With it being an election year, the noise from both the Romney-Ryan and Obama-Biden campaign has been hard for most voters to avoid. But with election day just 63 days away, more undecided voters are beginning to pay attention to what could be the most important election in a lifetime.
Team Romney is hoping that voters will ask themselves, thanks to gaffes from prominent Obama supporters, if they are better off than they were four years ago. But what they envision in their ticket coming off the Republican National Convention hasn’t been beared out in polls. Philp Klein notes that Gallup shows that there has been almost no boost for Republicans in the last week:
It’s still too early to say for sure whether the Republican National Convention rejuvenated Mitt Romney’s campaign, but at least according to Gallup numbers so far, it hasn’t moved the polls much.
Romney currently trails President Obama by an insignificant one-point margin, 47 percent to 46 percent. That’s a 7-day tracking poll running from last Monday through yesterday and therefore includes a full three days of polling after Romney’s Thursday night acceptance speech. If he were to have received a substantial bump, the tracking poll would have likely picked it up by now. In the last poll before the start of the RNC, running through last Monday, it was Romney who was edging out Obama by one point.
Yeah, I realize that I’m a bit late on this, but I’ve been busy today and haven’t had a lot of time to catch up on my blogging. I did manage to catch Rep. Paul Ryan’s speech last night from the bar at the Hyatt, not far from the Times forum, which is hosting the Republican National Convention.
Ryan hit a homerun last night. There’s no question about it. No, I don’t agree with everything he said. I don’t agree with his record. But he came across as a decent, concerned guy. Everyone in the bar, mostly Republicans, were glued to the TV, clapping at some of the more direct lines attacking President Barack Obama.
Ryan hit familar notes, noting the mounting fiscal problems that faces the United States. He explained the cronyism of the Obama Administration, the failures of the stimulus bill and unemployment, and cuts to Medicare.
But he also noted his background. Ryan lost his father at an early age and pointed to his mother as a strong influence in his life, which reminds me of my background. And I’m not afraid to admit that it made me think of my mother and what she did for me after my dad passed away.
So-called “fact-checkers” have, of course, ripped into Ryan. Some of the items are legit, others are, well, incredibly wrong. For example, Ryan made a remark about a General Motors plant that closed after Obama took office, something the then-candidate promised wouldn’t happen in 2008. Fact-checkers said that the plant closed in 2008, before Obama took office. Well, the “fact-checkers” got it wrong, as Reason explained. Another example of media bias or lazy reporting. You pick, but it’s not the worst example from this week, that’s for sure.
Watch the full speech below. USA! USA!:
Part of the Republican Party platform to be voted on at the national convention this week is language that calls for a crackdown on the porn industry.
Before we jump the gun on anything, it’s worth noting that the party platform isn’t binding. The GOP platform has called for lots of things Republicans don’t actually endorse, so we probably shouldn’t panic too much…yet.
So, if it’s not binding, what’s the problem with having issues like this in the platform? Here are a few reasons:
1. It distracts from the real issues.
Today the news isn’t talking about a massive budget overhaul. They’re talking about how Republicans want to prevent adults from accessing pornography. We have a $1.5 trillion annual deficit. We are fighting wars we can’t afford. We are heading toward complete fiscal ruin, and Republicans want to talk about banning porn? It’s nothing more than a distraction to take our eyes off of what’s important.
2. It gives politicians an excuse to expand government.
When a Republican decides it’s time to make legislation to control the behavior of others, he’ll have an easier time getting support for it when it’s part of the platform. Legislators can use the “well, it was in the platform, so I supported it like a good little Republican” excuse and support the expansion of government without fear of blowback from the party.
3. Protecting me from myself is not a legitimate function of government.
There is no scenario in which keeping an adult from viewing pornographic material created by consenting adults is a legitimate function of government. Whether we’re talking about state or federal government, that type of law is inappropriate.
Written by David Boaz, executive vice president at the Cato Institute. It is cross-posted with permission from Cato @ Liberty.
Jennifer Rubin, seeking to dispel “myths about conservatives,” takes on the idea that “the GOP doesn’t believe in community:
President Obama likes to say that Republicans want everyone to be “on his own.” In fact, conservatives, as Romney put it in a speech at Liberty University this year, believe family, communities, churches and other civil institutions are critical building blocks in society. They favor investing authority in the level of government closest to the people (locales and states), which they believe is most responsive and governs best.
That’s a nice theory, and it’s one that keeps many libertarians voting Republican.
Written by Tad DeHaven, a budget analyst at the Cato Institute. It was originally posted on Wednesday, August 22nd, and is cross-posted with permission from Cato @ Liberty.
Speaking outside a helicopter museum in eastern Pennsylvania yesterday, Republican VP candidate Paul Ryan bemoaned the “irresponsible defense cuts” and subsequent job losses that would occur under the Budget Control Act’s sequestration spending cuts. That would be the same Budget Control Act that Paul Ryan voted for, and, at least initially, defended.
“What conservatives like me have been fighting for, for years, are statutory caps on spending, legal caps in law that says government agencies cannot spend over a set amount of money,” Ryan told FOX News’s Sean Hannity shortly after the agreement was reached last August. “And if they breach that amount across the board, sequester comes in to cut that spending, and you can’t turn that off without a super-majority vote. We got that in law.”
It’s not just Ryan’s backing away from the BCA’s spending cuts that’s irritating; it’s the fact that he’s basing his opposition to the cuts on the same flawed Keynesian rationale that the president used to justify his failed stimulus package. As Chris Edwards has noted, shifting resources from the government sector to the private sector is good for the economy:
Democrats like accuse Republicans of being “extreme” in their views on the economy, especially when it comes to Rep. Paul Ryan’s budgets, 2010’s “Roadmap to America’s Future” and the more recent “Path to Prosperity.” This was also a criticism thrown at the Tea Party at the height of the movement before the mid-term election two years ago.
But many Democrats openly embraced Occupy Wall Street, a protest that started last year and spead to many cities in the United States, but has since all but disappeared. Occupy Wall Street lived in collectives, often taking up space in a public park, frequently running into health issues and using violence to spread their message.
In a powerful new video from Karen Harrington, who is running in FL-20, looks at her opponent, Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, and her support of the Occupy Wall Street protesters:
H/T: The Shark Tank
While the focus of just about everyone has been on Todd Akin, the Missouri Republican running for United States Senate who made some ignorant comments about rape and abortion, there is some good news for Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan. At the Washington Post, Aaron Blake notes that the Republican ticket has made some small gains in all important battleground states against President Barack Obama:
[Yesterday’s] trio of swing state polls from Quinnipiac University, CBS News and the New York Times are the latest to show a little movement toward Romney.
Here’s a recap:
- Wisconsin: Romney trailed by three points in a Marquette University poll released Wednesday and led in two automated polls conducted last week — his first lead in the state since mid-June. And the new Quinnipiac poll shows him reducing a six-point deficit from earlier this month down to two points in his new running mate’s home state.
If you’e heading down to the Republican National Convention next week in Tampa, you may run into Vice President Joe Biden. That’s right, folks, the Obama campaign’s worst spokesman, just two weeks after saying that the Romney-Ryan ticket would allow Wall Street to put African-Americans “back in chains,” is going to be in a city crowded with Republicans:
Vice President Joe Biden has plans to be in Tampa during the Republican National Convention next week, the Obama campaign said Tuesday. Biden has events in Tampa and in other cities next Monday and Tuesday, the campaign said.
In addition, “a strong bench” of surrogates will be in the Tampa area as well.
While visiting a Minneapolis high school Tuesday afternoon, Biden seemed to embrace his role in Tampa turning to reporters traveling with him, “Who’s going to Florida with me? Any of you going to be in Florida?
“Well I’m the speaker at the convention,” he continued to laughs. “I’m going to be down there.”
What could go wrong?
As noted earlier this week, American Crossroads launched a rather snarky ad endorsing Biden for Vice President, as opposed to someone else on the Democratic Party ticket, because of his proclivity for gaffes: