I am not basing this on some figment of my imagination.Harry Reid • “Doubling down,” as they say, on his allegation that Mitt Romney paid no taxes for ten years. Reid sourced this claim to an anonymous investor in Bain, Romney’s old company, and in a conference call with reporters today, said that he’s “had a number of people tell me that [Romney paid no taxes].” When asked to back up his claim, Reid replied: “The burden should be on him. He’s the one I’ve alleged has not paid any taxes. Why didn’t he release his tax returns?” On the one hand, it’s easy to attribute an incendiary allegation to an anonymous source, as Reid has done. On the other hand, the only way to confirm or discredit this allegation is—you guessed it—for Romney to release his tax returns. source (via • follow)
[T]he opposition research of the Obama campaign is looking for anything they can use to distract from the failure of the president to reignite our economy. And I’m simply not enthusiastic about giving them hundreds or thousands of more pages to pick through, distort, and lie about.Mitt Romney • Explaining why he doesn’t intend to release any of his tax returns from prior to 2010. As an analysis of President Obama’s reelection strategy, Romney is absolutely right: Obama does indeed want to distract from the economy as much as possible. But as an explanation as to why he’s not releasing his returns, this doesn’t cut it. If there’s nothing to hide in the returns, wouldn’t the Obama campaign’s efforts to “pick through, distort, and lie” fail? If not, that would imply that voters are gullible enough to be fooled into thinking there’s scandal when there isn’t—which, to be fair, may well be the case, but we don’t really think that’s the argument Romney should be making if he wants to be elected president. Also, saying stuff like that results in headlines like this. source (via • follow)
» Why? Well, these statements in opposition to placing female soldiers on the front lines of battle may have had something to do with it. Or maybe it’s his opposition to abortion, or his opposition to contraception. Santorum may be aware of this deficit he faces: As Molly Ball at The Atlantic notes, “Santorum began his speech by thanking his mother, his wife, and his eldest daughter at length, emphasizing their professional bona fides. He seemed to be implicitly going out of his way to assure women he took a modern view of their place in the workplace and role in society.”
Time is not Newt Gingrich’s friend, because the more time he has, the more he talks.George Will on “This Week”• Regarding the hazardous effects of Newt Gingrich’s prolonged loquacity. Will was reacting in part to Gingrich’s allegation, made earlier on the same show, that Mitt Romney is a “maniacal liar.” Just last month, Gingrich had pledged to run “a positive campaign focused on our country’s future;” guess that’s easy to say when you’re the frontrunner. source (via • follow)
I would really love to spend six months to a year in the Amazon basin, just being able to spend the day watching tree sloths.Newt Gingrich • In a 1995 Vanity Fair profile. There are lots of fun tidbits in this piece. Even back then, Gingrich was thinking of a presidential run, but his then-wife Marrianne didn’t approve. “I don’t want him to be president,” she said, “and I don’t think he should be” (he eventually divorced her). Newt often describes himself oddly journalistic terms, as if he’s a pundit writing an op-ed column, and this was true in 1995 as well. He says here that he’s “a mythical person,” “a psychodrama living out a fantasy,” and that “what makes me unusually intense is that I personalize the pain of war, the pain of children being killed.” source (via • follow)
» What’s going on here? Actually, we’re not sure. Common wisdom says that Cain’s support flocked to Gingrich after the former dropped out of the race (or, sorry, “suspended” his campaign). So how come the same University of Iowa poll—taken in the state over a weeklong period—shows a drastic fall in the former House Speaker’s support after Cain’s exit? Of course, the standard “this is just one poll” disclaimer still applies; this could just be an anomaly. But a 13.3% decline in one week is significant, and outside the poll’s margin of error. Given the boom-bust tendency of the GOP field this year, we can’t help but wonder if this is the beginning of the end for Newt (note: it’s rather unusual for a polling house to make available the intra-week trends of a single poll; much respect to Reuters, who co-sponsored this poll, for doing so).