Slippery Mitt’s belly flop the day: “President Obama’s soft on welfare”
President Obama is hardly the candidate who’s anywhere near “soft” on welfare. Did you know the Boston Herald used to call Governor Romney’s welfare program in Massachusetts “Welfare Wheels“? Joe Klein has the details:
The theme of the day for the Romney campaign was, as Alex Rogers notes below, that Obama’s Soft on Welfare. It sort of flopped. The factoid planted at the microscopic center of the non-story is that the Obama campaign allegedly granted states the right to request waivers from the current welfare work requirements…which is true, except for the following things:
1. The waivers would be granted only if states came up with alternative ideas to create jobs for people on welfare.
2. As governor of Massachusetts, Romney himself asked for such a waiver in 2005.
Mitt lies and withholds information like this EVERY SINGLE DAY just to convince the feeble minded Fox / Rush fans to vote for him. I can only imagine what those tax returns he’s hiding would really tell us.…
“Each and every day that I’ve been a United States senator, I’ve been discussing issues … in secret meetings with kings and queens and prime ministers and business leaders and military leaders talking, voting, working on issues every single day.” -- Sen. Scott Brown (R-MA) says he holds daily secret meetings with kings and queens. (via think-progress)
Boston.com: Remember Scott Brown’s gaffe on Thursday? The one about meeting with kings and queens? His staff was quick to say the comment was a flub, acknowledging that the senator has not actually met with royalty. “He misspoke when he said kings and queens,” Brown spokesman Colin Reed said in a statement. But the Massachusetts Democratic Party today released a video showing four prior examples when Brown used the same phrasing about meeting with “kings and queens” while speaking to audiences as part of his reelection bid.
A compilation of Senator Scott Brown and his “secret meetings” with “kings and queens” (via: massachusettsdems)
Charles P. Pierce points out an interesting (or maybe sad? pathetic?) bit of Republican hypocrisy regarding the High Park Fire in Colorado and federal firefighters (i.e. government parasites):
I’m not sure about the rest of the country, but, contra Willard Romney, I think both Colorado and New Mexico could use some more firefighters right now. That is certainly the opinion of the Colorado congressional delegation, which has dispatched a letter to the federal government appealing for more help. The delegation includes Rep. Scott Tipton (R -3d CD), Rep. Cory Gardner (R-4th CD), Rep, Mike (Stuck In A Groove) Coffman (R-6th CD). (As it happens, Gardner’s district is the one most directly affected by the wildfires.) Needless to say, but we’ll say it anyway, all three of these folks voted for the Paul Ryan budget, which would cut the daylights out of things like federal firefighting programs, which already are pretty imperiled.
Maybe the Republican delegation from Colorado should discuss their concerns with Paul Ryan or Mitt Romney — let their party leaders explain why it’s a good idea to have fewer firefighters? Especially Romney, who has a long history of hating on firefighters:
Mitt Romney came under fire this weekend from Democrats after he suggested that we shouldn’t hire more firefighters. Then top Romney surrogate John Sununu, the former governor of New Hampshire, doubled down on Romney’s firefighter comments today, telling MSNBC they were not a “gaffe.” This is hardly the first time the presumed GOP nominee has tangled with firefighters. In fact, he has a long, bitter history with them. As governor of Massachusetts, Romney often ended up sparring with firefighters and their unions. He proposed stripping collective bargaining rights for firefighters and police officers in a city that needed a state bailout, and cut funding to a fire station to be built on the site where six firemen died. He also proposed tripling the state police budget to deal with homeland security concerns in the years after 9/11, but didn’t offer a dime for firefighters, angering many at the time.
Romney’s Solyndra slam at Obama backfires – A Lowell-based solar technology company that received $1.5 million in state loans when Mitt Romney was governor has filed for bankruptcy, opening the presumptive Republican presidential nominee to charges of hypocrisy. Konarka Technologies disclosed Friday that it had filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy protection and would fire its 80-member staff and liquidate its assets. Romney has chided President Obama for investing $535 million in a different solar company that failed, and has insisted governments should not pick winners and losers in the private sector. – The Boston Globe
Senior Romney adviser Ed Gillespie had a similar exchange with “Fox News Sunday” host Chris Wallace. “When [Romney] took office it was No. 50 in job creation.Actually 51 if you count the District of Columbia,” Gillespie said. To his credit, Fox News’ Chris Wallace didn’t let Ed Gillespie get away with that claim either and corrected him that Massachusetts was 47th during the entire Romney governorship. Massachusetts ranked 37th when Mitt Romney took office. It ranked 47th when he left office. He actually made things worse. Not better. Massachusetts was never “30th in the nation.” Not when he took office or left office. – JM Ashby
Having it both ways: a tale of two standards for Romney –Romney has been running for president pretty much non-stop for six years. He and his aides have, in other words, had a very long time to come up with compelling explanations for all of the shortcomings in Romney’s record. With that in mind, Romney’s staffers had to know that when they appeared on the Sunday shows yesterday, they’d hear questions about Massachusetts being 47th out of 50 states in job creation during Romney’s tenure. And what was their explanation? Romney inherited a bad situation, and when he left, things were marginally better. Seriously, that’s their defense. […] Look, this isn’t complicated. Romney is trying to create a standard for success that only he’s allowed to use. […] If Romney’s to be congratulated for inheriting an economy that was struggling but then turning things around a little, by that identical standard, he ought to be patting Obama on the back for a job well done. Indeed, the Romney campaign talking points practically sound like an Obama endorsement.– Steve Benen
