Tag Archive: Mitt Romney

GOP Death Spiral report card

Cliven Bundy

Cliven Bundy

After the Republican Party’s losses in the 2012 elections at the Presidential, Senate and House of Representatives, the GOP released an “Autopsy” report that called for Republican outreach to women, blacks, gays, Latinos and Asians. Several months later, Republican U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham said that the GOP was in a “demographic death spiral” that would continue unless and until the Republicans pass immigration reform and “get it off the table” in order to “get back in good graces with the Hispanic community.” Let’s see how that outreach is working for Republicans one year later:

Chris Christie has a Mitt Romney problem

Messaging Matters2

Chris Christie‘s “Bridgegate” scandal feeds into an existing narrative about Christie. Thus, Christie might be about to learn the lesson that Willard Mitt Romney learned in 2012 after his “47 percent” remarks were caught on video — that stories which reinforce an existing narrative about a politician typically won’t go away quickly.

Enjoy your low Obama taxes today

Messaging Matters2

One of the many Republican lies is that President Obama has raised your taxes. Other than for a miniscule sliver of top-salaried Americans, the opposite is true — President Obama has lowered a number of taxes, and today, Tax Day, most Americans enjoy some of the lowest federal income taxes of their lifetimes.

The Republican disconnect

Pig at the trough, Via Flora, West Palm Beach, FL

Pig at the barrel, Via Flora, West Palm Beach, FL

Here in a little corner of Southeast Florida, it’s Republican Land. You’ve got your gun-clinging rednecks, your Bible thumpers, and your One Percenters. The last group is something to behold. Their car of choice this year is the $200,000 Bentley convertible. Their home of choice is the Spanish style mansion behind the gates guarded by security personnel in starched uniforms. And their expression of choice is “I hate Obama.”

Messaging Maxim #4: Feed the Narrative

Messaging Matters2

MSNBC’s Ed Schultz solved a 2012 election mystery on Wednesday, by featuring the man who shot the infamous Willard Mitt Romney “47% video” in a one-on-one interview. What made the video by bartender Scott Prouty so devastating to Romney’s presidential campaign was that Romney’s controversial “47%” remarks, as well as other statements, such as those regarding a brutal Chinese sweatshop that Romney visited with the purpose of purchasing for Bain Capital, fed into a narrative that already existed about Romney as:

The Republicans’ Hurricane Sandy problem

Multistate disasters like Hurricane Sandy, which is currently battering the Northeast, present a big problem for the Republican Party and its anti-government ideology. Here’s why:

Four debate pointers for President Obama

With the second Presidential debate between Barack Obama and Willard Mitt Romney around the corner and the third debate just six days later, President Obama should follow these four time-tested principles of successful political communication to gain the debate advantage:

The One Thing Democrats Should be Saying but Aren’t

At the Republican National Convention and elsewhere during this election season, the Republicans’ principal attack against President Obama is that he hasn’t fixed the economy or significantly lowered the unemployment rate. The Democrats have failed effectively to call the Republicans out for not lifting a finger to work with them and with President Obama to solve these economic issues.

The story is a simple and compelling one for the Democrats, if they would only tell it:

Romney learns that legalisms and politics are very different

“I did not have sexual relations with that woman.” — President Bill Clinton, 1998

“I did not have economic relations with that company.” — Various satirists mocking Mitt Romney, 2012

As happened to President Bill Clinton in 1998, Republican presidential nominee Willard Mitt Romney is learning a tough lesson: legalisms don’t cut it in politics.

During the 1998 Clinton/Monica Lewinsky affair, while being deposed in the related Paula Jones lawsuit, Clinton was given a definition of “sexual relations” that appeared to be limited to performing sexual acts upon another person. Clinton was then asked whether, under this definition, he had had sexual relations with Monica Lewinsky. Since Clinton had not (according to him) performed sexual acts upon Lewinsky, he seemed to have answered the question truthfully by saying “no.” However, Clinton’s semantics did not fly in the political arena and, at least in the short term, Clinton suffered political damage and public humiliation.

Amazingly, Willard Romney and his advisers have not learned Bill Clinton’s lesson. Romney (who, like Clinton, has an Ivy League law degree) and his campaign keep falling back on similar legalisms to try to explain Romney’s various public filings and statements regarding his relationship with Bain Capital, and voters don’t seem to be buying it. The specific issue now is whether Romney left Bain in 1999, 2002, or some time in between. Romney created this issue by saying that all the “bad” things Romney’s Republican primary rivals and the Obama campaign have accused Bain of doing — allowing companies they took over to go bankrupt, firing workers at these companies, and outsourcing many of their jobs overseas — happened after February 1999, when Romney had “left” Bain. It’s stunning that Romney has conceded this framing of Bain’s track record to his opponents. However, even with the limited argument Romney has left himself, documents keep surfacing, including Bain’s own Securities Exchange Commission filings signed by Romney, that conflict with Romney’s narrative.

How to Beat the Republicans on the “Government” Issue

Republicans have been running against “government” at least since Ronald Reagan‘s 1980 presidential campaign. Willard Romney fired the latest salvo in the Republican War On Government last Friday when he stated that we should not have “more firemen, more policemen, more teachers,” as President Obama wants, but rather, we should “get the message of Wisconsin” (referring to Governor Scott Walker‘s victory in his recent recall election) and “cut back” on these essential public servants. Some pundits called Romney’s statement a “gaffe”, and even Governor Walker, who targeted public employee unions in Wisconsin after taking office, disagreed with Romney.

Apparently, Romney’s gaffe was in going from the general Republican talking point (attacking “government” or “unions”) to the specific (targeting teachers, cops and firefighters, many of whom are beloved in their communities, for firing). California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger learned a similar lesson in his first year of office, and the rest of his time as Governor was doomed. The lesson is that a good talking point, which can be made in the most general terms, does not always translate to a successful specific policy. This indicates that, when Republicans spew the usual talking points attacking “government” and “government workers”, we should put Republicans on the spot by asking them which specific programs and which specific workers they would cut.

We should: