The Romney campaign promised to reveal more details about its agenda, because apparently leaving "God" on the nickel isn't enough for you people. Steve King wants to remove calorie limits on school lunches because everyone knows declining literacy rates are directly correlated to declining pizza fridays. And Romney's wish that his dad were Mexican provides a great plot to Back to the Future IV: Mitt stops his Mexican dad from self-deporting so his parents meet and he doesn't evaporate. This is HUFFPOST HILL for Monday, September 17th, 2012:
ROMNEY'S 'GUNS AND RELIGION' MOMENT - Undercover video provided to Mother Jones features Mitt Romney speaking derisively about nearly half the country to a group of major donors. "There are 47 percent of the people who will vote for the president no matter what," he says. "All right, there are 47 percent who are with him, who are dependent upon government, who believe that they are victims, who believe the government has a responsibility to care for them, who believe that they are entitled to health care, to food, to housing, to you-name-it. That that's an entitlement. And the government should give it to them. And they will vote for this president no matter what...These are people who pay no income tax." [Mother Jones]
Reality called, it misses you: "I have inherited nothing," Romney said at the fundraiser. "There is a perception, 'Oh, we were born with a silver spoon, he never had to earn anything and so forth.' Frankly, I was born with a silver spoon, which is the greatest gift you can have: which is to get born in America." [Ibid.]
YOU'RE NOT INVITED TO THE WAYS AND MEANS SECRET MEETING - Politico: "House Ways and Means Committee members of both parties will hold a rare private meeting Thursday to discuss the mess of tax provisions expiring at the end of the year, several sources told POLITICO. It's the biggest issue facing Congress right now: the Dec. 31 expiration of all income tax rates, unemployment benefits and the payroll tax holiday. Ways and Means - chaired by Michigan Rep. Dave Camp - is ground zero for this fight." [Politico]
ROMNEY: LIKE THE DENTIST FROM 'SEINFELD,' BUT WITH A MEXICAN THING - Romney, at the same fundraiser, quipped that had his father been of Mexican heritage, and not simply born in Mexico, he would have a better chance winning the election. "My dad, as you probably know, was the governor of Michigan and was the head of a car company. But he was born in Mexico," he said, "and had he been born of Mexican parents, I'd have a better shot at winning this. But he was unfortunately born to Americans living in Mexico. He lived there for a number of years. I mean, I say that jokingly, but it would be helpful to be Latino." [HuffPost's Matt Sledge]
If you see Joe Biden solemnly kicking a can down an Iowan road, here's why: "Vice President Joe Biden on Monday told Iowans that he knows their state well from campaigning there as a former presidential candidate, a bid that didn't work out quite as planned...'I spent 120 days in Iowa. You saw how effective I am. You know what I mean?' he said. 'But I'm a good vice president.' An older woman at one of the tables responded, 'You haven't done too bad.'" [HuffPost's Jen Bendery]
FOX & FRIENDS DEMOLISHED BY PRECOCIOUS CHILD - Youngster Max Rice let Fox & Friends think he voted for Obama in 2008, but that now he's gonna vote for Romney. They put him on TV this morning and he made fools of them, saying he will vote for Romney only because he lost a basketball game. Erik Wemple caught up with the young man: "Rice was too young to have voted for Obama in the 2008 election, he says, but he did 'support' the candidate. And what he told Carlson on air today -- that he now has to vote for Romney because he lost a one-on-one basketball challenge against a friend -- is actually true. 'I got smoked,' he says. The friend who put the shellacking on Rice, Alex Dern, confirms the match via phone, telling the Erik Wemple Blog that the score in the game as 11 to 3." [Erik Wemple Blog]
DAILY DELANEY DOWNER - Womp womp. Melissa Anders: "Kenneth Hreha was laid off from the Unemployment Insurance Agency last month. Now, he's having a hard time reaching the agency to get his own unemployment questions answered. In an ironic twist of fate, an improving unemployment rate has led to a drop in federal funding, so the UIA has had to lay off about 400 workers. But now those laid off workers, along with thousands of others still receiving unemployment benefits, are facing longer waits on the phone, online and in person to get their benefits issues resolved. Hreha was among 177 limited-term workers who were let go last month. Another 225 permanent staff positions will be cut at the end of the month." [MLive.com]
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WITHOUT FURTHER ADO, THE 'REPUBLICAN PRESIDENTIAL CAMPAIGN IN-FIGHTING' NEWS CYCLE - This Politico piece on tensions within the Romney campaign will provide great fodder for the straight-to-DVD Game Change 2: Judgement Day starring BIlly Baldwin as Mitt Romney and Kevin Dillon as Paul Ryan. Politico: "In what many in the campaign now consider a fundamental design flaw, [Senior strategist Stuart] Stevens is doing three major jobs: chief strategist, chief ad maker and chief speechwriter. It would be as if George W. Bush had run for president in 2000 with one person playing the roles of Karl Rove, Mark McKinnon and Michael Gerson. Or if on the Obama campaign of 2008, David Axelrod had not been backed up by Jim Margolis, Robert Gibbs and Jon Favreau...A mad-professor aura, combined with post-midnight calls to sleeping senior staffers, have led some colleagues to express increasing concern about what the campaign is doing to Stevens -- and what Stevens is doing to the campaign." [Politico]
The piece's kicker perfectly encapsulates Politico's bro nihilism: "'Politics is like sports,' Stevens said. 'A lot of people have ideas, and there's no right or wrong. You just have to chart a course, and stay on that course.'"
@mcalderone: Since Politico story, 20 mentions of Stu Stevens on MSNBC, 12 on CNN and none on Fox News, per TV Eyes search.
ROMNEY CAMPAIGN VOWS A POLICY DETAIL IN EVERY GARAGE, A SPECIFICITY IN EVERY POT - The Romney campaign is vowing to provide the public with more specifics of its agenda, and not just Mitt's favorite "America the Beautiful" verses or whether Paul Ryan starts with his upper- or lower-body regimen when he's P90X-ing. Jon Ward: "Senior Romney adviser Ed Gillespie told reporters that the campaign is in a new phase of relaying more details about their plan for the economy. 'We think voters now, from what we see in data and other research, are looking for, 'Ok, if we make this change how is it going to make my life better? How will things improve?'' Gillespie said. 'We know that they know he has a plan, which is a good thing. But we also know that they'd like to know a little bit more about the specifics, and we're going to meet the demand.'" [HuffPost]
That whole "more details" strategy must be starting tomorrow. Elise Foley: "Romney promised the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce on Monday that he will permanently fix the nation's immigration system, a promise he has made before but still has yet to detail. 'For years, Republicans and Democrats seem to have been more interested in playing politics with immigration than with actually fixing it,' Romney said at the event in Los Angeles. 'Candidate Obama said that one of his highest priorities would be to fix immigration in his first year in office. Despite his party having majorities in both house of Congress, the president never even offered up a bill. Like so many issues confronting our nation, when it comes to immigration, politics has been put ahead of people for too long.'" [HuffPost]
POLL: ROMNEY'S MIDEAST RESPONSE A DUD - A Pew survey conducted late last week finds that the Romney campaign's decision to broadcast a torrent of easily refutable lies was not the most appropriate response to an entire region coming apart at the seams. Pew: "About four-in-ten Americans (43%) have followed news about the attacks on U.S. embassies in the Middle East and the killing of an American ambassador very closely, making it by far the most closely followed foreign news story of the year. Those who have followed this story have much more positive opinions about Barack Obama's handling of the situation than Mitt Romney's comments on the crisis. Nearly half (45%) approve of Obama's handling of the recent attacks on U.S. embassies and the killing of the U.S. ambassador in Libya; 36% disapprove of Obama's handling of this situation. In contrast, only about a quarter (26%) of those who have tracked news on turmoil in the Middle East approve of Romney's comments on the situation; nearly half (48%) disapprove." [Pew Research Center]
WARREN UP IN MASSACHUSETTS - Mark Blumenthal: "two new polls, both released on Sunday, show Warren with slim leads over Republican Senator Scott Brown. The first, conducted by Western New England University's Polling Institute (WNEU) in partnership with the websiteMassLive.com, shows Warren leading by 6 percentage points (50 percent to 44 percent). A previous WNEU poll fielded in June had shown Warren with a narrower 2-point edge over Brown (45 percent to 43 percent). The second new poll, from Public Policy Polling (PPP), a firm that conducts surveys for local Democratic campaigns, gives Warren a 2-point advantage (48 percent to 46 percent). Warren's margin on the new PPP survey represents a net gain of 7 points from its previous poll, conducted just before the Republican convention, which had Brown ahead by 5 (49 percent to 44 percent)." [HuffPost]
Kansas' Board of Elections is allowing President Obama to run in its state, which is awfully nice of it. John Celock: "In a meeting dominated by birther queen Orly Taitz, the Kansas Objections Board voted unanimously to accept President Barack Obama's citizenship and retain him on the state's presidential ballot. The all-Republican board voted to accept a withdrawal of an objection to Obama's eligibility that was filed by Kansas State University employee Joseph Montgomery and accepted paperwork submitted by Obama's campaign attesting to the president's citizenship. Montgomery withdrew his objection on Friday, saying that he and his family had received threatening phone calls." [HuffPost]
LET'S BREED 'EM LARGE: STEVE KING - The Hill: "Rep. Steve King (R-Iowa) has introduced legislation that would repeal a U.S. Department of Agriculture rule that puts a cap on the number of calories in school lunches served to children. King's No Hungry Kids Act, H.R. 6418, would eliminate new USDA guidelines that say children in kindergarten through fifth grade can be served meals containing up to 650 calories, while meals for sixth through eighth graders can have 700 calories, and meals for high schoolers can have 850 calories." [The Hill]
BRITISH PEOPLE SOMEHOW FED UP WITH A GUY NAMED WILLARD - Back when Mitt Romney visited Europe, we all expected him to meander around England, talk about the Special Relationship, say something awkward about tasty crumpets and be done with it. Instead, he alienated everyone. Ned Simons: "It's a good thing for Mitt Romney the English do not have a vote in American elections, as they are 'united' against him becoming the next president of the United States, David Cameron is reported to have said. Speaking to the BBC's Marr programme on Sunday, American film producer Harvey Weinstein claimed the prime minister made the observation in the wake of the Republican candidate's gaffe-prone visit to London in July. "Mitt Romney has that unique distinction of uniting all of England against him with his various remarks," Cameron is said to have told a group of people including Weinstein." [HuffPost]
Obama channels MC Hammer: "U Didn't Build That"
BECAUSE YOU'VE READ THIS FAR - Bulldog adopts wild boar newborns.
NEWSWEEK TRYING TO BOOST PARANOID SUPERMARKET SHOPPER READERSHIP - The cover of this week's Newsweek features a group of angry Muslims accompanied by the headline "MUSLIM RAGE." The story's author, Ayaan Hirsi Ali, claims that this week's violent outpouring is not indicative of a radical minority but accurately reflects the sentiments of mainstream Islam. "The Muslim men and women (and yes, there are plenty of women) who support -- whether actively or passively -- the idea that blasphemers deserve to suffer punishment are not a fringe group," she writes. "On the contrary, they represent the mainstream of contemporary Islam." [Newsweek/Daily Beast]
- Choir and orchestra cover "Call Me Maybe." Carly Rae Jespen will never sound more like the soundtrack to the chase scene from an early Spielberg movie. [http://bit.ly/PKiuAH]
- Puppy takes on a watermelon but watermelon is a soldier, holds the line. [http://huff.to/QSFEnZ]
-Retro advertisements for bacon ("This is a very self-confident slice of bacon). [http://bit.ly/QwmyC5]
- Guy films his face as he bungee jumps. There's a pretty intense wide angle effect which really enhances the eye=popping.[http://bit.ly/O8R9JI]
- NYC Subway commuter really gets into Michael Jackson's "Thriller." [http://bit.ly/RgFGZi]
- Short and zen-inducing informational video explaining how our moon was formed into the pot-marked celestial body it is today (post-Earth collision). [http://bit.ly/x4wK5j]
- The Lincoln trailer with Pee-wee Herman voices. [http://bit.ly/Rb63zQ]
@dbernstein: Automated polls do not understand his reference to candidate "Lizbit Wahhn" #MassholePolitics
@JeffreyYoung_HC: It's the 225th anniversary of the Constitution - and of people yelling "The Constitution!" like that's an airtight argument for their views.
@jeremyscahill: 101010101010111110000...!!!! #MittRage
5:30 pm - 7:30 pm: Anna Eshoo passes the hat at a reception in Livermore, California -- which is the part of the Bay Area for people who wish the Bay Area were more like Tucson. [Livermore, CA]
12:00 pm: Mike Crapo, having asked every single person in Idaho for money, sticks around in D.C. for a fundraising lunch. [220 E Street NE]
5:00 pm - 8:00 pm: The reception we mentioned last week with Dos Equis' Most Interesting Man In The World is finally here. Jonathan Goldsmith, the surprisingly Jewish actor who plays the bon vivant spokesman, plays host. [Nectar's, 188 Main Street, Burlington]
6:00 pm: Observe Republicans in one of their natural habitats, a steakhouse, by attending Saxby Chambliss' fundraiser. [Ruth's Chris Steak House, 724 9th Street NW]
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