Tag Archives: Election

Romney: “It Kills Me” to Not Be in the White House

Via ABCNews.

In his first television interview since the election, former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney said that it “kills” him to not be in the White House.

In the interview with Chris Wallace, Gov. Romney also said that he believed he’d won the election until the Ohio election results were announced.

Asked if she thought that her husband would win the election, Ann Romney said, “I for sure did.”

Gov. Romney called his inability to win the votes of people of color “a real weakness” that future Republican candidates will have to overcome: “Uh, we did very well with the majority population, but not with minority populations. And — and that was a — that was a failing. That was a real mistake.”

 

He also admitted that his “forty-seven percent” comments caused him great harm.

Read more: http://www.politico.com/story/2013/03/mitt-romney-it-kills-me-not-to-be-president-88332.html#ixzz2MXEAc8f4

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Romney, Santorum to Split Michigan’s Delegates

Mitt Romney and Rick Santorum will each get half of Michigan’s 30 delegates, according to CNN estimates.

Romney won the popular vote in Tuesday’s Michigan Republican presidential primary. However, Michigan distributes its delegates proportionally.

A candidate needs a total of 1,144 delegates to clinch the Republican nomination.

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Unemployment Rate at Lowest Point Since March 2009

In the midst of the European debt crisis, instability in the oil-rich Middle East and concerns about a Chinese economic slowdown, the American unemployment rate dropped last month to 8.6%, its lowest level in two and a half years.

The nation’s employers added 120,000 jobs in November, and job growth for the previous two months was better than expected. The numbers look like good news for President Obama as he heads into the 2012 Presidential election.

Even so, economists worry that a default of Greece or Italy could plunge Europe into a depression, which could send a shock wave across the ocean to throw the American economy off course. This year, higher oil prices, the Japanese earthquake, and the stalemate over the United States debt ceiling managed to drain the energy from the recovery.

November’s drop in unemployment was a welcome relief, given that the jobless rate held at 9% for most of 2011. It is at the lowest level since March 2009.

The share of workers who were unemployed fell in November partly because some people found jobs and partly because some discouraged workers quit looking for work.

A separate survey of employers, which economists pay more attention to than the unemployment rate, found that companies added 120,000 jobs last month.

Companies have taken on more temporary workers. Help-wanted advertising, retail sales, and auto sales have risen; jobless claims have fallen; and businesses seem to be getting loans more easily. Most encouraging was a recent survey of small businesses that found hiring intentions to be at their highest level since September 2008.

On the issue of government action to stimulate the economy, there has been some movement in Washington toward extending the payroll tax cut, which will expire at the end of this month. Economists have said that allowing the tax cut — which lets more than 160 million mostly middle-class Americans keep two percentage points more of their paychecks — to expire could be a drag on job creation and output growth.

An extension would probably lead to 600,000 to one million more jobs. The other stimulus program scheduled to expire by 2012 is the extension of unemployment insurance benefits, allowing some jobless workers to continue collecting for as long as ninety-nine weeks. Millions of people have exhausted their benefits. Failing to renew the extensions will cause five million more people to lose benefits next year.

Unemployment benefits have one of the most stimulative effects on the economy, because recipients are likely to spend all the money they receive quickly and pump more spending through the economy.

Via The New York Times.

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Six Presidential Hopefuls Faced Tough Questions at Saturday’s Forum

Six Republican Presidential candidates faced questions on their ideological bona fides during a policy-heavy forum on Fox News Channel on Saturday night.

Newt Gingrich, the former House Speaker, was pressed on how conservatives can “trust that a President Gingrich will not advance these sorts of big government approaches” that he advocated in the past, including his support for a mandate that citizens get health insurance.

Representative Michele Bachmann was asked how she would carry out her call to remove all illegal immigrants in the United States or pay the $135 billion to do so.

Mitt Romney, the former governor of Massachusetts, was asked questions about his health care overhaul there, and what he would say to President Obama if the President were to note during a general election debate its similarities to the federal health care law.

