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Tuesday
Oct022012

Paul Ryan Gets Asked for More Specifics, But This Time by a Voter

Gerardo Mora/Getty Images(CLINTON, Iowa) -- It was a homecoming of sorts for Paul Ryan’s family here, but it didn’t stop some tough questions from Iowa voters who are used to grilling their candidates before casting their ballots. At his town hall here, the GOP vice presidential candidate was called out for more specifics from a voter.

“My question is, you know we keep talking about China and jobs and then we talk about the unemployment,” the woman wearing a Green Bay Packers sweatshirt said. “But, where are the answers? I mean, why aren’t you more specific? I heard you, was it Sunday when you were on Fox, and you didn’t answer his question about how we’re going to … you know, what are your plans?”

Ryan launched into Mitt Romney’s five-point plan focusing on energy, education, trade, and their tax plan. The tax plan, which Chris Wallace asked Ryan about on Fox News Sunday that the voter referred to, was mentioned last, but he again did not get into what loopholes the plan would close or what deductions they would eliminate in order to get to the 20-percent tax cut his ticket has promised.

“The problem is, it just took me about five minutes to go into all of this with you and when you are on a 30-second TV show, you can’t do it as much,” Ryan said.

He argued that his plan does have specifics, but did not get into those details of how they are able to get to that 20-percent figure.

“Now our plan says this,” Ryan said. “Lower tax rates across the board by 20 percent. How do you do that without losing revenues? By closing loopholes. We have about a trillion dollars a year of foregone revenues through all the various different loopholes and deductions, and what we’re saying is, the wealthier people who use a lot of these deductions, close their loopholes. So when a wealthier person can shelter money from being taxed, that means everybody pays higher tax rates. But if you subject more of their income to taxation, more of their income is taxed, and that allows us to lower revenues for everybody across the board. That means middle-class taxpayers have lower tax rates and there’s plenty of fiscal room to keep these important preferences for middle-class taxpayers like you know charitable donations, or buying a home, or healthcare.”

Ryan had been grilled over the same issue on Bloomberg television Tuesday morning and he said he would bring a “framework” to congressional Democrats instead of telling them “take it or leave it, it’s all my way or the highway” and that’s why he is not getting into the math, a similar reason both he and his running mate have given before.

At the end of his answer at the town hall, it didn’t seem to matter to the voter that Ryan again decided not to describe what loopholes his ticket would close, because she was smiling and nodding her head.

The Obama campaign responded to the questioner, saying Ryan “can’t attend his own campaign rallies without being called out for failing to provide specifics about what Mitt Romney would do if elected.”

“That’s because just one day before the first debate, Mitt Romney has refused to say which deductions he’d cut for the middle class in order to pay for his $250,000 tax cuts for multi-millionaires,” Obama spokesman Danny Kanner said in a statement. “They won’t share those details with the country because they know that the details are bad for middle-class Americans. But tomorrow night, Mitt Romney will need more than ‘zingers’ and attacks on the President -- he’ll need specifics -- and his own supporters clearly agree.”

Despite the negative fallout from the hidden camera video from a fundraiser in Boca Raton, Fla., in which Romney said 47 percent of Americans that don’t pay taxes are “dependent” and “victims,” a questioner at the town hall seemed to embrace the comments, asking if the “47 percent of the people in the United States” who pay no taxes should “pay a nominal fee or something so they feel that they have small ownership in the government, maybe they won’t take all the handouts so readily?”

Ryan, who unveiled his national debt Powerpoint for the first time at an outside event, acknowledged it is a “point that Mitt and I have been trying to make, and sometimes the point doesn’t get made the right way,” but their ticket wanted to get everyone back to work to make them “good taxpayers.”

The trip to this eastern Iowa city marked the second day of his bus tour here and his sixth day campaigning in the battleground state since being selected as Mitt Romney’s running mate, but it was also a sentimental spot for his wife Janna. Her grandparents, Adelaide and Dr. Vernon Peterson, lived here and raised Janna Ryan’s mother Prudence Little here. After the town hall, the extended Ryan clan stopped by their home now owned by Todd and Sarah Gravert.

It was an emotional visit, with Janna and her two sisters Molly and Dana getting teary-eyed at the site of the red house with a screened-in porch on Pershing Boulevard. Janna told the Graverts, who were joined by their two children Ty and Ben, “This is such a special house.”

The Ryan’s extended family is along for the Iowa bus tour. Janna’s sisters and also her father, Dan Little, is on hand and her uncle, Paul Petersen, who grew up in the house. Ryan’s nephew Mac, son of Paul Ryan’s brother Tobin, and his wife Oakleigh is also part of the kid contingent that includes the Ryans’ three children, Liza, Charlie and Sam.

Ryan is scheduled to stop in two more eastern Iowa cities on the tour: Muscatine and Burlington.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Tuesday
Oct022012

Biden Says Middle Class ‘Has Been Buried Last Four Years’

Joe Raedle/Getty Images(CHARLOTTE, N.C.) -- Vice President Joe Biden, criticizing Mitt Romney and Rep. Paul Ryan for a plan he said will raise taxes on the middle class, instead stepped on his campaign’s message by saying the middle class has been “buried” over the last four years -- the time President Obama has been in office.

“This is deadly earnest. How they can justify- - how they can justify raising taxes on the middle class that has been buried the last four years? How in the Lord’s name can they justify raising their taxes?  We’ve seen this movie before,” Biden said to a crowd of 1,000 at the Fillmore Charlotte.

The Republican National Committee and the Romney campaign quickly pounced on a statement. The RNC circulated the clip and the Romney campaign called Biden’s comments a “stunning admission.”

“Vice President Biden made a stunning admission today and we couldn’t agree more: the middle class has been ‘buried’ under the last four years of this President’s policies. Under President Obama, the middle class has suffered from crushing unemployment, rising prices and falling incomes. They can’t afford to be ‘buried’ for four more years. Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan will take our nation in a new direction and are offering exactly what hardworking families need -- real reforms for a real recovery,” Romney spokeswoman Amanda Henneberg said in a statement.

An Obama campaign official said Biden has said throughout his time on the campaign trail that the Bush administration was responsible for the burdens placed on the middle class.

“As the Vice President has been saying all year and again in his remarks today, the middle class was punished by the failed Bush policies that crashed our economy -- and a vote for Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan is a return to those failed policies.  With more than five million private-sector jobs created since 2010, the Vice President and President Obama will continue to help the middle class recover and move the nation forward,” the campaign official said.

Nearly one month after the Democratic National Convention, Biden returned to Charlotte for the first time and tried to draw a contrast between Obama and Romney’s positions on tax cuts for the middle class.  Biden swiped at the GOP ticket for not being on the same message when it comes to middle-class tax cuts, pointing to Romney’s statement at a rally in Ohio last week where he said, “I admit this, [President Obama] has one thing he did not do in his first four years -- he’s said he’s going to do in the next four years, which is to raise taxes.”

“Then they come along and they say well we raised taxes on the middle class. How many times you hear Obama and Biden raise taxes on the middle class? Well even Romney had what we Catholics say is an epiphany. Romney come out and said the following. He said, ‘They have not raised taxes on the middle class.’ But apparently Paul Ryan has not gotten the memo,” Biden said to a crowd of over a thousand at the Fillmore Charlotte.  “I’m serious. They know it. The President didn’t raise taxes on the middle class. Yet, turn on the ads. We cut taxes for everyone in the middle class! Three thousand and six hundred dollars.”

Biden, who was working off a teleprompter, struggled with pinpointing a vote Ryan made, stumbling when he tried to explain how it played out.

“They still say we really urgently want to deal with it now.  Basic, I think my opponent said something like, you know, I don’t know, he said something about he has regrets or I don’t know, something he wished he hadn’t voted that way.  OK? I don’t want to, I don’t want to mis-- I don’t want the press saying I misquoted him, but … he went back and said I did that but I kind of wish I didn’t, whatever,” Biden said.

Ryan has said before that he regrets certain votes on spending that he made when Republicans dominated Congress and President Bush was in office.

Biden is on his sixth trip to the battleground state of North Carolina and encouraged supporters to spread the word about voter registration, which ends Oct. 12.

“By the way, before I get started, I want to remind y’all of what you already know, but it’s worth saying again and again: the deadline to register in North Carolina is Oct. 12.  And if you’re already registered or folks that, if you’re not registered yet, there’s folks at the door literally with clipboards, our team out there, who are willing to help you get that process going,” Biden said.  “The reason we’re going to win North Carolina is we’re going to have the best ground game you’ve ever seen in this state.”

