Tropical Storm Isaac may be putting a bit of a damper on the Republican National Convention in Tampa, Fla., but it certainly won’t stop the party altogether. The storm is soon expected to turn into a hurricane, forecasters said Tuesday, as it headed toward Louisiana, still trying to pick up the pieces from Hurricane Katrina. But Mitt Romney was still flying to Tampa as Republicans gather for days to adopt a party platform, listen to speeches from big party loyalists and more.
Watch Sen. George Mitchell, former Senate Majority Leader and Middle East peace envoy, talk about the importance of working together to achieve goals that best serve the American people:
“There has never been a time in American history when politics wasn’t rough and tumble, with a lot of invective, a lot of difficulty, a lot of factions,” Mitchell said. “There isn’t any magic era that one can look at when it was all sweetness and light. But I do acknowledge and believe that it is worse now than it’s ever been.”
For reasons not least of which, Mitchell said, include the 24/7 news and media cycle that provide vehicles for negative attack ads.
Indeed, with the Republican National Convention in Tampa this week and President Obama and the Democratic National Convention in North Carolina next week, the candidates and their deep-pocketed allied groups are airing millions of dollars of television commercials, many of them negative against their opponent. In Florida alone, more than $105 million has been spent on ads, while in North Carolina, at least $56 million worth of commercials have been aired during this campaign. Overall, political parties and outside groups have spent a stunning $540 million on TV ads.
“I don’t know that you can overcome the problems that arise from the tremendous sums of money, this sort of single-issue thing,” Mitchell said. “You’ve got a growing number of people who sort of feel infused with righteousness … reasonable people can disagree on issues without one being bad.”
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