Newt Gingrich’s Imitation of Michael Jackson

By now, everybody has seen the news yesterday about Gingrich stating he wholeheartedly supported major parts of the healthcare plan Governor Romney designed when he was Governor. Gingrich has been quoted as recently as May 2011 in support of key elements of the plan. Well, Gingrich is now starting to do the Michael Jackson moonwalk on us. Doesn’t this video remind you of Gingrich in the news lately?

To be completely candid, I think Newt is better at the Moonwalk than Michael Jackson was! What do you think?

Do you die hard Romney fans remember Kevin Madden? He was Governor Romney’s spokesman in the 2008 campaign. This Reuters article just about says it all:

“What has to worry voters most is that Newt and his campaign are failing even the most basic tests,” said Kevin Madden, a former spokesman for Romney and an informal adviser to the campaign.

“How can you argue that you’re equipped to take on Obama’s billion-dollar attack machine when you can’t even get on the ballot in your home state of Virginia,” Madden said.

Many conservative Christians in Iowa are wary of Gingrich because of his marital infidelities and two divorces.

I think Gingrich is getting desperate. Watch him closely these next few days before caucus Tuesday. I believe we will see the true Newt emerge. Aside from the whining of late, and his Michael Jackson imitations, we will see his temper flair. Mark my words. He is simply outgunned and his team doesn’t know how to handle it.

By the way, I predict we will observe Gingrich continue to fumble along and we will see him refer to those missteps as he always does by saying, “Well, that was a big mistake.”

Please, if you have not read this article by Dave, please read it and pass it along to voters in Iowa and South Carolina. Thank you!

“Example is not the main thing in influencing others, it is the only thing.” — Albert Schweitzer

Fact-Checkers Blast Bret Baier and Democrats – The Charge of Romney’s “Flip-Flopping” is Greatly Exaggerated

Last week Governor Romney was interviewed by Bret Baier of Fox News. In the interview, Baier said, “You have been on both sides of some issues. . . .There is video of you changing your position on a whole host of issues from climate change to immigration to abortion to gay rights to health care.” Romney replied “Well Bret, your list is just not accurate. So, one, we are going to have to be better informed about my views on issues and, two, it’s good to see the ads from the Democrats are being seen here at Fox.”

This testy exchange drew a lot of news coverage last week and so the “fact-checkers” at, Politifact, and the Washington Post decided to do some research to find out who was right and who was wrong. For those who may not know, fact-checkers are organizations that are not affiliated with any political party or candidate. The goal of these fact-checkers is to provide the public with unbiased, independent research on claims being thrown around in the media. 

Well, the fact-checkers did their analysis of this interview and, even though I generally like Bret Baier, there is no other way to describe it but as a huge embarrassment for Mr. Baier. The fact-checkers found that Romney has been very consistent on the topics Baier listed. Lets look at the topics mentioned by Baier one by one and see what the fact-checkers concluded.

1) Climate Change – After the Democrats ran an ad last month showing a supposed change in Romney’s position on the cause of global warming, the fact-checkers at the Washington Post concluded there was “No Flip Flop” saying:
Click here to continue reading

A Reconciliation – How One Romney Supporter Justifies RomneyCare while Denouncing ObamaCare – part 1

As a Romney supporter, I am sometimes asked how I can support RomneyCare but desire to repeal ObamaCare. “Aren’t the two plans basically the same thing?” they ask. 

Governor Chris Christie said recently that it is “intellectually dishonest” to equate RomneyCare with ObamaCare. I agree with Gov. Christie and while I can’t speak for Mr. Christie, I would like to give you one of my own reasons for supporting RomneyCare but denouncing ObamaCare. 

#1) Costs – A Simple But Powerful Distinction

From simply a costs perspective, the two plans are quite different. RomneyCare was a “balanced bill” which means it required virtually no new spending or taxes. On the other hand, ObamaCare increases taxes by over a half a trillion dollars and requires a dramatic increase in government spending. The vastly different costs of each program represent a significant and major distinction.

Some ask “If they are similar plans, why is ObamaCare so much more expensive than RomneyCare?” ObamaCare is much more expensive than RomneyCare because it requires other states to fund their health care programs the same way Massachusetts did. But there is a major problem with that method of funding, namely, Massachusetts had a lot more money to pay for its health care program than any other state. Due to a special Medicaid grant that Massachusetts had been receiving for over a decade and a large pool of money set aside to pay for the costs incurred by the uninsured for hospital/medical care, Massachusetts had over one billion dollars in additional health care funding that no other state had. Because other states do not have such a large pool of funds to use for their health care programs, other states have to get the money for the program by raising taxes or cutting spending from other areas such as educational institutions to help pay for the new health care plan. Senator Marco Rubio of Florida summarizes it well by saying, “Even if ObamaCare was good policy, which it is not, we simply can’t afford more federal spending.”

Furthermore, lets not forget than Massachusetts had a balanced budget at the time RomneyCare was passed. The same definitely can’t be said of ObamaCare which was implemented during a time of record national debt levels. Romney showed fiscal responsibility by balancing the state’s budget first before passing any new laws that may affect government spending. Obama did no such thing.

In conclusion, from simply a costs perspective the two plans are polar opposites. RomneyCare was a “balanced bill” that required virtually no additional spending or taxes, while ObamaCare requires a dramatic increase in gov. spending and increases taxes by more than half a trillion dollars. The vastly different costs of each program represent a significant and major distinction. Our national debt is already at record levels. We don’t need to add any more to it.

Watch for part 2 of my continuing series on Romneycare versus Obamacare where I discuss the individual mandate.

Remember to visit our new “RomneyCare FAQ” page for more info here.

Mitt Romney’s Health Care Consistency

It may come as no surprise to you but the press has gotten a bit lazy. All too often, the press spews out stories about how Romney has “flip-flopped” on an issue without doing their due diligence and actually finding out if the charges against Mitt are true.

Let’s talk about health care. Despite what Romney’s detractors and rivals would have you think, Romney’s health care policies remain the same today as they always have. Romney’s health care plan for America can be stated simply and succinctly: Romney wants each state to have the same freedom that he had in Massachusetts to innovate and design their own unique health care policies.

Byron York, chief political correspondent of the Washington Examiner, summarized it best when he said this:

On many, many occasions, Romney said he believes Romneycare is a model for some states to follow but would not be a model for all states and certainly not for a federal plan.

“I think it’s a great plan, but I’m a federalist,” Romney said on “Meet the Press” in December 2007. “I don’t believe in applying what works in one state to all states if different states have different circumstances.”

In that 2007 interview, Romney pointed out that a relatively small number, 7 percent, of the Massachusetts population was uninsured. “Texas has 25 percent,” he said. “Given the kind of differences between states, I’m not somebody who is going to say, ‘What I did in Massachusetts I’m going to now tell every state they have to do it the same way.'”

But as much as he stressed federalism, Romney also stressed that he would be happy to see many states adopt his plan. “I think it’s a good model for other states,” he continued. “Maybe not every state but most.” At the federal level, Romney said he would “give every state the same kind of flexibility we got from the federal government.” That’s the Romney position, then and now.

Romney wants the same kind of flexibility for other states that “he had” because Romney received special approval from the federal government (the Bush Administration at the time), to bring about the Massachusetts health care reform plan now known as “RomneyCare.” The federal government allowed for Massachusetts to spend federal dollars in a totally different way than any other state was allowed to do at the time. Romney got approval to use Medicaid money to not just pay for health care services, but to help the poor buy a health insurance policy from a private insurance company. In order to give each state the same flexibility and freedom that he had, Romney wants to “block grant” all Medicaid funding to the states so that states don’t have the excessive rules and regulations that typically come with accepting money from the federal government.

Since the passage of RomneyCare in 2006, Romney has been consistent regarding his plan for other states: States are free to adopt some, all, or none of the MA health care plan.

Here is an interview with Gov. Romney on NPR on April 8, 2006 shortly after RomneyCare was passed where he said this:

Q: Stepping back, what impact do you think this will have outside Massachusetts?
A: Around the country, people are watching because they know this is big. Some on the far left don’t like it because it’s not a single-payer universal coverage program. Some on the far right don’t like it because they don’t like government telling people that they need to get insurance. But the great majority of people, both on the left and the right, believe that this is a step forward.

Q: Can this model be used in other states?
A: My guess is a lot of states will choose to adopt one or another of the measures we’ve put in place here. But most will give it a little time and watch to see what our experience is. That’s the great thing about having 50 states and the principle of federalism. Let us experiment ourselves. Let us learn from one another.

Romney believes that states should have the power to experiment and innovate by giving them Medicaid funds without all the regulations. Additionally, states can be encouraged to innovate by offering “innovation grants” to states that come up with the most promising plans on how to lower costs or increase access to health care in their particular state. These innovation grants would help pay for the cost of implementing the new policy.

Here is what Romney says in his book, No Apology:

“My own preference is to let each state fashion its own program to meet the distinct needs of its citizens. States could follow the Massachusetts model if they choose, or they could develop plans of their own. These plans, tested in the state ‘laboratories of democracy,’ could be evaluated, compared, improved upon, and adopted by others.”

In summary, Romney’s health care policies remain the same today as they have from the beginnning. Romney’s health care plan for America is simply to give each state the same freedom that he had in Massachusetts to innovate and design their own unique health care policies by block granting Medicaid funds and providing “innovation grants.” From the outset Romney has said that states are free to adopt some, all, or none of the Massachusetts health care law and that the MA health care model would not work in all states. Romney has always emphasized state-level initiatives to improve health care and certainly never advocated a federal plan.

In regard to the press, it’s disappointing that the press continues to mindlessly repeat exaggerations and supposed flip-flop stories without doing the research to confirm whether the stories are true, or if a political opponent is behind the exaggerations. As Romney supporters, we can make a difference. If you read an article that falsely claims Romney has flip-flopped or distorted Romney’s views, send them an email. Having sent many such emails myself, I can tell you that these emails are often read and considered. For example, there used to be a lot of stories in the press stating how RomneyCare was bankrupting the state of Massachusetts. We don’t hear that story being told much anymore because most news organizations now see that it is false. Sending a short email where you back up your claim with links can make a big difference.

To find out more about RomneyCare, including a discussion about individual mandates, be sure to peruse our new “RomneyCare FAQ” page here.

Romney and Congressman Paul Ryan Discuss Debt Crisis, Entitlements

Romney and Ryan…

According to Congressman Paul Ryan (R-WI), he and Governor Romney spent time together last Thursday (Oct. 27) when Romney was in Washington D.C. They discussed entitlement reform and our federal debt.

Speaking Tuesday, Mr. Ryan said the meeting was focused on issues pertaining to Social Security reform and the nation’s growing debt crisis.

I spent an hour with Romney on Thursday,” Mr. Ryan said. The Wisconsin Republican said the two discussed about entitlements reform and Republican proposals aimed to limiting costs associated with Social Security programs.

“I think he gets the situation, and I think he’s serious about fixing it if elected.”

John McCormack from The Weekly Standard asked Ryan about his meeting with The Gov, pointing out that Ryan had previously been somewhat critical of Romneycare:

[Ryan] says the issue is irrelevant. “I don’t think this question matters that much anymore because Romney’s been very clear that he’s against Obamacare and he’s going to repeal it. So I for a second don’t worry about whether he’s going to shy away from repealing the president’s health care law.”

Ryan also said this about Romney:

He keeps winning these debate tests. He’s pretty capable and strong and resilient in those things.”

(emphasis added)

Congressman Ryan is the ranking Republican on the House Budget Committee. The Republican National Committee has delegated him to fundraising for the eventual nominee, so he won’t be endorsing anyone during the primary.

Last week, the day before he met with Romney, Congressman Ryan spoke to a gathering at The Heritage Foundation:

Saving the American Idea: Rejecting Fear, Envy and the Politics of Division

► Jayde Wyatt

Fmr NH Gov John Sununu to Give “Holy Grail” Endorsement to Romney

Former New Hampshire Governor John Sununu will formally endorse Mitt Romney on Monday, Oct 24, 2011. Sununu will also serve as Chairman of Romney's National Steering Committee.

He said he had narrowed his nominee choice down to two candidates – Rick Perry or Mitt Romney.

He said he would make up his mind, regarding which man to endorse, after a series of presidential debates.

He said it would be some time in mid-to-late October.

He’s made up his mind.

On Monday, Former New Hampshire Governor John Sununu will formally endorse…

Mitt Romney.

Sununu to endorse Romney for President
Union Leader
By John DiStaso, Senior Political Reporter
Oct 23, 2011

MANCHESTER — Former Gov. John H. Sununu on Monday will throw his considerable political influence behind Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney.

“I’m viewed as a good, solid conservative Republican and I’m supporting a good, solid conservative Republican,” Sununu said in disclosing his long-awaited endorsement.

In exclusive interview, Sununu said he narrowed his choice to Romney and Texas Gov. Rick Perry, but was won over by what he views as Romney’s conservative approach to pressing domestic and national security issues.

He said the final component that persuaded him to back Romney was the former Massachusetts governor’s early October foreign policy speech at The Citadel in South Carolina.

“That showed me that he understands that the principal role of the President of the United States is the security of the country and participating in trying to stabilize the world,” Sununu said.

Sununu, 72, will be named chairman of the Romney campaign’s national steering committee and will on hand Monday morning when Romney files his candidacy in the first-in-the-nation presidential primary at the New Hampshire State House and then attends a campaign rally there.

While the importance of big political endorsements are subject to speculation in independent-minded New Hampshire, Sununu’s backing is viewed as a plus not only locally, but also nationally. A Boston newspaper recently went so far as to term Sununu “the Holy Grail” of New Hampshire endorsements.

Sununu elaborates:

While critics try to portray Romney as a moderate Republican, Sununu called him “truly a conservative. He’s committed to cutting spending and taxes, and he’s committed to some issues that I really care about.”

Sununu noted that Romney kept Massachusetts out of the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI), “believes in local control of education and understands the importance of maintaining the integrity of our national borders.”

He also said Romney has sufficiently answered criticisms of the Massachusetts health care plan he signed into law, which imposed an individual mandate and has been portrayed by Romney opponents as a forerunner to President Barack Obama’s Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.

Sununu said Romney did well with the plan considering the “constraints” of having a Democratic-controlled Legislature. He said the Romney plan was “built on” an idea put forward by the Heritage Foundation, which Sununu said was the “gold standard” for conservative thinking.

“His firm commitment to repealing ‘Obamacare’ is a very important part of his agenda,” Sununu said.

(emphasis, link added) Continue reading here.

This is BIG news; we’ve been hoping for Sununu’s endorsement! By the way, Sununu’s son, NH Executive Councilor Chris Sununu, recently endorsed Romney.

Stay tuned…

► Jayde Wyatt

Who Won the Bloomberg Washington Post Economy Debate? (VIDEO added)

Interesting format that I’d love to read your comments about. A roundtable where the candidates sat down, addressed videos of the candidates at previous campaign events, and even had the opportunity to ask each other questions.

Who do you think won the debate? Check back often for updated polls, reaction to the debate, and full video of the debate when it becomes available.

UPDATE by Jayde – We know Romney supporters are anxious to see video of the debate, so until we find one video of the entire debate, we’re posting the debate in 10 parts:

Part 1:

Part 2
Part 3
Part 4
Part 5
Part 6
Part 7
Part 8
Part 9
Part 10

To read a transcript of the debate click here.

UPDATE from the Washington Post (The debate was held at Dartmouth College in Hanover, New Hampshire):


* Mitt Romney: We expected Romney to shine in this economic-focused debate and shine he did. Romney was knowledgeable and detailed — as expected — but also relaxed to the point where he let a little bit of his personality show. Romney’s biggest hurdle in this race is that he strikes lots of people as inauthentic and awkward. Not only was the head and shoulders above the other candidates on stage when it came to looking presidential, Romney also showcased his human side. His best debate in a string of very solid performances.

Also, The Page by Mark Halperin grades the debate:

UPDATE by Jayde
Mitt Romney’s performance leaves others on the sidelines in GOP debate

In a debate which was dominated by the economy and short on policy detail, Romney’s main rival Rick Perry failed to deliver.

Former governor Mitt Romney consolidated his front-runner status on Tuesday night in the Republican presidential race, overshadowing his rivals in the latest debate which was dominated by the country’s faltering economy.

His main rival, the Texas governor Rick Perry, needed a strong performance after seeing his poll ratings drop sharply, the result of doing badly in the previous two debates. But he again failed to deliver.

Republican strategists were scathing about Perry’s inability to mount a comeback, and his lack of fire. The veteran Alex Castellanos said Perry’s team had complained that he had been tired in the last debate because he had had to stand for so long. This time, he had been sitting down, but was still lacklustre.

“Next time he is going to have to get a mattress,” Castellanos said on CNN of the Texas governor’s sleepy performance.

In a debate short on policy detail, Romney, emerged as the most fluent and most at ease[…]

Romney’s success in the debate came only hours after he secured the much-prized endorsement of the New Jersey govenor Chris Christie, who last week announced he would not be joining the race.

GOP12 from The Hill only passed out 1 A grade and it went to Gov. Romney.

He didn’t just run circles around everyone. He ran squares and isosceles triangles. He can talk forever on economic issues; whereas, Rick Perry’s answer for everything is just two words — “energy independence”, which means that, at least, he can’t literally be accused of one-word answers.

Romney was that rarest of phenomenons last night. He was placed in an environment that perfectly suited him, and was close to perfect in it.

Everyone lowers expectations for debates. Romney neither lowered nor raised them before last night’s seated scrum. He just went in and showed his economic chops without showing off.

It’s exactly why Democrats fear him the most. Right now, he’s running about evenly with Barack Obama in national polls, but that’s before debates or any significant exposure before the nation. You put him in a debate, with a bad economy and Barack Obama on the other side, and even Mesopotamia would prefer taking its chances against Alexander the Great.

It’s been said before, but above all, he exudes competence, which is what voters want. Instead of putting on ideology on and then trying to fit his conclusions around it, he seems to find conclusions and then use his ideology to explain them.

In short, it would be very difficult for the Obama campaign to demonize him as a dangerous ideologue, which is exactly what they’ll try to do to any Republican nominee, including Romney.

Rick Perry’s Problem With The Truth

“It is becoming increasingly clear that Rick Perry has problems with the truth. - Andrea Saul, spokesperson for 'Romney for President'

It is becoming increasingly clear that Rick Perry has problems with the truth. Each of Rick Perry’s attacks has been proven false. Instead of dreaming up phony attacks on Mitt Romney, Governor Perry should explain why he encourages illegal immigration, why he wants to dismantle Social Security, and why he accepted billions of dollars of stimulus to cover up his massive budget deficit.” – Andrea Saul, Romney for President spokesperson

For the third time in three days, Governor Perry’s campaign today released an intentionally false and misleading claim about Mitt Romney:

Perry version of Romney Quote: “The ‘all-Democrat’ stimulus that was passed in early 2009 will accelerate the timing of the start of the recovery.”(, Press Release, 9/28/11)

Actual version of Romney Quote: “The ‘all-Democrat’ stimulus that was passed in early 2009 will accelerate the timing of the start of the recovery, but not as much as it could have had it included genuine tax- and job- generating incentives. President Obama and his economic team said their stimulus would hold unemployment below 8 percent. But unemployment soared well above that level. Not only has the 2009 package already been far less than successful, it will impose a heavy burden on the economy in the intermediate and long term.” (Mitt Romney, No Apology, 2010, pp. 144-145)

Governor Perry conveniently fails to mention that he used billions in federal stimulus money to cover up his budget deficits in Texas:

“Texas was the state that depended the most on those very stimulus funds to plug nearly 97% of its shortfall for fiscal 2010…” “[Perry] likes to trumpet that his state balanced its budget in 2009, while keeping billions in its rainy day fund. But he couldn’t have done that without a lot of help from … guess where? Washington. Turns out Texas was the state that depended the most on those very stimulus funds to plug nearly 97% of its shortfall for fiscal 2010, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.” (Tami Luhby, “Texas’s Love/Hate Relationship With Washington’s Money,” CNN Money, 1/23/11)