At the top of his speech, Biden apologized to the crowd for the hour delay in the event.  Air Force Two was forced to circle in the air for more than 30 minutes before landing due to bad weather.

“As the traveling press can tell you, there are some queasy stomachs on our plane,” Biden said at the start of the event. “We got off late because of weather and we got here and we had to make several passes before we landed.  That’s why we’re late, I promise you we take you seriously. Blame it on the weather.”

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Monday
Oct012012

Romney Says Debates About ‘Something Bigger’ Than Who Scores the Punches

Jeff Swensen/Getty Images(DENVER) -- Emerging from days of debate prep, Mitt Romney Monday night arrived in Colorado and told a crowd of thousands that he’s “delighted” about the upcoming debates.

“Now you know that you’re going to get some visitors this week,” Romney said. “The president will be here. I’ll be here. We’re going to have a debate, and there’s a lot of interest surrounding the debate. And people want to know who’s going to win, who’s going to score the punches and who’s going to make the biggest difference in the arguments they make.

“And there’s going to be all the scoring of winning and losing, and you know, in my view, it’s not so much winning and losing or even the people themselves -- the president and myself -- it’s about something bigger than that,” Romney said.

The debates will be a chance for the two politicians to “describe the pathway forward,” laying out a choice for voters, he told the crowd, estimated by campaign staffers at nearly 6,000 people.

“The American people are going to have to make the choice as to what kind of America they want,” he said. “And so, I look forward to these debates. I’m delighted that we’re going to have three debates. It’ll be conversation with the American people that will span almost an entire month. We’ll get to describe our respective views, and I believe the people of Colorado will choose a better way forward for our country. We can’t afford four more years like the last four years.”

But Monday night, in what was one of the larger crowds of his campaign and his fourteenth in the swing state this year, Romney paid homage to the importance of Colorado’s votes.

“This is a great place to be, here at the foot of the Rocky Mountains,” he said. “I think this is going to be the home of the place that elects the next President of the United States.”

Romney spent several hours on Sunday and Monday morning doing debate preparation with Ohio Sen. Rob Portman, who has been tapped to play President Obama in mock debates. Portman, who flew to Denver with Romney earlier Monday, will be on hand for last minute debate prep Tuesday and Wednesday.

While Romney hits the books Tuesday, his wife Ann is scheduled to campaign on his behalf, holding a rally in Denver.

President Obama is in Henderson, Nev., attending his own so-called “debate camp,” and is scheduled to arrive in Denver on Wednesday.

During a stop at a local campaign office there, Obama joked that the prep was a “drag,” remarking of his staffers, “They’re making me do my homework.”

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Monday
Oct012012

Time for the ‘Choice Phase,’ Ryan Tells Iowa Voters

Alex Wong/Getty Images(DUBUQUE, Iowa) -- The campaign has entered “the debate phase, the choice phase,” GOP vice presidential nominee Paul Ryan said Monday as he kicked off his two-day Iowa bus tour.

“The choice is clear. And here is what we are doing. We are entering the debate phase, the choice phase of this campaign. And this choice is ever so clear,” Ryan told the crowd of about 1,000 people at Loras College, the same college his grandfather attended.

This is a line Ryan has tried out in fundraisers and interviews, but this is the first time he used it at a public campaign event.

Ryan is traveling around the eastern part of the state with his wife Janna, three kids, and extended family, including his wife’s sisters and father.

Ryan’s own debate against Vice President Joe Biden is Oct. 11 and he will spend most of the week after his bus tour doing debate prep with his staff and sparring partner former Solicitor General Ted Olson in Virginia.

Despite the pending faceoff, Ryan aimed most of his fire Monday evening at President Obama, criticizing his record on job creation and his foreign policy, saying the attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya, shows there is an “unraveling” of the president’s agenda in the Middle East.

“If you turn on the TV today you can see that the Obama foreign policy is unraveling before our eyes,” Ryan said. “It’s not just an isolated incident where we lost four Americans in Libya -- that’s a tragedy. But it’s part of a bigger story of the unraveling of this agenda all over the world.”

The administration has “distanced our ally Israel” and “we are not advancing our interests in the Middle East,” he said.

