Friday, August 31, 2012

Should the Obama Camp be Worried? Absolutely

The balloons have fallen.  The confetti is swept.  The party might be over, but the stage is now set.  Mitt Romney is the Republican nominee and he will face President Barack Obama in what is sure to be one of the most bitterly contested presidential races in American history.

Image from CNN

For three days, the Romney camp tried to make the case to the American people that our president's policies have failed and that Obama's leadership during trying these times has been a dismal disappointment.

Over and over we heard that despite Obama's best intentions, 23 million Americans are still out of work.  He tried his best and millions of Americans still dropped out of the middle class and nearly 50 million Americans are now dependent on food stamps -- more people than any time in our history.

Obama tried his best and that is what we got.

Should the Obama camp be worried?  Absolutely.  Here are three reasons why:

1)  Leadership and Disappointment
The first reason is that Mitt Romney will remind us over and over that countless times in history, real leaders have truly changed the world.  He will remind us that countless times in history solid leadership has united a people during trying times.  He will remind us that countless times in history, real leadership delivered real results.  He will also remind us that leaders should and need to be held accountable for their actions.

He will remind us that Obama rose to power at such a time.  Our country was in crisis, the spirit of our people was breaking and the stability of our future was crumbling.  Obama promised to be the helping hand.  He promised to be the catalyst for improvement.  He promised to be the voice of hope.

Well, it has been four years.  Our country is still in crisis.  Our economy is still on the brink of devastation.  Our deficits are still growing and too many Americans are still out of work.

Mitt Romney will point out that our president might be asking for a second term, but what he really wants is a second chance.  There is a difference.

Mitt Romney will remind us of our disappointment and will remind us that we can do better.  One of the most powerful things he said last night, "You know there is something wrong with the kind of job he has done as president when the best feeling you had was the day you voted for him."

2) Mitt is Compassionate
The second reason why the Obama camp should be worried is that for weeks, the press and the left set expectations that the success of the GOP Convention hinged on whether or nor Mitt could be "humanized."

Well, if that was the determining factor, I would say that not only did the Romney camp succeed, they blew it out of the park.

A carefully guarded side of Mitt Romney was revealed and like it or not, this will have an impact on this race.

Touching stories were told.  People from Romney's life shared heartfelt stories and it became remarkably clear that Mitt Romney is a kind and good person whose life has been filled with countless acts of service.  He has touched people's lives.  He has always reached out to the weak and above all, Mitt Romney has quietly been an influence for good.

Pam Finlayson, a member of Mitt's congregation shared a heartfelt story of how Mitt's influence sustained her in a challenging time in her life.  It literally moved people to tears.   If you didn't see this, it is worth a few minutes of your time.

Another remarkable story came from a man named Grant Bennett who served with Mitt Romney in various church responsibilities.  He talked about the hours Mitt dedicated to helping those around him.  His awareness of others and his instinct to help them.  If you didn't see this, it is also worth a few minutes of your time.

Over the past few days, we have learned a lot about Mitt Romney.  His friends touched our hearts.  His wife gave us a new perspective.  And much to the dismay of the left, this convention introduced us to the real Mitt Romney.

It is going to be a little harder for the Obama camp to continue to portray Mitt Romney as a vulture who preys on the weak, is only concerned about wealth, or someone who callously kills people.

3) Lines That Won't Be Forgotten
The last reason why the Obama camp should be worried is that there were several lines delivered which won't be soon forgotten.  Lines that will resonate.  Lines that have suddenly put cracks in the once untouchable Obama pillars.

"Too many Americans are out of work and our debt is out of control.  This election needs to be about those issues.  Obama promised to bring us together, to cut employment, to pass immigration reform in his first year and he even promised to cut the deficit in half in his first term.  He hasn't come close."
-Susana Martinez, Governor New Mexico

"We are four years into this presidency.  The issue is not the economy that Barack Obama inherited, not the economy he envisions, but this economy we are living.  College graduates should not have to live out their 20's in their childhood bedrooms, staring up at fading Obama posters and wondering when they can move out and get going with their life."
-Paul Ryan, VP Candidate 

"Now let me be clear, so no one misunderstands.  Our problem with President Obama isn't that he's a bad person.  By all accounts, he too is a good husband, a good father and thanks to lots of practice, a good golfer.  Our problem is not that he's a bad person.  Our problem is that he's a bad president." -Marco Rubio, Florida Senator 

"Obama promised to begin to 'slow the rise of the oceans and to heal the planet.'  My promise?  My promise is to help you and your family."
-Mitt Romney

The confetti may have fallen, but this game is just getting started.  Should the Obama camp be worried?  Absolutely.

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Go Mitt.

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Women Who Stand With Mitt

Day 2 of the convention is over and by all accounts it was a remarkable night.  There was plenty of red meat -- it fired up the base and has stirred up the critics.

One thing which continues to stand out more than anything?  The Women.

Much to the dismay of the left, the Republican party is saturated with strong, articulate and respectable women.  Women who love their country and are fighting for the promise that the American Dream is still within reach for anyone.  Women who ardently believe that our leaders must begin to exercise fiscal discipline and for the sake of our country's stability, these women demand that our leaders be confined to moral spending limits.

These women are leaders.  They have found their voice.  Above all, these women refuse to be defined or confined by the social issues of our day.

Susana Martinez, Gov. New Mexico; Nicki Halley, Gov. South Carolina; Mia Love, Mayor, Saratoga Springs, Utah, Condoleeza Rice, former Secretary of State; Kelly Ayotte, Senator, New Hampshire.

Susana Martinez 
First female Hispanic governor in America
Last night America was introduced to a remarkable woman, Susana Martinez, Republican Governor from New Mexico.   She talked about her humble upbringing in a town on the border where her family lived paycheck to paycheck.  She told of her parents determination to improve their circumstances and the risks they took to build a business that grew from one employee to hundreds and eventually spread to three states.

She candidly shared the poignant moment not too long ago, when as a Democrat she realized, "All be damned, I am a Republican."

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Martinez challenged Americans that this election must be about real issues.  She said, "Too many Americans are out of work and our debt is out of control.  This election needs to be about those issues.  Obama promised to bring us together, to cut unemployment, to pass immigration reform in his first year and he even promised to cut the deficit in half in his first term.  Do you remember that?  He hasn't come close."

Martinez made an impression on me and I have no doubt that her impact will be far reaching.


Condoleezza Rice
First African American Female Secretary of State
Her poignant speech has those on the left scrambling today because she spoke with authority on foreign  policy and domestic issues and boldly asserted that America's standing in the world has been impacted under President Obama.  She declared that America's future is uncertain if we continue to try to "lead from behind."

Image from the Wall Street Journal

Rice said the world has seen areas in the Middle East declare their desire for freedom, and yet the US has remained a silent spectator.  She said "The promise of the Arab Spring is engulfed in uncertainty; internal strife and hostile neighbors are challenging the fragile democracy in Iraq; dictators in Iran and Syria butcher their own people; all wonder 'Where does America Stand?'"

She said, "Our friends and foes alike, do not know the answer to that question."

In regards to domestic issues, she reminded us that while our economy is crumbling here at home, our standing in the world has been compromised.  She said, "When the world looks at us today they see an American government that cannot live within its means.  They see a government that continues to borrow money, mortgaging the future of generations to come."

Perhaps one of the strongest arguments she made, "The world knows that when a nation loses control of its finances, it eventually loses control of its destiny."

She whole heartedly endorsed Mitt Romney and artfully undermined the president and his effort to segregate our country based on financial and class standing.  She said, "Ours has never been a narrative of grievance and entitlement.  We have not believed that I am doing poorly because you are doing well.  We have not been envious of one another and jealous of each other's success. Ours has been a belief in opportunity and a constant battle -- long and hard--- to extend the benefits of the American dream to all -- regardless to circumstance of birth."

Image from the Boston Globe

Rice awakened imagery of our country's greatness and the hope of a better future when she reminded us that "America has met and overcome difficult circumstances before."

She ended with the heart wrenching and emotional story from her childhood.  She said, "A little girl grows up in Jim Crow Birmingham -- the most segregated big city in America -- her parents can't take her to a movie theater or a restaurant -- but they make her believe that even though she can't have a hamburger at the Woolworth's lunch counter -- she can be President of the United States and she becomes the Secretary of State."


It was a powerful night.  These women and the others who shared that stage have awakened a yearning for America's greatness to be restored -- that the American Dream is still attainable for anyone -- and that leadership matters.

These strong women are all standing with Mitt.

These women have found their voice and refuse to be defined by the social issues of our day.  They boldly reminded the president the same message which I wish I could shout from my own roof, "Mr. President, you may speak for some, but you don't speak for me."

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Ann Romney Exceeds Expectations & Nails It

The first day of the convention is over.  The delegates made their choice and Mitt Romney sealed the nomination.

The evening was full of boisterous speeches from Republican party elites who tried to make the case that our president has failed us, but Mitt Romney will succeed.

Perhaps the most highly anticipated speech of the night was from Mitt Romney's wife, Ann.  Expectations were high.   She was given the task to humanize her husband and let people see a side of their lives, which has been branded by many as out-of-touch.

As Ann Romney took the stage, she looked radiant.  Her striking red dress caught our attention, but her calm and reassuring demeanor captured our interest and respect.

She spoke from the heart.  She eloquently described her life with the boy she fell in love with at the age of 15.  She talked about the humble beginning to their marriage in a basement apartment with a desk made from a door propped on saw horses and their fold-down ironing board used as a kitchen table.

She described what it was like to be a young mom and the loneliness she felt as she supported her husband in his years of school and then stood by his side as he and a couple of friends worked tireless hours to launch their new business---a business which would later prove to be one of the most successful private equity firms in the world.

She described her struggle with the debilitating disease Multiple Sclerosis and her battle with Breast Cancer.  She said, "I read somewhere that Mitt and I have a 'storybook marriage.'  Well, in the storybooks I read, there were never long, long, rainy winter afternoons in a house with five boys screaming at once.  And those storybooks never seemed to have a chapter called MS or Breast Cancer.

"A storybook marriage?  No, not at all.  What Mitt and I have is a real marriage."

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Knowing that the Obama camp has ruthlessly tried to portray Mitt Romney's success at Bain Capital as a weakness, she addressed it head-on.  She said, "The jobs that grew from risks they took have become college educations, first homes.  That success has helped fund scholarships, pensions, and retirement funds.  This is the genius of America: dreams fulfilled help others launch new dreams."

She proudly highlighted Mitt's successful career and reminded Americans that to attack it is a foolish attempt to distract.  She said, "Let's be honest, if the last four years had been more successful, do we really think that there would be this attack on Mitt Romney's success?  Of course not."

In a subtle knock on the president, with his incessant blaming of his George Bush and his failed attempts fix things, she said, "We're too smart to know that there aren't easy answers, but we are not dumb enough to accept that there aren't better answers."


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One of the most poignant moments of her speech came when she subtly addressed their wealth and financial status.  She said, "Mitt doesn't like to talk about how he has helped others because he sees it as a privilege and not a political talking point.  We are not different than the millions of Americans who quietly help their neighbors, their churches and their communities.  They don't do it so that others will think more of them.  They do it because there is no greater joy.  'Give and it shall be given unto you.'"

It was a powerful moment.

As she finished up her well-received speech, she encouraged America to get to know her husband and said that we can have full confidence that he will lead our country out of this stagnant economic recovery.  Looking straight into the camera, she firmly said, "I can stand here tonight as a wife, a mother, a grandmother and an American and I make you this solemn commitment: This man will not fail."

Ann Romney exceeded expectations.  She connected.  She delivered.  She nailed it.

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Her words cast a light on the character of these two people, the lives that they lead, the exemplary children they have raised and the influence for good they are having on the people around them.  She was seen as a respectable, likable and caring woman who has experienced trials and struggles which few can imagine, but she has endured it all with dignity and grace.

Perhaps the most important imagery to emerge from her speech? Mitt Romney has been at her side through it all.

Her speech had an impact. The media is in a spinning frenzy today because much to their dismay, the real Mitt Romney is beginning to emerge and I am confident that Americans are going to love what they see.

Go Mitt.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

How the GOP Convention Could Change Everything

Much to the dismay of the pundits on the left and their hope that the darkening skies over Tampa would wreck havoc on the convention, the GOP is taking the stage today and will have the chance to make the case to the American people that Mitt Romney is the best candidate to fix our broken nation.

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Conventions are a little funny.  There will be the stereotypical balloon drops, loudly played patriotic country music and of course, countless boisterous people dressed up as flags, but there is only one thing I am desperate to see---an introduction of Mitt Romney---not the candidate, but rather, the man.

Despite being a very public figure, very few people know much about Romney's carefully shielded private life.  Yes, we know he is rich.  Yes, we know he is a Mormon.  Did I mention that we know that he is rich?  Outside of the way the press relentlessly portrays him as a stiff, out-of-touch Ken doll, do people even know this man?

The answer is no, but I am confident that the next few days are going to change everything.


Boston Globe reporters Michael Kranish and Scott Helman wrote a book called, "The Real Romney." It has just been re-released in paperback.  The book is based on five years worth of research and hundreds of interviews of individuals who worked closely with Mitt Romney in different phases of his life.  Individuals who worked by his side at Bain Capital, the Winter Olympics and those who stood by him in his political endeavors and of course, those who love him most, his family.

Outside of the historical overview of Romney's career, Kranish and Helman unveil the private side of Mitt Romney which for whatever reason, is carefully guarded by this candidate.   It must have come as a huge shock to these Boston Globe reporters that outside of Romney's remarkable successes, there are countless accounts of a kind, genuine and humble man whose life has been filled with spontaneous acts of service.

The authors wrote, "It seems that everyone who has known him has a tale of his altruism." The book recounts many of these heartfelt stories.

Nixon Family Tragedy
One such story involved Mitt's response to a 1995 tragic accident that happened to a family in Romney's church congregation.  The Nixon family's two sons were involved in a horrific car accident, which left the two boys paralyzed.  The Nixon family was devastated and their financial burden taxing as they tried to pay their bills and adjust to their new lives with two handicapped sons.  Although Romney did not know this family well, he called them up and asked if he and his family could stop by on Christmas Eve.  They showed up bearing dozens of gifts and Romney's sons stayed to personally install the gifted VCR.

Mitt later offered to pay for their college tuition.

Joey's Park
Another remarkable event took place in 1986 after one of Romney's neighbor's son 12-year-old son Joey, lost a long battle with cystic fibrosis.

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The authors wrote:

Romney helped lead a community effort to build Joey's Park, a playground at Winn Brook School in Belmont.  The parents recalled,  "There he was with a hammer in his belt, the Mitt nobody sees."  Romney didn't stop there.  About a year later, it became apparent that the park would need regular maintenance and repairs.  The husband said, "The next thing I know, my wife calls me up and says, "'You're not going to believe this, but Mitt Romney is down there with a bunch of Boy Scouts and kids and they are working on the park.'"

He maintained the park for the next five years without ever calling to say, "We are doing this" without a reporter in tow, not looking for any credit.

Countless Acts of Kindness
Kranish and Helman wrote, "Everyone who has known Romney in the church community seems to have a story about him and his family pitching in to help in ways big and small."  Countless acts of service where his family took food to the sick, and financial burdens lifted when Romney personally offered assistance or loans to those in need.  After snowstorms, Romney was frequently seen with his boys shoveling the driveways of his elderly neighbors.

Genuine acts of service and no one was watching.


During the next few days, Americans will be introduced to the candidate Mitt Romney, but I am hoping that we will also begin to see the man.  The man who loves his wife, who loves being a dad and grandfather and the man who loves God and is a genuine and thoughtful person. The man who never boasts about it and whose life has dramatically impacted those around him.

Of course we will hear about his remarkable success in business and politics, but I am hoping to see the man whose life has also been filled with countless acts of service.

I am confident that it will become abundantly clear that Mitt Romney is working to leave a legacy of kindness rather than a legacy of wealth.

The left will be watching closely and they are naturally hoping that the GOP fails to introduce this side of Mitt Romney.  Because as Brit Hume, political contributor for Fox News pointed out, "Obama can't do anything to fix this economy, but Romney certainly has the opportunity to improve his likability."

If the Romney camp is successful---it will change everything.

Go Mitt.

Friday, August 24, 2012

Thank you Mitt!

Mitt Romney wrote an op ed in the Wall Street Journal yesterday.  A fascinating piece called "What I learned at Bain Capital."

