Huffpost Politics

HUFFPOST HILL - Romney Campaign Urges Sick To Vote For 2006 Mitt Romney

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Mitt Romney's motorcade didn't stop when it was chased by an excited Jewish wedding party, perhaps because the candidate believed it was a vengeful kibbutz. Wikipedia locked the pages of Mitt Romney's possible running mates, meaning it will be a little while longer until the world can learn the truth about Tim Pawlenty, "an American politician who served as the 38th Governor of MinnBOB IS GAY." And a Romney campaign ad about a Cleveland suburb featured stock footage of Oklahoma. That begs the question: If Mitt Romney can't locate scenes of economic blight in Ohio, how can we expect him to track down al Qaeda? This is HUFFPOST HILL for Wednesday, August 8th, 2012:

HARRY REID DOES NOT KNOW A BAIN INVESTOR WHO HAS KNOWLEDGE OF MITT ROMNEY KILLING A CANCER PATIENT, BUT STAY WITH US... - The folks over at Priorities USA Action, the pro-Obama super PAC, released a video yesterday featuring former steel worker Joe Soptic claiming that his wife passed away from cancer after Bain Capital shut down the factory where he worked in 2001. That's about as much truth as we can report here. ABC News: "Soptic recounts how his wife became seriously ill shortly after 'my family lost their health care' and died three weeks later...Various fact-checkers has since pointed out that Soptic's wife did not die until 2006, five years after GST Steel closed, and that she had health insurance coverage through her own employer for part of that time. It's also unclear whether having insurance coverage through GST Steel would have meant better prevention or detection of the cancer that ultimately killed her... In separate appearances on morning talk shows, senior Obama campaign adviser Robert Gibbs and deputy Obama campaign manager Stephanie Cutter... distanced themselves from the super PAC, asserting independence from the group, and claimed to know nothing about Soptic's case...[Republicans] note that Joe Soptic appeared in an Obama campaign TV ad earlier this year and has participated in at least one of the campaign's conference calls." You know what also happened in 2001? [ABC News]

Defending Romney against the ad during an appearance on Fox News, campaign spokesperson Andrea Saul mentioned... :: deep breath :: ROMNEYCARE. The earth beneath Romney campaign headquarters began to implode, revealing beneath it a swirling vortex that sucked the entire campaign into a distant realm from which it can never return. "'To that point, if people had been in Massachusetts, under Governor Romney's health care plan, they would have had health care," she said. "'There are a lot of people losing their jobs and losing their health care in President Obama's economy." [Politico]

Want to know how Bain Capital's origins are tied to the right wing death squads from El Salvador's long-lasting civil war? Grim and Cole Stangler are on it.

COUNTER-TERRORISM OFFICIAL SIGHS DEEPLY, DISMISSES CLAIMS MUSLIM BROTHERHOOD HAS INFILTRATED THE GOVERNMENT - John Brennan today responded to a question about a completely serious letter from five conservative Republicans alleging that members of the Muslim Brotherhood are operating within America's foreign policy agencies. "I would refer you to the five members of Congress who made that remark," he said at a Council on Foreign Relations event. "I have no idea of what it is they are making reference to, and I'm not going to even divine what it is that sometimes comes out of Congress." Even if there were members of an extremist Muslim group operating in, say, the State Departemt, we have to imagine the devout infiltrators would have fled the agency at the debauched sight of Hillary Clinton's immoral booty grinding in South Africa. [HuffPost's Amanda Tekrel]

The Talmud speaks of the sanctifying of the marriage by chasing heavily-guarded motorcades (this part comes right after the chuppah). Here's a good example, via Romney's pool report: "Upon arrival in Lakewood [N.J.], some unusual things happened. First, the motorcade passed a man dressed in American flag shorts running down the street toward the venue here while waving an American flag. 'Whooooo!' he exclaimed, as your pooler's van passed. Then, as we turned into Lake Terrace, the motorcade drove past an Orthodox Jewish wedding party that had been posing for pictures outside. Immediately, the family abandoned the bride and groom and began chasing Romney's car in the parking lot, waving cameras. The candidate's SUV drove around a corner to a back entrance, followed by at least 10 members of the wedding party who tried to run up to Romney's car by were halted first, by a wood fence, which one man tried to scale, and then by Secret Service agents, who did not look pleased. 'Oh you're Secret Service,' one woman said, as she was asked by an agent to move back. 'We just want to see Romney.'" [HuffPost]

