Archive for the ‘GOP’ Category

7:00 CT — Starting in about an hour, I’ll be liveblogging tonight’s debate. I’m sure I’ll be the only person liveblogging/tweeting. LOL
7:05 — I’ll be following the Heritage Foundation’s live feed but I’m also DVR’ing the debate. I’m LFRGary on Twitter for those who will be following the debate that way. At the end of each segment, I’ll probably post something to Twitter using the #Debate2012 hashtag.
7:25 — The key to Mitt doing well tonight, I think, will be whether he starts with a criticism of Obama’s economy, then finishes with his solution. If he does that, he’ll win the debate. Whether that happens is the question.
7:40 — T-20 minutes and counting. Will Mitt come out unflappable? Will President Obama. Only 20 minutes until we find out.
7:45 — This isn’t liveblogging stuff but it’s good information going forward:

A Non-Recovery Recovery
The August report shows that the labor market is continuing its non-recovery. Average job growth for 2012 is worse than average job growth in 2011. Fiscal policies from Washington have made the situation worse. While President Obama has promised to reduce regulations, which would help job creation, his largest initiative, Obamacare, will harm employment. The Obamacare tax hikes coincide with the expiration of the 2001 and 2003 tax cuts in January 2013.

7:55 — Jim Lehrer just finished giving instructions. Crowd applauds the finish of the instructions.
8:00 — The debate starts in 2 minutes. GRRRR. I hate when politicians are late.
8:04 — 3 segments on the economy, 1 each on health care, role of gov’t & differences.
8:06 — Obama Gov. Romney wants to get the economy going by giving tax cuts for the rich.
8:08 — Romney outlines his 5 points. The President has a view that’s similar to 4 years ago.
8:10 — Obama talking about hiring 100,000 new teachers. Subconciously cedes fact that his approach now is the same as 4 years ago. Now talking about $5,000,000,000,000 tax cuts plus spending.
8:12 — Romney on the offensive. Incomes are down by $4,300 per year. Gas has doubled since Obama was inaugurated. Mitt: Energy production is up but not due to President Obama’s policies. BTW, I like coal.
8:15 — President Obama regurgitating the $5,000,000,000,000 in tax cuts & $2,000,000,000,000 military spending line.
8:18 — Romney: Virtually everything he said about my tax plan is inaccurate. Romnney is really on fire.
8:22 — Romney: Takes Obama to task about the $5,000,000,000,000 tax cut. Says that his plan isn’t like anything like other plans tried before.
8:28 — Romney: I will grow economy while cutting spending. Includes cutting PBS, repealing Obamacare.
8:30 — Obama is talking about Bowles-Simpson like it’s his plan. Talk about chutzpah.
8:34 — Romney: I believe in raising revenues not taxes.
8:35 — Obama is clearly on defensive. Talking balanced approach = tax increases.
NOTE: Mitt nailed President Obama with his statement that President Obama complains about “$2.8 Trillion in tax breaks for Exxon” but giving “about 50 years worth of tax breaks to Solyndra.”
8:52 — Mitt on regulations: As a businessman, I needed to know the regulations. Dodd-Frank “designates 5 banks as too big to fail” as permanent. Too many community banks went bankrupt after Dodd-Frank.
9:00 — Obama: Gov. Romney did a good thing in Massachussetts.
9:03 — Mitt: In Massachussetts, we all came together. Mr. President, You didn’t bring people together. You pushed it through. When Scott Brown won, you still pushed it through without a single Republican vote.
9:07 — The folks at NRO are impressed with Mitt, unimpressed with President Obama. Says that President Obama is meandering, unfocused, Mitt is focused, with “no uhs, no ums.” I agree.
9:14 — Role of gov’t: President Obama – Cites Lincoln as creating transcontinental railroad.
9:17 — Romney: I believe that our Constitution means that we care for those who can’t provide for themselves but that we provide the opportunity for people to pursue their own dreams.

If this report is accurate, which I’m confident it is, then it’s time to distill all of the Democrats’ happy talk into a simple message: “People, if this continues, we’re in trouble.” Here’s what I’m referring to:

Paul —

I just got this disturbing report: Yesterday’s Romney-Ryan rally in North Carolina pulled in an overflow crowd of 15,000 people.

There’s no spinning that number. It’s a LOT of people, and the Republican base in energized.

And that’s not all. Since the VP announcement, Romney’s campaign has brought in over 70,000 donations from his Tea Party base.

We’ve got to step up our game and mobilize our supporters, starting right now.

TRANSLATION: Holy shit Batman, we’re in trouble.

