2016 Election

Beau Biden Plans 2016 Run for Governor in Delaware

(DOVER, Del.) — Vice President Joe Biden’s eldest son, Beau Biden, says he won’t seek re-election as Delaware attorney general this year but plans to run for governor in 2016.

Biden, who underwent surgery at a Texas cancer center last year, announced his intentions in a statement issued Thursday.

The 45-year-old Biden had said previously that he would seek a third term as attorney general.

Biden, who suffered a mild stroke in 2010, was hospitalized last August after becoming weak and disoriented during an Indiana vacation.

He was later flown to MD Anderson Cancer Center in Texas, where doctors removed what was described as a small lesion.

Biden has refused to discuss his latest health scare, but the Texas center’s head of neuro-oncology gave him “a clean bill of health” in November.

Christie to Biden: Welcome to Instagram, Here’s a Throwback Thursday

Biden joined Instagram on Wednesday with a bang, and New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie now appears to be showing him the ropes.

Republican New Jersey Governor Chris Christie welcomed Vice President Joe Biden to Instagram Thursday a day after Joe Biden made waves with his first selfie that also starred President Barack Obama.

“#tbts always trump #selfies,” Christie wrote in an Instragram post, a “Throwback Thursday” picture of himself and Biden from back in the day. The photo’s date was unclear, though the duo appear to be standing at their shared alma mater, the University of Delaware.

Biden and Christie are considered possible contenders in the race for president in 2016, but for today, at least, it’s all #smiles.

Barack Obama

Obama: ‘We Don’t Need a War’ With Russia

President Barack Obama walks from the Oval Office to the Rose Garden of the White House in Washington, Tuesday, April 1, 2014.
President Barack Obama walks from the Oval Office to the Rose Garden of the White House in Washington, Tuesday, April 1, 2014. Manuel Balce Ceneta—AP

President Barack Obama said in an interview that aired on Thursday he knows Russian President Vladimir Putin understands 'our conventional forces are significantly superior to the Russians,' downplaying the chance of military conflict over escalating tensions in Ukraine

President Barack Obama said in an interview that aired Thursday that “we don’t need a war” with Russia, downplaying the chance of military conflict between the U.S. and Russia over tensions in Ukraine.

“What we do need is a recognition that countries like Ukraine can have relationships with a whole range of their neighbors, and it is not up to anybody, whether it’s Russia or the United States or anybody else, to make decisions for them,” Obama said in an interview with CBS Chief White House Correspondent Major Garrett on Thursday’s broadcast of CBS This Morning.

Obama’s comments came days after a Russian fighter jet made multiple close-range passes near a U.S. Navy ship in the Black Sea. When asked if the aircraft “buzz” represented Russian President Vladimir Putin’s attempt to send a signal to Washington, Obama said Russia is “not interested in any kind of military confrontation with us, understanding that our conventional forces are significantly superior to the Russians.”

“As commander-in-chief, I don’t make decisions based on perceived signals. We make decision very deliberately, based on what’s required for our security and for the security of our allies,” Obama added. “And the Russians understand that.”

Putin has amassed Russian troops on Ukraine’s eastern border and threatened to invade amid tensions between the pro-Western government and a large ethnic Russian minority in the region, despite the threat of increased economic sanctions from the U.S. and Western European powers.

Zeke Miller contributed reporting.

Morning Must Reads: April 17

The early morning sun rises behind the US Capitol Building in Washington, DC. Mark Wilson—Getty Images

In the news: Ukraine forces engage pro-Russian separatists; Rescuers search for hundreds of missing people after a South Korean ferry capsized; Democrats want former HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius to run for Senate; the Tea Party radio network; what's prettier in print

