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Entries in Robert Bentley (4)

Monday
Aug272012

Jindal Skips Another GOP Convention With a Storm in Mind

Andrew Burton/Getty Images(BATON ROUGE, La.) -- As Tropical Storm Isaac barrels toward the Gulf Coast, Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal said Monday that he’ll forgo attending the Republican National Convention in Tampa Fla., in order to focus on monitoring and making preparations for the storm.

“I will not be speaking or attending the Republican convention in Florida,” he told a news conference in Baton Rouge. “There is no time for politics here in Louisiana.”

Jindal had been slated to speak Wednesday night.

This is the second time Mother Nature has thwarted Jindal’s convention plans. The Louisiana governor was slated to speak at the GOP convention in St. Paul, Minn. in 2008, but cancelled because of Hurricane Gustav.

Alabama Gov. Robert Bentley and Mississippi Gov. Phil Bryant canceled their trips to Tampa over the weekend, and Florida Gov. Rick Scott called off his convention appearances to monitor Isaac, which is expected to elevate to hurricane status in the coming days.

Tropical Storm Isaac’s projected path nearly mirrors the course taken by Hurricane Katrina, which hit New Orleans and the Gulf Coast region seven years ago this week.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Sunday
Jul152012

Republican Governors’ Message To Mitt Romney: Don’t Let Obama Lead You Down The ‘Rabbit Hole’

NICHOLAS KAMM/AFP/GettyImages(WILLIAMSBURG, Va.) — Fresh off his win in Wisconsin’s divisive recall election, GOP Gov. Scott Walker was full of advice for Mitt Romney.

“We had significant swing votes — independents, even some discerning Democrats voting for me because they like someone who was willing to take on the tough issues facing our state,” Walker said. “I think those same sorts of voters are voters that Governor Romney at least has a shot with.”

But Walker, who was among the dozens of governors who gathered at this weekend’s National Governors Association Conference in central Virginia, warned that a win in his Midwestern battleground would not be a slam dunk for Romney.

“Coming into Wisconsin, coming into Iowa, coming into other states like that, for him to do well the ‘R’ next to his name has to stand more than just for ‘Republican’ — it has to stand for reformer,” Walker said, adding: “If people view him as a reformer, willing to take on both the economic and fiscal crisis our nation faces, I think voters in swing states like Wisconsin will listen.”

When asked why voters in his state do not already view Romney as a reformer, Walker told reporters: “I think they don’t see a lot right now. I think they need to see more of him.”

“They’d also like to hear what he’s going to do to tackle the fiscal crisis our country’s facing,” the Wisconsin Republican said. “The more times he comes to Wisconsin, the more times he comes to swing states like ours and lays that message out the better off we’ll be.”

Walker was one of several Republican governors who dispensed advice for his party’s presidential standard-bearer this weekend. He encouraged Romney to “be most aggressive about” pointing out that President Obama “doesn’t have a record to run on.”

“If I’m Governor Romney,” Walker said, “I keep coming back to saying, ‘Mr. President, defend your record and lay out what you’re going to do for the future’ and keep coming back to what I think most people want to hear, which is, what are you going to do?”

But after a week when the vitriol of the presidential race spiked as both sides accused the other of peddling lies and distortions, another swing-state governor, Virginia’s Bob McDonnell, cautioned Romney not to let the Obama campaign set the terms of the debate.

“Mitt Romney can’t — he’s not going to — respond to every single lame attack that the Obama administration makes,” McDonnell said in interview with ABC News. “If he starts to run down every rabbit hole the Obama administration wants to take him, we’re going to be off the message.”

McDonnell, whose state is likely to see some of the most intense trench warfare of the campaign, predicted that “voters are going to vote — especially the independents – -they’re going to vote on jobs, on spending, on energy and leadership.”

In May, McDonnell conceded that Obama’s team had a better campaign infrastructure in place in Virginia than Romney.

“The ground game’s not there yet,” McDonnell said in an editorial board meeting with the Washington Examiner.

Two months later, McDonnell, who runs a state that then candidate Barack Obama won by about six percentage points four years ago, said he’s seen a vast improvement.

“We’re there,” McDonnell said of the Romney campaign’s organization in Virginia. “Mitt Romney’s personally made a commitment to come to Virginia on multiple occasions. You’ve seen him here on regular occasions. We’ve got great surrogates that are out there speaking for him, so we will not be outmatched on the ground or on the air.”

But in the part of the state where this weekend’s gathering of governors took place, television ads from both sides were already blanketing the airwaves. In new ads, the Obama campaign has been turning up the volume on their attacks on Romney’s record at Bain Capital as well as his offshore investments.

“All these attacks by the president and his campaign really, I think, speak volumes to the lack of leadership on the part of Obama,” Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad said in an interview. ”I guess that is what I find amazing.”

In his state — another important battleground — Branstad said the Romney campaign was “doing really well considering the fact that Obama carried Iowa by a pretty substantial margin last time. The polls show they’re basically dead even.”

But at least one Republican governor expressed concern that Romney needed to do more to avoid the “distractions” caused by his opponent’s calls for him to release additional years of his tax returns.

