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Old 11-20-2007, 09:05 AM   #561
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Boston Herald

Romney camp denies role in anti-Mitt push polls
By Jessica Van Sack | Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Former Bay State Gov. Mitt Romney’s presidential campaign furiously denied rumors yesterday that his own supporters were involved in calls placed to voters in Iowa and New Hampshire that spread anti-Romney smears under the guise of conducting a poll.

Political strategists and bloggers slung accusations at Romney’s camp yesterday after a scathing article appeared in the National Review titled “Did Mitt Romney Push Poll Himself?” which identified several Romney supporters at Western Wats, a Utah-based firm believed to have made the calls. The practice of using phony polls to plant a negative message is commonly known as push-polling.

“The idea that Mitt Romney or his supporters are spreading negative information about him is preposterous,” Romney spokesman Eric Fehrnstrom told the Herald. “These paranoid delusions aren’t worthy of a serious response.”

The New Hampshire attorney general launched an investigation into the calls, which may violate state election laws requiring all political advertising and phone pitches to identify the candidate being supported.

Jim Kennedy, assistant attorney general in charge of election law enforcement in the Granite State, vowed that subpoenaed phone records and other evidence will unveil the culprits, despite client confidentiality clauses repeatedly cited by Western Wats.

Among the questions asked during the 20-minute calls placed last week were whether the person polled knew Romney received Vietnam-era military deferments while serving in the Mormon missionary in France, that none of his sons served in the military and that the Mormon religion didn’t accept blacks as bishops until the 1970s.

The calls also included flattering questions about the military service of Sen. John McCain, whose camp immediately denied responsibility and filed a complaint with the New Hampshire attorney general Friday, as did Romney’s.

“At this point, everyone should be a suspect,” said Larry Sabato, director of the University of Virginia’s Center for Politics. That includes both Republicans and Democrats, said Sabato, who researched push-polling for his book “Dirty Little Secrets.”

The National Review article cited sources who speculated Romney’s camp put the hit out on itself “because his campaign wanted polling data regarding the negative perception of his Mormon faith for internal use.” But others speculated a motivation to pre-empt attacks on Romney’s faith.
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Old 11-20-2007, 06:57 PM   #562
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This article explains more of the controversy:

http://article.nationalreview.com/?q...mM2ZmOGE=#more

Here's an interesting part:
"Shortly after reports of Romney being targeted in a push poll emerged, the firm making the calls was identified as Western Wats, which is based in Utah and has a number of Romney campaign contributors on the payroll. Western Wats was founded by Ron Lindorf who has ties to the business school at the Mormon-owned Brigham Young University, Romney’s alma mater (Lindorf has since divested himself from the company). Lindorf’s brother Paul and his wife Teena are avid supporters of Romney (Paul is a former employee of Western Wats who retired five years ago; Paul and Teena claim not to know Romney or have a vested interest in his campaign).

"Evidence collected from Internet bulletin boards dedicated to tracking telemarketers and nuisance phone calls suggests that Western Wats may be tied directly to the Romney campaign."
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Old 11-20-2007, 10:40 PM   #563
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I would vote for a Mormen, (Harry Reid) a Scientologist, etc..

I really don't care what group a person associates with.

but, it appears many people do care
Are we surprised? Many Protestants don't even trust Catholics to hold the office of president.

The irony of some of these people calling Mormonism "intolerant."
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Old 11-27-2007, 05:17 PM   #564
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Analysis: Couple's murder raises specter of Romney's own `Willie Horton' moment

By Glen Johnson, Associated Press Writer | November 27, 2007

BOSTON --Mitt Romney did everything he could while governor of Massachusetts to avoid having a sticky "Willie Horton" criminal case cloud his future presidential campaign.

To no avail. Romney is now being dogged by the case of a convicted killer who was charged in the recent deaths of a young couple -- after being released over prosecutors' protests by a judge Romney appointed.

