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Posts tagged ‘Romney’

MSNBC Panel Mocks Photo of Romney Holding Adopted Black Grandson.

Image: MSNBC Panel Mocks Photo of Romney Holding Adopted Black Grandson

An MSNBC panel cruelly ridiculed a Mitt Romney family photo showing the former Republican presidential candidate holding his adopted black grandson Kieran, conservative blogger Caleb Howe says.

The mockery came during Sunday’s Melissa Harris-Perry show, on which she hosted a panel of entertainers commenting on photos of the year.
The selection included a picture of the Romney family, and Harris-Perry solemnly remarked: “Everybody loves a baby picture, and this was one that really a lot of people had emotions about this baby picture this year.”

“This is the Romney family,” she went on. “And, of course, there on Gov. Romney’s knee is his adopted grandson, who is an African-American, adopted African-American child, Kieran Romney.”

Panelist Pia Glenn then started singing in the background: “One of these things is not like the others, one of these things just isn’t the same,” as other members guffawed.

“And that little baby, front and center, would be the one,” Glenn said.

“And isn’t he the most gorgeous?” Harris-Perry said. “My goal is that in 2040, the biggest thing of the year will be the wedding between Kieran Romney and North West [daughter of reality star Kim Kardashian and singer Kanye West]. Can you imagine Mitt Romney and Kanye West as in-laws?”

Story continues below.

As panelists again burst into laughter, comedian Dean Obeidallah snarked: “I think this picture is great. It really sums up the diversity of the Republican party, the RNC. At the convention, they find the one black person,” the Washington Times reported. 

Howe hit back with his own snide observation of the panel.

“It’s funny because Romney is white and his grandson isn’t, which is obviously hilarious. Because as everyone knows, the races should not mix,” he wrote.

“He’s not a child adopted by loving parents prepared to provide him with a better life in keeping with the family’s values. Nope. He’s just a token. A punchline, not a person. But it’s funny, because Republicans are racist, see? So, it’s all fine!”

The panel’s comments drew strong criticism on Twitter and from MSNBC’s cable competitors.

Conservative commentator Ana Navarro said if the comments were made on Fox: “Jesse Jackson would be protesting and tied to a tree somewhere.”

Former Massachusetts Sen. Scott Brown also tweeted his disgust at the MSNBC panel, demanding an apology Monday night.

“MSNBC should apologize for this wildly inappropriate incident,” he wrote on his Twitter feed. “Viewers and the Romney family deserve better:”

On Twitter on Monday night, Glenn defended herself against fierce criticism over the comments:

But criticism of Obeidallah was intense, with one tweet noting:

There was no immediate comment to CNN after it said it reached out to both Romney and MSNBC.

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© 2013 Newsmax. All rights reserved.
By Cathy Burke

Romney to Hannity: I Wasn’t Clear Enough How Bad Obama Was for America.

Nearly a year after his presidential campaign ended in failure, Mitt Romney says he wasn’t clear enough in 2012 on one basic message: how bad President Obama’s policies are for the American economy.

Appearing on Fox News Channel’s “Hannity” on Tuesday, the former Massachusetts governor admitted, “I did not make that message clear as I should have during my campaign.”

A Washington Post story on Tuesday revealed that Romney’s own polls throughout the campaign showed he was likely to lose to Obama, even though reports immediately after his loss showed his entire campaign was caught by surprise.

Urgent: Should GOP Stick to Its Guns on Obamacare? Vote Here. 

He might not have won the nation’s highest office, but he still has advice for those currently in Washington.

Nothing will get done in government, he said, unless all parties come together. “And this president has not shown that inclination, frankly, since he’s been in office. And the country’s in the balance.”

With a government shutdown more than a week old and a debt ceiling  deadline looming, Romney said, “These are real concerns that will affect a lot of people, and the president’s got to engage and work in the job of governing, not just campaigning and posturing.”

© 2013 Newsmax. All rights reserved.
By Greg Richter

Romney Decries the ‘Political Dysfunction’ in Washington.

Mitt Romney thinks Obamacare is a bad law and would like to see it “go away,” but said Friday he disagrees with how conservatives are trying to engineer that.

In an interview with CNN, the 2012 Republican presidential nominee said using the the Affordable Care Act in the debate over a funding bill and debt ceiling rise is not effective — and counterproductive.

“We’re more effective tactically not to use a shutdown of some kind to pursue the … anti-Obamacare objective,” he said. “I don’t think that will be as effective.”

Urgent: ObamaCare Is About to Strike — Are You Prepared?

“The tactic of using a government shutdown to try and push that will be counterproductive politically, that it’s going to end up hurting our party, and it could well – it could be inconvenience, and hurt some individuals as well, and checks are late, and so forth,” said Romney.

Romney said he’d take a different tack.

“We’re all fighting for the same thing, to repair, replace, slow it down…,” he said. “I have a harder time seeing where a shutdown leads… there’s a better way of getting rid of Obamacare…delaying it by a year.

“The other would be potentially working hard to get Republicans elected to the House and Senate and they’d be able to do in a traditional way.”

Romney gave Republican Texas Sen. Ted Cruz credit for speaking for his 21-hour “quasi filibuster” and bringing attention to the issue.

Romney called GOP lawmakers’ demands over the debt ceiling — including a one-year delay of Obamacare, blocking certain business regulations, federal approval of the Keystone XL pipeline, and blocking the Environmental Protection Agency from regulating ash waste from coal fired power plants — “a tactical choice.”

Romney decried the “political dysfunction” in Washington.

“There’s no question that the political dysfunction is the cause of many of the problems of the country,” he said, noting that leadership is needed to “break through” it.

“And unfortunately, we haven’t seen the kind of leadership in the White House. The president spends his time attacking the opposition party.”

Romney bristled at the suggestion Obamacare compared with the health care law he championed while governor of Massachusetts.

“There’s some wonderful differences,” he said. “We don’t have in my state people losing jobs – 40-hour-week jobs, going down to 29.5-hour-week jobs as a result of the bill that we passed.”

He also said Massachusetts’ plan was never meant to be a national model.

“Let them do it in their own way,” he said of other states. “And if Vermont wants to be a single-payer, socialized medicine state, let them try it. We’ll learn from that experiment. But don’t have the federal government impose a one-size-fits-all plan on the entire nation because it will hurt people, and it is.”

Urgent: ObamaCare Is About to Strike — Are You Prepared?

© 2013 Newsmax. All rights reserved.


By Cathy Burke

Have We Rendered Ourselves Vulnerable to Deception?.

R. Loren Sandford
I’ve often said that, whether liberal or conservative, Democrat or Republican, religious or nonreligious, too many people no longer think. They just feel, and that rather mindlessly. While this has always been the case with human beings to some degree, I see it as an accelerating and destructive trend in our current culture and even—perhaps especially—in the church. Because we don’t think, we render ourselves vulnerable to deception and manipulation by whatever and whomever makes us feel something.
How many Christians today, for instance, pay attention to those portions of the Bible they like and feel while ignoring the portions they find difficult or that impinge on their personal conception of freedom and morality? We don’t think. We just feel, and we confuse feelings with truth rather than measure those feelings against an external and unchanging standard that can be rationally identified, understood and obeyed.
I recently was asked to pastorally address a situation in which a Christian man with a loving wife believed that God had told him to divorce her. Are you kidding me? Were the words of Jesus not clear enough? And this is not the first time I’ve encountered this kind of delusion. When we make law and morality relative to the feelings and opinions of the individual rather than live by absolutes handed down from a sovereign God, society inevitably collapses.
I write Bible study guides for the cell groups in my church, New Song Church and Ministries. I do it because I want my people to have solid resources at their fingertips based in solid biblical exegesis revealing the intended meanings of the authors and applying it to life.
A couple of years ago, I decided to examine some small group Bible study materials produced by a publisher I respected back in the mid-1970s when I was in seminary. I therefore ordered copies, hoping to lighten my workload. When they came, I was deeply disappointed to find they focused on questions like, “What does this verse make you feel?” or, “What do you feel this means?” I wouldn’t have been so disappointed if the material had provided responsible, content-rich answers to those questions, but it didn’t. People were left to make it mean whatever their feelings told them. Those books went directly to the dumpster.
I found the 2012 election cycle in the United States frightening. Why? Because I never saw or heard a really honest rational debate on the issues. Romney thought he could win on the merits of his record and the strength of his ideas, while he did what he could to make people fearful of Obama. Even as he presented his own ideas, Obama knew he could win by being the more charismatic of the two and by inflaming the passions of the populace. He could prevail by making people fear Romney and by making them feel he would do them more good than Romney, whether or not his record and his policies would substantiate the claim. Romney did his share of that as well, but the man with the charisma won by doing a better job of making people feel something.
Please understand that I’m not making a political statement here, and I’m not saying that Romney was right and Obama was wrong. Ultimately, history will render the verdict. I’m saying that, right or wrong, people win elections in this culture based on feelings rather than rational presentations of fact. No one will win public office who does not understand this and know how to work it. It’s a dangerous and slippery path we’ve fallen into, and it sets us up for all kinds of deception. A populace that will not think is a populace that can be manipulated. I can’t think of a single historical instance in which that didn’t ultimately end in disaster.
Israel found itself in a similar situation not long after leaving Egypt. Korah led a rebellion against Moses by inflaming the emotions of people facing hardship in the wilderness when they had been promised a land flowing with milk and honey. All Korah had to do to marshal their anger and fuel the rebellion was play upon their fears, their anxieties and their sense of disappointment that Moses hadn’t immediately led them to that Promised Land. Never mind the long string of miracles performed through Moses that had freed them from slavery. It wasn’t about rational thought and evaluation. It was about demagoguery through emotional manipulation. Korah and all who were with him perished, and so will we if we continue to throw our brains on the table and choose the same course.
Yes, we must be led by the Spirit, and, yes, that involves feelings, but that doesn’t mean we stop thinking and begin living by our unstable emotions, desires and inclinations as if those feelings were truth. God built us for better things. This is the One who said in Isaiah 1:18, “Come now, and let us reason together.” God gave us minds with which to think things through, even in our relationship with Him.
We are witnessing the beginning of the catastrophic collapse of a once-great culture—not perfect, to be sure, but once-great nevertheless. Destruction comes, and I’m afraid it can no longer be stopped. Now is the time for Christians to stand firm on the foundation of the gospel, the Word of God once for all delivered, and to rise up as a beacon of love and redemption in a darkening world. Think! Then add to it godly passion, and we will rescue multitudes from a mounting tide of destruction.
Source: CHARISMA MAGAZINE/ prophetic insights.
R. LOREN SANDFORDR. Loren Sandford is the founder and senior pastor of New Song Church and Ministries in Denver, Colo. He is a songwriter, recording artist and worship leader, as well as the author of several books, including Understanding Prophetic PeopleThe Prophetic Church and his latest, Visions of the Coming Days: What to Look for and How to Prepare, which are available with other resources at the church’s website.

Romney Warns GOP: ‘Exercise Great Care’ Against Gov’t Shutdown.

Former Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney jumped into the debate over the GOP’s future Tuesday night, warning congressional Republicans against forcing a government shutdown in their quest to stop President Barack Obama’s signature health care law.

Romney addressed more than 200 donors on the shores of Lake Winnipesaukee at a fundraiser for the New Hampshire Republican Party, staged just four miles from the vacation home where he has spent much of the summer with his family. The event was closed to the media, but his office released his prepared remarks.

Editor’s NoteObamaCare Is About to Strike Are You Prepared

Romney, 66, warned congressional Republicans against letting emotions drive their decisions.

“I badly want Obamacare to go away, and stripping it of funds has appeal. But we need to exercise great care about any talk of shutting down government,” Romney said in the first speech of its kind since his November election loss to Obama. “What would come next when soldiers aren’t paid, when seniors fear for their Medicare and Social Security, and when the FBI is off duty?”

He continued: “I’m afraid that in the final analysis, Obamacare would get its funding, our party would suffer in the next elections, and the people of the nation would not be happy. I think there are better ways to remove Obamacare.”

Romney did not criticize anyone by name, but he dismissed the very strategy employed by some of his party’s biggest names — potential 2016 presidential candidates among them. Sens. Marco Rubio of Florida, Ted Cruz of Texas and Mike Lee of Utah are urging Republicans to swear off voting for any year-end spending bill that includes money for the president’s health care law. Parts of the federal government would shut down on Oct. 1 if Congress doesn’t approve a short-term funding bill before then.

Several Republicans on Capitol Hill have attacked the plan to strip health care funding from the spending bill in unusually harsh language, although Romney has been silent on this — and virtually every other public debate — for much of the last nine months.

It’s unclear what role the former Massachusetts governor hopes to play for the GOP. He has hinted at a desire to remain an active voice on major policy debates, and he maintains ties to a powerful national fundraising operation.

His presence at the New Hampshire GOP fundraiser Tuesday night helped raise tens of thousands of dollars, according to organizers, which is considered a large haul for a state party so long before the next election. Donors paid between $100 and $1,500 and traveled from as far as California to attend the event, which was held at a lakeside mansion used in 2007 as a vacation home for French President Nicolas Sarkozy.

In his speech, Romney acknowledged that some Republicans may not care for his perspective given his recent loss.

“I’m probably not the first person you’d ask for advice,” he said. “But because we all learn from our mistakes, I may have a thought or two of value.”

He called on Republicans to “stay smart,” in part, by backing candidates who can win. And as the pool of potential candidates for the 2016 presidential contest begins to grow, Romney suggested that most are not electable.

Editor’s Note: Should ObamaCare Be Repealed? Vote in Urgent National Poll

“My guess is that every one of the contenders would be better than whoever the Democrats put up,” he said. “But there will only be one or perhaps two who actually could win the election in November.”

© Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


Santorum: GOP Leaders ‘Don’t Reflect Who We Are’.

Image: Santorum: GOP Leaders 'Don't Reflect Who We Are'

By Courtney Coren

Former Pennsylvania senator and presidential candidate Rick Santorum criticized his Republican Party Thursday, telling a conservative audience that GOP leaders do not “accurately reflect who we are.”

Speaking at the Faith & Freedom Coalition’s “Road to Majority” conference in Washington, Santorum said Republicans should stop talking to CEOs and “talk to the folks who are worried about the next paycheck,” Politico reports. 

“Our leaders don’t accurately reflect who we are,” he said. “They reflect the interest groups around here who are lobbying for an advantage. Everyone who is up here is wanting an edge for their company or their industry. We’ve got to get away from that.”

Reflecting on last year’s presidential campaign, Santorum took issue with the way Mitt Romney and the party handled President Barack Obama’s “You didn’t build that” gaffe.

He never mentioned Romney by name, but he said the party’s leaders should have invited more working-class individuals to speak at the national convention in Tampa instead of parading business leaders to talk about how they built their own companies, Politico reported.

“One after another, they talked about the business they had built. But not a single, not a single, factory worker went out there,” he said. “Not a single janitor, waitress or person who worked in that company! We didn’t care about them. You know what? They built that company, too! And we should have had them on that stage.”

“When all you do is talk to people who are owners, talk to folks who are Type A’s who want to succeed economically, we’re talking about a very small group of people,” Santorum said. “No wonder they don’t think we care about them. No wonder they don’t think we understand them.

“Folks, if we’re going to win, you just need to think about who you talk to in your life.”

Santorum also suggested that even nominating Romney was a mistake because Obamacare was modeled after the former Massachusetts governor‘s own state healthcare initiative, Politico reports.

He reminded the audience of several hundred people that GOP opposition to Obamacare drove voters to the polls in 2010 and helped the party take back the House of Representatives.

“I won’t go back and revisit why that was the case or who the better candidate was to do that, but suffice it to say the opportunity is going to present itself in the next year,” he said, noting that concerns over Obamacare still could help Republicans make gains in 2014.

He called on Republicans to be more outspoken about problems with the healthcare law.

“Why are they not sounding the alarm?” he asked. “Why are we not getting ahead of this train?”

Other speakers echoed some of Santorum’s concerns.

Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, a Romney rival in the 2008 presidential campaign, agreed the GOP needs to reach out more to “the average person Rick Santorum is talking about.”

“He is so absolutely right,” Huckabee said. “The Republican message is often so horizontally presented that people often get lost in that spectrum.”

© 2013 Newsmax. All rights reserved.

Romney: US Needs ‘Backbone’ in Handling China.

Former Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney said on Friday that the United States needed “backbone” in dealing with China in light of recent reports of alleged spying and cyberattacks.

“This is a time for real backbone for our nation to come up against China and say: ‘Guys, you gotta play by the rules. You can’t manipulate your currency. You cannot hack into our computers, or there will be consequence,’” Romney told Neil Cavuto on Fox News. “You put everything on the table — not militarily, obviously — but soft power.”

And that may include trade tariffs, similar to those imposed this week by Europe on Chinese solar panels and other products.

“Clearly, trade is one of the places where you have consequence,” the former Massachusetts governor said. “You don’t want to have consequence in trade because that ends up costing us as well.

“You don’t want to see a trade war, but you can’t continue to allow people to abuse your own interests — without following international norms or international law — without there being some consequence.”

President Barack Obama is meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping on a 200-acre estate in Southern California on Friday and Saturday. Obama is expected to seek Xi’s assurance that he takes seriously accusations of growing Chinese cyberspying, including snooping on advanced U.S. weapons designs.

“The reality is China is a major economic power,” Romney told Cavuto. “It will soon, over the next decade or two, pass us in terms of the size of their [gross domestic product]. They’re a very serious and significant competitor globally — and we’ve allowed them to manipulate their currency in a way that they’ve killed businesses in this country and killed a lot of jobs here.

“They’re taking advantage of us right now — and if we don’t set those rules and make sure they’re abiding by them now, we’ll never be able to do it a decade or so from now, when they won’t need us like they need us today,” he said.

Romney talked with Cavuto on the last day of his “Experts and Enthusiasts Summit” in Park City, Utah. Billed as an “ideas summit” for friends and supporters of the Romney campaign, the session brought together politicians and business leaders across the spectrum.

Among the Republicans attending were Romney’s 2012 vice presidential running mate, Sen. Paul Ryan of Wisconsin; as well as Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky, and New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie.

Democrats included former Clinton administration insider Erskine Bowles, longtime Obama adviser David Axelrod and Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa.

“I wanted to bring together people actually from both sides of the aisle and people within each party who have different views about the priorities they think the nation should be pursuing,” Romney said.

The conclusion? “The priorities the Republicans were concerned about, the priorities Democrats were concerned about — the priorities are not being addressed.

“Instead, Washington is being pulled in a lot of different directions, but not doing what has to be done to get Americans to work, in good jobs, with better pay — and to secure a brighter future for our kids,” Romney said.

He told Cavuto that the Democrats in Utah this week were “gracious and willing to come and express their views. They were warmly received, even though we disagreed pretty vehemently on policy.

“But the funny thing is, we’re all Americans,” he continued. “We all care about the country. We get along on a personal basis. It’s helpful to have the kind of dialogue that looks for common ground and looks for common vision for the future.”

As for his own future, Romney said that did not include another run for the White House.

“We’ve got other people. I got my chance,” he told Cavuto. “I took my message to the American people. I wasn’t successful.

“It’s time for someone else to take their message to the people to see if they can be successful,” Romney added. “I’m optimistic about a Republican becoming the next president. I’m going to be working for our nominee, but I’m not running again.”

© 2013 Newsmax. All rights reserved.
By Todd Beamon

Romney Calls for Special Prosecutor to Probe IRS Targeting Scandal.

Former GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney called Friday for the appointment of a special prosecutor to investigate the IRS abuse-of-power scandal.

“Clearly, the president’s ability to manage the government of the United States, and the trust that Americans have for our government, have been very seriously eroded by the kinds of revelations that have come forward from the IRS,” Romney said on the Fox News program Your World With Neil Cavuto.

Romney told host Cavuto he is “not going to jump on the bandwagon of attacking the president for everything that’s going on in Washington.” But he reacted strongly when Cavuto asked for his reaction to the news that several major donors to his campaign, including businessman Frank L. VanderSloot, were singled out for major audits by several agencies that cost nearly six figures to defend.

“This is a very dangerous and troubling development,” said Romney, “the idea that an agency that has our most personal information – I mean, they know how much money we make, what we make it in, what kind of assets we have, where all of our properties might be – they know all that about us financially. They have all that information, and they have used that information to pursue a political agenda. That should be a very frightening thing to people on both sides of the aisle.”

Romney blamed the IRS targeting of conservatives on “a negligent management.”
“It may be worse than negligence,” Romney told host Neil Cavuto. “We don’t know who all knew about it, who directed it. But it is a violation that the American people will not soon forget. It has to end.

“And in my view,” Romney added, “we have to put in place a special prosecutor to understand who knew what, and how that information was used, and we also need to put in place a structure that says in the future, these audits and these inquiries by the IRS or other agencies that carry out various kinds of audits, these things have to be viewed on a non-partisan, non-political basis, and assure that these institutions aren’t pursuing a personal agenda of one kind or another.”

Romney’s call for a special prosecutor leapfrogs the consensus of GOP leaders on Capitol Hill, who say the public glare of hearings can prove useful in ferreting out more information on who ordered conservative groups’ applications for IRS non-profit status to be placed under a microscope and held up indefinitely.

Once special prosecutors are appointed to explore criminal issues, officials at every level typically clam up, stating it would be inappropriate to comment on a matter under investigation. But House Republicans could later form a select committee, or call for the U.S. Attorney General to appoint a special prosecutor.

