Countdown Clocks

Countdown Clocks

Tweets by @JGibsonDem
Posts tagged "2012 Veepstakes"

Last night on The O’Reilly Factor, previewing Sen. Marco Rubio’s response to President Obama’s State of the Union speech, Fox News political analyst Karl Rove labeled Rubio “the American experience” and declared him “probably one of the best communicators since Ronald Reagan.”

Over-the-top praise of Rubio on the network is nothing new. Rubio’s increasingly prominent role in the national political conversation is thanks, in part, to the help of Fox News, which has served as his primary cheerleader since his 2010 Senate campaign. 

In recent weeks, Rove in particular has showered praise on Rubio and his role in the debate over immigration reform. His comparison of Rubio to Reagan on The O’Reilly Factor wasn’t even the first time he had done so on Fox’s airwaves this month; he made similar comments during a February 4 appearance on Special Report

Rove isn’t alone in his adoration of the Florida senator. Fox personalities have fawned over Rubio on-air for years, boosted his 2010 Florida Senate run (including helping him fundraise on-air), hosted him for dozens of primetime appearances on the network, and repeatedly touted him as an ideal vice presidential pick for former GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney.

When Marco Rubio declared his intention to run for the Florida Senate seat left open by Mel Martinez, he trailed Gov. Charlie Crist — then still a Republican — by a huge margin and seemed like a longshot candidate.

Less than a year and a half later, Rubio was elected comfortably. According to Rubio, his meteoric rise in the race is thanks in no small part to Fox News political analyst Karl Rove.

Appearing at a fundraising breakfast for Rove’s Crossroads political groups at the 2012 Republican National Convention, Rubio claimed it was “big news” when Rove personally donated money to his Senate campaign because it meant that ”someone of his stature would actually take a bet on someone who was such a long shot.”

Rove’s help for Rubio extended well beyond sending personal checks; the Crossroads groups poured nearly $3 million (by Rove’s accounting) into the race. During his fundraising pitch for Crossroads at the RNC, Rubio specifically praised the ads Rove’s groups ran in his favor, saying “you would turn on the TV and there were ads that created a clear distinction, and did so in ways that were meaningful.”

Rove wasn’t the only Fox personality that helped Rubio’s Senate run — the network practically went all-in for him.

During his Senate run, Rubio was also formally endorsed — in addition to being praised on-air — by several Fox personalities, including former contributors Newt Gingrich, Sarah Palin, and Rick Santorum. In addition to endorsing Rubio, Fox host Mike Huckabee gave material support to his campaign in the form of a $5,000 donation from his political group, Huck PAC.

h/t: MMFA



  • Voted YES on Constitutionally defining marriage as one-man-one-woman
  • Voted YES on banning gay adoptions in DC.
  • Voted YES on Constitutional Amendment banning same-sex marriage
  • Voted YES on making the PATRIOT Act permanent
  • Rated 0% by the HRC, indicating an anti-gay-rights stance
  • Rated 13% by the ACLU, indicating an anti-civil rights voting record

Just some info on how Paul Ryan voted in the US House, seeing how he’s VP pick and all.

(via thepoliticalfreakshow)

Paul Ryan is a menace!

Carl Cameron is reporting as I write this that Mitt Romney will announce his VP pick tomorrow morning at 9 AM ET, in Norfolk, Virginia.

h/t: Ellen at

Of course Paul Ryan wants to be Mitt Romney’s vice presidential running mate.

The hyper-ambitious political careerist—who has spent his entire adult life as a Congressional aide, think-tank hanger-on and House member—is looking for a road up. And he is sly enough to recognize that, like Dick Cheney with George Bush, he could be more than just a vice president in the administration of so bumbling a character as Romney.

Ryan figured Romney out months ago.

The two men bonded during the Wisconsin presidential primary campaign in late March and early April. They got on so well that Ryan was playing April Fool’s Day jokes on the Republican front-runner—giving Romney a rousing introduction before the candidate came from behind a curtain to find the room where he had expected to be greeted by a crowd of supporters was empty.

