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Archive for January 30th, 2008

WHAT THEY’RE REALLY SAYING ABOUT GOVERNOR

MITT ROMNEY AT THE SECOND REAGAN LIBRARY DEBATE

National Review‘s Jim Geraghty: “When Romney takes his shots at McCain, it’s both strong and fair – he acknowledges that McCain has some areas in which he’s a conservative, but he takes several fair shots – McCain Feingold; voting against the Bush tax cuts twice (McCain noted earlier that he had voted to make them permanent).” (Jim Geraghty, ” How Rarely I Get To Write This: Romney Takes McCain To School,” National Review’s The Campaign Spot, http://campaignspot.nationalreview.com, Posted 1/30/08)

· Geraghty: “I like that Romney says that the original version of the McCain-Kennedy immigration legislation wasn’t so bad, and that it got worse as it moved through the process. It shows familiarity with the legislative details.” (Jim Geraghty, ” How Rarely I Get To Write This: Romney Takes McCain To School,” National Review’s The Campaign Spot, http://campaignspot.nationalreview.com, Posted 1/30/08)

· Geraghty: “‘Let me help you with the facts, Senator.’ Wow. Romney nails him for pointing out the study McCain is referring to in his answer about job creation and loss includes his predecessor, Jane Swift, who lost many jobs on her watch.” (Jim Geraghty, ” How Rarely I Get To Write This: Romney Takes McCain To School,” National Review’s The Campaign Spot, http://campaignspot.nationalreview.com, Posted 1/30/08)

· Geraghty: “Where the heck has this Romney been? He just calmly and clearly took McCain to school.” (Jim Geraghty, ” How Rarely I Get To Write This: Romney Takes McCain To School,” National Review’s The Campaign Spot, http://campaignspot.nationalreview.com, Posted 1/30/08)

The American Spectator‘s John Tabin: “Romney corrects some of McCain’s facts – McCain confused Romney’s lieutenant governor with his predecessor, among other things. I think Romney won this exchange.” (John Tabin, “Romney Vs. McCain,” The American Spectator Blog, www.spectator.org, Posted 1/30/08)

CNN’s Bill Schneider: “Romney’s response scores big points with conservatives – and with a lot of Americans who aren’t conservative.” (Bill Schneider, “Big Points For Romney On Immigration,” CNN’s Political Ticker, http://politicalticker.blogs.cnn.com, Posted 1/30/08)

· Schneider: “Romney is winning this big-time — McCain’s wrong. We already have timetables for everything in Iraq, whether we stick to them or adjust them later on.” (Bill Schneider, “Romney Has McCain On The Ropes,” CNN’s Political Ticker Blog, http://politicalticker.blogs.cnn.com, Posted 1/30/08)

National Review‘s Mark Hemmingway: “Not that I needed anyone to tell me the McCain-Lieberman cap-and-trade program is a bad idea, but Romney’s dissection of it was clear and compelling.” (Mark Hemmingway, “Not That I Needed Anyone,” National Review‘s The Corner, http://corner.nationalreview.com=, Posted 1/30/08)

Captains Quarters’ Ed Morrissey: “Romney dominating near the close -this debate is owned by Mitt.” (Ed Morrissey, “Romney Dominating Near The Close,” Heading Right, http://headingright.com/, Posted 1/30/08)

· Morrissey: “Romney’s Playing Ball Control. He’s answering in depth, and by doing so he gets more air time. He’s using the format to his advantage.” (Ed Morrissey, “Romney Dominating Near The Close,” Heading Right, http://headingright.com/,  Posted 1/30/08)

· Morrissey: “Romney is getting the best of this exchange … Romney does a good job of keeping the tone even and factual while scolding McCain for getting the data incorrect.” (Ed Morrissey, “Romney Is Getting The Best Of This Exchange,” Heading Right Blog, http://headingright.com/, Posted 1/30/07)

Commentary Magazine‘s John Podhoretz: “Mitt Romney is doing a great job. Very commanding. He’s far more substantive than McCain.” (John Podhoretz, “Mitt Romney,” Commentary Magazine, http://www.commentarymagazine.com/, Posted 1/30/08)