Rudy Giuliani is trying to tie it all to his rival in the race for the Republican presidential nomination. "The governor is going to have to explain his appointment, and the judge is going to have to explain her decision," Giuliani says.

The theme, likely to resurface at a GOP debate Wednesday in Florida, harkens back to 1988, when allies of Republican George H.W. Bush broadcast a demonic photo of inmate Willie Horton in ads against another Massachusetts governor running for the White House, Democrat Michael Dukakis.

The spots accused Dukakis of being soft of crime for a furlough program under which Horton -- likewise a convicted killer -- was released. Horton was convicted of raping a Maryland woman and pistol-whipping her fiance while free.

Bush went on to win the election.

Today the images in search of a commercial are the smiling snapshot of victims Brian and Beverly Mauck of Graham, Wash., and the mug shot of Daniel Tavares Jr., replete with tattoos on both sides of his neck. Released last July, Tavares has been charged in the deaths of the couple who were found shot to death in their home Nov. 17.

Romney is trying to contain the damage. His staff has repeatedly said they fear ads against him by third-party groups, and they are anxious to avoid having the case define him to a national audience.

"The danger is that if you take it all together, it's the perfect storm in that there's doubts in terms of his conservatism on the social issues and now this adds more doubt that he has been good on issues of law and order," said Paul Pezzella, a veteran Massachusetts Democratic activist who was Florida state director for the Dukakis campaign.

"If there's one thing Republicans understand, it's appointing nonactivist judges. They run on appointing strict constructionists, they are law and order, they are tough, and now this raises doubts about Romney in that regard," Pezzella said.

Last weekend, Romney called for Judge Kathe Tuttman to resign, saying her decision to free Tavares "showed an inexplicable lack of good judgment."

He also unleashed his most personal criticism yet of Giuliani.

Romney noted Giuliani proposed Bernard Kerik as Homeland Security secretary while the former New York police commissioner was under criminal investigation. Kerik, a Giuliani friend and once his chauffeur, has since been indicted by federal officials.

"I must admit that of all the people who might attack someone on the basis of an appointment, I thought he would be the last to do so," Romney said of Giuliani.

Whether Giuliani can turn Daniel Tavares Jr. into Willie Horton is an open question. The war in Iraq, the rising cost of daily living and concern about terrorism have superseded crime as paramount issues for voters 20 years later.

There also is Romney's squeaky clean personal life and his outreach to conservatives as he depicts himself as anything but the more liberal Dukakis.

"What Willie Horton did was play into people's predispositions and suspicions about Michael Dukakis, that he wasn't tough on crime. The facts of the case mattered far less than the appearance of the case," said David King, a political science professor at Harvard University's Kennedy School of Government.

"In the case with Romney as governor, he steadfastly opposed pardons, he was a law-and-order governor, so what happened is not consistent with what people believe to be the image of Mitt Romney," King said.

Romney had tried hard to avoid this predicament in the first place.

While governor, he cast himself as a law-and-order executive, favoring the death penalty in a state that strongly opposes it, and embarrassing vacationing lawmakers into enacting tougher sentences for repeat drunken drivers.

He also refused to pardon any prisoners during his four years in office, a move widely viewed as inoculating himself against future Willie Horton moments on the campaign trail. One of those denied a pardon was a decorated Iraqi war veteran who wanted to become a police officer.

That man's past transgression? A conviction as a 13-year-old for shooting a friend with a BB gun.

Giuliani, meanwhile, has tried to pivot from the Tavares case to a broader critique of Romney's record on crime.

The former mayor, during an interview with The Associated Press, pulled a sheet of paper out of his pocket listing FBI crime statistics for Massachusetts while Romney was governor. Murders were up 7.5 percent, robbery was up 12 percent, he said.

"So it's not so much the isolated situation which he and the judge will have to explain -- he's kind of thrown her under the bus, so it's hard to know how this is all going to come out. But the reality is, he did not have a record of reducing violent crime," Giuliani said.

