BREAKING: For the First Time, Romney Takes the Lead Over Obama Nationwide

According to Real Clear Politics, Romney has taken a slight lead over Obama nationwide for the first time this year.

Real Clear Politics, or RCP, is typically used as the gold standard for polling because it provides an average of all reliable polling data.

Romney continues to benefit from a strong debate performance against the president last Wednesday night.

Youth Featured in New Romney Ad: Obama’s “No, I Can’t?” We Must and Will!

The Romney Campaign has put out a great ad today that seems to sum up the attitudes of today’s Millennial generation.

We have only 42 days left before America votes - Now is the time for advocacy; now is the time to elevate our message of freedom. As a reader of this blog, we encourage and invite you to dig a little deeper and reach out to others - share the message of freedom. Develop an email list, use social media, engage in daily conversations - share the message of freedom and liberty.

Knowledge is power. The more we know and the better informed we are, the more effective we can be. The media is filled with bias and, at times, it is difficult to discern truth. We have witnessed a mainstream media that knows no bounds - they suppress or distort truth and they filter what they report so as to promote and protect the President. The cable news shows, MSNBC, CNN, and others are so far in the tank for the President, it is difficult at best to tolerate their reporting. Further, the current polls are so skewed, they offer little relief in knowing where things really stand. Amidst it all, FoxNews tries its best at fair and balanced. The internet can also provide a plethora of information, some of which is true and some not. So, where can we go for critical and accurate information?

The Drudge Report is a tremendous aggregator of information. Matt Drudge is the bane of the mainstream media and accused by them of bias, which is a testament of Drudge’s integrity!
Real Clear Politics is another aggregator without a perceived bias.
Mitt Romney Central - biased as we may be, we strive for accuracy and integrity in our information.
Hugh Hewitt - Hugh does a tremendous job at providing information with integrity and substance. He has his bias, but clearly delineates what is opinion.
On The Brink FB page - I try to link to substantive information regularly in support of the tenets of On The Brink, America’s Choice 2012
Mitt Romney Central FB - Again, we strive for accuracy and integrity in our posts.
Dennis Prager - an intelligent and cogent source for information.
National Review - Rich Lowry has done an admiral job in trying to distill truth amid the cacophony of news.

There are several others, some of which can be inflammatory in their reporting in an attempt to elevate the debate, such as Glenn Beck, Rush Limbaugh, and Sean Hannity. Even so, they provide fodder for provocative thought and further study. There are others, but I have found those above to be informative.

The need to be informed has never been greater as we fight for our freedoms and liberties.

As to polls, below is a report card of accuracy and consistency from the 2008 election cycle.

Send a Worker to the White House: The Romney ‘Engine’

You want to get things done in Washington D.C.?

Send a worker to the White House.

Romney supporters have long recognized that Mitt is a doer. His capacity to accomplish so much is driven by his passion for conservative values, to truly make a difference, his ability to focus, and his love and loyalty for America. Another significant reason he accomplishes so much is his work ethic.

Real Clear Politics’ Scott Conroy takes a look at the Romney engine:

Romney’s Motor Could Provide Edge Over the Long Haul

When Mitt Romney’s aides told him last month that the main reason they were skipping Sen. Jim DeMint’s Labor Day forum was that he had already committed to attend an event in New Hampshire that day, the candidate was not pleased.

“So you’re telling me the reason we’re not doing this is logistical?” Romney asked, according to one aide. “That’s not good. We’re going to the DeMint forum. Make it so.”

In addition to the New Hampshire stop, Romney had a flight scheduled later on Labor Day to Nevada for the unveiling of his jobs plan, and aides were leery of overloading him with an event in another corner of the country — and in South Carolina, no less, which has not figured significantly in his campaign’s strategy.

But Mitt Romney has never been the kind of candidate who’s especially concerned about the negative repercussions of doing too much.

And so just after the sun rose on Sept. 5, Romney’s bags were already waiting on the front step of his Belmont, Mass., home when director of operations Will Ritter arrived to pick him up. It was 6:45 a.m. His day would end at 11 p.m. in Colorado, since the private campaign jet did not have enough fuel to make it all the way to Nevada without a layover.

Presidential campaigns are not endeavors that treat laziness kindly, and all of the Republican contenders have packed and demanding schedules.

But over the course of his last White House run and through the first few months of this one, Romney has proven himself to be a particularly hardworking campaigner who never seems to lose focus, no matter the hour of the day. This tirelessness is a potentially significant asset that could pay major dividends as the candidates’ already taxing days become even more arduous.

He’s the kind of guy who will see a hole in the schedule and instead of thinking ‘long lunch,’ he thinks of doing a campaign headquarters stop-by or a radio interview,” Ritter, who has been a fixture at Romney’s side since 2006, told RCP. “He can’t be stopped, and you almost have to trick him into not doing as much.”

Kevin Madden, Romney’s 2008 Natl Press Secretary:

“I still marvel at the energy he has,” said Kevin Madden, Romney’s 2008 national press secretary who remains in frequent contact with the candidate’s top aides. “When I worked on that campaign in 2008, I was 34 years old and I couldn’t keep up with him. I would need half a pot of coffee in the morning, and I was dragging by night. I lost my temper once or twice a day, but I saw him lose his maybe once or twice throughout the whole campaign.”

A hard-charger throughout his life in business and during his four political campaigns, the effects of Romney’s clean-living lifestyle are self-evident. As one aide put it, “He’s not the guy who gets a beer at the end of the night, so you save that hour-and-a-half.”

During his 2008 presidential run, it was not unusual for Romney to regale a breakfast crowd in Iowa with an anecdote about his run through the local neighborhood before the early-morning event began or for him to leave aides scrambling to keep up as he jogged through another New Hampshire parade.

Jim Merrill, NH Senior Adviser concludes:

Romney’s New Hampshire consultant Jim Merrill noted that the candidate has already engaged directly with voters at 10 town-hall meetings in the state, while other contenders have thus far relied more on quick meet-and-greets and scripted speeches.

It’s not only the amount of events he does, but it’s the nature of events he does, which are demanding,” Merrill said. “He’s doing that and no one else is doing it. I think it’s a testament not only to his character but his stamina. It’s Vince Lombardi football — three-and-a-half yards in a cloud of dust — and that’s what he’s doing up here and will continue to do.”

(emphasis added) Continue reading here.

Romney’s work ethic was no more evident than the time leading up to mid-term elections last fall. It’s a prime example of his patriotism and indefatigably. Behind the scenes, he racked up many, many miles and wore out shoe leather to help Republicans - through appearances at campaign events, speeches, donating money, etc. It was a surprise to some to note that The Gov traveled coach and pulled his own suitcase. That’s who he is, an earnest, devoted man who doesn’t require fanfare to motivate him. He simply wants to do the job - get results.

While Romney focuses on accomplishing, he is also a guy who eats and breathes family life; carving out time for wife, Ann, and his five sons, daughters-in-law, and all of his beloved grandchildren. Ann also says her husband isn’t a loafing layabout at home, that he is helpful and always working on a project around the house. That quality alone should send droves of female voters his way…

Send a worker to the White House. Mitt Romney 2012.

► Jayde Wyatt

Obama’s Approval Numbers Continue to Slide

This interactive graph demonstrates the continual slide in President Obama’s approval ratings since taking office in January. I like this graph from Real Clear Politics because it averages all of the major recent polls to provide data that is less likely to be skewed than that from a single source.

The big question? When are the black and red lines going to touch? The percentages as of today are 49.0% approval with 45.1% disapproval. That is only a 3.9% percent gap, far different from the 43.3% gap Obama enjoyed when he took office!

Polling Data

Poll Date Sample Approve Disapprove Spread
RCP Average 11/12 - 12/6 49.0 45.1 +3.9
Gallup 12/4 - 12/6 1547 A 47 46 +1
Rasmussen Reports 12/4 - 12/6 1500 LV 49 50 -1
CNN/Opinion Research 12/2 - 12/3 1041 A 48 50 -2
USA Today/Gallup 11/20 - 11/22 1017 A 50 44 +6
FOX News 11/17 - 11/18 900 RV 46 46 Tie
CBS News 11/13 - 11/16 1167 A 53 36 +17
Democracy Corps (D) 11/12 - 11/16 1000 RV 50 44 +6

See All President Obama Job Approval Polling Data

So let’s hear your guesses. When are the lines going to touch? What are the reasons for the big slide? I’ve got some ideas.

