Debate In Boca Raton: Obama’s Stink Eye, Romney Boosts Presidential Stature

Obama tried to appear intimidating throughout the evening… The President also clenched his jaw plenty of times through the third and final presidential debate with Governor Mitt Romney at Lynn University, Boca Raton, FL. Oct 23, 2012 (photographer unknown)

It’s all about swing states and undecided voters…

After last night’s debate in Boca Raton, one of the much-talked-of “undecideds” DECIDED. She (yes, one of the prized female voters) appeared on FOX News this morning to explain.

What swayed her is key.

Identified as ‘Wendy’, she felt that, even though last night’s debate was about foreign policy, it all kept coming back to the economy. She was impressed with Mitt Romney’s economic expertise and got the salient point he made that a strong national defense depends on a strong military and a strong military depends on a strong economy. When asked about Obama’s performance and especially his meant-to-insult ‘horses, bayonets, aircraft carriers’ comment she replied, “Honestly, he came off like a bully.” Wendy concluded that Obama’s tone was degrading and for her, personally, she did not like it.

Condescension and ridicule is not appealing, especially to many women, and especially when the one doing the condescending and ridiculing has such a failed record. Obama has become the politician he excoriated when he first ran for president.

Obama’s locked-on, aggressive, theatrical glare toward Romney throughout the debate revealed a peevish, insecure president. Instead of making himself look like the Commander-in-Chief, he reduced himself to Commander-of-Stink Eye.


What are others saying about the debate?

They’re saying if one wasn’t aware of American politics and had just tuned in, they would have thought Romney was the President and Obama was the wanna-be challenger. Romney also handily dismissed Obama’s false meme that he’s a warmonger. He’s NOT SCARY.

They’re also saying: Romney “LOOKED AND SOUNDED PRESIDENTIAL.”

“Romney Did What He Needed To Do” … “He Gets The Win” … “Looked Cooler Than A Sometimes Peevish Mr. Obama”

Romney Press:

The Wall Street Journal: Mitt Romney “Wasn’t Rattled, And If Anything Looked Cooler Than A Sometimes Peevish Mr. Obama.” “Mr. Romney was clearly keeping his eye on his main challenge of the evening, which was looking Presidential on issues that offer an incumbent a natural advantage. He passed that test with ease, making no major mistakes while offering impressive detail on everything from the radical government in Mali—make that ‘north Mali’—to Pakistan’s nuclear arsenal. He wasn’t rattled, and if anything looked cooler than a sometimes peevish Mr. Obama.” (The Wall Street Journal, 10/23/12)

New York Post: “Romney More Than Held His Own, Proving Himself A More-Than-Credible Potential Commander-In-Chief. … He Gets The Win.” “President Obama went on the attack against Mitt Romney again last night in their final debate — a tactic usually reserved for the challenger. The president, no doubt, felt the need — given Romney’s recent surge in the polls and Obama’s disappointing record on foreign-policy issues, the topic of the debate. But Romney more than held his own, proving himself a more-than-credible potential commander-in-chief. By that alone, he gets the win.” (New York Post, 10/23/12)

ABC News’ Rick Klein: “In A Debate About Who Should Be Commander-In-Chief, Mitt Romney Was Just As Much In Command As The Man In The Job Now.” (ABC News, 10/23/12)

Time’s Mark Halperin: Romney “Completed The Trifecta Of Appearing As The President’s Semiotic Equal In Every Debate.” (Time, 10/22/12)

The Wall Street Journal’s Bret Stephens: “Mitt Romney Emerges Looking Like A Perfectly Plausible President…” “[Romney’s] most effective turns in the debate came when he brought it all back to the economy. He seemed reasonable and tempered and pragmatic and unruffled and therefore presidential. … But Mitt Romney emerges looking like a perfectly plausible president—which was no doubt all he wanted from tonight.” (The Wall Street Journal, 10/23/12)

Governor Mitt Romney shakes hands with Barack Obama after the debate at the Keith C. and Elaine Johnson Wold Performing Arts center at Lynn University on October 22, 2012 in Boca Raton, Florida. Click on image to enlarge. (Photo – Getty Images)

Politico’s Alexander Burns: Romney Had “A Cooler Approach To The Debate That Reflected His Enhanced Stature…” “Romney, for his part, took a cooler approach to the debate that reflected his enhanced stature in a race that has tightened since the first debate in Denver at the start of October.” (Politico, 10/22/12)

CNN’s John King: “After Three Debates, The Trend Line Is Moving Governor Romney’s Way.” “After three debates, the trend line is moving Governor Romney’s way. In all nine tossup states, Governor Romney was in a stronger position this morning than he was the day before the first debate” (CNN, 10/22/12)

Politico’s Glenn Thrush: Romney “Showed An Easy Mastery Of The Details That Has Sometimes Bedeviled Lesser Candidates.” “Rules or no, Romney was at his most effective when calmly articulating his economic case and calling out the president for failing to articulate a detailed vision for his second term. … Romney didn’t embarrass himself on the issues, and showed an easy mastery of the details that has sometimes bedeviled lesser candidates.” (Politico,Politico 10/23/12)

New York Daily News’ Joshua Greenman: “But For The Purposes Of Fast-Approaching Nov. 6, What Happened Was: Romney Did What He Needed To Do.” (New York Daily News, 10/23/12)

Politico’s John Harris: Obama Had “A Nitpicking, Overly Aggressive Strategy … Diminishing The President’s Greatest Asset Which Is The Fact He Is Already Commander In Chief.” HARRIS: “I felt that in a number of times when the president was making his point so aggressively. What was communicated in those exchanges was not strength and confidence but what was communicated was a kind of, sort of a nitpicking, overly aggressive strategy which had the effect of diminishing the president’s greatest asset which is the fact he is already commander in chief.” (C-SPAN, 10/22/12)

Commentary Magazine’s Jonathan Tobin: “Obama Wasn’t Able To Throw Romney Off His Game Or Embarrass Him … It Was Romney That Looked And Sounded Presidential…” “Despite interruptions and attempts to turn even the points they agreed upon into disagreements, Obama wasn’t able to throw Romney off his game or embarrass him. By contrast, it was Romney that looked and sounded presidential, avoiding issues that work to the Democrats’ advantage like Afghanistan and refusing to be ruffled.” (Commentary Magazine, 10/23/12)

Weekly Standard’s Fred Barnes: “Mitt Romney’s Aim Was To Present Himself With The Demeanor And Grasp Of Foreign And National Security Issues Of A President Of The United States. He Succeeded.” (Weekly Standard, 10/23/12)

UPDATES:

Weekly Standard’s William Kristol: “Tonight, Romney Seems As Fully Capable As—Probably More Capable Than—Barack Obama Of Being The Next President. He Probably Will Be.” (Weekly Standard, 10/22/12)

NBC News’ Chuck Todd: “POTUS Is Consistently Trying To Draw Romney Into A More Contentious Debate. It’s What Challengers Do Who Think They Are Behind.” (Twitter.com, 10/22/12)

CNN’s Sam Feist: “Men In The CNN Focus Group Loved Romney’s Answer On Education.” (Twitter.com, 10/22/12)

Politico’s Dylan Byers: “Romney Looks Presidential. Period. & That Is What He Needs From These Three Debates.” (Twitter.com, 10/22/12)

The Wall Street Journal’s Patrick O’Connor: “Romney Is Presenting Himself As The Sober Future President, While Obama Is Attacking The Republican Nominee Like A Man Sliding In The Polls.” “Well, the distinctions seem fairly clear at this point: Romney is presenting himself as the sober future president, while Obama is attacking the Republican nominee like a man sliding in the polls.” (The Wall Street Journal, 10/22/12)

Fox News’ Chris Wallace: “I Would Have Thought The Guy That Had Turned Out To Be Mitt Romney Was The President…” WALLACE: “Yeah, let me first give you my general opinion. And that was, I thought in the middle of the debate that if I had been on the desert island for the last four years and I had just been parachuted into this debate, I would have thought the guy that had turned out to be Mitt Romney was the president protecting a lead and that Barack Obama was the challenger trying, somewhat desperately to catch up.” (Fox News, 10/22/12)

CNN’s David Gergen: “I Think Mitt Romney Did Something Extremely Important To His Campaign Tonight: He Passed The Commander-In-Chief Test.” (CNN, 10/22/12)

If you missed the debate last night, here it is:

Debate transcript may be found here.

See great PHOTOS here.

Video and Transcript: Mitt Romney Accepts the GOP Nomination

“President Obama promised to begin to slow the rise of the oceans — and to heal the planet. My promise is to help you and your family.” – GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney


Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney, left, and Republican vice presidential nominee Paul Ryan wave to the crowd at the conclusion of the GOP National Convention at the Tampa Bay Forum in Tampa, FL. Aug 30, 2012 (Photo – Melina Mara/The Washington Post)

The speech we’ve all been waiting for!

It is now 3AM here in Tampa, and Luke and I have a flight in a few hours, so the commentary will be short: I loved it.

Here is the speech!

Recommended read: GOP 12 – Grading Mitt Romney’s acceptance speech

Addendum by Jayde – What they’re saying about Mitt Romney’s “defining speech” at the GOP Natl Convention:


“Reaganesque Themes” … “Enduring Sense Of Optimism” … “Chance To Recapture The American Dream”

McClatchy News: “Appealed To The Nation’s Enduring Sense Of Optimism.” “Mitt Romney presented the first crucial chapter Thursday of his bid to become the country’s 45th president, accepting the Republican nomination and urging the nation to look closely at his résumé, his vision and his remedies for the ailing economy. … He appealed to the nation’s enduring sense of optimism.” (McClatchy News Service, 8/31/12)

The New York Times: “A Direct Appeal To Americans Who Were Captivated By President Obama’s Hopeful Promises Of Change…” “Mitt Romney accepted the Republican presidential nomination on Thursday by making a direct appeal to Americans who were captivated by President Obama’s hopeful promises of change, pledging that he could deliver what the president did not and move the country from its worst economic downturn since the Great Depression.” (The New York Times, 8/31/12)

The Washington Post: “Romney Spoke Emotionally About His Mormon Faith And Church Community, About His Romance With Ann And Raising Five Boys…” “In accepting the Republican nomination, Romney spoke emotionally about his Mormon faith and church community, about his romance with Ann and raising five boys, about his mother’s feminist streak and his father’s entrepreneurial spirit.” (The Washington Post, 8/30/12)

CNN: “Romney Offers Reaganesque Themes In Defining Speech” (CNN, 8/31/12)

NPR: “Spoke To Those Disillusioned With President Obama … Genuinely Moving Interludes.” “It spoke to those disillusioned with President Obama, and criticized his record on the economy and lack of business experience, while stressing his own. And it had its genuinely moving interludes…” (NPR, 8/30/12)

Fox News’ Martha MacCallum: “That Is What We Saw Out There Tonight: A Man Who Is Compassionate And Capable.” (Fox News, 8/30/12)

The Washington Post’s Jennifer Rubin: “An Optimistic Picture For The Future … The Chance To Recapture The American Dream.” “Romney painted an optimistic picture for the future, describing the election as the chance to recapture the American dream. ‘Now is the moment when we can stand up and say, ‘I’m an American. I make my destiny. And we deserve better! My children deserve better! My family deserves better. My country deserves better!’’ That drew an ovation.” (The Washington Post, 8/30/12)

BuzzFeed’s Ben Smith: “The Thing About Romney: He Does Deliver. This Is The Speech He Needed To Give.” (Twitter.com, 8/30/12)

National Journal’s Tim Alberta: “A Full-Spectrum Speech…” “This now a full-spectrum speech, and Romney hitting Obama at every possible turn. Very, very aggressive.” (Twitter.com, 8/30/12)

Roll Call’s David Drucker: “Mitt Romney Nailed Acceptance Speech.” “Mitt Romney nailed acceptance speech. Right amount of red meat fervor. Great swing-state tone. His best moment when it was needed.” (Twitter.com, 8/30/12)

Fox News’ Bill Hemmer: “This Is Why They Came To Tampa…” “These delegates loved it. Loved every minute of it. This is why they came to Tampa…” (Fox News, 8/31/12)

The New York Times’ Ross Douthat: “A Highly Effective Reintroduction To Romney The Man…” “It was a highly effective reintroduction to Romney the man, w/absolutely nothing in it to make Americans nervous about voting for him.” (Twitter.com, 8/30/12)

National Review’s Robert Costa: “This Is One Of His Better Speeches. … Romney Showed Heart.” COSTA: “Look, Mitt Romney had to introduce himself to the country tonight. This is one of his better speeches. Why? Romney showed heart.” (CNBC, 8/30/12)

National Journal: “A Sweeping Broadside Against Obama’s Economic Policies…” “In a sweeping broadside against Obama’s economic policies, Romney told delegates in Tampa that the president’s promises ‘gave way to disappointment and division;’ that families and businesses expected to be doing better by now; college graduates ‘thought they’d have a good job by now, a place of their own …’ and the nation expected by now to be ‘paying down the national debt and rolling back those massive deficits.’” (National Journal, 8/30/12)

The Hill: “The Speech Electrified An Eager Crowd…” “The speech electrified an eager crowd of delegates packed into the Tampa Forum, who rose repeatedly to their feet to cheer and applaud the GOP nominee while waving signs that exclaimed ‘Mitt!’ and ‘Believe!’” (The Hill, 8/30/12)

· The Hill: “Romney: What America Needs Is Jobs, Not Hope And Change” (The Hill, 8/30/12)

The Washington Post: “Where Obama Lacked Business Experience, Romney Has It In Spades…” “Romney’s best moment (to our mind) was when he talked wistfully (and emotionally) about missing the joys of raising kids — a genuinely human moment that almost anyone, no matter their party registration, could relate to. Romney also did well in casting himself as the anti-Obama. Where Obama lacked business experience, Romney has it in spades. Where Obama made sweeping promises, Romney made simple ones. (The most quoted line of the speech will almost certainly be this one: ‘President Obama promised to begin to slow the rise of the oceans and heal the planet. My promise…is to help you and your family.’)” (The Washington Post, 8/30/12)

Politico: “Threw Down The Gauntlet Against President Barack Obama.” “Mitt Romney accepted the Republican nomination for president with a speech on Thursday night that not only laid out his personal history and his ticket’s policies, but threw down the gauntlet against President Barack Obama.” (Politico, 8/30/12)

Miami Herald’s Marc Caputo: “Romney Is Killing It. Strong Speech. Crowd Can’t Get Enough.” (Twitter.com, 8/30/12)

USA Today: “Romney Vows To Put His Soul Into Restoring America” (USA Today, 8/30/12)

NBC News: “Romney Accepts Nomination, Projects Forward-Looking Vision For Nation” (NBC News, 8/30/12)

Reuters: “Romney Makes Appeal To Americans Disillusioned With Obama” (Reuters, 8/30/12)

Fox News: “Romney Pledges To Lead, After ‘Disappointment And Division’ Under Obama” (Fox News, 8/30/12)

The Washington Times: “Romney: Election About Jobs, Obama Failures; Promises To Help Families” (The Washington Times, 8/30/12)

Full speech transcript below the fold:

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VIDEO: Mitt’s Best Speech Ever?

That’s what some are saying. To be honest, I haven’t had time to watch the full thing, but I’ve heard it was pretty stellar. Guess I’ll leave the judging up to you.

Delivered yesterday in Chillicothe, Ohio:


*Video courtesy of RightSpeak.net

Update: I have watched it, and it’s pretty dang good!

UPDATE 2 by Jayde: Transcript of Romney’s great speech may be found here.

Mitt Romney’s Speech to the NAACP Convention – Video and Transcript

The transcript below actually varies from the speech given. Romney was loudly booed when he said he would repeal ObamaCare. After he waited for the noise to die down he diverted from his script to explain that ObamaCare was a job killer. Watch the video to see how he handled it.

As might be expected the case Romney laid out before them touched on jobs, families, education and jobs. The environment and audience, including the occasional organ breaking in, made this one of the most unique speeches I’ve seen from Romney. Take a peek:

Remarks as prepared for delivery:

Thank you, Bishop Graves, for your generous introduction. Thanks also to President Ben Jealous and Chairman Roslyn Brock for the opportunity to be here this morning, and for your hospitality. It is an honor to address you.

I appreciate the chance to speak first – even before Vice President Biden gets his turn tomorrow. I just hope the Obama campaign won’t think you’re playing favorites.

