Tales from the Trail

Mitt Romney still a blank slate, Democrat says

Americans don’t know much about Mitt Romney, except that he’s rich and once offered to make a $10,000 bet in a Republican debate, former White House spokesman Bill Burton said at the Reuters Washington Summit on Wednesday.

Burton, who left the White House to co-found a Super PAC to raise money and create ads aimed at making sure Romney doesn’t defeat President Barack Obama in November, said people need to learn more about the presumptive Republican nominee.

“He’s a blank slate to the American people. People know very little about him -  to the extent that they know anything it’s what they’ve heard on Saturday Night Live or Jon Stewart or the things that they pass around on Facebook,” he said.

“What people know about Mitt Romney is that he’s rich. And that’s kind of it,” Burton said. “That’s why I think it’s important that people understand how it is that he made millions and millions of dollars. Because it’s not like he’s Steve Jobs or Bill Gates or somebody who had this great idea and was an entrepreneur and able to sell it to the American people.”

Photo credit: Bill Burton, senior strategist of Priorities USA Action, speaks during the Reuters Washington Summit in Washington, June 27, 2012. REUTERS/Yuri Gripas

Two Bills on the Hill. One mission

Bill Clinton and Bill Gates banded together on one mission Wednesday: deliver a message to Capitol Hill that increasing funding for the U.S. Global Health Initiative would be good foreign policy and the right thing to do.

SENATE/The program administered by the State Department works to improve healthcare in poor nations, with a particular focus on women and children. The Obama administration proposes to invest $63 billion in the program over six years. The State Department’s budget request for FY2011 includes $8.5 billion for GHI.

The former president and the founder of Microsoft have more in common than just their first names — they both head foundations that focus on global health. The two Bills testified before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee that while they were aware of the federal budget challenge, adding to the Global Health Initiative now would pay off in the long run.