Day Three: Make America Reactionary Again

Donald Trump’s insurgent campaign has often been compared to that of Barry Goldwater’s far-right run in 1964. The speakers featured on Trump’s “Make America First Again” night would have fit right in at a Republican convention held a generation ago–though there are no records of Goldwater delegates calling for the execution of Lyndon Johnson. Three different Trump advisers have called for Clinton executed or as one phrased it, “put in the firing range.” But hey, “all press is good press” in the eyes of Trump, apparently including reports of plagiarized speeches and banana republic style calls for extrajudicial political murders. 

Politicians peddling anti-choice, anti-immigrant, and anti-gay rhetoric will be prominently featured on Wednesday night. Throw in some political corruption, a bit of state-run media, and some pro-smoking propaganda and tonight will be nearly indistinguishable from the politics of the mid-twentieth century.

Of course, the common thread between each of tonight’s […]

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Day Two: “Make America Unemployed Again”

After a year-long fiasco of a campaign with little more sophistication than a third grade student council contest, it’s no surprise that the kick off of the Republican Trump National Convention was another clown car of chaos, featuring a heated rules fight and even some plagiarism. The GOP’s disunity is on full display, instead of “Making American Safe Again,” the theme of the night seemed to be “Make America Isolated Again.”

Day two’s “theme” is “Make America Work Again,” but with Donald Trump at the helm it would be better named “Make America Unemployed Again.” Trump staked his campaign on his financial savvy and business record — a record he built by outsourcing and conning small business owners, single parents, seniors, and everyday working Americans out of their hard-earned money.

In addition to Trump’s unethical deals and sketchy business connections, economists predict that his policies will devastate the American […]

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Trump Hides His Tax Returns, Forces VP Picks To Share Theirs

We heard two months ago that Donald Trump would likely force any potential running mates to turn over their tax returns, despite the fact that Trump’s steadfastly refused to do so himself.

Now, we have confirmation of Trump’s hypocrisy. The attorney running Trump’s VP vetting operations has made tax-record disclosure a prerequisite for consideration. According to the Washington Post:

The contenders under the most serious consideration, such as [Newt] Gingrich and [Chris] Christie, have been asked by attorney Arthur B. Culvahouse Jr. to answer more than 100 questions and to provide reams of personal and professional files that include tax records and any articles or books they have published.

Newt Gingrich is experienced when it comes to tax return transparency — he was the first GOP presidential candidate to make his returns public back in 2012

But, then again, every GOP presidential nominee since 1976 has released their tax returns, so Trump’s lack […]

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Romney Vetoed Bill To Increase The Minimum Wage

2006: Romney Vetoed A Minimum Wage Bill Despite Campaign Pledge To Increase Pay For Low-Wage Workers. According to the Boston Globe, “Romney rejected the Legislature’s plan to raise the state minimum wage to $8 an hour over two years, angering Democratic lawmakers and advocates who accused him of abandoning a 2002 campaign pledge to significantly boost the pay of low-wage workers. Romney, expressing concern that such a large increase would imperil the state’s economy, sent the bill back to lawmakers with his own plan: Raise the minimum wage from $6.75 to $7 an hour on Jan. 1 and have the executive branch study and possibly recommend further increases every two years.” [Boston Globe, 7/22/06]

Romney’s Minimum Wage Veto Was Unanimously Overridden By The Legislature. According to the Boston Globe, “The Legislature unanimously overrode Governor Mitt Romney’s veto of a minimum wage increase last night, […]

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BRIDGE BRIEFING: Romney Holds Outdated Views On Immigration

Romney Would Veto The DREAM Act

Mitt Romney Repeatedly Promised He Would Veto the DREAM Act. According to ABC News, “Mitt Romney explicitly stated today that if he is elected president he would veto the Dream Act, legislation that would give permanent residency to some illegal immigrants who met certain criteria, such as having proof that they entered the country before age 16 or having a graduated from a U.S. high school.” Romney repeated and defended his promise to the veto the DREAM Act in subsequent appearances, calling the DREAM Act a “handout.” Romney said: “I’ve indicated I would veto the DREAM Act.” He told a young woman questioning his position, ““I’ve said across the country, I would veto the DREAM Act.” [Huffington Post, 1/16/12; ABC News, 12/31/11; Crooks and Liars, 1/20/12; The Hill, 1/16/12; CNN, 1/5/12]

Read more after the jump.

