McCain on a Roll

By Erick Posted in Comments (59) / Email this page » / Leave a comment »

I'm listening in on the John McCain conference call. McCain says that, like in Iowa, negative ads by Mitt Romney will not work. He thinks that Romney is going to go more negative. McCain's response will be to go back on Romney with what both Boston newspaper and both major New Hampshire newspapers have said about Romney.

I asked John McCain about Governor Romney raising "fees" in Massachusetts by $700 million. He said that whether they were fees or taxes, raising fees had the same effect as on the pocketbook as raising taxes. I pointed out that both he and Mitt Romney were less than supportive of the Bush tax cuts. He said that he supports tax cuts, never voted for a tax increase, but wanted tax cuts tied to spending cuts. He was insistent on that point.

On the issue of going negative, Soren Dayton asked him about Romney's ads. Again, though, McCain said he was just going to stand behind what the newspapers had said and he himself would not go negative.

Matt Lewis from Townhall asked about going after independents with Obama and would that hurt him. McCain first pointed out that it was only Obama and McCain going after independents. He said he does not think it will hurt him as there will also be a good number of independents and Republicans who support him voting in New Hampshire. He also admitted to Matt that his bus is much more crummy this time around -- not enough room for all the bloggers.

Then I had to jump off for another call. All in all though, McCain sounds charged and ready to win. We'll see on Tuesday.


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The Senator sounds a bit tired, but he's hitting the right notes.

He was just pushed on immigration and gave as good an answer as possible. He emphasized border security, enforcement first, and opposition amnesty.

The Senator is right now saying that Lieberman should "play a role" in national security issues. That sounds like a possible SecDef to me.

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If Lieberman takes the SecDef, then Connecticut will need a new Senator, and with a Republican as Governor, then we have a chance to have a Republican nominated to the Senate. Another good reason to support McCain

I've heard that Duncan Hunter was a possibility as Sec Def for a lot of the GOP candidates. Don't most Sec Def's have military experience?

http://www.regimeofterror.com/

Documenting Saddam Hussein's support of terrorism

First, why don't we wait and see if the Romney campaign actuall does go more "negative" (and by the way, I hope they do not) before we take JMac's word for it. Okay?

Second, as McCain was "insistent" on tying tax cuts to spending cuts, did anyone "insist" that he tell us what spending should have been cut in order to pay for the tax cuts? Or what spending should be cut now to continue to "pay for" the Bush tax cuts that he's now in favor of extending, apparently?

Just asking as someone who doesn't have requisit juice to be in on such calls.

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Diplomacy is the art of saying 'Nice doggie' until you can find a rock.

Romney has been going negative for weeks. Even today Soren describes the NH TV as full of negative ads. I don't know how you can go "more negative." He's blanketed the airwaves with negative distortion ads that factcheck has debunked:

Romney's latest ad attacks McCain in New Hampshire with false and misleading claims:

* It claims McCain "voted to allow illegals to collect Social Security." That's untrue. Nobody who is in the country illegally could be paid any Social Security benefits under McCain's immigration bill.

* It implies McCain supported "amnesty" for illegal immigrants. That word isn't accurate. Illegal immigrants wouldn't have received a blanket pardon under McCain's bill. Instead, they would have had to pay thousands in penalties and fees to gain legal status. In fact, in 2005 Romney called McCain’s proposal “reasonable” and said it wasn’t amnesty.

* The ad says Romney "cut taxes" in Massachusetts. While he did cut some taxes – for example, enacting business tax credits – tax rates remained unchanged. Plus, Romney raised state revenues by hundreds of millions of dollars per year by increasing fees and closing corporate tax loopholes.

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I was speaking, clearly and specifically, to this point:

He thinks that Romney is going to go more negative. (emphasis mine)

So maybe you don't know how you can go "more negative" but your guy sure seems to. And all I'm asking is that we see if Team Romney actually do so before taking McCain's word on the matter. Savvy?

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Diplomacy is the art of saying 'Nice doggie' until you can find a rock.

although I will not that I was on the call and don't recall "more negative." But I now see where Erick says that.

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Diplomacy is the art of saying 'Nice doggie' until you can find a rock.

But you're at odds with the vast majority of the GOP if you think the McCain-Kennedy bill was not amnesty. The fees and whatever adminitrative work that had to be done was irrelevant. Once the president signed that bill, EVERYONE here was LEGAL. They received a Z-visa. That is amnesty!!

“.....women and minorities hardest hit”

like it's a coherent argument. Huck, Romney, Rudy, and McCain all supported the general comprehensive reform at the time. So go screaming amnesty and vote for Tancredo and feel good about yourself.

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I don't like the fact that any of those people ever supported it, but at least they don't now - and BTW, Tancredo has endorsed Romney. I'll take that over someone who sticks to his guns on a terrible bill.

“.....women and minorities hardest hit”

Illegal immigrants wouldn't have received a blanket pardon under McCain's bill. Instead, they would have had to pay thousands in penalties and fees to gain legal status.

This seems to be the linchpin of McCain and FactCheck's argument that his Immigration bill did not amount to an amnesty - that immigrants would have to pay certain fines and then fees to gain legal status.

Respectfully, I think this is just semantics and neither you nor FactCheck would tolerate it if it came from Romney.

First of all, legal immigrants by definition did not break the law and they pay fees as part of the process of immigrating so the fact that illegal immigrants would also pay fees does not take away anything from the argument that McCain's plan amounted to an amnesty.

The payment of fines is what technically allows McCain supporters to say that his plan did not amount to an amnesty ... but that has its problems. For example, how much were the fines as set in the bill? Were they the equivalent to a slap on the wrist or actually high enough to make the average illegal immigrant wish he/she had gone the legal route?

I dare say that a person who is illegally in the United States would gladly hustle up and pay thousands of dollars to have his status legalized and consider himself to have gotten a good deal. From the perspective of the many people around the world who patiently/resignedly follow the legal route, spending many months waiting in their home countries (sometimes in great danger), and not knowing their fate, this is an injustice.

The reason I opposed McCain's immigration plan was the fact, that ultimately, it rewards law breaking, it makes it worthwhile ... and furthermore makes fools of those who did (and are doing) the right thing. If the punishment does not meet the severity of the crime - i.e. enough to make the miscreant regret his actions (e.g. a one day jail sentence for rape), then it is qualitatively no different from an amnesty/pardon.

Romney is definitely going to go negative. He was pretty damn negative on McCain in that interview, and it did nothing to endear me to the fella.

...I doubt there is anything Romney could do to endear you.

“.....women and minorities hardest hit”

Are GOP candidates getting more negative on each other than past caucuses?

http://www.regimeofterror.com/
Documenting Saddam Hussein's support of terrorism

You heard it here first.

Oh yeah, and Obama-Clark for the Dems.

Minnesota isn't an electoral powerhouse, but it's not small either, and he'd move a state to our column that we otherwise will be hard-pressed to win.

As for the Dems, my guess is still Clinton, with Richardson or some other supposedly "moderate" Governor as VP.

But it certainly fell off the possibility cliff four months ago and was left for dead.

And I didn't see anything about Obama-Clark in that link ;-)

I've only been reading this site for about 3 months now so excuse me for not being clear about this, but why do you dismiss Romney outright in all your related posts and are quick to give his competition the benefit of the doubt? Was there some falling out between you two before I arrived?
Would it be safe to assume that you'd be happy with anyone but Romney? It would help me understand your point of view a little better. Most of the other posters make it pretty clear what their biases are. Thank you.

Erick doesn't like Romney. I think he's with Fred but I can't be sure. He's a hater, whether he'll admit it or not. He even spewed that nonsense that Romney was responsible for the anti-Mormon push-polling in Iowa and New Hampshire.

"Politics is the business of trying to convince fools to do the right thing."
-Braden Pace

Well if issue based conservatives are warming to McCain, then Romney must be the devil himself. I just won't be able to take McCain supporters seriously when they say they reject Romney based on his past record, becasue they will lose all credibility.

Romney's ads were not out of line one bit. They were purely on issues.

Second, I'm not defending fee increases, but there is a clear difference between user fees and income taxes. User fees are paid by the people that actually receive the benefit. Taxes are a form of wealth redistribution, in that everyone pays for things that only some benefit from, or that we benefit unequally from.

“.....women and minorities hardest hit”

b/c he was almost a supporter at one point. Probably says something about Romney's campaign. Then again, Erick trashed McCain 6 months ago and is now a possible supporter if Fred doesn't make it for the long haul. So perhaps persuasion instead of Rombotting would be a more effective way to win Erick (and others) over.

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And I'm not "Rombotting" as you say it. Personally I just want to stop Huckabee at this point. I'm even open to McCain - and that's saying something.

Second, I don't know exactly why Romney's campaign would turn someone off - the so-called "negative ads"?

“.....women and minorities hardest hit”

Erick would have to be a rationale being who uses logic and reasoning in order to be persuaded. Luckily for McCain, these things have no effect on Erick.

FactCheck:

Romney's latest ad attacks McCain in New Hampshire with false and misleading claims:

* It claims McCain "voted to allow illegals to collect Social Security." That's untrue. Nobody who is in the country illegally could be paid any Social Security benefits under McCain's immigration bill.

* It implies McCain supported "amnesty" for illegal immigrants. That word isn't accurate. Illegal immigrants wouldn't have received a blanket pardon under McCain's bill. Instead, they would have had to pay thousands in penalties and fees to gain legal status. In fact, in 2005 Romney called McCain’s proposal “reasonable” and said it wasn’t amnesty.

* The ad says Romney "cut taxes" in Massachusetts. While he did cut some taxes – for example, enacting business tax credits – tax rates remained unchanged. Plus, Romney raised state revenues by hundreds of millions of dollars per year by increasing fees and closing corporate tax loopholes.

Romney is purposefully attacking McCain with untrue statements. I don't know a better definition of attack or negative ads.
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What McCain claims is not amnesty are in fact only penalties that are so pitiful as to be illusory.

If a governor pardoned a murderer after a single day, would you say that that's not amnesty? Get real.

...against both Huckabee and McCain (cite).

I asked John McCain about Governor Romney raising "fees" in Massachusetts by $700 million. He said that whether they were fees or taxes, raising fees had the same effect as on the pocketbook as raising taxes.

One of my biggest gripes with politicians is their refusal to acknowledge that words have specific meanings. Taxes are not fees. Saying that raising fees has the same effect on the pocketbook as raising taxes is silly.

Taxes are paid by everyone. Fees are paid for a service.

If I decide to buy a new car in my state I will pay a high fee when I renew my registration. If I buy a used car I will pay a much lower fee at renewal. If I don't buy a car I won't pay any fee.

Whether I buy a new car, a used car or no car, my taxes will not be affected. The only thing affecting my pocketbook in this example is my choice on purchasing a car. I cannot blame my governor for my choice.

of taking money out of the economy and into the hands of the government. The effect is the same, what prompts the taking of the money is different.

Fees should be raised if they are too low - otherwise the government is subsidizing the activity. Raising fees to the correct level to cover costs has the effect of correcting the market, and lowering redistribution of wealth.

Taxes are never too low. Any taxes distort the market, and any increase in taxes has the effect of increasing redistribution of wealth.

You can avoid income taxes by not working (many second earners do this by staying home) and avoid sales taxes by not buying things and avoid property taxes by renting.

Economically fees operate the same as taxes. They are just smaller and more focused on certain groups, which makes them more dangerous often b/c people can tax someone else with those taxes.

Do you think using a different term changes things? If it was an income fee would you feel better about it? Or an oil usage fee? Maybe a home ownership fee?

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Economically fees operate the same as taxes. They are just smaller and more focused on certain groups, which makes them more dangerous often b/c people can tax someone else with those taxes.

Bunk. I pay a fee to get a drivers' license and I get (drumroll please) a drivers' license. Does that mean I've been "targeted" with this tax?

And if it costs more to produce and maintain the Registry of Motor Vehicles than it did in 1990, does taking the revenue from the general treasury for that purpose make more sense than raising the fee for the license?

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Diplomacy is the art of saying 'Nice doggie' until you can find a rock.

Fees are meant to recoup costs.

During a drought my city decided to restrict water usage. Everyone started using much less water to comply. The city's management were disturbed at year-end that the fees for water usage had declined substantially.

If this had been a water tax instead of a fee there would not have been a decline. Everyone would have paid their share of water taxes regardless of usage.

They're the kind of taxes that I prefer, but they're still taxes.

are these taxes to which you refer trying to recoup?

Taxes and fees are different terms. There are reasons they are used to designate different things. They are not interchangeable.

You may think they are similar, but they are not the same.

And when a politician, such as McCain tries to make them interchangeable to beat up another candidate I consider it uninformed or dishonest. In this case, definitely the latter.

McCain is going to win Tuesday. Latest Zogby has McCain up 4, but Romney still with a strong 30%. Once the dust from Iowa settles, I will be surprised if Romney can hang on to anything better than the low 20's.

... Dakar Rally, the biggest event in motorsports, was just cancelled for the first time in history, due to concerns about terrorist attacks from an Al-Qaeda group in Mauritania.

Those cheese eating surrender monkeys have done it again. It's another blow to the europeans' moral. And freedom.

Please, just vote for McCain. Europe, and the free world, still need America's leadership. Badly.

It is amazing to me that apparently New Hampshire (and even some Iowa) voters have forgotten that McCain is half of the McCain-Kennedy "comprehensive immigration reform" bill, which was the egregious amnesty bill of this past spring. Sen. Open Borders has a hot temperament, too.
Over and over we hear that people want another Ronald Reagan. Duncan Hunter makes no claim to be a Reagan, BUT his positions are more like those of Reagan than anyone else on the GOP scene, yet he is not given enough media exposure. He could have come from behind like Huckabee with the help of evangelicals.
McCain claims to have "gotten the message" on illegal immigration, but he has NOT had a change of heart. He is just saying what he thinks he needs to say. Meanwhile unfettered illegal crossings continue every day as our borders remain like Swiss cheese. When he said you could not find Americans who would pick lettuce for even $50 per hour, his office was inundated with heads of lettuce and there is a booklet, "America for Dummies..." now circulating on the Internet containing actual applications from Americans who would be willing: http://opensourceactivist.org/content/lettucepickers/cover.php

Adopt a soldier! www.soldiersangels.org

the comprehensive reform that President Bush, Mayor Giuliani, Gov. Romney, and Gov. Huckabee supported at the time?

Go vote for Tancredo.

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You got links to prove your point?

...but at least some of them have distanced themselves. McCain has stubbornly clinged to it.

“.....women and minorities hardest hit”

I've posted this dozens of times, but here is video of the Senator discussing his immigration views. They are not the same as the bill. He wants to secure the border first then deal with those in the country. He knows people don't trust the federal government so he wants the border governors to certify the border is secure before any guest worker or earned legalization is considered.

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Such a wonderful bill must have passed easily, and McCain must tout it as a great accomplishment!

Or is it possible that everybody (including McCain) has distanced themselves from a massively unpopular bill?

... on immigration? Closer to Tancredo? Don't think so...

An immigration law with a Dem in the Withehouse and a democrat majority in the congress would be a nightmare beyond whatever we can imagine.

McCain not only got the message but he can actually stop Obama or Clinton.

This is a bit off topic, but do any of the other campaigns do these blogger calls with any regularity? I've been reading pretty glowing reports of McCain blogger calls for the past several months here and on other sites. It's nice to see the old crank embrace the new media and would probably benefit the other candidates to do the same.

"The Constitution was made to guard the people against the dangers of good intentions."

And in the process will prove that he has what it takes to win in November.

All the liberal independents will be voting for Obama in New Hampshire which is just as well. I'd rather not have a nominee that needs Obama liberals to vote for him in order to win the nomination.

Giuliani also appears to be doing a lot of work in New Hampshire which should also hurt McCain.

Why would a liberal vote for the biggest supporter of the Iraq war in the race? McCain leads among likely voters in the Republican primary.

McCain will win NH with the support of moderates, independent conservatives and republicans. Which is exactly the kind of support we need in our general election.

But stop with the lies, liberals see McCain as a Bush equal and a pro war neocon. They will not support him.

Because all of the Republicans save Ron Paul and Mike Huckabee support the war. Some who are unaware of how much of the government that Ron Paul wants to eliminate may vote for him and they won't vote for Huckabee because there aren't many voters who vote solely on the basis of their religion in New Hampshire.

And McCain is the only one with a record of voting against tax cuts, against free speech rights, and they saw him aid their cause in helping to stop great judges from getting on circuit courts when they would have if McCain had not helped to deep-six them.

Romney and McCain both support winning the war. Without those who are liberal on everything else voting for McCain (because they'll be busy voting for Obama), Romney will triumph.

And this will be a good thing, really, because in the general election they would likely vote for Obama over McCain, too.

McCain has more support nationally among republicans than Romney. So this idea that McCain is only propped up by liberals is a lie.

McCain is a consistent fiscal conservative(supports tax cuts with spending cuts, otherwise is irresponsible), pro life, pro free trade, and the best foreign policy expert in the race.

Romney defines inconsistency, and NH republicans aren't buying his act anymore.

McCain refuses to grow the economy by reforming the tax code unless he gets spending cuts. That's insane. We need both, but if we can only get one, we should take what we can get.

McCain has said that he didn't think that Roe v. Wade should be overturned at a speech in San Francisco. That's an odd definition of "pro-life."

Oh yeah...McCain is still an anti-First Amendment free speech hater. That's not conservative, and as Karl Rove has correctly pointed out - Obama is going to hurt McCain in New Hampshire. That's good news for real conservatives.

If we don’t pair tax cuts with spending cuts, you get national debt. Nation debt devalues the US dollar, causes inflation and gradually erodes our economy. You have to have both tax cuts and spending cuts.

If McCain backs away from that and McCain-Kennedy, I could be swayed.

“.....women and minorities hardest hit”

McCain, Huckabee, or Rudy.

Those are certainly not my choices (those would be my #3, #5, and #4) choices.

If we get there after South Carolina, I'll have to pull the trigger for John in Georgia.

 
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