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Rasmussen Polls Are Bogus


Rasmussen and Bias

After the 2010 elections, the New York Times statistics wizard, Nate Silver, analyzed the polls produced by various polling organizations, including Rasmussen Reports, which is the house pollster for Fox News. Silver's analysis covered only polls taken during the final three weeks of the campaign and compared them to the actual election results. For polls taken much earlier, say in June, no one knows what the true sentiment of the electorate was, so there is no way to tell if the polls were accurate or not. Also, any pollster deliberately falsifying the results for partisan advantage would be advised to reduce the bias as the election neared. After all, no one can tell if a June poll is accurate but everyone can tell if a poll released the day before the election is accurate.
Silver analyzed 105 polls released by Rasmussen Reports and its subsidiary, Pulse Opinion Research, for Senate and gubernatorial races in numerous states across the country. The bottom line is that on average, Rasmussen's polls were off by 5.8% with a bias of 3.9% in favor of the Republican candidates.
There is much to criticize about Rasmussen's methods. All polls are conducted within a 4-hour window, the person who answers the phone (even a child) is sampled, phones that are not answered are not called back, and much more. All of Rasmussen's polls are done by computer; live interviewers are never used. However, other firms that do robopolling such as SurveyUSA and PPP get much more accurate results with no bias, so the problem is not the robopolling per se.
Just to look at one methodological issue, if no one answers the phone, Rasmussen picks a different random phone number instead of calling back two, three, four or more times as other pollsters do. Why does this matter? Because 20-somethings (who skew Democratic) are often out, whereas 60-somethings (who skew Republican) are often in. By not being persistent in finally getting through to a randomly chosen phone number, the sample is inherently biased towards Republicans because they are easier to reach. This may not have been intentional but it is understandable if you want to finish your survey in 4 hours. Nevertheless, cutting corners in the name of speed and cost don't improve accuracy.
Unlike companies like Strategic Vision, which most likely made up the data (but not very well) and also Research 2000, which probably did as well, no one is suggesting that Rasmussen is making up numbers without actually doing polling. There are many reports of people called by Rasmussen. The problem with Rasmussen is most likely its model of the electorate. Very briefly, if a pollster believes that in a certain state, say, 40% of the voters are Republicans and the actual survey just happens to turn up 35% Republicans, each Republican interviewed will be given a weight of 40/35 to correct for the undersampling of Republicans. All pollsters do this to correct for under- or oversampling by party, gender, age, race, income, and other factors. This is not only legitimate, but necessary with the small samples all the pollsters use. The issue here is whether Rasmussen's model of the electorate has more Republicans in it than in reality there are (not to mention whether this is accidental or deliberate).
You can read more about Silver's analysis here and here.
The conclusion is that some people do not believe in Rasmussen's polls any more. For these people, we have produced this page, which is generated exactly the same way as the main page and the Senate page, except that first all the Rasmussen polls are temporarily removed from the database. To see if this page is more accurate than the main page and Senate page, please check back on Nov. 7, 2012.

Romney Campaign Running Scared Of Obama And The Debates


Wednesday's debate against President Obama in Denver, the campaign is now making it official.
In a memo about the debates distributed to campaign surrogates  Thursday, longtime Romney adviser Beth Myers outlines a series of reasons why the president is likely to emerge as the winner of the first debate. 