In comments that drew instant attention, Gov. Robert Bentley, R-Ala., said on Saturday that Romney would be wise to “get them out and just get past that.”

“They’re doing everything they can to hurt Governor Romney and tax returns will be one of those things,” Bentley told ABC News. “So the best thing to do is just get everything out in the open and just say, ‘hey I have nothing to hide and I’m going to release my tax returns.’”

Branstad disagreed: “You’ll never quiet those people that are attacking,” he said.

So did Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer, who has emerged as one of country’s most controversial governors for her advocacy of the state’s tough immigration law.

“I think this is just a distraction that the Obama campaign is throwing out there,” she said. “I think Governor Romney has proven his worth. He is honest and he is upright and he has been successful.”

Gov. Mary Fallin, R-Okla., also dismissed this week’s attacks from the Obama campaign as “negative petty stuff” and advised Romney to offer voters “reassurance that he’s got the leadership talent” to be the next president.

“Campaigns can be very negative and ugly,” Fallin said in an interview with ABC News, and the key for Romney, she said, is “keeping focused on the main thing and that is families, their pocketbooks, economic issues.”

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Sunday
Jul152012

GOP Governor Calls On Mitt Romney To Release Additional Tax Returns And Show He Has 'Nothing To Hide'

Official Web Site of Gov. Robert Bentley(WILLIAMSBURG, Va.) — Alabama Gov. Robert Bentley, in an interview with ABC News on Saturday, called on presumptive Republican nominee Mitt Romney to release his tax returns in order to show voters that he has “nothing to hide.”

Bentley said that Romney’s refusal to release more returns has created a “distraction” that Democrats were successfully exploiting.

“I just believe in total transparency,” Bentley told ABC News at the National Governors Association conference. “In fact, I was asked today that question — do you think that Governor Romney should release his tax returns? And I said I do. I said, I release my tax returns. I may be the only public official in Alabama that does, but I release mine every year and I just believe that people should release their tax returns. And if you get them out and just get past that, it just makes it so much easier.”

Bentley, who took office in 2001, warned that failure to do so would continue to open the door for the Obama campaign and their Democratic allies to “cause distractions away from the real issue in this campaign and that’s the economy.”

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Earlier this year, Romney released his 2010 tax documents and his estimated returns for 2011, but so far he has declined to offer disclosures for additional years and has indicated he is unlikely to do so. Democrats have pounced on Romney for what they see as a lack of transparency.

“They’re doing everything they can to hurt Governor Romney and tax returns will be one of those things,” Bentley said. “So the best thing to do is just get everything out in the open and just say, ‘hey I have nothing to hide and I’m going to release my tax returns.’”

The Republican governor, who voted for Rick Santorum over Romney in his state’s presidential primary, added: “I think that it’s always easier just to say, hey I’m releasing everything, and just get it out there and then get past it.”

That strategy, Bentley said, would allow the former Massachusetts governor to “start talking about the issues that I think that the people of America really are concerned about and that’s our economy and jobs and 8.4 percent unemployment rate and a $16 trillion debt.”

Responding to the Alabama governor’s comments, Obama campaign spokeswoman Elisabeth Smith said: “We agree with Governor Bentley — Mitt Romney should exhibit total transparency and release his tax returns.”

Smith added, “That’s the only way the American people will learn about his motivations on critical policy matters and whether he invested in foreign tax havens and offshore accounts to avoid paying U.S. taxes or hedge against the dollar.”

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Wednesday
Jan192011

Ala. Gov. Robert Bentley Apologizes for Christian-Only Comments

Governor dot Alabama dot gov(MONTGOMERY, Ala.) -- Gov. Robert Bentley of Alabama met with religious leaders and issued an apology Wednesday for saying after his inauguration Monday that he wished non-Christians would become his brothers and sisters in Christ.

Several civil rights groups said the comments Bentley, a Republican, made at church service following his inauguration were offensive and tantamount to proselytizing.

"If anyone from other religions felt disenfranchised by the language, I want to say I am sorry. I am sorry if I offended anyone in any way," Bentley said outside his office at the state capitol.

Bentley was supposed to meet with members of the Birmingham Jewish Federation later this month, but moved the meeting to Wednesday and included leaders of other religious groups.

Addressing a crowd Monday at Dexter Avenue King Memorial Church in Montgomery, the new governor said, " Anybody here today who has not accepted Jesus Christ as their savior, I'm telling you, you're not my brother and you're not my sister, and I want to be your brother."

Following the initial comments many civil right groups objected to the comments and called on the governor to apologize.

"It is stunning to me that he'd make those remarks. It's distressing because of the suggestion that he feels that people who aren't Christian are not entitled to love and respect," said Bill Nigut, the regional director of the Anti-Defamation League.

Following the meeting, Montgomery Rabbi Elliot Stevens said, "I do not think the governor meant anything negative," according to WSFA-TV.

"The governor had intended no offense by his remarks. He is the governor of all the people, Christians, non-Christians alike," a spokesman for the governor told ABC News following the meeting.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio 







ABC News Radio