Video: Santorum Hits Romney On RomneyCare + Debate Re-Ax

Santorum scored a direct hit on a raw Romney nerve when he went after RomneyCare in tonight’s primary debate in Florida, arguing that it would be difficult to debate the issue of “top down” government healthcare with Obama with his record of imposing “top down” government health care in Massachusetts. That left a mark:

I found Mitt’s peevish admonition, “First of all, it’s not worth getting angry about…” to be a vain and  transparent attempt to exploit the (fair or unfair) perception that Santorum comes off as whiny  in debates.  He should save the snide put-downs for Obama, who really is a whiny, thin skinned SCOAMF.

See The Right Scoop for a longer, better  version of this exchange.

MORE:

Another great moment for Santorum: “Lets stop with petty personal attacks!

UPDATE:

Philip Klein: The Washington Examiner: Santorum wins debate, but Romney beats Newt:

I was busy with other things tonight, so I only listened on and off to part of the debate on the radio (on a one-hour delay), so I haven’t had an opinion on who did best. Klein thought it was a bad night for Gingrich,  a strong night for Romney, but Santorum ran away with it. Based on the YouTube videos I’ve seen, that certainly sounds about right:

… there were at least two problematic moments for him (Romney). The first came when he claimed to have never seen an anti-Gingrich attack ad that actually ends with him approving the message. And the second, much more significant moment, was when Rick Santorum scorched him on his health care record.

Santorum didn’t just offer a grazing attack of Romneycare like many other candidates have in prior debates. He got very specific. He noted that it was top-down government control — from the mandate forcing individuals to purchase health insurance to the expansion of Medicaid. And when Romney tried to wiggle away, and  defended the individual mandate making the same arguments as President Obama, Santorum pinned him down, explaining all the problems with the health care system in Massachusetts under the law. Romney’s response to Santorum’s passionate case against government-run health care was to say, “It’s not worth getting angry about,” which was a dagger in the back of conservatives who have spent the last several years fighting a government takeover of the largest (and most personal) sector of the U.S. economy. It was a clear reminder to conservatives of why they’ve been so reluctant to get behind Romney to the point that they’d be considering the deeply flawed Gingrich.

Besides sticking it to Romney, Santorum had strong answers on almost every question — on Latin America, on not throwing away too much money on the space program, and on why rights are God-given rather than granted by government.

Can we please give Santorum a second look?

One more clip: Santorum: Faith Is An Important Part Of This Country:

Michelle Malkin: Confirmed: Romneycare = Obamacare:

I repeat: RomneyCare and ObamaCare share not only the same ideological architects, but similar waiver programs in part set up to benefit Big Labor.

***

Industrial-strength nose plugs can’t cover the stench.

RedState’s Erick Erickson thinks Mitt won the debate, but Santorum had the best night- if that makes any sense:

Mitt Romney won the debate. He and Gingrich behaved like petulant children, but Romney got under Newt’s skin in a way Newt did not get under Romney’s skin and Newt came off looking the lesser of the two. Additionally, Mitt Romney finally offered up a bold and clear answer on his wealth with a strong defense of capitalism and self-made men. There was no apology and no defense. It was precisely what he needed to do.

Though he may have won, Rick Santorum had the best night of any candidate and though Romney won on points, Santorum won on style and substance. He offered up the strongest attack yet on Romneycare, pointing out how if Romney is the nominee we cede an important line of attack on Obamacare. He rattled Romney in a way Newt did not. He acted like the adult in the room. He got himself some supporters from Newt Gingrich I’m pretty sure.

Michelle Malkin’s thoughts: Fly Them To The Moon, Please:

Big gainer: Santorum.

Big surprise: Paul’s likeability factor, even if he is completely on the moon when it comes to Israel, jihadists, and national security.

Big, unchanged reality: Big Government Romney, Big Government Gingrich, and Not As Big A Government As He Voted For When He Was in the Senate But Still Too Big Government Santorum.

The journey/march/slog (towards a brokered convention??????) continues…


Meanwhile….to motivate you to the polls:

ABC News: President Obama: I Want Second Term ‘Badly’

Hat tip: Brian B.

