Quotes of the day

Ann Romney says fellow Republicans who’ve criticized her husband need to “stop it” and realize “how lucky” the party is to have Mitt Romney as its nominee…

“Stop it. This is hard. You want to try it? Get in the ring,” she said. “This is hard and, you know, it’s an important thing that we’re doing right now and it’s an important election and it is time for all Americans to realize how significant this election is and how lucky we are to have someone with Mitt’s qualifications and experience and know-how to be able to have the opportunity to run this country.”…

“It’s nonsense and the chattering class…you hear it and then you just let it go right by,” she told Radio Iowa. “…Honestly, at this point, I’m not surprised by anything.”


With polls showing Mitt Romney locked in tight races with President Obama in Colorado and Nevada, the Republican National Committee — in conjunction with the Romney campaign — is beefing up its operation in the two western battlegrounds.

GOP officials tell ABC News that the RNC is “adding additional staff” in both states — some of whom are being re-assigned from their posts in New Mexico (though the officials noted they “are maintaining offices and staff” there.)…

GOP sources tell ABC they have already “passed the 1 million voter contact mark” in both states. In Nevada, Republicans say they have made “4 times more phone calls and 12 times more door knocks than this time in 2008″ and in Colorado: “4 times more phone calls and 6 times more door knocks than this time” four years ago.


“Right now the undecideds are motivated by their disapproval of the president,” says Republican pollster John McLaughlin. “They want to vote against the president. However, Romney has to give them a reason to vote for him and make the Obama disapproval stick. The Obama campaign’s negative attacks on Romney have been brilliant to stall the normal anti-incumbent vote. If they can’t get them to vote for Obama, they would prefer they just disappear. Convincing them falsely or prematurely that Romney will lose can work just as well.”…

“What tends to happen is the vote decision is driven by two things,” McInturff said. “Your feeling about the direction of the country — where 70 percent say the country is on the wrong track — and their feelings about the president’s performance, which is very negative. I don’t think Romney will get 100 percent of this vote, but I do think a chunk will vote and they will disproportionately break to Romney.”


Romney needs to get specific. But he also must keep it short and sweet – and all of the specific points have to swing back to prosperity, with a particular eye to the coalition he is looking to build. If we follow Polk’s model of four points, then I would suggest the following for Romney:

1. He will reform the tax code. Specifically, he will cut all loopholes that the wealthy have purchased through lobbying efforts and use the money to cut taxes for small businesses and average Americans.

2. He will reduce the deficit by cutting Obama’s wasteful spending and putting our entitlement system on a long-term sustainable path.

3. He will repeal Obamacare and replace it with a system that emphasizes competition and portability – making health insurance more affordable and more secure.

4. He will lower the cost of energy and food. On energy, he will open up new areas for oil drilling and green-light the Keystone pipeline. On food, he will end the madness of the Obama Fed’s money printing, which only helps Wall Street while raising the price of basic necessities for the average American.


Romney’s spending is just starting. This is something that everyone mentions, but then seems to forget: Romney and his allies will probably outspend the president heavily in the next two months.

I don’t think that matters in and of itself. After all, both candidates will have plenty of cash to make their cases, well past the point of diminishing returns.

What does matter, however, is how this disparity was attained. The Obama campaign spent heavily over the summer trying to soften up Romney. It’s unclear how well this worked — the polls were pretty steady and Romney’s favorables actually improved a bit — but a large portion of the basic case against Romney has been made.

In the meantime, the Romney campaign had been very constrained in how it could spend its money; it was limited to primary funds until recently. That means the campaign has largely been outsourced to 527s and campaign committees.

This explains a lot of the Romney campaign to date. During the convention, a parade of people telling tear-jerking stories about how the nominee had helped them out made their way across the stage at the RNC. Stu Rothenberg wondered on Twitter why they hadn’t appeared in ads.

I suspect now that Romney can spend freely, they will appear. Quite frankly, they’ll probably be more effective in the fall, when people are paying attention.


Despite what appears to be a plump bank account and an in-house production studio that cranks out multiple commercials a day, Mr. Romney’s campaign has been tightfisted with its advertising budget, leaving him at a disadvantage in several crucial states as President Obama blankets them with ads.

One major reason appears to be that Mr. Romney’s campaign finances have been significantly less robust than recent headlines would suggest. Much of the more than $300 million the campaign reported raising this summer is earmarked for the Republican National Committee, state Republican organizations and Congressional races, limiting the money Mr. Romney’s own campaign has to spend…

“In a world where we know advertising imbalances lend opportunities for persuasion, it is surprising that any campaign would allow imbalances to continue,” said Erika Franklin Fowler, co-director of the Wesleyan Media Project. “Especially following several weeks of ad dominance by the opponent.”


The financial tide turned against Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney and his key allies, who spent more than they brought in during the month of August, according to disclosures filed Thursday.

Romney’s presidential campaign committee raised nearly $67 million last month — a strong figure — but spent about the same amount building its campaign organization and responding to a barrage of attack ads from Obama and his allies. Even so, the campaign spent just $13.7 million on ads, which was less than the $15 million it spent in July…

The spending left the campaign with about $50 million cash on hand at the start of September, not including the remaining debt, according to the disclosures. Obama, whose August disclosures had not been filed as of Thursday evening, had about $88 million in cash at the end of July.


Republican insiders have been encouraging the campaign to get back to talking up Mitt, and who he is, so far with little luck.

The last night of the GOP convention was devoted to showing Romney’s compassion and charity, which he is famously reluctant to show, seeing any talk of such things as immodest. Speakers included a former assistant to Romney in his Mormon church in Boston, who spoke of how when Romney was the lay pastor of the church, he would devote 15 to 20 hours a week to helping people in the congregation; and a couple who told the story of how Romney comforted and befriended their 14-year old son, afflicted with Hodgkin’s disease, and helped the boy write a will in his last days divvying up his skateboard, model rockets and fishing gear among his friends.

None of those people, or any of the others who gave testimonials to Romney’s character that night in Tampa, have been seen during the campaign since then.


HH: And so as you assess the entire playing field seven weeks from the election, Senator Paul, how do you feel about Mitt Romney’s prospects? Or are you worried about having to weather a second term of Obama, which I can’t even really imagine?

RP: You know, I think I’m in the minority here, but I think the election is over. I think that Romney has already won. The people really are tired of the debt, they’re tired of irresponsible leadership. I think they’re tired of having 23 million people out of work. So I think you’ll find, and this is my prediction, and of course, I could be wrong. I am fallible. But you remember when Reagan just pulled away from Carter at the end? I think that’s what we’re going to see, is people coalesce and find that the country’s just not headed in the right direction with all this unemployment and economic stagnation, and that they want somebody who’s been in business, somebody who’s run successful businesses and created jobs. I think that’s the way it’s going to break down, simply on that issue, is which way do we take the country – with someone who likes American business, or someone who can’t wait to sort of punish, regulate and tax American business.


Republican vice presidential candidate Paul Ryan went to Capitol Hill on Thursday to urge his House colleagues to remain optimistic about the GOP’s chances in November, amid eroding poll numbers and growing anxiety among some activists about the party’s prospects…

“This is going to be an up and down race,” Ryan, a congressman from Wisconsin, said during an appearance at the last scheduled weekly meeting of House Republicans before Election Day, according to multiple people in the room…

“Here’s our commitment: We are going to make this about the big things,” he said. “We need to go on offense, and we need to give our constituents the choice of two futures.”