Tag: Mitt Romney
President Barack Obama made a recent splash with his decision to use his executive power to create a path to legal residency for undocumented young immigrants who were brought into the country as children. Now, Republican presidential hopeful Mitt Romney is prepared to offer his own proposals to ease immigration restrictions.
Political analysts see a political motive in the actions of both men: They want to cultivate Hispanic voters.
McClatchy News Service reports that Romney is scheduled to talk about immigration issues today (Thursday, June 21) in Florida, a key presidential battleground with a large Hispanic population.
The McClatchy reporter’s lead paragraph says Romney is offering “few new proposals.” That may be true, but to me it’s big news that the Republican nominee is proposing any kind of easing of restrictions on immigration. There is a slice of the GOP base that seems to favor a zero-tolerance, zero-clemency, ship-em-all-out approach.
Romney is proposing permanent residency and even eventual citizenship for young people who crossed the border illegally with their families, as kids. But there’s a big qualifier: military service.
Romney’s package of proposed immigration reforms also includes a business-friendly increase in existing immigration quotas for highly-skilled workers, as well as the raising of immigration quotas for individual countries that tend to drive skilled professionals from those countries into Canada, Australia and so forth.
Of special interest to Whatcom County, Romney also proposes improvements in temporary visas to allow growers to bring in seasonal farm labor.
He also pledges to complete a “high-tech fence” and take other measures to stop illegal border crossing.
Sheldon Adelson, the casino magnate identified by Forbes as one of America’s wealthiest people, has provided $10 million to a SuperPAC that is backing Mitt Romney for President, according to published reports.
The news organizations reporting this contribution to the “Restore our Future” PAC are relying on unnamed sources.
The Wall Street Journal says Restore Our Future would not confirm the donation, but cites “people with knowledge of the matter.” The Journal also reports that Adelson’s big issue is support for Israel: He wants a President who is more strongly pro-Israel than Barack Obama.
The Los Angeles Times reports that its Washington bureau checked out the Wall Street Journal’s report and confirmed that it was accurate, but LAT got no official confirmation either.
Adelson helped provide a big chunk of Newt Gingrich’s PAC money before the former House Speaker’s own presidential campaign fizzled.
As he continues to bash Obamacare, Mitt Romney is beginning to outline his own ideas on how to decrease health care costs while improving health care availability.
He still wants to protect people with pre-existing conditions, but his approach relies on measures that he says would increase the amount of free market competition for medical coverage.
After Democratic political consultant Hilary Rosen contended that Mitt Romney’s wife Ann–mother of five–had “never worked a day in her life,” other key Democrats scurried to try to repair relations with stay-at-home moms.
Just a day earlier, the Post’s E.J. Dionne was arguing that Obama’s higher approval ratings among many women, especially the well-educated, put him in a strong position to win the 2012 election using the same political coalition that elected him in 2008. As Dionne sees it, Romney’s efforts to counter Rick Santorum’s popularity among cultural conservatives boxed him into positions on contraception and abortion that alienated many women.
What do you think? Will this Hilary Rosen affair hurt Obama among women voters? Or is it just another one of those transitory events that roars through the echo chamber and then is heard no more?
A recent poll shows that 55 percent of Republicans and Republican-leaning independents now believe that the war in Afghanistan has not been worth fighting, according to an ABC News Poll.
The Post’s story indicates that Obama’s plan to hand over the fighting to Afghan forces by the end of 2014 should be a plus for Obama in his all-but-certain fall campaign against Mitt Romney.
Overall, two-thirds of Americans now believe that the war was a bad idea, according to the poll.
But I suspect that economics, not foreign and military policy, will be the key factor in the outcome of the election.
From John Stark
Despite Rick Santorum’s primary victories, the schedule and the delegate-assignment format of the remaining primaries give Mitt Romney every reason to be optimistic.
So says Aaron Blake writing on the Washington Post politics blog.
Blake notes that less than half the total delegates have been assigned so far, and if Romney runs as well as expected in California and New York, he may be able to reach the 1,144 delegates he needs for the nomination by early June, in the California primary.
In most of the remaining state primaries, delegates will be awarded on a prop0rtional basis, instead of in a winner-take-all format that makes victories more decisive, Blake notes.
The GOP presidential primary contest is boiling down to two questions: 1. Is Rick Santorum electable? 2. Is Mitt Romney nominatable? (If there isn’t such a word, there should be.)
Santorum’s Tuesday, March 14 primary victories in Alabama and Mississippi are keeping Republicans wondering about the answer to question 2. It seems that Santorum’s prospects would only improve if a weakened Newt Gingerich decides to bow out now. But as of today, Gingrich is vowing to press on – video clip via Washington Post. (Of course, candidates always vow to press on right up until the moment they drop out. But his supporters in Illinois are busily preparing for his scheduled appearances there.)
The Washington Post notes that next Tuesday, primary voters go to the polls in Illinois. Romney desperately needs a win there, building on his narrow primary victories in Michigan and Ohio, to regain his lost luster as the electable guy.
In an interesting campaign sidelight, Santorum accused Fox News of favoring Romney in its campaign coverage, and the network’s Greta Van Susteren debated the issue with Santorum later. Huffington Post reports.
If I were a GOP party operative, my nightmare scenario would be a Romney nomination, with an acceptance speech interrupted by bouts of booing from hard-liners on the convention floor, followed by a hardline third-party candidacy that enables Barack Obama to scoop up electoral votes in states he would have no chance of carrying in a two-way race.
Mitt Romney may have avoided disaster in the March 7 Super Tuesday primaries, but he also seems to have fallen well short of the decisive cluster of victories he needed to turn his spring and summer campaign into a triumphal march to the convention.
CNN’s John Avion notes that the next primary states are Kansas, Alabama and Mississippi, where Rick Santorum’s social conservatism is likely to play well.
Romney avoided bashing his rivals and exuded his customary self-confidence after the results were in. Reuters reports.
Steven Thomma of McClatchy News Service brushes aside the doubts about Romney, making the case that his superior organization makes him a far more likely nominee than any of his rivals.
Seems to me that the GOP is headed to a Romney-Santorum ticket in November. But I don’t pretend to be an expert.
As the pulse of the U.S. economy quickens a bit, the reelection prospects for Barack Obama seem to be brightening too.
Here’s a report from the Los Angeles Times, suggesting that the improvement in the jobs picture, plus the mud-wrestling among GOP presidential candidates, is pushing Obama’s poll ratings well above their lows.
But Obama himself notes that the economic story will have some twists and turns before Election Day, and prosperity as we once defined it seems pretty far out of reach.
Meanwhile, Newt Gingerich appears eager to carry the mud-wrestling match into the next round. That’s not my opinion: It comes from Dick Armey, a prominent former Republican member of Congress. Over the weekend, Armey said Ginerich has been “taking a second-rate campaign into a first-rate vendetta” against Mitt Romney.
Politico provides a film clip of Armey’s comments.
Has anyone else noticed how the GOP candidates have scrambled to outdo one another in showing contempt for the “bailout” that headed off the collapse of the U.S. auto industry–even though that bailout began in the waning days of the Bush administration? People in the auto manufacturing states have noticed. Here’s a column from David Kolb at the Muskegon Chronicle.
The Democrats are going to stress this issue in the months ahead. The rhetoric required to win the South Carolina primary could come back to haunt the Republican Party across Michigan, Illinois, Indiana and Ohio in November.
Although polls indicate a big win for Mitt Romney in the Tuesday, Jan. 31 Florida primary, it doesn’t appear likely to be a knockout blow to Romney’s rivals.
As the Washington Post’s Aaron Blake explains, that’s partly because of new rules on how delegates are allocated after primary results. Florida and the contests that preceded it are not winner-take-all events. At this point, even a big win in Florida would give Romney only a small fraction of the delegates he needs for the nomination. GOP leaders cut Florida’s delegate total to 50 because the state defied their wishes and moved the state’s primary up to January.
Newt Gingerich appears to have plenty of cash left in his campaign warchest, –USA Today reports– and Ron Paul’s backers make up in zeal what they may lack in numbers. The Post report says the Paul faction hopes to head to the convention with enough committed delegates to have an impact on the GOP’s positions on key issues.
In the topsy-turvey battle for the GOP presidential nomination, Mitt Romney is now poised for a big win in the Tuesday, Jan. 31 Florida primary, according to this report in the Miami Herald.