Among them:
– President Obama is "widely regarded as one of the most talented political communicators in modern history."
– "This will be the eighth one-on-one presidential debate of his political career. For Mitt Romney, it will be his first."
– "Four years ago, Barack Obama faced John McCain on the debate stage. According to Gallup, voters judged him the winner of each debate by double-digit margins, and their polling showed he won one debate by an astounding 33-point margin."
Myers argues that Obama will "use his ample rhetorical gifts and debating experience to one end: attacking Mitt Romney."
"We fully expect a 90-minute attack ad aimed at tearing down his opponent," she writes in the memo.
Pushing back against emerging conventional wisdom, Myers concludes that the debates will not, in fact, decide the election: "It will be decided by the American people," she says.
Read the full memo below:
From: Beth Myers, Senior Adviser
To: Interested Parties
Date: September 27, 2012
Re: 2012 Presidential Debates
In a matter of days, Governor Romney and President Obama will meet on the presidential debate stage. President Obama is a universally-acclaimed public speaker and has substantial debate experience under his belt. However, the record he's compiled over the last four years – higher unemployment, lower incomes, rising energy costs, and a national debt spiraling out of control – means this will be a close election right up to November 6th.
Between now and then, President Obama and Governor Romney will debate three times. While Governor Romney has the issues and the facts on his side, President Obama enters these contests with a significant advantage on a number of fronts.
Voters already believe – by a 25-point margin – that President Obama is likely to do a better job in these debates. Given President Obama's natural gifts and extensive seasoning under the bright lights of the debate stage, this is unsurprising. President Obama is a uniquely gifted speaker, and is widely regarded as one of the most talented political communicators in modern history. This will be the eighth one-on-one presidential debate of his political career. For Mitt Romney, it will be his first.
Four years ago, Barack Obama faced John McCain on the debate stage. According to Gallup, voters judged him the winner of each debate by double-digit margins, and their polling showed he won one debate by an astounding 33-point margin. In the 2008 primary, he faced Hillary Clinton, another formidable opponent – debating her one-on-one numerous times and coming out ahead. The takeaway? Not only has President Obama gained valuable experience in these debates, he also won them comfortably.
But what must President Obama overcome? His record. Based on the campaign he's run so far, it's clear that President Obama will use his ample rhetorical gifts and debating experience to one end: attacking Mitt Romney. Since he won't – and can't – talk about his record, he'll talk about Mitt Romney. We fully expect a 90-minute attack ad aimed at tearing down his opponent. If President Obama is as negative as we expect, he will have missed an opportunity to let the American people know his vision for the next four years and the policies he'd pursue. That's not an opportunity Mitt Romney will pass up. He will talk about the big choice in this election – the choice between President Obama's government-centric vision and Mitt Romney's vision for an opportunity society with more jobs, higher take-home pay, a better-educated workforce, and millions of Americans lifted out of poverty into the middle class.
This election will not be decided by the debates, however. It will be decided by the American people. Regardless of who comes out on top in these debates, they know we can't afford another four years like the last four years. And they will ultimately choose a better future by electing Mitt Romney to be our next president.

DNC Ad: Those People





If Not Criminal Tax EVASION-What Must Romney’s Tax Returns Be Hiding?




If Not Criminal Tax EVASION-What Must Romney’s Tax Returns Be Hiding
The alarm bell still going off in my head stems from Mitt Romney’s steadfast, if not hopefully self-destructive, defiance in releasing his tax returns. If he’s not hiding criminal tax evasion, the only logical reason for him not releasing...
Read More
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Obama Opens Wider Lead In Florida

…President Obama has opened up a wider lead over Republican challenger Mitt Romney among Florida voters, a new poll released Wednesday by Quinnipiac University found. 

Obama leads Romney 53-44 percent in the Quinnipiac University/CBS News/ New York Times swing state poll, compared to a much slimmer 49-46 margin in a poll taken Aug. 23 before either party had held its nominating convention. 

The survey also gauged the electorate in two other swing states, Ohio and Pennsylvania, and found the president opening up wider leads there as well. Obama was the leader in Ohio 53-43 percent and 54-42 percent in Pennsylvania in the survey of likely voters. 

The poll, taken Sept. 18-24, surveyed 1,196 Florida likely voters, and has a margin of error of plus or minus 2.8 percent. 

It came on the heels of some remarks Romney had made about the electorate earlier in the year being made public. In the recorded remarks, Romney said he wouldn't ever be able to get the votes of 47 percent of the population, which, he said, viewed government help as an entitlement that they wouldn't give up, and implying that people who don't pay income tax – about half of Americans – were the same part of the population, and wanted to keep it that way.

Romney "had a bad week in the media and it shows in these key swing states," said Peter A. Brown, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute. "The furor over his 47 percent remark almost certainly is a major factor in the roughly double-digit leads … Obama has in Florida, Ohio and Pennsylvania. The debates may be Romney's best chance to reverse the trend in his favor.

"The wide difference between the two candidates is not just a result of Romney's bad week," Brown continued. "In Ohio and Florida votes are basically split down the middle on whether the country and they and their families are worse or better off than they were four years ago. If voters don't think they are worse off, it is difficult to see them throwing out an incumbent whose personal ratings with voters remain quite high." 

Women polled in Florida backed Obama 58-39 percent, while men were a closer split, liking Romney by a 50-47 percent margin. Obama leads among Florida Hispanic voters 58-39 percent. Among crucial independents, whom Romney has made his main target, however, he is leading, 49 to 46 percent in Florida. 

Slightly over half of Florida voters say they're either very confident or somewhat confident in Obama's decision making on the Middle East, well ahead of the 46 percent who say that about Romney.

Quinnipiac also polled Florida's U.S. Senate race and found Democratic incumbent Sen. Bill Nelson leading Republican challenger and U.S. Rep. Connie Mack, 53-39 percent. Gov. Rick Scott continues to have a higher disapproval rating than approval, with 48 percent of those polled saying they disapprove of the job he's doing, compared to 38 percent who approve.

The poll also gauged the popularity of former Gov. Charlie Crist, who has been rumored as a possible future candidate. His favorability was split 40-40 with the rest undecided.


For full results and all questions, go to: 
http://www.quinnipiac.edu/institutes-and-centers/polling-institute/presidential-swing-states-%28fl-oh-and-pa%29/release-detail?ReleaseID=1800

Gallup: One-Third Of Lowest Income Voters Support Romney


While Mitt Romney continues to suffer the fallout from a video that shows him dismissing President Barack Obama's voters, or 47 percent of Americans, as invididuals who do not pay income taxes and depend on government entitlements, new research from Gallup released Tuesday shows that the Republican nominee claims the support from more of those individuals than his remarks seem to suggest.
According to Gallup's polling from the tracking period of Aug. 27-Sept. 16, 34 percent of voters whose household incomes are less than $24,000 a year support Romney.  Obama easily wins among those voters, earning the support of 58 percent.  
As Gallup points out, a significant portion of the individuals who pay no income tax are the same voters in the lowest income bracket, roughly a third of whom intend to vote for Romney, not Obama.

THE SIMPSONS – Homer Votes 2012


THE SIMPSONS – Homer Votes 2012
Smiley

Romney Releases 2011 Tax Return

Romney Releases 2011 Tax Return... Paid Just 14.1%... Intentionally Skipped Deductions To Avoid Embarrassingly Low Rate... Could Recoup Extra Payments After Election... 'The One Romney Tax Return We Don't Care About'... FULL RETURN HERE
Mitt Romney 2011 Tax Returns

President Obama at the 2012 DNC


KoPoint’s American Conversation will continue as a weekly discussion about politics and the the campaign through Election Day, 2012. As always, we appreciate your feedback.
Special thanks to Talk Radio NewsSumAll, and Callisto.fm
Thanks, and stay tuned…

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Sniping from within GOP adds to Romney's struggles

Mitt Romney struggled to steady his presidential campaign on Friday, buffeted by an outbreak 

of sniping among frustrated Republicans, fresh evidence of a slide in battleground state polls 

and President Barack Obama's accusation that he was writing off "half the country" in pursuit of 

the White House.  Read more....

Romney Releases His 2011 Tax Returns

Romney released his tax returns today, along with his health evaluation and a rundown of 20 years of his financial history. Hey, why not? When you've had a week as bad as Romney's had, you can't tumble much further.

RYAN GETS BOOED AT THE AARP


 On Friday afternoon, Paul Ryan addressed the AARP’s National Annual Conference in New Orleans. The GOP vice presidential candidate attacked Obamacare for taking $716 billion out of Medicare — the very same cuts he included in his budget — and made the case for transforming seniors’ health care from a guaranteed benefit into a premium support “voucher” program. The address didn’t go over well. One man called Ryan a “liar” and the audience repeatedly booed his critique of President Obama and health reform. Watch it:
Source: Think Progress

Dems Swing State Bounce

FL-, OH-, VA-Sen: At the end of a long Wednesday filled with an enormous number of polls (almost all of them positive for Democrats) came a final trio of swing state surveys... that were, once again, all positive for Democrats... and oh, did I mention they were commissioned by Fox News? Fox actually relies on a pair of pollsters, one Dem (Anderson Robbins Research) and one GOP (Shaw & Company Research), but it's still Fox, of course, so the numbers stand out. On the Senate side, it's the first time Fox has ever polled these races, so we don't have trendlines, but the results are undeniably good:
FL: Sen. Bill Nelson (D) 49, Connie Mack (R) 36; Obama 49-44
OH: Sen. Sherrod Brown (D) 47, Josh Mandel (R) 40; Obama 49-42
VA: Tim Kaine (D) 47, George Allen (R) 43; Obama 50-43

8 Very Bad Things That Happened to Mitt Romney...Just Yesterday



The Romney campaign is having another extremely bad week.
US Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney speaks at a fundraiser in Dallas on September 18.

