WASHINGTON (AP) -- Their positions are clear.
President Barack Obama ardently defends his federal health care overhaul. Republican challenger Mitt Romney adamantly opposes it.
But this coming week, when the Supreme Court rules on the constitutionality of the law, both sides will be scrambling for political gain no matter the outcome.
If the court upholds the law, Obama will get vindication for his signature legislative accomplishment. Romney will have a concrete target for his pledge to repeal it.
If the court rules against part or all of the law, Obama could blame Romney, congressional Republicans and a conservative-leaning court for denying health benefits to millions of people in the United States. Romney could claim victory for his assertion that the government overreached.
WASHINGTON (AP) -- A political committee supporting President Barack Obama is out with a new ad accusing Mitt Romney of making millions while shutting down an Indiana paper plant.
The ad, from Priorities USA Action, is the latest in a series attacking Romney's record at the investment firm Bain Capital. The group says it's spending $10 million to air a total of four ads in Colorado, Florida, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Virginia.
The new ad features an employee of the AMPAD plant in Marion, Ind., Mike Earnest, recalling being told to build a stage from which company officials later announced mass layoffs. He says, "It was like building my own coffin."
Romney aides contend AMPAD was in a struggling business to begin with, and Bain overall created many more jobs than were lost.
RICHMOND, Va. (AP) -- The dominant figure in a Virginia Senate race that could determine the direction of Congress is President Barack Obama -- even though both candidates for the seat are former governors well-known to voters.
Republican George Allen is seeking political redemption by winning the Senate seat he lost six years ago. Allen has a simple strategy: If Obama falls, his Democratic opponent, Tim Kaine, falls with him.
Kaine was Obama's hand-picked chairman of the Democratic National Committee for two years. Their fates in November are linked in a state that both parties consider critical to winning the White House as well as controlling the Senate.
That makes Virginia the perfect spending target for the super political action committees, a chance to bag two opponents using the same dollars.
SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) -- Gov. Jerry Brown and Democratic leaders say they have reached an agreement to finalize California's budget.
A vote of the Legislature will take place next week.
Brown and legislative leaders announced Thursday that the plan protects education, permanently reforms welfare and includes tough ongoing cuts. He says the plan "positions the state to withstand the economic challenges and uncertainties ahead."
Although Democrats passed the main budget bill on a majority vote last week, the governor pressed for deeper cuts to welfare and other social services amid a projected $15.7 billion shortfall.
The Legislature passed a $92 billion budget Friday but several companion bills must still pass before the state's spending plan can take effect.
The whole package hinges on voters approving an initiative in November to raise taxes.