You all know something of my background, and maybe you’ve wondered how any Republican ever becomes governor of Massachusetts in the first place. Well, in a state with 11 percent Republican registration, you don’t get there by just talking to Republicans. We have to make our case to every voter. We don’t count anybody out, and we sure don’t make a habit of presuming anyone’s support. Support is asked for and earned – and that’s why I’m here today.

With 90 percent of African-Americans voting for Democrats, some of you may wonder why a Republican would bother to campaign in the African American community, and to address the NAACP. Of course, one reason is that I hope to represent all Americans, of every race, creed or sexual orientation, from the poorest to the richest and everyone in between.
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Halperin Interview: Who Will America Hire to Fix the USA? Obama? Romney?


Mark Halperin (TIME) writes today that he conducted a 36 minute interview with Governor Mitt Romney in Manhattan:

… Romney pushes back on President Obama’s Bain attack, predicts he can drive unemployment down to six percent by the end of his first term and says he wants Washington to sit still during the lame-duck session.

Halperin didn’t published the full 36 minutes; maybe he’ll release the rest of the interview at a later time. Here’s what he gave us…

Romney compares Obama’s record in office with his record at Bain Capital:

In part one, Romney speaks on his background in business and how that better qualifies him to be our next Commander-in-Chief:


Our hideous economy is what Americans are most worried about. We’re interviewing two people to lead us for the next four years. Americans will do the hiring. As we review the applicants’ resumes, records, and experience, do we want someone who knows nothing of private enterprise or someone who does? Will we re-hire the guy who continues to pile up unprecedented spending and is shrinking our labor force in record numbers? Or, will we hire someone known to stop wasteful, unproductive spending, has an amazing ‘fix-it’ record, and has created tens of thousand of jobs?

In part two, it takes Romney just 48 seconds to reduce the reelection question right down to a presidential brass tack:

“I spent 25 years in the private sector and that obviously teaches you something that you don’t learn if you haven’t spent any time in the private sector.

The president’s experience has been exclusively in politics and as a community organizer.

[R]ight now, we have an economy in trouble. And, someone who spent their career in the economy is more suited to help fix the economy than someone who spent his life in politics and as a community organizer.” ~ Mitt Romney

Romney speaks on elements that make a strong economy in part three:

He [Obama] just doesn’t have a clue what to do to get this economy going.

I do.

I laid out a 59-step plan that encompasses a whole series of efforts that will together get this economy going and put people back to work. ~ Mitt Romney

TIME to hire Romney.

Hat tip/MBA for Mitt (MRC reader)

UPDATE – Transcript of the interview may be read here. Also, click below the fold to see Governor Romney’s LATEST AD featuring stories from Obama’s economy:

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Five Primaries, Mitt Romney: A Better America Begins Tonight

It’s Primary Election Day!

Voters are going to the polls today in Connecticut (28 delegates), Delaware (17 delegates), New York (95 delegates), Pennsylvania (72 delegates), and Rhode Island (19 delegates).

Hoping to further finalize the primary process, Romney supporters are hoping for victories in all five states.

UPDATE:

IT’S A CLEAN SWEEP FOR ROMNEY!

Congrats!

A better America began tonight!

After 43 primaries and caucuses, many long days and not a few long nights, I can say with confidence – and gratitude – that you have given me a great honor and solemn responsibility.
. . .
To all of the thousands of good and decent Americans I’ve met who want nothing more than a better chance, a fighting chance, to all of you, I have a simple message: Hold on a little longer,” he said. “A better America begins tonight.”
~ Mitt Romney

Text of Governor Romney’s victory speech, given tonight in Manchester, NH, may read here.

Video of Romney’s victory speech:

“Four years ago Barack Obama dazzled us in front of Greek columns with sweeping promises of hope and change. But after we came down to earth… what do we have to show for three and a half years of President Obama.

Is it easier to make ends meet? Is it easier to sell your home or buy a new one? Have you saved what you needed for retirement? Are you making more in your job? Do you have a better chance to get a better job? Do you pay less at the pump?” ~ Mitt Romney


► Jayde Wyatt

NRA Leadership Forum: Romney Addressed Theme of American Values


The National Rifle Association Celebration of American Values Leadership Forum has been ongoing this week in St. Louis, Missouri. An important GOP interest group, the annual meeting attracts top conservatives.

Governor Mitt Romney addressed the gathering yesterday:

Although gun control groups have complained that Obama has done little to support their cause, Romney took a page from the NRA leadership, which has been saying that the president is waiting for a second term to crack down on firearms. He warned that Obama would “remake” the Supreme Court in a second term, threatening constitutional freedoms.

“In a second term, he would be unrestrained by the demands of re-election,” Romney told a crowd estimated at 6,000 in the Edward Jones Dome.

Referring specifically to the right to bear arms, Romney said: “If we are going to safeguard our Second Amendment, it is time to elect a president who will defend the rights President Obama ignores or minimizes. I will.”

Governor Romney’s speech:

In his first term, we’ve seen the president try to browbeat the Supreme Court. In a second term, he would remake it. Our freedoms would be in the hands of an Obama Court, not just for four years, but for the next 40. That must not happen.

As President, I will uphold the rule of law – and put America back on the path toward the Founders’ vision. I don’t want to transform America; I want to return America to the principles that made this nation great.

Our Founders began this great American Experiment. They created a nation conceived in liberty and they entrusted us with the duty to preserve it and defend it.

A transcript of Romney’s speech may be read here.

I like this photo…

Mitt and Ann Romney NRA 2012

Before addressing the crowd at the NRA Leadership Forum, Governor Mitt Romney asked his wife, Ann, to say a few words. April 13, 2012 (Photo Whitney Curtis/Getty Images)

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Romney: Obama’s Comments To Medvedev Are Very Troubling (Video), Open Letter / More Questions

Obama bared his soul in Seoul yesterday.

Except, he didn’t mean to.

It was a flub.

A big one.

Speaking to soon-to-be-booted-out Russian President Dmitry Medvedev, a hot mic caught Obama revealing a secret agenda for Russia (after claiming he’ll be re-elected this fall):

Obama: “On all these issues, but particularly missile defense, this, this can be solved but it’s important for him [Putin] to give me space.”
Medvedev: “Yeah, I understand. I understand your message about space. Space for you…”
Obama: “This is my last election. After my election I have more flexibility.”
Medvedev: “I understand. I will transmit this information to Vladimir, and I stand with you.”

(Did you catch the body language between the two presidents…?)

Obviously, Obama and Medvedev didn’t know the world would hear their exchange. By the way, Putin (recently elected under dubious procedures) is expected to appoint Medvedev as Russia’s Prime Minister.

Governor Romney addressed Obama’s telling revelation yesterday while speaking to an audience in San Diego, CA and talking to CNN’s Wolf Blitzer. Hugh Hewitt also got The Gov’s take on it. LISTEN TO AUDIO of Hewitt’s interview here.

HH: So the President says, Governor Romney, this is my last election, after my election I have more flexibility. And President Medvedev says I understand, I will transmit this information to Vladimir. Your reaction, Governor Romney?

MR: Well, it is revealing, it is alarming, it’s troubling, it suggests that the President has a very different agenda with the Russians than he’s willing to tell the American people. And for that reason alone, we ought to vote him out of office. This is a very disconcerting development.

HH: What do you think he has in mind, Governor, when he says I will be flexible? Is it missile defense? It is the number of our warheads? Is it Iran? What is he talking about?

MR: Well, he says missile defense, but we’re talking about one of those two issues, either missile defense or warheads. What he’s done on warheads, of course, with the new START Treaty, he took warheads down to 1,500 on strategic nuclear weapons. Of course, the Russians were already at 1,500. They didn’t have to have any reductions. We were at 2,200. So the only reduction in his missile defense treaty was a reduction at the U.S. level. And of course, he ignored the tactical nuclear weapons, which are of course the same nukes. They’re just on smaller rockets. He ignored that, where Russia has an advantage of five or ten to one over us. So this is a president who continues to try and appease and accommodate, and believes that the best interests of America are to bow to the interests of Russia. And it’s very, very troubling, and I mean, I’m very disturbed by this. I hope the American people understand that what we heard from the President is revealing about his character in terms of what he tells the American people, and revealing about his direction and sentiment with regards to Russian, which is after all our number one geopolitical foe. They don’t represent a military threat to us at the present, but they oppose us at every turn in the United Nations, and oppose us in every one of our efforts, whether in Iraq or Iran, North Korea. They’re on the other side. And for him to be cozying up with them with regards to missile defense is simply unacceptable.

HH: How do you expect this aside from the President will be understood in Poland and the Czech Republic, and Ukraine, and Georgia, and other front line states facing a newly-expansive Russia?

MR: Well, I think our friends around the world have been reevaluating their relationship with the United States, in part because of this president’s treatment of friends relative to the treatment of enemies. I’ve heard from more than one foreign leader that it seems to be preferable to be an American foe than an American friend to this president.

HH: Now Governor Romney, the press will of course attempt to dismiss this as not a big issue. Will this remain a front line issue? And do you think that the President has got to spell out with great detail what he has in mind here?

MR: You know, I don’t think he can recover from it, to tell you the truth. I mean, I think he will try and spin something. But I don’t know how you spin from an open mic, where you’re talking about having more flexibility after the election, which means quite clearly that you don’t want the American people to hear what you’re really planning on doing, and that you’re going to be able to do more when you no longer are accountable to the American people. You know, the mainstream media may try and put this to bed, but we’re going to keep it alive and awake. And we’re going to keep hammering him with it all the way through November.

Full transcript may be found here.

Here’s video of Romney discussing Obama’s comments with CNN’s Wolf Blitzer (The Situation Room):

Text and UPDATES are included below the fold.

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‘Meet the Press’ (MSNBC): Pawlenty for ROMNEY vs Jindal for Perry

You don’t want to miss the head-to-head matchup taking place tomorrow on MSNBC’s Meet The Press with David Gregory:

In the right corner, you’ll see

Gov Tim Pawlenty(R-MN) defending Gov Mitt Romney

versus


in the left corner,

Gov Bobby Jindal(R-LA) defending Gov Rick Perry.

From MSNBC.com:

Two big-name supporters of two leading GOP presidential candidates square off: Gov. Tim Pawlenty for Romney and Gov. Bobby Jindal for Perry.

Meet the Press airs Sundays from 9-10 a.m. ET on the NBC-TV network; 10:30-11:30 a.m. ET in New York and Washington. The program also re-airs at 2 p.m. ET Sundays and 2 a.m. and 4 a.m. ET Mondays on MSNBC on cable.

To check air times by area, click here.

Go get ‘em Gov Pawlenty!

The day after Governor Chris Christie endorsed Romney, Tim Pawlenty had this to say (Austin Daily Herald):

New Jersey Gov Chris Christie endorsed Mitt Romney on Oct 11, 2011.

Former Gov. Tim Pawlenty says New Jersey Governor Chris Christie’s decision to back Mitt Romney’s presidential campaign is a huge boost to Romney’s campaign.

“He’s one of the stars of the conservative movement and Republican party,” Pawlenty of Christie. “His endorsement will carry a lot of weight, no pun intended,” Pawlenty joked referring to Christie’s weight. (He said that Christie would enjoy the joke)

Pawlenty said he also encouraged Christie to back Romney’s campaign.

It’s probably the most valuable endorsement in the country,” Pawlenty said. “For Gov. Romney to get Chris Christie’s endorsement is a major boost to his campaign and will send a signal across the conservative spectrum; tea party types, fiscal conservatives and others, that it’s time to consolidate around Gov. Romney.”

(emphasis added )

From a recent Pawlenty interview on Minnesota Public Radio:

Pawlenty said he will actively campaign for Mitt Romney, who is among the leading contenders for the Republican presidential nomination.

Pawlenty, who endorsed Romney last month, said the former Massachusetts governor is the most qualified among those running. He also told reporters that he was excited to hear that New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie is backing Romney’s campaign
[...]
Pawlenty also said he’s growing concerned that party stalwarts, the media and the public are becoming too focused on crazy statements and not enough on substance.
[...]
“Eisenhower warned of the military industrial complex,” he said. “There is a political, entertainment and media complex that has developed where politics and news and entertainment are fusing together in a way that is starting to mimic cartoons in a way or reality TV.”

You may listen to the podcast here (Part 1, Romney mentioned @4:45, 8:00, 17:13):

UPDATE – Governor Pawlenty did an excellent job advocating for Governor Romney. It’s good to have him on our team! To read the transcript of the Pawlenty/Jindal interview with David Gregory click here. (Scroll way down.)


► Jayde Wyatt

Romney Speaks to Veterans on USS Yorktown, Will Deliver Foreign Policy Speech 10/7/11

Mitt Romney speaks to veterans aboard the USS Yorktown, South Carolina. October 6, 2011 (Photo ABC/News)


Standing aboard the USS Yorktown today, a World War II-era aircraft carrier in South Carolina, Mitt Romney addressed veterans and offered a preview of his foreign policy speech which he will present tomorrow:

“The speech will present a strategy for securing America’s enduring interests and ideals in a world of growing threats, and it will discuss specific policies to implement that strategy. It is a strategy that does not assume American decline, but recognizes that American strength — in our values, economic strength, and military strength — is the best ally peace has ever known. “Andrea Saul a Romney for President Spokesperson said in a statement.” This is a strategy of American leadership, one in which our ties with our allies are strong and our policies clear and resolute.”

From ABC News:

“You would think the President would recognize the importance of the US military,” Romney said. “My view is, we cannot and should not shrink the Department of Defense budget.”

Romney says he would rebuild the Navy, Air Force, and add 100,000 active duty personnel. He also says he would treat veterans the way they should be treated.

I will protect the United States of America by protecting a strong military,” said Romney. “I don’t want to go down the path Europe did by cutting back their military. Europe doesn’t have it right. America has it right. I will not shrink the military budget.”

More:

Romney said he would protect the United States by protecting the nation’s military and cut spending at the Defense Department to reduce waste. But he said the nation would be mistaken to follow the example of European nations, which cut their military and then use the savings for social programs.
[…]
The investment is necessary, he said, because the U.S. faces increased threats from emerging countries such as China, India and Russia as well as threats from unstable nations such as Pakistan, which possess nuclear weapons.






Mitt Romney will deliver a foreign policy speech tomorrow morning (10/7/11) at 10:45 AM ET at The Citadel in Charleston, South Carolina.


With the Citadel as his backdrop (also known as the military college of SC), Romney will deliver his foreign policy speech tomorrow morning (Oct 7th) in the Buyer Auditorium in Charleston at 10:45 AM ET.

On October 3rd, Romney did a radio interview with Sean Hannity. He was asked about his upcoming speech. Listen here.

Later tomorrow afternoon, The Gov will also speak to veterans at 2:00 PM at Patriots Point in Mount Pleasant, SC.

When/if viewing info becomes available, we’ll post it here and on MRC chat. Check back for updates.

UPDATE: I’ve removed the CNN link; it isn’t working. The speech is also being livestreamed here. Another livestream link may be found here.

UPDATE 2 - Here’s the transcript of Romney’s speech:

Mr. Romney: It’s a great honor to be in South Carolina, where patriotism is a passion that tops even barbeque and football.

And it’s a great honor to be here at the Citadel.

Every great university and college produces future engineers, doctors, lawyers and entrepreneurs. Here at the Citadel, you do all that but you have another specialty – you produce heroes. Over 1400 of your alumni have served in Iraq, Afghanistan, and elsewhere fighting the war against terrorism. And sixteen have paid the ultimate price.

Since 1842, every tyrant, petty thug or great power that threatened America learned that if you wanted to take on America, you were taking on the Citadel. That’s a line of heroes that’s never broken and never will be.

This is a true citadel of American honor, values and courage.

The other day I heard the President say that Americans had gone “soft.” I guess he wasn’t talking about how hard it is for millions of Americans who are trying to get a job or stretch a too small paycheck through the week.

As each of you looks beyond this great institution, to the life before you, I know you face many difficult questions in a world fraught with uncertainty. America is in an economic crisis the likes of which we have never seen in our lifetime. Europe is struggling with the greatest economic crisis since the Cold War, one that calls into question the very definition of the European Union.

Around the world we see tremendous upheaval and change. Our next President will face extraordinary challenges that could alter the destiny of America and, indeed, the future of freedom.

Today, I want you to join me in looking forward. Forward beyond that next Recognition Day, beyond Ring Weekend to four years from today, October 7th, 2015.

What kind of world will we be facing?

Will Iran be a fully activated nuclear weapons state, threatening its neighbors, dominating the world’s oil supply with a stranglehold on the Strait of Hormuz? In the hands of the ayatollahs, a nuclear Iran is nothing less than an existential threat to Israel. Iran’s suicidal fanatics could blackmail the world.

By 2015, will Israel be even more isolated by a hostile international community? Will those who seek Israel’s destruction feel emboldened by American ambivalence? Will Israel have been forced to fight yet another war to protect its citizens and its right to exist?

In Afghanistan, after the United States and NATO have withdrawn all forces, will the Taliban find a path back to power? After over a decade of American sacrifice in treasure and blood, will the country sink back into the medieval terrors of fundamentalist rule and the mullahs again open a sanctuary for terrorists?

Next door, Pakistan awaits the uncertain future, armed with more than 100 nuclear weapons. The danger of a failed Pakistan is difficult to overestimate, fraught with nightmare scenarios: Will a nuclear weapon be in the hands of Islamic Jihadists?

China has made it clear that it intends to be a military and economic superpower. Will her rulers lead their people to a new era of freedom and prosperity or will they go down a darker path, intimidating their neighbors, brushing aside an inferior American Navy in the Pacific, and building a global alliance of authoritarian states?

Russia is at a historic crossroads. Vladimir Putin has called the breakup of the Soviet empire the great tragedy of the 20th Century. Will he try to reverse that tragedy and bludgeon the countries of the former Soviet Union into submission, and intimidate Europe with the levers of its energy resources?

To our South, will the malign socialism of Hugo Chavez’s Venezuela, in tight alliance with the malign socialism of Castro’s Cuba, undermine the prospects of democracy in a region thirsting for freedom and stability and prosperity?

Our border with Mexico remains an open sore. Will drug cartels dominate the regions adjoining the United States, with greater and greater violence spilling over into our country? Will we have failed to secure the border and to stem the tide of illegal immigrants? And will drug smugglers and terrorists increasingly make their way into our midst?

This would be a troubling and threatening world for America. But it is not unrealistic. These are only some of the very real dangers that America faces, if we continue with the feckless policies of the past three years.

But of course, it doesn’t have to be this way. This isn’t our destiny, it is a choice. We are a democracy. You decide. In this campaign for President, I will offer a very different vision of America’s role in the world and of America’s destiny.

Our next President will face many difficult and complex foreign policy decisions. Few will be black and white.

But I am here today to tell you that I am guided by one overwhelming conviction and passion: This century must be an American Century. In an American Century, America has the strongest economy and the strongest military in the world. In an American Century, America leads the free world and the free world leads the entire world.

God did not create this country to be a nation of followers. America is not destined to be one of several equally balanced global powers. America must lead the world, or someone else will. Without American leadership, without clarity of American purpose and resolve, the world becomes a far more dangerous place, and liberty and prosperity would surely be among the first casualties.

Let me make this very clear. As President of the United States, I will devote myself to an American Century. And I will never, ever apologize for America.

Some may ask, “Why America? Why should America be any different than scores of other countries around the globe?”

I believe we are an exceptional country with a unique destiny and role in the world. Not exceptional, as the President has derisively said, in the way that the British think Great Britain is exceptional or the Greeks think Greece is exceptional. In Barack Obama’s profoundly mistaken view, there is nothing unique about the United States.

But we are exceptional because we are a nation founded on a precious idea that was birthed in the American Revolution, and propounded by our greatest statesmen, in our fundamental documents. We are a people who threw off the yoke of tyranny and established a government, in Abraham Lincoln’s words, “of the people, by the people, and for the people.”

We are a people who, in the language of our Declaration of Independence, hold certain truths to be self-evident: namely, that all men are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights. It is our belief in the universality of these unalienable rights that leads us to our exceptional role on the world stage, that of a great champion of human dignity and human freedom.

I was born in 1947, a classic baby boomer. I grew up in a world formed by one dominant threat to America: the Soviet Union and Communism. The “duck and cover” drills we learned in school during the Cuban Missile Crisis resulted from a threat by a known, identifiable enemy, with clear borders and established leaders. We needed spy planes to find the hidden missile bases in Cuba but we didn’t need them to find Nikita Khrushchev. President Reagan could negotiate with Soviet Premier Mikhail Gorbachev and sign treaties for which each side could be held accountable. And when we caught the Soviets cheating, we could bring the world’s attention to their transgressions.

Today, our world is far more chaotic. We still face grave threats, but they come not from one country, or one group, or one ideology. The world is unfortunately not so defined. What America and our allies are facing is a series of threatening forces, ones that overlap and reinforce each other. To defend America, and to secure a peaceful and prosperous world, we need to clearly understand these emerging threats, grasp their complexity, and formulate a strategy that deals with them before they explode into conflict.

It is far too easy for a President to jump from crisis to crisis, dealing with one hot spot after another. But to do so is to be shaped by events rather than to shape events. To avoid this paralyzing seduction of action rather than progress, a President must have a broad vision of the world coupled with clarity of purpose.

When I look around the world, I see a handful of major forces that vie with America and free nations, to shape the world in an image of their choosing. These are not exclusively military threats. Rather, they are determined, powerful forces that may threaten freedom, prosperity, and America’s national interests.

First, Islamic fundamentalism with which we have been at war since Sept. 11, 2001.

Second, the struggle in the greater Middle East between those who yearn for freedom, and those who seek to crush it.