Since the November election, Romney has been keeping a low profile. He returned to the public spotlight this week as part of the “Experts and Enthusiasts Summit” that he is hosting in Park City, Utah. It’s been billed as an “ideas summit” for friends and supporters of the Romney campaign.

In his interview with Cavuto, Romney indicated that the IRS scandal has hit a visceral nerve with the American people.

“This is what people across this country are afraid of: Big government becoming so large and so intrusive that no one can stop it from interfering in our lives, and punishing people without being required to go out into the public and demand that information on a legal basis,” he said.

Cavuto asked Romney to share his reaction to revelations that grass-roots supporters of his campaign were subjected to systematic harassment by the IRS.

“It’s infuriating,” said the former Massachusetts governor. “Look, I’ve got to tell you, it’s not fun to lose an election. But to hear that the government of the United States, and particularly an agency that has all the information about the American people, was using that power to help defeat me in one way or another is really quite upsetting, as you can imagine.”

Romney said he thought it was wrong to assume “a different outcome would have occurred” in the election had grass-roots groups been able to operate on an equal footing in November. But he added that the IRS targeting had a significant impact on turnout on Election Day.

“Oh there’s no question but that if some organization were being run through the mill, that they were less able to do the job that they put themselves in place to carry out, and therefore [it] had a chilling effect on their capacity to turn out voters, or to pursue the agenda that they might have. Of course that was the result.

“But I don’t believe it was such a widespread and effective program on the part of the IRS or other agencies that it would have resulted in a different outcome in the election,” he said.

The former GOP standard-bearer made it clear, however, that the issues raised by the targeting of citizens by the IRS transcended the importance of any single election.

Said Romney: “What’s at stake is: Did the American people believe that the information they have is not being misused by our government, and that the government is not trampling on our rights as citizens of this country, and pursuing an agenda, a political agenda, at the expense of freedom in America.”

© 2013 Newsmax. All rights reserved.

By David A. Patten

Romney Regrets ’47 Percent’ Remark.

Image: Romney Regrets '47 Percent' Remark

By Greg Richter

Former GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney says he regrets saying that 47 percent of voters were lost because they depend on government, admitting it hurt his campaign.

“I was very upset. There were a number of times I said things that didn’t come out right,” Romney said in an interview aired on CNN on Thursday. “Now and then things don’t come out exactly the way you want them to come out, they don’t sound the way you thought they sounded.”

But Romney was quick to put all the blame on himself and not others. He said New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie‘s embrace of his rival, President Barack Obama, after Hurricane Sandy slammed the state just days before the election wasn’t to blame for his loss. Nor was Clint Eastwood’s choice to talk to an invisible Obama in an empty chair at the Republican National Convention.

“Clint didn’t hurt my campaign,” Romney said. “I hurt my campaign a couple of times.”

And the hurricane gave Obama a chance to look presidential, which is an advantage of incumbency, he said.

“You don’t look back at each little thing and how could that have been different,” he said. “You look forward.”

Romney even refused to say that the IRS targeting of conservative groups was kept secret to hurt his chances.

“The election was close enough in the outcome with, what, 4 percent difference between the two campaigns, that a number of things could have changed the outcome,” he said.

Romney said the party learned lessons from his mistakes. The party should do a better job of registering Republicans and getting people to the polls, he said. “And … the next person who is our nominee has to do a better job than I did at connecting with minority voters, getting more support from minority families and with families that are hoping to make it into the middle class.”

© 2013 Newsmax. All rights reserved.

Jonathan Alter: Limbaugh, Ailes Tried to Recruit Christie for Presidential Run in ’12.

Veteran journalist Jonathan Alter has a new book focusing on the 2012 presidential race, and he tells Newsmax about a secret meeting where leading conservatives including Rush Limbaugh tried to convince Chris Christie to run for the White House.

Alter also says Republican attacks on President Obama backfired and hurt the GOP, but asserts that Obama’s failure to reach across the aisle has hurt his agenda.And he predicts that both Christie and Hillary Clinton will likely run for president in 2016.

Story continues below.

Alter was a senior editor and columnist at Newsweek from 1983 to 2011. He is now a Bloomberg View columnist and contributing correspondent at NBC News.

His 2010 book “The Promise: President Obama, Year One,” was a New York Times Best Seller, reaching No. 3 on the list at its peak. And his new book is “The Center Holds: Obama and His Enemies.”

Alter has now covered nine presidential elections. In an exclusive interview with Newsmax TV, he was asked what was different about 2012.

“The difference was the stakes were immense in this election,” he says.

“As Grover Norquist told me at one point, all we need is somebody with enough working digits to sign his name. Any Republican would do for him because he knew that if Republicans were able to take the White House, and additionally the Senate — which looked for a long time like they were favored to retake — and control of the House, they would be able to enact a conservative agenda for America.

“The economy’s getting a little bit better now, so if Mitt Romney had won, it would be very convincing to say well the economy is doing better because we got rid of that Jimmy Carter guy, Barack Obama, and Mitt Romney, maybe he’s not Reagan but business got more confident. Cutting taxes further, cutting regulations and so forth, is what led to the recovery we’re having and that would have discredited liberal Democratic policies for a generation.

“By contrast now, Obama has the veto pen. Basically things like the Ryan plan or repealing Obamacare are fantasies. They’re not going to happen until 2017 at the very earliest, and probably not then because much of Obamacare would have been implemented and harder to repeal. So this was what I call a hinge of history, an extraordinarily important election, and both Mitt Romney and Barack Obama thought so.”

Alter asserts that the two presidential candidates’ campaign strategies and the Latino vote were both crucial in Obama’s victory.

“Obama got 71 percent of the Latino vote, which is why immigration reform is now much more likely to pass because Republicans realize they have to cut into those margins to win,” he says.

“But the numbers game was what really intrigued me because essentially what Obama did was revolutionize politics by getting these 20-somethings, data scientists, and it was a really motley crew. They also had really smart people, and they got them all into this place they call the cave, which was secret during the campaign but afterward I was able to find out what happened there.

“They built these models and analytical tools that dramatically improved the efficiency of the Obama campaign in terms of their reaching out to and micro-targeting voters, delivering ads more efficiently to the right audiences, raising money online – they got it up from $15 million to $150 million a month online in small donations, which just blows the doors off anything that had been done before.

“There’s a lot for Republicans to learn from how the Obama people did it so they can close what I call the geek gap, which existed in 2012. They just did not have enough of these geeky kids who were brilliant and could help them redefine politics.”

In his book, Alter talks about the “Obama Derangement Syndrome,” the unhealthy fixation on the president by his enemies. He explains the effect it had on the campaign: “In a lot of ways they helped him. Things like the birther movement, that rebounded against the Republicans, even those who thought it was nonsense, because it made the Republican primary candidates – even if they weren’t birthers – seem like what Charles Krauthammer, the conservative columnist, called the clown car.

“They seemed less serious than you really need to be to be ready for primetime in American politics, and that hampered Romney going into the fall and made it harder for him to maneuver. What ended up happening is that there was a backlash to efforts to try to limit early voting and otherwise change the rules to hold down Democratic turnout, and that backlash helped power an even bigger black and Latino turnout than in 2008.

“People just went over the top in their criticism of the president.”

Alter also reveals in his new book details of a secret meeting between Chris Christie and leading conservatives.

“I can’t tell you everybody who was there but it was Roger Ailes’ house near Garrison, N.Y., and Rush Limbaugh flew in from Florida and they had kind of a conclave of top conservatives,” he tells Newsmax.

“The point of the meeting was to convince Christie to run for president. So he explains how he’s not done in New Jersey. He has a sense of timing in the same way he didn’t run in 2005 for governor yet, he wanted to wait. Same thinking about president.

“He raised some family issues and some governing issues and then he said with a smile on his face, and besides guys, I like to go to Burger King, okay? He meant it in a light vein but you could have heard a pin drop. The people in the room did not think it was funny. They had come in from out of town to try to convince him to run and didn’t appreciate the attempt at humor, which conveyed some truth, because he wasn’t ready to lose the weight as he is now.

“Then later on he came much closer to being Mitt Romney’s vice presidential pick than people realized. He got right down to the finals, but he struck Romney as undisciplined, not necessarily because of the weight but because he was showing up late at Romney events.

“Romney started complaining to his aides that he didn’t think Christie was the guy because he wasn’t buttoned up and tight enough, as Romney liked to say. Both candidates, they wanted their organizations tight, by which they meant disciplined, and they didn’t think Christie filled the bill.”

Asked if he sees Christie running for presidential in 2016, Alter responds: “I do. He’s very likely to run and some of his moves in New Jersey, where I live, indicate that he is going to make a race and it’s going to be fascinating to watch because he’s a fascinating politician.

