Thursday ReadsPosted: September 20, 2012
Is it over for Mitt Romney? I suppose something could still happen to turn things around for his campaign, but it would have to be something really really big. There are so many bizarre stories out there about the Romney implosion that I barely know where to begin. I’ll just select a few examples.
Republican candidates are already distancing themselves from the top of the ticket.
Usually, congressional candidates stick with their party’s presidential nominee until the last possible minute, when it appears their political fortunes are threatened. But not so with continuing fallout from Mitt Romney’s degrading comments that 47 percent of Americans don’t pay taxes and are overly dependant on federal subsidies.
New Mexico Gov. Susanna Martinez told reporters that New Mexico has a lot of people living at the poverty level. “They count just as much as anybody else,” she said, adding her state’s anti-poverty programs provide a “safety net [that] is a good thing.”
Then Connecticut’s GOP Senate candidate Linda McMahon said, “I disagree with Governor Romney’s insinuation that 47 percent of Americans believe they are victims who must depend on the government for their care. I know that the vast majority of those who rely on government are not in that situation because they want to be.”
And then came North Carolina Republicam House candidate Mark Meadows, who told the press, “Mitt Romney didn’t call me before he made those comments.”
But by late afternoon the Romney retreat was still growing. In Nevada’s Senate race, Republican incumbert Sen. Dean Heller told reporters in Washington, “Keep in mind, I have five brothers and sisters. My father was an auto mechanic. My mother was a school cook. I have a very different view of the world. And as United States senator, I think I represent everyone, and every vote’s important… I don’t write off anybody.”
Even Mich McConnell, one of the most disagreeable, repulsive Republicans ever, doesn’t want to touch Romney with a ten foot pole.
The Senate’s GOP leaders refused to answer any questions at their weekly press conference. Senate Majority leader Mitch McConnell left in the middle of the event. Majority Whip John Kyl dodged a reporter’s question afterwards and downplayed grousing that reportedly occurred in the Senate lunchroom earlier in the day.
Other Republican office holders are giving Romney unsolicited advice. For example,
Sen. Lindsey Graham (R., S.C.) said the nominee should be spending more time campaigning in critical states and leave more of the fundraising to others.
“I think what Romney needs to do is get into Virginia and run for sheriff. This is not rocket science,” Mr. Graham said. “Being in Utah to raise money is necessary, but he doesn’t have to be there, in my view…If I were Mitt Romney, no person in Virginia could go very long without meeting me.”
Several Republicans, including Mr. Graham and Sen. Susan Collins (R., Maine), said Mr. Romney needs to clearly articulate why the economy is struggling and how he would fix it.
“To me, he needs to outline a clearer vision of where he wants to take America and have a very detailed economic plan that will contrast sharply with the dismal economic record of this president,” Ms. Collins said.
Good luck with that.
So why is Romney spending so much time fund-raising? On Tuesday there was a report that his campaign is in debt.
For the first time in this campaign, Mitt Romney’s campaign is $11 million in debt after borrowing $20 million in August.
The debt and borrowing sums were first reported by the National Review Online and confirmed by ABC News.
The campaign borrowed the money from the Bank of Georgetown, according to the report.
The move came just before the Republican National Convention when aides had complained they had been running out of primary campaign dollars to compete with President Obama’s campaign. At the conclusion of the Republican convention, when Romney officially became the party’s nominee, Romney had access to general election funds it had raised.
While Romney campaign has debt, it also reports having $168.5 million on hand after August.
The New York Times has a piece about Romney’s sparse campaign appearances and limited TV advertising lately.
Despite what appears to be a plump bank account and an in-house production studio that cranks out multiple commercials a day, Mr. Romney’s campaign has been tightfisted with its advertising budget, leaving him at a disadvantage in several crucial states as President Obama blankets them with ads.
One major reason appears to be that Mr. Romney’s campaign finances have been significantly less robust than recent headlines would suggest. Much of the more than $300 million the campaign reported raising this summer is earmarked for the Republican National Committee, state Republican organizations and Congressional races, limiting the money Mr. Romney’s own campaign has to spend.
With polls showing President Obama widening his lead in some of these states and the race a dead heat in others, Mr. Romney’s lack of a full-throttle media campaign is risky, especially as he struggles to get his message out over the din of news about his campaign’s recent setbacks.
In some states the disparity is striking. Mr. Obama and his allies are handily outspending Mr. Romney and the conservative “super PACs” working on his behalf in Colorado, Ohio and New Hampshire.
And in states like Florida, Iowa, Nevada and Virginia, where the Romney and Obama forces are roughly matching their spending dollar for dollar, the super PACs are responsible for nearly half the advertising that is benefiting the Republican nominee.
Interesting, huh? No wonder Romney was in Utah raising money yesterday. He’s desperate–and the big money donors may not stick with him much longer. The Romney campaign did release a couple of ads yesterday though. The ads highlight Romney’s supposed support in the coal industry. Here’s one of them:
Do those coal miners look familiar? I wrote about them awhile back. Those miners were docked a day’s pay because the mine shut down for Romney’s rally–and then the boss made them show up for it instead of having the day off. From the LA Times:
On Wednesday, the Mitt Romney campaign released an ad spotlighting President Obama’s putative “War On Coal,” despite a controversy in Ohio about the coal miners’ rally featured in the spot. In the ad, Romney appears on a stage before rows of hard-hatted miners, their faces smudged with coal dust, as he says, “We have 250 years of coal. Why wouldn’t we use it?”
The rally was held last month in Beallsville, Ohio, thick with miners from the Century coal mine, owned by Murray Energy, a major donor to Republican causes. Within days of the rally, Murray employees contacted a nearby morning talk radio host, David Blomquist, to say they were forced to attend the Aug. 14 event at the mine.
Can you believe it? Romney and his gang can’t do anything right. Arianna Huffington thinks the problem maybe sleep deprivation. Maybe. I think it might be just plain stupidity.
Here in Massachusetts, the right wing Boston Herald reports that
Massachusetts voters have turned against Mitt Romney with a vengeance, leaving the former governor as a political pariah in his own home state, according to a new UMass Lowell/Boston Herald poll.
Sixty percent of Bay State voters now have an unfavorable view of Romney, and the GOP nominee is headed for a Bay State drubbing in the November election, the poll of 524 registered voters shows.
Just 35 percent of voters say they plan to vote for the Romney/Ryan ticket, while 60 percent say they are backing President Obama. That margin is roughly the same as the 2008 election, when Obama trounced Arizona Sen. John McCain.
I loved this story. Romney was down in Miami at a Univision forum, trying to scrape together a few Latino voters, and Move on.org hired a plane to fly overhead with a banner reading “HEY MITT: WE’RE VOTERS, NOT VICTIMS.”
I do have some non-Romney news for you.
Yesterday, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court decided to vacate a lower state court’s ruling that allowed Act 18, the photo voter ID law, to commence as planned. Problem being: the law as planned appears so burdensome that—putting voters aside for a moment—the state itself can’t comply with its own law. As stated in the Court’s order, “the Commonwealth parties have candidly conceded, that the Law is not being implemented according to its terms.”
The Supreme Court ordered per curiam—meaning unsigned by the six justices—that the Commonwealth Court must re-examine the implementation of certain provisions of the law. Commonwealth Court Judge Robert Simpson, who ruled in August in favor of the law, must decide if the way the state presently administers free photo voter ID cards to those who can’t get regular state-issued id cards is in compliance with the law—something the state already conceded in court that it doesn’t, and can’t for good reasons.
Another PA story from The Nation is truly shocking and heartbreaking: Will Pennsylvania Execute a Man Who Killed His Abusers? It’s the story of Terrance Williams, who was horrifically abused in his home from at least age 6 and later by men who were supposed to be helping him. He is now scheduled for execution. I’m not going to post an excerpt. It’s important to read the whole thing.
This is a fun one: The New Republic has a post on The Top Three Heresies in the Gnostic Gospels
Yesterday the world learned of a newly-discovered early Christian text that depicts Jesus as a married man. Jesus’ wife may be big news today, but striking and unusual variations on Christian faith have been around for a very long time. Whether you call them the gnostic gospels, the heretic gospels, the apocrypha, or Dan Brown’s raw material, early Christian texts can make for pretty interesting reading. Here are three particularly surprising heresies from outside the canon.
Check it out!
OK, I can’t resist–one more Romney item. Have you heard the one about Romney’s dad being on the government dole?
George Romney’s family fled from Mexico in 1912 to escape a revolution there, and benefited from a $100,000 fund established by Congress to help refugees who had lost their homes and most of their belongings.
That fund may have been what Lenore Romney, George Romney’s wife and Mitt Romney’s mother, was referring to in a video that was posted online earlier this month but has received renewed attention in the wake of Mitt Romney’s comments.
“[George Romney] was on welfare relief for the first years of his life. But this great country gave him opportunities,” Lenore Romney said in the video, which apparently dates back to George Romney’s 1962 run for governor of Michigan.
What would Lenore Romney think of her son now?