The Very Latest

  • Romney's plan for the future is made up of backwards policies from the past

    By Truth Team on Debate October 22

    President Obama has offered Americans a clear and detailed roadmap to increase our energy independence, improve access to quality education, and grow a stronger economy built on "Made in America." This is the plan we need to move the country forward.

    Mitt Romney, however, is banking on taking America backwards. As the President said to Romney in the last debate:

    You seem to want to import the foreign policies of the 1980s, just like the social policies of the 1950s, and the economic policies of the 1920s.

    Here's how Romney is projecting a 20th century plan onto the 21st century.

    Foreign policy of the 1980s

    Mitt Romney has repeatedly revealed that he's "stuck in a Cold War mind-set”, using "blunt, swaggering language on the stump that at times has evoked the Cold War Era." As Slate's Fred Kaplan noted," Romney and his advisers "don't seem to understand ... the extent to which the world has changed" since the 1980s. Here's proof:

    • Romney called Russia our "number one geopolitical foe," and has repeatedly referred to Russians as "Soviets."

    • Romney wrote in his book that, "It was a lot simpler when it was just the Soviet Union versus the United States." Now, threats are "more varied."

    • Romney compared his desire to increase military spending to President Reagan's defense budget increases because Reagan "pressured the Soviets into a corner" with that level of spending.

    • Romney's foreign policy advisers have also referred to "Soviets" and even attacked the President for supposedly abandoning plans to put a missile defense site in "Czechoslovakia"—a nation that has not existed for decades.

    Social policy of the 1950s

    When it comes to women's health and women's rights, Romney is firmly committed to taking American women back to the backwards policies of the 1950s. Here's why:

    • Romney declared support for overturning Roe v. Wade—a move that'd "take away a fundamental right that American women have had for nearly 40 years." Calling the decision "one of the darkest moments in Supreme Court history," Romney said he hopes to "appoint justices" that would reflect "my preference that they reverse Roe v. Wade."

    • Romney endorsed a bill that would allow employers to "have free rein to pick and choose your medical care as he or she saw fit"--including coverage for birth control. Nearly 79 million American women received health care coverage thorough their employers.

    • Romney declared he'd "get rid of" funding for Planned Parenthood, a health organization that provides vital basic health care—including breast and cervical cancer screenings—to millions of women. And Romney even went so far as to call for defunding Title X—a program that provides family planning and preventive health services. As the Washington Post’s Sarah Kiff notes, "In moving to eliminate Title X, Romney is venturing into a new territory" in terms of extremism. Even anti-choice groups haven't asked candidates to oppose Title X.

    Economic policies of the 1920s

    There is no question that Romney's economic plan would drive us back to the failed policies of the past that have helped create this country's major economic crises. Not only would he go back to the policies that contributed to the 2008 economic crisis—but his policies even mirror the top-down approach of the 1920s, which focused on tax cuts for the wealthy and rolling back the rules of the road for Wall Street.

    • Romney would roll back regulations that would help prevent another financial crisis. He has pledged to repeal the President's Wall Street reform, which helps protect consumers and ends the era of Big Bank bailouts. But, "he is nearly silent on how—without the regulation—he would prevent Wall Street from once again engaging in the risky practices that helped cause the 2008 financial crisis."

    • Standing on hay bales in Iowa, Romney declared that "corporations are people, my friend." And his policies, which could raise taxes on the middle class to pay for new tax cuts for millionaires, illustrates what his priorities would be if elected president. And Romney has proposed additional tax cuts for the wealthy. He has put forward $5 trillion in tax cuts weighted towards millionaires and billionaires, which could only be paid for by raising taxes on the middle-class.

    To learn more about the clear choice in this election, check out each candidates plans here—then share the facts with your friends.

  • Final debate shows who veterans can trust

    By Truth Team on Debate October 22

    Last night’s debate showcased the clear choice American veterans face in this election. While President Obama emphasized his commitment to the sacred trust we hold with our veterans and outlined his strong record of supporting those who fight to keep us safe, Mitt Romney didn’t mention veterans once.

    At the debate, President Obama highlighted his efforts to make sure veterans can get the health care they need and find good jobs when they return from the battlefield. Here are a few of the ways the President is fighting to support our servicemembers:

    • Boosted the Veterans Affairs budget to increase funding for veterans’ mental health care by 29%, signed an executive order to expand the federal government’s military and veteran suicide prevention programs, and established new rules that make it easier for veterans suffering from PTSD to get benefits.
    • Expanded healthcare access for Veterans living in rural areas and took concrete steps to end veteran homelessness by 2015.
    • Began the transition to a paperless claims processing system to make sure veterans get their benefits quickly, and made it easier for National Guard and reserve members to gain eligibility for education benefits.
    • Signed tax credits for businesses that hire unemployed veterans and wounded warriors—which are putting vets back to work today—and announced the creation of a veterans online jobs bank and an in-depth entrepreneurial training program that will help veterans find skilled jobs once they’ve returned home.

    Unfortunately, Romney’s failure to address veterans’ issues at the debate is only the latest example of his inclination to treat veterans as an afterthought. Romney failed to once mention the troops serving in Afghanistan in his acceptance speech at the Republican National Convention, and one of his senior advisers called the war in Afghanistan a distraction from what "real Americans want to talk about." This isn’t surprising given Romney’s dismal record of supporting veterans as governor of Massachusetts and how his plans could slash their benefits as President:

    • As governor of Massachusetts, Romney cut hundreds of thousands of dollars from veterans funding in his first month in office.
    • Romney didn’t mention veterans once in his jobs plan, education plan, or foreign policy white paper.
    • Romney suggested privatizing veterans’ benefits and giving veterans vouchers for health care.
    • The Romney-Ryan budget could cut funding for Veterans Affairs by $11 billion while giving new tax breaks to millionaires and billionaires.

    The choice couldn’t be any clearer: President Obama has made veterans’ health care, education, and job security a top priority since his first day in office; Mitt Romney has not. Click here to find out more about President Obama’s staunch record of standing up for veterans and his detailed plan to make sure the United States government is doing everything it can to give back to those who sacrifice so much to defend and protect the country they love.

  • “No question” on President Obama's debate win

    By Lauren on Debate October 22

    Here's a look at what people are saying about President Obama's clear win in last night's foreign policy debate:

    "If Mitt Romney’s foreign policy was an unknown to average voters, President Obama came to the table for the third presidential debate ready to sum it up in one word: dated."
    Los Angeles Times

    "Obama pressed his case that Romney’s worldview as well as his prescriptions for the domestic front were not just wrong but also rooted in the past."
    The Washington Post

    "On foreign policy, the subject of Monday night’s final presidential debate, [Mitt Romney] had little coherent to say and often sounded completely lost. That’s because he has no original ideas of substance on most world issues, including Syria, Iran and Afghanistan."
    The New York Times

    “There’s no question debate coaches would score this one for the President.”
    John King

    "Mitt Romney mostly ducked questions about his military plans in the third and final presidential debate Monday night—offering President Barack Obama the opportunity for perhaps his most devastating strike of the three verbal jousts."
    The Huffington Post

    “If this had would’ve been a Little League baseball game, they would’ve called the thing after four innings.”
    James Carville

    “I think that Mitt Romney botched a lot of things tonight.”
    Neil Cavuto

    “… Mitt Romney repeated what he said before, that the President went on an apology tour when he became president. We’ve looked at all those speeches on those foreign trips. The President didn't apologize for America.”
    ABC Fact Check

    “I do think that the Democrats and President Obama have a legitimate argument. The guy who came into these debates was not the candidate we saw in the primaries. We go back to the Etch-A-Sketch.”
    David Gergen

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  • The final debate: Strong and steady

    By Grant on National Security Debate October 22

    The third presidential debate

    In the final 2012 presidential debate, President Obama dominated—outlining a clear vision to make Americans safer and maintain our country’s leadership in the world. Governor Romney was all over the map, with an unclear and uncertain performance that showed once again he is not ready to be commander in chief. Across the table, President Obama projected strong and steady leadership, showing how he’s been able to restore respect for America around the world and keep our country safe over the past four years.

    Here were some of the highlights.

    On national security:

    “My first job as commander in chief ... is to keep the American people safe. That’s what we’ve done over the last four years. We ended the war in Iraq, refocused our attention on those who actually killed us on 9/11. And as a consequence, al Qaeda's core leadership has been decimated. In addition, we are now able to transition out of Afghanistan in a responsible way, making sure that Afghans take responsibility for their own security, and that allows us also to rebuild alliances and make friends around the world to combat future threats.”

    On bringing Osama bin Laden to justice:

    "I said if I had bin Laden in our view, I would take a shot. [Governor Romney] said we should ask Pakistan for permission. If we asked Pakistan for permission, we would not have gotten it. It was worth ‘moving heaven and earth’ to get him.”

    On Romney’s blundering foreign policy statements over the course of the campaign:

    “A few months ago when you [were asked] what’s the biggest geopolitical threat facing America, you said Russia. Not al Qaeda. Russia. The 1980's are now calling to ask for their foreign policy back. The Cold War has been over for 20 years, but, Governor, when it comes to our foreign policy, you seem to want to import the foreign policies of the 1980s, just like the social policies of the 1950s and the economic policies of the 1920s.”

