Newt Gingrich’s ‘special introduction’ of Mitt Romney will be a private affair

Atlanta markets itself as the ATL. A better nickname would be the ATM.

Four major GOP fundraisers will be draining cash from the area today. And unless you’ve got a well-stocked wallet, you’re not invited.

U.S. Sens. Johnny Isakson and Saxby Chambliss are hosting a fund-raiser for their Republican colleague Scott Brown, who’s attempting to fend off a challenge from Democrat Elizabeth Warren. And Georgia’s House Republicans will have Speaker John Boehner of Ohio in town.

But neither Brown nor Boehner will be at the largest event, a 6 p.m. bash at the Cobb Energy Centre that will feature a “special introduction” by Newt Gingrich of Republican presidential champion Mitt Romney. So far as we know, it’s the first joint stage appearance for the pair since that long-ago debate in Arizona.

It will also be a very private moment, limited to those willing to shell out at least $1,000 for the privilege. The Sunlight Foundation tells us that donors are being asked use the bundler code of Atlanta attorney Ray Smith, a well-known Republican fund-raiser.

It is possible, we’re told, that a single print journalist will be allowed inside to bear witness to the Romney-Gingrich reunion, but otherwise all other members of the Fourth Estate will be corralled across the street as guests of the U.S. Secret Service.

So we will be highly dependent on some smart aleck with a smart phone who is willing to send us some shaky, unflattering video of the event.

Afterwards, Romney will retire to a private resident that’s yet to be identified, for dinner with some friends willing to part with $50,000 each. Cash from the entire evening will go to Romney’s presidential campaign, the Republican National committee, the state republican parties in Idaho, Massachusetts, Oklahoma, and Vermont; the National Republican Senatorial Committee, and the National Republican Congressional Committee.

***
With Mitt Romney in Atlanta today to raise cash, Georgia Democrats my AJC colleague Aaron Gould Sheinin and other reporters that the former Massachusetts governor’s brand of leadership is wrong for the state and the country.

House Minority Leader Stacey Abrams, D-Atlanta, and DeKalb County CEO Burrell Ellis said a Romney presidency would pit middle class Americans and the working poor against fat-cat investors and corporate executives.

“Look at his actions,” Ellis told reporters in a conference call organized by the Democratic National Committee. “It wasn’t about investors and workers playing by the same set of rules and it certainly wasn’t about building an economy meant to last.”

Ellis and Abrams attacked Romney’s recent statement that seemed to suggest he opposed adding police officers, firefighters and teachers to public payrolls. Romney’s remarks came after President Barack Obama suggested that public sector layoffs were hurting the economy.

“You have to have people who provide public safety,” Ellis said. “You have to have teachers. It depends on our citizens being safe and it depends on having strong infrastructure.”

Abrams said Romney only focuses on the short-term and misses the point that public employees contribute to the overall economy.

Laying off government employees “removes customers from those private sector jobs he said he’s trying to create,” Abrams said. “President Obama is looking at the totality of the economic system. These are two components that must work in tandem. Romney squints his eyes and only looks at the portion he likes.”

***
One certain topic of conversation at these GOP fundraisers will be the health of the man who almost became the first elected Republican governor of Georgia, nearly four decades ahead of schedule:

Howard “Bo” Callaway, who in 1964 became the first Republican elected to Congress from Georgia since Reconstruction, and who two years later was denied the governorship of the state even though he garnered the highest number of votes in the general election, is hospitalized in intensive care with a cerebral hemorrhage.

***
The Gallup organization today reports that a majority of union members currently say they intend to support President Barack Obama’s re-election. But support isn’t monolithic, says the polling group:

While 57% of union workers who are registered to vote would support Obama, 35% would vote for Mitt Romney. Workers who are not union members tilt toward Romney over Obama, 48% to 44%.

***
Channel 2 Action News has some audio of the prank 911 call that sent cops rushing to the home of Erick Erickson, editor of Redstate.com and a CNN commentator.

***
In Sunday’s Marietta Daily Journal, Gov. Nathan Deal extended an effusive thank-you to state lawmakers who found $300 million in the state budget to pay for a set of reversible lanes up I-75 and I-575:

”We have to give credit to the members of the General Assembly who were willing to put this in the supplemental budget for 2012. That was a step of confidence by them to indicate their willingness to deal with issues that are by some peoples’ category could classify as regional, but I think it gives an indication that the members of the General Assembly are willing to look at the greater good for for the state of Georgia…”

***
At the Daily Caller, former Georgia congressman Bob Barr says that, even in the South, Republicans are summoning their inner nannies:

My home state of Georgia — long a place where candidates and elected officials seeking re-election have earned their chops by railing against Washington busybodies — has succumbed to the notion that the role of government is to protect people by controlling them. From small towns to the bustling and largely Republican-dominated Atlanta suburbs, helmet laws and smoking and “texting” bans are becoming the norm.

***
The AJC’s Politifact Georgia today takes a look at U.S. Rep. Paul Broun’s description of the impact of the new Caterpillar plant near Athens.

- By Jim Galloway, Political Insider

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40 comments Add your comment

Tom

June 11th, 2012
9:33 am

Has donations bundler Ray Smith ever done any pole-dancing?

Marlboro Man

June 11th, 2012
9:42 am

A fool is easily separated from their money.

clyde

June 11th, 2012
9:46 am

I wasn’t invited.

News Flash!!! Unions support Obama!!!

Centrist

June 11th, 2012
10:00 am

ATL is also an ATM for Obama who has made private forays here and is opening a campaign office even though there is no chance he can win the state in the election. And in Arnold Schwarzenegger words as the Terminator: “[He'll] be back”. The AJC won’t be making a big deal about it, or asking for unflattering smart phone pictures, though.

Kudos to the legislature for doing reversible lanes instead of those awful “Hot lanes” which are underused and cold. Their real purpose is revenue.

Union leadership supports Obama/Democrats and takes dues and agency shop forced payments y from the large percentage of workers who do not politically support the union political stance. Much of the political spending by unions is hidden via personnel shifted to campaign work, phonebanks, flyers, mailings, registration drives, get out the vote transportation, and overhead.

JT

June 11th, 2012
10:08 am

OBAMA 2012!!!

DannyX

June 11th, 2012
10:30 am

Newts introduction will probably go like this,

“The Romney machine can drive down turnout it can run over opponents with negative ads. It doesn’t seem capable of inspiring positive turnout and the result is I think very very worrisome if you’re thinking about the fall campaign.”

Romney gave us Robamneycare the “plan essentially is one more big-government, bureaucratic, high-cost system which, candidly, could not have been done by any other state, because no other state had a Medicaid program as lavish as yours and no other state got as much money from the federal government under the Bush administration for this experiment.”

“I’ve been Romney-boated…. Somebody who will lie to you to get to be president, will lie to you when they are president. Romney’s not telling the American people the truth. It’s just like this pretense that he’s a conservative…. I just think he ought to be honest with the American people and try to win as the real Mitt Romney, not try to invent a poll-driven, consultant-guided version that goes around with talking points.”

Ladies and gentlemen, the next President of the United States…MITT ROMNEY!!!!

WOW

June 11th, 2012
10:36 am

Centrist

Really?

Jim did cover Obama’s fundraising stops here. An the unflattering remarks of a certain Atlanta area celebrity were made public on several pages of the AJC. He also made a similar joke about how much the tickets were to his upcoming trip at the end of the month. Jim like every other journalist wants a story, no ideology stuff going on there.

WOW

June 11th, 2012
10:39 am

Danny:

Don’t help him out to much. The ‘real’ Romney, the centrist former Governor of Mass, would have a much better chance of beating Obama than what he has become.

