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Archive for January 22nd, 2008

Washington Prowler
Huckabee Broke
By The Prowler
Published 1/22/2008 12:08:32 AM

Less than a month after a huge upset victory, and promises that fundraising would be ramped up, former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee is asking his senior staff to keep working for him without pay, while lower level campaign staff are seeing their salaries cut dramatically or eliminated altogether.

“The goal is to get a leaner, meaner campaign structure moving into Super Tuesday,” says a senior campaign adviser.
But many of those being asked to take the cut are refusing, and walking away, leaving the campaign with holes to fill.

“The money simply hasn’t come in at the rate that we expected,” says the aide. “Florida is a $7 million commitment that we can’t meet, and if we did, that leaves us exposed for Super Tuesday, where we have a lot of states and a lot media buys. We had to make tough decisions.”

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The ad features Governor Romney addressing the need for conservative change in Washington, especially when our economy is slowing.  With the experience of having worked in business and the vision for strengthening our economy, Governor Romney is ready to take action today.  He has proposed a conservative strategy to cut individual taxes, reduce the tax burden on businesses, make America more globally competitive and help guide homeowners through this housing crisis.  With our economy facing challenge, we need a leader with Governor Romney’s experience and plan to strengthen America.

The ad will begin airing today in Florida.  The script and ad facts follow: 

Script For “Conservative Change” (TV :30):

GOVERNOR MITT ROMNEY: “Today our economy is slowing.  Many feel anxious about the future.

“I know how America works because I’ve spent my life in the real economy.

“I ran a business, turned around the Olympics, and I led a state.

“My plan will make our economy strong.

“We need to invest in people and businesses with tax cuts that will get us moving again.

“Washington is broken, but we can fix it with real conservative change.

“I’m Mitt Romney and I approved this message.”

AD FACTS: Script For “Conservative Change” (TV :30):

GOVERNOR MITT ROMNEY: “Today our economy is slowing.  Many feel anxious about the future.”

· Florida Times-Union: “Jacksonville’s unemployment rate jumped to its highest level in 2 1/2 years last month, a sign that the local economy could be faltering along with the national economy. The jobless rate in the Jacksonville metropolitan area – consisting of Duval, Baker, Clay, Nassau and St. Johns counties – jumped from 4 percent in November to 4.3 percent in December, the Florida Agency for Workforce Innovation reported Friday. That’s the highest local unemployment rate since it reached 4.4 percent in June 2005.” (Mark Basch, “First Coast Jobless Rate Shoots Up,” Florida Times-Union [Jacksonville}, 1/19/08)

· Orlando Sentinel: “Figures released Friday show an unfamiliar spike in the area’s joblessness, and economic observers say the cause is a huge slump in the housing market that has dampened spending across other sectors of the economy. Unemployment reached 4.7 percent in December, a jump of 1.6 percentage points from a year earlier, according to preliminary numbers released Friday by Workforce Central Florida.” (Adrian Uribarri, “Lake County Unemployment Rate Shoots Up,” Orlando Sentinel, 1/19/08)

· St. Petersburg Times: “Are we in a recession or just teetering on the edge? Economists are debating the point as conditions deteriorate: Foreclosures, bankruptcy filings and unemployment are rising. Florida reported Friday that the state’s jobless rate rose to 4.7 percent last month from 3.3 percent a year ago. Real estate sales and stock prices are tanking. That’s the big picture and it’s still murky. The little picture is a whole lot clearer. If you’ve lost your job or your income has fallen, the recession has arrived.” (Helen Huntley, “A Recession Touches Many Hands,” St. Petersburg Times, 1/21/08)

GOVERNOR MITT ROMNEY:  “I know how America works because I’ve spent my life in the real economy.  I ran a business, turned around the Olympics, and I led a state.”

