Can Romney Beat Obama? Questions Abound As Likely GOP Nominee Doubles Down on Denial

Mitt Romney has consistently been the candidate of the 1%:

“Mitt Romney’s Money Shot,” as The Atlantic puts it.  Photo: Bain Capital/The Boston Globe

Intrade prediction markets puts Romney’s chances of being the GOP Presidential nominee at 69.5% as the rest of the field implodes and unelectable Newt Gingrich (!) is the latest to surge.

Romney is moving to the right on core issues that matter to the Tea Party like climate change.  In October, Romney started flipping to denial (see Likely GOP Nominee Asserts, “We Don’t Know What’s Causing Climate Change”).

But now he’s started pushing the truly inane hard-core denier talking points, as the Boston Globe reports today:

Discussing climate change in response to an audience question, he mocked the notion of asking the Environmental Protection Agency to regulate carbon dioxide as a greenhouse gas.

“I exhale carbon dioxide,’’ Romney said. “I don’t want those guys following me around with a meter to see if I’m breathing too hard.’’

Seriously.  This from a guy who, just in June, said “I think it’s important for us to reduce our emissions of pollutants and greenhouse gases that may well be significant contributors to the climate change and the global warming that you’re seeing.”

Why is Romney pandering to the most extreme part of the GOP when he just about has the race sewed up, and the rest of the general public believes in global warming and climate action?

Intrade has Obama at almost dead even to be reelected — 50.5%.  Who do you think will be the next President?

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52 Responses to Can Romney Beat Obama? Questions Abound As Likely GOP Nominee Doubles Down on Denial

  1. John McCormick says:

    Throwing a tomato at candidate Romney would not be a waste of that fruit. They are one and the same.

    He is piloting the GOP ship of fools and worse. Public insults and humiliation are in order here.

  2. prokaryotes says:

    Bain Capital today manages approximately $65 billion in assets

    Bain Capital Partners to acquire China Fire & Security Group

  3. prokaryotes says:

    I think Obama will have his 2nd term and then will go strong about combating climate change.

  4. cat48 says:

    I’m thinking Obama will win, barring any unseen catastrophes. I’m stuck on Mitt & the prez favorable polls. Mitt is around 35 to 40% favorable opinion and Obama is usually between 60 to 70%. The public right now dosen’t have a favorable opinion of MittFlop. Don’t know if he can overcome this. This is not job performance just whether you have a favorable view of the person or think they’re likeable. The voters still don’t blame O entirely for the economy so he might be able to win as foreign policy has high approval.

  5. Jeff Huggins says:

    Four Specific Names and Some ACTION (Please!)

    What a person can do begins with himself or herself.

    Here is an idea that I’ve proposed in earlier comments, but given the topic of this thread, I’ll propose it once again.

    Romney’s entire educational and professional background and credibility, before his involvement in government, involve Harvard, Bain, and his Olympic role.

    Here are the names of four specific people:

    Dr. Drew Gilpin Faust, President of Harvard

    Steve Ellis, one of the two primary leaders at Bain

    Orit Gadiesh, another of the two primary leaders at Bain

    Count Jacques Rogge, the head of the International Olympic Committee

    Someone — Joe/CP, perhaps with the help of Bill McKibben — ought to write a post, and send a letter, and make some calls, to appeal to these four specific individuals. To do what? To make an appeal (through a joint letter of their own) to Mitt Romney to “get real” about climate change — to admit the reality of climate change, to talk honestly and responsibly to the American people about it, and to develop responsible plans to address it.

    A joint letter to Romney, from these four people, if sent as a public open letter, could have a very great influence one way or another. After all, if Romney’s entire pre-politics career and credibility are associated with his Harvard, Bain, and Olympics backgrounds, what will he do (and how will the press react) if the President of Harvard, the two senior-most leaders at Bain, and the head of the international Olympics movement all urge him to be honest, responsible, and real about climate change? It’s a good question. And it would be interesting — and fun and potentially very helpful — to find out.

    The reason why this is, I believe, a good idea should be self-explanatory. And indeed, there are good reasons to think that these four folks, or at least three of them (covering all three of the institutions mentioned), would be more than willing to write such a letter.

    But stuff like this needs to start somewhere — with someone who has a platform and an ability to get something done. I think it would be great — wouldn’t it? — if Joe/CP, perhaps with the help of Bill McKibben, could write a post that would make a public appeal to these four specific folks to write such a letter.

    I cover the idea in a bit more detail — explaining, briefly, the backgrounds of each of these folks — in an earlier comment. See:

    Under Joe’s post titled ‘Mitt Romney IS a Member of a Cult…’ (Oct. 28), my Comment 5, titled ‘Four Specific Names and Some ACTION (Please!)’.

    I guess that means that this idea has been around now for about three weeks. Is anyone acting on it yet? After all, if Mitt may likely be the Republican nominee, and if we all want to prompt the political discussions in both parties, and the media, to begin including climate change, it might not be a bad idea to do things like this! The effort involved — to appeal to four specific people, and for those people to write a simple one-page joint letter — would be small. But the resulting media coverage could be significant; AND such a letter would also serve as “fuel” for the “fires of debate” as the debates between the parties get going at some point.

    That’s it. Joe, what do you think?



  6. Mike Roddy says:

    Romney is the least embarrassing of the GOP field, and it reminds me of a story Gore Vidal used to tell about William F. Buckley:
    “Yeah, Bill is weird, pretentious, and verbose, but at least he can speak decent English, and has manners. The other members of the Right are too bizarre to stand up under scrutiny on television, so we end up with Bill all the time”.

    Romney’s denier pivot is a political calculation, based on this math: with the South already behind him, he needs coal burning states like West Virginia, Ohio, and Missouri to win the election. Racist states like Arizona and Florida are probably already there for him. If he concedes the Northeast and the Pacific Coast, and gets everything in between, he wins easily. That means being hard Right all the way, and mining corporate talking points like telling Missouri voters that Obama will make electricity unaffordable, etc.

    The religious Right hates Romney, and will even hold their noses and choose Gingrich first. They prefer Bachmann, but she’s too hopeless. None of these candidates of course has any morals whatsoever.

    I see Obama winning, because the Republican field is just too pathetic. If their basic ideology is sick, they end up with these kinds of candidates.

  7. Romney says global warming isn’t a problem. Obama acts as if global warming isn’t a problem. Big difference?

    Why is Romney pandering to the most extreme part of the GOP when he just about has the race sewed up

    Because that’s what the lobbyists have conditioned him to do?

    the rest of the general public believes in global warming and climate action?

    It’s high time we put a stop to the idea that poll numbers are all-important. The Founding Fathers of the US ,when drafting the Constitution, were concerned with the rule of law, division of powers, due process, individual freedom, and pursuit of truth — they weren’t concerned with pre-election polls.

    — frank

  8. Ken Barrows says:

    We may think these candidates are pathetic, but at least 45% of the voters next November won’t think so.

  9. Dennis Tomlinson says:

    Dare we hope? Again?

  10. Dennis Tomlinson says:

    And since maybe (optimistically) 60% of us will vote in 2012, somewhere in the neighborhood of 30% of us will chose our next president. Anyone remember who Paul Weyrich is?

  11. Tom Lenz says:

    Another year of mounting weather disasters and escalating food prices won’t be good for the 1% poster boy. The moral high ground is Obama’s to take and run on. He will win if he chooses the be on the right side of history.

  12. Leif says:

    “Run”would be good “Act” would be better.

  13. fj says:

    For more solar energy, occupy rooftops. @GOOD

  14. steve says:

    Political pundits wonder where Romneys core is at, what he actually beleives in. This picture says it all, take a good hard look at the real Mitt Romney.

  15. AZ climate hawk says:

    I’m voting third party, probably Green. Obama has failed us, and the GOP is amazingly even worse.

  16. Climate Hawk says:

    Romney isn’t going to be influenced by the four people you cite. Political calculation alone will be determining. There is simply no appealing to reason with Romney or any other republican candidate. Both their base and their well heeled supporters are insane.

  17. Climate Hawk says:

    Considering the IEA’s recent report about the five year window we have to work with, I think we have moved beyond any hope for remedies at the national level. I look to the streets and those occupying them across the nation. We need to bring the polluting fossil fuel infrastructure down and do so swiftly. Everything else is so much cowardly hand-wringing or foolish rearranging of the Titanic’s deck chairs. Future generations are looking for a robust and effective response now and not fecklessness, which is all we’ll get from efforts in the electoral realm. By now it should be clear we do not live in a democracy. The corporatocracy rules and must be overthrown.

    I do think that Obama could lose to Romney and I’m convinced the White House agrees with that assessment. “No one ever went broke betting against the intelligence of the American Public,” H.L. Mencken declared around a century ago and that remains true. Romney has a story to tell about creating jobs when he was the governor of Massachusetts and Obama will have only the economic carnage to point to. I foresee nothing that will get the U.S. or world economy rolling along — indeed, as Heinberg wrote, economic growth may be over altogether.