Under Perry, Texas used more than $6 Billion in stimulus money to balance its 2010-11 budget. “Texas, which crafts a budget every two years, was facing a $6.6 billion shortfall for its 2010-2011 fiscal years. It plugged nearly all of that deficit with $6.4 billion in Recovery Act money, allowing it to leave its $9.1 billion rainy day fund untouched.” (Tami Luhby, “Texas’s Love/Hate Relationship With Washington’s Money,” CNN Money, 1/23/11)

Washington Post: Texas “Has Raked In Nearly $25 Billion In Federal Stimulus Money.” “In the wake of the Great Recession, the state has raked in nearly $25 billion in federal stimulus money … Befitting its population, Texas has received the third-highest amount of stimulus money in the nation, behind California and New York.” (Michael Fletcher, “Perry Criticizes Government While Texas Job Growth Benefits From It,” The Washington Post, 8/20/11)

Even as Perry requested the Recovery Act Money, He Railed Against It. On the very same day he asked for the funds, he set up a petition titles ‘No Government Bailouts.’” (Tami Luhby, “Texas’s Love/Hate Relationship With Washington’s Money,” CNN Money, 1/23/11)

Governor Perry’s previous two attempts to attack Mitt Romney this week ran into a problem – the TRUTH:

On Education Policy: Perry’s campaign “Seems intent on playing games with ‘snippets’ of quotes… This is yet another example of misleading campaign advertising.” “[T]he Rick Perry campaign seems intent on playing games with snippets of quotes by his main rival, former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney. … Here comes another one, this time on Romney’s supposed support for President Obama’s ‘Race to the Top’ education initiative. … Note that the Perry campaign left off the key last sentence: ‘But for me, get that back to the state level.’In other words, Romney supports some of the overall goals of ‘Race to the Top,’ but not the fact that Obama wants to make it a federal program. That’s a critical difference, or else the Perry campaign would not have left those words on the cutting room floor. This is yet another example of misleading campaign advertising.” (Glenn Kessler, “Rick Perry’s Phony Ad On Mitt Romney (Part 2),” The Washington Post, 9/27/11)

• “Romney’s full statement … makes clear he was praising the goals but criticizing the way the administration is pursuing them at the federal level. … The last sentence makes clear that while Romney supports some of the ideas behind Race to the Top, he thinks those educational policies ought to be handled at the state, rather than federal, level – which mirrors the traditional conservative view.” (, 9/23/11)

• The Washington Post’s Jennifer Rubin: “[Perry] doubled down with an ad so obviously dishonest on Romney’s position on Race to the Top that there weren’t enough Pinnochios to go around.” (The Washington Post’s “Right Turn,” 9/27/11)

On Governor Romney’s book:

Perry is simply making up the claim that Romney advocated his health-care plan as a model for the rest of the country.” “The Rick Perry campaign on Monday released an advertisement … Specifically, Perry claims that Romney deleted a sentence suggesting that the health-care plan he passed in Massachusetts was a model for the rest of the nation. … Perry is simply making up the claim that Romney advocated his health-care plan as a model for the rest of the country – and that he deleted words praising it. Perry’s claim is directly contradicted on the very page from which he draws his gotcha quote. … This ad is the kind of gamesmanship that gives politics a bad name.” (Glenn Kessler, “Perry’s Phony Attack Ad On Changes To Romney’s Book,” The Washington Post, 9/27/11)

• “Perry falsely claimed Romney had once written that ‘Romneycare’ is ‘exactly what the American people needed.’ Romney never wrote that. On the contrary, he said after he signed the bill that ‘certain aspects’ of the state’s law might work ‘better in some states than others.’”(, 9/23/11)

• PolitiFact: “Perry’s right that Romney’s comments about health care were edited between editions. … But Perry exaggerates by making it sound as though Romney had advocated his state’s plan as national health care policy – a potentially damaging position in a Republican primary. That’s not what Romney wrote.” (, 9/23/11)

(emphasis added )

► Jayde Wyatt

Romney Will Repeal Obamcare, Proposes Market-Based Solutions

Mitt Romney will repeal Obamacare.

Romney has said that if he should be so fortunate to be elected President of the United States, on day one of taking office, he would issue an executive order paving the way for Obamacare waivers for all 50 states. Then, he would begin the process of fully repealing the legislation.

