaii, Fiscal Cliff Standoff Behind Him
- Congress Ushering In New Members With Old Divide
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- George W. Bush Praises Immigrants As He Opens Immigration Conference
- House Minority Leader Pelosi, Other Women Lawmakers Find Reporter's Question Offensive
- High Court Weighs New Look At Voting Rights Law
- Schieffer: Debate Moderators Get Too Much Focus
- Recap Of Vice Presidential Debate
- Ryan Slams Biden on Libya
- Vice Presidential Candidates Take Stage In Debate Tonight
- Spain Quip Adds To Romney's Foreign Policy Trouble
- Obama Calls On Congress To Act On Tax Cut, Housing
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- Fact-Checking The Obama - Romney Presidential Debate
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- Obama, Romney Clash On Economy In First Debate
- First Presidential Debate Tonight
- AP Analysis: As The Race Stands, Obama Within Reach Of Second Term
- Ryan Campaigns In Miami, Biden In New Hampshire
- GOP's Ryan Courts Miami's Cuban-American Voters
- GOP Paints A Nation On Brink, Dems See Rebound
- Mitt Romney
- Reality Check: Lt. Gov. Dewhurst Campaign Ad
- Romney Turns To Ohio Amid Series Of Distractions
- Romney Reaches Out To Women Before GOP Convention
- Austinites Sound Off On Record Low Congressional Approval Rating
- Romney Names Paul Ryan His No. 2
- For Two Texas Leaders, An Uncomfortable Homecoming
- Texans Cautious After Runoff Election
- Texas Tea Party Underdog Win Makes National Headlines
- Texas' Cruz Goes From Longshot To Easy Victory
- Texas Land Commissioner says he'll run for Lt. Gov. in 2014
- Texas GOP Chooses Tea Party-Backed Cruz For Senate
- Texas Runoff Election Gaining National Attention
- High Early-Vote Turnout Leaves Question Mark For Candidates
- GOP Runoff In District 25 A Scramble For Votes
- Reality Check: Lt. Gov. Dewhurst Campaign Ad
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- Ted Cruz, David Dewhurst To Debate Monday
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- Texas AG Abbott: Court Health Care Ruling Not A Total Loss
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- Two Different Parties, Two Very Different Moods
- Ted Cruz Camp: David Dewhurst Stonewalling on Debates
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- Austin Mayor Wants To Postpone Urban Rail Bond Election
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- Jana Duty Defeats John Bradley In Williamson Co. DA Race
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- Mitt Romney Clinches GOP Nomination With Texas Win
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- Austin Mayoral Candidate Interview: Lee Leffingwell
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- Voters In The South Head To Polls
- GOP Candidates Eye The South
- Super Tuesday; Super Wins For Candidates
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- Voters Hit The Polls For Super Tuesday
- Candidates Set For Austin Mayor, Council Elections
- GOP Candidates Campaign For Super Tuesday
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- Minority groups: New Texas voting maps 'devastate'
- Romney Wins Arizona And Michigan
- Redistricting Maps By Saturday Or Elections In June
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- Governor's Plan to Run Could Impede Attorney General
- Judges Want Texas Maps In Time For April Primaries
- Sports And The Texas Redistricting Battle
- Water Conservation Ideas Offered For Texas Legislature
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- Texas Gov. Perry Blasts Obama At Conservative Conference
- Santorum wins Minnesota, Missouri GOP votes
- Democrat Gibson drops out of Texas US senate race
- Mitt Romney wins big in Florida, routing Gingrich
- Composer Sues To Stop Gingrich Use Of 'Eye Of The Tiger'
- Democrats Try Again To Break The GOP Hold On Texas
- Attorney: Texas redistricting talks have stalled
- Candidates Cool Heels While Judges Decide Redistricting
- Testimony concludes in Texas redistricting trial
- Judge skeptical of Texas redistricting aide's testimony
- President Obama speech puts him in campaign arena
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- State rep asks Gov. Perry to repay Texans for GOP primary expenses
- Court throws out judge-drawn Texas electoral maps
- Texas Gov. Rick Perry drops bid for GOP presidential nomination, endorses Gingrich
- Texas continues case for keeping district map
- Republican candidates stump hard ahead of SC primary
- Texas defends redistricting map at federal hearing
- In the super PAC era, do handshakes even matter?
- GOP pack is trying to stop Mitt Romney before it's too late
- Jon Huntsman quits presidential race
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- Perry in South Carolina: Will It End Where It Began?
- Appeals court says Texas can enforce abortion law
Romney Turns To Ohio Amid Series Of Distractions
Updated: Sunday, August 26 2012, 12:03 PM CDT
(AP) -- Republican presidential contender Mitt Romney declared Saturday that "women need our help" as he promised to promote women-led businesses should he defeat President Barack Obama in November's election.
The appeal came as the former Massachusetts governor tried to shrug off a series of unwanted distractions before the Republican convention opens Monday in Florida.
"Just a word to the women entrepreneurs out there, if we become president and vice president, we want to speak to you, we want to help you," Romney said with running mate Paul Ryan at his side during an outdoor rally that drew an estimated 5,000 people to the Columbus area. "Women in this country are more likely to start businesses than men. Women need our help."
The promise comes as Republicans face difficult questions about the party's position on abortion after a Missouri Senate candidate suggested that women's bodies can prevent pregnancy in cases of "legitimate rape."
It also comes less than 24 hours after Romney raised the discredited rumor that Obama wasn't born in the United States. The comment, and Romney's efforts to explain it, overshadowed his economic message as he campaigned near his Michigan birthplace on Friday.
Romney did not repeat the remark on Saturday, but instead assailed the Democratic incumbent for failing to deliver on his campaign promises.
"I can almost read his speech now. It'll be filled with promises and tell people how wonderful things are," Romney said of the speech Obama will give at the Democratic National Convention in North Carolina next month. "It is not his words people have to listen to. It's his action and his record. And if they look at that, they'll take him out of the office and put people into the office who'll actually get America going again."
At the same time, Obama used his weekend radio and Internet address and a new TV ad to highlight Romney's plans for the Medicare health program for seniors.
Obama doesn't mention his Republican challenger in the radio address but says the Medicare program is about keeping promises to millions of seniors who have put in a lifetime of hard work.
His new 30-second TV ad says Romney "would break that promise" and replace the current Medicare system with a voucher program that wouldn't keep up with costs.
"Insurance companies could just keep raising rates," says the new ad, which was airing in Iowa, Colorado, Nevada, Ohio and Virginia.
Romney spokesman Ryan Williams called the ad "another false attack from a desperate president." Williams said Romney is the one who would reverse billions of dollars in cuts to Medicare by Obama and protect the program for current beneficiaries and future retirees.
Romney's Ohio rally is expected to be his final public appearance before the Republican National Convention opens Monday in Tampa, Fla., where the former Massachusetts governor will formally accept the presidential nomination.
While GOP officials suggest the momentum is on their side heading into the crucial period, Romney and his party have faced tough questions in recent weeks on Medicare and abortion.
Now his joking reference to the president's birth certificate links him to the so-called birther movement and a wing of his party -- a combined 25 percent in an April Pew Research Center poll -- that says it either isn't sure or doesn't believe Obama was born in the U.S.
Romney caused another stir earlier in the week by declaring that big business was "doing fine" in the current economy in part because companies get advantages from offshore tax havens.
Still, polls suggest the presidential contest is essentially a tossup as Obama struggles under the weight of a weak economy.
The president's re-election campaign has pushed voter attention away from the economy in recent weeks, particularly after Romney introduced Ryan as his running mate. Ryan is the author of a controversial budget plan that would transform Medicare into a voucher-like system for future retirees.
Outside the Ohio rally, protesters heckled the presumptive GOP ticket about its plans for seniors' health care.
Speaking before Romney, Ryan said one in six Americans lives in poverty. He said the country is done being fooled by Obama's promises to change Washington.
Democrats also have seized on Missouri Senate candidate Rep. Todd Akin's comment about "legitimate rape."
The congressman announced Friday that he would not leave the Senate contest despite overwhelming pressure from Romney and top Republican officials.
Romney made the birth certificate remark at a large outdoor rally in Michigan, where he grew up and where his father, George, served as governor. He told supporters that he and his wife, Ann, had been born at nearby hospitals.
"No one's ever asked to see my birth certificate. They know that this is the place that we were born and raised," Romney said.
The crowd of more than 7,000 responded with hearty laughter.
Obama campaign spokesman Ben LaBolt swiftly denounced the remark, saying Romney "embraced the most strident voices in his party instead of standing up to them."
Romney later denied that the remark was directed at the president.
"No, no, not a swipe," Romney told CBS News. "I've said throughout the campaign and before, there's no question about where he was born. He was born in the U.S. This was fun about us and coming home. And humor, you know -- we've got to have a little humor in a campaign."
The authenticity of Obama's birth certificate has been questioned by Republican critics who insist he is not a "natural-born citizen" as required by the Constitution. Obama released a long-form version of his birth certificate last year as proof that he was born in Hawaii in 1961.
But conservative questions have lingered. And Romney has declined to condemn such questions, particularly from prominent donor Donald Trump.
The Obama campaign released a web video Friday night featuring Romney's remark and declaring that "America doesn't need a birther-in-chief." Democrats intend to keep the pressure on as the Republican convention gets under way.
Obama was spending the weekend at the Camp David presidential retreat in Maryland, as Republicans began arriving in Tampa for their convention. But Democrats were planning to counter Romney's message throughout the week.
Reaching out to young voters, a key component of his 2008 election, Obama scheduled stops Tuesday and Wednesday in the college towns of Ames, Iowa; Fort Collins, Colo.; and Charlottesville, Va.
Vice President Joe Biden canceled plans to appear in Tampa on Monday because of Tropical Storm Isaac, but was scheduled to be in Orlando and St. Augustine, Fla., on Tuesday.
After Ryan gives his convention address on Wednesday night, first lady Michelle Obama is set to appear on CBS' "Late Show With David Letterman."
The high-profile events are paired with a number of smaller gatherings around the country by Democrats aiming to attract female voters and a bus tour with party activists in Ohio, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin.
Obama campaign deputy campaign manager Stephanie Cutter said the president's team was "not going to cede four days of this campaign just because of a party convention."