Legislating morality

Tom Bevan over at the RCP blog keens in on a portion of Cal Thomas’ piece about Sen. Vitter’s sexual encounters. Thomas makes several points about America’s reaction to sex scandals these days. He also includes this about legislators:

Some in Congress stand up for family values, while they lie down with prostitutes. Their rhetoric may add to the cultural debate, but their behavior nullifies any credibility they might expect to enjoy. Anyone who can’t impose morality on himself is unlikely to be successful in legislating it for others.

Thomas is surely correct, and is one of the reasons that I believe that Mitt is the ideal candidate. His personal life is impeccable and his family life matches his rhetoric. As I’ve argued before, the personal behavior of our legislators was one of the reasons that Republicans lost in 2006. Romney represents change on this front and credibility in our elected officials. Bevan, however, takes Thomas’ statement and argues:

Which is precisely why, given that we’re all flawed and imperfect human beings, the vast majority of Americans don’t want politicians trying to “legislate morality” from Washington DC. - even if such a thing was possible, which it isn’t.

Bevan’s argument that legislators are imperfect and so we shouldn’t have our laws reflect morality is just plain wrong. This argument could be used to strike down laws against theft, murder, rape, etc. That our lawmakers are imperfect has little to do with whether the principle is right or wrong. Perhaps immorality among our lawmakers urges us to not re-elect them (although Bill Clinton supporters would disagree with that), but says little about the propriety of the laws they propose. Yet Bevan’s answer is to end legislation dealing with morality. This is plainly wrong.

Bevan goes on to criticize Mitt’s new ad “Oceans” for…uh…well, I’m not sure what for. First, he says that the ad implies that Romney would take legislative action, which Bevan had already denounced. He then criticizes it for not offering a specific proposal, citing John Hinderaker over at Powerline. He finally ends, seemingly confused, by asking what exactly it is that Romney proposes. Criticism that the ad does not offer a specific proposal is fair (although I find it premature). It doesn’t offer any specifics. However, to make the transition from personal morality to legislating morals to Romney’s ad is a devious association. Indeed, trying to associate Romney with Vitter’s personal transgressions is not only insidious, but is clearly wrong when there is another candidate with direct ties.

RCP: Interview with Mitt Romney

Real Clear Politics sat down with Mitt for an interview. Enjoy:

Interview With Mitt Romney

By Tom Bevan

(Editor’s note: I sat down with Governor Romney at this headquarters in Boston on Friday. I asked to record the interview and Governor Romney agreed without hesitation, and as I turn the recorder on Romney is in the middle of commenting on the fact that his every utterance these days is captured on tape in one way or another.)

ROMNEY: You’ve got to be really careful about what you say and do anywhere you are. I actually had a dream about being in parking garage and having somebody in front of me taking too long to get their change and honking the horn and then yelling back, and getting out and yelling at each other and then seeing it on YouTube the next day. So I said ‘OK’, I’ve got to really be careful, you know, in my personal life.

RCP: So how’s the campaign going for you so far? Is it what you expected?

ROMNEY: It’s gotten going a lot faster than I would have expected. I saw George Stephanopoulos last week, he said he was hired on as the first Clinton campaign employee in what would be the equivalent of October of this year. And we have many tens of employees at this point. And even this early the response in states that really are early in the process: Iowa, New Hampshire, South Carolina, Florida, the response is really quite surprising. Large numbers of people, lots of questions, enthusiastic reaction.

RCP: What’s the question you get asked most?

ROMNEY: From Republican crowds most often the question relates to immigration, then education and healthcare. Interestingly, very rarely is there a question about foreign policy, Iraq, Iran. I typically have to insert those into my opening remarks to get the audience to draw out on that at all.

I think it’s in part because Republican audiences don’t want to talk about it. It hasn’t gone well. It feels like the team is losing and people don’t want to hear about it.

RCP: Speaking of, yesterday there were reports you issued some mild criticism of the Bush administration policy in Iraq, saying it wasn’t going as well as many had liked. John McCain said recently he thought Secretary Rumsfeld would go down as one of the worst Defense Secretaries in history. Dick Cheney responded by saying he thought Rumsfeld had been a great Secretary of Defense and that he’d done a super job. What do you think? What’s your impression of the job Rumsfeld did?

ROMNEY: I really don’t think pointing fingers at individuals is a productive exercise at this point. Clearly the president would agree the buck stops with him. He’s responsible for the management of our affairs, and I would not suggest we go and try and find individuals within various departments to assume the blame.

In my view, and I’ve said this many times before, we did an excellent job knocking down Saddam Hussein’s government, but we did less than a superb job in managing the post major-conflict period. And I think we were underprepared for it, under planned, under staffed, and under managed. And because of our shortcomings in those areas we’ve contributed to the difficult position in which we find ourselves. But we are where we are.

And if you, like me, have done a lot of reading about the process that led up to the conflict and the preparations for the post-major conflict period, you too will recognize that, if these accounts are accurate, we’ve made a lot of errors in terms of preparation. And whether you’ve read the Looming Tower, or The Assassin’s Gate, or Cobra II, or Paul Bremer’s book or Gen. Zinni’s book, they come to that set of conclusions even though they come from very different viewpoints.

RCP: And do you believe it’s still fixable at this point?

ROMNEY: Yes. I think there is a reasonable course - or, let me restate that, there’s a reasonable probability that there is a path to securing the nation and establishing stability for a central government. I don’t say that’s a path with high confidence of being successful, but there’s still a reasonable probability that path can be pursued. And that’s why I think the president is right to add to the military mission the responsibility for securing Baghdad and the population of Baghdad.

I think that should have been done a lot earlier and should have been part of the initial plan. But, be that as it may, it’s now being added to the mission. And when you add a mission to our military that means you need to add troop strength to carry it out. We’ll see how well that plan is working. It will probably play out over a matter of five to six months, or more. But it’s months, not years.

I presume that the Defense Department and the President have worked out with al-Maliki’s government what the milestones are and what the timetable is for determining if we’re being successful in this new effort. And we’ll be able to judge, are we accomplishing what we hope to accomplish? Those don’t have to be made public, although I think it’d be helpful if in some cases they were, so the public could understand and have credibility behind the accomplishments, if there are accomplishments. I think it’s much broader, for instance, than just saying, “are there fewer attacks?” It’s much more devoted to determining are the Iraqi military and police forces able to take the lead at some stage here in providing for the security for their people.

RCP: And, as you said, it’ll play out over course of five or six months. That’s what most experts have said. But what happens if it’s not successful, or not as successful as we’d hoped? What then?

ROMNEY: If you establish milestones, and you determine that we’re not making progress against those milestones, then you know the strategy isn’t working and you have to turn to Plan B or C. I’m not going to forecast what Plan B or C might be. Clearly there are people who say we should just turn and walk out. There are others who say we should divide the country in various - three, four, five or more parts.

There are additional risks associated with those courses that would suggest we don’t want to take those options unless there is no other option available. And the additional risks you’re familiar with. If you divide the country in parts Iran may try and seize the Iraqi portion - excuse me the Shia portion of Iraq. Al-Qaeda could play a dominating role in the Sunni portion. The Kurdish population could destabilize the Kurds in Turkey and could create conflict across the border. You could have a regional conflict develop. And for all of those additional reasons and risks, you wouldn’t want to pursue that course unless there were no other option available.

RCP: On a related subject: Iran. You made some comment yesterday about Iran. If Iran hasn’t acquired nuclear weapons by January 2009 when President Romney takes office, would they acquire them under a Romney administration?

ROMNEY: I think it’s unacceptable for Iran to have a nuclear weapon. Unacceptable to our interests and to the interest of the civilized world. For that reason I think we should exert every source of our world pressure to keep Iran from pursuing that course. And, of course, the military option must be left on the table

In my view, at this stage, we should be doing as the Bush administration has begun, which is tightening economic sanctions, as well as tightening diplomatic isolation, we should be communicating to the Iranian people the downsides of becoming a nuclear power, we should be engaging the moderate Muslim states in the neighborhood to help put pressure as well on Iran and to help us by taking pressure off of the Palestinian-Israeli conflict. Finally, in my view, we should be putting together a much broader comprehensive strategy to defeat radical jihad in the world of Islam.

