Tag Archives: Mitt Romney

Romney Still Isn’t Over That Benghazi Debate

TPM LiveWire

He may have suffered a resounding defeat to President Obama in 2012, but Mitt Romney still can’t quite get over a debate in which he says the moderator improperly fact checked one his statements about the Sept. 11, 2012 attack in Benghazi, Libya.

Appearing on the Hugh Hewitt radio show Monday, the former governor of Massachusetts said that CNN’s Candy Crowley shouldn’t have waded into an exchange about whether the President called the attack an act of terror the following morning in a statement in the White House Rose Garden.

“Well, I don’t think it’s the role of the moderator in a debate to insert themselves into the debate and to declare a winner or a loser on a particular point,” Romney said of the October, 2012 debate, as quoted by Mediaite. “And I must admit that, at that stage, I was getting a little upset at Candy, because in a prior setting where I was to have had the last word, she decided that Barack Obama was to get the last word despite the rules that we had.”

While Obama did refer to “acts of terror” in the statement, his administration later attributed the attack to a spontaneous protest against an inflammatory video.

“Please proceed, governor,” is how Obama put it at the time, before Crowley interjected.

“So, she obviously thought it was her job to play a more active role in the debate than was agreed upon by the two candidates,” Romney added, “and I thought her jumping into the interaction I was having with the president was also a mistake on her part and one I would have preferred to carry out between the two of us, because I was prepared to go after him for misrepresenting to the American people that the nature of the attack.”

Crowley drew heavy fire from conservatives in the immediate aftermath, and a co-chair of the Commission on Presidential Debates subsequently called her selection as a moderator a “mistake.”

Watch the moment below:

H/t: DB

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Filed under 2012 Presidential Debate, Benghazi

“Mitt” the Movie: What’s Not There

Mitt Romney – Netflix/YouTube

Mother Jones – David Corn

No 47-percent reaction? Far more is missing than present in the new Netflix documentary on Romney.

Forgive me for being parochial, but I was looking for a specific piece of footage in the new Netflix behind-the-scenes documentary on Mitt Romney—simply titled Mitt—that was made by Greg Whiteley, who trailed the GOP candidate for six years through Election Night 2012. I yearned to see Romney’s response to the release of the 47-percent video: how he personally reacted to this revelation and how his campaign planned its public reply. This was a significant moment in Romney’s political life. How he handled it could be quite enlightening. After all, the film does record how Romney dealt with his 2008 loss in the GOP presidential primaries. (In conversations with his family, Romney acknowledges he was branded “the flippin’ Mormon,” and says, “I think I’m a flawed candidate.”) But Whiteley offers us no peek at how the former CEO processed the historic 47-percent moment that did much to define him—or reinforce an existing definition.

In fact, for all the access Whiteley obtained, he serves up little material that will alter the basic story of Mitt. Sure, the viewer will learn that Romney likes to romp in the snow with his grandkids, that he’s happier with a pair of duct-taped gloves than a new set, that he has a somewhat dark sense of humor, that he often thinks of his father, that wife Ann is tightly strung, and that Romney likes to pick up trash from the floors or balconies of hotel rooms during tense moments (say, before he hits the stage for a debate or prior to the announcement of election results). Certainly, Romney comes across as less robotic in these 90-minutes of home-movie-like scenes. But the film offers no insights about the fellow. His faults as a presidential candidate are not examined. What he really believes—other than the notion that the nation is heading off a cliff due to too much taxation and regulation—is left on the cutting room floor. That is, if it was ever captured.

The documentary, in a way, is anti-matter, shaped by what it does not cover. Campaign deliberations are not chronicled. Critical decisions are barely detailed. The film tracks Romney during the 2008 primaries; it ignores the 2012 GOP contests (picking up the narrative at the 2012 convention). Grandchildren get more screen time than key aides. It’s as if the movie was produced in a bubble—actually, a bubble within a bubble.

Mitt appears to be an effort to rehab Romney’s image—to show the real family guy, not the 1-percent caricature. Yet there’s not much here to prompt a serious reconsideration. And the documentary answers no questions that linger after Romney’s two failed expeditions toward the White House. Perhaps most Americans are not craving such answers. But Romney and his campaign did leave behind material that should be explored. The list below of moments and matters that do not appear in Whiteley’s narrow version of RomneyWorld show that there is not much to miss in Mitt.

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Glenn Beck: Chris Christie a ‘fat nightmare’

Is there a full moon or something?  Weirdness is in the air…

Politico

Glenn Beck is slamming New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie for his record — and his weight — calling the governor a “fat nightmare.”

“Chris Christie is a fat nightmare. He is a nightmare,” Beck said in an interview with CNN’s S.E. Cupp that is set to air on Friday’s “Piers Morgan Live.”

Cupp, who is guest hosting Morgan’s program, noted Christie will likely run for president in 2016 and is polling as the strongest Republican potential candidate against Hillary Clinton.

(QUIZ: How well do you know Chris Christie?)

“Don’t care. Don’t care. Don’t care. Don’t care,” Beck responded.

Cupp called Christie “the real world,” but Beck continued his attack, hitting Christie for his stance on gun control, global warming and unions — saying the New Jersey governor is a progressive, not a conservative.

“I’m done playing the game of, ‘Well, that means if we don’t vote for that guy, we‘re gonna get this guy.’ We played that with [Sen.] John McCain. We played that with Mitt Romney,” Beck said.

(PHOTOS: Chris Christie’s career)

When asked who he’d like to see on the ticket in 2016, Beck said he “I don’t know because I don’t trust any of them.”

“I’m not going to sell my principles out anymore,” Beck said.

 

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Chris Christie Is Quickly Becoming The New Mitt Romney

National Memo

Republicans spent most of 2011 pretending that Mitt Romney wouldn’t be their nominee for president. And when the 2012 primaries began, they did everything they could to damage their nominee before he could get to the general election.

The race for the 2016 GOP nomination is starting to hint at a remarkably similar shape.

Governor Chris Christie (R-NJ), fresh off his landslide re-election, is leading the pack of contenders to represent the Republican Party in the next presidential election. With 24 percent of the vote, he’s ahead of Senator Rand Paul (R-KY) at 13 percent, Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI) at 11 percent and Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX) with 10 percent in a new CNN poll. Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) and Governor Rick Perry (R-TX) round out the frontrunners.

Like Romney and unlike his competitors, Christie has never been “a Tea Party favorite.” And with a little less than half of Republican primary voters not identifying with that movement, the governor is fighting for one half of the base as his several opponents wrestle for the other.

Like Romney and unlike his competitors, Christie has never been “a Tea Party favorite.” And with a little less than half of Republican primary voters not identifying with that movement, the governor is fighting for one half of the base as his several opponents wrestle for the other.

The Tea Party’s big mistake was not uniting behind any one candidate after Rick Perry’s debate performances disqualified him. Instead, they fled from Not-Romney to Not-Romney, disparaging their eventual nominee’s key legislative accomplishment and business record as one candidate after another failed to dethrone him.

With so many heroes of the Tea Party movement in the running, it appears that history could be on repeat. The New Republic‘s Nate Cohn suggests that Governor Scott Walker (R-WI) could be the candidate to unite the party — even if he isn’t even cracking the top six in the CNN poll. Much of Walker’s appeal will depend on how badly the GOP wants a Non-Christie.

The current governor of New Jersey has some decided advantages over the former governor of Massachusetts, even if their first terms were both marked by marginal economic gains.

First of all, Christie was re-elected in a blue state — a feat that Romney didn’t even attempt to complete, after winning election with less than 50 percent of the vote.

The Garden State’s governor is a natural, possibly even a Clinton-esque, campaigner who knows when to triangulate against both sides of the aisle. He — like George W. Bush before him — feels confident in running against an unpopular Congress, even if his party controls the bottom house. And he has never been pro-abortion rights, though his dabbling in gun control may put a similar crack in his conservative credibility.

Christie wasn’t the godfather of Obamacare — but he did split the health reform baby by accepting Medicaid expansion while refusing to build a health care exchange for his state.

As the governor’s frontrunner stance firms, the attacks on him will grow more severe. Already he’s facing questions about his lobbying activities, which include slight connections to Bernie Madoff, and conservatives are blasting him for “bizarre behavior,” such as possibly not supporting the opponent of Governor Andrew Cuomo (D-NY) even as Christie serves as the chairman of the Republican Governors Association.

Republicans only united around Mitt Romney after they failed to destroy him. The question now is whether they’ll make the same mistake twice.  And if Christie succeeds in uniting the party, then the question becomes if he’ll continue to follow Romney’s flip-flopping path of not revealing what he actually feels about immigration reform until he loses the presidency.

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Saturday Blog Roundup 11-30-2013

Black Friday Questions.

Church Of England Proposes Gay Marriage ‘Blessings’

Mitt Romney’s Son Helped Rescue Four People After Car Crash

After years on the sidelines, New York’s liberals retaking control

Obama to issue a new statement of U.S. national security strategy

Syrian chemical arms ‘to be destroyed on US Navy ship’ – BBC News

Dems should not hesitate to further streamline the Senate rulebook

President Obama Visits Immigration Advocates Fasting For Reform

Conservatives live in a different reality from us, ‘history book’ edition

Former KKK Leader And His Mother Indicted After Alabama Cross Burning

 

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It’s “Paul Ryan is a serious wonk” season again!

Paul Ryan (Credit: Reuters/Kevin Lamarque)

Salon – Alex Pareene

The Washington Post admires Paul Ryan’s very bold plan to fight poverty by replacing food stamps with dreams

Wow, is it “Paul Ryan is a serious, brilliant, policy-focused wonk with a dynamic and inclusive vision for the future of the Republican Party” season again already? It comes earlier every year. Thanks, Washington Post, for this brilliant example of the genre.
Paul Ryan is ready to move beyond last year’s failed presidential campaign and the budget committee chairmanship that has defined him to embark on an ambitious new project: Steering Republicans away from the angry, nativist inclinations of the tea party movement and toward the more inclusive vision of his mentor, the late Jack Kemp.

I guess it’s nice that Paul Ryan is going to help lead the Republicans away from those crazy Tea Partyers just one short year after Mitt Romney named him his running mate in part because, as the Times said at the time, “Ryan Brings the Tea Party to the Ticket.” So, what is the new focus?

Since February, Ryan (R-Wis.) has been quietly visiting inner-city neighborhoods with another old Kemp ally, Bob Woodson, the 76-year-old civil rights activist and anti-poverty crusader, to talk to ex-convicts and recovering addicts about the means of their salvation.

Oh, good, Paul Ryan is parachuting into “inner-city neighborhoods” to bring back compassionate conservatism. Tell us more about the sober, admirable seriousness of the endeavor that is Paul Ryan solves poverty.

Continue reading here…

H/t: DB

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Kos’: Sunday Talk: Haters gonna hate

Attribution: The Big Lebowski

Daily Kos

No doubt, the bestest thing about America is our freedom of belief.

Unfortunately for Barack Obama, a growing number of Americans believe that he’s doing a poor job as president.

Some people think he’s too iron-fisted, while others feel he’s too passive; and a vocal minority just wants to send him back to Kenya.

Meanwhile, charting confirms that the GOP isn’t in Kansas anymore; they’ve pretty much fallen off the map altogether.

And their little tea bag, too.

The only thing the vast majority of Americans seem to agree on is that the Republican party is the absolute worst.

I mean, say what you want about the tenets of National Socialism at least it’s an ethos.

