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Was Romney behind the anti-Romney calls?
The Carpetbagger Report ^ | November 21, 2007 | Steve Benen

Posted on 11/21/2007 11:00:13 PM PST by 2ndDivisionVet

One of the big stories in the Republican presidential race last week was a series of controversial survey calls in Iowa and New Hampshire that asked respondents some pointed questions about Mitt Romney. Specifically, voters in the first two Republican contests received calls with negative messages about the former governor’s religion, his Vietnam-era military deferments, his sons’ lack of military service, and the notion that Mormons believe the Book of Mormon is superior to the Bible.

The question, of course, was who was responsible for the calls. For one thing, they may have been illegal — as the Union Leader noted, “New Hampshire law requires that political advertising, including phone calls, identify the candidate being supported. No candidate was identified in the calls.” The state Attorney General’s office began an inquiry into the matter on Friday.

For that matter, there may be political consequences for this. The calls were pretty harsh, and no campaign is going to want to be tied to testing a message that targets Romney on his faith.

Since then, there’s been some question, and sporadic, inconclusive evidence, that Romney’s campaign may have been responsible for the calls, either as a way of testing the efficacy of likely attacks, or to rally some sympathy.

This report from Sam Stein complicates matters a little further.

Yet another connection, albeit an indirect one, now ties Mitt Romney’s presidential campaign to the recent spat of anti-Mormon phone calls made in New Hampshire and Iowa. […]

Marshan Roth of Fairfield, Iowa, who is paid $500 a month as a GOTV (get out the vote) consultant for the Romney campaign, received a call on this past Wednesday night. Rose Kramer of Dubuque, Iowa, who co-chairs Romney’s Iowa faith & values steering committee and is a $1,000-a-month GOTV consultant, received a call either that same day or a day earlier, depending on conflicting reports.

Roth and Kramer are now the third members of Romney’s Iowa campaign to have publicly acknowledged received the calls. Ralph Watts, a state representative in Iowa, who also backs the former governor, was one of the first people to come forward.

And yet, during subsequent press interviews, neither Roth nor Kramer disclosed the positions they held on Romney’s team. In fact, as several other reporters have pointed out, both individuals drastically downplayed their campaign associations.

Is it just a wild coincidence that paid Romney supporters all got the same anti-Romney calls? Perhaps.

There are quite a few Romney backers in Iowa, and the calls may have gone out to quite a few voters.

But Stein added:

[I]t also cannot be ignored that, even after the scandal surfaced, the actors involved were often in Romney’s camp. Justin Hart, who serves on the Romney For President National Faith And Values Steering Committee and is a blogger at, was the only person contacted by a source in Western Wats for comment.

The speculation is such that Romney was asked specifically about his campaign’s possible role in the calls this morning.

Reporter: Are you confident that no one who supports you was involved in that push-polling?

Romney: You’ve got to be kidding.

Reporter: Have you — are you confident–

Romney: Obviously, the beneficiaries of push-polling that attacks me is not me. Somebody else has obviously pushed that forward; I have no idea who that was, but I hope the Attorney General of New Hampshire finds out who that is, and we can get that resolved, and know who it was that was behind it. But you know it was a vicious attack on me, an un-American attack on me, and that’s totally inappropriate, particularly at a time like this, with Thanksgiving, recognizing that this is a nation that celebrates diversity of religious thought and belief.

Reporter: It sounds Machiavellian, but you, yourself, you know, alluded to the politics–

Romney: You know, it’s the same, I think it’s the same as the conspiracy theorists, that you’re raising, that said we brought down the World Trade Center ourselves. It just turns everything on its head. A little silly, I think.

Stay tuned.

TOPICS: Arizona; Iowa; Massachusetts; New Hampshire; South Carolina; Utah; Campaign News; Parties; Polls; State and Local
KEYWORDS: 2008; bigotry; corruption; crime; dirtytricks; election; electionpresident; elections; gop; ia2008; johnmccain; latterdaysaints; mitt; mittromney; mormonism; mormons; nh2008; pushpolls; religion; religiousbigotry; republicans; romney; sc2008; westernwats
I don't think he was behind the calls, but who knows? Stranger things have happened in politics.
1 posted on 11/21/2007 11:00:16 PM PST by 2ndDivisionVet
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To: 2ndDivisionVet
well, either he (Pity-me mindset) was....or it was the 'Rats (Klintoon Dirty Tricks) one else profits.
2 posted on 11/21/2007 11:05:47 PM PST by skinkinthegrass (just b/c your paranoid, doesn't mean they're NOT out to get you....Run, Fred, Run. :^)
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To: skinkinthegrass
I think it is a rogue 3rd party operative. Could be a really warped Romney supporter since anything can happen and people get weirded out sometimes but I doubt any candidate is behind this, even the Democrats.

