Romney Tries to Change the Subject (Yet Again)

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Charles Dharapak / AP

Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney is seen through a television camera's viewfinder as he speaks at a campaign fundraising event in Salt Lake City, Utah, on Sept. 18, 2012.

A few days ago, Mitt Romney’s advisers promised to kick off a new phase of their campaign. This one would be built around policy specifics, supposedly evidenced by a new ad campaign that includes rather non-specific pledges to “cut the deficit” and “crack down on China.” In truth, this new start had more than a whiff of empty spin from a Romney team desperate to change the conversation from a botched statement about Arab protests and a wave of stories about internal dissent at Romney’s Boston headquarters. (Stuart Stevens might want to hire himself a food-taster.)

But before a new storyline could sink in, the plan turned to ashes. Mother Jones posted a secretly recorded video of Romney telling a group of wealthy donors that the 47% of Americans who pay no federal income taxes are a political (and perhaps even moral) lost cause, and chaos ensued. Many conservatives seem divided between writing Romney off and offering him comically nebulous advice.

Now Romney is making a new effort to change the election’s storyline. The specificity of a couple days ago already seems like a discarded child’s toy, as Romney resurrects prior attacks on President Obama as a European-style socialist who disdains capitalism. Today the GOP nominee is harping on a 14-year old clip of Obama, likely leaked by his own campaign, in which Obama explained his support for “redistribution.” Romney is treating that unsurprising statement–America’s progressive tax code amounts to redistribution, after all–as a revelation, and again decrying Obama as a socialist-style liberal. Speaking at a fundraiser in Atlanta this afternoon Romney linked the quote to another of his favorite campaign themes:

“This idea of redistribution follows from the idea that if you have a business you didn’t build it, someone else did that.   It’s the same concept.  That see, government is responsible for everything that’s gone on here.  And therefore government can take and give as it chooses.  It’s an entirely foreign concept that will not work, that has not worked.  That has never worked anywhere in the world.  And what we have to do in America is not to make us more like Europe, but to make America more like America [applause drowns out end].”

(PHOTOS: Political Pictures of the Week, Sept. 7-14)

This was not an off the cuff riff: Romney made similar comments about Obama’s “foreign” thinking on Fox last night. For Romney, a week that began with talk of policy specificity has instead returned to tried-and-true themes of patriotism and intimations that Obama has foreign allegiances. But the week is still young, and there’s plenty of time for yet another campaign crisis  that sends Romney’s advisers scrambling back to the drawing board.

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Magik13
Magik13

The whole "socialist" accusation is getting old and tiring with most Americans. Why? Because it is simply not true. President Obama has demonstrated his Capitalist credentials many many times. In no way is Obama even remotely "socialist". 

The Republicans make this charge in anger and fear, which is rooted in their racism, bigotry, and other toxic soul poisons. Americans are sick of it. Get off it Republicans, you sound like a bunch of ignorant morons. 

JohnParish
JohnParish

Help support the change in the way election campaign funds

are raised.  Stop the Super Pacs from

steering the candidates and ruling the government. 

Come march on Congress and show them that the American

Population do not want candidates to be persuaded by these Super Pacs any more.

Visit www.indiegogo.com/SuperPac

and help raise the awareness of this problem.

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JohnYuEsq
JohnYuEsq

I must apologize to the American people. As a recently retired Vietnam veteran, I am a 65-year-old member of Mitt Romney's infamous 47%. I feel ashamed that I pay no income tax on the retirement money I struggled to save while raising four children and working 40 to 60 hours a week, sometimes at two jobs. I feel ashamed that during my military service, I also paid no income tax when I was in a combat zone. I guess I shouldn’t feel entitled to retirement tax breaks and Medicare. 

Thank you, Mr. Romney. I never realized I was such a drain on America. That I am dependent on government. That I believe I’m a victim. You will receive my full apology on Nov. 6. That’s the day I will vote for President Obama — who, by a wide margin, is the lesser of two evils. - Wash Post comment

Glen Fiddich
Glen Fiddich

  Mitt was just telling me last night that he only dislikes 99% of Americans.

 "Paule," he said, getting my name wrong while chomping on an

h'odouerve that cost more than your best pair of shoes, "I really

dislike that Dion Chomsky fellow."  

"Who?" I asked, slurping up champagne whose every bubble is worth more than your wife's best dress.  

"You know, that pro-Dem spam-bot opinionator for the New

Republic."  And I said, "No, Mitt, you're thinking about Howard Zinn."  

And he said, "Zinn, Dion, what's the difference?"  

And I said, "Actually, big guy, you've got a point."   

Then he said, "Too bad he gave up his singing career to become a political hack. Because I really liked 'The Wanderer'."  

And then we went out on the balcony and smoked cigars that cost more than your house.

ChowT
ChowT

Mitt Romney has no underlying principles.

In a desperate effort to win votes, Mitt Romney has to become all things to all men.

He will say anything, do anything and promise anything to lure votes.

To the Mexicans, Mitt will become Mexican, to the hispanics, Mitt will become hispanics........ to the pirate capitalist... Mitt will become a vulture capitalist..............

Hey, Mitt will even become Chinese if he needs to be............................

Glen Fiddich
Glen Fiddich

 Surely, after the disastrous Bush administration, we've all learned the futility of

electing chicken hawk, war mongering idiots to the presidency. Someone

who is stupid enough to bad mouth the working class in front of the

servants and who is too stupid to realize that even waiters have cell

phones with video capability is obviously too half-witted and foolish to

be president.Romney LOVES the British class-based society.  Want a class-based society in the US?  Vote for Romney!

Glen Fiddich
Glen Fiddich

Surely, after the disastrous Bush administration, we've all learned the futility of

electing chicken hawk, war mongering idiots to the presidency. Someone

who is stupid enough to bad mouth the working class in front of the

servants and who is too stupid to realize that even waiters have cell

phones with video capability is obviously too half-witted and foolish to

be president.

Romney LOVES the British class-based society.  Want a class-based society in the US?  Vote for Romney!

LK312
LK312

Shake that Etch-a-Sketch one more time, Mitt!

ChowT
ChowT

Way to Go Mitt Romney. 

Sangweni
Sangweni

The GOP has a lot of problems in their ranks; structural problems. Heck, they couldn't even make up their minds if they liked or wanted Romney as their candidate. He has spent the last year trying to appeal to the Tea party, the Conservatives, big business -just about every entity that has no (or should have no) bearing on a democratic process. He has even abandoned the healthcare plan he implemented in Mass.!

Small wonder this campaign looks a shambles........

ahandout
ahandout

Crowley aren't you one of the brain dead media that bought the White House lies all week?  Why should anyone listen to you?  Do you really think that anyone does?  You guys made fools of yourselves.

MrObvious
MrObvious

That see, government is responsible for everything that’s gone on here. And therefore government can take and give as it chooses. It’s an entirely foreign concept that will not work, that has not worked. That has never worked anywhere in the world.

Just look how great deregulation turned out to be. Private banks were not culpable at all. They were 'forced' to by big bad gov. Although the banksters running weeee weeeing to their bank accounts laughing as they cashed all that commission seems a lil' weird.

ahandout
ahandout

 Mr O. who are you quoting? 

ranger99
ranger99

Apparently Romney never heard the old expression "When you find yourself in a hole, the first step to getting out is to stop digging."

No luck there.  He's shoveling faster than ever before.

akpat
akpat

Sure there needs to be a re distribution of wealth and it needs to come from people like Mitt who control companies employing people here in the USA with a living wage. In fact so much of a living wage they can afford to pay taxes.

Even Henry Ford realized he had to pay his workers well to generate the economy of scale required for his cars.

The economy is driven from underneath.

