The truth sure is a slippery thing in the 2012 campaign.
While it's hard to remember who did what first, Romney took an early step down the low road when he quoted President Obama in a television ad late last year saying: "If we keep talking about the economy, we're going to lose." Problem was, the quote was from 2008, before Obama was elected, and it referred to remarks made by Republican opponent John McCain. More recently, the Obama campaign has unfairly characterized Romney's position on abortion in television ads.
But Romney's latest ad is particularly galling, because it seeks to suggest the president is anti-Israel or anti-Jewish. "Who shares your values?" the spot demands, chiding Obama for failing to visit Israel during his first term and for "refusing" to recognize Jerusalem as its capital.
Romney should have touted his own recent trip to Israel — though it was light on policy details — and stopped there. Instead, he put money into advertising that implies something sinister behind Obama's policies, even though plenty of news outlets cried foul when he first started raising these issues.
Former Republican Presidents George H.W. Bush and Ronald Reagan never visited Israel during their presidencies, and George W. Bush didn't go until the last year of his second term. And like his predecessors, both Democratic and Republican, Obama has described Jerusalem as the capital, but signed waivers putting off moving the U.S. embassy because it would inflame tensions in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
Romney's campaign clearly knows these facts, but did not employ more nuanced and honest criticism of the administration's failure to broker peace in the Middle East.
That's a shame.
— Beth Reinhard
NATIONAL JOURNAL'S PRESIDENTIAL RACE REPORT
Republican Convention Speakers Include Rice, Scott, McCain
[Tampa Bay Times, 8/6/12] Headline speakers at the Republican National Convention in Tampa will include Florida Gov. Rick Scott, Sen. John McCain, former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, and South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley.
Romney Outraises Obama for Third Straight Month
[National Journal, 8/6/12] July marks the third straight month that Mitt Romney and the Republican National Committee ouraised Obama and the Democratic committees that support him.
Pelosi: 'It Is a Fact' That Somebody Told Harry Reid About Romney Not Paying Taxes
[Huffington Post, 8/6/12] Even after RNC Chairman Reince Priebus's “tripling down” on his “dirty liar” comments against Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi is defending her colleague. On Monday, the California democrat told HuffPo that Reid’s statement was true and that “it is a fact” someone told him about Romney's tax history.
Who Responds to Telephone Surveys?
With the polling industry at a crossroads, in the next decade, telephone surveys may no longer be the prevailing way to measure what the public thinks or how it intends to vote.
Top Obama Aide Got $100,000 To Address Firm With Iran Ties
[Washington Post, 8/5/12] David Plouffe, a senior White House adviser who was Obama’s 2008 campaign manager, accepted $100,000 in speaking fees in 2010 from an affiliate of a company doing business with Iran’s government.
Romney’s Top Strategist is a Steroid-Dabbling, Screenwriting Bon Vivant
[The New Republic, 8/2/12] Meet Stuart Stevens, Romney’s top strategist, a former Northern Exposure writer and exercise freak who approaches politics as an all-consuming, quasi-physical challenge. Also: his book editor tells TNR that he planned to vote for Obama in 2008, a claim Stevens denies.
Romney Persona Non Grata in Italy for Bain’s Deal Skirting Taxes
[Bloomberg, 8/6/12] While Romney was in charge of Bain Capital years ago, the firm made $1 billion in a leveraged buyout of a telephone-directory company, which it bought from the Italian government. The deal has since come under intense scrutiny in books, legal probes, and regulatory investigations.
New Romney Ad Hits Obama Over New Unemployment Numbers
[TPM, 8/6/12] After a dismal jobs report last week, the Romney campaign came out with another ad called “It’s Just Not Getting Better.” The ad says that Romney has “a plan for a stronger middle class.”
WH Press Corps Goes Seven Weeks Without a Question
[White House Dossier, 8/6/12] President Obama has not taken a major question from the White House press corps in nearly seven weeks, according to this count — not since June 20 at the G-20 summit in Mexico.
Presidential Campaigns Turn to Tech to Engage Voters
[Columbus Dispatch, 8/6/12] Keeping up with technology is important for the GOP this year, after Obama’s 2008 run was hailed as an innovator for technology in campaigns. As the Romney camp released the “Mitt’s VP” app for both iPhone and Android last week, Team Obama also released a comprehensive app for donating and canvassing.
Obama, Romney Punctuate Their Ohio Campaigns With Brackets
[Cleveland Plain Dealer, 8/6/12] With Ohio a key prize in the race for the White House, the candidates are punctuating their arguments in the state with “bracketing” — a strategy in which one candidate attempts to stomp on another’s message of the day with carefully coordinated publicity strikes.
Why Military Groups Are Fighting Obama’s Ohio Voter Suit
[BuzzFeed, 8/5/12] More than a dozen military groups have intervened in a lawsuit filed by Obama’s campaign challenging the fairness of Ohio’s early-voting rules that allow families of armed forces members and civilians overseas to vote through the Monday before an election. The campaign argues that members of the military don’t deserve special treatment.
Romney, Caught in a Housing Bust, Got Property-Tax Cut in La Jolla
[Los Angeles Times, 8/5/12] The Romneys may be rich, but even they are not immune to the real-estate crisis. After paying $12 million for a Mediterranean-style house with 61 feet of beach frontage in La Jolla, Calif., they asked San Diego County for dramatic property-tax relief.
Get NJ's Convention NewsSign up for NJ Newsletters