Romney’s frat cred

Romney not worried about likability because he was in a frat; Akin behind 10 points; and other top Monday stories

Topics: Mitt Romney, 2012 Elections, Ron Paul, George W. Bush,

Romney's frat cred

Romney’s frat cred: In an interview with Politico, Mitt Romney quoted Popeye three times and touted his time leading his fraternity as he discounted the importance of the fact that polls show Americans are not overly fond of the Republican candidate personally. “I know there are some people who do a very good job acting and pretend they’re something they’re not. I am who I am,” Romney said. He said he would even try to turn Obama’s likability against him, portraying the president as a nice guy, but a failed president. “I don’t think everybody likes me … I don’t believe that, by any means … I was voted the president of my fraternity. They don’t call them fraternities at Brigham Young University. They’re called Service Clubs. It was the Cougar Club. But you don’t get voted to be head of your group if you don’t get along with people, if you don’t connect with people,” he said.

Akin’s 20-point swing: Two new polls show Rep. Todd Akin hemorrhaging support in the wake of his “legitimate rape” comments, down almost 10 points behind Sen. Claire McCaskill, whom he was beating by a similar margin just two weeks ago. A Rasmussen poll out Friday showed McCaskill leading Akin 48 percent to 38 percent, while a St. Louis Post-Dispatch/News 4 poll out yesterday showed him down 9 points. More than half of Missouri voters now view Akin unfavorably, the second poll indicates, and fewer than one in five view him favorably.

George Bush who? If you wonder about how unpopular the Bushes have become, look no further than this week’s Republican National Convention, where neither of the former presidents will play a major role. The family that has done more to define Republican politics for the past 30 years than any other will be almost entirely absent, where only former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush was slated to give a major speech. That was supposed to happen today, but because of the cancellation, his new slot will not be in prime time.



Ron Paul still hates Mitt Romney: Rep. Ron Paul held a last hurrah rally on the outskirts of the Republican National Convention yesterday, rallying against the GOP establishment with thousands of fans in what will likely be his last major event in an election cycle as a candidate. Paul has been a poor player for team Romney, and said yesterday, “I don’t fully endorse him for president.” He was asked to give a speech at the convention, but it would have had to have been vetted by the Romney campaign, a condition the Texas Republican rejected. “It wouldn’t be my speech. That would undo everything I’ve done in the last 30 years,” he told the New York Times. Meanwhile, the convention seating chart suggests the disdain is mutual. Delegations from states with significant Paul delegates — Nevada, Louisiana, Maine, Minnesota and Oklahoma —  got nosebleed seats far from the stage.

Like a hurricane: Republicans canceled the first day of their national convention, which was supposed to begin today because of Hurricane Isaac, and are now planning to do the event in three, instead of four days. The new schedule will make it the same length as the Democratic National Convention, and organizers said almost everyone included in the original plan will get to speak, though slots may be shorter. Meanwhile, the storm killed 10 in Haiti as it crossed the poor country this weekend and now heads west of Tampa toward the Gulf Coast, where it may increase to a category 2 before making landfall.

Alex Seitz-Wald

Alex Seitz-Wald is Salon's political reporter. Email him at aseitz-wald@salon.com, and follow him on Twitter @aseitzwald.

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