DAILY DELANEY DOWNER - Baby Boomers are more worried than those in other age groups about retirement security, according to a poll released Wednesday by seniors advocacy group AARP, and half of them expect they will never retire....It's unusual for Boomers to have such pronounced economic worries, according to one of the pollsters responsible for the data. "People between 50 and 64 in general are at the peak of their earning power," Guy Molyneux, a partner with Hart Research, which conducted the survey. "We do not expect to see the highest levels of economic anxiety among that age cohort." [HuffPost]

DOUBLE DOWNER - Boomer anxiety is less surprising given the effect of the financial crisis on 401(k) plans, shrunken home values and the fact that fewer and fewer companies offer defined-benefit pension plans. Not to mention the threat of prolonged joblessness -- while still lower than the national average, unemployment rates for older workers have reached record levels as Boomers cling to the labor force. And the average duration of unemployment for someone older than 55 and up is nearly a year, compared with 35 weeks for younger workers. What's more, half of Americans die broke, according to a recent study. [Hang in there!]

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SECRETIVE RICH GUY WITH ENVIABLY PERFECT LIFE NOT WELL LIKED BY AMERICANS: POLL - A survey conducted by the Washington Post and ABC News bodes ill for Mitt Romney, who doesn't seem to understand that voters want someone they can aspire to be, not someone who makes their own lives seem held back by hardship not endured by the more fortunate. WaPo: "While 40 percent of voters now say they hold a favorable opinion of the former Massachusetts governor--virtually unchanged from May--those holding negative views of Romney ticked higher in the new poll, from 45 percent to 49 percent. Meanwhile, President Obama remained in positive territory on that measure, with 53 percent of voters reporting they hold favorable opinions of the incumbent. Only 43 percent say they feel unfavorably towards him...More independents view Obama favorably than unfavorably, by a 53 to 40 percent margin. Their opinions of Romney were nearly reversed, with 37 percent viewing him favorably and 50 percent unfavorably." [WaPo]

@emilyprollcall: Wow @American_Bridge compiled 493 pgs of oppo rsrch on @timpawlenty, @robportman 347, jindal 313, @RepPaulRyan 290 bit.ly/MNiob6

Wisconsin Senator Ron Johnson wants Harry Reid to apologize for making his claims about Mitt Romney's taxes on the Senate floor. "It's totally inappropriate for the Majority Leader to take to the floor of the Senate and basically be a flack for President Obama," told reporters today, apparently forgetting the thousands of other times Reid has done so. "I think Senator Harry Reid really owes Governor Romney an apology...I think he owes the Senate an apology." [HuffPost's Amanda Terkel]

OBAMA CAMPAIGN'S CURIOUS RED STATE STRATEGY - When it comes to campaigning in solidly red states, the Obama campaign is taking its cues from the boxing scene in Cool Hand Luke -- it's getting beaten to a pulp, but it keeps coming back for more, confident that its ingratiating itself to onlookers. Politico: "the red state outreach isn't a mistake or an accident, Obama's campaign staffers say. They're not pretending they can win on reliably Republican turf, but they say this is part of a plan they'll stick to through Election Day. They're trying to preserve Obama's brand as the candidate reaching out to all Americans. They're worried that just asking for cash in red states without at least making a show of competing there will dampen donations. They've determined that when they talk to Latinos in states such as Texas, they're also heard by Latinos they need in Colorado, Florida and Nevada. Plus, the campaign is building an interstate grass-roots effort akin to a chain letter, recruiting paid staffers and volunteers in red states who can spread the president's message in the dozen or so true battleground states via Facebook and other social media, phone calls and even road trips." [Politico]

Senate candidate and rumored septuagenarian Tommy Thompson demonstrates his physical vitality by doing 50 push-ups in the middle of an editorial board meeting at the Journal Sentinel's offices.

GINGRICH DOUBLES DOWN ON ROMNEY'S WELFARE CLAIM - The Romney campaign dispatched the former House speaker and Republican presidential candidate to propagate the incorrect assertion that an Obama administration ruling would undo the work requirements of President Clinton's 1996 welfare reforms, a move Gingrich lambasted as "radical." "In many ways Obama is the anti-Clinton," Gingrich said on a conference call. "Clinton tried to move the party to the center, Obama's moved it to the left." Then -- because who wants to vote for a guy who might currently be sitting in a running windowless van parked outside playground? -- Gingrich said Obama is "a direct threat to my two grandchildren's future." [TPM]

Former Republican congressional staffer and welfare reform architect Ron Haskins says Romney's entire welfare jihad is bogus.