· Bloomberg‘s Heidi Pryzbyla:  “Romney’s business record is unmatched by the current crop of leading candidates.” (Heidi Pryzbyla, “Romney Finds Classmate Bush’s Management Lapses Unlikely Hurdle,” Bloomberg, 7/1/07)

· The Boston Globe‘s Robert Gavin And Sacha Pfeiffer:  “In time, Romney would lead the shaky start-up from a staff of seven people managing $37 million to 115 people managing $4 billion in assets. During Romney’s 15-year tenure, Bain Capital would post an astonishing record, on average doubling its return on realized investments every year.” (Robert Gavin and Sacha Pfeiffer, “Reaping Profit In Study, Sweat,” The Boston Globe, 6/26/07)

· Fortune‘s Marcia Vickers: “He is, after all, the most serious major-party presidential candidate to come out of the business world since … well, since his father, George Romney, onetime CEO of American Motors, who ran in 1968.” (Marcia Vickers, “The Republicans’ Mr. Fix-It,” Fortune Magazine, 6/27/07)

· The Associated Press‘ Debbie Hummel:  “Romney took over as head of Salt Lake’s Olympic organizing committee in February 1999 after it was revealed Salt Lake organizers doled out more than $1 million in cash and gifts to members of the International Olympic Committee to win the 2002 bid. Under Romney’s leadership, the Games were lauded as a critical success, a model of post-Sept. 11 security and turned a $100 million profit. Romney, a successful venture capitalist before the Games, wrote a book after titled ‘Turnaround: Crisis, Leadership and the Olympic Games.'”  (Debbie Hummel, “Utah’s ‘Adopted Son’ Returns To State For Presidential Fundraiser,” The Associated Press,  2/21/07)

· U.S. News & World Report‘s Dan Gilgoff:  “Hired in 1999 to turn around the scandal – and debt –plagued Salt Lake City Olympic committee, Romney put it in the black and oversaw a successful Olympics in 2002. He was elected governor of Massachusetts that same year. With a Democratic-controlled state legislature, he managed to balance the budget without raising taxes.” (Dan Gilgoff, “A Massachusetts Conservative,” U.S. News & World Report, 2/12/07)

· The Weekly Standard‘s Terry Eastland:  “As governor, Romney has scored another turnaround, conservative in both ends and means. Told during the campaign that he would inherit a deficit of between $500 million and $1.5 billion, Romney discovered upon taking office a $650 million deficit in fiscal 2003 and an anticipated one of $3 billion in fiscal 2004. Romney balanced the 2003 budget, and he finished 2004 with a $700 million surplus. A reviving economy helped, but Romney didn’t tax or borrow, and he reduced spending through government consolidation and reform.”  (Terry Eastland, “In 2008, Will It Be Mormon In America?” The Weekly Standard, 6/6/05)

GOVERNOR MITT ROMNEY:  “My plan will make our economy strong.  We need to invest in people and businesses with tax cuts that will get us moving again.  Washington is broken, but we can fix it with real conservative change.  I’m Mitt Romney and I approved this message.”

· Governor Romney Will Permanently Reduce The Lowest Income Tax Bracket to 7.5%.  “Permanently cutting taxes for all taxpayers will put more money in workers’ pockets and stimulate consumer confidence and spending.”  (Romney For President, “Strategy For A Stronger America: The Romney Economic Stimulus Plan,” Press Release, 1/19/08)

· By Cutting The Lowest Tax Rate From 10% To 7.5%, We Will Provide Up To A $400 Tax Cut To Each American Taxpayer.  (Romney For President, “Strategy For A Stronger America: The Romney Economic Stimulus Plan,” Press Release, 1/19/08)

· Governor Romney Will Permanently Eliminate Payroll Taxes On Employees Over The Age Of 65.  “It is not fair that seniors that have worked their whole life and earned their full Social Security benefit continue to owe payroll taxes to the federal government.”  (Romney For President, “Strategy For A Stronger America: The Romney Economic Stimulus Plan,” Press Release, 1/19/08)

· Governor Romney Will Make Middle-Class Savings Tax Free.  “Governor Romney’s plan will allow middle class Americans to save tax free by changing the tax rate on interest, capital gains and dividends to absolutely 0%.  By helping more Americans save and invest, we can meet the challenges of an aging population and ensure the financial security of America.”  (Romney For President, “Strategy For A Stronger America: The Romney Economic Stimulus Plan,” Press Release, 1/19/08)

