By Bill Scher
October 31, 2012 - 6:52am ET
MORNING MESSAGE: Is Sandy God's Stimulus?
OurFuture.org's Richard Eskow: "Hurricane Sandy was the stimulus nobody wanted. It took a terrible toll in lives, homes, and dreams. For the families who lost loved ones the tragedy will never end. And yet, in a bitter irony, this terrible storm will spur the kind of spending we should have been seeing all along. There will be jobs, at least for a while -- in construction, road work, repair, and other lines of work ... why does it always seem to take a tragedy to make us see the common good -- and the common sense -- so that we'll fix what's broken? Why must some people pay such a high price for bringing us together as a community, when we should have been a community all along?"
Contrasting Responses To Sandy
President rallies nation in response to Sandy. NYT: "'My message to the federal government: no bureaucracy, no red tape,' said Mr. Obama, flanked by Red Cross employees. 'Get resources where they’re needed as fast as possible.' Referring to a call he held earlier with 20 governors and mayors, Mr. Obama said he told them, 'If they’re getting "no" for an answer somewhere in the federal government, they can call me personally at the White House.' ... Mr. Obama recalled stories of nurses removing patients from a darkened New York hospital, firefighters wading into waist-deep water in Queens and a Coast Guard ship off North Carolina, sending a swimmer out to rescue people from a sinking ship. 'During the darkness of the storm,' he said, 'I think we also saw what’s brightest in America.'"
Romney back on trail while Obama monitors disaster sites. The Hill: "Romney will hold a trio of events in the swing state of Florida with prominent Republicans Sen. Marco Rubio (Fla.) and former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush. Obama will also appear with a prominent Republican: New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, who will be giving the president a tour of the damage in his state ... Those close to the campaign suggested that Obama could be back on the trail later this week, possibly as early as Thursday."
Republicans privately grouse at Gov. Chris Christie's praise for President Obama's leadership. NYT: "One Republican in Washington said Mr. Christie could have simply expressed appreciation for what any president would have done. Another Republican strategist observed that Mr. Christie’s kind words for the president were delivered with the kind of gusto that he often uses to criticize Mr. Obama ..."
Sandy highlights ideological differences between Obama and Romney, argues TNR's Noam Scheiber: "The president gets to look in-command after a disaster ... while the challenger has to sit around inventing politically-correct photo-ops. But in this case there’s actually some deeper significance. That’s because, unlike his rival for the Oval Office, Romney has suggested that government should have a rather limited role helping disaster-stricken people, and that private citizens should pick up the slack."
Automakers Rip Romney
Chrysler, GM chiefs slam false Romney claims. NYT: "Mitt Romney’s latest advertising campaign suggesting that the auto bailout recipients Chrysler and General Motors were shifting jobs to China drew him into a public argument with top executives at both companies, who condemned the advertisements as false on Tuesday. 'The ad is cynical campaign politics at its worst,' Greg Martin, a spokesman for General Motors, said in an interview late Tuesday. 'We think creating jobs in the U.S. and repatriating profits back in this country should be a source of bipartisan pride.'"
NY Mag's Jonathan Chait on "Romney's Insanely Dishonest Auto Bailout Defense": "Before Hurricane Sandy hit, Mitt Romney had turned to his make-your-head-explode closing message in Ohio that Barack Obama is the one who let the auto industry go bankrupt, and Mitt Romney is the guy who wanted to save it. This is perfectly in keeping with Romney’s approach to any situation in which his opponent has a more popular position: Just say you’re for that thing, and also, possibly, that they’re not ... [But in] his book, Romney excoriates the bailout in the starkest terms, contending that 'the rule of law was ignored in order to reward the auto workers union at General Motors.' ... Romney insists that when liberals are in power, 'they take action' like the bailout 'that is consistent with socialism but call it by a more plausible name.'"
Romney brings back false charge Obama "gutted the work requirement for welfare." HuffPost: "...the idea that Obama weakened welfare reform [is] a point that countless fact-checkers have disputed ... Obama has offered waivers to states after governors asked for them. None have applied yet."
Economic growth in MA below national average under Romney. ThinkProgress: "...its economy never reached 2 percent annual growth ... Massachusetts would have had to grow far faster to keep pace with the national average and even more quickly to keep up with the 4 percent annualized growth Romney now promises will occur under his economic plan ... if the American economy performed at the same growth rate as the Massachusetts economy under Romney, he would create just one-sixth of the 12 million jobs he has promised..."
Outside campaign money nears $1B. McClatchy: "[Super PACs] and nonprofits unleashed by the Citizens United 2010 Supreme Court decision have spent more than $840 million so far on the 2012 elections, with the overwhelming majority of it favoring Republicans, particularly presidential nominee Mitt Romney ... Republican-aligned nonprofits have outspent their Democratic counterparts by more than 8 to 1."
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