An airplane pulls a banner in protest at remarks made by Mitt Romney over the site of the Univision Facebook “Meet the Candidates” Forum in Miami, Sept 19
President Barack Obama reacts to a photograph during an interview with David Letterman during a taping of the “Late Show with David Letterman” at the Ed Sullivan Theater in New York, N.Y., Sept. 18, 2012. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)
It turns out that Mitt Romney was right. There is class warfare being waged in the 2012 campaign. It is Mr. Romney who is waging it, not President Obama, and he’s stood the whole idea on its head.
When you think of class warfare, you probably think of inciting anger, resentment and jealousy among the have-nots against the haves. That’s what Mr. Romney has accused Mr. Obama of doing, but those charges have always been false. The truth is that Mr. Romney has been trying to incite the anger of a small slice of the richest Americans who need no government assistance but get it anyway, against the working poor, the elderly, the disabled workers and veterans, and even a significant chunk of middle-class Americans.
…. The right wing has long been whining about people who don’t pay taxes and who therefore don’t deserve a say in government. They have it exactly backward. The shame is not that those people don’t pay income taxes. The shame is how many poor people there are when the top 1 percent can amass uncountable fortunes fed by tax breaks and can donate tens of millions of dollars to political candidates to keep it that way.
Michael Tomasky: Mitt Tells Voters in Video to Drop Dead …. Sure it was a dumb move for Romney to denounce half of America. But he was just channeling today’s GOP.
…. Can he really believe this? It’s incomprehensible. And yet it’s not. This is the story conservatives have been telling themselves over and over in the Tea Party age … An inevitable consequence, I suppose, of campaigning among these people for all these years. You marinate a cherry in cheap whiskey long enough, the stink attaches.
…. It’s hard to judge the impact of this comment just yet ….. I would expect we’ll see “Obama voter — and I’m not a victim” and “I pay a higher tax rate than you, Governor!” signs at rallies by tomorrow. Indeed, the average person pays more in mere payroll taxes for Social Security and Medicare (15.3 percent) than Romney paid in total taxes for the year he released his returns (13.9 percent).
I suspect an impact that’s fairly big. People on the right will blame the media. But the real culprit is the words themselves. They slander millions of hard-working Americans ….. When Romney is licking his wounds on Nov. 7, that party and movement will fire all its arrows at him. He’ll deserve a lot of them. But they will have buried him with the ignorance and rage they demanded he adopt. His chief crime will have been his weakness in failing to confront them.
Oh, my. Mother Jones has what it says is a video of Mitt Romney talking to donors; it sure looks and sounds real. And it reveals a candidate who despises half the country….
….. Actually, if you look at the facts, you learn that the great bulk of those who pay no income tax pay other taxes; also, many of the people in the no-income-tax category are (a) elderly (b) students or (c) having a bad year, having lost a job — that is, they’re people who have paid income taxes in the past and/or will pay income taxes in the future. The idea that half of Americans are just grifters is grotesque.
Jonathan Capehart: Back in February, Mitt Romney stuck his ample silver foot in his mouth when he told CNN’s Soledad O’Brien, “I’m not concerned about the very poor.” He went on to say, “We have a safety net there. If it needs repair, I’ll fix it. I’m not concerned about the very rich, they’re doing just fine. I’m concerned about the very heart of the America, the 90, 95 percent of Americans who right now are struggling, and I’ll continue to take that message across the nation.”
….. That one-minute-seven-second clip lays waste to Romney’s concern “about the very heart of America, the 90, 95 percent of Americans who right now are struggling.” Worse, it reveals it to be a lie. He couldn’t care less about them, it seems. That condescending clip shows a contempt for half the country that demands an explanation from Romney.
NYT: …. Mr. Romney is absolutely correct that about half of American households do not pay federal income tax. (He is also tapping into a now long-running vein of conservative anger at those households.) But he is missing some crucial context on why they do not pay federal income tax.
The nonpartisan and highly respected Tax Policy Center derived the 47 percent number and published an excellent analysis of it last summer.
It found that about half of the households that do not pay federal income tax do not pay it because they are simply too poor…. The other half consists of households taking advantage of tax credits and other provisions, mostly support for senior citizens and low-income working families.
Put bluntly, these are not households shirking their tax liabilities. The pool consists mostly of the poor, of relatively low-income working families and of old people.
Mediaite: Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney held a surprise late-night press availability to address the maelstrom surrounding hidden camera video that surfaced …
Romney offered no apology, other than to concede that his point was “not elegantly stated,” and drew a distinction between a “political process” and what he says in front of people he knows can hear him.
Nothing Romney said at the ultra-brief presser was nearly as newsworthy as the very fact that he held it, a sign of the seismic panic this clip has caused. The campaign was already reeling from a Politico story about campaign disarray that had already dominated much of today’s news cycle. The hidden camera video, taken at a May 17 fundraiser at the home of hedge fund manager Marc Leder, is only the tip of the iceberg. Mother Jones’ David Corn has over an hour of footage from the event, which he says he will begin rolling out “soon.”
….. The decision to hold a surprise press conference at 10 pm eastern time (Romney was speaking from California) underscores the type of damage the Romney campaign fears from this tape, but it would have helped if Romney had said something that… helped….
Today: The President will welcome WNBA Champion Minnesota Lynx to the White House to honor the team and their 2011 WNBA Finals victory. In the afternoon, the President will travel to New York City for campaign events. While in New York City, the President will tape an appearance on the Late Show with David Letterman. The President will return to the White House in the evening:
11:15: Jay Carney briefs reporters at the White House.
11:30: VP Biden delivers remarks at a campaign event at the Bridge View Center in Ottumwa, IA.
1:10: President welcomes the WNBA Champion Minnesota Lynx to the White House.
3:00: VP Biden delivers remarks at a campaign event at Grinnell College in Grinnell, IA.
4:40: President Obama tapes an interview for the “Late Show with David Letterman” at the Ed Sullivan Theater in New York, NY.
7:40: President Obama delivers remarks at a campaign event at the Waldorf Astoria Hotel in New York, NY.
9:45: President Obama delivers remarks at a campaign event at the 40/40 Club in New York, NY.
Charles Pierce: …..the footage offers an extraordinary look at what the candidate is like when he’s around people he perceives to be worthy of what he believes is the truth….
To this moment, I guarantee you, Romney is probably astonished at what all the fuss is about. This is simply the way the world is …. He is what his golden life has made him to be….
…. We are coming rapidly toward a devastating confluence of two colliding panics. The Romney campaign is panicking about itself, and the Republicans are panicking about the Romney campaign. He cannot come back from this, honestly. This is who he is. This is what he believes the world to be. Half the electorate already thinks he’s a fake, which means he’s not a very good one. There’s really only one campaign left to him now.
Unfortunately for American politics, that means only one thing. It’s going to get extraordinarily dirty extraordinarily fast. There is going to be pale birtherism and barely covert racism ….. There is going to be poor-baiting, and gay-baiting, and ladyparts-baiting, and probably baiting of things I haven’t thought of yet……
Charles Blow: Elections often turn on character moments and the slopes of lines. They are about who a candidate reveals himself to be under pressure more than who he says he is on stage…..
Taking that into account, at this moment, President Obama’s chances of being re-elected look stronger than they have in months. The Romney campaign seems to be coming off the tracks with no clear vision for how to get back on.
Romney’s panicky, premature excoriation of the Obama administration over violence in the Middle East — a response that was factually flawed and widely panned — only served to shake the fragile faith of those who might be holding their noses to support him…..
It also doesn’t help that Romney seems incapable of concealing his anxiety. He too often looks like a boy who just stepped on a nail and can’t remember his last tetanus shot.
Liberal Librarian: I think that this week has been a fulcrum not only in the election, but in the very real fight for the soul of the country.
Yes, way too many of our fellow citizens are still addled by hatred and bigotry. Obama should be ahead by 10-15 points, not 4-8. But let’s put that into perspective: Before the conventions, the polling averages had him ahead by at most 2 points. The debacle of Tampa and the triumph of Charlotte, without the media filter, basically reintroduced the country to both parties.
The GOP was seen as a heartless collection of ideologues whose only interest was in achieving power to service its rich backers. There was no positive vision of the future, but a wallowing in the contention that America was “in decline”. Charlotte highlighted a party and a President who believed in the nation, believed in the ability of its citizens to make an adult decision when presented with facts. The country saw a party united in its determination to make life better for all citizens, not just the fortunate few. It was the antithesis of the malaise bruited about by the GOP.
ThinkProgress: Biotechnology firm Monsanto Company, which currently owns most of the patents for America’s staple crops, is already cozy with American lawmakers. A new Nation report, however, indicates that “a very old friend in a very high place” may usher in the corporation’s most prosperous years yet.
The Nation’s investigative report has uncovered how Mitt Romney personally helped Monsanto shed its string of toxic chemical-related scandals and reinvent itself to dominate American agriculture. Monsanto, an early Bain & Company client, was so impressed with Romney that they started bypassing his superiors to deal with him directly.
ThinkProgress: House Republican Leader Eric Cantor announced Friday that after next week, the House will stand in recess until November 13. His plan for a nearly two month vacation will undoubtedly allow more time for campaigning, but will leave several vital bills awaiting action.
Among the important legislation the House will likely not address before the November elections:
1. Violence Against Women Act re-authorization…. 2. The American Jobs Act…. 3. Tax cuts for working families…. 4. Veterans Job Corps Act….
The Independent (UK): …. Mitt Romney has a fight on his hands if he wants to keep using Thin Lizzy music to back his campaign. The widow of Phil Lynott, the band’s legendary frontman, said there was no way the singer would have supported the Republican candidate.
Caroline Lynott-Taraskevics has told the band’s record company to issue a cease and desist order preventing Romney from using Thin Lizzy classics …. she and his mother Philomena were angered after Mr Romney used the anthem The Boys Are Back In Town at the Republican convention in Florida.
The rocker’s mother has said her son would have rejected any association with the Republicans, particularly the Christian right-wing of the party and what she called anti-gay and pro-rich policies.
In a message published by Irish music magazine Hot Press, Ms Lynott-Taraskevics said that were Lynott still alive, he would back Democrat US President Barack Obama.
“Absolutely in no way would Philip have supported Mitt Romney or Paul Ryan and he would have been so happy about Obama becoming US president,” she said.