POLITICAL WIRE’S HEADLINES – 8/20

Does Romney Think Taxes are Charity?

Mitt Romney seemed to suggest that paying taxes was like donating to charity “when he responded to questions about how much he pays in taxes by suggesting that people should take into account his total contributions to the government and charities,” theWashington Post reports.

“The comment was a quick one — a by-golly insistence that despite paying a relatively low tax rate on his vast income, the millions he has given to charity show that he’s not a greedy guy. But experts who research public attitudes on philanthropy on both sides of the political spectrum said it was an inadvertently revealing moment, a brief window into the deep philosophical differences between how liberals and conservatives view government and society.”

Did Romney Commit Ethics Breach with Ryan’s Brother?

The Daily Telegraph reports Mitt Romney “may have breached state ethics laws as Governor of Massachusetts by holding a stake in a company that did lucrative work for his administration and was linked to the family of Paul Ryan.”

Norquist Says Bush Lied to Americans

In an interview with ABC News, Grover Norquist dismissed recent criticism of his tax pledge from former President George H.W. Bush, saying the 41st president had “lied” to the American people by raising taxes while in office.

Said Norquist: “When George Herbert Walker Bush ran for president, he promised the American people he wouldn’t raise their taxes. He lied to them. He broke his commitment to them and they threw him out of office four years later.”

Heavy on Attacks, Light on Wonkery

Rep. Paul Ryan “is known for policy wonkiness and knowledge of minute details of the U.S. budget,” but National Journal notes that during his first week on the national campaign trail “he largely devoted himself to full-throated attacks on President Obama.”

“Part of Ryan’s approach is grounded in tradition: The historical role of the vice presidential candidate is less to offer specific policy proposals, than to ensure that voters don’t trust those offered by the other side. Vice President Joe Biden is playing that part for the administration, tearing apart Ryan and Mitt Romney just as much as Ryan lambastes Obama (case in point: Biden’s infamous “chains” comment earlier this week).”

“But part of it also is by design. Ryan’s aides see a value in having him spend most of his time focusing on Obama’s record.”

Ryan Discloses Family Trust

Rep. Paul Ryan “changed his financial disclosure documents this spring to show the addition of a trust valued between $1 million and $5 million, while Mitt Romney’s campaign was vetting him for the Republican presidential ticket,” the Wall Street Journal reports.

“The trust came from his wife’s inheritance from her mother’s estate in 2010.”

“The Ryans’ estimated net worth exceeds $4 million, and his overall assets, including the trust, range from about $2 million to $7 million, putting him in the ranks of American’s wealthiest families but well below Mr. Romney’s net worth of about $250 million.”

Ike’s Bluff

Coming next month: Ike’s Bluff: President Eisenhower’s Secret Battle to Save the World by Evan Thomas.

“Facing the Soviet Union, China, and his own generals, some of whom believed a first strike was the only means of survival, Eisenhower would make his boldest and riskiest bet yet, one of such enormity that there could be but two outcomes: the survival of the world, or its end.”

Does a Nasty Campaign Mean a Nasty Presidency?

Walter Shapiro: “Is there a direct connection between the way you run for the presidency (or re-election) and the way you govern from the White House? Do the American people automatically lose when a president is elected after a campaign so dishonest that it would embarrass Boss Tweed and Tammany Hall?”

“Since I began covering presidential politics more than three decades ago, the worst campaign in terms of both morality and truthfulness was the one waged by George H.W. Bush in 1988 against a hapless Michael Dukakis… But once elected, President Bush displayed little resemblance to Candidate Bush, who had put his integrity in a blind trust administered by Atwater and Ailes.”

Ads Will Stop on 9/11

CNN reports neither presidential campaign will run television commercials on September 11 this year.

“In 2008, candidates Obama and Sen. John McCain paused their campaigns on September 11 and jointly visited Ground Zero in New York City in commemoration of the 2001 attacks.”

Romney Family Overruled Advisers

Sources close to the campaign and family tell McKay Coppins that Ann Romney and her five sons urged Mitt Romney to go with his gut and pick Rep. Paul Ryan as his running mate — even as most of the other campaign advisers expressed their doubts.

“Romney, who has long trusted his wife’s ‘people instincts,’ gave substantial weight to her endorsement, which, combined with his own personal preference for Ryan, was enough to overrule his advisers’ concerns.”

Obama Leads in Michigan

Mitchell Research survey in Michigan finds President Obama leads Mitt Romney in the Republican candidate’s native state by five points, 49% to 44%.

Republicans Try “Mediscare” Tactic

With their agressive counterattack on Medicare, John Avlon says Mitt Romney and Republicans are “head-spinningly hypocritical on the same issue they’ve hung on Democrats for years.”

Charles Krauthammer: “If Mitt Romney and Ryan can successfully counterattack Mediscare, the Ryan effect becomes a major plus. Because: (a) Ryan nationalizes the election and makes it ideological, reprising the 2010 dynamic that delivered a ‘shellacking’ to the Democrats. (b) If the conversation is about big issues, Obama cannot hide from his dismal economic record and complete failure of vision. … (c) Image. Ryan, fresh and 42, brings youth, energy and vitality – the very qualities Obama projected in 2008 and has by now depleted.”

Mark Halperin: “There’s still a big difference on the pure politics of the Medicare fight (putting aside the merits for a moment): Democrats are sure they can win in the end; Republicans are hopeful, but far from certain they will prevail. And some GOPers still believe it can cost them the election, despite Boston’s push.”

Obama Releases First Medicare Ad

The Obama campaign put out its first Medicare ad.

Alex Burns: “This won’t be the Obama team’s last Medicare ad, and almost certainly won’t be its toughest one either, but it’s the starting point of the Democratic paid media campaign on one of the issues that will define the general election.”

The ad is airing in New Hampshire, Virginia, North Carolina, Florida, Ohio, Iowa, Colorado and Nevada.

See more…

Romney to Campaign with Ryan Again

Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan “plan to campaign together again sooner than aides had originally planned, likely twice next week, as part of a new offensive to take on the touchy issue of Medicare,” Politico reports.

“Despite the continued skepticism among GOP operatives in Washington and on House and Senate races, Romney officials insist that the addition of Ryan has produced a more confident campaign with a clearer message, focused on big ideas rather than the pettiness that had earlier threatened to submerge the race.”

“Romney and Ryan had planned to go their separate ways before meeting up at the end of the month at the Republican National Convention in Tampa. But then campaign strategists saw how much of a psychic boost Romney got from Ryan — and how much more animated Romney appeared on television with his younger running mate at his side.”

Romney Already Planning the Takeover

Mitt Romney already has a transition team which the New York Times notes “is an extension of his campaign and reflects many hallmarks of the Romney operation — methodical and disciplined, with acute attention to detail. The team also offers a glimpse of what might be Mr. Romney’s approach to governing, functioning much like his old private equity firm, Bain Capital. The team is assessing the government and looking for ways to make it more efficient and streamlined.”

Indiana Senate Race Looks Close

Garin-Hart-Yang Research (D) survey in Indiana finds Joe Donnelly (D) just ahead of Richard Mourdock (R) in the U.S. Senate race, 45% to 43%.

Meanwhile, a Market Research Insight (R) poll finds Mourdock with a small lead, 41% to 39%.

Explore posts in the same categories: Candidates, National, Politics

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