Wednesday, August 29, 2012

  • RNC Launches with Tea Party’s Ted Cruz, Ann Romney and a "We Built It" Theme Shaped by Karl Rove


    Republicans have officially nominated Mitt Romney for president after nearly 15 months of campaigning. On Tuesday night, speakers, including Mitt Romney’s wife Ann, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, and tea party favorite Ted Cruz, addressed the Republican National Convention crowd of delegates and their supporters for several hours. Many referenced the theme of the evening, "We Built It," with testimonials about small business owners who have struggled under President Obama, and immigrant parents who pulled themselves up by their bootstraps. The theme played heavily in a $9 million ad by Karl Rove’s super PAC, American Crossroads, aired in battleground states this past July. We’re joined by Wayne Slater, senior political writer at the Dallas Morning News and co-author of three books, including "Bush’s Brain: How Karl Rove Made George W. Bush Presidential." [includes rush transcript]

  • Mitt & Ann Romney Cast Aside "Moderate" Record on Abortion, Social Issues in Appeal to Extremist GOP


    Mitt Romney’s embrace of the Republican Party’s call for a federal ban on abortion stands in stark contrast to his record as Massachusetts governor, one of his many shifting stances over the years in his bid for the party’s nomination. Romney’s wife, Ann Romney — the featured speaker at the Republican National Convention Tuesday night — has also shifted her public views. We discuss the move from "moderation" to extremism with someone who knew Ann and Mitt Romney well: former Salt Lake City Mayor Rocky Anderson. Mitt Romney and Anderson worked together on the 2002 Olympics and later endorsed each other for their respective state bids. Anderson is now running for U.S. president on the Justice Party ticket. We’re also joined by Megan Carpentier, executive editor of the news site The Raw Story. [includes rush transcript]

  • Presidential Hopeful Rocky Anderson: Dems, GOP United in Stymying Third-Party Candidacies in U.S.


    Former Salt Lake City Mayor Rocky Anderson is running for president with the newly formed Justice Party. Although hailing from a solidly red state, Anderson has been known as one of the most progressive mayors of any major U.S. city in recent years. During his two mayoral terms from 2000 to 2008, Anderson was an outspoken champion of LGBT rights, environmental sustainability and the antiwar movement in opposition to the Iraq War. But Anderson says his entry into the race has been hampered by the united Democratic-Republican opposition to third-party candidacies. "Without a doubt, these two parties, Republicans and Democrats, have a stranglehold on our democracy," Anderson says. "Getting on the ballot is a nightmare." [includes rush transcript]

  • Despite Focus on Convention Floor, Major Decisions at RNC Made by Wealthy Donors Behind Closed Doors


    As the Republican National Convention opened on Tuesday in Tampa, thousands of journalists were there to cover the story. At the same time, secretive meetings were being held behind closed doors across the city that could determine who wins the election in November. According to the Huffington Post, at one such meeting on Tuesday, the Karl Rove-founded Crossroads groups, representatives of the billionaires Charles and David Koch, and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce huddled at a local hotel to coordinate efforts to spend tens of millions more on television ads and voter turnout in their effort to defeat President Obama. We speak to investigative journalist Peter Stone, whose latest article for the Huffington Post is called "RNC 2012: GOP Shadow Groups Eclipsing Party in Tampa." [includes rush transcript]

  • Hurricane Isaac Makes Landfall in Louisiana, Threatening New Orleans with Heavy Flooding


    Hurricane Isaac has made landfall in southern Louisiana as it heads toward New Orleans on the seventh anniversary of Hurricane Katrina. The Category 1 storm is producing winds of at least 80 miles per hour and is expected to bring heavy flooding. It marks the most serious test of New Orleans’ rebuilt levees. At least 200,000 people have lost power throughout the Gulf Coast area, and some 50,000 were slated to evacuate New Orleans. We go to New Orleans to speak with Washington Post reporter Manuel Roig-Franzia. [includes rush transcript]

  • Chaos on the Convention Floor as RNC Blocks Ron Paul Delegates, Alters Seating Rules


    Controversy erupted on the convention floor when a dispute broke out over whether to seat the delegates of presidential candidate Rep. Ron Paul of Texas. Part of Maine’s delegation stormed off the floor in protest of a decision to strip away half of Paul’s delegates. Supportive members of other delegations rose to their feet and hollered their objections, angered by new rules that they say they will make it harder for grassroots candidates to stand a chance in future elections. Democracy Now! producer Deena Guzder was on the scene and filed this report. [includes rush transcript]

  • In Ascent to GOP’s Top Ranks, "Money & Pandering" Leads Paul Ryan to Drop Opposition to Cuba Embargo


    One issue vice-presidential candidate Paul Ryan will likely avoid in his acceptance speech tonight is his changing stance on the U.S. embargo on Cuba. For years, Ryan was a vocal critic of the five-decade-old embargo, saying in 2002: "If we think engagement works well with China, well, it ought to work well with Cuba. ... The embargo doesn’t work. It is a failed policy." Ryan’s view at the time put him in stark contrast to the Republican leadership and especially influential Cuban-American Republican lawmakers from Miami, of whom he said: "I just don’t agree with them and never have." But as Ryan set his eyes on national office, his views on Cuba completely reversed. We discuss Ryan’s changing views on Cuba with Al Fox, president of the Alliance for Responsible Cuba Policy. Fox has made 83 legal visits to Cuba and has often brought U.S. politicians to visit the island. [includes rush transcript]

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