In a rarely seen moment, Mitt Romney touts his "sterling" business career and proudly references the  remarkable successes he attained as he helped countless struggling companies achieve unparalleled success.

Many people may not realize that household names like Staples, Brookstone, Bright Horizons Child Development Centers, Toys R Us, AMC Movies, Dominoes Pizza, Sports Authority and countless others are all companies that were at one point struggling or on the verge of collapse, but due to the vision and leadership of one man, these companies changed their course and are now thriving American businesses.

That leader was Mitt Romney.

After every critical remark that has been said about Mitt Romney's career, namely that he is a greedy vampire, out-of-touch rich guy, whose vulture tendencies in business reflect a vulture who preys on the weak, oh and apparently a murderer too, it is refreshing to finally see Mitt taking control of this conversation.

He should.  It's about time that he change the narrative.

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In a rare moment, he proudly made it known that one of the largest steel producers in America today, Steel Dynamics was a product of a Bain Capital success.

Romney writes about the things he learned at Bain Capital and how with every company they tried to help, it provided invaluable lessons for him.  He wrote about how he has been able to draw on those lessons learned and apply them in various situations.

He said, "My business experience confirmed my belief in empowering people...My faith in people, not government, is at the foundation of my plan to strengthen America's middle class."

Over the course of his career, Mitt Romney has guided the bankrupt to become thriving profitable businesses, he has resuscitated the weak and more importantly, time and again, Mitt Romney has helped people reach their potential.


Mitt Romney is a remarkable leader.  America will benefit from his vast experience, from his lessons learned and his uncanny ability to help those who disagree learn to compromise and find common ground.

His hope for America's future is strong.  He is determined to rebuild what was broken.

Above all, Romney's resume shows that he can do everything he says he will.

Isn't it time?  Do we really have the endurance to see if another 4 years of this "Change" will actually bring about lasting results?  No thanks.

America, it is time to rebuild, but this time, let's do it right.

Go Mitt.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

CBO report: What is best for the country vs. best for a campaign?

This morning, the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office (CBO), released a dire warning about the state of our economy and raised questions of another recession.  The CBO concluded that if the Bush-era tax rates expire, which are set to expire this coming January, then the likelihood of another recession is almost inevitable.

This is real.  This is alarming.  This is cause for great concern.

What is the response from our president?  Is he listening?  Does he care about this report?  Will he follow their advice and carefully lead us away from this "fiscal cliff?"

Given his silence today, I guess we can assume that he's just hoping we aren't paying attention.

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If Obama were to accept the CBO's recommendation and extend the Bush-era tax cuts...again...does his campaign even have a message?

After all, the president's entire reelection campaign has been about branding the wealthy as "out-of-touch."  And his 2nd term agenda is hinging on the hope of raising taxes on the wealthy to get them to pay their "fair share."

What happens to his stump speeches if he can't vilify the rich?


Obama is trying to rally his base with heroic imagery that his Robin Hood-esq plans will simply take from the rich to feed the poor and then use the leftovers to cut the deficit.  He loves to create the imagery that the rich are somehow robbing from the poor.

This all sounds beautiful and heroic, but it is absolutely not true.

The president's plan is to implement a 4.6% tax rate increase on the wealthy.  This marginal rate increase applies to only 2% of the population.  Yet this is his bold plan for America's fiscal crisis.

As Charles Krauthammer of the Washington Post wrote, "Obama's plan to tax the wealthy would only cut the deficit from $1.2 trillion to $1.12 trillion.  It's a joke."

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James Witherspoon of wrote a fascinating piece about the myths surrounding the "Fair Share" debate and taxing the wealthy.  Using statistics from the IRS Statistics of Income Bulletin, Witherspoon points out that the "top ten percent of earners in this country (the wealthy) already pay more than 70% of the nation's taxes.

So, is our president's "fairness" message really about fairness?

Will the president tell his base that in 2011, 46% of the population did not even pay federal income tax?

Is it really "fair" or logistic to place the burden of our stagnant growth, crumbling economy, astronomical debt and dozens of nearly bankrupt government programs on 2% of the population?  Especially when the numbers show that a marginal increase on these individuals will only scratch the surface of our financial crisis?

The president doesn't want to take the time to educate his voters on these facts.  The narrative that the "wealthy are villains" is much more effective on the stump.


The president is running an ad here in Colorado.  The ad talks about Mitt Romney's tax rate and then ends by saying, "Mitt Romney probably paid a lower tax rate than you."

This ad is completely misleading and distorts the truth.

Would Obama's ad be as effective if he took some time to educate the public on the difference between income tax and dividend tax?  Would his ad be as effective if he mentioned that dividends are actually taxed at a rate closer to 40%?  Would his ad be as effective if he said, "Mitt Romney paid 40% in taxes and 11% in charitable donations.  The bulk of you listening paid significantly less than Mitt Romney and actually the majority of you actually paid nothing."

The answer is of course not.

The president doesn't take the time to educate the public because he would much rather distort the reality that Mitt Romney's income is somehow taxed at a more preferential rate than everyone else's.

This allows him to play up the notion that the rich are robbing from the poor and he is just a lowly steward on our behalf.


This CBO report today should change the conversation.  It should force the president to change his narrative.  Will it?

Probably not, because accepting the CBOs recommendation to extend tax cuts might help our country avoid the fiscal cliff, but it doesn't help the president's reelection bid.

I can't help but ask, Mr. President, will you do what is right for the country or simply do what is right for your campaign?

I think it is time for a real conversation about our real fiscal crisis.

Romney/Ryan 2012

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

What Negative Campaign?

I once read that spreading a bad rumor can be compared to taking a bag full of feathers and purposefully dumping the contents on a windy day.

Regardless of how hard one tries, it is virtually impossible to re-collect every feather.

The president and his team must be very familiar with this feather comparison.  Only problem?  Their most recent campaign tactics have demonstrated that they are perfectly willing to dump false rumors, knowing full-well that it will be impossible to clean up the mess they made.


Yesterday, President Obama held an impromptu news conference in the White House briefing room.  As of late, Obama has taken some heat for his lack of availability to the press corps---it has been 8 weeks since his last question and answering.  Then when he and Michelle recently granted an interview with the celebrity outlets like People Magazine and Entertainment Tonight, it peeved even his greatest admirers in the press.

He took a few questions and was asked to comment on the negativity of his campaign, the accusations that have been made against Romney and the Obama Super PAC ad, which carelessly alludes that Mitt Romney was somehow responsible for the death of a former steel worker's wife.

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The president tried to calm concerns and explained that he is not a running a negative campaign and that the press can rest assured that he is taking the high road.

In reference to the Super PAC ad which has been denounced by countless independent fact checkers as painting a completely inaccurate historical account of the actual events, the president said,  "I don't think that Governor Romney is somehow responsible for the death of that woman.  But keep in mind, this is an ad that I didn't approve, didn't produce and as far as I can tell, has barely run."

That's it?

The only thing he wants us to "keep in mind" is that he didn't produce it?

How about denounce it?  How about demand that an organization fighting for your cause stop this kind of smear and deception?  After all, I have no doubt that Bill Burton, the senior strategist at the Super PAC would take the president's call.  Burton served as deputy press secretary at the White House and played a key role in Obama's election when he served as the national press secretary for the 2008 campaign.

The president also commented on the allegations that Mitt Romney's character is in question.  He said, "Nobody accused Mr. Romney of being a felon."


Nobody except your deputy campaign manager Stephanie Cutter who made the baseless charge in a high-profile interview in July that Mitt Romney "could be guilty of a felony."


The president might be trying to demonstrate that he is faithfully doing his part to clear up these rumors, but he knows full-well that his efforts are futile.  Mitt Romney's character has been unfairly compromised and his campaign is reveling in every minute of it.  After all, don't these "feathers" provide the perfect distraction from his dismal record?

Feathers in the wind---and the president's campaign distributed every single one.

Sorry Mr. President, it is a little hard to believe that you are taking the high road when your boots are covered in mud.

Friday, August 17, 2012

Mitt Romney's Tax Returns

Tax returns.  Tax returns?  Tax returns!

The media and the Obama campaign have become slightly obsessed with trivial matters.  There is so much talk and baseless speculation about whether or not Mitt Romney is possibly a tax evader (a felony by the way) and is someone who also kills people.

Earlier today, the Obama team tried to make a deal with Romney.  They said, "You release five years of tax returns and in return, we won't ask for any years beyond that."  (Wow.  Impressive.  They sure know how to drive a hard bargain!)

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Um...Mitt Romney said no.

I think it is important to realize that yes, Mitt Romney is taking a risk by not releasing his returns, but in all honesty, he loses either way.

Not releasing his returns causes speculation to swirl about his net worth and possible offshore investments---all of which are perfectly legal.  But, is Romney going to lose independents over this kind of speculation?  I doubt it.

Releasing more returns than is legally required is much riskier---and let me be clear, it has absolutely nothing to do with the fact that I question if he has something to hide, because I don't believe for one second that Mitt Romney's character is in question.

Can we imagine how ruthless the Obama team would be on every investment, partnership and profit in his portfolio?  Incessant requests for verification and further explanation would be demanded.  It would never end.

Is Mitt Romney afraid of this kind of scrutiny?  I doubt it, but when his opponent---The President of the United States---has demonstrated that he is perfectly willing to run a no-holds-bar campaign, it should come as no surprise that Romney is a little apprehensive.

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This was demonstrated this week, when Obama refused to denounce the abhorrent Obama Super PAC ad, which alludes that Mitt Romney was personally responsible for the closure of a steel plant, which led to the loss of health insurance for an employee, which resulted in the tragic death of a wife to cancer.

Despite countless reputable news organizations pointing out that 1) The plant closed two years after Romney left Bain.  2)  The wife died six years after the plant's closure.  3) She had her own health insurance through her own employer, which she later lost as a result of her own job termination.

The historical truth paints a much different picture of the actual events.  So, did the present try to clear up the distortion?  No.  He didn't even apologize that an organization--fighting on his behalf would participate in this kind of slimy and distorted political tactic.

This only tells me that the president is perfectly willing to distort the truth if it is politically advantageous to him.

Therefore, I have no doubt that they would scrutinize every investment, profit and partnership and do their best to convince voters that Mitt made a contract with the devil himself.

I am sure Romney has asked himself, "What if Obama were to be successful?"

Does he risk losing independents if Obama successfully distorts his character?  You bet.


The urgency of Mitt Romney's tax return issue is pointless and it is a distraction from the issues that actually matter.  Furthermore, one can't help but question whether or not the president has pure intentions.

Can we imagine how different the dialogue would be if the press were equally as focused on holding Obama accountable for his dismal record as they are on holding Mitt Romney accountable for his financial success?

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The press may not feel an obligation to hold the president accountable for unemployment rate still over 8% despite everything the president has tried, but Mitt Romney will.

The press may be willing to overlook the fact that in the past 3 years, 2.6 million Americans have slipped out of the middle class and are now living below the poverty line, but Mitt Romney won't.

