Republican Mitt Romney’s presidential campaign is $11 million in debt after it borrowed $20 million in August to pay for expenses before it could tap into general election dollars.
Here’s more from National Review Online, which first reported the story:
“Before the Republican National Convention, Mitt Romney was the Republican nominee in all but name. By law, however, he could only spend primary donations until he officially became nominee. To increase cash flow during the interregnum, the Romney campaign borrowed $20 million.”
A senior Romney aide told NRO that they collateralized the debt with $20 million of general election funds already in the campaign’s bank account.
Now, if the debt was collateralized with an equivalent amount of funds already received—is it really debt? Or is it only debt when possible future Romney contributors determine that they will not blow their hard-earned ducats on a losing cause?
The reason I ask this is because the Romney campaign has been a really rugged affair. Looking at the backstory, we have Romney as taking a backseat in the polls to Michele Bachmann, Rick Perry, and Herman Cain during the early primary jostling, and these are not especially gifted politicians. His front-runnerdom also suffered the anticipation of a possible white knight figure come to save the GOP from himself, whether in the form a a Wonk in Shining Armor like Mitch Daniels, or a Beast from Back East like Chris Christie. And the narrative about Mitt was that he’d catch on, even while Newt Gingrich (beaming in from the 1990’s) and Rick Santorum (beaming in from the 1600’s) threatened his nomination.
But surely, once he became front-runner, he’d take off? Or once he’d executed a friendly world tour? Or rather, once he picked a running mate, like rock star Paul Ryan? Or rather, wouldn’t he get a bump from the convention?
Go ahead, guys. Fund-raise on that. Romney is very cool in front of many people. And Obama reads from a Teleprompter, doesn’t he? Of course Mitt Romney will finally connect with the American people, after dismissing half of them, once he’s got President Obama right there….able to counter the untrue things Romney says.
I saw this bumper sticker a handful of years back that puzzled me: “Annoy a liberal: Work for a Living!” I’m a liberal, and I’ve always worked. Most liberals I know do. Do the people with that bumper sticker genuinely think that no liberals work? Just this past weekend, we heard a similar line from Gary Bauer at the VVS 2012, but this is different:
This is Mitt-fricking-Romney! He’s running for president, for goodness’ sake!
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.
That’s one hell of an assumption he’s making about just who that 47% really are. He’s assuming that there’s significant overlap between Obama supporters and this group of “entitled” folks.
So, who even are these people? Well, this came up last year as a response to the Occupy:“We are the 99%” slogan, where some conservatives countered that they were the 53%. So Kevin Drum (among others, but his explanation came easily to hand) broke down just who the 47% were:
But put that aside. Even stated accurately, you might be wondering how it is that so many people end up not paying any federal income tax. Today the Tax Policy Center has the answer for you. In 2011 they estimate that 46% of Americans will pay no federal income tax. Donald Marron breaks this down:
23% pay nothing because they’re poor. A couple making less than $19,000, for example, doesn’t owe anything after their $11,600 standard deduction and two exemptions of $3,700 each reduce their taxable income to zero. As Bob Williamson puts it, “The basic structure of the income tax simply exempts subsistence levels of income from tax.”
10% are elderly and pay nothing because their Social Security benefits are exempt from federal income taxes.
7% pay nothing thanks to provisions in the tax code designed to benefit low-income families: the earned income tax credit, the child credit, and the childcare credit account.
And the other 6%? Their taxes are zero for a variety of reasons: above-the-line deductions and tax-exempt interest; itemized deductions; education credits; other credits; and reduced rates on capital gains and dividends. TPC’s report has all the gruesome details.
So, who is Mitt Romney writing off, there? Mostly the elderly and the working poor. He’s not concerned about them. And, now that we know that, I’m not sure why people who do think, for whatever reason, that elderly people, or the children of poor folks are probably entitled to food or shelter because of basic human decency, would seriously think Romney has a damn thing to offer this country.
