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Right Turn
Posted at 07:45 AM ET, 02/10/2012

Morning Bits

Smart advice. Jim Pethokoukis: “[Mitt] Romney has embraced the broad outlines of a Paul Ryan-style Medicare overhaul which would reform the program into a premium support system for younger Americans. As for Social Security, Romney would raise the eligibility age and alter the way benefits are indexed to inflation for high-income retirees. Good stuff. But guess what? Neither plan is one of his 59 points. Nor can either be easily found on his web site. And in his speeches after winning the New Hampshire and Florida primaries and Nevada caucus, there wasn’t one mention of entitlements, Medicare, or Social Security. These programs are at the very heart of America’s long-term debt problem and thus should be at the heart of Romney’s campaign.”

Smart formulation. Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.): “We must always promote equal opportunity by reducing barriers to growth. We must never seek to impose equal outcomes by erecting barriers to success.Sowing social unrest and class envy – that makes America weaker, not stronger. Pitting one group against another only distracts us from the true sources of inequity in this country: corporate welfare that enriches the powerful, and empty promises that betray the powerless.The only class warfare that threatens America comes from a class of bureaucrats and crony capitalists rising above society – calling the shots, rigging the rules, and securing their places of privilege at our expense. My friends, America deserves a choice – and if it is an honest choice between these two visions, well, then we win, they lose.”

Smart communication strategy? The president waves off a question on his contraception mandate. (“Come on, guys.”) Really, it is so annoying when the press does their job. Hrumph.

Smart businessmen don’t throw good money after bad. “I love the fact that Sheldon [Adelson] put in about $10 million with Gingrich and I put in a lot less with Rick. I like to say I’m an investor and Sheldon is a casino guy,” says Rick Santorum super PAC donor Foster Freiss.

Smart Democrats are jumping ship (“Democrats Rebelling Against Obama Birth Control Policy”). In this case the president should have listened to “Vice President Joe Biden and former White House Chief of Staff Bill Daley both [of whom] urged a different course of action.”

Smart politics or do the voters penalize political cowardice? “President Barack Obama’s budget proposal Monday will offer several measures to trim the federal deficit in the next 10 years. But it would leave largely unchanged the biggest drivers of future government spending: the Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security programs that are expanding rapidly as the baby boom turns into a senior boom. Calling for major changes in the popular programs would be politically treacherous in an election year because of fierce opposition from seniors, who vote in large numbers. But budget experts of both parties agree the programs’ growth must be curbed at some point or they will swamp the budget.”

Smart guys don’t throw stuff at candidates guarded by the Secret Service. “A Colorado college student could see jail time after giving Mitt Romney a face-full of glitter. Peter Smith, 20, was slapped with misdemeanor charges of creating a disturbance, throwing a missile and an unlawful act on school property for “glitter bombing” the Republican front-runner, a popular form of protest for gay activists who have targeted Republican candidates throughout the primary season.”

By  |  07:45 AM ET, 02/10/2012

Categories:  2012 campaign

 
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