The press might be willing to ignore that the president was responsible for an $800 billion stimulus bill that didn't stimulate our economy, but Mitt Romney won't forget.

The press might be willing to forget that the president pushed the passage of his health care reform bill with back room deals and rumors of bribes even though only 35% of Americans supported the bill, but Mitt Romney won't.

Tax returns are a distraction.

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For this reason, I will continue to support the candidate who is also running on the "Hope" of a better economic future, but I like the candidate whose resume shows me that he can actually achieve it.

Go Mitt.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Does this kind of "Change" deserve 4 more years?

With 82 days left until the election, the presidential campaign is entering a crucial phase.  History has shown that now is when voters start really paying attention, scrutinizing the candidates and selecting a leader whose vision for the country reflects their own.

It goes without saying that the urgency is real and the candidates know it.

Last night, I heard an Obama supporter pose a powerful question.  In essence, she said, "If things are really so bad, then why isn't Obama losing by 15 points in the polls?"

This to me is the heart of this election.  Her question, "If things are so bad" only tells me that she is unaware of how bad things really are.

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President Obama's team may be currently winning the narrative that Mitt Romney is apparently "not likable," but I am convinced that he will never be able to win the narrative that his "Changes" have actually been good for this country.   They haven't.

In an effort to illustrate how, I have assembled a list of "Changes" that have taken place under Obama's watch:

Weakest & Slowest Recovery on Record
  • Since mid-2009, the economy has grown an average of 2.4% per quarter.  "This is slower growth than all recoveries since WWII." (Wall Street Journal 4/27/2012)
  • "In contrast, during the first 11 quarters of the Reagan expansion in the 1980's, the economy grew an average of 6.1% per quarter." (Wall Street Journal 4/17/2012)

Poverty Rates
  • In this "recovery," an additional 2.6 million Americans have dropped out of the middle class and are now living below the poverty line--$22,315 a year for a family of four. (CNN poverty rate index 9/13/2011)
  • 1-in-6 Americans--42.6 million people--are now living in poverty. (Washington Post 9/13/2011)
  • This is the highest number of people in 52 years. (New York Times 9/13/2011)

Food Stamps
  • 1-in-7 Americans--nearly 50 Million people---are currently dependent on Food Stamps.
  • This is the highest number in our country's history.
  • Inauguration Day 2009: 31.5 Million on Food Stamps (Reuters 12/31/2008)
  • Today: 46 Million on Food Stamps (ABC News 12/2/2011)

National Debt
  • "The National Debt has increased since Obama took office by more than $5 trillion---more than any previous administration in history." (Fact checker 6/12/2012)
  • Inauguration Day 2009: $10.615 Trillion
  • Today: $15.9 Trillion

  • America is experiencing 42 months straight of the unemployment rate above 8%--a pattern not seen since the Great Depression. (U.S. Labor Statistics)
  • December 2008: Unemployment Rate 7.2%
  • Today: Unemployment Rate 8.3%

Cost of College Education
  • Average tuition at a four-year public university has jumped 15% and as high as 40% in Georgia, Arizona and California. (Associated Press 6/12/2012)
  • U.S. Department of Education Secretary Arne Duncan said, "If the costs keep rising, college will become increasingly unaffordable for the middle class." (Associated Press 6/12/2012)

Impact of Recovery on College Graduates Getting Jobs
  • Only half of those who graduated from college since 2006 are now employed full-time. (Rutgers University Study 5/10/2012)
  • College graduates are now earning 10% less in starting salaries than graduates in 2006. 
  • 1-in-4 college graduates are now living with their parents. (Rutgers University Study 5/10/2012)

Unsustainable Path--A Tipping Point?
  • The U.S. government's debt obligations exceed the net worth of its citizens.  In 2011, the U.S. had $61 trillion in total debt obligations and yet, the nation's total household worth is $58 trillion. This equals a net accumulated deficit of $14.8 trillion and $46.3 trillion in Social Insurance obligations. (Denver Business Journal 7/13/2012)
  • The president's 2nd term agenda does not address this fiscal crisis.

  • Obama is trying to make the case that raising taxes on the "wealthy" and getting them to pay their "fair share" will be the difference maker for our crumbling economy.  It is important to note that raising taxes on those making above $250,000 would not even close this year's budget deficit.
  • Furthermore, President Obama has already tried to pass his "Fair Share Tax Legislation."  It did not pass.

Taxing Small Businesses
  • Thanks to our current tax codes, S Corporations, sole Proprietorships and LLCs are recognized by the IRS as individuals.  This means that under Obama, small businesses would be taxed as "wealthy."
  • President Obama's proposed tax hikes do not provided an exemption for small businesses.

Obama's Recovery Effort's Impact on Small Business
  • Small Businesses are responsible for 65% of new hires in this country.
  • According to a survey from Challenger, Gray and Christmas, "2011 had the lowest startup rate in 11 years." (Fox Business Center 2/15/2012)
  • In 2011, half as many jobless managers and executives started their own business as the year before.
  • The study showed that even after the crash in 2001, an average of 8% of job seekers still pursued entrepreneurship.  Today that number is only 3.9%  (Fox Business Center 2/15/2012)

This list could go on and on.  One question we must ask ourselves, yes, Obama inherited a mess, but has he fixed the mess we hired him to do?  Furthermore, do these changes merit a second chance?

I would argue, absolutely not.  

It would be hard to see how our country is better off today when in just 3 1/2 years, millions more Americans are living in poverty, our deficits have skyrocketed and unemployment rates mirror trends of the Great Depression.