Morning lineup:

Meet the Press: Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney (R); Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick (D); RoundtableBob Woodward (Washington Post), Bill Kristol (Weekly Standard), Former Obama Senior Adviser David Axelrod and Katty Kay (BBC).Face the Nation: Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA); Rep. Mike Rogers (R-MI); Former CIA/NSA Director Gen. Michael Hayden; Daughter of Abraham Zapruder Alexandra ZapruderDick Stolley (Formerly of LIFE Magazine); RoundtableDavid Sanger (New York Times), David Ignatius (Washington Post), Jan Crawford (CBS News) and John Dickerson (CBS News).

This Week: White House Senior Adviser Dan Pfeiffer; Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY); Nate Silver (FiveThirtyEight.com); Roundtable: Republican Strategist Matthew Dowd, Former “Green Jobs Czar” Van JonesJonathan Karl (ABC News) and Peggy Noonan (Wall Street Journal).

Fox News Sunday: Former Obama Health Policy Adviser Ezekial Emanuel; Sen.Lindsey Graham (R-SC); James Capretta (Ethics & Public Policy Center); Roundtable: Former Sen. Scott Brown (R-MA), Julie Pace (Associated Press), Republican StrategistKarl Rove and Former Sen. Evan Bayh (D-IN).

State of the Union: Rep. Michael McCaul (R-TX); Sen. Kelly Ayotte (R-NH); Roundtable: Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich (R-GA), Former Sen. Blanche Lincoln(D-AK), Neera Tanden (Center for American Progress) and Author David Maraniss.

Evening lineup:

60 Minutes will feature: a tour of the facilities at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba (preview); a report on the 50th anniversary of luxury car-marker Lamborghini (preview); and, an interview with University of Alabama football coach Nick Saban (preview).

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7 telling passages from Double Down

News coverage of a new political tell-all book has been non-stop for the last 72 hours.  

Most of us have heard about the book by Game Changer authors Mark Halperin and John Heilemann called Double Down which has tongues wagging and keyboards tapping all over the Beltway.  

The book details the 2012 election season and according to early reports, it’s bound to be as much of a success as Game Changer

The Week

Don’t wait until November 15 to read all 473 pages of Double Down, the 2012 installment of Mark Halperin and John Heilemann’s campaign biography. Copies of the book are popping up in bookstores, and there’s been lot of TV coverage of the behind-the-scenes relationship between the Clintons and the Obamas. (Not really news, but plenty of color: they’re not each other’s best friends, but they’ve grown on each other.) Here are 8 other points of color, each of which illustrates a deeper political dynamic.

1. Far from being annoyed with Vice President Joe Biden, Obama developed a deep affection for him, prizing his intelligence, his loyalty and his truth-telling. When Biden returned to the White House after visiting his son Beau, who had been hospitalized for a neurological condition, Obama “came sprinting down the hall to the White House.” Biden would not tolerate any digs at Obama in his presence. He “uppraided” then Rep. Anthony Weiner for making such a comment, and did something similar with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. At a lunch in 2011, Obama told Biden: “You know, I’m surprised. We became friends!” Biden’s reply: “You’re fucking surprised?”

2. The Obama White House was floored at the way Jon Huntsman Jr., then the ambassador to China, openly flirted with running for President. Chief of staff Richard Daley told him point blank: “This is a pretty shitty way to treat someone who gave you the opportunity of a lifetime. When he did decide to make a go of it, Huntsman was a surprisingly passive candidate, and, shocking his aides, said he would refuse to accept his father’s money to make it to the nomination.

3. Mitt Romney’s favorite substitute for the F-bomb: “blooming.” As in, “that blooming idiot.” And, where others would say “shit,” Romney would say “grunt.” He did not seem to mind when others cussed in his presence, especially Chris Christie, who had become a pretty regular confidante. When Newt Gingrich was on the ascendance, it was Christie who urged Romney to “kick the shit out of him.

4. Behind the scenes, Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels watched the unfolding disaster of the Romney campaign, tried to get Jeb Bush and Paul Ryan to run for President at the last minute.

5. Romney’s vice presidential vetting team initially considered New Hampshire Sen. Kelly Ayotte, Gov. Chris Christie, Gov. Tom Pawlenty, Sen. Rob Portman, VA Gov Bob McDonald, IN Gov. Mitch Daniels, Rep. Paul Ryan and Sen. John Cornyn. The final short list: Ryan, Christie, Pawlenty and Rubio. Ryan overcame his early hesitation that Romney was not a movement conservative and his wife’s fear about the arduous of the campaign. Ryan was particularly wary of top Romney aide Stuart Stevens, whom he saw as “indifferent” to the conservative moment.

6. The biggest worry for Romney’s veep vetters about Christie was not his health: it was about various financial dealings involving his family and friends. A 2010 DOJ investigation into Christie’s spending habits as a US Attorney. His time as a lobbyist for the securities industry. His brother’s dealings with the SEC, and more. Christie had contempt for Romney’s operation, which returned the feelings: Christie was a very hard surrogate to manage, insisting on very expensive charters and emoluments. Romney’s team did not think Christie’s operation was sufficiently cooperative with their vetting requests. Romney picked Ryan ten days before the choice was announced. “The Garden State governor’s record was littered with potential landmine.”

7. After the first presidential debate, President Obama confessed that “he was struggling.”

“You keep telling me I can’t spend too much time defending my record, and that I should talk about my plans, he said. But my plans aren’t anything like the plans I ran on in 2008. I had a universal health care plan then. Now I’ve got.. what? A manufacturing plan? What am I gonna do on education? And what am I gonna do on energy? There’s not much there. .. I can’t tell you that. Okay, I woke up today. I knew I needed to do better, and I’ll do better. I am wired in a different way than this event requires.”

Obama paused.

“I just don’t know if I can do this.”

 

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In Rand Paul’s Mind Rachel Maddow Is a Hater Because She Demands Honesty and Facts

maddow-paul

PoliticusUSA

Sen. Rand Paul responded to Rachel Maddow busting him twice for plagiarizing from Wikipedia by calling her a hater, but it is really Paul who hates Maddow’s standards for honesty and facts.

Paul responded to getting busted by Maddow for plagiarizing from Wikipedia by claiming that it wasn’t plagiarism, because he never claimed that the movie was his work. Sen. Paul then called the MSNBC host a hater, “This is really about information and attacks coming from haters. The person who is leading this attack, she’s been spreading hate on me for about three years now, and I don’t intend for it to go away. But, I also don’t see her as an objective news source.”

Maddow replied to Paul, “This is about you lifting other people’s words verbatim and pretending that they’re your own. This is about you lifting entire sections of a website, inserting them into your own speeches, and then passing them off as your own original thoughts. This is something that high school students know not to do, and you are presenting yourself as a potential candidate for president. This has nothing to do with me…Senator. somebody else’s published words ended up in your speech with attribution. How did that happen? Do you understand that that is a problem?” Maddow described Paul’s explanation as incoherent, and said that she had a feeling that this might not be the end of it.

Rachel Maddow is right. Rand Paul is a serial plagiarist. She has the facts on her side. Rand Paul embodies the Republicans of today, who dispute every fact. In Republican terms, an objective news source is Fox News, or Drudge, or Rush Limbaugh. Unless the allegation came from conservative media, it has no merit. It’s just haters being haters.

Republicans now live in a post reality world, where there are no facts. If a Republican elected officials needs some facts, they make some up. If the media tries to call them out, they scream liberal bias for as loud and as long as they can. If there are no realities and no facts, there can be no honesty. The fast way to lose a game with no rules is to be honest. Honesty gets punished in the Republican Party. Mitt Romney became the Republican nominee in 2012 because he demonstrated a willingness to say anything to anyone at any time in order to get elected.

Republicans see all of us who demand honesty and facts as haters.

Since there is no longer a shared agreement on right and wrong, we should all probably sit back and wait for Sen. Ted Cruz to deliver his I have a dream speech about defunding Obamacare sometime soon.

