What Mitt Romney Didn’t Say

When you learn about Romney’s plan, you know why he doesn’t have much to say.

Mitt Romney capped off the Republican National Convention last night with his big speech, and the reviews are in:

“We heard precious little about Mitt Romney’s plans for the country. By my count, Barack Obama’s 2008 convention speech spent 768 words describing his domestic and economic policies. Romney’s speech spent 260 words. There was almost no mention—and absolutely no description—of his budget, tax, health care or Medicare plans.”
—Ezra Klein of The Washington Post, “Romney’s speech: Where was the policy?”

“The economic plan he laid out is just a rehash of the policies we had in 2007, when the economy started falling apart.”
—Bloomberg News, “Romney: Generic Republican for President”

“Mr. Romney’s big speech, delivered in a treacly tone with a strange misty smile on his face suggesting he was always about to burst into tears, was of a piece with the rest of the convention. Republicans have offered precious little of substance but a lot of bromides (“A free world is a more peaceful world!”) meant to convey profundity and take passive-aggressive digs at President Obama. But no subjects have received less attention, or been treated with less honesty, than foreign affairs and national security—and Mr. Romney’s banal speech was no exception.”
—The New York Times, “Mr. Romney Reinvents History”

“ … a sad evening for an actual reality-based critique of Obama’s record, or a coherent set of proposals for the future … In a word: mediocre, and deeply dishonest as an argument.”
The Daily Beast

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Mitt Romney’s “Unshakeable” Record

Mitt Romney is hoping that his acceptance speech last night will give him a convention reinvention, where he can clear away his past record like someone shaking an Etch-A-Sketch. But there are some things you just can’t shake—like his business record, his Massachusetts record, his offshore funds, and what the Romney-Ryan budget does to Medicare.

Take a look at this video to find out more about Romney’s “unshakeable” record, then share it with your friends.

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Salute the Troops: Two Years After the End of Combat Missions in Iraq

On August 31st, 2010, President Obama addressed the nation from the Oval Office. “So tonight,” he said, “I am announcing that the American combat mission in Iraq has ended.” To mark the historic moment, the President and First Lady joined administration officials and thousands of people from across the country to offer their support and appreciation for our veterans, troops, and military families. Explore some of the video messages, tweets, and facebook posts saluting our men and women in uniform.

Before his Oval Address in 2010, the President traveled to Fort Bliss in El Paso, Texas tospeak with troops who had seen every phase of what had become one of America’s longest wars, and who continue to serve in Afghanistan. This Friday, August 31st, 2012, exactly two-years later, the President Obama will return to Fort Bliss to address troops on the progress we’ve made in Iraq and Afghanistan, and to discuss the steps this Administration has taken to support our service members and veterans at home.

To mark two years since the end of combat in Iraq, and with troops still serving in Afghanistan, take a moment to show your support for those that serve and their families. Here’s how you can participate:

Throughout the week, we’ll update this post to highlight your messages of thanks, and check back for additional details on the President’s speech at Fort Bliss and how you can watch.

To learn more, explore this interactive timeline about the end of the war in Iraq and visit JoiningForces.gov to see how the First Lady and Dr. Biden’s initiative is connecting our servicemen and women, veterans and military spouses with the resources they need to find jobs at home.

Mitt Romney Relied on a Federal Bailout to save Bain & Company

A new report from Rolling Stone reveals how the “legend” Mitt Romney has created about his private sector experience is “basically a lie.”

According to newly uncovered documents obtained by the magazine, Romney returned to Bain & Company as it was on the brink of bankruptcy and used the threat of doling out millions of dollars for executive bonuses to secure a $10 million federal bailout. If Romney carried out his threat, “the losers in this game would not only [have been] Bain’s creditors—including the federal government—but the firm’s nearly 1,000 employees worldwide.”

In the end, the FDIC gave Bain & Company a $10 million bailout while Romney and his partners raked in $4 million from his efforts.

This was a federal bailout for the candidate who opposed rescue loans for the auto industry when there were 1 million American jobs on the line, has railed against bailouts on the campaign trail, and who has made the debunked “you didn’t build that” attack the central premise of his campaign.

Here’s why Mitt Romney owes a big “thank you” to the American people:

“[G]overnment documents on the bailout obtained by Rolling Stone show that the legend crafted by Romney is basically a lie. The federal records, obtained under the Freedom of Information Act, reveal that Romney’s initial rescue attempt at Bain & Company was actually a disaster—leaving the firm so financially strapped that it had “no value as a going concern.” Even worse, the federal bailout ultimately engineered by Romney screwed the FDIC—the bank insurance system backed by taxpayers—out of at least $10 million. And in an added insult, Romney rewarded top executives at Bain with hefty bonuses at the very moment that he was demanding his handout from the feds.

“With his selection of Paul Ryan as his running mate, Romney has made fiscal stewardship the centerpiece of his campaign. A banner at MittRomney.com declared, “We have a moral responsibility not to spend more than we take in.” Romney also opposed the federal bailout for Detroit automakers, famously arguing that the industry should be forced into bankruptcy. Government bailouts, he insists, are “the wrong way to go.”

“But the FDIC documents on the Bain deal—which were heavily redacted by the firm prior to release—show that as a wealthy businessman, Romney was willing to go to extremes to secure a federal bailout to serve his own interests. He had a lot at stake, both financially and politically. Had Bain & Company collapsed, insiders say, it would have dealt a grave setback to Bain Capital, where Romney went on to build a personal fortune valued at as much as $250 million. It would also have short-circuited his political career before it began, tagging Romney as a failed businessman unable to rescue his own firm. …

“[W]hile taxpayers did not finance the bailout, the debt forgiven by the government was booked as a loss to the FDIC—and then recouped through higher insurance premiums from banks. And banks, of course, are notorious for finding ways to pass their costs along to customers, usually in the form of higher fees. Thanks to the nature of the market, in other words, the bailout negotiated by Romney ultimately wound up being paid by the American people.”

Read the full article here.

Paul Ryan: Wrong for the Middle Class

Paul Ryan’s speech at the Republican National Convention in Tampa was full of wrong and misleading statements. If you’ve seen any coverage of it, you know that the consensus among journalists and independent observers is that it was factually challenged.

As the National Journal stated, “Paul Ryan is long on style, shorter on facts.”

He lied about Medicare. He lied about the Recovery Act. He lied about the deficit and debt. He even dishonestly attacked Barack Obama for the closing of a GM plant in his hometown of Janesville, Wisconsin — a plant that closed in December 2008 under George W. Bush.

Paul Ryan failed to offer one constructive idea about what he would do to move the county forward.

Get the facts on the GM Convention here.

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The GOP’s Extreme Platform

The GOP has adopted an extreme platform that is incredibly out of touch. Take a look at just ten of the policies Republicans hope to enact under a Romney presidency:

Ban all abortions, with no exception for victims of rape and incest

  • “We support a human life amendment to the Constitution and endorse legislation to make clear that the Fourteenth Amendment’s protections apply to unborn children. We oppose using public revenues to promote or perform abortion or fund organizations which perform or advocate it and will not fund or subsidize health care which includes abortion coverage.”

Harsh treatment of immigrants

  • “In order to restore the rule of law, federal funding should be denied to sanctuary cities that violate federal law and endanger their own citizens, and federal funding should be denied to universities that provide instate tuition rates to illegal aliens, in open defiance of federal law.”
  • “We insist upon enforcement at the workplace through verification systems so that jobs can be available to all legal workers. Use of the E-verify program—an internet-based system that verifies the employment authorization and identity of employees—must be made mandatory nationwide.”
  • “We support changing the way that the decennial census is conducted, so that citizens are distinguished from lawfully present aliens and illegal aliens.”

Restrict voting rights and civil rights

  • “With a Republican Administration, the Department will stop suing States for exercising those powers reserved to the States, will stop abusing its preclearance authority to block photo-ID voting laws, and will fulfill its responsibility to defend all federal laws in court, including the Defense of Marriage Act.”

Oppose marriage equality

  • “[W]e believe that marriage, the union of one man and one woman must be upheld as the national standard, a goal to stand for, encourage, and promote through laws governing marriage.”

Extreme on taxes

  • “We call for a Constitutional amendment requiring a super-majority for any tax increase with exceptions for only war and national emergencies, and imposing a cap limiting spending to the historical average percentage of GDP so that future Congresses cannot balance the budget by raising taxes.”

Extreme on the environment

  • “The most powerful environmental policy is liberty, the central organizing principle of the American Republic and its people. Liberty alone fosters scientific inquiry, technological innovation, entrepreneurship, and information exchange. Liberty must remain the core energy behind America’s environmental improvement.”

Attack human rights for LGBT people living abroad

  • “The effectiveness of our foreign aid has been limited by the cultural agenda of the current Administration, attempting to impose on foreign countries, especially the peoples of Africa, legalized abortion and the homosexual rights agenda.”

Put airport security in the hands of private firms

  • “We call for theprivate sector to take over airport screening wherever feasible and look toward the development of securitysystems that can replace the personal violation of frisking.”

Scrap the Wall Street Reform law that protects our economy

  • “But no peril justifies the regulatory impact of Obamacare on the practice of medicine, the Dodd-Frank Act on financial services, or the EPA’s and OSHA’s overreaching regulation agenda. A Republican Congress and President will repeal the first and second, and rein in the third.”

Kill Obamacare

  • “We agree with the four dissenting justices of the Supreme Court: ‘In our view the entire Act before us is invalid in its entirety.’ It was the high-water mark of an outdated liberalism, the latest attempt to impose upon Americans a euro-style bureaucracy to manage all aspects of their lives.”
  • “Through Obamacare, the current administration has promoted the notion of abortion as healthcare.”

News Roundup: Lies, Damn Lies, and Romney-Ryan Edition

Ryan misleads on Janesville GM Plant Closing. Read more at the Washington Post.

The Detroit Press debunks Ryan’s claim on the GM Plant. There’s more at the Detroit Press.

The Ryan Budget keeps the same $716 Billion in Medicare savings that Ryan now falsely calls “Medicare cuts.” There’s more at the Washington Post.

The six worst lies of Paul Ryan’s Convention Speech. Read more at ThinkProgress.

GOP was the cause of the S&P Credit downgrade that Republicans blame President Obama for. Read more at The Nation.

Fact-checking the GOP Convention’s second night. Read more at the Washington Post.

The GOP Convention’s biggest myths (so far). Read more at TPM.

Mitt Romney helped secure a federal bailout to keep Bain & Company from collapsing, according to government documents obtained by Rolling Stone.

President Obama backs a Constitutional Amendment to overturn Citizens United. There’s more at the Washington Post.

Empty Rhetoric: “The Vacuum Behind the Slogans.” Read it at the New York Times.