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:
President Barack Obama will speak alongside former presidents Bill Clinton and George W. Bush and anti-AIDS activists in a World AIDS Day panel on Thursday.
The President will join the event’s hosts at George Washington University to participate in the discussion. Clinton and Bush will appear via satellite. Bush is in Tanzania with President Jakaya Kikwete.
Other guests include Bono, whose ONE and (RED) campaigns have sought to raise awareness of global AIDS and poverty issues. Artist Alicia Keys will also participate on the panel. The singer is the co-founder and global ambassador of Keep A Child Alive – a non-proft organization that helps families in Africa with HIV and AIDS by providing medicine and supplies.
The hand of President Barack Obama reaches out to ‘high-five’ a supporter at a campaign fundraiser at the Sheraton Hotel, November 30, in New York
Morning everyone. I’ll be out for a few hours, but will catch up later ;-)
The kids at Desertflower’s school are trying to raise money for a new sound system. If the school can get in the top 15 of a challenge Pepsi are running, then the sound system will be paid for by Pepsi. They are currently at 19.
The challenge ends at midnight tonight – so please vote for Desertflower’s school!
You can do so either online or by text:
Go to the RefreshEverything website – registering takes two minutes, just type “desert shadows” in the search box and the school will come up. Then vote!
Or, Text 73774 and type in the message code 109320.
Desertflower: “I hope everyone will take a minute to push for this for these great kids … they all work too hard NOT to be heard. They have a voice too :) Thanks family.”
Marketwatch: Growth in private-sector payrolls sharply accelerated in November, led by the service-producing sector and small businesses, according to the ADP employment report released Wednesday.
Employment in the private sector rose by 206,000 jobs in November – the largest gain since last December and almost twice the average increase in recent months. The October level was revised up to 130,000 from a prior estimate of 110,000.
… While economists have noted a divergence between estimates from ADP and the government, markets look to ADP’s report on private-sector payrolls to provide some guidance on the U.S. Labor Department’s jobs estimate, which will be released Friday and includes information on both private- and public-sector payrolls.
11:30 Michelle Obama delivers the keynote address at Partnership for a Healthier America’s inaugural Building a Healthier Future summit
12:30 Michelle Obama welcomes military families to the White House for the first viewing of the 2011 holiday decorations
Two more Reuters Photos of the Year:
…. visiting the Lincoln Memorial, April 9
Moneygall, May 2011
Reuters: Herman Cain had almost daily contact this month with the woman who says she had a 13-year extramarital affair with him, even as he battled sexual harassment allegations from other women, ABC News reported on Wednesday.
Reuters: Hillary Clinton became the first U.S. secretary of state to visit Myanmar in more than 50 years Wednesday, launching an historic mission to press the reclusive country’s new leaders to sever illicit contacts with North Korea and deliver on reforms.
…. The visit, announced by President Barack Obama at a regional summit in earlier this month, could also open a new arena of U.S. competition with China, which has watched warily as Washington courts its resource-rich southern neighbor as part of a broader policy of increasing U.S. engagement in Asia.
SmartyPants spotted a brilliant comment under Andrew Sullivan’s post the other day, ‘Why Obama still matters’. It was written by “a black attorney in his 20’s” and, as she said, “he knocked it out of the park”:
…not to be too racial about this, but myself and a lot of my minority friends sense that white liberals’ disappointment from Obama comes from a sense of entitlement.
Unlike affluent white liberals, minorities in this country seem to have a better grasp of a key truth in life: you don’t always get everything you want. We know, if not firsthand then from the stories of our parents, that America isn’t always a nice place, and all you can hope for is incremental change. Unlike a lot of our affluent white liberal friends, we are used to not getting it all and have learned to live with it….
Washington Post: President Barack Obama is bringing his family to Towson University, just north of Baltimore, to watch Towson play Oregon State on Saturday afternoon. The first lady’s brother, Craig Robinson, is Oregon State’s head coach.
A year ago:
President Obama gets a hug from his youngest daughter Sasha during an NCAA basketball game between Oregon State and Howard University
Steve Benen: It’s hard to overstate how much success the United States has had over the last few years against al Qaeda. The terrorist network … has been all but crushed. Remember a few years ago, before the 2008 elections, when Rep. Steve King (R-Iowa) proclaimed on Fox News that al Qaeda members would be “dancing in the streets” if Barack Obama were elected president? Well, that turned out to be backwards.
…. in the wake of Osama bin Laden’s demise, the fact remains that al Qaeda, whatever its intentions for the future, has been reduced to a largely defeated force.
President Obama leaves the athletic facility at Fort McNair in Washington after playing basketball … the President signaled his approval of a deal ending the 149-day lockout between professional basketball players and owners. “Good deal,” he said, giving the thumbs up, when asked about the agreement that ended the NBA strike
….. visiting Kramerbooks in Washington, Nov. 26
The presidential purchases at the bookstore, according to the White House, included:
The Invention of Hugo Cabret – by Brian Selnick
Diary of a Whimpy Kid Cabin Fever – by Jeff Kinney
Tails – by Matthew Van Fleet
Descent into Chaos – by Ahmed Rashid
The Tiger’s Wife – by Tea Obreht
The Phantom Tollbooth – by Norton Juster
The Brief Wonderous Life of Oscar Wao – by Junot Diaz
9:35 AM The President departs the White House en route to Joint Base Andrews
9:50 Departs Joint Base Andrews en route to Manchester, N.H.
11:0 Arrives in Manchester, N.H.
12:15 Delivers remarks on the American Jobs Act
1:20 Departs Manchester, N.H.
2:55 Arrives at the White House
ThinkProgress: The Romney campaign’s very first television ad dishonestly presents a 2008 McCain campaign quote as the words of President Obama. The ad features a voice-over of Obama saying “if we keep talking about the economy, we’re going to lose.” Then-candidate Obama indeed said those words, perhaps dozens of times during the closing month of the 2008 campaign. The only problem? Obama was actually quoting the words of a strategist from Sen. John McCain’s campaign. Another eyebrow-raising moment in the ad comes when it attacks “record foreclosures,” despite the fact that Romney’s stated housing policy is “don’t try and stop the foreclosure process.”
The Rev. Al Sharpton reads a letter from President Barack Obama to Xea Myers 11-year-old daughter of Dwight Errington Myers, later known as Heavy D, during his funeral at Grace Baptist Church in Mount Vernon, N.Y., Nov. 18
NY Daily News: Even President Obama had nothing but love for Heavy D, the respected New York-bred rapper who was laid to rest Friday after a star-studded funeral in his Mount Vernon hometown.
The Rev. Al Sharpton, speaking during the service, invited the late rapper’s daughter, Xea, to the pulpit and read a statement to the 11-year-old.
“I want to read you something and I want you to keep this, Xea,” Sharpton said, before reading it and revealing that it came from the White House. Obama’s message offered condolences and praised the rapper for his “infectious optimism and many contributions to American music.”
The message drew a thunderous ovation from the 1,500 loved ones and friends gathered at Grace Baptist Church for the private service…..
MTV: “We extend our heartfelt condolences at this difficult time,” the note from Obama read. “He will be remembered for his infectious optimism and many contributions to American music. Please know that you and your family will be in our thoughts and prayers.”
President Obama meets with China’s Premier Wen Jiabao at the East Asia Summit in Nusa Dua, Bali, November 19
…. with Thai Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra
From the archives (2005):
Thanks for the reminder Zizi
Oh blimey crikey, you people are something else – thank you to everyone who was able to contribute today to the TOD Obama/Biden 2012 fundraiser at OFA, appreciate it so much. We’re gobsmackingly close already to that $6,000 target:
President Barack Obama stands with Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono and his wife Kristiani Herawati during a family photo before the East Asia Summit Gala dinner in Nusa Dua, on the island of Bali
President Obama and Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono talk as Balinese dancers perform on stage at the East Asia Summit dinner
What a beautiful difference five years makes. Just sayin’:
President George W. Bush chats with Chinese President Hu Jintao and Russian President Vladimir Putin at the end of the Asian-Pacific leaders meeting in Hanoi, 19 November 2006.
President Obama speaks after announcing a commercial deal between Boeing and Indonesia’s Lion Air at a signing ceremony in Nusa Dua, on the island of Bali, Indonesia.
Boeing and Lion Air have reached agreement on the purchase of 201 Boeing 737MAX and 29 Next Generation 737ER aircraft. The order will support over 110,000 U.S. jobs at Boeing and at suppliers in 43 states. This represents one of the largest trade deals between the United States and Indonesia in history….
Boeing and Singapore Airlines have reached agreement on the purchase of eight Boeing 777-300ER widebody aircraft with a total list price value of $2.4 billion, $2 billion in U.S. export content and supporting an estimated 11,000 U.S. jobs….
The Hill: A senior military official says U.S. forces soon will begin winding down counterinsurgency operations in Afghanistan, signaling a major shift in the decade-old conflict.
U.S. forces are working to “set the conditions” for Afghan government officials and security forces to assume control of key provinces by next fall as American troops begin to exit, Marine Corps Commandant Gen. James Amos told The Hill.
NYT: Chrysler said Wednesday that it would add 1,100 jobs at a sport utility vehicle plant here as it spends $1.7 billion developing new models for its Jeep brand.
…. Chrysler is one of several carmakers adding large numbers of jobs in the United States after years of steep employment declines in the auto industry. On Thursday, Toyota is scheduled to begin production at a new plant in Mississippi that will employ about 2,000 people.
The mayor of Toledo, Mike Bell, described Chrysler’s announcement as “the equivalent of a blood transfusion” for this heavily industrial city along the Michigan border.
FactCheck: Republican presidential candidates Rick Perry and Mitt Romney both claim President Barack Obama said that “Americans are lazy.” He didn’t. To the contrary, Obama has consistently and repeatedly praised American workers as the “most productive in the world,” a bit of boosterism he has repeated dozens of times. His recent words — “we’ve been a little bit lazy, I think, over the last couple of decades” – actually referred to collective efforts to promote foreign investment in the U.S., and not to American workers or voters as individuals. Perry and Romney simply rip those words out of their context in order to mislead.
Washington Post: A think tank founded by GOP presidential candidate Newt Gingrich collected at least $37 million over the past eight years from major health-care companies and industry groups, offering special access to the former House speaker and other perks, according to records and interviews.
Pew: A new Pew poll confirms a trend that’s been surfacing for a few weeks – with the constant changes in the GOP presidential primary race, President Obama has seen an uptick in a few key metrics, maintaining a slim lead against former Mass. Gov. Mitt Romney and a larger one against other possible challengers.
Pew’s numbers shows that the President’s approval rating, which has been consistently underwater during a difficult summer in Washington, is now even at 46 percent. It also shows that his favorability rating, a point of particular strength for him, continues to be positive. 52 percent of those Americans polled holds him in a positive light, versus 45 percent who see him unfavorably.
Steve Benen: President Obama told business leaders at the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation summit that U.S. policymakers have been “a little bit lazy” when it comes to attracting businesses to American soil. Republicans have taken this line and said the president called Americans “lazy.” They’re lying.
It’s been pleasantly surprised by the number of news outlets who’ve been willing to tell the public the truth…. And then there’s Politico, which ran a 1,300 word piece that emphasized Republicans’ use of the out-of-context quote, while downplaying the relevant detail: Republicans are misleading the public.
…. What matters, according to the cynical Politico article, is the way in which the GOP is exploiting an opportunity, not whether that exploitation is accurate, fair, or advancing the public debate. That’s just not how quality political journalism is supposed to work…..
Alec MacGillis (TNR): …. As a news reporter, one has a choice. One can do what NBC’s Mark Murray, Time’s Michael Scherer, or the New York Times’ Richard Oppel all did yesterday and today, which is to declare Republicans’ exploitation of Obama’s line as blatantly out of context and unfair.
Or one can do what Politico did, which is to write a full story headlined “Obama’s ‘lazy’ remark catches fire,” which reports, in a tone of barely suppressed glee, that Republicans have been handed a gift….
…. let’s be clear: this sort of story is why people hate Washington, and why they can’t stand us political reporters. The story is a purveyor of the worst sort of lazy – yes, lazy – cynicism.
