Posts Tagged ‘dishonesty’

[…] “TAMPA, Fla. — Mitt Romney lost three of the first five big Republican contests and lags behind in most major state and national polls. Yet he is still widely seen as a credible contender for the nomination thanks mainly to one trait: his wallet,” writes ELIZABETH HOLMES for online.wsj.com in an article titled Romney’s Wallet Keeps Him in the Race

A senior aide to Mr. Romney says the millionaire investor plans to spend as much as $40 million in the campaign. Mr. Romney spent $17.4 million of his own money on his campaign through the third quarter of last year, according to the Federal Election Commission.

At a time when some campaigns are running dangerously low on funds, Mr. Romney’s ability to self-finance will make it difficult to count him out of the race until the very end […]

Here is the problem with Holmes’ account: the US$17.4 million figure goes back 2 months. How much Romney actually spent of his own money in Iowa, New Hampshire, Michigan, South Carolina, and now Florida, is unknown, and will remain unknown:

“In recent months Mitt Romney, whose personal fortune is estimated to be as much as a quarter of a billion dollars, blanketed the airwaves of Iowa and New Hampshire with dozens of campaign advertisements,” write the editors of the Washington Times in an article titled Romney and his money

[Romney] clearly has spent tens of millions of dollars of his own money in Iowa and New Hampshire, but he steadfastly declines to say how much. The Romney campaign suffers from a glaring transparency deficiency, which it should address at once.

Mr. Romney has every right to bankroll his presidential campaign with his own money. No argument here. But why has he refused to tell voters how much of his personal fortune he has funneled to his campaign since the end of the third quarter?

On Jan. 4, the day after Mike Huckabee defeated Mr. Romney in Iowa, this newspaper asked the Romney campaign to say how much Mr. Romney had personally contributed since Sept. 30. During the first nine months of last year, Mr. Romney had given his campaign $17.4 million, about 90 percent more than the $9.2 million in the campaign’s cash-on-hand on Sept. 30 […]

Yet the Romneys refuse to release their fourth quarter numbers until the filing deadline of Jan. 31. This date falls after the primary contests in Iowa, New Hampshire, Michigan, Nevada, South Carolina, and Florida.

Also from the article, Romney’s fund raising “declined from US$20.8 million in the first quarter to US$13.9 million in the second, to less than US$10 million in the third.”

Romney increased his own contributions to compensate.

Transparency issues? Is this how Romney will run our government?

yours &c.
dr. g.d.

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“Republican primary voters in New Hampshire were asked which Republican candidate practiced dirty politics the most during the campaign, with 39 percent naming Mitt Romney, according to a FOX News Election Day poll,” writes anonymous in a foxnews.com release titled FOX News Poll: New Hampshire Republican Primary Voters Say Romney Played Dirty Politics Most

The poll found that no other Republican candidate was named by 10 percent or more (32 percent did not name anyone).

Of those voters who said that Romney practiced dirty politics the most, over half (56 percent) voted for John McCain.

The poll consisted of 800 telephone interviews with Republican primary voters in New Hampshire, conducted the evening of January 7 and throughout election-day on January 8 […]

You don’t say.

yours &c.
dr. g.d.

“Huckabee said that Romney is getting desperate, because he finds himself behind in Iowa despite outspending Huckabee 20 to 1,” writes Philip Klein in an AmSpec Blog post titled Huckabee Rips Romney Back

“When people get that far behind after spending that much money, they get desperate,” he said. “Desperate is one thing, dishonest is something else. When you get desperate and dishonest, it’s not a pretty site.”

In another example of the emerging everybody vs. Romney dynamic of the race, Huckabee came to the defense of John McCain, who has been trading barbs with Romney in New Hampshire over an attack ad. “John McCain is a true, honest to god, American hero,” Huckabee said … etc.

We have harped on the string of the Huckabee-McCain axis for weeks. And: we predicted that Romney’s absurd behavior would provoke his rivals to concert their efforts against him.

Romney bravely—or unwittingly—faces the gathering storm, er, we mean swarm

Here is the problem for Romney. Sen. McCain and Gov. Huckabee can hone their message contra Romney to a razor’s edge while each depicts himself as defending the honor of a friend, and each concentrates on their respective state.

Romney, OTOH, alone, alienated, and estranged, is reduced to dispersing his energies and giving the impression of frantic and random attacks in all directions and across 2 states. Hence: Sen. McCain and Gov. Huckabee’s strategy returns more for a minimal investment, and this is why people often cooperate, collaborate, or otherwise combine their labor, because it is efficient and cost effective.

Also: the high drama of 2 under-organized, under-funded, and rogue-candidate underdogs protecting each other’s backs against the superbly well funded slime machine of Team Romney, the establishment favorite, has captured the imaginations of the press corps, which will generate lots of earned media. Note how the NYT carefully reprises Gov. Huckabee’s rationale for his remarks on Romney:

“But it was the new rhetoric on the Republican side of the ticket that drew the fiercest spark, as former Gov. Mike Huckabee of Arkansas hurled a barrage of attacks at the credibility of his chief rival here, former Gov. Mitt Romney of Massachusetts,” writes JEFF ZELENY and DAVID D. KIRKPATRICK for the NYT in an article titled Courting Iowa’s Undecided Voters With a Late Push

“If a person is dishonest in his approach to get the job, do you believe he will be honest in telling you the truth when he does get the job?” Mr. Huckabee asked voters in Osceola, Iowa.