Yesterday was a no good, very bad day for the Romney’s campaign, who had to mop up the mess their candidate created when he said that “47 percent” of Americans are “dependent on government” and “believe they are victims.” But the bad news hasn’t stopped today.

From poll numbers to Republican politicians throwing Romney under the bus, the campaign’s woes continue.

1. Ryan Says Romney Was ‘Inarticulate’

Mitt Romney’s vice-presidential candidate called the “47 percent” comments “inarticulate” in an interview with a local news station in Nevada. “He was obviously inarticulate in making this point,” said Paul Ryan. Asked by a reporter if Romney regrets his comments, Ryan said, “I think he would have said it differently, that’s for sure.”

2. GOP New Mexico Governor Rejects Romney’s Comments

Governor Susana Martinez may be a Republican, but she’s running as fast as she can away from Romney’s comments writing off half the country. Talking Points Memo’s Josh Marshall picks up on Martinez’s comments that add to the “pile on.”

“We have a lot of people that are at the poverty level in New Mexico, but they count just as much as anybody else,” Martinez said. “I think, certainly the fact that New Mexico provides that safety net is a good thing.”

3. Peggy Noonan’s Verdict on the Romney Campaign: ‘An Intervention is in Order’

It’s not just Martinez who is hitting Romney’s comments that were captured in video published by Mother Jones. Conservative columnist Peggy Noonan has joined in.

“This is not how big leaders talk, it’s how shallow campaign operatives talk: They slice and dice the electorate like that, they see everything as determined by this interest or that,” Noonan wrote in a blog post. “You know what Romney sounded like? Like a kid new to politics who thinks he got the inside lowdown on how it works from some operative. But those old operatives, they never know how it works.”

4. GOP Candidate Linda McMahon: ‘I Disagree With Governor Romney’

Yet another Republican candidate wants nothing to do with Romney’s “47 percent” comments. Linda McMahon, the GOP candidate for Senate in Connecticut, wrote on her Facebook page: “I disagree with Governor Romney’s insinuation that 47% of Americans believe they are victims who must depend on the government for their care. I know that the vast majority of those who rely on government are not in that situation because they want to be.”

5. Polls Show Obama’s in Command

New polls show that President Obama has gained ground on Romney nationally and in swing states.

Obama is up by 5 points nationally, according to a NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll--and the survey was taken before Romney’s infamous comments.NBC notes that their data shows increased optimism among voters about the economy. “Forty-two percent of voters also believe the economy will improve in the next 12 months, which is a 6-point jump from August, and a 15-point rise from July.”

In swing states, the story’s the same. The Hill reports on swing state polls:
President Obama leads Mitt Romney in three key swing states, according to a series of new polls.

Obama leads Romney by 51 to 45 percent in Wisconsin, 50 to 46 percent in Virginia and 47 to 46 percent in Colorado, according to polls conducted by Quinnipiac University for CBS and The New York Times.

The figures in Virginia are particularly notable, as this is the sixth poll in a row showing Romney slipping behind Obama in the critical state. Another from WeAskAmerica out Wednesday morning showed a similar 3-point Obama lead.
6. Obama Keeps Calm on David Letterman’s Show

The contrast between Mitt Romney’s floundering campaign and President Obama can’t be more striking. Obama appeared on the “Late Show With David Letterman” last night, and he looked relaxed and calm. Obama also took the opportunity to criticize Romney’s comments.

“My expectation is that if you're president, you've got to work for everyone, not just some,” said Obama. 

7. Ann Romney Makes It Worse

AlterNet’s Adele Stan notes that Mitt Romney’s wife attempted some damage control last night in an interview with a local Fox affiliate. But she may have made things worse.

Stan writes:
After assuring the anchor who conducted the interview that Mitt had no "disdain for the poor," in interview Eli Stokol's phrase, Ann Romney explained why women, especially, should vote for her husband. As a woman, Mrs. Romney said, "I want to know what motivates the person that I would be voting for, and I would say what motivates Mitt is that he cares. This is a guy that obviously doesn’t need to do this for a job."

Wow. I feel better already. So, apparently the reason that Barack Obama is running for the presidency is because of the big bucks that come from that government salary -- a job he won, according to Mitt Romney, because a bunch of moochers thinks Obama will fill their coffers with more of that government dough.
8. North Carolina Republican Disavows Romney in Debate

As you can see, a host of Republican candidates have disavowed Romney’s “47 percent” comments in an effort to distance themselves from what is fast becoming a toxic Romney brand. A North Carolina Republican running for a Congressional seat is running away from Romney as well.

Last night, during a televised debate, Mark Meadows criticized Romney’s comments.

“It might come as a surprise, but Mitt Romney didn’t call me before he made those comments and ask for my advice,” Meadows said, according to an Asheville-based paper. The paper notes that “Meadows said voters in the 11th Congressional District are not as easy to define as Romney’s comments seemed to try to do.”

“I’m concerned about all 750,000 people,” said Meadows.

Operation Medicine at The Pride Center


Master Debaters: On October 6, Daily Show host Jon Stewart will face O’Reilly Factor host Bill O’Reilly in a 90 minute debate


 

Master Debaters: On October 6, Daily Show host Jon Stewart will face O’Reilly Factor host Bill O’Reilly in a 90 minute debate — appropriately named “The Rumble In The Air-Conditioned Auditorium” — to raise money for charity. Interested parties will be able to watch “The Rumble” via livestream, though not for free, and half of the event’s proceeds will go to a number of charities chosen by Stewart and O’Reilly. We wholeheartedly recommend clearing your schedule that evening, setting aside $5 for the livestream, and plan to spend 90 minutes glued to your computer screen. After all, “It’s why Al Gore invented the internet.”

David Letterman – President Barack Obama





 

Obama leads Romney among small biz owners, survey says


The economy and job creation is the most important issue in this election for almost half of small business owners polled in a new survey, which also found that President Barack Obama leads Republican challenger Mitt Romney by 47 percent to 39 percent.
The survey of 6,145 small business owners was conducted by the George Washington University School of Political Management and Thumbtack.com, the Business Journals reports.
Source: Austin Business Journal

More Hidden Romney Videos

THE HIDDEN-VIDEO PILE ON CONTINUES: In a new round of leaked videos revealed by Mother Jones' David Corn this morning, Mitt Romney weighs in on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict at a private fundraiser in May: "'I look at the Palestinians not wanting to see peace anyway, for political purposes, committed to the destruction and elimination of Israel, and these thorny issues, and I say there's just no way.'" According to Corn: "Romney was indicating he did not believe in the peace process and, as president, would aim to postpone significant action: '[S]o what you do is, you say, you move things along the best way you can. You hope for some degree of stability, but you recognize that this is going to remain an unsolved problem…and we kick the ball down the field and hope that ultimately, somehow, something will happen and resolve it.'" http://bit.ly/QkTakT

Soledad O’Brien calls out Peter King over Obama ‘apology tour’ myth




Soledad O’Brien calls out Peter King over Obama ‘apology tour’ myth (via Raw Story )
Rep. Peter King (R-NY) found himself being grilled by CNN host Soledad O’Brien on Monday about the claim President Barack Obama had gone on an “apology tour” — and the congressman was unable to name a single instance in which the president had apologized for the United States. After the U.S…

Romney Team In Disarray




Presidential Campaign 50-Days To Go – Romney Team In Disarray
Romney Campaign ‘recalibrating’ amid botched foreign policy message. Staff “finger pointing”amid sagging poll numbers. With the presidential campaign rapidly approaching the first debate between President Obama and Republican challenger Mitt Romney on October 3rd, new reports are surfacing portraying...
Read More »

New Obama ad: The Cheaters



THE REAL ROMNEY

If you thought Mitt Romney had a rotten summer—failing to project a more appealing image of himself and his policies, failing to pin the country’s economic woes on the president, failing to get even the tiniest bounce from his convention—the home stretch is shaping up even worse. Fast on the heels of his aggressively wrong-headed response to the embassy attack in Libya (which gets terrible reviewsfrom most Americans), Mother Jones today released bombshell video of Romney speaking way too candidly to a small group of well-heeled campaign contributors.
This is must-see footage—and even if you don’t want to see it, you won’t be able to help it over the next few days. These are words that will haunt Romney for the rest of the campaign—and the rest of his political career. He jokes that he’d have a better chance of being elected if he were of Mexican lineage; he insults Obama voters (and 47 percent of the country) in the most stereotypical and racially-tinged terms possible; he brags about sharing campaign consultants with Bibi Netanyahu; and he insists that Americans are, basically, too empty-headed to care about policy specifics. And this is only the first batch of videos to come; God only knows what else he might have let loose with.

We can’t sum it up better than David Corn, who got this “get” for MoJo: “With this crowd of fellow millionaires, he apparently felt free to utter what he really believes and would never dare say out in the open. He displayed a high degree of disgust for nearly half of his fellow citizens, lumping all Obama voters into a mass of shiftless moochers who don't contribute much, if anything, to society, and he indicated that he viewed the election as a battle between strivers (such as himself and the donors before him) and parasitic free-riders who lack character, fortitude, and initiative. … These were sentiments not to be shared with the voters; it was inside information, available only to the select few who had paid for the privilege of experiencing the real Romney.”
Romney’s comments will inevitably be likened to Barack Obama’s infamous slur (also recorded in a private donor meeting) about white Pennsylvanians clinging to guns and religion. Both expressed the kind of disdain for their fellow Americans that no candidate should allow to escape his or her lips. But in terms of political impact, this is likely to play much worse. For one thing, that was April 2008, and this is mid-September 2012—leaving the candidate little time to recover. Another essential difference: Obama was well-liked and admired by the vast majority of Americans when he had his bigoted slip of the lip; Romney is already overwhelmingly disliked, even by many who plan to vote for him. Obama’s comments surprised people; Romney’s comments confirm what people already suspected about him. He comes across as the epitome of arrogant privilege. 
There is no way that this glimpse into the “real Romney” won’t turn off a large majority of the country—including plenty of the same people of privilege he was speaking to in that room. Even if they agree with the candidate secretly, they will have some serious second thoughts: How could anyone running for president, for pete’s sake, be so breathtakingly, jaw-droppingly stupid as to utter such things aloud? 

Mitt Romney told a small group of wealthy contributors what he truly thinks of all the voters who support President Barack Obama


Source MotherJones.com

During a private fundraiser earlier this year, Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney told a small group of wealthy contributors what he truly thinks of all the voters who support President Barack Obama. He dismissed these Americans as freeloaders who pay no taxes, who don't assume responsibility for their lives, and who think government should take care of them. Fielding a question from a donor about how he could triumph in November, Romney replied:
There are 47 percent of the people who will vote for the president no matter what. All right, there are 47 percent who are with him, who are dependent upon government, who believe that they are victims, who believe the government has a responsibility to care for them, who believe that they are entitled to health care, to food, to housing, to you-name-it. That that's an entitlement. And the government should give it to them. And they will vote for this president no matter what…These are people who pay no income tax.
Romney went on: "[M]y job is is not to worry about those people. I'll never convince them they should take personal responsibility and care for their lives."
Mother Jones has obtained video of Romney at this intimate fundraiser—where he candidly discussed his campaign strategy and foreign policy ideas in stark terms he does not use in public—and has confirmed its authenticity. To protect the confidential source who provided the video, we have blurred some of the image, and we will not identify the date or location of the event, which occurred after Romney had clinched the Republican presidential nomination. Here is Romney expressing his disdain for Americans who back the president:
At the dinner, Romney often stuck to familiar talking points. But there were moments when he went beyond the familiar campaign lines. Describing his family background, he quipped about his father, "Had he been born of Mexican parents, I'd have a better shot of winning this." Contending that he is a self-made millionaire who earned his own fortune, Romney insisted, "I have inherited nothing." He remarked, "There is a perception, 'Oh, we were born with a silver spoon, he never had to earn anything and so forth.' Frankly, I was born with a silver spoon, which is the greatest gift you can have: which is to get born in America."

