Friday, August 31, 2012

Mitt Romney To Flood Victim: 'Go Home And Call 211'

AP/The Huffington Post

Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney launched the final leg of his quest for the White House by visiting storm-battered Louisiana on Friday. He drove through a town that was flooded by Hurricane Isaac in part because it's still outside the vast flooding protection system built with federal funds after Hurricane Katrina devastated New Orleans.
Romney and Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal (R) spent close to an hour meeting with first responders and local officials. Romney shook hands with National Guardsmen outside the U.S. Post Office and talked with a local resident, Jodie Chiarello, 42, who lost her home in Isaac's flooding.
"He just told me to, um, there's assistance out there," Chiarello said of her conversation with Romney. "He said, go home and call 211." That's a public service number offered in many states.
Chiarello said she will likely seek some other shelter because her home was submerged in the flooding. She expressed frustration about the town's lack of flood protection.
"We live outside the levee protection that's why we get all this water because they close the floodgates up front and all they're doing is flooding us out down here," she said. "It's very frustrating, very. We go through Katrina and Rita and now we're going through Cindy, Lee and now Isaac."
Romney's last-minute visit, announced less than 12 hours after he became the Republican nominee, took him to the disaster area ahead of his Democratic rival, President Barack Obama. The president was following with his own visit to Louisiana on Monday, the White House announced.
Romney went at Jindal's invitation, his campaign said. Jindal, a Republican, told reporters Romney had been in touch several days ago to ask how he could help with storm relief and Jindal suggested Romney come down and see the damage for himself. He said he had extended an invitation to Obama as well.

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Mr. Romney Reinvents History

August 30, 2012

Mitt Romney wrapped the most important speech of his life, for Thursday night’s session of his convention, around an extraordinary reinvention of history — that his party rallied behind President Obama when he won in 2008, hoping that he would succeed. “That president was not the choice of our party,” he said. “We are a good and generous people who are united by so much more than divides us.”
The truth, rarely heard this week in Tampa, Fla., is that the Republicans charted a course of denial and obstruction from the day Mr. Obama was inaugurated, determined to deny him a second term by denying him any achievement, no matter the cost to the economy or American security — even if it meant holding the nation’s credit rating hostage to a narrow partisan agenda.
Mr. Romney’s big speech, delivered in a treacly tone with a strange misty smile on his face suggesting he was always about to burst into tears, was of a piece with the rest of the convention. Republicans have offered precious little of substance but a lot of bromides (“A free world is a more peaceful world!”) meant to convey profundity and take passive-aggressive digs at President Obama. But no subjects have received less attention, or been treated with less honesty, than foreign affairs and national security — and Mr. Romney’s banal speech was no exception.
It’s easy to understand why the Republicans have steered clear of these areas. While President Obama is vulnerable on some domestic issues, the Republicans have no purchase on foreign and security policy. In a television interview on Wednesday, Condoleezza Rice, the former secretary of state, could not name an area in which Mr. Obama had failed on foreign policy.
For decades, the Republicans were able to present themselves as the tougher party on foreign and military policy. Mr. Obama has robbed them of that by being aggressive on counterterrorism and by flexing military and diplomatic muscle repeatedly and effectively.
Mitt Romney has tried to sound tough, but it’s hard to see how he would act differently from Mr. Obama except in ways that are scary — like attacking Iran, or overspending on defense in ways that would not provide extra safety but would hurt the economy.
Before Thursday night, the big foreign policy speeches were delivered by Senator John McCain and Ms. Rice. Mr. McCain was specific on one thing: Mr. Obama’s plan to start pulling out of Afghanistan at the end of 2014 is too rapid. While he does not speak for Mr. Romney, his other ideas were unnerving, like suggesting that the United States should intervene in Syria.
Mr. Romney reportedly considered Ms. Rice as a running mate, and she seems to have real influence. But Ms. Rice is a reminder of the colossal errors and deceptions of George W. Bush’s administration. She was a central player in the decision to invade Iraq and the peddling of fantasies about weapons of mass destruction. She barely mentioned Iraq in her speech and spoke not at all about Afghanistan. She was particularly ludicrous when she talked about keeping America strong at home so it could be strong globally, since she was part of the team that fought two wars off the books and entirely on borrowed money.
Ms. Rice said the United States has lost its “exceptionalism,” but she never gave the slightest clue what she meant by that — a return to President Bush’s policy of preventive and unnecessary war?
She and Mr. McCain both invoked the idea of “peace through strength,” but one of the few concrete proposals Mr. Romney has made — spending 4 percent of G.D.P. on defense — would weaken the economy severely. Mr. McCain was not telling the truth when he said Mr. Obama wants to cut another $500 billion from military spending. That amount was imposed by the Republicans as part of the extortion they demanded to raise the debt ceiling.
Ms. Rice said American allies need to know where the United States stands and that alliances are vitally important. But the truth is that Mr. Obama has repaired those alliances and restored allies’ confidence in America’s position after Mr. Bush and Ms. Rice spent years tearing them apart and ruining America’s reputation in the world.
The one alliance on which there is real debate between Mr. Romney and Mr. Obama is with Israel. But it is not, as Mr. Romney and his supporters want Americans to believe, about whether Mr. Obama is a supporter of Israel. Every modern president has been, including Mr. Obama. Apart from outsourcing his policy to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on settlements, it’s not clear what Mr. Romney would do differently.
But after watching the Republicans for three days in Florida, that comes as no surprise.

Republican Convention Bombs As Viewership Drops by 17 Million

The GOP’s Mitt makeover isn’t going over well with American television viewers. Compared to night two of the 2008 Republican convention, viewership is down by 17 million.
Paul Ryan is no Sarah Palin. The viewership for Paul Ryan’s speech was down across every network compared to what Sarah Palin averaged in 2008. NBC was down 3.5 million viewers. ABC was down three million viewers. CBS and MSNBC were down 2 million viewers each. CNN lost a whopping 5 million viewers compared to Palin’s 2008 speech. Even Fox News was down 1.5 million viewers. In total, only 20 million people tuned in for Paul Ryan compared to the 37 million who watched Sarah Palin.
Ryan’s ratings nosedive isn’t the Republican convention’s only problem. Only Fox News and ABC saw their viewership rise or stay the same from night one to night two. Fox News saw their viewership rise from 6.89 million on night one to 7.70 million on night two, while ABC has drawn to 2.86 million viewers on each night.
What really jumps out in the ratings data is how limited the appeal of this convention is. Fox News has led the ratings for all networks on both nights. If the Romney campaign was hoping to reach Independents with their convention, it isn’t working. Over one third of the total audience is coming from the Republican cheering section known as Fox News.

