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Morning Examiner: Romney’s relaunch

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Politics,Beltway Confidential,Conn Carroll

Mitt Romney cruised to victory in all five Republican contests last night (New York, Pennsylvania, Connecticut, Delaware and Rhode Island), allowing him to declare the Republican primary essentially over. “I can say with confidence – and gratitude – that you have given me a great honor and solemn responsibility,” Romney said. He then turned to Obama and the general election:

Tonight is the start of a new campaign to unite every American who knows in their heart that we can do better! The last few years have been the best that Barack Obama can do, but it’s not the best America can do!

Tonight is the beginning of the end of the disappointments of the Obama years and the start of a new and better chapter that we will write together.

Romney also outlined the contrast he will draw with Obama through November:

We know that this election is about the kind of America we will live in and the kind of America we will leave to future generations. When it comes to the character of America, President Obama and I have very different visions.

Government is at the center of his vision. It dispenses the benefits, borrows what it cannot take, and consumes a greater and greater share of the economy. With Obamacare fully installed, government will come to control half the economy, and we will have effectively ceased to be a free enterprise society.

This President is putting us on a path where our lives will be ruled by bureaucrats and boards, commissions and czars. He’s asking us to accept that Washington knows best – and can provide all.

I have a very different vision for America, and of our future. It is an America driven by freedom, where free people, pursuing happiness in their own unique ways, create free enterprises that employ more and more Americans. … I see an America with a growing middle class, with rising standards of living. I see children even more successful than their parents – some successful even beyond their wildest dreams – and others congratulating them for their achievement, not attacking them for it.

Campaign 2012
Obama: Obama urged college students to borrow more money at low teaser-rates in North Carolina yesterday, and he will carry his borrow-more message to Iowa today. “I didn’t just read about this. I didn’t just get some talking points about this. I didn’t just get a policy briefing on this,” Obama said about student debt. “We didn’t come from wealthy families. When we graduated from college and law school, we had a mountain of debt. When we married, we got poor together.” Obama also appeared on Jimmy Fallon‘s talk show where he called the Secret Service agents who used hookers “knuckleheads.”

Polls: Obama leads Romney 49 percent to 42 percent in Gallup‘s Daily Tracking Poll.

Around the Bigs
The Wall Street Journal, Buffett Gets a Break on User Fee: NetJets Inc., the private-jet company owned by Mr. Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway Inc., spent more than $1 million over the past three years to lobby Congress to cut a user fee, benefiting the company’s well-heeled customers.

CNN, Home prices lowest since 2002: Home prices have declined 3.5 percent over the last 12 months, hitting a new post-boom low, according to the Case-Shiller home price index

The Wall Street Journal, Some Small Banks Can’t Repay TARP: Hundreds of small banks, 351 to be exact, with some $15 billion in outstanding TARP loans face a “significant challenge” in raising new funds to repay the government, according to TARP’s special inspector general.

The Wall Street Journal, Labor Board Meets Rising Resistance: Resistance to new National Labor Relations Board regulations and to the legitimacy of some NLRB members is making it harder for the Obama administration to change federal labor policies.

The Washington Post, Wal-Mart took part in lobbying campaign to amend anti-bribery law: Wal-Mart, the giant retailer now under fire over allegations of foreign bribery in Mexico, has participated in an aggressive and high-priced lobbying campaign to amend the long-standing U.S. anti-bribery law that the company might have violated.

Righty Playbook
Power Line‘s John Hinderaker reports that the Senate voted to abandon the Budget Control Act yesterday.

At The Corner, Mark Krikorian notes that the new Pew data on Mexican migration shows that attrition works.

AEI‘s James Pethokoukis identifies seven reasons why higher tax rates hurt economic growth.

Lefty Playbook
Daily Kos celebrates the defeat of Blue Dog Democrat Rep. Jason Altmire in PA-12.

Mother Jones‘ Andy Kroll reports on how Obama is raising money off of his association with Warren Buffett.

The Washington Post‘s Rachel Weiner explains how liberals made ALEC a political liability.

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