Asked why he wouldn't go full-throttle and assail Obama as corrupt, Romney explained the internal thinking of his campaign and revealed that he and his aides, in response to focus-group studies conducted by his consultants, were hesitant to hammer the president too hard out of fear of alienating independents who voted for Obama in 2008:Romney told the contributors that "women are open to supporting me," but that "we are having a much harder time with Hispanic voters, and if the Hispanic voting bloc becomes as committed to the Democrats as the African American voting block has in the past, why, we're in trouble as a party and, I think, as a nation." When one attendee asked how this group could help Romney sell himself to others, he answered, "Frankly, what I need you to do is to raise millions of dollars." He added, "The fact that I'm either tied or close to the president…that's very interesting."
We speak with voters across the country about their perceptions. Those people I told you—the five to six or seven percent that we have to bring onto our side—they all voted for Barack Obama four years ago. So, and by the way, when you say to them, "Do you think Barack Obama is a failure?" they overwhelmingly say no. They like him. But when you say, "Are you disappointed that his policies haven't worked?" they say yes. And because they voted for him, they don't want to be told that they were wrong, that he's a bad guy, that he did bad things, that he's corrupt. Those people that we have to get, they want to believe they did the right thing, but he just wasn't up to the task. They love the phrase that he's "over his head." But if we're– but we, but you see, you and I, we spend our day with Republicans. We spend our days with people who agree with us. And these people are people who voted for him and don't agree with us. And so the things that animate us are not the things that animate them. And the best success I have at speaking with those people is saying, you know, the president has been a disappointment. He told you he'd keep unemployment below eight percent. Hasn't been below eight percent since. Fifty percent of kids coming out of school can't get a job. Fifty percent. Fifty percent of the kids in high school in our 50 largest cities won't graduate from high school. What're they gonna do? These are the kinds of things that I can say to that audience that they nod their head and say, "Yeah, I think you're right." What he's going to do, by the way, is try and vilify me as someone who's been successful, or who's, you know, closed businesses or laid people off, and is an evil bad guy. And that may work.
(Note: Obama did not promise his policies would keep unemployment under 8 percent, and 50 percent of college graduates are not unemployed.)
To assure the donors that he and his campaign knew what they were doing, Romney boasted about the consultants he had retained, emphasizing that several had worked for Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu:
I have a very good team of extraordinarily experienced, highly successful consultants, a couple of people in particular who have done races around the world. I didn't realize it. These guys in the US—the Karl Rove equivalents—they do races all over the world: in Armenia, in Africa, in Israel. I mean, they work for Bibi Netanyahu in his race. So they do these races and they see which ads work, and which processes work best, and we have ideas about what we do over the course of the campaign. I'd tell them to you, but I'd have to shoot you.
When one donor said he was disappointed that Romney wasn't attacking Obama with sufficient intellectual firepower, Romney groused that the campaign trail was no place for high-minded and detail-oriented arguments:
Well, I wrote a book that lays out my view for what has to happen in the country, and people who are fascinated by policy will read the book. We have a website that lays out white papers on a whole series of issues that I care about. I have to tell you, I don't think this will have a significant impact on my electability. I wish it did. I think our ads will have a much bigger impact. I think the debates will have a big impact....My dad used to say, "Being right early is not good in politics." And in a setting like this, a highly intellectual subject—discussion on a whole series of important topics typically doesn't win elections. And there are, there are, there are—for instance, this president won because of "hope and change."
Romney, who spoke confidently throughout the event and seemed quite at ease with the well-heeled group, insisted that his election in and of itself would lead to economic growth and that the markets would react favorably if his chances seemed good in the fall:
They'll probably be looking at what the polls are saying. If it looks like I'm going to win, the markets will be happy. If it looks like the president's going to win, the markets should not be terribly happy. It depends of course which markets you're talking about, which types of commodities and so forth, but my own view is that if we win on November 6th, there will be a great deal of optimism about the future of this country. We'll see capital come back and we'll see—without actually doing anything—we'll actually get a boost in the economy. If the president gets re-elected, I don't know what will happen. I can– I can never predict what the markets will do. Sometimes it does the exact opposite of what I would have expected. But my own view is that if we get a "Taxageddon," as they call it, January 1st, with this president, and with a Congress that can't work together, it's— it really is frightening.
At the dinner, Romney also said that the campaign purposefully was using Ann Romney "sparingly... so that people don't get tired of her." And he noted that he had turned down an invitation from Saturday Night Live because such an appearance "has the potential of looking slapstick and not presidential."
Here was Romney raw and unplugged—sort of unscripted. With this crowd of fellow millionaires, he apparently felt free to utter what he really believes and would never dare say out in the open. He displayed a high degree of disgust for nearly half of his fellow citizens, lumping all Obama voters into a mass of shiftless moochers who don't contribute much, if anything, to society, and he indicated that he viewed the election as a battle between strivers (such as himself and the donors before him) and parasitic free-riders who lack character, fortitude, and initiative. Yet Romney explained to his patrons that he could not speak such harsh words about Obama in public, lest he insult those independent voters who sided with Obama in 2008 and whom he desperately needs in this election. These were sentiments not to be shared with the voters; it was inside information, available only to the select few who had paid for the privilege of experiencing the real Romney.
COMNIG SOON: More from the secret Romney video.

Romney, Embassy Had Similar Tone On American Taliban Terrorist, Trailer


Romney, Embassy Had Similar Tone On Trailer - In Romney's interview with George he suggested that the original U.S. Embassy in Cairo statement was something of an apology to the Arab world for American values. But his comments to George about the movie trailer that appears to have sparked the protests were very similar to what the embassy staff had to say..
Here's that original embassy statement issued on September 11th during a protest over the trailer and before the walls in Cairo were breached:
"The Embassy of the United States in Cairo condemns the continuing efforts by misguided individuals to hurt the religious feelings of Muslims - as we condemn efforts to offend believers of all religions. Today, the 11th anniversary of the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks on the United States, Americans are honoring our patriots and those who serve our nation as the fitting response to the enemies of democracy. Respect for religious beliefs is a cornerstone of American democracy. We firmly reject the actions by those who abuse the universal right of free speech to hurt the religious beliefs of others."
And here is how Romney referred to the documentary:
GEORGE: How about the film that seems to have sparked all this, the Innocence of Muslims film? Secretary Clinton (Thursday) said she thought it was disgusting. How would you describe it?
MITT ROMNEY: Well, I haven't seen the film. I don't intend to see it. I you know, I think it's dispiriting sometimes to see some of the awful things people say. And the idea of using something that some people consider sacred and then parading that out a negative way is simply inappropriate and wrong. And I wish people wouldn't do it. Of course, we have a First Amendment. And under the First Amendment, people are allowed to do what they feel they want to do. They have the right to do that, but it's not right to do things that are of the nature of what was done by, apparently this film.
Watch the interview here:
MITT ROMNEY: Well, this is politics.  I’m not going to worry about the campaign.


Breaking - Judge Strikes Down Wisconsin Law Limiting Union Rights


 Something to keep in mind: conservatives hold a 4-3 edge on Wisconsin's Supreme Court, so it seems unlikely (at least on the surface) that this ruling would stand on appeal. During the wave of recall elections in spring of 2011, Wisconsin Supreme Court Justice David Prosser defeated challenger JoAnne Kloppenburg in a race that was seen as a proxy for Wisconsin's legal fight over bargaining rules. With Prosser's win, conservatives retained their 4-3 majority.

Birther Terrorism

On the heels of the conspiracy theory about the liberal media and pollsters “inventing” President Obama's post-convention bump—which has turned out to be quite reality-based—the wingers have a brand-new fractured fairy tale. This one features the former George W. Bush adviser and appointee, Federal Reserve chair Ben Bernanke, sporting an Obama campaign button and laughing maniacally as he orders the money-printing machines cranked up to top speed. (“Forward, pussycat! Forward!”) Yesterday, Bernanke announced a new, open-ended policy of “quantitative easing”—pumping huge sums of money into the economy, as theProspect’s Robert Kuttner explains, in order to fuel growth by driving down interest rates, particularly on home mortgages. The Fed’s action was a bracing rebuke to deficit hawks like JPMorgan’s Jamie Dimon and the Norquist GOP. But that’s not what’s got the right wing buzzing. After all, why would a Federal Reserve chair want to stimulate a stagnant economy—unless he was doing it purely to benefit our foreign-born Muslim president’s re-election effort?
The Drudge Report called it “Election Manipulation.” At The New York Post, Charles Gasparino’s column was headlined, “Printing money to bail out Bam.” 

Noted economist Sarah Palin opined, “President Obama is no doubt happy that this latest sugar fix comes 53 days before the election.” Many congressional Republicans agreed: “It really is interesting that it is happening right now before an election,” said Representative Raul Labrador of Idaho. “It is going to sow some growth in the economy, and the Obama administration is going to claim credit.” New Jersey Republican Representative Scott Garrett demanded to know: “Who exactly is this helping?”

What’s remarkable about the ludicrous idea that the Fed acted purely out of pro-Obama motives is that it’s not remarkable. The contemporary Republican mainstream has inherited the once-risible conspiratorial mindset of the John Birchers. The idea that Obama could be a “legitimate” commander-in-chief is so far-fetched, so utterly unthinkable, that these folks are convinced the rest of the universe is in on the plot. It’s a small leap, really, from diabolical issuers of faux Hawaiian birth certificates to "election manipulators" on the Federal Reserve Board. They’re all in on it, people! You can’t say you weren’t warned.