Romney gaining help from Dick Cheney

2012-07-12 21:01
Republican pMitt Romney. (Evan Vucci, AP)

Republican pMitt Romney. (Evan Vucci, AP)

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Washington - Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney steers his campaign into a friendlier port on Thursday, at a fundraising event and private dinner sponsored by former vice president Dick Cheney.

Romney will be in the beautiful mountain valley of Jackson, Wyoming, a day after he faced a sceptical audience and was booed by some during a speech at the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, the country's oldest civil rights group.

Romney has avoided appearing in public with Cheney or with former president George W Bush - both are seen as divisive figures by many of the swing voters he needs to win over if he's going to defeat President Barack Obama.

Polls show Romney and Obama virtually tied 3 and a half months before the November election.

The Cheney-sponsored events on Thursday evening at this resort town near Yellowstone National Park represent a welcome endorsement for Romney, who is eager to win over more of the party's base.

Relationship

Romney doesn't have a close relationship with the former vice president, a veteran of five Republican presidential administrations and a huge draw for Republican donors.

While Romney speaks regularly with former president George HW Bush, he seldom refers by name to the most recent Bush to occupy the White House. On occasion he goes out of his way not to say Bush's name out loud and simply calls him "the predecessor" to Obama.

Cheney has generally shied away from politicking and he remains controversial, in part because of his hawkish foreign policy stances, including his support for interrogation techniques like waterboarding.

Still, Romney has embraced Cheney in the past.

Last year, he told an Arizona town hall that Cheney's "wisdom and judgment" would provide a model for choosing his own vice president.

Many of Romney's policy advisers were officials in the Bush White House. Former secretary of state Condoleezza Rice recently endorsed the former Massachusetts governor.

Accusations

With the campaign heating up by the day, the Obama and Romney campaigns traded accusations of lying on Thursday.

The Romney camp's charge came in a hard-hitting new television ad that accuses Obama of misleading, unfair and untrue attacks.

The Obama campaign hit back, blasting Romney's "big Bain lie" after a newspaper report cited a possible discrepancy in the presumptive Republican nominee's business record.

Both sides looked to paint the other candidate as little more than a typical politician.

The Romney campaign ad, titled "No Evidence", accuses Obama of launching false attacks that depict the former Massachusetts governor as someone who shipped jobs overseas when he ran Bain Capital, the private equity firm he helped found.

The ad, which will run in several battleground states, asks voters: "When a president doesn't tell the truth, how can we trust him to lead?"

Dishonesty

The ad accuses Obama of a pattern of dishonesty and points to his 2008 Democratic primary rival, Hillary Rodham Clinton, to do it.

It shows a clip of Clinton - now serving Obama as secretary of state - saying, "Shame on you, Barack Obama" and calling on her then-challenger to stop running dishonest ads.

Romney campaign adviser Ed Gillespie raised similar questions about Obama on Thursday on NBC television.

Gillespie said Romney left Bain Capital in 1999, and said job outsourcing wasn't the policy when Romney was in charge. That accusation, Gillespie said, has "been shown to be demonstrably false".

The Obama campaign then seized on a report in the Boston Globe, which said government documents show Romney remained chief executive and chairman of Bain three years beyond the date he claimed.

Stephanie Cutter, Obama's deputy campaign manager, said the report raised serious questions about why Romney would misrepresent the date of his departure.

"It's time for Mitt Romney to come clean so that the American people can make their own judgments about his record and his motivations," Cutter said.

Romney's campaign said the Globe story was inaccurate, and reaffirmed that he left Bain in 1999.

Read more on:    barack obama  |  mitt romney  |  us elections 2012

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