Besides the story itself, I was also interested by the reader comments that follow. Most of those comments come from anti-Obama Republicans who express their satisfaction at Romney’s resurgence after his South Carolina setback. Those comments seem to indicate that Newt Gingerich’s colorful marital history and his sharp attacks on Romney have stirred up a lot of hostility among Republicans.
If the poll proves accurate and Romney does win Florida by 20 points, will that tie up the nomination for him? It’s starting to look that way. But this year, who can be sure?
Remember when Herman Cain, and then Rick Perry, seemed to be gathering momentum for a stunning victory march to the GOP Presidential nomination?
But those brief moments in political time sped past, and then — we were told — the Republicans began their inevitable shift back to their tradition of safe and sensible Presidential politics: Mitt Romney won a squeaker in the Iowa caucuses, added a comfortable win in the New Hampshire primary, and rolled into South Carolina with a big lead in the preliminary polls, ready for a Deep South win that would pretty much lock up the nomination.
Oh wait. Rick Santorum actually got more votes in Iowa. Oops. Then Romney’s seemingly safe lead in South Carolina melted away, became a “neck-and-neck” race on the eve of the election, and turned into a full-scale disaster for Romney by the time the actual votes are counted.
Now the man of the hour is Newt Gingrich, and the new consensus is that his red-meat conservative rhetoric earned him his victory.
Writing in Atlantic Monthly, Molly Ball takes a different view. She reports that Gingrich had a robust campaign organization that got his people to the polls.
Ball also observes that in Florida–the next big primary battleground on Jan. 31 — Romney’s organization and campaign war chest would seem to give him an edge. Florida is bigger and more diverse, and winning there is widely believed to require a lot more spending on television and other advertising.
Bloomberg News, via Business Week, has a good overview. Among other things, the article notes that John McCain and Barack Obama were the primary winners in Florida four years ago.
Texas Gov. Rick Perry has announced he’s giving up his presidential bid, as the South Carolina primary looms on Saturday. Polls had shown him with single-digit levels of support in the Palmetto State.
Perry also announced support for Newt Gingerich.
Remember when Perry entered the race and appeared to have the GOP world at his feet? Then came the debates.
Personally, I realized it was all over for Perry when a downtown Bellingham bowling alley made fun of him on its signboard. I don’t have a direct quote, but it said something like, “There are three reasons to bowl here: Great people, great food and …. uh, the EPA.”
In other news, Iowa Republican officials found themselves back in the spotlight after they announced that their final vote count from the Jan. 3 state caucuses showed Rick Santorum, not Mitt Romney, with a narrow lead. But they declined to declare Santorum the winner, because some votes are, uh, missing. USA Today reports.
As Mitt Romney’s rivals mount a furious last-ditch effort to derail his progress to the GOP presidential nomination, some are using his income tax return as an issue to challenge his credibility.
Romney has so far refused to release those returns, suggesting he may do so in April. Newt Gingerich argues that South Carolinians deserve a closer look at Romney’s personal finances before they vote next week.]
Other candidates are using heavy broadcast advertising blitzes to remind Palmetto State voters of the moderate-to-liberal positions that Romney has held in the past, when he was courting voters in his home state of Massachusetts.
When the U.S. Supreme Court overturned key election campaign spending limits in the Citizens United case two years ago, there were dire warnings that the court’s 5-4 ruling would unleash a flood of campaign cash into the political process. Now, the GOP presidential primaries are providing evidence that those warnings were justified.
The Citizens United case removed campaign spending limits that federal law had imposed on political action committees (PACs) not directly affiliated with a candidate’s campaign organization. The result: in South Carolina, PACs are outspending the campaign organizations 2-1, MSNBC reports.
In this report from USA Today, some analysts say the new funding sources are helping to keep some candidates in the race despite lackluster showings in Iowa and New Hampshire. Newt Gingerich and Rick Perry, for example, can still rely on millions of dollars’ worth of indirect support from SuperPACs in their corner.
In this editorial, the Philadelphia Inquirer says attack ads financed by pro-Mitt Romney SuperPACs turned back a surge from Gingerich, and pro-Gingerich SuperPACS are returning the favor in South Carolina.
But the Romney campaign and unaffliated SuperPACs still have the most money to spend in the Palmetto State, according to this report from McClatchy.
Editorial comment: If we choose our leader based on the content of political advertising, we deserve what we get.