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Newest TV ads from Obama and Romney

President Barack Obama’s re-election campaign today rolled out an ad featuring former President Bill Clinton:

“Clear Choice” will air in New Hampshire, Virginia, North Carolina, Florida, Ohio, Iowa, Colorado and Nevada.

Meanwhile, Mitt Romney’s campaign launched its latest ad yesterday:

FactCheck.org hasn’t done an analysis of either ad yet, though it did post an extensive rundown on the competing claims about Medicare, including this observation:

A Romney campaign ad wrongly claims that “money you paid” for Medicare is being used to pay for Obama’s health care law. But the law doesn’t take money out of the existing hospital insurance trust fund. It cuts the future growth of spending. And in the future, seniors will still receive more in benefits than they paid in.

PolitiFact has its own rundown on Medicare as well.

Posted on Thursday, August 23rd, 2012
Under: 2012 presidential election, Barack Obama, Bill Clinton, Mitt Romney | 12 Comments »

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.”

Posted on Tuesday, August 14th, 2012
Under: 2012 presidential election, Barack Obama, Mitt Romney | 7 Comments »

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:

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.

Posted on Thursday, August 9th, 2012
Under: 2012 presidential election, Barack Obama, Mitt Romney | 3 Comments »

Romney, Obama spar over U.S.-Israel relations

Mitt Romney’s stumbles over the nation’s “special relationship” with Great Britain aside, it’s the American relationship with Israel that’s fueling a lot of the fire this week between the presidential campaigns.

Romney will be in Israel on Sunday to meet with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, President Shimon Peres, Kadima Party Leader Shaul Mofaz, and Labor Party Leaders Shelly Yachimovich and Isaac Herzog. The Republican candidate, speaking this past Tuesday at the Veterans of Foreign Wars National Convention in Reno, had trashed President Obama’s treatment of Israel.

Romney at VFW (James Glover-Reuters)“President Obama is fond of lecturing Israel’s leaders. He was even caught by a microphone deriding them. He has undermined their position, which was tough enough as it was. And even at the United Nations, to the enthusiastic applause of Israel’s enemies, he spoke as if our closest ally in the Middle East was the problem,” Romney said. “The people of Israel deserve better than what they have received from the leader of the free world. And the chorus of accusations, threats, and insults at the United Nations should never again include the voice of the President of the United States.”

Romney’s campaign also Tuesday issued a policy paper saying he would make Israel the destination of his first foreign trip as president; within 100 days of taking office, reaffirm as a vital U.S. national interest the existence of Israel as a Jewish state; work closely with Israel to maintain its strategic military edge and increase military assistance; reject any measure that would frustrate direct negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians, while making clear to the Palestinians that the unilateral attempt to decide issues that are designated for final negotiations is unacceptable; and reduce assistance to the Palestinians if they continue to pursue United Nations recognition or form a unity government that includes Hamas.

Vice President Joe Biden shot back that same day.

“Governor Romney continues his long litany of untruths about our administration’s policies toward Israel. We’ve provided record levels of security assistance, funding for the Iron Dome missile defense system that intercepted nearly 80 percent of the rockets recently fired from Gaza, close collaboration on longer range missile defense systems, the largest joint military exercises in history, the most consistent and comprehensive exchanges ever between our top political, defense, security and intelligence officials,” Biden said. “And, contrary to Governor Romney’s outrageous accusation that the President joined in the chorus of insults levied against Israel at the United Nations, President Obama has stood up repeatedly, publicly and often alone against efforts to delegitimize Israel at the U.N. and around the world.”

Lots more, after the jump…
Read the rest of this entry »

Posted on Friday, July 27th, 2012
Under: 2012 presidential election, Barack Obama, International politics, Mitt Romney, Obama presidency | 3 Comments »

Updated info: California’s presidential ‘bundlers’

The Center for Responsive Politics has updated its list of President Obama’s campaign “bundlers,” those who gather other people’s donations and deliver them to the campaign en masse. Here’s the list for California, down to the $100,000 mark:

  • Jeffrey Katzenberg, Los Angeles – CEO, DreamWorks Animation – $2,329,092
  • Wayne Jordan, Piedmont – Jordan Real Estate Investments – $1,359,953
  • Sandi Thompson, Woodside – Attorney, wife of former Symantec CEO John Thompson – $891,556
  • Geoffrey Stack, Corona Del Mar – Managing Director, SARES•REGIS Group – $687,453
  • Colleen Bell, Los Angeles – Bell-Phillip TV Productions – $460,500
  • Marc Benioff, San Francisco – CEO, salesforce.com – $451,980
  • Robert Mailer Anderson & Nicola Miner, San Francisco – author; Oracle heiress – $396,450
  • Becky Draper, San Francisco – venture capital heiress – $359,642
  • Mai Lassiter, Los Angeles – wife of film producer James Lassiter – $350,837
  • John Emerson, Los Angeles – president, Capital Group Private Client Services – $319,695
  • Doug Hickey, San Francisco – President & CEO, GlobalCenter – $314,100
  • Brian Lee, Los Angeles – co-founder, Legalzoom.com – $299,800
  • Kathy Levinson, Los Altos – managing director, Golden Seeds – $202,150
  • Massi Joseph Kiani, Laguna Niguel – CEO & chairman, Masimo Corp. – $200,980
  • Mattie McFadden-Lawson, Los Angeles – president, MML Design Group – $165,680
  • Janet Keller, Laguna Beach – political consultant – $162,550
  • Imaad Zuberi, Arcadia – partner, Avenue Ventures – $139,023
  • Shefali Razdan Duggal, San Francisco – National Finance Committee member, Obama for America – $130,957
  • Azita Raji, Belvedere – National Finance Committee vice-chair, Obama for America – $130,322
  • The center notes that Federal Election Commission regulations only require disclosure of funds bundled by registered lobbyists. In 2008, both Barack Obama and John McCain agreed to disclose any bundlers who raised over $50,000 for their campaigns. Obama’s re-election campaign is again disclosing those bundlers for the 2012 election, but Mitt Romney’s has refused.

    So all we know is that 34 registered lobbyists have bundled a total of $5,250,506 for Romney’s presidential campaign; none of them are from California.

    Posted on Thursday, July 26th, 2012
    Under: 2012 presidential election, Barack Obama, campaign finance, Mitt Romney | 21 Comments »

    Fourth POTUS pool report: The Fox Theater event

    Motorcade departed Piedmont residence at 6:21 p.m. en route to the Fox Theater on Telegraph Avenue in Oakland’s “Uptown” district; arrived there 6:37 p.m.; among supporters nearby was someone with a Ron Paul banner. Visible in a window on Telegraph Avenue was a “Free Beer for Obama” sign.

    Press was placed in holding room while POTUS did photo reception; tickets to that cost $7,500, plus $2,500 per additional person in the photo. Other tickets for Fox event cost $100, $250 and $1,000. About 2,000 people attended.

    Press was brought into theater at 7:40 p.m. PT in time to hear Obama campaign California political director Peggy Moore introduce Rep. Barbara Lee, D-Calif. “What a difference three and a half years makes,” Lee said, during her seven minutes of remarks. The nation has seen 28 consecutive months of private-sector job growth on the president’s watch, she noted: “America prospers when we’re all in it together.”

    POTUS took the stage at 7:56 p.m. to a deafening, standing ovation. Though he’d worn a jacket at the Piedmont dinner, he appeared here in a white shirt, sleeves rolled to just below the elbow, and dark tie. After two minutes of cheering from the crowd, POTUS joked, “Alright, thank you!” and took a few steps away from the podium as if to leave.

    MUCH more, after the jump…
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    Posted on Monday, July 23rd, 2012
    Under: 2012 presidential election, Barack Obama, Oakland, Obama presidency | 4 Comments »

    Third POTUS pool report: At the Piedmont dinner

    Co-host Wayne Jordan thanked the guests for committing so much to the campaign, and spoke briefly about how POTUS’ decisions are fundamentally affecting and improving the lives of all Americans. Co-host Quinn Delaney presented POTUS with an “I Hella (heart) Oakland” t-shirt, saying, “We’re so glad you’re here in the East Bay.”

    POTUS began speaking at 5:30 p.m. PT, noting that “because this is a more intimate setting, I’m not going to make a long speech.” He said that while in Aurora, Colo., yesterday, he’d “spent time with the families, the medical staff, the first responders,” and while it’s “easy for us to slip into despair” at such times, they showed strength and grace that “would make you extraordinarily optimistic about America.”

    “Americans are strong and they’re resilient and they’re optimistic about their futures and their kids’ futures,” he said, although they know of and are concerned about dysfunction in Washington, D.C., and a sluggish economy. “All they want to see is that their leadership shows the same decency and common sense that they try to apply every day in their own lives.”

    With jobs added and even the housing market starting to rebound, “we are in a much better position now, in part because of the work my administration has done,” he said. “The bad news is, we still have some headwinds.”

    Too many people remain out of work or underwater on their mortgages, POTUS said, and the middle class still needs help.

    “Right now we’ve got as clear a choice as we’ve seen in our lifetimes,” he said.

    He said the GOP platform calls for tax cuts for the rich and stripping away regulations from Wall Street and corporate polluters. “It’s a theory we’ve tested for a decade and it didn’t work.”

    “This debate plays itself out across the board, on almost every issue,” he said, noting that California isn’t a battleground state so many in the audience haven’t seen the attack ads that are flying back and forth elsewhere in the country. “I’m comfortable that the American people will make the right choice.”

    “This is going to be a close race … but I’m as invigorated and determined as ever to win,” he said. He finished his remarks at 5:39 p.m. PT, and reporters were ushered out before a Q&A session began.

