Tag Archives: McDonnell

Bobby Jindal and Bob McDonnell Campaign for Romney in Iowa Thursday

With Mitt Romney overseas for the Olympics and a tour of important foreign allies, two potential Vice Presidents will stump on his behalf in Iowa Thursday:

Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal and Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell, two potential VP contenders, are being deployed to Iowa to campaign on behalf of Mitt Romney while he is on an overseas trip, ABC News has learned.
As first reported by the Des Moines Register, the two governors and high profile Romney surrogates will jump on the Romney campaign bus in Iowa on Thursday. McDonnell will hold an event in Davenport Thursday morning and will meet Jindal at an event at the Victory Center in Coralville in the early afternoon. Jindal then will campaign in Newton and Des Moines.

Jindal campaigned in Iowa last December ahead of the caucuses there, but for another GOP candidate — Texas Gov. Rick Perry, whom the Louisiana governor initially endorsed in the Republican primaries. Jindal endorsed Romney in April and has hit the trail in recent weeks for him, including a rally last week in Columbus. McDonnell, who endorsed Romney one day ahead of the South Carolina primary, has campaigned for the presumptive GOP nominee in Virginia, Florida, Michigan and South Carolina.

Battleground State Economics

The Romney campaign continues to walk a tightrope between identifying the need for change at the Presidential level due to the poor economy while dealing with the reality that all-important Battleground state economies have turned for the better over the last 18-months.  The National Journal took a look at some of the key factors and conflicting agendas embedded in such a strategy:

Examples of conflicting narratives among the Battlegrounds:

  • Nevada: Suffers from double-digit unemployment, deep and stubborn housing crisis as well as anemic activity in the service and construction industries vital to the state
  • Michigan: Unemployment hovers in the 8 percent range, a smidge above the national average but a far cry from the 14.1 percent the state experienced during the auto-industry financial crisis that roiled Detroit
  • Iowa: Entered the downturn later than other states, jettisoned fewer jobs, and rebounded much faster

Balancing Act

Romney’s pitch to voters hinges on the recovery being too sluggish under the president’s policies and the fact that millions of Americans are still feeling economic pain. The problem has been GOP governors heralding their accomplishments on the economic front have also cropped up, putting their messages at loggerheads with the Romney campaign’s central theme. Among them were Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell, and Ohio Gov. John Kasich.

Problem Governors:

Romney’s message was undercut this week when Florida Gov. Rick Scott insisted on touting economic progress in the Sunshine State under his tenure, for his own political purposes. Scott on Friday touted his state’s recovery at a major gathering of Hispanic elected officials. “Our state is doing extremely well,” Scott said. “We still have 800,000 people out of work, but we’re changing it. Tourism is way up, jobs are up, housing prices are staying stable. If you want to buy a house, now is the time. … We’ve had the biggest drop in unemployment of any state but one in the last seventeen months.”

Ohio Gov. Kasich in particular had been conspicuously absent from recent Romney campaign events. Notably, he skipped an April event in front of a shuttered factory in Lorain, Ohio. Democrats were quick to pounce, accusing Romney of rooting against the recovery. Ohio Democratic Party Chairman Chris Redfern said in an interview, “That’s the pickle John Kasich is in. He’s given the task of poor-mouthing the economy or going into the witness-protection program, and he’s chosen the latter.”

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Who Gets Credit for Battleground State Economic Turnarounds?

In every poll, no matter the source, one theme remains constant across the entire country — the #1 issue this election year, and there is no close #2, is the economy.  Since the election outcome will be determined by only a handful of states, the economic conditions in those states is of paramount importance.  This has created an odd paradox in today’s politics — Battleground state economies are rebounding where there is a newly elected Republican governor. So who gets credit: the Democrat in the White House or the Republican in the State House?  The answer to that question (which can only be answered by the electorate in November) will determine the winner of this year’s Presidential contest.

Michael Crowley in Time magazine takes a crack at this topic but frames it as Romney’s campaign rhetoric running down Obama’s economic performance versus GOP governors touting their reforms that have reversed state fortunes.  It’s a different spin (and a negative Romney spin at that) on the same paradox. First up is Ohio:

The great recession has left the state of Ohio battered and bruised–and Mitt Romney would have you believe it’s Barack Obama’s fault.  Romney advised Ohioans that the President has delivered them “paltry results,” and that their state is in need of “a fundamental change in direction.”

Which contrasts with Republican Governor John  Kasich’s assessment:
“I’m very comfortable with the [economic] trend we have in our state,” Kasich said. “Our unemployment has dropped I think more than most other states.” (He thinks right.) “We’re [moving] in the right direction,” Kasich said. At 7.4%, Ohio’s unemployment rate is more about a half-point better than the national average of 8.1 percent; more importantly, it’s improving about twice as fast as the national number.

Romney Vice-President Talk and The Battlegrounds

Speculation on the short-list for Vice-President on Mitt Romney’s ticket is plenty of fun for TV talking heads and newspapers looking for stories beyond the oft-repeated campaign stump rhetoric.  For those reasons I understand the excitement that often associates “any” news a presumptive short-lister makes. I don’t expect to spend much time on this parlor game but today seems to be rife with VP “news” with battleground state implications so take a took: