Mitt Romney

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Live Blog Preview: Obama vs. Romney; Final Swing State Polls

Mitt Romney and President Barack Obama at the first presidential debate.

STF/AFP/GettyImages

Tonight we’ll be live blogging presidential results,  U.S. Senate races, hotly contested House seats in California, propositions, select State Assembly results, and local  contests around the Bay Area. A look at the presidential picture, below. Also see 9 Key Senate Races.

The other day one of our reporters who drew the assignment of gathering local reaction to the presidential election asked the practical question, “Should I go out on the streets or go into the bars?”

The answer, of course: depends who wins. If it’s Obama, I say our reporter should head for the celebrations in the street. If it’s Romney, hit the drinking establishments and home in on the sad sacks throwing down double bourbons like a bereft Humphrey Bogart trying his best to forget Ingrid Bergman. And don’t forget to keep your ears open for mumbling about “moving to Canada” and “goddamn Ohio.”

Meaning, of course, it’s no secret who a sizable majority of the people within the sound of KQED’s radio signal will be rooting for. The Bay Area is sort of the home field for the Democratic team, which you can confirm either by looking out your window at the political signs, checking your Facebook friends’ status updates, or browsing the 2008 election results by California county; Obama’s majority ranged from 63.5 percent in Solano to 84 percent in San Francisco. Because the left-of-left constituency here may grumble about the Democratic squad during the season, but when it comes to the World Series, everyone’s wearing the correct hat. Continue reading

Obama, Romney Race to Reach Every Voter in Battleground States

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — The White House the prize, President Barack Obama and Mitt Romney raced through a final full day of campaigning on Monday through Ohio and other battleground states holding the keys to victory in a tight race. Both promised brighter days ahead for a nation still struggling with a sluggish economy and high joblessness.

“Our work is not done yet,” Obama told a cheering crowd of nearly 20,000 in chilly Madison, Wis., imploring his audience to give him another four years.

Romney projected optimism as he neared the end of his six-year quest for the presidency. “If you believe we can do better. If you believe America should be on a better course. If you’re tired of being tired … then I ask you to vote for real change,” he said in a Virginia suburb of the nation’s capital. With many of the late polls in key states tilting slightly against him, he decided to campaign on Election Day in Ohio and Pennsylvania, where he and Republicans made a big, late push.

The presidency aside, there are 33 Senate seats on the ballot Tuesday, and according to one Republican official, a growing sense of resignation among his party’s rank and file that Democrats will hold their majority. Continue reading

California’s Mormons Not Necessarily United for Romney

By Stephanie Martin

(Pferriola: Flickr)

The temple of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints in Oakland. (Pferriola: Flickr)

Since first arriving in California in the mid-1800′s, members of the Mormon faith have played an active role in the state’s civic and cultural life.

They’ve colonized settlements, built businesses, served in the legislature, and — as recently as four years ago — Mormon congregations helped get out the vote for Proposition 8, the statewide ban on same sex marriage.

The Mormon church officially holds a neutral position about Mitt Romney’s candidacy for president. But during the campaign I’ve spoken with individual Mormons around the state about the intersection of faith and politics in this year’s presidential election.

Just like other religious groups in America, “(Mormons) are not a solid and completely monolithic voting block.”

In general the California Mormons I spoke with agreed that counting a U.S. president among their ranks would mark an important first for their faith. But when I asked how they felt about the man who could win that distinction — Republican nominee Mitt Romney — I heard a wide range of opinions.

I met Modesto resident Tresa Edmunds at a San Francisco gathering called “Circling the Wagons” — part of a series of supportive conferences for gay and lesbian Mormons, their family and friends. Edmunds was raised Mormon. Continue reading

Obama, Romney Debate Foreign Policy in Final Debate

U.S. President Barack Obama (R) debates with Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney. (Rick Wilking-Pool/Getty Images)

BOCA RATON, Fla. (AP) — President Barack Obama sharply challenged Mitt Romney on foreign policy in their final campaign debate Monday night, saying, “Every time you’ve offered an opinion you’ve been wrong.” The Republican coolly responded, “Attacking me is not an agenda” for dealing with a dangerous world.

Romney took the offensive, too. When Obama said the U.S. and its allies have imposed crippling sanctions on Iran to halt nuclear weapons development, the Republican challenger responded that the U.S. should have done more. He declared repeatedly, “We’re four years closer to a nuclear Iran.”

Despite the debate’s stated focus on foreign affairs, time after time the rivals turned the discussion back to the slowly recovering U.S. economy, which polls show is the No. 1 issue for most voters.

They found little agreement on that, but the president and his rival found accord on at least one international topic with domestic political overtones — Israel’s security — as they sat at close quarters 15 days before the end of an impossibly close election campaign. Each stressed unequivocal support for Israel when asked how he would respond if the Jewish state were attacked by Iran.

“If Israel is attacked, we have their back,” said Romney — moments after Obama vowed, “I will stand with Israel if Israel is attacked.”

Both also said they oppose direct U.S. military involvement in the efforts to topple Syrian President Bashir Assad. Continue reading

Presidential Debate: Webcast, Chat, Fact Check and Live Blogs

In case you’ve been on Mars for the last week (where the SF Association of Realtors wants to send SF Board of Supes candidate Eric Mar, but I digress), by most accounts Barack Obama came in second in the initial presidential debate against Mitt Romney. Tonight is the second of three mano-a-manos; this one held as a town hall with 80 undecided voters, as selected by the Gallup Organization. The debate starts at 6 p.m. PT

The Commission on Presidential Debates says that people will ask questions on foreign or domestic issues. Each candidate will have two minutes to respond, then moderator Candy Crowley of CNN will have an additional minute to “facilitate a discussion.”

Here’s the NewsHour Live Stream:

Debate chat from NPR:

Continue reading

Presidential Debate: Watch Live Online, List of Live Blogs

posted by Lisa Aliferis and Jon Brooks

Kennedy-Nixon, the first televised debate. (Courtesy National Park Service)

After months of campaigning — and days of surrogates’ efforts to lower expectations of their guy’s performance — it’s finally time for the first presidential debate. The political duel is being held at the University of Denver.

While there are many, many relevant sites we can steer you to around this event, we’ve chosen to put WNYC’s Interactive debate bingo front and center. You can thank us later, after the 25th time one or both candidates have used the phrase “make no mistake” before looking into the camera and gravely declaring just how the other guy is going to ruin the country if we make the awful mistake of electing him.

And if you’re at the point where you can only truly experience any big event on your computer,click here for our list of live blogs.

Here’s what looks to be a curated list of debate tweeters by Twitter, running the political gamut from Ann Coulter to David Axelrod, plus many in-betweens.

You can watch the debate online via PBS NewsHour:

You can also watch ABC News/Yahoo coverage live online on YouTube

Continue reading

Romney Courts Hispanic Business Leaders in Los Angeles

By Frank Stoltze, KPCC

(Anibal Ortiz: KPCC)

(Anibal Ortiz: KPCC)

Seeking to gain traction with Latino voters, Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney traveled to Los Angeles Monday to deliver his pitch to the annual meeting of the U.S. Hispanic Chamber of Commerce.

“I’m convinced the Republican Party is the rightful home for Hispanic Americans,” Romney told more than 1,000 people during a noontime lunch at the J.W. Marriott Hotel in downtown L.A.

The GOP may be Latinos’ “rightful home,” but an NBC News-Wall Street Journal-Telemundo poll last month found them still preferring Democrats. The survey found President Obama leads Romney 63 to 28 percent among Latinos.

