Aerial photo of the aftermath of a destructive tornado that swept through Marysville, Indiana yesterday, March 2, 2012. (Click on image to enlarge.) Photo AP/Al Behrman
It’s quite a day…
While we’re thinking about the caucuses in Washington State today and the Huckabee Presidential Forum for GOP candidates tonight, our aching hearts are with our suffering fellow Americans. So many lives have been devastated by the mass of violent tornadoes and storms that slammed the Midwest and south these past few days.
The images on the news, videos, and first-hand accounts of survivors are chilling.
Excellent advice from Governor Romney:
My heart goes out to the tornado victims. Please give what you can to the @RedCross.
INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — A baby girl found alone in a field in Indiana after Friday’s massive, tornado-spawning storms is being treated in a Kentucky hospital.
A spokeswoman for the hospital in Salem, Ind., where the girl was first taken said Saturday that authorities were still trying to figure out how she ended up in the field alone. St. Vincent Salem Hospital spokeswoman Melissa Richardson says the child’s family is from New Pekin, Ind., about 10 miles south of where the child was found.
Richardson says the girl is in critical condition at Kosair Children’s Hospital in Louisville, Ky. She says she can’t release the name of the girl or her family. …
20 month-old Angel Babcock, Indiana tornado survivor, March 2, 2012
UPDATE March 4, 2012:
20 month-old Angel Babcock was found alive, lying in a field surrounded by the bodies of her family following a deadly tornado in Indiana on Friday. The blonde-haired, blue-eyed child was found by rescuers forty miles west of Chelsea, in New Pekin, Indiana, and was taken to hospital where she is in critical condition. Angel’s older brother, Jayden, two, was found dead under a pile of rubble while the body of her baby sister, Kendall was found still strapped to her car seat. The body of her mother Moriah Brough, 21, was found by rescuers lying under a tree while father Joseph Babcock, 20, was discovered lying a few streets away.
Such a tragic story; reports are that little Angel has extended family who are with her in the hospital. May she have a full recovery and lots of love going forward.
UPDATE 2 – Afternoon of March 4, 2012: I’m sorry to report that little Angel has died of massive head trauma. In the midst of sorrow, there is comfort in believing that her family greeted their little darling with open arms. May the Babcock family rest in peace. And, may God bless their loved ones who must carry on without them.
There are no words…
Dazed Bill Lloyd carries his nine month old baby Mason down U.S. highway 52 near Moscow, Ohio. His home was completely demolished by a tornado on Friday, March 2, 2012. (Photo AP/The Enquirer/Gary Landers)
Although there have been varying reports, the latest count on the death toll is at 38. It’s expected to rise.
We at MRC offer our thoughts and prayers for all affected by this great disaster.
Congressman Todd Rokita (R-IN), left, pictured with Congressman Mike Pence (R-IN), has endorsed Mitt Romney.Sept 23, 2011
Another endorsement has rolled out for Mitt Romney. Today, it comes from the Hoosier State…
MITT ROMNEY EARNS SUPPORT OF INDIANA CONGRESSMAN TODD ROKITA
Boston, MA – Mitt Romney today won the support of Indiana Congressman Todd Rokita.
“Congressman Rokita has been a strong public servant for Indiana and has worked hard to improve the state’s economy,” said Mitt Romney. “I look forward to working with him during my campaign and welcome his support.”
Announcing his support, Congressman Rokita said, “Mitt Romney has proven that he has the much-needed experience to lead the country toward an economic recovery. While President Obama has failed to control spending and get the economy moving, Mitt Romney has a record of cutting taxes, keeping spending low, and creating jobs. Mitt Romney’s record speaks for itself and that is why I support his bid for the presidency.”
Background On Congressman Todd Rokita:
Congressman Rokita Was Elected In 2010. In the U.S. House of Representatives, he sits on the Budget Committee and the Education and Workforce Committee. Prior to his election, Rokita served as the Indiana Secretary of State. In this role, Rokita worked to improve services for Indiana’s businesses and investors and create a stronger economy for the state. Congressman Rokita and his wife Kathy are the parents of two children.
After speaking at CPAC in Orlando this morning, Romney made his way to Indiana::
INDIANAPOLIS — Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney will be in Indianapolis trying to build his base of Hoosier supporters and raise money for his presidential campaign.
The top-tier presidential candidate will speak at the JW Marriott Friday evening and also plans to attend a pair of fundraisers. Indiana Republican Party Chairman Eric Holcomb has been lobbying presidential candidates since June to campaign in the state.
Gov. Mitch Daniels’ national prominence has also become a strong draw for Republicans looking for his possible endorsement.
Conservatives will congregate at the Orange CO Convention Center in Orlando, Florida on Sept 23, 2011 for CPAC's first inaugural regional event. Former MA Governor Mitt Romney will be a featured speaker.
We’re all familiar with CPAC through its big, boisterous, place-to-be annual meeting of conservatives. Now, CPAC is sponsoring regional versions of their yearly meeting (a good move). The first ‘mini-CPAC’ will be held in Orlando, Florida on September 23, 2011.
Mitt Romney has been enlisted to help the American Conservative Union (ACU) expand its brand; he’s the first GOP candidate named to speak at CPAC FL.
ALEXANDRIA, VA – The American Conservative Union (ACU) today announced former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney will address CPAC FL – the organization’s first in an inaugural series of regional events expanding on the legacy of the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC). CPAC FL will be held this fall in Orlando, Florida, on Friday, September 23, 2011.
“Governor Romney is a tested, conservative leader who continues to offer thoughtful, substantive free-market solutions in the wake of the disastrous economic agenda advanced by President Obama,” said ACU Chairman Al Cardenas. “We look forward to welcoming him to CPAC FL in the Sunshine State this fall, as we expand the CPAC brand and further energize the national conservative movement.”
Just like the ACU’s marquee gathering in Washington, DC every spring – the nation’s largest annual gathering of grassroots activists – CPAC FL will bring national and state conservative leaders and grassroots activists together for a day of blockbuster speeches, policy discussions and networking opportunities — all celebrating the shared principles of smaller government, a strong national defense and traditional values.
Mitt Romney, the frontrunner in the Republican presidential race, is in strong shape with his party’s rank and file as the 2012 nomination race enters a more heated phase.
Among Republicans, 59 percent hold a favorable view of the former Massachusetts governor, according to a Bloomberg National Poll, while only 16 percent view him negatively. He’s also more popular than unpopular with independent voters by a 10 percentage point margin.
While the poll shows more than half of Republicans are dissatisfied with the current choices in the field, an overwhelming 85 percent want candidates seeking their support to focus almost entirely on economic issues, not social ones.
Romney, 64, has made the economy the centerpiece of his campaign as he again pursues the White House following his unsuccessful 2008 attempt for the Republican nomination — a race in which he focused more on social issues.
“Romney is threading the needle the way a seasoned candidate knows he must,” said J. Ann Selzer, president of Des Moines, Iowa-basedSelzer & Co., which conducted the June 17-20 poll. “He’s saying enough of the things Republicans want to hear while holding the interest of independents.”
Interesting numbers regarding the Tea Party…
Tea Party Disapproval
Negative attitudes about the Tea Party are growing, with 45 percent saying they have an unflattering view of the political movement, the highest level since the poll first asked the question in March 2010. Among independents, 50 percent view the Tea Party unfavorably.
Among all poll participants, Romney was viewed favorably by 37 percent and unfavorably by 31 percent, with 32 percent saying they are unsure. President Barack Obama’s favorable rating among the entire poll sample was 54 percent, while 42 percent viewed him unfavorably.
To read Bloomberg’s results on other candidates, the religious issue, insurance mandate, and more click here.
Lansing — Support in Michigan for native son Mitt Romney is far ahead of the backing for any other GOP presidential hopefuls, according to a new statewide poll.
The poll was taken after Romney’s June 9 visit to Detroit and the June 13 GOP debate in which he made clear his opposition to the federal bailouts of General Motors Corp. and Chrysler LLC, which many credit with saving the automakers and their suppliers.
Mitt Romney – 28.7%
Sarah Palin – 5.8%
Michele Bachmann – 4.5%
Tim Pawlenty – 2.8%
Newt Gingrich – 1.8%
Attorney General Bill Schuette, Romney’s statewide chairman in Michigan, said he’s “very pleased” by the numbers, but it’s early and “the most important poll is the one in 2012.”
The poll was commissioned by the bipartisan Lansing public relations firm Lambert, Edwards & Associates and The Perricone Group and conducted June 16-17 by Denno Research. Chuck Perricone is a former GOP House Speaker. Dennis Denno is a former Democratic communications expert.
Gov Mitt Romney met with small business owners at Meetze Plumbing in Irmo, South Carolina. The event was organized by S.C. Rep. Nathan Ballentine. 5/21/11
South Carolina was the exclamation point on a very good week for Mitt Romney today!
