A Tribute to Ann Romney

Ann Romney was touched by the overwhelming cheers and applause she received as she prepared to speak at the Repubican National Convention in Tampa, Florida. Aug 27, 2012

Vigorously campaigning for Mitt and Paul Ryan, Ann Romney’s wonderful warmth, easy-going manner, sense of humor, courage, and compassion endeared her to throngs of Americans across the country.

When team Obama tried to land an uppercut by claiming Ann had never worked a day in her life, she turned them on their heads by defending her work to raise her five sons. Interestingly, I still read comments about the Romney household supposedly being filled with tons of servants and nannies. Before MRC is archived, I want to set the record straight – again. No. Ann Romney did the hard work, ran her own home, raised five great sons, served her community, and was also a magnificent First Lady of Massachusetts. Only after becoming ill with multiple sclerosis was it was determined that an individual to help with housecleaning a couple of times a month would be helpful.

Long-labeled her husband’s ‘secret weapon’ it was thrilling to watch amazing Ann’s popularity take flight throughout the whole campaign process. And that’s where it will remain. (That convention speech of hers… WOW.) She is the neighbor we’d like to know and the mom or sister or friend we’d like to have.

Ann Romney was and is a patriot.

This tribute is for you, Ann. Thank you so much for all you are. Thank you for the joy and hope you gave us along the campaign trail.

Click here to see/read great moments of Ann Romney on the campaign trail.

Newspaper Endorsements Unceasing, PRAISE for Romney/Ryan: OH, WI, IA, IL, OR, FL, MA, VA

(Photographer unknown)

They just keep coming…

Newspaper editorial boards across the USA believe in Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan. Give yourself a little time to read the many endorsements given for our guys the last few days. It’s a real treat.

Additional endorsements may be read here, here, and here.

Cincinnati Enquirer (OH)
EditorialThey just keep coming! Carve out a little time to read these many, fantastic endorsements. Help us share the news, too!
October 28, 2012

http://goo.gl/VZyxd

Presidential Endorsement: Mitt Romney

The No.1 issue in our region and our nation today is how to recharge our economy and get more people working in good-paying jobs. President Barack Obama has had four years to overcome the job losses of the Great Recession he inherited, but the recovery has been too slow and too weak. It’s time for new leadership from Mitt Romney, a governor and business leader with a record of solving problems.
….
Romney’s experience as a chief executive, business leader and governor position him to be the best candidate to lead us into a new era of streamlined but effective government with a renewed focus on maintaining America as the world’s leading economy. The best indicator of how Romney would lead is his record as governor. There we have evidence of a Romney who governs more moderately than he was forced to campaign in the long runup to the presidential election.
….
He came into office in 2003 facing an immediate budget shortfall of $450 million and projections of much worse. It was Massachusetts’ worst recession in decades. Romney’s approach was businesslike, and he didn’t spare any sacred cows. He made deep cuts in local government funding and to education. He didn’t raise state taxes, but he increased fees for many government services, which raised hundreds of millions. He took heat from businesses for closing loopholes that saved them money but cost the state revenue. He blocked companies from transferring intellectual property to out-of-state shell companies, and he barred banks and other companies from avoiding taxes by paper restructuring. The bottom line: He erased the deficit in Massachusetts (which was required by state law) and left office with a $600 million surplus. He replenished the state’s reserve fund two years into his term, pushing it to $2 billion by the time he left office in 2007.

Romney’s plans for recovery revolve around the economic principles of reducing government regulation, cutting corporate taxes and opening more global markets. It’s an approach consistent with who Mitt Romney is – a businessman and a moderate conservative who doesn’t believe so much in government’s making things happen as he does in lifting government interference so they can happen.

If Romney can stabilize and expand the U.S. economy, his greatest foreign policy contribution could be employing reinvigorated U.S. economic muscle to influence the global economy. This is a precarious time for America. We’d expect a President Romney to lead toward the center, to resist the calls for a hard turn to the right that are sure to come from within his party. Romney has accomplished progress with divided government – the Massachusetts General Court (the state’s Legislature) is overwhelmingly Democratic. The gridlock in D.C. is entrenched, and we’d urge him to make a priority of finding the common ground and using his leadership to forge compromise, coalitions and solutions. Romney as president should stay true to who he is – a moderate leader who can work with the left and right, with business and with government, and who will set an example, both as an individual and as the leader of the United States of America.



The Lima News (OH)
Editorial
October 28, 2012

http://www.limaohio.com

The Lima News Endorses Mitt Romney
..
Obama swept into office in 2008 promising hope and change. But change has come too slowly, and for too many people, hope surrendered to despair long ago.

That is why Lima News is calling for a change of leadership and is endorsing Republican Mitt Romney for president.

We have little confidence that Obama would be anymore successful given another four-year term. Our memory of a euphoric Obama who energized this country four years ago is now replaced by the picture of a slumping president, tired and defensive, during his first debate with Romney.

Today, family incomes are down. The middle class is shrinking and poverty is growing. College students are graduating deep in debt with questionable job opportunities.

At the same time, the government continues to take on more debt. It just wracked up its fourth straight 13-figure shortfall. During Obama’s four years the debt has grown to more than $5 trillion. He now believes the only way to trim the deficit is by raising taxes on the wealthy and eliminating tax breaks.

We feel Romney’s solid resume in the private sector will help here. He understands that reviving the economy and repairing the government’s balance sheet are things that need to happen now, not four years in the future. His five-point plan calls for raising revenue through business expansions — definitely not new taxes — and reducing spending.

Romney has the added benefit of likely dealing with a friendlier Congress. At least one chamber, if not both, are expected to favor Republicans. It is imperative the president and Congress work together. Two years ago, Congress recommended a bipartisan 10-year, $4 trillion deficit-reduction plan, only to be snubbed by Obama, who had his own, less ambitious plan.



Green Bay Press-Gazette (WI)
Editorial
October 28, 2012

http://www.greenbaypressgazette.com

We Recommend Romney For President

Four years ago, when Barack Obama was elected president, he campaigned on a message of hope and change
.

Many hoped he could bring change for a nation weary of two wars, a nation beset by a mortgage crisis and Wall Street scandal, and, most importantly, a nation whose economic future was so uncertain that massive government bailouts were needed.

However, four years later, the economy hasn’t rebounded. In fact, some say it’s worse, with high unemployment numbers, a trillion-dollar deficit, an even bigger national debt and uncertainty in the business world over the future of our economy. Poverty has increased, the median household income has dropped, and some have given up looking for work.

This nation cannot wait four more years to see if Obama’s policies will work. It needs to turn to someone who has a proven track record in the business community and will offer the steady hand to a teetering economy.

For that reason, the Green Bay Press-Gazette is endorsing Republican candidate Mitt Romney, who we believe is the best choice to turn around the U.S. economy. We believe the Republican candidate’s experience as CEO of Bain Capital, governor of Massachusetts and work with the Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City will be assets to turning around the economy.

Romney’s five-point jobs proposal looks to strengthen the middle class by creating 12 million jobs in his first term. Romney aims to reach this ambitious goal by achieving energy independence by 2020, expanding trade, improving education, cutting the deficit and helping small businesses.

Romney proposes 20 percent cuts in the marginal tax rate for individuals, which would reduce the top bracket from 35 to 28 percent, and cut the corporate tax rate from 35 to 28 percent. He would get rid of the death tax and the Alternative Minimum Tax. He would eliminate taxes on interest, dividends and capital gains for those earning less than $200,000.

Romney would cut the deficit with smaller government and addressing the national debt. The deficit was at $1.09 trillion as of Sept. 30, according to the Congressional Budget Office, which is a slight drop from the $1.3 trillion deficit Obama faced when he took office. He had pledged in February 2009 to “cut the deficit we inherited in half by the end of my first term in office.”

Despite all this, we can’t we can’t ignore the state of the economy today. It is the overriding factor in people’s lives. How they pay for health care, how they pay for their mortgage, how they pay the bills, how they pay for retirement are all chief concerns that need to be answered. They are concerns that cut across are classes and are paramount in deciding who should be in the White House.

How long can Obama blame his predecessor for the current financial woes without taking any responsibility for some of the economic duress and gridlock? At some point, the problems a president inherits become his problems if he hasn’t been able to solve them.

At that point, then, we need someone else in the White House who can solve them. We believe that person is Mitt Romney.


MUCH more! Click here.

Newspaper Endorsements Pour In for Romney/Ryan: NH, MA, WV, TX, MI, VA, NY, D.C.

Photo – Al Behrman / AP

Like a waterfall, newspaper editorial board endorsements for Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan continue to pour in…

Foster’s Daily Democrat (NH)
Editorial
October 24, 2012

http://goo.gl/9AhMb

It’s Now Time To Decide

If you had already made up your mind going into Monday night’s presidential debate, nothing said probably changed your mind. But for those who were undecided, there certainly was some food for thought.

But what was lacking on the part of the president was a vision for the future and credibility based on the past. The current commander in chief repeatedly accused Romney of reaching back into history for failed policies of the past both home and abroad. The president summoned images of President Herbert Hoover and others which history has deemed failures. In doing so, Obama tried to gloss over his own history of failed promises — on unemployment, on balancing the budget, cutting the deficit and — as we believe — earning the respect of our overseas allies.

Admittedly, Obama’s failures center mostly around domestic policy — Romney’s strength. But as Romney pointed out Monday night, in order to be strong and respected on the international stage, the United States must be strong economically.

As readers know, there is no doubt on the part of the editorial board here at Foster’s Daily Democrat new leadership is needed from the White House. We believe all three debates — but especially the first — support that notion. We believe that, on balance, the debates have shown Mitt Romney to be the more capable and with a vision for the future — a vision President Obama has failed to offer.

On Nov. 6, we urge voters to give Mitt Romney a chance to offer the nation real hope and change.



Boston Herald
Editorial Staff
October 23, 2012

http://www.bostonherald.com

Romney’s The One

Four years ago the voters put their faith in a man who offered vague promises of hope and change at a time when any change looked like a good idea and hope was in short supply.

What this nation got in Barack Obama was a president who used an economic crisis to further his redistributionist agenda — and, not surprisingly, failed miserably at restoring American prosperity. Oh, he brought change all right — to a government-knows-best philosophy that has given us four years of high unemployment, higher gas prices, a $16 trillion deficit, and a job-killing regulatory environment.
..
Enough! This isn’t the kind of change anyone can believe in.

The other simple fact is that in Mitt Romney voters have not merely a safe and steady alternative but a proven leader and an extraordinarily skilled expert in the art of the economic turnaround.

He did that all over again for the 2002 Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City.

What Romney knows at the core of his being is that sometimes government must step aside and sometimes it must lead.

Last night the nation saw a man who in the area of foreign policy is prepared to lead, who knows that for the United States to remain safe it must reclaim its place on the world stage.

During the last four years the world has become a more dangerous place. We can’t afford four more years of a leadership vacuum.

Not when in Mitt Romney voters have the choice of a strong, smart hand on the helm, a decent, caring man, who lives his faith, who loves his country and would serve it well. For all of those reasons, the Boston Herald is pleased to endorse Mitt Romney for president.

So much more! Click here.

Newspapers Endorsements Pouring In For Romney/Ryan: OH, FL, PA, NV, NH, MA, AZ, TX

Sixteen days to go.

Newspaper editorial boards across America are endorsing Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan!