RCP: So, just to phrase it a different way, it’s your view that the national security risk to the United States of Iran acquiring a nuclear weapon outweighs -

ROMNEY: Is extreme…

RCP: and outweighs any sort of adverse effect or fallout that might come from attacking them either with airstrikes and/or some sort of ground force.

ROMNEY: You know I won’t describe precisely what action should be taken or how it would be taken, but clearly the consequences of a nuclear Iraq - excuse me, a nuclear Iran - for the world and for America are so severe that military options have to remain on the table. Those options I have not discussed in great depth with the US military, so I’m not going to describe what particular path would be considered, but I can say that given the fact that we would never want to pursue a military option unless we had pursued every other reasonable option, I want to make sure we are aggressively pursuing those other options. And those other options relate to tightening economic sanctions so that Ahmadinejad is increasingly unpopular in his own country, so that religious leaders like Khamenei, as well as the public at large, are dissatisfied with him and ultimately sweep him from power, or cause him to withdraw his nuclear ambition. And that’s why it’s so important for us -

RCP: Do you think that’s probable?

ROMNEY: Yeah, I think that - in fact the Bush administration’s restrictions on credit and banking are already having an impact. Ahmadinejad did fall behind in the most recent elections. Our intelligence in Iran is somewhat limited, as it is throughout the Middle East, but there is indication among some observers that Ahmadinejad is on a bit of thin ice and that if we were to continue to exert extensive pressure on his economy and the diplomatic reception that he and his fellow Iranians receive around the world that that could have the desired effect of either causing him to retreat to a certain degree or to be replaced by a leader that had more moderate views.

RCP: Switching gears to a lighter subject, for our readers to get a better sense of who you are as a person, tell me something about yourself that only people who know you well know.

ROMNEY: I love practical jokes and humor. That there’s frankly no joke that I don’t think is funny. I love practical jokes, but I don’t like being scared. My sons will tell you that when they have jumped out of the tree when I’m coming from work in the middle of the night and said “boo” to me, that there is swift and severe retribution.

I have five boys in the family, and it’s constant competition, sport, humor, and practical jokes. For instance, when we gathered for my big - was it the announcement day, no I guess it was the big fund raising thing, we were going to have a January national call day - all my sons came back to gather for that. We were there at the dinner table and someone said, “hey, should we go have a 440 race at the high school?” Sure enough, we all went upstairs and found our respective jogging shorts, put on tennis shoes or running shoes, went over to the high school and had a 440 competition at the track.

RCP: Who won?

ROMNEY: I came in last. I was thinking I could beat my son Ben but, boy, even though he’s in medical school and has gotta be out of shape, he still beat me, darn it!

RCP: One last question, and forgive me if you’ve already been asked and answered this question because I haven’t seen it. Being that we celebrated President’s Day this week, and I see John Adams by David McCullough here on the table… who is your favorite President?

ROMNEY: Ah, it’s too hard to pick a favorite President. It really is. It’s like picking your favorite from a box of chocolates - I love all of them. There are, of course, the famous and great presidents that everybody knows and says “ah, Lincoln, Washington.” How could anyone not choose Lincoln and Washington, and they’re so obviously so far above the standard of Presidents in our land or any land, that of course they have to be at the top of the list.

But I love John Adams. His book is on my desk there. The first time I read that book by David McCullough when I got to the last page I literally had tears in my eyes because I felt like I was losing a family friend.

I love Teddy Roosevelt. I read everything I can get my hands on about Teddy Roosevelt. Anybody who says “Bully” is a friend of mine. And his enthusiasm, his energy, his can-do attitude was just extraordinary.

From a more modern standpoint, you’ve gotta love Ronald Reagan. I respected him for his optimism, his humor, the glint in his eye throughout his career. But I find that as I get older and older, he gets smarter and smarter as well.

RCP: Any Democrats at the top of list?

ROMNEY: Truman was a man I see as having real character and the courage of his convictions. And FDR at a great time of need was a communicator that made a real difference for America. Clearly, there are a number of his policies that I vehemently disagree with. But I think as you look at American presidents, more important than their policy was their character, and those who brought something to the American spirit are one who we remember with affection and admiration for generations.

I frankly don’t know whether Teddy Roosevelt’s policies would be accepted by the Republican party today, but Teddy Roosevelt was as Republican as any Republican I know.