Harry Reid Accuses Romney of Not Paying Taxes for Ten Years, Mitt Responds: “Put up or shut up.”

Have you no sense of decency, Harry?

WaPo’s Rachel Weiner reports:

Mitt Romney personally responded to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) today, telling the Democrat to offer some proof of his tax claims or stop making them.

“It’s time for Harry to put up or shut up,” Romney told Fox News Radio.

For days, Reid has been claiming that Romney paid no taxes for 10 years, saying a Bain investor and others told him so. Romney called the accusation “totally and completely wrong” and accused the White House of orchestrating the attack.

“Harry’s going to have to describe who it is he spoke with because of course that’s totally and completely wrong,” he said. “It’s untrue, dishonest and inaccurate. It’s wrong. So I’m looking forward to have Harry reveal his sources, and we’ll probably find out it’s the White House.”

Take a listen:

(more…)

Romney Makes Change: Madden Moved to Forefront

Kevin Madden

Make way for Madden!

Good news today from Team Romney…

Plans are underway to bump senior adviser Kevin Madden into a more visible role along the campaign trail – and I couldn’t be happier. I’ve often privately lamented that he hasn’t been more of a presence this time around to help Governor Romney. Many remember Madden as the smart, savvy, unflappable guy who helped The Gov during the 2008 presidential election cycle. He was a tremendous help back then in his official capacity as Romney’s National Press Secretary and Senior Communications Strategist.

CNN:

The senior adviser in Romney’s presidential campaign will be traveling more with the presumptive Republican nominee and working more in the day to day messaging of the campaign, a source close to team Romney confirms to CNN.

Madden was national press secretary for the former Massachusetts governor’s 2008 bid for the White House, working out of the campaign’s Boston headquarters. This cycle Madden, who lives in the nation’s capital, has been working out of Washington, first as an informal adviser, and since April as a senior adviser to the campaign and the Republican National Committee.

Earlier Friday, a Romney campaign official responded to report in the Washington Post regarding staffing shifts within the organization by saying, “We are constantly growing the staff to be more effective in defeating Barack Obama.”

Madden is a Yonkers, New York guy; he currently resides in D.C. Here’s more of his impressive background:

Kevin Madden is Executive Vice President of Public Affairs of JDA Frontline, a public affairs firm with offices in Washington, D.C. and Charleston, S.C.

Prior to joining JDA Frontline, Mr. Madden was a Managing Director with The Glover Park Group, a leading public affairs firm based in Washington D.C.

Most notably, during the 2008 election cycle, Mr. Madden served as National Press Secretary and Senior Communications Strategist for Governor Mitt Romney’s presidential campaign.

Prior to joining Governor Romney’s campaign, Mr. Madden served as Press Secretary to then-House Majority Leader and now-House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio). In that capacity, Mr. Madden served as a top communications strategist for the House of Representatives leadership office charged with directing legislative action on a wide range of issues including financial services, energy, national security, legal reform, transportation and telecommunications policy among others.

Before his work as a top leadership aide on Capitol Hill, Mr. Madden served as the Department of Justice’s national spokesman on issues ranging from national security to litigation before the federal courts.

Kevin Madden is Executive Vice President of Public Affairs of JDA Frontline, a public affairs firm with offices in Washington, D.C. and Charleston, S.C.

Yes! Mark your calendar; Madden will be a guest tonight on CNN’s tv program Erin Burnett OutFront at 7:00 PM ET. And, don’t forget to follow him on Twitter.

I’ll be smiling all day today.

UPDATE - Did you miss seeing Madden on CNN with Ms. Burnett? Here it is:


Follow Jayde Wyatt on Twitter @YayforSummer

Obamacare & Romney’s July 4th: “Agree with Supreme Court DISSENT, but it’s a TAX”

After participating today in the annual Fourth of July parade in Wolfeboro, New Hampshire, Governor Mitt Romnney offered his assessment of the Supreme Court’s ruling on Obamacare: “It’s a tax.

