Mitt Romney enjoyed, during his tenure as a Republican Massachusetts governor, describing himself as the lone cattle rancher at a vegetarian convention. The playful jab at his home state’s liberal image had the added political benefit of sending Democrats into howls of outrage, helping him make his point.
If Romney was, self-admittedly, out of his element in the Bay State, his foray today — giving a speech at the annual conference of the National Association of Latino and Elected Officials in Orlando, Fla. — requires perhaps a different descriptor. He was there with a mission: Make the sale on his modified immigration proposal and persuade the NALEO audience and anyone else following his speech that President Obama’s executive order last week was a politically calculated move and that he could have better spent his time fixing the economy.
Democrats fired off pre-scripted disapproval and failing grades for the speech. But Romney’s long-range success will be judged months from now, when results will show whether he closed the enormous gulf in Latino support between him and Obama. In the interim, all he had to do was stop the bleeding.
-- Jim O’Sullivan
NATIONAL JOURNAL’S PRESIDENTIAL RACE REPORT
RNC Haul Gives Romney Boost in May
[National Journal, 6/21/12] Although the Obama camp brought in over $39 million in May, the Republican National Committee carried Romney over the Democratic haul: The RNC brought in an additional $34.3 million in May (far more than the almost $20 million that the Democratic National Committee brought in) for a combined $76.8 million with his campaign.
Poll: Romney Supporters More Engaged Than Obama Voters
[National Journal, 6/21/12] Voter turnout could reach a record high this year, a new poll suggests, but Democrats and younger voters so far are less engaged in the presidential campaign — suggesting that Obama has lost some ground in the electorate that propelled him to win in 2008. Overall, Obama had a statistically insignificant edge over Romney among registered voters, 50 percent to 46 percent.
Obama Outraised Romney, But That Doesn't Matter Anymore
[National Journal, 6/21/12] Obama's re-election campaign was expected to be the most well-funded in history, possibly topping $1 billion in contributions (he raised $750 million in 2008) for the first time in American political history. But, details of May's fundraising reports released on Thursday indicate the degree to which Obama's operation is already under a cash squeeze.
Obama Ad Courts Women
[CNN, 6/21/12] The Obama campaign released their first ad on Thursday in a series of ads targeting women. The spot mentions the 2009 Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act, which makes it easier for women and men to receive the same pay.
Poll: Obama Takes Slight Lead in Florida
[National Journal, 6/21/12] According to a new Quinnipiac University poll, Obama has battled back in vote-rich Florida, wrestling away a slight lead from Romney on the backs of independent voters. But neither candidate should feel too comfortable in this largest of swing states.
Romney Says He’ll Replace Obama’s Immigration Plan
[National Journal, 6/21/12] Romney said in Florida on Thursday that immigration reform is “not just a moral imperative, it’s also an economic necessity” and pledged to replace Obama’s executive order to grant legal status to some children of illegal immigrants with a long-term policy that he said will keep families together.
Romney Hosts Big Donors, Political Stars at Park City
[The Salt Lake Tribune, 6/21/12] Romney's most significant financial backers are going to the Deer Valley Resort this weekend to spend time with the candidate and other Republican elected officials. Paul Ryan, R-Wis., Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal, Sen. John Thune, R-S.D., and Karl Rove are expected.
Rove: Obama Camp Trying To Intimidate Crossroads GPS With 'Thuggish Behavior'
[Fox News, 6/20/12] After the Obama camp demanded donors to Crossroads GPS be disclosed, Karl Rove accused the president of trying to intimidate would-be donors to his “social-welfare” organization.
Romney Emphasizes Economy, Immigration in Speech to Hispanics
[Wall Street Journal, 6/21/12] In a speech to Latino elected officials on Thursday, Romney said that Obama is taking their support for granted. He focused his remarks on the economy and emphasized long-term immigration solutions.
Romney Camp Denies Asking Scott to Downplay Fla. Job Growth
[Washington Post, 6/21/12] Romney’s campaign on Thursday denied point-blank allegations that they asked Florida Gov. Rick Scott, a fellow Republican, to downplay job gains in the Sunshine State, first reported by Bloomberg on Wednesday.
How Worried Is the Obama Campaign? A Q&A With Campaign Manager Jim Messina
[The Atlantic, 6/21/12] The Atlantic's Molly Ball sat down with Obama's campaign manager, Jim Messina, after a rough few days for the Obama reelection team. Messina projected an unperturbed vibe and discussed the campaign's fundraising deficit and Romney's debating skills.
Obama Cash Advantage Eroded By Spending Spree
[Wall Street Journal, 6/20/12] Obama’s reelection campaign spent more money than it took in last month, allowing Romney to make up ground in the money chase. Romney also enjoys a big advantage when it comes to money gathered by outside political groups like super PACs and advocacy groups.
Romneycare in Massachusetts, Six Years Later
[ABC News, 6/21/12] Generally speaking, the health care law in Massachusetts appears to be working well. Some 98 percent of residents are insured and 439,000 residents have gained insurance since the reform passed. But premiums remain high.
Romney Winning the Mega Donor War
[Politico, 6/21/12] Romney and his allies raised about $86 million in May, compared to roughly $65 million raised by Obama and his allies. And this weekend, Romney is looking to raise even more: He invited 100 big-money supporters to join him and top GOP dignitaries at a lavish Utah ski resort.
Poll: 18 Percent of Americans Would Not Vote for a Mormon President
[National Journal, 6/20/12] Eighteen percent of Americans say they wouldn’t vote for a well-qualified presidential candidate who is a Mormon, according to a Gallup poll released on Thursday. The bias against a Mormon candidate has remained essentially unchanged since 1967, when Romney's late father — former Michigan Gov. George Romney — was running for president.
Romney, House GOP Prepare for Health Care Ruling
[Roll Call, 6/21/12] Romney and the GOP are going to great lengths to show a unified front ahead of Monday’s anticipated decision, in order to avoid any intraparty squabbles that could jeopardize the nominee’s chances at the White House.