In the meantime if Mitt and his friends get their way they will be joining the 47% and pay no taxes at all.

filmnoia
filmnoia

In 1980 the top 1% owned 7% of the wealth. Today they own 25%. All the while middle class wages have stagnated for decades. Please, please, please, Willard, keep on discussing  wealth distribution. It's a losing issue for you. Mr. In Control Robotic Businessman can't even run an effective presidential campaign. I wouldn't even let this guy walk my dog.

Albin
Albin

The new video has the effect of krazy gluing the etch-a-sketch - Romney's base constituency wants to believe it  agrees with him, and this reminds them.  The one thing that had intrigued me was the reference to Mexico, but the LRB cleared it up some:

Christian Lorentzen

The carpenter Miles Archibald Romney converted to Mormonism in Lower

Penwortham in 1837. Four years later he and his wife Elizabeth left

England for Nauvoo, Illinois. There he built Joseph Smith a temple that

was not quite completed when the prophet was shot dead by a mob. Another

mob burned down Miles’s temple, and he fled Nauvoo with his family.

Hounded by animals, Indians and more mobs, they made their way to Salt

Lake City, where he helped Brigham Young build a temple that still

stands. Young sent Miles and his son, Miles P., to St George, Utah,

where they built a tabernacle and a temple. Young commanded Miles P. to

take more than one wife; he took five. He led the Mormon campaign

against anti-polygamy laws, was harassed by marshals, and from time to

time sent one or two of his wives into cornfields or mountain hideouts

to escape arrest. In Arizona the editor of the Apache Chief

called him ‘a mass of putrid pus and rotten goose pimples; a skunk, with

the face of a baboon, the character of a louse, the breath of a buzzard

and the record of a perjurer and common drunkard’. Miles P. crossed the

border and set up a polygamous colony in Mexico. There his son Gaskell

built a cattle farm and a door factory, but lost it all when

revolutionaries besieged the colony. The family fled to El Paso. ‘I was

kicked out of Mexico when I was five years old because the Mexicans were

envious of the fact that my people … became prosperous,’ Gaskell’s son

George said. George chased a Mormon girl called Lenore to Hollywood,

rescued her from a Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer contract, took her to Detroit,

ran a car company, became governor of Michigan, then squandered his lead

over Nixon in the race for the Republican nomination in 1968 by saying

he’d been ‘brainwashed’ by generals who told him the Vietnam War could

be won. Last month his son Mitt arrived in Tampa persecuted for being a

millionaire 250 times over, accused of sacrificing American workers on

the altar of his own wealth, his status as a human the subject of

national doubt.

Armand Winter
Armand Winter

 Joseph Smith turned himself in on a warrant for breaking and entering and vandalism of a printing press that printed uncomplimentary things about him and his church.

He had a gun smuggled in and unloaded a revolver at an angry mob that  wasn't very happy with him in the first place.

Some Mormons fled to avoid prosecution of anti polygamy laws, a condition of Utah becoming a state.

One polygamist colony in Mexico was named after the colonial dictator from Spain. This didn't go over too well with Pancho Villa who was the one that kicked the Mormons out of Mexico.

The persecution of the Mormons had more to do with polygamy, Joseph Smith marrying 14 and 15 year olds.... some men thought Smith was after their wives and some under handed real estate deals.

One of Smith's favorite things to do, with my g-g-grandfather along side was promise to find treasure on people's land for a fee through "glass peeping" which was expressly against the law.

oldprofessor
oldprofessor

The redistribution of wealth begins with the unequal taxation of income earned by labor vs income earned as capital gains.   Mitt Romney has benefitted greatly from that hat trick.  He is not likely to talk about how it is  unfair to working people.

Dan Bruce
Dan Bruce

Open letter to Mitt Romney:

Mitt, I was serving in combat to defend you and your family while you were raking in all of that dough you have stashed away overseas. Where do I send the bill (and can I share your billing address with other veterans who protected your business shenanigans)?

Respecfully yours, Dan

JohnYuEsq
JohnYuEsq

For Heaven's Sake, Redistribute the Wealth Already...PULEEZE!

Curious_Quiche
Curious_Quiche

Condensed:

"Their many obfuscations exposed, the Republicans once again turn to their favorite tactic, latent racism."

onaturalia
onaturalia

I'm middle class and I would like Romney to pay the same percentage of tax as me. I feel the same about the poorer people. To me, that is fair and equitable.

La_Randy
La_Randy

Looks like Romney is doubling down on his economic darwinism.

Taxes have always been levied with the distinct purpose of redistribution to the nations needs.

This is just the same old marxist, socialist dog whistle to prevent the top marginal rate from going up 4%.

The way they are squealing about these proposed tax policies you would think they (Romney's rich donors) were about to join the 47%.

Oh wait, 4000 millionaires paid no income taxes last year.

Never mine.

Brandt Hardin
Brandt Hardin

Now

will there be any doubt that a Romney administration would favor the rich and

increase the income gap in our country? 

Mitt is a pariah in Mormon Clothing and will stop at nothing to expand

an empire of greed for the rich in this country by expanding tax cuts for the

1% of the wealthiest Americans.  He’s out

to gut the Middle Class for every red cent he can get.  Will his sacred Mormon underwear grant him

the protection and money to buy this election? 

See for yourself as Mitt dons his tighty-whities sent down from the Good

Lord Himself at http://dregstudiosart.blogspot...

Kevin Groenhagen
Kevin Groenhagen

"Romney Tries to Change the Subject (Yet Again)"

I would say that it takes a lot of cojones to write a headline such as that, but then saw that Michael Crowley wrote it.

We had a disastrous job report two Fridays ago, we had our first ambassador since the Carter admin assassination, Obama's overture to the Islamic world is in total shambles, China is threatening military action against Japan, the debt topped $16 trillion, the unemployment rate has topped 8% for more months now under Obama than it did for all his predecessors back to Truman COMBINED, and Swampland is focused on what amounts to molasses for the cockroaches.

And Crowley has the gall to write that Romney is changing the subject.

WarrenSpahn
WarrenSpahn

Groan:  Loser

Willard:  Loser

Ah, NOW I get it.

forgottenlord
forgottenlord

"We had a disastrous job report two Fridays ago,"

Disastrous would be something like what we saw towards the end of Bush's term in office.  This was merely bad - and already factored in.  It continues a general trend of a middling if slightly weakening economy which most people are aware of right now.

"we had our first ambassador since the Carter admin assassination,"

Because Obama pulled the trigger and any real policy would've prevented the Islamic world going ape s**t over some idiot's meaningless movie

"Obama's overture to the Islamic world is in total shambles,"

Cart before horse, I'm afraid.

"China is threatening military action against Japan,"

Which has nothing to do with Obama.  Not to mention: Japan's a big boy, China's not stupid enough to start a real war with them.

"the debt topped $16 trillion,"

Thank you Bush

"the unemployment rate has topped 8% for more months now under Obama than it did for all his predecessors back to Truman COMBINED,"

Thank you Reagan/Bush/every other trickle down theorist that has worked so hard to screw America

"and Swampland is focused on what amounts to molasses for the cockroaches."

No....just the words of one particular cockroach.

miradk
miradk

hummm, Obama needs to learn to owe the economy after 42 months.

forgottenlord
forgottenlord

How can he when Republicans have done what they could to prevent action since December 2010?  Prior to then, the economy was going from free-fall to stabilization and beginning recovery.  Since then, Obama's been trying everything to get every last drop of juice out of it with absolutely nothing to play with.

Paul Dirks
Paul Dirks

tried-and-true themes of patriotism...

Sorry this cannot be said enough. If you're willing to slander exactly half of the country, you are NO patriot.

ahandout
ahandout

You can say it all you want, doesn't mean anything, because it didn't happen.

