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BEIJING – Gov. Mitt Romney was the guest of honor Friday at the ribbon cutting ceremony for what will be the nerve center of his entire 2012 presidential campaign organization – a 150,000 sq. ft. warehouse in China’s capital city. Romney looked on with pride as 5,000 Chinese factory workers marched inside the colossal structure to begin their 15-hour workday, manufacturing ‘Romney Job Creator #1!!’ bumper stickers and calling registered Republicans in key South Carolina counties. “These workers represent what this campaign is all about – people coming together in spite of government regulations and labor laws to elect the only person in this race with private sector experience,” said Romney, who shuttered his former campaign headquarters in Boston as well as all his state and local campaign offices to consolidate his operation in Beijing.
Back in Boston, former Romney campaign volunteers remained outside their former workplace, gathered around steel drums packed with burning Romney yard signs for warmth, banking on the off chance that another candidate might arrive and put them back to work.
“It’s unfortunate, but I have to believe Governor Romney had our best interests in mind when he shipped our jobs to China,” said Lucy Kearns, 40, a former Romney phone bank operator-turned-vagrant. “If it’s good for the bottom line, that’s what counts.” Though there is speculation that Massachusetts Senate candidate Elizabeth Warren is eyeing the old Romney HQ for her campaign, Kearns flatly dismissed the notion of working for, “a Communist.”
Before departing from his new campaign headquarters, Romney offered a final defense for his controversial decision, explaining, “This is just what’s best for the campaign right now. And campaigns – like corporations and other faceless, sexless concepts – are people, too.”
By: Sam Rodriguez
Mitt Romney, once again, proved that spending millions of dollars in a political campaign isn’t worth a spit if voters don’t like you.
Same goes for Rick – Oops – Perry.
Iowa also proved that a candidate with little money – Rick Santorum – can slug it out with the big boys the old fashioned way. And somehow Newt Gingrich, the target of millions of dollars in negative TV ads, still did well enough to stay in the race and make Mitt Romney’s political life a living hell.
Get your popcorn ready.
As I’m writing this the final tally has not been announced, but it doesn’t matter. Regardless of the final vote count Romney lost. He needed a big win in Iowa in order to be able to enter New Hampshire with his focus solely on defeating Obama. Now he still has to still fight it out with Gingrich AND Santorum.
The President could not have scripted a more favorable republican primary.
Mitt Romney’s bottom line: after campaigning in Iowa since he lost to Mike Huckabee in ’08, with a well run political organization on the ground and millions to spend blanketing the airwaves, 75% of Caucus goers still wanted somebody else.
Lots of people don’t respond well to Mitt Romney, and I think I know why. Mitt is not the top 1%, he’s the top .001%, which is fine. He may not have more money than God, but they belong to the same country club.
That’s not the problem. The problem is he tries to pass himself off as regular guy. He once quipped to a group of unemployed workers, ‘I’m out of work, too!.’ His blue jeans are pressed. He eats pizza with a fork.
The good news: The 2012 Presidential is officially under way. The process may not always be pretty and there’s too much money spent campaigning, but Iowa showed that money doesn’t always buy elections. Even though – technically – this was a caucus and not an election.
Regardless, it’s another great day for America.
- Iowa Caucus: It’s Actually Totally Okay If You Haven’t The Faintest Clue About What Is Going To Happen (huffingtonpost.com)
- James Moore: The Non-Romney Race in Iowa (huffingtonpost.com)
- Des Moines Register Poll Shows Mitt Romney In Lead Ahead Of Iowa Caucus (huffingtonpost.com)
The state Republican Party will require voters to sign a loyalty oath in order to participate in the March 6 presidential primary.
Anyone who wants to vote must sign a form at the polling place pledging to support the eventual Republican nominee for president. Anyone who refuses to sign the pledge will be barred from voting.
During a brief meeting Wednesday at the state Capitol, the State Board of Elections voted 3-0 to approve three forms developed by the election board’s staff to implement the loyalty pledge requested by the state GOP.
The board also held a drawing that determined Texas Rep. Ron Paul will appear first on the primary ballot, followed by former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, the only other candidate who qualified for the ballot. The state GOP previously announced that Texas Gov. Rick Perry and former House Speaker Newt Gingrich did not amass enough valid signatures to qualify.
Also Wednesday, Paul Goldman, a former chairman of the Democratic Party of Virginia, and Patrick McSweeney, a former chairman of the state Republican Party, held a news conference at the state Capitol. They urged legislators to pass emergency legislation establishing a standard — through criteria such as polling data — that would get additional Republican candidates on the ballot March 6.
Legislators say changes to Virginia’s election laws are virtually impossible in time for the primary. State law requires that absentee ballots be mailed by Jan. 21 – 45 days ahead of the election. The legislature does not convene until Jan. 11.
As for the loyalty oath, the elections board approved a notice to inform absentee voters of the pledge, a sign to hang at polling places and the pledge form itself.
Signs for polling places and the pledge form will advise voters that “Section 24.2-545 of the Code of Virginia allows the political party holding a primary to determine requirements for voting in the primary, including ‘the signing of a pledge by the voter of his intention to support the party’s candidate when offering to vote in the primary.’ ”
The pledge will require the voter to sign and to print his name beneath a line that says: “I, the undersigned, pledge that I intend to support the nominee of the Republican Party for president.”
Virginians do not register to vote by party. That means any registered voter can cast a ballot in a presidential primary. If the Democrats and Republicans hold primaries on the same day, a voter must choose one or the other.
In Virginia’s 2000 GOP presidential primary, won by Texas Gov. George W. Bush, voters were required to sign a different pledge: “I, the undersigned, state that I do not intend to participate in the nomination process of any other party than the Republican Party.”
GOP officials said at the time that national party rules required a loyalty oath in states, such as Virginia, that do not have party registration.
Virginia did not hold a GOP presidential primary in 2004, because Bush was seeking re-election. In November 2007 the GOP State Central Committee voted to rescind their demand for a loyalty pledge in Virginia’s Feb. 12, 2008 Republican presidential primary, won by John McCain.
GOP officials considered a pledge unnecessary because Democrats would be inclined to vote in the Democratic primary – also on Feb. 12, 2008 — that featured Barack Obama and Hillary Rodham Clinton.
Virginia will not hold a Democratic primary in March because Obama was the only candidate who qualified.
During Wednesday’s drawing for ballot spots, Kimberly Bowers, vice chairwoman of the elections board, picked one of two identical film canisters from a crystal bowl. It contained Paul’s name. Board Secretary Donald Palmer then picked the second canister, which contained Romney’s name.
At the afternoon news conference, Goldman charged that the state GOP used two different standards to vet the signatures candidates submitted for ballot access and that Democrats used another standard in assessing President Barack Obama’s signatures. Goldman said the differing standards raise constitutional issues.
Late Wednesday the state Republican Party released a lengthy defense of its procedures, under which a candidate who submitted more than 15,000 “facially valid” signatures “would be presumed to be in compliance with Virginia’s 10,000-signature law” to get on the ballot.
In part, the statement says that “RPV has never encountered a situation where a candidate who submitted 15,000 signatures has failed to make the ballot (absent cases of obvious fraud)” and that the state party repeatedly encouraged campaigns to submit at least 15,000 signatures “in an abundance of caution.”
“Despite this early notice and RPV’s exhortations to candidates, only one candidate availed himself of the 15,000 signature threshold – Governor Mitt Romney.”
The statement says the state GOP “counted Governor Romney’s signatures, reviewed them for facial validity, and determined he submitted well over 15,000. Never in the party’s history has a candidate who submitted more than 15,000 signatures had 33 percent invalidated. The party is confident that Governor Romney met the statutory threshold.”
The GOP said Paul “submitted just under 15,000, and was submitted to signature-by-signature scrutiny on the same basis as the other candidates who submitted fewer than 15,000 signatures.”
It said that Paul had cleared the standard in state law – at least 10,000 signatures, including 400 from each of the 11 congressional districts – “with ease.”
The Republican Party’s statement said Gingrich and Perry “did not come close to the 10,000 valid signature threshold.”
The state GOP said it regrets that Gingrich and Perry did not qualify for the primary.
“But the failure of these two candidates to meet the state requirements does not call into question the accuracy of the party’s certification of the two candidates who are duly qualified to appear on the ballot.”
- Rick Perry Sues Over Virginia Ballot Exclusion (outsidethebeltway.com)
- GOP Candidate Blames Ballot Failure On ‘One Guy’ (huffingtonpost.com)
- Failing the competence primary (hotair.com)
- Newt Gingrich Fails To Qualify For Virginia GOP Primary (huffingtonpost.com)
ASHLAND, N.H. — Republican presidential hopeful Mitt Romney says he would deport President Barack Obama’s uncle, who police said was arrested in August for drunken driving near Boston and is an illegal immigrant.
In an interview with Boston radio host Howie Carr on Wednesday, Romney said “yes” when asked if Onyango Obama should be deported. Romney at first did not recognize the name, but said the nation’s immigration laws should be enforced.
Onyango Obama is the 67-year-old half-brother of the president’s late father. His case is pending in Framingham, Mass., District Court.
He was initially held without bail on a detainer from U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials on allegations he violated an order to return Kenya issued 20 years ago but has since been released.
I’m sure Romney isn’t going to like that one bit. I think it’s hilarious, but can totally understand why they wouldn’t like it.
In an interview with Sean Hannity this evening, former Democratic Senatorial candidate, Christine O’Donnell, announced her support of the former Massachusetts Governor. TheAssociated Press reports:
Republican political figure and tea-party favorite Christine O’Donnell says she’s backing Mitt Romney’s presidential bid.
O’Donnell cites executive experience as part of her reason for endorsing Romney. She announced her decision Tuesday night during an interview on Fox News Channel.
O’Donnell gained national attention in 2010 with her bid for a Senate seat from Delaware. With tea party backing, she defeated an established Republican for the party’s nomination, former governor and longtime congressman Mike Castle. She then lost the general election to Democrat Chris Coons by a margin of 17 percentage points.
O’Donnell may be best known nationally for a campaign commercial in which she declared “I’m not a witch,” a response to a statement she’d made years earlier in which she said she’d dabbled in witchcraft.
ABC News reports the following written statement from Romney:
In a written statement, Romney welcomed the endorsement.
“Christine has been a leader in the conservative movement for many years,” Romney said. “Christine recognizes that excessive government threatens us now and threatens future generations, and I am pleased to have her on my team.”