  • “Russian President Vladimir Putin said Thursday he hoped not to send Russian troops into Ukraine but didn’t rule it out, accusing the Kiev government of committing ‘a serious crime’ by using the military to quell unrest.” [WSJ]
    • Ukrainian forces engaged pro-Russian separatists Thursday in what appeared to be the most intense battle yet in the restive east, killing three militants and wounding 13 after what the Interior Ministry described as a siege on a military base in the southeastern city of Mariupol on the Sea of Azov.” [WashPost]
    • Secretary of State John Kerry traveled to Geneva Wednesday evening to prepare for four-party talks with European, Russian and Ukrainian officials…Although the president did not definitely say whether Russia would face further sanctions if the meeting failed, he said, ‘What I’ve said consistently is that each time Russia takes these kinds of steps, that are designed to destabilize Ukraine and violate their sovereignty, that there are going to be consequences.’” [CBS]
    • Russian Economy Worsens Even Before Sanctions Hit [NYT]
    • NATO’s Back in Business, Thanks to Russia’s Threat to Ukraine [TIME]
  • Rescuers fought rising wind, strong waves and murky water on Thursday as they searched for hundreds of people, most of them teenaged schoolchildren, missing after a South Korean ferry capsized more than 24 hours ago.” [Reuters]
  • “Democrats are dying to have Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius enter the Senate race in Kansas.” [Hill]
  • The Tea Party Radio Network [Politico]
  • Prettier in Print

The Return of Mediscare

In Arkansas, Democrats dust off an old tactic in order to retain control of the U.S. Senate

Tom Cotton is your basic republican red-state fantasy candidate. He is 36 years old, a former Army captain who served in both Iraq and Afghanistan, and a graduate of Harvard University and Harvard Law. He is a member of the House running for the U.S. Senate from Arkansas. His opponent is an unflashy Democratic moderate, Mark Pryor, who spent the first months of the campaign barraged by an estimated $2 million in Obamascare ads provided by Americans for Prosperity, the Koch brothers’ super PAC. Not surprisingly, Cotton has been leading–and is one of the reasons the Republicans may retake the Senate in 2014. Or maybe not: the polls suddenly turned around in March, and Pryor is now narrowly ahead. What happened?

Meet Linda … who joins Harry and Louise, and dozens of other average Americans–some real, some conjured–in the long, sordid history of political ads designed to scare the bejeezus out of other average Americans over health care. Linda appears to be real. She’s from Little Rock. She’s been married to the same lucky fellow for 37 years, and they have two “great” kids. We know this because a black-and-white family photo is shown prominently at the beginning of the ad. Then we see Linda, who seems to be in her 50s, with tightly curled gray hair and glasses, sitting in her breakfast nook gazing at her Apple computer. Retirement is just around the corner, she says. “That’s why I was so concerned when I read”–and here she seems to be reading off her computer–”that Tom Cotton voted to turn Medicare into a voucher system” that would allow insurance companies to “increase rates, cut benefits and cost seniors thousands more each year.”

It’s a brilliant ad, classic Mediscare. The fact that Linda seems to be reading the horrific news about Cotton off her computer lends a subtle authority to the information. Is it accurate? Well, yes and no. Cotton and 218 of his colleagues in the House did indeed vote for the Paul Ryan budget, which would slash costs by moving to a privatized “premium support”–or voucher–system of health care delivery for senior citizens. Is that a bad idea? Probably not. In fact, a more generous version already exists in the form of Medicare Advantage, the private-sector Medicare alternative that seems to be going great guns in the Obamacare era: an estimated 30% of seniors have signed up, an increase of 38% in recent years. The brute force of competition (plus some federal subsidies that both parties want to diminish) has allowed increased benefits like gym memberships and free medication. The fact that many of these plans are based within systems where doctors are paid salaries makes it potentially more cost-effective than classic fee-for-service Medicare. It would be very valuable to have a serious conversation about this. Pryor is a fiscal conservative. He’s said that all programs (including Medicare, presumably) should be on the table. He could be part of the solution, rather than hiding behind traditional Democratic battlements.

Democrats will say, Oh, come on. It’s about time we started playing hardball again. The Republicans strolled into a tornado by voting–symbolically, since it never had a chance of passage–for the Ryan budget. The Koch brothers have spent gazillions putting sketchy Obamascare ads on the air, including one starring Jerry, an Arkansas truck driver who “lost” his health coverage because of Obamacare, although maybe he didn’t, because the Arkansas insurance commissioner put a two-year delay on that ruling and now Jerry is “confused” by all these newfangled government machinations. This was one of the less toxic Koch ads–and “Jerry” has been smoked by “Linda” in the court of public opinion.