Romney loves the prep-school fraternity that he has with Ryan, and every indication is that the former governor would be delighted to add the House Budget Committee chairman to his ticket.

The conversations have occurred. The vetting has been completed. It could happen. And, indeed, as the time for choosing nears, the Ryan buzz has been amplified—mainly by the Wisconsin congressman’s friends atThe Weekly Standard, which has editorialized enthusiastically on behalf of his selection, and other conservative media outlets. But, now, even ABC’s “Veep Beat” headlines “Paul Ryan’s Rising Momentum.”

Romney clearly needs help. Just back from a disastrous trip to Europe and the Middle East, mired in controversies about the “vulture capitalism” he practiced at Bain Capital and his refusal to release tax returns that his dad—former Michigan governor and 1968 Republican presidential contender George Romney—said contenders for the Oval Office had a a responsibility to share with the voters, Romney could use a boost.

But Ryan would be a burden, not a booster, for a Romney-led ticket.

Like Romney, Ryan is a son of privilege who has little real-world experience or understanding. He presents well on Sunday morning talk shows and in the rarified confines of Washington think tanks and dinners with his constituents—the Masters of the Universe on Wall Street—but his record in Congress and the policies he now promotes are political albatrosses.

For the most part, he has until recently flown under the radar—dazzling fellow Republicans with fiscal fancy footwork, while dancing around weak Democratic opposition in his home district.

But no more. This year, Ryan is being called out by an able challenger with actual experience in the private sector, as well as local government. Rob Zerban, the congressman’s Democratic challenger, is not fooled by Ryan’s budgetary blathering.

Zerban is familiar with Ryan’s record. And he has been calling the budget committee chairman out on his “faux fiscal credentials.”

”Congressman Paul Ryan can grandstand about the debt all he wants, but at the end of the day, Ryan is a root cause of many of the financial issues our country faces today,” says Zerban.”From supporting two unfunded wars, to dumping millions of senior citizens into the Medicare Part D ‘donut hole’ while tying the hands of the government to negotiate prescription drug prices, and from fighting for subsidies for Big Oil that his family personally benefits from, to supporting the unfunded Bush tax cuts for his wealthiest campaign contributors, Paul Ryan’s hypocrisy is astounding.”

Even as national Republicans “vet” Ryan as a potential running mate for Mitt Romney, Zerban has been revealing the reality of a congressman who may talk the talk but who has never walked the walk. “Congressman Ryan fell down on the job, and is now trying to push the blame for his bad policy decisions onto President Obama,” says Zerban. “Congressman Ryan had ten years in Congress—almost all with a House Republican majority—to reduce the deficit, prior to President Obama’s election. He did nothing.”

That’s right.

If, by some chance, Paul Ryan were to become the Republican nominee for vice president, the whole country would be talking about his duplicity when it comes to the balancing of budgets.

H/T: John Nichols at The Nation

RYAN RISING: There has been a surge in mentions about Rep.Paul Ryan as Mitt Romney's potential running mate in recent days, and, as National Review Online's Robert Costa writes, the chatter about a Romney-Ryan ticket could just be true. “These days, you hear it everywhere - from Republican donors and veteran operatives, and at Capitol Hill watering holes. A few weeks ago, it was a wishful rumor floating in the Beltway ether. Now, sources close to the Romney campaign say it’s for real, that the taciturn former Massachusetts governor is quietly warming to the idea.Representative Paul Ryan of Wisconsin, the budget king of the GOP, may be Mitt Romney's veep. 'Ryan is very highly respected not only by the candidate, but by Romney's policy shop,' says Tom Rath, a Romney adviser. 'Beyond the political relationship, he has a good personal relationship with Romney, and he has been a strong and reliable surrogate since the primary,'” Costa wrote. ” For months, Ryan has been considered a dark horse for the number-two spot. At age 42, he has accomplished much, such as winning seven straight congressional races and authoring his party's blueprint for entitlement reform. But his lack of executive experience, and his criticism of the Bay State’s health-care program, made his chances look relatively remote. Yet behind the scenes, Ryan’s stock has been steadily rising. Romney, a former Bain Capital consultant who relishes data and metrics, has clicked with the youthful Badger State wonk. They have campaigned together and speak frequently on the phone, comparing notes on policy and strategy. And earlier this year, with Ryan’s blessing, Romney hired three of Ryan’s Budget Committee advisers to help him in Boston.”

PARTY INSIDERS SPLIT ON RYAN: The prospect of Rep. Paul Ryan joining the GOP ticketexcites one side of the Republican Party wishing Romney would be more forthcoming with the policy change he’d bring to Washington while at the same time, spurs hesitancy among others who are concerned Democrats would slash away at a Romney-Ryan ticket based on the Wisconsin representative’s budget plan, Politico’s Jonathan Martin, Jake Sherman and Maggie Haberman reprort. “As Mitt Romney's vice presidential selection nears and buzz about Rep. Paul Ryan’sprospects builds, a split is emerging among Republicans about whether the choice of the House Budget chairman and architect of the party’s controversial tax and spending plan would be a daring plus for the ticket or a miscalculation that would turn a close election into a referendum on Medicare,” Martin, Sherman and Haberman wrote. “Ryan advocates, including some of his colleagues and high-profile conservative elites, believe Romney will lose if he doesn’t make a more assertive case for his candidacy and that selecting the 42-year-old wonky golden boy would sound a clarion call to the electorate about the sort of reforms the presumptive GOP nominee wants to bring to Washington. 

h/t: Yahoo! News

WASHINGTON — A trio of female firsts and three former GOP presidential contenders are among the first speakers disclosed for August’s Republican National Convention.

The GOP convention schedule is packed with high-profile names to fire up divergent wings of the Republican Party, from social conservatives to fiscal hawks. They will speak ahead of Mitt Romney’s formal acceptance of his party’s presidential nomination.

Convention leaders were not ready to announce the keynote speaker, a prime speaking slot that has the potential to catapult a rising member of the party to national prominence.

The schedule’s outlines were first reported by The Tampa Bay Times late Sunday and were confirmed to The Associated Press by Republican officials with direct knowledge of the plan. The officials spoke on the condition of anonymity because convention officials had not yet announced the schedule.

South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley and New Mexico Gov. Susana Martinez, the first female governors of their states, are among party leaders slated to address the gathering that begins Aug. 27. Martinez has the additional distinction of being the first female Hispanic governor in the country.

Former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, the first black female to hold that job, is also scheduled to speak.

Sen. John McCain of Arizona was set to speak, as well as a one-time rival, former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee. The two, along with Romney, vied for the 2008 presidential nomination, with McCain outlasting both Romney and the former Baptist pastor in the primary campaign.

Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida and Rep. Paul Ryan of Wisconsin are both big names in the party believed to be among those Romney is weighing for the vice presidential slot or for the keynote address. New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, Sen. Kelly Ayotte of New Hampshire and Sen. Rob Portman of Ohio also were noticeably absent from the slate of announced speakers and may be contenders for running mate.

If passed over for the vice presidential pick, there is a very good chance they would earn speaking slots – if not the keynote.

The speakers already announced suggest where Romney is looking to make progress as voters start to pay attention to the fall campaign.

Martinez, who made history in her state and nationally when she was elected, could appeal to Hispanic women, a sizable demographic that broke for Obama four years ago. She can also address voters who feel securing the nation’s Southern border is a top concern.

Among tea party supporters, Romney will get a boost from Kasich. His home state of Ohio is a linchpin of Romney’s strategy and no Republican has won the White House without carrying the perennial Midwestern battleground. No Democrat has won without winning Ohio since John F. Kennedy won the presidency in 1960.

Florida is another key state for both campaigns’ path to the White House. Florida’s Gov. Scott will address the convention, customary when the incumbent governor’s party hosts the convention.

Democrats have rolled out their own convention schedule in recent weeks. Marking a first for Hispanics, the Democrats chose the mayor of San Antonio to deliver the keynote address in Charlotte, N.C.

h/t: HuffPo

Perhaps the second time’s the charm. Former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty is once again rumored to be on the vice presidential shortlist of a Republican presidential candidate, with Mitt Romney doing the honors this time around. After serving in the Minnesota House of Representatives, two terms as governor and making a brief run for president in 2011, Pawlenty is now working as a tireless advocate to help his potential boss get elected. His first brush with VP fame occurred when Republican presidential nominee John McCain started looking into Pawlenty’s record as a potential running mate in 2008.

