Mitt Romney used the old "father born in Mexico" line to try to appeal to Latino voters while speaking at the United States Hispanic Chamber of Commerce.
Lawrence O'Donnell pointed out in the latest Rewrite, Romney didn't talk about it quite the same way when he is speaking to his fundraising audiences which are not exactly heavily Latino.
Romney said, "[His dad George Romney] was born in Mexico and uh, had he been born of uh, 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. And uh uh, I say that jokingly but it would be helpful to be Latino."
The Republican audience actually found Romney's joke pretty funny.
O'Donnell mused, "Would that same Republican audience laugh if Barack Obama was reminiscing about how his family fled the United States of America to Mexico because his great grandfather found American law limiting him to one wife at a time to be just unbearable?"
In a rare form of unity, Republican leaders joined Democrats in condemning GOP Senate nominee Todd Akin's comments over the weekend suggesting "legitimate rape" rarely causes pregnancy.
While discussing his opposition to abortion tied to instances of rape, the conservative Missouri congressman told a TV station, "First of all, from what I understand from doctors, [pregnancy from rape] is really rare. If it's a legitimate rape, the female body has ways to try to shut that whole thing down." Rep. Akin continued, "But let's assume that maybe that didn’t work or something. I think there should be some punishment, but the punishment ought to be on the rapist and not attacking the child." Akin backtracked later, saying he "misspoke." But the damage had already been done.
The Romney campaign issued a statement following the completely scientifically inaccurate comments saying, "Gov. Romney and Congressman Ryan disagree with Mr. Akin's statement, and a Romney-Ryan administration would not oppose abortion in instances of rape," his campaign said in a statement Sunday.
Just to make sure that message came out loud and clear, Romney addressed the issue himself on Monday. "Congressman’s Akin comments on rape are insulting, inexcusable and, frankly, wrong," Mitt Romney said, distancing his campaign from his fellow Republican. "Like millions of other Americans, we found them to be offensive."
Based upon his understanding of how human biology works, the DCCC started a petition to remove him from the House Science and Technology Committee.
Massachusetts Senate candidate Scott Brown formally called for his resignation from the Missouri Senate race. "As a husband and father of two young women, I found Todd Akin's comments about women and rape outrageous, inappropriate and wrong. There is no place in our public discourse for this type of offensive thinking,” Brown said.
Akin's Democratic opponent, Missouri Sen. Claire McCaskill did not call for his resignation. Instead, she told MSNBC she hopes her challenger's remarks serve as a "gut check" for voters in November.
"I spent 10 years as a prosecutor in the courtroom and did hundreds and hundreds of rape cases, held their hands, cried with them," McCaskill said. "That’s why for me this is incredibly painful, because it shows how many people are out there sometimes in very important positions that just don’t understand the trauma and don’t understand what it means."
President Obama at Andrews Air Force Base in Maryland on Monday.
President Obama pressed lawmakers on Monday to back the Paycheck Fairness Act, legislation that would toughen up current equal pay laws for women.
Amping up the message for female voters, Obama formally backed the bill and reiterated his support during a conference call.
"Congress needs to step up and do its job," said the president as part of a Democratic mega media blitz. "If Congress passes the Paycheck Fairness Act, women are going to have access to more tools to claim equal pay for equal work. If they don't, if Congress doesn't act, then women are still going to have difficulty enforcing and pressing for this basic principle."
Republican nominee Mitt Romney's position is a little more unclear. When asked about the proposal, his team issued more of a non-answer answer. "Of course Governor Romney supports pay equity for women. In order to have pay equity, women need to have jobs, and they have been getting crushed in this anemic Obama economy, losing far more jobs than men. As president, Mitt Romney will create a pro-jobs business climate that will put all Americans back to work."
The White House says American women make 77 cents for every dollar earned by men.
The Senate is scheduled to hold a procedural vote on Tuesday. Though, Dems aren't expected to get enough of the 60 votes needed to debate the bill. The short version: these efforts are more about getting on the record with voters over the issue.
