Blog Posts by Chris Moody

  • Republican senator calls health care law ‘a big effing mess’

    South Carolina Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham celebrated  the second anniversary of President Barack Obama's health care law by calling it "a big effing mess," alluding to Vice President Joseph Biden's comment when the bill was signed in 2010.

    "Two years ago at the Obama health care bill signing the Vice President was overheard telling President Obama, 'This is a big 'effing' deal,' Graham wrote on his official Twitter account, referring to Biden's profanity about the law's passage. "Unfortunately for them, two years later, the vast majority of Americans believe this has become a big 'effing' mess."

    Via Sen. Lindsey Graham's official Twitter feed

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  • Santorum reiterates vow to support Romney if he’s the nominee

    Rick Santorum in San Antonio, Texas. (Eric Gay/AP)Rick Santorum clarified remarks he made in Texas on Thursday when he said Republicans "might as well stay with what we have"which seemed to imply a Barack Obama presidency would be better than electing Mitt Romney. But the former Pennsylvania senator claimed the media was distorting his comments and also reiterated his pledge of support for the party nominee in November.

    In a statement Friday, Santorum said he would "never" vote for President Barack Obama and clarified what he meant:

    "I would never vote for Barack Obama over any Republican and to suggest otherwise is preposterous. This is just another attempt by the Romney Campaign to distort and distract the media and voters from the unshakeable fact that many of Romney's policies mirror Barack Obama's. I was simply making the point that there is a huge enthusiasm gap around Mitt Romney and it's easy to see why—Romney has sided with Obama on healthcare mandates, cap-and-trade, and the Wall Street bailouts. Voters have to be excited enough to actually go vote, and my campaign's movement to restore freedom is exciting this nation.  If this election is about Obama versus the Obama-Lite candidate, we have a tough time rallying this nation. It's time for bold vision, bold reforms and bold contrasts.  This election is about more than Barack Obama, Mitt Romney, or Rick Santorum—this campaign is about freedom and I will fight to restore your freedoms."

    Here's the full quote from Thursday that Santorum said was misconstrued:

    "You win by giving people a choice. You win by giving people the opportunity to see a different vision for our country, not someone who's just going to be a little different than the person in there," Santorum said. "If you're going to be a little different, we might as well stay with what we have instead of taking a risk with what may be the Etch A Sketch candidate of the future."

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  • You won’t catch Ron Paul playing with an Etch A Sketch

    After an adviser for Mitt Romney delivered a now-famous line about resetting the campaign "like an Etch A Sketch," Romney's opponents took to the toy as a way to mock the Republican presidential frontrunner. But not Ron Paul.

    In a new Web ad, the Paul campaign knocked fellow Republican candidates and the media for spending so much time focusing on the line from Romney's aide instead of discussing issues like the debt and the unemployment rate.

    "$15 trillion in debt. 12 million Americans unemployed. A country at war," the text of the ad reads after showing images of the candidates holding up red Etch A Sketches at their campaign rallies. "Tired of the games?"

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  • Santorum suggests that re-electing Obama would be better than a Romney presidency

    (AP/Eric Gay)Rick Santorum suggested Thursday that re-electing President Barack Obama would be better than electing Republican rival Mitt Romney, a statement that is arguably his toughest criticism of Romney to date.

    "You win by giving people a choice. You win by giving people the opportunity to see a different vision for our country, not someone who's just going to be a little different than the person in there," Santorum told supporters in San Antonio. "If you're going to be a little different, we might as well stay with what we have instead of taking a risk with what may be the Etch A Sketch candidate of the future."

    Santorum was referring to Romney, whose campaign strategist said recently that they would be able to "reset" the campaign when they transition to the general election "like an Etch A Sketch."

    [Related: Romney memo calls Santorum Obama's 'most valuable player']

    The Santorum camp later clarified the candidate's remark, saying he didn't mean to insinuate that voters would be better off re-electing Obama than choosing Romney.

    "What he was talking about was that they're just so similar. You've got to have differences to motivate people to vote," Santorum spokesman Hogan Gidley told Yahoo News. "If there's virtually no difference between Barack Obama and Mitt Romney, chances are they won't go out and vote."

    Romney responded in a statement released by his campaign, saying that "any of the Republicans" would be better than Obama.

    "I was disappointed to hear that Rick Santorum would rather have Barack Obama as president than a Republican," Romney said in a statement. "This election is more important than any one person. It is about the future of America. Any of the Republicans running would be better than President Obama and his record of failure."

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  • Romney memo calls Santorum Obama’s ‘most valuable player’

    (AFP/Nicholas Kamm)Mitt Romney's political director released a campaign memo Thursday arguing that Romney is on a steady course to win the party nomination, but cautioned that Rick Santorum's ongoing presence in the race is aiding President Barack Obama's re-election effort.

    "Each day Senator Santorum continues to march up this steep hill of improbability is a day we lose to unite in our effort as Republicans to defeat President Obama," campaign political director Rich Beeson wrote in the memo.  "So as Senator Santorum continues to drag out this already expensive, negative campaign it is clear that he is becoming the most valuable player on President Obama's team."

    Beeson pointed out that Santorum would need to win 70 percent "of all remaining delegates" in the upcoming contests in order to achieve the 1,144 delegates required to secure the party nomination. Romney has already acquired half the needed delegates.

    Santorum's campaign dismissed the MVP label.

    "MVP? Barack Obama and Mitt Romney have been teammates for decades. Both pro-choice, anti-NRA--Mitt Romney wrote Obamacare for Obama. They're on the same side of the issue of cap-and-trade legislation," spokesman Hogan Gidley told Yahoo News. "I wouldn't be surprised if Mitt Romney picked Barack Obama as his running mate."

    The memo comes after two straight primary victories for Romney, in Puerto Rico and Illinois, which increased his delegate count to 563 to Santorum's 263.

    Read the full Romney memo after the jump:

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  • Etch A Sketch stock triples after Romney campaign’s comment

    Rick Santorum holds an Etch A Sketch during a rally in Louisiana. (Bill Haber/AP)If you didn't invest in the Etch A Sketch market this week, you totally missed out.

    The stock price for Ohio Art Co., which manufactures the toy, tripled on the day an aide for Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney said the campaign could hit a "reset button" after the primary season "almost like an Etch A Sketch."

    "You can kind of shake it up and restart all over again," Romney adviser Eric Fehrnstrom said on CNN Wednesday when asked if the conservative positions Romney has taken during the primaries would hurt him in the general election.

    The comments exploded online, fueled by the narrative that Romney's positions are written not in stone but in polystyrene beads. Bloomberg Businessweek's Matt Townsend was the first to spot the uptick in the company's stock price:

    "The thinly traded toymaker more than tripled to $12.50 on one transaction of 500 shares at 10:41 a.m. in New York on the over-the-counter market. It was the biggest intra-day move for the shares since at least 1980, according to data compiled by Bloomberg."

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  • National tea party group warms up to Mitt Romney

    After a protracted battle against Mitt Romney, one national tea party group is waving the white flag.

    The Washington Times reports that FreedomWorks, a Washington-based group that has organized some of the largest tea party rallies in the country and has opposed Romney's candidacy from the beginning, has accepted a Romney candidacy and is prepared to support him.

    "It is a statistical fact that the numbers favor Mitt Romney," FreedomWorks Vice President Russ Walker told the Times on Tuesday. "We are dedicated to defeating Obama and electing a conservative Senate that will help Romney repeal Obamacare and address the nation's economic and spending challenges."

    The decision is one that conservatives and tea party supporters around the country who have voted against Romney in state primary contests will be forced to consider if he continues to accumulate delegates in the upcoming state contests.

    Last year, FreedomWorks staged a counter rally against the presidential candidate when he addressed a tea party meeting in Concord, N.H. In a statement before the event, a spokesman for the organization said that Romney's record as governor of Massachusetts "represents everything the tea party stands against," and said his group was "standing on principle, not politics."

    But as other candidates running as the conservative alternative to Romney began to fall away, FreedomWorks softened its tone, signaling that support for him may be inevitable. In a September 2011 interview with the Huffington Post, FreedomWorks CEO Matt Kibbe suggested that if Romney were to be become the nominee, tea party supporters should rally around him.

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  • Romney campaign reiterates ‘reset button’ line, opponents pounce

    Courtesy of TalkingPointsMemo.com

    CHICAGO—Mitt Romney has said for weeks that his campaign will be able to hit a "reset button" if he receives the party's nomination, but his opponents pounced on the idea Wednesday when a campaign spokesman reiterated the theme, saying the general election "is like an Etch A Sketch, we shake it up and start all over again."

    When asked during an interview on CNN if  the conservative positions Romney has taken during the Republican primary season "would hurt him with moderate voters in the general election," campaign spokesman Eric Fehrnstrom suggested Romney would receive a fresh start against President Barack Obama.

    "Well, I think you hit a reset button for the fall campaign," Fehrnstrom said. "Everything changes. It's almost like an Etch A Sketch. You can kind of shake it up and restart all over again."

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  • Primary Day in Illinois: In search of Republicans in Obamaland

    Chicago voter Kenneth Finneky (Chris Moody/Yahoo)CHICAGO—It takes some effort to spot Republican voters here in Cook County, the home of President Barack Obama and the deep blue region of a state that hasn't voted Republican in a generation.

    But they're out there.

    An initial search Tuesday morning for this rare specimen in downtown Chicago was a bust. On the first floor of an Erie Street high-rise, a handful of poll workers sat together in a row at a table covered in ballots, but there were few takers, and no one at the time was voting in the Republican primary.

    So it was off to the outer reaches of the city, where higher-trafficked precincts were sure to yield a more robust sample. I crossed the Chicago River, the green dye from St. Patrick's Day long gone, and sped northwest on the Kennedy Expressway, where I found a precinct in the quiet Gladstone Park neighborhood with a steady flow of voters. A row of campaign signs lined the sidewalk outside, but alas, not one bore the name Romney, Santorum, Gingrich or Paul. Volunteers for local Democrats stood near the street enjoying the warmth of Chicago's freak winter, while children with campaign stickers on their hands ran around in a nearby park.

    [Related: Romney’s odds in Illinois safe as polls open]

    Then, out of the precinct walked Kenneth Finneky, a local retiree sporting a "Blagojevich" T-shirt tucked into a pair of blue shorts. He voted in the Republican primary—found one. He wouldn't say who he supported, but he was willing to talk about his shirt.

    "I happened to be walking down the street and some woman was passing them out," he said, recalling how he came to own the garment bearing the name of the recently incarcerated former Illinois governor. "And I'll wear anything as long as it's free."

     

    As for what kind of candidate he might have voted for:  "I like to take care of the guy who can take care of me," he said. "And that's how I look at it. I'm from the old school, OK? I'm from the old, old school."

    With that, the search continued. For a long time, it was nothing but Democrat after Democrat. Many said they didn't care much about the Republican primary, and didn't care much for the people in the Republican primary, for that matter.

    "I'm considering voting for Santorum to help the president," lifelong Democrat Sean Walsh said, but ultimately resisted the temptation.

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  • Santorum explains his change of heart regarding Romney

    Mitt Romney's presidential campaign gleefully released a video last week of Rick Santorum endorsing him for president in 2008, when Santorum called Romney "the conservative" in the primary that year.

    "If you want a conservative as the nominee of this party," Santorum said at the time, while Romney stood behind him, "you must vote for Mitt Romney." But as Romney's chief rival four years later, Santorum has gone from praising him as the only conservative in a Republican primary to blasting him as a "moderate" who is "uniquely disqualified" to debate President Barack Obama in the general election.

    But Romney was not in office from 2008 to 2012 and thus didn't exactly implement legislation that could be scrutinized as too moderate. So why the change of heart?

    Santorum says it was a matter of betrayal.

    "What Governor Romney did was betray what he said he was going to be," Santorum told reporters after a rally in Illinois on Monday. "He said he had reformed. He said he was going to be a conservative. Then he went out and proposed and supported the Wall Street bailouts, now he goes out and defends the Romneycare proposal, which is clearly a failure, and one that was clearly a model for Obamacare. And he went out and advocated for his program to be the model for Obamacare."

    [Related: Romney pulls ahead in Illinois, Santorum to spend primary night in Pennsylvania]

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