Romney spoke with CBS News’ chief political correspondent Jan Crawford:

The Supreme Court has spoken, and while I agreed with the dissent, that’s taken over by the fact that the majority of the court said it’s a tax, and therefore it is a tax. They have spoken. There’s no way around that. “I said that I agreed with the dissent, and the dissent made it very clear that they felt it was unconstitutional, but the dissent lost – it’s in the minority.” – Mitt Romney

Romney’s senior adviser Eric Fehrnstrom earlier this week claimed Romney viewed the Obamacare matter as a penalty, or fine.

The L.A. Times offered more on Romney’s parade appearance:

The presumptive Republican nominee, accompanied by what he called “a bevy of Romneys,” marched near the end of the parade, which filled Wolfeboro’s Main Street for more than two hours and showcased a mind-bending vision of small-town Americana.

There was the American Legion and the Rotary, the Daughters of the American Revolution and virtually every local elected official. There also was a Toro lawnmower brigade, a truck from Big Moose RV

Sales, a rolling wood-fired pizza oven and enough military and farm vehicles to move and feed an army. There also was a parade favorite, the Wolfeboro Offshore Ad-Lib Precision Lawn Chair Drill Team — basically, a bunch of senior citizens who march in formation throwing lawn chairs around with abandon, except when they are taking a break by sitting in them.

Shaking hands and greeting the crowd along the route, Romney was flanked by family members and supporters. When the parade finished, he spoke to a large gathering, where a smallish group of Obama supporters were present to chant support for their guy.

NECN’s Lauren Collins posted the following parade report (Look at the long stream of Romney supporters who marched in the parade with him!):

Ms. Collins finished her report wondering if The Gov’s remarks would have a highly charged political tone… Here’s her answer:

Romney went so far as to celebrate the presence of President Obama’s supporters in the parade and quickly silenced his own backers who booed at their mention.

“You know what?” Romney told them, as he spoke from the back of a pickup truck overlooking a blue-green vista of the lake and distant mountains. “They were courteous and respectful and said, ‘Good luck to you,’ and ‘Happy Fourth of July.’”

Continuing, he said. “This is a time for us to come together as a people. We have differing views on political issues, but with regards to our conviction that this nation is unique and exceptional, we must come together and show respect for what it is that makes us such a great nation.”

To read Romney’s July 4th statement, see Team Romney’s new video, and view photos click here.



Follow Jayde Wyatt on Twitter @YayforSummer

Sununu: Santorum, Gingrich “Grasping at Straws & Toys” – Sen. DeMint “Excited About Romney”

One of our favorite Romney guys, Former NH Governor John Sununu, spoke this morning to FOX News’ Martha MacCallum (America’s Newsroom). With the Santorum/Gingrich led media hoopla surrounding a Romney aide’s comment about Etch-a-Sketch, Sununu pulled no punches:


“Mitt Romney is talking about creating jobs and Santorum is waving kiddie toys in the air. It’s from the sublime to the ridiculous. ~ Fmr NH Gov John Sununu

We’ve now reached the silly stage of primary politics… With the gravity of the domestic and foreign threats America is facing, images of foolhardy Santorum and Gingrich pinching and twisting plastic toy knobs on the campaign trail, hoping to etch and sketch enough favor to hang on for another day, is pitiable.

Matt Benyon (Team Santorum) felt no shame putting this photo out for the world to see. March 22, 2012

Romney’s reaction to Etch-a-Sketch flap:






Regardless of frivolous and foolish antics from Romney’s opposition, conservative Senator and Tea Party leader Jim DeMint released a buzz-worthy memo today. Penning lines that are very easy to read between, Demint says it’s time for the GOP to make a decision… to go with Romney:

WASHINGTON (CNN) – Sen. Jim DeMint, the South Carolina Republican and tea party favorite, said Thursday he was ‘excited’ about the possibility of Mitt Romney becoming the GOP presidential nominee.
[...]
“I can tell conservatives from my perspective is that, I’m not only comfortable with Romney, I’m excited about the possibility of him possibly being our nominee,” DeMint said. “Again, this is not a formal endorsement and I do not intend to do that right now but I just think we just need to look at where we are.”

