ROMNEY

What Goes Around, Comes Around

Romney says big business is “doing fine.” Sound familiar?

Add to Briefcase
See more stories about...
Aug. 24, 2012, 6:55 a.m.

Mitt Rom­ney cam­paigned Aug. 23 in MN, where he said that big busi­nesses are “do­ing fine,” us­ing sim­il­ar lan­guage that Rom­ney has hammered Pres. Obama for us­ing to de­scribe the private sec­tor earli­er this year.

Rom­ney: “I’m go­ing to cham­pi­on small busi­ness. We’ve got to make it easi­er for small busi­nesses. Big busi­ness is do­ing fine in many places — they get the loans they need, they can deal with all the reg­u­la­tion.”

Rom­ney then ad­ded that the reas­on that big busi­nesses are “do­ing fine in many places” is be­cause they are able to in­vest their money in “tax havens.” Rom­ney: “They know how to find ways to get through the tax code, save money by put­ting vari­ous things in the places where there are low tax havens around the world for their busi­nesses. But small busi­ness is get­ting crushed” (Fried­man, ABC News, 8/23).

Rom­ney “didn’t men­tion … that he has kept some of his per­son­al money in off­shore tax havens, in­clud­ing ac­counts in Switzer­land and the Cay­man Is­lands” (Pace, AP, 8/23).

In MN, Rom­ney sought to “gen­er­ate some en­thu­si­asm for his cam­paign.” Rom­ney: “This is a cam­paign about the soul of Amer­ica. I want to keep this coun­try the shin­ing city on a hill, the strong and vi­brant na­tion that has in­spired the na­tion and people all over the globe. I need your help to have that hap­pen.”

Rom­ney told sup­port­ers at the private fun­draiser in Min­netonka: “You’ve writ­ten checks; I need you now to go out and find some­body who voted for Barack Obama — there are a few here in Min­nesota. I need you to find them and con­vince them to join our team. Not be­cause they’re Re­pub­lic­an or Demo­crat, but be­cause this is the time to say what Amer­ica is. … And if you do, we’re go­ing to take back our coun­try” (Brooks, Min­neapol­is Star Tribune, 8/24).

Power To The People

Earli­er in the day Aug. 23, Rom­ney un­veiled his en­ergy plan in NM, “set­ting a goal of reach­ing North Amer­ic­an en­ergy in­de­pend­ence by 2020” by re­mov­ing reg­u­lat­ory bar­ri­ers in the U.S. “and in­creas­ing co­oper­a­tion with fel­low en­ergy-pro­du­cers Canada and Mex­ico.”

Rom­ney: “I will set a na­tion­al goal of Amer­ica and North Amer­ica — North Amer­ic­an en­ergy in­de­pend­ence by 2020. That means we pro­duce all the en­ergy we use in North Amer­ica. And there are a num­ber of things I’m go­ing to do to make that hap­pen. It is achiev­able. This is not some pie in the sky kind of thing. This is a real, achiev­able ob­ject­ive” (Haake, NBC News, 8/23).

Rom­ney, whose plan “fo­cuses heav­ily on oil and gas pro­duc­tion,” said he fed­er­al gov­ern­ment “needs to get out of the way when it comes to drilling on fed­er­al lands” in states like NM, “where more than half the state’s oil and gas wells are on fed­er­al lands.”

Rom­ney, in Hobbs, NM: “Three mil­lion jobs come back to this coun­try by tak­ing ad­vant­age of something we have right un­der­neath our feet. That’s oil and gas and coal, and we’re go­ing to make it hap­pen. We’re go­ing to cre­ate those jobs.”

Rom­ney said the U.S. needs to take “ad­vant­age of our en­ergy re­sources — our oil, our coal, our gas, nuc­le­ar, re­new­ables, wind, sol­ar,” but his “clear em­phas­is” in the Hobbs speech was on the goal of ex­pand­ing en­ergy pro­duc­tion from fossil fuels (Mon­tele­one, Al­buquerque Journ­al, 8/23).

Los Angeles Times head­line: “Rom­ney: En­ergy in­de­pend­ence not ‘pie in the sky’” (8/23).