After nearly 4 years, this is the best he had to offer.  I think America deserves more.

So in answer to the Obama supporter's question, "If things are really so bad, then why isn't Obama losing by 15 points in the polls?" I am convinced that the more informed voters become, the more obvious it will be that Obama's efforts have failed.

Help me spread the word.  This is not the "Change" we wanted.

Go Mitt.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Why Paul Ryan?

The media onslaught is now in full swing.  Both sides want to be the first to define Representative Paul Ryan, the 42 year-old Congressman from Wisconsin.

The Obama camp is in a tether trying to define Representative Ryan as a reckless, heartless and extreme leader.  While the Romney camp is doing everything they can to give Americans the confidence that this VP pick was not only an excellent choice, but actually the right choice.

There are two simple reasons why voters can have full confidence that Paul Ryan will be an excellent leader and partner for Mitt Romney's vision to restore America's economic future.

First of all, over the course of Mitt Romney's "sterling" career (quote President Clinton), it has frequently been noted that Romney has always surrounded himself with a small team of trusted advisers who are experts in their respected fields.  Many of these advisers have been with Mitt Romney for years and years.   Very few of Romney's associates have been able to land a spot at this table.

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For this very reason, I was never worried that Mitt Romney would select someone to simply electrify the base.  He was going to carefully and methodically choose someone who would not only be ready for the job, but more importantly someone he could view as a true and trusted advisor.

Mitt Romney is adamant about surrounding himself with the best minds because he believes in the need to create an environment where excellent collaboration can happen in order to identify the best solutions to big problems.

The fact that Mitt Romney has chosen Ryan to sit as his small table of trusted advisers, tells me that Ryan must be a unique and solid leader and someone whose opinion Romney deeply respects.


The second reason why voters can have full confidence that Ryan is the right choice is because he is incredibly smart.  He understands numbers better than any politician of recent years.  He is incredibly articulate.  He is forceful without being overbearing and his courage to fight for his convictions is quite remarkable.

(I think Debbie Wasserman Schultz could learn a thing or two from this young political leader...)

Much to the left's dismay, Ryan is not easily intimidated and furthermore, he is incredibly likable.

Perhaps there is no better evidence of these characteristics than from a clip of Representative Ryan speaking at the bipartisan White House Summit on Obama's Health Care Legislation back in February 2010. (click here for link).

He spoke directly to President Obama and in a plain and respectful way, he boldly told the leader of the free world that his health care reform bill was astronomically expensive, it could never sustain itself and was quite frankly, a reckless use of tax payer funds.

Ryan was forceful.  He was articulate.  He was respectful.  He was believable and he had the facts to back it up.

Mitt Romney is running on the promise that he will rebuild our economy and get America back on the path to prosperity.  I have no doubt that Ryan is going to help him keep his word.

Mitt Romney surrounds himself with experts---Paul Ryan is no different.

Monday, August 13, 2012

Romney-Ryan---This is Getting Good

Imagine that you just returned from a routine doctor's visit and you learn that there is a large, painful malignant tumor growing in your body.

You are surprised by your doctor's reaction.  He hardly discusses the tumor, your life expectancy or your chances of survival.  Instead, he simply prescribes a renewable prescription for a highly addictive painkiller.

You decide to get a second opinion and this time the experience is completely different.

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This time, your doctor takes X-rays and biopsies.  He educates you on your cancer, shows you exactly where the tumor is located and discusses the growth rate of the mass.  As painful as it is to hear, he blatantly tells you that left unchecked, the tumor will eventually kill you.

He then offers some good news.  He informs you of different treatment options and tells you that an intricate surgery to remove the mass will save your life.  He warns you that it will be painful, but promises that removing the tumor will eradicate the cancer cells, improve your quality of life and add years to your life expectancy.

Is it any question which doctor you would choose?


Although it may be a sophomoric comparison, I think in many ways this is analogous to the approach that Republicans and Democrats use to address our country's fiscal problems.

The leadership on the left want to continue to ignore that many government programs are slowly bankrupting our government.  The only discussion they want to have only involves new and creative ways to raise taxes in order to fund inept and massively expensive programs; i.e. Medicare, Social Security, The Postal Service and now Obamacare.

These leaders don't seem willing to talk about the fact that these programs cannot sustain themselves and will eventually go bankrupt.  Their approach---like the first doctor---is simply masking the pain.

Leaders on the right have a track record of being more like the second doctor.  They want to talk about the problems with our government-run programs.  They want to eliminate expensive overhead and come up with lasting solutions.  It appears that they are actually interested in solving our problems.

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I think this is at the heart of why Mitt Romney selected Paul Ryan as his VP pick.  Aside from being a young, vibrant and incredibly likable guy, Paul Ryan is a problem solver.  He is not afraid to tackle big issues.  He is not afraid of painful solutions.  He is not easily intimidated and even better, he is incredibly articulate.  Ryan has shown that he is not afraid to talk about the "cancer."

America is in trouble.  I think it would be difficult to find even one person in America who doesn't see that government spending is out-of-control and that our leaders in Washington DC have become completely ineffective in fighting for the greater good.

Is it time to really discuss America's economic future?  Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan certainly think so.

But according to our president, the answer is no.  He just wants to continue creating elaborate and creative ways to tax the wealthy so that he can continue to justify funding broken and inept programs.  He wants to simply prescribe a "painkiller" and leave future generations with the bill.


By choosing Ryan, Mitt Romney is making a bold declaration to the American people.  He is saying that he wants this election to be about getting our government on the path to solving our fiscal problems.

Mitt Romney is running a campaign with the promise that he wants to fix what is broken in our government.  He is committed to get America back on the path to prosperity.