Newt is nuts

June 11th, 2012
10:57 am

THe best possible reason why there will be limited TV coverage of this event is because the Romney people have no idea what nutty Newt will say or do at the event. It’s smart politics to limit Newt’s contact with folks who haven’t yet made up their mind about Romney. Newt cannot help Romney except perhaps with some far-right money people.

ATL9

June 11th, 2012
10:57 am

JT,

Why in God’s name would you want four more years of what we’ve got? I like Obama fine personally but I can’t take four more years of declining wealth. Something absolutely has to change.

By every metric, I am losing ground; my income is down, my 401K is down, my home value is way, way down, my taxes are up, my insurance costs are up, my daily living expenses are up. In total, my net worth is dramatically less than it used to be. My planned retirement is now indefinitely deferred. Everything is going in the wrong direction and the only thing that keeps me sane is that I know I am not alone. Everyone I know is in the same boat. Why in the world would anyone vote to stay in this mess?

One can say it isn’t Obama’s fault and it isn’t but it’s kinda like saying the new manager brought in to fix a business isn’t to blame for not getting the job done after four years. Obama was hired to fix the problems that we had. He ran on that platform and knew what we faced but he’s done little to turn it around.

Everytime I see an “Obama2012″ sticker, I wonder what the finances of the person driving the car look like and think that if they look like mine, I can’t imagine what is wrong with them to want more of this.

I’ve been reading up on Romney and he has a stellar resume’ and a track record of making failing things succeed. According to his bio, he did that many, many times with businesses then with the 2002 Olympics and again as Governor of Massachusetts. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out that he’s probabally better equipped to deal with the crisis we are in than President Obama.

Mr. Obama will make a great ex-President. I am sure he can use his intellect, charm, and electrifying persona to do many great things but I really think we need to find somebody else to be the President. Many, many people are suffering like me, or to a much greater extent, and we can’t take another four years.

To your cry for “Obama 2012″, I respectfully suggest we need to try “Romney 2012″ instead.

deegee

June 11th, 2012
11:00 am

Doesn’t all of this republican money bundling kind of substantiate Obama’s claim that private industry is doing just fine?

Jop P

June 11th, 2012
11:05 am

ATL 9. You sir or mam hit it out of the ball park with your comments. Nice job!!!!

Marlboro Man

June 11th, 2012
11:08 am

Romney is scared of Newt, it appears.

GaBlue

June 11th, 2012
11:10 am

Doesn’t the record jump in CEO pay rates, along with corporate profits as a percentage of the GDP at their highest level since WWII, substantiate Obama’s claim that private industry is doing just fine?

How is it Obama’s fault that these CEOs are refusing to create jobs in this country, though they’ve been enjoying “job creator” tax cuts for years now? Where’s the personal responsibility from the job creators?

DannyX

June 11th, 2012
11:19 am

“Doesn’t all of this republican money bundling kind of substantiate Obama’s claim that private industry is doing just fine?”

Yes it does, the stock market has doubled since Obama took office, corporations are recording record profits and they are sitting on 2 trillion dollars in cash.

In the mean time the Republican House of Rep chant of “Jobs, jobs, jobs,” turned into “Abortion, abortion, abortion.”

Oh and ATL 9, what exactly was the government supposed to do about your property values? Why is your 401k doing so poorly with the stock market way up? How in the world are your taxes up if you are not making more money?

Also, how is the US economy supposed to recover from the job losses that were caused by outsourcing (a big favorite of Romney,) corporate mergers, loss of manufacturing to China, technology advances, and the shrinking of the government workforce?

Lynn43

June 11th, 2012
11:26 am

“The role of government is to protect people by CONTROLLING them.” Especially women. Republican white men, I don’t need or want your protection. I’m doing just fine without your help. Quit trying to control women and their lives.

DannyX

June 11th, 2012
11:34 am

“Net worth for households and non-profit groups increased by $2.83 trillion from January through March, the biggest gain since the last three months of 2004, to $62.9 trillion, the Federal Reserve said today in its flow of funds report from Washington.” From Bloomberg.com.

