Another day on the trail: Dancing horses, cronyism
July 18th, 2012
10:21 AM ET
9 years ago

Another day on the trail: Dancing horses, cronyism

(CNN) – On July 18, a dancing horse officially became a part of the 2012 presidential campaign.

A web video from national Democrats uses an equine performer to suggest GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney is "dancing around the issues," namely the issue of releasing more of his personal income tax returns.

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Republicans, not to be left out of the negative web video game, also released a spot hitting President Barack Obama for funneling federal funds to companies whose owners had contributed to his campaign coffers.

Web videos gain buzz (and often on-line clicks) without the campaigns or committees having to put significant financial resources behind them with a purchase of paid advertising, which would then ensure they are seen by large television audiences.

The two spots are the latest round in an ongoing fight between the two parties, which have been engaged in a bitter back-and-forth over which candidate is better poised to improve America's ailing economy.

In the web ad from the Democratic National Committee, jaunty dance music is laid underneath clips of Romney explaining his reasoning on not releasing more of his tax information. Romney has released his tax return from 2010, and an estimate for his 2011 information. He filed for an extension on submitting his taxes in April, and has vowed to release the full return when his accountant finalized the documents.

In between the Romney clips, the DNC uses clips of dressage, an equestrian event where the horse appears to be dancing through the ring. Romney's wife Ann participates in dressage events, and has said the sport has helped lessen the symptoms of her multiple sclerosis.

The Romney's even own a dressage horse, Rafalca, who will compete in the 2012 London Olympics.

The Republicans' web video, while not featuring any dancing animals, hits Obama for dirty politics by offering government subsidies to companies owned by campaign supporters.

The spot hones in on Steve Westly, a venture capitalist that helped Obama raise hundreds of thousands of dollars for his 2008 presidential bid. Since then, companies he's involved with have received millions in government contracts.

"It is time for the 'most transparent administration ever' to come clean on their political payoffs to Obama campaign bundler Steve Westly," RNC Chairman Reince Priebus said in a statement Wednesday.

Priebus said Westly's contracts "reek of crony capitalism, and the American taxpayers deserve answers."

The cronyism line of attack was first launched by Romney's campaign over the weekend, and Romney's campaign released an ad Wednesday underscoring the hits.

Obama campaign press secretary Jen Psaki responded to the "crony" charges on Air Force One Monday as Obama flew to an event in Ohio.

"President Obama has set a bar of transparency that Mitt Romney has not met, cannot possibly meet, even on his tippy-toes," Psaki said. "We have released bundlers, we release people regularly who visit the White House. We release far more than Mitt Romney has come close to."

"These are old, tired, haggard attacks," Psaki continued, adding that Romney's campaign is attempting to "change the conversation because he doesn't want to answer questions about his time at Bain Capital."

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Filed under: 2012 • DNC • RNC
soundoff (45 Responses)
  1. geggyg

    I applaud Romneys efforts to highlight Cronyism in US politics . Now waiting for him to release the names of all his contributors . and have the GOP put forward a law that bans the gov(Fed, state and city) from giving contracts , r @ d grants , specific tax loopholes, waivers from regulations etc to all polical donors , be they Dem or GOP. Wont even have a 5cent bet that will happen

    July 18, 2012 11:07 am at 11:07 am |
  2. Myviewis

    Obama, CNN, MSNBC, ABC, CBS can all pretend and attempt to confuse the voters that Romney is wrong in telling us the voters that Obama has not been transparent but we the voters know that George Kaiser was involved in Solyndra and this millionaire who for years had not paid taxes and when he finally paid taxes it was an insulting amount did has not been spoken of and everytime one of us mentions him the networks we get ignored and this is only one I am mentioning because there are more. Voters are not dumb, we know who gets what and who is what. Take Jon Stewart for example, he mocks, ridiculeous Romney but he fails to mention that his brother is Larry Leibowitz-Chief Operating Officer of the New York Stock Exchange, big monies, big influence, the elite. We the voters know who the true elite are.

    July 18, 2012 11:09 am at 11:09 am |
  3. tibs

    I cant believe that they still think people watch TV. Theres this thing called the internet now, and you can watch shows, movies, newscasts, debates, commentary. I havent thrown money away on tv since at least 2006.

    The ads are always so bad too. Just so poorly done and terribly written. Its pretty much a joke that dirties both candidates. I mean to approve a commercial that looks like it was edited by a middle schooler is pretty weak.

    I wish it were possible for both of them to lose. We have a sitting president whose clearly antagonistic towards capitialism and economic liberty and a candidate who doesnt even understand them.

    Gosh, theyre just terrible.

    July 18, 2012 11:12 am at 11:12 am |
  4. romneycares less

    Keep up the prancing M.R.! That's all you have to offer. You get the gold for tax evasion. I'll never vote for a republican ever again!
    OBAMA 2012!

    July 18, 2012 11:17 am at 11:17 am |
  5. Obama 2012 - MOVE Forward America, NOT another round of DUBYA's FAILURES

    @WiredweirdinSF – If you work and pay taxes, you are an enemy.
    Weird, that's the real issue here isn't it. Does Mittens pay taxes like the rest of us? Does he even work for his Cap Gain income? Obviously, he is taking advantage of loopholes that let him shield earnings in exotic locales like the Caymans and Switzerland – choices most of us middle-class'ers don't have.
    Willard, we want to see your tax returns, and your LONG FORM birth cert – to make sure you weren't born in Mexico !!!