The candidates faced these questions from a roster of attorneys general who filed legal cases against the 2009 health care law: Pam Bondi of Florida, who brought the suit the Supreme Court agreed to hear; Ken Cuccinelli of Virginia, a spokesman for legal action against the law; and Scott Pruitt of Oklahoma. They were gathered by the Fox News host Mike Huckabee, the former governor of Arkansas.

It was one of the more substantive events in the Republican contest. The candidates faced the panel solo and did not interact, leaving intraparty politics largely out of it, except for Gov. Rick Perry of Texas, who urged the audience to give him “a second look,” a tacit acknowledgment of his drop in polls and a new opportunity after Herman Cain’s decision to suspend his campaign.

The attorneys general, new to Presidential politics, did not let their own general ideological agreement with the candidates get in the way of tough questions about how they would carry out their proposals.

They seemed to give Mr. Gingrich the hardest time. He was grilled on calls he has made to abolish federal courts whose rulings he disagrees with. It is a position that invariably wins applause from conservative audiences, but the attorneys general, conservative Republicans all, seemed to raise a collective eyebrow.

Mr. Cuccinelli had big disagreements with Mr. Gingrich, asking him how he would assure conservatives that his less ideologically pure positions would not trickle into his White House. Mr. Gingrich said he would introduce a “very clearly philosophically driven program” that would train his appointees and tell them “this is where this administration is going.”

Mr. Romney parried questions about the Massachusetts health care law, repeating that his policy was less ambitious and did not seek to upend the health care system the way he said Pres. Obama had hoped the federal law would.

Mr. Cuccinelli stayed with his line of questioning. “You would agree, wouldn’t you,” he said, “what you did in that bill in Massachusetts in 2006 affected the entire industry. Correct?”

Mr. Romney said that “for the 92% of us that were already insured, nothing changed.”

Mr. Cuccinelli asked Rep. Bachmann how she would handle environmental disagreements across state lines if she were to end the Environmental Protection Agency. When Ms. Bachmann answered that “a lot of these cases would be negotiated,” he pressed, “You cannot just negotiate without a legal foundation and thereby compel both sides to participate.”

Ms. Bondi asked former Senator Rick Santorum of Pennsylvania which environmental regulations he would allow. Mr. Santorum said the problem was that environmental laws that have been on the books for decades were overly broad, allowing regulators to craft many rules. He promised to have Congress rewrite the laws to be much narrower.

Mr. Pruitt asked Representative Ron Paul of Texas about his opposition to the PATRIOT Act. Mr. Paul responded by saying, “Are you going to put cameras in every household or whatever? I don’t think it’s a lack of laws that are our problem.”

Via The New York Times.

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Republicans Make Border-Fence Promises They Can’t Keep

Mitt Romney and Newt Gingrich have promised to complete a 1,950-mile fence. Michele Bachmann wants a double fence. Ron Paul pledged to secure the nation’s southern border by any means necessary. Rick Perry says he can secure it without a fence.

A border that is sealed off to all illegal immigrants and drugs flowing north is a promise none of them could keep.

Governor Perry, the governor of a state that makes up roughly 65% of America’s border with Mexico, knows that. What he’s actually pledging is achieving “operational control” of the border, defined by the U.S. Border Patrol as areas where it can detect, respond to and interdict illegal activity either at the border or after entry into the U.S.

The U.S. Border Patrol says 873 miles of the border, about 44%, are under operational control. Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano has said that “the border is better now than it ever has been.”

Even getting this far required bolstering the ranks of the Border Patrol to the highest levels ever, nearly double the 9,500 in 2004. Immigration and Customs Enforcement has a record number of agents on the border. Five Predator drones patrol strategic parts of it, with a sixth coming by the end of the year. About 650 miles of fencing has been constructed, and 1,200 National Guard soldiers dispatched last year to Texas, California, Arizona and New Mexico have had their deployment extended through the end of 2011.

Last week, Mr. Gingrich signed a pledge to build a fence stretching the length of the border by 2013. That may help him recover from a statement that illegal immigrants who have been in the U.S. for many years should be allowed to stay in the country.