DeMint’s comments came the same day Romney met with influential Republicans on Capitol Hill, including House Budget Chairman Paul Ryan. Like DeMint, Ryan has not publicly backed a candidate in the GOP race, but is considered a prized endorsement for the White House.

DeMint was impressed with Romney:

“His leadership skills, the fact that he hasn’t lived his life in Washington. There’s a lot to like there,” DeMint said.
[...]
“I don’t have any immediate plans to do an endorsement but I think we all need to look at this presidential primary and encourage the candidates to do a little self-reflection here — what’s good for our country,” he said. “The sooner we can make a decision, I think the sooner we can focus on the real problem which is Obama.”

(emphasis added) Read complete article here.

DeMint’s voice joins a growing chorus; Jeb Bush endorsed Romney yesterday, Frank Luntz, Dick Morris, Henry Barbour, Bob Dole, and Donald Trump say Romney is the one. Freedom Works says it will no longer oppose The Gov. Even Ed Rollins, former Bachmann/Huckabee campaign manager, says he’s grown bored with this drawn-out nomination process and it’s time to get in the huddle with with Mitt.

I wholeheartedly agree.

► Jayde Wyatt

House Majority Leader Eric Cantor: Romney is THE MAN


Following a rock-solid win in Washington state last night and fresh off Michigan and Arizona victories, the good news leading to Super Tuesday continues for Governor Mitt Romney. He received a key endorsement this morning…

House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-VA) says Romney is the only candidate who has come out with a bold pro-growth, pro-jobs plan for the future:

Eric Cantor - Majority Leader, U.S. House of Representatives

Cantor announced his endorsement two days before his home state, Virginia, is set to hold its primary. Romney is a strong favorite in the state, because Ron Paul is the only other candidate who managed to qualify for the ballot.

“I cast my vote already in Virginia for Mitt Romney and I’m here today to tell you that I’m endorsing Mitt Romney in his candidacy for the Presidency of the United States,” Cantor said on NBC’s “Meet the Press” Sunday morning.

“Who’s going to best be able to lead this economy back to a growth mode, create jobs so people can feel better about the future,” he added. “And I just think there’s one candidate in the race who can do that, and that’s Mitt Romney.”

Cantor personally called Romney last week, the day after the former Massachusetts governor won the Michigan and Arizona primaries, to say he would publicly support Romney, said Eric Fehrnstrom, a Romney senior adviser told reporters traveling aboard the candidate’s plane Sunday morning en route to Atlanta.

Romney spokesman Eric Fehrnstrom weighed in:

“Republicans want coat tails, not concrete shoes,” Fehrnstrom said. “Rick Santorum is a concrete shoe for Republicans who are running for the Senate or for the House. . .He didn’t say it, but I’ve got to believe that in the back of Eric Cantor’s mind is maintaining the Republican majority in the House. I think it’s easier to do that with Mitt Romney at the top of the ticket as our strongest possible jobs candidate.

Stressing the importance and historical nature of the upcoming presidential election, Cantor firmly believes Romney can beat Obama next fall. Continue reading here.

Cantor’s endorsement on Meet the Press:

Visit msnbc.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy


Cantor is the second-ranking Republican in the House.

Romney is backed by 16 U.S. senators, 67 House members, and 10 governors. Ron Paul has the backing of one senator… Rand Paul. Gingrich has the backing of one governor – Rick Perry.

Now, that’s political pudding filled with plenty of proof for which candidate is most respected and trusted!

► Jayde Wyatt

Illegal Immigration: Rick Perry Punches Himself, New Website

After Rick Perry’s sophomoric attack on Mitt Romney’s credibility on illegal immigration at last night’s presidential debate, which was a ploy to draw attention away from his own liberal stance on illegals, I’m sharing some of today’s commentary on Perry.

And, it all leads up to an attention-getting new website from Romney for President

Romney’s Still the Man to Beat

Romney’s patience and endurance was tested to the limit as he was subjected to a series of vicious attacks on immigration, health care and jobs policy. But Romney, who has emerged this year as one of the most polished and able political debaters in recent memory, ended the evening still on his feet without any of the others able to say they had floored him.

The nastiest attack came from Rick Perry, who seemed to be a different man than the sleepy and unfocused performer in four previous debates. Perry was much improved over his previous tries, but that is not the same thing as saying he helped himself all that much. Perry’s aggression was certainly what his team wanted to see, but he overreached when he repeated a smear about Romney personally hiring illegal aliens. That charge fell flat in the face of Romney’s explanation, and it didn’t help that Perry kept repeating it. It was an obvious attempt on Perry’s part to distract conservatives from his more liberal stands on illegal immigration. It’s doubtful many bought it.

Later in the debate, we were reminded of Perry’s previous debate problems when he attempted to make a point about the United Nations and its role in facilitating Palestinian efforts to evade the peace process. Perry knew what he wanted to say but couldn’t quite spit it out and wound up sputtering when he could have made a strong argument. Even at his best, and this was the best we’ve seen of him, Perry still doesn’t sound presidential or that focused. He may get a bump in the polls, but it’s unlikely he’ll ever retrieve the lead he lost last month.
[...]
This evening was feistier than the previous debates and rougher sledding in many ways for Romney. But it merely confirmed the same conclusion: despite the fireworks, this race is still Romney’s to lose.

National Review Online – Kathryn Jean Lopez:

Governor Romney showed some of the passion Tuesday night I think people have been hoping to see. And smart to even get a little legitimately testy with a smile. He took command of the stage on more than one occasion.

He also had to further defend his health-care plan and made some headway.

And he may have benefitted from some low blows and pettiness along the way. (Perry on the lawn issue was low. Gingrich mandate issue was petty.)

Pat Gray, radio commentator (filling in for Glenn Beck, begins @1:14):

Romney gives Perry a debate beatdown

… Whoever is advising Rick Perry should be fired for encouraging Perry to take on Romney over illegal immigration. Perry dug up the same claim from the 2008 campaign – the one that was thoroughly examined and dismissed. Perry doubled down on his mistake by trying to interrupt Romney as he explained it (again) — and looked terrible in the process. Check out the clip and reaction on radio today.

“Another win; I mean, another Romney win. He just beat him [Perry] senseless. Rick – just a piece of advice: Shut up about immigration, ‘k?” – Pat Gray

Hugh Hewitt:

There’s a lot of focus online and in the post-debate shows on the immigration exchanges, but Governor Perry’s decision to throw the old and discredited lawn care company charge against Governor Romney seems at best an odd choice, and one that simply will not go down well with GOP voters used to seeing such attacks peddled by the MSM. What that specific attack did do is create enough heat to leave the definite impression that there are really only two choices on the stage. It was the most fiery exchange of the evening, and the one that has already replayed and replayed across the screen. A Romney-Perry moment like that makes it a Romney-Perry debate which in turns defines it as a Romney-Perry campaign.

The second tier of candidates made a huge miscalculation in turning their fire on Romney before dispatching Perry completely from the field. Rick Santorum, especially, seemed to believe that his long-shot path went straight through Romney when there are in fact two obstacles before him in the persons of Herman Cain and Rick Perry. The former Pennsylvania senator chose to turn his fire on Romney and not Perry and ended up with Perry walking off the stage with a second lease on a campaign.

Forbes – E.D. Kain:
In Vegas Debate Perry Take the Gloves Off but Romney is Still King

Last night’s CNN GOP debate in Las Vegas has been widely described as the most heated of the debates so far, and the gloves really came off when Texas governor Rick Perry accused Mitt Romney of hiring undocumented workers – illegals, as he put it – in the past and then interrupted Romney several times instead of allowing him to finish.

Romney … easily deflected Perry’s aggression, turning it back on him and chuckling the whole time. Romney is practically dancing on the grave of Rick Perry’s presidential ambitions[.] …

(emphasis added )

I was pleased to see Romney for President release a new website, CareerPolitician.com, in an effort to provide voters with the facts about Rick Perry’s record as a career politician. Voters can access this website to find Governor Perry’s support for in-state tuition for illegal immigrants, his proposal that would dismantle Social Security, his real record on job creation, and his history of distorting facts during the short time he has been in the Republican Primary.

The ad that illustrated Rick Perry’s inability to string a couple complete sentences together without a teleprompter was pulled due to a copyright claim by CNN, but you can still see much of it in the following Morning Joe clip:

Visit msnbc.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

(more…)

Romney Meets with British Prime Minister David Cameron

Mitt Romney meets with British Prime Minister David Cameron in London, England. July 7, 2011

On Mitt Romney’s second day of meetings across the pond, he got some face time with an important world leader.

He tweeted about it:


[blackbirdpie id="89016072136695808"]

Romney campaign advisor Eric Fehrnstrom:

“There is a lot of interest in this election among Americans living abroad who like everyone else are worried about what the weak economy and lack of jobs means for our status in the world. [...] They want to know if we are going to lead the world economically or become something less. To a large degree Mitt Romney because he is well known as someone who has the skills to turn the economy around.”

Romney held an evening reception the night before in Dartmouth. He met with former Prime Minister Tony Blair and his wife, Cherie, Britain’s minister of defense, Liam Fox, Britain’s national security adviser, Peter Ricketts, and other officials.

Meeting with PM David Cameron is quite a feather in Romney’s cap. (Oh, to have been the clock on that mantle to hear what was ‘ticking’ between those two conservative men!)

Romney will return to the states later this evening.

Read more here.




► Jayde Wyatt

‘Super PAC’ Formed on Romney’s Behalf to Counteract Similar Obama PAC


An independent group of prominent Romney supporters, who believe in his unique abilities to restore America, have launched a super PAC, entitled Restore Our Future PAC. The purpose of the new PAC is to fundraise and spend money to help elect Governor Romney, with plans to go toe-to-toe with a similar already-operating super PAC for Obama (created by his White House aides):

Romney backers launch super PAC

[...] Restore Our Future PAC, spearheaded by several prominent GOP strategists, is the latest in an expanding list of new groups that have formed to take advantage of court rulings allowing corporations, unions and tycoons to spend millions of dollars on elections without restrictions.

The development provides further evidence that Romney is shaping up as the candidate to beat in the GOP money race, and underscores the extensive role that well-funded outside groups are likely to play in the 2012 elections.

The new pro-Romney PAC aims to go head-to-head with Priorities USA Action, a similar super PAC led by former White House aides in support of President Obama. But Restore Our Future PAC could also be used to go after other Republicans if necessary in the contentious GOP primary season, those familiar with the operation said.

The group has been actively soliciting donations in recent weeks, but organizers declined to say how much has been raised.

“This is an independent effort focused on getting Romney elected president,” said Charles R. Spies, the super PAC’s treasurer, who served as Romney’s general counsel in 2008. “We will do that by focusing on jobs and his ability to fix the economy.”
[...]
Gail Gitcho, the Romney campaign’s communications director, said outside support was welcome given the existence of Democratic super PACs and predictions that the Obama campaign could raise as much as $1 billion for his reelection.

“We are pleased that independent groups will be active in fighting this entrenched power so the country can get back to work,” Gitcho said.

Restore Our Future PAC’s board of directors is comprised of Spies; Carl Forti, Romney’s 2008 political director; and Larry McCarthy, a member of the Romney media team in 2008.

Obama supporters, including Harry Reid, are actively raising money with additional super PACS to defeat Republicans:

In addition to Priorities USA, Democratic operatives have launched two other super PACs to help House (House Majority PAC) and Senate candidates (Majority PAC). The groups are also enlisting the aid of current Democratic leaders to help raise money.

Earlier this week, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) sent out a letter on behalf of Majority PAC, which includes several former top Reid aides.

“There can be no greater priority than protecting the Democratic majority in the Senate,” Reid wrote in a fundraising e-mail, which was first reported by the Center for Responsive Politics. “I’m writing to introduce you to a group solely devoted to leveling the playing field and protecting the Democratic majority in the Senate: Majority PAC.”

(emphasis added)

Continue reading here.


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Speaking of Harry Reid…

The Senate Majority Leader took a jab at Mitt Romney on Monday by stating that he would support Jon Huntsman – over Romney – for the Republican presidential nomination. (He said a few other things, as well.)