Ankle Biting Pundits’ Bull Dog Pundit: “We’re 45 minutes in and I’m not going to go point by point, but I have to say that Romney is hitting the notes he needs to.” (Bull Dog Pundit, “GOP Debate,” Ankle Biting Pundits, http://www.anklebitingpundits.com/, Posted 1/30/08)

· Bull Dog Pundit: “Purely on substance Romney hit it exactly right when he started talking about the need for entitlement reform.  When he said we have to ‘change the deal’ on Social Security and Medicaid for people in their 40’s I almost stood up and cheered. He also did a great job of pointing out John McCain’s conservative apostasies.” (Bull Dog Pundit, “GOP Debate,” Ankle Biting Pundits, http://www.anklebitingpundits.com/, Posted 1/30/08)

Heading Right’s Douglas Gibbs: “Romney’s expertise …and knowledge of economics and facts is outshining his opponents.” (Douglas Gibbs, “Romney’s Expertise,” Heading Right Blog, http://headingright.com/, Posted 1/30/07)

Heading Right’s Faust Wertz: “Romney’s answers are great … Clear, to the point but explaining what needs to be explained, and he looks comfortable.” (Faust Wertz, “Romney’s Answers Are Great,” http://headingright.com/, Heading Right Blog, Posted 1/30/07)

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SEN. JOHN MCCAIN ON MCCAIN-KENNEDY

Senator McCain Flip-Flops On His Support For McCain-Kennedy

Tonight Sen. McCain Said He Would Not Vote For McCain-Kennedy Amnesty Legislation:

McCain Said He Would Not Vote For His Own Immigration Bill If It Came To The Senate Floor Again. QUESTION: “At his point, if your original proposal came to a vote on the Senate floor, would you vote for it?” MCCAIN: “It won’t. It won’t, that’s why we went thought the debate.” QUESTION: “But it did…” MCCAIN: “No I would not because we know what the situation is today.” (CNN, [Unverified Transcript], Republican Presidential Candidate Debate, Simi Valley, CA, 1/30/08)

However, Just Recently Sen. McCain Said As President He Would Sign McCain-Kennedy:

McCain Recently Said He Would Sign The McCain-Kennedy Immigration Bill Into Law If Passed The Senate While He Was President. NBC’S TIM RUSSERT: “If the Senate passed your bill, S.1433, the McCain/Kennedy immigration bill, would you as President sign it? MCCAIN: “Yeah. But look, the lesson is, it isn’t – one, it isn’t going to come. It isn’t going to come.” (NBC’s “Meet The Press,” www.youtube.com/watch?v=qLWRW4GoGHY, 1/27/08)

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In 2007, Sen. McCain Suggested Setting Benchmarks In Iraq Which, If Not Met, Might Mean The End Of Our Mission In Iraq:

In January 2007, Sen. McCain Suggested Setting Benchmarks For Success In Iraq. “Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., one of the most stalwart supporters of the war in Iraq, said Thursday that he might propose that the Iraqi government meet certain benchmarks for the United States to continue its engagement.  Fellow senators and independent political scientists said McCain’s thinking reflected growing concerns within the Republican Party about the course of the war, and also might mark a turning point for the likely 2008 presidential contender, whose previous unconditional backing of the war may have hurt his prospects.  McCain said Thursday that he hadn’t yet decided on precise benchmarks. ‘They’d have to be specific and they (the Iraqi government) would have to meet them.'” (Margaret Talev, “McCain Suggests Iraqi Government Meet Benchmarks,” Knight Ridder, 1/25/07; www.azstarnet.com/sn/byauthor/166271)

Sen. McCain Suggested An End To The Iraq Mission If Benchmarks Weren’t Met: “Haven’t Met The Benchmarks? Obviously, Then, We’re Not Able To Complete The Mission.” “Asked what penalty would be imposed if Iraq failed to meet his benchmarks, [McCain] said: ‘I think everybody knows the consequences. Haven’t met the benchmarks? Obviously, then, we’re not able to complete the mission. Then you have to examine your options.'” (Margaret Talev, “McCain Suggests Iraqi Government Meet Benchmarks,” Knight Ridder, 1/25/07; www.azstarnet.com/sn/byauthor/166271)

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The Associated Press‘ Libby Quaid: “Romney Never Called For The Kind Of Public Withdrawal Date Or Timeline That Democrats In Congress Sought Last Year.” “Republican John McCain tried to lump Mitt Romney with Democrats who want a timetable for pulling U.S. troops out of Iraq. But Romney never called for the kind of public withdrawal date or timeline that Democrats in Congress sought last year.” (Libby Quaid, “Fact Check: Romney Didn’t Say What McCain Says He Said On Withdrawing From Iraq,” The Associated Press, 1/27/08)

· Quaid: “The Facts: Romney Never Embraced The Idea Of A Public Withdrawal Date.” (Libby Quaid, “Fact Check: Romney Didn’t Say What McCain Says He Said On Withdrawing From Iraq,” The Associated Press, 1/27/08)

Reuters‘ Jason Szep and Tim Gaynor: McCain’s Accusations Are “A Distortion Of Romney’s Record.” (Jason Szep and Tim Gaynor, “McCain, Romney Battle In Tight Republican Race,” Reuters, 1/27/08)

The Washington Post‘s George Will: McCain’s Attack Was “Crooked-Talk.” “And it was no worse than – actually, not as gross as – St. John of Arizona’s crooked-talk claim in Florida that Mitt Romney wanted to ‘surrender and wave a white flag, like Senator Clinton wants to do’ in Iraq because Romney ‘wanted to set a date for withdrawal that would have meant disaster.'” (George Will, Op-Ed, “Staying The Coarse,” The Washington Post, 1/29/08)

The Washington Post‘s Fact Checker: “McCain Has Distorted The Meaning Of A Nine-Month Old Quote From Romney.” (Michael Dobbs, “McCain Attacks Romney On Iraq,” The Washington Post‘s Fact Checker Blog, http://blog.washingtonpost.com, Posted 1/28/08)

CNN’s Bill Bennett: “Way Below The Belt.” “But the blow he took at Romney was way below the belt. (CNN’s “Newsroom,” 1/26/08)

· Bennett: “He Should Apologize For It.” “He’s a maverick candidate. He should apologize for it.” (CNN’s “Newsroom,” 1/26/08)

· Bennett: “He Twisted That Entirely Out Of Context.” (CNN’s “Newsroom,” 1/26/08)

· Bennett: McCain “Absolutely Should Not Have Done It.” “He’s always criticizing people doing that to him and he absolutely should not have done it.” (CNN’s “Newsroom,” 1/26/08)

· Bennett: McCain “Wasn’t Fair” And Was “Wrong.” “It just wasn’t fair and honor is his watch word and he — I think it would be great if he said I got that one wrong. And that would be a rare thing.” (CNN’s “Newsroom,” 1/26/08)

Fox News’ Brit Hume: McCain Is Being “Dishonest” And Is Not Using “Straight Talk.” HUME: “And I think that for McCain to claim that is dishonest. Not straight talk.” (Fox’s “Fox News Sunday,” 1/27/08)

CNN’s Jeffrey Toobin: McCain Was “Deceptive.” “And he has managed to talk about the war in this I think very deceptive way…” (CNN’s “Newsroom,” 1/26/08)

· Toobin: McCain Is “Distorting” Mitt Romney’s Record “So He Doesn’t Have To Talk About The Economy.” “And you know I think that — this idea that Mitt Romney supports timetables, now in fact most Americans support timetables to get out of Iraq, Mitt Romney doesn’t happen to be one of them. But that’s really outrageous what McCain is doing, bringing up this ancient interview and distorting it at the last minute so he doesn’t have to talk about the economy.” (CNN’s “Late Edition,” 1/27/08)

CNN’s John King: “Governor Romney Did Not Say That.” “He did not say the president should go to Iraq and give Al-Maliki a timeline for withdrawal in private. Governor Romney did not say that.” (CNN’s “Newsroom,” 1/26/08)

MSNBC’s Joe Scarborough: “He’s Desperately Trying To Change The Topic From The Economy…” (MSNBC’s “Morning Joe,” 1/28/08)

· Scarborough: “He Did Lie About, Everybody Knows That He Lied About Mitt Romney.” “If John McCain did lie and he did lie about it, everybody knows that he lied about Mitt Romney, everybody knows he lied when he said that he wanted to put a timeline on it and get us out of there.” (MSNBC’s “Morning Joe,” 1/30/08)

· Scarborough: “I Haven’t Met Anybody In The Media That Hasn’t Said John McCain Lied About Mitt Romney.” “I haven’t met anybody in the media that hasn’t said John McCain lied about Mitt Romney and it threw Romney off for two days. What’s wrong with saying that?” (MSNBC’s “Morning Joe,” 1/30/08)

MSNBC’s David Shuster:John McCain Is Being Misleading.” “Actually, Mitt Romney is on the money with this one, and John McCain is being misleading.” (MSNBC’s “Morning Joe,” 1/28/08)

· Shuster: McCain’s Attack Was “Not Right.” “But the fact of the matter is, when John McCain says that Mitt Romney was for public timetables, in other words, letting the Iraqis know when U.S. troops are leaving and that therefore Mitt Romney should apologize to the troops, as John McCain said, that’s not right.” (MSNBC’s “Morning Joe,” 1/28/08)

National Review‘s Rich Lowry: McCain’s Comments Showed “Rank Dishonesty.” “But that doesn’t justify the rank dishonesty of his attack on Romney over the weekend.” (Rich Lowry, “McCain’s Dishonest Attack,” National Review‘s The Corner Blog, http://corner.nationalreview.com=, Posted 1/27/08)

· Lowry: McCain Was Using “The Opposite Of Straight Talk” And “Blatant Distortions.” “Clearly, McCain wants to change the topic from the economy. And since he’s suffering from his ‘straight-talk’ about his relative lack of knowledge of and interest in the economy, he’s trying to compensate with the opposite of straight talk—blatant distortions—about Romney’s record.” (Rich Lowry, “McCain’s Dishonest Attack,” National Review‘s The Corner Blog, http://corner.nationalreview.com=, Posted 1/27/08)

· Lowry: McCain’s Attack Was A “Dishonest Low-Blow.” “This dishonest low-blow—if it continues to get attention in the closing hours—could chip away at that asset.” (Rich Lowry, “McCain’s Dishonest Attack,” National Review‘s The Corner Blog, http://corner.nationalreview.com=, Posted 1/27/08)

Time‘s Michael Scherer: “A Misleading Low Blow.” (Michael Scherer, “McCain’s Conversation Changer: A Misleading Low Blow,” Time’s Swampland Blog, www.time-blog.com, Posted 1/26/08)

· Scherer: “No Evidence” Of McCain’s Claims. “[I] know of no evidence that shows Romney said he wanted to set a date to abandon the war effort and bring the troops home.” (Michael Scherer, “McCain’s Conversation Changer: A Misleading Low Blow,” Time’s Swampland Blog, www.time-blog.com, Posted 1/26/08)

The Atlantic‘s Marc Ambinder: “McCain Stretches Romney’s Words.” (Marc Ambinder, “McCain Stretches Romney’s Words,” The Atlantic Blog, http://marcambinder.theatlantic.com/, Posted 1/27/08)

· Ambinder: “That quote was derided by McCain at the time as a ‘secret timetable,’ although Romney never said he favored a particular withdrawal date and did not advocate an inflexible timeline for American troops to begin a draw down. Indeed, Romney has many times said he opposed such a withdrawal timetable.” (Marc Ambinder, “McCain Stretches Romney’s Words,” The Atlantic Blog, http://marcambinder.theatlantic.com/, Posted 1/27/08)

National Review‘s Mark Levin: Romney’s Statements “Do Not Support McCain’s Accusation.” “But these statements, and the others, do not support McCain’s accusation.” (Mark Levin, “Did He Or Didn’t He?” National Review‘s The Corner Blog, http://corner.nationalreview.com/, Posted 1/26/08)

· Levin: “Low Blow.” (Mark Levin, “Low Blow,” National Review‘s The Corner Blog, http://corner.nationalreview.com, Posted 1/26/08)

· Levin: McCain Used A “Dishonest Mischaracterization.” “The hard-driving Tim Russert blew it. He allowed McCain to slip away with his dishonest characterization of Romney’s statement, i.e., Romney never said he favored a specific time for withdrawal. McCain read the first part of the quote but not the second part, where Romney would veto a congressional time table.” (Mark Levin, “Meet the Press, Dissembling, and More,” National Review‘s The Corner Blog, http://corner.nationalreview.com=, Posted 1/27/08)

National Review‘s Andy McCarthy: McCain’s Claims Are “Just Flat Not True.” “I mean, he levels an allegation about Romney that’s just flat not true, and if some organization wanted to run an add calling him on it, they would be in violation of his ‘reform’ of campaign finance regulations.  What a racket!” (Andy McCarthy, “Re: Low Blow,” National Review‘s The Corner Blog, http://corner.nationalreview.com=, Posted 1/26/08)

Power Line’s Paul Mirengoff: “I Don’t Think Romney’s Statement Fairly Can Be Construed As Advocating Setting A Date For Our Withdrawal.” (Paul Mirengoff, “Did He Or Didn’t He?” Power Line Blog, www.powerlineblog.com, Posted 1/26/08)

· Mirengoff: “McCain, In Short, Has Smeared Romney.” (Paul Mirengoff, “Less Than Straight Talk,” Power Line Blog, www.powerlineblog.com. Posted 1/27/08)

· Mirengoff: “In Any Case, What We Are Now Getting From McCain Is Less Than Straight Talk.” (Paul Mirengoff, “Less Than Straight Talk,” Power Line Blog, www.powerlineblog.com. Posted 1/27/08)

National Review‘s David Freddoso: McCain Was “Misleading.” “But as the original quote demonstrates, this was misleading.” (David Freddoso, “Bait And Switch,” National Review, http://article.nationalreview.com=, 1/28/08)

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McCain dodges on past rationale for opposing tax cuts

POLITICO

Jonathan Martin

http://www.politico.com/blogs/jonathanmartin/0108/McCain_dodges_on_past_rationale_for_opposing_tax_cuts.html

Posed with a tough question about his shifting explantion for opposing the original Bush tax cuts, McCain completely dodged.

When he originally opposed them, he did so saying that they were skewed in favor of the rich.

Now he says he voted against them because he wanted to get spending under control.

He didn’t really reconcile the difference, choosing instead to harp on his usual message about spending being out of control, the cause for GOP losses in ’06 and why “our base became disenchanted.”

Oh, and he noted a couple of times that he was part of the Reagan Revolution and has the support of Phil Gramm and Jack Kemp (both coming in for their second mention of the night).

None of this gets at his past language regarding the Bush tax cuts, but there was no follow up.

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In case you missed it, Senator McCain returned to class warfare rhetoric tonight when discussing the sub-prime crisis:

McCain Said There Are Some “Greedy People In Wall Street” That Need To Be Punished. MCCAIN: “I think that we’ve got to return to the principle that you don’t lend money to people that can’t pay it back. I think that there’s some greedy people in Wall Street that perhaps need to be punished. I think there’s got to be a huge amount more of transparency as to how this whole thing came about so we can prevent it from happening again.” (CNN, Republican Presidential Candidate Debate, Simi Valley, CA, 1/30/07)

 

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A Look At Why Sen. McCain Voted Against The Bush Tax Cuts

“In 2001, Sen. McCain argued, ‘I cannot in good conscience support a tax cut in which so many of the benefits go to the most fortunate among us at the expense of middle-class Americans who need tax relief.’ That statement is virtually indistinguishable from the class-warfare demagoguery used by Democrats like Ted Kennedy and John Kerry.” – Pat Toomey, The Club For Growth (Pat Toomey, Op-Ed, “The McCain Record,” The Wall Street Journal, 3/13/07)

Sen. McCain Joined Democrats In Voting Against The 2001 And 2003 Bush Tax Cuts:

In 2001, Sen. McCain Was One Of Only Two Republicans To Vote Against The $1.35 Trillion Bush Tax Cuts. The bill lowered marginal rates, eliminated the marriage penalty, and doubled the child tax credit. (H.R. 1836, CQ Vote #170: Adopted 58-33: R 46-2; D 12-31; I 0-0, 5/26/01, McCain Voted Nay)

In 2003, Sen. McCain Was One Of Only Three Republicans To Twice Vote Against The $350 Billion Bush Tax Cuts. The comprehensive bill lowered taxes by $350 billion over 11 years – including increasing the child tax credit and eliminated the marriage penalty. (H.R. 2, CQ Vote #179: Passed 51-49: R 48-3; D 3-45; I 0-1, 5/15/03, McCain Voted Nay; H.R. 2, CQ Vote #196: Adopted 50-50: R 48-3; D 2-46; I 0-1, 5/23/03, McCain Voted Nay)

Sen. McCain Attacked The Bush Tax Cuts Using Democrat Class Warfare Talking Points:

In 2001, Sen. McCain Said The Bush Tax Cuts Were “At The Expense Of Middle-Class Americans.” “…Mr. McCain echoed the Democrats’ message that it favors the wealthy, saying, ‘I cannot in good conscience support a tax cut in which so many of the benefits go to the most fortunate among us at the expense of middle-class Americans who need tax relief.'” (Ralph Z. Hallow, “Republicans See McCain As Liability,” The Washington Times, 6/9/01)

· Rep. Maxine Waters (D-CA) Said The Bush Tax Cuts Were “At The Expense Of Middle-Class American Families.” REP. WATERS: “I voted against the Republican tax cut plan, which is an irresponsible tax cut that will further undermine the nation’s struggling economy at the expense of middle-class American families.” (Rep. Maxine Waters, Op-Ed, “Bush’s Tax Cut Is Bad For America,” The Los Angeles Sentinel, 5/29/03)

In 2003, Sen. McCain Said The Bush Tax Cut Went “To The Wealthiest Americans.” SEN. MCCAIN: “[W]hen you look at the percentage of the tax cuts that, as the previous tax cuts, that go to the wealthiest Americans, you will find that the bulk of it, again, goes to wealthiest Americans. I would like to see some of that redistributed more heavily to middle-income and low-income Americans.”  (NBC’s “Today,” 1/7/03)

· Sen. John Kerry (D-MA) Said The Bush Tax Cuts Went “To The Wealthiest Americans.” SEN. KERRY: “I’m going to roll back the high end of the Bush tax cut. The tax cut that goes to the wealthiest Americans we can’t afford, Paula.” (CNN’s “Paula Zahn Now,” 9/25/03)

In 2004, Sen. McCain Said “I’m Not Giving Tax Cuts For The Rich.” SEN. MCCAIN: “Sixty percent of the benefits from Bush’s tax cuts go to the wealthiest 10 percent of Americans … I’m not giving tax cuts for the rich.” (Glenn Kessler, “Outcome Uncertain In Bush Tax Cut’s First Test,” The Washington Post, 4/3/01)

· 2004 Democrat Presidential Contender Wesley Clark Said The GOP Gave “Tax Cuts For The Rich.” “‘Today’s budget proposal makes it clear what President Bush’s priorities are: tax cuts for the rich and tough luck for everyone else,’ said retired Gen. Wesley Clark, running for the Democratic nomination.” (David Espo, “Budget Politics: Plenty For All Sides To Campaign About,” The Associated Press, 2/2/04)

In 2006, Sen. McCain Said The Death Tax Cut Goes “Only To The Wealthiest.” SEN. MCCAIN: “I am concerned that repeal of the estate tax would provide massive benefits solely to the wealthiest- and highest-income taxpayers in the country.” (Sen. John McCain, “Statement Of Senator John McCain On H.R. 8, The Death Tax Elimination Act,” Press Release, 6/11/02)

· Sen. Ted Kennedy (D-MA): Death Tax Cut Goes To “Only The Wealthiest.” SEN. KENNEDY: “Now, they are proposing more of the same, more tax breaks benefiting only the wealthiest among us.” (Sen. Ted Kennedy, “Statement By Senator Edward M. Kennedy On Defeat Of Estate Tax Repeal,” Press Release, 6/8/06)

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