Mitt Romney

It never ceases to amaze me how people who pretend to be champions of the poor are often quite greedy, and those who are accused of being capitalist pigs can be some of the most generous and compassionate among us.

The latest case in point can be illustrated with Mitt Romney and Hillary Clinton.

When Clinton visits a campus for a speech, she charges upwards of $300,000, and with it a long list of demands that would make a pop music diva blush.

But now comes word that Mitt Romney is set to speak at Mississippi State University. His price? $50,000.

The Washington Post reports:

Mitt Romney will charge Mississippi State University $50,000 to deliver a lecture on campus next week, most of which will go to charity — a dramatically lower fee than the $250,000 to $300,000 Hillary Rodham Clinton requires for her university lectures. …

The former secretary of state’s speaking fees at universities have typically also gone to a family-connected charity — in her case, the Bill, Hillary & Chelsea Clinton Foundation. However, her high fees have drawn campus protests and sharp criticisms from Republicans, who have said they demonstrate a likely presidential candidate who has grown out of touch.

More than out of touch, her fees represent an entirely different mindset, one of entitlement and greed. What’s more, we can’t even prove she IS donating her money to their family foundation.

Plus, some nonprofit experts consider these skyhigh campus fees of Clinton’s sort of a work-around of campaign finance laws, not from Clinton’s end – but from a donor perspective. But you don’t see Clinton batting an eyelash at that.

Meanwhile, here’s the Romneys, The Washington Post reports Mitt will donate his fee to Charity Vision … all he asks is travel expenses:

Romney has long been a supporter of Charity Vision, a Provo, Utah-based organization that provides medical care to people in the developing world. The group’s president is one of Romney’s sons, Josh.

In 2013, Mitt and Ann Romney, along with their family and friends, traveled to rural Peru on a mission for Charity Vision. There, they helped conduct eye exams for local villagers, including many children. In a video promoting the trip, Mitt Romney described eye screenings at a local school.

Contrast that with the fact that Hillary Clinton has not driven a car since 1996. A real woman of the people, huh?

Jennifer Kabbany is editor of The College Fix. (@JenniferKabbany)

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IMAGE: YouTube screenshot

OPINION: Republicans can capture this demographic if they hold back on social issues

The Democratic Party no longer has an undeniable hold on millennial voters, with an increasing number shifting toward the right side of the political spectrum, according to a report issued by Pew Research Center.

A newly identified subset of young voters are now “skeptical of activist government,” and a “substantial majority” of this subset “view government as wasteful and inefficient,” according to the study, Beyond Red v. Blue: The Political Typology, released on June 26.

This group of fiscally conservative, small-government advocates is classified as “young outsiders” by the study, among eight political typology groups that include “steadfast conservatives,” “solid liberals” and “politically disengaged bystanders.”

While young outsiders aren’t entirely comprised of millennial voters, Pew says the category is collectively the youngest of all typology groups, with 30 percent under 30 and most under 50.

The findings of the study complicate the view of millennials from a mere two years ago, when many voters now classified as young outsiders supported the reelection of President Barack Obama.

Sixty-seven percent of voters ages 18 to 29 cast their ballots for Obama, to 30 percent for former Gov. Mitt Romney. Voters 30-44 years old supported Obama 52 percent to 45 percent in support of Romney.

The cause of the rightward shift? Take your pick from a long list of grievances: out-of-control government spending, the soaring costs of higher education, government corruption, staggering unemployment and the uncertain job market, among many other issues.

One of the topic issues in the typology study is entitlement and welfare spending.

As compared to 48 percent of the general public, 86 percent of young outsiders believe that “government aid to the poor does more harm than good,” said the report. Further, 76 percent of young outsiders believe the government cannot afford to further assist those in need.

Government over-involvement is another issue of top concern, with 66 percent of young outsiders indicating that they feel the government is doing too much to resolve the country’s issues and problems.

While millennials’ viewpoints on government spending and the scope of federal power are shifting toward the right, the demographic holds mostly liberal opinions on social issues, including environmental protection regulations and controversial social policies.

Young outsiders feel that society should accept homosexuality (78 percent) compared to 62 percent of the general population. The group favors the legalization of marijuana (67 percent), and 58 percent believe abortion should be legal in all or most cases.

Yet despite their general resistance to government spending, 68 percent of young outsiders believe that the costs of stricter environmental laws and regulations are worthwhile.

Curiously, young outsiders veer back to the right on the gun-control debate, with 63 percent stating that protecting the right to own firearms is important.

Despite mostly socially liberal viewpoints, Pew predicts young outsiders will still lean Republican when comes to casting a ballot, although the category does not favorably view either political party. This bodes well for the GOP in the approaching midterm elections, but only if they understand the opportunity the party is afforded by this realignment of youth political philosophies.

studentsforliberty.sflThe GOP needs the young outsider demographic almost as much as the group wants stringent, fiscally conservative leaders and representatives, presenting an opportunity for a mutually beneficial relationship that has the potential for a very large return.

Republicans have an opportunity to demonstrate that they are not just the party of stodgy old white men, but also appeal to a vast array of demographics in age and gender.

Young outsiders are largely comprised of two demographic groups that could vastly contribute to improving the GOP’s image problem – youth and women. Women comprise 52 percent of young outsiders, according to the report.

However, there is a large difference between ideological agreement and actual ballots being cast for conservative candidates on Election Day.

The best plan of attack for the GOP is to leave social issues for another day and focus on appealing to young voters with decisive, realistic plans for resolving the financial problems facing our country.

