The Bain Bane. Romney’s tenure at Bain continued to raise questions this week. While the Obama campaign and Democrats questioned whether he really left Bain in February 1999, Romney insisted that he underwent a “transition period” and ended his day-to-day management role when he took over the Olympics. Yet, SEC filings show that Romney continued to take a salary “of at least $100,000” and campaign advisor Ed Gillespie didn’t help matters when he told CNN that Romney “retroactively retired.” And Olympic documents described Romney as “the founder and CEO,” present tense. At stake in this partisan battle is whether the Obama campaign can hold Romney responsible for Bain investments in companies that laid off workers, declared bankruptcy or specialized in outsourcing. While Romney has demanded an end to the Bain attacks to end and called for an apology, Obama said “we won’t be apologizing” because voters “want to know what is exactly his business experience.”
Show Me Yours…The tax return debate has prominent Republicans calling on the candidate to release the returns and has also created divisions in the Romney camp over whether the candidate should cede to demands. According to a new USA Today/Gallup Poll, the majority of Americans, including almost a third of Republicans, say Romney should release more of his tax returns.
Mo’ Money. According to the aforementioned Gallup Poll, Mormons widely support Romney, but their support also runs deep. Records show that roughly two dozen members of Mormon families provided nearly $8 million of the financing for Restore Our Future, the pro-Romney super PAC. According to the WaPo, current and former employees, friends and associates of Romney from his business career have donated at least $5 million to back the candidate, including funds given to the Republican Party and the independent super PAC supporting him. Obama raised roughly $4 million in the Lone Star state earlier this week, breaking his previous single-day Texas record.
International Cred. Next week, Romney will go abroad to demonstrate his ability to be a statesman. He will attend the opening ceremonies of the Olympics as a guest of the International Olympic Committee and meet with British Prime Minister David Cameron before flying to Israel. In Israel, Romney plans to meet with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, U.S. Ambassador Daniel B. Shapiro, Israeli President Shimon Peres and Salam Fayyad, the prime minister of the Palestinian Authority. The trip to Israel is widely viewed as means to court Jewish voters, though according to a recent Gallup Poll, President Obama still has a wide lead among that demographic, 64 percent to 29 percent.
VEEPstakes. As of this week, both Ann and Mitt have confirmed that a veep candidate has not yet been chosen. A new Fox News poll shows former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice garnering the support of 30 percent of Republican voters for veep selection. Senator Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) is second with 19 percent. According to the New York Times, Romney has embraced former Minnesota Tim Pawlenty more than other potential veep picks, seeking his advice about running against President Obama and sending him to Republican events on his behalf. The Fix, meanwhile, made the case for and against Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal, and Politico made the case for the safe Rob Portman.
Ad wars. The Obama campaign released a new ad this week in Pennsylvania attacking Romney over his tax rate. Meanwhile the Romney campaign is hammering an out-of-context line from Obama’s remarks at a campaign stop in Virginia last Friday in a viral web video. Another ad accused Obama of cronyism. The Romney campaign also has a new Spanish language ad out featuring his son, called “Country of Immigrants” appealing to Hispanic voters and noting that his father was born in Mexico. American Crossroads is going on the defense for Romney with a $9.3 million ad campaign against Obama’s attacks.
Thanks to all who entered our VEEPstakes contest this week. Stay tuned and we’ll announce the winner.
And in honor of Franklin’s Roosevelt acceptance of the Democratic Part’s nomination for the presidency for a fourth time on this day in July 1944, we leave you with an excerpt of his speech:
What is the job before us in 1944? First, to win the war—to win the war fast, to win it overpoweringly. Second, to form worldwide international organizations, and to arrange to use the armed forces of the sovereign Nations of the world to make another war impossible within the foreseeable future. And third, to build an economy for our returning veterans and for all Americans—which will provide employment and provide decent standards of living…
The greatest wartime President in our history, after a wartime election which he called the "most reliable indication of public purpose in this country," set the goal for the United States, a goal in terms as applicable today as they were in 1865—terms which the human mind cannot improve:
". . . .with firmness in the right, as God gives us to see the right, let us strive on to finish the work we are in; to bind up the Nation's wounds; to care for him who shall have borne the battle, and for his widow, and his orphan—to do all which may achieve and cherish a just and lasting peace among ourselves, and with all Nations."