Referencing his notes throughout the event and standing in front of the ticking debt clock now at most events, Ryan unveiled a new jab at the president:

“At a time when we have a jobs crisis in America, wouldn’t it be nice to have a job creator in the White House?” he asked to cheers.

Ryan argued that the federal mandate that all employers include insurance coverage for birth control proves the president is “willing to trample on our religious freedoms,” despite facing a tough reelection.

“This is religious freedom,” Ryan said at the Catholic college and identifying himself as a Catholic. “When you see something like that come from our government like this in this kind of a year, where President Obama clearly has a difficult reelection. I mean, he’s got to win Iowa to win this thing. If he is willing, if he is willing to trample on our religious freedoms before his reelection, what do you think he will do if he never ever has to stand for election ever again? Think about how chilling that is!”

Ryan ended by asking the audience “humbly … for your help” and urging those in the crowd to talk to voters who may have supported the president four years ago, but are now undecided.

“Help us by helping yourself, by helping save the country, by talking to those people you know that voted for President Obama last time,” Ryan said.

Ryan’s Iowa bus tour is scheduled to continue Tuesday with stops in Clinton, Muscatine and Burlington.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Friday
Sep282012

Joe Biden Courts Seniors, Blasts Romney-Ryan on Social Security, Medicare

Joe Raedle/Getty Images(BOCA RATON, Fla.) -- Vice President Joe Biden tried to court the senior vote Friday afternoon and draw a contrast between how President Obama and GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney approach two issues of great concern to senior citizens -- Social Security and Medicare.

The vice president, speaking at the Century Village retirement community, alleged that Romney’s plan would raise taxes on Social Security and the Republican presidential ticket would turn Medicare into “vouchercare.”

“If Gov. Romney’s plan goes into effect, it could mean that everyone, every one of you, would be paying more on taxes on your Social Security,” Biden said. “The average senior would have to pay $460 a year more in taxes for their Social Security. Ladies and gentlemen, that’s … while these guys are … hemorrhaging tax cuts for the super wealthy.”

Biden’s allegation is based on a Tax Policy Center analysis that tried to explain some of Romney’s economic goals -- cutting taxes by 20 percent, closing undisclosed loopholes and balancing the budget. Romney’s plan does not specify that he would achieve such goals by raising taxes on Social Security, and Biden has his own history with raising taxes on Social Security. While serving in the Senate, he voted for President Clinton’s 1993 budget, which raised taxes on Social Security benefits.

Biden did not mention that vote in his speech Friday, but the Romney campaign later attacked Biden over Social Security taxes.

“Vice President Biden is using Social Security to fabricate the Obama campaign’s latest false attacks,” Ryan Williams, a spokesman for Romney, said in a statement. “However, these attacks will backfire when voters learn he has repeatedly supported higher Social Security taxes, and that seniors face a 25 percent across-the-board benefit cut because of President Obama’s failure to lead on this issue. Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan have a plan to save and strengthen Social Security that does not raise taxes and ensures that our middle-class seniors receive all of the benefits they’ve earned.”

Biden, calling retirement security a “family affair,” defended President Obama’s Medicare plan, saying it was endorsed by the American Medical Association, the American Hospital Association and the AARP. He argued that that Romney and his running mate, Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wis., would turn Medicare into “vouchercare” and increase the direct costs seniors would have to bear.

“Rather than tell you, since their convention or even at their convention, what their position on Medicare is, they’ve gone out of the way and spent tens of millions -- I don’t know maybe hundreds, I don’t know how much, millions of dollars -- on advertising telling you what they say our position on Medicare is,” Biden said. “All of you in this room know that President Obama has increased the benefits available to people on Medicare today by the action he took.”

Biden claimed a federal budget proposal made by Ryan and endorsed by Romney, a plan that later was modified, would have had dire consequences for seniors’ Medicare costs.

“Folks, I ask you the rhetorical question: Can you imagine me as vice president, can you imagine the president supporting a plan that would, under any circumstances, would raise the cost for seniors $6,400, your out-of-pocket?” Biden said.

Biden previewed a potential attack line he and President Obama could use in their upcoming debates as he argued a federal budget Ryan proposed as a congressman would cut discretionary spending by 19 percent.

“The Ryan budget calls for every single program in the government, from the FBI to every program, to be cut by 19 percent, a devastating cut,” Biden said. “Then, whenever we raise this, and I think you’ll see this in the debates, whenever you raise it they say, ‘Oh no, we’re not going to cut that program.’"

“Well which one are you going to cut 40 percent?” Biden asked. “Notice they will not name a single program, not a single thing.”

Biden also digressed to praise President Obama on Israel, saying the president was working to ensure the U.S. ally’s security is maintained -- despite claims to the contrary in Republican attacks.

“I’m proud to say that although, as we say in my family, although I was raised by a righteous Christian, my dad, I was raised by an awful lot of folks back home politically who have taught me early on, along with my pop, that we have certain special obligations around the world. And one of those is Israel,” Biden said. “I just want to tell you how proud I am, how proud I am, to stand shoulder to shoulder with a guy who has done more for Israel’s physical security than any president I’ve served with.”

Biden, who was accompanied by Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, D-Fla., and Sen. Bill Nelson, D-Fla., is currently on a two-day campaign swing through Florida, his eighth trip to the state this year.

Biden told the crowd that he wouldn’t mind making Florida his home.

“Hello, Century Village! I’m here and I don’t want to go home,” Biden said to laughs from the older crowd. “We were riding in, the young man in the car with me, riding along as two young children and a very young guy, and he said, you know, God, he said, ‘I’d like to live here!’ I said, ‘You gotta wait 25 years, you don’t qualify!’”

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Thursday
Sep272012

Dueling 'Patriots': Obama and Romney Clash in Virginia

Justin Sullivan/Getty Images(SPRINGFIELD, Va.) -- "Patriotism" was the word of the day on the presidential campaign trail, as President Obama and Mitt Romney -- both in Virginia Thursday -- sought to tie their economic plans to broader ideas about America's place in the global milieu.

Romney seized on scheduled cuts to defense spending and a downward revision of the country's economic growth, warning that the combination posed a "long-term threat to our military capability and to our national security."

"Russia tried it for a while," Romney told supporters in Springfield, Va., drawing a parallel with the final days of the Soviet regime, "and they couldn't keep up. They, well, collapsed."

The GDP grew at an annual rate of 1.3 percent in the spring, the Commerce Department reported Thursday, down from its previous estimate of 1.7-percent growth.

"Russia at four percent, China at seven to eight percent," Romney said. "We're at 1.3 percent. This is unacceptable. This is not working."

"I know what it takes to get us working," he said. "This is a real challenge for us. And this is not just one quarter. This has been going on now for years. China's growing much faster than we, Russia's growing faster than we. Our economy needs to be reinvigorated."

Romney also targeted the bipartisan-crafted "sequestration" deal, which would mandate $500 billion in defense and other federal spending cuts if Congress can't settle on a more carefully crafted debt-reduction plan by Jan. 2, 2013.

Virginia would be especially hard hit if there's no deal struck on Capitol Hill, with more than 136,000 jobs from major defense sites in the state likely to disappear in the absence of an agreement, according to George Mason University projections.

About three and a half hours to the south, in Virginia Beach, Obama, riding a recent surge in the polls, continued to hammer away at Romney on comments the Republican challenger made during a secretly recorded fundraiser in Florida.

In that video, Romney can be heard telling donors that nearly half the country -- 47 percent -- will never vote for him because they consider themselves "victims" dependent on the government and, by extension, Obama and his policies.

"It takes more than one party" to plot an economic recovery, the president said during Thursday's remarks. "It can't happen if you write off half the nation before you take office. In 2008, 47 percent of this country did not vote for me, but the night of the election I said to all those Americans, I said, 'I may not have won your vote, but I hear your voice.' And if we reclaim those values now, if we rally around a new economic patriotism together, we can rebuild this economy together."

Obama first called for that "new economic patriotism" in a two-minute TV ad released Wednesday. Speaking straight to the camera, he warns voters that a President Romney will "double down on the same trickle-down policies that led to the [financial] crisis in the first place."

There's another new Obama spot out Thursday getting attention, but it doesn't feature the president's face, or voice, at all. Titled "My Job," the 30-second ad is composed solely of audio from the infamous Romney fundraiser playing as the faces of anonymous U.S. workers and families flash across the screen.