Romney accused Giuliani of mangling statistics and produced his own set showing overall violent crime had fallen by 7 percent during his term.

"Mayor Giuliani can't resist embellishing the facts to make a bogus point. It's a very troubling trait," said Romney spokesman Eric Fehrnstrom.

Romney aides say Giuliani's criticism simply reveals his own concerns about his campaign in New Hampshire. Romney leads in the polls there, and the former mayor is trying to eat into that lead in the first primary state.

Another Republican candidate recently faced questions on a separate prison release case: an Arkansas man who killed a woman after being paroled for rape when Mike Huckabee was the state's governor.

Huckabee had once spoken in favor of releasing the man but told reporters last month the decision to free him was made by parole board members appointed by his Democratic predecessors, Jim Guy Tucker and Bill Clinton.

The man was released to Missouri in 1999 where he was later convicted in the murder of a Kansas City-area woman. He died of cancer in prison in 2005.
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Old 11-28-2007, 08:50 AM   #565
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New Romney brochure rips rivals' stance on marriage

By Michael Levenson, Globe Staff | November 28, 2007

The colorful brochure from Mitt Romney's presidential campaign looks like many of the political fliers flooding Iowa mailboxes this time of year.

But there is a difference. The piece is Romney's first to single out his rivals by name, a shift that shows him becoming more aggressive in the final weeks before the Jan. 3 caucuses.

The mailing juxtaposes photos and quotes from Romney showing his support for a federal constitutional amendment to define marriage as the union of one man and one woman with photos and quotes showing that Rudy Giuliani, John McCain, and Fred Thompson all oppose such a measure.

But it makes no mention of Mike Huckabee, the former Arkansas governor and Baptist preacher whose website says he has consistently supported a federal marriage amendment and led successful efforts to pass such an amendment at the state level in 2002. Huckabee has surged from the back of the pack to a virtual tie with Romney for first place in the Iowa polls.

Kevin Madden, a Romney spokesman, said yesterday that the mailing was designed to contrast Romney with other candidates who are leading in the national polls - a group that does not include Huckabee.

The Giuliani campaign, which has been feuding with Romney's camp, harshly criticized the brochure, which was apparently the first by any of the Republican candidates to directly go after a rival in Iowa. "After spending months attacking, distorting, and misrepresenting his Republican opponents' positions, and spending tens of millions of dollars to see his poll numbers continue to slide, it's not surprising Mitt Romney has taken his negativity to a new low," spokesman Jason Miller said in a statement. "We fully expect Romney's negative attacks to soon be up on television, as his campaign continues to make clear they will do anything to distract voters from the fact their candidate is a phony with a liberal record."

The brochure is aimed at social conservatives who make up a powerful constituency in Iowa, where Romney has run TV and radio ads on his opposition to gay marriage. He also was the first candidate to criticize a judge who ruled Iowa's gay marriage ban unconstitutional.

The mailing touts Romney's opposition to the 2003 Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court ruling that legalized gay marriage and his congressional testimony in support of a federal marriage amendment and says, "His position has been consistent from the beginning - no to discrimination, but yes to a federal amendment protecting marriage."

It does not mention that Romney pledged to be a better advocate for gay rights than Senator Edward M. Kennedy when he unsuccessfully challenged the Massachusetts Democrat for his seat in 1994. Nor does it state that Romney struck a more moderate stance on gay rights in his campaign for governor in 2002, when he supported domestic partnership benefits.
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Old 11-28-2007, 09:29 AM   #566
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So Romney's flip-flopping on gay marriage.
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Old 11-29-2007, 10:40 PM   #567
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Another endorsement:

Washington Insider with Ronald Kessler RSS ARCHIVE
David Keene Endorses Romney

Thursday, November 29, 2007 7:59 PM

By: Ronald Kessler Article Font Size

Dave Keene says Mitt Romney is a "good conservative" and "the best of the bunch."