Linked by Ushanka, thanks!

Share

Kris Kobach: Elections Must Be Secure

This week, the KS Secretary of State, Kris Kobach has been updating the legislature and educating the public on the S.A.F.E. Act, the photo ID voting laws he spearheaded. It was passed in the Kansas Senate, last March with a large bi-partisan majority (36-3). Two thirds of the provisions have already gone into effect, the last third – the proof of citizenship requirement – was amended for unknown reasons *cough* 2012 election *cough* to take effect January 2013. Kobach is pushing hard to have that moved up to June  of this year, but as you can imagine, liberals are pushing back, hard.

Here’s Kobach making his case in the Topeka Capital Journal: Elections Must Be Secure:

Last year, the Legislature enacted the Secure and Fair Elections (SAFE) Act, which was drafted by my office. The SAFE Act combines three elements: a requirement that voters present photo IDs when they vote in person; a requirement that voters who vote by mail present a full driver’s license number and have their signatures verified; and a proof of citizenship requirement for all newly registered voters.

The first two provisions are already in effect. The third — the proof of citizenship requirement — was drafted to go into effect on Jan. 1, 2012, but a Senate committee last year inserted an amendment to delay it until Jan. 1, 2013. I have asked the Legislature to move the starting date up to June 15, 2012, in order to prevent additional aliens from being registered to vote in Kansas.

In a Jan. 16 editorial, The Topeka Capital-Journal editorial board argued that the state should wait until after the 2012 elections to implement the proof of citizenship requirement. The editorial board’s arguments are faulty on numerous fronts.

First, the editorial board claimed that election fraud is not a problem that needs to be addressed in Kansas. The facts say otherwise. In Kansas, 234 incidents of voter fraud were reported between 1997 and the 2010 elections.

In addition, last year my office discovered 32 aliens who were registered to vote in Kansas, and that’s just the tip of the iceberg. When the total number is calculated, it will likely be in the hundreds. In Colorado, the secretary of state’s office recently identified 11,805 aliens illegally registered to vote in the state, of whom 4,947 voted in the 2010 elections. In Kansas too, some of the aliens who are on our voter rolls voted.

The editorial board claimed that this is a harmless problem that never skews election results. Here too, they failed to do their research. When the SAFE Act was before the Legislature last year, the Cowley County clerk testified about a shocking case of aliens being used to manipulate an election.

In 1997, a ballot issue was before voters concerning whether to allow a particular type of hog farming operation in the county. A few weeks before the election, a bus full of individuals believed to be aliens rolled up to the county clerk’s office, where they were unloaded and told to register to vote. The clerk realized what was happening, but she was powerless to stop it. Under Kansas law at the time, the clerk had to allow them to register as long as they filled out and signed their registration cards.

Another incident happened in 2010, just across the state line. In the 2010 state representative race in Kansas City, Mo., between J.J. Rizzo and Will Royster, the election was allegedly stolen when Rizzo received approximately 50 votes illegally cast by citizens of Somalia. According to eyewitnesses, the Somalis, who didn’t speak English, were coached to vote in his favor by an “interpreter” at the polling place. The margin of victory? One vote.

Finish reading at CJ Journal.

Jack Cashill wrote at length about the Somali case which happened during the 2010 Democrat primary: Will Somali Pirates Hijack The Election?

Share

The Case For (and Against) Newt

Not sure if you’ve noticed, but the long knives are out for Newt Gingrich as he campaigns in Florida. Panic has set in among Republicans  in Washington as everyone,  TV Pundits, Left and Right, Insist Gingrich Cannot Win, Would Drag Down Entire Party in Fall. This was not supposed to happen. Newt was not supposed to have slugged his way to the top tier, and now it looks like there’s a coordinated effort underway to knock him out. Mitt was supposed to have secured the nomination, by now.

The Drudge headline for the past couple of days says it all with the worst slam you can make against a Republican:

It links to Elliot Abrams’ devastating piece at NRO which makes the case that Gingrich repeatedly assaulted the Reagan administration with criticism “just as Democratic attacks were heating up unmercifully”. Abrams, who was  an assistant secretary of state in the Reagan Administration and deputy national security adviser in the George W. Bush Administration, wrote:

…as a visionary, Gingrich does not have a very impressive record. The Soviet Union was beginning to collapse, just as Reagan had believed it must. The expansion of its empire had been thwarted. The policies Gingrich thought so weak and indeed “pathetic” worked, and Ronald Reagan turned out to be a far better student of history and politics than Gingrich.

The second point to make is that Gingrich made these assaults on the Reagan administration just as Democratic attacks were heating up unmercifully. Far from becoming a reliable voice for Reagan policy and the struggle against the Soviets, Gingrich took on Reagan and his administration. It appears to be a habit: He did the same to George W. Bush when Bush was making the toughest and most controversial decision of his presidency — the surge in Iraq. Bush was opposed by many of the top generals, by some Republican leaders who feared the surge would hurt in the 2008 elections, and of course by a slew of Democrats and media commentators. Here again Gingrich provided no support for his party’s embattled president, testifying as a private citizen in 2007 that the strategy was “inadequate,” contained “breathtaking” gaps, lacked “synergism” (whatever that means), and was “very disappointing.” What did Gingrich propose? Among other things, a 50 percent increase in the budget of the State Department.

Gingrich scorned Reagan’s speeches, which moved a party and then a nation, because “the president of the United States cannot discipline himself to use the correct language.” In Afghanistan, Reagan’s policy was marked by “impotence [and] incompetence.” Thus Gingrich concluded as he surveyed five years of Reagan in power that “we have been losing the struggle with the Soviet empire.” Reagan did not know what he was doing, and “it is precisely at the vision and strategy levels that the Soviet empire today is superior to the free world.”

Perhaps not coincidentally,  a short excerpt of a 1988 C-SPAN video of Newt Gingrich supposedly bashing Ronald Reagan is currently making the rounds. Dan Riehl has discovered that said  Video Of Newt Bashing Reagan Is Bogus.

What you don’t see is immediately after when Gingrich praises Reaganism and the Reagan platform.

Does Gingrich at times, have “diarrhea of the mouth”? Yes, we knew that already. But when push came to shove, was Gingrich always in Reagan’s corner? Jeffrey Lord, who also worked in the Reagan administration, writes in The American Spectator, a resounding, “yes”, calling Gingrich, “Reagan’s young lieutenant”:

…time after time after time in the Reagan years, a number of those times which I had the opportunity to see up close as a young Reagan staffer charged in my duties with being the White House liaison to Gingrich and Kemp’s Conservative Opportunity Society, Newt Gingrich was out there again and again and again for Ronald Reagan and conservative principles. In his own memoirs, The Politics of Diplomacy, James Baker noted of his days as Reagan White House Chief of Staff that he always “worked closely” with the people Baker described as “congressional leaders.” And who were those leaders? Baker runs off a string of names of the older leaders of both House and Senate in the formal positions of power — plus one. That’s right: young Newt Gingrich.

Gingrich repeatedly demonstrated a considerable ability to illustrate conservative principle, help Reagan using events of the day. Here were two notable examples.

Read on. It’s a long piece, but you need to read it all.

This video from 1995 via Professor Jacobson of Legal Insurrection, shows Nancy Reagan at a Goldwater Institute Dinner honoring Ronald Reagan, handing over the conservative torch from her husband to Newt Gingrich.

I should note that Nancy Reagan was well known for being  a ferocious defender of her husband. If you crossed Ronnie, you were off the reservation, and yet:

No one has been more vocal opponent of Newt Gingrich in recent weeks than Ann Coulter. She has been all over the airwaves warning Republican voters that if Gingrich wins the nomination, Obama is a shoo-in to win the general election. He has too much baggage, his negatives are too high, he’s not really conservative, etc, etc. In her latest screed, posted yesterday, she makes her case again, making brilliant points, as usual: RE-ELECT OBAMA: VOTE NEWT!

— Romney is now the only remaining candidate for president who opposes amnesty for illegals. (Ever since President Bush’s amnesty plan cratered on the shoals of public opposition, no Republican will ever use the word “amnesty,” despite wanting to keep illegals here — just as Democrats refuse to say “abortion,” while supporting every manner of destroying human life.)

Romney supports E-Verify and a fence on the border. As governor he promoted English immersion programs for immigrants, signed an agreement with the federal government allowing state troopers to enforce federal immigration laws, and opposed efforts to give illegal immigrants in-state tuition or driver’s licenses.

At the same time, Romney says he’d like to staple a green card to the diploma of every immigrant here on a student visa who gets a higher degree in math or science.

Gingrich supports importing a slave labor force from Mexico under a “guest worker” program and wants to create government “citizen review boards” to grant amnesty on a case-by-case basis (i.e. all at once) to illegal aliens.

— Romney supports entitlement reform along the lines of the Paul Ryan plan, as he has said plainly, but without histrionics, in the debates.

Just last year, Gingrich went on “Meet the Press” and called Ryan’s plan — supported by nearly every House Republican — “right-wing social engineering.”

He apologized for those remarks, then took back his apology, still later doubled down, calling the Ryan plan “suicide,” and now — currently, but it could change any minute — Gingrich supports Ryan’s entitlement reform efforts.

For the latest updates on Newt’s position on the Ryan plan, go to http//twitter.com/#whatcheapshotgrandstandymovewillworknow?

Those are all good points, and I respect her opinion, but she was singing a completely different tune at CPAC 2011. Perhaps this is a cheap shot because that was a whole year ago – the field has changed, and Ann is a strategic thinker, but she said what she said: “If Christie Doesn’t Run, Romney Will be Nominated and Lose to Obama”:

This just goes to show you how much an opinion can change over a year’s times. Pamela Geller provides another example of this – in reverse.

True story: Last year at CPAC, I went up to the stage take some pictures of Gingrich while he was speaking. As he was leaving the stage, he shook the hands of the people closest by, mine being among them.  When I got back to the bloggers lounge, I mentioned to the people around me, “hey, Newt Gingrich just shook my hand!” and Pamela immediately shot back, “Did you wash it?”

Geller has gone from being firmly against Newt, a year ago, to firmly supporting him, today: Gingrich: The SOB we need.

Newt Gingrich’s victory in Saturday’s South Carolina primary means that we are still alive.

Gingrich really won the primary in the first five minutes of Friday night’s debate, when he challenged John King of CNN. King opened the debate trying to press forward the media’s campaign of destruction of Gingrich, using the 13-year-old slings and arrows of a still-bitter ex-wife. The best thing about the exchange was that Newt turned the tables with the speed and skill of a black belt and put the media on the defensive. It was brilliant, a defining moment. And the crowd cheered. People are fed up.

The country needs a tough fighter. There is a war on the American people; we are under attack from within, and the Republican establishment has been meek, cowed, defeated. Gingrich is fierce. We need a fighter to go toe-to-toe against the silver-tongued snake in the White House.

***

Yes, Gingrich has much to answer for. Yet while Newt has an inconsistent history, he seems a man of the time. He knows what America needs: He sees the threats from within and without, and he is pulling no punches. Romney is not strong enough for the coming battle. Newt may be an SOB, but he’s our SOB. And we need an SOB to defeat the snake in the White House.

 Investor’s Business Daily made the same point in:  Gingrich Looking Churchillian In Political Comeback:

Leadership: A great debater. Politically polarizing. Prone to great error, but also prone to spectacular success. Steeped in history. Politically brilliant. Unorthodox. Audacious.

All these qualities were once used to describe Winston Churchill. Today, you might use the same words to describe Newt Gingrich. Sound absurd? Not when you think about it.

Churchill, like Gingrich, was a brilliant politician with a powerful sense of the occasion.

Sometimes prickly, often witty, but never dull, his career had lots of ups and downs — ranging from being blamed for the disastrous Gallipoli campaign in World War I to being credited as the father of the British welfare state — not exactly a compliment among conservatives, then or now.

