The Hunt for a Red October: Mitt’s Possible Comeback

Last week, Joe Scarborough finally broke on Morning Joe. He yelled “OH SWEET JESUS” and covered his face in response to  clip of Mitt Romney trying to start a “ROMNEY! RYAN!” cheer at a rally. This is the same reaction that Republicans have assuredly been having over the last 3 weeks. Since the moment that Mother Jones leaked the “47%” video, the Romney campaign has been playing extreme defense. This month, he’s making make a final push to get people to like (and vote for) the Romneytron 2000.

Here’s the cheat sheet on the last couple of weeks:

Ann Romney on “The Tonight Show” called Mitt “cheap” and told America that he “Loves Costco”

Being thrifty and loving Costco doesn’t convince me that you should be President. If that was a huge quality of leadership, then every Dad in America would be President. What a world that would be.

Paul Ryan didn’t “have time” to explain the math of his new tax plan

Telling Fox News’ Chris Wallace that he “didn’t have the time to explain the math” made him look condescending to say the least. If you don’t have the time to explain, then maybe I don’t have the time to vote for you. Ryan backpedaled and said that he made that remark because he was afraid that people would change the channel if he went into the specifics of his plan. Change the channel to what? It was a Sunday morning on Fox News! YOU’RE LUCKY PEOPLE EVEN WATCHED AT ALL. THE INTERNET EXISTS. PEOPLE WERE GOING TO WATCH IT LATER ONLINE ANYWAY. Your other choices are infomercials and…sleep.

Here’s the full quote from the FOX News Transcript:

RYAN: Well, I don’t have the — it would take me too long to go through all of that [math], but let me say it this way. You can lower tax rates by 20 percent across the board by closing loopholes and still have preferences for the middle class for things like charitable deductions, for home purchases, for health care.

So what we’re saying is people are going to get lower tax rates and therefore, they will not send as much money to Washington and they’ll keep it and decide for themselves.

Huh. So if you listen to the whole quote, he’s actually trying to make a point about rebuilding the middle class by closing loopholes on the uber-wealthy (like someone we know whose name rhymes with Schmidt Tomney). Ironically, these charity loopholes bring me to my next point:

The Tax Returns [Jaws Theme Song]

According to an article published by, a project sponsored by the Annenberg Public Policy Center, these tax returns can be seen a number of ways: if you’re looking at it purely from a federal income tax point-of-view, then he is actually paying a rate higher than 97% of Americans. This makes sense, because he’s making significantly more money than this 97% of Americans. But if you factor in payroll taxes along with the income taxes (which is the lion’s share of what most people are paying in federal tax), then Romney is probably paying much less in taxes than you are. The median effective tax rate for the middle 20% of the country is 13.3%. This includes income, payroll and corporate taxes. In this sense, Romney is paying less than most Americans IF YOU FACTOR IN ALL OF THESE THINGS. Looking at his income tax alone? Nope.

“Bottom line,” said Eric Toder co-director of the Urban-Brookings Tax Policy Center, “if you look at income taxes only, Obama’s statement is not true for most Americans. If you add in payroll taxes, however, it is probably true for lots of people.”

No matter how you slice it, Toder said, Romney’s tax rate is very low for someone with his level of income. The average income tax rate for the top 0.1 percent (which is where Romney falls) is 23.6 percent.

So many the Romney message now is “Remember just the income tax? Not that bad, right? There I’m DEFINITELY paying more than you. Maybe.”

Mitt Romney Wrote a Wall Street Journal Op-Ed “A New Course for the Middle East”

In this piece, Romney said that “our country seems to be at the mercy of events rather than shaping them” and that Obama hasn’t been wielding our influence properly and has been stepping away from our allies. He believes this is dangerous and that is was ill-advised for Obama to say that there needs to be “daylight” between us and Israel and called them “one of our closest allies in the Middle East” instead of “our closest ally”. But why does that matter? Would it be so bad if we had a group or cooperative of allies in the Middle East instead of one lone tie to Israel? We can’t be at the beck and call is Israel and have to be an independent nation in terms of our foreign policy. Obama called the rumblings of nuclear war made by Netanyahu at the UN “noise”, and in saying that, Romney seems to think that Obama was dismissing completely those claims. But I believe that Obama means that he isn’t going to be swayed by the countries that are crying “bomb”, since I know for a fact that it’s possible to travel to Israel with very small risk of danger (American teens do it every year for Birthright trips), but travelers to Palestine are not guaranteed that same level of safety. There is no greater mark of a true leader than someone who will make decisions based on what is best for the American people and not based on what world leaders are pressuring him to do. If Romney really wanted to portray himself as a leader taking America’s foreign policy in the Middle East in a new direction, he should have really driven home this point that he made towards the end of his piece: “But this Middle East policy will be undermined unless we restore the three sinews of our influence: our economic strength, our military strength and the strength of our values. That will require a very different set of policies from those President Obama is pursuing.” THIS is leading. THIS is telling people that ACTUALLY our domestic issues need to be taken care of first. We can’t be influential if we can’t even keep together our own homestead.

And if he REALLY wanted to hit the President, he could have made a WAY bigger deal out of the fact that President Obama didn’t meet with any foreign leaders during the general assembly, the first President in over 20 years to do so. Which is bad (especially since he went on The View to dodge questions from Joy Behar about Libya).

Oh yeah, that “47%” Video

Well. That wasn’t great. But I really think he was right to FINALLY stand by something he said, even if it was a spectacularly stupid way to say it. Turns out he was right…kind of. If that’s him speaking off the cuff, let’s try NOT LETTING HIM SPEAK OFF THE CUFF. Write everything out for him! Carry a portable teleprompter around to wave in front of him when he’s about to say something! We all know that he is the panderer to end them all, but someone needs to herd him on to one, universal message that works for every group he’s talking to, not just the group that he’s addressing that very second. Someone in his campaign should be the Babe the Pig who herds the sheep (Romney’s words) into a pen until someone (the voters) say “That’ll do, Pig. That’ll do.”

Scott Stapp from “Creed” Endorsed Mitt

That isn’t technically his fault, but what a spectacular round of bad luck. So far he’s got Kid Rock, Jenna Jameson and Scott Stapp: Crack team you’ve assembled there, chief. No cure for this one. Take us out, Joe Scarborough:

The Great Debate

According to polls and triumphant Fox News pundits, Romney seems to have won the first debate. The former governor really did crush it. He used anecdotes, facts and figures without seeming like he was rattling off his grocery list. The President, on the other hand, seemed a little distracted and not quite on his usual oratory game. Let’s see if this trend continues for the next debate on October 16th at Hofstra (Go Pride! This is irrelevant, but as the product of two Hofstra grads, I had to say it.) Even though many people thought that Romney’s “I LOVE Big Bird” was going to be today’s talking point, the trends on Twitter (usually dominated by Justin Bieber and his ilk) last night were #debates, #DenverDebate, #ObamaCare, #Medicare, etc. People are getting excited about the issues! Home stretch, everyone. Let’s see how it goes.

Posted on 10/04/2012, in Political Birch and tagged , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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