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Mitt Romney Tag

Love him, hate him, or feel ambivalent toward him, Mitt Romney was "right about everything," and that is standing him in good stead with the GOP.  Indeed, Politico is reporting that Romney is "working to rid the GOP presidential primary of the mayhem that marked his own race":
Mitt Romney is working with an unlikely collaborator — Sheldon Adelson, the billionaire casino mogul who bankrolled Newt Gingrich’s 2012 campaign — in the hopes of ensuring that the GOP primary produces a mainstream conservative without any of the mayhem that marked his own race. The two, who speak monthly, aim to convince the wealthy contributors bankrolling various candidates to work together to avoid the kind of primary election chaos that Romney believes laid the seeds for his defeat in 2012. The former Massachusetts governor is also considering endorsing a candidate to achieve his goal. They’re unmistakable signs of Romney’s newly assertive role in the Republican Party but also of his determination to guarantee the GOP an unbloodied nominee with broad-based appeal.

Each day brings a new reason to be happy about Harry Reid's impending retirement. The newest one is his outright admission that he used his position as senate leader to dishonestly smear Mitt Romney in the run-up to the 2012 election. Even the reliably liberal Chris Cillizza of the Washington Post is disgusted:
Harry Reid’s appalling defense of his attack on Mitt Romney’s tax record One of the more outlandish moments of the 2012 campaign came when Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid went to the floor of the world's greatest deliberative body and accused GOP nominee Mitt Romney of not paying any taxes at all for the past 10 years. Reid's evidence? Someone had told him. (That "someone" is alleged to be Jon Huntsman, father of the former Utah governor. Huntsman denies involvement.)... And yet, the clip above shows Reid, in an interview with CNN's Dana Bash, not only refusing to apologize for the claim but defending it — in a very weird way.

Now that Romney has released a statement to his supporters announcing that he won't be running in 2016, the next question is, to whom will he throw his support and his proven ability to raise money? Many conservatives have long excoriated Romney for not being conservative enough---or not being conservative at all. But I've long thought that his instincts were actually more conservative than he allowed himself to be while the governor of the deep blue state of Massachusetts (although I agree that he's certainly not as conservative as someone like Ted Cruz.) But those wondering about Romney's present intentions might want to pay particular attention to this part of his message:
I believe that one of our next generation of Republican leaders, one who may not be as well known as I am today, one who has not yet taken their message across the country, one who is just getting started, may well emerge as being better able to defeat the Democrat nominee. In fact, I expect and hope that to be the case. I feel that it is critical that America elect a conservative leader to become our next president. You know that I have wanted to be that president. But I do not want to make it more difficult for someone else to emerge who may have a better chance of becoming that president. You can’t imagine how hard it is for Ann and me to step aside, especially knowing of your support and the support of so many people across the country. But we believe it is for the best of the Party and the nation... I believe a Republican winning back the White House is essential for our country, and I will do whatever I can to make that happen...

Alright Team Insurrection, it's time for another reader poll. Philip Rucker and Robert Costa of the Washington Post are speculating about a political collision between Jeb Bush and Mitt Romney if they both run in 2016:
For Jeb Bush and Mitt Romney, a history of ambition fuels a possible 2016 collision Jeb Bush and Mitt Romney have much in common. Both were pragmatic as governors, mild-mannered as candidates and more comfortable balancing budgets at their desks than clinking glasses at a political dinner. The two Republican leaders’ personal rapport is cordial. But they are hardly chummy — and at moments their relationship has been strained, with each man’s intertwined political network carrying some grievances with the other’s. As Bush, 61, and Romney, 67, explore presidential campaigns in 2016, they are like boxers warming up for what could become a brutal bout, sizing each other up and mulling whether or when to step into the ring. Their early maneuvering reveals a level of competitiveness and snippiness that stems from a long history following similar career paths in business and politics prescribed by their dynastic families. “We’re seeing the first shots of the war between clan Romney and clan Bush,” said Alex Castellanos, a Republican strategist who has worked for both men. “Both bring to the battle incredibly powerful fan clubs as well as wounds they have to heal. How ugly could it get? You’re only competing to lead the free world.”
This is a fight for money as much as politics and the hunt for big donors is already on.

During a meeting in New York this week, Mitt Romney told a group of key donors that he is "seriously considering" a third run at the Presidency. According to a source at the meeting, Romney confirmed, "I’ve run twice. Yeah, I want to be president,” and indicated that if he were to jump into the race, he'd do it sooner rather than later. From the Washington Post:
“I believe Mitt Romney is too much of a patriot to sit on the sidelines and concede the presidency to Hillary Clinton or Elizabeth Warren when he knows that he can fix the country,” [Romney’s former national finance co-chairman Spencer] Zwick said. “He traveled the country in 2014, met with voters, met with citizens, and I think at the end of the day he believes he could actually make a difference.” Zwick added, “He won’t make a decision to run for president based on who else is in the race. He will make a decision based on his own desire and his own abilities. He has to decide on his own.” Romney’s move, first reported by the Wall Street Journal, comes as former Florida governor Jeb Bush is swiftly snatching up major party donors and operatives as he prepares for an all-but-certain presidential campaign.
Reactions are...mixed? We'll go with mixed:

At a recent appearance in Detroit, a city which is falling apart at the seams after decades of Democratic Party rule, Ms. Clinton stuck up for the Obama administration's auto industry bailouts while making an underhanded jab at Mitt Romney. Dan Merica of CNN reported:
Hillary Clinton subtly swipes at Mitt Romney over auto bailout Hillary Clinton cribbed a page from President Barack Obama's playbook on Thursday by taking a swipe at Mitt Romney's 2008 oped, "Let Detroit Go Bankrupt." At an event outside Detroit, where the former secretary of state endorsed Democrats Mark Schauer and Gary Peters, Clinton spoke glowingly of their support for the 2008 auto bailout that invested billions into the United States struggling auto industry. "Now, they could take the safe way, they could line up with those saying 'Let Detroit go bankrupt,' let manufacturing just wither away," Clinton said to a chorus of boos. "They could be on the side of those who were criticizing what they called government motors." Though Clinton never mentioned Romney by name, the comment appeared to be directed at him, as well as Schauer's and Peters' Republican opponents.

Will the third time be a charm for Mitt Romney? In a CNN poll run earlier this summer, 53% of Americans said that if the 2012 election were held today, they would vote for Mitt Romney over Barack Obama. (Obama managed to pull in 44% of respondents.) This poll, coupled with a few teasers from interviews with Romney himself, have refueled rumors that Romney is quietly preparing himself for another run at the Presidency. Via Byron York of the Washington Examiner:
That belief is wrong. Romney is talking with advisers, consulting with his family, keeping a close eye on the emerging '16 Republican field, and carefully weighing the pluses and minuses of another run. That doesn't mean he will decide to do it, but it does mean that Mitt 2016 is a real possibility. ... A significant number of Romney's top financial supporters from 2012 have decided not to commit to any other 2016 candidate until they hear a definitive word from Romney. They believe they are doing it with the tacit approval of Romney himself. "Spencer Zwick has never said specifically to everyone to keep your powder dry," says the plugged-in supporter, referring to Romney's former finance chairman who remains very close to Romney. "But the body language, the intonation, and the nuance are absolutely there." So far, Romney's most dedicated supporters do not believe that his disavowals have been anywhere near definitive. They were particularly encouraged in late August, when Romney, in the middle of explaining to radio host Hugh Hewitt why he decided not to run in 2016, seemed -- at Hewitt's prodding -- to open the door just a bit by adding that "circumstances can change."

It's happening again. Just when you think he's gone into the sunset -- the 'Romney in 2016' wave of hysteria sweeps across pundit land. So here we are again this weekend asking ourselves -- Will Mitt be the GOP nominee in 2016? From the FRONT PAGE of The Washington Post today:
“Democrats don’t want to be associated with Barack Obama right now, but Republicans are dying to be associated with Mitt Romney,” said Spencer Zwick, a longtime Romney confidant who chaired his national finance council. He added: “Candidates, campaigns and donors in competitive races are calling saying, ‘Can we get Mitt here?’ They say, ‘We’ve looked at the polling, and Mitt Romney moves the needle for us.’ That’s somewhat unexpected for someone who lost the election.” For a party without a consensus leader — nor a popular elder statesman like Democratic former president Bill Clinton — Romney is stepping forward in both red and blue states to fill that role for the GOP. “There’s a pretty big void in the party right now for national leaders, and Romney’s in a unique position, having been around the track, to help fill that void,” said Scott Reed, a veteran GOP strategist who oversees the U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s political operation.
There is nothing wrong -- factually -- with any of the comments made about Romney's current positive profile. But should that (and would it) translate into a successful 2016 run for the two-time loser for President? (McCain beat him in 2008, Obama in 2012) I've been arguing for many months that the total Democratic fixation on Hillary Clinton bodes ill for the bench strength of that party. Yet this constant reanimation of Mitt seems to be set in an opposite environment -- the GOP bench is very strong, especially for 2016 prospects. U.S. Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-UT) fueled this current round of Mitt in 2016 talk in July.

