April 3rd, 2012
Spokane Conservative Examiner
By Joe Newby
On Tuesday, President Obama donned the mantle of national Editor-in-Chief as he encouraged news editors to treat him as a "centrist" while painting Republicans as radicals - as if they really needed any prodding.
“So, as all of you are doing your reporting, I think it is important to remember that the positions I’m taking now on the budget and on a host of other issues, if we had been having this discussion 20 years ago or 15 years ago, would have been considered squarely centrist positions," he told an annual meeting of the American Society of News Editors.
“What’s changed is the center of the Republican Party,” he added.
The Daily Caller added:
Obama used the same high-pressure tactics on the Supreme Court, which is now considering whether his far-reaching health care overhaul law expands government power beyond the limits set in the Constitution.
“I’m sure those folks are taking their responsibilities seriously. … [They] won’t strike it down,” he said.
Obama’s comments about the Supreme Court came in response to a question about his statement yesterday that it would be “unprecedented” for the high court to strike down a law passed by a duly-elected Congress.
April 3rd, 2012
BLS Note: I resisted the urge to also write within the title "God help us all." Like it or not, it's now time to get our heads and hearts right and propel this man into the office that so needs him and his Capitalist expertise, and then pressure him into staying Right of Center. Remember when you said "Anyone but Obama?" Well , now it's time to live it, folks...Ok, I'll go first:
Gee.... that wasn't so hard, and by the way, his Wisconsin speech was "Brilliant" and I do mean that. Oh, and after Obama's "BS" over the last two days, you have to ask yourself "What would Romney do?"
You already know the answer to that question....
Mitt Romney pulled off a three-primary sweep Tuesday night, bolstering his bid to quickly pivot from Republican front-runner to presumptive nominee.
The former Massachusetts governor won the contests in Wisconsin, Maryland and the District of Columbia, Fox News projects. In doing so, he left Rick Santorum an increasingly distant second while solidifying his own lead and enabling his campaign to turn toward what it hopes will be a November matchup between him and President Obama.
Romney, in some of his clearest language to date, used his victory speech in Milwaukee to map out what appeared to be his general election message. He portrayed Obama as an enemy of business, himself as its promoter. He portrayed Obama as the steward of a "government-centered society," himself as the champion of a revitalized "opportunity society."
In the most memorable line of the night, Romney accused "out-of-touch liberals like Barack Obama" of saying they want a strong economy while showing they "don't like" business.
"It's a bit like saying you like an omelette, but you don't like eggs," Romney said. He said Obama's vision would lead to high unemployment, "crushing debt" and "stagnant wages."
Romney also crossed a symbolic threshold Tuesday night, passing the halfway mark in his march toward the 1,144 delegate needed to clinch the nomination. He now has well over 600 delegates, more than twice the number Santorum claims. Romney will win most of the 92 delegates at stake Tuesday.
Santorum, though, pledged to press on Tuesday night and outlined a path -- however narrow -- to victory in the nomination battle.
He hammered the point that only half the total delegates available in the GOP contest have been awarded, and predicted the April 24 primary in his home state of Pennsylvania could turn the tide.
"We have now reached the point where it's half-time," he told a Pennsylvania crowd, having long since left Wisconsin. "Who's ready to charge out of the locker room in Pennsylvania for a strong second half?"
Santorum continued to say Republicans need to pick somebody who can demonstrate a clear contrast with Obama in the fall.
"We don't win by moving to the middle," he said, claiming Republicans win by getting the middle to "move to us."
Though four other states are also voting on April 24, Santorum predicted a Pennsylvania win would effectively reset the mood.
"The clock starts tonight," he said. "After winning this state, the field looks a little different in May."
According to the latest delegate tally, though, Romney is at 646 delegates. Santorum is far back at 272, followed by Newt Gingrich at 135 and Ron Paul at 51. Santorum would have to win an overwhelming majority of the remaining delegates to surpass Romney. Even preventing Romney from hitting 1,144 before the convention is becoming increasingly difficult.
Romney dominated the field in Tuesday's contests. He appeared to have a double-digit lead over Santorum in Maryland, though his Wisconsin victory was a bit tighter. He blew past Gingrich and Paul in D.C., where Santorum had failed to qualify for the ballot.
With Romney moving ever-closer to the nomination, Obama's team is training its attention on the GOP front-runner. His campaign launched a new TV ad blasting Romney for the first time by name -- accusing him of backing "Big Oil" at a time of high gas prices.
Romney fired back in his Wisconsin speech, telling Americans that when they drive by the gas pump, "Ask yourself, 'Four more years of that?'"
Santorum has claimed all along that Romney is buying his support by spending millions on TV ads, and that his own campaign is backed by grassroots conservatives.
Indeed, Romney continues to face questions about his appeal among the conservative base going forward. Exit polls in the contests held Tuesday, though, showed the former Massachusetts doing well across several different demographic groups.
In Maryland, he captured almost half of the Tea Party vote and won 61 percent of support among seniors.
In Wisconsin, Romney saw some of the strongest support to date among those who describe themselves as very conservative. Romney captured 46 percent support among those voters, compared with 40 percent for Santorum.
April 3rd, 2012
ABC News / Rachel Rose Hartman
Loath to allow Republicans to dominate the 2012 energy discussion with attacks, President Barack Obama's campaign responded to coordinated Republican attacks on the administration's energy policy with a new campaign ad of its own on Monday, which also takes aim at Mitt Romney.
"Why is big oil attacking him? Because he's fighting to end their tax breaks," a voice-over states about Obama in the new commercial. "Mitt Romney stood with big oil for their tax breaks."
The commercial is airing in the key battleground states of Colorado, Florida, Iowa, Nevada, Ohio and Virginia—the same states where the American Energy Alliance group (which Democrats say is funded by the billionaire oil magnates David and Charles Koch) is running a $3.6 million campaign blasting the president on energy.
The campaign's decision to invest directly in this tit-for-tat suggests that gas prices combined with the Solyndra scandal are a real concern for the president's supporters.
It also highlights Romney as the campaign's biggest opponent. Romney campaign spokeswoman Andrea Saul said in a statement Monday that "it's no surprise President Obama is spending his soon-to-be $1 billion war chest to attack Mitt Romney and deflect blame for his failure to control gas prices." Saul repeated Republican attacks highlighting Energy Secretary Steven Chu's 2008 statement about the benefits of European-level gas prices.
Monday's commercial is only the second television ad to be released by the Obama campaign itself. It is the first television commercial from the campaign to directly identify Romney.
More popular Yahoo! News stories:
Want more of our best political stories? Visit The Ticket or connect with us on Facebook, follow us on Twitter, or add us on Tumblr. Handy with a camera? Join our Election 2012 Flickr group to submit your photos of the campaign in action.
April 3rd, 2012
WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama said Tuesday Republicans want to force a "radical vision" on the nation, accusing the opposition party of moving so far to the right that even one of its beloved figures, Ronald Reagan, could not win a GOP presidential primary.
In a blistering election-year critique, Obama sought to present himself to voters as the protector of the middle class and the leader of a Democratic Party that is willing to compromise in Washington. He singled out the front-runner for the GOP presidential nomination, Mitt Romney, for criticism and more broadly said Republicans had shifted from any reasonable debate on health care, debt reduction and the environment.
Republicans "will brook no compromise," Obama told news executives at the annual meeting of The Associated Press.
He cited a Republican presidential debate late last year when the entire field rejected the prospect of $10 in spending cuts for every $1 in tax increases as a means to lower the debt.
"Think about that. Ronald Reagan, who as I recall was not accused of being a tax-and-spend socialist, understood repeatedly that when the deficit started to get out of control that for him to make a deal he would have to propose both spending cuts and tax increases," Obama said. "He did it multiple times. He could not get through a Republican primary today."
Republicans called Obama's remarks a partisan attempt to cover up broken pledges to cut the federal deficit in half, curb spending and make tough choices to reform Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid.
"The president has resorted to distortions and partisan potshots and recommitted himself to policies that have made our country's debt crisis worse," said House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio.
Andrea Saul, a Romney spokeswoman, said that after the past three years, "the last thing President Obama is qualified to lecture on is responsible federal spending."
Making his case for re-election, Obama said the nation must restore a sense of security for hard-working Americans and stand for a government willing to help those in hard times. The Democratic president blasted Republicans by name and said the choice between the parties is "unambiguously clear."
Stirring anew the themes of his State of the Union speech, Obama said the central issue for the country is deciding whether it wants to give everyone a fair chance — with government as a tool to help do that — or whether it is content to let only the wealthy succeed.
Obama used his speech to paint his Republican rivals as protectors of a trickle-down economic philosophy that does not work. He spoke on the day that GOP presidential front-runner Romney was expected to move closer to seizing his party's nomination as voters went to the polls in Wisconsin, Maryland and the District of Columbia.
Obama directly challenged Romney for embracing a $3.5 trillion budget proposal led by Rep. Paul Ryan of Wisconsin that was approved by the House last week. Ryan's proposal aims to slash the federal deficit and reduce the size of government. It stands little chance in the Democratic-controlled Senate, yet Obama targeted it as a symbol of the Republican vision.
Obama even poked fun at Romney's word choice. "He even called it 'marvelous,' which is a word you don't often hear when it comes to describing a budget," Obama said. "It's a word you don't often hear generally."
During a telephone town hall meeting in Wisconsin last week, Romney said that it would be "marvelous if the Senate were to pick up Paul Ryan's budget" and pass it but that it was not "terribly likely as long as Democrats are in the charge in the Senate." Romney called the plan "the right direction for our country."
The president said that instead of moderating their views even slightly, the Republicans running Congress have "doubled down" and proposed a budget so far to the right it makes the "Contract With America" look like the "New Deal."
The Contract with America was the policy document that helped Republicans win the House in 1994 and propelled Newt Gingrich into the speakership. The New Deal was President Franklin Roosevelt's plan for pulling the nation out of the Great Depression.
Yet Obama also sought to buffer himself from criticism that he is a supporter of big government.
Speaking to publishers and editors, Obama said: "I believe deeply that the free market is the greatest force for economic progress in human history."
Obama went into a lengthy, point-by-point critique of the Ryan budget, showing what he said would be a perilous future for senior citizens, college students, people with disabilities and many other Americans. He condemned the GOP plan as a "prescription for decline."
"It's antithetical to our entire history as a land of opportunity and upward mobility for everybody who's willing to work for it, a place where prosperity doesn't trickle down from the top but grows outward from the heart of the middle class," he said.
Obama made a separate call for economic fairness encapsulated by the "Buffett Rule," arguing the wealthy shouldn't pay a smaller share of their income in federal taxes than middle-class taxpayers. He said maintaining current rates or more tax breaks for the wealthy would mean "higher deficits" or "more sacrifice from the middle class" that would force seniors to pay more for Medicare and lead to college students losing some financial aid.
Republicans have said the new tax on the wealthiest Americans would push investors into sending money overseas where it would be taxed less. The GOP also points to congressional analysts who note the new revenue would be only a small amount compared with the projected budget deficits.
Obama's focus on tax change has come as Democrats seek to bring attention to Romney's business background and wealth. Romney is a millionaire who is paying 15.4 percent in federal taxes for 2011 on income mostly derived from investments. The top rate for taxpayers with high incomes derived from wages is 35 percent.
Asked about the fate of his health care reform law, his signature legislative achievement, Obama said his administration was "not spending a whole lot of time planning for contingencies" in the event that the law is struck down.
Obama said the nation's high court has exercised "restraint" and "deference" to Congress in economic cases in the past and he expected the court "to recognize that and to abide by well-established precedents out there."
Follow Ken Thomas on Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/AP_Ken_Thomas
Copyright © 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.
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