Romney has sought to counter the blowback from the fundraiser comments with his own soft-lit appeal, telling voters in a new ad: "President Obama and I both care about poor and middle-class families. The difference is, my policies will make things better for them."

The candidates are in the stretch run now, with just 40 days until Americans hit the polls Nov. 6. Early voting started Thursday in Iowa.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Wednesday
Sep262012

Mitt Romney: ‘Pleased with Some Polls, Less So with Other Polls’

JEWEL SAMAD/FREDERIC J. BROWN/AFP/Getty Images(TOLEDO, Ohio) -- On the same day that polls in two key battleground states -- Ohio and Florida -- showed President Obama growing his lead over Mitt Romney, the Republican presidential candidate acknowledged that he is, “pleased with some polls, less so with other polls.”

“Frankly at this early stage, polls go up, polls go down,” Romney said in an interview on Wednesday with ABC’s David Muir on the campaign trail in Toledo, Ohio.

Romney pointed to the first presidential debate -- to take place in one week -- as a potential turning point in the race.

“We have a chance during the debate to make our message clear to the American people,” the former Massachusetts governor told Muir, “and I’m absolutely convinced that when people see the two of us talk about our direction for America they’re going to support me because I know what it takes to make the economy going [sic] again, and the president has proven he does not.”

Romney spoke to Muir at the end of his busiest day of campaigning in the Buckeye State in months. Romney held rallies in Westerville and Toledo and a manufacturing roundtable in Bedford Heights.

[Read a transcript of David Muir's interview with Mitt Romney]

A New York Times-CBS News-Quinnipiac University poll out Wednesday morning found President Obama’s edge over Romney in the crucial state growing to double digits, 53 percent to 43 percent. That’s up from the president’s 50 percent to 44 percent lead in a similar poll released on August 23.

In response to Wednesday’s new numbers as well as a series of other public polls in the state, ABC News moved the state of Ohio, with its 18 electoral votes, from “Toss Up” territory to “Lean Obama.”

But Romney said he was not deterred.

“I’m tied in the national polls, both Gallup and Rasmussen have the numbers at even,” he told ABC News. “State by state you’ve got some advertising going on from the Obama people, which expresses their views on my positions which frankly, I think are inaccurate, and in some cases, dishonest.”

In the interview, Romney declined to respond directly to the voices of critics, some from within his own party, who have been urging him to shift his strategy after several trying weeks for his campaign.

“There are critics and there are cheerleaders, we have people of all different persuasion,” Romney said, noting that “every day there are improvements and new messages that come out.”

“What the president said just the other day about ‘bumps in the road’ with regards to the events in the Middle East,” he added. “That obviously was a whole new area to be discovered and discussed.”

The Republican presidential hopeful was making his way across the state on the same day that President Obama campaigned at two Ohio colleges -- Bowling Green State University and Kent State University. At those events the president did not miss an opportunity to refer to the comments made by Romney in a hidden camera video released last week showing the GOP candidate saying that “47 percent” of the American people are dependent upon government and would not vote for him.

While some critics of the negative poll numbers point to oversampling of Democrat respondents -- which would skew the numbers in favor of President Obama -- Romney said he will be offering a different message to voters in the battleground states he will be visiting between now and Election Day.

“Mine is a campaign about 100 percent of the people, not 99 and one, not any other percent,” Romney said. “It’s about getting 100 percent of the people in this country to have a brighter future, better job prospects and higher take home pay.”

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Wednesday
Sep192012

Romney Uses His Mexican-Born Dad’s Welfare Story at ‘Juntos con Romney’ Rally

Mario Tama/Getty Images(MIAMI) -- Mitt Romney called the Republican Party the “natural home” for Hispanic voters, saying, in his first campaign rally in nearly five days, that America is a place that helps those struggling get back on their feet but won’t make government dependency a “permanent lifestyle.”

“This party is the natural home for Hispanic Americans,” Romney said to cheers at a “Juntos con Romney” rally.  It was Romney’s first campaign event since leaked videos emerged of him speaking at a private fundraiser in May where he appeared to criticize 47 percent of Americans for considering themselves “victims” who feel “entitled” to government assistance.

Speaking through various interruptions -- one protestor got no further than screaming "The 47 percent!” a reference to those leaked videos -- Romney tried to paint a picture of a presidency that would do the best job of pulling Hispanics out of poverty.