ATL 9, why are you losing so much ground?

Newt is nuts

June 11th, 2012
11:35 am

I liked your comments, ATL9, but even a Romney victory will not solve the problem of Paul Ryan economics and the disturbing belief that somehow we will solve our problems by laying off more teachers and increasing the wealth of the top one percent.

WOW

June 11th, 2012
11:39 am

@ ATL 9

Just wondering how exactly your income has been reduced and your taxes are up? Rates are the same as they were under Bush…. You may want to update your talking points.

Auntie Christ

June 11th, 2012
11:51 am

ATL9 must be a victim of one of Bain Capital’s exercises in capitalism. After they sent his job to India, he went home to await the ‘trickle down’ benefits coming his way. Unfortunately, after decades, he like the rest of us are still awaiting the trickle down from paris hilton and donald tramp’s tax cuts.

follow the money

June 11th, 2012
12:04 pm

guys saying the market has “come back” do not understand the inner workings of the markets. When you take away underperforming stocks, and replace them with high flyers, the result is that the indices appear to have fully recovered. This game has been going on for decades. The S&P 500, a truer gauge of the economy than the Dow, has NOT fully recovered.

You are correct that the multi-national corporations are making lots of money. A lot of that money is made overseas. The little man is really struggling here at home.

ATL9

June 11th, 2012
12:08 pm

DannyX,

I can’t imagine where Bloomberg got that statistic but I would venture to say that it doesn’t apply to most people. There may be a “One Percent” that is doing better but the rest of us, I think, are not.

As for taxes going up, have you ever actually calculated your taxes? It goes way beyond mere income taxes. The sum total of income taxes, ad valorem taxes, property taxes, sales taxes (SPLOST programs have raised these), taxes on my utility bills, gas taxes, etc. I track it every year and mine were up from 2010 to 2011.

Likewise, although my 401K goes up, then down, then up again and repeats, the overall value has still not regained its previous high before President Obama was elected and it is nowhere near where my financial advisor projected it would be at this point in my life.

But I don’t want to focus on my specifics, I would just say that most Americans should ask themselves if they are getting ahead or falling behind? If they can honestly say they are doing better or much better then by all means, vote for more of this. Vote “Obama:2012″. For me though, I don’t feel like I can take more of it.

As I said earlier, the thing that keeps me sane is that everyone else is suffering too and I feel fortunate to still be employed. I know I am doing better than many others. I know others have lost their job, their homes, their entire savings, and tapped out their 401Ks just trying to survive so I am grateful but still, there is no way in hell, I will vote for another four years of this.

I like President Obama. I really do but I just don’t think he has done what he was elected to do and I am not going to go sign up for another round of this. If you want to, go ahead but I’ll be canceling your vote. Maybe Mitt Romney isn’t all he is cracked up to be but I am willing to give him a try.

DannyX

June 11th, 2012
12:16 pm

3 year

S&P 500 +43.66%
Dow +46.68%
NASDAQ +55.79%

Centrist

June 11th, 2012
12:26 pm

ATL9 posted in response to others: “I am not going to go sign up for another round of this [Obama]. If you want to, go ahead but I’ll be canceling your vote.”

Debating Obama/Romney on a Georgia blog is a waste of time. Only battleground states will matter – Georgia’s electoral votes will be cast for Romney. Here are the possibilities of states Romney will need to flip. President Obama won North Carolina (0.32%), Indiana (1.04%), Florida (2.82%), Ohio (4.59%), Virginia (6.29%), and Colorado (8.95%). Flipping ALL these electoral votes would give an electoral victory to Romney, and he is not leading in them all now (too early, though). Romney would have to keep Missouri which McCain barely won.