Except maybe an apology. And while you’re at it Mitt? Prove you aren’t a mooch. Release your tax returns.
Remember back when it became apparent that pretty much everything that came out of Sarah Palin’s carefully lipsticked mouth was a complete lie? And not just the big political lies but casual stuff that there wasn’t any real need to lie about. Anyone else getting a sense of deja vuhere?
You know, in the past, when people pointed out that something was inaccurate, why, campaigns pulled the ad. They were embarrassed. Today, they just blast ahead. You know, the various fact checkers look at some of these charges in the Obama ads and they say that they’re wrong, and inaccurate, and yet he just keeps on running them.”
Paul Ryan addressed the Republican National Convention, last night, and pledged that if he and his running mate, Mitt Romney, were elected, they would usher in an “ethic of responsibility.” Evidently, an “ethic of responsibility” does not include honesty because, as Fox News columnist Sally Kohn memorably put it:
“ . . . 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.
On this measure, while it was Romney who ran the Olympics, Ryan earned the gold.
The good news is that the Romney-Ryan campaign has likely created dozens of new jobs among the legions of additional fact checkers that media outlets are rushing to hire to sift through the mountain of cow dung that flowed from Ryan’s mouth. Said fact checkers have already condemned certain arguments that Ryan still irresponsibly repeated.
When you are a Republican candidate for high office, and Fox News allows an employee to rip into you like that, you know you’re in the major leagues of mendacity. I won’t go into a lot of detail about the particular “stock lies” that Ryan trotted out last night. His lying was so egregious that it has generated a bipartisan journo-fact-fest carpet-bombing of every media outlet in the country from network TV to Great-Aunt Sally’s boomer-blog. If you want gory details, they’re out there!
I get the feeling that Mitt Romney really has unified the GOP, because the whole organizing theme of the evening was summed up pretty well earlier today by a Romney campaign pollster: “We’re not going to let our campaign be dictated by fact-checkers.”
Part of that stirring ethos was evident in the more overt theme of “We did build that”, which, of course, is basically just a take-off on an out-of-context interpretation of something President Obama said in a one sentence, in one speech. But just because it’s kind of cheesy and fake doesn’t mean they didn’t take off with it, most amusingly in the case of one Phil Archulleta, beneficiary of many decades worth of government contracts, whose main complaint was government just didn’t build it enough. But of course, the very deceitful welfare claims that those meddling fact-checkers are hassling poor Mitt Romney’s campaign about, were also treated like a sort of article of faith tonight and were repeated by Rick Santorum (who also said some stuff about holding hands that kind of lost me) and Artur Davis. Ann Romney tried to convince us that Mitt knew about struggling—that didn’t seem too convincing. And NJ Governor Chris Christie, about 2/3 of the way through his speech, actually thought he might work in that Jan-Eric Republican guy running this year (you know, until someone willing to tell hard truths runs in 2016, hint, hint), but I kind of wondered how much he was feeling that part.
Anyway, that was my impression of things—what’s everyone else think?
The video above is from August, 2011, when a proud Paul Ryan announced that he was 66% thrilled with the draconian sequestration bill that passed when emergency budget talks, in which Ryan played a starring role, fell apart. Ryan was pretty damn proud of the whole sequestration plan last August, bragging that he’s always been a proponent of sequestration to tame government spending and, finally, everyone was listening to him. But I guess, that was before it mattered whether he was being a petulant, narcissistic Young Gun, or a viable vice-presidential candidate . . .
Yesterday, Paul Ryan put on his tough-guy hat for a visit to “defense country”, in Fayetteville, NC, and laid his whole brilliant sequestration scheme in President Obama’s lap.. During his speech at a helicopter factory in North Carolina, Ryan advised (the absent) President Obama to “put up or shut up. The president needs to show us how this is going to be put into place” and he pledged that, under a Romney administration, the looming half-trillion in cuts to the Pentagon budget “will not happen. We believe in the doctrine of peace through strength. Strength means have a strong national defense.”