Jobs, the economy, deregulation, entitlement reform and legislation that lowers the cost of college tuition – not combating the social culture war of our elders – are the issues that this demographic wants to hear about.

College Fix contributor Julianne Stanford is a student at the University of Arizona.

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IMAGES: European Parliament/Flick, Students for Liberty

Celina Durgin at The Corner reports on the fees charged by Hillary Clinton at assorted colleges across the land: “$1.8 million in fees for speeches to eight universities during the past nine months, receiving over $200,000 for each.” Aside from the recent controversy surrounding her gig at UNLV,

Clinton also earned a $250,000 fee in April from the University of Connecticut, where tuition recently rose 6.5 percent, and $300,000 in March from UCLA. She has been paid for speeches at the University at Buffalo, Colgate University, Hamilton College, Simmons College, and the University of Miami. Claremont McKenna College paid Romney a mere $11,475 to speak there.

Speaking of Mitt Romney, remember the hassle the media gave him during the 2012 campaign about his speaking fees? Well, his disclosure forms show a total of “$374,000 for nine speeches.” That works out to approximately $41,592 per speech.

How’s that compare to Mrs. Clinton, eh?

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Via Examiner.com:

Assistant Professor Brittney Cooper wrote an article for Salon magazine (Tuesday) claiming that Melissa Harris-Perry was right to apologize for mocking Mitt Romney’s black grandchild, but she was still the target of “faux-outrage on the right.”

Cooper said: “What costs white folks a slap on the wrist, or a mildly disapproving look, costs black people our dignity.”

The Rutgers professor said in her article titled, “White supremacy wins again: Melissa Harris Perry and the racial false equivalence,” that Harris-Perry was “an unfair target, left at the mercy of the right’s utter dishonesty on questions of race.”

Read more.

IMAGE: A2Gemma/Flickr

My liberal friends are always posting clever, politically related pictures, quotes and memes on social media.

For example, they were among the tens of thousands of people across the nation who changed their Facebook profile picture to red-colored equal signs when the Supreme Court heard oral arguments on same-sex marriage in late March.

Where were College Republicans with an official and clever little icon to post in support of traditional marriage? Nowhere to be found.

So I changed my profile picture to that of a man and a woman, which sparked quite a dialogue. How cool would it have been if that were more widespread?

This week, the College Republican National Committee released a postmortem on what went wrong with the youth vote in the November election, during which “President Barack Obama won 5 million more votes than Gov. Mitt Romney among voters under the age of 30 … enough to ensure his re-election.”

To earn more youth votes to the Republican ticket come 2016, the 95-page report cites numerous ideas and strategies, among them improved social media campaigns.

Gee, you think?!

I know that people my age use their smartphones much more than “at least once a week,” and nearly everybody uses various apps/texting “multiple times per day,” as the report stated.

It seemed odd the notion was startling to College Republican leaders.

I’m no College Republican crusader. I’m a 21-year-old English and theater major at San Diego State University who may or may not still be listed on the College Republican’s membership roster.

But I’m on their side, and while some of the report’s advice is obvious and should already have been undertaken with earnest, on the positive side – it’s a good start.

The strategies show at least College Republicans are doing something, instead of just giving up and accepting labels put on us by Democrats.

The report used focus groups, surveys, and looked at studies to gather its intel and advise students how to address such hot-topics as abortion, immigration, health care and the military.

But the larger issue is image, the rhetoric used by Republicans. Neither resonates with young people, the report said.

We cannot be content to concede labels like “caring” or “open-minded” to the Democrats just because they want us to.

“It is not that young voters are enamored of the Democratic Party,” according to the report. “They simply dislike the Republican Party more. . … Young ‘winnable’ Obama voters were asked to say what words came to mind when they heard ‘Republican Party.’ The responses were brutal: closed-minded, racist, rigid, old-fashioned.”

In my opinion, we have to work based off of our own brand. Meaning, we shouldn’t argue why we aren’t racist or homophobic, because that essentially validates Democratic posturing.

Instead, we have to explain why we are intelligent, helpful, hardworking.

Definitely making better use of Facebook and Twitter is a good idea. The report also suggested identifying younger, hip candidates. Sure, why not?

Ultimately, however, we need to articulate our positions better, and not just College Republicans – all Republicans, politicians included.

It is a truth universally acknowledged that Obama’s oratory skills are largely what got him elected.

On our side, people like Dennis Prager and Michael Medved have ways of clearly explaining issues. Everything is brought down to simple, intelligent discussions. Why can’t our politicians speak more like that, instead of talking down to people?

Take the health care issue. At San Diego State, it is not required to take an economics class to earn a bachelor’s degree. I assume that is similar elsewhere. So the idea that a small business owner would have to cut employees in order to stay afloat in the face of Obamacare is not inherently understood.

We heard some of that during the Obamacare debate, but not enough. The national conversation centered on Obamacare’s unconstitutionality.

Like the report says, a bad message doesn’t earn votes or support.

“Economic growth, tackling long-term challenges, and focusing on opportunity trumped narratives around the constitution, liberty, and American values,” it stated. “While those things are not unimportant, this generation is looking for outcomes – particularly economic outcomes – that are going to make them better off.”

In the end, the report essentially offered five basic ideas, stating: focus on the economic issues that affect young people  today: education, the cost of health care, unemployment; capture the brand attributes of intelligence, hard work, and responsibility; don’t concede “caring” and “open-minded” to the left; fix the debt and cut spending, but recognize that messages about “big government” are the least effective  way to win this battle of ideas with young voters; and go where young voters are and give them something to share.

It’s a good start.

Fix contributor Emily Yavitch is a student at San Diego State University.

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