Three days, 12 endorsements:

Columbus Dispatch
Editorial
October 21, 2012

http://www.dispatch.com

For President

After nearly four years of economic stagnation, massive unemployment, record-setting debt and government intrusions into the economy that have paralyzed the private sector, the United States needs a new direction. For this reason, The Dispatch urges voters to choose Republican Mitt Romney for president in the Nov. 6 election.

Four years after promising hope and change, and after a deficit-driving $787 billion stimulus program, here is the result:

• 12.1 million unemployed, with an unemployment rate above 8 percent for 43 of the past 44 months.

• 8.6 million working part time because they can’t find full-time work

• 2.5 million who wanted to work, but have stopped looking for jobs.

• In 2009, real median household income was $52,195. By 2011, it had fallen to $50,054

• In 2009, the U.S. poverty rate was 14.3 percent. By 2011, the poverty rate climbed to 15 percent.

• On Obama’s watch, 12 million more Americans joined the food-stamp program, which has reached a record of more than 46 million enrollees.

• Annual federal budget deficits above $1 trillion for the past four years, increasing the national debt to an all-time high of $16 trillion.

Obama has failed. That is why Mitt Romney is the preferred choice for president. Romney’s adult life has been spent turning around troubled private and public institutions. These turnarounds include scores of companies acquired and restructured by Bain Capital, the investment firm he founded in 1984. Not all were successes, but that is because to a significant degree, many of the companies Bain took on were high-risk. In 1999, he was asked to take over the scandal-plagued and fiscally mismanaged 2002 Olympics in Salt Lake City. He quickly streamlined its management, fixed its finances and guaranteed its security, turning it into a success. As governor of Massachusetts, he made tough decisions to lead the state out of a budget deficit, and he did so in a state dominated by Democrats.

As a career businessman and former governor, Romney brings a wealth of executive experience in the private sector and the public sector that dwarfs that of Obama. From working both sides of the government/private-sector equation, he understands how that relationship can aid or impede prosperity. His election would be an immediate signal to the private sector that someone who knows what he is doing is managing the nation’s economic policy. The effect on business confidence would be dramatic and immediate, and business confidence is the vital ingredient needed to spur investment and hiring, the two things that the United States so desperately needs.

In 2008, Americans made a leap of faith when they elevated the inexperienced Obama to the White House. That faith was not rewarded. This time, voters should place their hopes for change in experience, by electing Romney.



Orlando Sentinel
Editorial
October 19, 2012

http://www.orlandosentinel.com

Our Pick For President: Romney

Two days after his lackluster first debate performance, President Barack Obama’s re-election hopes got a timely boost. The government’s monthly jobless report for September showed the nation’s unemployment rate fell below 8 percent for the first time since he took office.

If that were the only metric that mattered, the president might credibly argue that the U.S. economy was finally on the right track. Unfortunately for him, and for the American people, he can’t.

We have little confidence that Obama would be more successful managing the economy and the budget in the next four years. For that reason, though we endorsed him in 2008, we are recommending Romney in this race.

Now the president and his supporters are attacking Romney because his long-term budget blueprint calls for money-saving reforms to Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security, three of the biggest drivers of deficit spending. Obama would be more credible in critiquing the proposal if he had a serious alternative for bringing entitlement spending under control. He doesn’t.

[T]he core of Romney’s campaign platform, his five-point plan, at least shows he understands that reviving the economy and repairing the government’s balance sheet are imperative — now, not four years in the future.

Romney has a strong record of leadership to run on. He built a successful business. He rescued the 2002 Winter Olympics from scandal and mismanagement. As governor of Massachusetts, he worked with a Democrat-dominated legislature to close a $3billion budget deficit without borrowing or raising taxes….

But after reflecting on his [Obama's] four years in the White House, we also don’t think that he’s the best qualified candidate in this race.

We endorse Mitt Romney for president.



Oh, there’s lots more! Click here.

Key Differences Between RomneyCare and ObamaCare

*Got questions about RomneyCare and ObamaCare? Visit our newly updated page on RomneyCare – The Truth about Massachusetts Health Care to find articles like this and other questions you may be wondering.

It is often asserted that RomneyCare is the same thing as ObamaCare, but this is simply not true. It is important to note that Massachusetts, the state where Romneycare was founded, opposed Obamacare. In fact, Massachusetts opposed Obamacare so much that they elected Senator Scott Brown (R) in 2010 to be the deciding vote against Obamacare after Senator Ted Kennedy’s death. Why would the state where Romneycare was founded be opposed to Obamacare if the two laws were really the same? The answer is, of course, that they are not the same. While there are similarities between the two laws, there are also key differences. Below is a table of differences between the Romney plan and the Obama plan.


RomneyCare
ObamaCare
Overall Size and Scope
-Whole bill was 70 pages
-Romney vetoed significant sections of the bill including the employer penalty for not providing health insurance
-Romney favored an “opt out” provision from the mandate
-Romney favored no mandated benefits for health care coverage, catastrophic only
-No federal gov. insurance option
-Intended as a market driven solution to healthcare
-Whole bill was 2,074 pages
-Very broad regulation of the insurance industry including an employer penalty for not providing health insurance and no “opt out” provision
-Establishes a 15 member board of unelected bureaucrats with great control over health care benefits and risks rationing health care
-Leaves open the option of creating single-payer gov. insurance in the future
-Intended as a step toward gov. run insurance
Costs
-No new taxes!
-Romney balanced the state’s budget first, then passed healthcare law
-No cuts to Medicare benefits
-Modest cost to state (only added 1% to state budget)
-Increased taxes by $500 billion and taxes people who don’t buy insurance
-Despite massive federal gov. debt, Obama still passed Obamacare
-Cuts Medicare by $500 billion
-Overall costs unknown!
Popularity
-Very strong bipartisan support
-Strong special interest support
-Very popular among the public in Massachusetts
-Strong consensus of approval was built in the state to support the law
-Consensus was built to support an individual mandate
-Absolutely no bipartisan support
-Very controversial and divided special interest groups
-Unpopular in nation overall
-No consensus was built to support a mandate
Does Constitution Define it as a “Tax” or “Penalty/Fee”?
-Supreme Court Chief Justice Roberts ruled state mandates are “penalties” because states have different authority and powers than the fed. gov.
-Mass. constitution never considered this a tax
-Supreme Court ruled that federal gov. only has the authority to enact this law by its ability “tax,” and does not meet the required standards to be considered a “penalty.”
-This tax breaks Obama’s promise that he would not raise taxes on the middle class
Federalism
-A state solution to a state problem
-Through collaboration and discussion, Massachusetts created a consensus among stake holders to support the new law
-Federal gov. “one-size-fits-all” plan
-Doesn’t take into account that each state is unique in important ways such as:
1)Vastly different debt levels between states (some states can’t afford new spending on health care)
2)Some states have three times the percentage of uninsured citizens (Much greater costs will be imposed on states with a larger percentage of uninusured citizens)
3)Conservative states will reject implementation of federal gov. plan.