Dave Keene, president of The American Conservative Union, has endorsed Mitt Romney for president. The endorsement is a pivotal moment in the 2008 campaign.


Keene, who endorsed Romney on Thursday, tells Newsmax that Romney is a “good conservative” and “the best of the bunch.”


A bulwark of the conservative movement, Keene has headed the ACU, the country’s oldest and largest conservative grass-roots lobbying group, since 1984. With 1 million members, the ACU runs the Conservative Political Action Committee’s (CPAC) annual conference in Washington and publishes an annual Rating of Congress — the gold standard for ideological assessments of members of Congress.


Among conservatives, no one is more highly respected than Keene. As second vice president of the National Rifle Association, he will automatically become president of the organization in three and a half years.


Deal Clincher


Keene’s endorsement is likely to galvanize fellow conservatives in Romney’s direction.


For some time, Keene had been discussing issues with Romney, but he had not issued an endorsement because he is friends with some of the other Republican candidates. Romney clinched the deal with him when they met in St. Petersburg for two hours the day before the Republican debate, Keene said.



“Romney spent most of Tuesday preparing for the debate; then at the end of the day, we spent a couple hours together; and then afterward I had dinner with his campaign manager Beth Meyers and Peter Flaherty who was his deputy chief of staff as governor, and Al Cardenas, who is one of my very closest friends,” Keene said.


Jeb Bush’s former finance chairman, Cardenas is on Keene’s board and chairs Romney’s National Hispanic Steering Committee.


“I had basically come to the conclusion that it is coming down to a race between Rudy Giuliani and Mitt Romney,” Keene said. “And the reason I decided to break my neutrality, which I’ve maintained from the beginning, is that the Mike Huckabee surge in Iowa could easily derail the Romney momentum that he’s going to need to break through what Rudy Giuliani calls his firewall in Florida before the big primaries. And I therefore think it’s important that conservatives who think that Romney is the best of the bunch and are concerned about the impact of a Giuliani nomination on the conservative coalition and the general election, have to come out now because in essence a vote for Huckabee in Iowa is a vote for Rudy.”


Despite being friends with many of the candidates, Romney and Fred Thompson were the only two that he really considered supporting.


“As time went on, it began to appear, fairly clearly to me at least, that the Thompson campaign missed its window, wasn’t going to take off, and that left Mitt Romney,” Keene said.



Romney — Upfront Conservative

“Romney I think is a good conservative,” Keene continued. “He’s been very upfront with people, and the thing that sealed it for me was not just my concern about the outcome of the race, but I spent some time with him on Tuesday and . . . on the major issues of concern to me and I think to most conservatives, he pretty well satisfied me during that meeting. So I was very comfortable with telling him that they could announce my endorsement today.”


Keene said he speaks for himself and not The American Conservative Union, which does not endorse candidates.


“As I told the governor, I don’t pretend to speak for the conservative community,” Keene said. “Nor do I pretend to have an army of people that follow my lead. But a lot of conservatives have been sort of going through this same intellectual and emotional journey, if you will, to try to satisfy in their own minds whom they ought to be supporting. And at the end of that journey, I come up with Mitt Romney, and I want to share that thinking and that conclusion with other conservatives who may be in the midst of the same journey, for whatever value it might be.”


The Right Man for the Job


In an Oct. 29 story, Newsmax reported that Keene believed Romney was in the best position to win the Republican nomination. While Rudy Giuliani leads in the polls, Keene said then that most people have not begun to focus on the election.


Once they do, they will recognize how liberal Giuliani is on some social issues like abortion and gay rights, and Republicans overall will tilt against him. Then Romney’s strategy of focusing on key states like Iowa and New Hampshire could propel him to the nomination, Keene observed.


“Romney’s doing it the right way, in my view,” Keene said then over lunch at the Palm. “My view’s colored by history, and these other guys seem to be betting that history doesn’t matter, and I’m not sure that’s true. If you win the first contest, and they’re close enough to the second contest, you get an enormous boost. And the idea that the onrush of big primaries makes those early contests unimportant may be 180 degrees wrong.”


