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By KASIE HUNT and KARIN LAUB  07/30/12 11:18 AM ET AP

JERUSALEM — Mitt Romney told Jewish donors Monday that their culture is part of what has allowed them to be more economically successful than the Palestinians, outraging Palestinian leaders who suggested his comments were racist and out of touch with the realities of the Middle East. His campaign later said his remarks were mischaracterized.

“As you come here and you see the GDP per capita, for instance, in Israel which is about $21,000 dollars, and compare that with the GDP per capita just across the areas managed by the Palestinian Authority, which is more like $10,000 per capita, you notice such a dramatically stark difference in economic vitality,” the Republican presidential candidate told about 40 wealthy donors who ate breakfast at the luxurious King David Hotel.

Romney said some economic histories have theorized that “culture makes all the difference.”

“And as I come here and I look out over this city and consider the accomplishments of the people of this nation, I recognize the power of at least culture and a few other things,” Romney said, citing an innovative business climate, the Jewish history of thriving in difficult circumstances and the “hand of providence.” He said similar disparity exists between neighboring countries, like Mexico and the United States.

Palestinian reaction to Romney was swift and pointed.

“It is a racist statement and this man doesn’t realize that the Palestinian economy cannot reach its potential because there is an Israeli occupation,” said Saeb Erekat, a senior aide to Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas.

“It seems to me this man lacks information, knowledge, vision and understanding of this region and its people,” Erekat added. “He also lacks knowledge about the Israelis themselves. I have not heard any Israeli official speak about cultural superiority.”

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MSNBC.com

By NBC’s Ali Weinberg

6/8/12

Swiss bank accounts. Money hidden in the Cayman Islands. Bain capital income.

The Obama campaign warned Thursday that Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney will have full access to those three pots of money and more unless he puts his investments in a federally-recognized blind trust.

Seizing on the Romney campaign’s announcement Wednesday that the candidate would only turn his holdings over to a federal trust if and when he becomes president, the Obama campaign claimed that Romney’s decision not to do so sooner underscores the point they’ve been trying to make about him: He’s wealthy, which makes him out of touch, and sometimes evasive about his wealth, which makes him untrustworthy.

Because Romney’s current blind trust isn’t recognized by federal standards, under which trusts are overseen by the Office of Government Ethics, it isn’t really “blind” because Romney’s personal attorney, with whom Romney can easily communicate, oversees it, Obama spokesman Ben LaBolt asserted today during a conference call with reporters.

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Huff Post

Elise Foley  Posted: 05/08/2012 1:06 pm Updated: 05/08/2012 3:17 pm

A Latino-vote outreach program on Tuesday plans to stress to voters that the president has failed on immigration reform and deported a record number of people, said the Republican National Committee’s top Hispanic outreach coordinator.

But so far, it doesn’t have a message on what Republicans would do on the issue themselves, and specifically the plans of presumptive Republican nominee Mitt Romney. In fact, coordinator Bettina Inclan told reporters, Romney didn’t have his immigration policy mapped out and the RNC would not yet be able to talk about it to Latino voters.

The RNC quickly tried to take back the statement, telling reporters who tweeted it that Inclan’s words were misunderstood — or that she was misquoted. Kirsten Kukowski, a spokeswoman for the RNC, said message coordination between the RNC and the Romney campaign is still in its early stages because challenger Rick Santorum only dropped out of the race two weeks ago.

Still, the statement by Inclan seemed to indicate the RNC’s lack of message on immigration, despite an increased effort to turn out Latino voters. Below is the full quote from Inclan, that Kukowski would later say was misconstrued:

I think that as a candidate, to my understanding that he’s still deciding what his position on immigration is, so I can’t talk about what his proposal is going to be because I don’t know what Romney exactly — he’s talked about different issues, and what we saw in the Republican primary is that there’s a diverse opinion on how to deal with immigration. I can’t talk about something that I don’t know what his position is.

A few minutes later, after apparently reading tweets from reporters on the phone and in the room, Kukowski said they were misreporting the statement.

“I want to clear something up. As far as what Governor Romney’s positions are on immigration, that is for him and his campaign to talk about, and they will tell you what their policies are,” she said. “In this room right now, and what we do at the RNC from a Hispanic outreach perspective, is on-the-ground community outreach in the Hispanic community.”

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CNN PoliticalTicker…

February 15th, 2012

04:00 PM ET

3 hours ago

politicalmugshot
Posted by

Washington (CNN) – President Barack Obama’s approval rating is back to 50% for the first time in more than eight months, and he currently holds an edge against all the remaining Republican presidential candidates in hypothetical head-to-head match-ups, according to a new national survey.

And a CNN/ORC International Poll released Wednesday also indicates that the GOP’s advantage on enthusiasm has been erased, and that the number of Americans who think things are going well in the country is on the rise. Six out of ten say things are going poorly in the country, but four out of ten say things are going well, up 15 points since November.

See full results (pdf) Follow the Ticker on Twitter: @PoliticalTicker

“Does that mean it’s morning in America?  It is for Democrats – a solid majority of them now say things are going well in the country.  But overall, six in ten still have a gloomy outlook about the state of the country,” says CNN Polling Director Keating Holland. “Optimism is on the rise among independent voters, with a notable increase among men as well, although a majority of both groups still think things are going poorly.”

The rise of Americans who say things are going well appears to be helping the president, whose approval rating now stands at 50%, with 48% saying they disapprove of the job Obama’s doing in the White House. The president’s approval rating has edged up three points from last month and is up six points from November. The last time Obama’s approval rating was at 50% or above was last May, as a result of the killing of Osama bin Laden, and it stayed there for about a month before fading.

“Independents now have a net-positive view of President Obama,” says Holland.  “His approval rating has also reached 50% in the suburbs.”

Looking ahead to November, the poll indicates that the president’s re-election chances are on the rise. In hypothetical matchups among registered voters, Obama holds a 51%-46% margin over former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, leads both former Sen. Rick Santorum of Pennsylvania and Rep. Ron Paul of Texas by the same 52%-45% advantage, and beats former House Speaker Newt Gingrich 55%-42%.

The president appears to have gained ground since January against Romney, Paul, and Gingrich. Only Santorum has held steady. The poll also indicates that Obama wins a majority of independent voters in all four general election match-ups.

“More than six in ten Americans believe that the policies of Romney and Gingrich favor the rich; Santorum and Paul do better on that measure, but only a quarter feel that way about Obama,” says Holland.

The survey suggests that the contentious Republican primary season has decreased enthusiasm among Republican voters, virtually erasing the “enthusiasm gap” that promised to provide the ultimate GOP presidential nominee with a major advantage in the fall.  In October, 64% of Republicans said that they were extremely or very enthusiastic about voting for president, compared to only 43% of Democratic voters.  GOP enthusiasm since that time has tumbled 13 points, to 51%, virtually the same as the Democrats’ level of enthusiasm.

Other findings in the poll: 67% of the public says they are either very or somewhat angry about the way things are going in the country, down five points from September. And 31% approve of the job Democrats in Congress are doing, with 22% giving congressional Republicans a thumbs up. Both numbers are virtually unchanged from last autumn. The CNN poll was conducted by ORC International from February 10-13, with 1,026 adult Americans questioned by telephone. The survey’s overall sampling error is plus or minus three percentage points.

– CNN Political Editor Paul Steinhauser contributed to this report

SOURCE

Also see:

Gingrich: Santorum ‘misunderstands’ modern warfare

Santorum slams Obama administration as ‘elite snobs’

Romney surrogates attack Santorum’s record

CNN Poll: Romney’s likability fading

CNN Poll: Gender and income gaps in GOP nomination battle

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Politicususa- February 1, 2012

By

It is early, but an analysis of state by state polling data reveals that President Obama may be heading for a huge victory over Mitt Romney.

Although President Obama’s polling numbers have been trending upwards for a few months now, the right wing media is claiming that the president is heading for a huge defeat based on a state by state analysis of an average of his 2011 Gallup approval ratings. The analysis assumed that any state where the president has an under 50% job approval rating would go Republican in fall. There are three obvious problems with this conclusion. First, Obama’s national job approval rating is a tick or two under 50%, so that under the right wing analysis, Obama would lose most of the states in the country. Second, what a year long average can’t reflect is that President Obama’s approval ratings are trending up.

Third, President Obama isn’t running for reelection against his own approval rating. He will be running against Mitt Romney or Newt Gingrich. The more accurate way to measure Obama’s reelection chances is by looking at how he matches up with Mitt Romney in each state. When Obama and Romney are matched up on a state by state basis, guess what? Obama’s huge defeat becomes a huge victory.

For instance the Republican analysis has Obama losing Ohio, North Carolina, and Pennsylvania, but a PPP poll released today found that President Obama is leading Mitt Romney, 49%-42%. Romney’s favorability rating in the state has fallen to 28%. In North Carolina, the latest PPP poll found that Obama leads Romney by 1 point, 46%-45. A December, a Quinnipiac poll of Pennsylvania found Obama leading Romney, 46%-43%. The latest Quinnipiac poll of Florida found Obama and Romney tied in Sunshine State, 45%-45%.

The Republican analysis had Mitt Romney getting 323 Electoral College delegates to Obama’s 215, but a January PPP state by state analysis of the head to head match up found the opposite. Obama finished with 337 Electoral College delegates compared to 195 for Mitt Romney.

Relying on an average of 2011 job approval numbers was not accurate way to project an Electoral College map. The general consensus is that if Obama wins any one of Ohio, Florida, Pennsylvania, or North Carolina, he will win reelection. The snapshot of the national mood today suggests that Romney is trending down and Obama could be headed for a big reelection win, but we are still more than nine months out from Election Day.

With so much time before the election, it is foolish to predict any result with certainty, but Republicans see their frontrunner falling apart before their very eyes, so they are doing their best to try to convince America that Obama is heading for a major defeat.

They are living in a delusion, and now they are inventing Electoral College maps to provide themselves comfort in their unreality.

Image: Poz Blogs

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