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RNC: Man Whose Cars Have Their Own Elevator Described As Regular Guy By Woman With Two Cadillacs And No Job

Artwork by DONKEYHOTEY & STEVE BRODNER/THE NATION

THE BOROWITZE REPORT: On the opening night of the 2012 Republican National Convention, the Presidential nominee Mitt Romney received fulsome praise for being a “regular, down-to-earth guy” from his wife, Ann, whose dressage horse, Rafalca, competed in the London Olympics. “Mitt has never let his success go to his head,” Mrs. Romney said. “Take away the seven-thousand-square-foot house in La Jolla and the bank account in the Caymans, he’s still the same fun-loving boy who pinned a gay kid to the ground and cut off his hair.” Mrs. Romney adopted an intimate tone as she attempted to describe “the Mitt only I know.” “Every now and then, Mitt will give me this devilish smile of his, and I know that can only mean one thing,” she said, flushing slightly. “He just fired someone.” MORE

UPDATE: Two people were removed from the Republican National Convention Tuesday after they threw nuts at an African-American CNN camera operator and said, “This is how we feed animals.” Multiple witnesses observed the exchange and RNC security and police immediately removed the two people from the Tampa Bay Times Forum. The convention released a statement saying, “Two attendees tonight exhibited deplorable behavior. Their conduct was inexcusable and unacceptable. This kind of behavior will not be tolerated.” MORE

ANN ROMNEY 2012: When Mitt and I met and fell in love, we were determined not to let anything stand in a way of our future.  I was Episcopalian, he was a Mormon.  We were very young, both still in college.  There were many reasons to delay marriage.  And you know what, we just didn’t care. We got married and moved into a basement apartment. We walked to class together, shared the housekeeping, ate a lot of pasta and Tuna fish.  Our desk was a door propped up on saw horses, our dining room table was a fold down ironing board in the kitchen. But those were the best days. MORE

ANN ROMNEY 1994: They were not easy years. [...] We were happy, studying hard. Neither one of us had a job, because Mitt had enough of an investment from stock that we could sell off a little at a time. The stock came from Mitt’s father. When he took over American Motors, the stock was worth nothing. But he invested Mitt’s birthday money year to year — it wasn’t much, a few thousand, but he put it into American Motors because he believed in himself. Five years later, stock that had been $6 a share was $96 and Mitt cashed it so we could live and pay for education. Mitt and I walked to class together, shared housekeeping, had a lot of pasta and tuna fish and learned hard lessons. [,,,] We were living on the edge, not entertaining. No, I did not work. Mitt thought it was important for me to stay home with the children, and I was delighted.

DAILY KOS: Let’s interrupt this tale of woe for just a minute to reflect on the value of $96-a-share stock back in 1969, when this great triumph over poverty occurred. Andrew Sabl, who dug up this old Boston Globe interview, did some quick calculations to figure out just how “not easy” it was to live off Mitt’s stock portfolio:

By Ann’s own account, the stock amounted to “a few thousand” dollars when bought, but it had gone up by a factor of sixteen. So let’s conservatively say that they got through five years as students—neither one of them working—only by “chipping away at” assets of $60,000 in 1969 dollars (about $377,000 today).

UPDATE: Two people were removed from the Republican National Convention Tuesday after they threw nuts at an African-American CNN camera operator and said, “This is how we feed animals.” Multiple witnesses observed the exchange and RNC security and police immediately removed the two people from the Tampa Bay Times Forum. The convention released a statement saying, “Two attendees tonight exhibited deplorable behavior. Their conduct was inexcusable and unacceptable. This kind of behavior will not be tolerated.” MORE

NEW YORK DAILY NEWS: Christie took his sweet time getting around to mentioning the party’s presidential nominee, but made sure he gave his national audience a warmer, homier version than his local caricature — that of the gruff, finger-pointing blowhard who’s not afraid to shout down a heckler at the Jersey Shore. He didn’t mention President Obama by name, and waited until he was about 16 minutes in until he finally said the R word — Romney — leading to TV images where the GOP candidate and his wife looked less than thrilled. MORE


BOSTON GLOBE:
Ann Romney was so good that the opera was effectively over before the fat man sang. New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, who delivered the official “keynote” address immediately after Ann Romney, wasn’t as likable, or as crucial to the campaign. But he was able to rouse the crowd, and to drive home the Republicans’ most crucial — but also quite dubious — claim: The budget deficit is “strangling” the economy. In fact, the long-term deficit is a serious problem, but none of the pain being felt by the millions of Americans featured in the anecdotes offered by Christie and Ann Romney is because of the deficit. Long-term deficits, when let out of control, drive up the cost of borrowing, but that, thankfully, remains a future worry. Instead, the austerity plan invoked by Christie in New Jersey — the product of the budget cuts that he made and that Romney promises for the country — has helped drive up unemployment in New Jersey to 9.8 percent, a point and a half higher than the national average. Christie’s was a fraudulent argument — but still represents a crucial link in the larger Republican claim that President Obama has choked off the economy by driving up the national debt. MORE

UPDATE: Two people were removed from the Republican National Convention Tuesday after they threw nuts at an African-American CNN camera operator and said, “This is how we feed animals.” Multiple witnesses observed the exchange and RNC security and police immediately removed the two people from the Tampa Bay Times Forum. The convention released a statement saying, “Two attendees tonight exhibited deplorable behavior. Their conduct was inexcusable and unacceptable. This kind of behavior will not be tolerated.” MORE

LOS ANGELES TIMES: Former Sen. Rick Santorum accused President Obama of creating a “nightmare of dependency” and undermining welfare reform as he became the only one of Mitt Romney’s primary rivals to receive a significant speaking role at the Republican convention. In a speech that mentioned Obama frequently, but Romney only in passing, Santorum attacked the president for trying to centralize control over education and for undermining families and freedom. But it was his reprise of an inaccurate Romney campaign attack on Obama over welfare that gave Santorum’s speech its hardest edge. “This summer he showed us once again he believes in government handouts and dependency by waiving the work requirement for welfare,” Santorum said, referring to Obama. In fact, Obama did not waive the work requirement. His administration in July issued a letter to state governments saying that the Department of Health and Human Services would consider requests from states to experiment with new ways to fulfill the work requirements. The letter said that in order to receive waivers to carry out the experiments, states would have to show that their plans would move more welfare recipients into jobs than existing policies. MORE

DAILY NEWS: The recent claims by Mitt Romney’s campaign about President Obama’s welfare-to-work program have been awarded the top dishonesty rating of “four Pinocchios” from the Washington Post and called “wrong” by CNN, a “pants on fire” lie by the Pulitzer Prize-winning Politifact and “simply not true” by Factcheck.org. But Tuesday night at the Republican National Committee in Tampa, Rick Santorum called those false claims something else: a main talking point. The former Pennsylvania senator – who came the closest to derailing Romney during the 2012 GOP primaries – picked up a key Romney attack line when he told delegates that “this summer [Obama] showed us once again he believes in government handouts and dependency by waiving the work requirement for welfare. “I helped write the welfare-reform bill,” Santorum continued. “We made the law crystal clear – no president can waive the work requirement. But as with his refusal to enforce our immigration laws, President Obama rules like he is above the law.” “Basically, it’s not true; it’s inaccurate and misleading,” said Elizabeth Ananat, an assistant professor of public policy and economics at Duke University who studies poverty. She added that the Republican effort to take what had been a bipartisan policy push and “turn it into a cudgel is unfortunate – it’s election-year politics.” Politifact also said that the claim “inflames old resentments about able-bodied adults sitting around collecting public assistance.” More-partisan pundits have had harsher words for the GOP attacks, calling them a “dog-whistle” to appeal to some white working-class voters by linking a black president to stereotypes about welfare recipients not wanting to work. MORE

UPDATE: Two people were removed from the Republican National Convention Tuesday after they threw nuts at an African-American CNN camera operator and said, “This is how we feed animals.” Multiple witnesses observed the exchange and RNC security and police immediately removed the two people from the Tampa Bay Times Forum. The convention released a statement saying, “Two attendees tonight exhibited deplorable behavior. Their conduct was inexcusable and unacceptable. This kind of behavior will not be tolerated.” MORE

HUFFINGTON POST: Artur Davis is set to speak at the Republican National Convention in Tampa, Fla., and the moment stands to be the culmination of his apostasy. Davis was never really all that liberal. Once he landed in Congress, he voted for the Federal Marriage Amendment that would have banned same-sex marriage. He voted to allow drilling for oil and gas in Alaska’s National Wildlife Refuge. And most notably, or notoriously, depending on whom you ask, Davis broke party ranks with the rest of the Congressional Black Caucus to vote against President Obama’s signature health care law, criticizing it as too expensive and unwieldyThose stances, and the distancing from Alabama’s black political power structure, were seen as an attempt by Davis to bolster his conservative credentials and his independence from Obama in deeply red Alabama, with an eye on the state’s governorship. The political repercussions were resounding and total. Though polls had Davis up by 30 points in the Democratic gubernatorial primary, he ended up being throttled by Ron Sparks, who was white, even among black voters. Sparks beat Davis by 70 percent in some black Alabama counties. “You have to understand. I love Artur like a son,” U.W. Clemon, the state’s first black federal judge, told the Birmingham News at the time. “I’ve never personally known a politician with more intelligence, more gifts than Artur, with the exception of President Obama.” “But, I also have to say that I’ve never been more disappointed in a person in my life,” Clemon said about Davis’ no vote on the health care law. “Artur walked away from the people who needed him the most, and he walked away from himself.” MORE

WASHINGTON POST: The letter, signed by 14 Congressional Black Caucus members, accuses Davis of distorting Obama’s record and flip-flopping on “core principles you once held dear.” “We can only conclude that, rather than a true conversion, your actions are the result of a nakedly personal and political calculation or simmering anguish after failing to secure the Democratic nomination for governor of the State of Alabama in 2010,” the members wrote. They also called his support for voter identification laws “unconscionable” after he joined then-Sen. Obama in seeking the resignation of the Justice Department’s voting rights chief after he said such laws do not hurt minorities. They also called Davis out for voting for many of Obama’s top achievements, including the stimulus law, the Wall Street reform bill, the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act, and ending subsidies for oil companies — all of which were opposed by the GOP. They also said Davis supported much of the Affordable Care Act, even though he voted against it. Overall, Davis supported Obama’s record 95 percent of the time, and ran on his friendship and support of Obama two years ago in his failed gubernatorial bid, they said. MORE

UPDATE: Two people were removed from the Republican National Convention Tuesday after they threw nuts at an African-American CNN camera operator and said, “This is how we feed animals.” Multiple witnesses observed the exchange and RNC security and police immediately removed the two people from the Tampa Bay Times Forum. The convention released a statement saying, “Two attendees tonight exhibited deplorable behavior. Their conduct was inexcusable and unacceptable. This kind of behavior will not be tolerated.” MORE

NEW YORK TIMES: “We did build that,” has already been established as one of the more dishonest political memes in a campaign season undisturbed by shame. The Republicans took a clumsy phrase from an Obama speech in July, in which the president pointed out that most American business successes have been assisted by infrastructure, education or incentives underwritten by the government. The Republican spin-masters whipped this into a preposterous claim that Obama denied American entrepreneurs any credit for their creations. The fact that this slogan has been thoroughly debunked has not kept it from being the defining theme in Tampa. MORE

BUZZFEED: Small business woman Sher Valenzuela, who is running for Lt. Governor in Delaware, is giving a primetime speech tonight at the “We Build It” themed day of the Republican convention. Valenzuela gave a PowerPoint-presentation she gave to the Wilmington Women In Business forum in May entirely focused on working with the government to get government grants and contracts to build your business. MORE

MEDIA MATTERS: The experience of a small business owner who will be promoted at the Republican National Convention sharply diverges from the right-wing media myth her speech is intended to promote. On the day that the GOP convention will tout Fox-fueled myth “We Built It” as its primary theme, Delaware Lt. Gov. candidate and small business owner Sher Valenzuela is slated to deliver a speech about small business issues. But contrary to the evening’s theme, Valenzuela’s company, First State Manufacturing, has received millions of dollars in federal loans and contracts. Valenzuela has not only attributed her success in part to this outside assistance, but urged other small business owners to follow the same strategy of seeking government funds. But when FoxNews.com reported on Valenzuela’s scheduled speech, these facts were absent:

An RNC official tells FOX News Tuesday’s schedule also includes a speech by Sher Valenzeula, a Latina candidate for Lieutenant Governor in Delaware. Her campaign website notes she and her husband started an upholstery business that makes padding for baseball umpires and military vests worn by members of the Israeli military.

The “We Built It” convention theme is based on Fox’s distortion of comments made by President Obama, who remarked that business owners succeed with the help of “this unbelievable American system” that includes government spending on infrastructure and education. The right-wing media has deceptively edited Obama’s comments to suggest that the president was insulting small business owners, an attack promptly adopted by Republicans; according to FoxNews.com, Valenzuela’s speech is “meant to directly contrast” Obama’s remarks. MORE

UPDATE: Two people were removed from the Republican National Convention Tuesday after they threw nuts at an African-American CNN camera operator and said, “This is how we feed animals.” Multiple witnesses observed the exchange and RNC security and police immediately removed the two people from the Tampa Bay Times Forum. The convention released a statement saying, “Two attendees tonight exhibited deplorable behavior. Their conduct was inexcusable and unacceptable. This kind of behavior will not be tolerated.” MORE

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