A New Low, Even for Mitt

What do you do when your campaign is caught in a shameless lie?  Turn it into an ad in Ohio, a state you must win and obviously don’t care how you do it.

From “F-you Dishonesty:  Romney and Jeep,” Michael Tomasky, The Daily Beast:

“There’s basic dishonesty and then there’s f-you dishonesty–dishonesty so blatant, so consciously abusive of facts that everyone knows, that it deserves a category of its own.

“Romney’s new ad about Jeeps and Italy is f-you dishonest. You probably know the background. Bloomberg News moved a confusingly worded article last week suggesting, if you didn’t read it closely, that Jeep (under Chrysler, owned by Fiat) was sending all its production to China. Romney said this on the trail.

“I originally cut Romney a break here–some aide handed him a news article that was sloppily or strangely written, he read it on the fly, he decided to throw it in there.

“But then Chrysler ripped Romney and said no way, this is not true. Chrysler is thinking about putting plants in China down the road to try to increase market share there. But as for the here and now and the U.S. market, Chrysler is not only not cutting back domestic Jeep production but expanding it, investing $500 million in the Toledo, Ohio Jeep plant.

“At that point, even most political campaigns would have just dropped it. They wouldn’t apologize, because campaigns don’t do that, but a normal campaign would just drop it and try to move on.

“So what did Romney’s campaign do? It cut a TV ad doubling down on the claim, cleverly worded so as to suggest that the Obama administration sold out America (and Ohio) by selling Chrysler to the Italians who are moving production to China.”


Mitt Saves Obama Cost of Copywriters

The Obama campaign released an ad today in Colorado, Florida, Iowa, Nevada, New Hampshire, Ohio, and Virginia whose script is just Mitt from his “47% speech,” with no editorializing or additional comments or counter arguments.  Because, really, what more do you have to say or try to spin?

You know you’re screwing yourself when your opponents’ ads are just lifted verbatim from your speeches.

The Weapon of “Weaponized Keynesianism”

From “Obstruct and Exploit,” Paul Krugman, NYT:

“Anyway, do Republicans really believe that government spending is bad for the economy?  No.

“Right now, Mitt Romney has an advertising blitz under way in which he attacks Mr. Obama for possible cuts in defense spending — cuts, by the way, that were mandated by an agreement forced on the president by House Republicans [that would be you, Paul Ryan] last year.  And why is Mr. Romney denouncing these cuts?  Because, he says, they would cost jobs!

“This is classic ‘weaponized Keynesianism’ — the claim that government spending can’t create jobs unless the money goes to defense contractors, in which case it’s the lifeblood of the economy.  And no, it doesn’t make any sense.”

Mitt Changes Ad Plan They Just Announced

The Romney campaign has changed the ad buys they announced late last week, which omitted Michigan, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin.

They are now running ads in Wisconsin about the deficit/national debt.

It doesn’t necessarily mean they believe they are close there — campaigns sometimes run ads in a state just to force the other side to spend money there.

Given Mitt’s  big advantage in money, it makes sense for him to try to force Obama to spread himself thin running ads in a lot of states.

 

Mitt Can’t Lock Up This Big Dog on the Car Roof

From “The Dog and the Preacher,” John Heilemann, New York Magazine:

“In some areas, to be sure, it makes more sense for Clinton to do the talking—welfare reform preeminent among them. For weeks, Team Romney has been pounding Obama for allegedly ‘gutting’ the law that Clinton passed in the nineties by ‘dropping work requirements.’ The ads, which featured images of WJC, have plainly been gaining traction with the working- and middle-class white voters whom the Republican ticket must carry by vast margins to have any hope of winning. In his Charlotte speech, however, Clinton decimated the ads with as much force as he could muster. ‘This is personal to me,’ he said. ‘The claim that President Obama weakened welfare reform’s work requirement is just not true. But they keep on running ads claiming it.’

“For Romney-Ryan, Clinton’s engagement on this issue—and more broadly, as he’s made it clear he wants to hit the road extensively for Obama this fall—is a nightmare. But it is one of their own creation. Had they not elevated Clinton in the first place, putting him in ads, using him as an example of the kind of ‘good Democrat’ that Obama definitively is not, 42’s repudiations of the claims and his validation of 44 might have less purchase. Instead, Team Romney finds itself defenseless, unable to defang the Big Dog, even as Obama counts his lucky stars that the old hound is off the leash.”

White Flag in Michigan and Pennsylvania

Both the Romney campaign and GOP super PACs like Karl Rove’s Crossroads GPS appear to be conceding both Michigan and Pennsylvania to President Obama.  They’re not running any ads there.

This saves the Obama campaign some money.  Often the other side spends money in a state they expect to lose just to force you to spend money there and have less to spend in the real battlegrounds.

Although Michigan is Mitt’s home state, I never saw it as a swing state, given his opposition to the auto bailout, but I did see Pennsylvania.

If they change their minds and begin advertising in one or both states, it means they see the race tightening.  This would be an interesting development.

Quote of the Day

“No question. The Romney campaign has doubled down. All in on the race/lazy/dependency groove from here on out. No going back.

“In private they’re all but bragging about it — specifically their run of welfare-centric commercials which they’re running at a red hot clip in swing states all across the country. It’s working, they say. The fact-checkers can go screw themselves.”

Josh Marshall, “Doubling Down,” Talking Points Memo

Shameful?  Yes.  Surprising?  Pas de tout, as Mitt would have said during his missionary days.

Is Wisconsin Really a Battleground?

After the effort to recall Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker failed, there were noises that the state was now competitive for the GOP in the presidential race.  President Obama carried Wisconsin in 2008 by 14%.  He consistently leads in polls there by 6-8%.

The GOP hasn’t put their money where their mouths are because so far they’re not running ads in Wisconsin.

As Journal Sentinel reporter Craig Gilbert notes,* Wisconsin is being treated as a second-tier state for the GOP, below places like Nevada, Colorado, Iowa, Ohio, Virginia, Florida, and New Hampshire.

I think Obama will carry Wisconsin again, although not by 14%.  But it’s still the same number of electoral votes.  The electoral college map just doesn’t favor Mittens.

* “Wisconsin:  a very quiet presidential battleground.”

Thanks a Lot, Citizens United

The NYT is reporting* that more than 500 Super PACs have registered with the Federal Election Commission.

Very rich people used to show off with their Gulfstreams and Ferraris — a Super PAC is the new status symbol.

So now the whole point of limiting the dollar amount of campaign contributions, such as $2500 per person for a presidential campaign, is meaningless.  You just shift your money away from the campaign to its Super PAC.

That’s why Mitt’s Super PAC, Restore Our Future, has spent twice as much on ads so far, about $45 million, as Mitt’s campaign.  And those ads don’t have the tempering effect that the words “I’m Mitt Romney, and I approve this message,” should have.  A candidate can be more shameless and outrageous when he doesn’t have his name on the thing.

If Citizens United protects “speech,” it’s pretty obscene speech.

Between the lobbyists and the campaign finance laws, We the People really don’t have a chance.

“Super PACs Let Strategists Off the Leash,” Nicholas Confessore

A Little Weekend Humor from Gail Collins

From Gail Collins’ “Who Doesn’t Love A List?” in the NYT:

“The primaries have been great for the economy.  Dimwitted billionaires are dumping money they don’t need into the campaigns of people who can’t win, providing much-needed jobs for ad-writers, poll-takers and yard-sign manufacturers.

“Do you remember, at the depth of the recession, when Keynesians kept saying that we could jump-start the recovery by just paying a whole bunch of people to dig holes and fill them back in?  This is exactly the same thing!  Keep going, Republicans!”

Except that digging holes and filling them in is harmless and doesn’t cause trouble as the GOP candidates are doing.  Check out Santorum’s “Welcome to Obamaville” on YouTube.  Whoever made this sick piece of garbage should be sentenced to digging holes and filling them in for all eternity.  It predicts nothing less than the apocalypse if Obama is reelected and flashes alternating shots of him and Ahmadinejad on the screen, cause, you know, they’re so alike, a couple of Muslim guys who hate America.