Romney sought to close that gap by touting his commitment to lower taxes and fewer regulations. He told the group of business leaders that Latinos have more reason than most to dump Obama: “While national unemployment is at 8.1 percent, Hispanic unemployment is at over ten percent.” Continue reading

Best Tweets on Romney ’47%’ Remark

Mitt Romney last night in California tried his darndest to explain what he meant when he said some unflattering things about nearly half of the population whose votes he’s trying to win — that population being American citizens. Romney’s controversial remarks had come at a fundraiser in Boca Raton, according to San Francisco-based Mother Jones, which posted the video and a transcription of the comments yesterday.

Here’s the video:

And here’s some of what Romney said:

There are 47 percent of the people who will vote for the president no matter what. All right, there are 47 percent who are with him, who are dependent upon government, who believe that they are victims, who believe the government has a responsibility to care for them, who believe that they are entitled to health care, to food, to housing, to you-name-it. That that’s an entitlement. And the government should give it to them. And they will vote for this president no matter what. … These are people who pay no income tax. … [M]y job is is not to worry about those people. I’ll never convince them they should take personal responsibility and care for their lives.

Continue reading

California GOP Delegates Dig Paul Ryan

GOP candidate for Congress Ricky Gill, from Calif's 9th district, speaks at convention. (Mark Wilson/Getty)

KQED’s Rachael Myrow spoke with KPCC’s Frank Stoltze, who’s in Tampa covering the 2012 Republican National Convention. Stoltze got a read on some California delegates and their hopes for the California Republican Party.

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Edited transcript…

KQED’S RACHAEL MYROW: Republicans from California, the ones who haven’t been trapped in Sacramento voting on bills this week, have been having a grand ol’ time in Tampa Bay at the GOP convention. The Golden State may not be in play this presidential election, but our Republicans still manage to attract a lot of attention and generate a lot of discussion. KPCC’s Frank Stoltze is there. Can you set the scene for us?

KPCC’s FRANK STOLTZE: The convention itself is in the city of Tampa. The California delegation is staying in St. Pete Beach, across Tampa Bay. It’s a beautiful resort area – big wide, white beaches. In fact, I caught up with one of the delegates on the beach – Gina Gleason from Chino Hills.

STOLTZE: It’s nice out here.

CALIF. GOP DELEGATE GINA GLEASON: Nice and warm and sunny. And the breeze is fantastic, and the water’s warm.

MYROW: Paul Ryan’s speech was last night. What was the California delegation’s reaction to it?

STOLTZE: They were just as excited as all the other delegates. I talked to a number of them afterwards, and here’s a couple of the California delegates who listened in on Paul Ryan last night.

DELEGATE GWEN DYRUD: Gwen Dyrud of Santa Ana, California. His confidence: “We can do this.” Oh, I loved that. I loved the straightforward talk. He didn’t talk like a high-falutin’ Congressman. He talked like your neighbor. Continue reading

PBS NewsHour, NPR and KQED Cover the 2012 Republican Convention

The 2012 Republican National Convention to officially nominate Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney as the GOP’s presidential candidate and Wisconsin Representative Paul Ryan as his running mate is now under way in Tampa, Florida.

PBS NewsHour has full online coverage and analysis of the event.

[View the story "RNC Live Blog" on Storify]

NPR has a full rundown of upcoming convention highlights including a schedule of speakers, and will have live radio coverage and analysis beginning Tuesday, Aug. 28 at 8 p.m. ET.

KQED’s Forum held an hour-long discussion about the Republican convention with journalists, analysts and California delegates on Aug. 28. Host Michael Krasny spoke with:

  • Belva Davis, host of KQED Public Television’s “This Week in Northern California”
  • Bill Whalen, research fellow at the Hoover Institution
  • Carla Marinucci, political writer for The San Francisco Chronicle
  • Ricky Gill, Republican candidate in California’s 9th Congressional District
  • Sally Zelikovsky, California delegate (San Rafael) to the 2012 RNC

Listen to the audio here.