Mitt Romney

A Different Reality for Romney's Mega-Donors

Top-dollar donors to Mitt Romney’s campaign gathered last weekend to hobnob with the candidate at three fundraisers in East Hampton, N.Y., including an event at the massive home of billionaire David Koch. With the price of admission around $75,000, the scene near the gates isn’t surprising, according to the Los Angeles Times.

The line of Range Rovers, BMWs, Porsche roadsters and one gleaming cherry red Ferrari began queuing outside of Revlon Chairman Ronald Perelman's estate off Montauk Highway long before Romney arrived, as campaign aides and staffers in white polo shirts emblazoned with the logo of Perelman's property -- the Creeks -- checked off names under tight security.

What is surprising, however, is how out of touch the upper echelon of the 1% is with the economic conditions faced by most Americans and their resistance to policies that will help level the playing field. The attitude of indifference to the plight of working families in favor of perpetuating failed trickle-down economics and maintaining the established order were summed up by a Romney contributor:

"I don't think the common person is getting it," she said from the passenger seat of a Range Rover stamped with East Hampton beach permits.

"Nobody understands why Obama is hurting them.

"We've got the message," she added. "But my college kid, the baby sitters, the nails ladies -- everybody who's got the right to vote -- they don't understand what's going on. I just think if you're lower income -- one, you're not as educated, two, they don't understand how it works, they don't understand how the systems work, they don't understand the impact."

There are lots of college kids, baby sitters and nail ladies in America who are probably paying higher tax rates than the woman quoted above. Fortunately, as she said, they have the right to vote.

PFAW

Republican Fundraiser Illustrates the Sham of "Non-Coordination"

Mitt Romney raised a lot of money this weekend at a gala fundraiser in the Hamptons, where guests such as the Koch brothers paid up to $50,000 to attend. But according to the Huffington Post, one particular presence that weekend was not on the official guest list: Karl Rove.

Rove was in town to speak at a luncheon promoting his super PAC, American Crossroads, and his affiliated nonprofit group. Because American Crossroads spends its contributors’ unlimited donations on ads supporting Mitt Romney (or attacking President Obama), the Romney campaign and Rove are prohibited by law from “coordinating” with each other.

As far as the law is concerned, however, “coordination” is defined narrowly at best. With the Romney event unable to sponsor Rove’s luncheon, Solamere Capital, a private equity firm founded by Romney’s son Tagg along with Romney’s chief fundraiser Spencer Zwick, footed the bill. Many of the attendees at Rove’s luncheon, scheduled the day before the official retreat weekend, were also at the campaign fundraiser. As one fundraiser who was at the retreat noted, “It was not a coincidence that the Solamere conference took place in the same city just before the retreat began.”

Thanks to Citizens United, corporations and wealthy individuals and special interests can bypass the $2,500 maximum that campaign committees can accept and instead give unlimited amounts to super PACs like American Crossroads, which in turn spent about $300 million this year to support the GOP. Although in its flawed ruling the Court may have intended such outside groups to be independent, the facts just don’t support that notion:

"This kind of activity [by Rove] is the last thing the Supreme Court had in mind when it ruled that spending by an outside group had to be 'totally independent' and 'wholly independent' from a candidate the group is supporting with expenditures," Fred Wertheimer, the president of Democracy 21, said in an interview. "The FEC lives in a pure fantasy world in the way it attempts to define coordinated activities as not being coordinated activities."

Citizens United has left us in quite a campaign finance mess – and a constitutional amendment to overturn that decision and related cases is the only path forward to fairer and more transparent elections.

PFAW

Anti-Choice Group Blasts Romney for 'Unacceptable' Investment in Company that Disposed of Aborted Fetuses

Back in January, the Huffington Post reported on a $75 million investment made by Bain Capital, Romney’s private equity firm, in a medical waste disposal service company, Stericycle, whose clients included abortion clinics. While the extent of Romney’s involvement in the deal was initially unclear, David Corn of Mother Jones recently obtained SEC documents that “list Romney as an active participant in the investment.” This new information is raising eyebrows at the anti-choice group Bound4Life, where Susan Tyrrell is calling Romney’s involvement “unacceptable” and “a serious issue for pro-lifers who have embraced him as a pro-life candidate”:

This information clearly contradicts what the Romney camp reported publicly in January. That is unacceptable and raises a serious issue for pro-lifers who have embraced him as a pro-life candidate.