1. While in the Minnesota House, Pawlenty served on the board of a corporation whose subsidiary was charged with scamming customers

While Pawlenty was majority leader of the Minnesota House of Representatives, he sat on the Board of Directors of a phone company, NewTel, for two years. During his tenure, Pawlenty approved NewTel’s purchase of a subsidiary called New Access Communications, which regulators in ten states accused of cheating its customers by deceptively signing them up for its services.

Regulators charged that New Access was engaging in “slamming,” an industry term that describes an illegal practice in which companies switch a customer’s phone service without permission. New Access reached a settlement and agreed to pay about $2 million in fines—$1.2 to the allegedly fleeced customers and $750,000 to regulators in the ten states where they were charged at the time. The company claimed innocence, but paid the money to avoid a legal battle.

2. Pawlenty’s first gubernatorial campaign had to pay $600,000 in fines for improper coordination with the state party

When Pawlenty ran for governor in 2002, the State Campaign Finance and Public Disclosure Board charged his campaign with “illegal collusion” with the state Republican Party after Pawlenty’s campaign provided them with footage for ads. The board fined the campaign $100,000 and forced it to pay $500,000 in ad spending originally picked up by the state Republican Party. The Minnesota GOP “purchased raw footage from the campaign media consultant and produced a series of supposedly independent ads,” the Star Tribune reported in November 2002.

The board ruled “that the interactions between the party and the campaign were too cozy and amounted to illegally acting in ‘cooperation and concert.’ …The law prohibits any coordination on spending or advertising with candidates who take state money and agree to the limits,” the Tribune reported.

3. Pawlenty’s campaign treasurer was charged with deceiving homeowners facing foreclosure

While Pawlenty was governor in 2004, his re-election campaign treasurer Ron Esau resigned after being charged with running a scheme that allegedly took advantage of families undergoing foreclosure on their homes. The “equity-stripping scheme…targeted families facing foreclosure by offering to buy their houses and sell them back for what they owed plus interest,” the Associated Press reported at the time. Instead of selling the homes to the families facing foreclosure with just interest included, the company involved with Esau sold it back to them at full market value plus equity instead. Esau ultimately settled and paid restitution over the charges.

h/t: Yahoo! News

The next act in the political kabuki of Mitt Romney choosing a running mate will be the timing of the candidate’s announcement, and while his aides have said he could announce this week, the latest speculation is that he’ll wait until after the Olympics. The New York Daily News’ Thomas DeFrank reported Tuesday night, ”Sources close to the Romney campaign told the Daily News the working plan has been to announce the pick after the Olympic Games, which begin next week and conclude Aug. 12 — two weeks before the Republican convention in Tampa.”

The New York Times’ Michael Barbaro noted on Tuesday that this week is basically Romney’s last chance to have the spotlight to himself before “the political equivalent of a traffic jam” makes it hard for him to dominate the news cycle. By the time he returns from an overseas campaign trip next week, the Olympics will be well underway, and while one aide told Barbaro that Romney’s VP pick could briefly edge out Olympic coverage, “But Mr. Romney, who ran the Salt Lake City Olympics in 2002, may be especially wary of trying to compete with the Games for media attention.”

h/t: Adam Martin at The Atlantic

(Reuters) - Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney appears to be in the final stages of deciding who to pick as his vice presidential running mate, with speculation growing that he has narrowed his choice down to a short-list of three.

Ohio Senator Rob Portman, former Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty and Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal all offer various strengths to Romney should he decide to pick one of them to join his battle to unseat President Barack Obama and his vice president, Joe Biden, in the November 6 election.

Many Republicans believe Romney will break from tradition and announce his choice well before the party’s convention in Tampa in late August that will formally nominate Romney as the Republican candidate.

Campaign officials were loathe to discuss the selection process or the short list but made clear that Romney, the former Massachusetts governor, had yet to make up his mind.

