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Posts Tagged ‘Mitt Romney’
August 7th, 2014 at 6:18 pm
Would President Romney Be Allowed to Disregard the Law?

Robert Delahunty, a former Department of Justice attorney, poses an interesting counterfactual to those defending President Barack Obama’s possible legalization of 5 million illegal immigrants.

“One has to wonder how those who consider such non-enforcement to be constitutional would react if a President Mitt Romney announced that his Internal Revenue Service would simply stop collecting capital gains tax on the rich, or that his Environmental Protection Agency would no longer seek to impose legal penalties on polluters,” writes Delahunty.

Delahunty’s thought experiment is worth elaborating. If it’s true that presidents can assume lawmaking powers when Congress refuses to implement his will – a point I’m only granting for the sake of argument; Articles I and II of the Constitution clearly foreclose this possibility – then it stands to reason that any Republican running for president in 2016 can simply campaign on a promise not to enforce any law he does not like. Why worry with winning control of Congress? All any political party needs to do is win one race – the presidency – and the entire executive branch can be put in the service of the party’s platform.

It’s an outcome so at odds with our constitutional system that in saner days it would have been ruled out as a serious option as soon as it was floated. But we are in transformative times. Future presidents and their would-be advisors are taking notes. If President Obama is allowed to get away with such a regime-shattering power grab – and unilaterally importing 5 million new citizens would be just that – then there is very little reason to justify limits on even bigger abuses hereafter.

May 9th, 2013 at 1:06 pm
Passing Gang’s Immigration Bill Won’t Translate into More GOP Voters

Setting aside the horrendously bad policy outcomes embedded in the Gang of Eight’s immigration bill, some elite Republicans still support the measure because they think voting in favor of mass legalization will help the GOP win over enough Hispanic voters to reclaim the White House in 2016.

Alas, it just isn’t so.

Using an innovative electoral calculator created by polling expert Nate Silver, Byron York shows that Mitt Romney “would have had to win 73 percent of the Hispanic vote to prevail in 2012.”

For comparison, Barack Obama won 71 percent.

In 2004, George W. Bush, to date the Republican presidential candidate with the highest ever Hispanic vote share, netted only 44 percent.

It’s simply not reasonable to argue, as some Republican supporters of the Gang’s bill do, that a vote for this proposal will make enough of a difference in Hispanic vote preference to change any upcoming election.

Instead, what’s far more likely is that Republican support will give the legislation the veneer of bipartisanship while paving the way for an 11 million person increase in Democratic voters.

March 9th, 2013 at 4:07 pm
How Gallup Poll Misfired on 2012 Presidential Election

A very well-written report at the Huffington Post details how a few decisions by Gallup administrators caused the venerable polling company to miss key pockets of support for President Barack Obama in the run-up to last November’s presidential election.

Going into Election Day, Gallup had Mitt Romney leading Obama 49-48, but the actual result was 51-47. According to analysis by HuffPost, the reason for the bad call was because Gallup’s polling methods failed to keep up with how Americans are using their telephones.  This is potentially a huge problem because calling via telephone is the primary method for contacting people for public opinion polls.

Since the number of people screening calls by using unlisted landlines and/or cell phones has risen dramatically over the last few years, polling firms who fail to find a way around the barriers run the risk of missing large segments of voters who are avoiding unsolicited calls.

It just so happens that people using unlisted numbers only (i.e. not cell phones as well) planned to vote for Obama last year by a margin of 58 to 36 percent.  But because Gallup’s methodology didn’t correctly measure this subpopulation, the company never got a chance to put this data in their polls.  Consequently, Gallup’s opinion polls did not accurately reflect the intentions of the voting public which ultimately influenced who won the presidency.

Gallup is no stranger to embarrassing poll predictions.  The famous “Dewey Defeats Truman” headline from 1948 was based on polling data that stopped being collected two weeks before Election Day.  The thought was why keep polling if the predictions haven’t changed?  Of course, that decision didn’t account for the voters who broke late for Truman and made the false headline iconic.

Gallup rebounded from the fiasco to become arguably the world’s most reliable polling agency.  As the process of regaining that crown unfolds, this new breakdown is a good reminder to heed the words of the Gipper – “Trust, but verify” when it comes to public opinion polls.

November 6th, 2012 at 8:36 pm
Lame Duck Flapping Its Wings

Like I said last week, the lame duck Congress will be very active:

Confident that Republicans would retain their majority in the House, Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, told POLITICO that GOP lawmakers would reject any new taxes on households in the highest income tax bracket.

“We’re not raising taxes on small-business people,” Boehner said. “Our majority is going to get re-elected … We’ll have as much of a mandate as he will — if that happens — to not raise taxes.”

That anti-tax mandate would be shared by the White House if Mitt Romney wins tonight, of course.

H/T: NBC News

October 29th, 2012 at 6:45 pm
Obama Is Lying to Swing State Seniors

Avik Roy, an outside health care policy advisor to the Romney campaign, reminds us why you should never trust a clever lawyer or accountant:

Obamacare was cleverly designed such that its most politically toxic provisions wouldn’t go into effect until after the election. In addition, the Obama administration spent billions of unauthorized taxpayer dollars this year and last so that the impact of its cuts wouldn’t be felt until after the election.

2013: Tax increases and Medicare cuts

Over the next ten years, Obamacare cuts $716 billion from the Medicare program in order to fund its $1.9 trillion in new health spending over the same period. $156 billion of those cuts come from the market-oriented Medicare Advantage program, and those Medicare Advantage cuts start to kick in in 2013. 27 percent of all seniors are enrolled in Medicare Advantage, including 32 percent in Wisconsin and 36 percent in Ohio.

I hope the Romney campaign has been hammering home the part about the Obama Administration hiding the true cost of Obamacare from voters in swing states like Wisconsin and Ohio through aggressive direct mail and ad buys in those states because people need to know that before they decide whether to renew the incumbent’s contract.

For my part, a White House that deliberately hides the truth behind unauthorized spending and delayed implementation timelines is one that can’t be trusted; now or in the future.

October 26th, 2012 at 2:47 pm
Obama and America’s Historic Poverty Rate

Byron York says when it comes to talking about America’s historically high poverty rate, “Barack Obama ignores the issue when it comes time to campaign. A sky-high poverty rate doesn’t fit his theme that things are getting better. So he doesn’t talk about it.”

“But the problem is still there. According to the Census Bureau, the poverty rate has gone from 12.5 percent in 2007 to 13.2 percent in 2008 to 14.3 percent in 2009 to 15.1 percent in 2010 to 15.0 percent in 2011. The last time it was higher than 15.1 percent was in 1965, when the nation’s anti-poverty programs were just taking effect.”

For all his pretensions about being the next FDR, it looks like President Obama’s tenure could signal the death knell for LBJ’s expensive and failed Great Society.

October 18th, 2012 at 1:42 pm
Real Hope from Gallup
Posted by Troy Senik Print

From today’s installment of Ben Domenech’s The Transom:

The Gallup likely voter screen now has Mitt Romney leading President Obama 51-45.  No candidate who’s had a majority in the Gallup LV poll at this point has lost the election. Which means that if Romney does become the first to lose, it will be due to a late-breaking October surprise, or because Obama’s team outworks them on the ground in key swing states.

Buckle your seat belts, folks. The next few weeks are going to get very exciting.

October 17th, 2012 at 6:18 pm
Another Take on This Week’s Debate
Posted by Troy Senik Print

I have a slightly different take on last night’s debate than Quin. Like my colleague, I thought that Romney’s performance was serviceable, though I won’t go so far as to say he ‘won.’ Truth be told, I don’t think either candidate did much to improve their standing with the small slice of the electorate that still remains undecided, as that group tends to prize style over substance and the constant sniping between the two candidates probably left the swing voters cold to the political process as a whole (that tendency also worked at cross-purposes with both campaigns’ efforts to win over female voters, who are notoriously averse to that kind of incivility).

I also saw a missed opportunity last night, but it wasn’t Obamacare (where I think Romney is unavoidably uncomfortable); it was Libya, where he completely botched an opportunity to call Obama out on his administration’s meandering, thumbless response to the attack in Benghazi (damage that was compounded by moderator Candy Crowley inappropriately — and incorrectly — intervening to agree with Obama that he had framed the assault as a terrorist attack from the beginning).

After the first debate, sources inside the Romney campaign made it known that they had encouraged the candidate to speak in a natural tone — as if he were addressing a group of investors — rather than memorizing sound bites and talking points. It worked for Romney as long as the topic was the economy, where he is in his element. But I hope that the team in Boston encourages a little more thoughtful planning as we head towards Monday night’s foreign policy debate.

Romney has never shown a particularly deep interest in — or understanding of — foreign policy, a trait which I’ve noted in the past could be a potential liability (though his instincts are, of course, far preferable to Obama’s). While I think next week’s debate will easily be the least consequential of the three (both because it’s last chronologically, and because foreign policy will not be a central issue of this campaign), Romney still can’t afford to be as lost at sea as he was at the end of last night’s town hall. Time to hit the briefing books.

October 17th, 2012 at 6:13 pm
Crowley’s Libya Gaffe Keeps Obama Missteps in the News

Robert Stacy McCain: “By highlighting the Libyan issue and adding a new element of controversy, however, Crowley inadvertently ensured that the administration’s failure in Benghazi will be the focus of post-debate news coverage — which is unlikely to improve Obama’s re-election chances.”

Indeed, every news site covering the presidential campaign has at least one entry mentioning the Libya story – none of it favorable to the Obama campaign.

And even though some are prone to think Mitt Romney missed his one great opportunity to skewer President Obama with the Libya debacle, Romney gets another chance.  The next and last debate is focused solely on foreign policy.

Wanna bet Mitt will be ready next time?

October 16th, 2012 at 6:01 pm
5 Points Romney Should Make in Tonight’s Debate

The Heritage Foundation tees up five issues that so far haven’t been mentioned in the Romney-Obama or Ryan-Biden matchups:

1)      Welfare Reform

2)      Trade

3)      Medicaid

4)      Federal Spending and Debt

5)      American-Produced Energy

Each of these is not only critical to American prosperity, but also conveniently is attached to a disastrous policy decision by the Obama Administration.

This summer Obama’s HHS gutted the work requirement for receiving welfare checks that was the hallmark of the mid-1990’s reform.

The President and his fellow liberals in Congress held hostage free trade agreements negotiated by the Bush Administration as a favor to labor unions, and in the process damaged our international standing.

Obamacare is scheduled to hit Medicaid doctors with a 19 percent pay cut starting in 2014.

This is the fourth consecutive year of $1 trillion budget deficits presided over by President Obama, and there is no indication the incumbent will do anything differently if reelected.

As for domestic energy production, Obama’s rejection of the Keystone XL pipeline angered not only consumers paying high gasoline prices, but also the unionized labor that stood to benefit from short- and long-term job creation.

Mitt Romney should look for ways to insert these failures of leadership into his answers during tonight’s townhall debate with Barack Obama.  People need to be reminded that the President’s kneejerk liberalism is bankrupting the country.

October 11th, 2012 at 8:30 pm
Moore: There’s Nothing Fair about Making Everyone Poor

Stephen Moore of the Wall Street Journal in an interview with the Daily Caller frames the tax debate in terms both Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan should use when attacking President Barack Obama’s soak-the-rich economic policies:

“Fairness is a good principle but should not be put ahead of growth,” Moore said when discussing his new book, Who’s the Fairest of Them All?: The Truth about Opportunity, Taxes, and Wealth in America.  “There’s nothing fair about making everyone poor.”

October 5th, 2012 at 3:24 pm
Obama Admin Hiding FHA’s Need for a $688 Million Bailout

Dan Murphy at National Review found another possible debating point for Mitt Romney:

Tucked away in President Obama’s 2012 budget proposal was a little-noticed provision telling Congress that it may need to provide $688 million to cover the FHA’s projected losses this fiscal year. Translation: The FHA will need a bailout for the first time in its 75-year history.

A short-term solution by the Department of Housing and Urban Development covered up FHA’s growing financial problem until mid-November, i.e. after the presidential election.

Mitt Romney should clue-in the American people on this failure before they vote.

October 5th, 2012 at 12:03 pm
CNN Host Dismantles Obama’s $5 Trillion Tax Cut Claim

Kudos to CNN host Erin Burnett for getting Obama campaign spokeswoman Stephanie Cutter to admit that President Barack Obama’s charge that Mitt Romney is campaigning on a $5 trillion tax cut is just wrong.

From a transcript provided by RealClearPolitics:

Erin Burnett, CNN host: So you’re saying if you lower them by 20% you get a $5 trillion tab, right?

Stephanie Cutter: It’s a $5 trillion tab.

[crosstalk]

Burnett: But then when you close deductions it’s not going to be anywhere near $5 trillion, that’s our analysis.

Cutter: Well, okay, stipulated. It won’t be near $5 trillion but it’s also not going to be the sum of $5 trillion in the loopholes that he’s going to close. So it is going to cost someone and it’s going to cost the middle class. Independent economists have taken a look at this. There aren’t enough deductions for those at the top to account for the number of tax cuts that they get because of Mitt Romney’s policy so you have to raise taxes on the middle class. As Bill Clinton said, it’s just simple math.

Burnett: Okay, they’ll just say that you can do that. There are other studies. I know the one to which you’re referring, but there’s also the possibility of economic growth.

Cutter: Prove it. Erin, prove it.

Burnett: We can’t prove either side, that’s all I’m saying, but the one thing that I can say is not true is the $5 trillion tax cut.

Cutter: I disagree with you. You can prove it. So then they should just say that they’re counting entirely on economic growth to pay for a tax cut. Which is an interesting theory because that is what George Bush and let’s look at how that turned out, we had the slowest economic growth since World War II.

Burnett: They’re not saying entirely, they’re saying closing loopholes and economic growth, both. I understand you disagree with it.

Cutter: But that still leaves you at least a trillion dollars short. The math does not work with what they’re saying. And they won’t name those deductions, not a single deduction that they will close because they know that is bad for their politics. Now look, this is the center, this is the core of Mitt Romney’s economic policy. Last night, he walked away from it, said he didn’t have a $5 trillion tax cut. He does. That’s what lowering the rates amounts to.

Don’t confuse them with the facts!

October 4th, 2012 at 9:57 pm
Biden Trying to Replace Ryan on GOP Ticket?

If headlines earn a vice presidential candidate’s stripes, then Joe Biden may merit consideration as Mitt Romney’s most effective attack dog.

A few days ago Biden said the middle class has been “buried” during President Barack Obama’s economic stewardship.  Today, Obama’s self-immolating Vice President confirmed Mitt Romney’s charge that the Democratic incumbent would raise taxes if reelected:

Biden said Romney and other Republicans often say `Obama and Biden want to raise taxes by a trillion dollars.’ Guess what? Yes, we do in one regard: We want to let that trillion dollar tax cut expire so the middle class doesn’t have to bear the burden of all that money going to the super-wealthy. That’s not a tax raise. That’s called fairness where I come from.”

It’s true Biden is gaffe-prone, but these kinds of statements are too true to be unintentional.

Watch yourself, Paul Ryan – Good Ole’ Joe is gunning for your job!

H/T: Fox News

October 3rd, 2012 at 11:43 pm
Romney Lands an Utter Triumph
Posted by Troy Senik Print

I’ll have more thoughts about this evening’s debate in my column this week, but for now let me just say this: At the rate this one went, I expected it to end with Romney handing Obama a sword and saying “you know what to do.”

October 1st, 2012 at 5:35 pm
Romney and Ryan Say Holder Should Resign or Be Fired

The Daily Caller reports that “Republican vice presidential candidate Paul Ryan agrees with presidential candidate Mitt Romney’s call for Attorney General Eric Holder to resign, or for President Barack Obama to fire him, over Operation Fast and Furious.”

Ryan is now the 131st member of Congress to say Holder should resign or be fired.

This is about more than politics.

Now that Univision has uncovered evidence that a massacre of 14 teenagers in Ciudad Juarez was perpetrated with Fast and Furious guns, and identified “57 more previously unreported firearms that were bought by straw purchasers monitored by ATF during Operation Fast and Furious, and then recovered in Mexico in sites related to murders, kidnappings, and at least one other massacre,” it is now impossible to let Holder escape responsibility for a program he claims he knew nothing about.

Even though the Department of Justice’s non-partisan Inspector General could find no direct evidence of Holder’s knowledge, the same IG told congressional investigators that “we struggle to understand how an operation of this size, of this importance, that impacted another country like it did, could not have been briefed up to the attorney general of the United states.  It should have been, in our view.  It was that kind of a case.”

And let’s not forget that Holder’s Contempt of Congress citation was directly linked to the White House’s dubious extension of executive privilege to cover a cabinet member.

So, either Eric Holder is being shielded from culpability because of the White House’s refusal to provide the relevant documents, or the U.S. Attorney General didn’t know about a major program that could, and did, jeopardize America’s relationship with Mexico.

Either way, Romney and Ryan would do voters a service by highlighting this colossal failure of leadership by key people in the Obama Administration.  If Holder’s job is safe, and the President is reelected, no one should be surprised if we get more of the same for the next four years.

September 26th, 2012 at 12:32 pm
Advice Mitt Should Take
Posted by Troy Senik Print

Since we’ve all formed a little cottage industry around providing unsolicited advice to the Romney campaign, I thought it worthwhile to pass along this recommendation from my friend and Ricochet colleague Ben Domenech, writing in today’s installment of his news digest, The Transom (probably the best daily rundown in the nation).

Ben notes the conventional wisdom that the presidential debates (the first of which takes place a week from today) are likely Romney’s last chance to change the trajectory of the race and devises a helpful bit of jiu-jitsu for Mitt to employ:

Romney’s style as a debater is aggressive and that may serve him well – in debates, the first person to appear thin-skinned usually loses – and he’ll have an opportunity to bring that out in response to Obama’s woe-is-me talk, blaming Bush and the Republican Congress for everything under the sun, saying something along the lines of:

“In the private sector, one of the things I did was invest in companies. I learned a lot about how jobs are created, but I also learned a lot about leadership. One of the things I had to do when we got involved with a company was evaluate its leadership and see if it needed a change. And let me tell you, if I got involved with a company that was losing money and jobs hand over fist and piling up debt like there was no tomorrow, and I found out the CEO had been in the job four years and still spent most of his time blaming his predecessor and his co-workers, I’d fire him and get somebody in there who could get results.”

A response like this, besides being one virtually guaranteed to tick off Obama, makes the whining look petty and small. But it would also do something else, too: workers of all types, but particularly blue-collar workers, resent the idea of the incompetent senior management which survives pain while they bear the brunt of it. Romney should do his utmost to speak for those who demand accountability and turn his negative role as one of the suits into an advantage.

Mitt Romney: corner office hero of the working man? If he employed Ben’s tactic, he just might be able to pull it off.

September 19th, 2012 at 12:09 pm
Advice to Romney on How to Redirect ’47 Percent’ Remarks

Following Quin’s lead, the Wall Street Journal offers some ideas on how to reframe Mitt Romney’s 47-percent-of-Americans-see-themselves-as-victims-and-will-vote-for-Obama-no-matter-what:

“I want Americans to be less dependent on government not because it costs too much. We will always help Americans who need our help. I want Americans to be independent so they can realize the pride of accomplishment and the dignity of work and contribute their God-given talents to build a better country.

“I think the success of a Presidency should be measured by how many fewer people need food stamps, how many fewer need disability, not how many more people are added to the rolls. I don’t want to take food stamps away from Americans in need. I want fewer Americans to need food stamps.

Sometimes I wonder if President Obama shares that view. He and his economists keep saying that food stamps and unemployment benefits are a form of ’stimulus.’ Well, we’ve sure had a lot of that kind of stimulus, and all we have to show for it are more people on food stamps and more people on welfare and more people looking for work. I think a real stimulus is a job, and I intend to help Americans create more of them.”

Read the whole editorial here.

September 14th, 2012 at 1:19 pm
Foreign Policy Does Matter in This Presidential Election

A month ago Troy’s column asked “Will Foreign Policy Still Matter in the Presidential Election?”  At the time, Mitt Romney had just picked Paul Ryan as his vice presidential running mate, and all eyes were on domestic issues like the economy and entitlement reform.

But as ever, Troy saw the big picture by reminding us that, “If recent years have taught us anything, it’s that the issues on which a presidential election are fought can be poor predictors of the ones that dominate the subsequent presidency.”

The 9/11 attacks remain the paradigmatic example.

Now, with Islamist attacks on American diplomatic outposts spreading beyond Libya and Egypt to Yemen, Sudan, and Tunisia, American foreign policy – and each presidential candidate’s view of it – is getting a workout.

It’s about time.

September 6th, 2012 at 8:09 pm
Simplifying the Contrast with Obama

Jonah Goldberg on the difference between conservatives and liberals as stewards of the economy:

At least Reagan argued that the economy would prosper if he were allowed to liberate it from the scheming of self-styled experts. Clinton ran out in front of a parade of free-market successes and, like Ferris Bueller, acted as if he was leading the parade.

In his manifest hubris, Obama believed it was just that easy. He, too, could simply will a vibrant economy into being through sheer intellectual force. But, unlike Bill Clinton, he wouldn’t sully himself by playing “small ball.” Obama would be “transformative.”

This reminded me of Mitt Romney’s acceptance speech last week when he said, “President Obama promised to begin to slow the rise of the oceans and heal the planet. My promise… is to help you and your family.”

Free markets and strong families.  Sounds like a good combination to me.