LA Times: President Obama accused rival Mitt Romney of “knowingly twisting” his comments about American business, in what amounted to his most forceful response to more than a week of sustained attacks by Republicans over a sound bite the president’s campaign argued was taken out of context.
In remarks to a feisty audience at Oakland’s Fox Theater on Monday evening, Obama contended that Romney had misrepresented what he said this month when he spoke of the role government plays in supporting the growth of business. He said Romney’s response showed he fails to appreciate the best way to grow the economy in a balanced way.
…. “Earlier today Gov. Romney was at it again, knowingly twisting my words around to suggest that I don’t value small businesses,” he said …. “In politics we all tolerate a certain amount of spin. I understand these are the games that get played in political campaigns. But when folks omit entire sentences of what I said – they start splicing and dicing – you may have gone a little over the edge.”
Steve Benen: ….. Last September, Elizabeth Warren explained the role of public institutions in creating a society that allows American businesses to thrive. A video of the comments went viral, and soon after, President Obama echoed the sentiment.
Last week, Mitt Romney’s campaign, hoping that voters are fools, made the case that American businesses thrive on their own without public institutions, and to believe otherwise is to be “foreign” and hostile towards free enterprise…
….if Romney’s hysterical, right-wing argument had any merit at all, this should be fairly easy. Obama’s been in office for three-and-a-half years, and if the president were, in reality, actively opposed to the interests and needs of America’s private sector, the evidence should be overwhelming and undeniable.
And yet, it’s not. Romney – and now, Scott Brown – have to resort to garbage tactics that treat Americans voters like we’re idiots. Instead of presenting credible evidence to bolster absurd claims, Romney and Brown have to rely on out-of-context nonsense to make a case that their rivals believe in an agenda that’s pure fantasy.
If President Obama and Elizabeth Warren genuinely oppose the free market — they don’t, but if they did — why do Mitt Romney and Scott Brown have to lie?…
Boston.com: Democratic Senate candidate Elizabeth Warren lambasted Republican Mitt Romney as she introduced his general election opponent, President Obama, at a Boston fund-raiser.
….. Warren told a full house at Symphony Hall: “Mitt Romney tells us, in his own words, he believes corporations are people. No, Mitt, corporations are NOT people. People have hearts. They have kids. They get jobs. They get sick. They love and they cry and they dance. They live and they die. Learn the difference.”
…. “Mitt, learn this,” she added. “We don’t run this country for corporations; we run it for people.”
…. In opening her remarks, Warren paid tribute to Obama …. “He fought for you, students and seniors, homeowners and veterans, community banks and credit unions, and for everyone who plays by the rules,” she said.
“Big banks and Republicans fought tooth-and-nail against us,” she said. “They vowed this agency would never become law. And when the money poured in, when the pressure mounted against us, and when we were on the ropes, President Obama stood firm.”
“He planted his feet, he squared his shoulders, and he said, ‘We will stop the cheating, we will stop the trick and traps, and we will level the playing field for working families.’”
Fosters: How he’ll top future birthdays is a mystery after receiving birthday wishes on Monday from the president himself.
When Bob Noble, 73, and his wife, Betty, decided to stop for lunch at the University of New Hampshire Dairy Bar after listening to President Barack Obama deliver a campaign speech at Oyster River High School, they had no idea that Obama would be in the mood for ice cream.
“He came in and shook hands with everybody,” said Noble, calling the president’s company an “awesome visit.”
It was Noble’s first brush with fame or anyone notable, he said, though that wasn’t why he and his wife attended the speech.
“I didn’t go to him because he’s famous. I went to him because I think he’s doing a heck of a good job,” he explained.
Noble and his wife have two sons who attended school at UNH and who are now successful in their fields, he said. They are products of a man whose own father was an illegal immigrant from Spain in 1910, and when Noble hears other presidential candidates talk of immigration, it really hits home.
“When Romney talks about deportation it’s kind of like a knife in my heart,” he said.
With Obama, who he was thrilled to see take the time to speak with everyone who was present, Noble said, “what you see is what you get.”
Washington Post: Whitney Tilson is a hedge fund manager and a member of Patriotic Millionaires for Fiscal Strength.
