Mitt Romney goes bold. “The President’s view is one of a larger government. There is a tape that just came out today where the President is saying he likes redistribution. I disagree. I think a society based upon a government-centered nation where government plays a larger and larger role, redistributes money, that’s the wrong course for America. That will not build a strong America or help people out of poverty. I believe the right course for America is one where government steps in to help those that are in need. We’re a compassionate people, but then we let people build their own lives, create enterprises. We believe in free people and free enterprise, not redistribution. The right course for America is to create growth, create wealth, not to redistribute wealth.”

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie goes with him. “Chris Christie, in a quick interview with Fox News about Mitt Romney’s comments on people viewing themselves as ‘victims,’ defended the Republican nominee a short time ago. Romney wants to ‘empower individuals . . . and that’s what he’s really talking about,’ Christie said, saying earlier, ‘He believes that every American has got to have skin in the game...he doesn’t want what the president wants (in terms of larger government).’”

President Obama’s convention bounce goes away.

Vice presidential nominee Paul Ryan goes with the theme of the day. “The American system of limited government and free enterprise has done more to help the poor, has done more to uplift people out of lives of dependency and on to lives of self-sufficiency, has done more to create opportunity than any other economic system ever designed. We don’t want to replace that. We want to renew and revitalize that. That is the American idea of economic opportunity.”

The Obama administration’s embassy-attack cover story goes up in smoke. Backpedal time! “The White House on Tuesday explicitly left open the possibility that last week’s dramatic attack on the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi, Libya, which left four Americans including U.S. Ambassador Chris Stevens dead, was a preplanned attack. Press secretary Jay Carney suggested the assault could have been the work of an armed group looking to ‘take advantage’ of unrest he blamed on an anti-Islam video available online.” No kidding. So were he and U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice uninformed or lying when they said otherwise?

If you go deep into the numbers, Romney is right. “According to the Census Bureau, 49% of Americans in the second quarter of 2011 lived in a household where at least one member received a government benefit. (The total population at the time was 305 million.) That’s up from 30% in the 1980s and 44.4% in the third quarter of 2008, a recent growth in part attributable to the bad economy of President Obama’s first term. . . . Mr. Romney correctly noted that nearly half of Americans pay no federal income tax.” His mistake was in writing all these voters off.

The punditocracy goes to the well too often on the race-over hooey. Mickey Kaus: “We need a new rule: Pundits and bloggers can only declare Romney’s campaign dead once. If the race gets close after that, you can’t start commenting again as if he’s got a shot. He’s already dead to you! No second fatal gaffes.”

When the economy doesn’t work, dependency goes up. “Government dependency jumped 3.28 percent in 2011, with the largest increases in higher education loans and grants and in retirement spending.” How high can it go? How high should it go?