Mediaite: Earlier today, we brought you the hard-to-believe story that Texas Gov. Rick Perry sent a letter to House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, challenging her to a debate on Monday. Pelosi’s response quickly underscored the problem with Perry’s challenge when she tweeted her response: “Re: Gov. Perry–Monday I’ll be in Portland. Later visiting labs in CA. That’s 2. I can’t remember the 3rd thing.”
Today: The President departs Honolulu, Hawaii, en route to Canberra, Australia (1:30 ET)
Wednesday (Australian time): Arrives in Australia. Has a bilateral meeting with Prime Minister Gillard, the two leaders then holding a joint press conference. Attends a parliamentary dinner at the Australian Parliament House that night where he will make remarks about the U.S.-Australian relationship.
Thursday: Begins his day by laying a wreath at an Australian war memorial; meets with opposition leader Tony Abbott; addresses the Australian Parliament; visits a local primary school with PM Gillard; visits the US embassy. Leaves Canberra for Darwin. Visits a memorial to the USS Peary and lays a wreath. The President and PM Gillard together address Australian troops. That concludes the Australia portion of the visit. The President flies that night to Bali, Indonesia.
Friday: Attends a number of bilateral meetings. Meets with the Prime Minister of India and the leaders of Thailand, the Philippines and Malaysia. Meets with the ASEAN nations, the 10 Southeast Asian nations. Meets with President Yudhoyono of Indonesia; attends an East Asia dinner that night.
Saturday: The East Asian Summit takes place through the day. At its conclusion the President returns to the United States.
Bloomberg: Less than 12 months from the presidential election, the U.S. economy has moved from recovery to expansion, prompting similar shifts in President Barack Obama’s political prospects.
The unemployment rate moved downward last month ….. the number of Americans filing applications for unemployment benefits fell to the lowest level in seven months two weeks ago, a sign the recovery may be encouraging companies to limit cuts in headcount. And a private outplacement company is predicting that jobs losses in the government sector, a drag on U.S. employment, may be leveling off.
Gains in household spending, the biggest part of the economy, last quarter led economists to raise their growth forecasts for the remainder of this year and for 2012 … The services industry and manufacturing both continue to expand….
CNN: The public is divided over the idea of requiring all Americans to have health insurance, according to a new national survey. But a CNN/ORC International Poll also indicates that support for the proposal, a cornerstone of the 2010 health care reform law, has risen since June.
…. According to the poll, 52% of Americans favor mandatory health insurance, up from 44% in June. The survey indicates that 47% oppose the health insurance mandate, down from 54% in early summer.
“The health insurance mandate has gained most support since June among older Americans and among lower-income Americans,” says CNN Polling Director Keating Holland. “A majority of independents opposed the measure in June, but 52 percent of them now favor it.”
LA Times: The day the Supreme Court gathered behind closed doors to consider the politically divisive question of whether it would hear a challenge to President Obama’s healthcare law, two of its justices, Antonin Scalia and Clarence Thomas, were feted at a dinner sponsored by the law firm that will argue the case before the high court.
….. The lawyer who will stand before the court and argue that the law should be thrown out is likely to be Paul Clement, who served as U.S. solicitor general during the George W. Bush administration.
Clement’s law firm, Bancroft PLLC, was one of almost two dozen firms that helped sponsor the annual dinner of the Federalist Society, a longstanding group dedicated to advocating conservative legal principles …
…. The featured guests at the dinner? Scalia and Thomas.
The Supreme Court has announced that it will review President Obama’s health care law, setting the stage for a showdown over his signature legislative accomplishment months ahead of the 2012 election. Oral arguments are expected to take place this spring.
White House communications director Dan Pfeiffer: “Earlier this year, the Obama Administration asked the Supreme Court to consider legal challenges to the health reform law and we are pleased the Court has agreed to hear this case. Thanks to the Affordable Care Act, one million more young Americans have health insurance, women are getting mammograms and preventive services without paying an extra penny out of their own pocket and insurance companies have to spend more of your premiums on health care instead of advertising and bonuses. We know the Affordable Care Act is constitutional and are confident the Supreme Court will agree.”
