POLITICS

Morning Examiner: A tale of two ‘gaffes’

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Politics,Beltway Confidential,Conn Carroll

“If you’ve got a business — you didn’t build that. Somebody else made that happen.” – President Obama, July 13, 2012, Roanoke, Virginia.

“Culture makes all the difference. And as I come here and I look out over this city and consider the accomplishments of the people of this nation, I recognize the power of at least culture and a few other things.” – Mitt Romney, July 29, Jerusalem, Israel.

The liberal media wants Americans to believe that the two quotes above are both just minor gaffes made by the respective presidential candidates of each party. They want you to believe that Obama’s “you didn’t build that” statement is devoid of meaning and that Republicans are taking it out of context. And they want you to believe that Romney’s “culture” statement was deeply offensive to Palestinians and just one of many minor missteps on his recent foreign trip.

Both story lines are wrong.

Both statements reveal fundamental truths about who each candidate is and what they believe. They only difference is that Obama can’t run away from his statement fast enough and Romney is openly embracing his.

Obama claims Republican ads using his “you didn’t build that” quote are taking his words “out of context” and “are flat out wrong.” All he meant to say, Obama claims, “is that we need to stand behind [small businesses] as America always has.” But then why did Obama spend the entire preceding paragraph belittling the hard work and intelligence of small business owners? If all he was trying to say was that we all need to stand behind them, then what does that have to do with raising their taxes, which was the entire point of the rest of his speech? When viewed in full context, Obama’s speech only looks worse.

By contrast, Romney has published a post at National Review fully embracing his analysis about the link between culture and prosperity. It is part of his stump speech after all. Romney writes:

During my recent trip to Israel, I had suggested that the choices a society makes about its culture play a role in creating prosperity, and that the significant disparity between Israeli and Palestinian living standards was powerfully influenced by it. In some quarters, that comment became the subject of controversy.

But what exactly accounts for prosperity if not culture? In the case of the United States, it is a particular kind of culture that has made us the greatest economic power in the history of the earth. Many significant features come to mind: our work ethic, our appreciation for education, our willingness to take risks, our commitment to honor and oath, our family orientation, our devotion to a purpose greater than ourselves, our patriotism. But one feature of our culture that propels the American economy stands out above all others: freedom. The American economy is fueled by freedom. Free people and their free enterprises are what drive our economic vitality.

As this campaign continues, expect to see Romney return to his culture of free enterprise theme, and expect Obama to continue running and hiding from “you didn’t build that” as fast as he can.

Campaign 2012
Texas: Tea Party favorite and former state solicitor general Ted Cruz crushed Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst 57 percent to 43 percent in yesterday’s Republican primary runoff for the U.S. Senate.

Layoffs: The Department of Labor issued a new guideline yesterday informing defense contractors to ignore federal law and not send mass layoff notifications before the November elections. Normally federal contractors must notify employees of potential layoffs 60 days before they occur. President Obama’s defense spending sequester is set to hit January first.

Polls: A new Quinnipiac University/New York Times/CBS News poll of likely voters in Florida, Ohio, and Pennsylvania, shows Obama up six in Ohio and Florida, and up 11 in Pennsylvania.

Obama: President Obama will fly to Ohio today where he will land at an Ohio Air National Guard base his defense cuts plan to close. And White House Communications Director Dan Pfeiffer published a new blog post yesterday apologizing to conservative columnist Charles Krauthammer for getting his facts wrong about a Winston Churchill bust.

Romney: The Romney campaign released a new television ad yesterday attacking Obama for closing GM dealerships in Ohio.

In Other News
The Wall Street Journal, Lawmakers Agree to Extend Funding for Six Months: Republican and Democratic leaders said Tuesday that they have agreed to extend current government funding levels through the first six months of the fiscal year that begins Oct. 1, avoiding the prospect of a pitched budget battle shortly before the election.

The Washington Times, Report cites killings blamed on non-deported illegals: The Obama administration released illegal immigrants who went on to commit more crimes, including charges of 19 murders, 3 attempted murders and 142 sex crimes, the House Judiciary Committee said in a report Tuesday.

Politico, GOP ditches farm bill extension: Facing certain defeat, Republicans pulled their one-year farm bill extension from the House docket late Tuesday in favor of a narrower $383 million disaster aid package to address the immediate needs of drought-stricken livestock producers.

The Wall Street Journal, U.S. Faces Uphill Battle in Retraining the Jobless: The federal government spent about $18 billion on training and job-search programs, running 47 separate programs offering training. But government efforts to determine the effectiveness of the programs have been spotty, at best.

The Washington Post, India blackout, on second day, leaves 600 million without power: The worst blackout in India’s history spread to more than half the country Tuesday, reinforcing concerns that the nation’s horribly inefficient power sector could undermine its long-term economic ambitions.

The New York Times, White House and Congress Are in Step Over Iran Sanctions: The White House and Congress raced to impose more punishing sanctions against Iran on Tuesday, as that country’s nuclear ambitions resurfaced in the presidential election campaign after Mitt Romney’s pledge to give Israel unstinting support in its confrontation with Iran.

Righty Playbook
The Weekly Standard‘s Bill Kristol advises Romney to embrace press aide Rick Gorka, who told reporters to “Show some respect” after they shouted inane questions at Romney at Poland’s Tomb of the Unknown Soldier.

Americans for Tax Reform notes that every U.S. Olympian who wins gold automatically owes the federal government $9,000 in taxes.

Josh Barro explains why Obama’s “you didn’t build that” line has resonated.

Lefty Playbook
The New York Times Paul Krugman urges Obama to fire Federal Housing Finance Agency acting director Ed DeMarco for rejecting a Treasury Department plan to use tax dollars to write down principal on loans owned by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.

The Huffington Post‘s Sam Stein reports that Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid is accusing Romney of not paying any taxes for ten years.

Think Progress claims that the Republican tax plan would raise taxes on more than 20 million Americans.

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