Romney spokesman Eric Fehrnstrom replied:

[blackbirdpie id="83281626607529985"]



► Jayde Wyatt

Romney Talks Jobs in Atlanta, Supports GOP Efforts to Cut Spending, Hires New Communications Advisor

What was Mitt Romney doing in Atlanta, Georgia yesterday?

A whole lot of listening and a little talking.

Romney met privately with business leaders to discuss jobs and the economy. Though Romney hasn’t announced his intentions to run for president, he presumably was also strengthening his fundraising network. During the last presidential race, he came in 3rd place in the GA presidential primary with 30% of the vote.

Romney made another important stop in Atlanta and tweeted about it:

Mitt Romney: Just got a Trim at Tommy’s in Atlanta http://twitpic.com/45fama

Unbeknownst to the Gov, his tweet dispelled a brief false notion bandied about in Twitterville a few weeks ago that he spends hundreds of dollars on John Edwards-like haircuts. (We know that isn’t true – he’s Mr. Frugal!)

Politico 3/2/11


Mitt Romney stopped by Tommy Thomas’s barber shop in Atlanta on Tuesday for a trim.
[...]
Thomas charges $16 for a trim, but he offered to give Romney a cut for free — but the well-coiffed former governor refused and gave Thomas a $20 bill, telling him to keep the change.

Romney tweeted this picture of himself on Tuesday in Atlanta and said: “Brave Tommy, taming the beast with clippers and a comb.”

“He’s got a nice head of hair. He’s got the hair, he’s got the looks, got the whole package,” Thomas told POLITICO.

“We talked about just what’s going on in the economy and things like that,” he added. “Then we cut up about the weather.”

Romney’s unexpected stop lasted about 15 minutes, and he took pictures and talked politics with all of Thomas’s patrons.
[...]

(my emphasis)
Good job, Tommy! Looks like the ‘beast’ got a proper shearing…

UPDATE

Sam Olens, Georgia’s Attorney General, tweeted this today:

samolens: I had a great time at lunch today with our next President, Mitt Romney.

An interesting note… Olens won his election last November, but he had to break through one of the oldest barriers in Georgia politics to do so. He was the first Jewish candidate to win a statewide, partisan race in Georgia. Congratulations to Sam Olens! (Mitt endorsed Olens last fall.)

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Romney was busy yesterday!

We know the Gov is a master at cutting budget waste, staunchly advocates cutting government spending, and wants to stuff Uncle Sam’s credit card in the shredder. To put muscle behind supporting GOP efforts in Washington to cut spending, his Free and Strong America PAC contributed a walloping $83,500 to 40 U.S. Senate and House leaders.

Romney’s statement:

“It is important that we stand with our Republican Members of Congress and show that we support their pro-growth agenda and their efforts to reduce the size of government,” Romney said. “Now is the time for all of us to send a powerful message that Americans will no longer tolerate the Washington culture of higher taxes, higher spending, and higher debt.

To see the substantial list of those receiving donations, click here.

In addition, Romney donated $124,500 to 50 additional U.S. Senate and House Republicans in January. In just two months, his PAC’s total year-to-date generosity comes to over $200,000. Let’s keep up our support for Free and Strong America.

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News today points further to a presidential run for Gov Romney. He has hired a new Communications Director:

Andrea Saul, a veteran of political campaigns in the western US, is joining Mitt Romney’s political action committee as the Republican readies for a second presidential campaign.

In a statement today, Romney said Saul will serve as a communications adviser to the Free and Strong America PAC.

Review Saul’s substantial credentials here.

Eric Fehrnstrom has been Mitt’s right hand man in taking care of most of Romney’s communications in the past. According to the article, his focus will be more on helping Mitt develop advertising strategy and television commercials (another good Romney candidacy sign!).

Fehrnstrom tweet this morning:

Welcoming Andrea Saul to Romney PAC! Fun fact: Andrea first met Mitt when she was running surrogate ops for McCain-Palin.

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Looking ahead, Governor Romney will continue his listening tour in Florida and New Hampshire this Saturday.

► Jayde Wyatt