Pundits & Politicians: Romney/Ryan “Bold Decision, Campaign of Substance”

America’s COMEBACK TEAM… Standing on the deck of battleship USS Wisconsin in Norfolk, VA, GOP presidential candidate, fmr MA Gov Mitt Romney and his running mate Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI) wave to the cheering crowd. Aug 11, 2012 (Photo – Mary Altaffer / AP)

Congressman Paul Ryan…

Welcome to the GOP presidential ticket!

This is such a great day for Americans! We need to just soak it in…

Many others recognize this historic day, as well. Here’s what they’re saying about Romney/Ryan…

BIPARTISAN SUPPORT FOR SELECTION OF PAUL RYAN:

A Good Pick” … “A Choice To Have A Real Debate” … “Interested In Bold Reforms To Save America

Former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee: “I’m Excited. … He Has A Sound Knowledge Of Our Economy.” “I’m excited to learn of Mitt Romney’s choice of Paul Ryan to be his VP running mate. He has a sound knowledge of our economy.” (Twitter.com, 8/11/12)

Former Representative Joe Sestak (D-PA): “I Think It’s A Good Pick … He’s A Good Guy.” SESTAK: “I think it’s a good pick for both campaigns, actually. … I served with Paul Ryan. He’s a good guy. He is a good family man.” (Fox News’ “Fox And Friends,” 8/11/12)

Club For Growth President Chris Chocola: “This Pick Sends The Message That Governor Romney Is Interested In Bold Reforms To Save America From Fiscal Collapse.” (Club For Growth, 8/11/12)

Democratic Strategist Joe Trippi: “I Think This Is A Great Pick. … I Really Think It Is A Chance To Have A Real Debate The Country Needs To Have. … A Bold Choice.” TRIPPI: “I think this is a great pick. It is a pick I would have urged Romney to take. … I really think it is a chance to have a real debate the country needs to have. Regardless of who wins it, I think Ryan helps put the issues, a lot of these issues front and center. Will make the fight on both sides on cuts entitlements and the things we need to have. That’s why I really– I commend Romney on the pick. It was a bold choice.” (Fox News’ “Cavuto On Business,” 8/11/12)

Republican Strategist Ed Rogers: “The Selection Of Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) Means Mitt Romney Is Going To Run A Serious, Policy-Oriented Campaign That Highlights Differences With President Obama.” (The Washington Post, 8/11/12)

Republican Strategist Alex Castellanos: Mitt Romney “Picked A Vice President To Help Him Fix The Nation’s Business, The Economy.” “[Romney] didn’t pick a vice president to help him fix his campaign’s business. He picked a vice president to help him fix the nation’s business, the economy.” (Politico, 8/11/12)

Democratic Strategist Donna Brazile: “It May Allow Us To Have A Substantive Conversation In Terms Of The Challenges We Face Long-Term In Terms Of Getting Our Fiscal House In Order.” (CNN’s “Newsroom,” 8/11/12)

Republican Strategist Ed Rollins: “It’s A Bold Choice. Over Time It’s Going To Be An Extraordinary Choice.” ROLLINS: “I think that absolutely right. … It’s a bold choice. Over time it’s going to be an extraordinary choice.” (Fox News’ “Fox and Friends Saturday,” 8/11/12)

Democratic Strategist Carter Eskew: “But Here’s Why I Like The Pick Of Ryan. At Least He Has An Idea … Maybe, Too, Democrats Will Be Forced To Discuss Their Alternative In Greater Detail.” “But here’s why I like the pick of Ryan. At least he has an idea … Maybe we can finally have a real discussion of the Republican agenda. And maybe, too, Democrats will be forced to discuss their alternative in greater detail.” (The Washington Post, 8/11/12)

Get the idea that more than a few Democrats are sick of Obama’s lie and blame campaign strategy?

As you read further about R&R, listen to this inspiring music which reflects what so many are feeling today – ENTHUSIASM, JOY, and HOPE for our beleaguered, but beloved nation! From one of my favorite composers, American genius John Williams, here is Summon the Heroes. (Aptly named; crank it up!)


NJ Governor Chris Christie: “With Paul Ryan on the ticket this is a team that understands the economic stagnation our country has been facing the last four years and the urgency with which we need to change course. The Romney-Ryan team is uniquely positioned to make the tough choices necessary to confront our fiscal challenges and get results.”

Senator Rob Portman (R-OH): “Mitt Romney has made a great choice in Paul Ryan. He is an accomplished public servant and a leading voice on the most pressing issues facing our country. Paul is one of my best friends in Congress and someone I have worked closely with as a former colleague on the House Ways & Means Committee. Jane and I wish Paul and Janna and their kids the very best. As the Chairman of the Romney campaign in Ohio, I look forward to working with Paul to ensure that the Romney-Ryan ticket carries Ohio and is victorious in November. Most importantly, as a member of the Senate, I look forward to working closely with a Romney-Ryan Administration to restore fiscal sanity and enact pro-growth policies to create jobs.

Governor Tim Pawlenty (R-MN) Unable to locate full statement at this time. He’s campaigning today for Romney/Ryan in Derry, NH): Pawlenty says he is excited about the pick and called Ryan a “respected leader and a bold thinker” about changes needed for the country. He added that Ryan’s roots in Wisconsin will help Romney win that key swing state. He says he’ll do all he can to help Romney win the election.

Former Sec. of State Condoleeza Rice: “Paul Ryan is a bold and inspiring choice as Governor Romney’s running mate. Congressman Ryan shares the belief that American leadership is vital to a more peaceful and prosperous world. He will help to restore America at home so that we can lead again because he understands that America is an exceptional and indispensable nation on the world stage.”

Senator Marco Rubio: “Throughout his life, Mitt Romney has made great decisions, and choosing Paul Ryan as his running mate is a truly inspired choice. I got to know Paul during my Senate campaign when he endorsed me early on when I was still considered a long shot. Paul Ryan is a courageous reformer who understands our nation’s challenges, has proposed bold policy solutions to solve them, and has shown the courage to stand up to President Obama and other Washington politicians trying to tear him down.

