Charles and David Koch arguably have been liberals’ biggest bogeymen of the 2012 election. Just as conservatives have come to see George Soros as the mastermind of a shadowy leftist network, the billionaire brothers have become synonymous with the dark-money machine working to defeat Barack Obama. By their own admission, the Kochs have been raising millions to sway voters. At a closed-door gathering of like-minded megadonors in 2011, Charles Koch declared that the upcoming election would be a battle “for the life or death of this country” and that “we gotta do better than” the president’s expected $1 billion war chest.
By now, everyone knows that Mitt Romney’s inner circle was righteously peeved at New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie for spending the final days of the 2012 presidential race arm-in-arm with President Obama as they toured the Jersey coastline after its thrashing by Hurricane Sandy. The buddy-buddy act boxed Romney out of national media coverage for days while lending the president some bipartisan street cred.
But it wasn’t just the storm. Christie had rankled Romney’s team throughout the campaign: He held back his endorsement as long as possible, flirted with big-shot GOP donors who begged him to jump into the race and used his prime-time address at the Republican National Convention to puff up his Garden State record — without mentioning Romney once.
The source behind Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid\’s (D-Nev.) bold claim that Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney had paid \”basically\” no taxes for a decade was Jon Huntsman Sr., a new book on the 2012 campaign claims.
The New York Times on Thursday offered details from \”Double Down: Game Change 2012,\” a behind-the-scenes account of the election by political reporters Mark Halperin and John Heilemann. Among the nuggets in the book is the reveal that Reid\’s source was Huntsman, a longtime backer of Romney.
In a July 2012 interview with The Huffington Post, Reid said a Bain Capital investor had told him that the former Massachusetts governor \”didn\’t pay any taxes for 10 years.\”
\”He didn\’t pay taxes for 10 years! Now, do I know that that\’s true? Well, I\’m not certain,\” Reid said. \”But obviously he can\’t release those tax returns. How would it look?\”
Reid stood by the claim throughout the campaign.
By the time CNBC’s election-night anchors welcomed Dick Armey on the air, the networks had already called it. CNBC rolled footage of Barack Obama supporters waving American flags and cheering, above the breaking-news banner: PRES. OBAMA WINS RE-ELECTION. The only thing left was for Mitt Romney to concede.
But Armey, the former House majority leader, saw no reason to surrender. “I don’t blame the Romney folks for refusing any concession speech on the basis of this premature call,” Armey told viewers. “You got Florida running, seems to me, headlong into a recount, and Ohio I don’t think is settled by any means.”
Driving to his home outside Dallas after the TV appearance, Armey heard Karl Rove on the radio insisting that Ohio was still up for grabs. Armey planted himself on the couch and flipped anxiously between Fox News and C-SPAN, nourishing a flicker of hope right up until 12:55 am, when Romney finally capitulated.
After three decades in politics, Armey had seen Republicans lose plenty of elections. But this one really hurt. He knew it would be his last election as the face of the Tea Party, and it wasn’t supposed to end this way.
One month earlier, Armey had agreed to resign as chairman of FreedomWorks, an influential conservative organization, and slipped out of Washington for good. Even an $8-million payout couldn’t assuage his bitterness. The fall of 2012 should have been an auspicious time at FreedomWorks headquarters.
WASHINGTON — Over the Christmas break of 2010, Mitt Romney and his family took an internal poll on whether he should run for president once more. Twelve family members cast ballots. Ten said no. One of the 10 was Mitt Romney himself.
The doubts that the former Massachusetts governor harbored before ultimately launching his second unsuccessful bid for the presidency are one of several attention-grabbing details in “Collision 2012,” the newest book on the 2012 campaign.
Written by The Washington Post’s Dan Balz, the book is set to go on sale Aug. 6, 2013 (pre-order your copy here). The Huffington Post obtained a copy on Monday.
Meticulously reported, Balz’s subject is the entire 2012 presidential contest. But the main drama is the Republican primary, which is covered from page 87 through 225 (out of a 350-page book). And the chief protagonist is just one of the candidates: Romney.
As the 2012 election approached, Republican governors and legislators in battleground states across the country rushed to enact restrictive Voter ID laws, to eliminate election-day registration and to limit early voting. Those were just some of the initiatives that the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People identified as “an onslaught of restrictive measures across the country designed to stem electoral strength among communities of color.”
Why did so much energy go into the effort?
John Payton, the president and director-counsel of the NAACP’s Legal Defense Fund, explained, “These block the vote efforts are a carefully targeted response to the remarkable growth of the minority electorate, and threaten to disproportionally diminish the voting strength of African-Americans and Latinos.”
Civil rights groups pushed back, working with the League of Women Voters, Common Cause and other organizations to mount legal and legislative challenges. But the most dramatic pushback may well have been the determined voter registration and mobilization drives organized on the ground in Florida, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin and other battleground states.