Washington Post: Romney’s 12-million job promise has garnered a lot of attention. We became interested in this ad after a reader asked whether the campaign had provided much detail on how he would reach this total …
…. the candidate’s personal accounting for this figure in this campaign ad is based on different figures and long-range timelines stretching as long as a decade — which in two cases are based on studies that did not even evaluate Romney’s economic plan. The numbers may still add up to 12 million, but they aren’t the same thing — not by a long shot.
… Clearly, some clever campaign staffer thought it would be nice to match up poll-tested themes such as “energy independence,” “tax reform” and “cracking down on China” with actual job numbers. We just find it puzzling that Romney agreed to personally utter these words without asking more questions about the math behind them.
Greg Sargent: …. Let’s recap what Kessler has discovered here. The plan that is central to Romney’s candidacy on the most important issue of this election — jobs — is a complete sham. This is every bit as bad — or worse — than Romney’s claim to have created 100,000 jobs at Bain, or his vow to cut spending by eliminating whole agencies without saying which ones, or his refusal to say how he’ll pay for his tax cuts.
This could not have come at a better time for Obama. Here is the evidence he needs to spell out as clearly as possible that Romney is peddling economic hokum to the American people. Any fair reading of the backup the Romney campaign itself supplied for his plan reveals that it is nothing but a bill of goods. Obama needs to seize on this in a big way. This should be a big story.
Oh, and by the way: Economists have evaluated Obama’s jobs plan. And they concluded it would create one to two million jobs. The bottom line is simple: One candidate has a jobs plan, and the other doesn’t.
2:45 ET: Michelle Obama speaks at a campaign event at Ohio Wesleyan University, Delaware
5:45 ET: Michelle Obama speaks at a campaign event at Cuyahoga County Community College, Cleveland
NYT Editorial: There are many unanswered questions about the vicious assault in Benghazi last month that killed four Americans, including Ambassador J. Christopher Stevens. And Congress has a responsibility to raise them. But Republican lawmakers leading the charge on Capitol Hill seem more interested in attacking President Obama than in formulating an effective response.
It doesn’t take a partisan to draw that conclusion. The ugly truth is that the same people who are accusing the administration of not providing sufficient security for the American consulate in Benghazi have voted to cut the State Department budget, which includes financing for diplomatic security. The most self-righteous critics don’t seem to get the hypocrisy, or maybe they do and figure that if they hurl enough doubts and complaints at the administration, they will deflect attention from their own poor judgments on the State Department’s needs.
Newport News/Williamsburg International Airport, October 13 (Jonathan Ernst/Reuters)
Washington Post: President Obama is regarded as significantly more honest and trustworthy than Mitt Romney in a new Washington Post-ABC News poll — a finding that could inform the incumbent’s strategy heading into the second debate of the general election Tuesday night.
Fifty-five percent of likely voters said that Obama is “honest and trustworthy,” while 41 percent said he was not. For Romney, on the other hand, 47 percent said he could be described as honest and trustworthy, while an equal 47 percent said that he could not.
…. But in the handful of swing states identified by the Post (along with Democratic-leaning Ohio), Obama’s lead is even more pronounced on the question. Fifty-six percent of swing-state voters said the incumbent is honest and trustworthy, while just 44 percent said the same of Romney.
Virginia Gazette: …. The president arrived at the office, where he came into the lobby carrying a stack of pizzas …. he introduced himself to a small group of campaign workers in the lobby before heading into a back room, where 11 volunteers were phone banking. Obama introduced himself to the volunteers before taking a seat between Alexa Kissinger and Suzanne Stern to make his own phone calls to local volunteers. “I’ve got to get to work,” Obama said.
After joking with Stern about “old school” phones Obama …. then called Ellen and Chuck Hawkins. “Is this Ellen?” Obama asked. “Ellen this is Barack Obama.” Hawkins seemed not to believe she was getting a call from the president of the United States.
“It is. It is. Really, truly,” Obama said. “I’m over here in the Williamsburg office. They have told me some of the great folks that have been doing work, and I know you and Chuck have been working so hard.”
After making phone calls Obama, shook hands with and hugged a line of roughly 20 volunteers standing outside in front of the office, before heading back to Kingsmill to continue preparing for the debate.
With campaign volunteer Suzanne Stern at a campaign office in Williamsburg, October 14 (Jonathan Ernst/Reuters)
…. greeting supporters outside the Williamsburg campaign office (Jonathan Ernst/Reuters)
NYT: BOSTON — When the ceiling collapsed in the Big Dig tunnel here, Gov. Mitt Romney was at his vacation home in New Hampshire. When the Bush administration warned that the nation was at high risk of a terror attack in December 2003, he was at his Utah retreat. And for much of the time the legislature was negotiating changes to his landmark health care bill, he was on the road.
During Mr. Romney’s four-year term as governor of Massachusetts, he cumulatively spent more than a year – part or all of 417 days – out of the state, according to a review of his schedule and other records. More than 70 percent of that time was spent on personal or political trips unrelated to his job, a New York Times analysis found.
Reuters: U.S. retail sales rose in September as Americans bought more cars and gasoline, while a gauge of consumer spending pointed to stronger-than-expected economic growth in the third quarter.
Retail sales increased 1.1 percent, the Commerce Department said on Monday, beating expectations after an upwardly revised 1.2 percent rise in August.
…. The details of the report showed broad strength across retailers, with sales of motor vehicles and parts up 1.3 percent … Other categories were also strong, with sales at electronics retailers up 4.5 percent, while sales at food and beverage stores rose 1.2 percent.
NYT Editorial: … From the beginning of his run for the Republican nomination, Mr. Romney has offered to transfigure himself into any shape desired by an audience in order to achieve power. In front of massed crowds or on television, he can sound sunny and inclusive, radiating a feel-good centrism. His “severely conservative” policies and disdain for much of the country are reserved for partisans, donors and the harsh ideologues who clutter his party’s base. This polarity is often described as “flip-flopping,” but the word is too mild to describe opposing positions that are simultaneously held.
…. He hasn’t abandoned or flip-flopped from the severe positions that won him the Republican nomination; they remain at the core of his campaign … All he’s doing is slapping whitewash on his platform. The immoderation of his policies, used to win favor with a hard-right party, cannot be disguised.
…. There isn’t really a Moderate Mitt; what is on display now is better described as Convenient Mitt. Anyone willing to advocate extremism to raise money and win primaries is likely to do the same to stay in office.
President Barack Obama stands with Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton during the transfer of remains ceremony at Joint Base Andrews, Md., Sept. 14, marking the return to the United States of the remains of the four Americans killed in Benghazi, Libya (Pete Souza)
President Obama talks with Mario Orosa, a native Ohioan, before dinner at the Smith Commons Dining Room and Public House in Washington, DC, on October 12, 2012. Orosa was one of the three winners of the final “Dinner with Barack” fundraising contest. The winners are Kimberley Cathey, Mario Orosa and Joe Laliberte (UPI/Pete Marovich)
Paul Krugman: …. Today’s full-scale freakout over a decent jobs report is a sight to behold …. it’s ridiculous to imagine that the Obama administration could arrange (on short notice, no less) to cook the jobs numbers. The sheer logistics would be impossible, plus these are civil servants who have to live under both parties.
…. The thing is, although such antics are funny in a way, they’re also menacing. By attacking anyone who presents awkward facts, the right exerts an intimidating effect. It won’t get the BLS to retract today’s jobs report, but it might bully news organizations into avoiding objective economic analysis, and maybe even into blurring their reporting right now.
Greg Sargent: Mitt Romney’s selection of Paul Ryan as his vice presidential nominee has drawn national attention to Ryan’s Medicare plan. One measure of this: Rob Zerban, the Democrat challenging Ryan for his House seat in Wisconsin, has been able to raise some $770,000 for his race — outraising Ryan himself.
According to the Zerban campaign, 84 percent of his contributions come from outside Wisconsin, underscoring the intensity of feeling among Democrats nationally towards Ryan and his plan.
In this context, the new ad that Zerban is set to run against Ryan is worth watching….