As the above table illustrates, the plan Romney proposed was a much more conservative, business friendly law than what the Democrats passed under President Obama.

The Boston Globe editorial board recently published an article defending RomneyCare on conservative grounds. The editorial board states “the role Romney played on the state level was skillful, creative, and business friendly. Romney was a governor sensitive to business concerns and worried about the state’s business climate.”

A crucial difference between RomneyCare and ObamaCare is that the two healthcare plans, while similar in some ways, present vast differences in the essential origins and motives that separate Barack Obama and Mitt Romney. One author summarized it this way:
 

We know what Romney’s goal was when he passed his health care plan. His goal was to involve the private sector of Massachusetts in insuring a small percentage of the Massachusetts’ residents [who didn't have health insurance and who were receiving free health care from the government.]

Obama’s goal prior to signing Obamacare into law was much, much bigger.
In 2003, he said, ”I happen to be a proponent of a single-payer universal health care plan.”

The fact is, Obamacare was originally going to be single payer. It was going to be European — as close to it as Congress would allow. But that was curbed. What they got, instead — what we got, instead — was the first step. Obamacare. The first step toward single-payer, universal healthcare coverage.

And that is the crucial difference. Romney never said, never touted, never promised that “we may not get [single-payer] immediately” or even a little later than immediately. Romneycare is not Obamacare because Obamacare is just getting started. One was an end in and of itself. The other is (still) a means to an end.

In 2006 when RomneyCare was passed, most conservatives praised Romney’s plan. The Bush administration sent a letter praising the passage of the new law. An often overlooked fact is that without the support of the Bush administration, Romney’s health care law never would have become a reality.

One of Romney’s main goals in passing healthcare legislation was to counter many much more liberal attempts within Massachusetts to take over the healthcare system. The Boston Globe newspaper discusses in detail one plan that Romney feared would become law if action was not taken. That plan was the imposition of a payroll tax of up to $1,700 per employee on all businesses that did not offer health insurance to their employees. It was a serious threat. The plan had been voted on in the year 2000 and the law barely failed by 3%. In 2006 the employer mandate coupled with a heavy payroll tax was to be voted on again.

In regard to ObamaCare, Romney firmly believes that each state should have the right to craft its own health care program. Health care has traditionally been a state issue, not a federal issue, and Romney wants to keep it that way. In his book, No Apology, Romney states:

“My own preference is to let each state fashion its own program to meet the distinct needs of its citizens. States could follow the Massachusetts model if they choose, or they could develop plans of their own. These plans, tested in the state ‘laboratories of democracy,’ could be evaluated, compared, improved upon, and adopted by others.”

In keeping with the belief that states should be able to craft their own programs, Romney has said that on his first day as president, he would issue a waiver to all 50 states allowing them to opt out of ObamaCare. This waiver would allow states to postpone the implementation of ObamaCare while Romney works with congress to formally repeal the bill.

In conclusion, a recent article in The New Yorker magazine states that “Romney had accomplished a longstanding Democratic goal – universal health insurance – by combining three conservative policies.” In other words, Romney had beaten Democrats at their own goal of providing universal health insurance – but Romney’s novel approach accomplished this goal not with a government takeover, but with conservative principles. The success of Romney’s healthcare law led many Democrats to consider adopting a similar approach to achieving universal health insurance. However, the end result from the Democrats under President Obama was a plan with a much larger government, much greater spending, increased taxes, and less power to the states and individuals to determine their own health care goals.

Pleading on Air Force One Perpetuates Perceptions of Panic

Early yesterday I heard on the radio that Mr. Obama was begging people to donate to his campaign in a rambling conference call initiated by him on Air Force One. The person reporting on it said those attending the call said he sounded “weary” and “desperate.”

Ten days ago, I posted “Why Mitt Romney will Beat Barack Obama in the Cash Race” in which it had been reported that Mr. Obama — by the end of April — had already held more fundraisers, as an incumbent president, than all five of his predecessors combined!

Every incumbent president has an enormous advantage over any challenger for all the obvious reasons; it is why no incumbent president has ever raised less campaign cash than his challenger. Never. And remember, presidential fundraising is a form of voting.

Yesterday, The Telegraph published an article titled, “US election: Barack Obama begs donors for more as Mitt Romney rakes it in” that started off:

In a phone call from Air Force One, the President reportedly told a group of top donors “I can’t do this by myself” and urged them to open their cheque books to “meet or exceed what you did in 2008″.

Noting that most had “maxed out to my campaign last time,” Mr Obama told them: “I really need you to do the same this time,” according to a leaked transcript.

Despite holding a narrow lead over his rival, the president informed the supporters that his ability to campaign and broadcast advertisements in key battleground states such as Florida and Ohio directly depended on their generosity.

Details of the call emerged days after Mr Obama warned supporters that he would be “the first president in modern history to be outspent” by his opponent unless donors upped their contributions.

