Mitt Romney launched a major counteroffensive against the Obama campaign’s persistent attacks on his record at the private equity firm Bain Capital today. Not only did he unveil www.SterlingBusinessCareer.com to tout his private-sector achievements, but tonight’s schedule at the Republican National Convention is loaded up with Bain-related events.
Better Late Than Never
TAMPA, FL — Staten Island Congressman Michael Grimm arrived at the Republican National Convention in time to see his party’s vice presidential candidate, Paul Ryan, make his speech. Mr. Grimm told Politicker he was quite pleased with Mr. Ryan’s remarks.
“I think he delivered. First and foremost, the great thing about Paul Ryan and, you know, I’ve gotten to know him pretty well, is his sincerity just shines through,” said Mr. Grimm. “When he gets choked up speaking about his mom, it reminds me of when I speak about my dad. It’s just, it’s real, it’s not contrived. It is who he is and I think that comes across in everything he says.”
Mr. Grimm is currently dealing with an FBI probe and allegations of potential impropriety surrounding donations he received from an influential rabbi. In the wake of the fundraising flap, Mr. Grimm was removed from the list of convention delegates for Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney. Mr. Grimm initially said he wouldn’t be attending the convention due to weather concerns caused by tropical storm Isaac, which lead to speculation among insiders his potential absence was related to the fundraising flap. Mr. Grimm told us the rumors surrounding his convention attendance were “utter nonsense.”
TAMPA, FL — Along with all the red staters at the Republican National Convention in Tampa, there are several Obama For America staffers who are monitoring the events from an office they’re calling the “Romney Economics: Wrong for the Middle Class War Room” and one Republican National Committee staffer has repeatedly attempted to get behind enemy lines and into the Obama campaign’s convention outpost. This morning, Obama For America Director of Rapid Response Lis Smith tweeted that Tim Miller, the digitally savvy deputy communications director of the Republican National Committee had tried and failed to infiltrate the Democrats’ convention war room.
“@Timodc’s attempts to crash our office have been even less successful than @MittRomney’s reinvention convention. Not an easy feat,” Ms. Smith wrote, referring to Mr. Miller by his Twitter handle.
Guns of the Southwest
TAMPA, FL — Former presidential candidate and Governor of Texas Rick Perry is quite possibly carrying a weapon on the streets of Tampa as he attends the Republican National Convention. We spotted Mr. Perry a few moments ago walking into the CNN Grill, which the cable network set up to provide politicians and journalists a place to mingle and unwind during the RNC festivities. Since he has a well-documented “long love affair” with firearms Politicker asked Mr. Perry whether he was “packing” at the RNC.
“You never know, that’s why they call it a concealed weapon,” Mr. Perry said with a chuckle and a pat on his hip as he made his way into the Grill.
Meeting of the Minds
TAMPA, Fla. — New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, who gave the keynote speech at the Republican National Convention last night, told the story of the meeting where he agreed to endorse Mitt Romney at a breakfast hosted by the New Hampshire and Pennsylvania delegations in a Doubletree Hotel by the Tampa airport this morning. Mr. Christie said he made the decision when Mr. Romney and his wife, Ann, visited the Christie homestead last fall for what was supposed to be a quiet business lunch. However, Mr. Christie’s children had other plans.
TAMPA, FL — Paul Ryan is a devotee of the “extreme home fitness” routine P90X and at least one personal trainer is hoping other attendees at the Republican National Convention will follow his example. Politicker spotted P90X coach Rob Dubsky standing on the street just outside the RNC security perimeter this afternoon wearing a shirt that said “Bring It” and waving a sign encouraging convention-goers to “FOLLOW YOUR LEADER” featuring his web address: “WWW.GOP90X.com.
“This is my first day out here,” Mr. Dubsky said. “A lot of the police, the military here seem to relate with me.”
Love & Marriage
TAMPA, FL — In her speech at the Republican National Convention tonight Ann Romney will try to refute the notion she and her husband enjoy a “storybook marriage.”
“I read somewhere that Mitt and I have a ‘storybook marriage.’ Well, in the storybooks I read, there were never long, long, rainy winter afternoons in a house with five boys screaming at once. And those storybooks never seemed to have chapters called MS or Breast Cancer,” Mr. Romney will say, according to an advance excerpt of her speech distributed by the Romney campaign. “A storybook marriage? No, not at all. What Mitt Romney and I have is a real marriage.”
Talk To The Hand
TAMPA, FL — Reclusive Republican megadonor David Koch is currently on the floor at the Republican National Convention along with the rest of the New York delegation. However, he said he was too busy to talk with Politicker when we stopped by his chair to ask him a few questions.
TAMPA, FL — Newt Gingrich, who regularly sparred with what he described as the “elite media” during the Republican primaries, is now working with The Washington Post Company.
At this week’s Republican National Convention in Tampa, Mr. Gingrich is debuting “Newt University,” a series of academic-style classes he’s conducting at a Hyatt hotel near the RNC festivities. Newt University is being “presented by the Republican National Committee,” which has paid KAPx, a division of the educational company Kaplan to run the courses. As noted on the Newt University website, Kaplan is “the largest subsidiary of The Washington Post Company” and is wholly owned by the media company.
TAMPA, FL — To hear the horde of reporters that have descended on Tampa tell it, the Republican National Convention is a treacherous landscape with the threat of a massive hurricane, machete wielding anarchists, roving bands of Scientologists, nymphomaniac strippers and death metal. The political press corps, in their endless search for intriguing narratives, is often prone to exaggeration and groupthink, but since American Airlines waylaid your humble Politicker correspondent for nearly eighteen hours, thus far, we have only been able to get a sense of the reality inside the RNC security perimeter through leadup coverage and dispatches from other reporters warning of a potentially chaotic powder keg of protests and severe weather that left us wondering just how bad of a situation the GOP has gotten us all into out here.