Political Theater

Ron Paul says Michele Bachmann “hates Muslims”

Ron Paul was on The Tonight Show last night, where Jay Leno asked him to say a little something about the other Republican candidates for president. Mitt Romney, according to Paul, is “a nice guy.” Newt Gingrich should “run for Speaker of the House again,” and Jon Huntsman is “a good diplomat” and ” a thoughtful person.”

And Michele Bachmann? Well, “she doesn’t like Muslims,” Paul said. “She hates Muslims. She wants to go get ‘em.” Rick Santorum, too, has a preoccupation with “gay people and Muslims.”

Here’s the clip:

New anti-Romney ad rekindles — er, mocks? — Francophobia

Back in 2002, Mitt Romney welcomed francophone volunteers to the Salt City Olympics with a friendly introductory video he recorded in French. It’s “an incredible experience in your life,” said Romney, who spent more than two years in France as a Mormon missionary in the 1960s. “The kind that you live only once.”

It’s been years since freedom fries and freedom toast were items on the menu at House of Representatives cafes, and bumper stickers proclaiming “Iraq first, France next!” long ago went out of fashion. But AmericanLP, a new, self-identified “progressive” SuperPAC, is betting that the little video message was a blunder.

New ad from pro-Romney SuperPAC hits on Gingrich’s weaknesses

The pro-Romney SuperPAC Restore Our Future has released a video ad warning that Obama’s “plan” to “brutally attack Mitt Romney and hope Newt Gingrich is his opponent” because “Newt has a ton of baggage” is working.

The video goes on to outline Gingrich’s potential vulnerabilities, including ethics violations, lobbying profits, flip-flopping on issues, and immigration. Check it out:

New Perry ad bashes Gingrich, Romney on health care mandate

A day after releasing an incendiary ad condemning gays serving in the military and “Obama’s war on religion,” the Perry campaign has put out a new campaign video, this one focused on his rivals’ stances on the individual mandate.

“We don’t want government-mandated health care,” says a voice-over in the ad:

Huntsman accuses Romney of flip-flop gymnastics in new ad

Jon Huntsman has published a new web ad hammering Romney for changing, if not his stance, then at least his tone on key campaign issues.

“What exactly did Mitt learn while running the Olympics?” the ad asks, before using a split screen to show Romney opining on various issues next to video of gymnasts doing flips on balance beams. Romney ran the 2002 Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City, where there was no gymnastics competition, but the point doesn’t seem to be a literal one. Whenever Romney is seen taking a typically conservative stance on an issue, the gymnast “nails it,” and when he doesn’t, the gymnast falls off the beam.

Romney denies history of “flip-flops” in Fox interview

In an long and sometimes tense interview with Fox’s Bret Baier on Tuesday, GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney defended himself against alleged policy “flip-flops” on immigration, health care, and other issues put forward in a DNC attack ad released earlier in the week.

Seated amidst crates of juice and soda inside a Conchita food warehouse in Miami, Romney denied revising his policy stances for the purposes of political expediency, telling Baier his list was “just not accurate” and suggesting he read his book to become “better informed” about his political views. The one issue on which he did acknowledge a change of heart, however, was abortion, a reversal Romney said also “occurred with Ronald Reagan, with George W. Bush, with some of the leaders in the pro-life movement.”

from Tales from the Trail:

Newt, schmoot – Democrats keep sights firmly on Romney

 

Newt Gingrich may have jumped into the lead among Republican presidential hopefuls in some national polls, but the Democrats -- at least -- seem convinced that Mitt Romney will be President Barack Obama's opponent in November 2012, at least if you look at how they are spending their advertising dollars.

The latest barrage, an early salvo in what is expected to be a particularly nasty presidential campaign, is a four-minute-long attack titled "Mitt v. Mitt: The Story of Two Men Trapped in One Body." Slamming the former Massachusetts governor as having changed his position on a wide range of issues, the ad uses clips showing Romney speaking at varying points in his career and expressing different viewpoints on issues such as healthcare, immigration, climate change and even Ronald Reagan.

The GOP national security debate in six minutes

The eight leading GOP presidential candidates met at Constitution Hall in Washington, D.C., on Tuesday night for a two-hour debate on national security and foreign policy. Here are some of the most significant exchanges of the night:

from Tales from the Trail:

Gingrich takes heat over “amnesty”

Electrified fences, predator drones and anchor babies were nowhere to be found when the subject of illegal immigration came up in the latest of a series of Republican presidential debates.

The softer, gentler tone Tuesday night at Constitution Hall was a contrast from when the White House hopefuls took on the subject at a debate in Las Vegas last month.

New DNC ad targets Romney on immigration

The Democratic National Committee released a new, post-debate ad this morning accusing Mitt Romney of being “dishonest” and “extreme” on immigration. The video, which contrasts Romney’s comments at last night’s debate with those made by rival Newt Gingrich, asks “On immigration, who is being honest about the challenges we face?”

Romney is seen arguing that granting amnesty to illegal immigrants will be a “magnet”: “If people who come here illegally are going to get to stay, that will encourage more people to come illegally,” he said. Gingrich, by comparison, took a more moderate approach, suggesting Americans may not ultimately be comfortable with the implications of the policy Romney suggested:

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