Of course, next month there could be a killer Obamascare ad starring “Arnie,” an Arkansas druggist whose health care premiums have skyrocketed. And later we may get to know “Marge,” who survived breast cancer because Obamacare saved her health insurance. We could go back and forth, Obamascare vs. Mediscare, all the way until November. It’s happened before. It’s worked before. But is it what you really want this election to be about? Isn’t it precisely the sort of campaign that turns people off politics? Don’t we have more important things to talk about? “I think the Republicans will still win the House and Senate,” says Steve Schmidt, a GOP consultant. “But when you have no real governing agenda, it becomes very easy to get caught up in entitlement issues.”

That is true for Democrats as well. They are proud of their demographics, especially the favor bestowed on them by younger voters. But younger voters may decide they don’t like paying for an unreformed Medicare system as we baby boomers live on and on and on. Those who live by the anecdote can die by the anecdote.


NATO’s Back in Business, Thanks to Russia’s Threat to Ukraine

Armed militants outside the regional state building seized by pro-Russian separatists in the eastern Ukrainian city of Slavyansk on Wednesday. Genya Savilov / AFP / Getty Images

But its efforts are limited to protecting itself, not saving Kiev

Back in 1993, during the earliest days of the Clinton Administration, Senator Richard Lugar of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee warned that with the Soviet Union history, NATO needed to “go out of area, or out of business.”

Like any self-respecting, self-perpetuating armed bureaucracy, the alliance got the hint, deploying forces—and, in some cases, fighting—in Bosnia, Kosovo, Afghanistan, Iraq, the Gulf of Aden and Libya.

President Clinton may have moved from the world stage, and Senator Lugar may have lost the 2012 Indiana Republican primary to an ultimately-defeated Tea Party candidate, but NATO—thanks to Russia’s threat to Ukraine—is now firmly back in business, finally in its own area.

The North Atlantic alliance made clear Wednesday that “a political solution is the only way forward” in dealing with Russia’s threats to its former fellow Soviet republic. That may be the only way forward for NATO and the West. But Russia may not be willing to play fair.

“We call on Russia to be part of the solution,” NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen said. “To stop destabilizing Ukraine, pull back its troops from the borders and make clear it doesn’t support the violent actions of well-armed militias of pro-Russian separatists.”

Good luck with that, Secretary General.

When NATO faced a similar situation in the Balkans in the 1990s, importuning for political solutions failed and ended with thousands of bombing runs against Serbian targets. The Serbs are Slavs, as are the Russians. So are the Ukrainians. Ethnicity isn’t destiny, but it plays a role.

NATO hopes that Thursday’s meeting in Geneva among representatives from Ukraine, Russia, the U.S. and the European Union will ease tensions. “We continue to call on Russia to take action that de-escalates the situation and the tensions in Ukraine by returning its forces to their pre-crisis positions and numbers; moving its forces from the Ukrainian border as well from Crimea; ceasing its support for armed separatist groups that have seized government buildings, blockaded roads and stockpiled weapons in eastern Ukraine; and engage directly in a dialogue with Ukraine about its concerns when it comes to ethnic Russians in parts of Ukraine,” White House press secretary Jay Carney said Wednesday.

U.S. aid to Ukraine so far has consisted of 300,000 Meals-Ready-to-Eat for famished fighters in the field. On Wednesday, the New York Times reported that Wesley Clark, the retired Army general who served as NATO’s commander during the 1998-99 Kosovo war, is urging deliveries of nonlethal aid, including body armor, night-vision goggles and aviation fuel to help Ukraine thwart any Russian invasion. The list only serves to highlight how little the West is willing to do to help Ukraine. No one believes it will make much difference if Russian tanks cross the border.

“We’re actively considering forms of assistance, the kinds of assistance that we may be able to provide to Ukraine,” Carney said. “We are not considering lethal assistance, but I’m not going to itemize the types of assistance that are under consideration.”

Rasmussen made it clear that NATO is making military moves—but only to calm its jittery new members who fear Moscow. “We will have more planes in the air, more ships on the water and more readiness on the land,” he said. “Air policing aircraft will fly more sorties over the Baltic region. Allied ships will deploy to the Baltic Sea, the eastern Mediterranean and elsewhere, as required.”

But their mission is limited to defending NATO’s 28 member states. There is no appetite in the West for military action to preserve Ukraine’s sovereignty, despite a 1994 pact among Russia, Britain and the U.S. pledging to honor its borders.