“There is nothing wrong with the president holding Mitt Romney to his account for his record from private business and his record as a public official,” [Democratic strategist Bob] Shrum said. “Harry Truman did the same thing. Ronald Reagan in 1980, one of the most optimistic politicians in America, ran a pretty tough negative advertising campaign, against Jimmy Carter.” Shrum added: “If you did what the governor (Romney) is suggesting, and maybe he’s not, and you just let this be a referendum, I don’t think the president could win.” — Raw Story
Romney’s promises: we’ve heard it all before – Mitt Romney ran for governor of Massachusetts promising more jobs, decreased debt, and smaller government. By the time Romney left office, state debt had increased, the size of government had grown, and Massachusetts had fallen behind almost every other state in job creation. Romney economics didn’t work then, and it won’t work now — YouTube
Romney (of all people! see above) quickly blames President Obama for slow job creation, higher unemployment and the nation’s recovery — “Today’s weak jobs report is devastating news for American workers and American families,” Romney said in a statement. The presumptive Republican presidential nominee added: “It is now clear to everyone that President Obama’s policies have failed to achieve their goals and that the Obama economy is crushing America’s middle class.” — Boston.com
“You can chant down speakers, my friend, but it’s hard to Etch-A-Sketch the truth away.” — David Axelrod, quoted by National Journal, on being shouted down by Mitt Romney supporters at a rally in Boston. via
Obama’s political advisor David Axelrod dissected Romney’s record in Massachusetts between 2003 and 2007 in a campaign memo…”Mitt Romney applied the economic philosophy he learned in the private sector to disastrous results as governor of Massachusetts,” Axelrod wrote.”It’s the same formula that benefited a few, but crashed our economy in the first place and undermined security for the middle class. Massachusetts couldn’t afford Romney Economics, and neither can the American economy.” Axelrod said that under Romney, Massachusetts plunged from 36th to 47th out of 50 states in job creation, and despite promises to the contrary raised taxes and fees on middle class families and small businesses. “Meanwhile, he cut taxes for millionaires like himself, handing over more than $75 million to just 278 of the wealthiest in Massachusetts.” —FRANCE 24
Team Obama shifting focus to Romney’s record as Massachusetts governor – The Obama campaign is opening a new front in its war against GOP rival Mitt Romney, ABC News has learned, with planned attacks to begin this week on Romney’s record as governor of Massachusetts and the campaign promises Democrats say he left unfulfilled. Team Obama will point to Romney’s rhetoric on job creation, size of government, education, deficits and taxes during the 2002 gubernatorial campaign and draw parallels with his presidential stump speeches of 2012. The goal is to illustrate that Romney has made the same promises before with unimpressive results, officials say. […] During a Boston debate, Romney said, “I have experience in the private sector building and creating thousands of good jobs, and I want to bring that skill for you here in Massachusetts” – a theme he regularly reprises today. But the Obama campaign notes, citing a report from the independent fact-checker Politifact, Massachusetts was 47th out of 50 states in job creation under Romney. In manufacturing jobs, Democrats point out, Romney presided over a net loss of 40,000 jobs, a drop of 12 percent according to Labor Department data. — ABC News
Obama campaign to target Romney’s record as governor – By broadening its attack to Romney’s stint as chief executive of Massachusetts from 2003 to 2007, the Obama campaign will make the case that Romney’s economic philosophies have pervaded his career and would damage the country if he were to move into the White House. “You’ll see over the course of this campaign a really strong connection between (Romney’s) time at Bain and the values and lessons that he took from that,” said an Obama campaign official who spoke on the condition that he not be identified. “He used those values and lessons in Massachusetts, and we’ll take a look at those results,” the official said. The attacks are likely to focus on Romney’s record of cutting education funding and increasing the state’s debt. – Reuters
SUPPORTING THOSE TROOPS! Romney on homeless veterans: “Let them milk cows.” — By all accounts Mitt Romney’s 1994 trip to the nation’s largest homeless shelter was accurately described by the Boston Globe as “not one of the brighter moments of his campaign for US senator.” Romney was visiting the homeless shelter, located in Boston, by invitation of the shelter’s executive director Ken Smith. […] Smith explained that the State of Massachusetts allocated $2.37 per day twice a day for each homeless veteran’s meal. Since the amount was so meager, the shelter had trouble providing each veteran with a carton of milk at each meal. Romney responded, “Well Ken, maybe you can teach the vets to milk cows.” Romney then walked out the door. – Mitt Romney’s Milk Gaffe
Support the troops!
Polluters Ran Amuck Under Romney, Says Watchdog – Just weeks after taking office in 2003, he announced a plan to centralize the state’s legal services and lay off as many as half of its attorneys, including many within the Department of Environmental Protection. In rolling out the plan, Romney’s chief legal counsel Daniel Winslow singled out environmental positions as a target for cuts in an interview with Lawyers Weekly. Critics said the move would limit the state’s ability to prosecute environmental crimes, as the DEP was already “chronically understaffed” and would likely have to drop some cases. In the end, Romney’s reorganization plan was stymied by opposition from enviros, unions, and residents. […] His administration also cut the DEP’s budget by almost a third, and temporarily closed its Northeastern Regional Office in Wilmington, Mass. […] In 2004, Romney’s administration was accused of suppressing a report that detailed problems within the Massachusetts Environmental Police (MEP), which enforces laws related to pollution, wildlife and marine safety. – Mother Jones