Tag Archives: Mitt Romney

Romney’s debate win: Trick, Treat or Trap?

Initially, I was ready to call this debate a “clear win” for Mitt Romney… and I still think it was. But one has to wonder if things are always as they seem. So let’s take a moment to examine the situation from all sides.

After a hideous summer, Mitt Romney is LONG overdue for some good press. Standing on stage with the President of the United States will give that to you. The only way Romney could have actually suffered after the first debate is if he had been decimated. Clearly, that didn’t happen from either candidate, and it wasn’t anyone’s goal. The knock-down, drag-out punches that fire up either side of the political base also isolates the political middle. Giving Romney’s views legitimacy not only shows respect for the GOP faithful, but cuts down the arguments that Obama is an out-of-touch, lefty socialist. Notice that hardly anyone in the Conservative blogosphere is bantering about “Obama socialism” today.

You can catch more bees with honey than with vinegar, right? Treat.

Romney’s gargantuan gaffes aside, he has tried to run a relatively safe campaign when it comes to the big stuff… so safe that he won’t talk about it. Obama has made some rather risky moves. His support for same-sex marriage and deferred action for the DREAMers still make some members of the Democratic party uneasy. Beyond how he treats Romney, that is a delicate needle that the President still must tread. But the Governor put very, very few specifics on the table for how he would achieve his policy goals. And the few cuts that he did spell out… you know like Big Bird… haven’t gone over so well.

Lest we forget, President Obama’s debate prep partner is John Kerry. Mr. Kerry has a unique view in this process as the only person in recent memory that was beaten by an incumbent President. He also understands the process of the debates, and other factors that are already at play. Back in 2004, Mr. Kerry handily won his first debate against George W. Bush, but then went on to lose the election. By debate time, much of the damage to Kerry’s image as a perilous war hero had already been done in the infamous “swift boat” ads. It’s quite possible that this first debate is straight out of the 2004 playbook.

Already today, we’ve seen some rather stark contrasts between the Obama and Romney campaigns. The first thing the President did after the debate? Come out swinging. He gave a rousing rally to Denver supporters, and practically said everything that we wished he would have said the night before… including the infamous “47 percent” comment. Pure coincidence? Or Trick?

Contrast that with the Romney campaign, After making history in his first debate for the Presidency, Mitt Romney’s campaign staff is back to an established pattern of making really sophomoric mistakes. Instead of capitalizing on the candidate’s strengths from last night, one of the first videos they release is in defense of Romney’s tax plan. They cite the American Enterprise Institute as an “Independent, Non-Partisan” organization. The campaign is basking in the glow of a “clear win”… that’s means they’ve let their guard down, and have become vulnerable.

Sometimes even the sweetest of treats can lead to a Trap.

Debate 1: My Take

Well, the first Presidential Debate of the 2012 election is in the history books. I took notes of things that stood out for me, and then tried to summarize them at the end. I also tried to write my thoughts before I start reading other stuff from the punditocracy. Only the FAILS are bolded. So here you go…

– 1st impression: really struck at how strong of an opening Romney displayed… sounds like Obama ’08! First time I’ve heard the phrase “Trickle Down Government”. Obama didn’t respond to it at all.

-Wow Romney said “High income people are doing just fine in this economy.” Great… doesn’t that mean they can afford to pay higher taxes? Economic Patriotism, right? Umm, Mr. President… where are you?? O-FAIL.

-Romney: And BTW I like coal.

-Romney’s tax plan is a lot of pie-in-the-sky. How can you lower all of these rates and not add to the defecit without cutting HUGE chunks of Government? The new rates won’t add to defecit just because you say so??

-Obama: too much explaining, not enough reacting. Needs to be more primal.

-Obama: ENOUGH about pointing out what you and Romney share!! And less explaining.

-Both are going round and round about taxes… just throwing numbers and promises up in the sky. Either find some substance and relate to us or GTFO and move on!

-Obama called Romney’s plan a “sales pitch”. That was a good line, but then he inesthitized it with more rambling. Of course Romney rambled right back at him. Only effective line from him in this bit: “going forward with the status quo is not going to cut it.”

-Romney calls out PBS as one way to cut the defecit, but Big Bird references aside, this is really eating around the edges when compared to Entitlements and Military. Right-wing pander.