    Renowned chef Alice Waters prepared a meal of grilled jumbo prawns over heirloom tomatoes, avocados and basil; dry-aged beef tenderloin with demi-glace, sweet-pea risotto and carrots; and a chocolate-cherry bombe. Prawns accompanied by Keenan 2010 Chardonnay, beef by Chateau Montelena Cabernet Sauvignon, both from Napa Valley.

    Among those in the dinner crowd: Rep. Barbara Lee, D-Calif.; prominent Bay Area attorneys Bob Van Nest and Steve Kazan; Ask.com founder and Alta Partners Garrett Gruener; philanthropists and clean-tech investors Jim and Gretchen Sandler; and real estate investment manager Dorine Streeter.

    Posted on Monday, July 23rd, 2012
    Under: 2012 presidential election, Barack Obama, Oakland, Obama presidency | 16 Comments »

    First pool report: Obama arrives at OAK

    Air Force One touched down at Oakland International Airport at 2:34 p.m. Pacific Time; POTUS exited the plane at about 2:43 p.m.. First in the greeting line was Rep. Barbara Lee, D-Calif., followed by Oakland Mayor Jean Quan and Alameda County Supervisor Keith Carson.

    Also in the greeting line were retired AT&T worker Evelyn Moses; Alameda Labor Council executive secretary-treasurer Josie Camacho; salon owner Pamela Thomson; retiree Dezie Woods-Jones; CREDO Action new media director Andrew Cully; Association of Bay Area Governments communications director Janet Cox; self-employed caregiver Cathye Leonard; and fitness trainer Sue Mittleman.

    POTUS then moved to greet a small crowd of campaign supporters with a hearty “How are you doin’ today?” One woman responded, “We’ve got your back.” After working the rope line there, he entered the car and motorcade departed via Airport Drive, 98th Avenue and Interstate 880, bound for the Scottish Rite temple near Oakland’s Lake Merritt, where he’ll do a closed-press roundtable with tech leaders for which tickets cost $35,800 per head.

    Arrived at Scottish Rite temple at 3:12 p.m.

    Posted on Monday, July 23rd, 2012
    Under: 2012 presidential election, Barack Obama, Oakland, Obama presidency | 2 Comments »

    Five West County youths to attend Obama event

    Five youths from two Boys & Girls Clubs in West Contra Costa County have been picked to attend President Obama’s fundraising rally on Monday evening at Oakland’s Fox Theater.

    Boys & Girls Club of El Sobrante executive director Billy Zeier, who will act as the kids’ chaperone, called it “a great opportunity … a once in a lifetime chance for these kids.”

    “This is a game changer for them … that will be emblazoned and imprinted in their minds for the rest of their lives,” he said.

    Zeier said Friday afternoon that five youths ages 10 to 18 are being selected from his club and from the West Contra Costa Salesian Boys & Girls Club in Richmond. A staffer from Rep. George Miller’s office called earlier Friday to notify him that the clubs had been awarded the tickets; Miller himself is a Boys & Girls Club alum, Zeier noted.

    As of late Friday afternoon, he hadn’t received information about where in the theater they’ll be sitting or whether they’ll have any access to the president, and he said he was still locking down exactly which youths would attend.

    “It’s going to show them they can get to the highest level of our world,” he said. “It’s going to show them their lives are limitless.”

    As of late Friday, the $100 balcony seats, $250 general admission seats and $1,000 VIP seats for Monday night’s event are all sold out. Event-sponsor tickets costing $7,500 still remains; that gets you into a photo reception with the president as well, to which you can bring additional people for $2,500 each.

    The president earlier Monday will attend a $35,800-per-person roundtable with tech leaders somewhere in the East Bay, and a $35,800-per-plate fundraising dinner at the Piedmont home of progressive activist/attorney Quinn Delaney and real estate developer Wayne Jordan. Jordan is among Obama’s leading “bundlers.”

    Posted on Friday, July 20th, 2012
    Under: 2012 presidential election, Barack Obama, campaign finance, Obama presidency | 32 Comments »

    CBS’ Schieffer objects to Romney campaign’s ad

    The campaign of Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney launched this ad yesterday:

    http://youtu.be/roodiGY0W1A

    Bob Schieffer, CBS News’ chief Washington correspondent and anchor of “Face the Nation” – and the first face you see in Romney’s ad – said yesterday he’s not amused.

    “Obviously, I have no connection with the Romney campaign. This was done without our permission. It comes as a total surprise to me,” he said on his show yesterday. “That was a question that I posed to David Axelrod, the president’s campaign manager. I wasn’t stating something there. I was asking somebody else a question.”

    Actually, it appears this was a question that Schieffer had posed to former White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs during the May 27 show. He did, however, ask similar questions of Axelrod one week later.

    I’m not a big fan of journalists’ words being taken out of context to score political points – but then again, Schieffer did choose to pose that question using those words. What are your thoughts?

    Posted on Monday, July 16th, 2012
    Under: 2012 presidential election, Barack Obama, Mitt Romney, Obama presidency | 6 Comments »