In New Ad, Romney Previews Agenda for First Day in Office

BY Christina Bellantoni and Terence Burlij  May 18, 2012 at 9:09 AM EDT

Mitt Romney supporters in Florida; photo by Edward Linsmier/Getty Images

Floridians listen to Mitt Romney speak during a campaign stop Wednesday in St. Petersburg. Photo by Edward Linsmier/Getty Images.

The Morning Line

So, what would a Mitt Romney presidency be like?

His campaign is giving voters a preview of what the Republican just might do on January 20, 2013, outlining a positive message in Romney’s first television ad of the general election, a spot featuring upbeat music and three key promises.

A narrator pledges that on “Day One,” Romney would: approve the Keystone pipeline, introduce tax cuts and begin the process of doing away with President Obama’s health care reform law. “That’s what a Romney presidency will be like,” says the narrator.

Watch it here or below.

Politico reported Thursday that the Romney campaign’s first ad buy would be in four battleground states: Iowa, North Carolina, Ohio and Virginia.

The campaign did not disclose the size of the buy, but it also released a version of the ad in Spanish, a signal that Romney wants the push to be widely seen and offers another reminder that both sides are targeting Latino voters.

It ends with the presumptive nominee declaring, “Soy Mitt Romney y apruebo este mensaje.”

GEITHNER TALKS TO THE NEWSHOUR

Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner traveled outside the Beltway on Thursday, taking the president’s economic agenda on the road by promoting small business growth in Baltimore.

Geithner visited Marlin Steel Wire, which manufactures products like baskets and shelving, employs roughly 30 workers, and exports to 36 countries. Geithner’s trip was intended to highlight one item on President Obama’s “to-do list” of economic proposals for Congress: a new-hire tax credit that would allow companies like Marlin to create more jobs.

Geithner gamely sported a pair of stylish safety goggles for a tour of the facility’s workspaces and machines (the most impressive of which uses lasers to cut sheet metal), Tiffany Mullon reports, before sitting down with Jeffrey Brown for an exclusive, wide-ranging interview on the economy.

After noting that the Obama administration is “trying to get Congress to do some more things to help the economy,” Geithner told Jeff he didn’t understand the renewed debate over raising the national debt ceiling.

“Look at how much damage it caused the country last August, ” he said. “I mean, it was terribly damaging for the country. And the idea you can govern effectively at this time in American history — you know, we’re fighting wars. We’ve got a major financial crisis in Europe. We have all of these challenges for the rest of the country with political politicians threatening to default if we don’t adopt a partisan political agenda. It’s deeply irresponsible. There’s no basis for it.”

Watch the full interview here or below.

GAY MARRIAGE ATTITUDES SHIFT IN N.C.

Alex Bruns reports that Mr. Obama’s personal support for gay marriage may have shifted the opinions of some black voters in North Carolina. A new poll of Tarheel State voters by the left-leaning Public Policy Polling showed a 7 percent increase in the number of African-Americans who support the legality of gay marriage since the last PPP survey was conducted in the state May 6. The shift comes after the president’s announcement, which came just after North Carolina approved a ballot initiative to amend the state constitution to ban same-sex marriage.

Another interesting shift highlighted in the poll is among African-American voters who say there should be no “legal recognition of a gay couple’s relationship.” The earlier poll showed that 51 percent agreed with the statement, while the new poll found only 39 percent agreed.

Overall, a strong majority (58 percent) of North Carolina voters still think gay marriage should be illegal.

In related news, a PPP survey of Iowa voters found them “moving more and more in support of gay marriage to the point where they’re now almost evenly divided on the issue.” That poll showed 44 percent of voters think it should be legal, while 45 percent believe it should be illegal, a six-point shift from PPP’s last Iowa poll on the issue in October. Gay marriage is legal in the Hawkeye State.

DUELING GRADUATIONS

Katelyn Polantz tracked the two big commencement speeches in Virginia last week, checking in with graduates and parents about Romney’s and Michelle Obama’s addresses at Liberty University and Virginia Tech, respectively.

She found it was hard to miss the political overtones, but many in the crowds were more interested in celebrating graduation than in the presidential race.

Watch Katelyn’s report here or below.

DAILY DOWNLOAD

In our regular look at how the campaign is playing out online, Howard Kurtz and Lauren Ashburn of daily-download.com examined how the Jeremiah Wright ad proposal fizzled out in a matter of hours.

(Don’t miss Terence’s post on the evolution of the story.)

Kurtz notes how the dustup and subsequent walk-back “reminds you of how quickly these things happen now.”

“That document in the old days would have simply been described to viewers, listeners, readers. And now you can read it for yourself if you have the stomach for it. But there it was,” he said.

Watch the segment here or below.

The Washington Post’s Karen Tumulty and Rosalind Helderman have an interesting look at how the New York Times story about the potential Wright campaign threw Romney off message when he wanted to be talking about the debt.

And Talking Points Memo has a profile of Joe Ricketts, the wealthy donor who commissioned the proposals.

2012 LINE ITEMS

“I think we get Joe Biden and Barack Obama very well. Vice President Biden hasn’t been in the private sector since Gerald Ford was president. He has spent his entire adult life in government,” Pawlenty said. “This is going to be a debate about the economy and to look to Joe Biden for that, somebody who has never not been in government, basically a professional bureaucrat, give me a break. I come from a blue collar background. I understand what jobs mean and Joe Biden doesn’t have a clue.”

When Mitchell pressed him about the veepstakes, Pawlenty gave a more forceful response than many on the so-called short list: “I’ll do whatever I can do to help him. He’s going to have a lot of great people to pick from.”

TOP TWEETS

OUTSIDE THE LINES

  • The NewsHour led Thursday’s show with the nation’s demographic shifts. Watch that report here.

  • The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel’s Jason Stein and Patrick Marley look at how the recent jobs report in Wisconsin is driving the recall contest between Republican Gov. Scott Walker and Democratic Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett.

  • The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee has $25 million in the bank. Some of that money is going to help Democrats with the Wisconsin recall effort.

  • The National Republican Congressional Committee announced its new favorite House hopefuls.

  • A PPP poll found both House races in New Hampshire, the always-swing state, tied.

  • Al Gore has a new girlfriend.

  • Republicans prevented Washington, D.C.’s non-voting Delegate Eleanor Holmes Norton from testifying on a plan to prevent late-term abortions in the city.

  • A survey from the right-leaning Rasmussen Reports found the Republicans’ new Nebraska Senate nominee Deb Fischer leading Democrat Bob Kerrey, a former senator, 56 percent to 38 percent.

  • Just in time for an upcoming summer of overheated partisan regulatory rhetoric, the Senate confirmed two appointees to the Board of Governors for the Federal Reserve. Jay Powell and Jerome Stein fill the Fed Board for the first time since 2006.

  • NewsHour coordinating producer Linda Scott writes that on Wednesday, the House passed the Republican version of the Violence Against Women act by a vote of 222 to 205, with 23 Republicans defecting and six Democrats supporting the bill. The measure has drawn a veto threat from the White House, but before it even reaches that point the House and Senate must resolve the significant differences between the two versions.

The Senate bill expands the 1994 law that grants American Indians authority to prosecute non-Indians who commit crimes on tribal lands and also offer protections to previously unspecified victims of domestic abuse, including immigrants and gays. The House version takes a narrower view, saying that language may be unconstitutional and omitted protections for those groups.

ON THE TRAIL

All events are listed in Eastern Time.

  • President Obama addresses the Symposium on Global Agriculture and Food Security in Washington at 10:15 a.m., meets with new French President Francois Hollande at the White House at 11 a.m. and travels to Camp David for the start of the G-8 Summit.

  • Vice President Biden attends a campaign event in Wilmington, Del., at 12:30 p.m.

  • Mitt Romney holds an event in Hillsborough, N.H., at 1:30 p.m.

  • Ron Paul addresses the Minnesota State GOP Convention in St. Cloud at 7 p.m.

All future events can be found on our Political Calendar:


For more political coverage, visit our politics page.

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Questions or comments? Email Christina Bellantoni at cbellantoni-at-newshour-dot-org.

Follow the politics team on Twitter: @cbellantoni, @burlij, @elizsummers, @kpolantz, @indiefilmfan and @tiffanymullon.