Gov. Perry has opposed the fence, saying it would take ten to fifteen years to build, cost $30 billion, and wouldn’t work anyway. He wants to flood the border with more National Guard troops. He also wants to build fencing in high-traffic areas and make better use of surveillance. Gov. Perry claims that would mean operational control by January 2014.

Mr. Romney, meanwhile, has publicly agreed with Perry that tackling larger immigration policy reform is impossible without first securing the border.

U.S. authorities already have made strides toward that goal. The number of illegal immigrants in the U.S. peaked at 12 million in 2007, but then dropped by almost 1 million through 2009, and has largely held steady since then at about 11.1 million.

Apprehensions of illegal immigrants have fallen. In 2011, the Border Patrol captured the lowest number of illegal immigrants on the southwestern border in four decades.

The U.S. economy makes would-be illegal immigrants less likely to come. Those who do must contend with Mexico’s drug war, which has seen cartel gunmen slaughter people heading north and dump their bodies in mass graves. The trip is now so risky that the number of illegal immigrants using pricey people smugglers has spiked.

Spillover into the U.S. of Mexican drug violence is difficult to measure. El Paso, Texas, ranks among the safest cities in the U.S., even though it’s across from violence-torn Ciudad Juarez.

Via Yahoo!

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Breaking: Herman Cain Suspends Campaign

Herman Cain announced he is suspending his bid for the Republican Presidential nomination.

“One of the first declarations that I want to make to you today is that I am at peace with my God. I am at peace with my wife, and she is at peace with me,” he said.

Mr. Cain said the decision was a result of the “cloud of doubt” that had been cast over his family in light of what he called false allegations.

Mr. Cain’s once-surging bid for the nomination began to falter in recent weeks after allegations of sexual harassment surfaced.

Most recently, Ginger White of Atlanta claimed that she and Mr. Cain, who is married, had carried on a thirteen-year affair.

Mr. Cain this week told a newspaper he had repeatedly given White money to help her with “month-to-month bills and expenses,” but he denied the relationship was sexual.

Mr. Cain told staffers he was assessing his campaign in the wake of the allegation and acknowledged that her account led to a drop in contributions to his campaign.

“Suspending” a campaign allows a candidate to continue raising and spending campaign funds.

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Support for Tea Party Down, Even in Tea Party Strongholds

Support for the Tea Party has fallen sharply even in places considered Tea Party strongholds, according to a new survey.

In Congressional districts represented by Tea Party lawmakers, the number of people who disagree with the Tea Party has risen sharply over the year since the movement powered a Republican sweep in midterm elections. Almost as many people disagree with the Tea Party as agree with it, according to the poll by the Pew Research Center.

In the sixty districts represented in Congress by a member of the House Tea Party Caucus, Republicans are viewed about as negatively as Democrats.

The Tea Party is dragging down the Republican Party heading into a Presidential election, even as it ushered in a Republican majority in the House a year ago.

Polls have shown a decline in support for the Tea Party because its hard line during the debate over the debt ceiling and deficit reduction made it less an abstraction. In earlier polls, most Americans did not know enough about the Tea Party to offer an opinion.

The Pew survey shows that Tea Party support declined even in places where it had been particularly robust.

The number of people who disagree with the Tea Party had risen among the public and in the districts represented by the Tea Party caucus, according to one of the polls. Among the public, 27% said they disagreed with the Tea Party, and 20% said they agreed. A year ago, 27% agreed and 22% disagreed with the Tea Party.

In Tea Party districts, 23% of people disagree with the Tea Party, while 25% agree. A year ago, 33% of people in those districts agreed with the Tea Party, and 18% disagreed.

Opinions of the Republican Party dropped sharply in Tea Party districts. In an October Pew poll, 48% of people in those places had a negative view of the Republican Party; 41% have a favorable view. The favorable rating dropped fourteen points since March.

That drop was sharper than among the public, where the percentage of people with a favorable opinion of the Republican Party dropped to 36%, from 42% in March.

Opinions about the Democratic Party shifted less. In Tea Party districts, unfavorable ratings for the Democrats dropped, to 50% in October from 57% in August. Favorable ratings stayed about the same — at 39% in October, and 37% in August.

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