To do that, Romney used the story of his own Mexican-born father as an example of someone who received government assistance but then made it on his own.

“I mentioned my dad, my dad was born in Mexico of American parents living there. At age 5 or 6 there was revolution,” Romney said. “They came back to the United States, and my dad had to get help, financial help, the government helped his family be able to get on their feet again. By the way, that’s the way America works, we have great hearts, we care for people who have needs. We help get them back. We help lift them up but then they go back to their permanent lifestyle.”

“We get them on their feet, and they build a brighter future,” he said.

To further what he said was a “stark” choice between himself and the president, Romney continued to draw on old comments made by then-Sen. Barack Obama in which he spoke in favor of “redistribution.”

“We have a president who’s been putting in place a political and economic program that a lot of us don’t recognize,” said Romney. “We haven’t seen anything like this in America before. He said, he said some years ago something which we’re hearing about today on the Internet. He said he believes in redistribution, all right? There are people who believe that you can create a stronger economy and a brighter future if you take from some people and give to other people.”

“Now listen,” he continued, “other places that have tried that haven’t done so well. That is not a philosophy that’s ever been tried here. We’re not going to have it here. We’re going to get America back to having free people pursuing their dreams in a free country.”

Just days after acknowledging his own comments at the fundraiser could have been stated more “elegantly,” Romney gave a nod to Obama’s eloquent speaking voice, but said it won’t help him win another term.

“He’s eloquent, he can describe his vision for the future,” said Romney. “But we have his record and his record speaks louder than his voice will ever speak.”

This was Romney’s first campaign event since last Friday, when he held a rally in the battleground state of Ohio. He had scheduled an event in Colorado for over the weekend but it was canceled after an experimental airplane crashed at the airport where the event was slated to be held. While Romney appeared at the Univision forum earlier Wednesday and gave a speech to the U.S. Hispanic Chamber of Commerce earlier this week, this was the first event organized by his campaign.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Tuesday
Sep182012

Romney Reports First Debt of Campaign

Toni Sandys/The Washington Post(DALLAS) -- For the first time in this campaign, Mitt Romney’s campaign is $11 million in debt after borrowing $20 million in August.

The debt and borrowing sums were first reported by the National Review Online and confirmed by ABC News.

The campaign borrowed the money from the Bank of Georgetown, according to the report.

The move came just before the Republican National Convention when aides had complained they had been running out of primary campaign dollars to compete with President Obama’s campaign. At the conclusion of the Republican convention, when Romney officially became the party’s nominee, Romney had access to general election funds it had raised.

Earlier this month, the Romney campaign announced that it had raised $111.6 million, less than Obama’s campaign, which raised $114 million.

It marked the first month the Obama campaign has raised more cash than Romney since April, when the GOP candidate raised $40.1 million to Obama’s $43.6 million.

The news of the debt comes after an already rough week for the Romney campaign, which has been facing demands for more specifics in its proposals and was then criticized over leaked videos of the candidate telling high-dollar donors that 47 percent of Americans are believe they are “victims” and are dependent on government to meet their needs.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Tuesday
Sep182012

New Obama Ad Hits Romney’s Bain Career in Ohio, Virginia

Official White House Photo by Pete Souza(CHICAGO) -- President Obama’s campaign will air yet another ad attacking Mitt Romney’s business career at Bain Capital, this one in the swing states of Ohio and Virginia.

The ad has already begun airing in the Youngstown, Ohio media market, according to Kantar Media’s Campaign Media Analysis Group, which tracks political ads.

In it, a narrator says:

"When Mitt Romney led Bain, hundreds of plants, factories and stores were shuttered. Workers saw their wages slashed, their jobs sent overseas. Romney made a fortune. Now, he wants to bring that business experience to us. He’d keep tax breaks for outsourcing and hand new tax cuts to millionaires, all while raising taxes on the middle class. Romney’s not the solution, he’s the problem."

The Obama campaign and its allies have hammered Romney for his business career, a significant part of the credentials Romney’s campaign has touted.

Obama for America memorably aired this ad on reports that Bain Capital-owned firms were involved in outsourcing. The pro-Obama super PAC Priorities USA Action produced a controversial ad insinuating Romney’s activity at Bain led to a woman’s death, after a factory closed -- an ad that has been criticized by fact checkers.

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