Tim Murphy

Tim Murphy


Tim Murphy is a senior reporter in MoJo's DC bureau. His writing has been featured in Slate and the Washington Monthly. Email him with tips and insights at tmurphy [at] motherjones [dot] com.

Get my RSS |

Romney Dodges Questions About Bain Legacy at Debate

| Tue Oct. 11, 2011 10:10 PM EDT
GOP Presidential candidate Mitt Romney.

If nothing else, Mitt Romney came prepared to Tuesday's GOP presidential debate. While his top rival Rick Perry seemed only semi-alert (perhaps he needs more sleep?), Romney was more than up to the task of responding to a steady stream of jabs from the field's also-rans. He told Herman Cain that sometimes short and simple plans are "inadequate" when the Georgia businessman asked Romney to recite his economic plan from memory.* And when former Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman challenged Romney on his record at the private equity firm Bain Capital, stating (accurately) that Romney was not a job creator, he fought back. Hard.

Here's what Huntsman asked: "Some might see you because of your past employment with Bain Capital as more of a financial engineer, somebody who breaks down businesses, destroys jobs, as opposed to creating jobs and opportunity, leveraging up, spinning off, enriching shareholders. Since you were number 47 as governor of the state of Massachusetts—where we were number one for example—and the whole discussion around this campaign is going to be job creation, how can you win that debate given your background?" Romney had been asked a variation of the question at previous debates, but this time he came prepared with specifics:

Advertise on MotherJones.com

Herman Cain's 9-9-9 Plan Raises Taxes on the Poor

| Tue Oct. 11, 2011 8:20 PM EDT
GOP Presidential candidate Herman Cain.

If you watched Tuesday evenings' GOP presidential debate, you heard a lot about Herman Cain's 9-9-9 plan. For the unfamiliar, it's pretty straightforward: 9 percent corporate tax, 9 percent sales tax, and 9 percent income tax. Win-win-win! Or maybe not. Cain was asked at the debate to explain away the charge that his 9-9-9 plan would effectively raise taxes on low-income workers. (Among other things, Cain's plan would implement a sales tax on groceries, which only two states currently do.)

Cain rejected the notion, but the facts are pretty clearly not on his side. Don't take it from me, though. None other than Bruce Bartlett, a former economic adviser to Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush, says so. Here's how he explained it at the New York Times' "Economix" blog earlier this week:

No, Michele Bachmann, Fannie and Freddie Didn't Cause the Financial Crisis

| Tue Oct. 11, 2011 7:39 PM EDT
Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.)

At Tuesday evening's GOP presidential debate at Dartmouth, Michele Bachmann was asked by the Washington Post's Karen Tumulty whether she believed Wall Street had ever really paid for the financial crisis it caused. The Minnesota congresswoman, whose campaign has hit a rut of late, rejected the premise. She argued instead that the financial crisis had been created by the policies of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, the quasi-governmental housing agencies.

It's an enticing narrative for conservatives—pin the blame on government lending money to poor people—but it's not true. My colleague Andy Kroll explained over a year ago why exactly this is wrong:

Flashback: Perry Endorser Says Obama Might be a Muslim

| Tue Oct. 11, 2011 7:20 PM EDT
Dallas Pastor Robert Jeffress said in April that Americans had good reason to suspect that President Obama is a Muslim.

Dallas pastor Robert Jeffress, as you might recall, endorsed Rick Perry on-stage at Friday' Values Voter Summit in DC with Perry's approval, and then proceded to call Mormonism a "cult" and argue that Mitt Romney's faith was a strike against him as a candidate. Mitt Romney has since called on the Texas Governor to repudiate Jeffress's comments, and the Perry campaign has responded by essentially shouting "Romneycare!" really loudly.

But Jeffress has taken shots at more than just the LDS Church. He also said that Islam causes pedophilia, and that the Catholic church and Jewish faith are both paths to eternal damnation. He's speculated as to whether President Obama is a Muslim. Here's an interview Jeffress did with Steve Doocy of Fox News, back in April, after President Obama (like President Bush before him) declined to produce a formal White House proclamation celebrating Easter. Why would Obama do something like that? Jeffress, starting at about the 53-second mark, says it mights be because he secretly still harbors Muslim sympathies:

Thu Oct. 1, 2015 10:23 AM EDT
Thu Aug. 13, 2015 5:00 AM EDT
Wed Aug. 12, 2015 9:46 AM EDT
Thu Jul. 2, 2015 10:31 AM EDT
Fri Jun. 12, 2015 10:59 AM EDT