Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney sat down with the editorial board of The Washington Examiner yesterday. The discussion covered a broad range of topics, including his performance in the Republican primary, taxes, health care, foreign policy, immigration, energy, banking, and housing. You can read the full transcript here.
Washington Examiner participants in the interview have since posted some of their thoughts on the session, including:
Byron York on whether Romney would apply Romneycare to other states: “But bottom line: Would Romney recommend his Massachusetts plan for other states, as he has in the past? The answer is no.”
Tim Carney on whether Romney understands the problem with big banks: “When I asked him about TARP, he defended the government’s saving of institutions. This led me to wonder if Romney’s distinction has any teeth. In other words, if the institution is big enough, would he feel the need to save it (the sort of thing that fuels moral hazard and distorts the economy) or would he wind it down.”
Phil Klein on Obamacare waivers: “Romney himself now acknowledges that lawsuits challenging the waivers may not be resolved for months. Which really undercuts the initial point of making the waiver pledge — that it would get repeal started and provide some sort of quick relief from Obamacare as full repeal works its way through Congress.”
Conn Carroll on Romney’s claim he has “a plan in mind” on illegal immigration that he has shared with some people: “Lindsey Graham. Jeb Bush. If you are an “attrition-through-enforcement” conservative on illegal immigration, then this answer is probably setting off alarms.”
Around the Bigs
CBS News, ATF used “Fast and Furious” to make the case for gun regulations: Documents obtained by CBS News show that the Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) discussed using their covert operation “Fast and Furious” to argue for controversial new rules about gun sales.
ABC News, Voters Flee Democratic Party in Key Swing States: A report released today by the centrist think-tank Third Way showed that more than 825,000 voters in eight key battleground states have fled the Democratic Party since Obama won election in 2008.
The Washington Examiner, Obama defends Keystone pipeline delay: While meeting with Canadian Prime Minister Steven Harper, President Obama defended his decision to effectively kill the Keystone XL pipeline by ordering anther environmental analysis of the project. Obama also rejected legislation that would force him to approve the project, or admit it is not in the national interest. “Any effort to try to tie Keystone to the payroll tax cut, I will reject. So everybody can be on notice” Obama said. “It shouldn’t be held hostage.”
The Washington Post, Obama’s green-car push struggles to pass ‘go’: President Obama has spent roughly $5 billion in taxpayer funds into the electric-car industry, but analysts say the risk is rising that taxpayers in many cases will not see a return on their money soon, if ever.
The Washington Examiner, Occupy protests snarl traffic, provoke arrests: Occupy DC protesters set up tents in three separate intersections last evening, blocking traffic for hours at the height of workers daily commute home. Police ended up arresting a dozen protesters.
The Wall Street Journal, Debit-Fee Cap Has Nasty Side Effect: Small business are having to raise prices on low cost items, like coffee and DVD rentals, now that the Dodd-Frank banking regulation set price controls for what banks can charge merchants for debit card transactions.
The Wall Street Journal, Corzine Will Be Walking Fine Line at Hearing: President Obama bundler and former-New Jersey senator and governor Jon Corzine will testify before the House Agriculture Committee about his role in MF Global Holdings Ltd. collapse.
The Washington Post, Blagojevich Sentenced to 14 Years in Prison: Former-Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich, the Service Employees International Union-backed politician who tried to sell President Obama’s U.S. Senate seat, apologized for his crimes yesterday before a federal judge sentenced him to 14 years in prison.
The Wall Street Journal, New York Raises Taxes on Wealthy: New York’s legislature approved Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s tax plan which raises taxes by billions of dollars on those making more than $2 million a year.
Gingrich: Time released a new poll of the top four primary states, showing Newt Gingrich with double-digit leads in three of them. Gingrich leads Romney 48%-35% in Florida, 33%-20% in Iowa, and 43%-20% in South Carolina. Romney leads Gingrich 35%-26% in New Hampshire.
VA SEN: Former-Gov. Tim Kaine and former-Sen. George Allen squared off in the first debate of a U.S. Senate election that is 11 months away. Allen sought to tie Kaine to Obama’s unpopular policies while Kaine defended the president’s record.
The Wall Street Journal editorial board says Mitt Romney’s Medicare reform plan is more conservative than Newt Gingrich’s plan.
National Review‘s say Obama’s New Nationalism speech attempted to change the conversation from “unemployment” to “inequality.”
The Enterprise Blog‘s James Pethokoukis notes that Obama had to make Ronald Reagan disappear before he could claim capitalism doesn’t work.
Talking Points Memo reports that Democrats are hoping to blunt the end of the payroll tax in 2013 by continuing the Bush tax cuts for those making less than $250,000.
The Washington Monthly‘s Steve Benen hopes Romney’s admission that he has a “limited understanding of the economy” will be used against him in the general election.
Daily Kos‘ Joan McCarter suggests Democrats call the Republicans bluff on their new found love for the Social Security Trust Fund by proposing to subject all wages, not just the first $110,000, to the payroll tax.