Entries in Peggy Noonan (3)


Grover Norquist: Obama and Democrats Using Newtown for “Political Purposes”

NICHOLAS KAMM/AFP/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- National Rifle Association board member and president of Americans for Tax Reform Grover Norquist said on Sunday that President Obama and Democrats are politicizing the Newtown tragedy by pushing for gun control.

“We ought to calm down and not take tragedies like this, crimes like this, and use them for political purposes,” Norquist told George Stephanopoulos on This Week. “President Obama has been president for four years. If he thought some gun control could solve this problem, he should have been pushing it years ago.”

“Democrats had a majority in the House and a supermajority in the House and the Senate for the first two years that they were in office. If they thought that this was really an important issue they might have done something then. They didn’t,” he added.

On Wednesday, Obama announced that Vice President Joe Biden would head a task force of leaders from across the country to evaluate solutions to reduce gun violence.

Norquist endorsed the recommendation made by NRA Executive Vice President Wayne LaPierre at a press conference on Friday to place armed guards in schools across the country.

Other members of the political roundtable pushed for what they called “common sense” gun laws.

Newark, N.J. Mayor Cory Booker, who is a member of the pro-gun control group Mayors Against Illegal Guns, said that there is more agreement than disagreement on measures to stop the mentally ill and criminals from acquiring weapons.

“I don’t think anyone has seen someone shot—I have,” Booker said. “I don’t know if anybody here has had to put their hand in somebody’s chest, and try to stop the bleeding so that person doesn’t die—I have. What frustrates me about this debate is that it is a false debate.”

“Most of us in America including gun owners agree on things that would stop the kind of carnage that is going on in cities all across America,” Booker said, adding that loopholes that allow criminals to buy guns in “secondary markets” should be closed.

Wall Street Journal columnist Peggy Noonan said that LaPierre’s suggestion that the effect of a violent culture on the mentally ill has contributed to increased gun violence, but she believes that Congress should pursue some gun control measures.

“I am for the banning of the extended magazines and extended clips,” Noonan said.

Editor and Publisher of The Nation Katrina vanden Heuvel said that focusing on the mentally ill is a distraction from the issue of gun violence.

“The mental illness argument has been used to evade action,” vanden Huevel said. “More guns and bullets, more dead children.”

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Mitt Romney Admits Firing Comment Haunts Him

ABC/ Ida Mae Astute(DETROIT) --  It’s not just the media that won’t forget Mitt Romney saying in New Hampshire earlier this year that he likes “being able to fire people.”

The candidate revealed in a wide-ranging interview with the Wall Street Journal’s Peggy Noonan that the remark, which came during an address to the Nashua Chamber in Commerce in Nashua, N.H., in January, is one that has stuck with him -- and haunted him -- ever since.

Asked if the way his father, George Romney, saw a presidential bid end -- with a verbal gaffe involving brainwashing in Vietnam -- makes him a more rigid speaker, Romney says it does not. Instead, he said, it is his own flubs that frustrate him.

“I don’t think my father’s comment figures into my thinking at all,” he told Noonan, adding that his own mistakes make him want to “kick myself in the seat of my pants.”

“I’ve had a couple of those during the campaign, which have haunted me a little bit, but I’m sure before this is over will haunt me a lot,” said Romney, pointing to the firing comment.

Romney was trying to explain how he believes people should be able to pick and choose their medical insurance and should be able to get rid of the plans that don’t meet their needs.

“I want individuals to have their own insurance,” Romney said in New Hampshire. “That means the insurance company will have an incentive to keep you healthy. It also means if you don’t like what they do, you can fire them. I like being able to fire people who provide services to me.”

“I have to think not only about what I say in a full sentence but what I say in a phrase,” Romney told Noonan.

The comment came at the same time as another Romney remark about worrying about receiving a pink slip. Democratic and Republican rivals seized on the series of comments to present an image of Romney that made him appear out of touch.

Romney told Noonan: “The media always says, ‘Gosh, we just want you to be spontaneous,’ but at the same time if you say anything in the wrong order, you’re gonna be sorry!”

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Keith Olbermann: Dog-Gate Exponentially Raises ‘Absurdity’ of Campaign

Jason Kempin/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- After a week of dog-eat-dog politicking between President Obama and Mitt Romney’s respective campaigns, Keith Olbermann said today that the “dog-gate” controversies have gotten out of hand.

Politicos, pundits and the presidential-campaign watching public spent the past week pondering which is worse, a presidential candidate who put his dog in a kennel strapped to the roof of his car for a 12-hour drive or a president who ate dog meat as a child living in Indonesia.

“It raises the level of absurdity to something exponential,” Olbermann said on “This Week” about the Romney campaign criticizing Obama for consuming dog meat when he was 6 years old.

“With so many valuable questions going on, we’re wasting most of the time dealing with the dogs,” the former MSNBC and CurrentTV host said.

But ABC’s George Will said neither the candidates nor their campaigns are responsible for the recent dominance of dogs in the presidential race. Instead, he said, the media is to blame.

“The horse race is over, and the sugar rush that the media got from that is gone, and therefore they’re looking for something to keep their mind off, I guess, big questions,” Will said during the “This Week” roundtable.

Wall Street Journal columnist Peggy Noonan argued that with the breakneck speed of the campaign this year, dogs may be the topic of the week, but they are not here to stay.

“There are literally thousands of people in the United States now who are employed to cover these campaigns minute by minute and they need something to say,” Noonan said.  “And so it’s dogs today.  It’ll be cats tomorrow.”

As long as the dog story persists, ABC News contributor Donna Brazile said Romney should be worried. The presumptive GOP nominee has been thus far unable to shake free from the story of putting his dog Seamus in a kennel strapped to the roof of his car during a 12-hour drive from Boston to Ontario, Canada for a family vacation in 1983.

“This is a narrative, and for Mitt Romney, he has to be concerned about the Seamus scandal because it might fit into this narrative that perhaps he’s not like us,” Brazile said.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

ABC News Radio