Mel Levine (former member of the US House of Representatives D-CA): Former U.S. Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan coined a famous phrase that “everyone is entitled to his own opinion but not to his own facts.” Apparently, the Republican candidates for president, led by former Governor Romney, have been so busy talking with each other that they have somehow developed an alternative universe of facts, one which both distorts President Obama’s record and disregards their own.
In a world in which the stakes of our foreign policy are so high, it is dangerous to ignore these distortions.
Gov. Romney recklessly and inaccurately misrepresents President Obama’s record of leadership in foreign policy in general. His disdain for the President Obama’s foreign policy conveniently ignores the president’s leadership in building international coalitions which have imposed exceptionally stiff sanctions on Iran and which have led to the destruction of the Qaddafi regime in Libya. It seems to forget that it is President Obama who led the effort to kill Osama bin Laden, who is keeping his promise to bring our troops home from Iraq by the end of this year, and who has broadened and deepened U.S.-Israeli defense cooperation so that it is stronger than ever before…..
Slate: If you want to see more American jobs, do you want to hire a guy whose area of expertise seems to be making them disappear?
A new story in The New York Times scrutinizes one of Mitt Romney’s biggest arguments for being the next president: his business management experience. And the picture is not entirely pretty.
The former head of Bain Capital helped to acquire and sell some 150 companies before he became the governor of Massachusetts in 2003. One of those sales and acquisitions, that of medical company Dade International, left 1,700 American workers without jobs and a company worse off because of high fees paid to Romney and his associates and long-term debt, according to some former company officials.
Steve Benen: If it’s Sunday, it’s ‘Meet the GOP Talking Points’
“Meet the Press” host David Gregory spoke with Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz … and the interview was pretty tough to watch …. When attention turned to debt-reduction efforts, Gregory said, simply as a matter of fact, that Republicans on the super-committee “did agree for tax increases that Democrats have not accepted this week,” and then tried to change the subject. The host wanted to leave viewers with the impression that GOP officials were making a good-faith offer….
…. What Gregory failed miserably to offer viewers was context and any of the relevant details…. I expect this on Fox News. “Meet the Press” is supposed to have higher standards.
And to top it off, the host inexplicably showed a clip of Obama from July 2008 talking about his desire to lower the deficit if elected. July 2008 – before the crash, before TARP, before the need for the Recovery Act, before Republicans demanded an extension of Bush-era tax breaks that they refused to pay for.
…. It was one of the worst interviews I’ve ever seen on “Meet the Press.”
Paul Begala (Daily Beast): …. today’s Republican Party is more the party of Sarah Palin’s defiant know-nothingness than the brainy conservatism of Bill Bennett. The GOP is a party of ideologues, not ideas.
…. even the smart Republicans have to at least play dumb. Mitt Romney, for example, has to pretend he doesn’t know what’s causing global warming. A few weeks ago he told an audience in Pittsburgh, “My view is that we don’t know what’s causing climate change on this planet.” Hard to believe, because as recently as June of this year he said, “I believe, based on what I read, that the world is getting warmer. And No. 2, I believe that humans contribute to that.” Romney’s new-and-not-improved position is a shameless pander to the know-nothings.
Same with evolution, where Republicans know they can earn applause by denouncing science. Apparently to run in today’s GOP you must believe, in the words of comedian Lewis Black, that “The Flintstones is a documentary.”
Steve Benen: There was a BBC reality show I used to find interesting called “Faking It” …. I think of that show every time I watch Mitt Romney tackle foreign and national security policy. It’s clear the former one-term governor is dealing with a subject outside of his comfort zone – it’s equally clear he’s out of his depth – but Romney appears to have been given a crash course in the hopes he can fool people into thinking he’s competent.
For those who care about international affairs, Romney isn’t doing a very good job. Trusted reader F.B. flagged this segment from today’s “Morning Joe,” where a panel literally laughed at some of Romney’s saber-rattling towards Iran.
Note, in particular, that the BBC’s Katty Kay said she was “disappointed” by Romney’s remarks on Iran, because she thought he’d have “a more sophisticated understanding” of the issue.
That, in a nutshell, is one of Romney’s key rhetorical problems – he can fake it when it comes to giving the appearance of competence, which raises expectations, but the facade falls apart when anyone stops to consider the details…..