Mitt Romney addresses the Latino Coalition in Washington, D.C., on Wednesday. Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images.
Mitt Romney continues to frame his campaign as the answer to a simple question: What would his presidency be like on Day One. A new television ad out Thursday — like his first, also released in Spanish — details three things the Republican would do on Jan. 20, 2013.
But unlike the first ad, in which said Romney he would approve the Keystone Pipeline, introduce tax cuts and repeal “Obamacare,” the followup spot is more vague.
A narrator says Romney would announce “deficit reductions,” demand China “play by the rules” on trade and repeal regulations “that are costing the economy billions.” It offers no specifics.
Over hopeful music, the narrator declares: “Day One, President Romney announces deficit reductions, ending the Obama era of big government, helping secure our kids’ futures.”
It closes with, “That’s what a Romney presidency will be like.” Viewers only hear from the candidate in the approval message at the end of the spot.
The campaign did not disclose in which states the ad would air or the size of the ad buy.
Watch the spot here or below.
A fresh batch of poll numbers out Wednesday show President Obama with an advantage over Romney in three key battleground states.
Mr. Obama leads the presumptive GOP nominee in Ohio (48 percent to 42 percent), Florida (48-44) and Virginia (48-44) among registered voters, according to NBC News-Marist. The Florida numbers contrast with a Quinnipiac University survey released Tuesday that put Romney up 47 percent to 41 percent on the president in the Sunshine State.
All three states went for Mr. Obama in 2008 and George W. Bush in 2004. For Romney, his path to 270 electoral votes likely starts with moving them back to the GOP’s column.
But it appears adding a home-state politician does little to change the dynamic in these states for Romney. In Florida, an Obama-Biden ticket defeats a Romney-Marco Rubio pairing 48 percent to 44 percent. A Romney-Jeb Bush team would lose to the Democrats 47 percent to 45 percent.
The Democratic team would win Ohio by a 47 percent to 42 percent margin if Romney picked Sen. Rob Portman. And in Virginia, with Gov. Bob McDonnell on the GOP ticket, the Democrats hold a 46 percent to 44 percent advantage.
NBC-Marist also surveyed the Senate races in those three swing states and found the Democratic candidates in better shape than their Republican opponents among registered voters.
In Ohio, Sen. Sherrod Brown leads state treasurer Josh Mandel by 14 points, 51 percent to 37 percent.
In Florida, Sen. Bill Nelson is up on Rep. Connie Mack by four points, 46 percent to 42 percent.
And in Virginia, former Gov. Tim Kaine bests former Sen. George Allen by six points, 49 percent to 43 percent.
You can check out our Electoral College calculator in the Vote 2012 Map Center or below to see what happens if Ohio, Florida or Virginia swing for the president or Romney.
ROMNEY: BAIN TAUGHT ME TO LEAD ECONOMY
Romney spoke with Time Magazine’s Mark Halperin to defend himself against the president’s attacks on Bain Capital, offering a similar line he’s used as the issue bubbled up and saying Mr. Obama is “simply not up to the task of helping guide an economy.”
“[T]he American people are interested in, not so much in the history of where I was at Bain Capital, or that I have understanding of the private sector, but instead, has the President made things better for the American people? Are they better off than they were four years ago? Has he established the revitalization he promised he would bring to us? Did he hold unemployment below 8%?” Romney said, promising he would lower the unemployment rate to 6 percent by the end of his first term.
He added: “The fact is that I spent twenty five years in the private sector. And that obviously teaches you something that you don’t learn if you haven’t spent any time in the private sector. If you were to say to me, tell me what you learned from your schooling that would help you be a President, it’s like, how do I begin going through a list like that? You learn through life’s experience. The President’s experience has been exclusively in politics and as a community organizer. Both of those are fine areas of endeavor, but right now we have an economy in trouble, and someone who spent their career in the economy is more suited to help fix the economy than someone who spent his life in politics and as a community organizer.”
ROMNEY OUTLINES EDUCATION PLAN
NewsHour reporter-producer Tiffany Mullon covered Romney’s speech Wednesday to the Latino Coalition’s Annual Economic Summit, a meeting of Hispanic businessmen and women at the U.S Chamber of Commerce in Washington.
She reports that as the Time interview was released, Romney sought to refocus attention on his policy priority for the week: education.
Romney made only passing reference to the Bain controversy, telling the crowd, “[I]n recent days we’ve heard a lot about business from the president and if you’re feeling like you deserve protection under the Endangered Species Act, I can’t blame you.”
Standing beneath a sign reading “A Chance for Every Child,” Romney outlined his education plan: a voucher-like plan to guarantee that federal education funds would allow low-income and disabled students to attend any school of their parents’ choice. In some cases children would be allowed to attend private schools with public money — with permission from the state. Similar plans have been vehemently opposed by many teachers’ unions. But, according to Romney: “[T]he teachers’ unions are one of the Democrats’ biggest donors — and one of the president’s biggest campaign supporters. So, President Obama has been unable to stand up to union bosses — and unwilling to stand up for kids.”
Appealing to the largely Hispanic audience, Romney reiterated that his reforms would level the playing field for minority students: “Here we are in the most prosperous nation, but millions of kids are getting a third-world education. And, America’s minority children suffer the most. This is the civil-rights issue of our era. It’s the great challenge of our time.”
It was Romney’s first major education policy speech, warmly received by the assembled crowd of nearly 250, with only one minor hitch. Toward the end of his remarks a young woman could be heard questioning the candidate aloud, before being drowned out by the sound of applause and escorted out. Romney will continue his education push Thursday with an education roundtable at a Philadelphia charter school.
OBAMA TEAM FOCUSES ON GAY PRIDE EFFORTS
On Wednesday, the president’s team unveiled “Obama Pride: LGBT Americans for Obama.” NewsHour politics desk assistant Alex Bruns was on the call with Obama for America’s LGBT national vote director Jamie Citron and national campaign co-chair Joe Solmonese, formerly of the Human Rights Campaign.
Solmonese said they said they plan to register voters at gay pride events and detail the efforts the president has made since taking office, which include signing a hate crimes bill, bringing the International AIDS conference to Washington and promoting anti-bullying measures, in addition to ending the “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy banning gays serving openly in the military.
“Mitt Romney would fight against our equality because he thinks we do not deserve it,” Solmonese added.
2012 LINE ITEMS
- Julie Creswell writes in the New York Times that the recent ads focused on Romney’s tenure at Bain don’t tell the full story of private equity.
- Arizona’s secretary of state said that officials in Hawaii have officially verified the president’s birth records, clearing the way for Mr. Obama’s name to appear on the Grand Canyon State’s ballot in November.
- The Obama campaign has a new web video reminding voters of Romney’s “corporations are people” line in Iowa last year to help drive turnout to an event the president will hold at the Iowa State Fairgrounds on Thursday. Watch it here.
- Gallup found that Americans are evenly divided in their views of Vice President Joe Biden, with 42 percent having a favorable opinion of him and 45 percent having an unfavorable one.
- Former GOP presidential hopeful Rick Santorum is conducting a “money bomb” to pay off his campaign debt. In an email to supporters, Santorum said he and his wife Karen “have both personally contributed the maximum amount we could to retire this debt.”
- The president’s latest fundraising effort mixing politics and entertainment will see a campaign donor and a guest join the president and first lady Michelle Obama at actress Sarah Jessica Parker’s home in New York City. Vogue editor-in-chief Anna Wintour will co-host, according to a campaign e-mail.
- In the latest veepstakes push, Sen. Rob Portman of Ohio gets profiled by the Washington Post.
- Talking Points Memo posts its second in the series of spokespeople profiles, focusing on Team Romney.
— gwen ifill (@pbsgwen) May 24, 2012
— POLITICO (@politico) May 23, 2012
Centerpieces at Romney event: bottles of tequila. Courtesy the company owned by Latino Coalition chair. twitter.com/tiffanymullon/…
— Tiffany Mullon (@tiffanymullon) May 23, 2012
OUTSIDE THE LINES
- Fox News Radio’s Chad Pergram looks at the debt ceiling fight through the lens of Professor Harold Hill.
- “There is a growing sense among New York political insiders that next month’s primary could mark the end of 81-year-old Rep. Charlie Rangel’s storied Congressional career,” Roll Call’s Joshua Miller writes.
- GOP Sen. Scott Brown and Elizabeth Warren are locked in a tight race for the Massachusetts senate seat with each garnering 46 percent of the vote, according to a poll conducted earlier this month by Harstad Strategic Research for the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee. A new Suffolk University poll found Brown with a narrow one-point lead over Warren, 48 percent to 47 percent.
- The New York Times’ Katharine Seelye and Abby Goodnough report on how Massachusetts voters are reacting to the controversy surrounding Warren’s Native American heritage.
- Maine independent Senate candidate Angus King is drawing criticism from his Republican rivals for donations he made to the president’s re-election team and the Democratic National Committee before he announced his candidacy, reports the Portland Press Herald.
- The Democratic Governors Association is sending an additional $1 million to the group Greater Wisconsin to support statewide television ads and get-out-the-vote efforts against GOP Gov. Scott Walker. That brings the DGA’s total investment there to over $3 million.
- In addition to the new Marist poll, a Quinnipiac University poll released Wednesday shows GOP Rep. Connie Mack with a wide lead over his rivals in Florida’s Senate primary, former Sen. George LeMieux and Tea Party favorite Mike McCalister.
- There are questions about the investigation into the Cartagena, Colombia, prostitution scandal reports Carol D. Leonnig in the Washington Post.
- Secret Service director Mark Sullivan publicly apologized for the scandal during a Senate hearing Wednesday.
- Roll Call’s Kyle Trygstad looks at Sen. Orrin Hatch’s GOP primary race in Utah.
- The buck stopped this week. A Harry S. Truman impersonator ceremoniously paid off a debt the former president had at a newspaper in Kansas.
- The NewsHour looked at what went wrong with the Facebook IPO.
Cassie M. Chew and Katelyn Polantz contributed to this report.
ON THE TRAIL
All events are listed in Eastern Time.
- President Obama attends a campaign event in San Jose, Calif., at 11:30 a.m., delivers remarks on clean energy in Newton, Iowa, at 5:15 p.m. and speaks at a campaign event in Des Moines, Iowa, at 7:55 p.m.
- Vice President Biden attends campaign events in Charlotte, N.C., at 12:45 p.m. and 2:30 p.m., and helps raise money for Democratic Senate candidate Tim Kaine in McLean, Va., at 6:30 p.m.
- Mitt Romney visits Universal Bluford Charter School in Philadelphia at 8:45 a.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.