“Brutal Attacks” by Obama will Continue (Karl Rove)

The Wall Street Journal’s print edition today published its weekly op-ed by Karl Rove titled, “Rove: This Too Shall Pass, but What Follows Is Crucial

Karl Rove (Photo: Twitter @karlrove)

You know the old adage? The one that goes something like, “Opinions are like belly buttons . . . everyone has one.” Political junkies, like those of us that contribute to MRC, read a lot of political “chaff” in our efforts to find content we hope will enlighten and inspire. What I have found is that pundits and writers, by their very nature, are compelled to give their opinion one way or the other. And everyone wants to be a critic, even those that want Governor Romney to be president. Most of their content is frankly chaff, even when sailing is smooth.

I have found Karl Rove’s intellect, political insight, and experience to be a steady light in the tumultuous world of politics. For me, his humor also delivers his message with a certain immutable confidence and credibility. Excerpts from this week’s editorial:

It’s over. Gov. Mitt Romney’s statements last week about the storming of the U.S. Embassy in Cairo, followed by the release this week of a video of Mr. Romney at a May fundraiser, have brought the 2012 election to an early end.

At least that is what you’d take away from some pundits. But this is a classic example of the commentariat investing moments with more meaning than they deserve.

Mr. Romney’s comments about Americans who don’t pay taxes were, as he admitted during a Monday press conference, “inelegant.” But every campaign has its awkward moments that the media magnify. Mr. Obama had his after saying on July 13, “You didn’t build that.” For a while thereafter, Team Obama could do little right. Then it passed.

This moment, too, will pass for Mr. Romney. More important, the past week’s events have not significantly altered the contours of the race. A month ago, Gallup had Mr. Obama at 45% and Mr. Romney at 47%. On Wednesday, Gallup reported 47% for Obama, 46% for Romney. A month ago Rasmussen said it was 45% for Mr. Obama, 43% for Mr. Romney. In its Wednesday poll, Rasmussen reported 46% for Obama, 47% for Romney.

Presidential races can look one way now but much differently on Election Day. In mid-September 1980, President Jimmy Carter led Ronald Reagan 44% to 40% in the Gallup poll. By late October, Reagan had slumped to 39% in Gallup, while Mr. Carter had risen to 47%. Reagan won by nine points.

As for the here-and-now, one key number to watch is Mr. Obama’s vote share. In the past month, there have been 83 national polls and daily tracking surveys. Mr. Obama reached 50% in just nine and his average was 47%. That is bad news for an incumbent when attitudes about the No. 1 issue—the economy—are decidedly sour.

This isn’t to suggest the Romney campaign doesn’t have big challenges. But both camps do.

In the two weeks before the presidential debates begin, Mr. Romney must define more clearly what he would do as president. In spelling out his five-point plan for the middle class, he’ll have to deepen awareness of how each element would help families in concrete, practical ways, and offer optimism for renewed prosperity.

Mr. Romney and his team (and supporters) must also steel themselves for more brutal attacks. The Florida fundraising video will not likely be the last surprise. The Romney campaign has largely refused to respond to attacks as a waste of time and resources. But in politics, sometimes the counter punch is stronger than the punch.

There’s little tolerance among Republican donors, activists and talking heads for more statements by Mr. Romney that the media can depict as gaffes. But concerns about avoiding missteps must not cause Mr. Romney to favor cautious and bland. To win, he’ll need to be bold and forceful as he offers a compelling agenda of conservative reform.

Mr. Obama’s challenges may be more daunting. His strategy hasn’t worked. Team Obama planned to use its big financial edge to bury Mr. Romney under negative ads over the summer. From April 15 to Labor Day, they spent an estimated $215 million on TV. But this was more than offset by conservative groups (principally American Crossroads, which I helped found). While Mr. Obama drained his coffers his own negatives climbed, and Mr. Romney partially repaired his image with voters.

Mr. Obama needs a different strategy, but his team seems stubbornly focused merely on disqualifying Mitt Romney by whatever argument or means necessary. Yet as Rahm Emanuel has repeated for most of the year, Mr. Obama must, as he put it on NBC’s “Meet the Press” on Sept. 2, “lay out an agenda and a clear vision of the next four years” or he’ll lose.
[...]
The campaign’s next likely inflection point will be the debates, which start Oct. 3. Both candidates will be under intense pressure.
[...]
[emphasis added]

Click here for Karl Rove’s credentials and experience in presidential politics: (more…)

Rick Perry Says Social Security Shouldn’t Exist on Federal Level, Romney Says Fix It

Gov Mitt Romney and Gov Rick Perry spar at the GOP presidential debate held at the Reagan Presidential Library in Simi Valley, CA on September 7, 2011. (Photo AP/Jae C. Hong)

It’s the hot issue politicos are buzzing about…

At the GOP presidential debate this week, Rick Perry’s comments that “social security is a ponzi scheme” and Mitt Romney’s response has caused more than a few eyebrows to knit together. The subject will surely be pursued at the next debate on Monday in Tampa, FL, and may well be a defining issue throughout the entire campaign. For these reasons, we bring you a few opinions we’ve heard in the last couple of days.