An ad broadcast by the Romney campaign last week blaming President Obama for job losses in Ohio featured images of Oklahoma. As Al Zarzour talks about losing his Lyndhurst, Ohio car dealership as part of the auto bailout (GM was already planning to cut dealerships so the claim is iffy), video of a bustling street appears on the screen -- a street located over one-thousand miles away in Oklahoma City (E Sheridan Avenue, to be precise). [HuffPost's Dave Jamieson]

CAMPAIGNS ADVERTISING ON PANDORA - The Romney campaign has begun to buy ad time on the streaming music service. Between songs, a Romney ad appears accompanied by a pop-up notification, asking the listener if they'd like to donate to the former Massachusetts governor's campaign. This is immeasurably preferable to the campaign running one of those Pandora ad jingles that seeks to blend into the music (we've all heard Romney's "America the Beautiful" one too many times, thank you). ProPublica: "Pandora's targeted e-mail sharing pitch isn't new, but it's being offered to political advertisers for the first time this year, a company spokeswoman said. Both Democrats and Republicans, and both local and national campaigns, have used the service to collect voter e-mails. It's among the latest in a series of increasingly sophisticated tactics that campaigns are using to target narrow groups of voters online -- from sending ads to Internet users who have visited a candidate's website, to creating a mobile app for campaign volunteers that marks the names and addresses of nearby voters on a Google map." [ProPublica]

Wikipedia has locked the pages of Mitt Romney's potential running mates. In 2008, Joe Biden and Sarah Palin's pages were heavily edited in advance of their announcements and media outlets -- including Comedy Central's Stephen Colbert -- have alluded to the Wikipedia omen. [The Hill]

HILL STAFFERS THINK HIGHLY OF THEMSELVES, PT. 328,061 - Congress may be on recess, but the casually dressed staffers its members have left behind have in no way put their lofty self-regard on hold. Washington Examiner: "A few overzealous Hill staffers attempted to taint the voting process at a National Journal event Tuesday night. At least 100 Hill and K Street types packed the Pour House to mingle, sip free drinks, and cast their vote for the most influential Hill staffers under 35 -- and more than one was caught trying to stuff the ballot box. A member of National Journal's event staff told Yeas & Nays that he noticed several people returning to the ballot box, despite a clearly defined rule that only one vote per person was permitted. (The watchdog removed the offending ballots from the box.) He also said he noticed some staffers voting for themselves." [Examiner]

Call it the latest explanation of that feeling you get at a crowded Cap Lounge.

BECAUSE YOU'VE READ THIS FAR - Man's best friend.

COMFORT FOOD

- In a gross violation of God's law, a cat behaves like a dog. It's Adam and Eve not... uh... um... a cat acting like a dog. [http://bit.ly/MjmXJZ]

- "The Expendables: The Musical" is a theatrical tour de force. Spoiler: Sylvester Stallone doesn't have much range. [http://bit.ly/PFaSKA]

- All 74 tracks from Bob Dylan and the Grateful Dead's rehearsal for their 1987 tour are available for download. [http://bit.ly/OYJHyd]

- Groucho Marks endorsed a number of things back in the day. Here are the print ads... [http://bit.ly/Tgr5uv]

- The Atlantic has a gallery of large Curiosity rover images from both Mars and mission control. [http://bit.ly/MqToBk]

- Did you hear our GDP groan? It was reacting to this guy teaching himself how to play the Super Mario theme while sitting backward. [http://bit.ly/QFtv64]

- Texts from Nancy Drew. [http://bit.ly/Ms6CE6]

TWITTERAMA

@MarkLeibovich: On deathbed, would hate to look back wishing I'd spent more time on running mate speculation...

@ryanbeckwith: Man, I can't wait to download 14 different apps to find out @MittRomney's Cabinet picks.

@delrayser: That's the 2nd time in 3 tweets he's typed it, so I'm starting to think @ChuckGrassley really believes the word for no rain is "droughth."

ON TAP

TONIGHT

5:00 pm: Tarryl Clark, a Democratic candidate looking to unseat freshman Chip Cravaack, solicits funds in the nicest, most Minnesotan way possible. [St. Louis Park, MN].

TOMORROW

All day: Mike Enzi could've named his PAC "Making Underprivileged Children Excel PAC," but that wouldn't have enticed campaign contributors the his actual PAC name "Making Business Excel PAC," would. Anyhoo, Enzi hosts some of his most generous benefactors for a "Day in the Tetons." [Jackson Hole, WY]

5:00 pm - 7:00 pm: Man the Merlot, the speaker is coming! Judy Biggert gets a big boost for her campaign event with a John Boehner appearance. The event is being held in Rich Harvest Farms in Sugar Grove, which just about sounds like the most magical place in the universe. [Sugar Grove, IL]

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