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Member since: Tue Mar 8, 2005, 07:39 PM
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Kerry: I'm nothing like Romney

It should be obvious, of course, but unfortunately, it is not only the DC media who are pushing this.


John Kerry weighed in today, via BuzzFeed's Rosie Gray, on the oft-repeated suggestion that he and Mitt Romney have a lot in common:

Sen. John Kerry of Massachusetts rejected the comparison that some in the press have made between him and current Republican candidate Mitt Romney: that they're both aloof, cut from the same patrician Massachusetts cloth, unable to connect with working class voters.

At a lunch at New York Law School in New York City today where he's giving a speech, Kerry told BuzzFeed that he totally rejects the premise.

"Well, I didn't have trouble connecting with [voters]," he said. "I almost won the presidency. I just don't agree with that. I completely reject that. It's not even similar in any way remotely. I won more votes up until that vote that any Democrat ever won ,particularly against a president in wartime. But for 59,000 votes, I would have won the presidency."

Kerry doesn't think Romney will come as close in the general election as he did.

"I think Romney's positions are out of touch with the needs of America," he said. "The difficulty I had in my campaign came about in the primaries because of the war, and it took me time to break through and be able to explain the position I had. But nobody doubted I connected with voters in Iowa, connected with them in New Hampshire, which I won."

Kerry added that "I've won five Senate races. I just don't buy that."

From the same event, but different reporting

Law School today and The Politicker asked his thoughts on whether the former governor of his state, Mitt Romney, has moved to the right now that he’s seeking the Republican nomination. Mr. Kerry said it’s clear Mr. Romney has substantially changed his approach.

“Well,” Senator Kerry said with a laugh, “It’s like 180 degrees night and day difference. It’s just a different Mitt Romney. It’s Mitt Romney versus Mitt Romney.

Mr. Romney’s Massachusetts health plan, commonly dubbed “Romneycare” by conservatives, has frequently been used as an example of his liberal past by those who say it served as the model for President Barack Obama’s health care reform plan. Mr. Kerry said Mr. Romney’s plan is “completely similar to the president’s.
Mr. Kerry is currently accompanied by a Republican, Scott Brown, in the Massachusetts Senate delegation. Mr. Brown is up for re-election this year and we asked Mr. Kerry whether he thinks Elizabeth Warren, Mr. Brown’s Democratic opponent, will win. He was loathe to make a prediction about the race.

“I can’t prognosticate. I mean, obviously, I want a Democrat and I’m supportive of a Dem, but the voters of Massachusetts are going to make up their minds,” Mr. Kerry said. “I’m not going to get into likelihoods or not. I think she’s a terrific candidate.”

Mitt vs Mitt (Digby)

Mitt vs Mitt

by digby

And to think the Republicans called John Kerry a flip-flopper for saying he voted for war funding before he voted against it and are now very likely to put a ping-pong ball on their presidential ticket. Hypocrisy doesn't begin to describe it:

Mitt Romney sparked controversy Wednesday afternoon after he told local reporter Jim Heath in Ohio that he would oppose a bill that would “allow employers to ban providing female contraception.” “I’m not for the bill,” Romney declared. “But look, the idea of presidential candidates getting into questions about contraception, within a relation between a man and a woman, a husband and wife, I’m not going there.” Romney made the comments on the eve of a Senate vote for an amendment offered by Sen. Roy Blunt (R-MO) to permit employers to deny coverage of health services to their employees on the basis of personal moral objections. The measure is the GOP’s response to President Obama’s rule requiring employers to provide contraception and other preventive health services as part of their health insurance plans.

But moments later, the Romney campaign reversed itself, claiming that the candidate was confused by the question and that he does indeed support the rhetoric behind the bill, namely a boss’ right to keep health care services out of the reach of workers based on religious concerns. Romney himself clarified his stance during a radio interview on the Howie Carr Show:

ROMNEY: I didn’t understand his question. Of course I support the Blunt amendment.....

Of course he does. Or does he?


He's doing this so often that I'm beginning to wonder if this isn't his strategy. I'm sure he's being well briefed so unless he has Alzheimers,this doesn't make a lot of sense anymore. Maybe they think voters will choose him for the position they agree with and assume he's pandering on those they don't. Certainly, the villagers seem to think he must really be a centrist moderate (the bestest and most wonderful of all ideologies) and is just pandering to the rubes. Weirdly, the rubes don't seem to be as keen, but we'll see if they don't find it in their interest to believe his wingnut pronouncements were his real beliefs once he gets the nomination. People often delude themselves in this way --- on both ends of the ideological spectrum.

Kerry Floor Statement on Blunt Amendment Kerry Floor Statement on Blunt Amendment

Mr. President, this is a difficult time in our politics, a polarized time, and it's difficult for the Senate in particular because over the years this has been a place where we've prided ourselves on working -- really working -- to find ways to avoid that kind of polarization and find the common denominator even on sensitive issues. I think our friend from Maine, Sen. Snowe, spoke for many of us this week when she talked about "my way or the highway" approaches to partisan politics that have made it harder and harder for people to work with each other and get things done. I would never speak for her, but given her diagnosis of what's wrong with the Senate today, the amendment we're debating seems to be exhibit A.

Two years ago, many of us here voted to end an era that many Americans felt put women second -- an era where Viagra was covered for men at no cost by insurance companies, but contraception, which 99 percent of American women use, was not. The President signed our reform into law. And then the Administration took the time to come up with a policy to implement that new law. When they did, there was a firestorm. Many of us, myself included, said at the time it wasn't right to force religiously affiliated institutions to pay for contraception if it violated their beliefs. The Administration quickly moved in a direction that honored this principle of liberty more effectively.

