Mr. President, It’s About the Economy and National Security, And We Ain’t Stupid!

Governor Romney may have lost him as a spokesman, but Richard Grennell has not lost his message.

Despite being forced to step down shortly after being appointed by Romney as his foreign policy spokesman, Ric Grennell harbors no bad feelings. He believes that Romney knew he was gay and was picked because he “consistently challenged the Obama administration’s failure to lead the world and confront the most important international issues we face.”

In a Wall Street Journal op-ed, Grennell writes that this election is not about Gay issues, but about economic and national security. He believes that the guy best suited on these issues to replace President Obama is Mitt Romney:

“Like many voters, I rarely agree with a candidate’s every position. I can support Mr. Romney for president but not agree with all of his stated policies. I can be proud of President Obama’s personal support for gay marriage and still take exception to his dismal national-security and economic records. Millions of American voters will also evaluate both candidates’ policies in total and come to the same conclusion: Mr. Obama doesn’t deserve to be re-elected and Mr. Romney does.

Voters need to be reminded of Mr. Obama’s foreign-policy performance: his secret whispers to then-Russian President Dmitry Medvedev for more flexibility on missile defense; his snubbing of Israel and other allies while extending a hand to those who want to degrade the U.S.; his inability to lead at the United Nations. The president’s record proves he is too politically contrived and dangerously weak to deserve a second term.

One needs to look no further than the brutal regimes of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, Bashar al-Assad and Kim Jong Eun to see that under Mr. Obama the U.S. has turned its back on too many that seek a better way of life. Iran is closer to a nuclear weapon than ever before and yet the president campaigns on the erroneous assumption that we are safer now. Allies like Turkey, India and Brazil openly ignore the U.S. while the president looks to make more concessions to Russia that gut our missile-defense capabilities. We’ve responded to our enemies and ignored our friends.

While there are many reasons not to vote to re-elect President Obama, gay marriage is not one of those issues. National and economic security absolutely are.”

In fact, some Republicans suggest the Global events dominating the month of May have given Mitt Romney a potential opening to make a cohesive foreign policy case — to attempt the difficult task of closing the stature gap with an incumbent president whose national security milestones have branded him, in the minds of Republicans, as tenuous on foreign policy.

Remember Obama’s questioning of Romney’s foreign policy and national security credentials? This was an area in which Obama hoped to distract voters from the economic situation and make them feel secure under his Commander-in-Chief umbrella while boosting the decision he made in ordering the killing of Osama bin Laden. He hoped to raise question marks regarding Romney’s competence on the national security front.

According to a new Rasmussen poll published on may 15th, when it comes to national security, Romney has edged ahead in that category. 44% of participants trust Romney more when it comes to national security, while 42% have confidence in the president in this area. Obama held a 45% to 42% lead in this area last month and a 45% to 41% edge in March. Romney leads by 20 points or more in every category among voters who have served in the U.S. military. Those who have not served give Obama the edge in trust when it comes to national security. Those who currently have an immediate family member in the military trust Romney more than Obama by a 48% to 41% margin when it comes to national security.

Additionally, In the latest NBC/WSJ poll, only 51% of Americans approve the job President Obama is doing handling foreign policy, 45% disapprove. 37% believe Obama’s approach has made America’s standing in the world worse.

*Note: Mr. Grenell was Director of Communications and Public Diplomacy for the U.S. Permanent Representative to the United Nations from 2001-09. He served briefly as Mitt Romney’s foreign policy and national security spokesman.

Romney Op-Ed: To Preserve Free Trade China’s Cheating Must End

Radio commentator Laura Ingraham was right when she said: “Without a doubt, the most forceful commentary about China cheating on trade, the effects on the U.S. economy, and holding China accountable have come from Governor Romney.

Romney continues to speak out on USA trade inequities with China. Here’s part of his op-ed published yesterday in the Washington Post:

China must respect the free-trade system

The feckless economic policies of the Obama administration have resulted in a 10 percent decline in our median income, persistent unemployment above 8 percent and collapsing home and asset values.

Understandably, some ask whether we should abandon the economic principles behind our historic prosperity. Should government redistribute wealth? Is free enterprise a flawed system? Should we abandon free trade? No, no and no. Redistribution is what once impoverished China and the Soviet Union. Free enterprise is the only permanent cure for poverty. Free trade has the demonstrated ability to make the people of both trading nations more prosperous.

But for free enterprise and free trade to work their magic, laws and rules that guide the participants are essential to prevent distortions and abuses. If the rules are modern and dynamic, enterprise can thrive. If they are burdensome and antiquated, enterprise will stall. For rules to be effective, of course, all players must abide by them. The incentive to cheat can be enormous. So is the harm that cheating can cause.

China is a case in point. Having embraced free enterprise to some degree, the Chinese government and Chinese companies have quickly divined the benefits of ignoring the rules followed by others. China seeks advantage through systematic exploitation of other economies. It misappropriates intellectual property by coercing “technology transfers” as a condition of market access; enables theft of intellectual property, including patents, designs and know-how; hacks into foreign commercial and government computers; favors and subsidizes domestic producers over foreign competitors; and manipulates its currency to artificially reduce the price of its goods and services abroad.

The result is that China sells high-quality products to the United States at low prices. But too often the source of that high quality is American innovations stolen by Chinese companies. And the source of those low prices is too often subsidies from the Chinese government or manipulation of the Chinese currency.

Some argue that access to quality goods at low prices is good for our consumers. But like the predatory pricing prohibited under our antitrust laws, China’s underpriced products lead to an undesirable and inefficient elimination of competing businesses, with serious long-term consequences. And in this case, the businesses killed are often our own. Meanwhile, American companies do not even get the supposed benefit of the free-trade bargain: When they try to do business in the Chinese market, they find policies designed to shut them out.

Candidate Obama talked tough about China’s trade policies; President Obama has whispered about them. China smiles, diverts attention by criticizing the United States and merrily continues to eat our economic lunch. Who can blame the Chinese for ignoring our timid complaints when the status quo has served them so well?

Actually doing something about China’s cheating makes some people nervous. Not doing something makes me nervous. We are warned that we might precipitate a trade war. Really? China is selling us $273 billion per year more than America is selling China — why would it possibly want a trade war?

And what is the alternative to confronting China? It is allowing the Chinese to take by trade surrender what we fear to lose in trade war.

(emphasis added )

CONTINUE reading here.

► Jayde Wyatt

Mitt Romney Attracts Small Business Owners & Financial Service Workers at Events in NH

Romney listens to small business owners at Mosaic Technology in Salem, NH. 6/27/11 (Photo taken by Ryan O'Connor)

It was a full day for Mitt Romney in New Hampshire today.

Small business owners in Salem were treated to a morning roundtable discussion at Mosiac Technology. Later, Romney spoke to hundreds of financial service workers at Lincoln Financial Group in Concord.

Romney Talks Business in Salem

Republican presidential candidate and former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney was at Mosaic Technology in Salem this morning for a business round-table event.

The Greater Salem Chamber of Commerce helped organize this morning’s event[...]

During his Salem stop, Romney held a roundtable conversation with local business leaders, plus a handful of politicians like state Sen. Chuck Morse and House Majority Leader D.J. Bettencourt.

Romney said he wanted to hear ideas from local business people, but wound up mostly taking questions from those in attendance. He talked a lot about stimulating the economy, but also spent a good deal of time criticizing the Obama administration.

(emphasis added)

VIDEO UPDATE from Jayde (6/29/11) - The video of Gov Romney at Mosaic Technology has played for a couple of days. Because it automatically begins to play when the MRC page is opened, it was time to link it. You may view the video here.

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Mitt Romney talks to the press after his Lincoln Financial event in Concord, NH. 6/27/11 (Photo taken by Tony Schinella)

Romney Talks Jobs, Economy in Concord

Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney made a campaign swing through New Hampshire on Monday, discussing jobs and the economy with a couple of hundred Lincoln Financial Group employees in Concord.
Employees in the packed company cafeteria, which has hosted numerous presidential aspirants in years past, peppered the candidate with questions about entitlements, employee benefits, what the candidate’s real job creation record was, and how the nation can work to depolarize its political system.

Romney opened with a seven-minute stump speech, cracking jokes and talking about the weather, and then focused on a sharp critique of the incumbent, calling President Barack Obama a “nice guy” and “a good speaker” but someone few people knew a lot about before he ran, who had limited private sector job experience. He also stated that Obama had “failed” in fixing the nation’s ills.

“The Obama Administration has not been able to deal with the number one issue the country was concerned about when he became president, the economy,” he said. “He did not cause the recession, but he made it worse.”

Instead of focusing on the economy, Romney said Obama created “more uncertainty,” by proposing to end the Bush tax cuts on investment profits, pushed a cap-and-trade proposal that Romney said would harm businesses, and filled the National Labor Relations Board with “union stooges.”

Obama also created a federal takeover of health care, instead of allowing states to handle the issue, and filled his cabinet with people who had little to no private sector experience, according to Romney. Romney noted that in February 2009, Obama went on “The Today Show” and said if he couldn’t get the country turned around, his presidency would be a single-term.

“I agree, it’s a one-term proposition,” Romney said.

Romney also took questions from the audience on the polarization of politics, government regulation and regulators, Social Security benefits, and commented on the amount of debt young people are being burdened with. He was also asked whether he actually created jobs or destroyed them when he was in the private sector:

Romney said Bain started and financed a number of businesses and altogether, the company helped create tens of thousands of jobs. He said some of the companies were collapsing at the time that Bain became involved in them.

“Sometimes you have to carry out surgery to save them and turn them around,” he said. “So they can start creating jobs again. Net-net? We added a lot of jobs and saved a lot of businesses. But not every case was successful.”

Here’s how one attendee summed up the event:

Laura Upton, a recent hire at Lincoln Financial, called Romney “well-spoken” and said she felt he answered the questions from her co-workers open and honestly and was aware of the issues facing people in Concord.

“I was impressed that he actually answered the questions,” she said after the event. “He didn’t skirt around the answers … a lot of them skirt around the answers.”

(emphasis added)

Continue reading here.

► Jayde Wyatt

New Op-Ed by Mitt Romney: “Obama Turns his Back on Israel”

Somehow, after having traveled to several states and across the country this week, Mitt Romney has found sufficient time to fire up the iPad and produce an op-ed slamming the Obama administration for flirting with the idea of releasing a ‘presidential statement’ condeming Israeli settlements as “three mistakes in one”. From the op-ed it’s interesting to see Romney’s feelings regarding the U.N. summed up as the “chamber of double-standards”.

With 40 states scheduled on his round-the-country tour, and his stepping-up of Obama criticism, I’d say Romney is looking more and more like a 2012 candidate for President! …And the Obama administration knows it.

From National Review:

The Obama administration has been seeking a way to avoid vetoing a U.N. Security Council resolution condemning Israel. It has floated the idea of meeting Israel’s critics halfway with a U.N. “presidential statement” calling Israeli settlements “illegitimate.” Whether or not such a statement is actually issued, the very idea is a mistake. Indeed, we have here in this single idea a display of multiple foreign-policy failures of this presidency. Let us count the ways the administration’s proposed action has already injured Israel and the United States.

Obama Turns his Back on Israel

For one thing, the U.N. condemnation put forward by the president puts Israel, our closest ally in the region, in an untenable position. In exchange for peace, previous Israeli governments offered radical border concessions, surrendering most of the West Bank and even portions of Jerusalem. In 2005, the government of Ariel Sharon withdrew from the Gaza Strip, uprooting thousands of its own citizens. Yet all such proposals and steps toward peace have been met by Palestinian rejection, by intifadas, by suicide bombings, and by Qassam rocket fire. Isolated more than ever in the region, Israel must now contend with the fact that its principal backer in the world, the United States, is seeking to ingratiate itself with Arab opinion at its expense. Will an increasingly tenuous relationship with the U.S., at the very moment when it is becoming more vulnerable, encourage Israel to be as flexible as it has in the past, or the reverse? The answer is clear.

Continue reading at National Review.

*Note by Jayde - Just this past January, Governor Romney completed an intense ‘listening and learning’ tour of the Middle East – meeting with foreign leaders, groups, U.S. military officials, etc., including Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Back in October 2009, he wrote an op-ed voicing his concern about the drift of our government’s relationship with Israel. In 2007, the Governor visited Israel and was a featured speaker at their 7th annual Herzliya Conference on Israeli security. Interestingly, he and Netanyahu worked together early on in their careers as consultants at the Boston Consulting Group. Romney also writes about Obama’s undermining of U.S. allies beginning on p. 27 of ‘No Apology‘ hardback (not sure if paperback pages are the same).

Scott Brown Defends His Vote For RomneyCare

This is a pretty good read posted earlier today about Scott Brown’s remarks on Fox News, wherein Brown defends his support for the Health Care Bill that Mitt Romney passed (often referred to as RomneyCare) while serving as Governor in Massachusetts:

By Jon Ward at The Daily Caller

Scott Brown, the Republican whose quest to win Ted Kennedy’s seat has jolted Democrats with the possibility of losing the 60-seat majority needed to pass a health-care bill, defended on Wednesday his own vote as a state senator for mandatory health insurance in 2006.

Brown, defending the plan signed by former Republican Gov. Mitt Romney, argued that the Democratic plan being debated in Washington is an entirely different proposal.

“They’re two different programs,” said Brown, during an appearance on Fox News.

“What we have here is a free-market enterprise where we’re providing insurance on various levels to people in Massachusetts,” Brown said. “The plans in Washington are a one-size-fits-all plan that’s going to cost almost $1 trillion-plus and raise taxes at a time when we don’t need it.”

Brown’s response is key for Romney, who ran unsuccessfully for the Republican presidential nomination in 2008 and is considered a front-runner for the nomination in 2012.

Brown himself is crusading on the fact that if he wins and is seated before congressional Democrats reach a compromise on two health-care bills passed by the House and the Senate, his vote will be able to stop it from passing.

He voted for the Massachusetts health-care plan, and faced questions on Fox from Neil Cavuto about whether he “contributed to something that now you’re against?”

But the line from Romney advisers who talked to The Daily Caller Wednesday, and Brown himself, is that Romney-care has worked in covering the uninsured but that cost containment has not happened because Gov. Deval Patrick eliminated a cost and quality commission that would have brought transparency to what health-care providers were charging and eliminated price gouging.

Romney adviser Ron Kaufman, a Washington lobbyist who has been working with the Brown campaign in an unofficial advisory role, said that the people of Massachusetts are “satisfied with what they got” but that they are angry about the federal bill being debated because it would force the state to pay for something they already have: nearly universal coverage.

“They already paid for it,” Kaufman said. Brown said much the same thing during his interview on Fox. “Why would we subsidize and why would we pay more for something we already have. It makes no sense,” he said.

Ed Haislmaier, a health care policy expert at the Heritage Foundation, backed up the Brown and Romney camps’ analysis. “When you ask the average person in Massachusetts who isn’t getting subsidized coverage, ‘Did health reform do anything to help you?’ they’re going to say no, because the piece that was designed to do that got killed off,” said Haislmaier.

Scott Brown Defends His Vote for Mitt Romney's Health Care Plan In MASS.

A Must Read: proves that RomneyCare is NOT bankrupting Massachusetts.