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Right Turn
Posted at 07:45 AM ET, 08/18/2011

Morning Bits

Politico defends its reporting on the Joe Biden “terrorist” remark. “For the record, POLITICO stands by the story and has done so since the moment it was posted on our website. Furthermore, the vice president’s office has never asked for a correction or retraction despite follow-up denials by Biden himself. Setting aside the idea that it’s virtually impossible for one media organization to fact-check another media outlet’s reporting on what a public official said behind closed doors when there’s no known recording or transcript, we thought it would be fair to pull back the curtain on our reporting process and explain how the story came together.” Read the whole thing.

It’s hard to defend the continued existence of the Quartet. “Nowadays the Quartet seems able to reach agreement on only one thing: criticism of Israel. This is the lowest common denominator among the United States, EU, United Nations, and Russia, and it is pretty low indeed. If this is the only function of the Quartet, the better path would be to disband it now — for the statements it is making and the statements it seems unable to make combine to bring discredit on all participants.”

In 2012 President Obama is going to have to defend his economic record, with or without his gigantic bus. Voters are not buying hi excuses: “A new low of 26% of Americans approve of President Barack Obama’s handling of the economy, down 11 percentage points since Gallup last measured it in mid-May and well below his previous low of 35% in November 2010.”

Speaking of the bus, who’s going to defend that monstrosity? “What could the White House have been thinking? Here the country is reeling from depression, recession and oppression, and the president decides to take a heartland tour in the visual equivalent of an armored hearse? The infamous black bus that has been toting Barack Obama around for stump speeches designed to distract from the Republican hoedown in Iowa couldn’t be less effective — unless you’re Darth Vader.” It’s a long way from Greek columns, isn’t it?

He should also be asked to defend sticking us with the tab. “The White House insisted that the tour was official presidential business, not political campaigning. Therefore, the taxpayers funded it and the $1.1 million bus that took the President to all of his stops. What did he do at these stops? He gave political speeches that were hard to distinguish from his campaign fund-raising speeches. He criticized Republicans incessantly, blamed the debt downgrade on them and accused them of putting their party before their country. Then, he worked the rope lines and kissed babies. No, not a campaign trip at all.”

Phil Klein defends legitimate vetting of GOP candidates from the blogospheric cheerleaders. “[Texas Gov. Rick] Perry’s appeal is understandable given the long quest for a consensus conservative candidate with executive experience, and the desire to defeat Obama. Perry has attributes that are worth reporting, and when liberals are making unfounded accusations, they should be called out. But Perry is seeking the highest office in the land and needs to be thoroughly vetted. Legitimate criticism — whether coming from the right or left — should be welcomed. Just because MSNBC’s Ed Schultz hates Perry, it doesn’t mean he’ll make a great president.”

Republicans defend the need to have a primary. The Hill’s headline puts it so much more dramatically: “GOP torn over whether Romney or Perry can best make case against Obama.” Or even someone else!

Texas Gov. Rick Perry defends himself: “A day after the White House and even some fellow Republicans admonished Gov. Rick Perry for warning of potentially ‘treasonous’ acts by the U.S. Federal Reserve chairman, the governor responded — more politely this time. With a little less Texas swagger, but issuing a direct challenge nevertheless to President Barack Obama, Perry said his record on jobs in Texas was all the response he needed to give.”

It’s an easy case to defend, according to this blogger (who is armed with some impressive facts): “My advice to anti-Perry advocates is this: Give up talking about Texas jobs. Texas is an incredible outlier among the states when it comes to jobs. Not only are they creating them, they’re creating ones with higher wages. One can argue that Perry had very little to do with the job situation in Texas, but such a person should be probably prepare themselves for the consequences of that line of reasoning. If Rick Perry had nothing to do with creating jobs in Texas, than why does Obama have something to do with creating jobs anywhere? . . . In short, it seems to me that this line of reasoning, in addition to sounding desperate and partisan, hogties its adherents into a position where they are simultaneously saying that government doesn’t create jobs while arguing for a set of policies where government will create jobs.”

By  |  07:45 AM ET, 08/18/2011

Categories:  2012 campaign

 
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