Former NH governor John Sununu offered his critique of the debate (and Obama’s jobs creation speech):

Washington Post

Former New Hampshire governor John Sununu never lacked for candor, not in his home state nor when he served as chief of staff in the George H.W. Bush administration.

In a telephone interview, he told me that he was “a little surprised” Texas Gov. Rick Perry wasn’t better prepared on the Social Security question during Wednesday’s Reagan Library debate. “I got a little worried for him. If he is the nominee, the Democrats are going to have a silver bullet. I would have thought he’d have a strategy to mend what’s in the book,” he said in reference to Perry’s “Fed Up!”

Former NH Governor John Sununu

Sununu said he has narrowed down his nominee choice to Perry or Mitt Romney and will make up his mind in mid- to late October after a series of debates. Why not former Utah governor Jon Huntsman? “He’s too in love with President Obama,” he said bluntly. “He’s got to get the courage to . . . join the rest of the Republicans to talk about the problems this president has caused.” He also found Huntsman’s remark on “nation-building at home” to be “ridiculous.”

As for President Obama’s jobs speech, Sununu thought the somewhat-angry tone stemmed from a desire to “have enough energy in the speech. It was an ‘I’m back from Martha’s Vineyard’ attitude.”
[...]
As for the New Hampshire primary, Sununu explained that voters in the state “are willing to sacrifice a little on personal ideology” in order to find the most electable candidate, because they are “petrified of this president.” Sununu warned the presidential candidates that voters there are looking for substance. “There has to be sufficient detail to contrast with the policies that haven’t worked,” he said.
[...]

Governor Chris Christie on ‘ponzi scheme’ Perry:
September 8, 2021

LAMBERTVILLE – Gov. Chris Christie sides with his northern – not southern – neighbor in the latest prez flap over Social Security.

In last night’s presidential debate, Texas Gov. Rick Perry called Social Security a Ponzi scheme and a failure, setting up a flashpoint moment with former Mass. Gov. Mitt Romney, who said the federal program wasn’t a failure but needs to be fixed.

“I’m going to let them have their fight,” Christie told reporters here, “but in general it’s incorrect to say that Social Security is a failure. I would disagree with that statement.”

Congresswoman Michele Bachmann had this to say:
September 9, 2021

Without naming names but clearly targeting Rick Perry, Rep. Michele Bachmann told Radio Iowa that lawmakers have to “keep faith” with current Social Security beneficiaries.

Said Bachmann: “That’s wrong for any candidate to make senior citizens believe that they should be nervous about something they have come to count on.

During an appearance on FOX & Friends Weekend this morning, Mike Huckabee was asked for his opinion on Perry’s ‘ponzi scheme’ stance and Governor Romney’s position at the presidential debate. Several MRC supporters, including myself, looked for the video. We found it, but the Romney segment was not included. In a nutshell, Huckabee basically said Perry’s wording was wrong and that Mitt had it right.

Today On FOX News Watch, conservative radio talk show host Tammy Bruce and Democratic campaign consultant Doug Schoen both agreed that Perry’s words on social security at the debate, and the impression he left, was detrimental to him. Schoen said it was definitely an issue for Perry - possibly lethal. Bruce commented that it was the impression Perry left - that people won’t elect a bully.




In his book Fed Up, Rick Perry questions the existence of social security:

“Perry Is Saying Things In This Campaign That No Presidential Candidate Has Said In Decades, Not The Least Of Which Is An Unrelenting Attack On Social Security.” (Paul Burka, “Not Like Other Politicians,” Texas Monthly, 8/30/11)

Despite his campaign’s efforts to separate the candidate and his position, Perry’s approach to social security is clear…


Perry does not believe social security should exist. He asks: “Why Is The Federal Government Even In The Pension Program…? Let The States Do It.” PERRY: “When you look at Social Security, it’s broke. … Get it back to the states. Why is the federal government even in the pension program or the health care delivery program? Let the states do it. … That, I will suggest to you, is one of the ways this federal government can get out of our business, save a lot of money and get back to that Constitutional way of doing business in those enumerated powers that they’re supposed to have.” (MSNBC’s “Morning Joe,” 11/5/10)

Perry: “By Any Measure, Social Security Is A Failure.” (Rick Perry, Fed Up, P. 62, 2010)

• “Rick Perry Describes Social Security As A ‘Violent’ Attack On Core American Values.” (Maggie Haberman And Alexander Burns, “Perry Book A Treasure Trove For Foes,” Politico, 9/2/11)

Perry: “I Challenge Anybody To Stand Up And Defend The Social Security Program That We Have Today.” (Andrew Romano, “Rick Perry On The Record,” The Daily Beast, 8/12/11)

Perry: “We Must … Get This Government Back To The Limited Form That Our Founding Fathers Sought. Let The States [Decide] How To Run The Pensions.” PERRY: “There’s a number of things in that book that will strike Americans as horrifying. And we must, as a people, get put back in the box. Get this government back to the limited form that our founding fathers sought. Let the states, whether it is how to run Medicaid, how to run the pensions.” (Fox’s “On The Record With Greta Van Susteren,” 11/8/10)

Regarding social security, Perry doesn’t “think our Founding Fathers … were thinking about a Federally operated program of pensions…” PERRY: “I don’t think our founding fathers when they were putting the term “general welfare” in there were thinking about a federally operated program of pensions nor a federally operated program of health care. What they clearly said was that those were issues that the states need to address. Not the federal government.” (Andrew Romano, “Rick Perry On The Record,” The Daily Beast, 8/12/11)

Perry hasn’t “backed off anything” in his book:
In Fed Up!, Perry says social security is in place “at the expense of respect for the Constitution.” “Social Security is something that we’ve been forced to accept for more than 70 years now. […] at the expense of respect for the Constitution and limited government.” (Rick Perry, Fed Up!, 2010, p. 50)

Perry: “I haven’t backed off anything in my book.” “[Perry] threw cold water on his own campaign’s efforts to portray his [Social Security] position in a more tempered light. ‘I haven’t backed off anything in my book. So read the book again and get it right,’ he said.” (Michael Muskal, “Rick Perry Sticks To Claim That Social Security Is A Scam,” Los Angeles Times, 8/29/11)
(emphasis added)




Check out Governor Romney’s new flier here.



► Jayde Wyatt

Mitt Romney Releases New USA Today Op-Ed: "On Jobs, Where is Obama?"

Romney Schools Obama on Jobs

Romney Schools Obama on Jobs

Although Mitt Romney hasn’t officially jumped into the 2012 pool, he certainly seems to be polishing talking points on what is widely perceived as his greatest asset, and coincidentally one of Obama’s many weaknesses: Job Creation.

In a freshly penned op-ed, Romney asks “where is Obama?” when it comes to putting American people back to work. As with anything Romney produces, it’s worth a read:

Sometimes truth arrives from the most unexpected sources. Christina Romer, President Obama’s former chair of the White House Council of Economic Advisors, said last week that she was dismayed at Washington’s lack of focus on jobs.

“I frankly don’t understand why policymakers aren’t more worried about the suffering of real families,” Romer said. “We need to realize that there is still a lot of devastation out there.” She called the 8.9% unemployment rate “an absolute crisis.”
How bad is it? Last week, in the blue-collar community of Taunton, Mass., the annual jobs fair was canceled because not enough companies came forward to offer jobs.

[...]

Even 7.5% unemployment means 11.5 million Americans without jobs. The human cost of that dry statistic can be detailed in a canvas of broken hopes and shattered lives. Workers at job fairs today are confronting an employment market in which there are almost five times as many job seekers as there are openings. Anyone who has visited such a fair or gone to a career center has seen the face of despair up close.
President Obama didn’t cause the recession, but he made it worse and caused it to last longer. From the outset, he inaugurated the most anti-investment, anti-business, anti-jobs policies we have seen since Jimmy Carter. Further, the White House has still not crafted any discernible plan to put Americans back to work.

[...]

One of our greatest strengths as a nation is our dynamism. When we mobilize to solve a problem, we solve it. It might be a cliché to say that leadership is required, but it also happens to be true.

We don’t have that leadership now. Instead, we have passive acquiescence. Yet, if there was an ever an issue on which all Americans should agree, it is that when it comes to unemployment, the time to define deviancy upward is overdue.

Romney lays out a plan for job creation:

Creating good, lasting jobs will require the following:

•A tax policy that rewards savings, investment, entrepreneurial risk-taking and exports.
•Free, open and fair access to foreign markets, with a focus on constructive trade reform with China.
•Elimination of the federal bureaucratic and regulatory stranglehold on business.
•A market-driven energy policy that encourages investment in America and reduces our dependence on foreign oil.
•A commitment to fiscal responsibility through budget restraints and entitlement reform.



-Luke Gunderson