IDP Memo: Questions for Chris Christie

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MEMO

From: Sue Dvorsky, Chairwoman, Iowa Democratic Party

To: Interested Parties

Date: December 7, 2011

Re: On the stump in Iowa for Romney, will Chris Christie answer the tough questions Romney refuses to answer?

In the last few weeks, Mitt Romney has rolled out a greatly expanded campaign apparatus in Iowa – opening a new office in Des Moines, sending additional staff and investing heavily in television and mail advertising.

Just last week, Romney’s spokeswoman said “our strategy is to win” in Iowa. The Romney campaign has raised expectations for caucus night; anything short of a win will be a setback for his campaign.

The only thing missing from Romney’s bolstered Iowa campaign is: Mitt Romney. While he’s been willing to invest money in Iowa, he has failed to invest his time meeting with Iowans and answering their tough questions about his rhetoric and his record.

As of today, Mitt Romney has only visited Iowa four times since announcing his latest run for President. His campaign is literally “phoning-it-in.” On Monday, instead of coming to the state, he held a “tele-town hall” with Iowans while fundraising at his soon-to-be-quadrupled beachfront La Jolla mansion.


Continuing his “phone-it-in” strategy, Mitt Romney has deployed Chris Christie to campaign for him in Iowa today. Romney and Christie have a lot in common: one is a former governor who failed to create jobs, and the other is a current governor who is failing to create jobs. While Mitt Romney flip-flops all over the map, Christie never lets the facts come between him and a good political attack.

In advance of Christie’s visit to Iowa on behalf of the Romney campaign, we took the liberty to put together a few questions for members of the media and the public to ask Christie as he attempts to defend Romney’s murky record. Please find those questions below:

When Mitt Romney was Governor of Massachusetts, the state ranked 47th out of 50 states in job creation. In 2010 – the first full year you were Governor – New Jersey ranked as one of the three worst job markets in the country. Given you and Governor Romney’s failed job creation records, why would voters trust your policies to spur job creation nationally?

UNDER ROMNEY, MASSACHUSETTS RANKED 47TH IN JOB GROWTH

In Romney’s Four Years As Governor Massachusetts Ranked 47th Out Of 50 In Jobs Growth.  “The Republican contender was the governor of Massachusetts from January 2003 to January 2007. And during that time, according to the U.S. Labor Department, the state ranked 47th in the entire country in jobs growth. Fourth from last.  The only ones that did worse? Ohio, Michigan and Louisiana. In other words, two rustbelt states and another that lost its biggest city to a hurricane. The Massachusetts jobs growth over that period, a pitiful 0.9%, badly lagged other high-skill, high-wage, knowledge economy states like New York (2.7%), California (4.7%) and North Carolina (7.6%). The national average: More than 5%.” [Marketwatch, 2/23/10]

UNDER CHRISTIE, NEW JERSEY’S JOB MARKETS WERE AMONG THE WORST IN THE NATION

New Jersey Ranked 2nd In Worst Job Markets Nationwide.  [Gallup Job Creation Index, 2/28/11]

New Jersey Ranked 42nd In The Nation In Improvement In Job Creation.  “Eight of the states showing the least improvement last year were in the 10 best job markets in 2009, including New Mexico, Nebraska, West Virginia, Louisiana, Maryland, Oklahoma, Texas, and Virginia. Also among those showing the least improvement are several states in the Northeast — New Jersey, Vermont, and New York — and two smaller states in the West, Montana and Wyoming.” [Gallup Job Creation Index, 2/28/11]

How, in a matter of weeks, did Romney shift from thinking the payroll tax cut was just a “little Band-Aid” to adopting President Obama’s argument that it’s an important break for working middle class families?

Romney Embraced One Of President Obama’s Signature Proposals – An Extension Of The Payroll Tax Cut – After Just Weeks Ago Deriding The Cuts As “Little Band-Aids.” “On Monday, Mitt Romney embraced one of President Obama’s signature proposals — another one-year extension of a cut in payroll taxes, after just weeks ago deriding the idea as ‘little Band-Aids’ that offered only a temporary fix. ‘I would like to see the payroll tax cut extended just because I know that working families are really feeling the pinch right now — middle-class Americans are having a hard time,’ Mr. Romney said Monday on Michael Medved’s conservative radio talk show.” [New York Times, 12/5/11]

·         Romney Said Of The Payroll Tax Cuts In President Obama’s Jobs Act: “I Don’t Like Temporary Little Band-Aids.” At the Republican primary debate Romney was asked about President Obama’s economic plan. Goldman: “So you would be OK with seeing the payroll tax cuts?” Romney: “Look, I don’t like temporary little Band-Aids, I want to fundamentally restructure America’s foundation economically.” [Republican Primary Debate, Bloomberg, 10/11/11]

