Archive for the ‘Romney’ Category

Why Romney needs to talk about himself

I mentioned in a brief comment yesterday that Mitt Romney has to do more than attack President Obama’s record if he’s to win this election. He has to convince voters he’s a credible alternative they can trust with the job.

I planned to expound on that thought in a future blog post, but Sean Trende of Real Clear Politics beat me to the punch.

Trende begins his piece — worth reading in its entirety — by noting some key findings of a recent Pew poll:

  1. Just 8 percent of registered voters say they need to know more about Obama.
  2. More than three times as many, 28 percent, say they need to know more about Romney.

Specifically, Trende writes, among the voters most likely to still be making up their minds, independents,

… 42 percent say they want to know more about his record as governor, 37 percent want to know more about his record as CEO of Bain Capital, and 35 percent want to know more about his tax returns. Just 21 percent of independents want to know more about his wealth, 19 …

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Poll: Who should be Mitt Romney’s running mate?

Consider this either a bonus “2012 Tuesday” or an extra “Poll Position” this week: Who should be Mitt Romney’s running mate?

With almost six weeks to go before the Republican National Convention, this feels too early for the “veepstakes” to be winding down and shortened to three serious candidates. But that’s what Reuters reported yesterday, saying Romney’s short list comprises Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal, former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty and Sen. Rob Portman of Ohio.

That means no Chris Christie, Mike Huckabee, Marco Rubio or Paul Ryan — bona fide GOP rock stars who would charge up the base but also draw heavy Democratic fire for various reasons.

Who should be Mitt Romney’s running mate?

  • Bobby Jindal
  • Tim Pawlenty
  • Rob Portman
  • Someone else

View Results

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Here’s a quick pro and con list for each of the three:

JINDALPros: In his second term as governor and has extensive experience for someone so young (he just turned 41); particular …

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2012 Tuesday: Romney’s Obamacare missteps

I previously wrote that the effect of the Supreme Court’s Obamacare ruling on the presidential race would depend on how each campaign reacted to it. So far, not so good for Mitt Romney.

Romney’s initial statement made clear that he, and only he, would sign a repeal of Obamacare as president. A good start. Since then, however, it’s either been silence or an unforced error.

The unforced error, of course, was his spokesman’s televised comment that Romney doesn’t believe Obamacare’s mandate is a tax. The Weekly Standard’s Stephen Hayes has a good summary:

Romney spokesman Eric Fehrnstrom appeared [Monday] on MSNBC’s Daily Rundown with Chuck Todd, where he agreed with the host’s assertion that Romney “believes that you should not call the penalty a tax.”

Fehrnstrom explained: “The governor disagreed with the ruling of the Court. He agreed with the dissent written by Justice Scalia, which very clearly stated that the mandate is not a tax.” Later, Romney spokeswoman Amanda Henneberg …

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Obamacare upheld: What it means now and in the future

Challenging Obamacare on constitutional grounds was never what anyone on the right wanted to rely on as a Plan A. “Repeal and replace,” the mantra of conservatives since Congress approved the health-insurance overhaul in 2010, is a high bar requiring the election of a president and congressional majorities dedicated to taking Obamacare off the books and passing more sensible reforms in its place. But persuading the Supreme Court to void the law by declaring it beyond Congress’ power to regulate interstate commerce, while sincerely believed to be correct, was always a higher bar to clear.

The irony is that we cleared the higher bar, and have nothing to show for it.

Do not confuse this for spin: Barack Obama and the Democrats won a clear policy victory today in seeing the court uphold their health law. There’s no denying that. Any other outcome would have been a debacle for them. This is the opposite of a debacle. That would be a victory.

That said, five of the court’s nine …

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Poll Position: How much of a candidate’s life is fair game?

A day after President Obama endorsed the concept of same-sex marriage (but, notably, no policies to legalize it), the Washington Post reported that, as a teenager in boarding school, Mitt Romney once forcibly cut the longish hair of a fellow classmate who was “presumed” to be gay. The story has since been found to have a number of problems: Two sisters of the alleged victim (who died several years ago) claim the depiction of him is “factually incorrect,” and one says she had never heard of the incident (which, of course, doesn’t necessarily mean it didn’t happen); one of the Romney classmates quoted about the incident now says he didn’t actually witness it.

As if to confirm that juvenile behavior by juveniles is not a partisan issue, a blogger soon posted an excerpt from Obama’s “Dreams From My Father” in which he describes behaving rudely toward an unpopular female classmate. (The posted excerpts don’t refer to his age at the time, but the reference by Obama to her being in …

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2012 Tuesday: Team Obama moves ‘Forward’ by dredging up, distorting Romney’s words from 2007

On Monday, the Obama-Biden 2012 campaign unveiled its slogan: “Forward.”