Seriously, I’m certain that the Democrats didn’t anticipate this spike in attendance. They couldn’t have seen it coming. They might’ve anticipated it for Paul Ryan. There’s no way they could’ve anticipated it for Mitt Romney.

While the polling hasn’t shown a shift in the enthusiasm gap, these crowds indicate one thing: that the size of the GOP base is growing. It’s one thing to close the enthusiasm gap. It’s quite another for the gap to widen in the size of a party’s base.

President Obama, talking in Iowa like Paul Ryan was, drew a significantly smaller crowd than Chairman Ryan. The headline on Drudge hinted that President Obama had lost the magic from 2008. That’s hardly a surprise.

That’s why the Democrats’ last option is to go disgustingly negative all the time. That’s certainly what’s happening. That might’ve worked pre-Ryan. It would’ve worked pre-Ryan if Mitt hadn’t outraised President Obama.

In 2008, President Obama buried Sen. McCain’s message, if he had one, with a tsunami of advertising. This time, especially with Paul Ryan on the ticket, Mitt has a message. This time, Mitt’s able to go toe-to-toe with President Obama in the ad wars.

Most importantly, Paul Ryan’s time-tested appeal to thoughtful Democrats and independents, combined with Mitt’s fundraising abilities, will grow the GOP base the right way.

That’s why Democrats should be worried.

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Minutes ago, I published this post titled Scariest headline this am. Had I seen this headline, I would’ve ranked them 1 and 1A.

ROMNEY CASH HAUL TOPS OBAMA

The contents of the article aren’t a joy to the Obama campaign either:

(Reuters) – Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney and Republican groups raised more than $76.8 million in May, his campaign said on Thursday, topping the $60 million President Barack Obama and his Democratic allies hauled in.

The campaign and Republican National Committee have $107 million cash on hand, the campaign said.

(Reporting By Patricia Zengerle)

This is the worst news President Obama could get from the campaign operation. First, news that President Obama’s major ad blitz didn’t barely move the needle of public opinion. Next, the news that he’ll actually be outfundraised (and probably by a pretty wide margin) won’t cheer him up, either.

This is shaping up to be another miserable morning for the Obama campaign. It’s time for Mssrs. Axelrod and Plouffe to order more cases of Maalox.

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Chip Cravaack laid the wood to the DFL in this fiery speech at the 2012 MNGOP Convention:

Here’s a transcript of the hardest-hitting part of the speech:

I have to be blunt. Our opponents don’t have the guts to do what’s right or what needs to be done. If they have any courage, they’re not showing it right now. Go ahead and ask them “Show us the tough decisions you’ve made. Show us where you’ve been at odds with the President. Show us where you have been an independent voice in the decisions in the best interests of this country.”

They can’t. The fact is that they haven’t made the tough decisions that the country needs now. They talk about leadership but that’s all it is. It’s all talk.

Under Harry Reid’s ‘leadership’, the Senate hasn’t passed a budget in over 3 years. They’ve sabotaged House legislation that would’ve jumpstarted the economy. Reid’s Senate filibustered the Keystone XL Pipeline to death, preventing job creation and energy independence.

On the House side, the Democrats haven’t proposed anything constructive since the 2006 disaster. We’re still paying the price for their ill-advised legislative ‘accomplishments’.

The Democrats in DC were clearly the target of Chip’s speech. Chip exposed Sen. Klobuchar’s less-than-moderate voting record. Chip fed the faithful one hunk of red meat after another. The impressive part was watching him do it while making a strong case for conservatism and without sounding mean-spirited.

If the NRSC and NRCC were wise, they’d mimic Chip’s speech, especially in terms of hitting the Democrats over the head with accusations that they’re the do-nothings in DC. The NRSC and NRCC should highlight how Democrats are devoid of leadership. Similarly, the NRSC and NRCC should highlight the fact that Democrats are the party that won’t fight against Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi when they have the opportunity to do what’s right for America.

If the NRSC and NRCC follow Chip’s lead, this will be a great year for Republicans.

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Dick Morris is getting famous for making bold election predictions, then seeing those predictions turning into reality. This prediction faces an uphill fight if it’s to become reality:

If the election were held today, Mitt Romney would win by a landslide.

Anyone who’s read this blog knows that I was the first blogger to support Newt. I’ll believe that to my dying breath. That said, it isn’t difficult to picture Mitt defeating President Obama this November.

I’ve said that the GOP has a good chance of tipping a few Midwest blue states into the red column from the beginning. This polling is the first substantiation of that opinion:

Over the period of May 4-6, I completed a poll of 400 likely voters in Michigan and found Romney leading by 45-43! And Michigan is one of the most pro-Democrat of the swing states.

I also found that Obama’s personal favorability, which has usually run about 10 to 20 points higher than his job approval, is now equal to his job rating. In Michigan, his personal favorability among likely voters is 47-47, while his job rating is 50-48. Romney’s favorability is 49-42.

After the Indiana GOP primary, I’m picking that as the most likely of the Midwest states to go from blue in 2008 to red in 2012, followed by Wisconsin, then Michigan.

Throughout the last 5 years of Jennifer Granholm’s administration, Michigan led the nation in unemployment rates. Couple that with Kwame Fitzpatrick’s corruption in Detroit and you’ve got a perfect anti-Democrat storm brewing there.

At this point, I’m rating Michigan as a toss-up for the presidential election, with Indiana going strong GOP and with Wisconsin being somewhere between leans GOP and a toss-up.

Mssrs. Axelrod and Plouffe worst nightmare is President Obama fighting to win Michigan.

In 2008, North Carolina went Obama. This past Tuesday, African-American voters in North Carolina sent President Obama a clear message by voting for North Carolina’s constitutional amendment banning gay marriage.

North Carolina, Virginia and Florida all flipped from red to blue in 2008. President Obama won’t repeat that feat this time. In fact, there’s a decent possibility that this trio of states flips those states back into the red column this time.

While I don’t agree with all of Morris’ predictions, I agree with him to the extent that there’s a decent possibility of an electoral romp by Mitt.

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In the aftermath of Nixon’s resignation, the popular cliche was that it wasn’t the break-in that got Nixon. It was the cover-up. These days, that can be adapted to a different scandal. In the case of factchecker Politifact, it isn’t the initial story that nailed them. It was the spin that nailed them. Here’s the first details:

On April 5, Politifact conceded that the 92.3 percent figure cited by the Romney campaign was accurate and, then, promptly, and unbelievably, said that the claims made by the Romney campaign were “mostly false.”

Here’s how Team Romney rocked Politifact:

Politifact’s report left many scratching their heads, and one such person was Lanhee Chen, Romney’s Policy Director, who fired off an e-mail that eviscerated Politifact’s analysis point by point.

“Putting aside the obvious problems with rating an accurate statement mostly false, your analysis in this instance was so inadequate that the piece ended up being little more than Obama for America spin,” Chen wrote.

Chen then noted that Politifact had an “embarrassing bias and lack of journalistic standards” but “far more troubling were the selection of your two experts” and rightfully called Politifact out on its blatant biases.

Chen was referring to Gary Burtlett and Betsey Stevenson, the two experts Politifact cited in its takedown of Romney.

As Chen noted, “Gary Burtless has already donated twice to President Obama’s campaign this cycle” and, “much more inexplicably, Bestey (sic) Stevenson, who you identify simply as ‘a business and public policy professor at Princeton University,‘ was until recently the chief economist for Secretary of Labor Hilda Solis.”

It’s impossible to take Politifact seriously when their factcheckers are pro-Obama hatchetmen. It’s become fashionable for media outlets to factcheck political ads.

Locally, I only trust Tom Hauser’s factchecking. Nationally, I only trust FactCheck.org. They’re the most consistent in verifying the facts. They’re the people who consistently review the candidates’ past statements. They’re the gold standard.

It’s encouraging to see Mitt hit back at Politifact this early in the campaign. That’s a signal that the Obama-loving Media won’t get to push him around. That’s something the McCain campaign never did.

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Last night was caucus night in Minnesota. Though conservatives are dispirited elsewhere across the nation, there was no lack of enthusiasm at the Benton County precinct caucuses.

Four years ago, 230 people attended the precinct caucuses. This year, 284 attended, almost a 25% increase.

In addition to the increased attendance, there were other big stories. For instance, Mitt slipped from winning the Benton County straw poll in 2008 with 107 votes to finishing last this year with a paltry 19 votes. That’s a drop of 80%.

Ron Paul won with 147 votes, up from 90 just 4 short years ago. Sen. Rick Santorum finished second with 89 votes, followed by Newt with 26 votes.

I’m told that Ron Paul won the SD-15 straw poll, too, this time with 40% of the vote, with Sen. Santorum getting 37% of the vote, followed by Newt, then Mitt well down the list.

This isn’t good news for Mitt. If he can’t win in the reddest part of Minnesota, he’ll get crushed this November. Couple that with Mitt’s devastating loss in Missouri and you’ve got the start of a ‘Mitt can’t win in the Heartland’ storyline gaining credibility.

The other message sent last night is that Mitt isn’t popular with the Roman Catholics or evangelical voters that comprise most of the voters in central Minnesota. Having Mitt Romney at the top of the ticket in Minnesota won’t make life easier for GOP legislative candidates though it wouldn’t be a fatal blow.

Having Sen. Santorum at the top of the ticket, though, would be a fantastic fit for GOP legislators’ campaigns in central Minnesota because of his blue collar background and his staunch pro-life stance.

This information isn’t directly related to the Benton County precinct caucuses but it’s still relevant because, in what feels like centuries ago, Tarryl Clark was my state senator. Apparently, Tarryl doesn’t ‘travel’ well:

Former DFL Congressman Rick Nolan won a straw poll of DFL caucus-goers in Minnesota’s 8th Congressional District.

Districts are still reporting results, but Nolan has so far picked up 1,381 votes, 500 more than Duluth City Council member Jeff Anderson (875 votes). Former state Sen. Tarryl Clark received 365 votes. At least 231 voters said they were uncommitted.

Tarryl collected 365 votes from a pool of 2,852 voters. That’s 12.8% or 1 of 8 CD-8 voters. Rick Nolan, who was my congressman from 1975-1981, won with 48.4% of CD-8 DFL attendees.

There’s no arguing that Tarryl has the CoH to compete in a primary. Still, this straw poll confirms the rumors that’ve floated for the last 2-3 months: that CD-8 doesn’t like Tarryl because she’s seen as a carpetbagger. This straw poll won’t do anything to change that opinion.

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Now that Mitt’s inevitability mirage has been burst, the DC GOP establishment is engaged in a panicked, coordinated fearmongering attack. Thomas DeFrank’s op-ed is the poster child for that fearmongering:

WASHINGTON — South Carolina’s rebellious Republicans rewarded an improbable, against-the-grain victor — but he wasn’t even on the ballot.

Mitt Romney’s disastrous tax meltdown, coupled with Newt Gingrich’s adroit bellicosity, media-baiting and Washington-bashing, have campaign strategists smiling this weekend in the Chicago headquarters of the Democratic nominee.

“The winner in South Carolina was Barack Obama,” a prominent Republican strategist glumly volunteered. “This plays perfectly into his hands. We’ve prolonged the process, and that’s good news for the President.”

The GOP idiots in DC started parroting that line last night. The truth is, the DC GOP establishment has already shown their hand. It isn’t a pretty sight:

So look for more party leaders currently “neutral-for-Romney” to get off the fence to inoculate against a Gingrich surge.

“Newt means losing 45 states,” a Mitt-leaning GOPer told the Daily News. “It would be a catastrophe for the country.”

Do these idiots think we’re that gullible? Losing 45 states is quite a feat. Only Walter Mondale has accomplished that.

Do these DC idiots think that Newt wouldn’t sweep the southeastern states? Do they think he wouldn’t win the Heartland? The only way the Midwest, the Heartland and the South don’t go GOP is if there’s unprecedented voter fraud in each state in those three regions.

Let’s look at Mitt’s solutions. Most involve playing the class warfare card or they’re utterly timid. At a time when animating the TEA Party is essential, Mitt’s doing his best to lull them to sleep, both for the primaries and the general election.

Note to Mitt: The last time we had a candidate who ran a general election campaign throughout the primaries was 2008. That didn’t turn out well. If you don’t engage the base, you’ll get smoked as badly as Sen. McCain did.

Legal Insurrection is all over this topic in this post. Be sure to read it because it exposes the fearmongers.

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FNC has declared Newt Gingrich the winner of the South Carolina GOP Primary. I expected Newt to win but I didn’t see this coming.

UPDATE I: Newt’s scheduled to be on 3 Sunday shows. According to this article, he isn’t going on ABC or FNS:

ABC’s “This Week” – 2012 GOP presidential candidate Rick Santorum.

NBC’s “Meet the Press” – 2012 GOP presidential candidate Newt Gingrich; Gov. Chris Christie, R-N.J.

CBS’ “Face the Nation” – Gingrich; former Gov. Haley Barbour, R-Miss., and Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C.

CNN’s “State of the Union” – Gingrich; Santorum; Sen. Jim DeMint, R-S.C., and Rep. James Clyburn, D-S.C.

“Fox News Sunday” – House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio; Stuart Stevens, campaign strategist for 2012 GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney.