In an interview on Thursday, Keene said that while Giuliani has some strengths, “I really do believe that a Giuliani candidacy would split the conservative coalition in ways that would be very difficult to put together and could have long-lasting impact on the shape of the Republican Party.”


On the major issues, Romney is “right on,” Keene said. “The most important thing with these candidates is, when they give you their word in a campaign, that word is credible.

“I thought Romney put it very well when he was asked during the debate about his position on abortion, and he said he was wrong, and he changed his view, and anybody that wants somebody that’s always been right better look somewhere else.”


Keene said Romney could have pointed out that like Ronald Reagan, he was wrong, “because of course Ronald Reagan began as a pro-choice politician.”


The Right Change Is Good


What is important, Keene said, is not so much whether a candidate has changed his views.

“It’s a question of whether that change has been thought out, on the one hand, and is deeply felt on the other, and doesn’t go against his most basic values,” Keene said.


Giuliani said “I may be against you on guns and abortion and all these things, but the fact of the matter is I’ll appoint conservative judges,” Keene said. “Now if you in fact believe that, then he may have solved that problem in your mind if you’re a voter.


“I find it very difficult to believe that somebody who has taken a whole series of very strong positions on one side would rise to the presidency and then decide that his lasting legacy will be to appoint people who would steer society in exactly the opposite direction of where he’d spent his life trying to steer it. I have difficulty finding that credible.”

In contrast, Keene said he believes Romney’s promises.

“That is both because of the basic values that I know he has, and because I think that he’s a guy who, if he gives you his word and he said that he’s going to do something, you can pretty well count on it,” Keene said.


The Mormon Issue

Keene does not think Romney’s Mormon religion will be as big a factor in the race as the press coverage would suggest.

“My feeling is that he’ll lose some votes some places because he’s Mormon,” Keene said. But Keene said he believes most voters will not vote based reservations about religion.

“I suspect that when he gets to the general election and even in the primaries, the few votes he might lose are likely to be lost in places where they won’t make much difference,” Keene said. “So I don’t see that as a handicap. We have lots of successful Mormon politicians in both parties. It’s a little bit like in early 1960 when his opponents were claiming John F. Kennedy was going to be ordered about by the Pope. Well, that’s not the way people follow their religion. So I don’t see it as a problem.”


Ronald Kessler is chief Washington correspondent of Newsmax.com. View his previous reports and get his dispatches sent to you free via e-mail. Go here now.

© 2007 Newsmax. All rights reserved.
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Old 12-01-2007, 10:44 AM   #568
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This is popular on Digg right now:

Mitt Romney Buys Election in Florida Straw Poll

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Old 12-01-2007, 01:16 PM   #569
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Mitt Romney and Rudy Giuliani are two of the scariest candidates I've ever seen.
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Old 12-01-2007, 02:12 PM   #570
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Quote:
Originally posted by coemgen
This is popular on Digg right now:

Mitt Romney Buys Election in Florida Straw Poll

If he can fix an election in Florida
he should be the GOP nominee.
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Old 12-01-2007, 02:31 PM   #571
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I don't view Ron Paul supporters who posted the story as saints by any stretch.

dbs
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Old 12-01-2007, 04:20 PM   #572
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So Ron Paul is buying off voting results, too?
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Old 12-03-2007, 03:23 PM   #573
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Romney To Give "Religion Speech"
Dec. 2, 2007(CBS) By CBSNews.com Senior Political Editor Vaughn Ververs.

Former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney will deliver a much-anticipated speech on religious faith at the George H. W. Bush library on Thursday, CBS News has confirmed. Romney's Mormon faith has been an underlying theme of his presidential candidacy but, until today, it has been an area he and his campaign have shied away from addressing directly.

