Newslinks for Wednesday April 11: Santorum quits, Romney pivots, Obama demonizesPosted on 04/11/2012
VIDEO: In rare appearance, George W Bush says 4% private sector growth is "doable" and is key to solving federal deficit
READ OF THE DAY: Dick Morris warns about the taxes that Barack Obama will impose if he gets a second term - The Hill
SANTORUM BOWS OUT
"Rick Santorum suspended his campaign for the White House on Tuesday, clearing the way for former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney to claim the Republican presidential nomination and end the primary season after three months and 37 contests." - Wall Street Journal
"Ultimately his lack of organization, executive prowess (needed to organize a national campaign) and inability to stay on a blue-collar economic message doomed him. He is eloquent but excessively combative. He is well read but condescending toward fellow Americans. He was ultimately his own worst enemy." - Jennifer Rubin in the Washington Post
"Santorum had a real shot of toppling the former Massachusetts governor. Yet, he couldn’t pull it off... when the spotlight was especially bright, he didn’t shine." - The Hill lists five reasons why Santorum fell short.
Conservatives react to Santorum's exit
- Rush Limbaugh on Santorum's exit: The ‘establishment’ won - Politico (so says Mark Levin too)
- Gary Bauer says Romney must choose conservative running mate if he is to energize the GOP's most active ground troops, the "very conservatives" - Wall Street Journal
- Robert Costa for NRO: "I’ll remember his bid as the gritty one. He never quit — even after his Iowa win was botched, or after he lost New Hampshire and South Carolina. He found a way to come back three times — once from the bottom of the polls in the winter, again in early February, and a final time in the Deep South in March. It wasn’t enough, but what a ride."
- "Mr. Santorum nonetheless deserves credit for making Mr. Romney lift his performance and improve his platform. Mr. Santorum's overarching theme of restoring American freedom had more resonance than Mr. Romney's recitation of his resume, and the likely GOP nominee has since picked up some of Mr. Santorum's words if not the music." - Wall Street Journal editorial
- Santorum never found policy beef for his blue collar Republicanism - David Frum
Liberals and others react to Santorum's exit
- "Large numbers of immigrants, gays and women found fault with his views. His statements on science and the separation of church and state made moderates cringe" - The Economist
- "Santorum was uninspiring and perpetually underfunded, unable to persuade almost anyone that he was a serious candidate until the structural barriers to victory were nearly insurmountable. And yet, he still managed to get a bunch of Republicans - particularly evangelicals, judging by election returns - to join Team Rick." - Zack Beauchamp at The Daily Dish
- How Blue-Collar Rick Santorum Exposed Mitt Romney’s Class Problem - TNR
Santorum 2016? - No, Nate Silver thinks "the 2012 nomination campaign will prove to be the high-water mark of his political career".
- Aaron Goldstein at the American Spectator agrees: "If Obama beats Romney, it does open a door for 2016 but I think Santorum would face a tougher field that could include the likes of Marco Rubio, Paul Ryan, Allen West and Bobby Jindal."
Romney and allies make plea for party unity following Santorum exit - LA Times
- "Mitt Romney lauded former rival Rick Santorum as “an important voice in our party,” and said he would like to meet with Santorum soon" - National Journal
- The Daily Beast notes that Santorum didn't mention Romney in his exit speech and Tony Harnden calls Santorum "graceless"
- "While Romney gave a kindly shout out to Santorum, whom he had been cudgeling in TV ads until just a few days ago, the former senator didn't return the favor. It was widely noted that he didn't mention Romney once in his farewell speech. Still, he did say he would work to defeat Obama, which leads one to believe he means to help his party's eventual nominee." - NPR
Newt Gingrich welcomes Rick Santorum backers as he vows to stay in race - Politico
"Jesse Benton, national campaign chairman for Ron Paul, hailed Santorum for running "a spirited campaign" but then pivoted for his candidate. "Dr. Paul is now the last -- and real -- conservative alternative to Mitt Romney. We plan to continue running hard, secure delegates, and press the fight for limited, constitutional government in Tampa," Benton said." - USA Today
Romney can now turn to the general election...
...and he does: "Romney Turns Attention to Obama, Focusing on Women’s Job Losses" - New York Times
Romney needs to win Right and moderate women - Byron York for the Washington Examiner
Ed Gillespie, newest addition to Team Romney, tells Jennifer Rubin that conservatives will rally to Romney to stop Obama.
Jindal and Toomey back Romney - CBS
Jonathan Bernstein in the Washington Post still thinks he'll face big pressures to be conservative: "The truth is that Santorum and the nomination process only functioned, from Florida on, as a mechanism for forcing Romney to hew to Republican orthodoxy. That mechanism will be replaced, now, by more direct action and pressure on him by conservative party actors. Those actors will certainly ensure that Romney picks a trusted conservative as a running mate, and will police everything he says on every issue."
"As for the 11 states Romney lost to Santorum, for the most part they were either low-turnout caucus states or places such as Alabama, Mississippi, Missouri and North Dakota, where Republicans should win in November." - Carl Cannon for RCP
Romney, the good man
"As a volunteer lay pastor of his Mormon congregation, Romney spent years counseling neighbors on their marriages and adoptions, helping the unemployed feed their families, and ministering to the sick and the addicted. The lesser-known stories have surfaced occasionally in profiles of the former Massachusetts governor. But they have not blossomed into any kind of gentler portrait of Romney" - Washington Post
- Obama and Romney both have the right temperament and experience for the presidency - USA Today editorial
Campaigning in Florida, Obama pitched his plan to raise taxes on the wealthy as he seeks to more sharply define the coming general election debate - Wall Street Journal
"Obama urged the Senate to approve the Paying a Fair Share Act, which would require anyone earning at least $1 million a year to pay at least 30 percent of his income in taxes" - Washington Post
Roll Call sees Obama's Florida speech as a honed summary of the president's re-election themes.
- Just a reminder: “Buffett Rule” that Obama won’t stop talking about is aimed mainly at around 400 taxpayers - HotAir
- "The Buffett rule is really nothing more than a sneaky way for Mr. Obama to justify doubling the capital gains and dividend tax rate to 30% from 15% today. That's the real spread-the-wealth target. The problem is that this is a tax on capital that is needed for firms to grow and hire more workers. Mr. Obama says he wants an investment-led recovery, not one led by consumption, but how will investment be spurred by doubling the tax on it?" - WSJ editorial
Ross Douthat: Obama's strategy may be very negative but it might easily work
"Whether in his slashing attack last week on the “radical vision” of the House Republican budget, his finger-wagging at the Supreme Court over health care reform, or his administration’s transparently calculated outrage over the supposed Republican “war on women,” the incumbent is building a case for re-election that rests almost exclusively on the evils of the opposition." - Ross Douthat in the New York Times
But at PowerLine John Hinderacker is more skeptical: "Obama’s re-election campaign faces two intractable problems: One, he has no record on which to run, a fact that the Democrats implicitly admit by fabricating one hysterical distraction after another. Two, he has no agenda for his second term."
USA has more than €urozone and UK combined
PowerLine: "The populations of the two entities are almost exactly the same, so the U.S. debt is larger on a per capita basis, too. Really, is it going too far to ask how an administration that put the U.S. in such a deep hole can have the temerity to seek re-election?"
- "Every time we call for the government to fix some problem, we accelerate the growth of government. If we do not change the way we think, we will end up socialists by default, even if no one calls us that." - John Stossel for RCP
John McCain and Joe Lieberman visit Syrian refugee camp and urge US to arm anti-Assad forces - The Hill
- 1,000 people have been killed in Syria in last eight days - Weekly Standard
- Max Boot on why the US won't intervene: "I can’t help noting that this is an election year in the United States and President Obama is seeking reelection based on a narrative of having “ended” a war in Iraq and being on his way to ending another war in Afghanistan. As the president constantly reminds us, the “tide of war” is receding (try telling that to the Taliban or the Quds Force). Given that’s going to be his pitch to voters, it would be highly inconvenient if, in November, U.S. aircraft were bombing Syrian regime targets."
And finally... Asked about what's next, Santorum simply told James Dobson: "I’d like to get some sleep." - MSNBC