Tales from the Trail

Obama ad on Romney’s tax plan: he pays less, you pay more

President Barack Obama’s campaign on Thursday released a new television advertisement hitting Republican presidential hopeful Mitt Romney for paying what it considers to be a low tax rate in 2010 and for pushing a tax plan that could most benefit Americans earning more than $1 million per year.

The 30-second spot features a montage of ostensibly “average” Americans — one comparing prices at the grocery store, another scrutinizing a work report, another sifting through bills at the kitchen table — and then flashes to a grinning Romney.

“You work hard, stretch every penny, but chances are you pay a higher tax rate than him,” the narrator says, referring to Romney’s 2010 tax rate of 13.9 percent and 2011 estimated tax rate of 15.4 percent.

Romney, who made his fortune founding and growing Bain Capital, released tax information from 2010 and a draft of his 2011 returns after being chided by Republican rivals during the contentious Republican primary. The Obama campaign has since taken up the issue in television ads and messaging.

In response, Romney has said that Obama demonizes capitalist success and wants to divert attention away from the sluggish American economy and roughly 8 percent unemployment — seen as the Democrat’s chief weaknesses as he runs for re-election in November. Releasing more returns would just provide more fodder for distorted attacks, Romney has said.

Romney getting more confident in race against Obama

COUNCIL BLUFFS, Iowa – Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney is sounding increasingly more confident about his chances against President Barack Obama after a week of big fund-raising numbers and what his campaign feels are mistakes made by the Democratic side.

“There’s some shot that I might get elected president. There’s more than a good shot,” Romney told a Main Street Cafe roundtable of farm business leaders on Friday in western Iowa.

His reasons for optimism include outdueling the Obama fund-raising juggernaut in May, bringing in nearly $77 million to the Democrats’ $60 million, and a two-day Texas swing this week that brought in $15 million, money that will be vital in paying for televisions ads.

Perry speaks about his faith and failings

The subject was faith not policy in Republican presidential frontrunner Rick Perry’s  speech at Liberty University.

In the 20-minute speech described as “perhaps his most reflective and personal,” the Texas governor made no mention of the biggest issue thus far in the 2012 presidential race – jobs -  or his views on President Barack Obama, The Washington Post reported.

“Instead, the evangelical Christian governor spoke the language of the movement with ease,” the newspaper said.

Golden Temple off Obama’s India agenda, Gandhi on

U.S. President Barack Obama will not visit the Golden Temple in Amritsar during his trip to India next month, the White House confirmed on Wednesday

But he will make several other cultural stops, including two related to the revered Indian independence leader Mahatma Gandhi, who is a hero to many African-Americans and was an inspiration to the U.S. civil rights leader Martin Luther King.

Obama is visiting the Gandhi Museum in Mumbai and will also lay a wreath on Gandhi’s grave in New Delhi during his visit.