That was the right decision, and this week Secretary Sebelius made it clear they're still working with the faith community on a final rule that will address the concerns of my Church and other institutions which are self-insured. I'm glad this is happening. It is always worth the hard work and patience required to reason together, listen to one another, and achieve a better understanding of the many ways we can respect deeply held beliefs and protect public health at the same time, and that's the spirit needed in our politics and in our country.

But that's not the spirit of the Amendment before us today, the Blunt amendment. It contains dangerously broad language, and if there's one thing I know after 27 years here, it's that language matters when you're writing legislation on such an important area of public policy affecting millions of Americans. Precision matters. This amendment opens up Pandora’s Box – its overly broad and vague exceptions could allow children to be denied immunizations, companies to object to mental health services, health plans to deny HIV screenings, and the rejection of maternity care for single mothers. That is just not good legislating. It's dangerous. And I say this knowing that it doesn't have to be this way.


Mr. President, this amendment would be a mistake -- for women, for health care, for millions of Americans who don't want to go back to the days when they could be denied care for any reason. We don't need to drive another wedge in our politics. We need to drive towards that common denominator, that common ground -- and that is why this Amendment must be defeated.

Mitt Romney’s Top 10 Out Of Touch Moments

Mitt Romney’s Top 10 Out Of Touch Moments

Mitt Romney just can’t help himself. Despite concerns about his ability to connect with average voters, Romney refers to his significant wealth with startling frequency. Three times in the last three days alone, Romney has issued statements that make him seem completely disconnected with normal Americans. This has been a problem for Romney since the beginning of the campaign, and may haunt him down the road if he just can’t shake the image of being “Mr. One-percent.” Here are Mitt Romney’s top 10 out of touch moments:
10. “I like those fancy raincoats you bought [to people wearing plastic ponchos]. Really sprung for the big bucks.’”
9. “I know what it’s like to worry about whether or not you are going to get fired. … There are times when I wondered whether I was going to get a pink slip.”
8. “Corporations are people, my friend.”
7. “Rick [Perry], I’ll tell you what: 10,000 bucks? $10,000 bet?”
6. “I get speaker’s fees from time to time, but not very much.” [$374,000]
5. “I have some great friends who are NASCAR team owners.“
4. “Ann drives a couple of Cadillacs.”
3. “I’m not concerned about the very poor. … We have a safety net there.”
2. “I’m also unemployed.”
1. “I like being able to fire people who provide services to me.”

(video at the link)

I read that and cringed at the word "surprisingly".

People who cared about environmental issues knew Kerry and he had some fairly enthusiastic supporters. I do not know anybody enthusiastic about Romney.

Certainly, you need to win other people over besides your base and Kerry, in difficult conditions given the Iraq War vote and a hard beginning because of his cancer treatment, did just that. It is indeed extremely frustrating that his analysis sound like: Romney is even worse than Kerry.

It is going to be a difficult week. We are back from a week in Western Mass and we are already assaulted by Republican ads for NH. A full week of this and I will feel crazy. At least, Perry and Bachman have decided to skip NH, so we will avoid the two craziest ones.

Edited because the first sentence did not make sense.

Wyden (D-OR), Ryan (R-WI) offer another plan to weaken Medicare.


Paul Ryan Convinces Ron Wyden To Support Greater Privatization Of Medicare

Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI) and Sen. Ron Wyden (D-OR) will unveil a new Medicare premium support plan during an event at the Bipartisan Policy Center this morning that is a stark departure from the Budet Committee Chairman’s proposal to end the traditional Medicare program that most Republicans voted for.
Under the new bipartisan plan, beginning in 2022, seniors will receive a pre-determined premium support voucher to purchase benefits through an exchange of private plans or the existing fee-for-service program. The government subsidy would be determined by the “second-least expensive approved plan or fee-for-service Medicare, whichever is least expensive” and “rise or fall along with the actual cost of the policies — creating more protection for seniors and saving potentially far less in the budget.” Ryan’s budget grows the government’s contribution substantially slower than actual health care costs, shifting health care costs to beneficiaries. The plan maintains the Affordable Care Act’s cap on spending at Gross Domestic Product growth plus 1 percent and would also “add catastrophic coverage with a cap on out-of-pocket costs.”

But the larger problem is that competition between traditional Medicare and private plans — which, the plan says “would foster innovation and quality, while ensuring that the program is financially stable” — could also allow private plans to cherry-pick the healthiest beneficiaries and leave sicker applicants to traditional Medicare. Although the Wyden/Ryan incorporates “risk- adjustment tools” and would require CMS to “conduct an annual risk review audit of all insurance plans,” these mechanisms are still “less than fully effective in adjusting payments downward based on how much healthier these enrollees are” and private plans participating in Medicare Advantage continue to, on average, enroll healthier beneficiaries.

So here, in a nutshell, is the problem: In an interview with the Washington Post, “Ryan and Wyden acknowledged that their plan might not bring in more savings than under the current law.” Yet they’re willing to set the nation on an untested path of private competition that breaks up the large market clout of Medicare (which is now experimenting with more efficient ways to pay providers) and pushes seniors into less efficient private plans. It moves the health care system closer to the Ryan ideal in which future Congresses would be able to reduce federal costs by eating away at the premium credit seniors receive. Over time, Medicare will start bleeding beneficiaries, becoming an ever smaller program.

Now. I understand what is in it for Ryan, who can now say: see, some Democrats agree with me, but for what reason did Wyden go with this?

Happy birthday, John Kerry.


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