There are too many unanswered questions to let this issue be a non-issue in this race. The man running on a pro-life platform actually was the “sole shareholder” in a company that made a $75 million investment in a company that has for an indeterminate amount of time profited directly from from [sic] the shedding of innocent blood. Their work helps polluted the land with bloodshed, putting fetuses in incinerators and waste areas. Stericycle is evasive in its responses to those who question its abortion business, claiming that abortion is only a “small portion” of its business, which is only true on a technicality. There are only a few hundred abortion centers in the nation and many more medical facilities that need waste services; however, Stericycle is the largest provider of disposing of fetal remains.



First, we do not have any evidence that the aborted fetal remains pick-ups began after Romney left the firm. Records like this are not easily available unless one knows what he is seeking exactly. StopStericycle.com has records from 2003, which is after Romney left, but until Stericycle or Romney can provide evidence that Stericycle’s suddenly started its business with fetuses after Romney sold his investment, we can’t conclusively be satisfied that was the case.

Second, Romney claims a pro-life conversion, though he does allows for exceptions in certain cases. He must address his relationship with the abortion profiteer. Even if some evidence exists showing perhaps it was after he sold his investment, Stericycle began this practice, Romney needs to address this to pro-lifers because he is running on a pro-life platform but is tied in some ways to a business linked to abortion since clearly the dates of his involvement were not as he reported.

Biden Challenges Americans to Picture a Romney Court

Seems like Biden has an opinion on a Romney Supreme Court, as reported by CNN Political Ticker:

"Close your eyes and picture what the Supreme Court would look like four years from now under Romney," Biden said to groans from a crowd of supporters at a rally in Dubuque. "Tell me what you think would happen to women's rights in this country, civil rights."

Good to note that we’re not the only ones afraid of a Romney Court. Not worried yet? Check out RomneyCourt.com.

PFAW

Anti-Choice Activist Vows to Never Back Romney

Conservative radio host and Romney-critic Steve Deace has been hosting a number of right-wing activists who have hit Romney, mainly due to his Mormon faith. But his latest guest says that his problem with Romney is not his religion but that he is “more destructive than Barack Obama.” Rev. Bob Enyart of Colorado Right to Life told Deace that after documenting Romney’s many inconsistencies on the issue of abortion rights, he found him to be worse than Obama “because he gets Republicans and conservatives and Christians to justify everything he’s done.” “Romney is worse than Obama; Obama is the lesser of two evils,” he said, “I think if you fear God, you will not because Romney destroys marriage; Romney destroys the family; Romney kills kids, and he’s a socialist.”

I’m a bit of an expert on what Mitt Romney did in Massachusetts and he has already implemented far beyond what Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton dream of doing. He has by his own hand implemented homosexual marriage, he implemented tax-funded abortion on demand, late-term, by health care reform with the individual mandate. He’s robbed religious freedom by forcing pro-life hospitals to administer abortion pills. I mean, the record goes on and on. Romney is worse than Obama; Obama is the lesser of two evils.



We can focus on Obama and be afraid of the boogeyman, and if you fear Obama you will probably vote for Romney. But I think if you fear God, you will not because Romney destroys marriage; Romney destroys the family; Romney kills kids, and he’s a socialist. You know how they say Steve, 'well at least RomneyCare was a state run program'? Well the federal government paid for it. Their health care premiums in Massachusetts have skyrocketed, they have lost tens of thousands of jobs because of RomneyCare; we have all that documented on our profile. But once the special exception that Romney negotiated with the federal government, once that comes to an end, their health care premiums are going to skyrocket in Massachusetts. So it’s not a state program. Here in Colorado, my audience in Denver, Colorado through their federal tax dollars are paying for abortions in Massachusetts by RomneyCare. So to say that this is a state program and then Romney gets the federal government, which is already heading towards bankruptcy, to fund his socialist, government takeover of healthcare—I mean, we have nominated somebody who is more destructive than Barack Obama because he gets Republicans and conservatives and Christians to justify everything he’s done.

Barber: No 'Christian in Good Conscience' can Support Obama; Trust Romney to Appoint Right-Wing Judges

Liberty Counsel’s Matt Barber and his boss Mat Staver were consistent critics of Mitt Romney and endorsed Newt Gingrich in the Republican primary, but now Barber is out with a new column begging the Religious Right to coalesce behind Romney and today spoke to Jordan Sekulow of the American Center for Law and Justice about his new found support for the former governor. Barber ironically began the interview by commenting that the ACLJ, like him, was probably bothered by Romney’s inconsistent record, even though both Jay and Jordan Sekulow vigorously supported Romney both times he ran for president and ACLJ attorney David French founded the group Evangelicals for Romney.

He said he came around to supporting Romney because of his pledge to nominate right-wing judges. “The one word that made the decision for me is judges,” Barber told Sekulow, warning that if Obama can make more appointments to the judiciary then he will create a “radical, secular, socialist, European-style nation.”

Barber went on to claim that he couldn’t “imagine any Christian in good conscience based on Obama’s radical, counter-biblical, anti-Christian, pro-abortion, pro-homosexual activism policies voting for Barack Obama.” Or as Barber puts it in his column, “any Christian who votes for Mr. Obama will get to take that up with God.”

The one word that made the decision for me is judges. Probably the most significant thing that any president can do for better or for worse and this may not be how our Founding Fathers intended it but it is the reality we live in is to appoint judges, particularly United States Supreme Court justices. The next president, either Barack Obama, radical secular socialist, or Mitt Romney, center-right Republican, the next president is going to appoint at least probably two, potentially three United States Supreme Court judges. That will affect law, public policy, our culture at large in perpetuity, for as far out as we can see for decades, it literally will make the difference. This next election I think is the most important election we ever faced in our lifetimes, it will make the difference based on Supreme Court appointments alone between an America that we can recognize, that at least resembles what our Founding Fathers intended, versus a radical, secular, socialist, European-style nation, which is the goal of Barack Obama.



A Christian non-vote is a vote for Barack Obama in that it fails to affirmatively cancel out an Obama vote. I can’t imagine any Christian in good conscience based on Obama’s radical, counter-biblical, anti-Christian, pro-abortion, pro-homosexual activism policies voting for Barack Obama. That leaves a final choice, and that is to get out, vote for Mitt Romney, and get out the vote for Mitt Romney.

Leading Anti-Choice Activist says Romney 'Did The Same Thing' as Obama on Contraception

Personhood USA president Keith Mason spoke to Janet Mefferd on Monday to cast doubt on Romney’s record on reproductive rights and stem-cell research, addressing Romney’s consistency, or lack thereof, on abortion rights and stem-cell research, role in health care reform in Massachusetts, and views on mandating hospitals to distribute emergency contraceptive pills. “At the end of the day, I don’t believe he is pro-life,” Mason said, arguing that Romney’s move on contraception coverage was no different from the Obama administration’s stance:

Mefferd: When you look at his record back in Massachusetts, he talks about a pro-life conversion but it is very confusing I think for a lot of pro-lifers to look at what he did in Massachusetts and feel totally comfortable with where he actually stands versus what he says. Where do you come down on his pro-life record in Massachusetts and where he stands now?

Mason: At the end of the day, I don’t believe he is pro-life. I guess I could be blunt; I could go through a list. We have RomneyCare as a starter, in Romney Care he used his veto powers in eight different ways but he didn’t use those veto powers to veto the $50 co-pay abortions that are within RomneyCare. Then after that even in 2004 we have a bill that he says he had a pro-life conversion so he vetoed a bill against embryonic stem-cell research and then he signed a bill later allowing for stem-cell research by embryos leftover from IVF clinics. That’s not that convincing to me either.

As far as the morning after pill goes, we have a bill that he vetoed, which is part of his pro-life conversion, he used it sort of for his credentials, for expanded access to the morning after pill. But then just three months later he signed a bill that even expanded it even farther than that, than it was being implemented at the time. Then even against his legal team’s advice he signed an executive order mandating that Catholic hospitals distribute the morning-after pill. With all these rallies, which I’ll participated on the 8th with religious freedom sort of to send the message to the Obama administration to not trample on that, the guy that we’re supposed to rally around sort of did the same thing.

As William Saletan points out in a Slate article documenting Romney’s constantly changing story about his “conversion” on the abortion issue, Romney claims to have stopped supporting abortion rights after he was troubled by a meeting regarding the ethics of embryo research, but after coming out against reproductive choice he continued to favor research on surplus IVF embryos. And despite Romney’s assertion that “every time as governor” he “came down on the side of life,” he said in a 2005 interview (after his supposed change of views) that he would veto any bill about abortion, “whether it’s pro-life or pro-choice.”

The Massachusetts-based Catholic Action League criticized Romney for enforcing his private counsel’s opinion mandating that Catholic hospitals distribute emergency contraceptive pills, claiming, “The injury to the conscience rights of Catholic hospitals was not done so much so much by the church’s ideological enemies on the Left but by the Romney administration.” Later, Romney said he personally supported his counsel’s view. During the presidential campaign, however, Romney described the Obama administration’s opposition to exempting health workers from distributing contraceptives as part of “an assault on religion unlike anything we have seen.”

 

Bain's Not Just Fair Game, It's the Only Game

Romney's experience at Bain is beyond fair game: if this election is truly about jobs and the economy, then Bain is one of the only games in town.
PFAW

Anti-Mormon Activist Asks if Christians Would Vote for a Member of the First Church of Satan

Earlier this week we wrote a post about Jerry Johnson and his role in formulating a document calling on Christian leaders who decide to back Mitt Romney to also make clear that Mormonism is a cult. As Johnson explained, he personally will not be voting for either President Obama or Mitt Romney because that is like having to choose between "voting for the Beast or the False Prophet."

Of course, if there is some Christian activist out there urging Christian voters not to support Mitt Romney because of his Mormon faith, it is only a matter of time before they are invited to make their case on Steve Deace's radio program ... just as Johnson was last night.

Johnson made the case that Christians are misinformed about the true nature of Mormonism, thanks to people like David Barton who is "hugging and kissing all over Glenn Beck," and asked whether Christians would be willing to vote for a member of the First Church of Satan if the candidate supported the conservative agenda, warning that the "anybody but Obama" mindset was going to drive the nation and the church "into the arms of perdition" and prevent God from blessing America:

55% of evangelicals either don't know what Mormonism teaches or they don't know that Christianity teaches. And that is our failure, that is the great calamity that we're facing right now thanks to people like Joel Olsteen and Rick Warren and David Barton, who is hugging and kissing all over Glenn Beck, calling him his brother in Christ.

Suppose you had a real conservative running again Barack Obama ... who was fiscally conservative, he believed in the right to keep and bear arms, all the things that conservatives hold to. But let's say he was a member of the First Church of Satan. Would his religion now make a difference? Would you be out endorsing and campaigning for him if he was a member of the Satanic Church?

Right now the attitude is in the country, or specifically within the Republican Party, anybody but Obama. And this idea, this mindset is going to drive, I believe, this country and even the church into the arms of perdition in many ways.

The issue is the blessings and curse of God. He is the one who is sovereign, dread sovereign, over all the universe. And we are reaping today the curses of God, I believe, in this country. So here's my question, I ask folks: do we really believe that God is going to bless America if we elect a professed polytheist to the highest office of the land?

Poll Finds Voters Don’t Want a Romney Court

 Think Progress alerts us to a recent Fox News poll which finds that a strong plurality of voters would prefer that President Obama, rather than Mitt Romney, pick the next Supreme Court justice. (46 percent said they’d prefer Obama make the pick; 38 said Romney).

This shouldn’t be surprising. President Obama’s two Supreme Court nominees, Sonia Sotomayor and Elena Kagan, have been a strong voice for the rights of ordinary Americans in the court that brought us Citizens United. Meanwhile, Romney has said that he’d appoint more Justices like Samuel Alito, Clarence Thomas, Antonin Scalia and John Roberts, the core of the Corporate Court.

And, of course, there’s the matter of who Romney is going to for advice about picking judges:

PFAW

Mitt Romney in 2006 Blasted Same-Sex Marriage as a 'Blow to the Foundation of Civilization'

Prior to launching his first run for president, Mitt Romney in 2006 addressed an event called “Liberty Sunday” at Boston’s Tremont Temple Baptist Church where he spoke alongside anti-gay activists and attacked marriage equality as harmful to children and civilization itself.

Watch:

Warning against the “homosexual agenda,” Family Research Council president Tony Perkins introduced Mitt and Ann Romney and lauded the former Massachusetts governor for understanding “the threat that this imposes to our nation.”

Romney condemned people, especially activist judges, whom he accused of “trying to establish one religion, the religion of secularism” and “reject traditional values” and “reject the values of our Founders.”

“Here in Massachusetts, activist judges struck a blow to the foundation of civilization—the family—they ruled that our constitution requires people of the same gender to marry,” Romney said. “The principal burden of this court’s ruling doesn’t fall on adults, it falls on children.” He continued, “The price of same-sex marriage is paid by the children, our fight for marriage then should focus then on the needs of children, not the rights of adults.”

Romney called for the adoption of a Federal Marriage Amendment to block the “spreading secular religion and its substitute values” that he said “weaken the foundation of the family” and dishonor the Founders.

Other speakers included Focus on the Family founder James Dobson, American Family Association president Don Wildmon, and preacher Wellington Boone, who reminisced about the time when sodomy was a capital offense in America, joked about “sodomite island,” and said the push for LGBT rights represents the “rape of the civil rights movement.”

Will Romney Denounce Liberty University's 'Poisonous Language'?

As Josh noted in the previous post, Mitt Romney will be delivering the commencement address tomorrow at Liberty University, the ultra-fundamentalist university founded by the late Jerry Falwell.  But what many people may not realize is that Liberty U is also the home of some of the most militant anti-gay activists operating today, who are on staff at Liberty U while simultaneously working for the affiliated Liberty Counsel.

In fact, the two are so intertwined that Mat Staver serves as both Dean of the Liberty U Law School and Chairman of Liberty Counsel, while Rena Lindevaldsen, LU's Associate Dean for Academic Affairs, Matt Barber, LU's Associate Dean for Career and Professional Development, Shawn Akers, Dean of LU's Helms School of Government, and Deryl Edwards, LU's Director of Institutional Advancement, all hold positions with Liberty Counsel as well.

For years, Liberty Counsel has been at the center of a custody case involving Lisa Miller, an "ex-gay" woman who kidnapped her daughter and fled the country rather than abide by court-ordered custody arrangements with her former partner.  Rena Lindevaldsen was Miller's attorney and even wrote a book about the saga while Liberty Counsel continues to insist that it has no knowledge of Miller's whereabouts, despite the fact that she was reportedly living at a home in Nicaragua owned by the father of an administrative assistant working for Staver at Liberty U Law School. Furthermore, Liberty U also taught a class based on the Miller case in which students were reportedly instructed that the "right" thing for a lawyer to do in a case such as this would be to counsel their client that they have an obligation to ignore the law and court orders and instead engage in "civil disobedience" in order to uphold God's law.

While Staver may be the head of Liberty Counsel with a penchant for issuing warnings that President Obama seeks to become a global dictator, his rhetoric pales in comparison to Matt Baber who, in addition to serving as an instructor at Liberty U's Law School, also happens to be one of the most viciously anti-gay bigots operating today, as demonstrated by his view that homosexuality is nothing more than “one man violently cramming his penis into another man’s lower intestine and calling it ‘love.’”

Just in recent months, Barber has said that marriage equality mocks God and desecrates the Church, declared that the Defense of Marriage Act is necessary to prevent children from becoming gay and getting AIDS, said that gay teens commit suicide because they "know that what they are doing is unnatural, is wrong, [and] immoral," proclaimed gay adoption to be "tragic," "unconscionable," and "reprehensible," and warned that gay activists are seeking to poison the minds of children and are "running interference for the pedophile movement."

But it is not just gays whom Barber attacks on a regular basis, but liberals in general, whom he claims are driven by a hatred of God and are working with radical Islamists to destroy Christianity. He has said that the Obama administration's contraception mandate was no different than being forced to kill your family and that those who support reproductive choice are literally no different than the Nazis.  In fact, Barber thinks the Left in general are nothing but a bunch of bullies who just need to be punched in the mouth.

Last year, when Romney spoke at the Values Voter Summit, he publicly called out the American Family Association's Bryan Fischer for his bigotry and declared that "poisonous language does not advance our cause."  

Will Romney have the courage this weekend to likewise take a stand against the "poisonous language" and bigotry regularly displayed by the staff at Liberty University/Liberty Counsel? 

We won't hold our breaths.

The First Amendment Doesn’t Apply at Liberty University

[This is part of a series of posts on Liberty University's student handbook, “The Liberty Way,” which governs what students can say, do, read, and watch – both on and off campus – and sets out a regimen of reprimands and fines for violators]

Liberty University is all about freedom – the freedom to do, think and say exactly what Jerry Falwell would want you to do, think and say, and nothing else. Accordingly, students cannot participate in demonstrations, petitioning, picketing, or literature distribution on campus without the express approval of the administration. Students can also be restricted or prohibited from participating in such activities off campus if they are deemed to be in violation of the school’s principles and policies. 

Here’s the relevant section for the Liberty Way:
Demonstrations, Petitions and Picketing
Student participation in on-campus demonstrations, petitions or picketing is prohibited unless approved by Liberty University administration. The administration may also prohibit or restrict student participation in demonstrations, petitions or picketing at places other than on campus, where such participation would contradict or otherwise compromise the principles and policies of Liberty University.
 
Distribution of Literature
Distribution of literature is permitted on campus only when prior administrative approval has been secured from the Student Life Office or University Services. Distribution of literature in the residence halls requires written approval from the Residence Life Office.
Violations of these policies are punished accordingly:
12 Reprimands + $50.00 Fine
  • Participation in an unauthorized petition or demonstration
Liberty administrators also restrict what students are free to read. Last year the school banned students from accessing the local Lyncburg newspaper, the News & Advance, after it reported on the half-billion dollars that the school received in 2010 from the federal government, which runs counter to the school’s anti-government ideology.
 
This is behavior I expect from a Chinese university, not an American one. But that’s the Liberty Way.

 

Liberty Isn't Free at Liberty University – Inside Jerry Falwell U

Mitt Romney will give the commencement address tomorrow at Liberty University in Lynchburg, VA. Liberty, founded in 1971 as the Lynchburg Baptist College, is best known as the pet project of televangelist Jerry Falwell. Falwell created the university as a training ground for successive leaders of the Religious Right, and the curriculum is tightly controlled to advance an uncompromising right-wing outlook. But that’s not all.

The university also has an all-encompassing code of conduct, called “The Liberty Way,” which governs what students can say, do, read, and watch – both on and off campus – and sets out a regimen of reprimands and fines for violators. 

When the university banned a student Democratic club in 2009, the outside world got a taste of student life at Liberty. But to fully grasp the mindset of Liberty administrators, and get a sense of what life would be like in an America run by the Religious Right, you need to look inside the Liberty Way handbook.
 
The handbook was previously made available on the Liberty website, but now it is password-protected and available only to current students:
All students shall agree to comply with the terms of the Liberty Way. The full text is made available to students after they claim their Liberty University account. 
Fortunately we have a copy of the handbook. We’ll be posting highlights throughout the day:

 

Fischer 'Apologizes' to Romney, Gives Him Credit for Grenell's Resignation

There is no question that Bryan Fischer played a key role in the resignation of Richard Grenell from his position with Mitt Romney's campaign, as Fischer had  been relentlessly attacking the campaign for having hired an openly gay man to serve as foreign policy and national security spokesman.

And when Grenell finally resigned, Fischer declared it to be a "huge win," saying that the Religious Right had taught Romney a lesson and that the campaign would not make this sort of "mistake again."

And then on Friday, Fischer capped off the crusade by essentially mocking Romney for having caved on this issue to "a yokel like me," saying that his handling of the Grenell situation was now raising questions about Romney's leadership abilities since it showed that he could be "pushed around, intimidated, coerced, co-opted by a conservative radio talk show host in Middle America."

But apparently Fischer has since realized that demanding concessions from politicians and then mocking those politicians when then make the very concessions that you demanded might be somewhat hypocritical ... and so yesterday Fischer offered an amazingly back-handed "apology" to Romney, saying that even though the entire fiasco demonstrated Romney's weakness and utter lack of core values, he still deserves credit for having done the right thing in letting Grenell go:

I want to issue what amounts to sort of an apology to Gov. Romney. I was pretty hard on him on Friday and my point on Friday was his waffling when conservatives raised a concern about Richard Grenell - he went silent, he put a bag over Richard Grenell's head, let him fall on his sword, only said supportive things to Richard Grenell after he had resigned - it was an indication of the challenges that we have with Gov. Romney, that he does not seem to have a core set of principles, a core set of values by which he guides himself. And the fact that he could be so - I used the word intimidated or coerced or whatever - could be so influenced by a comparatively small number of conservatives ... and so I think it was illustrative of Gov. Romney's weaknesses and things that we've got to be concerned about.