“People might think, oh he’s a liberal, but I like Chris Christie a lot and without revealing my particular voter preferences, I’d be very supportive of him publically on a lot of what he’s done on education and other things in my state.

“Sometimes his manner can be off-putting. We’ll see how that plays outside of the New York, New Jersey region where that kind of pugilistic, rough and tumble politics goes down well. Does it work in Iowa? Might be a different story.”

Alter believes Hillary Clinton will also run for the White House, but he doesn’t buy into reports that Bill Clinton agreed to actively support Obama last year in exchange for Obama’s support of Hillary in 2016.

“I do see her running and I don’t think there was an explicit deal that way,” he says.
“It is true that the president and first lady did not invite Bill and Hillary Clinton over for dinner at the White House until the beginning of this year in his second term, which is pretty amazing when you think about it.

“I’ve got a chapter called ‘Missing the Schmooze Gene’ about Obama. He just is not reaching out enough and not doing some of the things that Bill Clinton does so well and so naturally. Their relationship was very frosty for years and now it’s better but it would be wrong to describe it as a close relationship or a good relationship.

“I did learn that Bill Clinton called Mitt Romney the week after the election and told him he thought Romney was going to win right up to Hurricane Sandy. Now whether Clinton was blowing smoke to make Romney feel better, who knows, but there are indications that Clinton was quite concerned that Obama could lose the election. He wasn’t all that familiar with Obama’s amazing field organization or what these analytics guys were doing in the cave in Chicago because Clinton wasn’t in the cave, this unmarked room where they did so much of their work. So their relationship is improving but it will never be a strong one.

“Obama is just leaving important tools in the toolbox that could allow him to get more done. For instance, I’ve got a scene where Ken Duberstein, who was Ronald Reagan’s chief of staff and has been a good source of information for me, told me a story about urging the president to reach out more to Republicans on the Hill and he just didn’t do it.

“So he did not have people like Mitch McConnell over to the White House for meetings. That was a big mistake. Would he have gotten all of his agenda if he had schmoozed more? Of course not. But he would have been ahead of the game and he wasn’t always communicating as well as he needed to on healthcare and a lot of other things.

“Even when he was making good decisions, like going to get bin Laden which impressed Republicans, even when he was getting some accolades from Republicans, there were Democrats who were joining Republicans in complaining that he was not doing what successful presidents really need to do, which is reaching out, being more inclusive, working more across the aisle as he keeps saying he wants to do.”

As for comparisons that Bob Woodward and others have made between Obama and Richard Nixon, Alter observes: “Richard Nixon, who I arranged to meet toward the end of his life because I was so anxious to spend some time with him, was a completely fascinating man, multidimensional. So when somebody says is he like Nixon, that could be a positive comparison because there were very impressive things about Nixon in terms of his command of foreign policy.

“Do I think that the Benghazi story is Watergate? I don’t. I’m very troubled by the IRS story. I’m very troubled, not just as a reporter, but as a citizen by the AP and Fox News criminalizing of reporting. I want to know more about what the president knew and when did he know it, as they said during Watergate.

“It would be premature to make any kind of comparisons to Nixon and Watergate. The comparisons between Nixon and Obama in terms of the way they operate as intellectuals in the presidency I find very intriguing.”

Alter acknowledges that President Obama appears to be largely isolated from those ongoing scandals.

“I don’t think he’s totally isolated. It’s just that he has a relatively small circle and it doesn’t ventilate enough. So maybe that’s another way of saying isolated.

“What’s more interesting is if you reel off these scandals. There was an independent report on Fast and Furious that said that wasn’t really a scandal. People can quibble with me.

“Solyndra was a monumentally bad investment by the government. A huge waste of money. To call it a scandal that landed on the president’s door, I’m not so sure, but wherever one comes out on these issues, it doesn’t seem to have dented the president’s popularity that much, which is something that Karl Rove and others have urged that conservatives keep in mind: That there is a reaction, a backlash against criticism when it goes over the top.

“So the litany of scandals is fine, but when it goes to impeaching the guy, or something like that, it actually hurts the people who are making the charge and sets back the efforts to hold him accountable.

“Or when Darrell Issa called Jay Carney a paid liar. Let’s say it’s true. How does that advance the cause of holding President Obama accountable for his mistakes to get into name calling?”
In his Newsmax interview, Alter also tells why 2014 is going to be a “big year for Republicans.”

© 2013 Newsmax. All rights reserved.
By Jim Meyers and Kathleen Walter

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