The bizarre juxtaposition of the 2012 election and Hurricane Sandy should give voters a clear view into the minds of the two men who are aspiring to lead America in the next presidential cycle.
While President Obama has allowed his campaign to take a back seat to his duties as president, Mitt Romney seems to using this time to not only score points but also sneak out discredited information about Obama’s policies.
First and foremost is his supposed campaign rally/ “storm relief” rally in Ohio today. Pam, our blog mistress, provides many details as to how bad this event was.
Talking Points Memo also added:
With the president holed up in the White House monitoring the hurricane response through at least Wednesday, Romney announced yesterday he would refrain from partisan business as usual on the campaign trail. That meant converting an already scheduled rally Tuesday morning in Kettering, Ohio, into a relief drive for Sandy victims.
Still, the election was never entirely removed from the event, according to reports from the scene. Most notably, the event included a biographical video of Romney that typically plays at his rallies. Press badges still referred to a Romney“victory rally.”
Also, ABC’s Jonathan Karl sent out the following tweet of two attendees of this “storm relief” rally:
The grand irony? The Red Cross specifically stated that they can’t use the canned goods that the Romney camp urged folks to bring because giving either money or blood would better suit the needs of those caught up in the hurricane.
The Romney camp later said that the food donations won’t be going out to the Red Cross. Instead, the campaign bus will be handing it out.
Also, Romney came out with yet another distorted ad against Obama, this time repeating false charges he made regarding the President and welfare:
According to The Huffington Post:
Titled “Can’t Afford Another Term,” the spot isn’t as nefarious as the infamous Jeep ad that Mitt Romney’s campaign similarly put out without fanfare. But there are certainly aspects with which to quibble, including the idea that Obama weakened welfare reform (a point that countless fact-checkers have disputed). Obama has offered waivers to states after governors asked for them. None have applied yet.
. . . As newsworthy as the ad’s script is the way in which the Romney campaign released the new spot. There was no public pronouncement, at least not via email (the campaign did post the spot to its YouTube page). And it seems to fit a pattern. The campaign is throwing what it can against the wall in the election’s closing days. Any movement it creates among voters outweighs howls it may cause from the press corps, the campaign believes.
And if this is not enough, Romney continues to double down on the distortion he made that the auto industry bailout overseen by President Obama is causing jobs to be shipped overseas.
Today, he released a new radio ad in Toledo and Dayton, two Ohio markets, repeating the lie. About this particular ad, The HuffingtonPost said:
A fair reading of the script suggests that the new attack is even more misleading than the ad that the Romney campaign has already aired. Chrysler is thinking of building cars in China, but only for purposes of expanding into the market there. The company’s CEO has vehemently denied that any American jobs are being outsourced.
But now, Romney is adding the GM company in the mix. According to The Detroit Free Press:
Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney has broadened his attack on President Barack Obama’s auto industry restructuring, implying that General Motors used the aid to hire more workers in China than in the U.S.
“Barack Obama says he saved the auto industry. But for who? Ohio or China?” says the narrator in a radio spot running in Ohio. “Under President Obama, GM cut 15,000 American jobs, but they are planning to double the number of cars built in China, which means 15,000 more jobs for China. And now comes word that Chrysler plans to start making Jeeps in, you guessed it, China.”
GM spokesman Greg Martin condemned this ad:
“We’ve clearly entered some parallel universe during these last few days. No amount of campaign politics at its cynical worst will diminish our record of creating jobs in the U.S. and repatriating profits back to this country.”
It is unclear how the ads will affect the election. But they are already scaring the hell out of auto workers. According to Think Progress, some auto workers even called their unions because they feared that they would be out of work:
Bruce Baumhower, the president of the United Auto Workers local that oversees the major Jeep plant here, said Mr. Romney’s initial comments on moving production to China drew a rash of calls from members concerned about their jobs. When he informed them Chrysler was, in fact, is expanding its Jeep operation here, he said in an interview, “The response has been, ‘That’s pretty pitiful.’ ”
Regardless of whether Romney’s gambit stinks of cleverness or desperation, voters should do well to remember that if Romney can get this brazen with a smile on his face and in the face of being discredited, think about what other lies he thinks he can get away with.
It makes me wonder if he really means it whenever he says “I believe in America.”