I am part of the 1 percent of the 1 percent. By that I mean that I am fortunate to be a wealthy American and I say, “It’s okay to raise my taxes.”
This morning I was at the White House supporting President Obama in his call for Congress to pass the “Buffett rule.” …. It would hit me hard….. Why am I okay with this? The answer has to do with simple math and basic fairness.
…. It’s not class warfare to say that people like me – who aren’t suffering at all in these tough economic times, who are in many cases doing the best we’ve ever done and who can easily afford to pay more in taxes with no impact on our lifestyle – should be the first to step up and make a small sacrifice.
…. I am grateful for the effective government we have in this country, which is the absolutely necessary foundation for our wonderful capitalistic economic system that has benefited me so greatly. And I’m willing to do my fair share – in fact, more than my fair share – to help rein in our deficits and put this country on a more sustainable path.
Paul Krugman: Here’s the bad news: Mitt Romney’s campaign is setting new standards in serial dishonesty. Really. He makes Bush look like a font of truth and accuracy.
Here’s the good news: reporters seem to have noticed, and – be still my beating heart – we’re starting to see reports that actually point out the distortions, rather than saying that “some Democrats” say that he isn’t being honest.
It was particularly gratifying to see the response to Romney’s ludicrous claim that Obama is anti-woman because women have lost more jobs than men since he took office. This was cherry-picking raised to the level of an Olympic sport….
….The core of Romney’s campaign strategy seems to be contempt for the news media (and the voters), the belief that he can say anything and pay no price – which was the way things worked for Bush. But maybe, just maybe, his calculation was wrong, and serial dishonesty will become, justifiably, part of the narrative.
TPM: It took tens of millions of dollars, years of preparation and three months of primary contests, but Mitt Romney is finally the GOP’s presumptive nominee. Now comes the hard part.
Romney’s first day of the general election turned into a stark reminder that Obama will be a far tougher opponent than the poorly funded, disorganized candidates he battled in the primary. Romney was outmaneuvered and forced off message throughout the day – beginning with a morning press call in which the campaign was caught flat-footed over a simple question about Romney’s position on the Lilly Ledbetter Act – overshadowing the economic message he was trying to push, with the gleeful help of an armada of professional Democratic operatives.
The Atlantic: So here is the president of the United States, enjoying canapés and small talk at Daniel, chef Daniel Boulud’s gourmet restaurant just off Park Avenue ….. “I have a question I want to ask you, Mr. President,” I venture, once I catch his attention.
“Sure,” the president says.
“Kanye or Jay-Z?”
The president smiles. “Jay-Z,” he says, as if the answer should be obvious….
“Although I like Kanye,” Obama continues, with an easy smile. “He’s a Chicago guy. Smart. He’s very talented.” He is displaying his larger awareness of the question, looking relaxed, cerebral but friendly, alive to the moment, waiting for me to get to the heart of the matter.
“Even though you called him a jackass?,” I ask.
“He is a jackass,” Obama says, in his likable and perfectly balanced modern-professorial voice. “But he’s talented.” The president gives a wink, poses for a few more pictures, and then glides away…..
A baby donkey named Demo by its owner, Silvio Carrasquilla, stands dressed as the mascot of the U.S. Democratic Party behind a poster of U.S. President Barack Obama, outside Carrasquilla’s home in Turbaco, near Cartagena, April 11. Carrasquilla, Turbaco’s former mayor who considers himself Colombia’s number one Obama fan, is sprucing up his house by painting it the red, white and blue of the U.S. flag to celebrate Obama’s arrival in Cartagena for the VI Summit of the Americas on Friday.
Steve Benen: ….. the Huffington Post’s Sam Stein asked whether Romney supports the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act, and the campaign aides, after a painfully long delay, had no idea.
These weren’t trick questions. This was, after all, a call about women’s issues. It was organized by the Romney campaign, so it’s not as if these staffers could say they were caught off guard by extraneous and unrelated issues. Presumably, these folks prepared for their own telephone press conference.