    July 18, 2012 11:22 am at 11:22 am |
  6. Marty, FL

    "We the voters know who the true elite [sic] are."
    Yes, that would be Romney who thinks he is better than the rest of us. Mitt is above releasing his tax returns for us little people.

    July 18, 2012 11:26 am at 11:26 am |
  7. Claudia, Houston, Tx

    Romney has a new ad "where did all the stimulous money go". All he has to do is ask Texas Governor Rick Perry who took stimulous money that created jobs in Texas even though Perry lied and said he wouldn't take it.

    July 18, 2012 11:28 am at 11:28 am |
  8. Lionel

    Just release 12 years of taxes and this prancing around the issue will be over. Robme have been taking government handouts by not paying his taxes. Keep up the pressure.

    People should show up at Robme events with signs and demand that he release his tax records.

    Obama / Biden 2012

    July 18, 2012 11:34 am at 11:34 am |
  9. Wake up people

    Come on Robmey, show us your papers along with your long form birth certificate. Come on chop, chop. If you can crawl out from under the Koch Brothers desk long enough.

    OBAMA 2012!

    July 18, 2012 11:37 am at 11:37 am |
  10. Planner922

    I want to know how you get from $30,000 a year maximum contribution to over $100 MILLION in a 401k in 2010 when the Market crashed in 2008? Somebody has been doing some creative bookkeeping in Romney's accounts. You would think he would want the responsible party to be charged. You know, that's how they sent Al Capone to jail.

    July 18, 2012 11:43 am at 11:43 am |
  11. You Heard it worst on CNN

    I wish we could just put both of them on a horse and send them both away. There is no election here. Regardless of which candidate wins Obamney or Robama, America loses. It sure was a beautiful country while it lasted.

    July 18, 2012 11:43 am at 11:43 am |
  12. Rudy NYC

    " If you work and pay taxes, you are an enemy."
    If you work and don't any pay taxes, then you're a conservative.

    July 18, 2012 11:45 am at 11:45 am |
  13. Myviewis

    Marty, FL

    "We the voters know who the true elite [sic] are."
    Yes, that would be Romney who thinks he is better than the rest of us. Mitt is above releasing his tax returns for us little people.

    Notice how you skipped my comment on the very rich George Kaiser who was involved in Obama's 2008 Campaign and it doesn't bother you that Obama would be associating himself with someone who did not pay taxes for years and who was involved in Solyndra that got our tax dollars. It doesn't bother Obama that Kaiser did not pay taxes, isn't Obama saying that the rich must pay their fair share?????

    July 18, 2012 11:48 am at 11:48 am |
  14. donnie

    If taxed returns are released we may find he has paid little or no taxes. Who can trust a man like this. He puts his money over seas in swiss bank accounts and in the caymen islands. The man has lied about bains capital. How can you draw a salary if you retired??? the man is a snake oil salesman and his own party doesnt like him. even his campaing finances come from questionable sources. He can try to bash the president but we all know it is a diversion. Obama 2012

    July 18, 2012 11:49 am at 11:49 am |
  15. livingston

    Romney needs to realize that the American people are not stupid. Releasing two years tax returns (eventually) , for the 2 years that he knew he was running for office, does not give more then pre-planned information on his finances. Do what every other candidate does – released at least 10 years worth. If McCain saw them and all of his record and determined that Palin was a better choice – that says alot about him. If he chooses to only release 2 years we will judge him on his actions not prepared information he chooses to spoon feed us.

    July 18, 2012 11:54 am at 11:54 am |
  16. Marty, FL

    Diversion. Kaiser is not running for president. Obama already released 10 years of tax returns.

    Romney is hiding something by not releasing his and dancing around the subject.

    July 18, 2012 11:54 am at 11:54 am |
  17. vic , nashville ,tn

    Romney has good and best records BUT he distancing from those why ?

    Almost every day he appears in FOX why? Is has his base problem?

    So many unanswered questions out there

    July 18, 2012 11:54 am at 11:54 am |
  18. Rudy NYC

    Romney thinks he is showing strength and leadership by drawing a line in the sand over tax returns. That's how things are done in his world. You make your own rules. Recall how Leona Helmsley once famously said something to the effect that laws and rules are for the poor and fools.

    Romney is so out of touch that he doesn't realize that in the real world his type of leadership is seen as arrogance.

    July 18, 2012 11:56 am at 11:56 am |
  19. Sniffit

    "involved in Solyndra that got our tax dollars."

    Solyndra's CEO and President is a registered Republican. Give up the ghost.

    July 18, 2012 11:58 am at 11:58 am |
  20. Marie MD

    @myviewwhocares – there's plenty wrong with your bishop boy. This is the time for the truth to come out and since he is being so cagey about it somebody needs to step up and give a good kick in that flat butt of his and wake him up to facts.
    We are also not talking about contributors or anyone else except for the two candidates. The flip flopper has been cheating, lying and bullying his whole life. He should have NEVER run for president but his mormon legacy and his promise to daddy made him do it. This guy has never worked a day in his life. I still don't understand why he would want the job of president. Like his wooden self. This is all about perception of what he needs to accompliss it's NOT a joke!!

    July 18, 2012 12:01 pm at 12:01 pm |
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