    If Romney were elected that might help propel even more resistance on the streets and might lead to the sort of widespread revolt that I feel has become our best chance for salvation.

  18. Raul M. says:

    Arranging the deck chairs in the mean time is nice, but as some seem to already know the weather has the most chances of rearranging even the secure storm shelters.

  19. John Tucker says:

    What exactly would you consider the possible outcomes are of that? Realistically what would reasonable “success” be?

  20. John Tucker says:

    Caption : GOP Stripteases are noted for their low quality – high return ratios.

  21. Leif says:

    If Romney got power there would probably be a black out on all media including the internet and you would not even know a revolution was taking place. Think about that before you vote.

  22. Merrelyn Emery says:

    Yep, and you can see the effects of the 2010 election over at Huff Post (green) in an article by Shawn L Otto called ‘When despots and bullies run the govt’, ME

  23. Climate Hawk says:

    When the Egyptian government blacked out the Internet it actually swelled the numbers in Tahrir square. Repression often backfires.

  24. Mulga Mumblebrain says:

    Not a hope in Hell, I’m afraid. Obama is worse, if you care to look at his record with the rose-coloured spectacles removed, than GW Bush.

  25. Mulga Mumblebrain says:

    It’s moral insanity, the very direst type.

  26. Mulga Mumblebrain says:

    Harper got a ‘landslide’ for climate stability destruction through tar sands and for the far Right in Canada on 40% of the 60% who bothered to show, ie 24% of the eligible population, ie about, lets be generous, say 18% of the total population, including those who will have to live with his toxic legacy, the young. Ain’t ‘demo-crazy’ grand?

  27. Mulga Mumblebrain says:

    Obama is a long-term employee of the ruling pathocrats, recruited at college, employed then financed in his political career by them, and he is a loyal and faithful servant. What is it with all this willfull self-delusion?

  28. Mulga Mumblebrain says:

    Refusing to be a willing sucker again. Revolting against ‘democracy without choices’. Regaining self-respect. Obama or the Repugnants makes NO difference. None, nada, nix.

  29. Mulga Mumblebrain says:

    The Egyptian Presidential elections are to be deferred, possibly to 2013. The Army is demanding virtual veto powers over Government. ‘Meet the new Boss, same (everywhere) as the old Boss’.

  30. Mulga Mumblebrain says:

    As in ‘Put it back on!’

  31. Tim says:

    I have no idea who the next president will be. My guess is that the three most likely choices are Obama, Romney or Gingrich. Gingrich is a [snip] and both Romney and Obama are opportunists to the core.

    There is some likelihood that a major economic disruption could occur in the next year and the GOP is thinking hard about how to sabotage the economy (even more than they already have), while leaving as few of their fingerprints as possible. If Obama has realized the stupidity of his “centrist” stance, wherein he let the GOP put forward the deficit as the #1 issue, he may also now realize that it is too late for him to do anything to help alleviate unemployment. Readers of Climate Progress think climate change is huge, but Americans in general are more worried about the economy – and unemoployment in particular. If the stagnant trend of the last year holds (which I think is the most likely scenario), the election is a toss-up between Obama and whoever.

  32. Tim says:

    Why would they blackout the media? The media is crucial for maintaining the illusion of “free speech”. Many Americans, perhaps the majority, think that the range of opinion discussed in the mainstream media represents the all the thinking about any particular issue that they have to worry about.

    Bush and Cheney torture prisoners, the Democrats don’t complain much, so that settles it in the mainstream American media – it’s regrettable perhaps, but certasinly not something one should arrest and prosecute Bush and Cheney for.

    Bush and Cheney say Saddam was behind 9-11, and voilá – the majority of the American people are propagandized by enough of the media to buy into it. There is no other objective way to decide such a question is there?

    The GOP says climate change is a hoax or that it isn’t clear that it is anthropegenic, and the Dems disagree. Much of the media concludes the truth lies “somewhere in between” – isn’t that how we settle scientifically testable questions?

  33. Jeff Huggins says:

    Climate Hawk, thanks for the comment, but I think you’ve misunderstood the idea. I’m not suggesting that Romney would be convinced by “mere” reason, as if these four folks could convince him through direct communication, in private, and so forth, or as if Romney would be swayed by scientific information and good reasoning. That’s not the point, at all.

    Instead, the point DOES involve the very political considerations and mindset that you highlight. If these four folks write publicly (an open letter, or one provided to the media and to all the politicians involved) to Romney about the reality of climate change and the need to honestly and clearly convey the issue to the public, that will put pressure on Romney. It will make it — and rightly so — that much harder for him to dodge the issue and confuse or deceive the public. The question is not whether Romney will seek out, or respect, fact and reason. Instead, the point involves the media, stirring up the debate, helping to bring climate change more into the public sphere, the resulting pressure on Romney, and even the added “ammunition” that Obama will have to point out the ridiculousness of Romney’s stand on climate change. That sort of thing.