    And on Romney’s plan to add $2 trillion in military spending the Pentagon isn't asking for, without saying how he’d pay for it:

    “I think Governor Romney maybe hasn’t spent enough time looking at how our military works. You mentioned the Navy, for example, and that we have fewer ships than we did in 1916. Well, Governor, we also have fewer horses and bayonets because the nature of our military's changed. We have these things called aircraft carriers where planes land on them, we have these ships that go under water, nuclear submarines, and so the question is not a game of ‘Battleship’ where we’re counting ships, it’s what are our capabilities. And so when I sit down with the Secretary of the Navy and the Joint Chiefs of Staff, we determine how are we going to be best able to meet all of our Defense needs in a way that also keeps faith with our troops that also makes sure that our veterans have the kind of support that they need when they come home, and that is not reflected in the kind of budget that you’re putting forward because it just doesn’t work.”

    In his closing remarks, President Obama outlined the choice that Americans now have before them:

    “You've now heard three debates, months of campaigning, and way too many TV commercials, and now you’ve got a choice.

    “Over the last four years, we've made real progress digging our way out of policies that gave us two prolonged wars, record deficits, and the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression. And Governor Romney wants to take us back to those policies. A foreign policy that’s wrong and reckless, economic policies that won’t create jobs, won’t reduce our deficit, but will make sure that folks at the very top don’t have to play by the same rules that you do.”

    If you want a leader who’s steady and reliable, chip in whatever you can afford tonight and tell your friends in the last two weeks of this election that you’re #ProudOfObama.

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  • “Before the last debate tonight…”

    By Grant on Debate October 22

    First Lady Michelle Obama just sent this note to supporters:

    Tonight is Barack's last debate in his last election.

    It's also the last major milestone of this campaign before Election Day.

    I know Barack is ready to get out there tonight and fight for supporters like you who have built this campaign the right way—from the ground up.

    As soon as he leaves the stage, I know he'll be thinking about tomorrow, and all the work we need to do to win in these last two weeks. This is it—and your support in these final days means everything.

    If you're with him now and you're ready to dig deep until the end, chip in and let Barack know before tonight's debate.

    If we're going to win this, it'll be because of you. Barack and I can't thank you enough.

    Michelle

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  • Romney has been all over the map on ending the war in Afghanistan

    By Truth Team on Debate October 22

    President Obama has a well-established plan to end the war in Afghanistan in 2014, and we’re already bringing our troops home. Mitt Romney doesn’t have a plan to end the war at all, and he would likely keep us there indefinitely—just as he would have done in Iraq.

    A brief look at Romney’s timeline of shifting positions shows that he’s been all over the map on Afghanistan. While President Obama has committed to end the war in 2014, Romney has lurched back and forth between attacking the President’s decision to draw down the troops and adopting a nearly identical timeline for withdrawal—repeatedly demonstrating that Americans can’t trust him to end the war.

    January 14, 2011: Romney expresses opposition to the announcement of a troop drawdown. “It is my desire and my political party’s desire,” he says, “to support the people of Afghanistan and not to leave.”

    June 2, 2011: When Romney officially announces his campaign for president, he says “announcing a withdrawal date was wrong” because “the Taliban may not have watches, but they do have calendars.”

    June 13, 2011: Romney takes the opposite stance on withdrawal, saying that it’s “time for us to bring our troops home as soon as we possibly can” and that “Americans cannot fight another nation’s war of independence.”

    November 22, 2011: Romney walks back his support for a speedy withdrawal, suggesting that America should leave 10,000 troops in Afghanistan after 2014: “This is not time for America to cut and run.”

    December 22, 2011: Romney once again embraces President Obama’s timeline, saying that “the timeline is that by the end of 2014, we will be completely be out of Afghanistan.”

    February 28, 2012: Romney attacks President Obama for announcing the drawdown from Afghanistan, calling it his “biggest mistake.”

    July 21, 2012: Romney refuses to explicitly commit to a 2014 timetable for troop withdrawal, although aides “say … he supports the timetable in concept.”

    September 3, 2012: Romney says, “We’ll bring our troops home by the end of 2014” while simultaneously criticizing President Obama for announcing the timeline for withdrawal.

    October 8, 2012: Romney changes his website to include a “goal of completing the transition of combat operations to the Afghan army by the end of 2014.”

    Mitt Romney’s willingness to shift his positions reveals an opportunistic and indecisive politician who is just not ready to be commander in chief. Sadly, this isn’t surprising for a candidate who didn’t once mention Afghanistan or the troops serving there in his RNC acceptance speech, or for a candidate whose senior adviser called the war a distraction from what "real Americans want to talk about."

    The war in Afghanistan is not an afterthought. Americans need a president with a steady and well-thought-out plan to end the longest war in our nation’s history—not a president who plays politics with matters of war and peace.