Beyond calling for the repeal of Obamacare, Governor Romney has also spelled out steps he would take to reform health care by giving the states incentives to make market-based reforms.

Romney’s proposals:

Restore State Leadership
Restore to the states the responsibility and resources to care for their poor, uninsured, and chronically ill:

• Block grant Medicaid and other payments to states
• Limit federal standards
• Flexibility to deal with uninsured: e.g., free care pool, charity, exchanges, subsidy for private coverage
• Flexibility to deal with chronically ill: e.g., high-risk pools, reinsurance, risk adjustment

Empower Individual Ownership
Give a tax deduction to those who buy their own health insurance, just like those who buy it through their employers:

• Ends tax discrimination
• Greater consumer choice—can buy what you want, not only what your employer wants
• Promotes portability
• Helps control health costs

Focus Federal Regulation
Focus federal regulation of health care on making markets work:

• Correct common failures in the insurance market
• Ensure that individuals with pre-existing conditions who are continuously covered for a specified period may not be denied insurance
• Empower individuals and small businesses to form purchasing pools
• Eliminate counterproductive federal constraints
• Remove barriers to the sale of insurance across state lines
• Allow providers to design plans that meet consumer needs

Reform Medical Liability
Reduce the influence of lawsuits on medical practice and costs:

• Cap non-economic damages in medical malpractice lawsuits
• Innovation grants for state reforms: health courts, alternative dispute resolution, etc.

Introduce Market Forces
Make health care more like a consumer market and less like a government program:

• Unshackle HSAs—e.g., permit HSA funds to be used to buy insurance
• Promote “co-insurance” products
• Encourage Consumer Reports-type rating of alternative insurance plans
• Facilitate IT interoperability, cost and quality transparency
• Promote alternatives to “fee for service”

*Note on Romney information: Besides MRC’s own resource pages (which Dave P. maintains; see tab at top of page), another great resource is Site owner Ryan Larsen has done a terrific job of compiling Mitt facts. Ryan informs me that his brother Phil will be taking over; new content will be added and the site will be changed somewhat. Check it out!

► Jayde Wyatt

Presidential Poll: Republicans Give Romney 59% Favorable Rating

Gov Romney holds 1 month old Molly Vyskocil after speaking with small business owners concerned about the economy at Meetze Plumbing in Irmo, SC. Dad Mark Vyskocil, holding son Mark, looks on. 5/21/11

Bloomburg has released an extensive poll today; more thumbs-up for Governor Romney:

Romney Gets a 59% Favorable Rating From Republicans in Presidential Poll

Mitt Romney, the frontrunner in the Republican presidential race, is in strong shape with his party’s rank and file as the 2012 nomination race enters a more heated phase.

Among Republicans, 59 percent hold a favorable view of the former Massachusetts governor, according to a Bloomberg National Poll, while only 16 percent view him negatively. He’s also more popular than unpopular with independent voters by a 10 percentage point margin.

While the poll shows more than half of Republicans are dissatisfied with the current choices in the field, an overwhelming 85 percent want candidates seeking their support to focus almost entirely on economic issues, not social ones.

Romney, 64, has made the economy the centerpiece of his campaign as he again pursues the White House following his unsuccessful 2008 attempt for the Republican nomination — a race in which he focused more on social issues.

“Romney is threading the needle the way a seasoned candidate knows he must,” said J. Ann Selzer, president of Des Moines, Iowa-basedSelzer & Co., which conducted the June 17-20 poll. “He’s saying enough of the things Republicans want to hear while holding the interest of independents.”

(emphasis added)

Interesting numbers regarding the Tea Party…

Tea Party Disapproval

Negative attitudes about the Tea Party are growing, with 45 percent saying they have an unflattering view of the political movement, the highest level since the poll first asked the question in March 2010. Among independents, 50 percent view the Tea Party unfavorably.

Among all poll participants, Romney was viewed favorably by 37 percent and unfavorably by 31 percent, with 32 percent saying they are unsure. President Barack Obama’s favorable rating among the entire poll sample was 54 percent, while 42 percent viewed him unfavorably.

To read Bloomberg’s results on other candidates, the religious issue, insurance mandate, and more click here.

► Jayde Wyatt