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Political Notebook

Romney cites Carter to rap foes

September 21, 2009

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Mitt Romney reflected conservatives’ growing confidence over the weekend when he taunted Democrats, saying “I’ll bet you never dreamed you’d look back at Jimmy Carter as the good old days.’’

Republicans at the Values Voter Summit in Washington talked Saturday of a growing political rebellion in the country, even as they acknowledged Democrats currently have the upper hand.

Romney, the former governor of Massachusetts, recalled the euphoria among Democrats at the time President Obama was elected. “A year ago, there were quite a few people who were ready to write off this movement. They were enthralled by Barack Obama’s promise of near-Biblical transformations,’’ Romney said. “Well, he can still spin a speech, but he can’t spin his record.’’

Romney said Obama’s spending and borrowing have weakened the nation. The higher deficit combined with coming problems for the country’s entitlement programs will cause more severe economic problems, he said.

Romney’s reference to Carter recalled the economic and international troubles at the time Carter lost his bid for reelection to Ronald Reagan.

House Republican leader John Boehner said nationwide protests known as “tea parties’’ are the result of resistance against Democrats’ spending.

He said his Democratic colleagues are bankrupting the country.

People are demonstrating and attending town hall meetings because, he said, “We’re in the midst of a political rebellion in America.’’ -- ASSOCIATED PRESS

At summit, GOP fights back against racism charge
Stung by accusations from some Democrats that bigotry underlies opposition to President Obama and wary of further setbacks among minority voters, some Republicans are lashing back with a new mantra: We are not racists.

That theme was on display over the weekend at the Values Voter Summit, where several of the GOP’s potential 2012 challengers to Obama began laying out their reasons to unseat him.

Republicans are walking an aggressive but delicate line as they try to assure voters that their profound displeasure with the president is based on his policies, not his race.

But some Democrats, such as Jimmy Carter, have alleged that the rise in opposition to Obama that took place over the summer came about because he is black.

“It’s important that we robustly reject any charges that we’re racist,’’ said Gary Bauer, president of the social conservative group American Values who said in a speech at the summit that conservatives would gladly support any minority candidate for president who embraced their “profamily, prolife’’ values.

At least two prominent conservative blacks were featured at the summit: author Star Parker, a self-admitted former welfare cheat who now rails against big government and entitlement programs, and Ken Blackwell, the former Ohio secretary of state. -- LOS ANGELES TIMES