Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Romney Shambles Day Six: Warsaw Speech


Romney Shambles Day One: Disconcerting London Gaffes
Romney Shambles Day Two: British Press Pounces
Romney Shambles Day Three: On to Israel
Romney Shambles Day Four: Bomb Bomb Bomb Iran
Romney Shambles Day Five: Not Too Kosher
Romney Shambles Day Five: Poland
Romney Shambles Day Six: Warsaw Speech
Romney Shambles Review

Romney's Complete Speech in Warsaw Poland

Romney Aide Curses At Press in Poland
~ Headline on Talking Points Memo

CNN: “Governor Romney are you concerned about some of the mishaps of your trip?

NYT: “Governor Romney do you have a statement for the Palestinians?

Washington Post: “What about your gaffes?

NYT: “Governor Romney do you feel that your gaffes have overshadowed your foreign trip?”

CNN: “Governor Romney just a few questions sir, you haven’t taken but three questions on this trip from the press!

Gorka: “Show some respect”

NYT: “We haven’t had another chance to ask a question…”

Gorka: “Kiss my ass. This is a Holy site for the Polish people. Show some respect.”

Gorka subsequently called a pair of reporters to apologize, saying he lost his cool. “It was inappropriate,” Gorka said. Romney was at the square to visit the Polish Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. After he did that, laying a wreath and greeting Polish military veterans, the GOP hopeful decided to walk down to a monument on the other side of the square. Romney has not held a media availability for his traveling press corps since taking three questions outside 10 Downing Street in London last Thursday. ~ Politico.com


Monday, July 30, 2012

Romney Shambles Day Five: Poland ~ with Updates


Romney Shambles Day One: Disconcerting London Gaffes
Romney Shambles Day Two: British Press Pounces
Romney Shambles Day Three: On to Israel
Romney Shambles Day Four: Bomb Bomb Bomb Iran
Romney Shambles Day Five: Not Too Kosher
Romney Shambles Day Five: Poland
Romney Shambles Day Six: Warsaw Speech
Romney Shambles Review

From McClatchy
Mitt Romney will wrap himself in the symbolism of the Cold War Monday, starting a visit to Poland studded with reminders of that era—a visit with Lech Walesa, memories of Ronald Reagan and a vow to get tough and stay tough with Russia

He’ll visit Solidarity Square at the edge of the Gdansk shipyards where Walesa and the pro-freedom Solidarity movement first took hold, a movement that ultimately contributed to the collapse of the Soviet Union and the end of the Cold War. Later, he’ll meet with Walesa, who eventually became the president of a free Poland. Throughout, the shadow of Reagan will loom large as another voice against Soviet oppression. A bronze statue of Reagan was unveiled this month in Gdansk’s Ronald Reagan Park. Romney also will meet with Prime Minister Donald Tusk.

Tuesday, Romney will be in Warsaw, where he’ll deliver a speech discussing “The U.S.-Poland Relationship and the Values of Liberty.”

The trip is designed to remind everyone of "U.S. support of Poland as a captive nation during the Cold War," as well as Reagan’s support of the Solidarity movement, according to Romney foreign policy adviser Ian Brzezinski.
Romney also hopes to remind U.S. voters of Walesa’s frosty relationship with Obama.

There has been no press access to Governor Romney since we landed in Poland. We (press) are in a holding pattern (I can’t help but feel a bit like the press is a modified petting zoo since we are trapped in a bus while Polish citizens take pictures of us.) Under the headline “Governor Romney won’t like this” we saw a big sign in the crowd for Rep Ron Paul.
. . . Romney left his first meeting and walked down the street to his second, with former Polish President Lech Walesa. Many people still outside. The street is lined with cafes with outdoor tables and umbrellas. We did NOT get a shot of Romney’s walk over, we were held back until he had left.
++We could not see Romney as we were exiting the old town hall, but we do have a little tape of people shouting “Obama! Obama!”
~ Fox News Correspondent Gret Van Susteren, from her blog

I wish you to be successful because this success is needed to the United States, of course, but to Europe and the rest of the world, too. Governor Romney, get your success, be successful!
~ Nobel Prize Winner and ex-President of Poland Lech Walesa, to Mitt Romney in Gdansk

Regretfully, we were informed by our friends from the American headquarters of (trade union federation) AFL-CIO, which represents more than 12 million employees ... that Mitt Romney supported attacks on trade unions and employees' rights.
Solidarity was not involved in organizing Romney's meeting with Walesa and did not invite him to visit Poland.
~ Official statement from Polish Solidarity via Reuters

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Romney Shambles Day Five: Not Too Kosher


Romney Shambles Day One: Disconcerting London Gaffes
Romney Shambles Day Two: British Press Pounces
Romney Shambles Day Three: On to Israel
Romney Shambles Day Four: Bomb Bomb Bomb Iran
Romney Shambles Day Five: Not Too Kosher
Romney Shambles Day Five: Poland
Romney Shambles Day Six: Warsaw Speech
Romney Shambles Review

From ABC News
There were hundreds of Jewish worshippers praying at the site on this holy fasting day of Tisha B’Av and cell phones were out snapping photos of Romney. Many chanted at him as he walked slowly toward the wall.
One man started clapping. “Good luck to you,” he told Romney “God bless you.” Another shouted, “Here comes the next president!” “He is for Israel!” shouted another.
. . . The Wailing Wall, as the wall is also known as, is the outside wall that surrounded the second temple. Today is said to be the day that the Romans destroyed the Second Temple, leading to the Tisha B’Av

From Bloomberg
. . . “This is the campaign for American Jews,” Channah Nebi said in Hebrew, as she peered over the divide separating men and women to watch Romney.
New York lawyer Phil Rosen, a campaign fundraising bundler, was permitted past the machine-gun carrying Israeli soldiers protecting a security perimeter, to embrace Romney. Like any tourists in a foreign land, the two took a quick snap-shot to remember the moment.
. . . Tomorrow, around 50 top donors — largely from the U.S. – will join the candidate for a kosher breakfast and question-and-answer session in the luxurious King David hotel. Casino magnet Sheldon Adelson will attend, as will Eli Simmons.

by By Latuff Cartoons

The headlines are rolling. The diaries are scrolling. Editors and producers are choosing which breath-taking declaration will win the lede, unilateral, amateur diplomacy or unilateral, amateur warmaking.
It doesn't matter, but for those following along, both the Washington Post and New York Times have chosen "Romney Declares War on Iran" over "Romney Declares War on Palestinians." Still, as I say, it doesn't matter. Mitt Romney, a half-formed man-child who made a splash in the corporate takeover game and mailed in a term as a state governor, has single-handedly undone decades of careful diplomacy and put the United States and its armed forces in danger.
~ Crashing Vor in a Daily Kos Diary called "Mr. Romney Has Ceased to be Amusing"

As you come here and you see the GDP per capita, for instance, in Israel which is about $21,000 dollars, and compare that with the GDP per capita just across the areas managed by the Palestinian Authority, which is more like $10,000 per capita, you notice such a dramatically stark difference in economic vitality.
And as I come here and I look out over this city and consider the accomplishments of the people of this nation, I recognize the power of at least culture and a few other things. . . .

~ Mitt Romney to Sheldon Adelson and other donors at the King David Hotel Fundraiser

What is this man doing here? Yesterday, he destroyed negotiations by saying Jerusalem is the capital of Israel, and today he is saying Israeli culture is more advanced than Palestinian culture. Isn't this racism? Israelis and Palestinians have a conflict, but they are people, they are equal, it is not a better culture or advanced culture.
It's Israeli occupiers and Palestinians under occupation, and that's why Palestinians cannot realize their potential.
~ Palestinian Official, Saeb Erekat

From the Washington Post
Romney also boasted of meeting the founder of Under Armour in London, when he visited the Olympics. Romney spotted him wearing a pullover with the Under Armour logo, and he soon discovered he was the founder. Naturally, Romney asked how he had created the company.
“He said he was playing football and the cotton underwear that they would wear would get all moist and crinkled up and create pressure points and so forth, and he decided to go buy some stretchy fabric, cut it and sew it together, which he did and it was very comfortable,” Romney recalled.

I think your heart would have to be made of stone not to feel what is still here, with the molecules, the stones, and everything still testifies of something that was so extraordinary that happened in this placesaid. And it is a magical place and it is a place which makes us turn to our inner soul and to our hearts and to listen with a different voice.
And that’s why I think it’s so important for people to be here and to understand what a significant and wonderful place this is. So it is with quiet ears that we can hear and listen to all that is around us and of the beauty and all of the extraordinary history that’s here.
~ Ann Romney at Mitt's Jewish Fundraiser in Israel

...continued here: Romney Shambles Day Five: Poland

Mitt the Wimp


From the CBS Face the Nation Transcript 7-29-12
JAN CRAWFORD: . . . I wanted so I just got a copy of the Newsweek cover that's going to be hitting the newsstands tomorrow that calls you a wimp. Have you seen this?

