POLITICAL WIRE’S HEADLINES – 8/10
A tough new ad from the Obama campaign takes on Mitt Romney’s taxes and even suggests Romney may have paid no taxes at one point.
The ad also says Romney approved an illegal tax avoidance scheme while a Marriott board member.
Meanwhile, an aide to Sen. Harry Reid (D-NV) tells the Huffington Post that the accusation Romney paid no taxes for ten years comes from “an investor in Bain Capital, a Republican also, and somebody who has been dealing with Romney’s company for a long, long time and he has direct knowledge of this.”
A new CNN/Opinion Research poll finds President Obama leading Mitt Romney nationally by seven points, 52% to 45%.
Key findings: “Romney’s favorable rating has remained steady (47% now compared to 48% in July), his unfavorable rating has jumped from 42% last month to 48% now. The president’s 56%-42% favorable-unfavorable rating now is little changed from July.”
Other findings: 64% of all Americans, and 68% of independents, think Romney favors the rich over the middle class. And 63% of the public thinks Romney should release more tax returns than he has already made public, a figure which rises to 67% among independents.
A new Fox News poll shows Obama leading by nine points, 49% to 40%.
Mitt Romney told NBC News that he wants a vice president with “a vision for the country, that adds something to the political discourse about the direction of the country.”
But he “would not say if he is any closer to making a decision or if he had made a decision.”
Romney’s comments about “vision for the country” and adding “to the political discourse” certainly fit the mold of Rep. Paul Ryan better than they do either Tim Pawlenty or Sen. Rob Portman, the most often mentioned as being on Romney’s short list.
CNN reports the DNC is rolling out a bus tour to trail Mitt Romney over the weekend through key battle ground states, while accusing the GOP nominee of having economic policies which throw “the middle class under the bus.”
“The DNC tour will last for four days and make stops in Virginia, North Carolina, Florida and Ohio between Friday and Monday starting in Alexandria, Virginia on Friday at 9:30 a.m. ET, according to their announcement. The bus debuted Thursday parked, as a not-so-subtle jab, outside the Republican National Committee headquarters in Washington.”
Four staffers of former Rep. Thad McCotter (R-MI) “were charged today in connection with the false nominating petitions that led to McCotter’s departure from Congress,” the Detroit Free Press reports.
Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette described the four as “not simply Keystone Kops running amok… criminal acts were committed,” adding that the cut-and-paste jobs on the petitions “would make an elementary art teacher cringe.”
Sen. Rob Portman (R-OH) threw cold water on the idea of becoming Mitt Romney’s running mate telling CNN he thinks he’ll “end up staying” in the Senate.
Said Portman: “I just got elected two years ago. I think that’s where I’m going to end up staying.”
Mark McKinnon explains why Mitt Romney’s speech at the Republican convention may make or break him.
Mark Halperin: “The past week saw an escalation of the negativity, as depressing as it is predictable, that has infused the entire election year… The two campaigns would rather not discuss tough issues like the deficit, so they need distractions. Senior strategists in both camps are veterans of scorched-earth election victories, and they don’t believe voters are turned off by negative ads…”
“Which side does the race to the gutter help? The conventional wisdom says a fight over anything but the weak economy benefits Obama, and his team acknowledges that his path to victory requires making Romney an un acceptable alternative. But the Republicans think Obama’s personal likability has been able to protect his favorability ratings from negative perceptions of his economic record, and they hope he will dirty his good name by mud wrestling with Romney. Best bet: the nuclear summer becomes a nuclear fall.”
First Read: “Here we are in August and what the Obama campaign, at the beginning of all this, said would be the battleground states are the battleground states. They are not what the Romney camp said and hoped it would be, expanding to places like Pennsylvania and Minnesota (and Michigan and Wisconsin still look like reaches). Look at the four states where the campaigns are advertising most heavily this week (by points) – Colorado, Ohio, Virginia, and Iowa. All four are states George W. Bush and Barack Obama carried. And just one of those is a state Al Gore carried (Iowa).”
“The point is: just four years ago, these were all places Republicans had traditionally been favored in. Yes, it speaks to polarization and a demographically divided America. But this is one reason why Romney’s perceived to be slightly behind – because he hasn’t expanded the playing field. Now, Obama’s defending in all these states, but he’s just not playing defense enough or in any other places. There has been advertising in just 11 states this election, now it’s really only just about eight — with none or very little in Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, and Michigan.”
The Scotts Miracle-Gro Company, “familiar as the producer of a ubiquitous plant fertilizer, is now a political player, donating $200,000 in June to the Restore Our Future super PAC supporting Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney,” the Washington Post reports.
“That makes Miracle-Gro among the first public companies with well-known consumer brands to publicly enter the new world of campaign funding. That world has been reshaped by the 2010 Supreme Court decision Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission, which allowed direct corporate spending on election campaigns.”
Said Romney: “Oh, that was a moment of humor as we had just done what we thought was impossible. We had raised $37 million from other people and institutions who entrusted us with their funds, and we thought it was a miracle that our group had been able to be so successful in fundraising. And ultimately we were able to yield for them a very attractive return by such investments as Staples, which was in our very first fund… We had a great group of people, each one of whom I think of fondly.”
Mark Halperin: “There has been barely a squawk from any significant and/or loud Democratic voice over Harry Reid’s tax accusations or the new Obama super PAC ad. And yet when Romney spokesperson Andrea Saul makes some stray, random remark about health care, Rush Limbaugh, Ann Coulter, and Erick Erickson go code red in their criticism of Romney and his campaign.”
“As a snapshot of a key metric — control over their extended teams and keeping people in line — Chicago seems to have a big advantage on this one.”
The Wall Street Journal editorial page says Mitt Romney should pick Rep. Paul Ryan as his running mate.
“Too risky, goes the Beltway chorus. His selection would make Medicare and the House budget the issue, not the economy. The 42-year-old is too young, too wonky, too, you know, serious. Beneath it all you can hear the murmurs of the ultimate Washington insult–that Mr. Ryan is too dangerous because he thinks politics is about things that matter. That dude really believes in something, and we certainly can’t have that.”
“All of which highly recommend him for the job.”
Rich Lowry: “That the hyper-cautious Romney is seriously considering him counts as one of the biggest surprises of a campaign almost entirely lacking in them. Picking Ryan would represent a Romney revolt against conventional wisdom. And appropriately so — since the conventional wisdom is wrong.”
Six Utah counties have more registered voters on its rolls than the census found actually residing there, the Salt Lake Tribune reports.
“They like what I say. I’m a very popular guy, as crazy as it might sound. It’s nice to be loved.”
— Donald Trump, quoted by the New York Times, still hoping for a speaking slot at the GOP convention.
Bloomberg notes that four years ago, Goldman Sachs employees “gave three-fourths of their campaign donations to Democratic candidates and committees, including presidential nominee Barack Obama. This time, they’re showering 70% of their contributions on Republicans.”
“That’s the biggest switch among the 25 companies whose employees have given the most to candidates and parties since 1989… Goldman isn’t alone; 13 of the companies’ employees are now giving more to Republicans after backing Democrats four years ago.”
As Mitt Romney and his campaign team “make the final adjustments to their plans for the convention,” the New York Times notes “they are grappling with the delicate questions that hang over these quadrennial gatherings of clashing ambition, competing political agendas and outsize egos. Add to this year’s mix personalities colorful enough to fill a reality show, and the fastidiously controlled, leave-nothing-to-chance Romney campaign has faced some hazardous casting choices. And what they decide could turn off the independent voters their carefully choreographed convention is meant to sway.”
Not speaking: Newt Gingrich, Michele Bachmann, Herman Cain, and Rick Perry.
Possibly speaking: Donald Trump and Sarah Palin.Explore posts in the same categories: Candidates, National, Politics