Naming his vice presidential running mate in coming days could help Romney remove a withering spotlight instigated by the Obama campaign over his personal financial information and tenure at the private equity firm Bain Capital.

The Democrats accuse Romney of leading Bain at a time when it invested in companies that outsourced U.S. jobs overseas. Romney says he was running the Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City at the time and had given up all management of the company.

The controversy is proving to be a distraction for the Romney campaign and overshadowing his attempt to make the election campaign about Obama’s handling of the U.S. economy amid 8.2 percent unemployment and record budget deficits.

Others who are believed to be under consideration for the No. 2 position include New Hampshire Senator Kelly Ayotte, Florida Senator Marco Rubio, New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, South Dakota Senator John Thune and Wisconsin Congressman Paul Ryan. 

h/t; Reuters

The Drudge Report ran a blaring headline late Thursday night reporting that sources within Mitt Romney’s presidential campaign say Condoleezza Rice, who served as secretary of state and national security adviser under President George W. Bush, is a “front-runner” for the running mate slot.

Matt Drudge, the founder of the site, has close ties to members of Romney’s inner circle and runs one of the most popular news aggregation sites on the Web. For the past few days, President Barack Obama’s campaign has hammered Romney by questioning his business record at Bain Capital—one top Obama aide even went as far as suggesting Romney could be a felon—so it’s not surprising that Romney would want to change the conversation to speculation about his vice presidential choice. The question remains, however: Is Romney actually considering Rice, or is the “leak” just a distraction?

First, as many on the right point out, Rice supports keeping abortion legal, making her a tough sell with social conservatives.

Also, adding Rice to the ticket would make her an easy target for Democrats by pointing out her ties to the Bush administration, where she served for both terms.

On the other hand, Rice is known for her ability to excite Republican crowds and as an African-American woman, she would offer a level of diversity to Romney’s team.

Sorry, Drudge, but Rice (or any other pro-choice/pro-SSM GOPer) will NEVER be a VP or the President for the foreseeable future. Also, she has ties to the Godawful Dumbya/Cheney Administration.

h/t: Yahoo! News

Mitt Romney’s presidential campaign is starting to build hype around his soon-to-be-announced running mate, branding the forthcoming Republican ticket as “America’s Comeback Team.”

In an email sent to supporters on Thursday with the subject line “Mitt’s VP,” campaign manager Matt Rhoades announced a new contest to meet Romney and his vice presidential pick, hinting that Romney is close to making his decision.

h/t: Yahoo! News

When choosing a running mate, Mitt Romney will consider many factors: Can this person offer a bump in the polls? Will he or she excite the base? Could this person take the reins if necessary? Will we get along?

He will also weigh each candidate’s ideological moorings. Let’s take a look at where the candidates stand based on their voting records in public office.

For the answer, we dive into the informative—albeit imperfect—world of congressional scorecards. Advocacy groups and news outlets commonly rate lawmakers based on some standard relevant to the organization, which helps us determine where each contender falls on the ideological spectrum.

In the Senate, Rob Portman of Ohio, Marco Rubio of Florida, Kelly Ayotte of New Hampshire and John Thune of South Dakota commonly appear on lists of possible running mates. Scorecards that measured voting records in 2011 suggest that among these, Rubio had the most conservative voting record and Portman the most moderate. Ayotte and Thune came in somewhere in between.

Florida Sen. Marco Rubio

Across the board, Rubio scores the highest in ranking studies conducted by conservative groups, in part because of his limited voting record in Congress. In reports filed by Heritage Action, The Club for Growth and The American Conservative Union, each group placed the newcomer in its top tier of conservative members.

Ohio Sen. Rob Portman

Chris Redfern, chairman of the Ohio Democratic Party, recently said said that Portman represented “the extreme fringe of the Republican Party," but an examination of his voting record over his nearly 15 years in Congress does live up to that rhetoric. While Portman’s record makes it clear that he is no liberal, his record puts him more in line with the pragmatic wing of the party.

National Journal’s analysis of the Senate in 2011 put Portman just two places ahead of Indiana Sen. Richard Lugar, who in May lost a primary battle to tea party-backed candidate Richard Mourdock. The magazine named Portman the 35th most conservative senator, far from the “fringe” members. (If you examine his entire record, however, Portman is no Lugar: He holds an average 87.92 percent American Conservative Union rating over his career, putting him more than 10 percentage points ahead of the Indiana senator.)

Wisconsin Rep. Paul Ryan

The Republican budget proposals drafted by Wisconsin Rep. Paul Ryan since he became chairman of the House Budget Committee have boosted his stock tremendously among conservatives, but National Journal’s analysis found that, compared with his House colleagues, Ryan doesn’t rank in the top 100 conservatives in the chamber.

National Journal’s report labeled him the “150th” most conservative House member in 2011. Meanwhile, his ACU rating dropped 16 percentage points in 2011 to 80 percent, although he retains a high lifetime rating of 91.96 percent.

The governors

There a chance Romney will look beyond Washington to make his pick. Unfortunately, the market for scorecards that measure the record of America’s governors isn’t nearly as robust as it is for Congress.

The Fiscal Policy Report Card on America’s Governors, conducted every two years by economist Chris Edwards of the libertarian Cato Institute, is one measure to judge the state executives. Edwards is still preparing the 2012 report, which will include grades for New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie and Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell, so his 2010 database is the most recent available. In that report, which measures governors’ tax policy record and awards a letter grade based on a bell curve, two of the potential VP choices received top marks. Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal and former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty were two of just four governors to receive an A grade in the 2010 biennial report. Jindal scored second-highest in the nation with a score of 71, with Pawlenty just behind him with a score of 66.

Although Edwards’ 2012 report isn’t due out until September, he offered some hints as to how governors rumored to be on Romney’s list of possible running mates would fare. In his preliminary research, he said, things might not look so good for McDonnell, but Christie could score high.

h/t: Yahoo! News’ The Ticket

Mitt Romney’s campaign may or may not be vetting Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) for vice presidential consideration, but in the meantime, he continues to maintain space in the media spotlight. In an interview with Christianity Today published yesterday, he reiterated his opposition to same-sex marriage, pointing out that the Bible opposes it, as do all of the faiths (Catholic, Mormon, evangelical Christian) he’s experienced. Though he qualified his answer in some ways, he also suggested that society shouldn’t “tolerate” less-than-”ideal” family structures:

RUBIO: In terms of the Bible’s interpretation of marriage, what our faith teaches is pretty straightforward. There’s not much debate about that. The debate is about what society should tolerate, and what society should allow our laws to be. I believe marriage is a unique and specific institution that is the result of thousands of years of wisdom, which concluded that the ideal — not the only way but certainly the ideal — situation to raise children to become productive and healthy humans is in a home with a father and mother married to each other. 

H/T: Zack Ford at Think Progress LGBT

Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) announced support for his state’s controversial voter purge effort on Wednesday, saying it was hard to disagree with the push to clear supposed non-citizens from the electoral rolls.

"How can you argue against a state identifying people who are not rightfully on the voter rolls?" he said at a Bloomberg event, according to the Tampa Bay Times.

Rubio’s comments put him in line with Florida Gov. Rick Scott (R) who on Tuesday declared the debate on the merits of the purge “over,” because the probe had supposedly turned up more than 50 non-citizen voters who had cast ballots.

The Department of Justice didn’t agree. Later Tuesday, it announced it was launching a federal lawsuit against Florida over complaints that the purge was taking place within 90 days of its August 14 primary election, as well as over its alleged violation of a voting rights law meant to prevent states from suppressing voters.

Concerns over the purge have largely been spurred by reports showing that the effort disproportionately targets minority and Democratic-leaning voters. According to aMiami Herald study, Hispanic voters accounted for nearly 60 percent of the names on the list, while they make up only 13 percent of the overall 11.3 million active registered voters.

All of these complaints have led almost every county elections supervisor in the state, including 30 Republicans, to announce that they’ll halt the purge.

While the controversy rages, Scott continues to maintain that the move is a “no-brainer,” necessary to maintain fair elections in the state.

h/t: Huffington Post