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Paul Ryan is going to help him do it.

Even more powerful?  He and Ryan each have a track record of reaching across the aisle to come up with bi-partisan solutions.  Romney and Ryan understand the power of compromise.  It has been nearly 4 years, can the same be said of our president?


In the coming days, the Obama campaign is going to do everything they can to destroy Paul Ryan.  They are going to brand him as "extreme" and "dangerous."  

The negativity is going to be a like watching an annihilation.  Why?  Because the Obama camp wants to keep this campaign a small and trivial debate about Mitt Romney's tax returns.

They don't want the campaign to be about the president's lack of accomplishments, his plans for a second term or how trillions and trillions of borrowed dollars have been spent and yet, unemployment is still above 8%.

In choosing Ryan, Romney is boldly declaring that he is not afraid of big ideas.  Romney is willing to talk about the "cancer" and he is ready to present the American people with real solutions.

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What makes this team such a threat?  They are both problem solvers and Mitt Romney's resume reflects an individual who has actually done what he said and been successful nearly every time.

Can the same be said of our president?

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Is This Transparency? Is this Changing the Tone?

In January 2009, a newly elected president delivered his first executive order and directive of his presidency.  In the speech, he spoke of the sacred role of being a public servant and reminded his cabinet members that they were committed to building a "more responsible and more accountable government."

He vowed to change the political culture of Washington.

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He spoke of his commitment to make the White House the "people's house" and demanded that the revolving door for lobbyist was going to officially close under his administration.  He said, "lobbyists, will be subject to stricter limits than under any other administration in history."

He also declared that the era of secrecy was "officially over."  One of the most memorable lines of his speech, "Let me say it as simply as I can: Transparency and the rule of law will be the touchstones of this presidency." (Click here to read entire speech).

It appeared that the young president from Illinois was going to be different.  He pledged to change the tone and political culture in Washington.  From the onset, it appeared that he would.


Nearly four years have passed.  It has become increasingly clear this president is no different than the rest.  He may have a gift for speaking, but it doesn't mean that the words he uses are a reflection of his core beliefs.

Has this president simply mastered the ability to tell the American people exactly what we want to hear?

As The Washington Post and The New York Times have reported, this administration has given lobbyists remarkable access to the White House.  These officials have even carefully tried mislead the public by "meeting hundreds of times" with influential K Street lobbyists in a coffee house across the street from the White House.

Is this "transparency?"  Is this "changing the tone?"

Sadly, campaign tactics over the past few days have also proven that this president is not truly interested in changing the tone of Washington.  It appears that our president is perfectly willing to participate in false, misleading and slimy campaign tactics to destroy his rival.

An Obama Super PAC is now running this ad that has quite frankly crossed the line.

The ad shows a former employee of GST steel, Joe Soptic, who lost his job after Bain Capital shut it down in 2001.  He lost his health insurance coverage and when his wife was diagnosed with cancer, they were unable to pay for treatments and she died.


Is Mitt Romney is responsible for the death of this woman?  The ad certainly wants us to believe that he is.

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The ad has received a tremendous amount of criticism---even from the most liberal media outlets.


A few crucial facts which are blatantly left out of the ad:

1) As I wrote here, during the 1990s, the steel industry in America was collapsing.  Dozens of steel manufacturers were going out of business.  GST Steel was one of these companies.  In 1993, Bain Capital invested to try and help the struggling business.

2) In 1999, Mitt Romney left Bain Capital to run the Olympics.  Two years later in 2001, GST Steel closed its doors.

3) Mr. Soptic may have lost his job and health benefits, but it has been revealed that his wife had health insurance through her own employer.  In 2003, she injured her rotator cuff and lost her job and benefits.

4)  In 2006---seven years after Mitt Romney left Bain Capital---five years after GST steel closed its doors---three years after Mrs. Soptic lost her own health insurance---she went to the hospital with symptoms of pneumonia and was diagnosed with stage four cancer.  She died a few days later.

Are we supposed to believe that Mitt Romney was somehow responsible for her death?

The Super PAC wants us to believe that he was.

This is misleading.  This is deceptive.  This is untrue.  Quite frankly, this is disgusting.  Despite relentless criticism and fact checking, the Super PAC has refused to stop airing the ad.


So where is our president who once vowed to "change the tone" and pledged to "change the culture" in Washington?


He hasn't even criticized the ad or called for the Super PAC to pull it.

Instead, his campaign officials are simply trying to distance themselves from the Super PAC by declaring that they had "no knowledge" of Mr. Soptic or his wife's story.  Stephanie Cutter, Obama's Deputy Campaign manager even told CNN, "I don't know the facts about when Mr. Soptic's wife got sick or the facts about his health insurance."

The only problem?

It is not true.

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Politico reported yesterday that Stephanie Cutter hosted a conference call in May 2012, in which she told reporters this very story of Joe Soptic.  Like it or not, the Obama campaign knew about Joe Soptic and his wife, so why lie about it?

It is a violation of federal law for a campaign to coordinate with a Super PAC, so naturally the Obama camp can't afford to have it appear that there was a coordinated effort to smear Mitt Romney.

Is this "transparency?"  Is this "changing the tone?"


The Romney campaign is furious and disgusted that the president and his team are participating in this type of campaign.  Rightfully so.  Mitt Romney is not a killer.

The American people deserve better.

Our president once vowed to lead the charge for accountability, transparency and accountability in Washington.  We believed him.  Sadly, his recent actions have demonstrated that he is simply part of the problem.

We deserve better.  It's time for real change.

Go Mitt.

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