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In the Nation

Obama: GOP candidates alike

WASHINGTON - In making the case for his reelection, President Obama is arguing that it doesn't matter whom the Republicans nominate to run against him because the core philosophy of the GOP candidates is the same and will stand in sharp relief with his own.

Obama laid out an argument for a second term in an interview on CBS's 60 Minutes that aired Sunday, bluntly saying that if voters believe in the Republican agenda of lower taxes, including for the wealthy, and weaker regulations then he will lose. "I don't think that's where the American people are going to go," he added, "because I don't think the American people believe that based on what they've seen before, that's going to work."

Obama argued that the two Republicans now in the lead, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney and former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, represent the same fundamental beliefs. "The contrast in visions between where I want to take the country and ... where they say they want to take the country is going to be stark," the president said. - AP

N.Y. lawmakers urge flier advocate

ALBANY, N.Y. - Two New York lawmakers have called for a passenger advocate at airports to act immediately on complaints by passengers over security screenings. U.S. Sen. Charles E. Schumer and State Sen. Michael Gianaris of Queens want the Transportation Security Administration to create the position at all airports.

The proposal released Sunday was prompted by an elderly woman's recent contention that she was strip- searched by security officials at Kennedy Airport, which the TSA denies, saying it doesn't conduct strip searches. Others have since made similar allegations.

The TSA said that it is planning its own advocacy service. - AP

Senators see deal on payroll-tax cut

WASHINGTON - Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell said Congress would reach an agreement that extends the payroll-tax cut even as he defended provisions in the House proposal opposed by the Obama administration. "I believe we should extend the payroll-tax holiday another year," McConnell (R., Ky.), said on

Fox News Sunday


Sen. Lindsey Graham (R., S.C.), also predicted that the payroll-tax measure will pass in an appearance on NBC's Meet the Press. If allowed to expire on Dec. 31, the payroll tax would revert to 6.2 percent on the first $110,100 in wages for 2012, up from 4.2 percent this year.

Extending the tax cut is "is the highest priority of the president and of the Democrats in Congress," Sen. Richard Durbin (D., Ill.) said on Meet the Press.

- Bloomberg News


A former sheriff's deputy in rural Missouri is suspected of killing his ex-wife and her boyfriend before leading officers on a high-speed chase that ended with a shootout at an upscale hotel, authorities said Sunday. None of the Jefferson City hotel's guests were injured in the Saturday night shooting just two blocks from the Missouri Capitol.