Huck has the most to lose and HAS to win Iowa to stay viable but I can't even see him pulling this.

3 posted on 11/21/2007 11:23:12 PM PST by byteback
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

It sounds like something the Alex Jones 9/11 Truthers might get involved in. They have been doing a lot of stuff “on behalf of “ Ron Paul (whether he wants it or not):using servers at overseas locations for net tactics.

It would not be too surprising to see them involved in a telephone campaign.

4 posted on 11/22/2007 3:41:51 AM PST by genefromjersey (So much to flame;so little time !)
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To: genefromjersey

What would be the benefit to him??

5 posted on 11/22/2007 4:53:31 AM PST by Shimmer
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To: Shimmer

Putting down Romney as a candidate-something they’ve already been doing online-where they attack him as an “open borders” candidate.

The Truthers have raised a lot of money for Paul-and I imagine they are hoping for a big payday out of it.

6 posted on 11/22/2007 5:10:35 AM PST by genefromjersey (So much to flame;so little time !)
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To: genefromjersey

No, i meant what would be the benefit of him doing this to himself?

7 posted on 11/22/2007 5:42:56 AM PST by Shimmer (My word of the day is commitment)
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To: Shimmer
Attention; specifically media. Sympathy card. And it defuses the entire religion "wouldn't elect a Mormon" mindset in that most people hear about it and think "how awful!" and then they themselves would be less likely to think about Romney's religious beliefs b/c they have already told themselves that it would be the wrong thing/an awful thing to do. A way to make sure that religion becomes a taboo topic..??? FYI: I don't have a problem re:Romney's religious beliefs.

It has crossed my mind that the "I'm a woman and they are attacking me b/c of it" tactics from Hillary are similar to "I'm a Mormon and they are attacking me." in that the desired end result would be the same if being used as a political strategy.
8 posted on 11/22/2007 9:43:11 AM PST by socialismisinsidious ( The socialist income tax system turns US citizens into beggars or quitters!)
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To: socialismisinsidious
Attention; specifically media. Sympathy card...that the desired end result would be the same if being used as a political strategy.

Nail+Head=Bingo. :/

9 posted on 11/22/2007 10:32:19 AM PST by skinkinthegrass (just b/c your paranoid, doesn't mean they're NOT out to get you....Run, Fred, Run. :^)
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To: skinkinthegrass; socialismisinsidious

That’s all i could think of, is the sympathy, “look how i’m being picked on” routine.

10 posted on 11/22/2007 12:56:06 PM PST by Shimmer (Tant que je vive.)
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To: Shimmer

I can’t imagine any-no matter how hard I try !

11 posted on 11/22/2007 3:51:25 PM PST by genefromjersey (So much to flame;so little time !)
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To: 2ndDivisionVet
Here is a summary of threads discussing this.

‘Voters’ Who Broke Story on Romney Calls On Romney Payroll

Whoever commissioned the calls wanted Romney team members contacted

Did Mitt Romney Push Poll Himself? (New National Review Article)

Romney Calls Attacks on His Faith Un-American

Risk V. Reward: The Anti-Romney Phone Calls

Romney labels calls 'un-American,' pins blame on McCain-Feingold

NH, Iowa Voters Get Anti-Romney Calls

Draw your own conclusions. The stories are written by several different authors.

12 posted on 11/23/2007 9:03:27 AM PST by greyfoxx39 (I have a tagline . I just don't think the forum police will allow me to use it. THEY'RE EVERYWHERE!)
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

How hard can it be to trace the origins of the phone calls?

13 posted on 11/25/2007 8:24:54 AM PST by pissant (Duncan Hunter: Warrior, Statesman, Conservative)
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