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Posts Tagged ‘Mitt Romney’

Can States’ Rights Work for Liberals?

December 5th, 2013


Can states’ rights work for liberals? It has always been a conservative cause. Conservatives use states’ rights to resist federal policies that protect civil rights, voting rights, and abortion rights. Today, however, federal action is often blocked. So progressive states are passing laws that bypass gridlocked Washington and advance the liberal agenda on their own.

In his famous keynote address at the 2004 Democratic convention, Barack Obama criticized pundits who “like to slice and dice our country into red states and blue states.” His rejoinder: “I say to them tonight, there is not a liberal America and a conservative America — there is the United States of America.”

Obama was wrong. Americans have become more and more politically segregated over the past 50 years. Since the 1960s, politics has come to reflect lifestyle and values, and people often choose to live among others who share their lifestyle and values. And therefore their politics.

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Absolutely. Absolutely wrong.

October 4th, 2012


While Big Bird slept peacefully in his nest, 50 million viewers turned to the first presidential debate hoping for some clarity in the decision looming on November 6th. Between anniversary wishes and tax accusations, there was a serious moment of clarity that can be summed up in one word: “Absolutely.”

LEHRER: About the idea that in order to reduce the deficit, there has to be revenue in addition to cuts.

OBAMA: There has to be revenue in addition to cuts. Now, Governor Romney has ruled out revenue. He’s ruled out revenue.

ROMNEY: Absolutely. Look, the revenue I get is by more people working, getting higher pay, paying more taxes. That’s how we get growth and how we balance the budget. But the idea of taxing people more, putting more people out of work, you’ll never get there. You’ll never balance the budget by raising taxes.

So what does this mean? Romney confirmed—he “absolutely” confirmed—that he has completely embraced the far right of the Republican Party, which argues that the way to put our country on sound fiscal footing is to simply slash the federal government.

While “absolutely” might make for a good sound bite, the truth of the matter is that these types of ideological talking points are the major obstacle to getting a balanced deal to avoid the fiscal cliff and reign in our nation’s deficit. This absolute ideology is what sank the big and balanced deal to reduce the deficit that President Obama nearly reached with Speaker Boehner in 2011.

But we actually ran the numbers…and Mitt Romney’s math doesn’t add up. In our recent analysis, we ran three scenarios—all of which rely solely on spending cuts and no new taxes—to bring deficits to a sustainable level.

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Romney, GOP are stuck in old America

September 24th, 2012


This piece was originally featured in Politico.

When GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney loses in November, Republicans will ask themselves, “How did this happen?” How did they blow their best opportunity to capture the White House since 1980?

They are likely to come up with the wrong answer. They will blame everything on the candidate.

That is certainly part of the answer but not all of it. Romney is the worst presidential nominee since Barry Goldwater and George McGovern. Don’t expect Romney’s vote to collapse to the 38 percent that both Goldwater and McGovern got, however. There are probably enough anti-Obama voters out there to keep Romney’s share of the vote above 45 percent. But not much above that. Read the rest of this entry »

It’s Smaller Government, Stupid.

August 22nd, 2012


This piece was originally featured on the Huffington Post.

Smaller government. That’s the big theme Mitt Romney has chosen to run on. It’s why he chose Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) as his running mate. Ryan makes the strongest case for smaller government since Ronald Reagan. But will it sell?

Election campaigns are driven by market research. The party out of power has to figure out what voters want that they are not getting from the incumbent. If the opposition campaign gets it right, they win. Examples: “Order” in 1968 (LBJ couldn’t provide it, Richard Nixon ran on it). “Morality” in 1976 (Nixon couldn’t provide it, Carter ran on it). “Empathy” in 1992 (George H.W. Bush didn’t seem to have any, Bill Clinton felt your pain). Read the rest of this entry »

Can Paul Ryan sell austerity?

August 13th, 2012


This piece was originally posted on Politico.

Can Republicans sell austerity? That’s the message Mitt Romney is sending by naming Paul Ryan as his running mate.

The Ryan move signals a major redefinition of the Romney campaign. It’s no longer about creating jobs and turning around the economy. It’s about fiscal discipline and turning around the budget. That’s Ryan’s calling. He is, after all, chairman of the House Budget Committee. Read the rest of this entry »

Don’t Panic: The NYT Poll is an Outlier

July 19th, 2012


The NYT/CBS poll released today has left many Democrats nervous and pundits wondering if this is the turning of the tide. But neither alarm nor even real interest is warranted: this poll is an outlier and should be viewed with real skepticism.

This kind of thing happens all the time. Polls get weird samples and the results look too strange to be true. Last month, Bloomberg had one showing Obama with a 13-point lead. That was wrong, and this Times poll is almost certainly wrong as well.

Reasons for doubt: Horserace

The NYT/CBS poll has Romney winning the head-to-head by 2 points, within the margin of error. This is unsurprising—no one expects a blowout this year. Real Clear Politics, which takes the average of publicly available media polls and includes this newest survey, finds the race closer than 2 points, but with President Obama winning 46.3% to 44.9%. Read the rest of this entry »