Ryan’s ratings collapse highlights his limited popularity. As you could tell by the reception in the convention hall, Paul Ryan is beloved by the right. His appeal though seems limited just to the right. Ryan and the Romney campaign did themselves no favors by having him give a speech that was loaded with falsehoods, while also being completely devoid of any hope, optimism, or vision for the future.
Republicans love nasty negative politics, but America doesn’t. Voters love optimism and vision, but Mitt Romney has not highlighted any of this during his convention. Instead the Republican Party has presented an angry gloom and doom fest where speaker after speaker tell us all how lousy everything is, and that it is all Barack Obama’s fault.
Since voters don’t like Mitt Romney, it seems the Republican Party has decided that it must terrify America into supporting him. That type of strategy makes for a depressing convention, and even worse, it’s bad television.
Paul Ryan’s speech was delivered like an oral book report by someone who was making up the book as he went along. It is no surprise that viewers aren’t tuning in to the Republican convention. This is convention that lacks warmth, charisma, and star power.
The Republicans were hoping to reinvent Mitt Romney, but they got was confirmation that America is just not into both of them.

RNC 2012 Convention Highlight

[LEAKED VIDEO] Mitt Romney talks about using Chinese slave labor to profit Bain Capital

Federal Court Rules Texas Voter ID Law Is Discriminatory


A federal court in Washington D.C. on Thursday rejected a Texas law requiring voters to show photographic identification in order to cast a ballot.
A three-judge panel found that the law imposes “strict, unforgiving burdens on the poor.”
“The State of Texas enacted a voter ID law that — at least to our knowledge — is the most stringent in the country,” the opinion, embedded below, reads. “That law will almost certainly have retrogressive effect: it imposes strict, unforgiving burdens on the poor, and racial minorities in Texas are disproportionately likely to live in poverty. And crucially, the Texas legislature defeated several amendments that could have made this a far closer case.”
The law, signed by Republican Gov. Rick Perry in the spring of 2011, would have required voters casting a ballot at a polling place to show either a driver’s licence, an election identification certificate, a Deptartment of Public Safety personal ID card, a military ID, a citizenship certificate, a passport or a concealed carry permit.
The Justice Department objected to Texas’ voter ID law in March because the state’s own data indicated the law would have a heavier impact on Hispanic voters. One set of data provided by the state showed Hispanics were 46.5 percent more likely to lack a state-issued form of photo identification, while another showed Hispanics were 120 percent more likely to lack that type of ID.
Texas is one of several states that must have changes to their voting laws cleared by either the Justice Department or a federal court in D.C. under Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act. Earlier this week, a separate panel of federal judges tossed out Texas’ redistricting plan, ruling that it intentionally discriminated against black and Hispanic voters while protecting the districts of incumbent white members of Congress.
In the voter ID case, the state argued DOJ had to approve their law because Georgia’s voter ID law was approved during the Bush administration. Texas preemptively sued the Justice Department over the law in January.
DOJ argued in court that the passage of the voter ID law had to be viewed in the context of “tremendous population growth” within Texas’ Latino community. A three-judge panel hearing the Texas voter ID case in early July seemed skeptical of the state’s case, suggesting that the distance voters would have to travel to obtain photo identification were burdensome.
Rep. Lamar Smith (R-TX), chairman of the House Judiciary Committee that oversees the Justice Department, attacked DOJ for using a Democratic-leaning firm to analyze the state’s data, saying people would be outraged if a Republican administration used a “firm run by Karl Rove.” As it turns out, one of Texas’ witnesses who claimed voter ID wouldn’t have an impact on minority turnout used to work for Rove himself.
Perry accused Attorney General Eric Holder of trying to “incite racial tension” by calling voter ID a “poll tax.”
Federal Court Rules On Texas Voter ID

Black CNN Camerawoman Pelted With Peanuts At GOP Convention Speaks Out


The black CNN camerawoman whom two Republican National Convention attendees threw nuts at earlier this week has spoken out, saying the incident did not surprise her “at all.”
“This is Florida and I’m from the Deep South. You come to places like this, you can count the black people on your hand. They see us doing things they don’t think I should do,” Patricia Carroll, 34, told the Maynard Institute. An Alabama native, Carroll is now based in CNN’s Washington, D.C. bureau.
After the attendees threw nuts at her and said, “This is how we feed animals,” Carroll told colleagues and CNN security about the incident. In a separate interview with Witches’ Brew, Carroll said the incident occurred around 3 p.m. Tuesday. She looked up and saw two men throwing peanuts at her, she said. The head of the delegation of an unidentified state told her the nut-throwers were likely not delegates, according to the Maynard Institute report.
CNN has been “behind me 100 percent,” Carroll said, thanking the network. CNN was initially tight-lipped about the incident, and has declined to provide much detail since. It published a sparse report online, saying there were multiple witnesses to the exchange. Wedneday evening, Wolf Blitzer reported the story on air, calling it “truly shocking.” CNN political analyst Donna Brazile said during the segment that she hopes the two attendees have their convention credentials revoked.
Convention officials condemned the attendees’ actions, calling the behavior “deplorable.”
“This kind of behavior will not be tolerated,” convention spokesman Kyle Downey said in a statement.
Carroll told the Maynard Institute that no one took down the names of the attendees who pelted her. Read her interviews here and here.

Jan Brewer Loves Barack Obama Sooooo Much, Wants To Vote For Him

Fox News analysis: Ryan earns gold medal for number of blatant lies and misrepresentations


Paul Ryan’s speech in 3 words

1. Dazzling

At least a quarter of Americans still don’t know who Paul Ryan is, and only about half who know and have an opinion of him view him favorably
So, Ryan’s primary job tonight was to introduce himself and make himself seem likeable, and he did that well. The personal parts of the speech were very personally delivered, especially the touching parts where Ryan talked about his father and mother and their roles in his life. And at the end of the speech, when Ryan cheered the crowd to its feet, he showed an energy and enthusiasm that’s what voters want in leaders and what Republicans have been desperately lacking in this campaign.
To anyone watching Ryan’s speech who hasn’t been paying much attention to the ins and outs and accusations of the campaign, I suspect Ryan came across as a smart, passionate and all-around nice guy — the sort of guy you can imagine having a friendly chat with while watching your kids play soccer together. And for a lot of voters, what matters isn’t what candidates have done or what they promise to do —it’s personality. On this measure, Mitt Romney has been catastrophically struggling and with his speech, Ryan humanized himself and presumably by extension, the top of the ticket.

2. Deceiving

On the other hand, 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.

Fact: While Ryan tried to pin the downgrade of the United States’ credit rating on spending under President Obama, the credit rating was actually downgraded because Republicans threatened not to raise the debt ceiling.

Fact: While Ryan blamed President Obama for the shut down of a GM plant in Janesville, Wisconsin, the plant was actually closed under President George W. Bush. Ryan actually asked for federal spending to save the plant, while Romney has criticized the auto industry bailout that President Obama ultimately enacted to prevent other plants from closing.

Fact: Though Ryan insisted that President Obama wants to give all the credit for private sector success to government, that isn't what the president said. Period. 

Fact: Though Paul Ryan accused President Obama of taking $716 billion out of Medicare, the fact is that that amount was savings in Medicare reimbursement rates (which, incidentally, save Medicare recipients out-of-pocket costs, too) and Ryan himself embraced these savings in his budget plan.

Elections should be about competing based on your record in the past and your vision for the future, not competing to see who can get away with the most lies and distortions without voters noticing or bother to care. Both parties should hold themselves to that standard. Republicans should be ashamed that there was even one misrepresentation in Ryan’s speech but sadly, there were many.

3. Distracting

And then there’s what Ryan didn’t talk about.
Ryan didn’t mention his extremist stance on banning all abortions with no exception for rape or incest, a stance that is out of touch with 75% of American voters
Ryan didn’t mention his previous plan to hand over Social Security to Wall Street. 
Ryan didn’t mention his numerous votes to raise spending and balloon the deficit when George W. Bush was president
Ryan didn’t mention how his budget would eviscerate programs that help the poor and raise taxes on 95% of Americans in order to cut taxes for millionaires and billionaires even further and increase — yes, increasethe deficit
These aspects of Ryan’s resume and ideology are sticky to say the least. He would have been wise to tackle them head on and try and explain them away in his first real introduction to voters. But instead of Ryan airing his own dirty laundry, Democrats will get the chance.
At the end of his speech, Ryan quoted his dad, who used to say to him, “"Son. You have a choice: You can be part of the problem, or you can be part of the solution." 
Ryan may have helped solve some of the likeability problems facing Romney, but ultimately by trying to deceive voters about basic facts and trying to distract voters from his own record, Ryan’s speech caused a much larger problem for himself and his running mate.
Sally Kohn is a writer and Fox News contributor.  You can find her online at or on Twitter@sallykohn.



Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Federal Judge Will Permanently Remove Florida Voter Registration Restrictions


A federal judge said Wednesday he would permanently remove harsh restrictions on third-party voter registration groups that have handicapped registration efforts in Florida this year. U.S. District Judge Robert L. Hinkle said he would grant a motion to permanently remove the restrictions once he receives confirmation that a federal appeals court has dismissed the case (the state of Florida has agreed to dismiss their appeal).
The suit was originally filed back in December by the League of Women Voters of Florida, Rock the Vote, and the Florida Public Interest Research Group Education Fund. The Justice Department opposed the restrictions in a separate lawsuit. From a Brennan Center press release:
“This order is a decisive victory for Florida voters,” said Lee Rowland, counsel for the Brennan Center’s Democracy Program, one of the attorneys who argued the case for the Plaintiffs. “The Florida legislature has tried repeatedly to stifle access to voter registration opportunities, and once again a federal court has stopped them in their tracks. We are thrilled that voter registration groups can now get back to what they do best — expanding our democracy.”
“Florida’s anti-voter law created impassable roadblocks for our volunteers, who have been bringing fellow Floridians into our democratic process for over 72 years,” explainedDeirdre Macnab, President of the League of Women Voters of Florida. “Thanks to today’s ruling, we can finally put these roadblocks behind us and concentrate on getting Floridians registered to vote. We are grateful the court recognized that the Constitution does not tolerate these types of barriers to civic participation and voter registration.”

Top 5 Fibs In Paul Ryan’s Convention Speech


Vice Presidential nominee Paul Ryan’s headlining speech at the GOP convention in Tampa Wednesday night touched on many of the election’s defining issues. But it was also filled with prevarications — not just recitations of the conventions “you didn’t build that” theme, but on the very policy matters that have endeared him to the political establishment in Washington.
The speech effectively rallied his supporters in the audience. But on the merits it was chock full of misstatements of fact that undermine his reputation for brave, big ideas — which has hastened his rise through the ranks of the GOP.
Here are the top five examples:
  • Medicare Ryan forged his reputation in large part by drafting and advancing an unpopular plan to dramatically cut and privatize Medicare. Though he didn’t mention that plan once on Wednesday, he included it in his last two budgets, both of which preserved the Affordable Care Acts cuts to Medicare — taken mostly from overpayments to private insurers and hospitals.
    Instead, Ryan once again dubiously accused President Obama of being the true threat to Medicare.
    “You see, even with all the hidden taxes to pay for the health care takeover, even with new taxes on nearly a million small businesses, the planners in Washington still didn’t have enough money. They needed more. They needed hundreds of billions more. So, they just took it all away from Medicare. Seven hundred and sixteen billion dollars, funneled out of Medicare by President Obama. An obligation we have to our parents and grandparents is being sacrificed, all to pay for a new entitlement we didn’t even ask for. The greatest threat to Medicare is Obamacare, and we’re going to stop it.”
    Obama did use those Medicare savings — in the form of targeted cuts in payments to providers, not in benefits to seniors — to pay for the health care law. Ryan’s budget calls for using them to finance tax cuts for wealthy Americans, and deficit reduction. But by now calling to restore that spending commitment to Medicare, Ryan and Romney are pledging to hasten Medicare’s insolvency by many years.
  • U.S. Credit Rating Ryan said the Obama presidency, “began with a perfect Triple-A credit rating for the United States; it ends with a downgraded America.”
    Standard & Poors downgraded the country’s sovereign debt rating in 2011 because congressional Republicans, of which Ryan is a key leader, threatened not to increase the country’s borrowing authority — risking a default on the debt — unless Democrats agreed to slash trillions of dollars from domestic social programs and investments. Ryan even briefly toyed with the idea that the country’s creditors would forgive default for “a day or two or three or four” as long as Democrats ultimately agreed to GOP demands.
    • Janesville GM Plant Ryan criticized Obama for — yes — not using government funds to prop up an auto plant in his district.
      “A lot of guys I went to high school with worked at that GM plant. Right there at that plant, candidate Obama said: ‘I believe that if our government is there to support you … this plant will be here for another hundred years,’” Ryan recalled. “That’s what he said in 2008. Well, as it turned out, that plant didn’t last another year. It is locked up and empty to this day.”
      Ignoring the inconsistency of a Republican chastising Obama for not bailing out more auto manufacturers, the plant in question closed before Obama’s inauguration in 2009.
    • Bowles-Simpson Debt Commission Ryan chastised Obama: “He created a bipartisan debt commission. They came back with an urgent report. He thanked them, sent them on their way, and then did exactly nothing.”
      Ryan sat on that commission. He voted against it. Following his lead, so did the panel’s other House Republicans.
    • Protecting the Poor Near the end of his speech, Ryan claimed the campaign’s top priority is protecting the poor. “We have responsibilities, one to another — we do not each face the world alone,” he said. “And the greatest of all responsibilities, is that of the strong to protect the weak.”
      Just under two thirds of the dramatic spending cuts in Ryan’s budget target programs that benefit low-income people. That plan also calls for large tax cuts for high-income earners.
  • Behind the Scenes: Team Romney Pays Back Its Billionaires

    Romney Campaign Throws Fancy Fundraiser on Cayman Island Yacht

    “Romney Party Yacht Flies Cayman Islands Flag,” reads the headline! Now that your idiot Wonkette blogger has wasted the last 90 minutes trying to determine with other Twitter people if it’s a Cayman or Bermuda flag — it’s a Brian Ross report, after all — it does in fact appear to be the “other,” more red Cayman flag, a.k.a. the Cayman civil ensign that Cayman boat people put on their Cayman boats. So, to return to where we started: Romney Party Yacht Flies Cayman Islands Flag! The yacht is called Cracker Bay, and that’s not a joke either. READ MORE »

    ‘We built this’ RNC speaker complains about lack of government contracts


    A speaker at 2012 Republican National Convention (RNC) castigated the Obama administration on Tuesday for not giving his business enough government contracts for it to grow, seemingly contradicting the Republican Party’s message that conservatives built their wealth without help from anyone else.
    While that message, built off a misquote of one of the president’s speeches, was already hampered by the RNC being held in a structure built with government funds, the RNC’s selection of small business owner Phil Archuletta made their duplicity even more apparent.
    “When President Obama came on board and pushed the stimulus, I believed my business was going to explode with work,” Archuletta, owner of New Mexico-based P&M Signs, said Tuesday. “Unfortunately, it never happened. The Democratic Congress and the Obama administration created a new procurement process that harmed existing small business contracts, which devastated my business.”
    “President Obama talks like he supports small businesses, but his actions are destroying us,” he added. “His administration is putting us out of business. It is our turn to put them out of office!”
    The problem with Archuletta’s rhetorical attack is that he’s one of the longest standing clients of the Minority Business Development Agency, part of the U.S. Department of Commerce. The agency’s New Mexico Business Enterprise Center even helped his company secure a $850,000 small business loan to build an 11,700 square-foot structure.
    Republicans have seized upon President Obama’s claim that wealthy Americans must remember their success came about through use of the public infrastructure and the determination of their workers, highlighting a portion of a July speech in which Obama said, “Somebody invested in roads and bridges. If you’ve got a business, you didn’t build that: somebody else made that happen.”
    In making “You didn’t build that” their de facto campaign slogan, the Republican Party and presumptive presidential nominee Mitt Romney have floated several business owners to pitch their message to voters. Unfortunately for their supporters, Archuletta isn’t the first one trotted out by conservatives ad makers who didn’t build his business on is own.
    Romney put New Hampshire businessman Jack Gilchrist center stage in a campaign ad released last month, but it was revealed almost immediately that he took over $1 million in government loans to boost his steel company.
    Delaware Lt. Gov. candidate Sher Valenzuela also touched on the “We built this” theme in her RNC speech, even though she gave a speech last April about how to grow small businesses with government money. As one might expect, her upholstery business, First State Manufacturing, also took more than $15 million in government backed loans.

    Republican governor acknowledges Romney welfare attack is a lie


    Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback (R) has acknowledged that the presidential campaign of Gov. Mitt Romney (R-MA)’s  current main line of attack against President Barack Obama, that he gutted welfare reform’s work requirement, is based on a falsehood.  Brownback made the admission in an interview with MSNBC’s Chris Jansing, host of “Jansing and Co.”
    The false assertion that President Obama has eliminated the work requirement hasbeen made in commercials supporting Romney and repeated ad nauseam by GOP surrogates and pundits, in spite of the fact that, as Think Progress said, “Everyone from independent fact-checkers to major newspapers to President Bill Clinton (who signed the law) have said that the campaign’s attack is untrue.”
    Nonetheless, failed presidential hopeful, former Sen. Rick Santorum (R-PA) trotted out the discredited talking point again Tuesday night in his address to the Republican National Convention.
    Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback (R) apparently didn’t get the fax from Karl Rove’s office detailing his instructions for defending the welfare canard.
    Chris Jansing asked Brownback in an interview about this election season whether he would “agree that these claims that the work requirement has been abolished are false?”
    “As far as I have seen,” Brownback agreed, “but I don’t know all of the basis to it.”  However ungracefully he may have fumbled that talking point, the governor was ready with another GOP 2012 buzzword, “dependency.”
    “I do know the basis to this dependency on the government and how big the government is and how big the entitlement state is and how much of a debt we’re leaving to our kids,” he said.
    Yesterday, the Romney campaign admitted that it doesn’t care whether the charges are true or not, so long as they work.  Romney staffer Neil Newhouse told a reporter from BuzzFeed that the campaign refuses to allow its tactics to be “dictated by fact-checkers.”
    In truth, President Obama modified the welfare reform law in such a way as to allow the states greater flexibility in their own welfare-to-work programs, as requested by a group of Republican governors.  The states, however, must present compelling reasons as to why they should be allowed to waive the work requirement.
    Nonetheless, as Chris Matthews alleged on Monday, the Republican Party knows the effectiveness of the racial “dog whistle” that it’s blowing when conservatives talk about “people on welfare.”  When confronted about that prospect, an aide for the Romney campaign said, “I think reasonable people can have a disagreement over this.”

    Tuesday, August 28, 2012

    RNC Attendee Allegedly Threw Nuts At Black CNN Camerawoman, Said ‘This Is How We Feed The Animals’


    An attendee at the Republican National Convention in Tampa allegedly threw nuts at a black camerawoman working for CNN and said “This is how we feed the animals” before being removed from the convention, a network official confirmed to TPM.
    The CNN official declined to confirm specific details of the incident to TPM but generally confirmed an account posted on Twitter by former MSNBC and Current anchor David Shuster: “GOP attendee ejected for throwing nuts at African American CNN camera woman + saying ‘This is how we feed animals.’”
    It is not clear whether the alleged culprit was a delegate or attending the convention in some other capacity. It could not be immediately determined when the incident happened or where within the convention complex.
    TPM’s calls to RNC and convention officials were not immediately returned.

    Voters looking for a few nuggets of truth would not have found them in Tampa on Tuesday.

    How the Republicans Built It

    It was a day late, but the Republicans’ parade of truth-twisting, distortions and plain falsehoods arrived on the podium of their national convention on Tuesday. Following in the footsteps of Mitt Romney’s campaign, rarely have so many convention speeches been based on such shaky foundations.
    “We built it,” the slogan of the evening, was painted on the side of the convention hall. Speaker after speaker alluded to the phrase in an entire day based on the thinnest of reeds — a poorly phrased remark by the president, deliberately taken out of context. President Obama was making the obvious point that all businesses rely to some extent on the work and services of government. But Mr. Romney has twisted it to suggest that Mr. Obama believes all businesses are creatures of the government, and so the convention had to parrot the line.
    “We need a president who will say to a small businesswoman: Congratulations, we applaud your success, you did make that happen, you did build that,” said Gov. Bob McDonnell of Virginia. “Big government didn’t build America; you built America!”
    That was far from the only piece of nonsense on the menu, only the most frequently repeated one. Conventions are always full of cheap applause lines and over-the-top attacks, but it was startling to hear how many speakers in Tampa considered it acceptable to make points that have no basis in reality.
    There was a wide variation on this theme.
    President Obama, said Representative Tim Griffin of Arkansas, had “raided” Medicare of $716 billion, not mentioning that the money is really coming out of hospital and insurance reimbursements, not benefits, and that Paul Ryan had proposed the same cuts.
    John Sununu, the former governor of New Hampshire, said the president had lost the world’s respect because he “prefers to lead from behind,” inflating an anonymous comment from a White House aide into a philosophy and ignoring the success of the Libyan mission to which the remark referred.
    Rae Lynne Chornenky, president of the National Federation of Republican Women, repeated the oft-discredited line that 92 percent of all the jobs lost under Mr. Obama were those of women. Men lost the vast majority of jobs in the recession, which began under President George W. Bush. The only way the Republicans can arrive at Ms. Chornenky’s fictitious version is by pretending it began at the start of the Obama presidency. One could just as easily point out that men gained 1.9 million jobs from March 2011 to March 2012, and women 635,000 jobs.
    Andy Barr, a Congressional candidate in Kentucky, made the particularly egregious charge that the president was conducting “a war on coal,” ruthlessly attacking an industry and thousands of struggling miners.
    He was apparently referring to the Environmental Protection Agency’s efforts to limit greenhouse gas emissions and prevent power-plant pollution from drifting through the East Coast states. The country desperately needs to reduce its reliance on coal, which is far more polluting than natural gas, but that goal gets harder to achieve every time someone like Mr. Barr makes it out to be an attack on a way of life.
    Considering how Mr. Romney has conducted his campaign so far, most recently his blatantly false advertising accusing Mr. Obama of gutting the work requirement on welfare, it is probably not surprising that the convention he leads would follow a similar path.
    Voters looking for a few nuggets of truth would not have found them in Tampa on Tuesday.

    Donald Trump Yells At Rich Lady Arianna Huffington And Tells GOP To Get Mean

    Pus-filled gluteal boil Donald Trump took to the Twittertubes today to comment on the comeliness of sweatshop-celebriporn-blog overseer Arianna Huffington. We thought he liked women with accents? After the whole entire Internet said, “Eew, Donald, SO RUDE!” Trump followed up with a promise of more drama to come: “Don’t think my statement on @ariannahuff was harsh, if you knew her and the phony Huffington Post you would understand— more to follow.” Yes, Donald. If only we saw the world through your eyes we would understand. At least until someone mercifully went all Earl of Gloucester on us. READ MORE »

    Oh Look Who Wants the Government’s Help Now (Hint: It Is Bobby Jindal)

    Why HELLO Gov. Bobby Jindal (R-Hypocrisy), how is it going down there with that big storm barreling through your state and all? Battening down the hatches and whatnot? Letting the American People provide for themselves without suckling from the government’s teat, because of Liberty and all that? No, of course not! Bobby Jindal is UPSET seeing as how the government has not given him enough help, and by help, he means that the government is not spending enough money. No, not the “bad” kind of money that comes from when the federal government spends money to make health care affordable or educate children; this is the “good” kind of spending money that helps protect property and lives (unless the lives are in peril from lack of access to health care, in which case, see what we said about “bad” money above).