-Ah, ok… Obama has peaked his head in the door. Glad for the defense of MediCaid and calling out Romney from the Primary debates. Never raising anyone’s taxes for any reason is complete and total nonsense. We need more of this.

-Romney flat-out lied on taxes… they are historically low, and government is now starved for revenue. Obama refuted with corporate taxes, but did not defend the role of government. Back on MediCaid, Romney starts spouting Conservative principles about states’ rights, and Obama didn’t counter. O-FAIL.

-Why is Jim Lehrer not asking any specific questions? Too topic-based. Feels lawless.

-MediCare: FINALLY Obama gave a credible counter for Mitt Romney’s VoucherCare plans. Romney’s only response was pie-in-the-sky rhetoric. Romney even said “I’d rather have a private plan.” Umm, you do… it’s called being RICH!!

-Wall Street Regulation: OOPS! Mitt Romney “You have to have regulation” and then he goes on to defend not only Dodd-Frank, but also Obama’s position on why Dodd-Frank was needed. After all of this, THEN you want to repeal and replace it? Can’t have the cake and eat it too, Governor. R-FAIL.

-Obamacare… Sheesh, this is not going to work for Mitt Romney. Obama is now using your state plan against you. Clear points to the President for schooling you on your own plan. BTW Mr. Romney, which is it… do you want states to develop their own plans (knowing some will just continue to leave lots of people uninsured) or do you want them to develop more sustainable care methods? Can’t take both positions. OMG did you really just respond to the repeal quagmire with “Reagan, Reagan, Reagan”? R-FAIL.

-Romney came back strong on role of government (in the broad sense). Eventhough I disagree with some of it, his explanation and conviction is amiable. This would have been a good time for Obama to get primitive and at least HINT at the infamous ’47 percent’ remarks. He needs to call up Professor Clinton and get a quick lesson on how to jab within the bounds of Southern Hospitality. Or just watch Designing Women.

-Congressional paralysis… President got an ok line in here. “Romney hasn’t been successful saying no to his party during the campaign.” True but he also has a record as Governor that he has COMPLETELY papered over. If Romney’s gubernatorial record is so stellar, then why didn’t he run for a second term? Where are all these lawmakers that are lining up to say how great of a “uniter” he is? And umm… why isn’t his home state VOTING for him?? O-FAIL.

In summation…

Neither candidate destroyed the other tonight, but Romney walked away with a slight advantage. I’m a Liberal, but I don’t believe in trying to spin something that doesn’t need any spin. Obama has been riding quite high, and after the debate he’s back on the ground, and in the real campaign to be President. Mitt Romney had to climb from an increasingly deep hole, and most of the way he was able to do it.

On one hand, I am glad for a debate that mostly stayed on policy issues, and at times got into the very weeds of the candidates’ tax plans, and healthcare legislation. The ‘college professor’ in my was happy for that. I was also happy that both men strayed from the constant spin of personal attacks that we see on the campaign trail.

On the other hand, we are a very “baseline” electorate this year… information gets thrown around left and right, and sometimes it’s very difficult to disseminate the truth. The sometimes “fact-free zone” in itself is in Romney’s advantage, especially if his statements go unchallenged the very second they are made. It “legitamizes” them. Obama certainly knows the facts, but he tried to keep the debate “serious and real”, and that’s NOT what the American People want right now. We want more neolithic action… someone that can give the facts, but also FIGHT for their position. So as hard as Mitt Romney worked to find the openings he needed to repair his character, Obama sure helped him by creating a few and leaving most of his pandering history unchallenged. But a word of caution to the GOP… Mitt Romney tied himself in knots tonight with a few of his promises. Those statements could come back to haunt him later.

Final tally: Romney 2 FAILS. Obama 3 FAILS. Advantage ROMNEY

The ABCs of the GOP: N is for…


There is no doubt that Mitt Romney, Paul Ryan and their campaign staff are working very hard to achieve their goal. The amount of intense dedication it takes to run for President is indescribable… tireless days and nights on the trail, meeting literally tens of thousands of people.

But clearly, some things are NOT working in the Romney campaign, or in the 2012 version of the Republican Party. The discipline and unity of their messaging has been tested during the current campaign cycle, and so far, they’ve failed almost every test. Of course considering how many lies the GOP has had to contrive this year, it shouldn’t be a surprise that staying on message is a challenge.

Romney has had a fair share of gaffes along the way… “I’m not concerned about the very poor”, Corporations are people, my friend” and of course when he said the perhaps ill-fated phrase “there are a lot of reasons NOT to elect me“. Umm, ok… if you say so.

But of course everyone makes gaffes. We all say things we didn’t quite mean to say, and especially having to be in the public eye 24/7, it’s bound to happen. But the Romney campaign is about more than gaffes. There is a serious issue with negligence of the work that they are doing. Many of the critical decisions that they have made have turned out to be very damaging. Some think that they’ve caused more harm than the Obama campaign ever could.

Take the Republican National Convention in Tampa. This convention was supposed to be all about Mitt Romney. Each speaker selected had a primary objective of showing their party faithful (and the American people) why Mr. Romney should be elected President. Yet, they had a barrage of speakers like Chris Christie and Rick Santorum that barely even mentioned Romney, if at all. Plenty of reasons not to like Barack Obama, but very little positives to say for the ACTUAL party nominee. It should be no surprise that Romney received no convention bounce at all after the RNC, given the negligence shown by his leaders to let such under-whelming surrogates take the lead. And of course… this doesn’t even begin to mention the Clint Eastwood “empty chair” fiasco.

And then of course the recent foriegn policy blunder made by the GOP nominee virtually speaks for itself. Political pundits from both left and right have come out to criticize the Romney campaign’s swift and judgemental response to a situation they were not informed of. The sad part of it is, without that huge misstep, the GOP may have been able to capitalize on the a difficult time for the Obama doctrine by simply remaining silent until the facts were known. But clearly, they blew it.

This continued pattern of negligence has left the top of the GOP ticket very weak… perhaps too weak to be able to withstand another big misstep. Which is why the timing of a very revealing leak from Mother Jones couldn’t be worse if you’re a Romney surrogate or supporter. In the video, Mitt Romney is caught on tape describing all Obama voters as “dependent upon government for food, housing and health care.” He literally depicts all supporters of the President as lower-class voters who are lazy and can’t fend for (or think for) themselves. It’s a shocking comment that is sure to garner the attention of voters through November…

But in this particular case, none of the negligent opinions expressed here can be blamed on campaign staff or fixed by “re-tooling”. These comments all come from Romney himself… so convincing that it’s hard to believe they could ever be a gaffe. Negligence, indeed.

Paul Ryan… and what’s next for Democrats

As the aftermath of this weekend’s big political news continues, Democrats may be left to wonder what their next move should be. Some, like Rachel Maddow think it’s obvious… attack the “Ryan Budget” and all of its drastic cuts. This is a great strategy for the Democratic base, but it’s not going to advance the argument to low-information, undecided voters. Instead, here’s what Democrats should do…

Sure, there’s many people out there that are taking a first look at Paul Ryan. He just rose onto the national spotlight in 2010, and given his charm and looks, there’s a bit of a “Sarah Palin effect” going on. But the big difference between Ryan and Palin? He’s not a pure unknown. We’ve got a 14-yr voting record and history in Washington with Paul Ryan.

Lest we forget that Mr. Ryan is an elected official in Congress… the WORST performing Congress in United States history. Every American, no matter how little they have followed the Presidential Campaign, knows that Congress sucks right now. The addition of Ryan to the ticket is already causing issues for other Congressional Republicans in tight races. Remember that the GOP controls the House of Representatives. They promised the American People “jobs, jobs, jobs” in 2010, but instead they deliver a record number of anti-abortion bills, a persecution of the US Attorney General, and 33 votes to repeal the Affordable Care Act while wasting the precious time and money of American taxpayers. The President even sent them legislation like the American Jobs Act that wasn’t even brought up for a vote. Paul Ryan owns all of these votes, and that is fact that the American people need to know about. Here’s a link to Paul Ryan’s full voting record.