 

·         Mitt Romney Specifically Endorsed Extending A Payroll Tax Cut Saying “I Know That Working Families Are Feeling The Pinch Right Now.”  “Mitt Romney specifically endorsed extending a payroll tax cut for another year on Monday, the same day President Obama assailed Republicans in Congress for opposing such a measure.  Romney said: ‘I would like to see the payroll tax cut extended because I know that working families are really feeling the pinch right now—middle-class Americans are having a hard time,’ he said on conservative talker Michael Medved’s radio show.” [MSNBC, 12/05/11]

Why did Romney’s staff make “unprecedented” efforts to wipe his records at the end of his term as Governor of Massachusetts, spending nearly $100,000 in taxpayer money to hide files?

Romney Spent $100,000 In Taxpayer Money To Replace Computers In The Massachusetts’ Governor’s Office As “Part Of An Unprecedented Effort To Keep His Records Secret.” “Mitt Romney spent nearly $100,000 in state funds to replace computers in his office at the end of his term as governor of Massachusetts in 2007 as part of an unprecedented effort to keep his records secret, Reuters has learned.” [Reuters, 12/5/11]

Governor Christie, do you intend to do the same at the end of your term? Did you take your files from the Bush Administration with you? Why did or didn’t you?

 

Governor Christie, what do you think of Romney’s proposal to privatize veterans’ health care?

Romney Suggested Privatizing Veteran’s Benefits And Giving Veterans Vouchers For Health Care. “Mitt Romney suggested on Friday that he was open to partially privatizing the health care veterans receive from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs by creating a voucher system that would allow private sector competition. ‘If you’re the government, they know there’s nowhere else you guys can go, you’re stuck,’ Romney told a group of veterans at Mutt’s BBQ restaurant in South Carolina. ‘Sometimes you wonder if there would be some way to introduce private sector competition, somebody else who could come in and say each solder has x thousand dollars attributed to them and then they can choose where they want to go in the government system or the private system with the money that follows them. Like what happens with schools in Florida where people have a voucher that goes with him,’ Romney said.” [ABC News, 11/11/11; Romney Veterans Roundtable In Maudlin, SC, 11/11/11]

 

Mitt Romney has called on his political opponents to release their Tax returns, but in his runs for President he has refused to release his returns. Mr. Christie, as Governor you released your tax returns as did your predecessors from both parties. Why shouldn’t Mitt Romney be held to the same standards as other elected officials? What does he have to hide?

ROMNEY CALLED ON HIS CHALLENGERS TO RELEASE THEIR TAX RETURNS…

Romney Challenged Kennedy To Release His Tax Returns And “Chided” Him “For Never Releasing His State Or Federal Taxes In The 32 Years He Has Served In The Senate.” “With the tax-filing deadline looming, Republican Senate candidate Mitt Romney yesterday challenged Sen. Edward M. Kennedy to disclose his state and federal taxes to prove he has ‘nothing to hide,’ but another GOP rival.” [Boston Globe, 4/14/94]

 

…BUT REFUSED TO RELEASE HIS OWN TAX RETURNS

Romney Refused To Release His Tax Returns While Running For Senate And Governor.  “On the Republican side, former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney, who kept his tax filings private during his gubernatorial and Senate races, says he hasn’t made a final decision… It has become a given that presidents and vice presidents release their tax filings.” [Washington Post, 6/19/07]

2011: Romney Aide Eric Fehrnstrom Said Romney Wouldn’t Even Consider Releasing His Tax Returns Until The 2012 Filing Season. “But Romney aide Eric Fehrnstrom said his candidate wouldn’t even consider releasing them until next spring. ‘We’ll take a look at the question of releasing tax returns during the next tax filing season,’ he said.” [Smith, Politico, 10/25/11]

 

CHRISTIE TOUTED HIS OPENNESS ON POSTING TAX RETURNS AND CALLED ON ALL CANDIDATES TO COMMIT TO GREATER TRANSPARENCY 


Governor Chris Christie Releases His Tax Returns And Posts A Copy Of His Public Financial Disclosure On His Campaign Website Touting Openness About His Finances.
“Like most other gubernatorial candidates, including then-Gov. Jon Corzine, Christie released the tax information to The Star-Ledger at the newspaper’s request. He also posted a copy of his public financial disclosure statement on his campaign website and touted his openness about his finances.” [New Jersey Statehouse News, 4/15/10]

Governor Chris Christie: “Whether It’s Disclosing One’s Tax Returns Or Making One’s Disclosure Statements Available Online, I Urge All Other Candidates To Join Me In The Same Commitment To Greater Transparency.” [New Jersey Statehouse News, 4/15/10]

 

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