Greater longshots: Iowa, (9.53%), New Hampshire (9.61%), Pennsylvania (10.31%), Nevada (12.49%), Wisconsin (13.90%), Oregon (16.35%), and Michigan (16.47%).

zeke

June 11th, 2012
12:28 pm

atl9 you gotta be dreamin’ if you think middle america will get any better under mitt; maybe just maybe the business climate may have a short term euphoric moment but fundamentals will not have changed and will not change. as for the rest of the world, well not too good. europe will soon be like the middle east once the zone collapses. mitt might be right on maintaining a strong military…not sure what china/russia will do. one thing you can count on is the 1% will have the inside edge no matter what.

Auntie Christ

June 11th, 2012
12:30 pm

atl and follow the money: When almost half the senate and a majority in the house have as their main objective the failure of Obama and by extension, failure of the economy, you want to blame Obama for the country’s ills? Nice try. But don’t stop throwing the manure out there, there are enough pox news devotees here to ensure that some of it will stick.

follow the money

June 11th, 2012
12:30 pm

i agree centrist.

Also, I feel the Obama/Romney debate is a waste of time because both cater to the lobbyists and multinationals and we will end up with pretty much the same leader in the end. While I wouldn’t vote for Obama with his past record, I have my doubts about Romney as our leader too. For instance, Obama campaigned on balanced budgets and line by line cuts on wasteful spending, yet we are still deficit financing and deeper in the red. smh!

DannyX

June 11th, 2012
12:33 pm

“Debating Obama/Romney on a Georgia blog is a waste of time.”

I’m saving that quote of yours “Centrist.”

I can’t wait to see how much of your own time you end up wasting!

Real Athens

June 11th, 2012
12:35 pm

ATL9:

If this is true:

“As for taxes going up … The sum total of income taxes, ad valorem taxes, property taxes, sales taxes (SPLOST programs have raised these), taxes on my utility bills, gas taxes, etc. I track it every year and mine were up from 2010 to 2011.”

You have the GOP dominated Ga State Legislature, Senate and Executive branch as well as the GOP dominated Georgia Public Service commission to thank.

DannyX

June 11th, 2012
12:37 pm

“For instance, Obama campaigned on balanced budgets and line by line cuts on wasteful spending, yet we are still deficit financing and deeper in the red.”

Romney will fix that with his plan to increase defense spending along with more tax cuts for the rich.

follow the money

June 11th, 2012
12:43 pm

Auntie, I am not one to blame Obama. He is merely a puppet for the corporations and the ultra rich. To me, there is not much difference when comparing Obama-Reid-Pelosi to the GOP frontrunners. Neither truly represents the self employed little man trying to get ahead.

I would prefer to see the following:

-Stronger dollar (this helps us with lowering prices on all imports, including oil/gas)

-Simplification of the tax code (lots of good ideas out there, pick one and go with it)

-Eliminate corporate donations of all kinds. Corporations should not be allowed in politics as they are not a voting citizen. If it is best for a corporation to ship jobs overseas to make a little more profit, then they will work through donations to implement laws making it more advantageous for them to do this. Creating barriers of entry into the marketplace prevents fair competition and drives up prices across the board. Remember, corporations don’t fly an american flag, a chinese flag, or a russian flag, only the flag of maximizing profits. Outrageous!

Auntie, please show me a party willing to toe the line on any of the above…

DannyX

June 11th, 2012
12:53 pm

“Eliminate corporate donations of all kinds.”

Corporations are people too my friend!

ATL9

June 11th, 2012
1:31 pm

Apparently everyone but me is flourishing in this economy. If that’s the case, then good for you. Maybe it will “trickle down” to me some day.

However, I honestly don’t believe many of you are being forthright. Regardless of one’s political leanings, if we are honest, I think even the most blindly partisan among us would have to agree that things are not going well for Americans collectively or individually. In fact, they are not going well for most citizens of the planet either. As I said earlier, most metrics point that out.

I like President Obama but given the choice between someone I like but who has not turned things around and someone who has a record of success and accomplishment, my situation dictates that I pick the guy who can perhaps make my life better.

