Sports fans impugn the ancestries of those who root for opposing teams, but it’s rare to see an athlete do so. Pop stars aren’t often found speculating publicly why people don’t attend their shows or buy their music.
It is politics, perhaps uniquely among the modern entertainment arts, where principals disparage those who disagree with them in such vivid terms. Like charging that they “cling to guns or religion,” or depend on government benefits with no intention of advancing their own cause.
In remarks surreptitiously recorded at a fundraiser earlier this year, Mitt Romney said: “There are 47 percent of the people who will vote for the president no matter what. All right, there are 47 percent who are with him, who are dependent upon government, who believe that they are victims, who believe the government has a responsibility to care for them, who believe that they are entitled to health care, to food, to housing, to you-name-it.” Romney on Monday said he had phrased his point in an "inelegant" way, but stuck by the point itself. Today, he told Fox News host Neil Cavuto he was laying out conservative principles.
That’s a tough indictment, regardless of one’s acceptance of it, of 47 percent of a closely politically divided nation. It’s also a dark view of the populace --back-of-the-cave, couple-thousand-leagues-under-the-sea dark -- to think that almost half of it inhabits the caricature of a societal liability.
-- Jim O’Sullivan
NATIONAL JOURNAL’S PRESIDENTIAL RACE REPORT
5 Reasons Why It’s Too Early to Write Off Romney
[National Journal, 9/18/12] NJ’s Ron Fournier writes that it’s easy to dump on Romney, but we must remember that some of the same people counting him out today dumped on President Obama a few weeks back. Pundits have short memories. Fournier offers five ways the narrative could turn against Obama.
Poll: Obama Leads Romney Nationally by 5 Points NEW!
[NBC News, 9/18/12] The NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll gave the president 50 percent job approval, but showed approval of his foreign policy down five points from August to 49 percent.
Full Video of Private Romney Fundraiser
[Mother Jones, 9/18/12] After releasing clips of Romney denigrating Obama supporters as takers of government handouts and saying Palestinians don’t want peace with Israel, the liberal magazine has released a full 50 minutes of tape from the same event. A transcript is forthcoming.
Poll: Romney Has Support from 47 Percent NEW!
[Politico, 9/18/12] Despite Romney’s claim that the bloc of voters who pay no income taxes and receive government handouts unanimously supports Obama, a Pew poll finds significant support for Romney among low-income Americans.
Analysis: Romney’s Video Remarks Have Deep GOP Roots NEW!
[National Journal, 9/18/12] Far from a gaffe, writes Ronald Brownstein, Romney’s remarks reflected both a long-standing belief among conservatives that the nation faces a “tipping point” in which growing dependency will create an insurmountable electoral majority for big government — and Democratic candidates.
Muslim Anti-American Violence Complicates Obama Campaign
[Los Angeles Times, 9/18/12] What voters take away from the wave of protests will probably depend on how long the unrest persists, as well as on how the candidates frame the crisis on the campaign trail and in debates in the coming weeks.
New Leaked Romney Video: Mideast Peace 'Almost Unthinkable'
[National Journal, 9/18/12] In more potentially embarrassing video from the same fundraising event that got Romney into hot water on Monday, the focus is on peace between Israel and Palestine -- which he calls “almost unthinkable.” A two-state solution is officially endorsed in the GOP platform.
Analysis: Romney Needs Something to Happen
[National Journal, 9/18/12] Charlie Cook advises campaign-watchers to scan morning headlines and evening newscasts for big stories that could fundamentally shift the race towards Romney. Without such events, he writes, the regular back-and-forth of politics won’t lead to a Romney victory.
Analysis: How to Solve the Swing-State Puzzle
[New York Times, 9/18/12] Times resident election modeler Nate Silver notes that certain states tend to move together in polling, often because of demographic similarities, and groups swing states into four strategic categories. He finds that Romney must make a play for Wisconsin and should take a second look at Pennsylviania.
Who Are the 47 Percent?
[National Journal, 9/18/12] Most of the 47 percent of people who pay no federal income tax do pay taxes in some form: payroll, Medicare, and Social Security taxes. The people who pay neither make up just 18.1 percent of the taxpaying population -- and they are dirt-poor. NJ’s Nancy Cook explains why it’s ironic that Romney is using this figure as a talking point.
Why Obama Is Winning
[Politico, 9/18/12] Politico cites three factors for why Obama leads Romney in the polls despite a weak economy: a deeply polarized, dynamic electorate that favors Democrats; Obama’s staying power; and Romney’s flaws.
Nevada Is a Fierce Presidential Battleground
[Las Vegas Sun, 9/18/12] Several factors make Nevada a ripe pickoff target for Romney: an economy that has been decimated by the housing crisis, the influx of largely politically-unaffiliated residents, and a significant Mormon population. But the state also has a large Hispanic population, and an active union political base.
Romney Ad: Obama Is Bad for Women
[National Journal, 9/18/12] Romney is trying to close the gender gap with a new television ad that claims Obama’s policies are bad for women. Plus, in a new web video that compares the national debt to a prairie fire, Romney accuses Obama of feeding the debt crisis.
Poll: Economy Is Top Issue Among Latino Voters
[Fox News, 9/18/12] A new Fox News poll found that 48 percent of likely Latino voters think the economy is the most important issue in deciding their vote, while only 6 percent said their vote would be decided based on the immigration issue.
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