So it looks like the Cold War has returned: the Soviet Union crushed uprisings in Hungary in 1956 and Czechoslovakia in 1968, while NATO observed from the sidelines. Russia did it in Georgia in 2008, and Crimea last month. It could happen in Ukraine momentarily. Once again, NATO will be watching.


Why Sanctions Will Cost Russia More Than America

Secretary of State John Kerry speaks at a news conference with Moroccan Foreign Minister Salaheddine Mezouar following a bilateral strategic dialogue at the Foreign Ministry in Rabat, April 4, 2014.
Secretary of State John Kerry speaks at a news conference with Moroccan Foreign Minister Salaheddine Mezouar following a bilateral strategic dialogue at the Foreign Ministry in Rabat, April 4, 2014. Jacquelyn Martin—Reuters

Secretary of State John Kerry warns that with U.S. giants like ExxonMobil and Coca-Cola investing or earning billions of dollars in Russia, imposing sanctions on Russian banking, energy, mining, arms and other industries will affect the American economy

When Secretary of State John Kerry meets with his Russian counterpart in Geneva on Thursday to discuss Russia’s incursions into eastern Ukraine, his trump card will be the threat of wide-ranging sector sanctions, the most serious response leveled by the Obama Administration. And while Kerry has argued that imposing sanctions on Russian banking, energy, mining, arms and other industries would have a “profound impact” on the country’s economy, he has also said sanctions could have economic effects back home. “If you start going down that road,” he told a Senate committee panel last week, “it’s not just them who feel it, we’ll feel it too.”

Calculating the potential impact of sanctions on Russia’s behavior vs. the cost borne by the American economy is now an important part of Washington’s decisionmaking over how to manage the Ukrainian crisis.

American business interests are concerned about the cost of sanctions. Some name-brand U.S. giants like ExxonMobil, Coca-Cola, Pepsi and General Motors invest or earn billions of dollars in Russia, as the New Republic recently noted. “The U.S. business community recognizes the seriousness of the situation in Ukraine as well as the damage to the global economy that sanctions could inadvertently unleash,” says Myron Brilliant, head of international affairs at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. “The chamber urges policymakers to continue to gauge carefully the impact sanctions could have on already disappointing economic growth in a number of key markets as they chart a path forward,” Brilliant says.

But hawks at the U.S. State Department see the cost of wide-reaching sanctions as comparatively small next to America’s global business activity. U.S. exports to Russia totaled $11.2 billion in 2011, according to the Observatory of Economic Complexity, while Russian exports to the U.S. totaled $26.4 billion. Because those exports represent a larger part of Russia’s overall economy, Moscow would be hurt more than the U.S. in a trade war: Russia’s total exports in 2011 were $508 billion, compared with $1.37 trillion for the U.S. Last month alone, the U.S. exported over $190 billion worth of goods.

“The fundamental thing is that Russia’s GDP is 2.9% of global GDP, and U.S. trade with Russia is about 1% of total U.S. trade,” says Anders Aslund, a Russian specialist at the Peterson Institute for International Economics. “In the big scheme of things, Russia’s economy doesn’t much matter,” he adds.

For their part, U.S. businesses say billions of dollars in lost trade is too much to pay for an uncertain result. They say American sanctions would have a limited impact on the Russian economy and prefer the State Department to work with the European Union, which has much closer ties to Russia. Unilateral sanctions, says Brilliant, would “certainly be ineffective.”

But unilateral sanctions are likely all that is available, for now. There is bipartisan support for sector sanctions on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, including from ranking Republican Bob Corker of Tennessee and members Republican Senator Marco Rubio of Florida and Democratic Senator Chris Murphy of Connecticut. But the E.U. is hesitant to move forward with harsher sanctions.

If the U.S. does go it alone, the most powerful sanctions could be financial, increasing the cost of capital for Russian companies even without the support of the Europeans. If the U.S. targets the top four state-run Russian banks, says Aslund, the E.U. could even benefit economically and the U.S. could significantly hurt the Russian economy. “If Russian finances are being hit, which I favor, then the money would flow out of Russia,” says Aslund. Russia’s GDP would decline by “several” percentage points, he argues, but he acknowledges he isn’t sure if it would “halt” Putin’s aggression.