Wash­ing­ton Post head­line: “Mitt Rom­ney says plan will achieve North Amer­ic­an en­ergy in­de­pend­ence by 2020” (8/23).

Wall Street Journ­al ed­it­or­i­al­izes on Rom­ney’s en­ergy plan: “It ap­pears that Mitt Rom­ney wants to join every Pres­id­ent since Richard Nix­on who has de­clared the goal of Amer­ic­an ‘en­ergy in­de­pend­ence’ and then nev­er de­livered. With the ex­cep­tion of that pat­ently polit­ic­al sound­bite, the en­ergy plan that the GOP can­did­ate rolled out Thursday is an un­usu­ally sane doc­u­ment, in con­trast to the fad-ob­sessed tra­di­tion of the last 40 years. The as­ter­isk on the Rom­ney goal of en­ergy in­de­pend­ence by 2020 is that he refers to North Amer­ica, which if you in­clude Canada and Mex­ico is the fast­est-grow­ing en­ergy pro­duc­tion re­gion in the world” (8/24).

Buck­eye Of The Ti­ger

Rom­ney and Ry­an will make their first OH joint ap­pear­ance in a Aug. 25 rally, “vis­it­ing the crit­ic­al battle­ground state” be­fore next week’s GOP Con­vo (AP, 8/24).

State Of Play

Wash­ing­ton Post‘s Charles Krau­tham­mer, on a new FNC sur­vey show­ing the race is close: “I think that is good for the Re­pub­lic­ans. I think it bodes well. Rom­ney has been un­der a cam­paign of neg­at­ive ads un­like any seen I think in re­cent Amer­ic­an his­tory and he is now in a dead heat. He has been hus­band­ing his re­sources. He hasn’t spent as much as Obama. He is hus­band­ing it for the last couple of months of the cam­paign. As soon as he is nom­in­ated I think it frees up $160 mil­lion” (“Spe­cial Re­port,” FNC, 8/23).

Ready For His Close-Up

Wall Street Journ­al‘s Langley and Mur­ray pro­file Rom­ney in an in­ter­view: “Rom­ney strides in­to a hotel suite in Colum­bus, Ohio, where a couch awaits. He waves at it and quips: ‘People would like me to lie down and let it all out.’”

“As he soon makes clear, Mr. Rom­ney sees no reas­on to do that in the cam­paign’s fi­nal stretch, which be­gins with his party’s nom­in­at­ing con­ven­tion next week. To the con­trary, [Rom­ney] … vows in an in­ter­view that he won’t be part of the celebrity-style cul­ture of­ten favored by politi­cians. Des­pite pres­sure to be more re­veal­ing, he says he won’t use his cam­paign as ‘a way to per­son­al­ize me like I’m a piece of meat.’”

“The ap­proach car­ries risk. But it sheds light on Mr. Rom­ney’s at­ti­tude about win­ning — as well as his the­ory that 2012 marks a dif­fer­ent kind of elect­or­al cli­mate. Voters, he wagers, are most in­ter­ested in hir­ing a fix-it spe­cial­ist for an ail­ing eco­nomy.” Rom­ney: “People who’ve hired me in the past have been pleased that they did. And so, I’ll de­scribe my views and is­sues and con­cerns, but I don’t have a plan to take every­body to my child­hood home and say, ‘Here’s where I rode my bi­cycle’” (8/24).

Rom­ney writes in the Wall Street Journ­al, “What I Learned at Bain Cap­it­al”: “A broad mes­sage emerges from my Bain Cap­it­al days: A good idea is not enough for a busi­ness to suc­ceed. It re­quires a tal­en­ted team, a good busi­ness plan and cap­it­al to ex­ecute it. … My pres­id­ency would make it easi­er for en­tre­pren­eurs and small busi­nesses to get the in­vest­ment dol­lars they need to grow, by re­du­cing and sim­pli­fy­ing taxes; re­pla­cing Obama­care with real health-care re­form that con­tains costs and im­proves care; and by stem­ming the flood of new reg­u­la­tions that are ty­ing small busi­nesses in knots” (8/24).

Speak Of The Dev­il

“Gawker” on Aug. 23 pub­lished “more than 950 pages of in­tern­al audits, fin­an­cial state­ments, and private in­vestor let­ters for 21 cryptic­ally named en­tit­ies” in which Rom­ney in­ves­ted dur­ing his time at Bain Cap­it­al (Cook, “Gawker,” 8/23).

The doc­u­ment dump “offered new de­tails on hold­ings owned by [Rom­ney]’s fam­ily trusts, in­clud­ing off­shore ac­count loc­a­tions and un­der­ly­ing as­sets.” The re­cords also “provided fin­an­cial state­ments and in­vestor in­form­a­tion on 18 Bain in­vest­ment funds and three hedge funds in which Rom­ney, his wife, Ann, and his chil­dren have in­ves­ted. Some of the funds lis­ted un­der­ly­ing as­sets that in­cluded loans to com­pan­ies ran­ging from health care firms to the Las Ve­gas Sands, the casino owned by ma­jor GOP donor Shel­don Ad­el­son.”

“The massive trove of Bain ma­ter­i­als adds to the pub­lic’s know­ledge of the in­ner work­ings of some of the funds that the Rom­neys own through fam­ily trusts. … But the doc­u­ments did not provide any new ma­jor rev­el­a­tions about either the Rom­neys’ per­son­al hold­ings or their tax strategies, and left vet­er­an tax and leg­al ex­perts spec­u­lat­ing on the cache’s in­form­a­tion­al value” (Braun, AP, 8/24).

The doc­u­ments “do not spe­cify the stakes held in the funds by the Rom­ney fam­ily trusts or by oth­er in­vestors. But they high­light the range and com­plex­ity of Mr. Rom­ney’s in­vest­ments at a time when those very qual­it­ies have been the sub­ject of the Obama cam­paign’s main at­tacks against him, in­clud­ing de­mands that Mr. Rom­ney re­lease his tax re­turns to clear up any sug­ges­tion that he might be be­ne­fit­ing fin­an­cially from leg­al loop­holes or tax shel­ters” (Con­fess­ore, New York Times, 8/24).

Bain is­sued a state­ment “lament­ing Gawker’s re­lease of the doc­u­ments”: “The un­au­thor­ized dis­clos­ure of a num­ber of con­fid­en­tial fund fin­an­cial state­ments is un­for­tu­nate. Our fund fin­an­cials are routinely pre­pared by aud­it­ors and demon­strate a com­mit­ment to trans­par­ency with our in­vestors and reg­u­lat­ors, and com­pli­ance with all laws” (Ham­burger/Den­nis, Wash­ing­ton Post, 8/24).

For­tune‘s Dan Primack, on the doc­u­ments: “Let me save you some time: There is noth­ing in there that will in­form your opin­ion of Mitt Rom­ney” (8/23).

TV Timeout

Rom­ney did an in­ter­view with FBN’s Peter Barnes, 8/23.

Rom­ney, on if he’d ap­point Rom­ney ad­viser Glenn Hub­bard to be the Fed chair un­der his ad­min: “I haven’t con­sidered a single per­son at this point, giv­en no names any thought or de­lib­er­a­tion. When the time comes to ap­point a new Fed chair­man, I will give that a full ana­lys­is. I don’t have any­one to write in­to that slate right now or any­one to write out but of course Glenn is a won­der­ful eco­nom­ic ad­visor, Greg Mankiw also from Har­vard, like­wise an ex­cel­lent eco­nom­ic ad­visor and there are many across the na­tion who I’d want to con­sider for any ap­point­ment of that mag­nitude.”

Rom­ney, on if would con­sider Fed chair Ben Bernanke for a third term: “I al­ways listen to people who have coun­sel and ad­vice but my view has been that I would want to se­lect someone who is a new mem­ber, ex­cuse me, a new per­son to that chair­man po­s­i­tion, someone who shared my eco­nom­ic views, was sym­path­et­ic to the needs of our na­tion and I want to make sure the Fed­er­al Re­serve fo­cuses on main­tain­ing the mon­et­ary sta­bil­ity that leads to a strong dol­lar and con­fid­ence that Amer­ica is not go­ing to go down the road that oth­er na­tions have gone down to their per­il.”

Rom­ney, on how he’d avoid the fisc­al cliff: “I’ve in­dic­ated that I would keep the status quo in place with re­gards to tax policy, mil­it­ary spend­ing and the like. And keep that as part of the go­ing for­ward run­way and al­low the new pres­id­ent to put in place his new tax pro­gram, his new budget. I have a hard time un­der­stand­ing how it is that we have a law in this coun­try that the Sen­ate must bring for­ward a budget every year and it’s been 3 years since they’ve done so. I look for­ward to hav­ing a pres­id­ent that will ac­tu­ally lead and have budgets and policies to get Amer­ic­an on track to eco­nom­ic san­ity.”

Rom­ney, on how he defines wealthy Amer­ic­ans while talk­ing about the idea of end­ing the mort­gage in­terest de­duc­tion as part of tax re­form: “I haven’t de­scribed spe­cific­ally what changes would oc­cur with re­gards to de­duc­tions or ex­emp­tions for high­er in­come Amer­ic­ans. I have not said we would elim­in­ate, for in­stance, the home mort­gage in­terest de­duc­tion, but I know for high­er in­come Amer­ic­ans we are go­ing to main­tain the pro­gressiv­ity and the code. I am not look­ing for high in­come people to pay a lower share of the total tax bur­den in the coun­try. At the same time, I’m go­ing to make sure that middle in­come fam­il­ies don’t pay more in taxes and that middle in­come fam­il­ies don’t pay a high­er share of the tax bur­den in the coun­try.”

More Rom­ney: “I am not look­ing, as I know the Obama people want to say, to re­duce taxes for wealthy people. I am look­ing in­stead to lower tax rates and lim­it de­duc­tions and ex­emp­tions in such a way that we have en­ter­prises, small busi­nesses able to keep more of their cap­it­al and at the same time sim­pli­fy the code” (FBN, 8/23).

Pull Your Punches, Please

“It’s the sort of state­ment that leaves journ­al­ists slack-jawed: ‘The one stip­u­la­tion to the in­ter­view was that I not ask him about abor­tion or Todd Akin.’”

That’s what Rom­ney’s cam­paign de­man­ded, said Shaun Boyd, a re­port­er for the CBS-owned tele­vi­sion sta­tion in Den­ver, when she in­ter­viewed Rom­ney on Aug. 23. “Boyd was one of four Den­ver re­port­ers to be gran­ted five minutes with the can­did­ate via satel­lite, and the only re­port­er to tell view­ers about any pre­set re­stric­tions” (Stel­ter, New York Times, 8/23).

After her in­ter­view with Rom­ney, Boyd said she “said to them, “˜Look, every­body’s talk­ing about this. It’s go­ing to seem awk­ward if I don’t ask about it. And they said, “˜Well, he’s said all he’s go­ing to say about it. He doesn’t have any­thing more to say. You won’t be get­ting any new in­form­a­tion, so we don’t want to talk about that.’”

Boyd fi­nally agreed, say­ing: “I wanted to get the in­ter­view with him be­cause I have oth­er is­sues I want to talk to him about” (TPM, 8/23).

On TV, Boyd in­tro­duced her short in­ter­view with Rom­ney this way: “I had about five minutes with him and we got through a fair amount of ma­ter­i­al, ac­tu­ally, in that five minutes. The one stip­u­la­tion to the in­ter­view was that I not ask him about abor­tion or Todd Akin — he’s the Mis­souri Re­pub­lic­an who cre­ated a firestorm after say­ing that wo­men’s bod­ies shut down in a le­git­im­ate rape to pre­vent preg­nancy.

A Rom­ney cam­paign source said: “This is not how we op­er­ate. The mat­ter is be­ing ad­dressed” (Wemple, Wash­ing­ton Post, 8/23).

In the CBS Den­ver in­ter­view, Rom­ney said his health care law in MA was “bet­ter than the fed­er­al law it in­spired.” Rom­ney: “My health­care plan I put in place in my state has every­one in­sured, but we didn’t go out and raise taxes on people and have a un­elec­ted board tell people what kind of health­care they can have” (Viebeck, The Hill, 8/23).

The Good Wife

Rom­ney and Ann Rom­ney are in an up­com­ing in­ter­view on FNC’s “Fox News Sunday,” 8/26.

Ann, on Mitt: “I wish every­one could see him how I see him, be­cause as a moth­er, I’ve seen him, how com­pas­sion­ate he’s been with me, as a wife and my rais­ing these small chil­dren and how he al­ways val­ued my work as be­ing more im­port­ant than his.”

Ann: “Whenev­er I in­tro­duce or talk to, es­pe­cially fun­drais­ing groups, I’ll look out and I’ll see every­one is look­ing like they’re do­ing pretty well here. I’m like, guess what, guys, we’re not run­ning for you. We’re run­ning for those folks that are really wor­ried about how they’re go­ing to have a paycheck or they’re really wor­ried about how they’re go­ing to be able to af­ford to edu­cate their chil­dren. That’s what we’re run­ning for. We’re not run­ning to make your lives easi­er.”

Mitt, on Ann ad­vising him: “Ann is really good. She is really good at see­ing things in ways oth­ers don’t see them and — and be­ing able to provide that openly to me. And I value it very highly. She is — she has been my, you know, best friend, ob­vi­ously, and my coun­selor throughout my life.”

Ann, on her ad­vice: “Not on policy.”

Mitt: “I was go­ing to say, I didn’t know she didn’t give ad­vice on policy.”

Ann: “Yeah, I might weigh in on that, too, some­times. … Poor Mitt, he gets ad­vice from every­body, even me” (8/26).

With Friends Like These…

KS Sec/State Kris Kobach (R), an “in­form­al ad­viser” to Rom­ney, is rep­res­ent­ing U.S. Im­mig­ra­tion and Cus­toms En­force­ment em­ploy­ees su­ing the Obama ad­min. “over its plan to stop de­port­ing many young il­leg­al im­mig­rants and grant them work per­mits.”

Kobach “filed the law­suit on be­half of 10 ICE em­ploy­ees” Aug. 23 in fed­er­al court in Dal­las. The 22-page fil­ing con­tends that the Obama ad­min­is­tra­tion’s De­ferred Ac­tion for Child­hood Ar­rivals plan “vi­ol­ates fed­er­al law and forces ICE em­ploy­ees to break the law by not ar­rest­ing cer­tain il­leg­al im­mig­rants.” DHS Sec. Janet Na­pol­it­ano and ICE Dir. John Mor­ton are named as de­fend­ants.

Kobach said “he is rep­res­ent­ing the em­ploy­ees as a private law­yer” and not in his ca­pa­city as a KS of­fi­cial (Cald­well, AP, 8/23).

Mean­while, Rom­ney’s cam­paign “is tread­ing care­fully on the is­sue” of the new law­suit against the Obama ad­min.’s de­port­a­tion de­fer­rals for young il­leg­al im­mig­rants, “cri­ti­ciz­ing Obama for the policy but re­fus­ing to say wheth­er or not he would con­tin­ue the de­fer­rals if he were to be­come pres­id­ent.”

Rom­ney spokes­per­son Ry­an Wil­li­ams: “There is no ques­tion that the pres­id­ent’s ex­ec­ut­ive ac­tion is un­pre­ced­en­ted and raises large ques­tions as to wheth­er it is with­in his au­thor­ity. The courts will have to sort this out, but this kind of un­cer­tainty is un­ac­cept­able as these young people brought here as chil­dren are seek­ing clar­ity on their long-term status” (Joseph, The Hill, 8/23).

Wash­ing­ton Post‘s Bouie writes: “Team Rom­ney says it wants to ex­ceed John Mc­Cain‘s per­form­ance among the demo­graph­ic. … But Mc­Cain spent years build­ing cred­ib­il­ity with the His­pan­ic com­munity. He was a vo­cal sup­port­er of im­mig­ra­tion re­form and was one of the ori­gin­al spon­sors of the DREAM Act in 2005. It was only the the ra­bidly anti-im­mig­ra­tion views of the GOP base that forced Mc­Cain to ad­opt a more hard­line stance dur­ing the 2008 cam­paign” (8/23).

L.A. May­or An­thony Vil­larai­gosa (D), on Rom­ney ap­peal­ing to His­pan­ics: “He was some­where, I was think­ing Mars, when they think that they’re go­ing to get any­thing close to 38 per­cent of the Latino vote. … I ex­pect that they’re not get­ting any­thing above 25 per­cent” (“Ed Show,” MS­N­BC, 8/23).

Hey Mitt, They Like It!

A Rom­ney TV ad blast­ing Obama for the spot that linked Rom­ney to a wo­man’s can­cer death “is the only ad so far this cycle to hurt the pres­id­ent among in­de­pend­ent voters, ac­cord­ing to a new study.”

Rom­ney’s “Amer­ica De­serves Bet­ter” ad — which at­tacks Obama for the Pri­or­it­ies USA ad — “swung sup­port among in­de­pend­ents six points in Rom­ney’s fa­vor, the Vander­bilt/YouGov Ad Rat­ing Pro­ject sur­vey shows” (Weign­er, Politico, 8/23).

His John Han­cock

Wash­ing­ton Post re­port­er Phil Ruck­er, who fam­ously shouted “What about your gaffes!?” at Rom­ney, ar­rived on the cam­paign’s press plane Aug. 23 with a homemade t-shirt that read, “What about your gaffes!?”

Ruck­er “then sought Rom­ney’s sig­na­ture, which he ob­tained” (By­ers, Politico, 8/23).

That’s What She Said

DNC chair Debbie Wasser­man Schultz, on writ­ing in a fun­drais­ing email that Rom­ney’s camp wrote the abor­tion plat­form: “What I’m say­ing, it doesn’t mat­ter.”

Wasser­man Schultz: “There is no way that a pres­id­en­tial can­did­ate, a party’s nom­in­ee, can sep­ar­ate them­selves from that party’s plat­form. … He had an op­por­tun­ity dur­ing the draft­ing of that plat­form lan­guage to make sure that his own view, if that really is his view, is in that party’s plat­form lan­guage. … He didn’t do that. Neither did his cam­paign team” (“AC360,” CNN, 8/23).

What We're Following See More »
JUST AS SENATE VOTES ITS DISAPPROVAL
Trump Backtracks on Putin's "Incredible Offer"
2 days ago
THE LATEST
ARMS CONTROL, SYRIA WERE DISCUSSED
Russians Refer to "Verbal Agreements" with Trump
3 days ago
THE LATEST

"Two days after President Trump’s summit with Russian President Vladi­mir Putin, Russian officials offered a string of assertions about what the two leaders had achieved. 'Important verbal agreements' were reached at the Helsinki meeting, Russia’s ambassador to the United States, Anatoly Antonov, told reporters in Moscow Wednesday, including preservation of the New Start and INF agreements," and cooperation in Syria.

Source:
WAS "GRUDGINGLY" CONVINCED
Trump Was Shown Proof of Russian Interference Before Inauguration
3 days ago
THE LATEST

"Two weeks before his inauguration, Donald J. Trump was shown highly classified intelligence indicating that President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia had personally ordered complex cyberattacks to sway the 2016 American election. The evidence included texts and emails from Russian military officers and information gleaned from a top-secret source close to Mr. Putin, who had described to the C.I.A. how the Kremlin decided to execute its campaign of hacking and disinformation. Mr. Trump sounded grudgingly convinced, according to several people who attended the intelligence briefing. But ever since, Mr. Trump has tried to cloud the very clear findings that he received on Jan. 6, 2017, which his own intelligence leaders have unanimously endorsed."

TAKE THAT, HATERS
Trump: High IQ People Loved the Putin Meeting
3 days ago
THE LATEST
"POLICY DIFFERENCES DON'T MATTER"
Comey Says to Vote Democratic This Fall
4 days ago
THE LATEST
×
×

Welcome to National Journal!

You are currently accessing National Journal from IP access. Please login to access this feature. If you have any questions, please contact your Dedicated Advisor.

Login