On the last night of the Democratic National Convention, a retired Navy four-star took the stage to pay tribute to veterans. Behind him, on a giant screen, the image of four hulking warships reinforced his patriotic message. But there was a big mistake in the stirring backdrop: those are Russian warships. While retired Adm. John Nathman, a former commander of Fleet Forces Command, honored vets as America’s best, the ships from the Russian Federation Navy were arrayed like sentinels on the big screen above. These were the very Soviet-era combatants that Nathman and Cold Warriors like him had once squared off against. “The ships are definitely Russian,” said noted naval author Norman Polmar after reviewing hi-resolution photos from the event. “There’s no question of that in my mind.” Naval experts concluded the background was a photo composite of Russian ships that were overflown by what appear to be U.S. trainer jets. It remains unclear how or why the Democratic Party used what’s believed to be images of the Russian Black Sea Fleet at their convention.
WFB: “DNC Tribute To Veterans Showcased Russian Ships”
The backdrop for a tribute to U.S. veterans during the final night of the Democratic National Convention showcased a series of Russian warships, flying a Russian naval flag. The image was projected behind retired Adm. John Nathman and more than a dozen Iraq and Afghanistan war veterans on Sept. 6. The entire image was projected at the beginning and end of the tribute; a portion of the image (the right-most ship) could be seen at some points during the more than five-minute tribute.
Democrats Omitted Language Recognizing Jerusalem As The Capital Of Israel From The Party’s Platform. “Language calling for Jerusalem to be recognized as the capital of Israel has been omitted from the 2012 Democratic Party platform. … That language has been replaced by a broader statement about unshakable U.S. support for the Jewish state - with no mention of Jerusalem at all. The statement also omits previously included language about Palestinian refugees and the designed terrorist group Hamas.” (Byron Tau, “Jerusalem Capital Plank Not Included In DNC Platform,” Politico, 9/4/12)
2008 Democratic National Platform: “Jerusalem is and will remain the capital of Israel. The parties have agreed that Jerusalem is a matter for final status negotiations. It should remain an undivided city accessible to people of all faiths.” (2008 Democratic National Platform, 8/25/08)
CNN’s Dana Bash Said The DNC Was “Simply Following What The Obama Administration’s Policy Is” On Israel. CNN’S WOLF BLITZER: “Dana, we’ve been talking earlier about the buzz, a lot of buzz out there, that the Democratic party platform rejected the language that was in the platform four years ago, eight years ago, recognizing Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, also deleting a reference to Israel as being America’s staunchest ally in the Middle East. I understand the democratic national committee is now responding. What’s going on?” CNN’S DANA BASH: “That’s right, Wolf. You asked me just a few moments ago why they did it. Well, I asked the DNC for their answer. And the answer was that they are simply following what the Obama administration’s policy is.” (CNN’s “The Situation Room,” 9/4/12)
Cory Booker Opposed The Obama Campaign’s Attacks On Bain Capital, Calling Them “Nauseating”
Mayor Cory Booker (D-Newark, NJ) Is Uncomfortable With Attacks On Bain Capital. “I have to say from a very personal level I’m not about to sit here and indict private equity. To me, it’s just, we’re getting to a ridiculous point in America. Especially, I know, I live in a state where pension funds, unions and other people are investing in companies like Bain Capital. If you look at the totality of Bain Capital’s record, they’ve done a lot to support businesses, to grow businesses, and this to me, I’m very uncomfortable with.”(NBC’s “Meet The Press,” 5/20/12)
Booker Called The Attacks “Nauseating.” “The attack came after the Obama campaign came under pressure from some of its allies over its frequent criticism of Romney’s background at Bain Capital, the private-equity firm he founded. Newark, N.J., Mayor Cory Booker, an Obama surrogate, said the Obama campaign attacks were ‘nauseating’ during a Sunday appearance on ‘Meet the Press.’ The previous week, former Obama auto czar Steve Rattner, who headed a private-equity firm, also criticized the Obama campaign over the issue.” (Jeremy Herb and Amie Parnes, “President: Bain Capital Jabs Fair Game,” The Hill, 5/21/12)
Booker: “If You Look At The Totality Of Bain Capital’s Record, They’ve Done A Lot To Support Businesses, To Grow Businesses.” “Mr. Booker uttered his apostasy on NBC’s “Meet the Press,” calling out both Presidential campaigns for what he called a “nauseating” focus on side issues. He deplored attacks on President Obama for his long-ago association with the Reverend Jeremiah Wright, but he added that “I have to just say, from a very personal level, I’m not about to sit here and indict private equity… . Especially that I know I live in a state where pension funds, unions and other people are investing in companies like Bain Capital. If you look at the totality of Bain Capital’s record, they’ve done a lot to support businesses, to grow businesses.’” (Editorial, “Cory Booker’s Apostasy,” The Wall Street Journal, 5/21/12)
After His Comments, Booker Was Pressed By The Obama Campaign To Retract His Statement
Booker Admitted He Had “Good Conversations” With The Obama Campaign Before Releasing The YouTube Clarifying His Meet The Press Remarks. “Less than 24 hours after Obama 2012 press secretary Ben La Bolt told CNN that the Obama campaign did not reach out to Cory Booker following his remarks on Meet The Press, the Newark Mayor went on MSNBC to confirm that he had, in fact, had ‘good conversations’ with the Obama campaign before deciding to clarify his remarks in a YouTube video. ‘I certainly did talk with campaign officials, but they didn’t force me to do anything,’ Booker told Rachel Maddow last night. ‘They had good conversations with me, and after having good conversations with them… all of those things made me say, you know what, I need to go on and clarify.’” (Dylan Byers, “Booker: I Had ‘Conversations’ With Campaign,” Politico’s “On Media,” 5/22/12)
Ben LaBolt Said No One From The Campaign Spoke To Booker. “Booker’s admission to Maddow, like his initial criticism of the Obama campaign’s ‘nauseating’ attack ads against Bain Capital, is once again a departure from the official line. Earlier yesterday, CNN host Brooke Baldwin asked La Bolt whether the campaign (or White House) had reached out to Booker, and La Bolt offered the opposite answer. ‘Did anyone from the White House or the Obama 2012 campaign reach out to Booker, make him reel his words in?’ Baldwin asked. ‘We did not,’ LaBolt said. ‘These are his own views in the video.’ Baldwin pressed again: ‘You’re telling me no one within the Obama 2012 campaign in any way reached out to Cory Booker to fix this?’ ‘He released that video of his own volition,’ LaBolt said. ‘We did not ask him to do so. We did not, no.’” (Dylan Byers, “Booker: I Had ‘Conversations’ With Campaign,” Politico’s “On Media,” 5/22/12)
La Bolt Insisted That A DNC Official Spoke To Booker, Not A Campaign Official. “Reached this morning, La Bolt dismissed the idea that his remarks in any way contradicted Booker’s, specifically because no one asked Booker to record a video. La Bolt also said that it was a DNC official — not campaign officials — who spoke to Booker. ‘As Mayor Booker has said, the campaign did not reach out and ask him to record a video,’ La Bolt told me. ‘Campaign officials also had not reached out directly to Mayor Booker yesterday [or Sunday], but he spoke with a DNC official who also did not ask him to record a video.’” (Dylan Byers, “Booker: I Had ‘Conversations’ With Campaign,” Politico’s “On Media,” 5/22/12)
The Wall Street Journal: Booker “Dared To Disagree” With Obama And “The Liberal Orthodoxy Machine Has Been Busy Delivering Retribution.”“Cory Booker may want to hire a food taster. The Newark Mayor, a Democrat, dared to disagree on Sunday with the Obama campaign’s attacks on Bain Capital and the private-equity business, and the liberal orthodoxy machine has been busy delivering retribution.” (Editorial, “Cory Booker’s Apostasy,” The Wall Street Journal, 5/21/12)
NBC’S NATALIE MORALES: “Let me begin by starting with that central question on a lot of people’s minds, and that is are we better off today than we were four years ago when President Obama was elected?” OBAMA DEPUTY CAMPAIGN MANAGER STEPHANIE CUTTER: “Absolutely. Let me just walk you through what life was like four years ago.” (NBC’s “Today Show”, 9/3/12)
CHASER: More Americans Say They Are Worse Off After Four Years:
In the most recent AP-GfK poll, 28 percent of Americans said they were better off today than four years ago, while 36 percent said they were worse off and 36 percent said they were in about the same financial position. (AP, 9/3/12)
Mason Dixon: 54 Percent Of Florida Voters Think The Country Is On The Wrong Track, While 38 Percent Think It Is On The Right Track. (Mason Dixon, 800 RV, MoE 3.5%, 7/9-7/11/12)
Glengariff Group: 57.7 Percent Of Michigan Voters Think The Country Is On The Wrong Track, While 33.3 Percent Think It Is Headed In The Right Direction. (Glengariff Group, 600 LV, MoE 4%, 8/18-8/20/12)
WMUR Poll: 57 Percent Of New Hampshire Adults Think The Country Is On The Wrong Track While 38 Percent Think It Is On The Right Track. (WMUR, 521 A, MoE 4.3%, 7/5-7/15/12)
SurveyUSA: 60 Percent Of North Carolina Voters Think The Country Is On The Wrong Track, While 33 Percent Think It Is Headed In The Right Direction. (SurveyUSA, 540 RV, MoE 4.2%, 8/19-8/23/12)
On CNN this morning, DNC spokesman Brad Woodhouse said “absolutely” Americans are better off than four years ago. So in 24 hours, Barack Obama’s team has provided four different answers to the most fundamental question in this election – “no”, don’t know and “absolutely” yes. Check out the Democrat message in disarray below. Ultimately, after four years of Obama in the White House, Americans aren’t better off and the Obama campaign doesn’t want to answer the question.
ANSWER #1:Senior Adviser David Plouffe Doesn’t Respond To The Question
When Asked If Americans Are Better Off Than They Were Four Years Ago, Obama Senior Advisor David Plouffe Refuses To Say Yes Or No. ABC’S GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS: “But yes or no, are Americans better off today than they were four years ago?” OBAMA ADVISOR DAVID PLOUFFE: “Listen, George, they did a good job of reciting all the statistics everyone’s familiar with. I think everyone understands we were this close to a great depression. Because of the leadership of this President, we staved that off. We’re beginning to recover. We have a lot more work to do. We need to grow jobs more quickly. We need to grow middle-class incomes more quickly. But, the question for the American people is, which path are we going to take? If we take Mitt Romney’s path, economists have looked at this, the recovery would slow down, we wouldn’t produce jobs. He would give huge tax cuts to people like himself and send the bill to the middle class and seniors. So, the question is, we’re going to be far worse off if Mitt Romney is elected president and he gets a chance to enact the same economic policies that created the mess in the first place.” (ABC’s “This Week,” 9/2/12)
ABC’S George Stephanopoulos Responded “You Still Can’t Say Yes” As To Whether Or Not Americans Are Better Off. STEPHANOPOULOS: “So, it sounds like, a year ago, the President told me, I don’t think Americans are better off than they were four years ago. You still can’t say yes.” PLOUFFE: “Well, we’ve clearly improved George from the depths of the recession. We were losing 800,000 jobs a month. We’re now gaining them. The unemployment rate was around 10, it’s come down. We’re beginning to see a manufacturing sector emerge. One of the great bright spots right now is we’re adding manufacturing jobs. The American automotive industry was close to extinction. Mitt Romney would’ve let it go away, by the way. We wouldn’t have an American automotive industry if he was president. President Obama secured that. We’re beginning to really make progress in alternative energy and things like batteries. We’ve made a lot of progress from the depths of recession. we have a lot more work to do. And that’s the question we’re going to lay out for the American people is, the Romney path would be the wrong path for the middle class, the wrong path for this country. We’ve got to continue to recover not just from the recession, but again, how do we build an economy from the middle out so that we have an economy, tax policy, all centered on how do we make the middle class more secure in this country.”(ABC’s “This Week,” 9/2/12)
ANSWER #2:Campaign Adviser David Axelrod Won’t Say Yes Or No
When Asked If Americans Are Better Off Than They Were Four Years Ago, Obama Senior Advisor David Axelrod Doesn’t Respond To The Question. FOX’S CHRIS WALLACE: “But you keep talking about Romney. I’d like to talk about the Obama record and I want to put some statistics up on the screen. Unemployment was 7.8 percent when the president took office; it’s now 8.3 percent. Median household income was almost $55,000; it’s now less than $51,000. Gas was $1.85 a gallon when he took office, now its $3.78, almost double. The national debt was $10.6 trillion and it may go past $16 trillion this week. So just looking at the president’s record and those statistics, David, is the average American better off than four years ago?” OBAMA ADVISOR DAVID AXELROD: “Chris, as I said to you before, I think the average American recognizes that it took years to create the crisis that erupted in 2008 and peaked in January of 2009. And it’s gonna take some time to work through it.” (Fox’s “Fox News Sunday,” 9/2/12)
When Gov. O’Malley Was Asked If Americans Were Better Off After Four Years Of Obama He Said “No.” CBS’ BOB SCHIEFFER: “Can you honestly say that people are better off today than they were four years ago?” GOV. MARTIN O’MALLEY: “No, but that’s not the question of this election.” (CBS’ “Face The Nation,” 9/2/12)
ANSWER #4:DNC Communications Director Brad Woodhouse Says “Absolutely”
When Asked If Americans Are Better Off Now After Four Years Of Obama, DNC Communications Director Brad Woodhouse Says “Absolutely.” CNN’s JOHN BERMAN: “Brad you’ve been shaking your head, as you’ve been sitting off camera, because we’ve been playing all the sound from the last 24 hours of Democrats being asked ‘are you better off today than you were four years ago?’ So, I’ll give you the chance to ask the question, are we better off than we were four years ago?” BRAD WOODHOUSE: “Absolutely.” (CNN’s “Early Start,” 9/3/12)
When Asked If Americans Are Better Off Than They Were Four Years Ago, Obama Deputy Campaign Manager Stephanie Cutter Says “Absolutely.” NBC’s NATALIE MORALES: “Let me begin by starting with that central question on a lot of people’s minds, and that is are we better off today than we were four years ago when President Obama was elected?” STEPHANIE CUTTER: “Absolutely. Let me just walk you through what life was like four years ago.” (NBC’s “Today Show,” 9/3/12)
From The Archives: The 1988 Democratic National Convention Briefing Book
Pictured here is the briefing book prepared by the RNC Research Department for the 1988 Democratic National Convention held in Atlanta, GA.
The top picture features the cover from the briefing book. Contained inside are details on the convention schedule and venue, detailed biographies of potential Vice Presidential nominees, analysis of the Democrat’s platform and an outline of the proceedings of previous conventions.
The picture on the bottom left features the first page of the section outlining the key moments and themes from every Democrat convention from 1960 to 1984.
The picture on the bottom right is of the tentative schedule of events for July 15 and 16.
Last night, DNC Chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz insisted that it was “simply not true” that Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid has refused to bring a budget to the Senate floor. Maybe she should have checked to see what Reid actually said: he doesn’t plan to bring a budget to the floor this year and the White House is just fine with that.
In February, Sen. Reid Said “We Do Not Need To Bring A Budget To The Floor This Year.” “Senate Democratic leaders on Friday said they do not intend to bring a fiscal 2013 budget up for a floor vote. ‘We do not need to bring a budget to the floor this year - it’s done, we don’t need to do it,’ Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) told reporters on Friday.” (Vicki Needham, “Reid: This Year’s Budget Is Done,” The Hill’s “On The Money,” 2/3/12)
Senate Democrats Have Not Passed A Budget For 1,072 Days, Since April 29, 2009. (S. Con. Res. 13, Roll Call 173; D 53-3, R 0-40, I 2-0, 4/29/09)
Only 51 Votes Are Required For A Budget To Pass. “Republicans jumped on Mr Lew, pointing out that under Congress’ budget procedure, a budget resolution cannot be filibustered and thus only needs a simple majority vote - typically 51 votes - to pass.” (“Why The Senate Hasn’t Passed A Budget,” The Economist’s “Free Exchange,” 2/15/12)
White House Press Secretary Jay Carney Says The White House Has “No Opinion” On Whether The Senate Should Pass A Budget. ABC NEWS’ JAKE TAPPER: “The White House has no opinion about whether or not the Senate should pass a budget? The president’s going to introduce one. The Fed chair says not having one is bad for growth. But the White House has no opinion about whether - ” JAY CARNEY: “ I have no opinion - the White House has no opinion on Chairman Bernanke’s assessment of how the Senate ought to do its business.” (White House Press Briefing, 2/8/12)