“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.”
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.”
Former 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.”
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:
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.
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.
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:
Governor 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.
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.”
Mitt Romney’s financial disclosure showed he has an Individual Retirement Account worth somewhere between $20 million and $101 million – but the annual contribution limits for IRAs during most of Romney’s time at Bain Capital ranged from $2,000 to $30,000.
It would take about 666 years – no biblical meaning intended – for a $30,000 annual contribution to add up to $20 million, although IRA funds can be invested in certain ways.
And so Rep. George Miller, D-Martinez, the Education and the Workforce Committee’s ranking Democrat; Rep. Sandy Levin, D-Mich., the Ways and Means Committee’s ranking Democrat; and Rep. Chris Van Hollen, D-Md., the Budget Committee’s ranking Democrat, wrote a letter yesterday to the Treasury and Labor departments asking how this can be.
“The purpose for tax-preferred retirement accounts and plans are to encourage Americans to save for retirement,” they wrote. “The accounts and plans are clearly not intended to serve as tax shelters for wealthy individuals to shield vast sums of money. As you can imagine, given the sacrifices that middle-class families have made in recent years, we are alarmed to learn that wealthy taxpayers may be taking advantage of a tax subsidy that is designed to provide for retirement to instead accumulate massive amounts of tax-sheltered assets.”
Miller yesterday cited recent news reports indicating that Bain Capital allowed service partners and employees to co-invest in investment deals via tax-preferred retirement accounts and plans, providing in some cases a fourth of the total capital in the investment deals. It’s possible the investments made through these accounts and plans may have been assigned a nominal value that was significantly lower than the fair market value of the investments, creating an end-run around the annual contribution limits.
Follow us after the jump for the specific questions the lawmakers posed to the federal officials… Continue Reading →
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.”
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.