CNN released a poll over the weekend that showed if the 2012 election were held today, Mitt Romney would beat Barack Obama... easily.
According to the poll, if the 2012 election were somehow held again, Romney would capture 53% of the popular vote, with the President at 44%. Obama beat Romney 51%-47% in the popular vote in the 2012 contest. And he won the all-important Electoral College by a wider margin, 332 electoral votes to Romney's 206. Last November, an ABC News/Washington Post survey indicated that if the 2012 election were held again, Romney would have had a 49%-45% edge over Obama in the popular vote.
The usual suspects on the left -- like Oliver Willis at Media Matters -- were out in full force blaming Obama's current unpopularity on CNN itself or a space-time continuum breach of some sort. But as Jay Caruso points out, the answer is pretty simple -- buyer's remorse. Obama just isn't popular anymore. Most Americans still believe the economy stinks and think it is getting worse...
Currently, one in five Americans (20%) say the economy is excellent or good, while 33% say it is poor, resulting in a current conditions index of -13. As for the economy's future, 38% say the economy is getting better, while 56% say it is getting worse, for an economic outlook score of -18 -- the same as the previous week's score.
...and the world seems to be in turmoil not seen in a generation. NBC News' Chuck Todd seems to sum up Obama's dilemma quite well: America is fatigued.

The latest frontrunner talk among the Republican insiders and DC media types is none other than Mitt Romney. But are Americans ready for a third run for President by the 2012 GOP loser to Barack Obama? With the economy in virtual stagnation for six years, Russia annexing Ukranian territory and Islamic terrorists on the doorstep of Baghdad -- Mitt Romney (circa 2012) suddenly seems like a wise soothsayer:
“I’m saying in terms of a geopolitical opponent, the nation that lines up with the world’s worst actors, of course the greatest threat that the world faces is a nuclear Iran, and nuclear North Korea is already troubling enough, but when these terrible actors pursue their course in the world and we go to the United Nations looking for ways to stop them, when [Syrian President] Assad, for instance, is murdering his own people, we go to the United Nations and who is it that always stands up for the world’s worst actors? It is always Russia, typically with China alongside, and so in terms of a geopolitical foe, a nation that’s on the Security Council, that has the heft of the Security Council, and is of course a massive security power — Russia is the geopolitical foe.” - Mitt Romney, October 2012

On CBS’ Face the Nation Sunday morning, host Bob Schieffer spoke with guest Mitt Romney, former Massachusetts governor and 2012 Republican presidential nominee, about the situation in Ukraine and President Obama’s response to it.  Romney was highly critical of Obama's handling of Russia's actions in particular, noting “the president's naiveté with regards to Russia, as well as the president’s “faulty judgment about Russia's intentions and objectives.” Schieffer began the interview by reminding Romney of his previous comments about Russia, which came up during one of the presidential debates in 2012. “During the campaign, and I want to start with this, you took a lot of heat for saying that Russia was our greatest geopolitical foe. In the third debate, the president came down pretty hard on you about that,” Schieffer began. After playing a video clip of that portion of the aforementioned debate, Schieffer asked Romney his thoughts on the situation today. “I'm sure, Governor, you're tempted this morning to say, "I told you so." But do you really believe that what happened in Ukraine had anything to do with what President Obama has or hasn't done?” Schieffer asked. Romney’s response was critical of Obama’s handling of the situation in Ukraine, and more specifically, the president's assessment of Russia's intentions.

Please see Mandy for more coverage of the crisis here. As Brian and Neo have previously posted, during the 2012 campaign Mitt Romney was mocked by President Obama and his cheerleaders for highlighting the Russian threat to American interests. Romney wasn't the first Republican mocked for suggesting that Obama wasn't ready or willing to stand up to Russia's leader. In 2008, vice presidential candidate, Sarah Palin warned of Russian troops invading the Ukraine.
In October 2008, after Russia's invasion of neighboring Georgia emerged as a foreign policy flashpoint in the homestretch of a heated campaign, Palin told an audience in Nevada, "After the Russian army invaded the nation of Georgia, Senator Obama's reaction was one of indecision and moral equivalence, the kind of response that would only encourage Russia's Putin to invade Ukraine next." Her prediction was derided by Foreign Policy magazine  as "strange" and "extremely far-fetched," but Palin, frequent media antagonist that she is, couldn't resist crowing about how events have played out.
Twitchy, it seems, never forgets. (In this case aided by Jammie Wearing Fool.) Gov. Palin is enjoying the vindication on Facebook.
Yes, I could see this one from Alaska. I'm usually not one to Told-Ya-So, but I did, despite my accurate prediction being derided as “an extremely far-fetched scenario” by the “high-brow” Foreign Policy magazine.
Twitchy (again) notes that the editor in question is digging deeper.


Earning himself an appropriate rebuke.

Melissa Harris-Perry is apologizing profusely for the panel discussion over which she presided, dedicated to mocking the image above. I have no idea what is in Harris-Perry's heart, but she has a long history of making racial issues out of non-racial events:
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