Romney’s first visit to the Palmetto State this election cycle began with a morning event at the home of S.C. Representative Nathan Ballentine. Gov Romney then attended an informal meeting, arranged by Ballantine (one of Gov Nikki Haley’s top lieutenants in S.C.’s legislature), at Meetze Plumbing in Irmo. The gathering provided an intimate setting for community business owners to voice their concerns about staying viable in this economy.
*Ballentine tweeted earlier this morning:
Enjoyed hosting @MittRomney in our home and our community today! Thanks to everyone (especially the business owners) who attended!
Hoping to blunt Romney’s foray into South Carolina, an “Independent” group, consisting of former Obama White House Staffers and former S.C. Gov. Jim Hodges (Dem), released a negative ad which coincided with The Gov’s visit. It ran on local TV stations.
Irmo, South Carolina (CNN) – Mitt Romney spoke to a button-downed group of small business owners Saturday in the early primary state of South Carolina, but with frequent nods to the Constitution and states’ rights, he sounded like he might have been at ease addressing a Tea Party rally instead.
Romney, who donned jeans and rolled-up shirtsleeves for his first visit to South Carolina as a potential Republican presidential candidate, questioned President Barack Obama’s understanding of the role of government and basic economic matters.
“I believe in the Constitution,” Romney said. “I believe in what the Constitution said, that the government that would deal primarily with citizens at the local level would be local and state government, not the federal government. I don’t think the president respects states like I do.”
“I respect the rights of states to come up with their own answers and their own solutions to compete with one another,” he added.
The former governor’s argument conveniently dovetails with his aggressive defense of the health care plan he implemented in Massachusetts, which has drawn scorn from some conservatives because of its strong resemblance to President Obama’s health care law.
Later, taking questions from the roughly 30-member audience, Romney went out of his way to address the elephant in the room.
“Someone’s got to ask me about health care right?” Romney said with a chuckle, prompting several voters to raise their hands.
He responded that, if elected, he would immediately repeal “Obamacare” and give states block grants to develop their own health care programs.
Romney cited a complaint filed by the National Labor Relations Board that could halt construction of a new Boeing facility in South Carolina. The North Charleston plant is expected to create thousands of jobs.
“How in the world can the president justify the federal government taking power from South Carolina and not allowing South Carolina to compete on a fair and level playing field?” he asked. “It’s simply unexcusable.”
Romney was also asked about Rep. Paul Ryan’s plans for Medicare:
Romney responded that he will roll out his own ideas for Medicare at a later date but blasted the president for not coming up with his own solution.
While he applauded Ryan for thinking seriously about fixing the entitlement debt burden, Romney said Ryan’s plan “is not the same as my plan.”
“The Ryan plan and my plan are on the same page,” he said. “We have the same objectives. My plan is different than his. It’s not identical.”
A crowd of about 40 in a hot warehouse stacked with plumbing supplies cheered when he said it was time for politicians to spend less time thinking about getting re-elected and more time on “thinking about how to get the country on the right track and put Americans back to work.”
Mitt Romney fills containers with food from Farm Boys restaurant in Irmo, S.C. to serve later at a meeting with local business leaders. 5/21/11
Although Governor Nikki Haley was unable to attend the event due to scheduling, Romney spoke with her on the phone on Friday. Hayley’s spokesman, Rob Godfrey, said this:
“They were just touching base,” Godfrey said. “The governor told Governor Romney she was sorry they couldn’t catch up this time, and he let her know that he’d be back often.”
After the confab concluded, Romney treated the audience to trays of barbecued pulled pork, hush puppies and jugs of iced tea (which he and his staff purchased beforehand from Farm Boys restaurant).
Did you know? Nathan doesn’t keep his State House salary. He donates his salary to local community groups and organizations and in 2006 designated funds specifically to scholarships for deserving seniors in our community.
Who else does this sound like?
UPDATE by Ross:
UPDATE 2 by Jayde: To see photos of Mitt mingling with folks at Farm Boys restaurant and Meetze Plumbing, click here (click on photo on left-hand side).
The issue at hand is, what does that mean for Gov. Nikki Haley? Ballentine and Haley, former deskmates in the House, rarely make a move without the other. Haley supported Romney during the 2008 primary, and Romney endorsed Haley during her campaign for governor. Miss. Gov. Haley Barbour and former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin did as well.
But, with Barbour out and Palin unlikely to run, and her best friend siding with Romney, is this a sign Haley is with the Romney camp, too?
The Hawkeye State is Romney’s end-of-month destination where he’ll speak at a double-header:
Republican Mitt Romney will visit Iowa this month, making his first trip to the lead-off caucus state since announcing he’d form a presidential campaign exploratory committee.