· Governor Romney Will Institute Immediate 100% Expensing Of New Equipment Purchased By A Business For A Two-Year Period Retroactive To January 1, 2008. “This plan would allow both large and small businesses to immediately invest in new equipment and capital improvements, which would immediately stimulate the economy and create new jobs.”  (Romney For President, “Strategy For A Stronger America: The Romney Economic Stimulus Plan,” Press Release, 1/19/08)

· Governor Romney Will Reduce The Corporate Tax Rate To 20% Over Two Years.  “Governor Romney believes we should immediately act to reduce the corporate rate to 25% for 2008 and 20% in 2009.  A permanent U.S. corporate tax rate of 20% will attract capital, stimulate investment, and increase American competitiveness with the rapidly growing economies of the world.”  (Romney For President, “Strategy For A Stronger America: The Romney Economic Stimulus Plan,” Press Release, 1/19/08)

· Governor Romney Will Reform And Expand Federal Housing Administration (FHA) Loan Portfolio Limits.  Governor Romney will lower the amount of upfront down payment a borrower must make, allowing FHA to help nonprime borrowers who may not be able to meet the current requirement.  Governor Romney will also raise the maximum loan amount eligible for FHA insurance, allowing FHA to serve more borrowers in higher-priced areas.  (Romney For President, “Strategy For A Stronger America: The Romney Economic Stimulus Plan,” Press Release, 1/19/08)

· Governor Romney Will Expand NeighborWorks America’s Foreclosure Avoidance Initiative.   Governor Romney proposes expanding NeighborWorks America’s Foreclosure Avoidance Initiative to help American homeowners stay in their homes.  NeighborWorks America assists homeowners by offering foreclosure counseling and identifying refinancing opportunities for U.S. homeowners.  (Romney For President, “Strategy For A Stronger America: The Romney Economic Stimulus Plan,” Press Release, 1/19/08)

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Romney for President
By the Editors

December 11, 2007

Many conservatives are finding it difficult to pick a presidential candidate. Each of the men running for the Republican nomination has strengths, and none has everything — all the traits, all the positions — we are looking for. Equally conservative analysts can reach, and have reached, different judgments in this matter. There are fine conservatives supporting each of these Republicans.

Our guiding principle has always been to select the most conservative viable candidate. In our judgment, that candidate is Mitt Romney, the former governor of Massachusetts. Unlike some other candidates in the race, Romney is a full-spectrum conservative: a supporter of free-market economics and limited government, moral causes such as the right to life and the preservation of marriage, and a foreign policy based on the national interest. While he has not talked much about the importance of resisting ethnic balkanization — none of the major candidates has — he supports enforcing the immigration laws and opposes amnesty. Those are important steps in the right direction.

Uniting the conservative coalition is not enough to win a presidential election, but it is a prerequisite for building on that coalition. Rudolph Giuliani did extraordinary work as mayor of New York and was inspirational on 9/11. But he and Mike Huckabee would pull apart the coalition from opposite ends: Giuliani alienating the social conservatives, and Huckabee the economic (and foreign-policy) conservatives. A Republican party that abandoned either limited government or moral standards would be much diminished in the service it could give the country.

Two other major candidates would be able to keep the coalition together, but have drawbacks of their own. John McCain is not as conservative as Romney. He sponsored and still champions a campaign-finance law that impinged on fundamental rights of political speech; he voted against the Bush tax cuts; he supported this year’s amnesty bill, although he now says he understands the need to control the border before doing anything else.

Despite all that and more, he is a hero with a record that is far more good than bad. He has been a strong and farsighted supporter of the Iraq War, and, in a trying political season for him, he has preserved and even enhanced his reputation for dignity and seriousness. There would be worse nominees for the GOP (see above). But McCain ran an ineffectual campaign for most of the year and is still paying for it.

Read more here.

NRO is a very reliable place to understand true Conservatism and the essential dynamics of the Republican Party. This endorsement is a nice check that supporting Mitt Romney is the right thing to do.

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