But, at the end of the day, I didn't make enough of the fact that he did the right thing here. Now, regardless of why he did it - most likely, it was for reasons that are politically expedient - but he did the right thing. He allowed this resignation to take place, probably had some hand in bringing it about; I cannot believe that they were entirely passive in that. But here's the point: at the end of the day, Richard Grenell had stepped down, this homosexual activist, this crusader for gay marriage had stepped down and Romney could have taken a different tack. So I want to give Romney credit for doing that. Now, you'd like to know that he did it on the grounds of principle and conviction and all that - I believe that would kind of be a bridge too far - but nevertheless, Gov. Romney did the thing that he should have done.

Mitt Romney Caved to the Religious Right and This is the Thanks He Gets

Last week, in response to pressure from the Religous Right -- much of which was documented by PFAW's Right Wing Watch -- the Romney campaign forced out an openly gay spokesman who had been on the job for less than two weeks.

While the Romney campaign attempted to deny that right-wing pressure led to the spokesman's resignation, news reports suggested that that is exactly what happened.

But Romney's effort to appease the anti-gay right didn't even work. Right Wing Watch caught a clip of the American Family Association's Bryan Fischer, the leading critic of the candidate's decision to hire an openly gay spokesperson, criticizing Romney for listening to him. "How is he going to stand up to North Korea if he can be pushed around by a yokel like me?" Fischer demanded.

Earlier this week, Lawrence O'Donnell played and discussed the Fischer clip on his show. Watch:

Visit msnbc.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

PFAW

Maybe She Wishes Romney's Position Wasn't So Clear

The Republican National Committee’s Hispanic Outreach Director Bettina Inclan sparked a mini-firestorm today when she told reporters that she could not comment on Romney’s immigration positions because “he’s still deciding what his position on immigration is.”  She later tried to clean up the mess by tweeting that she was mistaken, and that his position was clear, linking to his website

Unfortunately for Romney and for the RNC’s Hispanic outreach, his position is all too clear: he opposes not only “amnesty” but all “magnets” – such as the DREAM Act or in-state tuition for students whose parents brought them here as children.  Romney has backed legislation, like Arizona’s, that has the goal of making life for undocumented immigrants so miserable that they will choose to “self-deport.”  That’s a bit much even for some right-wing activists, including some of those at the Freedom Federation’s recent Awakening conference in Orlando, Florida, where one speaker called the “self-deportation” approach “cruel” and “unbiblical” and where the Southern Baptists’ Richard Land called the GOP’s positions on immigration policy “dismal” and “indefensible.”

Fischer Calls Out Romney: 'How Is He Going to Stand Up to North Korea if He Can Be Pushed around by a Yokel Like Me?'

American Family Association spokesman Bryan Fischer poked fun at Mitt Romney today on Focal Point following the resignation of Richard Grenell, an openly gay Romney spokesman on security issues who Fischer and other Religious Right leaders wanted ousted from the campaign. Anti-gay activists celebrated news of Grenell’s resignation as a “huge win,” and the New York Times reported that one Republican adviser claimed the campaign offered no defense of Grenell because “they didn’t want to confront the religious right.”

Today, Fischer asserted that Romney shouldn’t expect voters to trust him to confront China, Russia or North Korea if he cannot stand up to “a conservative radio talk show host in Middle America.” “I don’t think for one minute that Mitt Romney did not want this guy gone,” Fischer continued, “he wanted this guy gone because there was not one word of defense, not a peep, from the Romney camp to defend him.”

Watch:

Fischer: Let me ask you this question, people have raised this question, if Mitt Romney can be pushed around, intimidated, coerced, coopted by a conservative radio talk show host in Middle America, then how is he going to stand up to the Chinese? How is he going to stand up to Putin? How is he going to stand up to North Korea if he can be pushed around by a yokel like me? I don’t think Romney is realizing the doubts that this begins to raise about his leadership. I don’t think for one minute that Mitt Romney did not want this guy gone; he wanted this guy gone because there was not one word of defense, not a peep, from the Romney camp to defend him. They just went absolutely stone cold silent, they put a bag over Grenell’s head, they even asked him to organize this phone conference and they didn’t even let him speak at the conference that he organized.
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