ThinkProgress: In a CNBC interview with Larry Kudlow Mitt Romney defends his decision to release only two years of tax returns — both filed after he decided to run for President — by claiming that 2004 Democratic nominee John Kerry also released two years….
…. In fact, John Kerry released not two years of returns, but 20.
Washington Post: New poll data from the Pew Research Center suggests that not only does President Obama enjoy a clear edge over former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney among women but that younger women favor the incumbent overwhelmingly, a data point that suggests a potential long term problem for the GOP.
…. The number that really stands out is that among women between the ages of 18-29, Obama is beating Romney by 45 points. Yes, 45. While Obama is leading Romney among all 18-29 years old by 28 points (61 percent to 33 percent), the fact he is down by such a vast margin among young women has to set off red flags in Republican world.
…. lose women by any more than 11 points and it’s difficult for a Republican to get elected to the White House…. Republicans have to hope the yawning gender gap – particularly among young women — is temporary. If it’s not, it could mean big trouble not just for Romney but for Republican presidential nominees in four, eight or even twelve years time.
Des Moines Register: A week after he quit the presidential race, fundraising mailers from Rick Santorum arrived in Iowa mailboxes Monday with a strongly-worded warning.
“It truly frightens me to think what’ll happen if Mitt Romney is the nominee,” says the letter signed by Santorum and paid for by his campaign.
The undated letter says there’s still time for conservatives to make sure the GOP doesn’t nominate “a Massachusetts Moderate” and that Republicans would be “crippled” if Romney were to become the nominee.
The blunt message quickly had Republicans here speculating: Did Santorum order up the mailer right before he suspended his campaign on April 10, so its timing was just a simple and understandable mistake? Or, did Santorum, who is still raising money and possibly not quite ready to come to grips with his loss, send this wording out deliberately?
Steve Benen: Even before the race for the Republican presidential nomination effectively ended, many of Mitt Romney’s most notable supporters expressed deep misgivings about him. Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), for example, said a day after endorsing the former governor, “There are a lot of other people out there that some of us wish had run for president — but they didn’t.”
On Capitol Hill, the dissatisfaction is considerably more acute. More than a dozen far-right House members chatted yesterday with reporters, and as Sahil Kapur reported, the group had “a hard time finding anything praiseworthy to say about their party’s presumptive presidential nominee.”
Steve Benen: It’s hard not to marvel at just how dishonest Mitt Romney is prepared to be in order to win. The notion of politicians misleading the public to advance their ambitions isn’t exactly a new phenomenon, but Romney acts as if he doesn’t even care about getting caught, leading to blatant and obvious falsehoods.
This one, from last night’s debate, was just shameless….
Charlotte Observer: On the final night of this fall’s Democratic National Convention, President Barack Obama will deliver his acceptance speech at Bank of America stadium, party sources told the Observer on Monday night.
Convention officials are expected to announce the venue this morning at a news conference at the stadium. Two party sources say the decision to use the stadium was made months ago.
President Barack Obama and former president Bill Clinton tour a building under construction in Washington as part of President Obama’s Better Building Initiative to promote energy efficient buildings
WH: President Obama today announced nearly $4 billion in combined federal and private sector energy upgrades to buildings over the next 2 years. These investments will save billions in energy costs, promote energy independence, and, according to independent estimates, create tens of thousands of jobs in the hard-hit construction sector.
The $4 billion investment announced today includes a $2 billion commitment, made through the issuance of a Presidential Memorandum, to energy upgrades of federal buildings using long term energy savings to pay for up-front costs, at no cost to taxpayers.
In addition, 60 CEOs, mayors, university presidents, and labor leaders today committed to invest nearly $2 billion of private capital into energy efficiency projects; and to upgrade energy performance by a minimum of 20% by 2020 in 1.6 billion square feet of office, industrial, municipal, hospital, university, community college and school buildings. This announcement builds on a commitment made by 14 partners at the Clinton Global Initiative America meeting in June to make energy upgrades across 300 million square feet, and to invest $500 million in private sector financing in energy efficiency projects.
Media Matters: Following breaking news that the unemployment rate dropped from 9 percent to 8.6 percent in November, Fox & Friends aired the following on-screen graphic:
Washington Post: The U.S. military transferred control of its sprawling headquarters outside Baghdad to the Iraqi government Friday, a deeply symbolic moment that launched the final month of a nearly decade-long U.S. presence.
The last few soldiers at Camp Victory, a base that once housed 68,000 military personnel and contractors, departed early Friday afternoon. There are currently 12,000 U.S. troops left in Iraq at five bases, down from a peak of 170,000 at 500 bases in 2007, military spokesman Col. Barry Johnson said. All will be gone by the end of the year.
The Hill: Manufacturing grew for the 28th straight month and faster than it has since June, a report showed Thursday.
The Institute for Supply Management’s manufacturing index increased to 52.7 percent in November, up from 50.8 percent in October. The index’s most recent high was 55.3 percent. Earlier in the year the sector was expanding above 60 percent each month before the economy hit a rough patch in the early summer. Any reading above 50 indicates expansion.
President Obama smiles for a photo with a group Marine Corps Navajo Code Talkers after delivering remarks at the White House Tribal Nations Conference, Dec. 2
Robert Shrum: …. Mitt Romney is at heart a con man …. he would govern as he campaigns, no matter what he actually believes. That’s why the rest of us should be afraid of what Mitt Romney’s America would look like.
In Mitt Romney’s America, unemployment could escalate – or soar …. His long-term fiscal policy would shred the social safety net and devastate programs ranging from college loans to research and development and environmental protections. The wealthy would never be asked to pay their fair share by a president who would never risk alienating Grover Norquist….
Thus the “jobs” candidate could become the jobs destroyer as president – which, of course, was what he was when he dismembered companies and fired workers during his years in the private sector…
….. Medicare would be voucherized and Social Security would be privatized. Insurance companies would be free again to deny coverage to those with pre-existing conditions and to cancel policies as the costs of life-saving treatment mounted. Tens of millions more would be left without health insurance.
And Mitt Romney’s America would be a narrow and bigoted place, too. He opposed the repeal of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.” He’s proposed a constitutional amendment banning gay marriages. His Supreme Court nominees would tip the balance and overturn Roe v. Wade. And what about civil rights? Romney has become an immigrant-baiter who now wants to build that “danged fence” along the border. The co-chair of his Justice Advisory Committee is Robert Bork, who called the 1964 Civil Rights Act “unsurpassed ugliness”. On issues of equality, Mitt Romney’s America would look a lot like Ted Kennedy’s famous description of Robert Bork’s America, where “rigid ideology will tip the scales of justice against the kind of country [this] is and ought to be.”
….. And that’s why I hope we never have to live in Mitt Romney’s America.
Steve Benen: Every single time the Huntsman campaign releases another anti-Romney video, I have the same reaction: “Hey, that’s pretty good!”
I thought that about the “pretzel” video, the flipping-toy-monkey video, the weathervane video, and this week’s “Mittstant Replay” video.
Today, via Taegan Goddard, Huntsman’s team offers another gem, this time connecting Romney’s incessant flip-flopping to his background with the Olympics. It turns out, Romney flips with all the grace of a crashing gymnast:
You know the way GOPolitico is obsessed with the President and Israel and spends its days searching for polls that suggest he is struggling with the Jewish community? Well, spare a thought for them, today was a very difficult day: