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Archive: August, 2012

POSTED: Monday, August 13, 2012, 1:29 PM

St. AUGUSTINE, Fla. – Mitt Romney, on his own again after two days of campaigning with his new running mate, opened a visit to the important swing state of Florida bashing President Obama, extolling U.S. success in the Olympics – and taking a dig at China.

Speaking at Flagler College here, not far from the Space Coast, Romney said that Obama promised voters the moon “but never got off the launch pad,” and needs to be replaced with a team that can deliver, he and Rep. Paul Ryan.

Romney also returned to a favorite theme – America as an extraordinary nation - extraordinary character, with the U.S. medal haul at the summer Olympics for fresh evidence.

POSTED: Monday, August 13, 2012, 9:18 AM

St. Augustine, Fla. -- Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney canceled a planned Monday visit to Orlando during his campaign swing through Florida.

Romney, coming off 48 hours of intense campainging with his new running mate, Paul Ryan, is exhausted, The Orlando Sentinel reported.

The campaign denied the Sentinel's story, saying that it needed to build a couple hours of down-time for the candidate to rest, have meetings and to work on a major speech scheduled for Tuesday in Ohio.

POSTED: Monday, August 13, 2012, 7:44 PM
Roseanne Barr — comedian, macadamia nut farmer, and golden-throated chanteuse of the “Star Spangled Banner” — is doing what several other Mormons are doing this election season, running for president.
At first blush, the prospect of her candidacy sounds like a bad joke. 
Stop laughing. She’s dead serious. 
Until last month, Barr had pinned her hopes on becoming the Green Party candidate and went so far as to try to recruit Willie Nelson as her running mate. 
But that was not to be. Barr, 59, placed a distant second at the Green convention to Harvard-educated physician Jill Stein. 
For a brief moment, speculation had Barr running as Stein’s Veep. Stein, looking for someone a little more mainstream, chose Philadelphia activist Cheri Honkala.
Spurned by the Greens, Barr shopped around and found the Peace and Freedom Party. They nominated her last week along with antiwar activist Cindy Sheehan (In previous years the Peace and Freedom Party’s presidential nominees have been Black Panther Eldridge Cleaver, comedian Dick Gregory, Benjamin “Dr.” Spock, jailed Native American activist Leonard Peltier, and Ralph Nader).
The P&F Party describes itself as California's Feminist Socialist Political Party and “opposes capitalism, imperialism, racism, sexism and elitism.”
Answering a Green Party questionnaire earlier this year, Barr says the issues closest to her heart were obliterating the two party system (she calls them the “two-headed beast”); ending corporate personhood; preventing the exportation of jobs to “countries with immoral, inadequate and nonexistent labor laws;” shutting down all U.S. military bases worldwide, and legalizing marijuana. 
On her Peace and Freedom platform she also says she will recognize Palestine, forgive all student loans, and allow third-parties the right to ballot access in all 50 states. 
What’s wrong with the two party system? 
“They blame each other for the fact that neither one of them has any real solutions,” she said on CNN. “They know they don’t have to because they got it all sewn up.”
Barr is one of several third-party candidates running for president this year. 
Along with Stein of the Green Party, former New Mexico Gov. Gary Johnson is representing the Libertarians, former Va. Congressman Virgil Goode is at the top of the conservative Constitution Party ballot, and former radio talk show host Stewart Alexander is heading the ticket for the Socialist Party USA. 
It’s unclear, however, if Barr will appear on any ballot. Unlike the Greens and the Libertarians, the Peace and Freedom party has not qualified in any state and will receive no federal matching funds. 
[ITALIC]— Sam Wood

Roseanne Barr — comedian, macadamia nut farmer, and golden-throated chanteuse of the “Star Spangled Banner” — is doing what several other Mormons have set out to do this election season. She's running for president.

Stop laughing. She’s dead serious.

Sam Wood @ 7:44 PM  Permalink | 0 comments
POSTED: Friday, August 10, 2012, 1:52 PM
(Associated Press File)

Kerry Healey knows who is going to be Mitt Romney’s running mate.

Well, at least she knows that to-be running mate’s likely qualities. And she ought to. As the lieutenant governor of Massachusetts from 2003 to 2007, Healey was the last person to have that role.

Stipulated, as Romney himself has said all along, that the potential vice president must be competent, and ready to take over any time.

POSTED: Friday, August 10, 2012, 12:14 PM

Normally, the various arms of the Repulbican Party are coordinated in calling President Obama's health care overhaul an extreme socialist freedom-stomping expansion of government.

So it was interesting to see this contrary statement, about the 8th Congressional District of Pennsylvania, on a website run by the National Republican Congressional Committee, the party's U.S. House campaign arm: "This is an independent, pragmatic district. Sincere testimonials work well when delivering attacks.  Obama and Obamacare are viewed favorably here." (Emphasis added)

The reference is on "Democrat Facts: The Truth about congressional Democrats," a site NRCC uses to disseminate opposition research and other information about opponents.

POSTED: Wednesday, August 8, 2012, 8:52 AM
President Obama and Republican Mitt Romney will fight it out in November. (AP Photos)

President Obama holds slight leads among likely voters in Wisconsin and Virginia, while Republican challenger Mitt Romney is running ahead in Colorado, according to the latest installment Wednesday of Quinnipiac University/New York Times/CBS News polls of swing states.

Romney’s lead was 50 percent to 45 percent in Colorado. Obama was up 49 percent to 45 percent in Virginia, and 51 percent to 45 percent in Wisconsin.

The survey found that Obama’s chief advantage, as it has been throughout, is with women voters, while Romney benefits from a large gap with white, working class voters. The Times explores that finding in more depth here.


POSTED: Tuesday, August 7, 2012, 2:16 PM

The Romney campaign on Saturday Aug. 4 posted this update to Mitt Romney’s Facebook account:

President Obama's lawsuit claiming it is unconstitutional for Ohio to allow servicemen and women extended early voting privileges during the state’s early voting period is an outrage. The brave men and women of our military make tremendous sacrifices to protect and defend our freedoms, and we should do everything we can to protect their fundamental right to vote. I stand with the fifteen military groups that are defending the rights of military voters, and if I'm entrusted to be the commander-in-chief, I'll work to protect the voting rights of our military, not undermine them.

 One problem. It’s not true.

Sam Wood @ 2:16 PM  Permalink | 0 comments
POSTED: Friday, August 3, 2012, 5:38 PM
President Obama missed a golden opportunity when, in the wake of the July massacre in Colorado, he failed to press Congress to ban assault weapons and outlaw large magazines for repeating firearms, said former Pa. Gov. Ed Rendell. 
Rendell, in a conversation with television’s Charlie Rose broadcast Thursday night, stopped short of saying Obama lacked the courage to stand up for his convictions.
Instead, he condemned politicians unwilling to stick their necks out for principles they ostensibly represent. 
“If you run for political office, and you don’t believe some things that are important enough to risk your political career, then save us the trouble. Then don’t run. Don’t run.” Rendell said. “You have to have the guts to do it.”
Rendell, the former head of the Democratic National Committee, appeared on Rose’s show to promote his book, [ITALIC]A Nation of Wusses: How America’s Leaders Lost the Guts to Make Us Great.[/ITALIC]
Rendell said that polls taken after the Tucson shooting showed that 70 percent of Americans, including 60 percent of Republicans, were for a ban on multiple 
The fiery former mayor of Philadelphia noted that between 2000 and 2006 there were no mass killings in the United States. 
“Since 2007, we’ve had 15 including five last year,” he said, adding that an effort to impose some gun control was now a “winning issue” because sentiment in America had changed enough for the president and congress to take action.
He extolled Obama’s speech at the Urban League following the mass killing. But said it was a mistake to defer action until after the election.
Rendell even provided the words he felt Obama should have spoken:
“If the president had said — two, three, four days after Aurora going back to Tucson and Gabby Giffords — If he’d said look, everybody who’s sane knows that we shouldn’t let allow people to possess assault rifles. Everyone who is sane knows we should let people hold magazines that have more than 10 clips in each magazine, 10 bullets in each magazine. 
“I’m going to ask the congress to outlaw them and I want all Americans to say ‘enough is enough.’ No more Tucsons. No more Auroras. It’s time to do something America. This doesn’t impinge on the rights of any lawful gun owners. Let’s get it done.”
Awkwardly, he described Obama “maybe as smart a man as I ever met, man or woman.” Then he immediately called the president’s leadership qualities into question. 
“He’s a quick study on stuff, but it’s all about leadership,” Rendell said. “He doesn’t grasp going out there and fighting and losing. You can fight and lose and still look like a strong leader because you’re still out there pressing for the issues you care about.“
Rendell touched on the forthcoming election, warning that though the president leads in the battleground states — enough to ensure the election — overwhelming opposition in the red states could lead to a majority popular vote for Mitt Romney and force the decision into the Electoral College.
The interview wasn’t all withering assessment and condemnation. He credited Obama with several major achievements. 
“He was no wuss when he came to the auto bailout ... he was no wuss on the financial bailout ... he was no wuss on health care,” Rendell said. 
Still, a good part of Obama’s leadership problem comes down to a failure to get his message across, Rendell said. 
Nearly all American’s received an $800 tax cut under this president tenure, Rendell said. 
“But nobody told them about it. They did such a lousy job of communicating what was in the stimulus bill.” 
In Rendell’s eyes, just another lost opportunity. 

President Obama missed a golden opportunity when, in the wake of the July massacre in Colorado, he failed to press Congress to ban assault weapons and outlaw large magazines for repeating firearms, said former Pa. Gov. Ed Rendell.

Sam Wood @ 5:38 PM  Permalink | 0 comments
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Inquirer staff writer Thomas Fitzgerald blogs about national politics.

Reach Thomas at tfitzgerald@phillynews.com.

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