Having said all that, Centrist is right. Whomever is sworn in as President on January 20, 2013 will not be determined by those of us in Atlanta or in Georgia. There are a handful of states that will make the decision and I hope they carefully study the resumes and accomplishments of both men and make a sober decision as to which one can guide the nation out of this dark period. Obama has guided us through it but not out and I personally want out.

DannyX

June 11th, 2012
1:50 pm

“Apparently everyone but me is flourishing in this economy.”

I don’t think that is the point. 4 years ago I predicted right here on this blog that whoever was elected president would have a very difficult time getting re-elected, the economy was in horrible shape at the time and there is no way in hell that the recovery was going to be quick. Americans are generally spoiled and want things to happen fast without sacrifice.

Some things needed to work themselves out, like the housing market and the job market. I asked this before, how does any politician (D) or (R) bring back the jobs that were lost to China? Outsourcing? Corporate mergers? Technology improvements? Government layoffs?

How does the government fix the housing market?

The “dark” period happened under the Republican watch, you want to hand the keys to a drunk driver because an impossible quick recovery didn’t happen. Still, is the country in better shape now than it was 3 years ago? Yes, by far.

ATL9

June 11th, 2012
2:12 pm

DannyX,

I acknowledge that what you said is true. The economy was on a downward trend when President Obama was elected and no recovery was going to be fast but it doesn’t seem to be recovering at all or, at best, at a snail’s pace. More importantly, I haven’t heard the president make a compelling case that it would be better in his second term or that he has new ideas to implement.

Conversely, Romney says he has a plan and we haven’t tried what he thinks will work. Would he be successful? I don’t know but as I have stated earlier, if one looks at his background, he does appear to be a bit of a turnaround artist and I’m willing to let him try. If he fails, I suspect we can let Hillary take over in 2016. Nothing is forever.

My concern for myself personally is that I have lost so much ground that I can’t afford to wait it out another four years. Let the other team have their turn at bat and see what they do.

S

June 11th, 2012
2:27 pm

Romney is a vulture capitalist, something like Frank Lorenzo was with Eastern Airlines. Romney’s company, Bain Capitol, swoops in(put’s a little money in) buys up the failing business’s, borrows more money to supposedly get the failing companies on the right track again but instead, put’s the borrowed money in their pockets and the company has no where else to go but down or file for bankruptcy. Vulture Capitalist don’t create jobs they destroy them. If Romney did create jobs I would venture to say most of them were created offshore.
If you are not doing well in this economy and live in the State of Georgia, you only have to look at who has been in charge of this states politics for the last eleven years. From trying to make us pay to drive on our roads after those roads have been paid for, to trying to pass Splost’s. Republicans say they don’t like to raise taxes but every chance they get they sneak in a tax or they like to call it fees, or Splost or tolls, which are nothing but taxes just disguised as something else.

If you want to blame this country’s problems on someone, blame this 112th Republican controlled do nothing congress. Its obvious to most thinking people who’s fault it is that this Country is not moving forward.

Grace

June 11th, 2012
2:29 pm

I remember when Obama was here a few months back and charged 35k/plate dinner at Tyler Perry’s home. The comments coming from the GOP acted as if they had never heard of that kind of money being shelled out to eat with a candidate. Now that Romney is charging 50k WHAT DO U ALL HAVE TO SAY???? There are 2 topics that you should never criticize about the other party. They are fundraising and adultery. All political parties do both about the same.

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Dee Rockin

June 11th, 2012
2:41 pm

The GOP calls itself the party of fiscal conservatism… Is that why they’re paying 50,000 dollars a plate to meet a celebrity?!?!

follow the money

June 11th, 2012
5:04 pm

In politics, corporations are NOT people. Otherwise, they would be allowed to vote in elections. Who did Apple vote for in 2008? What about GE or GM?

No my friend, corporations are not people and they should not be able to influence elections. Corporate shareholders yes, but corporations, no.