Middle Cheese clues me in to the talking points issued by… well, Bigger Cheeses to the Littler Cheeses on the Mitt Romney campaign.
The message coming forth in the final 72 hours: “We always expected this race to be competitive and close… Governor Romney has campaigned extensively in Iowa. He competed at the Ames Republican Straw Poll and has been campaigning in Iowa since the start of his campaign.”
I won’t be buying it. They aim to win, want to win, and hope to win.
TALKING POINTS: THE IOWA CAUCUS
The State Of The Campaign In Iowa:
· We always expected this race to be competitive and close.
· Governor Romney has campaigned extensively in Iowa. He competed at the Ames Republican Straw Poll and has been campaigning in Iowa since the start of his campaign.
Governor Romney’s Vision For America:
This election is not about yesterday but about building a better tomorrow and a stronger America. Our next president must unleash the promise and innovation of the American people. Governor Romney has spent his life tackling the big problems – helping turn around business, the Olympics and state government. Together, he believes we can grow the economy, stop illegal immigration, defend life and preserve our values.
· Governor Romney is the only full-spectrum conservative in the race who has a strong base of support throughout the nation.
Governor Mitt Romney has the experience, vision, and values to lead and turn around Washington.
EXPERIENCE: Governor Romney has the experience to lead America. Throughout his career, he has faced extraordinary challenges and always met them. Whether it was turning around companies, the 2002 Winter Olympic Games or the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, Governor Romney has always shown the strong leadership and force of will for change.
· In the bluest of blue states, Governor Romney did the hardest things with a tested and proven record of cutting taxes, cutting spending, defending life, promoting traditional marriage and reforming the health care system.
VISION: Governor Romney has the vision to lead America. He believes America must be the strongest nation in the world with a strong economy, strong military and strong families. He is the only major candidate from outside of Washington who can bring conservative change and build a stronger America.
· Change in Washington begins with Governor Romney and Republicans returning to conservative principles of lower taxes, restrained spending and smaller government.
· With a message of building a stronger economy, stronger military and stronger families, Governor Romney is the only “full-spectrum conservative” in the race.
· Governor Romney believes in calling upon the strength of the American people, not government, to meet the new generation of challenges confronting our nation.
VALUES: Governor Romney has the values to lead America. If you really want to know about Governor Romney’s values, just look at the life he has led and his family.
Governor Romney’s Conservative Agenda:
A New Generation of Challenges requires strong, new leadership. With a record of conservative leadership, Governor Romney is ready to meet these challenges.
A STRONGER MILITARY: To confront a new generation of global challenges, Governor Romney believes we need an unquestionably strong military. The best ally of peace in the world is a strong America and that means an increased investment in a strong national defense.
· To strengthen our national defense, Governor Romney will increase our military by at least 100,000 more men and women.
· Governor Romney will commit at least four percent of our GDP to the military.
To protect our homeland, Governor Romney believes we must secure our borders and enforce immigration laws. Governor Romney opposes sanctuary policies that encourage illegal immigration.
A STRONGER ECONOMY: To ensure that America continues to be the world’s economic leader, Governor Romney will implement pro-growth economic policies.
· To grow our economy, Governor Romney will lower taxes. Governor Romney has proposed making the Bush tax cuts permanent, rolling back tax rates across the board for all Americans, eliminating the Death Tax, eliminating taxes on the savings of middle-income Americans, opposing Social Security tax increases, making medical expenses tax deductible and making our corporate tax rate more competitive with the rest of the world.
· Governor Romney will cut government spending. Governor Romney will veto budgets that do not cap non-defense discretionary spending at inflation minus 1%. This will save $300 billion over 10 years. He also supports the line-item veto, and as Governor, vetoed hundreds of appropriations.
· Governor Romney will consolidate and reduce the size of government.
STRONGER FAMILIES: Governor Romney believes that strong families are essential to the strength of our country. The most important work for the future of America is the work that is being done within the four walls of the American home.
· Governor Romney will fight for traditional marriage and defend the sanctity of human life.
· Governor Romney believes we need to clean up the culture that surrounds our children. We need to keep pornography from coming up on kids’ computers, and we need to keep drugs off the streets.
· Governor Romney will protect our children. He has proposed a “One-Strike, You’re Ours” law for those convicted of using the Internet to harm our children.
· Governor Romney will nominate federal judges who adhere to the Constitution and do not legislate from the bench.
Contrast With The Other Candidates:
· Governor Romney is the only candidate with a record of putting conservative principles to work in health care.
· Governor Romney was the first presidential candidate to sign the “Taxpayer Protection Pledge” opposing tax increases.
· Governor Romney is the only Republican candidate proposing any specific plan to cut spending in Washington.
· Governor Romney is one of few Republican presidential candidate who supports a federal marriage amendment.
· In just ten months, Governor Romney has proposed strategies to defeat radical Jihad, increase the size of our military, prevent a nuclear Iran, combat the threat of nuclear terrorism and strengthen our ties with Latin America.
Governor Romney And Iowa:
· Governor Romney has attended more than 200 public events in Iowa since January 2007.
· He has spent more than 54 days in the state.
· Josh Romney spent the summer visiting all 99 counties in the Mitt Mobile.
· On Aug. 11, Governor Romney won the Ames Straw Poll with 31.5% (4,516 votes) of the vote.
· This was the largest margin of victory in the 30-year history of the Straw Poll.
· This win showed Iowans are ready for change in Washington and that Governor Romney will be the one to bring conservative change.
· Caucus is a North American Indian word meaning “a gathering of ruling tribal chiefs.” A caucus is now known as the process for members of a political party gathering to make policy decisions and choose candidates.
· Caucuses occurred in the 1800s, well before Iowa’s birth as a state in 1846. Pioneers of the Iowa constitution chose caucuses over primaries to nominate candidates emphasizing its grass-roots approach.
· Caucuses are not only held for Presidential elections, but for smaller statewide elections as well. Although caucuses occur every two years in Iowa, better voter turnout and more media attention is given to the Presidential Caucuses.
· Any resident and registered voter of Iowa can participate in the caucus affiliated with its specific party (only registered Republicans can vote in the Republican caucuses, likewise, only registered Democrats can vote in Democratic caucuses). Voters CAN register to vote at their caucus location.
· In addition, those turning 18 years old by the general election in November 2008 CAN participate in the Iowa caucuses.
· Iowa became “First in the Nation,” meaning Iowans are the first to cast votes for the Presidential candidates in the United States, in 1976. It has remained “First in the Nation” ever since.
· Caucus turnout is historically just under 100,000, making each and every vote extremely significant.
· Caucus-goers will show up on caucus night at their respective precinct location. (This can be a church, school, home, etc.) In smaller communities, all precincts may caucus together in the same location.
· Voters then cast their vote for who they think should be the next President. This can be done by a show of hands, secret ballot (writing it on a piece of paper), etc. Precincts may choose to cast votes in different ways.
· After all votes have been cast, Republican Party precinct leaders will tabulate the votes and send that information to the Republican Party of Iowa (RPI).
· Results are announced as they are reported, and news organizations will flash updates throughout the night.