Following is the most interesting quote I heard on the radio this morning. Why is it that when we hear or read almost anything in which Obama is being quoted, he refers to himself? From patting himself on the back for ordering the raid on Bin Laden to his poor circumstances as noted here? Is this one a case of whining again or basic narcissism?

“In 2008 everything was new and exciting about our campaign,” Mr Obama said, according to a recording of the call obtained by The Daily Beast, a news website. “And now I’m the incumbent president. I’ve got grey hair. People have seen disappointment because folks had a vision of change happening immediately. And it turns out change is hard.”

Change is hard for the person that has never been a leader or change agent. Mr. Obama is just now discovering, after 44 months, that change is difficult? This quote just above is nothing short of pathetic. Whining — Pathetic — Self-centered. Oh, the poor man; he has grey hair.

Sheldon Adelson, a casino tycoon who last month gave Restore Our Future $10 million (£6.4 million), has pledged to spend “whatever it takes” to kill Mr Obama’s “socialist agenda”, friends have said.

As I heard about Mr. Obama’s begging for money on Air Force One, I started doing some basic calculations to try and guess how much each $1,000 of money raised cost the taxpayers in AF1 fuel, salaries and benefits of Air Force and Secret Service personnel, etc. I wish there was some way we could vote Mr. Obama out of office much sooner than November 6th. I can only dream.

In the meantime, we must all work as hard as we can to bring about a huge result that first week of November! Every person’s effort in grassroots work will have a cumulative impact that will be enormous. Never forget that. Every little bit helps. Just do it. Never quit — never.

Contrast Mr. Obama’s pathetic quote above with the fact that Mitt Romney has been a change agent and a strong leader for well over 35 years. Do you think Mitt Romney has ever complained about change being difficult? Need I say more?


Values, distinctly American: “Liberty” — “In God We Trust” — “E Pluribus Unum”

Twitter Follow: @VicLundquist

Romney vs. Axelrod: A Tale of Two Pressers

I’m excited to mention that Rush read one of our MRC tweets on the air today. I’m not posting it here on the top because it’s part of this story. To see the tweet he read and hear the audio be sure to continue reading the story below. Thanks, Nate.

—————————————————————————

Very interesting news today has many heretofore Romney-doubting GOPers taking courage in the swift, hard-hitting capabilities of the Romney campaign. Two “surprise” press conferences were held today, by Romney and Axelrod, but only one ended up being an actual surprise. Both were dominated by the Romney camp. These events happened early enough today that they were actually discussed on Rush and Hannity today, and will certainly make your evening news.

Part One: The Axelrod press conference

  • A surprise visit by Chief Obama strategist David Axelrod to Boston was publicly announced just last night. Purpose of his “presser”: Dis Romney’s record as Governor.
  • Oddly, the short notice is somehow enough time for CNN to arrange to have a live feed available. Team Romney springs into action to round up a large group of protesters armed with big signs, and chants.
  • Romney supporters are waiting on the steps of the capital building as Obama’s advance Team arrives to set up. (Pics below)
  • Throughout the presser attention is obviously stolen by protesters as they run through a series of chants including: Solyndra, Five more months, We want Mitt, Where are the jobs, Broken record, and more. Axelrod actually responds to protestors at one point with the phrase “You can’t handle the truth.”
  • Big win for Team Romney as news reports focus on the protestors rather than Axelrod’s anti-Romney message.

Part Two: Romney holds surprise press conference in front of Solyndra

  • On the other side of the country Team Romney has the entire press corp on a bus with Mitt on board as well. The press are told only that they are going to a secret location and they will be there in one hour.
  • Less than an hour after Axelrod’s presser ends CNN (and others) break news that Romney will hold press conference at Solyndra.
  • Mitt highlights the failure of Solyndra as a symbol of Obama’s administration and calls it a huge conflict of interest by Obama.
  • Conservatives in the blogosphere and on twitter cheer Team Romney for being two steps ahead of the competition

This is one of those days that is great for following news events on twitter. I will enclose only a small number of the great tweets, pictures and videos coming from today’s events. More below the fold.
(more…)

Romney’s Message of Service vs. Obama’s of Politics

American presidential politics always pit a Republican against a Democrat, but rarely do we see true polar opposites come together to compete as we have in 2012. In my lifetime, the last presidential election I can recall that included distinctly different candidates was the Carter / Reagan election of 1980. In so many interesting ways, this election feels oddly similar to those times.

Barnard College, May 14th -- WSJ

In recent days, Governor Romney and President Obama gave commencement speeches at two different colleges. The speech given by Governor Romney was truly inspiring and one of the best he has ever given. If you have not seen it, you really need to (it really is worth the time). To watch it in its entirety, click here.

Daniel Henninger’s weekly column in The Wall Street Journal yesterday was titled, “A Tale of Two Commencements” — (For Obama, politics is life. For Romney, politics does not define us.)

Henninger perfectly contrasts Obama’s frequent victims message with Romney’s message of optimism, rooted in selfless service.

Liberty University, May 12th

Two days after Mitt Romney delivered the commencement speech at Liberty University, the big evangelical Christian school founded by Jerry Falwell, Barack Obama tutored graduates at Barnard College, the intensely liberal all-women’s school adjacent to Columbia University. As you might guess, the wisdom these two political elders imparted to the Class of 2012 was not the same.
[...]
Barack Obama, by now a master at faux self-deflation, admitted he was pandering: “Now I recognize that’s a cheap applause line when you’re giving a commencement at Barnard.” (Laughter.) He had said the women of this generation will help lead the way. (Applause.)
[...]
The world that Barack Obama conveyed to the women at Barnard is totally, overwhelmingly political. To be sure, there were references to parental joy at the success of children completing college, but virtually every thought in the Obama commencement address—on the accomplishments of the past or a graduate’s goals—was defined by political activity.

He said they are about to grapple with unique challenges, “like whether you’ll be able to earn equal pay for equal work” or “fully control decisions about your own health.”

The role of the citizen in “our democracy” began 225 years ago at the Convention in Philadelphia, which had “flaws,” to wit: “Questions of race and gender were unresolved.” Nonetheless, it “allowed for protest and movements.”

And so: “Don’t accept somebody else’s construction of the way things ought to be. It’s up to you to right wrongs. It’s up to you to point out injustice. It’s up to you to hold the system accountable and sometimes upend it entirely. It’s up to you to stand up and to be heard, to write and to lobby, to march, to organize, to vote.”

Mr. Obama described his own early job as a community organizer: “I wanted to do my part to shape a better world.” He cited the accomplishments of previous generations of young people who “stood up and sat in from Seneca Falls to Selma to Stonewall.” This, Mr. Obama said, is how “we achieved” women’s rights, voting rights, workers’ rights and gay rights.

Barack Obama seems to inhabit a world of history and personal experience in which good people at every turn are held back by individuals or oppressive forces that one only overcomes by personal or public resistance.

Someone in high school told Labor Secretary Hilda Solis she wasn’t college material. Mr. Obama’s grandmother worked for a bank but hit the glass ceiling. And today there are “those who oppose change, those who benefit from an unjust status quo [and] have always bet on the public’s cynicism or the public’s complacency.” He predicts they will lose “this time as well.”

Fair enough. That’s how the world works for Barack Obama, though it strikes me he is telling America’s 22-year-olds that the road ahead is a fairly grim proletarian struggle. Be ready to occupy everything. Where’s the joy in that?

There was less tooth and claw in the Romney speech at Liberty University. In a discussion of the uses of religious freedom, one passage in particular separated Mr. Romney from Barack Obama’s default to mass action. “The great drama of Christianity,” Gov. Romney said, “is not a crowd shot, following the movements of collectives or even nations. The drama is always personal, individual, unfolding in one’s own life.” Out of this, he said, “Men and women of every faith, and good people with none at all, sincerely strive to do right and lead a purpose-driven life.”

Progress, he argued, emerges through “conscience in action,” for him “the nation’s greatest force for good.” Mr. Romney referred several times to the idea of personal service. “The call to service,” he said “is one of the fundamental elements of our national character. It has motivated every great movement of conscience that this hopeful, fair-minded country of ours has ever seen.”

For Barack Obama, life is politics. For Mitt Romney, life includes politics; politics, he said, does not define us.

To wage a presidential campaign in our nonstop media age, the man who sees politics as a battering ram may have an edge. But Mitt Romney, with his politics of optimism and personal conscience, could be onto something that will serve him well.

“Today, thanks to what you have gained here, you leave Liberty with conviction and confidence as your armor. You know what you believe. You know who you are. And you know Whom you will serve. Not all colleges instill that kind of confidence, but it will be among the most prized qualities from your education here. Moral certainty, clear standards, and a commitment to spiritual ideals will set you apart in a world that searches for meaning.” ~ Mitt Romney, Liberty University, May 12, 2012

Al Gore is Coaching President Obama on Business (it appears)

My cynical side tells me that Mr. Obama knowingly lies in his speeches. But then again, maybe he just does not understand business and history. By now, it is obvious to all American’s that Mr. Obama knows very little about basic business principles. Whether his errant rhetoric is dishonesty or lack of knowledge, does the distinction matter? Just below is the subtext of a brief WSJ editorial that reads:

“The Internet made Microsoft possible, and other tall tales.”

Mr. Obama runs fast and loose with business terminology all along the trail. Have you not heard him use the term “invest” or “investment” sprinkled among his other favorite words “fair” and “fairness?”

The very first thought I had when reading this piece was, “Did Al Gore coach Mr. Obama ahead of this speech?”

Today’s Journal carried an editorial called Obama’s History of Business that effectively calls into question his knowledge of business technology and his integrity:

[...] So eager is he to make this point that, well, let’s just say he sometimes wanders beyond his area of expertise, as he did last Thursday in Seattle.

“When I hear people talk about the free enterprise system and entrepreneurship, I try to remind them, you know, all of us made that investment in Darpa [the Department of Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency] that helped to get the Internet started,” said Mr. Obama. “So there’s no Facebook, there’s no Microsoft, there’s no Google if we hadn’t made this common investment in our future.”

Microsoft—a product of the Internet? That may surprise Bill Gates and Paul Allen, who founded the software company in 1975. The company didn’t introduce its first Internet browser for another 20 years, and in the meantime it became the dominant computer software company long before the Internet became economically important. The irony of Mr. Obama’s error is that for much of Microsoft’s history the Internet was seen as a threat to its desktop dominance.

There’s no doubt that Darpa has done many good things, but the point Mr. Obama misses is that Darpa is engaged in funding research. This is a proper role for government, especially on national defense. But Darpa does not attempt to commercialize products. Facebook and Google, like Apple and Microsoft, were founded by private investors.

The President likes to elide that distinction between government funding for basic research and commercialization, which is how his Administration lost so much money on stinkers like Solyndra.

Mr. Obama indulged in similar government hype in his January State of the Union address when he suggested that federal research spending “led to the computer chip.” Perhaps federal research made a contribution, but credit for building the first integrated circuit has generally been given to Jack Kilby at a company called Texas Instruments in 1958. Other innovations came from Bell Labs, Fairchild Semiconductor and Intel, among many other private firms.

The problem here is less Mr. Obama’s historical errors than his emphasis. He really does believe that prosperity flows from government, which is why all of his policies promote more government.

Just last week Mr. Obama told Americans that what is important is not whether you are better off today but whether you will be better off in the future (presumably hoping they will press “forward” with him again).

The answer to his rhetorical question is: “Yes! The future will be much brighter and all will be far better off with President Mitt Romney as our 45th President of the United States!”

“Nothing more completely baffles one who is full of trick and duplicity, than straightforward and simple integrity in another.” ~ Charles Caleb Colton

Mitt Romney’s Liberty University Commencement Address

Governor Mitt Romney's Commencement Address (FOX)


Governor Romney delivered a powerful commencement address to the graduating students of evangelical Christian Liberty University in Lynchburg, Virginia earlier today. This speech was historic for many reasons.

Before Governor Romney spoke, Liberty University Chancellor Jerry Falwell Jr. addressed the commencement day crowd of approximately 34,000. He reminded the audience that his father, the late Reverend Jerry Falwell, founded the university in 1971 to be for evangelical Christians “what Notre Dame is to young Catholics and Brigham Young is to young Mormons.”

The introduction for Governor Romney begins at 25:27 with remarks from Chancellor Falwell and Mark DeMoss, Chairman of Liberty University. (You don’t want to skip the intros!):

If that video gives you problems, click here to watch the address on Youtube.

By Mitt Romney

For the graduates, this moment marks a clear ending and a clear beginning. The task set before you four years ago is now completed in full. To the class of 2012: Well done, and congratulations.

Some of you may have taken a little longer than four years to complete your studies. One graduate has said that he completed his degree in only two terms: Clinton’s and Bush’s.

In some ways, it is fitting that I share this distinction with Truett Cathy. The Romney campaign comes to a sudden stop when we spot a Chick-fil-A. Your chicken sandwiches were our comfort food through the primary season, and there were days that we needed a lot of comforting. So, Truett, thank you and congratulations on your well-deserved honor today.

There are some people here who are even more pleased than the graduates. Those would be the parents. Their years of prayers, devotion, and investment have added up to this joyful achievement. And with credit to Congressman Dick Armey: The American Dream is not owning your own home, it is getting your kids out of the home you own.

Lately, I’ve found myself thinking about life in four-year stretches. And let’s just say that not everybody has achieved as much in these last four years as you have.

That’s a theme for another day. But two observations. First, even though job opportunities are scarce in this economy, it is not for nothing that you have spent this time preparing. Jerry Falwell, Senior, long ago observed that “You do not determine a man’s greatness by his talent or wealth, as the world does, but rather by what it takes to discourage him.” America needs your skill and talent. If we take the right course, we will see a resurgence in the American economy that will surprise the world, and that will open new doors of opportunity for those who are prepared as you are.

Of course, what the next four years might hold for me is yet to be determined. But I will say that things are looking up, and I take your kind hospitality today as a sign of good things to come.

I consider it a great life honor to address you today. Your generosity of spirit humbles me. The welcoming spirit of Liberty is a tribute to the gracious Christian example of your founder.

In his 73 years of life, Dr. Falwell left a big mark. For nearly five decades he shared that walk with his good wife Macel. It’s wonderful to see her today. The calling Jerry answered was not an easy one. Today we remember him as a courageous and big-hearted minister of the Gospel who never feared an argument, and never hated an adversary. Jerry deserves the tribute he would have treasured most, as a cheerful, confident champion for Christ.

I will always remember his cheerful good humor and selflessness. Several years ago, in my home, my wife and I were posing for a picture together with him. We wanted him to be in the center of the photo, but he insisted that Ann be in the middle, with he and I on the sides. He explained, by pointing to me and himself, “You see, Christ died between two thieves.”

Maybe the most confident step Jerry ever took was to open the doors of this school 41 years ago.

He believed that Liberty might become one of the most respected Christian universities anywhere on earth. And so it is today.

He believed, even when the first graduating class consisted of 13 students, that year after year young Christians would be drawn to such a university in ever-greater numbers. And here you are.

Today, thanks to what you have gained here, you leave Liberty with conviction and confidence as your armor. You know what you believe. You know who you are. And you know Whom you will serve. Not all colleges instill that kind of confidence, but it will be among the most prized qualities from your education here. Moral certainty, clear standards, and a commitment to spiritual ideals will set you apart in a world that searches for meaning.

That said, your values will not always be the object of public admiration. In fact, the more you live by your beliefs, the more you will endure the censure of the world. Christianity is not the faith of the complacent, the comfortable or of the timid. It demands and creates heroic souls like Wesley, Wilberforce, Bonhoeffer, John Paul the Second, and Billy Graham. Each showed, in their own way, the relentless and powerful influence of the message of Jesus Christ. May that be your guide.

You enter a world with civilizations and economies that are far from equal. Harvard historian David Landes devoted his lifelong study to understanding why some civilizations rise, and why others falter. His conclusion: Culture makes all the difference. Not natural resources, not geography, but what people believe and value. Central to America’s rise to global leadership is our Judeo-Christian tradition, with its vision of the goodness and possibilities of every life.

The American culture promotes personal responsibility, the dignity of work, the value of education, the merit of service, devotion to a purpose greater than self, and, at the foundation, the pre-eminence of the family.

The power of these values is evidenced by a Brookings Institution study that Senator Rick Santorum brought to my attention. For those who graduate from high school, get a full-time job, and marry before they have their first child, the probability that they will be poor is 2%. But, if those things are absent, 76% will be poor. Culture matters.

As fundamental as these principles are, they may become topics of democratic debate. So it is today with the enduring institution of marriage. Marriage is a relationship between one man and one woman.

The protection of religious freedom has also become a matter of debate. It strikes me as odd that the free exercise of religious faith is sometimes treated as a problem, something America is stuck with instead of blessed with. Perhaps religious conscience upsets the designs of those who feel that the highest wisdom and authority comes from government.

But from the beginning, this nation trusted in God, not man. Religious liberty is the first freedom in our Constitution. And whether the cause is justice for the persecuted, compassion for the needy and the sick, or mercy for the child waiting to be born, there is no greater force for good in the nation than Christian conscience in action.

