This is going to be a tough campaign season. Both sides are going to level harsh attacks at one another, and many of us will become sick of it as the campaign season moves on.
President Obama has certainly gone negative as he makes Bain and Mitt Romney’s business record an issue, and Romney and the right wing super pacs are being very tough on Obama over the economy.
But it’s rather pathetic, and perhaps a little desperate, when a campaign takes a string of words completely out of context in order to distort what a candidate said. That’s what’s going on with the “you didn’t build that” line of attack against Obama, implying that he said entrepreneurs didn’t build their own business. When you read the entire context of what Obama said, he was clearly referring to the roads an bridges built by society. See the video above as well.
Hopefully we’ll see Obama address this on the stump in a mocking tone of how desperate Mitt has become.
I’ve been saying for a while that Mitt Romney’s biggest problem will be his compulsive lying. It’s stunning how he repeatedly changes his positions, and then denies ever taking the previous position.
With that track record, the Obama campaign seems to have come up with an appropriate slogan – “Mitt Romney vs Reality.” The first ad has to do with Romney’s hilarious statement in Cleveland that he deserved plenty of credit for the recovery of the auto industry . . . even though he opposed the bailout. The ad is excellent, though coming up with ads against Romney should be pretty easy.
Projecting moderation while professing extremism is quite a trick, and Romney may perhaps grasp the brass ring. But he makes everyone uneasy. Moderate Republican voters, of whom there may be more than meet the eye, may worry that President Romney will be captive to a GOP Congress beholden to the base. Tea Party types may worry that he’ll shake the Etch-A-Sketch again when dancing to a different piper, the general electorate and/or a divided Congress. No one, in any case, likes a liar, and people across the political spectrum know that Romney lies from sunup to sundown. Democrats know that nothing he says about Obama is true; conservatives know that nothing he says about his past positions and actions is true; and moderates know, or should know, that he’s betrayed them to the base.
Every politician plays the game, but Romney is just shameless.
Basically, Newt Gingrich was having an affair during his second marriage with Callista, who later became his third wife. According to Marianne, Newt wanted an “open marriage” so that he could continue the affair.
I’m not a big fan of the private sexual life of a politician being an issue in campaigns. There are plenty of men who have had affairs who managed to be good presidents. The hysteria over Bill Clinton’s personal shortcomings was idiotic, as it led to impeachment hearings.
But we know that these things matters to some voters, particularly conservative and religious voters. Newt’s marital problems are well-known, but this salacious detail regarding his desire for an open marriage will certainly garner attention. Had Bill Clinton run again, his personal life and the Monica Lewinsky affair certainly would have been issues as well.
Also, there are few people as contemptuous as Newt Gingrich. He’s always willing to pass judgement on others, often in the harshest terms, so if anyone deserves this scrutiny it’s him. He doesn’t have a warm personality or a record of good will to fall back on.
It’s going to be fascinating to see how this plays out. Gingrich has a real shot at derailing Mitt Romney, but he needs to get past this story. If he can’t, then perhaps Rick Santorum can emerge as the last obstacle to a Mitt Romney nomination.
Rick Perry acknowledged that Newt isn’t perfect and he stressed the importance of forgiveness and redemption. Let’s see how the evangelical voters of South Carolina feel about it.
Republican presidential candidate Rick Perry participates in the ABC News, Yahoo! News, WMUR Republican Presidential Debate on the campus of Saint Anselm College in Manchester, New Hampshire on January 7, 2011. New Hampshire will hold the first-in-the-nation primary on January 10. UPI/Kevin Dietsch
Rick Perry’s embarrassing foray into national politics will end today according to multiple press reports. In one of the worst fields of presidential candidates in modern political history, Rick Perry stood out as one of the chief yahoos in the confederacy of dunces.
This shouldn’t have been a surprise, as Perry’s main claim to fame leading up to 2012 was his suggestion that the State of Texas might secede from the union.
His debate “performances” have become legendary. He made George W. Bush sound like Lawrence Olivier. He consistently made outrageous statements, like this past week when he suggested that the leaders of NATO ally Turkey were “Islamic terrorists.”
Perry hoped that right wing hysteria might sweep him to the nomination, but Republican voters recoiled at his utter incompetence. You can’t rally voters if you can’t manage a coherent sentence. This week, Erick Erickson of RedState.com urged Perry to drop out. Understandably, conservatives do not want Mitt Romney as their nominee. Newt Gingrich is also a disaster for the GOP, but at least he has some credibility among conservatives and can handle himself in a debate.
Rick Perry finally realized that he had no chance in South Carolina and conservatives needed to stop splitting the anti-Romney vote. Perhaps he’s not quite as dumb as he sounds.
The “oops” candidate now leaves the national stage as one of the biggest laughing stocks in American politics.
I have a feeling this story is going to get a lot of coverage again if and when Mitt Romney locks up the GOP nomination. Watch the video as Rachel Maddow revisits the story of Mitt Romney and the unfortunate incident when he placed his dog on the roof of his station wagon for a 12-hour road trip. At one point the dog became so scared or irritated that he defecated on the roof of the car. The story is pretty gross.
There are web sites sprouting up around the web (see Spreading Romney) and Newt Gingrich is also bringing this up in a web ad.
Small things like this can have a big impact on a campaign. With the Internet, you can see dog lovers making this a big issue. It doesn’t help that Romney already comes across as a stiff robot.
Republican presidential candidate and former U.S. Senator Rick Santorum speaks at his Iowa Caucus night rally in Johnston, Iowa, January 3, 2012. REUTERS/John Gress (UNITED STATES – Tags: POLITICS ELECTIONS)
With his surprise showing in Iowa, Rick Santorum has become the new hope of the conservative movement, or at least some in the conservative movement. Santorum has been getting pummeled at conservative sites like RedState.com for his past support for pork barrel spending and other big spending programs during the Bush years when the GOP abandoned nearly everything they claimed to stand for regarding the size of government. Santorum has not joined the anti-earmark bandwagon pushed by the Tea Party, and Erick Erickson keeps hammering him for that.
At least one prominent conservative, however, is offering support to Santorum – George Will. Will offers up a column defending Santorum’s record, so let’s see if that changes the minds of some Tea Party members who are skeptical of Santorum.
Ann Romney (L) introduces her husband, Republican presidential candidate and former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney, at a campaign stop in Bethlehem, New Hampshire December 22, 2011. REUTERS/Brian Snyder (UNITED STATES – Tags: POLITICS)
Romney’s campaign team has clearly decided that the political risk of releasing the returns outweighs the potential problems of not doing so. No one knows for sure what the documents would say, but by the candidate’s own admission, the bulk of Romney’s retirement income from Bain has been from capital gains, which are subject to 15% tax rate.
That means that for the past 10 years, Romney has likely been paying a lower tax rate than most middle class voters. If this is the case, that information could be devastating to Romney’s presidential bid.
The issue of tax fairness is huge right now, and Romney might become the poster-child for that problem. Warren Buffet has famously come out strong on this, saying that it’s not fair that he pays a lower effective tax rate on his income than his secretary.
I think this is a huge problem for Romney. If he makes it to the general election, the Obama campaign and the Democratic PACs are going to hammer him on not releasing his tax returns. If that issue catches fire and he ultimately releases them, then the story is huge.
But it’s huge regardless of when he releases them. He might want to just get it out of the way and have a response ready.