Tales from the Trail

Obama campaign targets Romney’s record as governor

President Obama’s reelection campaign on Friday released another video bashing Mitt Romney for his record in job creation as governor of Massachusetts.

The video mash-up pulls together footage of his former rivals for the Republican nomination — Newt Gingrich, Rick Santorum, and Rick Perry, as well as John McCain in 2008 — each of whom is shown criticizing Romney for Massachussetts’ rate of job creation and tax increases during his term as governor.

Watch:

 

It follows a longer video, released on Thursday, that mines archival footage for video of Romney, during his 2002 run for governor, promising to use his experience in the private sector to improve the economy in Massachusetts, then contrasts it with a series of former and current state officials who say he didn’t follow through on his promises.

Watch:

 

Credit: BarackObamadotcom/YouTube

Romney offers donors chance to “Dine with the Donald”

Barack Obama’s re-election campaign has raised millions of dollars by auctioning off dinners with the president, first lady Michelle Obama, Vice President Joe Biden, former President Bill Clinton and Hollywood stars – and Democratic supporters – George Clooney and Sarah Jessica Parker.

Now his rival Mitt Romney is getting into the act with some Republican celebrity love – offering the chance to “Dine with the Donald,” that is, Donald Trump — and Mitt — to anyone who donates $3 or more.

“Jets owner Woody Johnson recently previewed a rival event to the George Clooney one that President Obama’s campaign did, and this appears to be it – a raffle for a dinner with Mitt Romney and Donald Trump,” Politico reported on Thursday.

Obama campaign launches voter drive around gay marriage

President Barack Obama’s re-election campaign, looking to tap support for the president’s embrace of same-sex marriage, launched a voter drive in key electoral states on Wednesday, saying a Mitt Romney presidency would be the “ultimate deal breaker” for proponents of “marriage equality.”

The campaign’s effort to mobilize lesbian, gay, bi-sexual, and transgender voters and those who back their rights to wed is called “Obama Pride: LGBT Americans For Obama” and will combine on-the-ground operations in Pennsylvania, Colorado, Nevada, and Florida with an enhanced digital footprint.

“The President fights for our equality because he believes we are equal. Mitt Romney would fight against our equality because he believes we do not deserve it,” said Joe Solmonese, an Obama campaign co-chair and president of the Human Rights Campaign, an advocacy group. “We can not afford to go back.”

Obama compromised by Wall Street contributions, conservative group alleges

President Obama is too closely tied to Wall Street, claims a new web video that takes the tone of Occupy Wall Street, though it was produced by a conservative group.

The video, released by the American Future Fund, an Iowa-based organization designed to be “a voice for conservative principles” and “free market ideals,” alleges that raising tens of millions of dollars from Wall Street gave Obama reason to let (presumably culpable) Wall Street executives off easy:

“Nearly four years after America’s financial collapse, not a single senior Wall Street executive has been charged with a crime. Not one. Why? Could it be because Obama raised $49 million from Wall Street – more than any candidate in history? He rewarded top Wall Street donors and supporters with senior jobs. His chief of staff made millions from Wall Street — after Wall Street received billions in bailout money.”

Obama, Romney celebrate tough, compassionate mothers

In two Mother’s Day videos posted to their respective websites, the campaigns working to re-elect President Barack Obama and his likely Republican adversary Mitt Romney packaged the top women in their ranks as strong-willed but compassionate moms who played outsized roles in raising the children of the men vying for the job as leader of the free world come November.

The Romney campaign reprised family videos to highlight the household challenges faced by Ann Romney, who as a tough, doting mother grappled with five rambunctious boys — as well as multiple sclerosis and breast cancer. Ann compassionately disciplined the perceptually quarreling Tagg and Matt, the video notes, and served pancakes to Ben, who needed to be fattened up.

“She is an authentic person,” Tagg says in the video. “You know who she is when you meet her. She doesn’t put on airs. She doesn’t try to be something she’s not. She doesn’t try to measure what she is going to say to gauge how you are going to react. She just says what she thinks.”

“Mitt Gets Worse” on gay rights, pro-Obama video alleges

Pro-Obama super PAC American Bridge has released a new web video outlining Mitt Romney’s various, and potentially incendiary, comments on a spectrum of gay-rights issues — marriage, child rearing, bullying — at different moments in his political career. “The more we learn about Mitt Romney’s attitude toward LGBT people, the worse it gets,” the ad declares.

The video — titled “Mitt Gets Worse,” presumably a play on the “It Gets Better” video project for LGBT youth — shows the presidential candidate repeatedly disavowing same-sex marriage, first as governor of Massachusetts (“Marriage in one state affects all of the states and therefore we have to have a federal standard that says marriage in this country is a relationship between one man and one woman,” he tells an audience) and, later, as a presidential candidate (“Calling it marriage creates a whole host of problems…three thousand years of human history shouldn’t be discarded so quickly”).

Romney’s concerns about the impact of same-sex marriage on “the development of children” are also highlighted: “The consequences of gay marriage fall far beyond just the relationship between a man and woman — they also relate to our kids,” he’s shown saying in one clip. “The development of a child in the history of civilization has been enhanced by the opportunity to learn from the gender characteristics of a mother and a father,” he says in another, although he doesn’t specify which “gender characteristics” he means.

New Obama ads highlight auto bailout, claim moderate recovery

President Obama’s re-election campaign on Thursday released three television ads — two focusing on the auto bailout and a third noting moderate economic improvements since Obama took office — all part of the campaign’s $25 million May marketing blitz.

The ads were a follow-up to what the campaign’s senior adviser David Axelrod called a “foundational” ad called “Go,” airing across nine battleground states and painting a portrait of an America on the economic mend, safer without Osama bin Laden, and relieved that its troops are finally home from Iraq. A nation whose Democratic incumbent simply needs more time.

“Different communities have different interests, or come at some of these issues in different ways, and we want to make sure that we’re getting to them information that is most germane and most relevant,” Axelrod, a former White House aide, said on a recent call with reporters.

West Virginia primary ballot included felon, Virginia’s lacked candidates

 

A convicted felon not only made West Virginia’s Democratic primary ballot, he won 72,544 – or 41 percent - of votes in the contest against Democratic President Barack Obama, and could receive at least one of the state’s delegates to the Democratic National Convention this summer.

The inmate, Keith Judd, is serving a 17-1/2 year sentence at a federal prison in Texas for making threats at the University of New Mexico in 1999.

Judd’s performance was taken as a sign of deep animosity in West Virginia toward Obama, who was handily defeated in the state’s 2008 primary by Hillary Clinton and lost there by 13 percentage points to Republican John McCain in the general election. Joe Manchin, the state’s former governor who is now a Democratic senator, declined to say on Tuesday whether he had voted for Obama.

Pro-Romney Super PAC rekindles “Mommy Wars” in new ad

A pro-Romney Super PAC is out with a new ad resurrecting the frenzy over Hilary Rosen’s accusation last month that Ann Romney had “never worked a day in her life.”

The ad, released by Restore our Future just in time for Mother’s Day, notes that Ann Romney raised five sons and survived breast cancer and multiple sclerosis. “But what does White House insider Hilary Rosen say about Ann Romney?” a narrator asks before playing a clip of Rosen’s remark.

Bill Maher is also featured in the ad, where he’s identified as an Obama donor and shown saying, “Ann Romney has never gotten her ass out of the house.” Maher made the comment during a larger discussion about the meaning of Rosen’s remarks on his show, “Real Time,” on April 13:

The animal nature of the 2012 presidential race

Presumptive Republican nominee Mitt Romney, whom Democrats have raked over the coals for once transporting Seamus, the family dog, in a crate strapped to the roof of the car during a road trip, hit back during a fundraiser at a hotel in downtown Indianapolis on Monday evening, telling the audience that “even the animals are suffering in the Obama economy.”

Democrats have used the tale of Seamus, who lost control of his bowels on the trip to Canada, to portray Romney as an uncaring former private equity executive. But Romney, who makes his corporate acumen the linchpin of his electoral pitch, focused on the story of a couple he met on the trail who owned a struggling veterinary clinic.

The business was down 40 percent and the couple were forced to move to a smaller home and were thinking of selling their business, Romney told the room of roughly 200 supporters, many of whom paid between $2,500 and $50,000 to attend the fundraiser hours before Indiana voters cast ballots in Tuesday’s hotly contested primary.