From gaffes to flip flops to crony capitalism, this has been a fun year to be involved with politics at American Bridge 21st Century. As 2011 draws to a close, we thought it would be fun to take a look back at just a few of the stories that have made headlines over the last 365 days.
“Between the Republican Presidential, Senate and House candidates, this has been a year of bountiful flip flops, gaffes and just outright craziness. As the year comes to a close, we at American Bridge would like to wish you a happy holiday and leave you with some of our favorite moments,” said Rodell Mollineau, President of American Bridge 21st Century.
Happy holidays from American Bridge! We hope you enjoy our take on the 12 Days of Christmas:
On the 12 days of Christmas, Bridge trackers went to see…
Raccoons and Jon Bruning: A Bridge tracker was on hand when Nebraska Attorney General and Senate candidate Jon Bruning compared welfare recipients to scavenging raccoons. Local news hammered him for the comment and he took some flak from editorial pages as well.
Heller double speaking: Senator Heller went on local television to rant about Wall Street bonuses, but we were quick to point out that when he had a chance to vote to limit bonuses paid to executives of companies who received TARP funds, he voted no. The Las Vegas Review-Journal took note.
Rubio does some lying: When the story about Senator Marco Rubio embellishing his family history hit the news, American Bridge provided a number of examples of Rubio making the discredited claim or failing to correct the record. This Hardball clip is one of our favorites.
Gingrich the historian: Newt Gingrich infamously tried to diffuse criticism of his work for Freddie Mac by claiming to be a “historian” instead of a lobbyist. Bridge released a video showing how dubious this claim is including footage of our tracking asking him about the statement.
Mitt invests in Fannie: Mitt Romney has spent a lot of time attacking Freddie and Fannie (as well as Gingrich’s connection to Freddie) despite the fact that he holds investments in those very same companies. We put together one of our Mitt’s Flips videos to highlight the hypocrisy.
Perry Cronies giving: Rick Perry likes to try to position himself as an outsider to the game of politics, but his record in Texas is quite a different story. We were happy to join in the chorus of showing how Perry has built a pay to play network that is second to none.
Flip-flopping Romney: Mitt Romney’s endless string of flip flops combined with our extensive video archive provides a huge amount of fodder for our Mitt’s Flips video series. You can peruse our collection here.
Bachmann does some spying: An American Bridge tracker was recording when Michele Bachmann tried to convince a crowd that the only reason she spent years working for the IRS was to better “know your enemy.” We weren’t the only ones who found that pretty funny.
Poor income taxing: Late this summer, most of the GOP presidential candidates started talking about how unfair it is that the poorest people in the country don’t pay federal income tax. That type of rhetoric definitely didn’t let it go unnoticed.
Taking cash from Nazis: For some reason, Ohio State Treasurer and Senate candidate Josh Mandel thought it would be a good idea to take a $1000 contribution from Rich Iott, a former congressional candidate and Nazi reenactor. Even after Bridge researchers unearthed the donation and the media confronted Mandel with the information, he stubbornly refused to return the money. He then continued to ignore calls from progressive and Jewish organizations to give it back.