When Newt Gingrich is good, he’s very good. President Obama “cannot survive if this campaign is about the economy. So, every morning they try to figure out what’s the newest argument that isn’t about the economy. They don’t actually care what it is. It’s anything except the economy. . . . And so the trick is, Romney wants to stay focused on that and Obama wants to stay focused on anything but that. And most of the elite media wants to get Obama re-elected.”

It is a good thing for him that Mitt Romney found something to be passionate about. “I think the president is extraordinarily out of touch with how America’s economy works and with how individuals pursuing their dreams in this country have built America. The president thinks that it’s government that should take responsibility for all the successful businesses in this country. And the truth is, it is not government. Government has a role to play, but the people who deserve the credit for starting a business and growing it and hiring people are the entrepreneur who started it and the many people that work at that business.”

It would be a good thing for Obama to figure out how to prevent the ”devastating” sequestration cuts, which will also jack up the unemployment number. Speaker of the House John Boehner (R-Ohio) challenges Obama to lead: “I think it’s important for the Office of Management and Budget to come forward and outline to the American people just how they intend to implement the sequester — because right now there are more unanswered questions than there are answered questions with regard to how the sequester will work and where the cuts will come from.” Good luck with that.

Good to have a contest of ideas. Jim Pethokoukis: Obama “is making the case that successful Americans really didn’t earn their success . . . . Yes, the election is about the economy. But not just whether it is getting better or worse and how much credit or blame Obama deserves. This election is also about how America will organize itself economically going forward. A top-down state capitalism focusing on redistribution or a bottom-up market capitalism that promotes innovation as the path to prosperity.”

Sen. Rob Portman (R-Ohio) had a good record at the Office of Management and Budget, but would he bring the Bush brand to the Romney campaign if selected as vice president? “In background conversations, longtime Portman allies remember the senator quietly shifting Bush’s team to the right on fiscal issues, even when many on Pennsylvania Avenue were averse to making spending cuts and entitlement reform a priority. . . . Does Portman deserve credit for keeping the debt to an arguably reasonable level? Or, as a shepherd of both a balanced budget and spending increases, was he part of the regrettable fiscal irresponsibility that plagued the twilight of Bush’s presidency? The answer, of course, is complicated.” “Complicated” isn’t a good quality for a vice president.

It does Obama no good to plead for “context.” Charles Krauthammer on Obama’s “you didn’t build it” problem: “I think Obama has made the gaffe of the year when he said if you created a business, you didn’t build it. That phrase, ‘you didn’t build it’ should be hung around Obama until the end of his presidency. I read the totality of the statement and it’s worse if you read it all. Essentially, he has a view that is antithetical to view that the majority of the Americans have, which is that enterprise, initiative of the markets are what drive American wealth and excellence and achievements. Government is parasitic on that and lives off the excess wealth in the form of taxation.”

A good day for human rights as a deal is reached on the Russia trade bill: “The trade bill would repeal the 37-year-old Jackson-Vanik provision that violates international trade rules and include the Magnitsky human-rights legislation that has been approved by the House Foreign Relations Committee. The measures will likely be merged in the House Rules Committee before heading to the floor.”