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The President’s Pivot

I like the author’s analogy.  I tend to speak about President Obama’s strategic moves in terms of playing chess, but having read Sun Tzu’s The Art Of War, I think Mr. Blow’s comparison is spot on…

The New York TimesCharles M. Blow

That quote, from Sun Tzu’s ancient Chinese treatise “The Art of War,” perfectly captures President Obama’s strategic victory over Tea Party members of Congress on the government shutdown and the debt ceiling debate. It also explains his immediate pivot to another topic that Tea Partyers hate and over which their obstinacy is likely to get the party hammered again: comprehensive immigration reform.

This is a brilliant tactical move on the president’s part. And Republicans know it.

As the G.O.P. was nearing its moment of collapse on the shutdown and debt ceiling, Representative Raúl Labrador, Republican of Idaho, said, “I think it’d be crazy for the House Republican leadership to enter into negotiations with him on immigration.” He continued: “And I’m a proponent of immigration reform. So I think what he’s done over the last two and a half weeks — he’s trying to destroy the Republican Party. And I think that anything we do right now with this president on immigration will be with that same goal in mind: which is to try to destroy the Republican Party and not to get good policies.”

The conservative columnist Charles Krauthammer laid out the president’s calculus more bluntly on Fox News: “With immigration, he wins either way. I’m not sure he thinks he can get it passed, seeing the resistance among the Republicans to the deal over the budget. I think he knows he’s not going to have a good chance of getting immigration through, but he thinks — and he’s probably right — that he can exploit this for the midterm election as a way to gin up support, for the Democrats to portray the Republicans as anti-immigrant, anti-Hispanic, etc.”

Republicans have a tough choice.

They can ride shotgun once again with the politically suicidal Tea Party faction, a group that the Pew Research Center for the People and the Press found this week to be “less popular than ever.” They can allow the most strident voices on the far right that oppose comprehensive immigration reform — Rush Limbaugh has likened it to the Republican Party’s “authoring its demise” — to direct their path and further alienate Hispanic voters, who are increasingly coming to see the party as an unwelcoming place. Mitt Romney lost the Hispanic vote by 44 points last year, and the Republican National Committee’s own autopsy on that loss surmised:

“If Hispanic Americans perceive that a G.O.P. nominee or candidate does not want them in the United States (i.e., self-deportation), they will not pay attention to our next sentence. It does not matter what we say about education, jobs or the economy; if Hispanics think we do not want them here, they will close their ears to our policies.”

Or Republicans can take the less likely path and demonstrate that they’ve been cowed enough to move ahead on a major piece of legislation that is supported by the majority of the American people — a July Gallup poll found that 71 percent of Americans believe that passing immigration reform is important. And that would be good not just for the president’s legacy but for the health of the country as a whole.

In a 2012 paper published by the Cato Institute, Raúl Hinojosa Ojeda, director of the North American Integration and Development Center at the University of California, Los Angeles, used computing models to estimate the following:

“Comprehensive immigration reform generates an annual increase in U.S. G.D.P. of at least 0.84 percent. This amounts to $1.5 trillion in additional G.D.P. over 10 years. It also boosts wages for both native-born and newly legalized immigrant workers.”

Comprehensive immigration reform is the right thing and the thing that Americans want. But the far right is hardly concerned with what’s right and has little appetite for agreeing with the will of the majority of the American people (despite talking ad nauseam about standing up for the American people).

The far right is angry at the government and the man at the top of it. According to a Pew Research report released Friday: “Anger at the federal government is most pronounced among Tea Party Republicans. Fully 55 percent of Republicans and Republican-leaning independents who agree with the Tea Party say they are angry with the federal government — about double the percentage among non-Tea Party Republicans (27 percent) and Democrats and Democratic leaners (25 percent).”

They have been blinded by that anger. The president knows that. And he knows that blind soldiers don’t often win battles. In choosing to pivot to immigration reform, he has created a win-win scenario for himself and the Democrats. Clever, clever.

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