For now, the betting is mixed on whether the State Department will go ahead with energy-sector sanctions, which are particularly important since a major source of Russia’s wealth comes from what it extracts from the ground. Edward Chow, an international energy expert at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, says the State Department is “getting much closer” to announcing such measures, thanks to the deteriorating conditions in eastern Ukraine. “It will be more symbolic than hurt in the very short run, but it’s not completely negligible,” says Chow. Aslund says “nobody” is arguing for oil sanctions but leaves open the possibility of natural gas sanctions.

White House

Obama’s $600 Million Plan to Help You Get a (Better) Job

Obama And Biden Discuss Job Skills Training In Pennsylvania
President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden speak to guests at the Community College of Allegheny County on April 16, 2014 in Oakdale, Pa. Jeff Swensen—Getty Images

The administration is asking more colleges to partner with businesses and industries to prepare students with the skills businesses are looking for in potential employees. The investments include a $100 million expansion of apprenticeship programs

In a joint appearance at a community college in Pennsylvania Wednesday, President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden announced $600 million in investments in job training programs. The investments are a part of the Administration’s ongoing efforts to follow through on Obama’s agenda without Congress’ help by redirecting existing funds to job training efforts.

The administration is asking more colleges to partner with businesses and industries to prepare students with the skills businesses are looking for in potential employees. Obama said Wednesday the Labor Department is offering $500 million worth of grants to community colleges with these types of programs as a part of an existing Trade Adjustment Assistance and Community College and Career Training competitive grant program, which has previously rewarded schools that connect out-of-work Americans with jobs in regional economies. Obama also touted a $100 million expansion of apprenticeship programs, which the administration calls a proven path to employment and entry into the middle class. About 87% of apprentices are employed upon completion, and the average starting wage is around $50,000.

“The bottom line is if you’re willing the work to get a promotion or get a job America’s job training programs should be working to give you a chance,” Obama said.

The goal, Obama says is to provide more good paying jobs and ensure employees have the training necessary to obtain them as a part of his four-part opportunity agenda. The President also called on Congress to invest in ready-to-work programs that support better training, though he noted the work he’s doing can be done without their help. Obama has called on Vice President Biden to lead the effort to improve American job-training. Biden said Wednesday he’s working to help more Americans find work industries that have been expanding in the aftermath of the recession so that more can ascend to the middle class.

The President and Vice President appeared at the Community College of Allegheny County’s West Hills Center, which Obama said is representative of the kind of job training the administration is trying to encourage across the country.“We need to take a job-driven approach, that’s what you’ve done in Allegheny County,” Obama said.

“The point is real simple; the backbone of this country is a strong and striving middle class,” Biden said. “It’s been the distinguishing feature of our economy for the last 150 years.”


Major Reservations: Why Cities Are Worried About Airbnb

Airbnb Said to Be Raising Funding At $10 Billion Valuation
The Airbnb Inc. logo and application are displayed on an Apple Inc. iPhone and iPad in this arranged photograph in Washington, D.C., U.S., on Friday, March 21, 2014. Bloomberg/Getty Images

Lawmakers are grappling with how to legitimize a business that creates opportunities but also causes problems. While the service provides extra income for residents and cheaper accommodations for travelers, it can also create issues for neighbors and landlords

Using Airbnb in San Francisco and New York may not be so breezy by the end of this year. Right now, a visitor can hop on the site, find an apartment or house that a local isn’t using and click “Book It.” A few housekeeping matters later, a tourist has connected with someone willing to share their home, that host has made some extra money and Airbnb has taken a slice. Like business models driving other companies in the sharing economy—whether they’re promoting the shared use of cars, tools or driveways—the basic idea is simple. The reality isn’t. In dense urban areas on both coasts, many transactions taking place on sites like Airbnb are technically illegal. In San Francisco, renting out an apartment in a building with more than three units for less than 30 days is not allowed. New York City has similar prohibitions. In both metros, hosts have been evicted for breaking the law (or clauses in their leases), and lawmakers are struggling to legitimize a business that provides income for residents and is loved by travelers but also causes problems. “Clearly Airbnb and a few other companies are changing the universe of what people assume are their rights as residents in neighborhoods,” says New York state Sen. Liz Krueger, who helped write the law prohibiting short-term rentals in New York. “It’s challenging the model of business regulation and frankly it’s wreaking havoc in certain communities.” There are people who unknowingly break their leases by using Airbnb and lose their apartments, she says. There are neighbors kept awake by partying tourists or made nervous by a revolving cast strangers on their floor. And there are residents who get displaced so that landlords can rent out their apartments full time on sites like Airbnb. “It’s not OK and it shouldn’t be OK,” Krueger says. “There are reasons most cities have specific laws for hotels.” Other lawmakers think it should be OK—but with caveats. Two bills in the New York legislature, both currently in committee, would carve exemptions out of the law to help legalize shorter-term rentals in New York City. And on Tuesday, San Francisco lawmaker David Chiu proposed legislation that would regulate short-term rentals there. Like one of the New York bills, Chiu’s proposal would create a registration system run by the city: All would-be “hosts” who want to rent out their homes would have to apply for approval and let the city keep certain information about them on file. The San Francisco legislation limits eligible homes to primary residences where locals live at least three-quarters of the year, a clause aimed at keeping landlords from displacing renters to use apartments like hotels. David Hantman, Airbnb’s head of public policy, lauded the proposal in a blog post, but also wrote that “certain provisions… could be problematic to our hosting community,” like a “registration system that could make some of their personal information public.” Airbnb stresses that people abusing the system, which has been used by more than 11 million people, are exceptions in an otherwise happy home-sharing economy. In economic impact studies, Airbnb found that 82% of users share only the home in which they live. In an attempt to find out more about what business transactions are taking place, the New York attorney general’s office has subpoenaed data on thousands of Airbnb users in New York City. It’s part of an effort to separate hosts who are using the service to essentially run illegal hotels from the “casual users who are doing this once in a while,” says Melissa Grace, a spokeswoman for the attorney general’s office. She says the 82% who are renting out only their primary residence could account for a much lower percentage of the total listings. Airbnb, anxious to protect users’ privacy, is fighting to keep the information private, and the two are currently in settlement discussions. Another New York law currently prohibits Airbnb hosts from collecting and paying hotel taxes to the city, something that is required under the proposed San Francisco legislation. The company is fighting to change that, hoping it would help legitimize the business and estimating it could kick $21 million a year into New York’s coffers. Airbnb spent $120,000 to lobby New York City council members last year and has reported another $20,000 so far in 2014, according to lobbying records. Other cities have already found their balance between oversight and facilitating a popular service. Austin, Texas, a city where thousands upon thousands descend each year for events like SXSW, set up a licensing system for short-term rentals last year. Each applicant has to pay a $285 fee and provide certain documentation like proof of insurance. The city also limited the amount of homes that could be rented out in each building and area of the city, so no neighborhood would be overrun. No more than 3% of the units in one building, for example, can be used for short-term rentals. The promises and pitfalls of the sharing economy will be aired during upcoming hearings in San Francisco—and in oral arguments on April 22 if Airbnb and the New York attorney general fail to reach a settlement out of court. “We still have a long way to go before we get a good law enacted,” Hantman wrote in his post responding to the San Francisco legislation. “It is just the beginning of what promises to be a very long process during which the entire Board of Supervisors will look at this proposal, hear from all sides—including our community—and make decisions about how to proceed.”


Romney Son Takes Tax Day Swipe at Harry Reid

The former presidential candidate's son, Josh, tweeted a picture to Sen. Harry Reid yesterday of his father, Mitt, paying taxes. During the 2012 campaign season, Reid claimed someone had told him Romney hadn't done so in the past decade

It came a little early for Throwback Thursday, but Josh Romney’s Tax Tuesday tweet at Sen. Harry Reid was certainly a throwback to the contentious 2012 presidential race.

Josh—son of Mitt, the erstwhile presidential candidate—posted a picture Tuesday of his dad standing in line at the post office to file his taxes. He captioned the pic with a dig at Reid, the Democratic leader.

In the midst of the 2012 campaign, Reid made the claim that someone told him Mitt Romney “didn’t pay any taxes for 10 years.” Romney flatly denied that claim and called on Reid to reveal his source, which the the Nevada Democrat refused to do.

Neither Reid nor the elder Romney took time to respond to Josh’s needling tweet (at least via Twitter). The real surprise here is that Romney—multimillionaire, owner of many homes—files his taxes by himself by standing in line at the post office.

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