Religious freedom opens a door for Americans that is closed to too many others around the world. But whether we walk through that door, and what we do with our lives after we do, is up to us.

Someone once observed that the great drama of Christianity is not a crowd shot, following the movements of collectives or even nations. The drama is always personal, individual, unfolding in one’s own life. We’re not alone in sensing this. Men and women of every faith, and good people with none at all, sincerely strive to do right and lead a purpose-driven life.

And, in the way of lessons learned, by hitting the mark or by falling short, I can tell you this much for sure.

All that you have heard here at Liberty University – about trusting in God and in His purpose for each of us–makes for more than a good sermon. It makes for a good life. So many things compete for our attention and devotion. That doesn’t stop as you get older. We are all prone, at various turns, to treat the trivial things as all-important, the all-important things as trivial, and little by little lose sight of the one thing that endures forever.

No person I have ever met, not even the most righteous or pure of heart, has gone without those times when faith recedes in the busy-ness of life. It’s normal, and sometimes even the smallest glimpses of the Lord’s work in our lives can reawaken our hearts. They bring us back to ourselves – and, better still, to something far greater than ourselves.

What we have, what we wish we had – ambitions fulfilled, ambitions disappointed … investments won, investments lost … elections won, elections lost – these things may occupy our attention, but they do not define us. And each of them is subject to the vagaries and serendipities of life. Our relationship with our Maker, however, depends on none of this. It is entirely in our control, for He is always at the door, and knocks for us. Our worldly successes cannot be guaranteed, but our ability to achieve spiritual success is entirely up to us, thanks to the grace of God. The best advice I know is to give those worldly things your best but never your all, reserving the ultimate hope for the only one who can grant it.

Many a preacher has advised the same, but few as memorably as Martin Luther King, Jr. “As a young man,” he said, “with most of my life ahead of me, I decided early to give my life to something eternal and absolute. Not to these little gods that are here today and gone tomorrow. But to God who is the same yesterday, today, and forever.”

In this life, the commitments that come closest to forever are those of family.

My Dad, George Romney, was a CEO, a governor, and a member of the President’s Cabinet. My wife Ann asked him once, “What was your greatest accomplishment?” Without a moment’s pause, he said, “Raising our four kids.”

Ann and I feel the same way about our family. I have never once regretted missing a business opportunity so that I could be with my children and grandchildren. Among the things in life that can be put off, being there when it matters most isn’t one of them.

As C.S. Lewis is said to have remarked, “The home is the ultimate career. All other careers exist for one purpose, and that is to support the ultimate career.”

Promotions often mark the high points in a career, and I hope I haven’t seen my last. But sometimes the high points come in unexpected ways. I was asked to help rescue the 2002 Olympics in Salt Lake City.

I’m embarrassed now to recall that when this opportunity was first presented to me, I dismissed it out of hand. I was busy, I was doing well, and, by the way, my lack of athletic prowess did not make the Olympics a logical step. In fact, after I had accepted the position, my oldest son called me and said, “Dad, I’ve spoken to the brothers. We saw the paper this morning. We want you to know there’s not a circumstance we could have conceived of that would put you on the front page of the sports section.”

The Olympics were not a logical choice, but it was one of the best and most fulfilling choices of my life. Opportunities for you to serve in meaningful ways may come at inconvenient times, but that will make them all the more precious.

People of different faiths, like yours and mine, sometimes wonder where we can meet in common purpose, when there are so many differences in creed and theology. Surely the answer is that we can meet in service, in shared moral convictions about our nation stemming from a common worldview. The best case for this is always the example of Christian men and women working and witnessing to carry God’s love into every life – people like the late Chuck Colson.

Not long ago, Chuck recounted a story from his days just after leaving prison. He was assured by people of influence that, even with a prison record, a man with his connections and experience could still live very comfortably. They would make some calls, get Chuck situated, and set him up once again as an important man. His choice at that crossroads would make him, instead, a great man.

The call to service is one of the fundamental elements of our national character. It has motivated every great movement of conscience that this hopeful, fair-minded country of ours has ever seen. Sometimes, as Dr. Viktor Frankl observed in a book for the ages, it is not a matter of what we are asking of life, but rather what life is asking of us. How often the answer to our own troubles is to help others with theirs.

In all of these things – faith, family, work, and service –the choices we make as Americans are, in other places, not choices at all. For so many on this earth, life is filled with orders, not options, right down to where they live, the work they do, and how many children the state will permit them to have. All the more reason to be grateful, this and every day, that we live in America, where the talents God gave us may be used in freedom.

At this great Christian institution, you have all learned a thing or two about these gifts and the good purposes they can serve. They are yours to have and yours to share. Sometimes, your Liberty education will set you apart, and always it will help direct your path. And as you now leave, and make for new places near and far, I hope for each one of you that your path will be long and life will be kind.

The ideals that brought you here … the wisdom you gained here … and the friends you found here – may these blessings be with you always, wherever you go.

Thank you all, and God bless you.

Photo - Reuters/Kevin Lamarque

Governor Romney’s speech built an inter-faith bridge:

Some students, such as J.D. Wilkinson, a worship and music studies major from Springfield, Massachusetts, told CNN that they liked that Romney spoke out on the same-sex marriage issue.

“This school has always been about being not politically correct, just saying it, just telling the truth how it is and I thought he did that,” Wilkinson said. “I think that’s fresh in today’s world and I think that’s needed.”

Another, Michael Kildare, said he doesn’t identify strongly with a particular political party but is open to hearing more about Romney after today’s speech. Kildare, who is from Orlando, Florida, will return to his home city to take a job as a computer technician.

I was kind of skeptical at first but he definitely said some things that I have to take into consideration,” he said. “He’s definitely a good candidate for the presidency and I definitely look forward to his other speeches and other campaign ideas.

(emphasis added)

Congratulations and best wishes to the graduates!