BRIDGE BRIEFING: Romney And Housing

Romney Does Not Support Helping Homeowners In Need

Romney Wanted Foreclosures To Hit The Bottom

Romney Believed The “Cure For Foreclosures” Was Getting Government Out Of The Way And Letting The Process Run Its Course. According to a New York Times editorial, “Since the housing bubble began to burst six years ago, prices nationwide have fallen by a third… As home prices fall and more homeowners sink underwater, there will be more foreclosures and more price declines. So what is Mitt Romney’s response? Bring it on. In interviews and in the Republican presidential debates, Mr. Romney has said that the cure for foreclosures is for the government to get out of the way and let the process run its course… The argument might have some red-meat appeal, playing off the notion that any owners who lose their homes are getting what they deserve. It is wrong on several counts…Mass foreclosures are a rotten way to stabilize the market…Who does Mr. Romney think will buy up millions of foreclosed properties? Borrowers who lose their homes to foreclosure or who sell their homes for less than the balance on their mortgages can be denied credit for years; many will never be homeowners again… With the economy still weak and vulnerable to shocks, more foreclosures and the resulting price declines would only weaken the economy further…The let-it-crash argument conveniently ignores that the housing bubble was the result not only of overborrowing but of reckless lending too.” [New York Times, Editorial, 11/26/11]

Romney Opposed Trying To Stop The Foreclosure Process, Wanting It To “Run Its Course And Hit The Bottom.” According to The Huffington Post, “Republican presidential frontrunner Mitt Romney suggested he doesn’t support foreclosure relief for the millions of Americans struggling with underwater mortgages, untold numbers of which have been the victims of fraudulent lending or foreclosure practices. In a filmed interview with the editorial board of the Las Vegas Review-Journal, a newspaper serving the hardest-hit foreclosure state in the union, Romney criticized President Barack Obama for not foreclosing on American families fast enough. ‘Don’t try to stop the foreclosure process. Let it run its course and hit the bottom,’ Romney said when asked what he would do to jump-start the floundering housing market. ‘Allow investors to buy homes, put renters in them, fix the homes up and let it turn around and come back up,’ he continued. ‘The Obama administration has slow walked the foreclosure process … that has long existed and as a result we still have a foreclosure overhang.’” [The Huffington Post, 10/18/11]

Romney Opposed Housing Relief Programs, Saying The Market Must Repair Itself By Collapsing. According to KLAS-TV 8 News Now, “Romney says he doesn’t support President Obama’s relief programs HAMP and HARP. Instead, he believes the housing market must bottom out to repair itself. ‘If you start having government starting to tax people so they can give money to people who need help in their homes, you’ll just bring the market down, down, and down, and you’ll never see an end to it.’” [KLAS-TV 8 News Now, 2/2/12]

Read the full report after the jump.

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MEMO & VIDEO: Romney’s Circus Of Lies

During the Republican presidential primary debates, a telling pattern emerged. Mitt Romney, who first ran for public office back in 1994, called Rick Perry a “career politician.” Mitt Romney, who owned stock in and profited from Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, criticized Newt Gingrich for working for Freddie Mac. Mitt Romney, who lobbied for funding for the Salt Lake City Olympics and has many of DC’s top Republican lobbyists intimately connected to his campaign, attacked Rick Santorum as a lobbyist. It seemed that each attack that Mitt Romney leveled at his opponents was done before they had an opportunity to say it about him.

If precedent holds, then the best way to interpret Romney’s charge that Obama will “say things that aren’t true” is that he is attempting to inoculate himself against the abundance of falsehoods he plans on espousing at the debates.

Mitt Romney’s propensity for flip-flopping long ago passed into self-parody, perfectly epitomized by his own campaign’s reference to an etch-a-sketch. But it is important to remember that his ability to say one thing one day and say the opposite the next with a straight face is rooted in his casual relationship with the truth.

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TPM: The General Election, Day One: What Romney And Obama Need To Do

On April 11, 2012, Talking Points Memo reported:

Run The GOP Primary Race On Continuous Loop

Republican pundits like to comfort themselves after a long and acrimonious primary by likening the whole thing to the 2008 Obama/Clinton showdown that ended with a Democratic blowout in the general election. But the poll numbers show that comparison’s a sham: Romney has suffered major damage to his favorability numbers and the Republican brand is as weak as ever.

Romney spokesman Eric Fehrnstrom suggested the general election have an Etch-a-Sketch-like effect and reset the race. Team Obama is looking to make sure that no one forgets the primary’s greatest hits. In his first major general election speech last week, Obama name-checked an array of golden oldies from the primary, from Gingrich’s denunciation of the House GOP budget Romney supports as “right-wing social engineering”  to the early debate where the whole Republican field refused to consider any kind of compromise on the deficit, no matter how stacked in their favor. And Democrats are ready to roll with a host of clips of Romney tossing red meat rhetoric on issues like immigration the second they see him trying to tack to the center.

“We are going to have video archive that proves these Republicans are talking out of both sides of their mouth,” Rodell Mollineau, head of American Bridge, told TPM last week.

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Daily Beast: Mitt Romney Secretly Supported Anti-Gay-Marriage Group

On March 30, the Daily Beast reported:

Given recent revelations about NOM, liberal operatives see an opportunity to discomfit Romney and, once the general election is underway, paint him as a right-wing extremist. “As a leading contender for president of the United States, for him to be funding a group whose strategy memos lay out such a hateful way to divide African-Americans and the LGBT community, it’s shocking,” says Chris Harris, communications director of American Bridge 21st Century, the super PAC founded by Media Matters’ David Brock. “When he initially donated in 2008, he may not have known that this is their strategy, but as a political leader and as an opinion leader, he has a responsibility to speak out and condemn their intention of dividing Americans.”

Read more after the jump.