Indeed, by Churchill’s own admission, “The Conservatives have never liked nor trusted me.” The same thing can be said of Gingrich, who has had a tortured relationship with the GOP’s conservative wing, to say the least.

And yet, when his nation called on him to lead in 1940, Churchill was ready — the right man for the right time. With America’s government under President Obama moving rapidly to the extreme left, Gingrich too might be the right man for the right time.

But — John from Verum Serum, who has been inclined to support Newt, finds reason to believe Newt may not be the right man for any time. Such rank dishonesty can only be described as “Clintonesque” or “Obama-like”, and conservatives should not be put into the position of having to defend it: Newt Didn’t Offer Witnesses to ABC as Claimed During SC Debate?

Gah!

I want to support Newt, I really do….but Romney or a brokered convention are looking better and better to me.

UPDATE:

Yuval Levin at the Corner: ‘An Empty Bucket in His Hand’:

Wherein Levin explains Bob Dole’s sneer about Newt Gingrich and his “empty bucket”. Dole seems to have missed the point.

One could point to any number of erratic, undisciplined, and peculiar statements or actions by Newt Gingrich during his speakership. He was in many ways a disastrous manager and leader. But Dole’s example in his statement today reflects more poorly on Dole than on Gingrich, I’d say. And putting out this statement from Dole frankly doesn’t reflect well on the political judgment of the Romney campaign.

So there you have it, folks: not only did Dole lose because of Newt, but Newt is insane to boot, showing up at campaign HQ to stagger around with his ice bucket, reeking of last night’s cheap muscatel and muttering to himself like a dingy old wino.

And NRO is gleefully providing a forum for this drivel. Vote for Romney, because FEAR TEH CRAAAZY MAN!

MORE:
Mark Levin is, by his own admission, no special pleader for Newt Gingrich and he says that we can certainly criticize Gingrich on substance. But he says to count him out among those that are trashing Gingrich. In fact, he opened the show saying that if this trashing of Newt Gingrich is what the conservative movement has come to, then count him out.
ONE TWO MORE:
A HUGE plug and must read from Melissa O’Sullivan, wife of National Review’s John O’Sullivan: Send Us Newt.
She makes the case for Newt more persuasively than anyone I’ve heard or read, thus far.
This is very good, too: Peter Ferrara Gingrich Frames the Debate:

Before this campaign is over, America will know who Saul Alinsky is, even if Mitt Romney does not.

Gingrich would appear to be the only guy with the balls to bring up Obama’s radical Alinsky past – something most Americans still know nothing about.

The real question this year is whether this generation of Americans can be duped into trashing the greatest, most prosperous, most successful nation in the history of the world, for a retrograde Marxist vision that thoroughly failed throughout the last century, and which the rest of the world has learned through hard experience is confused to the point of practical silliness. This only indicates how much deep trouble America is in, with Obama as President, and his philosophy and worldview having taken over the modern Democrat party.What Gingrich indicated in his South Carolina victory speech is that he understands what Obama is really all about, and the fundamental challenge he represents to the future of America. And he intends to reveal the truth of Obama’s carefully crafted neo-Marxist message to the American people.

Gingrich is the only candidate remotely capable of carrying the flag for the true, original, historic America in this fundamental, existential battle for national survival. He so rightly identified the public mood in his South Carolina speech, saying, “The American people feel that they have elites who have been trying for a half-century to force us to quit being American and become some kind of other system.” He further identified the pending danger, “If Barack Obama can get re-elected after this disaster, just think how radical he would be in a second term.”

Read the whole piece. My gut tells me that Gingrich, as deeply flawed as he is – may be the man for our time.

Share

“We The People”

Here’s a musical interlude while I’m working on a post about Newt Gingrich. It’s kinda catchy, I think you’ll like it.

“It’s time to stand up- it’s time to speak out” sings Ava Aston, a recording artist from New York who was moved to write the song out of  her frustration of what she saw happening in our country since the Obama  administration took office.

Via Atlas Shrugs:

Share