Finally after promising to run against the “Do-Nothing Congress”, Mr. Obama has actually been given a great gift in Paul Ryan. His campaign team (and non-associated Super PACs) can now attack both the Romney-Ryan ticket and Congress in one fell swoop! It’s time for Democrats to do this. Right now to most Americans, Paul Ryan is an unknown entity. If the Obama campaign can define him as a leader in a terrible Congress, then the advantage will remain with the Democrats.

But Ryan isn’t the main fight… it’s time for Dems to go all-in for exposing Romney’s flip-flops and lies. Our side continues to be very cordial to Mr. Romney by talking about tax returns and secret money. But in this era of big Republican money, that’s simply not going to be enough. Democrats have to show Mitt Romney for the flip-flopper that he is… every lie he’s ever told should be turned into a political ad. Even with the Ryan buzz providing a brief (and much needed) distraction for the Romney campaign, he is the top of the ticket. Romney is who America has to vote for, and ultimately who they have to trust to lead the country. The timidity for the Democrats has got to go. As we all know, if the shoe were on the other foot, the GOP would have already DESTROYED a candidate half as weak as Mitt Romney. If there was ever a time for the Left to grow a spine and FIGHT, this is it.

Will Mitt Romney “Get Worse” on GLBT rights?

Even if Mitt Romney wants to be silent about his time as Governor of Massachusetts, pretty soon he’s going to have to speak out. Mitt Gets Worse… a new coalition initiative between the American Bridge and Courage Campaign Super-PaCs, is taking a very in-depth look at Romney’s record on GLBT equality in the Bay State. So far, it’s not looking very good for those that support full equality. Romney tried to aggressively roll back GLBT rights during his time as Governor.

He’s a Bainiac… Why Romney’s record matters

One thing is for sure about this election… It’s all going to come down to the economy. This November, Americans will be asked to go to the polls and for the candidates that they perceive as most capable of “fixing” and improving our stagnating unemployment rate. Short of some utterly catastrophic event, the economy is where the buck (and the VOTE) stops.

Yet as of late, the Obama campaign wants to shift the conversation to Romney’s time at Bain Capital. Clearly their latest memo shows that this is a subject they intend to keep in laser focus. But even the most avid supporters of the President have to step back and wonder… is this nagging really worth it? None of this changes the fact that Mitt Romney is a successful businessman.

But here’s what it does change… Romney’s reputation (or lack thereof) for telling the truth. He’s on record now for so many lies that it’s just going to be very difficult for Americans to take him at his word. There are virtually no reliable trends in his record… he’s claimed to be everything from “severely Conservative” to Progressive. To be put simply… he’s a liar.

Taken by itself, the situation with Romney’s time at Bain is one article of shiftiness. For most politicians, it would be miniscule and par for the course. But with Romney, it’s yet another bit of uncertainty to add to his rapidly-growing cloud. This is a serious problem for the Romney campaign… eventually he will have to start clarifying his political positions.

-Is he Pro-Life or Pro-Choice? Why did he switch sides?

-Is he for or against gun control laws?

-Was he or was he not at Bain Capital between 1999 and 2003?

-If he had a “Retroactive Retirement” from Bain after 1999, why did he continue to take a $100,000 salary? That’s a whole lot of money to be doing nothing. -Did he oversee any restructuring of companies that involved outsourcing?

-If he’s really against the Affordable Care Act, why did he enact the progenitor of it in Massachusetts?

-If he’s running on a record of fiscal responsibility, then why did he leave Massachusetts $1 billion dollars in debt after his term as governor?

-Why didn’t he run for a 2nd term? What would cause the American people to elect him as President if he didn’t even have the initiative to get re-elected in his home state?

-Why only release 2 years of tax returns? What could be hiding in them?

The election is ultimately about the economy. But it’s also about a choice between two individuals. Obama’s record, good and bad, is there for us to evaluate. The history of record obstruction and deception within the GOP Congress is also there to evaluate. But with Romney, we’re still as clueless as we were before the first primary vote was cast. None of these questions have been answered clearly by him or his campaign. If he wants to be President of the United States, he’s going to have come clean about all of these questions. To go on simply flagellating from one ideology to the other is manic behavior at best, and not fit for what is at stake in this election. The nation’s challenges are too great for us to bet on someone shrouded in uncertainty.

So tell us Governor… Which Mitt are we going to get?