UPDATE II: WHOA. When FNC went into their last break, Mitt was leading Newt 38%-33%. When they returned from break, Newt was at 36%, Mitt at 33%.

I know that polls fluctuate as vote totals come in but that’s a major shift. It’s an indication to me that Newt must’ve done exceptionally well in the conservative part of the state. That isn’t good news for Mitt.

PS- Stuart Stevens has been replaced with Mitt himself tomorrow morning.

UPDATE III: Mitt’s unravelling onstage. This is tragic. He’s now attacking Newt for “not having run a business and not having run a state.” This won’t play well. There will be a backlash against Mitt’s spoiled brat attitude. He should’ve been gracious.

UPDATE III: I’m not alone in thinking Mitt’s speech was ill-received:

Romney launches into the usual Obama-bashing, saying he wants to “fundamentally transform” the United States. He says he’ll finally balance the U.S. budget. It all gets the requisite applause—the promise to repeal Obamacare, the rage against his strategy of “appeasement”—but it feels fairly rote. Now Romney is tying President Obama with an unnamed candidate—Gingrich—who “has not run a business and has not run a state.” He accuses people who attack him—Gingrich—as attacking free enterprise. “We have seen a frontal assault on free enterprise,” Romney says, adding we expected it from Obama, but not from within his party. “The Republican Party doesn’t demonize prosperity, we celebrate success within our party.”

Americans will demand “a real choice,” Romney says, between the forces of freedom and prosperity and Obama, “and I think they’ll choose us.” He says the battle over job credentials is “a battle we can win.” Obama says other candidates—Gingrich—who “demonize” prosperity are doing Obama’s work. Then he promises to fight “in every state.”

And that’s basically it. Wow. Earlier tonight, I said that I thought Romney needed to turn in some sort of a humanizing performance tonight, that he had to give a little something extra of himself to defuse the characterization of him as an emotionless money-raising machine. He surely didn’t do that. In the minutes since the speech, the Romney campaign has already announced more appearances for Romney in the media, including a Tuesday speech intended to counter President Obama’s State of the Union address, laying out his plan for the nation. I’m not so sure that any of that matters, unless Romney can manage to change the way he delivers his message.

Mitt’s spoiled brat side is showing and it isn’t appealing. If Mitt doesn’t adjust his presentation, he’ll lose the support of alot of independents.

UPDATE IV: Here’s the video of Mitt’s spoiled brat ‘concession speech’:

Mitt’s bad-mouthing of Speaker Gingrich starts about 4:20 into the video. If Mitt’s right in thinking that conservatives want a candidate with a fighting attitude. Mitt’s crazy if he thinks that conservatives want a candidate who’s in fight mode against the primary winner during what’s supposed to be a moment of humility and graciousness.

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Prior to Saturday night’s debate, the pro-Gingrich Winning Our Future PAC got a major shot in the arm:

A Las Vegas billionaire has contributed $5 million to an independent group backing Newt Gingrich, breathing new life into the former House Speaker’s struggling campaign for the GOP presidential nomination and casting renewed attention on the role of such groups in the 2012 contest.

A person familiar with the development said Sheldon Adelson, a casino mogul and longtime donor to Republican candidates, made the contribution Friday to Winning Our Future, a super PAC run by Gingrich allies. The person, who spoke on the condition of anonymity and was not authorized to discuss the matter publicly, said Adelson is expected to contribute as much or more to the candidate who eventually wins the Republican nomination, be it Gingrich or one of his rivals.

Rick Tyler, a former top Gingrich strategist and spokesman for Winning Our Future, declined to comment on the donation, which was first reported by The Washington Post. Politico reported last month that Adelson was prepared to spend $20 million to help Gingrich.

While Newt Gingrich can’t use any of this money directly, he’ll be the beneficiary because Winning Our Future PAC will use it to purchase lots of media in South Carolina and Florida.

More importantly, this means that Mitt better plan for the long haul because it isn’t likely that Newt’s going away anytime soon. Most importantly, this is a morale boost for Newt’s supporters in South Carolina and beyond.

That isn’t what Mitt wanted to have happen. Mitt wanted to eliminate his competition early. Adelman’s pledge probably means that Mitt will have to debate Newt one-on-one.

Considering the fact that Newt’s lead in gravitas is substantial, I can’t imagine why that Mitt wouldn’t be frightened by that possibility.

If Newt’s campaign was running on fumes, Mitt wouldn’t have to worry about that possibility. Because of this contribution to the pro-Newt PAC, Newt’s fundraising can be dedicated mostly to buying air time in Florida and South Carolina as well as beefing up staffing in those states.

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