With a debate on domestic policy only two days away, Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney has decided to put foreign policy front and center in today’s campaign.
A Wall Street Journal op-ed by Romney on the topic includes this:
The president began his term with the explicit policy of creating “daylight” between our two countries. He recently downgraded Israel from being our “closest ally” in the Middle East to being only “one of our closest allies.”
It’s a diplomatic message that will be received clearly by Israel and its adversaries alike. He dismissed Israel’s concerns about Iran as mere “noise” that he prefers to “block out.” And at a time when Israel needs America to stand with it, he declined to meet with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
One might be able to label the move an anomaly, except for the fact that Karl Rove’s American Crossroads is on the same track, releasing this TV ad that criticizes Obama’s response to the attack on a U.S. consulate in Libya that resulted in the death of the American ambassador and three other U.S. personnel:
Obama currently leads Romney among likely voters when it comes to foreign policy. Both Romney and Rove appear to be betting that the Libya story will stay alive for several weeks longer. According to today’s New York Times, that may not be a bad wager:
An effective response by newly trained Libyan security guards to a small bombing outside the American diplomatic mission in Benghazi in June may have led United States officials to underestimate the security threat to personnel there, according to counterterrorism and State Department officials, even as threat warnings grew in the weeks before the recent attack that killed Ambassador J. Christopher Stevens and three other Americans.
On the polling front, a new ABC/Washington Post survey says President Barack Obama is expanding his post-convention lead over Republican Mitt Romney in crucial swing states:
Nationally, the race is unmoved from early September, with 49 percent of likely voters saying they would vote for Obama if the election were held today and 47 percent saying they would vote for Romney. Among all registered voters, Obama is up by a slim five percentage points, nearly identical to his margin in a poll two weeks ago.
But 52 percent of likely voters across swing states side with Obama and 41 percent with Romney in the new national poll, paralleling Obama’s advantages in recent Washington Post polls in Florida, Ohio and Virginia.
More Americans believe middle-income earners would be better off in four years if President Barack Obama is re-elected than if Mitt Romney wins, by 53% to 43%. The public also says lower-income Americans would be better off under an Obama presidency, while, by an even larger margin, they say upper-income Americans would do better under Romney.
For those of you who believe a cabal of pollsters is attempting to pave Obama’s way to a second term, consider this from Jonathan Martin and Alexander Burns of Politico.com:
For the vast polling conspiracy of 2012 to be legitimate would be to presume that longtime GOP pollster Bill McInturff is on the deal. McInturff co-runs the respected Wall Street Journal/NBC News poll with veteran Democratic pollster Peter Hart.
McInturff is also business partners with Neil Newhouse, Romney’s own pollster. So, by this standard, Romney’s own campaign could also be part of the conspiracy to … hurt the Romney campaign.
U.S. Rep. John Barrow, D-Augusta, is out with a new TV ad today that highlights his independence. The most effective feature of the 30-second spot is the fact that Barrow uses names of voters, inviting Republican challenger Lee Anderson to fact-check if he likes:
Barrow: “I’m John Barrow. Some people like me. Some people don’t.
“Kemp Jones collects guns. He likes my ‘A’ rating with the NRA. Democrats in Washington don’t.
“Jimmy Johnson likes that I voted against the plan to privatize Medicare. Republicans in Washington don’t.
“Gail Webster like that I voted against the Wall Street Bailout. Both Parties were wrong on that one.
“I approved this message because folks in Washington don’t like me being independent, but you’re the one who counts.”
Walter Jones of Morris News Service has taken a look at Libertarian prospects in Georgia:
This year, the party has candidates in the only two statewide races, both for the Public Service Commission. In one, Libertarian David Staples is the only alternative to Republican incumbent Stan Wise.
In the other, the Libertarians have nominated an openly gay telecommunications consultant, Brad Ploeger, who is drawing new voters to the fold in his bid to best GOP Commissioner Chuck Eaton and Democrat Steve Oppenheimer. For different reasons, both contests offer hope to the Libertarian Party in Georgia, which normally only claims 2 percent to 4 percent of the vote.
The AJC’s Politifact Georgia today takes a look at the declaration by the National Women’s Law Center that “in every state, women are paid less than men.”
- By Jim Galloway, Political Insider