MITT ROMNEY: No. They tried--

JAN CRAWFORD: Does that concern you? Is that fair?

MITT ROMNEY: They tried that in George Herbert Walker Bush. He was a pretty-- pretty great President and anything but.

JAN CRAWFORD: But it-- it did hurt him to some extent, that-- that narrative did. Are you worried about what the media is saying here in this-- this kind of storyline that gets out there, and how do you counter that?

MITT ROMNEY: If I-- if I worried about what the media said I-- I wouldn't get much sleep and I'm able to sleep pretty well.

JAN CRAWFORD: Has anyone ever called you a wimp before?

MITT ROMNEY: I don't recall that. No.

From Newsweek Article by Michael Tomasky
. . . In 1987, this magazine created a famous hubbub by labeling George H.W. Bush a “wimp” on its cover. “The Wimp Factor.” Huge stir. And not entirely fair—the guy had been an aviator in the war, the big war, the good war, and he was even shot down out over the Pacific, cockpit drenched in smoke and fumes, at an age (20) when in most states he couldn’t even legally drink a beer. In hindsight, Poppy looks like Dirty Harry Callahan compared with Romney, who spent his war (Vietnam) in—ready?—Paris. Where he learned ... French. Up to his eyeballs in deferments. Where Reagan saddled up a horse with the masculine name of El Alamein, Mitt saddles up something called Rafalca—except that he doesn’t even really do that, his wife does (dressage). And speaking of Ann—did you notice that she was the one driving the Jet Ski on their recent vacation, while Mitt rode on the back, hanging on, as Paul Begala put it to me last week, “like a helpless papoose”?

. . . Romney is the genuine article: a true wimp. Oh, there are some ways in which he’s not—a wimp lets himself get kicked around, and Romney doesn’t exactly do that. He sure didn’t during the primaries, when he strafed Rick Perry and carpet-bombed Rick Santorum (but note that they were both weaker than he).

In some respects, he’s more weenie than wimp—socially inept; at times awkwardy ingratiating, at other times mocking those “below” him, but almost always getting the situation a little wrong, and never in a sympathetic way. The evidence resonates across too many years to deny. What kind of teenager beats up on the misfit, sissy kid, pinning him down and violently cutting his hair with a pair of school scissors—the incident from Romney’s youth that The Washington Post famously reported (and Romney famously didn’t really deny) back in May?

. . . And what kind of presidential candidate whines about a few attacks and demands an apology when the going starts to get rough? And tries to sound tough by accusing the president who killed the world’s most-wanted villain of appeasement? That’s what they call overcompensation, and it’s a dead giveaway; it’s the “tell.” This guy is nervous—terrified—about looking weak. And ironically, being terrified of looking weak makes him look weaker still.

~~~Much More Here at Link~~~

Mitt the Wimp is spinning himself into oblivion.
Mitt the Twitt is spinning himself into oblivion.
Mitt the Draft Dodger is spinning himself into oblivion.
Mitt the Tax Dodger is spinning himself into oblivion.
Mitt the Cult is spinning himself into oblivion.
~ comment by moricone on The Hill Blog

Weird Idiot Mulls Presidency
Wild Immature Maniac Pounces
White Insane Massachusetts Panderer
~ comment by moose67 on Daily Kos

Wealthy Inbred Millionaire Plutocrat
~ comment by Scarce on Daily Kos

Woefully Inadequate Milquetoast Politician
~ comment by ZedMont on Daily Kos

Wildly Insecure Moneygrubbing Poltroon
~ comment by roadbear on Daily Kos

Where Is My Privilege
Or, White is my privilege
~ comment by Compost on the Weeds on Daily Kos

Wealth Is My Privilege
~ comment by Zack from the SFV on Daily Kos

And did you notice the top? "What triggers mass murderers?" Right above a picture of Romney looking like a foreign object is lodged in is azz. The villagers are pissed. This is what happens when you don't release your tax returns and run from the press. Best Newsweek campaign cover ever.
~ comment by fou on Daily Kos

Romney Shambles Day Four: Bomb Bomb Bomb Iran


Romney Shambles Day One: Disconcerting London Gaffes
Romney Shambles Day Two: British Press Pounces
Romney Shambles Day Three: On to Israel
Romney Shambles Day Four: Bomb Bomb Bomb Iran
Romney Shambles Day Five: Poland
Romney Shambles Day Six: Warsaw Speech
Romney Shambles Review

We’re now looking forward to the speeches he’s going to make in Israel and Poland, two other very important destinations that are next on the itinerary.
Romney Top Aide, Eric Fehrnstrom, in an email from Boston while the candidate is in Israel, via Washington Post

If Israel has to take action on its own, in order to stop Iran from developing that capability, the governor would respect that decision . . .
When Iran's leaders deny the Holocaust or speak of wiping this nation off the map, only the naïve - or worse - will dismiss it as an excess of rhetoric.
Make no mistake: The ayatollahs in Tehran are testing our moral defenses. They want to know who will object, and who will look the other way.
~ Romney Senior National Security Aide Dan Senor, paraphrasing a speech the candidate will give in Israel later today

. . . The governor believes that at this point, the only thing that could focus and force the minds of the Iranian leadership on ending their nuclear weapons, their path to a nuclear weapons capability, is the belief that the alternative is far worse.
. . . This is not a platform for new Palestinian refugees down the road to return to Israel. If there is a Palestinian state, that should be the home for Palestinians wanting to return to this region.
More quotes from Dan Senor on CNN Political Ticker

Two stops after London that matter most. It’s right to say that he’s not courting those nations, he’s courting those children of those nations who now live in the United States — Poles in southwestern Pennsylvania, and Cleveland and Detroit and all the rest. In Israel, he’s courting not the Jewish vote in the country, maybe it will make a small difference in Florida, and that make a big difference, but the vast majority of American Jews are going to vote Democratic. Always have and as far as I can tell and always will. The great support for Israel right now, the energy is in the evangelical community, which is a part of the Republican base. So the trip to Israel is a way of firing up this enormously important, somewhat skeptical of Mitt Romney Republican base.
~ George Will on ABC's This Week, via Daily Caller

Romney's Complete Speech Here

Romney at the Western Wall:

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Romney Shambles Day Three: On to Israel - Updated


Romney Shambles Day One: Disconcerting London Gaffes
Romney Shambles Day Two: British Press Pounces
Romney Shambles Day Three: On to Israel
Romney Shambles Day Four: Bomb Bomb Bomb Iran
Romney Shambles Day Five: Poland
Romney Shambles Day Six: Warsaw Speech
Romney Shambles Review

Romney’s stumblebum London debut leaves even supporters distraught
~ Headline in the National Post UK

The British media were quick to launch into Mitt Romney in the wake of his less-than-complimentary views on London's Olympics.
The Daily Telegraph's Lucy Jones branded him a 'wazzock' (which the Urban Dictionary defines as an idiot or daft person') after the U.S. presidential hopeful questioned Britain's desire to host the Games.
She said: 'Who does Mitt Romney think he is? I feel a glimmer of protectiveness and pride... there's one thing Romney could learn while he's in Britain this week: some manners.'
~ Quoted in the Daily Mail


. . . the British press devour(ed) Mr. Romney like a pile of mushy peas. His campaign was slow and flat-footed in recognizing it had a problem, and unable to improvise a quick response.
Afterward, the campaign said that Mr. Romney had misspoken because he was tired and jet-lagged. “Even the Energizer Bunny needs new batteries once in a while,” said an adviser, speaking on the condition of anonymity to discuss a delicate topic.
~ The New York Times


[London Mayor Boris] Johnson . . . lived up to his reputation as an eccentric, odd fellow. It was unbecoming to attack Governor Romney in that way. There really was no need. But Johnson made it clear in 2008 that his vote would have gone to Obama. . .
. . . What [Romney] gave was the honest assessment of the [Olympic] situation based on his previous experience. Unfortunately in a diplomatic context that's not the sort of thing that should have been coming out of the candidate's mouth. It was bad messaging and media prep. . . .