"This speech is an opportunity for Governor Romney to share his views on religious liberty, the grand tradition religious tolerance has played in the progress of our nation and how the governor's own faith would inform his Presidency if he were elected," said Romney spokesman Kevin Madden in a statement released Sunday evening.

On Monday, Romney said he decided to give the speech because the subject is of interest in early voting Iowa, according to the Associated Press.

"I can tell you I'm not going to be talking so much about my faith as I am talking about the religious heritage of our country and the role in which it played in the founding of the nation and the role which I think religion should generally play today in our society," Romney said in an interview with WBZ-AM.

He added: "I will also talk about how my own values and my own faith will inform my thinking if I were lucky enough to become president of the united states."

Romney also compared his run to when his father, former Michigan Gov. George Romney, ran for the White House in 1968, AP reports.

"…Times have changed and particularly in a state like Iowa, there's been interest in religion generally and I think religion does have a very important role in our society and therefore it's important to talk about our religious heritage," Romney said.

Throughout this campaign year, Romney has frequently been asked whether he would address his faith directly. Many evangelical Christians view the Mormon Church, officially known as the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, critically. And voters in general have expressed hesitance about voting for a presidential candidate who subscribes to that faith. Last June, 43 percent of registered voters in a CBS News poll said they would not vote for a presidential candidate who is Mormon.

Romney has frequently been asked whether he would consider delivering a speech about his faith along the lines of the address John F. Kennedy gave when his Catholic faith provoked a similar discussion in the 1960 presidential campaign.

When asked about the possibility of giving such a speech by CBS News chief Washington correspondent Bob Schieffer last month, Romney replied, "I probably could never do something that would compare to what John F. Kennedy did - his was a masterpiece in American political history." Romney continued, "Maybe there's a time when I talk mostly about religion. Although, I don't know, at this stage I'm getting good support across the country, people want to know a bit ... a bit about my faith. They learn a bit about it, and they'll say, 'OK, that's fine, now what do you think about the jihad? What do you think about being competitive with China? How can you fix your schools? What're you going to do about health care?' And those issues overtake any differences with regards to religion they might see."

The speech comes at a moment in the campaign when Romney's once-dominant lead in Iowa has eroded. He trails former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee, an ordained Baptist minister, in the most recent poll in the first-in-the-nation caucus. Social conservatives in Iowa, who wield plenty of influence in the caucuses, seem to have vacillated between candidates like Romney and Fred Thompson but appear to be coalescing around Huckabee. Romney's decision to address his faith directly looks to be an attempt to soothe evangelicals who may be having second thoughts.

"Governor Romney understands that faith is an important issue to many Americans, and he personally feels this moment is the right moment for him to share his views with the nation," Madden said in his statement. For Romney, it is a crucial moment in the campaign, one which will put his faith under the kind of spotlight he has sought to avoid until now.
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Old 12-03-2007, 03:41 PM   #574
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There are plenty of reasons not to vote for Mitt Romney. His Mormon faith is not one of them.
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Old 12-05-2007, 11:01 AM   #575
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Mitt Romney scares me, too.
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Old 12-05-2007, 11:04 AM   #576
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Do you think he is on anyone's VP list?
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Old 12-05-2007, 03:41 PM   #577
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No pressure, Mitt.


Is This Romney's Kennedy Moment?
By Michael Duffy/Washington

Whenever a presidential candidate decides to give a speech about religious faith, he is taking his political career into his own hands.

That's chiefly because while the vast majority of Americans undoubtedly want their President to be a person of genuine faith, the consensus ends about right there. The kind of faith voters are looking for is harder to pinpoint. Americans want their President to be tolerant, reflective and well-versed in some religious tradition more than they want a strict adherence to any particular religious doctrine.

Mitt Romney's vow to deliver a speech on Thursday about faith and politics will probably end up being general in nature, as much about our faith as his. Romney, a Mormon, decided to give the address around the time he fell behind Mike Huckabee in Iowa, where an outsized proportion of the state's Republicans are evangelical Christians and in some cases take a dim view of Mormonism.