What did happen:  Obama lied repeatedly to EVERYONE in the country about the Libya attack multiple times for the last 9 days.

DonQuixotic
DonQuixotic

Lie as much as you want, Mitt said what he said.

shepherdwong
shepherdwong

"If your willing to slander exactly half of the country, you are NO patriot."

Not to mention (in the same sentence, no less), slandering the President of the United States to gin up political opposition in service to multinational corporate entities. As I understand the concept, that makes you the exact opposite of a patriot.

destor23
destor23

I think you have to rethink this: "America’s progressive tax code amounts to redistribution..."  It's simply not the case that people like Mitt Romney pay taxes which are then taken by the Treasury and distributed to other Americans.  There's no deal at work where every citizen gets their share of whatever taxes Romney paid last year.

Indeed, rich people get government services too, and often make more use of them than the rest of the country can.  Who benefits most from a federally funded air traffic control system, the average American who flies once or twice a year or the guy who owns his own jet?

dmbfan93933
dmbfan93933

"Indeed, rich people get government services too, and often make more use of them than the rest of the country can."

Don't forget the rich people as defined by our own Supreme Court, the corporations.  Corporations benefit immensely from government services, and some of the biggest paid zero federal income tax (ex: G.E.), and yet some would have us lower tax rates on corps.

Kevin Groenhagen
Kevin Groenhagen

 If not for rich people, there would be no government services. So instead of you socialists attacking the rich, you should thank them.

WarrenSpahn
WarrenSpahn

We KNOW you do more than thank them, closet-boy.

wink-wink.

ahandout
ahandout

 Not to mention many of the products on the market (oh no a free market) for instance:  the computer you are using.

WarrenSpahn
WarrenSpahn

Idiocy. 

But it is you, you pathetic clown.

Curious_Quiche
Curious_Quiche

If it weren't for the government, rich people would be flogging us all right now as we groomed their lawns with our teeth and then charge us for eating their grass clippings.

filmnoia
filmnoia

Our resident Wichita Lineman doesn't get it. He's  been  spending too much time with Freddie Phelps over at Westboro Baptist. There wouldn't be rich people in businesses that actually produce things if it wasn't for their workers and the rest of society buying those products.

As for the wealthy on Wall Street, well, they really don't produce anything of value, other for themselves.

ahandout
ahandout

 Dr JP government regulations and incentives were directly responsible for the environment that led to the mortgage meltdown.  Bankers and investors found a way to legally make a ton of money.  Many, many speculators made money.  Every time the government passes regulations there are unintended consequences.  Or, maybe they intend to do exactly what they do, and pass it off to the ignorant as reform, or that they care about the little guy.  Isn't that the guise of helping people with home ownership?  Who did it really help? 

filmnoia
filmnoia

Dr JP -

Pardon my hyperbole. I speak of those  crooks that created the meltdown of Sept. 2008. I have nothing but respect for small town bankers who provide loans to people who start businesses, and venture capitalists that invest in  small emerging tech companies. People who trade in derivatives and cash in on speculation don't create anything of societal value, imo.

Dr_JP
Dr_JP

I don't think that last comment's fair... I'm sure you wouldn't want your entire profession slimed, and there IS value in creating wealth. It is a field that could use a lot more regulation, for sure, and there are a lot of actors for whom creating something of value for society is not on their radar, and who did incredibly destructive things. BUT, politics is a game of enlarging your own tent and shrinking theirs, and generalizations about the moral worth of entire classes of people is what we're so mad at Romney for, right?

Steve0T
Steve0T

More bovine excrement from the resident ignoramus.

How much are the Kochs paying you for your ummm services??

Dr_JP
Dr_JP

ad hominem attacks persuade no one. Please refute his contention with arguments rather than insults. Sorry for the interruption, but a lot of us in the  peanut gallery pity the right wing trolls for their inability to string together a cogent argument, and it would be pure tribalism not to point out when the home team does it too.