The Romney-Ryan ticket is going to win in November because it offers the American people visionary leadership to recapture the free enterprise spirit that has empowered countless Americans to build businesses from scratch and live the American dream. I’m excited about the visionary change a Romney-Ryan team will bring to Washington, and I look forward to campaigning with them this fall.”

Governor Bob McDonnell (R-VA): “Paul Ryan is a tremendous choice to serve as the Republican nominee for Vice President of the United States. In selecting a bold, innovative thinker, Mitt Romney has ensured that his campaign—and ultimately his administration—will be led by individuals with courage, determination, judgment, and wisdom. With this great announcement, America is on its way back. The Romney-Ryan team will get our fiscal house in order, our economy back on track and Americans back to work.”

Governor Bobby Jindal (R-LA): “Paul is a good friend and one of the smartest guys I served with in Congress. He has the courage of his convictions, which is what our nation needs.”

Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell: “Gov. Romney showed today that he is determined to confront a host of growing crises that President Obama has ignored. Where the current President has simply refused to act, Gov. Romney has now pledged to lead. Paul Ryan is an excellent choice, and a confirmation that Gov. Romney is serious about strengthening America’s economic future, tackling the deficits and debt that have skyrocketed under President Obama, and returning to a path to solvency and security.

Americans are looking for leadership that has been lacking on the most critical issues facing our country’s economic future. The Romney-Ryan team can return much-needed leadership from day one and help bring real recovery to our economy, reverse the damage of the Obama economy, and take a serious approach to the Obama debt and focus on growing jobs—not the size of the government.

President Obama’s term has been marked by overwhelming national debt, a first-ever downgrade of America’s credit rating, high unemployment and a disappointing lack of leadership when it comes to addressing spending. It’s time to change that, and Gov. Romney and Chairman Ryan will be ready on day one to give America the leadership it deserves.”

President George W. Bush: “This is a strong pick. Governor Romney is serious about confronting the long-term challenges facing America, and Paul Ryan will help him solve the difficult issues that must be addressed for future generations.”

Senator John McCain (R-Az): “Governor Romney and Representative Ryan are the strongest team to return America to prosperity and to defend our interests abroad. Paul Ryan has proven that he is fully prepared to address our nation’s economic challenges, which have only worsened over the last four years under the Obama-Biden Administration. I look forward to working for the election of the Romney-Ryan team this fall.”

(more…)

RNC Chairman Priebus Names First Wave of GOP Convention Headliners

20 days to go…

The first wave of Republican National Convention headliners was released today by RNC Chairman Reince Preibus. The keynote speaker, as well as additional speakers, will be announced at a later date.

All the action gets underway in Tampa, Florida on August 27-30:

Drum roll please… The speakers are:

★ South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley
, first female governor of South Carolina, youngest sitting governor in United States

★ Former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee, 44th governor of Arkansas, 2008 presidential candidate, NY Times best-selling author, radio and television show host

★ Ohio Governor John Kasich, former House Budget Committee chairman

★ New Mexico Governor Susana Martinez, first female Hispanic governor in U.S. and first female governor of New Mexico

★ Arizona Senator John McCain, party’s 2008 nominee, now serving fifth term in U.S. Senate

★ Former U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, America’s 66th secretary of state and first African-American female to hold the position

★ Florida Governor Rick Scott, from convention host state

“We are proud and excited to announce these outstanding leaders will address the nation during our convention in Tampa,” said Chairman Priebus. “They are some of our party’s brightest stars, who have governed and led effectively and admirably in their respective roles. Ours will be a world class convention, worthy of the next president of the United States, and these speakers-and those that will be announced later-will help make it a truly memorable and momentous event.”

Republican National Convention Chief Executive Officer William Harris noted that “these individuals exemplify the Republican Party’s commitment to economic growth and long-term job creation, and reflect our proud tradition of protecting America’s interests around the world.”

Details on named speakers:

Former Governor Mike Huckabee

“I’m honored to be invited by Governor Romney to address my fellow Republicans at the Republican National Convention in Tampa, but especially grateful for the opportunity to explain to my fellow Americans why this election provides the most stark contrast of political platforms in American history. Four years ago, we were promised an economic recovery and the creation of millions of jobs, but have now seen the longest period of record unemployment since the Great Depression. We were promised that the sacred institution of marriage would be protected, but now we have the first president in history to support changing the nature and definition of marriage. We were promised that faith would guide these decisions, but instead we have seen a full frontal assault on the conscience and convictions of religious liberty by insisting that this new government run health care system include forcing churches, colleges, hospitals, and businesses to bow their knee to the Baal of the federal government. I will do all I can to help Mitt Romney become our president,” said Mike Huckabee.

(more…)

The Genius of Milton Friedman — Capitalism Preserved

Milton & Rose Friedman / Photo: Corbis

Four days ago, The Wall Street Journal published an outstanding article by Stephen Moore titled, The Man Who Saved Capitalism. One of the reasons President Reagan’s economic policies were so successful was because he relied upon the advice and wisdom of Milton Friedman. The entire article is worth reading. I am convinced liberals will never understand the genius of Friedman. If you ever want to have some fun, look up the numerous YouTubes of Friedman eviscerating the brightest of liberals. Here are some excerpts of Moore’s excellent article (also, see a great video at the WSJ URL):

It’s a tragedy that Milton Friedman—born 100 years ago on July 31—did not live long enough to combat the big-government ideas that have formed the core of Obamanomics. It’s perhaps more tragic that our current president, who attended the University of Chicago where Friedman taught for decades, never fell under the influence of the world’s greatest champion of the free market. Imagine how much better things would have turned out, for Mr. Obama and the country.

Friedman was a constant presence on these pages until his death in 2006 at age 94. If he could, he would surely be skewering today’s $5 trillion expansion of spending and debt to create growth—and exposing the confederacy of economic dunces urging more of it.

In the 1960s, Friedman famously explained that “there’s no such thing as a free lunch.” If the government spends a dollar, that dollar has to come from (more…)

Obama’s Desperate Plea for Cash: “…it could cost us the election.”

The campaigns announce each month how much they bring in from fundraising. Last month both campaigns announced their May numbers the same day as I recall. Two days ago Governor Romney announced their June fundraising number — Obama has yet to announce his. What is he waiting for? Instead, yesterday Mr. Obama’s campaign manager sends out an email to supporters using the subject line “Urgent” with a pleading, even desperate tone to it.

Jim Messina — Obama Campaign Manager

Let’s think about this for a second: Effective unemployment nationally is around 15%, give or take; household incomes have tanked the last few years; the Obama economic “recovery” is headed for its second stall; food stamp dependency is through the roof; more Americans are “disabled” than at any time in history; small businesses are not hiring due to ObamaCare bureaucracy and cost; college grads are struggling to find above minimum wage jobs; Obama has held more fundraisers than all of the last incumbent presidents combined; Obama has used more gimmicks to raise money than any presidential candidate…on and on. And Mr. Obama wants these same Americans to sacrifice more!

Mr. Obama has no problem making these desperate requests almost daily now. Here is the Messina email yesterday — RedState:

Romney and the Republicans announced yesterday that they brought in more than $100 million in June.

For context, that’s about what we raised in April and May combined.

We’re still tallying our own numbers, but his means their gap is getting wider, and if it continues at this pace, it could cost us the election.

If everyone who’s been waiting to give pitches in $3 or more today, we can start reversing this trend in just a few hours.

Please do your part — make a donation of $3 or more right now.

One hundred million is alarming enough, but it doesn’t even include the millions pouring into pro-Romney super PACs — or the fact that, unlike four years ago, it’s perfectly legal for the Koch brothers, Sheldon Adelson, Karl Rove, and anonymous billionaires to funnel unlimited money into attacking President Obama in critical battleground states.

I’m proud of the way we build this organization. Through the primaries, more than three-quarters of our donations were from people giving less than $1,000. Meanwhile, in that same period, Mitt Romney’s campaign raised three-quarters of its money from people giving $1,000 or more.

If we don’t take this seriously now, we risk finding ourselves at a point where there is too much ground to make up.

We need to do something about it. Today.

Please donate $3 or more:

https://donate.barackobama.com/Close-the-Gap

More to come.

Messina

Jim Messina
Campaign Manager
Obama for America

Did you catch the new “blame” phrase above? Obama is now blaming his supporters by effectively telling them if they do not step up now and donate more of their money, “it could cost us the election.” (Why is everything always about him?) What about Mr. Obama’s wonderful message for the nation? What about his “vision?” Just another opportunity passed up for Mr. Obama to take responsibility. No, it is better to blame his failure on those with the money.

Check a couple of comments the Obama campaign received at their official blog site in response to this lovely email message — Classic:

AnthonyinNC • 4 hours ago −
Jim Messina,

We need ideas as to how do we get more people to donate. We don’t need doom & gloom but a plan to raise more money. Also, Billionaires & Millionaires who supports President Obama will need to donate to Super Pacs so we can get a Congress controlled by Democrats to put in laws to limit this type of spending.

Nettie Christine • 11 hours ago −
To Jim Messina

I am giving this campaign every spare dollar and dime I have. I will
continue to give until it hurts. However, I am tiring of your messages
obsessing on the amount of money Romoney’s millionaires and
billionaires have donated to his campaign. Corporations may think they
are people to thanks to the supreme court but they don’t come close to
the number of individual donors responsible for funding the majority of
this campaign. It is those millions voices that will win this election
again for this president unless you continue to obsess only about money
11 1 •Reply•Share ›

GOSAL~Official of Eng Art Mop • 5 hours ago • parent
Nettie ….. I feel the same way. I’m tired of Jim’s negativity, he can at least say thank you before giving the lecture! I really miss Chris Hass, Mitch Stewart and Jeremy Bird. They treated us with much more respect!

Remember, dollars raised by any presidential candidate is an important form of voting. Each dollar received is a type of vote received for that candidate.

Mr. Obama already knows how much money he received from June fundraising. Why is he waiting to announce the number? What is he waiting for?


American Values: “In God We Trust” — “Liberty” — “E Pluribus Unum”

Twitter Follow: @VicLundquist

Religious Liberty at Grave Risk — “We’re All Catholics Now”

How often have you heard of a church bringing a lawsuit against the President of the United States? It has happened, but certainly not often. This week it was not just any church that brought suit against the Obama administration — it was the Roman Catholic Church no less! I honestly believe that Mr. Obama couldn’t care less if his signature health plan seriously erodes religious liberty in extraordinary ways. I doubt that Mr. Obama wanted to energize religious voters against him, but he has done it.

Photo: Associated Press

Fascinating it is to observe the Obama administration’s trampling of centuries honored religious liberty under the guise of “women’s rights.” The Wall Street Journal carried three excellent articles on this unprecedented move by the Catholic church; one was on the front page of the printed version yesterday — Catholics Sue Over Health Mandate:

The University of Notre Dame, the Archdiocese of New York and 41 other Roman Catholic institutions sued the Obama administration in federal court Monday, the latest push against a requirement in the health-care-overhaul law that employers cover contraception in workers’ health plans.

The lawsuits were brought in a dozen different jurisdictions in the U.S., and plaintiffs included the Catholic University of America and archdioceses serving Dallas, Pittsburgh, St. Louis and Washington, D.C.

“The government…cannot justify its decision to force Notre Dame to provide, pay for, and/or facilitate access to these services in violation of its sincerely held religious beliefs,” Notre Dame’s lawsuit argues. “If the government can force religious institutions to violate their beliefs in such a manner, there is no apparent limit to the government’s power.”

Consider the centuries old traditions of Catholics and their families.

The plaintiffs object to a provision that requires most employers to cover all preventive health services including contraception as part of their insurance policies, without out-of-pocket costs for consumers. Sterilization was one of the methods of birth control included, as was the so-called morning-after pill.
[...]
“We have tried negotiation with the administration and legislation with the Congress—and we’ll keep at it—but there’s still no fix,” said Cardinal Timothy Dolan of New York, president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops. “Time is running out, and our valuable ministries and fundamental rights hang in the balance, so we have to resort to the courts now.”
[...]
“We do not seek to impose our religious beliefs on others; we simply ask that the government not impose its values on the university when those values conflict with our religious teachings,” he said.
[...]
That law says the government can “substantially burden” people in practicing their religion only if it can show that there is a “compelling governmental interest” and that its policy is “the least restrictive means of furthering” that interest.

An Op-Ed piece appeared in yesterday’s Journal as well: Why the Bishops Are Suing the U.S. Government:

Like most Americans, the bishops have long taken for granted the religious freedom that has enabled this nation’s diverse religions to flourish in relative harmony. But over the past year they have become increasingly concerned about the erosion of conscience protections for church-related individuals and institutions. Their top-rated program for assistance to human trafficking victims was denied funding for refusing to provide “the full range of reproductive services,” including abortion. For a time, Catholic Relief Services faced a similar threat to its international relief programs. The bishops fear religious liberty is becoming a second-class right.
[...]
Continued attempts to solve the problem by negotiation produced only an announcement by the Obama administration in February that insurance providers would pay for the contested services. Since many Catholic entities are self-insured and the others pay the premiums, the bishops’ concerns were not alleviated.
[...]
The main goal of the mandate is not, as HHS claimed, to protect women’s health. It is rather a move to conscript religious organizations into a political agenda, forcing them to facilitate and fund services that violate their beliefs, within their own institutions.

The media have implied all along that the dispute is mainly of concern to a Catholic minority with peculiar views about human sexuality. But religious leaders of all faiths have been quick to see that what is involved is a flagrant violation of religious freedom. That’s why former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, a Baptist minister, declared, “We’re all Catholics now.”

More is at stake here than the mission of all churches, including the Catholic Church, to provide social services like health care and education to everyone regardless of creed, and to do so without compromising their beliefs. At the deepest level, we are witnessing an attack on the institutions of civil society that are essential to limited government and are important buffers between the citizen and the all-powerful state.

If religious providers of education, health care and social services are closed down or forced to become tools of administration policy, the government consolidates a monopoly over those essential services. As Cardinal Timothy Dolan, president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, put it, we are witnessing an effort to reduce religion to a private activity. “Never before,” he said, “have we faced this kind of challenge to our ability to engage in the public square as people of faith.”

With this week’s lawsuits, the bishops join a growing army of other plaintiffs around the country, Catholic and non-Catholic, who are asking the courts to repel an unprecedented governmental assault on the ability of religious persons and groups to practice their religion without being forced to violate their deepest moral convictions.

A third article in the WSJ was published yesterday as well — Catholics in Court — The religious-liberty lawsuit against ObamaCare is historic:

[...]The nation’s most prominent Catholic institutions are saying that the same federal government they have viewed for decades as an ally in their fight for social justice is now a threat to their religious liberty.

This can’t have been an easy decision, especially because the plaintiffs are hardly founding members of the tea party. They include the Archdioceses of New York and Washington but also Catholic University in Washington, D.C., and even the University of Notre Dame.
[...]
So much for that. The lawsuit signals that far from engaging with “those who disagree,” Mr. Obama has rebuffed Catholic leaders in their attempt to work out a compromise over the Administration’s mandate that all insurance plans offer contraception and sterilization services, including abortifacients. . . .
[...]
The Department of Health and Human Services offered a fig leaf in February, foisting the mandate onto insurance companies rather than religious employers. [...] As Cardinal Timothy Dolan of New York put it, this so-called “safe habor” effectively gives religious institutions “a year to figure out how to violate [their] consciences.”

The suit charges that the mandate violates the First Amendment’s Free Exercise Clause, as well as the 1993 Religious Freedom Restoration Act, which requires that the federal government meet a higher legal standard for any law that interferes with religious liberty.
[...]
The real and startling question at issue is whether the entitlement state can pound everything, including religious belief, to its political will. Few previous Administrations would have dared such a high-stakes Constitutional battle, but Mr. Obama’s willfulness reveals the change that is taking place in liberal politics.

Once upon a time the political left viewed Catholics and especially the bishops as their allies in using government to create more equal opportunity and redistribute income. But today’s Democratic Party puts a higher cultural value on sexual politics and expanded reproductive freedom. We trust the courts will instruct the Administration that the Constitution still puts religious liberty first.

“Religious freedom is too sacred a right to be restricted or prohibited in any degree without convincing proof that a legitimate interest of the state is in grave danger.” ~ Frank Murphy

Twitter Follow: @VicLundquist

Romney’s Message of Service vs. Obama’s of Politics

American presidential politics always pit a Republican against a Democrat, but rarely do we see true polar opposites come together to compete as we have in 2012. In my lifetime, the last presidential election I can recall that included distinctly different candidates was the Carter / Reagan election of 1980. In so many interesting ways, this election feels oddly similar to those times.

Barnard College, May 14th -- WSJ

In recent days, Governor Romney and President Obama gave commencement speeches at two different colleges. The speech given by Governor Romney was truly inspiring and one of the best he has ever given. If you have not seen it, you really need to (it really is worth the time). To watch it in its entirety, click here.

Daniel Henninger’s weekly column in The Wall Street Journal yesterday was titled, “A Tale of Two Commencements” — (For Obama, politics is life. For Romney, politics does not define us.)

Henninger perfectly contrasts Obama’s frequent victims message with Romney’s message of optimism, rooted in selfless service.

Liberty University, May 12th

Two days after Mitt Romney delivered the commencement speech at Liberty University, the big evangelical Christian school founded by Jerry Falwell, Barack Obama tutored graduates at Barnard College, the intensely liberal all-women’s school adjacent to Columbia University. As you might guess, the wisdom these two political elders imparted to the Class of 2012 was not the same.
[...]
Barack Obama, by now a master at faux self-deflation, admitted he was pandering: “Now I recognize that’s a cheap applause line when you’re giving a commencement at Barnard.” (Laughter.) He had said the women of this generation will help lead the way. (Applause.)
[...]
The world that Barack Obama conveyed to the women at Barnard is totally, overwhelmingly political. To be sure, there were references to parental joy at the success of children completing college, but virtually every thought in the Obama commencement address—on the accomplishments of the past or a graduate’s goals—was defined by political activity.

He said they are about to grapple with unique challenges, “like whether you’ll be able to earn equal pay for equal work” or “fully control decisions about your own health.”

