Posts Tagged ‘Mitt Romney’

  • The Rounds: Obamacare back in the Spotlight

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    As the GOP race for the nomination continues to slog along with no clear front-runner, people are now seriously looking at ways the decision might be rendered in Tampa. Conn Carroll of the Washington Examiner states that:

    Is it too late for a new candidate to enter the race for the Republican presidential nomination? Absolutely not. Is it probable? No. But it is much more likely than many Washington insiders let on.

    Obamacare and its progenitor, Romneycare, continue to play a huge role in the race. Mitt Romney’s health reform law in Massachusetts remains a drag on his campaign. Dr. Milton R. Wolf, writing in The Washington Times, feels it’s time for Romney to stop defending it and issue a mea culpa:

    “Despite Mr. Romney’s current lead in the primaries, he just cannot seem to close the sale… If the former governor would like to reach out to the conservative Republican base, I suggest he start by finally acknowledging the obvious: Government has no business interposing itself between you and your doctor. He should begin his Romneycare mea culpa with these three words: I was wrong.”

    Speaking of Obamacare, Americans in increasing numbers simply don’t like it and more than 50% want it repealed. As the question of its constitutionality moves to the Supreme Court, the op-ed wars are heating up again.

    While President Obama’s director of the Office of Management and Budget, Jeffrey Zients, may have undercut the legal defense of Obamacare by stating that the fine for violating the insurance mandate would not be considered a “tax”, it was the fight over contraception coverage mandates that dominated the news.

    Obama’s decision to force the Catholic Church to provide contraception coverage, including the morning-after pill, sparked widespread outrage.

    From Charles Kadlec in Forbes:

    “Before our very eyes, President Obama is on the verge of establishing the principle that the right to religious freedom comes not from our Creator, but from those who rule us. A government endowed right granted to women now trumps our unalienable right to act in accordance with our religious beliefs and conscience. Not only does this overturn the First Amendment, it also tramples the nation’s founding principles as announced in the Declaration of Independence. Such an achievement would be the true audacity of power.”

    In The Wall Street Journal, Rivkin and Whelan state that:

    “In an effort to rally its base in the upcoming November election, the Obama administration seems more interested in punishing religiously based opposition to contraception and abortion than in marginally increasing access to contraception services. It is the combination of the political motive, together with the exclusion of so many employers from the mandate, that has profound constitutional implications. It transforms the mandate into a non-neutral and not generally applicable law that violates the First Amendment’s Free Exercise Clause.”

    Also in The Wall Street Journal is a nice snapshot of various left-wing defenses of Obama’s mandate on the Catholic Church and other religious entities.

    Charles Krauthammer, writing in The Washington Post, chides the GOP for not mounting a strong opposition to Obamacare beyond pledging to repeal it.

    “In 2010, when all this lay hazily in the future, the sheer arrogance of Obamacare energized a popular resistance powerful enough to deliver an electoral shellacking to Obama. Yet two years later, as the consequences of that overreach materialize before our eyes, the issue is fading. This constitutes a huge failing of the opposition party whose responsibility it is to make the opposition argument. Every presidential challenger says that he will repeal Obamacare on Day One. Well, yes. But is any of them making the case for why?”

  • The GOP Beat Goes On

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    Rick Santorum’s recent sweep of Missouri, Minnesota and Colorado left many pundits scratching their heads. Once again, the polls and momentum were pointing to Romney after his wins in Florida and Nevada, and many were speculating that once again the path to the nomination was clear. With Santorum’s surprise surge, this sense of inevitability around Romney has been shattered while exposing the weaknesses many in the GOP base find with him. Santorum has even replaced Gingrich as the leading “non-Romney”.

    Santorum is riding a wave of momentum

    I have to yield to the “architect”, Karl Rove, who has, in my opinion, the best breakdown on the race so far. Rove believes that Gingrich and Paul will not drop out and will drag their baggage to the convention in Tampa. With some wind at his back, Santorum still has a huge hill to climb but is in the best position to mount a formidable challenge to Romney. Santorum is jumping ahead to Texas and will employ the same strategy that worked in Missouri, Colorado and Minnesota where he made 22 campaign stops. Compare this to the three stops Romney made.

    I believe that with Santorum getting an early start in Texas he will succeed in earning significant exposure towards winning the state’s rich delegate count. A lack of deep organization and funds compared to Romney’s war chest still represents Santorum’s major disadvantages. But Santorum is finding ways to succeed without.

    The GOP base and the public are still not sure about any GOP candidate. It’s still only February, and a brokered convention, the first in All in all, the public is not sure about any GOP candidate–and we are only in February. A brokered convention – something that hasn’t happened in modern times – remains unlikely but cannot be counted out.

    The sad reality now is that Obama has no one opposing him while he builds a monster organization. He has more than a billion dollars in his coffers and has a convention headquarters of more than 50,000 square feet. His campaign’s use of technology and social media will certainly eclipse their impressive efforts of 2008.

    While his poll numbers, the unemployment rate and the economy are still dismal, Obama overshadows them by thumbing his nose at Catholics over the abortion and contraception controversy. Obama is turning a deaf ear on his Democratic party, but his machine is getting in place while the GOP waffles. Don’t doubt for a second that Obama will resort to any tactics to be re-elected this year!

  • Newt is Running out of Steam

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    The flavor of the day (month?) continues in the GOP race for the nomination.

    One thing’s for sure: No one can say that this race is dull. Former Speaker Newt Gingrich was obviously resurrected because of his sharp-tongued response to CNN’s John King in the South Carolina debate, which played a significant factor in his big victory in the state. This caused a near panic in the Romney camp and Republicans across the country.

    The battle between Mitt and Newt has thrown conventional theories and pundit models out the window. The polls are erratic because the voters are erratic as they move from one candidate to another with unusual frequency. They do not know whom they can trust and have emerged as a flighty and unpredictable group.

    By all measures of political scrutiny and facts Romney should win in Florida. He has the campaign organization. He has the money advantage. He has the advantage of thousands of mail-in ballots already cast.

    However, even though Romney is gaining back some ground in the polls today and had a strong performance against Gingrich in last night’s debate, this race has proved anything can happen. The Florida primary is a week away, and a week is an eternity in this erratic political game.

    I predicted a Romney victory in South Carolina and was way off. But I sense that Newt’s second resurgence is running out of steam.

  • The Rounds: Debt limits, Obamacare crushed our economic recovery, and more on IPAB

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    The debate over raising the debt limit is dominating the news cycle. With a deal near, The Wall Street Journal’s Paul Gigot thinks Obama’s spending cuts aren’t what they appear to be:

    One of President Obama’s advantages in the debt-limit talks has been his ability to sound like a born-again spending cutter in public while the details of what he’s willing to accept remain secret. The reality is that the White House offer on spending reforms was much less than publicly advertised, and by the end it even included $136 billion in new spending proposals over 10 years.

    While spending is the major issue, our continued economic slump isn’t helping our nation’s fiscal matters. Obamacare is now a clear root cause of our economic woes. The Heritage Foundation has released a new study: Economic Recovery Stalled After Obamacare Passed. Just as the economy was on the mend, Obamacare sank it again, the study says, pointing to statistics explaining the unemployment and growth challenges. The Weekly Standard also looks at Obamacare’s effects on the economy and refers to the Heritage study.

    Also in The Weekly Standard, Terry Eastland takes a close look at the legal basis for challenging Obamacare, and the prospects of SCOTUS finding it unconstitutional. There’s hope in the words of Justice Anthony Kennedy:

    Notably, Kennedy’s opinion makes the point that “laws enacted in excess of delegated governmental power” are problematic if they “direct or control” the actions of individuals, for then their “liberty is at stake.” One can expect this and other portions of Bond will be quoted to the Court when it reviews Obamacare.

    [The Bond decision] provides reason to think that Kennedy will see the Obamacare mandate as a law too far—one that exceeds the enumerated powers of Congress, cuts into the authority of the states, and violates individual liberty.

    In Reason, Peter Suderman takes a look at the Independent Payment Advisory Board (IPAB) which I’ve discussed. Suderman explores why IPAB is already a mess, unconstitutional, and nearly impossible to repeal. The Goldwater Institute has filed a lawsuit claiming that IPAB is unconstitutional because, according to Diane Cohen of The Goldwater Institute, the organization filing the suit, “Congress cannot delegate away its legislative responsibilities under the Constitution.”

    Congress made repeal of IPAB very difficult as well by setting time limits on introducing repeal legislation and requiring a supermajority to pass it.

    Remember the story that President Obama told repeatedly during the 2008 campaign about how his mother spent her dying months battling with her insurance company because they claimed she suffered from a pre-existing condition? It turns out that the story was fabricated, and Michelle Malkin has the scoop.

    The state-level health insurance exchanges under Obamacare go into effect in 2014, and the Wall Street Journal takes a closer look. Should Republicans refuse to participate in creating exchanges as an act of civil disobedience?

    In an editorial, Investors.com looks at the prototype of Obamacare, former Governor Mitt Romney’s health insurance reform in Massachusetts. In addition to not achieving universal coverage, “…the cumulative cost of RomneyCare is nearly $8.6 billion. The promise of cost-containment has not only been broken, it’s been ripped asunder in spectacular fashion.”

  • What a week in Washington

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    It has been a challenge this week sorting through all the news about the disgraceful behavior of another politician gone morally amok. This behavior is happening too often, creating unacceptable distractions from real issues. You know their names.

    Looking towards 2012, the GOP is getting down to business. Their leading man thus far, Mitt Romney, is holding his frontrunner position with 23% in the polls. He continues to stay on message, has the campaign organization, plenty of cash and a solid understanding of the current woes and dangers posed by our teetering economy.

    Leading, but with one big problem.

    The biggest thorn in Romney’s side is also the most difficult for him to extract: “Romneycare”, the prototype for President Obama’s national healthcare overhaul disaster. Romney simply can’t get around this since stating firmly that he has no regrets and he’d do it all over again, even with Massachusetts now grappling with its destructive consequences. Romneycare, and to a much larger extent Obamacare, are creating intractable problems for business and the health care industry while accelerating the downward spiral of this country.

    » Read the rest of the entry..

  • The GOP Field’s Techtonic Shifts

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    I was somewhat discouraged after last weeks realignment of the GOP presidential race as Mike Huckabee and Donald Trump announced they wouldn’t run while Mitt Romney and Newt Gingrich continue to hang on in the face of issues that are plaguing them in the polls. A favorite of the inside-the-beltway crowd, Indiana Governor Mitch Daniels, also bowed out of contention.

    This weeks winner: T-Paw

    The latest group to offer themselves to the GOP this week includes pizza empire mogul Herman Cain, former Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty, and former Utah Governor and Ambassador to China John Huntsman. Cain is an impressive wealthy, self-made figure touting conservative, common-sense values and a solid grasp of free market capitalism. But with Daniels out, the big winner of the week is Pawlenty.

    Tim Pawlenty ‘s speech after his announcement on Monday has taken many by surprise. He came out swinging against the destruction Obama has caused the country and has staked out at least one bold position that holds both risk and reward: Opposition to ethanol subsidies which will win him favor among the base seeking fiscal discipline while posing risks in all-important Iowa.

    Pawlenty was effective in his speech in which he laid out a vision to return our country to the greatness that we all know and love and restore a future for generations to come with a strong economy, healthcare system and exploitation of our domestic energy resources. I give a huge plus to Tim Pawlenty for his powerful and articulate message that effectively included real policy details. We all are ready to see a strong candidate for the GOP, and Pawlenty is making a good case.

    Donald Trump, either serious about wanting to run or not wanting to lose the attention he’s been getting, indicated he may want to re-enter the race. As long as he does not set himself up as a spoiler or simply suck the air out of the room, I say let him campaign on his message of his love for his country and his grasp of our capitalist system.

    Bachmann: Laying the groundwork for a Senate run?

    Minnesota Representative Michele Bachmann, who is a wonderful person and the creator of the Tea Party Caucus in the Congress, is giving it her “all” as she plans an announcement to join the ranks of the Republican Party presidential hopefuls this week. Bachmann will be a great addition on the campaign trail and she’s a leading force to repeal Obamacare. She’s also a possible contender for the US Senate seat held by Amy Klobacher, and a presidential campaign will be a good training ground for a Senate run.

    On the Chris Christie front — Do Not Count Him Out! It is early and as you have witnessed, players are entering and departing the field at a fast rate. Obama’s detectives are out in Christie territory in New Jersey as we speak seeking to uncover any skeletons in his closet. I predict that he and Paul Ryan (and Pawlenty if he stays on course) can defeat Obama in 2012.

    Victory in 2012 is critical for the survival of our country, our free market system, our liberty and our freedoms. We need strong candidates, and they may be emerging.

  • Down and Out on the GOP Trail

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    The 2012 GOP field has shifted considerably in the past few days. Although I was pleased with his connection to the issues facing the GOP, I thought we would get more of the positive side of Newt Gingrich before he “stepped in it” — but after his statements to David Gregory on Sunday’s Meet the Press that Paul Ryan’s Plan for Medicare was “radical engineering from the right” there may be no recovery phase for the former Speaker.  Back circa 2004 Gingrich had created a health care initiative and I spoke with him as he was out promoting it. Both he and his plan seemed to lack focus and I was not impressed with his understanding of the healthcare industry in America. His comments Sunday only reinforce the fact that he doesn’t understand healthcare. Newt’s campaign may be done before it really begins. It’s done with me.

    Mitt Romney has the most cash (he just raised $10 million in one day), the best organization and decent polls — all things pointing to a campaign that’s in really good shape. That was until he doubled down last week on his signature law from his stint as governor of Massachusetts, Romneycare, the blueprint for Obamacare. Rather than admit the state-wide universal healthcare mandate has become a costly failure pockmarked by growing wait lists for care, he said he’d do it all over again. He won’t be able to square his defense of Romneycare when Obamacare ranks as one of the biggest objections to Obama by the American public. I believe Romney will have to exit the field as he faces an increasing backlash from GOP primary base on his seemingly irreconcilable healthcare positions.

    Donald Trump yesterday announced that he will not run for the Presidency because he has more passion for “business”.  Is it not ironic that NBC made a deal with him that he could not refuse (and may have threatened to replace him with a new business leader at the helm of Celebrity Apprentice).

    Mike Huckabee was in a good position to continue harnessing the strong support that he enjoyed during the 2008  presidential campaign. Some early straw polls placed him in the lead. Instead, his “heart says no” to another run. This isn’t surprising, as he was doing little to prepare and many surmised that he is having a great time and making money for the first time with his popular show on Fox News.

    Now we have a very open field and it’s anyone’s guess as to who will break out of the pack. Will safer, more conventional candidates like Gov. Mitch Daniels or Gov Tim Pawlenty fit the bill? Or will we have the opportunity to support two of my favorites: Congressman Paul Ryan and Governor Chris Christie? Will a draft movement get them in the game? I certainly hope so. After all, we must beat Obama in 2012!

    Update 5/22: Mitch Daniels is also out.