Romney has cited a misleading statistic, and his aides couldn’t defend it. Romney has said current policies are keeping women from getting more jobs, and given three separate chances to say something coherent, his aides couldn’t explain what would change if the former governor is elected president. Were they not expecting these kinds of question?
…. Welcome to the general election, Mitt. I think you’ll find it’s a little more difficult than going up against Newt Gingrich and Rick Santorum.
TPM: Mitt Romney’s having a terrible time turning the tables on Democrats. But his camp’s claim that President Obama is the one waging the “real war on women” is best debunked visually.
….. male employment and female employment have nearly returned to the levels they were at when Obama took office. And if Obama is waging a war on women, he’s doing a poor job of it. Despite these setbacks, female labor force participation remains near its historic high.
Greg Sargent: I’m glad to see that there’s been a moderately aggressive media response to Mitt Romney’s latest falsehood: The claim that 92 percent of the people who have lost jobs on Obama’s watch are women.
The argument, which his campaign is now making regularly, is central to Romney’s effort to win back women who were apparently alienated by the primary.
The assertion has now been debunked by Politifact, the Post’s Glenn Kessler, and NBC’s Domenico Montanaro.
ThinkProgress: As part of its bizarre strategy of blaming President Obama for the GOP’s “war on women,” the Romney campaign released statements today from two Republican Congresswomen, Reps. Mary Bono Mack (R-CA) and Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA). The statements correctly note that women have been hit particularly hard by job losses in recent years, but misleadingly lay the blame for those losses on Obama, just as Romney himself has been doing recently.
…… their concern for pay equity and women in the workplace must be a recent development. Both congresswomen voted against the landmark Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act of 2009…..
Don’t miss Liberal Librarian’s latest post at The People’s View: The “Reagan Rule” and the GOP crackup
PPP: Barack Obama’s opened up a 13 point lead on Mitt Romney in Colorado at 53-40. He’s gained 11 points in the state since December when he led just 47-45.
The formula for Obama’s gains is the same in Colorado as it is everywhere. He’s getting more popular and Romney’s getting less popular. In December only 45% of voters approved of the job Obama was doing to 50% who disapproved. Now he’s on positive ground with 50% giving him good marks to 47% who think he’s doing a poor job. The main thing that’s changed is Democrats really rallying around him. In December he was at 76/18 with them, but now it’s 89/8. The party is getting a lot more unified as the election comes closer.
Romney’s headed in the other direction. His net favorability has gone from -18 (35/53) to an even worse -29 (31/60) …. he’s extremely unpopular with independents at 25/65.
PPP: Mitt Romney may have effectively wrapped up the GOP nomination with Rick Santorum’s withdrawal yesterday, but PPP’s newest North Carolina poll really shows how much Romney was hurt by the process with Barack Obama as the ultimate beneficiary.
President Obama now leads Romney by 5 points in North Carolina, 49-44. That’s the largest lead we’ve found for him in monthly polling dating back to November of 2010. Obama has a 51-38 advantage with independents and is particularly strong with women (54-39), African Americans (90-7), voters under 30 (61-33), and folks in the Triangle (60-33).
The Republican nomination process has taken a huge toll on Romney’s image in North Carolina. In February of 2011 voters in the state were almost evenly divided on him with 37% rating him favorably to 39% who had a negative opinion of him. Now that spread is a dreadful 29/58….
He was actually popular with independents at 45/36 last winter, now he is incredibly unpopular at 25/62.
ThinkProgress: According to several experts in Florida law, Sean Hannity could be compelled to testify about his conversations with George Zimmerman. Tamara Lave, a professor of criminal law at the Universtiy of Miami who also practiced as a public defender for 10 years, told ThinkProgress it’s a “no brainer.”
Under Florida Law, there is a “qualified privilege” for journalists that protects their conversations with sources. But this privilege can be overcome, per Florida Evidence Code 90.5015….
Don’t forget Michelle Obama on The Colbert Report tonight
Florida Atlantic University, April 10
People look at their pictures with First Lady Michelle Obama as Mrs. Obama continues to greets guests at the Joining Forces Community Challenge event on the South Lawn of the White House, April 11. (Official White House Photo by Sonya N. Hebert)