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Right Turn
Posted at 07:45 AM ET, 04/11/2012

Morning Bits

Republicans will be pleased about this. “Likely Republican nominee Mitt Romney has opened a six-point lead (46%-40%) over President Barack Obama in Virginia, according to The Roanoke College Poll. The two were statistically tied in the College’s February poll. Republican George Allen maintains an 8-point lead (44%-36%) on Democrat Tim Kaine in the likely November matchup for the U.S. Senate seat from Virginia.”

Rick Santorum should be very pleased with his effort, says Rich Lowry: “ He came within a few points of dealing Romney a grievous blow in Michigan and upending the race. But he never had the money and organization to compete with Romney — and those things matter. Despite his working-class pitch, he was never able to extend his reach enough beyond his evangelical base. At times his message was compelling and fresh, but by the end it seemed to boil down to a critique of Romneycare (and increasingly over-the-top attacks on Romney). The downside to his passion and sincerity was a lack of discipline and a weakness for bluster. For all those reasons, he couldn’t catch Romney. But Santorum is a man of principle who lives his convictions and is never afraid to defend them. He believes deeply in the American idea. . . . He takes politics seriously. His argument that the breakdown in the family is undermining economic mobility and the America dream is important and too-often neglected.”

Mitt Romney is quite pleased he doesn’t have to spend all that money. “The Romney camp had purchased seven figures in airtime for this week and signaled its intention to spend nearly $3 million on TV before the April 24 vote in an effort to crush Rick Santorum. With Santorum’s withdrawal, those expenditures are no longer necessary — making it money extremely well almost-spent.”

After dumping all over him during the long primary, conservatives warn Romney they still aren’t pleased. “In remarks after Mr. Santorum’s withdrawal speech, Family Research Council Action President Tony Perkins offered plenty of praise, but no hints on whom the group might support. . . . Mr. Perkins was among the conservative leaders warning likely nominee Mitt Romney against taking Santorum supporters for granted.”Actually the Republican voters are pleased and should not be taken for granted, but the “leaders”? Maybe not so important.

Conservatives, who often grouse about the GOP leadership, should be pleased about this one. Fred Barnes reports: “It looked so easy when the bipartisan JOBS Act cleared the Senate (73-26) and the House (380-41) and was signed into law by President Obama last week. But passage of a strong bill wasn’t a snap. Only the maneuvering of Senate minority leader Mitch McConnell kept the measure from being delayed, angrily debated, and then watered down.” Read the whole thing.

Republicans sure are pleased to move onto the general election. “A conservative political action committee is going up with a new television commercial — backed by a $1.7 million ad buy — slamming President Obama’s energy policies. The ad, titled ‘Too Much,’ accuses the president of taking credit for increased oil production that was put into motion by the George W. Bush administration. The Crossroads GPS super-PAC — backed by Bush adviser Karl Rove — said the commercial would air in Colorado, Florida, Iowa, Nevada, Ohio and Virginia, all expected to be pivotal swing states in the coming election.”

The White House can’t be pleased the Medicare reform plan authored by Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) and Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) gets more support from Democrats than the president’s budget. “Paul Ryan: A dozen Democrats have told me they support my plan with Ron Wyden to reform Medicare.”Imagine where we would be if Obama showed the slightest leadership on this.

Americans should be none too pleased that Obama is defending his Buffett tax rule by citing a study that argues “the ‘optimal tax rate’ is ‘73 percent, substantially higher than the current 42.5 percent top U.S. marginal tax rate (combining all taxes).’” He’s already told us — he’ll have so much more flexibility after the election to run with his ideas.

The president might not be pleased to hear there isn’t any evidence for this theory. “As he urges support for a minimum tax on millionaires, President Barack Obama on Tuesday said the gap between the ‘ultra-rich’ and everyone else is a drag on the U.S. economy.” Or maybe Obama has long since given up trying to be truthful.

By  |  07:45 AM ET, 04/11/2012

 
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