Rick Santorum tried to re-emphasize his main opponent's weaknesses again on the campaign trail. Today, he joked, "One of my opponents recently said, that it would take an act of god for me to win this primary — I agree with him."
The conservative poster boy has reason to worry about his own fate with Republican voters. According to a new Pew Research Center poll, 20% of Republicans who currently support Romney, say that if Rick Santorum wins the nomination, they will likely switch sides and support Obama. Ouch.
In general election match-ups, President Obama beats both GOP frontrunners: Obama leads Romney by 12 points (54% to 42%) and Santorum by 18 points (57% to 39%).
Mitt Romney wants you to know that he likes grits. Grits, a porridge prepared and eaten mostly in the South, became a talking point for the candidate when he credited his aide, Garrett Jackson, with turning him into an "unofficial Southerner." The Yankee presidential candidate went on to say that he was learning to say "y'all" and that "strange things are happening" to him.
Even as the 2012 primary season rolls on, questions about Romney's ability to win over southern voters loom large days before the Mississippi and Alabama primaries on Tuesday. However, he has more delegates than Rick Santorum and it is doubtful that anyone can unseat him as the presumptive nominee in the general election despite his lack of connection with voters.
Newt Gingrich holding up a sign made by a supporter during a campaign rally at the Tampa Jet Center on Monday.
A fight to the death may not be what Republicans want to see in the primary race, and Newt Gingrich promised to cling to the bitter end: the convention.
"I think Romney's got a very real challenge in trying to get a majority at the convention. We will go all the way to the convention," Gingrich threatened on Sunday. "I believe the Republican Party will not nominate a pro-abortion, pro-gun control, pro-tax increase moderate from Massachusetts."
But, a new Pew Research poll suggests that's the last thing voters want to hear. Earlier this month, 44% of Republican-leaning voters rated the GOP candidates as only fair to poor. Today, 52% feel that way. So the more they get to know the pool of candidates, the more dissatisfied they become as the race drags on — they're kinda over it.
Sarah Palin has been very vocal about encouraging a long vetting process. In a recent Facebook post, she accused the GOP establishment of "Stalin-esque" and "cannibal" tactics for trying to speed up the process. She wrote, "there are serious concerns about [Romney's] record and whether as a politician he consistently applied conservative principles and how this impacts the agenda moving forward. The questions need answers now. That is why this primary should not be rushed to an end. We need to vet this."
Mitt Romney is on track to win the Florida primary on Tuesday. A new NBC/Marist poll shows the former Massachusetts governor leading the former speaker by 15 points, 42 percent to 27 percent.
Republican presidential candidate Rick Perry meeting with students after speaking at St. Anselm's College in Manchester, New Hampshire.
Sorry kids, Rick Perry only wants your vote if you're more than 21-years-old.
"Those of you that will be 21 by November the 12, I ask for your support and your vote. Those of you who won't be, just work hard," the GOP hopeful today told a group of New Hampshire college students, according to NBC News.
That's fine and dandy, of course. Though, he might want to consider asking voters between the ages of 18 to 21 for their support as well, as they are, in fact, legally allowed to vote per the 26th amendment.
Texas governor also flubbed the date of the general election, which is scheduled for November 6, 2012, not November 12.
Funny things happen to Perry on college campuses. In October, he told members of Dartmouth's Beta Theta Pi frat house that the Revolutionary War occurred in the 16th century. You know, just 200 years before the colonists fought for independence from England.
A new poll released today by Suffolk University shows a majority of Florida voters believe the Republican party is "intentionally stalling efforts to jumpstart the economy to insure that Barack Obama is not reelected."
Ray LaHood, Obama's Secretary of Transportation — and perhaps more notably a Republican — said just that in an interview with The Daily Beast earlier this week. The Washington Post's Greg Sargent and Washington Monthly's Steve Benen have interesting opinions on what the poll results mean for the 2012 election.
Even though Florida voters admit the GOP's economic sabotage is real, they are evenly split on who to vote for in all 2012 races.
Here is what the Beastie Boys have to say about sabotage: