7

Obama & Romney’s newest television ads

“Mitt Romney thinks that students should ‘borrow money’ from their parents to help pay for college or start a business, and under the Romney-Ryan budget, college aid would be cut for nearly 10 million students and the tax deduction for college tuition would be eliminated,” the Obama campaign said today in rolling out this ad. “President Obama, on the other hand, understands that a college education should be in reach for as many students as possible – and that’s why he has overhauled higher education financing by eliminating bank middlemen from college loans and used the savings to double funding for Pell Grants.”

The “Get Real” ad will air in Colorado, Iowa, Nevada, Ohio and Virginia.

“With every paycheck, Americans paid more and more into Medicare,” the Romney campaign said today in rolling out this ad. “Now, when you need it most, President Obama cut Medicare to pay for Obamacare. Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan will strengthen Medicare and protect the commitments made to current seniors.”

44

Reax to Rep. Paul Ryan as Romney’s running mate

Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney announced House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan, R-Wisc., as his vice-presidential running mate this morning in Norfolk, Va.

(I’m genuinely surprised; I was thinking it would be U.S. Sen. Rob Portman, R-Ohio.)

Here are a few previous pieces on Ryan: reactions to his 2011 budget plan; a town-hall meeting at Facebook’s headquarters less than a year ago; and his speech at Stanford, during that same Bay Area visit, on repealing President Obama’s health care reform.

House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, called Ryan “a reformer and a proven leader who will be a great partner to Governor Romney in his efforts to get our country, and our economy, back on track.”

House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-San Francisco, today said Ryan “led House Republicans in voting to end the Medicare guarantee, which increases costs on seniors and weakens America’s great middle class in order to give tax breaks to millionaires, Big Oil and corporations that ship jobs overseas.”

U.S. Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz. – who many people think lost the 2008 election the day he named Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin as his running mate – said Ryan “has proven that he is fully prepared to address our nation’s economic challenges, which have only worsened over the last four years under the Obama-Biden Administration.”

Obama for America campaign manager Jim Messina said Ryan “proposed an additional $250,000 tax cut for millionaires, and deep cuts in education from Head Start to college aid. His plan also would end Medicare as we know it by turning it into a voucher system, shifting thousands of dollars in health care costs to seniors.”

Paul RyanFormer Florida Gov. Jeb Bush said Ryan’s “command of economic policy and the federal budget will prove invaluable as Governor Romney fights to reform government, accelerate job growth and rein in the out-of-control spending that has been a hallmark of President Obama’s years in office. This courageous choice is the type of leadership American voters deserve. And, I believe it will ensure a victory for the Romney-Ryan ticket this November.”

Progressive Change Campaign Committee co-founder Adam Green called Ryan “a right-wing extremist who wants to end Medicare. This is a major unforced error by Mitt Romney. It gives President Obama and Democrats a chance to draw a clear contrast in 2012 by promising not to cut one penny from Medicare or Social Security benefits. If Democrats win in a landslide, this was the game changer.”

3

Anti-Romney ad widely blasted

Here’s the controversial ad that the Priorities USA PAC rolled out this week to attack Republican Presidential candidate Mitt Romney, on behalf of (but without “direct coordination” with) President Barack Obama:

http://youtu.be/Nj70XqOxptU

The Annenberg Public Policy Center’s FactCheck.org calls it “misleading on several counts,” not the least of which is that Joe Soptic’s wife five years after the steel plant closed (which was after Romney had gone to run the 2002 Winter Olympics – or did he?), and she didn’t even lose medical coverage then – she lost her own employer-sponsored coverage a year or two later, and lacked coverage after that.

The ad also has been taken to task by national media outlets including the New York Times, Politico and CNN:

That said, Romney spokeswoman Andrea Saul had conservative pundits such as Ann Coulter and Rush Limbaugh smacking their heads yesterday when she said Soptic’s wife would’ve been OK had she lived in Massachusetts because she would’ve been covered by the “Romneycare” health insurance plan her boss put into place while governor – the basis for the national “Obamacare” plan her boss now rails against.

27

Bill Clinton tears into Mitt Romney’s welfare ad

Here’s Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney’s new ad on welfare requirements:

Here’s the statement that former President Bill Clinton released this morning:

Bill ClintonGovernor Romney released an ad today alleging that the Obama administration had weakened the work requirements of the 1996 Welfare Reform Act. That is not true.

The act emerged after years of experiments at the state level, including my work as Governor of Arkansas beginning in 1980. When I became President, I granted waivers from the old law to 44 states to implement welfare to work strategies before welfare reform passed.

After the law was enacted, every state was required to design a plan to move people into the workforce, along with more funds to help pay for training, childcare and transportation. As a result, millions of people moved from welfare to work.

The recently announced waiver policy was originally requested by the Republican governors of Utah and Nevada to achieve more flexibility in designing programs more likely to work in this challenging environment. The Administration has taken important steps to ensure that the work requirement is retained and that waivers will be granted only if a state can demonstrate that more people will be moved into work under its new approach. The welfare time limits, another important feature of the 1996 act, will not be waived.

The Romney ad is especially disappointing because, as governor of Massachusetts, he requested changes in the welfare reform laws that could have eliminated time limits altogether. We need a bipartisan consensus to continue to help people move from welfare to work even during these hard times, not more misleading campaign ads.

PolitiFact.com gave Romney’s ad a “pants on fire” rating. And, from the Fox News analysis of the ad:

But that letter does not unilaterally repeal or waive the law. Instead, it gives states the chance to make changes to their welfare programs and still be counted as meeting work participation requirements. It’s a leap to assume that governors and legislators will seek to return to “plain old welfare” and that the Obama administration will give them the go-ahead.

And, in 2005, Romney joined several other GOP governors in promoting “increased waiver authority.”

0

Romney starts outreach to Asian-American voters

I wrote a story last month about how Asian Americans could prove to be a crucial voting bloc in certain battleground states this November, and noting that while the Obama campaign had some structure in place for outreach to this community, the Romney campaign really didn’t.

Today, the Romney campaign announced its Asian Americans & Pacific Islanders for Romney community.

“Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders have wonderful cultures that enrich all of America,” Romney said in the news release. “For generations, members of this community have contributed to our country, started new businesses and invented new products, and served with honor and distinction in the fight to protect freedom all around the world. I am honored to have the support of such great Asian Americans, and look forward to working with them to get our country on the right track again.”

Former U.S. Labor Secretary Elaine Chao said she’s honored to be the effort’s national chairwoman.

“Having worked in previous presidential administrations, I know Governor Mitt Romney has the experience and the character to tackle the problems that are facing our nation,” she said in the news release. “Americans are suffering, and it will take new leadership to put this country on a path to prosperity and full employment.”

One of the seven national co-chairs is said Universal Health Care CEO Akshay Desai of Florida, who said he knows what it takes to make it in the private sector. “Mitt Romney is the change we so desperately need, and I look forward to having him in the White House.”

The other national chairs are Rep. Steve Austria, R-Ohio; former Assistant U.S. Attorney General Viet Dinh; former Rep. Charles Djou, R-Hawaii; former U.S. Mint Director Edmund Moy; former Rep. Patricia Saiki, R-Hawaii; and former Ambassador Sichan Siv, who was the U.S. representative to the United Nations Economic and Social Council.

They have their work cut out for them. As I’d reported in my story, a poll conducted in April for three national Asian-American advocacy groups found Asian-Americans self-identified as Democrats rather than Republicans by more than 3-1. Seventy-three percent viewed President Obama favorably; 27 percent viewed Romney favorably.