The trip should have been a straightforward one, he said. ‘You show up, you smile, you do photo ops, you talk about the special relationship, the deep bonds that connect us and then you go home, or in this case on to Israel and Poland. . . .
Unfortunately, it shows that the campaign by solely focussing on jobs has really neglected foreign policy and international affairs . . .
(Calling Labour Leader Milliband "Mr. Leader"). . . The first rule of diplomacy is that when you're in a foreign country you get titles and forms of address correct. . . . It played into some stereotypical impressions of Americans, that they’re ignorant of local concerns, that they don’t get names or titles right. . . .
Governor Romney didn’t do himself any favours. Did he do himself long-term damage? I doubt it. There's a good chance that Cameron may not win re-election, which means for at least half of Romney's term he would have another Prime Minister in there.
~ Unknown Romney Campaign Official quoted in The Daily Mail

You have to shake your head. Gov. Romney went to the London Olympics at invitation of the International Olympic Committee. It was a great opportunity for him to talk about his experiences, look, he stepped away from the leadership of Bain Capital for three years in order to step in and save the floundering Salt Lake City Winter Olympics in 2002. I bet there is lots of stories he could be talking about what a wonderful experience that was and how uplifting and inspiring it was. Instead he got stuck making a, somehow or another that the comments the Brits took as insult, and walked it back pretty quickly and walked it back adroitly but nonetheless the damage was done.
~ Republican Strategist Karl Rove via Talking Points Memo

NPR: Obama Pre-Empts Romney on Israel
Obama's Friday signing of the U.S.-Israel Enhanced Security Act, which increases assistance to Israel to defend against missiles and rockets from Iranian-backed extremist groups, gave the president a chance to somewhat pre-empt Romney's trip.
Romney's visit to Israel this weekend is meant to underscore the Republican's campaign message, aimed at Jewish and evangelical Christians voters, that he would be a more loyal ally to Israel than Obama has been.
The legislation signed Friday by Obama passed with unusual speed and bipartisanship in a Congress best known for partisan gridlock. And it gave the president and his Democratic allies something with which to counter anti-Obama efforts by billionaire casino mogul Sheldon Adelson and the Republican Jewish Coalition — efforts reported this week by The New York Times.


We can almost speak in shorthand. We share common experiences and have a perspective and underpinning which is similar.
~ Mitt Romney quoted in the New York Times, April 2012

From Vanity Fair on Romney and Netanyahu
Netanyahu is once reported to have said—he now denies it—that he “speaks English with a heavy Republican accent.” “Israel’s current prime minister is not just a friend, he’s an old friend,” Mitt Romney, with whom Netanyahu worked at the Boston Consulting Group in the 1970s, told aipac in March. (Romney, Netanyahu suggests, may have overstated the tie. “I remember him for sure, but I don’t think we had any particular connections,” he tells me. “I knew him and he knew me, I suppose.”)
. . . Netanyahu insists his relationship with Obama is friendlier than it has been portrayed. They are, he tells me, “two people who appreciate the savviness and strength of the other

Mitt Romney Lies About His BFF Bibi
~ Headline on Wonkette

Bibi Tosses Mitt Under the Bus
~ Headline on Mother Jones

President [George W.] Bush urged [deposed Egyptian President] Hosni Mubarak to move toward a more democratic posture, but President Obama abandoned the freedom agenda and we are seeing today a whirlwind of tumult in the Middle East in part because these nations did not embrace the reforms that could have changed the course of their history, in a more peaceful manner.
. . . Clearly we're disappointed in seeing Tunisia and Morocco elect Islamist governments. We're very concerned in seeing the new leader in Egypt as an Islamist leader. It is our hope to move these nations toward a more modern view of the world and to not present a threat to their neighbors and to the other nations of the world," he said.
~ Mitt Romney, quoted in gambling mogul and political superpac leader Sheldon Adelson's newspaper Israel Hayom

What's the new hashtag #RomKippur?
~ comment by Lib Dem FoP on Daily Kos

Press will be barred from the Monday-morning event at the King David hotel, a Romney campaign aide said, a break with the campaign’s protocol of allowing a small contingent of press to cover finance events in public locales such as hotels.
The Jerusalem fundraiser is expected to draw generous donors living in both the U.S. and Israel, including casino magnate Sheldon Adelson, who recently gave $10 million to the super PAC that supports Mr. Romney.
~ Wall Street Journal

Though there have been a few occasions when the campaign has tried to limit access — citing an especially small venue or the fact that Mr. Romney was not giving formal remarks — this is the first time that a public fund-raiser has been closed without any explanation.
Mr. Romney’s high-dollar event in London on Thursday, held at the Mandarin Oriental in Hyde Park, was open to a press pool.
. . . “Closed press, closed press, closed press,” a Romney spokesman Rick Gorka said when asked for a comment or explanation.
~ The New York Times

The campaign’s decision to close the fundraiser to the press violates the ground rules it negotiated with news organizations in April, when Romney wrapped up the Republican nomination and began opening some of his finance events to the news media.
Under the agreement, a pool of wire, print and television reporters can cover every Romney fundraiser held in public venues, including hotels and country clubs. The campaign does not allow media coverage of fundraisers held in private residences.
Campaign spokesman Rick Gorka declined to explain the campaign’s decision to violate protocol with the Jerusalem event. Pressed repeatedly by reporters to offer an explanation, Gorka said only that the fundraiser was “closed press.”
“That’s all I’ve got for you — it’s closed press,” Gorka said.
~ The Washington Post