The role of the citizen in “our democracy” began 225 years ago at the Convention in Philadelphia, which had “flaws,” to wit: “Questions of race and gender were unresolved.” Nonetheless, it “allowed for protest and movements.”

And so: “Don’t accept somebody else’s construction of the way things ought to be. It’s up to you to right wrongs. It’s up to you to point out injustice. It’s up to you to hold the system accountable and sometimes upend it entirely. It’s up to you to stand up and to be heard, to write and to lobby, to march, to organize, to vote.”

Mr. Obama described his own early job as a community organizer: “I wanted to do my part to shape a better world.” He cited the accomplishments of previous generations of young people who “stood up and sat in from Seneca Falls to Selma to Stonewall.” This, Mr. Obama said, is how “we achieved” women’s rights, voting rights, workers’ rights and gay rights.

Barack Obama seems to inhabit a world of history and personal experience in which good people at every turn are held back by individuals or oppressive forces that one only overcomes by personal or public resistance.

Someone in high school told Labor Secretary Hilda Solis she wasn’t college material. Mr. Obama’s grandmother worked for a bank but hit the glass ceiling. And today there are “those who oppose change, those who benefit from an unjust status quo [and] have always bet on the public’s cynicism or the public’s complacency.” He predicts they will lose “this time as well.”

Fair enough. That’s how the world works for Barack Obama, though it strikes me he is telling America’s 22-year-olds that the road ahead is a fairly grim proletarian struggle. Be ready to occupy everything. Where’s the joy in that?

There was less tooth and claw in the Romney speech at Liberty University. In a discussion of the uses of religious freedom, one passage in particular separated Mr. Romney from Barack Obama’s default to mass action. “The great drama of Christianity,” Gov. Romney said, “is not a crowd shot, following the movements of collectives or even nations. The drama is always personal, individual, unfolding in one’s own life.” Out of this, he said, “Men and women of every faith, and good people with none at all, sincerely strive to do right and lead a purpose-driven life.”

Progress, he argued, emerges through “conscience in action,” for him “the nation’s greatest force for good.” Mr. Romney referred several times to the idea of personal service. “The call to service,” he said “is one of the fundamental elements of our national character. It has motivated every great movement of conscience that this hopeful, fair-minded country of ours has ever seen.”

For Barack Obama, life is politics. For Mitt Romney, life includes politics; politics, he said, does not define us.

To wage a presidential campaign in our nonstop media age, the man who sees politics as a battering ram may have an edge. But Mitt Romney, with his politics of optimism and personal conscience, could be onto something that will serve him well.

“Today, thanks to what you have gained here, you leave Liberty with conviction and confidence as your armor. You know what you believe. You know who you are. And you know Whom you will serve. Not all colleges instill that kind of confidence, but it will be among the most prized qualities from your education here. Moral certainty, clear standards, and a commitment to spiritual ideals will set you apart in a world that searches for meaning.” ~ Mitt Romney, Liberty University, May 12, 2012

Al Gore is Coaching President Obama on Business (it appears)

My cynical side tells me that Mr. Obama knowingly lies in his speeches. But then again, maybe he just does not understand business and history. By now, it is obvious to all American’s that Mr. Obama knows very little about basic business principles. Whether his errant rhetoric is dishonesty or lack of knowledge, does the distinction matter? Just below is the subtext of a brief WSJ editorial that reads:

“The Internet made Microsoft possible, and other tall tales.”

Mr. Obama runs fast and loose with business terminology all along the trail. Have you not heard him use the term “invest” or “investment” sprinkled among his other favorite words “fair” and “fairness?”

The very first thought I had when reading this piece was, “Did Al Gore coach Mr. Obama ahead of this speech?”

Today’s Journal carried an editorial called Obama’s History of Business that effectively calls into question his knowledge of business technology and his integrity:

[...] So eager is he to make this point that, well, let’s just say he sometimes wanders beyond his area of expertise, as he did last Thursday in Seattle.

“When I hear people talk about the free enterprise system and entrepreneurship, I try to remind them, you know, all of us made that investment in Darpa [the Department of Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency] that helped to get the Internet started,” said Mr. Obama. “So there’s no Facebook, there’s no Microsoft, there’s no Google if we hadn’t made this common investment in our future.”

Microsoft—a product of the Internet? That may surprise Bill Gates and Paul Allen, who founded the software company in 1975. The company didn’t introduce its first Internet browser for another 20 years, and in the meantime it became the dominant computer software company long before the Internet became economically important. The irony of Mr. Obama’s error is that for much of Microsoft’s history the Internet was seen as a threat to its desktop dominance.

There’s no doubt that Darpa has done many good things, but the point Mr. Obama misses is that Darpa is engaged in funding research. This is a proper role for government, especially on national defense. But Darpa does not attempt to commercialize products. Facebook and Google, like Apple and Microsoft, were founded by private investors.

The President likes to elide that distinction between government funding for basic research and commercialization, which is how his Administration lost so much money on stinkers like Solyndra.

Mr. Obama indulged in similar government hype in his January State of the Union address when he suggested that federal research spending “led to the computer chip.” Perhaps federal research made a contribution, but credit for building the first integrated circuit has generally been given to Jack Kilby at a company called Texas Instruments in 1958. Other innovations came from Bell Labs, Fairchild Semiconductor and Intel, among many other private firms.

The problem here is less Mr. Obama’s historical errors than his emphasis. He really does believe that prosperity flows from government, which is why all of his policies promote more government.

Just last week Mr. Obama told Americans that what is important is not whether you are better off today but whether you will be better off in the future (presumably hoping they will press “forward” with him again).

The answer to his rhetorical question is: “Yes! The future will be much brighter and all will be far better off with President Mitt Romney as our 45th President of the United States!”

“Nothing more completely baffles one who is full of trick and duplicity, than straightforward and simple integrity in another.” ~ Charles Caleb Colton

Mitt Romney’s Liberty University Commencement Address

Governor Mitt Romney's Commencement Address (FOX)


Governor Romney delivered a powerful commencement address to the graduating students of evangelical Christian Liberty University in Lynchburg, Virginia earlier today. This speech was historic for many reasons.

Before Governor Romney spoke, Liberty University Chancellor Jerry Falwell Jr. addressed the commencement day crowd of approximately 34,000. He reminded the audience that his father, the late Reverend Jerry Falwell, founded the university in 1971 to be for evangelical Christians “what Notre Dame is to young Catholics and Brigham Young is to young Mormons.”

The introduction for Governor Romney begins at 25:27 with remarks from Chancellor Falwell and Mark DeMoss, Chairman of Liberty University. (You don’t want to skip the intros!):

If that video gives you problems, click here to watch the address on Youtube.

By Mitt Romney

For the graduates, this moment marks a clear ending and a clear beginning. The task set before you four years ago is now completed in full. To the class of 2012: Well done, and congratulations.

Some of you may have taken a little longer than four years to complete your studies. One graduate has said that he completed his degree in only two terms: Clinton’s and Bush’s.

In some ways, it is fitting that I share this distinction with Truett Cathy. The Romney campaign comes to a sudden stop when we spot a Chick-fil-A. Your chicken sandwiches were our comfort food through the primary season, and there were days that we needed a lot of comforting. So, Truett, thank you and congratulations on your well-deserved honor today.

There are some people here who are even more pleased than the graduates. Those would be the parents. Their years of prayers, devotion, and investment have added up to this joyful achievement. And with credit to Congressman Dick Armey: The American Dream is not owning your own home, it is getting your kids out of the home you own.

Lately, I’ve found myself thinking about life in four-year stretches. And let’s just say that not everybody has achieved as much in these last four years as you have.

That’s a theme for another day. But two observations. First, even though job opportunities are scarce in this economy, it is not for nothing that you have spent this time preparing. Jerry Falwell, Senior, long ago observed that “You do not determine a man’s greatness by his talent or wealth, as the world does, but rather by what it takes to discourage him.” America needs your skill and talent. If we take the right course, we will see a resurgence in the American economy that will surprise the world, and that will open new doors of opportunity for those who are prepared as you are.

Of course, what the next four years might hold for me is yet to be determined. But I will say that things are looking up, and I take your kind hospitality today as a sign of good things to come.

I consider it a great life honor to address you today. Your generosity of spirit humbles me. The welcoming spirit of Liberty is a tribute to the gracious Christian example of your founder.

In his 73 years of life, Dr. Falwell left a big mark. For nearly five decades he shared that walk with his good wife Macel. It’s wonderful to see her today. The calling Jerry answered was not an easy one. Today we remember him as a courageous and big-hearted minister of the Gospel who never feared an argument, and never hated an adversary. Jerry deserves the tribute he would have treasured most, as a cheerful, confident champion for Christ.

I will always remember his cheerful good humor and selflessness. Several years ago, in my home, my wife and I were posing for a picture together with him. We wanted him to be in the center of the photo, but he insisted that Ann be in the middle, with he and I on the sides. He explained, by pointing to me and himself, “You see, Christ died between two thieves.”

Maybe the most confident step Jerry ever took was to open the doors of this school 41 years ago.

He believed that Liberty might become one of the most respected Christian universities anywhere on earth. And so it is today.

He believed, even when the first graduating class consisted of 13 students, that year after year young Christians would be drawn to such a university in ever-greater numbers. And here you are.

Today, thanks to what you have gained here, you leave Liberty with conviction and confidence as your armor. You know what you believe. You know who you are. And you know Whom you will serve. Not all colleges instill that kind of confidence, but it will be among the most prized qualities from your education here. Moral certainty, clear standards, and a commitment to spiritual ideals will set you apart in a world that searches for meaning.

That said, your values will not always be the object of public admiration. In fact, the more you live by your beliefs, the more you will endure the censure of the world. Christianity is not the faith of the complacent, the comfortable or of the timid. It demands and creates heroic souls like Wesley, Wilberforce, Bonhoeffer, John Paul the Second, and Billy Graham. Each showed, in their own way, the relentless and powerful influence of the message of Jesus Christ. May that be your guide.

You enter a world with civilizations and economies that are far from equal. Harvard historian David Landes devoted his lifelong study to understanding why some civilizations rise, and why others falter. His conclusion: Culture makes all the difference. Not natural resources, not geography, but what people believe and value. Central to America’s rise to global leadership is our Judeo-Christian tradition, with its vision of the goodness and possibilities of every life.

The American culture promotes personal responsibility, the dignity of work, the value of education, the merit of service, devotion to a purpose greater than self, and, at the foundation, the pre-eminence of the family.

The power of these values is evidenced by a Brookings Institution study that Senator Rick Santorum brought to my attention. For those who graduate from high school, get a full-time job, and marry before they have their first child, the probability that they will be poor is 2%. But, if those things are absent, 76% will be poor. Culture matters.

As fundamental as these principles are, they may become topics of democratic debate. So it is today with the enduring institution of marriage. Marriage is a relationship between one man and one woman.

The protection of religious freedom has also become a matter of debate. It strikes me as odd that the free exercise of religious faith is sometimes treated as a problem, something America is stuck with instead of blessed with. Perhaps religious conscience upsets the designs of those who feel that the highest wisdom and authority comes from government.

But from the beginning, this nation trusted in God, not man. Religious liberty is the first freedom in our Constitution. And whether the cause is justice for the persecuted, compassion for the needy and the sick, or mercy for the child waiting to be born, there is no greater force for good in the nation than Christian conscience in action.

Religious freedom opens a door for Americans that is closed to too many others around the world. But whether we walk through that door, and what we do with our lives after we do, is up to us.

Someone once observed that the great drama of Christianity is not a crowd shot, following the movements of collectives or even nations. The drama is always personal, individual, unfolding in one’s own life. We’re not alone in sensing this. Men and women of every faith, and good people with none at all, sincerely strive to do right and lead a purpose-driven life.

And, in the way of lessons learned, by hitting the mark or by falling short, I can tell you this much for sure.

All that you have heard here at Liberty University – about trusting in God and in His purpose for each of us–makes for more than a good sermon. It makes for a good life. So many things compete for our attention and devotion. That doesn’t stop as you get older. We are all prone, at various turns, to treat the trivial things as all-important, the all-important things as trivial, and little by little lose sight of the one thing that endures forever.

No person I have ever met, not even the most righteous or pure of heart, has gone without those times when faith recedes in the busy-ness of life. It’s normal, and sometimes even the smallest glimpses of the Lord’s work in our lives can reawaken our hearts. They bring us back to ourselves – and, better still, to something far greater than ourselves.

What we have, what we wish we had – ambitions fulfilled, ambitions disappointed … investments won, investments lost … elections won, elections lost – these things may occupy our attention, but they do not define us. And each of them is subject to the vagaries and serendipities of life. Our relationship with our Maker, however, depends on none of this. It is entirely in our control, for He is always at the door, and knocks for us. Our worldly successes cannot be guaranteed, but our ability to achieve spiritual success is entirely up to us, thanks to the grace of God. The best advice I know is to give those worldly things your best but never your all, reserving the ultimate hope for the only one who can grant it.

Many a preacher has advised the same, but few as memorably as Martin Luther King, Jr. “As a young man,” he said, “with most of my life ahead of me, I decided early to give my life to something eternal and absolute. Not to these little gods that are here today and gone tomorrow. But to God who is the same yesterday, today, and forever.”

In this life, the commitments that come closest to forever are those of family.

My Dad, George Romney, was a CEO, a governor, and a member of the President’s Cabinet. My wife Ann asked him once, “What was your greatest accomplishment?” Without a moment’s pause, he said, “Raising our four kids.”

Ann and I feel the same way about our family. I have never once regretted missing a business opportunity so that I could be with my children and grandchildren. Among the things in life that can be put off, being there when it matters most isn’t one of them.

As C.S. Lewis is said to have remarked, “The home is the ultimate career. All other careers exist for one purpose, and that is to support the ultimate career.”

Promotions often mark the high points in a career, and I hope I haven’t seen my last. But sometimes the high points come in unexpected ways. I was asked to help rescue the 2002 Olympics in Salt Lake City.

I’m embarrassed now to recall that when this opportunity was first presented to me, I dismissed it out of hand. I was busy, I was doing well, and, by the way, my lack of athletic prowess did not make the Olympics a logical step. In fact, after I had accepted the position, my oldest son called me and said, “Dad, I’ve spoken to the brothers. We saw the paper this morning. We want you to know there’s not a circumstance we could have conceived of that would put you on the front page of the sports section.”

The Olympics were not a logical choice, but it was one of the best and most fulfilling choices of my life. Opportunities for you to serve in meaningful ways may come at inconvenient times, but that will make them all the more precious.

People of different faiths, like yours and mine, sometimes wonder where we can meet in common purpose, when there are so many differences in creed and theology. Surely the answer is that we can meet in service, in shared moral convictions about our nation stemming from a common worldview. The best case for this is always the example of Christian men and women working and witnessing to carry God’s love into every life – people like the late Chuck Colson.

Not long ago, Chuck recounted a story from his days just after leaving prison. He was assured by people of influence that, even with a prison record, a man with his connections and experience could still live very comfortably. They would make some calls, get Chuck situated, and set him up once again as an important man. His choice at that crossroads would make him, instead, a great man.

The call to service is one of the fundamental elements of our national character. It has motivated every great movement of conscience that this hopeful, fair-minded country of ours has ever seen. Sometimes, as Dr. Viktor Frankl observed in a book for the ages, it is not a matter of what we are asking of life, but rather what life is asking of us. How often the answer to our own troubles is to help others with theirs.

In all of these things – faith, family, work, and service –the choices we make as Americans are, in other places, not choices at all. For so many on this earth, life is filled with orders, not options, right down to where they live, the work they do, and how many children the state will permit them to have. All the more reason to be grateful, this and every day, that we live in America, where the talents God gave us may be used in freedom.

At this great Christian institution, you have all learned a thing or two about these gifts and the good purposes they can serve. They are yours to have and yours to share. Sometimes, your Liberty education will set you apart, and always it will help direct your path. And as you now leave, and make for new places near and far, I hope for each one of you that your path will be long and life will be kind.

The ideals that brought you here … the wisdom you gained here … and the friends you found here – may these blessings be with you always, wherever you go.

Thank you all, and God bless you.

Photo - Reuters/Kevin Lamarque

Governor Romney’s speech built an inter-faith bridge:

Some students, such as J.D. Wilkinson, a worship and music studies major from Springfield, Massachusetts, told CNN that they liked that Romney spoke out on the same-sex marriage issue.

“This school has always been about being not politically correct, just saying it, just telling the truth how it is and I thought he did that,” Wilkinson said. “I think that’s fresh in today’s world and I think that’s needed.”

Another, Michael Kildare, said he doesn’t identify strongly with a particular political party but is open to hearing more about Romney after today’s speech. Kildare, who is from Orlando, Florida, will return to his home city to take a job as a computer technician.

I was kind of skeptical at first but he definitely said some things that I have to take into consideration,” he said. “He’s definitely a good candidate for the presidency and I definitely look forward to his other speeches and other campaign ideas.

(emphasis added)

Congratulations and best wishes to the graduates!


Mr. Obama’s Enemies List — First Since Nixon

10 days ago, Kimberly Strassel wrote about a short list Obama had compiled of people that had donated money to the Romney campaign. Basically, her article states this “enemies list” was the first of its kind since the Nixon years (David Parker also cited it here).

One of those Romney donors was Tom O’Malley of Florida. He wrote a letter to The Wall Street Journal that the Journal published today. It is is very brief:

Kimberley Strassel’s April 27 Potomac Watch “The President Has a List” reports some serious allegations. I have not made too many lists in my more than 50 years in business, so I was quite surprised to see my name on President Barack Obama’s “enemies” list.

My most recent business venture, PBF Energy, bought the closed-down Delaware City Refinery, spent $400 million to fix it and reopened it with a United Steel Workers unionized work force. More than a thousand high-paying jobs were created in a state where unemployment had become a real problem.

PBF also bought a refinery in Paulsboro, N.J., one that was scheduled to close. Thus, more high-paying unionized jobs were saved in New Jersey.

If this gets you on the enemies list, it would be good for the country if the list were expanded. It would seem that I got on the list because I gave to the Romney PAC. I have also run a fund-raiser for New York’s own senator, Chuck Schumer, who I believe is still a Democrat. I hope this doesn’t get me on another list, because the amount involved exceeded the Romney contribution.

I can’t believe that the president has authorized such a self-destructive strategy and can only suggest that he and his administration may want to disown the author of the list, whoever that may be.

Tom O’Malley, Executive Chairman, PFB Energy, West Palm Beach, Fla.

Nixon was desperate when he maintained an enemies list. So is Obama.



Mr. Obama is no Commander in Chief — He is a Weak Man of Character for Exploiting the SEALs

Very few things in life ever make me angry. Messrs. Obama, Biden, and Clinton have crossed the line in their gloating and bragging and have gotten my attention.

The issue of President Obama and Vice President Biden boasting of the decision to kill Bin Laden is unbecoming any leader, gentleman, or certainly a President of the United States. I could not let this one go by. Back in February, I wrote this piece about how the Navy SEALs were upset that Mr. Obama would allow leaking of classified information.

Recent news exposes what I consider to be weakness of character of Mr. Obama as he continues to brag about this event while at the same time criticizing Gov. Romney by stating he would not have taken the same action. While Mr. Obama deserves credit for making the decision certainly, he and Governor Romney are miles apart in one very important way. I wish I could shout this from the rooftops! Once a President Romney were to make such a decision, he would NEVER boast about it and he would NEVER create a political television commercial about it. NEVER!

Anybody who has been around or known any person that has served in the armed forces, in any leadership position, knows that they never brag about combat missions (in part because human beings die as a result). And yet our Commander in Chief is doing exactly that! In my opinion, his language and actions this week are absolutely deplorable!

UPDATE: Outstanding WSJ article: Michael Mukasey: Obama and the bin Laden Bragging RightsIt’s hard to imagine Lincoln or Eisenhower claiming such credit for the heroic actions of others.

Consider this opinion from Breitbart. The article refers to a memo by Panetta and many have referred to Obama’s decision as a “gutsy” call — certainly that is the case in the Clinton narrated ad. The Breitbart article is worth reading in its entirety. Here is an excerpt:

Only the memo doesn’t show a gutsy call. It doesn’t show a president willing to take the blame for a mission gone wrong. It shows a CYA maneuver by the White House.

The memo puts all control in the hands of Admiral McRaven – the “timing, operational decision making and control” are all up to McRaven. So the notion that Obama and his team were walking through every stage of the operation is incorrect. The hero here was McRaven, not Obama. And had the mission gone wrong, McRaven surely would have been thrown under the bus.

The memo is crystal clear on that point. It says that the decision has been made based solely on the “risk profile presented to the President.” If any other risks — no matter how minute — arose, they were “to be brought back to the President for his consideration.” This is ludicrous. It is wiggle room. It was Obama’s way of carving out space for himself in case the mission went bad. If it did, he’d say that there were additional risks of which he hadn’t been informed; he’d been kept in the dark by his military leaders.

Finally, the memo is unclear on just what the mission is. Was it to capture Bin Laden or to kill him? The White House itself was unable to decide what the mission was in the hours after the Bin Laden kill, and actually switched its language. The memo shows why: McRaven was instructed to “get” Bin Laden, whatever that meant.

President Obama made the right call to give the green light to the mission. But he did it in a way that he could shift the blame if things went wrong. Typical Obama. And typical of him to claim full credit for it, when he didn’t do anything but give a vague nod, while putting his top military officials at risk of taking the hit in case of a bad turn.

MailOnline obtained the opinions of Navy SEALs regarding Obama’s using their mission for political gain — consider:

Serving and former US Navy SEALs have slammed President Barack Obama for taking the credit for killing Osama bin Laden and accused him of using Special Forces operators as ‘ammunition’ for his re-election campaign.

The SEALs spoke out to MailOnline after the Obama campaign released an ad entitled ‘One Chance’.
[...]
Mr Obama used a news conference today to trumpet his personal role and imply that his Republican opponent Mr Romney, who in 2008 expressed reservations about the wisdom of sending troops into Pakistan, would have let bin Laden live.
[...]
Ryan Zinke, a former Commander in the US Navy who spent 23 years as a SEAL and led a SEAL Team 6 assault unit, said: ‘The decision was a no brainer. I applaud him for making it but I would not overly pat myself on the back for making the right call.

Even Arianna Huffington ripped Mr. Obama!

Mr Obama has faced criticism even from allies about his decision to make a campaign ad about the bin Laden raid. Arianna Huffington, an outspoken liberal who runs the left-leaning Huffington Post website, roundly condemned it.

She told CBS: ‘We should celebrate the fact that they did such a great job. It’s one thing to have an NBC special from the Situation Room… all that to me is perfectly legitimate, but to turn it into a campaign ad is one of the most despicable things you can do.’
[...]

The article continues:

‘In years to come there is going to be information that will come out that Obama was not the man who made the call. He can say he did and the people who really know what happened are inside the Pentagon, are in the military and the military isn’t allowed to speak out against the commander-in-chief so his secret is safe.’
[...]
A former intelligence official who was serving in the US government when bin Laden was killed said that the Obama administration knew about the al-Qaeda leader’s whereabouts in October 2010 but delayed taking action and risked letting him escape.

‘In the end, Obama was forced to make a decision and do it. He knew that if he didn’t do it the political risks in not taking action were huge. Mitt Romney would have made the call but he would have made it earlier — as would George W. Bush.’
[...]
It was ‘stretching a little much’ for Mr Obama to suggest only he would have made the decision. ‘I personally I don’t think Romney would have any problem making tough decisions. He got a very accomplished record of making decision as a business professional.
[...]
Clint Bruce, who gave up the chance of an NFL career to serve as a SEAL officer before retiring as a lieutenant after nine years, said: ‘We were extremely surprised and discouraged by the publicity because it compromises the ability of those guys to operate.

[emphasis added throughout]

Frankly, I am angry. President Obama is accurately credited for the decision he made. But for him to effectively glory in the mission by exploiting the true heroes who made it happen — and to politicize the mission — is beyond the pale. His extremely poor judgment in constantly seeking political gain, using a military operation, speaks volumes of his utter lack of decency while at the same time revealing his character.

Obama, Biden, and Clinton are weak men for using our service men and women in this way.