    Coal miners say they were forced to attend Romney event and donate


    A group of coal miners in Ohio feel they would have been fired if they did not attend an Aug. 14 event with presumptive Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney and contribute to his campaign — and to make matters worse, they lost of day of pay for their trouble.
    In phone calls and emails to WWVA radio host David Blomquist, employees at the Century Mine in Ohio said they feared retaliation if they did not attend the Romney event.
    “Yes, we were in fact told that the Romney event was mandatory and would be without pay, that the hours spent there would need to be made up my non-salaried employees outside of regular working hours, with the only other option being to take a pay cut for the equivalent time,” the employees told Blomquist. “Yes, letters have gone around with lists of names of employees who have not attended or donated to political events.”
    “I realize that many people in this area and elsewhere would love to have my job or my benefits,” one worker explained. “And our bosses do not hesitate in reminding us of this. However, I can not agree with these callers and my supervisors, who are saying that just because you have a good job, that you should have to work any day for free on almost no notice without your consent.”
    “We do not appreciate being intimidated into exchanging our time for nothing. I heard one of your callers saying that Murray employees are well aware of what they are getting into upon hire, or that they are informed that a percentage of their income will go to political donations. I can not speak for that caller, but this is news for me. We merely find out how things work by experience.”
    Murray Energy Chief Financial Officer Rob Moore told Blomquist that the charges were untrue.
    “There were no workers that were forced to attend the event,” Moore said. “We had managers that communicated to our work force that the attendance at the Romney event was mandatory, but no one was forced to attend the event. We had a pre-registration list. And employees were asked to put their names on a pre-registration list because they could not get into the event unless they were pre-registered and had a name tag to enter the premises.”
    “What about not getting paid for an eight-hour day?” Blomquist wondered. “If the mine was shut down for the visit, I understand, but wouldn’t it be fair — let’s use the word ‘fair’ — to still pay these individuals for that day? I mean, it wasn’t their fault they weren’t working.”
    “Our management people wanted to attend the event and we could not have people underground during Romney’s visit,” Moore insisted.
    “But why not still pay then their wage for that day?” Blomquist pressed.
    “By federal election law, we could not pay people to attend the event,” Moore replied. “And we did not want anyone to come back and see where anyone had been paid for that day.”
    “I’m not saying pay then to attend the event, I’m saying, ‘Hey look, we have to close down the mine, if you want to attend this event, that’s fine, but you’re still going to get a day’s pay for the work that you would have done,’” Blomquist pointed out. “Why not do that?”
    “As a private employer, it was our decision and we made the decision not to pay the people,” the Murray chief financial officer said.
    “We’re talking about an event that was in the best interest of anyone that’s related to the coal industry,” Moore added. “I do not believe that missing an eight-hour day, when you put it into perspective, when you think about how critical — critical this next election is, and how critical it is that we get someone in this office that supports coal — to give up eight hours for a career, I just don’t believe that there is anything negative about that.”
    At the time, conservative blogs and websites like The Daily Caller, The Gateway Pundit and Townhall trumpeted the fact that “hundreds of Ohio coal miners attended” the event. Even though the mine was closed on Aug. 14, soot-covered miners were staged behind the GOP hopeful as he spoke.
    Earlier that month, Murray Energy Corporation and its founder, Robert Murray, had blamed President Barack Obama after they fired hundreds of workers and closed an operation near Brilliant, Ohio five years early.
    Company leaders said that “regulatory actions by President Barack Obama and his appointees and followers [are] the entire reason” that operations were shutdown.
    Robert Murray received national attention in 2009 after his Crandall Canyon Mine in Utah collapsed, leaving six miners trapped inside. Between 2005 and 2009, the Murray Energy Corp. Political Action Committee had given more than $150,000 to Republican candidates. Murray personally gave $15,000 to the National Republican Senatorial Committee in 2004 and $10,000 in 2006. The Ohio Valley Coal PAC, a group affiliated with Murray Energy, gave $10,000 to George W. Bush’s presidential campaign in 2000.....................

    GOP Guvs: We Didn’t Want Welfare Waivers We Asked For


    Two Republican governors are backing away from their expressed interest in welfare reform waivers now that Mitt Romney has made the issue a centerpiece of his campaign against President Obama.
    Utah Gov. Gary Herbert and Nevada Gov. Brian Sandoval were among five governors who sought flexibility for the states on alternative ways to achieve the law’s goal of moving recipients from welfare to work. In July, the Obama administration offered states the opportunity to receive a waiver from the 1996 law’s work participation requirements under the condition that more recipients find jobs. If not, they said, the waivers will be denied or rescinded.
    The Romney campaign, and its supportive super PACs, seized on the directive, airing multiple ads in key states, falsely accusing Obama of “gutting” the welfare law — a claim that multiple fact-checkers, and a growing roster of traditional journalists, have debunked. The Republican governors who sought the flexibility have since been backtracking.
    Herbert said he wanted the waivers to be granted by Congress and not the executive branch. But he stopped short of echoing Romney’s claim that Obama is gutting the essence of the law, and championed the idea of state flexibility.
    “Some of the concern was that by executive order, some things were being done that ought to, in fact, be done by Congress,” he told the Huffington Post. “So having the executive run around the Congress is not the right way to do it.”
    Herbert’s office directed TPM to his official comment — a letter to HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius — which is silent on his procedural objections but supportive of the policy in principle. “Utah is very proud of the comprehensive work-centered approach we take to moving adults from dependency to self-sufficiency,” he wrote. “The cornerstone of Utah’s philosophy is that all who can work should work, and that states are laboratories of innovation. Utah actively promotes these core beliefs by advocating for state and federal policies that support these principles.”
    Sandoval’s office claimed his request for flexibility was not actually a request for a waiver.
    “Nevada hasn’t requested a waiver and has no intention of requesting one,” his spokeswoman Mary-Sarah Kinner told the Las Vegas Sun. “The letter was not a request for a waiver; it was a request to explore the possibilities.”
    In August 2011, Sandoval’s Health and Human Services director approached the Obama administration: “Nevada is very interested in working with your staff to explore program waivers that have the potential to encourage more cooperative relationships among the state agencies engaged in economic stimulus through job creation, employment skill attainment and gainful employment activities,” wrote Michael Willden. “Nevada is also interested in exploring performance measures that endure program accountability and also increase the probability of families becoming self-sufficient by providing meaningful data as to the services or combination of services with best outcomes.”
    In response to an inquiry by TPM, a Sandoval aide said in an email, “We have not researched Romney’s push to repeal the HHS action, so we’re not able to provide you more.”
    States have long sought relief from the 1996 measure’s strict workforce participation requirements and time limits for welfare recipients. In 2005, Romney was one of 29 Republican governors wrote a letter to Congress seeking even more leniency in waiver authority from the welfare law than the Obama administration granted last month.

    Monday, August 27, 2012

    GOP Details Huge Medicare Change In Leaked Platform


    In a leaked party platform circulating on the eve of their convention, Republicans reveal in candid detail how they intend to upend Medicare.
    The platform, snagged by Politico on Friday afternoon after the Republican National Committee accidentally posted it to its website before taking it down, is scheduled to be approved at the convention early this week.
    The text details the privatization policy that GOP lawmakers have supported for years, and that Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan are selling as necessary to “save” Medicare. But in an unusual twist, it addresses the specific aspect of the proposal that makes it a departure from what Americans know as “Medicare.”
    “The first step is to move the two programs [Medicare and Medicaid] away from their current unsustainable defined-benefit entitlement model to a fiscally sound defined-contribution model,” the draft platform reads. “While retaining the option of traditional Medicare in competition with private plans, we call for a transition to a premium-support model for Medicare, with an income-adjusted contribution toward a health plan of the enrollee’s choice. This model will include private health insurance plans that provide catastrophic protection, to ensure the continuation of doctor-patient relationships.”
    The esoteric language gets to the heart of the change that ends the basic structure of Medicare. Since its inception in 1965, Medicare has been a government-run insurance program that directly pays medical bills for the elderly per their needs (i.e. “defined benefit”). Republicans want to turn it into a partially privatized system that pays seniors a fixed amount to buy their own health insurance (i.e. “defined contribution”).
    “Under the defined contribution approach envisaged by the Rivlin-Ryan plan [a proposal that’s remarkably similar to Romney’s], most of the risk of future health-care cost increases would be shifted onto the shoulders of Medicare beneficiaries,” Uwe Reinhardt, a health policy expert at Princeton University, said last year. “This feature makes the proposal radical.”
    The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office has found that the plan will raise seniors’ out-of-pocket medical expenses by thousands of dollars, a fact Democrats hasten to point out. The draft Republican platform claims that the competition among private insurance plans will lead to major cost savings, though little evidence exists to support this argument.
    Unlike the first Ryan budget unveiled in 2011, the Romney-Ryan plan seeks to mitigate some of the potential adverse effects of privatization by including the option for seniors to buy into a government-run plan with their voucher. Under the Romney-Ryan plan, the value of the voucher, as long as it doesn’t exceed a certain level, adjusts to cover the cost of the second-cheapest policy on a competitive insurance exchange.
    By contrast, President Obama wants to preserve Medicare’s defined benefit structure by introducing efficiencies into the program and by setting up an independent panel of Senate-confirmed experts to cut reimbursement rates to providers if per-beneficiary expenses exceed per-capita GDP plus 0.5 percent — a budget cap that Ryan also establishes in his blueprint.
    Echoing a Romney campaign plank, the Republican platform also champions an increase in the eligibility age — currently 65 — for those who aren’t about to retire.
    “Without disadvantaging retirees or those nearing retirement,” it reads, “the age of eligibility for Medicare must be made more realistic in terms of today’s longer life span.”
    RNC spokespersons didn’t immediately respond to queries about whether the Medicare language would be altered before final approval.

    Update 2:30 P.M. ET: An RNC official tells TPM the platform will face a vote Tuesday afternoon but declines to reveal any new information about the Medicare plank.
    “[T]he final platform will be voted on tomorrow at 2 p.m. by the full RNC convention,” the official said in an email. “Unfortunately we aren’t making the platform language public until it is voted on by the delegates but it will go out tomorrow.”

    Saturday, August 25, 2012

    Abortion Debate Reveals Republicans' True Colors

    Chaperones, Judges and Moralizers 

    Timing is everything. Maybe Todd Akin chose his words with care. More likely, he didn't.
    The ├╝ber-conservative congressman from Missouri was a favorite to snatch a coveted Senate seat in November and thus perhaps help his Republican Party reclaim the majority in both chambers of Congress. Then came Sunday. In a local TV interview, Akin held forth about a favorite issue of his. Abortion, he said, should be illegal even in rape cases because, he claimed, a "legitimate rape" rarely leads to pregnancy: "The female body has ways to try to shut that whole thing down."
    In other words, if women are victims of "legitimate" rape, the stress should work as a contraceptive. This from a man who sits on the House Committee on Science, Space and Technology.
    For Akin, such outrageous blather is nothing new. He often delights in Bible-thumping rants against liberals, global warming and President Barack Obama. His constituents love it: A House member since 2001, the 65-year-old theologian has been reelected five times, most recently in 2010 with a whopping 67.9 percent.
    His party never flinched, either. But Akin's current crudeness comes a week before the Republican National Convention in Tampa, where the GOP is trying to rebrand itself as cool, charming and inclusive, complete with a glossy makeover for its presumptive nominee, Mitt Romney.
    Hurricane Akin
    It's not enough that the four-day frolic is being threatened by soon-to-be Hurricane Isaac, currently churning through the Caribbean but possibly heading for Tampa Bay. Now it's also doomed by Hurricane Akin.
    Cue the outrage. Fearing voter wrath and a Senate loss, party elders are tripping over each other to distance themselves. Even pro-choice-turned-pro-life Romney, who'd much rather talk about the economy than reproductive rights, urged Akin "to exit the Senate race."
    Akin, having apologized, has vowed to tough it out: "The mistake I made was in the words I said, not in the heart I hold," he said in a new ad. He elaborated in a radio interview that, instead of "legitimate rape" he had meant to say "forcible rape."
    The second term, however, is hardly any less problematic than the first. And herein lies the Republicans' blatant hypocrisy: "Forcible rape" is not Akin's expression -- it is theirs. It is a redefinition of a brutal crime and is popular among pro-lifers, among them Romney's suave running mate Paul Ryan.
    The term is based on the impertinent insinuation that women will lie about being raped just to get an abortion. It also seems to imply that statutory rape, or even date rape, isn't really rape.
    This misogynistic language showed up in the first draft of a strict anti-abortion law in 2011, co-sponsored by Akin and Ryan. By the time it was passed by the House with the votes of 235 Republicans and 16 Democrats, the offensive term "forcible rape" had been removed. (The law has since languished in the Senate.)
    'Heart and Soul'
    Indeed Akin, uninvited from the Florida festivities, is no outlier. He is Ryan's ally -- and his thinking has deep roots in the Republicans' ideological soul.
    The party's new platform, coincidentally ensconced this week, is a case in point. Set to be adopted in Tampa, the platform is the party's most conservative yet, embracing the starchy credos of the 1950s. "The document," said Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell, the platform committee chairman, "will reflect the heart and soul of the Republican Party."
    It is also nothing less than a stealth attack on modernity, revealing the true colors of the Republican base. It reveals a party which has marched far to the right, thanks to the Tea Party movement and populist chagrin over the party's more moderate establishment.
    Tough luck if you're gay, poor, an immigrant, a minority or an independently-minded woman: These retro-Republicans don't like you, don't trust you and don't want you making your own decisions. They resent government meddling in their own lives but love meddling in yours, as chaperones, judges and moralizers.
    According to CNN and the New York Times, which obtained excerpts of the platform, they would outlaw abortion without exceptions for cases of incest or rape, or when the mother's life is at risk. A "Human Life Amendment" to the constitution would make sure that the states don't create loopholes.
    They would also make sure that same-sex marriage never becomes reality, calling it an "assault on the foundations of our society." Again, a constitutional amendment would annul all contrary state laws and court rulings.
    More Conservative than Ever
    They would toughen immigration laws, finish the controversial, unaffordable border fence along the US-Mexican border and abolish in-state tuition for undocumented students.
    They praise new voter ID laws passed by eight US states so far, forcing voters to present identification at the polls in spite (or because?) of indications that this could suppress turnout among the poor, minorities and immigrants -- traditionally Democratic voting blocks.
    They would further relax gun control laws despite a recent spate of fatal mass shootings.
    McDonnell's platform committee approved the final text on Tuesday evening. It was supposed to happen quietly, so as not to derail the cheerful rollout of Romney's Sunshine State coronation.
    It's true that GOP platforms have long been more conservative than the actual candidates. And they tend not to be widely discussed, intended instead as a fop to the party base while the standard bearer loudly woos the undecided voters in the middle.
    Doing Better
    Todd Akin, though, has ruined that strategy. Instead, he has unmasked the creepy charade for all to see.
    Romney had no choice but to denounce Akin. But he has also been forced into the uncomfortable position of having to distance himself from his own party's platform, reading as it does like an Akin manifesto. "This is the platform of the Republican Party," Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus helpfully clarified on MSNBC. "It's not the platform of Mitt Romney."
    Meanwhile, the preparations for the lavish Tampa bash are in full swing. Official motto of Monday's opening night: "We Can Do Better." Indeed.

    Two-and-Twenty Tax Dodges

    For Mitt Romney, probably the only thing worse than having to lay bare his financial life is for someone else to lay it all out. Which is, of course, exactly what Gawker did on Thursday, when the gossip Web site published confidential documents from Bain Capital, the private equity firm where Mr. Romney made his multi-millions – and from which he still takes a share of the profits.
    And now we know much more about the nature of those profits. Mr. Romney and his partners may have abused the tax system by paying far less in taxes than they should have.
    Back in 2007, The New York Times published  an editorial that explained what was wrong with the tax treatment of Bain-like pay. It cited the work of Victor Fleischer, a law professor at the University of Colorado, who had written a let-us-count-the-ways report on how private equity partners avoid taxes.
    In a nutshell, they collect a management fee on their funds of 2 percent, which is supposed to be taxed as ordinary income. And they collect performance fees, usually 20 percent of any profits, which – thanks to a loophole that should have been closed long ago – are taxed as capital gains, at a mere 15 percent, about the lowest rate in the tax code.
    It is no secret that Mr. Romney has availed himself of the super-low capital gains rate on his Bain performance-fees – an obscene privilege, but not illegal.
    What the Gawker documents indicate is that the Bain/Romney tax avoidance went further than that.
    In brief, it looks like four Bain funds in which the Romney family’s trusts are invested converted $1.05 billion in management fees — which should be taxed as ordinary income – into capital gains, which are taxed at the much lower rate. The tax savings: $220 million.
    Mr. Fleischer was all over it, writing on his blog that “the Bain partners, in my opinion, misreported their income if they reported those converted fees as capital gains instead of ordinary income.” What would the I.R.S. say? It is unclear, but Mr. Fleischer says the practice is illegal and has no doubt a court would agree if ever asked to rule on the question. What does Mr. Romney say? The campaign declined to comment.
    One thing is sure. Virtually every tax shelter, legal and illegal, involves somehow re-labeling ordinary income as a capital gain to get the lower rate. That’s just one more of the many reasons why there shouldn’t be a special low rate for capital gains.

    Friday, August 24, 2012

    7 Birthers Speaking At The Republican Convention


    Mitt Romney’s invocation of birtherism on Friday took his campaign to a new level of involvement with the bogus idea that President Obama is actually Kenyan-born and therefore ineligible to serve as Commander-in-Chief. But that dog-whistle theory has already been embraced by many major Republicans with whom Romney has long been happy to consort.
    Indeed, as Republicans head down to Tampa for their convention next week, they are preparing to see a veritable festival of politicians who have dabbled in — or fully embraced — birtherism.
    Here are the members of the birther bunch who will be speaking in Tampa next week:
    1. Donald Trump. The famed billionaire/birther king Donald Trump has been the most vociferous — and most closely connected to Romney — person alleging that the President wasn’t born in the United States.
    2. Actress Janine Turner. The Northern Exposure star who has her own conservative radio show wrote a long screed titled “Reasoning ‘Kenyan Born.’” In it, she complains that anyone who questions the president’s citizenship is deemed a racist: “If this were a legal case in court, [Obama's] book bio stating that Obama was ‘born in Kenya’ would be taken into consideration.”
    3. Georgia Attorney General Sam Olens. During a town hall captured on video (at 3:5), Olens said, “You know the state of Hawaii says he’s produced a certified birth certificate… so on one hand I have to trust the state of Hawaii follows the laws. On the other hand it would be nice for the President to say, here it is, I have a copy.”
    4. Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee. On one radio appearance during Huckabee’s bid for president, the former governor said, “I would love to know more [about where Obama was born]. What I know is troubling enough.” He later walked back the statement.
    5. Florida Gov. Rick Scott. In 2010, the Orlando Sentinel reported than an audience member at one of Scott’s campaign events asked “what he would do about President Obama’s ‘birth certificate’ and whether he could legally appear on the 2012 ballot in Florida.” Scott responded, “I’ll have to look into it.”
    6. Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA). The Vice-Chairman of the House Republican Conference once told reporters “Oh, I’d like to see the documents.”
    7. Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal. Jindal was willing to sign a “birther” bill into law. It would have required all presidential candidates to release their birth certificate in order to qualify for a spot on the state’s ballot.