Friday, January 19, 2018
Politics

Obama, super PAC target Romney's business career

Remember when top Democrats such as Bill Clinton were questioning President Barack Obama's attacks on Mitt Romney's business career?

Obama and his allies tossed that advice in the trash and have only stepped things up. A series of Florida spots from the pro-Obama super PAC Priorities USA Action have gone after Romney's tenure at Bain Capital, and last week Obama's campaign jumped on board with its own ad that tries to link Romney to companies that outsourced jobs. "President Obama believes in insourcing," a narrator states.

The ad is based on a Washington Post story that the Romney campaign has vehemently disputed, but the Post stands by it. Fact-checkers have found no evidence Romney was at Bain when the outsourcing happened.

"The Obama campaign continues to try to mislead voters with ads that independent fact-checkers have repeatedly proved to be false," said Romney Florida spokesman Jeff Bechdel. "We are happy to put Gov. Romney's record of job creation in the private sector, and as governor, up against President Obama's any day."

But Obama's campaign has signaled it will keep up the attacks, which have had some effect implanting negative voter opinions about Romney.

"As Mitt Romney has been campaigning for president we've gotten to know more and more about his private and public sector records," said Florida spokesman Eric Jotkoff. "From Romney's offshore accounts in foreign tax havens to his loading up companies with so much debt that it drives them into bankruptcy, Floridians clearly see that Romney's economic philosophy has always prioritized maximizing his own profits, even if it means betting against America and its workers."

What's new in ads

Speaking of ads … they continue to fill the airwaves. Last week, the liberal Moveon.org launched a Spanish-language TV ad criticizing Florida Gov. Rick Scott for his effort to remove noncitizens from the voting rolls — an effort critics say is trapping innocent Hispanics, some of whom are featured in the spot. It ran Thursday through Saturday in Tampa, Orlando and Miami.

On Tuesday, viewers will see a new spot from conservative advocacy group Crossroads GPS that paints Obama as full of excuses on the struggling economy. The ad was announced in concert with Friday's jobs report showing that while the country added 80,000 jobs in June, the unemployment rate remained 8.2 percent.

"The ad is the first wave of a national $25 million advocacy effort starting July 10 and running through early August," Crossroads said in a release.

First lady in Florida

First lady Michelle Obama on Tuesday will address grass roots supporters in Miami and Orlando.

"The first lady will speak about what's at stake in this election for Floridians, encourage supporters to register to vote and volunteer for the campaign, and thank volunteers for their hard work to help re-elect President Obama in November," according to the campaign. "The events are free and open to the public. Tickets are required."

In Orlando, she will speak at the Venue at UCF Arena. Public access starts at 2:30 p.m. Tickets were being distributed at Obama field offices around Orlando: 1516 E Colonial Drive, Suite 203; 1004 Royal St., Kissimmee; 1426 W First St., Sanford. Also at UCF College Democrats Room, Egmont Key Room 224, 4000 Central Florida Blvd.

No convention for him

The Salt Lake Tribune has news that former Republican presidential candidate Jon Huntsman will not attend the 2012 Republican National Convention in Tampa, and he has sharp words for the party. Here's an excerpt from the story:

"I will not be attending this year's convention, nor any Republican convention in the future," Huntsman said, "until the party focuses on a bigger, bolder, more confident future for the United States — a future based on problem solving, inclusiveness, and a willingness to address the trust deficit, which is every bit as corrosive as our fiscal and economic deficits."

Two politicians die

Former state House Minority Leader Jim K. Tillman, 77, died Wednesday at his home in Tallahassee. Tillman had been seriously ill since last fall and under hospice care at home.

He was elected to the Legislature in 1967 and served his Sarasota County district until 1974. He worked to extend rights to psychiatric patients with passage of the Baker Act and the Myers Act, a landmark law that helped alcoholics find treatment.

On Friday, the Florida Keys Keynote reported the death of former state Rep. Ken Sorensen, 77, a colorful and respected Republican who, after being term-limited, joined then-House Speaker Marco Rubio's team in 2006.

Times senior correspondent Lucy Morgan contributed to this report.

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