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ThePlumLIneGS whorunsgov plumline
Posted at 08:49 AM ET, 06/30/2011

The Morning Plum

* Who will press Romney on claim that Obama made recession “worse”? Mitt Romney is holding a press conference on the economy today in Pennsylvania, where he will likely repeat his frequent claim that Obama made the recession “worse.” This claim has been repeatedly debunked by independent fact checkers, who view it as a non-subjective statement that doesn’t hold up when measured by available metrics.

Yet Romney keeps right on making it anyway, and it has become absolutely central to his campaign message. The assertion continues to find its way into story after story with no rebuttal or even any hint that it is contested, and to my knowledge Romney himself has never been directly challenged on it.

If he does repeat the claim today, will anyone press him to justify it?

* Obama’s goal: Reassert commanding presence: As Peter Wallsten and Zachary Goldfarb note, Obama’s presser yesterday seems to be the beginning of an effort to reassert a commanding presence on economic and foreign policy issues at a time when a bit of a sense of drift seems to be setting in.

* The fight between the parties is just beginning: Ezra Klein on how yesterday’s throwing down of the gauntlet is both a sign that the debt talks have hit a very serious impasse over taxes and an indication that both sides are digging in for a grueling public relations battle with no clear endgame in sight.

* Could defense cuts be key to a deal? The Hill reports that GOP aides think a surprisingly large number of House Reupblicans could actually support defense cuts as part of a deficit deal. That once-unthinkable defense cuts are being viewed as preferable to revenue increases is a sign of just how strong GOP anti-tax orthodoxy has grown in recent years.

* Dems broaden attack on House GOP over entitlements: The DCCC is unleashing a wave of robocalls in the districts of 14 vulnerable House Republicans, hammering them over the recent GOP proposal to allow workers to opt out of Social Security and choose a private retirement savings option.

The call blasts the House GOPer in question for voting to “end Medicare” while protecting “tax breaks for billionaires,” adding: “Now they are trying to privatize Social Security.” It’s the latest sign that Dems intend to keep the war over entitlements front and center all the way through Election Day 2012.

* Huge disparity persists in media coverage of health care court battle: As Steve Benen keeps tirelessly pointing out, court decisions striking down the Affordable Care Act get overwhelmingly more media coverage than decisions upholding it, and yesterday’s big win for Dems is proving no exception to this apparent rule.

Yes, a court decision changing something is inherently more newsworthy than one maintaining the status quo, but yesterday’s decision was particularly newsworthy, because it was the first one that didn’t break down along partisan lines. Why the scant coverage?

* Obama’s evolution on marriage equality almost complete? News organizations appear to be interpreting his comments at the presser yesterday as a quasi-endorsement of gay marriage, though gay rights advocates still want him to evolve all the way already.

* Obama continues making case for organic change on gay marriage: As I wrote here yesterday, Obama’s argument is essentially that he’s doing all he can to nudge along a process of change that must come from below, and Obama himself broadened that argument at a a gay pride event last night.

* Supreme Court comforts the comfortable and afflicts the afflicted: Good big picture piece by E.J. Dionne making the case that “not since the Gilded Age has a Supreme Court been so determined to strengthen the hand of corporations and the wealthy.”

* GOP establishment unhappy with 2012 field: Fundraising appears to be surprisingly slow for the 2012 GOP hopefuls, which suggests that the establishment is either not terribly excited by the choices available or is pessimistic about beating Obama.

Their quarterly fundraising numbers are due out any day, and they’ll be closely scrutinized for hints as to who’s really competitive in the primary.

* Will Perry’s hint at Texas secession hurt presidential bid? Rick Perry’s chief political advisers tells Real Clear Politics that despite widespread claims to the contrary, Perry never said Texas would or should secede from the union and that it won’t be damaging to him, another clear sign he’s serious about running.

Looking back at Perry’s actual quote, it seems pretty clear that Perry suggested that Texas could secede from the union, though he didn’t advocate for it.

* And the Game Changer of the day: Brian Beutler, on Mark Halperin’s claim that Obama was “kind of a d*ck” at yesterday’s presser, for which he quickly apologized:

This is a Game Changer...for Mark Halperin

Jamison Foser: “How long will Mark Halperin wait after calling Obama a `d*ck’ before his next assertion of liberal media bias?”

What else is happening?

By  |  08:49 AM ET, 06/30/2011

 
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