2012 Campaign

Top Brady Strategist May Be Indicted for Payoff

Rep. Bob Brady’s (D-PA) “longtime political strategist has become the latest target in a widening federal probe of a $90,000 payment the congressman made to a primary challenger in 2012 to convince the man to drop out of the race,” the Philadelphia Inquirer reports.

“Ken Smukler, whom prosecutors have accused of helping to secretly funnel some of that money to the rival campaign, is expected to be indicted by a federal grand jury Tuesday.”

Said Brady: “He didn’t do nothing wrong. I don’t know what this is all about.”

Trump Predicted His Own Defeat Four Years Ago

Jonathan Chait notes that Donald Trump told Fox News after Mitt Romney’s defeat that the Republican party needed to pass immigration reform or it might never win an election again.

“The narrow focus on immigration was always a simplistic one. The plan appealed to the party’s donor base, which was eager to maintain policies like huge tax cuts for the rich and loose regulations on Wall Street, which were also fat political targets. But Republicans were certainly correct that immigrant communities were unlikely to start voting for Republicans as long as they planned to deport their friends and relatives. Trump could happily repeat this analysis at the time because he cares about nothing except power, which he both craves and approves of in its bloodiest and most totalitarian applications. Trump would repeat the conventional wisdom of the Republican donor base and then turn around and insist upon the opposite without a second thought.”

“And now, of course, as Latino voting is surging in reaction to his racist attacks, the analysis he endorsed in December, 2012 appears to be the most accurate description of why he is likely to lose.”

2016 Is Looking Very Similar to 2012

The Upshot election forecast predicts Hillary Clinton will win 347 electoral votes.

“If the predictions for each state hold, the November election would match the 2012 Electoral College result in every respect except one: The Democrats would win North Carolina.”

“Which brings us to another perhaps surprising similarity between this election and the 2012 version. Mr. Obama won in 2012 by 3.9 percentage points over Mr. Romney. If you combine the polling averages compiled by Real Clear Politics, The Huffington Post and The New York Times, Mrs. Clinton is leading Mr. Trump by 3.7 percentage points.”

Gingrich Still Owes $4.6 Million from Last Campaign

Daily Beast: “The biggest chunk of the debt, nearly $1 million, is owed for Gingrich’s use of private jets to fly from event to event through charter travel company Moby Dick Airways. The campaign also owes more than $400,000 for Gingrich’s personal security to the Patriot Group, and $128,000 to the Winston Group… Several other well-known names are also among Gingrich’s creditors, including former Rep. J.C. Watts and Herman Cain for ‘strategic consulting’ and travel, as well as Kellyanne Conway’s The Polling Company, which conducted polls for the Gingrich campaign and is owed more than $20,000.”

Are Republicans Nostalgic for Mitt Romney?

Henry Gomez: “They lost in 2012 with Mitt Romney, a rich guy who clumsily talked of how he enjoyed firing people and, in so many words, dismissed 47 percent of voters as losers. Months of soul-searching followed. Pretty much everyone agreed on a kinder, gentler, more-inclusive approach.”

“So the answer is Trump? A rich guy who fired people on his own reality TV show? Who gleefully bestows the “loser” label on anyone who dares to cross him? Who reminds you of the racist uncle at Thanksgiving dinner?”

“To say it wasn’t supposed to be this way is an understatement. One reason Republicans chose to hold their convention in Cleveland: To show they had found their soul.”

Trump Falls Into the Same Trap as Romney Did

“In the 2012 presidential campaign, June was a pivotal month for President Obama’s re-election efforts. Mitt Romney had emerged from a slashing primary race close to broke, looking to get to the nominating convention so he could reset his candidacy and get an infusion of cash,” the New York Times reports.

“While there is little that is similar between the candidacies of Mr. Romney and Donald J. Trump, the result may end up being the same.”

“Mr. Romney was defined by a brutal series of television ads aired by both Priorities USA, the super PAC supporting Mr. Obama, and his campaign. Mr. Romney, in those renderings, was a heartless corporate raider who talked about liking to fire people who did not provide good services, and whose private equity firm feasted on the modest-wage jobs of hard-working people. Mr. Romney never recovered.”

Clinton Gives Trump the Romney Treatment

“If the Hillary Clinton campaign’s attacks on Donald Trump feel a little familiar, it’s because they appear to be straight from Barack Obama’s 2012 campaign against Mitt Romney,” Politico reports.

“That push was successful, as Clinton’s allies are quick to point out. But it also runs the risk of being a little too conventional for a candidate as unconventional as Trump, leaving some former Obama operatives and Never Trump Republicans eager for reassurance that the Romney approach isn’t the only arrow in the quiver.”

Trump and Cruz Both Less Popular Than Romney

A new Washington Post-ABC News poll finds that 31% of Americans have a favorable view of Donald Trump while 67% are unfavorable — nearly identical to an early March Post-ABC poll which found he would be the most disliked major-party nominee since at least 1984.

Ted Cruz fares better with 36% favorable and 53% unfavorable among the public at-large; his strongly unfavorable mark is 20 percentage-points below Trump’s level (33% for Cruz vs. 53% for Trump).

Both Trump and Cruz are less popular than Mitt Romney at this point in the 2012 campaign, a year in which the eventual Republican nominee was haunted by weak personal ratings.

Reid Slams Romney’s Hypocrisy on Tax Returns

Sen. Harry Reid told CNN that he’s stunned to see Mitt Romney demanding Donald Trump’s tax returns.

Said Reid: “All I know, I can’t imagine Romney having the gall coming after anybody’s returns. Let’s look at his. He never gave us his tax returns. Who was the brainchild who got him to do that? Romney never gave us his tax returns. He did not — he gave us his summary, he didn’t give us our tax returns.”