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Newslinks for Wednesday December 21, 2011

Posted on 12/21/2011

VIDEO: Well-funded negative ad campaign is pulling Gingrich's poll ratings back to earth

Republicans in House Reject Deal Extending Payroll Tax Cut - New York Times

Boehner John Blue ShirtBoehner calls on Obama to recall Senate - The Hill

  • But Obama said Senate legislation "is the only viable way to prevent a tax hike on January 1st" - Fox
  • Why did the Senate adjourn having passed such a ridiculous thing as a two-month extension of the payroll tax holiday? - David Frum
  • "Vulnerable Senate Republicans in 2012 have also been demanding the House GOP take up the compromise, as Democrats on the other side of the dome have reveled in the apparent intraparty chaos." - Roll Call
  • Boehner has some explaining to do to Mitch McConnell over payroll tax holiday - Politico
  • Hotline looks at the Senate races that might be affected by the payroll vote

Wall Street Journal: How did Republicans manage to lose the tax issue to Obama?

"The GOP leaders have somehow managed the remarkable feat of being blamed for opposing a one-year extension of a tax holiday that they are surely going to pass. This is no easy double play." - WSJ editorial

  • Want Growth? Try Stable Tax Policy - John B Taylor in the Wall Street Journal rejects tax tweaks such as the payroll holiday

OBAMA BLUE TIEWhy is Obama doing better in the polls?

  • There is polling evidence that Obama's payroll holiday tactic is working with voters - Greg Sargent in the Washington Post 
  • PowerLine, however, explains the small Obama bounce by divisions in the GOP field: "The GOP candidates should be showing a united front, directing their fire at Obama and competing to be the most effective anti-Obama candidate in the fall."
  • Nate Silver posits better economic expectations for Obama's recovery but warns that those expectations are reversible.

Fred Barnes on Obama's big tactic

"Short of an economic turnaround and a suddenly booming housing market, Obama is wary of running on his record.  Instead, he’s trying to turn middle class Americans against Republicans, accusing them of defending the interests of the rich. And he’s shaped his policies—on taxes, especially—and his speeches to promote this division." - Fred Barnes in the Weekly Standard

  • In The Hill Judd Gregg urges Republicans to call Obama's bluff on taxing millionaires: "Take away the president and his party’s primary issue of sophistry built on raising taxes on the super-rich, and make them debate what they hate — reducing the size of the government."

In A Year Of Partisan Brawls, Congress Goes One More Round - NPR

  • Not all GOP freshmen want to paint themselves as purists... Politico looks at the new congressmen who want to tout their bipartisan credentials

Gingrich NewtGingrich asks Romney to get negative ads off the air

"The Super PAC backing presidential candidate Mitt Romney, which has blistered Newt Gingrich in this state, became the center of controversy on Tuesday, when Mr. Gingrich demanded its attack ads be pulled and said Mr. Romney was being "purely dishonest" in his refusal to intervene." - WSJ

  • “I don’t object to being outspent, I object to lies,” Gingrich told reporters in a feisty press conference Tuesday after he spoke to a group of employees at a manufacturing plant  here in rural Southeast Iowa. “I object to negative smear campaigns.” - LA Times
  • "He’s running neck and neck with Romney in two national polls released yesterday: tied at 28 in the CNN poll, tied at 30 in Washington Post/ABC news sample. But he has totally collapsed in Iowa–down to the mid-teens after his feverish ascent to the mid-30s…was it only last week? In one poll, he’s even running behind Rick Perry. The difference is that Iowa has been bombarded with anti-Gingrich advertising. The ads have been brilliantly effective." - TIME

Romney: The Choice is Merit Society or “Entitlement Society” - WSJ

"Mitt Romney framed the 2012 presidential election in a speech here Tuesday night as a choice between an “entitlement society” dependent on government welfare and an “opportunity society” that enables businesses to flourish." - Washington Post

  • Romney says his 25% rating is a floor, not a ceiling: "One of the things that's sort of hard for me to figure out is why we didn't say this about John McCain four years ago. He never broke the 25%," said Mr. Romney. "I don't recall people who got 40% or 50% until the primaries began."" - Quoted by the WSJ

Paul RonThe Washington Post: Ron Paul is becoming a serious contender

"Over the past week, he has spent more than $600,000 on attack ads that are cutting into support for a fellow front-runner, former House speaker Newt Gingrich (Ga.). And Paul has built an organization that will allow him to remain in the race well beyond the early-voting states and amass convention delegates." - Washington Post

Paul ahead in Iowa - Washington Times

'Ron Paul Nader'? He owes GOP voters a straight answer on a third-party run - WSJ editorial

But one candidate is already running as a third party libertarian...

Former two-term New Mexico governor and GOP hopeful Gary Johnson is dropping out of the Republican nomination race to run as a Libertarian candidate - MSNBC

SantorumIowa faith leaders endorse Rick Santorum - USA Today

  • Santorum is the one candidate who could do a Huckabee in Iowa - NRO
  • Why Rick Santorum is more impressive in person than Rick Perry - Walter Shapiro for The Ticket

"The RNC’s new nominating contest paves the way for a protracted delegate fight this spring, likely drying up the resources of the presumptive nominee before the general election." - Roll Call

Is a brokered convention just a fantasy? A splintered Republican field and new party rules mean it just might happen - Michael Medved for the Daily Beast

Speculation about Jeb Bush running is a sign of disappointment at current field, not a sign that the ex-Florida Governor is seriously thinking of throwing his hat in ring - Byron York in the Washington Examiner

2011 was the year in which ObamaCare began to unravel without much help from Republicans - Daily Caller

POLITIFACT, the fact-checking project of the St Petersburg Times, has got itself in trouble today for giving its "Lie of the Year" award to the Democratic claim that "Republicans voted to end Medicare" - Economist

Iraq’s fragile political order appears in danger of crumbling just days after the departure of U.S. troops - Washington Post

"Republican senators hammered President Obama on Tuesday for allowing U.S. troops to leave, blaming the renewed tensions on the lack of a U.S. deterrent. Sens. John McCain (R-Ariz.) and Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) called for the administration to re-open negotiations for a small U.S. military presence in Iraq." - The Hill



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