WASHINGTON — Thought the 2012 presidential campaign was over? Think again.
President Barack Obama didn’t have much to say about Mitt Romney’s rekindled aspirations for the White House when he delivered a flat, “No comment,” earlier this month. But apparently he couldn’t resist much longer, following reports that the former GOP candidate was weighing entering the ring in 2016 on a platform focused on lifting up the middle class and eliminating poverty.
Addressing House Democrats at their annual retreat in Philadelphia on Thursday night, Obama referred to one “former presidential candidate” who was “suddenly deeply concerned about poverty.”
“That’s great. Lets do something about it,” Obama said, according to a White House pool report.
Romney fired back on Twitter, by noting poverty levels under the Obama administration.
Mr. Obama, wonder why my concern about poverty? The record number of poor in your term, and your record of failure to remedy.
“Mr. Obama, wonder why my concern about poverty? The record number of poor in your term, and your record of failure to remedy,” Romney said.
Obama also said in Philadelphia that he had heard a Republican senator, who he did not name, was “suddenly shocked, shocked, that the 1 percent” was doing much better than the vast majority of Americans.
“I consider imitation the highest form of flattery,” Obama said of Republicans’ sudden embrace of populist rhetoric.
Feel the love! David Ferguson reports.
On Tuesday, Tea Party favorite Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-TX) posted video of far-right Christian pastor Robert Jeffress delivering the opening prayer in the U.S. House of Representatives.
The controversial pastor was reportedly there in Washington at Gohmert’s request.
Jeffress is the head of First Baptist Church, a megachurch located in Dallas. In the past, the outspoken evangelical has called Mormonism a cult, creating waves during Gov. Mitt Romney (R-MA)’s presidential run in 2012.
And off course, we can be certain that Louie Gohmert defends all of this.
To recap: Romney has gone from side-stepping the remark, to owning the thrust of this comment (though noting it was not well articulated), to saying he was wrong, to denying he said what he said (and contending his words were distorted), to claiming he was only mirroring the rambling remarks of a big-money backer. This last explanation is certainly not fair to the 1-percenter who merely expressed his very 1-percentish opinion. Does this mean that Romney was thrown off his game by a simple question—or that he was trying to suck up to a donor?
In the two years since Romney was caught on tape, he just cannot come up with a clear explanation of an easy-to-understand short series of sentences that were responsive to the question presented. But there is one possible explanation he hasn’t yet put forward: He said what he believed.
Personally, I’ll never forget or forgive this specific quote from those remarks:
I’ll never convince them they should take personal responsibility and care for their lives.
Two-time presidential contender Mitt Romney is apparently looking seriously at making a third White House bid in 2016.
Romney, who has repeatedly insisted he will not run, has kept his inner circle intact and regularly discusses national politics with them, according to a Washington Examiner column by Byron York published Wednesday night.
The article stressed the possibility of Romney ultimately declining to run, but sources around him reportedly have the strong sense that Romney is keeping the door open. What’s more, that same inner circle really wants him to run again.
“Virtually the entire advisory group that surrounded Mitt in 2012 are eager for him to run, almost to a man and a woman,” one “plugged-in member of Romneyland” told the Examiner.
Asked to expound on her comment, Miss Lohan giggled, and replied “Wingnut Mormons are so $$#@#$ hawt and junk” /
But this was not the first time the fledgling political pundit has jumped into the presidential twitter fray.
In early September, after the first presidential debate, Lohan went on a Twitter rampage, during which she tweeted none other than Barack Obama asking him to consider tax breaks “for those that are listed on Forbes as ‘millionaires’ if they are not,” although it’s unclear what she exactly meant by that
I was going to put this under humor, but I was afraid people would think it was satire.
IT IS NOT!
At least one prominent Republican lawmaker thinks two-time Republican presidential candidate and 2012 GOP nominee Mitt Romney will run again in 2016.
Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah) told MSNBC’s Chris Matthews that he thinks the “Draft Mitt” hype is real.
“I think he actually is going to run for president. He probably doesn’t want me to say that,” Chaffetz said during an interview on “Hardball” Monday night.
“A hundred times he says he’s not, but Mitt Romney has always accomplished what he’s set out to do. I think he’s [been] proven right on a lot of stuff. I happen to be in the camp that thinks he’s actually going to run, and I think he will be the next president of the United States.”
The man most likely behind the “Draft Mitt” hype.
OK, now I’m scared.
Yesterday Politico published The Case for Mitt Romney in 2016 (subtitled I’m absolutely serious — probably so it won’t be mistaken as an Onion-style piece) by Emil Henry. Politico describes the author as assistant secretary of the Treasury under President George W. Bush, as well as a private equity firm CEO. The author describes himself as having served in multiple roles in Romney’s failed 2012 campaign.
Of course, last year Romney went to great pains to inform the public (through his son Tagg) that he never wanted to be president at all. The fact that Politico is publishing this would seem to indicate that either they are venturing into the field of political fan fiction, or the semi-moderate wing of the GOP is dangerously desperate.
In order to save you the trouble of reading this piece, I will simply give the author’s 3 points and then tell you why I think they are utterly ridiculous…although I think it will be rather obvious
1. Romney is re-emerging as the de facto leader of the Republican Party.
Chris Christie is damaged, Jeb Bush is far too reasonable on immigration, Santorum and Huckabee are both jokes, and pretty much everyone else is too afraid of being primaried (or too recently survived being primaried) to say anything meaningful. None of this makes Romney any kind of leader. How exactly has he demonstrated leadership?