Yep, that’s it. As Washington Post humor-blogger Alexandra Petri observed, “If your slogan is just one or two notches above BCC, it might not be a great slogan.”

But never mind the lack of zip to the latest and greatest in Democratic bumper-sticker philosophy, or the fact that it won’t help the arguments that President Obama isn’t a Marxist. The most disqualifying thing about “Forward” as a slogan is that this is a president who keeps looking backward. Heck, even the video unveiling “Forward” as a slogan began with a retrospective on the 2008 financial crisis; the very first words of the video titled “Forward” are “January 2008.” I’m not sure that word means what the Obama team thinks it does.

In other forward-looking news, Democrats are using today’s anniversary of the Navy SEALs’ killing of Osama bin Laden last year to revisit some comments Mitt Romney made five years ago. (Forward! Forward!)

According …

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Romney closes out the primaries by attacking Obama’s unfairness

The news from last night was not that Mitt Romney easily swept the five states that held primaries; that was assured once Rick Santorum left the race, if not before. Nor was it the prospect, which is being confirmed this morning, that Newt Gingrich would also drop out of the race as a result.

No, the news is that Romney finally gave the speech some of us have been waiting for him to give. (Click here to see a video of the speech, which lasted about 13 minutes, or here to read the prepared remarks; he didn’t stray too far from them.)

The heart of it was the contrast he drew between himself and President Obama. First, what he said about the president:

Government is at the center of his vision. It dispenses the benefits, borrows what it can’t take, consumes a greater and greater share of the economy. You know, with Obamacare fully installed, government would have control of almost half of the economy, and we would have effectively ceased to be a free enterprise society.

This …

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2012 Tuesday: The long GOP veepstakes begins

The Republican primary resumes today, but it doesn’t matter. When Rick Santorum dropped out of the race a couple of weeks ago, any remaining suspense dissipated. The only question tonight will be Mitt Romney’s margins of victory. (Yes, I realize Newt Gingrich is playing up his chances of winning in Delaware. I also realize that, well, it’s Delaware.)

The conversation quickly moved on to the question of Romney’s running mate, which is a little bit silly. Four months remain before the Republican National Convention, and in my view it would be foolish to name a running mate this far out. If Romney continues to run neck-and-neck with President Obama in the polls or even opens up a sizable lead, he will want to play it safer with his choice than if, say, he falls behind significantly (think Sarah Palin in 2008). It’s too early.

I think the next couple of months will feature more scenes like the one we saw yesterday, with Romney campaigning alongside potential running mates. …

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On Newt, Romney and the mortgage deduction question

Now that I’ve gotten that out of my system … a real debate of policy and principle in what’s left of the GOP presidential primary.

As the Political Insider already noted, Newt Gingrich is chiding Mitt Romney for his reported idea of limiting the tax deduction for second homes, based on income. Gingrich calls this a violation of “the classical American definition of fairness — that every American be treated equally under the law” and uses the occasion to highlight his proposal for an optional flat tax of 15 percent on individual income.

I agree with Gingrich in the broad sense and in the long run, but I think Romney is just fine in the short run.

The mortgage-interest tax deduction is nothing but a federal subsidy for homebuyers. Period. (Full disclosure: My wife and I are among the millions of tax filers who claim the deduction on our tax return each year.) In an ideal world, we would eliminate it and all other deductions, and offset the change by lowering tax rates — so that …

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Romney: Don’t let this election go to the dogs

Good grief. Or, as a certain presidential candidate might say, “For Pete’s sake!”

It seems the long-running inanity about the time — 29 years ago — Mitt Romney transported the family dog in a cage strapped to the top of his car has finally gotten to the Romney campaign. It has responded by dredging up from “Dreams from My Father” a snippet of an anecdote about Barack Obama, as a child, eating dog meat while living in Indonesia.

Seriously. This is what stands to dominate the news cycle today. It’s already being branded “the dog wars.”

Memo to the Romney campaign: Democrats are not bringing up the Seamus-in-a-cage story because they are confident Americans approve of Obama’s presidency. It’s not a roundabout way to steer the conversation back to taxes and spending, deficits and debt, jobs and the economy, high gas prices and low employment — you know, the stuff voters repeatedly say they care about.

It is the opposite of that. So why do y’all keep falling for it?

Mitt Romney is …

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