Romney's remarks have been compared to John F. Kennedy's famous 1960 speech in Houston about the role his Catholicism would play if he were elected. In that speech, Kennedy told a group of (mostly Baptist) Texas preachers that if he ever faced a choice between violating his conscience or the national interest, he would resign the office.

But there are a host of differences between the predicament facing Kennedy 47 years ago and the one facing Romney today.

The first is context. Kennedy was in the last weeks of a general election campaign. Romney has yet to be tested in a single primary. Kennedy gave his speech after an assembly of 150 anti-Catholic clergy issued a 2,000-word manifesto stating that no Catholic President could really be free of Vatican control. Though some Evangelical leaders have been publicly critical of Mormonism, no such charge has been laid at Romney's door. And though both men chose Texas as the place to give their remarks, the venues are very different. Kennedy spoke in the lion's den, addressing the greater Houston Ministerial Association, an alliance of Baptist preachers who found the whole idea of a Catholic in the White House almost beyond comprehension. By making his stand at the Bush Library in College Station, Romney is on the far safer ground of a college campus — and deep inside the Bush dynasty's official shrine to boot. If Romney were really following Kennedy's footsteps, he'd be addressing a small group of evangelical preachers — and then letting them ask questions, the way Kennedy did. That speech, which was greeted with a standing ovation, effectively settled the religious issue in the campaign.

The second crucial difference is demographic. By 1960 there were 35 to 40 million Catholics in the U.S., strategically settled in a dozen swing states from the Northeast across the Midwest. Those voters had in many cases gone for Eisenhower. Kennedy wanted to bring them home to the Democrats. Playing the religion card might have helped Richard Nixon in southern and border states, where he was already strong, but would have cost him in swing industrial states that he badly needed to win, so Nixon made a point of telling his people not to raise the religious issue (a plea that did was not heeded by everyone in Nixon's coalition).

Like Kennedy and his Catholics, Romney presumably has a lock on the Mormon vote. But that bloc is much smaller, perhaps five or six million strong. And instead of being concentrated in swing states, Mormons reside largely in intermountain states that for the most part are already solidly Republican. In the key states where Romney faces an early test, he isn't likely to find many Mormons, no matter what he says on Thursday.

Then there are the differing thresholds. For one thing, Kennedy needed to lower the fears of Vatican control of American policy, so he could flatly state that he would not be taking orders from Rome and that his faith was a private matter. Romney at a minimum needs to do that — to say that even though Mormons believe that the head of their church is a prophet who receives God's living word, he would not be taking orders from Salt Lake City — but must do more. Kennedy could wall off his private beliefs from his public policy and be fine, since Democrats especially were happy to keep the two apart. But Romney is in — let's not forget — a Republican primary fight, where base voters want to know that your faith informs your policy. It's almost a disqualifier to say it has no real influence on you.

Kennedy and his team thought the problem they faced was ignorance, which could be addressed by educating voters. But Evangelicals believe Mormonism is a faith that views the Bible as requiring revision, and that when Romney says Christ is his Saviour, he doesn't mean it the same way evangelicals do. Those aren't misunderstandings, they are real differences of faith. As a Romney-backing Evangelical told me in October, "Some of my people — a lot of them — are just never going to go there."

And that brings up another crucial difference between Romney's predicament and Kennedy's. You could call it the fervor gap. Like the Southern Baptists, Mormons are a professing religion: they want to spread the word, win converts, save souls. This isn't a problem for a lot of Americans. But it is a problem for many conservative Christians. Many of them believe that if the GOP nominates Romney — much less if the country elects him as President — Mormons will gain a stronger hand in the all-important business of saving souls. To them, the stakes of that struggle are as great or greater than any fight about a political office.
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Old 12-05-2007, 03:46 PM   #578
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Whoops.

Romney fires landscapers over immigration concerns

Story Highlights
* Romney: Company's failure to comply with the law is disappointing and inexcusable
* Romney says the owner guaranteed him he would only hire legal workers
* Campaign: Information indicates the company continues to employ illegal workers
* Immigration reform is a major topic in the race for the Republican nomination

(CNN) -- Republican presidential hopeful Mitt Romney on Tuesday fired a landscaping company that worked at his home in Boston, Massachusetts, after he said he learned it employs illegal immigrants.

"I am disappointed that our relationship must end on this note," Romney wrote in a letter to the company that was released by his campaign.

"But we simply cannot tolerate your inability to ensure that your employees are legally permitted to work in the United States."

With the former Massachusetts governor locked in a tight race for the top spot in the GOP's upcoming Iowa caucuses, the company -- which Romney said he gave a "second chance" after similar concerns arose last year -- had become an easy target for his political opponents.

"The company's failure to comply with the law is disappointing and inexcusable, and I believe it is important I take this action," Romney said in a written statement.

Romney said he met with the owner of the Community Lawn Service last year and agreed to keep using it after the owner guaranteed him he would only hire legal workers.

Tuesday's announcement came after the Boston Globe approached the campaign with what an official called "credible information" that the company continued to employ illegal workers -- including some at the Romney home.

Immigration reform is a major topic in the race for the Republican nomination, with candidates working to position themselves as tough on workers entering the country illegally.

During a CNN/YouTube debate last week, former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani attacked Romney for living in a "sanctuary mansion" where illegal immigrants were allowed to work. VideoWatch the Giuliani-Romney exchange »

Romney clarified that it was the company, not him, that hired the workers and called it "offensive" to suggest he should have checked their immigration status.

"Are you suggesting ... that if you have a company that you hired to provide a service that you are now responsible for going out and checking the employees of that company, particularly those that might look different or don't have an accent like yours?" Romney said during the debate. "I don't think that's American."

On Tuesday, the Giuliani campaign said "the Romney statement speaks for itself" and offered no further comment.
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Old 12-05-2007, 04:45 PM   #579
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I guess his lawn is a sanctuary state
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Old 12-15-2007, 08:06 PM   #580
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A huge endorsement:

Saturday, December 15, 2007
Judge Bork Endorses Mitt Romney
Posted by: Hugh Hewitt at 1:21 PM

Patrick's post below notes that everyone's got a story to tell about how they could win, but Romney's second in Iowa, first in New Hampshire, ahead in Wyoming, ahead among Republicans in Michigan, and a close second in Florida.

Romney picked up the endorsement of National Review this week, and today announced Judge Bork's endorsement. Romney sits down opposite Tim Russert tomorrow with cash, organization, first or second standing in all of the early primaries, endorsed this week by two of the biggest names in the conservative movement.

Nothing is certain in politics, but Romney is holding the strongest hand by far as the Christmas season largely pushes politics from voter's attention until January 3.

Looking back at 2007, Romney played the long campaign best of all of the candidates.

To dispute Patrick's analysis of Rudy's woes just a bit, my guess is that Romney's voters overwhelmingly favor Rudy as their second choice. (Any pointers to polling on this would be useful, especially in Florida where Rudy will first benefit if Mitt falters.) Either Romney's strategy of momentum plays out and he enters Florida with the best January record, or the GOP regroups and settles on Rudy.

There is no way John McCain will ever recover the trust of the GOP. The boomlet in New Hampshire and Michigan reflects those primaries openness to independents, but you can't win the nomination without the base, and Senator McCain alienated it with McCain-Feingold, angered it with the Gang of 14, and permanently split with it over the September 2006 derailment of the Senate GOP's plans on a number of fronts and then the McCain-Kennedy attempted jam down on immigration reform. The trouble with pundits pumping Senator McCain is that they don't remember what GOP voters remember, and they remember that Senator McCain --always steadfast on the war-- was a maverick on everything else.
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