Funny, that wasn’t an issue when Republicans were playing chicken with the defense budget last year . . .
I guess we’ll have to excuse Ryan’s “fist pumping” over the latest bill Ryan referred to — the Sequestration Transparency Act (STA) — which was signed into law by President Barack Obama earlier this month for the campaign gambit that it is. The new law requires the Obama administration to send Congress a report within 30 days on its plan for $1.2 trillion in cuts to domestic and defense programs that will take place at the start of 2013 if Congress is unable to agree on another deficit-reduction plan before the end of the year.
To hear Ryan tell it, it sounds like Republicans put a gun to Obama’s head and forced him to “talk.” In reality, STA was a bipartisan bill (one of the few, the proud, etc) that the President signed (not vetoed) and is all part of the political push-pull intended to resolve sequestration before it goes into effect.
Ryan also indulged in some “concern trolling” over cutting defense jobs and the crushing effect it would have on the families of defense workers. Clearly, Ryan wasn’t that concerned, last year when he was pushing the sequester, for all he was worth, to satisfy deficit hawks. (Evidently Romney/Ryan have been won over by President Obama’s argument that government spending creates and safeguards American jobs! As long as the spending goes to the military).
If Congressman Ryan were serious about avoiding the automatic defense cuts he decried in North Carolina today, he’d tell Mitt Romney and his fellow Republicans in Congress to work with the President to achieve balanced deficit reduction that includes asking millionaires and billionaires to pay their fair share – as the plan President Obama has put forward does. But he’s not. In fact, Congressman Ryan voted for the agreement he criticized today, and he walked away from a balanced deficit reduction plan last summer because he thought it would help the President’s re-election prospects.
And what sits in between is the crux of the matter. Yeah, that “health of the mother” thing.
Steve Benen, now well settled into his new digs at The Maddow Blog, expands the bounds of outrageous incivility by comparing Paul Ryan when he was a humble Congressman with Paul Ryan, would-be VP:
Republican vice presidential hopeful Paul Ryan sat down this morning with Jon Delano of KDKA in Pittsburgh, offering his first detailed remarks since Todd Akin’s odious comments over the weekend on rape. What was striking about Ryan’s comments was the extent to which they were at odds with his own record.
Ryan said in the interview, “Rape is rape. Period. End of story.” And while that may sound heartening, Ryan, just a year ago, co-sponsored legislation—with Todd Akin—that would have redefined “rape” for the purposes of Medicaid funding. In Ryan’s proposal, victims of “forcible rape” would receive protections, but victims of other, undefined kinds of rape would not.
Asked to defend his own legislation, Ryan refused. “Rape is rape. Rape is rape, period. End of story,” he said. When the reporters pressed further, asking, “So that forcible rape language meant nothing to you at the time?” The vice presidential hopeful again added, “Rape is rape and there’s no splitting hairs over rape.”
As for Ryan’s stated position that the government should force women to take their pregnancy to term if they are impregnated by a rapist, the Republican congressman seemed to concede that his position has been superseded. “Well, look, I’m proud of my pro-life record. And I stand by my pro-life record in Congress. It’s something I’m proud of,” Ryan said. “But Mitt Romney is the top of the ticket and Mitt Romney will be president and he will set the policy of the Romney administration.”
Todd Akin is hours away from having to walk the GOP plank. No amount of apology, retraction, defiance or support from social conservatives can help him now. The Republican political machine is poised to flatten him and try to change the subject.
According to Missouri election law, Akin has until Tuesday evening to drop out of the race with little difficulty. He can choose to withdraw at a later date, but such an exit would require more paperwork and involve a court order. It would also give Republicans less time to build a campaign for the new nominee against McCaskill, a Democrat the GOP deems vulnerable in this year’s election.
Upper echelon Republicans are tripping over each other to get to the microphone and urge Akin to withdraw from the senate race and Reince Priebus, Republican National Committee chairman, has not only called for Akin to stand down in the Missouri Senate race but, also, that he not even attend the Republican Convention in Tampa, next week. (Reince really knows how to hurt a guy.) Karl Rove has pulled his final Crossroads Pac ads for Akin and so have many other smaller PACs that were contributing to his campaign.
—What’s that you say? You’re only about as old as Granny Palin? We’re sorry, but we’re all out of the good stuff that little Paul’s Mom got, but please accept this voucher, good for the second-cheapest insurance plan you can wrap your future sixty-seven-year-old head around! Yes, the Ryomney VoucherCare program is so good, there’s an extra two-year wait. And please take note, all you physically-challenged folks out there: Ryomney VoucherCare will make sure you will have even more challenges than you did!
And for you Ryomney VoucherCare fans who just can’t get enough of “what the Doctor (Paul has an honorary doctorate from his Alma Mater, Miami U! In Ohio! And a lot of snappy patter!) ordered,” little Paul and his big head, ol’ what’sis position, will restore 716 billion dollars in inefficiencies and cost overruns that President Oblacula took out~~~because nothing puts the “Ouch” in VoucherCare like a hot,ripped Aynist.**
The man to the right of “the next President of the United States, Paul Ryan” is Todd Akin (R-MO) who hopes to unseat Sen. Claire McCaskill in the US Senate. Akin is also the lucky winner of this week’s “Republicans Say the Darnedest Things” contest. Akin was the hands-down winner with his “legitimate rape” zinger.
According to Akin, “doctors” have “told” him that, when a woman is raped some esoteric mystery female bodily function kicks in and shuts down the whole gestational process, thus preventing pregnancy from resulting after a rape. As a result of that biological sleight-of-hand, Akin believes that very few, if any, pregnancies result from rape. It’s only a short leap from there to extrapolating pregnancy is proof that there was no rape, ergo, no abortions allowed. It’s similar to dunking women in the pond to determine whether they are witches or not . . .
The whole thing could easily be chalked up to the usual down-ticket conservative hysteria plus especially good news for Claire McCaskill . . . but there’s more.
Shortly after this particular shit hit the fan, a number of curious top-down moves occurred in the GOP. First, Akin issued the standard “Misspoke” statement. Then, more curiously, Mitt Romney took time out of his busy campaign schedule to distance his campaign from Akin’s crackpot views.
By this morning, top Republican officials were calling on Akin to resign, with strategist Mike Murphy summarizing the sentiment in a tweet: “Akin should put good of GOP first and resign nomination now after his idiotic comment. Senate control too important.”
For those who can’t watch video, this jerk just implied that in “legitimate rape” (rough translation from the misogynist tongue: “when the woman wasn’t really asking for it”), the victim’s body “shuts down” the process of getting pregnant. That was so jaw-droppingly dumb, a lot of people might have missed the follow-up, which was the kind of creepy idea that women use abortion to punish the fetus for the rape.
I can actually remember the first time I heard this junk-science because the anti-abortion weirdo who came up with it was from my general geographic location—and I don’t think I’ve still gotten over how someone purports that any such a thing would work.
And yet, apparently, this is not an uncommon belief among the anti-abortion set. Gullible wingers who seem to believe it include Chris “Knickers” Loesch. And he’s actually a little surprised you all never heard of it, yourselves. Medical science!
Rep. Akin has tried to claim now that he “misspoke”. Because you know how easy it is to promote false scientific information that paints rape victims as lying sluts, right? This is something the senate candidate has believed for a while, and just last year, he teamed with Rep. Ryan, (R. WI), to sponsor HR 3, a bill aiming at changing the definition of rape to “forcible rape.” You know, because if all she has to show for her experience is being pregnant—what does that even prove without a few hard knocks?
Other conservatives are now calling for him to withdraw from his race—but in his favor, he’s kicked over quite a nasty stone and let us look at what some rape-apologist lady-haters really think. It’s instructive, I give it that.
You’ll know we’ve been playing around with the parallels (for both GOP candidates) between the 2012 election and the 2008 one for a while now—partly tongue in cheek for the snark value, but some of them are real, and they’re not getting less apparent.
OK, Palin’s background and policy stances were a lot sketchier than Ryan’s, but it’s maybe hard now to recall what a phenomenon she was hailed as when she first appeared on the scene (before she opened her trap in interviews and got stumped by bland conversational openers)—stellar approval ratings back home, a reputation for base-pleasing fiscal probity (that didn’t stand up to scrutiny when it came to the old pork barrel), a reputed hotshot “energy policy expert” whose only prescription was the calculatedly shorts-stiffening “Drill, baby, drill,” and a steady and often ruthless rise through the ranks to the point where she was considered worth a shot at VP.
Books and quasi-documentaries have dwelled on the processes and tensions that converted that rising star into the plummeting smoking relic from a far-off galaxy that thudded anticlimactically and tearfully to Earth in November ‘08. One complaint the Quitter from Wasilla’s fans and she herself have made on numerous occasions is that they wouldn’t let her be herself, forced to ignore administrative and policy specifics in favor of crude sloganeering and buzzwordsalads, to spit what she felt would be the crowd-pleasing bile that would somehow magically transform the majority of the electorate into raging acolytes fearful of the terrorist-pallin’ inexperienced fraud from the wrong side of the tracks and propel her and her running mate to power.
The spin we’re getting from the Romney camp is that, like McCain, Mitt is wagging his tail like an old dog paired with a new puppy at the moment, relieved to be sharing the burden of the path he’s chosen with someone who’s portrayed as a game-changing soul mate, a doe-eyed mancrush who can serve as both shield and bolster on the stump. But you do have to wonder what tensions have already emerged, and how the next few months are going to pan out, then the next few years as Ryan returns to the life he once had, I’m assuming a valiant (or disgraced) but vanquished campaigner, with possibilities stretching before him if he doesn’t blow it and retire to become another wingnut welfare Fox drone.
In terms of the most trivial and superficial parallels, there’s the alleged HAWTness and faux-macho backwoods cred I covered the other day down yonder. Again superficial, there was even comment that Ryan looked a bit scruffy on the stump, and I’m not going to enquire what the hell’s going on with his trousers here, but we’ve no doubt all had problems with overenthusiastic bathroom faucets in our time, so I’ll go with that explanation.
He’s looked a little sharper in the more recent pics I’ve seen. At least, in this sexist world in which we’re living, you can kit a male candidate out credibly without conducting a midnight raid on Nieman Marcus, which will no doubt relieve Mr. Adelson et al.
Basically, to cleanse the palette from the bullshit and brie flavor of the Bully/Brown-nose ticket, I simply intend to remind that, OMFG, this the kind of thing the fucknuts say out loud, anymore.
So you don’t have to click on the above to get to the wanton death-fantasy of Joe the Plumber:
“For years I’ve said, you know, put a damn fence on the border going to Mexico and start shooting. I’m running for Congress and that should be a bad thing to say. But you know what, it’s how I feel…I want my borders protected, I’m very very adamant about that.”
That’s about 28 minutes in.
You know, when Joe the Plumber became the accidental McCampaign 2008 mascot, I wondered what would become of him. I kind of thought that he’d become some kind of reality show star or something, but apparently he got the politics bug, and that’s cool. Regular people shouldn’t be afraid to get involved in politics. Goldie Hawn’s character in Protocol ran for office after becoming a celebrated regular Jane Q Public figure, so why not have a voice like Sam Wurzelbacher’s in the….
Oh fuck it. Just a minute after he stepped down from endorsing wholesale murder of people who want to participate in the American economy, some jackass steps up and talks about Ronald Reagan, who actually had an immigration amnesty during his administration. Ronald Reagan, who might have been a world-class hippie-punching gay-ignoring Philadelphia, Mississippi campaign-announcing racist dog-whistling example of all the grandstanding bullshit that the modern GOP aspires to, but at least he was too concerned with selling weapons to Middle Eastern terrorists to fund a black ops war in Central America to worry overmuch about killing people who just want to pick the lettuce that makes our affordable Big Macs possible.
This guy makes me pine for Reagan. Screw you and the plunger you rode in on, Sam.
I know “Some wingnut running for congress said X” is just about the laziest of all left-bloggery, but what he said is just so much part of the over the-top, build a fence, dig a moat, stock it with alligators, erect an electrified fence, RFID-chip the illegals, and so forth kind of outlandish stuff that gets said—with a straight face. Then, when someone like Joe Biden suggests that a runaway Wall Street pillaging pensions and looting retirement savings “shackles” regular Americans, which, no doubt, it would—forcing people into jobs and choices they can’t help but have to make to stay afloat—why, the wingnuts scream bloody murder!
You know what? I’m beginning to think there may just be a rhetorical double-standard. (I am not thinking there is a rhetorical double-standard.)
The RW blogs say that Paul “Hottie McMunster” Ryan is the new gunslinger in town who’ll reduce Joe Biden to a blob of hairplug-studded jelly in the VP debate. They say he’ll fire up folks on the stump like a certain other rootin’-tootin’ sharpshootin’ grifter did in ‘08. Behold this stellar force of nature at the Iowa State Fair as he faces a bunch of hecklers.
* CHUCKLE along with him as he giggles boyishly at the interruptions.
* SPRAY coffee out of numerous orifices as he adlibs: “You know what? It’s funny because Iowa and Wisconsinites, we like to be respectful of one another and peaceful with one another and listen to each other. These ladies must not be from Iowa or Wisconsin.”
* SWOON at his manliness as he points to a woman heckling him from the front row and tells the state troopers they missed dragging one of them away: “You see this one here?”
* ROLL on the floor at the eventual killer punchline: “My guess is the reason President Obama isn’t making it here from Council Bluffs is because he only knows left turns.”
* STRAIN to hear WTF he’s rambling on about over the rambunctious chants of “Stop the war on the middle class!” and “Stop the war on the common good!” from even more hecklers too numerous to be spirited away with the words “listen to each other” ringing in their ears.
* LOOK out for his next gig at a location near you. Heck, maybe some day they’ll even let him off the leash in Florida.
* IF you do go along, maybe best to make sure you know where the nearest emergency room is and warn your lawyer beforehand.
When it comes to physical attraction, there’s no accounting for taste. When it comes to eyesight, it’s never too late to bow to the inevitable and take to wearing specs. When it comes to the 2012 election, it’s always 2008.
Today’s contribution to incisive political commentary comes to us from TMZ via Politico’s Patrick Gavin, citing suggestions via teh hormonally charged Google and a bunch of confessions on Twitter:
Overlooked, understandably, in Saturday’s analysis and news that Rep. Paul Ryan will be Mitt Romney’s vice presidential nominee was one mostly — but not entirely — unimportant aspect: Paul Ryan is kind of hot.
The Politico commenters’ reactions range from “BARF” to “Really Politico? This is where you are heading? What, is this Huffington Post now?” to shuffling awkwardly and changing the subject to talk about anything other than Paul Ryan’s hawtness. Which is a shame.
Paul Ryan is so HAWT, he can charm the deer out of the trees.
As for his way with our feathered friends, what happens on the hunt stays on the hunt.
But the fickle RW blogs, still high on the weekend Ryanmentum, are asleep at the wheel. Where’s the OUTRAGE??!!
the hottest vice presidential candidate ever???!!!!!
WHAT AN APPALLING SLAP IN THE FACE TO SARAH PALIN!!!!!