By Sally Kohn
Published August 30, 2012
On the other hand, to anyone paying the slightest bit of attention to facts, Ryan’s speech was an apparent attempt to set the world record for the greatest number of blatant lies and misrepresentations slipped into a single political speech.
Mitt Romney is advancing a new — mostly ahistorical — reason voters should throw President Obama out of office: A Democratic Congress gave Obama everything he wanted and he still failed to turn the economy around.
“I do believe that people of this country are looking for someone who can get the country growing again with more jobs and more take-home pay, and I think they realize this president had four years to do that,” Romney told Politico in an interview published Monday. “He got every piece of legislation he wanted passed, and it didn’t work. I think they want someone who has a different record, and I do.”
The argument obscures the important policy-making role Republicans had in the first two years of Obama’s presidency, when they used a record number of filibusters in the Senate to weaken — and in some cases thwart — large pieces of his agenda.
The $787 billion stimulus package in 2009, which was ultimately too small to fully reverse the economic downturn, had to be scaled down because a GOP filibuster required Democrats to win over 60 Senate votes for final passage. Repeated filibusters on health care reform ate up nearly a year of the Democrats’ legislative time, and Obama’s subsequent efforts to boost the economy were met with the same wall of Republican opposition — one that became insurmountable after the GOP’s congressional victories in 2010.
Presumptive Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney insists that he didn’t shut down his tax shelters in the Cayman Islands, Bermuda and Switzerland because it would “avoid the truth” and he wasn’t going to “manipulate my life” just to become president.
Fox News host Chris Wallace asked Romney in an interview that aired on Sunday why he didn’t close the Swiss bank accounts and get out of the investments in the Cayman Islands before he spent the last eight years running for president.
“First of all, there was no reduction — not one dollar reduction — in taxes by virtue of having an account in Switzerland or a Cayman Islands investment,” Romney explained. “The dollars of taxes remained exactly the same. There was no tax savings at all. And the conduct of the trustee and making investments was entirely consistent with U.S. law and all the taxes paid were those legally owed and there was no tax saving by virtue of those entities.”
“But why not just go to him a long time ago and just say, get out of these things?” Wallace pressed.
“Don’t invest in anything outside the United States?” Romney replied. “I mean, I could have said, ‘Don’t make any investments in any foreign companies, in any foreign bonds, in any foreign currency — only U.S. entities. And by the way, don’t buy any foreign products, don’t have any Japanese TVs or foreign cars.’ I mean, yeah, I could have done that.”
“But, I mean, I did live my life,” he continued. “And I expect by virtue of disclosing all these things, people can take a look at it and see whether that’s something they’re comfortable with or not. I’m not going to try and hide who I am and try and manipulate my life to try and avoid the truth.”
Mitt Romney is standing by a joke about his birth certificate he made on Friday, despite complaints from President Obama’s campaign that the line was a nod to racially charged conspiracy theories regarding the president’s origins.
The Republican nominee told CBS Friday, after the campaign appearance where he made the remark, he saw nothing wrong with the comment, in part because it drew cheers from the crowd.
“Well we’re in Michigan and Ann I and I were both born in Detroit and of course a little humor always goes a long way” he said. “So it was great to be home, to be in a place where Ann and I had grown up, and the crowd loved it and got a good laugh.”
Romney, reminiscing about his childhood at an event earlier Friday, said that “No one’s ever asked to see my birth certificate. They know that this is the place that we were born and raised.”
Bill Maher “The grown-up answer to our massive national problems is “Identify them scientifically and prioritize.” The Republican answer is “There isn’t a problem, and anyone who tells you different is a liar who hates America. We don’t have to make hard choices. We just have to ignore science and math. That’s why God gave us values.”
Ezra Klein “When I talk to legislators from both parties, I tend to hear some variation of the following: “This is a choice election. The American people are getting two very different visions and they’re going to pick one of them.”
That’s fine as far as it goes. But in a political system with three branches of government, a bicameral legislature with a supermajority provision in the upper chamber, and staggered elections, it doesn’t go very far. In a parliamentary system of government, the fact of being chosen implies the power to govern. In our system of government, it doesn’t. President Obama could win reelection and find himself facing Speaker Eric Cantor.
Which is why my standard follow-up question is, “If you think this is a choice election, will you let the other side govern if they win?” No one has ever said yes.”