The dangerous and destabilizing ripple effects of failed and failing states, from which terrorists may find safe haven.

The anti-American visions of regimes in Iran, North Korea, Venezuela, and Cuba—two of which are seeking nuclear weapons.

And these forces include rising nations with hidden and emerging aspirations, like China, determined to be a world superpower, and a resurgent Russia, led by a man who believes the Soviet Union was great, not evil.

There is no one approach to these challenges. There is no Wall that the next President can demand to be torn down. But there is one unifying thread that connects each of these possible threats: when America is strong, the world is safer.

Ronald Reagan called it “Peace through Strength” and he was never more right than today. It is only American power—conceived in the broadest terms—that can provide the foundation of an international system that ensures the security and prosperity of the United States and our friends and allies around the world.

American strength rises from a strong economy, a strong defense, and the enduring strength of our values. Unfortunately, under this President, all three of those elements have been weakened.

As President, on Day One, I will focus on rebuilding America’s economy. I will reverse President Obama’s massive defense cuts. Time and again, we have seen that attempts to balance the budget by weakening our military only lead to a far higher price, not only in treasure, but in blood.

My strategy of American strength is guided by a set of core principles.

First, American foreign policy must be prosecuted with clarity and resolve. Our friends and allies must have no doubts about where we stand. And neither should our rivals. If the world knows we are resolute, our allies will be comforted and those who wish us harm will be far less tempted to test that resolve.

Second, America must promote open markets, representative government, and respect for human rights. The path from authoritarianism to freedom and representative government is not always a straight line or an easy evolution, but history teaches us that nations that share our values, will be reliable partners and stand with us in pursuit of common security and shared prosperity.

Third, the United States will apply the full spectrum of hard and soft power to influence events before they erupt into conflict. Resort to force is always the least desirable and costliest option. We must therefore employ all the tools of statecraft to shape the outcome of threatening situations before they demand military action. The United States should always retain military supremacy to deter would-be aggressors and to defend our allies and ourselves. If America is the undisputed leader of the world, it reduces our need to police a more chaotic world.

Fourth, the United States will exercise leadership in multilateral organizations and alliances. American leadership lends credibility and breeds faith in the ultimate success of any action, and attracts full participation from other nations. American leadership will also focus multilateral institutions like the United Nations on achieving the substantive goals of democracy and human rights enshrined in their charters. Too often, these bodies prize the act of negotiating over the outcome to be reached. And shamefully, they can become forums for the tantrums of tyrants and the airing of the world’s most ancient of prejudices: anti-Semitism. The United States must fight to return these bodies to their proper role. But know this: while America should work with other nations, we always reserve the right to act alone to protect our vital national interests.

In my first 100 days in office, I will take a series of measures to put these principles into action, and place America—and the world—on safer footing.

Among these actions will be to restore America’s national defense. I will reverse the hollowing of our Navy and announce an initiative to increase the shipbuilding rate from 9 per year to 15. I will begin reversing Obama-era cuts to national missile defense and prioritize the full deployment of a multilayered national ballistic missile defense system. I will order the formulation of a national cybersecurity strategy, to deter and defend against the growing threats of militarized cyber-attacks, cyber-terrorism, and cyber-espionage.

I will enhance our deterrent against the Iranian regime by ordering the regular presence of aircraft carrier task forces, one in the Eastern Mediterranean and one in the Persian Gulf region. I will begin discussions with Israel to increase the level of our military assistance and coordination. And I will again reiterate that Iran obtaining a nuclear weapon is unacceptable.

I will begin organizing all of our diplomatic and assistance efforts in the greater Middle East under one official with the authority and accountability necessary to train all our soft power resources on ensuring that the Arab Spring does not fade into a long winter.

I will launch a campaign to advance economic opportunity in Latin America, and contrast the benefits of democracy, free trade, and free enterprise against the material and moral bankruptcy of the Venezuelan and Cuban model.

I will order a full review of our transition to the Afghan military to secure that nation’s sovereignty from the tyranny of the Taliban. I will speak with our generals in the field, and receive the best recommendation of our military commanders. The force level necessary to secure our gains and complete our mission successfully is a decision I will make free from politics.

And I will bolster and repair our alliances. Our friends should never fear that we will not stand by them in an hour of need. I will reaffirm as a vital national interest Israel’s existence as a Jewish state. I will count as dear our Special Relationship with the United Kingdom. And I will begin talks with Mexico, to strengthen our cooperation on our shared problems of drugs and security.

This is America’s moment. We should embrace the challenge, not shrink from it, not crawl into an isolationist shell, not wave the white flag of surrender, nor give in to those who assert America’s time has passed. That is utter nonsense. An eloquently justified surrender of world leadership is still surrender.

I will not surrender America’s role in the world. This is very simple: If you do not want America to be the strongest nation on Earth, I am not your President.

You have that President today.

The 21st century can and must be an American century. It began with terror, war, and economic calamity. It is our duty to steer it onto the path of freedom, peace, and prosperity. My hope is that our grandchildren will remember us in the same way that we remember the past generations of Americans who overcame adversity, the generations that fought in world wars, that came through the Great Depression, and that gained victory in the Cold War. Let future generations look back on us and say, they rose to the occasion, they embraced their duty, and they led our nation to safety and to greatness.

The Greatest Generation is passing. But as their light fades, we must seize the torch they carried so gallantly at such sacrifice. It is an eternal torch of decency, freedom and hope. It is not America’s torch alone. But it is America’s duty – and honor – to hold it high enough that all the world can see its light.

Believe in America.

Thank you, and God Bless the United States of America.


► Jayde Wyatt