Mr. Huckabee said he was escalating his criticism in part because of Mr. Romney’s recent disparagements of a third Republican rival, Senator John McCain of Arizona, whom Mr. Huckabee called “an American hero.”

“It is enough to attack me,” Mr. Huckabee said. “But now to attack John McCain, it is like Mitt doesn’t have anything to stand on except to stand against. And I am saying enough is enough” …

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dr. g.d.

“AP’s Glen Johnson and Liz Sidoti have news of the first negative ad to air in the GOP race,” writes Jonathan Martin of the Politico in a post titled Romney to hit Huck on immigration in Iowa

Who: Mitt on Huck
What: Immigration
When: Starting tomorrow
Where: Iowa

Romney spokesman Kevin Madden tells me that the spot “clarifies the distinct differences between Governor Romney and Mike Huckabee on the issue of immigration.”

UPDATE: I’ve gotten my hands on the ad itself, “The Record.”

Note the gentle lead-in. Romney’s camp plainly recognizes the danger of going negative in Iowa, so they go to considerable length to frame the attack with what is both a nod of respect to Huckabee and a sly effort at dulling the differences between the two on cultural issues.

Then comes the knife, aimed squarely at Huck’s support for providing the children of illegal immigrants tuition breaks … etc.

Also:

Landscaper: Romney Never Insisted Employees Be Legal—as reported by Fox News. The landscaper who Mitt Romney fired earlier this week for continuing to employ illegal immigrants says the termination boils down to little more than politics.

And again:

“Romney doesn’t deserve “amnesty” for this recurring lapse in judgment,” writes Ruben Navarrette in a RealClearPolitics.com story titled Romney Makes It Hard to Trust Him

And for two reasons:

First, there is the hypocrisy. Millions of Americans benefit from the sweat of illegal immigrants – directly or indirectly – but Romney is the one trying to score political points off these people. As if illegal immigrants don’t do enough, they are now fodder to help put Mitt Romney in the Oval Office.

And second, there is the issue of authenticity. Romney may have tripped up in his effort to fool Republican voters into believing that he’s a real conservative – on abortion, gun control, gay rights and now on illegal immigration – and that he takes to heart the concerns of conservative voters.

Romney desperately needs to sell that line, especially in conservative states such as Iowa where Republican voters at town halls demand to know how candidates will stop illegal immigration. And if Iowans are like many other Americans, after they’ve said their peace, they retreat to their homes to watch cable television demagogues and wring their hands over the “invasion” while someone else does the yardwork, or the housework, or the child care, or the cooking … etc., etc.

yours &c.
dr. g.d.

… “I’m afraid today’s speech will go down in history as Mitt Romney’s last hurrah,” writes Frater J. Morris in a FOXNews.com editorial titled Mitt Romney, the Mormon (What’s That?!)

I wish it wouldn’t, because I don’t think there is anything in Mormon belief that, per se, should eliminate someone from the office of president. And, I happen to think Mitt Romney is a man of character.

But, if today becomes the unraveling point of his candidacy, it will be because Mitt Romney did not have the courage or wisdom to say what he, as a Mormon, actually believes — all of it, without pretending his creed is no different than the Christian creed.

Don’t get me wrong. His speech would have been excellent had it been given by any other candidate. It was deep, passionate and presidential. He even ended with, “God bless America.”

The problem is that the much-hyped speech did nothing to achieve his goal of convincing doubting Evangelicals and Catholics that his Mormon beliefs will not hinder him from being a good president. Instead, for the most part, he pretended he wasn’t Mormon, or that being Mormon was so strange it is in his interest to keep it secret. In this speech about Mormonism, he uttered the word “Mormon” just once, while saying “Jews” and “Muslims” two times each and “Catholic” three times. Still more abrasive to Christian sensibilities was the attempt to pass off Mormon doctrine about Jesus Christ as equal to that of Christianity. He said, “What do I believe about Jesus Christ? I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God and the savior of mankind.”

OK, Mitt. But do you really want to get into what that means for you?

I admit explaining the peculiarities of Mormonism to his southern audience would have been a daunting task. There would have been a lot of nodding of heads—all side to side … etc.

yours &c.
dr. g.d.

A breathless Christopher Hayes boldly makes a great noise about what is painfully obvious in an expository-flourish titled The New Right-Wing Smear Machine.

Yes, Mr. Hayes, campaigns often disinform or mislead voters or constituencies, both right and left. Some of the asides Mr. Hayes develops, however, are interesting—for example:

It was similar gossip that helped spell doom for John McCain during the South Carolina primary in 2000, when a whisper campaign spread rumors that he had a black daughter out of wedlock. “John McCain was done in by leaflets put on cars in church parking lots,” says Democratic campaign consultant Chris Lehane. Forwarded e-mails, he says, “are the digital version of this and potentially more pernicious and far-reaching because of the obvious efficiencies of the online world. I would fully expect to see it manifesting in the GOP primary.” Sure enough, a few weeks after I spoke to Lehane, Mike Huckabee’s Iowa state campaign chair, Bob Vander Plaats, issued a statement denying that he’d written an e-mail that voters had received bearing his name. In that hoax e-mail, someone impersonating Vander Plaats announced that he was dropping Huckabee because of low fundraising numbers and backing Mitt Romney instead and urging others to do the same … etc., etc.

The emphasis is ours.

yours &c.
dr. g.d.