Entries in Wall Street Journal (5)


Editorial Says Romney’s Supreme Court Reaction Threatens His Chances

Ethan Miller/Getty Images(WOLFEBORO N.H.) -- A scathing Wall Street Journal editorial Thursday morning said the Romney campaign’s -- and now Romney’s -- comments on the Supreme Court health decision will be considered a “a turning point” if the presumptive GOP nominee loses to President Obama this fall.

The editorial says that the candidate’s initial decision to “absolve President Obama of raising taxes on the middle class,” delivered by his senior adviser, might lead to the former Massachusetts’ governor’s “second political defeat” and that a subsequent interview on Wednesday left the campaign looking “confused in addition to being politically dumb.”


Romney retreated from his adviser’s comment and told CBS News on Wednesday that the individual mandate is indeed a tax because that’s what the Supreme Court decided.

“The dissent lost.  It’s in the minority.  And so now the Supreme Court has spoken, and while I agreed with the dissent, that’s taken over by the fact that a majority of the court said it’s a tax, and therefore it’s a tax.  They have spoken,” Romney said in the interview.  “There’s no way around that.  You can try and say you wish they had decided a different way, but they didn’t.  They concluded it was a tax.  That’s what it is.”

Romney’s remarks on the tax contradicted those of his senior adviser, Eric Fehrnstrom, who earlier this week had said that Romney “disagrees with the court’s ruling that the mandate was a tax.”  The discrepancy lead the editorial to refer to the Romney campaign’s reaction to the ruling as a “lame jujitsu spin.”

The “unforced error,” the Journal writes, was a result of Romney’s “fear of being labeled a flip-flopper.”

“Mr. Romney favored the individual mandate as part of his reform in Massachusetts, and as we’ve said from the beginning of his candidacy his failure to admit that mistake makes him less able to carry the anti-ObamaCare case to voters,” the editorial reads.  “This latest mistake is of a piece with the campaign’s insular staff and strategy that are slowly squandering an historic opportunity.  Mr. Obama is being hurt by an economic recovery that is weakening for the third time in three years.  But Mr. Romney hasn’t been able to take advantage, and if anything he is losing ground.”

The editorial advises Romney that if his campaign does not respond to the Obama campaign’s attacks on the candidate’s offshore accounts and allegations that he was an “outsourcer” during his time at private equity firm Bain Capital, that they should be “fired for malpractice.”

It concludes, “Mr. Romney promised Republicans he was the best man to make the case against President Obama, whom they desperately want to defeat.  So far Mr. Romney is letting them down.”

The Romney campaign has yet to respond to Thursday’s editorial.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Senate GOP Calls on Obama to Pull McGurk Nomination

ABC News(WASHINGTON) -- Six Republicans on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee today called on President Obama to withdraw his nominee for U.S. ambassador to Iraq, Brett McGurk, after a racy email exchange and affair with a reporter was leaked late last week.

The senators call into question McGurk’s judgment given the email scandal in which he perhaps jokingly references favors of access and information to a Wall Street Journal journalist, who he had an affair with.

“As members of the committee, with the responsibility of providing advice and consent, we write to respectfully urge you to reconsider this nomination,” Senators Jim DeMint, R-South Carolina, James Risch, R-Idaho, John Barrasso, R-Wyoming, Mike Lee, R-Utah, Marco Rubio, R-Florida and James Inhofe, R-Oklahoma, write. “There are strong concerns about Mr. McGurk’s qualifications, his ability to work with Iraqi officials, and now his judgment.”

The senators highlight concerns they had about McGurk even before the emails were leaked – his lack of “leadership and management experience, his lead role in the “botched 2011 Status of Forces Agreement negotiation, and reports that some Iraqi political groups have stated they will not work with Mr. McGurk if confirmed as the next Ambassador.”

But it is this latest email scandal that may have been the last straw for McGurk, the senators’ letter implies.

“The public release of information detailing unprofessional conduct demonstrates poor judgment and will affect the nominee’s credibility in the country where he has been nominated to serve. The fact that this information was not disclosed to senators is also disconcerting.”

All these issues together, the Republican Senators state, cannot be overlooked.

“The U.S.-Iraq relationship is of the utmost importance to us, and we respectfully request that you withdraw this nominee and nominate someone with the qualifications necessary to ensure success in this position,” the letter stated.

White House Press Secretary Jay Carney today was adamant that the White House still backs McGurk’s nomination.

“We believe that the United States will be greatly served by Mr. McGurk’s experience in Iraq, which is substantial,” Carney said in response to the letter this afternoon. “The president supports his nomination he put forward. He has a great deal of experience in Iraq, not just in this administration but in the prior administration. He thinks he will serve ably as ambassador.”

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


Are Republican Hopefuls Swinging Too Far Right?

AFP/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- With Mitt Romney and Rick Santorum ratcheting up the rhetoric in the Republican nomination, questions are being raised about whether they are swinging too far to the right for the eventual GOP candidate to succeed in the general election.

On Saturday, Santorum and Romney were among several speakers before a sold-out crowd for the Michigan Prosperity Forum. Santorum, calling his rival out, said Romney was an elitist.

“I don’t come from the elite,” Santorum said. “I’m not going to let the elites come up with phony ideologies and phony ideas to rob you of your freedom and impose government control of your life.”

Santorum took more stabs at Romney, suggesting that was really a moderate, not a conservative.

“Every time we’ve run a moderate, we’ve lost,” he said. “Every time we’ve run a conservative— a complete conservative on all the issues, I might add, national security, culture and economy—we’ve won.”

Romney, who is still trying to prove his conservative bona fides in his own backyard, savaged his opponent and criticized Santorum. He said the former Pennsylvania senator supported his views and has even voted in favor of issues he says he doesn’t support.

“I can attest for my conservative credentials by quoting someone who endorsed me in my 2008 campaign,” Romney said in reference to Santorum’s endorsement four years ago, when he said Romney was “hitting his stride” and that it was exactly what conservatives wanted to hear at that time.

Although running to the right is part of Republican primary politics, some are starting to worry.  Santorum, who leads some national polls, has spent a week speaking about social issues, from abortion to pre-natal testing and contraception.

In the past 24 hours, The Wall Street Journal, considered a barometer of the Republican establishment, ran two opinion pieces on Santorum asking if he is a “Moralizer in Chief?” and proclaiming “Democrats Are Praying for a Santorum Nomination.”

The Wall Street Journal’s Kimberly Strassell said in an article that voters in general elections are “not thrilled by the recent trend in the social-conservative movement toward using government to impose a particular morality—a trend that Mr. Santorum would seem to highlight.”

Conservative radio host Rush Limbaugh disagrees.

“The Republican establishment is essentially saying that the conservatives are screwing everything up, making a mess of this,” he said.

With Santorum’s surge, Romney has been forced to move to the right, too, taking positions his supporters admit may make it harder to win the votes of independents in the fall if he is the nominee.

The move to the right apparently isn’t helping either of the two candidates with independents.  The most recent ABC News poll found Romney with at a 14-point disadvantage (33-47 percent) among independents. Santorum’s got challenges in this key group too, with a 33-38 percent favorability rating, according to the poll.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Donald Trump Looking Good in Early Polls for 2012 Presidential Run

Mike Stobe/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- Potential 2012 presidential candidate Donald Trump is gaining ground in the Republican Party, according to a new NBC/Wall Street Journal poll.

Trump, the real estate mogul and host of NBC's The Apprentice, has talked seriously about seeking the GOP presidential nomination and voters are seriously taking him at his word, judging by the survey that shows him running second behind frontrunner Mitt Romney in a hypothetical poll of Republican candidates.

Romney, the former Massachusetts governor, leads by 21 percent, with Trump and former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee tied in second with 17 percent.

Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich comes in third with 11 percent followed by former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin at 10 percent.

Interestingly, none of these Republican hopefuls have said definitely that they're running for president.

Trump has raised a stir lately by joining those in the "birther" movement who question whether President Obama was born in the U.S.  This has apparently resonated with people who identify themselves with the Tea Party movement: the NBC/WSJ poll shows Trump the most popular Republican with this group.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

ABC News Radio