January, 2015

Wall Street Nervous About Another Romney Run

“Add Wall Streeters to the growing list of Republican power players uneasy about the prospect of another Mitt Romney bid for the White House,” CNN reports.

“The corridors of high finance were the target of intense hostility during Romney’s last presidential run. President Barack Obama’s campaign successfully seized on the former Massachusetts governor’s time at private equity firm Bain Capital to paint a picture of an industry that destroys middle-class jobs while wealthy executives reap generous profits — often taxed at lower rates.”

Burr Kicks Off Re-Election Bid with Big Night

Sen. Richard Burr (R-NC) “kicked off fundraising for his 2016 re-election campaign with an event in Washington Wednesday night that brought in more than $1 million,” the Raleigh News & Observer reports.

“There was speculation in Washington that Burr might not be running because he only had $720,000 cash on hand in the latest campaign finance filing. But Burr recently announced a team of veteran political operatives as his 2016 campaign staff.”

Texas GOP Chair to Join Rand Paul’s Campaign

Texas GOP Chairman Steve Munisteri is set to announce that he is resigning his party post in early March and joining Sen. Rand Paul’s team of advisers for a possible 2016 presidential campaign, the Wall Street Journal reports.

“Mr. Munisteri, in throwing in with Mr. Paul, is giving a cold shoulder to Texas Republicans thinking about presidential bids, Texas Sen. Ted Cruz and former Texas Gov. Rick Perry… He gives a boost to Mr. Paul in a crowded field of potential GOP candidates in a state that will loom much larger in the GOP nominating process in 2016 than in the past. The state is expected to hold its primary March 1, which could make it one the first big, vote-rich states in the presidential calendar.”

Why Not Skip Iowa?

Amy Walter: “Winning in Iowa proves that you do well among very conservative, evangelical voters. It also shows, as one Iowa veteran has noted, how well a candidate connects at a retail level. But, it simply challenges a candidate’s depth not his/her breadth. In fact, to try and win here, a candidate often has to cater so narrowly to this base that they disqualify themselves from the broader electorate (see, Rick Perry’s anti-gay ad). Winning the infamous GOP straw poll in August is even less determinative. It’s simply a junket for Iowa political operatives and national political reporters looking for a one-stop-shop campaign experience. In fact, if we’ve learned anything over the last few years it’s that the frontrunner in the summer (Hillary Clinton, Michele Bachmann, Howard Dean) is rarely the winner in January.”

Clinton Use of Private Jets Questioned

“Hillary Clinton took more than 200 privately chartered flights at taxpayer expense during her eight years in the U.S. Senate, sometimes using the jets of corporations and major campaign donors as she racked up $225,756 in flight costs,” Bloomberg reports.

“The records were provided to Bloomberg News by a Republican operative… While the flights fell within congressional rules and were not out of the ordinary for senators at the time, they could play into the emerging Republican line of attack that Clinton’s wealth and years in government office have left her out of touch with the voters she’ll court on the campaign trail.”

Key Romney Strategist Jumps to Bush

“David Kochel, a Republican strategist based in Iowa who worked on both of Mitt Romney’s presidential campaigns, is joining Jeb Bush’s political action committee as a senior strategist and is in line to serve as Mr. Bush’s national campaign manager,” the New York Times reports.

“The move to tap Mr. Kochel, who advised Mr. Romney for over six years, represents a shot across the bow of the 2012 Republican nominee, who is now considering a third bid for the White House.”

Pennsylvania Treasurer Quits as Feds Investigate

WPVI-TV reports that Pennsylvania State Treasurer Rob McCord (D), who announced he is stepping down from the job, is currently under federal investigation.

“Sources tell Action News that the wide-spread probe is examining the alleged theft of campaign and other funds… In a statement released by his office, the 55-year-old McCord, a former venture capitalist, listed his accomplishments and he said only that it is time for him to return to the private sector.”

GOP Leader Suggests Immigration Strategy Shift

Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) began “planting the seed that Republicans might need a different vehicle to fight President Obama’s executive action on immigration other than the Department of Homeland Security funding bill,” Roll Call reports.

“What that best way would be is not mentioned. But Republican leadership has started to mention another lawsuit against the president could be in the cards. Additional legislation might also be another avenue, though it won’t have the same force as the DHS funding bill, which is a must-pass measure if Congress wants to fund the agency past Feb. 27.”

David Duke May Challenge Steve Scalise

Former Ku Klux Klan leader David Duke says he might run for office against Rep. Steve Scalise (R-LA), BuzzFeed reports.

Scalise faced questions earlier this month about a 2003 appearance he made before a white supremacist group founded by Duke and called the appearance “a mistake I regret.”

Said Duke: “Steve Scalise, let me tell you something, this is the way I view it now: I mean this guy is a sellout. I mean he’s a sellout. He’s not David. He used to say that he was David Duke of course without the baggage, whatever that means… I might have to run against Steve Scalise because you know, I really might. I mean, I’m definitely going to consider it because its so disgusting to me to see…he got elected on false pretenses.”

Why Republicans Love Scott Walker

The Hill notes that Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker’s (R) appeal to Republicans is that he’s been able to win without caving to Democrats.

“Walker has long drawn praise from disparate parts of his party, though questions have lingered about his charisma. Hard-line conservatives love his high-profile battles with Wisconsin’s unions and successful push for legislation on a number of their priorities, including lower taxes, tightened restrictions on abortions and loosened ones on guns… Establishment-leaning Republicans love that he’s shown how to govern and win three elections in four years in a state that usually leans Democratic.”

Romney Watches Donors Commit to Bush

“Closing in on a decision about whether to again run for president, Mitt Romney is finding that several past major fundraisers and donors in key states have defected to former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush,” the AP reports.

“The donors said they see in Bush what they liked about Romney in 2012, namely what they believe it takes to serve successfully as president, but also something Romney could not muster in his two previous campaigns: what it takes, both in personality as a candidate and in a supporting staff, to win the White House for the GOP. Also, the donors said, they took the former Massachusetts governor at his word when he said he would not run for president a third time.”

McCain Boots ‘Low Life Scum’ from Hearing Room

Senate Armed Services Committee Chairman John McCain (R-AZ) had harsh words for protesters who shouted criticism at 91-year-old Henry Kissinger at a hearing, CNN reports.

Said McCain: “I’ve been a member of this committee for many years and I have never seen anything as disgraceful and outrageous and despicable as the last demonstration that just took place. You know, you’re going to have to shut up or I’m going have you arrested.”

He added, to a smattering of applause: “Get out of here you low-life scum.”