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‘This Is No Malarkey’: Judgment Day on the Campaign Trail

Celebs, pizzas, partisan supporters, now-familiar stump speeches all deployed in the 11th hour.

by
Bridget Johnson

Bio

November 5, 2012 - 5:43 pm
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“I wouldn’t say we’re the closest of friends, but we understand each other very well, and we work together well. And frankly I have no doubts that we’ll continue to work together well,” House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) said of Romney on Fox. “His campaign is solid. Defeating an incumbent president is an overwhelming job. Just ask John Kerry. It’s really hard to do.”

Boehner echoed the point with which most pollsters and pundits do agree: that he’ll keep his gavel after tomorrow.

“We will hold our majority, and I expect that I’ll continue to be speaker,” Boehner said.

“We’re going to win this election, of course. I can tell you this, I believe that the Democratic Party and the president are really on the cusp of history,” Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) said on MSNBC.

“There’s an uncertainty in this business, for sure. I think we’ve done all our homework. They’ve kind of given me the Ohio, Iowa, Wisconsin party to work over and over again,” Durbin added. “I’ve been in those states. I’ve seen it on the ground. I believe we’re going to close the deal in each of those states. We have a strong position.”

“We know there’s a lot of fantasy talk happening from the Romney team about the number of electoral votes that they think they’re going to achieve.  We’re not going to get into that kind of predictions,” Obama spokeswoman Jen Psaki told reporters aboard Air Force One en route to Columbus. “But the only thing that matters is that more people vote for President Obama than vote for Mitt Romney. We’re confident of that and we’re not going to get into hypotheticals beyond that.”

Ohio Gov. John Kasich (R) said one doesn’t want to “over-indulge in polls,” but said on CBS that GOP enthusiasm is “reflective of the intensity four years ago.”

“I saw an article somewhere where it described the Democrats as sort of grim determination. You know, it’s kind of hard to win with grim determination as opposed to real genuine excitement. But the internal polls is what it’s all about,” Kasich said.

“Anything is possible out here,” he said of his home state. “It’s so close there isn’t any question — look, if I were to hear Obama won, would I be stunned? No, but but, I don’t expect that will happen.”

With such a tight outcome expected, and accusations of voting irregularities expected, both campaigns were preparing for challenges over the next day — and for potential court action beyond Tuesday, as well.

“We want to be prepared to make sure that people have confidence that their vote is going to count. So that’s why we have lawyers in states — Florida, of course, is one of them; Ohio and any of these swing states. And we’re dealing with issues that come up on a case-by-case basis,” Psaki said.

“It’s not that there are more issues than there have been in past years, but you always want to be prepared to make sure that people who are voting for the first time, people who haven’t voted in 20 years — we’ve seen many reports of people who are 90 and are voting for the first time — are confident that their vote will count,” she continued. “So that’s why we’re fortunate we have lawyers in states across the country. And we’re going to be dealing with issues on case by case. We’re confident we’ll be able to resolve them.”

While stressing that nothing will be left to chance and being similarly prepared for challenges, the Romney camp expressed confidence that it wouldn’t need the legal wrangling in the end.

“We are committed to ensuring an open and fair election for all Americans and we are confident we will win the election decisively on November 6th,” rapid response director Lenny Alcivar told PJM.

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Bridget Johnson is a career journalist whose news articles and opinion columns have run in dozens of news outlets across the globe. Bridget first came to Washington to be online editor at The Hill, where she wrote The World from The Hill column on foreign policy. Previously she was an opinion writer and editorial board member at the Rocky Mountain News and nation/world news columnist at the Los Angeles Daily News. She has contributed to USA Today, The Wall Street Journal, National Review Online, Politico and more, and has myriad television and radio credits as a commentator. Bridget is Washington Editor for PJ Media.
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