    I hope that clarifies matters. The real question, in my view, is whether Joe/CP and Bill McKibben and etc. will adopt concrete and relatively easy tactics like this to help put pressure on Romney and help inject the issue into more of the media discussions, given the media preference for controversies and such.



  34. Brooks Bridges says:

    Your statement is rebutted in considerable detail in the link below. It incudes some specifics on just how bad Bush & Co. were as well as what Obama did in his first year.

    Author: Daniel J. Weiss is a Senior Fellow and Director Climate Strategy at the Center for American Progress.

  35. Joan Savage says:

    Nobody else took this bit up so far –

    “I exhale carbon dioxide,’’ Romney said. “I don’t want those guys following me around with a meter to see if I’m breathing too hard.’’

    US EPA is expected to focus its carbon dioxide monitoring on large sources of emissions from fossil combustion.

    Romney’s not that large, or that old, but one could be mistaken.

  36. Leif says:

    Exactly that MM. “Wishful self-delusion”. The dark side is just too much to take for such a long time without an escape from reality from time to time.

  37. Leif says:

    Controlling the dialog is the same as “black out” in my book. You only have to truly “black out” the folks that cannot be bought. It is easy to fill dead air with tripe and red herrings. Just look around. Look how hard it is for progressives to get a seat at the table to say anything. Even if something makes it past the first defensive line, it is immediately spun into unrecognizable sound bites that swamp the lame stream media. Freedom of speech means nothing if freedom to communicate is prevented or distorted. Look how the articulate points presented by the OWS folks are spun. “They do not seem to have a single issue”. “Their demands are all over the place.” “Perhaps if they had a unified demand…” etc. If we did have one issue it would be duck soup for the spin artists to manipulate. In fact we do have a single issue IMO, and that is “equality for ALL” but that is conveniently ignored or socialist or class war fair. Anything but addressed. BLACKED OUT!

  38. Question says:


    I’m afraid you’ve taken cynicism too much to heart. There is absolutely not a shred of evidence to support your brash assertion that Obama is worse than GW Bush. In fact there is tremendous evidence that the opposite is true. Refusing to look at the evidence and instead simply looking only at what confirms your preexisting bias (amply demonstrated here in the past) is *exactly* the problem right-wingers have and why we are in this sad situation in the first place.

    Do dramatically improved mileage standard, the Sunshot program, strong spending on green energy, and continued EPA rule making (to give only a sampling of Obama administration actions) mean nothing to you? *None* of this would have happened under GW Bush.

    And certainly under Romney or any of the other Republican candidates we can simply kiss effective action goodbye for 4-8 years. If there weren’t such a critical time pressure then saying that one needs to make a statement and vote Green Party might make sense. But given the situation 4-8 years may doom us. That means that a vote for the Green Party is a vote to hurt our children. And I take people hurting our (and my) kids very seriously indeed…

  39. Question says:

    Again with the willful cynicism. Have you taken a look at Obama’s actual career? I live in Chicago and can tell you that the areas that Obama served in as a community organizer are not the kind of places that a “long-term employee of the ruling pathocrats” would work.

    Obama has not done what I’ve hoped he would do, but for heavens sake with the economy having a near death experience and a do-nothing/actively obstructionist congress what has been done is a lot better than nothing.

  40. Question says:

    That is what the supporters of Nader said in 2000. And look what we got. Does anyone think that if Gore had been in the Whitehouse “nothing would have changed” That there really isn’t any difference.

    It is easy to be cynical and throw out statements like this, but people are dying because of the difference. Dying because of a lack of access to health care, dying because of mercury exposure, dying because the social services they need have been cut to help the rich pay lower taxes. Saying “they are all the same” plays into exactly the talking points of the far right (Koch brothers etc.). It is the far right that wants us to believe that there isn’t a difference and that government itself has lost legitimacy. The more we “tune out” the more they win.

  41. William P says:

    If someone did a count, probably no politician in history could beat Romney for making 180 degree changes in positions.

    Above he makes a 180 on CO2 emissions, first saying their are harmful to the environment, then mocking emissions as insignificant.

    On the “Personhood” issue for a fertilized egg on the ballot in Mississippi, he said prior to the vote he was “absolutely”in favor of the ballot measure. After it went down by a large margin, he stated he opposed it.