2. There is no natural 2016 GOP nominee and the field is highly fractured.
This is true. However, there WAS a natural 2012 nominee…his name was Mitt Romney! The idea that he is not going to be the “next in line” in 2016 is really going to be enough to get him the nomination AND win the genera?!?
3. All failed nominees other than Romney were career politicians.
The author does qualify this by limiting the field to the last half century (so Nixon doesn’t count). Does anyone really think the reason Goldwater, Humphrey, McGovern, Mondale, Dukakis, Dole, Gore, Kerry and McCain didn’t have a second go is because they were career politicians?!?!?!?
My final analysis?
The demographics throughout the United States are changing. Even more so in the South. However, large tracts of the South is host to strong white republican coalitions that for the moment, hold the political power in the House, and in our recent history, even the White House :
From the high plains of West Texas to the Atlantic Coast of Georgia, white voters opposed Mr. Obama’s re-election in overwhelming numbers. In many counties 90 percent of white voters chose Mitt Romney, nearly the reversal of the margin by which black voters supported Mr. Obama.
While white Southerners have been voting Republican for decades, the hugeness of the gap was new. Mr. Obama often lost more than 40 percent of Al Gore’s support among white voters south of the historically significant line of the Missouri Compromise. Two centuries later, Southern politics are deeply polarized along racial lines. It is no exaggeration to suggest that in these states the Democrats have become the party of African Americans and that the Republicans are the party of whites.
The collapse in Democratic support among white Southerners has been obscured by the rise of the Obama coalition. Higher black turnout allowed the Democrats to win nearly 44 percent of the vote in states like Mississippi, where 37 percent of voters were black. But the white shift is nearly as important to contemporary electoral politics as the Obama coalition. It represents an end, at least temporarily, to the South’s assimilation into the American political and cultural mainstream.
The problem for Republicans is that the Democratic weakness appears confined to the white South. Even though some analysts suggested that Mr. Obama was historically weak among white voters more generally, he fared better than recent Democratic nominees among white voters outside of the South. That’s how he won battleground states like Iowa, Colorado, Wisconsin and New Hampshire. Whatever is causing Republicans to excel in the South, whether religion or race, just isn’t helping them elsewhere.
If the Republicans do eventually attempt to broaden their appeal, the result could be the eventual marginalization of the South within American politics. For now, cultural issues like same-sex marriage are at least given lip service by the national Republican Party. In the future, they might not even get that courtesy.
This loss of power is what the South fears the most. The irony is - it will be their intractability and their intransigence which will be the catalyst to their worst nightmare: broad political power wresting with the West and North, and a coalition with the ‘minority majority’ non-white South.
And this is why:
Moreover, the Republican Party’s increasingly Southern character makes broadening its appeal more challenging. A record 41 percent of Republican voters in the 2012 election hailed from the South. Those voters elected more than half of all House Republicans in 2012 — the first time that Southerners have represented a majority of the House Republican Caucus. They have since blocked establishment-led efforts on an immigration overhaul and voted to shut down the government by an 88 to 25 margin in October, after an effort to repeal the Affordable Care Act predictably failed
Mitt Romney famously called Tesla Motors a “loser” company during his run for president. He lost, of course, and Tesla is by any measure winning. And so we see would-be presidential candidates lining up behind the Silicon Valley carmaker as its fight against auto dealers becomes a potential breakout issue in the 2016 election.
In dispute are bans several states have against Tesla stores selling cars directly from the company instead of through third-party dealers. The most recent ban was enacted in New Jersey with the support of Gov. Chris Christie, a possible contender for the GOP nomination. That prompted Florida Sen. Marco Rubio, a Christie rival, to heartily defend Tesla’s direct sales model.
“It’s an established product,” Rubio told CNBC. “Customers should be allowed to buy products that fit their need, especially a product that we know is safe and has consumer confidence beneath it.”
Perhaps even more surprising was the love shown by Texas Gov. Rick Perry, the once and possibly future presidential hopeful whose oil-rich state bars employees in Tesla’s two showrooms from even telling potential customers how much the Model S costs. On second thought, maybe it isn’t at all surprising. Texas is a leading candidate for Tesla’s planned $5 billion battery factory, which would bring thousands of jobs to the state. Perry said Texas should revisit its ban on direct sales of Teslas.
Admitting the problem is always the first step in any rehabilitation process. And in the aftermath of Mitt Romney’s defeat in the 2012 presidential election, Republicans across the country were doing just that. Among the GOP’s elected officials, strategists, and activists, there was widespread acknowledgment that the Republican Party suffered from a disease that would not quickly be cured.
Nowhere was this admission clearer than inside the Republican National Committee, where Chairman Reince Priebus appointed a five-person task force—the Growth and Opportunity Project—to identify the party’s foremost problems and explore potential solutions. As this RNC autopsy was underway, we at National Journal conducted our own post-mortem, speaking with several members of that RNC panel, along with dozens more Republicans nationwide. The result was “A 12-Step Program for the Republican Party,” prescribing a road to rehabilitation for the GOP.