Romney adviser David Kochel says the former Massachusetts governor will speak at a May 27 event sponsored by the Greater Des Moines Partnership. He also will headline a reception in Linn County sponsored by the Linn and Johnson county Republican Party organizations.
Iowa’s precinct caucuses will begin the GOP nominating process in February.
Romney’s featured speech at the Des Moines event will kick off the 2012 Presidential Candidate Series. It will be held from noon to 1:00 p.m. at the State Historical Building in downtown Des Moines.
This series is being sponsored by the Greater Des Moines Partnership, Mediacom and IowaPolitics.com and in partnership with the Iowa Department of Cultural Affairs. As the First in the Nation Caucus, Iowa falls under a global spotlight, and an open invitation will be extended to prospective presidential candidates to address Central Iowans as part of the series between now and the 2012 Presidential Caucuses.
“Iowans are intensely proud and passionate of their role in helping to select our nation’s leader every four years,” said Martha Willits, CEO and President of the Greater Des Moines Partnership. “Our ‘first in the nation’ status also carries great responsibility to become acquainted with the candidates, educated on the issues, and vocal on the issues important to Iowa voters. That’s why we are pleased to partner with local and statewide groups to host this Des Moines-area series.”
Lynn Campbell of Iowa Politics.com, which is owned by the Franklin Center for Government and Public Integrity, will serve as the moderator for the series. The event is free of charge and open to the public. Attendees will have the opportunity to submit questions via social media on the Partnership Facebook and Twitter sites.
It’s happening tonight in Manchester, New Hampshire!
As Americans limp through our anemic economy, many eyes will turn tonight at 8:00 PM EST to hear Governor Mitt Romney speak at the Presidential Summit on Spending and Job Creation hosted by the Americans for Prosperity Foundation. AFP is a limited government advocacy group. Others also slated to speak are: Tim Pawlenty, Michele Bachmann, Herman Cain, and Rick Santorum.
UPDATE – Here’s the entire proceedings from Americans for Prosperity:
Governor Romney’s intro begins @ 37:04.
Romney right-hand-man, Eric Fehrnstrom, sent the following TwitPic taken earlier today of Mitt at Hillsborough Gas & Repair in Manchester:
Drew Cline, Editorial Page Editor at the NH Union Leader tweeted this:
The Daily Caller has an excellent article on why Mitt Romney is the best candidate to defeat Obama in 2012.
Democrats know they have an an uphill battle getting reelected in 2012 but they think they have an awesome strategy in getting a second term for Obama:
Earlier this week, Obama’s reelection campaign manager Jim Messina made it clear “that Democrats couldn’t rely on their 2008 game plan to win a second term for Obama in 2012.” As Messina describes it, one of the keys to winning in 2012 is for Obama is to “[e]expand the electorate.”
Their ‘awesome plan’ may be difficult to implement because Mitt Romney is actually shrinking Obama’s electoral map:
“Ironically, there is one GOP presidential frontrunner who is currently expanding the electoral map on Team Obama — Mitt Romney.”
How is Romney shrinking Obama’s electoral map? It’s due to his strong appeal among Independents:
But there is one item that usually escapes the casual political handicapper: Romney’s appeal among independents. This group, which swung to Obama in 2008 and then to the GOP’s congressional candidates in 2010, will be the single most important voting block for either party in 2012. In two battleground states that had been trending blue — Michigan and New Hampshire — Romney has, at times, led President Obama in a hypothetical general election match-up largely because of his appeal among these voters.
Several polls show that Romney is also leading Obama in Florida, a state that is essentially a political microcosm of all the battleground states and a state that the eventual GOP nominee cannot lose if Republicans have any hope of winning the White House in 2012.
The entire purpose of having primaries is for candidates to make their case that they are the best person to WIN in a general election. Every Republican candidate who plans on running in 2012 knows they need the Independent vote to win. Other candidates will argue that they are in the best position to defeat Barak Obama, but they may come up short when it comes to backing such claims with facts.
Mitt Romney is the best person who can make the case that he can defeat Obama and actually back up that claim.
“This is transparently political,” Romney spokesman Ryan Williams said of the NHDP filing with the Federal Election Commission. “For those wondering what the Obama jobs plan entails, it apparently involves hiring more lawyers at the FEC to handle frivolous complaints filed by his minions.”
‘Colossally costly’ are the words being used to characterize the upcoming 2012 presidential contest.
Democrats have been outwardly boasting that Obama will have ONE BILLION dollars in his reelection war chest. Chances are slim that Obama will have to spend money in a primary challenge, so the bulk of the money he raises will be dedicated toward defeating his GOP challenger. As former Federal Election Commissioner Michael Toner told The Financial Times, “Any Republican who wishes to run in 2012 must seriously weigh whether he or she is capable of raising the $700 million or more that will be needed to compete with Obama.”
Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney has quietly launched a 15-city push to secure financial commitments from big-money “bundlers,” hoping to reveal a fund-raising network that would establish him as the prohibitive frontrunner for the Republican nomination for president.
Mr. Romney and top aides will meet Thursday in New York with nearly 100 donors—many from Wall Street— at the Harvard Club. Attendees are being asked to raise between $25,000 and $50,000 for Mr. Romney within 90 days, in an effort to post large fund-raising totals quickly, one person familiar with events said.
On Tuesday, Mr. Romney met with fund-raisers in downtown Washington, where he also gave his view of the early nominating caucuses and primaries.
Finance meetings are also scheduled for March 30 in Los Angeles, as well as in Detroit, Dallas, Houston and Atlanta, people familiar with plans said. Romney fund-raisers are set to converge on Las Vegas on May 16 for a final push ahead of the first financial filing deadline. The Las Vegas meeting will include a marathon phone-a-thon to reach donors, according to one fund-raiser involved in the plan.
“When the day is done and we’re in the thick of a presidential race, money will not be an obstacle for Gov. Romney,” said Lewis Eisenberg, a prominent hedge fund manager who will attend Thursday’s event.
“By early summer, the world will know what we’ve done,” another prominent fundraiser said.
More than 90 people are expected to attend the New York meeting Thursday, Among those expected: Mr. Eisenberg; New York Jets owner Woody Johnson, Manhattan real estate developer and Miami Dolphins owner Stephen M. Ross, and Emil Henry, a former top Treasury official in the George W. Bush administration.
The list shows Mr. Romney making inroads in courting fund-raisers who worked for Sen. John McCain (R., Ariz.), the 2008 Republican nominee. McCain’s two national finance chairmen—Mr. Eisenberg and Washington lobbyist Wayne Berman—are now with Mr. Romney. Mr. Johnson, led the fund-raising effort for the Republican National Convention in 2008, was also with Mr. McCain that year.
At the meeting in Washington, Governor Romney also spoke about the Massachusetts insurance plan. Don’t miss reading the entire article.
The money marathon is on…
Earlier this month, officials of Mr. Obama’s fledgling re-election campaign told about 450 donors to raise $350,000 each before the end of the year, a total of more than $157 million that, if reached, would start the president off on what many expect to be a billion-dollar re-election effort.
While outwardly proclaiming being able to raise a billion dollars in funds to reelect Obama, behind closed doors it’s another story. The President’s handlers are sounding the alarm bell to boost donations. Jim Messina, who will become Obama’s campaign manager next month, has begun presenting a reelection strategy across the country. It consists of a 10-page slide show entitled ‘Change that Matters’ designed to inspire liberal donors. It also details potential weaknesses of likely opponents.
The president’s political aides, people at the meetings said, are trying to establish stronger ties to some of these donors as they navigate what may be a difficult fund-raising environment.
[…]Part of Mr. Messina’s presentation is to caution donors that while Mr. Obama has recovered after the trouncing his party took in the 2010 elections and is well-positioned for 2012, he will face a tough re-election fight that will require substantial donor support[…].
It’s important to remember that Obama raised $779 million from almost 4 million donors during the 2008 campaign. That’s more than the combined totals raised by both Senator John Kerry (D-MA) and President George Bush during the 2004 presidential race. From CQ MoneyLine:
…Should he crack the $1 billion mark, Obama in one cycle will have raised roughly as much as the top Democratic and Republican candidates from the 2000 and 2004 cycles combined.
Romney’s impressive conservative credentials and values, life experience, and sharp intellect uniquely qualify him to lead our nation. It’s going to be a high-stakes 2012 presidential race and the GOP is facing a determined, union-backed, incumbent President.
Romney’s got the right message. Now, he’s getting the money.
If you care about who gets elected in 2012, you’d better be prepared to open your wallet. Donate to Romney’s Free and Strong America PAC here.
UPDATE (3/24/11): Governor Romney sat down with donors today in New York City’s Harvard Club:
The Wall Street Journal reports that Romney has met with big donors in big cities across the country in recent days, including 100-donor meeting at New York City’s Harvard Club today. Romney is urging his backers to raise “to raise between $25,000 and $50,000″ in the next 90 days. That will give Romney a nice financial foundation to launch a campaign from.