    A good political ad would just play many of these reversals and say, “Do we really know what this man would do after elected President? Can we trust ANY statement he makes today because tomorrow it could be 180 degrees different. We just can’t trust this kind of flip flopper”.

  42. Tom Lenz says:

    I said IF, not when! You think you can make absolutely accurate predictions about the future behavior of another human being you don’t know and I’M delusional? Wow!

  43. Craig Bickle says:

    Yes. When a sitting President is on the ballot, it’s a referendum on his record more than his opponent’s. Obama has lost significant support among three constituencies crucial to his 2008 election, youth, Hispanic, and Progressive voters. The enthusiasm gap usually goes against the incumbent, especially as we’ve seen in recent elections. Since 2010 Republican state legislatures have been passing laws to make it harder for Democratic leaning voters to cast ballots in numerous states, Florida, Ohio, and North Carolina being three that are key swing states. And Citizens United will allow private, corporate interests to direct massive amounts of cash to the election of Republican candidates. I’m not saying Romney will definitely win, but I’d bet a lot that the margin between him and Obama will be 5% or less. In such an environment, Romney’s gotta like his chances.

  44. Bob Geiger says:

    Deciding who should be President of the United States on the basis of which vote will help you regain your self-respect is not going to help the climate. To say there is no difference between Obama and the Republicans on this issue is not supported by the evidence and is simply an expression of frustration. Example: Would President Romney have delayed the Keystone pipeline?

  45. mulp says:

    Romney or Obama will be the same on addressing climate change without a Congress that is so heavily Democratic because environmentalists have attacked and defeated those who call for increased pollution for the good of the nation, overwhelming that means defeating Republicans.

    It would be nice to run positive campaigns, but that will require the people currently under 30 to represent 70% of voters, about 2040.

    Addressing climate change requires strong decisive action from Congress, and until Congress is willing and able to act, the president can’t do anything to move the nation to a sustainable energy economy.

  46. Mulga Mumblebrain says:

    What I know of Obama’s ‘achievements’ I see as mere window-dressing. His big failures far outweigh them, in my opinion. His big negative is the avidity with which he betrayed the Hope Fiends and instead immediately and flagrantly began to serve his real masters, the rich, the people who financed his election (and who have financed him since his college days.)
    Obama is still supported, I believe, by hopeless optimists, rational ‘balance of horror’ observers convinced that the alternative is worse, and those too proud to admit that they were conned. My position is cynical, true, but I believe it is also honest (and cynicism is the new black). My basic gripe is with those who hold out any hope that the sorry state of your country, my country, and the rest of the so-called ‘democratic capitalist’ (a perfectly self-contradicting expression)world can be ameliorated through the ruling system. What needs doing to save humanity, in my opinion, requires an irredeemable economic-political-social system to be replaced by a humane and sustainable one. And I believe strongly that Obama not only cannot accomplish that, but that he would reject the very notion as preposterous and seditious.Obama is, I believe, simply the latest symptom of a system with the sickness unto death, and a brilliantly conceived PR and brainwashing product in human form.

  47. Mulga Mumblebrain says:

    Question, look at Obama’s record since election to the Presidency, his record in Congress, his denunciation of Jeremiah Wright, and, in particular, to the article ‘Obama and the Jews’, by Paula Dubkin Yearwood, published in the Chicago Jewish News on October 24, 2008, and see if your opinions remain unchanged.

  48. Mulga Mumblebrain says:

    Pardon my gratuitous extrapolation. IF Obama does as you recommend, I will not be surprised, but if, upon being re-elected, he then abrogates his policies and returns to serving the 1%, I will be even more unsurprised.

  49. Mulga Mumblebrain says:

    I imagine Gore would have been like Clinton. A President who threatens the real rulers of the USA is unimaginable, particularly since St Cecilia’s Day, 1963. I’m sorry that my cynicism is upsetting, but I’m convinced that I’m just stating the demonstrable facts. I thought like you, once upon a long time ago. I’d prefer that you were correct.

  50. Mulga Mumblebrain says:

    Who knows. Perhaps yes, he would. If you think that there is any difference between the parties, two gangs fighting over the spoils of serving the rich, I suggest reading Walter Karp’s ‘Indispensable Enemies’.

  51. mulp says:

    You elect Kyl and McCain who are hostile to the environment and you claim Obama failed??

    Clean up Arizona by electing Arizona Senators who are committed to protecting the future environment before blaming Obama for the Senate Republicans opposing climate action.

    Kyl and McCain have two more votes (out of 100) toward passage or defeat of any climate/environment law than Obama does.